EP 84: Learning From Giant Mule Deer with Robby Denning and Jason Carter. In this episode of The Epic Outdoors Podcast our host, Jason Carter, swaps Mule Deer stories with Robby Denning. We discuss lessons learned from deer that left an impact on us. Wether it be a missed opportunity or a huge success we often learn lessons from Mule Deer. Take advantage of this episode and find out what the take aways are from your hunts in the future.

Disclaimer: this text was produced through an automated transcription service and likely contains errors. Please listen to the original audio for exact content.

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I think what you’ve gotta do, you know, killing big box, is we control the things we can control.

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All I gotta do is lay that 40 yard pin on his shoulder, he’s dead.

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Anything to do with Western Big Game.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody. Jason Carter here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast. Got a special guest on with us. Again, Robbie Denny. He’s a super good guy, and mule deer freak and fanatic. And so anyway, we did a podcast earlier this year. Of course, we’re talking about big old mule deer, and then we thought, well, maybe we would, you know, follow it up with a bunch of stories. We even mentioned that on the podcast, and since we’ve had quite a few requests of guys just wanting to, you know, hear some stories and learn from it a little bit, you know, as we kick off this season, everybody’s starting to scout. So, before we do get started, I want to thank Under Armour for sponsoring the podcast and, and anyway, really appreciate them and all that they do for Epic. If you’re still looking for an Elk outcome for this year, you might consider the Hick Indian reservation.

00:01:08:18 –> 00:02:04:03
They do have some hunts left for this year. First come first serve basis. You can go to hick hunt.com, j i c a r I L L a, hunt.com, or call 5 7 5 7 5 9 3 2 5 5. It’s a pretty incredible reservation. Normally known for giant mul deer and expensive giant mul deer because they, they have such good quality, but they also have incredible elk hunting opportunities. And so they’ve got some tags, great bulls, maybe overshadowed a little bit by the mule deer, but if you wanna go on a great elk hunt, you might get on Hickory hunt.com. Incredible kill rates. They’ve even got kill rates up to 85% on their archery hunts. And so great opportunity for guys that are looking for Elk Hunt for this year, 2018. We do wanna throw a little shout out to Kent’s Optics. They make our members good deals. They have great prices. The best of anywhere I’ve seen, been out in the field and ordered up Binos and had ’em sitting in my house in one day.

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So anyway, these guys are awesome. They’re hunters themselves and, and they appreciate your business. That’s one thing I do like about ’em as well as they have a huge variety in stock. They have a, an incredible supply of optics in their back room and, and have, I imagine anything you need. So whether it be Vortex or night four, size four, whatever you want to use, they’ll have it. So anyway, give these guys a call. It’s 4 3 5 2 5 7 7 0 1 4. Tell ’em Jason and Adam sent you, I’m sure they’ll make you a screaming deal. You can also go to kents optics.com. Anyway, got Robbie on. Robbie, can you hear me all right?

00:02:41:09 –> 00:02:48:10
I can hear you. I got my new little earbuds and I’ve locked myself in the garage so the kids can’t find me and ready to rock and roll.

00:02:49:06 –> 00:03:14:13
Good deal. Yeah, usually I just turn on an iPod and then throw on a, let ’em play some video games, and pretty much you don’t see ’em, so that’s right. All right. Right. Well, cool deal. I know I’ve talked to you about doing this podcast a little bit, and you’ve been thinking, coming up with a few good stories that you’ve, you’ve got over the years of killing and hunting these big old deer. Maybe I’ll just let you kick us off with a, with a little something.

00:03:15:08 –> 00:03:35:25
Okay, well, let’s see. I figured I’m gonna be on the air with at least Jason, maybe, maybe Adam. Sounds like he’s sleeping, but, so I, I got up a little early and I figured you guys would be four or five monsters in by now. So I’ve been pumping espresso in me since 6:00 AM I hope I don’t rattle off too long, but, you know, I wanted to be on an even keel with you.

00:03:36:17 –> 00:03:47:16
I know. Well, I just barely cracked my first monster, so you’re gonna, you’re gonna, you’re gonna crush me, buddy. You’re gonna crush me for about 10 minutes, and then I, and then just watch out. And freight train’s coming,

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Everything’s gonna speed up. I love it. I love it.

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Well, let’s see, man, you know, as I was thinking through a bunch of bucks, you know, the ones, I dunno if it’s this way for you, but I think about the ones that got away just as much as I think about the ones I got. Yeah. And so I thought, well, hey, maybe I should kick it off with one that still just makes me sick to my stomach, Jason.

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Well, usually, usually every time they get away, I want to throw up in my mouth every time,

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Dude, I know, I, I have reverted to a four year old, you know, throwing a fit on the ground, throwing my bow away, wanting to quit, wanting to become a vegetarian, you know, all that stuff.

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No, that’s, that’s, that’s a little further than I’ve ever gotten.

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Oh, dude. I’m, my wife will tell you, I’m a very emotional person. So anyway, so these big, these big ones that get away, I thought, man, we should do a story about those. I hope I, I hope you’ve got one. Of course. You’ve probably never had one get away. Oh, so

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Dude, come on. Come on. I wasn’t gonna talk about the failures. I probably need an extra monster in here to be able to withstand all that and go over it again. Oh,

00:05:02:02 –> 00:05:07:20
Yeah. Well, I’m sure you got a six pack laid out in front of you. So just grab another one, one in each hand. Jason, double fisted.

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No. All right.

00:05:10:25 –> 00:05:56:28
Well, this, so I, I’m gonna start off with one that got away, and this was back in 2014. And I’ve told the jalapeno story to many people. You’ve probably heard it, that’s not what this one’s about. But Jalapeno was a great big 2 10, 2 15 Idaho buck that I had found back in 2012. And I had chased him every year. He was in an area that he only showed up during archery season. He, there was just too much rifle pressure, he would disappear. So I really threw everything I had at him for archery. And I hunted him in 12. I’d hunted him in 13, just about, killed him in 13. He got, he got away at 18 yards. Just, just made me sick, you know, one of those, one of those times. So 2014, I found him again and, and I thought, you know what, I’m, I’m gonna throw everything I got at him.

00:05:57:19 –> 00:06:45:14
And sure enough, I I drew a Colorado tag, muzzle loader tag that year as well. And you know how that is, you know, Colorado muzzle loader seasons in September. Yeah. And, you know, I didn’t want to give the tag back and, you know, just kind of that deal. I thought, well, I’m gonna try to hunt ’em both. I think Colorado opened, I don’t know, roughly 10th, 12th, something like that. Idaho Archery opens August 30th. I thought, okay, if I can’t kill this buck in 10, 12 days, he’s, he’s gone. Anyway. So I, I hunted jalapeno for that long. Same thing. You know, had him at 40 yards, that kind of a deal. Couldn’t, you know, scrape my boot on the ground. He, he got away and I, I literally left the Idaho Mountain and climbed in the truck and went to Colorado and I ended up being down there.

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That’s a nine day muzzle loader season. I ended up hunting the whole nine days. Geez. I, I killed about a, a 180 buck the very last morning. And so by the time I get back to Idaho, I’m fried. I mean, I, I literally have a, a, a, a, a mental limit on, on how much of this I can, I can do. I mean, some guys I meet, they’re just machines. They, it doesn’t bother ’em. But I think I had hunted, you know, 19 out of 22 days I got home and, you know, of course I’ve been gone for three weeks. The house is a mess. You know, the wife’s, you know, she’s at a slow boil, you know, just trying, trying to get everything settled, you know, taking the kids out for tacos just to get mom a break and Oh yeah, I was fried.

00:07:28:14 –> 00:08:16:00
I needed some time off. And so I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t hunt for two or three days. I, I looked for that jalapeno buck a couple times. He was gone, like he always was. He, he would show, you know, end of September, he would just disappear. And so we got a big storm system. The very end of, of, of September, big low pressure system came in, I can’t remember, 28th, 29th, something like that. And it just rained and rained and rained. And it was pretty much the end of the season. I, I wasn’t gonna get a buck. I’d kind of resigned myself to that. And as I was going to bed the night before the, the, the, the last day of the season, which is September 30th, I checked the weather and it looked like it was gonna clear up the next morning. Yeah. Or, or, or, or, you know, kinda wind down anyways, where it had just been a deluge, you know, no glassing opportunity.

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You can’t really still hunt with a bow. So I got up 4:00 AM or something that morning, and I, I wasn’t gonna go hunt jalapeno. I knew he was gone. But earlier in the summer I had seen a, a good buck in just some quay country, not too far from here where I’m at. And I thought, well, that’s nice and close. I never did get a really good look at him. He was one of those bucks that was just out in the twilight. He was with three or four other bucks. And body-wise, he just dwarfed him. But just by where he was, I never could see his antlers because I was so focused on jalapeno. I’m not even sure I ever went back and looked for him. I just kind of put him Yeah. On the hit list and figured, well, I’ll hunt him if I get a chance.

00:08:56:29 –> 00:09:33:20
So I went up there, Jason, and sure enough, I, as soon as I got up above the foothills here and it, it was fogged in again, I could tell, well, I’m not gonna be able to glass. So I thought, I, I know where those bucks bedroom is, kind of where they bed, the hillside they’re on, usually if they’re there, that’s where they’re at. I thought, I’m just gonna get the wind in my favor and walk in there, let it get light and see what happens. So I did. And it didn’t take, it wasn’t very far from a road, you know, 20 minutes, you know, that, that kind of a deal. Yeah. And I got back in there. It was dark, but you know how it is when it rains, it kind of reminds you how, how, how good a hunting it is when it rains.

00:09:33:20 –> 00:10:13:02
It’s just dead silent. Yeah. You know, I mean, not even making a noise. And I got back in there, I had the wind in my favor and I, and I, as much as I could without it blowing into where the bucks were, and as it got light, it, it was just like my day. There were the bucks, 250 yards away feeding. And it was still, you know, well before legal shooting light, you know, we’re talking the first 10 minutes of gray light. And I was glassing them and kind of the same thing as in the summer as when I had had seen that buck is, I couldn’t really see his antlers other than, you know, a flash once in a while. But his body was so much bigger than the rest of the deer. I thought, well, we’re not gonna be too picky here on the last day.

00:10:13:07 –> 00:10:54:02
Yep. So I had to, I had to make a loop to keep the wind in my favor, drop down in heavy quakes. This is not Alpine country. This is the kind of stuff where, you know, you walk 25 yards and you lose sight of ’em, everything’s on faith, you hope they’re still there. I got around and got the wind in my favor and I, I, I knew where the bucks were gonna kind of bed. Usually if they were there, that’s where they beded. So I got over there. I’m probably now about two or 300 yards from ’em on the other side of ’em. So I’ve just made kind of a half circle around them. Yeah. I haven’t seen them now for, you know, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. You don’t know what’s going on. I got over there and I hadn’t been there for a year or two.

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And, and as I got over there, there were some pretty defined trails. This is cattle country. So the cattle stomp everything down. I thought, well, there’s two trails here. I’m just gonna gonna get on one of ’em and just still hunt my way into there and go slow enough that if I see bucks, I just stop and let them do their thing. So I started working in there and I dunno, I hadn’t gone very far. Jason, maybe 50 yards and, you know, 10, 15 minutes just kind of peeking. And I see antlers out there at about 80 yards, just the tops of some antlers, kind of bobbing. You can tell they’re feeding on brush. So I just laid down. I mean, there was no way to stalk ’em. I was at the edge of a meadow. If I’d have walked any further, they would’ve seen me.

00:11:36:05 –> 00:12:16:04
I just had to wait for ’em to come and hope they were gonna come down one of these two trails. The other trail was up the hill from me, maybe 50 yards. And so I laid there forever just trying, trying to listen. And, and that’s really what I was going by. ’cause I was afraid to stick my head up. ’cause I was, I was pretty exposed. And I don’t know, a, a while, you know, it’s getting, getting to be eight o’clock now, something like that. It’s full light. You know, it’s probably been a, an hour since I’ve, since I first saw ’em, and maybe 20, 30 minutes since I saw those antlers. And that was just a crappy buck. By the way, the antlers I saw, it was like a little three point or something I could tell. Yeah. And so I’m just hunting by sound now, Jason.

00:12:16:10 –> 00:13:01:02
I’m just listening and, and sure enough I heard a, you know, snap or something, maybe some grass tearing. I, I can’t remember. So I, I just started kind of putting my eyeballs above the level of the grass to, to see what I could see. And that, that buck or another three point man was only about 30 yards from me, head down, feeding. And, you know, I’m just hoping that other buck is there. I’m pretty sure he is. You know, they’re batched up still. And, you know, I just kept an eyeball on him. He didn’t see me. I still had the wind. And slowly other deer kind of start appearing out in the brush. You know, I’m in, I’m in bitter brush that’s probably three or three feet tall, you know, four feet tall enough to kind of hide a deer. If he’s, if he’s behind it.

00:13:01:10 –> 00:13:43:25
And I’m seeing deer kind of filter in, I’ve probably got three or four bucks in sight. No big antlers, but no big bodies either. And I’m thinking, I, I know what I saw. I saw a big bodied deer. Yeah. Just, just weight. Yeah. And so I’m laying there, you know, arrow on the, on the bow, you know, laying, laying close to the ground and all of a sudden this, this little buck that, the first one that had got close to me, now he’s at about 20 yards. And, and he, you know, he gets all jacked up. He knows something’s up. He, he doesn’t smell me, you know, I’m not looking directly at him. So I don’t know if he sees me or, or what. I could just tell his body language all of a sudden changed and he got all stiff legged and, you know, started walking to my right.

00:13:44:08 –> 00:14:17:12
And I thought, okay, the gig’s up. I’m gonna have, I’m gonna be blowing bucks outta here. So yeah, I, I went up onto my knee and I had, I had my soro ELs and, and I’m just getting ready to range anything, anything shootable. And I come up on my knee and there’s that big bastard standing there looking down the hill at the other bucks that got excited when they heard the little buck. Yeah. And he, he, he doesn’t even see me. Jason and I, I, I, I threw the, threw the vinyls on him. 48 yards. Broadside not even looking at me. This deer’s

00:14:17:12 –> 00:14:18:22
Dead and doesn’t even know it.

00:14:20:01 –> 00:14:33:19
Absolutely. I’m like, praise Jesus. This is going to happen. Jesus. And I, I dropped the vinyls, got got my, my release on my string pause button. I got a new site that year, started shooting black gold. I’ve

00:14:33:19 –> 00:14:36:27
Never had shot. Always gotta love new equipment. Always got a love new.

