In this episode the crew sits down with Justin Finch, a well known western big game hunter, to talk about his 2nd season Colorado Mule deer hunt. From harvesting an awesome buck at 11,000 feet elevation, to a near death experience, this is a podcast you don’t want to miss.

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

00:00:01:04 –> 00:01:11:29
Anything to do with Western big Games. Welcome to the Epic Outdoors Podcast, powered by Under Armour. Hey everybody. Jason Carter, Wyatt Cash, and John, how y’all doing? Good, good. Just hanging out. Good for being a Friday and in the office. How about that? Yeah, one of our first Fridays back. Yeah. How do you like working Fridays? Kind of unusual, but hey, the normal working folk do that. Wyatt, how do you feel? Yeah, getting back into the swing of it for sure. You know, it’s been been a good fall, so it’s about time. Yeah. It actually feels good, doesn’t it? It does. Yeah. That’s what I want to hear. It feels good to be in the Epic office cash. Do you, do you agree or not? I agree. Yeah, of course. You don’t dare say no. But anyway, John. Yeah, doing good. Doing good. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been good. Everybody’s been out in the hills a ton. Of course. We’re working four tens usually up to the hunts, and then who knows after that we just try to come and go and, and clean the office up and clean our desks up here and there as best we can. But we’re supposed to be in the hills. We’re paid to be in the hills. That’s part of it. So anyway, John, we mounted a scope for you today. You guess that’s a good timing, huh?

00:01:11:29 –> 00:02:27:00
You’re gonna leave for a hunt here in about four or five days. Probably. Ought to have a scope on your gun. Yep. Gotta go sign it in. Got of time to do that. But this is actually backup gun, so. Oh, that’s good. Or it might, I think it should be, depending on how it shoots, it might be the primary. So I haven’t shot it yet. So this particular rifle, it’s a fierce seven PRC shooting factory ammo and mine. We took it out just for, for a good time and got it all dialed and it was unbelievable cash. You were there. Yeah, it’s, man, it’s a attack driver. It’s unbelievable. So with factory ammo. Yeah. So to let the boys have it out there on the general Utah and they’re out doing their thing, of course they want all dad’s wazoo, you know, products that I never had at their age. And so smart range finders and, and pretty crazy guns. And so anyway, I let ’em, I’m like, okay, you can take this fierce out, you know, hadn’t killed anything yet with it. And the 175 grain ELDX factory ammo, but it’s just unbelievable. Anyway, they take it out and I show ’em, here’s a smart range finder, right? You, you get the range, it tells you how to dial. It’s dialed in mills so you know, it’s, look 14 layers deep for, for kids.

00:02:27:24 –> 00:03:46:00
Showed ’em how to dial and they’re out there, they don’t find a buck they want, they’re kind of passing some smaller bucks and stuff. Anyway, Sean calls me Dad, dad da. We had a dog out there at 900 yards and I’m like, oh boy, he doesn’t call me unless he’s pretty darn excited that way. But anyway, I guess he got down on a pack and you, they probably, I don’t know, I usually don’t shoot coyotes in my honey holes. Do you guys? No. To steer clear of it. Okay. But hey, I have, when I was younger, so here they are, they just get, they gotta make something die. And so anyway, they get on the pack and hit the rangefinder. Justin’s on it. Justin can’t quite get him found in the scope, can’t get, get him found. And Sean’s like, move over, move over. I got him. You know, so anyway, Sean gets on the scope dials, adjust it dials slightly and anyway, ended up, ended up touching it off and it’s 900 yards. A coyote at 900 yards. How big is a kill zone on a dog? You guys like eight inches? Yeah. Square. Tiny, tiny maybe. And if you hit him somewhere with a big enough bullet, maybe he’ll end up being done for. Yeah. So anyway, touches it off. Looks at Justin while Justin’s looking through the scope and about two seconds later you hit it. I can’t believe you got it.

00:03:46:00 –> 00:05:13:25
Anyway, sends me the video. They, I say go up there and take photos. Prove it. Anyway, there’s blood everywhere. So pretty impressive first shot they have ever shot out of that rifle and nails it at 900 yards. Wow. With a smart range finder. And anyway, it’s amazing what the gear has has done for people. So now it’s their gun, right? Yeah. Now, hey da da put this in our truck. And so anyway, they’ve been packing it nonstop. I did reacquire it, it’s now in my safe. And we’ll see. I’m gonna work up some, we’re, Justin and I are gonna work up some loads for his, you know, Remington out of the box gun and, and you know, those are, they’re great guns. And you can still, you know, use a bullet app and a normal range finder and, and plug in your, you know, average elevation, temperature and whatnot. And really be close and and be awesome. And that’s what’s gonna happen in Colorado. So yeah. Anyway, speaking of killing a coyote in your honey hole, we just released a video, Devin on a Nevada mule deer hunt. And he shoots a coyote like yards from a beded deer. And the deer didn’t move at all. The coyote goes to die and tries to go where the deer is, turns around and then I can, Devon finds, go watch that. Deon finds dumb deer. That’s how he’s killing him. Deon hunt. Well it’s like deer.

00:05:14:01 –> 00:06:30:13
All animals are dumbed down around him. The coyotes come right up. I mean, everything comes right up to him trying to How about the owl looking into his soul? Yeah, the owl. He’s like, yeah, the al’s circling around him in his camp looking into my soul. No, Al’s don’t look into your soul. It’s some kind of special connection he has. I leave every hunt going, man, that animal is brilliant, Devin. Yeah. I can’t find a single thing Devin. They’re tracking him down. Must be the little chicken nugget running a little fairy fairy chicken nugget running around. I don’t know, owls are meat eaters, man. I wouldn’t want one staring into my soul. Anyway, kind of interesting, but it’s, it’s kind of fun. Of course we’ve worked over some loads, Devin and whatnot. Everybody here has pretty much done some range time cash. You’ve got a great shooting and rifle cash. You, you, I wanna save your story for just a minute ’cause we do gotta call a guest, but you’ve had some success and I want to hear all about it. I also want to hear about your rifle and whatnot. Yep. So anyway, we do have a, a guy we want to give a holler to. It’s Justin Finch. Quite a great story. Wyatt saw this on social media. I saw it, but didn’t realize the gravity of it all because Instagram didn’t have as much information as Facebook.

00:06:30:13 –> 00:07:40:17
It seems a like, but Wyatt, you let put me onto it. Kind of give a quick rundown of what you’ve heard. Yeah. So from, from what I’ve heard, he was in Colorado on a, on a mule deer hunt out there. Not, not sure the the unit, but I know he was above 11,000 feet and, and had a snowstorm come in. Yeah. And it sounds like things got pretty, pretty sketchy from there. So we’ll probably had a couple of llamas and anyway, killed a great buck and then it got, it was spiraled straight down from there. Yeah. So probably let him tell the rest of that story. Yeah. But very aggressive. Kudos to him. I mean, usually on second people are trying to be on the winter range and hitting the bucks as they appear on the winter range. ’cause the winter range generally easier to access and, and has good road access usually. And you’re hunting some BLM, either the BLM or the BLM forest boundaries and stuff. So, and you know, flirting around private and whatever. So anyway, but he went straight to the top and there’s bucks that’ll push snow up there chest deep. And so he, he finds great buck. We’ll kinda let him talk about it, but, but interesting. And it just, this just happened. So the second season’s still in in process right now and, and, and he’s home now safe.

00:07:41:00 –> 00:09:09:01
But all of this happened the first part of second season. Yeah. I believe this last weekend. Yeah. Kind of crazy. All right, let’s give him a call and kind of hear something crazy here. Hello, this is Justin. Justin, Jason and Wyatt Cash and John here. How are you? Good, how are you doing? Good. It’s good to hear your voice, you know, it’s good to be heard. It’s good. It’s good to be heard for sure. Yeah, for sure. Well, I guess to start this off, I, we sure appreciate you spending some time with us and kind of to start it off, just give us a little of your background and then, and some of your experience. ’cause you’re an experienced woodsman, you’ve hunted a, a grundle, maybe even some of your Colorado experience. And then dive into what your plans were for this year and how it all developed. Yeah, absolutely. So I’m 32 years old, born and raised right here in Utah. You know, I’ve been hunting since I was a little kid, you know, my, since I was eight years old, been hunting with my dad as I got older, you know, I really got into like the back country type style hunting, just trying to get away, try to find that, you know, next age class of deer. And I’m mainly a deer hunter. I I do a little bit of elk hunting.

00:09:09:22 –> 00:10:23:00
In fact, I had an elk tag this year and quickly realized that apparently my arrows were, are mue arrows and they’re not elk arrows because I like the mully arrow, you know, like the mue arrows. Like my, they they find the mark with, with those, with that elk hunt this year in September, man, I just, I got the fever so bad and it’s just a totally different experience. But, but yeah, so I’m mainly a mule deer hunter. I’ve been hunting specifically Colorado for I think last probably 10 years. I always try to do like an early season hunt there, whether it’s archer or muzzle loader. Looking forward to just like a zero point unit that I can hunt every single year. Really learned the area this year being different. I knew I was gonna draw an elk tag, an archery elk tag. So I was like, you know what? I, I still, I I I cannot live with myself if I don’t hunt Colorado. That’s the way everybody feels. It goes there. Oh yeah. No matter, no matter. Absolutely the state of the deer hurt or not, you’re, you still will never quit going, so. Oh, for sure. Right. Like, you’ll do anything you can to get a tag. So, and typically I, I usually hunt alone and the reason for that, you know, and I don’t advise that I love hunting with friends.

00:10:23:03 –> 00:11:33:25
It’s just, you know, me and my friends, we’re, we’re in a different state of life. I have three kids, some of ’em don’t have any kids. And sometimes I gotta go out, you know, Friday late after work, drive through the night, which I don’t advise either. Yeah. But, you know, that’s, we do get to the trailhead at, that’s what we Yep. Yeah. Get to the trailhead at three in the morning, then you hunt till Sunday late and then you might have to drive back for work, so. Right. You know, I just, I hate putting people out. And so, and that’s how it was this year. So I put in for a second season mul deer tag in Colorado in a unit that I’ve never been to before. I’ve, I’ve hunted all around the area before. It’s in central Colorado, big wilderness area. So I, I knew this surrounding had some good deer in it. So I was, anyways, I was able to get this tag with zero points after my elk hunt was unsuccessful. Unfortunately, I was looking forward to this hunt and typically every year I, I used to hunt a lot more before I was married, like, of us. I’m sure. So I’ve kind of, not li she doesn’t limit me at all. My wife’s amazing, but I usually do three hunts to do Utah, Colorado, Idaho. Those are, I do those three every single year.

