Off the Record Podcast – Eps 12 – Not Talking Elk with Randy Newberg

Michelle & Scott welcome public land hunter & TV show host Randy Newberg, Hunter to Off the Record Podcast. Randy is probably the best elk hunter on the planet, and self-proclaimed fourth best bull-shitter in his family. But we don’t talk elk hunting with Randy at all. If you are from Minnesota, you’ll especially appreciate this podcast.

Randy shares what happens when there’s a lot of windshield time with his crew between one hunt to another – the genius idea of “Shop Stories” now on his YouTube channel. You’ll learn why he has a bland Scandinavian palate, why muskrat trapping is his favorite, which prompts Michelle to show her homemade coyote fur hat – and Randy confirms Michelle is, in fact, a wine snob.

Michelle was drinking 2018 Cab Sav from Chateau Montelena 

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Off The Record Podcast – Episode 8 – Transcript

Randy Newberg: I always tell people, why you spend time listening to what I have to say or watching what I do is a complete mystery.


Intro: Good day and welcome to Off the Record. You’ll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up, so let’s listen in to The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath, and outdoor industry insider, Michelle, as they talk wild game, wine, and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go off the record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Michelle Scheuermann: Alright, welcome everyone to Off the Record Podcast… Podcast. [laughter] I’m gonna start that again. Welcome everyone to Off the Record…

Scott Leysath: Wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait. I think that’s perfect, have you been drinking?

Michelle: Yes, I have been drinking. [laughter]

Scott: ‘Cause I think you just let on a little bit.

Michelle: Oh my, anyway, we’re here with Scott Leysath, and our very special guest today. A lover of cream of mushroom soup and chili and muskrat, Randy Newberg. Welcome Randy to the show.

Randy: Well, thanks for having me. I’m still trying to figure out why you would have somebody who has a bland Scandinavian palate from Northern Minnesota and can’t drink alcohol.

Michelle: Because I need someone on my side, okay? [laughter]

Randy: Are we supposed to gang up on Scott on this one?

Michelle: Yes. [laughter]

Scott: Go ahead, bring it on, yup, I’ve given Michelle enough grief about her limited palate, and I travel with her often enough to know that she’s kind of a picky eater too, but…

Michelle: No, we determined I’m not a picker eater.

Scott: Yeah, sure.

Michelle: I think it’s episode six or seven. Right? [laughter]

Scott: Uh-huh.

Randy: I’m a super picky eater.

Michelle: Yeah. Do you even listen to our podcast, Scott? Just do you listen to it?

Scott: Well, I’m… Why would I wanna listen to it, I’m here, I get to hear it in real time.

Michelle: Randy, do you listen to your podcast?

Randy: No.


Scott: Right. See.

Randy: I record it and I send it to the editor and…

Michelle: You don’t listen?

Randy: Oh, I don’t have…I don’t. I’m so busy being on all these podcasts, I don’t have time to listen to my own…

Scott: Do you watch your own TV… Do you watch your TV show?

Randy: No. Scott…

Michelle: Oh, my God.

Randy: How many podcasts do you get asked to be on in a week, Scott?

Scott: I’m on a couple a week, and Michelle has informed me that I need to find some new stuff to talk about because I keep telling the same old stories, so I’m just gonna start making stuff up.

Michelle: Yeah.

Randy: Oh, I’m good at that, I’m really good at bullshitting, I come from a family of people who can BS. I don’t have any skills really, I’m below average at everything, but if I’m only the fourth best bullshitter in my family.


Scott: Wow.

Randy: I have three uncles and one aunt who can make me look like a downstream punk when it comes to spinning a line of BS. So I think that’s the only reason anyone asked me to be on their podcast, is they wanna know what is he gonna make up today.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: I like it.

Scott: So that’s our goal, is to make some shit up, I think. What do you think?


Michelle: Yeah. Every day. Every day.

Randy: Hey, I just heard Scott swear, all your episodes I listened to, Michelle did the swearing and Scott was reminding her not to swear.


Scott: That’s the TV persona that you try not to…

Michelle: Scott’s like, “I have this person I need to be.”


Scott: Yeah. And you know how politically correct I am too, so…

Michelle: True. But Randy, I think you’re showing a different side of you with these shop stories that you’re doing on YouTube, that you said your team really encourage you to do, and I’m really enjoying them. They’re hilarious as hell.

Randy: Well, we go driving down the road, we just got back from Nevada, next week, we go to Idaho, and so we got a lot of windshield time, and these guys are young. They’re in their 20s and early 30s, and here’s the old gray-haired guy, 55, tell every place we drive by, every topic that comes up, “I’ve got a half hour story to tell.”


Randy: And they’re like, “We need to record that some day.” I’m like, “No one would listen to that, no, don’t.” So they have this whole list of Randy stories that…

Michelle: Oh, seriously?

Randy: Oh yeah, and so the most recent one was I went to New Mexico and I almost died of the dysentery and it cost me an entire week of elk hunting in one of the premium archery elk units in New Mexico. It took me… I’ve never drawn at that tag since or before, and I ate this really potent New Mexico authentic chili and my Scandinavian stomach was not built for that.

Michelle: And it hasn’t been the same since?

Randy: No, uh-huh.


Randy: I now stick to white bread, mashed potatoes and gravy.

Michelle: That’s nice to…

[overlapping conversation]

Scott: Which is what you grew up on anyway, right?

Randy: Well, yeah, either that or tater tot hot dish.

Michelle: Right.


Scott: I was introduced to that in Brainerd, I found out all about the hot dish.

Randy: Oh, yeah. So Brainerd is… So you gotta be careful. My dad said, anyone south of Highway 2, Brainerd is just south of Highway 2, those were the city slickers. [laughter] Anyone north of Highway 2, those were serious backwoodsmen, and my dad hated Garrison Keillor from the… This is before Garrison had all of his other problems. And the reason my dad hated Garrison Keillor is Lake Wobegon, he’d make fun of these rural Minnesotans. And in… To my little town of Big Falls, it was absolutely a 100% bullseye every time. And my dad would get so pissed and he would always say, “If I ever saw that Keillor asshole, I’d run him over,” and I think he would have. [laughter] And so if you ever listen to Garrison Keillor stuff and these little quirks he talks about the Northern Minnesota people, I’m here to attest, they’re absolutely true.

Scott: Well, now I’m gonna be in Saginaw, Minnesota next week on a bear hunt, bear, porcupine and honkers, there’s an early conservation hunt there. Tell me about Saginaw, where am I headed? I haven’t been there.

Randy: Well, you’re probably… Are you gonna fly into Duluth?

Scott: I’m flying into Minneapolis, so I can go see my friend Michelle on the way out.

Randy: Oh, well, there you go.

Michelle: Priorities.

Randy: Well, Saginaw, I’m trying to remember, I think it’s like, maybe a thousand people, something like that. The benefit of Saginaw is, in my dad’s world, it’s just slightly north of Highway 2. So you’re gonna be hanging out with real folk, not some of the city slicker types.

Scott: Right, those are my people.

