EP 116: Mauled by a Grizzly and a Lifetime of Hunting, with Jim Craig. In this episode of the Epic Outdoors Podcast Adam Bronson talks with 79 year old Jim Craig. Jim has a wealth of hunting experience and countless stories to share. On one particular hunt Jim had just killed a Bighorn Sheep when he was viciously attacked by a Grizzly bear. Far from civilization Jim spent the night on the mountain with his sheep carcass. That night the carcass was taken by another Grizzly. Jim managed to stay alive and lived to hunt many more trips. Jim has Taken 7 Sheep Slams and today is active in promoting hunting and conservation to the younger generations.

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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Bar hollered. Said Jim Grizzly behind you, grizzly and just screamed.

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He was biting your hands and ripping ’em apart.

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We got that 30 feet of the air one time. It’s real steep.

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Anything to do with Western big Games.

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To the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour. Hey everybody. Welcome to this issue of Epic Outdoors Podcast. Adam Bronson here. First off, I’d like to just thank our title sponsor Under Armour. Appreciate their support of us, of Epi Epic Outdoors and sponsoring this podcast built some great gear and been with us from the start. So appreciate that. I also want to give a shout out to Phone scope. They sponsor this podcast as well. Build a great product. Check ’em out on the web at www.phonesskope.com. If you’re looking for a digi scoping binocular or or spotting scope adapter, they’ve got it. No matter your phone, no matter your setup, they’ve got it. They can help help you out, magnify your experience using your optics in the phone scope. Got a great guest today we’re gonna be visiting with Jim Craig from Bloomfield, Indiana. Prime example of somebody that sets goals in the hunting world, sticks to to ’em and can accomplish a whole lot of great things. What’d you do for profession most of your life? Either first on or you know, or throughout the bulk of your, I guess, working career, what have you done for a

00:01:29:04 –> 00:02:28:18
Well, I was a, a pipe fitter, learned a weld and, and brought outta high school and, and became a pipe fitter and traveled around a little bit. My dad worked on a pipeline, so that was my first experience and we started welding, then we started building construction. Then I started a small company back in, in the early nineties and we on our own and we went there and then Leanne and I were in a small gun shop here in Indiana for 45 years and that was ’cause we had a lot of connections to honey and liked to hunt and, and I learned to shoot rifles and or the early age and that’s not a primary thing in Indiana, but we loved to shoot Barnout back in the old days with my uncle. And we started doing that and then become in arrested and big game hunting out west.

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So who introduced you first to hunting? Was it parents or family? You mentioned your uncle, but how’d you get first started into hunting? Did your family always just kind of do it?

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My father, he always really liked to hide and, and he wanted to hunting instead of out running around, he just, he introduced us to squirrel hunting and which is a great teacher. You have to sneak in on those squirrels when they’re cutting on hickory trees and things. I think it’s one of the greatest things. And then we started doing that and when you’re shoot your first squirrel when you’re six or seven years old, and then we advanced from that, went into quail hunting with my uncle and Verit shooting with one of my mother’s brothers and, and we started hunting, like pointing dogs and, and started hunting quail then

00:03:22:15 –> 00:03:38:02
Mostly all the small game stuff. When did you, I don’t know. And this was all in Indiana. You didn’t have deer in that to hunt at the time, if I recall. And so, you know, you had to start looking elsewhere when you get a little older, the squirrels maybe they got a little old. You wanted something bigger and better.

00:03:38:27 –> 00:04:31:20
That’s, that’s correct. We started, there was no deer when I grew up here in Indiana. And, but through conservation efforts and everything, they released some and from many locations and some in a military base here real close to where I live. And they moved out into the farmlands and they moved, our deer heard advanced up in 1956. They opened up this part of the county where I live Green County, the small portion of it to deer hunting. It was where our little farm was located. So I mean, I took off school, I skipped school on the first day of deer season, a three day season. And me and a school teacher, we deer hunted. I killed the first, but

00:04:32:03 –> 00:04:40:26
Geez, I don’t think you could skip school these days with your school teacher and go deer hunting and get away with it if God get fired and your kid would be in detention for two weeks probably.

00:04:41:26 –> 00:04:48:06
That’s probably correct, you know, but then everybody liked it was interesting, you know, for being know.

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Yeah. So as you started, yeah, you obviously, it sounds like you, you loved to do it. What did, when you thought about more and where to go, obviously you, you turned to the West, but were there, were there individuals in either magazines you read or who were some of the early hunters that you maybe followed or, you know, idolized or read about that kind of got your fire lit to hunt out west or things like that?

00:05:11:15 –> 00:05:53:01
Well, when were, we were young and even before we was in high school, we, we used got outdoor life and Field and Stream and the, and, and Sports of Appeal was the three big magazines. And, and of course Jack O’Connor was a writer then writer and Outdoor Life and, and Warren Page, our field and stream, Pete Brown for Port Field. And those guys were pretty influential, especially O’Connor could write really interesting stories and this is what hones your, you know, your skill and to learn more about things like that.

00:05:53:23 –> 00:06:37:18
Gotcha. So that’s where, that’s what got you, you know, he was kind of a romantic. He would, he would romanticize some of the, the hunts, you know, obviously I was, you know, and born in a different era, but I’ve gone back and read some of Jack’s stuff and it was, you know, when that’s all you had, that was the, it romanticized the hunt, the place he brought you into, you know, brought you there along with him. And now it seems like you, everybody does that. You got social media and everything else like that taking you there. But back then it was print, it was, you got a magazine, that was it. There’s no internet, there’s hardly couldn’t afford to make phone calls. So you wrote letters to people and things like that. But what was your, when did you first go on your out-of-state hunt then? When was that roughly? And tell us about it.

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Our first out-of-state hunt, my, I had an older brother, two years older than me, we hunted a lot together. Quail hunted and rabbit hunted and everything. So we went to Colorado with an uncle, our uncle that started shooting and some other gentleman in 1965 hunt Muller and Elk. And we, we were not successful on elk, but we killed a lot of deer in Colorado back then.

00:07:08:23 –> 00:07:12:06
Oh yeah, the 1960s. That was the heyday right then. Jeez.

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Oh, it, it’s unbelievable.

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Yeah. Tell us a little bit about what it, what it was. This was your first trip and, and tell us a little bit about what you remember from that or maybe some of those subsequent trips in the sixties for all of us mul deer lovers that wish we could go back and see that

00:07:28:26 –> 00:08:34:25
We hunted north of Craig Colorado towards the Wyoming border and there was an area called Bear’s Ears. And, and a couple of gentlemen had been there before that. And we, we split it up and we pretty, pretty high country and me and my brother just hunted together and I killed a, the first day actually we hunted, I killed a, a pretty good mule bear and just scored a little over one 90 today. And I didn’t even think about it back then. You know, you just, it was a good deer. So I shot this deal there and we, my brother killed a deer. You could kill two each back then for $47 as I recall for two tags. And we hunted there in 65. And in 1966, Leanne and I wanted to explore the whole country and Leanne and I were married and, and we wrote letters and I said I’d like to try some place else.

00:08:35:01 –> 00:09:28:02
And so we went to, wrote a lot of letters to Montana through the fish and game department. We got a lot of lists of outfitters and we hunted and in East Fork of Beirut in, in Montana in 1966. And you could get a combination like license being of elk and deer and bear. And so in 1966 where we went there and with another hunting partner who she put me for several years in Lloyd Thompson and we with my brother Benny and we all killed elk and deer and, and I had got drawn for a goat tag back then. And so a got killed a goat tag, what, you know, it was an easy draw back then, you know,

00:09:28:11 –> 00:09:37:29
What was the rough cost of a 10 day hunt or whatever you booked there in Montana for dear Elk Bear. What was the cost of an outfitted hunt back then? Do you remember? Roughly

00:09:39:06 –> 00:09:41:18
$350, I think for 10 day hunt.

00:09:41:26 –> 00:09:47:01
Three 50. Wow. Yeah, that’s the price That didn’t even cover your license in some of these states now. Dang.

00:09:47:11 –> 00:09:56:26
No. Damn the license, I don’t recall. I think it was maybe a hundred dollars in or 125 at the most. Yeah, for all your tags, you know. So

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Paint the picture just briefly about what you remember your first experience backing up slightly to that Colorado deer experience in 1965, the numbers of deer. You saw the amount of bucks I suppose you didn’t have obviously great binoculars and probably great rifles back then either, so you probably were just, you know, firing a lot of shots and you know, maybe not killing you ended up killing a bunch of bucks it sounds like. But what was it like numbers of deer wise numbers of big bucks you saw? What do you remember? Well,

00:10:25:27 –> 00:10:56:25
We saw quite a few good bucks and, and they were starting to bunch up. This was a latter part of the season when we were there. So we saw a lot of deer and some really, I mean I look back now outstanding deer and, but in the first rifles my brother had a 30 off six and I had a two 70 and it was an old Husqvarna and

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Husqvarna, I had a

00:10:58:17 –> 00:10:59:14
Wow Husqvarna.

