And I’m with Scott Jordan. Now Scott Jordan a number of years ago… And he’ll tell you the whole details, we just were on Facebook Live for 15, 20 minutes. But he created a classroom setting, he created a curriculum, he created an environment that kids can learn about their environment, about the outdoors. And he did it so well that he’s been awarded the regional Teacher of the Year. Pardon me, Rural Teacher of the Year.
Welcome to CRCS Outdoors! CRCS stands for Cuba-Rushford Central School and the outdoor program is an extension of our Fisheries and Wildlife Technology classes. https://www.crcs.wnyric.org/Domain/351
So, Scott, I’m excited to have you on the show and we got a lot to talk about. So this is just Part 1, folks. My relationship with CRCS isn’t going away, and so he’s going to be around for…you know, for a while. And with that, Scott, welcome to the show and let’s tell people about the birth of CRCS.
That’s awesome. Thank you, Bruce, and thanks for having us on. You know, in 1993 I started at Cuba-Rushford, and so that’s kind of when the program began. Part of it has to with my background because I was a fisheries biologist for the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game, and then I was a bald eagle hacker for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Endangered Species Unit. And so basically I tried to bring what works in the wild and, you know, applications that people use in the job place into the classroom.
And so I do feel that that’s kind of why our program is so successful. I teach all eighth grade sciences in the morning, and then the afternoon is all fisheries and wildlife technology. And all of our stuff that we do I film it in HD, so collectively it’s known as CRCS Outdoors. And then from that we have our television show, which is this year on the Pursuit Channel. This is our seventh…we just finished our seventh year, and then Wild TV in Canada, and then we’ve been on cable down south quite a bit. And we’ve been featured on other shows, like Bass Pro Television and the Force and Macmillan River Adventures and all of those, you know, trying to share our platform and get people to realize that our 19 percenters, our rural kids are important, too. And there are so many things where…that come up in education that don’t involve our rural students.
And so providing them a platform, a place for them to get opportunities so that they can do things above and beyond. And I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see how successful some of my students have been and are and the future is awesome, I can’t wait.
So, you know, we can go into a bunch of different details and some of the different things that I do. One of the things I wanted to share with you though, and I’m sure you’re aware of some of these, but, you know, there’s a study that was done by Cornell University and it says that if we don’t get students involved in the outdoors before the age of 11, we’ve lost them. And so that’s a responsibility of ours. And as we talked earlier about our aging clientele, that hunters are aging out and we’re not getting replaced. Yet you take a look at the number one growth area and that’s women in the outdoors, especially, you know, in areas like archery.
And so we need to concentrate on those things and work on getting those numbers. Because that educated public, whether people realize it or not, we’re going to lose our voice. And then today like every break that we have I take students on trips around the world to go hunting or fishing and those opportunities change those students. Like it might take 10 years to see a difference in a young person, but when I take them to New Zealand, for example, I can see a kid change in a week, they are a totally different person when they come home. And that is huge for me.
And then, you know, there was a study that was done out in Washington and Oregon and you’re probably not going to hear about it because the study was looking at young people with guns and youngsters that kill. But it didn’t go the way that they had planned because the bottom line is that what they found is that kids that hunt actually have empathy, they understand death because they’re part of it, and they are the least likely to be pulling the trigger on a human being.
So that’s the kind of thing that’s out there that doesn’t get shared, but, you know, it needs to be. And, you know, our youth is our future and we need to do something about it. So our motto for our show is “making a difference one young hunter at a time, one young fisherman at a time, or one young student at a time.” So it just depends on what we’re doing, but I’m open to anything and we’re always open to try to help schools across the country. And that’s what we’re trying to do right now, is actually promote our program so that people in other schools can, you know, do something similar and go and expand our knowledge base. You know? There’s so much that comes from a student having choice in what they learn, and then having them also have responsibility and leadership. The combination is outstanding.
Having said that, how does somebody get a hold of you either directly or on social media?
They can e-mail me at sjordan, J-O-R-D-A-N, @mycrcs.org. They can call me at (585) 808-3768. We are on social media, so we’re on, you know, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. My daughter Brooke is our…she actually handles most of the social media for me, it’s hard for me to keep up. Plus I’m an old guy, so I got some work to do.
