The Wolves are at the Door

Show Notes

The Sportsmen’s Alliance is on the move. The organization has been around for decades and continues to build upon their support of hunters, particularly, hunters who hunt with hounds. The sole purpose of this group is to keep us informed of the threats and fight for hunters. 

Todd Adkins is in charge of government affairs at Sportsmen’s Alliance. Todd is an expert in political issues, campaign strategy, legislative actions and he likes to fight. More importantly, he fights to win. 

Chris and Todd have deep discussion on the might and power of Sportsmen’s Alliance. They discuss past track records of victories and losses. They discuss the current threats that are facing us now, such as:

  • Colorado Initiative 91
  • The petition to Delist Wolves in the Western Great Lakes
  • The lawsuits challenging California’s governor and laws
  • New threats

www.houndsmanxp.com

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

Chris Powell: [00:00:00] The Houndsman XP podcast is fueled by Joy Dog Food. Joy Dog Food has a rich tradition of supporting the Houndsmen of America. Founded in 1945, Joy is proud of its history and the relationship it has built with the American Houndsmen. And in 76 years, there's never been a recall. Made with 100 percent American made, high quality ingredients, Joy Dog Food has one of the highest...

calorie dense formulas on the market for 76 years. This made in America product has kept hunting dogs in the field day after day, season after season. And when we say made in America, joy has a long track record of fighting for American freedoms by being on the front lines against the animal rights movement and their extremist tactics.

Joy will fuel your hounds and fight for your freedoms fueled by joy.[00:01:00]

This is the Houndsman XP

podcast, the original podcast for the complete Houndsman.

The podcast that represents our lifestyle of extreme performance.[00:02:00]

Uniting houndsmen across the globe from east to west, north to south. If you're going

Todd Adkins: to catch a cat or a lion, you have to have teamwork.

Chris Powell: We take you to the wildest place. Is on Earth.

Todd Adkins: Yeah. So how many days a week do you spend on that day? As much as I can, to be honest with you.

Anytime that I get I'm out

Chris Powell: there. Join us for every heart pounding adventure on Hounds Man xp. I'll

Todd Adkins: tell you like I tell everyone else, I'm gonna hunt whether you're here or not, so you might as well be here.

Chris Powell: Thanks for tuning into the Hounds XP podcast. I'm your host, Chris Powell, and. I'm glad you're with us this week. I truly am honored that you would take time out of your day [00:03:00] or choose to listen to us as we try to expand the scope of what we do as houndsmen, how we interact, how we add value to the outdoor industry, wildlife management, and our society as a whole.

What we're doing by running multiple episodes groups that are out there fighting and defending our freedoms to haunt is providing Education. It's education for us as houndsmen to be able to build our narrative, talk intelligently, know why we hunt, what those values are that we add, be able to tell other people about that and not just simply rely on, I hunt because I've always hunted.

I hunt because I like to hunt. Those are all valuable reasons. Legacy, tradition, and enjoyment is why we hunt. But just as importantly as knowing how a dog's nose works or doing [00:04:00] your homework and figuring out what cross for a future breeding is going to. Enhance your abilities with your hounds to catch more game.

That's all good stuff, but it's just as important to understand the politics behind hunting and the fact that people are trying to come and take that away from you. We have to know how to tell our story. It's imperative because when we don't tell it. Then other people tell it for us. I got to listen to the title board meeting last week in Colorado and the way the anti hunting crowd is trying to paint a picture of us as houndsmen is completely irresponsible, wrong, and just downright dirty.

They're willing to go to any length to make sure that you don't get to hunt, that we cease doing what we do. That includes outright lying. And misrepresenting us as hunters and hounds. These groups represent the [00:05:00] very things that I see you posting on Facebook that you're against corrupt politicians, bureaucracy, overreach of government.

All of the things that are an attack on our lifestyle are in play here. And while many of the topics that we see and hear about seem out of our reach, maybe we don't know what we can do to stop it or. curb the tide of craziness that seems to be hitting us from every side. This is something you can do.

This is a fight that you can get into and this is our part of the fight against the crazies of the world. That's why we do what we do on this podcast. We aren't debating the value of wars on foreign soil, or why wars are fought, or critical race theory, or any of that other stuff. There is plenty of programming, probably more than enough [00:06:00] programming out there talking about that, but nobody's talking about This issue, the fact that we are being suppressed as a hound hunting community.

And the reason we are the favorite target is because we have never learned to talk about it. We've never learned to define our values. We've been loosely organized. We look like an easy target for the anti hunting public to come and take away the things we love to do. And I know you love to do it.

So please join me in learning how to defend it and then get in the fight. Nobody's coming to our rescue. It's on us. And the only way we are going to get the support we need. To continue to free cast hounds is if we show the interest and the seriousness of our plight, and we start helping ourselves, [00:07:00] there are groups out there that will help us and we're coordinating right now, I'm glad to have Todd Adkins.

We've built a great partnership with Sportsman's Alliance through Houndsman XP and Todd Adkins is going to be on this podcast. He's going to lay out a lot of things that are happening all over the country. I hope you're going to stay tuned. And listen in and figure out which part of this fight is yours and how we can get involved and we can continue to hand defeats to these multi million dollar organizations.

This is truly a David and Goliath. Attempt, but I know that we can be successful if we all rise up and we just simply take care of our own job today. Let's get the tailgate down. It's time to dump the box. Chris, how are you? I'm good. How are you doing?

Todd Adkins: I'm alive, man.

Chris Powell: I hear you, buddy. [00:08:00]

Todd Adkins: No guarantees on

Chris Powell: that.

Yeah. Yeah, it's definitely I'm tired. I'm already wore out. I know we're

Todd Adkins: not even into January of 24.

Chris Powell: I'm gonna have to reach down deep and find that go watch some Rocky movies or something, get motivated here. Yeah, we got a lot going on, Todd. I appreciate you taking time to join us on the podcast and bring our audience up to speed on just tons of stuff that's going on.

It seems like we're doing way too many of these podcasts talking about threats. And it's important, it's important that we stay informed and ignite our bases and get involved here. Yeah. How's everything going over at Sportsman's Alliance?

Todd Adkins: Everything's great, but as you say, boy, is it busy and we never had a summer.

So to speak this year, I guess I'm old enough to recognize there was a time when in politics, some are just slow things down. And it's just not the [00:09:00] case this year for those folks who pay attention to politics at any level at all. We had a whole host of activities and more recently, we've been we knew this was coming at some level, we've been put on notice that they're going to come after us in the state of Colorado and on the ballot next year. We've been very busy out in Washington state, as Washington has been engaged in all these shenanigans for many years.

Chris Powell: Let's spend some time talking about, some of these. We're leaning in heavy on Colorado. There's no doubt about that from our standpoint, but I don't want to deny or give people the impression that we don't care what's going on in other places, it's it's happening everywhere.

It's just as important anywhere else. It's just a Colorado is going to be a huge stage. And I'm calling it the multi million dollar blood bath by the time this is all over and I can't get my mic thing set up here. But so I don't, [00:10:00] I didn't mean to interrupt you, but. But I don't want to pass over some other key things that are going on in other places besides Colorado that's just like the top of the ticker right now.

Todd Adkins: And all of us in the hunting community recognize that, we've seen these drips and drabs of our. Our rights and our opportunities being restricted, if not taken away. And that obviously started in a state like California a long time ago. So this is nothing new. Now the landscape has changed.

The geography of those fights has evolved over time, but real quick, I just want to give some people some good news because it seems in my business, we're always, Eyes falling. You better get, get more money to somebody, this is all going away. And sometimes that all that drama, which is the modern America now, everything's very dramatic.

