Wisconsin Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Show Notes

In this episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast, Josh talks with Alec Bekkers and Matthew Reel about the Wisconsin chapter of the BHA and the upcoming Wisconsin State Rendezvous.

Back Country Hunters & Anglers strives to be the voice for our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife. They accomplish this through education, conservation work, and advocacy. Essential to this mission is volunteers like Alec and Matthew who give of their time to protect public lands and land access for future generations. In this episode, the guys discuss the history of the BHA, the Wisconsin chapter's key initiatives, and the upcoming Wisconsin Rendezvous on August 5, 2023 at the Rib Mountain Bowmen Archery Club. Don't miss it, it's going to be a great event! Find out more at the links below. 

2023 Wisconsin Rendezvous

Wisconsin BHA

Backcountry Hunter's and Anglers 

Connect with the Wisconsin BHA on Instagram and Facebook

Connect with Josh and The Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast on Instagram.

Connect with the How to Hunt Deer Podcast on Instagram.

Show Transcript

What is going on everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast, which is brought to you by Tactic Camp. This is your home for all things outdoors in the Badger State. I'm your host, Josh Raley, and I hope you are having a fantastic week so far. I know that I am. I'm getting geared up, man.

August starts today. Holy cow. I just realized that today is [00:01:00] August 1st. The day that you're gonna be listening to this, I'm not actually recording this on August 1st, but the day that this launches is August 1st, that means we can now say, Next month is dear season, guys. Do you hear the ring of that?

Next month is dear season and I'm getting fired up. I got the bo going taking some reps with that. I've got three new broadheads that I'm digging into for this year, and man, really liking the way that they fly. Honestly, gonna share a post here pretty soon on the old Instagram and show you those broadheads that I'm trying out for this year.

Or you can head over to the How to Hunt Deer Podcast and listen to last week's episode that I did with. Vantage point, archery man, really good shop. Really good guys. Doing good work. And so far these things are flying like darts. If you're not already, make sure you're getting outside, shooting that bow and getting ready for that September opener.

So we've got a good episode for you today. I had a chance to talk with Alec Becker's and Matthew [00:02:00] Real from the Wisconsin chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Now, if you're not familiar with backcountry hunters and anglers, they are on the forefront fighting for access and opportunity on public lands.

And one of the things that I love about this organization is that it is made up of outdoorsmen from all walks of life. This is not a conservative organization or a liberal organization. It's not an organization of deer hunters or Turkey hunters or waterfowl hunters or upland game hunters. None of that is, is the primary focus.

The primary focus is our public lands and making sure they stay public or accessible. To the public. So they do a lot of really good work. This is one of those episodes that kind of made me step back and think man, I have not, how have I not had people from back country hunters and anglers on this show yet?

Like so much of what is important to me is public lands and access to public lands that, honestly, the state of Wisconsin does really well. There are always ways that we can improve and there are [00:03:00] always ways we can get. Better. In today's episode, we talk a good bit about the history of backcountry hunters and anglers.

We talk about the Wisconsin chapter specifically and some of the major initiatives that the Wisconsin chapter has chosen to focus on. And then we also talk about the Wisconsin Rendezvous coming up this Saturday, August 5th, 2023 at the Rib Mountain Bowman Club. That is in Wausau, Wisconsin. So if you get a chance, guys, check that out.

It's gonna be an awesome thing. I wish that I could go. But man, my, my schedule just does not permit for me to come up and make an extra trip this time of year to Wisconsin. But they're gonna have camping and three D archery, and there's gonna be a big group campfire. They're gonna have speakers.

The guys from the Okays Hunter Podcast are gonna be there. They're gonna have hands-on workshops around dog safety, around traps. Wild game cooking. I even heard there's going to be some gear there for saddle hunters. If you wanna try out saddle hunting or get yourself in a saddle and experiment with one.

It's gonna be an awesome event. Advanced tickets are only 30 [00:04:00] bucks. Tickets are $35. The day of kids, 15 and under. Are free and there is something for everybody, so take the family head out. If you are anywhere near and can make it down to this event, it's gonna be a good one. Now, before we jump into the episode for this week, I do have to say this podcast is brought to you by Tica.

They're the makers of the best point of view. Cameras on the market for hunters and anglers. No matter what it is you like to do outside tactic, cam has you covered with their 6.0 camera. That's gonna give you four K 60 frame per second footage. It's got a low light sensor on it. It gives you up to eight x zoom, of course, waterproof housing, of course, one touch operation.