00:10:59:22 –> 00:11:06:01
I know they make chainsaws and stuff now they motorcycles and stuff like that. Yeah. Oh

00:11:06:08 –> 00:12:01:17
Yeah, yeah. It’s, it made a great rifle in the 1950s and my father had helped me buy this and I had a Cola Morgan, which bear cub was later Redfield and scope on a poor power. And that’s what I used. And, and we had, my brother had, like I said, had 30 al six and, and well we shot a lot so we knew we, my uncle had us reloading back then so we could shoot and, and we had a good time. I, he really didn’t miss many shots, you know, but she, there was a lot. I always remember in 1966, a season opened in Montana, October 23rd and elk were still, were bugling a lot and I don’t know why, but there was really, and there’s low snow on, so it was the perfect condition. Yeah, we, we killed three bulls in four days, so,

00:12:02:23 –> 00:12:03:15
So, but

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It was my game.

00:12:05:01 –> 00:12:35:27
That’s, that’s interesting. Tell us, so tell us, how long have you been playing like the application game out west? You obviously, it sounds like, you know, you came once you came back the next year to Montana and then how did it start? You, you obviously knew that some, you alluded to the fact you drew ’em out and goat early on, but how long you play, been playing the western application game and, and then let’s get in a little bit about, you know, some of your fa favorite species to hunt out west and, and maybe why, I know you’re as a big sheep hunter, but how did you, how long you been playing the draw game?

00:12:37:08 –> 00:13:03:22
I started, I was applying before all the, the applications. I mean you just put in Yeah. And we didn’t know much about the application you just put in, it was like in Montana, those, like, I think one year, a couple years after that we drew three, three or four of the five goat tags that was available. So nobody was doing it then.

00:13:03:27 –> 00:13:07:18
Yeah, the drawing odds are pretty good back then. The sixties or whenever that was.

00:13:08:08 –> 00:13:28:16
Yeah, it was, it was a, it was a good drawing. And then, so I just continually, and then I started putting in for sheep in Arizona and Nevada and places like that as, as time went on and wanted to kill a desert sheep, you know, but, and, and many, many other animals and elk and things like that.

00:13:29:10 –> 00:13:45:19
So what would you say, what are some of your favorite species to hunt, you know, for, for, and that, and we’ll go into that based on, I know you’ve hunted sheep a lot and we’ll talk about about that, but what has become some of the favorite western big game species for you to hunt

00:13:46:08 –> 00:13:59:05
Along with sheep, I always enjoyed, one of my favorite animals, animals is hunting elk, mule deer and antelope. I, I really embarrassed. I really enjoy hunting just about anything. Got all of them.

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00:13:59:25 –> 00:14:28:11
Yeah I did. And I loved, I loved a bird hunt too. So it was part of our life. It was just like kind of old species and it was always hard to single one out. I would usually pick one out. I really went on early. In the early early days. What happens sometimes you don’t realize it, but you were out so much after elk you would pass up good deer. And until we run your life you begin to understand a good deer. It’s harder, it’s

00:14:28:11 –> 00:14:29:12
Hardest to come by. Yeah,

00:14:29:23 –> 00:14:36:05
Yeah it is. And we passed up some tremendous deer back in them days. ’cause you didn’t wanna shoot because the elk ground. Yeah. Yeah.

00:14:36:14 –> 00:14:43:13
Well tell us about when did you first hunt sheep and take your first ram? When was your first sheep Pun? What year do you remember?

00:14:44:13 –> 00:15:17:29
1970. I went into the unlimited area in Montana in the Spanish peaks and with a guy named Kenny Grabber. And we hunted 10 or 11 days and saw a lot of small rounds but nothing legal. And, and, and in the following year I went to Southern BC and hunted out hunt big horns, fair amount. And there was not a lot of information back then like it is today. So you had trouble finding where to hunt, what to hunt and how to, to do things.

00:15:18:12 –> 00:15:21:13
How’d you do that? Did you just write letters or how did you write

00:15:21:13 –> 00:15:49:21
Letters? Write letters? Hundreds, hundreds, hundreds of letters. We, Ann and I just, we, we still got a lot of letters. So we account some old outfit and stuff pay on. So there was not a lot of information you could get only just, you know, through what you could pick up writing and, and magazine stories because, and then what, you know, there was no people hunting that you knew or if we could get information from

00:15:49:21 –> 00:15:57:07
You, you had to go learn something and then if it was good, you wanted to go back with that outfitter and if it wasn’t, you needed to find a different one ’cause you didn’t want to go do that one again.

00:15:57:23 –> 00:16:03:21
That’s exactly right. You know, so that’s why you get singled out certain ones. You hunt a lot with 50 years. Yeah.

00:16:03:21 –> 00:16:07:07
So when did you actually kill your first sheep then? And what, what hunt was that?

00:16:07:27 –> 00:17:13:13
In 1972, I went to, I talked to Jack Atchison in Montana, Jack Atchison Sr. And was a great guy, really honest, straightforward guy. Couldn’t give you good information. And I, I’d met him in, in 66, I stopped there at his place and he, he was doing some tax company work in, in the garage on his house. And so we got talking and I become friends with him and he could give you real sound information. So, and I was, wrote a lot of letters to British Columbia and stuff like that and, and so, and the Yukon, things like that. So I’m, he, he told me about the Yukon, which was a guy named Clay Martin, it’s called Pelly Mountain Mount Outfitters. And I went in there in 72, I killed the P chief and a big moose and a grizzly and a couple wool.

00:17:13:20 –> 00:17:16:23
I’ll bet that poured gas on the fire, huh? Did that Oh

00:17:16:23 –> 00:17:27:20
Yeah, it sure, sure did. It was a 16 days we was in there in September. Believe it was a good, but Clay got his, his health and I really enjoyed it. He guided a lot for

00:17:29:14 –> 00:17:30:15
So how do you different,

00:17:31:04 –> 00:17:32:08
Different people, you know?

00:17:32:20 –> 00:17:54:07
So 1972 you killed the first ram and obviously that that started it all. How, how do you explain I guess, what either that first sheep hunt did to you or how your pa what your passion is for Sheep Ping and, and the whys and obviously what that’s led you to in terms of the number of sheet hunts you’ve been able to go and do in your life. Where, how do you explain how that changed you, I guess?

00:17:54:17 –> 00:18:47:06
Well, it kind of changes your life. It’s a challenge. And I think the challenge is it, I never done anything for personal recognition or anything. I just, I, I like to accomplish things so, and hard, hard, you know, and you felt good when you left over. And sometimes it’s like that it would be so hard and you spend so many days in the bad weather and things like that and you think you might not go again when you’re there. And then you get back home and you think it over and it’s ready to fire lit a fire in you that you could not, you know, explain the other way. It’s just, then you could do it again, you think. And so you, they always said your body holds no grudges. So it, you know what the physical part of what you went through, it didn’t seem to affect you as you got home.

00:18:48:04 –> 00:20:03:16
Well that, that’s true. And, and after you get done on a sheet punt many times you’re like, man, that was a grind. I’m glad I’m done. I’m home. And then it’s usually for me, a matter of days, once you’re once that sore muscles over, you’re thinking about when can I go do something like that again? Because it just, I don’t know, it is, it’s, it’s all, it is everything. It’s not only just the animal, but for sheep hunting for me is the places you get to go. And they’re so diverse from, from the deserts of Mexico to Northwest Territories in Yukon and literally everywhere in between. There’s almost no two sheet punts are are alike. They’re so different. And I know you’ve been very, you’ve been on a lot of sheet punts. I don’t know exactly how many, but I’m gonna ask you just, I know you’re, you’re not the kind of guy, and this was not, I know, I know this is the, the podcast. You’re not the kind of guy that beat your chest and tell everybody what you’ve done and what you killed. But for our, for our listeners, I think it’ll appreciate what a what a just a self started, I guess interest in hunting the West. What, what that turned into you from 1972 to now, how many, how many ramps have you taken slams have you taken? And then I guess are you done sheep hunting? Are you still planning on hunting sheep?

