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On The Wing Podcast
69 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
PODCAST EP. 127: Travis Frank Previews New Season of THE FLUSH on Outdoor Channel
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by television personality Travis Frank for a conversation previewing the new season of The Flush, airing on Outdoor Channel during the months of July through December. The conversation starts with a few entertaining stories of Travis’ new bird dog pup Daisy before diving into what to expect from the new season. Episode Highlights: • The guys talk about the increase in episodes this season that include a camping element to the hunt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that created a more enjoyable experience in many ways. • Bob and Travis also chat about Wyoming as an under-appreciated destination for the traveling bird hunter. Along those lines, Travis gives some insightful advice about hunting a brand-new state for upland birds. • Finally, the duo compare patterning fish as an angler with patterning wildlife as a hunter. The Flush 2021 AIR TIMES on Outdoor Channel Mondays @ 10:30am Wednesdays @ 6:30am Fridays @ 5:30pm Saturdays @ 8:30am (all times eastern)
65 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
PODCAST EP. 126: Finding Peace in the Uplands After Returning from War
David Gutierrez, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s new regional representative for the southwestern United States, spent 2005 through 2015 as a Green Beret in South America and Afghanistan. After returning to the United States from war, David struggled to find peace until he got a bird dog and started upland hunting. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Marissa Jensen, our Path to the Uplands content leader, for a thought-provoking conversation with David on finding solace in the outdoors. Episode Highlights: • David explains how he struggled after returning from his final Afghanistan deployment, and how he found peace in an Iowa deer stand while bow hunting. He also talks about his transition from deer stands to the uplands through the addition of his first bird dog, a Vizsla named Murphy. • This hard-charging veteran also explains why the mid-hunt break is his favorite component of any hunt. • Marissa leads a lightning round of questions for David about his favorite birds, hunts, and destinations. Read David’s blog, “Finding Solace in the Outdoors,” as part of this month’s Path to the Uplands content series presented by ALPS OutdoorZ
82 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
PODCAST EP. 125: Drought’s Impact on Pheasants in North Dakota and South Dakota
Hundreds of thousands of bird hunters travel to South Dakota and North Dakota each autumn to hunt roosters. With bird populations on the rise the last few years, coupled with a very mild winter in 2020, anticipation for the season ahead was skyrocketing . . . until a dry spring turned into a summer drought. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Rachel Bush, Pheasants Forever’s state coordinator for North Dakota, and Matt Morlock, PF’s state coordinator for South Dakota, to get an on-the-ground assessment of the drought hitting both states and its impact on pheasant nesting season. SPOILER ALERT: They are both optimistic for the hunting season to come! Episode Highlights: • Rachel and Matt, both biologists, provide some scientific perspective on a hen pheasant’s nesting and reproduction “strategies,” and how rain over the 4th of July holiday weekend came just in the nick of time. • The group also discuss the likelihood of CRP acres being opened for emergency haying and grazing, and how that is important for farmers, ranchers, habitat managers, and hunters. They also provide some advice for preventing any unwelcomed surprises when hunters pull up to their favorite walk-in property on opening morning this season. • Finally, Rachel and Matt discuss the current CRP general signup that is set to close on July 23rd.
