On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan is once again joined by one of Americas favorite bowhunters, Justin Zarr. The guys catch up about some of their favorite swear words and when it is appropriate to use them. Justin talks about his recent poison ivy issues and Dan's massive bug bites. Justin talks about his recent trip to Kentucky and his plans for the rest of the season. Anytime Justin is in the podcast, the outcome is perfection.
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Happy Friday, everybody. We are getting closer and closer and closer and closer every given day. Here to the hunting season and man, I'm getting a little bit more excited a little bit more excited yesterday, I did a little bit of a gear dive [00:01:00] where I Started going through some of my gear. I got all my saddle ropes and Platforms and saddles and all of my accessories that I'm gonna be using for saddle hunting this year I got that all organized in a pile that's sitting right in front of me.
I went on a let's see Yesterday I went on a mile and a half. I didn't calculate it yet, but I'm going to a mile and a half ruck hike with 45 pounds on my back. I have something called an atlas trainer. And that Atlas trainer is freaking sweet, man. It's basically the end of a barbell, and you can slide plates, weightlifting plates on that.
And you throw it on, it's like a pack, right? And you wear it. And basically what I do is I bought it, I think it, when I bought it, it was like 300 some dollars. I think it's a little bit more now. Anyway, I use that to train for... my western [00:02:00] hunts. And so now I'm going to be switching up my workouts to, to up more ruck hikes with weight.
And then once every five five hikes, I do something called a, like a death march. And then I'll put two 45 pound plates to stimulate simulate a pack out. And then I don't go on a full hike. I just go up and down a hill for the same amount of time as a hike. And it just murders you.
It sucks on the legs. It sucks on the whole body. But the whole body is getting used to carrying that amount of weight. And I am... Hoping that conditions my body for the environment that I'm going to be going and hopping around in and that's the Badlands of South Dakota. So I'm starting to do less weightlifting and doing more hiking and more cardio to get my heart rate up and [00:03:00] basically put myself in a situation similar to what I'm going to be doing out west.
That's what I'm doing there. And then I'll start, other than on the death marches I'll start to increase my weight. I'll do 45 pounds and then I'll throw a 10 pound weight on there. Or a 5 pound weight. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. Another 5 pound weight. And then I'll go do the same hike.
And then, the next week I'll do a, another week of maybe 10 more pounds and eventually just to build up the legs, build up the endurance, build up the muscle stamina and get myself in peak physical condition for the Western hunt. So shooting my bow. I had I don't know how you guys do it.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, but I focus, I have a 20, 40, no, a 60 yard pins on my on my bow [00:04:00] and because I am like I'm always crunched for time and so when I shoot my bow, I don't have a ton of time to really focus on it and my shoulder. So I don't want to shoot too terribly long. So what I'm doing is I'm shooting at 60 yards all the time and what I'm hoping happens is that I.
I consistently am shooting decent groups at 60. So then at 20 yards, I'm just burying them, it becomes easier the closer I get to the target. And eventually I'll start shooting at a variety of yardages, but right now I'm 60 and I spend most of my time at 60 trying to make very micro adjustments to get my arrows where I want them to go.
And so that's what I'm doing for my. For my bow again, my gear I'm digging through my gear. I'm getting everything ready. I have to order some food some of those freeze dried meals whether it's Mountain [00:05:00] House or peak refuel or There's a whole Heather's Choice or Whatever they are and I'm gonna dig through some of that stuff and see what I have and what I need And make sure I order those, but outside of that, man, I'm other than shooting my bow and getting continuously tuned in and honed in, man.
I'm, I am man, I think I'm ready. I think the brownie points are there. I still have a ton of coaching to do going to my daughter's softball games, here pretty soon wrestling starts up again and I'll be around for some of that, but Things kind of wind down and shift into a different season here at the end of October, right around the time when all the sports start to shift to so there's Way less games.
It's more practices, and I'm okay with missing some practices. Always have a regret in my body when I miss an actual game, [00:06:00] but I'm okay with missing some practices and getting out there and hunting. I don't know about you, and we talked a little bit about Tsar.
We talk about going out and like for me, the very first night of my hunts, I always feel really guilty for leaving my family and I don't know why because I honestly feel like I've earned the right to go on these trips. I make my money by talking about it. Going on these trips and get, talking about the experiences.
It's part of my job now so there's a there's a factor that some people don't get the opportunity to take advantage of and then Like I don't know. I like I love my kids. I you know, if you could do anything, what would you do, dude? I just want to hang out with my kids I want to shoot hoops with my boy, I want to, play baseball with my boy and play catch and [00:07:00] go on bike rides and golf cart rides and go, to the parks and stuff with my kids.
Literally, that is my, what people are like, what would you do if you had a billion dollars? I'd play with my kids. I'd go on boat rides and I'd play with my kids. I would probably buy a sweet four wheeler. And then we do donuts, but I'd play with my kids like, like my favorite people is my family and I would love to, like, all I want to do is just hang out with those people.
