Ridr Knowelton grew up in New York’s Catskill Mountains, cutting his teeth on small game like the rest of us. He’s since spent the past 30 years fishing and hunting around the world. Interestingly, it isn’t so much critters hunted that he most remembers but hunting guides–and especially their stories. Today he shares stories about a harrowing arctic rescue mission during a whiteout blizzard that lead to marriage, mules dancing in local saloons, growing up in yesteryear Everglades and much more. You don’t want to miss this great episode about “collecting!”

The Guides: A Collection of Untold Stories

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Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season Somewhere, today, as you’re driving down the road or sitting in your workshop or wherever you find yourself listening to podcast, we’re going to take you on a worldwide tour with my buddy, Ridr Knowlton, who authored a book called The Guides, A Collection of Untamed Stories about his travels. And I read this book and I find it extremely interesting because even though he’s been to a lot of places, 5 continents, I think and seen a lot of stuff and done a lot of stuff, when he starts writing about these hunting stories, it really is a very small part about the critters. Ridr, how the heck are you, man?

Ridr Knowlton: Ramsay, good morning. Good talking to you.

Ramsey Russell: I miss seeing you at convention this year. We usually come by and we have a chance to visit and I don’t remember seeing you this year.

Ridr Knowlton: Nashville, I tell you, I miss Dallas. But we were in Nashville and I was bringing my wife by to meet you. But man, Nashville was so busy, you were booking hunts and we didn’t want to bug you. So I miss seeing you this year, but I’m glad we could connect today.

Ramsey Russell: Well, let me invite you to come by and book a hunt.

Ridr Knowlton: That’s a date in Dallas next year, man. You can count on it.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Talk a little bit, Ridr, your book is great, the stories are amazing. But tell me a little bit about you. I want to lead into this hearing a little bit about Ridr. Who is Ridr? Where is Ridr from? How did you get set onto this path?

Ridr Knowlton: I love hunting and fishing, like a lot of us do. For me, it was part of our life growing up. I grew up on a little family farm along the Susquehanna River in upstate New York and it was a multigenerational family farm. I was a 4th generation on the farm, and each generation, the farm gets a little smaller. I think by the time I came along, we were probably down to about 40 acres. And most of our farmland was pasture and hedgerows. So hunting for us was, back in those days, was mostly rabbit and deer and the occasional pheasant. My grandmother, in the old days, she’d sit on the roof of the farmhouse and shoot pheasant with her old model 12 Winchester 16 gauge pump that would get flushed out from the hedgerows around the house. But we were hunting for food. If my dad shot rabbit, we ate rabbit, if he shot a deer, we had venison and we weren’t hunting for trophy, we were hunting for food. And so that was just life growing up. And then when I got into my late teens, the family moved from the farm, we moved to Savannah, Georgia and I’ve lived most of my life in Georgia. And that was really where, for the first time, I kind of learned about hunting leases, hunting, for me, was always just going out back, but not anymore. And so we had to learn about hunting leases and got my first taste of duck hunting with wood duck hunting along the Savannah River and that was in my late teens. So it’s been part of my life growing up, ever since I was a little kid.

Ramsey Russell: Ridr, you mentioned small game and it’s unbelievable how many people I talk to, which is to say every single hunter I meet with. They may now be chasing markhors or some crazy animal or going all over the world like yourself and doing a lot of this stuff. But nearly every hunter I talk to can go all the way back to being a little boy shooting squirrels and rabbits. It’s like small game is a real big precursor to what comes next. Would you say that’s a pretty fair statement?

Ridr Knowlton: Oh, I think you’re spot on. And for me, it was squirrels, that’s where I started. I had a single shot 410 that my granddad shot, my dad shot, I’ve shot and now I’ve handed it down to my son. And hunting for me as a little kid was squirrel hunting out back on the farm and I think you’re exactly right. And what’s really cool is I got a bunch of friends, deer hunters in the midwest that they grew up hunting rabbit. And of course, not only was a small game hunting a huge part of their youth growing up, but they also learned about dogs and managing dogs and raising dogs and the responsibility of dogs, beagles for a lot of that. I think it’s a huge part of a lot of folks their entry into the sporting world, I think that’s right.

Ramsey Russell: When you think of going some of these great big conventions, there’s getducks selling Argentina and Azerbaijan and there’s other people selling other stuff. Name a magnificent animal, elephants, lions, markhor, argali, name some. But the first time I went, there was a guy selling rabbit hunts with beagles and he had a line out the door because everybody on that show can relate to small game. And I think it’s so fundamental to hear you talk about it. When I think about going squirrel hunting, it’s all the fundamentals of anything you’re hunting wrapped up into one, especially for a barefoot little boy. But anyway, I don’t mean to beat that up, I just think it’s interesting how someone as well traveled as yourself and a lot of your experiences, it all goes back to squirrels and rabbits.

Ridr Knowlton: Well, you are spot on. And you know what’s interesting is the more you travel and you’ve traveled around the world as much as anybody, the more you travel, especially for me, in the world of big game hunting, the more folks I talk to that have been around the world and they’ve hunted it all, 90% of them will come right back. And if you were to say, what’s the most challenging animal you hunt big game anywhere in the world? And the answer, 9 times out of 10, is the North American whitetail deer and if it’s not a whitetail deer, it’s a smart old gobbler. And it’s fascinating to me that I love traveling, I love seeing new places, I love seeing you. And I talk all the time about all the stuff beyond the shooting that makes hunting so special. But I tell you, the more I travel, the more I realize that to me, the most challenging big game in the world anywhere is a smart old buck, especially eastern US that have been around folks and they’re nocturnal and they’re tough. And if it isn’t that, it might be a wily old gobbler, but all that stuff’s right here at home.

Ramsey Russell: Is that how you evolved? You went first into whitetail deer, became a big whitetail deer hunter deer?

Guided Adventures: Exploring Stories from Hunting and Fishing Guides Around the World.

The book is a collection of stories from hunting and fishing guides and outfitters that I have become really good lifelong friends with and that I’ve spent a lot of time with in the field all around the world.

Ridr Knowlton: Yeah, you hit it right on. I mean, the book is a collection of stories from hunting and fishing guides and outfitters that I have become really good lifelong friends with and that I’ve spent a lot of time with in the field all around the world. The irony in that is I didn’t start hunting with guides until pretty late in my hunting life. I’m 54 years old and literally grew up hunting and fishing for food. And so from there, we moved to Georgia and started leasing – my dad and I would join a deer hunt and we did that in Georgia and did that in parts of west Texas for a while and that was all deer and turkey. But it wasn’t until I really started expanding out west. And for a lot of folks, for me, those early steps might have been an antelope hunt in Wyoming or maybe getting into bear hunting a little bit. And those early steps in the big game western hunting, was really my first intro to even the concept of hunting with a guide versus just doing it yourself. And then really, for me, where it really took off and the guides became an integral part of my life was when I started dabbling with elk. But for me, it was more mule deer. And then eventually focusing on some of those big mountain hunts up in northern Alaska and northern Canada and of course, at that point, the guide’s not only your hunting guide, but a friend and also somebody who your own safety, you’re relying on them for your well being and so it’s a special relationship. But all that started for me probably in my mid 30s, so it’s pretty late in the hunt life.

