EP 59: Hunt Expo and Conservation with Troy Justensen. In this episode of The Epic Outdoors Podcast we talk with the current president of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Troy Justensen. We discuss the $5 Expo Tags and where the money goes. We talked about conservation and what projects are happening at the current time. Troy helps us to better understand what is being done and how we can all help and be more involved.

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

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Let’s talk about mule deer, some of the recovery we’ve

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Seen, and so it’s, we’re better able to Mandy steer deer now that we know exactly the corridors they fall. Sheep are expensive to manage their, they’re fragile.

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Anything to do with Western big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody out there, Jason Carter and Adam Bronson here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast coming at you from the Hunt Expo. We’re chilling out here in the booth before the Hunt Expo opens, doing a few podcasts. Anyway, before we get started, we do wanna thank Under Armour for sponsoring these podcasts. They’ve been a huge supporter of ours. They continue to be an innovator in the industry, especially of apparel and the hunting side. And appreciate them and their support. I know they’re working on a lot of great things for years and years down the road and continue to work with us. Pretty heavy on, on a lot of different fronts within the Epic Outdoors. So anyway, shout out to them. Appreciate them and their support. We’re pretty excited here at the Hunt Expo here at the Epic Outdoors Booth. We’re booth number 2 8 4 5, come by and visit.

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We’re giving away a free rifle. We’re giving away a Weatherby, a Thompson long range, fully set up with a day at the rifle range with Mark Thompson. Anybody knows him, knows that’s gonna be quite an interesting trip. You learn a lot from Mark, but he’s also a good guy and fun guy to be around. Also comes with two boxes of ammo. We’re giving it away on Sunday here at the Expo. So anyway, for those of you that sign up, you’ll have a name in the hat for that, or Jar I should say. And anybody that brings their buddy by and sponsors them, they’ll have a name as well. And we are working with Outdoor Edge. We’ve got a partnership with the Outdoor Edge knives, giving away a knife as well. So come by, get a knife, a name in for the free rifle, as well as the Hunt giveaway

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Doll Sheep

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Hunt. That’s right. So anyway, we’re pretty much giving away the world down here at Epic Outdoors Boot number 2 8 4 5. We’d love to visit with everybody. And so a little plug for us. A little plug for Under Armour. Now we’re gonna plug Troy here at the S f W. He’s the man, the myth, the legend here at the Hunt Expo.

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Buck stops here.

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Oh, cowboy Troy. Sit right here in the in in the Epic Outdoors booth. How are you Troy? Doing

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Well. Glad to be here guys. Good.

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Well, we sure appreciate you Troy. I know it’s ba basically been 363 days since we’ve talked last with you here on the podcast with Adam and I when we first got started with these. Yes. And so, I don’t know, I guess we just kind of want to do, there’s a lot to talk about and, and I know you’ve got a very short amount of window time that we can, we can grab you here, but you got a lot of things going on. Basically just remind guys your position here with SS F W and then let’s kind of talk about the things that have happened in the last 360 days.

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I’m currently the president of Sports and Fish and Wildlife. Been involved in this organization since the beginning, you know, going on 25 years and then started out as a volunteer. And it’s quite humbling to be entrusted with the reigns at this time. Yeah, pretty blessed and grateful.

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This is the one, well not the one,

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But the biggest deal you guys have for the year. You obviously do about 18 or 20 individ individual chapter banquets, but this is the big one here. You’re, I guess, you know, other state chapters, your kinda, your national convention, if you will. And the big kahuna that kind of kicks the rest of the year off. So

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It is, we’ve had one ban quit leading up to this. We were in Richfield Sever County last week at a great banquet there. But this is a lot of fun. People come up to me and say, man, you gonna be glad when this is over? And I said, no. It’s really, I mean, we’ve got a great team here with the Mulder Foundation ourselves and a lot of great volunteers and man, it really comes off without a hitch and it’s, it’s a joy to be here. Is

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This number 10 or 11? I can 12.

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Whoa. Holy

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Cow. I’m getting old.

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Yes we are.

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That’s the same number of max points in Wyoming for elk and deer. There’s a random fact for you today. Anyway, he’s grasping for facts. Hey, I’m not grasping for anything. I’m high on Monster and

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I see that you guys are evil.

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Hey, well anyway, yeah, they say it works as good as mountain ops, but I don’t know, we’re gonna have to tease those guys a little bit. So Troy, tell us a little bit about kind of some of the different projects you guys have been working on. Of course we’ve got the, the Hunt expo tags, you know, you can apply online, but you gotta validate in person. Correct. And there’s like 200 different tags, packages, you can do options as far as getting tags here in Utah. And you can only do that here at the Hunt Expo.

