In this Episode of Epic Outdoors Jason Carter sits down with a well known Mule Deer Hunter, Steve Alderman. Jason and Steve discuss Mule Deer hunting across the west. From Steve’s home state of Idaho to Mexico and Texas. Jason and Steve talk tactics, lessons learned, and their passion of hunting big Mule Deer.

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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The terrain we’re hunting, you know, high country versus desert.

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That’s a two 30 plus buck. Let’s kill it.

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Put in years and years worth of work.

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He just disappeared when he went hard horned, and nobody saw him again until they picked him up dead seven years later.

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Anything to do with Western Big Games?

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast course is sponsored by Under Armour. We appreciate them and all their support and, and the partnership we have with Under Armour. Just appreciate them and the support they give us and the support they give the entire hunting industry. So, anyway, having a good time. We’re here, we’re here with Steve Alderman, the legendary Steve Alderman, the killer of a lot of big mule deer over the years. It’s obvious. He, he’s done a lot of homework. He’s, he’s perfected the art of killing big deer and, and he shares the same passion I do and, and loves these giants. So, anyway, welcome Steve. Appreciate

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You having me. Thank you. You bet you, buddy. I don’t know about that legend part, but I appreciate, I appreciate

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It. We’re legendary one way or another,

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Buddy. Exactly. In somebody’s somebody’s mind, right? That’s right.

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So anyway, well, let’s see. Give us a little background, Steve, you know, maybe your rough age and then, and how you got started into hunting and, and what you did as a kid and, and kind of what brought you to where you’re at today. Well,

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My rough age is 46, roughly. Yeah, roughly. I grew up in a small town in Idaho, Glens Ferry, which is right on the border of the best hunting in the state. At least it’s proposed or supposedly the best hunting in the stadium. That’s been for years. Yeah. Yeah. Unit 45. So I grew up there. I I started hunting with my dad when I was 12 and I wasn’t, I I, I don’t even remember carrying a gun, to be honest with you. Yeah. I think I was more of a pusher than anything. I remember pushing deer for my dad. He’d tell me where to go and the next thing I know the guns would be going on. So

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Yeah. I was a human trail camera for a long, a

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Lot of years. Yeah. So that’s how I got my start. I think I got my first buck when I was 15. Yeah. And we had general muzzle loader hunts there. Yeah. So that’s, that’s what I started hunting when I was 15. And all through high school we got, we got a hunt, the famous unit, 45 muzzle loader. Clear, clear. I mean, the herds were so, so awesome. We gotta hunt clearing to December 25th. Wow.

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I mean, just general over the counter muzzle loader. Crazy. Didn’t know what we had, we just knew we had a lot of deer. Right. Yeah. So first four point you shoot it and Yeah. It wasn’t until the winter killer 92 93 that I learned to respect the animals because they weren’t there anymore. And I decided I was gonna join some nonprofits and put my time back into putting more deer on the mountain. Yeah. And I didn’t hunt for four or five years college and, and being the president of the nonprofits and stuff came back in 99 and decided it was time to shoot a deer. And I was holding out for a trophy. I became a trophy hunter because people look at trophy hunters bad because we’re just out there. Yeah. Killing the biggest, baddest, whatnot. But the way I look at it is I don’t kill the first forked horn.

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I see. And that buck gets to grow up, up and breed and do everything. That’s, so I do more for conservation being a trophy hunter than the average hunter does. Going out shooting the first deer they see. So I, I told myself I was gonna be a trophy hunter and got lucky that year and shot a 180 7 deer, just absolutely pipe mass. Four and a half inch high guards. And I was hooked. So that’s when it took off. That’s when this infatuation with mule deer took off was in about 99. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean that, that’s, that’s where I got my start in, in Mule Deer as far as trophy mule deer. But I grew up in Glen Ferry. Graduated high school there, went and played football at Boise State. Got married when I was 30. Had my first kid when I was 33. And you go, here we are today. Yeah. One kid. And that’s almost too much. I mean, you have what, three right? Yeah,

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I’ve got four. Four. Yeah. Three boys and little girls.

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I don’t know how you do it. It’s hard. I dunno how you juggle

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It. It’s really hard. You know, they all want pair of fifteens. They all want tripods. They all want the best tens range finders. They all need a bow. They all need a ride. It’s crazy.

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I would be happy with that. My kid wants the, the biggest computer monitor. Oh really? The biggest, the baddest computer system. That’s okay too. I would trade That’s okay too. Yeah. He’s coming around. He’s coming around. He, he went on his first count last year and loved it. So. That’s

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Awesome. But Well, it’s, it’s interesting you talk about, you know, where the deer once were and, and, and you know, I mean, it’s just like the over the counter strip tags clear back in the eighties, you know, you could buy ’em over the counter. Right. And now look, you know, it’s once in a lifetime basic for non-residents. Exactly. And, and, and where we once were and where we are today, it’s kind of crazy. And, and now, you know, we’re finding ourselves having to apply for points and apply across the west just to obtain a few tags to be able to hunt these deer. Yep. You know, you’re not gonna be able to do it in your home state forever. And so anyway, so you graduate from college, like what do you, what’d you do for work?

