Luke Clayton

High Plains Outdoors writer and producer

Outdoors writer, radio host and book author Luke Clayton has been addicted to everything outdoors related since his childhood when he grew up hunting and fishing in rural northeast Texas.  Luke pens a weekly newspaper column that appears in over thirty newspapers.

Luke is on the pro staff of Mathews Bows, GhostBlind, Innerloc Broadheads, Smokin Tex Electric Smokers and Carbon Express Arrows.  Luke is the Editor at Large for Texas Bowhunters Journal and East Texas Outdoors Magazines and the author of the book Hunting and Fishing Texas.  Follow his columns and listen to his weekly radio show throughout the year and you’ll surely get exposed to many facets of the outdoor life.

Ways To Connect

Well Folks,

Today it's all about setting up to hunt whitetail deer in the geographic center of the United States- Lebanon, Kansas.  We just finished up our elk hunting in Colorado, and on the way back to Texas, made a loop to stop by my buddy's farm to get ready to take a big grain-fed deer.

The deer in northern Kansas are much bigger than the ones down in Texas.  My friend, Mark Balette and I have seen some pretty good deer sign, so I think our blinds are placed well.  We've got some mobile ground units we can move if we need to make some adjustments.

Luke Clayton

Well, folks this is the last installment from Elk Camp for this year.  I'm sending you this last post card on a rainy morning from inside our guide "hut" which is actually a cattle trailer we've partitioned into three separate living areas for the three of us guides.

Before you get to feeling too sorry for ole' Luke, it's warm, dry, and it's off the ground, and that's way better than an old tent.

Our hunters stay in a nice little cabin about 60 yards away.

Luke Clayton

It's Elk Camp season, and I'm in the Rockies with the crew.  I'll be sending you audio postcards.  This show we're getting settled in, you'll hear from the ramrod of our outfit, and my partner Larry Large.  It's going to be a great time.  Listen to the audio, and enjoy the sounds of Elk Camp in the Rockies.

Luke Clayton

Most readers of the outdoor press have read newspapers and magazine articles written by Bob Hood. Bob was a very active outdoors writer for close to half a century. He was one of my best friends and we hunted and fished together often and shared story ideas, pictures and the experiences of spending time together in the outdoors from the brush country of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains.

Luke Clayton

Another of my favorite recipes for wild pork is what I call “smothered” pork steaks. This is pretty basic country looking but is it ever mouth-watering good!

If the ham steaks I am using are from a larger hog, I use my meat tenderizer but with the slow cooking method, even the tougher cuts of meat usually become fork tender.

I sometimes use steaks from the back straps and these require no tenderizing other than a little time in the skillet. 

Wild Hog Mexican Stew

Aug 21, 2015

Well, hello Folks!  

This week, I'm sharing one of my cooler weather recipes.  Fall's coming on, and if you have wild pork in your freezer, this is the perfect use.  If not, this is still the best fall stew you'll ever have.

As in most of my cooking, I seldom add exact quantities of any of the ingredients.

Today, I'm sharing a recipe from my book, Kill to Grill.  It's a variation of a dish my grandma and mom used to make.  I modified it to take less time, but still taste just as wonderful!  

Luke Clayton

 Well, hello folks!  Today, Cindee sat down with me and we talked a little about how hogs came to the United States.  They're aren't a native species.  They've been brought to the area in multiple waves, starting back as far as the Spanish explorer, Desoto.

Take a listen, you just might learn a thing or two.

Luke Clayton

Howdy, Folks!

Here's my view this morning.  As I sit here, waiting for the feeder to bring the fish to this corner of my pond, my thoughts are running to how I got to this place in my life.  Why is my life about the outdoors?  The answer came to me relaxing on this dock.  Being outdoors gives me space to think.  There's a tranquility I can't find anywhere else.  Take a listen, you'll hear the crickets, the birds, the peacefulness of it all.  I'm encouraging you to spend a little time in the stillness of the country, away from people, traffic, and noise before summer's over.  You might discover something about yourself you never took time to find.

