2023 States, Dates, and Expectations

Show Notes

The time has come! The tags are bought, the dates are set, and it's time to figure out what on earth the goals for the 2023 "year of the whitetail" are going to be. This week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, it's time for John to set the calendar for his 2023 hunting season. John has buck tags in Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, and Texas that are burning a hole in his pocket. This could truly be the season of a lifetime, or a set up for the biggest heartbreak on earth. So tune in to see when John plans to be where, and what he expects to accomplish at all of his destinations.

It is going to be a busy fall for John. Nebraska velvet bucks, prime Iowa rut hunts, west Texas brush country, and good ol Oklahoma ranch land are all on the docket for 2023. Trying to fit all these states into a single hunting season is the issue. On top of a family and a full time job, John has his work cut out for him. He's not afraid of the challenge however, and is even trying to find a way to throw a south east Oklahoma bear hunt in the mix as well!

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant, outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you'll be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

Welcome everybody to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. I'm your host, John Hut Smith, and y'all wanna hear something that is just absolutely crazy. The day that this podcast hits the air will be July 31st, exactly one month from that day on August 31st. I will be headed to my first hunt of the year. Is that not crazy?

Like that really just dawned on me like over this past weekend. It snuck up on me. I think I've even been warning you guys like, don't let it [00:01:00] sneak up on you. Absolutely. 100% snuck up on me. And so that's what today's podcast is about. Not necessarily it's sneaking up on me, but I finally have all my.

Tags figured out, my state's, figured out my hunts figured out. I even had a discussion with my wife on like specific dates trying to get things on the calendar with her so that she's aware and it's time guys like it is almost here. And so that's what today's podcast is about. I look forward to this every year.

I love sharing with you guys and bringing you guys along. On the journey. And so that's what we have today. I'm gonna be going over what states I'll be hunting roughly what dates kinda my expectations for those hunts. Maybe a little bit of strategy. We're just gonna take it one by one and see where we wind up.

So I, like I said, I always look forward to this one. I know I get a lot more. Listeners and stuff during the hunting season. And I think part of it is because people like hearing kinda what's going on out there. I try to keep you guys up to date with, what I'm going to be doing in the [00:02:00] future, what just happened, all that type of stuff.

And so that is today's episode. But before we get there, real quick, few little business intro type things to take care of. The first one is the Outdoor Nation Expo is coming up August 11th and 12th in Shawnee, Oklahoma. So I'll probably be up there probably on Saturday. Not get in a booth. Long story, but I'll probably be there most of the day on Saturday.

But lots of activities, lots of cool things going on. I believe there's some concerts and stuff. You'll have tons of food exhibits, all that good stuff. So y'all should come out and see me there on Saturday. It's also avail open on Sunday just for y'all. What else? My wife made it back into town safely.

She was gone for an entire week with the church and so she's finally home. Gosh, I get a partner in crime to help. Wrangle my little one year old daughter who is completely mobile, getting faster every day, getting a little bit more rambunctious, taking a little bit shorter nap every single day. And so it's so good to have her back.

She actually [00:03:00] leaves again on another even longer trip at the end of August. But we'll get into that during today's podcast as well. Yeah, that's what's been happening with me. Like I said, this last weekend, basically just, she got home so hung out with her, nothing really going on.

And then this coming weekend we randomly on a whim, decided to take a trip to Colorado. So we're sick of this heat. We're gonna go where it's hopefully cooler. I don't know, according to the temperatures I've checked, it's not that much cooler in Colorado at the moment. But we're gonna go to the mountains.

We're going to have some fun. Hopefully my truck doesn't get stolen. Actually, we're flying, so you can steal the rental car. I don't care. I'll get some insurance on it. So yeah, so that's the plan of this coming week or weekend I should say. And then what we're gonna get into here in just a little bit, things really start heating up after that.

I also started shooting my bow, which I should have done months ago. That's something I also preached to you guys, and I very quickly learned. So last year I was real into the trad bow shot at a ton. All really winter. Spring into the summer and everything. And when it came, di came time to [00:04:00] start shooting my compound.

About the same time of year I was just dialed like all my muscles and stuff were there from the tradd bow. The form carried over real well and I was just hitting dimes with my compound bow. I have not been shooting the trad bow near as much this year, and so pulled the compound out and I didn't do bad.

Like I've been shooting long enough to where it didn't take me that much longer to get in shape. But I did find myself like, Wearing out a little quicker, like not wanting to send as many arrows down range. My first arrow would be good and my second arrow would be off just a little bit. It.