Ramsey Russell: I’ve never met a hunter, whether a duck hunter, goose hunter, deer hunter, turkey hunter, I’ve never met a hunter, either, that didn’t want to go somewhere else than their familiar territories. Some go further than others, higher, bigger game, but nearly every hunter I talk to wants to go somewhere because it’s a big world. There’s a lot of species in the big game world just here in North America, there’s a lot of impressive big game species worldwide, there’s even more. And I wonder if somehow that just doesn’t go back to some kind of primeval, nomadic roots or something because we all want to travel and see a larger world than our own backyards. Would you agree that? I mean, I can just remember even being a young man, very young, a little boy in my imagination sparked wanting to go and see other parts of the world and interact with wildlife hunt it. And that’s where my journey started.

Ridr Knowlton: I think you’re right on. I remember as a little kid, at that time living on the farm in the northeast wanting to explore the southeast and then I hunted the southeast for a long time and wanted to get out west and then it went north and then from there, it’s kind of gone all over the world. I think you’re exactly, a lot of what you talk about and a lot of what you and I have talked about together is just all those other things beyond just the shooting. There’s so much more to hunting than shooting and there’s so much more to fishing than catching and those are all the things I think that get people excited about going to a new place. New environment, new people, new species, you might come back to where you’re from, but it doesn’t mean you don’t have a yearning inside to go see new places and that’s what makes a sporting world so great.

Ramsey Russell: Well, it is important because let’s just boil it down, let’s just absolutely distill duck hunting to the trigger pull. I’m going to get up at 04:30 in the morning, I’m going to drink coffee, I’m going to go cut cards and get my place to go hunt, I’m going to go out there and hunt with my buddies, we’re going to stay out there till shooting time, around 06:35 AM, till about 11:00 AM. We’re going to talk, we’re going to visit, we’re going to drink coffee, we’re going to carry on, the limit is 6 ducks and on the best of days, I’m going to shoot my 6 ducks. But if you distill it all the way down to the absolute trigger pull, what am I talking about? 6 hours into it, the time it takes me to actually shoulder the gun and pull the trigger boils down to 10 or 15 seconds. It really is kind of a small part of it if you think about it that way, isn’t it?

Ridr Knowlton: It is. And one of the great things about your post is I enjoy reading your post because you’ll have 3 or 4 pictures on there and you’ll have 20 lines of description and of the 20 lines, two will be about the shot, but the other 18 lines are about all those other things you just said. I’ll reply to your pictures with ones that really jump out to me and there’s just as much chances that your photos of the habitats you’re hunting to me are as cool and exciting as the different species you’re hunting. So, no, I think you’re exactly right.

Ramsey Russell: It’s hard to separate it all. I mean, it’s hard to separate the animal from the environment and I’m in the environment. And you go some far flung place like St. Paul and there’s a 40 miles an hour wind blowing, buddy, you feel the element, you realize then, wow, I’m in this thing.

Ridr Knowlton: Let me tell you, man, if you’re hunting King eider out in Alaska on one of your trips, you ain’t thinking about the trigger pull, there’s a lot of other stuff going on that you’re going to remember 20 years later.

Ramsey Russell: It’s sensory overload. I have to really think the time I went shooting King eider, I have to really think and sift through all that data bank of memory. I have to really think about the trigger pulls and the ducks killed. I can remember 2 of the 5 birds, really, that I shot, the rest of it, the most indelible memory was sitting on a north point, there was a 45 miles an hour wind, and we had to kind of face. So it’s cutting my left cheek and I just remember feeling like a fleck of dust relative to the universe or less, I was so humbled. But then the food and the culture and everything else comes along with it to where really and truly, honestly, anybody that knows me knows Ramsey likes to pull the trigger. I like to pull the trigger. I’m not out bird watching, I’m hunting. But at the same time, I’ve really began to revere a lot of these animals. Even if I’m going mallard hunting, I’m going mallard hunting to different parts of the United States or different parts of the world and it’s where going after that bird in that place is taking me on a map. And then you get into a lot of these exotic species and it’s where on the globe you find pygmy goose or bar headed goose or red crested pochard and all of a sudden, you’re in very unfamiliar cultural surroundings, language and religion and skin color and food and their own personal, we’re all hunters, but it’s different. The only familiar thing is that I’m going duck hunting and even if he doesn’t speak my language or share anything with me, we’re still hunters and we connect at that level. But everything else is so different. And I find it just such a fascinating overall story into this experience. I really label myself now as an experienced collector, that’s what I am. I’m an experienced collector, not more so than a duck hunter, I would say.

Ridr Knowlton: Yeah, and you got that connection wherever you are. Like you said, man, wherever you are, it all does come down to that connection. And whether you’re in some remote jungle or living with the indigenous peoples up north, it all comes back to that core connection that you’re a hunter. And then with that connection, you can then spend time and learn about all the different things that make their life different than yours, because everything else is different. But at your core, you’re both hunters and that’s what makes it just an invaluable thing. And the experience is so cool and so deep.

Ramsey Russell: Speaking of the hunters up north, tell me about the time you went up to the Arctic and fell in with the Inuits. I want to hear this story.

