March 18, 2019
Season 2 Episode 7 – Mark Kayser
During the 2019 Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show), Steve and Jodi had the opportunity to sit down with outdoor writer Mark Kayser, who is a regular contributor to the MDF magazine. Kayser describes how he got his start as an outdoor writer – a vocation that started back with a school assignment to “write about what he was passionate about”. While he’s an avid and skilled mule deer hunter, we focus on why he loves predator hunting so much and he shares some of the tips he’s learned about how to become a better predator hunter. He tells us about his 2018 deer hunting season, and why he likes being able to hunt “crossover” units so that if he’s not successful on a mule deer he can still harvest a whitetail. We also hear his craziest hunting story and how he loves living the outdoor lifestyle.
March 1, 2019
Season 2, Episode 6 - State of MDF – Miles Moretti & Mike Laughter
With Hunt Expo just a week ago, Jodi and Steve got the opportunity to sit back down with MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti and MDF’s Director of Field Operations Mike Laughter to hear about the “State of MDF.” Overall, Miles says the organization is in the best position of its 30-year history. We talk about how MDF is actively engaged and being sought out for policy efforts at the national level and at the state and local level through the regional directors. In particular, Miles tells us about a few specific federal policy priorities – a provision that will streamline mule deer and sage grouse habitat restoration that was included in the Farm Bill, and the rapid implementation of Secretarial Order 3362 on big game migration corridors and winter range and MDF’s involvement in that effort. Mike talks about the tremendous growth in chapters as well as the increase in chapters’ “net” fundraising ability which allows the chapters to direct even more funds toward habitat conservation projects through Chapter Rewards. Miles tells us that in 2018, MDF was able to allocate $3.5 million to on-the-ground habitat restoration efforts – not counting the additional dollars donated and the in-kind hours through volunteer work. Finally, Mike and Miles talk about what is coming down the pike for 2019.
February 11, 2019
Season 2, Episode 5: 2019 Western Conservation and Hunting Expo with Miles Moretti and Rob Keck
Today, on the week that the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo opens, we are celebrating all things Hunt Expo. Steve and Jodi are talking with MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti and renowned voice for conservation, and the master of ceremonies during the Hunt Expo evening banquets, Rob Keck. We talk a little bit about the history of Hunt Expo since MDF and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife took the reins 11 years ago and then focus on what you can expect at this year’s show. There will be over 500 vendors this year in more than 530,000 square feet of exhibit hall space. Miles tells us about the keynote speakers for this year and the scheduled entertainment for the evening banquets, and how to buy your tickets for the show floor and the evening events. We talk about some of the incredible auction items that will be available throughout the event and the online bidding options for those who aren’t able to be in Salt Lake. Miles tells us about the many family activities during the show including the Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience and the Ladies Luncheon, and how this year we not only have the Great Salt Lake waterfowl calling contest but also the new Western Hunting & Conservation Expo elk calling contest as well. The Western Hunting & Conservation is open daily starting on Thursday February 14 through Sunday February 17 in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
February 6, 2019
Season 2, Episode 4: J. Alain Smith
This week, Steve and Jodi get the star of Rugged Expeditions, J. Alain Smith, on the phone to learn more about his vast experiences hunting all around the globe. Alain’s rocking guitar music brings us in to the episode and he tells us how he and his brother Monty, a professional musician, started playing – Alain even played with Ted Nugent during a recent hunt. He tells us about how he grew up learning to hunt waterfowl in the Pacific Northwest and then moved to Alaska where he shot his first big game animal, a Sitka black-tailed deer. We talk about the importance of hunters and groups like MDF being responsible for conservation and how the sustainable use of wildlife supports the funding and management of wildlife around the globe. Alain then tells about some of his adventures including his favorite species to hunt and some of the challenging hunts he has been on. He and Steve talk about the importance of good gear and how his website provides a packing list and tips to help hunters prepare for a new hunting experience. Finally, we talk about his books, including a number of non-fiction hunting stories and a series of fiction novels that center around hunting in Africa. J. Alain Smith will be at the 2019 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo presenting a seminar on hunting all 29 species of North American big game on Saturday February 16 at 10 a.m.
February 1, 2019
Season 2, Episode 3 - John Snow – Shooting Editor for Field & Stream and Outdoor Life
Steve and Jodi travel to the 2019 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade) Show and spend time Talking Mule Deer with the shooting editor for Field & Stream and Outdoor Life, John Snow. John describes how he didn’t grow up in a hunting family but traipsed the woods near his house with a BB gun as a latchkey kid and built a love for shooting and hunting. He tells us that his knowledge of shooting and ammunition started with a fascination for ballistics tables – and the help of an unknown shooter that helped him realize that his lack of shooting skill at the time was due to his cross-eye dominance. After working as a traditional journalist for years, and then with a small regional outdoor publication, John started at Outdoor Life in 2001 and made it his mission to pester then-shooting editor, Jim Carmichael. With no better mentor to learn from, John absorbed as much knowledge and skill as possible and became only the fifth shooting editor in Outdoor Life’s more than 120-year history when Carmichael retired, adding the same title for Field & Stream last year. John tells us about the limited edition Weatherby .257 he used on a mule deer hunt in southeast Montana this fall – a rifle and hunt that will be up for auction during the Friday night Conservation Banquet at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo. Finally, we ask John to tell us about some of the new products and trends he is seeing at SHOT Show and how they will help western hunters.
