In this Episode of Epic Outdoors our host Jason Carter sits down with Stephen Spurlock to discuss hunting in Kansas. Stephen has been an avid whitetail hunter in Kansas for over a decade and has deep knowledge on the state. They also cover several of the units in Kansas and the outlook for this upcoming season.

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.

00:00:01:27 –> 00:00:03:10
It’s hard to dial in Kansas.

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It’s just a never ending learning process for sure.

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The application periods like April 1st to the 28th.

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Traditionally age structured,

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Anything to do with Western big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

00:00:22:07 –> 00:01:14:15
Hey everybody. Jason Carter here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. Got a super good guest on today with us name’s Steven Spurlock. He is a really good friend of mine. I’ve known him for quite a few years now. And anyway, just wanted to, you know, talk about Kansas and some of the country that he’s spent a lot of time in, and he’s hunted specific deer, both mule deer and white tails, and it’s fairly knowledgeable over there, in fact, you know, quite knowledgeable. So anyway, before we get started, just wanted to thank Under Armour for their sponsorship of the Epic Outdoors Podcast and all that they do for Epic Outdoors and some of the different ventures that we’re, you know, in together. And of course I’ve worked with them for a lot of years with Ridge Reaper TV show and, and different things. And so anyway, just want to shout out to them, appreciate them and their support as we get started. Just wanted to, you know, welcome Steven, you out there?

00:01:14:25 –> 00:01:15:13
Yes, sir.

00:01:15:19 –> 00:01:32:23
Really appreciate you taking time outta your schedule to, you know, visit with me today and kind of cover some of this stuff that’s, you know, of course, near and dear to your heart. And, and, you know, and just kind of take it from there and maybe just glean a little, a few little things from you. And I know you’ve spent lots and lots of time over there in Kansas.

00:01:33:22 –> 00:01:36:10
Yes, sir. Well, tha thank you guys so much for having me on.

00:01:36:12 –> 00:01:46:14
Maybe give me, give us a little bit of your background and kind of how you got into hunting and, you know, start as far back as you want to go and then, you know, bring us up to where you’re at today.

00:01:47:13 –> 00:02:40:16
Yes, sir. Well, I grew up in Northern Virginia. This was home for me right outside DC and at an early age, you know, we have a lot of deer in Virginia, but quality isn’t great. So when I was in high school, I actually started traveling to the Midwest and working on farms out there solely because I, I just wanted to be around big, big white tails. Did that through high school. Ended up pursuing degree in wildlife management at University of Georgia. Finished that up in 2010. And since then I’ve just been heading, you know, started going to Kansas and man spent a lot of time there, started spending a little time and over the years it’s gotten to be a little bit more and more and more, but just always had that interest in Whitetails, you know, grew up around them and just been an animal that, you know, I can’t, I like hunting a lot of different things, but they’re, you know, they’re something about ’em.

00:02:40:20 –> 00:03:09:12
Yeah, there’s absolutely it’s, most guys that hunt whitetails real serious are just soup addicted to ’em, you know, and so I can only handle so many addictions. So I’ve tried not to let myself get too involved with them, but, you know, to kill a giant, which is kind of the natural thing that I’m gonna want to do, I know it’s takes tons of time and tons of effort and, and you almost gotta stop muer hunting or stop elk hunting and actually make it, you know, kind of your priority, wouldn’t you say? Oh,

00:03:10:18 –> 00:03:42:16
Absolutely. You know, and that’s, as you know, I kind of ha I have a growing interest in elk hunting and, you know, it gets, it gets in the way of the white tails a little bit, you know, it’s hard to be, it’s hard to really focus on two species in one year, you know, it’s regionally they’re distributed out, you know, distribution’s far enough that it’s hard to keep track of everything at one time. And white tails are one of those animals, if you’re really looking for the upper end stuff, it takes a lot of time. I mean, tremendous amounts of time to find those, you know, older age class genetically kind of gifted animals.

00:03:42:26 –> 00:04:02:28
Yeah. So talk, talk to us a little bit about what got you to this point. I know you brought us through some of your backstory, but just, you know, what drives you, what you’re doing, maybe some of the different, you know, your, your aspirations as far as leasing ground or what, or what are you doing? What is it taking to, you know, to hunt big deer?

00:04:03:11 –> 00:04:55:28
For me, it’s been a, oh, I’ve been at it for, for seven years or so. I’ve been carrying leases in Kansas and, you know, I started into it. I just kind of picked an area and found, found an area I kinda liked on paper in western Kansas and leased a small place there. And, you know, the way we do everything is, I have a group of friends that we all hunt together and, you know, we take our leases and split ’em and everybody has comes out when they can and hunts and, you know, from there we started with a little ground and we’ve, you know, gained a little bit, lost a little bit, you know, there’s an ebb and flow year to year, but really just kind of isolated down the areas we like the best and the areas that seem to hold hold older bucks, you know, as far as hunting big bucks, it’s, it’s all about hunting older bucks and finding those areas where the deer can make it to 5, 6, 7, or even older. That’s, that’s the real challenge in, in hunting big white tails.

00:04:56:04 –> 00:05:29:19
And so how are you finding these areas? Like, like I know traditionally like 15, 16, you know, some of these other units are maybe what people are kind of honing in on, but to me, I mean we’ve seen, and you know this as well, you see giants from, from all units, you know, and maybe even not a rhyme or reason to some of it, but like, how are you finding ’em? Is it specific leases? Are you looking for size of ground or is it, you know, just seeing what’s come off a particular ranch and so, you know, that ranch or or piece of property has that kind of genetic, I mean, how are you doing it?

00:05:29:25 –> 00:06:17:00
Yes, sir. Well, you know, well, approaching Kansas in general, if you’re just getting started there, you know, like we’ve talked about, there’s, there’s really great bucks in, in almost every county in the state, you know, so part of it is the style of hunting, isolating down how you wanna hunt a little bit, you know, the western part of the state where we’re at is, is a little more glassy, inten intensive, you know, more river bottom whitetails than the eastern part of the state, which is, you know, I think more traditional whitetail country, woodlots farmland, that sort of deal. And, you know, and kind of getting started, I just found an area that, that I liked in western Kansas there, and, and that’s the big difference east to west is west. You have that big prairie country where you can really use your glass, you know, I don’t think it’s that much, probably not that much different than some of the, you know, mule deer hunting.

00:06:17:01 –> 00:07:13:28
You guys are accustomed to doing a little further west. But starting there, you know, and then from there it’s, it just takes, you know, I, the area I hunt in up there is not necessarily known for the quality that’s there. It’s not a historic hot spot like you see in some other parts of the state, you know, Comanche and barber counties and those areas that are so famous. We just started with a little piece and got to know the area and you know, kind of isolated down from there, areas that we’re just holding those deer and continue to, and that’s, you know, the biggest thing in our success is we hunt the same areas year to year. You know, having that local knowledge and knowing what bucks have made it through and what bucks didn’t make it through. And you know, going into the year knowing exactly what animal you’re looking for, that man, that helps a lot. It’s a lot harder going into the season when you don’t really know what bucks are around or really what buck you’re looking for.