Ridr Knowlton: I tell you, we had to call, a little audible on our plans, we were going up to hunt caribou up out of Yellowknife, up in the northwest Territories. And the migration, the last 5, 10 years, the migrations have changed and patterns have changed. And so we ended up going further north, up into Nunavut. And the tundra up that far north, you’re up above the arctic circle and tundra, in local tongue, means the treeless land and that’s what it is. It’s this treeless, barren land and it’s this mystical place that is so barren, but it’s home to these incredible animals. The Arctic’s home. You’re up there in this land of the Arctic fox and the white wolves, the Arctic wolves and wolverine and caribou and Arctic grizzly, not as big as the big coastal bears, but they don’t have the rivers full of salmon, but they’re these amazing animals that a lot of folks would argue are far more aggressive than the coastal bears. And it’s this mystical place and then on top of it all, you’ve got the people. And I’ve been so fortunate to spend meaningful time with indigenous peoples around the world, whether it’s the thick jungles or way up north. And I don’t know that I’ve ever met a more content and happy people than the Inuit of the far north Arctic. When I was up there, I stayed with a family in an old, abandoned research station and, man, you get to know folks when you’re spending time like that. And I remember asking, my guide was the patriarch of the family and asked his wife one night where their village was when he wasn’t guiding, where’s home? And her description of home was one of the coolest descriptions of a place I’ve ever heard. She looked at me and she said, where the land becomes saltwater. In other words, keep going north, pal, is what she was saying. And my guide was a tracker, one of a couple trackers from the village and the lifeline of that village, Ramsey, was once or twice a year, he and a couple other trackers from the village would have to go to Yellowknife to get supplies for the village for the whole year. Now, Yellowknife was over a thousand miles away from their village and that meant snowmobiling over frozen lakes and crossing frozen rivers and then eventually the boreal forest. And they’re literally riding snowmobiles a thousand miles, hauling empty sleds, the only supply they’re hauling is fuel, because they need to fill up in Yellowknife and then haul everything back to the village. So there is no place for supplies, for food, their entire survival of this trip is reliant upon their skills as native hunters to survive off the tundra and make it to Yellowknife, load up and then make it back to the village. And if you think about, it’s not just their lives that are at stake, it’s the village’s survival. Because back home, back up where the land turns to saltwater, a whole bunch of folks living in a village who are expecting these 3 trackers to come back with all their supplies. It’s a mystical place with these incredible people. And when I left, I walk out of my little tent and look out and I see this barren land of nothingness and they walk outside and see this giant refrigerator full of everything they could ever need to survive. And when I left, I honestly felt that they were very content and that they felt sorry for me. In other words, I think they saw me leave that camp and felt sorry for me, knowing that they had everything they could ever need and they were at peace in a wonderful place, it was just fascinating.

Ramsey Russell: You told a story about somebody becoming stranded and your guide had to go out and rescue him. But it was a very perilous trip and the village was really reluctant to let him go because it was so dangerous and he was so integral to the village. Do you remember that story?

Ridr Knowlton: Oh, yeah. No. We had shot a caribou, we were eating caribou stew that night in the camp and I was curious how my guide had met his wife. And so I asked her how they met and she said, he saved my life. And I said, well, what do you mean by that? And she said, well, when I was a little girl in the village, a bunch of us, had gone out to try to get to the next village. And of course, the biggest danger up north is the weather, it’s not the animals, it’s the weather. And sure enough, they got stuck in a blizzard and were trapped. And so the council of the village got together and voted on whether or not to send one or two of their trackers to find these villagers who were lost in the blizzard. And the council said no, they voted on it and rejected it, meaning the life of the two trackers is fundamental to the village, it’s more important to the village than the lives of these 10 people who are stuck out in the storm and they had to make that tough call. And everyone went home and then somebody raised the point that there were children among the group that were lost in the storm. And so the council gathered back together, changed their decision because there were children in the group and made the decision to send my guide out to try to find him in this just horrifying blizzard, zero visibility. If your snowmobile stalls and you don’t restart it, the machine is going to freeze and you’re going to die. And he made it through 60 miles of white out blizzard conditions in a treeless, featureless land and found them and brought them back. And one of the young people in that group was this young girl who became his wife. And that’s how they met, was when he rescued her from that storm.

Ramsey Russell: I just can’t imagine going in zero visibility for 60 miles on a featureless landscape and even know what direction I’m going. How did he know? Do you ever ask him, like, how did you know where you were going?

Ridr Knowlton: It’s hard to explain. I’ve had the same experiences in Africa with some of those native trackers. And the answer is, I could ask them, but I don’t know that I would ever understand. They might try to explain it, but I don’t know that I would understand. I think there is an inherent skill that these Inuit and indigenous trackers have in their home territory. And whether you’re tracking across the tundra in a blizzard or you’re tracking an eland across miles of hard ground in Africa, you just watch them do what they do and all you can do is shake your head in disbelief.

Ramsey Russell: You talk about those African trackers. I was in South Africa one time, we got off to go find a hartebeest and started walking down some trails. And the tracker would stop and he’d look and I’d look and it looked like just a concrete sidewalk, it was featureless, I couldn’t tell anything. And he would scratch his chin and point. And that’s about the 3rd time he did that, I said, this guy, he’s making this up for drama. You know what I’m saying? This is a dramatized version, he’s acting like a tracker, there’s no way he can read that hard packed trail, especially with all the critters running around up and down, he can find a hartebeest about a half mile or so into it, a mile into it, he stops and tapped me on the shoulder and points and my God, there’s that hartebeest. I don’t know how in the world he found that thing. It’s amazing what people can see and do.

Ridr Knowlton: It’s amazing to watch. Oh, yeah. No, it’s amazing to watch. And all you can do is just appreciate the moment and be thankful that you’re there to be part of it. Because I don’t know that you’ll understand how they’re doing it, but what a treat it is to just be there with them and watch them do their thing. It’s just incredible.

Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Well, speaking of the mountains, I’ve never mountain hunted. Well, I take it back, I’ve been to Peru to shoot waterfowl up at 15,000ft. But what I think of is the mountain hunts for sheep and stuff like that. And you chose one of the hardest species to go after, did you not? One of the most arduous undertakings for one of your first sheep hunts. Can you talk a little bit about sheep hunting?

Ridr Knowlton: Absolutely. I really didn’t have an interest in it and I got the bug. They talk about getting the sheep bug and I got the bug kind of unexpectedly. I was deer hunting in know I’m mule deer hunting in Texas and a buddy of mine, Jim Roach had called and he said, hey man, we got this great big band of aoudad sheep up in this bowl between these mountains, you ought to go up and check them out. And it was me and Jim had a young guy that was he and I and then we had this hunter with us from Ohio, real nice guy but he was real out of shape. And as we started climbing to try to get up and look at these rams, he was really struggling. And by the way, the only reason I was in shape was I’d been hunting a little bit that fall out west and so I’d prepared, but I easily could have been that guy too. But we were worried about him, we got him off the mountain, got him back down to the camp and water and turned right around and climbed back up. And as we’re coming up, the kid looks at me and goes, listen, these aoudad, if they’re in a bowl, wind’s going to circle and they’re going to win us and they’re going to go pouring out the backside of the bowl. But if there’s a big ram, he’s going to stop before he goes out the other side. And long story short, that’s exactly what happened. And I got to see my first ram in the crosshairs and got a good aoudad. But that experience changed my hunting life. I think it was the reality, A, of how incredible these rams are on the crosshairs and B, man, you got to be ready. I realized that this is a hunt that if you are not physically and mentally, even more importantly, mentally prepared, you just aren’t going to be in a position to do it. One of the things as a sheep hunter, one of the things you’re always managing is resources. If you got limited time and money like me, how do you make that work? And one of the tricks that I did was I hunted canceled hunts. And I spent a lot of time talking to folks about canceled hunts, who’s got a canceled hunt? Well, it just so happened that the first canceled hunt opportunity, what I mean by that is that hunter backs out, they’ve paid the deposits and you can go on the hunt sometimes for pennies on the dollar and it worked and that allowed me to do it. And that first one for me was a stone sheep, which, as you said, even in the world among sheep hunting, they’re all hard. But stone sheep is considered arguably one of the hardest hunts you can do in the world. And that was my first step, man, into sheep hunting and the very first day out of base camp, we climbed for 13 hours and got fogged in and smoked in and stuck on the side of the mountain in lightning storms and all the different wonderful experiences of sheep hunting. But, yeah, that was step one, was the stone sheep.

