“Duck Dynasty” Finale Crushes the Competition with 9.6 Million Viewers

April 26, 2013

“Duck Dynasty” Finale Crushes the Competition with 9.6 Million Viewers

Duck Dynasty shattered A&E network records last year with their Christmas finale, bringing in 6.5 million viewers to watch the Robertson family decorate their home with holiday trappings, good cheer, and of course, ducks. The show’s meteoric rise is still going strong with a hit season finale that aired on Wednesday. According to Entertainment Weekly, Duck Dynasty captured the attention of 9.6 million viewers for the last episode of its third season, easily beating contenders like Fox’s American Idol–which garnered 3.3 million viewers Wednesday.

Duck Dynasty’s success lies in its simple formula. At heart a show about a Louisiana bayou family, the series follows the earnest values and traditions of the Robertson clan. Coming to prominence under patriarch Phil Robertson and his son, Duck Commander CEO Willie, the “dynasty” in the show’s title refers to expansive business empire that grew out of a small family shed. The Robertsons have been in the business of making duck calls since 1973 and only recently ventured into television.

Duck Dynasty became an unexpected hit in its first season and by the show’s second year had already secured a dominating hold among the adult 18-49 age range. Its third season finale cemented its reign as cable television’s strongest performing reality show, and remains the most-watched original series behind AMC’s The Walking Dead.

The finale’s Hawaiian adventure was a departure from the show’s usual environment. Fans were treated to the Robertson boys suited up in floral shirts and getting a tan. Willie also faced a major hiccup when his luggage mysteriously went missing, but Uncle Si is on the case when he is offered $500 to play detective. In the meantime, Willie gets his feet wet with a little surfing.

“Season 3 was fun guys,” Willie wrote on his Twitter account. “Thanks for watching! Good to be home. Stay tuned.”

If you haven’t seen it, you can view the episode in its entirety here on A&E for a limited time only, or watch the recap below:

For a glimpse of the Robertsons before Duck Dynasty, check out Outdoor Hub’s Duck Commander playlist:

Read and join the discussion on “Duck Dynasty” Finale Crushes the Competition with 9.6 Million Viewers at

Video: Tips for a First-time African Safari from Tom and Olivia Opre

April 24, 2013

Tips for a First Time African Safari from Tom and Olivia Opre

Award-winning film director and hunter Tom Opre has a few tips for the newcomers to African safaris. Following in the footsteps of his father, a noted outdoors columnist, Tom has dedicated himself to filming and exploring the wilder places the world has to offer. After several trips to Africa himself, Tom has seen his fair share of first-time blunders. Hopefully these videos from his video blog will help you avoid the same.

Some general tips:

Why you should use a hunting consultant:

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Safari Industry Pledges Support for DSC Lion Policy

January 25, 2013

Safari Industry Pledges Support for DSC Lion Policy

More than 70 major safari operators, hunting industry leaders and top conservationists have pledged to support Dallas Safari Club’s (DSC) newly adopted definition of the ideal huntable male African lion.

The definition reads: “The ideal huntable male lion is at least six years of age and is not known to head a pride or be part of a coalition heading a pride with dependent cubs.”

DSC adopted the position as a way to urge hunters to self-impose harvest restrictions.

Overharvest of young male lions could reduce lion populations overall, posing a real concern to the conservation and scientific management of this iconic species. Furthermore, such reductions in numbers would lead wildlife authorities to reduce quotas.

However, research shows that hunting older male lions has no negative effect on populations. Encouraging lion hunters to be more selective is a DSC conservation move being applauded by biologists and professional hunters across Africa.

DSC Executive Director Ben Carter said, “Hunting only non-pride and non-adolescent male lions should be the goal of every responsible hunter and organization with a vested interest in conserving lion populations. We’re encouraged by the broad outpouring of support that we’ve received since announcing the new DSC position just one week ago.”