00:07:14:05 –> 00:07:59:29
Yeah, well that totally makes sense. You know, I’ve done several podcasts with, you know, some of the milder freaks here in the west and you know, one thing that we all kind of have in common is, is we’re hunting the same areas from year to year, like you said. So, you know, you’re hunting the same areas, you’re becoming extremely familiar and then following animals, specific animals. And so you’re, what you’re telling me, I mean, even in the whitetail world, and you’re probably running cameras or whatever, but you’re following specific animals, naming them and, and figuring it out that way as far as, you know, not just accidentally shooting 190 inch deer or something crazy is those deer maybe may be accidents during the rutt or something like that and you kind of wonder where they come from, or maybe they’re the neighbor’s property you never knew about.

00:08:00:11 –> 00:08:47:11
Oh yeah. Well tho those oopses happen, you know, the ones that they, you know, those monsters, I mean it absolutely happens Jason, but you know, in general, most of the bucks we end up hunting are bucks that, you know, two or three years history with or, you know, occasionally we’ll have that deer from four to five that’ll, you know, I’m sure you see a mule deer that’ll just maybe wasn’t on the radar as a three or four year old and then all of a sudden holy cow, you know, look what he blew into. Yeah, exactly. That definitely happens, you know. But yeah, the, the year to year following, you know, the year to year access is, is really the biggest. I mean that’s the, the biggest key to success, whether it’s elk meal, do whatever it is, the more time you can spend in an area and the more you can get to know individual animals, the the better off you’re gonna be.

00:08:48:09 –> 00:09:06:02
So you’re just picking like a specific branch, say, or somehow you’ve got, you know, a contact or whatever, pick up a lease and then, then maybe you just learn more about their neighbors or that particular lease or whatever. And one thing leads to another in seven years down the road you’ve got maybe hopefully a good ground, good ground that you’re settling in on, or

00:09:06:23 –> 00:09:50:26
Absolutely. And that’s kind of, you know, I think the difference between the, the eastern and and western hunting model is, you know, back east here, I I live in Georgia’s home, home for me now, having a hunting lease is, is pretty standard. That’s how most people have access to ground. And that’s kind of, you know, we’ve kind of taken that mentality to Kansas where we become, you know, get one lease and get to know a landowner and, and, and develop those relationships. And over time you take good care of your landowners, they take good care of you and you get, you get access on a little more ground here and there and you know, it just every year builds on itself even, you know, even after being there for almost a decade, you know, every year you learn tremendous amount, you know, it, it’s a just a never ending learning process for sure.

00:09:51:21 –> 00:10:13:11
Wow, that’s awesome man. Well, so talk to me a little bit about the outfitter situation in Kansas. I know, you know, we obviously are looking into it and you’re al and I’m always trying to find, you know, good outfitters in Kansas, but it’s extremely difficult and maybe it’s the licensing situation or lack thereof or, or I don’t know, what, what do you think about it?

00:10:14:05 –> 00:11:31:24
Well, you know, in, in Kansas, as you kind of alluded to there, it’s my understanding there isn’t really a, a license outfitter licensing process. So guys who wanna be outfitters, they end up, you know, throw up a webpage and they’re outfitters Yeah. You know, which is a little bit different than some western states. So that being said there, there’s a little bit of, probably a little bit of a quality control issue there where guys that aren’t really doing things the right way end up, you know, end up out in the world for people to book with. Yeah. That being said, you know, there are some guys in Kansas that are extremely good operators, you know, that have a great, a great, great situation going and, and run some great hunts, but finding those guys can be challenging and, you know, I think that comes down to the lack of the licensing process. And then on the other side of things, anyone in the world can go to Kansas and lease a farm kinda like I do. So, you know, these better hunting leases are, are pretty darn competitive. You know, if you drive by a piece of property in Kansas and think, man, that looks great for white tails, odds are, odds are decent to that. The hunting is controlled through somewhere or another on that property. Yeah. And I think that’s where, you know, outfitters struggle a little bit to keep, to keep hold of better leases.

00:11:32:12 –> 00:12:15:14
Yeah. Well it’s just been tough. So, you know, I know we dealt with some different outfitters in the past. My, my dad even went out there, we were out there with a guy, ended up killing a 220 inch mule there. It was the craziest thing, you know, in a milo field. I mean, and, and we don’t even know what Milo is not even sure quite how to spell it here in the west, but, but you guys have loads of it and they love it. I mean, their phases are black and I mean it’s just, you know, they love it. But anyway, needless to say, I mean, what I’m getting at that outfit is no longer in business. And I don’t know necessarily why, but it feels like, it feels like, I mean like here in the west, here in Utah, we have Henry Mountains, Ponson, Oak Creek, San Juan, whatever, let’s just say for deer units.

00:12:16:02 –> 00:12:50:19
And those are, you know, gonna be fairly good for a 10 year stretch, if not more, if not 20 years. You know, well the, he, we were in unit 17 and it’s not that seventeen’s good, it’s that that particular piece is good or that particular deer’s alive that got to be six or seven years old. It’s not that seventeen’s wazo awesome, although it’s had some good deer in the past, it’s just different. Absolutely. It’s more based on ranches, it’s more based on properties and, and if people are poaching or just over hunting or, or whatever, there’s a, there’s tons of different, you know, aspects to growing big deer in Kansas versus out here.

00:12:51:01 –> 00:13:32:22
Well, and that’s, you know, the, the interesting thing about Kansas is, you know, and really it’s a private land, you know, it’s a private land state. What you end up with, there are, you know, large ranches where they can really impact their deer population on their particular properties, whether that’s nutritionally age structure, they can control harvest. And some of these ranchers are really, really good at that, you know, and that that’s, you know, when you see a big deer come outta Kansas, you can pretty well just circle the whole state. And it could be anywhere in there, you know, versus you get on the western states, you know, you see a two 50 buck come out of the state of Arizona and your odds are pretty good. He came off the strip.

00:13:33:02 –> 00:13:33:28
Right. Yeah.

00:13:34:07 –> 00:13:35:25
A little different in Kansas for sure.

00:13:36:12 –> 00:14:24:13
Yeah. Well, so let’s talk about the mule deer a little bit. I know, you know, you haven’t totally become a mule deer addict, you know, but, but we’re working on you and, and I know you do, you know, you do hunt ’em fairly aggressively and you’re always, you know, looking for giants there in Kansas and, and you’re finding a few, I mean, tell me a little bit about that. Are you finding big white tails in the same places? You’re finding big milder And, and at times too, to add onto that question, at times too, we’re finding, you know, giant mule in places, there’s not many of them. And it seems like that with Kansas, when you find low densities, low populations of white tails, it seems like maybe, maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s always a few just absolute monsters when there’s, you know, you’re hunting lower densities. And I don’t know if there’s a correlation or, or

00:14:24:19 –> 00:15:11:08
Oh, that’s, that’s, I mean, I, I was hoping you, you you’d bring that up Jason, that’s kind of, you know, in the western part of the state. Well, first of all, Kansas kind of divides itself into two kind of mule deer management areas. There’s the western zone, which is 1 2, 17, 18, and the eastern zone, which gets into 3, 7, 4 5 and 16. And here in the, the, the previous years, you know, last year they had a, they, the state implemented a, a tag reduction in the eastern, eastern mule deer range in Kansas, which, oh, I think they knocked it down from 500 to 400 tags a year on the western part of the state, which is where a majority of of the mule deer in the state are. Densities are pretty darn good. You know, you can get into pockets where you see just a pile of deer.

