high plains outdoors

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?”

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.

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.

By now, most of us that hunt deer have plenty of venison in the freezer, the majority of which will be prepared in the usual way, i.e., chicken fried steaks, roasts, venison bacon wraps, barbeque, jerky, deer chili, etc. In recent columns, we’ve been talking about recent hunts and the gleaning of the meat. So, this week, let’s visit about actually putting all that fresh venison to good use! 

Luke Clayton

The serpentine course of the Brazos River below what is now Possum Kingdom Lake, situated an hour or so west of Ft. Worth, Texas runs through what was back in the late 1800’s some mighty call wild Texas real estate. 

This big ranch country is still sparsely settled and once away from the public roads, it’s easy to picture what the hardy souls that settled the land might have encountered. 

Luke Clayton

A recent post of a social media page prompted this week’s column but for the past several years, I’ve witnessed many negative comments concerning ‘trophy bucks’ harvested by hunters and I thought it about time to voice my take on the word ‘trophy’  when used in reference to deer hunting.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I like heavy antlered whitetail bucks as much as the next hunter but a buck’s antlers doesn’t necessarily have to ‘score’ high in order to make the animal a trophy.

Luke Clayton

Regardless which state you are listening from, IT'S DEER SEASON!

In today's show, Luke talk deer hunting – using tactics such as rattling antlers to bring the big ones.

If you enjoy hunting deer, today's show is tailor-made just for you. So, pull up a chair by the campfire and join Ole' Luke in a little deer hunting talk! 

Luke Clayton

Luke talks a bit about a recent deer hunt on the Dale River Ranch and shares a quick, easy and tasty camp recipe.

Luke Clayton

In this week’s High Plains Outdoors, Luke recaps a recent solo hunt for deer and hogs in northeast Texas.

He also talks about an upcoming bow hunt for deer on the Brazos River with his longtime friend Randy Douglas, manager of the Dale River Ranch

Luke Clayton

When I first discovered the power of modern day air rifles about eight years ago at an outdoor show in Waco, I was amazed at their power and accuracy.

John McCaslin, president of Airforce Airguns invited me to the Airforce Airguns booth and indoor range to shoot one of his company's .25 caliber PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) rifles.

Luke Clayton

Walking back to the ranch headquarters after an afternoon mule deer hunt last week in northern New Mexico, I stopped to cast a backwards glance at the night sky and the outline of the Continental Divide, the summit of which lay about a half mile to my west.

Luke Clayton

Luke is off this coming week for New Mexico to hunt mule deer with his muzzleloader.

Each year, Luke makes the drive to northern NM around the village of Cuba to hunt with his friends, David and Regina Williams, owners of Hunters Supply Bullets. 

Luke Clayton

Hunting seasons are quickly approaching and it's time to give some thought to upcoming camp meals. In today's show, Luke walks us through the steps of preparing some mighty tasty Mexican Cornbread.

You probably won't find this recipe in a cookbook anywhere - it's one Luke has devised through trial and error. 

High Plains Outdoors: One Wild Hog Hunt

Sep 24, 2019
Luke Clayton

Archery whitetail season is just around the corner and Luke has had his new Gearhead Bow out in quest of camp meat! 

In today's show, Luke tells of a hunt earlier in the week for wild hogs with his buddy Jeff Rice on Jeff's Buck and Bass Ranch, near Lake Fork in eastern Texas.

Luke Clayton

Just this past week, Luke traveled up to Red River County, situated in the northeast corner of Texas, a few miles south of the Red River to the Rio Rojo Rancho www.riorojorancho.com, owned by his friends, Mike and Lori Ford.

Football fans might remember Mike's career as a star quarterback with SMU back in the 80s, and later, the NFL with Tampa Bay.

Luke Clayton

Join Luke this week for High Plains Outdoors.

He gives a recipe for wild pork gusiado that is easy to prepare.

Luke also talks a bit about an upcoming bow hunt for axis deer on his friend Mike Ford's Rio Rojo Ranch situated in Red River County near the Texas/Oklahoma border. 

Luke Clayton

In this week's High Plains Outdoors, Luke discusses the advances in compound bows since he first began shooting and hunting with one back a quarter-century ago.

Today's bows are much quieter, faster, lighter and easier to shoot than bows just a few years ago, thanks to advancements in technology. 

High Plains Outdoors: Catchin' Big Blues

Aug 23, 2019
Luke Clayton

This week, Luke discusses catching giant blue catfish during the summer months (right now).

Traditionally, the big blues are caught during late fall and the winter months.

Lake Tawakoni guide Tony Pennebaker told Luke during a spring fishing trip that he felt confident that the big blues should go on a dependable bite in August, after they finish spawning and disperse widespread over the lake.


This week, Luke discusses the impact that social media has made on the way outdoor folks connect. Sites such as Facebook offer groups with like interests that vary from topics as diverse as night hunting for wild hogs to catching salmon in Alaska. Social media 'connects' those of us that love the outdoors in a way that was not possible before the internet.

High Plains Outdoors: Refried, Refried Beans

Aug 9, 2019
Luke Clayton

In this week's High Plains Outdoors, Luke shares one of his favorite camp recipes that actually can be prepared at home before the camping trip.

Refried beans is something that is often taken for granted, something served at a Mexican restaurant as a side dish to enchiladas or fajitas. And they often taste like, well, just mashed beans.

But seasoned properly and cooked to the right consistency, refried beans become a bit more than a side dish. 

Take a listen as Luke explains how he makes ‘em!