The National Wildlife Federation has worked with hunters and anglers since 1936 to tackle the biggest natural resource challenges. The NWF Outdoors Podcast explores the most important conservation issues and the people who do the hard work to safeguard our fish, wildlife, lands, and waters. Hosted by Aaron Kindle, director of sporting advocacy at NWF.
Friday Aug 12, 2022
Friday Aug 12, 2022
Join us for this fun pilot episode of our new “From the Field” podcast series we are beginning to explore. For the past week, our sporting team has been traveling around Southeast Alaska recording interviews with hunters and anglers regarding the endless opportunities and abundance of the region. During this episode, Aaron and Mandela sit on the edge of the Tongas National Forest with Artemis ambassador, Jodee Dixon, and the Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC), Meredith Trainor. We discuss their friendship and connection through hunting, mentorship and Yoga. We learn about the important conservation work SEACC does and the Artemis outreach programs Jodee offers. We also talk about the ways in which their background in mountaineering and whitewater kayaking parallel hunting and fishing.
Enjoy this abbreviated podcast pilot episode and let us know what you think. Did you like hearing podcasts recorded in the field? Would you like them to be shorter or longer? What questions would you like to ask our guests?
0:26 – Aaron sets the scene, introduces the guests and the stand-in cohost for this episode.
3:00 – Jodee talks about her passion for seeking and sharing knowledge. How she met Meredith and the transition to teaching Meredith how to hunt.
5:10 – Jodee talks about the different species she and her husband hunt in SE Alaska including Dahl sheep, elk, black bear and Sitka blacktail deer.
7:00 – Meredith talks about how she met Jodee and grew an interest in hunting after being a vegetarian for most of her life.
10:30 – Jodee shares how she got introduced to hunting and the story behind her first big game hunt for Dahl sheep.
14:00 – Jodee is currently teaching Meredith how to hunt. They both chat about how Artemis helped strengthen their connection and the opportunity to bring women together to share wild game and embrace a curiosity of hunting.
18:49 – Jodee and Meredith share how their experiences in whitewater kayaking, Yoga and mountaineering parallel how they approach hunting and fishing. Jodee reflects on single point focus and “forced meditation”.
23:19 – Meredith shares the conservation work she and her team at the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) focus on. One part of their work is focused on climate action, citizen science and the importance of sharing observations of a changing landscape due to climate change.
27:53 – Alaska is front and center when it comes to a warming climate. Meredith discusses how an increase in 3-6 degrees effects wildlife in Southeast Alaska.
29:40 – Jodee shares her observations and concerns regarding hunting, fishing and climate change in Southeast Alaska.
31:56 – Jodee highlights some of the Artemis outreach opportunities she offers in the region.
32:55 – Closing statements.
Friday Jul 29, 2022
Good News for Duck Hunters with Dr. Mike Brasher of Ducks Unlimited
Friday Jul 29, 2022
Friday Jul 29, 2022
It’s late July, and much of the country is in the midst of a heat wave, but Aaron and Bill are back talking ducks with Dr. Mike Brasher from Ducks Unlimited. Waterfowl are both a vocation and advocation for Mike as he’s spent his career studying and his free time hunting them. For the last two years, COVID protocols in Canada have prevented the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from conducting the Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey (known to duck hunters as the BPOP and May Pond Count). This survey is used to set future seasons. The 2022 flights have wrapped up, and Mike is here to help us understand what the initial reports could mean to duck hunters all over the country. And for the first time in several years, there’s some positive news!
And here’s a photo page from the folks who actually count the ducks:
3:40 – Bill introduces Mike and provides a little insight into his background and what we are going to cover in the show regarding ducks and how ducks are counted.
5:25 – Mike introduces himself with a little more detail.
7:19 – Mike, Bill and Aaron share what they have been doing outside recently.
13:40 – Jumping right into B-POP (Breeding Population Survey) but first, let’s clarify that we are not talking about K-POP.
14:21 – What is B-POP and why should duck hunters understand it?
19:13 – Laying out the mechanics of how big the count is, where do they fly and how are we doing with the trajectory of current population counts.
24:27 – Discussing the word “census” and why this count isn’t a census.
28:23 – What are the results?!
35:05 – Why have biologists been concerned, drought in the western U.S. and how are the numbers doing down south?
41:27 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen! Be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for even more great content.
42:20 -- Because the count hasn’t happened for a few years, what was the approach this year?
46:39 -- Discussing the scientific approach to climate issues as they relate to duck populations, trajectory, warming trends and droughts.
