EP 72: Hunt Application Deadlines and Alaska Dall Sheep Giveaway. This week on the Epic Outdoors Podcast we sit down with Aaron Bronson and talk about his recent Dall sheep hunt in Alaska. We will be gyiving away a hunt with this same outfitter in our upcoming membership drive. We also cover upcoming application deadlines and an overview of our May issue of Epic Outdoors Magazine.

Disclaimer: this text was produced through an automated transcription service likely contains errors. Please listen to the original audio for exact content.

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Right now we’re over 375,000 wheel there. It’s the highest levels they’ve been at in 40 years.

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Deer, deer improved. They can respond quick if they have everything in their favor, and that that’s what this has enabled.

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Anything to do with Western Big Game.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

00:00:21:27 –> 00:01:04:28
Hey everybody. Jason Carter and Adam Bronson here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. Before we get started, we’d like to thank Under Armour. They sponsor all of our podcasts and super great partner of ours and supporter. Of course, they’re, we’re affiliated with them in many different facets, so appreciate them. I know they’re working hard, Beckham Baltimore on all the kinds of new products. Been involved with that a little bit. And so anyway, everything’s cranking there. I also want to throw a little plug in for Thomson Long Range. We’ve talked to them many times. He swears he can have you a gun in one week with a couple boxes of shells, and you can shoot as far as you dare to shoot. And so anyway, we did have a guy that drew a couple of tags, didn’t even own a rifle, and, and I told him, Hey, call Thompson and get a gun.

00:01:05:08 –> 00:02:03:05
It’s the most affordable gun that can actually shoot any kind of yardage, whether it be 500, you need to have a gun that can shoot. And, and Mark did the job for him, and he went out and he freaking killed some deer, elk, deer and elk both. So on tags. We drew him in the license app service. He’s like, I don’t want to go this year. Boom. Got him two tags. And so anyway, great guys. Very affordable. I went through Mark’s course, you know, he was the first time I ever shot a thousand yards with Mark Thompson and a gun I had that I’d got from him. So anyway, don’t believe everything he tells you. You know, he does like to throw a few little pointers and tidbits out there about people here in the office, and it’s just not true. So, but anyway, Thompson long range.com, 4 3 5 7 1 3 4 2 4 8. So appreciate them and their supportive epic. Anyway, as we get started here, we’re sitting here with Ryan Benson, he’s the president, founder of Big Game Forever. First time we’ve ever had a podcast with you, Ryan, how you doing?

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Good to be with you guys today. Doing great.

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Good. Anyway, there’s a, there’s a lot we wanna dive into. Ryan, I guess we, I, I don’t know where to start. Tell us a little bit about Big Game Forever and then we’ll dive into all the fun things that we wanna dive into.

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So, big Game Forever is an organization founded eight years ago for the purpose of restoring abundant wildlife populations across the west, across America. And we, we have a passion for wildlife and there’s, you know, some tough issues out there. We tackle those we’re the bigger, the harder, the more involved we are. Yep.

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And so how did you guys get started with big game friends whose, whose idea was, whose brainchild was this?

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So back in 2010, I was hired by a sportsman for Fish and Wildlife. Just a little bit of my background. I’m a Harvard trained attorney, and I have a background in, in doing a lot of political work, I was, geez, working at a big law firm, a big national law firm working on difficult corporate and merger and acquisition type issues. And I was approached by one of my clients, which was Randy Brooks from Barnes Bullets. Okay. Oh yeah. And we had just helped Randy sell his company to the Freedom Group, which is Remington, of course. And he said, Hey, we’ve got this really important issue. We need to de-list the gray wolf and save our, our elk and moose and deer herds up in the Northern Rockies, and we think you’re the guy. And that’s where it all started. That’s where it started.

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Wow. So at the time you were, so how’d it go from that idea, that pitch from Randy, you know, a a private, you know, I guess he sold his business, but, you know, a a private businessman, so to speak, to, you know, forming a organization, I don’t think, yeah, you guys aren’t a 5 0 1 c three group, but, but forming the organization a big game forever and, and, and founding it and, and starting up the mission of Big Game forever.

