In this episode of Epic Outdoors Jason Carter talks with Greg Krogh one of the premiere outfitters for Mule Deer in the west. Greg specializes in Nevada and Arizona. Jason and Greg talk about their past experiences as well as strategies and individual units. This years moisture is exciting as it should make for an unforgettable year in Nevada and Arizona.

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 were on that deer for over 20 days.

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You have to be passionate about it

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All. Your scouting is just paying off,

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But we’ve just been getting unbelievable moisture, mild temperatures,

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Anything to do with Western big games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

00:00:21:20 –> 00:01:27:26
Hey everybody. Jason Carter here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. Super excited to be here with you today. Got a way fun guest with us. But before we get started, just wanna recognize Under Armour as the main title sponsor of these Epic Outdoors Podcasts. We appreciate them and, and all the support they lend Epic outdoors and the different projects we got going on. Super innovative company and, and just appreciate them supporting hunting and, and all that they do for the hunting community. So anyway, just a shout out to them as we get started today. I’ve, I’ve been super excited. Got Greg Kro on the line. So anyway, Greg is one of the premier outfitters in Nevada and Arizona really specializes, it seems like, in meal during Nevada. At least that’s what he’s extremely well known for. But having said that, he’s killed some of the biggest bulls to come outta the state of Nevada and also been on, you know, in his home state of Arizona. Some of the most amazing kills there too. Had some great tags himself as a killer himself and just really appreciate him spending some time with us. So, yeah, Greg, how you doing?

00:01:28:20 –> 00:01:30:07
Doing good, Jason. Thanks for having me on.

00:01:30:13 –> 00:01:57:26
Hey, you bet. Anyway, just wanted to kind of get started. Maybe Greg, I know most everybody that’s following the hunting community and, and kind of into Big Deer and Big Elk and, and hunting in, in Nevada and Arizona. You know, know who you are, they know your company, know what you’re about and of course you’re about killing big stuff. But anyway, just want you to maybe introduce yourself, you know, growing up and kind of how you got started into guiding and outfitting.

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I grew up in Arizona, down in Phoenix and really got into guiding kind of by accident. We just, you know, 30 years ago the tags started to get hard and back then we thought it was hard to get ’em when they took two years to get a tag or every third year, you know, and yeah, just loved hunting. And my dad and I came up with this idea after two straight years of not drawing any elk tags that we were gonna send out a flyer to a mailing list. My dad was in that line of work back then, like doing marketing, medical marketing mailing list. So we decided to send out mailers from the game of Fish site and just so we could get a chance to go hunting really was really wasn’t about making money, it was about getting a chance to just spend more time hunting and we couldn’t draw it. So that’s where it all started. And then it just kind of, you know, I did that for probably six or seven years and then decided to go into it full-time. Wow,

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That’s crazy. And so when you started, did you just pretty much start in your home state right there in in Arizona?

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Yeah, we started in Arizona and I mean we just, we didn’t even have camp. I mean, we didn’t know anything what we were doing. It was more of a guide day rate type deal. We would send out these flyers and we would show up at their camp and they would provide everything and all we would do was just be, you know, guides. So it was kind of a day rate thing and there was a lot of trial and error. And the beginning we used to do it for a day rate and sometimes you’d get done the first day and you get paid for one day, you know,

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00:03:21:17 –> 00:03:38:16
We didn’t take that kind of stuff through in the beginning. But yeah, eventually we made like a three or four day minimum. And, and, but it was all about just getting to go elk hunting, you know, that was something, you know, back then and you know, elk and deer both, you know, even back then it was two and three years to get drawn and now we’d get in to go back to that.

00:03:38:23 –> 00:03:46:20
Oh yeah, absolutely. And so, you know, if that’s that long ago we’re talking, you were probably, what, early twenties, somewhere in there? Late teens?

00:03:46:23 –> 00:04:07:20
I believe it or not, it was when I was, I was late teens back then. They didn’t, I got my license when I was 16 and back then they didn’t have a test. Geez. They didn’t have anything. It was as, you know, and I went and paid for a license and, and if there was an age limit, they didn’t do it. ’cause they issued me one, you know, and, and I, I was, I was almost 17

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And I think that was 30, almost 30, 32, 33. This would be my 33rd season. So 32 years ago.

00:04:14:23 –> 00:04:20:17
Holy cow. So we’re talking like just right at the end of high school or just right outside of high school, just right in that timeframe.

00:04:20:17 –> 00:04:22:18
Right. It was actually my senior year, I believe.

00:04:23:11 –> 00:04:32:02
Wow, that’s awesome. Well, cool. So basically started in on elk. Did you do like co deer, mule sheep or any of that kinda stuff?

00:04:32:02 –> 00:05:11:29
Yeah, yeah. We did everything. You know, back then it was just, you know, there was, there was, there were very few guides back then, you know, and it wasn’t something that, I mean, most people, including ourselves, we didn’t even know what it, we had to kinda look into it and go figure out what it was. And I didn’t know anybody that guided or, so it was, we just kinda would buy these mailing lists and send them out to people that drew tags around where we live. It wasn’t like the premium marriage. We weren’t, you know, we weren’t up on the strip or even the kibab. We were just sending out stuff around where we lived in the deserts and if people would draw a tag, we’d send a mailer and just try to get to go and do some hunting. So yeah, it, it was definitely not, definitely not any of the premium areas, you know. Yeah.

00:05:12:14 –> 00:05:33:28
Well and so when you got started, you got cranking. I mean, when did it morph into, you know, trying to maximize the tags and really it just become, it becomes an addiction, I know, and of trying to maximize the tags and really learn a unit, so, well you feel like, you know, you know it as well or better than anybody. Like when did it turn into that from just doing, you know, day trips for guys?

00:05:34:11 –> 00:06:08:08
Well, you know, I was, I was embarrassed to tell my dad that I was going to quit my job about six years into it and I wanted to do this full time and I’d kinda looked into it and, and I just didn’t have the art to tell him I was quitting and gonna do something like that. ’cause I thought he was gonna think I was just, you know, being in some deadbeat that didn’t wanna have a real job. So I researched it and I went and figured out all these different units and that’s where it all started. I sat down with a game and fish regs and I spent a day and a half looking at all the different units that I could do that didn’t conflict with each other to see how many hunts I could do. Yeah. If I could just get one or two people in each unit.

00:06:08:23 –> 00:06:55:14
And then once it started and we did it that first year, I actually, I think I actually told my dad I was just taking a break while I was interviewing for jobs. I didn’t even tell him I was planning on doing this forever. I, yeah, I even, I even made up a fake resume to show my dad that I was supposedly sending out while I went and did all this. That’s awesome. And then thought once, once I did a few trips and he could see that I was doing it, he wouldn’t be as disappointed, you know? And yeah. And then once we did on that first year, and he helped me and everything, you know, on the trips that we did that year. And once it, we got done, we just kind of just tried to stay in the same areas that we were in so we could learn more and more every year. And, and then gradually you pick up units over the years and yeah, Nevada ended up probably, I would say, you know, I’m early nineties I’m thinking, or you know, maybe it was right after that big winter kill, which was I think

00:06:55:14 –> 00:06:57:11
92. Yeah, 92, 93, yeah.

00:06:57:15 –> 00:07:39:18
Yeah. So it was the year after that and I got into that just because it was a, there was a four week span in October where there was nothing going on in Arizona. And so I, I researched it and, and thought we’d put in some guys over there and I’d had a lot of different friends that had hunted Nevada a lot. And, and so I just decided that’s how we picked up Nevada was just to kind of fill that gap. And yeah, now it’s ended up being where, you know, it turned started off as just a four week window and now I probably do at least 75, maybe 80% of my trips are in Nevada and very few in my home state now. I do, you know, I do the elk, I do the archery elk in Arizona. I do the late season rifle and I really do three hunts in Arizona all year. The rest are all three or four in Arizona. The rest are all in Nevada.

00:07:39:23 –> 00:07:43:10
That’s crazy. So you’ll do archery elk in, in Arizona and then

00:07:43:28 –> 00:08:25:23
The late rifles and then the late muzzy. So there’s really, there’s a late season muzzy hunt I do every year. And then a two weeks of archery elk cunning. I mean, we’ll do an early bull, but usually I can’t even do the early bull ’cause you gotta go back to kind of overlaps scouting for the Nevada rifle. So yeah, I really don’t even do those very often. It’s, it’s more just, it know those three or four and you know, and, and the re it really wasn’t intended to be that way. It’s just the draws are sooner there. So it’s really hard to turn away somebody that has a Nevada tag hoping you’re gonna draw an Arizona tag, you know? Yeah. And so that’s how that started. And then by the time all the Nevada draws are out, there’s really not much left in Arizona other than, you know, just the fill in stuff.

00:08:25:29 –> 00:08:43:00
Yeah. That’s crazy. Well, and so basically you’ll do some of that stuff in Arizona, of course it’s probably addicting ’cause it’s your home state. A it’s your home state b you know, you guys have giant bulls down there, especially on moisture years like this. You’re probably just licking your chops. Just can’t, can’t wait for that archery hunt to start down there. Oh,

00:08:43:00 –> 00:09:11:11
It’s in, I’m sitting here right now talking to you and I’m looking out over these fields and it’s green with five inches of green grass right now. And, and it just poured rain again, you know, yesterday. And then I think two days ago or all night it rained. So we’ve just been getting unbelievable moisture. And not only that, but really mild temperatures, which I think is really key. We haven’t had these, we haven’t really had any cold snaps at all this year just seems like a lot of rain. And then it warms right up and gets to 70 degrees. So it’s been phenomenal.

00:09:11:13 –> 00:10:02:08
That’s unbelievable. Yeah, I call ’em the chia pet years. You know, it’s when you’re in these desert units, like you’re in Nevada, southern Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, you get these kind of conditions. It’s, you know, they just grow, you add water and they grow and that’s kinda like the, you know, the chia pet. So anyway, I’m super excited as well. I can’t wait to see what comes on. I know, you know, Arizona’s just gonna have some absolute bombers, you know, as well as Nevada. And so well what, so I know Nevada’s archery hunt for deer opens August 10th. I love that because there’s nothing else going on unless you’re going up to Canada to hunt sheep or something in or Alaska. So, you know, I just love those, those early archery deer. And I know you do too, you know, in fact, I know, you know, I mean, you can talk to us about it, but I know it seems like you’re spending, you know, a month or two, you know, in the field prior to that archery hunt.

00:10:02:17 –> 00:10:35:07
Yeah, that’s by far my favorite hunt to do is the, the archery hunts in Nevada. And you know, by then you’ve been off, you know, at the end of the season you’re burned out, you don’t even wanna think about it. And then by the time June rolls around, that’s the first hunt that comes up and it just, I can’t, I can’t wait to get over there and start looking and seeing what you can find. And I usually spend a couple months over there, you know, throughout the summer and, and all that is, you know, it’s scouting for the archery, but it also ends up being the same bucks that we’re hunting on the other hunts. So yeah, it’s not just for that one hunt, it’s for all the different hunts. So it’s probably my f definitely my favorite time of year is the summer.

