Monday, July 15th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Monday, July 15th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

A quick chat with hunting legend Larry Weishuhn

Texas native Larry Weishuhn with a good buck. (Contributed photo)

For decades, Texas native Larry Weishuhn has been a household name in the hunting community across many platforms.

For many years, it was his contributions to print media and television for the NRA and former North American Hunting Club, just to name a couple. These days, he can be found blogging, podcasting and continuing to write on a freelance basis while still making plenty of time for hunting.

Outdoor News caught up with Weishuhn recently to discuss a number of topics. Here are some highlights from that conversation.

Outdoor News: How did you become Larry Weishuhn? How did you get started, and how did you get where you are today?

Weishuhn: It goes back to that time when my dad and granddad carried me around on their back while I was still in diapers, hunting and fishing here in Texas. And of course, they instilled within me the desire and the love of the outdoors and I guess from that it’s where it really kind of started.

Then I ended up at the University of Texas going to work for the wildlife disease project while still an undergraduate. After several years with the state, I decided to leave. We’d started our own consulting company at about the same time too. I’d been doing a fair amount of writing, so (it’s) the writing and I guess the wildlife management background. We continue doing lots of management programs, being very involved in a lot of different white-tailed deer and other wildlife research. So, I guess that’s where it all kind of started.

Outdoor News: So, what’s occupying your time now professionally?

Weishuhn: I actually do the DSC’s Campfires podcast. I do a podcast called Campfires with Luke and Larry on Sporting Classics and the weekly radio show with Luke Clayton. That’s also a podcast, among other things.

For a long time, I served as the ambassador of the Dallas Safari Club – DSC, promoting everything that they do in terms of conservation, education and hunter advocacy. I still write a substantial amount, a lot of freelance and a lot of blogging. I say everything that I can to promote wildlife management and to explain why hunting is so very important to all wildlife. Not just the animals that we hunt, but all the different species that are out there and more importantly the habitat itself.

Outdoor News: What’s your 2023 hunting season looking like?

Weishuhn: 2023 has been really good in that we did a spring bear hunt earlier this year in northern Alberta, just below the Northwest Territories border. Had a great time. I just got back from a hunt in the California wine country, at the Steinbeck Vineyard, which is an unbelievably fabulous place, a tremendous deer herd. I was able to take a really nice mature buck with a drop-tine actually, which I’ve not seen very often with the Columbian blacktail subspecies of deer.

Beyond that we’ve got a hunt coming up in Alberta. We have a bunch of Texas hunts coming up, also hunting Missouri and I’ll spend some time in Oklahoma as well.

Outdoor News: What did you experience during COVID and what has changed in the industry since?

Weishuhn: We saw some changes in COVID. Number one, I think one of the things is that there’s always a silver lining behind every black cloud and certainly that was a black cloud in many ways. But I think one of the things that people learned is that food comes not necessarily from the grocery store, it comes from the earth itself and there was very little in terms of really good food, sometimes meat and vegetables.

I think we have seen a great change in people becoming more aware that I can also harvest my own wild game and have a great time doing it. So, I think that’s kind of the best thing that came out of COVID, just an awareness of where our food does come from and that we are capable in terms of being able to produce and to harvest our own animals.

Outdoor News: Let’s talk hunting guns and cartridges. There’s a lot of new options out there. Are you using them and if so, what do you like or not like about certain rounds?

Weishuhn: We are very fortunate. We live at a time where we’ve got some of the best hunting rounds, best optics, best rifles, people are really paying attention to triggers and barrels and all those other kinds of things. And we’ve seen in the last few years kind of a proliferation of a lot of new cartridges. I think part of this comes down to the interest there is in shooting at long range, hopefully not in long range hunting.

But I’ve had the opportunity to use a lot of the PRC cartridges like the 7mm PRC that recently came out, the 300 PRC and the 6.5 PRC – all absolutely great cartridges. But when you get right down to it, it’s like looking at the 6.5 Creedmore, which either you’re in the court that loves them or in the court that doesn’t love them. But basically that was the first 6.5 cartridge that has done well in the U.S. We’ve had the 6.5×5.5mm Swedish around for a long time.

But I’ll also tell you that I dearly love the old cartridges. I love the old .270, the 300 Win Mag, the 30-06. A lot of these rounds now have been around for 100 years or so, and when you get right down to it for the average guy that hunts, they will do any and everything that some of these new cartridges that we have available to us now do. But, you’ve always got to have something new in creating new interest – especially among new shooters, new hunters – with some of these new cartridges that they have. I love all of them, I really do.

Getting down to the ballistic coefficients and all those other kind of things, we’re living at the very best of times when it comes to cartridges, as far as hunting, as far as shooting is concerned.

Outdoor News: Do you spend a lot of time hunting on public land?

Weishuhn: A little bit every year. I live in Texas where we’re probably 95% privately owned. So, the last year or so I’ve spent more time in Texas. But yes, I’ve hunted a lot of the BLM lands. Probably more of those kind than anything else in the past.

Outdoor News: What are your thoughts on the recent Corner Crossing verdict in Wyoming? Are you familiar with that?

Weishuhn: I’ve dealt with some of these things in the past, as a manager of properties for wildlife both in Colorado and New Mexico, and to me it just kind of depends on which side of the fence you’re on. If you’re a private landowner, you know that’s one thing.

If you’re a public land hunter, it’s another thing. So, the good thing is, with some of the programs that we have available now via computer or our phones, we know exactly where those corners lie, as opposed to in the past, there was a little bit of a guess. At least we got that working for us.

Outdoor News: What are your perspectives on the future of hunting?

Weishuhn: The future of hunting, I think, is good in a lot of different ways. I come back to Texas because we do have a lot of hunters here. We have a good understanding through organizations such as the Texas Wildlife Association that I helped start back in 1985. We have taken something upwards of 80,000 kids basically on their first hunts. Those kind of programs, and other programs going on in the state, we’re also seeing a greater number of women getting into hunting. With that happening there’s a brighter future than there might have been a little while ago, I think in the long term.

I think we’ll always see hunting maybe a little bit differently from what we’ve seen in the past and with limited access in certain instances. But a lot of times when we address hunting, people forget that they think in terms of hunting deer, they think hunting bear, or elk. Small game hunting is something that is alive and well and it really needs to become even a little bit more alive because it’s absolutely great fun. If we think in terms of getting more people involved with small game hunting as well as big game hunting or waterfowl hunting, I really think that’s an avenue we need to kind of press on moving into the future.

Hunting is going to be here as we move forward. It has to be if we love wildlife.

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