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!
If you’ve ever hunted Western big game then you’ve most likely still hunted at one point or another. It’s the method that humans have hunted wild game for centuries. Move slowly through the woods or brush, stop and look & listen. Sadly, the practice of still hunting is all but lost on Texas hunters since the majority of us sit and wait for the deer to come to us. So it was refreshing to read Texas Fish and Game Magazine Shooting Editor Steve LaMascus‘ recent feature on “The Lost Art of Still Hunting”.
Having grown up hunting a 6,000 acre cattle ranch in rural Texas, Steve has still hunted for the better part of 50 years. He joins the show today to talk about the correct way to still hunt and why still hunting remains a tool that every hunter needs in their arsenal. A key part to still hunting is stopping and looking through a good pair of glasses:
The we touch on a new style of baits that is making waves in the fishing industry. For the first time, people have studied the way that fish see prey and the results of extensive study were shocking. Fish don’t see natural light like humans, their eyes are actually sensitive to natural light. Instead they see UV light that reflects off their prey in nature. Tightlines UV Founder & CEO Brett Ware stops by talk about this change in the direction of baits, especially in the bass fishing community. Brett is considered the godfather of UV style baits having conducted 3 years of research on the subject. His company- Tightlines UV has been producing UV light infused baits for 4 years and 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Brett Chapman fishes exclusively with Tightlines UV soft plastics.
If the best bass angler in the world in 2012 swears by these baits then it’s hard not to believe that they are here to stay and not just the next big gimmick. Either way, understanding how fish see is fascinating stuff. And science tells us that UV light has much deeper penetration in the water column so UV infused baits reflect more light at greater depths. Be sure to tune in because we will be giving away a Brent Chapman TightLines UV kit live on the air this weekend. What we see vs what fish see:
We then round out the show by discussing the one extremely positive aspect of high ammo prices. The Pittman Robertson Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. This 11% excise tax on gun and ammo taxes has pumped over $12 Billion dollars into wildlife conservation since it’s inception. These funds are largely responsible for ensuring the survival of species such as the wild turkey, black bear and others who at one point teetered on the brink of extinction.
Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Wildlife Division Director Clayton Wolf makes his return to the show to discuss how 75 years later, the Pittman Robertson Act is still crucial to wildlife conservation in Texas. Pronghorn relocation, wild turkey research and relocation and quail research are all funded by this act and over half of the Wildlife Division’s budget comes from PR dollars. With Americans buying up ammo and guns at an all time high rate, you won’t believe how much money hunters and gun enthusiasts are pumping back into conservation. President Roosevelt circa 1937.
The Lost Art of Still Hunting, Understanding How Fish See Prey & Pittsman Robertson Act Essential 75 Years Later
With the bow opener only a week out we get things started by talking whitetails with our old friend Dr. James Kroll, AKA “Dr. Deer”. When is the ideal time to get those fall/winter food plots planted? What percentage of your property should be devoted to food plots? Plus, we discuss in detail how important it is to have a sound doe management plan in place. When should you harvest most of your does? Of course everybody always wants to talk about buck age structure but Dr. Kroll insists that having a good doe age structure is equally important. He explains why on our quarterly visit.
Then we change things up and talk about what to do once you’ve caught that fish of a lifetime. Proper care for that fish is paramount if you plan on getting a mount or replica done. Jon Wilson of New Braunfel, Texas’ Double Nickel Taxidermy drops by to give us some field care tips for that double digit bass, 40 inch redfish or 18 lb striper -in short the fish you will tell your buddies about until the day you die. There are do’s and don’ts for both skin and replica mounts and we discuss them all in depth.
Then a real treat when United States Senator Ted Cruz (Republican – TX) drops in to discuss the current administrations blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment. Senator Cruz is a staunch supporter of our right to bear arms and he has become the face of opposition to the Obama administration regarding this topic. We also discuss the recent Executive Action regarding gun trusts and we find out the senator’s thoughts on whether Congress should be exempted from Obamacare. Senator Cruz was the keynote speaker at the 2013 NRA National Convention in Houston, TX.
