National Wildlife Federation Outdoors
Commencing the CWD Chronicles: An overview of the disease & the Issues we’ll cover for this series.

Commencing the CWD Chronicles: An overview of the disease & the Issues we’ll cover for this series.

January 27, 2022

Matt Dunfee is a career CWD expert and in this episode he walks us through everything from the discovery of the disease to how its affecting deer populations today. Along with a deep dive into the biology of CWD, we talk about the responsibility that hunters have and the fears they face around CWD. Join us for this incredible primer on what’s happening out there and what needs to be done about it.  

Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment

Chronic Wasting Disease Drives Population Decline of White-Tailed Deer

Endemic chronic wasting disease causes mule deer population decline in Wyoming

Socially Amplified Risk: Attitude and Behavior Change in Response to CWD in Wisconsin Deer

Reduction of Chronic Wasting Disease Prion Seeding Activity

Digestion by Mountain Lions

mountain lion paper


Show notes:

3:30 – Who is Matt Dunfee?

4:45 – What is CWD?

9:56 – CWD is always fatal. What’s is caused by?

11:37 - Discussing the incubation of CWD. What does the incubation period represent?

13:40 - Animals infected with CWD do not display symptoms immediately. How does this affect management?

16:00 - Infected versus uninfected. What are the best terms to use?

16:37 - Deer infected with CWD die at a higher rate than uninfected animals from all causes.

17:35 - What does it take to destroy a CWD prion?

19:55 - Discussing a study regarding CWD prions being denatured in the digestive track of mountain lions.

22:25 - Trying to manage this disease in free ranging cervids on the landscape.

26:34 - CWD origin story. Where did it begin? How did it start spreading? Is it endemic in cervids?

33:48 - GIS mapping of CWD coming soon! Until then check the link above for CWD mapping from USGS.

37:11 - Discovering CWD in new locations… “The first time you find it is not the first time it was ever there.”

40:00 - The latest in CWD testing, prevalence and population level impacts.

47:25 - CWD and the potential of jumping species… including the potential of it jumping to humans.

59:52 - Unpacking why it seems to be more prevalent in bucks and bulls.

1:03:47 - Population declines in whitetail and mule deer in areas with very high prevalence of CWD.

1:08:36 - “CWD Fatigue”

1:12:47 - What are the various factors that prevent the spread and promote good management?

1:20:22 - We need to be clear on effective management of CWD (reducing prevalence and stopping spread) and the importance of the state fish and wildlife agencies.

1:27:15 - Closing statements from Matt Dunfee, Ashley Chance and Aaron Kindle.

CWD Chronicles Teaser

CWD Chronicles Teaser

January 24, 2022

Welcome to the Chronic Wasting Disease Chronicles, brought to you by NWF Outdoors and Artemis.

Chronic Wasting Disease is an always fatal and definitely complex neurological disease afflicting cervids across North America and beyond. More than 50 years after its discovery, the impacts of this disease are ramping up quickly while hunters are having to make tough decisions about how they hunt and feed their families.

What does this mean for the future of big game hunting?

What can be done to stop the spread and conserve our hunting traditions?

The Chronic Wasting Disease Chronicles explores these issues with leading experts from around the country and looks hopefully to a future full of healthy wild cervid populations.


Back to the Earth with Ron Rohrbaugh

Back to the Earth with Ron Rohrbaugh

January 20, 2022

Aaron and Bill sit down with renowned archery author and traditional bow craftsman, Ron Rohrbaugh. We discuss conservation, archery, getting young people outdoors and his two recent books, A Traditional Bowhunter’s Path and Echo: Living Wild with the Orions. Ron also reads an excerpt from Echo, discusses the visceral and intimate act of hunting at very close range, and tells some great hunting stories. 

https://yourlifecyclegear.comLifeCycle Gear

Show notes:

:05 – Bill and Aaron provide overview and intro to the episode.

5:33 - What Ron has been up to outside lately. Have you heard of “Black Powder Season”?

10:00 - Ron discusses this statement: “Without hunters, there would be no wild places.”

12:45 - How Ron got into conservation and writing.

15:00 - Thoughts on mentorship and how to find one if you don’t have one yet! Also, the importance of getting parents and guardians hooked as well.

18:40 - Ron sets the stage for his book, the characters, and the inspiration.

22:10 - Ron reads an excerpt from his book. The character, Echo, comes upon the scene of a group of coyotes who have taken down a deer. Echo needs food…

26:19 – Ron reflects on how his real life experiences inspire and inform his writing.

28:41 - Ron discusses that moment when the animal dies and you start harvesting.

29:54 - The traditional bow hunter’s path. Ron discusses his process in going deep into the world of archery.

What’s going through Ron’s head when he is crafting his hand made bows. Life Cycle Gear

36:38 - Does the wood working skills required in bow making benefit hunting as a whole?

38:36 - Who is the audience of his book? Bow hunters? Conservationists? New people?

41:16 - Ron discusses is career with birds, forest management and what birding has taught him about hunting.

44:00 – Quick message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen!

45:11 - The ivory billed woodpecker and Ron’s involvement in Cornell University’s search.

49:03 - Ron’s advice on parenting, mentoring and guiding kids when it comes to the outdoors.

52:04 - What’s the first thing kids outta know when they are considering hunting?

55:19 - Ron shares two of his favorite whitetail stories.