00:04:07:19 –> 00:04:50:29
So Randy, he put up the, the cash to get me started. Now the, the funny part about that story, and this is a little anecdote, but I think it’s an important one. When Randy told me that I assured him that I was absolutely the wrong guy. He said, look, I’m a corporate attorney. I do intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions. You know, this isn’t what I do. Endangered Species Act isn’t what I do. And he said, Ryan, we’re losing and we need a new approach. And I’ve worked with you and seen your, your abilities and your passion for the outdoors, and you are the guy, and I’m gonna put up the money to get you hired Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, put up the rest of the money. And they, they hired me and, and we were off to the races.

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Lured you back to Utah. You weren’t in Utah at the time or were

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You No, no. I was, I was living in Salt Lakes every time. Oh, you

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At the time. Oh, okay. You were back here then from all your, that’s East Coast, you know, schooling and maybe work and whatnot.

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So, so that’s kind of where it got started. And, and within, within a few months and looking closer at the issue and looking at the Endangered Species Act, I, I came back to, to Randy and to Domey and, and to my friends that, that, that I worked with at S F W and I said, look, in my opinion, if we stay in the courts, we’re gonna lose. We’ve gotta go to Congress, we’ve gotta get an act of Congress to fix this. And can’t just be on the defensive. Can’t be on the defensive. We’ve, we’ve gotta change the law. Yeah, yeah. Now, to put this in context, the Endangered Species Act had not been touched in 40 years to protect big game to delist a species. Yeah. And we had a lot of, a lot of people say, look, we don’t think that’s possible. Yeah. Yeah. And I said, well, if we’re gonna protect our elk, if we’re gonna protect our moose, if we’re gonna bring back, you know, these decimated herds, we’ve gotta try. And that’s, we do, to do that political work, we needed to start a 5 0 1 C four. And that’s where Big Game Forever started.

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Tell us about that in itself. We’re, we’re a lot more familiar with a Mul Deer Foundation Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife being long well-established, 5 0 1 C three nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Groups. Tell us how that organizational structure of Big Game Forever, why it’s different

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5 1 4. So big game forever. Yeah. Big Game Forever is not a Habitat charity. We are a, a brass knuckles political organization that does advocacy to fix tough issues. You know, the, the Gray Wolf is, is what started us, but we’ve tackled some really other important issues. As people saw the success that we had getting an act of Congress passed, they came to us and said, Hey, look, have you, have you thought about mule deer? Great, great story. I was in southern Utah. My son had run into track meet, and we were gonna go and build a guzzler, build a fence around a guzzler down in southern Utah for his Eagle Scout project. Oh,

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And so while we were down there, we, we stopped in and, and saw Ryan Hatch. And I, I had never met him, so I just wanted to say hello and see his collection of giant mule deer. Yeah. And while we were down there, he said, Ryan, I know wolves are important. Have you thought about mule deer? And I said, well, tell me about that. And he said, well, my business relies on me. Yeah. He says, you know, mule deer are the most hunted species probably in the west. Yeah. They’re a, a sp a species. We’re all passionate about, we all love to hunt. Everybody dreams about killing a giant deer and they’re on a 40 year downward tr trend. And so, but we are hearing that a lot. We are hearing that. And so Domey Byron Bateman, Troy, justice Ryan Fouts, we climbed in a pickup and we visited, I think 15 different towns.

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Wow. And we got people together and said, tell us what your, how you feel about the mule deer population. They said it’s, it’s, it’s struggling. Yeah. And we need to fix that. And so we, we hatched a plan and you know, Domey give, give him the credit for the idea. He said, look, we’ve done a million acres of habitat work, we’ve got perfect meal deer habitat, let’s fill it with no deer. Yeah. And habitat’s not the problem. Nutrition’s not the problem. And we, we said, well, what’s left? Well, we started looking at the numbers V production was so low.

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Recruitment. Yeah.

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Recruitment. And so we said, well, there’s only one way to fix that. We have gotta control more coyotes. And so that’s where it started. Wow.

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And so you hatched the, what’s the official term? The Mule Deer Recco Recovery Act is the, the proper term.

