Bears and Bunnies

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan talks with returning guest Joe Jones about his recent hunting activity.

Joe and his siblings were introduced to the outdoors by their father as a means of sustainability. Joe started following his dad, brothers and sisters around while they hunted at 3 years old. Joe is the youngest of 5 which made him the designated bird dog while dove hunting. As he got older he started discovering other types of hunts for himself. He started the outdoors in color as a means of introducing others to the outdoor activities that have made him who he is today. Dan and Joe chat about Joe’s recent bear hunt as well as many other hunts that have happened since they last connected.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right guys, welcome to today's show and returning for the second time. I have got Joe Jones. Now, Joe and I we're about to dive into some awesome topics, awesome hunt recaps, hear all about what he's been up to and how his season has gone since he's last been on the show. But before we dive into that, I gotta let you guys know I am still waiting for antlers to drop here.

I found my first shed, but a lot of the bucks that I've been getting on camera are still holding. I had one buck that showed up, I think it was two nights ago that only had one spike on one side. And it was a year and a half old buck and he hasn't fully dropped. Maybe the other side came off in a fight or he never grew it.

But I had two, I think three other bucks actually this week. That showed up on camera that all still had both sides. So hopefully they start dropping soon. I can get out there, look for some sheds, and I'm gonna try to pick [00:01:00] up some more shed hunting property because I've found a couple really awesome spots where I know the bucks like to hang out this time of year especially.

So fingers crossed that all works out. But we're gonna hop into this episode with Joe, hear what he's been up to, and see what's on the agenda for 2023.

Like he was doing things that were just badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dan had the gun, I did have the rifle, like we would be okay.

All right guys. Welcome to today's show. And joining me again on the podcast is Joe Jones. Now, Joe came on before and we had a ton of fun talking, and when he reached out again, I was like, yeah, we're gonna, we're gonna do another podcast because he's had some exciting hunts, a lot of success. I've been watching all your stuff, man, and it just seems like you guys are catching fish.

You guys are killing [00:02:00] animals, and you're doing it with style. Thanks for hopping on, man. Absolutely. It's been a pleasure. So it's a great journey as well. Yeah, it's been, it is been a wild year for sure. You've had some unique hunts this year, which we're gonna dive into. I want to hear all about bear hunting with hounds.

That seems like a ton of fun, but for those that don't know Joe's got social media pages, including YouTube, it's all the outdoors in color. And why don't you start out by sharing maybe a little bit about yourself if people didn't catch the first episode that you were on, and what all you do with the outdoors in color?

Yeah. I'm Joe Jones. I'm from Central North Carolina. Just an avid outdoorsman. Born and raised in the woods and come from a family of hunting. I've caught that bug fishing, hunting is in my blood and been doing it all my life and got kids that luckily enough to share their same passion.

We've got three kids seven, four and 18 months, and [00:03:00] they are with me every time I can take 'em outside, whether it's fishing, hunting, hiking, exploring. So I started outdoors and just to follow along with our adventures. Really wanna inspire others to get outside. And just documenting our adventures is what I do with the outdoors and color.

I do a lot of fishing, hunting content some cooking content now since hunting's slowed down. and then, fishing, it's warming up. So I'm starting to, we went fishing actually last week and caught some crappy and bass and I was not expecting, but I'm getting that fishing itch now.

Yeah, man. That this is the time of year I see a lot of people posting fishing pictures as well as shed hunting pictures, both of which I have yet to do. I'm like, it's been so hit and miss here with weather. Like we've had the nastiest wind and rain lately, and then the past three days it's been like 62, 63 and sunny.

And I'm like, we're in middle of February. This is normally like the coldest part of the year for us. I don't know [00:04:00] what's going on. And it's giving us that false sense that spring is here and I think we're probably gonna get hit with something nasty before the end of February. Yeah, that's the way it happened was.

20 degrees here over the weekend, and it's been consistently seven degrees and 2, 3, 2 or three days in a row with seven degrees. I'm like, all right, we gotta go out fishing. Picked up my, my, my oldest son from school, got some minnows, got my four-year-old, my 18 month old. We sat by pond, caught some crappy, some bass, and then my actual four-year-old fell asleep in the car.