And, folks, Brooke does a great job. She was just on the show, so, you know, check her Facebook Live which was up last week and/or just reach out to CRCS Outdoors on Facebook and we’ll get you connected. And, people, if you just have some questions, you know, get a hold of Brooke, get a hold of Scott, and ask them. Because everything Scott just told us is that, you know, it’s up to us, it’s up to my generation, Scott’s generation, to make sure that those who wish to enjoy the lifestyle, enjoy the hunting traditions, the outdoor lifestyle have that opportunity. Because there’s flat people right now that do not want that opportunity, that tradition to live one more day. And that’s just the way it is.
And so we have to find our voice. And through this series of interviews and podcasts with Scott and Brooke we’re going to investigate that and work through the process. And we’re going to be able to show you and talk to the students this winter skill sets that they’re learning about editing and about the outdoors and having conversations with these students, especially the one young man that just took his first stag and his life changed. And, excuse me, yeah, you heard that right, his life changed.
And so, Scott, why don’t you talk a little bit about that situation with that young man?
Well, being able to take him to New Zealand was outstanding. And then, you know, for him to take his first… He actually went deer hunting with me, so he shot a couple of does here in New York. But, you know, we are always pushing for the hunting age to get lowered. It’s, you know, 12 with archery, 14 years old with a gun. But when we just went to New Zealand, right? It’s up to the parents as to how old you are. So I was lucky to be able to film Zach, who is six, take his first big-game animal, which was a goat. And then his brother Sam got to take a ram and he was eight. And, you know, the parents felt that they were ready, they’d been practicing with them, they knew their hunter ed. stuff. So, you know, that should be a parent decision, not a state decision. And so that’s one thing that we’ve always looked at.
But there are classroom things that I try to bring forward with my kids. And, you know, just like for this young man, it was his bucket list. And so one of my assignments is to…I have students tell me, “I want your top 20 things.” Now for a hunter that’s going to be their top 20 animals they want to shoot or whatever. But, you know, so once you get that bucket list, then I have them narrow it down to the top three, and then eventually the top one, and then do a PowerPoint on exactly how they can make that happen. For a lot of us older folks, I mean, we wait too long for that bucket list.
“Well, hey, I can do that.”
And so you want to get the ball rolling and people starting to think, “Well, hey, I can do that.” And the number one thing that I can tell you very honestly, this is my 98th person I’ve taken to New Zealand, I’ve taken 100 and some to Alaska. That’s confidence. When we go out hunting and you see how those kids are and how they behave and their mannerisms and whatever, what a change occurs when a young man like that gets to take a huge red stag, and then when he comes home he’s a different person. And so it’s so rewarding as an educator, even as an adult, just to see that difference.
And then, you know, some of the other projects that we have, like I said, that students have to be managers of our different facilities. So they have to work their way up, it takes a couple years before they can be in charge, and then they’ll have many students working underneath them. When they go to apply for scholarships here, there’s a huge part for leadership, there’s a huge part for community service. And then, you know, if I get a phone call from a prospective employer, I know exactly how that kid is as a worker, how they get along with people, and how they are at being in charge.
So, you know, usually my kids are able to seriously outcompete for either a job, a scholarship, or making it to the college of their choice. And this year, as we mentioned, I have a student going to Cornell and she worked with the environmental stuff and fisheries and extremely proud of that. She is an outstanding young lady and Cornell is a very hard school to get into. So those are the types of things that you want to make happen for your students.
You know, you mentioned something before about confidence, and as hunters we know what confidence allows us to do. But let’s unpack that a little bit more because sometimes for young people to be in a place, a position to gain that confidence is extremely hard, in some places it’s nonexistent. But yet you put them in a situation, they’re either going to succeed or fail and there’s no…you know, there’s no byproduct. Because obviously we don’t want to wound game, so that’s…you know, to me that’s a failure. The confidence is, you know, one clean-kill shot is…you know, is the best it’s going to get. So let’s talk about instilling confidence in every one of your students just by having them in your curriculum.
Well, you know, basically it comes down to knowledge, I think. Because if you know what you’re doing… It’s just like if you’re going to do a research paper. If you’ve actually done the research yourself, you didn’t go and look it up somewhere, you know what happened. And so for kids that have this background, then they know what’s up. So if you do your hunter ed. training, and then you go and shoot and you can hit a target at 200 yards, then that should translate easily into the field.