00:14:36:27 –> 00:15:46:03
Exactly, dude. And I, I, I, I, I switched to a dial black gold. I’m not a long ring shooter with archery. I’ve always had a 20, 40 60. And that’s what I went with on my black gold. And, but I was so obsessed with shooting at like a hundred yards. ’cause it was so fun. My on yard, yard pin there. Well, almost what ended up happening is I shot so much with my bottom pin. I didn’t really get used to counting pins. That’s kind of my routine each year, you know, as I’m shooting and practicing, I just go through my mind. 20, 40, 60, 20, 40, 60. Well I hardly shot at 20 and 40 that year. Everything was 60 and beyond just playing with that site. And so the site was dialed to where it was supposed to be. But when I came up, and you know how it is, Jason, when these bucks are ready to explode, you know, they’re, every buck has got tense muscles. They’re ready to go. The only buck that’s not not freaking out is, is the big one. And he’s looking at the bucks. Yeah. So I come up and instead of counting my pins, ’cause I mean he’s 48 yards. All I gotta do is lay that 40 yard pin on his shoulder, top of his shoulder and he’s dead. Yeah.

00:15:48:13 –> 00:15:56:03
I come up, I put my 20 yard pin on the top of his shoulder and I touched the trigger. Why,

00:15:57:04 –> 00:16:01:25
Why 20? I thought I was expecting you to put your hundred or whatever you No, no.

00:16:02:04 –> 00:16:48:26
It was just, I just told you about the site because it was just something new that I wasn’t, I shot too much that summer at long distance without thinking about my short distances. And so I just wasn’t used to counting pins like I usually am. And that’s usually part of my shot routine. You know, 20, 40, 60. I just count pins and the arrow was still in the air. Jason and I knew, oh crap, I the wrong pin. I I just knew it. I just knew it. Yeah. And of course, you know, it shoots right underneath him. That was his first sign that there was a human around. And you know, they don’t, they don’t screw around. Yeah. You’ve seen it. They don’t wait, they don’t, you know, run to the ridge and look back, you know, like the three year olds. He was gone. Jason and I, I gave him a, a couple of minutes before I moved forward just in case.

00:16:48:26 –> 00:17:22:03
He only ran a little ways of me. They could get a shot, although that never happens. Yeah. And I worked my way up there trying to be quiet. The other bucks, you know, they’re younger, they’re not quite so freaked out and they, they’re kind of milling around out there at about a hundred yards. I got up there, of course, no blood. I knew I’d missed and I can’t see the buck. So I make a kind of a big half loop to get up on, just a little rise and, you know, see if I can see him. And I get up there. And keep in mind, Jason, I have never got to really look at this buck Sandlers. It’s the second time I’ve seen him. You know, when I come up out of the brush, he looked good. There was no, there were no counting points.

00:17:22:03 –> 00:17:55:06
There was no nothing. You just kill that buck. Well, I got up there and he had ran about 250 yards and he got into some brush that would probably be up to about year in my chin. Yeah. And he was just standing out there watching. And he wasn’t looking at me. He hadn’t seen me. He was just looking around. He knew something had happened. So I, I got the glass on him and oh gosh, Jason, he was about a one 90 to 1 95 gross buck. He was probably his, his frame probably probably netted about 180 5 right around there. And then he had some junk all over the place. Dark antler.

00:17:55:15 –> 00:17:56:02
Can’t say that.

00:17:56:16 –> 00:17:58:28
Oh. Oh dude. He was just a punch.

00:17:58:28 –> 00:18:00:25
Like how much junk? How much junk.

00:18:01:13 –> 00:19:02:01
Well if he was a 180 5 buck and he probably had a a, a typical frame, he probably had 10 inches of junk. Which is pretty junky for us around here. You know, that’s a pretty junky buck. You know, I could just tell by his body, you know, we’re talking seven, eight year old deer. I mean, he’s big. Yeah. He’s just big. And you know, I don’t see a lot of 200 inch bucks around here. So, you know, this buck, well put it this way, Jason. It’s probably the biggest buck I’ve seen around here in about four or five years. Wow. And oh, just, he let me watch him for a long time. Like 10 minutes, you know, ’cause he’s just standing there looking. He knew something was up. I’ll end it with this. I hunted that buck rifle open just 10 days later. I hunted every day. I could probably got in four or five days right in that little spot. Like it always is. Every one of his buddies was back there. They were all wandering around in the quakes. You could find them about every day. He never came back over where I could hunt him. So, geez. That’s what happened buddy. My own stupid fault for not knowing my equipment better.

00:19:02:12 –> 00:19:43:26
Yeah. You know, there’s a couple things when some of these stories you, there’s takeaways from every story and every hunt makes us better, even though we don’t like to think about ’em. And, and the other takeaway I had from this particular story is, is don’t be giving up too early. So you’re laying in the grass, you’re laying, you know, over an hour, whatever it was. And, and you’ve just gotta go by just assuming that they didn’t spook or whatever. And I think a lot of times, and I’ve done it, I don’t know how many times where I give up too early in or I break a little bit of a branch or something, and they’re like, and you assume they heard it. You assume that they’re, they’re gone, they busted. You haven’t seen, you expected him to show themselves before now, and we all get antsy.

00:19:43:27 –> 00:20:29:11
And then you kind of get sloppy and you’re like, gosh, is he still there? And so then you move a little fast, you move, you move and you’re glassing, you’re glassing, but you have quicker movements. You just, you’re so disgusted with yourself already. You know, the gigs up and it’s not up. He’s just chewing his cut or he is laid down for a minute or whatever. And then you blow it because you’re so antsy. You just assume that you blew it. And so I think that’s part of it, is you, you know, you kept the faith that he was still there. He hadn’t, he hadn’t broke away from the other bucks. And so, you know, you didn’t give up. So, so when you did peek above the grass and all of these, you know, you ended up seeing him. He was there and just like he was supposed to be. And so that’s the one, that’s the one thing you did. Right. The other, the one thing you did wrong is, is you lost your head.

00:20:30:05 –> 00:21:18:18
Lost my head. I lost my head at the critical second. That buck was so close to being dead, Jason. I mean, I, I’ll I I I came home and measured my, my, my 20 yard pin at a, at a 48 yard target, you know, a big buck around here. Usually about 24 inches from the bottom of his brisket to the top of his shoulder, somewhere in there. I estimate I I shot under him by about two inches. I mean, he was so close to being dead. And, and, and, but, but, you know, your little takeaway there for, for any of your listeners out there that are maybe new to Buck hunting, Jason’s Right? That’s hard earned advice he just gave you right there. Because I have had dozens of other ones get away over the years when I lost the faith and I just kind of charged in there. And that, that’s why I’ve just kind of learned that, you know, once you’re, once you’re in the living room, you just gotta let ’em do their thing. You’re not gonna force anything. You gotta wait. Yeah.

00:21:18:26 –> 00:21:33:08
Yep. That’s right. Well, you know, I don’t know, which, I don’t know if there’s a particular story you wanted me to kick off with and, you know, but I was thinking about a muzz loader buck that we had hunted in 2005. So let’s hear

00:21:33:08 –> 00:21:33:12

00:21:34:09 –> 00:22:22:28
So we’re talking, you know, a few years ago. But anyway, a lot of you guys know out there, I kind of got my start. I, I was, you know, young, aggressive, but just, I had to guide for a living. I mean, I guided, you know, supplement my income, use my time off some comp time and everything, and then guided. And then that gave me a separate checkbook that gave me my hunting checkbook. My Jason Carter’s big game hunts is what it was. And this is my, my checkbook. That’s not the family budget. And so I didn’t have to feel guilt for putting gas in the gas tank and, and food and whatever else to be able to go hunt on my own. And so anyway, so I used that and, and then by guiding, I used some of those funds. Sometimes I could, you know, buy a landowner tag or apply in the Western states and gain points.

00:22:23:01 –> 00:23:12:24
And that money comes from somewhere and it’s a lot easier. It’s a lot easier on my wife and myself as well, my own conscience of being able to have money to use. And so I was guiding a guy, Russ Young, a lot of guys have heard of Russ over the years. He’s done very well. But he believed in me before. I believed in myself. He believed in me before I had, you know, proven myself or, or was even capable of killing stuff. We started working together clear back in like year 2000. So anyway, this particular year, Russ has a tag. We’re hunting Nevada, it’s 2005. I was just kind of getting rolling on these big deer. Just really, you know, my first 200 inches was in 99. And then 2003, I, I killed a good one. You know, one of my better buddies. Two 30.

00:23:12:27 –> 00:24:00:12
Yeah. And then I’m just getting rolling. I’m just get really getting this. 2004, I didn’t kill a deer. Drew an Oregon sheep tag. And then 2005, I’m, I’m wanting to kill deer, but Russ is my first priority. Clients always come first. And so anyway, I’m scouting all summer and I find this deer and he’s got a big old hanger out the side on one side and a big inline on the other side. And, you know, big airy frame. Big, beautiful, just a gorgeous deer. And, and I figure he is 2 0 5 to two 10. Like I, I think he’s, you know, and I like him. And I’d sent Russ some, a little video clip and, and whatnot. But in the course of watching this deer, he was an amazing deer and taught me a lot. I was sitting there, glassing him one day in the summer and watched him.

00:24:00:22 –> 00:24:49:25
I watched him as, as there was a truck coming down the road and, you know, you could see the dust cloud clear out there, and the truck’s coming closer and closer and it’s a rattle trap, you know, rancher type truck, checking water, whatever, and just rattling like crazy. And I’m like, Hey, that’s a dodge truck. And he’s got a flatbed with probably 14 TPOs on it. You know, I mean, this thing’s just coming at you. And anyway, so as he’s getting closer and this deer’s just not paying much attention, but he can hear it, you know? And, and he’s getting closer and he’s getting closer. And this road’s probably, he’s probably a good half mile from where we’re at. And I’m, I’m probably 800 yards glassing this deer. And he’s got some buddies and whatnot. And there’s bitter brush that’s over my head. There’s bitter brush that he’s feeding on.

00:24:49:25 –> 00:25:41:08
It’s probably eight foot tall. And anyway, this truck’s coming closer and about the time, you know, the buck starts to pay attention. He walks from in front of the bitter brush around the back of it and stares straight at the truck through the brush. And I’m like, wow. I’m, I’m watching. Like, this is one of the coolest things. It’s one thing to, we all watch bucks, get alert. And, but to watch this buck think, I mean, I’m in his head and I’m think I’m watching him think, and I’m like, this buck is reasoning. He’s thinking. And, and he’s watching this truck, and the truck goes by, keeps on going, keeps on going. And as it goes by and kind of goes outta sight, you know, he’s not a factor anymore. He stands there, he probably gives it another full minute, just motionless, motionless. Pretty soon he flicks his tail and goes back to feeding.

00:25:41:23 –> 00:26:29:05
And I was like, wow, it’s not, and on another occasion, there’s these great big rocks, great big boulders, and they’re probably, oh, 10 to 12 feet tall. I mean, giant boulders. I watched him all morning, he’s feeding in this bitter brush. And then he comes back, he’s walking up the wash, comes back, and he comes around this boulder and you can tell he’s wanting to bed. Great. Big shadows are starting to cast you, you know, off this boulder. Sun’s coming up. And once that sun comes up in Nevada, they disappear. I mean, they just disappear. They’re, they’re headed for bed. They don’t like the sun on ’em. Sun’s coming up, it’s casting shadow. He’s coming up the wash. He comes around the edge of the boulderer and, and he stands there and he just kind of staring at the boulderer. And I’m like, what’s he doing?

00:26:30:02 –> 00:27:23:08
Pretty soon he’s, he’s looking up on top of the boulder and he makes like five circles around this boulder. Wow. And I’m like, what is he doing? And he’s going around, looking up, going around, looking up, stop, look up, stop. Look up, stop. Look up. And he keeps looking up. And pretty soon he is content. And he beds at the base of the boulder. And I’m thinking, okay, maybe a lion or something like that. Long story short, ru I call Russ, it’s time to kill this deer. And, and I’ve been, I’ve been paying a, I’ve been on this deer, this was before trail cameras, I mean, 2005, I, they might’ve had a few 35 millimeter. We used to take ’em to one hour photo at Walmart or whatnot. But, you know, on these trail cameras. But it was, it was pre trail camera day. And for the most part, anyway, he, so I mean, living with this deer throughout the summer, for the most part, checking on him, never moved more than a half a mile.

00:27:23:14 –> 00:27:59:10
Saw him every time. Yeah. And so it’s time to kill this deer. And Russ’s like, you know, I just don’t think I, I just don’t think, I don’t think we, I wanna shoot him. And I’m like, alright, well you understand what you’re giving up. You understand what’s going on. He’s like, yeah, I’m pretty sure. And I said, Russ, I’ve got a tag and the season’s on it’s muzzle or season. I’m like, would you mind if I shot this deer? And he’s like, heck no. Go, go get him killed. You know? And I’m like, well, I gotta drive home. Okay. So driving home is about two hours from me, from this spot. Grabbed my muzz loader. Did you

00:27:59:10 –> 00:27:59:26
Have no muzzle

00:27:59:26 –> 00:28:48:20
Loader? I had no muzzle loader. Okay. So I gotta drive home. I gotta shoot it, I gotta shoot it. I haven’t even shot it. You gotta find it there. Well, because, because you got a client and I’m assuming I’m just gonna eat this tag. Sure. So, so I gotta shoot it. And, and, and my buddy, I had my buddy Clint Lindstrom, he’s on the deer as well. So I tell Clint, I’m like, Clint Russ isn’t gonna shoot this deer. And he said, I can shoot it. So I’m going, I’m gonna go home and get my muzzle. He is like, okay. I’m like, I know it’s gonna get a hundred degrees today, but you can’t let, you can’t let this deer outta your sight. And Clint was a freaking trooper. He sat on this deer all day. I get, I, I work my way outta there, drive home, grab the muzz loader, I shoot it in Utah on the way back, I’m shooting it at a box, open sight, you know, you can picture Nevada’s open sight.

00:28:48:27 –> 00:29:28:09
And I’m a young kid. I’m, I’m super confident with the Muzz loader. But again, you know, that was before long range, really got hold in the rifle world and, and let alone muzz of world. So I mean a hundred, 150 yards. And, you know, I’m thinking, yeah, I’m good. You know, and so I’m shooting this muzz come out, I come out and, and all the while Clint’s cupping his hand and talking to me on the phone. Dude, I got him. He’s rebutted all these things, you know, telling me, kind of gimme the update when I’m in Utah. Anyway, I come back out and I play, I get in with this deer and I play cat and mouse with him a little bit. He’s up and down. It’s the evening. By this time he’s up down. How far

00:29:28:09 –> 00:29:28:20
Had he moved?

00:29:29:24 –> 00:29:40:02
Oh, he hadn’t moved. He hadn’t moved probably 400 yards. There was one time in the middle of the day he moved a little bit of a distance, but we’re talking 400 yards, like nothing.

