Cable Smith: Lone Star Outdoor Show Celebrates and Promotes the Hunt
Podcasting as a medium in the outdoor industry is hotter than ever. Such podcasts are simply everywhere and come from many places from professional studios to hunting buddies bantering amid beer cans in the garage. Then there is the Lone Star Outdoor Show with host Cable Smith. Red dirt and classic country music, African Safaris, and hunting camp – these are just a few elements of a show that oozes hunting culture. We had the opportunity to catch up with Cable at the 2020 Dallas Safari Club (DSC) Expo and I’m glad we did.
For Smith, podcasting came in a roundabout way. In fact, after a stint studying business at Baylor University, Smith found himself at the University of North Texas majoring in Radio, Television, and Film.
“I originally wanted to do sports radio. And I did. But I eventually took a radio job in East Texas and my boss came to me one day wanting me to do an outdoor show,” he said.
Smith’s dad introduced him to hiking and fishing at an early age. The modest but early outdoor upbringing would later accelerate.
“Growing up, we never had a gun in the house. Still, I was blessed to have a father that introduced me to the outdoors,” said Smith.
After taking up duck and dove hunting in college, Smith would never look back.
“We were such bad shots back then. Still, it was such a great time,” he said.
The Show and the Business
Smith now lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex hosting an ultra-popular outdoor show carried on several radio stations. In the beginning, he chose to concurrently stream the shows in podcast form. It was a good choice. Now, more than 500 episodes later, Smith firmly sits at the top when it comes to duration and body of work.
The resurgence of podcasting started around 2010 and it so happens that the Lone Star Outdoor Show kicked off in 2009. To put this in perspective, the show has a longer history than popular long-standing shows such as Mark Kenyon’s Wired to Hunt podcast and Steve Rinella’s audio productions.
“As it turns out, I’ve really been doing this longer than any of the other guys out there,” said Smith.
From deer to ducks, bass fishing to exotic game, Smith continues to host outdoor industry celebrities and experts, as well as the everyman getting it done in the woods and on the water.
The other part of the equation is that podcasting is a business – at least it is for Smith. Sure, there are hobbyists doing it out there, but Lone Star Outdoor Show is his livelihood and it’s not easy.
“There is one employee – I’m the marketing department, sales guy, host, and everything in between. I love it, but it’s laborious,” Smith said.
The show has a little bit of everything. Perhaps that explains its success. Here, you will find a guest list full of heavy hitters: hunting celebrities, industry insiders, conservationists, and those versed in public policy relevant to the outdoors. Smith has enjoyed a healthy contingent of great guests from the onset.
“I’ve always found outdoor figures to be very approachable. To be able to call the likes Ted Nugent or Phil Robertson and have them on the show has been amazing from the beginning. I remember calling for Phil and having Ms. Kay pick up and tell me he’s out hunting, call back at 1:00. So, I do, and he picks up. I thought, this is so cool!”
When asked about the mission of Lone Star Outdoor Show, Smith is quick to answer.
“The show is meant to be three things – about conservation, entertaining, and educational.”
Texas Flair with a Global Platform
Perhaps the most unique part of the show is its extensive inclusion of music. It’s not just heard in and out of commercial breaks; rather it’s celebrated in hunting camp style on the show. Consequently, musicians are often guests. And when they are, the subject matter is a good mix of the music, lifestyle, and the musician’s outdoor experiences.
“I already had an affinity for the music, so I thought why not tell the stories? It’s really cool when a listener tells me, thanks for turning me on to this band! At the end of the day, I have musicians come to my home studio, play music, and talk about hunting – it doesn’t suck,” he said.
While Smith gives his listeners great local content about deer hunting, coastal fishing, and trapping, he also features international hunting, conservation issues, and current events relevant to the hunting tradition. Smith is a huge advocate for our rights as hunters and fights vigorously for them. To that end, he is well versed and passionate about them.
“I read every article I can get my hands on about conservation, habitat management and politics in the hunting industry. Currently, DSC is the best outlet for international hunting, conservation information, and news and I read it all,” he said.
Smith doesn’t only promote our hunting heritage and future, he does so unapologetically.
“You won’t hear the popular podcasts talk about politics because they’re afraid they’ll alienate some of their customers. That doesn’t concern me. There are those that are going to take your guns and those that aren’t. I think it’s important to openly and honestly discuss these issues. I couldn’t sleep at night otherwise,” he said.
So, in its eleventh year, the Lone Star Outdoor Show rolls on. Now with DSC as his title sponsor and many game animals under his belt, Smith has long-since been bitten by the hunting bug. His pursuits have included bear hunting in Alberta, multiple hunts in South Africa, and elk hunting in New Mexico. His Texas hunts are precious to him as well. After all, the Lone Star State is where it all started. Further, it’s home to his family.
“I’m looking forward to watching my son have these experiences. My family is very important to me and family has become more of a focal point of my show,” he said.
Finally, I asked Smith to provide some advice for the sportsman today.
“I think that for the hunting community as a whole, there are no stupid questions,” he said. “Don’t make anyone feel stupid or intimidated. You don’t have to take them hunting, but don’t be a jerk.”
Smith is now well-connected in the hunting and conservation arena, having formed many relationships with leading conservationists and outdoor advocates. This not only provides him with great content but allows him to effectively spread the message and promote the outdoor tradition. It’s no surprise that he is an active supporter of DSC, attending meetings and annually volunteering at the show.
“It’s the least I can do. I’ve made so many friends within the DSC family and have a real appreciation for what they do,” he said.
Podcasting looks to remain popular, and Smith sees this platform as valuable for the outdoors.
“I don’t really see podcasts going anywhere. Other than getting out and introducing someone to hunting on an individual level, podcasts are one of the most effective ways to provide outdoor content – and spread the message,” he said.
Conservation, entertainment, education. No matter the topic, the Lone Star Outdoor Show will continue to thrive with each episode. And our hunting future will be all the better for it.
Based in Texas, Jerald Kopp is President of 1st Light Hunting Journal. His articles cover a variety of topics about hunting and the outdoor lifestyle. Jerald is an avid outdoorsman with deer hunting and whitetails being by far his greatest passion. He was introduced to hunting and fishing at an early age and has been enjoying it for 40+ years. In 2005, he established the Empowerment Outfitter Network (EON) – a faith-based non-profit organization that provides hunting opportunities for disabled and terminally-ill children and youth. When not hunting, he spends his time traveling and enjoying life with Amy, his wife of over 30 years. Jerald and Amy have two adult daughters and a son-in-law.