In this episode of the Epic Outdoors Podcast we tune into an interview with Jason Carter on the Muley Freak Podcast. The guys at Muley Freak host this episode in an interview with Jason Carter of Epic Outdoors. We felt that our listeners would benefit from questions that they themselves might ask Jason if they had the chance to sit down and talk. We decided to take advantage and share this information with our own listeners. Special thanks to the Muley Freak Podcast for hosting this episode and for sharing this content with our listeners here at Epic.

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.

00:00:00:00 –> 00:00:19:06
Alright, everybody, welcome to another podcast on the Muley Freak podcast. Jason Carter has joined us today, a true muley freak, and that’s, that’s who we like to get on this show is guys who know how to know how to get it done and have done it for a long time. So welcome Jason. We’re glad to have you on the show.

00:00:19:24 –> 00:00:22:11
Yeah, thanks Zach. I appreciate it. Thanks for the invite.

00:00:22:14 –> 00:00:33:14
Yeah, of course, of course. Like usual, just start off with introductions and tell us whatever you want to about yourself and what you do for work and kind of a history of, of you and your hunting background.

00:00:34:09 –> 00:01:21:11
Okay. Yeah. Well obviously Jason Carter, you know, I’m 40 something years old, low forties and anyway, not to be exact or anything, but anyway, yeah, I’m 42 years old, you know, hunted pretty much all my life. I grew up in a, a serious hunting environment. Weren’t always extreme trophy hunters per se. You know, when I was young I was always, always kind of into the big stuff. But, you know, my dad and back then people didn’t know what big stuff was and so it was just more or less, you know, 30 inch deer and six point bulls and, and things like that. So anyway, we hunted aggressively and, and hunted outta state ’cause he was a game warden. Oh, okay.

00:01:21:11 –> 00:01:21:28
Didn’t know that.

00:01:22:15 –> 00:01:54:19
Yeah, he couldn’t hunt the regular Utah seasons, so we always had to look for stuff kind of outside the box and it forced him to hunt outta state if he wanted to hunt for himself. So anyway, I just grew up, we grew up cruising the proclamations and dealing with all that and you know, as I advanced, I was killed at Buffalo when I was 15 and lion and deer and, you know, just all that, just like a normal kid would if you could draw tags or, or the general season stuff. Hunted a little bit in Colorado and New Mexico and stuff.

00:01:54:21 –> 00:01:55:29
Where’d you kill your bison?

00:01:56:24 –> 00:01:58:16
That was on the Henry Mountains. Awesome.

00:01:59:02 –> 00:02:00:16
I’ve been down there during that hunt.

00:02:01:21 –> 00:02:02:05
That’s a,

00:02:02:05 –> 00:02:03:02
That’s a cool hunt. Well it’s,

00:02:03:23 –> 00:02:53:00
It’s changed a bit. There’s actually decent numbers of bison there now. I mean back then it was, you know, it was tough. It was pretty scarce when we got, we showed up the guys on the season before us. I mean, a lot of ’em went home empty handed and couldn’t find any bison. So, really, anyway, but it was, it’s, yeah, it was good. I, so I, I got to experience a lot of cool things early in life, you know, with just having a family that was pretty serious into it. So anyway, I went to college at Utah State up there in Logan, graduated college. And then my dad started a business about a year before I graduated the Hunt full magazine. So anyway, we didn’t call it the Hunt and Full, we just called it newsletter and back then, and it was stapled in the corner and we just dealt, you know, dealt with that, grew the business.

00:02:53:04 –> 00:03:49:20
And anyway, fast forward today, I’ve dealt with that for a lot of years and, and since he sold the business and then now I’m at Epic Outdoors, it’s me and a couple of good friends of mine, several good guys that, you know, we’ve worked together for quite a few years and we own the business and basically publish a monthly publication from December through June and then bi-monthly after that. And talk about all the Western state opportunities and sell tags, sell hunts, just anything to do with Western big game count in the western us, Canada, Alaska, Mexico. So great. We dealt with Under Armour, you know, a little bit. We were sponsored by them, obviously did the Ridge Reaper TV show with them for a while. And then Ridge Reaper, they’re, it’s changing to where they’re moving it to YouTube, continue to work with Under Armour and do this as well. So. Great.

00:03:49:20 –> 00:03:57:17
Yeah, that’s a great show. And so you’re saying it’s moving to YouTube, same everything, same hunters, same everything just now it’s gonna be online.

00:03:58:08 –> 00:04:36:00
Yeah, it’ll be, some of it’ll be the same hunters, but then they’re adding it, it gives them, YouTube gives ’em the opportunity to bring on, you know, waterfowl, women’s, a lot of different divisions and there’s no parameters, there’s no, I mean, they get to dictate how many episodes, how long the episodes are. Yeah. You know, all that instead of being told, you know, these are your episodes and the length and whatnot. So anyway, it gives ’em a lot of ability to change it up a little bit. Yeah. And yeah, so we’re all, we’re all still part of it, but anyway, that’s still, it’s still in the development phase on, on that change and all that.

00:04:36:03 –> 00:04:41:23
Sure. Well that’d be good to see. Okay. And what’s your website for Epic Outdoors?

00:04:42:15 –> 00:04:56:06
It’s just epic Guys can email me at [email protected] or call in (435) 263-0777. But they can easily find us on the web.

00:04:56:14 –> 00:04:57:23
And you do all Western states?

00:04:58:15 –> 00:05:16:20
Yeah, pretty much all Western states. You know, even some of the states maybe not so exciting for Mulder hunters such as Washington or California or things like that. But we still talk about some of those. Washington we don’t as much. We do, you know, sheep, goat, moose, things like that. But, but anyway, yeah, we do all western states for the most part.

00:05:17:01 –> 00:05:24:08
Okay, good to know. Yeah, I know that the Washington hunters don’t want anyone to know that they have meal deer there.

00:05:26:04 –> 00:05:31:10
I know they don’t. And they’ve got some good ones, there’s no question about it. So anyway.

00:05:31:22 –> 00:05:43:20
Okay, well we wanna move into mule deer and pick your brain about the subject. I mean, you’ve been guiding and hunting for, for how long?

00:05:44:23 –> 00:06:14:06
Yeah, I, well, I mean I’ve been, I’ve been hunting deer for, you know, whatever, 25, you know, 30 years, but, and always, always never wanted to shoot a deer less than a four point. My first deer was a four point, and I just always kind of that mentality, just really wanted to mature, you know, the most mature deer you could find. I, I guess it’s what you could call it a trophy hunter, I guess, to a degree. But, but mostly it was just, you know, killing an older age class animal.

00:06:14:18 –> 00:07:16:21
Yeah, yeah. And you’ve done pretty well at that throughout your career. And excuse me, if the, the listeners should really do themselves a favor and just search your name under like, iTunes and, and listen to your other podcast, especially the Cody Rich Outdoors podcast. I think that that thing is full of great mule deer knowledge, and I don’t necessarily wanna repeat what you and Cody talked about, but I say that so that people can go back and listen because I thought it was so good. And I want to maybe expound upon some of the items you had already talked about in that podcast you had gone through and given some advice about how people can, you know, find big deer and, and stuff like that. But I, I kind of wanted to just take that and dig a little deeper and talk with you about how do you find giant mule deer and specifically in general season units.

00:07:17:20 –> 00:08:11:03
Yeah, well, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, like pretty much the technique’s the same. Doesn’t matter if it’s limited entry or not. And for me it’s just a lot of time. A lot of time and energy. Like last night I was going tonight, if we weren’t doing a podcast, I’d be out there and I’m just constantly learning new stuff. Even things that I’ve grown up around or feel like I’ve spent, you know, the better part of 15 years learning, or 17 years or 20 years, I’m just still out, still learning new stuff. I’m learning stuff all the time. And if it was, I wasn’t learning it, I think I’d be getting, I’d get bored a bit. Sure. But anyway, there’s just, it’s pretty much the same. And I think actually in general season units you can find maybe even bigger deer. Like the genetics here in southern Utah are phenomenal.

00:08:11:03 –> 00:08:52:11
Of course, Idaho, you know, is amazing and you guys know that. But you know, it’s, it’s one of those things that when, when they’re general people don’t assume it’s that good. And so you don’t have the teams of hunters and guides out there. You don’t have people spending, you know, 5, 10, 15, 20 grand on a tag. And then because they spent that much on a tag, they need to spend X amount on an outfitter to make good on that tag. Yeah. And to not waste that tag, you know? Yeah. Or, or same thing with draw. Like if you, if you were to sit here and wait for the Henry’s or Ponson or, you know, even like your units 45 up there, some different things. I mean, you know, you wanna do the best you can do and you’re gonna hire the best guys and they’re gonna spend an immense amount of time.

