Featured Guests: Joe Thomas, Nick Hoffman, John Gechter, Brandon Cameron
(Photo courtesy of "The Revolution with Jim & Trav")
Look to the skies! This week on The Revolution with Jim and Trav we’re talking wingshooting. Joining us will be a panel of pros to discuss decoying, calling, scouting, bird hunting hotspots and more. Tune in as Joe Thomas, host of The 29 on MyOutdoorTV talks grouse hunting, John Gechter with Rainin’ Skies Waterfowl dishes early-season goose hunting strategies and Nick Hoffman from Nick’s Wild Ride with Nick Hoffman highlights dove hunting. Finally, Brandon Cameron, Ford Product Development Engineer will outline the 2019 Ford Raptor’s off-roading capabilities, including the Trail Control system. Jim and Trav’s "Wingshooting" broadcast is presented by Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, World Fishing Network and MyOutdoorTV. Let’s hunt!
Think fast! How many species can you name of the North American 29 big game animals?
This week on The Revolution, Joe Thomas will stop by to talk about The 29 – a brand new, MyOutdoorTV exclusive series that documents his journey over the last two decades to tag as many of North America’s big game animals as he can with a bow. Completing a challenge of this magnitude takes time. Often referred to as the Super Slam, the species included in this challenge are diverse, wide spread and take careful planning and coordinating in order to hunt. Add to that the use of archery equipment and you significantly increase the challenge of each hunt individually and of the quest as a whole. Joe says when hunting with a bow you have to understand that you won’t always be successful – to illustrate he cites his experience hunting mountain goats and references the multiple failed hunts he endured before finally tagging out. The 29 is more than just a hunting show, Joe says. It also highlights the journey, the highs the lows of each pursuit, the people that introduced him to hunting, as well as his fascination and respect for Fred Bear. He credits the ability to let these stories unfold in their own time to the format of MyOutdoorTV, where there aren’t the restrictions of regular television. Tune in as Joe talks about this journey, those that have inspired him in the outdoors and those that have helped him achieve this remarkable accomplishment along the way. If you don’t already have MyOutdoorTV you can try it risk free with a 7-day free trial that gives you access to not only The 29 but also a huge selection of other outdoor programming on demand.
Sticking around for an extended interview, Joe will dive into wingshooting and his love of grouse hunting. Joe says that he grew up hunting grouse, learning the tricks of the trade and raising Brittany Spaniels to hunt behind. Every year he heads to Wisconsin for a few days of grouse hunting action. He’ll talk about the challenges of hunting grouse like working through the often thick and gnarly cover they call home and shooting from these tight and confined spaces. In grouse hunting, you’re never going to have the perfect shot, Joe says. So, you have to take what you get and know you’re going to miss some of them. Part of the experience of grouse hunting is the dogs and watching them work. Grouse hunting takes discipline for dogs and a different kind of training than a quail or pheasant dog. Joe says that pheasant and quail dogs are trained to lock up and then creep when necessary. In contrast, because grouse don’t hold very well, dogs are trained to lock up at the first scent and not move. Furthermore, grouse dogs are taught to range close, work tighter patterns, and remain disciplined. Joe says that you can walk through the woods and flush grouse, but there is just something about doing it over good dogs that makes it all the better!
Tune in for a fun conversation with Joe Thomas about grouse hunting, bird dogs, his brand-new show The 29 on MyOutdoorTV and more! Be sure to try out the free-trial of MyOutdoorTV and watch The 29 and check out a teaser here. You can also see Joe on Stihl Reel in the Outdoors, Excalibur’s Outdoor America and Ultimate Match Fishing – all on Outdoor Channel.
Dove season is kicking off this weekend across the country, are you ready? Nick Hoffman, host of Nick’s Wild Ride with Nick Hoffman on Outdoor Channel, joins The Revolution this week to talk wingshooting. Dove hunting acts as a gateway to other hunting seasons and also provides hunters the opportunity to dust the cobwebs off their shotguns and refine their shooting skills that have been put on the backburner since the end of the previous wingshooting season. Nick will talk about ammunition and the benefits of using 4s, 5s and 6s for better knock down power at longer ranges, rather than 7 ½ or 8 shot that can obliterate your bird. Doves are notoriously difficult to hit as they are fast flyers, expertly diving and dodging to avoid your shot. So, he’ll discuss mastering and exaggerating your lead on crossing doves for more success. When it comes to his shotgun of choice, Nick says that he has a nice collection of side-by-sides and over/unders, however for dove hunting he takes an autoloader afield. Nick facetiously says that the extra shot comes in handy as it takes him one shot to figure out he’s too far behind, a second shot to get close and the third shot to finally lead it enough for a successful hit.
