If you’ve ever been in the Rocky Mountains and heard a big bull elk bugling then it probably sent chills down your spine. These animals are perhaps the most majestic of all North America’s big game species. And this week we kick things off by talking elk with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Texas State Co Chair Mark Biggs. Much in the same vein as Ducks Unlimited and ducks, the RMEF is focused on conserving elk and their habitat. Mark talks about the organization’s mission statement, history and their presence in Texas ( you might be surprised to know we have over 20 chapters). Of course, we also talk some elk hunting as well. Be sure to check out the RMEF’s website to see how you can get involved: (Photo Courtesy of RMEF)
Then we are joined by Grayson County bowhunter Robert Taylor who on December 29th of last season arrowed a monster whitetail that would be become the #1 scoring Texas whitetail of all time (barely beating out the AJ Downs buck harvested opening morning of last season). Robert’s buck would go on to score 254 4/8 inches!!! The land he and his son hunted was only 4.7 acres. Robert talks about this buck’s elusive nature and his wandering habits. Still, there were many close encounters including a missed shot by his son. The Taylor buck on the hoof.
Robert talks about watching this buck grow for 4 years before finally having the opportunity to stick an arrow in him. Robert with his amazing buck, the 9th largest archery whitetail ever harvested in North America:
The we round out the show by talking quail with our old friend and Texas Parks & Wildlife Upland Game Bird Program Leader Robert Perez. With spring rains rescuing some of the state from continued extreme drought, can we expect the bobwhite to bounce back this season? Robert recently returned from a 25 state conference in Virginia where the focus was on quail restoration. We dive into some of the topics discussed at the quail conference. Also, what role do fire ants really play regarding quail, turkey and other upland birds such as pheasant? All that and much more with the man who has his finger squarely on the pulse of Texas’ quail population.
The Texas State Record Archery Whitetail, Quail Forecast & Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
We get things going this week by checking in with an old friend in Larry Weishuhn (AKA ‘Mr. Whitetail’). Larry has pretty much seen and done it all in the outdoor industry. From managing ranches as a biologist, to writing books and hunting articles to hosting various hunting shows on TV. But it was a recent article of his that really peaked my interest. The article was called “When Javelina Come Calling” and it chronicled his experiences calling javelina into close quarters with a simple mouth distress call.
We visit with Larry about this interesting phenomenon in nature. Honestly, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a herbivore to come running looking for a fight in response to a jackrabbit distress sound. But come in they do, and they come in hard and fast! Also, Larry talks about his brand new show which premiered July 1st on Sportsman Channel – ‘Trailing The Hunter’s Moon’. Be sure to check it out! (Larry and I at the Dallas Safari Club Convention in 2011)
Then we dive into “Operation World Record” with Texas Parks & Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Center Director Allen Forshage. TPWD hopes that thru the Sharelunker Program’s Selective Breeding effort that a new world record bass will one day come out of Texas waters. The current state record is still 18.18 lbs caught by Barry St. Claire on Lake Fork back in 1992. That is still over 4 lbs light of George Perry’s 22 lb 4 oz bass caught in Georgia back in 1932.
Allen discusses some of the Sharelunker Program’s history as well as the details concerning genetic testing and selective breeding. Who knows…maybe one of these 100% pure Florida strain fingerlings hatched from Sharelunkers brought into the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will end up being the next world record?
Next we visit Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples regarding the new County Hog Abatement Matching Program (CHAMP). This grant program gives Texas counties the opportunity to apply for state funded grants that they can then in turn use to pay hunters/trappers for every feral hog they kill. Getting paid to kill feral hogs? Heck, most of us gladly do it for free LOL. So this seems like a pretty sweet deal! Commissioner Staples discusses this as well as the established Hog Out County Grants.
Over 2.6 million feral hogs inhabit Texas and with no real natural enemy it’s clear that their numbers need to be kept in check. Each year, feral hogs cause an estimated 50 million dollars in losses to Texas agriculture alone. These hogs were trapped by our friend Don Gresham at Goin Fencing in Montague County- check out his website if you are interested in a hog trap, if you’re county is enrolled in the CHAMP program you could start getting paid! (Goin’ Fencing’s Website)
We wrap things up when our longtime friend Captain Len Girard joins us live from the Upper Laguna Madre for our coastal fishing report. Captain Len tells us what the trout and redfish are biting and where to catch ‘em. This week he also shares one of the funniest fishing stories I’ve heard in my lifetime.