00:08:52:22 –> 00:09:30:01
You can come down on general season units in any state that has general season units, spend the time and come up with some big deer. And a lot of these guys are just hunting the weekends, you know, they’re just, they’re, they like to go on their family hunts and maybe they don’t take it as serious ’cause they can do it each year. And you don’t really, it’s kinda one of those things. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. I mean, we be able to hunt on a strip 13 yard tree over the counter all of a sudden when they took it away, crap, you know, that’s not so great. And then we, now, when you look at the non-resident draws, it’s taking 18 points kind of thing. So anyway, it’s, it’s interesting how things change. We take it for granted. We don’t hunt ’em as hard as we could, you know.

00:09:30:02 –> 00:10:37:12
Well that gives the guys, you know, like you guys, and there’s, there’s other guys down here in southern Utah. I know that they work hard and they’re hunting giants and they don’t talk about it a lot because Yeah. You can do it each year if they’re careful with it. Yep. And, and, and so anyway, it, the theory, all, all of the tactics are the same. I mean, if you liked a glass, then go glass. I mean, if you, if you like to run trail cameras and glass, do both of ’em. I mean it’s, it’s, everybody kind of has their own style. They like high country, low country desert, whatever it is. And, and if you can find that, and you’re fortunate enough to live close to where there’s good deer where you can spend an immense amount of time and you’re married to the right person and have the right family and, you know, that allows you to do some of those things and you, and you get some of these variables in your court, then, then you can make it happen. And it, and it is not gonna happen every year, but, but you can definitely stack the odds. I just think a lot of it is guys that have the confidence to do it, so they spend the time to do it and not think they’re out there wasting their time. If you think you’re wasting your time, you’re not gonna give it any kind of effort at all. Yeah,

00:10:37:18 –> 00:10:55:00
Yeah, yeah. One thing that I’ve heard you say is pay your dues, put the time in and keep your head up. That’s essentially what what you just said there in those last couple minutes. And I totally agree. It’s all about confidence. You know, in Utah, when did they go to the 30 units? Just a couple years ago. Right?

00:10:55:23 –> 00:10:56:17
Not very long ago.

00:10:57:03 –> 00:11:02:12
And I’ve, so I, I live in Utah and I grew up hunting when it was the five areas.

00:11:03:11 –> 00:11:03:19

00:11:03:26 –> 00:12:08:19
Everybody tried to go to the south or if you had a Northern Utah tag, everyone would go to a certain area. When they split it to 30 areas, it was like you had to go and find new places to hunt. And when you did, then you had a much smaller area to focus on. And I think that that has actually increase people’s confidence. ’cause they’ve seen, you know what, there’s deer everywhere and there are big bucks in every unit. And so that’s kind of just repeating what you said is you just have to have the confidence, you have to put in the time and, you know, glass the hills, put in the work and you’re gonna find those deer ’cause they’re pretty widespread. And then, you know, just finding the giants. What, do you have a process that you go through to like, go into an area? And I know that if you hunt a certain area for consecutive years, you, you, you know, get through that learning curve of the area and where to find deer. But once you kind of nail that, proce that part down, do you have a process that you follow each year to, to find that giant that you’re looking for?

00:12:09:18 –> 00:12:24:11
Yeah, I think, yeah, like there’s, I don’t ever think of it. I don’t, I don’t think like this is my process or that I don’t write down an outline or anything. You, it’s just kind of, you know, who, I guess you know who I am as a hunter I guess, or what Yeah. Instinctual.

00:12:24:27 –> 00:13:09:17
Yeah. It’s not, but if guys, guys are trying to learn and think about it, I mean, I think there’s things that I, that can definitely help your success. One, you gotta hunt deer, deer don’t die per se. Like yeah, there’s lion kill and there’s predation and whatnot, but, but you know, if you find three or four big deer, you know, in 2016, you should be able to find two or three of those deer minimum in 2017. Or maybe all four of ’em are alive in 2017 and one’s gonna up and one’s gonna grow. And it depends on age class and maybe one of ’em, you know, isn’t as healthy. It’s just, you know, physical health and a lot of that has something to do with it. But, but is is hunting specific to deer hunting? Those same deer and, and not necessarily the same area.

00:13:09:21 –> 00:14:01:12
So like I know a lot of guys that’ll like, let’s just take Southwest Desert for example. I mean, a lot of guys may hunt the blonde, you know, and that’s where our family hunts is the blonde. Okay, well that’s great. But you know, sometimes the blonde doesn’t have a big deer in it. Or sometimes, you know, Hammond Valley, you know, there’s a bigger deer outside of Hammond Valley, maybe Pine Valley, maybe, whatever. And so there’s a lot of country. And so I don’t ever confine myself, I wanna know the entire unit. And, and so I never, each year I’m working the entire unit. And that can get exhausting. And, and you know, unless you have a specific deer in mind and you find him and, and whatnot, but you should still, in my opinion, have a backup deer. But I think a lot of guys will, you know, maybe even settle, like let’s say you’re scouting in July and you find a 180 deer and you, you want to kill 180 inch deer and then that’s great.

00:14:01:14 –> 00:14:46:08
And they chill out and relax a little bit and take, you know, their guard down a little bit and maybe go out and do other things, go boating, go do whatever else they want to do, knowing they got a 180 deer found or something. And so, you know, in my opinion, they’re confining themselves to 180 inch deer. And same thing if you find a 200 inch deer, great, but I wanna find 10 of ’em. I wanna find everyone in the unit, you know? And so even if I had a 230 inch deer found, like I’m gonna kind of keep tabs on him, but I want to find his brother, his dad. I want to find, and I, and you just keep at, like, you keep after it. It’s not, I I, you do it ’cause you love it and you’re just, and that’s what you love to do and, and you just keep after it.

00:14:46:09 –> 00:15:19:17
And it’s, to me, it’s boring if, even if 230 inch deer to go watch him for the entire month of July, every other day, every third day. Like Yeah, it doesn’t, I would rather be learning new stuff. Yeah. I’d rather find new deer. Maybe there’s a 40 inch four point, maybe there’s a, I don’t know. And it’s cool, like all deer are cool. Yeah. And they all teach you something, you know what I mean? And so do, I don’t think it’s a waste of time just ’cause you got a couple shooters found, it’s not a waste of time to keep after it. And you keep learning and, and you expound upon that and it gives you more options for next year and all of those kind of things, you know?

00:15:20:00 –> 00:16:17:23
I do. Yeah. And what you were saying about keep looking, even if you found, you know, the buck that you want because anything can happen on public land, especially these general units where, I mean, you could scout the whole summer. Case in point, last year I scouted the whole summer, this one basin opening morning. I mean, I counted throughout that well opening day. I counted throughout that day 10 different hunters up in that basin. I didn’t see ’em during the summer during the scouting. And I mean, they busted all the bucks outta there and I didn’t have a backup plan. Really? Yeah. So that can ruin a hunt real quick if you don’t have those backup plans. Yeah. Or maybe someone shoots your target buck and what are you gonna do? Just throw the towel in No. If you’re gonna go hunt. Right. Yeah. So, so it’s the preparation part of, of hunting, it sounds like that will really define your success because there’s so much that could go wrong.

00:16:19:10 –> 00:17:12:15
Yeah, I just think there’s not enough, you can’t do enough. I think it’s a, if you wanna, in my opinion, like guys that wanna be successful year after year, after year, a decade, two decades, their whole life, this is a labor of love. It’s not something, and and like I say, hunting means something to every means something different to everybody. So it’s okay to do that’s okay to go enjoy these other things and, and enjoy life and, and experience all kinds of cool stuff and be with your families in, in other settings other than just hunting. Like all that’s good. But I would say what separates trophy, some of the trophy, we’ll call ’em trophy hunters, but guys that live for it is, they’re very one dimensional. These guys, you know, and I’m not talking about myself. I am, but I’m not necessarily, there’s a, there’s a group of people, there’s a lot of people that are pretty serious hunters and they, every one of them is great in their own right.

00:17:12:17 –> 00:17:58:07
And they, they’ve accomplished amazing things and, and I look up to ’em and, and give you encouragement and whatnot. And so I just think there’s, but, but one thing they all have in common is they’re very one dimensional. They’re out there ’cause they love it. They’re not willing to settle for, even if they happen to find the best ear, they’re not willing to accept that it’s the best deer. They’re gonna keep looking as if they haven’t found the best ear and they’re gonna work their guts out and spend all the available time and, and energy and resources into doing that. And that’s what sets ’em apart. And, and if people are just honest with themselves, they can just say, that’s not me. That’s, I love honey. It doesn’t, not much to me. And then it’s okay, they should be happy for the guys that are willing to do it because they’re giving up a lot.

