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The Great Outdoors


Know Hunting: Truths, Lies & Myths
, by Dr. David E. Samuel, Know Hunting Publications

The sport of hunting is often misunderstood by those who do not participate. Know Hunting helps to explain huntings role and how it fits in with society, as well as its place in game management. It imparts values, ethics and perspectives for us all.

Conservation Topics
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear this month as to whether certain elements of the Clean Water Act are constitutional. Their decision could effect the safety of millions of acres of wetlands as well as the headwaters of streams throughout America. A negative verdict will open long protected areas to development and cause Congress to re-open the legislation that has for nearly 40 years safe guarded these natural environs. The stakes have seldom been greater for wetlands protection.

Host Charlie Potter

Charlie Potter is recognized as a leader in the outdoor recreation industry. As host of WGN radio's Great Outdoors Show he speaks each week to hundreds of thousands of sportsmen and women throughout the Midwest. Charlie has authored books and numerous magazine articles over the past 20 years. He is currently the CEO of the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and is the past CEO of the North American Wildlife Foundation (Delta Waterfowl Foundation), and has served on the board of directors of numerous conservation groups. In Illinois, Charlie has Chaired the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and been on the Conservation Advisory Board. He also has been honored by Reader's Digest and received the distinguished Chevron/Times Mirror Conservation Award. As the host of the Great Outdoors Show, Charlie brings his knowledge and passion for the outdoors to the listening audience. Whether it be a story of a fishing adventure in the wilderness of Canada, a duck hunt in the swamps of Louisiana, or an adventure on Lake Michigan, each Sunday one is sure to be entertained and informed. Fishermen and women, canoeists, hikers, bikers, boaters, hunters and campers all across Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and everywhere WGN Radio's 50,000 watt signal can be heard start their Sunday adventures with the show.

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  1. Lake of The Woods, Ontario – snowmobiling and ice fishing
  2. Cabo Saint Lucas – the world’s best deep sea fishing.
  3. Rock Cut State Park, Illinois – view Bald Eagles in concentrations no seen elsewhere in the Chicagoland area.
  4. Stuttgart, Arkansas – The spring snow goose migration is on and the Grand Prairie is the place to be for heart stopping numbers of snow geese over huge decoy spreads.

About the Show

In 1960, WGN Radio Answered The Call of the wild as Dick Lashbrook hosted the station's first show covering the outdoors. The show was appropriately named the "Great Outdoors Show" and was an immediate success as it began supplying news concerning outdoor issues to a huge audience of outdoorsmen, particularly, anglers and hunters.

Lashbrook retired in 1968 turning the host position over to Ray Grey who covered the local outdoor scene throughout the 70's. A breakthrough occurred for the show in 1979 when World War II ace pilot and local outdoor personality, Bill Cullerton, Sr. took the reins. Cullerton broadened the scope of the show's subject matter from local to national outdoor news. Then to add more personality and depth to the show he brought in co-hosts, his son Bill Cullerton, Jr., who works in the outdoor industry and had guided in Canada and Costa Rica, and John Husar, the popular outdoor editor of the Chicago Tribune. John passed away in July, 2000.

The Great Outdoors Show has always taken pride in informing people how and where to go for fishing, hunting, boating or camping. The show has played a big role helping the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to protect perch stock in Lake Michigan by encouraging a June Moratorium of perch fishing so the populations could recover. The Show also was a leading force behind the completion of the first Lake Michigan Fishing Reef. Weekly fish and game reports keep outdoor enthusiasts up to speed on where to go as they plan for their weekend activities. On a national scale The Great Outdoors Show has given credible publicity to the movement to help save the Florida Everglades from pollution caused by the sugar cane industry. Furthermore, the show played a key role in encouraging the in-shore net ban in Florida working with Save Our Sea Life. The results of the net ban has been hugely successful in Florida and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast as populations of in-shore snook, trout and redfish have returned to healthy numbers. Frequently you'll hear The Great Outdoors encourage restaurants to take endangered species such as marlin and swordfish off their menus so these fish can recover from over harvest.

You'll always hear the voice of guides, camp owners and interesting adventurers on The Great Outdoors and don't be surprised if a celebrity or two express their opinion. Our guest list has included President Jimmy Carter, Ted Williams, General Chuck Yaeger, Walter Payton, Mike Ditka, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, U.S. Senator John McCain, numerous other state and federal officials and industry leaders.

On Christmas Day 1999, Bill Cullerton's love affair with WGN audiences ended with his retirement. The good news is that long time WGN guest and leading spokesperson for the outdoors, Charlie Potter, assumed the anchor chair as host of The Great Outdoors Show. Charlie has a rich background in the outdoors having hunted and fished throughout the world as well as being a leader in waterfowl and wetland issues during his tenure as head of the North American Wildlife Foundation (Delta Waterfowl Foundation.) Charlie is also a noted author who wrote the book "Following the Flight" where he narrates a personal journey as he followed the duck migration from Canada into the Southern United States.

The Great Outdoors Show is dedicated to bringing to WGN listeners outdoor information in an honest and entertaining format. The Great Outdoors Show is heard throughout the Midwest by hundreds of thousands of outdoorsmen. Please tune in every Sunday 5-5:30am on WGN Radio 720 AM.

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