We actually had a ruling by the [00:11:00] ninth circuit court of appeals. And anybody who again pays any attention knows the ninth circuit is not the good circuit for generally speaking, they're out of Missoula, right? It's it. Those courts are based in Missoula, but out west, you're absolutely right. All the cases originating from California, Oregon, and Washington and other states as well, end up in that.

That's the Ninth Circuit. You might recall actually last session, California passed a new law. Because a lot of legislators in the state of California believe that guns are just like tobacco. We're just going to regulate this into oblivion. And they passed a law to prohibit the marketing of firearms to minors.

And they said, this is to save our children, just like they always did, just like we did with tobacco.

Chris Powell: The sport, more

Todd Adkins: camel Joe. That essentially, and a whole host of groups out west in [00:12:00] California, holy cow, we do hunter education and you can't market a hunter education program without marketing firearm related activities to you.

So this is bad news all the way around. We, along with other groups filed suit against that California law against the attorney general. And not unexpectedly, we lost at the lower level. And there are actually two of these cases that were brought by various groups. We finally got our appeal on the we asked for a preliminary injunction in both cases.

You've got to stop this law in place because hunter education, youth hunting, shooting sports, Holy cow. These are major fines. 25, 000 each and every time we have to put this on hold. These district courts said, nope, you don't get a preliminary injunction. We're just going to proceed at a normal pace. As a court case can take years, right?

We appealed that denial for our request of a preliminary injunction to [00:13:00] the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and everybody's oh goodness, you're in the Ninth Circuit, good luck with it. But this law is so egregiously bad. Even the nice circus said, you know what, that was inappropriate. And they actually said the denial of a preliminary injunction on this law, because you are likely to win when it comes down to the merits of this is a violation of the first amendment, let alone the second one.

This is, you can't tell people based on how they view the world. In this case, pro gun, you can't talk. That's the first amendment. And that's right. That's right. We have these decisions, this decision out of the ninth circuit court of appeals, they send it back to the district court. And we're waiting for the administrative mess to to conclude, but we feel really good because other States, Illinois was among them, New York.

There are a lot of other States that said, Oh, that's a great idea. Let's do [00:14:00] that. So we're there, there's some good news for us at the end of the day, Sportsmen will often hear about us filing another suit. They're like, oh, here we go again filing. We actually won this one and it's a big one, not just for Californians very important there, obviously, but for all of us.

You're not going to all you regulators who think of firearms as in these problematic terms. It's all inappropriate, right? You're not going to treat us like you did tobacco because you're talking about apples and oranges, right? We are talking about 12 year olds engaging in a perfect, perfectly lawful activity for heaven's sakes.

And if you want to have that fight, let's have that fight. Bring it on. If you want to talk about whether or not young Americans should engage in their second amendment rights or hunt or whatever, let's have that fight. If you want to get honest about it, let's so anyway. Yeah,

Chris Powell: I would just add to that, Todd, I think an interesting statistic to [00:15:00] reveal to debunk some of that could be how many hunter education graduates are responsible for school shootings or mass shootings or any type of gun violence.

I bet it is minuscule.

Todd Adkins: You're absolutely right. Of course. Just anecdotally, we know this to be the case when you look at the millions upon millions of young Americans who have engaged in hunting activities or hunter education programs or shooting sports, we know that, but remember, as soon as you cross over to the world of logic and reason, so it comes to folks who seek to restrict us, throw us off the landscape, the gun owners, hunters, all of us collectively. Again, they rely on emotion. And so we're going to get to this question in Colorado. Again, it is, they pull out the arrow about emotion, pull out the arrow, it's about emotion. They don't want to talk logic and reason.

[00:16:00] Thankfully, there are still a few judges around. Who say no, at the end of the day, you have to have that in your quiver to that. You have to talk about reason and have a actually a plus B will see 1 plus 1 equals 2. That still remains at least. For a number of judges among the things that they'll run through.

So

Chris Powell: aren't you feeling though that the average American, the people that I call the battleground population, the people that aren't highly invested in firearms and hunting, they're not, highly invested. They're not on the side of the fence that guns are bad or hunting is bad. I'm, I feel like I'm seeing an uprising of common sense.

Among the general population that are just tired of being misled and misinformed. And one, the extremist tactics of the people that want to [00:17:00] strip Americans of the rights. Are you seeing that at your level?

Todd Adkins: I think what you recognize, and I think you're absolutely right. And it's among the reasons that politics has gotten, if not noisy, ugly at times is Americans are fed up.

They, oh my goodness, you guys just scream and yell. You never make any sense. So I think what you've identified is absolutely true, but here's the difficulty for us, you all, everybody in the hunting community, right? If you pick a state, you want to maintain the status quo. Let's say you live in the type of state where you're not overly regulated the hunting license.

They're pretty cheap or they're not too expensive. I have good access, good opportunities. I don't have the public asking to restrict me each and every day, right? If you live in one of those places, you still have to get those messages out, right? We still have [00:18:00] to understand that California elected Ronald Reagan as governor at one point.

And this is what gets, why we get tired and why you can say, man, am I worn out? You have to maintain that ever vigilance that look, we have to stay at work. We have to continue to talk to friends and family and people in our circles and keep reminding them of this, these realities the actual facts on the ground and what it looks like when you manage wildlife and what it looks like when you don't manage wildlife and so on and so forth.

So I get what you're saying. Sometimes it's still remains difficult for us to get through the clatter and noise though, and we still have to keep pressing for that.

Chris Powell: Yeah, I think that's key right there, Todd. You're absolutely right. If you're living in a state like Indiana. Or South Dakota or Idaho. I think even some people in Montana right now are feeling a wave of freedoms [00:19:00] that they haven't had for a while, man, it's easy to become complacent and, just live in your own little world and think I don't have any problems, so I'm not involved.

This does not affect me. And I can tell you 100 percent that I was completely asleep at the switch. Through the nineties, when things were being attacked in California and Oregon and Washington, those places, and we lost miserably there. And I guess I'm at the point in my life. It's no more, not another inch.

I'm going to be on, I'm going to be involved in this wherever the fight is. And I think it's a worthy fight. I've staked a whole podcast brand and reputation on jumping in this fight and helping our houndsmen understand what the real narratives are. Help them develop their own narratives.

So when they're talking to aunt Millie at Thanksgiving, that's those bobcats sure are cute. I think we should save them. How does hunting be able to talk about [00:20:00] that, be able to get an effective message out there that helps them. Bring those people that are living on the fringes back to reality.

Todd Adkins: Yeah, I agree with you. And, I, at the end of the day, I don't blow smoke up anybody's skirt, but at the, I'm always thankful for people like you. I'm always thankful for the people who resist the urge to stay on the couch because that's in a way, just human nature. And that, and we see that in all political activities.

It's always, it comes down to winning and losing always comes down to how many of your people stayed on the couch? Yeah. Versus how many of their people stayed on. It always comes down to that. Whether a lot of people say I, nobody listens to me. Nobody trusts me engagement. You can make all the difference in the world by just showing up.

And sometimes that is nothing but what you described. That means saying something at Thanksgiving dinner, not in a nasty, controversial way. Just say no, [00:21:00] aunt Millie, let me tell you a story or whatever narrative is you've developed for yours and your style. It means being engaged and thinking about what was it like to be in the state of Washington 30 years ago and thinking everything's okay.

What was it like to be in California 35 or 40 years ago? Everything's fine, nothing to look at here and then go ask those same folks if they're around. Do you have any regrets? And they will say, Oh, I wish I'd talked to aunt Millie. And I've been, I wish I would have written letters. Then I wish I would have made phone calls and so on and so forth.