77 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
PODCAST EP. 124: National Pheasant Plan and Current Drought with Dr. Scott Taylor
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Dr. Scott Taylor, a biologist and the National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan Coordinator. The conversation includes how the National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan was created to provide a blueprint for restoring and maintaining pheasant populations across the country. Written by biologists from 24 state wildlife agencies, the plan details the habitat needed to support a national pheasant harvest goal of at least 5.9 million roosters based on a multi-state habitat model. PLUS, Dr. Taylor gives his take on what this year’s drought might mean for pheasant reproduction. Episode Highlights: • Dr. Taylor explains the National Pheasant Plan’s origin story and how bobwhite quail factored into the development of a landscape-level approach to pheasants. • The guys also discuss how the recent decline in hunter numbers has become an unforeseen variable in determining the best number of habitat acres and targeted pheasant harvest within the national plan. • A biologist by training, Dr. Taylor compares the biological approach to reproduction between quail and pheasants, then explains why bobwhites have an advantage. • And the guys close out this episode with a conversation on every bird hunter’s mind right now: “How is a drought going to influence pheasant numbers this season?” Check out Dr. Taylor’s Pheasants Forever blog series at “National Wild Pheasant Conservation Plan Being Revised for the Times” https://pheasantsforever.org/BlogLanding/Blogs/Pheasants-Forever/National-Wild-Pheasant-Conservation-Plan-Being-Revised-for-the-Times.aspx
57 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
PODCAST EP. 123: Celebrating Pollinator Week ‘21 for Birds, Bees, and Butterflies
Did you know healthy pollinator habitat is great upland gamebird habitat? The plants that bees and butterflies rely on are the exact same insect-producing flowers that help pheasant and quail broods thrive. Pollinators also impact 75% of the global food supply, which is scary because our pollinator populations are in a steep decline. Enter bird hunting conservationists to the rescue! Host Bob St. Pierre and Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Anna Swerczek and Drew Larsen discuss the organization’s innovative habitat initiatives connecting pheasants and quail to pollinators. Episode Highlights: • DYK that not only is South Dakota the country’s top pheasant state, but it’s also one of the very top pollinator states? The crew discuss the connection between the state’s high ranking in both categories. Here’s a hint . . . it’s upland HABITAT! • Anna details why she selected each plant comprising the special pollinator habitat kit featuring yarrow, butterfly milkweed, and New England aster. Check out all our Pollinator Week content with special thanks to our event partners at Corteva, Bayer, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Outdoor Fund. https://pheasantsforever.org/Special-Events/Pollinator-Week.aspx
93 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
PODCAST EP. 122: The New Great Plains Grasslands Initiative with NRCS
Working Lands for Wildlife is the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s premier approach for conserving America’s working lands to benefit people, wildlife, and rural communities. This innovative approach is expanding into America’s Great Plains to restore and protect the critical grasslands there. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Tim Griffiths, NRCS’s Western Regional Coordinator; Dean Krehbiel, NRCS’s State Resources Conservationist for Kansas; and Chris McLeland, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Midwest Director of Conservation Delivery for this conversation about landscape-level grasslands conservation. Episode Highlights: • Griffiths is as enthusiastic and knowledgeable conservationist as there is out there in the United States. He’s leading this innovative approach to restoring grasslands in collaboration with America’s farmers and ranchers across the Great Plains. • McLeland offers a unique perspective throughout the conversation as a biologist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever who also ranches cattle for beef. • Kansas is the first state to kick off the Great Plains Grasslands Initiative and Krehbiel offers insight into the state’s thought process and progress. Learn more about the Great Plains Grasslands Initiative at wlfw.rangelands.app
95 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
PODCAST EP. 121: Bird Dog Health with Veterinarian Dr. Seth Bynum and Purina’s Karl Gunzer
Thanks to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s social media audience, we crowdsourced questions on bird dog health and nutrition for this special “Ask the Experts” episode featuring veterinarian Dr. Seth Bynum and Purina’s Karl Gunzer. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Director of Marketing Andrew Vavra joins host Bob St.Pierre for this entertaining and extremely informative conversation. Episode Highlights: • We received a lot of questions about bloat, twisted stomach, and stomach torsion (all known medically as gastric dilatation volvulus). Dr. Bynum talked about the bird dog breeds most susceptible to this potentially deadly issue and how to avoid it occurring in your bird dog. • Gunzer answered a wide array of questions about dog food; including when to switch a puppy to adult dog food, as well as answering the best time to feed a bird dog – before, during, or after a hunt – for peak performance and health. • Vavra throws our experts a curveball with a question about CBD for bird dogs that Dr. Bynum was ready for with some very insightful thoughts. We’re thrilled to welcome South Dakota Tourism as an official partner of On the Wing Podcast. Plan your next South Dakota pheasant hunt at HuntTheGreatestSD.com
