Steve Gephard is the Supervising Fisheries Biologist for Connecticut DEEP, and he joined Aric and I to talk about American shad. Shad are an ocean fish that, in late April and early May, swim up into the rivers of the east coast to spawn in fresh water. With robust numbers of shad and good, clean habitat, the Connecticut River offers abundant opportunities for both commercial and recreational fishermen to take full advantage of this yearly migration. Steve lays it all out in this episode, from history of the fish to how and where to catch them.
I’ve always looked at the whitetail hunting world a bit sideways. Between all the trail cams, food plots, expensive leases, and nicknamed deer, it all seemed more like a high tech circus than the immersive nature experience that I’ve always sought through hunting.
But then last year, out of nowhere, a large, impressively antlered whitetail showed up on the farm where I live and spent the summer months bedding in our hayfields, sunning his velvet rack and eating our vegetables.
In this episode Aric and I talk about this buck, and the season I spent chasing him. And of course, it’s complicated.
This episode is with my buddy Aric Kirsch. Aric has agreed to co-host the show with me, so you’ll be hearing more from him in the future. Today we’re talking about our western hunts from this past season which, though unsuccessful, were highly adventurous, educational, and enjoyable. We talk about the hunts we went on, what we learned from them, and why and how you should do them too. If you’re a New England whitetail hunter dreaming of a DIY western hunting adventure, hopefully this podcast can bring you a bit closer to pulling the trigger. Cause if we can do it, anyone can.
Killing your first deer is a powerful, complicated experience.
Hunting literature abounds with father-son first deer stories, as the hunting heritage has traditionally been passed from one generation of men to the next. But in this story the roles are reversed, as my dad only began deer hunting last year. With my encouragement, he took the classes, got the permits, learned about tree stands, broad heads, scouting, and took all the other necessary steps. He killed his first deer a few weeks ago at the age of sixty-seven, and over the course of a few days, I helped him take the animal from field to freezer.
I’ve been helping a few people get started hunting recently, and my father is the first of them to be successful. I’m glad we had the chance to talk about it while it was still fresh in our minds, I enjoyed our conversation and I hope you do too.
Todd Solek is the owner of Farm To Hearth, a unique bakery in Haddam, CT. Todd makes bread the old fashioned way, with locally raised grains and all natural wild yeast fermentation, baking in small batches in a wood fired oven. Todd’s taken an unusual path in life, with a background that includes military service and professional cage fighting, and brings to his work a drive and intensity that seem more at home in the octagon than in front of an oven. He’s an interesting guy, and I enjoyed talking to him about bread, strength training, the rewards and challenges of owning a craft business, the similarities between baking and hunting, and more.
For a nice mix of artisanal baking and beast mode workout videos, follow Todd’s instagram: @farmtohearth or visit his website at http://www.farmtohearth.com
Farm To Hearth bread can be purchased at these markets:
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a hunting, fishing, and environmental conservation group, working to protect fish, wildlife, and the land that supports them. BHA has been most active in the western states, fighting the transfer of federal public lands, but the New England chapter is growing quickly.
On June 25th, I’ll be hosting a BHA event at my farm in Newington, CT. New hunters are welcome.
Location: 277 Cedar St, Newington, CT, 06111
Presentations will include: Scouting and finding deer on public land, hiking for better trout fishing, getting started in deer and small game hunting, BHA conservation projects, and more.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP
Come check it out and see how you can get involved.
The 2017 spring turkey season wrapped up a little while ago, and now begins the long wait for September. In this episode, my buddy Aric and I go over what we learned about hunting public land turkeys, the pros and cons of getting permission on small pieces of private land, my total lack of success, and his hits and misses. We also talk about our Colorado elk hunts that we have planned for this fall, the gear we have or need, and what we’re doing to get ready for the mountains.
Archery is a deep practice, requiring layers of physical and mental discipline, developed through years of concentrated repetition. We owe it to the animals we pursue to perform at our best when the moment of truth arrives, and that means mastering our equipment, and more importantly, ourselves. Butch Johnson, an Olympic gold medal winning target archer, knows about shooting under pressure. If you are interested in becoming a better archer and a better bowhunter, then I think you’ll enjoy this conversation with one of the best in the world.
To take a lesson with Butch or one of the other instructors at Hall’s Arrow, visit www.hallsarrow.com
Nakai Northup is a member of the Mashantucket Pequot people of southern New England. He works at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research center as an educator and tribal liaison. Through subsistence hunting and fishing practices and traditional craft work, Nakai and his family are able to live with and from the land, and are helping to preserve their people’s rich culture and heritage. We sat down to talk about hunting, trapping, the modern day wampum trade, being the guy people call when they see roadkill, and more.
To learn more about the Pequot people, or to visit the museum, go to www.pequotmuseum.org
Mike Gregonis is a Connecticut state wildlife biologist, and has been working on wild turkey conservation and management for over 20 years. Besides being a veteran of one of the most successful wildlife reintroduction programs in American history, Mike is a passionate and accomplished turkey hunter. We met recently to talk about wild turkey conservation, where and how to find them on state land, and how to be more successful on your hunts. Whether you are new to turkey hunting, or have a few toms under your belt already, there’s lots of good info in this podcast to help you have a more enjoyable, safe, and productive spring season.
For more information on how you can help ensure the future of wild turkeys in New England, visit the National Wild Turkey Federation at http://www.nwtf.org