So I know

Chris Powell: people that bear hunted with hounds in the state of California said it was the most phenomenal adventure of their lives. That one of their favorite places to go. And so there are still people out there that live through this and know, and I know it's very tempting for. Our friends in California to sit back and maybe think, [00:22:00] okay, you're going to feel, you're going to see exactly what this is it's your turn to go through this and disengage.

But my appeal to them is you've got so much valuable knowledge and experience in the trenches of this, that you can help us keep it from spreading any farther. Yeah. It's crucial, not to be holding grudges. It's where were you when we were trying to fight in California?

I admit it, I was asleep at the switch and I totally understand what you're talking about when you talk about. People that fail to listen, because I see my numbers every week. If I run a podcast, it's all fluff and ponytail and, butt smacking, funny, fun stuff. My ratings go off the charts.

When I start talking about stuff like this, then my downloads go down

Todd Adkins: and I get it. Yeah. I've got one little interesting anecdote and I'll keep it as short as I can, but it's so [00:23:00] informative for me personally, maybe for others, it's like whatever cute story, Todd, but I graduated from law school, my very first assignment among the things that I remember in the mid nineties.

When I went to work for the NRA was go out to Washington. There's a bear initiative, blah, blah, blah. And I'm green. I don't, Oh, okay. So I show up and this is in Eastern Washington, just outside of Spokane. I'm in a room, there's about 200 folks in the room, right? We're all good. What are we going to do about this ballot initiative?

Oh my goodness. What are we going to do? I didn't, I'm green and I don't have all this gray hair at this point with all of these experiences.

Chris Powell: You've still got hair, Todd. I can see it. It's great. Your forehead's getting longer, but you've still got hair up there. I can't support that.

Todd Adkins: That's my brain just expanding over time anyway. But I lean all over [00:24:00] California because I'm green. I don't really have any. And I'm like look to our south. It's terrible. And I'm pointing to because that where I was standing in the room, it's that way, California, awful, California, terrible.

They're taking everything blah, blah, blah. You better wake up. Literally, this guy near the, he might have been in the second or third row, big dude to stood up. Pointed his finger at me and said, Todd, stop talking about California. We're not California. None of that is going to happen here. Wag literally wagging his finger at me.

So when I. Again, I don't know if that's meaningful for others. It's meaningful for me because that's all that's it in a nutshell. It's always about how many folks did you get off the couch and whether or not your people and even those people who are with you. They heed the call, get active, whether that's five bucks for a campaign, whether it's writing a letter, showing up to vote, [00:25:00] pressing the flesh, talking to everybody in your circle, whether or not we can actually make that happen.

Now, what I've seen in Washington, since we went active in litigation, we filed suit against one of their commissioners, you're violating the law, right? That's headed to the Supreme Court. Now we won at the lower level and this was not what I would call super conservative judge. The judge said, yeah, you're violating the statute.

We're headed to the Supreme Court. Now what I've seen in Washington, holy cow, we held an event out there. And that was, that room was packed full of people, all breathing fire, all ready to eat leather or whatever it took. What I do know and I've been reminded over these 30 plus years is once people finally click right up here and they go, I got it, man, I am ready for the fight.

It's not docile. You got to actually bring your elbows all the way up. And guess what? You got to say I'm taking blood with me on the way down. If nothing else, we [00:26:00] get that attitude. We'll win. And that I believe that, and it's not just to get myself motivated, I, because I've seen it when we get our elbows up and say, no more, you're not doing this anymore.

We

Chris Powell: went for sure. And how houndsmen are very good about that. I've seen them rise to the occasion, multiple time, raise millions of dollars for children's hospitals, get involved in veterans programs, taking care of families in need, even, shutting down state capitals with pickup trucks and dog boxes in the back and standing on the steps, but it's got to be revealed that.

What we are seeing in other places, it may not be your home, but I can guarantee you there are plans in the making right now to bring it to your hometown. So that's why we need to be aware and watch and be involved because if it goes down there, it's coming to you next. [00:27:00] So we need to stand together and it needs to be the whole hunting community, not just.

Not just trappers, when the trappers were under attack, we all sat back and we said, Oh, I'm not a trapper. It doesn't affect me. And then when hounds come under attack, the deer hunters sit back and say, Oh, that doesn't affect me. Duck hunting is the same way until it comes down to the fact that it's now it's they're coming after deer hunting.

Guess what? There's nobody left.

Todd Adkins: That's right. And we all are susceptible to that. That, that old cliche or story, if you will, about the frog in the water, the heat on low, it's too late by the time somebody directly comes in and tries to strike you right between the eyes that you're looking at the fist right there.

It's like too late. You're going to take it. You're going to get beat on this. You're absolutely right. So I'll be personally, I'm not talking about sportsman's lines. We'll obviously be engaged as an organization. I, because I always [00:28:00] do this, I will personally send money to the state of Colorado.

And that is me as a hunter saying it's not a lot of money because I don't make a lot of money, but it's going to be a substantial amount of money. People are like, wow, you don't even live there because every time the other side, even. engages in something, a campaign at a legislature or a ballot initiative, they are learning the lessons they need for the next.

Fight win, lose or draw. Now that's true for us, hopefully at the same time. But if you think HS us and the rest of them look anything like they did 20 to 30 years ago, I, man, 20, 30 years ago, they were bumbling around, running into things. What we are seeing in Colorado, and I suppose we could transition really quickly, getting that language to that title board in the timeframe that group did.

And we're going to find out here shortly who's actually behind this, but we can be [00:29:00] suspicious about who's behind it. That was buttoned up. And what I looked at more than anything else everybody's this language that language I understand a lot of these procedural things provide avenues to legally challenge the title single subject and we're going to get that chance, but I also know that state judges are elected judges and they really don't want to get in the way of the people.

I understand that. So because we've been doing this for so long at Sportsman's Alliance, we've been involved in more than two dozen of these fights. Yes, there will be opportunities to challenge these kinds of technical administrative details at the front end, right? But at the end of the day, I know this is going to come down to a fight and whether or not we've actually invested each in each other, into ourselves, putting together a decent campaign, if not a strong campaign to actually take care of business.

Chris Powell: For sure. Yeah, that we did transition a [00:30:00] little bit there into the Colorado deal. I watched that hearing yesterday and it was amazing to me. It wasn't amazing. It was expected. It really was. I don't know how much we want to call out at this time or whatever. I think there is this one thing I want my listeners to know.

Is that I've been involved in enough conversations with stakeholders and people that are on the ground there right now, that this is going to be a strategic fight on our part. So if you aren't getting information that you think you should be getting, just trust that there is a plan. That's in place that's being devised as we speak, as you listen to this and you are going to be informed and we're going to need your involvement at the right time.

It's very important that we're strategic and we don't let too much out. We get enough out. That's all part of this whole thing.[00:31:00] What app I use on my phone more than any other app besides the podcast app to listen to this here podcast. I use Onyx. Onyx Maps is the most comprehensive mapping system for hunters on the market today.

I use it all the time. When I was in New Mexico, I was looking at 40, 000 acres of ranch that I needed to learn. I flip open Onyx and just start studying the map. When I'm riding trails, I put the tracking app on. It helps me get around in strange country. I could mark water sources, food sources, bear sign, just all kinds of options within on X.

You need to check out on X maps by going to houndsmanxp. com. Click on the link on our sponsor page. You'll go right to on X maps. And when you check out, enter the code HXP 20, and you will get 20 percent off of your order, [00:32:00] know where you stand with on X.