00:10:35:18 –> 00:10:53:29
Yeah. And that archery, you know, of course the muzzle starts September 10th and you know, it’s gonna roll into October 4th this year. It’s a crazy amount of time to hunt with a muzzle loader. And you know, right at the time where, you know, all your scouting is just paying off, like you’re still hunting those bucks in that summer pattern, especially that first half of the muzzle

00:10:54:09 –> 00:11:07:12
As you know, it’s, it’s the, definitely they’re in the same places, but you know, once they start shredding that velvet, they just start to slowly disappear. But I mean, they’re still there, but they’re definitely harder to find. But at least you know where they’re at from, from your summer stuff. So, for sure.

00:11:07:26 –> 00:11:25:14
So a lot of Nevada, you know, their rifle hunts are in October and some of ’em extend to November 5th, November 8th for the two twenties, but, you know, which is, which is super nice and it kind of flirts with the rutt and at times, depending on the air can be in the ru a little bit. But I mean, when do you think these deer are the most vulnerable?

00:11:25:24 –> 00:12:19:07
I like ’em early. And it’s funny because when everybody that, like, I’m working on that draw right now from the scheduling everything. And so many people want those, those rutt dates and, and depending on what you’re looking for, I think the really, truly giant bucks that you find in the summer, geez, by the time that Rutt starts, who knows where they’re gonna be, you know? And it’s, it’s easier to find mature deer in the, in the rutt, but you’re hunting, I just, it’s almost like a roll of the dice. You’re seeing more mature bucks, but the ones you spend all summer looking for are now gone. Yeah. And, and they, who knows where they went, you know, some of ’em stay right where they were, if there’s nos there. But a lot of them, you know, we got lucky last year and shot a deer 10, 12 miles away after we gave up on him, you know? Geez. And they left, left to go somewhere else thinking we just finally gave up after not seeing him in a couple weeks. And, and then we go 10 miles and he’s down there in, in the low country where he was gonna go to Rutt. That’s, and just got really lucky.

00:12:19:23 –> 00:12:21:28
Was that, tell me, was that Tony’s buck?

00:12:22:19 –> 00:12:23:24
Yes, that was Tony’s buck.

00:12:23:27 –> 00:12:51:14
Tell me about him a little bit. I know you were super excited when you guys got him on the ground. Some, you know, sometimes, and and I share this passion with you a little bit, but sometimes when you’re watching a deer, you know, maybe you guys picked him up in June, July of June, or I know you, you know, it seems like you really, July 4th is kinda your time, but you know, you probably picked him up early and then, and then you finally get him on the ground months later. I mean, tell me about that feeling. Tell me about this buck the story, maybe a little bit of history behind him.

00:12:52:01 –> 00:13:36:26
Well, that buck was something that we had hunted a bunch throughout the summer and, and there was two big typicals that we were hunting and, and we had several opportunities at him and just never closed a deal on him. And, and, and then when we went back to look for him on the rifle hunt, Tony’s a, Tony’s a really good, his, his dad’s a very close friend of mine. And it really just a very good family. And he was somebody that was really wanting to get a big buck for, ’cause he is just one of those guys that has the right attitude and he’s, he’s not expecting it, but he does everything in the world to try to, to make it happen. And we just, we were having a lot of fun for six days, but we were getting our butts handed to us. I mean, I don’t think we saw, I’m pretty sure in six days we didn’t see a deer over 180, you know, geez.

00:13:37:01 –> 00:14:16:12
And, but we were hunting one specific deer and there was, there were three other bucks in the area and none of them were good. And we would see them almost every day. And we just couldn’t find him. And I kept apologizing to Tony thinking that we’d wasted too much time on him, and he kept being really positive about it. And, and then finally we just gave up and went down to, I think there was a day and a half left, and we decided to give up on him. And we went down into some low winter range stuff and, and we actually were gonna try to kill a deer the night before. So I, I was wrong. We did see one deer in the, in the one eighties, and there was a deer we’d seen, and it was second last day and he decided he was gonna, you know, he was thinking about shooting it.

00:14:16:12 –> 00:14:58:05
And the next morning we actually went in there to go hunt that buck. And, and then while we were looking for him, we ended up finding this other buck, you know, and, and I mean, we were at least 10 miles away and I didn’t, I haven’t looked at a map, but it’s gotta be at least 10, maybe more straight line. And he was just, we were actually going after to get a better look at the other buck. And, and while I was watching through the binoculars, as he was stalking, I was trying to put him over the top of this ridge. And I looked in front of him and there’s that other buck laying there with his horn sticking outta the sage. Jesus. He was probably, I bet you he was 20, 30 yards from him at the time. Geez. And so then a big rodeo ensued.

00:14:58:05 –> 00:15:25:27
Deer were running everywhere and he ended up, we couldn’t get a shot at him there. The butt kind of did a little butt hook on us and got over the ridge and we couldn’t get a shot. And then he and Jeff Rowe, one of my guides was there helping, and he was on the other side. And Jeff, they ran around and tried to get on this bike multiple times. And Jeff picked up his tracks at the last spot I saw him. And, and they just tracked him up and they were about, I, it was outta my sight when everything, all the fun stuff happened just outta my sight. Geez. And I could hear the shooting and

00:15:27:04 –> 00:15:28:14
Lots of shooting or just a little

00:15:28:19 –> 00:16:17:05
Shooting. No, it was like, it was, it was, well, I’m sure, I think he just did a story for your magazine, so Yeah, I’m sure everybody’s, I’m not giving it away, but he, he basically, it was crazy. They were coming around the corner. He, he, they, I think they ended up seeing a couple of dos and thought maybe he held up right there, you know, just being, ’cause he was pretty spooked. And, and I think Jeff saw his shadow or something, if I remember right. Right behind a tree off to their left. Yeah. And, you know, coming out from behind a tree. And then about the same time Jeff noticed it, the buck bolted and a and real close range, but really hauling butt. And he fired off three shots as fast as you can imagine. And as he was running through the trees right in front of him, and they thought they had hit him on the, on the first shot because he really staggered.

00:16:17:05 –> 00:16:41:20
And, and so Jeff called me on the cell phone and said, man, I, I think we hit him on the first shot, but, ’cause he really stumbled, but, and they were giving it a little bit of time. And then they went over and then I’m still on the phone with them, and then they tell me that they find the antler laying on the ground. Yeah. And he’d shot his left side off unbelievable. Right at the base of the G two. And so we thought we had, we thought it was over. I remember telling Jeff, just hold onto the antler and start tracking him again. You know, we put

00:16:41:22 –> 00:16:45:02
Yeah, we’re looking for sheds now, let’s find the other side. Yeah. Yeah.

00:16:45:22 –> 00:17:24:26
So he started tracking ’em again. And, and then, and then he, he, I was actually on the, I forget they called me. They couldn’t find, there wasn’t any blood or anything, and we were thinking he had missed him and he just kept tracking him. And then I, I’m sitting there waiting, I’m not very patient and I’m sitting there just staring through the binoculars at the backside of the hill. I can’t see anything. And after about five to 10 minutes, Jeff called me and said, man, you’re not gonna bleed this, but there’s a couple of drops of blood on the ground. We did hit him, you know, and, and, and the fact that he had gone that far and then started bleeding. Yeah, I was, and and then as we were standing there talking on the phone, he said, yeah, I can look up, I head 30 yards and the blood trail’s getting bigger and bigger. And then he says, oh man, he’s laying right there. Oh

00:17:24:28 –> 00:17:25:10
My gosh.

00:17:25:17 –> 00:17:42:23
And I about died, you know, and, and then the horn fit right on there. I mean, no tape, nothing, just, it literally fit in like a puzzle and just kinda stuck right in place. And Oh, we did put some tape on it, the picture, just to make sure it didn’t break anything, but Yeah. Yeah. But that was, that was one of the funner hunts last year. ’cause I mean, you never see anybody so excited as Tony was. It was pretty cool.

00:17:42:27 –> 00:17:51:00
Well, and, and so do you have history with this deer? Like did you see him the year before or was it a new deer that went from maybe one a you didn’t, didn’t recognize him to 200 or, that

00:17:51:00 –> 00:18:00:22
Was a deer that I did not know from the year before. Yeah, there were two of them. There were two, one we knew from the year before. And that was a new deer. I mean, unless he was something that we have

00:18:01:03 –> 00:18:03:28
It just something you didn’t recognize. Just a de

00:18:03:28 –> 00:18:05:29
Wasn’t something. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.

00:18:06:11 –> 00:18:08:28
So tell me about the other buck. I mean, the other buck’s still alive,

00:18:09:23 –> 00:18:11:06
The other buck is still alive. Yeah,

00:18:11:12 –> 00:18:12:24
He’s gotta be on the hit list, huh?

00:18:13:03 –> 00:18:22:02
I’m hoping he’s, I hope he comes back. Yeah, he is. It’s a really nice, he, he is a lot like that deer with similar forks, but he’s, he’s wider and a little bit heavier, so, so he’s,

00:18:22:02 –> 00:18:24:19
He’s kinda like a 200 inch buck, but bigger. Yeah,

00:18:25:02 –> 00:18:28:02
Exactly. He’s a nice deer. I like him. So

00:18:28:11 –> 00:18:48:22
I love it. I love it. So, you know, you know, I know I’ve heard a, I haven’t met Tony that I’m, that I’m aware of. I may have met him in a show or something, but I haven’t met him. I’ve heard that he’s a super good kid, really into hunting. And his family’s just awesome. I’m sure. It’s just awesome to have it come together with a, with a guy that really would appreciate it. And, and got a good family, huh?

00:18:48:27 –> 00:19:20:22
Oh, they’re, they’re, they’re one of the nicest families you could ever meet. He’s got three boys. They’re all awesome. And, you know, we’ve, I’ve gotten to hunt with, gotten to hunt with most of them. And in fact, I get to hunt with his dad a couple weeks later and his dad does a another hunt with us on the late season. And they’re just, there’s so many people that are that, that, that are Tony’s age that, that don’t get it, I think. And he’s one of those people that’s just, man, he’s just, he’s so excited about just being hunting, you know? Yeah. And not about anything else other than just getting to go hunting. He loves it.

00:19:20:29 –> 00:19:47:04
So, I do wanna back up just a little. So you talked about Jeff Rowe. I know you hire some extremely good guides and I know, you know, I’m just gonna throw this out there. I mean, these guys are making your business and you of course you want, you, you are as well. I mean, you’re, you’re probably one of the most well-known, you know, hunters out there for deer and elk. But, you know, it’s nice when you surround yourself with good people like Jeff and, and Paul and some of the different guys you hire.

00:19:47:10 –> 00:20:24:07
You know, it’s funny, getting back to to that, you know, Tony Louis po, which is Tony’s dad, he had a talk of me last year and sat there and said, you just gotta be, quit being a control freak and, and, you know, hire some new guys and not worry about it. And as long as you know, they’re good and just trust ’em. And, and he’s the one that convinced me to, ’cause we were turning away a lot of people and, and then the people we were turning him away from weren’t actually guiding him either. They were hiring people. And that’s how he kind of convinced me of it. He said, you know, you sent me to this guy and I called him and he can’t do it either, so he’s gonna hire a sub guy to do it, so it might as well be you doing it, you know, and then at least I have, I can trust your opinion.