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Yeah, it’s kind of a unique thing. There’s nowhere other, other place in the nation that offers that. We’ve got a unique partnership with the Division Wildlife Resources. You know, they allow us to, you have those tags here at the expo to give away by drawing. Like he says, you can apply online, but you do have to be present to validate. And majority of those are big game tags and some of the best units in the state, I mean pons are gone best. You know,

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The best of the best. It’s like two state draws.

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It is. And gives you another option. You,

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We get Christmas and February next week when the results come out, hopeful to see our name on there. And then the real state draw comes out in May. But this is kind of a teaser. Yeah,

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It’s, well, and even though, and I applied for Desert Sheep, even though I’ve already drawn a desert sheep. Yeah, you can, once in a lifetime guy can come.

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That’s the one way you can get one waiting

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Period. Don’t apply, man. I just wish a lot of these state agencies could turn it around as fast as we do. We put in, we’re done sending, we, we know the results in

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A week. In a week in a week. We’re holding to it. Exactly

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Wednesday or no Thursday or Friday or something next week. So, yeah. And it just seems like Troy, I mean you’ve been here, I know from the start, not as president, but but as a volun, as a, as an employee over the 12 years and we just looking behind us here, it just keeps going. It keeps growing this way and keeps expanding, keeps growing, expanding. I don’t know where we’re at numbers. I don’t know how many individual exhibitors are and how many have on a waiting list, but what can you tell us about the growth you’ve seen over 12 years and then maybe is there any more room to actually grow? I mean, it looks like we’re filling this, I know there’s some rooms behind,

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It won’t be long. We might have to move this thing to Vegas, but I don’t think that powers to be will let that happen. It’s not going game and fish ain’t gonna let us give away Utah tags in Vegas. I get that. So,

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No, we are growing and there is a huge demand and we’ve probably got close to 200 people on the waiting list. Geez, we got you. Geez. Over 375, 400 different vendors here right now already. You know, our goal is this though. We don’t want to saturate it. Yeah. There is some place for growth there, but you know, our vendors that are coming here that have been with us and support us, I mean, they’re selling things Yeah. And that’s why they come back. Yeah. And so we don’t want to dilute it so much that it, you know, that they don’t have that good experience when they come. So our whole goal is to keep this beneficial to everybody. Yeah. You know, to us. And also those that come and support us through showing their goods here. Well,

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Tell us a little bit about these application fees. Like I’m, I’m applying I’m, it’s costing me $5 per tag that I wanna apply for. Tell us a little bit about where that goes and what the plans are for, for the use of those funds.

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You know, what that is is that $5 application fee is, is, and we get to keep that as the organization’s Mule Deer Foundation and S F W. Obviously there’s a hard cost that goes into that with having a third party company do the drawing and then also the, the market that goes to go people to sign up people. But once that number’s determine the amount, the net amount, so to speak, that’s split between the two organizations. And we have that to, we invest back in to wildlife and wildlife projects. And as far as SS f w goes, we have a, oh, a system that we put money back into a big game here in the state through the conservation permit program. So, and so now we have an opportunity with those $5 application fees to vest back into Upland game and

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Waterfall have a bit more latitude if you will. They’re not all earmarked like conservation permits all have, you know, stringent, you know, 90 10 splits and then the division and the groups, you know, both have to sign off on each project, but they Yeah, you don’t, those don’t go to non-game, you know, prairie dogs and all that. You can’t spend it. It’s very earmarked. And so, but this one, there is more latitude to you guys that you, not that you don’t do ’em on big game, but it gives you latitude to spend it on, like you said, upland game and waterfowl. Yeah,

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Exactly. I mean we can, we can spend it on big game or whatever, and the way it kind of works is of that $5 a dollar 50 of it’s restricted that we have to have the permission of the division based upon an approved Okay. Project similar to what the conservation is, but the three 50 is under restricted. It just has to go towards our mission accomplishment, you know, mission accomplishing our mission. So that’s, so what

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Is your mission

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Roughly? Our mission is basically conservation, tradition and education. So,

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And, and, and that’s yours. And that’s sort of fish and sports for fish and wildlife that could have fishing involved in that, right? Yeah.

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Yeah. That’s

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Which we want a little bigger fish down there where we’re at. Hey, we actually have

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About that. We got some exciting stuff coming with fishing in the state. You do. I mean we’re looking like what there’s really that, I’ll give you an example of because that’s something that really never changes, but we’re actually looking to try and get a, a disease free strain of the La Hoten cutthroats. Oh. To bring, you know, you hear about, you know, the big cutthroats to catching Pyramid Lake in Nevada. Okay.

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All the giants. Those are

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20 pounders. Oh you ain’t kidding. But then also bring in kings. We have Coty salmon, wait,

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King salmon

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King, landlocked kings.

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I call bush landlocked kings.

