Big Ole Mean Hogs

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re hunting one of the most destructive animals: feral hogs.  As an invasive species, feral hogs are the bane of native animals, hunters, land owners, and ranchers alike, and we’ll take a look at all the various ways you can hunt them, while having a lot of fun along the way!   Many people look at hog hunting as a way to help eradicate the overpopulation of feral hogs, most of which have caused significant damage to the environment. Another great aspect of hog hunting is that they can be hunted 365 days a year, day or night. This open season on hogs gives hunters a wide variety of means and methods to enjoy hog hunting, from compound bows to crossbows, handguns, airguns, traditional bolt action rifles, to modern sporting rifles! One of the most important things to do before hitting the field is to check your local state hunting guidelines to ensure you’re operating within legal bounds. As Wade will tell us, “the bottom line on hog hunting is get out, learn their habits, learn what they do, and whether you’re just trying to shoot a small one to put in the smoker, or a you’re trying to shoot a big boar to mount on the wall, you’re going to enjoy a hog hunt.”

Over the course of this episode, we’ll be taking a look at several fun hog hunts we had using the Smith & Wesson M&P® 15 where we bring down multiple hogs. Later, we’ll learn that when it comes to hog hunting, you have to think about how you’re going to get the upper hand and give yourself every advantage possible against these frustratingly clever critters when we join Doug Robert’s of ConQuest Scents on a crossbow hunt as he uses ConQuest Scents to his benefit. Up next, we’re joining Michael Wersig yet again, but this time, we’re going out for an evening hunt where he’ll be using Exude Lights to spot hogs in low light settings. Finally, to round out this show, we’ll be busting out a new method of hunting that we’ve never seen in our camp before, the Umarex AirSaber Airgun!

In conclusion, wild hogs are a nuisance to the environment and leave a trail of destruction in their wake.  Taking measures to control hog populations is a step in the right direction for conservation efforts.  As you’ll see the options for thinning the herds are endless, and you can enjoy hours of exciting hog hunting from bows to handguns, or by breaking out a modern sporting rifle and going hog wild on ‘em! 

Crappie Fishing

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re heading out for a fun filled day of crappie fishing with Wade Middleton, Jim Behnken, and our fishing guide Chase Hux! Wade and Jim go as far back as 25 five years of friendship, and Jim has watched Chase grow up from an outdoors loving kid, to an avid outdoorsman as an adult, so today is sure to be a fantastic day on the water with this trio!

Nothing sets up a long day of fishing better than stopping off at a local bait shop to stock up on snacks, get an insider scoop on what’s biting, and of course, to fill their coolers up with live minnows for bait. Today we’ll see the Engel Live Bait Drybox and Cooler in action as it works to keep up with the guys, and ensure the minnows stay fresh and lively with air temperatures in the triple digits, and water temps in the low to mid eighties. Chase will act as our guide today, and take us around Choke Canyon to the areas he knows through guiding with the company that he co-founded, are guaranteed to give us the most bites possible. Choke Canyon Charters offers options to choose between day trips out on the lake, or take extended stays at their beautiful lake side lodging sites. Choke Canyon Charters is one of the best places on this legendary Texas lake to take a guided fishing trip, so head on over to chokecanyoncharters.com to book your fishing trip today!

While we’re out on the water, we’ll get some insider hints to the best ways to crappie fish, get an in-depth look at how using Gamin Livescope™ can give you an advantage on the water, and sit back and enjoy some good ol’ fashioned razzing between good friends!

To wrap up the show, we’re going to take a close look at a brand new jighead from Big Bite Baits that’s taking the fishing world by storm, and will surely be a crappie catchin’ magnet! As pro angler Mike McClelland will tell us, “one of the biggest trends over the past four or five years has definitely been the forward facing sonar… and this new Big Bite Pendulate Jighead is gonna be the perfect head anytime you’re wanting to vertical fish.” The Pendulate Jighead is available in four sizes, including an 1/8 oz, 3/16 oz, 1/4 oz, and 3/8 oz. This head is also sold in four different colors, including Bare Shad, Alewife, Shad, and Shore Minnow. Big Bite Baits designed this jig with a swivel molded directly into the head, which effectively eliminates line twist when the jig is falling. With this jig head you’ll have the ability to present the bait better, have less line twists, use a variety of baits to pair with the jig. To learn more about the Pendulate Jighead, visit bigbitebaits.com!