00:20:24:09 –> 00:20:59:12
And so that’s why we started hiring new guys. And you know, I’ve had guys like, you know, Paul Stewart who’s been in the business forever and just phenomenal. Yeah. And, you know, used to be one of my biggest competitors. And man, I was excited to get him on our team. And then, you know, Jeff’s somebody new that in Nevada, and I’m talking about just specifically Nevada, Jeff, Sergio Karth, who’s phenomenal, another young guy. Jason Campbell helps me just as my buddy. Just, he’ll come and do it as a, you know, helps me for a couple trips a year. And there’s, yeah. There’s nobody better than that and his brother Clay. And I’m sure I’m gonna leave people out and then I’m gonna feel stupid, but Yeah.

00:20:59:12 –> 00:21:00:10
Yeah. No, I understand. Without

00:21:00:11 –> 00:21:01:17
You guys, you don’t have anybody, so.

00:21:01:19 –> 00:21:16:28
Yeah. And they are, they are, they’re killers in and out, you know, I mean, good guides are usually, you know, driven to kill themselves too. And, and then just kind of supplement, you know, getting their fix between tags and stuff because it’s hard to get these tags, you know? Yeah.

00:21:16:28 –> 00:21:50:04
If it wasn’t for guiding, we’d never get to go hunting, really. You know, it’s, you know, you, I guess you can go with a friend every now and then when they draw. But, you know, so many people, especially the people that I know that are really successful at it in the guiding bar, they’re doing it ’cause they just love being out there hunting. You know? And I keep saying for years, I’m gonna slow down and do maybe half as many trips. And I’ve been saying that for the last three years. I’m gonna do every other week. But then when it comes time to schedule like I’m doing this week, I keep putting myself in there. ’cause I can’t imagine not being on that trip, for example, you know, or that trip. I look at it and go, God, that was the week I was gonna take off, but there’s no way I can miss that hunt. That one’s too fun. You know?

00:21:50:09 –> 00:22:29:08
Yeah, exactly. Well, good, I’m glad, I’m glad. I mean, I know, you know, like you’re saying, you know, growth is hard and it’s hard. You talk about being a control freak and, and we can, we can call it that I’m a little bit the same way, but a lot of it is just, you know, you wanna control as many of those variables as you can. And, you know, you can rely on yourself and, and, and trust yourself that you’re gonna do the best job you can and represent your business as best you can. But, you know, at times there are, there is a time to bring on other, you know, a couple other good guys and there’s nothing wrong with it. You know, as long as they represent your business, you know, and, and represent you as good as, as they can and, and are good people. Oh,

00:22:29:08 –> 00:22:51:05
Yeah. And these, you know, look, if you remember when we were, I, I met you, you know, we were both, gosh, probably early twenties, right? Yeah. Oh yeah. And that you look at it back then, and man, we thought we knew everything, you know, and I, I know I did back then. And, and so now as you learn all this stuff and I look back, that’s probably why I had such a hard time going back because I realize now how little I knew back then. Yeah.

00:22:51:21 –> 00:22:51:29

00:22:51:29 –> 00:23:15:20
I don’t know if I could hire someone that’s in the early twenties, but today, these guys that are in their early twenties that are good, they’re, it’s, they’re so far ahead of where we were when we were 20, oh, you know, with all the new, new optics, new technology map program. And they just, it, it blows me away with some of the stuff that, you know, I learned from my younger guys about this technology stuff that I now use. And I never did that stuff before. And, and it’s pretty incredible.

00:23:16:05 –> 00:23:52:22
It’s unbelievable. We got phone scopes now and just, we can document about everything that happens and then we can analyze that animal from year to year. And, and it’s just, it’s, you know, with, you know, trail cameras and I know you don’t use ’em much, if any, and, but a lot, you know, a lot of guys do. And that’s changed, changed the game a lot. And then, like you said, I mean, 30 and 40 power binoculars and just life things do change. And it, and these young guys are, they’re starting where I don’t, I don’t know, you and I, I mean, mean back in the day, you know, I remember, I mean, tracking was a legitimate way to kill animals. You hardly ever hear that anymore. People don’t track, you know. Yeah.

00:23:53:11 –> 00:24:03:02
It’s, it’s amazing. So few people do and, and it’s still today it’s a really valuable tool. And I mean, I don’t think it replaces, obviously those are things, man. It’s sure a nice tool to have.

00:24:03:13 –> 00:24:49:08
Yeah, it is. And, and have that confidence to do it. Know what the deer are gonna do. I know, I remember, you know, I wanted to kill big deer and, and I didn’t know, you know, I never had really put hands on my own deer. And, and man, I just was working my guts out there in Nevada and just, I’d just go out there like even in April, may, June, if it would rain, I would go get on a track, you know, even though they haven’t grown out their antlers, just learned deer. I’d just track ’em, I’d track ’em all day just to learn what they were doing. They’d bed multiple beds, this and that. They kinda circle around and you can tell when they’re weaving and looking for a bed. And I just learned so much just being out in the hills and it’s just feels like, you know, nowadays with all of this technology and all the different things that are going on, like people aren’t gonna just go walk around aimlessly in, in May, you know, it’s just not gonna happen. Yeah.

00:24:49:11 –> 00:25:19:15
There’s too many, there’s so many other different ways now to scout that people are doing, and, but, but you’re right. When you start tracking, it’s amazing how you can start. You do it enough and you start to figure out when they’re, when you’re getting close, you know? And, and when you start to slow down ’cause you know it’s about to happen. And, and man, I don’t think there’s anything more exciting than that. I mean, just, we got to track a couple bucks last year and we didn’t, they weren’t end up being the, they weren’t even the correct bucks, but we got to track ’em up and man, when it all happens at the very end, it’s pretty, it, there’s there’s a pretty big adrenaline rush.

00:25:19:20 –> 00:26:09:21
Yeah. It’s crazy. I know one of the deer we killed a couple of years ago, we actually came in on water, got him on truck camera, he came in on water, and then from there we tracked him down and a day and a half later ended up putting our hands on him on the ground. And so, you know, you just without tracking it would’ve never happened. And so it’s, you know, on some of these big deer, and, and as you know, you know, some of them are, are hard no matter what season you’re in. And they’re just, they’re just old and big and they’re, they’re, they’re, they’ve got somewhat wise, you know, they just got a lot of time in the hills and they know what you’re doing and they may be watching their back trail and watching you and, and you just, it, they’re not easy. No matter how hard we work, no matter how many good guys we have with us or, or we’re glassing or the optics we have, I mean, big deer are not dumb. Oh,

00:26:09:22 –> 00:26:35:25
No. Doubt about it. And you know, it, one of my favorite big buck stories that I heard about coming outta Nevada was two years ago that Morley Buck. Yeah. George Buck and, you know, and him tracking it up just like you talked about, you know, and picking him up on a truck camera and then trailing him up and shooting him. Then I guess it was two days later, and that was, that was one of my favorite stories I heard. Yeah. And, and it’s just a giant bucket without that skillset would’ve probably not been killed because I think he shot him right near the end of the hunt, if I remember

00:26:35:25 –> 00:26:47:04
Right. Yeah, he did. And you know what? He couldn’t have gone to a more deserving guy, super humble guy, such a big deer. I mean, deer we’re talking a 230 inch, five by five, basically, you know, just such a giant

00:26:47:16 –> 00:26:57:08
Oh yeah. It was, it was a freak. I actually got, I stopped, he let me stop by his house and check it out when I was driving through once and really nice. I got to meet him and his family, and man, that is a, that buck is so awesome in person.

00:26:57:14 –> 00:27:35:29
Yeah. And you know what’s interesting and, and, and I don’t know what our subject is today other than Big Deer and Big Elk and, you know, Nevada and Arizona, so I guess we can talk about anything, but what’s interesting is with social media and everything that’s out there today, it feels like you and I and, and everybody else that’s on it, there’s not a deer that gets unturned. I mean, we’re, we’re in the middle of all of this. And so in my opinion, I mean, it feels like there’s 200 inches everywhere and, and there’s not. But it feels like that because, you know, with trail cameras and, and the effort that people are going to and whatnot, you, you’re seeing pictures of him and we never saw pictures of him in the nineties. Oh,

00:27:36:07 –> 00:28:19:29
I couldn’t agree more. And that’s, I talk about this with guys all the time, that when they draw these tags, they think they’re just, you know, so many different people when they draw these tags, they’re, they follow it on social media and they see the box. But, you know, the social media, there’s very rarely posts about how bad it’s going or how slow it is, or, you know, when you’re not seeing something or you don’t, like I never posted once for six days about how me and Tony Polish couldn’t find a 180 buck, you know? Yeah. That’s not something you put on social media. So like you said, there’s almost no buck. There’s, well, I mean, there’s almost rarely does a buck show up that somebody shoots that nobody’s ever heard of. Yeah. And, and so there’s pictures of him out there, and it, it gives the illusion that there’s a lot more big deer out there than there really are. Yeah.

00:28:20:09 –> 00:29:05:29
Yep. No, I, I agree a hundred percent. We were hunting a deer one year we named Buster and just had a lot of cheaters. It was in, you know, the two forties. And anyway, he, he would come to water, and so we knew he was in the area, but we could not turn that deer. We actually turned him the night before the season videoed him right by the freaking water. It was unbelievable. I’m like, oh my gosh, this is easy. Well, it’s not, it wasn’t easy. And, and that deer lived, you know, but anyway, pounded it, pounded it, pounded it. We were on that deer for over 20 days and never saw him again, except went to a new area that was probably four or five miles away. I’m just like, he’s not here. He is gotta be over here. And Dusty and I were just, you know, trying to surmise on what he’d been doing and where he’d gone to.

00:29:06:01 –> 00:30:08:26
And anyway, we ended up, you know, I was on this little open clearing, just, just in there with him and Dusty was glassing, and that deer got my wind. He happened to be there, we guessed. Right. And he went and ran, stood off 50 yards off the end of my tailgate, you know, and Dusty got to watch him basically run away. We, we have never seen that deer again. Never got him on trail camera again. I mean, and gone. That was it, you know? And, and yet during those 20 days, I mean, we were pretty humble. It was one of those times you just, it was a grind. It’s a hundred degrees, 95, 5, a hundred, 105. And just, just, you know, I would call it miserable. I mean, it’s an addiction. And so with every day you, as you know, you know, you actually kind of amps you up because it’s such a challenge. But, but at the same time, I mean, I don’t know, we failed, you know, and it was tough. It’s, it’s tough to, it’s no fun to fail, you know? And you put so much time and energy into, into a deer like that. And, and I don’t know, I’m sure you’ve experienced a lot of that as well as I have.

