In this episode the boys over at Hunt Quiet reached out to us and wanted to talk about Mule Deer and the full scope of what Epic Outdoors offers. We put in a call all the way over to Pensylvannia and had a great chat with Jim Durkin, one of the main hosts of The Hunt Quiet Podcast.

00:00:01:05 –> 00:01:19:12
Anything to do with Western Big Games. Welcome to the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour. Hey everybody. Jason Carter. Adam Bronson coming at you from Southern Utah. It’s a snowy southern Utah. Bronson looking good out there. Yeah, keep it up, buddy. It’s awesome. In fact, Adam gets on the little weather app, tells me we got 0.9 inches of water precept laying around out there in the parking lot. So we’re pretty excited about that. Sure, dude. I mean, I nearly an inch watching the antlers grow when they haven’t even checked. Yeah, that’s right. We can’t go. Can’t call Chia Pet Year when they’re still packing last year’s. Damn. No. Nope. And some of you, what do they call it? Gen Zs? You’re gonna have to Google what Chia Pet was because that was a long time ago. Even an R Day that was on late night TV in the eighties. I don’t know. It’s black and white TV maybe. I don’t know. Big old box. But anyway, today’s gonna be interesting. We’ve had the Hunt quietly podcast guys, a guy by the name of Jim Durkin get a hold of us and just kind of wants to talk mul dear. So I don’t know about Hunt quietly, bros. And we don’t hunt very quietly. We’re kind of, we have opinions loud and opinionated, but anyway, but we’re gonna see what he has to say. And hey, well talk. Happy to talk mule deer anytime.

00:01:19:21 –> 00:02:51:09
I figured we’d record it for our podcast too. And since we’re talking Mulder stuff, that’s pretty easy to give our opinions on, so. Yeah, that’s right. We’ll go that way anyway. All right, well let’s give him a holler and we’ll see where this leads. Who knows? You never know what these, we don’t not like we even, we don’t even think about these podcasts three minutes before we walk in here. So you just never know what’s gonna come out. Hopefully it’s good. Hopefully stays on Mulder, not, who knows, switches to something else. I don’t know. Maybe Prairie Dogs in the Rutt. Who knows? Hold on, let’s get a hold of him. Hello, Jim, you there? Yes, sir. Hey, Jason Carter. Adam Bronson here. How are you? Good man. How you guys doing? Doing great. We’re doing good. We’re just getting a little weather here and we’re stuck in the office. We’re grinding away. It’s application season, so we just, you know, it’s just slamming busy right now from from now till June office work for us. Yeah, I hear you. We just got over a really cold, cold spell in Western Pennsylvania, so coldest that I can remember too. Well we saw most of the, we’ve been, I’ve watched a lot of football games and Yeah, whether you’re in Tampa Bay or Louisiana or wherever, everybody’s like, there’s nobody in the stands at these no-name ball games that have happened so far.

00:02:51:10 –> 00:03:57:04
It’s like more people at our high school games. It feels like these college games, it’s soak freaking cold down there. Pipes freezing all over. They must have pipes on top of the ground in Mississippi. I don’t know. They said their city water lines froze. So when you, when you say it’s as cold as you ever remember, like what does that mean in numbers? How cold is it? I think it got down to negative nine, negative 10, somewhere in there. But then with the moisture content in the air, what it feels like negative 35. Yeah, e exactly. And I say this all the time ’cause I lived in Alaska for about seven years. Yeah. And everyone says, you know, if I even remotely say it’s cold out, they’re like, you lived in Alaska. I’m like, yeah. But it was different, man. It’s a dry cold. You did. It’s a dry cold. Even though they got more snow than anywhere in the world right now, it’s a dry cold, dry cold. Yeah. It’s just the moisture in the air. Yeah, I can only imagine. It seems like I bites the bones. I mean, there’s a lot of death I’m reading about on the news. I don’t know if it’s just the news trying to scare me or what, but we’re pretty happy living right here, you know, glad we’re not in that. Yeah, it’s, I mean, Western Pennsylvania is like a really good place to live.

00:03:57:09 –> 00:05:22:05
No tornadoes, no hurricanes, no earthquakes, no mild weather’s pretty mild. No, no. Mild can’t draw for help. No antelope, no sheep, no goats, no moose. What, what, what? Now tell me again, how good is it too strong point well taken and very good. Well, especially coming from a guy that says he used to live in Alaska. Yeah. Where there’s all those things. Yeah. Right. Yeah. I’m glad for punishment, but my family is like rooted here, so Yeah, there you go. So do you guys have, when it gets really cold, is there such a thing as a die off from winter kill for Whitetails? Are they just so hardy it doesn’t really matter what, how much snow and cold you guys get? No, I think weather plays, I, I mean, I don’t wanna say a zero factor, but I mean, I would say the rutt and, and maybe a little bit of weather probably impacts ’em. But for the most part, you know, our winters are, are somewhat mild, you know, we’ll get like a storm that dumps maybe six to eight inches and, and then that’ll last for a week and then it’ll melt, you know, and then we’ll get a warm front. And that seems like it’s, that’s typically what our winters consist of, to have like a snowfall and have it like last where it’s just that cold that it keeps it on the ground is somewhat rare these days. Oh, interesting.

00:05:22:05 –> 00:06:52:12
Kind of interesting. I wouldn’t think that and antler growth, I mean, always somewhat ne negligible for you guys. Like whatever, constant, right? Just, yeah. Yeah. You know what, I think the, the Pennsylvania, about 10 years ago put in a, a antler restriction. So, you know, you went from like shooting anything that walked by you to now, now it’s somewhat decent, you know, to get a a a one forties, one fifties white tail. Yeah. That happens fairly, fairly common. Not all the time, but they’re around for sure. Yeah. Well, I don’t know. Some of the guys I’ve talked to that just, I don’t know, maybe Pennsylvania’s no Iowa or Kansas, but you know, at times you guys will lots of dirt come up with something. Yeah. Nope. Yeah. It’s not even close to that. No, it’s not even close to that. Okay. Well, we’re gonna turn, so we’re gonna turn this podcast over to you. You know, we just thought, of course you hit us up and kind of want to talk about Yeah. Mule deer and things, so, absolutely. So I’m with Jason Carter and Adam Bronson Epic outdoors, and I guess, we’ll, we’ll just keep introductions going. You guys are, are well known in the mule deer atmosphere. Jason, you’re, you’re, if I’m not mistaken, the most accomplished mule deer hunter in, in North America. All right.

00:06:52:28 –> 00:08:07:22
I mean, well I tried, I know that’s like, I’ve tried my best to kill ’em all, but, you know, but you’re killing deer on DIY public land hunts, you know what I mean? So I I I know you’re humble and, and I don’t mean to embarrass you, but it it is, yeah. A and a Adam and I have, so Adam and I have been in business, you know, together and worked together for the better part of 15 plus years. And, and we’ve both killed a number of really good deer. And part of that, you know, as we know deer cycle a bit. And, and, and we’ve made a, a point of taking advantage of all the point systems in all the west and really working hard at finding the best units and the average units and maybe even up and coming units and whatnot. And then, and we’re not scared to e tax and we’re not scared to try new things. And I, I, you, you could say I’ve killed more than my fair share, but I’ve, I would say I’ve ate more than my fair share of tags too. Like I, I eat a lot of tags and, and didn’t kill a, haven’t killed a mule deer in the last, you know, two or three years because I, you know, in a lot of it I’m very picky, but Yeah.

00:08:07:26 –> 00:09:25:24
You know, you know, and Adam, he got lucky and killed a deer, you know, basically a typical approach in 200 this year, but you just never know when those, when those are gonna happen. And, you know, we, and when, when hunting was good, we were out hunting, and when hunting’s bad, we’re eating cats, we’re still hunting, but we eat tags. Yeah, exactly right. Yeah. And the droughts played alar large part of that in some of our states that we spend time in Utah, southern Nevada, even other places too, you know, that we have drawn tags, you know, northern Arizona and places like that. But, but yeah, you’re right. You know, Jim, I mean, Jason see’s he’s been, I mean, he’s made that his mission and he’s accomplished a lot in the Mulder world, but it’s, it’s not without a lot of effort and sacrifice time and all that, but Well, it’s like the old saying, the the harder I work, the luckier I get. And I I know that applies to you guys. Yeah. There’s no doubt. And you know, I’m still married, Adam is too, don’t quite know how, but we’re both of us 26 years and count. That’s right. That’s right. And Adam, prior to becoming the consultant in the consulting world, you were a, a wildlife biologist, right? Yeah, yeah. That’s my, I guess, profession by trade.

00:09:25:27 –> 00:10:39:15
I have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in wildlife biology and worked for Utah for about five years as a big game biologist, you know, oversaw deer units, but elk, antelope, sheep, a lot of different big game species, just a game biologist. But prior to jumping in business with Jason and, you know, leaving the, the government role that I played and I had had a great job, learned a lot both on the job and prior to that in my training. But, but yeah, then in the private world’s allowed us to do different things. And of course now epic outdoors and, and, and always a hunting guide. Both of of us have taken pretty good chunks of our hunting life in, in the guiding realm too, which is both of us has slowed down almost non-existent in the deer guiding. It just takes too much staying time. Yeah. If you wanna hunt big deer for yourself, it’s hard to hunt big deer for yourself consistently in multiple places and guide big deer. It just almost impossible to do it really effectively. So Jason stopped a lot earlier than I did, and, and I pretty much now just guide sheep hunters and, and, but yeah, that is my background. And, but yeah, it feels like just when it comes to mule deer, you want more of what you can’t have.

00:10:39:16 –> 00:11:57:16
And I just mean, what I mean by that is, man, they’re not easy and, and they’re so hard to, so hard to bag and find and, and put on the ground and bring home it. You just want ’em worse when, when it’s harder. That’s as simple as it gets. Let’s talk about mule deer across the west. And, you know, it could be, we, I mean, I’m sure we can get in the weeds, but you know, for a lot of years you heard the, the, the doom and gloom about mule deer populations and, and they’re declining and, and the whole nine, what, where, where are we at as a whole with, with mule deer and what you guys are, are seeing from, from the states that you guys have boots on the ground in and you’re doing the research on thing? Things are generally speaking, and Adam and I discussed this, this is literally every day this morning for maybe an hour and a half. Of course, you know, we’re in at 6:00 AM and, and sometimes just takes us a minute to get cranking ’em before we get cranking on the phones and waking people up and, and taking care of business. We always, of course, are discussing our own personal strategies on the, on a daily basis. And, and with that just strategy in general. But, but overall, milder is struggling and we’ve seen a lot of things.