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Like, I was a tile contractor for 22 years. Okay. And, and I did. I was very successful at it. Everything I’ve actually laid my hands on, I’ve been pretty blessed and lucky and been successful at, and yeah. The tile business,

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Probably this aggressive personality here.

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Yeah. And the tile business allowed me to travel the world or the, the North American continent hunting mule deer. Yeah. Yeah. I was lucky enough to go to Mexico. Mexico in 2007. Yeah. Went to Alberta in 2007. And, and to this day, I still travel around the United States mostly. Okay. I just film in different people’s hunt.

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And so that’s what you do. So, so you were a tile contractor then, then, and then you quit? Or you still do some I

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Do for friends and family right now. Oh, okay. Yeah. I, I retired basically four years ago from that to concentrate on the, the filming. I mean, so you’re

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A filmer. Oh yeah. You’re a videographer.

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That’s what I do. Yes. In

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Production as well.

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Yes. We do stuff like commercials for the fairs and farm stores and just different stuff. We do head shots, testimonials for people, for different businesses. All the way from Boeing to TD Ameritrade and, and all sorts of people. That’s crazy. It’s, it’s good. It’s good.

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Wow. Good for you. And so, so now you’re just videoing and, and I know I talked to you a few years ago and you’re like, I’m gonna slow down on deer again and concentrate on video work. But you know, you cannot stop a mule deer hunter from hunting mule deer. You can’t do it. No. It’s in,

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It’s not possible. It’s in their blood, man. It’s Yeah, they breathe. Right. So, yeah. Yeah. If they’re breathing, they want to be outdoors. Yeah.

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And so, well tell us about, you know, of course you’ve been super fortunate. I know you’ve hunted, you’ve, you know, if you’ve been on the Hickory, I’ve never been on the hick. What? I never have No, never have.

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That’s the one place you haven’t been to. Right?

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I’ve been a few places, but the hick I haven’t. But anyway, you guys were lucky enough killed an absolute monster on the hick years ago.

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Yeah. With Aaron Howe. The first, my first experience at the Hickory, it was a dream trip. I was with a, a good friend of mine, Aaron Howe, who’s the owner and president of Northwest Lineman College there in, in Boise. And he has one here in Texas and Okay.

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And in Utah also. But that was a plug, I think for, for him. I didn’t mean do go, there you go. Didn’t

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Mean to say whatever you want.

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Yeah. But we’re he, he was fortunate to draw the tag back then. It was a lot easier to draw it. And we went to the aria and hired our guide. ’cause you have to hire one of their guides. And, and he was late. He didn’t get there till after daylight opening morning. Ooh.

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Frustrating for a mulder hunter.

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Oh yeah. Crush you. It was, ’cause we closed the bar down too late at that the night before. And, but the cool thing was, is even, no, he was a half hour late. We still beat everybody out, out in the field. Geez. Because he drove so fast. We were passing people that had left at dark on the highway. That’s crazy. And by noon we had spotted this buck. And Aaron actually had spotted it and he thought it was big. He just saw the cheaters and stuff on it. And I looked at it and said that just for a split second and said, that’s a two 30 plus buck, let’s kill it. And yeah. And the hunt was on. And, and the funny, the whole story, it’s funny, it might take a little more time, but me and Aaron are taking the stock on this 260 inch deer. And pretty soon we look up and there’s a pickup driving up and hey, the deer had jumped and left and went across this aurora and wash out and went up on the other side of the mountain. And these people pulled up and said, your your guide said we could hunt this buck. Oh. So they had walked up and looked through the spot and scope and seen this two 60 buck and said, Hey. Looked at our guide and said, can we hunt it? And he’s a capital Yeah,

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Yeah. Anybody, whoever gets

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Gets it. Yeah, yeah. Exactly. You’re like, no,

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So we were the fortunate ones and lucky enough to actually harvest it. And, and it was an, an amazing experience. A 261 inch giant.

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It’s unbelievable.

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It was the biggest in New Mexico in 20 years. And the biggest off the hick in 30. Well, and Claire, now you guys have,

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Well, do you remember like what year that was?

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Yeah, that was 2000, 2001. Yeah.

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So back in those days, I, I remember seeing the pitchers and it was just like, this is one of the biggest deer I’ve ever seen in a pitcher. Yeah. It was just, it’s got mass. It’s just a crazy deer. It is

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Crazy deer. It’s, it’s, yeah, it’s a dream deer for sure.

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Yeah. And for you guys to just waltz down there and smoke it. And I was like, I don’t, I don’t, who is this guy Steve? It’s unbelievable.

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And I just happened to be there. That’s, I mean, I’ve been blessed and just happen to be with people when they do stuff like that. And it helps to know how to hunt deer a little bit and how to stock on ’em. But I would’ve never, if Aaron wouldn’t have invited me, I’d have never been there. Yeah. So,

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Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, Aaron spotted him, but at the same time, time, I mean, you knew what to do. And of course there, there’s a, there’s a, you know, something that goes into between the time you spot ’em and the time you kill ’em. Oh yeah.