00:15:12:20 –> 00:16:11:01
And that, that being said, you know, I stick mostly to the western zone of the state when I’m out there and, you know, you’ll find those concentrations with just piles and piles of dough and young bucks and so forth and so on. And these ultra high density areas, generally speaking, finding the better bucks, it seems like I find those guys kind of off, not on their own, but in more pocketed areas than the, than the really popular just, you know, 40, 50 mule deer and wheat field areas. Right. But that, you know, the, the mule deer population, the western part of the state has been, you know, I think stable to growing at this point. It seems to be doing really well. And you know, the main issue, you know, with that, with that area is, I think the same with the, a lot of the western units you guys hunt, it’s just, it’s all about age structure and Kansas implements, you know, not very many non-resident tags, you know, the, the statistics on that, they’re just, there’s not a tremendous number.

00:16:11:22 –> 00:16:46:24
But when you look past that at the resident tag allocations, you know, for the rifle season in that western zone, they’re issuing 1400 resident, or 14, a little over 1400 resident tags a year. Yeah. So, you know, get, getting older age class bucks is challenging. You know, it’s, it can be a challenge. And I, and I think that’s probably, we talk about focusing on those lower density areas and finding the bigger bucks in Kansas. Yeah. And I think that’s largely due to the fact that just, you know, those deer kind of slip through the cracks. Not as many people look out in these areas where there aren’t super high densities.

00:16:47:23 –> 00:17:01:19
And so what do you see? And I know like that units one and two and some of that country, like there’s some remote country even, I mean you do have some private ranches and whatnot, but like the Sandhills and places like that, that would kind of interests me. They’re intriguing.

00:17:02:28 –> 00:17:38:22
Oh, absolutely. You know, there’s parts of unit one and, and unit two especially that, you know, breaks country that is, man, it’s hard. It’s, yeah, you can’t drive your pickup around it, you know, through it anyway, which is pretty unique for the state of Kansas. You know, generally speaking, Kansas is pretty flat and pretty accessible. But there’s some areas up there in those units that are, are definitely a little more remote and then you get down into 17 and those units there and it gets a little flattens out a little bit. Haven’t, it’s not quite as much rough country down there, but a lot of, a lot of pretty rough canyons up in unit one and unit two.

00:17:39:03 –> 00:17:53:02
Oh yeah, yeah. I’ve seen that. Like in 17, some of the problems I, it seems like there’s a public right of way around every six 40 or whatever. And so people know what you have and your guys know what they have on their properties. It’s kinda kind of an interesting dynamic.

00:17:54:14 –> 00:18:13:28
Yeah, no, that’s for sure. The, the mile, the mile grid road system out there makes it pretty hard, especially on the, you know, white tails I think are a little more astute hiding than some of these big mules, the big mules and open country. If he lives in a mile, you know, or an area where there’s a road for every mile, it’s pretty hard for him to hide from people.

00:18:15:06 –> 00:18:54:06
Yeah, that’s, yeah, you got this big rack hanging out above the milo. I mean, when we went in there, we went in there to kill this deer. I mean, it’s pretty funny ’cause, ’cause he, you know, the outfitter was, you know, we know this big deer’s here and this and that and, and of course we’re excited. We know what the deer is. We’ve got, you know, a little video clip. So, so anyway, we end up betting this deer out in this milo. And of course they think they’re hidden. They got this big rack hanging above the milo. And so we just take lawn chairs, the wind comes up, they can’t hear ya. You need ’em to stand up, but you don’t want ’em to jump and jump and blow. You wanna be able to kill ’em when they get up. So you want ’em to get up naturally. So you just take, and it’s hot, you know, of course you’re in September where

00:18:54:06 –> 00:18:55:11
The mz Oh, September. Yeah,

00:18:55:22 –> 00:19:44:06
Oh yeah, September with a muzz order where they’re patterned, you know, they, they’ve got a pattern. They’re not rutting, there’s nothing, they’re pretty stable. They just get up, eat, drink, and be merry, you know? Yeah. So anyway, we’re chilling in these launchers. It’s the craziest, you know, big mulder story. But anyway, and just waiting for hours and hours and hours and hours for these deer to stand up and, and so of course luckily when they do stand, you’re, you’re right on ’em. But they don’t know you’re there, even though you’re just chilling, you know, in lawn chairs. I don’t know. I mean, it’s a little different. Not every big deer’s taken that way. I know that. And of course Adam Bronson here in the office had a late tag and anyway, got lucky and ended up, you know, killing just a stud deer as well. But it was cold. Like those December hunts can be so cold.

00:19:44:10 –> 00:20:06:01
Oh man. They can be brutal. And that’s, you know, there’s, that’s, you know, there’s a big, big difference between the early season and late season stuff out there. You know, the deer totally shift their areas, you know, it’s, and it’s a lot crop rotation and things like that. They will, you know, head to different country and that wind blows and snows and yeah. It can be, be quite an adventure.

00:20:06:18 –> 00:20:20:24
Yeah. It’s just crazy. So let’s see. You know, is there any specific bucks that you remember? Or like anything, you know, are you following deer specific bucks right now? Are you into the whitetails or mule there? I mean, what have you got going right now?

00:20:21:12 –> 00:21:07:14
Yeah, sir. Well, for, for 20, oh, it’ll be 2017 this year. I should draw a whitetail tag in the area. I hunt there and, you know, and it’s one of those years, I’m sure you’ve had ’em, I’m going into it not really a hundred percent on, on having a buck to hunt. You know, we had a really good year last year and harvested some older age class bucks and, you know, kind of cleaned out the inventory a little bit. So going into 2017, it’s gonna be a, yeah, it’s gonna be a lot of looking. And you know, I’ve got some, I’ve got some four year olds that I, you know, watched last year that I’m, I’m just really hoping, you know, really make a good charge here at five and a half. Yeah. But as far as having an individual buck, man, I’m, I’m sweating it a little bit ’cause I, you know, for it, it happens. But this is the first year in a while. I’m not really sure which one I’m looking for.

00:21:07:27 –> 00:21:13:11
Yeah. Well you probably, are you running trail cameras pretty aggressive? I mean, is that pretty popular there in Kansas?

00:21:14:05 –> 00:21:54:13
A Absolutely. Well, you know, Kansas is a, is a baiting state, so you can run baited cameras during the deer season and, you know, and, and that, and in western part of the state waters very limiting. There’s not a lot of live water out there. So, you know, we run a lot of cameras on tanks and things like that. And, you know, between, between those two and then running some cameras on scrapes and rubs and things like that, you can get a pretty good inventory of the bucks you have out there. And that’s something, you know, we typically start around October 1st and, you know, run cameras up through the end of season and, you know, somewhere in there, most of the bucks that we, you know, we, we learn about most of the bucks we end up seeing through cameras for sure. Yeah.

00:21:54:27 –> 00:22:14:05
So you say October 1st, like we start around June 15th, you know, running cameras and stuff. Do you, are you running ’em in the summer? It seems like, to me it’d be extremely hot. You just, you know, you indicated the water’s extremely limited. They’ve got a water, just like every animal does. I mean, do you, would, do you start early? Do you put, do you run on water pretty heavy?