Randy: But, yeah. So, to get to Saginaw, most people would fly into Duluth, but you’re probably gonna fly into Minneapolis, take I-35. And when you get to Cloquet, you take Highway 33, straight north, like you were taking the cut across the International Falls, and it’s not too far from there. Yeah, you’re getting there, right when the mosquito crap is still vibrant.


Scott: I just got the full mosquito net suit thing that I was advised to get. Does that make sense?

Michelle: Oh, seriously?

Scott: Yeah, yeah.

Randy: Yeah, I’d fully suggest that.

Michelle: Oh, my God.

Scott: And the trail cam just showed a couple of wolves on the bait pile. Do I…

Randy: Yeah.

Scott: I’m not a bear hunter. So, do wolves discourage bears?

Randy: It’s not been my experience that there’s really a big problem. My dad used to… So here we go. I’m the storyteller. My dad used to go out, and set out these bear bait piles, up in further north than where you’re going up in Koochiching County. So as a teenager, I held more piles, and barrels of rotten stinky suckers, and doughnuts, and jelly, and bear bait, about this time of the year, getting it, because bear season usually opens September 1st, and you get the bears coming in there, that I never bear hunted again until five years after my dad passed away.

Michelle: Oh, wow.

Randy: But I ate more bear meat, because the average bear hunter would come up from Minneapolis, Chicago, some… One of the cities.

Michelle: City slickers?

Randy: Yeah, city slickers, as my dad called them. And my dad had helped them get their bear, and usually they’d take the hide and the head, and they’d be looking at that bear carcass, like, “I don’t know if I wanna fly home with that thing.” Well, my dad, he was one of the original guys who would pick up roadkill and stuff like that, he’s not gonna let a bear carcass go to waste. So we ate more bear meat than we did whitetail meat.

Michelle: Really?

Randy: Yeah. I grew so sick of bear meat, I probably have trichinosis and don’t even know it.

Michelle: Oh, my God.


Scott: Alright. And earlier we were talking about… You’d like to do a little trapping, and you had a muskrat experience and you said, the muskrat was the best thing you’ve ever eaten. Right?

Randy: [chuckle] I followed your recipe, Scott, and as good as you made it look on TV, either you do a really good job of making it look better on TV than it is, or I just really failed and I need remedial training in cooking muskrats.

Scott: Now, muskrat is… My… If I had to describe it, I would say, dark, muddy, it tastes muddy, it tastes where like… Where you’re getting the muskrat, right?

Randy: [chuckle] Yes, it did, it does.

Scott: And muddy is not usually good.

Randy: No. Oh, and someone told me that, “Oh, they taste like the swamp,” I’m like, “That can’t be.” Well, guess what? I’m right there with you.

Scott: Oh, yeah. They are swampy.

Randy: Yeah. One winter here in Montana, I took a couple of weeks away from the CPA firm, and I caught 300 of them.

Michelle: What!

Randy: And I’m like… Yeah, yeah. The problem with catching 300 muskrats is, then you got 300 muskrats, you gotta skin and stretch, and figure out what to do with them.

Michelle: Yeah, what do you do with them, right?

Randy: Oh, I send them off to the fur auction. But… And then, there’s some folks here in town who have these movie-star grizzly bears that are trained to act like… Well, you can bring them beaver, roadkill, muskrats, whatever, those grizzly bears just start crushing them down.

Michelle: Oh, really?

Randy: Yeah, so that. I think that’s a better use of muskrats, feed them to grizzly bears or your neighbor’s dog or something.

Scott: [chuckle] And the guy that we muskrat hunted with in Maryland, he said… I think at the time they were like $4 or $5 a pelt. Is that sound about right?

Randy: Yeah, whether if you got 300 of them, the price spiked. And the price of muskrats is heavily determined by Korea, South Korea.

Scott: Oh, really?

Randy: That’s where the majority of muskrat hides there, and Russia, and China, to some degree. But it was a great year, I averaged over $11 a piece.

Scott: Wow.

Michelle: Whoa.

Randy: And… Yeah. I didn’t tell my wife where I hid my fur jacket that year.


Randy: And then, she eventually found it.

Michelle: And what did you do with the hide? Is it fashion? Is it…

Randy: Oh yeah. Yeah, I’ve got… You’re not… Michelle, you’re my social media manager.

Michelle: I am.

Randy: You’ve not seen me wearing my muskrat hat, and my muskrat mittens, and my muskrat duck hunting mug?

Michelle: Yeah. But with South Korea, does it get… Like do they… I suppose they have the weather that we do, don’t they?

Randy: Yeah, yeah. And they will trim it, they’ll shear it, and then they’ll dye it, all different colors, and… Yeah.

Michelle: Did I show you my coyote hat?

Randy: No.

Michelle: Well, hang on.

Randy: Man, you’re gonna mix…

Scott: I haven’t seen it either.

Randy: So Scott, you’re gonna be the only person here without a fur garment, what you got going for a fur garment?


Randy: You must do a lot of duck hunting in the Central Valley area.

Scott: We do, the… I’m outside of Sacramento. So, our duck season is over 100 days, and we can shoot seven ducks a day, and that always surprises people as they try… Then it’s… Yeah, that’s a nice hat. So, yeah, I don’t have a coyote hat.

Randy: I can’t see it, Michelle. Where did you get that?

Michelle: Well, this is hand-made. It was at a Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, the BOW, BOW workshops.

Randy: Yeah.

Michelle: And, well, part of the workshop, they had a pelt guy, fur guy come in, and you could make your own hat.

Randy: Cool.

Michelle: And so I got the tail.

Randy: Wow.

Michelle: And it’s very warm, it’s very nice, it’s just lovely.

Scott: Well, you’re gonna have to post that somewhere, so that people that can’t see it, know what a freaking coyote hat looks like.


Michelle: Yeah. That was good, yeah.

Randy: See, I’m gonna… I will bring up topics that’s gonna ruin your podcast in the matter of 30 minutes. I’ll have this podcast crashed and burned with all the BS that I bring up.

Scott: Well, make up whatever story seems appropriate at the time, it’s what I was saying.

Randy: Yeah. So I gotta ask you, Scott, and Michelle, where’s the connection between… Where does wine come into this discussion of your podcast? I saw it, it said, “Off The Record,” so I thought this was gonna be like some gossip podcast.

Michelle: We are gossiping.

Randy: And it sounds like by the end of the podcast, Michelle has had way too much to drink, and you guys are just pitching out a bunch of wine. I told Michelle when I’d listened, I said, “I didn’t know you were such a wino.” Where does the wine part come into this discussion?

Michelle: I think because Scott introduced me to a different world of wine than what I was used to in the Midwest. In the Midwest, we tend to drink White Zinfandel and very sweet wines and blackberry wine, rhubarb wine, dandelion wine that your neighbor made, you think that shit’s good. And then you go out to California, to Napa Valley, and you realize, “Oh, [chuckle] it’s a whole another world.” So… Because it’s a business expense, I tend to go visit Scott in Northern California.


Randy: Oh, okay.