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Never heard that

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Kings. But those fish are getting where,

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Where are you putting them? The great

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Lake. Well, that’s why we’re in the talking with the, to see exactly

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Brian Shrimp next.

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We’re bringing a great whites for the

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The constant. Let’s get a conservation for, for fishing for good

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White. I want to earmark my $5 to go to mule deer. It is a challenge. I know as s f w you’re, you’re dealing with a wide variety of front Sure. And so

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Broad constituency base, they’re, we all grew up deer hunting and elk hunting and all that. But there’s, and you’re one of them try year of very passionate. I know as you’ve got some twin teenage boys, you’re very passionate waterfowl hunter with them. But there’s very passionate Turkey and upland game clubs, you know, more so in northern Utah. Jason and I are from the south, and so we don’t have as much habitat for the the vast upland game, you know, leases and stuff up here. But, and then the fishermen, like you’re talking about, you’ve got some of the stream access bills we’ve had come through Utah the last few years. You wanna see some passionate people come to the, the Capitol Hill. Yeah. You’re talking about access stream bank rights. Yes.

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They’re, they’ll make us deer and elk and sheep hunters, they’ll put us to shame in some guard. So Yeah. Team, we need some of those.

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Our team, we need some

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Broad constituency base. You’re, you’re trying to keep everybody happy to an extent the best you can.

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How’s that going for you, Troy?

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Well, here’s, here’s the key to it as we know, you know, I mean, just like what your business is, is trying to find guys the opportunity to help big game as young kids growing up, sometimes there’s not an opportunity. Yeah. We gotta draw a general attack here. And so if they’re waiting to have the experience to get out in the woods to go hunt, waiting for that big game tag, sometimes they’re lost to Yeah. Video games or whatever. You get ’em involved in fishing, you get ’em involved in upland game waterfowl, you know, waterfowl, we have 107 day season.

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Don’t, so they experience it, it gets in their blood and then it carries onto the next level. There’s no

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For waterfowl, correct me if I’m wrong, I know Upland game, there’s no minimum age to hunt. Is there any minimum age to, to get a federal stamp for for a waterfowl?

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Yeah. Federal duck stamp. You’re 16. You, you do have to be 16 to buy a duck stamp.

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See that’s how naive, I assume. Well,

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No, and it’s not, it’s not upland.

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It’s not, you don’t have to, you can buy a, as soon as you pass a hunter safety, you get hunter safety card, you buy a license, you can hunt up them game birds.

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Same way with waterfowl, but you don’t have to buy a duck stamp until you’re 16. Oh.

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So you can, okay. Yeah. So you, you can hunt ’em at eight if you can read and write pass hunter safety and get a, get a get a hunting license cut. Cut ’em loose. Yeah. And

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We’ve got a youth day for waterfowl. I took my boys out through this year and they shot 85 shells and we’ve got three ducks.

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Well, well, and they’re talking about it to every one of their friends, probably like, oh yeah. Like I, Adam,

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I slap that trigger left

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And right, you know, or whatever they’re saying.

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Adam’s bringing that up because we found a new place to hunt in Cedar City and it’s our sewer pots. Exactly Right. We don’t have water to hunt down there, Troy. We,

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We don’t. And so

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We got And the sewer pos.

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Yeah. Anyway. Well that’s, that’s exactly right. You know, and they, you know, they jumped the gun by let’s say three or four years. Once you’re able to, you know, maneuver a shotgun eight or nine or whenever you, you can hunt, you know, a hundred and something days for waterfowl

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1 77 something.

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And probably longer than that if you count all the upland game seasons from September to December. So Yeah, lot of, you’re

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Kind of a big waterfowl, huh? Troy?

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I love to hunt waterfowl. I actually invested in an airboat and had a lot of fun with my boys out there. It is.

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You could go through alligators in Florida with that thing. Yeah, exactly

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Swamp people. Let’s get a new TV

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Search. Troy. Troy the Swamp Cowboy. That’s right.

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Well, I’ve seen some pictures, you know, and that through ssf or sports and Voice magazine and whatnot and Yeah. And, and we’re we’re, I’m talking about stuff I know nothing about, so, but I know up here it’s, there’s cult followings for water fowl. It’s a big deal places, whether it be leases

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Or clubs or whatever you guys got Yeah. You guys got duck clubs up here like they do in California, don’t they?

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There is duck clubs up here, but you know, we’re, what we’re geared towards is provide the opportunity for the public public line, the average guy to be able to get out and get access and have the opportunity to have a great

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Day. State wildlife management areas, places like that. Right.

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And invest in back in that.