00:22:14:23 –> 00:23:07:22
You know, since I’m, I’m regionally a little bit, oh. I’m about 20 hours from the area I hunt in is is home for me. Yeah. So in the summertime I get, I get some cameras out, Jason, but I don’t get to run as many as I would like. Yeah. You know, kind of my reasoning there, you know, I think it’d be super helpful. But in the summertime, a lot of the bucks that I’m looking for may not summer in the areas. I’m actually gonna end up hunting them. You know, in the summertime, crops are up, corn fields are up, Milo is up, and a lot of these deer will leave, you know, rip repairing river bottom areas and go out, out into just some treeless, middle of nowhere farmland. And they’ll live out there all summer. And so that being said, it’s, you know, the bucks that we’re gonna hunt during the Rutt, man, they could be of quite a ways away during the summertime. You know, they’re, they’re spread all over.

00:23:08:05 –> 00:23:36:14
Yeah. Well, I, I, I’m probably good. I don’t live in Kansas ’cause it’s so, so it’d be so addicting. I’d be running 500 cameras, 500 bait stations, all the water that’s alive, you know, and, but that’s kind of what it takes. Like you’re saying, there’s just, you know, you really gotta be aggressive like you are, even if you’re 20 hours away, you’re still, you know, you’re picking the time of year that you wanna hunt and you’re, you’re working it hard, you know, to come up with the deer you’ve come up with. I know you’ve come up with a lot of big deer,

00:23:37:16 –> 00:24:02:11
You know, and that’s just a, a product of time there, Jason. You know, it’s, I think the same for you guys out west there, just spending a lot of time and, you know, getting a little bit lucky every now and then, you know. But that’s, you know, that’s kind of the deal with Kansas is definitely great bucks there, just man Oh man. You know, just like anything else. Takes quite a bit of time and, and a little bit, a little bit of luck. Yeah,

00:24:02:25 –> 00:24:07:11
Exactly. So are you, so you’re a non-resident to Kansas. That’s right, isn’t it?

00:24:07:14 –> 00:24:08:16
Yes. Yes sir.

00:24:08:19 –> 00:24:11:08
So we’re limited to like hunting mule deer with a muzzle loader.

00:24:11:21 –> 00:24:28:13
That’s correct. Yeah. There’s, there’s, well, the, the only way a non-resident can hunt mule deer with a rifle in the state of Kansas is through their commissioners or governor’s tag program. Yeah. Through the standard draw. There’s, there’s no way to get a rifle, a rifle, mule deer tag. Yeah.

00:24:28:23 –> 00:24:41:28
Yeah. I just find it so interesting that, so discriminating, I don’t know, it’s just crazy. I mean, it’s one thing to kinda limit our tags, it’s another thing to be in the field side by side and, and be, you know, limited compared to a resident. Oh.

00:24:42:11 –> 00:24:53:17
You know, that’s, that’s for sure. And, you know, and the thing with Kansas, you know, for a, for a resident of Kansas, the mule deer tags, if you wanna hunt archery or muscle loader, I believe they’re over the counter. Yeah,

00:24:53:25 –> 00:24:54:04

00:24:54:06 –> 00:25:03:01
It’s just, you know, they, they have to draw the rifle tags, but other than that they’re the state’s wide open for ’em. Yeah. It’s a good, good state to be a resident in.

00:25:04:00 –> 00:25:34:22
Yeah. I forgot. It’s willing to work hard, you know, and, and make it happen. I know this year, like, like we said, it’s hard to dial in Kansas. You know, I went out there through a good friend of mine had a lease, went out there hunted. And it’s interesting, you know, I, I hunted with a rifle, but the traditional way is to get into blinds. And of course, you know, baiting’s popular and whatnot. And so, but it was just hard. It’s hard for me to sit still. I mean, we’re used to glassing and using fifteens and tens and whatnot. And so, oh

00:25:34:23 –> 00:26:03:05
Man, well once you go, if you come from that background sitting still, and that’s, you know, even within the country we’re in, we don’t sit still a whole lot. Yeah, yeah. You know, being able to be mobile and bounce around and bringing out, you know, everything from the tens all the way up to the big glass. Yeah. Oh man, that’s a fun, that’s, yeah. That’s a little more entertaining way to hunt in my opinion. But sitting in those foot, you know, tree stands are a, a very effective way of killing them if you do your homework. For sure.

00:26:03:05 –> 00:26:25:28
Especially, especially for the archery, it’s probably the only real way to hunt ’em with a bow, you know, especially, I mean, you’ve got ’em moving in so much and, and if you’ve got specific bucks patterned or, or you know, you’ve got a lot of dough on your place or whatever and you know it’s gonna happen and you’ve got the time to just dedicate to mornings and evenings, maybe work in the middle of the day or whatever and, and do a spend a month doing it. I can

00:26:25:28 –> 00:26:27:23
Totally Oh, absolutely. Totally. And

00:26:27:23 –> 00:26:30:11
That’s, yeah, see why guys are doing it for the month of November. Well,

00:26:30:11 –> 00:27:11:07
And that’s, you know, I, I catch a, I catch a lot of flack with white tailed guys. ’cause you know, personally I don’t, I don’t particularly like hunting the peak of the rutt, you know, just because we’re always looking for an individual buck and, you know, when November 15th rolls around and he’s off chasing doze, man, you know, a buck that you, you know, know really well could be three or four miles away. And, you know, and when that happens, you know, like I said, I, I prefer, I prefer hunt ’em a little earlier or, or especially post rud, after they sort of doze stop cycling, they start to come down off. That seems to be a, a better time to hunt individual bucks. But peak of the rutt, they’re definitely moving. It’s just hard to keep track of them.

00:27:11:20 –> 00:27:55:01
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. That’s crazy. Well, anyway, so yeah, I’m sitting in a blind and I, I just can’t take it. So I get out and I start g glassing and I’m running, I’m running roads within our lease to glass off my window mount just from the truck. And I know it seems weird and I’m like, okay, I’m outta here. I’m gonna leave. Like I’m leaving, like I’m going home, you know? ’cause it was post rut and I don’t know about specific bucks. And it was just one of those things, it just felt, it wasn’t working, it wasn’t jiving anyway. And I’m like, I made one pass through, there was kind of some activity. I turned around, I’m, oh, make another pass. Glass up this buck. He sees me, he starts to take off. Anyway, killer instinct kicks in and I end up just, you know, killing this deer.

00:27:55:04 –> 00:28:29:10
And anyway, just so funny. I mean, I’m glassing here. I am glassing. I’m like, I would a mul there. It’s the farthest thing from what I, I’m thinking, okay, I’m the worst white tail hunter in the world. I know I’m not supposed to be doing this. In fact, I don’t even want to admit it, you know? And then I tell a couple of my buddies and they’re like, oh yeah dude, that’s one of the most effective ways to kill a big white tail this time of year is to glass. You know? And I’m like, oh, really? Like nobody told me that. I was always thinking you’re supposed to spend 14 hours in a stand and not move and you know, pee in a Gatorade bottle or whatever, you know? Oh, absolutely.