53:33 -- Discussing the significance of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and recently introduced North American Grasslands Act. How does this legislation relate to natural infrastructure, habitat restoration and resilience.
1:00:23 -- With fresh water and fresh habitat, what does that mean for the productivity of waterfowl? Also, a few reflections on the current count numbers and what that might mean for the upcoming duck hunting season.
1:07:33 – Mike shares some closing statements.
1:10:24 – Ducks Unlimited U.S. and Ducks Unlimited Canada are teaming up soon to do a livestream!
1:12:53 – Bill shares some closing statements.
1:13:18 – Please speak up on behalf of shutting down the Return Act, the swift passage of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and the North American Grasslands Act. Get engaged, stay engaged and look for folks like Mike for guidance.
Friday Jul 15, 2022
Friday Jul 15, 2022
Aaron and Bill sit down with David Willms and Mike Butler to discuss the recently introduced the RETURN Act and how it would dismantle the world’s most successful conservation program and begin a cascade effect that would set back America conservation in myriad ways. We walk through a refresher on the Pittman-Robertson Act – what it is, how it works, why it is so successful and why we need to protect by all means possible. Then we pivot to the RETURN Act – what it is, why it came about, how terrible it would be for American conservation and why we need to step up to stop it dead in its tracks.
5:08 - Aaron shares a little background on this episodes guests.
7:56 - The group shares what they have been doing outside recently.
13:05 – David explains the Pittman-Robertson Act. Why do we have it and what it does?
19:38 – Mike discusses the significance of this legislation in Tennessee alone.
20:36 – What would it look like from state to state if we didn’t have the Pittman-Robertson Act?
24:02 - How is it funded? Who pays it? When do they pay it?
26:01 - Mike talks about the North American model of conservation and why Pittman-Robertson is integral to it.
29:31 – David lines out how much conservation funding comes from Pittman-Robertson and how it’s growing every year.
33:39 – Highlighting the 2nd Amendment and how it relates.
35:16 – What does the Return Act do exactly?
42:27 – Where did the concept of the Return Act come from? Let’s also highlight the conflict of interest at play here…
46:43 – Mike points out some fallacies in the proposed legislation and the press release from Rep. Clyde.
52:35 – It’s incredibly rare when a member of congress goes through the active process of removing their name from the list of cosponsors for a proposed bill. This is happening right now with the Return Act. Get informed! Call your congressman.
55:37 – What about the those who might like to see the majority of conservation funding coming from somewhere else besides the sporting community?
59:10 – Closing statements. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“A man who doesn’t speak has no advantage over a man who can’t – so use your voice.” –Bill Cooksey
Thursday May 26, 2022
Catching Fish Changes Lives with Steve Bowman
Thursday May 26, 2022
Thursday May 26, 2022
If you love bass fishing, this is the episode for you. Our guest today is Steve Bowman, and when it comes to bass fishing, conservation and tournament angling, he’s definitely the guy you want to hear from. From being a member of The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to his work as manager of Bassmaster.com tournament coverage and BASS Manager of Angler Relations, he’s in the mix. His career and work are interesting, but it’s when he tells the story of making his first rod from an old car antenna to which he attached drink can pop-tops for guides and a Zebco reel he spent the summer mowing yards to buy when this show goes to the next level. The antenna rod comes back to mind when Steve tells how an African American kid in Little Rock changed his life and how he views the outdoors.
4:31 – Bill, Aaron and Steve share what they’ve been up too outside recently. Cue the turkey hunting, bass fishing and shed hunting!
9:20 - Steve shares a little background on his childhood, a heartfelt story or two and his earliest memories of fishing with a stick and a string and the adventure of converting an antenna into a fishing rod so he could fish at the pond near his house. “So here’s a kid that’s right on the verge of going into a gang or going fishing… and he’s taking the opportunity to go fishing.”
22:37 – Steve continues his discussion on the importance of providing fishing opportunities for every angler. He goes on to discuss high school and college bass fishing programs and the importance of investing in opportunity.
27:56 – Steve talks about how he grew up saying he wanted to hunt and fish for a living. He chats about how he got into journalism and taught himself to write after saying to his boss, “I’ll do anything you want me to do, just ever ask me to write.”
30:57 - Steve shares an inspiring duck hunting story that changed the direction of his life.
33:35 – Steve talks about the time they wanted to channel the White River.
37:00 - Discussing wildlife management and past deer situations in Arkansas.
39:13 – Short break for a message from our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!!
40:05 – Bill brings it back to storytelling and salesmen. Steve talks about his late friend, Ray Scott, and his profound impact on hunting and fishing in the U.S. as well as international bass fishing.