Hey folks, there's a few companies that I want to recognize before we get to the podcast, because they have already made a commitment to be. Directly involved and get behind this effort that's going on in Colorado to defeat the animal extremists out there and keep responsible science based wildlife management at the forefront for managing our wildlife that we as hunters have paid for.

Those three companies, let me run through them. I might even mention four here. All right. So the first one is Freedom Hunters. I'm very proud to partner with Freedom Hunters and be the coordinator for outdoor adventures and hound adventures for Freedom Hunters. And it's easy to get involved. You send me an email and say, Hey, I'd love to take America's veterans on a hound hunting adventure.

And we'll get you hooked up. [00:33:00] It can be as simple as a day in the field, rabbit hunting lion hunting whatever you're into, we can get a veteran to you and you can show them why we love to do the things that we do and make a big difference in their life. The next company that I want to mention is.

Cajun lights. I called LW on the way back from New Mexico, told him what was going on in Colorado, and he said, sign me up. I am in for whatever you need and. We're going to be doing a lot of cool stuff with Cajun Lights coming up to generate the much needed funding for this Multi million dollar fight that we're going to face in Colorado.

If you're shopping, check out Cajun Lights. If you need a light, obviously they have those, but they've got all kinds of other dog supplies that you need as a houndsman. Everything from Garmin to kennel supplies. It's all on their [00:34:00] Website, they've got hunting attire. They've got coats. They've got vests. I just check them out folks You got to see how much stuff they offer and they are supporting you.

So shop with people that support you the next Organization is the horses hounds and mule sale If you heard us talk about that, we dropped some podcasts. I didn't get to go, but Seth made it there, did a lot of coverage on the horses, hounds, and mules. Trey Naramore, talked to him on the way back.

We're working on some projects there too, and they're going to help raise funds to fight this. Initiative 91 in the state of Colorado. All right. Who else am I missing? Oh, I know somebody. How about dogs are treed Kevin and Nancy Hall. You guys have seen them at your Western field trials. You've seen the tie outs.

We've done YouTube videos. We've done stuff on their hydration systems. Paws are protected top of the line products for you [00:35:00] as a houndsman. And they are more than happy to, to support us and. You houndsmen in this fight in Colorado. So make sure you check them out and you can find all of these organizations, companies, whatever you want to call them on our website at houndsmanxp.

com. Go to the sponsors page or partner's page. And that link will take you right to their website. Support people that are supporting you. Let's get back to the podcast.

Todd Adkins: That's exactly right. And I'm glad you brought that up because, and this is every ballot fight I've been involved in these initial administrative steps.

So you get press releases, things in newspapers, podcasts, social media, everybody gets very excited and, oh my goodness, right? Rightly this is not good news. This is not something I would wish for, right? At the end of the day, of course. But the, and it's funny as a [00:36:00] campaign manager, you immediately say, what is election day?

It's November X, November 5th or whatever it is, right? I don't know what it is in 24, but, and you start to work.

Chris Powell: I think it's the 8th. I'm thinking it's the 8th.

Todd Adkins: Okay, you start to work backwards from that date, because what you understand as a campaign manager, and this is true on any issue about anything, is you actually will get individuals attention for a certain time frame.

Chris Powell: It's November 5th. You're you were correct.

Todd Adkins: I actually guessed I was just lucky, but at the end of the day, you will get an individual's attention where you have the opportunity to change their mind, reinforce their like current belief. Like on our issue would be right. Vote. No, a certain amount of time.

I'm not talking about the hardcore activists. They're always going to be there. I'm talking about the middle. [00:37:00] With that, we're actually targeting in this election, right? This ballot initiative, we need the middle, all those folks who aren't quite sure they might think cats are great and cute.

We've got to change their minds or reinforce where they are depending on where they are. You don't have a year. We know this for certain. So if you activate somebody too early, and actually get them ginned up and crank like they're a hamster on a wheel, you burn them out way before they can have any impact.

They're like, Oh man, Todd, you already sent me that. I'm bored. I'm going to go off and do something else now. So you're absolutely right. And I'm glad you said it because what are you doing? What are you doing? There are folks in Colorado doing all the things that need to be done right now. You've had Dan Gates on your show, on your podcast, all these questions are well enhanced.

So if people feel like I'm not getting poked and prodded in an alerted or something, trust that's [00:38:00] not because people are lazy. It's not because you've been forgotten at all. It's because it's not yet the time to start to gin up. All of the various things that have to be put in place for us to be victorious.

Chris Powell: Yes. So what does that timeframe look like? Let's just talk, let's just talk human psychology here for a minute. Once we start and I'm terrible at this. As soon as I heard about it, it's I jump on the freaking fast track and try to push this thing. And, but let's talk about human psychology.

What kind of timeframes are we looking at where we can. Make an impact and hold people's attention where they don't get tired of hearing me on this podcast every week, talking about this initiative.

Todd Adkins: Okay and there's always going to be individual realities about a specific campaign. It's going to be all of them are going to be slightly different in general there for those who have worked on a lot of campaigns [00:39:00] and especially those who have won a lot of campaigns.

I consider myself in that crowd. The actual, when we're talking about the non hardcore, just general public, you've got about eight weeks and eight weeks. You're working backwards from election day. So in Colorado, we would actually, I'm, I don't recall sitting here, if they have an early voting allowance, they probably do, because most states do now.

You actually have to work backwards eight weeks from that point. And you have to build a sustained campaign. And we're talking about TV. We're talking about radio. We're talking about digital campaigns. If you got all guns firing, you're talking about everything under the sun and eight week campaign targeting specific demographics that you're polling shows you need it the most.

Like in this market, we need to target this message towards these people, just as [00:40:00] an example, right? There are some voters, you're never going to get with any message at all. That's not who you're targeting. Depending on the early voting period in Colorado, you're working eight weeks previous to that to really get, that train humming down the tracks, you're going at full speed, everything's being fired off, but still.

It's very strategic. Let's just say now we're going to have a digital campaign over the next 10 days and then we're going to take another poll and see if that move people one way or the other. Okay, the 10 days after that we're going heavy on radio and let's just say Colorado Springs market, then we're going to take a poll and see if we're moving people in the right direction and so on and so forth, all the while watching the voter rolls.

with early voting place n sure about Colorado, but

Because one thing I will say that we've learned [00:41:00] very recently, just as recently as August here in the state of Ohio, the two sides of the ideal ideological spectrum, just as called generally left and right. The left has an amazing turnout machine for early voting. Now they get their folks going quickly.

So in, in our case, that might be as early as August, September, you're getting people rolling. Ready to go to the polls, ready to actually commit one way or the other. Because of the dynamics of the 2020 presidential election, you might recall, and I'm not, I don't want to get into the specifics of it, who was right or wrong, that a lot of folks on the conservative side were convinced don't early vote, show up on election day.

What that means is then our campaign has to recognize those dynamics while we're targeting for these eight to 16 week period. [00:42:00] Because some will be more likely to turn out early rather than late. And unfortunately, I'm going to make this easy for everybody that used to be eight weeks because everybody showed up on election day, which means you had to raise money to spend like for so much on TV and radio, et cetera, for eight weeks.

Now that's been stretched to 16 weeks, potentially even more. So it means it's, everything's gotten more expensive anyway. I don't even want to today start to estimate how much money is going to have to be spent in Colorado to win or put up a good fight. It's going to be multiple millions of dollars.

It will be We just ran a projection here in Ohio because we had that most recent one. Right now we're talking about 10 to 12 million for any ballot initiative on issue. And unfortunately the other thing, say that number again, [00:43:00] 10 to 12 million for our side, like a ballot issue in Ohio where we're trying to get the win or defeat something.

