March 2014 Photo of the Month Winner

Congrats to our March 2014 winner. Be sure to send in your April hunting/fishing pics for a chance to customize your own pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses anyway you like 'em!

What We’re Doing


Met up with some friends and Silent Night Outdoors for a thermal hog hunt in the Texas Hill County. Bad news for the piggies!

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Texas Bowhunters To Carry Firearms During Archery Only Seasons, Spring Crappie, & 3D Archery Tips With Levi Morgan

Podcast:
Episode 220

The Dogwood trees are blooming and spring is in full swing in the Lone Star State. Gobblers are sounding off and the fishing is incredible! Today we discuss that annual Texas tradition of chasing spring crappie with our good friend and longtime crappie guide Greg Pavur of Pavur Outdoors. Greg chases spawning slabs all over Texas. From Lubbock to North Texas and everywhere in between. Today we discuss everything having to do with those delicious papermouths that we all love so much! From what temperatures you should look for as an indicator that the spawn has begun to what crappie are looking for in ideal spawning habitat. Greg also gives us the details on his crappie rigs and favorite bait and color. Greg with a nice stringer of healthy slabs!

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Then we talk some archery with the most accomplished competitive shooter to ever draw back a compound bow when Elite Archery’s Levi Morgan makes his return to the program. A nine time Archery Shooter’s Association Shooter of the Year, Levi has racked up more accolades and awards in his short career than any archer before him. And after 3 ASA events, he once again sits atop the standings in 2014. Luckily for Texans, we can watch Levi showcase his skills when he heads to Paris, Texas April 25th-27th for the ASA Brunton Southwest Shootout PRO/AM. Levi talks about the pressure of shooting in this ultra competitive format and how that will translate into being a better bowhunter in the field. He also provides some valuable insight on how to get the most out of the time you spend practicing shooting your bow.

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Next we dive into some regulation changes adopted by Texas Parks & Wildlife for the 2014-2015 Hunting/Fishing seasons. First and foremost, TPWD will now allow bowhunters to carry a firearm while hunting deer and turkey during archery only seasons. TPWD Deputy Direction of Natural Resources Ross Melinchuk drops in to expand on the topic. Does it pertain to a sidearm only, or can bowhunters carry a long gun if they choose? What about how this affects public land drawn hunts or WMA’s that are archery only anyway? Can a bowhunter carry in those situations? Ross breaks it all down for us.

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We continue discussing TPWD’s regulation changes for 2014-2015 when Wildlife Division Director Clayton Wolf makes his return to the program. With a current 58 county season, TPWD has increased hunter harvest opportunity for Texas mule deer by adding a 9 day season in four additional Texas counties. Clayton discusses why those counties where added and what kind of mule deer numbers hunters can expect to find in those areas.

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Spring Bassin’ W/ Alton Jones, ASA Bringing Archery Event to Texas, Clean Water Act Gets a Face Lift and Issue Facing Senior Anglers

Podcast:
Episode 219

We start off this week’s show by talking spring bassin’ with 2008 BassMaster Classic Champion and Waco, TX native Alton Jones. We get the skinny on Alton’s favorite springtime lure and soft plastic as well as his color preference. In addition to racking up top 10 finishes on the BassMaster Elite Series, Alton is also a regular competitor on Major League Fishing- an innovative new tournament style which airs on Outdoor Channel Saturday afternoons from 2-3 Central. We talk about Major League Fishing’s unique format where every fish caught is counted towards the angler’s overall weight. Our friends at Major League Fishing also sent us an authentic MLF autographed Alton Jones jersey to give away during the broadcast so be sure tune in for details on how to win!

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The we check in with Archery Shooters Association (ASA) President Mike Tyrell. The ASA’s Brunton Southwest Shootout PRO/AM takes place in Paris, TX April 25th-27th. Professional shooters like Levi Morgan & Tim Gillingham will square off in the Pro division while the amateur divisions are open to anyone who wants to come out and shoot. The ASA also has donated a $120 amateur entry fee package to our show and Mike tells us what that package entails and I’ll tell you how to win it! Anyway, it’s going to a great weekend when the entire archery community once again descends on a sleepy East Texas town!

