How does a young Aussie woman end up moving to the U.S., hosting red carpet country music events and discovering the wonderful world of hunting? It all evolved pretty naturally, she says. Mary talks about the unique path that took her from her family’s cattle farm in Australia to the United States, and she explains how her dream of becoming an actress ended up being refocused on country music and entertainment shortly after moving to Los Angeles, California. With her passion for country music established, Mary discusses her introduction to hunting through her now husband who took her on a turkey hunting trip to Nebraska where she took her first gobbler. Mary notes that her husband and friend called the turkey in from more than 500 yards over the Nebraska Sandhills where she ultimately shot it at just 5 yards. It was that experience, Mary says, that hooked her on hunting and opened her eyes to a whole world she didn’t realize was available. From that point on she always wanted to be able to combine her passion for country music and the outdoors and the Country Outdoors Podcast made that possible. Together with her co-host Mitch Petrie, they launched the Country Outdoors Podcast, a project that combines their shared passions through interviewing country music artists that also love the outdoors. What she has realized, Mary says, is that many artists are thrilled to talk about their music, but they want to talk about other things, too. “They want to talk about their passions outside of music,” she says. The Country Outdoors Podcast is a great platform for people to hear their favorite country music artists dish on their music, but also talk about their experiences in the great outdoors and connect with the millions of men and women who share those same interests.
With spring upon us, Mary talks about her own experiences turkey hunting. Two years ago Mary completed her single season Grand Slam, taking all four U.S. subspecies in a whirlwind tour across the country. She started in Florida with the Osceola, a bird like no other, she says. Not only is this particular subspecies located exclusively in Florida which makes it less accessible, but they are also challenging to hunt and the DIY opportunities on public land are limited. For that reason, Mary notes that hunting the Osceola is often best done with an outfitter. From there, Mary says she headed to Nebraska to chase the big grain fed birds and then went on to Wyoming and the Black Hills. This area in particular is a place that is tough to secure hunting permission on private ground, she says. While driving through Wyoming after unsuccessfully chasing some jakes around the Black Hills, Mary says they passed the Devils Tower where she saw some turkeys in the field beneath it. Hoping to be able to take a tom under the iconic monument, Mary says she sought out a nearby home and knocked on the door to ask permission. The landowner obliged and she was able to take her Merriam’s turkey under the Devils Tower. It wasn’t until after the hunt, when she went back to thank the landowner, that she found out that he was a sitting Wyoming Senator. Mary reflects on the experience and talks about how fun it was for her.
Ready for round two, Mary says she is off on another extensive turkey hunt, the 2020 Country Outdoors Turkey Tour. Traveling more than 5,000 miles, Mary and her husband Zach will be chasing gobblers in Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. Starting in Florida, Mary says she is already on the board with her first bird. Her adventures will be documented so viewers can see highlights from her Florida hunt, as well as her other adventures, for the duration of the Turkey Tour. Every Thursday at 6:00 pm ET on the Outdoor Channel Facebook and YouTube pages, viewers can tune in to see where Mary is on the road and watch the progress of her tour. She says they will be sharing camp with a variety of country music artists along the way, spending time with veterans and kids with disabilities and she’ll also be competing in the “Old West Invitational Turkey Shoot” in Wyoming. It’s going to be fun times on the road killing turkeys, she says.
Listen in as Mary talks turkey hunting and the Country Outdoors Podcast. She even takes on Australian stereotypes assuring Jim and Trav, contrary to popular belief, there are no blooming onions like those found at Outback Steakhouse in Australia, and there are no shrimp to throw on the Barbie, the Aussies only have prawns.
The whole first season of the Country Outdoors Podcast is available now, with new episodes from Season 2 being added weekly. Listen to Mary and Mitch as they talk to some of your favorite country music artists. You can listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Outdoor Channel, iHeart Podcast and more.