Supporters are pledging to incorporate the DSC definition into their business and personal practices. To date, the growing list of supporters includes:

Dr. Bob Speegle
Danny McCallum Safaris, Ltd.
Ivan Carter
Desfountain & Jones, Ltd.
Jim Shockey
Craig Boddington
Jeff Rann Safaris/777 Ranch
Coenraad Vermaak Safaris
Shane Mahoney, Vice Global Chair for Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, IUCN
Tanzania Big Game Safaris
Tanzania Safaris and Hunting
Tandala Hunting Safaris
Steve Hornady
Safari World of Robin Hurt
HHK Safaris
Mokore Safaris
Johan Calitz Safaris
Global Adventure Outfitters
Charlton McCallum Safaris
Ethiopia Rift Valley Safaris
Chifuti Safaris-Safari Classics
Hunting Consortium

Bubye Valley Conservancy
Rungwa Game Safaris
Brooklands Hunting Safaris
Tanzania Game Trackers Safaris
Game Trackers Africa/Ondjamba Safaris
Tanzania Adventures, Inc.
Jofie Lamprecht Safaris
Michel Mantheakis Safaris, Ltd.
Hunters Namibia Safaris
John Sharp Safaris
Huntershill Safaris
Zambezi Hunters
John X Safaris
Mabula Pro Safaris
Kikuyu Lodge Game Reserve
Trophy Hunters Africa
Kuche Safaris
Tam Safaris
Kwalata Wilderness
De Klerk Safaris
YO Africa
Adam Clements-Safari Trackers, Inc.
Liam Urry Safaris
Askew and Maartens Safaris
Buffalo Trails Safaris
Hunters & Guides Africa
Madubula Safaris
Jan Martin McGuire/McGuire & Hines
Matlabas Game Hunters
Thaba Mmoyo Safaris
DWD Worldwide Adventures
Kevin Thomas Safaris
Mwatisi Safaris, Ltd.
Tshabezi Safaris
Okarumuti Game Lodge
Van Noordwyk Safaris
Omalanga Safaris Namibia
Limnetzi Safaris
Omujeve Hunting Safaris
Upmarket Safaris
Forever African Safaris
Zindele Safaris
Rovuma Hunting Safaris
Original Kansas Trophy Whitetails
Dindingwe Safaris
Sadaka Safaris
ZimAfrica Classic Safaris–Zimbabwe
Nesbitt Hunting
Bvekenya Safaris
Leithen Valley Trophy Hunts
Wintershoek Johnny Viviere Safaris

DSC officials expect more pledges of support in coming days.

To further encourage selective hunting, DSC adopted a new club policy: “No DSC member will be eligible for any DSC recognition or trophy award unless the member’s lion trophy submission is a fully mature lion as determined in the sole discretion of the DSC awards committee.”

Carter said, “DSC’s mission, in part, is to promote to the world the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Responsible lion hunting, based on the latest science-based wildlife management principles, is a proven essential component of the complex policy formula that will preserve wild African lions and their habitat for future generations.”

For several years, DSC has been funding scientific research on African lions. Understanding lion population dynamics is one of many projects supported by DSC grants to advance conservation, education and hunter advocacy worldwide.

Read and join the discussion on Safari Industry Pledges Support for DSC Lion Policy at

SCI Helps Plan Your First African Safari

December 18, 2012

SCI Helps Plan Your First African Safari

Planning a safari is unlike the planning for most of your travels. The preparation and anticipation of the actual trip can be almost as exciting as the safari itself.

In a world where nature reigns, one must be prepared. The first stop on your adventure begins at the “Your First African Safari” seminar to be held during the 41st Annual SCI Hunters’ Convention in Reno, Nevada held January 23-26, 2013.

SCI’s longest-running seminar, moderated by Craig Boddington and hosted by the leading experts in their fields, “Your First African Safari” is a panel discussion intended for hunters in any stage of planning their first African safari. Panelists include:

  • Beverly Wunderlich, owner of B&J Adventures and Safaris
    • Beverly is a veteran hunting consultant on pros and cons of booking through an agent rather than direct. She will also discuss the details: paperwork, making flight arrangements and shipping trophies.
  • Ludo Wurfbain, owner of Safari Press and Publisher of Sports Afield Magazine
    • Ludo will suggest what to read before, during and after your safari.
  • Johan Calitz, legendary African outfitter and PH
    • Johan will discuss what outfitters and PH’s expect from clients, and what you should expect from them.
  • Jack Atcheson, Jr., experienced outfitter and former taxidermist
    • Jack tells how to get the best mounts of your African trophies.
  • Craig Boddington, world renowned hunter, writer, book author and TV host
    • Craig will cover guns and loads, shooting tips, and equipment for safari.

Please visit to see a full list of seminars.

To learn more about the 41st Annual Hunters’ Convention events and register for the convention, visit Tickets for the 2013 convention are being sold faster than any show in SCI history.