00:11:34:00 –> 00:12:42:05
’cause you can basically get those every, every year if you want. Yeah. And then obviously if you draw an extra tag, then now you’re gonna Wyoming. Now you’re gonna Nevada. So it’s usually between three and five hunts. So going into this hunt, I felt I shouldn’t, I guess I should say, you know, I’m, I’m stubborn. Yeah. Y you know, nothing’s gonna stop you from, from going where you want to go. Right. ’cause why would it, like, if you’re 20 miles in, like you’re gonna get out, you’re, no matter what you’re gonna do, you’re gonna, you’re gonna go, yeah. And you’re 32, you’re fit, you’re 32, you have the gear. Yeah, exactly. We have electronics, we feel safe, we have electronics. We can call out like we’re good. Yeah. Like, there’s no reason to ever worry. And even my wife, I mean, she’s gotten to the point where she doesn’t worry about me. She, she knows I’m fine. And what’s funny is, and I know I’m kind of jumping all, all around, but the previous week before going out on this hunt, so the hunt starts on the 20, I believe it was the 28th. It was the last Saturday of, of October this year. Yeah. And just to give some backstory, ’cause this will come into play as I, as I kind of get into this story, the weekend before I took my kids camping on, on the Idaho deer hunt.

00:12:44:04 –> 00:14:01:23
And we had a good time they, that we had these great big oversized seeping bags that they, that they sleep in and, you know, and I, and I had given them some hand warmers when we were, when we were camping it. And I didn’t think anything of it, you know, so just, just remember that as I, as I get into the story later on. ’cause it comes into, into hand warmers. The hand warmer part. Yeah. The hand warmers is key here. So leading up to the hunt, we, I’m looking at weather forecast and my dad was originally planning on coming with me and he calls me, he is like, Hey, you see the weather forecast? And I said, yeah, what, what’s up? He’s like, I ain’t going. So I’m just like, Hey, I don’t blame you. You know, he’s getting older ever since he’s in the last couple years, he’s, he’s gotten to the point he’s always hunted with me. So I’ve started taking llamas recently and one of the main reasons for that is, you know, I like hunting with my dad when I can. And the only way he can get back in there is not having gear on his back. Yeah. You know, is he 60 ish or whatever? Yeah, he’s 50 high fifties. 56 50. Yeah. High fifties. Okay. And honestly, selfishly, like, it’s great if you guys have used llamas or even horses before, like they’re just getting that weight off.

00:14:01:24 –> 00:15:13:17
I’m just afraid get, I’m afraid of getting spit on. That’s all. Oh, that definitely happens. That definitely happens. Does it, does it really happen? Oh yeah. I haven’t been spit on, but I’ve been in the crossfire for sure. Ignorant. They’re just ignorant. Oh yeah. Yeah. And they’re not like a horse, like a horse. I feel like you, you have that kind of companionship where you can, you know, kind of pet ’em and Yeah. You go to Alama and they just like back up, look at you like, what the hell are you looking at? Yeah. They’re not, they don’t wanna be petted. Yeah. What kinda animal does that just load me down. Oh yeah, totally. But, but yeah. So how weight, before we leave that, like how much weight are you putting on a llama? Like roughly? Yeah, so, so going in, okay, so max capacity, and this probably depends on the llama, but I use Wasatch front, llamas Mason, he, his llamas are very trained Okay. Coming out. He li he doesn’t like you to have more than about 90 pounds Okay. On llamas. Okay. And that obviously depends if you’re going straight downhill or if it’s more flat, but 90 pounds is kinda that general idea. Okay. Still a fair amount of weight. That’s a lot still. Yeah. No, and it’s, especially when you’re Yeah. And especially when you’re solo. I mean, I’m so going into this hunt, I brought so much gear. Yeah.

00:15:14:03 –> 00:16:27:19
Because, you know, technically I have, I’m, I’m okay packing, I can put the deer on my back. So tech I packed. Well, you got 60, you got 60 or 70, they got 90 piece or 85, 80, whatever. Yeah, totally. Like I’m, yeah, you’re loaded. Yeah. So like gear was an issue, like saving weight. So I just brought, I brought everything on this hunt. The weather forecast was supposed to be 10 to 15 inches, which like, you guys know, like, I hear that and I’m like, that’s deer killing weather baby. Yeah, yeah. We’re gonna, we’re gonna smash one. Yep. Oh yeah, for sure. You know, and, and I was probably going a little too high in elevation, but that’s just my style. I, you know, I figured I’d start high and, and maybe work my way low once I could get visibility. And I figured I’d be fogged in for the first two days. And then, and I had Friday, I was going in Friday morning and I was gonna have to be home by, by Halloween, you know, I got three kids and the wife made it pretty clear that, you know, as long as you’re home for Halloween, you know, I can go back out after. But yeah. Yeah. So the weather was supposed to clear up Monday, but unfortunately it was supposed to be super cold. I think it was projected to be like negative three Sunday night.

00:16:28:14 –> 00:17:40:11
So I knew what I was getting myself into. Well, apparently not. Thought you did. Yeah. So, so I leave Thursday night to Central Colorado. I get to the trail head, middle of the night, sleep at the trailhead, wake up early, I load the llamas up and, and I hike in. And as I’m loading the llamas up, I actually brought two sleeping bags. I brought my regular mommy bag that everyone knows, like they’re never fun to sleep in, hate them. And so, oh, absolutely. And then I have this oversized bag from when I took my kids camping. And so I’m looking at my gear, I’m like, well, my dad was supposed to come, but now he’s not. So I mean, I have so much extra weight on these llamas. So I’m like, you know, I am gonna throw in that exercise oversized bag, that’ll be nice and comfy. So I filled that bag on and I head in there. I, and I had told my, my, I always tell my wife and my dad, like, where I’ll be camping. And I go in and it was six and a half miles, about 2,400 feet of vertical over the six and a half. So not too bad. And then I, I, that’s where I was planning on camping. I get there about noon, about three and a half, four hour hike.

00:17:41:08 –> 00:18:52:25
And when I get, I take the, all the gear off the llamas and before I set up camp, I, I run to the top of the ridge and I I glass, you can just see like these two huge, beautiful basins. And I’m looking about two and a half miles as the crow flies, you know? Hmm. And of course the farthest flipping ridge, you can see, I see this deer. And at that distance, even with the spotting scope, you know, all you can see is barely a frame. And so I’m thinking, well, you know, and it, by the way, there’s no snow there. It is, it is clear. Blue skies, dry ground, dry ground on the north facing there was like old snow that was maybe like 10 inches on only north facing. And what, what elevation have you made it to at this point? I’m at 11 two. 11 two. So 2,400 gain. But your, your trailhead was fairly high too, so 11 two Yeah. Trailhead was fairly high. Yeah, exactly. So I’m at 11,002, 200 and which is about as high as I was planning on going. And so I’m, I’m, I’m looking at this, at this deer and I’m thinking, well, just by his frame, like I wasn’t gonna be super picky anyways, just being solo and kind of limited on time. So I’m like, well, I’m not gonna camp here. What am I gonna do?

00:18:53:00 –> 00:20:01:02
And, and I hope no one’s offended by this, but like me and my buddies, we always call it like the next ridge syndrome. Yeah. Where you just go, like, especially being solo, it gives you the flexibility to just do your own thing. And I don’t have to answer to anybody. So like yeah, I know my abilities where, you know, if I’m with my dad, we’re gonna camp there regardless. And he might sit at camp in glass for me, but Yeah. Sure. And you’ll just hike over there and hike back or whatever. Exactly. Exactly. Wouldn’t be bad. So I, I load the lamas back up and we drop and I have to drop about 800 feet into that basin and then go into the next basin and drop another like 200 more feet to find a flat camping spot, which is ultimately gonna be my demise is coming outta. That isn’t easy. So I go into their set up camp by about 4:00 PM then I run up the ridge to get eyes on that buck. And when I see him, you know, I was thinking he was gonna be like a 50, 60 buck, but he was a little bit better than I thought. So I was like, yeah, I’m gonna try to kill that sucker tomorrow. So I put him to bed, watched him feeding on the south facing ridge, run back down to camp.

00:20:01:12 –> 00:21:17:16
I get back down to camp at, I don’t know, it’s dark at like six 30. So 6 45 or so. I’m, I’m at camp and go to bed. I wake up to just a blizzard and it’s, it’s only snowed maybe six inches or so. So I’m there to hunt. So I just get outta my bag and I know the little, he’s in this little finger canyon and I figured maybe that snow had him, has him just sit in bed and waiting for me. You know. What do you, what do you, what do you use for a tent when you’re in with the llamas? Yes. Yeah. So typically I, I have, it depends on the hunt I ran. I usually just have like a, a, a king’s two person backpacking tent. For this hunt specifically. I knew it was gonna be super cold. And usually I’m hunting the bow hunt or the muzz loader hunt. So I actually borrowed a tent from my good buddy Jared, one of those Argo four person stove tents. So, I mean, I had a nice stove going inside my tent. I had a bunch of dry wood sitting in my tent. Like, to be honest, I felt like I had the right gear, gear going into this. Yeah. So, and, and honestly I feel like a tepi tent does pretty well in the snow. Just obviously the shape of it. Yeah. Without it collapsing and, okay. Yeah.

00:21:17:18 –> 00:22:25:24
So, so I leave at first light Saturday morning, hike up this ridge, and I can’t take the s with me just because it’s, you know, Colorado, it’s, it’s pretty steep and now there’s snow on it. I just didn’t wanna risk them slipping and falling. So I leave them at camp and I, I wrap this ridge and I’m, I’m trying to glass, you can only see like two, 300 yards. And, and then it clears up for a bit and that’s when I’m like, okay, this buck’s gotta be here. And I’m at this point, like, like an idiot. I’m just sky lined standing there to like, sometimes you just don’t even think. And I’m looking across canyon and all of a sudden I look straight below me and there’s that buck just like batted under this pine tree, kind of weathering the storm. And he’s looking straight up at me and I’m like, oh, snap. And typically, I, I love to film my hunts. I try to as much as I can. And in that situation, I couldn’t get the kill shot because he’s looking at me and I’m thinking he’s gonna go. So I just lay down, lay down pro shooting straight kind of, I don’t know, two, 300 feet in elevation down below me. And I just put it right on him and bed it down. It was one of those where I shot. And you know, he didn’t even move. His head just dropped.

00:22:25:26 –> 00:23:42:25
Just perfect. Yeah. Yeah. Just dead. And that’s where it sucks hunting solo. ’cause you don’t have nobody to celebrate with, you know? Yeah. You let out a little hoop and then you look around for a weird I’ve done it. Yep. Yeah, exactly. Well, and you’re like, oh yeah, now it’s just work. Yeah. Now it’s just work. And I’m like, oh, that would’ve been nice to have the llamas up here. But, and I, you guys know this probably is better than I do. The, those, the bodies on those Colorado deer, I don’t know what it is, but they are just huge. Yeah, they are. They’re made for the weather. You’re gonna endure. Yeah, exactly. Yep. So, so I go over there, get some pictures, I, and I always, I always bone out my animals just, you know, based on how far in I am. Yeah. And that obviously that takes a few hours. And then I put it on my pack, take it back to camp. I get to camp at about 4:00 PM Saturday night. And at this point there’s, there’s about a foot of snow, nothing to even worry about. And being solo, I have nothing else to do. So I crawl my tent, get that little stove going in, in that our tent. And then I, I ate dinner. But the problem was, you know, when you feel physically exert yourself, you’re just not hungry. Yeah.