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Your killer instinct takes over and, and it’s game on. Exactly. So anyway. And so I guess you hunt, I know you’ve been to Sonora, you’ve done a lot of different hunts. But like, tell us a little, Texas, Texas another place. I’ve never hunted a mul there in Texas. I know you’ve accompanied a few guys down there.

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Texas is hard, man. Texas is hard just because there’s so much private property. Yeah. And it’s just like hunting’s turned into, it’s, it’s a money game. You can bury your hand head in the sand and pretend like it’s not. Yeah, it is. People realize the value of wildlife. Yeah. And, and especially Texas and the values there. And, and it’s, it’s hard to get in if you weren’t in on the ground level. It’s hard to get in and hunt some of those ranches for some of those big deer. Yeah. Fortunately for me, again, I’ve been invited on some of those hunts because I am good at glassy and good at killing deer. And, and yeah, west Texas is amazing. They had some monsters. I mean, we’ve killed some

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2 15, 2 20

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I’ve seen.

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Yeah. Unbelievable. Yeah. I’ve seen some of the pitchers and I know some of these ranches have the genetics and of course I’ve seen some of their price sheets too. And it’s kind of crazy,

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You know, and, and just like anywhere you can get a hunt for $7,000, which is, is, which is reasonable. Yeah. And kill monster if you’re lucky. Yeah. But there’s guys out there that have already given these guys 20,000 and put it in their pocket and said, Hey, when you find that big one, you call me. It’s crazy. And that’s the unfortunate part. Yeah. About it is. Yeah. Money talks

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Well and big deer, you know, the tougher and tougher they are to obtain. Sure. You know, and, and the more money comes in into play. Yeah. And, and people want those experiences. They wanna put their hands on a, on a big deer. And, and you know,

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And just because these landowners see ’em don’t mean you’re gonna kill ’em. ’cause 90% of the deer, these guys see during the summer, we never get a sea. Wow. I mean, it’s, it’s not like you go down there and they’ve seen two, two hundreds or three, two hundreds. They got on a truck camera and you shoot one, you don’t, you go down and hunt. We’ve hunted 15, 16 days and never seen a buck. Even approaching 180 in Texas. So where

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These deer are as far as mule deer in Texas, I mean, it looks kind of Badlands big country. It’s not like your typical here’s white tails. And we sit in tree stands and they come by us and we shoot ’em. It’s pretty intense. It is it,

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I mean, Texas, you, you imagine most people think of the hill country or the brush country in Texas. Yeah. And that’s not where the mule deer are. They’re over on the far west part of the state. The Pecos County. Yeah. All the way south down to the Rio Grande almost. Wow. It’s, and it’s amazing. Huge canyon lands. Rocky just Yeah. And everything pokes you and everything bite you. It’s, it’s, wow. It’s,

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It’s fun. Quite an experience.

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It is. It’s a lot like Mexico, which you’ve spent a plenty Yeah. Plenty of time in is it’s a lot like that.

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Yeah. Speaking of Mexico, do you like it? Would you go again? Do you keep, want to go? What, what do you think about Mexico?

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We leased a whole ranch from Marcos. You know, the whole scenario. You kind of guys leased that ranch also. And we went down and I killed the, the biggest buck. They’ve mule deer. They’ve killed off that ranch in, in years. And it was 2 0 2 0 7, 2 0 8, something like that. How lucky

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Is that?

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First day out? I was just gonna go for a hike from camp because when you lease the ranch Yeah. You gotta bring your own drivers, your own cooks or whatever down with you. Yeah. And everybody just kinda split up. And I had my own truck there with the high rack and everything. And luckily the guy invited me down and said, Hey, why don’t you take the, take the take your high rack and just take this guy here and have him drive for you. He can drive the roads. And I said, okay. What the heck? I guess it’s, I’m up in the air. It’s better than just hiking from camp. Yeah. Went out opening day and

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Got lucky.

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Got lucky. Found some doze and snuck in on the doze and there was 180 inch buck worth of do. Sat there for half hour before we decided to get up and leave. And soon as we get up to leave this monster steps outta the choa. And what

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Was it like driving across? So you have your own truck down there where you, was it nerve wracking?

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It was a brand new truck. I’ve never done that. I’ve never, I I bought the truck specifically to go to Mexico with Come on, come on. And it, it was a mistake. ’cause you got lots of looks and people looked at you and you’re thinking, yeah, am I gonna leave with my truck? Yeah. But it was great. I mean, yeah, it was brand new truck, brand new hi rack didn’t have an issue. I don’t know if I’d do it now, but back in 2007 it it, yeah. But every year they just keep the hype up. How, how scary it’s to go to Mexico. It and it’s,

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I’ve had no issues down there.

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Yeah. It’s, it’s really not sure you’re gonna have issues. You can have issues going to

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Utah. Yeah. Yeah.

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Co deer in southern Arizona. Yeah. Whatever. Exactly.

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You know? Yeah. You can have issues anywhere you go. So it’s not as bad as everybody says and text. And, and, and Mexico is, in my opinion, the destination. Yeah. I mean just the whole experience. Yeah. The, the desert, the, the weather, the people. Yeah. I mean, it’s amazing. That’s why you go back every year. Yeah. Besides the big deer.