00:11:57:16 –> 00:13:05:06
You can, you know, you’ll have ups and downs and, and maybe even call ’em cycles in localized areas. You could see, you could say, you know, Nevada as a whole didn’t do that. Well, one particular year when in 2016 it was unbelievable off the charts. And, and there might be reasons for that, you know, such as timely moisture, you know, generally speaking, the last 10 years they’ve been in a, in a major drought. We have been here in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. You could, you could kind of lump that all in, but within the drought period, then there’s a, a little bit of timely moisture that can occur during a critical antler growing season, call it. And, and you’ll see a, a slight bump in quality or a major bump in quality, even though we’re still in a drought as a whole. And, and so we watch that and, and you’ll see, you know, slight upticks and downt ticks, but generally speaking, deer, deer are struggling, you know, with this long-term drought we’ve had. And Adam, you can, you know, you know, chime in here too. But I mean, we’ve seen it where, you know, where, you know, the long-term droughts have affected populations as a whole.

00:13:05:06 –> 00:14:21:21
Predation, you know, can obviously, and Adam can attest to this, it take a little, a major role in, you know, when there’s, when there’s a drought, you have a lot of less little ground squirrels and a lot of, lot of other little critters struggle as well. Rabbit populations, who knows what, yeah, you just get a, it takes a, a, a different, a a it’s just challenging on deer as a whole when you got predators that still want to eat, just like we wanna hunt, you know? And, and so anyway, you’ve got that, let alone the, the antler growth itself. You just, your populations are dwindling and then, and then, you know, you’ve got state departments that are trying to manage, and you’ve got frustrated hunters and, and, you know, state departments are trying to manage for, you know, social management as well as biological managing what’s good for the game, but then also what do the people want. And to try to get that to mesh and in a drought timeframe is challenging. You know, we’re we’re, you know, you got buck tag numbers that are being adjusted and some states are hardly hunting those at all. And, and you know, when a drought occurs, you’re still not hunting those. And so how do you get those to continue to reproduce and, and populations to increase? And so we’re just, we’re just seeing it. We’re seeing it in Utah.

00:14:21:21 –> 00:15:39:25
We’ve had, you know, a lot of our units, we were talking this morning on some of our general areas, we’ve got a third, we’re issuing a third of the amount of tags we’ve normally would issue in lots of country here in southern Utah. Yeah. And just a, yeah, maybe three year period that’s been reduced to, you know, by two thirds down to a third of what there normally was. And so, and even outside, you know, the southwest states, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, which Jason really did talk about a lot, which have struggled because of drought. You talk about other states like maybe Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, or some of those states that even though isolated summers can be very dry and hard on deer, they, they don’t, aren’t normally susceptible to prolonged periods of drought. They’re susceptible to it, but they don’t have them as much, they have a lot more big continuous summer range that usually has some okay habitat, but they’re also have a lot of challenges facing mule. They’re mule deer, contrary to like elk. Elk can adapt and live about anywhere they can be. They’ll, they’re like a white tail. They’ll be pushed to areas of least resistance and then pioneer new herds and do all that and just keep going. I, I believe like a coyote and elk will be the last two animals in North America. I mean, it’s just kind of, they will go and live anywhere.

00:15:40:07 –> 00:16:48:21
They can live in three and four foot of snow. Yeah. I mean, and, and live on moonscape it looks like where there’s no trees, but, but mule deer aren’t, they’re very traditional. They’re very habitual in their patterns from year to year, both in summer range migration to winter range and back. And as western populations have increased and highways and fencing and they’re urbanization sensitive to predation. Yeah, way more. Yeah, exactly. Way more sensitive to change in their habitat and people moving and living on winter range or in their sum range or whatever. That, and then being displaced in that regard. And like Jason said, I mean, their fawns are just, you know, so much smaller than elk fawns or elk calves, sorry, in terms of being in a, in a vulnerable window for a much longer period of the first year of their life than a cow elk can be. So you just got a lot of things get thrown a meal deer’s direction and, you know, everything wants to eat a mul deer, you know, it feels like, you know, coyotes and lions and, and, and a lot of other things, even bobcats or bears or whatever. So collectively, it just has, there’s a lot of pressures on mule deer.

00:16:48:21 –> 00:18:02:24
You add it all up and there’s, there’s little isolated pockets where you can point to within each state, even that mule deer are really on the upper trend of doing well for whatever, you know, unique circumstance, whether a bunch of habitat or fires have happened there, or some really prescriptive, prescriptive, you know, predator management, intense predator management on a certain unit or two for a certain season has really had a response. But collectively across the west, there’s nobody that’s like, Hey, we got more mul deer than we ever have. It’s all the opposite. Right. And it’s, it sounds like it’s not just as simple as like, hey, as soon as we gather these, this drought trend, everything’s going to be back to normal and mul deer gonna be flourishing. There’s a lot of factors that go into, like you said with the, the highways, the increased population, the, the development urbanization of a lot of these. There’s a lot of that. I mean, we are, we’re, you know, we’re building bridges for deer, you know, over a lot of these interstates and, and highways, you can call it. They’re literal highways and interstates or whatever. And you know, it, it takes a toll. It just takes a toll. And some of it is intangibles. There’s intangibles when dealing with deer that you would’ve never thought really would make a difference. And if you add up 10 or 20 or a hundred intangibles, that become significant. Yeah.

00:18:03:00 –> 00:19:07:05
And, and I think like Adam was talking about with, you know, some of the northern states, like say, you know, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Northern Utah, parts of Colorado, you end up with also winter kills. So, so you could be in a drought period, but then also have a harsh winter, you know, dropping temperatures or, or a significant snowfall and that crest over and whatnot, and deer sensitive to that and, and you know, and so they could have all the summer range in the world, but if they die on the winter and you have nothing to, you know, partake in the summer range, it’s just, you know, it just is what it is. And how are you just gonna make more deer? How are you, how are you gonna make more deer? And, and so, you know, and, and the deer are gonna take a a backseat to people. You’re not gonna stop Salt Lake from growing. You’re not gonna stop some of these, you know, major winter ranges from, from, you know, people building out. It’s just part of growth in society and it’s frustrating to watch. I, I mean, Adam and I, you know, when we got started and, and a lot of people would say we’re old, we’re dang near 50, you know, dang near 50 years old.

00:19:07:06 –> 00:20:17:00
But when we got started at really being effective hunters, and, and part of that is, you know, you’ve got a, you’ve got a, a certain amount of go in you at, at a young age, but then when you start matching that with a little bit of wisdom and knowhow and then a, a couple of bucks to, to be able to put toward a hunt and, and you know, the, there’s a certain amount of financial resources to make good on a hunt that are required to, to do it right, to have the right equipment, to be able to take time off work, things like that. When all that comes together and you become really effective, you know, is when we started harvesting the, you know, what next, next level trophies. And along with the knowledge, and luckily, you know, we, when we got started, some of the old timers, let’s call ’em old timers, the old school guys that really, you know, were known for smashing some great bucks, looked at us like, you, I don’t even know why you’re excited about mule deer. We’ve never seen it this bad. And now Adam and I look at it and go, I can’t even imagine. It’s so bad right now. I’m so glad I’m not just getting started right now. It’s taken another level down 20 years chunk. Yeah. You know, hard to quantify that. Like how do I, how do you put that in words?

00:20:17:20 –> 00:21:49:28
They’re comparing, you know, the eighties, sixties, whatever, you know, to when we really got going, which would’ve been early two thousands or mid two thousands, you know, early two thousands, late nineties, whatever, first 200 inch I guess was 98. But you, you start, and then if you were to take that same timeframe now, 2022 and, and you know, put 25-year-old Jason Carter, Adam Bronson on in the field, you, you’re, there’s some real challenges in being a trophy hunter this day and age. Yeah. And that’s, that’s, you know, and it’s even more challenging for someone like myself coming from the East coast and, and I, and I’ve always said this, I I you’ll deer, they’re one of my favorite big game species, if not my big, my favorite. I’ve always just had a fascination with them, and they, they always look the coolest to me. They, they’re, they’re just majestic. They’re big. And, but coming from the east coast just getting started, you, you’re, you’re almost futile, you know? Say it again. Say it again. You cut out for just a quick second. Coming from the east coast, it’s almost futile to get started. Yeah. It feels daunting. It feels daunting for me. And I live here some years, like in these drought years, you’re like, you almost feels like there’s nothing, there’s mu I can spend 45 days in a unit and I’m, I’m betting I’m not gonna find a deer that really gets me excited.

00:21:49:28 –> 00:22:55:23
And I’m not talking about a 220 inch year, I’m just talking about a unit that normally can produce one 90 plus deer that sometimes that is, feels like a ghost. It doesn’t exist. So, yeah. But you’re right, there’s a lot of challenges. And I mean, even for us and maybe a lot of the listeners to this that live out west, we’re all trying to juggle a million things in our own life. And you try to sprinkle in maybe other species hunts, but even though mul there’s maybe what you love the most, and you can draw a good tag or align yourself with two or three decent mule deer tags living out west a year, in your case, maybe one. And you come out and put all your can and effort into it and, and it may not happen, but you shouldn’t feel bad. I mean, it doesn’t happen to us. Sometimes we have three or four tags a year and we don’t kill one, and we live right here amongst it all. So it’s just the kind of the reality of it right now. And when, when certain, we joke all the time that maybe we should have been hunting elk Carter the last two, three years. I don’t know if it’s that much of a joke. I mean, we, seriously, so we love elk, Adam, and I’ve killed our fair share of big bulls and, and Adam really likes antelope.