Altitude Challenges: Exploring the Physical Demands of High-Altitude Hunting.

But going up, buddy, I’m burning and I’m not breathing like I normally would down here on flat ground in Mississippi.

Ramsey Russell: You talk about physical and mental, go into that just a little bit. I understand the physicality, I’m at a high altitude, there’s low oxygen, I’m usually going one direction up. And in the mountains, to me, going down those steep slopes with loose rock that’s just as treacherous as going up. But going up, buddy, I’m burning and I’m not breathing like I normally would down here on flat ground in Mississippi. But what is it about the physicality? Is it just accepting and enduring that? Because you’re only human no matter how good a shape you’re in. Is that what you mean by getting your mind around it?

Ridr Knowlton: Yeah. No, it is getting your mind around it. And I’ll tell you, no matter how hard you train and prepare, you’re never in good enough shape for the mountains. The mountains will always find a weakness in you. And we went after a dall sheep up in the Brooks Range with a buddy of mine, Mike McCann, as we were heading out of base camp and this is talking about the mental side of it. You can prepare for the physical side, but how do you prepare for the mental side? And as we’re leaving base camp, I had a sheep tag, of course, and I also had a grizzly tag and the biggest danger up there again is the weather. We’re about 3 hours out of base camp and I was hunting with one of Mike’s young guys and we saw about half a mile ahead of us, up on the left was this decent grizzly coming towards us down on the front flank of a mountain and we decided to put a stall walk on the grizzly. And to do that, we had to get up the mountain above him, have him come to us and ideally he’d be above him as he crossed below us. And to do that, we had to cross this deep ravine in a river and it was too deep for the horses. We had a fresh pack of horses, we’re 3 hours out of base camp and it was a big decision because if you’re also hunting bear, you cannot have a campfire. Any whiff of smoke will clear out a whole drainage of grizzly. So we had committed, yeah, we’re sheep hunting, but we got this bear tag and no matter what happens, we’re not going to have a fire, we want to be in a position to also get a bear. And anyways, we crossed the river, drenched ourselves, couldn’t take the horses, drenched ourselves, climbed up and of course it’s thick as heck and steepest heck, so we’re crawling up all 4s through the willow and the blueberry and all that. And about halfway up the front side of the mountain, I look over and 30 yards to my right is that damn grizzly standing up on two legs, just staring at me. I’m there on all 4s, I got my rifle slung on my back, Campbell’s 20 yards ahead of me on all 4s with his rifle on the back and I’m thinking, well, this could go one of a couple of ways. Luckily, that bear dropped back to all 4s and turned and ran off. But as we’re coming, we said, all right, well, we blew the stock, that’s fine, but we had to get back to the horses and move on. And so as we crossed the river, redrenched ourselves and by the time we got to the horses, the temperature had dropped 50° and this is in July and up in the Brooks Range at the very top of Alaska, the only thing further north than us is the north slope oil fields. And by the time we got to the horses, temperature had dropped 50° and it started snowing. And we’re like, okay, this is a tough situation, we got to figure out what we’re going to do, this can be a life or death situation if you’re soaking wet and you got a blizzard coming in. And so we made it up the drains a little bit further, found a creek, found water and by the time we did that, it was a full blown blizzard. And we had to put up an emergency spike tent to survive. And we left the horses, hobbled the horses next to the tent, got in the tent and I’ll never forget it, man, we got iced in for 3 days, we couldn’t leave that tent for 3 days because of the ice storm. And I’ll never forget getting in the tent for the first time, you got snow on your boots and, Ramsay, that snow never melted inside the tent for 3 days. And the first night, I made the mistake of not putting my boots in the sleeping bag and they froze so hard that the tongue of the leather hunting boot, you couldn’t move it, I couldn’t put my foot in the boot the next morning. And I learned from then on, you sleep with the boots in the sleeping bag with you. And you learn the lesson the hard way. And each morning, that running creek man would freeze, the running water would freeze every night and we would break ice, we had one little propane cooker. But we had made the decision, no matter what happens now, this might have come down in the world of stupidity right here, because we were stubborn about not having a fire, but we were going to survive this ice storm without a fire. And at the end of the day, 3 days later, we went through all the phases of hypothermia, we were puking and uncontrolled, shivering, the whole thing, we experienced all those joys over those 3 days. But 3 days later, the storm broke, we got out and I never found out how cold it was up at our spike camp, but I talked to my buddy, Mike McCann later, who was at base camp on that hunt. And base camp is down in the valley where it’s much warmer and Mike said it was -10° at base camp, so I cannot imagine how cold it was with us up on the side of the mountain. But we came back into camp defeated, horses hadn’t eaten in 3 days, their ribs are showing and we’re just beaten up frozen and defeated. And when you’re sitting in a spike tent for 3 days with your guide, the old joke is you take a softback paper book and rip it in half and you read the front half and you read the other half and there’s not a whole lot you can do. That’s the mental side of sheep hunting, is the ability to know there’s going to be days where you’re going to be fogged in or iced in for days on time sitting in a one man tent looking at your buddy, your hunting guide and you just got to get through that mental side of it. Physical side is more straightforward. You got life below the tree line than life above the tree line, I love life above the tree line because it’s open, exposed and all the TV shows show those experience of climbing up in the rocks and visibility of sheep, that’s actually the easy part. The hard part physically, of a sheep hunt is below the tree line when you’re busting brush with those pack horses, getting up through the spruce and that takes place before you get up to that great good looking camp up on the exposed rock. But it is, man, it’s a physical challenge, it’s a mental challenge, every sheep hunt I’ve ever done, at some point during the hunt, I have sworn to myself, I’m never doing this again, ever. And every single time I come off the mountain, then I got a ram, I’m thinking, oh, man, where’s the next place I’m going to go?

