On this episode of the Huntavore, Nick is joined by fellow Sportsman’s Empire Podcaster, Dan Mathews. Dan is the Host of the Nomadic Outdoorsman and Western Rookies. Together Nick and Dan talk about chasing everything. Rather than casting a deep net into one species, Dan casts a wide net to explore as many outdoor opportunities as possible. They cover hogs from a helicopter. Why is meat so important in your household?, and how Mountain Goat might not be on the top of Dan’s list to chase. This and much more on this episode of Huntavore.
Dan Mathews hails from Southern Missouri and grew up in Wisconsin. His drive for exploring the outdoors and passion for adventure has Dan hunting as much as he possibly can. Rather than wait for a particular season to open, Dan is always in search of the next season that opens, no matter the species. Dan finds that he gets an appreciation for more than just antler size, or body weight, but shares in the excitement of trying something completely new and experiencing hunting cultures across the whole United States.
Dan was recently on a helicopter hunt for feral hogs in Texas. Like a boy playing soldier, Dan unpacks the fun of using high tech firearms out the side of a flying helicopter. Nick pokes at some questions about how Dan feels about the advantage he had with the use of technology and if the excitement of fair chase was gone. His response reflected what ranchers and farmers were saying. These hogs have been doing untold amounts of damage to crops and to other wildlife, and even with these efforts of eradication, the hog numbers continue to bounce back to the point where the environment wouldn't support them. The ethics talk may include the hogs, but at the same time, ethics around wildlife and healthy habitats needs to include hog eradication.
These conversations lead into what meat means to Dan. Is it just food or is it something more? Dan’s freezer is a cornucopia of different animals he’s harvested. Each package offers a renewed experience of the hunt and memories about the event. Also the appreciation of knowing where food comes from. When he asks his daughter where meat comes from, the answer isn't the store or butcher’s shop. It's from hunting.