Scott: And she’s now a wine snob.

Michelle: Yeah.

Randy: Yeah, I noticed that.

Scott: Which is just… And I’m not a wine snob.

Randy: I’d listened to the one podcast, I think, Scott, you have some friends who own a winery and Michelle was complaining that it was priced at under $25, so it couldn’t be any good.

Scott: Right, right, that’s her contention, “There’s no good wines under $25,” and I’m always looking for that really good $10 bottle of wine.


Scott: And they’re out there.

Randy: I don’t drink wine, so I couldn’t tell you. My wife, she’s got a whole… I don’t know what you call that pantry-looking place over here to my left, but there’s more wine in there. If ever you pass through Bozeman, Michelle, I could… They’re… And none of them, I can assure you, none of them are under $25.

Michelle: Oh, I like her then. I like her…

Randy: I could fill you up with all the wine you wanted to take back to the Midwest, and none of it has a twist off top either. She’s got one of these fancy, motorized… It breaks that foil…

Michelle: Sure, wow.

Randy: And then it pulls the cork out and she’s got these resealing vacuum things.

Michelle: I don’t even have that. She’s fancier than I am.

Randy: Yeah. Well, that’s why she’s…

Scott: And Randy, you live in Bozeman?

Randy: Yeah.

Scott: Is Gallatin Gateway Inn still there?

Randy: Mm-hmm. Yup, just west of town.

Scott: I did a dinner for them 10 or 12 years ago, I did a guest chef thing there, very cool place, a lot of history, I don’t know. It seemed like a pretty cool joint and then fished, is it at the Missouri that I went to fish there?

Randy: It could have. Yeah, just north of there is where the Missouri is formed by the Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison rivers. Yeah, the Gallatin Gateway Inn is right just a mile from the banks of the Gallatin River, so, yeah. I don’t think they have any wine there under $25 a bottle either.


Randy: So, I’m surprised Michelle wasn’t aware of that facility.

Michelle: No. Yeah. I have to visit that. So, Randy, when are you doing your garage sale?

Randy: What?

Michelle: So when are you doing your garage sale? ‘Cause that might come out for your garage sale.

Randy: My Come And Get It event?

Michelle: Yeah.

Randy: Yeah. If Scott’s like me, when you do this video TV stuff, people send you all kinds of stuff, “Hey, will you try this?”, “Will you use that?” Well, I don’t have time to try it all and figure it all out, so I have a 30 by 50 shop over here next to the house, and the west, probably one-third of it is stacked to the ceiling with stuff. I open the box, I look at it, it’s like, “Put that away.”

Scott: Right, right.

Randy: So every other year, I have a Come And Get It Out Of My Hair event, where I just put a red dot or a green dot or whatever on it, and if it’s a green dot, 20 bucks to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a red dot, okay, $10 to Ducks Unlimited. And then people are just hauling that stuff away, then I don’t have to take it to the dump. And I now have some space recovered in my shop and… Yeah, probably next April or May, Michelle.

Michelle: Well, we’ll have to come out.

Randy: Okay, bring Wayne.

Michelle: Yes, you have… [chuckle] I don’t think Scott knows this, but you have created a very much a super fan of my husband, even though you and I have been working together for about nine years, [chuckle] for some reason this year, and it might have been because there was no sports and he’s a…

Randy: No golf.

Michelle: Super baseball fan, I’m wearing my baseball shirt, Ducks on the Pond by Baseballism.

Randy: I wondered what that was.

Michelle: Yeah, that’s Ducks on the Pond.

Randy: Okay.

Michelle: So he bought your rifle from Sportsman’s Warehouse, your signature rifle.

Randy: Wow.

Michelle: Got the scope on there, already done up, yeah, it’s very nice. He’ll watch your Elk Talk lives every Wednesday night.


Michelle: What should we do? That’s what we do. He even reminds me, Randy, an hour beforehand to make sure that I send you the questions.

Randy: Alright. Well, tell him to send me a bill. You’re the one who sends me the invoice, it sounds like he ought to be sending me the invoice.

Michelle: Yep, yep, so we’ll have to come out…

Scott: So is Wayne a Sporting Chef watcher too? Or…


Scott: I mean, not that I’m sensitive or anything, or my ego’s not involved, but just curious.

Michelle: Saturdays at 1:30, I think it is, or no, Saturdays at 2 o’clock.

Scott: For Dead Meat.

Michelle: No, Dead Meat, yes, we do watch you on Dead Meat on Saturdays. Yup.

Randy: How many shows you got going on, Scott?

Scott: Well, we just got a third that we’re doing, that’ll be on Outdoor, it’s about the commercial fishing industry in San Diego that will air in Q1. We got that green lit in about six weeks, which I think is a record.

Randy: Wow.

Scott: From pitch to contract, and we’re doing it for them, which as you know, is better than doing it the other way.


Scott: And Dead Meat’s the same way too. So, we’re very fortunate that way, that we have two original programs, we can do one for sports and then one for outdoor, and then we’ve got Sporting Chef too, so… I don’t know where everything’s going here, you talk to sponsors and they seem to care more about influencers and social media metrics than actually how many people are actually watching your show, which is… My goal has always been to create an entertaining and engaging TV show, it seems to be more about how many social media people you have. That’s the world changes. I understand. So…

Michelle: Randy, you have an opinion on influencers, don’t you, Randy? [chuckle]

Randy: Yeah, we will save that for a different day though.


Scott: I think today is a good day for that. I’ll start… I think that most of the people who claim to be influencers are anything but… And I think people are catching on to the fact that they’re paid to sell product. And I feel like you and I are on the same page. We’re gonna talk about products that we actually like and that we actually use. And it’s not a matter… When your sponsors change every quarter that’s a sign that you’re an influencer and not… That’s just me. That’s just one man’s opinion.

Randy: Yeah. No, I see an influencer is a person who’s influenced by the size of the check, if you want an influencer… And it shouldn’t be influencer, because it kind of sounds like her. It should be an influence ’em, if you wanna influence ’em, show ’em a bigger check, that will influence them. And I just… Okay Michelle, you’ve kind of open up the can of worms here, but…

Michelle: Yeah I can get more wine, go on.

Randy: Okay. I’m sure you get the same thing, Scott, where people come to you who at one time maybe were too busy for you or didn’t think your idea had much good value, and so they kind of patronize you, pat you on the back and say, “Good luck with that.” And here you and I are, we’ve been at this for a long time. Now they’re thinking, “Maybe these guys had it figured out… Maybe they are on to something,” and then they come to you and they send their ad agency to you with a big check. “Oh, well, I know this little boot company that you’ve been using forever, we got way bigger budgets than they do.” Well, you know what? Give them, as my grandma would say, “You’ve mistaken me for someone who gives a shit about the size of your checkbook.”

Scott: Right.

Randy: And so I just tell the ad agency, “You know what? I’m not interested in… ” Yeah, I could probably make more money in the short term. But I’m not gonna insult my audience, I view my audience as a relationship, they’re giving me the benefit of their time, the last thing I wanna do is insult them by doing what you said, “Oh, this week, but you know, the best boot or the best pack or the best whatever is this one,” don’t just disregard what I said last time, that guy didn’t have enough money.

