EP 86: Archery Polar Bear Hunt and Other Adventures With Jim Winjum. In this Episode of the Epic Outdoors Podcast we talk with Jim Winjum of Kenetrek Boots. Jim shares many hunting stories including the story of his archery Polar Bear hunt.

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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We got drug in that box for 750 miles.

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It’s important to have a good pair of boots on a hunt like that,

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But you can get real heavy quick when you kill something and need to get out.

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Montana, we do have, you know, a lot of opportunities.

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Anything to do with Western big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour.

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Hey everybody, Jason Carter and Adam Bronson here with the Epic Outdoors Podcast coming at you right here in Cedar City, Utah, Southern Utah during the scouting season. We shouldn’t be on a podcast. We should be out scouting Bronson.

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Yep. But we are, and it’s hot in it’s midday, so here we are. AC feels good. It does

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Feel good. So anyway, we got a pretty fun episode. We’re gonna get Jim Winham, one of the owners there at Ken Trek, boots on with us. Super good guy and great hunter. Before we do, we wanna thank Under Armour for the sponsorship of this podcast as well as sponsoring Epic Outdoors, our magazine and guide programs and all kinds of cool things that they do and allow us to, to do for you guys. So anyway, we appreciate them, appreciate you as our listener, and hopefully this is a pretty fun episode.

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If any of you are looking to pick up a new long range rifle, you got a great tag coming up this fall, we encourage you to give the guys at Red Rock Precision a call. They’re great guns. We’ve, I, I’ve shot these guns for five or seven years, six or seven years, I guess it’s probably been awesome shooters. Never feel like I can’t make a shot that I need to make. So give recruiter Todd a call 8 0 1 3 9 1 7 8 4 0. They can kind of work up the caliber that you’re interested in. Scope, combination all that. They know what they’re talking about, or you can visit ’em online. Red rock precision.com.

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We had the Hickory Indian Reservation biologist, Kyle Tater on the other day. And, and of course they’ve got some elk hunting opportunities still available for this year. Great Bulls. If you wanna go on a great elk hunt, you might get on hickory hunt.com. That’s j i C A R I L L a hunt.com. Or you can give Kyle a call at (575) 759-3255. And they’ve got some, like I say, some late season hunts out there. Incredible kill rates. They’ve even got kill rates up to 85% on their archery hunts. And so great opportunity for guys that were looking for Elk hunt for this year, 2018. Let’s jump into this episode. We’ll get Jim on the line. How’s things going up there?

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Good, good. We’re busy.

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I know know. Did you guys finally got outta winter in Bozeman? Your snow finally out? Yeah.

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No kidding. Boy, it’s been a wet, wet, nasty spring cold, hard winter.

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Geez. Well down here. We’ve, we’ve been in a drought for the last 14 months. I know,

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I know. It’s, it’s just amazing. It’s like that all the storm surge just kind of went right to the north. I mean, just hammered us and left you guys high and dry.

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Yeah, we’re definitely dry. We’re definitely dry. So how was that polar bear hunt? You were going on there in April?

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It was, it was quite interesting. I came back, I think I’m three inches shorter than when I left. What do mean

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Possible? You took, you took your boots off. What?

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So just the pounding that you take inside of the, I don’t know if you ever seen those little contact boxes, the big sled? Oh yeah. Well there’s no suspension in that thing. Oh. And that ice is not smooth. And we got drug in that box for 750 miles. Wow. And it’s just absolutely bone jarring.

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So your, your chiropractor got a visit when you got home? Oh,

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I mean, we went the first 20 miles and of course you can’t communicate because he was just being drugged by a great big snowman

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Machine. You’re just holding on.

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Yeah. Paul, you’re just hanging off for dear life. And I crawled outta that box and I was like, I, I mean, I, I thought I couldn’t even lift my left leg. I think I had permanent nerve damage. And I’m just doing a snow angel. I, I’m

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I’m like, I am hurt.

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Let alone it was probably 50 degrees below zero.

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Oh yeah. Unbelievably cold. But we, we kind of figured it out after that. I was there with a partner of mine and, and we, we put everything, all of our clothes into bags and, and our big down sleeping bag. We, you know, sat on those and that still wasn’t enough. You had to kind of do a little bit of a chest press, you know, to geez keep, you know, just to keep the pressure off your back. And I mean, it was just like, it, like I dislocated my jaw a couple times and my partner actually broke a tooth

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It in. No. Wild.

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I was just about to say, did you need to wear a mouth guard? But literally you broke teeth.

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Oh, you should’ve. Like I, I would definitely recommend a, you know, a football mouth guard for sure. I mean,

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For sure. Well add that to the gear list.

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It’s violent.

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Let think violent. Lemme think about it now. Pass. Well,

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You’re giving us some good stuff here. We better dive into this a little more. ’cause I’m sure there are some listeners that are, you thought about going and doing it or Yeah. Or whatnot. Where, so where, where’d you go? Where were you at? Let’s give

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Us the full ski scoop.

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Well, it’s a, it’s, it’s nano. It is the, you know, it’s a province. Province that they broke off several years ago of the Northwest Territory. So it’s really on the eastern side. So we, we flew from here to Minneapolis and then to Toronto, then to Montreal, then to Al, which is kind of the hub. And then we flew north from there to another place called Pond Inlet and then Arctic Bay. Wow.

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So that was

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The, I started writing ’em down and after four airports I had to give up. I couldn’t keep

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Up. Yeah, yeah. It’s quite a trip to get there. We la we landed the one big plane. I mean, I couldn’t see anything out the window. It was like just a raging blizzard. And they, they sat down that, that jet on a ice runway, you know, I guess they do it all the time. But I thought

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They, the tire folks tires chained up or anything on that thing.

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Back, back east, they see two inches and they shut down the whole Denver airport or anywhere else. It’s Oh, I mean, geez. What?

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Yeah, those guys just, they just lived, I mean, they, those turbo prop planes and they’re, they’re the first planes that they’ve landed on ice runways, you know, and Wow. And they’re just a workhorse, you know. Wow. Of course, the wind, when we took off, I thought, well, we’re grounded. We’re not, you couldn’t see anything outside, you know. And I thought, well, we’re, we’re here for days, you know, we’re stuck. And they’re like, load ’em up, we’re gonna go. I’m like, you gotta be kidding me.