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So tell us a little bit about sports and for Fish and Wildlife and the investment into waterfowl and some of these different projects you’ve got going on. Well,

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You, like I says, we’ve got a big project going up here north on Harold Crane. We’ve got a big dredging project we’re gonna fund with the $5 app and also to extend a dike to keep, you know, obviously you don’t have ducks unless you have water. Yeah. Just like you pointed out. And so we’re investing a considerable amount of money there. And then Ogden Bay with Rich Hanssen, I mean it’s really a crown jewel of WMAs for Upland game of waterfowl. We’re gonna invest a lot of money in that to make that, that crown jewel you need to improve habitat for upland game and waterfowl hunters as well. But don’t get me wrong, man, we are a hundred percent committed to big game. Well

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That’s never gonna change. But, but what our emphasis in bringing it up is there is a whole different segment and, and Jason and I don’t relate to it, mainly because where we grew up in Southern, we have sand and sagebrush, you know, and we see duck when they, we see ducks. We hear, I heard some,

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We hear geese

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A mile above us.

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Heard, I heard some, I heard some geese the other day. I looked up from Wow. A long,

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You sometimes down there in the middle of southern Utah near Lake Powell. And you hear geese and you’re like, well I’ve never, I haven’t heard that. Where, you know, and they’re just, they’re, they’re heading for somewhere way south.

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Well, and I’ve just decided I really think we need to legalize, you know, like the 300 weather bee on a goose because it’s just like, that’s the only opportunity we have. And so you gotta look at us little

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People. They’re not stopping. They’re just cruising.

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They’re cruising. And, and I know I can hit one Troy. We just need to at look, look at the little people in southern Utah. Once

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In while it’s as time as you guys been hunting sheep. You’ve seen chuckers. Yeah. Oh.

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There you go. I

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Hear them everywhere. Chuckers.

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Let’s talk, I guess we could talk about Chuckers. I love Chuckers

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Actually. Exactly right.

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So they’re everywhere. So, and tell us, give us an idea for, for people listening, you know, I know all the $5 application fees that, that the expo generates aren’t yours. You said there’s some restricted, the division has influence how it gets spent. And also the other part, you, I I think it’s half with, with Mule that you split that maybe equally. But give us an idea. You’re talking, talking about some of these waterfalling up and game projects that you’re gonna fund. And they’re not gonna be cheap. But give us an idea of what you anticipate for say 2018, putting back in got any plans

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Your $5, from your $5 fees to these project?

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Just the water projects alone, like I talked about on Harold Crane, it’s over $250,000. Yeah. It’s, it’s substantial.

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Significant. It is. Wow.

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Yeah. You’re talking about huge equipment and you know, dredging like you said, stuff. That sounds like a lot of work.

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Yeah, it is a lot of work. It does sound like a lot of work. What, what about, let’s talk about mule deer. Some of the recovery we’ve seen, I know Adam and I, we call it the general and you made mention of the general and, and of course we, it’s not general anymore. Yeah. We really do have to apply for that. And there’s a separate set of point system for that. And of course we can apply for both the limited entry end quote, the general and gain points for that and potentially draw that. Of course you only get one deer tag in the state of Utah. But tell us a little bit about that. The, the effects we’ve, you, you feel like maybe Sportsman’s for Fish and Wildlife has had on this recovery and, and I call it a recovery. We just want big deer back and it feels like we’ve got big deer back to a degree. Tell us a little bit about that.

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I would agree a hundred percent. And it’s, it’s several pronged approach. I mean we spent years and years doing, you know, projects improving habitat and I think we were really ahead of the game on improving our mul deer habitat. One of the things you brought up that we’re real short on water this year. Yeah. And especially in the southern part of the state on world renowned ponant helps for

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The water less, less feeding. You don’t have to do the feeding program as much. Yeah. But

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It creates another problem. So we’ve been spending some money hauling water. There you go. And filling some of these ponds to these deer hazard water until we get some spring range or

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Something. We’re, we’re hearing about some dedicated hunter projects of guys being able to haul water guzzler to some of these guzzlers on the ponds gone. Some of that.

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You’re exactly right. And so there’s a lot of things. It’s

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In January. It’s crazy.

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It’s crazy. Well actually

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February, February now, but it was in January that I’m still in January, I’m still in that The B Josh Pollock told us in January that they were doing that and water. So that’s unheard of. Like I, I mean I was a biologist down there in 2002 and we had to do it that year. But it was when the deer was showing up to the winter range in October and that everything was dry. Well and this is the other way. They’re on the winter range running out of water before they go back to summer range. We gotta, we gotta sustain them where they’re at. And

00:17:06:01 –> 00:17:13:29
They’ve got some radio colors on some of these deer doughs and fawns and whatnot. Be able to see what kind of effects this might have. I don’t know how extensive distribution. We need rain. We need

00:17:13:29 –> 00:17:22:24
Rain. Well you bring that up Jason. And that’s a neat thing with technology. I mean we’ve seen the technology advance in the hunting world. I mean we’ve got guns, they’re shooting over a thousand yards. MZ loaders.

