Back Country Basics, Texas Town’s Hunting Heritage Under Fire & State Water Red Snapper/Trout Report
We kick things off by discussing the worlds largest Rattlesnake Roundup with Dennis Combie of the Sweeterwater Jaycee’s Rattlesnake Roundup. This rattlesnake hunt has been going strong for over 70 years now and is a vital part of the heritage and economy of the Sweetwater, TX area. Sadly, there are a few Texas Parks and Wildlife officials trying to see the rattlensnake round up go the way of the dinosaur. Dennis tells us why and how the antis plan on shutting down the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup.
Then we get into Backcountry Hunting Basics with Aron Snyder of Kifaru International. We break down everything from campsite selection, footwear, sleeping systems to backcountry fitness and much more!
We wrap things up by heading down to the Texas coast for an state water red snapper report and trout update with Captain Len Girard.
The History of Feral Hogs in Texas, Cheating in Fishing Tournaments, RMEF Texas and Teal/Gators on the Coast
We kick things off this week by checking in with RMEF Texas State Director Michael Gookins. Founded in 1984 the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has been instrumental in conserving over 6.5 million acres of elk habitat, increasing public land access and introducing our youth into various hunting programs. Michael and I discuss our upcoming elk hunts as well as what RMEF Texas has coming up on the calendar. With 15 chapters and over 8,000 Texas members, RMEF Texas is an organization worth being a part of. (The RMEF currently has over 200,000 members nationwide).
Next, our old friend Brian Davenport of Fin and Fowl Outfitters jumps on to discuss how the current habitat conditions will shape the upcoming Early Teal season along the Texas coast. September is a great time to head to the South Texas coastal rice fields for sporty wingshooting since over half of our continental population of 7.5 million blue wing teal end up on the Texas coast. Brian also happens to target another species that calls those same marshes home- the American alligator is thriving along the coast. With over 15 years experience chasing big gators, Brian tells us how he finds them and what method he uses to put hunters on big Texas gators.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Assistant Commander Brandi Reeder (Director of Fishing Law Administration) joins us next to tackle the unpleasant reality of cheating in fishing tournaments. It amazes me every time I hear of an angler getting caught cheating his fellow outdoorsmen/women out of prize money, prestige and even career opportunity. Texas has implemented some seriously harsh laws to deter would be cheaters but desperate anglers still get caught. Brandi talks about some of the crazy things she’s seen over the years from anglers smashing a redfish’s nose repeatedly to make sure it fell under the slot to ice cubes being shoved down a fish’s gullet to add weight at the weigh in. (This fish was seized by wildlife officials after an angler cut it’s tail to shorten the overall length).
We round out the show by taking a look at the introduction of feral hogs in Texas. When did they arrive? Who brought them here? Where did they first establish wild populations? Retired Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist Rick Taylor is responsible for publishing one of the most comprehensive reports on feral hogs and their history that I’ve read. It’s going to be a treat to pick his brain on this loved and often hated species. One thing is for sure, feral hogs are only expanding their range and increasing their numbers- so get used to it if you haven’t already.
Big Step Backwards for Conservation, Mike Ryan on New Record and Elk Hunting and R. Lee Ermey on the Wussification of our Youth
We discuss a big loss for hunting and conservation that was handed down in Florida two weeks ago. SCI State Affairs Director Jeff Patchen drops in to give us Safari Club International’s take on this giant step backward for conservation. In 2015 Florida hunters took 304 bears in the inaugural two day hunt. That same year, 243 bears were killed by motorists and 6,094 nuisance related phone calls were placed to Florida’s wildlife agency. Hello- you have a bear problem. Hunters are here to help fix it. Science based management is the only wildlife management tool that has proven to work. (Animal rights activists protesting in teddy bear costumes – irony is that they provide no money for conservation, never have, never will so the wildlife ends up losing when hunting goes away).
Next, passionate hunter and Texas honky tonker Mike Ryan drops by the studio. We hear some brand new tunes from an upcoming record due out this fall. Plus, we talk back country archery hunting as Mike gears up for his first ever elk bow hunt! (Mike performing ‘Damn Good Goodbye’ in the Lone Star Outdoor Show studio)
Then, a man that hardly needs an introduction – R Lee Ermey of ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and other signature movie roles makes his return. We get into the ‘Wussification of America’ as well as his hit show ‘Gunny Time’ which airs on Outdoor Channel. What new machine gun has Gunny fallen in love with since our last visit? All that and much more!