Until next time, enjoy the great outdoors.

Luke Clayton

 Well, hello folks.  Boy, I tell you what, my work is so hard.  I have to spend time outdoors with friendly people, who've come to be my friends.  To top it off, they want to share what they've learned!  One of those is fishing guide, Seth Vanover.  This guy knows how to catch fish, and today, he's reminding me of what it takes to bring in the big ones.  The tips he gives can be applied anywhere to help you catch those summer cats.

Luke Clayton

 Howdy folks!

It seems hard to believe that I was just fishing for Northern Pike in the land of the midnight sun, and now I'm thousands of miles south with the grandsons on a fishing trip in Galveston Bay.  I'm fishing with the crew of Captain Mike Williams.  You might remember Mike, we went shark fishing with him last year.  He owns Galveston Fishing Guides.     

This is the closest salt water for most of us, and I tell you, if you could an opportunity, head on down to the bay and do some fishing... and take the family.  You'll be glad you did.

Phil Zimmerman

In last week’s column we visited about my recent five-day fishing trip with Cree River Lodge to the remote waters of northern Saskatchewan. This week, I’d like to recreate a typical day up there, if there is such a thing as “typical” in the most awesome part of the world.

North to Canada!

Jul 3, 2015
Luke Clayton

 My longing to spend time in what I call the “North Country” began when I was a youngster reading accounts of hunting and fishing trips in Canada. This past week, thanks to the organizational skills of my friends Canadian outdoors writer Brad Fenson, Pat Babcock, owner of Cree River Lodge and the Saskatchewan Department of Tourism, my lifelong dream came to be. The fishing and scenery in this wild country was everything I had hoped it to be and… more!

Luke Clayton

 Howdy Folks!

I'm finishing up a book on wild hog hunting and processing, and my research has led to a surprising discovery.  

Trappers can sell the pigs to processors.  the processing plants have a USDA Inspector on the premises.  

Each hog being shipped to Europe is tested for trichinosis, a parasite sometimes prevalent in hogs, and very widespread in bear.  I thought all hogs, both domestic and feral were carriers of trichinosis.  That's not so.  I learned in thousands of pounds of meat, not one has tested positive for this disease.

Luke Clayton

 Howdy Folks!

Hop in the truck with me.  This week I'm taking you on a wild hog hunting adventure with Billy Kilpatrick and Terry Tate.  Billy and I are headed down to Terry's.  We're hoping Billy will be successful with one of Terry's big bore rifles.

Luke Clayton

Well, howdy there folks!  It's big bass time on Lake Fork in East Texas.  As a matter of face, it's not just big bass time, but it's trophy bass time!  This week, I'm talking with guide Seth Vanover about the most effective method of catching trophy largemouth bass.   

Seth has perfected his method of catch and release.  He has Lake Fork Cat and Crappie.

It takes a flood

May 29, 2015
Luke Clayton

This time last year, we were in the midst of a drought that seemed to be unending. Week after week, we watched our lake levels drop steadily. The outlook for ground nesting birds such as wild turkey and quail seemed bleak. Moisture is important for a good hatch and possibly even more necessary for the survival of young birds. Last year, there was very little ground cover in many areas to conceal newly hatched birds. Our stock ponds which often serve as private fishing hotspots were drying up. What a difference a couple of months make!

Luke Clayton

Join Luke this week while he visits with Seth Vanover about the impact the fresh water from all the rain is having on catfishing.

Cindee called me asking how to use up the frozen venison in her freezer.  I had a solution she hadn't thought of.  As a matter of fact, I made some BBQ venison in my smoker over the weekend, and here's how I cook it.

