Best Big Beard Turkey Talk Tees

My close friends know that I’m a fan of one kind of beard — a turkey beard! Turkey hunting season is just one week away, and I’m getting excited. How many of you are already, or will be, looking for long-bearded gobblers? Because we love them, we’ve created two tee’s in honor of the season.

Head over and buy a Big Beard Tee by MAC Outdoors!


Grow A Beard Tee
The ‘Grow A Beard – Turkey Hunting Tee’ features turkey talk, “Excuse me, Sir. Please grow a beard. I’m tired of your lady staring at me.” is available in a variety of colors. CLICK TO SHOP

Passport to Awesome Tee
The ‘Passport to Awesome – Turkey Hunting Tee’ features turkey talk, “This is not just a beard. It’s a passport to awesome!” is available in a variety of colors. CLICK TO SHOP


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New Mexico Elk Habitat Supported by RMEF

In the hunting world, New Mexico is known for its divine elk herds. This wouldn’t be possible without habitat to support the animals. The state has set aside land trusts, which are designated as draw only units, and they are well managed. Throughout the state, however, there are other magnificent hunting areas. Thanks to the help of conservation organizations, such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the habitat will be sustained and the herds will remain healthy.

Grants Enhance New Mexico Elk Habitat, Hunting Heritage

RMEF logo high resolution

The grants benefit 4,670 acres across Bernalillo, Catron, Curry, Grant, Lincoln, Otero, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel and Torrance Counties. There are also two projects of statewide benefit and another that benefits northeast Arizona.

“Water is at a high premium across New Mexico’s arid landscape,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “Nearly a third of our projects this year focus on improving water sources for elk and other wildlife.”

RMEF members in New Mexico raised the funds via banquets, membership drives and other efforts.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 374 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in New Mexico with a combined value of more than $42.9 million. These projects conserved and enhanced 512,691 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 88,958 acres.

Here is a sampling of the 2017 projects, listed by county:

Catron County—Mechanically treat 350 acres of Bureau of Land Management managed land in the Coyote Peak area in preparation for a future prescribed burn as part of a multi-year effort to maintain and enhance elk and mule deer across the Pelona Mountain landscape.

Grant County—Prescribe burn 320 acres in the Mimbres Valley to remove encroaching pinyon-juniper as part of an ongoing effort to reintroduce and maintain fire on the landscape and benefit wildlife habitat across the Gila National Forest.

Lincoln County—Create four small wetlands and expand another to benefit 800 acres in the Smokey Bear Ranger District on the Lincoln National Forest as well as construct a fence around each to limit the use to wildlife in an area where the elk population tripled over the last ten years.

Go here for a complete project listing.

New Mexico project partners include Cibola, Gila, Lincoln and Santa Fe National Forests, Bureau of Land Management and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish as well as sportsmen, civic and other organizations.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 222,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at, or 800-CALL ELK.

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Deadline Approaching Take Survey for Big-Game Management Plans | Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is developing new management plans for big game in the North Fork and Gunnison areas and invites hunters and the general public to take on-line surveys that will help wildlife managers writing the plans.

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Become a Conservation Officer | New Mexico Department of Game & Fish

Do you love the outdoors, wildlife, conservation, hunting, and educating others? Becoming a conservation officer might be right up your alley. New Mexico’s Department of Game & Fish is seeking new officers. This is a great way for the next generation to become involved in the big conservation picture.

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Outfitters Contribute Substantially to Conservation Efforts

Hunters are finding it more important to display their support of conservation efforts. Over the years, hunters have been key financial in the endeavor. As more recreationists hit the woods, the impact on the resources has increased. Conservation organizations have stepped up their efforts and are generating more funds. That’s why I find the isight into how and where the organizations are gaining so intriguing.
Do you support any conservation organizations? I’m a member of several organizations. I’ve also bought hunts, firearms, and other goods at fundraisers. As an outfitter, I’ve been on the donor end, giving 100% to help raise money and awareness. How are you supporting the efforts?

Recent Study Proves Outfitters Contribute Substantially to Conservation Efforts

professional-outfitters-and-guides-of-americaWhile some in the outfitting industry are very well informed on the substantial contributions made by outfitters every year to wildlife, habitat, and conservation, most everyone else in the hunting and non-hunting world are completely unaware. This is partially due to the fact that our own industry has historically been hesitant to insist that conservation organizations give credit where it’s due. Each year outfitters donate hunting and fishing trips to be auctioned off by conservation organizations in an effort to generate funding for on the ground conservation projects.