00:30:09:11 –> 00:30:37:22
It is true. And, and some of those deer, I bet those are the, those are the ones that are so fun when it all works out. And I don’t think you enjoy it as much when it’s happening and you’re getting, you’re, you know, when you’re getting your butt handed to you. But when it’s all, when it does finally work out, it sure makes it worth it. I think that’s why Big Meal Leader is so fun, is it seems like they’re never easy. And, and when all those, all those encounters or those bucks that never do work out, make the one that finally does work out just awesome. You know? And it, it, there’s no feeling like it, I don’t think.

00:30:37:25 –> 00:31:19:01
Yeah. I agree with a hundred percent. I want to talk a little bit about, you know, this time in history that you and I are living in, of course, you know, lucky for us, we’re still just right in our prime and we get to enjoy it to its fullest and really work hard and, and beyond some of these big deer. But, you know, I’ve never seen it like this. It feels like last year was such a good year in Nevada. Let’s just talk Nevada. Last year was such a good year. Antler growth felt like it was off the charts. The deer, whether it be a cycle or whatever, there was a lot of big deer. Not just antler growth being good, but just a good age class of deer. You know, you, you I know put a lot of big deer on the ground, but a lot of deer got away that were big.

00:31:19:04 –> 00:32:01:11
I know you and I have talked a little bit, and same with me. Like there’s, it’s an incredible time in our lives where not only did we get to put our hands on some big deer, I mean, you know, lucky for me, I, I helped a couple of guys and, and we put a couple of big deer on the ground, but there’s a lot left over again. We’re having an incredible moisture year this year. So, I mean, it’s just abnormal. I just want to say like, and, and only you, a guy like you or, or some of the other guys there that live there would understand like, those dry years, like 2012, I mean, brutal, you know, the biggest deer I knew about was 2 0 7. I didn’t know about another deer over 200 that year in the entire state. And we’re working it so hard in multiple units.

00:32:01:16 –> 00:32:33:00
And, and so you and I have lived through those times where, where, you know, I hate Nevada. I’m gonna quit Nevada. It’s the worst state in the world. And, and you cuss it so much, and then you come up on one of these good times and you’re like, you know, some of these deer rival strip deer. But, and, but that’s a very unusual time when that happens. And, and it’s very rare. So it’s like you wanna cherish the moment. You really wanna make the most of these couple of years that we’ve had. And you wonder when we’re gonna have another dry year and, and grind out one eighties, you know, one seventies, you know what I mean? Oh,

00:32:33:10 –> 00:33:17:24
I, I don’t, I, I can think of at least two or three times you and I have talked in the last five years or you know, where you just think, God, I don’t wanna come back to this place. I can’t stand it. It, you know, and it, it’s so hard. And, and then all, like you said, last year, not only were there some great bucks taken, there were a lot of really good bucks taken last year in Nevada. But as many good bucks as were taken, it’s probably the, probably one of the few years where I feel like it was one of the best years for carryover on bucks that got away. There were a lot of big bucks in Nevada last year that nobody shot, you know, that. Yeah. I mean, unless it was somebody that nobody heard about, you know, that just, you know, shot it and got out of town. But that, I, I just think there were a lot of big bucks that made it over last year, which makes it so exciting for this year because with the moisture they’re having and then all the bucks that are a year older now, it’s, it should be just phenomenal.

00:33:18:01 –> 00:33:46:27
It should be. And there’s a couple of changes, you know, I, I mean, you know, and you, you and I both know 2 31 fairly well, you know, it better, 90, you’ve spent a lot of time. I know years ago I told you, you know, you, I don’t wanna come back to 2 31. I hate it. And that was early, early two thousands. But anyway, you know, those, those rifle dates now go to October 31st. I mean, that’s a death wish for a certain amount of bucks. Those last three days are just, you know, pretty incredible, you know, for guys that are willing to wait.

00:33:47:02 –> 00:33:59:20
Yeah. And you look at, we talked about this two years ago about that the junior hunters getting to go a few more days and, and look at some of those big bucks that got shot on that junior hunt. I know one of those bucks that you and I both knew about got killed on a junior tag. Yeah.

00:33:59:20 –> 00:34:01:20
2 35, you know. Yeah.

00:34:02:07 –> 00:34:46:04
He gets shot lit, you know, impossible to kill that buck. Not impossible, nothing’s impossible, but awfully, awfully difficult to kill that buck where he was. Yeah. Yeah. And then he just shows up on a group of those and, and, and because of the rot, you know, and, and the juniors have always been able to hunt that far and look at how many big deer are getting taken by juniors, I think more big deer on the rifle and get killed the last three days during the junior hunt in there than they do on the regular hunt. Yeah. You know, on the full four, three and a half weeks of the regular hunt. So now moving it back three days, while I’m excited to hunt it this year, I don’t know that it’s gonna be the best thing for some of those big deer, you know, as far as a lot of, you know, getting that many more people getting to hunt ’em that late. It’s, you know, it’ll be fun to be part of it, but it’s, it’s terrible scary on what’s gonna be, it’s

00:34:46:05 –> 00:35:34:11
Terrible. It’s terrible. I mean, you and I, we love it so much and, but we also are kind of rooting for the deer, even though we’re killing them. You know, it’s like, you wanna, you wanna, you know, you don’t want ’em fully vulnerable. It’d be like putting on, you know, November 1st to the 30th on some of these hunts. Like it’d be the worst thing in the world, and we would wanna be part of it. You can’t help it, but he’d kill everything. And that’s what a few of these, you know, hunts do. It definitely will change things. It’s gonna change the dynamics. It’s gonna, you know, another two or three, you know, 200 inch deer gonna hit the dirt because of those last few days. You know, and, and landowner tags, you know, being good for all the seasons, anybody that’s holding onto a land tag there at the end are gonna, you know, not just draw tags, but landlord tags and the youth, like you said, the resident youth, they get, you know, special dates and, and, and that’s good.

00:35:34:12 –> 00:36:02:13
But, you know, nowadays with their dads and everybody that’s being such a family affair. And I mean, even my kids are, you know, dad, you know, what does he score? Oh, is that the best you could do? I mean, my own kids are busting my chops on this stuff. And, and I’m like, listen son, have you ever killed one that big? You know, I mean, you just, you gotta gotta get brutal with them because they expect the world outta you. But, you know, my point is, is these kids know what they’re hunting. They know, they know what they’re seeing, you know, they’re taught, you know, we teach ’em. Yeah.

00:36:02:13 –> 00:36:21:04
And then they want the, the, the more goes, that’s, like I said, those junior hunts, you have that and you have a lot of parents that are doing the hunts through their kids, you know, their chance to kill a big buck with their kids, you know, because of the dates are better and it’s gonna be, do you know, I didn’t even, I think I, I don’t know if I asked you or not, but does, does the junior hunt extend longer too on that, do you

00:36:21:04 –> 00:36:23:02
Know? Yeah. Oh yeah. I think it goes to like November 2nd.

00:36:23:25 –> 00:36:27:08
Yeah. See what last year went to the 31st, so now it’s gonna be, yeah.

00:36:27:12 –> 00:36:27:20

00:36:27:20 –> 00:36:32:02
That’s gonna be really brutal. Especially down in that low, that low field country, it’s gonna be,

00:36:32:07 –> 00:36:55:22
Well, they just congregate together and you’re, you got 500 to a thousand deer staring at you. I mean, it just, it’s a fun hunt. It, it’s a, it’s a worthy hunt. It’s just one of those things, it’s just hard on deer, that’s all, you know, just hard on deer and which is, which is good and bad and, and, but on a great, you moisture like this, I mean, it couldn’t come in a better time as far as hunting, you know, hunters and, and having the opportunity to hunt. So,

00:36:55:29 –> 00:37:33:12
Well, you remember back in the late nineties, or maybe early, I think it was late nineties when all those hunts, the, there was no difference between a late and an early hunt. Right. They just went late. Right. You know, and they’d go till November 8th and November 7th and, and back then, I can remember maybe it was, I think it was mid, it was probably like 96 to 2000 back in then. And even then when you had the rutt, you know, nobody wanted to even go until that last week. ’cause you couldn’t even, you couldn’t dream of finding a good buck without that rutt, you know, and it took even the rutt to find the decent bucks. And, and then when they pulled it out, I thought that was, I was so frustrated when they took that out of those dates and moved it back to October.

00:37:33:15 –> 00:38:13:01
And Yeah. And I remember somebody on the commission called me and said, listen, you need to, you need to look at the big picture. He said, right now, all these deer are getting shot by people on November 6th through eighth, just driving around shooting deer off the side of the road. And yeah. And a lot of these big bucks are getting, he goes, and it’s gonna be lean for a couple years, but all those bucks that were getting shot are now gonna make it through. And then in a few years, it won’t be as hard to find one in October. And it’s really almost exactly what they said. You know, then that gave these deer a chance to get older. And now there’s some big bucks in those units. They’re hard to kill in November. That’s why they’re big. But at least they’re there, you know, I felt like back then, I never saw the kind of bucks when they used to have that red hunt. I didn’t see as big a bucks back then as I do now. Yeah.

00:38:13:12 –> 00:38:48:01
Well, and I think too that about that same era, we got bows that could shoot, we, you and I are, you know, learning how important scouting is not for killing them with bows. And we actually gained confidence, you know, with a few good hunters. Like I know you’re affiliated with Randy Omer and a few other significant hunters that, you know, that can, you know, actually be a, you know, real help to you in the field and you guys are working as a solid team and, and you start knocking down a few of these deer, you’re going, well, you know, I know they’re, they, you know, they took out the late dates, but quite frankly, I, I’d rather hunt ’em August 10th, you know, with a lot of good, good hard scouting.

00:38:48:10 –> 00:39:36:11
And that’s what opened my eyes to it. Like you said, hunting with, you know, back before Randy, we weren’t hunting, you know, we just, we didn’t have the confidence to kill big bucks. You know, we had taken guys and we’d see good bucks in the summer, but, you know, back in the late nineties, there really weren’t, you know, it was, there weren’t a lot of guys out there shooting, you know, actual hunters killing really big bucks year after year with a bow. And, you know, and then Randy comes along and, and you know, we’re still hunting the same kind of b we were hunting with the other guys, but we just weren’t getting him killed. Then he comes along and starts killing him. And like he said, then it was like, man, these is way better than the rutt hunts. ’cause you know, that’s the thing. You can scout all summer and you have a 30 day window say to find a big buck, and then once you find him, he, you’re gonna be able to hunt him, you know, whereas those rutt dates, you can’t, you’ve got like a six day window and you’re basically hunting do and hoping for a big buck to show up.

00:39:36:13 –> 00:40:30:29
That’s right. Yeah. And then, you know, you end up with landowner tag, so you can hunt deer at year after year, and you’re kind of, you know, you’ve got your hit list and you’re watching ’em, and all of a sudden, you know, the, I shot a big deer in 2003, just total luck. But I didn’t know about the deer the year before. And he went, I picked up his sheds right there an hour before I shot him. Luckily at least picked up one side and then glassed up the other side. But anyway, he, he went from 180 7 to 2 37 gross in one year. And, and that’s another thing, like, you know, when we’re keeping track of some of these deer, you just never know. You, you don’t necessarily need a 200 inch to follow. I mean, you never know when something really cool blade, but maybe is a four by five or a four by six, but you can tell all that blading wants to pop out. And then you get a moisture like this. I mean, you’ve got a, your hitless might not consist of that 180 7, but those are the kind of, you know, fun surprises that come with moisture and, and you just never know what you’re really gonna hunt, you know?