We round out the show with some positive and inspiring news coming from the small Texas town of Crawford (15 miles outside of Waco). With today’s youth becoming more and more detached from the Great Outdoors in general, it was great to hear a story where 65 kids from a town of just over 700 showed up to take a hunter education course with Crawford High School Ag teacher Art Hunter. Art joins us to talk about this feel good story that clearly shows that our hunting heritage is alive and well in rural Texas. The future seems a bit brighter today than it did yesterday. (Anyone hunter born on or after September 2, 1971 is required to take Hunter Education in the State of Texas)
2nd Amendment Talk w/ Senator Ted Cruz, Whitetail Management w/ "Dr. Deer", Caring for that Fish of Lifetime and A Feel Good Story from Small Town Texas
This week it’s all about whitetail bucks and we start off by visiting with one of the most respected public land whitetail hunters out there in Wisconsin native Dan Infalt. He is so well respected in fact, that Field & Stream’s September cover story “Deer Hunting in the Real World” is solely based on Dan sharing his expertise and years of experience on killing big mature public land bucks. With 20 public land Pope & Young bucks to his credit, Dan clearly is a master at his craft.
We discuss his secrets for getting close to big bucks. How to locate their bedding areas. What time of day is the best time to kill a public land buck. How often can you hunt a certain stand. What spots are often overlooked by hunters & how Dan cuts back on his noise pollution while accessing a specific area. If you are serious about killing big pressured deer then you won’t want to miss this tell all interview. Dan with a mess of public land wall hangers:
Then we keep talking big bucks with Shaun Bradley, co-founder of Krooked Oak Treestands. Shaun is a lifelong whitetail fanatic who has been bowhunting exclusively for the past 15 years. As any bowhunter knows, finding the perfect tree to hang your stand can be the most challenging part of arrowing that mature buck. So he came up with a solution- the Krooked Oak Treestand’s unique design allows it to be put on any curved or leaning tree. Also, the removable platform allows hunters to hang as many bases as they want on their property while only having to purchase the one platform. Shaun also reflects on his fondest whitetail memory and the 219 inch monster that got away.
We are also very excited to have Krooked Oak as our September Photo of the Month sponsor. This month’s winner will enjoy their own Krooked Oak Treestand with an extra base! Send in your best outdoor photo for a chance to win. Krooked Oak’s unique design:
We wrap things up by heading down to the Texas Coast for a visit with our old friend Captain Len Girard. We discuss the huge numbers of big trout being caught up and down the coast as well as the oncoming redfish spawn. The always affable Captain tells us where to find ‘em and what to throw at ‘em. One thing is for certain, Captain Len knows how to put his anglers on limits of trout and huge redfish like this one:
Public Land Whitetails, Innovative New Treestand Design, & Trout n' Redfish and More With Captain Len Girard
We kick things off by talking big bass with the FLW Tour’s Randall Tharp who this summer won the FLW Tour’s coveted Forrest Wood Cup and a $500,000 payday! But Randall’s journey is far from a normal one. The 44 year old Florida native was swinging a hammer at his day job just 6 years ago. That’s when he decided to quit his job and become a full time professional bass angler. An expert on shallow water fishing, Randall gives us some useful tips and of course also talks about seeing something he wanted and going all in – he is a true testament that the American Dream is alive and well. Randall and the FLW Tour will once again make a stop in Texas on Sam Rayburn for the upcoming season.
Then we check in with renown whitetail author, TV show host, and passionate bow hunter Bill Winke. Over the past 20 or so years, Bill has penned articles for almost every outdoor publication out there. His desire to study the habits of big bucks and use that knowledge to help harvest them is unmatched by whitetail enthusiasts. This week we discuss his recent article in “American Hunter” magazine that focuses solely on how on to effectively arrow mature bucks out of a ground blind- like this Iowa bruiser
Ground blinds often get overlooked by bowhunters, but there is a time and place for them on every property – especially if you hunt anywhere in South Texas. Bill talks about how wind conditions can make a ground blind the ideal option. He also shares some tricks of the trade regarding how to scent proof your ground blind and how to cause the least amount of disturbance each and every time you leave the field. A well brushed in and scent proofed ground blind can be a whitetail hunters best friend.
Next, we are joined by our longtime friend and the recently promoted U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and Army Bass Anglers founder Cody Roberson. We catch up on all things ABA and what they have coming up on the horizon. Also we have exciting news to break on the sponsor front as well. One thing is for sure, there’s never a dull moment when the good natured Lt. Colonel drops by to talk fishing with us!
Ground Blind Tips With Bill Winke, Army Bass Anglers and Big Bassin' With Forrest Wood Cup Champ Randall Tharp
Gary Stewart- Honky Tonkin',
Cody Johnson - Dance Her Home,
Merle Haggard- Momma Tried,
American Aquarium- Rattlesnake,
Joey Green- Carousel,
Uncle Lucius - Somewhere Else,
Whiskey Myers- Dogwood,
Robert Earl Keen- Corpus Christi Bay,
Aaron Watson- Honky Tonk Kid,
Bruce Robison- Heartache To Houston