Ramsey Russell: Well, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t heard that story, you kind of sort of taught me out of ever wanting to go sheep hunting. I’m just telling you right now, that’s all I could think the whole time. But talking about sheep hunting, every single sheep hunter I’ve ever talked to describe that when they kill a sheep that the best meal they’ve ever eaten is that sheep. I can remember one store in particular, they kill the sheep, they packed it up, quartered it went back down to their little tent and they went for the choice cuts first as I remember describing the kidneys and the heart and the liver and the innards and then they started cooking the meat. And so I mean, they had a few days to kind of get sorted, they still had to pack back down to base camp and practically, to hear him say it, when they showed up at base camp they had the cape and the horns and that was it, it was very little meat left, he said, because we were famished. Why is that?

Ridr Knowlton: It’s funny. When you’re heading out, base camp is different than a spike camp. Base camp, whether you’re in northern Alaska or northern Canada base camp is basically, an Alaska guide canvas wall, Alaskan guide tent and you got a couple of those and you got a great big fire pit in the middle and that’s pretty much base camp. And you laugh about how luxurious base camp feels after you’ve spent a couple of days up at a spike camp on the side of a mountain and man, it does. When you get back into that base camp those canvas wall box tents is like pulling into the Ritz Carlton, you know what I mean? When we came off that ice storm up in the Brooks we got back in and took a couple of days to get re-situated and focused on sheep when we got back down there and I was lucky to get a good Dall ram a couple of days later right out of base camp. We brought that sheep back into camp and one of the greatest meals you can have in my mind one of the greatest meals you can have in the bush as a sports person and it’s legendary among sheep hunters is just sheep ribs cooked on the open fire. And let me tell you, Ramsey, we brought that Dall sheep back into camp and those ribs were spread out, they were spread out on that campfire quicker than you can imagine and it’s one of the greatest. If I think about the 5 greatest meals I’ve had in my life, I bet you 2 or 3 of them have been on the side of a mountain eating a sheep and nothing is wasted. You’re burning 6000, 8000 calories a day and you’re eating maybe 1000 typical food. When you’re heading up to those spike camps you’re packing light, it’s not like base camp where you got all the supplies. So when you’re hauling up to a spike camp, whether you got horses or not, you’re packing light and typical food might be a big old moose sausage and maybe a couple of blocks of cheese and a bag of granola. You’re packing light because you’re banking on the fact you’re going to get a ram and you can eat the ram up on the mountain. And when you don’t, like has happened to us up in the brooks, you’re coming back down the mountain just starving and when you do finally get that sheep, you are ravenous. And, man, you eat every bit of it. But I think it’s a combination of where you are, just how hungry you are. But at the end of the day, man, let me tell you, just cheap ribs over an open fire, there’s nothing that tastes better than that.

Ramsey Russell: Swap gears down to Wyoming. Have you ever seen a dancing mule? Any heard any stories about dancing mules and burrows?

Legendary Outfitting Family: Exploring the Legacy of the Condit Family in Western Outfitting.

The very first folks I met, when I started exploring western big game hunting, I was so lucky that early on I met the Condit’s. And the Condit of Wyoming are one of America’s legendary outfitting families.

Ridr Knowlton: Isn’t that crazy? I was so lucky. The very first folks I met, when I started exploring western big game hunting, I was so lucky that early on I met the Condit’s. And the Condit of Wyoming are one of America’s legendary outfitting families. I’ve known Mark Condit for going on 20 years and his father, Wynn Condit, is one of the pioneers of western outfitting in America. This goes back to the 50s, back in the days of life magazine and telling his stories of exploring parts of not only the west, but up into parts of Alaska, looking for new areas to outfit for moose hunting and bear hunting and going so far north, this little super cub plane and having to tie the hides of the moose and the bear to the struts on the outside of the plane because they wouldn’t fit in the cab. And flying back down along the coast and living with the Inuit and eating walrus and seal. The survive the return trips out of the bush in Alaska, I was so lucky to meet the Condit and have been friends with the Condit. And that’s really what triggered the book, was you spend a number of years hanging out in the kitchen on the Condit ranch house, listening to stories from Mark Condit of, his life as a real cowboy and then of course, his father, who is a legend. But yeah, I’ll never forget, Mark used to get hired to manage mountain lion populations on a lot of big ranches up in Wyoming and I got to go with him on some of those trips, unbelievable experiences. And sitting in a bar up in Ten Sleep, Wyoming and him telling me, yeah, not too far from here, there’s a bar that I used to ride a mule. When I would take the groups up and we’re hunting sheep or elk up in the big horns, I would ride a mule because they were the most sturdy animal I could ride. And you’re exactly right, man. Late one night, a few whiskeys into it, he rode his mule right into that bar in Ten Sleep, spun it around and damn it if the mule didn’t fall right through the floor into a storage cellar. And whether he stayed on the mule or not when it fell, according to Mark, he stayed on the mule when it fell in the storage cellar. But you can’t make this stuff up, these are real folks, you’ll get a kick out of used. I was so fascinated with their stories because after a hunt, I’m flying home to the suburbs and normal life and these folks stay, whether you’re a tractor in Nunavut or you’re a cowboy in Wyoming, their life is in these wild would I started writing down notes of these just fantastic stories of these people, my friends in their normal day to day lives. As a mountain hunter, you’re packing light, so the only paper I would have would be the boarding pass that I had from flying in. So I would stay up at night, whether I’m sleeping in the ranch house at the Condit or out on the side of a mountain in a spike tent with a headlamp in my sleeping bag, I’d stay up and write notes on those boarding passes of all these incredible stories that I heard around the campfires. And after doing that for years and years, man, I had a pretty good little pile of boarding passes with notes. And that’s eventually what turned into the book was just those collections of those great stories from all over the world, real folks.

Ramsey Russell: It started with your friends, the Condit’s there in Wyoming. Is that where it started?

Ridr Knowlton: It did. It started with a Condit in Wyoming and then from there went into the world of sheep hunting, where I met a lot of these folks that I then have just formed these friendships with and just continue to hear these great stories. And then, of course, the Fuchs, some of my favorite stories of all, man, are about Bill Fuchs and his family.

Ramsey Russell: Let me hear some.

