High Plains Outdoors

Saturday mornings, 7:35 a.m. CT, during Weekend Edition.

Luke Clayton invites you to his camp to talk about the great outdoors. 

Every Saturday morning at 7:35 a.m. CT during Weekend Edition, he'll be telling hunting and fishing stories, and a whole lot more.  You'll learn how to make sausage, cook over a campfire, get some wild game recipes, as well as inside tips on how you can become a more successful outdoorsman. 

Luke Clayton

Luke was raised in very rural Red River County where he grew up hunting and fishing. He began amateurishly writing about his adventures at the age of 12, the accounts of his boyhood outings often filling several pages of his Big Chief tablets.

Luke began writing professionally in his 20s and currently writes an outdoor newspaper column that runs weekly in 45 Texas newspapers. Luke is hunting/shooting columnist for Texas Wildlife Magazine and writes regular features for several other outdoor magazines, including Airgun Hobbyist, where he is also Hunting Editor.

Luke and his good buddy Jeff Rice film and produce a weekly outdoor show,  A Sportsman’s Life. Please go to YouTube and subscribe. Radio is a fun endeavor for Luke and his shows are known for his relaxed and ‘down home’ style.

Luke is on the pro staff of Gearhead Archery, Airforce Airguns, Smokin Tex Electric Smokers, Nielsen Specialty Ammo and Texas Raised Hunting Products.   

Luke covered hunting for the current Texas Almanac, one of the oldest and most revered publications in the state.

With almost 30 years under his belt as an outdoors writer, Luke has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. He continues to love the lifestyle that has been so fulfilling throughout his life.

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Luke Clayton

A few years ago, I was attending an outdoor show in Waco when I noticed a little shooting range for air guns set up in a room off to the side of the main floor. I could hear the report of air rifles being shot and my interest was perked.

Luke Clayton

Making the most of any outdoor outing equates to a positive attitude and the ability to remain flexible. After all, we don’t always catch a limit of fish or shoot a big whitetail buck but if we take the time to truly relish our time spent in the outdoors, we benefit by returning home rejuvenated and refreshed.  A couple days spent last week with two great friends, Jeff Rice and Larry Weishuhn, aka “Mr. Whitetail,” is a good case in point.

Luke Clayton

In today's show, Luke talks about an exciting fishing trip to Lake Texoma with Striper Express

Stripers were chasing shad like there was no tomorrow and hitting a combination of topwater plugs, Sassy Shads and lead slabs.

Luke Clayton

During the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to fish with my friend Trey Schmidt many times. Trey has a coveted ‘fin fish’ license on the Texas coast. He spends three nights each week ‘gigging’ for flounder, the majority he sells to Nate’s West End Bar and Grill, a popular ‘off the beaten path’ restaurant near just west of Jamaica Beach on the road heading from Galveston to Freeport. Trey can also harvest sheepshead (a great eating but often overlooked saltwater fish) stingray, crabs and a few other species.

John Norton

My first visit to the Rocky Mountains occurred back in the late seventies when I was a ‘whipper snapper’ in my late twenties. A couple of buddies and I traveled to the mountains near Gunnison, Colorado where an outfitter had set up a drop camp for us. We spent several glorious days hunting deer and it’s here that I got my first look at wild bear. When a herd of 12 elk came trotting by within 75 yards of our camp, I knew I was in outdoor heaven.

Luke Clayton

It’s easy to set in an air-conditioned office and dream about being out on the water all day, boating one after another of your favorite species of game fish. It’s quite another proposition to actually spend time during the heat of the day in a boat without shade, especially on a calm day without cloud cover.

Luke Clayton

Let’s face it, what’s tastier than a crispy fried fish fillet? A family fish fry is a time honored event with many of us and one that this old outdoors writer plans to keep going but, there are other very tasty ways to prepare the fish we enjoy catching so much!