10 to 12. Yeah. And that's not pie in the sky because Sportsman's Alliance doesn't make any money off these. We're a campaign manager that doesn't take a cut. We don't worry about it. We want to win. We put everything back into the field, so to speak, that's just the reality of how much media markets costs, so on and so forth.

So we know, I know Colorado is some version of that. Everything is expensive right now. It will take a major commitment from all of us. to actually win on election day on the cat issue. It just will you just take it as a given. If you thought a hundred bucks out of the wallet was enough, I would say 200.

How about 300 even it will be, it's a presidential year. It will be very

Chris Powell: expensive. Airtime, [00:44:00] billboard, space, all these other political initiatives are gonna be trying to gobble that up. So you get into the supply and demand of being able to do that. Can we compete with, I mean I listened to the whole a lot.

Not the whole thing. I couldn't listen to the whole thing. There were a lot of issues, , that were being discussed in, I don't even know, I don't even know why Colorado has a legislature. 'cause they just want to decide everything by popular vote out there.

Todd Adkins: And we've seen this phenomenon in a lot of states, a lot of legislators will get, we'll just simply say, I'll give it to the people.

I'll keep my job. I don't want to vote on controversy. Just give it to the people. And it's from that perspective, it's very self serving, but you're right. It just, we just end up with ballot initiative questions, one through a whole ton. Cause you're right. Sitting through that meeting yesterday, I like, holy cow, they're gonna, they're voting on abortion.

They're voting on a whole host of things in

Chris Powell: Colorado, energy, [00:45:00] abortion, anything that was traditionally a legislator's job to make those, but they don't want to put themselves at risk. That's what it all comes down to is risk assessment on the part of these professional. Legislators that if I vote on this, am I going to keep my job?

And so their hand, like you said, handing it back to the people and then they can sit back and say we gave it to the people. I, yeah, I

Todd Adkins: believe in democracy. And nobody can be attacked for that. You're like I believe in democracy. I believe this is an important issue. The voters of the state should decide this issue.

And it truly is a problem. And you see it in numerous days. California always has a slew. Washington always has a slew. And it obviously provides an opportunity, like on The Mountain Lion Initiative for those who are raid against us, it just gives them an O, this opening this avenue where it's just a question of money.

And I know you and I have talked about this and others, [00:46:00] everybody's aware the other side has a ton of money. They raise a ton of money. And these issues for them just become another fundraising opportunity if nothing else.

Chris Powell: So we are, and they are going to keep a portion of that fundraising money, not like Sportsman's Alliance or what we're doing, or some of these other organizations that are out there.

We're planning stuff. That's a complete pass through minus the actual operating expenses to generate this money. At the end of the day, you've still got, you've still got to be able to survive for the next fight. Whereas you take some of these other organizations, only a percentage, a small, probably single digit percentage of their money is going to fund the campaign, the rest of it is going to pay for overhead and CEO pay and all this other garbage that.

Your average voter doesn't even understand how little of their money is going to fund what they're passionate

Todd Adkins: about. That's right. [00:47:00] And again, just in, in my professional lifetime, while I earned all this gray hair. Hs us as an example that they sit on now, 500, 600 million. I don't mean in, in sitting there waiting to be spent that CBD again has a pile center for biological pile of money, ASPCA, a pile of money.

We're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars at the ready, even before they start. the fundraising exercise in a state like Colorado. So again, we can't control that. They may decide to just literally open the spigot the whole way we have to develop our campaign. It has to be based on that initial baseline survey, the poll that is taken in the state, the polls that have already been run over the years in Colorado show that the people are very susceptible to this trophy hunting [00:48:00] message on cats.

We know it's uphill climb, but we have to develop a campaign based on that polling data that shows us where do we need to go, which voters do we need to talk to it? And if I could, while we're here, because hounds men, aren't the problem on this issue, the one I'm getting ready to raise, but I see it all too often in our campaigns.

I don't mean sportsman. Hunting related campaigns. Everybody wants to tell the conservation story and this hundred year old story and Pittman Robertson. I'm telling you right now, the elbows have got to come up. And when it comes to moving voters who are near the middle, you've got to remind them why they should personally care.

Now, as somebody who knows a great deal about public opinion what you and I've already talked about a little bit, I know how to move a voter towards a candidate, towards an issue. You actually think of, you remember Maslow's hierarchy, you're talking over [00:49:00] my head. It basically says at the bottom of us as human beings, like the thing that matters to us most.

food and safety, right? We're just organisms. At the end of the day, I have to survive, right? How do we remind people that something like a cat initiative actually is important to them? We tell them, guess what? Cats are dangerous. There is always this inclination for folks to actually suggest that this hundred year old Pittman Robertson conservation, et cetera, et cetera story will convince voters that they should be with us because it's such a wonderful story.

Again, we, everybody says I hate negative ads won't work. And in our case, because folks already start behind the eight ball on the issue. Oh, that's a beautiful mountain line. Why would you want to do anything to harm that beautiful mountain line? We've got to get serious and [00:50:00] we've got to mean it.

So how do I relate to your I start talking about mountain lion attacks. I start talking about other apex predator attacks. I start talking about how mountain lions decimate certain wildlife populations. I get, I go to the core of it. Why should you care, madam from Denver or Boulder or wherever you are?

I'm going to tell you why, because you love your kids. We've got to go there and everybody's going, Oh, Todd, they always say the same. Oh, I hate that message. That message doesn't work. I'm telling you, it always takes a while to get through, but the polling always shows it to be absolutely true. You've got to bring the elbows up and talk about what mismanagement looks like in very clear and unquestioned terms.

This is what this will lead to. Yeah,

Chris Powell: one of the things that they kept talking about yesterday in the title hearing was the fact that they painted this [00:51:00] picture for the title board where mountain lions are not used for any kind of food. That's, they really took that off the table.

They worked hard to get that off the table and convince the title board. And they're going to work hard to convince the public that, that mountain lions are not used for a food source. When we as hunters know that is completely false. So I was just watching a a very popular clip from a podcast where they were actually talking, it was Joe Rogan, and they were talking about the value, the food quality of mountain lion and how edible and palatable and everything, all the benefits of it.

So the message can get out there. But the thing that, that. Abs that, that absolutely needs to be known. I think it's defeatable because it talks about what are the three things. It talks about public safety. It talks about the food source. And then there was one other point that they're trying to [00:52:00] make on this thing.

I'll have to read it again. I should have read that beforehand, but those two alone, the anti hunting crowds trying to convince people that mountain lion populations pose no public safety threat. All you gotta do is go to California. and dig up the stories from Colorado where mountain lions are attacking people and not only killing them, but also cashing them for foods, food sources, that story has never been out there.

Todd Adkins: And again, maybe you can help me as we get down the road. I've seen it time and again, over many years, folks on our side will be very reluctant. To go down the pathway that will provide us the clearest opportunity for a win. And that pathway is apex predators, like mountain lions pose a dangerous risk to human beings and other wildlife.

And in today's [00:53:00] world, you talked about how, people are just changing and we're changing as a society. You got to show them visuals.

Chris Powell: How that raises a question on my part, because. The other side, our adversaries are trying to appeal to the emotional they're making the emotional appeal that they're beautiful.

And they are. And believe me I believe all of this 100 percent and I would debate anybody that there's probably nobody that drives a Subaru that cares more about a mountain lion than I do. Every point of it. They're appealing to the emotional side and the welfare and the future and the wellbeing of the species and all this stuff, and they're getting traction there.

