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.
November 5, 2018
Episode 16 - Nick Pinizotto (National Deer Alliance) and Chad Klinkenborg (Montana MDF Field Director)
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Steve talks to National Deer Alliance CEO Nick Pinizzotto and MDF’s Montana Regional Director Chad Klinkenborg. Nick talks about what the National Deer Alliance (NDA) is and how it is working for all deer species and those that love to hunt deer across the country. He outlines a number of the key issues impacting deer including NDA’s top two priorities of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and hunter access. Regarding CWD, he talks about what hunters can do to help with CWD surveillance as well as understanding about transporting game across state lines and considerations about consuming affected deer. Klinkenborg talks about efforts in Montana after CWD was identified in the state within the last year. He talks about some of the surveillance efforts that Montana has undertaken in areas with suspected CWD and that MDF has provided funding to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to help with detection. Nick also talks about MDF’s engagement on the NDA with MDF President Miles Moretti currently serving as board chairman which has helped to ensure that NDA is an all-deer national organization.
October 23, 2018
Episode 15 - Chad & Marsha Schearer
This episode of Talking Mule Deer features Chad and Marsha Schearer from Shoot Straight TV. Chad is a native of Montana who grew up hunting mule deer; Marsha is originally from Tennessee and joined Chad as a guide after they got married. Hunting is truly a family affair for the Schearers who share stories about the first time their sons, Walker and Wyatt, shot a mule deer. They also open their hearts to others with challenges and they tell us about a hunt this past year with a young man who has a brain tumor. Chad is also part of the Bergara (precision rifles) team and he talks about the new rifles that are coming out as well as the Bergara Experience Academy in Montana where they host training for long range shooting. As a member of the Mule Deer Foundation Board of Directors, Chad is helping to further the habitat goals of the organization and describes the importance of being an ambassador for conservation.
October 1, 2018
Episode 14 - CJ Buck
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Steve and Jodi talk to 4th generation family-owner of Buck Knives, CJ Buck. CJ tells us the history of how his great-grandfather started the company, originally in Kansas and then in San Diego, California, offering a lifetime warranty for his handcrafted knives. We talk about a number of the legendary Buck Knives that are so well beloved by hunters, as well as other segments of the industry that Buck Knives develops products for. He talks about how he has made a commitment to engaging in the conservation of wildlife through his engagement with the Boone & Crockett Club and as a member of the Mule Deer Foundation board of directors. We discuss some of the issues that he feels are most important for sportsmen to rally around, in particular two key issues – funding for conservation, and the perception of hunting. He describes the Hunt Right, Hunt Fair Chase marketing initiative started by Boone & Crockett Club and a number of other partners in the conservation community and outdoor industry, and how important it is for hunters to “be their own brand” and take personal responsibility in promoting an ethical hunting experience.
September 17, 2018
Episode 13 - Jason Matzinger – #ProjectMuleDeer
Into High Country’s Jason Matzinger talks to Steve and Jodi about how he got into producing outdoor television – but more importantly, he talks about his three-year journey to produce #ProjectMuleDeer which will premiere on September 22, 2018. Jason tells us about his inspiration for #ProjectMuleDeer and why this project is so important for not just mule deer but for the legacy of hunting. We talk to him about one of his most memorable deer hunts with a cagey old buck and he also shares why high-elevation glassing is his favorite style of mule deer hunting. Matzinger’s conservation vision shines through in our interview and we are excited to share this episode of Talkin’ Mule Deer right before #ProjectMuleDeer airs on September 22 from 7-8 pm ET on the Sportsman Channel and then from 8-9 pm ET on The Outdoor Channel.
September 4, 2018
Episode 12 - Colorado Mule Deer – Marty Holmes and Andy Holland
This week, Steve and Jodi talk about Colorado’s mule deer with Marty Holmes, MDF’s Colorado regional director, and Andy Holland, Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s big game manager. Andy talks about how herd management planning and how that affects the limited license draw, while Marty talks about how important it is for hunters to be knowledgeable about and engaged in this process. With one of the fastest growing populations in the country, wildlife conservation and the future of hunting in Colorado is a challenge. Marty describes some of the key committees he participates on within the state on issues like conservation funding, balancing conservation and recreation, wildlife/transportation management to improve highway safety and wildlife corridors, and more. They also talk about the “Future Generations” act to increase revenue for Colorado Parks and Wildlife – since the interview was done at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo, that legislation was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper and will help with the long-term sustainability of the agency. Finally, we talk about new shed hunting regulations that are going into effect to reduce disturbance of wintering animals.
August 20, 2018
Episode 11 - Founder of MDF - Emmett Burroughs
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer we talk with Emmett Burroughs who founded the Mule Deer Foundation in 1988. At the time, Burroughs was producing wildlife videos; through interviews with state agencies he learned more about mule deer and black-tailed deer, and some of the challenges deer are facing. Through those early conversations, he realized that deer were declining throughout the West and resolved to start a group to help make a difference. The early days of the organization required a lot of hard work to build the awareness of hunters to start a board and help generate the funds necessary for conservation work. Emmett talks about the tenacity of MDF staff and supporters to grow the organization, start the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo, and work on the important conservation issues affecting deer in the West.