00:29:40:08 –> 00:29:42:10
So, so if Clint hadn’t have been there, though you may,

00:29:42:18 –> 00:30:24:06
I would’ve would’ve lost track of him. Oh, I wouldn’t have, I would’ve lost track. Yeah. I, I’d lost track of him. I mean, you know, you’d be in there with him. What you’d, you’d go up, you’d pre, you’d re glass him and then you’d have until sunset to get on him, you know what I mean? And, and and whatnot. But Clint, Clint was on him anyway, went in there, got in there with him and worked just, we worked it and worked it. And it’s just deathly quiet. Deathly quiet. And so I’ve got my shoes off and you’re just working these little marbles, these little gravelly marble type country that’s in there. And anyway, long story short, got up with him, got up in him, there’s a little wash, and he looks up at me and I’m on him. I peek over the edge and there he is.

00:30:24:07 –> 00:30:55:13
And he looks up at me and he’s like 35 yards. And I’m like, and so I’ve got my gun down. But this is the time when you, you know, a lot of guys would be scared to just pull up and kill him, and you just gotta pull up and kill him. You know, you might slowly move your gun up to your shoulder. The best thing to do that I found just, just calmly pull your gun up and kill him. And, and so I just pulled my gun up. He was looking at me, he was courting toward me. And I had, and I, so I put it right on his shoulder.

00:30:55:26 –> 00:30:57:04
Is he vetted or is he standing off?

00:30:57:04 –> 00:31:29:29
No, he’s standing. He’s standing. I put it right on his shoulder and touched it off. And it just hammered him. And then Yes. You know, and then, and then I’m running over him re reloading running the whole cluster. You know, you got half your backpack strewn over a course of a hundred yards. And anyway, long story short, we walk up, we walk up to him, you know, Clint’s freaking dang near got blisters from the sun on all day. Super thirsty. I mean, the whole thing. It was a long day for that guy. And that’s a

00:31:29:29 –> 00:31:30:06
Good buddy.

00:31:30:16 –> 00:31:50:13
Oh, it’s a good, yeah, it’s a good guy. Anyway, we end up going over there and he had a little hole, a hole of a 50 caliber hole right through his ear that kind of pierced his ear and it broke the ear line. It’s not in the middle of the ear, it’s on the edge of the ear. And, and then went right down into him, right down into his chest. And so, because

00:31:50:16 –> 00:31:54:12
He was facing you, quartering facing you? Or was he looking back? Yeah,

00:31:54:12 –> 00:31:56:11
He was quartering quartering toward me.

00:31:56:21 –> 00:31:57:06
Okay. Got

00:31:57:26 –> 00:31:58:08
You. Shot through

00:31:58:13 –> 00:31:58:29
His ear to

00:31:58:29 –> 00:32:44:19
Hit his shoulder. So I shot through his ear to hit his shoulder, and I’m above him. He’s in the wash. I’m above him. Way above him. Yeah. I mean, 35 yards. But I’m above him, you know, like I’m, I don’t know how to say way above him or the angle, but it was a definite heavy down angle. And he’s looking up at me and I just pulled up. Awesome. Man. Pulled the trigger anyway. And so yeah, he mounted, he’s got the hole in his ear, the whole thing. And you know what’s interesting about this deer? His cape has big scratches across it from a lion cat. And that made sense with the rock. Yep. He, he was freaked out. He’d probably been attacked and he had these great big scars, like, I think there’s three or four of ’em. I’d have to go look at the mount again, right across his neck.

00:32:45:03 –> 00:33:24:13
And, and I was like, that had to be what happened. This deer had learned from that was like, I’m not betting under a boulder that I don’t fully vet, fully vet out knowing they’re not a line around. So anyway, watching these deer, you learn a lot and, and you learn that they are freaking smart. And, and, and not, not all the time. Everybody says, man, that was a smart deer. That was a smart deer. Sometimes it’s just their pattern. You think they’re smart, but it’s just their pattern. They just get used to how to live in their environment. But, but it’s interesting how you, when you do watch ’em, they all, they all have a little something different. And it was based on their environment, based on their experiences. Every buck’s got something different. So

00:33:25:13 –> 00:34:01:18
Yeah. And that’s, that’s kind of what I’ve learned too, Jason, as you were talking about that. I was, I was thinking that’s, you know, sometimes we think bucks are smart because of us. So they’re evading hunters. No, they’ve been evading predators since they were one day old that know, that’s right. They figure out that they get followed in their tracks. They, they know they leave a scent. They know, like you’re talking about him walking around that boulder. He, he learned that, he learned that, you know, da danger can come from above from those cats. And, and to me that’s what, that’s what’s so cool about ’em. And, and, and you know, I don’t know if dear reason I’ve heard they don’t like a human, but at the same time, when you’re talking about that truck coming, most bucks would just blow out of there. Right.

00:34:01:18 –> 00:34:37:14
You’d run out 15 yards from the cover and stand there and look at the truck and get shot. Oh yeah. And, and I’ve seen that too, you know, with a few big bucks that you get the, get the pleasure of watching like that, that no, they don’t lose their head. And that’s, that helps me as a hunter when I see that. Because then I remember when I’m out there in the deer country that hey, they could be right here looking at me and I need to, you know, be really careful. And, and you know, when I was a younger hunter, I just walked through the deer country, you know, oh, they’re gonna get up and see me. Well the few that did, you know, you never get a shot at ’em. So, so that’s kind of my takeaway from there is just remember that when they’re old like that, they’re, they’re are, they know that stuff.

00:34:37:14 –> 00:35:38:10
They know how to hide. And, and one other thing you said, Jason and I, and I, and I picked this up in your writing, you know, years ago when you were writing with your dad and everything is that you’ve always said that you gotta you gotta try to figure out how to kill ’em right? When you see ’em. Yeah. And I, I, the first couple times you said that I, I don’t know. I mean, you would think that’d be obvious, but there’s been times when I, I I, I haven’t done that for various reasons. You know, probably trying to be under aggressive, not spook ’em, wait for the perfect time. And, and you kind of helped change my thinking on that, that, that no, if they’re killable, you better kill ’em because I have waited like, you know, and thought, oh, I’ll get ’em another day. Or they’ll be in a better position and then they’re gone. And, and it reminded me of that when talking about Clint watching him. That’s why I asked how far did the buck move? Because I have done that before. Oh, they’re probably, they’re gonna be right here somewhere, you know, I’ll wait, whatever. Turn your back for a minute, you know, leave, lose them, you know, know, try lose them. Go

00:35:38:11 –> 00:35:40:18
Go to lunch. Go for the season. Yeah. Go have a sandwich. Totally.

00:35:40:25 –> 00:36:06:12
Yeah. No, kill ’em when you frigging see ’em and you know, shake Clint’s hand for me. ’cause ’cause you were smart leaving a man on that, on that buck. Because even 400 heck, even a hundred yards in deer country, good deer country, they move a hundred yards and you don’t see ’em make that move. You may not see ’em again. You, you know, you can’t glass ’em up. I don’t care if you got the Swarovski B T X A T X, all of them pointed at ’em. They, they move. Yeah. You can’t find

00:36:06:16 –> 00:36:50:08
’em again. So if they’re behind a boulder, it doesn’t matter what glass you have, you can’t see ’em. That’s, and that’s, and thats, and I think too, a lot of times in this hot country, early season like that, that’s September. So, you know, they’ll get up and feed in 90, 95 degrees. I’ve seen it a a hundred times. I’ve also watched deer lay there and not get up till it’s too dark to see. And, and so you just don’t know, you know, you just don’t know. And that could have happened, I think, I think too is when you were talking about deer blowing out and, and some deer would, would blow out if they’re a younger deer, they might blow out. If you think about it. And, and I’ve got another story to, to, to, to illustrate this deer don’t want to blow out. They would rather have a hunter walk by ’em and not blow out.

00:36:50:08 –> 00:37:33:20
If they blow out, they’ve gotta go somewhere new. Now what they did is they spent all night up and down feeding all morning, all evening the day before, maybe the five days before. And, and they know what predators are around. They know they haven’t smelled a lion. They haven’t had issues with coyotes, they haven’t had issues with humans. Whatever. When you blow out, you are running, telling the world that you’re there. You know, if you’re here, I’m, you’re the deer. You’re telling the world, you’re blowing out into new country and now you’re nervous. You’re thinking, if you’re a deer, you’re thinking, okay, I just ran, maybe I ran into where a lion is now. You know, maybe I ran into, and so they don’t wanna blow out. They’ve vetted out their country over the last two or three days, two or three weeks, half a day, whatever.

00:37:34:00 –> 00:38:06:20
And they feel comfortable. The last thing they wanna do is blow out. So if, you know, and, and as they get older, you’ll see ’em this more. They hold tight. They don’t wanna blow, they’ll blow if they have to. And, and, and, you know, and we spook ’em. But, and that’s when they smell you. And when, when you actually blow ’em, of course they’re gonna blow out. But if it’s just seeing you or, or they’re, they see you, but they don’t feel like that you’re a threat or that you don’t see them or whatever. They’re gonna hold. They wanna hold because their country’s safe. They’ve proven that over the last 48 hours or 72 hours or whatever.

00:38:08:05 –> 00:38:55:05
I I agree, dude. And that was probably the first, one of the first things that helped me start killing big bucks, or at least seeing them, was figuring out they move very deliberately, especially the older bucks. They don’t just wander. They, they, they, they plan out everywhere they’re going. And if you watch a big herd of bucks, I’m sure you’ve seen this, the oldest ones are typically moving the slowest. Oh yeah. Feeding, feeding the slowest. I mean, they’re just a deliberate animal. And I think it goes back to what you just said, it’s because they, they’ve already, they already know what’s in their circle and they, they know if I just just move slowly, I’m gonna continue to know what’s in my circle and Yeah. When they go blowing out, yeah. It’s a, it’s a new game. Big reset button. And they don’t know what they’re getting into. I agree.

00:38:55:05 –> 00:39:03:13
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Yep. All right. Well, let’s, you got a successful story. I don’t know if I can handle another defeat here.

00:39:03:29 –> 00:39:25:02
Oh dude. No, though. Let’s get rid of the defeats, man. I’m, I’m serious that that one still haunts me to this day. Let’s see, I got a couple of them here, dude. My, my, my Wyoming non-typical now this was a 2005 buck too. This was back their ways. But, you know, I was, I was starting to kill some pretty big deer and, and where I lived.

00:39:25:02 –> 00:39:27:20
What year, what, what year did you kill your first big deer? Big, big deer.

00:39:27:28 –> 00:39:31:14
96. Okay. That was, that was that 2 34 bucks. So

00:39:31:26 –> 00:39:36:14
The drought year for us down here, that was one of the worst droughts in freaking history. It felt like

00:39:37:04 –> 00:40:20:24
Tough year it was here too. But it’s, so I’ve seen this happen up here too. When we get those bad droughts, eight times out of 10, we will get a big dumper of a fall. Either rain in September or big snow in October. And that’s what happened in 96. Okay. It, it can turn out to be some of our best hunting years. But I killed that one. I think I killed a 2 0 8 buck in nine in 2001. You know, I was, I was, I’m still struggling, don’t get me wrong. Yeah. But you know, they were, they were still way spread out then, you know, I’d go like five years without even seeing a really big buck ’cause they didn’t know how to find them. And in, in 2005, my daughter was born in 2002. That was our first child. And you know, I got the greatest wife in the world.

00:40:20:26 –> 00:41:04:28
But, you know, she just, back then she was new to marriage, new to hunting. She didn’t grow up in hunting family. This stuff of being gone eight, nine days, it was hard on her. And, and she wasn’t a hag about it at all. I mean, she, it was just hard on her when I was gone. And so I was just trying to be really sensitive to that, even though our daughter was, you know, two and a half right around in there. And so that summer I did a, I did a lot of scouting. They were a little bit shorter trips, you know, go for a couple days, you know, take the horses. I had a, this was back when, when western Wyoming, you could get a ta you could get a tag every other year or every year as a non-resident. And I had drawn that region about three times in the last like five or six years.

00:41:04:28 –> 00:41:44:24
So I was getting to know it pretty good. Yeah. I hit all my spots, you know, was I checking for tracks glass and all that stuff. We have a, a fairly good buck crop in 2005. We hadn’t had a hard winter since about 96. Yeah. And I’ve seen a lot of bucks, but sometimes when there’s a lot of bucks around, you don’t see a lot of big bucks. Right. It’s just, just, you know, you know what I mean? Yeah. So I looked a lot of bucks that summer and Jason, it was getting to be towards the end of August and, and I had not really found a, a buck I wanted to target. So there was some stuff I had not got to scout that was south of Jackson that I wanted to go look at. And, you know, trying to save as many days as I can now ’cause on the season’s about to open.

00:41:44:29 –> 00:42:18:22
Sure. And I was an arche archery hunter, then Wyoming open September 1st for archery. So I don’t know, it was maybe 10 days before the season I called Steve, I said, Hey, there’s some other country I wanna go look at. Let’s go. Didn’t see anything worth going after literally probably 40, 50 bucks that morning. I looked at a lot of bucks that morning. You know, that’s just how it is on those big alpine peaks. And, you know, before they, before they rubbed their velvet. So we’re coming back home and I’m thinking, man, just guy just spent 300 bucks and didn’t even see a buck there and,

00:42:19:00 –> 00:42:24:05
You know, just quite did did you have the checkbook or, or was this coming out of the family funds? That’s the big, that’s my big question,

00:42:24:13 –> 00:42:46:17
Dude. I’m just like you and, and, and, and, and for you young guys that are out there, Jason already said it. I don’t hide any money from my wife. Yeah. But I do have a hunting checkbook that, that my extra labor goes into exactly what Jason said, so that if you need to spend some money, you’re, you’re not saying, Hey honey, sorry we can’t get your hair done this month. I mean, you don’t want to ever get

00:42:46:24 –> 00:42:54:17
No, you don’t ever want to do that. In fact, it’s more like, why don’t you go get your hair done four or five times? How about that? There keep going. Oh, you’re the best husband in the world.

00:42:55:08 –> 00:42:59:23
Exactly. And and sometimes I even give her some money out of that checking account.

00:42:59:24 –> 00:43:00:28
Oh yeah. So, oh yeah.

00:43:01:18 –> 00:43:03:02
So yeah. Yeah, good question.

00:43:03:12 –> 00:43:08:06
Just don’t put her on as a signer. Just don’t put her on as a signer. Nah, Shett need all

00:43:08:11 –> 00:43:11:27
Steve, she needs to be able to do is put the deposits in there. No, no. She’s a signer. Yeah,

00:43:11:28 –> 00:43:12:08
I know.