00:17:22:27 –> 00:17:24:19
We just, we just talked, talked to Yes, I agree.

00:17:24:26 –> 00:17:47:22
I agree. But it’s also advanced on the wildlife management side. Yeah. With this new process of putting these collars on and you know, being able to track these deer. They did that big study on the migration up there in Wyoming on those, they’re able to track it all the way down. And now we’ve invested a considerable amount of money here in Utah. We have to do that same thing. And we’re learning that what we thought was isn’t.

00:17:47:22 –> 00:17:48:07
Yeah. Yeah.

00:17:48:16 –> 00:17:54:19
And it’s, we’re better able to manage deer now that we know exactly the corridors they follow, that we can protect them. It’s a neat thing

00:17:55:08 –> 00:18:03:18
We’re seeing on the tts. We’re seeing deer live clear from Pengu Lake. You know, it’s unbelievable. Clear down there to winter, you know, general season quote, general season deer showing up

00:18:03:18 –> 00:18:03:28

00:18:04:01 –> 00:18:14:13
Go to the Ponson to winter and, and not just boundary, you know, Pengu Lake here. Yeah. We’re talking deep north Pengu Lake North. Yeah. Crossing it, crossing Zion and down to Pond. So

00:18:14:14 –> 00:18:30:11
Really interesting. And one thing Adam and I are really excited about is the fact that they radiolog some bucks. Okay. That’s what we wanted to know. And anyway, of course we’re not gonna get any of that inform information, but we did tease him about that and sure enough, this winter they’re doing it and they’re gonna see some of these travel patterns of the bucks as well. Yeah. And

00:18:30:11 –> 00:18:44:07
Putting collars on bucks on the Ponant winter range, but seeing how many of ’em some are there and how many of ’em dissipate back to neighboring units. Yeah. ’cause we’re learning, you know, and, and a lot of it maybe stemmed a little bit from that big Wyoming study, but we talked about the, the distance that some of those deer moved.

00:18:45:01 –> 00:18:45:12

00:18:45:20 –> 00:19:17:26
And we’re learning a little bit more of that in southern Utah and some of these highly migratory units. A lot of our northern Utah stuff, it’s more of an elevational thing, you know, up, up down, you know. But in southern Utah, they move along. We’ve known, they’ve moved and, and Ponson and deer the most notable. And they move when we feel they don’t need to move or shouldn’t have to move. But it gets early October and it gets a cold rain. I’m heading to Arizona, then they start moving. And it’s, it’s pretty interesting. Like I said, the advancements in G p s technology and you guys are, you know, stepping up the plate along with Mul Deer Foundation. I know. Funding projects like that. That’s awesome. Yep. Well

00:19:17:28 –> 00:19:38:20
I think it is pretty awesome and, and you know, like you mentioned, we’ve done a lot with Habitat, but you can, you know, once you have the habitat, you need the animals. Sure. And I think that’s where the predator control comes in. There’s a lot of other things that you guys are working on continue to promote. Of course we give money to people to kill coyotes. Yes. Not many states that do that. Yeah, you’re exactly there. We pay the general public to kill coyotes and

00:19:38:20 –> 00:19:39:26
That’s a good thing. Yeah. How cool

00:19:39:26 –> 00:20:07:00
Is that? How cool is that? So, but yeah, you know, that’s what’s cool about Utah. We do come up with some of these innovative programs. I, you know, we’re paying guys basically, what, 50 bucks a dog? Is that where we’re at? It’s, and they obviously come in with g p s coordinates and whatnot and be able to, you know, harvest those coyotes, get a paycheck for it. Of course it probably doesn’t even pay the gas per se. But I’m just saying it is an opportunity and no other state’s doing it. We think outside the box. I didn’t think it would last that long. Here we are. How many years later Still doing it. Yeah,

00:20:07:00 –> 00:20:15:10
Exactly. But I think it does more than just a way for guys to make money. It’s not about puts money back into economy guys or spending money on shell gas, whatever. Just

00:20:15:10 –> 00:20:28:25
Buying to their wife. Exactly. Running, running gas bills on the family credit card. Exactly. And showing the income from the hunting side. Now I got tax write-offs. I, I killed two coyotes. I’ve got a whole business and I got tax write offs. You know what I’m, that’s a

00:20:28:25 –> 00:20:29:17
Side job. I think you,

00:20:29:23 –> 00:20:30:19
So let’s,

00:20:30:25 –> 00:20:55:17
Anyway, let’s talk about sheep a little bit. We have to do that Troy. Oh yeah. You know, you and I both, we love them. And let’s talk, maybe we could go a lot of different directions, but let’s talk about units that we’re opening up now. I know Oak Creek this year. Oak is one that Ss f w Utah and Oz and others have been involved with from the start. Tell us a little bit about, I named where that unit came from in terms of, you know, not very long ago. Five, six years

00:20:56:23 –> 00:20:57:00

00:20:57:04 –> 00:20:58:29
Progress what we’re gonna now do this fall for the first time.