00:20:03:26 –> 00:21:03:11
Well, I, I have a lot more than I intended to, like I said, because I’ve met many great people on the, these Hunts Outfitters and stuff, and we’ve become great friends. So had opportunities that, that a person don’t have today, but like with the Colleen Wood brothers, Andrey and, and a lot of people like that. And, and so I went, got to, I went a lot and got to, got to go back and, and, and, and sometimes almost don’t well on a bargain deal. But anyway, I’d save money, save money and save money and just keep afterwards, you know, and it’s, and I ended up, I killed seven of all the sheep. I mean the, the big horns and the gallstones and and desert. And the desert I killed later. Right at, well, not all of ’em, but I killed the first one in 87. I think it was in Mexico. But you know, most of ’em are killed or three or four of ’em are killed right at the end.

00:21:03:19 –> 00:21:50:22
Yeah, I remember, I think that’s when you and I first first met you were, you’d killed I think six rams of all species, except you’d only killed three deserts. It was actually your wife, Leanne, that talked to me, says, Hey, you need to talk to him about hunting sheep and about hunting sheep, desert sheep. And I’m like, well, what do I need to say to him? He’s killed a lot of sheep before. And he said, well yeah, he’s, he’s got three deserts, he needs to kill three more and kind of get caught up. I says, well, if he’s got your blessing, I’m sure he is probably gonna do it. So sure enough it, it happened and you know, you, you pretty much won it won every other year, every year there for a minute and got quote caught up. And like you said, now you’re up to, to seven. Correct. When, when was your last, when was your last sheet punt that you went on? How was it just the last year or two?

00:21:51:21 –> 00:22:21:13
No, I, well I went on one last year, but it wasn’t mine, but it was 2013, I, it was the last one I count that was Desert Cheap and the Old Dead Mountains in California, which yeah, got the one, the one the zone tags. Yep. There one, the last ones. And it was a, not a real good hunt ’cause we had to hunt for like 12, 14 days to find a sheep ’cause they was about all dead and yeah then, and

00:22:22:04 –> 00:22:48:29
I remember that. Yep. And you killed a good old ram despite those conditions of that die off starting to go through there. You did. Yeah. Well, of all these hunts, I mean it’s hard to pick out one or two, but does any of them stick out, you know, to you, of all these sheep hunts you’ve been on that maybe they’re all special I know doubt, but any that stands out or any that were longer or especially grinding or things like that or rewarding?

00:22:49:17 –> 00:23:26:11
Well, probably the ones that last the longest are the, are the ones that stand out the most. I’ve been on a couple was 23 days to kill a big horn and, and with Albert Cooper and Bruce Columbia. And it was a year after I got with a very incident. So I, I hunted 23 days then before I killed one. And I was gonna hunt 30 if I had to because he told me to stay till the season was over if I had to. So yeah, I’d done that, but it was little weather and a lot of snow and, and it was tough, tough hunting. You don’t forget those kinds. No,

00:23:27:15 –> 00:24:11:23
That’s right. Well you mentioned, you mentioned one of the, one of the instances, instances that I want to talk about today. And this is a pretty incredible story and one, it’s partly why we wanted you to have on today because it’s a, it’s, I don’t know many people that that have a story like this, Jim, and you mentioned this one of these rocky hunts you did with Albert in British Columbia set tee up that hunt a little bit about how you got there and then we’ll get into the, to that hunt and it was, you, you end up taking a, an amazing ram for that, that era. But then it then things kind of got western, I guess so to speak after that. But tee up that hunt for us and tell us about that experience with the, with the bear.

00:24:13:13 –> 00:25:17:00
It was in 94 and I had hunted elk with Albert in 93 and he just was down to two big horn tags a year or he, if he didn’t kill one, you could carry over a tag. So I talked to him and so I went 90 he, he come down to visit us. So he come down here and we went over it and stuff and he told me to hunt the pool 30 days if I need to or because that’s best hunting. It’s winter range for sheep right off the amp National park boundary south in the, not a center blanc country, British Columbia. So we was talking about it and, and me dad probably there was a girl who run our gun shop here at mine, Leanne. She managed it for us who had, who was kind of a godsend for us ’cause she was a neighbor kid and had a brain aneurysm and almost died.

00:25:17:00 –> 00:26:19:16
And then she went to work for us here because, and she got over that. So, but anyway, she, Albert met her and he wanted her to come up and he wanted her to kill an elk and a mountain goat. And he said for seven days said, you just come up and I’ll put somebody with you. So it was kind of a godsend of why she went and, and, but we rode in there October the fourth in nine four. And as we rode in, they, you ride through some pretty good sheep country. It’s in about 25 miles, probably off of highway 93 in DC. And as we rode through, we took out the binoculars and we found two rams of real high right up towards the top. And so we, as we did when Albert was done, not enough time. And so we didn’t have a spoto scope out so we didn’t want to, it was a big bull elk walk across down Lowell and Albert said, we don’t wanna shoot or anything because we might speak to sheep.

00:26:19:16 –> 00:27:12:29
So we went on into camp, which is another five miles or something like that. So we come, we went into camp and, and got put away. And the next day Doug Gartner would, sheep done, the sheep guiding back then for Albert, he and I went down the valley toward this, the sheep was in, was spotting. And we found the rams finally. And they were both pretty good rams. One of ’em was definitely leg on, the other one was real heavy ram broomed hard and probably one of the biggest big horns I’ve ever laid eyes on. But anyway, he had broomed a lot. So there it was the age thing wasn’t in play then. And then they had to come above the full curl line. So, so we, we was there looking at sheep.

00:27:15:00 –> 00:28:29:20
Tammy, the, the girl that worked for us, her and, and Bernie Wise, who was a Canadian male policeman who was taking his vacation, was gonna get her, they’d come down looking for elk because they’d been elk hunting and come down that morning. And so Doug said, I wish he could go with me up that mountain ’cause if I could pack that big horn out one trip and said, reckon she’d want to go. And I figured she did ’cause she was a real good athlete and, and she’d been really running and working out hard. So it is. So she, they asked her and said, yeah, I’ll go and say, I said up the mountain that we went, she could really climb because she was in good shape young to. So we got up and we, it was about it took us five hours or something to make it climb. But they come around and real tough going, come around right above the sheep and come down and the two big grounds were laying there and, and they laid on a ledge right down below us. We got was him 50 yards of them. And there was just tremendous rams. And, and I always remember what panic said, my god, I see why you’d like to do this up the world here. Yeah, yeah.

00:28:29:22 –> 00:28:32:06
And two big rams and you’re ready to shoot Ram

00:28:32:08 –> 00:29:48:28
Big Rams. Yeah. And she, so we looked at it and then we watched him for 30 minutes because we had spinal scope on, we was trying to look at splinters. The big ram was roomed up over two inches in diameter. And he just, he was just tremendous ram probably, i i we always thought he was in the high one eighties yet, you know, so, and the other ram was a younger ram but he was coming on up above the, the bridge of the nose. So he was definitely legal. So they finally, the one ram they left it, they said sure call finally. So he was probably one quarter inch short. I thought I one horn and a half inch short on the other horn. So I said I’ll shoot the other ramp then. So I finally, I shot him and he went down and was pretty steep and loaded on some pines down below us a hundred yards. So we went down, he dressed him and, and, and I want the full body man on him. He was a good ram. We looked at him and he was probably, you know, as I look back at it and look at pictures and stuff, he was probably a real close to any round. The 180 ran man. He was a good ram himself. Great

00:29:48:28 –> 00:29:49:02

00:29:50:05 –> 00:30:41:17
Yeah. Hell yeah. Tremendous. She. And so we went down and had went and probably about, oh I think maybe 200 yards, something like that. And, and the Bernie Weill or the Canadian Mount Policeman, he had a load of meat on his back and he was right down below us and he fell and slid down a shale slide and the burn was right down the head of him. He had a load of meat and I didn’t have much on my back either, but, but the, Doug had the horns and stuff on top of his load of meat ’cause I was having some back problems in, so, and Tammy was, had caught up with me. She’d been behind a little bit but, and bar hollered and said, Jim Grizzly behind you grizzly and just screamed. And I rolled around here he come and

00:30:42:12 –> 00:30:44:15
You were in the rear and this bear was coming hard.

00:30:44:25 –> 00:30:58:10
Yeah, it had coming hard and we were screaming at him, but he didn’t slow down. He was, and I saw he had a, had a green and yellow tag and he was right ear. And so, you know, you’ve been caught somewhere so, you know,

00:30:58:22 –> 00:31:00:15
Probably a problem. Bear somewhere problem

00:31:00:17 –> 00:31:51:24
Bear. He was a problem bear and a real old bear. And he come in and I stepped around Tammy and just clear her and I was trying to kill him. ’cause I had a magazine. Was little bit nothing in the chamber. Of course. Yeah. And I stepped towards him because you see him as you hunt a lot, you’ve seen him kill a couple animals in your lifetime. You know. So he, as he approached me, I tried to did a she the chamber and I got up part the way in then I think it was going hit me. So I stepped toward him here and then poked him with a barrel. I was gonna open the bolt down and put, and he grabbed the barrel in his mouth in, ah, I don’t know his clanked, but I couldn’t pull it, I couldn’t get it down. And he hit me with his body then without a slapping at me, you know, like they normally do. Yeah.

