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Sheep & Goat Fund

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The 'Wild' Life TV Program Features Bow Hunting Adventures

Mike and Heather Ray take viewers on bow hunting outings on various ranches in the Southwest.  Their TV show, “The ‘Wild’ Life” allows viewers to experience the new, the different, and the attainable for the average outdoors person. By Shelby DeLuna
Published January 2015

Hunting and fishing became a way of life for Mike Ray growing up. So, it is no surprise that the east Texas native would start a TV show that educates people on how to bow hunt and fish. The show is called “The ‘Wild’ Life” and is co-hosted by Mike’s wife, Heather.

Mike is a former camera man for long-time friend Ted Nugent’s hunting show called “Spirit of the Wild.” That’s how he learned what goes into producing a hunting show and decided to start his own.

“We are on our third year filming the show,” Mike said. “It is a 95-percent bow hunting show where we travel all over the country hunting whitetail, bears, and hogs. You name it and we hunt it.”

Heather grew up with hunters in the family but unlike her husband, had never hunted until she met Mike. “I think before I met Mike, I physically sat in a deer blind once and was bored out of my mind,” Heather said. After she met Mike, she quickly fell in love with the challenge of bow hunting. “With bow hunting you have to be so much closer to that animal that it intrigues me. That is what keeps me coming back for the challenge.”

The show features two kills on each episode which consists of Heather taking an animal and Mike killing one. They show proper techniques on how to hunt and feature different ranches that often invite them to hunt on their property.

If you are not used to bow hunting there is more to it than you may think. For starters, the Rays recommend that you get fitted for your bow before trying to go out and shoot one. They do not want one bad mishap to ruin the experience for you.

Heather Ray shows a gobbler she has just brought down with her bow. “I can’t just go and grab Mike’s bow because he is pulling 60 pounds,” Heather said.

Mike added, “They make bows for everyone now days. You just have to make sure it is fitted for you—your strength and your draw length.”

The Rays respect every animal they kill when hunting. They usually have enough meat in their freezer to feed their extended family. They make sure they practice frequently so they can make a precise shot when it comes time and cleanly kill their prey.

“We have a lot of respect for the animals we hunt,” Mike said. “Our goal is to make the best shot possible. To make the most ethical shot to cause the least amount of suffering to the animal.”

Heather Ray downed this axis deer. The Rays stock their family’s freezer with meat regularly and donate processed deer to deserving folks. Not only do they stay busy filming all the time but Mike also host a Boar Bash every year. This is a unisex hunt that just recently became a sponsored event. The event features live music, a fish fry and product giveaways. Last year they had 16 hunters and over 100 people show up to the Texas S Bow Hunting Ranch in Clarkesville, Texas.

More recently Heather added her own hunt to their activities. “I wanted to be someone’s opportunity to get into this [bow hunting],” Heather said. She started an all-girls hunt called “Pig War.” All the girls she had with her on her first Pig War were new to bow hunting. She gave away four hunts by requesting girls ages 8  to 16 send their entries in on a YouTube video skit stating why they should be picked to hunt with her. So in total, she had eight girls with her at this year’s hunt.

Mike Ray poses with an impressive buck he bagged with his bow. “All of these girls took animals with their bow for their first time ever. All the excitement made all the hard work that goes into this worth it.”

As for their most memorable hunts, Mike says his was when Heather took her first deer. “I got more excitement on that than she did. She is such a good listener and picks up on everything.”

Mike Ray shot this black bear on a bow hunting expedition featured on his show. They Rays follow all hunting laws and respect the animals they hunt. Photos courtesy Mike and Heather Ray. As for Heather, her favorite memory is when her father was on the show with them. “I got to take my dad fishing with Jimmy Houston for his father’s day present, so we did a show on that,” Heather said. Her father passed away five months after they filmed the fishing trip. “That will always be memorable and special to me.”

You can catch ‘The “Wild” Life’ on the Hunting Network on Dish, Direct TV and Suddenlink. On Suddenlink cable channel 99 the times are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday 1:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 11:30 on ABC K10 (Channel 10).

You can also find them on Facebook (friend search Heather Ray) and they will soon have their website up at www.twltv.com.

 

Kuebel Family Generations

Perry Kuebel, left, and nephew Colten Kuebel and niece Carlie Kuebel show some of the family’s dairy goats. The Kuebel clan has raised Angoras for decades and now have added dairy goats for more income. Photo by Kay Kuebel
Perry Kuebel, left, and nephew Colten Kuebel and niece Carlie Kuebel show some of the family’s dairy goats. The Kuebel clan has raised Angoras for decades and now have added dairy goats for more income. Photo by Kay Kuebel

By Perry Kuebel

Published July 2014

The Kuebel family’s love for raising goats began decades ago when Fritz Kuebel, Sr., and his son, Junior, raised goats along the Blanco River about 12 miles west of the small Hill Country town of the same name. Fritz Kuebel, Jr., purchased his first registered Angoras after returning from the Army in 1958. He started with 40 head of old Angoras he obtained from Mr. Bernard Fuchs of Cypress Mill. He has worked hard to improve the herd ever since.

“Sue” is one of the family’s dairy goats and is featured on the product label for Kuebel Family Generations. Still living along the river but just 4 miles west of Blanco, the Kuebels are known for their fine haired Angoras.  Over the years Fritz has received numerous awards, often having high selling bucks at sales such as the annual Texas Angora Goat Raisers Association sale.