00:20:59:02 –> 00:21:39:24
Yeah, it is exciting. We got a new sheep unit. You know, those sheep were brought on to the elk creeks from Antelope Island and the IESs. And it was, you know, five, six years ago that we put ’em there. Now we have a huntable population and that’s pretty exciting. But you know, you look, you go and see what the division actually did this year with sheep and it’s a bunch. Oh yeah. We, we went in and establishing a new herd or else trying to resurrect an old herd in the north San Juan. Yeah. Down in that country. We got great genetics coming off the Zion, which has got the Nevada bloodline That’s right. To grow those big old buggers. And so there’s a lot and there’s a lot of other things. We’re looking at different places to open up and put new sheep herds. We had some things changed that where we don’t have the conflict with domestics anymore. So I predict that, which

00:21:39:24 –> 00:21:42:05
Comes from money that you guys raised. I

00:21:42:05 –> 00:21:43:04
Mean it does. It’s conservation groups for

00:21:43:04 –> 00:21:44:00
Sure. Conservation funds,

00:21:44:08 –> 00:21:55:23
You know, and the two drivers behind that are sports of Fish and Wildlife and Utah and Oz, which is now Utah. Wild sheep, wild cheap. And so those are the guys really driving it, you know, to increase our sheep populations within the state. Yeah.

00:21:56:01 –> 00:22:31:10
Well it’s awesome. It it, you know, sheep tags are very hard coveted. It’s not like, you know, one new unit is gonna spread out the Rocky Mountain applicants that much. But it’s Sure. Exciting to see. And and it helps a problem. I, I call it a problem with, with new fees and Antelope Island, they need thinning every three to four years. Sure. They, they’re prolific, they’re nursery herds. And if you just let them go unabated, it’s a ticking time bomb up there. So it saves, saves a problem potentially up here by keeping them thinned out and starting a new herd. And it’s almost unheard of to go from zero to five or six years and you’re hunt doing a hunt. It’s pretty

00:22:31:10 –> 00:22:31:23

00:22:31:25 –> 00:22:50:06
And you know, we’ve been able to ha we’ve been able to take more rams than you normally put Yeah. On a, on a new unit because we’ve got the excess rams. We’ve gotta get rid of ’em, gotta get ’em off Antelope Island or the Fus to some extent. And so we’ve been able to propagate the mature ram population a little bit more than just growing ’em from lambs like you do on a normal transplant. But it’s awesome.

00:22:50:11 –> 00:22:58:18
And what I think is amazing is when you pull up an old set of regulations from 1970s, 1980s, look at how many sheep hunts we had back then. Exactly. Now open up your rigs.

00:22:58:28 –> 00:22:59:02

00:22:59:07 –> 00:23:03:22
You tell me, you tell us. We haven’t done much. Yeah. It is a slow process. Over 20 years, 10 years, 15

00:23:03:22 –> 00:23:04:12
Years. So how did that come about?

00:23:04:20 –> 00:23:05:07
Oh, a lot.

00:23:05:13 –> 00:23:12:29
It came through the conservation permit program. It did. And you quite honestly, that’s why we have sheep for the normal guy to hunt there this year, is we had those money

00:23:13:00 –> 00:23:29:14
Expensive to manage. They’re, they’re fragile. They, they’re susceptible to disease predation. You know, their numbers are never prolific or have the potential to be prolific like deer and elk. They’re just not built that way in this era. You know, historically they were the most numerous big game animal in North America.

00:23:29:14 –> 00:23:30:06
Well, they’re sensitive species,

00:23:30:10 –> 00:23:31:29
But now it’s, they’re sensitive. Like we,

00:23:32:11 –> 00:23:32:25

00:23:32:25 –> 00:23:33:06
Looking to die.

00:23:33:09 –> 00:23:36:19
They are, they’re born looking for a place to die. And we know that. So

00:23:36:19 –> 00:23:37:19
It takes money and are

00:23:37:19 –> 00:23:38:04
Careful with that.

00:23:38:08 –> 00:23:39:26
You’re right. 74 70

00:23:40:26 –> 00:23:41:06

00:23:41:06 –> 00:23:57:17
It, 73 74. There was no Rocky Mountain Bitcoin tags and the, for a two or three year period, the deserts were shut down. Yeah. In 73. 70. That’s unbelievable. There was no tags. Yeah. And now we got 40 to 50 of each. Yeah, exactly. Tags a year. 40 to 50 tags.

00:23:57:17 –> 00:24:02:18
Isn’t that amazing? That’s a, a classic example of how hunters, you know, are conservationists.

