High Plains Outdoors

Saturday mornings, 11:30 central during Western Swing and Other Things

Luke Clayton invites you to his camp to talk about the great outdoors.   Every Saturday morning, during Western Swing and Other Things, he'll be telling hunting and fishing stories, and a whole lot more.  You'll learn how to make sausage, cook over a campfire, get some wild game recipes, as well as inside tips on how you can become a more successful outdoorsman. 

Luke Clayton

Luke Clayton grew up in northeast Texas and is addicted to everything outdoors. Luke’s passion is bow hunting, but he also enjoys shooting and hunting with big bore air rifles, and fishing for everything from Northern Pike to catfish.  

He currently writes a weekly newspaper column that appears in over thirty newspapers and several regional publications.

Luke is on the pro staff and media advisor for Darton Archery, Smokin Tex Electric Smokers, and Airforce Air Guns.  

His new book, Kill to Grill was recently published.  He's also the author of  the book, "Hunting and Fishing Texas." You can also find more information about his books and listen to his weekly hour-long radio show at www.catfishradio.org

Support for High Plains Outdoors comes from the following sponsors:

Luke Clayton

Regular readers might remember an article I wrote about hunting eastern turkey up in Oklahoma at the vast 45,000 acres “Choctaw Hunting Lodge, located less than an hour west of Hugo, OK.  This past week, I made my second trip to this outdoor wonderland, this time with several great friends including Larry Weishuhn, aka “Mr. Whitetail”.

Luke Clayton

Lake Fork- Round up a foursome of still very active old guys, all a few months away from their 68th birthday and chances are pretty good they have some “stories”. After all, there is just under 300 combined years of living amongst this group, plenty of time to amass untold life experiences, many of which are just down right funny!

Luke Clayton

Options, that’s what this week’s column is all about. We fishermen have several options when it comes to wetting a line for sport or, in many cases, a fresh fish dinner! We can own our boat which comes with some “built in” costs in the form of initial cost, fuel, registration, etc. etc. Or, we can hire the services of a fishing guide to enjoy a day on the water at our favorite lake. A few lucky anglers either own or have access to property with a fishing pond. We can fish public reservoirs “from the bank”.

Luke Clayton

A hunt this past week with some great friends fortified my belief that the great outdoors is the perfect place for like-minded folks to bond friendships that last a lifetime. I first met Jeff Rice and his lovely wife Demi a couple years ago at, of all things, the Wild Hog Festival in Ben Wheeler Texas. I was there with my book, Kill to Grill, the Ultimate Guide to Hunting and Cooking Wild Hogs and serving as one of the judges of the wild hog cooking contest. Jeff and Demi stopped by my booth and an instant friendship was formed.

Luke Clayton

Luke's guest on today's show is Larry Weishuhn, aka. Mr. Whitetail.

Larry is host of Dallas Safari Club's TV show, "Trailing the Hunter's Moon" and a long-time authority on whitetail deer.

In today's show, Larry and Luke talk about whitetail fawn survival and the importance of leaving what appear to be abandoned fawns alone.

Luke Clayton

Luke's guest for today's show is fishing guide Seth Vanover.  Seth guides on Lake Fork and Lake Of The Pines in eastern Texas for crappie, catfish and trophy largemouth bass. 

In today's show, Seth goes into detail explaining the subtleties of summer fishing for crappie using a jig and light tackle.    

Luke Clayton

This week, we find Luke recouping from last week when he spent  three days in the mountains of southeastern Oklahoma hunting wild turkey with his friend Travis Benes, manager of The Choctaw Hunting Lodge.

Then, Luke went fishing for a couple of days at Lake Fork at the annual Yantis Catfish Classic , he also served as Grand Marshal.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke visits with his friend Travis Benes, manager of The Choctaw Hunting Lodge, in Southeastern Oklahoma and discusses a recent hunt for eastern wild turkey. 

Luke has hunted Rio Grande turkeys for many years in Texas, but his experience with eastern "woods birds" is limited. Luke wasn't able to tag a bird on this hunt but he did have a couple of excellent opportunities, saw lots of turkeys, and learned a great deal about hunting them from Travis.