Operation World Record Largemouth, Javelina w/ Larry Weishuhn, Coastal Fishing Report & Feral Hog Bounty Program w/ Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
This week we jump right into things by talking bowfishing with guide Aaron Haddock of Nockternal Adventures. I had the pleasure of joining Aaron on his boat ‘Good Company’ on Lake Texoma this past week for my first ever bowfishing trip. It far exceeded my expectations as we stuck over 20 fish on our trip. It was about as much fun as one can have on the water! Anyway, Aaron talks about what goes into a successful bowfishing operation. We also discuss the best time of the year to target trophy alligator gar and what species of fish you can expect to shoot on most Texas lakes. Aaron and some happy clients after a recent trip.
Then we check in with our Texas Parks and Wildlife Small Game and Migratory Bird Program Leader Dave Morrison. This September, Texas teal hunters will enjoy a 6 bird daily bag limit (up from 4 in previous years). Dave is also the Central Flyway Representative to Washington D.C. so he breaks down how the increase in hunter harvest opportunity came about. We also cover a couple other nationwide regulation changes including an increase in the possession limit of migratory game birds. Good news for any wingshooter who travels to hunt!
19 year old Lucy Milsap drops in next to talk about the 72 lb flathead catfish she weighed in at the Paul’s Valley Okie Noodling Championship this June. Not only did Lucy win big fish and a hefty paycheck, but she also became the first female to ever win the granddaddy of noodling tournaments! Lucy is also a member of the Bare Knuckle Babes, a group of good looking gals who are out to prove that women can be beautiful while still getting down and dirty by messin’ with giant catfish! Lucy with a giant flathead:
We round out the broadcast when Hunt With Our Heroes founder Nate Nelson joins us. This non-profit organization takes active duty, veterans, firemen and women and police officers on some pretty amazing hunting/fishing adventures. Nate talks about how the outdoors can make a difference in the lives of folks who have seen and been through hell and back while protecting the rest of us. (Hunt With Our Heroes Website)
Early Teal Regulation Changes, Texoma Bowfishing, Texas Teen Wins Granddaddy of Noodling Tournaments and Hunt w/ Our Heroes
Most Texas hunters are probably aware of the controversy surrounding the fate of 3 exotic species that were extremely popular on Texas ranches. The Scimitar Horned Oryx, Dama Gazelle and Addax are endangered in their native Africa but captive breeding/hunting operations in Texas had been wildly successful up until 2012. We are thrilled to have Safari Club International President Craig Kauffman join the show this weekend to discuss the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s bowing to pressure from anti hunting groups and their gross mishandling of the situation.
By listing these species on the Endangered Species list stateside, the exact opposite affect took place. Game ranches sold hunts for these animals as fast they could prior to the regulation changes. In some cases, the ranches themselves ended up wiping out these animals themselves because it was no longer financially sound to continue supporting large herds of oryx, gazelle and addax. We discuss the gross hypocrisy of anti hunting organizations and Craig talks about SCI’s mission to promote big game conservation all over the world.
Then a real treat when one of my all time favorite Texas singer/songwriters drops by the studio. An excellent storyteller, Mark David Manders has been writing and performing great Texas music for over 20 years now. Mark is also a lifelong outdoorsman who these days enjoys bass fishing and bird hunting with his sons. Of course Mark brought his guitar with him so we will hear some new music and some classics as well. One thing is for sure, there’s never a dull moment when MDM is around.
Then we wrap things up by visiting with the Chairman of the newly formed TPWD Foundation Young Professionals Group Mac Macfarlan. This group comprised of late 20′s to early 40′s age professional folks share a passion for our outdoor heritage and promoting conservation. Their main goals are to assist the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s fundraising efforts. The group had a successful kickoff meeting this spring where TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith was the keynote speaker.
Currently, the Young Professional Group is focused on raising funds for the Trans-Pecos pronghorn antelope relocation project (pictured below). This ongoing effort to help re-establish what was once a healthy pronghorn population in the Trans-Pecos takes considerable man power, technology and equipment such as helicopters- all of which are expensive. To get involved with this great group of passionate & driven young people: (TPWD Foundation Young Professionals Group)
Mark David Manders In Studio, Safari Club International President & TPWD Foundation Young Professionals Group
This week we are all over the map! The broadcast is highlighted by two great and very different guests. First, we mix it up with Benny Spies- Outdoor Life Magazine Columnist and Host of Sportsman Channel’s ‘Gun It With Benny Spies’. The show breathes new life into outdoor television with an authentic look at how America really hunts and the campfires and stories that accompany those adventures. This South Dakota native is young, charismatic and has a way of endearing himself to everyone he crosses paths with. ‘Gun It’ premieres Sunday night July 7th at 9:30 CST on Sportsman Channel.