Ridr Knowlton: Bill Fuchs passed away during the printing of the book, but he was an integral part of the book and a dear friend for a long time and book is dedicated to Bill, and he’s one of the most interesting folks I’ve ever met. His family, Ramsey, was one of the early families to settle in the Everglades. And the family business was running a floral nursery of rare plants in Homestead, Florida, just on the outside of the Everglades. And so his dad, he grew up as a kid, Bill grew up as a kid, following his dad up some of the less chartered river systems of Central and South America, looking for rare species of orchid they could bring back and sell in Homestead. And the Fuchs were crafty folks, and they learned early on that the best way to find new, unusual species of orchid was to follow the loggers, the logging companies. And they did this all the way from Ecuador, all the way up through Nicaragua and literally, dug out canoes, going up the rivers, following the loggers. And when a logger would fell one of these giant virgin forest trees, there’s an entire ecosystem that exists in the canopy of trees in the rainforest, it’s totally separate from life on the jungle floor. There are animals and plant species that live their whole lives 100ft above the forest floor. And when the trees would fall, the Fuchs would run out into the opening before the loggers started cutting up the tree and they would start going through the canopy and Bill would tell me about finding all these crazy species of little venomous vipers. And the gems they were looking for were the orchids and they would find them and bring them back to Homestead. and in doing so, the Fuchs are living with the indigenous tribes and villages of these places, meaning, when they’re down in Ecuador, they’re literally sleeping with hamaka on the raised platforms they build in the jungle to get you above the creepy crawlies that are crawling all over the jungle. And they create these little thatched together platforms to keep you off the jungle floor and the Fuchs would stay right in the village with those folks, these are some of the early headhunting tribes of Ecuador. And Bill would tell me stories as a kid about when he wasn’t working, when he had a couple hours, he’d go hunt. Well, he’d go hunting with other people in the village and they’re hunting with blow guns and poison darts and they’re hunting macaws for food. They would hunt macaws and they would eat the meat, nothing went to waste. So the macaw meat would be eaten, the feathers would be used for ornamental reasons and then what I found most fascinating is the macaw beaks were used as eating utensils, it was like a big. And he grew up with these folks. But even more incredible, I found, than Bill’s stories, which are beyond belief, is a story of his family, what it was like settling the Everglades. This is back in the days where swarms of mosquitoes would drive out entire villages from the Everglades, this is 100 years ago and his granddad had chores as a kid and one of his chores was always make sure he put a burlap sack over the mule’s head at night to keep the mosquitoes off the mule’s head. Well, one night, his granddad forgot to do that, they woke up the next morning and out back behind the house, laying out behind the house was a dead mule. And the mule had suffocated on thousands of mosquitoes that had gone up its nostrils at night and Mule was suffocated to death. The Fuchs slept on very simple beds, 4 wooden post beds and Bill would tell me that when his granddad, when they’d go to bed at night, they had to make sure that the 4 bedposts were each put in a coffee can and in the coffee can, they would pour kerosene and create a moat around each bed leg. And he said, if you didn’t do that, then at night you would be covered by thousands of ants. So the ants would come up and just cover you at night if you didn’t have the bed sitting in these 4 little moats of kerosene. Bill was a taxidermist, he went on to become a world renowned taxidermist, he judged a number of the big national taxidermy contests. His first taxidermy studio was an old chicken coop in Mobile, Alabama and then, as his business grew, he and his wife Linda, eventually built this big, beautiful barn studio in western North Carolina, up in the mountains, which is where I met him. And I spent years hanging out in that studio with Bill, listening to stories of him and his childhood and his family in those early days. And I remember one day asking Bill, this barn Ramsay had fascinating hundreds of mounts of critters from all over the world. I mean, there are full life size 15 foot crocodiles on the walls. And I remember asking Bill one day, I said, Bill, of all this stuff in here, what’s the most important one? What’s the one that jumps out at you is the most important or most interesting? And I figured he’d chew on it for a minute and talk about some big bear or something like that they’d hunted, man, he didn’t think about it for a second, he goes, Ridr, there’s no question what the most important animal in this place is. He goes, when my family was living in the Everglades, he said, far and away, the most important animal to our family was the manatee, he goes, we hunted manatee and we ate manatee meat. And he said, the most important thing to those early families, and again, this is a time and a place long forgotten, this is 100 years ago, this is at the turn of the last century. But he said, in those days, the most valuable thing you could have as an early family out in the Everglades was manatee oil, because that’s how you lit your lamps at night in the house. And he said, so we’d eat the meat, would use the oil for heating lamps, for lighting the lamps and then we would take the bones and carve the bones and the handles, his family carved the bones, his dad and granddad carved the bones in the handles for tools around the Homestead. He said, in the back of the shop, I still got the old tools with the hand carved manatee bone handles and he goes, that’s the most important thing to me anyway. Just fascinating stuff, Bill Fuchs was, they don’t make them like that anymore, like a lot of these folks and very special friendship.

Ramsey Russell: What did you hunt with him?

Ridr Knowlton: He and I never hunted together. He and I spend just a lot of time hanging out together in his studio. The plans were that we were going to hunt together in Africa and Bill passed away and he and his wife Linda, were outfitters, that was my first connection to him, were his outfitters. They outfitted trips to Central America, and he outfitted trips to Zimbabwe and Tanzania for 30, 40 years, he was involved in the hunting world in Africa, which is another whole list of stories. But that was our plan. Our plan was that he and I were going to go hunt Africa and unfortunately, didn’t get to do it. But that was my connection with him as an outfitter.

Ramsey Russell: I’ll be darn. What about fishing? Do you do a lot of fishing? Have you got some fishing stories?

Ridr Knowlton: Man, I love fishing. I grew up fishing on our farm. As a kid, we were hunting for food. Well, we also fish for food and once or twice a year, we would drive from the farm in New York down to the outer banks in North Carolina and we would go chase the bluefish runs, this was back in the 70s. We would load up with bluefish and just haul coolers back to the farm and we would eat bluefish for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two months until it was gone, it was just horrible. But, man, we fished hard. And I grew up fishing in those days was blue jeans and a flannel shirt, that wasn’t fanny fancy clothes, you were fishing the outer banks in November in blue jeans and a flannel shirt, freezing your tail off and just hauling in as many bluefish as you could. But it was those days, it’s funny, when we moved to Savannah, I got exposed to duck hunting and for us, that was all wood duck hunting, wood duck hunting, the swamps of the Savannah River. But as a know, I was exposed to the history of duck hunting, more so than duck hunting. But it was always a part of my life. And when we would drive to the outer banks to go fishing, to literally bring food back to the farm, we would drive along Maryland and we would spend time in some of those old carving communities and I remember spending time in Chincoteague and getting to meet the daisies. And of course, we’re going down there to the kertok sound on the outer banks and spent a lot of time around those old legendary camps. And back at the farm, we’d get up to the St. Lawrence River and I remember as a little kid walking through some of those old legendary duck camps of the St. Lawrence. And of course, up there, there’s sea ducks as well as all the species, all these old dusty mounts hanging on the walls of the old camps. So I was always fascinated with it. One of the decisions I made early on the book was that all the proceeds from the book are getting donated to conservation. And so this past year, we’re lucky I was able to make a donation to Bonefish and Tarpon Trust protecting the Everglades and then also made a donation to Dallas Safari Club, you and I met in Dallas and I donated to their first response group because I got to see firsthand how effective that is. Philip Smyth got killed by an elephant a couple of years ago in the Save Valley in Zimbabwe and I watched Dallas Safari Club, within days, pull together and help his family. So I’ve been able to make those donations. But I also donate books to the gift shops and some of these sporting museums. And one of them that I do, I do Jim Shockey’s Museum up there, Hand to Man Museum up in Vancouver. And I also do the Core Banks Decoy Museum on Harker’s Island in the outer banks of North Carolina, out at the Cape Lookout and man at the end of the road is Harker’s island. If you’re going east through North Carolina, the end of the road is Harker’s Island. And at the end of the road on Harker’s island is this incredible decoy museum of the most amazing history of duck hunting I’ve ever seen in my life. That history of duck hunting is always important to me and a lot of that I just got exposed to, candidly, through fishing trips to the outer banks or up to the St. Lawrence River.