00:17:58:07 –> 00:18:33:06
They’re giving up family time, they’re giving up, like I say, boating or any other kind of, you know, if they, people like to motorbike and whatever, just recreational things that people like to do. I have a huge amount of respect. It doesn’t matter in a professional environment, if a guy’s a U F C fighter or whatever, he is a guy that’s truly a professional and good at his game. I have a huge amount of respect for anybody in any sport because you, I, I know, I don’t know firsthand, but I know I have a feeling what those guys give up and what their families give up for them to be able to do it. Yeah. And it’s pretty immense,

00:18:33:15 –> 00:19:49:05
You know? Yeah. And it’s, it’s really cool to see people be successful, especially when they’re one dimensional and, you know, the time that they’ve put in has been rewarding. They’ve been paid off for their, their time spent. It’s also cool to see people be successful if they’re just weekend hunters or road hunters or whatever, because it’s about the experience, like you said. And if you’re like to hunt just once a year for family tradition, that’s awesome. That’s how I was raised. And that’s why I love hunting is because all those memories created with family and being in the outdoors. And then there comes a time for every hunter where they’re, you know, usually later in life or, or maybe sometimes early that people say, you know, I’m gonna draw a line in the sand and I’m gonna dedicate myself to being this type of hunter. And that could change throughout their life. But you’re absolutely right. Everyone hunts for their own reasons and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. And social media kind of gets the best of us in the industry with that. And everybody’s comparing themselves with each other. And, you know, it’s not about that. It’s about making yourself better. That’s kind of been a theme on this podcast, it seems on almost every episode. We, you know, we talk about that, but I think social media Yeah, social media and why you should hunt for your own reasons.

00:19:50:14 –> 00:20:38:04
Well, I think, yeah, I think so. These podcasts have come about with social media and that’s why, you know, it, it, it, they kind of run, they kind of coincide a little bit. But I, I think what’s cool about the podcast and I listen to all your guys’ podcasts, think you’re doing a great job, by the way, and thank you. And I listen to Cody Rich and Jay Scott and all these guys and, and it’s really cool. I mean, everybody has their own niche and I think it’s awesome. But I think, you know, what’s really cool is just learning people and you get to spend some time with people, but, and that’s what social media does as well. Yeah. We get to meet, I get to follow you guys or see what you guys are doing and say, you know, and a multitude of people that I would otherwise never meet, I would otherwise never know except for whoever says hi at the expo Yeah.

00:20:38:22 –> 00:21:57:29
Here in Utah or, or one of the shows. And so there’s some really cool things that come about from social media and then there’s some really not so great things. And some of that is, you know, the jealousies or, or feeling inadequate or whatnot. And, and really, I, I can understand it, but sometimes people, and it’s gonna happen no matter what industry it’s in. It’s not just hunters, you know, but I think sometimes people, you know, hunt for that photo on Instagram or something, or on Facebook and really, you know, they just, they would learn so much more. They’d be so much more effective if it wasn’t, you know, I gotta do this so I can post this lion picture on this social media outlet so people know I’m out doing it. Just go do it. And, and if you’re just really concerned about doing it and being the, and doing the best job you can, there’s always time later in the year to throw back Thursdays or flashback Fridays or whatever to, to show people that you’re out doing it and, and to showcase some of your successes. And we all revel and that we all love to look at other people’s successes and it teaches us about other units and what’s been killed and sheds that are found and you know what I mean? Yeah. And so, so much good comes from it, but Oh, there’s gonna be negative and everything. Yeah. You know, I just, just gotta kind of keep it, you know, chip,

00:21:58:13 –> 00:21:59:26
You gotta stay grounded.

00:22:00:14 –> 00:22:14:20
Yeah. Not confuse yourself with the trophy, you know, like yeah. These deer are the tr like they’re the heroes. I mean they’re, it’s pretty amazing, you know, so some of these deer can go through and where they live and what they can become. It’s pretty amazing.

00:22:15:09 –> 00:23:42:24
Yeah. I mean, and even being in their, in their home and in their bedroom, so to speak, when you’re making a stock and getting within bow range, it’s such a cool experience. And social media is, you know, you’re able to somewhat share that with other people who haven’t experienced it yet. Maybe they’re striving to experience that because like my first encounter with an animal up really close and interacting with them was an elk because I rifle deer hunted, you know, so you don’t necessarily have to get so close to ’em. But when I was bow hunting elk, you get so close to ’em and it’s so addicting and you wanna share that with people. And I think a lot of people are trying to do that. And it’s great. I mean, it’s educational. And Eric this morning was saying, we go for hikes a couple times a week, and he was saying that he was driving back from Montana, from a bear hunt. And so he had all these podcasts listened to and he’d never really indulged in podcasts. And he said, man, once you get fully involved with listening, listening to podcasts, it really sparks something in you to wanna learn more because there’s so much good information and so many good people out there that are trying to educate and share that passion. And that’s what I love about social media and podcasts, is your ability to kind of escape the stresses of everyday life and, and experience the outdoors through speakers or headphones or whatnot.

00:23:43:16 –> 00:24:26:29
Yeah. Oh yeah, no, I agree. A hundred percent podcasts are addicting. Like I, I’m addicted to ’em, you know, and a lot of it is, you know, I don’t have to sit and find good enough internet connection to watch a YouTube video. My YouTube videos don’t quite work right on my cell phone, you know, and half the time. And so it’s just nice to be able to just sit and listen and run it through your, you know, system, your Bluetooth while you’re driving or whatever. And, and you get to, you know, meet, basically meet people without obviously them knowing you met ’em, but get to get a feel for who people are and maybe your impression changes a little, you know? Yeah. You can, you know, I mean, people have a tendency to judge real quick and just say, you know, because he didn’t say hi to me, he’s an arrogant ss o b or whatever.

00:24:27:02 –> 00:24:58:28
And really that’s not any, it wasn’t the case. Maybe a guy was busy that day, maybe, I don’t know, maybe there’s a hundred things on his mind. And so when you get to listen to somebody for a minute, you gotta, you get to realize crap, you know, not so bad. Yeah. And, and then they do know a lot and, oh, I never knew that story. And holy cow, they, they do spend a lot of time out there and, and it anyway teaches you a lot. It’s cool. I think it does, it gets, gets everybody familiar with each other without having to, you know, actually, you know, really know each other or live in the same town. Yeah.

00:24:59:09 –> 00:25:23:04
And it makes you want to hunt with them. You know, hunting with someone is like, I don’t know, it’s once, once you hunt with someone, it’s, it’s almost like you have, you experience things together that you don’t experience with a lot of people, but it also reveals a lot about who they are and their characters. So I can see that going both ways where Yeah, I was glad I went hunting with him and oh man, I don’t wanna go hunting with him again, but, well,

00:25:23:11 –> 00:25:30:19
And I know there’s, there’s stories out there where guys, you know, thought they knew somebody from Instagram or something, and then they actually hunt with them and they’re like, oh

00:25:30:27 –> 00:25:31:18
Yeah, never

00:25:31:18 –> 00:25:37:26
Thought that was there. I would never hunt with ’em again. They went home, whatever. You know. Yeah.

00:25:38:20 –> 00:26:05:09
So, yeah. And, and it’s the hunt and the experience, it brings all the hunters together and we’re all on the same team. But, you know, one thing that people really love are hunting stories do. And do you have a hunting story off the top of your head that you could tell us about that highlights some of the tactics that you employ when you’re hunting giant deer?

00:26:06:27 –> 00:27:02:12
Well, I mean, oh, there’s so many stories, but man, maybe we’ll tell a couple of ’em as we’re talking here and there. But like, I, you know, I think back on like the, from my first big deer. So my first big deer, real big deer was back in 2003. And it wasn’t my first 200 incher, but it was my first, you know, just a big deer. And anyway, I always wanted an eight by 8 35 inch with triple A guards. That’s just my thing. Just something big, you know? Yeah. And yeah, he, and he’s close, so, but it was one of those things where, you know, back in the 2002, it was extreme drought. And in, in that particular year, out in the desert, I learned how to hunt water. And we didn’t have truck cameras back then, so, but around every water was buck tracks around every and within, you know, a mile because it was so dry.

00:27:02:14 –> 00:27:42:20
There were all the bucks and you could glass ’em up and you just hit water. The more water holes you hit, the more bucks you found. And so that drought year, I saw an amazing amount of good bucks, even though it was a drought year. Yeah. They might not have been at their peak, but they were you, you found a lot of bucks. It’s just the way it was. It was amazing how many deer were out in the desert. And I never understood it. So anyway, friend of mine was guiding a client, couldn’t find any deer. I told him, Hey, go hit this other water hole. There’s a spring and you’ll probably find bucks. And I didn’t even know, I didn’t even know what was there. They went there, drove up to the water hole, two bucks were coming off the water, they shot the wrong buck.