00:24:03:11 –> 00:24:12:14
We are the true conservationists, Jason. There’s no doubt about us. If there was no hunters involved there and, and they were just left to themselves after some of those, those early die offs in the San Juan County,

00:24:12:14 –> 00:24:13:05
Would we have, would we have 50

00:24:13:07 –> 00:24:25:16
Tags? They would probably be listed or something in Utah in all They could be. You get a wrong group that says hey we got a, you know, they were listed as a state endangered species, not a federal in New Mexico for a lot of years. And

00:24:25:22 –> 00:24:28:02
All these new units that are opened up, what, four, five years ago

00:24:28:07 –> 00:24:34:02
Ish. Yeah. And so, you know, not, not farfetched to think something couldn’t happen on a state or or national level. Look at very

00:24:34:02 –> 00:25:05:29
Stuff. Yeah. Look at Nevada and different things that, you know, they’ve had some challenges in their sheep programs. We see it all the time and it does take active groups to manage this and help with those conservation efforts. And so anyway, as we were driving up here, Adam and I were talking, we’re like, well the oaks is freaking open for sheep. You know what I mean? Yeah. Not for non-residents obviously, but Adam, you’ve hunted the oaks a little bit. Yeah. Maybe just give us a five second rundown. 10 sec. Well we’ll give you 30. How about that? Talk to about what you think as far as the oaks and what to expect and the physical limitations of that unit where the sheep

00:25:05:29 –> 00:25:33:06
Are. Well yeah, they’re like, like Troy said, they’re off of Antelope Island and, and the newfound mountain, those sheep originated in southern bc so they’re California Big horn. And they don’t, we don’t draw California big horn with a point system in Utah and Rockies and deserts of California just lumped in with the Rockies. So, but it gives you another option now. And you know, when that unit burned five or six years ago, I, I remember we’ve, a lot of us, when we see sheep country burning, we’re like, alright, this is looking good. Well, and

00:25:33:06 –> 00:25:38:20
I saw the burn and I was like, there’s gonna be some giant mul around the, we thought that and what happened. And it happened. And what

00:25:38:24 –> 00:25:39:08
Happened. Both

00:25:39:26 –> 00:25:43:08
Adam’s thinking shape, I’m thinking giant Mueller co course Adam’s a big mulder

00:25:43:19 –> 00:26:08:02
Too. I wasn’t, I was a, I did was a biologist with the D W R and we looked for that, looked at that unit 10 to 15 years ago and kind of tabled it for the time being. ’cause it just like, there’s some good habitat there, but maybe not quite ready. And, and of course it, it did depend upon these surplus sheep and these other units we’re talking about you gotta have a source herd. But then when that burnt and it just crushed the trees and all that, it, it ripened it and well, for

00:26:08:02 –> 00:26:08:29
What reason? I, yeah, just

00:26:08:29 –> 00:26:18:14
From a visibility and a security standpoint, sheep in general. I mean, there’s certain units, like some of the Zion sheep, they’ll use stuff that’s not traditional sheep. They’ll use

00:26:18:14 –> 00:26:21:02
Trees. Yeah. Thick trees. Thick trees. They’re in with deer sheds. They’re deer

00:26:21:02 –> 00:26:52:16
Sheds and desert sheep together. But, but generally sheep, they’re, they have incredible eyesight and they, they use that as, as a, as a tool. They, they want visibility. They can out climb and run stuff, but they want visibility. Yeah. In the general as their safety valve. They, if they can see it and they can see that’s it. So thick, thick trees generally is not suitable. Now there’s exceptions for that in some of the Colorado high country and different units, they timber up. Yep. But, but when you clear out that thick, thick pinion juniper, mahogany and standing spruce fir, it’s a rocky mountain it under it. Yeah,

00:26:52:18 –> 00:26:55:28
It’s rocky. Oh, it’s a nasty it nasty and rocks snake infested. Oh,

00:26:56:02 –> 00:26:56:23
Amen. So,

00:26:57:07 –> 00:27:06:24
You know, so it is, it is, it’s got a few roads up, some of the major drainages coming off that west side. But it’s, it’s a steep, it’s not a giant unit, but it’s steep and craggy and

00:27:07:11 –> 00:27:10:01
It’s gonna be a classic doing great. Classic cheap punt. You’re not gonna good cheap punt

00:27:10:01 –> 00:27:13:18
For, you know, somebody’s gonna have a good hunt there this year. Whoever’s the lucky one or two people.

