With Texas’ mule deer season underway we start things off by checking in with our good friend Texas Parks and Wildlife Mule Deer Program Leader Shawn Gray. We discuss how range conditions look across the 69 counties that have mule deer seasons. Did increased rains translate into solid antler growth? Should hunters expect to see nice bucks in 2013? All that, plus Shawn has some exciting news regarding opening some additional counties for mule deer in 2014! We are especially excited to visit with Shawn since we leave for El Paso on our own Texas mulie hunt this weekend!
Then a very special in studio treat when Texas singer/songwriter Mark McKinney drops by. A native of Big Spring, Texas Mark’s dad was the president of the local bass club and Mark recalls spending plenty of time on the lake growing up. Of course Mark also brought his guitar and we take a listen to some tunes off his latest record “Standing My Ground”. He already has 2 Top Ten hits on the Texas Music Chart with ‘She Ain’t Leaving’ that went to #1 and the current single ‘Stolen Cash’ which currently sits at #9. Get ready for some good tunes and outdoor talk with one of Texas’ best!
We wrap things up by talking whitetails with longtime outdoor writer Darren Warner. Darren writes for publications such as Outdoor Life, Peterson’s Bowhunting, and North American Whitetail among others. But it was his recent feature in Outdoor Life that I found very insightful. ‘Understand Your Glands’ provides a scientific look at how whitetails use their scent glands (endocrine system). From the tarsal gland to their forehead and everything in between, Darren breaks it all down for us. Hopefully, by understanding the way big bucks communicate with their glands, it might just make us better hunters. Who knows? Maybe it will even help you bag that bruiser of a lifetime.
It’s hard to believe this is our 200th episode! Thanks to all of you for tuning in over these past few years and thanks to our sponsors because without none of this would be possible. We’ve got a great show planned with a few cool giveaways lined up as well. To start things off we talk shotgunning with longtime outdoor writer Brad Fitzpatrick. His recent piece in Outdoor Life Magazine “Shotgunning’s 7 Deadly Sins” outlines some common mistakes that hunters make while shooting scatterguns. Brad provides some tips and goes over these Seven Deadly Sins in detail.
Then we are joined by Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden Captain Kevin Davis. Captain Davis is a 23 year veteran and recently was chosen to head up the brand new Texas Game Warden K-9 Unit- the first of it’s kind for TPWD. Captain Davis talks about the units primary functions in aiding our Texas Game Wardens. We also discuss their extensive training program that both the handlers and dogs went thru in Utah. Pictured below are the first 5 dogs and their handlers. There are 5 more handler/dog teams in training right now. We are thrilled to see how this new K-9 aides in search and rescue efforts, narcotics trafficking and aiding in busting poachers and folks committing game violations.
Next we check in with a good friend of the show in Rustic Reminders Taxidermist Josh Guenther. Josh and his wife Becky have long been our trusted taxidermists and today Josh provides some field care tips on how to take care of your trophy and properly transport it to your taxidermist. From western big game animals where you must completely remove the cape from the animals skull, to whitetail deer shot at the lease and taken directly to the taxidermist to ducks, fish, coyotes and bobcats. Josh breaks down each specific animal and the best way to ensure your taxidermist has everything they need to turn out a beautiful mount for you.
Then we round out this special 200th Edition show with a few laughs when we take a listen to a few clips from some of our favorite interviews from the past few years. Jeff Foxworthy discusses his best ever deer camp prank. Phil “The Duck Commander” Robertson talks childbirth vs duck hunting and whether or not the birth of a child is worth missing a duck hunt for. Also, Texas Governor Rick Perry recounts his very well publicized run in with a coyote while on his morning jog outside of Austin, TX. Lets just say that he had his concealed carry weapon and things didn’t end up so well for the coyote. We look forward to reflecting on these funny moments of shows gone by.