So I do feel a little guilty going out, but then I get tired and day two is easier. I don't think I like I'm not feeling the guilt. I'm thinking about him, but I'm not feeling the guilt as all at all Anymore, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming seasons, man. I'm debating on what? Man, I'm really debating on what?
State. I want to go hunt outside of South Dakota and Iowa. I'm thinking there's three on the [00:08:00] table right now, Oklahoma, which is an eight hour drive for me, eight or nine hours drive, depending on what piece of public I go to hunt, Wisconsin, very close, Minnesota, very close. So I'm in Eastern Iowa.
Wisconsin is a hour and a half, two hour drive for me. Minnesota is a two and a half hour drive for me, and I can get to some public on those two states within, easily, within three hours. And I'm looking forward to that. Outside of that, man I think my season's gonna be pretty full. The last year, and this is what I'm really excited about, in the past, And on my main farm, once shotgun season happens, the deer completely disappear.
They push it for first season, they push it for a second season, and then after that, the farm is dead, they go other places, and the next thing you know, it is it's a barren wasteland. Now on [00:09:00] my new farm that I have access to, It's a different story. All the crops come out and guess what?
Everything boiled like floods down into the the farm that I hunt. And I was, we talked, I talked to Justin a little bit about this in today's episode where I'm a little worried. about Deer not showing up at certain, like they're just not showing up. I had another Oh, it's hard to tell because of his angle But I think I have one I have two four year olds one on my main farm one on my new farm And then this morning a nine pointer showed up a big nine pointer.
I would put him in the low 150s, maybe high 140s He looks like he could be three or four. Like I said the body angle isn't there I keep forgetting That there's corn all over the place this year, right? And so I think that once I am able once the corn starts to come out I'm going to start seeing deer [00:10:00] Pop up more deer pop up on trail cameras, and that's going to then get me excited.
So I, I don't want to be, I don't want to start feeling like there's no deer yet, but I feel like once the deer start to, how do I put this? Once the deer start to. Move around because the crops are starting to come out, then I'll know whether or not the season is going to be good and hopefully now, we obviously want a little bit of rain, but we don't want, I don't want there to be a really wet October, I'd rather all that precipitation wait till November or get it done in September here because I don't want the crops to stay in, November.
Too terribly long Because I feel like that's the cover that they're in right now So once they combine it all they'll flood down into this piece and I think that's going to make everything easier. So that's That's it, man. We're gonna do a commercial real some commercials real quick And [00:11:00] before I get into the commercials, I just want to say thank you to each and every one of you who continuously Listens to the nine finger chronicles man.
It's been an absolute wild ride And I think between the nine finger chronicles and the hunting gear podcast, man, I'm knocking on a thousand episodes launched since 2014, 2014 is when I launched the nine finger chronicles. I think 2000 and Oh man, I want to say 17 or 18 is when I launched the hunting gear podcast or something like that.
It was close. It was close to the time that I launched the the network. And I look back and I'm just like a thousand episodes. Like I'm just under a thousand episodes. It's freaking crazy, man, and I and so the only reason that I'm saying that is because I've been around a while and it's because you guys continue to show your support.
And I really appreciate that. And because of that, [00:12:00] I wish there was more I could do, but I am sending good vibes your way, man. I hope each and every one of you are successful this upcoming season and you slay. Your giants you fill your freezer you accomplish whatever goal you have set before you And and I hope it's fun.
I hope it's beautiful and I hope you enjoy the hunting seasons as much as I do man. So good luck out there If you would do me a huge favor Go to iTunes, leave a five star review, let everybody else know how badass the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast is, how relatable it is, and let everybody, let everybody else know that you enjoy listening to this podcast, man.
Alright, commercial time. And this is what actually pays my bills. And when I say pays the bills, actually keeps the lights on, actually allows me to put gas in my vehicles. Food in my refrigerator, right? I sell advertising and people listen to it. If you are looking for. A scent [00:13:00] company. Okay.
A company that has synthetic deer scents, has real deer urine, has mock scrap kits, has laundry detergent, has deodorant, has cent elimination sprays, and a variety of other products. You gotta go check out code blue. I, obviously once it's, once we get into hunting season and I need to start washing my clothes, I'm gonna start using their laundry detergent, their de, their scent free deodorants.
I'm not a huge, I'll be completely honest. I'm not a huge believer in scent free spray, but if you got it, you might as well use it, right? It can't hurt, right? It can't hurt spraying it down on your clothes. And then obviously the Rope A Dope mock scrape kit, man. I'm really looking forward to using some of their synthetic deer urines.
And and using that in my mock scrapes that I've created with their Rope A Dope system. Go to CodeBlueSense. com, enter the discount code NFC20 for 20 percent off. [00:14:00] Next on the list is the Woodman's Pal. And again, another brand new company that I'm working with this year. And I find this company really interesting.