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Then we change things up and get into some clean water issues that affect every single one of us who enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and the Great Outdoors in general. The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed a much long overdue amendment to the Clean Water Act. Here to tell us what the amendment entails and whether or not it’s based on sound science is the Izaak Walton League of America Conservation Director Mike Leahy. With over 200 chapters nationwide, the Izaak Walton League of America is a group of hunters and anglers who focus on cleaning up our soil, air and water among other things. Mike breaks down the new proposal and whether or not it will prevent further disturbing images like the one below from continuing to occur at the expense of our most precious resource:

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We then round out the show when Dennis Miller AKA “The Crappie Buster” stops by to talk about his push for a nationwide senior citizen fishing license. For many folks who travel the country in their senior years, purchasing a fishing license in every state they visit can be an extremely expensive undertaking. I encourage everyone out there to take a moment and sign the petition that Dennis has helped spearhead that would push state Fish & Game agencies to work together on the universal senior citizen fishing license. A native Texan, all of this originally stemmed for Dennis and his wife Donna’s quest to catch a crappie in all 48 lower states. They are up to 45 states now! Dennis with a nice Maine crappie:

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Issues Facing American Sportsmen, Understanding Waterfowl Pair Bonding & Coastal Fishing Report w/ Captain Len

Podcast:
Episode 218

We start off by talking waterfowl pair bonding and how it affects season dates with Ducks Unlimited Biologist Mike Brasher. Most Texas duck hunters have likely driven by a pond or tank in mid February that is covered with ducks yet they were nowhere to be found during the waterfowl season. It often makes many of us wonder why doesn’t the season start and end later than it does? Understanding when ducks form pair bonds how how it affects their mating cycle should help answer that question. Mike also serves on the Gulf Coast Joint Venture, which if you aren’t familiar with then you’ll want to tune in to find out how the Gulf Coast Joint Venture serves both ducks and duck hunters.

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Then we get into some hot button issues facing the American Hunting/Fishing community with U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance CEO Nick Pinizotto. Hunter harassment, anti hunting legislation and the always controversial wolf issue are a few of the high points we’ll discuss. To date conservation organizations and the Pittman Robertson Act of 1937 have raised over 13 billion dollars earmarked for conservation. What have anti hunting groups contributed? You might be surprised with the answer.

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Then we round out the show by checking in with our longtime friend Captain Len Girard who joins us live from the Texas coast for our coastal fishing report. We find out where the redfish and trout are staging, what Captain Len is catching them on, and we talk black drum (like the massive one below) as they are still up shallow getting ready to move out of the bay systems.

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Turkey Tips W/ Preston Pittman, Micky & The Motorcars in Studio and Award Winning Wild Game Chef Hank Shaw

Podcast:
Episode 217

This week we start things off by talking spring turkey hunting with the most renown turkey caller to ever walk into the woods. Preston Pittman has won more world and national championships than you can shake a stick at and today we pick his brain on anything and everything spring turkey hunting. We talk decoy strategy, fooling those wise old lone toms vs a group of birds and we’ll even have Preston do some calling demos on the air.

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Then Micky Braun and Dustin Shaefer of Micky and the Motorcars drop by the studio to play a couple tunes and talk some outdoors with us. Micky grew up in small town rural Idaho before moving to Austin, TX in the early 2000s and forming the band. Needless to say, hunting and fishing were just a way of life for the 4 Braun brothers growing up in a town of less than 100 folks. We discuss salmon and trout fishing as well as a little elk hunting. Also, get ready for a new record coming out summer of 2014!