00:23:42:29 –> 00:24:47:14
Like, you can’t, at least I am, I, I can’t eat a lot Really? So I You eat double or triple what you normally eat. Yeah, exactly. It’s like you gotta force it down. So are you on mountain house dinners or what do you Yeah, so I usually do peak. So two of my, two of my best friends work over there at Peak. And so, okay. So, but same thing. You’re using backpacking food no matter, no matter Yeah. I, yeah. No matter what. Right. Using backpacking food. Well, actually the night before on Friday, I actually packed in two big old New York strip steaks. Yeah. That’s what I was, okay. You’re my kind of people. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I told my dad that, ’cause I was trying to convince him to come with me. I was like, Hey, I’m bringing a pan, you know, like, yeah, we’re gonna eat. If you’ll come, we’re gonna eat good. Yeah, exactly. So I think I was still full on that from the night before or something, but I think I had like a Snickers bar and then a swig of water. And then I was just tired. So I went to bed like way early. So my last food was four 30 at pm same as my last drink. And the plan was, I’m gonna wake up early and at that point I’m ready to go home, see my kids. Yeah.

00:24:47:19 –> 00:26:11:00
So I wake, I wake up at, in the dark, maybe at six in the morning. And I wake up when I wake up and this is where things just start going south. I wake up in the morning to my tent, covered in white feathers, completely covered in feathers. I’m like, what in the world? I opened my, my tent and what happened? I woke up to three feet of snow. Geez. And in that little tent, it like compressed the, the, the teepee. And I went to bed with the stove going and I have a down jacket and it like pushed my down jacket into the stove. Oh. Oh. And just melted my coat. And you slept through all that? Oh yeah. I was out, man. So you can imagine waking up and there’s just feathers everywhere. And I’m like, what in the world? So a flamingo around here or something? Oh yeah. Oh geez. So, and I had brought I think two outfits or something. The outfit before was obviously soaking wet from the day before being out with my deer and hiking back and, and those are just like solid rock, you know? Yeah. Just ’cause they were wet and Yeah. So I, so luckily I had, I had a long sleeve shirt, I had a light hoodie and then I had a rain, just a jacket like Gore-Tex rain jacket, jacket. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that’s what I was wearing out.

00:26:11:00 –> 00:27:17:04
And I, I, at this point, you’re not even worried. ’cause you’re gonna I’m making it back. I’m, I’m about nine miles, by the way. Nine miles from the truck at this point is where base camp was. Geez. So I start getting all my stuff. Oh. And let me, I keep missing details, I apologize. I was gonna start a, a fire that morning and I don’t know what it is. And I’ve never had this issue with my lighters. I had three lighters. I brought three of ’em. And I, you know, and I’ll talk about the, at the end, I wanted to like, just highlight some things I learned. Leave ’em in a package. Like I leave my lighters in a package. A hard package. Exactly. So they can’t get depressed accidentally or whatever. Yeah. And I think that’s what happened. I don’t know if it was a combination of elevation, it can’t just be elevation because I’ve never had problems with lighters. But I think it was the, the extreme cold as well. Nothing would light, like I couldn’t get my lighters to work at all. Like the lighter wouldn’t light the butane or whatever. Like Yeah. Like the spark spark was not lighting. The lighting, yeah. The, exactly. So I’m not sure why, but I think it was a combination of them being a little wet, extremely cold. So maybe it was the butane doesn’t work at that elevation when it’s that cold.

00:27:17:21 –> 00:28:17:17
Just little things like that where I couldn’t start a fire. So I’m just like, well, I’ll just get hiking. That’s that. That’s why I started so early in the morning. So I load up all my stuff and you know, I have a ton of water there, I think came in with like 300 ounces of water. And what do I do? Dump out? I’m leaving. So, oh yeah, you dump it out, right? Like dump it out. And I leave a hundred ounces. ’cause in my, in my mind I’m like, you know, I’ll be out in six hours truck. You always think I just eat snow on the way or whatever. Like, what is whatever. Yeah. Like, you’ll be, you’ll be fine. So I put a hundred ounces in, in the Spaniards and then my, I put a day’s worth of food in the panyard as well. Get hiking. And I’m, I’m a little worried about the, the, the north face, like the summit of this mountain that I gotta crest over where I originally was gonna camp where I glass that buck from. ’cause I knew I had to gain, you know, 800 feet of elevation. And now there’s three plus feet of snow plus on that side. The wind. The wind. And it was al it already had, you know, 10 inches of snow being on the north face.

00:28:18:11 –> 00:29:32:15
Well, I get hiking and I made it to, to that face, which is about two miles, which should have taken me, it should take anyone less than an hour. I mean, it was five hours getting there. Wow. Just, just pushing. I mean, you know, it’s like in between your waist and your belly button and with the llamas they just sink. And so like, I have to just, you take a step and I, I have to take like a couple side steps and make this trail through the snow for ’em. Well I’m wearing rain gear and like you guys know at least my rain gear, it’s not meant to be super breathable. It doesn’t breathe. So I, no. So I am just soaking wet soak, soaking wet with sweat. And it’s free at this point in the day. I think they said it was like five degrees. So it still, it wasn’t like in the negatives, but it was super cold. Snow’s still coming down. I think it end, it ended up at like three and a half feet plus on top of whatever was there. And so I’m, I’m dying of thirst. I reach back at about noon to get a drink. And I, last drink I had was last night at 4, 4 30. And my friends, my dad, they always gimme crap. ’cause I’m like a camel, I’ll just, you just get something in your mind like, oh, I’m going.

00:29:32:17 –> 00:30:46:00
And then you forget to take a drink. Yeah. You know, for sure. Just happens. And I go to get a drink and my water’s gone. And I’m like, what in the look, my food food’s gone. What had happened is that snow was so deep and it was pushing the ARDS up and I had put it in the front pockets where they’re kind of open-ended, pushed everything out. Yeah. And it just pushed them out. So they’re lost somewhere in the last two miles in snow. Like there’s no way you’re finding ’em. So here I am, haven’t had a drink, whatever, 18 hours, can’t start anything to melt snow. Can’t eat enough snow to matter. Yeah. Yeah. And so, like, this is all just like a trickle effect of like how I got to where I was. And, but still, even then I’m you the thought of like, oh, I’m screwed. Never comes to your mind. You just like, well that’s fine. I’ll just keep going. Yeah. Whatever. Never had problems before. Yeah. I still have cell service. Yeah. Never whatever. Yep. Well, so yeah. And I never did have cell service. Okay. Yep. So not, and typically I usually do, and I should mention that at the beginning, my dad had got me one of those Garmin in reaches back in before my, my elk hunt. He had, it was his, he had it for a couple years. I love those things. And then he, yeah.

00:30:46:03 –> 00:31:53:17
Oh yeah. And he never used it because he was always just hunting with me. And so he gave it to me. It was like, and I didn’t use it. But then I finally in September, so just, you know, a month and a half ago, I, I got a membership, like 10 texts or something a month. And then 50 cents for every text after that. But I never, I’ve never used it. Like I, I bring it and it’s in the bottom of my pack. And it’s one of those things where it’s like three days into a hunt, I’ll be like, oh, I should probably let my wife know I’m alive. Yeah. Yeah. So I never have it in my pocket or anything. So that, that’s ultimately what saved my life. But, so I’m go, anyways, I’m going up this north face and I can’t go straight up it. So I kinda have to side heal it. And as I’m side hilling it, I’d make about 20 yards. And anybody familiar with, it’s been around livestock. Like they, at least llamas when they slip off the trail, they can’t get back on the trail. ’cause the snow’s so dang deep that I had to just go back down to the bottom of the basin and then get on the trail again, and then try it again. Geez. And so I, I was just plowing away through and I’m trying to get to this mountain pass.

00:31:53:27 –> 00:33:10:21
’cause in my mind, if I get there, then it’s slightly downhill for six and a half, seven miles to the truck. Yeah. So I think, oh, I just gotta get to that pass. And I get another like, that’s good. We can make it after that. Yeah. Yeah. Which is laughable. ’cause later on I realize how much snow there really was. Like that wasn’t Yeah. Gonna happen. But I do this two or three times. And on the third try, like when they slipped off, it just slipped into this like, I mean, it, they sunk to like the middle of their neck of snow. Geez. And they just look at you like, yeah, they, yeah. And they just look at me and I’m like, pulling on the rope, like, come on, you know? Yeah. Like, what do you, and I was just, so physically, this is at about 3:00 PM now. Been hiking since about six 30 in the morning. And I’m just, I don’t feel good at all. Like lack of food, water, no energy, man. You have no gas in the tank. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No gas in the tank. And this is where like my decisions and people ask like, well, why didn’t you do this? Why didn’t you do that? Like, I was already so gone. Yeah. Mentally that like, you don’t think straight. And that’s, I can’t stress enough. Like you can’t wait till you’re at that point. It’s too late. Yeah.

00:33:11:18 –> 00:34:26:05
So I’m, I, I was done like, I couldn’t dig them out again. ’cause multiple, I mean, there was probably 20 times I had to just dig their feet out so that way they would dare to like, take another jump. Hmm. So I made the decision, like, I gotta get outta here. You know, I’ll go to tr get the trailhead, and then from there I’ll call Mason who owns Alamas and we’ll get some horses or something. We’ll figure it out to get Islams out in my gear. So I leave them and I just go. And then what did you take with you? I took, so I’m trying to think. I had a little dry bag. I grabbed, oh, I took my sleeping bag off just in case. ’cause I, I, this is where it doesn’t make like, I, I wasn’t thinking straight. So left your sleeping bags with the llama? No, the llama. So the sleeping bags on top. And that’s basically what I took. Okay. It was this like soaking wet sleeping bag, which like, what the heck are you? Yeah. Doesn’t even make sense. And all of my gear was like buried with these s basically. And so that’s why like, I, I didn’t even think like I could, it would take so much energy to dig these out. But you weren’t, it wasn’t possibility to dig out more gear. Yeah. I mean, yeah. And like in hindsight, yeah.

00:34:26:05 –> 00:35:24:17
Obviously I should have, in hindsight, at this point, an hour ago, I should have been like, you know what, I’m over this, this ain’t gonna be possible. Yeah. I’m over. I should have went down to the bottom of the basin, sat at my camp, got my sleeping bag, and then it would’ve been like, calling for help. Would’ve like, oh, if you can’t be here for a day or two, take your time. I’m chilling. You know, like, yeah. It would’ve been different story. But So did you take the mummy bag or is the mummy bag stuffed down in and you took the big sleeping bag? I, I, I took the big sleeping bag. Yeah. I left. Yeah. The trail head. I decided, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna take the big one, the one that my kids used. So I start hiking and man, I made it 20 yards. I go 20 yards and I just sink up to like my, just pass my belly button. And I’m standing there on this, it’s like a third, you know, super steep, 30 degree type angle, slope side, hilling, worst avalanche spot you could think of. Like right in this avalanche chute, there’s like a cliff band below me. So at this point, I, I can’t just like go downhill. I’d have to like backtrack ways.

