A New Adventure

The Traditional Outdoors Podcast

It’s funny how quickly things can change.

In late 2017, Imade a post about the podcast world and how I didn’t intend on participating. I enjoyed several at the time but didn’t feel it was the right medium to share my content. A podcast seemed like a major investment — and I don’t mean financially. I didn’t feel I would be able to produce quality content on a consistent basis. I didn’t have a partner. I didn’t have the equipment. I had connections but lacked the time to line up the interviews I thought I would need to make the podcast interesting. Above all else, I didn’t have a clue. I’d listened to podcasts but never participated.

Then something funny happened. I was reacquainted with my first love (the guitar) and did what any other 30-something male would do: joined a slew of online music communities on Facebook. The re-immersion led to my meeting and chatting with several like-minded musicians who also happened to be podcasters. One of these people was Clifton Worley of The Clifton Worley Show who I discovered had many of the same musical tastes and interests.

Clifton’s passion for networking led to the forming of his show, which was based on discussing guitars and music with average musicians from the various groups we were associated with. You didn’t have to be a professional to be on Clifton’s show and I fell in love with that concept. After several weeks of listening to Clifton and his guests, I reached out to Clifton and shamelessly implied it should be “my turn”.

We shared a laugh, I joined him on the show, and it was a blast. We became fast friends and I ended up joining him and our mutual friend (and digital illustrator) Joshua Fraser on a frequent basis. I realized then, as Clifton’s show became “our” show, what podcasting was about, and how much I enjoyed it.

I wanted to do a project of my own and considered doing it under the Life and Longbows brand. However, I still didn’t have a partner. Several people had approached me about it, but no one was ready to make the commitment. Plus, I still wasn’t convinced I could produce enough traditional archery content to make a solid podcast. The Push, Trad Geeks, TradQuest, the Traditional Bowhunting and Wilderness Podcast, and others were already doing an amazing job on the interview and educate circuit and I didn’t see the value of regurgitating that content. It has and is already being done. This put me in quite the quandary mentally. It bummed me out.

Then, something funny happened. My friend and hunting partner Steve (Angell) of Simply Traditional, reached out to me and wondered if I would consider revisiting the podcast idea, but he wanted to take it beyond the traditional archery/bowhunting niche.

“Let’s pull it outside the Life and Longbows and Simply Traditional brand and do something dedicated to life in the outdoors.” He said.

I balked at first. Anything beyond bowhunting and a bit of camping was outside my expertise and comfort zone. And I didn’t dare refer to myself as anything but an amateur in the aforementioned fields.

“I don’t know about any of that, man.” I laughed. “You’re going to need to find guests because I’m not at all comfortable speaking to anything beyond the world of bows and arrows.”

I had pretty much written me being a guest-host off at that point, but he assured me that wasn’t the angle he was going for and went so far as to say that my naivety to the topics would provide a “newbie” perspective to the show.

I was officially out of excuses. I knew I could make the time to talk to my friend once a week and I knew I could play the role of “happy amateur”.

So, we brainstormed, lined up some interviews, set a date to record, and made a podcast. Just like that “Traditional Outdoors” was born and I believe it will be a successful venture. It should be entertaining at the very least and we’ll be thrilled if you learn something!

All that being said, we’ll need your support to get this up and running. You can start by checking out our website, which will both house the podcast and feature links to articles collected from across the Web (including this blog). We’d also like to invite you to our Facebook group, where the bulk of our conversations will take place. The primary goal of Traditional Outdoors is to create an outdoor community filled with enthusiasts that have integrity and love and support our natural resources and the activities therein.

The first episode of the podcast should launch very soon! Stay tuned and be sure to subscribe and tell your friends. There will be multiple ways to do so.

We’ll see you at the campfire!

“The Gobble”

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It only took one gobble to make me a “turkey hunter” and I heard it on the morning of May 24th, 2013.

It all started with a wife’s request.

Jessica loved that I put food on the table with my longbow, but (due to her body’s intolerance of red meat) hated that she couldn’t partake. This posed a problem, as I was a deer hunter with little desire to mess around with poultry. Plus, I knew nothing of turkey hunting save for what I’d read in magazines. Still, Jessica held firm in her opinion that a wild turkey would be the epitome of table fare. She insisted I shoot one that spring.