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That’s right. The Mule Deer Recovery Act. So, you know, and it, the, the group that had been doing a great job but controlling coyotes, but not, you know, not enough, not enough coyotes harvested was wildlife services. So we sat down with them and they were, you know, it’s expensive during helicopter, it’s expensive to do the work that they’re doing. And we said, look, what if we can, government’s

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Only gonna allocate so many funds to that.

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That’s right. And we figured that we needed to harvest between 10 and 20,000 coyotes a year. And at $500 a coyote, it was just cost prohibitive. So we said, look, what if we can focus you on the important stuff, the mule deer fawning grounds, the places where they’re getting hit the hardest, and let’s get the sportsmen out there and give them an incentive to increase the harvest. So trappers, hunters, collars, you name it. And the problem at the time was you had about half the counties that had a, a program, an incentive program. And it was anywhere from $10 to $25 a coyote. So he said, let’s up it to 50, let’s do it statewide. Let’s put a million dollars in a pot for hunters to go out and do the work. And guess what? They showed up. Yeah. They showed up big time. A guy named Steve Sorenson, the year before we started this, we said to Steve, Hey, we’ll pay you $50 a coyote.

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Is that enough for you to work on this full-time? And he said, watch me work. So by the end of the winter, he had harvested, I think 50 or 60 coyotes. There’s this great picture of him with his buddy. They’ve got two mules, they’re up in the mountains and these are packed high with nothing but coyo pelts. Yeah. I’ve seen that picture. And we said, look, if we can do, if one guy can do this, imagine what if we had 200 Steve Soren, 500 Steve Sorenson’s out there working, and you know what? It’s worked. And we are now, instead of harvesting 4,000 coyotes a year, it’s 14, 15,000 over the last four years. Wow. The mul deer have exploded.

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Little shout out to Hillberg. Hillberg Hass been with us for a long time, since inception of Epic Outdoors. The Hillberg tents, the tent maker. They are awesome. Some, the first great tents we ever had were Hillbergs. And you could just roll ’em out on Tundra and you wouldn’t even get wet inside. It was like monumental. Felt like a dis a major discovery.

00:11:15:27 –> 00:11:57:06
Exactly. So one of the first tents we had, Jason and I, we still have ’em, is that one man Acto tent. Solid wall. You know, you don’t have to share a tent with somebody pretty roomy for a one man tent. And they make all styles of tents. We’ve had a podcast, if you’re interested in some more of the specifics about the tents that Hillberg offers, you can, you can go back in the podcast archives, listen to that with Petra. But also you can visit their website at hillberg H i l l e b e r g.com. You know, it is one of those factors that, you know, since the, I believe the seventies, sixties, seventies, and 10 80 and other we, or weapons tools,

00:11:57:06 –> 00:11:58:13
Weapons of mass destruction.

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Yes. That’s what they were, they were weapons of mass destruction and to eagles, they were too effective. And so everything got killed. And that’s why they were, you know, banned. And, but, but yeah, that’s a major toolbox. And there’s a correlation that same period of time is when green chaining opinion, juniper and all the different things in the fifties and sixties that went on, and you get into the seventies, eighties, it stopped as did the TER control. And it just, there they mule deer are more sensitive, species sensitive, change, sensitive to habitat, you know, conversion, elk, elk. You just put ’em on concrete and they’ll somehow make a living and make

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It Well, here, here’s what we proved. Okay. So we showed that predation matters. Okay. Everyone knew that back in the twenties, thirties. Yeah. When we lost 10 80. And we can talk about that probably another day. But when we lost 10 80, we lost an important tool of conservation and we needed to replace that. Somehow sportsmen filled that void. And just to give you a sense of this, for 20 years, you know, we stopped the decline eventually, but for the last 20 years, deer have been cycling in the state of Utah between about 280,300 20,000 mule deer. Today we finally are over 350,000 mule deer for the first time in 20 years. In fact, right now we’re over 375,000 mule deer. And it’s the, it’s the highest levels they’ve been at in 40 years. And we did that in four years with predator control. Wow. That’s a conservation success story.

