We start things off by diving into some whitetail management philosophy with our old friend and renown whitetail authority Dr. James Kroll. At what age do you determine whether or not a buck is going to be a trophy or a cull? What factors determine how you decide? ” Dr Deer” gives us his take. Plus, we discuss the ideal doe harvest plan and ideal doe age structure on a property. (these bucks are regulars at the bait site on my whitetail lease – the brow tine less individual is #1 on the cull list this fall)
Then, our good buddy and country music throwback Zane Williams drops by the studio. Zane’s new record ‘Bringing Country Back’ was released this week. Check it out on ITunes. We hear a couple brand new tunes and rehash some of the more memorable hunting trips we’ve shared. One thing is for sure, if Zane is around the animals usually don’t cooperate!
Exception to the rule! Zane with this Axis buck he harvested at the first Guns and Guitars Hunt at Koon’s Canyon Ranch.
We wrap up this week’s broadcast by talking some late fall wild game dishes with The Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath. The longtime TV show host, author and outdoorsman offers up a couple seasonal dishes that you might want to try while in the backcountry or at the deer lease this fall. Get ready to beer poach some fresh fish and chicken fry those venison hearts with one of the most respected wild game chefs out there.
Late Fall Blues, Big Buck Down at Cotton Mesa, Caping and Caring for Your Trophy & Hunters Feeding The Hungry
We kick things off this week by chasing late fall blue cats with longtime guide Greg Pavur of Pavur Outdoors. Greg talks about their behavioral shift as temperatures start to drop this time of year. What does that mean as far as where he is targeting them? Right now is one of the best times to catch good numbers of big fish as they have the feed bags on and are eating everything that crosses their path! We also discuss the biology of the catfish and why they can smell so much better than other predatory game fish. (Greg with a healthy Mr. Whiskers!)
Next we get an outfitter’s perspective on the whitetail deer hunting and breeding industry in Texas. Stephen Gegenheimer’s family has been breeding deer and elk for nearly 30 years, so to say it’s in the 22 year old’s blood is an understatement. I had the pleasure of hunting with him at the family place outside of Coriscana, TX last week and it honestly was one of the most impressive ranches I’ve had the opportunity to step foot on. Cotton Mesa Whitetail Ranch is 4,000 acres of paradise, from the food and lodging to the incredible whitetails and exotics that roam the property. Stephen gives us an inside look at the breeding process and what goes into managing and growing big deer. We also recap his recent Yukon moose hunt! You don’t want to miss that bucket list experience. ( Cotton Mesa takes pride in big symmetrical bucks like this 180 inch 8 pt taken this season)
Josh Guenther of Rustic Reminders Taxidermy drops by the studio next for a discussion on proper field care tips for your trophy. Whether it’s an elk in the backcountry where you won’t be able to get to the taxidermist for a couple days or just a nice buck you’ve taken at the lease and are planning on caping out for your taxidermist. There are certain measures and details that need paying attention too. He walks us through removing a hide from the skull completely and how to transport it. Josh even spends a couple minutes on what to do with that trophy bass or redfish as well!
We wrap thing up by checking in with Feeding Texas CEO Celia Cole who also happens to head up Texas’ Hunters for the Hungry program. Over 3 million Texans depend on Feeding Texas each year and this is a great way for hunters to give back to those in need through their deer harvest. Celia admits the program was in need of a major facelift and she talks about the direction she would like to see Hunters for the Hungry go in the near future. There is reason to believe the $45 donation fee that hunters pay processors in order to offset their labor might be waived completely in the future. Tune in for details.
Big Time Texas Hunts Fund Public Hunting Opportunity, Spear Fishing with a True Pioneer of the Sport & Hand Corning for Big Bucks
We start things off by talking public hunting opportunity in Texas with our TPWD Public Hunting Director Justin Dreibelbis. We find out how the funds created from our public draw system are appropriated back into hunting and conservation. How many applications does TPWD get every year? What are some of the public draw opportunities? How much funding is created? All that and much more! (Desert Big Horn Sheep taken by the 2015 Big Time Texas Hunts Grand Slam winner).
Then we are joined by Taylor, Texas native Kelton Malish. This young man is pioneering the sport of spear fishing from the bank. He makes his own spears and posts videos of his spear fishing adventures on social media. The lifelong outdoorsman talks about how he found a passion for this type of fishing and how he hand makes each spear. Looking forward to trying my hand at it with a Kelton Malish original spear that he sent me!
Then we wrap up the broadcast with me offering up some advice that might help our listeners bag that big buck this season. Hand corning was a key factor in me taking the biggest archery buck of my life last weekend. The big ones get smart for a reason and sometimes avoid feeders all together. But they still feel comfortable coming to a hand tossed bait bile. (I chased this buck for two seasons before arrowing him at a hand corned bait site opening weekend of archery season)