So why doesn't thing, why don't things like the study in orange County, Los Angeles that they're conducting right now, that's showing a a genetic deficiency and. Diversity in their mountain lion population is actually damaging [00:54:00] to the mountain lion population. Same thing as being shown in Florida, places where they do not allow mountain lion hunting and.

And they're restricted geographically either by interstate corridors or urban sprawl or whatever. And we're seeing this deficiency in the quality and the health and the wellbeing. Why can't that get any traction from our side?

Todd Adkins: It might be, it might get some traction. The problem is, what we discussed earlier.

As soon as you go more than about seven words deep into something, you've lost most folks. And that's just the reality of the public square right now. They need immediate, they need emotional. We can argue whether that's good or bad later. I'm not a big fan of it, but it's just the reality of how decisions are made by most people these days.

They're going to play emotions. My point is if we stick to logic, we're done. [00:55:00] We done. So what you're identifying is there will be ways for us to hijack their emotional appeals and that's all I'm suggesting it, a lot of people, if you can just convince them that cats are dangerous to other wildlife, it literally cats will just tear up other wildlife.

They'll tear up dogs. Look, dogs are a big one. It just, so I guess the base argument I'm making, we're making the same argument. We just got to stick with the emotion too. It's just. It just is what it is. We just have to understand that's how you actually get people to vote. Yes or no appeal to their emotions.

And we've got plenty of it. The difficulty I've seen over time is everybody wants to fall on this long narrative about conservation and effective. Wildlife management and a hundred more than a century of success and I don't deny any of that. I revel in it too. It's awesome what [00:56:00] we've done in this country.

We're the envy of the rest of the world, but these voters. You got to go straight to it and you've got to immediately pertinent to them. What's the quick and easiest way to do that? Mom, your kids are in danger.

Chris Powell: Your dog's in danger. There's some people out there that care more about their dogs and their kids.

And there's plenty of videos out there demonstrating, a lion hopping over the back fence, picking up fluffy and hopping back over the fence.

Todd Adkins: So videos of mountain lions stalking young Children in a vacuum. Again, do I like the fact that we don't get to just rely on this wonderful story we built over the past more than a century of conservation success?

No, but I understand how campaigns are won and lost. And you go straight to the heart and we've actually got a story to tell it's it hinges on the same kind of effective wildlife [00:57:00] management story. It's just, you spin it around and say let me show you what bad management looks like. If you pass this initiative, it looks bad for people.

It looks bad for wildlife. So let me show you some visualizations of that. Some actual video pictures of how dangerous this world you're getting ready to create looks like. If we go to that and we spend our money that way. Yeah. We've got a fighting shot. Then you're fighting fire with fire.

Chris Powell: It's interesting.

It goes back to this. What are you prepared to do to win at this point? What are you prepared to do? And there's. The gloves have got to come off and we got it hunters have always been, we just want to be left alone, which is, we just want to do our thing. And live in our own little, secluded world, stand on the mountain, think we're the only ones in it.

I'm guilty, man. I just came back from New Mexico and standing on some of those Rimrock Mesa's and stuff and looking out. And you're just like, [00:58:00] I can just stay out here forever and just let everything, let the rest of the world burn down. But at some point we've got to ask ourselves, what are we willing to do?

And I'm not gonna, I'm not going to sugar coat it here. You took some wind out of my sails. I just released a, to my Houndsman XP team this morning, our official. Official statement on this deal with Colorado. And it leaned heavy into the successes of conservation efforts in North America for the last, I'll send it over to you and you take a look at it.

So you're causing me to re not retract, but absolutely review how I'm looking at this fight, Todd, because your experience and your expertise is undeniable in these issues.

Todd Adkins: And I don't know if you need any rewriting to go on right now, especially when we're talking to our own crowd, we understand all of that.

And it is our success story. And we should value it. [00:59:00] And because it goes to the heart of this matter, people walking into a booth. That's not effective fish and wildlife management. No, this is so anti that it's not even funny that is. 180 degrees away from this model we've built over time and we should be proud of that.

So for folks in our crowd, it's yeah, this is what I've been leaning on my whole life. It's what I believe in. I'm just saying when it comes down to whatever shows up on channel seven, let's say in Denver. And, during the local news, two weeks out from the election, it better go emotional and better go right to the heart.

And think about the gun issue, something I've worked on a ton as well. Does anything more powerful than a crowbar coming through a sliding glass window? Do I need to say anything more? You're right. You're right. I don't need the long explanation. And most Americans don't want the long explanation.

If we depict, and I've seen this video of this cat stalking this [01:00:00] kid through a backyard, do I need to tell any, I don't even need bullet points at that point. Oh, I got it. You're right. Holy cow. They're dangerous. Yeah. At the day I, I don't know that the messages within our organizations within the community need to change.

But certainly when we go out there trying to convince folks. Yeah, wildlife management just doesn't work unless it's that special spin on it that, the antithesis of wildlife management, this is what it looks like.

Chris Powell: So for every photo or video that's released of this little cute anthropomorphized mountain lion kitten that is released, we need to release a picture of a full grown adult ripping apart a mule deer and showing that, that side of it.

The fact that they're carrying your dog out of the backyard, don't be fooled. [01:01:00] Yeah. And how do we not go too far? How do we not go too far where we actually villainize the things that we are trying to

Todd Adkins: protect? It's part of that campaign timing. Again, another, we talked about how there are things to be done at certain times of the campaign.

Again, it's part of the balance. You're constantly trying cause you identify a real problem is yeah. If you just have negative yeah, you're going to actually, there's going to be a boomerang effect of that. Just, you have to be very wary of. Oh, it's just, again, you're watching those tracking polls.

This is something that you're doing as much as you can afford. Quite frankly, 20, every 24, every 48 hours to watching. The people to see what they're reacting to within those markets that you're doing X, Y, or Z. Whether it's yard signs or a TV ad, you're tracking that anyway. So you can start to see it almost immediate.

Okay. Back off. Yeah. And you get multiple messengers. You get folks [01:02:00] from different aspects of life. You hopefully get some folks who have been involved in professional wildlife management in some capacity to bring forward some of these messages. So it's not. all about, the person in the hospital room, it will, that will be an aspect, but I say it has to be there and it will be among the most important aspects of a campaign.

I was just wanting to give you and your listeners. There will be a lot of people saying, no, man, no, we shouldn't do that at all. We have to stay up here instead of down there and wildlife management is where we got to be in Pittman, Robertson contributions and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yeah.

Chris Powell: I think you, you nailed it right there.

I would just add that. Yes, have those videos on your phone and be prepared to show them to aunt Millie at Thanksgiving, but don't push it so far where we accomplish the goals of the anti hunting crowd that are trying to say that we don't care about lions that, that, you know, because we have deep admiration for them.[01:03:00]

They're very valuable to us. They, they absolutely were their biggest fans. And we know that our message and through sound conservation, that we are doing more for the mountain lion and the survival of all wildlife species by adhering to the North America model. So don't take it too far.

Have those videos on their phone, but be prepared, know the North American model, know, things about Pittman Robertson, know things of, all the things that we have done to support wildlife, but be able to be strategic and know when to pull that out. Exactly. Okay, good.

That. Without, dragging the Colorado thing out too far. I know there's tons of other stuff going on, Todd. And I'm very comfortable and reassured to know that the sportsman's alliance has always got their eye on the ball, where are we at on the [01:04:00] lawsuit in the great lakes region with the wolves?

Todd Adkins: Great. As we petitioned U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We actually did 2 petitions to D list Western Great Lakes wolves. That's Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. That's the subpopulation known as the Western Great Lakes. And then we also issued another petition because when we analyzed the various court decisions, among the reasons that they keep refusing to acknowledge of West Great Lakes, Western Great Lakes delisting, is that well, Fish and Wildlife Service, what are you going to do with all the other wolves in this country?