They've been around since 1940s, the 1940s. It is a made in America product. It's basically a habitat tool or a machete. And I keep it in my truck. I have one in my truck, and I keep one in my pack in case I need to hack some vines, or chop a shooting lane, or cut a bush down, or clear a path for a trail camera, knock some weeds out that would be, triggering the trail camera.
And it's a great habitat tool, made in America, very durable, very sharp, ask my thumb. It's very sharp, and it's a, it's a great tool to have in your system. All year round. Woodman's pal. com. Go check it out. Last but not least Huntworth, man. I'm really looking forward to messing around with Huntworth gear this year.
They have a variety of clothing, for every scenario, whether you hunt in the South and [00:15:00] it's extremely hot, they have clothes for you. Whether you hunt in Saskatchewan during the coldest parts of the year, they have clothes for you. And so they have a complete system in three or four different camel patterns.
And it's just amazing, right? They have a ton of very high quality. These guys, in my opinion, are the working man, elite camel brands, right? So you have, everybody knows the elite camel brands out there. These guys are doing almost the same thing for 50 percent of the cost. And so what you have is very high quality that is very affordable.
And that's the kind of stuff that I'm into, man. I don't like, I don't like... I don't know. I feel like some of these elite camo brands, it's like cool kids club. It's more cool. It's cool. It's cool to spend this much money and say that you have this, does the garment work? Probably it better work for that [00:16:00] price.
But guess what? Most people can't afford that shit. And that's why I like working with Huntworth because the, It's more relatable to be honest with you. So go check out Huntworth's website and take a look at all of the products that those guys offer. And that's it, man. Let's get into today's episode.
It's a BS session. I'm sure you're going to like it with Justin Tsar. 3, 2, 1. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back. Okay. Hang on a second. Should I do monster truck introduction or MPR introduction? Ooh, surprise me, Dan. Okay, I'll go MPR because we already did Monster Truck earlier. We already covered that one.
We covered that one. Fair enough. Ladies and gentlemen, on today's episode, we're going to be talking with Justin Tsar. Justin, you may know Justin from Bowhunter Die, where he gallivants around the nation looking for big whitetail [00:17:00] bucks. Justin. How are you today? There's nothing better than gallivanting, Dan.
Gallivanting. I have to say. It's one of my favorite ways to get around. Especially when you're gallivanting for big bucks. Yeah. I picture a lot of skipping and hand holding when you're gallivanting. I'm not really sure if that's accurate or not, but in my mind, that's what I think. Oh, man. There's so many things I want to say right now, like society and culture says that I can't Dan, we have no culture here.
You could say whatever you want. I know. I know. I hear I'll just say it. And I don't want, I don't want people to think in a certain way because I don't have hate in my heart. Okay. I honestly don't care. But I just, I really wish that I could use the word gay. I wish I could call you gay. You know what I mean?
I use it all the time. You know what I mean? Dude, that's gay. I wish I could use that more [00:18:00] and say that in public. There was an awesome, what did I just see? It was like a South, like an old South Park episode. Oh yeah. About, about it. And they were like in court, and they were like trying to explain the use of it.
And it had something to do with guys with really loud motorcycles. Oh yeah. And they're like, that's gay. And they're like but he's not actually gay, but that's gay. And they were like trying to explain, like the use of the term. So yeah, I understand. I'm not joking.
Man, in the late 90's, that's all we called each other. All of our, all the buddies, that's all I call all my friends every day, every single morning, the morning, like my group texts with all my hunting buddies every morning, or at least let's say three to four mornings a week. Hello, gay boy, introduction to the group text.
Yeah. And I'll be completely honest. I don't care if you're gay or not. I just like using that word. For some reason, I just really like using it. Same as fuck, man, I think that is one [00:19:00] of the greatest words in any language ever. It means so many things. You can make it, you could make it whatever you want.
It is a word that can morph into anything. Very malleable. Malleable. There you go. You would say. Yep. Okay. Before I actually lose all of my sponsors, let's move on. You've already hunted Kentucky. Tell me what that was like. Hot. Hot. Hot. Hot. Humid. Disgusting. Bug bites? But fun. Yeah, dude, I'm covered with I'm not sure if they would are seed tick bites or chigger bites one of the two, but I'm covered with them also covered with poison ivy So that was my third trip to Kentucky and my third time getting into poison ivy down there Which I told myself this time was gonna be different Dan.
It was no different I don't even know how I got into it this time because I thought I was being careful You know what that know what it looks like, right? Yeah, I'm well aware with, the first [00:20:00] two times I got into it was vines on trees. So that's what I was really cautious for this time to not climb a tree that was covered in poison ivy.
And I think where I made the mistake was I wasn't looking for it as closely as I should on the ground. And I believe that I set everything down at the base of a tree one night that I was getting ready to climb. And I most likely was just rolling around in poison ivy that was on the ground. Yeah, it's all over my legs.
