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Oklahoma City, OK

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Final Descent Outdoors is going into it’s fourth year of being a national hunting show and our fifth year overall. With staff scattered from Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas we are yearly able to harvest some great deer and capture some amazing footage for our viewers to enjoy. We take pride in the fact that we are “average joe’s” just like our viewers. We are school teacher, firefighters, ministers, salesmen, truck drivers, and everyday folks. The goal of Final Descent Outdoors is to produce the absolute best outdoor television possible for our fans and feature our sponsors and their products that help make us successful in the woods. 

We are passionate about hunting but we are also passionate about our faith in Jesus Christ. In life as well as the show our goal is to make God look good. Furthermore, we are family men and God has called each of us to lead our families. Our spouses and children come before any hunting season. We want to allow our viewers to walk with us through the unforgettable moments, the laughs, and the heart breaks. Aren’t those the emotions that bring us back to the woods over and over again?

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5 Things You Need To Know About Hog Hunting

Brad Clay

Every time we do a hog hunting episode we get tons of feedback from folks asking “Where can I go to do a hog hunt?” A wild hog is a bucket list hunt!” Being from Oklahoma we are blessed and cursed with this evasive species.  The first pigs are believed to have been brought into Florida in 1539 by explorer Hernando de Soto.  They brought pigs with them as a traveling food source.  As they traveled throughout the southeastern part of the United States and as far west as Texas the hogs got loose from time to time and the numbers slowly grew.  Today we have an estimated 5.5 million hogs in the continental US.  With 36 states having an established wild hog problem today and more and more hogs moving north the problem means more hunting opportunities for outdoorsman.  So, if hunting hogs is on your list, here are 5 things you need to know.

 

1) THEY ARE SMART: Hogs are as smart as a dog.  Matter of fact Purdue University did a study showing pigs could do the same cognitive tasks that chimpanzees could do.  So that means that hogs don’t handle hunting pressure, they remember well, and learn fast.  When they feel pressured they either move on or worse, become nocturnal.  It’s not an easy hunt, they are smart, they are quick to learn, and are one of the best survivors on the planet.

 

2) ALWAYS ON THE MOVE: When hogs are on their feet, they are moving.  It’s just who they are.  When feeding in a field or standing at a feeder they are always moving.  When they are grouped up many times they are also making lots of noise.  A hunting property I used to hunt had lots of hogs.  When I sat in my deer stand along the creek it was a pattern, just after first light the hogs would begin squealing as they fed which made the turkeys roosted above them gobble.  It happened literally every time!  With that being said when a hog gives you a shot, be ready to take it because more than likely they won’t be in that position long.

 

3) NEVER FOOL THE NOSE: Hogs don’t have the best eye sight, that is why you see lots of spot and stalk kills.  They do have solid hearing but the best defense a hog has is the nose.  99.9999999% of the time you will not fool the nose of a hog.  If the wind is wrong, it’s not going to happen.  According to researchers at Texas A&M hogs can sense some odors from as far away as 5-7 miles and detect odors underground as far as 25ft.  You can fool the eyes, but rarely the nose!

 

4) BOARS vs. SOWS: Boars and sows have many differences besides sex.  For instance, when you see a hog alone 9 times of of 10 it’s a boar.  Unlike whitetail or other game animals, hogs don’t have a “rut”.  A sow can reach sexual maturity as young as 6 months and cycle all year long.  That means hogs are breeding 24/7/365.  Because of the constant rut boars are fighting for breeding rights all year long.  When a boar is alone it means he is either looking for new sows or has been whooped off and is searching for new sows to breed.  Boars typically develop larger teeth or “cutters” that they use to fight for breeding rights.  The larger boars develop an “armor plate” made up of fat and scar tissue along the shoulders.  The scar tissue develops from the boars fighting.  This armor can also be an issue for hunters who need to make sure they are using proper equipment that is capable of penetrating the shoulder.  The sows stay in small family groups and spend most of the time pregnant and raising piglets.  The sows do have cutters but rarely are they as large as the male counterparts.  