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I mean, it was you commercial bush pilots and commercial airplanes is what it sounds like. Commercial bush pilots.

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Yeah. I mean, absolutely. 40, you know, no visibility. 40 mile an hour wind, just, just zero visibility, snowing like crazy. And I, I mean, they’re, they’re literally having to plow the plane out because it’s drifted in. And we go and hop on that thing and I’m like, man, they’re just gonna have to turn out the edges. We’re gonna go straight up because it’s blowing so hard. Geez. That was pretty much the case.

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What month was that? When did you go?

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It was in March.

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Oh, was it? I thought it might’ve been the first April. It was in March, huh? Yeah.

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Well it was, we were there across first April, but

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You know, it takes you a couple days to get up there and, and then, so we spent the night in Arctic Bay and then we went out the next day, you know, when you go with the three boxes, you know, there’s a box for the dogs and a, a box for each of the hunters and all the gear and equipment and everything. And, and you’re just drug by sleds. And I, I kept asking, how fast are we going? ’cause it felt like we were going a hundred.

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Can you see? Are you inside the box? You can’t see out. You

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Had a little wood though, you know that, that you’d kind of scrape with a credit card because it gets all iced over. But

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You know, you’re sniffing, you’re sniffing gas fumes. I mean, you’re in the exhaust, right? Oh,

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Oh, well, yeah. Of the snowmobile weather. It’s funny that you save out the gas fumes because we actually stayed in a, like a little miniature wall tent, I guess is the best way to describe it. And they park those sleds, you know, the three of ’em inside. Yeah. And they, they pitched two tents in between ’em. And so that tent that we were in, it’s maybe 10 by eight, something like that. So it’s pretty tight, pretty, you know, pretty cozy. And it’s an insulated tent, which, you know, it’s kind of almost like insulated or something. And, and then they just run Coleman, you know, to burner stove, you know, that they pump up ’cause you can’t run any, any gas ’cause it’s too cold. Yeah. You know, like propane wouldn’t work ’cause it’s too cold. So that

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Why use white, white slight Coleman fuel.

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Yeah, exactly. That they just pump up and, and run it and, and you just run those open burners right. In that tent. Oh

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Yeah. You just hope you wake up in the morning.

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Yeah, exactly. I mean, my partner at one point, because ours, ours kept going out, you know, and so you’re like carbon monoxide, then you get straight fuel and it was like, whoa, that’s probably not good for sure.

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I wonder what the liability release looks like.

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Oh yeah.

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I don’t know. The

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Fine print of that hunt contract. The fine print of that one is probably a doozy.

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Yeah. At point we’re not responsible for you huffing

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Right. At what my partner says, he says, you taste that. And I go, yeah, what is that? Is that ether? He goes, no, I think it’s brain cells.

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Oh Jesus.

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Oh, well, cool. So then take a song. So you get out of the tent for the first time you’re headed out to hunt. What happens?

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Yeah. So the, so the first time we, the first bear that we saw was pretty cool. It was a sow with a cub and first polar bear I’ve ever seen in the wild, you know. And so that was pretty neat. And it basically, it re the hunt just involves covering miles and miles and miles. I mean, I just can’t even tell you. And it, and it’s so vast. It’s just the horizon is just nothing, you know? I mean, you’re so, you’re not only snow blind, but there’s nothing to see. Geez. And, and you’re trying to glass with, you know, 20 mile an hour wind at 40 blows zero, which is just frees your eyeball in a, in just a couple seconds. So it’s classing is a very, very difficult task. But you would still look for elevated positions and, and they’re tough. I mean the, the Eskimo guys, boy, they’re tough, tough, tough.

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They’re, they’re used to it. And they’re very good hunters. I mean, I, I was impressed with their tracking ability and, you know, they could judge the size of a bear. They could judge the health of a bear, obviously, if it was so, and Cubs or, or bore or, you know, like he, at one point he was trying to tell me, he says, yeah, that’s just a, you know, that’s a skinny seven footer. I’m like, skinny, how do you, what are you talking about? He goes, look this heel pad, you know, you can tell the pad he’s not healthy. You know, he’s a skinny bear. I’m like, are you kidding me? I mean, I, wow. You know, I, I understand kind of the width of a track for, for judging the, you know, the overall size of the bear. But boy, they, they take it to a whole nother level.

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Did you ever prove up on it? ’cause I had it called bss.

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Show me the skinny seven. We wouldn’t even go after.

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Yeah, yeah, exactly. A lot of ’em we wouldn’t even go after, you know, because you’d just look and say, well that’s not, that’s not big enough. So I guess it’s, and you’re really looking for that, that single bore.

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Yeah. It’s safe to say, when he knows it’s not a bear, you’re gonna track down to ground truth. It’s, yeah. It’s a, he’s a malnourished. He hasn’t had a seal in about 45 days. He can throw that out. No, he can throw that out knowing there’s no way to, that you’re ever gonna prove him wrong.

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Exactly. Right. So he’s safe to do that. Well, good.

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So did you glass bears? Did you

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Cut, cut.

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There’s a lot of bears and it’s amazing. I mean, those bears every, every single bit of structure that you had on that ice, you know, they’re pressure ridges or a big iceberg or, or even sometimes where the ice meets the shoreline, you know, there, there would be disruption, broken up, ice and Yeah. There was bear tracks around every single disruption piece like that.

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That’s, that’s they, that’s how they fish. How many they’re, they’re

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Feeding. Yeah. They, they basically eat seals. Yeah. And so they catch those seals and so seal that, that’s the amazing part is, you know, you think about it, six feet of ice. Well those seals are mammals and they, you know, they can only breeze have the breath for so long. And they have to, to have air holes, which is pretty amazing. ’cause I look around and I’m like, I don’t see any air holes. I don’t get it. I don’t get how they do it. But anyway, those bears are just, just wicked predators on the seals. You know? I mean, they’re,

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They come up for air and they’re, they’re waiting for

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’em. Yep. And they grab ’em. Yep. Yep. Wow. Wow. And so we saw a few, you know, ’cause it was the seal, you know, when they, when they cal or have their pups, you know, and, and they actually do that in a snow cave. And so we saw lots of places where the bears would, you know, sniff along there and then tear out the snow cave and, and you know, eat plugs, dig for the seals. Wow. Yeah. Eat, eat ’em. They eat the whole thing, you know. And, and occasionally we’d find one where they got one and there’s just a big blood smear and that’s it. You know, I mean, they just eat the whole thing. Wow. So pretty, pretty wicked tough life. I mean, for anything up there, it’s, it’s, they’re very unique. For any of them. That’s

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Their niche. There’s nothing else that could live right there doing what

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They do. So we hear,

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Yeah. And all the bears, the bears that we saw were, I mean, where they’re cut up and scarred from fighting and, and all of their noses. I mean, and just, I mean, wow. It, it’s, they’re, they’re just quite an animal. Pretty impressive.

