This week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, John has a message for young hunters. This episode is meant for those boys and girls in the 15 to 20ish year old range, who are looking to get a little something more out of their outdoor experience. John tells a few stories of the adventures he used to have hunting on his grandpa's land when he was in high school, and how others can safely have some of those same experiences. Even if your family doesn't have a chunk of private ground there is still adventure to be had!
One of the main things John stresses in this episode is safety. Looking back at his youth, John put himself in a lot of dangerous situations that could have easily been prevented, especially with modern technology. He also talks about affordable gear, clothing, and other useful tips for young hunters who don't have a lot of spare cash laying around. Oklahoma has so many amazing outdoor opportunities, and most of them are fairly inexpensive and just waiting to be explored!
Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!
[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 to the show everybody, and welcome to the middle of July. Oh my goodness, it is so hot right now. Not that it, I should be surprised or anything, I've lived here my whole life, but my goodness, I think we hit 1 0 6 today and maybe it's just cuz I'm getting older, but. I just don't want to go outside.
I had to do some stuff outside today, around one o'clock and it was just brutal. So yeah. I hope you guys are staying cool. I hope everybody's nice and safe. I know we had that crazy storm, like I remember checking [00:01:00] the radar a few days ago. And there was just a storm, like over the entire state of Oklahoma, and I think I know I heard some reports of up to eight inches of rain, which is pretty insane.
That is a whole lot. So I hope nobody got washed away or anything like that. Had too much damage. I think at our place we ended up getting about three inches, which like, that's perfect to me. I can handle that. It's a lot of water still, but but nothing too crazy. And so I think that worked out pretty well for us.
So I hope everybody who got more than that is okay. And that none of your pond dams broke or your house washed away or anything like that so yeah, it was nice that the entire state got some rain, even though it's smoking hot right now and probably all absorbing, but we got some rain, so that's good.
That's good for everybody, including the deer. And of course I can't go go without mentioning my soybeans that got a nice three inch rain on them. They are still looking fantastic. And yeah I did notice I wanted to point this out after that storm, my trail camera photos dropped way off for the next two days really.
[00:02:00] So I thought that was a little weird. I understand if the storm's there. Pressure and just all that water and everything, maybe subduing them a little bit. But yeah, for a good two, maybe two and a half days, my just total picture count went way, way down. And so I can't tell you why.
Just an observation that I made. I would love, if somebody's listened to this and you can tell me why. I would absolutely love to hear it. But yeah just an in interesting observation that I made that I wanted to tell you guys about. Yeah. What's been up with me last week I mentioned it we did a birthday party for my daughter.
She turned one and my wife ended up going all out. We had a giant inflatable unicorn bounce house with an attached. Water slide. Yeah, you heard that right? A bounce house with a water slide. My wife went from Like when she was pregnant, we found out we were having a baby. She was like, I just don't see the point of having a one year party.
The kid's not gonna remember it, blah, blah, blah. And then once the baby had been born, she was like two, three months old, she's maybe we'll do like a small party for the family. [00:03:00] So they get to see her and open presents and stuff like that. Guys, this party last weekend, I think the final count ended up being 52 people.
Granted a lot of, that's my family. I have a big family. But we had, friends work friends both sides of the family there, and it turned it into a giant thing. One positive though that I was surprised by but loved. So my wife ended up buying a bunch of just hamburger meat to pat out, into Patty's and stuff.
So we did lunch, and then we found out how many people were coming and we didn't have enough. And so she asked if I would thaw out a bunch of deer burger that we had in the freezer. So I was like, yeah, no problem. Absolutely. Thawed out all this venison. And we decided we were gonna separate it.
We weren't, we weren't trying to trick anybody or anything like that, but I just had a weird feeling just from the crowd we had coming. There was a lot of non-hunters and stuff there, especially her friends. And so we, I was like, Hey, we probably need to keep them separate. Label 'em.
And so like when my family got there, I was actually asking, I was like, Hey, we have beef and [00:04:00] venison. If y'all don't mind eating venison. I just feel like, most people aren't gonna eat that. And so we start, serving the food and everything and I go in to check and the venison burgers ran out way before the beef, I actually had two or three people come up to me basically saying man, I missed out on the venison.
I was all excited about that. And so I just wanna say that is a win for hunters, for white-tailed deer, for conservation, whatever you wanna say. Like people were choosing venison over beef. And so I considered that a huge win. Like I said, especially considering that the large majority of the people there were not hunters, just wanted to throw that little tidbit out there. So yeah, that was last weekend. I don't think I've mentioned this yet. As of about 45 minutes ago, my wife left on a church trip. Again, she works in youth ministry, so they're headed down to Gulf Shores to hang out down there for a while. And so for the next eight days, I am officially a single dad.
