Quail Season has arrived! What can hunters expect for the 2016-17 season? We find out when Texas Parks and Wildlife Upland Game Bird Program Leader Robert Perez makes his return to the show. Robert talks about quail numbers across the state as well as some restocking projects that TPWD is working on in areas void of quail for nearly 30 years. It should be a banner year for bobs and blues!
Next, our old friend Charles Whited of Barefoot Fishing Tours drops in for some late fall lunker talk. Few folks know big bass like the longtime guide and tournament angler. Charles tells us where he is finding the big girls and what bait/technique is bringing them over the rail of his bass boat.
Then a Texas whitetail legend stops by for some in depth big buck discussion. At 83 years young, Horace Gore has been studying, hunting and writing about whitetails longer than most of us have been alive. After a 33 year career with Texas Parks and Wildlife, Horace has spent his later years as Editor for Texas Trophy Hunter’s Journal. We discuss his recent article “Trophy Bucks: Timing is Key”. In the piece, Horace breaks down where and when the peak rut occurs throughout Texas and how to use those key dates to your advantage if you want to bag big boy. (Horace with a Texas giant)
The geographical breakdown of whitetail deer chronology in Texas. These are the results from an in depth study from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Horace tell us how the study was conducted. Also, you might not know that TPWD stocked nearly 16,000 whitetail deer all over the state during the 1950’s and 60’s. That stocking effort likely has something to do with the deer you see on your ranch or lease today. Horace tells us where TPWD got the deer and why it’s significant for today’s hunter like you and I.
Whitetail Management W/ Dr. Deer, Zane Williams in Studio and Late Fall Wild Game Preparations W/ The Sporting Chef
We start things off by diving into some whitetail management philosophy with our old friend and renown whitetail authority Dr. James Kroll. At what age do you determine whether or not a buck is going to be a trophy or a cull? What factors determine how you decide? ” Dr Deer” gives us his take. Plus, we discuss the ideal doe harvest plan and ideal doe age structure on a property. (these bucks are regulars at the bait site on my whitetail lease – the brow tine less individual is #1 on the cull list this fall)
Then, our good buddy and country music throwback Zane Williams drops by the studio. Zane’s new record ‘Bringing Country Back’ was released this week. Check it out on ITunes. We hear a couple brand new tunes and rehash some of the more memorable hunting trips we’ve shared. One thing is for sure, if Zane is around the animals usually don’t cooperate!
Exception to the rule! Zane with this Axis buck he harvested at the first Guns and Guitars Hunt at Koon’s Canyon Ranch.
We wrap up this week’s broadcast by talking some late fall wild game dishes with The Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath. The longtime TV show host, author and outdoorsman offers up a couple seasonal dishes that you might want to try while in the backcountry or at the deer lease this fall. Get ready to beer poach some fresh fish and chicken fry those venison hearts with one of the most respected wild game chefs out there.
Late Fall Blues, Big Buck Down at Cotton Mesa, Caping and Caring for Your Trophy & Hunters Feeding The Hungry
We kick things off this week by chasing late fall blue cats with longtime guide Greg Pavur of Pavur Outdoors. Greg talks about their behavioral shift as temperatures start to drop this time of year. What does that mean as far as where he is targeting them? Right now is one of the best times to catch good numbers of big fish as they have the feed bags on and are eating everything that crosses their path! We also discuss the biology of the catfish and why they can smell so much better than other predatory game fish. (Greg with a healthy Mr. Whiskers!)
Next we get an outfitter’s perspective on the whitetail deer hunting and breeding industry in Texas. Stephen Gegenheimer’s family has been breeding deer and elk for nearly 30 years, so to say it’s in the 22 year old’s blood is an understatement. I had the pleasure of hunting with him at the family place outside of Coriscana, TX last week and it honestly was one of the most impressive ranches I’ve had the opportunity to step foot on. Cotton Mesa Whitetail Ranch is 4,000 acres of paradise, from the food and lodging to the incredible whitetails and exotics that roam the property. Stephen gives us an inside look at the breeding process and what goes into managing and growing big deer. We also recap his recent Yukon moose hunt! You don’t want to miss that bucket list experience. ( Cotton Mesa takes pride in big symmetrical bucks like this 180 inch 8 pt taken this season)
Josh Guenther of Rustic Reminders Taxidermy drops by the studio next for a discussion on proper field care tips for your trophy. Whether it’s an elk in the backcountry where you won’t be able to get to the taxidermist for a couple days or just a nice buck you’ve taken at the lease and are planning on caping out for your taxidermist. There are certain measures and details that need paying attention too. He walks us through removing a hide from the skull completely and how to transport it. Josh even spends a couple minutes on what to do with that trophy bass or redfish as well!
We wrap thing up by checking in with Feeding Texas CEO Celia Cole who also happens to head up Texas’ Hunters for the Hungry program. Over 3 million Texans depend on Feeding Texas each year and this is a great way for hunters to give back to those in need through their deer harvest. Celia admits the program was in need of a major facelift and she talks about the direction she would like to see Hunters for the Hungry go in the near future. There is reason to believe the $45 donation fee that hunters pay processors in order to offset their labor might be waived completely in the future. Tune in for details.