00:43:12:24 –> 00:44:03:05
I get your drift though. That, that, you know, you gotta think about that stuff. You gotta be sensitive to it. Yeah. I I didn’t always do it Right. As a young man. And, and sometimes I made her feel pretty bad. Yeah. But, but by, but we, Steve and I, on the way home, you know, we, we’d left the mountain range that we, we had flown. It’s getting late. Yeah. Like 8 30, 9 o’clock and you know, but mid-August, by that time, you know, the sun’s been up hour and a half and we’re actually coming back from some of the country. I had a scouted with horseback. There’s a bachelor herd of bucks out in this kind of open grassy basin. And I say, oh gosh, there’s some bucks right there, Steve. And, and I see a, a big body deer laying down. You know, you, I’m sure that you don’t get to look at every single big buck you find and, you know, count their points and you know, he’s got

00:44:03:11 –> 00:44:16:14
Six. No, as long as they look big, you know, I’m, I’m shooting them. Some of them, I don’t even know exactly what they are, but I know they’re big enough, you know, there you go. Go. And some of them, you know how many basal points they have, you know what I mean? Yeah. And how long they are. So Yeah, that’s

00:44:16:14 –> 00:45:04:08
What, that’s what I wanna know. Yeah. But I kinda learned over the years that you, you’re not always gonna get a look at ’em. Just like that bucket got away in the archery story. And, and, and, and so there’s a tip for, for the guys that are, that are, that are, that are listening. Don’t worry about, you know, know every little score and every little point you look at enough bucks, you’re gonna be able to tell they were big. This buck was big. I could tell he was heavy. Yeah. He is in velvet, but you know, when they’re with four or five other bucks, you can easily tell. So I told Steve, let’s go, let’s just get outta here. I I don’t wanna spook him. Let’s just leave him alone. I’ll come back. And so got home. I don’t know, I might’ve had like 10 days before the season I didn’t go up there. I just left him alone, you know, earning mama points. You know, I’m, I’m baking, I’m, I’m mopping the floor, I’m washing the windows, dude, I’m probably making cookies. I mean, who knows what I was doing and

00:45:04:23 –> 00:45:05:24
I’d rather take a beating.

00:45:06:15 –> 00:45:53:05
Yeah, I know, I know. But I had, you know, I had to, and so in that 10 days my wife says, Hey honey, you see this little strip right here? You see that plus sign on it? That means we’re having a baby. No. Like, oh my gosh. Are you, I mean, this is, this is, this is joyous. You know? Of course. Immediately you count the months. Okay. Is my baby gonna be born during hunting season? No, we’re good. We’re good. This is awesome, honey. And so I find out she’s pregnant and you know, this is a pretty big deal. You know, it’s, Jason is our second kid, you know, this is, this is celebration. And so the way, the way it works out, you know, ladies schedule doctor’s appointments at the most inopportune time and she’s like, Hey, I got my first appointment on September 3rd. You’re gonna be there.

00:45:53:05 –> 00:45:53:29
Right? Oh

00:45:54:17 –> 00:46:41:03
Gosh. Honey, honey, honey honey. Wyoming opens September 1st. I’ve only been drawing this tag every other year. I know where there’s a good buck. Yeah. Can you handle this one without me? And dude, this is, this is the good wife. Yeah, absolutely. I got this. You, you don’t need to be there. It’s no problem. Could you at least call me though? You know, call me from the mountain. Let me tell you what happened to the doctor’s appointment. So I’m like, okay, so I gotta, I gotta speed up here. I’m gonna take forever. So I think I left on August 28th or, or I left on the 29th. Go back in there, set my camp up, you know, roughly a mile away. So I’m a long ways from him. I’m on a different mountain. I ain’t gonna bugger him up. I start glassing before the opener, find him right away.

00:46:41:11 –> 00:47:22:14
He is exactly in the same place as where he was. Wow. You know, he’s just seeing this little, little basin. It’s archery season back then. Hardly anybody hunted Wyoming for archery. Yeah. I got this buck to myself and I watch him a day or two. And he’s living on a really open slope with basically a couple small patches of timber and then a giant patch of timber. And there’s just really nowhere to stock him out on this open slope. You know, he needs to lay down in the timber. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty cool during the day still, you know, it’s 10,000 feet, so, you know, they’re not having to go get out of 90 degree heat or anything like that. And I had to call my wife. I hadn’t got a stock on him yet, but I had to call my wife. It might’ve been more like the second, ’cause I think I watched him a day or two.

00:47:22:16 –> 00:48:03:24
Yeah. So, I mean, I knew when the doctor appointment was, I got up on the little knob, you know, like a good husband, you know, I call one minute after the doctor appointment, she answers the phone, Hey honey, here I am. You know, how’d it go with the doctor? What’s going on? She goes, well, we’re gonna have twins. I said, I said, no, no, no. My, my wife dude is kind of a jokester and you know, she’s, she’s not one above to kind of mess with you when you’re on a hunt, you know? Oh geez. So I’m like, no, no, no, no, we’re not having twins. You’re just messing with me. ’cause I’m up here on the mountain, you know? Ha ha ha. You know, so is everything okay with our one baby that’s in the womb there? And she’s like, you can think whatever you want, but we are having twins.

00:48:04:11 –> 00:48:53:00
Well, dude, I know that tone of voice, you kinda learn the mama tones. Oh yeah. I thought, she’s not joking, Jason. I think I was visibly shaking on the mountain and I mean, happiness, fear, all that stuff at once. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So, so anyways, I thought, okay, baby, yeah, great. We got this. And she was really cool about it. She, she under, she, she wasn’t mad at me or anything, so I go to bed that night, I could hardly sleep. Jason. I got, oh, by the way, this buck turns out to be about two 20 to two 30. I can’t quite tell looking at him, but he’s a big, big buck. We’re not gonna, we’re not gonna let this one go. I hardly got any sleep that night. The, the, the next morning I got up and he had moved over to one of those small timber patches and, you know, we’re talking a patch that’s as big around as two or three school buses.

00:48:53:07 –> 00:49:27:21
And they fed there all morning. And I thought, you know, he’s probably gonna bed in there other way. He’s gonna walk all the way across this slope and get in that heavy timber over there. Yeah. And so I, I, I, I’d been watching him from like a, a long way, like a mile, you know, just, just giving him his space. Plus as you got closer, you couldn’t really see him. So I thought, okay, I’m just gonna go now. This is probably the best chance I’m gonna have. And I circled the basin, takes me like an hour to get over there. Same old deal. You always lose track of ’em. You never know exactly where they are. Yeah. You know, and I, and I get over there and none of the bucks are out on the slope. Now the slope has got sun, sun on it.

00:49:28:05 –> 00:50:10:29
And I, I, I, I, I looked down in that timber, get the, get the spotter set up, you know, I’m moving around and it takes me maybe a half an hour and I spot bucks laying down in that patch. And I thought, okay, well he’s in there. I guarantee he’s in there. So I, I cut a bunch of distance off, I get within, I don’t remember right, it’s been, it’s been 12, 13 years ago. I 50 yards, 45 yards. Yeah. I was within range of him. And there was just a little hump of dirt, the, you know, where the snow had slid off the mountain and pushed the dirt up. And I crawled up to that thing and I just poked my head above it, you know, it looked like a little cartoon character looking down on those trees. And he was with a buck that was about 180 and they were, I could tell it was his son.

00:50:11:04 –> 00:50:52:29
They had the same forks. This buck had a couple little cheaters, like the big guy did. And I can see that buck laying in there. In fact, for a minute or two, I’m thinking, is that him? Yeah, I can kill this buck right now. And I get looking, no, that’s the smaller one. So Jason, I sit there like 45 minutes an hour. Geez. And you know, you can, you know this, when you’re that close to ’em, you hear ’em down there. Oh, you hear, you hear a hoof hit the ground, you know, you hear antlers hitting the trees, you know, you hear ’em chewing. So I’m, I’m enjoying all this stuff and I’m, I’m just, I’m just ready, I’m ready for this buck to walk into an opening. I have a couple of shooting lanes and I can’t ever see the big one, but I can see butts and, you know, tips of antlers.

00:50:52:29 –> 00:51:31:14
I know he is in there. And as long as the wind doesn’t change, I know that, Hey dude, I got, I got all day. I lay here all day. Eventually he’s gonna get up and he’ll come out and, and, and, and get some feed. You can see the forest floor in there where they’re laying down. It’s all tying needles. There’s no feed. You know, they’re not gonna get up and feed in there. Yeah. So I got this buck, I don’t remember Jason, maybe an hour went by and I would look over that little rise, you know, every few minutes. And just one time I, I peaked over it and one of those little bucks had gotten up and, and changed beds. And he was looking right at me when I come up over the rise and they just don’t put up with that. I don’t care if they’re two point or not.

00:51:31:14 –> 00:52:13:17
No. They see movement. And so he, he just stands up immediately. So I come up on one knee, drew my bow, whatever the range was, I was ready. And the buck start pouring out the timber, one buck, two buck. I’m, I’m just putting pins on each one of one of ’em. They’re not really running, but they’re not gonna stop for very long. And out he comes. Oh God, it’s the first time I got a super good look at him. Yeah, he’s close. There’s crap everywhere. And he just comes trotting out all the bucks, go down the hill about 20 yards of stop and look up. He, as soon as he come out of the timber, he didn’t know where I was. But that, you know, this Jason, they pay attention to other bucks. They know where the danger’s coming from. Yeah. And he knew those other bucks are looking back up the hill.

00:52:13:17 –> 00:53:04:20
So I’m gonna go the other way. And all I ever saw was just, you know, glimpses of him. And he left that herd of bucks. I stayed up there for three more days. The other bucks, like, it always is, they stayed right there. I never saw him again. He left the herd. He did whatever he, he had done in the past to hide. So I ended up leaving like the sixth or seventh, got home rifle season opens on the 15th in Wyoming. I was, I got the good graces from the wife, got back up there 13th, 14th, something like that. He’s back, he’s back at that same, same timber pocket. And now I’m kinda learning. He knows that timber pocket is a good place to bed. And then he’s got escape routes up, down everywhere. He’s got the wind. He likes that place. Yep. So I’m, I’m, I’m watching him, hoping he’s gonna bet in there I’m still literally like three quarters of a mile away.

00:53:04:26 –> 00:53:42:05
’cause you know, once you get close, you, you, it’s, if you don’t know where they laid down, you don’t know where they go. You, you, you spook ’em. Yeah. Well some, some other guys. This is Wyoming. Wyoming. So you’re never alone. Some, there was no guys hunting right there on that slope. But there were, were guys down below. I heard some talking or horses or something and just kind of hope, I hope those guys stay over there. Well, this buck kind of gets in that timber and I, you know, I can’t see if he’s laying down or not, but all the bucks are right there. I thought, okay, just, just get over there and get him killed. Yeah. So I, I, I got over there and as I’m probably in the last five or 600 yards, which is getting close enough to shoot, but I can’t see the bucks.

00:53:42:25 –> 00:54:32:13
I hear some shots down there where those guys were, you know, boom, boom, geez, boom. And I’m thinking, oh God, hope they’re not shooting at these bucks. Oh crap. And I, I hurry forward, come up over a little rise, you know, throw my pack down and start glassing for the bucks. And dude, they’re all on high alert. They heard those shots. They’re looking down the mountain and here goes horny head, just like he did on the archery hunt. He left the bucs, he’s walking away from them while they’re standing there looking down the canyon at those shots. And he’s about four 50 walking. He’s not running, but he’s, he, you know, gigs up the, the sun’s up. I’m hearing shots. I’m outta here. So I got laid over the pack and I had a rangefinder then just an old Bushnell range finder, you know, and I arranged him a couple times, got some bushes and, and I’ve got crosshairs on the buck.

00:54:32:23 –> 00:55:11:23
But, you know, he’s kind of at a fast nervous walk at four 50. And, you know, I’m, I’m not Wyatt Earp, I’m not gonna take that shot. Right. He needs to stop. Right. And so Jason, it’s just the sickest feeling. I know this has happened to you. I’ve got cross hairs on the buck. I’m just waiting for him to stop. And dude, all he did was quicken his pace to pretty soon he is just some slow bounds as he goes into the shadows of that far, far big timber patch. Geez. I never, I never got to shoot dude. I just, and, and it’s okay. I mean, it was not, I didn’t really regret it in the sense of nod. I either missed or had a, you know, shot him in the ham. Right. I mean, it would not have been good. Not, not

00:55:11:23 –> 00:55:12:10
The right thing to do.

00:55:12:26 –> 00:56:04:20
Yeah. Yeah. So I was just sick dude. And, you know, and I did the, I did did my deal due diligence. I stayed a long time, three days, four more days, you know, getting to where I gotta get back to work now. Yeah. And I never saw him. And it probably left about the 20th, something like that. So, you know, I, I get home, put in a, you know, good week’s worth of work. And so if I remember right, it closed on about the fifth or the 7th of October that year. So I made, made plans to get up there, I think like the second, and try to hunt till the very end. I was gonna have like six or seven days. And I got up there probably about the second. It was just right. Big old snowstorm came in, you know, it ruins the glass and, but you know, it’s gonna, you know, kick most of the hunters out of the country and, you know, maybe this buck will get back into his pattern.

00:56:04:24 –> 00:56:44:29
It’s still early October. He is probably in his summer mode. So I get back in there, I’m fogged in for a couple of days. I’m only able to glass that mountain from that, you know, that place I glass from like three quarters of a mile away. I didn’t wanna go over there yet until I knew what was going on. And, and that, that 180 buck, I spotted him at dark on like the morning of the second day. The fog had lifted enough. And so I knew he was there, there was a couple other of those small bucks there. And I thought, well, this is good. At least those bucks are around. Of course they never leave, but, you know, at least they haven’t been pushed outta here. And I, I think that evening I was fogged in, I couldn’t glass. The next morning I glassed I found all the bucks again.

00:56:44:29 –> 00:57:28:24
And, and Jason, they’re still pretty close to that patch of timber. The, the, the little patch that they had bedded in, you know, they’re kind of feeding on that slope. So I’ve got, I think it’s the fourth now. And I’ve been there about three days. And I thought, you know what, enough of this long range stuff I need to get over there and just pussyfoot around on that mountain. This fog is gonna goof me up. I’m gonna lose my hunting days. I better just get over there. So I did, I got over there and, you know, we’re, I’m hunting in six inches of snow. Got a little weather radio. We’re supposed to get a big blizzard later that day. Yeah. And so I just start making circles around the top, glassing off all the slopes, glass on that timber and looking for tracks too. ’cause perfect tracking conditions.

00:57:29:01 –> 00:58:03:04
I got about three-fourths down the slope of that timber, close to that timber where I had seen ’em. And there were buck tracks there. I couldn’t see the bucks, but I could tell they had been here this morning. So I started kind of sorting out tracks. You know, this is one of those mornings you can’t see more than about a hundred yards ’cause of the fog. And dude, I found his track, and I, I didn’t tell you this, but when I spooked him during archery season, I, I went down and looked in his bed and I could see his track and Jason, the, he some deer, you know, they’re just like, you probably got a bigger foot than me. Whatever. He just had clamper tracks. I mean, it, it was as big as your fist. Yeah. It looked like a fist, you know, just rounded on the end.