Nick will also talk bird dogs – Waylon and Hank. No, not the country music legends you’re thinking of, but rather, a Lab and a Cocker Spaniel that love hunting. Nick tells Jim and Trav that while they may seem like an odd couple they work well together and are effective in the field. Nick says that his Cocker infiltrates every nook and cranny, leaving nothing behind while his Lab operates as a general flusher and together they are able to move more birds. Tune in for a fun chat with Nick Hoffman of Nick’s Wild Ride with Nick Hoffman on Outdoor Channel.
Early season goose hunting is upon us with season openers kicking off any time between late August and October in different states across the country. Since the migration isn’t fully underway at this point, hunters will most likely be pursuing local birds, unless you live in the northern climes where you get some early season migrants. Resident birds can present a challenge, so joining us this week with tips for making your early season more successful will be John Gechter with Rainin’ Skies Waterfowl in Denver, Colorado. John says that scouting is absolutely essential to your success in the field and the early season is no exception. These scouting trips not only tell you where the concentrations of birds are, but they also paint a picture of what you need to mimic in the field. In the early season, John says that his decoy spreads are significantly smaller. For early goose season he generally uses 3 to 5 dozen decoys with 7 to 8 dozen being the maximum. John explains that replicating exactly what they are doing in the field the day before is important. Because they are local birds that are very familiar with the area, they will pick out anything that is different from the day before. In the same vein, he recommends calling that directly mimics the birds. John says because they are local, already on a path and know where they want to be, getting on them, calling and trying to persuade them otherwise isn’t as effective.
John is a seasoned bird hunting pro at the helm of Rainin’ Skies Waterfowl in Denver, Colorado where they target doves, ducks, geese and snow geese. This up and coming club puts management at the forefront of their priorities. With premiere ground from the front range to the eastern plains of Colorado, John says they hunt strategically to allow properties to rest and reduce hunting pressure. He highlights their 8-man pits and explains how accommodating more hunters in the pit helps them achieve their goal of keeping pressure off of other properties to ensure success all season long. So how does a membership work? Tune in as he explains the perks that members and their families are afforded with their memberships and what they are doing to encourage youth participation.
Be sure to tune if for great tips for early season goose hunting from seasoned pro, John Gechter.
The inception of off-roading began about three beers after the Revolutionary War ended. Upon this time settlers began their audacious odyssey west and instead of a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft of torque and a 10-speed automatic transmission, like the all-new 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor has, their powertrain was a bit more rudimentary, it was called 4xM. That stands for four-mule drive.
They for damn sure didn't have Trail Control that automatically adjusts power and braking to each individual wheel - again, like the all-new upgraded 2019 Raptor does. So, when the trail became rough and the buckboard was bouncin’, hang tight y’all, that’s when the women and kiddos were kicked to the curb and forced to walk as the hairy daredevils with muskets navigated the trails solo. See, contrary to current belief, ventilated seats and chivalry didn’t exist in the late 1780’s. It was all about stayin’ alive and the Bee Gees had nothing to do with it.
Fast forward to present times and we’re talking with Brandon Cameron this week on The Revolution, a super cool brainiac who is also a Ford Product Development Engineer and the lead engineer for the Trail Control feature mentioned above - it’s like a low speed cruise control for going off-roading. What Ford has done with the new Raptor for 2019 is successfully build, as they put it, “The toughest, smartest, most capable off-road truck in the world.” No other OEM truck has the durability, and reputation, of the Ford Raptor. With 35 inch tires that claw away at terrain, suspension travel of 13 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear, an 8,000-Ib tow rating, a multimode Terrain Management System, industry-exclusive computer-controlled Fox live valve shocks, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go technology, Recaro sport seats and more, the Raptor didn’t just set the benchmark for off-roading, luxury and sophistication, it is the benchmark.
Brandon explains that the Ford team meticulously went through the new 2019 Raptor with a fine-toothed comb and improved upon every form and function, and it shows. As an outdoorsman, Ford’s scrutiny and attention to detail is what propelled the Raptor to the ultimate can go anywhere truck. Take Trail Control for instance, this feature can be activated from 1 to 20 mph depending on driveline position, and once engaged, its sensors collect data at ten milliseconds, that’s roughly one-hundred times every second, Brandon says. Then, the Raptor computes this information and instantly reacts to the current road conditions by adjusting power and braking, independently, to the wheels. So, if the Raptor senses a tire going into slip, it will isolate and bring that tire back to maximum traction state which gives the driver complete freedom to focus on the road ahead and to enjoy the journey, continues Brandon.