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U.S. Airways Solves Baggage Handling Concerns, Now Accepting Firearms to Spain

October 31, 2012

U.S. Airways Solves Baggage Handling Concerns, Now Accepting Firearms to Spain

During the spring of 2012, Safari Club International members alerted the SCI Washington, DC office that U.S. Airways had changed their baggage handling regulations in regards to firearm transport to and from Spain. SCI’s Washington office corresponded with Barbara Crown of the Hunting Report to confirm that her readers had also noted the prohibition of flying with firearms.

In July 2012, SCI’s Washington lobbyists met with representatives of Airlines 4 America, which is the trade association for the airline industry. SCI followed up that meeting by sending a letter to U.S. Airways requesting an immediate reversal of their position to refuse firearm transport to Spain.

Beginning October 26, 2012, SCI can confirm that hunters will now be able to check their firearms to Spain when traveling with U.S. Airways.

In an exclusive discussion with Safari Club International’s DC office, U.S. Airways’ Managing Director for Security described the new customs procedures being required by Spain to import firearms as checked baggage. U.S. Airways developed a new baggage tagging system that satisfies both private citizen’s luggage security and the customs requirements of Spain.

Through the combined efforts of SCI’s membership contacting the D.C. office, the open dialogue that was created with Airlines 4 America, and a direct appeal to U.S. Airways, we have successfully reached a conclusion that is hunter friendly.

SCI would like to thank the directors and security experts with U.S. Airways who made it possible to improve their luggage policies to again allow hunters to travel to Spain with their firearms.

This is not the first time that SCI has been successful getting an airline policy changed to the benefit of hunters. In the past 5 years, SCI has worked with United Airlines to allow antlers in checked baggage after their attempt to disallow it. SCI also worked with the NRA to reverse an American Airlines policy that prohibited flying with firearms internationally.

Read and join the discussion on U.S. Airways Solves Baggage Handling Concerns, Now Accepting Firearms to Spain at

Nature and the Pursuit of Life: Transforming Life Amidst the Changing Leaves

October 10, 2012

The changing colors at Timber Ridge Ranch in Ellsworth, Michigan.

It is amazing what some quiet time in nature can do to bring more answers to our perceived problems in life. As autumn moves in and the trees begin to turn colors, I have found that this healing effect of nature is magnified many times over. There is something energy lifting and even soul restoring about the sight, smell, and feel of the peak colors in northern Michigan. No matter how wound up you feel, no matter how bad the situation may seem, some time spent in the changing colors of northern Michigan will elevate the soul. So many times throughout life I have turned to the colors to help bring more direction and meaning to my life, and so many times I have found what I am looking for. If you have not experienced color changes that represent this level of natural power, then you are robbing yourself of a transformational experience. It is truly God’s country at its finest.

As I pull past the road sign informing me that I’ve entered Antrim County, I feel a surge of butterflies in my stomach and immediate stress relief coming on. I have been going hard, burning the candle at both ends as of late. While I feel some decent zen in my life, I have been undeniably stressed and a even a bit dulled to nature, as sad as that is to admit. The colors are simply exquisite as the reds, oranges, and even purples pop out and captivate me. I am in up north in Ellsworth, Michigan to spend a couple of days in a tree stand for the 2012-2013 opener of archery season and this recent tension has me in dire need of such a retreat . I take a deep breath and say to myself “thank God, I need a little northern Michigan color change and some pure air to breathe in for a while,” and a satisfied grin comes over my face. I pull into the farm ready for some good grub, a perfect sunset and a little chill time before the hunt in the morning.

It was almost 10 AM when I stepped out of the woods, threw off my camouflage jacket and safety harness vest, set my bow in the backseat of the truck cab, and decided to hop in the truck bed and color gaze for a while. It was a solid first morning hunt, as I could have arrowed several deer, but did not see the big guy I was looking for. I turn my cell phone off so nothing will interrupt my peaceful state, sit back and stare out into the sky. I tune into the power of what is occurring in nature and I am immediately awestruck by its radiance. I love how this happens time and time again with nature. Just when you assume that you know what it is all about, you become more captivated than ever before by its abundant beauty and energy. I can feel the stress begin to clear out and positive thoughts come to me. Nature offers us this opportunity to clear out tension by merely being one with it. After another day of this I will be recharged and ready to hit the battlefields of business and jump back in ready to rock.