00:40:31:17 –> 00:41:01:25
Yeah. You just, you have to look at, you have to expand and look at all the deer that you know, that have potential instead of just the ones that are already big. Because like you said, some of ’em just explode in one year, you know? Yeah. And put on 30 inches and, and you know, anything that’s, anything that’s in the high one eighties that puts on that kind of growth is gonna be a giant deer. And, and, and that was like you said back then, when those hunts started doing, you get to hunting year, up year, that’s when I learned it. I didn’t even, man, 25 years ago, I never dream, or 20, whatever it was, 22 years ago, I never dreamed of hunting the same buck the next year. You know, I, I remember we didn’t

00:41:01:25 –> 00:41:03:28
Do that. We didn’t name them Greg. We didn’t name

00:41:04:00 –> 00:41:27:22
’em. Like we thought if you shot a deer and you didn’t, if you saw a deer and you didn’t kill ’em, I can remember bucks 30 years ago where we’d miss ’em and never go back and hunt ’em again thinking, well, we blew them out of the country. You know, we’ll never see that deer is gonna be forever gone. And it’s the opposite. Those, those deer stay in the same, whether you’re hunting them or not, it don’t, ma, they’re, especially the bigger, older bucks, they seem to be more, more habitual than anything to me. Yeah. You know, as far as they’re there, they just might be an nocturnal.

00:41:27:25 –> 00:42:09:12
Yeah. Yeah. I agree with you a hundred percent. We’re finding where, you know, back in the day, you know, you just went hunting, we just, we’re going hunting today. You don’t really know what you’re hunting. We’re just gonna go hunting and put in our best effort. And you do get lucky here and there, but, you know, nowadays we’re hunting specific deer and we’ve got ’em, we got ’em named. And as much as you know, it’s hard to see times like that happen and, and everybody’s doing it. It’s also the fun of it. Like that’s hunting. Hunting, one deer, hunting him down, naming him, and then you finally put your hands on him. Like, that’s hunting. I, I’ll take the gifts and, and you’ll take ’em. And I, and I understand gifts, I get it and I love them, but man, to hunt specific deer, like there, there’s something about it.

00:42:09:14 –> 00:42:50:26
You know? And that’s what we’re doing nowadays. We don’t, it’s not like they died. I mean, we went hunting and we saw big deer. It’s like you said, you blew him out and kind of next year you might think about him a little bit, but you don’t, you never think, you just think that was an accident we happened upon him and who knows where he is now. Now we’re like, you know, that’s our next year’s deer or two years dear or whatever, so. Right. Anyway, let’s, you know, I know like the two twenties, it’s now going to November 8th. That’s kind of a big deal that that changes things a little bit. I know we used to hunt, you know, some of the governor stuff. We started, you know, as early as, you know, right there at the end of October, really heavily started November 3rd. Now you get another five days.

00:42:50:29 –> 00:43:19:24
You know, it’s kind of crazy to have have that happen where, where they’ve got those dates going that late. But having said that, and, and you can chime in a little bit, it feels like quality in there’s coming down a little bit and I, I almost wonder if, course, you got the juniors and there’s a lot of tags and they’ve been very vigorous on giving out a lot of tags and there, and there’s a lot of deer in there. But this late seasons and different things, it almost feels like they’ve been hard on ’em. I don’t, they’ve knocked off the top. I don’t know. I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on it. No,

00:43:19:25 –> 00:44:10:04
For sure. Like in the last five years, you know, I even, there was several years where I didn’t even put people in for the unit and, and then you have a year, like last year and it was really good. But that was all, you know, every place was really good last year. And it kind of went back to one of the premium places last year. We saw some of our best bucks in and then, you know, there were some really big bucks that got killed last year out of that unit, you know, on the archery hunt and Absolutely. Up north. And Yep. So it’s, but I don’t think that’s a normal, I don’t think that’s really indicative of the, the, the quality of the trophy potential in that unit. Last year it was definitely up. So I agree a hundred percent. There’s been a lot of tags in, there’s a lot of people and it just makes age class harder and harder. Yeah. You know, and, and now with this date, going back even further, same thing. It’s, I mean, I’m excited ’cause we drew the one tag that they had in there. So I’m excited for the guide

00:44:10:04 –> 00:44:12:04
Draw that hunt draw. Yeah. You drew the one tag, the guide draw. Yeah,

00:44:12:04 –> 00:44:22:25
The guide draw. We, we drew the one. And, and so I’m excited to go in there and hunt it with our client. But like you said, it’s, it’s gonna be, it’s, I think that, and that moves back the junior dates a little bit more

00:44:22:27 –> 00:45:05:13
Too, I believe. Yeah, yeah. And so, so what you’re, you’re, you’re gonna have juniors, you’re gonna have, you know, the regular draw, which isn’t much, it’s usually 25 tags, but you know, you end up with just pressure. You end up with pressure, pressure kills deer, especially this day and age with, you know, how good hunters are and how much time we spent just because tags are hard to come by when you do finally get, when you hire a good guide like yourself or you, or you, you know, enlist your friends and everybody’s got good equipment and we have time because we’re gonna make time because, you know, these tags are fairly hard to come by. And so, you know, it just puts more pressure on ’em. And it’s just hard for me. I understand it. And it’s Nevada, like, we’re non-residents. They can do what they want, it’s their state, and we’ll abide by the rules, but it’s hard to see those dates get kicked back for me personally.

00:45:06:02 –> 00:45:17:23
Yeah, no, I mean, I agree. I’d prefer, don’t get me wrong, I don’t wanna be the only one not hunting ’em, but Yeah. But I would prefer they, they cut ’em off early, you know, where you Yeah. And that still makes it a premium tag, but it isn’t, doesn’t turn into a slaughter.

00:45:18:01 –> 00:45:41:10
Yeah. Yep. And so, well, I wanna dive in just a little bit on elk. I know you’ve, you guys have killed some monster bulls. How, how are you doing it? Like, is it something where you’re scouting for deer and, and these same units have got some giant bulls in it? Are you really focusing on some of these bulls? Like, you know, I know you’re, you’re taking ’em with, with bows and you’ll hunt, you’ll hunt late as well, but, you know, gimme a little rundown on that.

00:45:41:29 –> 00:46:50:11
Big part of the big bulls we’ve killed over the years has been the clients who’ve had the right clients. You know, and that’s so critical. You know, the Randy Ulmer, Jack Brittingham. Yeah. You know, those types of guys. And, and, and even two years ago, you know, you have to have the right guy and, and JP Penn’s go over killed a really big bull with us over there and, and he’s the guy that’s in phenomenal shape and a really good hunter. So the, we’ve been finding these bulls. We used to find ’em separately. We do the deer. ’cause you know, a lot of our bigger bulls are coming from the Ely units, you know. Yeah. That, and, and we don’t really hunt as much deer in there. We haven’t, we haven’t done, so most of that stuff is just going over there and scouting them when they’re in the, in the summer herds in hierarchy is just to, we don’t, we don’t call ’em, I mean, we just, one thing we don’t do is call ’em at all. I don’t, I don’t even think I’ve ever brought a call to Nevada. Yeah. And just hunting them like mule deer, you know, spot in stock. And they’re just a lot slower. Not quite as smart as a mule deer. So they’re a little bit easier to spot in stock than a mul deer. And, and, and so we’re trying to hunt ’em before the peak of the rutt, you know, and, and that’s probably our, our biggest key is trying to hunt these bulls before they get going and get on 50 cows.

00:46:50:20 –> 00:47:57:22
Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, and I’ve, I’ve been lucky to take a few good bulls, but I’m the same way. Like, and I’m, and I’m definitely, you know, not known for giants, but, but I did, you know, guide a few good ones and, and take, have taken a few good ones. I’m the same way. I don’t call at all. I mean, I’ll, I do have a call just to stop ’em or, or something like that. And we did stop a big bull we killed back in oh three, I mean, with a call. But, but like you said, you don’t call in big bulls, you call in bulls, you’ll call in bulls. But when you’re really, you know, spec, you know, have, are are concentrating on a specific bull, you know, what’s the chances you’re gonna call that bull in, you know, really, you know, it’s back to kinda like deer tactics, glassing them working, ’em, they’ll hopefully they come into a pattern or, or you’re taking ’em from their summer pattern and then, and then, you know, every animal, deer, elk or anything has vulnerability at some point in the year. Or, you know, if you figure out their pattern, pattern kills stuff, patterns kill things and, and they’re vulnerable somehow, whether it be water, whether it be where they like to feed, bed, whatever. Some at some point they’re vulnerable, is what I’ve found. And, and maybe you found the same.

00:47:58:19 –> 00:48:39:06
Well, I, I couldn’t agree more. That’s deer and elk bull. You know, the more you look at ’em, the more your time, more time you spend watching a certain deer, you start to develop things and that’s what makes it, and that’s usually what does ’em in, they’ll make some sort of mistake and do something that maybe if you didn’t watch ’em as often or, or follow ’em as much as something you may not even notice. You know? And, and, but when you get to watch one enough times, they’ll, you’ll pick up something that, that gives it some sort of an opportunity to harvest ’em. And, and I think every, every big, I mean, a buck has to make a mistake Yeah. For us to get ’em. Yeah. And, and just the more time you spend in the field, the more mistake you know, the more chance you have of them finally making a mistake. Yeah. And hopefully you’re there when it happens. Yeah,

00:48:39:12 –> 00:49:03:22
I agree with you a hundred percent. What, what makes the right guy? You talked about like having the right clients. Like, you know what, say I wanna be the right client. Like what makes the right client tell, tell me some of the things that, you know, that these guys have in common that they’re willing to do, suffer, go through, you know, what makes the right guy, what, how can, how can other people be the right client?

00:49:04:03 –> 00:49:43:04
It’s time. I mean, having the time. So I’ve talked about this before on other podcasts and in stories and, and you know, guys like Jason Campbell, Brittingham, Randy Ulmer, they all have time that, you know, and is so critical and so many people compare themselves to guys like that. And you, and you know, look at, look at the deer you killing, how many times are you scheduling a six day window and going out hunting Yeah. And shooting some giant buck. And it’s, and you know, you know, you’re definitely doing it on your own and there’s no doubt. But you have your friends helping too, which is Oh, absolute different than, you know, me and my guys helping. Yeah. And you and your friends are as good as any guides out there. So it’s, it’s, it’s not guided, but you have to have one, you have to have help.

00:49:43:05 –> 00:50:20:11
None of this is possible without getting help. That’s right. You know, and myself, you know, I, I drew a strip tag. I had, they’re my friends, but they were all guides, you know? Yeah, yeah. Four people. I might as well. That was like having four guides, you know, and Yeah. You have to have time. You know, I was lucky on that. I was able to take 20 days and go up there ahead of time and, and, and scout. And so guys that are really, I’ve noticed, you know, if you look at the people that are doing it, look, I mean, I’ve seen you out in the field scouting all summer long. I’ve seen. Yeah. You know, guys like m or Brit, they, not only is it time ahead of time, but they have the ability to stay more than seven days if it takes it, you know, they’re not coming out for a seven day trip.

