Tuesday, October 9, 2012

MEAT EATER: Book Review and Interview

With hunting season in full swing, it is time to start putting long hours in the stand. For those long sits, I normally like to take a book to break up the mid-day down time. In mid August I was lucky enough to get an early copy of Steven Rinella's latest book, "MEAT EATER," as named after his hit TV show. I highly, I repeat, highly recommend this book to be with you at camp, in your stand, or even in you lazy boy for that lazy rainy Sunday while watching football, it is that good. I have have now read it twice and am still carrying it in my truck to read whenever I get some down time. This book does not just cover Steven Rinella's adventures in hunting, yet it dives in deeper to why we hunt and the experience we get when hunting. This book is a great read for anyone from the casual to obsessive hunter, as it will turn anyone into a true MEAT EATER. Below is a short interview I was able to conduct with Steven.
Foggy Mountain Meanderings: To begin, I'd like to thank you, Steven, for standing up and believing in the idea that hunting for sustenance is still acceptable in today's world! With that being said, you have an amazing passion for hunting and the outdoors, but that passion also comes through while you are preparing the food, where and when did this passion begin? And how do you continue to let this grow, do you pick up techniques from others or learn by trial and error?
Steven Rinella: My family ate a lot of wild game when I was a kid but it wasn't exactly adventurous cooking. My dad had a commercial sized deep fryer that he kept in the garage and he ran everything from salmon to squirrels to snapping turtle to deer through that thing. My mother did more creative cooking, like the occasional minced meat pie and roast wood ducks and sautéed venison liver. My own personal passion for eating wild game started to develop when I moved away from
college and began eating wild game for all of my at-home meals. Being stuck with my own cooking really inspired me to figure things out. Later, when I was about 26, I moved to Montana. There my potential pool of ingredients seemed to quadruple. Suddenly I was coming into elk, mountain lion, blue grouse, you name it, and I really started experimenting heavily. At that time I also started reading books by some of the great chefs like Escoffier, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin. Also the food writing of the novelist and poet Jim Harrison, an avid hunter and eater from my home state. Everything started to coalesce, and my love of hunting expanded into a love of cooking as well.
FMM: A common question in these interviews is what was your favorite hunt or what hunt are you looking forward to, sorry but that seems to be a little too easy. My question is what was one of you most difficult hunts (conditions, gear failure, injury/illness, etc) and what advice would to give to anyone else attempting this hunt to help overcome this?
Steven: I’ve had so many tough hunts it’s hard to pick one. Everything from gear failure to bad weather to illness to just plain miserable luck. But the difficult hunt that most readily pops into my mind was a mule deer hunt last fall in Montana. That trip was at the tail end of a three-pack hunting venture that went from Arizona (coues deer) to California (hogs) to Montana. In Arizona I managed to pick up some waterborne virus. In California I got coated in poison oak after butchering a hog that must have been rolling in the stuff. By the time I was in Montana, where it was -5 degrees, I was harboring a colon infection and open sores. When I got home from that trip I was passing blood and I landed in an emergency room. Spent four days in the hospital. That’s a hell of a hunting trip!
FMM: As someone I highly regard and look up to as an outdoorsman, what would be your message to hunters and non-hunters alike as to why hunting for sustenance is such an enjoyable goal?
Steven: For me, and for many other hunters, hunting for food taps into something that feels primal and instinctive. The history of anatomically and behaviorally modern humans goes back some 50,000 to 100,000 years, and for the vast bulk of that time we lived off hunting. There are cave paintings in Europe dating to 36,000 ago years that demonstrate a very complex relationship between human hunters and their prey. The residents of this continent were hunting since their
arrival about 14,000 years ago, and mostly kept at it until just a couple hundred years ago. So I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I suggest that we humans are built for hunting. Or rather, built from hunting. It makes us feel real and alive. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be here today.
For more information or to order your copy of MEAT EATER, check out www.themeateater.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Call It a Come Back: My First Archery Buck

It's no secret, I have been an absentee blogger the past few months. Marriage, school, work, all the normal excuses; not to sound like a broken record but I am going to try and get back on track. It is after all, my favorite time of the year.

This past Saturday was opening day of archery season in West Virginia. For the first time in five years, I was completely unprepared for  archery season. At this point I had ran my trail cameras all summer, but that was it. I had a few very nice bucks on camera and the majority of them were coming in during the morning hours. My hopes were as high as they could be for this season. Little did I know this opening day would be one to remember.

After finally getting my first deer with a bow,  I was hoping to get another deer early in the season. After knowing I had deer, especially buck coming in between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM, I was planning on holding out until at least then. That was a lot easier than I thought it would be, the fog set in early and finally lifted around 8:15 AM. By this time, I was sure I had heard deer milling around but still hadn't seen any. At around 8:45 AM I was scanning the area when I thought I heard something  but still hadn't got visual conformation of the noise. A little before 9:00 AM I finally saw what was making the noise, it was a buck using a licking branch. I couldn't tell which one it was, but it seemed to have a nice body and decent main beams. I was wanting to wait for a decent buck, but at the first sight of this deer I grabbed my bow just in case... By the time I got my bow the buck had closed in from 115 yards to 85 yards. At this point there were two trails this buck could have came in on, one would have allowed me to get a perfect broad side shot, but that didn't happen. The other trail he took, lead him on a string to within six yards of my stand. This didn't allow for me to draw on him, at this point I thought my chance was done. At that point,  he turned to walk away and and this allowed me to draw back on him. This caused him to spook a little bit, but this actually allowed for a better shot. He spooked out to 22 yards with a quartering away shot. This took a millisecond to get my sights on him and release, it felt like a great, solid shot but I didn't see him drop in my sight.