00:31:52:12 –> 00:31:55:12
So now you’re on the ground, your gun’s knocked to the side. Yeah,

00:31:56:09 –> 00:32:19:21
He, he, he knocked me line, he caught me before ever hit the ground by my arm. My left arm. And I don’t know how he got it, but I always remember his face shot mine and he just, he grabbed carry me, you know, he carried me around there a little piece. And then Tammy there. I didn’t, she had the only gun that God didn’t even have guns and wasn’t packing guns. So

00:32:20:20 –> 00:32:24:19
She had the gun because she was hunting out. But she had it with her, luckily. Yeah,

00:32:24:19 –> 00:32:50:15
Luckily she had it with her. Like I said, that’s a godsend why stuff happened, you know. So you, she had a, they’d been kidding her about her big gun. ’cause her small gun was a 3 38. And I always tell people, listeners to 200 and green dollars bullets in it for elk. And she, I don’t know, he, he grabbed me and came around and he told me then, and the shake me and told me like

00:32:50:15 –> 00:32:53:01
A dog, like a dog shaking something, huh?

00:32:53:13 –> 00:33:26:29
Yeah. This way he thought, and I remember and beating against the ground there several times and, and he actually beat my toenails off in my hunting boots, you know, ah, and geez. And, but anyway, he told me, and then I, you know, everything’s kind of a blank. You always don’t know what’s going on, but he couldn’t hardly see, you know, and he’d be right on me again. But he would, her guy Bonnie was, would get him, get him off outta me and she would shoot, she shot twice right through the rib cage, sideways, both side shot,

00:33:27:01 –> 00:33:42:02
Close range. I mean she’s, yeah, your life’s in her hands to some extent. Oh yeah, she’s got the gun, but she can’t shoot you in the, in the no wrestling match basically this bear’s no throwing you around, coming after you. It never turned on them. Really just kept after you, huh?

00:33:42:26 –> 00:34:25:22
Well, it, the, he did later. But anyway, he would throw me and, you know, but I, I knew she had shot, but she shot twice then he got off, grabbed me again and they both kept her composure unreal. I mean, I really give ’em a lot of credit for live my life to him. He would tell me and, and then he would be right on me again. You know? And of course he gets to get something wounded to finish it off. So he took me a long way at that time down the mountainside and got set probably 30 feet through the air one time. It was real steep. Geez. And, but it got me away from him and I mean, anyway, and he went down and I was flipping and, and I,

00:34:26:20 –> 00:34:31:12
She shoot him again. At that point when you gained, she threw you down. That’s when she shoot him. Well,

00:34:31:20 –> 00:35:22:29
Well he come right around in my face at that time and, and, and I was looking up and here he come right in my face and he didn’t get ahold of me and the mounting was throwing rock and stuff at him. And, and he went right, he turned him off, him off of me and went right for him. And then he jumped at him. He backed up against and he jumped him. She a shot. And I seen the hair and the tshirt just flower my head and, and hit him right the chest that time he, and he ended up just stood there for a minute, looked like, and, and was slow motion. Of course, you know how it is. Yeah. Everything is, the floor was sitting in and he buckled over backwards. So, and here he come, he went and he was hollering, you’re going to land on you Jim. So, but I couldn’t do that. My hands were messed up real bad. I had it him in his face a lot, shoot him up pretty bad. But anyway, yeah,

00:35:22:29 –> 00:35:30:10
You’re trying to protect your face. You mean when he was coming after you just had it over your face and he was, he was biting, he was biting your hands and ripping ’em apart. Yeah,

00:35:30:12 –> 00:35:35:14
I just, I was fighting, I was putting my hands in his mouth and everything else because you’re just fighting for your life. You,

00:35:35:16 –> 00:35:37:29
That’s better than your throat or your face. Yeah,

00:35:37:29 –> 00:36:37:24
Yeah, yeah. You’re trying to keep him away, you know. So, and he ended up, he went, rolled over me, went on down and he put himself to front feet and, and scooter and about 50 feet below me. And then my guy was right there close and I’ll be darn he, once he took, after him dragging his himself, you front feet up through the rocks and he was running and he was hollering and hollering, shoot the s o b, you know. And he, he went over and all, once I, that’s the first time I’d ever heard her say anything. And I said, you know, you, you just, she said, I’m reloading. And and my old once, he went over a big rock and she shot right, not very far, probably six foot and dug and came through his shoulder and out the neck that time. And that, that fixed him, because you always remember he was so blood soak from all the shooting. He was just looked like he threw a buckle of blood in the air when the bullet had jumped.

00:36:38:13 –> 00:36:47:25
But he soaked up four or five shots it sounds like. I mean, he was, adrenaline was going and he was in kil mode and he was in survival mode and kil mode at the same time it sounds like. Oh yeah.

00:36:48:00 –> 00:36:49:28
Yeah. He was around deaf, you know. So

00:36:50:14 –> 00:37:01:20
Anyway, that killed him. And then, and then what you’re, I don’t know. So you, you, he’s dead and everybody probably came to you and what, what’d they find? Well, what condition were you in?

00:37:02:11 –> 00:37:37:17
Well, I was laying there and they asked Doug Ner was the first one to get. And I always tell people I I’ve never seen a guy shaking so bad in his life. And, and of course they’re chasing up to there and he come down, he got to me first and he said, how bad you’re hurting. I said, I don’t know, I, I know I look bad ’cause it was just blood soaked all over and I had a lot of cuts in my face the head, stuff like that. But just surface cuts, you know, I said, I’m make here. I think. So then he tried to, he said, you care if I smoke a cigarette. I always recall this because he shaking to me and he couldn’t get it lit.

00:37:38:10 –> 00:37:40:16
That’s how you knew he was shaking. He couldn’t even like one. Huh.

00:37:41:29 –> 00:37:42:12
I bet

00:37:43:06 –> 00:38:24:25
He, they, him and the bounty, Bernie Weiller, he got there and of course he was a good guy to have. He knew first aid about, been in the force about 25 years. So he, they took off their insulated underwear tops and dropped my arms all wrapped with compression band, just, you know, where it was bleeding a lot. And so I laid there a little bit and I said, I believe I can walk outta here. I knew my ribs were broke on one side and a bunch of ’em was. So I took one good blow of that. But then I, I tried to get up and God, I, once the pain started hitting out my left leg was, my foot was backwards and, and I fell.

00:38:25:05 –> 00:38:28:18
You knew you had a, a bad problem there. You weren’t walking out anywhere. Oh yeah,

00:38:28:18 –> 00:38:38:14
Yeah, yeah. Bone was sticking out in my leg, you know, and stuff like that. So, so it was messed up on worse than I thought it was, you know, so that’s where we spent the night, you know.

00:38:39:02 –> 00:39:08:16
So you had to Yeah, your legs, I don’t know, you couldn’t walk down even down to camp obviously to camp. You’re right there. And what’d you have to send a couple of them out and obviously now you’re probably, you’re probably hurting. I mean, that’s an understatement. But you got broken ribs. I don’t know how many of them you got broken hands, I mean leg turned backwards, you know, all that. The adrenaline shock, you know, it’s kind of starting to wear off and you’re, you’re trying to just survive on the mountain.

00:39:09:09 –> 00:40:02:23
Sure. And, but we talked it over and they got a fire. It was right at timber line. So we got a, they got a fire started and started heating up some rocks and palm against me. You know, you learn a lot of things like that back from old books, you know, and, and they kept a fire going. So the metal policeman said, me and Tammy will go down and we’ll get some help, but I’ll be back for daylight. And with our sleep bag Oh up and it’s about probably three hours to four hours up from where the, the bottom was at, where the horses are at. So it’s really tough, steep country. So they took off and then we, Doug Durner stayed with me and he kept a far going most of the night and he’d go down, drag up wood and we, but you, you hurt.

00:40:02:26 –> 00:40:47:23
My breast hand was just mangled pretty bad. I hated had it right in his mouth a lot. And her right hand was tore pretty bad up. And, but anyway, we laid there, you know, you’re hurting. But you know, a lot of people went through worse service and than you have. So, you know, I never did worry about things. I felt I could survive. So they about, I’ll tell you another little side story to it about you keep time in your mind about one o’clock in the morning where Doug was down getting wood and he was saying, and I heard rocks coming down from above me and around me so I knew what it was. Probably a grizzly, another grizzly.

00:40:47:26 –> 00:40:57:26
You got blood everywhere from a sheep. You got sheep meat. Oh yeah. You got your blood, you got, you know, a dead drizzly laying there. You got all kinds of, you know, carnage. Yep.