I actually have a laser shot system that I used to use with students to practice on elk shooting at a screen, but for me what it does is take away the whole buck fever kind of thing so that they’re more comfortable. And it’s just more experience, it’s like, “Ooh, I’ve been here before, I’ve done this before.” And then, you know, you see it with a little toddler, the more that they can venture away from their mom, and then they’ll run right back. But you got to bring them along and there have got to be things…
And as you mentioned, success, that’s important today. If you’re going to constantly take a kid out, make them extremely cold and hungry and they’re not going to even see anything, then that’s…in the old days you’d say you’re making the kid tough and that’s great, I grew up that way. But if you’re going to do that today, there’s so many other avenues that that kid is going to take and you may have just lost them. So you have to treat those opportunities with care.
And so when we’re going to do things, I try to find outfitters that are outstanding. I mean we go to Lake Ontario with Wet Net Charters. That dude, Matt Yablonsky, he knows his stuff. He knows those fish, he’s so intelligent, he knows the science behind it. And then when it comes time to catching fish, I mean usually we have our limit by 10:30 in the morning. So obviously he knows what he’s doing.
So I try to, you know, set up opportunities like that way so that you can make sure that there’s a certain degree of success and that they’re going to feel good about it. You know, because you want them to do it again and you want them to be an active supporter of exactly what you’re doing. And hunting and fishing for me is where it’s at.
You know, I spent quite a bit of time in Alaska and if you are an Alaskan resident and you look at all the different things that you can hunt, but as a lifestyle. You know, we would go out late summer and shoot a moose, and then you go out in the early fall and shoot a caribou. And then if you go down to Valdez and catch halibut, then you go to dip-net salmon, go up in the north country and put up 60 to 80 pounds of berries, you have everything you need to eat. People would say, “Well, it’s expensive to live in Alaska.” Well, it depends on your choices. Because honestly the only thing I had to buy was milk and vegetables, you know? Because you’ve provided for yourself.
“This is the kind of lifestyle I enjoy.”
So you got to take a look at yourself and say, “This is the kind of lifestyle I enjoy.” And, you know, I got some really great trophies, but, you know, I had a caribou that I shot that was…he was 21 miles from the airstrip when I shot him. Now obviously he was big for me to do that, but that was…it took me two trips because in Alaska you got to hump the meat out first. So that was a 42-mile pack for me. And when I take a look at that caribou, I mean not only did I eat him, but I did mount him. And he is on the wall in the wildlife center and every time I take a look at that caribou it takes me right back to that time. I lost 23 pounds in 9 days and was covered in black and blue and green. As you know, Bruce, how tough the packing life is.
And, but the lessons learned from something like that, you know, you can’t trade that for anything. And for all the hypocrites out there today that sit there and judge us by… You know, I love this one because I usually end up in a few discussions. You know, it’s okay that we eat stuff, you know? But as an organism we’re only 20% efficient at consuming that. So that means that we’re getting rid of it as waste for the most part. But that part is okay, but it’s not okay to actually take that animal and mount it.
And so I have such a problem with that, especially some people who have given me a hard time and they’re sitting there with a leather belt or a leather purse or leather shoes or leather seats in their car or, you know, they eat things like Jell-O that… You know, there’s such a list of products that are made and an animal did have to die for that product to be made, but they don’t know about it. So they can judge us from hunting, but yet they’re sitting there and doing the same thing, they just have somebody else do the dirty work for them.
So one of our projects this year we’re actually going to be filming from beginning to end that, you know, meat doesn’t just come on a plastic plate. And I would like to get that out there. On television we are very limited for, you know, there are certain parts of the skinning process we can’t show, we can’t show much blood. So your hands are tied with some of that. But we’re going to put it on a YouTube platform or something that we can share it so people can… You know, as you said, we need a voice.
Yeah, and that’s… I don’t know when we talked about it, but that’s one of my main things. And Steve Rinella has a good blog out there about the economic aspects of why we hunt. And people completely don’t understand the billion-dollar industry that hunting, and the outdoor industries, represent. They just…it just goes right over their heads. And, you know, that’s part of the voice. Because if you could save the State of Wisconsin… During the nine-day gun season in the State of Wisconsin, 500,000 people go out. Of those 500,000 people, they each spend about $249.67. So you run the numbers and all of a sudden it’s millions and millions of dollars that are spent in nine days in communities that they have two seasons, they have the hunting season and they have the summer season.