00:58:03:04 –> 00:58:47:23
Yeah. And then that 180 buck he was with also had a good track. So here’s two tracks there, two sets of buck tracks. They’re not with the rest of the bucks. Crazy. And, you know, I sort ’em out. I’m like, Hey, these two big bucks are together this morning, and they are right here somewhere. These are smoking hot tracks. It had snowed during the night. There’s no snow in them. I know they’re on this slope and you know, this is a 45 degree slope. You know, this is one of those, you gotta have a walk and stick to stand up in the snow. So I, I didn’t track ’em a long ways, Jason, maybe about a quarter mile around the slope. He had moved to the east a little bit over towards that heavier timber where I’d lost him opening morning. And, you know, I’m trying to get above the tracks, but they’re climbing the slope and I, I just can’t physically out climb ’em.

00:58:47:23 –> 00:59:31:28
And so I’m cut sort of in their tracks. I don’t like doing that, but I’m trying to zigzag a little bit. And as I get into some, some broken spruce, it’s really foggy. I mean, you can feel this fog on your face. And you know, I I I, I’m, I’m, I’m just sure these bucks are within rifle range around me. And with my naked eye at about 80 yards, I spot some antlers laying underneath a big spruce. And it’s that 180 buck. And he’s just laying there and he’s not looking at me. He’s looking past me. I get the glass on him and I’m like, okay, that’s him. And I’m, I’ve just instantly, you know, I’m ready to kill. We’re gonna kill a buck here in the next 30 seconds if we do this right. I just figuring they’re both beded there. And I’ve got that walking stick I told you about.

00:59:32:01 –> 01:00:11:25
I just put my binoculars on the walking stick. The slope is so steep that I can, the walk and stick is at the nose of my level of my nose when I’m below it. And so I’m glassing, dude. I mean, almost like off a tripod, that 180 buck is laying there. I cannot see that other buck. He is nowhere back there. And like it always is. They kind of know when something’s going on. And he kind of started figuring out something was down there. The fog had kind of thinned enough and I think I got visible and he stood up and he stood up fast, you know, like he knew something was going on and, and now he’s, now he’s boing holes through me. And I’m like, oh crap. So I, I, I gave up on the binoculars, I slid my rifle up on that walking stick and flipped the safety off.

01:00:11:25 –> 01:00:47:19
And I thought, you know, this is gonna go down. It’s gonna go down fast, but I can’t see the other deer. And that other buck is looking at me. And this goes maybe 30 seconds to a minute. And all of a sudden right behind him, I see that big deer get up. And he had been on the backside of a spruce and he turned around and, and, and, and looked at that buck to see they key in on each other. You know this. Yeah. And he looked at that buck like, what are you looking at? Why are you getting outta bed so fast? Yeah. And, and, and it was him. I could see there was a little bit of white background behind him. I could see junk hanging off of his right antler. I knew it was him. And he’s just behind that other buck.

01:00:47:22 –> 01:01:36:05
And so all I can see is like his nose and I, and I can’t see any vitals and I just, just gave it a second longer. And then he stepped out just enough, just kind of took a step sideways from that buck. And so now I can see his Adam’s apple. I put the cross hairs that old weatherby ride on there, and I touched her off and go boom. And at the last second before I shot it was, I, I probably never get to see anything so cool in my life. Here’s two great bucks in that little four power Leopold scope. So it, it hit the big buck. And he, he kind of reard up a little bit like a horse and just spun on his back two feet and just took off. Well that other buck was so stunned at what just happened. He probably literally looked at me five more seconds, you know, just, you almost see the look of disbelief on his, on his face.

01:01:36:26 –> 01:02:14:02
He took off, I’ll end it here. It was a short tracking job. That bullet had gone in right underneath his chin. He only made it a hundred yards. He wouldn’t have gone that far if the slope hadn’t have been Wow. That steep. And so I think when I got down to him, I counted it up. It had been like 16 days of, of hunting on that mountain between archery and, and, and rifle, you know, all the time that I had spent up there. So he was a 2 24 and six eights buck. Last really big buck that I’ve killed was him. And I was, I was so thrilled and just, you know. Oh, for sure.

01:02:14:18 –> 01:02:17:07
So how far was he from when you’d seen him in the summer?

01:02:17:16 –> 01:02:29:24
He stayed on that same slope. Every time I saw him. He was in the same place, but he was not there every day. So where I killed him was probably about 150 yards from where I stalked him during archery season. Come on. He had just moved all the

01:02:29:24 –> 01:02:31:08
Weather, weather time,

01:02:31:17 –> 01:02:32:01

01:02:32:08 –> 01:02:32:28

01:02:33:18 –> 01:03:23:07
Hunters too. And like I said, there was that big patch of timber that, you know, once they got in there, you could hardly find him. And then that little patch of timber Jason, when, when nobody was bugging him, he lived in a, I dunno, three or 400 yard circle. Yeah. He, you know, every time I saw him, he was right there. And I have seen that so many times with these bucks that don’t, that don’t live at extreme high elevation, you know, that have to migrate early. Yeah. You know, he just, and, and, and you know, it’s not always like that. I’ve, I’ve hunted other bucks and you know, they just leave. I think it has to do with a lot of hunting pressure. There was guys hunting up there that year, but I never saw anybody right there on that slope, you know that Right. Kind of little half mile area. Right. Just the days I was there, I never saw anybody go down there. So I think that he would just get settled down and just let things go back to normal. And then he would just resume his room, resume his deal. So, wow. Anyways, there’s one that didn’t get away.

01:03:24:26 –> 01:04:12:05
Well, I’ve got, so I got to thinking, you know, we were talking about deer being smart and learning of their environment and, and whatnot, and some of these things that keep these deer alive. I got a story about a, a deer buddy of mine had a tag. He’d helped me out on some hunts and I was helping him. We worked our guts out. This was a general season, Utah, here on Southwest Desert. So just general season, tons of hunters and, and whatnot. And, but there’s some big deer. I mean, there’s some great genetics there. So we got going and we worked it hard. I mean, we went from one end of the unit to the other. We knew it very well. I had guided multiple elk clients on the southwest desert and course had my own deer tags and, and whatnot. Knew it very well.

01:04:12:05 –> 01:05:12:04
But then, but just hadn’t found a deer that we really wanted, but hit some of these, these low lying country and some of this country that nobody hunts, you know, didn’t go to the traditional spots where there’s lots of deer. Usually we’re trying to hunt deer where there’s very few deer. But anyway, we got cranking and, and I don’t know how many days we were into it scouting and hunting, but it was, it was quite a few. Anyway, we went up into this country, got up on top of this big great big boulder type type mountain. You know, it’s probably oh, 700 feet up off the floor straight up. And then once you get up on there, you can cover, you can sit there with the fifteens, even tens on a tripod, which we do a lot. But you can cover all this country and look into these drainages and you know, you’re looking between 200 yards and, and a mile and a half. And so we’re just covering the country. But as we’re doing that, you know, we didn’t realize how many hunters were gonna be in here. I mean, it was,

01:05:12:05 –> 01:05:13:28
So the se the season’s open now, season’s

01:05:13:28 –> 01:05:56:05
Open scouting anymore. Oh, okay. Gotcha. The season’s open. It’s the rifle hunt. And, and we’re just like, wow, there are hunters everywhere. It was, it was unbelievable. We’re picking up deer and we’re picking up bucks and whatnot. And so it was one of those mornings, it was beautiful morning. We’re just, we’re kicked back. We’re g glassing our guts out. Just enjoying the morning, watching people, Hey, you know, you can, you watch a guy kill a buck, you know, a mile away or whatever, and you, you know, you kinda keep tabs on him and just, you kinda wanna know, watch ’em go and grab the buck. And I mean, it was a kind of a fun morning, like, kinda like your Wyoming hunt, but obviously, you know, we, it wasn’t a 220 inch deer, but you, you’re seeing other hunters. You’re seeing another activity and it’s just, it’s interesting.

01:05:56:05 –> 01:06:40:08
Everything’s interesting. You feel like you’re not, it’s not gonna happen, you know, but you’re there. And so what else are you gonna do? You know, you’ve, you’ve put your eggs in that basket for that morning. And so, you know, we’re glassing and, and we glass up a good deer, a a great four point bucks straight up for great mass. And then, and so we’re like, man, that’s a great buck We watch in bed and we’re trying to decide, you know, bucks will get up after 20 or 30 minutes or of their first bed, and then they’ll usually, we find they’re usually settling in for a couple hours once they do that same here. Yeah. Once you do that, you can kind of, now it’s the time to move that they, you’ve got ’em pegged and, and you’ve got a good chunk of time before they’re gonna want to get up in midday feed.

01:06:40:29 –> 01:07:21:10
So anyway, we’re starting to get, pack our stuff and we’re getting antsy. We’re gonna get into the deer’s bedroom and try to get him killed. And we look over to the side and there’s a little patch of orange, you know, and we’re like, are you crapping me? What are the chances freaking guys are coming up on this deer? And we assume they see ’em, right? I mean, you assume it. And so you’re like, well, that’s fine. You’re not gonna, there’s another deer we’re not gonna kill. And so let’s watch and see how this plays out. Well, they’re on the same hill as this deer, super thick trees. Same, same hill. And they’re coming up on this deer. And I’m like, this ain’t gonna be pretty. I mean, they’re gonna, this deer’s gonna blow. They’re gonna shoot from the hip and who knows what’s gonna happen, right?

01:07:21:25 –> 01:08:08:29
I mean, they’re getting close to this deer. They pass, they pass within 25 to 30 yards of this deer. This deer doesn’t move. He’s betted. He doesn’t move. And, and they go walk by him. They walk by the deer and then they set up on this, the edge of this ridge look overlooking this ravine. They have no idea. This deer’s there, this deer is looking through the trees at this is super thick. It’s super thick. He’s looking through the trees at ’em, dead on ears forward, dead on watching them. Okay. What pieces of them, whatever he can see, they’re glass. And they spot like a two by three down below ’em. And they start laying into this two by three. I mean, we counted nine rounds went off. What do you think this deer did?

01:08:10:29 –> 01:08:11:29
Let’s see if I had to

01:08:11:29 –> 01:08:13:29
Guess. 25 yards, nine rounds.

01:08:14:15 –> 01:08:15:13
He pulled his ground.

01:08:16:07 –> 01:08:40:24
He didn’t move. Yep. He didn’t move. I, we were shocked. We were shocked. I was like, I cannot believe it. They hooped, hollered, went down there, collected their prize, left the deer, didn’t move. Amazing. Went in there, we went in there and, and he smoked him at like 10 yards. Shot through the tree, a little, little opening through the tree and smoked this.

01:08:40:27 –> 01:08:41:24
Just still hunted up

01:08:41:24 –> 01:08:43:17
On him. We did. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. ’cause you couldn’t

01:08:43:17 –> 01:08:44:26
Really, really stalk him. Sight.

01:08:45:03 –> 01:09:33:11
Yeah. You can’t stalk him. Sight. So, and I watched the whole thing and, and we ended up killing the deer. But it’s interesting, when we killed this deer, I felt bad. I felt guilt. Like this deer deserved to live, you know what I mean? Like, like we killed this deer. But I mean, this was an unbelievable, the whole morning pla the way the whole morning played out and, and watching the deer, it’s like, hmm. I just kind of wish he’d had got away. You know what I mean? Yeah. And, and, and my, and my buddy too. You have such a respect for him. And you’re like, I can’t believe what I just witnessed. And then, and because of that, we knew the deer would hold tight. We knew he’d just gotten away with it. He, he held tight and he didn’t get killed. So it’s another, in his mind he’s thinking, that worked.

01:09:33:15 –> 01:10:12:08
I’m gonna do that again. You know? And however many times he’s done it before in his life and he, how he learned how to do that. And then we go in there, he holds tight and we smoke him. And it was just like, man, I mean, it’s just one of those things. And, and I feel a little bad on every kill. I, I, you know. Yeah. I love it. I love putting my hands on ’em. And you get to preserve ’em forever. You get to look at ’em in your house and it reminds you of all the memories and kids or whoever’s involved and the whole story. And all of those reasons. We hunt tons of reasons on top of putting your hands around big stuff. That’s awesome too. You know? But at the same time, you have such a respect and, and every deer’s a little different.

01:10:12:08 –> 01:10:54:03
And that kind of goes, you know, you just, it it reinforced that these deer learn how to live amongst hunters. Your deer learn how to live my deer, learn how to live this deer learns how to live. They, they adapt and learn from their experiences. And most guys would’ve said, that’s the smartest deer I ever saw. You know, that’s a smart deer. Yeah, he’s smart. But he’s also, he’s just learned, he’s adapted. That’s why he is big on a general season. That’s why he is big old freaking heavy. Zo awesome, great buck. And he’s, ’cause he got to live to maturity. And how did he get to live to maturity? Is he learned? You know? And, and a lot of these deer don’t learn. They’re, they’re two and a half, three and a half years old, even four and a half. They’re starting to pick it up.

01:10:54:18 –> 01:11:59:28
But by five and a half, six and a half, seven and a half years old. And then, and you, and you kill a deer, you kill a deer with flat teeth, you know, he is even eight and a half, nine. You just go, wow. You know, lived his full life, learned how to live in his environment. Some crazy stuff. You know, I’ve seen a lot of deer. I mean, I used to have a saying, if there’s a coyote, there’s a deer, it don’t matter. Yep. And that’s what I, and I lived by that like, and so I, it, it, it kind of helped me go to crazy places. There’s coyotes everywhere though. There’s deer, there’s deer everywhere. It didn’t have to be a single tree. It could be the flattest of the flat, the craziest of the crazy underneath Red Rock ledges. You know, even in Arizona where there’s no trees or very little where there’s a coyote, there’s a deer. And, and that’s just, and that just kind of has kept, kept me going to, you know, kind of think outside the box and whatnot. And so anyway, that was a, that was a pretty fun story. A little wrap up on this story. And I know there’s probably a few other guys that have had this happen. We go to tag the deer and there’s no tag.

01:12:01:21 –> 01:12:59:24
And my buddy’s like, my buddy’s like, I have no tag. And I’m like, really? You have no tag here I am being the Good Samaritan and I’m gonna get, I’m gonna get charged for wanting waste wildlife or some kind of aiding and abetting or you know, did some kind of felony and forevermore be in jail and not see my kids graduate from high school. Right. And so, and I’m like, wonderful. This is wonderful. I’m like, well, think about when did you have it? He says, you know, I left, when we left camp, I had it. And I’m like, well, you know, you had to use the bathroom, you know, 30 minutes into our trip over here. And we had about an hour and a half drive. And I’m like, that’s an hour. And so he is like, yeah, you know, that’s right. And of course he had to pull his drawers down and, you know what I mean? And you could just see how all this is playing out. Your, your tag is right there where you took a dump. You know what I mean? And so we went back, you can’t, you don’t move him. Right. You don’t move him. I mean you can’t, you know. Yeah. You don’t need

01:12:59:24 –> 01:13:00:17
Touch him. Yeah.