And so I, I need to do a bunch of shooting here over the next month. Again, something I should have been doing for several months now I shouldn't have ever stopped. But it was good to, to knock the dust off, get that thing going. I need to get back on the trad bow as well. I really wanna take some kind of, any kind of deer or hog something with it this year.

Really need to start prioritizing that more. Yeah, if you're like me and you haven't been shooting, Dust that thing off, get it outta the closet under, out from underneath the bed, wherever it is, hang [00:05:00] it up somewhere where you'll see it and it'll remind you to go shoot it and get out there and start practicing.

Because as I keep saying, season is almost here. We're two months from Oklahoma season. If you're going out west to chase, elk, mule, deer, whatever, Or white tails, who knows? Those seasons are gonna be right around the corner, so don't, hopefully you haven't waited like I did but if you have, definitely time to get on that.

So yeah, that is pretty much it for the intro. Like I said, not a ton going on hunting wise to update you guys on. Like I mentioned at the beginning today, I'm basically gonna pull up my phone, open the calendar, and we're just gonna walk through the next, gosh, four or five months, whatever it is. I'm gonna take y'all kind of step by step where I'm gonna be hunting.

I got that finalized, like I said. And yeah, where I'm gonna be when all that good stuff, what my expectations are for all the different places I'm hunting and so much more so yeah, that's what we got planned for today. I hope you guys are ready for it. We're gonna get into it after a quick word from our partners right this second.

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The mission of Bravado Wireless is to keep you connected no matter where you are. Visit bravado wireless.com or check them out at one of their retail locations. Bravado Wireless, the power of connection. I. All right guys. I got my calendar up here and we're just gonna start from the very beginning.

And so as we come into August, the weekend of either the 19th or the 26th, I'm trying to be a little bit flexible there. Whatever weekend works best for my wife, I plan to head out to the ranch, and that is going to be feeder feeling weekend. So this year I didn't move any feeders or anything like that.

That was my big focus last year, getting all my feeders and blinds and stuff, set where I wanted them and I think I did that. They're all pinned and [00:07:00] everything just like last year. And so basically just have to run around fill 'em, make sure they're good and work and everything like that. I always like to get my feeders running about a month before the season starts for a couple different reasons.

One, and the biggest reason is just to make sure the deer know where they are. It gives 'em time to find 'em and everything. Two, it gives them plenty of time to get comfortable around them before I start putting hunting pressure on it. So it just kinda gives them a good base. And then most importantly, which you should always do this before, and I've done this in little pieces as I've been going up over the summer, is you always wanna make sure they work, make sure they fire, make sure they fire before you put corn in them.

I have learned that the hard way. On multiple occasions, I'll fill the whole thing up. And the motor will be bad. And in order to change the motor, you gotta take it off. And then all your corn's falling out the bottom. You're trying to, shove something in there or just letting it all fall to the ground.

So make sure you test it before you pour a bag of corn in there. And then actually, I always pour one bag in and test it again just to make sure it has enough power to actually [00:08:00] throw corn. 'cause I've had it where I tested it and it spun and stuff, but then we actually put weight on there.

Either the battery was too weak or the motor was going out. Something like that. So I always put a little bit of corn in there, test it, and then fill it the rest of the way up. So anyway, so yeah, one of those two weekends will be that will also be gathering gear Weekend for my first trip, which of course is Nebraska.

And I can't remember if I said this earlier or not, but part of the reason I hadn't done this episode yet was because that Nera Nebraska tag was still up in the air. So this year is the first year they've ever limited non-residents in Nebraska. And so even though I had, I, like I had a place to go. I had a place to stay.

I'm hunting on my in-laws land. I wasn't for sure that I could get a tag. And so I was sitting on my computer at one o'clock when they went on sale. I was one of the first people to buy it, and I 1% got a tag. So I know now that I can hunt Nebraska, and so that's gonna be my first trip. And guys, I, man, [00:09:00] I have probably too high of expectations.

We'll get into that in just a second. But, I went up there last year. I had never explored the property or anything like that. I had one property in mind that I thought I was gonna get to hunt. I. That property ended up being not quite as good as I expected. But I found out they had another property I didn't know about.

And then I also figured out I could get permission on some of the neighbors. And so I ended up getting to hunt a little bit of extra ground last year. This spring when I went up there during Turkey season, I got permission on another neighbor. And I'm really excited about that place. I found a pretty good deadhead on there.