As the rule goes, at least with the guys I hunt with, if you don't see them go down, you back out and give them time. Not more than five minutes after I shot my buck a spike came in on the same trail and worked its way through the area. I watch this buck for a while and finally got down from my stand a worked my way back to the truck where I was meeting Jared. At this point I wasn't sure, but was feeling good and just wanted a cup of coffee, funny I know, but Jared and I even discussed while waiting to go recover the deer about how great that cup of coffee is after taking a deer. Needless to say, I was ecstatic to see the truck door already open and Jared working on perking a pot of coffee. As I was walking up the trail he caught side of me and I gave him the thumbs up I got one, but then the conversation of what happened ensued. After telling him this and a discussion of previous deer shot like this we decided to wait a minimum of two hours. After waiting over two hours we went back to track if from my tree stand. I was worried about finding blood, because I did not get a pass through, but this was not an issue. After finding the first spot of blood 10 yards from the shot, it looked like the trail was painted with blood. we proceeded to track this deer 50 to 60 yards over top the ridge and a quarter of the way over the side. At this point we lost the blood for a second, at that same time we heard twigs start to snap and my stomach sunk, we saw the deer and it went another 25 yards over the hill before we lost sight of it.  We held tight there to make sure it didn't advance any further and we backed out again. This time we back out and went to make/eat lunch and wait another two hours. After a great lunch and a little fretting on my part we went back to where we saw the deer jump up and we found the spot where it bedded down, then in 10 feet from it was another bed covered in blood with my arrow, still fully intact. At that point we heard something crashing and trashing down through the woods and finally come to rest in the creek. We held tight for 20 minutes to make sure it didn't get out of the creek, then we slowly progressed toward the creek. Over this four hour period and bumping this deer twice it still only traveled 150 yards roughly.

After looking at the shot placement and gutting the deer, I had got a double lung shot, but I missed the heart as it was a little high. All in all, this was a great day and an even better opening day and not bad for the first buck I was able to take with my bow. Now for a picture of the buck, it is a 2.5 to 3.5 year old 8 point. This is the same buck as pictured above on the bottom right.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We Got Married!

For many of you that follow this blog know that Cassie and I got engaged earlier this year... Well, my absence lately was due to the fact of starting a new job, trying to fishing up my second to last semester of Grad School, and a little bit due to the upcoming wedding, but really Cassie has been the one handling all that....but don't tell anyone.. Haha.. As you guys could have guessed, we are on our honeymoon this week, but I had to share one thing from our wedding early before I do the full post with pictures.

My amazing cousin, Kayla, made the groom's cake for me, my bride had a hand in the idea(s) behind it, but Kayla ran with it and did an insane job on the cake.... Now I'm off to enjoy the rest of my honeymoon and will be back with a more regular schedule next...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 West Virginia Day

For anyone that follows this blog knows that the majority of the content comes is about happenings in West Virginia. I am very proud of being from West Virginia! I wouldn't have it any other way. Every June 20th West Virginian's celebrates, we celebrate the secession from the state of Virginia, during the height of the Civil War, which lead to the creation of the great state of West Virginia.

Montani Semper Liberi
"Mountaineers are Always Free"

File:Flag of West Virginia.svg

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Huntorgraphy's #DeerTour2012 Invades West Virginia

You read it right! This years #DeerTour is coming to West Virginia. After missing out on last years tour, I wasn't going to let it happen again. This fall Rudy will be making his way through  seven states, eleven hunters, and  4,000 miles to have a November to remember. He is covering a few of of the hunters from last year including Will (@TheWilltoHunt),  Opie (@FirstLightGear) and Rob Freyer (@BigBuckPW). As for for the new hunters this year there is Mark (@SoleAdventure), Nick (@Nick_Viau), Willie (@OutdoorFreaks), Jesse (@BowhunterCoe), Shane (@smulle8), Zac (@ekrawler), Don (@IowaBowGuy), and myself. With this cast, there should be a lot of excitement, some great stories, and even better, deer. Make to stay tune on twitter to Rudy and myself for more updates on #DeerTour2012. If you're looking for a good way to tide yourself over until this year's hunting season you can order last season's #DeerTour now!

Friday, June 8, 2012

2012 WV Free Fishing Weekend

It's about that time of year again for West Virginia to have their 18th annual free fishing weekend. This weekend, June 9 & 10, is the state's annual free fishing weekend for everyone ( resident and non-resident). This is an annual event that is held in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week and sponsored by Take Me Fishing. Have a great weekend and get fishing! Also don't forget to let someone tag along with you so they can learn about and start to love the art of fishing.

If you want more information including (where they stock adult channel catfish) on this weekend, click here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday: June 5, 2012

If you remember a while back I said that I would be altering TCT slightly to incorporate more about trail cameras as a whole, not just pictures. This post will be the first taste of something different. I have done a Trail Cam Tuesday pretty much since the beginning of this blog. I have received numerous questions about trail cameras. Some of the questions I could answer easily, others I would direct them to look at their owners manual or sometimes I just wouldn't know. I don't claim to be an expert by any means, but I do know a good bit about trail cameras from my many years of use, but that still doesn't get all the questions answered. Someone that has a few more answers that I do is Boyd of Moultrie's Total Game Management Podcast, I managed to get a few great interviews with him a while back. For more great information that wasn't covered in those interviews you can change out Boyd's interview on The Will to Hunt Live, I was in attendance and was able to ask many of the questions I haven't been able to answer or wondered about over the years.