And to top things off, it's got an L C D touchscreen right there on the camera so you can see exactly what your camera is aimed at. And don't forget, no matter what you like to do outside, whether it's hunting with a bow or with a gun, or you wanna a shoulder mounted camera, or you want a head mounted camera, whatever it is that you want, tact cam has you covered.

Whenever it comes to mounts and adapters, head over to tcam.com, learn more about all their [00:05:00] awesome products, and pick up your 6.0 today. Next up, the OnX Hunt app. They have got a whole slew of new features with the most recent update. If you want to create more memories and fill your freezer while doing it, the OnX Hunt app is a must have tool in your arsenal with major new aerial imagery updates with historic lookback, high frequency imagery, and even the ability to order your own custom imagery.

The team at OnX is also building the most intuitive trail cam management system out there. I know there are a lot of folks out there trying to do that, but with the OnX Hunt app, you can receive cell camera images straight to the waypoint, marking that camera. You can organize photos with their internal analysis, plus custom tagging and many more updates to come.

This is all on top of the public and private land ownership info, ability to use with no service and the unmatched reliability that you have come to expect out of the Hunt app. You can try the OnX Hunt app for free right now for seven days. Just go find 'em on the app store of your choice, or head over to onyx maps.com to learn more.

And [00:06:00] then finally, hunt worth. Guys, I'm looking at those first couple of days of the season. And I'm gonna be hunting here in in Georgia beginning September 9th, I believe it is. And if you're not from the south, you've never maybe visited the south September 9th in Georgia. Feels about the hottest day in July or August in Wisconsin.

It is just, it's not pleasant. I'll be honest with you. It's not pleasant. If it was an opening day, I would not. Probably be out there making it happen to make a hunt. But you know what? You gotta go with what the weather gives you and my hunt worth clothing helps me do that. They've got a fantastic lineup of early season gear.

You can find 'em all@huntworthgear.com. Now let's jump into this week's episode, talking all things public lands and backcountry hunters and anglers with Alec Becker's and Matthew Real. All right. Joining me for this week's episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast is Alec Beckers and Matt Real from the Wisconsin b h a.

What's going on guys? All live a dream. Go ahead. I love it when I've got [00:07:00] multiple guys on the show because I always just throw out that first question, how you doing? Or something like that. And it's wait, which of us we didn't talk about who goes first? Alec, how are you doing? Doing well.

Excited to to join you here today. Talk a little bit about what we got going on in Wisconsin, back country hunters and anglers and yeah. How about you, Matt? Yeah. Just super excited about the opportunity, Josh to, to jump on your podcast. Obviously you're doing great stuff and really appreciate the opportunity to use your platform to showcase, all the excitement and all the good things going on with Wisconsin b h a.

Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad you guys could take the time to come on and honestly, as we were, as I was getting ready for this, it's like, it's a crime that I haven't had. People from the Wisconsin b h a on yet, like, how have I not, I pride myself in being someone who gives back to conservation, who cares about conservation, who talks about conservation, and it's bet you haven't had anybody from b h A on.

That was a huge oversight on my part, I feel like. But to kick things off, we'll start maybe with you Matt, on this question. I'd love to hear a little bit about [00:08:00] who you are, what you do in the outdoors, and then what you do with the Wisconsin back country hunters and anglers. Yeah, I appreciate it.

It's I'm very new, I'm a new board member to the Wisconsin chapter of backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and I've been a member for a long time and really got excited about it, going to some of the events and some of the pint nights and, it's just one of those things that you don't have the opportunity to do so much these days is just, share some fellowship with like-minded folks and talking about hunting and fishing and really the ability to.

Maybe make an impact on some folks in the efforts to either, attend events, raise some money, and do some work and some conservation efforts to provide opportunities and protect the public access that we have in Wisconsin and and the strong heritage of angling and fishing that we have throughout the state.

Yeah. So when it comes to, outdoor pursuits, what would you say is like your your top tier? [00:09:00] My, my true passion is archery. I shoot archery year round. I have two little girls that are in archery. They shoot indoor, outdoor Both taking 'em on their first Turkey hunts. Both of 'em had to take a bow arrow which was great.

And both of 'em saw some success with a bow arrow at the. Nine. Wow. Which was which was really cool. And they just love the, as we call it, the mystical flight of the arrow. So that's the main basis of my outdoor experience and passion. Obviously I enjoy taking in the traditional Wisconsin deer season, gun Deere season.