01:13:00:17 –> 01:14:07:28
You can’t, you can’t move him. ’cause once you do, you, you know, every state’s got different laws. But anyway, you are like, well he is gotta lay here and we gotta go find that tag before we actually claim the prize. You know? Yeah. And so we drive all the way back, find the, find his foot tracks, ended up finding his foot tracks. ’cause it was middle, it was, keep in mind, an hour and a half, two hours before daylight before. Oh yeah. You know, while we’re, when he’s doing, when he had to use the bathroom. And so we find his foot tracks off in the brush, he tracks himself down and the tag’s laying next to the pile. Can you believe that? And so he grabs the tag, we go back, tag the back, put you know, dragging back, throw him in the side by side. And we’re happy. But I mean, just collapse. I mean you could see, you could just imagine my, my deer in the headlight look like here I am trying to make a living in the hunting industry. We, we hammer a buck. Dude’s standing there without a tag. I’m trying to be a good guy and, and help him out and, and whatnot. And you, you’d, and here we are. I’m, I’m standing here with an untagged buck. I mean, it, it got, it got real pretty fast. But then it all was all, all ended now. And,

01:14:08:11 –> 01:14:13:13
And then you gotta leave the buck. Which means anybody that comes across him, Hey, look here, he

01:14:13:13 –> 01:14:31:19
Got a big buck. Yeah. By the way, lemme tell you how I killed him. You know what I mean? They’re never gonna admit they just walked up upon a deer. I mean, it would’ve been, it it was, yeah. It was, it was one of those deer in the headlight moments get a dry throat and, you know, swallow hard and you’re like, well I don’t know what’s gonna happen here, but we gotta find a tag.

01:14:31:21 –> 01:15:22:11
You know, that, that story too, just like the first one you told about the buck that around the boulder and when the truck come driving down the road that he, this buck held tight too. And when you asked me, guess what he did? I was getting my, I had two guesses. I was gonna say, he held tight. My other guess was he got up and snuck away. I I i, I knew he didn’t just blow out of there. ’cause they, they rarely do. And I, I try to remember that when I’m in the woods and, you know, especially where I’m hunting, where there’s thicker covering everything. There’s probably big bucks right here. They’re probably right here somewhere. And I’m not seeing ’em, I don’t care if I have 10, 10,000 pair of binoculars on, on this hillside. I may not see ’em if they’re in the cover. And it, it just kind of helps me slow down. It doesn’t always work. ’cause there’s not always one around. But that’s right. I have just watched too many big, big antlers go busting through the trees with no shot because you know, I’m lollygagging along. Oh, there ain’t no deer around here.

01:15:22:25 –> 01:16:05:04
Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly right. And I think another thing is sometimes we all, I get guys and we’re gonna do another podcast on what to how to hunt a new unit you’ve never been in. And we get so many questions about that. I think some guys, you know, a lot of guys, you know, they think the further away from the road you go, the bigger the deer or the better chance you have at a giant or whatever. And some, to some degree there are less bucks maybe being harvested. And so you get, you could possibly have a few more bucks making it to maturity, even dying of old age. But, but more or less, more what I’ve found is big deer are killed where there’s great feed. And it doesn’t matter if it’s next to roads or not, they’re gonna learn how to adapt to their environment.

01:16:06:01 –> 01:16:42:28
They’re gonna, they’re, they’re gonna going to learn, a few of them are gonna learn how to, how to live to, to an old age. And feed is more important than going into a thick wilderness country that has poor feed. And, and so if you’re hunting a burn or, or whatever, I’ve just seen it, I’ve seen it for years and years. Like the e in fact you name, if you named you think of all the 400 inch bulls that you know of that have been killed and, and what we see on social media. How many of those are in a wilderness? How many, many, many. Not many. I i can’t even think of one there. There probably is one, especially Wyoming,

01:16:43:00 –> 01:16:44:11
Maybe north of Jackson,

01:16:44:11 –> 01:17:00:00
Especially Wyoming. Wyoming has some of those 51, 52 type units that’ll produce ’em in a wilderness. But if you’re talking like, let’s talk Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Nevada, Montana, garbage, wilderness, some of this crazy country Montana y you know

01:17:00:00 –> 01:17:02:04
Eastern Montana. Yeah, Eastern Montana.

01:17:02:06 –> 01:17:54:23
Yeah. You think about it, you know there are some wilderness country that’ll produce a 400 inch bull. And so I do take that back, I guess with the Wyoming and what I know of a few, but honestly it is, it’s more in my mind in relation to management tags given in a unit, game management. And, and they might even accidentally manage conservatively. And so you end up with some older age class polls. ’cause a lot of states don’t like to waste wildlife. They like to, they like to harvest and sell tags and then and, and then feed related and, and if they can learn how to escape or, and maybe it’s season related and different things in New Mexico has short seasons and doesn’t hunt ’em in the rutt with a rifle. Things like that, that equals big animals. And so anyway, it’s not just a let’s go to the furthest, deepest portion of the unit and I’m gonna find a giant. You you, you may, you may find a giant, but you know, I I I look for feed more than anything. So anyway,

01:17:55:02 –> 01:18:44:07
And the thing is about those places that you’re talking about, Jason, that’s like 20 years ago that, that was the tactic of just go the furthest Yeah. Get away from everybody. That has changed a lot. Now I still try to find those places. I scout ’em and everything, but, but year after year, I’m finding jalapeno dude, he lived on public ground one half to one mile from a road. He was never any further than that. And to my knowledge, he was never hunter killed. He, he went or killed or he, you know, he blind killed or something. And he lived in a place like that. And yet, you know, 20 years ago Yeah. Back, you know, up in the hoback and you know, way back in there and stuff there. I mean, you go to those places now, there’s more people there Yeah. Than there are in some of these places.

01:18:44:28 –> 01:19:20:29
I mean, it can’t be stupid with roads. I mean it can’t be, you know, glass in between roads, you know, and shooting from. It can’t be that way. I mean, no, I don’t see, at least around here, I don’t see bucks get old in that country. They, they gotta have some escapement. But if there’s escapement and, and and, and there’s, there’s there’s people around and they have cover, they, they, they can still do it. And sometimes those bucks, Jason, you’ve told about two of them today to me, are the ones that are, that are more likely to hold tight a high country buck because they don’t see many people, you know, recreating and you know, there’s like the low country bucks around here. They see the farmer, they see the berry pickers, they

01:19:20:29 –> 01:19:21:22
See they’re used to their environment.

01:19:22:04 –> 01:20:19:10
There you go. And so human scent does not freak them out like a high country buck, a high country buck when they smell you. I’ve seen ’em disappear for the season on bald mountains where there’s no hunters and I, they still don’t come back once I, once I’ve spooked them. And, and so, so yeah, some of this, there’s a lot of deer country in the west that has big deer in it that you can’t just get focused on the furthest, highest peak I think on X now they, they’ve got a little function on there. I haven’t found it yet. Where you can, you can find the most remote remote place in the unit. Well unless that’s a draw tag unit. You know what I’d do with that, the information. I’d say, okay, I’m not gonna go there because that’s where everybody’s gonna go. Right. I’m gonna go look at some of this other stuff and just, just how it’s, you know, it’s just, it’s just what’s changed. And I think it applies to deer end elk and you know, I’m always gonna try to hunt the remote stuff, but I’m not gonna overlook some of this other stuff that might have some escape and you know, maybe it’s just private land, not a bunch of people hunting it. But they don’t have to be back on the highest furthest peak. I agree with you a hundred percent Jason.

01:20:19:10 –> 01:20:29:19
Yeah. And there’s some big deer taken in some of that country. But anyway, I know we’re gonna go long on this. I still want to, I don’t know if you’ve got another story you wanna share. I’m happy to listen. I’ve got a story or two.

01:20:30:18 –> 01:20:33:02
I got a pile of them here. I got a whole clipboard full of them.

01:20:33:25 –> 01:20:38:02
Give us, give us ano well a how’d the twins turn out?

01:20:38:27 –> 01:21:21:25
Dude, the twins are awesome. They’re, they’re 12 years old now. And I’m, Jody had a, had a, a pretty tough pregnancy that that year and I, I nicknamed her the short bus ’cause that’s what she looked like kind of the last month of her pregnancy. Yeah. I’m, I’m real nice here. You can tell, you can tell we get along. She could only lay down the entire last month. But she is such a good wife, dude. We had those twins. She took the brunt of it. I had to go back to work. She put up with all the sleepless nights and everything. But it, it, it, it was good. I missed a lot of hunting the next year or two and that was okay. Totally worth it. But, but thanks for asking. They’re doing good. And honestly I’d do it again tomorrow if I had the chance.

01:21:22:01 –> 01:21:41:11
You bet. Yeah. Well as you say, they take the brunt of it. And that’s, that’s the truth. My wife’s a trooper, but it’s also a good, good reason to breastfeed ’cause you and I can’t do that. So two in the morning, two, three in the morning, four, whatever it is. It’s like, geez. I’m, I’m sorry honey, you got this one. You got it.

01:21:41:16 –> 01:21:44:06
I’m, I’m sorry honey, I’m just gonna have to sit here and watch.

01:21:45:18 –> 01:21:56:28
Alright. So yeah, hit hit me with a, hit me with another story. I don’t wanna wear you out, but I’m, I’m, I’m, I know, dude, I might be cracking another monster. We’ll do, we’ll do a couple of these podcasts, but let’s Okay

01:21:56:29 –> 01:22:36:02
Bud. Okay. So let’s see. You know, following your advice over the years, knowing you as a friend over the years, I’ve, I’ve made sure I’m always applying in good units. I, I don’t count on ’em, I don’t worry about ’em. But I do put my application in here and there on Sure. On good hunts. And in 2015 I drew one, I drew one of the Idaho late buck hunts. As everybody knows, we got a few late butt hunts on general season units that give you some killer dates. You know, you can hunt till the 24th of November or the 30th depending on the unit. And by goodness, I drew my first one of my life back in 2015. And I try to only apply in units I know pretty good or have helped people or whatever. And it was one of those units, it’s not one of our best late buck hunts.

01:22:36:02 –> 01:23:25:23
It’s really not, but it’s got potential on it. So it was open until the 30th. And they’re ridiculously, they’re, they’re open ridiculously long. They open on like October 10th and then run until the 30th. I didn’t even worry about that first six or seven weeks of the season. And I started hunting on the 18th of November. I had the last 13 days to hunt. I, I put a road camp in the, in the, in the part of the unit that was halfway between the winter range and the sum, the summer range. I knew the bucks would be in transition then. We hadn’t had any big snow, but we were getting snow. It wasn’t like a mass migration was on. And I put my camp in there. I had to like lead a horse back on a, on a road tied to my truck because you couldn’t get a horse trailer in there.

01:23:26:04 –> 01:24:09:24
So I was set up. The only thing that was kind of a bummer about it is I was all by myself and man, the woods are not very friendly in mid-November at 8,000 feet in Idaho, when you’re by yourself and I started hunting on the 18th. I, you know, I I I do what you do just ’cause I’ve learned a lot from you. I, I just tried to cover a lot of country. ’cause even though I knew the unit well you just don’t know where the bucks are gonna be, you know? Right. You can’t really scout ’em. They’re, they’re where they are that day. And I spent, if I remember right, probably about five or six days, either glass, it was so cold in the mornings, you almost couldn’t ride a horse. I mean, literally below zero every morning. You couldn’t, you didn’t really need, you could have, but you didn’t really need to ride a horse in the dark to get up the mountain.

01:24:10:02 –> 01:24:53:11
You could back up a mile in your pickup and run the heater and you know, run the big fifteens, run the, the 25 to 50 and just really look at the deer. And I think by about day five, I had looked at, I dunno, 30 bucks, 40 bucks. Best one I saw was it was about a 180 buck. I sort of tried to kill him because I wasn’t sure what he was. I thought I better get in there in case he’s big. He ended up being, having a couple cheaters, 180 5 gross. I let him, I let him walk. And then we got a snowstorm. This is probably getting to be like the 23rd, 24th. And it was just an, it wasn’t a big snow, but it was just enough to knock those deer out of that country. And I had used the horse to get back into, onto some, some finger ridges that had no road access.

01:24:53:28 –> 01:25:44:00
And I had quit seeing deer back there. All that was kind of left were some, you know, big bull elk passing through. So I thought, well these deer are probably not at this elevation anymore. And so I packed out, drove back to idle falls, got a, got another horse and went around to the winter range portion of the unit. Now the winter range is really low in this unit. Yeah. And they typically do not show up in, in, in there where you can kind of camp from the road. They don’t show up that low until the very, very end of that season. If you got enough snow and sometimes not even until mid-December, they just don’t show up. I knew enough about the, that to don’t spend too much time low. So I, I packed in up one of the canyons in the, on, on the winter range so that I was about two or three miles back in.

01:25:44:10 –> 01:26:28:28
And then I was hunting more like now like 6,500 feet to 7,000 feet. Yeah. Right around in there. And I hit it just right Jason, the deer that had left the country, I had road camped in. Were now starting to show up at that elevation. Now, I don’t mean I had ’em named or anything. I could just tell by the tracks that there had not been deer here before this snowstorm and now there’s deer. These are the, these are the deer that are coming in. And because it’s a general season unit, even though it’s, you know, killer dates, you know, it’s not a super great buck to-do ratio. We don’t have a super great age class. You still gotta look at a lot of deer. So I think by about the 26 or 27, you know, it’s, it’s 10 below, eight below in the mornings, and now I have to ride a horse in the mornings, you know, otherwise I’m stuck in the bottom.

01:26:29:13 –> 01:27:14:07
So, you know, I’m getting up on the ridges by daylight, long distance glassing, just trying to look at ano a lot of bucks. You know, I got the Kaibab fifteens out there. I’m looking at a lot of bucks and I’m, I’m racking up a lot of 24, 25, 20 Sixers, you know, bucks that are gonna be pretty good in two or three years, but nothing real old. And the, it was funny, Jason, to watch that migration, like every day it just got more intense. And by the 26 it looked like you’ve been where the sheep herders drive their sheep. It looked like a herd of sheep had come through their deer and elk. And you know, they, it’s funny even with hardly any hunting pressure. Wow. I mean there’s only like 30 tags or something. Yeah. You know, those deer are still kind of moving at night, you know.

01:27:14:07 –> 01:27:49:22
Yeah. They really were moving at night. And so I, you know, I get out there in the morning, I’m like, wow. A lot of deer came through here that I didn’t even get a look at. And it’s getting down to crunch time. It’s gonna close on the 30th and now it’s the 27th. I haven’t seen a real great buck yet. So I’m, I am basically glassing in the morning until I’m shaking so bad I can’t see through my binoculars. And then I’m hiking and then glassing, the horse was only good to get you to the top of the ridge after that. You, you needed to hike anyway. You were just gonna spook deer and you had to hike to stay warm. And so I think it was the 27th, it was about three o’clock in the afternoon. I had glassed up about a 28 inch buck that morning with a big cheater on him.