00:22:55:28 –> 00:24:08:09
No, we tease each other about an antelope are actually pretty darn fun. But we like to tease. There’s there, you know, there’s a lot of, a lot, you know, there’s a fair number of antelope pun opportunities out there and whatnot, and there’s a lot of guys interested in it. But when, we’ll, we hunt ’em, but, but we by far would, you know, we’re really into the elk and deer and sheep and of course, you know, anything we can get that’s once in lifetime type species. But, but like Adam says, I mean, we’re, we’re not, we’re constantly looking for the next best place. We’re we, we overlook our own home range areas. We were talking about it this morning within 50 or a hundred miles of our own homes. We don’t hunt like we should. We’ll travel, you know, Northern Nevada to the center, Southern center portion of Colorado and, and to hunt deer that we have right here. But having said that, we wanna hunt more than just one tag. So we’re gonna be traveling no matter what, each and every year just we’re not, I guess it’s not all doom and gloom. Like I I, we, we are mul deer are struggling, like they’ve never struggled before, but we’re researching as hard as we ever have. We put in as much or more energy and effort than we ever have. It’s more addicting than it ever was.

00:24:09:16 –> 00:25:17:24
We can’t wait that when, you know, to walk up on something that just takes your breath away, you know, and that’s the, the feeling we live for. And, and like Adam, he smashed, you know, a a 197 Sevener this year and it wasn’t a deer, it was in Colorado and it wasn’t necessarily a deer he knew about or, and you know, or anything like that. But you’ve gotta be in the field in areas that produce ’em. And that’s our job here at Epic Outdoors is to, is to constantly be looking and potentially help capitalizing on, or helping our members capitalize on those kind of opportunities. So, you know, it’s, even though it’s, it is from frustrating to watch from the about say, Hey, we should have been hunting elk the last three years. Yeah. ’cause elk have been a crazy good and we probably would’ve been successful. It’s also, maybe you’re still not gonna give up hunting mule, or even when it’s hard. No, because there’s that chance, man, that you jump one buck or you glass up a buck just to glass up a buck that takes your breath away with a tag or a unit, A tag, you have a unit you have a tag in is like, alright, that’s, that’s all I can ask for that. That’s really all you can ask for. And then there’s tags.

00:25:18:00 –> 00:26:31:17
There’s tags, we get that, like some of these states allow you to turn ’em back, turn back a tag and maybe, maybe you don’t gain a point that year. Each state’s a little bit different. Sometimes you can turn ’em back, no problems and still gain your point plus one not get a refund, things like that. But we’ll turn back tags like a, if it’s a, if it’s a unit we can scalp. I, I drew a tag here in Utah and I didn’t find a single deer. And, and not that I knew about ’em all. There was, there’s a lot of deer I don’t, I don’t know about. And there’s also migration on this particular area that I, I wouldn’t know about the deer that are gonna move in from, you know, thick forested country. Right. But having said that, the writing was on the wall, I, we’d done enough scouting and, and you network enough that you know, that what, that, you know, you, you have a pretty good feeling that 78, 70, 80% chance I’m gonna eat a tag here. And, and so I just kind of bit the bullet and gave it back and, and maybe try to draw it on on the right year, you know, so there’s just a lot that goes into this, into this stuff. A lot of me, you know, a lot of, you know, a lot of time, energy, sweat, blood tears, you know, little Right.

00:26:31:25 –> 00:27:49:29
So, so be, before we get away from like the management side of things, from the state management level, what, what states do you think are getting it right and why? And what states maybe are, are getting their management wrong and why? Well, I personally think that states that manage individual deer on an individual deer herd unit specific level are getting it more. Right. And I guess some examples of that would be like Colorado, Nevada, Utah units that manage, and, and Utah has kind of two hybrid systems. They have limited entry draw units and general season units. And they went to yeah, unit by unit in Utah. What’s it been, Jason, eight or 10 years ago, I don’t know, let’s call it that. We, we were all begging for it because you gave regionwide tags with 15 to 20,000 deer tags good for one of the five regions of Utah. And anytime one unit within that region started getting good, the, the hunting pressure just shift there and crush it, especially at the age of social media. It just, people know. Yeah, people know. And, you know, when one’s bad go to the other place, it’s like, you know, when you went unit by unit, you at least set season dates and permit numbers on a unit by unit level and and adjust them every year.

00:27:50:03 –> 00:29:01:14
We’ve seen that in Utah and Nevada the last few years during these droughts have slashed their tags, even general season tremendously. And that’s feels like, and you can do it that immediately when you start having these poor production years due to drought. So you, you’re not five years behind when you should start cutting tags within a broad brush general season approach. You know, like a, maybe a Wyoming or an Idaho has that has, you know, residents at least that can hunt anywhere in the state and bounce around the state and hunt the good areas over the counter. They’re good. And go other words now and, and, and we’re the first people to realize, hey, we’re, we’re residents of Utah. And so yeah, maybe our opinion should, you know, matter more, be heard more in our state, but hey, don’t tell me how to manage things in Idaho or Wyoming. But if you just want our honest opinions, we, we, we’ve seen it in the states that have gone away from it, you know, Colorado’s been almost 30 years now, you know, and unit by unit. Yeah. 20 something years I guess is, but Nevada’s been, been forever. Utah’s been that way for 10 plus years. It’s just the correct way goes back to what we’d talked about with all the pressures facing mule deer in the 21st century.

00:29:02:05 –> 00:30:16:00
You have to be able to rack every year to responses in wildfire in, you know, low fa production, winter kill and cut tags on a herd basis year to year, or you’re not gonna ever be able to consistently manage that deer population. So, you know, that may point out some of the states that I think are more vulnerable, like a Wyoming, like in Idaho to reacting Montana, Montana to reacting to those subtle changes when you have so many tags, at least for the residents that are just given unlimited. And you’ve got growing populations in those states, especially like Idaho, that’s just bursting. And you know, they, they draw the, the general tags for non-residents, but residents can still get ’em. And I realize that’s a hard, that’s a, that’s taken a way, like somebody’s firstborn child, it’s never been or worse that way or worse. Exactly. You know, they, they don’t wanna see change. They don’t, well, who I don’t like, don’t, I don’t like seeing change. We don’t, nobody really likes it, but it just, at some point there has to be enough realization that that if, if you’re gonna complain and want something better, there may be morera dramatic. And I think when you call it dramatic, it’s just, it’s how management has to happen. It, it, you know, they’re, those management strategies have been in place for decades and, and the mule deer have changed dramatically in 50 years.

00:30:16:12 –> 00:31:26:00
So then when Adam’s talking about, you know, Utah changing the unit by unit, he’s talking more or less along our general status. We’ve always had the gon or San Juan or things like that. So, you know, that’s where we’ve seen a lot of our change, which is the bulk of the tags are issued under what we call our general premise. And so, yeah, like Adam’s saying, with this day and age, when something happens, we all expect a knee jerk reaction in management. We, if we have something happen in six months, we’re expecting, as the public, we’re expecting the game managing agency to, to react. Now nobody wants to wait, right? Everybody wants to be as quick to judge a game managing agency and saying that Utah game and fish suck and they’re ruining the hunting and they don’t react fast enough. And these agencies are listening. We, we’ve seen it in Nevada, they’re listening. They, they are reacting. And at times they’ll do a survey and say, well, I just think it was a bad survey. You know, it was bad lighting, the flights weren’t good, the weather wasn’t good. And so there is a little bit of that, but generally speaking, the hunters in the field, I mean they’re, you know, are are expecting game game agencies to, you know, to know what happened to do your harvest surveys make, you know, and those, those cost money to do.

00:31:26:10 –> 00:32:29:19
But you need to know what the harvest surveys say. You need to know if people had a good favorable experience or not. And we all expect this, this day and age. We all expect to have a world-class hunt, or we’re disgusted or we’re frustrated and it, and so it’s hard to manage game agencies are managing socially, you know, are people happy or Yeah. What’s, what’s the best thing for deer? The best thing is that people get a tag once every 20 years and we go to no tags for, the best thing for trophy hunting is to have no tags. We want deer to, to be, you know, five to eight to nine years old and, and a good chunk of ’em. So people are happy, they see lots of big deer. But if you never draw a tag, does that mean you’re happy? And so there’s this challenge of, of what is a good healthy age structure in a population and when are, when are my people happy within a state? When is, when are people gonna be happy with Wyoming and how things are going, or Idaho or Utah or Nevada or whatever. And, and so a lot of these states, you know, when you have a major drought or when you have a major winter kill or whatever, what can a state really do to combat that?

00:32:29:28 –> 00:33:41:01
I mean, can you really, can you really make the knee jerk six month reaction in management practice to maintain the level of quality you’ve always seen for the last 20 years? You know, no, you can’t. You’re gonna have dips, you’re gonna have some major dips. And so I think the agencies are doing better, but like Adam said, general tags over the counter with all of the technologies we have in the world, all the technologies, all the knowhow, all the social media, all the onyx, all the base maps, all the, everything that we have as tools as a hunter. People have more time off than they’ve ever had. They’ve, they have a few more bucks than they’ve ever had in their pocket. And people are putting more emphasis, more, more into it because the, the, the trophy’s harder and harder than ever to, to obtain and, and they’re willing to work for it. And anyway, all of these pressures are mounting and it doesn’t, it’s not, it, it doesn’t, doesn’t over the counter general tags for residents just kind of doesn’t work anymore. And, and that’s our gut feel, right? Although, although just watching how Idaho’s been doing it for non-residents taking away the over the counter opportunity for us up there, that’s kind of frustrating to watch, right? It’s frustrating to be not be able to go to Arizona over the counter archery deer now.

00:33:41:10 –> 00:34:40:23
And, you know, you have to first come, first serve and they sell out in a day and a half and then have another little sell off here and a, a few days later when things settle and they figure out, you know, what, how many taxes? And I believe they’re also doing a a quota too, once they mean Yeah, it’s a, a harvest quota. And that goes back to, it goes back to why, why are you doing a harvest quota? Well, because you gotta manage take, if you’re gonna manage a unit, you do have to manage, take we, you know, and, and manage tag numbers and, and do the best you can at the variables that you can manage. Yeah. You can’t manage the weather, you know, what can you manage, what can you manage? And that’s what they’re, that’s what they’re up against. And if you just have, you have a major winter killer drought and you have over the counter tags, how, how do you manage that? You’re just gonna take it away in six months. It, it takes time to change that. And, and they’re seeing it. They know the writings on the wall, they’re just trying to change as slowly as possible because residents are angry at, at even the thought of it. And I totally get it. We live through it here in our own state. So it’s not like it’s something we haven’t seen and done.