00:50:20:25 –> 00:50:44:16
You know, Brittingham comes out for close to a month, you know, and people don’t realize that when they see that, you know, or me and Campbell, we got, I think that big Buck Campbell killed two years ago. I wanna say he had 40 days or 36 days hunting that buck before you finally got him killed. And, and you know, just sit there and you just, you have to have patience and you have to be able to go home without one. Look how many times you’ve gone home without one where you could’ve shot a pretty good buck. Too

00:50:44:16 –> 00:50:45:06
Many. Too many.

00:50:45:17 –> 00:51:22:07
Yeah. And then look at the times you’ve killed a really big buck. Yeah. Where you wouldn’t have, had you settled for that one that was just slightly less or, you know, earlier on in the season. So you have to have somebody that’s, that’s, that’s willing to go home without one, you know? And, and that’s so hard to do. There’s so few people that can do that. You know, that’s why I love, you know, that’s why I loved hunting with Ulmer and why I loved hunting with Brittingham and Campbell. Those guys have all gone home without stuff. Yeah. And had some great trips and, you know, I take it way harder than they do, you know? Yeah. ’cause I think, oh, they’re gonna be, they’re upset. They’re gonna be mad. And they just, they like hunting big bucks, you know? And they’re, you have to be passionate about it.

00:51:22:12 –> 00:51:58:04
Brittingham one time told me, after the first trip I ever did with Brittingham, he shot a buck five minutes into the hunt, you know, and it was the first time I’d ever met him was the night before. And he shot a buck, five minutes into the hunt. And he made a comment to me that he said, this is like one of the worst hunts I’ve ever been on. I said, you mean, and he said, it’s over. And I was planning on being here for two or three weeks, he said. And I, I would turn this thing back like a fish if I could and go as big as this buck is. He said, I’d, I’d rather turn back so I can go hunting again tomorrow. They don’t, they’re not worried about having to be successful. They wanna be out there hunting. And, and I think that’s a key. And wouldn’t you say that, like with you, I mean Oh yeah,

00:51:58:08 –> 00:51:59:13
Yeah. No time. You have to

00:51:59:15 –> 00:52:01:18
Be wanting to be out there. You almost don’t want it to end.

00:52:01:24 –> 00:52:42:01
Yeah, that’s true. You do. And it, and it’s, it’s a time factor. But I think part of that too, like most guys are gonna book a five to seven day hunt. A seven day hunt with you. And the best thing that they could do, in my opinion, from what I’ve seen, I’ve guided a few guys, you know, is, is when they have time and they can, they’re willing to go home without one and be okay not killing one and, and telling their friends that they, they didn’t kill one on a once in lifetime tag in Nevada for elk or some kind of special tag is, it takes the pressure off of you. And when you hunt unpressured, when you can guide and not feel that pressure, you hunt more effective, you’re under pressure. You and I force the, we might force our hands and do things we wouldn’t otherwise do.

00:52:42:03 –> 00:53:26:07
But if you got a guy that can say, Hey, you know, let’s have the best trip of our life. Let’s have fun. I’m okay not killing one, but I wanna hold out for a 380 or 390 inch plus bull or whatever I gotta do. And I’m planning on not killing one a lot, a lot of times that helps so much. It’s, it’s hard to explain, but from a guy’s perspective or an outfitter’s perspective, people can have fun. And when you have fun hunting, you hunt harder, you, you actually hunt harder. You hunt smarter and you do things, you know, you do things that you’re supposed to do and, and you give that, that bull some time. If you’re hunting a specific bull, you might not force him and then blow the stock, make stocks when you’re not supposed to. Just little things like that can be the right client can help be the right client. You know what I mean? Oh,

00:53:26:14 –> 00:54:13:11
Absolutely. ’cause if somebody’s starts putting pressure on you that, that, you know, starts doing the, you know, well, gosh, I can’t be, I waited this long and now I’m not gonna get one. And, and then you start changing your tactics and you think, well I gotta show him something today. And instead of going and staying on that bull or that deer that you know, is there, you leave to go look for something that is gonna, you know, maybe make them not as happy but happy. Whereas if a guy’s willing to stick it out and have a fun all the way till the end and have a good time, then it changes everything. ’cause you can keep hunting that fuck. And you know that they’re gonna be, every one of those guys I mentioned, you know, and yourself included, you’re not just ’cause you didn’t get one doesn’t mean some of the, I bet I guarantee you some of your funest hunts were hunting a buck that you maybe didn’t get, you know, and ’cause it was still fun hunting ’em, you know, and as long as people go in there with that attitude, it makes it so much easier on the guiding end of it.

00:54:13:19 –> 00:54:55:20
Yeah, it does. And, and anyway, just having the right attitude and then being able to do what it takes, like, you know, sometimes like, you know, these early season hunts, it’s, you don’t have that much to, you know, you don’t have that much darkness. You have a lot of daylight and, and it’s hard. It wears monumentally and you, but at, and it’s a grind. You’re, you know, you’re getting back late, you’re getting up early. But if they just keep that attitude about ’em and, and then save, you know, go ahead and kill your, you know, 300, 3 20 type bulls, three thirties, whatever, you know, kill ’em on other hunts. If you draw something and you’re going with Greg Kro and you’re in Nevada, you’re in Arizona, you know, use this one. This is your, you’re possibly gonna eat this tag. And, and it’s okay. And, and let’s, let’s force those kills on other tags that are easier to get. You know what I mean?

00:54:55:27 –> 00:55:43:17
Oh, I ag I agree a hundred percent. And then just like, there’s so many tags I tell people, hunt the tag you have, you know, if you have a, don’t try to go kill a 200 inch mule deer when you draw, say an early 1 22, use it for what it is. But when you do draw like a 24 tag, even though this chances are still slim, you’re gonna shoot a two, 200 inch deer, there is a realistic chance, you know, there’s a chance it could happen. So on that hunt, try to kill that as big a deer as you can. It doesn’t have to be 200, it could be one 90, whatever it is. Whatever your personal goal is and use that one chance. ’cause you can always go and book a hunt somewhere else and go shoot a 180 bucks somewhere else the following year. You know, or, or somewhere. There’s, there’s other places where that’s very doable and, but, but to kill a really big deer like the ones you’re taking out, 24, those are, there’s very few places that have those kind of deer.

00:55:43:25 –> 00:56:32:22
Yeah, yeah. You do. To, to kill big deer. You, you gotta be where they live and then spending the right time and, and having the right people. And you’re right, I have, you know, I’ve got a couple of really good friends that helped me quite a bit. You know, dusty white’s been out there with me a lot. And once you start to, you know, you get into that groove, my brother-in-law, Jared or my other brother-in-law, you know, I’ve got some good brother-in-laws that’ll do anything for me at the drop of a hat. And so you, you spend enough time and you do it with the, with the right guys and you work together. Like nobody’s, nobody’s greedy. You know, Dusty’s killed some giant bucks and, and yeah, he’s, he helps me 110%. He wants, he wants to kill it as bad as I do. And when you start doing that and you do it in the right areas, and you do it on the right deer on the right year with the right moisture, you know, good things happen. At least there’s a better chance that those good things will happen to you.

00:56:33:02 –> 00:56:44:20
Oh, I agree. And am I, am I allowed to ask you a question about a deer? I want, I want to hear your story on your, your Arizona buck. Yeah, that’s probably one of my favorite bucks of all time. You’re Northern Arizona. Buck, I won’t say the unit, but

00:56:44:28 –> 00:56:50:25
We can, we can say it. I mean, it’s fine. It is 12 B and Yeah. What’s, what’s your question on it?

00:56:51:05 –> 00:56:59:07
I just tell me that story on that buck. Okay. I just, I, I remember seeing it and that’s one of my all time favorite bucks and Well, how did you guys find him? Okay.

00:56:59:07 –> 00:57:40:17
So, and I appreciate that, you know, that, that’s kind of an interesting story. So, you know, as you know, I mean, I had maximum points at the time and with the non-resident quotas and, and dealing with the draw process. Like basically it’s a once in a lifetime tag for me. And, you know, I was applying, but, you know, I didn’t want the, and you know, the strips are rat racing and of course it’s just getting worse with time. You know, it, it was starting back then when I drew this tag. So anyway, it was one of those things, you remember that big old pair of sheds that were 300 inches that was found off the Kaibab winter down on 12 B. Yep. You know, back to what you and I were saying, you know, we hunt specific deer. Well, I wanted to wait for a specific deer.

00:57:40:17 –> 00:58:19:28
Well, I’m not spending the time out on the strip that I should be. And a large part of that is, is I’m gonna draw once in my life. And so I’m spending all my time in Nevada, Utah, and places I can hunt regularly and we can hunt deer year after year. You and I can do that. And on the strip, I’m not a resident. I, I know that’s not possible for me. So I didn’t spend the time, I don’t have a specific deer. Well this kid, you know, Landon, I mean, he’s a great shed hunter, picked up a lot of big deer, ends up with this pair of sheds and I drew that tag for that deer. So I’m hunting down a specific deer. I know nothing about the deer other than where he winters. Well that season’s late November most likely. He’s come on in the winter range.

00:58:20:01 –> 00:58:59:11
He should be there regularly. Now keep in mind you and I’ve talked about this earlier, you know, we used to not hunt that way. We never hunted specific bucks. And we, those are just deer. Oh, here’s a pair of sheds. That’s interesting. You know, well now we know, you know, where that deer is at a specific point in time in the year. And that happens to be when they give the rifle tags in, in the rifle season. So I drew a tag for that, for that pair of sheds, went out there, scouted my guts out, meaning I had a moose hunt in Idaho, so my guts out would be, you know, a week. We didn’t come up with them, we were just glassing. There’s some little knobs down there anyway. Couldn’t find him, figured maybe he’s dead, I don’t know. Didn’t have anything to go off of.

00:59:00:03 –> 00:59:41:17
Always wanted to hunt this other part, part of the unit. The par always wanted to hunt it for forever. I’ve wanted to hunt it. I’ve been out there a little bit on the archery when it used to be over the counter. And, and there was always crazy stories and, and big, big sheds and big deer. And it’s got great potential, but there’s no deer. Well, that, for you and I, is the recipe for success. ’cause when there’s no deer, there’s no hunters. When there’s no hunters, you’re by yourself and it’s you against a deer. Didn’t know about the deer, didn’t know anything about the deer. Night night we hunted opening day where the sheds were frustrated people, A lot of people. No, no big deer. And so we started traveling. We would actually travel over the kibab, go out on there and then come back at camp at night.