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And does this Mule Deer Recovery Act, tell, tell me the basics, how much, how much we’re talking Utah here, and I know there’s maybe other states that you can talk about in a minute, but we’re talking about this effort was in Utah. How much annual allocated funding was legislatively appropriated for this when it,

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So it ended up being $1.25 million a year. So that’s 12 and a half million dollars over 10 years. It, it was put in the, the state’s base budget. So it’s been there every year. This past year is the first year that they ran outta money. So we’re actually back up at the legislature this year saying, Hey, let’s, let’s fund this adequately. Okay, we’re, we’re doing the work we needed to do, we actually bought a second helicopter for wildlife services, give them the funding to run that. Wow. So they’re doing more work on fawning grounds. Sportsmen are doing more work in the field. And you know, there there are, there are places we still need to do more. But the point is, on a statewide basis, this most important species has totally bucked this nationwide 40 year grant

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Seeing results. And, and, and you know, we’ve talked about over the last eight years, six, eight years, we went to unit by unit draw and all the things that these sportsmen said, we gotta do something. You know, we understand going to Walmart, buying your tag and hunting the whole state, why work two days are over. And then the five region thing. We just don’t think that lacked the control necessary to manage on a, on a deer herd basis. And, you know, they’ve, they’ve given up, they’ve given up their ability to hunt a fifth of the state and go to one specific unit and one specific weapon, weapon within that unit. And then, you know, add that onto removal of additional predators. And fortunately, some, some good moisture years and recruitment, it all lines up perfectly. And you can, along

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With what you guys are doing. Yeah.

00:15:22:29 –> 00:15:28:26
Deer, deer improve. They can respond quick if they have everything in their favor. And that, that’s what this has enabled me for. Well,

00:15:28:29 –> 00:15:44:25
I’m glad you said that and let me just maybe bring that full circle. This is about multi-dimensional conservation. Yeah. If you look at the, the complete recipe for mul deer restoration, you talk about the 30 units. Yeah. That was key. Yeah. The habitat work was key.

00:15:44:29 –> 00:15:45:26
It had to happen. All

00:15:45:26 –> 00:16:01:02
Of those created a dynamic, but there was still a missing ingredient. And that was the predator control. So we need to continue to do all that work. These are partnerships. Yeah. You know, they all work together and not everybody wants to talk about predator control. We, we take that contract. Adam and

00:16:01:02 –> 00:16:24:12
I do. We like killing them. Yeah. We killed a couple of wolves. We, yeah. Well, speaking of that, you guys started, you basically started off in the political arena dealing with the wolves. And now it’s morphed into, I guess somewhat conservation. I don’t know how involved are you in the political arena? Are you continuing to fight that fight? Is there something to do with coyotes in the political arena? Or is it more just appropriation of funds and, and fighting for those funds?

00:16:24:29 –> 00:16:31:23
Grizzly bears, we’re gonna talking grizzly bears now and that whole delisting process, I’m sure you know, you’re gonna, at some point, you gotta,

00:16:31:27 –> 00:16:33:05
You gotta go after that as well.

00:16:33:13 –> 00:17:39:00
So one of the important takeaways from all this, and I’m glad you brought up, you know, going back to the wolf issue, these, these difficult projects, Wolf delisting, that was a huge lift by the sportsman community. Big game forever raid, raised millions of dollars. We spent months in Washington DC and, and built that support. But it was the sportsmen who were hitting the send button saying, we need wolves delisted. We gotta save these herds. The sportsmen make all the difference. And the way that, that we run these programs, you know, I, I go back to 10 years of practicing law before I started this. And if we had a client that needed to win, we mapped it out. This is all the work that’s gotta be done, and we need to plan on doing that work. And it’s a different model of, of conservation. It involves sportsmen raising, you know, voicing their concerns, asking for the support of their elected officials. And we’re in a, we’re in a time in America where we have to do it. We just can’t get away from doing that. If we’re gonna save the future of what we love, we gotta get involved.