72 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
PODCAST EP. 120: Jim Wooley on being PF’s First Biologist and How to Plant Food Plots
Host Bob St. Pierre is joined by Public Relations Manager and habitat junkie Jared Wiklund for a conversation with Jim Wooley, the first biologist Pheasants Forever ever hired. Wooley talks about leaving a great job as the Iowa DNR’s upland bird biologist to join the fledgling habitat non-profit in 1985. Wooley is also credited as one of the biologists who helped create Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Signature Series seed program and is an expert on habitat management, including the establishment of food plots for pheasants, quail, and other wildlife. Episode Highlights: • Wooley reminisces about his 31 years with “The Habitat Organization” through stories of chapters, volunteers, habitat projects, and notable land acquisitions. • Jim talks about his passion for the organization’s unique model and how that approach has always been the organization’s magical component fueling volunteers. • With spring turning into summer, Wooley also offers some planting expertise for the landowner focused on establishing a food plot on their own property. Thanks to Polaris, the “Official ORV” of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, for being the presenting partner of this episode of On the Wing podcast. http://bit.ly/OfficialORV
84 minutes | May 26, 2021
PODCAST EP. 119: Bobwhite Quail Habitat Through Southeastern Grasslands Initiative
Our story starts on a school bus in Tennessee with two childhood friends and ends with a vision for healthy quail habitat spanning from southern Pennsylvania all the way to central Texas. Host Bob St.Pierre is joined for this episode by Dr. Dwayne Estes, known as the “Prairie Preacher,” Quail Forever biologist Brittney Viers, and new QF Program Manager Andy Edwards for a conversation about Quail Forever’s partnership with the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative and how the groups are working together to create better habitat for bobwhite quail. Episode Highlights: • Dr. Estes talks about the hundreds of different types of southern grasslands– savannas, woodlands, bogs, prairies, glades, etc. –and explains their uniqueness in plant and wildlife species diversity. • The group also discuss how important these grasslands are to uncovering elements of American history in the South. • Dr. Estes also talks about the 17 National Grasslands covering nearly 4 million acres across the Great Plains and western U.S., then daydreams about the perfect location for the southeast’s first National Grassland.
62 minutes | May 19, 2021
PODCAST EP. 118: Conservation Crossing with Josh & Sam Soholt
Brothers Sam & Josh Soholt, owners of Public Land Tees, take a break from turkey camp to join host Bob St.Pierre for a chat about their love of hunting and their commitment to conservation. Highlighted during the discussion is the brother’s “Conservation Crossing” effort, which is helping Pheasants Forever, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Mule Deer Foundation, Delta Waterfowl, and National Wild Turkey Federation generate members through a creative t-shirt promotion. Episode Highlights: • The brothers talk about their motivations for donating $5 from every Public Land Tees product they sell toward conservation efforts. They also tell the story of developing the “Stamp it Forward” promotion that has helped generate thousands of Duck Stamp sales, and in turn, funding for upland and wetland habitat. • The Soholt’s also participated in the Public Lands Pavilion at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic 2020 in Minneapolis that helped create the new Cupido Wildlife Management Area which will be formally dedicated on August 6th in western Minnesota as a new public property open to all. • The guys have a funny discussion about the Conservation Crossing t-shirt design and how it riffs off the Beatle’s Abbey Road album cover design. Learn more about the Conservation Crossing effort at https://publiclandtees.com/conservationcrossing
44 minutes | May 12, 2021
PODCAST EP. 117: Biologist Brad Bortner on How Migratory Bird Harvest Influences Upland Habitat
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Brad Bortner, a bird biologist and the recently retired chief of migratory bird management at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, for a conversation about the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) for migratory birds. All bird hunters are asked about HIP certification when they purchase a small game license, and this is a discussion to explore what those questions mean and how the data is used. Episode Highlights: • Bortner talks about how his career brought him to every state in the U.S. and most other continents to evaluate wildlife, habitat, hunting regulations, and different country’s approaches to conservation. • Bortner explains the genesis of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s HIP program that all bird hunters answer questions about each year when they buy a license and how the US. Fish & Wildlife Service uses that data to monitor the harvest of migratory birds like ducks and geese, but also doves, woodcock, rails, and snipe. • The guys also talk about how that migratory harvest data influences the Department of Interior’s purchase of Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) so beneficial to upland game birds like pheasants, quail, and prairie grouse in addition to migratory species. Check out all the data available through the National Migratory Bird Harvest Survey: https://bit.ly/2QGVLxM
68 minutes | May 5, 2021
PODCAST EP. 116: Hunting the Wild Quail Slam Across the U.S.