44:05 - The evolution of “catch and release” in our country.
47:16 - Aaron brings it back to the connection between conservation and opportunity.
51:36 – Bill brings up the topic of fishing with pro anglers and a few things that weekend anglers can pick up from observing these professionals in action.
55:55 – Lots of professional bass fishing professionals were athletes prior… Also a mention of Tom Brady, duck hunting and duck habitat.
59:03 – Bill brings it back to Vanishing Paradise and Steve’s involvement in a conservation issues that sportsmen and sportswomen need to know about.
1:02:12 – Steve discusses a few conservation issues in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.
1:05:15 – Closing statements.
“Just realize that a greater entity created all this, rather than a core of engineers…” -Steve Bowman
Thursday Apr 28, 2022
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act with lead sponsor, Senator Martin Heinrich
Thursday Apr 28, 2022
Thursday Apr 28, 2022
Aaron and Bill sit down with Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico to discuss the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) - what it is, what it aims to accomplish, and what we need to do to get I passed. Senator Heinrich is the leading sporting advocate in Congress and has worked diligently on numerous pieces of conservation legislation. We cover his perspectives of RAWA, how it will help state agencies, the opportunities to mitigate wildfire and its impacts, and his opinion that RAWA will be “the most impactful wildlife conservation investment in U.S. history”. Senator Heinrich has also been a champion on combating CWD. We ask him for an update on the Senate companion legislation to the passed House version of the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act.
NWF Outdoors Recovering America’s Wildlife Act action alert – email your Member of Congress here: https://support.nwf.org/page/39420/action/1?fbclid=IwAR32AQFGFCHRenhBbDzEtHB9vBVXrb9T0PURcT9pv6kDfyweoSLgBckvSBo
RAWA bill text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2773
More details on RAWA: https://www.nwf.org/Our-Work/Wildlife-Conservation/Policy/Recovering-Americas-Wildlife-Act
Our recent sporting blog on RAWA: https://www.nwf.org/Outdoors/Blog/03-23-2022-Bipartisan-Wildlife-Bill-Will-Benefit-Hunters-Anglers
House version CWD bill text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5608
2:39 – Little background on Senator Martin Heinrich. “The sporting community’s biggest champion in Congress.”
3:27 – What has Senator Heinrich been doing outside recently?
5:44 - Senator Heinrich talks about Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. “…the wildlife version of the Great American Outdoors Act”
8:23 – Why should the sporting community support this?
11:24 – “This is the number one agreed upon focus for benefiting wildlife in this Congress, and the sporting community in particular has stepped up in a way that’s allowed us to move this forward and keep it incredibly bipartisan during a divided time in our country. Wildlife is something that brings us back together…”
12:36 - Senator Martin Heinrich reflects on what the early advocates for wildlife went through a century ago in places like New Mexico… highlighting elk, mule deer, pronghorn and wild turkey.
Expressing hope that our grandkids inherit the same amazing breath of wildlife that folks took for granted when they grew up.
15:28 - How much latitude will state agencies will have when they spend the money provided by Recovering America’s Wildlife Act? Turns out, the actual program is built completely by each individual state agency.
Please note: States all have what are called state wildlife action plans, if you are interested for your state be sure to google “(your state) wildlife action plan”
17:06 – Senator Heinrich points out -- the current programs which support these state wildlife action plans are completely inadequate to implement them. The need outstrips the support. RAWA would allow the agencies to implement these plans.
18:01 – “What the catch? There’s gotta be a catch? Nothing can be this perfect…” Right now, sportswomen and sportsmen have a lot of input with state agencies because their dollars fund the agencies. Will this change when the states have additional funding?
21:04 – Shout out to our partner podcast, Artemis Sportswomen. For more great content, please be sure to follow NWF Outdoors on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
22:48 - Senator Heinrich talks about how Recovering America’s Wildlife Act will help with natural infrastructure and wild fires.
26:14 – Continuing discussion the benefits that stack up when you restore habitat for one small song bird in a wetland… restoration like this benefit’s multiple species (including hunters and anglers).
27:07 - Senator Heinrich talks twenty years down the road with Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, highlighting the importance of restoring riparian habitat for Rio Grande cutthroat trout, song birds and the sporting community.
29:46 - What do we need to do to get this across the finish line?
30:50 - Senator Heinrich talks about the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act being introduced into the Senate.
32:21 - Senator Heinrich shares statement about the importance of passing Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
“Reach out to your house member and both of your senators and say this is good policy. This is good for our sporting communities. This is good for wildlife. It’s bipartisan. Let’s get this thing done.”