Pond Boss

Just a matter of a few short months ago, many farm ponds and private fishing lakes were almost void of water, thanks to several years of sparse rainfall. I live a short distance from some old gravel pits that a few friends and I lease for fishing. I remember five or six years ago, I could launch a my 14-foot aluminum boat and use an electric trolling motor to push me to the very back of the farthest pond, a distance of at least a quarter mile. The fishing lease consists of several deeper pits that, during periods of normal rainfall, are connected by strips of shallow water.

Luke Clayton

Lake Fork guide Seth Vanover eased his comfortable guide boat up to a stick up in the back of a cove and secured the craft with a looped bow rope. The area had been deluged with a heavy rain the night before and the lake was on a welcome rise. We were fishing during the calm between two spring thunderstorms. The rising water had undulated shoreline grass introducing worms, crawfish and all sorts of insects into the food chain. This was classis text book spring time catfish waters if ever I’d seen them!

Howdy Folks!

I tell you what, I have just had a conversation with Milo Hanson about the day he shot his world record whitetail buck.  I feel like I've just been on the set of The Red Green Show.

Milo is from Biggar, Saskatchewan.  He tells the story of that day better than any radio theater.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee, lean back, and listen to Milo.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke takes us on a hog hunt in the Pineywoods of East Texas at his friend Mark Balette's ranch. Mark owns B & C Outfitters ( in Trinity County and hosts hunters from all over the country on hog and exotic hunts.

On this hunt their good friend Bryan Shrum and Gary travel down from Tennessee to enjoy a couple of carefree days hunting hogs and catching bass and enjoying some great fellowship together. As Luke says, outings like this are "good for the soul".

Eddie Sparks

Most readers of this column are within a few hours drive of Lake Texoma and some of the very best striper fishing in the state, probably in the southwest. Stripers are currently the heaviest they will be all year. They are voraciously feeding on shad, putting on weight for their annul spawning runs up the Red and Washita Rivers.

Luke Clayton

Did you know that there are big bore air rifles on the market shooting over 500 foot pounds of energy which is more than ample for harvesting any animal in North America?

I've been shooting and hunting with air rifles for the past couple years and highlights this week what I considers to be the perfect air rifle for hunting hogs, predators and exotics. It's an easy to handle 45 caliber carbine sporting a 20 inch barrel. 

Luke Clayton

I like to keep our weekly visits lighthearted and hopefully share a bit of information and knowledge I’ve gleaned from kicking around in the outdoors the past half century. But occasionally I feel the need to “vent” a bit about outdoor related topics. What are your feelings about “hunting” wild hogs from helicopters? Let’s look at the many facets of this often controversial subject.

Luke Clayton

Curing and smoking ham at home is very easy. Pictured here are the hams from a 50 pound porker I took on a recent hunt. You can do this yourself!

Here how:

Order a packet of maple sugar cure from Frisco Spices You will actually receive two packages of cure which is plenty for even a couple of ten pound hams. 

Mix a packet of cure with two quarts of water to create the brine. Place hams into the brine and place in refrigerator.

Luke Clayton

I recently wrote about how much there is to do in the outdoors this time of year. Well, last week, I took my own advice and brought my words to fruition by first joining goose guide Rick Hrncir with Family Affair Guide Service for a Conservation goose hunt south of Corsicana and later in the week, did some fishing down in east Texas. So, relax in your easy chair and let me recap both outings with you. Hopefully you can find time this week to get out and enjoy some late winter activities.

Winter Catfishin

Feb 13, 2015
Luke Clayton

The dead of winter is prime time for catching giant blue catfish. The listening area of High Plains Public Radio encompasses some of the very best catfishing waters in the country. In today's show, Luke highlights some of his favorite catfish waters and discusses a big catfish tournament down in Texas that is scheduled later this month, details at

This week, Luke discusses some of his views on hunting on HIGH PLAINS OUTDOORS. It's important for hunters to show respect for the animals and birds that they hunt. Granted, wild hogs are a problem for many in the south and southeast but swine, for many decades have been a staple food source. Even though wild hogs present problems to landowners, they are still animals and, as wild hogs, game animals. They should be treated with respect by hunters.