While conservation organizations like to proclaim their financial contributions to wildlife, when traced back we find that it is the individual outfitter, donating trips, that collectively sustains a very large percentage of the conservation dollars generated by these organizations. Established conservation organizations are reluctant to provide the actual financial impact of these donated trips to their bottom line and as such the outfitter community is all but forgotten in the credits for sustainable wildlife and habitat management.

A recent pilot study conducted by the Professional Outfitters and Guides of America (POGA) hopes to begin to dispel this notion. POGA represents 8 state guide and outfitter organizations who, in turn, represent individual outfitters who provide outdoor experiences. POGA membership includes five western states; Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming as well as Maine and Alaska. Individual outfitter memberships among the 8-state coalition exceeds 1,900 outfitters and represents more than 4,000 outfitter businesses. POGA serves as an industry advocate and consultative group for national issues of conservation, public land permitting, as well as state regulation and tourism.

The recently completed study found that an estimated $25.6 million was donated in 2016 by outfitters across the 8-state region for the benefit of conservation organizations such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, the Wild Sheep Foundation, and 41 others. The study found that the average donation size ranged from $21,000 per hunt in Alaska to $1,000 in Maine.

Starting with this study, POGA would like to see the outfitter industry be recognized by conservation organizations, as well as state wildlife agencies, for their substantial conservation efforts. Without the generous donations of the businesses providing hunting and fishing experiences to sportsmen, conservation organizations would not have the ability to fund on the ground conservation efforts at the level which they proclaim. You can read the complete 12 page report on the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides website (click HERE).

A special thanks to all of the AK, CO, ID, MT, ME, NM, NV, & WY outfitters who participated in the study!!

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HUGE Number of Bear Incidents in Colorado

We’ve been discussing bears so much that we feel we need to come to a new topic on the MAC Outdoors podcast, but you’d be amazed at the number of bear incidents in Colorado this year. This is why we continue to address the topic. We’ve mentioned a few scenes, and the number of bears that have been put down, but when we assisted CPW at a women’s shooting event last week we were amazed to hear of much more.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife wants to remind everyone that education is key. We all have to be aware of the part we play in wildlife incidents. We live in bear country. Although some of us hunt bears, we don’t want to see them destroying people’s homes, killing livestock, attacking campers, and more. We need to learn to reduce these events.

CPW reminds public: Education is key to help prevent dangerous bear encounters

CPW_SiteLogoDENVER – After several recent bear conflicts in Colorado, including close encounters, home invasions and an attack on a sleeping camper in Boulder County, July 9, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is stressing education as one of the most effective ways to prevent wildlife conflicts.

CPW officials say although many bear conflicts may seem unprovoked or random, a typical precursor in most incidents is a general lack of knowledge about wildlife, or a willful disregard for a few basic rules.

“Bears are just doing what comes naturally to them,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs. “They are driven by hunger and instinct; and when their natural food sources become scarce like we’ve seen with the recent dry spell in some areas, they look for other sources. That brings them into communities where they easily find all kinds of things to eat. Humans, on the other hand, have a choice in how they behave. In my opinion, there are too many people who should be making better decisions when it comes to wildlife, beginning with getting educated about preventing conflicts then taking action.”

bear-in-trap-cpw-93cfadc2-3ade-4127-8b95-6308c3afc1dbWith the current bear population in the state conservatively estimated between 17,000 – 20,000 and the human population at about 5.5 million, wildlife officials say human/bear conflicts remain a primary concern. Despite years of information and education outreach, trash storage ordinances in communities with significant bear activity and efforts to reduce bear populations in high conflict areas, interactions continue to occur and make headlines.

In addition to the high-profile incident in Boulder County, a recent viral video featured a bear wandering inside a Colorado Springs home for five hours, casually opening the refrigerator and pantry while the homeowner slept inside, unaware of the bear’s presence. A week earlier, a woman shot video of the same bear through her car window after the bear entered the shocked woman’s garage and pressed its nose up to the vehicle’s glass. Wildlife managers believe the bear had learned the sound of a garage door opening was a cue to dart inside.

Due to concerns for human safety, wildlife officials killed the 375-pound bear several days later after discovering it sitting on the deck of a nearby home.