We do a fair amount of fishing and backpacking. And canoe trips and things like that throughout the state as well. And, it's, it, I always did it as an individual and obviously as my family's grown and my wife and kids enjoy that as well. And it just became a little more passionate to me as I got older to make sure everyone has, a chance or an [00:10:00] opportunity to experience that.

Yeah, man, that's awesome. That. I've always been an outdoorsman and I've always, thought about taking my kids hunting and looking forward to those days. But it was really when we were in Wisconsin that our kids came of age where they could really do a lot more. And just the huge number of opportunities that you have in Wisconsin to get kids outside, whether it's hiking and canoeing or fishing or hunting, or just so much different stuff that you can do and get them involved in what a great opportunity to.

I think instill in them a love, not only for natural resources, but for conservation very early on. Just fantastic. Alec, let's talk about you, man. Sure. I'm Alec Becker's. Alec, like Alec Baldwin, but slightly more safe with firearms. That's usually how I like to introduce myself.

Love it. I love it. But no I'm Alec. I'm the vice chair for our Wisconsin chapter of Back Country Hunters and Anglers. I am a [00:11:00] very devout generalist when it comes to the outdoors. I don't really excel at anything, but I'm interested in everything. I think the reason for that is I didn't grow up hunting or fishing or really anything outdoors.

And after coming up to Wisconsin for college and sticking around in the area after that, I wanted to, I. Experience more of the Wisconsin culture that is hunting and fishing. And I actually ended up taking a Learn to Hunt class that was put on by Pheasants Forever and National Wild Turkey Federation.

And that kind of kickstarted my outdoors pursuits over the years. I've expanded everything from, not just deer, but waterfowl, Turkey, pheasant, et cetera, and. I think my passion in the outdoors has drifted away from my own personal hunting and more towards bringing other people into the fold.

I, it's something I'm very passionate about. Our three [00:12:00] movement with the. Wisconsin chapter, we put on a number of learn to hunts all across the state every year from deer, pheasant, waterfowl, Turkey, ice fishing, all of it. And I really gained value in, my extracurricular activities outside of my normal nine to five by.

Sharing in the outdoors and bringing people into this community that we have. And I think what's really cool about R three in Wisconsin and where B h a fits into that fold is there's a lot of adults out there that wanna get into the outdoors hunting, fishing, recreation, and they don't know where to start.

And that's where we in B h a get to come in and say, Hey, we've got public land that you can access. We'll show you how to do it. We'll show you how to get comfortable going out for archery deer. We'll show you how to get comfortable scouting for ducks on public land.[00:13:00] And you can do this near to your home.

I'm in the Milwaukee area and there's always this this belief that, oh, you gotta go drive up four hours to the north woods to go deer hunting. And that's one of the things that we're trying to change. It's, no, you can. You can be successful 20, 30 minutes outside of Milwaukee. Outside of Madison.

We have all this public land that's accessible and we just wanna show people how to access that. Yeah. And what a ripe field. I think when it comes to Wisconsin, one of the things that makes Wisconsin unique, at least, coming from the deep south, I grew up in Alabama, then moved to Wisconsin actually from Louisiana.

Obviously that easy public access compared to a lot of the southern states that I'm used to. You drive 10 minutes to a public piece instead of an hour and a half to get to the nearest public piece. But then also just culturally, even those who are non-hunters, it's like there's this.

This understanding of hunting that we don't have [00:14:00] in, in, in the south to be quite honest, where if you're a non hunter, you're probably more against it than you are for it. Where I feel like in Wisconsin I met a lot of people who were genuinely non-hunters, but interested. It was just such a part of the culture that they grew up in and that they were used to.

There was a lot friendlier attitude towards hunting, even if they had never done it in their life. And what a ripe field to do what you're saying, to say, Hey, we'll show you where to go. We'll help you get comfortable doing it. We'll teach you how to do it, and we might even go with you. What a wonderful introduction.

Let's back up just a little bit and I want for our listeners who. They're probably familiar with the b h a. We don't have a lot of casual outdoorsmen that listen to this podcast, but if people aren't familiar with backcountry hunters and anglers, give us a little bit of maybe the backstory of the B H A and then specifically the history of the Wisconsin chapter, if you can.

Yeah, absolutely. Backcountry, hunters and anglers we're a [00:15:00] national organization that's focused on public lands, access public lands conservation, wildlife issues and policy all surrounding our. US system of public lands and waters. That's true all across the country. Whether you're in, Wyoming or Nevada that have majority public lands as a composition of the state, or if you're in Wisconsin where we don't have as much proportional amounts of public land or even on the East Coast, we're still focused nationally on creating public access.