00:35:28:01 –> 00:36:30:24
And so I’m standing there stuck and I go to take another step and both hip flexors and every single muscle in my legs completely. Just, and I don’t know if you guys are cramps. C they cramp. Yeah. You’re dehydrated. Oh yeah. I got that from my dad. Yeah. Like, I physically could not move. And I sat there forever just like trying to like get unstuck and like take another step and I’m just like in excruciating pain. And that’s when like, I sat back and I’m just like laying in the snow and I’m like, wait, what am I doing? And like, my hands are just uncontrollably shaking. I can’t hold still. And that’s when I realized I was screwed. Yeah. You’re in trouble. That’s when I realized I was in trouble. Yep. So I took me a minute to like try to get myself unstuck. My sleeping back’s just back behind me a little ways. Just sitting in the snow. Like it doesn’t make sense what I was even thinking. Yeah. And the first thing I can think of is like, I need to get in and get, try to get warm before I need that tent set up. Yeah. Before I die, I need my lighters to work. I need that tent set up. Yep. And so what do I do when your mind’s not working?

00:36:31:15 –> 00:37:29:13
I lay my sleeping bag down, no ground pad right on the snow, like the, I don’t know if that’s the worst decision you could ever make. And you did it and you got in it and I got in it and, and it’s wet. This is the wet one? Yeah. Oh yeah. And it’s just, yeah, it’s just wet. Like I’m soaking wet sleeping bag’s wet and it’s, it’s just one of those cotton flannel. Yeah. Sleeping bag. Comfy, you know, one of the comfy ones. Oh yeah. Well, comfy mummy bag is probably warm, wet. Like the mummy bags, when they get wet, they’re, you know, they can Yeah. They hold, they hold their valley a little bit better. Yeah, yeah. Yep. For sure. So I’m laying on the hill side kind of on the path that I had made, and I just lay in there and it took all I could do to be like, do I, like, I don’t, I am not gonna be able to, I’m like, I’m, I don’t know what to do because I know IBR brought a Armon inReach, but it’s somewhere in those bags in the saddles that are buried. And I don’t know how, I don’t know how you feel, but I have like, what point do you think I have no pride anymore. I am hitting the S OSS button. Like I’m, yeah. I’ve got a lot of pride.

00:37:29:13 –> 00:38:38:19
Like I don’t, I I, I could die before I hit that button, maybe, you know, for for sure. And if you ask any of my friends, I’m the most stubborn Yep. Person that they probably know because I was, that, that thought never even reached my mind. It doesn’t even come to your mind. Yeah. Because that’s not how I work. Yeah. In that moment, I can’t move. And I’m literally like already hypothermic to the point that I can’t even think straight. That that’s when I’m like, oh, where? And I’m like looking for my phone even though I don’t have service. And I reach my pocket and there’s my phone and I’m laying in the seat bag and next to my phone and you can believe my miracles or, or whatnot. And my GPS unit, the inReach is literally in my pocket next to my phone. Wow. And I think what, what happened is when I was cleaning up camp that morning, I had seen it laying down and I put it in my pocket. I was like, oh, I’m gonna put it in that panyard. And I just forgot. And it was just in my pocket. Wow. So I pull that thing out and you have to, it’s like a three step process where you have like, push the button, swipe and then like, confirm. And I’m sitting there just like shaking. Do I really? Yeah. I’m like, do I really push this?

00:38:38:19 –> 00:39:55:12
Like there ain’t gonna go back, you know? And then I just, there was, I physically couldn’t move and I knew how cold it was supposed to be that night and how hypothermic guard he was. So I pushed that button and right after I push the button, I’m using my phone. I don’t if you got anybody that has theory, it’s the earth mate. It’s the earth made app. Yeah. The earth made app. Yep. Yeah. So, so, so I set the, the unit just outside my seat bag, just like in the snow. And then I’m, I have the seat bag all over my head and I’m just like literally uncontrollably shaking as I’m texting my wife to say I didn’t wanna freak her out. Yeah. But, but I wanted her to know that like, hey, I just sent an SOS it is serious. Like it’s not a, this no joke if they call you. Yeah, yeah. So typically when you click that, what they do is they, they immediately call my wife and my dad. Those are my two emergency contacts. And they ask them, Hey, if this, if he were to push the button, like how serious is he? Yeah. And my wife knows me, you know, I’ve been doing this my whole life and I kind of go pretty hard in the paint. And so she, she knew, she was like, if he’s pushing that, you need to get your ass there. Yeah. Yeah.

00:39:55:14 –> 00:41:15:26
Like, you gotta go now. He wouldn’t, he would not do that. So I’m laying there and SOS basically messages back and says, what’s your condition? And they let me know, like ETA, based on where my position was. They can’t get a helicopter there because they’re afraid. Apparently I’m in a, a bad avalanche. Dangerous. Dangerous. So I either need to move or they need to bring someone in to extract me to the ridge. And me moving wasn’t an option. Like at this point. Yeah. You’re you’re, it’s hard already done. It’s hard to explain. That’s why I’m pushing this button. Like Yeah, exactly. Like I, I can’t move even if I tried. Yeah. Like, I’d ha Yeah. There’s no way. So they let me know that help is on the way. They got a team of three guys that are gonna have to back country ski into their, and at first it was like, this is 3:00 PM They’re like, Hey, we’re gonna be there by nine. I’m like, I don’t know if I have till nine based I my body. Did you tell ’em? I I did. I I just said, I don’t think I have more than a couple hours just, and I’ve been cold before. Like, I’ve been on a lot of cold, cold hunts. Yeah. This was different. Yeah. It was, it wasn’t good. Yeah. And so I just wanted to stress like, I need help asap.

00:41:16:18 –> 00:42:38:17
Well then it was like, hey, we’re running into more difficulties. They couldn’t get to the trailhead. So now they gotta find snowmobiles to just get to the trailhead. Yeah. Anyways, end up being, hey, we’re gonna get there at 1130. And they didn’t realize the microbursts of storm that was there. ’cause I think in town they only have like a foot and a half. Yeah. And so I’m thinking they’re gonna get there at 1130. I’m kind of texting my wife, I text some of my close friends, basically like, Hey, this situation, man, like I love you guys, you know, I’m not gonna go like, I’m gonna get outta this. Like, I love you guys. And I sat there in that sleeping bag just shaking uncontrollably, shivering. And then at about 1145 comes around, they don’t show up. And at this point I’m thinking, your mind’s just racing. ’cause I’m just like, well, they forgot about me. Like they ain’t gonna come. And now I’m not shivering. It was the weirdest thing. Like, I’m just like, oh, I feel good. Like, and apparently that’s not good. No, it’s not good. Yeah. It’s not good. Like, you hear about people like that. Like no, you’re not even protecting your core. You’re not even on in a fetal position. You’re just Oh, exactly. Spread out. Yeah. You, you’re spread out unp. Yeah.

00:42:38:17 –> 00:43:48:07
And so I’m like, you hear these stories of people that like take their clothes off and then it’s like, what were you doing? And like yeah, you’d get to the point where you’re just like, oh yeah, I’m good. Like, wow. So between they, so they ended up finding me at four 30 in the morning. The hours between 12 and four were were dark times. Yeah. They were, it was no longer thinking about family. It was, and I don’t know if there’s studies that are have been on this or, you know, I don’t know. But I honestly felt if I didn’t have something to live for, I could have just died if that, I know it sounds really weird, but you’re laying there and like half my brain’s like, Hey, you’re good. Just go with it. Like, why are you fighting it? And so I kind of like let my body like not sleep. It was like, it kind of felt like sleep, but it was like, I knew I was gonna die if I let go. And so I kinda like let my body just, just kind of start going and then I’d be like, no, I gotta fight for the kids. I gotta, I, and I kept thinking of my, I have a eight, six, and 2-year-old. I kept thinking of my 2-year-old boy. I’m like, he ain’t gonna remember me.

00:43:48:12 –> 00:45:10:23
You know, it was like this super mental battle of just trying to stay alive. And the one thing that kept me going that gave me a glimmer of hope is just after midnight, I had been hearing this rustling sound down in my sleeping bag. And, and mind you, I I, there’s lots of, I’m laying on the slope and multiple times, like, you know, snow was, would roll over me. And so like, it’s, it’s hard to hear anything, but I, I kept hearing like a wrapper in my sleeping bag. And you know, I’ve been laying in that sleeping bag now for eight hours and I finally like, get the energy to like reach down the back and I grab this thing and I, I kid you not, there’s four unopened hand warmers Wow. Sitting in my sleeping bag. So I freaking open those up. I put one under each armpit, the other in both hands. I just sit there and that’s, it was like the, when the darkest moment, all of a sudden these hand warmers, it like gave me glimmer of hope, if that makes sense. No kidding. Wow. And so, yeah, I mean, it came down to like, my, my kids don’t even realize, like, do you realize you like saved my life? Like no. The fact you left those hand warmers in there from the week before camping trip. Like, and I’ve never used this sleeping bag in my life on a backpacking trip.

00:45:11:03 –> 00:46:22:09
So it’s just so many weird little miracles like that that, that ultimately I feel like saved my life. But, so anyways, I’m laying there and all of a sudden my phone would go off this, you know, maybe two in the morning and I’d hear my phone go off and I’d grab it. I’m like, oh, my wife Kate text texted me and I’d look and it’d be like 45 minutes ago. I’d be like, what? That just that. And all of a sudden my phone would go off again. I’d look and my dad texted and it’d be an hour and a half ago and I’d be like, like I was just lethargic man. Like, so slow to process things. So I’m laying there and all of a sudden I just hear, and I’m having this mental battle and I hear Justin, Justin and I’m thinking it’s my mind. And I’m like, am I dead? Wow. And it keeps getting louder and louder. And finally like I roll my head back and it falls out of the top of my so bag. And there’s this, this light right in my face and it’s search and rescue. And the guy’s like Justin, Justin and my wife talked to Search and rescue after. And, ’cause I can’t remember this, but the, my apparently my, the guy asked me this, this was my response. And he says, Justin, do you know where you are?

00:46:23:04 –> 00:47:40:07
And I was like, too far from the road. Apparently when you’re at me, I’ll never, I I’m now a road, I’m now a road hunter for the rest of my life. Yeah, exactly. Apparently you can be out of it and still be a smart ass. And then he, and then he says, do you know what time it is? And I’m like, too late. Like I just, I was just out. And the best moment ever though is, and apparently because I’m in the avalanche danger, and maybe you guys know this, but I guess it’s protocol, they can only do one at a time. That way, apparently only two one of us dies while somebody else can save us, you know, from an avalanche. So the, the other two guys are back like getting supplies ready and they’re up on the ridge. Yeah, exactly. So, and one guy goes down into you. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Yeah. I know nothing. I’m gonna stay there. I’m gonna stay in the desert for the rest of my life. I mean, yeah, that’s the way to do it for sure. But, so this guy’s stand there, it took about 45 minutes to get me sit upright. ’cause my body’s just completely shut down. And the best moment of my life is he pulls out this 32 ounce thermos of hot chocolate. Gives it to me.