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Well, yeah. And I, and I find that Mexico actually doesn’t have giant, giant deer. It’s just, you know, you get those odd deer that that crest 200, but you know, they’re, they’re usually built like three by threes or three by fours or Sure. You know, frames. Yep. But they’re still big deer. They’re just big deer. Yeah. And you know, of course it’s January rifle Rutt, like what else is going on? Right.

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70 degrees during the day. Yeah.

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How nice is that, bro? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we’re chilling in hammocks and whatnot, you know. Exactly Right. It’s so nice. So nice. And they’re good people. I

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Love it down there. And, and I’m looking forward to going back one day. So Yeah, absolutely. It’s a dream.

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And so you, you applying in all the Western states or I mean, you know, what’s, what’s your application strategy and, and plans for the future in mul Deer and Steve’s world?

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The future is not so bright in Steve’s world. I’ll, I’ll be honest with you. When I, when I stopped doing the tile work, my financial income dropped slow down considerably slow down. Yeah. And when I was, when I was doing tile, I applied in all the states. Yeah. And now I don’t, I concentrate on one or two areas and Yeah. And that’s it. If I can go to Mexico, that’s great. I’m looking forward to that. But mostly just my home state of Idaho. Now I’m looking at Colorado and Nevada again this year. Okay. Just because of Idaho’s winter kill. I’m looking at other states Yeah. To, to possibly take away some of my time from Idaho and give those deer a break and go somewhere else. So

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Idaho. Yeah, I know Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Northern Utah. Parts of Colorado experience this severe winter. You’re seeing the same thing up there in Idaho.

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Oh, 100%. Yeah. He heavy, heavy fond mortality. And even some of the herd is, is wow. Expired and more so the southeastern part of the state and the central part of the state got hammered, you know, the Southwest did. Okay. And the central, yeah. Snake River planes did okay too. I mean the snow was there, but it melted off in a hurry. And it’s just those other two parts really got hammered. Really? Yeah. It’s not

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Good. Like you’re take you’re talking 50, 60% of the herd. I mean, in some of that country

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That’s, that would be my guess. Yeah. Especially in the Hells Canyon area. 20 twos. 30 twos. Yeah.

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Which have big deer

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Historically. Adams County is some of the biggest Bo and Crockett deer in the book. Yeah. But that’s the, that’s the amazing thing about Idaho. I think you can pick any unit in Idaho and

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Kill a big deer

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And kill a 200 inch deer. Oh, I know. I mean, a one 90 or better any unit, because Idaho is just, it’s under the radar. Under the radar. And, and again, this was up until this year, this might have something to do with it. But those big deer, when they’re, when they start reaching four years old, they’re smart. They’ve went into the winter with good fat reserves and stuff. Yeah. So yeah. Those bigger deer should survive.

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Yeah. You know, I look at some of the deer that have been taken in Idaho since the 1950s, forties, whatever, you know, and you see in the different record books and whatnot. And it’s pretty amazing. You know, I can test that Idaho, you know, genetic wise if, if they reach their prime, you know, across the state. And you know, of course having good, good weather conditions in the winter can produce outproduce the strip anywhere gon any of these, you know. Yeah.

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I mean, it’s unbelievable the genetics you guys have up there. Unbelievable. In

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Our, even in our general units, people all think it’s just about getting the tag. It’s, it’s, that’s part of it. I mean, that’s a small part, but Yeah. It’s spending the time in the field and you can do it in any part of the state of Idaho. Yeah.

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There’s no substitute for

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Time. They’re killing two 30 in the general haunts. I mean, and giant two 30 bucks. So Big

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Deer. Big deer. Yeah.

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With the big frames, the mass, you know, the stuff we like. Yeah,

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Absolutely. So let’s see what, I mean, can you remember your luckiest hunt? Obviously we’ve touched on a couple of them. You’ve been extremely lucky and, and people that you’ve been with have been lucky. But I mean, can you recall a time, I mean, you’ve killed big frame bucks, non typicals, I mean, about everything up there. So I,

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I, I think my most memorable hunt was, it was, it was a year basically. It wasn’t just a a a h it was 2007. And I knew that I was gonna be in Old Mexico. I knew I was going to Alberta and I knew I had an Idaho tag. So my goal was, and it was a hefty goal, was to shoot three, 200 inch deer in three different parts of the continent. Wow. All with short range weapons. Wow. So it started in Mexico with the 2 0 8. Yeah. And

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Which was a muzz loader

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Kill muzzle loader kill. Yep. And then I went to Alberta and shot a 2 0 7, which at the time was the Alberta Providence record archery. Yeah. Netted 1 95 and some change net typical. There you go. Yeah. So I knew I had shot that buck early and then I came to Idaho and, and when I shot my first 200 inch buck in Idaho, that was a pretty memorable moment for me. ’cause it, it rounded off that whole year of 2007. And it was my first

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00:17:50:03 –> 00:18:06:16
Idaho 200. I mean Wow. It just, yeah. It kind of hit me. It was, it was an emotional deal for me and to do it in my home. And, and a buck had been watching for 60 days. Yeah. It just happened. You knew that dear opening day, opening day, eight o’clock in the morning, it was over. And it was just like, wow, now what do I do? It was

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Okay. Got some new goals. Yeah.