Getting Outdoors With The Kiddos

This week on Americana Outdoors, it’s all about the joys of passing on the love for the outdoors to our children! From seeing their faces light up in awe when they catch their first fish, to witnessing the pride they feel when they bring home their very first buck, introducing kids to the great outdoors is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have! 

One of our favorite ways to introduce kids to the outdoors is by participating in the annual Haley’s Heroes C.A.S.T. For Kids Fishing event and Banquet! The mission of the C.A.S.T. For Kids foundation is to, “enrich the lives of children with special needs, support their families, and strengthen communities through the sport of fishing.” When kids join a C.A.S.T. For Kids day of fishing, they have the opportunity to get a break from their daily challenges and hear positive messages that they can accomplish anything they want despite their disabilities. C.A.S.T. For Kids is an incredible organization that has enriched the lives of special needs kids and their families for the last thirty years by hosting events such as these, and without support from volunteers and people dedicated to having an impact on these kids’ lives, these events couldn’t happen. If you’d like to find out more about how to become a volunteer, or set up a C.A.S.T. for Kids event in your area, visit castforkids.org.

Next up, another way that we love to introduce kids to the outdoors is by taking them hunting. Here at deer camp, our philosophy for getting kids introduced to hunting is to let them harvest a doe during their first hunt, and then allow them to hunt a buck in their next trip as they advance through their hunting journey.  Joining us next are Steve Lovell and his son, Isaac, who has returned to deer camp with the hopes of harvesting his first whitetail buck! Before heading out to the field, Isaac first spends some time learning how to use the TenPoint Havoc RS440 Crossbow fitted with a Garmin Xero® X1i crossbow scope he’ll be using for his hunt. Once he’s out in the field, it’s only a matter of time before some nice looking bucks make an appearance, and it’s up to Isaac to do the rest!

As we round out this episode, we’re taking a look at one of our favorite times of the year at deer camp, it’s the annual youth hunt! Landon Nessl has been a mainstay at our youth hunts in the past and this year he’s taking a step back to let his best friend, Walker, have a chance to get on the gun. As usual with kids in camp, Walker and Landon take some time to get their guns sighted in at the range, and then it’s time to get hunting!  Over the course of Walker’s hunt, we’ll see an incredible display of the patience and determination that hunters learn over their hunting journey, along with a good dose of buck fever. After making the difficult decision to pass on a couple bucks that would be considered great firsts, Walker finally sets his sights on an even more impressive buck than the first few he laid eyes on. Will he be able to bring this big guy home and talk about him for years to come? Tune in and find out!

Bass Fishing With The New Stupid Craw

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re gettin’ stupid with the brand new Stupid Craw™ from Secret Lures! You’ve seen us catch big one after big one with its big brother, the Stupid Tube™, and today Jeff Reynolds and Wade Middleton will be testing out this newest addition to the tube family on multiple bodies of water under a variety of conditions!

Before we catch up with Jeff on the water, we’re getting treated to a surprise visit from the Secret Lures man himself, Danny Blandford! He’s filling us in on some of the exciting new features of this bait that make it so enticing for fish. According to Danny, this bait is, “3.7 inches of crawdad goodness that you’re going to want in your tackle box this year!” The Stupid Craw™ is labeled with two molded dots on its belly which act as a rigging guide and give your jig head perfect alignment when rigged. You’ll know you’ve aligned your bait correctly when the hook lies perfectly within the hook trough on the top of the bait that guarantees a weedless presentation. The Stupid Craw™ also boasts pinchers unlike anything fish have seen and create a natural flutter on the fall that trigger predatory reactions from fish! Lastly, the Stupid Craw also comes available in five vibrant colors that no fish can resist!