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So you hear once in a while these polar bears will, you know, if they smell you, they’re gonna come for you. Like where other bears Oh yeah. Are usually scared for you, you know, scared of you, even a brown bear’s scared of you, generally speaking, I mean Right. Will these bears come for you?

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Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean they, you know, it’s like you’re, you’re staying out there. It’s like, that’s one of the reasons for the dogs, you know, I mean, it, it’s obviously, it’s a traditional way that they’ve always hunted, you know, is with, it used used to be the old dog sleds, which I can’t imagine how much more difficult that was than having the sew machines. But they just kind of have a, a natural, not a fear of dogs, but they’re just annoyed by ’em. And those dogs are, you know, big huskies and really tough, tough animals themselves. And, and they kind of, you know, take turns almost like a, a wolf pack would run, would fight with a bear. That’s almost what it reminded me of, you know, like one would go in and try to get close and nip at its heel or something and the bear would charge that one, the other one come in from the other side. So it was that kind of a, you know, using their numbers, you know, against, it’s not one on one for sure. Yeah.

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So were, were,

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But yeah, those bears will come, like they, we had ’em come into, into the camp at night and the dogs would just go ballistic, you know, so that you knew that’s pretty western, really quick in the dark. And you, you’re like, huh, we got something out there that wants to eat us.

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And wasn’t it daylight fairly, I mean, for the mo I mean, there’s a daylight, I,

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There’s dunno, it’s about the same, you know, because it’s right at, it’s right at what they’re calling spring. And so, you know, you have to realize you’re so far north. But I think the sun goes down about November 15th and it doesn’t come up till February 15th. Oh. So yeah. So you’re really kind of in that transition. So you, we were gaining a tremendous amount of light every day. You know, you’re gaining like 15 minutes or something. I mean it’s, you know, it’s just crazy. And then it’s, then it’s light full time, you know, by, by mid-May. Yeah. Yeah. So, so pretty weird, weird environment, but super cold. I mean, that, you know, you’re on six feet of ice. And so we would, we would sleep on that ice and they would lay down some cardboard boxes and then caribou hides and then your, I think they had some mats that they put down as well. And then your, you know, sleeping pad and, and then your sleeping bag. And it was there every, every single morning you woke up in that, in that tent. And it was 30 to 40 below every, every morning. It’s bit frosty.

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Yeah. Was it, so was does Bob the one that went with you? Or when you said you partner?

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No, just the partner. Actually, it was a hunting partner I ran into in Tajikistan on Marco Polo Hunt. And he kind of put it in my head and, and you know, one thing led to another. I said, well, yeah, that’s kind of on my list and

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All right. So

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Be careful. Be careful what you ask about

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In the honeymoon. Right. Well, yeah. Well tell us. So I guess, did both of you, both of you there to hunt and tell us how, I guess the Yeah, we did encounter what the bears you took happened. Yeah.

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And so, so I was committed to the bow and, and my friend Charlie, he was bow or rifle. He, he, you know, didn’t, didn’t care one way or the other. And so I, I think I was in about, what was it, second or third day, I think we, we lost one day due to weather. You know, like if they get a wide out, you just can’t see. And so there’s, there’s almost, and then you don’t, you lose track as well, so there’s no point in really moving. Yeah. So I think it, we, we finally cleared up and it was day three and we went out and, and hit a pressure ridge and we saw a sow and a cub. And that was, that was kind of cool just to see that, you know, that tiny little cub bear and you know, the protective mama and stuff.

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And took some pictures and thought that was kind of cool. And we came back to the pressure ridge and there was tracks on it right there. And here. I guess they, they kind of sleep during the day. And so a bear had, he jumped up, you know, because the dogs start barking and off they go. So they turned the dogs loose and, and basically it was kind of caught him in a good spot. He was just on a big, long pressure ridge. I mean like maybe a mile and a half long. And so we were able to just close the distance on him and the bears, the dogs kind of bathed the bear up. And, and he, he kind of, you know, had just kind of backed up against, you know, some of the ice structure. And I was able to work in for a shot. And, and my guide was pretty nervous. He’s like, shoot from here. I’m like, I can’t shoot from here.

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Yeah. It’s 180 yards. I can’t, yeah. I can’t

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See, I can’t see his chest. He wanted me to shoot about 50. I’m like, no, I gotta go closer. I can’t see anything. Geez. Yeah. They, they, you know, I probably did not have, you know, a, a healthy respect from, you know, generations of being, you know, accosted by these Yeah. By these animals. He, he definitely did. But anyway, so I, so I moved up and was able to get into position and, and made a good shot.

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How far?

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Which is a challenge ’cause I mean, boy, you got clothing that you wouldn’t believe, you know, so like, you’re, like, if you wanna picture what that’s like, you draw your bow back where you have normally anchor and then try anchoring out an inch away from your face and see where the arrow goes. It doesn’t go the same place, I guarantee you that. No.

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Wow. So,

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So yeah. Pretty

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Challenging. So how far was the shot?

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It was 45 yards. Was it, is what it ended up being. And I hit him a little left, but, but it was definitely lethal. You could see right away. Yeah.