00:17:39:02 –> 00:18:19:22
These fights are different than, than cattlemen and sportsmen get together in their county commission chambers and, all right, that’s how we’re gonna do it. It’s those, those grassroots things have to happen. And you have to have the support to turn back to, and you have to have the consi constituency base of 80,000 or whatever, big game forever supporters that when you say, all right here, talk to your state representative, your congressional delegation about the wolf issue or about mule deer slash sage, gr sage grouse, you know, habitat efforts and all that. You’ve gotta have that. But tell us, you mentioned about raising money. Tell us how that mechanism works within, within big game forever.

00:18:20:02 –> 00:18:23:12
How you raising money? How do we help you? How do we get involved? Well,

00:18:24:19 –> 00:18:54:00
Here’s what I’ll tell you. When you make a donation a big game forever, a hundred percent of those funds go into the fight. And I’m not talking about paying my salary. I, I get paid. Well, that has to happen. I get paid out of grants that are given to us by the state of Utah. We, we need lead at the target. And it does cost money. It costs money to, to hire lawyers, to hire lobbyists. We have some of the most talented, passionate sportsmen who are also happen to work in the political arena. And we use these guys and we say, Hey,

00:18:54:13 –> 00:19:04:01
You’re talking western state congressional delegations. The people that are sportsmen that have already have a, a seat at the table in DC type thing. That’s

00:19:04:01 –> 00:19:43:24
Right. That’s right. We, you know, we have a full-time, we have a guy that’s a lobbyist in Washington dc He’s there every day. He’s talking to, to our leaders back there asking for support. And, you know, it’s just a great partnership. It’s the way that the work needs to be done. I had a, a director of one of the State Wildlife Agency pull me aside and he said, Hey, have you looked at what the other conservation organizations are doing? They’re starting to hire lobbyists. They’re starting to encourage their members to send letters to Congress. And he said, you know, why that happened? That happened because big game forever got involved and show people that that model worked. And that’s what we love is that everybody getting, getting behind it. Well,

00:19:43:24 –> 00:19:59:17
I mean, I was, I don’t wanna say pessimistic ’cause that, that, that sounds hopeless, but when we, when we knew how overdue a wolf delisting was across Wyoming, Montana, I was pessimistic on Montana, Idaho. I didn’t

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Think it happened.

00:20:00:27 –> 00:20:55:02
And, and we grew up without them, saw them reintroduced and grizzly bears and wolves were always the sacred, never touch, never to be managed again. Supposedly that, that mantra and it, it it, it took an act of congress, you know, and a lot more, it took you buddy to get that done. And, and grizzly bears are, are next. And anybody that spent time in in parts of Yes. Of Montana and Wyoming, knows that they’ve far exceeded and, and obviously that the, the steps have been initiated to have that process fully, fully done. We know by past experience with with wolves, there’s gonna be the, the legal wrangling and, and, and, and, and fight to, to make that stick and stand. It’s not about the recovery goal is being met to some people, to, to sportsmen. It’s a success story. I mean, having some grizzly bears still around, it’s a success story.

00:20:55:06 –> 00:21:27:04
I mean, it’s, they’re back, but they’ve far exceeded just like the wolves did to the point they’re, they’re far exceeded to the point like wolves. They’ve, they decimated some of the, the deer elk populations and some of the core parts of Yellowstone National Park, the most iconic wildlife park in the United States. So I’m digressing, but, but I guess all, all of that aside, it does take, it takes the right connections and that’s what your group’s about. So tell us, I guess continue on about how, how a Joe Blow can help contribute to you guys, but also how big donors Yeah.

00:21:27:04 –> 00:21:31:12
Do you have membership, A membership where they feel like they can be a part of it? Or is it just strictly donations?

