In the summer of 2017, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers launched a podcast designed to bring attention to the issues facing public lands and waters and the people who step up to defend our hunting and fishing heritage and opportunities. With acclaimed journalist and certified jack of all trades Hal Herring at the helm, the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Podcast & Blast is fast nearing 100 episodes on topics ranging from survival skills to the perils of the federal land transfer movement. Whether you're a diehard Eastern whitetail fanatic or an Alaskan sheep hunter, there's an episode in the library that will speak to your passions, and there's more than a few that should be required listening for every conservation-minded sportsman or woman out there. To celebrate three years, here are 15 of our favorite episodes. To see the full library, visit our podcast page or look us up on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you choose to listen.
July 1, 2019
Tom McGuane, now in his late 70s, has lived life as a version of the 100-yard dash, fishing and hunting, team roping, ranching, and training and competing on some of America’s best cutting horses. Through it all, he has been writing – from his internationally acclaimed 1973 novel of fishing guides gone wrong, 92 in the Shade, and the epic 1976 movie, The Missouri Breaks, through 10 more novels and his most recent collection of short fiction, Cloudbursts, which represents almost 40 years of his work. Hunting, fishing and the eternal beauties of the natural world infuse his every word. Hal meets up with McGuane in McLeod, Montana, on the Boulder River. They begin with an eye-widening discussion of how McGuane’s “The Heart of the Game” (widely recognized as one of the greatest-ever essays on hunting) came to be written and published in Outside Magazine in the late 1970s. The stories – as well as the funny and thought-provoking observations – continue from there. The poet Jim Harrison once said, “Thomas McGuane writes better about fishing than anyone else in the history of mankind.” Start 2019 off right with this conversation between two lifelong sportsmen and masters of the written and spoken word.
May 22, 2019
Eduardo Garcia grew up free roaming in the Montana backcountry north of Yellowstone National Park, in the company of elk and bison and native trout. The son of a Mexican fisherman and a teacher, he learned to cook because he needed a job but found his life’s passion in the work – and in the hunting and fishing and foraging that provided the finest ingredients for the dishes he loved the most. He became a yacht chef, traveling the world, and a celebrity. But upon his return to Montana, on a simple afternoon of elk hunting, his whole world changed forever – and his already powerful story became one of overcoming extraordinary adversity and rebuilding a life, one slow step at a time. Come join us for this episode of epic personal will and triumph, of metaphor and wisdom, gained in the hardest ways of all.
October 3, 2017
Outdoor writer and BHA Podcast & Blast host Hal Herring sits down with Kris Millgate of Tight Line Media.
They discuss the occupation of Malheur Wildlife Refuge and penguin walks on ice, being comfortable in the face of danger, ecology as economy, childhood and public lands, trapping and tracking grizzly bears, what grizzlies smell like, charismatic megafauna on the landscape, living in small towns, honesty as the best policy, and much more.
September 5, 2017
The four discuss the history of conservation, Jim's first deer, why we see the animals we see on public lands today, balancing sports and hunting season, the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, the power of people within a democracy, trophy animals and what they represent, how to write a college paper, protecting fisheries in 1864, the pull of Montana and the West, and much more.
August 9, 2017
Hal Herring talks with Steven Rinella, author, hunter, and host of the television show MeatEater.
The two outdoor writers discuss squid jigging, 9/11, fishing in the Lake Huron, trapping in Michigan, heading West, fish before dams, the recovery of multiple species, short-sighted conservation, what came before us, hunting as tangible goods, outdoor recreation, people as watermelons, unspoiled places, hunting in the jungle, native wildlife vs non-native wildlife, and much more.
April 24, 2018
Hal Herring talks with Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia and legendary outdoorsman, at the 2018 BHA North American Rendezvous in Boise, Idaho.
They discuss Chouinard's roots, hunting jackrabbits with goshawks, replacing stuff with knowledge, a business borne of necessity, Chouinard's climbing crew, rugby shirts and corduroy pants, the Patagonia method of management, the cure for depression, national monuments, an agricultural revolution and the joys of simplicity.
July 3, 2018
Hal Herring and BHA North American board member Bill Hanlon of British Columbia swap stories in Whitefish, Montana. Hanlon tells the tale of his incredible 1999 adventure that begins with a Dall sheep hunt in northern British Columbia and ends with a wild discovery of the remains of an ancient hunter. It's a story of one hunting culture connecting with another over the centuries and into modern times. This is a hunting journey like no other, and it's not to be missed.