Luke Clayton

I believed I mentioned in a previous column that I was heading up to Knox County to hunt turkeys at Ranger Creek Ranch, one of my long-time favorite spots for enjoying a variety of outdoor activities. Well, I’m just back from a couple days of hunting spring gobblers at Ranger Creek with my good friend Jeff Rice. There are no photos of gobblers with 11-inch beards to accompany this week’s column but Jeff and I enjoyed a great time in the spring turkey woods and around camp the evening of the hunt!

Luke Clayton

Turkey season is going strong now and many hunters have already bagged their gobbler and have them in the freezer. But what about those wild turkey legs and thighs? Everyone knows those drumsticks from wild gobblers are too tough to eat, right? WRONG!

In this week's show, Luke tells how to make them fall off the bone tender. He also walks you through the process of preparing smoked wild turkey and sausage gumbo.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke visits with us about a recent hog hunt he enjoyed close to home during what could be our last blast of Arctic air until next fall. Luke referred to this as his "last cold weather hog hunt of the season."

After 38 years of hunting wild turkeys, Luke has experienced turkeys doing some downright comical things. He gives us the "short version" of one of these experiences in today's show. 

Luke Clayton

Last week, Luke "ran out of time" telling about a recent night air rifle hunt he enjoyed on his buddy Jeff Rice's ranch in east Texas. This week, Luke recaps the hunt and goes into a bit more detail describing just how he and his buddies harvested the porkers after dark.

Luke Clayton

Just a few days ago, Texas adopted a regulation that allows airguns for hunting big game this coming fall/winter. For the past seven years, Luke has been shooting and hunting hogs/exotics with air rifles.

Luke Clayton

This week on High Plains Outdoors, Luke tells us about a couple of wild pigs he killed near his house last week. He prepared them "Old School", over an open pit, cooking with oak and hickory wood.

While bigger wild hogs are great eating, there is nothing in the wild that compares to the flavor of young pigs cooked slowly over coals. When making sausage or ham, Luke usually targets bigger hogs but for some awesome 'old school" BBQ, nothing beats a pig weighing 30-50 pounds.

Luke Clayton

Join Luke at the campfire in front of his cabin this week and learn one of his simple, but very tasty camp recipes.

We don't always have a lot of time for cooking on fishing or hunting camps, but this tasty recipe takes canned beans and sausages to the next level!

Luke Clayton

In today's High Plains Outdoors, Luke discusses planning a summer fishing trip to Canada. There is a wide array of options when planning a trip; everything from five-star lodges to "do it yourself" camps. Prices of these fly-in trips vary greatly.

In today's show, Luke tells about his trip last summer where cost, including float plane, lodging in a comfortable cabin, fish cleaning, and boat and motor was just under $1,000 US dollars.

Luke Clayton

Join Luke on the porch of his cabin this morning and he will walk you through a very simple but tasty method of making Kielbasa smoked sausage.

Rather than buying all the bulk seasonings, measuring and blending, Luke prefers to use a kit from Butcher Supply. This kit contains the proper amount of blended seasoning to make 25 pounds of very tasty Kielbasa.

Luke walks you, step by step, through the process in today's show. This is something that YOU can do and save some $$ in the process.

Luke Clayton

In this week’s show, Luke talks about a hunt for javelina that he enjoyed this past week at one of his favorite places, Ranger Creek Ranch, near Seymour in in northern Texas. 

During the hunt, Luke used his Darton Maverick 2 compound bow to take a good "eater" that weighed about 35 pounds.

Luke Clayton

It won't be long until it's time to chalk up the old box call and get our turkey hunting gear in order for the opener of spring turkey season.

In today's show, Luke "talks turkey" and discusses some of the challenges of getting a big old long beard with a shotgun or bow range.

If you enjoy hunting turkey in the spring, it's definitely not too early to begin making plans! 

Luke Clayton

On this week’s show, Luke talks about hunting javelina on Ranger Creek Ranch  in Knox County Texas. javelina season runs until Feb. 25 in northern Texas and is open year around in many southern Texas counties. 