Michelle: That’s the past.

Randy: So, yeah it’s…

Scott: And that’s kind of what it comes down to, and I’m hoping, I’m hoping that changes, but with our shows, we really try and focus on content rather than product, and I tell the sponsors that we do have, and we only have a handful of them, and I say, “We’re not going to jump up and down and tell everybody how great your product is, we’re gonna use it in a natural way, and hopefully people will catch on, but I want them to trust me. I don’t wanna betray their trust when they’re watching the TV show.” It’s not a big deal, it’s the way it should be, that seemed like that should be normal, but I don’t know what normal is anymore, there’s no normal this year anyway, right?

Randy: No, not at all. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, I don’t think I am. That my audience is very perceptive, I don’t need to stand there and say, “You know, if I hadn’t used X, Y, Z toilet paper today, I wouldn’t have killed that big buck,” my audience doesn’t wanna be insulted by that, they’ll see what I’m using. And if it works, they’ll pay attention to it, if I screw up and I can’t perform what I need to do, they’ll look at that and say, “Well, if he had a better, you know… Whatever.” So, I don’t know, it’s… Welcome to the world of media. Right?

Michelle: Right.

Scott: Yeah. And like you said, you and I have been doing this for a while, I started on HGTV in 1998 or 9, I think, so…

Randy: Oh man you got me by a long way.

Scott: So I’m gung-ho. I go way back.

Randy: Yeah, I’m a rookie, man.


Scott: I started on Sportsman Channel when they started in… Whenever year that was.

Michelle: 2003.

Scott: ’04. Yeah, I think I started on ’04.

Randy: Wow.

Scott: So things have changed.

Michelle: Yeah, Outdoor TV has changed, but a… But, Randy you’re doing well with Amazon Prime and YouTube and your podcast.

Randy: Yeah it’s a…

Michelle: Who do you attribute your success to?

Randy: I wish I knew. I always tell people, “Why you spend time listening to what I have to say. Or watching what I do is a complete mystery.” [chuckle] I don’t know. We have a bunch of things on a whiteboard at work of what the tone and style of what we’re gonna do, be yourself, be humble, don’t pretend, be relatable, stuff like that. And so if people knew where I grew up, I grew up in a trailer house. They say, “The van down by the river.” Well, I grew up in the trailer house down by the river, so who am I to think that I’m anything real special? I mean, the only reason I didn’t get to take over my Dad’s logging business is I was the worst logger in the family, [laughter] and my brother ended up with it, he lives in Deer River, Minnesota, just north of Saginaw where you were going. And I mean… It’s just hard for me to take myself very seriously. Everything…

Scott: You were the worst logger and the fourth-best bullshitter in your family too.

Randy: Right, I know.

Scott: What you’re gonna do? Might as well have a TV show.

Randy: There you go, Scott, and if one podcast is good you may as well have two of them. [chuckle] It took me till I was about age 50 before I realized that, they say “Find what you’re good at and do it,” well, I only have a few things I’m good at. It just took me a long time to realize, “Okay I’m good at bullshit. And I guess that’s what I am gonna do.”

Scott: Sure, Sure.

Randy: So here we are. I’d say I am making a living at it, but that would be a lie. I have not taken a paycheck yet. And when I say it’s my job, my wife reminds me that a job usually comes with a paycheck.

Michelle: And benefits.

Randy: But I am getting there, someday I am gonna get there. I quit my CPA job on July 15th.

Michelle: You did?

Scott: Good for you.

Randy: Yeah, 33 years of being a CPA.

Michelle: Oh wow, congratulations.

Randy: Yeah, I go down to the CPA firm and I hand in my keys. I was the first… Me and another guy founded the firm, and since then new partners come and go. And I hand in my keys I said, “Well I think I have done all the tax returns I needed to do,” and they all looked at me like, “You kind of quit doing tax returns for the most part about three or four years ago, who you are trying to BS here.”

Michelle: I thought you did quit earlier than this. I am gonna be honest with you, I thought you did. [laughter]

Randy: No. So they said, “You’re not allowed to quit completely. We got this one client, this big trust, you gotta remain the trustee of that.” I am like “Alright, I’ll do that.” That was my previous attempt at doing something creative and adult-ish, kind of like a grown-up, was 33 years of disinheriting the Federal Treasury, and now I am completely back to adolescence again. I have no adult responsibilities in my life.

Scott: And how much time have you spent traveling this year? ‘Cause travel is a little annoying right now.

Randy: Yeah really annoying. Early in the year, I went to Arizona, I hunted Coues deer and javelina. And then I went to the Sheep Show in Reno, the Shot Show. And then I did a show in Portland in early February. And that was it. And that’s why I’ve gained 8 pounds this year, I just sit around and play on my computer, oh man, I am bored. And I must equate boredom and hunger to be in the same thing.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Yeah, my last shoot, we drove 2600 miles from… I flew to Houston and it’s a mask, and if you do get upgraded, you get a Ziploc bag with a bottle of water and a bag of Cheez-Its. [laughter] And I picked up a camera guy in Houston, and we drove to Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa, and back.

Randy: Holy cow.

Scott: A lot of driving, but flying is such a pain right now, and when you’re at a town of 326 in Nebraska and they don’t know that COVID even exists, it’s a little refreshing. [laughter] It’s kind of worth being there just to hang out with these people that aren’t affected by any of this mess.

Michelle: Right, it’s nice to go visit my parents. It’s nice to go visit them, I am not gonna lie, it’s just safe. It’s just cool.

Randy: Well, I did go to Nevada last week, I had an archery mule deer hunt in Nevada. We drove and trying to be the responsible person, me and my crew, we get tested for COVID before we go on any trips and it came back negative, I have been tested three times this year already.

Michelle: Oh my god.

Randy: So far everything’s negative, I’ll get tested again next week before I head to Idaho. And yeah traveling is just a pain right now.

Scott: It really is. What are you doing in Idaho?

Randy: Archery elk. If you grew up in Northern Minnesota, everything eventually becomes a grouse hunt, but a word to the wise, if you get north of Highway 2, Scott, if you see one don’t call it a ruffed grouse, it’s a partridge.

Scott: Okay, alright.

Randy: In fact, in Minnesota, when they publish the regulations it doesn’t say ruffed grouse hunting regulations, it says partridge seasons.

Scott: Otherwise, nobody’s gonna know what they are talking about. Right?

Randy: Exactly.

Michelle: I didn’t know that, I have to go look at this.

Randy: I said that I am going to Idaho archery elk, really it’s gonna be more of a grouse episode. I get so distracted ’cause in the mountains, we have blue grouse, which are even a little bit bigger than the ruffed grouse, and I go look for the young of the year because those are the tender, they are the dumber ones, and you just walk up to them and they are sitting on a stump. And everybody else is eating mountain grouse in camp that night. And I am over there wolfing down a fat little blue grouse.