I got a bunch of it going up my side right here. Mostly the chigger bites are pretty well gone at this point. But yeah, still dealing with the after effects of poison ivy. You know what really sucks about poison ivy was, I got it, it was pretty bad at first, and I had a bunch of prednisone left over from, so earlier this year, like over the winter, I actually got a staph infection on my leg.
Ugh! And they put me on antibiotics for it, right? Which was great, knocked the staph infection out. But then I had an [00:21:00] allergic reaction to the antibiotics, which I've never had before. And I broke out in I don't know, hives or something. Dude, it was everywhere. And I was like, what the hell? And then the doctor's oh yeah, you're having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics.
So they put me on prednisone for that. I had some leftover, 'cause I didn't take the full dose 'cause I'm an asshole like that. Yep. And so I brought it with me just in case I got poison ivy, which I got. And I was like, sweet. I planned ahead, took the prednisone, knocked the poison ivy out. But the problem was I must have had it on some piece of gear that I didn't know it was on.
And then I got it again. Yeah. So now I'm like, shit, do I take more prednisone to take care of this or do I just ride it out? I've decided I'm just riding this out right now So I'm just dealing with it Mostly I just wake up in the middle of the night scratching the living daylights out of myself in the middle of the night I'm sure my wife loves it.
So I don't yeah, I don't care Whether or not the tree [00:22:00] is the absolute best tree On the farm, and if it has poison ivy growing in it in October, I will not hunt it like I don't, I'm not, I don't mess around with that stuff. Like I get it so bad. I just don't, I don't mess around with it anymore. The last time I got it, I went down to hunt in December, like middle of December, a week before Christmas, something like that.
And I went out to hunt that evening and I found a tree and I had a Vine in it and I'm like it's December. It's dormant. There's snow on the ground. There's no leaves. I can't get poison ivy from this vine. And what did I do? I'm in a freaking t shirt like this, bear hugging the tree as I'm putting everything up.
Sure as shit, dude. I get home two days later. It's all over my arms. And it was bad. And I was like, huh, apparently you can get it from a dormant vine that doesn't have leaves on it. Let that be a lesson to everybody. [00:23:00] Last month I was out setting trail cameras with my oldest son. And... We were both wearing long sleeves and we were both wearing long pants and he was even in taller grass like he was out playing.
I handed him like this machete. It's called a woodman's pal and I, yeah, I handed it to him and he was like hacking, just going and hacking stuff with it anyway. The next day. I start getting trigger bites and I mean I had them all over my waistline, up on my stomach and back, all up on my ankles, up to my knees, real bad.
That little SOB. Doesn't have one bug on his entire body. So I don't know if it's like, he has how a fawn doesn't smell yet. Maybe he's so young, he doesn't smell yet. And they're like, Oh, check out this side of beef over here. More opportunities. So I don't know. Yeah, dude, I got him the same [00:24:00] spot all under to where my socks were ankles about up to my knees all around my waist where my waist belt was for my pack.
Little bastards. Yeah. Yep. Do you ever soak your clothes in permethrin? I usually, I don't soak them. I'll usually spray my boots and like my knees down of my pants, but like an idiot, I New boots and new pants on this trip, but I just didn't spray anything Now granted we got halfway through the trip and one of the guys I was with was like, hey I got some for meeting with me.
You should spray all your stuff. I'm like it's a little late, but I'll spray it anyways Yeah, so they're all sprayed now. But yeah, normally I do. Yeah, I definitely need to do that before the season starts. I don't want any, I don't want any more chigger bites because at some point I'm going to be looking like, those crack heads that have permanent scars all over their bodies.
Dude, that's probably how I'm going to look. Cause I've been itching the living daylights out of some of these things. Yep. Yep. Absolutely. And then, I don't know, what color [00:25:00] are your sheets in your bed? Oh, they're white, of course. Yeah, of course. So then you, Why would they be any other color? You itch while you're sleeping and then like at the foot of your bed it looks like a murder scene.
Yeah, I'm sure my wife's gonna be pissed here any day now. Whatever, that's what I say, whatever. What else you got going on? Besides like wife, family, kids, sports, all that jazz, I'm just waiting for Illinois deer season to start. But unfortunately for me, I've created a frickin monster, and my oldest boy is just rarin to go.
Yeah. Out of the gate once October 1st comes so I got a kind of appease him Take him hunting so I don't know what my early season is gonna look like so is there a you see There is a youth gun season that we won't hunt or you just there's bow hunting, crossbow hunting, I should say. Yeah. But yeah, we have a youth gun season.
I think it's like the second weekend, maybe in October or something like that. Yeah. But yeah, [00:26:00] he's raring to go. Like he knows October 1st is a Sunday. So he's dad, can we hunt that afternoon? I'm like you got a football game and then you're supposed to have playoffs for your fall baseball that day.
But I don't know what time the tournament is. So I'm like, I might go. I don't know if you're gonna come on. That's a lot to go. I got a buddy from high school who his son, I want to say freshman or sophomore. And I think he's, maybe he just started to drive and if he's not driving, he's using like a side by side cruise around the countryside anyway, he's out there already knocking on, like knocking on doors for permission, getting permission, he's throwing up trail cameras like he's buying these really cheap trail cameras and putting them out in middle of nowhere spots and just locating giants.