Making sure that public access is there for perpetuity so that hunters and anglers can continue recreating outside and, trying to make sure that. Our public lands are also good habitat for these species and wildlife that we care about. So we're [00:16:00] nationally very involved in a number of different things.

It's a very grassroots organization as well, which kind of leads us to the Wisconsin story. Being a national organization, we're comprised of chapters. And our Wisconsin State chapter is one of those chapters and it's all volunteer led. So everybody that's on our Wisconsin board in our Wisconsin chapter is doing this on a volunteer basis.

And we're the ones leading the charge focused on Wisconsin. So we try to get. Involved in a number of different things around the state when it comes to public lands, wildlife conservation, and any issue even tangentially related to those. We're very focused within the state on how do we preserve this for Wisconsin?

How do we expand public access for Wisconsin, and how do we create more advocates for these precious resources that we have within the state? I [00:17:00] think that is such a huge a huge piece. When I think about giving to conservation organizations or, giving either money or time it means so much to find a, an organization with a local chapter that's going to be doing work that you can witness.

It's gonna be doing work down the street. One good example, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, right? We've, I've talked with them a number of times and I love pulling up into a parking lot and it's got a little w a sticker, or sign in the parking lot and you know that they've been there that they've been there working.

Same thing with you guys. You know that the work that's being done is focused right there in Wisconsin. And that's not to say we shouldn't care about issues on a national scale, but. It is to say that it sure is a lot easier to get more people involved and to keep people involved and motivated towards conservation when they see it happening around them, when they actually reap the benefits.

You give and not to pick on these guys, but you give to, Delta waterfowl or something like that. [00:18:00] Their project may be in South Dakota and it's like that. Great. I'm glad for them. Right now I live in Georgia, high five to those folks in South Dakota. Maybe I'll make it there this year.

Maybe I won't, kind of thing. But awesome to have those local that local work going on. Let's talk a little bit about the issues that are most important and near and dear to the heart of b h a. The things specifically that they're focusing on, maybe there are some initiatives right now that are being pushed.

Is there anything right now that's taking up a bulk of your attention and focus? I think there's a number of topics that we're involved with from a Wisconsin standpoint, I think on the policy side. So we've had our fingers in a lot of different pots over the years. I think most notably in recent years we've been tapped by the D n R as one of the core organizations for various committees that they set up on.

Call it contentious. Conservation topics, one of them in specific being the Wolf management plan. Not diving into the [00:19:00] specifics of the Wolf Management Plan I can say that we were one of the chapters or one of the organizations that had a seat at the table with the D N R to help develop and give input to that management plan.

Yep. And that's just one example of. The different policy issues that we're in involved with from a conservation standpoint. Everything that the d n R is throwing around in terms of public and nonprofit input. B h a always has a seat at that table. We've got regular mechanisms with the D N R leadership in Madison on a monthly basis.

So we're constantly involved in policy decisions that are going on at the Capitol. I think past wildlife conservation focused things, one of the big areas that we've been focusing on recently is actually the Pelican River State Forest. This is a big proposal for a large tract of public land up [00:20:00] north that.

Proponents of it have been trying to secure this public access and conservation status in perpetuity. Currently it's a lot of timber company land and there's a lot of debate going around. What does the state and what are the local authorities want to do with this tract of land? And b h a has been at the forefront of that advocating for.

Creating this perpetual conservation status, creating this public access that will never be infringed upon. And there's been a lot of detractors from that. And we've been trying to fight the good fight there. To push forward the Pelican River State Forest Project, which has hit some roadblocks on the, state political financial support side.

But we're still very actively involved and trying to advocate for that public access. To be created and [00:21:00] set in stone for the rest of time. Yeah. One thing that I would love for you to go into just a little bit and it may not seem as relevant for folks who have maybe grown up in Wisconsin, having a history in the South like yourself and me being in the south right now.

How fragile is our access to some of these public lands? I'm sitting here in Georgia and we just lost a pine log. You might be familiar with that. And I think it was something like 16,000 acres of public land not far from Atlanta. When I was a kid, we lost a 17,000 acre plus chunk of public land.

That was about 45 minutes down the road from my house the place where I killed my first buck. Just gone in the blink of an eye one day or one, one year, they decided it was no longer available for public access. How fragile are some of these public lands? And I want to, I wanna set that stage to understand how important it is to be doing the kinds of work that B h A is doing.[00:22:00]

Yeah. I think taking the Pelican River example this is not a small chunk, it's. I think over 70,000 acres up north that is, is a mixture of Timberland timber company land with some state parcels in there as well and a good bit of private land. And while this is open for public access today through our, M F L and voluntary.