So luckily I got my my in-laws close by. And they're helping, they're actually keeping Halle right now while I do this podcast. [00:05:00] So huge shout out to them for the help. So yeah, it's gonna be a crazy week, so bear with me and pray for me. And hopefully I can come out of this in one piece.
And then yeah, let's talk about this coming weekend. Not a whole lot to say. I probably am going to head to the ranch just because why not? Take my daughter with me. Probably gonna top off the the protein feeders just because one of my cameras is low. I had, I put brand new batteries in all my cameras except for one, because it showed that it still had pretty good life left.
But it is two weeks later and it's dead. And so I guess it just hadn't been, getting that much action. Yeah, I need to change the batteries in that one. Trying to decide, honestly, it's just because it's so dang hot. I still have not done a lot of the little small picky things like, leveling my blinds, changing out straps on stands, stuff like that.
It's just not that fun, especially when it's. A hundred billion degrees outside. But I may do some of that stuff just cuz I don't have much else going on. Now that the food plots are rocking, cameras are out I'm trying not to, put too much pressure. [00:06:00] Luckily most of the stands and stuff that I need to work on or not anywhere near my food plots, and so shouldn't be too much, putting too much pressure on him.
So I may do a few of those projects. I ha oh gosh, I don't think I'm quite ready to talk about that. I have one thing in the works for this upcoming fall that I, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm gonna hold off on it yet cause it's not a sure thing. So I don't wanna get y'all's hopes up. But working on some stuff for a, another hunt this fall, which I already have so many.
I don't know why I need another one, but I just can't get enough. It's but yeah I'm gonna save that. Until I have some more for sure. Stuff on that. So yeah, that's what's been going on with me. Great weekend, last weekend. Looking forward to a weekend or, this upcoming weekend.
And honestly, I'm excited to, to get to hang out with my daughter so much. I love her. Yeah, it's really not that big of a burden for me to watch her, so miss my wife definitely. But I'm looking forward to spending time with my daughter. So yeah, I think that is pretty much it for this intro.
We have what I think is going to be a really good episode this week. This is one that I've been wanting to do for a while. [00:07:00] Honestly, not sure why I haven't done it yet, but I just feel like it's the right time, as kind of summers somewhat winding down, especially for kids. They're getting ready to go back to school and everything like that.
And so this week I wanna really reach out to young hunters, and I'm not talking about, kids 7, 8, 9, that are still like, basically completely reliant on mom and dad or grandpa, whoever to take, someone to take them hunting. I'm really talking to the 15 to maybe 22 ish range, like the people who have some freedom.
Don't have any money. People who probably can't just all of a sudden take off to Idaho and go to the back country for two weeks by themselves, but there is still adventure to be had for people that age. And I think it's very important that they get some of that adventure type hunting in because, I think part of the reason that we're losing a lot of young hunters these days is because, I, and it's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think, whoever takes them hunting, they want so bad for them to be [00:08:00] involved in hunting and enjoy it and have fun.
That I think they ended up making it a little bit too easy on them. And they don't they just don't appreciate the work and the effort that goes into, harvesting an animal of any caliber, any size, any whatever you wanna say. And I think that's one of the reasons that I am so passionate is because I didn't have anybody doing that stuff for me.
I killed my first deer essentially on my own. I, a guy from church drove me out there cause I was 15 and didn't have a driver's license. But he wasn't like telling me to set up here and do this and do that. And then, the next year when I had my driver's license, like I just took off from there.
There was no holding me back because I could drive myself to go hunting. Very often I wouldn't say anytime I wanted, but very often. And so yeah. I don't wanna get into it, just, too much just now in the intro. I wanna save it for the actual episode but that's what we're gonna be talking about.
So if you are a young person or a young person, have a son, daughter, whoever it is, In that age group, this episode's for you, and I just really wanna encourage people to get out there in the outdoors. So yeah, that's what we have this [00:09:00] week. We're gonna hear a quick word from our partners, and then we'll jump into the episode right after this.
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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. All right, so we're gonna start this podcast off by stepping back in time just a little bit, and I can tell you how I've got started.
And I know I talk or have talked about this a few times, but just a refresher in case this is somebody's first episode. I grew up in a family that. Not necessarily a hunting family. My dad did a little bit of hunting when he was younger. He did take us dove hunting a lot. That was really big where I grew up and so [00:10:00] did some bird hunting.
But what really got me into it was honestly not getting to go hunting. So I had two older brothers. They had a really good friend who grew up in a hunting family. They always had a lease somewhere. And they invited my brothers out there. And one year my older brother shot a deer. And then the next year my other brothers brother shot a deer.
