Sometimes Mother Nature kicks your ass. She’s harsh and she’s unforgiving. This was the case on my New Mexico public land mule deer hunt. The first 16 hours of the trip were spent trying to stay warm in my Kifaru sleeping bag. The grueling 7.5 mile hike required gear that would keep you warm against these elements, of course that amount of labor meant alot of sweating (even with 100% Merino Wool base layers) and as soon as I made it to base camp at 11,500 ft I began to get extremely cold very quickly. It ended up being the right call to shorten the 5 day hunt down to 2 days and get off the mountain as soon as possible.

So, I resigned myself to the fact that this trip was likely a total bust. 11 hour drive each way, 5 hour hike up and no way to really give myself a chance to harvest a mulie buck was a kick in the crotch to say the least. On day 2 I was able to get out for 8 hours and after dropping 1,500 ft in elevation I did find calmer conditions. Even running into some does and a herd of elk which lifted my spirits considerably. So on day three, with 2 miles left in the hike out my buddy and I came into an Aspen clearing that I knew had to be a haven for mule deer. You’ll have to tune in to sehow it played out, but it wasn’t a trip or experience that I will ever forget.

Then, we discuss the status of our public lands with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers CEO Land Tawney. We talk alligator hunting and grouse hunting before transitioning to the topic of the day – How has President Trump appointed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke done thus far at representing the interests of sportsmen and women concerning our public lands? What about the leaked Monument Report that was accidentally released last week? Is there a significant risk that some of our public lands will be sold off to the private sector? Land gives us his thoughts on how Secretary Zinke ( a self described ‘Teddy Roosevelt Guy’) is doing so far. Great stuff with one of my favorite organizations.

We wrap up the show by visiting with Secretary Zinke himself! We get to know the Secretary a little bit as far as who he is as an outdoorsman and what he enjoys hunting. I also ask him the tough questions regarding the National Monument Review and whether or not he plans to sell off any of our public land to the private sector. We discuss his views on Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and whether he thinks the organization is giving him a fair shake.