Ramsey Russell: What about snakes? We’ve gone from the mountains to the Everglades to the jungles to dancing mules and yet you’ve got a chapter of snakes. What’s up with snakes?

Australian Adventure: Recounting Experiences with Deadly Snakes in the Australian Outback.

And for me, probably my closest experience with a really nasty snake was in Australia.

Ridr Knowlton: Sitting around, growing up, hunting all those deer camps around Georgia, obviously, you’re there to hunt deer, but especially when I was younger, I was always fascinated with the other things the guys would talk about when they would come back in. Did somebody see a coyote? Did somebody see a bobcat? Or of course, in South Georgia, who saw a rattlesnake? And those were always the stories that fascinated me. And I used to read the old Peter Capstick books about Africa and Death in The Tall Grass and Death in The Dark Continent and he would write a chapter about snake stories. So, I borrowed that from his books, the concept of having a whole chapter just on snake stories and it’s funny. Snakes are one of those funny things, I kind of compare them to sharks where you might not see them, but they’re kind of there in the back of your mind and you always kind of think about them. But of course, the craziest stories are about the mambas over in Africa. And for me, probably my closest experience with a really nasty snake was in Australia. I went to school over there and did a semester up there in the rainforest. And one day we’re out in the Atherton Tablelands, which is not quite the outback, but it’s getting close and we’re coming back late at night in his van and this big old snake’s crossing the road ahead of us. And I was thinking, man, my buddy and I at that time would go out and we would try to get some of the python species in the rainforest and I figured, oh, this is a giant snake all the way across a single lane, one track road, meaning the snake’s 9ft, 10ft long and we jump out. And luckily, Ramsay, I had a mag light flashlight with me, this is about at midnight and as we got up to it, I flashed that light, literally, I told my buddy to go for the tail and I was going to go for the head and we’re going to try to get what we thought was a python, which is stupid because as I think back on it, the pythons are further east, that wasn’t even a good area for that. And I went to grab the head and luckily flash that light across the back of that snake and it was a light brown, turned out to be an eastern king brown, which is one of the deadliest snakes in the world.

Ramsey Russell: One of the most dangerous snakes on earth. Australia’s got plenty of very deadly snakes.

Ridr Knowlton: A lot of deadly snakes there. And who the heck was I thinking I had any business grabbing a snake in the dark in Australia? What a dumb move. Thank God I didn’t do it and thank God I saw the color of that snake before I went for the head in the grass. But yeah, I’ve always been fascinated with them. And Bill Fuchs spent so much time in South America that of course for him, his stories are all about the anacondas, there’s a whole chapter in there about all those krait, mamas and anacondas and all sorts of crazy things that you hear about at these hunting camps.

Ramsey Russell: We were down in the Amazon recently fishing and I can remember seeing the orchids and a lot of different plants way off the ground up at the top of the jungle, Macaws flying over, had no idea anybody hunted them. A lot of caiman, just an incredible biologically diverse area as a tourist. But we knew there were big snakes and Duncan and I got to talking one day about wanting to catch one. Like if we see one, he’s handable let’s grab him. And we had that conversation and the host on the boat came up to me and he said, Mr. Russell, I’ve just got to admit, I don’t like drunks on my boat, you go get just slobbering drunk, you could fall in or drown or God knows what could happen. He said, but it makes me very uncomfortable to hear you talk about catching snakes. I said, well, we ain’t going to catch a big one, just if we can find a little one. And he thought for a minute and he said, okay, knowing your interest in doing this kind of stuff, please, if a red or blue frog falls under your boat, please do not touch him, he’s highly poisonous.

Ridr Knowlton: Exactly.

Ramsey Russell: And he gave us a warning. And so I didn’t see a blue or red frog, but I knew not to touch him. He said, if you touched that frog, that toxin, they use it for poison darts, that toxin would get into your bloodstream and you’d be dead within an hour. That’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s a dangerous world out there.

Ridr Knowlton: It’s a dangerous world. And what’s funny is when you get into those countries where the big game gets smaller, a lot of the smaller creepy crawlers get more dangerous, it’s a trade off. Either got bears up north or you got poisonous frogs down in the jungle. But I remember Bill telling me about the biggest snake he ever saw and he never saw the animal, but he saw the tracks. It was so big, he thought it was a crocodile slide going into the Amazon and it was 16.5 inches across, in other words, the width of the body was 16.5 across and he thought it was a crocodile. And his native guide, who he called popcorn, all those years I’m hunting together and fishing together in the Amazon and he said, hey, popcorn, this is a crocodile and popcorn goes, no, Billy, no feet, there were no footprints. In other words, that was a snake track. And it’s just crazy thinking about what’s out there. What’s really cool, let me tell you a great adventure you can do today, man, is they’re realizing now how terrible the python situation is in the Everglades and if you want to go get a big snake, folks can go do that now, legitimately in the Everglades and they’ll go out and hunt them and trap them and catch them and you can chase all the big snakes you want right now out of Homestead, Florida.

Ramsey Russell: That’s crazy, isn’t it?

Ridr Knowlton: It’s crazy.

Ramsey Russell: I can’t remember, somebody told me recently, the relative biomass of the Everglades that’s represented in pythons, it’s 50% or more of the total biomass expressed is pythons, not indigenous wildlife. That is nuts.

Ridr Knowlton: Well, unfortunately, it’s gone past the point of recovery, you are never going to change that, those animals are there. All you can do is your best to do your part and try to help with the population the best you can. The folks that are really good at it are going out and trying to find nest. Every living python in the Everglades is just wiping out endless native animals. But unfortunately, I think that’s probably a permanent change down there.

Ramsey Russell: One of the coolest little things I’ve ever seen in social media and that’s where it was posted, was a big python had eaten a sizable alligator, 7ft or 8ft long and the alligator tore his way out of the snake and then ate the snake. That’s pretty crazy.