Luke Clayton

LAKE FORK - Back in the day, the drill for a crappie fishing trip went something like this: Pull up to a tree with limbs above the water, secure the boat, drop minnows down through the limbs and either catch crappie or spend 30 minutes trying and then move on to the next likely spot. 

Luke Clayton

My grandson Luke Zimmerman, Jeff Rice and myself arrived at our cabin at Mill Creek Resort on Lake Texoma an hour or so before dark last week on the eve of a long anticipated top water striper fishing trip with my friends at Striper Express.  

Bill Carey had been telling me all about the awesome top water action for the past couple weeks and we were chompin' at the bit to get after them. There is something very addictive about watching a big striper attack a topwater plug.

Luke Clayton

LAKE FORK - Back in the day, the drill for a crappie fishing trip went something like this: Pull up to a tree with limbs above the water, secure the boat, drop minnows down through the limbs and either catch crappie or spend 30 minutes trying and then move on to the next likely spot.  Those days are long gone for Lake Fork guide Seth Vanoverand other anglers savvy in the use of their “Livescope,” the latest innovation for seeing what’s below the surface of the water.

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke discusses the annual shad spawn. This is a period of bounty not only for game fish, such as white bass, catfish and hybrid stripers (wipers), but the angler as well!

Luke Clayton

I’ve limited my outdoor outings to one per week lately. With turkeys gobbling all across the state and blue catfish action red hot in the shallows, I simply cannot resist getting ‘out there’ in the woods and on the water.

Not to worry though, I’m avoiding contact with large crowds; wearing latex gloves at the gas pumps and mask during those once a week trips to the grocery.  As far as I know, social distancing with wild turkeys and blue catfish is still acceptable.  After all, a camo face mask is necessary in the turkey woods and at the fish cleaning station, wearing gloves is always a good idea!

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke recaps a turkey hunt last week at Dale River Ranch situated on the Brazos River about an hour west of Ft. Worth, Texas. Luke introduced his good friend Jeff Rice to the ranch and to Mr. Douglas. The three Amigos enjoyed an afternoon of catching fish and an evening fish fry and Jeff harvested his first ever spring gobbler the next morning. 

Luke Clayton

This week, Luke gives some tips on social distancing for the outdoors person and talks about a turkey hunt he will be heading to in a couple days on the Dale River Ranch located in Palo Pinto County along the Brazos River, about one hour west of Fort Worth, Texas. 

Luke Clayton

I’ve heard from more readers concerning this past week’s outdoors column than I normally receive in three month. It’s become very obvious to me that we all are in dire need of hearing some ‘good news’.

Granted, lifestyles for those of us that enjoy the outdoors, whether it be photographing wildlife, fishing, hunting or camping have been greatly impacted by ‘social distancing’. But we’ve all found ways to enjoy being ‘out there’ and to my way of thinking never before has spending time in the solitude of the outdoors been more important, whether it be taking a walk through the park or catching spawning white bass from a remote backwoods creek.

Luke Clayton

Through these past 30 years, I’ve tried to keep this little column upbeat with the goal of exposing ‘new’ readers to the wonders of the outdoors and hopefully entertaining and possibly educating veteran outdoor types. 

Luke Clayton

Around the evening campfire at hunting camp, visiting with some good friends that also enjoy camp cooking, the conversation  naturally morphed into the ‘perfect’ or most useful  cooking utensil for camp cooking.  One fellow posed the question, “If you were to spend 3 months in the wilds with only one piece of cooking gear, what would that be?”

Demi Rice

Through my many years as an outdoors writer, fishing with anglers in both fresh and saltwater, I’ve learned that fish that I grew up thinking were ‘trash’ fish actually were very tasty when prepared properly.

There is one exception, carp. I can honestly say I have never learned a good way to prepare carp, if there is one, I would like to learn.  I thought it would be fun and hopefully helpful if I shared some fish catching and ‘eating’ information with you this week, focusing on species that you might not have considered eating.