00:18:08:03 –> 00:18:10:16
All the work. All the work. And it, it, it worked. And

00:18:10:19 –> 00:18:12:07
You don’t quit hunting them. No. They’re all

00:18:12:07 –> 00:18:14:08
Different. No, yeah. You’re exactly right.

00:18:14:25 –> 00:18:20:22
Well, good. And then any any disappointments you can remember? Like any missed opportunities? Yes.

00:18:20:22 –> 00:18:58:25
Yes. And it still haunts me to this day. Back in 2000, we found a deer we called hat trick. Yeah. And he was a 2 50, 2 60 class buck Geez. With triple drop times. And each drop time was a foot long geez. Coming off this deer. And in 2000 I thought I knew what I was doing. Yeah. I mean, but I didn’t, I had no, I had no clue. You learn every year. Yeah. You, you learn from your mistakes. And I should have killed that deer. I had a tag and I, I thought I was doing everything right. And he, he just disappeared when he went hard horned. And nobody saw him again until they picked him up dead seven years later. So, wow. That, that’s, that’s one of my moments in my life that I look back and go, what could I have done different? And what

00:18:58:25 –> 00:18:59:16
Would you have done different?

00:19:00:05 –> 00:19:14:07
I don’t know. I mean, probably kept it a lot quieter for one thing. Yeah. A few people found out about the deer because of me. And then there was a few other people in there hunting it because of me. So probably kept it a lot quieter. Yeah. And you learn and Yeah.

00:19:14:17 –> 00:19:20:05
It’s hard enough to hunt deer when you’re only hunting the deer, but when you’re dealing with people and deer Yeah. It’s really hard.

00:19:20:08 –> 00:19:24:12
Yeah. And, and when you go out there opening day and there’s six other people in his core area,

00:19:24:17 –> 00:19:25:22
Pretty much not gonna happen.

00:19:25:25 –> 00:19:49:07
Yeah. And it, but the good thing was he was gone before we all got there. Yeah. I mean, or, or one of us would’ve killed him. His quarry wasn’t that big. And, and yeah, he had moved on and I don’t know if he had succumbed to a lion or, or what, but they found him. And I’m still trying to get those antlers. I mean, I, I have four years of this guy’s sheds. Geez. When, geez, he grew from a 200 to a 250 inch deer a half. Wow. All four years of ’em. So, wow. It’d be nice to have the deadhead with

00:19:49:07 –> 00:20:06:11
It. Yeah, absolutely. So what do you find, we all have different tactics we use of course, depending on where we live, the time we have. And then the terrain we’re hunting, you know, high country versus desert and whatnot. But like, what are the, you know, top you know, three or four type tactics that you’re using that you contribute to your success?

00:20:07:14 –> 00:20:14:17
It’s basic. I mean, everybody who wants to be successful should use these tactics. You do. I know you do. One is scout.

00:20:15:13 –> 00:20:15:20

00:20:16:22 –> 00:20:55:07
And scouting don’t mean going out on the weekends. Yeah. For two or three weekends. Scouting is putting in 45, 60 days scouting or a hundred days. I mean, there’s days Yeah. Years. When I go 150 days in the field. That’s again, why I don’t, don’t apply in every state is because I’m out scouting. Yeah. I have the money. But that’s, that’s, that’s the number one is, is scouting, getting out there, pounding it and looking in the mornings and looking in the evenings, checking trail cameras during midday. Yeah. And just getting boots on the ground. There might be deer you don’t get on trail cameras and deer you don’t see, but when you get out there hiking and checking the trail cameras, you’ll bump ’em. Yeah. So, which is good. And people say, oh, you bumped the deer. He is gone. That’s, that’s, that’s my second number two trick is

00:20:56:01 –> 00:20:57:06
That’s not true necessarily.

00:20:57:20 –> 00:21:00:24
Bump. I like to bump him. Seriously. That’s, that’s, that’s

00:21:00:27 –> 00:21:05:00
You, you mentioned that one day and I was, it was the first time I’d really heard that I,

00:21:05:14 –> 00:21:18:10
I, we’ve killed most, well I shouldn’t say most, at least 50% of our deer in their second or third beds after they’ve been bumped. Wow. Seriously. It’s, and it’s still opening day. ’cause you’ll bump ’em or someone else will bump ’em. Well, you already know where they’re going. Yeah. And they’re

00:21:18:14 –> 00:21:25:06
So now you know he’s gonna, if you bump ’em, he’s going here. Yeah. So let’s bump ’em, find that out. And then when we you’re hunting them, go ahead and bump

00:21:25:10 –> 00:21:44:04
’em. Find find them. Find it out early. Yeah. As early as you can before they’re hard horned, you know, if you can do it in velvet, then you know where their second bed is and you know where their third bed is. If you can’t find ’em in their second, they’re gonna be in their third. They’re definitely patentable. I mean, people don’t understand that. And they’re ritualistic and they do the same things over and over, similar to a white tail. If

00:21:44:04 –> 00:21:47:28
I get bumped, I’m going a thousand yards. I hit this tree clump over this ridge or

00:21:48:05 –> 00:21:57:14
Whatever. Exactly. And the reason why they do that is because they’re five, six years old. Yeah. And they’ve survived for five or six years doing that same exact thing. Yeah. So who wouldn’t do the same thing. Yeah. Right.