And here in Iowa, and I don't mean just ate up with it and it's, I think it's starting to piss his [00:27:00] dad off my buddy off because he's way more passionate about it than I think his dad is now, it's like he's passed him in that and I, and I think it's cool, like his dad took him out when he was young, got him his first deer, like it was in the tree stand with him, did all the steps and now it's I don't need you anymore, dad.
And he's going through that. I haven't even started anything yet. And my wife actually asked... How old's your oldest boy? My oldest boy is eight. Dude that's how old my kid was when he shot his first one. Yeah. Was eight. And I was torn whether to take him or not. But, he was d begging to go.
Yeah. We shot the crossbow a ton. We limited how far he was gonna shoot and everything, but yeah, he shot one at 8, 9, and 10. He's 11 this year. This, I told him this is his last year, I think, with the crossbow. So he'll do his hunter's education. He'll do during the winter this year.
As long as he's hunting with me, he doesn't need it yet. So my plan is, so he's 11. My youngest is [00:28:00] seven, so it will be twelve and eight next year, so I'm planning on flip flopping I'm like, dude, you're getting your hunter's education this fall, you're gonna start shooting your compound more, you're plenty big enough and strong enough to kill a deer with a compound next year.
I'm going to basically turn him loose the same way I got turned loose at 12. And then I'm going to start taking my young guy and try to get him on. So I'm going to usher them through. And then he got my daughter sandwiched in the middle who has zero interest in ever shooting anything. Yeah. So my youngest, I don't think he's going to be interested.
My oldest boy. I think he'll eventually get into it. But the one who wants to go with me the most is my daughter. I've taken her out. Isn't it funny how that works? Like every kid's just so different. It's crazy. Yep. And she's Dad, I want to come to South Dakota with you this year. I'm like, sweetheart, man, I would love nothing more.
Honestly, I would love to have her in the back of the truck with me, sleeping in under the [00:29:00] topper hiking in there with me in the mornings. But I'm just like, sweetie, your legs are just not long enough right now. Like you probably are walking at the same pace as me, to be honest, but 10.
Yeah, that's what I thought. She's just younger than my son. Yeah, but she's getting there though, dude. Oh, yeah, probably two years Maybe like they've got 11 12. They start growing like weeds, man. That's crazy. Yeah, and so Here's a question for you. Do you feel like you will be the dad who pulls their kid?
Out of school for maybe I don't know, four, four, four days, maybe a whole week. And oh yeah, and take some on some Western hunting trip. 100%. Yeah. 100%. Yeah. It's funny. I had this conversation actually. So this is my son's first year of middle school and we just went to this like orientation thing and they were talking about.
Attendance and having to be here and all the [00:30:00] kids that are missing class and all this jazz and my wife was like talking about how important it is for them to be in school and don't get me wrong. I'm not minimizing and saying it's not important, but I also had to tell my wife like there are other things in life that you should be able to do and experience.
And as long as it's not affecting your education, like if you're Doing well in school, which fortunately for me all my kids do pretty good in school Like they can afford to be gone for a week And I think looking back like dude, I've missed at least a week every year I mean my dad took me to Canada moose hunting He took me to Canada bear hunting usually the bear hunting was in the spring and it would be right after we got out of school but moose hunting was you know last week of September into the first week of October and I was You know, we'd leave on a Friday after school, be gone the whole next week, and then come back.
Yeah, I 100 percent plan on that. I was actually, I think my plan is once he gets probably, I want to say 13, 14, I'd like to take him out on an antelope hunt [00:31:00] to Dustin's place in Wyoming. It's my plan. Cause he keeps, just like your daughter, like he keeps wanting to go to Wyoming with me.
Yeah. And I'm like, dude, I'll take you out there at some point. I don't need to really shoot another antelope. I've shot a handful of them. I'm like, but I'll, I'll take you out there. I haven't told him yet that I'll let him, take him, let him actually hunt. He just wants to tag along right now.
But yeah, that is definitely my plan. I'll pull him out of school, a day here, an afternoon there. Even just during this fall to go deer hunt, his sports schedule is so frickin crazy that it's if I don't do that, we just don't get enough time to hunt, so if it means hey, we got a cold front coming through on like Wednesdays, he generally doesn't have any practices or games or anything right now.
So it's We got the right conditions on a Wednesday afternoon and he's not out of school till four o'clock And i'm like dude if I need to pull you out at noon or whatever And we go hunt that afternoon like i'm not gonna feel bad about it Yeah, and that's what I told my daughter. I said as long as your grades are good enough, man we can skip a friday and go turkey [00:32:00] hunting in the spring, because usually i'll pull her out i'll pull her out and take her on like a friday saturday sunday type turkey hunt, but But yeah, I mean i'm really looking forward to Man adventure, like not only the stuff close to home, but the big adventure stuff too.