Scott: And the bluegrouse season, is that open that early in Idaho?

Randy: Yeah it opened September 1st, I know in Montana and Idaho it opened September 1st. And there is the occasional ruffed grouse but not many.

Scott: Right.

Randy: Yeah, I usually go through elk hunting partners, archery elk hunting partners, they last about two or three years because the elk is bugling up on the hill, and they are charging up the hill, and I am over there walking through the brush, shooting these grouse.


Scott: Getting dinner.

Randy: Yeah, and they are like “There’s an elk bugling up there,” and I am like, “Yeah, we can still find him but when these grouse runoff, they are really hard to re-locate, they don’t bugle, they make noise. So you gotta be an opportunist and get them while you can.” And usually, after two or three years, I don’t get invited anymore.


Scott: But you’re still able to chase elk uphill and do all those fun things. You might stay in good shape.

Randy: I chase them a lot slower than I did before.

Scott: Yeah, me too.

Randy: Yeah.

Scott: I tell people I am gonna get there but it’ll be a while.

Randy: Yeah and then I discovered llamas, llamas are the… It’s kinda like the next gateway, or it’s the bridge from the old age of elk hunters to the next phase of elk hunting, so I think I’m gonna get another 8 to 10 years of elk hunting because these llamas are doing all the hard work for me.

Scott: Because of llamas. Cool.

Randy: And I don’t sleep real well on hard ground anymore, when you do 100 days a year in a tent, the hard ground gets real old, so with llamas, I can carry a bigger tent, I can carry a bigger air mattress, a softer sleeping bag. My young camera crew, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t need all that stuff.” Well, after about the third day, they’re waking up, holding their backs, humped over like Quasimodo or something. I get out of my tent, stretch out, “Let’s go get them boys,” and stuff. [laughter] With the age comes an understanding that comfort is worth a lot.

Scott: Very much so. Yeah, I get out of bed one limb at a time and just kinda… [laughter] Test the water and… Okay, that leg’s okay today? Yeah, I got it.

Randy: Do you have any dogs, Scott?

Scott: I have two English Setters.

Randy: And do they sleep in the bed?

Scott: They don’t sleep in the bed.

Michelle: They could. They could.

Scott: It’s not because of me, it’s because of my wife. But we’ve got dog beds everywhere, and they actually sleep in a kennel from a very early age, my wife trained them, she gives them duck jerky and every night… So at 9 o’clock at night, they come and get us and go, “Hey, I think it’s time for some duck jerky.” [laughter] And they’re brothers, they’re littermates, so they’re inseparable, so one of them humps the other, and then they get that over with, and then they go get their duck jerky and go to bed, but they come and get us and say, “Hey, it’s time to put us in the kennel now.” They have a big couch to sleep on in the kennel. And in Northern California, people complain about weather here because it’s three degrees different than what it was yesterday. But it’s really mild here and it’s no problem putting the dog outside in the wintertime either.

Randy: Yeah, well, I always had a rule, there will never be a dog in my bed, and then I started this traveling 100 days a year producing outdoor content, and my wife… This dog is 17, that’s strolling around the floor here. So when I started this 12 years ago, that dog is five, and after a long trip, I came home and that, I can tell the dog has been sleeping on my pillow, I’m like, “What’s up with this?” She’s like, “Well, she jumps up here some time.” Well, now, my wife gets half the bed, we got a king size bed. My wife gets half of it, the dog gets another fourth, and I am the largest person in the house, [laughter] and I’m over there, I almost gotta put my right arm down on the floor to brace myself so I don’t get pushed out of the bed at night. I lost the battle that there would never be a dog.

Michelle: That’s the price you pay, Randy. That’s the price you pay.

Randy: I know. But now, I always ask people who do what we do, if their dog sleeps in the bed, just ’cause I feel like I’m not a very good negotiator with my wife, and it seems like I just… I can’t win any of those domestic debates and…

Scott: Well, and it’s not usually worth it.

Randy: That’s true.

Scott: Because in my experience, my wife cares about a lot more things than I do, [laughter] a lot more things. This is how many things I care about, maybe five things. Michelle, you know what I’m talking about.

Michelle: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Scott: And my wife, she goes… It’s almost like she’s looking for stuff to worry about, and I’m kinda just the opposite, I’m, “That’ll be fine, it always works itself out,” and it usually does, but she wants me to be as upset as she is, and I usually… I’m not a good actor. That’s pretty well documented. So our 36-year marriage is, I’ll be married 36 years in October, and I think the real big reason for our success is that I’m gone at least half the time, so how can you miss me if I don’t go away? [chuckle] And this has been a real test this year, we find ourselves in other parts of the house all day, don’t need to talk to each other, and I respect the fact that she’s used to being here by herself with the dogs. If she was bent that way, she’d have all the dogs in the bed, but she’s not. She’s the one that says, “No dogs in the bed.” That’s part of why I’ve been married for 36 years, it’s ’cause…

Michelle: Are you still making lunch too, every day? Are you still making lunch for her?

Scott: Well, she’s not going away, [laughter] I was, yeah, when this thing first started. She’s just now going to work. Randy, when this deal first started, we’re both home, she’s home working out of her office online.

Michelle: He was sending me pictures of these gourmet lunches, Randy. Like gourmet.

Scott: Well, because I didn’t have anything else to do. I’m used to going to work and I’m going, “Well, shit, I’ll make lunch, I guess.” And I’d rather be out shooting a TV show.

Michelle: And he texted me the picture?

Scott: She got to eat, and even the normal course, if I’m gonna be gone for a couple of weeks, I’ll cook a bunch of stuff and vacuum seal it and leave it for her. I’m better at it than she is. My wife cooks about four times a year.

Randy: My wife is a very good cook and I… But as I was listening to the other parts of your discussion there, other than the dog in the bed, there’s an awful lot of parallels between my 32-year marriage and your 36-year marriage, and I think… I agree with your point that the reason we’ve made it to 32 years is I’m not around all the time. And the other thing is, after about… I still remember I worked in a sawmill going to college when we were dating, and this old boy, Don Bowman, he is about 60, and he and I got to be good friends, and he heard that I was getting married to Kim, my wife, and he pulled me aside, he said, “Randy, oh, I’ve met your soon-to-be wife and I’ve worked with you now for almost three years. Just understand you don’t bring anything to the table that she could not replace by noon tomorrow. So behave accordingly.”


Randy: I’ve kinda lived with that thought in the back of my head.

Scott: Words to live by.

Randy: Yeah. And about the third year of our marriage, I decided, “You know what? I’ve lost every argument so far,” and back to your point, a lot of it’s not worth arguing about anyhow. So I’ve adopted the saying that, “You gotta focus on peace, not justice.” And since then, man, it’s been easy, smooth sailing.

Scott: Right, right. How about you, Michelle? Do you wanna talk about it?


Michelle: Well, it’s funny you bring that up.

Randy: I was hoping you’d say that, Scott. [chuckle] I’ve been waiting for this part.