00:21:57:18 –> 00:22:00:16
I contested that for years. Patterns kill deer. Yeah.

00:22:00:16 –> 00:22:01:07

00:22:01:14 –> 00:22:05:11
And who would’ve thought bumping ’em is a pattern. Yeah. Who can show you their pattern

00:22:05:15 –> 00:22:06:12
One. 100%. Because

00:22:06:12 –> 00:22:14:05
They get spooked besides people like me and you being out there bugging them, you know, they’ve got predators and sounds and noises and smells they’re dealing with every single day.

00:22:14:06 –> 00:22:43:13
Exactly. And and one of the tricks I’ve, I’ve bumped them different, different ways. I’ve bumped ’em by side, I’ve bumped him by sight. I bumped him by smell just to see if they do different things. Yeah. And they do by sight. They don’t go as far Yeah. By smell. If they smell you, they go further. Wow. So it’s nice to know where that third bed is or that second bed is and how they’re getting bumped and where they’re going. So yeah, it’s, it and it’s, you’re spending that much time with them. You get to know everything about ’em. Yeah. It’s, you know, it’s, wow. It definitely helps your success rate

00:22:43:17 –> 00:22:46:18
And course glassing any, I mean any, all the standard stuff.

00:22:46:21 –> 00:23:00:00
Yeah. Like the deer I shot this year, I, I glassed him at 11 o’clock in the morning. Really? People are backing camp, having a beer or whatever. Right. And I’m out there with a glass hitting spots that I know whole deer. Yeah. And get out in the chair, set up the fifteens and just start blasting bed

00:23:00:01 –> 00:23:00:28
Up or how did you

00:23:01:05 –> 00:23:27:14
He was beded up. Yeah. And I luckily it, the conditions this year and where I was hunting were perfect the first few weekends because it had rained. Yeah. And the sun would come up and it’d rain. The sun would come up. So those deer, not necessarily the big deer, but the younger deer would go out in the sun. Yeah. To, to sun themselves and warm up. Yeah. So you could spot ’em. Well you spot one deer, there’s gonna be usually one or two other deer there. And yeah, I got lucky and just saw his antler sticking outta the sage and Wow. Just went, man, he’s deep. I need to get a closer look. Good deer.

00:23:27:20 –> 00:23:28:22
Yeah. Good deer. Big deer.

00:23:29:07 –> 00:23:33:12
Deep. Yeah. Deep, deep, deep forks. A little narrow, a little weak, but yeah.

00:23:33:16 –> 00:23:37:19
Light mask. Yes. That’s what you’re saying by week. Yes. Because he didn’t look that weak to me, Steve.

00:23:38:11 –> 00:23:38:23
He looked

00:23:38:23 –> 00:23:38:29

00:23:38:29 –> 00:23:40:06
Good. Well, he’s got a, it’s a

00:23:40:06 –> 00:23:41:08
200 inch, four point, wasn’t

00:23:41:08 –> 00:23:55:02
He? No, his, his four point frame was only one 90, but he’s an eight by eight. So Yeah, he goes 2 0 2, but he’s weak. He’s got 15 and a half inches of mass. Yeah. So if he had normal mass, man, you had another four inches to him. Yeah. You know, I would, he’s a, he’s a giant, trust

00:23:55:02 –> 00:23:55:23
Me, he’s a good deer.

00:23:55:25 –> 00:23:58:08
He’s a giant. Yes. Yeah. And you just can’t pass up

00:23:58:11 –> 00:24:00:26
Any 200 inch steers freaking monster. Yeah. We,

00:24:01:07 –> 00:24:07:26
And the way I look at it, two hundreds, a great number, but it’s just a number. Yeah. My favorite deer’s 180 7 and a 1 94.

00:24:08:05 –> 00:24:08:13

00:24:09:13 –> 00:24:14:02
Mass pipe, mass. I guards. That’s, that’s, that’s my weakness is mass. And I guards.

00:24:14:02 –> 00:24:22:16
That’s me too. So I have an igar. Fet. Yeah. I mean I love triple I guards, quadruple, I guards basal points. And then Monster Mass. You got it. That’s monster mass.

00:24:22:16 –> 00:24:23:26
That’s, well, we’re a lot alike.