To kick things off it’s spring time and Jeff is in an area that has shallow, murky waters and seriously heavy cover where he knows the fish are hunkering down on beds during the spawn. While the Stupid Craw™ has been designed specifically for Stupid Style rigging, Jeff is testing out this baits versatility and has switched over to a Texas rig for the afternoon. He’s found that given the conditions and the heavy cover he’s fishing around, a Texas rig allows the bait to slid through the thick cattails just a little bit easier and get him the catches he’s looking to find. Another tip to keep in mind, is that when you find yourself fishing in thick cover such as Jeff, you’ll want to have braided line, a stiff heavy rod, and a heavy wire hook which will allow you to cut through cover. By the end of the day, this non-traditional way of throwing the Stupid Craw™ pays off as we watch Jeff catch fish after fish!

Up next we’re on Choke Canyon Reservoir where Wade Middleton is throwing the Secret Lures Stupid Craw for the very first time. Unlike what we saw with Jeff, he’s fishing it rigged the traditional Stupid Style on clearer waters during the post spawn season. Wade has also chosen to cast on a spinning rod paired with 20 pound braided line and a 14 pound Sunline Sniper leader. Right off the bat Wade reels in his first fish, and describes how the fish see the bait and think, “I’m going to bite that stupid thing and eat it!” It’s not long before the fish have chowed down on his bait enough to remove the pinchers from its body completely, and we’ll get a first hand look at how quick and easy it is to rig another one and get his line back in the water. Yet again, almost immediately after he casts the new bait, Wade reels in two big fish one after the other! By the end of this episode, we’ll witness how Secret Lures’ latest addition to their soft plastics lineup is incredibly durable, versatile, and reliable under a wide range of conditions. If you want to get in on the secret to success and start catchin’ ‘em like a pro, head on over to secretlures.com to browse the entire lineup of Stupid Craws™!

Third Annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash Part 2

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re continuing our coverage of the third annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash!  In our previous episode we saw more twists and turns than we ever have in this fierce competition! From watching Team Wersig’s monumental fall from first to last place after going over the two bird limit, to witnessing Clark and Brandon claw their way onto the scoreboard at the very last minute, we’ve already been treated to an action packed adventure and today will be no exception on Amistad Reservoir!

Out on the water, our teams will be fishing for a five fish limit, and the heaviest bag of the day will receive seventy points towards their overall team total. The second biggest bag of the day will earn fifty points, followed up by forty points for third place. Ten point bonuses will be awarded to the biggest fish of the day and the heaviest combined two fish, and a five point bonus will go to the team who reels in the second largest fish of the day. In any competition where you can earn bonus points, our teams will also have to watch out for penalties. Any team who has more than five fish in the livewell, returns to the river bank late, fishes past last cast, and fishes outside the designated parameters of Amistad Reservoir will receive ten point penalties per rule break.

Today our three teams will be zipping across the waters of Amistad Reservoir powered by Yamaha V Max SHO® Outboards.  Yamaha delivers reliability and durability with their powerful engines, which is just what these victory-thirsty competitors are looking for as they search out pristine fishing areas.  For more information on the Yamaha V Max SHO® Outboards, visit yamahaoutboards.com!

We’re kicking things off with Team Wendlandt out on the water, and it barely takes any time before they find themselves with their first fish in the livewell! As we jump between boats, we’ll see these teams duking it out for a chance to take home that big blue trophy. While the battle rages on, over in Team Wersig’s boat yet another disadvantage is discovered, and it takes a little ingenuity and resourcefulness to solve their problem. By the end of the day, Team Wendlandt is looking like the clear winner as they’re the only team to have reached a limit, followed up by Team Wersig with three fish, and Team Middleton with just two fish in their livewell. As the clock ticks down and we close out our time on the water, will Team Middleton pull off a bass fishing miracle like we saw the day before when Team Wendlandt put down their turkey with only minutes to spare? Tune in and find out who will be crowned the champions of the third annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash!

Third Annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash Part 1

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re in South Texas hosting the third annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash! We’ve had a leap year in the tournament due to the cancellation caused by Covid last year, but all that to say we’re back this year with fiercer competition, and the stakes for bragging rights and taking home that glorious trophy are higher than they’ve ever been! For this event we have Team Middleton consisting of the reigning champs Wade Middleton and Scott Newby who are looking to take home back-to-back wins, and we have some new faces entering the playing field looking to cause an upset with Clark Wendlandt and Brandon Brinkman on Team Wendlandt, and Michael Wersig and Josh Dahlke rounding out Team Wersig! As we go on this wild ride with these competitive guys, we’ll see a weekend packed with razzing, bonding, great food, rule breaking, huge celebrations, and devastating heartbreak!