00:21:31:21 –> 00:22:03:17
So let me just talk about one thing and then we’ll go back to getting involved. The Wolf story is, was a conservation success to start out with, but now it’s a cautionary tale. Yeah. And that cautionary tale is that when we don’t manage responsibly, when we let emotion and animal rights, activism and overreach get into the equation, it can destroy a future of abundance. We want abundant wildlife. That’s, that’s our mantra no matter

00:22:03:17 –> 00:22:04:10
What state we’re

00:22:04:10 –> 00:23:04:25
Talking about. That’s right. And you know, if you’re gonna have wolves, what we know now is you have to manage them aggressively or else you are going to, in Yellowstone, here’s a great story. Yellowstone, they had 20,000 elk. They got down to 4,000 elk, 80 90% of that herd was gone. And guess what happened to the wolf population? Yellowstone, it collapsed. Starvation disease, big packs, killing small packs. It got really ugly. And people who thought, Hey, this is gonna restore a, restore a pristine ecosystem, you know, these elk and moose play a role. They help manage the vegetation so you don’t get those catastrophic wildfire we saw in the eighties. So, so how do you get involved? We actually, we need more, you know, these, these animal rights groups, they have tens of millions of dollars. They have hundreds of thousands of activists. And you know, when we started one of the most active anti-hunting groups, they had 75,000 members.

00:23:05:11 –> 00:23:48:08
And I had members of Congress say, you just never get that many hunters involved. Hunters don’t, don’t get involved in politics. Well, today we’re 80,000 members. Big game forever has 80,000 hunters that show up to the fight. When you get that message, if you’re currently a member, hit the send button. If you’re not a member, go to the website, sign the petition, and you’ll be added to that, to that nation. Awesome. Of sportsmen who are fighting for the future of what we love. Awesome. And then, you know, if, and then become a member. Yeah. Our, our lowest membership is a $25 membership. It’s, it’s designed for everybody to be able to afford it, but, you know, hit that $50 button or that a hundred dollars button if, if you’re, if you care about the future of what we love.

00:23:48:14 –> 00:24:08:14
That’s awesome. So what do you guys, what’s your plans? I mean, you don’t have to lay everything out, but, but we got the Mulder Recovery Act. I don’t, it feels like a mission statement. I don’t know, you guys call it an act, but it feel, and it, and it is obviously, but it feels like that’s kind of your mission at the moment. But what are your, what are your fu what’s the future of big

00:24:08:14 –> 00:24:21:28
Game forever? So there’s a lot of things going on now that we’ve, so by the way, happy story. Okay. 4,000 Elk in Yellowstone, it just hit 7,500 now. So that population, we coming

00:24:21:28 –> 00:24:26:01
Back, we, there’s people applying and killing big bulls on the park boundary, which hadn’t

00:24:26:12 –> 00:24:33:02
Happened. The unit, some of the units on the, i, I guess we’ll call it the eastern flank of the park, which were the best Wyoming ever had. They frankly, back

00:24:33:04 –> 00:24:34:11
In early two thousands,

00:24:34:14 –> 00:24:44:23
They took it a hit hard. And the outfitters, some of them didn’t know how they were gonna stay in business. And the last two or three years, they’re killing some giant bulls again. And some of the

00:24:44:23 –> 00:24:45:18
Best units in the state

00:24:45:27 –> 00:25:05:10
Are once again coming back, you know, and, and these are, these are overflows when they leave the park and they come out to winter and all that. ’cause most of the park is, is heavy, is heavy summer range. You know, they have do have some key valleys on the northwest end, but a lot of it leave the park to winter. That’s, and that’s on, you know, public hunting ground. And so yeah, it’s,

00:25:05:11 –> 00:25:25:22
So we, we kept telling people, they’re like, oh, okay, you got wolves de listed we’re done. And I said, well, why did we get wolves de listed? We got wolves de listed to restore the wildlife. There was an effort to cut 95% of the tags, which means no hunters out in the field. Right. And we went to the Montana Fish and Game Commission. We said, you need to understand these hunters are the ones that are gonna manage the wolves.

00:25:25:22 –> 00:25:26:08
Keep ’em in check

00:25:26:15 –> 00:25:34:20
To bring back the elk. Yeah. If you take ’em out of the field, we said, just be patient with it. Keep issuing some tags. We’re not gonna kill off all the elks.

00:25:34:25 –> 00:25:36:02
Set your quotas and all that.