And he woke up while literally I was trying to get home and make drink. He got mad that we didn't get to catch any fish, so I took him to another pond that was leaving the park that we fished at. And we didn't catch anything until my my oldest son, he saw this bath just lurking the, in the shallows.

And it was, I was surprised that this bass was in the shallows. It was probably a good three pound bass and I was casting at it. Nothing happened. And then I just did one last Hail Mary cast, and then wham, it was. Fight [00:05:00] on had a little zip code, 33, 4 pound test, and my four-year-old had a blast throwing that one in.

It was awesome time, man. That's cool. We just I'm ready to do we just got out on property real close to my hunting land, so this property I've got access to, to hunt on has a big pond that's been stocked over the years with bass and crappy and bluegill, and I've heard catfish in there, but I've never actually caught a catfish out of it.

But I'm just pumped because my kids, they've had very little interaction with fishing. I've got a four year old and a six year old, and we have gone, and luckily they both caught fish, but within minutes of catching their fish, I look over and they have the, all of the worms, like we bought live night crawlers.

Yeah. On top of each other's head. They're just like stacking 'em on each other's heads, just loving life. And I wasn't about to be like, Hey, cut it out like we're fishing. Yeah. I just want them to have the time of their [00:06:00] lives now so that when they think about fishing, it's all positive memories.

Yes. But I think once they actually get out there and they're fighting fish, they're gonna be hooked for sure. Wow, that's awesome. Yeah. What what has your season looked like? I guess I'm assuming, I know that North Carolina really the whole East coast and the southeast seems to have pretty crazy hunting seasons.

They're like very open hunting seasons, long seasons, lot of lot of opportunity to continue to pursue game. Are you guys wrapped up on all that stuff now? So now currently, so our D season starts second week of September bow season. And then muzzle letter typically starts that last Week of October into the first week of November, that rot and then second week kicks in the gun season.

That runs till about first January. And then we do have some cities that offer urban archery. So if you are within those city limits, you have your own property, you have land under permission you [00:07:00] can hunt deer from, I think it's January 14th to about middle of February. So I think season probably just ended over this weekend.

So we have that. And I've recently, not recently, last few years have been rabbit hunting with my barber. He has about 12 to 15 beagles. And five years ago I started hunting with 'em and it is absolutely addicting. Steps those dogs out and they go to work and it's just a, it's really fun to hear the dogs work and it's like an art you gotta figure out.

where the beagles are turn, have jumped the rabbit. You gotta figure out where that rabbit's gonna be. If you've never rabbit hunted before, once you've jumped a rabbit, it ain't gonna make that semicircle full circle back to the same area you jump. So if you're hunting with several guys, you fan out. Once you hear that dogs, those dogs that bark go out, you wanna get in position.

And then once you start hearing those hounds the beagles come in closer, sit still and just wait. And then the anticipation for that rabbit to come at [00:08:00] come can come at you in a million, million miles. An hour can come at you as slow, but when you least expect it, it's there and you either drill it or you miss pretty bad.

So the banter hunting with I call him the OG rabbit crew. My borrower's probably in his mid fifties and he is got a couple buddies that go with that I go with. But we do that till the end of February. Do some sport hunting with the kids. We've done a couple hunts unsuccessful. . But rabbit season is one of the things I like to do since that deer season ended.

And then next is Turkey season, which haven't gotten my turk first Turkey yet, so I'm still trying to get that. Yeah, man. Yeah. Turkey season. It is wild to think that's right around the corner. But dude, we gotta talk about rabbit hunting with beagles because watching your videos, man, I'm like, that seems so much so much fun.

I started rabbit hunting with my buddy. He had one Beagle bought a second one, and then his first one ended up passing away. She was super old. But watching those dogs work, there's something about just watching dogs work [00:09:00] period. No matter what you're hunting, but watching those dogs just get after the rabbits is cool.

And what kind of terrain are you guys hunting the rabbits in? So we hunt majority game lands. Some private property, but it is just, Old cutovers, thick, nasty briar country. So wherever we'll check a map in the game lens and we will hunt blocks and blocks of wood until we get tired of hunting.

