Photo: Outdoors writer Luke Clayton (far left) had the opportunity to join Larry Weishuhn, Jim Zumbo and Big Billy Kinder on the Ruger stage last week at the Dallas Safari Club Convention in Dallas.
As Larry Weishuhn and I say on my weekly outdoors radio show Catfish Radio, “Welcome to camp, come on in, pull up a log and make yourself at home!” Well, thanks to the folks at TexasHuntFish, you are about to read the first of my weekly outdoors columns. It’s my goal to entertain you and hopefully, pass along a bit of knowledge that I’ve learned kicking around in the woods and on the water for more than a half century!
I like to know a bit about writers that I read on a regular basis. I’ve been an outdoors writer for the past 26 years, writing for newspapers and magazines. Through the years, I’ve covered the gamut of outdoors topics. In the outdoors there are most excellent outdoors reporters that have a penance for getting the facts straight and then, there are those like myself that are really more story tellers than reporters. The late Bob Hood, one of the most veteran outdoors writers in the state at the time of his passing about this time last year, used to say that every time he set down to pen a column, he had the mindset that he was writing a letter home to Mom. Bob’s writing came across as entertaining and very personal with the accounts of his adventures in the outdoors.
For the past 12 years, I’ve been the Host of a weekly radio that is archived each week at www.catfishradio.com. You can go there right now and listen to this week’s show. Spend a few minutes there and click “About Luke Clayton”. Here you will learn a great deal about what Ole Luke is all about. This hour long show with Larry Weishuhn and Bill Dance as well as many other knowledgeable in entertaining outdoors folks is very casual and has been likened to a group of friends around the campfire or at the boat ramp. When I first began doing radio, and I hate to admit it, I attempted the “Paul Harvey” technique of being an on air journalist with structured shows. I thought the more high profile folks I had on the show, the better the programming was. I found this not to necessarily be the case. Having Weishuhn and Dance as regulars on the show has brought a great deal of knowledge on hunting and fishing to my audience. Both these outdoor legends learned a long time ago to be themselves whether when making personal appearances, on their TV shows or, with me on the radio. They are genuine and it comes across over the air waves!
I tapped into public radio as a format to spread my words of good will pertaining to hunting and fishing about six years ago. Today, I host High Plains Outdoors on High Plains Public Radio www.hppr.org which airs on stations from Nebraska to Texas. I also do a weekly show for KETR www.ketr.org, public radio for North Texas.
You might think that all I do is record radio and pen articles but that would be incorrect. I’ve become pretty adept at getting this “work” done and still am in the woods near my home south east of Dallas just about every day, checking my trail cameras, hunting ducks, hogs or deer or just begin out there with my camera attempting to capture an image of something I feel my readers will enjoy.
A partner and I run an archery elk/bear hunting operation during September in northern Colorado each year which not only puts a few extra dollars in my pocket but also provides fodder for many of my articles. This past year, while guiding a young man from Houston, he was within six FEET of a mature mountain lion that stalked up close and personal. I was bugling and cow calling about 60 yards downwind. When we returned to hunt the same spot, just above an elk wallow, the cat returned. We finally had to leave the spot to the cat. When we finally backed away from one of my favorite spots to bugle for bull elk, the cat sat near the edge of the water glaring at us. Why didn’t my client arrow the cat? Well, lion season was two months away and we would probably both bee in the calaboose in Steamboat Springs had we decided to shoot!
We also lease a farm in northern Kansas, almost on the Nebraska line where we run deer hunts for two weeks in early October. So, you see, much of what you will be reading from me is directly from personal experiences, whether that be me relating how to cure ham from wild hog hams, make sausage or bugle a reluctant elk in close enough for a slam dunk bow shot.
Don’t get the idea that I’m super outdoorsman. No, I’m probably just someone like you that loves the outdoors. Run into me at a convention or hunt somewhere and you will find that, like most writers that spend a lot of time by themselves, I’m a pretty quiet fellow. But get me wound up and I’ll talk your ears off and chances are pretty good that I will be able to “talk shop” with you about your favorite outdoor sport, whether it be shooting sporting clays, muzzle loading or bow hunting. Because of my years in the outdoors, often working with guys and gals that are expert in their particular aspect of the outdoor life, I have learned a lot, through osmosis if nothing else! It’s my goal to pass along some of my experiences right here each week.
On the light side of outdoors news, how about that old 1873 Winchester rifle that park personnel with Great Basin National Park discovered recently leaning against a tree in the wilds of the park. If this old gun could only talk! Was it left there by a prospector or possibly a cowboy working cattle through this wilderness country? Due to the wear on the old gun, it’s a perfectly good assumption that it had been leaning against the tree for over 130 years. I doubt if we will ever know all the details about it being deserted here but it is fun to speculate, isn’t it? Check out the full story here, 130 Year Old Winchester Model 1873 Rifle
This past week, I had the unique opportunity to join outdoor legends Larry Weishuhn and Jim Zumbo on the Ruger stage at the Dallas Safari Club Convention. I must admit I was a bit awestruck when Larry scheduled me to be with them but when we began fielding questions about the outdoors, writing and these guys vast experiences in filming TV shows, I felt completely comfortable. Actually, I might have been a bit “long winded” with some of my answers to questions posed by our excellent MC, Big Billy Kinder who is a well know outdoor radio host.
Not that I’ve got this first introduction column completed, and you have a bit of detail about who I am what to expect from future columns, I promise that my columns/blogs will deal with fun and interesting aspects of the outdoors. I am an avid outdoor cook of fish and game; used to write an outdoor cooking column for a major Texas newspaper so I’ll share some cooking tips along the way!
See you right here next week! LC