Michelle: Funny you bring it up. This weekend is our 17 year anniversary. So yes, very fun times. We’ve actually been together since we were 18, so I think we’ve been together for 20 some years. I know, a long time. And it’s interesting, because people say they’ve been together for that long, your paths might diverge, but our paths have been parallel this entire time, which is very interesting. But yesterday I was having a bad day because of Archery Wire. Not many people know that I’m the editor of Archery Wire. I don’t talk about it very much, but I just had a particular company that was just… It was just difficult. [chuckle] And so I was having a bad day and Wayne could tell. And so I was texting him like, “I’m sorry, blah, blah, blah, blah. This is all, this stuff is happening, and this and this.” He just responds, “I’m sorry.”


Michelle: That’s it.

Scott: You wanted more, didn’t you?

Michelle: No. I’m like, “You got it.” [laughter]

Scott: Oh.

Michelle: “You’ve learned.”

Scott: I gotta remember that. All I have to say is, “I’m sorry?”

Michelle: Just say, “I’m sorry.”

Scott: ‘Cause see, I try and find solutions.

Michelle: Don’t find solutions.

Scott: She doesn’t want solutions. If somebody comes to me with a problem, I’m assuming that they want me to help them with a solution.

Michelle: Nope, he learned.

Scott: And I don’t know why, after 36 years, I don’t know that. And I keep trying to go, “Well, okay, well, let’s look at it, and what are some of the things that we can do to solve this problem?” She goes…

Michelle: Just say I’m sorry, Scott.

Scott: “I just want you to listen.”

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Alright, fine. That’s why I go away.

Randy: So Michelle, have you ever argued with Wayne when he refuses to argue with you?


Randy: Yeah, see, she’s nodding her head, Scott. My wife… I’m this pacifist quaker when it comes to arguing, ’cause I believe in peace, not justice. Well, sometimes she’s got it in her head that she’d rather argue than breathe. And she’ll stand there and she’ll say, “You’re ignoring me.” It’s like, “No, I’m not ignoring you. I hear you, I’m just not gonna argue.” She’s like, “Well, I want you to listen to me.” “Okay,” so I’d listen and she’ll say, “What do you think?” I’d be like, “Well, I guess so.” “Now you’re just patronizing me.”


Scott: Oh, yeah.

Randy: So you can’t win, you can’t… You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So then sometimes she’ll even tell me what she thinks I’m thinking. “I know what you’re thinking. I know what you’re thinking.” And I’m like, “You don’t know what I’m thinking.” “I do too. I know what that look means.” Well, three years later, we’ll get in another similar debate, or argument about something, she’ll say, “Remember when you said… “

Scott: Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Randy: I said, “No, I did not say that. You told me that’s what I was thinking. You said that, not me.”


Randy: Michelle is laughing, almost falling off her chair. You know why? Because I bet you she does the same thing when Wayne says, “I’m not here to argue.”

Scott: It’s the same deal. And three years later, I’ve forgotten the whole thing. I have no idea what she’s talking about, and I’ll go, “Okay, whatever. I don’t remember what you’re talking about, but Michelle, you remember, don’t you?”

Michelle: Right. Very good memories. Very good memories.

Scott: You do remember. They’re not good memories. Let’s move forward.

Randy: Yeah. So, that’s why I’ve done two episodes on my podcast about marriage advice. They’re my two most popular episodes.

Michelle: Isn’t that something?

Randy: Yeah. And the number of women who come up to me at trade shows and they’re like, “I wanna talk to you. That podcast was so good, I’ve saved that. I bet you I’ve listened to that five times,” because I say things like, “Well, if you’re gonna go buy this $2000 semi-custom rifle, just know it’s a $5000 rifle, because you gotta take into account being fair, 2000 on something for her. And the fact that you’re gonna be gone, and you got all these accessories. It’s at least another thousand for accessories.

Michelle: This is my anniversary gift. That Louis Vuitton.

Randy: Oh, see, I wouldn’t have never pronounced that.


Michelle: Well, see, ’cause I’m bougie. I’m bougie, Randy. So I said, we call guns in our household pillows, and ammo is pillowcases, and so I said, “You’ve been buying a lot of pillows and pillowcases, and our anniversary’s coming up. [chuckle] I would like this from Louis Vuitton.”

Scott: And what was in the box?

Michelle: What’s that Scott?

Scott: What’s in the box? What is in the box, the Louis Vuitton box?

Michelle: It’s a very lovely bottle of perfume.

Randy: Oh, see, I didn’t know that.

Scott: See, and I can’t buy Janell anything. I can’t surprise her with anything. It has to be… Personally.

Michelle: No, if you tell, if you give and you tell, then that’s the best way to do it, yeah. [chuckle]

Randy: I’d better take notes on that. I think that’s why I get in a few arguments as I’m not… My tact and my delivery is not what Wayne’s is, obviously.

Scott: No kidding.

Michelle: Yeah.

Randy: Wow. I didn’t mean to kind of distract your audience…

Scott: Oh, no, no, this is… I feel like this is… We’ve transitioned into the Doctor Phil show now.

Randy: Yeah. Well…

Michelle: Right. This might be our most popular podcast, just like it is for you, Randy. You never know.

Scott: Sure, sure.

Randy: Well, hopefully my wife doesn’t listen to it.

Michelle: My girlfriend, Andrea, listened to our Vodka podcast, Scott, and I talk about her in it.

Scott: I didn’t listen to it, I don’t know. [laughter] Was I there?

Michelle: But I talked about her in there thinking, “None of my friends are gonna listen to this podcast.” She listened to the VodCast one, I think it’s like episode three, and she’s like, “Are you talking about me?” And I’m like, “Oh shit, did I say something?” [laughter]

Randy: Right.

Scott: Okay, Randy, do you watch your Outdoor TV shows? Do you watch your TV shows?

Randy: No, because by the time I’ve watched the first draft, the second draft, the final cut, and made sure that everything was the way I wanted it, I don’t need to watch it again on Amazon or YouTube.

Scott: Right. Yeah, I’m the same way. People… I was there, so I kinda remember it. [laughter] And what about other people’s podcast? And do you watch other people’s TV shows?

Randy: I don’t.

Scott: I don’t either.

Randy: And the reason being is I worry that if I were to hear something on someone else’s outdoor podcast, or I were to see something on someone else’s TV show, it would start to put me going down a path that maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise went, and I just worry that I’d lose some of the honest and authentic reason why I did what I did. Okay, I wanna go show this hunt, this experience because of what it is, not because someone else did it and that looked really cool, or they got a bunch of views on it. After the fact, someone will say, “Hey, you should listen to so and so’s podcast, they talk about a topic you’ve talked about,” so sometimes then I’ll go listen to other podcasts, but no, I’m not a consumer of other stuff. Not much.

Scott: Me neither. And I’m the same way as you, I don’t wanna be influenced. What I see a lot on the people that do TV shows is that they act like they think they’re supposed to be on TV, and they take on a TV persona, and I don’t wanna do that. I just… This is what I am, and if you don’t like it, well, I understand, it’s not for everyone.