And then one other thing that I'm excited about is last year I kept looking at all these different spots. And I'd be like, man, I wish those crops were flipped because all the crops are still in soybeans and corn, almost everywhere. But there'd be this one field and I'd be like, oh man, it's corn.

Like I really wish that was soybeans or vice versa. There'd be a field of soybeans. I'd be like, man, that'd be really good if it was corn. And it just seemed like everywhere I went, that was the case. Guess what? We're a year [00:10:00] later, they rotate crops. And so before I left last year, I just thought of this on the fly.

I went on Onyx and I made a little note in all those different fields of what they were, and I put a year on there. So this field, 2022 soybeans, 2222 corn or whatever. So I can go back in my notes and see what they had there. And so I pretty much know what's going to be there this coming year. So now as I'm doing all my preseason scouting, I know the crops.

I know I've been, I've been on the ground. I have three cameras soaking there right now, and so I'm just gonna be so far ahead of where I was last year. Like I said, really excited about that one neighboring property. And then even the property that I thought wasn't so good last year, I got some pretty decent pictures on it.

Now most of those were during the rutt and that's not when I'm gonna be there. But still, just to know there's some good deer around. And then, yeah, I have the other property that I didn't know about last year, and I'm pretty excited about that one. He my sister's brother-in-law does have a pretty thorough dirt bike track [00:11:00] going through that one, so not sure how that's gonna go.

I do feel like he uses it enough that they're probably used to it, but I also don't know if. Like a big mature buck is going to stay there and get used to it when he has, literally thousands of other acres without dirt bikes, he could go chill on. So yeah, don't know about that, but very excited.

Gonna be pretty much running and gunning. I didn't set any stands or anything like that. I don't think I'm gonna end up getting a saddle this year. I just don't think I can afford it. I tried to do like a prime weekend. I checked the sites, thought they might have a sale, but they didn't, did some searching and just, by the time you buy, like I, I already have, sticks and everything, but by the time you buy the saddle and platform or like a.

Different stick to stand on whatever, you're talking like minimum five, 600 bucks some places even more. And I just don't know if I can justify spending all that money. When I have a mobile set up, mo a lightweight tree stand already. So I don't think I'm gonna be running the saddle this fall.

[00:12:00] Plus I just, by this time in the year, I don't think I have enough time to, to practice in it and get comfortable with it to where I want to take it hunting over my tree stand that I already have and feel comfortable with. So it's gonna be running and gutting with the tree stand. I did mark a few specific trees while I was there this spring.

Again I have some cameras. I'm gonna be checking gonna be checking the crops and everything. And so as far as like expectations I do think it's much more plausible that I kill a buck this year. As far as what caliber of buck, I just don't know where I stand, and I know that's something I need to figure out before I go.

But this, like I said, these should be in velvet, still should be a velvet hunt. I've never killed a deer in velvet. I've never really had to judge a deer in velvet. It like score wise, age-wise, whatever, usually that time of the year they still have their summer coats on. A lot of times, to me, deer just looks slimmer in the summer than they do in the [00:13:00] wintertime.

And so I I know I'm not gonna be holding out for a five-year-old, nothing like that. But a three-year-old, am I gonna shoot a three year old? I think if he has enough headgear, I might just do that. Y'all know, I'm a sucker for a nice clean 10. And so if a decent three-year-old full velvet.

Three year old, say three year old, nice clean tin walks by. I don't know if I can pass it. I do think if a, two, three year old kind of more basket rack, eight point walks by, I think I can pass that. And so yes, expectations are, I would say fairly low, definitely lower than they would be here.

But I just don't know. At this point in my life, in my hunting career, I just don't know if I could bring myself to kill some like little forking horn, two year old. And so I think I'm gonna be holding out decently high with the ground that I have to hunt with the days I get to hunt. Last year, I think I got to hunt two evenings.

This year I'm gonna have at least four. If I wanna hunt mornings, I can hunt mornings. And so I [00:14:00] think my standards are gonna be somewhere in that medium range, I guess is what I'm saying. At, on a one outta 10, I'm gonna say probably four to five range. Now, obviously, if I see a big one, I'm gonna try to kill it.

Wind's gonna p play a big thing as I was just scattered on my phone the other night and I was looking at all these places I had marked and I realized a lot of 'em are good for the same exact wind. So if I have that wind, awesome, I have lots of options, but up there, you just never know.

Their wind varies a whole lot more than what I'm used to. Like I've said it a thousand times on this podcast where I hunt, it's pretty much either like a south southeast wind or a north northeast wind. We don't have a ton of east and west but they just, it just seems like whatever the wind thinks that day, that's which way it's gonna blow.