00:28:29:10 –> 00:28:42:17
Well I, and I think that’s one of the, you know, unique things about the, you know, there’s western part of Kansas, the eastern part of Colorado, you know that that’s country where you can glass. Yeah, yeah. You could, you could get away with that. You can’t do that in southern Iowa.

00:28:43:04 –> 00:28:54:13
No, no. You’re not gonna glass in southern Iowa. You might not have any glass other than your rangefinder. I don’t know. I have no idea actually. But, but I am gaining points in Iowa someday. I’ll hunt there maybe.

00:28:54:24 –> 00:29:01:19
Alright, well I, Iowa, that’ll be, you’ll have to have to tape you to the stand that’s a little more sitting intensive for

00:29:01:19 –> 00:29:12:14
Sure. Well, that’s when I’ll do archery in the rutt for sure. I just don’t see myself doing absolutely, you know, a muzzle or late season cold, miserable, you know what I mean? Like the rutt, I think that’s where it’s at.

00:29:13:03 –> 00:29:57:08
Oh, absolutely man. And that’s, you know, hunting him, hunting him during the peak of the rut is you just see things, oh, you know, and that time of year you’ll find him in places that he just, you know, e every year, you know, I find bucks just, just driving around and, oh, what’s he doing over there? He’s not supposed to be there. Yeah. You know, they’ll find those old homesteads and places like that, those mature bucks. They’re, they’re smart. You know, during the peak of the rutt, instead of, instead of keeping their hot dough down in a river bottom or in an area with a high concentration of deer, he nudges her out into the hills and they find, you know, just little nooks, you know, little nooks to tender in where he is away from other bucks and doesn’t have to deal with all the competition. Pretty, pretty neat seeing him in that open country. Oh,

00:29:57:14 –> 00:30:15:17
I can imagine. So, well, tell me a little more about maybe the outlook on Kansas. What’s going on with it right now? I know I had a lot of big deer pitchers roll in, but I don’t know that that’s necessarily indicative of, of the state that Kansas is in right now as far as, you know, ground moisture, whatever. Yes,

00:30:15:17 –> 00:31:01:23
Sir. Well, you know, starting off the, the western part of Kansas is that country, I think similar to y’all, where drought is a serious concern. Always. You know, every year in western Kansas we’re, you know, just hoping and hoping for moisture and, you know, kind of the state, the state we’re at right now in the western part of the state. As we finally started getting moisture, we didn’t have a great, didn’t have a great winter. Relatively mild, relatively dry up through March. And then we started, you know, thank goodness we started getting rain in March. So I think as far as moisture wise, we’re definitely not out of the woods in Western Kansas as far as, you know, rainfall. We, we, we will take as much as we can get. And then on the eastern part of the state, you know, things I think are looking a little bit better over there.

00:31:02:14 –> 00:31:49:18
You know, I think we’re seeing some units kind of coming back, you know, eight, nine, a little bit in 14, you know, seeing some bucks, you know, and those are kind of historical hotspots in the state that kind of took a, a downturn due to, you know, some disease issues and some, some drought issues in kind of the 2000 early two thousands. But it seems like those units are coming back really good, seeing a lot of, just, just big bucks coming from over there. But, you know, like we’ve talked about, man, you know, even we’ve talked a little bit about units 15 and 16, kind of the historical, you know, gem of Kansas as far as white tails, you know, 15 and 16 kind of took a slow down around all, or sometime around 2010 was the big E H D Yeah. Die off over there.

00:31:50:05 –> 00:32:39:17
And those units are, are getting a little bit better, but they, you know, they really can’t catch a break, man, I’ve spent today doing a little research for this and read some about the, the fires that have gone through that country. Yeah. You know, particularly around Ashland, Clark County, that area, you know, millions of acres burned in wildfires between Oklahoma, Kansas, and then the panhandle of Texas. And that’s, that’s gonna affect the, that’s gonna affect things a little bit in 16, I think they were kind of starting to look up a little bit. And certain parts of the unit that were really affected by those fires are took a pretty good setback again. So, you know, I, I hope, I hope in time those units will get better, but you know, I it’s, it’s gonna be a little bit before they come back and really start, really start producing the way they were work. Yeah.

00:32:40:00 –> 00:32:44:18
Well, having said that, you’re not gonna quit hunting Kansas. I mean, you’re, it’s something you’re gonna do every year, right?

00:32:45:20 –> 00:33:10:17
No, no. And that’s, you know, and that’s the, the, even even with a deer, her taking little downturns here and there, Kansas is a state that any given time, any given area you can find just a giant, you know, I think for, for whitetail hunters, guys that are really serious on the whitetails, you know, you bring up Kansas and most of ’em, it’s not really a question of, of whether, whether you go to Kansas, it’s where do you go? Yeah. Everybody goes.

00:33:11:09 –> 00:33:12:14
Right, right.

00:33:14:06 –> 00:33:27:06
Yeah. No, it’s, it’s one of those, one of those spots that they’re one of those states that just has the diversity and opportunity and will always drought years down, years bad years, it will still produce some great bucks for sure. Yeah.

00:33:27:06 –> 00:34:07:05
Yeah. Well, talk to me a little bit about hunting early versus late. Like, I know the tactics change a little bit too, is, and you know, if like, if I were after a specific giant, I would have a tendency, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, ’cause I know nothing about it, but I would be like, I would be early, I’d be on it working it all summer and try to kill ’em, you know, in a summer hot pattern where they’re truly patterned and, you know, try to kill a giant that way. Of course, I know the ruts popular and most most guys maybe, you know, are addicted to hunting in November, you know, archery. But just kinda want to get your take on that early versus late and then even, you know, the December hunting as well.

00:34:07:23 –> 00:34:34:13
Yeah, sir. Well, you know, for mule deer especially that early hunt can be just magical. You know, those, I believe the dates this year are September 11 to 24. 24. Yep. Yeah. No, and those dates are gonna find bucks. Extremely, you know, extremely focused on agriculture. You, our, you know, our main crop in western Kansas, we’re gonna find the mule deer is, is milo, you know, bring out the lawn chairs that country. Yeah. Yep. But that’ll, that’ll

00:34:34:16 –> 00:34:35:24
That I know all about the lawn chairs.

00:34:36:10 –> 00:35:08:22
Oh, that’s right. Yeah. No, that, that’s, that’s man, a lot of those deer will be in Milo and, and that’s the kind of time of year where if you find him in, you know, you find him in August, you find him a month before the season, odds are pretty good. He is gonna be not too far off come that September 11th opener. And that’s the special thing about that early season. I mean the, the deer movement is minimal, you know, it’s, it is, the planes are a hot place. Yeah. A hot place in late summer. Yeah. So your window to find the deers, you know, you got a little time in the morning and a little time in the evening

00:35:09:25 –> 00:35:12:10
And doing a lot of movement of nothing in the middle of the day. Doing a