Access programs in the state. There are some conflicting interests there in, in the area that want to see this property and this habitat and. Land go to be 40 acre farms. They want to see the development that, they can have a higher tax income, have more people living in the area, satisfy their constituents, et cetera, et cetera.

But we're talking about [00:23:00] 70, a hundred thousand acres that we have today that people are. Trying to divvy up and sell and create little homesteads and 40 acre farms that will then no longer be access. I think just based on, looking at the map and saying, I have this big chunk of land that's available right now, and there's risk that could be divvied up and restricted access in the future is definitely something that really engages us.

We want to be able to secure that, but, On top of that, from a habitat perspective, this is really key habitat both from a forestry standpoint and fisheries. This is an important part of the, of some headwaters for various rivers and streams up north that are, big trout fisheries. It's a very.

Interesting kind of intersection of multiple different types of habitat, both land and water, that [00:24:00] it's not just about can we access it and can we hunt it, can we fish it? It's also about what's going on downstream. If we're gonna be putting in, farms and houses and all that, what is the runoff from that additional development could be doing downstream?

So if we're able to protect this tract land. We're doing the environment and the habitat a favor, as well as recreation. We have that access secured for the rest of our lives. Just wanna take a quick minute to let you know that the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast is brought to you by tactic camp makers of the best point of view cameras on the market.

For hunters and anglers, they're on the cutting edge, making user-friendly cameras to help the everyday outdoorsmen share your hunt with friends and loved ones. Their new 6.0 camera has a ton of upgraded features this year, but the one I'm most excited about is the new L C D touchscreen. In my mind, that is a total game changer and one area tactic cam really shines is with their mounts and adapters that are made with a sportsman in [00:25:00] mind.

If you've tried to film your hunting and fishing excursions, you know just how frustrating it can be to try to get an action camera aimed just right or get it attached to your weapon or in a good spot for a second angle. Tactic Cam makes all of that a breeze with their line of mounts and adapters.

This fall, I'm gonna be using their stabilizer mount on my bow with the 6.0 camera and their bendy clamp paired with the 5.0 wide camera for a second angle, and to make sure I don't miss any of the action. To learn more and check out their full line of products, head over to their website tactic cam.com and share your hunt with tac cam.

What a huge thing. I just want to point out like the impact and the ripple effect from. Not only the loss of access for us, but of, continued fragmentation of the landscape is hugely detrimental. I had the folks from the ice Age Trail on the other day and we talked about the importance of the Ice Age trail as a strip of conservation essentially[00:26:00] and what that's providing wildlife in the state of Wisconsin.

And the benefits are huge. The benefits are immense. And, seeing obviously much larger portions of property trying to ensure that we've got them forever so that they're not fragmented. And so that we do retain access. What an awesome endeavor. What a great thing to be working towards.

That, that kind of brings me towards something that. I think is tremendously important. I'll probably get messages about this where people are like, you don't understand. I had a buddy who was recently at a B H A event in Ohio, muster in the Marsh, and he talked about, he was like, look, Josh, I'm a real conservative dude, like politically and everything, but one of the things I loved about being at this b h a event, There were people from such a broad array of backgrounds.

He was like, there were people there who don't care about hunting and fishing, like their primary goal is public access and [00:27:00] conservation. And for him that just meant so much that it was a topic that we could. Across the political aisle, so to speak, to, to work together on and I think that might be, an earmark of B h A that we don't see maybe with other organizations.

And can you speak to that a little bit? Absolutely. We're a very diverse group by any metric that you can measure. Whether it's political affiliation, whatever it may be. We've got representation in our membership base to support that. We're not a left-leaning or right leaning organization specifically in Wisconsin.

We don't care what party the politician is from, we're gonna either work with that politician or try to convince that politician to change their mind to support what we're looking for as a conservation and public lands organization. Public land is everyone's, it's not just. Conservative hunters [00:28:00] or it's not just liberal hikers from r e I that want to go out and bird watch.

It's everyone's and that's what our organization is focused on, is protecting public lands for everyone. Yeah. And I think that has to be the future of. Of conservation in America. I've liked listening to Mark Kenyon talk about a few times. He's look, here's the deal.

When conservatives are in office, they're not very friendly to public lands and public places, but they are very friendly to hunting rights and fishing rights. You get more liberal politicians in office and they're yeah, absolutely friendly to public lands, but they're not very friendly to hunting and fishing rights.