Special 200th Show Edition: Shotgunning's 7 Deadly Sins, Field Care Tips, TPWD First Ever K-9 Unit & Funny Clips w/ Phil Robertson, Jeff Foxworthy and Governor Rick Perry
This week we get things going by talking rifle shot placement on whitetails. We’ve all had that big buck step out and never present that perfect shot to the vitals or shoulder. What about a neck shot? Maybe a “Texas Heart Shot” is the only option. Outdoor writer and longtime wildlife biologist Bob Zaiglan drops by to discuss the pros and cons of each shot. We also discuss the importance of being one with your rifle and knowing exactly how your bullet will perform when you pull the trigger. Bob is the longtime Whitetail Editor for Texas Outdoors Journal and his recent feature “Taking The Shot” goes over shot placement in great detail. As hunters we should always strive to take the most ethical and lethal shot possible, but it might not always have to be a punch to the vitals or front shoulder. Photo Courtesy of ‘Texas Outdoors Journal’ & Bob Zaiglan
Then we visit with Dr. Greg Stuntz of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Dr. Stuntz is the Executive Director of the new Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation. This one of a kind center focuses on issues surrounding many species from trout and redfish to red snapper. Dr. Stuntz talks about some of the projects that the new center will be undertaking regarding our different sport fish species. This endeavor sees faculty as well as graduate students and undergrads all taking part in important research that will help preserve our sport fish for generations to come.
We keep with the conservation theme when our friend and Texas Parks and Wildlife Big Horn Sheep Program Leader Froylan Hernandez drops in. TPWD recently conducted their aerial surveys and sheep numbers are as good as they’ve been since the late 1800′s! Froylan also discusses a new relocation site as the desert big horn continues to expand into more of it’s natural range. Texas’ desert big horn sheep conservation story is one of the biggest successes of the last 50 years. Of course we also ask Froylan if the great numbers will result in more tags for hunters in the near future.
We round out the broadcast by checking in with an avid fly fisherman who recently caught the state record snook. Chris Holley caught this 12 pound snook while fishing in adverse weather on September 21st of this year. Originally targeting redfish, Chris and his guide shifted their focus to the often overlooked snook that day and it paid off in a big way. Chris talks about the fight this fish put up which lasted close to 20 minutes. The best part of Chris’ experience was that he caught the record breaking fish on a flyrod that he built himself. Pretty cool Chris!
Rifle Shot Placement for Whitetails, Big Horn Sheep Numbers Best Since Late 1880s, State Record Snook and New Sport Fish Research Facility & Texas A&M Corpus Christi
We dive right into things this week by talking early season duck tactics with Edd Hanson of Hanson Outdoors. A longtime guide in the Northeast Texas area, Edd consistently brings in full straps of birds- even when other hunters are struggling. He breaks down how his decoy spread evolves from the beginning of the season towards the latter part of duck season. Also, how does he change his calling technique? What are his thoughts on spinning wing decoys? We get into all that, plus we talk about the 2 man duck hunt that Hanson Outdoors donated to our show- one lucky listener will get to grab a buddy and enjoy a great shoot with Edd and Hanson Outdoors.
Next up is renown bow hunter, country/rock recording artist and 2nd Amendment activist Andy Ross. You have probably seen his hunting show ‘Maximum Archery’ which is in it’s 8th season on The Sportsman’s Channel. Andy travels the world hunting a variety of species with his recurve bow. We talk about some of his recent hunts, including a rattlesnake bow hunt in South Texas!
Andy even sticks around for an extra segment this week to discuss his 2nd full studio album ‘Cold Dead Hand’. With songs names like “Bloodtrail on a Whitetail”, “Buck of A Lifetime” & the title track “Cold Dead Hand”- this is a record for anyone who enjoys hunting and owning guns. We talk about the origin of some of these tunes, many of which were written in a pop up blind while Andy was deer hunting. Andy isn’t shy about his distaste for the current attack on our gun rights. Andy rockin’ out on stage:
We round out the show by checking in with our good friend Captain Len Girard who will be on the water somewhere between Corpus Christi and Baffin Bay. He’s got his finger on the pulse of big bull redfish and some pretty good sized trout. Captain Len talks about their fall patterns and where to locate big schools of both species. Redfish are fattening up, getting ready to head out into the Gulf for their December spawn and Captain Len breaks down what baits (both live and artificial) are getting the most strikes as water temps continue to drop. November is a great time of year to land that wall hanger bull red like the one below:
Early Season Duck Tactics, Bowhunting Icon Andy Ross & Big Bulls Reds on Fire Along the Coast
We start off by talking big bucks with Roberts Ranch Outfitters Monty Roberts. The Red River bottom is slowly becoming known as a big buck hotbed, much like South Texas’ Golden Triangle & Grayson County (also along the Red River), or even Pike County Illinois. With 2,700 acres along the Red River and the Texas/Oklahoma border, Monty is no stranger to massive bodied deer with huge racks. Roberts Ranch Outfitters has diverse habitat from the river bottom, to plum thickets, hardwood bottoms and a their unique sandhills.
