South Texas Gators & Teal, CWD Shuts Down An Entire Statewide Industry, What’s With The Snook, & Brush To Bay Oufitters ‘BOWNANZA’
We get things going when waterfowl and alligator outfitter Brian Davenport of Fin and Fowl Outfitters drops by to talk Texas alligator hunting with us. With over 20 years experience guiding gator hunts, Brian knows where to find big alligators and how to catch them. We talk about what goes into a typical hunt from running lines to dispatching the gator. Does it really play out like we’ve all seen on the hit show ‘Swamp People’?
Brian also talks about early teal season on the Texas coast as hundreds of thousands of blue wing teal make their early fall migration during the September season. Needless to say, we are thrilled to be joining Fin and Fowl Outfitters on one of their alligator/early teal combo hunts this September! Can’t wait to check alligator hunting off the ‘ol bucket list! (Brian with a big lizard)
As many of you are aware, last week it came out that the first ever positive test for Chronic Wasting Disorder was found in a Texas whitetail deer. Coming up on this weekend’s broadcast we will visit with Dr. Joe Ables regarding CWD and what impact that test is having on the whitetail industry in Texas. We also get his take on TPWD’s plans to eradicate the entire herd at that breeding facility in Medina County.
Does he think Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Animal Health Commission have handled the situation appropriately?
We also get his medical opinion on how contagious CWD really is verses the perception that exists. (Dr. Ables is one of the most respected whitetail veterinarians in the country and has done extensive work creating a cure for another cervid specific disease in EHD).
We then are joined by Texas Parks and Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Biologist Jason Ferguson of the Brownsville Office to discuss the plight of snook in Texas waters. As more and more guides began to target snook, they gained a reputation (much like in Florida) as a prized sport fish. Originally, snook began showing up along the Texas coast about 20 years ago, but recently snook populations have taken a nose dive to almost undetectable levels. What happened and will they come back? Does our coastal fisheries division have a management plan in place for snook? Jason breaks it all down for us.
We then round out the show by talking Baffin Bay trout and Brush to Bay Outfitters with our longtime friend and Foreverlast founder/owner Billy Gerke. Billy recaps a recent family trip to Baffin that resulted in some monster trout before we change things up and talk Brush To Bay Outfitters- which is a brand new destination for the Texas outdoorsman or woman. Located in Halletsville, Brush to Bay is a one of a kind archery/fishing outfitter. Billy talks about the big Bownanza bash grand opening that is taking place on the 25th of July! The day long celebration will be attended by Bone Collector Nick Mundt and will end with a concert from Adam Hood that evening!
Texas’ Adopted Fly Fishing Destination, Positive CWD Test In Medina County, Going Shallow for Summer Lunkers W/ Tommy Biffle and Trail Cameras As A Management Tool
We get things going by visting Oklahoma Game Warden Dru Polk. How has the recent flooding affected the landscape and fishery of Broken Bow/Beaver’s Bend Oklahoma? With 9 out of 10 anglers visiting Broken Bow hailing from Texas, this little fly fishing gem holds a special place in the hearts of many Texas anglers. But with entire stretches of trophy trout streams washed away, what does the future hold for Broken Bow? Game Warden Polk explains why it’s not at all a bad thing.
Then we are joined by Texas Parks and Wildlife Spokesman Steve Lightfoot to discuss the positive Chronic Wasting Disorder test that was found in a Medina County whitetail deer. What is TPWD’s protocol as we enter these uncharted waters? Steve tells us how the agency plans to deal with this unfortunate news and the importance of keeping the disease contained.
Then we are joined by pro bass fishing legend Tommy Biffle. Tommy specializes in shallow water fishing and so we go shallow for summertime lunkers. Many anglers focus on deep water this time of year but Tommy explains where to find shallow summer bass and how to catch them.
We round out the broadcast by discussing the importance of using trail cameras as a management tool. Not only for your whitetail herd, but also for all existing wildlife on your property. Stealth Cam’s Ben Smith chimes in to give us his thoughts on how trail cameras have revolutionized the way we hunt and manage wildlife.
Dissension In Our Hunting Ranks, Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Catfish Vision, Theresa Vail on ‘Limitless’ & Spring Black Bear Recap/Insight
Our friend Theresa Vail makes her return to the show this week. You might recall Theresa became the first woman to display her tattoos at the Miss America Pageant after being named Miss Kansas 2013. Well, Theresa never looked back and has parlayed her pretty smile, outgoing personality and love for hunting and adventure into a new show- “Limitless With Theresa Vail” which premieres on Outdoor Channel on Thursday, July 2nd at 8:30 PM Central.
We talk about some of the hunts that we can expect to see on Season 1 of “Limitless” as well as some of the other adventures that Theresa takes on. From flying fighter jet planes, to the infamous 26 mile Bataan Death March she endures in White Sands, New Mexico- while humping a 40 lb ruck sack on her back! You can also expect to see footage of Theresa harvesting her biggest buck to date: Theresa with her 170 inch Kansas bruiser!
Then we talk Texas catfishing with our Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries Director of Management and Research Dave Terre. You might not be aware, but catfish are the 2nd most popular fresh water fish Texas anglers target, and TPWD has an extensive plan laid out for the future of catfishing in the Lone Star State. Dave talks about the importance of our catfish resource and the likelihood that catfish will only become even more popular as Texas’ population continues to explode.
We also encourage everyone to head over to the TPWD website and read the detailed plan TPWD has laid out for our catfish. Also, please take the brief online survey as Dave and the Inland Fisheries Division are seeking angler feedback before they finalize this extensive plan. (Greg Pavur of Pavur Outdoors with a nice blue catfish- one of three species of catfish sought after by Texas anglers)
Then, our old friend and Lone Star Outdoor News Managing Editor Conor Harrison drops by to help us figure out why the hunting community seems dead set on destroying itself from the inside out. Recently, there has been way too much distinction made by folks who claim they hunt, but aren’t “trophy hunters”. While many of us will never hunt big game animals in Africa, or caribou in the Yukon, don’t we all still admire a nice set of antlers or a big bodied buck, a hog with huge cutters, a tom with a 10 inch beard or a double digit bass? Of course we do! And if a 110 inch and a 160 inch buck walk out at the same time, each of us is going to shoot that 160 inch buck before the 110 inch 2 year old. If you had the choice to catch a 10 lb or 2 lb bass…well it’s a no brainer. It’s human nature, and we all have it.
We have a common enemy friends, and it’s not each other. So lets stay united, and whether you call yourself a “non trophy hunter” or otherwise- remember that we can’t afford to foster this animosity that exists between the hunting community. It will eventually kill this lifestyle that everyone of us cherishes. And I for one want my son to be able to enjoy the same things I have. (Photo Conor Harrison in Africa)
We then wrap things up with my spring black bear review after our recent hunt in Alberta, Canada. Lots of you guys and gals have sent emails or Facebook messages asking about cost, logistics, outfitters and realistic expectations. So, In this segment I do my best to cover all of those questions and then some. Black bear hunting is a great entry level hunt for Texans looking to expand their horizons from the usual whitetail, hogs, turkey and ducks we typically hunt in Texas. It’s relatively affordable and black bear numbers are thriving. Anyway, tune in to this segment for all the details. (Me with a nice boar I took in Alberta with McKinnon Outfitters in May)