If you feel like stress is pulling at you or if you need a big answer to a life problem, get out in nature and let the answers flow to you. If you are in need of some fresh perspective or are searching for something nature has you covered. Life in a tree stand deep in the woods is about way more than just hunting – it is about absorbing all of the wonderful connective energy that radiates from the woods. There is no time where that flow is more abundant than when the color change is taking place and we transform alongside it. Go and be present and breathe in the fall and absorb that positive natural force and let it guide you to the best destination. You will not be disappointed.

Read and join the discussion on Nature and the Pursuit of Life: Transforming Life Amidst the Changing Leaves at

Find Some Adventure, Explore New Areas

October 5, 2012

Find Some Adventure, Explore New Areas; by Alby Lewis

Today I have a post from my friend Alby. He’s a western hunter who wrote this as a response to my post from last week, “Destination Hunting, Is it worth it?”. In that post I had mostly whitetail hunters in mind, debating whether it’s worth it to spend money traveling and paying an outfitter or invest that money in improving your hunting properties near home. My goal with that post was to get people thinking and it worked! So check out what Alby had to say on the topic. -WJ

I have hunted the same area since I was a youngster yet this last year alone I have walked, mapped, and studied three different GMUs to hunt over the next few years. Why would I do this when I have access to such a large area to hunt already that I know so much about?

There are several reasons I do this but it really comes down to adventure, and the thrill of potential new animals that I may have an opportunity to take in the future while participating in conservation. I have an unending lust for adventure and new landscapes are full of them. I also have a need to harvest animals every year and taking a trophy is just a cherry on top.

These are just a few of the things I accomplished this year:

  • I have seen many bears including a two tone
  • Got some great game camera photos
  • Found some great sheds
  • Located turkeys I can hunt the following years
  • Guided some great people from all over the country on hunts
  • Saw some amazing landscapes, sunrises and sunsets
  • Spent time and made memories with my family and friends

A lot of people want to harvest a large high quality animal and just as many people need meat in the freezer. Studying more areas can allow for harvesting older animals, areas of higher populations, and even a chance at a trophy you may not have had. Instead of harvesting them out of the same area year after year it may be beneficial to try a different location to help manage the quality and quantity of animals.

Every year the variables change because of weather, food, human pressures, and predators. Challenging ourselves to discover new places within these vast lands should be a priority not only for gain but for the conservation of our animals. You may be surprised at the sense of accomplishment you have by spending more time in the woods and adding to the memories and stories of those amazing adventures you had. I believe that there is some way that hunters in other areas of the country can do the same and should.

Read and join the discussion on Find Some Adventure, Explore New Areas at

Costa Rica Moving Forward with Countrywide Sport Hunting Ban

October 3, 2012

Costa Rica Moving Forward with Country-wide Hunting Ban

Those who have been putting off a hunting trip in Costa Rica may never fulfill that dream. Costa Rican lawmakers are en route to making the entire country a sport hunting-free area. It would be the first Latin American country to do so.

Lawmakers voted 41 to 5 in favor of changing the law to ban hunting.

The move is backed by environmental activists and businesses that make their money off tourism. The Central American nation mostly attracts wildlife watchers and anglers. According to Reuters, roughly 300,000 visitors come to the country’s national parks. The approximately 1.5 million international tourists that flock to national parks, beaches, tropical rain forests and resorts generate roughly $2.1 billion annually, or 5 percent of the country’s GDP.

“We’re not just hoping to save the animals but we’re hoping to save the country’s economy, because if we destroy the wildlife there, tourists are not going to come anymore,” environmental activist in favor of the reform Diego Marin, to a local radio station.

The ban would not prevent subsistence hunters from pursuing wildlife for survival, nor would it prevent hunting for a scientific purpose.

Within 0.1 percent of its landmass, Costa Rica contains 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity. Numerous species of frogs, turtles, monkeys, squirrels, sloths, big cats, crocodiles and more live in Costa Rica.

Some outfitter services offer the chance to hunt for dove, duck, whitetail, mule and red stag.

A second vote in the coming week is expected to ratify the law.