Monty gives us his thoughts on why the deer in this region get so big. He believes the small farming community of Davidson, Oklahoma also offers the deer plenty of peanuts and wheat fields which they venture into to feed at night. I experienced this unique big buck paradise during the Oklahoma black powder season and while big boy didn’t step out, we did harvest our first deer with our CVA Muzzleloader- a 180 LB doe! With no trophy fees, Roberts Ranch Outfitters affords every hunter the chance for that Boone & Crockett buck of a lifetime.
Then we check in with our longtime friend Randy Newberg- host of “Fresh Tracks With Randy Newberg” which airs on Sportsman Channel. A lifelong big game hunter and conservationist, Randy is on the front lines of two major issues concerning wildlife management in much of the Northwestern United States- Bison and Wolves. This season, “Fresh Tracks” aired a Yellowstone American Bison hunt after Randy successfully drew a late season tag. We talk about that experience and the controversy of bison expansion vs the cattle and ranching industry. While reintroduction has been a success, these iconic American beast used to roam the entire continent from Canada to Mexico.
We then change it up and get into perhaps the most politically charged issue the outdoor community has faced in the last 20 years- grey wolves. Randy has long been a proponent of states having the right to manage their own wolves once stable population objectives were met. It didn’t take long for wolves to make a quick recovery after their 1995 reintroduction. Sadly, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t initially keep their end of the bargain and elk, moose, & deer herds have suffered immensely. 20,000 strong in 1995, Yellowstone’s elk herd is now down to around 4,000 animals. This means less hunting tags, less revenue and ultimately less money for wildlife. For the anti hunting faction, the grey wolf is a golden goose with a seemingly never ending supply of financial contributions made on the species’ behalf.
There are now 6 states where wolves have been de-listed and are now managed by the state. Randy made history last year when he aired the first ever successful wolf hunt on a major network in the lower 48 states. He was greeted with hundreds of death threats and nasty emails from the pro wolf, anti hunting community. Randy talks about the bad blood and lack of trust between states and the USFWS. He advises New Mexico to learn from the Western states experience as Mexican Grey Wolf reintroduction is causing major friction between humans and wolves in many rural areas of the state. Randy emphasizes that conservation isn’t a species specific science and that every species needs to be managed. The wolf hunt that caused so much controversy:
Then we round out the show by talking quail with Lone Star Outdoor News Executive Editor Craig Nyhus. Texas Parks and Wildlife’s annual quail count suggests that quail numbers are even lower than last year across the board. Luckily, hunters seem to disagree as many folks are reporting seeing and hearing more quail this year than they have in recent memory. So should we hunt them this year or not? Craig and I discuss the pros and cons and talk about what the experts think.
Red River Bottom Giants, Wolf & Bison Issues w/ Randy Newberg and Texas Quail Forecast
This week we start off by talking feral hogs with lifelong Texas outdoorsman and Langley Ranch hunting guide Randy Dudley. Randy has had a recent run of bad luck in the outdoors. In mid October he shattered his knee cap and severed every tendon in one knee while off shore fishing for his birthday. In late June of this year, Randy was guiding a hunter on a feral hog hunt. The hunter shot and wounded a nice sized boar and when trying to track the animal Randy was gored repeatedly by the angry and wounded boar. Randy would fight for his life and take on over 20 charges before he was finally able to pin the hog down in order to dispatch it.
You can see images of Randy’s injuries (which required 2 hours of surgery and nearly 60 stitches) as well as the perpetrator below. Our hope is that folks will hear Randy share his story and that they will treat wild hogs with a certain level of fear and respect. There seems to be a misguided mindset out there that feral hogs only ‘bluff’ when they charge and that they can’t really cause much harm. Randy is living proof that that isn’t the case.
Then, with the Texas duck opener upon us, we talk some waterfowl with our friend Blair Michael- Owner and President of Spectra Shot Shotgun Shells. A Louisiana native, Blair recaps his recent bucketlist hunt chasing mallards and pintails in Canada’s Prairie Pothole Region. We also talk about the projected duck numbers and how that will translate into what kind of numbers we can expect to see in the Southern part of the United States. If you haven’t tried Spectra Shot, I suggest you find a box. These unique shot shells offer a denser pellet and you’ll never wonder who shot which bird again!