00:27:42:29 –> 00:28:35:19
Oh. And the buck that was left was this deer that I killed the next year. Oh. So in 2002, they shot one of the two bucks, went back the next year, I drew the tag was guiding the governor’s tag for Nevada elk. And then a same guy had a Utah Southwest desert, Indian Indian Peaks elk tag landowner. Okay. We were hunting two specific bulls, which back then was I named Joshua. And Goofy ended up killing both those bulls luckily. But long and short of it, it was, I spending so much time on those elk, I didn’t have time to scout really. And so, you know, obviously anybody that knows me thinks that’s abnormal. But went back to that spring, jumped up on a, on a little knob the day before the season and in a white shirt, wasn’t even thinking and glassed up this giant glassed up a freaking giant and couldn’t believe what I was looking at.

00:28:36:01 –> 00:29:48:24
Deer was by himself. No other deer in the area. Well really one track that I had seen. And so anyway, I’m gonna shoot this deer. Went back that night, couldn’t find him, climbed the tallest mountain. I don’t know, it must’ve been a thousand or 1200 feet straight up. Could not find the deer again. I couldn’t figure out where. Hed bed it next morning, climb the same mountain, couldn’t find him, could not figure it out. Keep in mind it’s oc like October 9th ish, I can’t remember opening day of the season, nine plus or minus the day in Nevada and could not figure out where in the heck this deer was. It’s me and him. There’s no other people. There’s nothing. Yeah. Nobody’s, nobody’s out there. And so ended up getting in my truck midday, hotter than crap, and drove the entire perimeter of this basin on the outside exterior of the basin. There was a road system and you can drive the whole thing and it was probably a 20 mile circle and never cut a buck track. Never cut a buck track. Wow. Just head hanging out the window, drinking Pepsi, driving two miles an hour looking for a truck. So I knew he was in there, like I knew he was in there. Yeah,

00:29:48:26 –> 00:29:50:29
Yeah. Didn’t leave. Was there snow on the ground?

00:29:51:27 –> 00:29:56:14
No, no. This is like October 9th in the desert. So it’s like 90 degrees in the middle of the day and Oh

00:29:56:15 –> 00:29:57:19
Duh, you just said that. Okay.

00:29:57:28 –> 00:31:02:11
60 at night. Yeah. So anyway, went back and the, the way these ridges ran, I was looking on one side of the ridge, just assuming, but I wasn’t thinking about the backside of the ridge. And there’s two ridges that had a backside and I, I just wasn’t thinking anyway, came in from the other side, I said, well, I’m gonna come in from this other side, grab my rifle, parked my truck, grabbed my rifle, hiked over there, picked up one of his sheds. But I didn’t know it, but I looked at it and I’m like, okay, this is very similar to him, the way his G four comes off and I think it’s him. And then went over there, started glassing and glassed up the other side of the shed. Wow. Back where I came from. And I was like, crap. Okay. Made a middle note. Yeah, it’s him, I’m thinking it’s him. He had a real weird straight G four coming up, but it was basically a four point with a little cheater or two a hundred and ended up being 187 inch set. Well, glassed him up, he’s beded under me at 400 yards straight downhill, chewing his coat, glassed him up, waited

00:31:02:15 –> 00:31:03:22
The same area as the sheds,

00:31:03:26 –> 00:31:52:23
Same area as the sheds, the exact same area as the sheds. I mean, I’m seen the sheds, I’m seeing him. And same area that he was in the year before. It was the buck that they didn’t shoot that they were supposed to shoot. They shot the smaller buck. This one jumped from 187 inches to 237 inches, netted 2 34. But it was that growth year of four to five plus moisture, plus plus. ’cause it was a drought the year before it all came together, you know. And so anyway, glassed him up, couple, 2, 3, 4 rounds, I can’t remember. He’s dead. Got luck. Killed him that night. Cool. And anyways, totally exhausted. Went down there, took a few pictures, di didn’t really know what I had figured it was a 215 inch type deer. Hiked back out of there, grabbed the sheds, grabbed my truck, went all the way around anyway.

00:31:52:23 –> 00:32:36:27
Ended up getting home at like four in the morning. But long story short, I mean, you know, I hunted a deer basically, I knew from the year before that he was alive, didn’t, and then just didn’t give up like pounded that one area for one particular deer. Didn’t just go hunt where the masses were and then hunt a deer. They can get old, you know, I mean, his buddy would’ve been alive if I wouldn’t have sent my friend in there. That’d have been two. The other thing I learned is the desert is so sensitive. You don’t just replenish deer out in the desert. They don’t just, you don’t have enough numbers. You can double your population. You got five. Yeah. You know what I’m saying? Like, and so when you shoot one, he’s not there. And only his buddy was left. I mean, there was one left.

00:32:37:00 –> 00:33:21:10
Yeah. And I, I haven’t ever seen a big deer there since. It’s just a very sensitive area. And anyway, so, and then just, you know, the deer don’t leave like, just because you don’t see a deer. And that’s kind of a light story on that. And I’ve hunt a deer for 30 days, but deer don’t leave. He’ll stay there as long as water’s there. Now this deer drank, like the water was going dry mud. And he would step in the mud. The mud would, his footprint would fill up with water and he was out of his footprint. Wow. And so there’s just a lot, and, and you could see that, like, you could see it, you could drive up to the water in the middle of the day and see that. And so, you know, maybe the time was limited. And pretty soon when it’s dry, he’s gonna have to move. But

00:33:22:14 –> 00:33:45:05
Anyway. Well, and so with, with desert deer like that, where water is scarce, obviously you’re gonna find deer at water holes. Now in the high country, like up in northern Utah, I’m sure you have experience hunting area like that, or Idaho, what’s your theory on deer needing water up in the high country?

00:33:45:28 –> 00:34:37:11
Yeah, they need water, but there’s no, that’s why people will run more salt if it’s legal. So, you know, like added, it’s not, and Idaho it’s not. But, but you know, people run more salt or something like that to to to, you know, to congregate them to be able to get trail camp picks. Yeah. We’re just on trails, you know, and that’s fine. But, but more water, more water, it just spreads ’em out a little bit. You know, there’s feed and all of that where like these desert areas, I mean, deer have to have water, they have to have feed, they have to have shelter. You know, it’s the basics. And then, and so, you know, feed’s limited and where the water is and water’s limited and the more limited water is the more vulnerable deer are. Yeah. And so on a drought year, 2002, 1996, any of these really extreme drought years, deer are vulnerable.

00:34:38:00 –> 00:35:23:22
And, and while they may not grow gargantuan, you know, normally speaking Sure. They’re, they’re vulnerable and killable and, and you know, anyway. And so, and they’ll, and what I like about some of these desert areas is they’ll summer, winter rutt shed and you know, they might move 10 miles, but that’s an extreme. A lot of times they’ll do that in five miles, you know, and so you get to follow specific bucks, like Yeah. Whereas region G, you can hunt region G, but then you gotta go to the winter range 50 miles or the gon 50 miles and to follow a particular deer and think you’re gonna video him and pick up his sheds, it’s quite a feat. And a few guys have done it. It’s quite a feat. Yeah, that

00:35:23:22 –> 00:35:24:14
Sounds like it.

00:35:25:05 –> 00:35:48:29
Yeah. But, but yeah, the high country stuff, you know, same thing, they have a house, man, they, they, they’re just like you and I, they have a place they call home and you can bus them out, but they’re gonna come back. Yeah. At some point, you know, and so they have a place they’re comfortable with. They know the routine, you know, they know what they’re gonna do when they get busted. I mean, there’s, there’s a lot to it. Not just, well, I can live in any old Aspen patch. Sure.

00:35:50:14 –> 00:36:32:28
Speaking of their routine, like we all know the immature box, they’re pretty easy to find, get close to and kill once they hit that magic age, four and a half and four plus their behavior changes. Now those really mature bucks, you know, the typical type of bucks that, that you’re hunting once the season starts, what do you know, like, have you noticed any changes in them? And I’m talking specifically like behavior. Do they water different, feed different? Do they use the terrain differently or do they pretty much stay on that same pattern that you’ve been observing during your scouting?