And so they got to go hunting. But me, I was just the younger brother who never got to go because I was the younger brother. And so that's what started me on this, wanting to kill a deer. And growing up we didn't have cable or satellite or anything, so I didn't have access to like the outdoor channel or anything like that.
I don't know why, like, all I can say is just hunting was in me. Like I just wanted to hunt. And doing the dove hunting and stuff that kind of fed it. I was always running around with the 22 and shooting raccoons and possums and small games, stuff like that. And then when I was 15 my dad was actually the one that suggested it.
So he had a little. 33 acre place. And then on the other side of town, my uncle had a [00:11:00] place, and both of them were, I wouldn't say either one, was good deer hunting. Actually his 33 acre place. I didn't know it at the time. I just didn't know enough. It was actually probably decent deer hunting, but I didn't have trail cameras.
I didn't have a feeder or anything like that. I just went and sat out there a couple times in a random spot and didn't see deer, so I didn't think there were deer out there. And then my uncle had that place and that's actually where I ended up killing my first deer. Like I mentioned kind in the intro a guy from church, he was my youth leader took me out there youth weekend when I was 15, ended up killing a deer.
And so that's where it got started. The next year when I turned 16 my dad still had that little place, but again, I just, I didn't think there were deer out there. My uncle ended up selling his place where I had shot that deer. And so I didn't get to a lot of hunting just cause I didn't feel like I had anywhere to go.
I did actually end up getting to kill a deer that year. One of my good friends from school. Invited me to go to their place and I shot like a two year old 8.1 that they probably wished I wouldn't have shot. [00:12:00] Again, looking back, again, I was 16. I don't think they were upset or anything.
And so the next year when I turned 17 again, it was actually my dad. Cause, my dad knew I wanted to hunt. I don't know how he felt about it, honestly. He was a huge football fan a fan of us and football was a big part of my life when I was in high school. Even though I was small I was.
Pretty athletic and you just, couldn't tell me no. And my dad didn't like that hunting, interfered with football, or he always, sometimes he would think that the hunting was taking a bigger role than football, which he didn't really like. But he knew I liked it. And again, I don't know if he necessarily encouraged me, but he didn't discourage me either.
Except for when my grades were bad. But anyway. So I was 17 years old. Hunting season was coming up. I was talking to my dad about where I was gonna hunt and my uncle had sold that place and everything and he was actually the one, he's you need to go hunt at your grandpa's place. And I, I had been to my grandpa's place.
We'd go up there and hog hunting and stuff, but, and I'd always dreamed of. Of deer hunting there, but it was like an [00:13:00] hour and 45 minutes away. And so I just, I never really thought of it as practical cause like, where would I stay? There was no house, like my grandpa didn't live on the property, he just owned it.
Like I said, I'd gone up there with my friends and that same youth leader had taken me up there. And you normally we were just like spotlighting small game or hogs or whatever, like I had talked about. And but anyway, so when I was 17, I was like, you know what, I'm gonna do it.
And so that summer went up there and I made my first ever tree stand out of two by fours. Just basically found a random tree that was next to a pond where I could see a long way made a little, Two by four ladder up the tree found where it branched nailed two, type 2 2 2 by fours, paralleled to the ground, put a couple boards on top of it.
And that was my very first deer stand. And so basically for the next really even more than two years, I, cause I did it through college also. About those two years in high school, I would, go to school all week. Friday evening, I'd play in my football game. I'd already had my truck packed, and as soon [00:14:00] as the game finished on Friday, I would get in my truck and drive an hour and 45 minutes out there by myself.
Sleep in my truck, freeze to death. Wake up Saturday, hunt Saturday morning, Saturday evening, sleep in my truck again, hunt Sunday morning, and then drive home for school and football practice and all that. And and when you're 17 years old, driving an hour and 45 minutes to hunt, that's kind, in a lot of different ways. That's not only dedication, but that's just a lot. Again, I didn't have a place to stay or anything like that. I was sleeping in my truck. Luckily at that time, I was short enough that I could lay down in my backseat and not even touch the doors on each side.
I didn't have back problems or anything like I have now. So it, it was just doable. I'd usually buy a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper, a a pack of powder, sugar donuts. And then I would just drive to town for lunch and dinner, which was not the cheapest way to do it, but I didn't have anywhere to cook or anything like that.
It never, honestly, it never occurred to me just make sandwiches. So I would go, eat off the dollar menu at McDonald's or [00:15:00] actually I don't think there was a McDonald's there. I think it was Burger King which I'm not a big Burger King. Maybe that's why not a big Burger King fan?