I’ll admit the “know-how” wasn’t my only hang up. It was also a matter of pride. I worked hard to be an amateur deer hunter and took my lumps on a regular basis. An ass-whooping beneath the talons of yet another species wasn’t all that appealing. But I loved my wife and was willing to try.

Several months later, I had a late-season license, a pot call, and a flock of turkeys discovered on my morning commute. The latter was dumb luck. I’d just dropped my girls at daycare and decided to take the “long way” to work. This particular “long way” bordered the Rogue River and included several hundred acres of state hunting land. I’d scouted it for deer in the past, but had little interest in the turkey population. Things were different now and I was ecstatic to see 8-10 birds flocked up from the road.

The “long way” became “my way” for the next several months and the birds remained. Something peculiar happened while seeing these birds. It began as an itch of sorts. Something unreachable in the back of my head and creeping ever forward as the hunt approached.

I read about turkeys. I watched videos. And I discussed turkey hunting with those who shared the sickness I suspected I had. The night of the 23rd, I dreamt the most vivid of hunting dreams I’d ever experienced. I saw the birds flocked up in the field. I saw myself giving chase – playing the part. I watched my hands put striker to pot and arrow to string.

I didn’t get up when the alarm chimed 5:30. Exhaustion was only part of the cause. Deep down I knew the events of the day couldn’t compare with those in my dreams. And I couldn’t compete with the hunter either. Jessica, who’d awoke to my alarm, rolled over and shot me a quizzical look.

“You getting up or what?” She asked, mid-yawn. “Late season turkeys aren’t like early season turkeys.” I lied. “They cruise around a lot. No need to get up too early.” She wasn’t buying it. “Okay, then why did you set your alarm for 5:30?”

“Wishful thinking I suppose.”

“Well, if you don’t leave by the time your daughter gets up, she isn’t going to let you.”

The short ride to the Rogue was completely silent. I needed to adjust to the quiet and would have nothing distract me from the task at hand. My knees bounced with excitement. My hands fidgeted on the wheel.

I pulled into the gravel lot to find it absent of competition. It was just light enough for me to see the river and the path that ran along side it. This was one of three paths that lead to the killing grounds and I figured it the safest. The churning river would mute the shuffling sound of boots to the previous year’s leaf fall and there was plenty of timber to keep me hidden.

The air nearest the river was damp and cool. It reminded me of Sunday afternoon fishing trips with the rest of the Viau family. I wasn’t much of a fisherman, but always enjoyed these trips. Mom promised baseball cards or comic books to whichever of us boys caught the biggest or most. Little did she know, watching my father lose his mind over frequent snagging would’ve been enough to get us out of bed.

The road lay to the east. The river began to drift to the west, forcing me to abandon it. The turkeys were somewhere in the middle, but I didn’t know where. There was a barren cornfield to my right and a plot of hardwoods in front of me. It was dead calm, so navigating the timber absent the noise of the river seemed foolish. On the other hand, so did walking across an open field. It seemed like a life or death decision – one I wasn’t about to rush. I took a seat on an old hickory stump to avoid doing so.

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As soon as hickory met hind-end, everything changed. A gobble shot through the timber and straight into my chest, which thrummed in its wake. I held my breath, vowing not to take another until he spoke again. A second gobble ripped through the trees, this time from a different direction, and was immediately answered by the original. This went on for several minutes and quickened in frequency as the two converged. It was quite the racket. Even a rookie like me could imagine what was happening – and what was about to. I sympathized for the hen that had their attention.

The air seemed to buzz with an energy I can only describe as supernatural. I slipped into a trance of sorts – unable to move or think – until I noticed a tapping sound. I glanced at my lap and realized it was the arrow dribbling against my riser. My legs had a tendency to shake when excited, but never to this degree. It reminded me of John Voight’s deer encounter in Deliverance. I’d mocked that movie’s ridiculous portrayal of buck fever for years, yet with the possibility of a turkey looming, was doing my best imitation.

“Not today.” I chuckled to myself. “That’s not going to be me. I’m not going to end up like John Voight.” I took a deep breath, stood up, and dashed off to claim my destiny.

This was turkey hunting. And I was hooked.