During the hunting portion of the Turkey Bass Smash, our three teams will be utilizing the Yamaha Wolverine X4, the RMAX2 1000 XT-R, and the RMAX4 1000 Limited Edition to navigate tough terrain and cover lots of ground across this 15,000 acre property.  Each of these models have class leading suspension and class leading power with a Yamaha ten year belt warranty.  Yamaha has set the industry standard for designing and engineering side by side vehicles that ensure their customers can leave worry behind and explore the outdoors with confidence! For more information on these rugged Side-By-Side vehicles, visit yamahaoutdoors.com!

We begin our day with Michael Wersig and Josh Dahlke. Not even ten minutes into the first hunt of the day do our competitors find themselves squarely in the middle of a roost with large turkeys gobbling all around them, and it’s not long before Michael and Josh have their first bird on the ground! Feeling pretty confident going into the afternoon, Michael and Josh get their first bird tagged and checked in at camp. Back out in the field, Wade and Scott work tirelessly to close the gap between themselves and Team Wersig, and also successfully get a massive bird bagged n’ tagged!

Later on in the day, we check in with Clark and Brandon. Clark’s hunting style is very similar to that of his fishing style, so they’ve been runnin’ and gunnin’ all day long to have encounters with turkeys. As they continue moving through the thick South Texas brush, they manage to bust their own competition and stumble upon Team Wersig’s hunting site. After taking some time to catch up with their competition, Team Wendlant moves along to their next location and we hang back with Team Wersig to see if they can recover from being busted by their own rivals. It doesn’t take long before a turkey makes an appearance, and we’re treated to an incredible hunt that’s going to go down in Turkey Bass Smash history books!

To wrap up the first day of the third annual Yamaha Turkey Bass Smash, Clark and Brandon head out to the field with only twenty minutes of competition left to spare. Clark spots a group of turkey almost 1000 yards away and they begin the long walk to close the gap on them. Tune in and find out if Clark and Brandon are able to pull off a turkey miracle!

Debuting the Yamaha Helm Master EX and Why You Need Garmin Livescope

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re giving you a full walk through of Yamaha’s latest innovation, the Helm Master EX! And Later, It’s all about Garmin electronics, and why Garmin’s Livescope is an essential unit for any angler!

For years, Yamaha has dominated boat control standards with the original Helm Master boat control system. Once again they’ve raised the standards of boat control and maneuverability with the debut of the Helm Master EX. The latest boat in control is all about expandability and functionality, and with the Helm Master EX, boaters and anglers alike will have several different options of what level of control they prefer, with the ability to expand the system if the need arises in the future. Over the course of our time on our water, we’ll learn about the features of the very base level, known as the DEC or Digital Electronic Control level, that every boat with Helm Master EX will come equipped with. Next up we’ll learn about the second stage you can expand to, known as the DES or Digital Electronic Steering level. This is an incredible new advancement in which Yamaha has removed hydraulic systems from the boat and gone completely digital. The Third level has even more exciting new advancements, and introduces the safest autopilot features on the market! From heading hold, to course hold, pattern steer, and track points, the autopilot level of the Helm Master EX gives customers the ability to focus on conditions around them. Rounding out the four levels of the Helm Master EX system is the cherry on top, the joystick control. The joystick offers a new, innovative, and more efficient approach to controlling your boat. As Captain Sean Gill will tell us, “Having the Helm Master Ex system on your boat absolutely makes sense, it’s a much more efficient way to drive the boat, it’s the safest auto pilot out there, and it’s got a ton of standard features at every level!” To learn more about this exciting new generation of boat control, head on over to yamahaoutboards.com!