Then we round out the show by talking winter catfishing with long time North Texas catfishing guide Chad Ferguson. In addition to running a highly successful guide service, Chad also is a freelance outdoor writer. His recent piece in Outdoor Life Magazine titled “Splat Cats” describes a very unique winter time technique for boating big numbers of blue and channel catfish. As temps cool, big numbers of migrating cormorants head to Texas and can be found wintering in large groups on most Texas reservoirs and rivers. Chad explains how fishing their nighttime roosts can make for some of the best and most reliable catfishing out there.
A Hog Hunter's Near Death Encounter, Ducks and Steel Shot & Splat Fishing for Catfish
This week we start off by talking poaching with our Texas Parks & Wildlife Lt. Game Warden Lewis Rather. Lt. Rather has been a Texas Game Warden for 32 years, he has seen and done it all. We discuss how Texas law with stricter poaching penalties has helped reduce the number of poaching related crimes over the past 15 years. Spotlighting and road hunting cases have bottomed out, but there is a new and very brazen breed of poacher out there. We discuss how to protect your property against them. Also, Lt. Rather adds some humor to the broadcast when tells us about the dumbest poacher he’s ever come into contact with. Pure radio gold! Operation Game Thief is an effort where Texas hunters work with TPWD Game Wardens to prevent the theft of you and I’s wildlife:
Next, we gear up for our October Oklahoma whitetail muzzle loader hunt at Roberts Ranch Outfitters. Since we are completely new to the sport of muzzle loading we bring in CVA Muzzleloaders Director of Media Relations and Cabela’s Pro Staffer Chad Schearer. Chad answers all our questions on ballistics and at what distance you can ethically take an animal with a modern muzzle loader. We can’t wait to get that first animal on the ground with our new CVA Optima V2! Chad with a huge caribou taken with his CVA Muzzleloader.
Then our old friend and 5 time Crappie Anglers of Texas Angler of the Year Paul O’Bier drops by to discuss late fall and early winter crappie patterns. As water temperatures cool off on Texas reservoirs, crappie start moving into those cold weather haunts. Paul tells us what depths to target right now and what structural features to consider when searching for moving schools of slabs. Of course we also discuss his favorite fall bait and get him to give away a couple of those secrets that have made him the most respected crappie tournament angler in Texas.
We wrap things up by talking whitetails with American Whitetail Authority President David Fort. The AWA is a great resource for whitetail hunters and their new Pro Series hunting competition pits professional hunters against one another to see who really is the most skilled whitetail hunter. With a six deer per day bag limit, it’s easy to see why no deer are actually killed in this format. Instead, each hunter’s scope captures an image the moment they pull the trigger and the animal is scored based on shot placement and trophy quality. The AWA Pro Series tv show will air on Pursuit Channel in the summer of 2014. Just to clarify, these guys are all about killing whitetails. This format just allows them to hunt more animals and further educate the viewer on whitetail hunting tactics. An image from a scope from one of the Pro Series competitions.
Game Wardens Protecting Our Wildlife, Muzzleloading 101, Fall Crappie Haunts & American Whitetail Authority
We jump right into things this week when Ms. Kansas – Theresa Vail drops in. Theresa recently made national headlines when she became the first woman ever to display her tattoos while competing in the Miss America Pageant. In addition to being Ms. Kansas, Theresa is also a Sargent in the United States National Guard and just re-enlisted for 6 more years of service. But what we really want to discuss with America’s new sweetheart is her love for the outdoors and bowhunting! Theresa competing at Miss America and doing what she know’s best: flinging arrows!
Then we check in with our favorite BASS Elite Series Pro and East Texas native Kelly Jordon. We get into the interesting phenomenon that occurs each fall in Texas when lakes simply “turnover”. Kelly explains exactly what that means and how it affects bass and their behavior. He also breaks down his favorite fall bass baits and we even get into some deer hunting talk as Kelly is one of those anglers who fishes primarily to support his other habit (hunting). Kelly with a nice fall largemouth:
We round out the show when our longtime friend Captain Len Girard joins us live from the Upper Laguna Madre for our coastal fishing report. Captain Len breaks down what the redfish, trout and flounder are up to and where he is finding most of his fish. We discuss live baits vs artificial this time of year. Late fall is the best time to catch that wall hanger bull red along the Texas coast!