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We round out the broadcast by visiting with award winning chef, author and food blogger Hank Shaw. Hank has authored two great wild game cookbooks and has shared his expertise on TV shows like our mutual buddy Steven Rinella’s Meat Eater and even Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. Hank gives us a couple of his favorite spring time wild game dishes for both wild turkey and crappie. (Hank prepping a freshly caught striped bass for the table)

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Veteran Outdoors, Chad Slagle In Studio & High School Bass Fishing Thriving in Texas

Podcast:
Episode 216

This weekend’s show is highlighted by a visit with US Army Sergeant First Class Toby Nunn of Veteran Outdoors- a great organization who takes wounded veterans on outdoor hunting/fishing trips to help them in the healing process- both mentally and physically. They are based out of Georgetown, Texas but have taken disabled vets as far as Alaska on their dream bear hunt! Check out Veteran’s Outdoors TV show on Sportsman Channel this summer.

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Then we have a special in studio guest when Chad Slagle stops by to play a couple tunes and talk some hunting with us. Chad is a polished bow hunter who even makes his own longbows to hunt with. He also is great songwriter and his new project ‘Chad Slagle and Yesterday’s Wine’ is set to release their debut record this spring. Chad and his buddy Kelly Ray Potts of Yesterday’s Wine jamming out on their new tune Texas Weed, Louisiana Shine. Awesome Red Dirt music!

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We round out the show by checking in with Southeast Texas High School Fishing Association President Bryan Thomas. This organization is drawing over 200 fishing teams to each of their tournaments this spring. We are excited to visit about this upswing in the number of young people taking on competitive fishing.

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Major League Baseball Slugger Chris Davis, Texas State Record Bass, Army Bass Anglers and Lone Star Bowhunter’s Association

Podcast:
Episode 215

What an awesome show this week! We start things off by visiting with Austin, Texas angler Bryan Townsend. On February 1st, Bryan was fly fishing a stretch of the Colorado River with All Season’s Guide service when he hooked into a giant Guadalupe Bass. This unique species is only found in central Texas waters and is the official state fish of Texas. When the fish was landed, guide Shea Mclanahan took one look at the fish and knew it was a potential state record. After a day long ordeal, the fish was finally weighed on a certified scale and weighed 3.71 lbs- besting the previous state 30 year old state record Guadalupe Bass of 3.69 lbs set in 1983! Bryan shares his remarkable fish tale about catching the new state record Guadalupe Bass!

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Next we are joined by our good friend and Army Bass Anglers Founder United States Army Lt. Colonel Cody Roberson. Army Bass Anglers has partnered up with a couple great non-profits in 2014 as part of the “Support” piece of their three fold mission statement. Including the Kim Munley Foundation which was founded by Sergeant Kim Munley, who was shot 3 times while responding to the 2009 Fort Hood Shooting that claimed the lives of 13 people while 30 others injured. The foundation benefits the families of those soldiers who were gunned down that fateful day. Then we recap the 2014 Bass Master Classic as Army Bass Anglers once again had the honor of being the ceremonial first boat out of the launch each morning. Lt Colonel Roberson also talks about the Army Bass Anglers hit show Force on Force which airs on the World Fishing Network. Hooah!

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Then with spring turkey and spring training finally her, former Texas Ranger and Longview, Texas native Chris Davis steps up to the plate. An avid outdoorsman, Chris talks about growing up in East Texas and eventually getting drafted by the team he rooted for as kid. Sadly things didn’t go as planned during hi time with the Rangers and he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 2011. Two years later, Chris is coming off a season in which he lead the Major Leagues in home runs with 53 and RBI with 138. Chris talks about trying to replicate those numbers in 2014 as well as what pitcher in the AL he least likes to face. Of course we wouldn’t have this good ‘ol East Texas boy on the show without talking some hunting and a little bass fishing. Chris with a nice Runnels County feral hog he smoked with the AR he built for himself:

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We wrap up the broadcast by checking in with Lone Star Bowhunter’s Association President Dena Kana. If you aren’t familiar with the organization, the LSBA is celebrating 40 years of promoting bowhunting and advocating for bowhunter’s rights in the state of Texas. Dena talks about the LSBA’s mission statement, plus some exciting events the LSBA is putting on in 2014. We also cover the controversial alligator gar issue that we discussed in recent weeks. If you like to bowhunt in Texas and aren’t a member of the LSBA, I encourage you to join. Membership is only $25 per year and the LSBA is the only organization looking out for the Texas bowhunter. A passionate bowhunter herself, Dena took this alligator with traditional archery equipment.