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Chad Harvey, the organization’s regional representative for Montana, the Pacific Norwest, Canada, and Alaska, for a conversation with brothers Tyler and Brad Heine. The Heine brothers are Pheasants Forever volunteers in Montana with jobs that are slow in the winter which has allowed them to hunt wild bobwhite, Mearns, Gambel’s, scaled, valley, and mountain quail across the West. Episode Highlights: • The brothers share tips for finding and hunting the “Quail Slam” with their German wirehaired pointers from Oregon to Arizona to Nebraska. They also talk about playing phone call roulette to gain access to private lands for quail hunting. • Tyler explains how he became President of Pheasants Forever’s Flathead Valley Chapter in Montana and the gratification he feels about being a volunteer with “The Habitat Organization.” • Brad, a professional hunting and fishing guide, shares some hilarious stories about guiding hunters and anglers in Montana, including a thrilling story of his first guided big horn sheep hunt and searching for Coues deer in Arizona. Check out Brad’s terrific hunting photos on Instagram at his handle @heinemaster.
37 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
PODCAST EP. 115: Previewing Women on the Wing Virtual Event with Danielle Prewett
Our Women on the Wing Program Manager Marissa Jensen leads this episode’s fun conversation with MeatEater’s Danielle Prewett for a conversation about the organization’s upcoming virtual event on May 6th. Episode Highlights: • Danielle talks about her Deutsch-Drahthaar named “Zissou” as a nod to both the movie “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” and the oceanographer. There are some good laughs about “Z” stealing the show during last year’s virtual event. • Danielle discusses her plans for preparing the virtual event’s quail appetizer and provides some advice on wine pairings for the evening’s festivities. For more details and to register for the Women on the Wing event coming up on May 6th, please follow this link: https://bit.ly/3neMB7q
60 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
PODCAST EP. 114: A Love Story that Starts with a Bird Dog
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Amanda & Andy Doak for the story about how they fell in love through a mutual affiliation with the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA). Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Hunting Heritage Program Manager Colby Kerber also joins the conversation to talk about Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s partnership with NAVHDA. Episode Highlights: • Amanda talks about how welcoming NAVHDA is to women, her affinity for Pudelpointers, and her personal story of falling in love with Andy at first sight as he worked his shorthair during a NAVHDA event. • Colby talks about NAVHDA’s support of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s “Learn to Hunt” events with chapters across the country and the organization’s Bird Dogs for Habitat campaign. • With Andy’s affinity for shorthairs and Amanda’s affection for Pudelpointers, the couple struggle to come to a consensus on a singular bird dog breed they’d embrace if they had to select only one breed to love together. • Learn more about the partnership between Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, and NAVHDA at https://bit.ly/3xd9Z9T
90 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
PODCAST EP. 113: GearJunkie Hunt & Fish Editor Nicole Qualtieri
Nicole Qualtieri tuned in to Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s recent Call of the Uplands campaign video launch at the same time she was studying America’s massive decline in bird numbers resulting from habitat loss. Our campaign’s bold effort to improve 9 million acres of habitat resonated deep within Nicole and she’s emerged as a vocal advocate for wildlife habitat conservation. During this episode, host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Director of Marketing Andrew Vavra for a conversation with Nicole covering her journey as a hunter, her career path that included a stop at MeatEater, and her menagerie of pets. Episode Highlights: • Qualtieri articulates her view of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s habitat mission as “restoring the soul of our landscape.” • Nicole tells the guys about her new Boykin spaniel named “Bob” and some obvious hilarity ensues. • Qualtieri also puts voice to the guy’s favorite story of hers, “An Open Letter of Solidarity to a 9,000-year-old hunter.” - https://gearjunkie.com/outdoor/hunt-fish/9000-year-old-female-hunter
90 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
PODCAST EP. 112: Bird Dog Training with Tom Dokken and Josh Miller
We crowdsourced bird dog training questions from the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels for this special “Ask the Experts” episode featuring professional dog trainers Tom Dokken and Josh Miller. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Director of Marketing Andrew Vavra joins host Bob St.Pierre for this entertaining conversation covering flushers, pointers, and retrievers. Episode Highlights: • Josh and Tom discuss whether playing around with a “wing on a string” is helpful or harmful to a young pointing dog’s development. • The guys discuss how to properly introduce a dog to an e-collar and the steps building toward that introduction. • The group debates the merits of hunting pointers with flushers. • And the conversation ends with a fun discussion about training bird dogs to avoid skunks. Thanks to SportDOG BRAND for sponsoring this episode and for their support of this month’s Bird Dogs for Habitat campaign. SportDOG BRAND is the official tracking and training collar partner of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, as well as a long-time national sponsor of the organization’s wildlife habitat mission.