Michelle: Yeah, Scott is not for everybody.

Scott: I am not for everyone, and I’m okay with that. But I don’t wanna be somebody else.

Randy: I don’t either. And I… When I got into this business in 2008, yeah, I consumed a lot of it just ’cause I was trying to see what was out there, what I’d liked, didn’t like, and I was so green that I was dependent upon all the supposed experts in the industry. And I sell advice for a living, I’m a tax accountant. So I come from the mindset that if you wanna learn, you go to the people who are experts. Well, it only took me about a year to realize that some of the supposed experts really aren’t as expert as they wanna think they are. So after about a year, I’d say that’s when I started just kind of tuning it out and go on my own route and let my audience tell me what worked and didn’t work.

Scott: Well, and you’ve made a remarkable transition between traditional outdoor TV and what you’re doing now, with the YouTube and the Amazon Prime too, ’cause it’s obviously working. You’re getting a whole lot of people watching you now.

Randy: Yeah, it’s…

Scott: And a lot of people that have the outdoor shows, there are less people watching regular old TV these days.

Randy: Yeah, across all platforms, across all genres. I mean, I was lucky, Scott, this is… I’d like to take credit for all this, but my son, who is now 30, at the time, 2014, I took over producing the TV show myself. Warm Springs Productions in Missoula, did it prior to that, and so it really became even more work and a bigger struggle. My son goes to Chapel Hill to get his MBA, and he says… He kind of convinces his instructors that… I guess you gotta work on an MBA project while you’re there, business samples or solutions or whatever while you’re there. So he convinces his professors that he should be able to use his old man’s traditional TV show and the effort to convert that to digital as his MBA kind of sideline project. So I got the benefit of Matthew and some of his MBA classmates laying out this plan, “Alright, here’s all the research says, here’s where the trend is going, here’s the rate of adoption that will happen, here’s what it is in a male-dominated demographic, here’s data.” And then they took all of our analytics that we had at the time, compared it, overlaid it, and so he kind of comes up with the, “Here’s the path forward, Dad.” And I protested. I’m like, “Well, I don’t know that I can do that.” [chuckle] And in a very smart alec way said, “Oh, you just wanna work harder for less? That’s what you… You’re complaining.”


Randy: Come on, dang. So that’s kind of where the transition started. I wanted to go there. When I first came to outdoor production, I wanted to be on YouTube, that was my goal, is we were gonna right away go to YouTube.

Michelle: You wanted to be on YouTube before you wanted to be on the linear channel?

Randy: Oh yeah. That was just my… A necessity to get to a digital platform.

Michelle: Usually it’s the other way around, people start on YouTube and they wanna go to the the linear channel.

Randy: Right, yeah. Well, we all know that in 2008 and ’09, or ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, sponsors and their ad agencies, they had zero interest in having money invested in digital platforms. So I just kind of tread… Was on the TV treadmill until I could find the off-ramp that worked, and my son and his classmates were the ones who helped me find that off-ramp in 2015. So 2016, we started YouTube. 2017, we started Amazon. In ’16 and ’17, I was also on TV, so I was doing all of them at the same time. So that was an intense amount of work plus I started a podcast then. And a lot of people in the traditional TV world will come and say, “I wanna make that transition. How do you do that?” And when I tell them, “Well, stay on TV for at least three more years and in the interim, start a podcast, start a YouTube channel and start Amazon Prime.” They’re like, “What?” And I’m like, “Well, [chuckle] don’t quit your day job.” [chuckle]

Scott: You asked. Yeah, right.

Randy: Yeah. [chuckle] I thought so.

Scott: But I think a lot of it has really flip-flopped. It seems to be… Sponsors are a lot more driven by digital success than they are traditional TV these days. A lot of them are.

Randy: Yeah.

Scott: So I’ll say, “But we have this many people watching the show,” and they’ll go, “Yeah, I know, but what’s your social media engagement?”

Michelle: Right. Yeah.

Randy: Yeah. And for us, the podcast has really turned out to be a great place to be. One of the things… Again, this is my son, looking at how media is, was, and still is evolving, but he presented me with this information about how audiences don’t move. They have their preferences and where they wanna consume media. So you have to find a way to take the same piece of content and make it available across all the platforms. Well, my TV contracts did not allow me to go digital or if I did, I had to go to this very narrow place and the TV, the network owned the digital platform. So it’s proven to be true that, okay, some people are Instagram folks and you’re not gonna get the Instagram folks to be Facebookers. Some people are YouTube folks and you’re not gonna get them to listen to podcasts. So every program or every piece of content we produce ends up getting wrapped up, packaged slightly differently so that, “Okay, it’s a podcast, but then it also goes on YouTube and it goes on to Amazon and da, da, da.” So our goal is to try to touch as many audiences with the same message without them having to come to us. With digital, it’s easy to get that content to them.

Scott: Love it. And that’s where we are. That’s the future. That’s where things are headed. So it looks like it anyway from where I’m standing.

Michelle: Right.

Randy: We’ll see. If I call you and say, “Hey, you need someone to clean out your dog kennel every spring?” You’ll know I’m gainfully unemployed.

Scott: Maybe we could trade for muskrat.


Randy: Yeah. I’ll show up and…

Scott: Michelle, would you eat one bite of muskrat? Just a little?

Michelle: Sure, sure, sure.

Scott: Just one bite. See? One bite. Just, sure.

Michelle: And cream of mushroom soup? Sure. Yeah.

Scott: Cream of mushroom soup, right.

Randy: Now, I don’t know what kind of wine would improve muskrat, but I would probably…

Michelle: I don’t know. I’m almost down my second…

Scott: Probably three bottles of it. At least three bottles of wine.

Randy: Yeah. [chuckle] What’s that wine you’re drinking there, Michelle?

Michelle: It’s a 2000… Well, thank you for asking, Randy. It is a 2018 Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc.

Scott: How much was it?

Michelle: Chateau Montelena is not cheap.

Scott: Yeah, I know. How much?

Michelle: I think probably about $30, $35.

Scott: Well, then it must be good wine.

Randy: So what do you do? You have a website you go and buy all this stuff on?

Michelle: No, I’m a member.

Randy: A member of what? I’m a member too.

Michelle: Chateau Montelena, of the winery.

Randy: or something?

Michelle: No, the winery itself. I’m a member of the winery itself. Yeah.

Randy: What do you mean? I don’t…

Scott: The wineries have wine clubs that you can join and then they send you wine every quarter or every month depending on how much wine you wanna buy, and the next thing you know, you open the door and there’s a box of wine on your front doorstep.

Michelle: Yep.

Randy: Really?

Michelle: Yep.

Scott: Yeah.

Randy: What a country.

Scott: It’s very enabling, I think, for those of us who like to drink wine.


Michelle: Yeah. If I can’t get out to fly and can’t get out to California, they’ll ship it to me.

Scott: Are you still coming out in December?

Michelle: Randy, I think you could have a membership site or membership situation and people would love it. They would subscribe.

Randy: Who would? For what?

Michelle: Some sort of membership thing. I don’t know.