00:25:36:05 –> 00:26:48:00
Yep. And, and so now to your point, it’s working. Right. And the hunters, again are the roll that conservation. So what’s on the table? Moose, we’ve gotta bring back the moose. The moose are way more sensitive than elk and moose populations in Jackson. 90% gone. Yeah. There are no calf moose. Well, some years it’s 10% of the calf calf moose. A couple years ago, no calf moose in Jackson made it through crazy. Jackson was the core of moose recovery. But Idaho, three of their four moose units, 50, 60, 70 5% of the moose are gone. Minnesota. Michigan. Everybody’s saying our moose are gone. The American moose is on the brink to bring back moose. We’ve gotta manage, we gotta, we gotta control more predators. And so moose recovery is an important one. You know, we, we talked about some of the successes, but there’s still more, more work to be done. Some of, some of Utah’s most important elk units. We’ve, we’ve harvested too many cows. Yes, yes. The quality is, is diminished. So there’s, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Well,

00:26:48:00 –> 00:26:59:24
And you and I talked about those elk there for a little while yesterday and there’s, there’s a lot that needs to happen to bring back a few of those giant bulls that we once had here not too long ago. And so we, we were

00:26:59:24 –> 00:27:11:00
Killing 15, 13, 15 400 inch bulls a year. Yeah. And, and the guys that were, that weren’t killing, those were killing 3 75 bulls and some of these units, it’s hard to find a three 40 bull

00:27:11:00 –> 00:27:11:12
Now. Yes.

00:27:13:15 –> 00:27:26:26
Just respon restoring responsibility, you know, and making sure that hunters are are do playing their role. But man, if we lose the American moose, that’s, that’s a national treasure loss. Yeah. We gotta bring that back.

00:27:27:05 –> 00:27:40:18
So we’re gonna keep up the fight on coyotes. We’re gonna kill everyone we can. Right. Which means 3%. You you can’t kill them all. Yeah. You can’t kill ’em. They’re the survivor. We’re gonna keep the fight up. The funds are gonna keep pouring in for Kyles, we’re gonna maintain that predator control.

00:27:41:22 –> 00:28:31:02
You know, one of my favorite stories is the friends of the gon those guys did it 20 years ago before we ever got started. Yeah. You know, friends of the gon group of guys, 20 guys got in a room and said, our dare gone. They started going out with wildlife biologists, they started advocating for fewer tags. They said, let’s bring back this once great unit. And they’re killing 250 inch deer on the ponson again. Yeah. And it’s not enough to say big national issues. That local involvement taking care of our local deer herds, that’s the foundation for conservation. You know, we need guys in all 30 of those units. If your hunting areas under is in trouble, give us a call. Let’s go and, and get organized and fix what’s in your own backyard. That’s, that’s the foundation of true success.

00:28:31:16 –> 00:29:27:05
Let’s see, let’s talk about outdoor edge knives. We’ve partnered with Outdoor Edge, they’ve got some incredible knives coming out. We’ve all, we all like the razor knives. So the outdoor edge, they do have the long, fairly stiff blade along with kind of a half blade that goes with it that you attach it to. And so it makes it really sturdy. You don’t have to worry about breaking your blades, razors, whatever you wanna call ’em near as often and, and jabbing one into, into your leg or something like that. And have a little more control on some of that. And the, the easy to change in and out just been awesome. They’re a great partner of ours. We really appreciate ’em and what a great product. And so anyway, you can check out the different knives they [email protected] or ask an outdoor edge dealer at your local sporting in store. So anyway, you can go check ’em out. Super good guys at Outdoor Edge. And anyway, I got a little more coming out with a little Epic Outdoors special version of one, so

00:29:27:14 –> 00:29:46:22
Stay tuned for that. We’ll announce that full board later this year. Well that’s, it’s great. I mean, we can probably talk, well not probably all day long about stuff like this. We’re glad to be able to, I guess, get your voice out there to our listeners and, and whatnot about big game forever. Just, I guess give a plug for your, the website is just big game forever.is it

00:29:47:04 –> 00:30:23:26
Org org? Yeah. Big game. Go to big game forever.org. Sign the petition. We need to be involved in these issues. We’ve lost too long to people with an agenda that’s more anti-hunting than it is pro wildlife. Oh yeah. Hunters are the true conservationists. And it’s time. We’re proving that a future of, of abundance is, is possible all across America, no matter what the issue. Get involved, help us, you know, restore that future. And it’s, it’s not just about us, it’s not about my next tag. It’s not about how big my next bull is. It’s about our, our children. Yeah. It’s about our grandchildren and

00:30:23:26 –> 00:30:37:13
Sustainability. We want, we don’t want these rapid peaks and rapid declines, you know, and you know, that’s not how you manage wildlife ideally, but when, when special interest gets involved, we often see it that way. And that’s, yeah, that’s what we’ve seen.