Read Costa Rica Moving Forward with Countrywide Sport Hunting Ban in its entirety on

Werner Announces National Sweepstakes for Adventure Seeking Enthusiasts

August 1, 2012

Werner Announces National Sweepstakes for Adventure Seeking Enthusiasts

Werner Co., the world’s leading ladder manufacturer, today announced a national sweepstakes with a chance to win an amazing, three-day adventure at Cabin Bluff, a world-class hunting and fishing destination located near Cumberland Island, Georgia. All outdoor adventure enthusiasts can now enter the contest by going to between August 1, 2012- September 28, 2012.

“Werner is a brand that offers the best climbing solutions for both pros and consumers. Our products are rugged and durable and we want to give away an experience that our end users would truly appreciate”, said Chris Filardi, vice president of marketing for Werner Co. “Whether you are an everyday professional or weekend warrior, we want to offer one lucky winner a trip to this exclusive, very private destination and to experience hunting and fishing like never before.”

Ultimate Outdoor Adventure: The Experience

This national promotion, valued at $2,900, includes three days of hunting deer, wild boar and quail. The grand prize winner will be able to customize the package based on their personal interests and passions. Along with the hunting adventures, the winner will be able to test their saltwater fishing skills against redfish, bluefish, sea trout and other native fish. Staying at the luxurious Cabin Bluff lodge is a truly unique experience. This exclusive retreat has hosted previous presidents and will provide an opportunity to unwind in the evenings while enjoying the serene and natural environment.

As part of the package, the winner will be provided the necessary hunting gear to be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime! No purchase is necessary and the winner will be selected and notified by October 15, 2012. The all-inclusive expense paid trip includes lodging, hunting activities, food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Werner Announces National Sweepstakes for Adventure Seeking Enthusiasts

Historic Bimini Big Game Club Announces Completion of Floating Dock

July 30, 2012

Historic Bimini Big Game Club Announces Completion of Floating Dock

An $18,000 floating dock has been installed this week at the Bimini Big Game Club with plans to provide guests arriving by seaplane the convenience of a satellite customs and immigration check-in at the resort as well as at-the-dock luggage pick-up service.

Earlier this year, Tropic Ocean Airways, www, re-instituted regular scheduled service to Bimini on Thursday through Monday, using the old Seaplane Base on North Bimini (formerly operated by the now defunct Chalk’s International Airline.) Arthur “Pappy” Chalk, a former Army Air Service pilot in WWI, established the first seaplane service to Bimini in 1919.

“With the addition of the floating seaplane dock, the Big Game Club will officially become the home base for Tropic in Bimini,” noted resort General Manager Michael Weber. “Eventually we want to create a one-stop shop type experience with free parking at the departure airport (Sheltair in Fort Lauderdale) and fly-in customs and immigration and room check-in all within 20 yards of each other at the Big Game Club. Also, departing guests using the seaplane service can show-up just 10 minutes before the flight with beverage in hand.”

Weber said the main benefit of seaplane departure is convenience—no need for early arrival for customs and/or security checks, and passengers avoid the need to travel to and from the South Bimini airport, which requires both a taxi and ferry ride, saving almost an hour of travel time.

Overall, according to Weber, sixty percent of guests at the Big Game Club currently arrive by air, with a growing number of regular service and charter carriers, including the new seaplane service.

Offering charter service to other Bahamas destinations as well as the Florida Keys, Tropic Ocean Airways’ scheduled service to Bimini originates from Sheltair at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (a 30 minute flight to Bimini) and has more recently added additional flights to Bimini from the Miami Seaplane Base, located on Watson Island between downtown Miami and South Beach. The single aircraft airline currently flies a five-passenger Cessna 206 Amphibian.

The Big Game Club, which is located on the main navigation channel in Bimini Bay, currently features a 51-room resort and a 75-slip marina capable of accommodating boats up to 145 feet in length.

Guestrooms and suites have been fully renovated, as with the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, and completion of the Hemingway Lounge and Gulfstream conference center.

Location: Alice Town (North Bimini’s Southern Tip)

Marina Facilities: 75 Slips

Regular Rooms: 35

Penthouse Suites: 4

Cottage Rooms: 12

Restaurants: Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, Hemingway Lounge

Meeting Space: Gulfstream Conference Center

Pools: Freshwater

Other Activities: Outfitter Shop, Deep Sea Fishing, Flats Fishing, Diving, Snorkeling, Shopping, Sightseeing, Watersports, Sunset Cruises, Picnics

Reservation: 1-800-867-4764


Outdoor Hub, The Outdoor Information Engine - Historic Bimini Big Game Club Announces Completion of Floating Dock

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