No disrespect to the PBR, but Brandon Bates would rather have a bow in his hand than a microphone.
Bates, who has been the in-arena announcer for the past 10 years for the Professional Bull Riders, also is executive producer and co-host of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's television show “Team Elk” which is broadcast on the Outdoor Channel.
Last year Bates hunted elk in five Western states for the television show and occasionally has bull riders such as Austin Meier of Kinta along on the hunting trips.
“I appreciate and respect the job I have with the PBR, but that is definitely the dream job,” Bates said. “It's probably the one that means the most to me. I really, really enjoy that.”
Bates' passion is the outdoors, especially big-game hunting. The Edmond resident even sold his home in Oak Tree so he could move to a place with a bigger backyard so he could shoot his bow.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partners with the PBR which led to Bates' involvement with the television show. It premiered last year and is the first television program fully owned and produced by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
It was voted the Fan Favorite Best New Series on the Outdoor Channel. Season two has been filmed and will begin airing in July.
Most of the show involves hunting elk, but some mule deer hunts also have been included.
“It doesn't have to be elk, but it better be in elk country,” Bates said of the show.
Bates said The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is making a difference for the future of elk and elk hunters. It has conserved 6 million acres for elk habitat since the organization was formed in 1984 and wildlife conservation is an important message of the television show, he said.