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Wow. So that’s, now, now they say you what? You can’t bring ’em in Right. Can’t bring ’em into the states yet, or

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Yeah, it, yeah. They, they currently have a, a ban on, on bringing the hides back in and it’s, which is really kind of ironic because they’re actually increasing in population. I think part of it is that you, you know, you see the, as, as the, you know, the warming is occurring, the, the bears towards the way southern part of Hudson Bay in that area. Of course they’re, they’re really struggling because they don’t have ice. They need that ice to be able to hunt. Yeah. And so that, you know, the, the bears up north are doing really, really well. But the public opinion ends up being that the, the polar bear as a species is not doing well. And that, you know, that public opinion is, is kind of a hard,

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Powerful, unfortunately

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Hard thing to overcome. Yeah. You know, it’s, a lot of times it doesn’t, the biological data doesn’t matter

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Just like grizzlies and wolves and the western us same

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Type of thing. Yeah. It’s the same type of thing. Yeah. Which is unfortunate, you know, that, I mean, it, it, it must be really frustrating for biologists that have data and, you know, they study it and they really know. I mean, I can’t pretend to be a biologist or know what they know, but, you know, it must be frustrating to be then overridden by, you know, political winds.

00:20:00:18 –> 00:20:09:18
Geez. Well, I know you guys produced snow boots and winter boots. Oh yeah. I mean, did you have to produce a special polar boot? Did you do a prototype or what?

00:20:10:16 –> 00:20:44:13
No, I, I had everything on that I could, I mean, I was at the max and I still was using the little, you know, carbon heaters and things like that. And it, it was a, it was a challenge to stay warm. There’s no question. I mean, like, you know, like even on my hands, I wore great big expedition mitts over the top of, you know, Marino glove liners. And if you, you know, sometimes you can’t do anything with those and you take those off and within a minute you were numb and it was very, very difficult to warm up. Wow. So

00:20:45:01 –> 00:20:45:10
I don’t

00:20:45:10 –> 00:20:55:13
Think, and so it’s challenging. I mean, staying one, I frosted my nose and I frosted three of my toes on my, you know, right, right foot that I, I didn’t even know it. I mean, you just don’t even feel it. But

00:20:56:20 –> 00:21:02:18
It’s time for trek to make some polar boots or we got the owner losing toes, we got a problem.

00:21:04:01 –> 00:21:06:06
I’m just thinking, what am I doing here?

00:21:06:24 –> 00:21:09:28
Yeah. I signed up for this, I wrote a check for this. Yeah, yeah,

00:21:10:06 –> 00:21:12:12
Right. Exactly. I paid for this torture.

00:21:13:21 –> 00:21:37:25
Well, that’s gotta still be, I mean, like I said, it was on your list of something to do. Yeah. And, and the, yeah, I mean the, the remoteness of where you’re at and the, the primis to, so to, so to speak, experie of how you gotta go about it, even though you do got snow machines, it’s not like you’re on our skidoos like we got down here. I mean, it’s, it’s pretty primitive and that’s

00:21:37:25 –> 00:21:57:28
Pretty neat. I mean, like, I was thinking anything happens and pretty much you die, you know, I mean, because you run out of heating fuel, you die, you run out of, you know, you have an accident with a snow machine. I mean, you’re not walking out of there. I mean, we went 750 miles Wow. Drug behind that, that snow machine in that sled box.

00:21:58:05 –> 00:22:00:17
How do you even pack enough fuel? Like what do they,

00:22:01:04 –> 00:22:16:02
They have a, they have a 55 gallon drum on the back of each one of those sleds. Wow. That they, that they drag around and, and you know, I mean, it’s, it’s not like you can, you know, start a fire to warm up. There’s no, there’s no nothing, nothing. There’s

00:22:16:26 –> 00:22:46:07
Even water is a, is a big deal, you know, because you, because you think about that there’s no open water at all for a water source. So that was a big management thing that they did, is they would go and they would cut up bricks, you know, blocks out of the snow and then they would melt. And they had it right down to a science, you know, they would fill up, you know, seven, they would start the stoves and they would fill up like seven thermos. And that got you through that night’s dinner and the next day’s lunch and whatever water you needed before you

00:22:46:07 –> 00:22:49:01
Bake here, stuff we don’t even think have to ever even think of.

00:22:49:12 –> 00:22:53:07
I thought we were roughing it with a mountain house at 80 degrees. I don’t, yeah, no, no,

00:22:53:16 –> 00:23:09:10
No. Yeah. You have no idea how, I mean, it’s, it’s quite a system, you know, to cut those blocks and you know how long it takes to melt, you know, hard snow like that. I mean, it takes forever and it’s just a big system that they have. But they’ve been doing it for a long, long time.

00:23:09:21 –> 00:23:13:14
Well that’s, so you’d recommend them, I mean, even though you lost half your teeth, you’d, you’d,

00:23:14:27 –> 00:23:34:29
Yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. The guys were, I mean, I have a lot of respect for ’em because they were, they were fantastic hunters and Yeah. And they’re, they’re pretty tied in, you know, naturally and Oh yeah. You know, like they, they fish a lot and I, I think they hunt in our whales. I’m hearing some of these stories, you know, of, of their, their survival. I mean,

00:23:35:06 –> 00:23:38:04
They still do it. It’s pretty amazing. Yeah. Wow. That is fun. Oh

00:23:38:04 –> 00:23:40:11
Yeah. They hunt seals. They hunt seals all the time. And

00:23:41:00 –> 00:23:43:25
That brings a whole new meaning to subsistence hunting, you know,

00:23:43:25 –> 00:23:44:08

00:23:44:09 –> 00:23:52:28
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. For sure. For sure. But just so cold. I mean, I just can’t imagine being in the dark for, you know, three months out of the year

00:23:54:22 –> 00:23:55:02
I’m getting

00:23:55:02 –> 00:23:56:00
Depressed. 50 below.

00:23:56:25 –> 00:23:59:18
I’m already, I’m ready to shoot myself right now. That’s, I’m getting

00:23:59:18 –> 00:24:01:04
Depressed. Yeah. Let’s talk about

00:24:02:06 –> 00:24:07:02
What did it challenging? What’s the normal, what’s the normal price tag on a hunt like that? What does a guy expect?

00:24:07:09 –> 00:24:08:02
Range, price range.

00:24:08:13 –> 00:24:20:10
Oh, I think they, they’re, they run about 40, 40,000 or so. I mean, we got a little bit of a better deal ’cause there was two of us things like that. But kind of knew a guy who knew a guy that type of deal. But,

00:24:20:11 –> 00:24:25:01
But, but 40 grand plus, you know, you got your tips and fair, you’re 50, 55 grand. Oh yeah.