00:30:37:18 –> 00:31:04:29
Well, let, lemme just share one quick thing and we can talk about this another day. You know, the devil’s in the details. And four years ago we heard they were gonna change the way they managed sage, sage grouse. And I was asked to sit on a, a commission for the, to, to write Utah’s sage yachts conservation plan. And I started hearing people say, Hey, you know, the problem is meal deer, we have too many meal deer. Oh. And I thought, oh, this, this

00:31:04:29 –> 00:31:06:14
Is, okay, I’m glad I’m here today because

00:31:07:03 –> 00:31:21:02
This is dangerous. Yeah. And the Obama administration wrote rules. And guess what was in those rules? Too many meal. Dare too many ilk. Wow. They’re grazing on the sagebrush. That’s what sage grouse eat.

00:31:21:10 –> 00:31:23:05
I knew there was a good reason we didn’t like Obama.

00:31:24:16 –> 00:31:44:28
And so, you know, we’re looking at the trends, we’re looking at the dangerous poison pills that are going into plans. And we started pushing back hard on Sagegrass and it was all about saving mul deer. Yeah. And we’re getting some of those things fixed. But the point is, is we can’t have our eyes closed. We can’t sit back and hope for the best. We need to engage. It’s

00:31:44:28 –> 00:31:46:24
Proactive. It goes back to not being on the defensive.

00:31:47:12 –> 00:31:50:20
Incidentally, if you look at Sagegrass numbers, guess when they started to decline?

00:31:50:24 –> 00:31:51:24
Same time, probably same

00:31:51:24 –> 00:32:11:02
Time when they stopped using 10 eighties predators, they stopped controlling, you know, the nest predators, which are ravens and crows and Yeah. Yeah. And so we, again, we looked at the predation numbers on sage grass, 60 to 90% of eggs are killed by predators. And they’re saying it’s meal deer. No, it’s,

00:32:11:11 –> 00:32:12:20
Yeah, they never have. You’ve

00:32:12:20 –> 00:32:13:10
Gotta, you got, they’re never

00:32:13:10 –> 00:32:13:28
Even hatching.

00:32:13:28 –> 00:32:26:16
You’ve gotta you’ve gotta be responsible. So, you know, again, sportsmen understand that we, we understand that you’ve gotta use all those tools of conservation and we’re gonna protect that.

00:32:27:02 –> 00:32:44:20
Well, we sure appreciate you today here, Ryan. You’ve informed us and enlightened us on a lot of different things. Adam and I are a huge supporter. We’ve known, we knew of you back when you were with Sportsman’s for Fish and Wildlife and now obviously big game forever. And, and just appreciate what you’re bringing to the table. Anything else you’d like to add as we wrap

00:32:44:20 –> 00:33:05:05
It up? No, just, you know, get out there, be passionate and enjoy the great outdoors. And then when you get home, say, okay, what am I gonna do to make it even better? Better? And we’d encourage you to take 30 seconds, sign that petition, and once in a while you’ll get a, an action alert from big game forever. Send in your message. Good. And, and you’re, you’re protecting the future

00:33:05:05 –> 00:33:15:19
Because we’re all busy, we’re all busy doing our own day jobs and families and whatnot. And so, you know, we do appreciate guys like you that are busy doing that while we’re busy working. So anyway, we appreciate that.

00:33:15:19 –> 00:33:20:14
It’s good to be with you. We love Epic Outdoors and enjoy your podcast. Thanks for having us on. Okay.

00:33:20:14 –> 00:33:22:02
You bet. Thanks a lot, Ryan. Thanks Ryan.