Now, all the while you are maneuvering over and through rocky, steep, sandy or mud laden two tracker trails, you can set your speed for a desired rate with Trail Control and the new 2019 Raptor will maintain that rate and immediately compensate for whatever you encounter. If you choose to increase your pace of travel, simply adjust your set speed with the buttons on the steering wheel that are traditionally used for cruise control or opt for using the accelerator which will disengage Trail Control completely. Another notable feature outdoorsmen will love about the new 2019 Raptor is Ford’s shift on the fly technology which allows you, the driver, to go from two-wheel drive into four-auto, or locked four-high transfer case position, at speed. That way if you encounter a bottomless sinkhole on the way to the trailhead where you’ll be hunting bear, stopping and running the risk of getting stuck to engage four-wheel drive, isn’t a worry.
Furthering Ford’s commitment to off-roading and the outdoor lifestyle, are the computer-controlled Fox live valve shocks that are controlled by speed and the multimode Terrain Management System. Understanding this system is well outside of my paygrade, but from what I understand these electronically operated solenoids provide continuous adjustments to the dampers automatically. So, if you have selected “Jump Mode”, Ford’s Live Valve suspension technology will fully stiffen the shocks to ensure a proper landing, catch, if you get airborne. Other modes are “Terrain Recognition” that soften your ride and “Loud Pedal” that gives a stiffer, more stable, ride for aggressive driving. For more insight into the Terrain Management System capabilities, I recommend going to www.ford.com and getting the full scoop there.
As aforementioned, the new and improved 2019 Raptor also features Trailer Backup Assist. So, unless you love the awkwardness of backing up your boat, cargo or utility trailer, you’ll want to pay attention. Trailer Backup Assist positions the driver to back up his or her attached trailer by turning a dial that’s located on the dash, just to the right of the steering column. Conversely to turning the steering wheel right to make your trailer go left, you can watch on the LCD viewing screen in the center of the dash, and in your mirrors, and turn the dial the direction you want the trailer to go, it’s that easy. Yeah, Raptor will make you look like a total stud next time at the boat ramp.
Now, let’s touch on Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go technology. Say I’m heading to Colorado to chase archery elk. I hop on I-70, set my cruise to 75, the distance I want to stay from any vehicle in front of me, and let my mind wander to the hunt ahead. Well, right around Limon, some half imitation of a car and the joker manning it jets out in front of me and catches me off guard. Not a fun situation to find myself in, but thanks to Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control with stop-and-go technology, my Raptor will sense the car’s behavior and instantly re-calculate my speed to stay a safe set distance away. If the guy causing mayhem decides to come to a complete stop in front of me, my Raptor will follow suit. Then, once he takes back off, my speed will increase to its original rate if the coast is clear. It’s kind of like an artificial intelligence form of “Simon Says”.
To come full circle, we have to tackle the heart of the beast, the Raptor’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Like Brandon mentioned, this V6 pumps out 450 horsepower, 510 lb.-ft of torque and is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Combined, this drivetrain has plenty of power to crush any chore with ease while saving you at the pump. I’m guessing combined fuel economy will land somewhere around 17 mpg, which is fantastic in my book. So, whether you’re tearing up the asphalt on your way to a dinner date with the Mrs. or pulling your Wolverine X4 and Kodiaks for a weekend of fun and sun at the dunes, Raptor won’t disappoint like the 4xM’s of the 1780’s did. However, on the buckboards and 5th wheel covered wagons of many moons ago, they did have a “Belly Box”. This rectangular wooden box spanned from the driver to passenger side and was centered in the wagon. Its primary use was for storing muskets, shovels, spokeshaves, banjos, cool stuff like that. Perhaps to pay homage, Ford will incorporate a “Belly Box” in the 2020 Raptor to acknowledge America’s forefathers of off-roading and to accommodate us musket baring dudes! Who knows.
To get the complete dish on the all-new 2019 Ford F-150 Raptor from Brandon Cameron, Ford Product Development Engineer, click play on the audio player below and enjoy listening.
A special thanks to Brandon Cameron and the entire Truck Team, Marketing Department and Broadcast Communications Managers at Ford Motor Company. Y’all are awesome!
The Revolution with Jim & Trav - 8/30/2018