00:34:40:23 –> 00:35:49:24
We’re just, I, I mean, I’m not saying every general season unit is the Garden of Eden for big bucks everywhere in Utah, but it just, at least they’re better or they’re a, the ability to react every year on that unit’s in that unit’s benefit is there now where it wasn’t, when you have just a shotgun, here’s, here’s 80,000 tags, go and do good things. People have a fun time in the hail. Right? Back in the day you could do it, you know, got away with it. People are creature of habit too. They, they don’t, they don’t like change, you know, they, they wanna keep things status quo. Well we have, we have things like the spike hunt now, and people are basing family reunions around a spike elk hunt. And now, you know, you, if you were even to breathe a word about taking away this spike elk hunt, it would be, it would be a crazy backlash. Right. Logan be crazy. So anyway, don’t you think Logan? Yeah, I know my family’s been based around the spike elk hunt for quite a few years. It’s a good way for me and all my brothers to get it, so Right. And if it went away, we fru it would be Yeah. Yeah. Very frustrating. Yeah. So it’s hard, right? People are people base their, like the gener they’re used to. That’s, yeah. Yeah.

00:35:50:20 –> 00:37:04:06
What do you, what do you guys think, Jason, you brought this up a little bit ago about the impact of social media and the, the loose lip sync ships, you know, the, the whole, I shot this big buck here and then everybody flocks there. Yeah. I think, you know, personally, like, I think, I think there’s some of that. We’re, we’re, we keep track of stuff. I mean, you know, all the guys here in the office, of course you do. We’re on social media, we like to see big stuff and it’s, man, there was multiple big deer taken here it looks like, or, or here or there, whatever. But honestly, like you, you’ve seen this social media as well as I have Jim and, and Adam. I mean, you know, the, the whole, the whole hunting for meat things out there too. So I don’t know if there’s as many trophy hunters. I mean, people are just out to hunt and have a good time also on gig. Some people take pride, people in our industry that are quote consultants and, and maybe even you consider a competitor of ours, not really a competitor, but take pride in harvesting, you know, just average stuff or even those doze and ues and cow elk or whatever. And so, I don’t know if social media is really the downfall.

00:37:04:16 –> 00:38:13:13
I think there’s a number of things I can give Adam and Adam could give me an Onyx point of somewhere to glass and right at the crack of daylight, I can be standing at the exact best place to glass. Whereas before I’m fighting my way through it and I finally get a get to where I think he was talking about, and it’s two hours after daylight. We’re just so more, much more effective as hunters. Part of it is onyx, part of it is social media. Part of it is thousand yard rifles. Yeah. Part of it is optics. I mean, just guns, bows, every, everything collectively. It’s all, it’s, it’s all there. I mean, you, we can point to definite examples within social media that people seem to be at least on the outward appearance, doing it for the beat in the chest principle. But I mean, if anybody knows and really cares about their hunting spot, I don’t see a lot of it getting blown out of the water on their social media because they wanna keep that secret. But just the principle of I killed a big deer. Yeah, it’s out there a lot. And at times when you go through the fall especially, we’re in one of those grinding periods, and if you get caught up looking at social media, it feels like you’re the only guy that didn’t get one. Yeah. The whole world’s killing big stuff right now.

00:38:13:15 –> 00:39:09:01
And I, I’m, I’m, I’m terrible hate that, but but you gotta realize it’s just like, you know, any other thing, you know, the, the ladies talk about it in the fashion world that everybody’s, you know, at their best with their makeup on and all their clothes dotted up to the nine, they got the app to adjust all the features, you know, filters and all that. And, you know, don’t get caught up in that. You know, everybody’s still a, a mom at home that lounges around in their sweats with no makeup on too. That’s a real world. But that’s a real world for hunters too. Same thing with the fish islands. And we’re dealing with apps and making photos look better than they are, and there’s all all that, right? We gotta deal with all that. But, but like Adam says, and at some point the gon has always been known to be awesome or to be one of our better units. The Henry Mountains is popular, the Arizona Strip is always gonna be popular. Oak Creeks here in Utah. It’s no secret. It’s awesome right now. So I don’t know that social media is blowing that out. I don’t know that that’s the case.

00:39:10:13 –> 00:40:19:28
I think there are sometimes maybe like you’re saying, like you’re indicating maybe there’s something changing or on the horizon or, or we’re seeing a, a reduction in tags here five years ago now equates to, we’re seeing bigger deer being harvested in a particular unit a whatever it is. And so, and you might see some of that on social media, but I don’t know, I don’t know that social media is, I think the downfall of big bucks. It, I do think it’s not, it’s not helped. I, I know that, I’m not gonna lie, it’s not helped, but probably spurs some more people coming from the Yeah, go ahead. I think it may spur some people on more, you know, to work harder. Nah, if they’re doing, I mean, it may do that, maybe have that kind of effect, but I don’t know how collectively how many dozens or hundreds or any thousands of big bucks are being killed because of that. You know, you know, before when we were all kids, Jason, we had to get a magazine. We had no email, we had no email. We had to get our magazine, Hey, it was Eastmans and Trophy Hunter before you had to say, Hey, what, what? Somebody killed this shit. Oh, that’s a big buck, I’ll take that. But that was already nine to 10 months after they’d killed it.

00:40:20:08 –> 00:41:25:24
And so yeah, maybe in the heat of the moment, it spurs you on or it gives you a, you know, all right, I’m gonna dig in this last five days of my hunt. And maybe, you know, as opposed to, yeah, this is a terrible year and I can’t imagine anybody killing a buck right now and you’re going home. There may be some situations like that. And I, and I, and I do think there’s people like I I, I’m known for hunting the desert, and I do feel like there’s, I potentially have encouraged people to hunt the desert inadvertently, right. That, or giving ’em confidence to hunt the desert where there’s go see no deer and be okay with it. That’s right. And be okay with it, with the chance that maybe that one deer or two is there that you would take. And, and so, you know, I, I can see where that, where that totally happens. I also think there’s places like, let’s just say Gunnison, Colorado, they’re, you know, and, and I’ve got a lot of friends, clients and whatnot that hunt Colorado as a whole, whether it be eagle, rangely, you know, any of the hot places, you know, that are known, known for trophy hunting hunters, you know, wanting to go there, gunison. And you know, I think there’s a lot more people waiting to the very last day to kill something special. There’s a lot of people willing to do that.

00:41:25:24 –> 00:42:58:12
Whereas before you would see people hunting really hard for a day and a half and killing a, a, a deer. They’re willing to settle for by day three or four. And now you’re seeing Yeah, a full effort. You’re seeing a full effort, whether it be staying in the side by side and, and driving all day long, whatever that that’s fine. They’re there, they’re there on the unit with an un punch tag and gonna stick it out to the end. You’re seeing more than that than ever. I agree. Well, I, I was gonna say, we live in a, in the era of information and living on the East coast and traveling like I do to the west to Alaska, there’s no shortage of, of information. I think people feel a lot more confident, a lot more comfortable traveling from the East West. Like for example, I hunted public land in Colorado, and I mean, I knew the unit inside and out from Google Earth, from Onyx, from Google or Street View, and you know, so I was just very, very comfortable before I even went there. The, the, the intimidation factor about having stepped foot in the unit was reduced. Right. And I think that contributes to a lot more people leaving their home states, Pennsylvania, Ohio. Yeah. You know, West Virginia all just, you name it, they’re, they’re just more comfortable. They’re more, there’s more information available. Yeah.

00:42:58:12 –> 00:44:05:07
And I would agree we both would agree with that. I don’t know that I would lump that into like, social media’s influence, even though maybe some of that might be from technology. It’s just technology. It’s mostly technology, whether that be, you know, like I said, Onyx and mapping solutions and Google Earth and, and all of that. I mean, just that alone, if you’re a hermit and live in your house and don’t even, aren’t even on social media, but you know how to use those apps, you can be very effective and be a lot more confident showing a field. So yeah, I, I would, I would agree. And, and social media’s influenced like the, let’s just say Instagram, Facebook, per se. I i, I do think that is less, less of a factor than all of the other technology things put together, right? But it’ss just, it’s just, there are the era we live in and that’s, I guess what we’re talking about with whether it be over the counter tags and then you lump in a drought on top of that, there’s nothing in their favor. They can’t get away. And that’s what it, that’s what it feels like. They, and, and so, you know, then you’re, you’re seeing a, a slide uptick in unit A or unit B because of, of a tag reduction for the most part.

00:44:05:10 –> 00:45:08:01
And may, and maybe there’s always gonna be big deer in a certain unit because just the nature of the unit, it’s a thick sucker for, you know, a hundred miles and there’s just no way to get at ’em or whatever. And so you’re always, there are always places that we have in the back of our mind. We know we’ll always have something special in ’em, but for the most part it’s just lots of challenges are point are, are we, are we at the point now with point creep and just all the struggles that mule deer face right now? Or, or are we at the point now where if you wanna hunt mule deer in the next 10 years, you just better start getting points, whether you have intentions of going out there or not? Is that, is that, do you think that’s where we’re at, where it’s like, man, I, I don’t have any immediate plans to hunt data, but are we at the point now where it’s just like, get your points while you can? Yeah, and I think we’ve said that for 10 plus years, even not just 2023 or whatever we’re about to hit.

00:45:08:16 –> 00:46:12:27
And, and to take it a step further, you know, if you’ve, if you’ve paid attention to I guess what we’ve been trying to say and communicate to our, our members or hunters that ask our opinion on hunting mule there, it’s that yeah, you’re gonna have to be willing to, to go on hunts more often. Don’t, you’re not gonna be able to save up for those 20 plus point, you know, tags once in your life and, and try to just cash in on that because in many of those states, you’re too too late to ca to, to, to jump into point chase for those 20, 25 point units that are, that’s what they’re doing right now. Yeah. You’re going to have to have a mindset of, all right, Colorado or Wyoming or these other states, you know, you’re gonna have to go there much more often. Be willing to accept this is a unit that I’m in the field that has good genetics and it meets certain criteria that are important to me, and I’m gonna go give it the best I have and live with that. That’s what you’re gonna have to do if you’re gonna hunt mule deer regularly, even if you have a state that you can get a general season tag in, like Utah, that’s turned into some, for some residents, a two to three year weight in between tags.