00:40:58:19 –> 00:41:44:20
It, my sheep was laying across a little ditch from me about 50 feet. And it was in a backpack and, and and, and it was, the tape was, and a full body mount, full body mounted. So the meat and all was there, but I never did say nothing to him ’cause I was afraid he might panic ’cause he was a pretty nervous guy at that time. And so I just laid there and never said a word. So Barney got back about three in the morning with a resident hunter who had recruited. He had a couple sleeping bags to help me cover up because it was getting cold. And, and so the next morning like got daylight, my sheep was gone completely. I never did find it.

00:41:45:01 –> 00:41:54:23
So that bear in the night that was around, you’re, I mean you’re sitting there, I mean I guess you had your gun, you’re sitting there in case I, I mean I don’t know if you could have used it or not, but you had a gown. Well,

00:41:55:11 –> 00:42:24:26
Yeah, I had a 2, 2 70 and I had them dug when the left there, a couple kind getting lay it across my chest. I had one good finger left on my right hand, my trigger finger. And I could use my arm, had to move it with on my left hand, even though my hand and wrist don that there was really messed up bad. Yeah. And so I could kind of, kind of protect yourself if he had to. So he, he did that. So it was it, but anyway, it was, so the sheep was gone and so

00:42:24:26 –> 00:42:29:22
The morning here it was all gone. Meat tape. Yeah. Everything was gones, everything, everything

00:42:29:23 –> 00:42:31:26
Gone. Never did find it. Never did find it.

00:42:32:07 –> 00:42:39:21
Ah, so that, that day comes, you’re obviously, you’re bummed, but you’re like, I gotta get outta here. How did they, how’d they get you outta that situation?

00:42:39:21 –> 00:43:36:21
They come in with some, with some metal policemen was very familiar with these guys because they were mountain rescue of people from station then in, in Amp and in the town there. So they, they come in with a helicopter the next day and they come up the valley and, and they had that far going, you could see it. But even though the sun was up and it was after daylight long time. So they come up over and he hovered right up of us. You couldn’t get down. It was so steep and snag sticking up down below. So the mount, he told me that long line you outta here. And then, so he called it, he’d worked with him before. So they went around and then they come in with one guy on a, a wrong line wrote, they dropped him down up by side of me and then they brought a circle and dropped another guy down.

00:43:36:24 –> 00:44:11:26
So, but they always asked, because I don’t remember what they said when that’s one guy dropped down, he seen the, the, that was a mount policeman. He said, how you get here for the left? And he said, I was here when it started. So, but they worked an airplane wreck a week before that? I think so. But those great people I never had them to pray for. And I as remember ’em pretty good. They used to call me back for a couple years and talked to me a lot because they took me down the valet then and sent me down on a double bar and then where they could put me inside the helicopter and they took me down on

00:44:11:29 –> 00:44:19:04
The highway. So they put you in a, they just put you in a little, I don’t know, cage or gurney type thing and lifted you up, tank dangling from the cable.

00:44:20:00 –> 00:44:21:03
Yeah, that was,

00:44:21:20 –> 00:44:34:10
Geez, that’s pretty unnerving. I mean, you’re flying out over the valley in southern, you know, Alberta dangling a hundred feet below a helicopter. I I guess that’s better than staying on the mountain and dying. Oh, I,

00:44:34:23 –> 00:45:02:20
I I tell you, I always remember one of the guys that, that was there, he snapped on with me and his face was right up against mine, had kind in a body bag and in on a kind of a gurney. Yeah. And he was said, I said Thanks a lot for the, with a good service because, and he said, you’ll think so when you get the bill because it’s about $4,500 an hour at that time. And I said, I don’t care what it cost, you gotta get out here.

00:45:02:25 –> 00:45:05:22
That’s right. I got a life I wanna live still. Yeah. It,

00:45:05:22 –> 00:45:29:25
It was the only thing I didn’t get charged for it though. And, but they was great people. I got a lot and they flew me down then to the highway 93, which goes up to Coney National Park and we landed there right on the road and, and they had there some cement climbers would tell over there and they had to go to help get them. So there was putting me in another helicopter and told me in Vermeer versus Columbia, it’s a hospital.

00:45:30:10 –> 00:45:36:20
And then how, what happened there, they obviously you had to stay there a while. It wasn’t just like they patched you up and sent you out the door, I’m sure.

00:45:37:15 –> 00:46:14:02
Well they, they couldn’t do much with me because I was pretty bad shape. And, and so they transferred me that night to the out over in Calgary, Alberta. And I spent 16 days over there in a foothill hospital and had the operation on my legs and hands. And I had, you know, I i and I really was banged up a lot worse than what I thought because the other things they didn’t find very good there. So Yeah, well back and stuff. So

00:46:14:14 –> 00:46:30:08
Back and ribs and probably internal problems. Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean one of those things that, I mean it was in 94 I think you said that if it was in a part of N W T or Yukon or somewhere probably aren’t getting a helicopter there like they did there. Even though you’re in the wilderness there, you’re at least within

00:46:31:00 –> 00:46:31:09

00:46:31:09 –> 00:47:13:29
Right. You know, somewhat close proximity to, to help that can actually save your life. That’s a that’s an amazing story. I’ve had you tell me that story on several occasions and when I’ve introduced you with other people with me at the sheep show or whatever, that’s, I mean, that’s one of those experiences that, you know, not many, many people live to tell about. And that’s, and not only that, like I said, they, you, you’re in proximity somewhere. They could get a helicopter and get you out. ’cause you weren’t, you weren’t, you know, if you weren’t walking out, you probably couldn’t even get on a horse and ride out. Maybe they could have done that. But by then, you know what I mean, two, three days later Yeah, you had a lot of problems going on. You know, it’s, that’s infection or just everything else. So you’re

00:47:13:29 –> 00:47:17:01
Very fortunate, you know, you know, very fortunate. So it’s a

00:47:17:01 –> 00:47:38:00
Crazy, crazy experience, Jim. I mean, I don’t know. And, and then, you know, you’ve been back and I don’t know how many sheet hunts since then. That was 94. So you’ve probably been on 20 plus sheet hunts after that. Didn’t slow you down once you got healed up, I don’t know how many, how many months or years you had to take off to get back to normal from that. But it probably didn’t slow you down for that long, huh?

00:47:38:17 –> 00:48:13:17
No, Albert told me when they couldn’t find my sheep, he said never found it. He, no, never did find anything first and service and service with a helicopter rail and everything. Couldn’t find the, it was in a green backpack. And, and, and, but anyway, we buried it probably. But anyway, Albert told me, he said, you’re gonna hunt next year if we have to pack you. So I, I was laid up pretty bad and had have a leg operation here and, and some things and get some other stuff corrected. But I was pretty tough to get around for the next year. But I went back the next year and

00:48:13:27 –> 00:48:17:00
You did the next year you went back the same place.

00:48:17:14 –> 00:48:22:08
Wow. Same place. And we hunted 23 days for our finally kill. We killed a 40 inch ba horn.

00:48:22:18 –> 00:48:26:14
Holy cow. Geez. That’s amazing.

00:48:27:13 –> 00:49:00:28
Yeah. I thought you have bad luck. You have good luck. But then I say this in the following year, Albert called me that summer and he said, I’m not mean you’re going shoe hunting. And I said, I don’t need to. And he said, I said, you have a hundred people on your waiting list wanting to go. But he said, nah, I don’t care. I said, hell, I take who I want to. So he said, I me, you going just me and you. And I said, okay, we hunted 15 days and I killed another 40 inch big one. Geez. So they that’s bad luck and good luck. Yeah,

00:49:01:02 –> 00:49:47:18
Yeah. You you got the best of that mountain finally. Yeah. But wow, what a story. Geez. That’s amazing. It really is. And thanks for sharing that. I mean, when I see you, I mean, I know, you know, it’s all pins and screws and everything else that held you together for a while, but Right. I mean, you get around Okay. Despite, despite I’m sure what you looked like it wasn’t, wasn’t in great shape, but lots of crazy stories. So speaking of like, how do you, how do you, what do you do? I mean, you know, even this day and age, what do you do to, to get in shape for your sheep punts? I mean, you obviously value ’em, you know, I know that you’ve hunted enough that, you know, getting there and being able to do your part means something. It means a lot to you. What do you, what do you and Leanne do to be ready to go sheep pond or hunt in general, I guess?

00:49:48:18 –> 00:50:29:18
Well we, we, we push one another, so that helps a lot. But I usually work out every day, every morning. I had a heart, bad heart attack in 2001. I had never opened heart surgery and I was fortunate to come through that. So I, since that day, I work out every morning on a treadmill. I work out for an hour usually now. And, and had some times where you have injury or something you couldn’t. But I work out for an hour every morning and so does lean, she would, we try to stay in shape and, and yeah, I’d still kill another sheep if I had kept get up, permit it and draw right place.