 

5) HUNT THE WEATHER: Hogs do not have sweat glands which means that they have to take measures to keep cool in heat.  Many dog hunters know that hunting hogs in the heat leads to the hogs dying in the process as they can’t handle the stress and heat.  When it’s hot, hogs tend to stay along water in the thickest cover possible.  They lay and cover themselves in mud and tend to move at last light or only at night when the temperatures drop.  The best times to hunt hogs is in the colder months.  They are not spending near the amount of effort to stay cool.  They move more frequent during the day and the cover is less since the leaves are gone.    

 

Several of our sponsors make some great products for hog hunting! Check them out!

 HeviShots HogWild Shotgun shells

HeviShots HogWild Shotgun shells

 WMD's Big Beast .308 Rifle

WMD's Big Beast .308 Rifle

 Real Avid's Hogzilla Knife

Real Avid's Hogzilla Knife

 

If you are looking to book a hog hunt check out these outfitters!

 

Stuart Ranch Outfitters (www.stuartranchoutfitters.com)

 

Miller Brothers Outfitters (www.millerbrothersoutfitters.com)

 

Pennington Creek Hunting Club (www.penningtoncreekhuntingclub.com)

Watch A Spot & Stalk Hog Hunt Here!

Behind the Scenes of Episode 3 of Season 5

Brad Clay

Hunting an alligator wasn't something that i would say was on my bucket list but when our friend Brett Will with Swivelimb Treestands asked if we wanted to tag along on a gator hunt in Louisiana with Hunting' Cajun Enterprises I wasn't about to say no.  I was joined by staffer Daniel Arms, Brett, Kieth Wendt, as well as Steve Quisenberry and Tyler Tate with Born To Kill Bowfishing.  Normally on trips, I am the point man, I wasn't on this one.  I had never spoken to the guide, I was just along for the ride.  Now, I travel and speak at Wildgame Dinners and other events around the country and get comments on my "Okie" accent.  When we met our guide Reggie aka Gator Reggie I had no clue what he said for the first 15 minutes of our conversation.  I just smiled and tried my best to read his body language as to know what to say or do in response.  No doubt Reggie is from the swamp.  

We met Reggie on the first day of the hunt and headed out armed with cameras and a rusty old .22 rifle.  The first line we came to had a gator and the action started!  The kill zone on a gator is small and the reason for the small caliber is to save as much hide and meat as possible.  If you miss that small kill zone the gator will only be stunned and he might just wake back up and he won't be happy.  We learned this lesson from experience.  Nothing will make a 270lb man move quicker than a 6ft gator you thought was dead spinning around hissing at you.  A follow up shot did the trick and we moved on.  All in all, the hunt with Gator Reggie was incredible.  The deep swamps of south central Louisiana are breathtaking.  The hunting was incredible.  We were able to tag 16 gators in two days and make unbelievable memories none of us will ever forget.

Beside the hunt we also went to Scientific Testing Labs in Baton Rouge, an TMA (Treestands Manufacturers Association) certified testing facility and we got to see how they test the treestands and safety harnesses we hunt from.  Pretty amazing how it all works and the measures taken to assure products work properly.  All I can say is, if a stand isn't TMA certified, don't buy it!  It's just not worth it.

The devotion for the episode related to the fact that the gators are dangerous because they lay and wait for there prey.  Romans 6:23 reminds us that sin is also deadly.  We must be aware of the danger of sin and avoid falling for it's temptations.  The only thing that can save us from our sins is Jesus Christ.  If you don't know him today, we hope you will seek Him out!

If you misses episode 3, here is the full episode!