Old habits die hard, It wouldn't be much of a Trail Cam Tuesday without at least one picture. This is one of those bonus pictures that was just to beautiful not to share....
The Real Foggy Mountain

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food For Game Winners

With the this contest ending on a holiday weekend it made it a little difficult to award it immediately, but I assure you that it is well worth the wait. As Boyd  stated in the original post, this contest now has five winners of not only the Food For Game book, but they are all signed by Dan Moultrie in addition there is a Moultrie decal included with each book. Without making everyone wait any longer, I will announce the five winners in no particular order. The winners have until Saturday, June 2 at 11:59 PM to contact me with their mailing information, this can be done via the Contact tab at the top of the page. If I have not received notification of this address I will award the book to another contestant.

  1. Will Jenkins
  2. Steve Remington
  3. Michael Kotzum
  4. Z.D. Stovall
  5. Mark Huelsing

Trail Cam Tuesday: May 29, 2012

In comparison to the last few weeks of having some exciting trail cam pictures it slowed down a little this week. With the heat and lack of minerals/ feed I didn't think I would have much luck at all. But I  still managed to be a decent round of pictures. They are actually kind of heart breaking for Cassie, but I'll talk about that later on.

Tune in tomorrow to find out the winners of our giveaway!

This first picture (of a buck) didn't leave me awestruck like the last few weeks did, but it still makes me happy to see the growth of any buck around this time of year! It is showing that the deer are healthy and there are more than a few bucks making to the following year as we try to allow for more mature deer to grow.

For anyone who has followed this blog for any amount of time knows how much I enjoy getting pictures of bears, but this pales in comparison to how Cassie feels about the pictures. In reality she wants to see one in person in the wild, that something she's never done. Everyone told her it is only a matter of time living in this region of WV, but it still isn't true. When we went to flip the cards this past weekend, she was so close to accomplishing this goal without even knowing it. With in a six hour period, we missed seeing not only one, but two different bears in front of the trail cam.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

On a day like today many of us celebrate the time off and the kick off to summer, but let us not forget the reason we have this holiday...

File:Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day.JPG

For a great cause please read this post about the Wounded Warrior Safari from my friend Brittany Starr of
Starr and Bodill African Safaris.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday: May 22, 2012

Like I said in yesterday's post, there are many things that can make you a bad or good turkey hunter, but sometimes it comes down to dumb luck. I am not sure if it is by pure dumb luck of the turkeys or bad luck on my part, but here they are strolling in just an hour after legal shooting hours.

Gobblers feeding through a food plot shortly after legal shooting hours.

I'm not to sure why I like this next picture but I do. It's an interesting view / snap shot of a raccoon perched on top of the stump feeding on something.

After last week's pictures I was hoping to catch that same buck on camera again. I didn't have much luck doing so, but I was able to get a nice picture of this one. From the looks of it, it seems that this will be another decent buck. I can't tell, but from the way the brows are growing, I think this might be "Slick" or an offspring of Little Brow but only time will tell.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Why I Am a Bad Turkey Hunter

A hen that came with in feet of my blind.
A single hen feet from my blind.
It is inevitable, some of us are better at hunting than others. Be it experience, time in the field, gear, or shear dumb luck - someone is always better. It's a fact of life and hunting, someone is always going to be better than you and someone is always going to be worse than you, but when you're hunting does it really matter? To me, no, as long as I am outdoors I don't care, it's better than work any day. With this being said, this past Saturday was the last day of West Virginia's Spring Gobbler season, this is the third season I have attempted to take a gobbler and the third season I have came back empty handed. Slightly annoying, but nothing I can't deal with. Every time I come off the mountain I swing by my grandparents to let them know what I saw and that I made it out safely. During one of these talks with my grandpa, I told him, "I think I'm more of a deer hunter than a turkey hunter." Now this isn't strange to have a favorite species to hunt nor do I dislike turkey hunting, I just am wired for deer hunting. He proceeded to laugh and agreed as over the past few years, I have had more than my fair amount of success from my first bow kill, to filling the freezer during my few months on this blog, or even just taking the lone buck I saw on opening day this past rifle season to name a few. As with anything he told me it'll just take time and the conversation trailed in another direction.

This conversation made me think a little bit and then when talking with my good buddy, Will of TheWillToHunt.com, it hit me why I am a bad turkey hunter. We were talking about having a slow starts to our respective spring gobbler seasons and we both came to the conclusion that we're both mentally wired for deer, not turkeys. I greatly enjoy turkey hunting as I had said before, but even when I had three hens in front of me this season, albeit amazing to watch, I didn't get that feeling. That feeling, is that feeling of your heart starting to race and beat so hard that you can feel it in the back of your throat and start wonder if the deer can hear your heart is about to beat out of your chest, yeah, that feeling. I know I am talking about hens, but still I get that feeling anytime I see a deer on stand, no matter the season.  It just wasn't there for the turkeys. I am still going to turkey hunt in the future and know I'll be able to harvest a gobbler, but there a few reasons I know I'm a bad turkey hunter. A prime example of this happened two Saturdays ago, after heading to Mud Splash to see if I could catch a gobbler or two coming off the roost I hightailed it back to my blind to try and catch a few hens that had been coming in regularly. This isn't that bad, but as I tried to make it back to my blind, I found myself getting distracted as I was scouting for new deer sign more than getting back to the blind. If that wasn't bad enough, once I got there I checked my trail cam, as I normally do, I found that great looking buck from last week's TCT. Now to say I was mildly distracted by that would be an understatement. I spent the majority of the time in that blind looking at those pictures of trying to see where the deer were coming from and do some basic scouting of the area from the blind to see if their patterns have changed since last season.

