What a treat to start the show off! We check in with 15 year old New Waverly Texas’ native Makayla Hay. An experienced whitetail hunter, Makayla shot her first deer at age 8. She already is able to age deer on the hoof and has taken a couple nice bucks in her short time as a deer hunter. So when she and her father Jim saw the picture of a giant Montgomery County buck crossing the Trinity River she knew that was the buck she wanted to harvest this season. The photo was taken by a couple fisherman close the the Hay’s Montgomery County lease but the buck had never been spotted on trail cameras.
On the November 2nd opener of Texas’ general season, the giant 23 point buck stepped out and Makayla calmly hammered him with her 7mag! This buck scored 203 1/8 and is awaiting a 60 day drying period before officially becoming a Boone and Crockett buck. It’s the largest buck ever taken by a Texas youth hunter and the largest Montgomery County buck taken in almost 50 years. Makayla tells us all about her hunt of a lifetime and this giant East Texas trophy. Makayla with her buck:
The photo of the buck crossing the Trinity River. Taken by a fisherman just weeks prior to Opening Day:
Next we check in with Dallas Safari Club Executive Director Ben Carter who recently completed his North American 28 big game species. We talk some hunting and then get into the upcoming 2014 DSC Convention “Generations”. This one of a kind hunting show will feature over 1,600 outdoor exhibitors from all over the globe. Taking place January 9th-12th at the Dallas Convention Center, some of the outdoor industries’ biggest names will be in attendance- from Larry Weishuhn to Craig Boddington and Jim Shockey. For more information on the hunting show of all hunting shows check out Dallas Safari Club’s website:
We then change things up and talk some coastal fishing when our longtime friend Captain Len Girard joins us live from the Upper Laguna Madre. Captain Len breaks down the redfish, trout, flounder and black drum bite along the Texas coast. We talk live baits and artificials. Captain Len also breaks down the correct technique for fishing live shrimp during the cold winter months. One thing is for sure, this is the best time of the year to get into some big migrating and very hungry redfish like the one below:
We then round out the broadcast by getting into some goose hunting with Team Rip Outdoors Pro Staffer Jon Pollauf. He discusses how he consistently brings in solid numbers of giant Canada geese while field hunting in his home state of Ohio. In his 15 years as a waterfowler, Jon has collected over 70 duck and geese bands with over 40 of those coming off Giant Canada geese. Jon breaks down how he continues to kill these wary birds, from decoy spread, to calling technique and much more. Jon with a pair of banded geese he harvested on the same hunt:
New State Record Buck, Coastal Fishing Report, Dallas Safari Club Convention and Field Hunting Giant Canada Geese
Got a great show lined up for with some of our favorite Christmas tunes played throughout the show! If you like waterfowl hunting of any kind then you will especially enjoy our interview with writer Rob ‘R.K.’ Sawyer. His book “A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting” is the only book of it’s kind concerning waterfowling in the Lone Star State. Rob combined 3 years of extensive research and countless interviews with duck hunters of old. The book chronicles how waterfowling helped shape the Texas landscape, in many cases entire towns were founded based solely on how good the duck hunting was in an area.
The book provides an in depth look at how the mindset towards waterfowling in Texas was once solely based on food/sustenance. Then it gradually shifted towards market hunting and birds being harvested by the hundreds. Of course duck hunting was also big business around the turn of the 20th century and duck clubs started popping up all over. This lead to a boom for guides, decoy carvers and call makers. Rob gives us a great overview on the best book ever written concerning Texas and it’s place as as true waterfowl hunting destination. The book also contains plenty of timeless images of Texas duck hunters like the ones pictured below:
After our in depth look at the history of Texas waterfowl hunting, we change it up and talk some archery with the world’s premiere instinctive archer- Frank Addington Jr. Instinctive archery shooting is fascinating and at it’s core, the purest form of hunting out there. Frank is actually bringing his world famous demonstration to Texas January 10th-12th for the 2014 Texas Tackle, Hunting and Boat Show which takes place at the Mesquite Convention Center and Rodeo Arena.
We absolutely couldn’t believe that a human being could knock a baby aspirin out of the air with a bow and arrow, but after visiting with Frank we are certainly looking forward to seeing him do just that in person. Frank talks about some of his successes and how instinctive shooting has made him a more proficient bowhunter. Check out this Youtube clip of Frank putting on one of his renown shows:
Christmas Edition Special- A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting and Instinctive Archery W/ 'The Aspirin Buster'
We start things off by tackling the latest invasive species epidemic to affect Texas outdoor enthusiasts when longtime outdoor writer Melissa Gaskill drops in. Her latest article in Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine titled “The Roar of the Lionfish” dives in to the serious reality of these venomous little fish expanding into Texas waters. Native to parts of the Pacific and even the coast of Africa, lionfish have made their way down the entire Atlantic coast, Caribbean and into the Gulf of Mexico- first showing up off the coast of Texas in 2010.
Voracious ambush predators, lionfish will eat anything they can swallow and their stomach’s expand so that they can keep eating with every passing opportunity. They also prey on sport highly sought after sport fish such as small grouper and snapper. Melissa advises anglers and divers how they can help control these ‘feral hogs of the sea’. Look for lionfish on the menu of your favorite seafood joint- they are quite delicious!
Next we talk whitetails with Team RIP Outdoors Pro Staffer Mike Sanders. Team RIP is a group of passionate young hunters from the Midwest who are eaten up with deer hunting among other things. We discuss Mike’s approach to scouting, from when he begins scouting to when he tries to get out of the woods so as not to bump deer before the season opens. We also cover trail cameras and cover scents/scent killer options. Mike with a nice buck taken this year back in his home state of Ohio.
Then we change it up and talk some winter bass fishing with reigning BassMaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Aaron Martens. Aaron breaks down the highs and lows of his 2013 season which of course ended in the Aaron sitting atop the world of professional bass fishing. Was this title easier or harder to attain that his first AOY crown in 2005? How has pro bass fishing gotten even more competitive over the past few years? And we also find out what techniques and baits Aaron prefers during cold weather months when water temps drop into the low 50s or upper 40s. Great stuff with the 2 time AOY!
2013 Bassmaster Angler of the Year Aaron Martens, Latest Invasive Threat & Whitetail Scouting Tips
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.
Texas Mulies, Mark McKinney In Studio and Understanding Whitetail Glands
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 Stunz of Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Dr. Stunz 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. Stunz 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
Jason Boland & The Stragglers- Proud Souls,
Radney Foster - Half of My Mistakes,
Brian Burns- Welcome To Texas,
Rich O' Toole- In a Minute or Two,
Nash and Fair- Welcome Home,
Dave Watson- Ridge Fire,
Son Volt- The Picture,
Will Hoge & Wade Bowen- Another Song Nobody Will Hear,
Randy Travis- King of the Road