Then we deviate from our normal straight hunting and fishing talk when we are joined by The NRA’s National Firearm Museum Director Jim Supica. A lifelong gun enthusiast, Jim has written books and had countless articles published concerning firearms. You might also recognize him as the co-host of NRA’s Guns & Gold – Sportsman Channel’s most popular show.
This week we visit with Jim about some specific firearms that have helped change the course of modern history. From the .50 caliber air gun that Louis and Clark took on their famous expedition West, to three guns revolutionized firearms moreso than any others throughout history. Just like the M1 Garand that Jim is holding below. Not only was this gun used by The Greatest Generation to win World War II, but the bolt action style also became the norm among modern sporting rifles. Fascinating stuff that any gun enthusiast will enjoy!
Outdoor Writer and TV Show Host Benny Spies and Guns That Changed Modern History w/ NRA National Firearm Museum Director Jim Supica
Film Director Kris Koenig kicks things off this week by dropping in to discuss his new documentary ‘Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire’. The film was released this week and it focuses on the literal rights the Constitution and 2nd Amendments are intended to grant American citizens. Sadly, those rights that this country were founded on continue to erode with each passing day.
‘Assaulted’ brings to the light the fact that as Americans we do have the right to own and possess firearms to protect ourselves against tyranny- be that from government or individuals. The film has a litany of guests and is narrated by pro 2nd Amendment rapper Ice-T. Here is brief clip from ‘Assaulted’ where Ted Nugent breaks down the 2nd Amendment in a few short words:
Then we are joined by Captain Brett Holden of the Surfside, Texas’ offshore fishing vessel The Boobytrap. Captain Holden and his crew specialize in targeting big swordfish and they made national headlines recently when they brought home a 493 lb swordfish that shattered the former Texas state record by over 150 lbs! We talk about that experience and the underrated swordfish fishery that exists just off the Texas coast. This is one heck of a billfish:
Next we are joined by longtime outdoor writer Brian McCombie who writes for such publications as North American Hunter Magazine, Outdoor Life, Gun Digest and NRA’s American Hunter. Brian’s recent piece in North American Hunter breaks down the effectiveness of the popular .223 round on feral hogs. This round was originally intended for smaller game such as varmints and predators but with improvements in quality and longer, heavier grain .223 bullet options- this caliber can prove to be a lethal hog killing machine. We talk about some of his favorite .223 rounds on the market as well as shot placement. Brian with a nice East, TX hog he piled up with his .223 AR.
We round out the broadcast by talking about the ever increasingly popular sport of kayak fishing when Dustin Koreba drops in. Dustin is the founder of a very unique tournament series that caters to the kayak specific angler. The Lone Star Kayak Series is a Houston/Galveston based redfish series that is averaging over 80 anglers per tournament in 2013. With a 75% payout structure, this series looks like it’s here to stay. There are plenty of pros to kayak fishing such as fuel cost, easy access and physical exercise. Dustin w/ a nice Texas bull red!
Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire, .223 For Feral Hogs, State Record Swordfish and The Lone Star Kayak Series!
We get things going when an old friend drops in. Bone Collector Travis ‘T-Bone’ Turner joins us to talk all things archery. A former Outdoor 3-D World Champion Archer, T-Bone knows the semantics of bowhunting in and out. He breaks down how to find out the exact ideal draw weight for each individual hunter. Also, we talk about his favorite hunt from Season 5 of Bone Collector which airs on Outdoor Channel. Don’t forget that T-Bone will be at Cinnamon Creek Ranch on Saturday, June 21st for a day of shooting exhibitions and product demos followed by an awesome dinner event that evening. For more info on “T-Bones with T-Bone” visit the website:(Cinnamon Creek Ranch)
Then we check in with Bill Cox, owner of Montague and Jack County’s Cox Wildlife Ranch. Most of you are probably familiar with our monthly photo contest by now and Cox Wildlife Ranch is sponsoring our June contest. This month’s winner will join us on an overnight hog hunt. With six feeders set up with motion censored lights, our June winner should have ample opportunity to stack some pork!