If you haven't guess from this post, I love to deer hunt, bow especially! I still find enjoyment in turkey hunting, but I seem to get distracted by scouting for deer season. Don't take this as I am complaining, but more so as admitting my problem. The first step is admitting I have a problem, right? Ha, I guess that only matters if I want to get help for it though. Does anyone else have this kind of problem or am I alone?

Friday, May 18, 2012

30/30 Marinade

Now don't get me wrong, I love the pure taste of venison more than anything. I had a conversation with one of my uncles a few days ago about how I don't mix anything into my deer burger when I make it. I do that because I like love the taste of venison. With that being said though, I like to change things up from time to time and marinade my venison steak or any steaks  in my homemade 30/30 Marinade. This is a great marinade to use if you are processing a deer and want to have some fresh venison, this is exactly what I did last fall when  I took my first deer with a bow. It also works great for a normal marinade for when you have some buddies coming over! You might be left wondering why it is called the 30/30 Marinade though, it is simply because it only takes thirty seconds to make it only needs 30 minutes of marinading before you grill/cook it.

  • Wet 
    • 1/2 Cup - Soy Sauce
    • 2 tbsp - Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1 tbsp - Teriyaki Sauce
    • 1 tsp - White Wine Vinegar
  • Dry 
    • 1 tbsp - Brown Sugar
    • 1 tsp - Ground Black Pepper
    • 1/2 tsp - Garlic Powder
Step One: Combine all the wet ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir to mix.

Step Two: Add the brown sugar to the mixture and continue to stir. Make sure brown sugar dissolves before adding the rest of the dry ingredients. 

Step Three: Pour marinade over meat and let sit for a minimum of thirty minutes but you can allow for this marinade to sit for up to six hours in the fridge. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food For Game Giveaway: Take Two

Food For Game By Dan MoultrieAs you know I am doing a giveaway for a copy of The Food For Game, well lucky for you things have changed a little. Boyd, of Moutlrie TGM Podcast and Moultrie's Twitter and social media, left a comment yesterday say that instead of giving away a single copy of Dan Moultrie's Food For Game, we're going to be giving away five signed copies of the book by Dan Moultrie himself. The book alone was a great prize, but to get a signed copy, that is something else!

What is going to change now that this new twist has been thrown in? Not much, the only thing that will be changing is the ending date, it will be moved back a week until May 27 at 9:00AM. Secondly, the number of winners will change, there will be now 5 winners chosen. Sorry, you can only be drawn once for a book, after you have won your numbers will be void.

Remember to enter into this giveaway you must comment on the original blog post (here) and for an extra entry become a fan of Foggy Mountain Meanderings on Facebook, if you are already a fan, just leave comment saying that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday: May 15, 2012

This past weekend I attempted turkey hunting again, I say attempted very loosely, but that's another story for any other time. Normally up until this point, every Saturday morning I just went switched my trail cam cards and then dove into my blind to wait on some turkeys. This past Saturday I decided to take a different approach, head to where I'd been hearing some gobbler coming off the roost. Well, they weren't there but I still held tight there until 7:30ish AM. At that time I knew it was time to head to my blind to catch the hens that had been coming in for the past week or two. Come to find out, by me deciding to head away from my blind, I missed the shot of videoing this great looking deer.  Here is the first shot, that I go tin the series.

As you can see from this picture, this buck already has decent antler growth for this region and time of year, but that's not the interesting part. If you look closely, you can see (from the rear) that the left antler looks normal, where as the right one looks a little larger and club like.

A blown up shot of what looks to be a young, double main beam buck in velvet.

With this next picture I was hoping I would get him to stop. He did, but with his head right behind the stump. At least he was stopped I had one more shot at getting a good picture and it...

... paid off! He stuck his head up enough to get his antler growth into this last picture. By the looks of it, he already has nice growth on the right side with the split for a brow tine and main beam, but the left side is what had me interested. Looking at it closely on a camera in a blind got me to think I was seeing things, but I wasn't. After looking at it on the computer for a few days now and getting a few opinions, I think this buck has the starts of what looks to be a double main beam! Who knows, he could be the offspring of this buck from last year or just another Foggy Mountain Freak!

A blown up shot of what looks to be a young, double main beam buck in velvet.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Food For Game: Review and Giveaway

Food For Game - By Dan Moultrie & Tony Kinton
This week has been filled with many great features featuring Moultrie. Tuesday had a great TCT post and the last two days there has been interviews about Moultrie's TGM Podcast and then a personal look at the podcast's hosts. This week wouldn't be complete without something fun and for you. I was lucky enough to get to read Dan Moultrie & Tony Kinton's book, Food For Game, it is a complete guide for the drawing and holding of wildlife through supplemental feeding. For one lucky person, I am going to be giving away a copy. All you  need to do, is leave a comment below. For a extra entry, "Like" Foggy Mountain on Facebook (leave a comment letting me you know you do this or let me know if you already a fan). This contest will end on Sunday, May 20th May 27th (see why here) at 9:00 AM.

