May 22, 2020
Mule Deer Memorial Day Marathon – Season 3 Episode 10 – May 21
This is our 59th episode of Talking Mule Deer and we are encouraging our listeners to get on a Mule Deer Memorial Day Marathon. This week, Jodi and Steve are reflecting back on the two years of the TMD podcast and hoping listeners go back and binge listen to some of our favorite episodes. We revisit those early days of putting together our first interview with Miles Moretti, and how the podcast has grown and developed over the last two years. We talk about what have been some of the most popular downloads as well as the episodes that have provided different important topics that we hope our listeners have appreciated. For the future, we will be launching listener interaction opportunities and encourage people to ask us questions, suggest new topics, or tell us who you’ve liked that you think we should bring back on the show. The new firstname.lastname@example.org email address, along with MDF social media channels will allow listeners to submit their comments or questions – and if we use them on air, we will be sending you some MDF swag to thank you for your engagement. So, listen up, remember some of the old episodes and help us move forward this year in expanding our reach to mule deer enthusiasts across the country!
May 5, 2020
Wyoming with Ike Eastman and Shawn Blajszczak – Season 3 Episode 9 – May 5
This episode features Steve talking with Ike Eastman, president and CEO of Eastmans’ Hunting Journals, and Mule Deer Foundation Wyoming regional director, Shawn Blajszczak. Ike tells us a little bit of history about how his grandfather and his father spent the “heyday” of mule deer wandering around Wyoming filming deer and other big game. With this perspective of three generations, Ike talks about what they see as the greatest challenges for mule deer in the state including how winter range and migration corridors are critical to ensure the herds are sustained. Shawn then talks about the grant that MDF received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help restore habitat for mule deer herds prioritized in the Wyoming SO 3362 action plan. They then talk about how important it is for avid hunters to help by being active members of MDF, supporting conservation projects, and being involved in state policy that affects our wildlife resources. Ike tells us about the Eastmans’ upcoming film, previewed at the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo, that uses their historic and current footage, combined with the new knowledge about mule deer migrations and winter range, to raise awareness and serve as a call to action.
April 27, 2020
Idaho Mule Deer with Idaho Fish and Game – Season 3 Episode 8 – April 27
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Steve is talking with Daryl Meints, Idaho Department Fish and Game’s (IDFG) deer and elk coordinator, and Matt Pieron, IDFG’s Mule Deer Initiative Coordinator. We hear about Idaho’s new Mule Deer Management Plan that was recently completed. Matt and Daryl tell us about how they developed the plan and some of the issues, like hunter congestion, that they are attempting to tackle. They also talk about habitat projects, including MDF’s work in the Bennett Hills to restore sagebrush in important mule deer winter range after wildfires burned through the area. Steve asks them about some of the Idaho priorities for big game migration corridors through their Secretarial Order 3362 state action plan. One of their projects include improving deer crossings over Highway 30 in the Rocky Point migration corridor in the southeast corridor of the state, an area that has had significant deer mortality during seasonal movements every year. They’ve also identified research priorities to analyze data from collared animals to better understand deer migrations. We wrap up by talking about Idaho’s upcoming hunting season and tag applications.
April 17, 2020
State of MDF with President/CEO Miles Moretti – Season 3 Episode 7 – April 16
Today Steve and Jodi are talking with Miles Moretti, President/CEO of the Mule Deer Foundation (from the safety of our homes in three states). While we always try and do a “State of the Organization” interview with Miles, this one is particularly important as MDF grapples along with the rest of the world with how to function in the “new normal” created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The stay-at-home orders around the country fell in the heart of our normal banquet fundraising time and, like so many others, the potential loss of income is daunting. Miles tells us about how most chapters are working to reschedule these banquets and we hear about how Conservation Continues at MDF with the support of partners Henry Repeating Arms, Reeds Family Outfitters, PhoneSkope and Pyro Putty who are matching donations to the organization through the end of April. We also talk about other ways to support the organization, including the Ultimate Giveaway Raffle, hunting tags being auctioned online at OnlineHuntingAuctions.com, firearm online auctions at GunBroker.com, membership renewals, and Amazon Smile. We also remind members that, while getting in the outdoors is a great way to stay active during the shutdown, it’s important to stay local and practice #ResponsibleRecreation and follow CDC recommendations in order to avoid spreading the virus into small communities. After recognizing our current realities, we talk about what MDF accomplished in 2019 for mule deer conservation and what is on the horizon, even amidst the current situation. We wrap up talking about Miles’ legacy with the organization with his pending retirement on September 30.
March 31, 2020
Understanding the Economics of Hunting and Shooting with Rob Southwick and Jim Curcuruto – Season 3 Episode 6 – March 30
This episode of Talking Mule Deer is focused helping to understand the economic impact of the hunting and shooting have on conservation and why that’s so important. Rob Southwick, a natural resource economist who runs Southwick Associates, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Jim Curcuruto talk about what they are doing to take participation and spending data and make it relevant to the public. Hunters and target shooters spend billions of dollars every year in pursuit of their pastime (we’ll tell you how much!) – but when you factor the economic ripple effect for each dollar spent that impact is even greater, particularly in the rural communities where we hunt and fish. Rob and Jim also work with groups like the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and American Sportfishing Association to put those numbers in context with other mainstream industries and share that information with elected officials and the media. We discuss about how this spending goes back into state wildlife conservation – and increasingly for state-run shooting ranges – through excise taxes on certain hunting and shooting products through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (also known as Pittman-Robertson Act) Program. Finally, Jim talks about how NSSF is working with state wildlife agencies and the shooting sports industry to “Partner with a Payer” so that industry staff can understand what states are doing with the taxes they pay, and state agency staff can understand more about the manufacturing of guns and ammunition. He also talks about recent research that shows there’s a lot of interest in the general public about learning how to shoot and what three things might help get them out on the range.