And so economic impact of that is significant. And the people, I’ll just say, from Chicago that only go up there in the summertime and never hunt, they don’t realize that because hunting exists they have the nice facilities and the places to go in the summertime. No they might say, “Well, I don’t care if you hunt or not.” Well, fine, then Joe’s cabins on Lake Jones doesn’t exist anymore. And they go, “Well, why is that?”
And so those are the conversations when you start finding your voice, you make people think and you connect the dots. And, yes, an animal died, I ate the animal, and the animal is on my wall. Okay? And the wolf skin that you can see, the wolf hide you can see, I was surrounded by wolves in British Columbia. You know, that’s a wolf hide. Yes, he died, but the story, holy fright. I got chills now, I got chills now.
Caribou come and we live, caribou don’t come and we die.
So it’s the journey. And like I was talking to Brooke about sitting with the elders up in Kuujjuaq up in Ungava Bay and just sitting with these elders. And they said, you know, “When our people came across the land bridge, it was simple. Caribou come and we live, caribou don’t come and we die.” That was is. Because the caribou was everything. That was the grocery cart. That was everything they had.
And so you start talking about that, and Steve Rinella and the American Buffalo. And if you haven’t had your students read that, you know, and the Search for the American… It’s American Buffalo: Search for an American Icon. You know, I’d say every student needs to read that. Because it talks about it and about the American buffalo and it talks about the how and the where and his hunt up in Alaska for a buffalo. But more than that it’s so well researched that it’s…you know, it’s eye-opening, I guess, to realize the role the American buffalo played in our history.
Bone china, where do you think they get the bone from for bone china? Bleached buffalo skulls. Now think about that. All these multimillionaires, the Astors or the Kennedys or the, you know, whatever, and they’re eating off bone china and part of that china is buffalo skulls.
Start connecting those dots and it’s just amazing. But what I’m saying, folks, you have to become a student of the animals we hunt, of the people that were there way before we were, and pull it all together so it becomes a journey, so it becomes a reality that you’re educated and you’re going to share this knowledge about how it’s all worked out and how hunting has helped, you know, create the nation that we have today.
Well, and by us eating meat and fat changed our position in the food web. You went from being eaten to being a consumer. You know? And so that’s driven us. And, you know, there’s a huge trend that’s going on right now which is problematic in the country and, you know, hunters need to help themselves by doing their background, like you were saying, and be educated. So that, you know, when things come up, that they sound educated when they’re talking to somebody about things.
But, and a lot of the state agencies that hire for making decisions for hunting and fishing, we have a lot of people now that are getting those positions that don’t hunt or fish. And so there is a change going on across the country in that realm. Because if you don’t agree with it, then it’s tough that a lot of people now are going to manage those populations but don’t believe in hunting or fishing. And even for enforcement. I have a buddy who’s a conservation office in Idaho and one year, last year, he called me, he had six openings. And so nobody who was applying for those jobs hunted or fished. So how do you enforce laws when you really don’t understand the background in any one of those areas? You know?
So there are job opportunities if kids really want them. Toughest thing for me to tell kids here is that if you really want to work in fish and wildlife, there’s a great chance you need to move, like you’re going to have to go someplace else. Because New York State hires by civil service exams, so you’ve got to take an exam that’s offered once every four years, and then if you make it to the top of that list you’re going to have to go wherever they tell you to go and it’s a really tough deal. And there’s a lot of people that would do a lot of good for our industry if they were there. But you go to a place like Alaska that’s got seven different agencies that hire, at least, and there’s offshoots in every direction.
You know, and so we need these people to be out there and helping with our future generation and being able to… You know, I want to be able to hunt and fish, I want my daughters to be able to hunt and fish, and for their entire lives and not have an issue with it. And so that’s such a part of my life, I just have such a hard time with thinking it at any time being lost.
you talked about the confidence
You know, let’s…you talked about the confidence, let’s take a little break now. Here you are and you’ve got a ton of experience, but what’s the one thing you wish you knew 5 or 10 years ago that you now know that, “Oh my goodness, I wish I knew that,” or the one big thing that today surely makes a difference how you hunt?