And I have no problem. There's so much that people can learn in a environment like that. Where, you bring stress into your life in some way, shape or form, whether that's climbing up a mountain or trying to be quiet in scenarios or trying to observe a landscape. And put together some kind of plan together.
Like I just can't learn that shit in schools, man. You can't, and there's no replacement for those experiences. And those are things that for me, I think the most enjoyable thing about bringing my kids with in the hunting and outdoors is being able to be there and experience those things with them for like their first time.
It's like for us, it's like. [00:33:00] How many firsts do we really have left? Yeah You know we've burned up most of our first like being able to see that and live through that Through your kids is like dude. It's there's nothing like it and if you don't have kids like I don't you can't I don't think fully appreciate it because I remember when I was younger and I didn't have kids like I didn't get two shits about Any of this stuff it was like the least interesting thing in the world to me But now that I do have my own and I see what I get out of it I don't mind giving up like a pretty substantial amount of even my own hunting time to bring my kids hunting and let them be the ones behind the trigger rather than me, like it doesn't bother me at all in some cases, I actually prefer it, and I tell you what, that's why that's my.
My whole thing with turkey hunting, like I'm not a huge fan of turkey hunting per se, like I like doing it. Don't get me wrong. I'll do it every year, but I'm not the person who's gonna, go travel to the ends of the earth to try to shoot a different kind of [00:34:00] turkey. If that makes sense. But I will sit out there.
And go hard for my kids when they're ready for it, so I don't know, man. Actually I think I'm thinking about maybe next month going and buying a. Like a single shot shotgun, one of the smaller ones and yeah, 410 or 410 something small that they can carry around and mess around with and use.
And it's not so big for her, but because I don't know, man, I can remember when I was a kid, I would, I went pheasant hunting. My uncle hands me like this giant I was like 12 years old hands me this 12 gauge just this gigantic 12 gauge and I'm just like Boom, and I got lucky and I shot this pheasant, right?
And but I can remember my shoulder hurting for oh, yeah two weeks after it happened Yeah, I remember [00:35:00] Being like almost like a badge of honor that I remember going to school after like trap shooting and being like, dude, look at my arm. It's bruised up because I'm shooting so many shells this week or, whatever, like to my buddies, cause I thought it was like so cool.
So yeah, dude there's just something about it with the kids. Like it's a blast. I enjoy it. So I'm looking forward to this fall, my son. My oldest boy, he killed a little like a year and a half old buck when he was eight, and then the last two years it's just been does.
So he's pretty hellbent that he wants to get another buck this year. We passed a lot of little like year and a half olds and spikes and stuff last year. He wants something a little bit bigger than the one that he already shot. So I'm going to. Last year, man, we just couldn't seem to get it done.
We're gonna, we're gonna invest a little bit more time this year. And, we're gonna do a little bit more, I'm taking it in steps. We've been doing the, ground blind. Over a food plot with the crossbow, which is like the easiest way really to kill a deer. Let's face it, next to an actual gun.
And then every once in a while, [00:36:00] we'd sprinkle in a hunt where we weren't in a blind. We'd go somewhere and just sit on the ground in like a natural blind. We've done that a couple times, he passed a few does doing that last year. So we're going to do a little bit more of that this year may get him up in a tree stand.
I think he's big enough and strong enough to be able to hold the crossbow now without needing like a shed, a set of shooting sticks. So we're going to try, I've got like a double ladder stand set up. So we're going to get up in a stand and, do that this year. So I'm just like trying to inch his way towards what will eventually be him next year by himself, hopefully in a ladder stand with a compound, we're going one one thing at a time baby steps. You got it. All right. Let's talk. Let's talk big boy stuff. I want to stop. I want to ask you, do you because I think we had a conversation.
I don't know if it was this past winter or maybe it was this spring. Did you have A four year old that made it through that you were [00:37:00] looking forward to seeing how he would blow up this year Trying to think here what i've got out there I have I don't have any deer from last year That made it through that.
I either expected or maybe was hoping to blow up all the deer that i've seen so far have been deer that I knew what they were going to be, let's just say. I had a, I have a bunch of three year olds that made it to four that are all deer. I would 100 percent shoot. I have a, a good amount of those.
I have one deer that I think is eight this year. He just keeps getting smaller. Five was his peak. He got smaller at six, smaller at seven, now smaller yet at eight, but. He's still out there. I'd love to shoot that one. I had one deer last year that, if I'm remembering correctly, he was a five year old and I, we didn't find sheds.
Don't have any pictures of him yet, but he's also the type of deer that doesn't really show up until late September into October [00:38:00] So I'm and I'm also running very minimal cameras on that farm right now I got three cameras on 600 acres So by no means am I covering enough ground to say that he is or isn't around but that deer I mean he went from a four year old Gosh, you know probably one forties to a five year old, into the sixties.