And I'm possibly I'm being prepared to hunt off the ground as well. Like I said, the way some of these crops set up, I think there's definitely a possibility that I could sneak along the edge. Of a corn field and just tuck into the corn and hunt beans to where there's one spot I'm thinking of where.[00:15:00]

There's just this perfect corner where timber and corn meet, and then there's beans like in the pocket there. And I think that could just be a money spot. And like I said if the wind's perfect, I'll get in a tree and that timber, but if it's not, I'm not afraid to tuck into that corn. So yeah.

So that's the Nebraska plan. More than likely I'll be staying with my sister up there. More than likely if I kill one, I'm probably just gonna give the large majority of the meat to my sister. And then with z, with the c w D laws and everything just depending on what I kill, I'm gonna figure out what to do with the skull.

More than likely I'm not killing a big buck that I'm going to gonna do a shoulder mount on. And so my hope is that I can just take it to a local taxi dermis, just have him do a euro mount for me. And then let my sister pick it up and I'll, get it from my sister at a different date.

If I did end up wanting to do shoulder mount, I don't know. I'd be tempted to bring it home and use my own taxidermist. But I wouldn't be opposed to finding a reputable local person and doing the same thing, let [00:16:00] my sister pick it up and I can get it from her later. There's just a lot more hassle and care, and especially if it still had velvet on I'd feel bad putting that on my sister.

So yeah, I, I don't know. I gotta figure that part out. It just kinda depends on what I'm gonna kill. Yeah. So Nebraska Recap, I'm gonna leave. August 31st. Hunt the first, second, third, possibly fourth, and then come home either the fourth or fifth. So that'll be in Nebraska. One thing that I did discover last year is when I got home from Nebraska, I.

I really hated having to like, turn off my hunting mode. Like I'm just not used to having that early hunt. And so coming home and having to spend another three or four weeks not being able to go deer hunting after you jump all in kind of stinks. But that's the boat I'm in and so yeah. So the rest of September, not going out west doing anything crazy like that, and I just have to wait until October.

All right, so October is when things start getting a little interesting. As you may guess, just all the seasons are opening [00:17:00] up multiple different states and it's just it's an awesome time, but it can be a hectic time. So again, that's part of the reason I sat at my wife over the weekend, playing some things out, gave her weekends that I really wanted to hunt.

Gave her some weekends that, if she had something and really wanted to do something, I'd give that weekend up. It's just good to set those wife or spouse expectations early. And so that's the conversation we had. So all these dates that I'm talking about have been either pre-approved or somewhat approved by the, the wife and family already.

So first off I put September 16th on the books of, I wanna be able to Go to the Ranch. And that will be one or one of two different visits that'll either just go into my place, double checking everything, making sure all the feeders are still running, making sure straps are good, and that type of thing.

Or I mentioned a few weeks ago that I, might have something in the works and I'll go ahead and tell y'all now I'm working on getting some permission from one of my brother's friends on a bear hunting [00:18:00] spot. And so if I end up getting that permission, that weekend will be a bait weekend of going up there, get I already have a barrel and everything from previous years getting the barrel set up, stuffing it full bait.

Getting a camera on and all that good stuff and getting ready for bear season. And this will be where my first decision comes because, typically opening weekend of deer season is just not good for me. It's still stinking hot. I normally never have bucks, daylighting. And so it's normally not that hard for me to give up opening day.

And if I vice versa, if I am getting pictures, I have a big, giant bear. I am absolutely 100% going bear hunting. And the nice thing, a kind of nice thing is October 1st is on a Sunday this year. And so I'll have Saturday to figure that out, if I need to go up there, refresh the bait, check the camera I have cell cameras on most of my local stuff.

And so I'll already know what's [00:19:00] going there. And so my first game time decision will be where to be opening day and again. If I even have the slightest remote chance of killing a bear, that's where I'm gonna be. Might even do an all day sit. 'cause you just never know when a bear is gonna come to a bait.

So that'll be October 1st. If I think I have a good chance of actually killing something, I might take that Monday off work. I'm trying not to take too much time off. And you'll hear why in a second. But yeah, like I said, if I have a chance to the bear, that's where I'm gonna be. If not I made the mistake last year of sitting opening day afternoon when I really shouldn't have, and I'm not gonna make that mistake again.

In the past, I have not sat, if I didn't think so last year, I think maybe it was because I went to Nebraska. And I was just so anxious to get back after it. And I think I, I had the trad boat also, so I was really anxious wanting to kill something with the trad bow. But I just, I pushed a situation that I shouldn't have and I ended up getting spook or spooking a couple [00:20:00] doughs.