Next we’re joined by Rockwall, TX noodler Eddie Drake. Just two weeks ago, Eddie smashed competitive noodling tournament records with a behemoth 81.25 lb flathead catfish. Not only was this the biggest fish ever weighed in at a tourney, Eddie and his partner also weighed in the heaviest stringer and were rewarded with a $5,525 payday- the biggest cash prize ever won at a noodling event. Eddie talks about wrestling this fish which sadly ended up with Eddie having to go to the hospital after cutting his leg on a jagged piece of rebar. Infection quickly set in and Eddie has been in the hospital for 2 weeks! Noodling is definitely not a sport for the faint of heart.
We wrap things up by visiting with veteran outdoor cameraman Chad Parker. Chad writes a blog for The Backwood’s Life and his recent entry should appeal to all of us out there who are interested in filming our own hunts. There are very affordable options out there and if you don’t have a decent camera set up, you can get in the game for around $500. We talk equipment, auto vs manual focus, fluid heads, camera arms and a whole lot more with Chad.
Talkin' Archery w/ T-Bone, Record Catfish Caught by Noodler, Self Filming Your Hunts & Feral Hog Hunting
This week we kick things off by talking some flyfishing with Athens, Texas native Bryan Smith. On May 24th, Bryan hooked into a massive channel catfish at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries’ Lake Zebco. After battling the 20 lb behemoth for over 20 minutes, Bryan landed the fish (pictured below) and was the proud owner of the Texas state record for channel catfish.
The fish set a total of 6 records. A dedicated fly angler only, Bryan talks about the unique way he targets and land big catfish on his flyrod. Yes, the fish does look similar to a big blue cat but by counting the spines on the fish’s anal fin they were able to confirm it is indeed a channel catfish. Congrats on the catch Bryan!
Then we check in with one of the greatest basketball players ever to lace up a pair of sneakers. Karl Malone, AKA “The Mailman” stops by to talk about his love for the outdoors. Karl has traveled the globe hunting big game but you will be very surprised to hear what his favorite types of hunting and fishing are to this day.
He also discusses his North American Sheep Grand Slam and what it was like hunting stone sheep in the same canyon that President Teddy Roosevelt hunted in over 100 years ago. We also discuss Karl’s Youth Hunting Initiative and his passion for getting underprivileged kids into the great outdoors. This is one of the most fun interviews we’ve done in recent memory. Karl doing what he does best, dominating the hardwood and downing big game like this massive elk:
We finish up the broadcast by talking ducks with our longtime friend and Delta Waterfowl VP of U.S. Policy – John Devney. I know duck season is 5 months away, but we need to find out how spring nesting conditions look throughout the Prairie Pothole region on into the Dakotas and then Canada. John talks about recent precipitation that could be a game changer for nesting waterfowl.
We also get into the rapid loss of CRP Land and what waterfowlers can do in order to help stem the tide. Of course we have to get into one of my favorite Delta Waterfowl efforts as well, so John and I discuss the controversial topic of Predator Management as well. In many areas, nest success directly depends on how high the predator ratio is. Removing animals like the raccoon pictured below gives the ducks a fighting chance.
NBA Legend Karl Malone, New State Record Catfish & Nesting Conditions w/ Delta Waterfowl
Get ready for a good one! We kick off this week’s show by visiting with one of the best athletes every to lace up a pair of cleats. Bo Jackson is a Heisman Trophy winner, NFL All Pro running back and Major League All Star Game MVP. But these days, Bo spends as much of his time as possible in the woods, preferably with a stick & string. How does sticking a 10 pt buck compare to hitting a home run off Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson? Bo also talks about the time he swore Big Foot was going to steal the buck he’d just killed. And of course we find out what hunts are at the top of Bo’s bucket list.
As seen on the recent ESPN 30 for 30 on Bo, he enjoys spending time in his man cave and finds it therapeutic to work on the massive collection of arrows he has acquired over the years.
Then we check in with one of the luckiest hunters you will ever meet. Not lucky in a sense that he doesn’t know what he is doing afield, but lucky as in he won the Texas Parks and Wildlife Big Game Grand Slam hunt package!!! We are thrilled to have Weatherford, Texas native Britton Schweitzer join the show to tell us all about his Grand Slam experience. The 4 hunts included in the Grand Slam are: whitetail, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and desert big horn sheep.