January 24, 2019
Season 2 Episode 2 - Colorado Buck
Today Steve and Jodi talk to Colorado Buck, about how he got started in hunting following the path of a strong, outdoorswoman – his mother. He grew up in hunting camps with his mother and uncles and guided his first hunter in central Virginia when he was just 12 years old. He describes his experiences as a young boy, always looking for opportunities to get out hunting, to the building his guiding business. His guiding led him to early television shows with Knight & Hale at the beginning of the hunting video boom. Where in the World is Colorado Buck? is now the longest running outdoor show in production for over 30 years. He talks about the importance of getting new people outdoors including getting kids, people with disabilities, and veterans out hunting. He also tells a little bit about some of his most interesting, exotic hunting opportunities around the world. Finally, we talk about why the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo is one of the greatest shows for sportsmen, women, and their families and why he is such a strong supporter of the Mule Deer Foundation.
January 11, 2019
Season 2 Episode 1 - Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Jodi is in Wyoming at the Ranch at UCross talking about the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt (WWAH). Her guests include the visionary behind the hunt retired state supreme court justice Marilyn Kite, Rebekah Smith Executive Director of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation which hosts the event, Abby Atol event marketer with SITKA Gear a sponsor of the event, and three of the women who participated in the hunt – Melissa McGarvin-O’Melia, Chelsea Johnson, and Rachael Esch. The Wyoming Women’s Foundation is working to help women in the state achieve economic self-sufficiency and provide opportunities for girls, and they recognized that teaching women to hunt can help provide that independence. The hunt is a fundraiser for the Foundation along with providing an opportunity to introduce women to hunting – about one-third of the women that participate in the WWAH have never hunted before. Event organizers work to pair inexperienced women hunters with experienced hunters to serve as mentors and the event also offers meat processing and game cooking instruction. Bekah and Marilyn describe the event in more detail and talk about how potential hunters or outdoor companies can get involved in next year’s hunt, and Abby Atol talks about the importance of events like this for the outdoor industry that is increasingly developing quality hunting gear for women. Jodi then talks to three of the women who received a scholarship to participate and either have never hunted at all or had limited experience. We talk about how on the first day of the event hunter education instructors and event organizers help participants make sure they are comfortable with their gun and how to handle it safely in the field. And we hear the hunt stories from these new hunters and about their plans to continue hunting in the future.
December 20, 2018
Episode 19: National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Big Game Corridors Grant Program
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Jodi and Steve talk with Seth Gallagher, manager of Rocky Mountain regional programs for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). We learn about what NFWF is, how the organization receives funding, and how it has provided billions of dollars for conservation across the country. We talk about some of the private land conservation efforts that NFWF has been engaged in, including sagebrush conservation that benefits mule deer, and how important this is to help keep agriculture viable and conserve important fish and wildlife habitat. We then hear about NFWF’s new grant initiative offering $2.7 million for on-the-ground habitat conservation efforts needed to help implement Secretarial Order 3362 on big game migration corridors. Projects support specific needs identified by state fish and wildlife agency plans that were developed in response to the Order. Some of the efforts could include work on transportation projects to help wildlife crossings, easements to conserve corridor bottlenecks or stopover sites, fire restoration, and more. The funding for the new NFWF grant program came through the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Conoco-Phillips. More information about the grant program, including a link to the request for proposals, and the state plans can be found at www.nfwf.org/westernmigrations. The grant deadline is in early January with plans to announce grants in March in order to get these habitat conservation and restoration projects on the ground by next summer. We also talk about a capacity grant that the Mule Deer Foundation just received from NFWF to implement an initiative within the organization for these types of boots-on-the-ground projects to benefit mule deer.
December 10, 2018
Episode 18 - Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Bob Broscheid
Today Steve and Jodi are talking with Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Bob Broscheid. We learn about CPW’s West Slope Mule Deer Initiative and the big picture positive economic impacts of hunting in the state. He describes how Colorado has provided numerous opportunities for sportsmen, including a lot of non-resident hunters, and we talk about some of the changes that have been implemented or proposed with the tag application process. Bob describes some of the state’s efforts to work with private landowners for wildlife conservation as well as sportsmen’s access. We also talk about balancing the various demands for outdoor recreation – including hunting and fishing – and the state’s efforts to plan for conservation and recreation through the 2019 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) which will be released in early January 2019. Bob gives us an idea of what it’s like to be a director of a state fish and wildlife and the importance of relationships with organizations, elected officials, and much more. This came into play with CPW’s efforts to build support for the agency’s Future Generations Act that increased fees for outdoor recreation in the state. We then talk about what Colorado is planning to conserve migratory corridors for big game and how this ties in with the efforts across all the western states through Secretarial Order 3362. Finally, we talk about Chronic Wasting Disease and the state’s plan to test for and engage with hunters to manage for this disease.
November 19, 2018
Episode 17 - Wyoming Migration Initiative
Today, Steve and Jodi are in Laramie, Wyoming, talking with Matt Kauffman and Greg Nickerson with the Wyoming Migration Initiative about their research on ungulate migrations and their new Wild Migrations Atlas that was released earlier this month. Kauffman heads up the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming. He describes how co-op units are engaged in fish and wildlife conservation science around the country and how his unit helps to provide the science used by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to answer wildlife conservation questions that guide future management decision making. Kauffman and Nickerson outline the migration research that has advanced since the development of new technology GPS collars that provide more regular data points in order to track wildlife movements more consistently. This increased knowledge has allowed researchers to learn about traditional migratory pathways, some of which are well over 100 miles long. They discuss how deer and other ungulates “surf the green wave” as the more nutritious forage regenerates upslope over the course of several weeks in the spring. This strategy has helped to identify important stopover habitat along the migratory routes. One thing that has been unique about the Wyoming Migration Initiative is their ability to communicate this complex information in a way that has actively engaged with the public in ungulate migrations in the state. We talk about how the scientists have used videos and social media outreach to talk about their research and have introduced the public to Jet, Mo and now #255 – mule deer does that are making epic migrations in southwest Wyoming.