Another video widely disseminated last month showed a bear seemingly playing the piano after it entered a Vail condominium through an open window while the occupant was away. The video may have elicited chuckles but wildlife officers did not see the humor in the situation, considering the dangers posed by a bear with a habit of breaking into homes.

So what can you do to prevent a dangerous bear conflict? There are a multitude of tips and suggestions for homeowners and outdoor enthusiast available from many sources, but the primary message wildlife managers offer to the public – it’s all about food.

“It’s actually fairly simple – keep your food away from bears,” said Will. “We can’t stress it enough – never, ever feed a bear, whether by leaving your trash out, your lunch in your car, your birdfeeders up or giving it a handout – it’s all the same. Bears are smart and have great memories. If the bear gets into your trash, your car, or crawls through a window you left open and finds a meal, you just put your entire neighborhood in danger; if you’re on a hike and give a bear a handout to get a closer look, you just put all hikers in the area at risk; if you keep a dirty campsite or leave food in your tent or otherwise accessible and you attract a bear, you just jeopardized the safety of all nearby campers.”

Will says in addition to fines for violating city ordinances where they exist, feeding a bear is illegal in Colorado and can result in a citation from CPW officers.

Another important tip wildlife officers offer is never let a bear feel comfortable around people.

“If a bear comes into your yard and you sit on the porch and watch if for an hour, the bear has now learned it is safe to be around people,” said Will. “Then it becomes a problem for other residents, and for wildlife managers.”

If you see a bear in an area where it is not supposed to be, or it appears comfortable with your presence, wildlife officers recommend immediately making it feel unwelcome. Raise your voice and talk to it firmly, bang pots and pans or throw rocks or sticks toward it and try to drive it away. It may seem cruel but conditioning them to avoid people is the most humane thing the public can do for a bear.

However, if a bear does not respond to hazing or it continues to approach, the first thing to remember is never turn and run. Stand your ground, prepare to take stronger measures and defend yourself with everything you have. That can include using bear spray, punching and kicking the bear as aggressively as possible, hitting it with a sturdy hiking stick, branches, rocks or other makeshift weapons.

In the Boulder County incident, the teen fought the bear by aiming blows at its eyes.

“He did exactly the right thing, something he learned from his grandfather,” said Northeast Region Public Information Officer Jennifer Churchill. “He was prepared and knew how to handle an attack. The knowledge probably saved his life.”

Acting Northwest Regional Manager Dean Riggs says some in the public may consider using firearms to protect themselves in case of a dangerous wildlife encounter; however, CPW recommends bear spray as an effective alternative to a gun as the first means of defense.

“We understand people have the right to legally carry and use a firearm to defend themselves from a bear attack, but it’s not as effective as people think, and if you shoot your gun in a residential area or a crowded campsite you could accidently kill someone,” said Riggs. “Bear spray is actually a much more effective deterrent, proven in several field studies. It’s a good idea to have bear spray at home if you live in bear country, or bring it along if you recreate in an area with bear activity.”

CPW officials say black bears in Colorado do not often attack people, but they are capable of mauling and killing humans as seen in recent incidents in Alaska, including a woman with Colorado ties killed by a black bear last month.

“A black bear’s natural diet in Colorado typically consists of acorns and berries, and they will make a meal of carrion or newborn fawns and elk calves. Generally, they don’t hunt humans but it does not mean it couldn’t happen and you need to be prepared,” said Riggs. “The major concern is when a person surprises a bear, or if a person makes a bear feel threatened or cornered, it will likely respond forcefully. Their strength, powerful jaws and sharp claws make them a significant threat.”

Because of that threat, Riggs says when it comes to choosing between human health and safety and a dangerous wild animal, there are few options for wildlife officers.

“To protect people, wildlife officers will kill any bear showing aggression toward humans,” he said. “When people feed bears, they essentially sentence them to death but it’s our officers who have to carry out the execution. It’s by far the worst part of the job.”

CPW says the public can safely watch bears from a distance, with binoculars, a scope or a camera with a telephoto lens. At no time should people approach a bear to get a closer look, or offer it food to get a better picture.

For more information about living with bears and avoiding conflicts, visit the ‘Bear Aware‘ page on the agency’s website –

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 41 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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Camping, Hiking, and Grizzly Bears on MAC Outdoors Podcast

Mia Anstine and Lea Leggitt share secret outdoor destinations and talk grizzly bears on this week’s MAC Outdoors Podcast.

mac-outdoors-1400In episode 021 of the MAC Outdoors Podcast with Mia and Lea the duo divulges secret high country destinations, discuss grizzly attacks, and the news of the delisting of the bears in the Yellowstone area.