But anyway, that's what I did all through high school. And I would go a lot like, maybe not every weekend, but most weekends. I'd gotten a bow at that time. So I was, bow hunting early season, rifle season would come along, I'd rifle hunt. And that's just what I grew up doing. I never killed anything.
And that's another point I wanna make is I should have, but we'll get to that later. So 17, 18, my last two years of high school, did that all the time, but never actually killed anything. So then when it came time to choose a college, I chose my college based on hunting and not education. Went off to the University of Idaho, and luckily for me, because I probably would've died I, I could not afford an out-of-state license the first year I was in Idaho.
I was not able to hunt. I just couldn't afford the tags, the out-of-state stuff. I still went with some buddies, I just kinda walk with them, learn from 'em. I, the whole public land thing was completely new. No idea what I was doing. And [00:16:00] really struggled with that all the way through college.
This was pre, OnX and all that. And so like I but I say it was good that I couldn't hunt because I probably would've tried to do something or go somewhere that I shouldn't have and gotten stuck. But but yeah the next year when I was a sophomore I met my buddy Jasper, who I still hunt with today.
Been on the show a couple times And we became buddies. We started hunting together that year and the following year, and then he was older than I was, so he graduated. And the last year or two, I ended up just hunting by myself a whole lot, which probably wasn't smart. I had never killed an elk.
I, Ja basically nobody had hunted with killed an elk while I was with them. So I never I did not realize. What it took to pack out an elk. If I would've gotten an elk down by myself and I had a couple close calls, but if I would've gotten an elk down by myself in the back country, like I don't know what I would've done, but I know a lot of it would've gone to waste and I probably would've gotten in trouble.
So yeah. But all that to say that was just me. Like I was all about adventure. I never thought about [00:17:00] safety. I never thought about the consequences. Even those years in high school when I was hunting by myself, I didn't know how to gut a deer. I had killed the one when I was 15.
My youth leader, he knew how to do it. Like we struggled through it and got it good enough to get to the processor. When I killed the one with my buddy his dad did it for me. I watched and helped, but he was also in a hurry and didn't teach, really teach me. And yeah, again, basically my thinking and even going into the elk, like I had people ask me like, Hey, what are you gonna do if you get one?
And I was just kinda I'll figure it out. We'll figure it out when it happens. Again, luckily never had to worry about it or unfortunately I never had to worry about it. But again, that was just my mindset. Like I was just so passionate and so ready. Like I just wanted to be out there.
And that's what I want to instill in the other young people on this podcast. But I wanna teach you guys. It give you guys a few hints to help you do it way more safe than I did and and hopefully a little bit more successful. So I'm gonna go back to the high school age and man so much to say.
Everybody always says if I knew what I knew now, could go back. [00:18:00] Same here. Like my, I had an awesome place to hunt. Looking back on my grandpa's place, he actually had two different places. One of them was almost all Ag. One of them was pasture land with mixed trees, and that's where I did most of my hunting.
Looking back on it, I was an idiot. Like I probably should have been over there in the ag ground, but that's just where there was more people. There was roads going through it and everything, and I was just like, I wanted to be alone. Like I, I wanted to be immersed in nature, so that's why I stuck to the pasture ground.
But I'm gonna list a few things that I did wrong. Thing number one that I did wrong was I think because I was on my grandparents' place, myself and my parents, honestly. Were two lackadaisical too. Like they, like my parents should not have let me do what they let me do basically at that age.
Now I will say I was behind a locked gate there wasn't fear of somebody capturing, kidnapping me, robbing me, or anything like that. Like I always parked away from the road, locked the gate behind me, that type of thing. So I wasn't necessarily in danger from other [00:19:00] people. This was pre smartphone.
I did have a cell phone at the time, but it was like the old school flip phone. My parents, they like, I, I didn't tell them where I was camping. All they knew was I was at my grandpa's place, which again, he had two different places. They never even knew which one I was at. I never told them when I was coming home for sure.
I rarely called them. They rarely called me to check on me again to them. I think in their mind, I was just at grandpa's place. There was nothing to worry about. But man, if something would've gone wrong, I had terrible, I was way out in the country, had terrible cell service. If something would've happened to me, it would not have been good.
And so my first tip when I tell people to go out and, have some of these experiences, And we're talking about how, and, or sorry, we will talk about how here in a minute, but I wanna get through this kind of safety stuff. First is, number one, tell somebody where you're going and tell them very specifically where you're going.
Don't just say, I'm going to this w m a or this person's place, or whatever, tell [00:20:00] them, Hey, I intend to camp at this spot. My tree stand is here. Or Blind, ground blind. Whatever it is here. Set a check-in time. You don't have to do it like while you're hunting or anything like that, but man, a lunchtime, lunchtime's a very easy one.
