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

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.com

Support for High Plains Outdoors comes from the following sponsors:   

  • Since 1972, Dallas Safari Club has been the gathering point for hunters, conservationists, and wildlife enthusiasts.  You can find more information about the Dallas Safari Club online at: biggame.org.
  • Margaret Holmes  seasoned canned goods for every outdoor feast. Online at: margaretholmes.com
  • Snap Lock Hunting Blinds are lightweight and strong.  They can be assembled in the most remote areas with ease. On the web at: snaplockhuntingblinds.com
  • ​​Airforce Airguns.  Powerful and accurate air rifles.  Online at airforce.com
  • Hunter's Supply.  Cast lead bullets for your shooting needs.  On the web at:  hunterssupply.com

  • Mepps Lures/Mr. Twister They're online at: www.mepps.com

  • Air Guns of Texas.  A dedicated airgun and airgun supply store. Online at: airgunsoftexas.co

  • Smokin Tex Electric Smokers.  Smoke meat the easy way.  Their website is: smokintex.com

  •   Sun Optics USA.  Scopes, binoculars, spotting scopes and other shooting supplies.  On the web at: sunopticsusa.com   
  • Darton Archery.  DartonArchery.co

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!

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!

icancookthat.org

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!

biggamehunt.net

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 (www.easttexasexotics.com) 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

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 www.friscospices.com. 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

"What's for supper tonight, Luke?"    Give me twenty minutes and we will be eating gumbo!

This week, Luke tells divulges his quick and easy method of making  "Instant Gumbo"!

Begin cooking a couple gallons of gumbo stock which contains all the baiscs, ie.  tomaotes, okra, celery, bell pepper and onion. This can be preserved by canning in quart jars or freezing in quart freezer bags.

Luke Clayton

In this week's High Plains Outdoors, I'm wondering, "What game animal do you consider the most challenging to hunt?"  I hunt everything from elk and bear up in the mountain states to deer and birds. I consider a wise older wild sow the most adept at avoiding humans, thanks mostly to the refined sense of smell. I've been watching this one wild sow for the past 4 months on trail cameras and occasionally see her in the woods. One of the fat pigs is my target.

In my opinion, there is no finer eating game animal than a fat wild hog weighing between 20 and 50 pounds.

Luke Clayton

Hello Folks!

The last buck of the season brought a big surprise to this ole boy.  I was set up in my ground blind, the last day of deer season, the last hours of the day, when movement caught my eye.  And, there was a big ole tom bobcat.  I thought he'd just look around, and then go on his way, but the rascal headed right for the door of my blind.  He was about six feet away when I shut the door.  There simply was not enough room for ole Luke and that cat in the blind.

That really got me going!

The main reason most people don't like the strong taste of duck is because they don't take steps to remove the blood from the duck.   Here are a couple mouth-watering methods.  Remove the breast of the duck, butterflying each half, then place them in a 50/50 mix of soy sauce and Coca-Cola.  I marinate them overnight in a Ziploc bag.  The next day, I put a slice of jalapeno pepper in the middle, fold it over, wrap it with bacon, then indirectly smoke it.  Don't put it right over the flame, but smoke it for about an hour.  

There are a number of steps to take for a successful duck hunt, but one of the most vital ingredients is- hide! 

Luke Clayton

Merry Christmas!

This week I'm sharing one of my favorite winter dishes- smoked chili.  The secret to this recipe is to smoke the meat prior to adding any liquid ingredients.  Take a listen to the show, and I'll walk you through the process step by step.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  Join me this week as I travel to east Texas to hunt aoudad and wild boar with my long time friend Mark Balette who owns B & C Outfitters

On this hunt, I put more meat in the freezer with the with a good eating wild boar and Aoudad Ram.  I used my Darton Crossbow  for the hog hunt and a new big bore air rifle that will be on the market next month for the ram.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  This week, we're headed west to the canyon country of southwest Texas.  I'm meeting Steven Ray.  He's an expert antler rattler, and the creator of Rattling Forks.

This hunt brings in one of the nicest bucks I've seen in years.

Hop in my truck, and let's go!

Luke Clayton

Deer season is well underway and I’m betting many of you have a freezer full of venison. What would you think is the most popular method of cooking venison? Maybe chicken fried steak? I’m betting the old standard fried backstrap or ham steak is very high on the list! I’ve enjoyed chicken fried venison since childhood and thought I’d share with you my method of preparing it.

Luke Clayton

DEER SEASON is in going strong right now and the rut is either in the early stages or full swing, depending upon where you hunt.

Luke Clayton

Well folks, today I’m sharing my favorite wild game barbeque.  It’s mouth-watering good.

Luke Clayton

So far, this has been an awesome year in Texas for harvesting trophy class white tail bucks. Today, a buck that makes the Boone and Crockett book with the minimum score of 170 BC has become almost commonplace, especially on well managed ranches, many of which are high fenced, all across the state.  I, and most veteran deer hunters, can remember not too many years ago when there were only a handful of ‘book’ bucks taken in the state each year. While visiting and hunting with my friend outdoor writer and TV show host Larry Weishuhn recently, we spent a good bit of time discussing the subject of the increase of big deer taken in Texas and across the country.

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks, today I'm taking you on a quail hunt to Hidden Lakes Hunting Resort.  My buddy, Terry Tate, is on this adventure with me.  Places like this are the only place you'll find quail, they've been gone from there for about 25 years. 

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!

This note is going to be short.  My wife and I are on vacation in the Galveston Bay.  We're staying in a canal house, and fishing off the deck.  I've also been going out at night gigging flouder with one of my friends.  We've also been taking care of the crab traps.  Take a look at the slide show, and you'll see the amazing stone crabs we brought home.

It's a great time to be outdoors!

alzheimersreadingroom.com

I’ve been penning stories about the outdoors now for almost a quarter century. One of the benefits of being an outdoors writer so long is sharing the knowledge I glean from all the professional hunters and fishermen I work with. 

Luke Clayton

Howdy Folks!  My guest this week is guide Billy Carter who has lived, fished and hunted on beautiful Caddo Lake in deep east Texas his entire life. Billy and his wife Dottie own Spatterdock.  They have several furnished rental houses situated right on the lake. They also manage the oldest inland marina in the state, Johnson's Ranch Marina.

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