The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 23, 2013

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and ... Mayhem

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — Another West Virginia show — one creators say is going to show the true West Virginia — is hitting the Pursuit Channel next month.

“Mayhem OD” is a hunting show that follows three West Virginia men around the nation as they hunt for all kinds of wild game, from deer and elk to wild hogs.

“The show’s mainly based around white-tail deer,” said Richard Stephenson, a star and producer of the show. “We hunt from West Virginia all the way out West.

“Mostly, it’s family-based,” he added. “We try to base our show in West Virginia.“We’re proud to be from West Virginia.”

The Pursuit website describes the show as “not your grandfather’s hunting show” and a “fresh, new look to the hunting scene” that is sometimes “ugly, sometimes it’s hilarious and, at times, it’s downright miserable.

“But that’s the mayhem in Mayhem OD!”

Stephenson, 33, of Summersville, and his co-stars, Eric Boothe, 19, of Beckley, and Jason Lanham, 36, of Summersville, are good friends and hunting buddies. They all grew up hunting and developed a love for the outdoors that they want to take to the nation.

“Mayhem” is a reality show that the stars

want to keep as real as possible.

“We’re going to try to show it all, whatever happens,” said Stephenson. “We’re trying to keep it mostly unscripted.”

An editor from Maine will take the unscripted footage the guys shoot in the woods and splice it into a show that will enter the homes of 80 million Americans on Pursuit, an outdoors channel that is based in Luverne, Ala., and carried by Direct TV and Dish Network.

The July show will follow hunting trips from the past three years, said Stephenson.

Hunters will love the chase the guys give to wild game and the opportunity to learn more about hunting and to see some big trophies.

But everybody, especially West Virginians, will appreciate the humor, camaraderie and friendship the trio show as they travel across the nation doing what they love to do, said Teresa Dickens, a Beckley-based marketing director for “Mayhem.”

“The humor makes me want to watch again,” she said. “When we’re trying to differentiate between hunting shows, that’s what sticks out.”

Stephenson, Lanham and Boothe all chose the name “Mayhem OD.”

“We were pretty much just sitting around, and we went through thousands of names,” said Stephenson. “We thought of ‘Mayhem,’ and when we get into the woods, that’s what it turns into.”

“Mayhem OD” caught the attention of Stephenson’s friend Rodney LeRose II, the CEO of several area car dealerships.

LeRose sent Stephenson and Lanham to see Kenny Payne, director of operations for Crossroads Chevy.

And a beautiful relationship was born.

“I have to put up with them,” joked Payne.

Crossroads Chevy is not only the biggest sponsor of “Mayhem,” but Payne is making an offer that hunters and reality show fans will find a win-win, he said.

Crossroads will host a celebration in honor of the release of the 2014 Chevy trucks and the upcoming launch of “Mayhem OD” on Pursuit.

Visitors to the car lot will find a party going on July 27 at Crossroads Chevy, complete with a BBQ smoker and outdoor and indoor showings of “Mayhem OD” on large-screen TVs, Payne said.

Hunters will get a sneak peek at some trophy animals the Mayhem trio snagged on the show, including a 220-inch, 23-point, Boone and Crockett deer. (Stephenson and Boothe both insist that it’s not a hunting lie and that the show will prove it.)

Chevy fans will love the opportunity to explore the 2014 models, like the 2014 Silverado that was designed for a quieter and smoother ride, according to the manufacturer.

Stephenson, Boothe and Lanham will be at the car lot July 27, and Crossroads Chevy will be handing out hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts from noon to 3 p.m.

Starting July 5, anybody who test drives a new Chevy at Crossroads will have a chance to win a televised hoghunt on a “Mayhem OD” episode. The winner will be randomly selected July 27 around 3:30 p.m., said Payne.

“Mayhem OD” will air on Direct TV (Channel 604) and on the Dish Network (Channel 240) during primetime, with times to be announced.

—  E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com