If he's around this year, I'm thinking he's going to be the biggest deer that I have to chase for sure. Okay. But just wait and see. Yeah. I'll say this about my own properties, man. I have two properties that I hunt one shooter deer so far on each of those properties, typically there's.
Multiple four year olds four or older last year on this new farm that I acquired multiple deer at four or over tons of shooters. And I [00:39:00] connected with one one of those shooters and this year there's only one mature buck on each farm. And right now, there's only one mature buck right now.
But here's the question is, what does that look like in a month from now? No, I get it. And I'm an advocate for that statement, right? I believe that, but in the past, man, every single year, the summertime in September, up until velvet strip has been tons of deer, like tons of shooters.
And this is the first year. That it's not it's it's different and I am is it a crop rotation thing see I Initially thought that but I went back and looked at all of my summer trail camera pictures from previous years So that's 23 now. So that means in 22 it would have been a different crop rotation and then you know 21 different [00:40:00] crop rotation and there's there is a little bit of difference on where on the farm and My trail cameras are picking them up, but this year there's a, they're not showing up.
They're just not there. And yes, you're probably right. They're probably going to come in and make this area home. But it usually doesn't work like that. I don't know, man. Clint, Clinton bosses. He was, he's one of my bros on our group text and he dude, he's the same way.
He's dude, I have not had a big buck on camera since July. He's I don't know where they're at. I don't know what's going on. Everybody's. Starting to worry about E. H. D. because of the drought. I know, I got a text from a buddy down in central Illinois yesterday. One of his neighbors found a dead velvet buck.
An E. H. D. deer. I haven't heard of any widespread death yet. But I know people are definitely [00:41:00] worried about it. We had an awfully dry summer. Yeah. But yeah, it's weird though. Because even on the farms that I'm talking about I know that. So have you ever experienced this?
I put a camera out and it's it's new. And in the first day or two days I get a bunch of buck pictures on it and I don't get anything. It's like they sense the intrusion. They know the smell. Some, they come to check it out and then they're just gone. That's how it is with that big, like eight year old deer, dude.
He was like the first year I had on camera, put a camera out. Boom. There he was staring right into the camera. I think I've had one picture of him since, so I know he's around somewhere but it hasn't, it certainly has not been a good summer for me for I would say like consistent pictures of deer.
I will say this. I think water might have something to do with it. I think they're closer to the river bottoms where there's consistent water. The ponds. And all the [00:42:00] wet spots on the, on these farms have dried up. The ponds are still there, but, I think there's other places that they're finding water.
I think, and we just had some good rain come through. Did you guys get that rain the other day? Yeah, we had some pretty decent rain. Yeah. I think where I'm at here now, we're all right. Yeah. But it seems like central Illinois, everything's been missing them down there. Yeah. I don't know.
We actually, Todd and I picked up a pretty big farm down there that we're going to hunt this fall. It's like a 300 acre farm down, not far from Quinton. But dude, we're not running any cameras on it. We haven't been down there. We probably won't even go there until the season opens. And we're going to scout, hang, hunt, on, the most recent intel.
Who knows what we're, god forbid we walk into a place where there's 20 dead bucks laying in a creek bottom, but we have no idea what we're in for. Yeah. I don't know. I just noticed this difference the other day and last month it didn't concern me. But as we start getting closer to [00:43:00] October and here we are, what, we're 13 days into September as we record this.
Now I'm just starting to go, eh, okay, maybe, it's not a big deal, but I'm thinking about it. And so I don't know, man, and to be honest but here's an example, right? So the bucks are all just starting to shift right now, velvet strip happening right now. If it hasn't already there, this is the time when I feel like they start to shift around a little bit.
I had one of those gear I was talking about. It was a nice three year old mid one thirties, eight pointer last year. Have not seen him also, and he was consistent last year, like even in velvet. All of a sudden, two days ago, boom, he shows up. And now he's been there literally every day, maybe just three days ago.
He's been on two different cameras every day for the last three days. He just, like, all of a sudden must have stripped his velvet wherever he was at. He showed up, and now he's just, now he's just there. Hopefully he's gonna stay there, the same way that he did last year. But again, [00:44:00] that was one of those deer I was like, shit, I wonder, did he get hit by a car, did something happen to him, whatever.
Last year, tons of velvet pictures of him. This year nothing until he was hard horned. So I don't know only time will tell I guess man I just I hope it recovers. I hope it. I hope it recovers because I Gotta have faith man. I always try to have faith until it's like Mid November. Okay. The rut's almost over and I haven't even seen my shooter yet.
Yeah. I'd say mid October, right? Mid October, if you don't have something, at least start showing up at night somewhere, then you got a problem. But I still think, I think over the next 30 days, you're going to see a lot of deer start to shift and move around. At least that's what I've seen.
And I'm also going to start putting a lot more cameras out. Yeah, I don't, I didn't run many cameras. I didn't even put any cameras out until probably middle of July this year. I didn't even, I didn't run a single camera up. Yeah. I have [00:45:00] three different farms. I put three cameras on each farm and I was like that's all I had time to go do.