They smelt me. And I'm just not gonna do that again. Most likely it'll either be a bear hunt or staying at home on the couch. The only thing that might change that, I do have the amazing soybeans growing this year, so I don't know if that'll change the deer behavior. Like I've been getting daylight pictures of some bucks, but it's also just summertime.

They haven't lost their velvet. And so more than likely there's not gonna be much action that weekend. The weekend of October 7th, my wife and I had gotten a little discussion over this 'cause I had actually. So my second love is college football after hunting, and I've never been to. The Red River Shootout, Texas and OU at the Cotton Bowl.

And so I was like, man, this year I want to go. I already told some of my buddies like, let's get tickets. Did not realize that is also my anniversary, my five year wedding anniversary. And so I ran that by my wife and she was like, oh, on our anniversary. And I was like, I love you. And that weekend. Either way, I probably won't be hunting.

I'll either be at the Cotton Bowl or [00:21:00] spending time with my amazing wife. I told her I could very easily do both 'cause it's always an early game. So I could go to the game and have time to run home, shower, take her to a nice dinner, and then, we both win. It's we'll see how that works out, but more than likely that we can, will not be hunting.

Anyway, weekend of the 14th, I believe that is youth weekend. I missed youth weekend last year with my nephew and probably gonna do that with him the weekend of the 21st. That's the opening of muzzle loader season. I gave that as a flex weekend to to my wife. I would love to go hunting if possible, if we don't have anything going on.

But if she misses me or wants to make up for our anniversary or something like that, I gave her that weekend. The next weekend, the weekend of the what are we at 28th and 29th. That'll be the last weekend of muzzle loader, and I love that weekend. That last weekend. Unfortunately, this year it's shifted.

Into earlier October just kinda the way the year fell. And so it's a little earlier than normal, but [00:22:00] that's okay. I think last year I killed on the 28th I shot my buck and so that'll be like this Saturday. And a lot of times I take the Friday before that off, so that'd be the 27th. Again, with my, all my upcoming trips, I don't know if I'll be able to swing that this year or not.

Just gotta talk to the boss and see what he thinks. But I'll definitely be muzzle loader hunting in Oklahoma. Maybe the 27th, 28th, 29th after this is where things get even more crazy because as most of you probably know, I drew an Iowa archery tag. I. And that 100% I want to give precedence. You just, I've been putting in for a long time, basically seven years.

I'm finally getting to go. I talked to my good buddy and he's gonna let me hunt his farm in Iowa. So I have access to private land in a very good county. And so I just I can't not give that a lot of time and precedence and Talking to Dan. I had an episode with Dan about dates and [00:23:00] everything.

Originally I was thinking about doing that hunt a little later in the year. Just from what I've heard from all the, like hunting public guys and just all the major deer hunters who live in Iowa. They all talk about that no November 7th date. But they also talk about how much pressure there is that date because they all talk about it.

So I've heard a lot of 'em talk about how like the ending end of November. It can be a really good time to kill a huge buck because the pressure's gonna come down. A lot of the, those are bred, but the bucks are, trying to get those last few that are still open and everything like that.

And so my original plan when I thought I was just gonna be going up there, probably hunting public lane and everything like that, was to go towards the end. But now knowing what I know now, knowing that I have access to some of that really good private. I think I may try to be there earlier during that good time.

And so just off the cuff and some of this, like I, I think I mentioned when I was had the episode with Dan, I want to keep this somewhat flexible if at all possible. And I [00:24:00] think I can just with my work schedule and my amazing boss. I wanna get my boss like basically a 14 day period and be like, Hey, sometime during this 14 days I'm gonna be gone for seven to eight of 'em.

Something like that. But right off the bat, just kinda looking at the calendar. I'm thinking I may leave either Friday or Saturday, November 3rd or fourth, and then stay that entire next week and through the next weekend. So let's say I left on the third. That would be I would be hunting in Iowa, November 4th, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th, and then coming home on the 12th.

And with that in mind, let's try to talk about some expectations. So I've been saying all along, I've been saying for years, the whole time I've been putting in for this hunt, ever since I started talking about it on the podcast. I don't know, three years ago when I thought about when I was gonna go and if I could draw and all that stuff.