00:24:25:08 –> 00:24:46:07
Okay. Oh yeah. And the thing is, if they, if they overturn that ban, you know, if they do a set aside on that, that ban, which they really should, I mean, ’cause it obviously would help their economy tremendously. And, and you know, it’s, it’s kind of a, a natural part of their cycle that’s been disrupted. Yeah. But boy, if they did that, that price would go way up. So. Yeah.

00:24:46:07 –> 00:24:50:16
Yeah. So your bear’s gonna be 10 and just waiting for you if they ever do lift it. Yeah,

00:24:50:17 –> 00:25:09:00
I’ve got a, got some friends in Canada and so we’ll wet tan it and you know, that’s, and then keep it frozen. It’ll last for 30 years. You know, my hope is that someday they’ll, you know, they’ll reverse that. I’d love to bring that back to the Kenrick facility. Yeah, that would be, that would be a showstopper to have a You bet. Mount polar bear.

00:25:09:09 –> 00:25:20:25
Well, yeah. Tell us, didn’t you guys just, I think Chris paid you guys a visit, your brother maybe this springs up there, bear hunting. Didn’t you guys just expand your, your headquarters and warehouse and stuff up there? Yeah,

00:25:20:25 –> 00:25:38:00
We basically had a lot of customers that would wanna come and see the place, you know, ’cause they’re, they’re big, you know, cantre boot fans and, and so we, that’s one of the things that I didn’t realize, you know, that we would have that. ’cause I thought, well, you know, as long as we’ve got the little brown u p s truck and the internet, we could do business

00:25:38:07 –> 00:25:40:02
Anywhere. Yeah. Nobody wants to come and talk to us.

00:25:40:02 –> 00:25:41:25
They kind of wanna see the place, you know?

00:25:42:03 –> 00:25:43:16
Well, it’s kind of like you, I’m like, well,

00:25:43:16 –> 00:25:46:00
They’re gonna come. We need to, we need to show ’em something. So

00:25:46:02 –> 00:26:00:13
It’s kinda like when you guys are around at the, at the trade shows for the couple of months of Exactly. They like to, they like to compare stuff, try a couple half size differences on or, or just see everything you got. People get attached, kind be overwhelmed. Yeah. People

00:26:00:13 –> 00:26:15:04
Get attached to people too, you know, they like to Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, sure. It’s more than just a product at times. It’s, I mean, it is, we all go to Amazon and buy batteries or whatever. I get that. But it’s a little different, you know, this hunting industry’s relationships and personal and all of that.

00:26:16:17 –> 00:26:23:22
So, so yeah, you got for sure you expanded your warehouse as well as kind of a, I guess we’d call it just like a showroom area for off the street traffic

00:26:23:27 –> 00:26:56:12
Traffic. Yeah. It’s, we call it a visitor center. You know, we don’t really wanna outcompete or dealers or anything like that. Yeah. But if somebody has special needs or they just wanna see the place, I mean, we definitely, I think we have like 65 mounts in there. Wow. I mean, you know, Bob, partner, Bob and I have been very, very fortunate over the years, years, you know, drawing sheep tags and winning and, and all of that. So, so we’ve kind of got a, a couple lifetimes worth of, of, you know, trophies that we’ve got preserved in there. Wow.

00:26:56:12 –> 00:26:57:13
That’s pretty awesome. That’s cool.

00:26:57:13 –> 00:27:00:25
So yeah, a lot of hunters, what I, what I really love is when the little kids come in, you know?

00:27:01:08 –> 00:27:01:14

00:27:01:14 –> 00:27:08:24
Yeah. They’re just, they’re just starry-eyed. Just like, look at where that one’s from. Look at that. I’ve never seen that animal before. That that,

00:27:09:04 –> 00:27:10:08
That’s cool. Actually my favorite

00:27:10:11 –> 00:27:18:22
Part’s really cool. Yeah. Well, good. Well what, tell us a little bit more about it. Did it expand the warehouse portion as well, besides the trophy room and Yeah,

00:27:18:25 –> 00:27:40:18
We, with the building that we’re in, you know, ’cause we continue to grow and so we took over another, I think it’s about 11, 11,000 feet or so that we were leasing to the sims, you know, the, the fishing company, Sims fishing products, the waiters. And they were leasing that from us. And then we just moved in and occupied that as of April one. Wow.

00:27:41:07 –> 00:27:41:29
So that’s so,

00:27:42:05 –> 00:27:44:16
So yeah, we’re it’s getting bigger and bigger

00:27:46:00 –> 00:27:47:10
I guess that’s a good thing, Jim.

00:27:48:21 –> 00:27:56:12
I’m not sure. Some days Yes. Some days snow. Yeah. Just a little bit more headaches too, you know, sometimes.

00:27:57:02 –> 00:27:57:11

00:27:57:11 –> 00:28:01:12
But, but if you ask my brother, he’d say the same thing. I don’t dunno if it’s better or not.

00:28:01:24 –> 00:28:06:08
Yeah. It’s tough. Grow growing’s tough. We feel that. We

00:28:06:08 –> 00:28:30:01
Feel that as well. That sweet spot. And, and, but, but also not wanting to leave something on the table or s you know, something not, not, you know, seen to fruition that you may be capable of. There’s always more you feel like you can do and probably can. But then how much more of your quote extra time does actually that actually take from you to, how much of a net gain does that give you? And there’s, it’s, it’s a struggle, right?

00:28:30:01 –> 00:28:45:17
Well we, we’ve always been taught that, you know, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And so it’s, but it’s Right. But I’m not, I’m not so sure I buy into that. Sometimes it’s nice just to Yeah. Stay an even keel and mind your own business and do a good bus, you know, run a good business. Yeah. And, and go hunt polar bears once in a while,

00:28:45:29 –> 00:28:48:00
So. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true too.

00:28:48:00 –> 00:28:54:20
So, so what about, what about, how have you and Bob or done in the draws this year? Anything big for you to look forward to this year?