After your hunt, let's say it gets dark at six. Say, Hey, I'm gonna check in with you at six 30. Set times to where people know they're gonna hear from you. So they know that they're okay and use those smartphones to their advantage. Share your location. You should probably be doing that with your parents anyway if you're in high school.
But let them be able to know where you are at all times and keep your phone on you. Cuz again I think the place that I hunted was around 400 acres, but it was thick, it was nasty. I was usually going as. Far in as I could away from the roads or in everything. If something would've happened to me, they would not have known where to come find me.
And it probably would've taken 'em a while. And, let's say I got there Friday night and something happened to me Friday night, my parents usually didn't expect me back till [00:21:00] Sunday afternoon. And so it would've been a long time before somebody came looking for me. So be very specific with where you're going and set a time to check in.
So that's safety tip number one. Going back to the tip, or sorry, or more the experience I should say. I was lucky. I had private land, fairly safe place to go. Not everybody has that, and I realized that you can do the same type of thing on public land. You just have to be.
Smart about how you do it. Make sure, I would especially if you're high school age and younger take your parents out to like where you're going to camp, whether it's in your truck tent, doesn't matter. If you can get an actual camping area and not just, somewhere on the side of the road, that's even better because more than likely there's gonna be other people there.
People are used to seeing vehicles there. You're not gonna have somebody knocking on your window in the middle of the night making sure you're okay. So stay, just stay in a good area, make sure it's safe, make sure it's a real [00:22:00] camping area. Make somebody make sure somebody knows where you are.
And I know a lot of people today are playing the mobile game and wanting to move around and stuff. I, I did not do that when I was 16, 17. I had one stand, that's where I went. And so that's where people should have known where to find me. If you are trying to be more mobile, I get that.
But you can still tell people where you are, maybe as you're doing your preseason scouting or something like that, pick out a couple different spots and make sure the people, whoever it is gonna be checking on, where all those spots are and if possible, Tell them which one you are going to before you actually go out there to hunt.
Just again, in case something happens they know where to find you. So make sure you're in a safe place where you stay. Make sure you're in a safe place where you hunt. Another safety tip I have is make sure you have at least decent gear. Now, I'm not saying you have to go out and buy. Super expensive clothes and stuff like that, but just make sure you can stay [00:23:00] warm, especially if you're, a gun hunter.
It's end of November, more than likely it's gonna be really cold. And I was never prepared when I was younger. I did a lot of hunts and Wrangler jeans and my brother's Carhartt because I didn't have very many warm clothes. A lot of times I've had, I'd have like long underwear maybe underneath my jeans.
And then usually just like a sweatshirt underneath the coat. I never had like warm boots, I'd just wear three pairs of normal socks. I didn't have like warm socks or anything like that, and I froze. And so again, like there are a lot of companies making gear right now that is pretty darn good for pretty cheap.
One of the best investments I ever made in hunting gear. I think it was maybe when I turned 17. I hit Bass Pro on a big sale, and I bought a a Mossi oak jacket and pair of bibs for 80 bucks. And I still have them to this day. I wore them gosh till after I graduated college. I wore 'em all through Idaho and the mountains and everything like that.
Brought 'em home [00:24:00] and I still, my wife usually wears 'em when she goes hunting. Excuse me. But man, when I started hunting again, I'd go up there and sleep in my truck. I'd have a super cheap Walmart, like summertime sleeping bag cause that's all we had. Again, just like regular socks maybe some long underwear.
I usually, I'd end up waking up every two hours or so. Start the truck, get the heater on, get it warm in there, shut the truck off, go back to sleep, and I'd wake up shivering, an hour later. So just, maybe ask for it for Christmas. Most 'em, lawns, whatever you gotta do. But get some half decent gear that's gonna keep you warm.
Again, like Cabela's sells insulated boots for 60 bucks. Now, you can get at least like 400 gram something, something's gonna be better than just a regular leather boot. At minimum, get yourself some long johns again, not very expensive. But they go a long way.
If you can get yourself a good mid-layer, like a thinner [00:25:00] sweatshirt that's, still warm, something like that. One thing that I started wearing about two years ago I hate wearing what a gosh, whatever the new sweatpants are called, the joggers or whatever, that are real tight, you won't catch me dead out in public in those.
But I actually bought a pair to wear while I'm hunting because they fit under my hunting clothes and they just add another nice warm layer. And Yeah, like I said, if you can get some long johns, some kind of, jogger, like thinner sweatshirt and then a coat and bibs, you're gonna be pretty well set there.