I've been saying the whole time that I'm going there, knowing most likely I am [00:25:00] not going to kill the biggest buck of my life. Okay. With that being said, where I am gonna get to hunt, after all this has worked out the timing, I'm gonna get to hunt the amount of days I'm going to get to hunt it, just unless there's some crazy unforeseen, weather factor, something like that, I should be able to kill a really good buck.

And, when I talked to Dan a few weeks ago yeah. I told him the whole like, I, I doubt I'll kill the biggest buck of my life and everything. But I do feel very confident that I could easily kill the biggest archery buck of my life, and I would only have to break about one 40 to do that. I've killed a lot of bucks.

I've killed some good bucks but I've never killed like a great buck with my bow. And so I do think that's very doable and that's pretty lofty if you consider going out of state to a place I've never been and saying, you're gonna kill 140 inch buck. That's pretty lofty. Again, after talking to Dan, talking to the [00:26:00] landowner, everything.

I think you could rattle in a three-year-old and he would probably break one 40. And so I I'm trying to manage my expectations as best as possible, but I think I could kill a really good deer there. Again, I'll probably be running gun style. I do think the landowner has some stands but I don't know, I don't know if I'm gonna have the run of the place. I don't know if he's gonna kinda limit me. I don't know if he's gonna limit what I can kill. I would honestly feel bad if I went there and, killed the biggest buck on the place. And I don't think that would make him very happy either.

But I've talked to him and he's told me he's gonna give me a decent amount of freedom and they're gonna have, he's gonna try to have kind of a hit list. Put together for me bucks I can and can't shoot. Because, and that's the other thing, like whereas I'm in a, my we, sorry, whereas I may not be trying to manage this property.

They are and they are trying very hard and they are in an area where you truly can manage for absolute giants. And [00:27:00] so while I'm there, I have to keep all that in mind as well. I think their coal bucks would be, Bucks that I am really happy with, like maybe shoulder mount type bucks for me.

And yeah, I'm trying, like I said, to manage those expectations as best as possible. But I am very excited. Like I said, I'm gonna be hunting prime time, prime place, everything like that. I do still have to get it done, it's not gonna be easy. There's not just giants around every corner.

They don't just walk into your lap. I feel like a lot of people, that's the idea they have of Iowa. There's just giant bucks everywhere and it's super easy. I do not think that's gonna be the place or sorry, do not think that's going to be the case. And from the scouting I've done, every neighbor around is also a hunter.

Like these deer are not gonna be unpressured like everybody, and their dog is gonna be trying to kill these bucks. It's just what happens in this area, especially when you're chasing a certain caliber of buck. And so it's not going to be easy. I know that. But [00:28:00] again, just time, place, all that stuff.

I keep repeating myself. I think I'm gonna have pretty lofty expectations, and so I don't see myself shooting a buck under one 40. For sure. For sure. I really want to bump that up to one 50. But just trying to be, just down to earth again with the whole outta state, never been there, all that stuff type of stuff.

Killing a buck with your bow is very difficult and especially, Iowa's not a bait state, so there's not gonna be feeders or anything like that. You're gonna have to, find terrain, find dough, find you know, regular food sources, all that good stuff, and truly hunt these deer. So I don't think I'm gonna push myself up to that one 50 mark.

If it's like my second day there and a one 40 walks by. Whew. That's gonna be tough. And that's the other thing. I think I've mentioned this in the past. I have never in my entire life dedicated an entire whatever, it's gonna be seven or eight days. To whitetail hunting. I don't think I've [00:29:00] ever hunted more than four days in a row.

And usually when I do four days, it's like an evening, a full day in a morning, and then I gotta go. And so I'm going to have a ton of time. So yeah, if you have any snack suggestions or anything like that, throw them my way. I mentioned in that episode with Dan, I have never in my life, done an all day sit and I'm not.

Completely positive. I'm gonna do it this time. But I do know I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the stands, so maybe I need to call ahead and find a chiropractor or something. 'cause I'm sure my back is gonna be hating me. Maybe I need to like, replace my office chair with a metal chair or something to get used to the long sits.

But like I said very excited for it. And and cannot wait to get there. So that's Iowa. Let's see, that'll bring me into mid-November. And this is where it gets tricky again 'cause I still at this point have not hunted Texas, I don't think. My buddy's place and his new lease that he got last year didn't really get to hunt it.

They, [00:30:00] it just took 'em a while to get it set up and they were like making food plots into deer seas and stuff, just trying to get it ready for the future. So last year we didn't really hunt it. But we do plan on hunting this year and and so I have, open invitation out there after being gone for 10 days though I dunno if I'm gonna make it out there like that weekend of the 18th, even though that would probably be an awesome weekend to go.