00:47:40:12 –> 00:48:45:18
And I am, you know, I hate to admit this, but I am, I’m sobbing and just bawling as I’m, as I’m chugging this 32 ounce thing of hot chocolate. And man, my hit Yeah. Sugar, it broke, it’s got sugar, it’s got heat, it’s got water. Yep. It was like life was coming back to me. Yeah. So he gives me that. He’s given me like little, little things to eat and man, you, I mean that state, like, you have to force it down like you’re not hungry. I mean, I should be hungry, but you don’t feel hungry. And, and as I’m doing this, he’s going through my stuff and he is just like, bare essentials only, you know, like, what do you have? And I point to where my gear is, he goes and like uncovers it, you know, he grabs like they brought a tent, but when he found out I had a tent with stove, he grabbed that. And this is where like, you don’t think straight, apparently I had like warm thermals or not warm dry thermals in that bag. And I had a dry hoodie. No. So he grabs that and that’s where just your mind’s gone. You know, I’m thinking straight. How did he get down to you? Did he ski? Was he, did he high? Oh yeah, he skied. Yeah.

00:48:45:18 –> 00:50:02:06
So they, yeah, if you heard of skin boarding, it’s just, it’s, it’s skiing, but it’s basically it’s cross country skis that they have this skin on the bottom like grip tape. Okay. And so what they did, they had to get on snowmobiles to the trailhead and from trailhead they cross country skied in, and then when they go downhill, they can just take the skins off. It just helps them climb up hills better. Oh. And then you can actually connect it like a snowboard. Wow. So these, yeah, so Oh, and they make it very apparent, which I’m totally fine with, where they’re like, we, we know that your feet are cold and you might lose your, your feet, but we’re here to save your life. Which w which I totally get, but in the moment I’m just like, oh damn, you didn’t have any warm socks. What kind of search rescue, what kind of lightweight operation is this? Exactly. I’m like, come on guys. So that was, that was, I thought that was funny, but I totally get it. Their their mission is to save your life, you know, we need to bring your core temperature up so well, and they physically brought themselves up 2,400 feet from the truck. Oh yeah. You, you had alamas on dry ground. I mean, you, you know. Yep. It’s ama, they’re, these must be some pretty physical dudes. Yeah. Hardcore. Oh, totally. Totally physical.

00:50:02:06 –> 00:51:08:22
Like honestly, my hat’s off to search and rescue. Like Yeah. They are some badass dudes. Like, well search and rescue here versus search and rescue in the, you know, in the middle of Colorado in those fourteeners. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah. It’s, oh, totally. Yeah. Yep. So, but yeah, so he, he brought snow shoes and ski poles for me, or trekking poles for me. And that’s another thing, I always have trekking poles and of course I, when I gotta the trail head, it’s one of those moments where I’m like, gosh dang, I knew I forgot something. Yeah. I didn’t have treking poles the whole time. That just helps so much with Yeah, it does. Muscle stability and extra legs is what they are. Yep. So he asked me, he says, Hey, do you think with my help that you can manage to hobble to this, it’s about 300 yards to this ridge line where we can get a helicopter. And at this point it’s been like over an hour of ha I have food in me hot chocolate. And I’m like, yeah. Like, I’m ready. Whatever it takes, I’m ready now. Don’t like to leave. Yeah. Yeah. And this is where it blew my mind. Don’t use, did he put put the warm thermals on you yet, or no? No, no. Not yet. So. Okay. He was gonna wait until we got to the ridge line with those other guys. Okay.

00:51:08:23 –> 00:52:19:01
So I’m still soaking wet, but at least I have some hot chocolate in me and some food. And he like puts on the snowshoes for me and he just kind of basically guides me 300 yards and it’s still dark, but he guides me to this ridge line. And that blew my mind. Like had I had snowshoes little and they make, I’ve got a pair, they’re goodness, they’re little and they could go on that llamas no problem. And they’re not, oh yeah. They’re not like giant like you guys normally think, you know? Yeah. And they don’t, they don’t weigh a lot either. Like they weigh nothing. And so that blew my mind immediately. I’m like, where do I buy these? Why did I not, yeah. But then again, I thought it was only gonna be 10 inches of snow, or maybe 15 was like the worst forecast I could find. And you can hike in 15 inches, like no problem. Where were you getting the forecast? Was that for down low at the in town? Both. Yeah. Yeah. Where do they forecast? 11,000 foot snow. So there’s a ski town and I think the elevation at the base of that ski town is like nine something. Okay. And that’s the forecast that, that said was gonna be 15 inches. Okay. Because I was like, that’s probably most accurate. ’cause it’s, it’s like 15 miles away and it’s similar elevation kind of.

00:52:20:13 –> 00:53:35:24
So I wish I would’ve had snowshoe ’cause I, for the alamas would’ve been stuck regardless. But I could’ve easily got, got outta there in snowshoes, and then I wouldn’t be physically dead either from pushing snow. So it would’ve been a game changer. So anyways, I get to this, we were ridge line, and when I get there, put on the, the, basically put on the, the dry stuff. And then they had four mountain houses sitting there cooking. They gave me one. And then I’m sitting there and they just shoved the other three up my, up my shirt and then zipped up my jacket. So I’m just like, covered in this, these this hot mountain house meals. Yeah. And that just heats your core up so fast. Yeah. And at this point I’m feeling like, obviously I’m gonna live and they get shelter set up and right as we’re about to get into shelter and possibly get my stove going, someone comes on the radio and they say, Hey, look at the coordinates. They look at the coordinates, they’re like, oh yeah, it’s 400 yards down this ridge. And they say, all right, we’re gonna have a chopper there in 30 minutes. So they’re like, we gotta go, go. And so it takes forever. But we, we make our way to this semi landing spot in these little opening in these pines. What time is it roughly? It right now it’s eight in the morning. Okay.

00:53:35:25 –> 00:54:46:13
So, okay, so you made to the ridge line. Yep. Me at four 30. Yeah. Found you at four 30. You’re there for an hour. Takes another hour to get to the original whatever, any anyway, a little, yeah. Now we’re eight. Exactly. Now we’re at eight. Yeah. Now we’re at eight in the morning. Helicopter’s supposed to come. And man, there is so much red tape when it comes to choppers. They’d get back on the radio and say, Hey, they haven’t done their ma their daily routine maintenance, it’s gonna be an hour delay. And then they’d get on and it was like some other, there was like a, some other accent. And because I’m like stable now, there were like, there this other accent. Now life flight has to like go and get them. And so before, you know, it’s like, it’s, it’s about noon and still no chopper. And then finally, then a different helicopter said they were gonna come. And this whole time, by the way, the only thing I took that I could take of mine is I, ’cause it, it’s easy. I just threw my rifle over my back and I had to leave everything else. And when this helicopter was coming, the search and rescue said, Hey, by the way, you can’t take a rifle on, on the helicopter. Which I, I guess I understand ’cause I mean, I guess you could be like a terrorist or something that’s Yeah.

00:54:46:23 –> 00:55:58:11
Pretending to get picked up and that’s a good excuse to get a new gun, you know? Yeah. Exact. Exactly. So he’s like, he’s like, you gotta stash it. And so I, I’m like, try find a place to stash this. I’m like, I already have, I don’t even know. I have thousands of dollars I’ve left on this mountain already. I’m like, son of a gun. So I start stashing it and then all of a sudden the guy gets on the radio and says, Hey, that one can’t make it. National Guard with a Black hawk is on their way. And then the guy looks at me and says, national Guard, you can take a gun. I was like, yeah. I was like, oh, thank goodness. I’m like, I’m, I am so glad that our National Guard has their head on straight and geez. I mean, they obviously don’t care. ’cause they show up and they have, I mean, what’s my rifle gonna do against their, the guns that they got, you know? Yeah. So they end up coming at, I believe it was like one 15 or one 30 ish. And man, I don’t know if you guys have been under a black hawk. No. But they’re way more powerful than like a regular helicopter. And the guy was search and rescue. You guys were trying to brace me. They’re like, you need to control your breathing. You need to, and everyone has to lay on their packs.

00:55:59:00 –> 00:57:07:18
And I can send you guys a video, a Facebook video of the, the search and rescue. I videoed it as it’s coming, man. They, it was like a, the snowstorm, you can’t breathe, you know, you’re, you’re laying there and you’re just like, hyperventilating ’cause snow, it’s like 70 mile an hour winds in, in a snow storm. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And like the trees are going crazy. So I’m laying there and the, you can’t even tell if the helicopter’s down and they kind of semi landed like with like half the skis down. Yeah. And then all of a sudden this army dude, you know, in full ca in full camel comes over, picks me up and is like, Justin, let’s go, go, go. And he like points to the chopper. And like, I held onto his back to like his arm Army guard stuff. And we just ran to this helicopter, throws me in this another army guy like pushed me back, puts the four point harness on me, and then all the other search rescue guys jump on and they, you know, everybody gets to ride out, twist their fingers, everyone gets to ride out. And then we go up. And at that point I was like, oh my gosh, I like, I couldn’t say thank you enough to all the Yeah. All the people on there. And, and we turn and, and we go basically along the same heading straight south.

00:57:09:25 –> 00:58:23:07
And so I can look down and see the trail that I had to, even if I would’ve made it to that mountain pass where I had to go to get the trail head. And I just laughed. I’m like, yeah. Even if I would’ve made it to that over that mountain pass, there was no way. Yeah, no way. No way. I’m liking outta there. No snowshoes. No. Yeah, snowshoes. You’re getting outta there for sure. Like Yeah. But without Snowshoe and every step’s up to your waist, there’s just no way. So I, I get down and my wi my brother-in-Law, my wife and my mom are sitting there waiting at the helipad I land. And yeah, that was a good time of giving my wife and mom a, a big hug. And, and then immediately, you know, you gotta get in the ambulance, check all your vitals. And I may or may not have lied about a, a couple things in the ambulance because they make, they basically say, you know, if there’s anything wrong, we gotta take you to the hospital. Yeah. You don’t want to go. And my family’s right there and I’m like, I just wanna see my family. Yeah. So he’s asking about, he’s asking about like, Hey, what, what color’s your, like what color’s your pee? If it’s orange at all, we need, we need to look into it because it any, I wish I remember what it was. He named three things.

00:58:25:06 –> 00:59:38:10
I, I can’t remember. It was like your liver’s shutting down and Yeah. And I’m not gonna lie, like it was like a dark orange. You were dehydrated and I Yeah, that’s what all dehydrated people pee. Yeah, exactly. So that’s why I’m just like, oh, it was a little yellow. ’cause I’m just like, I wanna go see my family. I’m just, yeah. Let me out of it. Let me outta here. So they look at my feet and luckily I don’t, don’t have any crazy frostbite, which is a miracle. And I, I attribute that to my feet. Were dry, you know, I, I wear those crispy boots with the, with some gators, and had my feet been wet, I would’ve been screwed. But unfortunately, like the, I guess the nerves in the bottom of my feet, especially my left foot, he said it could be years damn much or never that. Yeah. And so they’re like, it could be years, might be never, but I can feel pressure. But now it’s like, if you, like, if my wife like tickles my foot, like you, I couldn’t tell her where tingling was. Tickling are, are they t like a constant tingle all day long? Yeah. Constant tingle all day long. Which, you know, and I’ve had before in my toes, but it’s still so weird to have it like all over my foot, you know? Yeah. Geez. So that sucks. But it’s, it is what it is.