But we go every Monday and the beagles just go straight in. And it is just, once you hear that certain bark, there's a certain bark, they'll, you can hear a distinct bark of them trailing a rabbit or finding an old try. And then once they jump it, it is, it's on, you can just tell a difference.

The barks. Yeah. That's sweet. We, with only hunting one dog, it's, it's cool for sure. We're hunting brush piles, so we'll walk around the properties that I've got access to and there's different spots where people have piled up trees over the year or [00:10:00] branches that have fallen. And so we'll just send the dog in and the dog just crawls through that brush pile and all of a sudden it's game on.

You hear that bark and you're like, get ready. That rabbit's coming out. It could come out any direct. . But we kept talking about it this last weekend. It was the final weekend and we were talking about more beagles because he's dude, once you get three or four beagles it's a whole different ballgame.

And I, yeah. Personally had never seen dog circle or make a rabbit do the big circle. We've gone back to the same brush pile later on and kicked the same rabbit out that we missed earlier. But this time the rabbit ran across property lines. . And I was like, dude, he, it took off, man.

I saw it. I didn't get a shot. He ran across the property line and he is oh man, lady, we will go over there like she can, like a dog can continue to pursue. And he is just wait right here. That rabbit will come back. And then sure enough, man, we see this rabbit coming back and I think it saw us, cuz it cut the corner on this open field.

It went [00:11:00] from a tree line into the woods, but it cut the corner and Yeah. We ended. Chasing that thing down, man, just like the dog stayed on the trail, kept going. And I'm like, I can only imagine how intense this would be if we had multiple dogs, yeah. They could stay on the trail quicker.

Probably when they hear the other ones barking, they get fired up. I, yeah, I wanna do that at some point with a big pack of beagles. I think one of the coolest things, like I'm getting into, which we'll talk about beer hunting with hounds and, hounds been in a journal. I know Hounds and beagles are different but the way my barber talks about his beagles, it's, obviously they're family, but there's something about their perfect, their line with the breeding.

Like my barber will he will not sell his beagles because it's like a pride. They take part in as far as perfecting that line. and they wanna have that best beagle in the county or that can always strike up those, jump those rabbits. So it's a huge pride for them to have those dog [00:12:00] work.

And I didn't realize he's I was like, do you ever sell your dog? I was like, no, I don't want anyone else to have my line. I'm like, okay. So it's intense. When they have their own beagles. I didn't realize there was so much respect in that part. Yeah. There goes my next question of if he's willing to sell me any beagles, cuz I told my buddy, we, me, him and his friend that came out, we were all talking, we're like, all right, listen, if we all get a beagle or maybe we all get two beagles, like we could have six beagles running out here next season.

That would be amazing. So since you're at, I, since you're outta state, I think that point is irrelevant cuz it's like he doesn't want that line to be out in North Carolina. Like obviously. , if you think about it and it competition wise, if you've, if other hunters have really good dogs and you're hunting the same areas, hunting the same game lens, they're gonna be killing more rabbits than you.

So I think there's that sport in best dogs. So Hey, if you were really interested, we'll have a side of conversation. And since you're, out in Missouri or I don't know where you've, [00:13:00] Recently if you're still in Missouri, but we can have a talk about that. Definitely. All right guys. I'm excited to introduce the new age of accessing private property for hunting and fishing with Infinite Outdoors.

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Yeah, we might have to do that. We might, maybe that's what we'll do is we'll just plan a rabbit hunt. I'll get you guys to come out here, you guys come out here and trail some rabbits here in the center of the country, and then we'll just have some conversations about, an exchange that happens while you guys are here.

Maybe get a dog or two. I know nothing. I've been out there and I know that these dogs have it in 'em, but I also know that the ability to hunt with other dogs that are more advanced, they pick it up way quicker. Other than that, I have no idea how to train a dog for rabbits. But [00:15:00] I definitely have some rabbit property out here.

I can't walk through this field if I walked out this door. First of all, I'm in a super crappy trailer right now. We bought this property, it had a trailer on it. I told my wife, Hey, I'm gonna set up the podcast in there so that you and the kids don't have to be quiet. and this thing is just the nastiest trailer ever.