Many hunters are not aware of the large number of javelina in northern Texas around Knox County, thinking they must travel to extreme southern Texas to do their hunting.

Luke Clayton

In today's show, Luke talks about a recent hog hunt he enjoyed with his friend Jeff Rice on Jeff's ranch, The Buck and Bass.

Jeff's ranch is located on the upper end of Lake Fork in East Texas and is home to countless wild hogs. Luke connected with a fat 100-pounder and turned the backstraps into what he describes as, "The best pork I've even eaten".

Here's Luke's recipe: 

Luke Clayton

Deer season is a done deal for this year so it's time to hang up the rifle or bow, but now is perfect the perfect time for breaking out the camera and "long" lens and taking some great photos. Camera equipment doesn't have to be expensive, an aftermarket 200mm or 300mm lens can be purchased for a few hundred dollars or ... a few thousand for the top-of-the-line professional lens.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke visits with Will Herring, owner of Wild Boar Meats in Hubbard, Texas and discusses putting wild hog meat to good use. Herring's processing plant buys thousands of wild hogs each year and puts the meat to good use in the form of pet food.

The demand for wild hogs is so great that the plant is currently expanding so that more hogs can be utilized.

Luke Clayton

Luke joined his friend Deryl Markgraf on his hunting least in north Texas along with Terry Tate and Matthew Yates. The group set up what they kiddingly referred to as their "mid-winter rabbit camp". A fajita dinner featuring axis deer steak served as the evening meat, complete with some of Deryl's specialty Chorizo cheese dip. 

Luke Clayton

We hunters are not always fortunate enough to drive a vehicle right up to a downed game animal and sometimes, we have to pack the meat out. As luck would have it, Luke harvested a good eating "meat hog" just before deadline for this week’s show.

Luke Clayton

Wild pork is plentiful during the winter months at Luke Clayton’s house and he puts it to use in various ways, but any lean meat - domestic or wild - will work with this recipe. 

Luke first learned how to prepare this tasty dish from a Mexican cook at a hunting camp down on the Texas/Mexico border back in the late 70s.

Rather than measure the cumin, salt, garlic, etc., Luke much prefers to taste test the stew as it cooks. Cumin is the predominate seasoning and it's important to use enough of it to give the dish it's "Mexican" taste.

Luke Clayton

Luke tells about a very busy week he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his buddies from Canada. Luke and friends enjoyed a mid-winter outdoor vacation pursuing wild hogs at night with thermal gear, hunting them with rifle and bow during daylight hours, and catching big blue catfish weighing up to 54 pounds with mutual friend guide David Hanson at Lake Tawakoni. Luke's Canadian buddies even had a chance to land their first largemouth bass on the adventure.

Luke Clayton

Each week, Luke brings us some fishing or hunting news from the great outdoors. Sometimes, like this week, he passes along little bits of information that makes the time we spend outdoors easier and more productive. This week, Luke gives a recipe for making dehydrated has hbrowns topped with cheddar cheese. 

For many years, Luke and many camp cooks have spent time during the early morning hours slicing and shredding potatoes for hash browns to go with the standard bacon and egg camp breakfast.

Luke Clayton

Making venison barbecue the way Luke explains how to make it is a great way to use pre-packaged steaks that are cut into half inch or so thickness. Luke uses his Smokin’ Tex Electric Smoker to supply the wood smoke flavor and he also slow cooks it in the smoker to make it really tender.

But, for those who don't have a smoker, a bit of liquid smoke and an oven should suffice. So, if you have venison steaks in the freezer and have a "hankering" for some tasty barbecue, give this week's show a listen!  

Luke Clayton

Join Luke this week on the porch of his hunting cabin as he discusses making a tasty Dutch Kettle full of Chili, made from mule deer steak off of a fine buck he harvested up in Northern Colorado a couple of weeks ago, while hunting with his friends David and Regina Williams and Terry Tate.

Great tasting venison can be made from just about any type game meat, everything from wild hog to elk and just about everything in between! 

Pages