00:35:12:10 –> 00:36:20:28
Lot, a lot. Oh, many, many hours of Yeah. Lounging work on your suntan, you know, it’s, but that, that time of year, you know, between the glassing and then if you can identify some, you know, really water sources that are really getting pounded, man cameras can be super effective at locating those, those early season bucks. But as far as patentable doesn’t get any better than that. You know, as you get into October they go hard horned and that, you know, generally speaking with both whitetails and mule deer there, they kind of go hard horned and you see their seasonal range shift, you know, they kind of switch from their, you know, whatever area they summer to where they’re gonna, you know, rutt where they’re gonna breed and all that sort of stuff comes, you know, towards mid-October. As, as that, as that occurs. And then you get into the rutt and the Rutt, I think similar to you guys on your, you know, Colorado third and fourth season hunts and wherever a big mule deer can kind of pop up anywhere. Yeah. They’re pretty transient that time of year. And you know, it’s crazy with the deer densities up there, you think, man, there’s just doughs everywhere. Well, they don’t have to move around. Well they, they still like to roam around. Right,

00:36:21:07 –> 00:36:21:22

00:36:21:29 –> 00:37:36:02
And sometimes you can find, you know, every buck is a little bit different. You’ll find a big, you know, big mature buck that’ll stay mule deer wise talking mule Deere here. But you find a mature buck that’ll stay with a group of those and you can locate him pretty consistently. And you know, we’ve had other bucks. We hunted a buck last year that Oh, I found them in one spot. And man, it’s just a great big typical deep forks. Just a beautiful, beautiful five point little cheaters. Yeah. But anyway, we find him and he moves, you know, find him one day, find him six days later, six miles, one direction, go back there the next day, and he’s moved, you know, he’s moved two miles the other direction from where he originally was. You know, he is moving, you know, drawing eight miles square around that middle point. And he was, he was in there somewhere every day, but it was really hard to keep track of them. Yeah, yeah. And that’s the definitely the frustration of the rutt. But you know, Kansas is, is unique in that you can archery hunt every day in the month of November. You know, you get pre rutt, you get the rutt itself, which tends to, on mule deer, I think out in that country, seems to peak sometime around November 18th, somewhere in there. Okay. And from there you get, you know, you get to hunt ’em all the way through the post ru too.

00:37:36:26 –> 00:37:38:21
Yeah. Yeah. Just hunt ’em,

00:37:39:08 –> 00:37:54:14
You just hunt ’em. Yeah, yeah. You’ve got, you’ve got four months, you know, you get to hunt ’em in pretty much from velvet all the way through, you know, post rut when they’re worn down and, and habitually back on food and just, you know, licking their wounds from the rutt.

00:37:54:20 –> 00:38:05:13
Yeah. Well, and let’s talk about white tails. I mean, early season might just be brutal on white tails. Maybe they’re not even real k really killable in, in September. I don’t know. Tell me about that. It,

00:38:05:13 –> 00:38:43:01
It, it can, you know, it can be Jason, that’s a, honestly, for White tails, that’s a season. Those early season dates I’ve kind of avoided, generally speaking, just the white, the bigger white tails, man, they’re bachelor up similar to the mule deer. And they’ll be spread a little bit. There’ll be some that, you know, stay in the river bottom year round and there’ll be some that leave the river bottom and have little bachelor groups miles out into, into the crop land, you know, and I think if you can find them early, if you can find them early out in that open country, I think they’d probably be pretty darn killable. Yeah. But man, they’re, they just, man, they’re finicky about moving in the heat. Yeah.

00:38:43:16 –> 00:39:11:14
Oh yeah. Yeah. I know it. They’re tough. They’re, they’re a tough animal and they’re smart, you know, I know that, and, and I haven’t even hunted them that much, but, and I can see how guys get addicted to ’em and they’re, they’re hard to kill. Even some of these guys that are, you know, made their living hunting giant white tails, you know, haven’t killed a 200 inch yet or whatever. And of course I know that’s, that’s like killing a 220 or 30 inch mule deer. I mean, it’s just incredible

00:39:11:14 –> 00:39:35:13
Feed. Yeah. That’s a, that’s a, that’s a tall order. And that, you know, with, with white tails and, you know, I hunt with some, some western guys who are, are, are mule deer fanatics, and they come out and think, you know, 180 is a number that you can easily assign, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s a Mule Deere number, 180 inch white tail is a pretty rare, pretty rare animal. Yeah. You know, that’s a, that’s a hard one to come by for sure. Yeah.

00:39:35:27 –> 00:40:34:01
Yeah. Well, Bo Boone and Crockett’s 170 net. And so it’s telling you, you know, you’re asking for 10 inches bigger than that and, and tells you how tough it can be. And so anyway, but, but nevertheless, it’s, it’s quite, it’s one of those things, I’ve gotta do it someday. And, you know, people don’t sell you big whitetails. I mean, and, and, and I know, I mean, it’s one, one of those things like, you know, I’ve had guys call me and say, Hey, you know, I wanna book a hunt to hunt a giant, I want a place that’s, you know, consistently producing 170 plus inch year or has that potential, you know, 180 or, or plus. And, you know, those, those places have guys coming back for the past 15 years and booked for the next 15. And, and really quite rare, it’s hard to commercialize big white tail and to, you know, to say, yeah, this guy’s got an operation, he’s phenomenal book with him. You know, and, and that may happen. I still think you’re gonna have to put 20 years in to kill that deer. We’re kind of talking about

00:40:34:04 –> 00:41:23:14
No, I, I, I agree with you Jason. You know, I think in, you know, the principle difference being between mule deer and white tails, or, you know, if you really want a giant mule and you have the, the means to do it, you can buy some pretty darn good tags and have a pretty good chance at, at, you know, a 200 inch buck. Yeah. On Whitetails, you know, there’s just, well, number one, there’s so many whitetail hunters, you know, it’s statistics. I, I always like to look at, there’s, there’s more deer hunters in the state of Pennsylvania and there are elk hunters in the west. Yeah, that’s a good way to look at it. So e everybody, everybody, a lot of people whitetail hunt. And that being said, when a good spot comes around, you know, a place that has that true 170 inch plus potential man people, people get in there and they stay. I don’t blame ’em. I do the same thing. Yeah,

00:41:24:06 –> 00:41:28:11
Yeah. You’re still looking for good property nonstop, you know, and it, oh, it’s,

00:41:28:11 –> 00:42:04:14
It’s a never, a never ending. Yeah. It’s a never ending cycle for sure. But as far as, yeah, those hunts where, you know, there really is that 170 inch potential. Kansas definitely has it on the good ranches that are there, which there are a lot of good ranches in Kansas, you know, beyond that you’re looking, some of the Canadian opportunities are pretty good. Some of the eastern plains and Colorado opportunities are pretty good. Yeah. But there’s not, there’s not that one spot I could tell you like, man, you know, this is, this is where we get you that giant. Yeah, yeah. It’s, it’s just, if you hunt it for 10 years, you’ll get a giant.

00:42:05:00 –> 00:42:07:25
Yeah, yeah. Well we may have to start doing that.