With the help of his wife, Hazel, and children, Cecilia, Mark, Perry Ann, and Larry, the tradition carries on. Perry is in charge of kidding season and getting Fritz to meetings, shows, and sales. Her boyfriend, Walter, and brother, Mark, do most of the hard manly labor on weekends. Everyone helps out, especially when it comes to bottling cute goat kids, the grand-kids’ favorite job. And, if there’s anyone who can save a goat or any other animal for that matter it’s Grandma Hazel.

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Grown in Gillespie County

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The Area of Central Texas Settled by German Immigrants
Produces Peaches, Berries, Grapes and More

Published June 2014

Shops along Main Street in Fredericksburg draw visitors, but so do the county’s peaches and wines. Photo courtesy Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. When, in 1845, German settler John Meusebach set out from New Braunfels, Texas, and traveled 60 miles northwest to select the second settlement of the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, he chose well. He selected a valley situated between two creeks, now known as Barons Creek and Town Creek, and surrounded by seven hills. He named the settlement Fredericksburg, after Prince Frederick of Prussia, a kingdom in what is now northwestern Germany.

The rich farmland around the new settlement would allow the new Texans from Germany to prosper, both in livestock production and farming.

Today, agriculture is an important part of the Fredericksburg area’s economy. According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, ag production and related industry in Gillespie County averaged nearly $50 million annually between 2008 and 2011. Half of that total came from beef cattle production. The agriculture industry in the county employs nearly 1,000 residents, with an annual payroll of nearly $7 million.

Though peach growers have been through some tough years of drought, they are still at it, producing some of the best tasting peaches anywhere. Vogel Orchard peaches ready for picking. Photo by Sharla Schmidt.When folks in Texas think about Fredericksburg and the surrounding area, they think about German heritage, wines, beers, picturesque farms in a Hill Country setting, cattle, sheep—and peaches.

Peaches and Fredericksburg go together like bratwurst and sauerkraut.

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Camille Sanders

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Talented Young Texas Singer/Songwriter
From Concan Has Performed Since Age 9

Camille Sanders By Gary Cutrer

Published January 2014

At just 17, country music performer and songwriter Camille Sanders is already a veteran of the music world, if you count the years she’s been singing and playing the fiddle, since age 9. Camille’s most recent performances include acoustic sets with Ace in the Hole Band leader Ronnie Huckaby. Yes, that Ace in the Hole Band, George Strait’s backing group. She released her second CD in April 2013, “Smile.” Her first, a self-titled CD of cover and orginal songs, came out in 2011. The Camille Sanders Band performed a set at the 2011 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and has opened for several big acts.

Though Camille has yet to garner the kind of huge attention that mean’s a performer has “arrived” in Texas and across the country, she has already charted hits in Europe, where, by the way, many people love American country music. And, recently, Camille made her acting debut in a made-for-TV movie starring Dolly Parton.

It was Camille’s maternal grandfather, Howard Yeargan, who spurred her early interest in music, she said. “I started learning how to play the fiddle when I was 9, and we would go from church to church and play gospel shows together and I’d play the fiddle and my grandpa would play the piano.”  Her fiddle playing then was a little rough compared to now, she said. “It was a little squeaky.”

Her fiddle skills improved, and at the same time her grandfather taught her to play the piano. “My grandpa passed away,” she said. “I thought, well, I’m going to continue what we started together, so I learned how to play the guitar.”  She had the music basics down, she said, but she needed some polish. “I needed real good training and stuff so I started training with my fiddle teacher, Dick Walker. And we would work together all throughout the summers trying to get theory and stuff, and I learned how to play the guitar and I started covering songs and writing my own music to play at a show in Concan.”

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Verify the Science

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Photo by Leah Brosig of Seguin, Texas, was an entry in the 2012 Ranch & Rural Living Photo Contest. By Dan Byfield
CEO, American Stewards of Liberty

Published May 2013

Remember Ronald Reagan’s “trust, but verify” quote he used to describe the relationship with the former Soviet Union?  Unfortunately, today, that same guiding principle is required of our own government.

Federal agencies are making policy decisions based on, and consistently using, false, inflated, faulty, manipulated, biased and, in some cases, artificial and manufactured data and science.

In an attempt to scale back this prejudiced practice, Congress enacted the Information Quality Act (IQA) in December 2000, by adding a two-paragraph provision buried in an appropriations bill.  The legislation applied to every federal agency that is subject to the Paper Reduction Act of 1980, which basically means every agency including the office of the President.

The purpose of the IQA is to ensure that federal agencies use and disseminate accurate information.  Specifically, it requires each federal agency to issue information quality guidelines ensuring the quality, utility, objectivity and integrity of information that they disseminate and provide mechanisms for affected persons to correct such information.
For those of us fighting for private property rights against agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) over endangered species, the ability to provide and demand credible science has become a game-changer.

Federal Agencies Often Try to Make Policy Based on Flawed Science–We Need to Call Them on Their Assertions, Ask for Proof

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) under Section 1533 (b)(1)(A) requires the Secretary of Interior to make determinations for endangered or threatened species “solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available…after taking into account those efforts…being made by any State…or any political subdivision of a State…”
There are two critical parts to this ESA section that need to be focused upon – the “best scientific and commercial data available” and “after taking into account.”

American Stewards of Liberty is a nonprofit, private property rights organization that has figured out how to use many federal land use-type laws to the benefit of landowners and local governments.  In fact, we worked with eight counties and the Permian Basin Petroleum Association to stop the Service from listing a three-inch lizard as endangered and defend the private property rights of all those in a two million-acre region in Texas and New Mexico.

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March 2015

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