With TPWD issuing only 2-3 big horn sheep permits a year, you can see why that tag is the hardest tag to get in the entire Lone Star State- hands down. The hunts are all 5 day hunts and food and lodging is included, heck even the taxidermy is included! Britton recaps his experiences on each specific hunt including the shocking ending to his desert big horn sheep adventure. For more info on how to register for TPWD Big Game Hunts:(Big Time Texas Hunts)
Britton with his Texas desert big horn sheep.
We finish things up talking trout and redfish when our good friend Captain Len Girard joins us live from Baffin Bay. The trout bite is looking good and big schools of redfish are moving into the shallows. We break down what live and artificial baits are really bringing fish into the boat right now. No matter what, there’s never a dull moment with our favorite captain.
Bo Knows Bowhunting, Texas Grand Slam Hunt Winner & Trout Action Along The Coast
Off the top we are joined by longtime Texas Parks and Wildlife Inland Fisheries District Supervisor Bruce Hysmith.Bruce oversees every water body in an 8 county region. One of the main reservoirs under his guidance is Lake Texoma. Texoma has long been the Southwest United State’s crown jewel as far as striper fishing goes but most Texans don’t realize that this unique fishery also has a viable population of smallmouth bass. Bruce explains why these fierce fighting cousins of the largemouth have been able to thrive in Lake Texoma since TPWD introduced them in the early 1980s. Meanwhile other smallmouth stocking efforts in Texas pretty much failed. I had the pleasure of targeting these aggressive and powerful fish on Texoma just a couple weeks ago. Bruce breaks down where to find ‘em on one of Texas truly incredible fisheries.
Then Pflugerville, Texas native Donnie O’Neal joins us to talk about his recent bass fishing trip of a lifetime. A tournament bass angler, Donnie and his partner were trying to catch a double digit Lake Austin monster on the morning of April 28th when Donnie felt a major thud on his Alabama rig umbrella style bait. He immediately thought he’d hooked a big striper or catfish. Once he got the fish to the surface he realized that it was actually two largemouth bass! The smaller of the pair weighed 7.8 lbs and the other tipped the scales at 11.8 lbs. That’s over 19 lbs of Texas largemouth caught on one cast! It’s truly an amazing feat and Donnie recalls all the details surrounding his fishing tale for the ages.
Next on the lineup card, we check in with Lone Star Outdoor News Executive Editor Craig Nyhus. His recent article “Mixing Cattle and Deer: Grazing Tips For Landowners” highlights the delicate balance between running cattle and maintaining a healthy whitetail herd on our ranch or lease. Craig breaks down the ideal times of the year to keep cows off grazing pastures. We also discuss how overgrazing can lead to serious erosion problems for the landowner. Another interesting fact that most folks don’t realize is an 1,100 pound cow consumes 15-30 percent of it’s diet from browse and forbs that are whitetail’s primary food source. So they are directly competing. That being said you can have both cattle and a healthy deer herd if you pay attention to the delicate balance between the two. Craig breaks it all down for us.
We finish things off by checking with our longtime friend and Army Bass Anglers Founder Major Promotable Cody Roberson. Army Bass Angler’s has big things on the horizon as their Support, Defend & Fish mission statement continues to raise awareness and gain traction on a national level. Army Bass Anglers even is preparing for season 3 of their hit WFN TV show ‘Force on Force’. We also discuss non profit that ABA is raising funds for: A Soldier’s Child. A San Antonio native and no stranger to winning bass tournaments on Texas lakes we also talk about Major Promotable Roberson’s favorite early summer bass baits. Be sure to set your DVR for ‘Force on Force’.
Lake Texoma Smallmouths, Balancing Cattle & Deer, 19 Pounds of Texas Largemouth on One Cast & Latest From Army Bass Anglers
Randy Rogers- It's Too Late,
Max Stalling- I-35,
Chris Knight- North Dakota,
Cory Morrow- In Spite of Spite,
Josh Turner- Me and God,
Drive-By Truckers- Everybody Needs Love,
Aaron Lewis- Country Boy,
Grant Jones & The Pistol Grip Lassos- Since I Lost You,
Justin Bowerman - In My Veins,
Brandon Jenkins- Crazy Moon