Ridr Knowlton: It’s crazy. It is unbelievable. The Everglades is an amazing place, it’s a great big river. And folks, I think, are realizing now, it’s funny, they’re realizing how important the health of the Everglades is to everything that’s down there and around it. You know what I mean? You know this, all of it works off each other. And so I think they’re realizing that a healthy Everglades means a healthy south Florida. But the pythons, man, they ain’t going away, they’re going to be getting bigger and bigger and there’s nothing, I can’t imagine there’s anything we can really do to change that. That’s just probably part of life down there.

Ramsey Russell: Now, what advice do you have? Because travel, whether you go into Oklahoma or the Amazon, travel entails time and money and those are very scarce resources. But what advice do you have for people that would want to start traveling and experience a lot of stuff beyond their backyard? What advice do you have? How can regular folks make this lifestyle possible?

Ridr Knowlton: I guess if I really had to think about a couple of practical things. What are a couple of practical things you could do? The first thing I would say and I don’t mean to sound salesy and I know you do this and I’m not doing it just because we’re buddies and I’m on your podcast, but really and truly, rather than just taking a risk, you read an ad in a magazine and hey, discounted hunt –

Ramsey Russell: On the internet, anybody can be anything.

Ridr Knowlton: On the internet discounted hunt. And I just couldn’t advise people further away from that and say, listen, man, you get what you pay for. And yeah, you may save a few hundred dollars, but the downside of that is immeasurable. I would say my first recommendation would be go to a good outfitting consultant. And whether it’s you with getducks or Craig Boddington endorsing certain outfitters, these are folks that know what the heck they’re doing, they’ve identified those guides and outfitters that are going to put you in the best opportunities, best wildlife, safest situations, best logistics. And so that would be my first thing is rather than taking a risk on a low discounted hunt, you see in an ad somewhere, call an outfitting consultant and get advice on, hey, I want to go do this, who should I go hunt with? That’d be the first thing. And then once you’re out doing it and you’re getting involved in it, two little tricks that I have, really one trick that I do that has helped me a lot over the years is I do a lot of research on where I’m going and I learn about trophy fees. And what I mean by that is, if you’ve invested the money to go duck hunting in South Africa, well, heck, man, you’re there, what else can you do while you’re there? Or in my case, if I’m up sheep hunting up in Northern Alaska, well, I remember mountain goat hunting up in northern BC, happened to get a goat pretty early and I was able to do that goat on a trophy fee basis. In other words, I paid for the sheep hunt, I paid for the flight and I took advantage for $2,500, you can go try to get a mountain goat. And, well, with that, you talk about time and money, well, what’s a mountain goat hunt going to cost you? A mountain goat hunt is going to cost you a lot of money and it’s going to cost you 10 days of your life and $10,000, both of which I couldn’t do, but I sure the heck could spend $2,500 while I was up there doing something else and then have the save time and the money. So I spent a lot of time on studying trophy fees of other animals. If you’ve already spent the money, man, get a twofer, go down and do something else while you’re there. And over the years, that saved me a lot of time and a lot of money.

Ramsey Russell: To which I would add, all of that, to which I would add, life is all about priorities. Prioritize. I meet people throughout the last 20 years that have always dreamed of going to fill in the blank, Argentina, dreamed of going to Africa and we can dream, we all dream. But I meet a lot of people that I know because I have these conversations, they’ve always been dreaming a whole life, they’ve dreamed of going into fill in the blank. And a lot of them, I feel like on their deathbed, are still going to be dreaming. It takes prioritizing your life and saying, okay, I’m going to commit myself to going to Oklahoma or Azerbaijan or Africa. I’m going to commit myself to this and I’m going to do my research, like, you just went into great detail. This is how much I’m going to spend and I’m going to start saving money. I mean, we’ve all got mortgages and car payments and saving for kids, college and everything else with life, but you just got to prioritize it and don’t be in a hurry. I tell people, I’ve had people over the years call and I’m like, look, don’t go on this hunt, if this is the hunt you want, save your money. For a lot of us, it’s a once in a lifetime event, save your money and go for it. And also, I would say this, I do not keep a journal, I wish I had started. But with that iPhone, I have got a camera and I’ve got a video and I take a lot of pictures, as everybody sees with my iPhone. But I also take notes and I don’t write stories in my notes, I just bullet points. And as I go through, I might go back and look at Argentina 2018. And as I read those notes and it’s just bullet points, I’m reminded of things that I had forgotten. And all I need is just a note that would say dancing mules and I remember that story about dancing mule, about a man falling. You know what I’m saying, I remember and it’s important to remember. But anyway, Ridr and I did not know until you just told me that all of your proceeds of your book sales are going to conservation. I think that’s amazing.

Ridr Knowlton: Yeah.

Ramsey Russell: How can people connect with you and how can they get a hold of your book? The Guides, A Collection of Untamed Stories.

Ridr Knowlton: The easiest way is on Amazon. If you go to Amazon and type in the guides, a collection of untamed stories that’ll take you right to the book. And that’s the easiest way to get it. I’m really lucky that Sporting Classics, it’s an honor to be among their books that they sell. So Sporting Classics also sells the book. But whether you go to Sporting Classics or Amazon, that’s the easiest way to do it. I’m like you, I don’t do a whole lot with computers, I’m a little bit more of a caveman. But I do love Instagram and the Instagram is Ridr. Ridr_the_guides. That’s the simplest way to do it. I love the connection, not only Ramsey and you’ll appreciate this, the book’s been really well received, I’ve been so fortunate. But it’s not just been well received by sportsmen and sports women, it’s been well received by folks who aren’t necessarily hunters, who don’t necessarily hunt fish. They just like a good story. And that’s been a really special part of the book. And seeing it relate to a lot of folks, whether you’re out hunting or fishing or not, you just, like, a good story. And I think my favorite review of all, man, is I had an old farmer from South Dakota tell me that it was the first book he’d ever read cover to cover. And I said, man, if that ain’t the best review of all time, I don’t know what is. So I think that’s been my favorite book review of all.

Ramsey Russell: Ridr, I appreciate you coming on and telling us some stories, I know you’re a busy guy.

Ridr Knowlton: Ramsay, it’s a pleasure. Yeah, well, listen, man, it’s a pleasure and more importantly, it’s an honor. I really enjoyed doing it and I’m honored to have done it. So thank you so much.

Ramsey Russell: Folks, thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere, we’ll see you next time.

[End of Audio]

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It really is Duck Season Somewhere for 365 days. Ramsey Russell’s Duck Season Somewhere podcast is available anywhere you listen to podcasts. Please subscribe, rate and review Duck Season Somewhere podcast. Share your favorite episodes with friends. Business inquiries or comments contact Ramsey Russell at ramsey@getducks.com. And be sure to check out our new GetDucks Shop.  Connect with Ramsey Russell as he chases waterfowl hunting experiences worldwide year-round: Insta @ramseyrussellgetducks, YouTube @DuckSeasonSomewherePodcast,  Facebook @GetDucks