So it's, it's a double-edged sword and we've got to strike a middle. Ground when it comes to this so that we protect what we all love, and that's being able to recreate on these properties in consumptive and non consumptive ways. This is, like you said, this is for everybody.

Talk to me real quick about maybe some of the membership opportunities when it comes to [00:29:00] the b h a. Like you mentioned a minute ago, R three and all of that. How can people get. Involved, whether that means, they want to, sign up and become part of B H a, or maybe they just wanna take advantage of some of these, R three initiatives that you guys have, or maybe conservation cleanup days or that kind of stuff.

Yeah, I'd probably first direct everyone to go visit the Backcountry Hunters website. So if you go to backcountry hunters.org/wisconsin you can find more about the Wisconsin chapter in specific, whether it's our board members policy issues or upcoming events. So we have a number of upcoming events, everything from our.

2023 Wisconsin State Rendezvous, which is next weekend. We've got a few conservation and public lands pack out trash cleanup days out on public land. We've got some R three opportunities for mentoring as well as participating in some of our Learn to Hunts as a [00:30:00] student. But everything will be.

On our Wisconsin website we've got an events page there, and every single one of those events will have a specific point of contact that, you can either R S V P on the website or you can reach out to that specific contact for each event individually, and we can put you in contact with whoever it may be.

I think it's important noting as well that. We've got a very dedicated membership base in Wisconsin as well as our board. So if you reach out to us in Wisconsin, whether it's Instagram, through the website, email, somebody will personally give back to you. It's not just going into some automated form, but we're all very attentive and want to bring people into the organization and.

Help out where it may be, whether it's picking up trash or teaching someone how to shoot a bow. Yeah. Can one of you guys speak to the rendezvous that's coming up? [00:31:00] Yeah, I think I can take that. So our rendezvous is next weekend August 5th, Saturday, August 5th. It's gonna be up in the Wasaw area at Rib Mountain Bowman.

So it's gonna be a whole day of events. We've got. A three D archery course that we can shoot, and that comes with your admission ticket to rendezvous. We've got a number of seminars from speakers and some hands-on workshops. We've got vendors coming in for product demos. We've got raffle prizes food drinks, and we'll be able to camp that Saturday night and have a big campfire and all drink some beer around the fire, et cetera, et cetera.

But a lot of opportunities to, to learn as well, whether you're. A very experienced outdoorsman are completely new to things. There's gonna be a breadth of opportunities for everyone. We've got [00:32:00] few really cool speakers. We've got Joe Davies, who's a fly fishing guide down here in Milwaukee with Milwaukee River, fly Fishing.

He's gonna be talking about kinda demystifying fly fishing and how to fly fish for bass. Overcoming some barriers to entry and fishing overlooked in urban waters. You don't have to go fish for driftless trout. You can go to your local park and fly fish for bass and still have a great time. Yep.

We got John MoVI from Pheasants Forever, who will be doing a speech on R three and mentorship, how important that is and how you can be a better mentor and bring more people into the fold and make their experiences better. And he's also going to be leading a cooking class for us as well.

So the d n r is helping us out by giving us a deer that will do a hands-on butchering demo. So people will have the opportunity to cut up a deer and we'll then go cook it. [00:33:00] We'll cook up some backstrap and learn some recipes and tips and tricks on how to make your venison gourmet. I. The okays hunter crew is gonna be there as well.

They'll be giving us some time and talking through a couple different topics. We'll have a policy round table where we get to talk through what's going on in the state, have a q and a session of members engaging with our board what's important to our membership, how can the board work on X, Y, and Z that our membership base is looking for.

And then we've got a few. Really cool workshops as well. We're gonna have x o p tree stands coming out, doing some demos on their tree stand products, as well as saddle hunting. Nice. Which is typically a kind of a big hurdle to entry for people that have never hunted out of a saddle before. But we're gonna have products set up for you to climb up in a tree and learn how to use the saddle with the people that designed and sell those saddles.

[00:34:00] We also have the Wisconsin trappers there. If you've ever been interested in learning how to trap or you've done a little bit of trapping, but want some critiquing on your foothold sets, we'll have some experienced trappers there to help you out, help you make sets, test them out, give you feedback as well as a, a number of other things.

We've got a really good lineup for activities that are good for the whole family. Man, it sounds like it's gonna be a pretty stacked event. Holy cow. I'm like, man, if I was there, how would you how would you, break down your time to make sure you could take advantage of all of it?