But if I walk right out this door behind me, 40 yards, it's just like this tall grass that's all bent over. I was pulling fence out of it the other day and I almost stepped on three different rabbits. Like I stepped and I looked down and I saw movement and I was like, it startled me. I was like, what is that?

And then it's a rabbit and I could see it. And as soon as I stopped and stared at it, boom, it darted and it happened over and over. And so if we had a bunch of beagles, man, we would slay out here. I have to. I'm gonna have to make a trip out there. Yeah, dude. Bring the crew, man. Bring the OG rabbit crew.

I wanna see how it's done. . That's somebody a great [00:16:00] time. Oh yeah. So let's dive into that bear hunt because you briefly brought that up and I want to hear all about it because I have never, I've never. Hunted any big game animals other than mountain lions with dogs. Oh yeah. And the Mountain Lion Hunt was awesome, but it was all frozen ground, no snow, so it was very difficult to track.

Now I know that bears, they leave scent a lot longer than a, or a lot stronger scent than a mountain lion. So they can track bears on dry ground a lot easier. So what was that experience like? So I'll just, I'll start with the whole story of social media can be a pain or it can be an absolute amazing tool to connect with people.

That's one of the reasons why I started the outdoors And colors just inspire people to get outside and connect with others anywhere and everywhere and find that meta guy on Facebook and one, I'm in a lot of NC hunting groups. Fishing groups and just kicked it off with [00:17:00] this guy.

He's got, several kids that likes to do the same thing I do. So we've talked about getting the kids together and going fishing. He's from, western North Carolina, the mountains, and we've been trying to get up and go fishing with the kids, go Turkey hunting. And he, I noticed that he bear hunts.

I was like, what? What bear hunt. Obviously we have a really good population of bear in Western North Carolina and the mountains, but our, actually, our better bear hunting is in Eastern North Carolina, which I think he's got a couple hunting leak he's a part of. So I reached out to him and said, Hey man, I gotta get on one of these hunts.

I'm like, how do you do it? He's yeah, we hunt with the house. I'm like, what? So what if I wanna understand a lot of the hunting in North Carolina down east, like our bear are huge. I did not realize like our record state record came from Hyde County, which is. Really popular Duck hunting County and Bear Hunting County.

I think our record state record bear was maybe eight 50. Eight 60. Holy cow. And dude, that's a giant black bear. Oh my gosh. Yeah, it's huge. We're like, [00:18:00] North Carolina is on the map for having big black bear. So connected with this guy. Shout Trevor. Thank you so much for having let me out and en enjoy that bear hunt.

But met on Facebook and he gave me the details of where we be. Literally he was like, Hey, meet me on X Road. And like literally this is out in the middle of nowhere, eastern North Carolina a 10,000 acre hunting club that deer hunts with dogs and bear hunts with dogs. He's yeah, park here.

I'm gonna meet you. Gonna meet my parents. and so it's just pitch black. I find the meeting spot, meet his parents, and I'm just like, man, this is awesome. I'm like anti antsy what is this gonna be like? What is, what am I getting myself into? . So I meet his parents are amazing, just down to earth, southern good people.

Cracking jokes, giving me banter don't shoot my dogs. They gave me the whole rundown of this is what's gonna happen. We're gonna let the dogs out. We're gonna be like, everyone that's in the hunt had a walkie. It was probably about six different vehicles you had. My buddy Trevor, his wife, he had his three-year-old [00:19:00] son.

He had his two other his, one of his other kids and a cousin in the car. They were like, I think 10 or 11 year old girls that also have killed bear in this whole scenario that I'm about to talk about. So I meet the parents and they're, tell me about how the dogs will strike. They have strike dogs, four or five strike dogs that will lock onto a scent.

Hopefully it's a fresh scent. And then once it's a good strike or a fresh track, and then maybe you can tell from how the dog's barking that it's, they're on the trail of a live bear versus one from a previous night. So once that happens they'll release more dogs. The younger dogs that will typically be able to keep up with her and catch it.

And then typically that bear is either gonna get bathed and the dogs are gonna surround it and then your hunter comes up and pull the dogs back and shoot. Or that bear typically will go up in the trees. And if you're ever in east, eastern, North Carolina, we don't have big trees. It's tall pines.