00:36:33:15 –> 00:37:55:07
Well, you know, even if you hunt ’em early, and that’s why like archery is, is awesome for a number of reasons. But, but specific in regards to like specific deer and hunting deer that you prec scouted, even big deer will, will have a pattern and, and sometimes won’t change a lot. Like I hunted Brutus, you know, the Utah southern general deer, deer that I killed or, or one of ’em. And he, I, I stalked him 10 times. I’m, I stalked him every day for five days in a row. Really? And, and blew him and blew him and then stalked him again the next day and blew him, stalked him again the next day. And so, and you would think, ah, dare it’s 250 inches. He’s the smartest deer on earth. And, and no, no, not really. He’s velvet. He has a home, he likes it where he feeds and, and he’s somewhat dumb and docile. And that’s what velvet deer do. I mean, and, and then once they get hard horned, yeah. His, his patterns are totally changed. Lot tougher to kill, a lot, tougher to kill a deer in October. And so you’ll see that. Having said that, I’ve hunted deer. I hunted what we of deer we call Buster for 20 plus days on tv, originated for TV and didn’t kill him and he didn’t show up the next year. And I have no idea where he is or

00:37:55:11 –> 00:37:57:29
That was the one that he was with blackjack, right?

00:37:59:05 –> 00:38:00:17
No, that was a different Oh,

00:38:00:17 –> 00:38:00:24

00:38:01:03 –> 00:38:02:01
Yeah, but

00:38:02:01 –> 00:38:03:17
Different episode. My bad. Yeah,

00:38:04:07 –> 00:38:55:08
Probably. Yeah. But anyway, he was a smart deer. Deer ran a lot by himself. Yeah. He only watered, we did video him in the day, the night before the season. And I was like, this is in the back. You know, the deer’s in the velvet. We videoed him, we got him, we videoed him on the water, blasted him up, no big deal. And we didn’t see him again for, I don’t know, I wanna say 12 or 13 days. And when he, what, when we did see him, he was spooked ’cause he had winded me. And anyway, he was totally doing a different pattern than every other deer on that water. Every other deer we could glass up, we could have hunted every single other deer that, and there was a couple of good deer, but him. And it’s amazing. Like what an age. And I think the deer was old, but it’s amazing what an eight year old deer, nine year old deer thinks.

00:38:55:09 –> 00:39:38:20
It’s, it’s different. He knows, like he knows, here’s our trucks, here’s the quads, we’re dealing with the water, we’re checking cameras, there’s humans sent there. He knows like, I can water here at night and then I’m not gonna show my face. And he didn’t show his face. And so, you know, makes it hard. And so we, we see, we stretched, we checked in a different area that we thought maybe he was in and, but we had no idea exactly where he was. And he, you know, dusty was up glassing and glassed him, busting out beside me, but I can’t see him ’cause it’s thick trees busting out, standing at the back of my truck 50 yards and staring at me through the trees, but he can’t see me. It’s thick trees and just staring me down just knowing I’m there and just watching, just knowing.

00:39:38:28 –> 00:40:14:24
’cause he smelled me and we never saw that deer again. Wow. You know? And so, yeah, while I, while I can, I can hunt Brutus and spook him every day and finally killing, then you got deer like Buster that just totally teach you any lesson and, and are maybe even somewhat not not killable. Yeah. Maybe they’re, maybe they’re not killable, you know, that would be a governor’s tag on a thousand yard rifle when I busted him out and he sat there and stood and stared at me. That was a 950 yard shot, you know. Yeah. Thought he was not killable. So anyway, those are

00:40:14:24 –> 00:40:15:22
The one ones you want too.

00:40:17:25 –> 00:41:26:01
Yeah. So anyway, kind of interesting, but every deer’s different, that’s for sure. But generally speaking, the velvet, they will do what they’ve done in the summer and you can hunt big velvet deer. So archery hunters have an advantage if they’re willing to hold out. But a lot of guys are like, I shoot 180 inch deer with my bow, I really want a one 90 with my rifle. Yeah. Well to me, either way he’s 180 inch deer. It’s a great deer. And if that’s the deer you want, like either way, you know, either way to me is 180 inch deer. I still wanna hunt the biggest deer in the unit, even if it’s with a bow. It’s just kind of that way, you know, when they’re on the ground, they’re 180, but it is quite a feat to kill deer with a bow. It’s, it’s an incredible feat and incredible feeling no matter how big they are. And it’s, and it’s really cool to be that close to deer. Yeah. So, you know, it’s just every to each its own, like I said, goes back to what it means to people. And so, but you know, I didn’t settle. I could’ve settled and killed a 200 inch deer or hunted a two, stocked a 200 inch deer that was there using the same water and we would glass ’em up. But Buster was the goal. Yeah. We hunted buster. We didn’t even stick a stock on those other deer.

00:41:26:29 –> 00:41:44:07
So that kind of leads into one of the questions I wanted to ask you is, ’cause you could have killed still a nice deer, not as big as buster maybe bus, let’s just say it was what, two 30? And let’s say that the other nice deer were 1 90, 200. I don’t know. Right,

00:41:44:11 –> 00:41:44:22

00:41:45:21 –> 00:42:29:17
And I’ve noticed that if you wanna be consistently successful, it takes a certain amount of time in the field, more days in the field will help you and increase your chances at killing a big deer or killing animals in general. So, you know, everyone talks about different class bucks, 1 70, 180 200, 2 20 plus. Can you just give us maybe your, your experience taking your experience, how many days per season would a hunter have to scout and hunt in order to harvest, say the one 70 inch bucks up to the, you know, 220 plus?

00:42:31:14 –> 00:42:47:16
Well, yeah, it’s hard to quantify that. It’s hard to quantify that. So like, you know, really a hundred, a 200 inch deer, 190 plus inch deer and a 250 inch deer might be the same age.

00:42:49:01 –> 00:43:38:15
So they’re the same knowledge. It is, we hunt a deer. So that’s one of the other things. That’s what Brutus taught me a lot. And the buck that was running with Brutus was 220 inch deer. And I shot him the year before. And that’s what they teach you. The more you hunt ’em is it’s just as easy to hunt a 250 inch deer, 220 inch deer as it is a 200. They’re not smarter, a five and a half. It’s the age and the experience that they’ve had in the field. And they may get to be two 20 in a, in a four and a half year life frame lifespan. That deer is a dumb two 20, you know what I mean? Yeah. Versus 220 inch, or that’s eight and a half years old. And so it’s, it’s age that, that dictates how much work they’re gonna take to kill as far as scouting, you know, and just saying, well, I’m gonna a hundred find 180 inch deer.

00:43:38:24 –> 00:44:26:02
I mean, a lot of it just depends on how much time you’ve had in that unit. And if you are starting from scratch every year, a lot of guys are just like, okay, I I, I’m hunting, you know, pine Valley again and or Zion or Wasatch or whatever. And, and they just start with a clean slate acting like they don’t even remember the bucks that are there the year before. And that’s changing. You’re seeing that with social media. People are like wanting to name ’em and, and find their sheds. And so people are learning. But, but a lot of cases people start with this clean, with a clean slate and then, you know, and just go pretend go find some deer. And so anyway, but I would say I, it’s hard to put a, it’s hard to put a timeframe on it because again, for, for guys that are really serious about, they don’t, they don’t put time, time isn’t the issue.

00:44:26:05 –> 00:45:16:04
It’s what am I doing today, what am I doing tomorrow and what am I doing the next day and Saturday and next week and the next month and throughout the whole year, scouting never quits. You know, and, and, and not that you go out 365 days a year, but you might go out 180, you might go out 150, maybe it’s a hundred, you know. But I would say like a heavy good heavy scouting month would be, you know, 20 out of the 30 days do something. 20 out of the 30 days. I’m not saying quit your job and go live out there. I I had a job where we, you know, back when I worked with my dad, I did comp time and he never paid for any of the hunts or never paid gas money or nothing. It all came out of a, a moderate wage that my family and I, and that’s why I guided, I didn’t guide.

00:45:16:10 –> 00:46:00:00
’cause I love guiding. I li I guided ’cause I loved hunting and loved and needed a checkbook that I could pull gas money out of and it wouldn’t be called a family budget. Yeah. And so, you know, anyway, we just, you you ended up spending time out there and, and it just, it just totally depends, you know, if you can, I mean if you can get comp time, like I did, I got comp time in the winter in the fall or the winter spring, early summer. And then, you know, I would come in six hours a day, but I drove a lot and, and I wasted gas money and I just spent a lot of money in my gas tank. Yeah. And morning and evening, be out there, come back, go to work evening, go back out, come back in, take the kids as much as you can so the wife can buy off on it.

00:46:00:14 –> 00:46:51:15
Yeah. And, and just, and do the, and you do that now it’s morphed into where somewhat my job, somewhat expected. And I’ve made it to where I can be out there the full day, but there was a lot of nights I was getting three or four hours sleep all summer long being out there scouting for my clients. Once in a while I’d get attacked for myself or hunt the general and kept learning. But I learned stuff that I was learning from my clients, you know, which would help me on my personal tags. Once my income changed, my, my situation changed and I could afford to buy, supplement my draw tags with landowner tags or anything else that I could get my hands on. I mean, I guided for tags. I ain’t guide for food. I guided for tags, I guided for gas money. And, and so anyway, that’s kind of how that went.