01:27:49:24 –> 01:28:34:23
I thought, you know, he’s the last half a day buck right there. We’ll just leave him alone, see what else shows up. And I’m, I’m, I’m still hunting along a ridge, looking down into some, some, some quay country. All the leaves are off the quakes. Not a lot of deer now. I mean, it’s like, you know, I’ve probably only seen about 20 deer that day. And at, at three o’clock in the afternoon, I’m, I’m laying in some rocks, glassing and just down the canyon from me, five, 600 yards away is a buck walking and he’s walking away from me. I got the, I got the soro spotter on him and I just took a, a good look at him. He was walking away from me. That’s never a good angle. Yeah. But I, I could tell this, this buck’s got 20 inch G twos. I mean, he’s, he’s a good tall buck.

01:28:34:25 –> 01:29:09:10
Not overly heavy, but by far the best buck I’ve seen. I keep the spotter on him. He’s been walking in broken timber. You can’t really get a good look at him. He, he finally turns sideways. Yep. He’s got four points per side. He’s got eye guards. That buck should be one 90 gross is kind of what I, what I nailed him at. And I thought, you know, I’ve only got three days here. You know, the migration is the, the weather’s getting it, it, it’s, it, it’s cold and dry now. It’s not like we’re gonna get another big snowstorm and push some more deer in there. I’m thinking I’m probably looking at the deer that are here. Yeah. So I thought I, I better try to at least kill this buck, you know, if, if he gives me an opportunity, I better try to kill him.

01:29:09:10 –> 01:29:51:29
Couldn’t shoot from where I was at. Just, just just the wrong angle. So I took off running and literally running through the timber, circled around the bowl, come out at the edge of the timber, tried to slow down the last, you know, a hundred yards. So I wasn’t breathing so hard when I come out, come out of the timber, I already had my pack in my hand so I could, I could build a rest. And I come out of the timber, got him a little rise, just, you know, five feet rise so I could see above the country. And I laid my pack down and started glassing. And he was out there and he was about four 50. I I hit him with the rangefinder and he had heard me Jason or geez, or he was just really alert, I’m not sure. But he was looking back right up at me. Yeah. And you know, he is not ready to blow, but you know, you can tell he is not just doing the, you better figure,

01:29:51:29 –> 01:29:55:11
Figure it out. You knew you. Yeah, exactly. You had a short amount of time. You gotta figure it out.

01:29:55:12 –> 01:30:36:10
Yeah. Yep. There’s no, oh, I’m gonna, you know, score him up here and make sure he meets the grade. It was like, okay, that buck’s 28. He’s got deep forks. I I need to kill him. He’s, he’s kind of at a steep angle quarter and looking back at me, and this was my first year to go into hash marks. I don’t shoot dial ball scopes, but I do like hash marks and shooting a Vortex Viper. So I had a hash mark for four 60 shooting a two 70 Winchester short Magnum. So I, I laid that hash, that four 60 hash mark at the bottom of, of, of his rib, of his last rib. He was quartering enough and touched her off. And at that distance you can usually hear if you hit him, you know. Yeah. ’cause of the saw the shot has settled down enough.

01:30:36:24 –> 01:31:12:18
I was pretty sure I heard a WP but you know, I’m shooting a six and a half pound gun, so you don’t get to watch the bullet or anything, you know, and next thing I know, he’s trotting off the knob and he goes down into a, a, a big timber, not a canyon, but more like a timbered draw. I watched five, 10 minutes. He, he never come back out. There was more open country beyond that draw. He didn’t come out into that. So I thought, okay, well I either blew the shot or you know, he’s laying down there, made a big circle around the top, you know, I’ve learned not to rush in. Geez, I’ve ru rushed in on wounded bucks. They jump up and run off. You never get a shot. Stayed above him, got around there and dude, it’s been like 45 minutes since I’ve shot now.

01:31:12:18 –> 01:31:59:16
Yeah. And I am not seeing him. I did not go down to the blood. It was too steep. Didn’t even know if there’s blood down there. Got around and you know, now I’m like picking everything apart with my eight power Soros. You know, just, is he here? I spot his antlers, sticking above the brush, laying down probably about 150 yards from where I shot him. So I thought, ooh, he’s probably hit and he’s not hit good or I just completely missed and he’s hiding. So I put on the, you know, the super, super stealth stock, you know, he’s all I could shoot was the top of his antlers. So I had to get closer. Yeah. And if I remember right, I got within 80 yards and he stood up. Yeah. And when he stood up, you know, your brain kind of tells you, oh, he’s hurt. I could tell he was hurt and I had hit him that first shot I got another I missed. But then I got another bullet in him, you know, I mean, 80 yards. You wanna give him a warning shot, you don’t wanna

01:31:59:25 –> 01:32:00:16
Yeah, exactly. It’s

01:32:00:16 –> 01:32:36:22
Pretty easy. So I missed the shot. I pulled it right in front of him, but, you know, he was hurt enough. He started, he started trying to get away and then, and I, and I got him and I got down there and, you know, it’s, it, the sun is setting now. It’s gets dark, it gets dark early then, and it’s getting cold, you know, it’s already below zero. And I got down to him and, and he was a good buck. I mean, you hope for better on a tag like that, but he ended up being 180 7 gross. I didn’t, he didn’t quite hit the one 90, but I was really happy with it. Absolutely. He’s got some of the best rear forks I’ve ever seen. What cost him a little bit as he did have front forks, because I didn’t get to look at ’em real long.

01:32:36:25 –> 01:33:27:08
They were only about, if I remember right, five to eight inches long. You know, if he would’ve had even 10 inch front forks, which are not that great, you know, we we’re talking a net net typical, but I don’t care. I would kill him today. Yeah, he was a good buck, very best buck I saw on that hunt. I got him lab age, he turned out to be seven years old and then, then that next three days, I knew a couple other tag holders in that unit. It just got tougher the next three days. Yeah. So it, it was a wise decision. I was really happy with him. Learned a lot about hunting, the migration. Kind of got to test out what you said on the rutt. Just, just look at a lot of bucks because if I had just tried to, you know, like, well this is a good canyon, I’m just gonna stay here and wait for ’em to show up, I wouldn’t have got a good buck because there just, there’s not enough good bucks to do that. The chance you’re

01:33:27:08 –> 01:33:39:06
Draw, the chances are slow, the chances are slim. If you stay in one spot like that, you’re limiting yourself. You’ve gotta, you gotta move, you know, depending on the season. I mean everything, we, we adjust our strategies depending on the season.

01:33:40:16 –> 01:34:17:21
And that was rut migration. And that’s what I thought is, I, I gotta a look at a, at a lot of bucks. And so I learned a lot on that, hon. I really did. But I also learned that you guys don’t need to chase the flipping high point draw hunts because I’ve killed bigger bucks on general season tags than that buck. Oh yeah. And probably ’cause you hunt ’em more. I mean, obviously, but I dunno, every once in a while I run into a guy and he’s just, he’s just waiting for the tag. And I’m like, dude, the odds are you’re probably not gonna kill a giant on that tag unless you’ve got an outfit or scouting for you. And a lot of people, and it’s a, you know, the type of hunt where you can Prescott, you’re probably not gonna kill a giant buck because you’re only gonna get a hunt at once and then it’s over.

01:34:17:29 –> 01:34:44:26
And I don’t care if you scout it from, you know, May 31st when the tag results come out till the, till the day of the hunt, you’re still not gonna know it all. And then you go through all the problems of trying to judge a buck correctly. You might not shoot the biggest buck. So I’m just trying to encourage guys, if, you know, if you, most of the states have drawn, now, we’ve only got a couple now, what, Idaho, Wyoming. Yeah, exactly. And Arizona that, you know what, if you haven’t drawn, don’t worry about it, man. The, the, the west is covered with units that still have good bucks in ’em and we just need to get out there and, and get after it.

01:34:45:02 –> 01:35:34:28
That’s right. You know, and a couple, well, you’re a hundred percent right. Some of my biggest deer have come from general stuff or, or easy to draw stuff, you know, even drawing second choice tags or, you know, point or two in Colorado or whatever. So there’s, there’s a lot, you know, some of the takeaway. One, one thing I was, I, you know, on your, on this particular hunt when you were saying you were grabbing your backpack, could you would use it as a rest or, or were willing to use it as a rest. And so, you know, that’s the one thing I think I try to never take an offhand shot. Sometimes we have to. Right? Sometimes, sometimes. And, and never would I over a hundred yards no matter what. I’m not, I’m not steady, like you said, I’m not wide earp, neither am I, you know, and, and you know, and, and I don’t know if Wyatt, Earps wide Earp, but anyway, you know, I, I don’t feel, you know, I’m always wanting to take a rest.

01:35:35:02 –> 01:36:20:06
And, and I think what you’ve gotta do, you know, killing big bucks is we control the things we can control and, and I can control my, my shot as best as I can. So if it takes a rest, I need a rest. I know I need a rest, I wanna rest. So I take an extra 10 seconds. That’s one thing that I will take a little more time. A lot of times when you’re in the heat of battle, I call it the heat of battle, and you, you know, something’s gonna die quick and it needs to die quicker. He is gonna blow. I do take a little time for a rest. In my opinion, having a rest is killed more big bucks for me than maybe I, I say that. But anyway, it’s a common factor when killing big deer. I, Jason. So whether it be just a, a limb against a tree, maybe it is a bipod, maybe you have all the time in the world, you’ve got stories on that.

01:36:20:11 –> 01:37:00:11
No problem. That wonderful. You know, you always put a rest, you know, piece backpack or your sweatshirt watered up underneath the buddy of your gun with a Harris s bipod hard to beat, right? Yeah. But we don’t have that luxury all the time. I’ve shot, I don’t know how many bucks off my mystery ranch pack the frame, you know? Yep. Just, yep. Just lay it across there and, and, and it’s so much, it just settles everything down and you can make it happen. And so the other thing we talked about on this particular hunt is adjusting to fit the season. You know, you got, you can’t just say, this is what I like, I like to sit in a tree stand. Well, you’re not gonna, if you wanna sit in a tree stand, that’s fine, but you’re not gonna sit in a tree stand in November unless you’ve got like a pass.

01:37:00:11 –> 01:37:32:24
There’s something like, I know some of those Wyoming, that Wyoming country, they’ll migrate like in hoards and you could probably sit in a pass or, you know, and, and see new bucks every day and shoot one there. There’s potential for that. Generally, you know, you’re gonna have to move. You’re gonna move, move, move, run and gun and cover the numbers. If you take an early season, you’re gonna scout properly. That’s gonna be your best bet. If you can’t scout properly, that okay, you’re gonna have to move a bit and, and you’re gonna have to cover the numbers again. But those early seasons are nice when you, when you have time to scout. So

01:37:33:13 –> 01:38:08:28
Yeah, that’s the, that’s the difference between them and a migration, hun. And that’s why, you know, when I had that tag, you know, a couple friends and my dad, we shouldn’t, should be up there looking, you know, and I’m like, the deer are not gonna be where, you know, by the time the ruts kicks in, they’re not gonna be there. They’re gonna live, live that leave that country. All I need to know is the road system and where to camp and where and where the water is for the horses. That’s really all I need to know, know. Yeah. And, and, and plus, you know, I, I have a, I hunt a lot, but honestly I have a more limited energy in my mind than I do time. I get burned out and I start hunting sloppy and I’d rather hunt seven days intensely than 14.

01:38:08:29 –> 01:38:49:07
Like crap. I’ve tried both and it doesn’t work. And so I just, I just bited my time, waited till the rutt was kicking in and you know, just, just made sure I knew the logistics. I get a lot of guys that email me or contact me through rocks like, well I got a third season Colorado tag, but I live in Missouri, it does no good to scout. I’m like, well, wait a minute, wait a minute. You may have heard me say it does no good to scout for an individual buck, but if you are gonna show up in your third season Colorado hunt four days early, you gotta take that four days off of your number one, your vacation budget. Can you actually, third season’s, nine days, can you actually be gone 13 days, right? Are you gonna be getting down to day six or seven on the hunt when it’s starting to get pretty good?

01:38:49:26 –> 01:39:25:13
And then, oh crap, I gotta get back. You know? I think it’s better. And and we got, we got one of our riders on Rockside that does this man, he’ll jump in an airplane and he’ll come out, you know, just, just to rent a car. He’ll go learn the roads, you know, do stuff like that. Yeah. He’s not scouting individual animals, you know, but, but then when he shows up, he’s comfortable. He doesn’t have that big stretch of days. He is gotta put in, in one unit that many more days away from his family all at once, you know, he breaks it up a little bit. And so, so if you got a late season tag or something like that, don’t, don’t think that I just said, oh, don’t scout it. Just say, oh no, the reason I didn’t scout, I already knew the road system.

01:39:25:17 –> 01:40:19:04
I, I, you know, that was one reason I put in for the unit. I just had to be adaptable enough to move, like Jason said. And I know guys that get that tag every year. There’s one reason that’s the, the easiest one to draw. That’s relative terms. They get spanked because they think, well, I got a rutt tag now. Just a matter of waiting for horny head to show up. That’s no dude horny head ain’t gonna go show up. You gotta go find him. You gotta know, you know, you and, and you can’t just be, you know, at two o’clock in the afternoon. Well, I’ll go check this spot. No, you gotta be there when the deer are there. If they’re not up at two o’clock in the afternoon, you, you know, you better be out there at daylight. So, so yeah, Jason, I’m, I’m totally with you on that. And I think that’s where, you know me in my younger years and sometimes I still make that mistake. Is those are, those are some, some, some problems I’ve had. That’s why I always listen to your podcast. I always listen to you. I learn a lot from you. My hat’s off to you and I’m, you know, I just tell in five minutes of listening to you, this, this dude knows how to get the, get it done on a big bug. Well, and I,

01:40:19:17 –> 01:40:37:28
Yeah, I, and I appreciate that Robbie. And you’re, you know, and you’ve done the same, you’ve got a lot of great things to, you know, to teach people and whatnot. And you’ve, you’ve done it. You killed them, you’ve done it. And, and it’s awesome. And you can tell by these stories. It’s, it’s incredible how much time you got. You got time for one more story that I can throw out at you,

01:40:38:15 –> 01:40:42:23
Dude, you gotta do another story. ’cause there ain’t no way I’m gonna do three and you’re gonna do two. Come

01:40:42:23 –> 01:41:23:10
On. I’m here to listen. Do I’m gonna do a quick one. I don’t wanna go much over two hours. It’s, people don’t like listening more than two hours. But this is an incredible podcast in my opinion. I’ve learned a lot just listening from you to you as well. And speaking of that, this particular buck has a lot to do with my buddy Dusty White. Him and I hunt a lot together and I’ve learned Dusty is a great hunter and, and I want to, I want to kind of talk about this in the respect of thinking outside the box. We’ll be driving down the road and, and I’ll ask Dusty what he’s thinking about. And you know, just midday, running trail cameras, whatever. And he’s always thinking, he’s always, he’s on his phone. I think he’s texting. He’s got Google Earth app out and he is looking at Google Earth or whatever.