And again, you can get a half decent sleeping bag at Walmart, something that's, rated better than 40 degrees. If you can get down to 20 degrees, something like that, you're gonna be way more comfortable. Same goes with your hunting gear. If you're, again, if you're like going on public land and stuff and you don't have a permanent stand, make sure your straps are good.
If you do have a permanent stand, make sure your straps are good. Don't skip on that. Don't think you can go three or four years with the same set of straps. They're gonna fade, that tree's gonna grow, stretch. I tend to go max two years [00:26:00] on straps. And honestly, the older I get, The the more anal I am about changing those straps, because I used to go, three, four years and actually had one pop on me one time.
I got super lucky, didn't fall but I had a strap pop on me as I was stepping onto the stand and I learned my lesson. And so I never go more than two years. Part of it depends on the tree. If a tree like a lot of your oaks that have real rough bark, they can wear those down faster.
If you're like in a smaller cottonwood, it's got the real smooth bark, maybe you can last a little longer. One tip on saving straps after the season's done, you can loosen 'em a little bit because that tree is going to most likely grow some. And you can save your straps a little bit. But anyway back to safety.
Change your straps, everything like that. And don't be dumb with your weapon, especially if you're out there by yourself. If you're gun hunting, don't walk around with a round in the chamber. Don't walk around with your mag in or your gun loaded at all. If it's dark, especially like you're not gonna be shooting anything [00:27:00] anyway.
Unload that gun until you get a safe, get to your spot and your safe. That was another thing I was really dumb about when I was younger, walking around with a loaded gun. If you're bow hunting, make sure that your quiver or wherever you keep your arrows is covers like the entire broadhead.
Don't have, a razor sticking out of the bottom. Make sure it's like the foam is inset enough or the plastic comes down enough to where it covers your entire broadhead because you could trip, fall, whatever your hand could slide up in there. And if you cut yourself with a razor across your entire hand, like that's gonna be a bad situation, especially if you're out there.
By yourself. So I feel like I'm scaring you guys a little bit. I'm not meaning to, I'm just wanting y'all to be safe as y'all get out there and do this stuff. I'm probably, I'll probably think of some more safety stuff along the way. But I wanna kinda get to these hunts, just hunts that I feel like young people can still do afford, have a good time with.
We're very fortunate in Oklahoma that there are a [00:28:00] lot of opportunities for different things, and it is very, Affordable. Yo you can get a bear tag for a hundred bucks. That is very cheap. There are several counties now in eastern Oklahoma, especially southeastern Oklahoma, that archery is just over the counter.
I believe they don't have quotas for their archery season. They can shut down the muzzle loader season if they hit a certain amount during archery. But there are several counties now that Archery's just opened. All those places have public land Now. If you're hunting public land in bears, you can't bait.
I'll throw that out there. But you can use terrain. You can have an adventure, you can get out there and as a 17, 18, 19, 20 year old young man or young woman, you can go bear hunting for a hundred dollars. That is awesome to me. And if you're living in the western part of the state, maybe that's too much for you to do.
It's four or five hours to drive all the way across the state. But in western Oklahoma, you guys have antelope, you have mule deer antelope, you can get over the counter antelope, archery tags, [00:29:00] very difficult hunt. But it's an adventure and it's awesome and it's cheap and and. Just the experience that you're gonna have.
I guarantee you, you won't regret it even if you come home empty handed. Like I said, I came empty, came home empty handed all the time, but I had a blast and I kept going back because I loved the adventure. And as I say this, like I keep talking about these kind of adventure type hunts and bears and mule deer and all this stuff.
You can do this same stuff just like I did with white tails. 20 minutes down the road, most likely depending on where you live. Like I said, if you have, a lease or grandparents' place, your own place, whatever, like that's awesome. That's perfect. But there are tons of public land places, like more than likely if you live in Oklahoma, you are no more than two hours max from a place you can hunt deer on public land.
Is it challenging? Yes. Are you gonna have a lot of success? Probably not, but you're going to learn a ton as you do that. And like I said, you're [00:30:00] gonna have a really good time. And so I wanna transition into that learning portion. Again, like I said, I never really had anybody to teach me about deer hunting.
That's a big reason I started this podcast because I wanted to give people the education that I never got, especially young people. So hopefully y'all have learned stuff from this podcast. But you guys can sit there and listen to me talk all you want to, but until you actually go out and do it, you're not gonna learn.
And what better time to do it when you're in high school and you don't have to pay a mortgage and you don't have to. Worry about feeding your children or, buying your wife presents, whatever it might be. You may be poor, but it, as I keep saying, like it just doesn't take that much to do this stuff.