And then, gosh, Lee, that, that 18th that brings us right into Oklahoma rifle as well. Yeah, that's gonna be tough. I after the Iowa trip, I trailed off in my wife and i's conversation. I did tell her, or she knew, she knows by now. She did know that was the oak the Oklahoma rifle opener.

I. And so she may gimme some grace there. And then once we get into December, that is really I am definitely putting it in her hands. If she is sick of me gone, being gone by this point, like I'm okay. I know I'm still gonna be able to sneak away for, a little one night deal here and there and, not like a evening in the morning or something like that.

But as far as like big [00:31:00] dedicated three day weekend type things, that's probably gonna be few and far between. I did tell her when we get to January I love late season. Y'all know that by now. The last two years I've killed bucks on December 28th. I've killed bucks on January 8th. January 4th, January 1st.

I just, I love love, love the late season. So I did give her a heads up like January 6th and 13th. This, the season closes on the 15th. Those two weekends, I would love to do some hunting. What's really cool about that time of year is you can usually, because the deer are not very active in the morning, you can wake up and you can get a nice duck hunt in the morning, go back, take yourself a little nap, and then come back out for the evening hunt and deer hunt in the evening.

So it's kinda like a two for one. And sometime in that period I'd like to get some of my buddies are and I are trying to start like a yearly duck hunt. And so I'd love to, maybe do that with them sometime in there. Just, hang out. It's almost more about hanging out than [00:32:00] it is hunting.

That's a big part of hunting for a lot of people anyway. But yeah, so I'd love to do that somewhere in there. So yeah, that's it. I feel like it started really slow and then picked up, but. Nebraska will start us off and then potentially bear in Oklahoma, followed by deer in Oklahoma, followed by deer in Iowa, followed by some more Oklahoma deer and possibly some Texas deer leading to late season Oklahoma deer in waterfowl.

So what a crazy year I've been this is a year that I have been absolutely dreaming about. I can't tell you how long like it has been a. A lifelong dream of mine to just get to spend two months chasing white tails, traveling, going from state to state. And that is exactly what I have right now.

I'm very fortunate, it's not like TV style where I don't have to do anything else. And I'm just gonna go from one hunting camp to the next. I'm still having to work in there. Still gonna be spending time with my family taking care of my little [00:33:00] baby girl, hugging my wife and everything like that.

So it's not gonna be just like boom. There's gonna be some gaps in there. But I am very fortunate and I have an amazing wife, and I'm going to get to do a ton of deer hunting. I did not hit on my expectations for Oklahoma, Texas. That just dawned on me. I don't know. So I mentioned it last week.

2% is back the buck that I refer to as 2%. I used to call him cr, I've called him Mongo. I've called him a bunch of different names, but the reason I called him the 2% buck is because I give myself a 2% chance of killing him every year. I. And from what I've seen so far, it's pretty much gonna be the same story this year.

So far I've gotten one picture of him on July 14th, I believe it was. It was a far off picture. He wasn't up close. I didn't get a great look at him, but from the one picture I got, I. It appears that he is back in his glory. Last year he dropped off. He wasn't as big. He went from a clean 10 to a nine point.

The picture, he was like straight facing the [00:34:00] camera, so I couldn't quite see all the times. But from, I've stared at the picture for hours now it appears he grew his 10th point back, so I'm pretty sure he is a clean five by five. Like he's always been. But I just don't know if he's gonna be killable.

Same old story. He lives on the neighbors. I do. I've been gathering historical data on him. Thinking I might go full on Mark Kenyon and make like a spreadsheet of when he was where and under what conditions. I, I did, so I was checking some old pictures and I actually got several daylight pictures of them that I did not realize last December.

Like right around the time that so I actually, I saw him that my one sighting of him last year was in late December. And then I pulled a camera on a ridge, a decent ways away. And I wanna say he daylighted three or four different evenings between, I wanna say it was like December 20th and New Year, something like that.

He was definitely living in that [00:35:00] area. It's a area that would be super hard to hunt. It's on top of a ridge. There's no mature timber. Most of the grass by that time of year is knocked down, so I have no idea how I would kill him if he was back there. But at least I have an idea of where to look.

And so all that to say I think I have to save one of my tags this year for him. So if I kill a buck during muzzle loader season or early with my bow, I think it's either tag soup or 2%. I think that's where I'm at. He's an eight and a half year old buck this year. I just, I don't know how much longer he'll live.