00:24:24:02 –> 00:24:40:13
Yeah. To a degree. So anyway, anything else that you can attribute to your success out there? I mean, I know you’ve hunted across the state and, and done a lot of different things. Of course. You still like your backyard, you know, it probably is good or better than anybody I’ve ever heard of. I did hunt your country once, you know,

00:24:40:23 –> 00:24:41:19
I know you lucky dog or

00:24:41:19 –> 00:24:42:08
Twice. Yeah,

00:24:42:11 –> 00:24:58:13
Yeah. And you, and you went up, made us look bad, killing a monster. Oh yeah, you did. No, and I’m happy for you. It, we have kept you out of that area for a long, long time and you finally snuck in there and you got it done, which I knew you were gonna do. Yeah. Regardless, eventually when you got there, I knew you were gonna get it done. So my

00:24:58:13 –> 00:25:32:16
Hats off to you. Well, it came up, it was just right at the end of the season. And, and of course I’d never been in your country. Really. I mean, I pass through it and whatnot, but I’ve never really worked it. Right. But, you know, when they’re starting to rutt, you know, we all know it’s just a numbers game. I mean, and, and they’re migrating. Right. So you got deer migrating in. Of course you do have some resident deer that’ll sit there and Rutt tube and, but I don’t have any of the local knowledge. You do. Yeah. So for me it’s numbers. Yeah. You know, you walk into an area or, or drive into an area and it’s just a matter of, I, I’ve gotta cover, if I cover 400 bucks, chances are one of ’em gonna be a good one. Yeah. That’s, and that’s all I did. That’s

00:25:32:16 –> 00:25:44:12
Exactly the way I say 300, I say 300, 300 to 400 deer, but a hundred mature deer. If you find a hundred mature deer, one of those a hundred mature deer and I’m, I be a monster. Three and a half, four and a half year old deer or better, it’s gonna be a monster.

00:25:44:19 –> 00:25:56:12
Yeah. And then once you find that monster, and you gotta do it in a short amount of time. ’cause they don’t just rutt throughout the month of October, we’re talking the last four or five days of that particular season. Yes sir. They’re starting to rutt, so Yeah.

00:25:56:14 –> 00:26:00:19
Yeah. You and you killed what, a 2 21? 2 22? Just a Yeah, just a slob.

00:26:00:21 –> 00:26:02:29
Just a good deer. Solid big old deer up

00:26:02:29 –> 00:26:04:16
There. I wish you’d have gave him a couple more years.

00:26:04:22 –> 00:26:07:12
I know he would’ve, he and he was a little light on the mask. Ah-huh.

00:26:08:07 –> 00:26:11:08
I think he was young. I think he was what, a four and a half year old deer. I know. Yeah, yeah,

00:26:11:12 –> 00:26:11:20

00:26:11:20 –> 00:26:25:11
Would’ve been a giant No, I, I, I think just don’t get caught up in all the BSS that’s out there, man. It’s, it’s, we’re successful ’cause we put in the work. Yeah. It’s as simple as that. It’s not, I mean, you, you, some of the biggest deer you’ve killed are on general. General units. Yep.

00:26:25:20 –> 00:26:25:29

00:26:25:29 –> 00:26:32:01
People don’t want to, they say because you’re getting landowner tags that you’re spending the money No, it’s becausecause. You’re putting the work in. Yeah. And anywhere

00:26:32:07 –> 00:26:45:04
You need the tag, you do need the tags. But you can do that even like you said, some of our Utah general Idaho general. I mean, right now we’ve got some monsters on our Utah general, you know, and that’s where I’m gonna be this year. Yeah. And so, but like

00:26:45:04 –> 00:26:46:16
You said, and I’m gonna be right there beside you.

00:26:47:17 –> 00:26:48:26
I hope you’re not beside me, buddy.

00:26:50:20 –> 00:26:50:29

00:26:51:05 –> 00:27:25:22
But anyway, but you’re exactly right. There’s no substitute for time. And, and then of course you, you know, as, as you put in years and years worth of work, you know, it does come together. You become more confident, you be able to, you understand it, you get it. And you, and I think per hour, you’re a lot more effective. You know, you can spend a, Steve Alderman might spend, you know, 10 hours in the field on a Friday after or Friday and, and then a guy that’s, you know, maybe Steve Alderman of 20 years ago, spend that same 10 hours. You’re it, you’re a different hunter now over the course of 20 years. And just dealing with it and being in those positions and situations.

00:27:25:22 –> 00:28:01:02
Right. Oh, you’re exactly right. And just spend the time out. I think packing a camera around has done more for me than anything. Yeah. And getting close, because we didn’t have the big lenses. We couldn’t afford that stuff. So it was just basically sneaking in and getting as close as you could to get the best footage is helped me in my confidence tremendously. And that’s the way I look at it. If I, if I bet a deer, I honestly look at it like it’s a dead deer. Yeah. If I wanna kill it, it’s a dead deer. Yeah. And sure there’s circumstances like the wind and whatnot where you have to back out or come back the next day, but they shouldn’t get away. I mean, with, with with what we know now, it’s, it’s, it’s a done deal. Yeah. I mean, the confidence is there. Yeah. It’s just, it’s finding them is the hard part.

00:28:01:05 –> 00:28:47:19
Yeah, absolutely. I’m, I’m with you. And then once you find them, you know, and I’m, I’m kind of one of those guys, like, I like following ’em from year to year. And if we don’t get ’em one year in large part, you know, I find they show back up like, maybe you’re still dealing with a lion kill here and there, and you might be dealing with a dead deer from one reason or another or whatever, but, but it’s not like with each year, and you’re, I’m sure you’re the same way, but we’ll go throughout that year and, you know, we’re looking for the bucks we, we had last year and the year before, and the name deer, you know, Joe, Bob, whatever, you know, double G two or whatever it is. And then, you know, find, relocating those deer instead of starting from a clean slate going, well, huh, let’s go deer hunting right now. No, we’re hunting specific deer. Right. And we wanna find those deer. And if you find two outta three of them, then you wanna see which one grew 20 inches and hopefully pounding.