Fall Bassin' With Elite Series Pro Kelly Jordon, Bowhunting With Miss Kansas and Coastal Fishing Report
This week we get the ball rolling by talking urban bow hunting with renown outdoor writer and 2nd Amendment activist Frank Miniter. In addition to having a recent New York Times Best Selling book “The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide” – Frank also pens regular columns for Outdoor Life Magazine. His recent piece ‘Greenway Ghosts’ provides useful information and tips on how to gain access to private land in urban settings and ultimately nail that big neighborhood buck.
One thing is for sure, whitetails have proven very adaptable and are even thriving (often to the point of becoming a nuisance) in many suburban neighborhoods throughout the country. Bowhunting opportunities for giant urbanized bucks are becoming more and more available in Texas. Frank with a great urban whitetail taken in 2011.
Next a very special guest drops by the studio. Cody Cannon is the front man for the great East Texas southern rock/country band Whiskey Myers. He also happens to be an avid bow hunter and big time bass fisherman. We talk bucks, bass, bowhunting and hear some brand new tunes off of the band’s upcoming album “Early Morning Shakes” which comes out February 4th 2014.
A couple of these tunes of Whiskey Myers’ 3rd studio album have never been heard on the radio – so get ready for some brand spankin’ new music and passionate outdoor talk with one of Texas premiere singer/songwriters. Cody rockin’ out with us in studio:
We then round out the show by talking some duck hunting with Mike Gee of the Wingsport Depot. Mike and his partner Ed are longtime duck guides and upland outfitters. We are thrilled to have them sponsoring our October Photo of the Month Grand Prize and one of our lucky listeners will get to take a buddy on a guided duck hunt with Mike and Ed. The Wingsport Depot also specializes in bringing quail hunts to your ranch which includes the birds, dogs and guide.
Pretty cool stuff to be able to hunt quail in areas where they used to be abundant but have since faded away from particular landscapes. Check out the Wingsport Depot Duck Hunting video! Be sure to email us your best outdoor photo for a chance to win the 2 man duck hunt!
Whiskey Myers in Studio, Chasing Big Urban Bucks & Duck Hunting w/ The Wingsport Depot
What an action packed show this week! We start things off by checking in with a fellow Texan who is making his way in the outdoor industry, and he is doing it on his own terms. Razor Dobbs of the hit show on Outdoor Channel ‘Razor Dobbs Alive’ stops by to discuss a myriad of hunting related topics. We get into Texas low fence exotics, whitetails, Africa, hog and much more!
Razor even breaks down the wild boar charge that he ultimately thought would claim his life. Also, if the notion of hunting big game with nothing but a pistol intrigues you then you won’t want to miss this conversation. Razor with a nice Texas spotted hog take with his 10mm pistol.
Next we hear the tale of one of those surreal outdoor stories when Washington elk hunter Rod Noah joins the show. Rod is an average fella who happens to be a passionate bow hunter- much like you and me. However in late September of this year, Rod was calling elk with a buddy when 2 male cougars suddenly came into the call. With a mountain lion tag in his pocket, Rod instinctively rose and took aim at one of the big cats.
The broadside shot connected and dropped the big kitty. Upon further inspection however, Rod and his hunting buddy found that the arrow had sailed thru cat #1 and into the chest of cat #2 – killing him as well! The odds of killing one mountain lion with archery equipment are astronomical but to kill two with one arrow is a hunting story for the ages. So we are thrilled to have Rod join the show to recount that experience in detail. Rod with both of his cougars from a Washington state September elk hunt.
We then round out the broadcast by checking in with Lone Star Ag Credit’s Mike Shelley. As hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and women we all would love to have our own piece of recreational outdoor property at some point in our lives. Whether for whitetails or bass fishing, being able to manage your own place on your own terms is the ultimate goal.
Sadly, land is the one thing that they can never make more of, so acquiring land has it’s hiccups. That being said, it’s not as difficult as some might think. Mike discusses land purchases vs residential purchases. We also get into what Farm Credit is like compared to other financial institutions. If you are interested in your own place you won’t want to miss it!
Gary P Nunn- Redneck Riviera,
Slaid Cleaves- Still Fighting the War,
Charlie Daniels Band- Trudy,
Josh Turner- Lord Have Mercy on A Country Boy,
Jason Boland - Electric Bill,
Brandon Rhyder - Back Roads,
Pat Green - Nightmare,
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood,
Eric Peters - Dust to Dust,
The Avett Brothers - February Seven