00:59:38:10 –> 01:00:45:06
Like, the fact I made it out with all my limbs is a miracle. And then I, so I get outta the ambulance sitting there with my family, and then the president of search and Rescue comes over and he, and this is really cool, and you guys probably knew this, and I don’t know, you know, the full legality of it. But he comes over and he says, Hey, we’re you, were deer hunting, right? And I said, yeah. He says, come, can I see your license? And when he asked me this, let me rewind. When the search rescue guy came, he sees my deer with all the meat sitting there, and I get it, I totally understand. But he says, you know, obviously we can’t take that deer, but just know you will be getting a ticket for, for wanting waste of that, of that animal. And so, I’m, I I’m looking at him, I’m like, it’s gonna freeze solid. I might eat it in the spring. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So I tell him, and I just laugh. I’m like, I, if I gotta pay a ticket, let’s get out here. Like, I get it. He was just, I think he was just telling me, letting me know, like, Hey, when we land, you’re probably gonna get a ticket from, from the sheriff for this. Yeah. But I’m just like, okay. In in back of my mind, I’m thinking, come on, excuse my language.

01:00:45:13 –> 01:01:48:24
I’m like, if there’s, if someone’s that big of an asshole to do, like, I’ll take that to court to show I did everything I freaking could. Yeah, yeah. You bone out. So when this, it’s not wasted yet, by the way. Exactly. It’s not wasted. So the fact he said that was weird, but I get he’s doing his job. Super nice guy. Nothing bad about him at all. But when, when this, the president search and rescue’s talking to me, and he asked for my deer tag. That’s what I’m thinking. And he is standing there with the sheriff. I’m like, oh my hell, if they’re really gonna do this. Yeah. So he comes over and he takes a picture of my deer tag, and he was like, and I was like, can I ask why you’re doing that? And he’s like, oh. So in the state, the reason I do that, and he’s talking with me and my family, he’s like, in the state of Colorado, because you have a hunting license, any damages and costs occurred to this is, we refer to that your Colorado id, you won’t even get a bill for any of this. It’s that search and rescue fee on your license. Mm. Yeah. Quarter 25. I think it’s a quarter or something. You always see that on your license. Whoa. Yep. Geez. I’m glad it finally went to good use. Yeah, I know.

01:01:49:17 –> 01:03:08:00
So, because like in the moment, you don’t think about that at all. Right? Like, you’re not thinking price, because when you’re pushing that button, like your life’s, you think you’re 20 K, 30 k, 40 k into this scene. Oh yeah. At least. I mean, I know people that fly their baby to the, you know, to the nicu just down the road and it’s like 80 K sometimes, so Yep. Who knows what a, you know, a Black Hawk search and rescue. Yeah. National Guard and all this would’ve cost. But, so I thought that was, that would just felt really good to my family ’cause, but yeah. So dang, all is all is good. And then to top off the story, as of this was last night, the very next day, Mason who owns slums, he got with his buddy, and I can’t remember what type it was their half, they had three horses. They’re half Clydesdale, half something, just those giant horses, half draft. And they, yeah. And so they, they took ’em up there and he said that last mile, getting up to the top, he said they’d go like 10 feet and the horse would just stop and ha pant, pant. And then they’d just like be breaking the snow. And it took ’em forever to break the snow to get in in there. They couldn’t make it to the llamas, but they made it to that top pass. And then they brought shovels.

01:03:08:02 –> 01:04:37:17
And for over a day they sat there and shoveled a four foot wide, four foot deep trail from that pass to the llamas in all my gear. And that cool part of the story is they ended up getting the llamas out. They were severely dehydrated. The llamas were, but they’re doing fine now. They were able to get all my, my gear out, my gear. So everything’s back as of last night and all is well in the world. Wow. That’s awesome, man. No ticket. You got your dear meat, your gay no ticket. Got my dear meat, like no ticket. So I’m just like, heck. Yeah. So yeah, I, I feel lucky to, to be alive. And it, there’s just so many, it’s weird how things can go from a, the hunt can go from just, you know, regular hunt to, oh, this is kind of bad to immediately I’m, I’m screwed. Yeah. But, and I, I’ve been, I’ve been, you know, thinking back on the experience and some of the things I learned, and one of the reasons I, I, you know, I wanted to have this call with you is just I wanted to share just things that maybe somebody else can learn. And so they’re not in the same situation. So like, when I think back, like the number one thing I would say is if I could change anything is like, assess your surroundings and situation. Like, don’t be stubborn. No. About getting out.

01:04:39:24 –> 01:05:48:18
Like had I stopped an hour before that and just actually thought rather than just put my nose to the grindstone and just like go and go and go until it’s too late. I should have stopped and assessed and said, Hey, even if I make it to that pass, then what? There’s no way I’m getting outta here. Yeah. You know? And then, then I would’ve just, I, I wouldn’t have been so hypothermic, I would’ve just set up my tent in the bottom and then called Lifelight. And if they would’ve been two days, who, who cares? Like, but you might not have pushed that button for another until you really, another couple days passed. Oh, for sure. Right. So you’re Yeah, exactly. Oh, yep. Maybe the Clydesdales come in instead of searching, I don’t know. You know? Yeah. Yeah. And, or yeah, I probably would’ve like texted an outfitter or some, someone with that could get close to me. Yeah. So, so just like assessing your surrounding situation and, and then obviously like the better fire starter, I’m not sure why not A single one of my lighters were working Mm. A mix of extremely, oh. It ended up being ni negative nine that night I was laying on that snow. Wow. It was like the coldest day they’ve had. And I’m like, of course it would be. Yeah.

01:05:49:10 –> 01:07:19:16
Like of all the days and geez, how many days have gone by since you, since they flew you out to today? We’re talking like four days. Yeah. I got out, yeah, four, four days ago, let’s say Friday. Yeah. Four days ago. I got home Monday at like midnight. Yeah. Yep. And then obviously if there’s, if there’s snow man snowshoes, it’s, it’d be their weight and goal. Just having snowshoes num my number three that I would have to say would be like, stay hydrated, force yourself to eat. Don’t be like me. And just be like, go in and going and all of a sudden you don’t feel good and it’s too late. You just, man, I just, my my, and I’ve always been a cramp too. Like, my friends always make fun of me there. Well, we were bear hunting this spring in, in Idaho, and every like hour and a half they’d be back like, all right, have you taken vitamins, Justin just like giving me crap. You have your mustard packets just always been a cramp. Yeah, right. Throw a bunch of mustard packets in, that’ll help. Yeah. And then obviously just expecta having that, the Garmin in each, I mean, if, if anybody does any type of hunting far away from a road, man, without that thing, I’m, I’m not here today. There’s, there’s no way. So having to get yourself a garment in reach, obviously, and, and then just expectations with it, right?

01:07:19:17 –> 01:08:23:12
Like, you can’t wait until it’s last second. I mean, I, and I get it. Like, I never, and you’re the same Jason, like, you’re not gonna push that until it’s last second. No. But you just need to have the expectation that like, when you push this, you might have to survive for a minute, 15 hours, you know? Yeah. Yep. Like, don’t, don’t just be, be careful that way. And, and then it’s end with the family. You know, every time you go, just let your family know where you’re going. Which I never do. I just, I mean, I do. Yeah. They know roughly, but Yep. Changed, right. It just like, you pushed it to the next ridge or whatever. Like, you just, you know what I mean? Yeah. Yep. Exactly. Like, like I got there, my, my family knew kind of where I was gonna camp, but man, when you see that mully over there Yeah. You go like, you don’t even think about it. Like, never in my life do what I think. Like, nothing’s gonna stop you. And I, I, and that’s just how stubborn I am, I guess. And it was a good looking gear. What was the, what did the, what’d the deer end up going? You said you thought he was in the one sixties when you initially and then you realized he was a little better. Yeah, I, I, I still haven’t taped him.

01:08:23:17 –> 01:09:41:19
I, he’s just over 26 wide 17 inch twos. So he’ll be mid seventies, high seventies maybe. Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m just, just based off his width and, and his twos. Yeah. But yeah, just a solid deer especially, you know, and that’s what’s cool about Colorado, as you guys know, you don’t need a lot of points to, to really find a unit to, to make things happen. And I hate to say that publicly ’cause I love Colorado, but Yeah, it, yeah. So I’m just that if you have, have to do it again, if you have to do it again, I mean, you’re, you’re in there again, llamas and all just, just Oh yeah. Smarter or that’s whatever, chalk it up to a freak storm that was a little heavier than expected. Yeah. Because honestly, I feel like I had the right gear going in. I would go in with more of an emergency fire starter instead of just the, the lighters matches, whatever. Yeah. Like some emergency matches or, or something in case I needed it. And then, yeah. I honestly, like, there’s nothing I, I’d be doing it again. It’s just, I wouldn’t put myself so far gone. I would set up camp and then if you have camp set up, it might take you a couple days, but I could’ve dug my way out. Or if you were camped on that ridge, you could’ve done, you could’ve probably bowled your way.

01:09:42:01 –> 01:10:51:08
It’s ’cause it’s slightly downhill all the way, you know, or something. Exactly. And that’s, that’s, and that’s what I was telling my dad, like, had I not seen that deer Yeah. I would’ve, I would’ve camped there and I would’ve been fine. I mean, it would’ve sucked. It totally would’ve sucked, but I, I would’ve got out. But it’s just that climb 800 feet in that amount of snow that kills you, man. So, and I’m not saying I’m in the best of shape. I, I like to think I’m in good shape, but that killed me. Yeah. That was brutal. Oh. So yeah. I, I kind of feel dumb for pushing the button, but at the same time, I had no other option. I, you never think it’ll, you never think it’s gonna be you. And then when it is, you’re like, okay, I can see you. Well, the crazy just add up. Yeah. We’ve talked about it a little bit here and there, but the crazy thing is now in this day of and age with a lot of cell service and, and electronics. I mean, do you, most people don’t even have a compass in their pack anymore. A a a manual compass. You have your phone and there’s a compass on your phone and, and you don’t even, you know, we have OnX or one of these other mapping apps, and so you never even, there’s no, you feel invincible. Invincible. Exactly.

01:10:51:16 –> 01:11:45:05
You ever feel like you’re gonna get lost? Do you ever feel like you’re gonna get lost? But but yet you could lose your phone and you’d be totally lost. You know? So I just, nobody feels anything anymore. Like nobody, we’re not even, yeah, it’s amazing. I mean, you had to eat and so you needed to start a stove and stuff. But I mean, a lot of people I would venture to bet on day hike, day hiking are just, you know, their random day, day pack don’t even have a lighter air, you know? Right. I’m not gonna get lost. I No. Oh, for sure. Don’t even know anybody that’s gotten lost in the last 14 years, you know? Yeah. For as an example. Oh yeah. It doesn’t happen. Yeah. So, yeah. Anyway. Yeah. It’s funny, pe people, I get home and people are like talking to my wife, like, I heard your husband got lost. And I’m just like, no. Didn’t get lost. That, that is such an insult. I knew where it was. I knew I knew where it was the entire time. Yeah, totally. I could have got out there with my eyes closed if I had the strength. Gosh, dang it.