00:42:08:20 –> 00:42:09:05
Yeah. Is

00:42:09:07 –> 00:42:24:04
Steven’s like, I’m, it, it does get me fired up and seeing some of these whitetails with just ginormous eye guards. Of course. That’s what I love about any deer is just crazy amounts of eye guards and length on ’em. And I mean, that’s just my thing. And whitetails have ’em, you know, so, oh

00:42:24:04 –> 00:42:30:00
Yeah, no, that’s a little, little different than your mules. Although I’ve seen a few of your mule deer have pretty cool prow. Yeah,

00:42:30:20 –> 00:43:13:02
Yeah, that’s for sure. I, I sure like ’em with that. But you know, the interesting thing too is like to hunt out mule deer in Kansas, you’ve gotta draw that whitetail tag, then apply for the mule deer stamp. There’s preference points for the whitetail tags. There’s no preference or bonus points for the stamp. And your stamp’s really tough to draw. The whitetail tag’s the easy part. And so, you know, then guys are getting that whitetail tag, not drawing the stamp and you’re stuck with a $442, you know, whitetail tag. It’s kind, kind of frustrating for a mule deer hunter. You’ve gotta, when you apply in Kansas, you kind of gotta plan on, you know, or at least it makes sense financially to, to apply for Kansas for the Mulder stamp if you’re gonna white hunt whitetails as well.

00:43:13:14 –> 00:43:24:17
Yeah. And that’s where, you know, I I, I think in, in some of these western units in the state, I think, you know, I’m sure it happens, guys draw the whitetail tag, don’t draw the Mulder stamp, and then they don’t come. Yeah. There’s a

00:43:24:17 –> 00:43:26:17
Four $40 application fee awfully you,

00:43:26:17 –> 00:44:05:19
That’s an awfully expensive application. And that’s, you know, the, and that’s kind of the reality with the, the Kansas mule deers. There are, and there are some tremendous bucks in that country for sure. You know, every year. I know locally there, all here of, you know, a two 20 type buck or something like that, that’s been harvested in western Kansas. But, you know, it’s a big geographic area. Deer densities are high and the numbers of giants are just like everywhere else. They’re pretty dang low. You know, you’re talking about a couple bucks every year, kind of keep us all interested in, in Kansas mule deer, you know. Yeah. Not, not, not a bunch, just a few of ’em.

00:44:05:19 –> 00:44:26:08
Yeah. Yep. That’s right. Well, good. Well I know the application period’s like April 1st to the 28th, so it’s coming up on us. I’ll be applying, I imagine I have drawn a few tags. So speaking of which, I do wanna quiz you a little bit. So today the New Mexico draw results come out. I know you indicated on text that you drew a tag. So what did you end up with?

00:44:27:11 –> 00:45:01:28
Oh, I ended up drawing a 23 first archery tag. And, oh, let me tell you, man, I, I’m, I’m the kind of guy I would say I have the black cloud in the draws because I’ve drawn, I’ve drawn a few tags over the years here and there, but I’m just, just juiced up and, you know, I ca heck, as soon as I draw it, I called you. That’s one of those tags that Yeah. You know, through what you guys are doing. I kind of, you know, I think the, the unit I ended up drawing is a unit that fits my style of hunting. It’s a unit I’m, I’m really gonna enjoy, I’m sure and wouldn’t really know about if it wasn’t for you guys and what you’re doing. And I, I sure do appreciate that, man. I’m gonna be gonna be a fun September.

00:45:02:29 –> 00:45:29:22
Well, you know, I, I drew that same exact tag a few years ago. It was featured on the Ridge TV show, but I did end up killing like a 367 inch gross bull. Yeah. So, oh man. Felt like September 7th, but he was full rutt, like it was bugling and carrying on. It was a great hunt. It was very low, lower densities of elk, I would say in there. Of course there was a couple other, you know, giants in there. But, but I, yeah, I know a guy that could help you a little bit with that, Steven, and

00:45:30:26 –> 00:45:52:10
So I’ll be, I’ll be getting in touch with you for sure. ’cause you know, it’s one of those units that I’ve, oh, I’ve researched it some, but you know, it’s kind of an intimidating unit. It’s pretty big and sounds like there’s a lot of country where there isn’t a whole lot of elk. Yeah. Yeah. So getting, getting started, it’s gonna be a long summer of prep for that. And I’ll probably get out there a couple weeks early and just get after it, see what happens.

00:45:52:18 –> 00:46:31:08
Yeah. And that’s the one thing about you, I know you’ve spent a lot of time and, and I kind of wanna do talk about that, is some of the guys that you hunt with and what you’ve learned from ’em, they’re pretty significant hunters in the industry. I know a few of ’em. And, and, and you guys, I mean, you’ve spent months with these guys. I know you, you’ve come out here out west and, and I keep asking everybody like, what’s he having for a job? I mean, this guy doesn’t do anything, but just hang with people that got good tags. And so anyway, I know you’ve got the time. If there’s anybody that would spend, you know, 20 to 30 plus days on, on one tag, it would be you. But anyway, tell me about some of these guys you’ve hunted with and a and a little bit about what you’ve learned over the years.

00:46:32:03 –> 00:47:14:23
Well, and that’s, you know, for me, I had a, I had a regular job up through 2015. I was in wildlife consulting and I worked with private landowners helping them with, you know, helping ’em, really helping ’em grow big deer. And I looked at, I looked at things at that point and said, you know, I really want to do more western hunting. I want to go and experience some of these things. I, I just don’t have time to experience. And anyway, I stepped off left, left my job there, and just started hunting and writing about hunting and trying to make my way kind of in the outdoor industry at that point. And since then, you know, I’ve started, around that time I started hunting a lot with Dave and Pat Loter, which are, yeah. Oh, we’ve got a, a, a Cedar City boy and then an Arizona’s Pat’s in

00:47:15:05 –> 00:47:17:29
There. Yeah, Dave, Dave lives a couple blocks from me.

00:47:18:04 –> 00:48:07:25
That’s right. Neighbor. Dave started running around with him. And you know what, man, those guys, I just, I’ve learned so much from those guys. Yeah. You know, was able to spend, you know, I’ve hunted whitetails with ’em, we’ve hunted elk together. They, they’re like you, they’re trying to get their, the mule deer hooks in me. But, you know, those guys have just taken the learning curve. You know, coming from Georgia, I’m always up against a, a pretty stout learning curve, just ’cause I didn’t grow up in the mountains. Yeah, sure. And I’ll tell you what, those guys have just taken that learning curve and been very patient with me and just kind of taken me under their wing and man, I’ve learned tremendous, tremendous amounts from ’em and, you know, seeing what makes those guys successful. And, you know, this goes, there’s Dave and Pat, and then I’ve hung a little bit with Dan Evans, spent some time with him on the mountain.

00:48:08:15 –> 00:48:42:25
And what makes those guys successful? You know, number one, I think everybody you have on picks it up quick. It’s, it’s a lot of time. Yeah. And the second thing I notice for those guys, Jason, is they just wake up, whether it’s day one or day 20, they wake up every day and just work at a good pace. And they’re optimistic and they’re awesome to hunt with. And, you know, I think that’s, that, just that positive thinking, man. I think that’s what makes a lot of those guys successful. You know, they just go at it a really hard every day. And man, they’re just upbeat and positive, a blast to hunt with.

00:48:43:03 –> 00:48:47:14
Well, you know, I don’t know how you’ve weasel your way into their hunting camps, but you sure have.