Well, because we haven’t talked a lot about whitetail hunting yet, but, you know, for us here that’s our big thing. Now we do have bears kind of moving in, and so we do have an occasional opportunity with that. So for us it’s whitetails and turkeys. But the one thing that I would say that has made the biggest difference in my hunting career is location, location, location. And what I mean by that is that there are times when I’ve set up tree stands and I did it because of the value of that tree, like, “That tree is the perfect tree to put a tree stand in,” which is not the way to pick your site.
And then as you evolve in hunting, right? All of a sudden you realize… Because I have a case in point. I had this oak tree and it was the best tree to sit in. And occasionally I’d get a deer from that tree. Well, I moved 60 yards to the east in a different tree, I’ve shot 10 really decent bucks from that tree and it was just the location of that…the positioning of that tree and being able to…it just opened up avenues that I never realized were right near me. You know? So I’m a climber, I want to see. And so I try to get up as many different trees as I can. And today I do it all the time and I’m not happy, I’m not happy with, you know, my setup and I’ll go and look for a new place. And that’s changed a lot for me.
The other thing I’d have to say is sitting
The other thing I’d have to say is sitting. You know, when I was a kid, I couldn’t sit still. And everybody would say, “Well, you got to sit still.” And so they can tell you that all they want when you’re young, you’re like, “Yeah, I can’t.” So one time I’m sitting there in a tree stand… Here’s my one moment. Sitting in a tree stand, knew it was a great spot, spent a lot of time picking it out, travel corridor, the whole nine yards. Get down, it’s cold. “Yeah, whatever.” I got down, I did a perimeter of my property, and all of a sudden I hear a shot and I’m like, “Wow, that’s right on my border.” So I continue on and get to the border, and then here’s a guy and he’s on his property and he’s property like, “Wow, you should have seen that 10-point.”
And so, lo and behold, here’s the track and I follow the track and that track went right under my tree. And from that point on I sit. So you have some experiences like that, you know, those are the ones that make you learn, and the hard way.
Let’s talk about that. Okay, so you sat, you got in your stand, tree stand, you got observation and it’s cold, and blah, blah, blah, and you’re sitting there and you go, “Er.” What time did you say, “I’m going to call it, I’m going to go for a little stroll around my 40,” or 100, “acres”?
Oh, it was still…it was before 9:00. You know?
Scott: And I knew I should have stayed there, even when I was getting down.
So now did you walk the whole perimeter of your… Or did you have 40 acres or 100 acres? What did you have?
So someplace in there, when you get down from your tree, that deer was no more than 100 yards, 200 yards from you, probably.
He came from another property, but, you know…
Oh, he came across?
Yeah. And then, so, that guy missed it, and then he came right across the… Oh my goodness, it would have been a slam dunk, you know?
I am a lifelong learner of the whitetail
But those are things that, you know, you’re always…you can’t today be happy…don’t think you know everything. Like I’m a learner, I am a lifelong learner of the whitetail and I’m always open to new ideas and, “Oh, you got to try this or do this differently,” or whatever. Don’t think you ever got them in the bag because they’ll surprise you. You know, and having deer here and being able to show students how so unique they are, how different they behave, and, you know, it’s amazing. That’s what keeps us going after them, right?
Yeah. Well, and just go back to trying to figure out what happened on that deer. Because I thought maybe, because he was so close, he was bedded there, he just knew you were there. And when you left, he just said, “Okay, I’m going to get up and walk down.”
But if he came from somebody’s property, so that’s a different thing. That during gun season, and the rut, just go, commit to your stand, and sit there. And, because you have no idea what… In a matter of nanoseconds, you know, you can harvest a buck of a lifetime.
Yeah. In the Eastern U.S. it used to be, you know, that farms were pretty big. But now, as they’ve been sold and partitioned up, most people don’t have many acres. So it’s really hard to start a kid out and have them just go sit in a tree stand and freeze their butt off and they can’t move and they can’t eat. And, you know, so that’s what, you know, makes it really hard. So once they started the youth season, it’s much easier for me to get kids because the temperature is a little better. You know, and if I can get them in a blind, they have a little more opportunity to move, scent isn’t quite as important. And so we’ve been very successful at having kids, you know, participate that way. It’s just tough. And that’s another reason why I like taking kids to New Zealand, because it’s all spot and stalk.