00:46:51:16 –> 00:47:45:19
And, and so what, how do you quantify, let’s say you go out in the morning, work in the middle of the day, go out in the evening. Is that a day of scouting and and how do you quantify that? It’s just time. It’s just all the time you can give. And you might go out your first night and see 180 inch deer. Sure. So 1 8 1 day equals 180. Not necessarily kind of depends on the gear and, and whatnot. But like a two, like, and it also goes back to a 220 inch steer might be just as easy to scout as 180 inch steer. I mean 180 what, what was 180 this year might be 2 10, 2 15, 2 20 and the next year. And so I think it’s just the never quit thing. If you wanna turn hundred in steer, don’t quit. You want turn 20 in steer don’t quit. And when you find a 200 in steer, don’t quit, keep after it. You might be, you might shock yourself at what you find. Sure. And, and, and so

00:47:46:19 –> 00:48:35:06
Yeah. And it’s, it’s the, so it sounds like it’s age rather than, than inches obviously. ’cause it depends on genetics, depends on environment, feed, water, stuff like that. But I mean to consi, and that’s why I said consistently kill. ’cause if you wanna do it every year, you gotta put in the time every year. And if you know, it’s an area, I mean, things could always happen. They could always come back to where you saw ’em the year before. They might move, but in general they’re still gonna be there. And so yeah, it’s just a numbers game. Like if you wanna find that 220 inch buck, it’s like how many X amount of deer do you have to look at before you’re gonna find one of that, that caliber.

00:48:36:01 –> 00:49:15:14
Yeah. Yeah. And that particular year it might be five, right? Yeah. And then, but, but if you took and lifted all the trees up and gathered it up all the deer and put ’em in a crop out of two, out of a 200 deer, you might have one or two that are 200 inches. Yeah. But it doesn’t mean you have to go through 200. You might be five, might be 20 if you’re looking in the right spot, you’ve done enough work, you’re building on compound knowledge from the prior, from the prior 5, 10, 15 years. You can change that ratio. You can change that fast. You know, right now I know I can go out there and glass up if, if they were built right, I could glass up 190 inch steer tonight. Yeah. You know, and, but it, but I couldn’t do that 10 years ago.

00:49:15:18 –> 00:50:08:12
I couldn’t do it 15 years ago. I’d spend, i’d I, I’d waste, I’d ruin a truck, you know, finding one 200 inch deer. And so it changes you as you spend time in the field, you change, unless you’re totally oblivious and not trying to learn, you will change. You will. Your, your knowledge base changes, your aggressiveness changes and, and you change. You change. It’s just the same thing as you can go out and scout up a big deer. You can go out and scout up a hundred eighty, two hundred, two hundred twenty inch deer and then, and, and then you may not prepare to kill that deer. And so now, you know, let’s say you don’t shoot your bow enough. You don’t shoot your muzzle lord enough. You don’t shoot your rifle enough, whatever it is. And I don’t think just shooting is the, is the ticket. I don’t think you need to shoot every day on a bow to kill a deer.

00:50:08:21 –> 00:50:47:18
You got one arrow, you, you that you need to let off. What you need to do is maybe it’s every other day, maybe it’s once a week for you, whatever it is for you. But what you need to do is when it, when it’s go time and when it’s time to kill ’em, you kill ’em. You don’t, you’re not clustering with your range finder. You didn’t misjudge the wind. You didn’t push it when you shouldn’t have pushed it. And so you knocked him out again and, and you’re having to let him settle down again. And luckily, like I got the Brutus story. I mean, he gave me chances each day. But I have other stories. I, I hunted a deer named forks. It was unbelievable. Deer had seven senses. I mean, it was unbelievable. That dude was one of the smartest chair I ever kill.

00:50:48:04 –> 00:51:41:19
And, and we can talk about him, but, but it’s time, when it’s time to kill him. You think about dumb stuff. You think about double sock on your feet or you think about whatever. It’s, it’s how your range finders around your chest, it knocked the boat. Did it, did your bow Errol knock the rest? Do you, I mean, it’s the simplest things, the lack of preparation, the lack of taking care of the simple things makes, helps deer live. Yeah. If you, if you’re tightened up and you’re buttoned up and you are a machine, you know, all of that scouting is gonna pay off. And what and what happens, you know, what happened with me was you spend 30 days out there, you spend 50, 50 days out there, whatever you spend, and then it’s time and you get that shot, or you get the opportunity and you’re close and you draw at the wrong time.

00:51:41:28 –> 00:52:32:01
You, you’re, you just think that the deer’s gonna not see you draw and you don’t wait until point to go behind a tree or something before you draw or, or whatever the case is. And you blow it. You blew 50 days and you, or you blew $5,000 of wearing tr tear on your truck and gas money. And it really hits home when you s and I hate to look at it as a business, but it really hits home. It is with your wife. It’s a business. Yeah. I mean, she’s counting the, the dollars and she’s counting the time and she’s marking the days down on the calendar. Sure is. And, and, and then you go out there and then, you know, you, you did all of this work and effort culminates to a, a knot, an arrow hit in my wrist or, or not padding the rest inside with sticky, you know, felt and stuff and, and all of a sudden and just something dumb and the deer bounce off.

00:52:32:01 –> 00:53:15:18
And maybe you’ll get a shot next tomorrow maybe. Yeah. But maybe not, you know, maybe it’s gonna take another four days. And by the way, work’s knocking down your door and wife’s knocking down your door. And so, and so what it did was it changed me. I I I used to get buck fever and I do get buck fever after I shoot, but until that shot happens, you know, I’ve learned how to control it. And I don’t know how to tell you to control it than just experience, but at some point you’re so mad at yourself that you didn’t capitalize on that one opportunity that took you two months to get to that point. And the lifetime tag, an archery Henry’s tag or some kind of lifetime buck that you found on a general season that you’re so mad at yourself that you, it’s almost like you can’t forgive yourself.

00:53:15:21 –> 00:54:34:18
Oh yeah. And, and you’ve been there. Can’t sleep. Good night. Everything’s been there. Everybody’s been there. But you gotta learn from it. You gotta learn from it. Or next year it’s gonna be repeat and then you’re, you know, I find all these bucks but I never kill ’em. And, and, and maybe it’s something little that, that would you, taking that extra time or whatever preparation, not just shooting, it’s not just shooting rifles. Shoot. Well you don’t have to shoot rifle every week. You gotta grow up hunting coyotes and killing stuff fast, jumping out of the truck, laying down on dead rest and pounding him versus just jumping outta the truck and trying to shoot a coyote off hand. There’s simple things. The rest or, or whatever it is, taking an extra three seconds being able to read deer. You can see that deer’s body, you know what he’s thinking to a degree. And you know, you’ve got three extra seconds freaking in your bipod do something. ’cause you will miss that deer. And, and maybe it’s a five day or a nine day, five day, four season Colorado, or nine day third or whatever. And, and that’s your shot, man. I mean, that dude found a way and he’s not stuck to water and he’s looking for those and that’s your shot. You’re not gonna see him again. Yeah. He’s not patentable. You know, it’s the season that dictates that. And so, anyway, I’m rambling, but

00:54:34:25 –> 00:55:32:07
No, that’s, that’s great because I’m, I’ve, I think all hunters have experienced that. If you haven’t then you’re a machine. But I, I know that recently people are starting to talk about practice shooting under stress. ’cause you’re stressed when you’re working hard and all of a sudden you see your, your target animal. I mean, your adrenaline’s going pumping, like you said, you, you kind of almost lose sight of the easy things. And, but if you can practice shooting under stress, I’ve seen that has helped me from year to year. And it almost sounds like those are maybe rookie mistakes. You know, mistakes that younger hunters or hunters early on in their career make. Do you have any mistakes that you made early in your hunting career that once you fixed them led to better success? Yeah,

00:55:32:13 –> 00:55:51:02
I made a lot of mistakes. I make, I continue to make mistakes. I mean, every year I make mistakes. So, but I think I wanna go back to what you said about, about practicing under pressure. ’cause I, and maybe how you do it. ’cause I don’t know how to duplicate that pressure. It’s a lot of pressure.

00:55:51:14 –> 00:55:54:08
It’s hard to duplicate the real life pressure.

00:55:55:09 –> 00:55:56:10
Yeah. Like how, how you

00:55:56:22 –> 00:56:45:22
Elevated heart rate when you’re outta breath, can’t breathe, have to control your breathing. You have to focus extra hard on settling the pin and letting it float. And you basically have to build your muscle memory on whatever, whatever weapon you’re using. If there, there’s muscle memory for a rifle, there’s muscle memory for a bow. Yeah. And so once you have that, I don’t wanna call it autopilot, because autopilot tends to, to to mean that you’re not thinking about what you’re doing. Right. But at least it’s familiar. You have that muscle memory. And so that’s, that’s what I’ve, what I’ve done. Like whether you’re doing 10 burpees and getting up, going over to your bow and shooting at a target, you just learn how to control your body and execute.