00:28:56:03 –> 00:29:19:23
Yeah, I, I’ve got, we haven’t really drawn any takes, but I, I won that doll sheep hunt in, at the Arizona banquet a a couple years ago. And, and so I basically booked a, a hunt and that’s coming up for me this July. Wow. So I’m up with Ghana River and in the Northwest Territories trying to complete my archery grand slam, which is a big deal. Wow.

00:29:20:02 –> 00:29:20:11

00:29:20:12 –> 00:29:20:20

00:29:20:20 –> 00:29:26:20
Not big deal. I keep telling myself, is this a chance? ’cause it’s still a bow and it’s a sheep and they don’t really go together. Yeah.

00:29:26:29 –> 00:29:31:17
Polar bears and bows don’t either. Yeah. If anybody, anybody can do it, you can.

00:29:32:13 –> 00:29:36:12
They don’t, I, I keep telling myself, well, it’s just a chance, it’s a good chance. You know,

00:29:36:29 –> 00:29:38:20
It’s, they got a great area, good areas,

00:29:39:26 –> 00:29:41:19
But it’s still, still a bow hunt, you know.

00:29:41:23 –> 00:29:49:18
That’s right. Anything gear elk wise and here in the Lord 48. Any tags other than Montana, I’m sure you’re hunting your own state from right now, but

00:29:49:18 –> 00:30:05:17
Oh yeah, of course, of course. With Montana we do have, you know, a lot of opportunities every year and, and, and I think I have a, actually booked a white tail hunt for Kansas. Didn’t draw Kansas, so we’re actually going to Missouri, which has over the counter tags as well. So.

00:30:05:25 –> 00:30:07:19
Wow. Tell us a little bit. That’s

00:30:07:19 –> 00:30:08:16
All I’ve got so far.

00:30:08:24 –> 00:30:19:00
Tell us a little bit about elk in Montana. I know, you know, there’s a lot of guys that look to go up there and general and guys can do it with public land and of course there’s private land as well, but Yeah,

00:30:19:16 –> 00:31:16:06
Yeah, yeah. I mean the, the, the whole challenge with Montana is, is the, there’s not as much public land as you would think, you know. I mean, it’s the last best place. And, and the thing is with our state is it’s prime prime Ranch land, which means a lot of big ranches and Yeah. And so the elk hunting on private ground is probably world class phenomenal. It’s probably as good as anywhere in the world. I mean, it’s, it’s just fantastic. Hunting the public land is, is really good as well. It’s just more difficult because of the access, you know, issues. If you don’t have the money for access, that means you’re gonna be competing with a lot of other guys. And it’s, again, it’s world class hunting too, but sometimes it can be frustrating, especially as, as more trail access is, is closed off and, you know, everybody’s kind of starting from the same point. So, you know, we’re, we’re definitely going through some, some growing pains as, as far as access goes.

00:31:16:28 –> 00:31:25:14
Well, tell us a little bit about the trail, the trails being closed. When did they start doing that? What’s the reasoning and, and how far they going taking it? Well, it’s,

00:31:25:14 –> 00:31:48:28
Yeah, it’s just like in, in the forest or the b l m I mean, you know, there, and, and I get it, I, I kind of see both sides. I mean, there’s nothing more annoying than, you know, thinking you have a basin to yourself and all of a sudden you have a four-wheeler comes running right up through the middle, you know, so I kind of understand both sides. But we have a lot of wilderness study areas and things like that that aren’t technically wilderness, but sometimes they end up being managed like wilderness.

00:31:49:03 –> 00:31:51:22
No, we have those down here. It’s a pain. And

00:31:51:22 –> 00:32:20:02
So they, they just are closing off. There’s more and more trails, you know, like the forest service a few years ago, you know, it used to be that you could ride a motorcycle, you know, like a, a little, you know, trials type motorcycle. And, and the way the Forest Service used to manage was that the whole entire forest, all trails were open unless it said it was closed. Yeah. And then one fell swoop, they changed that law to where all trails in the forest are closed unless it says it’s open.

00:32:21:01 –> 00:32:21:08

00:32:21:08 –> 00:32:22:11
That basically 90

00:32:22:16 –> 00:32:23:29
Percents forest what

00:32:23:29 –> 00:32:24:15
Fell swoop.

00:32:24:23 –> 00:32:32:09
Geez. Yeah. Because oh, we haven’t got out and don’t have time, don’t have the manpower to go post ’em open yet. So they’re closed until we get around to doing that.

00:32:33:02 –> 00:32:33:09

00:32:33:18 –> 00:32:35:24
Ing frustrating. On and on. Well,

00:32:35:26 –> 00:32:59:13
So, so that basically cut it down to about 10% and then, then every time that you cut or cut or limit that access or control that access that just pushes every, everybody has to start from the same spot. Yeah. A lot of times around Bozeman here, the, the trail heads, I mean you can’t even get a parking spot at the Trailhead. So you’ll have geez. You know, I mean you can have upwards of a hundred guys, you know, leaving the same trail head and that, that

00:32:59:22 –> 00:33:00:10
Can get pretty

00:33:00:20 –> 00:33:00:28

00:33:01:15 –> 00:33:04:11
It’s important to have a good pair of boots on a hunt like that. A quick

00:33:04:13 –> 00:33:04:22

00:33:05:15 –> 00:33:07:01
Pair of tennis shoes slash boots.

00:33:07:05 –> 00:33:28:11
Yeah. Some of your quick summer hikers on for running to beat, getting the head of the pack and then hitting the ground for sure. Quick a quick lace system to untie and put on your other one. So now you can out distance them. So speaking of that, what, what do you guys got for anything new? Anything new kind of on coming out this year? Anything new you’re excited about? We actually do.

00:33:28:27 –> 00:34:10:16
Yeah, we actually do, we have our, our new guide outsole, we call it K 73 that we came out with. And so that’s on all of the guide series this year. And that’s, you know, it’s the old k talon pattern. So the, the tread pattern is the same, but it’s a little bit deeper, a little bit more aggressive, tread, better heel, you know, for heel breaking downhill more solid construction. And then again, we have control of that compound. And so we, you know, we kind of settled on 73 durometers of hardness Whoa. In the rubber, which is just a, it’s the, just a sweet spot as far as good durability, but a little bit softer. So it has really good grip.

00:34:11:07 –> 00:34:18:10
I think Jason runs 70. We’re excited about that. I think Jason runs 73 Trotters on in pressure in his tires in his four wheeler. Is that right?