'cause that's a lot going on. Matt, I have a question for you. You're pretty new. You mentioned that at the beginning. I'm curious what drew you to not only join B H a. But get to where you are today as, an a new board member and wanting to give a little bit more to it. Yeah. So as obviously everyone's probably listening to Alec is, deep [00:35:00] dive into this stuff and does a ton of work and along with all the other board members and myself, coming into I.

Honestly, fair amount of hesitation, trying to jump on the board, not from a an organizational level, but just from a time standpoint. So I guess what, I attended a few events and it was just, there was a lot of excitement, a lot of energy being in a room. Or a park or an event with people you know, that are all excited about conservation and public lands and access to those public lands, regardless how they use them.

So initially my thought was, I. Joining this organization, it's $35, right? A low investment. That can go a long way. And, I continually just wrote the check and followed along with some of the activities, everything like that and tried to go to as many events as I could, as I got, the opportunity to serve on the board.[00:36:00]

I'm going. This is crazy. The amount of work that the board does and the policies they put into, and all the, true passion that, that is on display, daily, weekly, monthly by this group and, the extension of the group, with some of the sponsors and some of the other organizations that, that collaborate to, again, Work with every opportunity that we have to provide, regardless how you use them, the access to quality hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, whatever it is, whatever your desire is access to do that.

And I guess if I had a pitch, I would just tell every, everybody, and I, we get it right. Time is tight. Everyone's busy. But I think anybody that has a passion for any of those things and just, or either just like looking at, a beautiful prairie, a beautiful woodlot, and a beautiful lake that they could go walk out on and see [00:37:00] versus buildings or, a sectioned off new subdivision.

$35 is an extremely well received donation and membership to great causes. So I would just encourage anybody that's listing if you can, and you have the means to we would deeply appreciate, people considering joining the back country Hunters and Anglers organization.

And if possible and you're looking for something to do on Saturday the fifth that rendezvous is gonna be an amazing day. With tons of excitement and a great opportunity to, introduce yourselves to some of the things and and or, some kids for sure, 'cause there's some great kids activities there as well.

And great opportunity to get a sneak peek and get started in the outdoors. Yeah, man I was gonna follow up with make the case for somebody who's not involved and you just went right into it. So no need for that. No need for that follow up question that, that is amazing. I'm glad you I glad you took us there because you're right.

$35, man, [00:38:00] like just skip fast food like three or four times for your year and you've got that, you've got that 35 bucks covered. It's really not that much. But then what I also love about local organizations, and I think what B H A does maybe compared to some other bigger ones, and like I've said before, I don't wanna pick on some of the bigger conservation organizations because they do.

Do good work. When I see a Wisconsin b h a I see not only the opportunity to see my dollars at work when I'm looking around, but also to go get my hands dirty, right? To make a personal investment myself. And yes, it takes time. Yes, we're all busy. But really what better thing do you have to do with your time?

Like what better investment? Can you make of your time? What better way can you spend that time and know that you're gonna get a return on it than, making sure that these public lands that we love so dearly are there for not only us, but for our grandkids and our grandkids, kids, I just see such great opportunity for legacy [00:39:00] and to have a lasting impact beyond ourselves that is not offered to us maybe in a lot of other arenas.

Yeah. Hundred percent agree. Sorry Alec, a hundred percent agree with everything you said, Josh and where I fall in, I just have such a passion for getting youth involved in things. And from, being a parent to myself, I think, the availability to get kids involved and get some roots started with them in far as the outdoors and everything.

There's not a ton of o opportunities to do that. And I know there's a lot of folks raising, family that have wished they had an opportunity and those opportunities are out there to get them involved. And b h a and the Wisconsin chapter b h a certainly has a passion to, to provide those opportunities to introduce the kids to the outdoors in out, do some to conservation and, get 'em off their phones a little bit and go out and See what the world has out there and all the excitement the outdoors has to offer.[00:40:00]

Yeah. I think a great example of that is an interaction I had at one of the expos in Wisconsin earlier this year. A guy came up to our booth and said, I got a little bit of a bone to pick with you guys. And we're like, oh. What's this? And he said, I've been hunting Goose Lake my entire life.

Goose Lake Wildlife area. And ever since you guys adopted it and came in and did habitat restoration, invasive brush control and all of that, that parcel is so much more accessible now that I run into other hunters. And I've never run into other hunters there before. And while that may be a little bit annoying, the benefit of it is, Now I can bring my kids in there too.