01:11:45:20 –> 01:12:54:29
But just showing you how far we’ve come as a society with technology and stuff, you know, I’m just illustrating the getting lost with that is, is you just don’t think of some of these, the, the, the real necessities anymore as, you know, fire, food, water. You know what I mean? So you’re more prepared than what most guys would be in this day and age, it seems Yeah. Feels right that way. Yep. No, for sure. Eat the lawn if you had to, like, you know what I mean? I mean Oh yeah. And honestly, and this may sound morbid, but like, climb inside that thing. I was, yeah. I, this and this is where like, it doesn’t make sense because I’m 20 yards from these llamas the whole time. I’m just like, oh, I, I, I would’ve shot one for sure. Yeah. And like, you know, and, and get to got at it and climbed up inside. Yeah. But like in that moment when you’re already so stiff in your bag, like that 20 yards seemed like it was miles. Yeah. Like, it doesn’t, doesn’t make sense at all. That’s just goes show, like how far gone I was. ’cause it would’ve taken me two seconds to get up, walk over there. And that would’ve helped immensely. But like, it just wasn’t even an option. Which that’s why I look back at this and I’m like, man, how did my mind get so gone?

01:12:55:16 –> 01:13:48:07
You could even gone over there and hugged one of the ornery suckers. Yeah, exactly. I shoulda, you know. Yeah. Yeah. I should have laid my steam back, like hug a llama in between them. Yeah. Geez. This is, this is actually funny. And I for, I forgot this is how I was saying it. And I thought I was delusional, but then we confirmed it when we were hiking out. I’m laying in my tent and I never see black bears. Right. Like I, you rarely see bears. Yeah. I’m laying there and I keep hearing snow. ’cause like little snow things would like fall onto my sleeping bag. And honestly, it probably helped insulate me the more I think about it. But just ’cause I was on that steep hillside, and so I’d hear this snow falling and I’d kind of brace myself and like, I’d kind of get hit a little bit and I hear this snow like this, like, whew, whew. And I’m like, what the, and this is like at 7:00 PM so it’s dark, but up there in that high country with the snow, you can basically see like, it’s daytime, you know? Yeah.

01:13:48:16 –> 01:15:03:21
And I poke my head outta my seat bag and out coming from that mountain pass, there’s this bear that’s just, and he’s not coming to, this is where it’s funny with your wife’s probably the same, but when my wife found this out, she’s like, oh my gosh, there was a bear. I’m like, it wasn’t coming at me. Yeah. Like, it was just coming down the ridge. Yeah. And it looked like it was swimming because it was just, the snow’s so deep and it’s going straight down downhill. So it looked like it was like freestyle swimming. And apparently I, I texted my wife, I was just like, Hey, I just saw a bear swim by swim. She’s just like, so she was like, he’s dying guys. He’s gone. He, he’s not himself, but like in the moment, like, I didn’t even mean to say that to her. Like, it was just like, I don’t know what the heck I was thinking, but as we were going out with the search and rescue, it looked like a bowling ball had like been rolled down the mountain just like his track. Like you could like his whole body track. So I was like, wait, I think that really happened. Yeah. So who the heck knows, dude, if I was delusional or if it actually happened, but like that. Yeah. Yeah. I thought that was kind of funny. That is funny. I can laugh about it now. So funny.

01:15:04:25 –> 01:16:25:20
But Well, all right. We’re glad you’re safe. Congratulations on the buck and congratulations on getting out and I, I appreciate it. I already have plans for, I have a little pencil, it’s just gonna be a euro mount, but you know, I got my hand warmers. Yeah. I’m put the hand warmers on the pedestal. Do something, make it, make it special. Do that. And maybe a couple of them chancy lighters and Yeah, exactly. You know, some of that like that’s Oh yeah. Raw and real. And it’ll be there for 30 years from now. Like, it’s awesome. Yep. Exactly. So yeah, I’m happy to be here and I appreciate you guys taking the time to Oh man. To listen to the story and so good. Just know, you know, we’re not invincible. Yeah. Even though I still kind of feel that way, but yeah. Be smarter. Yeah. Well, good stuff. Sure. Appreciate you taking the time, man. And yeah, no, glad everything’s good and keep pounding Colorado, you know, will do, will do. Hope there’s a lot more hunts to go this, you know. Yeah. Late, late season hunts ago, so. That’s right. That’s right. Good luck to, to all you guys and appreciate all you guys do. Okay. Alright. Sure. Appreciate you Justin. Yep. Thank you guys. Appreciate it. You betcha. Take care. All right, bye bye. Wow. Yeah. What a crazy, where holy, where do he go from here? Yeah, man, not gonna lie.

01:16:25:20 –> 01:17:39:13
When he said he was telling people he loved him, I kind of, I I got a little watery there for a sec. Yeah, I did too. I’m like, oh geez, you get to that point. I mean, it’s all heavy. Geez. Can’t, can’t even imagine having something like that. Yeah. You know, the delusional thing, I think you, you think you’re prepared, but you hear that on, you know, all the like Mount Everest stories, things like that, that people just, they can’t, their brain doesn’t work anymore. So that’s, I think even if you are prepared, it’s kind of gets scary. You then work yourself to the point of exhaustion there. Just trying to get out, trying to get those animals out and your gear. I mean, it’s gotta be a hard choice to, to leave everything back in my college days, I had something like that happen, but I, I don’t really wanna talk about it at the moment. It wasn’t like it was just, you know, back prior, pre, pre even cell phone bricks, you know? So anyway. Well, Kay, let’s see. That brings us to we’re, we’re not gonna be much longer. That was, that was, it took up a lot of time and, but well worth it. I can’t very thank Justin enough and congratulations on everything. Everybody’s out the second season. Still going cash. You came back from the second I did You want to give us a quick rundown?

01:17:39:16 –> 01:18:53:00
Oh man, I didn’t have nearly the adventure Justin had, but man, between, bent a arms on the side by side, broken windshield. Yeah. All kinds of stuff. We ended up, we got back Monday. Yeah. Monday or Tuesday. Killed a buck. I had my father-in-Law and his brother and my buddy Dylan there with me. They were trying to get back for Halloween. Had just a couple hours left in the morning and decided to smash a buck. Yeah. And good buck. Not really. He’s a nice four point dude. No, he’s, yeah, he’s okay. He is just a, just a buck and first, first blood you’ve drawn with that gun. Yeah. You seven. That was, yeah, that was one thing I really wanted to do on this hunt was was to kill a buck with that gun. Yeah. And with the rifle, I haven’t killed a buck with a rifle for nine years. Nine years. And so I was like, it’s, it’s fun time. You’re kind of time fun to smash. Yeah. I was like, it’s, it’s fun to smash one of the rifle once in a while. Yeah. I really wanted to poke one at like six, 700 yards. Yeah. But it was like 200. Yeah. You can spook it. Yeah. Hey, like, hey, run, run, run across the ridge over there. It’s pretty fun. Lemme reach out, but, well, your rifle’s definitely capable of it. Yeah. A pretty dang good shot.

01:18:53:05 –> 01:20:01:18
I can’t believe how well that thing shoots. It was fun. Yeah. I really wanted to just to kind of test it, you know, banging and steel that seven hundred’s a lot different than, than smashing a deer. Yeah. So I really wanted to see if, you know, things were really, you know, legit and if I could really do it after nine years, you know. Yeah. And you know, I can hit steel, but Yeah. Having a deer or something else in, there’s a little different. So really wanted to do that. Didn’t do it. But I might go back next year for vengeance on the unit. It was a tough hunt, but a little dry full moon, things like that weren’t great. But it’s second season. Second season, you know, it can either be incredible best season of the year or the toughest season of the year. Right, right. All this weather people kind of thought that it would be incredible and it’s been overall pretty tough. But I think a lot of it is just, you know, people are coming to, you know, reality setting in that the age classes is a little different than it was 10 years ago. Yeah. Was, you know what I mean? Absolutely. But you didn’t have the weather as much. No, I was actually pretty dry. We got one day of rain and it just made stuff, made roads. Greasy is about it. But nothing, it didn’t do anything to the deer.

01:20:01:21 –> 01:21:12:20
So tell us a windshield story. Oh man. How, how does a guy just break a windshield? Well, I actually broke it. My father-in-law’s head. Okay. And we didn’t get in a fight, I promise. No. We were going up this wash. There was a OnX marked a, well it is a road. It used to be a road. It probably hasn’t been used for a long time. No. So it’s kind of a disappearing road. It goes up this canyon and I, I was looking at it and would zoom in, could see the road clear up this canyon, and it came up on this plateau. And I figured, well, if we can get to there, that’s the quickest way from camp to get to this area where we wanna hunt tomorrow or whichever. And so we kind of ventured up there and the road kind of starts to dissipate ways after, after a while and get through some really tight spots. We’re like, well, I mean we’re, we might be through the worst of it. And so we’ll see how this next section is till it goes up that plateau. We’re really close to it. And so we’re probably a hundred yards from it and I’m going like four miles an hour. Like barely moving. Yeah. And just trying to keep, keep an eye on the road and whatnot. And I glance down at Onyx to make sure whether it’s gonna cross the wash or stay on this side.

01:21:12:20 –> 01:22:24:20
And I glance down and I go to hand it to my father-in-Law as I’m looking back up and I look back up and there’s this little two foot wide by two foot deep little wash that that had come about that we’ve all hit in our lives. Yeah. We’ve all hit one. And then you sell the vehicle the next day. Right. Exactly. And I, I see it. I’m not going fast. I smash on my brakes right as I like enter into it. Front tires whack down into it and bull, I mean, the back end of the side by side goes up, we smash the front and I look over big old spiderweb right in front of my father-in-law’s side. And I’m like, what happened? He’s like, I think I hit it with my head. He’s like, what? Because I smashed the top, our knees smashed. He, I mean the, the glove box, I mean that was all smashed in, came off whatever. And so, geez. Pretty good hit. Yeah. It was like, we might have been going faster than four, maybe like no more than like seven. Come on dude. Not that photo. You can’t even see through the spider web. Let me guys shoot. Yeah, let me show you guys this stuff. Yeah, it’s pretty bad. I’m just like, what? And so it hits one, it’s a polaris’s lock and ride system, so it’s just clamps on the back.

01:22:25:03 –> 01:23:34:01
So it just squeezes the bar and it pushes the windshield into the bars and then squeezes on the back. I don’t know how, but the windshield’s broken and everything else looks intact, nothing bent. And that windshield will push out like an inch and a half and just like wobble. We’re like, how is it? What is it doing? And nothing looks bad or anything. They can’t figure it out. But found out a couple days later that we didn’t even know, but the steering was kind of messed up, whatever. And then we got looking and of course it is one of the, one of the A arms has bent at like a 45 when it should be straight. Look at this. So it’s pretty bad. My phone’s, I think I’ve got it right here too. Freezing. Oh wow. Yeah. So, yeah. Yeah. That was fun. So we decided after that we’re like, yeah, we’re just gonna flip around. You know, that’s our evening I guess. So we’ll go hunting elsewhere in the morning. Yeah. There we go. So, but anyway, good experience overall. Yeah, it was good. It was, it was good. I wish, looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have smashed that buck Really? And I wish I would’ve kept hunting. Really? I had a couple days. I mean, I, you would’ve just, they would’ve left, went home and you would’ve been by yourself. Yeah, I would’ve been solo. Yeah.