00:56:46:08 –> 00:57:28:14
Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. All of that. Nothing, none of it can hurt. Like none of it can hurt. And I think, and, and I think, yeah, I think it is good to throw a few arrows in the target every day if you have that opportunity. And, and I’m not, I don’t wanna minimize that. I, I don’t wanna minimize it, but I also think there’s nothing else practiced. I think the average guy, 90% of ’em do nothing else. They don’t do anything else to help ’em prepare for that shot. And, and there’s a lot more to it. There’s so much more to it. And so anyway, I don’t know. So what was your question on the, before I went back to that?

00:57:28:22 –> 00:57:29:11
The mistakes.

00:57:30:04 –> 00:58:22:22
Oh yeah, the mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. I made so many mistakes. But I think the biggest thing is when, you know, when I was a kid, I, there was a coverup scent that I used and I was on the kay ba and I was archery hunting and a do came up and sniffed my leg, literally put her nose on my leg and walked on by. And I thought, I thought, okay, that’s amazing. You know, whatever that was, that was, and we’re talking that back in 1980s, the late eighties, you know. And anyway, shocked, shocked that that happened. Fast forward to 2009, I’m hunting Brutus buddy. ’cause Brutus is too smart that year. He is just not patentable. It wasn’t patentable that year. Next year I, like we talked about it balloon 10 times, hunting, Brutus, his buddy Umm sitting there, he went in, he went in Beded in a group of trees.

00:58:23:08 –> 00:59:17:10
I stalk into this right at the edge of this group of trees, just hoping he comes out on my side of him, the deer stand up a dole comes over and sniffs my arm. Like literally sniffs my arm. I have no coverup cent on. I don’t have any coverup cent. However, it’s in a burn. And maybe there was, she had carving in her nose, I don’t know, sniffs my does not blow and walks on by. And so the deer comes out and feed feeds, you know, head on. And I can tell y’all about that. It ended up killing. But I guess, I guess, but, but going back to that, generally speaking, normally speaking, wind is the biggest thing. And you and everybody tries to get around it. Like, or cover it up and cover up. Since, even though it seemed to work that one day, it’s like covering up a skp.

00:59:17:10 –> 00:59:52:08
You’re not gonna cover it up. You’re not gonna cover it up. You’re gonna make it. Maybe it, it diffuses it a little. Generally speaking, you have to have the wind in your face and you can try a quartering, you know, a quartering wind or this and that. But it swirl. Something’s gonna happen and you’re gonna, it’ll blow. It’ll blow. And so generally speaking, you know, I al I push it. I used to push it and I try not to push it now, but it’s hard not to. Yeah. ’cause you’ve got so much effort into getting within a hundred yards or 200 yards that you wanna make it happen. I wanna make it happen now. I wanna make it happen now. And so anyway.

00:59:53:18 –> 01:00:07:10
Yeah. And it’s that fine line of being too aggressive and being patient. I know that you just, you gotta, like you said, you just gotta experience it to know when you can go and when you gotta hold back.

01:00:09:06 –> 01:00:46:08
I’ve had other times when like when you’re moving in on a deer and you blow a dough, you just assume the whole world erupted and that you amount and you get careless. I get careless. So I, I’m like, crap, I’ve already blown him. And so I make it a little faster and I go a little faster, faster. And then I end up blowing him. Yep. I fucking blow him. And he wasn’t, he wasn’t blown. She blew, but she blow that hard or whatever. And so we, sometimes I make that mistake, assuming I haven’t seen him, I haven’t seen him. He’s probably not there. No. He’s probably, he’s probably there. And so you, you’ve quicken the pace and, and ruin it. And it’s

01:00:46:08 –> 01:00:46:26
Such a mind game.

01:00:47:17 –> 01:00:53:26
Yeah. I made, I made that mistake 50 times. Yeah. You know, tons. And so

01:00:54:21 –> 01:00:57:13
Yeah. Slow down. I’ve heard people say just slow down.

01:00:59:00 –> 01:01:25:04
They’re not gonna go anywhere. Yeah. They’re not, they’re not going anywhere. Just, just relax. Assume he’s there until you know he’s not there. And, and proceed with the stock as if he, you, you know, you know he’s there and he doesn’t know you’re there. Proceed caution. If you just think, oh, I haven’t seen him, I should’ve seen him by now. And you start quicken it up, you find out, there you are, he’s staring at you face to face. ’cause you, you blew it. You know? Can’t

01:01:25:04 –> 01:01:26:11
You lift your pants down, so to speak?

01:01:26:28 –> 01:01:28:11
Yep. That’s right. So

01:01:28:20 –> 01:01:52:04
Do you change your aggressive passive tactics? Say you’re, you, you find this dream buck in during scouting and then come to find out that you either get word or you show up opening morning and there’s a dozen other people chasing that same buck. What would you do in that situation? And maybe you’ve been faced with that situation. Oh

01:01:52:04 –> 01:02:32:25
Yeah. We hunted against a lot of people this last year. And, and we, and that’s normal. That’s just part of it. And they have every right to be there as well. Yeah. So I have no problem with that. But you know, having said that, like there’s things you can do. I mean, I’m one of ’em guys that won’t be there first. So I show up at three in the morning, sit in my truck. Yeah. You know what you feel like when you drive up on another truck at your glass and spot? Do you know what you feel like? Oh yeah. You’ve, you’re not, you don’t feel like getting outta the truck, right? Nope. ’cause you’re gonna go walk up on him, right? Yep. Yep. I’m just in the truck. I’m just in the truck watching you. Yeah. You know what I mean? And, and I haven’t hiked up there yet either.

01:02:33:07 –> 01:03:16:29
It’s not daylight or it’s not even a half hour or four daylight. It’s four in the morning or five in the morning. And or maybe we are hiked up and waiting, but it’s a mental deflate to everybody else. It’s crap. They’ve got it covered. They’re, they’re crushing this place. We can’t beat ’em. Yeah. Dude. It’s not even daylight. I haven’t set any glass up. You haven’t set any glass up. We’re on even playing turn field. We’re both equal. You just drove up on my truck and so mentally you’re, you’re defeated. Yeah. All you did was drive up on my truck. Neither of us have glassed. And so I, I I like to beat ’em there. I wanna be number one. And then it’s, and then you feel when you’re there first you feel like you’re on top of your game. I freaking didn’t sleep in.

01:03:17:02 –> 01:04:01:28
I’m on top of my game. I’m going through it. I got my gear ready. You’re ready. Like you’re, you’re pumped up. You’re ready. And, and nobody likes the competition. We all wanna hunt that deer by ourselves. Yeah. It’s not the case. Even on my desert units, this is not the case. These guys are hiring good people. They’re scouting too. They’re working hard. They may know the same deer. And so, and then a lot of it is, is the same thing. You can’t let ’em, you can’t assume because you can see the deer that they see the deer. You have a different angle. Even if you’re 10 yards apart, even you’re two miles apart just because you see him. Everybody stresses out crap. We see him. And I would think he could see him if he’s from his angle. Just chill out, hunt the deer as if you’re the only one hunting.

01:04:02:21 –> 01:04:57:05
And don’t make that mistake. Don’t make the mistake of rushing it. I gotta get there first. Whatever. And if he’s making the stock, let him make the stock. Yeah. Make the stock. It’s not a big deal. And if he kills deer, you know, that’s great. It’s, it’s, it’s okay. But because you’re work, you work hard that year, that every year for 10 years in a row, your success will, will prevail. You will do well and, and obtain or whatever. You know what you’ve earned. And as long as you work hard and these other guys are gonna kill deer too. They’re gonna kill them. They’re deer. They’re not humans. They don’t have thumbs man. They don’t think straight. Yeah. They’re sometimes they’re vulnerable. They all have something that makes ’em vulnerable. And so other guys are gonna get successful. But, but having said that, there’s a few things you can do and a lot of it is just not changing what you do.

01:04:57:05 –> 01:05:31:23
We hunted a deer for through ar August and September last year. Killed him like September 20 something and we had other hunters almost every day with us in there. Hmm. And but you just can’t give up. Like you just can’t give up. You gotta keep hitting it and keep hitting it and keep hitting it and keep hitting it. And then you get your break and they’re gonna get their break and if they’re prepared, they’ll kill him. If they let the little things get in the way, they might not kill him. Yeah. And so anyway, you just gotta keep hunting as if they’re not there and then be as prepared as you can be.