Food For Game - By Dan Moultrie & Tony Kinton
As this book states, it is a complete guide for the drawing and holding of wildlife through supplemental feeding.  This book explains why there is a need for feeding and gives details on how and what to feed.  It touches on how to acquire hunting land, albeit a hunting lease or club or even door-knocking. It goes on to discuss how to select a site and how to properly use salt and minerals, feeders and even food plots. An important thing to remember and they state this directly in the first chapter...
"If hunting is the goal the effectiveness of feeding, whether totally artificial or some-what natural, should not be used to exploit the game. It can be used as an aid, but care must be taken that such practices are kept within a reasonable limit."
Overall this is a great book, it not only teaches you about feeding for, or even planting food plots of clover or chufa (and many more), whitetail but also covers turkeys, doves, and quail. It's a great read and a must for anyone who uses artificial or natural attractants for wild game. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meet Boyd and Gene of Moultrie's TGM Podcast

Even though Boyd was gracious enough to give me an interview about Moutlrie's TGM Podcast, I couldn't stop there. I begged and pleaded proposed an idea that we should take a personal look at the hosts of the podcast, Gene Matchen and  Boyd Barnett. Without even having to think about it, Gene and Boyd were on board. Considering my mild addiction to the podcast, I asked a few questions that I had been wondering for a while and tried to give the new listeners a better understand of how you're listening to. I hope you enjoy the second half of this interview with Moutlrie's TGM Podcast crew. I would also like to thank Boyd, especially, and Gene for working with me on this to bring these great interviews to you.

Boyd Barentt, Host of Moultrie's TGM Podcast
Boyd Barnett
Foggy Mountain Meanderings: For anyone that listens to the show knows that you are a Mississippi guy, but where in Mississippi are you from?
Boyd Barnett: I was born in Mississippi and grew up in a small town called Magee, MS. (It’s about halfway between Jackson & Hattiesburg, if you were wondering). I loved living there; small towns are great places to grow up. Plus, we had all of the open land for playing and hunting that you’d ever want! 

FMM: It sounds like you grew up in an area that was conducive to outdoor activities, what were your favorite outdoor activities growing up and who got you into the outdoors? 
Boyd: My favorite thing when I was growing up was fishing. My dad would take me fishing as often as he could, and that was a lot! Both of my grandfathers liked to hunt and fish, as well, so we had plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

FMM: It sounds like you started at an early age; do you remember what and when you first started hunting?
Boyd: I guess I started hunting birds and squirrels with my BB gun when I was about 8 or so. Unfortunately, I got out of hunting for a long time; with school and all of the extracurricular stuff I was involved with, I just didn’t have the extra time that hunting needed. I wish I had the game cameras and other things we have now; it really would have helped in my time management! 

FMM: Now that you have a little extra time to hunt what is your current hunting obsession?
Boyd: I really like hunting with my bow. I was able to get a new Tribute from my friends at BowTech Archery. I’ve always liked a challenge, and now my new obsession is trying to bring down a turkey with the bow. 

FMM: Now most of us that know you, know you’re the social media and podcast guy, but what do you actually do at Moultrie?
Boyd: I am the Marketing Assistant for Moultrie. In addition to the work I do with the social media and the podcast, I also manage the websites for Moultrie, Carry-Lite Decoys and Code Blue Scents. I also design all of the packaging for Moultrie; so if you like the new camera packages for this year, let me know!

Gene and I do the podcast as something we don’t “have” to do; we just love to do it. To that end, I’d like to thank everyone here at Moultrie that allows us to disappear into the studio for an hour or so every week to record – not to mention all of the editing time! 

FMM: How long have you been with Moultrie?
Boyd: This June I will have been with Moultrie for 2 years, and I’m not exaggerating when I say they’ve been two of the best years of my professional (and personal life). In the time I’ve been here, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to several of the most awesome trade shows in the business, met some truly awesome and legendary figures in the outdoor world, and my wife and I welcomed our first child – my daughter, Savannah – last year. To say I’ve been blessed would be an understatement! 

FMM: Now for the final question, you can only choose one 
Moultrie product for the upcoming deer season this fall, what would it be? 
Boyd: If I only had one Moultrie product for an entire season, it would have to be one of the Mini Cams; probably the M-80 Black (I love that camera!). Having such a small form factor with all of those features…it really is the hunter’s best friend.

Now, if I could only have one thing from each of our Pradco Hunting brands, it would read like this: Code Blue – Whitetail Doe Estrous, Carry-Lite – HD Deer Decoy, Knight & Hale – Pack Rack, and Summit – Viper SD (w/safety harness!). 

Now on to Gene Matchen's part of the interview.
Gene Matchen, Co-Host of Moultrie's TGM Podcast
Gene Matchen

FMM: As with asking Boyd, after being an avid listener I know your roots are Alabama based, but where did you grow up in Alabama?
Gene: I grew up on Logan Martin Lake in Talladega County, AL. It is about 10 minutes from the Talladega Race track. 