00:34:19:21 –> 00:34:20:04

00:34:20:04 –> 00:34:21:22
You’re speaking a language I don’t even know about

00:34:21:22 –> 00:34:25:24
Here, Jim. It’d be like me telling you this track’s a seven foot thin, thin bear. Thin skinny

00:34:26:00 –> 00:34:28:07
Seal, seal starve bear. Tell

00:34:28:07 –> 00:34:31:20
Us, tell us what it means, Jim. What’s 73 and what does that

00:34:31:23 –> 00:34:41:07
Has to do with I guess the rubber hardness. But you want it to Yeah. Not be too hard that you’re on skates, but you want it to grip stuff but not wear out and be too soft. Exactly.

00:34:41:15 –> 00:34:53:19
Exactly. And that’s the challenge. And then you have thermal, you know, properties that come into the rubber as well. Like, does it, does it hold those, you know, that elasticity at colder temperatures or is it, you know, does it, does it

00:34:53:25 –> 00:34:55:05
Actually break down hot? Does it get

00:34:55:05 –> 00:35:10:19
Softer when it’s hot? Hot? You know, I mean there’s all kinds of things that come into play there. And then you run into, you know, ’cause we sell to the industrial side as well. So then you run into electrical hazard. Is it, is it conductive? Is it Geez, electrically insulating. I mean, there, there’s a lot of different things.

00:35:10:29 –> 00:35:19:11
Steel toes are out, steel toes are out. Well, tell me, is this on actually, is this on the website yet? Or, I mean, I’m, I’m not seeing it. Yeah. How do I find it?

00:35:19:19 –> 00:35:25:01
This came out with that this year. Yeah. And, and it’s anything that has our guide, our guide series,

00:35:26:00 –> 00:35:31:11
Mountain guide, desert Guide, those, the Mountain Guide, desert Guide. Is there others I’m missing besides those two?

00:35:32:08 –> 00:35:37:29
There’s the, the mountain guide non insulated, the mountain Guide 400, both of those. Okay. And then the Desert guide as well. Gotcha.

00:35:38:02 –> 00:35:38:13
So it’s,

00:35:38:23 –> 00:35:39:24
So it’s really those three.

00:35:40:04 –> 00:35:58:08
I might try those, those desert guide. So I, I had those, both those and, but what you’ve done is you’ve gone to the k talon out. So versus the, I guess we call it the old guide so that you had on there, which is what I have on mind. I guess that’s all, that’s the only real thing you’ve changed. Okay. Right. Gotcha. Right. I love those boots. Yeah. I love the Yeah.

00:35:58:08 –> 00:36:16:13
Other than that, the, the boot is just solid, you know, the same. I think you’ll feel a little bit, a little bit more forgiving and definitely better traction. ’cause that old outsole, you know, was more of a, a mountaineering outsole from Virum and, and it could tend to get a little bit hard. I mean, it lasted forever. It was like, you know, it

00:36:16:15 –> 00:36:17:02
Would come

00:36:17:02 –> 00:36:25:02
In and that outsole would look like Stonehenge. Right. I mean just, I think that outsole would be the last so what, yeah, it would last forever.

00:36:25:06 –> 00:36:33:07
But, so I just got a, got a little hard, I just got a pair of those Trek mountains. But what’s the differe, do I need to upgrade to these is, is that what you’re telling me?

00:36:33:22 –> 00:36:38:19
Yeah, make sure you get the K 73 for sure. Okay. You might as well send those back if you just did.

00:36:39:08 –> 00:36:49:07
Unless you have them. No, I’ve already, they’re look closely, they’re abused. I, I’ve already abused them, but, and those desert. Tell me about the Desert boot a little bit and some of this August, September stuff down here. That’s all

00:36:49:09 –> 00:36:50:09
I used Jim. Yeah,

00:36:50:20 –> 00:37:16:01
Yeah, for sure. The de the nice thing about the desert guide is it’s kind of on our hearts gravel hiker platform. So it’s above the ankle, but, but still pr you know, so it’s supportive but still pretty forgiving at the same time. And then what we did is we took out the Windex, you know, waterproof, breathable membrane. Yeah. Those membranes. I mean they’re, they do breathe. They definitely breathe, but they never breathe as well as if they’re not there.

00:37:16:01 –> 00:37:29:14
Yeah, sure. No, that’s been my experience. And so on our desert sheet hunts in August and September here, when it’s 95 to 105, you don’t, and if it rains, you’re, it’s a welcome thing. You don’t care if you’re wet, your boots are wet. Right. They’re

00:37:29:14 –> 00:37:31:02
Exactly. It’s like, oh, refreshing.

00:37:31:14 –> 00:37:43:13
They’re not, you’re not needing a boot to stay dry every day. You don’t need that Windex. But that’s that. I’ve used those for years and I love that. Yeah. That early season. Yeah. Before it gets cold breathability. Yeah. Yeah. So

00:37:43:24 –> 00:37:49:21
Yeah, I’ve got ’em, I found ’em on your website says new for 2018. Looks like they’re 400 bucks or so.

00:37:50:06 –> 00:37:51:05
Yeah. The deserts.

00:37:51:09 –> 00:37:51:22
It’s awesome.

00:37:52:22 –> 00:37:52:28

00:37:52:28 –> 00:38:10:13
Well yeah, and that’s an exciting product for us. ’cause we, you know, we’ve been running that, that outsold pattern for a long time, you know, our own tread design there and that’s been really solid and, and so I think we add this together, you know, a little bit more, more forgiving and much better traction, still having really good durability.

00:38:11:13 –> 00:38:11:26

00:38:12:16 –> 00:38:14:12
I think that’s gonna be a strong performer for us.

00:38:15:04 –> 00:38:37:01
Well I think that’s awesome. Is there anything else you guys, I you sell about everything on there. I, you know, just wondering if there’s anything else that you kind of wanna throw out there to the listeners, you know, and some of our people here at Epic Outdoors, you got, I mean obviously women’s boots as well and pack boots and work boots, you know, I know for sure I cut you off on the steel towed, but maybe you had a comment there as well.