01:23:34:02 –> 01:24:37:24
And we had another buck that I kind of had just in my back pocket in a different area, but we, I would’ve had moved camp completely. Yeah. And it was like two hours to do it. Yeah. Like an hour and a half drive and then half hour whatever. I could’ve went and smashed this other buck most likely, depending on how far he had moved. Yeah. But he was still just a decent buck. Yeah. Better than the one I killed. But you might’ve seen something different too. Yeah. And there was, there was a couple, couple different here that had moved in a little bit, but not, not substantial. Kind of crazy. But w Wyatt, you spent some time on the ponsa here in Utah. Yeah. Crushed it. Lots and lots of deer. Yeah. Good year over there. So, I mean, a lot of deer just started rotting right there at the end. It was, it was fun. Mostly helping, you know, some clients and guys that had tags and so just being, just being out. And did you see anything crazy or anything? I know you guys smashed a really heavy deer. Really good. Yeah. No, no, nothing. Nothing too crazy or outta the ordinary. Just, you know, lot of, lot of good bucks and yeah, just a good time. You know that country really well. Like that’s your, one of your favorite times of year. Yeah. It’s a hard, hard hunt to pass up.

01:24:37:28 –> 01:25:51:17
It’s just a fun time to be out and you, when that migration’s going and the deer moving off really good. It, it’s pretty awesome. There’s nothing like it. Yeah. Yeah. Alright, well anyway, I think that kinda brings, I want to talk I guess just really quickly about mule’s matter. The mules matter has its own little sub website or website. It’s linked to epic Go check it out. We’ve got a fax page of, you know, frequently asked questions, but fax page and you can go kind of read through it and any questions you got on there, you need to register it and then send in your un punch tag if you didn’t kill one. And you know, on that page, on the muley matter page is a list of the states and tags and different things. There’s limited draw tags, there’s general tags that we’ll take for just, you know, people that are hunting general type units, you know, and then, and then obviously dough tags. And so if you had a dough tag and you didn’t fill it, you saved a dough, which now you’ve, you know, fostered deer populations by twins multiple years hereafter and, and exponentially. And so it’s pretty awesome. That’s kind of what we’re trying to do is, is just do, do our part to a degree.

01:25:51:23 –> 01:27:09:17
I mean, we don’t, we don’t get to choose all the rules regulations and we can obviously have a say a small say, you know, as sportsmen, but, you know, tag quotas and things like that. And overall management, you know, is decided by, by people bigger than us. And so at times, you know, you just feel like, well if we, if we don’t kill deer just to say we killed one and we, and we save a, a young buck or a dough or whatever, then, then maybe that’s the smallest thing. You know, one of the things that we can do, one of the things that we can actually do to, to make a difference the way we see it needs to be made personally as sportsman. Yeah. I’d like to give a shout out to the sponsors. We kind of tallied up what, what we have and there’s been over $50,000 in prizes donated. Wow. Yeah. There’s over $50,000 in prizes. We’re, we’ve got quite a few people register, you know, registered. And so tags are coming in daily. We’re gonna run this drawing as close to December one as we can. It’s gonna take a minute to get it ready, segregate the prizes into the different bins. And so anyway, so there’s a, a proportionate amount of, of prizes given to limited draw tags, general tags and dough tags and and whatnot.

01:27:09:17 –> 01:28:44:16
And then just get everything ready in the bins, segregate out into the different categories and then be able to actually run that draw take it’s, this is no joke. It’s like very time consuming and, and more than you would think to put it on, do the website, make up all these, you know, the fact sheet and whatnot. But it’s awesome and it’s kind of fun to watch it all come together. We can’t tell our the donors how much we appreciate ’em enough. It, it’s wouldn’t happen without you. And, and then also the, the public support is off the charts. It’s incredible. We even have Utah Division of Wildlife employees submitting unused UN tags. These guys don’t just, a lot of ’em don’t necessarily make the rules either. And they actually like the program. And, and so anyway, those are coming in. We appreciate them. We feel like we have a, a good working relationship with them. Although we, you know, of oftentimes don’t agree on, on things. There’s plenty of ways to skin cats and there’s plenty of different management techniques and, and theories and ideas and plans and what and proposals and whatnot. And so anyway, voice your opinion, get involved in the process and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve definitely done that in, in other areas of game management. But, and this is good. This me’s matter type program is just something, something more we can do that we can actually do.

01:28:44:16 –> 01:29:51:25
We can actually make a difference here. And we’re not telling people not to kill stuff. Like if you wanna, if you want it and you’re proud of it, then you should absolutely shoot it. But don’t maybe just don’t shoot one last day just just to shoot one. Just if you know a two by two or two by three or whatever. Like maybe you let it live if you don’t have to have it or Yeah. Or need the meat or whatnot or whatever. But yeah. One of the things that is covered on the, on the frequently asked questions is you do not have to be a member of Epic Outdoors to, to participate in this. And yeah. There’s no stipulation on anything like that. It’s a free entry. You have to put a stamp on an envelope to get your tag here. You have to go take a minute on, on the website and sub and select the prizes in the order that you would like to receive. ’cause when you pull, pull a name outta the hat, there’s gonna be certain prizes that are taken and, and what, you know, we gotta go to the next one. And then there’s some people that may not want a tattoo and there’s a tattoo in there, right? Like, I don’t know, there’s, just, just for a quick example, some people may not like whatever prize or may not be able to utilize a cer.

01:29:52:03 –> 01:31:04:06
Maybe they already have a, a, you know, an Elon Musk satellite system or whatever, like, I don’t know. Right. So anyway, get on there and select those prizes. That’s all that’s asked for this. Yep. You choose which prizes you wanna be in the drawings for, so Yeah. Yeah. Kind of. Cool. You guys have anything to add on that? No, it’s a, it’s a very unique opportunity and yeah. You don’t see it every year. No. You know, and it’s a, it’s a time where the deer need it. Yeah. You know, after all these drought years and coming to a good wet year, the deer need it. Yeah. And so it’s a, it’s a good thing. Yeah. On top of, you know, in some parts of the country we’re dealing with drought here and that’s on our mind, but you’re also dealing with winter kills and things. Abnormal, abnormal drought, abnormal winter kill. It’s kind of interesting. It’s kind of, kind of crazy. And so anyway, that’s kind of the scoop. There is a dedicated hunter program here in Utah. We’re not including the dedicated hunter program in the MUEs matter. One of those three tags you get in a three year period has to be un punched. It, it can’t be punched, it’s part of the program. And so to manage all that and deal with that and, and then also you gotta return your tags to show that you didn’t harvest and things like that.

01:31:04:10 –> 01:32:24:10
So there’s, there’s some stipulations there. We just don’t wanna complicate it and be, the police policing have a policing issue there of dealing with that. And so we did have the DWR come in the office and visit about that a little bit and, and they felt the same way. And I do have one anecdotal story. Someone called me and said their son passed on small two by three and killed the deer before, but this year passed on that and wanted to, you know, donate his tag if it wasn’t exactly what he wanted. So purposely did draw it, got some satisfaction outta passing a deer. Might get a rifle out of it, might win something special bow, who knows. Yep. So anybody can, can be put in to this except for Epic employees. So y’all can’t submit your stuff and, but anybody else, if you want to call it competitor out there, any competing businesses. I mean we actually get along with all, all the industry. Like we have no, no issues. So anybody out there can submit these and you know, if you have un punch tags like to see you in the bin, it’s gonna be fun rolling that bin with all the colored tags and all the different state tags. Pretty fun. It has to be an original state tag. Cannot be an eeg. How do you do that?

01:32:24:12 –> 01:33:38:11
You gonna put a piece of paper in there and then people question the viability of the draw. It’s just not, it’s gonna be an original paper tag and that’s part of it. And so that’s kind of the, the end of it. And what we’re gonna do there, we’re kind of, we’re really excited about it actually. It’s, it’s coming to a head. This is the month of November, December one’s the deadline. Get ’em in. If we get tags in past December one, we haven’t run the draw yet. We are gonna put you in the bin where anybody, any tags that we get when we run the draw, can’t tell you exactly. We’re gonna work, we’re gonna run it within seven days of December one. But it takes a minute to get everything finalized. I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of mail at the end of the month and so we’ll just do the absolute best we can and it’s gonna be awesome. It’s kind of fun. Kind of excited for it actually. And then we’ll also go through on the next few podcasts, we’ll talk about a, the donors and absolutely want their businesses to do better because they’re supporting the initiative like this. I want everybody listening to support these businesses. They’re supporting us, they’re supporting you. We should support them. And that’s the way I feel about it. So anyway, do you guys have anything else? Nope. No, I think we’re good. It’s Friday.

01:33:38:19 –> 01:34:46:27
It’s Friday. Wyatt, you’ve got dad duty coming up obviously. I, I do. Yeah. So let’s talk about the dad duty for a bit. Wyatt, you, you look like you got some bags under your eyes. I’m just wondering how the night’s sleep been going. Things have been good. Wife’s taking care of most of it, so. Okay. She’s a good one. Yeah. Yeah, she’s taken care of a lot of it, but I, I do, you know, have had some sleepless nights, so, but I can’t complain ’cause I’ve also been hunting a lot lately too. So you, you’re not make this clear. Yeah, she’s car home handed. He’s not complaining. Yeah, she’s been home handling it so he’s very tired but he’s not complaining. But it’s my first night alone with the kid or I guess first Yeah, tonight you are going to be taking care of the kid. Yeah. Oh man. Okay. So if you need help like Janice Good with kids. Yeah. And John, your wife’s good. John. John, John offered as well too. I know. Yep. Yep. We’re we’re gonna power through it. Well hit that SOS button if you, if you need to, you hit that button. We’re, we’re gonna have our ringers on. Okay. Alright. Alright everybody, we wish you the best out there. As the seasons are coming to a close. We’ve got some late elk hunts, late deer hunts.

01:34:47:24 –> 01:36:05:27
A lot of, a lot of the rifle hunters are just getting ready to get going over there in Colorado and head over there. Of course we got Arizona rifle, deer hunts and even a few left in Nevada and a few things like that. A few here in Utah, some late season stuff up in Idaho. We just love to see your, your successes and and hear stories even if you’re not successful. If you see a giant, of course we want to know about it. It’s nice to know. There’s a few of ’em out there and I know there’s been some guys doing really well. Deer, elk, sheep, things like that, antelope. So anyway, best of luck to you all and if you do need help, give us a holler Epic Outdoors. 4 3 5 2 6 3 0 7 7 7 4 3 5 2 6 3 0 7 7 7 And I guess we’ll go from there. You got anything else John? John, you gotta go cite in a rifle. I do. You got a hunt coming up. It’s time to put it on paper Boss. Alright, get out there. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors here at Epic Outdoors. For top of the line hunting, clothing, and apparel in every environment. Visit under We’d like to thank Under Armour for being our title sponsor and making this podcast happen. Visit our website epic for discount codes to Under Armour Hunting apparel, handcrafted quality precision rifles from start to finish.

01:36:06:04 –> 01:37:19:12
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