Jeff Rice

I first fished with my friend guide Jason Barber about 12 years ago while doing the leg work for a magazine article on Cedar Creek Lake. I remember asking Jason what species we were going to fish for. His replied with a question, “What do you wish to catch?"

Luke Clayton

All good things must come to an end and so it is with hunting leases. Most Texas hunters lease the land upon which they hunt or, they are fortunate enough to have friends or family with land. Talk very much with veteran hunters and most can tell the sad story of, for one reason or another, them having to leave a piece of land that they have hunted for years and look for another lease.

Luke Clayton

The topic of Luke's outdoors show this week is the javelina, one of the most underutilized game animals in the country.

Javelina are plentiful in parts of Texas but many hunters think they have to travel to extreme south Texas to hunt them. There is, in fact, a good population of them in the Cedar Breaks country of Knox County Texas, situated about 80 miles south of Wichita Falls.

Luke Clayton

The subject of hunting wild hogs and the waste of fresh pork from harvested hogs is a topic that I’m very passionate about and also one that often stirs the emotions of folks, both hunters and non-hunters.  I spent my younger years on a small farm where hogs we raised were considered a valuable commodity; they were meat for the winter as well as an added source of dollars.

Luke Clayton

In about a month, white bass anglers will be flocking to streams to enjoy the annual white bass ‘run’. Fishing is often fast paced during this period when spawning ‘whites’ move into creeks and rivers above lakes to deposit and fertilize eggs.  

Scheduling a successful fishing trip around this much heralded run can be ‘iffy’ but when conditions are right, the run actually occurs and white bass vacate the reservoirs in mass and head up creeks and rivers above the lakes.

Luke Clayton

Ever since I was a boy dunking minnows in Pecan Bayou near our home in Red River County, I dreamed of heading to the wilds of Canada to catch big northern pike, lake trout and walleye. I remember reading all about this fishing wonderland in magazines and back then never dreamed that one day, I would actually experience the thrill of tossing a big plug over a shallow weed bed and hooking into a pike almost as long as a boat paddle or, catching those great eating walleye and enjoying a shoreline lunch prepared over a wood fire.  

Luke Clayton

Writing this weekly outdoors column has always been one of the highlights of my week. After 30 years of sharing the outdoors with you, this column never seems like work. But some weeks, I have to ‘dig deep’ to settle on a topic that I think you will be interested in.

High Plains Outdoors: Don't Give Up On Quail Hunting

Jan 3, 2020
Luke Clayton

As a youngster growing up in very rural Red River County in the northeastern corner of the state,  shooting a ‘mess’ of quail for supper was often as easy as walking the brushy fence rows on our little farm and jump shooting the birds as they flush.

Luke Clayton

On today's High Plains Outdoors, Luke tells how easy it is to make homemade tamales and ... how much money you can save by doing so!

This past week, Luke used his iron sighted 30/30 to harvest a fat 'eater' sized wild hog weighing about 120 pounds. There are so many ways to turn that fresh wild pork into tasty meals but tamales and Christmastime go together like, well, wild hogs and pork chops!

Take a listen and Luke will walk you through the process and in no time you will be turning your own game meat into one of the tastiest of all Mexican dishes...FRESH TAMALES!

Luke Clayton

Luke gives us a couple of outdoor cooking tips in today's High Plains Outdoors.

Have  you ever enjoyed "Cowboy" coffee? Coffee boiled over the campfire coals? 

Luke Clayton

Looks like the whitetail rut has peaked across much of the northern portion of Texas but the breeding season is just getting underway down in the South Texas brush country.

I spent the weekend hunting with my friends Jeff and Demi Rice at their Buck and Bass Ranch in north east Texas and although the ranch is teeming with deer and hogs, hunting was slow. The peak of the whitetail rut has passed and bucks simply were not chasing does like they were the past couple weeks.

Luke Clayton

This show originally aired on Dec. 8, 2018. Luke will be back with a new show next week!

This week, Luke talks about his favorite lake for catching striper, Lake Texoma situated on the Texas/Oklahoma border.

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