 

 

Hunter Uses Atlatl to Kill Buck

Brad Clay

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And you thought a recurve was hard?  It appears that Paul Gragg used an atlatl in St. Charles County Missouri to harvest a giant 15pt buck.  Gregg stated that it was the first time he had actually thrown it at a deer.  Maybe you are like a lot of folks and you are not aware of what an atlatl is exactly.  The atlatl (pronounced "at-uhl at-uhl") was used to throw spears or darts prior to the appearance of the bow and arrow. The spear thrower's arm is essentially lengthened and with a spring like action can add a much great force than just throwing with your hand.  The darts ranged from 4ft-5ft in length. The atlatl was used by many Native American tribes for hunting deer, elk, bison and other wild game.  It was also used by Natives in the Arctic for hunting seals and even whales.  Pretty cool!  Congrats Paul Gragg on an awesome buck taken in a very unique way!

Behind the Scenes of Episode 2 Season 5

Brad Clay

 Actual bear in Mark's office

Actual bear in Mark's office

Episode 5 Season 2 "Bears and Bucks" features two great hunts from field staffers Mark Henson and Joe Dansby.  Mark is a pastor from Kansas and Joe does foundation repair in Oklahoma.  Mark has been filming hunts for over 10yrs and brings a wealth of knowledge and "maturity" (he is the oldest guy on the staff) to the group.  Mark is also an avid bike rider and travels to several competitions a year and nearly always places near the top in his age division.  Mark has been to Canada several times and actually has a full body mounted bear in his office at his church.  Mark headed back to Canada to try his hand at another bear.  It didn't take him long to find a nice shooter and run an arrow through him.  This was the first bear hunt to be featured on FDO.  What you might not know is that Mark had several close encounters with wolves while in the stand as well.  We have provided some behind the scenes footage of Mark in the stand with a pack of wolves howling just out of sight.  A bit scary.  

 Joe with an 80b flathead he noodled.

Joe with an 80b flathead he noodled.

Joe's hunt is back in his home state of Oklahoma and early in the season Joe was getting some great pictures of some really nice deer.  Joe was able to pattern a buck and with the help of a pile of Buck Blitz arrow a really nice early season whitetail in Oklahoma.  What you might not know is that on the video the shot looks great, and it was.  But this buck managed to carry himself several hundred yards in some thick underbrush before Joe was able to recover him.    This was Joe Dansby first kill on the show in his 2nd year filming for FDO.  Joe had several other shoot bucks on camera but wasn't able to hunt much after that due to a tick bite that had him hospitalized at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City four nearly two weeks.  How about that for behind the scenes!  When Joe isn't hunting he is noodling.  Yep, he is one of those crazy people and he is really good at it.  

 On the set shooting interviews at the Great Plains Kubota Dealership in Edmond, OK!

On the set shooting interviews at the Great Plains Kubota Dealership in Edmond, OK!

The interviews for this episode were shot at the Great Plains Kubota Dealership in Edmond, OK.  Great Plains is a local sponsor of the show and a great Christian owned company that we are proudly partnered with.  The devotion at the end was centered on God's timing and featured Psalm 27:14.  Waiting for the Lord can be hard but God many times wants to teach us through the journey.  God's timing is always perfect.  If you misses Episode 2 of Season 5 just click and watch below, it's a good one!

 



Behind The Scenes of Episode 1 Season 5

Brad Clay

We couldn't have been more excited for our 2014 hunting season and our 5th season overall.  None of us had attempted a spot and stalk archery hunt out west and were excited to meet up with Trey Aars of Double A Outfitters in northeast Wyoming.  Pro Staffer Jeremy Roland was the point of contact so rolling into camp I had only spoken to Trey a handful of times.

In prep for the trip we had all practiced a ton and if you ever want to attempt a spot and stalk hunt out west here are some things you should know.  It's not just practicing in the back yard shooting at a target.  One of the things I underestimated was how quick I would need to draw, aim, and release.  Many times the mule deer would come up out of the bed and give you a matter of seconds to draw and fire before bounding over a ridge.  Practice on getting settled into your pins quickly and efficiently.  Next, practice on shooting standing, and from your knees.  You would be amazed at the difference between the two.  Many times the bucks would bounce out of his bed and then you were having to guess his range from where you had ranged him bedded.  Work on being able to judge distance, many times you don't get the chance to range that buck a 2nd time.