March 16, 2020
Mexican Mule Deer Hunt with Kryptek Outdoors Co-Founder, Butch Whiting – Season 3 Episode 5 – March 16
Today on Talking Mule Deer, Steve Belinda and Arizona Game & Fish Department’s Dr. Jim Heffelfinger are talking with Kryptek Outdoors Co-founder, Butch Whiting, about his quest for a gigantic mule deer buck down in Mexico. Butch talks about how this journey included 30 days of field time over three years in search of a free-range Sonoran Desert mule deer. He tells us what it’s like to hunt in Mexico, from the dense cactus and brush to the hours searching for these ghost deer that appear and disappear in mere moments, perhaps never to be seen again. Jim joins the conversation with insights into deer biology and behavior in desert environments. Whiting describes how they found his “muy grande” buck and his experience on his hunt. He also gives us specific details of what’s involved in booking and traveling into Mexico for the hunt. We wrap up by hearing about what is new for Kryptek this year and a video project they will be releasing soon documenting the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s mule deer management program
March 2, 2020
Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt – Season 3 Episode 4 – March 2
This week, Steve Belinda and Miles Moretti are sitting down with the 53rd Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, along with Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife president Troy Justensen at the Western Hunting & Conservation Expo. It’s Bernhardt’s first trip to the Expo and he talks about how impressed he is with the event. They talk about all that has been going on in the two years since Bernhardt’s predecessor signed Secretarial Order 3362 Hunt Expo on big game migration corridors and winter range habitat. We hear about how much money has been directed to better understand these migrations, as well as to improve the seasonal habitats that are so important to mule deer. Bernhardt tells us about how growing up in Rifle, Colorado, has impacted his decision-making in his role overseeing the nation’s federal public lands. He also talks about some of the actions that he’s most proud of during his tenure at the Department.
February 17, 2020
National Wild Turkey Federation President/CEO Becky Humphries – Season 3 Episode 3 – February 17
On this episode of Talking Mule Deer, Steve and Jodi talk with one of the leading ladies of the conservation community – Becky Humphries, President and CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Becky tells us how she got her start as a wildlife biologist ultimately working her way to lead the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. After leaving the state she spent several years running the Great Lakes office for Ducks Unlimited before she moved to NWTF seven years ago. We talk about the organization’s Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt initiative including their efforts on active habitat management that is good for wildlife, but also helps improve forests and hopefully reduce the risk of catastrophic fires. She talks about how NWTF, like MDF, is working with the U.S. Forest Service on stewardship agreements that are allowing the organizations to oversee habitat restoration projects including a pilot project in Colorado through the Rocky Mountain Restoration Initiative. For the Save the Hunt part of their mission, Becky tells us about their efforts to bring in more hunters and shooters to carry on our traditions. We wrap up by talking about the priorities NWTF has on their radar screen for the coming year.
February 7, 2020
Western Hunting & Conservation Expo with Rob Keck and Miles Moretti – Season 3 Episode 2 – February 7
Today we’re previewing the 2020 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo with MDF President/CEO Miles Moretti and Hunt Expo Master of Ceremonies Rob Keck. Hear about what’s new for this year and why 2020 should be the year that you come to Salt Lake for this incredible event. We talk about the exhibit hall and 200 tag drawing, and Miles tells us about some construction that’s going on near the Salt Palace to keep in mind as you get to the event. Miles and Rob talk about the evening speakers and the entertainment that is a big part of Hunt Expo, the events like the Ladies Luncheon that is a hit every year, the seminar series, and all the other things that you can do. Get more information online at www.huntexpo.com or on the Hunt Expo app!
February 3, 2020
Congressional Update with Jeff Crane and Miles Moretti – Season 3 Episode 1 – February 3
On our first episode of our third season, we’re talking with Jeff Crane and Miles Moretti to get an update on what happened in Congress and the Administration for sportsmen in 2019. We start by hearing about S. 47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act – a compilation of many bills related to conservation and sportsmen’s priorities – that was enacted into law last year. A key issue for sportsmen that was included in this package was ensuring that federal public lands are open to hunting, shooting, and fishing unless specifically closed. In addition, it included permanent authorization for the Land and Water Conservation Fund including a provision that will ensure a portion of this funding is dedicated to providing access points to federal lands. We also learn about the American Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act which passed out of the Senate unanimously on a voice vote in January. This bill includes authorizations or re-authorizations for several important conservation programs like the National Fish Habitat Partnership, the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and more. Another bill organizations are focused on is the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act which would provide a substantial increase in funding to state fish and wildlife agencies. Jeff and Miles also give us an update on the efforts of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Conservation Council to advise the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior on key sportsmen’s issues including on migration corridors and CWD. Our last discussion is about the network of groups that work together through the American Wildlife Conservation Partners to provide information to presidential campaigns on key priorities to the sportsmen’s community. We wrap up by giving you the information you need to be engaged on these policy issues!