1:02:51 - Ron shares his closing thoughts. Be sure to check the links above to see Ron’s books!


Goin’ like the Devil with Warren Coco, Owner and Founder of Go-Devil Manufacturing and Renowned Delta Conservationist

Goin’ like the Devil with Warren Coco, Owner and Founder of Go-Devil Manufacturing and Renowned Delta Conservationist

January 7, 2022

Aaron and Bill have a chat with renowned entrepreneur, duckman, and conservationist, Warren Coco. "Coco’s" inventing the GO-DEVIL Longtail motor in the 1970s changed duck hunting forever, but he didn’t stop there and continued innovating longtails, surface drives, and boat designs. In the 80s he collaborated with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty on what many duck hunters believe to still be the best waterfowl hunting video ever produced, The Duckmen of Louisiana. In the 90s he turned his energy, time and resources to conservation, and that focus continues to this day. Not only does he contribute his voice and money to conservation causes, he spends most of his days off on an excavator restoring coastal marsh in southwest Louisiana. We discuss Coco's sporting life, his adventures, and his dedication to conservation. 


Vanishing Paradise film of Delta restoration featuring Coco

The Go-Devil Company page

Coco's personal take on the conservation and restoration issue in the Delta

The Duckmen of Louisiana with Warren Coco and Phil Robertson

Warren Coco bio with his contributions to wetlands restoration

Show Notes:

:05 – Bill and Aaron provide overview and Intro to the episode

6:10 - What "Coco" has been up to lately

9:05 – “We can’t kill enough ducks to make gravy”

11:30 – the ducks haven’t gotten to Southern LA yet

13:15 – All the ducks came in 83’ and 89’

15:02 – How Coco’s Company Go Devil got started

18:00 – business grows like crazy and the duck limit goes from 3 to 5

19:25 – “we cut a big hog the first year of sales”

21:20 – how the Go Devil motors work and what makes them special in the marsh

22:30 – B.O.A.T – “Break Out Another Thousand”

25:15 – the origin of the “Go-Devil” name

26:55 – the backstory of Coco’s participation the famous video, “The Duckmen of Louisiana” with Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty”

30:10 –making the Duckmen of Louisiana over 13 days and two hunting seasons

34:30 - how the invasive species salvinia ruined the Muarepas Swamps for duck hunting and how it outcompetes and kill “duck wheat”

38:40 – more changes in the duck swamps and the need for restoration

43:55 – marsh loss through Coco’s eyes

46:00 – floating islands

48:45 – an old fishing hole that is now 600 yards out in the gulf

52:28 – when the Midwest lost its top soil, a lot of it came down the river

59:52 – these guys are fishing oysters where their grandfathers trapped

1:02:10 – restoring Hackberry

1:06:00 – the difficulties of restoration and management

1:10:30 – supporting DU and Vanishing Paradise

1:14:25 – delta conservation is a nationwide issue



Covering the Outdoors with Lisa Ballard

Covering the Outdoors with Lisa Ballard

December 24, 2021

Aaron and Bill sit down with renowned outdoor media personality, Lisa Ballard. Lisa is a professional skier, hunter, angler, outdoor writer, Emmy-winning TV producer, and two-time Ruger North American sporting clays champion who has traveled the world skiing, hunting, fishing, and covering the outdoors. We cover her career, the unique opportunities and challenges she has faced as a woman, how her media work led her to conservation, RAWA, and climate issue she’s experienced at home and while traveling.

Show notes:

1:00 – Aaron and Bill discuss their recent journey together in Tennessee through the area where the tornado recently destroyed large areas of the state.

3:10 – Intro and background on Lisa Ballard.

4:25 – What Lisa has been doing outside recently.

8:10 -- How Lisa got into the outdoor media world! From professionally skiing to PBS!

10:00 -- Story about making a film about teaching a bird dog how to hunt.

14:30 -- That first moment Lisa knew she was going to be paid to work outside… the real reward is bringing the outdoors to other people.

19:18 -- How does one become a Lisa Ballard in these days? How does one become an outdoor media professional in 2021? Speak well. Record well. Write well. Know your outdoor skills!

12:41 -- The path to competitive shooting.

25:03 – Mentorship.

26:09 -- Advice for men listening who are planning on taking a woman out hunting (for the first time). Make sure it’s warm and dry… bring snacks… be mindful of time. This advice goes for both men and women!

28:57 --  Rifle and shotgun advice for women.

31:20 -- Artemis Sportswomen shout out & short message for their podcast.

33:06 -- Lisa’s evolution in the outdoor world as a woman. How have things changed?

“When you are hunting, you really are part of your natural surroundings and women really connect to that emotionally”

37:26 -- The journey to conservation and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

41:16 – Climate Change and Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

44:31 -- In Montana, where Lisa is from, what would Recovering America’s Wildlife Act look like. Extreme drought, extreme wildlife, extreme fishing restrictions…

 47:54 -- State agencies have limited resources; getting them some additional help through Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will be huge. Good for the bird, good for the herd!

50:36 -- Lisa reflects on climate change from the perspective of a hunter, angler, skier and overall professional outdoors woman. For starters, what she has noticed by documenting glacier recession around the world.

55:50 – A skier’s perspective on climate change and a reflection on how WEIRD the climate trends have been.

1:00:00 – Parting comment from Lisa Ballard: GET OUTDOORS!

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