Randy: Oh, you’re saying I need a membership thing? Sell muskrats?

Michelle: Yeah. Maybe.


Scott: I don’t think Randy needs a membership thing. I think he’s doing… I think he’s doing all the right things right now.

Randy: No, I don’t… I really feel bad that I don’t know anything about wine. My wife is really into wine, my son in college took all these wine-tasting classes and…

Michelle: He did? Really?

Randy: Yeah. He went to college in upstate New York, which I did not know was a big… The Finger Lakes region is a wine country. So now when he comes home, they’re down Main Street both and there’s some highfalutin kinda winery whatever. I don’t know what they’re called, but it’s way different than me growing up. For me… I…

Michelle: So we need to get Mathew and Kim on, really?

Randy: Yeah, yeah. If you wanna have an engaging conversation that’s of value to your audience, you should ask them, not me.


Michelle: Okay.

Randy: When I tell both of them… They’ll say, “What did you do today?” I said, “Oh, I was on this wine tasting podcast.” They’re gonna laugh out loud in my face. [chuckle] They are. And in fact, hopefully they’re not drinking anything ’cause they’ll be spitting on their keyboard or something. [laughter] Yeah I… Growing up, wine, I didn’t know what a corkscrew was for. I thought that was like a figure… ‘Cause that was like, “Oh, he’s crookeder than a corkscrew.” I just… I didn’t know what a corkscrew was ’cause everything I ever saw wine like Mogen David.

Michelle: Right.

Randy: Or Tickled Pink or whatever, Strawberry Hill, all that stuff that people drank, it had a twist-off little metal thing. I thought that’s what wine was and then I find out you got corks and all kinds of crazy stuff.

Scott: And you had this goofy little thing on your Swiss Army Knife, right?

Randy: Yeah. There you go. That’s exactly right. Yeah, yeah.


Scott: What’s this for?

Randy: I’d looked at it, I’m like, “Well, hell, that’s what that’s been for all this time.”


Michelle: Yeah. It did not make it on the Gerber Gear Randy Newberg Signature Series Knife, right?

Randy: No, it didn’t make it. No, there’s not a corkscrew on the Randy Newberg Knives by Gerber, no.


Randy: Look, I’m simple. I’m…

Scott: Well, I think a gut hook is probably gonna come in a little more handy than a corkscrew anyway.

Michelle: Maybe, yeah.

Randy: Yeah. I wish that I could act sophisticated, but I’m not even talented enough to act sophisticated.

Scott: Oh, there’s nothing sophisticated about this deal either, so we’re… You’re in good company.


Michelle: Well, Randy, thanks for coming on, it’s been an immense pleasure to have you on our podcast, I couldn’t believe that you said that you would actually come on, I thought you might be busy out hunting and whatnot.

Randy: I gotta go do a live event here in an hour.

Michelle: You do.

Randy: Scott I do have to tell you, you have changed the way that I cook waterfowl.

Scott: Oh good.

Randy: One time I was at The DU National Convention, I can’t remember if it was in Florida or Phoenix, or… Anyhow…

Scott: I was in Phoenix many years, I did it in Phoenix years ago, yeah.

Randy: Okay, you are there and just whipping up this waterfowl in this cooking demonstration, and again okay, I come from Northern Minnesota, where you burn it once, you put it in the fridge and then you burn it again, and that’s how you cook wild game. It’s kind of like briquettes by the time you are all done. I had never eaten waterfowl that wasn’t cooked past two lifetimes, and so you are putting this together, and I’m looking at it, I’m like, “I think that thing could still fly and they’re eating it?” And I walked over there, and that’s when I learned what a true sprig pintail could taste like. And now, to this day, my wife will look at how I do duck she’s like, “When did you start doing that, you used to cook the shit out of them.”


Randy: And this is before I even knew you, Scott, and then when I met you, I’m like, “That’s that guy who cooked those ducks that day,” and it was a life-changing event, I appreciate it.

Scott: Well, in the DU magazine, when I first started writing for them they said, “Scott, we can’t put this in the magazine. It’s not cooked.” And I said, “No, it’s cooked.”

Randy: What?

Michelle: No way.

Scott: And they would color correct some of the photos that I would do.

Michelle: No way.

Scott: Oh yeah, and if you notice now if you look at any magazine cookbook, you look at what a sliced piece of duck or deer or elk looks like it’s medium-rare, unless it’s a shoulder roast or something that’s pulled or something. It’s the same stuff that I served to you in Phoenix, that it’s a whole lot easier to do it that way, it takes less time, you don’t have to wrap it in bacon, cream cheese, and jalapeno, it tastes just fine on its own.


Randy: That’s what I tell people, if you have wild game that you have to put some sort of pucky. In my family pucky is any condiment, cheeses, stuff like that, that means you don’t know how to cook it. And I plead guilty because I had to put it all in cream of mushroom soup but as I’ve grown older, I’ve understood that, “You know what, cooking everything to the dryness of kiln-dried lumber is not very good for its taste.” Yeah, my son and I were there 2006, I think it was in Phoenix, and…

Scott: Yeah. I’ve been doing it that long.


Randy: Since then, I now know that it doesn’t take four hours to cook one duck breast.

Scott: Right, you can do it in under 10 minutes and it tastes just fine.

Michelle: Oh wow.

Randy: It tastes way better, send me a bill for that Scott, [laughter] that was one of the best pieces of learning I ever got to improve my understanding of how wild game should be cooked.

Scott: I’m sure you and I are the same, it’s always nice to know that somebody’s actually listening.

Michelle: That’s true.

Scott: And they’ve learned something from you because when I first started cooking duck it wasn’t good. And my dad would cook it for four hours and cram the ducks full of all sorts of stuff, and I’m thinking, “God, I loved the duck hunt but I just can’t eat these things anymore.”


Scott: And it was almost a matter of survival ’cause I wanted to keep duck hunting. And so on that note, thank you again very much and we wanna make sure that we send people to where you are on YouTube and Amazon Prime, and I really… You’ve done a great job of transitioning into the new world, and I appreciate that.

Randy: Wow, thanks, Scott I appreciate both of you, Michelle’s been a big part of our success helping out and being my social media person. I’m sure she’d laugh when she realize that I don’t know how to do it. What’s it? A DM on Instagram or whatever it’s called. I don’t know how to do an Instagram story, I appreciate it.

Scott: That’s why we have Michelle.


Randy: Yeah. Well, y’all thanks for having me on and…

Michelle: It’s been a lot of fun.

Randy: If ever you need your podcast to be running the ditch again, you know where to find me.


Scott: I appreciate it.

Michelle: We may take you up on that, thank you.

Randy: Alright, have a good evening.

Scott: Thanks, Randy.

Randy: Bye.

Outro: Well, time sure flies when you’re loading up on good food, good wine, and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at , where you can also nab a free wild game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media, and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV. For more Michelle, check out She runs her own marketing communications firm, handling PR, social media, and more for some of the biggest names in the outdoors. That’s it for now. We’ll see you next time when, again, we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

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