FMM: With growing up on a lake, I’m sure you were active in the outdoors. What were your favorites growing up and who got you into the hunting?
Gene: I grew up of course fishing and hunting and also water skiing. These activities occupied most of my time living on the river. My dad took me squirrel hunting at age six and it was then that I shot my first squirrel with a 12 gauge shot gun, but that’s a funny story for another time. I was hooked after that, but my passion became coon hunting, it is still passionate. From there I moved on to big game, it became so much of a love that I got into the industry. 

FMM: It sounds like you have a lot of hunting interest but what is your favorite type of hunting?
Gene: Bow hunting whitetail by far is my favorite; my heart still starts beating out of my chest while I am waiting for that buck or doe to get within range. You can’t describe it and do it justice. Another addiction is turkey hunting. I am waiting until I have a home that will properly display an elk mount before go attempt an elk (A promise to my wife). I also love to hunt rabbit, squirrel, and prairie dogs. 

 FMM: Besides being the co-host of the Moultrie’s TGM podcast, what is your official title and capacity with Moultrie?
Gene: I am the Customer Service Manager for Moultrie and Carry-Lite. My duties include repairs and managing the customer service department. 

FMM: How long have you been with Moultrie?
Gene: I have been with Moultrie for going on 11 years. 

FMM: Before you go, what is the one Moultrie product you must have for this deer season coming up?
Gene: The M-80 Black Flash camera, I won’t leave home without it this coming up season.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Moultrie's TGM Podcast Interview

As I mentioned on Monday, I was lucky enough to interview Boyd Barnett about Moultrie's Total Game Management Podcast. This was a great interview that will let you learn more about the podcast and how it has progressed. It really is a must listen podcast if it isn't already on your playlist. They also do a great job interacting via social media and are always looking for a great discussion or to help with your Moultrie products

Foggy Mountain Meanderings: When did the Podcast first air?
Boyd of Moultrie's TGM Podcast: Well, that’s a tricky question…see, the very first show I did was a “test” show to make sure everything was working with the recording software, microphones, iTunes, etc. The “test” show went up on May 16, 2011. Our first real show went up on May 26, 2011.

FMM: By my calculation, shouldn’t the show be coming up on milestone?
Boyd: Yes, we’re coming up on our 50th show, and that is a big milestone for us. Honestly, when we started I didn't know if anyone would listen to it! We’re hoping to have a special surprise for that show.

FMM: What was the original layout for the show and how has it transformed over the last 40 some shows?
Boyd: I originally came up with the idea for the podcast during a big meeting between all of the other marketing folks here at Pradco Outdoors last April. I listen to several podcasts every week myself, mostly about technology, and they were so well done I felt like I had “a friend on the inside” for those companies. That’s what I wanted: a way to be able to speak directly with the people who use and love our products in a more personal way than even the social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) could provide. Don’t get me wrong; I love interacting with everyone using those things as well, and what has happened is that the social media and the podcast have started to converge.

I like to think that we’ve made great strides in both our format and audio quality since that first show. Michael McDaniel was my co-host for most of the shows, but he moved to another location and hasn’t really had time to participate lately. We brought Gene Matchen, our Customer Service Manager, in for an interview for one show, and he was so good I kept him on!

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Dan Amrich from OneofSwords.com and Ryan McCaffrey from OXMonline.com, because they really inspired me to do the podcast and showed me what a powerful medium it can be. Plus, Dan really helped me with all of the tech needed to get a show like this “on the air.”

FMM: After looking at how it started, what is the current rundown of the show?
Boyd: The current run-down of the show goes like this: Host Intro, News, Interview (if we have one that week), Deals of the Week, Question of the Week (or Rut Reports, depending on the time of year), then the Wrap-up.

FMM: In regards to the news, as a frequent listener, I always wonder where do you get your new and stories from and what might lead you to choose them?
Boyd: I pick the stories for the News from all of the stories I receive from our friends at GrandviewOutdoors.com, Twitter, and whatever other news outlets I come across. I try to find the ones that I think are interesting or important, and it helps if I think it’s something I think we can talk a lot about. 

FMM: One of my favorite parts of the show is to see what the special guests have to speak about that week, who are some of the guest you've had on?
Boyd: We’ve been really lucky to have some great people on the show! We’ve had Gerald Swindle and Tony Smotherman from Moultrie’s “The Hit List” on Outdoor Channel; Mike Mattly, our national PR manager, who has become the “Steve Martin” of the show with the most appearances; Bobby Murray, who won the first-ever Bassmaster Classic; Chris Parrish of Knight & Hale Game Calls, who is a world champion turkey caller and a good friend of ours….those are just a few of the many guests we’ve had on. We have even more surprises in store, so stay tuned!

FMM: I’m not thinking about a lot of detail on the Question of the Week , but just say it in the lay out and that you can submit then via the comment section and social media, as I will ask you a question later about the Question of the week.
Boyd: One of our newest segments is Question of the Week. This segment is really epitomizes what we want the show to be – a great source of information about Moultrie, Carry-Lite, Code Blue, Summit and all of the other Pradco brands.

FMM: Personal, I love the show because it seems like I’m sitting at my local bow shop listening to everyone shoot the breeze with one another. Was that the original goal or did that transform over time also?
Boyd: My original vision of the show was for it to feel like you have friends here at Moultrie – my co-host and me – and I hope that’s the way people listening view it, too. We’re just a couple of guys who love the outdoors, our products and this industry. We step away from our “real” jobs for a bit every week to do the show, and we do it because we love interacting with our friends (we refuse to call them customers, because they really are our friends) every week.

