This weekend marks the opening of deer hunting season, and as much as Cheeseheadland has a strong tradition of Packer backing and team WI colors, for the next 2 weeks, blaze orange is the new Green and Gold.  There’s more than just a hint of Fall in the air… something about melatonin and “rut” (the deer mating season), and raging testosterone in young bucks (both Bambi and the human kind) — that triggers the season of deeply rooted hunting rituals as much a part of Thanksgiving celebrations statewide as turkey and pumpkin pie.

In keeping with tracking what’s trending, Tamara Leigh’s TREND ON show this past Wed., 11/20/13, titled “Shoot the Wild”, featured two guests who are no strangers to capturing the wild world of the animal kingdom.  The talented Jack Roper, professional photographer & contributor to Our Wisconsin magazine, and Jeff Engel, nationally recognized sportsman, speaker, author, and television host, owner of Engel’s Outdoor Experience, joined us on TREND ON to talk about their recent return from a photographic junket.

For many, an African Safari is on the Bucket List, but before heading off on an expedition, experienced global traveler, Jeff Engel cautions to make sure you sign on with a reputable guide, like Kolobe Safaris.  Jeff organizes group trips in conjunction with Kolobe, like the “Photography Safari” he and Jack just completed (for more information on trips or to talk African Safaris or Engels Outdoors Experience, contact Jeff at 414-254-6300).  Kolobe Safaris’ owners, Daniel & Dorea Du Toit (who will also be our guests on Tamara Leigh’s TREND ON show on Wed., 26 Feb. 2014 via link here), offer several tours from hunting to photographic to cultural packages.

Exploring the renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa, Jack Roper captured through his camera lens the up close majesty of lions, a mother elephant guarding her 350+lb baby, a rare endangered species red-eyed bird, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and authentic villages complete with “witch doctor”, oracle bones and all.

The advantage of going with experienced guides, says Jeff, “…is that they’re able to detect movement of the animals and anticipate their actions” which affords the photog an opportunity to be ready for that brilliant shot that might otherwise be lost.  Jack says, having “an eye for symmetry and balance” are also elements of a composition that sets a snapshot apart from a work of photographic art.

Jack’s work will be featured in an exhibit Feb.14 – May 9th at St. John’s on the Lake Gallery/Uhlein Peters Gallery with an opening reception on Mon., Feb. 14th from 3:30-4:30pm.  Anyone interested in attending should contact Jack at 414-272-2022 prior to the event for the latest updates.

From a planning perspective, if you’re inclined to start saving for that Bucket List line item, Jeff says it’s around $6,000+/- for Safari packages with another approx. $1,800 (depending on flight prices) for the 2-leg trip from Chicago-O’Hare to Atlanta then Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, averaging about 16 hours in air between continents.

If you’re also “game”, and open for a taste of “wild” cuisine, Jeff, a huge proponent of eating natural meat for its organic, nutritional value with a lack of preservatives, said his book, Chasing the Hunter’s Dream, offers a section of sumptuous recipes for the skillet or grill.    From Out of Africa to the Northwoods of Wisconsin, The Hunter’s Game offers a delicious addition to the traditional holiday dining table.

For what to wear on the wild and trending, Tamara Leigh’s TREND ON Fashion featured animal prints and fur from new and vintage collections.

Do you have a favorite hunting story, experience, or memory?  Do you have a favorite family wild game recipe or hunting tradition?  Share here or leave a comment about this post below.


Host, Engel’s Outdoor Experience

Nationally known hunting seminar speaker and television personality and co-author of the book “Chasing the Hunter’s Dream”, Jeff Engel has an accomplished hunting background and has actively promoted hunting education and conservation for over 25 years.

Jeff is also a proven, effective, and enthusiastic speaker. A recognized expert on hunting, Jeff has spoken on turkey hunting as a member of the National Rifle Association’s “Great American Hunter’s Tour”.

 Jeff has made numerous appearances on PBS, ABC and CBS affiliates to discuss hunting, fishing, and animal behavior. Additionally, Jeff hosts the national outdoor adventure and hunting television show “Engel’s Outdoor Experience”. As host of this exciting television series Jeff has filmed as far north as the Arctic Circle, as far south as South America, as far west as New Zealand and as far east as Africa. Jeff is also an award winning nature/wildlife photographer and videographer who has a sincere appreciation for the awesome beauty of nature.

He has hunted in 27 states, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and Africa. Jeff has hunted with bow, handgun, muzzle loading shotgun, muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, and rifle. He has taken numerous trophy mule deer andJeff backs up his professional presentation style with an authentic, well-rounded background in hunting and fishing. Jeff is an avid wild turkey hunter and has taken two complete grand slams, as well as the world slam of the wild turkey whitetails with both bow and gun. He has taken trophy grizzly bear and a record book antelope as well. He is an accomplished, versatile hunter and a winner of marksmanship awards for bow, handgun, and rifle.  Jeff is also trained in personal protection and maintains his proficiency with handguns.  He currently holds concealed carry permits in 28 states.

Because of his deep background in the outdoors and in public speaking, Jeff Engel is uniquely qualified to host Engel’s Outdoor Experience and virtually any program involving the outdoors and firearms.  Contact Jeff at  414-254-6300.




For over 25 years, Jack has been in the field of various forms of photography.  In his earlier years, he worked as a cult researcher and within that time span, photography was necessary.  His photos have been published in various books and seen in educational videos.  Many photo examples are in the hard bound Encyclopedia Dictionary of Cults, Sects, and World Religions (Harper Collins/Zondervan Publishers 2006).  As for videos, Cults: Saying No Under Pressures, was distributed nation wide to public schools.   The narrator of this video was tv and film actor Charles Heston.  Mr. Roper had been a technical advisor for law enforcement (eg: Surviving Edged Weapons Video by Calibre Press).  His photography has been obtained by State and Federal law enforcement agencies.  The International Association of Women Police in 1995 had Jack speak with a multiple selection of photography and subculture paraphernalia shared.   Jack worked as an RN in Booking and Maximum Psych Security for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department in the mid 1990’s and is a former member of the Midwest Gang Investigators Association.  He has been on national talk shows such as Oprah Winfrey (1988) and Geraldo Rivera (1994).  In the past, Jack was selected for Outstanding Young Men of America Award.  He obtained his private detective license through the State of Wisconsin in 2010.

He has been to Europe three times capturing images in foreign locations. He was in Costa Rica doing photography for his now completed DVD Nature’s Window which has 500 beautiful images and incorporates instrumental music in various Earth themes(Earth’s waters, Earth’s sunrises, Earth’s creatures, etc).  Nature’s Window can be seen on You Tube (12 segments).  While in Costa Rica, he was able to photograph the Arenal Volcano activity. You could say this was a timely eruption in his schedule.  In 2007 he was in Krakow Poland visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.  Jack recently went to South Africa on a photography safari. The trip was breath taking.  His photography of an Amish Farmer was also placed in a new cancer unit in Florence, Italy.

He is a registered nurse by profession.  Locally, Mr. Roper has displayed his photographic work at various hospitals.  His Crane photography of birds is at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedert Clinical Cancer Center and is a permanent exhibit in the lobby area.  Jack studied photography at the Milwaukee Area Technical College for three years.  The International Oncology Nursing Forum Journal on cancer published Jack’s nature photography in the July 2013 issue.  His photography mentor is B. Artin Haig, former White House (DC) Master Photographer, and a profession judge for various photographic societies.  Jack’s website is Email  Cell is (414) 232 5521 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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