So, you know, it gives… You know, people in the West with elk have a totally different concept than we do in the East. And it even comes down to turkeys because I love turkey hunting and I’ve got some great pro staff that help me out taking kids, like Dan Taylor and his dad. They help me take kids out and shoot turkeys. But, you know, it is really tough in the East, Eastern turkeys are really tough. And then, you know, you talk to some of my friends in the West and they’re like, “There are so many turkeys here we don’t even do a show on it because they’re like rats.”
So everybody has their own thing that they’re interested in and it can vary by region, and so you get that. But kids that get the opportunity to travel can actually see that, you know? It’s like there is something different outside the borders of Allegheny County. And that’s one of the reasons I love to take kids and travel with them. You know, they get to experience so many other things and see how big life is.
So, folks, whitetails are tough no matter what state you’re hunting them in. I know you got a couple of things that you want to bring to the forefront, so let’s hit item number one. And we got about a half an hour more.
Let’s see. Well, do you want me to talk about, like, our hunting tradition?
Yeah. Sure, you got three things that we talked about, so, you know, start and let’s just spend the next 30 minutes talking about each one of them for about 10 minutes.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to get properties to take kids on
Okay. So we got, like, youth in the outdoors, women in the outdoors, and then outdoor education. And, you know, so we have an amazing… One of the hardest things for me to do is to get properties to take kids on. You know, so I think those people that…the farmers and those property owners that allow us to bring kids in. Because that’s the toughest thing. You know, and some people think that their property doesn’t have hunters on it, but you’d be amazed, right? So, and there’s a gentleman, his name is Bruce Hines, and he’s always been so gracious and he lets me to bring kids out there to deer hunt. And, you know, opening day at our house is like a holiday, it’s like a national holiday. It’s a big deal and we usually put three to four deer in the freezer and my family eats off of that all year, so it’s very important to us.
And, you know, so some people probably don’t understand that I grew up on a…until I was nine years old I grew up on a road that had like 13 kids my own age. So, you know, I was majorly concentrated in sports. And then all of a sudden we moved out to Black Creek where I’m at and there was nobody. So the time I spent, you know, with other kids I started spending in the woods. And my dad tried to take me deer hunting, but he really hadn’t done it much. I think he only ever shot a doe in his life. And, but at least he provided me with that opportunity. But, man, did I catch the bug from an early age. And so from that point on I was a deer hunter whether I was any good at it or not. You know, I mean, but we had a lot of deer then.
So I can’t stress enough, you know, trying to get kids in the outdoors and taking youth hunting. And as you’re probably aware, Bruce, I’m sure, but some of the studies show… Like a parent will ask me, “Well, I really want to get my kid in the outdoors, but he’s kind of young. What should I do?” And studies have shown that to start a kid out fishing first is probably…when they’re really young, is probably the best way to get a kid involved in hunting later.
So you take a look at some of the research that’s been done on things like that, and then you’ve got to be able to share your passion. Because this is stuff that I’m passionate about and, as you were saying earlier, we need to have a voice. And if we just sit there… Because in a lot of cases hunters don’t promote themselves well, or not enough, and then we’re going to lose our rights. And so that’s a huge deal for me. A lot of people used to say, “Well, why don’t you keep having kids? You can, you know, get a son to take.” And it’s like, “I have three daughters and, you know, they can do everything that boys can do.” And especially with hunting it’s kind of neat because hunting is kind of a level playing field. And the guides in New Zealand would tell you that girls are a better shot anyway.
So, you know, it’s so important to me to have women in the outdoors and they’re such a good promoter of what we do. And so about 40% of the kids that I take are female and, you know, they listen really well. And, like I said, they shoot really well. So that’s been really important and I’ve gotten to see one young lady go from a vegan to actually be a hunter, and then now provide her own meat. So that’s kind of interesting.
For me it’s like searching for buried treasure. I’m sorry. For me it’s like searching for buried treasure. Whether you’re hunting or you’re fishing, you oftentimes have no idea what’s going to show up. And so I think there is something inside all of us that that part is the adrenaline rush, and so I am always looking for that next adrenaline rush. And I get as much from… I mean taking a young man with me this year to New Zealand and him shooting a gigantic stag was just as good as if I pulled the trigger myself, or better. Because you see how much that has changed his life.
Bruce: Yeah. So, folks, when you want to go to the site, it’s http://new.crcsweb.com/wildlife/Site2. And just go to that and you’re going to find CRCS Outdoors.