00:46:12:28 –> 00:47:23:19
So you’ve gotta have other alternatives of that same interval in other states, or you’re simply not gonna hunt mule deer enough. It’s, it used to be, it feels more like Jason, 10 to 20 years ago you could just, you know, Colorado wasn’t as popular, popular as it now. You could hunt tags, which with units with far fewer points than it takes now. Yeah. So, but, but now, unless you have the points already built up and 10 to 15 plus vested, your mindset has to be totally different. You have to go more regular. And we preach that like we’re, we’re flogging a dead horse. It feels like we sit all the time. Yeah, yeah. It’s Adam’s a hundred percent, right. And there’s, and there’s big deal we’re looking at even so, so Adam mentioned, even for residents, we’re talking 2, 3, 4 years in intervals and getting a tag here locally, right where we’re at. But these units right here are as good as as many units that we’re traveling. And that’s what I was saying in, in, in the center southern part of Colorado or wherever, Northern Nevada I went this year. I mean, we have as good a hunting right here, and I can do it every two to three years or whatever, four years, you know, and, and so we just don’t value it like we should.

00:47:23:24 –> 00:48:36:09
And I think there’s a, there’s units in Colorado, and I’m not really gonna go through the unit numbers per se, but that, but I had a guy this morning and he says, Hey, you know, I’ve got 1.1 preference point in Colorado, and he said, I’ve normally hunted unit X and I kind of veered away from unit X because it hasn’t been that good compared to what it once was. But I’m thinking about going back, would you go back? And I’m like, you should absolutely go back. And by the way, this last year, we know of three or four, 200 inch class bucks taken in Unit X, the exact unit that you didn’t hunt last year, 2022. Yeah. And so, and, and, and I don’t know why necessarily there has been a slight tag reduction there. There was also rain. There wasn’t a week this summer that didn’t have rain in this particular area that could have could’ve attributed to it. But you’re just saying, I’m just saying those Unit X has always taken zero to one point always. There’s not even a point creep there. And, and so, and, and it’s a place that I’ve killed a two 12 buck in like, and in that exact unit. And so the genetics there, the potential of there, it’s super thick in a lot of it. There’s, there’s some escapement, I guess is my point. It’s big country. It, it’s several units combined and, and it’s just huge.

00:48:36:09 –> 00:49:31:05
You can’t even cover it all. So I do think there’s things out there. I I think it’s imperative. You get points. I think you should, Jim, you should absolutely get points in Nevada. It, it, it’s inexpensive and, and why not? And you get to apply for sheep and other things too, and get a point for all of them. Like why wouldn’t you do that? Knowing down the road 10 years from now, you’d be glad you had 10 points and 10 points would actually get you an archery tag in northern part of the state or whatever. Maybe not the best unit in the state, but you’d have a dang great hunt. And so, you know, that’s what, I guess that’s what our job is. It’s what Adam and I are doing nonstop is there’s short term, midterm and long term plans. The short term plan is what can I do every year midterm, what can I do every five years or whatever long term is 10 plus years, maybe even 20 years, and maybe I’m saving my Arizona points to do something special someday. All the while I’m going to Colorado every year or every other year. And, and then I’m doing Utah general point plus a limited entry deer point.

00:49:31:21 –> 00:50:42:27
And maybe, maybe I do get lucky and draw the Ponson or Oak Creeks or Henry Mountains, but in the meantime I might go on the, one of their general areas and, and then in the, in the middle of it all, I’m doing Colorado and then I’m getting some points in Wyoming and maybe I’ll do a region G or H someday. And I just, I think there’s, it’s a little bit of everything. And that’s what we do is we’re, if we just stuck to Utah, we wouldn’t have killed as much as we’ve killed and, and, and the experiences and, and everything. You’ve gotta, you’ve gotta be able to be willing to travel and state, state boundaries aren’t what they once were. The state boundaries might as well be a county line or what. It’s an arbitrary boundary. It’s, we’re willing, people are willing to travel and do whatever it takes. You’re coming from clear back East and whether it be Colorado or Wyoming or Utah, it’s kind of a dang long ways no matter which state you choose. You know what I mean? Yeah. And, and there, there’s, you know, there’s a lot to be said about hunting more often and, and taking the opportunities when you get ’em. And a perfect example is, and I, I waited 11 years and cashed in points for a unit in Colorado. And I, I ate a tag.

00:50:43:03 –> 00:52:00:13
I could have shot, you know, a few smaller, one 40 class mule deer, but I wasn’t out there for, for that. And you know, a guy that I know, his brother goes out there to a one point UA zero point unit, you know, and crushes a giant, you know, he is just like, it’s just, you just gotta get out there and hunt, whether it’s 10 points or zero points, you know, Colorado’s a classic example of that. And that’s, my, my wife had over 20 points and, and we, we have as much intel coming in here as anywhere, and we go and she ends up eating a tag. And, and that was fine. She wanted something that I would want, like, she’s like, if I’m gonna kill something, I want to be something special for you and me. And, and she takes pride in, in all of this, just ’cause she’s done it with me. And, and basically we’ve grown up together, so to speak. And so anyway, it’s just, it’s one of those things where, you know, she could have hunted 15 times in, in that amount of time. Yeah. And, and guaranteed she would have a big deer on the wall, you know, and, and many more experiences, you know what I mean? And we have so many people that have 20 plus points, 18 plus points, 16 plus points.

00:52:00:27 –> 00:53:15:06
And once they get you to 16 or you end up with 16, A, how did I get here? Can’t believe I haven’t hunted three or four times by now. And then b, what am I gonna do? And I wanna make sure I maximize these 16. And so then you apply for something, you almost can’t draw and you end up not drawing because there’s a little bit of point creep. And then you end up with 17, and then you do the same thing the next year, and now you’re at 20, 22, 24. And then you go and it’s an off year and you might not even see a 180 and, you know what I mean? And so, just a classic example. And also right there, it, it, it, it plays with you when you wait so long because you have these crazy expectations and you’re like, ah, you know, this is my one and only chance. I’m never gonna, you know, wait 15 more years to shoot one. But that’s just, it, it, it realistically isn’t the case. But, you know, and, and look at it, at some of these, these overall draw statistics, like specifically for Colorado, like I’m, I have ’em in front of me. Like in 2015, the overhaul draw success rate was 32%. And I know this fluctuates based on tags, based on applicants, et cetera, et cetera. But you know, in 2022 it dropped down to 22%.

00:53:17:14 –> 00:54:28:25
So, you know, you can infer that it’s Yeah, harder to draw tag more, more tags as time goes on, as on, as more people put in as point creep keeps happening, et cetera. So, you know, I think it’s, well, and we, and I think we hear Adam and I, and Adam, you can attest to this too, but I mean, we are constantly challenged with guessing what it’s gonna take to draw text. People are wanting to know like can, kind of telling the future, right? What’s a is is normally a a 50 50 with one point, but what do you think? And maybe there’s a date fluctuation, maybe it’s resets a week and everybody’s excited about a week later date or whatever, be a little bit better chance for tough weather, bring ’em down on the winter range and they might even start rutting or whatever. And so you’re gonna see an influx of applicants. It’s just an example. And now it’s gonna take two, three points. And we’re constantly telling guys, you know, this says it took one point last year, what did you have last year? Well, I have one right now, and it took, it was a 50 50 with one. I’m gonna have a 50 50 shot. No, you had zero last year. And it was a 50 50 shot with one. You had zero last year. Yeah. What were you, yeah, what tier were you in last year?

00:54:29:06 –> 00:55:49:24
So you’re constantly trying to guess a how many points did you really have when the drawing odds mattered? When, when, when those drawing ons were built. And then b, what is the, what are people looking to do Is, is this a year that there’s a lot of, a lot of new applicants coming out of from building points only to actually being in the draw for attack. Yeah. You and, and superimposing, like Jason alluded, regulation changes, season date changes, equipment changes, whatever that might change. Some people switching from rifle to muzzle loader or vice versa or yeah, just later dates or earlier dates in the case of some other situation that might be better in a particular unit. Those things are all things you try to superimpose year to year. But, but bottom line, back to kind of your original question, yeah. Build points. Points are assets to drawing tags down the road. But in general terms, if you’re newer to that game especially, or if you’ve used your points and now we’re back more on the ground floor level, be prepared to go hunt more often. We are big advocates of doing that. And that if you hunt more often on more regular intervals, you’re probably gonna come away with something that’s more satisfactory to whatever your personal criteria are than waiting another 10 to 20 years and having all your eggs in that one basket, one little five to seven day window in time.

00:55:50:17 –> 00:56:55:25
It’s like Adam said, just like the adjustment we’re gonna see in New Mexico with not allowing scoped muzz loaders, you know, I mean, that’s a big deal. And then that’s gonna help people that are willing to use an open site muzz loader, right? I mean it’s, yeah, it’s something that on people, it’s gonna save a lot of animals. Yeah, it will be, right. It will. Like it’s a no brainer. It will, I mean, I mean that’s kind of a no brainer. Yeah, I think people that we use long range muzz orders and long range muzz orders, just a modern muzz scoped, being able to dial, use a turt, use a smart range finder, figure out what your bullet drop is and you can dial for it. And, and, and so long range muzzle order, I mean, it could be a hundred fifty, two hundred fifty yards, three 50 yards. It’s not that big a deal anymore. So I think going back to the open sites significant and, and, and, but that’s an example of you’re gonna see muzz or, you know, opportunities being a bit easier to draw if people really understand the regulation change. Now there’s a lot of guys that’ll still won’t, won’t realize that it’s changed to open site and they’ll still be applying, but, but once it really takes effect and everybody knows the rule, you might see a a, a little bit better drawing ons there.