And we all know that dude, a trail camera covers this much of a piece of ground. Do you put minerals or bait or anything out in front of your cameras in Iowa because you guys can do that We can't do that here. Yeah, I can so I have two minerals mineral stations one on each farm and I have you know, I Get the pictures, but right both of them now Have and I only it's only been a couple weeks both the batteries both must be dead they must they I think they took so many pictures that the batteries have died and They're not another cell cameras.
Yeah, and they're not sending me any pics anymore and in both of those pictures Have been of buck. Both of those cameras have captured the shooter [00:46:00] bucks. So now I'm getting these shooters on different cameras, which it's not a big deal because about this time of year they stopped really hitting mineral sites anyway.
And so I'm going to eventually have to go in and move those cameras. It's nice for us because I get to lie to myself all summer and just be like we can't put out minerals, the deer on the neighbor's field. They're here somewhere. I know they're here. I'm just not getting pictures of them, so I get to come up with all sorts of excuses as to why I'm not getting book pictures, but I had beans on one of my farms this year and I got.
Two or three different shooters out there, nothing giant, nothing bigger than probably in the one forties, I would say, but definitely dear. I'd like to shoot. We picked up a shed off of a buck that generally doesn't show up until late season. That was just a beautiful, big, typical 10 pointer and I'm going to buy some beans back from the farmer.
So I'm hoping to have some decent late season hunting there. So I guess, what I always say is whatever's going to be there in October is going to [00:47:00] be there in October, whether I put cameras out or not, it doesn't really matter. Whatever's there is going to be there. And I'm going to hunt based on sign and wind and all that jazz, and not so much based on trail camera data, because I feel like I'm always a step behind them when I do that.
Yeah. Yeah, I guess we'll see what happens. We will see. My friend, we'll keep it short and simple today. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day and let me say good luck to you this upcoming season and hopefully the old and the new properties pay off for you and your boy. Yeah, it's gonna be interesting dude.
I purposely you played football, right? When you were like in high school I feel like you're a football player. Yep Like I purposely avoided playing football when I was young because I hunted. Yeah, I was like my coaches I played baseball and the coaches were always like you gotta play it.
I'm like, nope Go in deer hunting and my old, my oldest boy decided he wanted to play football this year and dude he's eight up [00:48:00] with it. Absolutely loves it. Like it's he's just super into it now, but man dude, come on. Like they play until I think into the end of October and then they do playoffs and this team that he's on is dude, somehow he got on a really good team.
And like last year they played almost until Thanksgiving. And so I'm like, yo, I'll tell you what, at least you're a supportive parent at with, in some aspects of the sports. And I can remember guys telling me. That their dad never watched any of their high school or middle school football games because they were in a tree stand.
He was hunting. They were hunting. Yeah. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna say that there won't be a game or two here and there where I'm like, sorry dude, I'm going down. The least that's four hours away. I'm not going to be here, but yeah I'm trying to make as [00:49:00] many of those as I can. At the end of the day, these are like times and memories that we're not going to get back.
And to miss that for a deer eh, don't get me wrong. If part of me inside is I need to go deer hunting, but I'm also like, I think you and I are probably both in a similar situation where we're pretty fortunate that our schedules allow us. some extra time to go hunting maybe during the week when there aren't sports games going on.
Yes. So it makes it a little bit easier to tolerate that. Absolutely. So yeah, it's going to definitely be the most interesting fall for me. My son's playing football, my daughter's cheering. For his football team. And then my youngest guy does like a little Ninja warrior class during the off season before baseball starts again.
So with real ninja stars, I wish , it would be cool if it was, they get little bandanas and they run around and do Ninja Warrior training. But that's fun. They didn't have any of that crap when I was a kid. Shit. We played. baseball in the spring for [00:50:00] however long and then it was over and that was it.
Now it's like it never ends. Nothing. Good lord. You can play sports all year long if you want. Yeah, I'm just gonna put me in the poor house. That's a fact. Yeah, that's a fact. That's a fact. All right, Justin, my man. Thanks, and good luck. Thanks, buddy. Appreciate it.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, another episode in the book. Huge shout out to Tethered, Wasp, Vortex, Ozonix, Code Blue, Woodman's Pal, and Huntworth. Please go out, support the companies that support this podcast. If you decide to buy, let them know that you heard it from the Nine Finger Chronicles.
Call them up and say, Hey man, I just want to say that I heard. That you're working with the nine finger chronicles. That's bad ass. That would that would help me out a lot. And what else man? Good vibes. You gotta have good vibes, man. When life, I haven't said this in a while, but when life hands you a shit sandwich, it sucks, man.
But just [00:51:00] eat it with a smile on your face, then go brush your teeth, right? You might throw up if you eat it, but go brush your teeth, get back on your horse, ride off into the sunset and man, good vibes in good vibes out. And we will talk to you next week.