00:59:41:17 –> 01:00:49:17
Pretty soon we moved our trailer over there closer, but just started spending time. And there was, we found three main water, water sources even in late November. Those desert deer water, you know, and they’re rutten. And so where you find those, you’re gonna find the bucks. And if you keep your tabs on the d you know, those bucks will cycle through. And at some point, I’m hoping there’s a giant, we go out there and Bronson, I had Bronson, Sean Harrison, myself, and we split up on these free water holes. We had three water holes, three guys accessory and found the dough. We would, you know, hike and find the d that we using that water source. And Bron, this buck runs by Bronson chasing a dough at like a hundred yards. And he’s like, dude, he, I don’t know, he’s 32, got eight by something inlines, you know, like a 215 or 20 inch deer. I’m like, well, let’s, let’s shoot it. This is the best thing we’ve got going. And just kept working him. And, and it was one of those, it’s a tough place to hunt and very thick. And we, we got our eyes on him the next day. Just knew he was big. Didn’t have any idea how big he was. And then the following day worked. Was

01:00:49:17 –> 01:00:51:22
That ’cause of his body being so big? It looked like,

01:00:51:26 –> 01:01:48:17
Oh, just glimpses? No, just glimpses. Like, I mean, he got a small, small glimpse of him when he first run by him. Just that, you know, when just he, he knows deer well enough. He’s a, he’s an excellent hunter himself. I mean, he’s just like, it’s a big deer, but no idea. No, no trail cam photos to judge him off of. No video to judge him off of. Anyway, he runs by us. He runs by him. We see him that night. But just glimpses of him. But we know it’s him and he’s probably a mile away. He’s just working these days and they’re just very mobile. Anyway, the next day, didn’t see him. Next day, got on him short quickly. And then I believe it was the fourth day, he, he comes by Bronson’s knob. At least keep in mind it’s a hundred feet off the ground. These knobs are just a little. But anyway, he comes by Bronson, Bronson gets a little video clip of him and he goes in these thick trees. And so anyway, I’m, I happen to be on another knob. We develop a plant. Is he just,

01:01:48:17 –> 01:01:51:11
Is he just losing his mind at this point now that he’s finally seen him? Good?

01:01:51:18 –> 01:02:33:26
Yeah. Oh yeah. We just, we know it’s one this deer or nothing. Like, we’re on this deer, we don’t see another hunter. It felt like we had the governor’s tag. There’s just nobody out there, no deer. The whole thing, just the whole experience was amazing besides the deer itself. But anyway, he got up in the afternoon, we sat on fifteens at, you know, 700 yards or, you know, roughly where he went in, had no idea really where he was. Deer get up in the afternoon, they got up a little bit, a 32 inch five by by four comes running out of the trees. He’d obviously kicked his butt. We feel like he’s still in there. And just so happens the deer gets up to, to for the afternoon and he comes walking toward us. We see glimpse of of him. And he’s lip curling behind the dough.

01:02:34:02 –> 01:03:24:18
And he comes in and opening at 300 yards. And I pound him still. It’s just unbelievable story. I have no idea what he is. We wait, wait until Bronson can come over there. We’re, we’re not that far apart, but we’re on both sides of these bedding trees, you know, it’s thick, it’s basically a thick forest right there. But anyway, wait for Bronson and we all get together and then we walk up on him and it’s just, it’s surreal. You know, it’s just 272 inches, you know, nets 2 62 and or 2 71 and some change. But four eights. But just a special experience by ourselves. You know, we built a fire and just chilled out for hours and, and you know, just the whole experience was really cool. Gotta do it with, with some of b best friends and, and just nothing compares to it, you know. And there again, I I I often never have that tag again. You know, kind of crazy.

01:03:24:27 –> 01:03:42:19
Oh, that, that place. Just, not just the buck, but I mean, I knew, I don’t mean specifically where you’d killed it, but I mean, knowing it was on the pre, and I’ve spent some time on there. It, it’s probably one of the prettiest places you’ll ever go to too. Just, it’s un I mean, there aren’t a lot of deer, but man, is it neat ’cause you just have that mystique that any moment, something like what you shot is gonna show up and

01:03:42:26 –> 01:03:43:05

01:03:43:18 –> 01:03:49:11
I, when I first saw that picture, I don’t remember where, who sent it to me, but I about fell over. I mean, that thing is, yeah, don’t get much bigger than that.

01:03:49:20 –> 01:04:32:11
No. And that was on a tough year out there, you probably remember. But it was tough everywhere else. It’s just that place isn’t normal. It doesn’t have normal amounts of bitterbrush. They, it’s a little higher in elevation for being sandy. And it’s just different. It is just different. And, and, you know, but, but back then, anybody that drew 12 beat could hunt it. So 75 tags could go out there and, and nobody was out there. ’cause the bulk of the deer in other parts of the unit. And, and since then, you know, the lions have moved in and, and you know, they figured there was 70 to a hundred deer that lived out there. And I don’t know, there might be 50 now or less. And, and there’s probably a big deer. But it’s, it’s changed. And then they’ve split the seasons where actually only so many people can go out there now, because it did get some pressure after that and, and whatnot.

01:04:32:13 –> 01:05:14:11
But just one of those experience once in a lifetime. Just once in a lifetime, Greg. And, and that’s what I, I know I’ve wanted, I know we’ve exceeded our time. I just, and I know people are excited to hear from you. You’re, you’re one of the most successful mule deer hunters There is. And it’s a privilege for me to be able to visit with you. But I, I wanted to, you know, kind of ask you what your favorite deer is, but you beat me to it, of course, asking me about this deer. But maybe real quick, like just, you know, what’s your favorite deer, no matter who you were with or, or whose deer it was like, you know, what’s your favorite deer in a deer that maybe you have the most respect for? Just from, you know, the way the deer acted, some of his mannerisms and, and you know, how, how awesome he was or cunning he was.

01:05:15:14 –> 01:05:57:22
Thought about that. And originally I thought, it’s not my, it’s not the biggest deer, but it’s my favorite deer. It was a deer out of Nevada that Richard Canal shot. And it was a real heavy buck with lots of extras. What I, what I liked about the buck was we’d, we had found him in the or or I’d found him in the summertime and almost given up on him and, you know, only saw a side view of him. And then when I finally glassed him up at a long, I, I actually backpacked into where he was, couldn’t find him again for two days, geez. And then quit him. And then I was actually hiking out back to the trailhead. And as I was hiking out, I stopped and was, and I’d seen the buck. I had actually seen the buck that morning. And he just, he looked great from the side.

01:05:57:22 –> 01:06:28:22
And then I saw him from the front. And I don’t know what it was or what the illusion was, but he looked like he was 16 inches wide. You know, I just, it was just, and I don’t know what it was. I don’t if the sun was just hitting certain points and that was what was lighting up or, ’cause it was a long ways away. And I sat down and was taking a break in the shade. And I remember calling, I remember calling Drummond Lindsay. I know, I know. You know Drummond. Oh yeah. I, I called Drummond on the phone. We were talking, and I, I had told him about this buck that I was going to look for, that I’d seen that I thought was just in a great buck. And then I was all disappointed. I told man, he’s just, he’s so narrow.

01:06:28:22 –> 01:07:01:01
He is not even shootable, you know, I, he’s just, he’s just freaky from the side. He is got dropdown main beams with like a tripod on the end. And, but he’s just really narrow. And I sat there and talked to him for an hour about other stuff and the buck was in my view, and while I was talking, I was looking at him from a couple miles away and all of a sudden he stood up to shift in his bed and he kinda walked in front of some shadows with his horn. And I just see extras everywhere. And then he doesn’t look narrow anymore. And I had just about given up on him and I never would’ve gone back. And so I turned around and I told, I said, I gotta go back in there right now, and I know exactly where he is, beded.

01:07:01:16 –> 01:07:35:29
And I took off over there and, and I remember I was outta water and I thought, God, this is, but if I leave and go all the way out and come back, he’s gonna move and then I’m gonna be looking for him for another three days. And I went back in there and when I got to the last spot where I thought he was, I got up and set up the binoculars and he was laying in like this little cave. And it just blew me. I couldn’t believe I almost walked away from the deer, you know? And he ends up being 32 wide, not narrow and unbelievable bass. Geez. So I was all excited. I got some really good video of him. And Brittingham was gonna get to hunt him and opening morning, we almost shoot him on the arch ramp. We were actually drew on him.

01:07:36:17 –> 01:08:16:20
And, but then he stepped behind a tree. And then when he came out from the other side of the tree, Jack decided to re, he thought he’d angled further away. It was another eight to 10 yards. So he rearranged him. And then when he was drawing the second time, I think a different deer or something kind of stepped out and pinned him down. And we never got a shot. He, he knew something was up and he kind of went into this live group of trees and we didn’t see him again for 60 days. And we hunted him with four people from four different angles and looking, and it was a relatively open area. And we never turned him again. And the whole season jack on them and never saw him. And not one other time I had other people helping me, good friends coming out, helping me, and we could not turn this buck.

01:08:16:23 –> 01:09:21:17
And we hunted in the whole archery shoes until it was over and didn’t get him. Then on the ri there was another buck in there that was about a 2 0 5 buck. Really nice buck. Yeah. And I went in there to go shoot him on the rifle hunt. And that was the plan. And I had, I had packed in a camp and was all set to go in there. And then the night before the hunt there was, it was opening day, there was a huge snowstorm and Richard actually showed up and for whatever reason his didn’t have his tag or a license something. No, it was a tag. His tag, he had lost his tag or something, or a piece of luggage was missing. So we had to drive to Vegas on opening day to go get a tag. Unreal it. And it was snowing all day. Yeah. And it didn’t really affect anything. And, and, and then we’d go up there to look. And so the next morning, I mean, that morning I go to keep an eye on the buck and as I go up in there to look for ’em while they’re all gone, it’s, it’s, the snow has finally quit. I mean, it’s quitting and there’s enough tin glasss and I run into of all people brownley Oh wow. And, and I not have a heart attack,

01:09:21:18 –> 01:09:25:23
You know? Yeah. About the last person. That’s one of the last guys you wanna see hunting one of your boxes. That’s right. If he listens to this,

01:09:25:23 –> 01:09:49:23
He’s gonna know a liar. I had, I bullshitted, I was making up stuff and he pulls up and, and I was going in there to hunt the, to watch the buck from this knob. And he’s in front of me, you know, and I walked up to him and I just said, Hey, you know, I said, do you mind if I sit here in glass also? And yeah, he said, and he’s real nice and I’d never met Mike. And, and he said, he said, yeah, no problem. And, and you know, you, you can, by the way, what

01:09:49:23 –> 01:09:50:17
Buck are you hunting, Greg?

01:09:53:04 –> 01:10:28:07
I didn’t know it was him when I walked up. I would’ve avoided him entirely, you know? Yeah. I just, I just thought it was some guy sitting there, so I just didn’t wanna like sit there and camp right on him. And yeah. So I walked up and said something. He goes, well, are you hunting a buck in here? And I said, well, you know, with this snowstorm, I’ve actually camped in here. We’ve got a guy down here that’s gonna, we’re gonna camp down here in this cave below here. So I’m bringing some food in while it’s snowing. And I heard this whole story about this. And he was glassed and, and, and it was, there was six inches of snow on the ground and everything was so visible and that buck didn’t show himself that morning. Opening morning. And the night before we were actually, remember we were looking for the 2 0 5 buck.