00:56:56:09 –> 00:58:05:28
So things do come and go a little bit and you know, you just, you just kind of roll with it. And being versatile as a hunter, being willing to do archery when it makes sense or rifle when it makes sense or, or muzz loader or whatever, you know, it helps you have options. It, it just helps you have options. I love it when people say, I don’t wanna build points anymore. I’m just gonna buy all my opportunities. It’s the way it’s gone anyway. And I’ll just get, you know, some of these first come first serves and over the counter and that, that’s fine. You can, it’s all good. Like I’m absolutely good with people doing that. You know, let your points purge and whatever you’ve gained so far, at some point it’ll purge with time depending on the state. But, but you, you’re finding, you know, hunts, the cost of hunts isn’t that cheap anymore and landowner tags are kind of hard to come by and over. The counter opportunities are dwindling and the first come, first serves, we had the, you know, great big fiasco in Idaho where people didn’t get a lot of the tags they planned on and now they might wish they had another opportunity with gaining just a couple of points and a few of these states would’ve given them. And so it’s not, we’re not out there trying to convert the world to, to gain points.

00:58:05:29 –> 00:59:26:10
We’ve been gaining points, you know, and applying and gaining points for 25 to whatever, 30 years long, long time, and know the value of it and the value hasn’t changed. Thing’s a little tougher. Yeah. Yeah. Things aren’t as easy as they once were. Points just give you options. Yeah. Do you think that you’re like, well, so you guys are consultants. I think you’ve been doing this a long time. I mean, I was a member of Hunting Fool way back when, when you guys were, were, were, were doing that the good days, the good days when, you know, you guys are consulting people. How do you deal with increased clients and managing your own hunts versus their expectations and dealing with more people using your services and et cetera? You know, how how do you deal with that over the years? Well, I think, you know, if you read our publication, we, we try to talk, when we break units down, for instance, we try to talk more to the masses. You can’t give every intricate detail of every single unit. It, it, it becomes a, an issue of page space. I mean, you can’t have a 350 page magazine every month that that goes to print. You know, it’s just not possible.

00:59:26:28 –> 01:00:38:06
So, but the ability to call and talk and consult with us on a one-on-one basis, and, you know, we have Jason and I, and we have three other guys in the office that do this all day every day. That, that’s all we do is, is help plan hunts for whether they be licensed application clients or regular members of Epic Outdoors, and whether they need self-guided opportunities and units that fit their criteria or guided opportunities. That’s, that’s all we do. So, as been said before, we’re immersed in it. I don’t really know that the volume, I mean, because obviously, you know, that was a former life that we used to have. And you, I guess when you reset and hit, hit go again on Epic Outdoors, which is more or less a reboot, reboot of Jason and I and what we’ve always done. You start with zero, you start at zero again. So, I mean, yeah, to some extent we’re still, I mean, you’d say we have less clients now than we did, you know, 10 plus years ago when we were under that hat. But, so I, I don’t know that you could really say that the number of followers or members, while that influence is necessarily the information we give, we still try to give the best, you know, cut to the chase information to help you make your own decisions on each individual state.

01:00:38:16 –> 01:01:48:17
We have personal, I have personal bias in the way I like to hunt elk, deer, sheep and other things. Jason has some for him that are different than what I have. We try not to let too much of a Adam, Adam was teasing me this morning. I do a hunt all the time, a particular hunt. And it never pans out. It never pans out. But it’s my, it’s my thing when the hunt ends that year, he said, that’s the last year I’m ever doing that. And here we are, not even to 2023, not even to the next calendar year yet. I’m all in. And he’s planning that hunt again and you’re planning it out. And so, but I, but anybody else would hate it. It wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t even be something people would want to do. As, as we’ve gotten a little older, I have definitely gotten more willing to accept, if you can even call it defeat rejection. I, I don’t know, you know, un the lack of harvesting it, it’s, and, and I’m not talking, you know, we don’t, we, most of us, Jason and I burned most states, we have burned our top tier points of almost everything. There’s a few exceptions. Jason reminds me of my maximum points for moose in Montana, which I have no idea why I have, but I have ’em, you know, but on other deer and elk, we’re gonna kill a big bull someday.

01:01:49:06 –> 01:02:50:24
I, I don’t know, in a swamp, in some swamp. But, but we try to, our personal stuff has evolved and we try to encourage people, you know, to make that plan for them specifically in their phase of life that they are. Because when we were in their twenties or early thirties, it was different than it is now. As our, as our, maybe we have more longevity in our current job and we have more experience and maybe a little bit more time to now leave than you do when you’re in your twenties and thirties. That’s natural for everybody. Don’t let that bother you. Do what you can when you can do it. But I guess to answer your questions on how do we manage expectations or the information we give to the volume of clients we give, I don’t, I don’t think that’s really necessarily changed, I guess Jason. No, we we’re just trying to be as accurate and up to date on current. Our current, we don’t even, the question you’re asking is like, doesn’t even cross our mind. So like we write the magazine, we write, we are transparent. Now, am I gonna tell you every little thing that I’m wanting to do personally? Well, no, of course not. I, I’m not right. But I’m also not real. I’m not hiding it.

01:02:50:25 –> 01:03:59:27
I’m doing stuff that we talk about in the publication and most people that listen to our podcast, we, of course, Jim, we have an Epic Outdoors podcast. So anyway, and you’ll be publishing this and we’ll publish it. But, but having said that, most people that listen know what our plans are because we tell people, you know, and it’s, and what I liked to do in Nevada is, is not a secret. And I liked Nevada. I, I hunted Nevada. It was when I was a kid, I guided Nevada and it gave me a, a checkbook that was able to afford gas to go learn more units in Nevada and more country and, and you know, especially on a fixed income when we were newly married. And there was just a lot of, you know, things and, and that contributed to, you know, where we are today. And we’re not hiding any of that stuff. So I don’t even, it’s not even A-A-A-A-A factor. I mean, I’ve hunted unit one in Arizona for elk and, and killed a bull and we’ve hunted New Mexico multiple times and people know what we’re doing and we talk about it. And so we’re just out there like everybody else. There’s just things that trip my trigger that may not trip anybody else’s trigger or just a few guys and say, that’s what Adam’s saying is Adam has his preferences.

01:04:00:07 –> 01:05:16:09
I he has, we all here in the office are talking about our general units here in Utah. Okay? For example, this morning, all of us and, and, and each one of us have a different plan. We all have a different plan and they’re, they’re big units. We could all go to the same unit and be just fine and we could help each other out and never get in each other’s way. But we all have different preferences. People know some units better than others. Some habitat types I don’t like, I will never hunt the unit closest to my house. You know, I just don’t like it. But we have other guys in the office that are following giant deer in that sa same unit, and I’m good with that. And if they called me to come help ’em glass off the hill, I am absolutely gonna be there. But it’s not, doesn’t interest me. And that’s the way our whole membership is. That’s the way the whole talking about all these states are, you know what I mean? I, I think you just, you, you know, you you answered it because you guys are, are covering everything and you’re not specific on one area. And so because you, you cover the entire west, you know, you’re giving information about each state and, and trends and you’re writing about it, so you’re not focusing on one, one area that would, that would impact it.

01:05:16:09 –> 01:06:27:19
Because I guess what I was thinking was like if, if, you know, if the world found out Jason Carter hunted unit X in Colorado, there’d probably be an influx of your, you know, and what’s funny about that, Jim, that’s funny, is it happens like one of us will hunt one unit Yeah. And for whatever reason, you know, whoever we tell whatever the next year we’ll go and we’ll, we’ll run into somebody else that says, oh yeah, I thought you’d be here. ’cause Devin hunted here last year. Jason hunted last year. So yeah, it, it, it still happens. But I mean, we take pride. Adam and I have hunted so many different units in Colorado. It’s funny you bring that up. I’ll, I’ll kill a, kill a big deer in 35, 36. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve been back there. You know what I mean? Yeah. I killed a big deer in unit 22. I go a while, I’ll go back, you know, occasionally my Da Mike Ashley show hunt a second season once in a while, or another kid or whatever. But then I’ve hunted 10 in 61 and 50, you know, unit 54 and 68 and 79. And I, I mean, pick one, we probably have some kind of experience in there with our family members or consultants here in the office. And next year I’m gonna do something totally different just like the year after and the year after. Yeah, yeah.

01:06:27:19 –> 01:07:32:17
You know what I mean? It’s, it’s just, yep. I mean, Adam’s been in 66 or whatever. There’s so many units. Yeah, you have to, and we’ve, we’ve evolved our thought. We, we’ve gone back to units 10 or 12 years in, in intervals of 10 to 12 years. Not, not repeatedly, even though there were opportunities to pick up, turn back tags or landowner tags and do it, there’s just certain things fill right when they feel right or feel riper now than they did six to eight years ago for the last six to eight years. And so you want to go back. And so those trends, we will, you’ll still pick up those if you read our publication and, and all that. And, and trust me, when we write that magazine the first of the year, rarely do we have our units all picked out because we’re still, we still let, let the luck of the draw happen. We put in for the type of units that we want, or the window slot of units and timeframe that we wanna hunt in the seasons and then react when we don’t get, or we do get what we get and then fill gaps in between after that. So yeah, it’s, it’s interesting, like, like when we leave a unit, sometimes we feel like that’s, we, we killed the last I’ll see, I’ll never see it again. I’ll never see it again.

01:07:33:03 –> 01:08:44:21
I don’t need to even put in that bed and breakfast in my phone. Like I’ll never be back. And yeah. And I killed the last big deer that’ll ever be killed in this unit. I feel like, you know, sometimes you feel like that, or that’s the last time I’m gonna get my butt kicked in that unit and then the next year they have an off the charts year in that unit, you know? And that’s just part of it. But I think part of it too is we live for finding that something new. We live for that. Like, and so we’re suckers for man this, they had tag cuts, you know, three years ago and this, and then last year and then this year, and then so-and-so hunted at second season and seems to be like, it, it could be, you know, making sense to think about the going to that unit and how are we gonna get there. And there’s strategy always with everything you’re doing in life. You have strategy with the hunts you’re doing, and it’s based on the knowledge you have or are gaining, whether it be social media, whether it be Epic outdoors or an online forum, monster muley or bow cider, whatever and relationships you have there. So, you know, everybody, everybody feels like they’re onto something cool and exciting and they could tell me their plans and they do. Adam and I’ve talked to probably 25 plus people today.

