In the Media Diet column, Zero Point Zero Production asks prominent hunters about their reading and media consumption habits. What hunting magazines are they reading? How do they get their news when they’re at home? What about when on a hunting trip? What is on their Netflix queues? The answers to all these questions, and more, lie ahead. Up next, Cody Lujan. Cody recently relocated to Denver with his wife Breanon Cole and their son, after living and working in New Mexico for the past ten years. A former fly-fishing guide, Lujan practiced law for several years before landing his dream job as a ranch broker with Hall and Hall and now spends his days immersed in the iconic ranches of the American West. His hunting photos have appeared in Bugle Magazine, The Huntin’ Fool, and the Ridgeline Outdoors online periodical. Cody has hunted Western big game his entire life and chucked flies throughout South, Central and North America.
Do you read a lot? What book are you reading?
I am constantly reading. The majority of my reading, however, is for work-related purposes and I do not read for pleasure as much as I should. I’ve always been a voracious reader thanks to my mother, who would buy me used books by the pound and refused to allow a television to be turned on in our home for many years. I just finished American Gun by the late Chris Kyle and am currently reading Anders Halverson’s An Entirely Synthetic Fish – a historic study of the rainbow trout, human manipulation, preservation and American culture. Thanks to my two-year-old son, I think I’ve read Who Pooped On The Colorado Plateau about 50 times over the past two weeks. It’s all about animal tracks and scat. My son and I love it.
What about magazines? Which ones?
I read a pile of magazines but my favorites are Bugle and Wild Sheep. Excellent writing and photography from like-minded mountain hunters. I’ve read every issue of Bugle and have also read nearly every issue of Field and Stream since 1982. In fact, I had a hunting magazine collection that spanned from 1982 through 2005. I kept every hunting magazine I got my hands on up until the point that I got my first home and my mother delivered a truck-bed load of storage bins loaded with magazines to my driveway. I pulled my favorites and some classics and recycled the rest. I just read my first issue of Jagdzeit – Hunter’s Path that is edited by fellow MeatEater-At-Large, Chris Eberhart. I can honestly say that Hunter’s Path is one of the best hunting magazines I’ve read in a damned-long time. I’m also a serious fly-fisherman, so I read Fly Fisherman and a couple other fly-fishing mags. But, I should confess that I pretty much just look at the pictures in angling magazines and only read an article if it relates to a body of water or fish species that I’m interested in. I read a number of ranch and agricultural magazines including the Fence Post and Range and will admit that I read Rolling Stone. My wife and I love good music and I guess I have to have one source of “popular culture” in my life.
Which websites do you go to regularly?
I use websites to keep abreast of news and weather as well as to get a regular dose of all things hunting. So, the websites I visit most frequently for news are The New York Times, BBC, CNN, Huffington Post and ESPN. In my opinion the National Weather Service’s Enhanced Radar Images page is the best website out there – talk about a source of accurate information that can save your hunt or your life!
What is your favorite hunting website?
Randy Newberg, the host of On Your Own Adventures, has a great hunting forum called “Hunt Talk.” In terms of western hunting forums, it’s the best there is. Everyone is respectful and many of the people on the forum are incredible hunters. I’ve also been spending a good bit of time on YouTube. There’s some tremendous hunting videos on that website; you just have to sort them out.
Is it difficult to keep up with the news while hunting?
That depends on where I’m hunting. Many of the places I’ve hunted the past 10 years were in remote regions of New Mexico with zero cell service. You could pick up a couple of AM radio stations from Mexico, but that was only if you wanted to pack a little radio into camp – definitely not worth it. Colorado has comparatively excellent cell service so keeping up with news isn’t as difficult. That said, other than keeping up with weather on hunts I really don’t want to be bothered by mobile devices and news unless it’s absolutely imperative that I do so. If something serious happens I have procedures set up so that I can find out, pack out and head home. I don’t go into the woods to play with my cell phone…
How else do you get news and other media? Do you use social media?
I’m an early riser and spend a lot of time driving in remote areas around the western U.S. so my most reliable source of news and quality music comes via satellite radio. I use Facebook to keep track of friends and my favorite organizations, but I don’t Tweet. The most relevant news I get comes from my friends and family in the field. They pick up the phone and call or shoot me an email.
Do you watch TV? Which shows?
Primarily sports when I do have the TV on. I couldn’t tell you anything about any series other than Wicked Tuna. I dig that show because I feel that the boats are hunting big tuna as much as they are fishing for them. I could do without some of the produced drama, but the fishing scenes make up for it. I watch a few hunting shows, but have a hard time watching any of them from start to finish. I can only hear a dude refer to a dead deer or elk as a “joker” or “toad” so many times before I lose my temper and change the channel. Occasionally my son and I will enjoy a Popsicle and an episode of Sponge Bob Squarepants. Nothing beats a cartoon.
Do you ever go to the movies?
Not very often. The last movie my wife and I watched in a theatre was Gravity. I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies before that. We will occasionally record a movie on television and watch it, but we try not to spend our time together watching a screen. My favorite movie? Black Cat, White Cat. It’s a Yugoslavian film directed by Emir Kusturica. It’s all about love and hustlers on the Danube River. Bat shit crazy, with a killer soundtrack.
Read these Media Diet columns on MeatEater: