Disclaimer: this podcast has been transcribed from the original audio and likely contains errors. This transcription does not reflect the views and opinions of Epic Outdoors LLC. Please consult the original audio with any concerns.

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We have wildlife. ’cause we have wildlife.

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I don’t know, a different group of people is more passionate about an industry than hunters are about their industry.

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Good old hunters getting involved and making a huge difference.

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Anything to do with Western Mid Game?

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour. In these episodes, we sit down with some of the leaders in the hunting industry and extract information and ideas from ’em. We also sit down with a lot of the different state agencies and wildlife board directors and all kinds of different really cool and influential people that deal with hunting and make a, make quite a difference across the west. Today our guest is a legendary John Bear.

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Thanks, man. It’s good to be with you. You bet

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You John’s, you know, John’s been in here in the state of Utah for many, many years. He’s been involved in umpteen hundreds of different projects and all kinds of different things in relation to hunting, of course, as well as conservation and Wildlife board and, and Utah, D W B R projects and all kinds of stuff. So, yeah, couldn’t be happier to have such an awesome guest as John sitting here with us today.

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Thanks, buddy. It’s a pleasure to be here.

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You bet you well. Hey, John, why don’t you give us just a little bit of background. Tell us, you know, from childhood on up to how you got to where you’re at today.

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Well, I, I grew up in, down in sand, Pete County, down in Mantis, my hometown growing up. Dad worked on a sheep ranch and was also a diesel mechanic and got a lot of family from Colorado out in the high country, Colorado, where mule deer, a very big thing. And so grew up hunting deer, elk and just loving the outdoors and kind of a, I guess, typical small town farm kid. Loved guns, loved, always had a gun with me, just

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Everything, shooting everything you could get away with shooting and, and you know, it was just a huge part of my life. And then got married, moved up to Utah County. I live in Springville now. I’ve lived there about, I believe I’ve lived there dang, near 20 years.

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And buddy of mine, Kevin Jansen, good friend of mine that I met actually playing church ball one night. He was the only guy in the building with a camo coat. So I thought, I gotta meet that guy because, and we,

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That’s my guy right there.

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That’s right. That’s that. That’s one guy I can relate to. And we, we got talking and he invited me to go to rack meeting with him. And in Utah, we’re divided up into five regions. Each region has a regional advisory council that takes input from the public and the Division of Wildlife, and then reports to the Wildlife Board. You bet. And it was, I couldn’t believe it that there was a meeting that the public could go and, and be part of and have their voice heard and give input and ask questions. And I just, I just couldn’t get enough of it. Yeah. I don’t think I’ve, I’ve missed round rack meetings in many, many years and I just finally one day I thought, you know, there’s a spot coming up, I’m gonna apply. I got on the rack and served there for eight years. And then usually everybody, when the rack term expires, you apply for the wildlife board. Never really expected to Yeah. Get on. But I got the call that the Senate had approved my name and the governor was gonna appoint me to the Wildlife Board. And I’ve been there for almost six years now. I got just a couple months left. Has it

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Been that long?

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Yeah, it’s been six years. Wow. It’s almost, almost over.

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Feels like yesterday.

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I, it’s been a very quick six years. So, you know, it’s been, it’s been great. You meet so many good people and you get such an education about the wildlife, about the process of managing wildlife, the public process of gathering input and how the, how the public and the division of wildlife resources kind of come together and you weigh all that out and try to make a good decision that benefits everybody. And the wildlife, of course.

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So on the wildlife board, of course, you served on the board. How long have you been appointed now? I think you’re chairman, right?

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Yeah. You can be chairman for two years. And so usually they, they get somebody that’s only got two years left. Yeah. It’s a, it’s one six year term on the board. And so you can be chairman for two years, and the last two years it’s been not quite, but almost two years I’ve been able to serve as a chairman. And that’s, it’s, it’s good and bad because Yeah, you get to kind of direct the discussion, direct the meeting. Yeah. But you don’t vote unless there’s two ways you can vote. You can make a tie. If you’re missing a member, you can make a tie, which ultimately kills the, kills the motion. Or you can break a tie. And I’ve had the, I’ve had the chance to break a few ties and, you know, it’s a, it’s fun. I’m not gonna let you, it’s fun being involved, but it’s a pressure cooker when you’ve gone through all that public process and all those meetings and all that time preparing, and everybody’s put so much effort into it, and it all comes down to your vote. That’s, that’s a lot of pressure. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it’s, that’s a lot of pressure in a way. It’s, it’s, it’s an honor to be in that position. But you definitely think, think about it beforehand, because you gotta, you gotta live with what you do. You know, you gotta live with what you do. And the whole world’s watching you there for a minute, kinda so.

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Well, and everybody’s so passionate. I don’t know. And, and I don’t, and maybe you can chime into this, but I don’t know, a different group of people is more passionate about an industry than hunters are about their industry,

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You know, and, and you’re exactly right. People are involved because they love wildlife, they love to hunt. I mean, people, it’s, you know, it’s not just a hobby for most of us, it’s the biggest part of our life. It’s the biggest part of our life. When you, when you talk about family, you talk about hunting with your family, you know, a lot of us, it’s business, a lot of us. It’s just, it’s the way we grew up and it’s just, you know, you can’t separate hunting and family hunting and heritage hunting, I mean, everything. It’s just, it is absolutely woven into every part of our life. Yeah. And so people are passionate about that. And it means a lot to ’em. And there’s so many different opinions and, you know, a lot of times it, I wish I could get it across people. A lot of times nobody’s wrong. Yeah. You know, just because I want a few bigger deer than somebody else, and they might want a few more tags. That, that’s strictly a difference of opinion. Yeah. Neither one of us are really wrong. We need to work that out. Just what you really,

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Which is what you feel passionate about. I mean, you’ve seen some major changes while you’ve been on the board. Oh man. Yeah. You know, like Utah General Deere and a lot of different changes that program has gone through as well. And I imagine those were hard decisions as well and hard to be a part of that process,

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You know? And, and it is, and it’s, it’s tough. Especially now that we’re getting to the point. First, nobody wanted to go unit by unit. Well, I shouldn’t say nobody, but a lot of people didn’t want to go unit by unit because we’d have to draw. Yeah. You know, everybody would have to draw. Well, now we got unit by unit and, and you know, we’re killing

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Deer, good deer. I, you know, I’d, I’d state claim on it that we’ve killed a 200 inch deer in every unit day. Every unit. Yeah. And so now we’re seeing how good it can be, but people wanna go hunting. Yeah. So where’s the final line? Where’s that balance? Yeah. Where’s the balance? And, and how do you tell the guy that is concerned that he can’t take his kids hunting because there’s not enough tags that he’s not as important as the guy that is Okay. Hunting every three or four years, as long as there’s a big buck on the mountain. Yeah. Neither one of those guys are wrong. Yeah. So you just gotta try to balance that out and have as much opportunities as you can have and still have, you know, the quality that, that you think is fair. Yeah. Really.

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So it’s gotta be tough, man. I glad.

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Yeah. It’s tough, but it’s, it’s, it’s rewarding and somebody’s gotta do it. And I’d rather be in a position to have a little say than just Yeah. Than than just sit back and, and not be,

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And I I, for one, I for one, I’m glad you’re in that position, John. Oh, I appreciate that. I

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It. I know there’s been some decisions. Of course, I’ve attended a lot of those wildlife board meetings nearly every year since I was a young little kid. But anyway, it is quite a process. Process. And I’ve seen some of those decisions being made and then also some of the ramifications that come from those good and bad and, and they affect people’s businesses guiding and outfitting and all kinds of crazy things. So you, we’ve had a few little, you know, unit boundaries on the Oak Creeks Yep. Versus general and a lot of different things, how that changes tag prices and values and people are passionate about that.

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Well, it, you know, and that’s another one. You, you mentioned the unit boundaries on the Oak Creek. I have good friends, very good friends that are outfitters guides that live on that unit. That’s right. You know, and then I have very good friends that I’ve fished in Alaska with and that I go have barbecues with that are ranchers and landowners on that unit, and they stand on the opposite side of that fence. 180 degrees. Yes. And, and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s tough. It’s tough. The end

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Of the day’s. You gotta do what’s best for

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Wildlife. You gotta do what you, you gotta do what you think’s best. And you know, sometimes you find out who your friends are in kind of a rough way, but I, I give, I give credit where credit’s to 90% of the time people understand and, and, and really believe you’re trying to make the best decision. Yeah. And they’re okay with it as long as as long as you, you know, they think you’re giving a due process and you’re making a, a decision ’cause you think it’s the right decision and not because you’re buddies with somebody or something. Most people are very, very good.

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Yeah. Tell me a little bit about that. You know, of course you see from the division’s perspective and you also see from the sportsman’s perspective and the conservation aspect of it. And how those two, I would say you’re kind of a middleman, at least the board is in being able to see the projects that are being done and then also working with the conservation organ and allocating tags and Oh yeah. And how all these things work and how they mesh and Well,

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You know, the, the divi, and I’ll go back a little bit to when I grew up, I grew up in a ranching family that, to me, growing up, I heard about the D W R, everybody called ’em the fishing game. Yeah. You know, every, the fishing game where was just some entity out there that, you know, owned a little land and somehow determined how many permits we got in that and we’re

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Kind of out to get you.

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Yeah. And, and you know, we never really considered them to be our friends. Right. Well then, you know, I, you grow up a little bit and you get involved and you do some stuff. And I realize the Division of wildlife is full of people just like me, that were actually smart enough to go to college and get a biology degree. Right. Right. And, and now they, they’re working a very tough job, you know, because they’re under public scrutiny 24 7. But they’re doing it because they love wildlife. And most of them, especially the ones we work with, they are involved with any kind of game management. They’re diehard hunters. Yeah. And they love wildlife as much as we do. And so they want to do what’s right for the wildlife. Now, the public process, the rack meetings and the board meeting where people, you know, can give input.

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And I get hundreds and hundreds of emails from very passionate people. You know, that’s, that’s kind of the other side of the corn. You gotta balance the wildlife with the public opinion. And then also, you know, you got the legislature that gets involved sometimes and there’s rules and, and regulations Yeah. And laws and, and things like that. And we get, we get to sort through all that and, and you know, we have a couple lawyers that sit there with us that are great guys that, that try to keep us online and say, you know, you don’t have the authority to do this. This has to be a legislative issue, but you can do this. And so we sort through all that and, but I tell you this, I growing up what I thought the division of wildlife was just ’cause

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You just outta

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Ignorance, you just didn’t know just that ignorance. Absolutely. It was absolutely ignorance. Me too. You know, and then after getting involved and seeing the, the caliber of people, and not just in Utah, but in a lot of the western states. Yeah. You know, I have a lot of family in Colorado. We hunt Nevada and Arizona and Wyoming, and, and I’ve got to know a lot of these people in these agencies. They’re good people and they’re involved. I can guarantee you they’re not involved in the money. They’re involved because they love wildlife. And it’s, and it’s, you know, and I’ve, I, every time you vote, you’re voting very seldom does, does a, does some kind of a proposal go through the rack meetings and the board process and not get changed. Yeah. So usually we’re voting against somebody that we’ve spent a lot of time working with.

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Yeah. And, and a lot of, you know, and I’m sure it’s not always the easiest thing to, for them to stand up in front of the board and say, well, we just don’t agree with you and we don’t, you know, we don’t want you to do that because of this. And Yeah. And, but, you know, that’s, that’s part of the deal. And they, they do such a good job. And that’s a neat thing about Utah’s public process, no matter where you live within a couple hours of you, you know, at the farthest there is a, there’s a meeting every month where you can go and talk to the biologist and give your input on what’s going on in the state. Yeah.

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I’ve found that to be amazing. Yeah. I mean, I don’t think all states are like that.

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They’re not all like that. And, and you know, Utah takes a lot of flack for, for different reasons stuff, but I tell you what, I’m very proud to be from Utah and I’m very proud of the public process we got.

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Oh yeah. Well there’s a lot there. There is def we do take a lot of flack and of course, you know, I would argue like we’ve got a, a large percentage of our hunters are, are intense dudes that, that they all have Swarovski’s 15 trip tripods. I mean, they’re intense guys and they make it, you know, I mean their number one goal is to kill the biggest deer in the state. And not only their state, but every other state they can get a tag in. And we got

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Some good hunters. No, no question. I mean, got, we got some killers. Yeah. And there’s guys that, you know, like you said, with the technology we have with the quality of optics and of, you know, the different kinds of, of guns, even archer equipment and muzz loading equipment these days, you know, there’s guys that are dang good at killing big bucks.

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Well, they’re good.

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And I know that, ’cause I’m talking to one of ’em right now. Well, and a lot of these guys, but you know, they’re really good at it.

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Yeah. And a lot of these guys are, you know, it’s almost like they’re, they’re jobless yet they have the finest trucks, the fine es optics, the finest tags, you know, and you’re like in, and they’ve got time, John, they

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Got time. I know I drive, I drive up to, can I see some of these kids from town? And I’m like, don’t they ever go to school? Their truck is in the same spot every morning, you know? And I see where they’ve been hiking in and out and you know, there’s a big buck up there. They’re watching. Yeah. And man, they’re just so dedicated. Yeah. And you know, I, and that’s kind of another aspect you mentioned, you know, the tags and allocating the tags. And I get a little different perspective ’cause from some of that, ’cause being on the board and traveling around all these events that we do, they’re every one of these big bucks in here. I won’t say every one of ’em, but most of them died because somebody worked their tail off. Yeah.

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There’s no

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Question about that. There’s, there’s a few of them that somebody will luck into every year. And I always hope I’m that guy. ’cause I don’t know if I got the savvy to kill I inspectors, but I’ve

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Been, I’ve benefited from luck. There’s no

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Question. But, you know, there’s a lot of guys out there that are not only just, you know, passionate and willing to get involved and help manage the deer. There’s some guys out there, a lot of these same guys that are very dedicated to getting out and finding a big old buck and putting in the work that it takes and getting one of ’em down. Yeah. You know, and whether it’s a buck or an elk or a big ram or, you know, whatever it is, it’s impressive to see the dedication that a lot of these sportsmen have to, to being a good hunter. Yeah. You know, no question. It ain’t easy. And it don’t just happen. And

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They, and they’ve, and they’ve earned a ton of respect.

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Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

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So tell me, you’ve been involved heavy, heavy with conservation groups, the leaders of the groups, you’ve auctioned off a lot of these tags that, you know, help efforts in conservation and all the different, you know, chainings and all kinds of different projects that go on. But like how has that changed Utah’s hunting compared to maybe late, you know, 1980s and I mean, back then it just, I, I don’t know. It just didn’t feel like, like we’ve got more desert sheep units that are open and more tags and, and it just feels like things have gotten better in, in large part. And you know, of course we don’t get to hunt over the counter in the rutt with a muzzle or like we used to back in the old days. That’s right.

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Right. You know, so there has been some, some change that way. But, but overall there has been a lot of good things done done from my perspective. And I just wanted to get your perspective.

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Well, yeah, I’ll, I’ll speak to Utah because it’s obviously the state I know the most about. And, and when we talk about conservation groups and organizations, there’s a bunch of ’em. I’ve been involved pretty heavily with a couple of ’em. Utah does more conservation work, habitat work, you know, chaining, birding, reseeding, bull hog work, water projects. Utah does more of that than the rest of the country combined. We fix more acres than the truth put together. It is the truth. And now that that’s not cheap and it’s not free and we pay a price for it. Yeah. But also Utah’s one of the only states where we have seen a measurable increase in mule deer populations over the last years. Our, our biologist us, they believe, and from what I’ve seen, just personally, you know, I’m not a biologist, but I’d have a hard time arguing with them on a lot of, a lot of the state that we have added upwards of a hundred thousand deer over the last five

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Wow. So

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It’s not just conservation groups. Might be weather, it might be

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A’s well. And that’s 10 different factors. You, you mentioned weather. Weather is always the, is always the wild card. And, and when you have good weather, you know, you have good weather, you fence the highways, you can afford fence, you do all the habitat work you can afford to do. Yeah. We’re pretty hard on our predators in this state. Yeah. I love that. And we’re pretty hard on our predators and, you know, it pays off. It, it doesn’t always pay off as much as we want. And it, it comes at a price. I mean, we take, we take some of these tags, you know, and I and I have a lot of discussion over conservation permits with people. ’cause some people just don’t like to sell permits. Yeah. They just don’t, they just don’t think it’s Right. Yeah. And you know, I’m not gonna argue with ’em.

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That’s, that’s their right to believe that. Yeah. I don’t believe that. I think it’s well worth it. And, you know, we raise that money, we put it back on the ground and for every one or $200 we’re fixing an acre. Yeah. You know, and so you kinda look at it that way. Yeah. There’s a reason we’re able to do all these projects and there’s a reason our, our fawn recruitment is up. There’s a reason our, you know, we’ve been able to do moose studies and find out why some of our moose populations have been in decline. And getting ahead of that a little bit, there’s a reason you mentioned sheep. There’s a reason that when we started the conservation permit program with sheep permits, that’s how we started it. Yeah. We had six or eight sheep tags in this state. Now we have many 50, 60 tags in this state.

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And, and we’re, and we’re starting new sheep herds all the time. Yeah. You know, we’re, and helping those who are are struggling. Absolutely. I mean, it’s the, and and I’ll tell you another thing real, real quick. One of the things that we’ve been able to fund that has really changed, you know, management, dear management in the western US, a couple of my buddies from down in two of ’em live in Milford and one of ’em live in Beaver, go to a meeting and they were talking about dough tags on the para on front. Yeah. And these guys said, man, we, we really don’t like shooting these dough. Nobody likes to shoot dough. You know, we don’t wanna shoot those. Sometimes you have to, but these guys says, how about we move them? Well, some of these old school biologists and, and you know, they’ve tried moving deer years and years ago and it’s kind of effective.

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Kind of not, it wasn’t. Yeah. And so they, well we don’t really do that. Yeah. Well, what if we pay for it? What if we can get somebody to pay for it? Yeah. They thought those guys were crazy. And they told ’em on the record in the meeting, you guys are nuts. Yeah. But they says, well, we’re gonna get somebody to pay for it and then you’ll let us do it. Right. So they committed them to it. Yeah. Well now, okay, fast forward to present day. Okay. This was only a few years ago. Utah moves hundreds of deer. And we realized, and we’ve learned that if you simplify the process, you don’t have to catch the deer and hold the deer and put ’em in a pan and study ’em and study ’em and study. Right. You catch ’em, you throw ’em in the truck, you put an ear tag in ’em so you know, you’ve dealt with them.

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You drive them to a new spot that’s got some good habitat out Fillmore flash. That’s right. And a lot of this habitat is, is projects that we’ve done. We’ve created great habitat. There’s no deer in it. So we haul deer, put ’em there, and they stay there. They stay there, they radio calling. Yes. That’s how they know. And it’s working. And that’s another great, great great example of just good old hunters getting involved and making a huge difference. And now we got other states calling us, asking us, how do you do it? Help us get set up. Yeah. Yeah. We’re catching urban deer that usually we’d have to go out and would be just considered depredation deer that, that are wildlife techs that have to just go out and shoot. Now we’re moving those to where there’s habitat and where we have room. So it’s crazy. It’s awesome. And, but that kind of stuff does cost money. And so, but I’m here to tell you, I’ve been involved in every aspect of the conservation permit program. It’s absolutely worth it. That money is, you know, people say, well, how do we know it’s getting, getting used the right way? That is the most accounted for money on the planet. Yeah. It’s audited every year. And, and it is so, it is so cool to see the neat things that we’re able to do for a hundred dollars.

00:21:32:02 –> 00:21:36:16
So John, so when you’re up there, of course, I don’t know if everybody knows this, but you’re an auctioneer.

00:21:37:02 –> 00:21:37:11

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How did you get started into that?

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You know, I was the chairman of a Utah County Sportsman’s banquet. And I hired a couple, a buddy of mine who’s a great guy and a super good auctioneer. And when I was a kid growing up, I always just loved going to the horse auction. It was one of my favorite things to do. And I hired my buddy to come be our auctioneer and he did a great job. And I got talking to him after and I thought, you know, I bet I could do that. So I went home and told my wife, she says, I think I’m gonna go to auction school. She’s like, oh boy. Yeah, here we go. She says, you talk way too slow. I told my mom, I think I’m gonna go to auction school. She says, you talk way too slow. And so I, and then I talked to my dad and my dad says, and he says, yeah, well, he says, that sounds fun. Whatever you

00:22:17:29 –> 00:22:18:10
Want, son,

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Whatever you want. And then he called me back the next day and says, you find an auction school, I’ll go with you. So I went to auction school with my dad and, you know, I think we were there eight or nine days. Yeah. And they kind of teach you how to do it and teach you a little bit about the business. And so I started doing that. And

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What period of time in the, in your life was this? As far as

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I can remember, it feels like

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You been

00:22:37:06 –> 00:22:55:20
An auction. I think I’ve been doing it about 18 years now. Yeah. So yeah, I’ve been doing it about 18 years. And man, it just gets busier every year. And I’ve been lucky enough to be able to work some of the biggest events in the hunting industry. The sheep show, the Hunt expo, geez. You know, I Weatherby Foundation, the Weatherby Award in Dallas, you know, and the

00:22:55:20 –> 00:22:56:13
Big ones. Yeah.

00:22:56:21 –> 00:22:59:06
And it’s, it’s a lot of fun because

00:22:59:10 –> 00:23:04:05
So you’re selling these tags Yeah. That provide a lot of these conservation efforts.

00:23:04:05 –> 00:23:21:22
Oh yeah. Yep. You know, when I, and it, once in a while you catch yourself thinking, man, we’re gonna sell this Oak Creek tag for, you know, it sells for 20 or $30,000. Some of ’em have been pretty crazy. And immediately I start thinking, now we got money to fix that burn down there. There you go. Now we got money to fix that fence down there that we’ve been working on with the, you know, with the boundary issue. And so,

00:23:21:23 –> 00:23:34:12
Kind of interesting how that all comes into play when you’re, you’re, you know, you’re the chairman of the board, you’re also working with Troy at S f W and Miles with M D F and Alan with the Army. Oh yeah.

00:23:34:16 –> 00:24:34:11
I mean, it’s, you know what I mean? I mean all these guys. Absolutely. And, you know, and, and there’s, there’s so many good passionate people in all these organizations and they just, they want to be involved. They want to do something to help wildlife. And so they get involved in a local chapter of one of these groups and they just do, they just do such amazing work. And it, and it, it’s sometimes it’s frustrating when people, you know, people say, well, the division just does whatever they want. Yeah. You know, the vision, the division don’t listen. The vision is, yeah. Most of the good proposals, most of the good changes that I consider to be good anyway, that have come about the last, you know, 10, 15 years that I’ve really been involved, have started with a sportsman’s organization, a group of guys sitting around talking like we’re doing now that wanna see a change. So they, they put together a good proposal, they go talk to their biologists, they work through the system and, you know, they make a, they make a good positive change. And it has impacts for generations to come.

00:24:34:16 –> 00:24:44:22
Yeah. There’s no question about that. You can definitely see that in short term and long term. Absolutely. You’re making changes that affect people right now. And then you’re looking at all kinds of long-term effects that might happen.

00:24:44:22 –> 00:25:00:15
Well, you know, I, I hope that my kids benefit from some of the work we’re putting in now. Yeah. And you know, when it comes to habitat and deer, elk and things like that, I am very confident that they’ll, they’ll have deer, elk and, and chance to draw sheep tags and moose tags and that because of the things we’re doing now. So.

00:25:00:15 –> 00:25:07:06
Yeah. Absolutely. And so what’s your favorite part about going back to the auctions? Like what’s your favorite part about the

00:25:07:08 –> 00:25:08:16
Oh, oh man. It’s, you know,

00:25:09:02 –> 00:25:13:15
I mean, you’re up there joking with people. Yeah. And you probably know the people you can really get on.

00:25:13:24 –> 00:25:29:23
You know, it, my wife, my poor wife, you know, I’ve been married for like 23 years, I’m gonna say it’s been 23 years. And my wife, she is a saint. ’cause she comes to these things. She hears me tell the same dumb jokes time and time and time again.

00:25:30:14 –> 00:25:33:18
And you’re teasing her too. I know, down in Cedar at our auction the other night,

00:25:33:26 –> 00:26:36:11
You were on it for a minute, you know. Yeah. But, you know, and she’s gonna listen to this and going to get on my case a little bit, but if you don’t talk to him, she says, you, it was like, you didn’t even know I was there. And then if I tease her, she’s like, why were you teasing me? You know? And so you gotta, but you gotta say, so you gotta acknowledge him. ’cause they’re, you know, and, and I know you gotta, you got a great wife too, and, and they are so good to support us. Yeah. And they, and they buy into this passion that we have and they become part of it. And they’re, and they’re so good. But yeah, it’s kind of a family deal. But I tell you, we do all this for wildlife. But on the flip side of the coin, we do all this for, for the people too. Because I want my kids to benefit. I want my buddy’s kids to benefit. And so the funnest, the absolute funnest part of going to all these events and all this kinda stuff is all the great people you meet, all the good friends you get to catch up with. You only see a couple times a year all the outfitters you’ve hunted with and that you get to talk to and swap stories with. And so the funnest part, hands down is, is the, is the great people. That’s, yeah. That’s

00:26:36:11 –> 00:26:39:21
The best. Well, and you know about everybody and everybody knows you no matter what.

00:26:39:23 –> 00:26:48:18
Well, you know, it’s sometimes that’s good or bad. If, if a guy doesn’t quite get the tag he wants or something, sometimes they hold a little grudge against and they remind you about it every little while. That’s

00:26:48:18 –> 00:26:49:26
All good. You’re a big guy with a little bit of a

00:26:49:26 –> 00:26:52:28
Thick skin. That’s right. Yeah. I got broad shoulders, I can handle it. So it’s

00:26:52:28 –> 00:27:25:20
All good. Well, good. You know, of course, you know, I’m 41 years old and I’m now got kids ranging from nine to 16. And so it’s, it’s funny how life changes and you do, you know, I don’t know, you just, it goes from, you know, me killing big deer or, or, or elk or sheep or getting that sheep tag or anything to, quite frankly, it’s all about my boys now. Like, I’ll drive, we drove, you know, my second youngest wanted to kill a deer. Of course I can’t leave school. You know, you know how that

00:27:25:20 –> 00:27:26:17
Goes nowadays. Yeah,

00:27:26:17 –> 00:28:14:12
Yeah. And so anyway, we left in the middle of the night to Friday night, showed up Saturday morning and he had half a day to hunt and luckily kill the deer up there in Idaho, but in half a day, you know, and make sure we get back for church. But I think part of that is, you know, it’s just funny how we change going from, you know, young kids or no kids. It’s all about me and killing deer and, and our next opportunity to what are my kids’ next opportunity. I mean, we, and we were in on some big kills last year, but nothing compared to my boys killing deer. And, and it’s just, I don’t know, I guess I’m just, at that point in my life, you where you just start seeing it from a, a total different perspective. That, and we all talked about, I talked about conservation when I was 25. Yeah. But it was conserv and deer for me. That’s

00:28:14:12 –> 00:29:06:22
Right. That’s right. I’m right there with you. You know, and I got, you know, I’m, I’m a couple years older than you. I think I’m gonna turn 44 this year. Yeah. And I got a daughter that is 21, just got married to a great guy that come from a family that hunted. Yeah. And so he, you know, he, he’s got some guns and likes to hunt stuff, but not quite to the extent that Yeah. That our family does. And it’s been so much fun taking him and my daughter and I got a boy that’s 19 now. And the first year he could hunt, I took him out and, and we shot a, a buck, he made a pretty good shot for a, you know, 14 year old kid on a, on a buck with his 2 43. Wow. And I’m here to tell you, at one of my greatest moments as a dad and as a hunter and as a conservationist, was when he walked up to that little three point buck laying there.

00:29:06:26 –> 00:29:43:19
Yeah. And he, and I told him, I says, make sure your bullets outta your gun. And he was shaking so bad he couldn’t hang onto the gun. I had to take the gun from him and set it down. And he had on an au pair of binoculars and he was shaking so bad he couldn’t get the binoculars off and he, he couldn’t wait to get it home to show his mom. Yeah. And he was so excited. He didn’t know what to do. Crazy. And it was so fun. And immediately I start thinking about when I shot my first deer, just a little two point buck Yeah. With my dad’s 30. 30. Yeah. And, and how my dad was laughing at me when he was trying to help me gut that deer, deer. And I was shaking so that I couldn’t hardly hang onto the knife.

00:29:43:19 –> 00:30:12:19
And he kept telling me, you need to just calm down. Just chill sounds just chill. You need to just calm down. He said, he says, with a little luck, you’re gonna do this a few more times in your life. So he said, just relax, you know, in those kind of moments, you know, it’s fun to kill a big buck. It’s fun to, you know, to travel. Oh, there’s something like it and hunt sheep. But I’m here to tell you right there on that same level, is those experiences you have with your kids, we’re seeing their excitement and that passion kind of be born in them. Yep. Is that’s, you get to a point where that’s really what it’s about. That’s

00:30:12:19 –> 00:30:37:12
Really what it’s about. I even turkeys, I took my, oh, youngest boy down and, and worked the turkeys over on the kebab there in Arizona. They got a great little youth program and they get to start a few days before the adults. But anyway, finally got into a Turkey and he got, and he, he killed him. And I mean, it’s just, man, you just, I don’t even remember celebrating as hard as I did for this kid’s First Turkey. You know? Yeah. It’s, and so

00:30:38:00 –> 00:31:19:28
I took my youngest out this last year. We do a lot of coyo hunting, we do a lot of coyo hunting, A lot of coyo hunting. Yeah. We do a lot of coyo hunting. And my daughter, I needed to get her out and get her a little trigger time. So we went down to, went down to the desert a few places and, and found some prairie dogs. And I got my 17 H m R out and got her set up on some sticks and we’d, we’d move around, find some prairie dog towns and, you know, that little bugger. Finally we got her so she could find some stuff in the scope and got her to calm down and squeeze the trigger. Yeah. She started stacking ’em up pretty good. And then of course she realized that she was about 20 ahead of me. So she starts talking trash, you know, telling me, you know, dad, it’d be nice if you’d hit one once in a while.

00:31:20:05 –> 00:31:48:11
Type stuff. You know, and it’s just, it’s so fun to see their personality come out Yeah. In that setting. And so, and then, you know, my boy, the first time we, I finally got him a coyote, he, I got a lot of ’em into him, but, and you know, you’ve hunted coyote, you know how it is. Yeah. The first time people get ’cause it’s exciting. Oh yeah. I mean, the first time people lock up and they shoot over him every time the first time. That’s just how it is. They shoot over ’em every time. It is a small target. It is a very small targets, a big lot of

00:31:48:11 –> 00:31:48:28
Fur and not

00:31:48:28 –> 00:32:27:13
Much body. That’s, they’re very deceiving, you know, and you only usually have a second to shoot at him. And so my boy, he had missed a few and you know, that moment where he finally, we called one in and I thought, well, you know, I had him, my son-in-law with me and I was just about ready to touch it off. And my kid knew I was gonna shoot. So he hurried, he jumped the trigger on me and, and ripped one off. He hit it. Yeah. He hid it and it got down in the, in the willows. And he went down there looking around for it and he found it, I’ll never forget that big old hoop and holler when he stood up out of the willows holding that Cote man. He was just, and he still talks about that. He still talks about that, that he almost stepped on that coyote. It almost bid him before he found it. So, geez. You know, it’s just good times. Oh

00:32:27:29 –> 00:33:18:02
Times. We were out to checking trail cameras in Nevada with Sean. He’s my middle boy of the three. And anyway, he just keeps wanting to call a Kyle in call, a Kyle in. And I’m just thinking, okay, well he’s in shorts and a purple shirt. We’re checking cameras. And, and we went up, we were gonna check this water just to see if this whole spring that I knew about years ago was still running or dried or, or whatever. And on our way he’s like, daddy, can I call Coyote? And I’m thinking, man, well it’s midday, it is 95 degrees. Sure. Yeah. You know, and I’m like, sure, just whatever. I’ll just wait right here. Just run up on that little ridge right there, you know, the whole time I’m just looking around, you know, playing my shoe laces. And pretty soon he starts squealing and then pretty soon, boom went over there and he just hooting and hollering and holding this Kyle his little pup. You know what I mean? Yeah. Pups, what is it? Mid-July. Oh yeah.

00:33:18:05 –> 00:33:30:23
You know what I mean? Yeah. That year’s dog. That’s, you know, that’s a great time of year to hunt ’em with the kids though. ’cause that’s when the coyotes at their highest population. Yeah. And those pups and the dumbest Yep. Those pups have never had interaction with people before and they don’t know, you know, that’s,

00:33:30:23 –> 00:33:31:01
Yeah. And

00:33:31:01 –> 00:33:38:00
They’re hungry. Yeah. I mean, they’re still coyotes, but they’re as dumb as you’ll ever catch ’em. And so that’s, that’s a good time to get ’em out. Yeah. And

00:33:38:16 –> 00:33:38:23

00:33:38:23 –> 00:33:39:24
Good. Yeah. It’s a lot of fun.

00:33:39:28 –> 00:33:45:28
So good. That’s a lot of fun. But anyway, any, any other hunting experience? Your favorite hunting

00:33:45:28 –> 00:33:47:22
Experience or? Oh man, I,

00:33:50:16 –> 00:34:20:01
Of course, you know, I haven’t killed near the big deer you guys have killed, but I got a, I had a pretty good, I had a pretty good hunt with some guys in Colorado. Did good. Yeah. Some good friends here. A few years ago I went out there and, and done a little work with a, with a buddy and he says, well, he says, you know, he says, I got a little lease, I’ll let you come out and hunt if you want. Yeah. I says, what kind of deer you talking about? And he says, ah. He says, you might get a shot at a 180 buck. Well, 180 bucks pretty good, you know. Nice. You know, I’ve never killed, yeah. I’ve been archery hunting for about, you know, 10, 12 years and shot at a few, but I’d never, yeah. I was trying to be a little picky.

00:34:20:01 –> 00:34:53:07
So yeah, first buck with a bow and I shot a ton of ’em with a gun. But I thought, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get it with a bow. I’m gonna do it with a bow. Get out there. And we get looking around, looking around a couple guys in camp says, man, we seen this big old buck. And they had a little video clip of him and they, my buddy there says, yeah, I think I know. He says, I think I know where we can find him in the morning and drive around, find him, sneak in on him, blow him out, bust him outta there. He takes off running, follow him around the hill a little ways, thinking he is gone look down the hill and here comes a little buck sneaking around the hill. And I’ll be dang if that big old buck wasn’t with him.

00:34:53:07 –> 00:35:28:04
And so I draw back, we had a video camera on him and I draw back, launch one and he’s about 63 yards. Yeah. And, and I hear this big old loud crack and I’m sure I shot over him and hit a tree and I’m down there looking for arrow and another buddy walks down there with me, reached down the grass, poles out this air, and it’s just dripping with bright pink blood. Geez. And we looked around there a little while and found him. And, and my buddy hollers at me from down in the brush. I walked down in there. I’ll never forget that big old antler, that big old velvet antler sticking up out of that grass was two big old cheaters sticking off of him. Geez. We walked over there and held him up and he was,

00:35:29:00 –> 00:35:29:16
He’s an awesome

00:35:29:16 –> 00:36:32:20
Deer. He’s a great deer. I mean, he’s a, he’s a great deer. And it was, it was a lot of fun because I had really good friends with me. Yeah. We got, we were lucky, lucky enough to get some of it on video. And you know, he and guys still ask me, you know, still ask me about that deer. ’cause he really is, you know, the buck of a lifetime. Yeah. I was lucky enough to draw a sheep tag out in the book cliffs and had my dad and my boy with me and some good friends when I killed that. And you know, just, there’s some, there’s some really great opportunities, really good moments I’ve shared with good friends and good family. You know, my dear, my, I shot a three 30 bowl on the man tie with my dad one time that we worked our guts out for, and that was, you know, that was an adventure. The, the story, just the hunt, you know, is a lot more of a, of a story than the, than the measurement on the, on the antlers. But yeah. Of fact, you know, I can’t even put him in my house. I ain’t got room in my house for him. Yeah. But he, every time I walk outta there and see that sixpoint rack hanging out the rafters in my garage, I think of how hard my dad That’s right. Stuck with me at work to get that elk dead, so.

00:36:32:22 –> 00:36:47:18
That’s right. Well, good. Well, any, any way, I guess just people attending these RAC meetings and different things and I guess of course keeping in touch with the conservation organizations on, on volunteering for projects. But I mean, is there any other ways you can think that people can get involved

00:36:47:22 –> 00:36:57:18
And, you know, there’s, there’s always a way some pe you know, some people get involved at, at these kind of events. We see a lot of people that, you know, that write big checks. Yeah.

00:36:58:11 –> 00:37:37:02
Usually guys that write big checks have those big checks because they’re working dogs. They’re, and that’s, and that’s the priority in their life. But they’re willing to get involved with where they can and, you know, write money, make donations. Then on the, on the flip side of that coin, there’s a lot of guys that are, you know, that are just the heartbeat of this good country Yeah. That are nine to five work their tails off. And it’s the same guys that you see their truck in the canyon every morning when you’re driving by. ’cause they’re up there checking their trail cameras, finding that big buck that get involved, that do the, I mean we’re talking about these mule deer transplants,

00:37:37:14 –> 00:37:38:08
Physical labor and time.

00:37:38:15 –> 00:38:29:22
Physical, physical labor and time. You know, and that’s how they’ve chose to get involved. So, yeah. You know, I, anybody that, that wants to, to be involved with an organization, you know, be it sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, mule Deer Foundation, sheep Foundation, you know, Utah, pheno, Turkey Federation, there’s tons of great organizations. Yeah. Yeah. Find your local chapter, you know, help out on the local banquet. Talk to your local biologists. That’s one thing I wish people would do a lot more is if you have questions about what’s going on. I’m here to tell you, talking to your buddies in the coffee shop, you’re not getting the straight story. Yeah. Now I understand you’re all passionate and that you All right. Have an opinion. ’cause I got one too. Yeah. Yes. But if you really want to get the facts of what’s going on and why it’s going on, give your biologists a call here in the state of Utah, we have the most user-friendly division of wildlife and they’re more than happy to take your call.

00:38:29:29 –> 00:39:03:02
Now if you scream and yell at ’em, they’re gonna give you the same response I would. Yeah, exactly. But if you go in there and meet with ’em, ’em or call ’em on the phone and ask ’em questions, I have a concern about this unit. With respect. With respect, you know, and so, you know, I’m not seeing the fawns. I think we should see ’em not seeing the bucks. I think we should see, I’m worried about their, you know, the roadkill or the habitat or something like that. Yeah. They have data. That’s their job Yeah. Is to have those answers. Yeah. And they are more than willing to share ’em with you. Yep. And so, you know, talk to your biologist. Go to a rack meeting, get on the division of Wildlife Resources homepage. They have a great app you can download right to your phone.

00:39:03:16 –> 00:40:05:18
Public meetings. It’ll tell you where the public meetings are, what time, what topics will be discussed. It’ll tell you who the rack members are, who they’re supposed to represent. You know, I get emails every single day. I answer emails every day from people that send me emails at the wildlife board, you know, asking questions, giving input. Yeah. And so there is no excuse in the world, especially with the technology we have today with the podcast like we’re doing here, you know, with social media, with the internet, there’s no reason not to have Yeah. The facts. And you know, if you go on the forums and talk to guys that, that don’t really get involved, you know, I I you’re not really getting a story. Call your biologist. That’s right. Call your biologist. That, that would be my number one, my number one bit of advice. Call your biologist and find out what their data tells them. And that’s why, you know, that really drives why we’re doing what we’re doing. Yeah. So you don’t have to agree with it, but at least you get the biological facts and the trends and all that, so That’s

00:40:05:18 –> 00:40:23:13
Right. Well, I want to echo a lot of what you’ve said today as far as, you know, the game and fish and, and them being hunters and being passionate about wildlife and not just working against us and not just being an enemy. We’ve dealt with a lot of game and fish agencies. They’ve been super good. We had Greg Sheehan director on the other day. Good

00:40:23:15 –> 00:40:25:29
Guy, good personal friend, super good, fabulous guy.

00:40:26:15 –> 00:40:46:19
Super good. And, and we’ve found nothing but that. We’ve had a lot of gaming fish employees here at our booth yesterday. And a lot of ’em are personal friends. And so we appreciate them and, and their efforts. Appreciate you, John, really appreciate all that you’ve done over the years and, and all the service you’ve rendered to, to the state of Utah and all these different facets that you’ve been involved in.

00:40:46:24 –> 00:41:02:02
Well, I appreciate that. That means a lot coming from you guys. Of course. You know, you guys are all good close friends. I see all the time and, and love what you’re doing. I mean, congratulations on the business. You guys are just killing it. And I mean, you look at these big deer around here, you guys obviously know what you’re doing. You’re right there at the best.

00:41:02:09 –> 00:41:06:14
Well, we’re out, we’re out doing it. But we care about ’em too. Even though we kill ’em, we love ’em. And

00:41:06:14 –> 00:41:36:17
You, you know, and that you touch on a very important thing there. I don’t think it’s possible to go out and spend time with the wildlife and spend the time on the mountains and out on the range like you guys do, and not have just incredible respect Yeah. For the, for the wildlife and for the effort that it goes, that goes in to help grow that wildlife. So, I mean, and you know, you know, I know I’m preaching the choir with you here, but it’s, I mean, it’s in our blood. It’s what drives it. So what get, it’s what makes me go to work in the morning, something I can

00:41:36:17 –> 00:41:37:26
So all the hunter hunters can understand.

00:41:38:12 –> 00:42:02:09
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I tell you what it, the one thing that really bothers me with, you know, and I’m gonna bash on some of the mainstream media here a little bit, when they talk about conservationists and the mainstream media, they’re talking about anti hunters and, and people that don’t agree with hunting and that think that, you know, we’re just blood thirsty killers that don’t care about the animals. That is the absolute that that is the biggest lie going out there. Yeah.

00:42:02:29 –> 00:42:39:08
Hunters are conservationists. Hunters are conservationists. And you know, I’ve, I’ve said in a couple public meetings on time talking to Samantha Hunters about our crow hunt that we got that, I can’t believe the hate mail I got over crow hunt. But I told him, I says, we have wildlife, ’cause we hunt wildlife that made the papers all over the place. Look at this dumb redneck. I can’t believe he’d say that. Yeah. And the more I thought, and I, I was just kind of an off the cuff comment, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I believe it, we have this wildlife because we hunt this wildlife and because of the hunters and because of the passion. And I hope that’s something we’re all proud of. Yeah. Because I’m here to tell you, if we weren’t here doing our part and taking care of it, we wouldn’t have it. No, we

00:42:39:08 –> 00:42:39:17
Wouldn’t have it.

00:42:39:23 –> 00:42:40:05
Absolutely wouldn’t have

00:42:40:05 –> 00:42:46:03
It. We’d just go to work every day and we, maybe we’d be in the bowling league or do some other something else, you know, know that’s,

00:42:46:03 –> 00:42:49:20
That’s the kind of life I don’t want to think about, especially the way I ball. So that’s

00:42:50:12 –> 00:43:03:03
Me too. But Yeah, no, I agree. And, and it be more in just passing, you’d think about wildlife, it wouldn’t be because you get involved and, and do a lot of the different things that people do volunteer wise and, and, and otherwise, so. Well,

00:43:03:03 –> 00:43:14:05
You know, and you think about your family and as I think about mine, you look back, 2, 3, 4 generations take hunting and wildlife out of that. Yeah. Who are, and try to think about that. Who are, who are you, who are you? I mean that’s,

00:43:14:11 –> 00:43:15:00
I can’t even imagine.

00:43:15:08 –> 00:43:19:10
I can’t even, it doesn’t, it wouldn’t work. Yeah, it doesn’t. I mean, I can’t even imagine. I don’t

00:43:19:10 –> 00:43:23:04
Have a boat, a jet ski. I mean, I, I, you know, I don’t know what I’d be doing. I don’t,

00:43:23:04 –> 00:43:28:20
I can’t imagine what I’d be doing. Yeah. I can’t imagine what my house would look like. I can’t imagine what my kids would be like. You

00:43:28:20 –> 00:43:37:17
Know, mean, just think if you weren’t even a coyote hunter. I didn’t know, I didn’t know about all this predator stuff until social media. Now all of a sudden, I can’t believe how into it You are.

00:43:37:26 –> 00:43:39:04
Well, you know, I, you’re hard

00:43:39:04 –> 00:43:40:16
On ’em, John. Well,

00:43:40:16 –> 00:44:07:17
We try to be, we try to be, you know, we do a few contests every year and we, we’ve had some pretty good luck that way. And you know, for there for quite a few years, I had some lion hounds too, and we’d have a lot of lions and bears and stuff. But ever since I was a little kid growing up and then when my dad was worked on a sheep ranch, we always hated coyotes. Yeah. It’s any chance you had to put a bullet in one, you took it. And so, yeah. Yeah. I, it’s just kind of in your blood, it’s in your chest. It’s kind of bred into to shoot coyotes and so we take every chance we can to, to get out and get after him,

00:44:07:20 –> 00:44:16:09
So. Well good. Well, hey, I wanna say thanks again. Appreciate you. You’re awesome man. Thanks man. A lot of people look up to you. You’re an integral part of our hunting community.

00:44:16:23 –> 00:44:26:12
I, I appreciate that a lot. I love being part of it, you know, and anything I can do for anybody, shoot me a, shoot me an email, hit me up on Facebook, Instagram, any of the, you know, I’m, yeah.

00:44:26:20 –> 00:44:27:29
And you obviously look at

00:44:28:04 –> 00:44:44:26
’em. Oh yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And you know, anything I can do to help anybody, if you got ideas or proposals that you have questions on or wanna know, how about getting it through the system that you think will benefit the wildlife or just wanna know about how the system works. Be hit me up. You know, love to talk about it just like we’re doing here right now, so

00:44:44:26 –> 00:45:04:19
Right on. Sounds great. Well just want a shout out to Under Armour. We appreciate them and all their support for Epic Outdoors and the course of these podcasts. They’re awesome, making innovative gear and, and in my opinion, have one of the best camel patterns out there. So anyway, appreciate them. Appreciate you, John. Appreciate all the sportsmen out there. Keep doing what we do. We love it.

00:45:04:23 –> 00:45:06:14
It’s what we do. It’s who we are, man. I’m looking

00:45:06:14 –> 00:45:07:26
Forward to 2017 buddy.

00:45:08:07 –> 00:45:10:01
Absolutely. Thanks for having me, my friend. You bet. Appreciate it. Thank you.