I can afford now to buy a feeder and a blind and all that stuff, but I can't just go every single weekend, all weekend long like I used to because I just have more responsibility, more commitments. And so that's a [00:31:00] big reason I wanna preach on doing this stuff. When you're young. Because you just have the time.
You may feel like you're busy, but I promise you'll only get busier the older you get. And so find a place. Like I said, maybe it's 30 minutes down the road. Hopefully it's not even that far, hope you, hopefully you have a place 10 minutes down the road, but whatever it is. Just get out there and learn.
I learned so many things just by pure accident. I've told the story about how I learned about sink control and using the wind. I think I was 19. I was a freshman in college. I was home on Thanksgiving break. I did have a super cheap, crappy feeder set up. I had my one stand, and that is the only place I hunted because that was my stand and that was my feeder.
And I had these two doughs trying to come in and the wind was terrible. The wind was basically blowing straight to the feeder. But that was my stand and that was my feeder. So I was hunting there, had these two doughs trying to come in. They wouldn't come in because they were smelling me. They worked skirted around, went away.
[00:32:00] That, that was a morning hunt. I went to Walmart cause I had, read in a magazine or something about the wind and stuff. I just never really thought it was that big a deal. And I bought some baby wipes and some scent spray. Gave myself a baby wipe bath cuz I had just been, sleeping in my truck and around the campfire the night before.
Sprayed down every single layer of my clothes. And when I went back that evening, the wind was the same, but I sat on the other side of the feeder. I just sat on the ground on a little. Pile of dirt. And I ended up having both those deer within 18 yards that evening. Same exact spot, same exact wind.
I just had done a little bit of sink control and actually played the wind. Di ended up not shooting them. That's going to again, come into another thing I want to touch on here in a minute. But I just never would've learned that if I wasn't out there. Doing it and like that has stuck with me to this very day.
Like I, I don't know how many times I've told that story on this podcast because it's just something that is ingrained in me now, how important the wind is. You have the right to the best [00:33:00] wireless service. Bravado Wireless provides the best mobile, wireless, high speed internet, latest devices, and customer service at prices.
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Bravado, wireless, the power of connection. Yeah, there's another lesson for you. I'm just rambling at this point, but I'm having a lot of fun and I hope you guys are enjoying it. Another thing I wanted to touch on was something I did not do and I've talked about this before on the podcast too.
I know something I did not do well when I was younger was just shooting stuff, like shooting deer. Again, like I, I didn't, I wasn't really raised in that hunting family, so my family wasn't really used to eating deer meat. That wasn't something [00:34:00] they craved or relied on. When I got a deer, like they did eat it, but it wasn't necessarily like a part of our regular diet, and so I wasn't out there.
Meat hunting. I wasn't out there to shoot deer. Like I I basically started trophy hunting at 17 years old, which is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I, and especially when I started bow hunting, I think I've mentioned on here, I don't think I killed my first deer with my bow until I was like 22, 23, something like that.
Even though I started bow hunting at 16. And I had opportunities, like I had dos in range, I had young bucks in range. But I thought I had to kill this monstrous, 150 inch deer. And so I just passed up so many opportunities. And actually I think it was actually a podcast cause pap cast started getting big about the time I graduated from college.
And I learned a ton really quickly. But I remember listening to somebody and they were talking about how important it was to just shoot deer so that when that big [00:35:00] buck did get in front of you, you had some experience. It wasn't like your first time. And that was exactly what was happening to me.
And so that season I shot my very first deer. It was a dough, it was like the first week of the season. And it got light. I had a dough under me like 18 yards. Shot her perfect shot. And it just gave me that confidence. And I think I ended up, I don't think I ended up killing a buck with my bow until the next year.
But I had killed another dough and so by the time I actually drew back on a buck, I'd at least spill some blood. And it wasn't a monster buck that I was getting, crazy nervous about. But just just, yeah, like having that experience. And I think I mentioned all I didn't know how to gut a deer.
The first deer, I'm trying to think of the first deer I gutted by myself. I would've been, I didn't kill a deer. 17, 18. I think the, actually, so the first year I somewhat got it by myself. I was 19, but it just so happened my my youth leader that had taken me on when I was younger, he was in town.
He had moved away, but he was in town and he just so happened to be with me [00:36:00] and so he helped me through it and, made me do it this time cuz I told him I didn't know how. And so I guess it would've been the next year when I actually had to gut my own deer. But man, I would've been like 20 by that point.
Yeah, just that stuff. Learning about deer, learning about behavior, learning about the wind learning how deer react to movement. When to draw your bow, when to pull your gun up, when to open your window if you're in a blind. There's just so many tiny little things that I think people my age kinda take for granted because they've been there, done that.