If you’ve never been to Southwest Colorado you definitely need to add it to your vacation destination list. The area is prolific with hiking, camping, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Among the possibilities are elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and black bears.

Speaking of bears, Mia and Lea discuss the recent release of the Todd Orr double bear attack video. Todd Orr survives the attack and comes to us with his story. The MAC Outdoor show hosts want to know, “What Would You Do?” in the instance of an encounter with an aggressive bear. Comment or message them on their social media outlets (listed below).

Important links for this week’s show:

Show Host’s Social Outlets:

Legit Outdoors YouTube
Lea’s Facebook Page  
Lea’s Twitter
Mia Anstine YouTube
Mia’s Facebook Page
Mia’s Twitter

MAC Outdoors Podcast: Each week the dynamic mother/daughter duo share their hunting, shooting, and outdoor adventures. You’ll find tips, tricks, lessons, and tales from the trail. Mia is a mom, hunting guide, writer, and vlogger who lives on a ranch in Colorado. Her daughter, Lea, also a guide, is a passionate young hunter who’s recently finished high school and is prepping for the journey to college. TUNE IN because you never know what obstacles and inspiration they’ll encounter as they head outside for new adventures.

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Conservation Efforts Succeed in Recovering Grizzly Populations

A Wildlife Reminder: Time to be Bear Aware  

CPW_SiteLogoBears have emerged from hibernation and are on the prowl for food. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is sending its annual reminder, asking Colorado residents and visitors to be “Bear Aware.”

In early spring, bears can usually find sources of natural food as wild plants begin to grow nutritious new sprouts. Bears also prefer natural sources of food. But if food becomes scarce some bears will go to residential areas looking for a meal.

Significant bear/human conflicts usually don’t start until mid-summer. But now’s the time to start thinking about how you can be bear aware. By taking some simple precautions, you can avoid conflicts with bears at your home and in your neighborhood.

Bears are out and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding everyone to be “bear aware.”

Here is a list that will help us to keep bears wild:


Around the house 

  • Keep garbage in a well-secured location.
  • Only put out garbage on the morning of pickup.
  • Clean garbage cans regularly to keep them odor free. The scent of ammonia can deter bears.
  • Use a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster. These are available from your trash hauler or on Internet sites.
  • Bears have an excellent sense of smell, so try to prevent odors. If you don’t have secure storage, put items that might become smelly into the freezer until trash day.
  • Keep garage doors closed.
  • Lock your doors when you’re away from home and at night.
  • Keep the bottom floor windows of your house closed when you’re not at home.
  • Clean-up thoroughly after picnics in the yard or on the deck. Don’t allow food odors to linger.
  • Talk to your neighbors and kids about being bear aware.
Minimize items that attract bears or other wildlife
  • Do not attract other wildlife by feeding them.
  • Don’t leave pet food or stock feed outside.
  • Bird feeders are a major source of bear/human conflicts. Attract birds naturally with flowers and water baths. Do not hang bird feeders from April 15 to Nov. 15.
  • If you must have bird feeders: clean up beneath them every day, bring them in at night, and hang them high so that they’re completely inaccessible to bears.
  • Bears have good memories and will return to places they’ve found food.
  • Allow grills to burn for a couple of minutes after cooking to burn off grease and to eliminate odors. Clean the grill after each use.
  • If you have fruit trees, pick fruit before it gets too ripe. Don’t allow fruit to rot on the ground.
  • Secure compost piles. Bears are attracted to the scent of rotting food — and they’ll eat almost anything.
  • If you keep small livestock, keep animals in a fully covered enclosure, don’t store food outside, keep enclosures clean to minimize odors, hang rags soaked in ammonia around the enclosure.
  • If you have bee hives, install electric fencing where allowed.
Be careful with vehicles and at campsites
  • Do not keep food in your vehicle; roll up windows and lock the doors of your vehicles.
  • When car-camping, secure all food and coolers in a locked vehicle after you’ve eaten.
  • Keep a clean camp, whether you’re in a campground or in the back-country.
  • When camping in the back-country, hang food 100 feet or more from campsite.
  • Don’t bring any food or fragrant items into your tent
  • Cook food well away from your tent; wash dishes thoroughly.

For more information go to the Living with Wildlife section on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife web site: is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.

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