After several failed stalks Jeremy was able to connect on his first antelope.  The 60yd shot was back, what you don't see on the show is that we let him lay for several hours before going in to recover him just before dark.  Now, the focus was on mule deer.  The terrain of northeast Wyoming offered us the ability to see a long ways.  And the saying "you get what you pay for" is true in this scenario when it comes to optics.  If we didn't have great glass, we would have rarely gotten a chance to make stalk.  As the mule deer left the alfalfa fields of a morning they would go into the canyons, find a shaded bed and get comfortable.  It's amazing how these deer can blend in.  We used Vortex Viper HD binos and the Vortex Diamondback spotting scope and quickly realized the need for them.  Cheap glass will only lower your already low odds of success.

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Much of our time in Wyoming wasn't spent stalking, it was spent spotting.  If you get the chance to go be prepared to spend hours at a time glassing.  It's heartbreaking to spend four hours searching for a buck, then to locate him and then put an unsuccessful stalk on.  Unfortunately, you will have way more failed stalks than successful ones but patience is key.  But having a well trained guide is huge.  I can honestly say I have hunted with great guides and some REALLY bad ones and Trey is one of the best.  We would watch these bucks come out of the fields and bed.  If we couldn't get between them and the bed then we would plan a route to get close.  Time and time again Trey got us in range of bucks.  We either missed (we all missed multiple times) or the bucks just didn't read the script.  

Trey rarely gets a chance to hunt.  When he isn't guiding he is working long shifts in the local coal mines.  Trey and his girlfriend Leslie spend most of the time scouting, glassing, driving hunters, planning meals, taking care of the beautiful lodge, and rarely have time to hunt themselves.  We spotted a buck late in the week that we named Kenneth.  He was big, still in full velvet and was the one we were all after.  After many failed attempts the last night we made a plan.  After watching this bucks pattern for several days we knew he would bed and that evening go to water.  He had several options for water.  Myself and Jeremy sat on the top water hole while staffer Brant Hill and cameraman Rob Campbell sat at another location.  I told Trey if he got a shot on this big buck to take it.  He argued but I insisted and quickly trained Leslie on how to run the extra camera we had with us.  And wouldn't you know it, Trey was able to stalk into position to take a shot.

The arrows flight was true and the big buck dove into the water and swam about 40yds across the pond.  The hunt meant a lot to Trey not just because it was his biggest buck with a bow, his first mule deer in 16yrs, but it was his first hunt that afterwards he wasn't able to pick up the phone and call his dad and tell him all the exciting details.  Trey's father had passed away earlier that year.  Like many of us, Trey's passion for the outdoors was passed down to him from his father.  To be honest, this hunt was very special to me.  I lost my father at a young age who was also a passionate outdoorsman.  I can't explain how excited we were to get word that Trey was able to run an arrow through this buck.  It was an amazing week and I can't wait to go back and do it again.

To see the full episode click on the video below!


Letting a 160" Walk

Brad Clay

Seems crazy doesn't it?  For most of us, a 160" whitetail is a buck of a lifetime.  Then to do it with a bow, that's even more incredible.  In 2013, Final Descent Outdoors pro staffer Adam Nicholas was hunting northwest Kansas with Homerun Outfitters.  We have had lots of success with Homerun Outfitters in the past.  After a slow start to the week, as it happens so many times, overnight everything changed for Adam on Halloween night.  

Adam was perched 20ft up in a cottonwood over a creek (in northwest Kansas trees are a rarity and when you find one, it's a cottonwood).  A great buck steps out down stream and begins making a scrape and a rub.  This buck is a poster child for Kansas bruisers.  Long main beams, tall tines, and a big body.  He didn't have a lot of mass but you can't let a buck like this walk...right?  Adam begins to evaluate the buck and though he has impressive head gear he doesn't think he is more than 3 1/2 and not yet mature.  

Filming this great buck Adam's estimation of the buck is confirmed, at least on being mature.  An old warrior begins to step out across the creek.  He looks like an old gladiator coming in for yet another battle.  Ears laid back, posturing the bigger racked buck.  First thing you notice is this buck has great mass and like many great warriors he is broken up.  His G2 on his right side is gone from a previous run in with a buck it would seem.  