So that's what our second petition was about and it can get legalistic and technical, but We did that second petition saying, hey, if you address all of these remnant populations in states like Washington, Oregon, California, these little tiny pockets of remnant wolves, and you can actually classify them [01:05:00] as their own subspecies in a way, because what the courts kept saying is once you delist the most significant population of wolves in the country in these three states, what are you going to do for all the rest?

Now, many of us would say We could figure out what to do with all the rest, but that's what the courts have said, and sometimes judges just can be hyper technical about things, and there's no reasoning with that. So what we did is two petitions. The deadline for Fish and Wildlife Service to respond was the 29th of September.

That's under the Endangered Species Act. This is often how the other side gets their automatic win on some of these cases. We could walk into court today. and demand a response from Fish and Wildlife Service and actually get all of our attorneys fees paid for up until that point, pretty much what would happen.

You get 90 days under the E. S. A. To consider a petition and come up with an answer. [01:06:00] We're trying to work with them right now because we want to push for this change go ahead and D list. So we don't want to start out so to speak it totally with a baseball bat in our head beat him on over the head now we're taking it to court now.

So our lawyers in DC are working with them to try to come up with an answer to those initial petitions. As soon as possible. Now, we're not going to let that linger for a long time. We're not going to come back months later. We have that right to walk into court now. We're working with them to try to get the response that we actually want in a matter of days, if not the next couple of weeks, they can choose a number of options.

What we're aiming for. So people recognize this phrase when they hear it may be warranted. delisting the Western Gre may be warranted. And tha official guess what? Now a new proposed [01:07:00] rule to de Everybody come on and start bitching and moaning about this, right? Do your comments, everybody get engaged. This is when the other side will bring in all of their stuff.

And it'll be just like your typical proposed rulemaking to de list wolves in the Western great lakes. So we're in a slight pause. As we try to do a good neighborly thing. Look, we understood you can make meet the deadline. We're willing to wait a little while longer while we while you provide your answer so we can get moving.

But we won't wait forever so that's where we are now we remain very positive most of the folks with any knowledge about this entire 20 year kind of journey. that you guys went at this exactly right. You gave them the off ramp to delist. You gave them the additional support with this other petition so that courts will recognize you can delist Western Great Lakes and still take care of the rest of the wolves [01:08:00] and in non pop, like non DPS is throughout the country.

So we feel very good about it. We feel very good about it.

Chris Powell: Yeah. Who are all the you had some partners that collaborated on this. I'd like to give them a shout out if you can name them.

Todd Adkins: Yeah. Western bear hunt. I'm sorry. Wisconsin bear hunters, Wisconsin dog hunters, and we had their counterparts in the state of Michigan.

Chris Powell: Upper peninsula bear hunters, Michigan bear hunters association. Did the Michigan sporting dog. I can't remember the name. Mike Thornton. Mike Thorman is. The head of that organization or plays a key role there. We know that the UP bear houndsmen and Michigan bear hunters jumped on that for sure.

And I can only assume that Mike Thorman is doing everything he can on his end, I've seen his posts and stuff.

Todd Adkins: Yeah, so we appreciate our coalition partners as always. [01:09:00] Obviously the people that actually are on the ground in a given state, whenever an issue is going on are critical to our success, let alone anybody's success. So yeah we feel pretty positive about that at this point. We feel good. We feel good news.

And in this case, we believe that means no news means good news. Yeah,

Chris Powell: It, just taking it at face value on one hand, we're talking about taking the gloves off in Colorado, and then when we're dealing with the Western. Great Lakes Wolves were like, Oh, let's slow down and pump the brakes a little bit and play nice here.

But it's all a matter of strategy of knowing who the players are, what the landscape looks like, and what's most effective for that certain situation. There isn't a one size fits all strategy for all of these issues.

Todd Adkins: That's right. Each single one of them is going to have its own, peculiar facts on the ground.

And in this case, because if you recall about the Western Great Lakes D listing and the other petition, Fish and Wildlife Service is already [01:10:00] on a calendar. With an overall status review of gray wolves in the entire on the entire continent. So the reason we struck when we did in early summer was that we recognized the timing then of the answers and the proposed rules on our petition would coincide January, February with when they are supposed to complete their full status review.

So we know they've been crunching the numbers on gray wolves. So that's why we're like We understand you're hard at work on this issue generally, and our petitions are part and parcel of that. So again, we don't want to slow things down now. We'll get again. We'll bring the elbows up, as I said earlier, when that's actually appropriate, and we're not gonna wait forever.

But we feel right now the most positive thing we could do is just say, Hey man, let's figure out, we're here to help. We're trying to get this because again, this has been a 20 year fight all over this country with all of these various [01:11:00] lawsuits and we're trying to provide the pathway for conclusion.

Sure.

Chris Powell: What else you got Todd? What else do we need to have our eye on here?

Todd Adkins: The big thing, and this is going to be brand new for a lot of your folks cause it's brand new for us too. There is a new group out there in the world called Best Friends Animal Society that might be brand new to you.

It is brand new. It was brand new to me. Just a mere, a few mere months ago. This is a group that has shown up out of nowhere. It's been around for a while. They must've had a major influx of cash or something. They are what they're now doing is very quietly going to the local level in many States to implement new breeder requirements, spay and neuter requirements.

No welfare bills. Yeah, no sales to pet stores, adoption only requirements and so [01:12:00] on and so forth. And they're literally in some states, they've gone into dozens and dozens of localities. So this is a brand new trick bag for us because at the end of the day, what you're talking about, the animal welfare network is built that way that there's a local shelter and a local group of volunteers.

And so when you come into that little tiny county, if you will, and you say where are the sportsmen groups? Where are the dog hunting groups? There might be a person, but there's no structure of a group of houndsmen or bird dog guys or anybody else to respond. So they've been very successful, very quiet about it smartly.

They have gone even across states like Ohio and Indiana, California, Florida, or understand, but they are all over the place. Yeah. They're in Indiana, Chris. asking these things at the local level. Now again, not [01:13:00] directly what you would say anti hunting or anti houndsman. But as you start to implement spay neuter requirements and the rest of it before you know it.

Wait, I'm a commercial breeder now in my county. Like when did that happen? And you get to inspect my place now. Wait what? So eyes and ears open for everybody. Best friends, animal society. If you see an alert from us or any other group that a county is doing something. And even if you don't live in that County, again, going back to what you said, boy, you better respond and you better get with your own network and say, what the hell are they doing in Elkhart County or what the hell are they doing in St.

Joe County or whatever County. Franklin. Funny that

Chris Powell: you mentioned those two counties. Big pet, big pet industry there and a key role. Yeah, and it's really a Trojan horse attack. It's very, again, very strategic and It's one of those, [01:14:00] it's one of those situations that, who doesn't, which church group doesn't think it's a good idea to take their youth group over and volunteer at the local dog shelter and hold kittens and help them trim toenails and things like that.

It's, it makes perfect sense, but it's a Trojan horse because I've seen it on a local level where we had a shelter that started here and I know some of the people that got involved there. And their families hunted, they did all this other stuff. And before you know it, they found funding with a group, just like you're talking about.

And so now they've switched, they've pivoted and they've become animal welfare zealots. Yeah.

Todd Adkins: And they lay the groundwork for whatever's next. That's right. Precisely what you're talking about. They lay, they build that network. They know, like they build their email trees and social media networks, and then they come back for a lot more.