00:48:49:05 –> 00:49:49:18
Those are guys I’d wanna hunt with and, and I know, you know, their success speaks for itself. I mean, we all know what Dan Evans has done in the elk world, and, and I’m, I’m super proud of him. And, and you know, maybe even a little envious. I I like them big bulls too. Yes. Are, and he’s made a living at it, you know, but like I say, you can only have so many addictions and so anyway. That’s right. I’d have to slow down on these deer and, and I don’t know if that can happen. So anyway. Very good. And I know the losers, pat just killed an absolute giant of a bull this last year in Arizona. He’s killed out on the plains. He’s killed some giant stuff. He’s killed big meal here, you know, Colorado and other states. He’s just, you know, he’s a serious hunter and an animal. And of course Dave is the same, his brother. And they’ve done, you know, they hunt together a lot and, and you know, they’ve hunted with some of the, you know, Greg Craigs of the world and Jason Campbell’s and some of these guys that are just serious about Big Deer and Big Elk and about anything they put their mind to. They’re successful at, you know,

00:49:50:18 –> 00:50:24:28
Just, you know, from watching those guys. And actually I was, was with Pat in Arizona this past year when he, when he took his, his, his Arizona bull. And you know what, that was the, that bull was, we found, that was the last hour of the last day. Went into the day without a whole lot of good things on our, you know, I didn’t, didn’t know, didn’t have him found, didn’t know where he was. It kind of heard rumors about him. But that’s, you know, pat just keeps, keeps at it. He doesn’t, doesn’t give up. And that’s, you know, I think that that resilience is really what makes all those guys so dang successful. Yeah.

00:50:25:09 –> 00:50:40:18
Yeah. They go at it as if they’re okay to eat a tag every day. And they also wake up, like you said, with a renewed vigor, almost like it’s day one. Exactly. Like you don’t see day 20 on their face. You know, they may grumble a little bit in the middle of the day, but, but those guys aren’t giving up, you know, they’re not giving up.

00:50:41:10 –> 00:51:03:16
Oh, that’s, that’s, that’s it, man. And you know, for me, I’m a, I’m a young guy. I am 29 now. I’ll be 30. I got the big 30 coming up here before too long. But, you know, be beyond the hunting those guys provide, man. Just life advice. Look after me, keep me, you know, keep me in check. Young guy can act up sometimes. And those guys, man, couldn’t ask for a better group of friends. Yeah,

00:51:03:22 –> 00:51:16:06
You bet. Well, as we kind of wrap this one up, is there anything you wanna leave us with, Steve? I mean, anything that you think we’ve left out or that maybe a significant part of your success or success of others that you’ve seen over the years?

00:51:18:03 –> 00:51:55:23
You know, Jason, I think it’s just consistent consistency in a lot of time, man. You know, I, I don’t think there’s really any secrets. You know, I, I think growing up I thought that, oh man, these guys, they just, they all know something. And I just, that most people just don’t know. And they certainly know a lot of, of, of stuff, but at the end of the day, they just take it and face it every day. And man, they don’t, don’t give up man. You know, work really hard at it and, you know, and the reality is tech, all these big animals we see every year, man, it just takes tremendous, it takes a tremendous amount of work. Yeah.

00:51:55:25 –> 00:52:03:17
There’s no, especially consistency, you know, and, and of course we all get lucky at times and I take that every time it comes around. Oh,

00:52:03:26 –> 00:52:09:20
No doubt. Yeah. No, well, that, well that doesn’t happen often, but what it does, man. Yeah, that’s just fantastic.

00:52:10:01 –> 00:52:42:17
Yeah. Well, and I think a big part of some of the success is just knowing these different Western states fairly intimately. Look at what you’ve done. I mean, you’re traveling to Nevada, you’re spending time with guys, you’re spending 30 days and you don’t even have a tag. You, it’s not even your tag, but you’re doing it so you can learn more if you want to get lanor tags, buy a lanor tag or, or apply in the draws and maybe you find one specific bull and you start naming ’em. And I mean, you’ve gone to great lengths to learn some of this country, and, and, and that’s what it takes. There’s no substitute for it. It’s just really sinking in, diving in whether you’ve got a tag or not.

00:52:43:11 –> 00:53:20:19
Oh, yeah. And that’s, you know, and I really admire, you know, I’m in a situation where, you know, I’m a, oh, I have a girlfriend at home and I have a dog, but I don’t have kids yet. Not married yet. Yeah. So I’m able to, to, you know, sacrifice some of that time at home. And it’s always so remarkable to me, man, these guys that balance a great home life and a great hunting schedule. Yeah. Dude. You know, I, I, I, I’ve, I’ve met, I met, I know I got to meet one of your boys in, in Vegas one year at, at, at at S C I. Yep. Man, that’s being able to do what you do and then maintain the family life, Jason, that’s the really impressive thing to me. Yeah. You know, that’s tough.

00:53:21:05 –> 00:53:59:28
Well, it doesn’t go without having a good wife. And then too, you know, just involving him. They want to go more than I can possibly take him more than their sports will allow, the school will allow, I mean, a couple of them are probably on the verge of getting kicked out. I don’t know, I just, it’s hard. I’ve never known a kid to get kicked out and not graduate for it, but, but it might happen and my kids will probably be the first, so there you go. Anyway, but, but yeah, we are extremely fortunate to be able to, you know, live out here. Like you talked about, you’re 20 hours from Kansas and I mean, we are, we live right here in the middle of some of this stuff. I still, you know, it’s still a good John if I ever wanna get serious about Kansas, you know, it’s a long ways for me too, so.

00:54:00:20 –> 00:54:01:14
Absolutely. But

00:54:01:14 –> 00:54:29:07
Anyway, I just want to thank you, Steven, for spending some time with me today and just visiting about some of this stuff. I know Kansas isn’t an easy one and everybody has questions about it and we all see the pictures and there’s always, you know, a few giant mule deer and a few giant, you know, white tails and just, I don’t know, I don’t know that we even, you know, captured what it really takes. It’s, I guess it’s a lot of luck, outfitter situation’s hard, you know, we’ve, we’re drought stricken. I mean, there’s a lot of different variables that come into play.

00:54:29:13 –> 00:55:07:04
Well, and, you know, for, for guys that are interested in, in big Whitetails and interested in Kansas particularly, you know, I, I really think the hardest part of the process going the first time, taking that first step and, you know, realizing year one, year one might be a lot of learning, it might be a lot of, might be a lot of pain and misery and not many big bucks, but you’re gonna learn things. And you know, over, over the few years of doing that, you’re gonna isolate down some areas that, that have the kind of deer you’re looking for. It’s just taking that first step with, with any, you know, with any hunting. That’s always the hardest part. Just getting there, getting there the first time and getting started tough.

00:55:07:04 –> 00:55:12:24
Yeah. Well the nice thing is if you’re hunting white tails anyway, you can pretty much draw every year. The odds are easy. So.

00:55:12:26 –> 00:55:16:12
That’s right. That’s right. And that’s, that’s a big help for sure.

00:55:16:19 –> 00:55:19:05
Okay, well thanks again. I sure appreciate your time.

00:55:19:24 –> 00:55:21:02
Alright, Jason. Thank you.

00:55:21:08 –> 00:55:44:00
You betcha. Hey, just want to throw a shout out out there to Under Armour, appreciate them and, and for sponsoring this podcast and a lot of different projects that we’re working on here at the Epic office. So anyway, hope you enjoyed vis learning about this one here in Kansas with Steven and some of the different stories. He’s a good dude. I’ve known him for quite a few years and just can’t thank, say thanks enough. And we’ll go from there. Good luck in the draws everybody.