01:08:44:21 –> 01:10:01:00
And there’s, and our, the guys that work for us and work here at Epic Outdoors are consulting right now. And everybody feels like they’re on to that next best plan, but it’s all very unique to what they want. Everything is very unique and specialized and based off the knowledge they have or are gaining. And, and it’s all different. So we don’t even, we don’t even think about some of the things you’re, you’re thinking about or, or you know, we don’t, we’re not saying, like you said, you’re talking about everything. So you’re not gonna blow anything up. We’re not gonna say, you know, pine Valley’s the best general in Utah per se, although everybody knows it’s got great genetics and at times it has produced some incredible deer. So has Zion, so has Beaver, so has Penit, so is whatever, you know, you could list them out and in the Wasatch front, I mean, you’re seeing a few big deer on the late hunts and, and whatnot. And so, but it doesn’t mean we’re gonna rush there. It doesn’t mean it’s the new best unit. There’s just enough people in the field and enough tags out there that a few people get lucky. And, and so there’s that factor as well. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. Do you, do you guys get criticism from locals about your services and oh, you’re helping all these non-residents come out less than No, no, no, no. The residents.

01:10:01:00 –> 01:11:10:00
See, the thing is that it’s really nice when there’s a finite number of tags. You got a certain amount of resident tags, you got a certain amount of non-resident tags. And so you don’t have the s spillover, you know, be like, oh, right. Look at all these non-residents. Okay? Like the guys in Wyoming, they complain about non-resident soul so bad, there’s a finite number of tags. There’s gonna be that number every year. It is what it is, right? It didn’t change. Yeah. Oh, I just felt like there was so many more people here thanks to Adam. No. Like they give that many tags last year. You know, you guys are the ones that are setting the tag numbers. So we don’t, we don’t really get, now if we were to say everybody has local knowledge, Jim, you have local knowledge about Pennsylvania. If you were to tell 10 people about the one big deer you knew about, and then whatever, 145 inch or whatever, 150, 60 inch or whatever it is, and you sent everybody there or, or had people on this particular landowner’s boundary, you know, crushing his fence or whatever, or leased the property next to it and kill all the bucks that happen to be on your place, you know, that landowner might be frustrated. I could see if people were frustrated at that, but we don’t, we’re not doing that here, you know what I mean?

01:11:10:02 –> 01:12:22:24
Not saying, oh, you drew the tag tag right here, go right here and right here and right here. We give people good help, but we don’t, it’s not like, like I said, we’ve already admitted we’re we’re going to other places. We don’t even put the value into our local hunts here like we should. You know what I mean? Well, no, that’s a, that’s a good point. You know, like, you guys aren’t creating tags, right? Those tags are allocated no matter what you provide with a, with a consulting service or not. The drawing odds don’t, in, in most a lot of cases, you know, the drawing odds don’t, they don’t affect each other. Non-resident odds or non-resident odds and resident odds or resident odds, you know, for the most part, right, Bronson? Yeah. A few weird scenarios for sheep and all that in other states where you’re pulled together, pulled together, we get up to 10% or we get up to something. Yeah, I always exception to that too. But for the most part, yeah, I don’t think we get, I mean, we don’t hear it if we get it, that’s, put it that way. The locals don’t like us. I guess maybe I don’t hear it, but Well, you know, we, with, with going back to the point creep and getting points in every state, I, I, I, you know, I, I think that’s, that’s great advice.

01:12:23:08 –> 01:13:54:06
Having said that, what do you think with getting points in all the Western states, what do you think the 10, 15, 20 year outlook is for mule deer hunting in, in the United States looks like? Hmm. If you had a, if you had a, a crystal ball. Hmm. Geez, I, I think honestly, despite even game and fish, the, some of the agencies that, that maybe we talked about earlier, there are managing things more proactively on a unit by unit, smaller scale basis. I still see just with the challenges and the susceptibility of mule deer are to change, whether that be environmental, whether that be for encroachment, whether that be, you know, whatever, which encroachment has to do with, you know, houses, highways, yeah. All those, all the things that, that brings. I I still see it somewhat continuing down the same road it is despite our best efforts, just because the challenges that mul deer are to manage. So it goes back to what we said a little bit earlier. You are going to have to try to do what you want or get what you want with less, meaning, fewer points, but just get out there and hunt. You’re not gonna be able to do it maybe as often, even in the states, you know, I foresee that probably someday the Wyoming and Idaho is gonna stop over the counter for residents.

01:13:55:10 –> 01:15:14:16
I, I I see they’re just gonna have to, I, I, I see that and only we’re talking 20 years, who knows, 10, five, whatever. But I do see that those things are gonna change and that then that you’ll be able to maybe react and do things that can long-term, make them more stable. Doesn’t mean you’re gonna avoid big winners when they happen. Doesn’t mean that after wildfire or drought or things like that, you’re, you’re not gonna be able to counteract things like that, but at least you can do something annually that makes that, that backs off the pressure whether, and that’s just from hunting pressure. The effective hunter is an effective hunter these days. Yeah. With all the tools that they have in their toolbox. I do see potentially continued limitations on technology and equipment. I do see that as we’ve continued to add things to the toolbox, we’re already seeing in units, we’ve alluded to it in New Mexico, Utah, other states are looking at those technological advancements, you know, they’ve already made some changes. I, I do see there having to be sideboards like that. Otherwise everything is just additive. The, the impacts on mule deer or bucks or mature bucks, however, whatever you’re interested in, everything is additive when it just keeps getting better and better and better, you know, from guns, optics, technology, equipment, gear trucks as you know, ATVs, everything, like it’s all additive.

01:15:14:18 –> 01:16:25:01
At some point that additive has crosses a line of you, you can’t keep adding any more. We can’t sustain what we’re doing. So I do, we’re just too, too good at hunting these days is essentially, well, I think it’s, I think it’s heading that way. I mean, I, I mean, I know there’s some people that say, Hey, I just, I like to just hunt with family and we just go hunt and shoot what we see. And so, but, but like we’ve alluded, because tags are harder to get or they take more points to get when more and more, the increasing trend is when you get a tag, you put more into it, whether that’s your own state or it’s the neighboring state because it’s, you don’t get ’em as often. So you put more time, resources, efforts geared, you know, everything, tools in your toolbox to make it happen. I do see that probably, you know, there may be, have to make some concessions in that regard, but I, I unfortunately, I don’t see the, the widespread, you know, declining trends of mule deer. I don’t, I don’t really see it stopping. I hopefully see it slowing down in the places. It’s hard, I think, but I don’t see it stopping. And I think when you’re in your own forest of a drought condition, whatever it is, it’s hard to see out and it’s hard to see the real positive side.

01:16:25:03 –> 01:17:34:16
But, but I’m, I’m with Adam and you, and you know, we used to be able to hunt, you know, the Arizona strip on an over the counter archery that no matter how many deer, no matter drought or no drought, no matter anything, no matter what, that will never come back. Yeah. It, it’s not gonna come back. Okay. We’re not gonna just go over the counter on the Arizona strip, not, it’s gone. It’s, it’s gone. And, and I feel like that’s what happens. That’s why, and I, and my heart goes out to the residents of, of Idaho and Wyoming. They can see this changing. They can see it and, and they, it may be five to 10 years down the road before it fully implements, but they, they can see it and they, they’re grasping at it. They don’t wanna see change. I don’t wanna see change either. I don’t like it. And, but it, it just happens. And when you have hunter numbers that are either stable or increasing in drought, that is constantly causing a decrease. I mean the or winter kill in that cases, yeah, right up there. Winter kill, but, but drought down here, whatever. And, you know, you have to manage unit by unit. So then you do manage unit by unit when the drought subsides and it, and it should at some point, right. And things are good. You’re, you’re still, we’re still gonna have unit by unit.

01:17:34:17 –> 01:18:44:25
We’re still gonna have the draw that’s not gonna, it’s not just gonna say, oh, the drought’s over and we’ve got so many more animals, we’re just gonna loosen up the restrictions and let anybody hunt. It’s not gonna happen. But they will give more tags. And, and, and I think that’s where we’re kind of, it’s who knows what 20 years brings you just don’t know. But with, we’ve also had, and, and Adam touched on it, with the change in technology, people are being more receptive to understanding that there needs to be some restriction to technology. People are being a little, a bit more receptive, receptive to that. There are people that say, and we went through this baiting issue here in Utah, and we went through, of course we’re dealing with trail cameras and seasons on trail cameras, and don’t tell me what I can and can’t do. And the government overreach of telling me Yeah, Arizona too, right? Yeah. And Arizona, you can’t, you can’t do any cameras at all. And, and I, I don’t necessarily like that. I, I think the season’s fine, but these are personal things. I I, I’m not living down there. I’m not gonna necessarily, you know, tell them how how they should run and if they don’t want to have cameras, fine. Having said that, we all, there’s a lot of people that are starting to understand that, you know what, we probably have taken it too far.

01:18:45:14 –> 01:19:54:13
We have cellular chems, we have, you know, the onyx stuff that we’ve talked about. I mean, do you ever, I mean, Jim, Jim, you come, come out here in the west, do you ever feel like you’re gonna get lost? Do you ever feel like you have the potential to get lost anymore? I mean, nobody feels like they’re gonna get lost anymore. Like we, yeah. You know what I mean? You’re many resources. You’re not scared to travel. You know, you can, you can, you know, inReach your way out of a bad circumstance in the middle of nowhere. You just, people are more confident to go to these crazy far out places where, you know, it just used to be the old crusty guy that did it, you know, it was willing to do it. Paper map and a compass. Yeah. Pray. Yeah. And so, you know, agencies are gonna continue to manage and when there’s, when there’s more animals on the, on the landscape, if, if the drought were to let up or say, you know, a good long term span of time where there wasn’t winter kill in winter kill sensitive areas, then you’re seeing an influx of quality in numbers and whatnot. And that’s what we’ve seen a little bit of that in, in Wyoming. We’ve seen a little a, a positive note up there. Now we’re all cautiously optimistic. This winter won’t kill everything, but it’s seems pretty good, you know?