And again, we are, because we're [01:15:00] usually at, in the hunting community, based at the state level and or national level, sometimes regional level, but we've never drilled all the way down, right? That, so we have conservation clubs who aren't necessarily, again, you talk about animal welfare issues. They're like, wait, what does this have to do with us?

Exactly. So it's a deadly cocktail of a lot of different factors. And that's what I want your viewers and listeners to be aware when you see it's a bright orange logo with a paw on it, best friends, animal society. Nope. They are clearly on the move. They're there. They now raise about 150 million a year.

They are going they. I don't care. Arkansas. They're like, yeah, it might be a pro sportsman or a pro hunting state. But when you talk about these animal welfare issues, a lot of our own people are like what's wrong? I hate puppy mills too. And you're like, I, yeah, yike bigger issues that we got to worry

Chris Powell: about.

Yeah. Yeah. And that's why I talk [01:16:00] about constantly, this step, this deal going on nationally, Colorado affects the Coon hunter in Indiana and Ohio. And it's all, I do believe it's all hands on deck. I've said that, but this. Will affect you. It affects deer hunters. It affects if you're a duck hunter and you have a Labrador, all of these attacks from the animal rights extremists do affect you just because the fight in Colorado in about mountain lions.

No, it's about losing our freedoms and our rights. It's about overturning that legacy of conservation. It's a separation from responsible and scientific based wildlife management. And ultimately when they come to a place like Indiana, that is still very conservative. I can tell you firsthand that my wife and daughters are very [01:17:00] attached to their dogs.

And they could easily be reeled in. And I'm constantly looking at stuff that they're showing me about groups that are trying to do this or that for their welfare. And it's Whoa. You know that those people are not our friends.

Todd Adkins: No doubt. So imagine, you're exactly right.

Imagine your typical conservative legislator who absolutely right with us on all the way down, no, they're not going to mess with our guns. No I'm going to protect hunting at all costs. While somebody comes in and starts talking about puppies, kittens, and pet store sales, and they're like, yeah. Of course I'm for animal welfare.

It, because people wouldn't, nobody would say I'm against animal welfare. No, exactly. Nobody would say that.

Chris Powell: So political poison right there. No, I don't care about kittens and puppies. Yeah. Nobody's going to say that.

Todd Adkins: So anyway, I wanted to raise that because I, again, I was who are the, wait what's this [01:18:00] group called?

And I was like, and I started to research them. I was like, holy cow. Boy, this has been a sleeping giant and they are rolling. And again, maybe on purpose, I'm, I obviously don't know. It's been our Achilles heel, always local control. And that's why we work so hard to preempt localities from, taking care of gun issues in many States, because if you've got to fight 75 counties on stuff.

You're done. As an organization, whatever it is. But they magically, because of that animal welfare network, the way it's been built over time it starts at the local shelter. Everything starts with, and that's great, but it, they have a ready made kind of apparatus, if you will, or a structure.

Chris Powell: Yeah, I just want to, I just want to take a real brief second and maybe boil this down to a more simple terms, raccoon hunting is not endangered being outlawed in the state of Indiana. We've got an abundance, there's crop [01:19:00] damage, there's homeowner damage. So nobody's coming after these groups are so strategic.

They know they can't win that fight. So what are they going to do? They're going to restrict your ability to own the hound that you can go out and hunt with. That's their tactic. They're very strategic. They're not dummies and they know exactly how to get to us. So I just wanted to boil that down on real simple terms.

That's why it, these things involve you. You may never, you may not feel any direct pressure when you're leaving your driveway tonight with your hound loaded and going down the road and hunting a place that you've hunted for the last 30 years of your life. But the pressure the threats are real and they're out there.

And if you don't educate yourself on them, you're going to find yourself with a pet tree and Walker Coon dog that barks in a kennel all the time. And you're going to figure out whether you can make him a house dog or not.

Todd Adkins: Otherwise an ornament.

Chris Powell: [01:20:00] Yeah. Yeah. He's just a cool ride or die, buddy. Rides in the front seat of the truck. Yeah. And he's going to be spayed or neutered too, by the way, is that will be

Todd Adkins: required.

Chris Powell: Yes. Yes. And you'll have to have him in the house when it's above 80 and below 50 degrees, and the local sheriff will be able to come to your house with the animal welfare officer for your County and inspect how you're keeping your dog.

That's what's going to

Todd Adkins: happen. Yeah. Yeah. And so I wish this was all pie in the sky, just fun, in the past. Just in the past couple weeks, we issued some alerts down and in counties in Georgia. And it's look, man, that it again they're coming after us. And even for folks who mean at the local level, and they often, I believe that to be the case, they, there are people who mean county commissioners are like I don't like animal abuse.

Of course you don't. Because they're, I don't want to, I don't mean this in a unkind way, many times at the local level there, they don't [01:21:00] have the finest lawyers involved in writing ordinances because it's on issues they've never dealt with. And it's very clumsy and it's very rough. And this exemption doesn't apply to UK literally can't hunt in this County anymore with a dog.

And this has been occurring over the past couple of months. You understand this leash requirement means. You can't hunt while you could hunt with a dog on leash. That doesn't happen very often, right? There's no hunting, there's no trialing, there's no training. And they're like, wait, what? No, it exempts hunting dogs.

I go, you don't understand this. That might be argued in the while in the act of hunting, but you haven't actually exempted the activities themselves. So anyway, it's a real problem. Boy, everybody who listens and watches this, keep your eyes out because it's in a different direction, even for a, Oh, I got to worry about my locality now.

Yes. You have to worry about your locality, just the reality we live in

Chris Powell: for sure. Tom, we've [01:22:00] been going for about an hour and some here, and I don't like pulling the plug. I don't know what your time schedule looks like. I do have, we're

Todd Adkins: getting ready to bump up against something

Chris Powell: else. Yep. Yep.

I knew that your time is valuable and precious and I appreciate it. There's plenty more that you can learn from Sportsman's Alliance. The website's unbelievable. You can actually click on your own state and find out all of the things that are going to be affecting you if they're not already, and what Sportsman's Alliance is doing to stand up for your freedoms and your rights.

We're very proud to partner with Sportsman's Alliance. And you can help us support this show and keep organization, an organization like Sportsman's Alliance in your corner and on your side by joining us on Patreon. When you support us on Patreon at the 12 level, we are going to pay for your membership to Sportsman's Alliance.

I'm very, I just can't tell you how happy I am to have that [01:23:00] friendship and agreement with you guys, Todd.

Todd Adkins: Likewise. And at the end of the day, you and I've talked about this often. The financial support is always super important because everything we do costs money, right?

Everything you do costs money. So the financial support has to be there and boy, we love it. And I love people who are willing to go ahead. And sacrifice in that way. But here's the thing. That's just wonderful about it for us is the more people we have engaged, the more likely we are to win everything.

Whatever mechanism and that's why I love our partnership. It's just another 1 of these great mechanisms where you stepped up. You said, I want to help take care of the future. If somebody just asked me getting gay, everybody, just you and I've talked about get engaged. So even knowing that we have an additional person or 10 people or 100 or 1000 who get our alerts, who understand the issues better, who are made aware of what's going on in the world around them.

Oh my God. And that's the whole key. So we love

Chris Powell: [01:24:00] absolutely. Todd, thanks for tuning or, joining us and Discussing some of the nuances. I learned a lot from talking to you today. Some things that I wasn't aware of and keep up

Todd Adkins: the good fight. You too, my friend, I love being on the show.

So I'll come back as often as you'll have me. Appreciate it.

Chris Powell: You're a great guest. All right, everybody. Thanks for tuning in to this episode of the Houndsman XP podcast. This is fair chase.