And these pines are like this big, they're not big at all. Cuz everything, a lot of things in East North [00:20:00] Carolina are clearcut. It's very flat country. Going back to meeting the parents, it's pitch black. They're like, Hey, drive down this road about half a mile, turn left and just sit there. I'm like, okay.

So I get a walkie park, my car, like sitting out here, pitch black with my gun and just listen to everything. And they're like, all right, we're letting the dogs out. And it's getting lighter. It's getting lighter here, and the dog's working and, just the anxiousness of I don't know what is about to happen, but this is awesome.

I love it. Yeah. So this, so how far away from the dogs were you? probably a half a mile. Oh, okay. So you can hear 'em, but they're not like, yeah you're like, dude, it could, in order for them to come my way, you've got a one in, I don't know, 360 chance that it's gonna come in the one degree your direction.

Yeah. So there's, and there's three ways you definitely can kill 'em. The dogs can chase em across the road like so in Eastern North Carolina, these big leases that hunt dogs everything's cut in blocks I would probably say quarter mile blocks. So they'll drop the [00:21:00] dogs off in one section, and it's based on, it can be based on intel from cameras.

I, I know from what I understand they do, they bait these bears with the legal bait of peanuts and sweet potatoes. So you've got stand hunters that will hunt like that way, and then your hound hunters will check their cameras and see if they've got a bear that came in the night before, and they will try to set that dog in that general location and then set up blocks of people.

They intercept the bear if it's gonna run through, or if the, the bear's gonna run for a while and then when he gets he or she gets tired, it's gonna it's gonna defend itself one way. It's gonna climb up a tree or it's gonna get surrounded by the dogs. So I was waiting for that to happen.

It got day breaking. The dogs didn't really find a hot truck. There was a couple times where they thought they had one. So that it's just once the dogs don't find a hot truck, you're just moving around to different parcels. 10,000 acres. That's a lot. Yeah. So the second drop off is where I really thought it was going down.

Like I had my turn, my GoPro on. The dogs are, really [00:22:00] far away. The bark was getting louder. And you hear of the walking. I think they got one. I think they got one. So I'm just listening. Listening. And these dogs are probably like 300 yards away and I'm hearing 'em getting loud and then all of a sudden I'm starting to hear some you, the thickness of where we're hunting is when you go in, you can't see it past 20, 30 feet. It's that thing. So I'm hearing these dogs bark and I'm hearing I'm on the road in front of the clearcut over all of the briars, and I hear em crack on. I'm like, is this about to happen? So turn my girl.

I'm hunting with a, with slugs and I'm just like, it's really about to happen. And then two minutes later, here comes another dog coming out, . Oh. So I like, I really thought it was about to happen, but dog came out and just the whole experience learning from them, we're gonna talk on video about how he trains the dogs.

Obviously using using a bear. Fur to train the puppies. You hide the fur, get 'em used to that scent. And then they do a lot of trainings during the summer. Ob [00:23:00] obviously the, the handlers can't bring guns, but they will train their, run their dogs on live bear in the in the spring and summer months.

And that's really how they get the younger dogs in the, the puppies getting used to tracking this bear. Man, that just seems like such a wildlife. And I know, like I know my buddy Dustin out in Utah, he's big into this. He hunts lions, he hunts bears, bobcats with his dogs. He doesn't typically shoot he'll take guys out to hunt them, but he just does it for the love of the dogs.

And he said the same thing. Yeah. He was like, man, there's a good chunk of the year that you can be running something. And like you said, not carrying a firearm to, to shoot them or whatever, but just being out there. Knowing that you are chasing after the apex predator in the area, and you're gonna have a close encounter.

That just it's such a foreign concept to me. Like for me, it'd be the equivalent of me going to the [00:24:00] pond and bass fishing. That's what they do, except they're running a pack of dogs and trying to catch a bear. A lion. Yeah. Yeah. So it was like eight, all of his friends doing it and it, it was a family tradition.

You only get one bear tag. They have two seasons. I believe it's second week of November and then it kicks in again. So it's two weeks of season in November, and then it's another two weeks of season in December. And just like you said those dog hunters, they love to chase. They, so they want everyone in their family to get a bear.