75 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
PODCAST EP. 111: Valley Quail with Biologist Monty Gregg
Biologist Monty Gregg closes out our western quail species series with a deep dive into California valley quail. A passionate bird hunter, Gregg talks about habitat, hunting, and the life cycle of valley quail. He also explains how the U.S. Forest Service is connected to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and America’s National Grasslands. Episode Highlights: • Gregg talks about growing up as a big game hunter then falling in love with bird hunting through friendships, bird dogs, and his passion for running. • The guys talk about Oregon’s public land bird hunting opportunities and how to find valley quail on the Crooked River National Grassland. Check out the entire western quail podcast series: • Gambel’s quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Wade Zarlingo • Mearns quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Kirby Bristow • Scaled quail podcast with New Mexico Biologist John Sherman • Mountain quail podcast with Oregon Biologist Mikal Cline
62 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
PODCAST EP. 110: Grassland Heterogeneity with Biologist Luke Zilverberg
Grasslands are inherently dynamic in space and time, evolving with frequent disturbance from fire and herbivores (bison, cattle, etc.). As a consequence of human actions, many remaining grasslands have become homogenous, which has led to biodiversity loss and decreased ecological services. Enter the concept of grassland heterogeneity. Host Bob St.Pierre is in over his head for a fun master’s level conversation about grassland diversity and the concept of “heterogeneity” with Luke Zilverberg, a Pheasants Forever biologist. And it all leads back to better habitat and more birds to chase with a good dog. Episode Highlights: • Zilverberg talks about hunting and fishing during his college years at South Dakota State University, while squeezing in his master’s in biology which focused on this concept of heterogeneity. • The guys talk about the biological importance of grassland diversity for pheasants and quail, then detail how prescribed fire and livestock grazing can be used to maximize the benefits for wildlife, soil, and water quality.
50 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
PODCAST EP. 109: Mountain Quail with Oregon Biologist Mikal Cline
We continue our series of western quail species with this episode’s focus on the mountain quail. Mikal Cline, an upland biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, joins host Bob St.Pierre and PF & QF’s Western Regional Director Al Eiden for a conversation about mountain quail biology, habitat, and hunting tactics. Episode Highlights: • The group discuss the mountain quail’s geographic range from northern Washington to southern California and some of the bird’s interesting attributes, including being the largest quail species in the United States, it’s elevational migration during the seasons, and it’s showy two feathers making up its head plume. • Cline talks about her fascinating career path which has included stops studying the endangered Atwater’s prairie chickens at the Houston Zoo, tracking bobwhite quail at the Ames Plantation in Tennessee, studying Canada geese in urban Chicago, and working on wild turkey projects for the National Wild Turkey Federation. • Cline also gives some tips on how and where to find mountain quail across Oregon’s vast public land hunting acres. Also check out our Gambel’s quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Wade Zarlingo, our Mearns quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Kirby Bristow, and our scaled quail podcast with New Mexico Biologist John Sherman for more great quail content.
73 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
PODCAST EP. 108: Scaled Quail with New Mexico Biologist John Sherman
Host Bob St.Pierre is joined by Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Western Regional Director Al Eiden for a conversation about scaled quail with John Sherman, a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico. A lifelong New Mexican, Sherman talks about his passion for scaled quail and the thrill of hunting them. Episode Highlights: • The trio talk about scaled quail being notorious “track stars” and the only bird you need tennis shoes to hunt. • Sherman details the geographic range of scaled quail, explains their biology, and discusses the habitat needs for scaled quail, which are also known as blue quail or cottontops. • A recurring theme of the episode is that New Mexico is underappreciated as a bird hunting destination although it is a state where a traveling bird hunter could earn a “Grand Slam of Quail” all in a day’s hunt (bobwhites, Gambel’s, Mearns, and scaled). Also check out our Gambel’s quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Wade Zarlingo or our Mearns quail podcast with Arizona Game & Fish Biologist Kirby Bristow for more great quail content.
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