01:05:32:15 –> 01:06:10:23
So I’ve had a friend run into that and gets up to this basin or whatever and there’s other hunters and they’re glassing the same buck. And I guess they flipped the coin and that decided who got to make the stock. But the person who lost got to cover his escape route. And so my buddy lost the coin toss, covered the escape route and he’s the one who actually shot the deer because the other hunter made a mistake. Deer busted out. He’s able to shoot him on while he’s, you know, going on that escape route. So I thought that was, that’s kind of funny. So I guess the, the lesson to be learned there is always lose the coin toss.

01:06:12:10 –> 01:06:14:03
Yeah. I guess I get it.

01:06:14:11 –> 01:06:16:29
Depending on the other guy’s skills and abilities or

01:06:17:09 –> 01:06:19:20
Win the coin toss and make it happen, you know?

01:06:19:21 –> 01:06:25:06
Yeah. There you go. Yeah. If Randy ER’s there, you wanna win the coin toss ’cause he’s gonna kill that deer.

01:06:26:17 –> 01:07:14:09
Randy’s gonna kill it every time. So. Yeah, no, and I think that’s good. However you can work it out. But this like arguing in the field, blocking roads or whatever. Yeah, that’s bad. It is just, there’s no place for it. There’s no place for it. It’s just, dude, go hunt, go hunt. I mean, nobody likes making deals like coin tosses are understandable, but like, just go hunt the deer. If you wanna hunt the deer, go hunt the deer. If I want to go hunt it, I’ll hunt it. And if he, if a guy’s on a stock, I’m not gonna freaking stalk the deer. Yeah. But, but you know, and, but it would be nice to have that same courtesy, but it is what it is. And you hope not to get into that. But for sure reality is there’s gonna be some of that. That’s, we’re all in the field. We all have the same kind of tag and, and whatever it is what it is, you know.

01:07:15:00 –> 01:07:29:18
For sure. Well, let’s wrap this up with one last question, and I think Cam Haines already asked you this question, but it’s what regrets do you have in your hunting career? What’s your biggest regret?

01:07:31:29 –> 01:08:43:25
Oh, my biggest regret probably, and it, it might be a little different, but my biggest regret is not putting the energy and time into the amazing tags I had before now. So in late nineties I had some amazing tags and, and I didn’t really, I didn’t capitalize on those tags because they were easy to get. I didn’t think a lot about it. I didn’t give ’em the energy they deserved knowing what I know today. And then now today I can’t get those tags, you know, they’re not obtainable. They, they’re a once every decade, once every two decade type tag. Yeah. And so I think like if you get an amazing tag, like do everything you can do to make that tag worthy and, and, and to capitalize on it. And I think you don’t overlook these general tags. The, you you’ve seen how it’s changed. We had ’em over the counter. We hunted in the eighties and early nineties. We hunted muzzle loader over the counter in the ru in

01:08:44:01 –> 01:08:44:23
November. Yep. Okay.

01:08:44:25 –> 01:09:31:00
Alright. Yep. And so we saw that come and go. We saw Arizona strip tags over the counter come and go. Yep. Like what I would give to hunt 13 A with a bow over the counter right now, like I would give, it’s, it’s, and yet I didn’t even do it. I only did it like two years. And, and when I did it, I went out there and it was 105 degrees and I went home, you know. And so I think it’s, it’s don’t take for granted what you have if it’s Idaho over the counter, if it’s general Utah, if whatever it is, you know, there’s big deer, you know, personally, wherever you live that there’s big deer. And I think too, don’t follow what made me successful or don’t follow what makes you successful. Do what you will make you personally successful, whoever you are.

01:09:31:07 –> 01:10:20:14
And, and hunt big deer that’s close to your house. Yeah. I had a kid, I had a kid from New Mexico who was, I want to kill big deer. I wanna kill big deer. And, and you know, I, I know, you know what, what’s made you successful? And I’m thinking about, you know, getting some of those same tags and doing what makes you successful. And I’m, yeah, but you’re in New Mexico, you can’t do that justice here. You don’t understand the time that goes into this tag and what you should do. There’s some amazing deer in New Mexico, amazing deer with no pressure because nobody’s thinking about unit 12 or some of these other units. Yeah. Go keep a monster within an hour of your house. And he went and killed a 220 inch deer and doing it his way near his house, putting his time in. And you have that, you have that in Wyoming, you have that in Colorado on easier draw tags.

01:10:20:14 –> 01:11:07:17
You, these guys know big, big deer don’t, don’t follow what makes me successful. Or somebody like Randy Ulmer or whatever. They have their own recipe where they live that matches their personality. Do what matches your personality and where you live and make it happen. And with some time and effort it’ll happen. There’s not just big deer in the desert, it’s big deer in region G there’s big deer in every facet. All all of these states have ’em. And, and so capitalize on the tags. I mean, I, if I could take a dozen tags back, I’d give anything to take some of these tags back. I mean, I, I ate tags, I just didn’t even hunt ’em, you know? And I just, now I back on it and I’m like, if I had any clue how good that unit was, you know, and, but some of that comes with time and just, and just, you know, know.

01:11:07:21 –> 01:11:39:28
And Robbie Denning says, everybody wants to say, I wish it was like the good old days. And then he says, but what they don’t realize is the good old days is now. Yeah. So yeah, you put what you just said that great advice you just gave, puts another perspective on what Robbie said is don’t dwell in the past deal with what you have today. ’cause there is some great stuff to hunt, some good things going on nowadays. So thank you for that advice.

01:11:40:15 –> 01:12:29:01
Yeah. And it does seem like back in the day there was amazing deer and a lot of ’em and, and anybody and everybody with a Jeep killed one. Yep. And, and it does, it does feel like that. Having said that, there are dear dying of old age. You have to figure out where those deer are. Yeah. There’s your dying of old age within an hour or two hours of your house as long as you live in mild country and dear the die of old age that have the right genetics and the right feet are gonna be the kind of deer you want. And, and even though it’s not the good old days, there are deer dy of old age, they don’t all get killed. And, and that’s, you know, what I just came to realize is I gotta find those deer that die of old age and maybe I need to find 20 or 30 of those deer that are ready to die of old age or that are on that path, that are six and a half, seven and a half, eight and a half to find the right one with the right genetics.

01:12:29:25 –> 01:12:46:05
And so you, that comes in the scouting and, and the time and the energy and, and all of that. And so anyway, there’s just a lot, I mean, we could go on for 10 hours on this kind of stuff and, and hit tons of other topics. It’s, it’s endless, you know,

01:12:46:13 –> 01:13:12:16
It really is. I mean, you’ve got 20 plus years of experience and you could probably talk for a whole year and not even get through all that stuff. So. Well, we appreciate you coming on Jason, especially sacrificing a a scouting night to, to be on this podcast and hopefully your selflessness and sharing your knowledge with all of us will reward you big time this year.

01:13:13:06 –> 01:13:44:24
Well, I appreciate that. Yeah, I appreciate that. No, no worries. Thanks for asking and happy anytime to, to visit with you guys. I’m glad you’re up and going and cranking. I’ve, I’ve listened to some of your podcasts and some of your guests, you guys are doing it right and, and it’s awesome, man. It’s awesome. Thank you. It’s awesome to talk to like, like-minded people that are, that are interested and, and I don’t have all the answers. I don’t, I don’t have all the, and I’m learning stuff every freaking day is learning stuff and so anyway, I appreciate it.

01:13:45:02 –> 01:13:51:15
Yeah, well you’re welcome. Very welcome. All right. Any last words?

01:13:53:08 –> 01:13:56:10
Not really. Just start man, it’s time.

01:13:56:25 –> 01:13:59:11
Just get out there. Yeah, it’s June 6th.

01:14:01:11 –> 01:14:01:15

01:14:01:15 –> 01:14:02:08
Cant wait. They’re just,

01:14:02:26 –> 01:14:18:12
They’re getting out there a little bit and so it’s, it’s getting time. I know, you know, some years I don’t start until after the 4th of July and, and, and then I always fell behind the eight ball for the next month. And so I don’t think a guy can start too early.

01:14:18:25 –> 01:14:31:25
Nope. Nope. Me either. I’m itching to go set some of my trail cams, so the snow’s been the, the snow has melted in the areas where I wanna set my trail cam, so I’m excited.

01:14:32:10 –> 01:14:43:07
That’s awesome. Yeah. Good for you. Yeah. Well, I wish you the best and if there’s anything I can do to help you out, gimme a holler and looking forward to seeing what you knocked down this year, buddy.

01:14:43:07 –> 01:14:45:14
Awesome. Thanks Jason. You too. All right,

01:14:45:14 –> 01:14:46:06
Sounds good.

01:14:46:16 –> 01:14:47:27
Take care. See you.