Adam is anticipating a fight between these two bucks.  However, no fight occurs.  The bigger racked buck wants nothing to do with the old bruiser and quietly leaves his scrape and moves on.  The older buck goes to the new scrape and covers it with his scent solidifying himself as the dominate of the two bucks.  

A few minutes later Adam is able to arrow that big Kansas bruiser at 54yds.  So the moral of the story is this.  Not everyone has the privilege to hunt Kansas, or Ohio, or Kentucky, or another state known for producing giants.  Not everyone is A TV show host shooting big bucks across the country for a living.  In fact, most guys are weekend warriors.  They work hard so they can play hard.  With limited time in the field, it's hard to let those bucks grow, I get it.  So the trophy is in the eye of the beholder.  We encourage hunters to let young bucks grow but we don't want to ever put anyone down for taking a deer, this is suppose to be fun.  

Watch Adam Choose The Mature Buck!

As a faith based program so many lessons can be drawn from this this hunt, but what sticks out most to me spiritually speaking is my desire to seek maturity.  I would rather have a tree with deep roots than broad branches.  Colossians 2:7 says "Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.  Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness."  It's easy to choose broad branches in life.  They look impressive many times but maturity should be our desire in the woods and in life.

Why Should A Church Host A Wildgame Dinner?

Brad Clay

We don’t have to tell you that men’s ministry is tough.  On any given Sunday in America there are 13 million more adult women than men in attendance in our churches.  Men don’t like to admit they are wrong or ask for help.  To come into a relationship with Jesus we have to admit we are sinners (we are wrong) and that we need Jesus (help).  So, creating events like a Wildgame Dinner is a great way to get men into the doors of the church, in a non-threatening environment and present them with the gospel.  There are nearly 14 million hunters in the USA and using the common ground of the outdoors to reach those men is quickly becoming a very effective way to draw men into the church.  However, this isn’t just about the man.  When a man comes to faith in Christ the rest of the family follows 93% of the time.

Our Church Doesn’t Have A Mens Ministry Budget, How Can We Pull It Off?

I do realize that many churches don’t have much money set aside for men’s ministry.  I do believe that this can be a huge outreach and you should figure out a way to make it happen.  

You should want to try and keep the event free if possible but many churches do charge to come to the event.  There are benefits to charging outside of the actual money coming to help cover costs.  You sell tickets and you have an idea on how many to expect, you can cap the event based on space and food if needed.  This is all based on where your church is along the lines of funds to put on this event.

 

We Have Never Done One, Where Do We Start?

We realize that many churches have never hosted such an event and have no idea where to start.  I have spoken at over 200 such events and have seen them done well and I have seen them done very poorly.  Here is what you need to pull it off:

Food: Don’t be scared by the name “Wildgame”.  You can do several things here.  One, ask men in the church to bring homemade wild game dishes, another great way to involve men in the church.  You should also have other food available.  Many churches will do chili, fried fish, or smoked meats.  (Actually had several churches bring a whole smoked hog, people loved it.  Apple in the mouth in all!).  You want to make sure that you have plenty of food and fish and chili seem to go along way.  Tea, water, and simple desserts keep all men happy, happy, happy!

Date: We recommend doing the event between January-March or September-October.  This is right before and right after the hunting season.  Many churches choose Saturday or Friday evenings. However, you need to look at your church, your area, and decide what works best for you.

Speaker: You can dream as big or as small as you want here.  You want Phil Robertson?  If you can afford him, do it!  There are several outdoor TV personalities that speak at such events like myself.  Jeff Danker of Major League Bowhunter, Jimmy Houston, Daniel McVay and Buddy Groom of Buckventures, Alex Rutledge of Bloodline TV, Jimmy Sites and many more (sorry if I left you off!)  You don't have to have a TV guy by any means.  Maybe it is someone in your church but you want someone who can clearly...clearly present the Gospel.