01:10:28:07 –> 01:11:09:03
Yeah. And well, Paul came back and this was now opening day and he’s set up at our camp, you know, where we were camped at. And I get back to camp and he says, man, we need to flip a coin. ’cause they were two hunters. He said, we need to flip a coin. And they both are sitting there. He said, I found the buck. And I thought he was talking about the 2 0 5 buck that we were worried wasn’t real heavy. And I said, well, hard horn as he look as good. And he said, he said, are you kidding me? He’s got freak mass. And I said, well that doesn’t make, I said, there’s no way he’s got freak mass. He’s spindly and velvet. And he said, not that buck. He said, I found the buck. He said, he’s back. Oh no. And I said, you gotta be kidding, you know, and, and I said, because we’d seen three lion in the area that we’d already watched him kill two deer.

01:11:09:05 –> 01:11:45:07
Yeah. You know, on deer. And I thought he was sure he was dead, you know. And he said, Greg, I saw the buck, you know, the buck from the summer. And I said, you gotta be, he said, Greg, he’s literally 15 yards from where you videoed him. Wow. And you know, and I thought, you gotta be kidding me. So then now we’re really freaking out ’cause we think Brown Lee’s in there and we’re scared to death, you know, and, and he’s gonna be there the next day. And so we go in there and luckily, I, I later talking to Mike, I didn’t, he still, I’ve still never told him that. Sure. I killed the buck. Yeah, yeah. Well, he knows now. I talked to him later. Yeah. He knows now. But he was dead anyway, but yeah, he was hunting a big buck, some other part of the unit and he luckily went over there and yeah.

01:11:45:08 –> 01:12:19:16
So he wasn’t in there. And we went back the next morning and, but like I said, if that buck would’ve showed up that morning when he was there, there’s no way Mike would’ve missed him from where he was sitting, you know? Yeah. And luckily when I left, Mike left and, and then Paul looked up there and saw him and we were going in there anyway to hunt the other buck. But we went in the next morning and we found the buck. And, and at first for like an hour and a half, we didn’t find him, but we could find the buddy buck. And it was the same buddy buck that was with him in that summer. But when he disappeared the first time for 60 days, we always found the buddy Buck. Yeah. And here we are two hours into the morning hunt and it’s freezing cold.

01:12:19:16 –> 01:13:00:01
And remember there were ice colds hanging from all the different trees from the snow and sleet and Yeah. And we couldn’t turn him. I thought he disappeared again and left, you know, and Paul had an unbelievable view of the area. I had an up close limited view, but I, I couldn’t see him. He couldn’t see him. And we just started getting that sinking feeling that he disappeared again, you know? Yeah. And then I looked to the left about 50 yards away and I can see that drop bean sticking out from behind a boulder. Geez. And I got out a heart attack and we, we go running up there and we were only a thousand yards away at this point. And we ran up there and ironically we shot from the cave on the rocks of the cave where I filmed him 60 days earlier and he was standing in the notch where I filmed him from, you know, 300 yards away.

01:13:00:01 –> 01:13:36:24
And Yeah. And the guy, the guy got all benched in and, and, and, and he had a, a, a shell that didn’t work. It just, you know, just there was this click and I thought, you gotta be kidding me. His gun broke, you know, and he jacks another one in and it clicks a second time. And, and I’m looking at the other hunter who lost the coin flip, you know? And, and he’s a good client of ours. He’s like, let me out. He’s got his gun. Lemme outta put me in code. Yeah. And, and he says, so he jacks the third one in there. Meanwhile we’re just jacking shells in the snow. I was gonna try to film it, but I was You’re done hyperventilating at this point. Yep, yep. You know, I couldn’t get the screw in. It was before phone scopes. I wish I had a phone scope or a Yeah.

01:13:36:26 –> 01:14:22:00
Tin up adapter back. But back then it was his little plate that you had to thread in and yeah, I just gave up and threw it on the ground. And, and so now it’s getting worse and I’m getting more excited because nothing’s going right at this point. And the buck is literally two steps away from being in the same trees that he disappeared in 60 days ago. And I thought, so the guy lays down and the third shot, I’m looking at the gun and because I, I don’t think it’s gonna go off, you know, and Yeah. And he shoots and the gun goes off and I snap my head with my naked out and I see the buck flip off the rock and he lands on his back and his feet are in the air and he is kind of wedged between a boulder. I don’t know where the bullet hit. I didn’t see anything other than the bucket is just down and his head is underneath his body. Jesus. So I’m thinking he brained him or something, you know? Yeah. We’re jumping up and down. I remember I hit Richard on the back between the shoulder blades,

01:14:23:07 –> 01:14:27:18
Knocked the air out of him, and then he was gasping for air and he is, he, you know, he is in his sixties to

01:14:27:20 –> 01:14:29:12
Resuscitate him. Yeah.

01:14:30:00 –> 01:15:14:10
The other hunter, Billy Trasher says, dude, you hit him, you knocked the air out of him. And so I’m shaking him, I’m all excited. I’m telling him to stay on the gun, stay on the gun. And yeah, he reload, he reloads and he stays on the gun. And then four or five minutes goes by and Paul’s watching the buck through his scope, laying there. I’m watching nothing moves, which scares the tar outta me when that happens, you know? Right. Because they usually twitch or something. I’m thinking we hit him in the antler or just knocked him out or something. And then all of a sudden we finally are ready to convince ourselves he isn’t getting anywhere. And he jacks the shell outta the gun. And at that moment I hear Paul saying to me in the ear, but he, Greg, he’s kicking his legs and I look in the scope and he went from looking like he was dead for five minutes to standing up within three seconds.

01:15:14:12 –> 01:15:54:19
Wow. And then he just took off running, like nothing was wrong with him. And I, and I could see a spot in his backbone right behind his shoulder where, you know, like the back strap where it taken a you three inch shocking four inch chunk of meat. Right. And just, it hit one of those vertebrae on his spine and just kinda shocked him, you know, and paralyzed him. But when he got up, he was hauling butt and I, we got one quick shot off and then we ended up tracking him all day. And then we finally got him later that afternoon and Paul made a couple incredible spots on him and we lost, we couldn’t tell, which he wasn’t bleeding. And we, the two bucks split up and we didn’t know which one was which, and we followed the wrong one for 45 minutes. It both were big bucks and we followed the wrong one for that was going downhill.

01:15:54:23 –> 01:16:32:28
’cause you always hear they’re gonna go downhill when they’re hurt. Yeah. And he went uphill and we followed the wrong one. And then Paul glassed up his antler and some brush alive. And so we went backtracked and got on the correct ones and geez, had a couple of different close calls. And finally we ended up, Richard ended up getting ’em. And so that was probably my favorite one, just because it was a deer that we’d given up, you know, we just thought was gone. And we’d put so much time into that deer. Yeah. And then to have it all work out. And that was a deer we’d followed for a couple of years, you know. Yeah. The, the year before, we just didn’t know it until we went back and looked at video. But once we saw him up close, we looked at him from, we have a video of him the year before and he just, he was a deer. Like you said, he went from 180 5 all the way to 2 22.

01:16:33:04 –> 01:16:43:20
He was unbelievable. I remember, I mean, if I remember right, he’s a little bit lopsided, but mass like crazy, you know? Yeah. Lopsided meaning fine. Both sides are big, but he’s just kind of a different beer.

01:16:43:20 –> 01:16:46:07
The frame is the same, but he has most of his extras on one side.

01:16:46:07 –> 01:16:47:01
Yeah. Yeah.

01:16:47:11 –> 01:17:28:05
And just very, and he was, I say he was 2 22, they, he, I think he nets like two 17 or something, but they, he had a bladed eye guard that was so fat that it looked like a, and they scored it, which I still don’t agree with, but they scored it from the, you know, the point can’t be wider. Yeah. Well it’s bladed facing forward. And in my mind you cut the point off from the back where it’s narrow. Yeah. And then you’d measure up to the top, and it’s almost like four and three quarters inches long. And we didn’t get credit for that. I guard on the official score because they measured it across the bladed part at the base. Oh, okay. Yeah. And said it was four and whatever it was, four and whatever, four inches wide and three and seven, eight inches tall. And they didn’t, so they

01:17:28:09 –> 01:17:40:14
Lost it. Yeah. You know, technically Yeah. You, you, you know, from what I’ve seen, you know, it’s where you can get the longest eye, longest portion of the eye guard, you know, its it front back side, whatever. So

01:17:40:24 –> 01:18:03:00
Right. So if you’re measuring it from the back, this point was like three quarters of an inch wide. But if you measure it from the side, it’s three and whatever, four inches wide, you know, the blade at the base. Yeah, yeah. You just look like, look like putting your hand for an eye guard, you know, and if you measure it from where your thumb is, it’d go up and it’d be there. And ended up, I sent it to several different people that were scores and they all thought it was wrong, but it, I mean, it doesn’t change the deer. Same exact

01:18:03:00 –> 01:18:51:14
Mirror. So No, it’s, you know, the system’s not perfect, but, you know, it’s, it’s sad to see a deer shorted what he actually grew. But, you know, at the end of the day, we’re not shooting it for that. I mean, that’s such an incredible story, you know, and, and you’re right. Those, those are the stories. That’s what teaches you stuff too. You learn so much from every deer and every deer has different habits and, and anyway, congratulations on that and I really appreciate you sharing that with us. You know, I do have to wrap it up. It’s one of those things, Greg, like I’m, I, I’m gonna want you on again. You and I could share, you know, just last year’s dear stories alone would take a couple hours, you know, from both of us. And so of course we’re sitting here and basically April into March, April, we both probably got a little cabin fever. I’m ready to freaking start going. But yet two months ago I didn’t even wanna think about it, you know, so

01:18:51:26 –> 01:18:52:16
I’m in the same boat.

01:18:52:21 –> 01:18:54:01
Yeah. But, well, thanks

01:18:54:01 –> 01:18:55:17
For having me on. I appreciate it. Yeah.

01:18:55:17 –> 01:19:17:28
We really appreciate you. You know, I know. Congratulations to all your successes and, and the people you’re working with and, and whatnot. You and I know you, you and I have talked a little bit, you drew some incredible tags in the guy drawing the bulk of them. It’s kind of crazy. You got the bulk of the, of the good ones and at least the units you and I like down here in that southeast corner. So anyway, congratulations on that. Looking forward to, to what you’re gonna pull out this year.

01:19:18:05 –> 01:19:20:06
Likewise. And good luck to you this year.

01:19:20:08 –> 01:19:57:13
Okay, sounds good. Everybody, appreciate you, you know, listening to this, this addition of the Epic Outdoors podcast. Appreciate Greg Kro and, and his addition to it. Appreciate Under Armour and the sponsorship they give us here at Epic Outdoors and sponsoring these podcasts as well as different things that we’ve got going and, and in the works and, and the great company they are, and the support to the hunting industry they give. And so anyway, appreciate Greg can’t wait to have him on again and talk about Big Deer. Maybe we’ll get into some more Big Elk and some more stuff in Arizona. He’s killed a lot of big stuff on his own and maybe we’ll dive into some of that too. But until then, we’re going back to work.