He's made it this far just fine. But usually, a lot of buck start going down at eight and a half. I don't know, he might, I haven't got a good enough picture of him, but I think he's definitely gonna go down at nine, even if he were to make it to next year. And so yeah, expectations in Oklahoma, hopefully I kill one good buck and then maybe 2%.

As far as bucks that I've been getting on camera and stuff, I have [00:36:00] two really good up and comers that I don't think are gonna turn into shooters. I just, I don't have any history on 'em that I have seen so far. But they're both looking like max four years old. And because it is my own property, I do want to try to leave them alone, let them get another year on 'em, and they could be really good deer if they get another year on 'em.

There was a big eight point that I actually passed during rifle season last year. Partially because I was trying to hold out a little bit for the 2% buck and I had a different eight point I was chasing. He would absolutely be a shooter this year. Act if y'all follow me on Instagram. My brother just found one of his sheds.

He's definitely gonna be a shooter this year. But yeah, as far as like holdovers from last year, it's really 2% and that eight point, and that's about it. I killed the only other two mature bucks that I knew of for some reason on this property. Kinda like I was just talking about with those four year olds.

It seems like we just get like a whole new batch of bucks every year. Like 2%. He's the only one that I've really seen like consistently come year to [00:37:00] year. It seems one year a buck's there. The next year he is gone. Maybe the next year he comes back. I've had that happen on a couple.

Actually 2% did that. He was around as a three. He disappeared as a four year old. Came back as a five year old. The buck I killed with my rifle in 21. He did that. The year before, I didn't have any pictures of him. I actually thought he was the 2% buck. And then just a few days before I killed him, I figured out it was two different deer.

But yeah, I didn't have any pictures of him the year before, but I did have pictures of him the year before that I. And so it's nice, exciting. It stinks sometimes. 'cause sometimes you think they're dead, you move on and then they pop back. It's an emotional roller coaster.

But also you get some just random bonus bucks that I have no idea where they count came from. But they're pretty fun to chase. And so that's the expect expectation for Oklahoma, Texas. Man, I never know what to expect. I've killed Nine year old, one twenties. I've killed five year olds.

1, 1 40 eights. Yeah, you just never know out there. And again, because it's not my place, I try to help my buddy manage. [00:38:00] And so if I have an opportunity at a great buck, I will take it. But if, if he's not seeing very good deer and he is got some old bully bucks hanging around, I have no problem shooting one of those.

It's kinda like I was talking about early, earlier, it's almost more of the social thing. I love going out there, hanging with my buddies. I think I may actually miss our traditional. Opening day hunt this year because of going to Iowa. That's one downside. That first weekend that I was talking about leaving, that is the that is the Texas rifle opener.

And so who knows, maybe. Iowa will have some warm front and I won't be in a huge rush and I'll stick around and hunt Texas a day or two before I go, but it's gonna be hard, pretty hard to keep me away from Iowa. Yeah. But yeah, that is what I have coming this year, guys. Very excited about it. Been building towards it for years and years.

I have no idea how I'm gonna top this in the future. Maybe 20, 24 will be like year of the mule deer, and I'll go to the panhandle in, I don't know, New Mexico or something like that. Chase. Mule deer. But this year [00:39:00] is 100% the year of the white tail. And I can't wait. I cannot wait. I feel like the older I get, and I feel like this is maybe the opposite of most people, but the older I get, I care a little bit less about going to all these different places and hunting all these other species.

And I just wanna hunt whitetail. Like I said, I wanna go to different places and travel to hunt whitetail, which is weird. But they just have my heart. They absolutely have my heart. All right. I'm gonna let you guys go. I think you yeah, I think you're probably sick of me rambling on about my whitetail year and everything, but I'm very excited about it.

If you guys have any tips, tricks concerns, whatever, feel free to shoot me a message. Let me know. I'd love any help I can get. If you've hunted any of those states I just talked about please let me know. And if you have any questions please let me know. I am going to do my best to document the quest.

I, I don't know if I'm gonna do a ton of filming when I'm like outta state. I just, I would hate to miss a [00:40:00] shot on a. Big old Iowa buck or a big brawler Naba, Nebraska buck, because I'm like messing with a camera arm or something. So I wanna document it, but I just, I don't think I'm willing to sacrifice killing a buck because I'm just trying to get it on film.

So I don't know. We'll figure that out. I have all the gear. I just don't know if I wanna mess with it, honestly. So yeah. All right. That's it. I'm gonna get outta here. Thank you guys so much for listening to the podcast. I love you all. Stay safe, and until next time, I'll see you right back here on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.[00:41:00]