00:28:47:19 –> 00:29:09:13
Well, you’re exactly right. The deer I shot this last year there in, in unit 45. I seen him the year before. That’s why I was in there glassing. And he was a beautiful a hundred eighty five, a hundred eighty seven inch deer. Yeah. And I was hoping, because last year was such a phenomenal horn growth year in Idaho, that he had done something and he, and he did. And he did. And he did. So there’s no question. But that’s again, like you said, spending time and, and getting to know him and watching him year after year is, is huge.

00:29:09:23 –> 00:29:14:22
Great. And so for this year, got some good tags coming out or good, good plans anyway. Mm.

00:29:14:27 –> 00:29:51:01
Man. I always have video work. I always have big plans. We’re looking to pick up some sheep hunts right now to film. I love filming sheep hunts and being out in sheep country. But as far as, yeah, just Idaho, I’m thinking about getting a second tag in Idaho. Yeah. And seeing what I can do in a, in a general archery hunt. I have a, I have a little, I have a little tip on something down there on a, on a, on a good buck. So Good. We’ll see if you made it through. That’s awesome. Yeah. I, I don’t know if this is the right year to, to buy a second tag Yeah. And hunt because of the deer populations. But yeah, maybe I just buy the, just hunt the general this year and just prove a point, you know, it’s the time you spend out there kinda like you’re gonna do in Oregon and in Utah this year. Yeah. So

00:29:51:01 –> 00:30:12:13
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Kind of interesting. I mean, you do have a tough winter. They have a loss and then they still offer the general tags and second tags a little bit frustrating. Very frustrating. You know, that, that we can’t manage just a little bit tighter, but, but it is what it is in, in the opposite side of that is people do get to go hunting and, and do get to have that tag every year. Sure. Just be a tougher season. Sure. Be able to take a deer a little bit longer to bounce back.

00:30:12:18 –> 00:30:31:07
Yeah. And what people gotta realize, it’s not about, we don’t do it to kill. I mean we, we enjoy that part. That’s the, that’s the finale. But we just do it to be outdoors, man. I love it. And just the sceneries, the sunrises, the sunsets, I mean Yeah. That’s, I sunrises get me, I mean, man, they almost choke me up every time I see one. Yeah. So it’s good to know you so full of

00:30:31:07 –> 00:30:32:05
Sunrises, you

00:30:32:05 –> 00:30:48:07
Know? Yeah. Thankfully you woke up. Exactly. You woke up and, and it’s there. So yeah, it’s, it’s being outdoors and being successful, people lose what it’s all about because of all the social media. They see just all the dead animals and whatnot. And it’s not, it’s, it’s about getting out with your family and friends like you talking about getting out with your kids, man. Yeah. I’m, I’m jealous about that. So

00:30:48:09 –> 00:31:25:20
Yeah. Well it’s, it does, it is a life changer. You know, I know that kids, kids are game changer for me and my wife and you know, of course I’m never gonna lose the drive to put my hands on big old deer. But, but it’s, it’s something else to watch your kids take their first Turkey or their first deer. And of course they’re hunting a little bit with me, state to state. Took ’em to Colorado this year, Idaho this year. And you know, you kind of gotta do that because some of these states allow ’em to hunt when they’re 10 years old. Utah doesn’t, you know. Yeah. I want to go to, I wanna be able to get ’em as early as I can and, and hunt Arizona or hunt New Mexico or Colorado or whatever we can do. Sure. Totally. Depending on the kid and, and developing points and all that kind of stuff.

00:31:25:26 –> 00:32:08:01
But anyway, life changes. So well just want to, you know, tell you how much I appreciate you coming on spending a little time with us. You’re, you’re definitely a, a mule deer freak. There’s a few of us out there and I’ve got a lot of respect for what you’ve done over the years. You’ve, you’ve proven it, you’ve done it and you’ve killed some amazing animals. You’ve helped guys killed some amazing, of course, have experienced a lot of different country across the west and we’re all, both of us are getting a little older and with, with, you know, with age comes a little bit of wisdom and a little bit of experience in the f in the field and of course we get a little bit better at what we do and then also, you know, maybe even a little bit slower and not so aggressive to hike than mountains for no reason, unless we know there’s a giant

00:32:08:07 –> 00:32:13:00
Just makes us smarter though too. Not so aggressive is smarter. More time behind the glass, so.

00:32:13:00 –> 00:32:32:24
That’s right. Well anyway, just want to tell you again, thanks, appreciate you, good luck in all you’re doing. Want to tell Under Armour how much we appreciate them and sponsoring this Epic Outdoors podcast as well as the Epic outdoors crew and, and all we got going on with the magazine. Phenomenal company and they support the hunting industry and and appreciate them. So thanks again Steve. Good luck.

00:32:32:24 –> 00:32:34:07
Appreciate, appreciate the time man. Alright buddy.

00:32:34:09 –> 00:32:34:26
Talk to you later.