00:27:14:18 –> 00:27:24:13
Well, Troy, anything else you wanna tell us about? I know you’d mentioned something about cuing contests and different things, you know, with ducks waterfowl. Yeah,

00:27:24:14 –> 00:27:34:00
We’re excited here since we’re on waterfowl, but no, here at the expo for the first time this year we had the regional duck calling championships and then the state duck and goose calling championships Adam’s

00:27:34:00 –> 00:27:36:13
Entered that he’s gonna, he’s gonna take it. And so

00:27:36:13 –> 00:27:49:14
The winner of the regionals will actually go back to Stuck Art Arkansas and compete for the world’s in the championship at Duck Con. And man, if you’re involved in waterfowl, you know the name Stuck Art Arkansas. I mean, I tell you what, that’s Mallard capital. There is, is it,

00:27:49:19 –> 00:27:54:18
Is it okay, I I take your word for it. Right. I wouldn’t know which end of a duck Paul call to blow.

00:27:55:08 –> 00:27:59:01
When you first mentioned that city, I was thinking where we talking Florida. I mean, I don’t know.

00:27:59:13 –> 00:28:01:11
We talk side to help you with that. Oh

00:28:01:17 –> 00:28:03:01
Yeah. So well,

00:28:03:20 –> 00:28:03:29

00:28:04:05 –> 00:28:05:13
They, maybe they even judge that.

00:28:06:06 –> 00:28:23:29
They probably do. Or at least maybe you have to use their calls to enter. I don’t know. All right, well anything else you wanna talk about? Obviously people can come by and visit. You guys got an amazing amount of deer heads over at the SS f W, the main entrance there. And I couldn’t help but notice Dan Smith’s giant freaking giant monster Muley.

00:28:24:07 –> 00:28:25:06
That is a nice deer

00:28:25:19 –> 00:28:26:14
For sure. Nice.

00:28:27:04 –> 00:28:42:12
I, you know, that’s like we talked before last year, Jason, I don’t know if I’ll ever be involved in as big a meal deer as that again in my lifetime. And share that with Dan. That’s really who I started my hunting career with. And to see him at 70 years old to take a buck like that, just kind of, it’s the pinnacle. Those g fours.

00:28:42:26 –> 00:28:43:22
Unbelievable. I don’t go anywhere

00:28:43:22 –> 00:28:43:24

00:28:44:05 –> 00:28:51:05
I just, it’s a magnitude. It’s giant. Yeah. It’s a, you know, obviously two, 200, it’s just called some odd inch deer. It

00:28:51:05 –> 00:28:53:04
Gross actually 270 inches. What

00:28:53:08 –> 00:28:56:23
Grosses, where was I thinking? Two fifties? What’s a net? Maybe that’s where I got the Yeah,

00:28:56:23 –> 00:29:01:13
Yeah. Fish is for nets. Nets are for fish. I don’t know, to be honest with you. No

00:29:01:13 –> 00:29:01:19
Wonder it

00:29:01:19 –> 00:29:15:12
Looked big. It’s a, it’s a deer and, and forgive me if it has a name, it probably had a name on one of your leases until you killed it. I don’t know what it was, but it deserves a name. If it doesn’t have one, ’cause it’s gonna go, it’s a legend, you know that is a legend Buck.

00:29:15:12 –> 00:29:35:05
It’s funny you say that. We didn’t name the deer, but amongst the locals in Coville, they called him the legend. Oh really? Kind. That was the name kind of the thing that I equated it is that is a legend deer. And in my mind it was killed by a legend. Dan’s probably one of the legends in mule deer hunting. Yeah. He’s not as well talked about as some of the other big mul deer hunters. But Dan Smith has killed some of the biggest

00:29:36:02 –> 00:29:37:06
Dan Smith. I have a senior

00:29:37:06 –> 00:29:38:11
And junior both. Exactly.

00:29:38:17 –> 00:29:39:14
Immense amount of respect

00:29:39:23 –> 00:29:45:26
For those guys. You know, conservation elk tag, deer tag sheep tags over there. They put a lot back into it, so

00:29:45:29 –> 00:30:21:20
For sure. Well, as we kind of close up here, I just want everybody to, to come down. Feel free to come down and visit. Visit Troy, visit us here at the Epic Outdoors booth here at the Hunt Expo. It’s at the SA Palace going on from now through Sunday, February 8th through the 11th was the scheduled day. Adam and I won’t be missing it for years and years and years to come. We appreciate you Troy. You guys are great. You’ve always been a great friend of Adam and I. And of course you know, hunter and conservationist and an outfitter and you know, every portion of the industry from one end of the other. And so nobody better fitting to be the president of S Fs W than you, in my opinion. So anyway,

00:30:21:20 –> 00:30:27:00
Thank you. I appreciate that and I’m excited to see you guys have the success. You guys are, you guys deserve it. Thank you.

00:30:27:00 –> 00:30:29:07
No, we appreciate that. Appreciate. Anyway, thanks

00:30:29:07 –> 00:30:35:06
A lot. We know you’re busy, you got a lot of probably other stuff to do. So thanks for making an hour for us this morning. Sounds good. Thanks a lot.