01:19:54:13 –> 01:21:12:28
And so those are, those are kind of some bright spots. And so I think overall you’re gonna have bright spots are gonna come and go, but the, the the over the counter opportunities or the, you know, tags for everyone, no matter how many people come, you can’t hurt our deer. You know, those things, those times are gone, you know? Yeah. And it just, it just kinda kind of is what it is. I, we’re personally glad that some states are addressing technology a bit and, and you know, a lot of people that are, I don’t know if you call it anti-government, they just don’t wanna see the change. They’re okay with the technology and, and they just don’t want to, they, they want to lump it into an overreach. But, you know, I think a lot, a lot of those guys will say, well, cow calls are, are, are a technology. I mean, you’re gonna, you should, if you’re gonna take away a long range rifle, you should take away a cow call. You know? Yeah. And, and they’re, you gotta, they’re just not being reasonable. They’re throwing everything in there so that it muddies the water enough that no change happens as a, as a commission. Utah commission, you know, board, big game board looking at potential change, you could muddy the water pretty fast by saying rangefinder scopes, period on rifles should be back to single shot, open site rifle or whatever.

01:21:12:28 –> 01:22:29:22
Like you could go so far that pretty soon they just varies. They just throw their hands in the air and there’s no change made. And, and those guys are doing that. So there is no change. And, and yet everybody knows that, that the challenges are real and we need to be able to do what we can do to limit take to a degree. And if that’s just flat out letting everybody use what they want and cut and tags, then okay, we’ll slash tags. And you only draw once every 20 years no matter where it is or what it is, you know? But nobody wants to do that either. Right. Nobody wants to do that either. So anyway, it, it’s a challenge no matter what state you’re talking about. Do, do you think the, the hunting industry from top to bottom is doing enough to, to curtail the struggles of mule deer? Or do you think that people are aware of it? Maybe it just doesn’t get as publicized enough or you doing more? I, I think pretty out west people. I don’t, there’s no state that, that is unaware of it. There’s sportsman groups or things like that. And yeah, to a large extent, I would say most fish and game agencies within those states understand that they have mul deer working groups that are crossed multiple state boundaries.

01:22:29:25 –> 01:23:49:10
I mean, even back when I was a biologist, I, you know, I contributed to the Utah portion of the west wide mule deer working group, and there’s lots of publications written up on that research based stuff. So it’s, it’s got a lot of tension, a lot of tension. It continues to because of, like, we just kept talking about the sensitivity of mule deer compared to other big game species like elk and all that, that just tend to manage themselves. So yeah, I think there’s enough said, but I, I do think that they’re, they’re, they’re always learning about a, a little bit more when it comes to, you know, whether that be, you know, these coloring studies, migration studies, and where we’re now understanding how big some of these migrations have have, even in Utah, not just some of the ones we’ve all read about in Wyoming, but even in Utah, that certain arbitrary boundaries that are usually made by highways to define our units in Utah are really not really capturing what’s going on within that geographical hunt quote unit for a deer herd. And there’s a lot being learned there, and there’s a lot to be then applied to, you know, same thing when it comes to predation or mountain lions or things like that on a larger scale or coyote control or things like that. So unfortunately, I think yes, you know, sportsman’s groups and sportsman in general know about it.

01:23:49:25 –> 01:24:41:01
The, the difficulty is getting them both to obviously agree what the main cause is, when in reality there’s a lot of factors, and it’s different across the state. Northern Utah’s prone to win or loss. We don’t hardly ever have any winter loss in extreme southern Utah. I, I don’t know how we could do it. It’s drought down here. Yeah. It’s, it’s drought is the number one factor, even within a state. It changes up there. They have big issues with, you know, urbanization on winter range. That’s where people have to build, they build in the valley floors and the benches and all that down here. We have to that to some extent, but we don’t have the population base to make that a big limiting factor. Don’t have that on the Arizona strip. You don’t have that in southern Nevada. You don’t have winter range being gobbled up. That’s not the limiting factor. It’s other things. So the, the challenge is having each unit get their right prescription for each unit and having enough resources to maybe make something happen for each. Yeah. And each state has That’s exactly right.

01:24:41:01 –> 01:25:47:19
What Adam’s saying is each state has their own challenges, and that’s why they have, each state manages their own, you know, their own animals and, and they have a board and they’re doing the best they can in, in many cases, you know, we don’t necessarily agree with Colorado hunting mule deer in the rutt with a rifle. If I, if I said if I figured somebody who had it wrong that that would be it, you know, is, is I don’t think you should just, you know, let, let us all Same with Montana. I mean love Montana with Montana, Montana, yeah. Yeah. I don’t think you should let us all hunt pre rutt rutt and post rutt on winter ranges with, with rifles and all the technology we have, and they’re giving out tons, tons of tags and they’re not necessarily managing for quality. They’re a lot of times they’re managing for CWD and trying to limit actually trying to, you know, to bring the average age down and, you know, to, to combat that. And so that’s their perceived problem is that CWD is one of our big issues. And that’s a, a whole nother topic. And, and yeah, that’s a wormhole for sure, right? It, it is, right. But, and they also, you know, a lot of times they’re managing for elk, not necessarily deer. That’s their bread and butter is over the counter elk.

01:25:47:19 –> 01:26:59:01
And, and you know, their seasons are structured, so you hunt deer and elk at the same time during second and third rifles. And so, you know, they’ll change, change a season date to, you know, it that affects elk. And then we have unintended consequences, which actually hurts deer, meaning we’re hunting, you know, deer further in the rud or, or later in the year. And, and not a, just in tag numbers because, well, we kind of wanted to see the average age come down anyway. And, and so, you know, we’re seeing the results of that, a lot of frustrated people that are not finding mature bucks or a good, or even a decent number of mature bucks. And so, you know, there’s, there’s those challenges. And I think that’s a, that’s a, a state that, I mean, for deer wise regards to deer only. And our perception is that, you know, it’s not proper management to hunt in the rutt with a rifle, anything. For the most part. There is some limited hunting within in the route with a rifle here in Utah for elk or, or deer in certain cases in, in Arizona in certain cases limited. And, and those are fine. And that provides really cool opportunities for people that have lots of points or, or get super lucky in the draw. And I think that’s awesome. There’s some really cool opportunities out there.

01:26:59:03 –> 01:28:13:21
But for the most part, if that’s the crux of your big game management is in and around November rifle hunting seasons for deer. I, I don’t think that’s, that’s not, you know, exactly what I’m in favor of. So, you know, but, but they get to choose and, and we have to deal with it a bit. And, and we’re a guest in their state state, so to speak. So we’ll continue to hunt it as best we can. It just, just feels frustrating. But a lot of times, you know, like Adam talked about, we deal with drought and up north deals with more winter and, and you know, people, populations, people growing and urbanization and whatnot. And those are real factors. And I think the states are paying attention. I I think they’re doing a dang good job. Are they perfect? No, they’re not perfect. And, and we can always look back and say, man, they, they did it wrong. Like, could you, could you, ima could you imagine a worse year in whatever unit A or B or all the units or whatever. But we’ve seen where they’ve lessened the, you know, the restrictions on lion tags here in Utah. And we’ve seen a good, a favorable increase of deer appears to be because of that. There’s, there’s things like that I think states are doing and working on and, and are cognizant of.

01:28:13:25 –> 01:29:28:15
I think the, sometimes I think as time goes along, people don’t know how good it was 30, 40, 50 years ago. ’cause the people that were here gone, you know what I mean? Right, right. And so we’re managing for the new norm. What’s the new norm? Well that, and it’s never had those kind of dear numbers. Well, it did. It it did. You just weren’t alive then, you know. Yeah. So we’re managing for Yeah, good point. We’re managing for a new norm and you know, we’re seeing when we get excited, when we see a slight uptick and the old timers are like, you haven’t seen nothing, you know, I wouldn’t even start my truck. You know what I mean? And, and so anyway, lots of, lots of challenges. I think the states are aware of it. I even think Colorado’s aware of it. I think they choose it so well. I think one positive, as we wrap this up, I think one positive takeaway of all the things we’ve talked about is that when, at the end of the day there are still big bucks being shot and there’s still pockets, like you said, of of mule deer that are thriving. And as hunters, we need to find those pockets and do our due diligence. And there are big bucks out there to be had Yeah. For the people that want ’em.

01:29:28:15 –> 01:30:57:00
But if they want, there’s plenty of opportunity for antlerless and, and just, just to go hunting too. You know what I mean? But, but yeah, if you, if you’re a trophy hunter, there’s, there’s opportunities for you, that’s for sure. And that’s, you know, you gotta gain points to capitalize on, on a good portion of them. And then, and then you can, you can, like some people, you can, you can buy your way into some, some opportunities. But, you know, just opportunities as a whole, you know, our, it, it takes, it takes a little bit of knowledge and, and networking with companies like ours or, or people or whatnot to, to make sure you capitalize on some of those. Right on. I, I appreciate you guys taking the time to, to talk mul dear, and, and you know, this has, this has been great and you know, I, I really appreciate it guys. Well absolutely. Pretty easy to talk about something you really like and love and getting fired up about. And it’s almost 2023. So none of us have had rejection notices yet, so we’re all fired up until we’re not. So Yeah. Right. But to, to, to echo what Jason just said as well, yeah. We’re, you’re not gonna keep trying ’cause you may have to think differently, hunt differently, hunt different places, different weapon types, and be willing to be unsuccessful a little bit more here and there.

01:30:57:09 –> 01:32:17:06
But, but that’s just the reality of the, the current state that we’re in, in terms of getting mule deer tags and multiple states every year trying to do that is you gotta do it differently. You can’t just sit dead red waiting for the best tags and draw ’em and hope to go kill giant bucks. It’s just not reality and it’s not gonna happen for most people. So gotta make your own fortune, make your own luck with a lot of effort, time, preparation, and willingness to go out and just give it, give it your best. So we’re pretty passionate, Jim, you can probably tell that. And, and Adam’s got an opinion for sure. I’m not opinion, I have no opinion anyway. No, but you can, I mean, you know, just, we can pitch our website epic if you wanna learn more about what we’ve got going on. Jim, you’re anybody Thanks for having us. Anybody. Yeah, if anybody out there’s asking you about it, why send ’em there. Happy to visit with guys and, and whatnot. But anyway, all species, absolutely. Western big game. That’s it. We’re not talking about Pennsylvania too much there, Jim, so No, no. We’ll give him your number. We’ll post up your number. No, I, i, I wanna keep it all to myself. Don’t blame you there, buddy. Well, thanks a lot for, again, for having us. Hope you have a great new year and we’ll do it again sometime.

01:32:17:26 –> 01:32:22:22
Yeah, you too guys, I appreciate it. All right, thanks Jim. Alright, thanks. You bet.