Up next, it’s all about Garmin electronics and why Garmin’s Livescope is an essential unit for any angler to have on their boat! When Garmin debuted Livescope, and gave anglers the ability to view a real-time image of what’s happening below their boat, it changed the game of fishing as we knew it. Today we’ll be on the water with several anglers who have incorporated livescope into their fishing arsenal of must-have gear, and we’ll see first hand how they use it to find those perfect fishing spots, and to find fish. From fishing Choke Canyon Reservoir with Wade Middleton as he capitalizes on the benefits of using Livescope, to watching fish react to bait in real time with Clark Wendlandt and Michael Wersig at Fayette County Reservoir, we’ll see just how incredible Garmin Livescope is for anglers. We’ll also get an opportunity to hear how this unit greatly helped Clark throughout his year to secure the title of Angler of the Year on the Bassmaster Elite Series!

Confidence is the key word we hear both pro and weekend anglers consistently using when talking about Livescope.  When you add a Garmin Livescope to your boat, not only are you increasing your chances of reeling in more fish, you’re maximizing your ability to see why you’re catching those fish! Visit garmin.com for more information on this and other Garmin products!

On The Hunt For Red Stag and Turkey

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re joining Kevin Giesecke on a thrilling multi-day hunt that a massive Texas red stag led him on, and later, we’re tagging along with Michael Wersig on a Turkey hunt with a Tenpoint Havoc RS440 paired with the Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow Scope!

To kick things off, we’re jumping in on the third day of Kevin’s red stag hunt out an an area of the property dubbed, “The Middle Field.” Towards the end of the evening, the red stag that Kevin has been hopeful to see finally makes an appearance, and he certainly doesn’t disappoint. His incredible mass absolutely dwarfs that of the other three bulls standing in front of the pop-up blind. As it’s the rutting season, this bulls huge size doesn’t deter the others from challenging him, and Kevin is treated to one of the most exciting duels between four red stag bulls that we’ve ever seen on the show!

When we return to the field, it’s been another two days since Kevin last spotted the red stag he’s determined to bring home. On this night, the red stag makes another appearance, but once again, he’s just out of range, and Kevin returns to camp empty handed. Before heading back to the field, Wade takes a trip out to the hunting site to spice it up with deer blocks and corn courtesy of Record Rack. By scattering these irresistible treats around the area, they’re hopeful that will tempt this red stag into Kevin’s bow range.

Never one to give up, Kevin heads back out on the eighth day of his hunt for the red stag. Once again, the red stag emerges through the tree line, but this time, he heads straight towards the Record Rack deer blocks in front of Kevin’s pop-up blind. It’s not long before the stag turns and presents the perfect broadside shot, but as Kevin prepares to take his shot, the stag gets spooked and runs several feet away. Tune in and see if Kevin can still take his shot and finally bring home this incredible red stag!

Before we move on to Michael’s hunt with the TenPoint Havoc RS440 paired with a Garmin Xero Crossbow Scope, we’ll hear one more time from Wade as he gives us the rundown on the evolution of the Garmin Xero. When Garmin first introduced the concept of the Xero Bow Sight, it almost sounded too good to be true. Sure enough, they developed it and changed the game for bow hunters. After several years of seeing its success in the field, Garmin once again out did themselves and debuted the Xero X1i Crossbow Scope. If you’re looking for a sight that gives you perfect, consistent accuracy, the Xero X1i is the way to go. Learn more about these incredible options for the Garmin Xero Bow Sight and Xero X1i Crossbow Scope by visiting garmin.com!

To round out this episode, we’re joining Michael Wersig at the Dead Oak location of our deer camp property, where he’ll be using the TenPoint Havoc RS440 paired with a Garmin Xero X1i Crossbow Scope. This area promises to hold a lot of game, be it whitetail, exotics, or turkey. One thing Michael loves about hunting in Texas is the opportunity to take turkey in the fall. To Michael, it’s always interesting to observe the different behavior patterns between turkeys during the fall and the spring. As Michael’s hunt moves along, a group of turkeys make their way into range, and Michael see’s his chances at bringing home one of these birds!

AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open and Bass Fishing with Swim Jigs

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re beginning with coverage of the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open, and later, we’re heading over to Choke Canyon Reservoir where Wade Middleton is throwing Secret Lures Swim Jigs!