Thank you very much. You know, so there’s a lot of stuff that’s missing on the new site. So it’s in progress, students will be working on it in the fall. And then it will be up to date from there. Yeah.
Awesome, thank you very much.
Sure. There we go. We’re going to stop sharing now. And we’re back in. So let’s talk about women and the outdoors. The last 10, 15 years they have taken to storm. My good friend Kirstie Pike, CEO of Prois, https://www.proishunting.com/ outdoor hunting apparel, started with absolutely nothing. She got sick and tired of wearing men’s camo and started her own company. And, as they say, the rest is history. It took her 10, 11 years, but, you know, she’s one of the foremost camo companies for women in the world.
And so you look at that, her timing was right and she built a brand. But there’s so many other people. You know, there’s a list and I can’t start naming one person because then 100 other people said, “Oh, you didn’t name mine.” But I will mention Bianca Jane Burnett, and hunting healed her. And if you’ve never heard her show, just google it, Humble Hunt https://herhumblehunt.com/ with Bianca Jane and healing.
And so what’s that got to do with hunting deer? With, you know, harvesting? With killing an animal and eating it? Well, actually everything. And you have to listen to her story because her story will bring tears to your eyes, will be smiles to your face, and a little bit of laughter. But that’s what hunting is, hunting is stories. And we’ve been sharing with Scott here about stories, and so let’s share the stories about how that girl went from being a vegan to an eater of organic meat.
Well, it happens to be my oldest daughter. And she, for some reason with some of her friends, got put off to some things and was a vegan for quite a while. And then she didn’t catch on to hunting until later, but all of a sudden she started looking at paleo diets and things like that and she warmed up to it. And then it had always been part of our family, so it wasn’t anything she was against, it just wasn’t for her. And then I took her deer hunting and oh my goodness. So she actually took her first deer and the fact that she can now, you know, locally get her own meat has changed her. You know, and so Angela is a proud, I don’t want to say protein-holic now, but she does eat protein, so just from a different source. So that’s pretty awesome.
And then, you know, like so many of the things that happen in our life, you know, some of the people say, “Well, what’s your proudest moments?” And, you know, honestly, aside from family… And, you know, as you’ve been talking to Brooke and the awards that she’s won nationally. So she was Cabela’s and SCI’s National Youth Hunter of the Year. And that was amazing, and being able to go and see her get that award.
But, you know, from my program we’ve actually…I had a young man that was in the service and he was in a firefight in Afghanistan and he had a .50 caliber and it locked up. Like, so he told me that my class saved his life because he used my sequencing and was able to check down on his weapon and be able to get it back functioning again. And so he made it out of that firefight from my class. I mean how rewarding is that?
There was a young man that went with us to New Zealand and his father was a firefighter and killed in 9/11 in the towers. And being able to take him to New Zealand so…and be a mentor for him, and he actually hunted in his dad’s flannel shirt. You know, these are the kind of things. Last year I took a young man who had terminal brain cancer to New Zealand and he shot his first big-game…or he shot a really big stag. And it was just amazing for us to experience that with him. And unfortunately he passed this year, but knowing the outcome and being able to take kids and do some of these things.
I had a young lady that had ovarian cancer, and so I gave her a huge project trying to give her something else to think about because of all the things she was going through. And she did an exceptional job being in charge of that. And we took a student hunting right before he had a very serious kidney transplant.
And then, you know, we’ve had kids that we take with disabilities locally. And, you know, I’m not sure, you’re probably aware, but kids with cerebral palsy, there’s an app with an iPhone and an attachment to the scope now where the kids can actually use the iPhone as the target. And for gets that can’t look through the scope and use their fingers at the same time, it’s been a godsend for them to be able to pull the trigger and be able to hunt, and some of the kids that we’ve got that are able to do that.
So these are offshoots of, you know, being able to take kids in the outdoors and so rewarding. I can’t tell you how great they make me feel and it’s all worthwhile, you know?
Being able to be a mentor. You know, and several states have mentor programs and I just still think that it needs to be earlier. You know, because, like I said, if we don’t have them early on, we’ve lost them. I mean with iPhones and all this garbage today they’re, you know, so distracted in so many ways. It’s tough to, you know, keep their attention for a little while.