That we're not having to bust through Buckthorn to get to our hunting spots. But we have this parcel of public land that was previously very difficult to access for hunting purposes. And [00:41:00] now we have a wildlife area that is cleaned up, maintained, there's no trash. And we've got native prairie coming back in and I can bring my family out there to hunt.

And I thought that was a really cool example of, hey, B h A is putting in the work to a number of different parcels around the state. But Goose Lake specifically, we've adopted that in partnership with the D N R and made it accessible for families for additional hunters and restored some natural vegetation.

Natural prairies and getting rid of invasives. Yeah. And it's awesome too. I think that, there is this mindset, I hear a lot about it today. In fact, I was listening to a podcast the other day where this clown was talking about how we shouldn't promote the use of public lands.

And I'm like, dude, please go somewhere else and close your mouth. You don't belong in this conversation at this point. At least at, I don't know, in, in my mind. But anyway, just that scarcity mindset [00:42:00] that. Is oh, we gotta, I gotta hold onto this. So it's only available to me.

That's their primary concern. And man it's so sad. And from what I have seen, even hunting, not I won't say where I hunt, but hunting in areas that receive a lot of pressure in a lot of people I've noticed that there can be, when a property is cared for properly, it can hold a lot of people and provide a lot of real high quality outdoor experiences.

And these other people that I'm seeing on the property aren't ruining it. The better access. Awesome. We're all gonna have a good time now rather than, trying to hoard a good time for myself. So that's awesome story. Good to hear. Guys, where can folks go to learn more about b h a, maybe hear more from you.

And then, obviously we want to, we wanna PO point folks to the rendezvous on on August 5th, but maybe they wanna see addresses and that kind of thing for that.

Yeah, I think the, the website obviously is really easy. [00:43:00] I understand obviously a lot of people are probably listening to this in their car and not gonna write this down. But if you just simply go to. Google any search engine, any search engine and type in Wisconsin, b h a that works.

Basically, it brings you up right there. Super easy to remember. Website's fantastic. There's little, about the middle, little right side of center, there's a join, b h a and then just left to that. There's an events tab. Everything's in there. It's really easy to go through. So when you get.

Outta the car or you get, to a spot where you're gonna sit down, relax for a little bit, and you're gonna, cruise through Instagram, cruise through social media. Just take five minutes outta your day and open up browser on your phone and check that website out. Look at all those, the content on there lot, a lot of really.

Fun stuff. A lot of excitement and, read up on all that stuff. I'm sure there, our contact information is on, on that page as well through Wisconsin chapter. If I'm sure speaking for Alec, if anyone has [00:44:00] any requests, needs, thoughts help, our contact information's there.

They can email us, or any of the other board members and we'll gladly help out. But I guess last pitch would just be consider, joining b h a and supporting the work that a lot of people are doing. And and worst case, get involved just by being a supporting member of the organization.

And jump on there and gather your friends and head up to the rendezvous on the fifth would be awesome. Great. Alec, you wanna add anything? Probably find us on Instagram too. Back Country hunters Wi. Shoot us a DMM there, give us a follow. And we've got all the links in in bio. Okay. And if you are listening to this in your car, I will link all of that in, in the show notes.

So I'll have the website there. I'll have their social media there. Don't worry about trying to. Jot this down or go there while you're listening to it. Just get where you're going like Matt said. And then check the show notes. 'cause the links will be there. Guys, thank you so much for your time.

This has been wonderful. I really [00:45:00] man, I wish I could attend. I really do. The whole thing about moving 14 hours away, that's a problem. But anyway, wish I could attend. Guys. I highly encourage you, if you're listening to this head out there Saturday, August 5th, sounds like it's gonna be a phenomenal event.

And yeah, go learn a little bit more about the backcountry hunters and anglers. Alec, Matt, thanks for your time today. Thank you, Josh. Appreciate it. That's all for this week's episode. As always, thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever it is that you get your podcast.

While you're at it, if you could leave me a five star review, I would very much appreciate that. You can also follow along with my outdoor adventures on Instagram at the Wisconsin Sportsman, or at how to hunt deer. That's also the best way to get ahold of me. Suggest topics, guests, or questions that you'd like me to explore on the show.

Big thanks to our partners tactic Cam. Hunt worth and OnX, please go support the brands that support this show. And if you're looking for more great outdoor content, check out the sportsman's empire.com where you'll find my other podcast, the How to Hunt Deer Podcast, as well as a ton of other awesome outdoor [00:46:00] podcasts.

And until next time, make sure you make the time to get outside and enjoy the incredible natural resources that are ours as Wisconsin sportsmen.