June 18, 2019
As the 116th Congress gained momentum, Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico traveled to Boise, Idaho, for BHA’s 8th Annual North American Rendezvous. One of the most enthusiastic sportsmen on Capitol Hill, he is also an indefatigable champion of public lands. During the ruckus of Rendezvous, Sen. Heinrich took time to sit down with Hal and talk desert ecotones, maverick tarantulas, migration corridors and the sage steppe, the state of hook and bullet advocacy in Congress, and the everchanging nexus between grassroots conservation movements like BHA and the legislative machine. Listen in for the senator’s take on the future of the public lands movement in North America.
August 13, 2019
Calling all American public land owners! The time for action is upon us. In wildland firefighting, a backburn is setting a fire to stop a fire … burning fuels ahead of a conflagration that must be stopped. This episode of BHA’s Podcast & Blast, featuring Hunt Talk’s Randy Newberg and BHA President and CEO Land Tawney along with host Hal Herring, is our version of a backburn. We are setting a fire in our country, raising a public land owner’s flag and marching on Washington, D.C. The administration’s appointment of William Perry Pendley, an outspoken proponent of selling off our American public lands, to head the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 248 million acres of our lands and waters, poses an unprecedented threat to our outdoor traditions and shared resources. We cannot allow it to proceed unchallenged.
May 6, 2020
Hal traveled to the Bears Ears National Monument to meet with Angelo Baca, a filmmaker and storyteller who grew up in and around Blanding, Utah, and has roots in this country that go back, literally, thousands of years. Baca has roamed far in his life – a competitive distance runner whose athletic career took him east and eventually to a doctoral study at New York University that focuses on the decades-long effort to protect the Bears Ears country. For this conversation with Hal, he is home in Utah, where he continues to be one of the leading advocates for the Bears Ears National Monument and for Native American engagement in public land management decisions.
January 28, 2020
Wyoming native and star outdoor reporter, with nine years of writing the outdoors column for the Casper Star-Tribune, Christine Peterson has been immersed in Wyoming’s hunting and fishing, mountains, rivers, plains and wilderness in a way few people will ever match. She talks with Hal about that life – the deadlines, the adventures, the stress and the love of newspapers and reporting – and her decision to leave it behind after the birth of her daughter Miriam, to take up freelancing full time and own the freedom to focus on a new life as an outdoor mother and writer. At the time of recording this podcast, Christine, Miriam and her husband Josh were about to embark on an epic fishing and roaming road trip to Alaska, as well as move within Wyoming, from Newcastle to Laramie. If there is a theme here, it is change and new adventures…and holding on to the things that make for the most powerful kind of life.
February 26, 2019
Hal goes south to meet old friends in the hurricane-battered backcountry of north Florida and talk about survival, spears and slingshots, pit bulls, blacksmithing, baskets, knives and traps, and that place where function becomes inseparable from art. Podcast guest Madison Parker was a U.S. Navy SEAL for 12 years and now teaches survival skills, homemade weapons and primitive hunting skills to SEAL teams and other military and civilian clients from his home base on the Chipola River near Marianna, Florida. Madison is a native son of what has been called Florida’s Forgotten Coast and the founder of Bulletproof Primitive Supply.
May 7, 2019
Hunter, writer, thinker, scientist and wildlife expert, Shane Mahoney of Newfoundland is the foremost and most powerful voice of our time for hunting-based conservation and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Come and sit in on a conversation between two die-hard and lifelong hunter-conservationists for whom hunting and a life outdoors is as natural, and as necessary, as breathing.
July 17, 2018
In this episode Hal catches up with T. Edward Nickens, editor at large at Field & Stream magazine and author of the Total Outdoorsman Series of books. Eddie is an old-school Southern gentleman and a consummate outdoorsman and conservation leader, and he writes about it all with the depth and passion of the greatest of the Romantic poets. Eddie and Hal had a huge amount of pure fun doing this podcast. “I’ve read his work with respect and admiration for 15 years,” says Hal, “but we’d never crossed paths until now.”
March 13, 2019
Ron Mills, an outfitter, hunting guide and packer in the Bob Marshall Wilderness since 1959, returns for Round Two in the BHA Podcast & Blast! Ron has authored a new book called Under the Biggest Sky of All, 75 Years on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, a raucous and astoundingly funny account of his adventures as a guide, horseman and packer, farrier and ranch hand in some of the wildest country left on the planet. (Hal wrote the forward to the book, as seen in the spring 2019 issue of Backcountry Journal.) Ron and Hal discuss the book, life in the saddle and in 20 different camps across the Bob, and what it is like to work with a man who turns out to be a coldblooded American serial killer.