So if an educator is listening to this, and a lot of my listeners are educators, what would be the three to five things that you would recommend they do if they’re interesting in just starting to nurture a program like yours?
the Department of Environmental Conservation, and feel them out and see,
One would be, depending on your state, you need to get a hold of your local…ours is the Department of Environmental Conservation, and feel them out and see, you know, what they would recommend or to make sure you know what game plan is and what the ages are and all that. Because sometimes people come up with great plans, and then within their state they’re not able to do what they’re hoping to do. Even raising fish and being able to release them, you know, like trout in the classroom, that’s not always a gimme. You know what I mean? There are rules and regulations with some states that make that difficult.
The other thing is to make a network
The other thing is to make a network. You got to find locally people that are experts. You wouldn’t believe the experts that I have around here. And there are several television…national television shows within a short radius of us. But some of the guys that I have, Craig Southard for doing goose hunts and duck hunts around here. So finding local people that would be really into helping you out and that also are, you know… So they’re upstanding people and they’re people that you can trust with kids and they’re going to help you. You know, so maybe you’re not the greatest goose hunter yourself, but you know somebody who is, and then you can take them out that way, you know?
And so then trying to find outfitters and, you know, even if it’s like fishing guides. So everybody is going to have their own local focus. But to find… You know, if you’re looking for a good fishing guide, then you got to get…try to see a rating on them. You know, I went through a lot of fishing guides in Alaska and I had a few that were really bad. And so you don’t want to ruin somebody’s experience by something like that. So you spend some time finding out, “Well, here’s my network, here’s what we can do. We can take kids doing this.”
You know, there’s a school in Ohio, and forgive me for not know their name right now, but they’re doing a STEM program where actually the kids develop their own fishing lures. And then they follow that up by taking those kids to Lake Erie and they go fishing with their own fishing lures. And they actually make the lures with a 3D printer. So how cool is that?
So you’ve got experts out there.
So you’ve got experts out there. The other thing that would be is to also get a feel in your community for those people who would help you. Like every project that we’ve ever done the local community has stepped in, they’ve volunteered. So we’ve got plumbers, we’ve got…you know, I’ve got a guy here in , when I need a hole drilled that dude is there. And then, you know, construction companies. When we built the log home, we bought the log home kit, and then we had a lot of help to convert that to a home. But by having a resource where you’ve got all of that information. And then, better than that, a family stepped forward that wanted it. You know, so today it’s called the Appleby Wildlife Research Center because it’s named after family members. So there’s people out there that would love to have a building or a program named after them if they wanted to help to make sure that it became a reality.
So those would be my three recommendations to do, you know? You wouldn’t believe how much good is within your reach.
Well, Scott, I think I’m going to cut it off here. And on behalf of hundreds of thousands of listeners across North America… And if you look at my stats, pretty much globally somebody listens to my show every day. I laugh at that because it’s something that’s…you know, that’s grown from absolutely zero organically, and then I meet people like you and Brooke and, you know, it’s pretty remarkable, the journey that I’m on. And I look forward to, you know, continue this journey and figuring out, you know, how we can get Whitetail Rendezvous, you know, actively engaged and help with the process, especially the podcast process. So, folks, be looking for that this winter because there will be interns from CRCS on Whitetail Rendezvous. One, as a cohost. Two, as an editor. And three, as a social media whiz-bang. So those are the three areas that I’m going to work with, and you and Brooke.
And so I would encourage you, if you have a voice in your state, go talk to the principal, go talk to your superintendent. You know, if you sit on a school board, you know, go hang. You know, why not? And, you know, start something. And we all know this axiom, you know, “The journey begins with a single step.” I go to places that I go to in the world, as Scott does, and the first thing is we got to get out of bed. And then so many days later we go back to bed, but in between we’ve done a whole heck of a lot.
So, Scott Jordan, thank you, thank you so much for being a guest and this is just the beginning. I’m excited to work with you and your program and….you know, and bring it across the United States.
Well, Bruce, I’m so proud and thankful for Whitetail Rendezvous and for you taking the time out of your busy day, and especially with our little technical difficulty, but to help us out and have us on. And I so look forward to working with you again. And, you know, any time and any questions and, you know, if anybody wants to contact me, if you provide those, you know, outlets for your public, then I’d be glad to entertain any visitors and thank you, again, for everything that you do and we really appreciate it.
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