FMM: I have to go back to something we talked about earlier to get a better understanding, how does the question of the week work?
Boyd: I usually ask for submissions from our Twitter followers and Facebook friends, and then, like I do with the news stories, pick the one I think is interesting and that we can really do justice to by talking it through.

FMM: What are some of the possible prizes associated with the Question of the Week?
Boyd: We’ve been really lucky to have some neat prizes to give away. We started out by giving away hats and decals (and we still do that), but when I attended the big trade shows this year (ATA and SHOT) I had an idea. I thought, “Why not bring a bit of these cool shows to the folks who don’t get to go?” So I stuffed my suitcases with extra show guides and brought them back home. Next year, I’m going to have to take extra bags to carry all of those in!

FMM: Now for the important stuff, how often and when is the podcast released?
Boyd: I do my very best to have a new podcast every week, preferably on Thursdays. Life and work sometimes override that, and it could fall to a Friday or even a Saturday.

FMM: One final question before you go, are there any plans to expand the show?
Boyd: Wow, I don’t think I could do more than one show a week! Ha! When you’re the producer, host, editor and technical support, it can get a bit overwhelming at times. However, if I ever see an opportunity to do a second show (like I did with Lawrence Taylor of LureNet with his live coverage of the Bassmaster Classic in February of this year) I will do my best to make that happen.

I’d love to hear some feedback on our show from our listeners. We had a few comments early on, but lately we haven’t been getting much in the way of comments to the individual posts. We welcome the input on how to make the show better for our friends who are listening every week and supporting what we do.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday: May 8, 2012

What would Moultrie Week be without a Trail Cam Tuesday? I couldn't let you guys down, so here is a few great shots from the past week or so on Foggy Mountain. From the pictures you might think I'm pulling a few out from this winter, but if you remember a post last week about an interesting opening morning, you'll know these pictures were from that 24 hours period. Yet again, as I said yesterday, without Moultrie this segment would have never made it off the ground. Thank you to Moultrie and their great customer service for helping me with any and all issues.

So I wasn't able to take a turkey on opening day, it was suppose to be a slow day with the weather. It didn't help that I was only able to hunt until 7:45 AM  or so and even at that I was still a little late. Of course, when I check the trail cam, it was only half an hour after I left that this long beard walked in.

A snowy long beard.
A cautious doe and yearly walking in during a snowy late April day.
A beautiful gobbler fanning out his wings.
A slightly blurry shot of a sow and her yearling making an appearance for the first time this year.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Welcome to Moultrie Week

For anyone that follows me on Twitter, Facebook, or this blog knows my love for my Moultrie Trail Cameras. I have used their cameras for years and managed to get some great pictures. One of the best parts of Moultrie is their products and customers service are impeccable. Not to mention, their products are the driving force behind the majority of the pictures used on Trail Cam Tuesday. 

With all that being said, it should not be any surprise that I am also huge fan of Moultrie’s Total Game Management Podcast. I was lucky enough to interview Boyd Barnett of Moultrie's TGM Podcast about the show. As a bonus article, I also got a short interview with Boyd and his co-host Gene Matchen about themselves. 

Stay tuned this week for these interviews, Trail Cam Tuesday, 
and contest to wrap up the week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Will to Hunt LIVE!

My good buddy Will, who I spoke a few weeks ago with Harness for Hunters, is starting a new segment on his blog, The Will to Hunt. This segment is The Will to Hunt Live. It is a live group video chat based around Will interviewing the main guest. This week's special guest will be Michael Lee of Backwoods Life. The show kicks off at 9:00 PM EST, tonight, May 2, 2012. I know I will be there catching the show. If you would like to hear more from Will or Michael, make sure to tune in here!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday - May 1, 2012

Normally this time of year you'd expect to being seeing trail cam shots of turkeys. As much as I wish this was the case, it is not. They seem to be a little camera shy this year than last. But no worries, if I can't get some great shots, I'll at least get some funny ones. This collage of pictures isn't anything new to people that have deer and raccoons frequenting the same area, but it is still really funny. The raccoons seems to be infringing on these does turf a little to much and then the deer react.

And of course what would a Trail Cam Tuesday be without a bear sighting...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

10 Ways to Know...

... that it is going to be an interesting opening morning of Spring Gobbler Season.

10. In checking the weather for opening day you see that your hunting location is listed in a Winter Weather Advisory, listing 8" to 12" of heavy wet snow.

9. Going into to opening morning, you know you only have roughly an hour and a half to hunt before you have to leave for class.

8. Just in case, you decided to dig out those insulated bibs and jacket for late season deer hunting and was ecstatic you set them out the next morning.

7. Waking up the next morning to look outside and see nothing, it looked the same as it did the night before. On closer inspection, as you're sliding down the stairs, you can see those steps were icy, just not wet.

6.  Following a WV State Road Salt truck all the way to your dirt road turn off.

5. Upon arriving on top of the mountain you realize the storm didn't miss you it was just starting with 3" on snow already on the ground.

4. Realizing that when doing #8 you should have laid out snow camo instead.

3. While walking you realize your turkey blind has turned into an igloo and all the zippers are frozen shut.

2. After hearing someone shoot one close, on a neighboring property, you finally get a few to start talking to you. Bad news, you look at the time and realized you are running five minutes late to get to class.

