Not only has Ron Schara been a sidekick to a black lab named Raven for over 16 years, but he has also built an impressive television production empire, which all started with hosting the local NBC show, “Minnesota Bound.” Schara is also the creator of FSN’s “Due North Outdoors,” as well as several national shows, including “Destination Polaris,” “Pheasants Forever Television,” and “FoxPro Fast & Furious.” His production company also produced numerous “MonsterQuest” shows that aired on The History Channel a few years ago.
These days, Schara is still very active in his television company, but has added another activity to his schedule: being a Grandpa to Jake, his seven-year-old grandson.
Q&A with Ron
What is your philosophy on boys versus girls?
I have been surrounded by women; between my wife, daughters, and dogs, they are all females! I think I regretted not having a son for about a split second. I always told my daughters, they could do anything that anybody else can do … and in some cases, do it better.
Did your daughters spend time with you in the great outdoors?
Oh yes, they spent plenty of time in the boat with me, sat in tree stands with me, hunted wild turkeys with me at ungodly hours in the morning. And to this day, they will join me … although they do lead busy lives of their own.
What do you do differently with Jake?
I used to take [my daughters] fishing only when I was pretty sure we could catch good size fish. I used to think, ‘if they go fishing with their Dad, this famous outdoor guy, we better catch nice ones.’ So consequently, I didn’t take them fishing as often as I should have. I learned by accident that the size of the fish matters nothing to the kid. It’s the fish. Catching a tiny perch is as exciting as a five-pound bass. So with Jake, we don’t set any big fish rules. We go where the fish are … hopefully.
What activities do you and Jake do together?
Lately, we’ve been playing a lot of hockey in the living room—he calls it knee hockey because I’m on my knees. And in the backyard with baseball, I’m usually the pitcher and he’s always the batter. He hits and I go fetch.
What are the differences you see being both a dad and a grandpa?
Being a dad is a wonderful thing, but it comes at a different stage in your life … when you’re running on a faster track. You feel job pressures, money pressures. I think, in some ways, the … time [spent] as a parent gets lost because of the fast track you are on. Whereas being a grandfather, while I don’t get the opportunity to interact on a daily basis, I bring something else to [Jake’s] life. A little more stability, perhaps. I’m calmer. The world is not coming to an end. And you play a different role. I try to be a rock for him. We haven’t had a lot of heart to heart talks at his age, but his next seven years will be more trying, and I plan to be that rock.