00:50:30:07 –> 00:50:57:11
Well, what do you, yeah, speaking of that, I know you still, you alluded to playing for, for sheep tags and I know you’ve drawn a couple of rocky tags, I think in Wyoming, one or two there, Wyoming. Yep. But I know you got a bunch of points in like Nevada and Arizona, we’ve talked about that right off of 28, 30, something like that in Arizona. That, so you’re still, you’re ready to go I guess if they pick your name, you’re ready to go. Sounds like I,

00:50:57:19 –> 00:51:01:04
I’ll go, I’ll go give it a try, you know, you don’t quit, you know? Yeah.

00:51:01:04 –> 00:51:08:14
What about other hunts that you’ve, you’ve got booked or planned here. Do you got anything planned for, for this year yet, or in the next year or two

00:51:09:14 –> 00:51:57:01
For this year, I’m going up in the Northwest Territory with Stan Stevens and they came to the mountains on Kbo and I, I just wanna kill good moves another big moose. And so I just staying, I’ve hunted sheep with him several times and he’s one of the real premier outfitters and, and we’re pretty good friends. So he wanted me to come up and, and there you can get in some pretty remote country without horses. You can through the helicopter deal, you know, and it helps you there and get the meat out that way. So I’m doing that. Last year I was able to had this friend in South Dakota that draw the bad lands tag and he killed that new world record. World record.

00:51:57:18 –> 00:52:01:10
Yeah. You were there. Tell us a little bit about that, that hunt.

00:52:01:13 –> 00:52:34:08
Well, it was this, this young gentleman, we’d met him, Clayton Miller, and I’d met him through a past hunt and, and out there and he, he found out how sheep hunt and he was, we always spent a lot of time talking about that. So, and we got him to the sheep show the year before last time. I goes and his wife come out and he called me then he said, I draw the bad land sheep tag. And I said, oh my. And I said, well, I didn’t know how big a sheep was there,

00:52:35:05 –> 00:52:37:17
You just said something sheep. That’s all right. Sounds good.

00:52:38:19 –> 00:53:54:07
I said, I’d like to be out the end and look at ’em. So we went out in the summer, done some looking with spoto scopes a lot, and we spent a couple days with him and we found the biologist there was tremendous, I mean, I have to say about, about ’em, they were tremendous people. They gave him a lot of information about a lot of pictures of ram. So I was still questioning what they, their figures. So yeah. And so, and then we, we, we looked at the number, what to call calling number two Ram. And, and, and so we, we like a lot of pictures last time, so we never could find the number one around. They called and he was longer horn. So, so we went back in October when he was gone hunting and the valve just told him, this sheep comes out into the park usually about the 27th of October every year. And, and when they start rutting and this year was the 28th, and Liam and I were there with him and, and we stayed back and of course I was up 400 yards. The, I think it was the 29th when he found a killed it, it got out and it went to some wheat fields. We out in, you know, five miles from the park. So Wow.

00:53:54:19 –> 00:53:56:18
Just looking for, looking for you, huh?

00:53:57:05 –> 00:54:13:29
Oh yeah. And so they was about six or seven big rams together and, but he come back and bit it down there in the national grass lines and he called in there and was able to kill him and ended up scoring 2 0 9 and eight. So yeah,

00:54:15:03 –> 00:54:24:28
It was a tremendous ram. I held that at the sheep show and it’s, it’s, it’s really jaw dropping is probably the closest as you can to describe it. It’s just, it’s something else. It’s, well,

00:54:24:29 –> 00:54:47:13
I, I couldn’t believe it, you know, because he said it’s mash. So I really enjoyed it. I told him, I just soon see somebody like that kill one because I said, I told him. I said, you know, I’ve seen guys pay a half million dollars for tags at sheep show. Oh, I never did good. But they said, I said, how much do you have in Disney? Less than $300.

00:54:47:18 –> 00:54:49:13
There you go. That’s right. That

00:54:50:03 –> 00:54:51:11
He was the lucky for drawings, you know?

00:54:51:15 –> 00:54:53:16
He was the lucky one. That’s right. Yeah. So

00:54:53:19 –> 00:54:55:04
That’s Well, you have to put in. Yeah,

00:54:55:17 –> 00:55:15:00
That’s right. Well, do you have any, I mean, you’re, you’re still, it sounds like you had a moose scent planned this year. Obviously any sheep tag that comes around, I know you’ve hunted, you know, deer, elk and things like that, still off and out west. What do you gotta do to you? You’re fill, I mean, I’m sure at your age, 79 I think. Is that right, Jim? Right,

00:55:15:11 –> 00:55:16:08
Yeah, that’s correct.

00:55:16:22 –> 00:55:31:25
And, and surviving a grizzly bear, you know, just crunching, I guess, for lack of a better word. Was it you gotta do anything special to go on into these hunts? Or do you just, you know, take a, take a couple Advil and grit your teeth and go do it these days?

00:55:33:04 –> 00:55:47:12
I get a couple good doctors who shoot me up sometimes with some painkillers, you know, so you can do it, you know, but, but you know, it’s, you just suck it up and go. I tell people, you know, you,

00:55:48:14 –> 00:55:57:23
But you’ve had to have some of that, I dunno, probably like some of our pro athletes, we hear stuff like that. But you’re basically like a professional athlete then, is what I’m hearing. Is that right? Well,

00:55:58:03 –> 00:56:22:05
You just, you just keep, oh, you can’t quit. You know, you, you have that mental motivation, you know, that keeps you going. And just the hunting and I, I, and you know, as you tell these younger kids, you know, today you just gotta be motivated, you know, it’s something that’s your drive within. You keeps it going,

00:56:22:05 –> 00:56:34:29
You know? Well that’s admirable if you’re doing that, getting shot up or epidural or whatever, just to, just to stay going, whatever they gotta do, it’s, you’re trying to squeeze every experience you can out of it. And that’s admirable, so

00:56:35:21 –> 00:56:36:05
It’s great.

00:56:37:08 –> 00:57:07:08
Tell us just a little bit, maybe for some listers, some of that, our gear, as you can probably attest, is better. Anybody, it’s come a long ways, whether it be from our clothing or rifles and our optics and whatnot. Tell us about, you know, I guess some of the old optics you used to have or what you, and then versus what you have now, what your set up now that you use on either your sheet punts or things like that and versus, you know, how contrasting gear has changed in the last 50 years.

00:57:08:27 –> 00:58:15:05
Well, the glass has so much better, especially binoculars, you know, and things like that. Back when we started, you had to use the binocular. Like I had some, one of the first sets that like Bushnell had had and several things like that, and or United or some of those old binoculars. I bought it from brand, it was trying to save money, but there wasn’t many made washing home had one and I got a, in the early seventies, I got a bar loan. Scott didn’t punished open 60, they call it. And it was a good glass, but heavy. And, but the glasses I, I used to get eye strains so bad and you get to see it, your stomach from eye strain and just, just look so hard for, for sheep, you know, stare sta stare. And then, but now of course they got four, you know, like 10 40 twos and stuff like that. And then with the range find, drain them and oh, new plumbing scopes.

00:58:15:08 –> 00:58:17:16
They’re pretty nice, aren’t they? They’re nice. Oh

00:58:17:16 –> 00:58:19:29
Yeah. Easy on your eyes. Easy on your eyes.

00:58:20:07 –> 00:58:20:16

00:58:21:08 –> 00:58:25:22
Yeah. It’s, it’s a big improvement and there’s a lot of good ones today. Yeah.

00:58:25:27 –> 00:58:31:25
What do you, what’s your setup that you use on it, Mike? Let’s say you’re going sheep hunting this year. What’s your gun setup? What would you take?

00:58:33:07 –> 00:58:35:20
Well, I still use a two 70 and I use a,

00:58:35:26 –> 00:58:38:04
An old Jack O’Connor gun. Huh? Yeah,

00:58:38:11 –> 00:58:54:28
I, I’ve shot once so much. I just know the trajectories and everything about it. But I, I was, mine was a, I’ve got a weather belt ultra light in two 70 and, and I’ve used it last few years and I retired my husqvarna

00:58:55:17 –> 00:58:55:24

00:58:56:19 –> 00:59:04:08
And, but anyway, I used that and I got a, a three and a half to 10 Leo hole on it. And that’s it. I wouldn’t change. I,

00:59:04:13 –> 00:59:08:08
That’s it. That’s your go-to killed a lot of sheep. It’s that setup. Yeah, I guess,

00:59:09:01 –> 00:59:23:00
Yeah, it’s just, I, I never had much gun problems or scope problems. You know, you had good glass and it, like we had pulled up was always really a fan. Pretty tough, you know, and bad weather and everything like day after day. So it’s great.