Promotion: Many of these events succeed and fail by the amount of effort put into it through promotion.  Don't make it all for not!  Start with the men in your church and work out.  Get them on board and bringing buddies.  Then hang up flyers at local gun shops, bow shops, ranges, sport stores, etc.  Run ads in the paper, USE SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Get the word out and get those guys in the door!

Door Prizes: One of the best way to get guys in the door is by promoting the event and mentioning some amazing door prizes. Contact your local sporting good store, taxidermist, gun shop, bow shop, feed store, etc and ask for a tax deductible donation. Set aside some budget to also provide great prizes.  Just an FYI...giving away guns means background checks and FFL transfers.  To avoid embarrassment and the hassle we recommend giving away a muzzleloader as it doesn't require a background check or an FFL transfer.

Plan Well: Men have a tendency to miss details.  You can't. Plan out the schedule and hold to it, respect the folks that comes time the best you can.  Plan to have food prepared and served.  For door prizes, have runners take prizes to folks, this process can drag on forever if you don't speed it up.  Plan for men to make decisions and follow up to be done.  If men come accept Christ make sure proper follow up is done! Don't just say, they stood up, filled out a card, or raised there hand, good enough!  Make sure you have there information.  (I recommend having a card you do the drawing from with contact info and at the bottom have a response area for follow up afterwards).

Pray: Last but for sure not least!  There are so many lost men in your community that need Jesus, many of them love the outdoors.  Pray that this event would appeal to them and that they would come and hear about Jesus.  That is the end result.  Bring men together to be challenged by the truth of the Gospel.

If you have any questions about Wildgame Dinners please don't hesitate to reach out to us!

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Out Of State Hunter Gives His Kidney to Kansas Landowner

Brad Clay

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You heard me right.  I had the privilege to meet Rob Robinson, a firefighter from Starkville, Mississippi on September 24th at a men's retreat I was speaking at.  Rob is a typical Mississippi boy.  He hates Alabama football and loves turkey hunting.  Rob began heading to Olathe, Kansas to hunt many years ago.  His sister moved there and he was able to stumble into some incredible deer hunting.  Like many of us, he saw the amount of turkeys in Kansas and decided to take up hunting Kansas turkeys as well.  Early success allowed Rob to actually take largest typical bird in Kansas history.  A score of 88 4/8 is still the record to this day.

Rob decided to head towards Northwest Kansas in search of rios.  He didn't know anyone in the area, just loaded up, drove out, and started knocking on doors.  By chance...nah, by God's appointment Rob knocked on the door of Kansas landowner Gil Alexander.  Gil allowed Rob to hunt and after a week he was able to get a bird down.  A few years later Rob headed back out and knocked on Gil's door once again.  This time Rob asked if he could pitch a tent in Gil's yard (in the past he had slept in his car).  Gil instead insisted that Rob sleep in the house, true country hospitality.  

 Gil and Rob together after the surgery.

Gil and Rob together after the surgery.

Rob noticed that Gil was on dialyses.  Gil informed Rob that he was in need of a kidney transplant and his life was in jeopardy.  After the hunt Rob made the long drive back home and the Lord began to work on his heart.  Rob decided to be tested to see if he was a match for Gil, just a landowner he knew from Kansas who lived nearly 1,000 miles away.  Turns out Rob's kidney was a perfect match.  Rob informed Gil that he wanted to give him his kidney.  "It blew my doors off," said Gil, who appropriately named his new kidney Mississippi.  "I did a glory, hallelujah fit.  I stated crying and praising God and crying and praising God.  I didn't know what to think."
 

On November 26th of 2012 the transplant was performed and was a success.  Both men would say it was the best Thanksgiving they have ever had.  "I gave a gift to Gil, but I feel like I've been given a gift too," said Rob.  "It wasn't random at all.  God had a plan, it seems random, and in a sense it was, but it was meant to be."  Rob has since founded Forever Outdoors with the goal to promote organ donation.  You can follow Rob through Forever Outdoors on Facebook.

Link to Forever Outdoors Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/Forever-Outdoors-733804983319141/timeline/