They know what to look for. They know to take it easy. They know when to move. But you can only learn that stuff through experience. And yeah, just highly encourage you. Now, once you get up into that college age, you know that 18 to 22 range I very much say, get outta state go do something fun.
Even if it's just one state over, if you're in Oklahoma I feel like I have people on the time from northern Oklahoma and Kansas is just a regular thing for them cuz they're right there. Go to Kansas. If you're in southern [00:37:00] Oklahoma, go to Texas. That's a lot harder to do cause there's not near as much public land.
Go to Arkansas go mule deer hunting, New Mexico, something like that. Start spreading your wings a little bit. And again, there's a very good chance you were going to fail. I knew. Absolutely nothing about elk. When I started elk hunting again, there wasn't podcasts. There wasn't like YouTube videos teaching you how to do all this stuff.
What few YouTube videos there were like primos, where they were on these big private ranches and the elk would just come running into about five feet and they'd shoot them. We didn't have guys like the hunting public and whitetail adrenaline, like all these people who are entertaining Yes.
But very educational at the same time. And and again you're getting a little bit more expensive there. But you're having, you're out on your own at that point. If you're 20 years old and mom and dad are telling you that you can't go do something, obviously you wanna respect their wishes.
But at the same time, like you're an adult. And so don't make mom and dad mad. I'm not telling you to go against your parents. Please don't do that. Please don't tell 'em I said that. But you just have a [00:38:00] little bit more responsibility and especially if you're, paying your own way.
Paying for the tag, paying for the gas and everything like that. It's very doable, especially if pack a cooler with lunch meat and stuff and eat cheaply if you sleep in your truck or maybe get a camper shell or a tent even like a tents are not that expensive. Get you a tent or something and just go, just get out there.
Pay attention to all those safety tips. Even as you get older, you still need to be safe. I'm not gonna lie, I was on some public land just last year as a 33 year old that made me a little uncomfortable and I ended up not going back. Just the neighborhood around it. But you can find those places where you feel comfortable and you can have a really good time and still be really safe.
And one thing I wanna throw out there, even as I talked about how you're getting older and doing your own thing, all that safety stuff at the beginning still applies. Tell people where you're at. Use your smartphone. Let people track you. Set times to check in. That's something I'm still bad at. [00:39:00] Now, if I'm hunting private land, my brother lives on the property.
He knows where all my stands are and everything like that. But one thing I haven't done I haven't been good about checking in with him, like telling him, Hey I'm done hunting or going hunting, anything like that. Now he usually sees me leave and so that is comforting. But I do need to be better about listening to my own advice and doing the whole check-in thing.
But yeah, I just I would love if any of you guys listening to this have some questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. But the big thing I wanna get across is just have your own adventure and, there's just really not. Any excuse not to gosh, what's a, a regular license in Deer Tag in Oklahoma, I wanna say is like 40 bucks or something for both.
That is so cheap. Most places, on the W'S and stuff, most, a lot of the Camping's free or maybe like $30 or something like that. Tags are cheap. Travel. Travel's not as cheap as it used to be but if you're sleeping in your truck or whatever, or a tent, all you [00:40:00] gotta pay for is gas.
You can do it pretty darn cheap. So I'm trying to figure out if I missed anything. Safety's a big deal. Getting out. There's a big deal. Gear is a pretty decent deal. One thing that I thought of when I was talking about the gear I remember Steven Ella talking about kind of the same thing with the gear about how like you don't need as much gear as you think you do.
It's nice. Yes. But you don't need it. And he talked about the first sheep hunt he went on in Alaska. I'm pretty sure. Pretty sure he wore. Army boots that he had gotten at a army surplus store. He didn't have some pair of 500, $600 crazy awesome insulated boots. He was wearing used army surplus boots.
And so could it suck? Yes. But is it doable also? Yes. All right. I am probably just rambling at this point, so I'm gonna go ahead and wrap it up. But please, like I said, if you're a younger person listening to this, and I struck a nerve. Feel free to reach out to me. I would love to help you in [00:41:00] any way possible.
And again, the big thing is just get out there, try it. Even if you fail, eventually things are gonna work out. Like you're gonna learn, you're gonna get better, and every year it's gonna get a little bit easier and you're gonna gain a little bit more knowledge. All right. I'll shut up now. That's all I got.
I hope you guys enjoyed this. I'm just gonna do the outro right here. Thank you guys for supporting this podcast. I know it's the dog Days of summer. Things are gonna be picking up before you know it. Velvet season is in full swing. Got a lot of cool bucks running around that I'm enjoying Watch Grow.
I just sneezed. Definitely time to go. All right, love you guys. See you guys and until next week, I will see y'all right back here on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.[00:42:00]