00:59:23:21 –> 00:59:44:05
With, with everything that you’ve been able to hunt, I think you’ve been overseas, you’ve taken, you know, maybe a Marco Polo. Tell us a little bit about a couple of those trips. I know you’ve mainly focused over in Western North America. Maybe that’s because some of your trips overseas, but tell us briefly about those, those trips for some of the ar galleys.

00:59:45:02 –> 01:00:35:07
Well, I’ve hunted Marco Pole in Stan once, and that was not a good experience there. We had a lot of problems and I killed a big, I backs and, and we hunted sheep for 10, 12 days, but just, it was very poor several years ago. And the people we have were very poor. Didn’t have any, they wanted you to shoot like three quarter a mile or something, you know, and you just, it was just constant. We just ride horses after ’em and didn’t the ponies, you know, you just, it was just terrible experiences. The calling wood boys ran rage but it with me and they couldn’t get over because they just couldn’t get no hunting a belt at all. Then I didn’t kill one on that. I just killed the I backs and, and then I did never get hit home because they wanted more to shake down, you know. So

01:00:35:09 –> 01:00:41:12
You didn’t, oh, you didn’t pay somebody enough money Probably, I guess you get extorted and you’re over there and sometimes, right?

01:00:41:24 –> 01:01:07:12
Yeah, it’s got a lot better I think since then. But then I went to Mongolia at once and had the Goby, our galley, and I go be, I be, and it was a good hunt. I really enjoyed it and good people and it didn’t run into the problems. And again, the calling boys went with me and they enjoyed it. ’cause you just, they just taking pictures, a red shot on our deck, but it was just mostly biography for those guys.

01:01:07:12 –> 01:01:31:12
Yeah. So if you could, if you could draw a tag right now in the Western US you’ve got points built up in places. What are, what are the top couple tags that you personally would want? You’ve hunted a lot of sheep, but still probably take, take more of them, but what would it be if you could pick 2019, the lucky, lucky tag, God’s smile on you, what would you want the most?

01:01:33:00 –> 01:01:39:25
Well, I don’t, it’s hard to put it in the category. Of course I anybody would take a good Montana sheep

01:01:39:26 –> 01:01:42:24
Tag. And you’ve not drawn one there, I guess, huh?

01:01:43:01 –> 01:02:38:11
No, I’ve not drawn, never drawn that. And then I’d still, I’d like a hot sheep. I just, even any sheep. I enjoy hunting. I mean, as long as it’s a good, good representative sheep, I, I am or I don’t care. I, everybody wants to kill one. That’s part of it. But my thing is I just enjoy hunting and look forward to like the Nevada, I hope to get drug Nevada sometimes just, I like hunt different places and see the terrain. And I tell people who you hunt with is, is important as what you hunt at because I lived with some great people and very knowledgeable people. And you can sure learn a lot from people, you know, and the friendship you get from those people is just tremendous. You know, there’s never, you can’t replace it, you know, and it’s just a great experience. Yeah, yeah. Of the people you’ve been with.

01:02:38:27 –> 01:03:14:15
Absolutely. Tell us about, I know you and Leanne have been very involved in some of your local chapters or some conservation organizations there in Indiana, you’ve given back a lot your time and resources there e even involving your, your place, your house and whatnot. So tell us a little bit about some of that. What, what your motivation is for doing that, why you feel that’s important for you to, guys to give back to the conservation and education of hunting and shooting sports and things like that. And just a little bit about the, the, the different groups and organizations that you’ve been a part of there.

01:03:16:18 –> 01:04:18:04
We, Leanne and I, we’ve always been involved in most conservation organizations and been a member of almost every one of ’em. And because we’re a firm believer in getting youth out in the outdoors, and I know it always kept me going because we keep, kids have trouble if you can occupy with some male besides the internet or something like that. So we we’re involved and been close to 30 years here with the Rocky Health Foundation. We helped farm the first one in Indiana. It was the first one. And we’ve been involved that, and my wife still takes care of everything on it here in Indiana. So we still have a pretty good one, like 400 people a year come to a banquet. But they’ve helped with some programs too. We’ve done a youth program with them and they call it safe challenge, which we get kids and we do a hundred kids like on a Saturday. And we like to get ’em involved and we feed them. And this

01:04:18:04 –> 01:04:19:16
Is at your place? Your place?

01:04:19:18 –> 01:05:13:07
Yeah, we, we got a, we’ve got a camp here right next to, and my brother Jack, we, we got a camp and we bring these kids in and, and they, we, we’ve had as high as 160, but we teach ’em several things. One thing we teach a class on gun safety, number one. Number two, we teach a class on why you hunt American conservation level. ’cause some of these kids are getting brain worse so much in schools. They don’t hear it from the people you need to. So we bring in some conservation people and they teach this class on, on our Con American conservation model. And then we let ’em shoot and give ’em away prizes and we feed ’em a, a dinner that evening. You know, we’d feed hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch, but we feed ’em wild game like elk steak, elk, yeah. New steak and everything like that. And let ’em learn.

01:05:13:07 –> 01:05:17:22
Most, most of those kids are probably never had that. Maybe a lot of ’em, huh?

01:05:18:07 –> 01:06:18:24
No, no. Yeah, because 50% of these people we get and has never had a gun, you know, in their hands. But, but you can convert ’em, I mean, completely when they see that and they tell their parents how good medias and everything like that. And, and we do that. Leanne does a lot with women’s here too. She has her shoot every year for women and, and like 6% again, these people have never had a gun. So we teach gun safety. Matter of fact, we have a lot of, we get a lot of support here from the local politicians, state representatives, state senator and things here, which is we, we live in a pretty conservative state. So you can get those people to help you out a lot. And matter of fact, last year Leanne had the, the first lady of Indiana. Yeah. How come she was oh, was here and wanted to address and she wanted to address this. Said, you know, it’s nothing better than hunting than putting meat on the table. And I said, I’d really like to see a politician say that, you know,

01:06:19:19 –> 01:06:23:00
That’s neat. And you guys do that right there at your place and I know, right?

01:06:23:06 –> 01:06:23:11
I know

01:06:24:07 –> 01:06:28:22
Lot your animals that you’ve taken around the world. I think you take the kids in there and you know, we,

01:06:29:02 –> 01:06:30:02
Yeah, we’ve got a place

01:06:30:12 –> 01:06:35:06
Your mounts and things like that. Just a good Yeah, good introduction. Yeah.

01:06:35:21 –> 01:07:37:17
Yeah. We’ve created a kind of a museum and lean and I, we’ve got a double one C three established terra and for our museum and we’re leaving it. We’ve got a board and we’ll leave our home and all of our amounts to people to enjoy in the future, you know, because that’s our goal because you can condense kids. There’s another world out there than what they see every day, you know? Yeah. And, and you give ’em a goal and that’s what my dad always saw. You keep a kid fishing or hunting, you don’t have any, that’s just part of life. You know, you just give them some ideas in which we’ve been, we’ve really been pleased with a lot of kids, you know, and, and we’ve take ’em used to take ’em on elk hunts and things like that. And we kill cow elk and things like that. So we still do some of that with one or two kids a year or so. And just, you just gotta try to sell the point to kids, you know, because like I said, schools don’t do a good job, you know? No,

01:07:37:17 –> 01:08:25:18
Yeah. Hunting and hunting in general or conservation or hunters being conservationists is not, that’s not taught, you know, we, we understand that. We know that from, from being sportsmen that, you know, not only do we, you know, fund to a large extent state fish and game agencies through the buying and selling of hunting and fishing licenses, but you know, through the Pittman Robertson and Dingle Johnson acts, you know, we’re taxed on our fishing and hunting gear and, and that goes to it as well. And then we, you know, we obviously, you know, this United States has come a long way. You know, we’re, if it wasn’t for sportsmen and state fish and game agencies and sportsmen being involved, we, we wouldn’t have the game species we have flat out without regulated hunting of some sort. And sportsmen and hunters are the best, the best regulators these days.

01:08:25:25 –> 01:08:51:00
We, we want to enjoy and do what we like forever and see our kids and grandkids do that. And so that, those programs you and Leanne are doing are very admirable. Is there a way that if somebody lives in your part of the world, that they could get ahold of you? Or do you have a, a website or anything like that? How do the, you know, if they have kids within a, a distance of you guys in Indiana and wanna wanna bring some down to that camp, how do they hear, find out about you guys?

