Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jerad Berg comes on the porch

This year's 2008 Big Buck Hunter World Champion sauntered on over to Pappy's Porch, and we had a chance to talk with him about his recent world championship, Nintendo Duck Hunt, Beauty Queens and more.

Pappy's Porch: Jerad, when did you first learn about your 'Big Buck' special powers? Have you had them since birth, or did they come on you later in life?

Jerad Berg: I'm fairly certain they have been around since birth, I've always had an oversized left forearm and a very itchy trigger finger, but they weren't evident until Duck Hunt came out with the first Nintendo.

PP: Tell us how you started with Big Buck.

JB: My brother Nick and I were at the bar after a long day of pheasant hunting when we realized neither one of us had brought our wallets. My brother was enjoying a fine Leinenkugel's Summer Shanty, and we'd racked up quite the bar tab. The gentleman at the table next to us overheard our dilemma and offered a friendly wager. If either my brother or I could beat him in the new Shootout Mode of the new Big Buck Hunter Pro, he'd take care of our tab. But, if he beat us, one of us would drive home 50 miles, come back and pay both his tab and our tab. My brother and I love both challenges and gambling, so this suited us just fine. Nick played the guy first and even though he had the skills to win, shooting one too many ewes left us on the wrong side of the wager. Then the bet was extended to me. He wanted to play Rams again which was good since although I'd never played it, at least I'd just seen Nick play it. The game started, and it was like I was the only one shooting critters. I ended up nearly doubling his score, and I went home without paying our tab, and a new favorite pasttime.

PP: Now you only took 5th place in your regional qualifier, were you sandbagging, or had you not peaked yet?

JB: No, sandbagging isn't my style. Anyone who watched the qualifier would have known to watch out for me. The match I lost at the qualifier was to my ultra-nemisis Trevor 'Kryptonite' Floren. I ended the qualifier with two strong victorys sending me to Chicago on a high note.

PP: Now also, you lost an early match at the World Championships. What's up with that?

JB: My second match. Once again I ran into my kryptonite - Trevor Floren. I started out strong against him with a 4/2 split and a decent lead, but Trevor's steady style was too much for me and I was served a warm slice of humble pie.

PP: How did you feel going into the finals?

JB: I felt awesome, the crowd was behind me and when Caribou was drawn as the trek by the Big Buck Girl I knew we were going to be seeing round two otherwise Dan would have earned the title because nobody beats me at Caribou! After that I had to tone my aggressive style down a bit. I'm very good at elk too but with the amount of points available on each stage I knew I had to take care not to shoot any early cows. When it came down to the frog bonus stage and I only had a 19 point lead I thought I had pissed this one down my leg. My brother and I practice the game together and I have never beat him at frog hop, granted the game was never on the line, but I have usually tried to win just to shut down his little moral victorys. Fortunately for me I was able to channel all of those frog beatings into an awesome frog hop bonus. I never looked at the score until the end. I had noticed alot of frogs turning green, but couldn't believe it when I looked up and saw 45 to 25.

PP: In the Miss America pagaents, the newly-crowned beauty queens often champion a cause to speak out on, and help benefit mankind. Like a beauty queen, will you use your reign as world champion to benefit mankind in some way? If so, what cause will you speak out on?

JB: Well obviously, the right to bear (green & orange) arms, and the importance of population control of the (digital) deer population! Actually, in these days of leased land and hunting farms, we need to support public hunting land, so when my 4 year old grows up, he can transition his Big Buck Hunter Pro skills out into the hunting field.

PP: Now that you are World Champion, what's next for you? Will you go pro, will you 'hustle' more bar tabs, or will you retire into politics?

JB: Going out on top sounds like the safe bet, but I think I still have a few good treks left in me, and after the $10,000 win, Uncle Sam already consider's me a 'pro'. I was planning on running for president under the green party, since I was unhappy with both nominees. After Sarah Palin was nominated VP I chose not to move forward since I now had a fellow moose slayer to endorse.

PP: Did you bring anybody with you to the World Championships?

JB: My brother Nick and I both qualified, and his girlfriend Angela came with to watch the show.

PP: Would you like to give a shout-out to any bar or Big Buck location?

JB: Majors Sports Bar (in Blaine, MN) was instrumental in both practice rounds and diet.

PP: Is there any final message you would like to bestow on your constituents?

JB: I'd like to thank my brother Nick, for knocking Trevor Floren out of the mix, and also thank everyone who was there cheering me on. Also to Dan Mundshau for putting up a great fight and being an excellent sport. I'll be holding on to Pappy's Jug til next year when it is back up for grabs. In the meantime, I'd suggest getting practiced up, and trying to avoid getting hustled by players with Berg as their last name.

Thanks Jerad, take a break! You've earned it!

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