Coming off a successful event at Kentucky Lake last month, the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series is off to a hot start this fall. Now, the schedule brings them to Lake Dardanelle in Russellville Arkansas for the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open! Central Arkansas is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise, and the Association of Collegiate Anglers has been contesting premier no-entry fee tournaments on Lake Dardanelle for nearly a decade. This year is no exception, and Lake Dardanelle is producing incredible bags of fish for anglers as they cross the stage to weigh in. On just the first day of tournament competition, Cameron Smith and Cole Breeden of Drury University weigh in a whopping 19.90LBS, giving them a commanding lead going into day two at the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open! The pressure is on as we head into day two, and we join several teams on the water as they reel in fish after fish. Will Cameron and Cole hold on to their lead, or will another team catch a giant at the last minute and clench the first place title? Tune in and find out!

To close out this show, we’re joining Wade Middleton at Choke Canyon Reservoir where he’s throwing a Secret Lures Swim Jig in some rather cloudy conditions.  Swim jigs are a great bait for covering lots of water, you can impart a lot of action on them, and they’re great for generating strikes and showing you where the fish are in the water. The Secret Lures MVP Swim Jig is available in three different sizes, with a multitude of weight variations, which allows you to switch up your presentation styles. The sizes include the North version, which is 1/4oz with a 5/0 Medium Mustad Hook, The South – A 3/8oz with a 4/0 Heavy Mustad Hook, and the HD, which is a 1/2oz with a 5/0 Saltwater Hook. Each of the sizes are designed with lifelike features and come in a plethora of skirt colors. As Wade will say, “Swim jig fishing will actually wear your arms out a little bit because you’re imparting a lot of action on the bait, and you really have to let the fish tell you what’s going on, but once they do, that bite on a swim jig is one of the most exciting bites you can have.” Tune in and see how the Secret Lures Swim Jig performs on the water today!

Big Bass Bash on Kentucky Lake and Bass Fishing Lake Whitney

This week on Americana Outdoors, we’re on Kentucky Lake covering the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, and later, we’re traveling over to Lake Whitney in Texas and fishing with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro’s Clark Wendlandt and Frank Talley! 

To kick things off, it’s time for the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash! The goal of this event is to reel in one big bite to win it all, and the winner of the event will bring home thousands of dollars in prizes and contingencies. The Big Bass Bash is a two day tournament, broken down into four sessions on day one, and three sessions on day two. Each of the sessions is presented by a different sponsor, giving anglers the opportunity to snag incredible sponsor prizes throughout the day by winning a session. Along with the tens of thousands of dollars in prizes and contingencies that are on the line this week, teams are also battling for valuable points towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year Presented by Abu Garcia.

The competition is fierce out on the water, and anglers are bringing back some huge catches with small margins between weights separating first place from tenth place in the overall leader boards. Tune in and find out which collegiate angler will reel in the biggest fish and win it all at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash!

Up next, We’re in Texas fishing on the great waters of Lake Whitney with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro’s Clark Wendlandt and Frank Talley. They’re fishing in the midst of an extreme cold front that even dropped a few inches of snow on the ground. During their day trip, the guys will be throwing various crankbait sizes and colors from Strike King. As they start their morning, Clark is throwing a Strike King Pro Model 3XD crankbait, and Frank is throwing a 1.5 square bill while targeting rocking banks. With water temperatures are in the 40’s, and facing wind blowing up to 15mph from the north, today promises to be an educational day on the water!

As Clark and Frank move along the rocky banks, their morning starts off a tad slow, but that doesn’t stop them from reeling in fish. While the day progresses, we’ll hear from Clark about a few of the tools he uses from TH Marine, including the Tackle Titan and the Money Pole, to help keep him organized throughout his day, as well as what he does to recover baits after they’ve been snagged on the bottom. Later in the afternoon, after the water temperature has a chance to warm up a few degrees, Clark and Frank start seeing more catches, and take note that the Strike King Pro Model 3XD crankbait is the bait of the day. At the very end of their time on the water, one of these two Bassmaster Elite Pro’s reels in a massive 7lb fish. Tune in and see which angler wins big bass of the day!