01:08:52:07 –> 01:08:57:19
It’s, it’s, I can’t tell you what the, it’s, but it’s Craig family Camp. Craig

01:08:57:19 –> 01:08:58:06
Family camp,

01:08:58:24 –> 01:09:42:06
Okay. That’s right. And we and brother and we set that up and, and it’s, it’s a nonprofit and we bring kids in and teach ’em, you know, we’ve had great response. We got some kids now that’s, that’s got their, got one kid I remember we took with the Elk Foundation, we done a a show with him and he’s got the whole family home now. It’s just the opposite the way a father takes a kid, you know, the kids, the family there. So yeah, it’s a, it’s a pleasure to see that happen, you know, and, and it’s just, you just gotta work at it and to sell it, you know? Yeah. We gotta sell our, and, and I tell people we need to police our own, own police yourselves people

01:09:42:06 –> 01:09:43:06
Too. Yeah, that’s right.

01:09:43:08 –> 01:10:14:19
That’s, that’s pretty important, you know, because do the correction, you know, you need to, and we just tell kids when you’re coming to shoot and here and stuff, you’re here to learn and the phones are off and here only and you’re here to, to learn and you pay attention. Your instructors show ’em respect and you don’t have any problems with kids if you say it’s a real straight and this is, but you can, you know, do that after you leave every evening. But here you’re be taught.

01:10:15:18 –> 01:10:49:24
Well that’s, that’s awesome. That’s pretty important. Very admirable that you guys do that. And, you know, maybe brings me to another, another question and, and I obviously you guys put a lot of passion into that and, and teaching, teaching young kids the value of hunting and, and the role of it in wildlife, you know, conservation and just having wildlife populations. But if you could go back in time, I guess, and give advice to the younger version of yourself or read or hit the redo button on anything, whether it be in hunting or things like that, what would you do anything different or what would be your message you say to yourself?

01:10:51:11 –> 01:11:47:25
Well, it just, I, I wish I could’ve got involved with kids younger and you don’t think about it. You know, you think of everybody’s like you, but a lot of kids didn’t have the opportunities. ’cause we see people who, who, once they get started, they really enjoy it. ’cause it’s something you don’t have to be, be a seven foot basketball player to enjoy something like that. You know, in sports it can be, it’s just a, a great sport in itself. And I could have, we should, could have done a little more back in them days. But you don’t realize that till you get a little older and you see it, you know, and kids are not taught the politeness and, and ethics like you need to be taught. And that’s one of the biggest problems we have. And and like I said, a lot of kids just, they just don’t know. It’s not their fault. It’s, they just, yeah. Don’t know.

01:11:49:18 –> 01:12:42:10
Well, that’s all very admirable and I appreciate your time. I appreciate your friendship, Jim. I I look forward every year to seeing you a couple of different times a year, it seems like at Sheep show and maybe another convention that we maybe meet at. And you guys are always, you know, you’re always the same. And what I mean by that is you and Lan are always, you seem to be very happy people. You’re very upbeat and you’re very positive people. You’re the same every time I see you. And it’s that you’re very excited to meet and greet people and, and you know, look forward to doing it again. I guess maybe next winter, but maybe hopefully I get a call from you here at Epic Outdoors in the next coming months with some good news and you drew a sheep tag or something else. Awesome that you’ve done it a few times in the last few years you’ve called and your last Wyoming sheep tag I heard from you and yeah, you drew an Arizona elk tag a couple years ago. So yeah,

01:12:42:28 –> 01:14:03:02
I, I will be talking to you and, and you know, you gotta do a great job and, and we, the, the best thing in the world is more avenues now to get the information out than they used to be and, and which is helping a lot, you know, but we all gotta fight it, you know, it’s just, we never let out, you know, just, we have people come in just like, for instance here, a month ago there was a lady come in here, a a young lady, I mean young for me, which is I think 40, 42 or something. And she said, I’m gonna kill some sheep. But she knew definitely what she was talking about. And matter of fact, she just come back from Mexico, kill one, and she said she booked another hunt for this law. So that’s a, to me, you know, you see a person, they see a damn sheep and really good something, a fever, you know, said I’m want to do something that’s tough, you know, and it is a tough sport, you know, any of the hunting, elk hunting is tough. But I’d tell kids that we used to go on our own and hunt and then you couldn’t have enough money to be a guide for a couple, three years and save your money and, and just save your money and everything’s achievable. You know,

01:14:03:19 –> 01:14:58:00
That’s, that’s truth. You know, I talked to a lot of people here about hunting sheep and obviously the, you know, you talk about the days of, you know, two or $3,000 for a sheet hunt back in the day. Right. You know what I mean? And those days are so far gone, it doesn’t even seem real. And and sheet hunts now are expensive. That’s, it’s, that’s is, it is unfortunate. Obviously wages and everything else have gone up too, but, but it’s still, it’s not easy to, if you’re a wannabe sheep hunter, it, it isn’t easy, but there’s a way and, and it takes a plan, it takes a mindset to say, I’m gonna do it somehow. You obviously can’t overstep your, your means, and every family situation is a little bit different at different times throughout their life. But, but when there’s a a will, there’s usually a way to figure it out. Or you have your name in the hat and enough raffles and state drawings Exactly. And things like that, that something’s gonna happen and you’ll start, it’ll start, you know, it will So good,

01:14:58:02 –> 01:15:30:06
Good things will happen to you. That’s right. And so that’s what I tell kids, you gotta have a plan. You can’t be involved in everything. You just gotta have a plan and stick with it and, and be determined, you know? And, and just, I just told a kid, a boy the other day, he said, do you have to be wealthy? And I said, no, you just, I’m most far from being wealthy as you could ever get. I just, I I told him I hunted up a lot of new cars, so Yeah. And they’re, they’ve been rusted down anyway, so doesn’t make any difference. I’ve got cheap, you know. That’s

01:15:30:06 –> 01:15:32:19
Right. Memories to go with it all, so, oh

01:15:32:21 –> 01:15:56:22
Boy. And, and memories need more than anything, you know. That’s right. Because it’s, it’s a great thing and you know, really it’s the greatest sports hunting as it could ever be and there are most renewable resource that they are, you know. That’s right. And people don’t understand that, you know, it’s like farming or everything else you harvest and put back and you get back. We’ll have more next year. That’s right.

01:15:57:17 –> 01:16:55:01
Well Jim, I really appreciate your time and thanks again. We’ll, thank, we’ll put another, we’ll put a writeup for the readers that maybe aren’t able to listen to this podcast for whatever reason. We’ll, we’ll do a, a writeup about some of the stuff that we’ve talked about today in the magazine, but I appreciate your time. You got a wealth of knowledge, wealth of experience, and most of all, it’s your, your attitude. It’s infectious. I mean, you know, I was able to, you know, with me and Jason and Jeff and Chris help a gentleman of your same age last year in Arizona finally drew his head 28 or nine points and drew his Arizona desert tag and that finished his grand slam at 79 years old John Macaluso from Pennsylvania. And it was, it was an awesome experience. And so I, you know, guys like John and guys like you give us all something to strive to be like. I mean that because, you know, we all, you know, we all have dealt our own cir circumstances in life you’ve dealt your with through your share. No question. But I hope I’m sheep punting it at 79 years old. I know that so

01:16:55:09 –> 01:17:28:12
Well, you just gotta do everything you can and yourself and, and don’t depend on somebody else, you know? Yep. They take care of you and you just gotta think about your health and all, all the consequences. My dad always said a thing and he got killed many, many, many years ago and I was pretty young and he got killed in an accident. But anyway, he always said, think, think thank all the time. It was, it was consequence forever accident. Yeah. And, and I just always remembered that because you think of that and that keeps you from doing stupid things, you know? Yeah.

01:17:28:23 –> 01:17:32:25
Well thanks a lot again for joining us. Okay. And have a great day, Jim. Appreciate your time. Thank

01:17:32:25 –> 01:17:35:20
You very much. You guys be careful and thank you. Bye. You

01:17:35:21 –> 01:18:36:01
Bet. Bye. Also today. Want to give a shout out to Red Rock Precision. If you’re looking for a new rifle setup for this coming fall, give Kurt and the guys at Red Rock Precision a call 8 0 1 4 2 5 6 5 7 4 great guns, great setup multiple optic setups with them, but they flat out kill, know what they’re building. So, or you can visit ’em on the [email protected]. Like to also give a shout out today. This sponsor, this podcast is outdoor edge knives and tools. Great sponsor of us here at Epic Outdoors. We’ve actually got an epic outdoor series of their razor light knife. You can check them out on the [email protected] or any of their products. If you have interested in that, you can usually check ’em out online or give ’em a call at +1 800-447-3343 replaceable knife blades that are blades that are not gonna break on you. Very durable, awesome knives. We carve up a lot of critters with them, so check ’em out.