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Spectra Shot Product Review

To say there are many flash in the pan gimmicks in the outdoor community is a gross understatement. So when I heard about the multi colored shot shell company known as Spectra Shot, I was a little skeptical. But having shot 4 cases of Spectra Shot #2 loads during the 2013-2014 Texas Waterfowl Season, all I can say is that Spectra Shot is the real deal. Incredibly dense loads with the knock down power serious waterfowlers demand. While every duck hunter would prefer to shoot ducks over their decoys at 15 yards, we know that often times that is far from reality. By the end of the season my hunting parties were routinely killing ducks an average distance of five to ten yards farther than we normally would even attempt to kill birds.

Spectra Shot cycled flawlessly in both semi auto and pump shotguns. In 1,000 rounds fired, we never had a single misfire. The round holds a tight pattern relative to other loads on the market and we have tried them all. The other thing that stood out was the decreased number of cripples we saw in the 2013-2014 season. I’m not sure who was more impressed with Spectra Shot- me or my lab Belle. If a duck was hit, it went down fast and hard. It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to test a product in the field and be able to give a good and honest review. I believe 100% in Spectra Shot and look forward to shooting their shot shells exclusively in coming seasons.

Cable Smith- Host of Cabela’s Lone Star Outdoors Show

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Spring Turkey Forecast, BassMaster Classic Champ Randy Howell, Trout/Flounder Regulation Changes & Hog Doggin’ With Two Rivers Hunting Adventures

Podcast:
Episode 214

Spotted Sea Trout (aka ‘Specks’) are a favorite quarry for over a million Texas anglers each year. Sop it’s no secret that when regulation changes regarding this species are brought up, well folks get kind of worked up. This week we start off the show by discussing proposed changes with our Texas Parks And Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Director Robin Reichers. If the current proposal is passed, many anglers would see a drop in the daily bag limit of trout from 10 to 5 fish along the Matagorda Bay coastline. Robin talks about the reason for the changes as well as a couple changes for flounder and we also hit on the potential reopening of Cedar Bayou. 10 fish trout stringers could become a thing of the past for many Texas anglers:

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Then we are joined by the current king of professional bass fishing when 2014 Bass Master Classic Champion Randy Howell joins the show. Randy completed the biggest two day comeback in Classic history to secure his place among the all time greats of the sport. He talks about his day three sack that weighed 29 lbs and 2 ounces- the heaviest 5 fish sack he has ever weighed in during a 21 year career as a pro! His epic day 3 of the Classic on Lake Guntersville, Alabama saw Randy culling 4 lb bass out of his live well before 9 AM! Randy talks about that epic 3rd and final day of the 2014 Classic, how he figured out the bite and the Livingston Lures bait that helped him etch his name in annals of Pro Bass Fishing.

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With Spring Turkey season right around the corner, it’s time to check in with our longtime friend of the show and our Texas Parks and Wildlife Turkey Program Leader Jason Hardin. The south zone opens up next weekend! Jason gives us his 2014 Fearless Forecast on what Texas turkey hunters can expect this year. Should we expect to see an abnormally high number of jakes like we did during the 2011 season or were nesting conditions good enough the past couple of years to expect a good number of mature toms on the Texas landscape? We get Jason’s regional “hot spots” from around the state as well as dive into the recently completed Eastern Turkey super stocking effort that took place in specific locations in East Texas.

