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Alumni Profile/Hunting for Stories, Fishing for Tales

Bill Sherck '94Bill Sherck ’94 is thankful for the good advice he received from a couple of sources. Twelve years ago, following television news reporting stints in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Minnesota, his career was at a crossroads. Sherck, who studied mass communication at St. Norbert, was looking for a marketing or public relations position when a former colleague encouraged him to stay true to his talents.

“He told me, ‘You are a really good storyteller, don’t let that die,’ ” explains Sherck. “My dad (Mike Sherck) suggested that I contact Ron Schara (outdoor television host, Schara Productions).”

Covering the outdoors was a natural fit for Sherck, who grew up fishing in Minnesota. Known by many viewers as “The Man About the Woods,” Sherck serves as executive producer, host and reporter for “Due North Outdoors” on Fox Sports Network (North and Wisconsin). Other television credits include “Legends of Rod and Reel” and “Pheasants Forever Television” on the Outdoor Channel and “Minnesota Bound” on NBC in Minnesota. He has also co-hosted a weekly Minneapolis radio show on the outdoors and regularly speaks at fishing and hunting seminars, sports shows and to conservation groups.

“Most of the shows focus on pure storytelling, telling stories of people’s passions,” says Sherck, an Emmy award winner for outdoor reporting. “We show up with a camera and document that.

“There are so many great stories. It’s not so much about big catches. We miss more than we catch. I try to tell it like it is. Some of our most popular shows are about failures because people can relate to those experiences. Everyone has broken a line at least once.”

While at St. Norbert, Sherck fished the Fox River on a few occasions. He played soccer for the Green Knights and served as the announcer for St. Norbert hockey, which, along with his class schedule, limited free time for hunting and fishing in northeast Wisconsin. “Is the bite below the bridge in the spring still good?” he asked. “I still remember all the boats lined up by the bridge. I would love to shoot a show on the Fox River. Maybe this spring, I can get back there.”

Sherck’s favorite pastimes remain fishing and hunting despite the time he spends on the water and in the woods for his work. He and his wife, Katie, have two sons, Brady, 5, and Bennett, 3. The family lives in the Minneapolis area.

“I have introduced the boys to the outdoors,” says Sherck. “We like to ice fish, fish out of the boats on the lake and go to the family cabin. In this business, when I crawl in the boat, there are expectations. We have to catch this many fish to accomplish our goal and document this part. I don’t get to play around. I don’t get to fish for fun on the job.”

Sherck is working on a couple of pilots for new series. He continues to let his merits carve out his career path. “I’ve never had an agent,” he says. “Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney weren’t particularly good-looking guys, but they could write and tell a story. If I’m going to get jobs, it’s because I can tell a story.”

Sherck gives back by fishing and serving as a guide in various charity and celebrity fishing tournaments. He welcomes ideas for outdoor stories via email to bill@mnbound.com.

March 31, 2014