00:38:37:19 –> 00:39:25:00
Oh yeah, we, we actually did come out with a lineman and, and like I I say we don’t ever wanna do anything unless we can really make an improvement. And, and so I think we’ve come up with a, again, that’s on the guide platform, but that’s with a steel tow and it has electrical hazard grading. So for guys who are, you know, linemen, a lot of times they have to climb poles, so they have to have a boot that’s really supportive in the arches. Right. ’cause they have to be able to, you know, and, and a tree stand guy would be kind of similar. Yeah. But the pole guys climb really high. Right. They’re they’re way up there. Yeah. But anyway, those, that lineman boot is, is really a fantastic product. It gives us the port of, of the Kenna Trek hunting boot in a more of an industrial style boot that’s, you know, fully certified.

00:39:25:14 –> 00:39:27:26
Yeah. Well right on.

00:39:28:02 –> 00:39:29:11
That’s strong. That’s good.

00:39:29:14 –> 00:39:53:12
The only other thing I can say as far as my advice would be, you know, ’cause I’m getting older, I, I really feel the difference and, and I, we sell a tremendous number of knee braces that we have and trekking poles. No, any of you guys that are, you know, that are over 50, it’s like, I, I swear it’s, it’s like turning the clock back 10 years, you know? I mean it’s just amazing what you can do with that.

00:39:53:23 –> 00:40:25:18
Well, and even yeah, thirties or forties, it’ll help longevity on these. I I always pack one, I’m not in the best habit of using it all the time everywhere I hike, but I have it collapsed on my pack all the time because if you kill a am with a client and you’re now 60, 80 pounds heavier coming out and you’re downhill, you need an extra something. You may be packing 20 to 25 pounds in your day pack, but you can get real heavy quick when you kill something and need to get out. Yeah, for sure much for sure. You know, that’s something we always go through our clients, so I

00:40:25:18 –> 00:40:29:22
Was just wondering, Jim, do you have anything for a guy that basically broke his big toe?

00:40:32:06 –> 00:40:33:04
He broke your big

00:40:33:07 –> 00:40:33:14

00:40:34:18 –> 00:40:35:23
Adam just crushed.

00:40:36:16 –> 00:40:48:24
I guess Jason’s announced that to the world, but it’s doing good. So I don’t think we need to talk about that anymore. It’s healing up, it’s crushed in about 30 pieces, but, but

00:40:48:28 –> 00:40:51:00
Chasing your kid around the house and you end up

00:40:51:00 –> 00:40:54:00
Stuffing in the door jam and that’s put you off.

00:40:55:00 –> 00:40:55:26
Oh, that’s awful.

00:40:56:00 –> 00:41:03:04
Yeah, we’ve all done stuff like that. But this, that happened to me a couple weeks ago and I’m on the man, I’m doing better. I’m outta my, he’s

00:41:03:04 –> 00:41:03:20
On the man, but

00:41:03:20 –> 00:41:09:26
My dumb boot, my hopefully my orthopedic doctor’s not listening, but the boot was gone at two weeks, but

00:41:10:12 –> 00:41:11:14
He was thinking for Yeah,

00:41:11:18 –> 00:41:19:28
Yeah. Just, but no, the boots, the, my cantre don’t fit me yet because it’s still rather large and it hurts, but

00:41:20:05 –> 00:41:22:18
Need an extra wide, so there Yeah,

00:41:22:18 –> 00:41:27:23
I bet. Oh boy. But here by August when the sheet fund starts, I should be good to go. Soll.

00:41:27:23 –> 00:41:28:05
He’ll be a hundred

00:41:28:05 –> 00:41:57:23
Percent, he’ll be good to go. Yeah. So a little bit painful until then. I know that’s one of the worst injuries. I we do a lot of orthopedic work, you know, with the va and that’s one of the, the, the podiatrists that we work with, you know, on those, on those boots, one of the things they say is that, that that arthritis of the big toe is one of the worst maladies that, you know, aging soldiers get, you know, after you hit 50 55, you know, it’s pretty much all, all steady downhill from there.

00:41:58:05 –> 00:42:05:12
Yeah, well, and I, I’m afraid of that just because yeah, I’m younger than that, but, but this is probably gonna be a source of

00:42:05:20 –> 00:42:06:23
Not much. We’re getting old a mom,

00:42:07:23 –> 00:42:15:06
That’s gonna be a probably a problem for me, you know, in 10 or 20 years it’s probably gonna really strap. But anyway, I’m I’m not thinking about that.

00:42:15:06 –> 00:42:19:11
Well just remember supportive boots. That’s right. That stay outta the flip flops. Yeah.

00:42:19:20 –> 00:42:23:19
Now we bare feet around that. I’m gonna wear my Kenna tres around the house and I think we’ll be fine for now.

00:42:23:25 –> 00:42:24:18
So There you go.

00:42:24:29 –> 00:42:27:20
That’ve where your Ken trick. No problem. I

00:42:27:20 –> 00:42:32:04
Wouldn’t have had a problem. The door jam would’ve had a black mark on it and that would’ve been it. Yeah,

00:42:32:04 –> 00:42:32:14

00:42:33:02 –> 00:42:57:00
Well, we wanna, we appreciate you Jim, coming on with us today. I know it’s a busy Monday and it is for us too, but it’s nice to visit and kind of catch up on things. And I just wanna let you know, all the listeners know, we, we did publish a YouTube video when Chris visited you guys on how to properly lace up boots and guys are learning stuff. They never even knew it was possible. I didn’t, I thought you don’t, there was only like two ways to lace up boots, but I’m, I’m learning there’s more than that, so

00:42:57:14 –> 00:43:00:02
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. There’s a lot of things you can do. Yeah.

00:43:00:03 –> 00:43:15:25
So it’s huge. Makes a huge difference on how boots fit, fit a guy and, and wear and the pressure it puts on your feet and whatnot. So anyway, everybody, you know, can go out to the Epic outdoors YouTube and check that out. And, and again, Jen, we, Jen, we wish you, you know, the best of luck this year.

00:43:16:22 –> 00:43:18:16
You too. Thanks very much for having me on.

00:43:18:16 –> 00:43:19:26
Thanks a lot Jen. Appreciate your time.

00:43:20:22 –> 00:43:22:10
You bet. Bye-bye. Bye.