1. And finally this was my view for the morning...

As you have read through this little comical count down, opening morning wasn't the best for conditions, but it was great to get out and be able to hunt again. Between finals and moving this week, I hope to make it out another time or two this week, but look for many more updates in the weeks to come!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Opening Day of Spring Gobbler 2012

It is opening day of the 2012 Spring Gobbler Season!

Good luck all the West Virginia hunters hitting the woods this morning. With the weather forecast, I hope this isn't what everyone is looking today!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Huntography Season 2 Trailer

Earlier this week Rudy of Huntography released the trailer to DeerTour – Huntography Season 2, to say the least, it looks to be another great season! For those of you on Twitter, you might recognize more than one of these hunters; to see everyone involved with this past season's Deer Tour, you can find a list here. If you are interested in following Huntography on a hyperlocal level, you can follow me over at West Virginia Huntography.  For more information and to see where Deer Tour is coming this year make sure to follow me on Twitter, you just never know, West Virginia might make on to Deer Tour 2012. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trail Cam Tuesday - April 17, 2012

It has been a while since anyone has seen a Trail Cam Tuesday. I have contemplated changing it a bit or even ending it as a whole, but I just couldn't do it. I have decided I will no long be releasing it weekly, it will be directly linked to the active pictures being taken, trail cam pictures that are being submitted, and lastly will be a new twist I am adding. This new twist will have everything to deal with trail cameras still, it will just be more informational, it will consist of new products, information and how-tos/advise, and anything that involves trail cameras. Feel free to leave your comments below on your thoughts about the new change(s) to TCT,  love or hate, I want to hear it. If you have a suggestion of your own leave it and I'll gladly take it into consideration. Now what everyone is really here for though, the pictures. 

Even frozen does need to eat.
Not sure what this fox was looking for but
made multiple laps sniffing around.
This isn't the big sow with the white patch on her chest from
last year, but it is still a decent size bear for April.

Looks like these does are getting a little feisty.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Harnesses For Hunters

My good friend and fellow blogger Will created the Harnesses For Hunters project a while back. Harnesses For Hunters is attempting to prevent tree stand accidents and fatalities by supplying hunters with  harnesses; for more information on this you can check out his site here. That's not actually what I am here for, he has taken this on by himself and has managed to get a few great partners but he is still shipping this harnesses out on his own. He recently just got new decals in for his blog, The Will to Hunt, as well as the Harness For Hunters project and all proceeds are being donated to the mailing costs of the harnesses. If you want to order the decals you can click here or if you would like to donate to the project you can find out where to send you extra harnesses here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New & Improved Pickled Ramps

The New & Improved Pickled Ramps
For those of you that have been following this blog for a while know that about this time last year I was looking for a way to persevere my ramps longer. While on a fishing trip last year I found a way but for more on that story you can read it here. After doing some brief research I found a recipe, from none other than Martha Stewart, for Pickled Ramps. This was the recipe I used last year, it was good but I thought with more research, asking some friends, and a little tweaking on my part I could make it better. That is exactly what I did and here it is:

  • +/- 2 lbs Ramps (Cleaned up and trimmed with only the stem and bulb intact)
  • 1 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt

Step One: Blanch the ramps for thirty seconds to a minute.

Step Two: After blanching the the ramps, drain them and place them into previously prepped mason jar(s). I prefer to use pint jars as this recipe will roughly four full pint jars, but any size jar or jars will do. Also to add a little more favor, at this point I add one whole dried chile pepper to the jar as well as the ramps.

Step Three: Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Step Four: Add the crushed red pepper, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and fennel seeds to the boiling pickling brine.

Step Five: Pour the pickling brine over the ramps in the mason jar. At this point there are two choices to make, you can seal the jar(s) and place them in the fridge to cool and you can continue with the proper "hot bathing" technique. If placed directly into the fridge they will last for a few week up to a few months, if properly canned they can last substantially longer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cash's Ramp Salt

Ramps straight out of the food processor.
Almost two weeks ago now I took to Twitter with a question of what else could I do with all the ramps I had dug. I know a lot of different ways to cook them in entrees or side dishes or even preserve them, but there is always something new to learn and try and that is exactly what I found. I had always thought and wondered about dehydrating ramps but never followed through. Come to find out this isn't something that abnormal. A reader, @Cashwv06, started tweeting with me and asked if I had tried "Ramp Salt," this is something I had not  tried or heard of. There was only one thing left to do, get the recipe and try it. To say the least this is a very simple recipe but it has limitless possibilities. I have already used this on steaks, pizza, popcorn, and even my eggs.


  • 1 part Salt
  • 3 parts Processed Ramps


Step One: Dehydrate previously cleaned ramps. This part is to be used as a guideline, I dehydrated my ramps (four trays) for eight to ten hours at 125 degrees.

Step Two: After ramps are crisp to the touch, transfer them to a food processor or blender. Proceed to process the ramps until they are a powdered / finely crunched mixture. If there any large pieces or debris left in the mixture remove so that it will not be in final mixture.

Step Three: Combine three parts of the processed ramps to one part salt (Example - I mixed 3/4 cup of ramps with 1/4 cup of salt). Mix together thoroughly and store to use on everything! I prefer to store mine in a pint jar which makes for easy access but most anything that is air tight will do.

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