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We then wrap up this week’s broadcast by heading north across the Red River and into Oklahoma to recap our recent hunt with Two Rivers Hunting Adventures. Chris Wilson and Cassidy Balentine started running hog dogs out of necessity as feral hogs routinely devastate not only their own crops but their neighbor’s as well. We had the chance of joining them on a hunt last week. Their team of bay dogs and well trained catch dogs didn’t disappoint and we got on the trail of a huge boar. I was able to dispatch this hog with Chris’ Bowie Knife and at 250 lbs, it’s the biggest hog I’ve ever taken by any means. We talk anything and everything having to do with hog dogging. These guys know their sport and routinely put their clients on huge hogs. Chris, Cassidy and myself with the giant boar we harvested on our hunt:

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Lone Star Outdoors Show Sticks Giant Oklahoma Boar w/ Two Rivers Hunting Adventures

Here is the video from our recent hunt with Two Rivers Hunting Adventures. Not for the faint of heart but a hunt like no other out there.

Whitetail Management w/ Jason Shipman, The Other Side of the Alligator Gar Debate & Hunter Harassment in A Social Media Driven World

Podcast:
Episode 213

When one thinks of whitetail management in Texas, a couple names come to mind. One of whom is renown whitetail biologist Jason Shipman. I had the pleasure of joining Jason on a whitetail hunt a few weekends ago at the Hogan Whitetail Retreat in Caldwell County. It was a great experience being able to pick the brain of someone who is at the top of his field for an entire weekend. One thing that really stood out in our conversations, however, is the practice of Triple T (trap, transport, transplant). This can be done with free ranging low fence whitetails as well as animals behind a high fence. Jason joins the show today to talk about the Triple T process in detail as it’s a valuable tool that many ranch owners might want to take advantage of to increase the overall potential of their whitetail herd. Triple T’d does being transported from one ranch to another:

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Next we check in with a lifelong conservationist and hunter activist John Jackson. The former president of Safari Club International and founder of the Conservation Force, John stops by to discuss the new age of hunter harassment where anti hunters can essentially issue death threats will hiding behind a computer keyboard or smart phone. The internet has made it very easy for the the anti’s to spew their hate and venom- but make no mistake, a death threat, even issued on the internet is still a felony. All of this came to a real boiling point with our mutual friend Cory Knowlton (who bought the much publicized black rhino hunt at the Dallas Safari Club auction in January) had to get the FBI involved just to make sure he and his family were safe in their own home.

John and the Conservation Force are currently putting together a publication that will outline our rights as hunters and offer us recourse on how to deal with these type of sadistic threats in the future. Sadly, had the anti hunters not sent hate emails and protested the rhino auction, it more than likely would have sold for closer to one million dollars instead of $350,000. This means that the Namibia government will likely have to sell another rhino hunt this year to offset these lost funds which they use to pay for their anti poaching security. The irony and ignorance is so profound that it’s mind boggling. Had the anti’s left well enough alone only one rhino would have been sold. Now, they will have the blood of at least one and maybe two more animals on their hands.

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Last week we checked in with our Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Chief of Management and Research Dave Terre regarding the proposed regulation changes that would affect Texas’ unique alligator gar fishery. The proposed changes would make it illegal for bow fisherman to harvest alligator gar during ideal spawning conditions. The proposal has been met with much opposition from bow fisherman and the Texas Bowfishing Association- the worlds oldest bowfishing organization.

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This week we get their side of the story and why the feel TPWD is essentially knee jerking on this issue. TBA members and bowfishing guides Tony Reeves and Mark Malfa each drop in. We discuss the number of bowfisherman on the water, TPWD’s estimated alligator gar population verses what percentage of the population can be harvested annually in order to keep the fishery stable. Tony and Mark provide a different view, one that stems from time spent on the water and what they see personally and what they hear from other members of the bowfishing community. One of Captain Mark Malfa’s recent clients with a giant trophy alligator gar:

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