01:41:23:12 –> 01:42:25:01
He’s always thinking about some of these bucks. And some of these bucks that we hunt are not killable. They’re, they’re in thick country. We’ll get trail camera picks of him, of these bucks. But nobody ever kills him. This particular buck, we were trail cameraing this buck super thick and he wasn’t killable. And, and I just kinda put him off. I put this deer off in the back of my head. He’s a freaking monster. He is a freaking nature. He’s one of those bucks. You can’t wait to wrap your hands around, but you figure you never will. And and Dusty kind of had told me he’s, he’s like, you know, I think this buck’s over here. And, and so anyway, we go, I take my boy in, we go in to check this truck camera. Sure enough he’s hit it. We’re we’re just, you know, but it just kind of like a normal routine. Just like, oh yeah, sure he is. Hit it. What? That’s an un killable buck. But I still like getting pictures of him, you know, on the way out, taking a back road, boom, there’s this deer. And I’m like, you’re kidding me? This deer is where Dusty thinks he was going. That’s

01:42:25:01 –> 01:42:25:11

01:42:25:25 –> 01:43:31:25
And I’m like, I’m like starting to put the pieces. Yeah, I’m starting to put the pieces together and I’m like, I’m shocked. And so we go in there and boom, first morning I glass him up, I video him. It’s unbelievable this, the uncurable deer is killable. And, but one thing about this deer, we got on him and, and the wind switched on us one time. And he, all the other deer were getting nervous and starting to stress a couple other, a couple of them blew. He betted down. And I’m like, no way. This freaking deer beded down. He stayed until I pressured him too much. And then he bolted. Okay. We hunted him, hunted him, hunted him. We’re into October, we’re hunting him. And, and we get in there and we blew a couple of deer accidentally. We’ve got him glassed him up. He goes in, he goes where he is starting to feed, he’s feeding these deer, blow by him and blow out the other deer with him start to get nervous. He beds down. This deer has learned, like he has learned how to, how to adapt to his environment. He beds down

01:43:31:25 –> 01:43:34:04
Just like that four point on the west desert. Yeah.

01:43:34:09 –> 01:43:48:23
When he gets, when he gets stressed out, he beds down. So he beds down, we get on the gun, there’s a client of mine, gets on the gun. Everything’s, everything’s set up. He takes a nap. He’s chilling out. We’re

01:43:48:23 –> 01:43:49:22
A rifle now, right? We’re

01:43:49:22 –> 01:44:24:22
Rifle now. He yeah, he’s drawn a tag. He’s drawn a tag that hunts multiple seasons. P i w in Nevada. Right. Gotcha. Okay. Yep. Gotcha. So he, he’s on the gun, on and off the gun, takes a nap. I’m on the fifteens for three hours, dusty, same way. We don’t move, we are not moving. And, and he’s gonna get up. He’s gonna get up and when he gets up, we gotta be ready to kill him. About 10 30 he gets up, but he’s moving to the, you know, he’s, he’s moving, he’s going to cover, which isn’t that far. We’re in cover anyway. It’s just a little sparser, you know what I mean? It’s sunlight’s allowed more bitter bros to grow.

01:44:24:25 –> 01:44:27:14
But there’s no shot in his bet, is that what you’re

01:44:27:14 –> 01:45:18:25
Saying? No, we can’t even see his, his antler tip. You, you, we can’t even see his antler tip. What we, and that’s a good point. We were watching a couple of bucks had stuck with him and they kept circling him and then they finally betted. So we’re watching him as soon as he gets up and goes, we know those little bucks are gonna get up. We can see the nose of one of the bucks. We know he’s still there. He’s better how far we can’t see him, how we’re 600 yards. Okay. And so we just sit there finally, he gets up, feeds a little bit, but he’s moving, he’s moving. And he’s gonna go to thick co thick to thick, thicker trees. I mean, we’re in trees and whatnot and feed, but he’s going to thicker trees. So he get the client on the gun, as soon as he goes broadside, he stops, boom shoots, it’s a perfect shot. Deer drops in his bed, folded legs, everything. I have never seen a deer like this folded like for a pitcher.

01:45:19:12 –> 01:45:20:00
Dirt nap.

01:45:20:07 –> 01:45:53:04
Dirt nap. But the takeaway was, it was, I mean, you never know what the defense mechanism is of an animal. Some of them, some of them blow, you know, some of them hold tight. But you, you can kind of see, I, I picked these stories just because there was something to take away from each of them. I had, we had known enough about the animal. We knew this is what they do. And, and, and it was an interesting, I mean, I learned a lot from that deer. He wasn’t an overly old deer, but he learned how to live in an amount. Monks roads, you know what

01:45:53:04 –> 01:45:54:11
I mean? What kind of a deer was he?

01:45:54:29 –> 01:45:57:00
Oh, this deer was over two 30. Oh,

01:45:57:16 –> 01:45:58:26
I didn’t catch that part. Oh yeah,

01:45:58:26 –> 01:46:36:13
I think you said it. I would’ve heard it. A freaking monster. That’s kind of probably what I mentioned. But one of those deer like you, like I told you earlier, that you want to wrap your hands around it. Freaking monster. But you figure he’s not killable so you don’t put a lot of eggs in his basket, you know, and there’s some deer like that. And I’ve got tons of stories of bucks that got away that I lay sleepless awake, sleepless at night over these. But I want to kind of recap on some of this just a little bit some of the things that, you know, take away, like you adjust to fit the season. You, you, you know, get a rest control. Control what you can control, control your equipment. You, you, you, you know, didn’t take a beer because of your equipment.

01:46:36:14 –> 01:46:39:01
Right, exactly. Wasn’t familiar enough with

01:46:39:01 –> 01:47:32:24
It. Same thing with me. And, and when I’m archery, he, I have a specific, I have a range finder. It’s this way, it’s around my neck, but it’s in this pocket and it doesn’t block my string of my bow. You know, there’s certain things that this particular vinyl harness with these tins, and it doesn’t, it again, doesn’t hit my string. Not too loose of clothing. All these little things, little the littlest things will, will keep you from killing big bucks. And, and I think too, like learning their patterns. Kill ’em when you see ’em. One thing my dad taught me, it’s nice to have a pretty broadside shot. It’s really nice, right? Yep. But sometimes you can, you can get an arrow in there, especially if you’ve practiced and if you’re close range, you can get an arrow into vitals in other ways. Yep. And, and, and they’re not, not, they’re not unethical shots, but they kill him. And there’s a few things, I’ve got a story on a deer that I shot in the carotid artery and I aimed for the carotid.

01:47:33:01 –> 01:47:48:26
I remember you shot him right underneath the, underneath the chin. Yeah. That was that Utah buck that you stocked in on and you only had a front shot or there was no shot. And if you, I remember thinking if you had a shot him, you probably never would’ve seen that butt. ’cause they don’t let you get 20 yards. See you smelly. And then just, okay, tomorrow I’m gonna come back.

01:47:48:29 –> 01:47:59:17
Oh yeah. And it, and I, but I brought it low enough that it would go through his body. So I had a backup plan. If it missed the carotid, it was going through lengthwise through him. I didn’t, you know what I mean? And so anyway,

01:47:59:22 –> 01:48:01:13
And it was a 20 yard shot, if I remember

01:48:01:13 –> 01:48:02:18
It was 23 yards. Yeah. This is not like

01:48:02:21 –> 01:48:05:07
Three yards. You’re 63 yards, you know, trying to Yeah. Trying to

01:48:05:07 –> 01:48:45:05
Thread the people in there. Well, the cape. Yeah. And the cape on the, on the mounted deer is the broad, you can see where the taxi room sowed the broadhead, you know, sewed up the broadhead marks. I mean, it’s a perfect three blade right through him. So make that, make it happen. Like you make it a make it happen. You know, make your, make that shot presentable. But then once it’s presentable, think outside the box. You don’t have to wait for that. Perfect. It needs to be good. It needs to be ethical, but make it happen. There’s a way to do it. And then keep the faith. Don’t, don’t assume they blew out. Keep the faith. They’re, they’re still there. If they’re not, it takes an extra 30 minutes or an hour to, to, to then realize, ah, I did bump him an hour

01:48:45:07 –> 01:48:46:17
Ago. Yeah. To confirm. Yeah,

01:48:46:17 –> 01:49:43:01
Exactly. But at least you’re giving your cent be aggressive. Learn from every hunt and never quit thinking midday. That’s the one thing I think that sets that people apart, is you don’t quit thinking, you know, it’s nice to go back to the camp trailer, watch a movie, chill out, whatever. Right? Go back to the motel room once in a while, take a nap. Never quit thinking they’re, these bucks are killable. But how, how they’re all vulnerable. They all do something. There’s a pattern and they all do something that makes ’em killable. Think about the next knob. Go on Google Earth. Where is it? Thinner trees, where is it? Where’s a knob to glass from? Know your equipment, be prepared. Control what you can control. You, you, there’s some things you can’t control. Hopefully that’s a minimum hopeful. You know, there’s two or three or five variables that you can’t control when storm, whatever, deer around. Other hunters, other hunters. Stuff that you can’t control what you can control. Control. If you can do that, you’re gonna be more successful.

01:49:43:02 –> 01:50:26:06
Yeah, no, I would, I I, I agree with everything you just said. And with the shooting part, what I would add to that about like you said, and I think this is where, you know, the difference between an art and a science, you know, is, is you’ve got the, you got the science, and I gotta get a bullet or an arrow or, or sa stab it into this buck and take the first good shot that you have. And if you spend enough time close to big deer, I think you’ll kind of start to get a feel for when you should pass. Because you can, you can read the body language of the deer and what he’s doing, what the exact situation is, what are the bucks doing that are with him. And if you have a marginal shot that you’re not sure about and, and you’re hunting, right?

01:50:26:06 –> 01:51:09:23
That’s what I’m getting at. You’re hunting, right. You’re not just walking through deer country and trying to jump ’em up, being too aggressive when you shouldn’t be. You’re probably gonna get another shot within a few minutes or a second. But if I miss, this is what I’m getting at. If I miss, the odds are that’s the only shot I’m gonna get at that buck. They don’t usually give second chances. Right. And so some, there’s been a few bucks I’ve, I’ve I’ve held off on for just a second. Well, you know, no one okay, in a minute or two I’m gonna get another shot. I can, I’d have to go into another story to give you scenarios. But, but I guess what I’m saying is, is when you spend enough time with big deer and you start learning to read their body language, you talked about the flick of their tail.

01:51:09:24 –> 01:51:50:09
We know what that means and everything. You’ve got a few seconds, you know, they’re, they, they, they, they, as long as you’re not shooting a bow, you’re probably gonna get a shot here. Just wait. But there’s other times like the buck up here that I opened the whole podcast with that you gotta go. Yeah. You gotta, you gotta make it happen right then. And that’s where the practice with your weapon and, you know, knowing your rangefinder and all that little stuff you talk about, Jason matters so much. And I dropped the ball big time because I’ve not shot my bow enough at 20, 40, 60. ’cause I’m down here in the valley thinking, oh, I’m gonna have to lob some arrow at a hundred yards to kill a buck. Oh hell no. You’ll kill ’em from 15 yards to to 50 as often as you’ll kill ’em. Long range. Yeah. If you’re hunting. Right. So I would want to add that in there too.

01:51:50:14 –> 01:52:32:16
And I agree a hundred percent. And there’s a lot of things like for rifle hunters, you have it on a dial. You, you’ve, you’re you on the back of your pack, the dial’s twisted because you brushed up against trees, brush whatever your other gear, and you didn’t reset it to zero. Maybe you got it on high power and you’re shooting him 10 yards through a tree like I talked about earlier with the, you know, instead of low power and focusing just, you gotta, you gotta think, you gotta think. If you pull up your 10 yards, the deer’s onto you, but it’s 10 yards through a tree and you gotta, you’re gonna kill him, great. But if it’s on 15 power or 22 power, 25 power, some of these scopes and you pull up on him by the time you pull down, twist this power back down, focus it again, he’s gone. And so there’s he’s

01:52:32:16 –> 01:52:33:11
Gone. He’s gone. Yeah.

01:52:33:11 –> 01:52:44:09
And he’s done. And, and, and you do, you blow a deer at nine or 10 yards, you know, you’re probably not gonna see him again after he is been, you know, nine rounds of not that close rain ears at 25 yards. I mean that deer’s done not, not that

01:52:44:09 –> 01:53:15:20
Close. So, and you just lost potentially, you know, two or three months of scouting and on certain tags you may have just lost 10 years of your life. Yeah. You are not, I mean that was, that was 2014. I told you that story about, that was five seasons ago. I have not had a chance at another big deer with my bow at that quality. You know, I had one seventies, one eighties in five years. Yeah. I hunt 10 to 20 days every archery season. Yeah. Five years that, that’s, I

01:53:15:20 –> 01:53:19:18
Mean, I’m never make it happen. Get that back when it Yeah. You may never make it happen. I’m

01:53:19:26 –> 01:53:38:29
Those five years are gone. Yeah. You know, and so, so yeah. I ki that’s what I try to tell everybody out there. Just, I’ve made those mistakes and everything that Jason’s saying about the little things, pay attention to those. And I’m, man, I hope everybody gets a lot out of this podcast. I did Jason, and I really appreciate you having me on. Dude, I love listening to you. I know we could go to hours, so

01:53:39:06 –> 01:54:26:01
Well we’re, we did, let’s do it again some time. And we did. And we’re gonna, you know, and I think I wanna, I don’t know, maybe go through every story we have. I’m thinking about just keeping on going, you know, through time and I mean there’s even little things Mexico, there’s so many stores, so much, so many stories. I got Idaho Bucks and do too. You got a lot more to, you know, and there’s little, there’s some, there’s takeaways from some hunts are quick and easy and I’m, but there’s things about it that made you successful and, and it’s hard to quantify it until you, you know, look at it from a third per third party perspective or, or just remove yourself a little bit and give a little broader, you know, view at it and you’re like, oh yeah, that’s why, you know, yeah, I did get lucky, but there’s a couple things you did right to get lucky. And so anyway, we’ll keep, we’ll keep up the pace on that

01:54:26:22 –> 01:54:42:17
Experience is the best teacher. And that’s what I love about podcasts is getting, just getting to listen to people. And so I don’t care if I’ve been hunting deer for 35 years or not. I learned something from everybody. That’s right. I hope, I hope people are learning, learning today and everything. And I, and I appreciate you having me on Jason.

01:54:42:20 –> 01:55:23:00
Okay. You bet, Rob, I appreciate you too. I do. As we’re wrapping up here, I do wanna also thank another advertiser of ours, old Mark Thompson and Thompson. Long range. Anyway. Awesome guys. Him and his boy Scotty Thompson. He swears he can have you a gun in one week with a couple boxes of shells and you can shoot as far as you dare to shoot super guys to work with. And, and they’re using a reputable rifle at Weatherby. So in many different calibers, I went through Mark’s course, you know, he is the first time I ever shot a thousand yards with Mark Thompson and a gun I had that I’d got from him, 4, 3, 5, 7, 1 3 4 2 4 8. So I appreciate them and their support of Epic.