Friends that tag along that's their goal is to get their dogs on a bear and figure out and track the bear and find it. And I was talking to his, I think his niece or cousin, 10 years old had killed a 600 pound black bear at eight years old. And she was like, I was like, were you scared?

She's nah, I walked up too. Shot it in the head. I was like, ok, . Oh my gosh, man. Shot in your face. Yeah. That's a [00:25:00] different breed. Yeah. That is a totally different breed Yep. Of human Oh yeah. Shooting bears at that age. It just, it's, it seems so foreign to me, man. Yeah, it is. It is absolutely incredible.

Are, and the way that he talks about go ahead. Is that a trip you're gonna do again? Do you plan on going back this year? He's, he is, he's hell Ben on me getting my first bear, . I believe the same bear season starts the same as their, as the gun opener for North Carolina, which I typically do a huge hunt with my college buddies every year.

So I might have to, something might have to go on the back burner for me to get a bear, but he's he's hell Ben on me getting my first bear, which I'm hoping that happens. Yeah, man. That'd be so cool. I hope you do too. I can't wait to see the video footage of that. To think that, there's different ways to, to shoot it.

Like the dogs could just run it to you like the rabbit dogs you were talking about. Do I can't imagine like the feeling that you were going through in that moment when you [00:26:00] heard the dogs coming and you heard crashing yeah, that could be a 800 pound bear, a 600 pound bear. It doesn't matter if it's a 300 pound bear man being on the ground with a bear run towards you.

Oh my gosh. That's gotta be one of the biggest adrenaline rushes you could get. I pictures of the bears, like he was seeing like that weekend and I'm just like, it was a couple, 400, 500 pound bear and the biggest male was like 600 plus. And the pictures, the thing is massive. I'm like, and like going in before then I'm like, oh yeah, this is gonna be fun.

But then I'm literally thinking I'm about to shoot one. I'm like, wow, I'm about to have a 600 pound bear come outta these woods. What am I gonna do? ? I hope I could shoot this. Yeah, that'd be nerve-wracking for sure. I don't know what I would do in that situation. That just I would take the safety off.

I know that totally . Hundred percent. I was ready. I was ready, but then the dog comes out, I'm like, okay. [00:27:00] We're good. We're good now. All right, guys. If you've been listening to the podcast, I'm sure you've heard me talk about the helicopter hog hunt that I did down in Texas. Now, I went down there with rope Texan Outfitters and Landon and Brandon, the owners put us on the animals.

We killed 150 pigs in 19 coyotes just from the air on top of that. We went out thermal hunting at night and got up close and personal to more hogs. I didn't have to worry about bringing guns or ammunition because all of that was provided for me, and it is to this day, the most action packed day of hunting I've ever had.

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You. , what what else have you been up to this [00:28:00] season? Because I see, I follow you on social media now after our first conversation, and it's amazing. But for the listeners, what other big hunts have you done this year? Or like, how did deer season go this year? So deer season every year has I have high hopes start, we are ab debating baiting is illegal in North Carolina.

I use baiting for inventory purposes. Obviously there's the argument there of, it's easier or unethical. I use it for inventory purposes to see what's out there as far as buck wise and typically, obviously throw the minerals out spring, early summer just to see what's out there.

And every year I'm starting to see some 140, 150, even some 160 plus deer on camera. and I'll back up to 2017, I aired my first not my first, but my biggest mature buck. Mainframe nine with two kickers, probably low one 30 s. I don't really, I've never scored deer, but I know if I get one I know is probably one 50 plus.

I'll probably officially get it scored, but I [00:29:00] killed probably low 31, 30 s low one sorry, high one 30 s low, one 40 mainframe nine, 2017. First day of bow season in North Carolina. Came out on the little nowhere. I not to say I'm a camera hunter, which we'll go into that, but, I was slipping through my camera.

I'd pulled the cam card before and I was like do. And the same group of do came in. I'm like, man, I'm killing a dough this morning. I'm cool with that. I want some meat. But one of the doughs kept, had some, that mature dough that does that stomping. She knew what was up and she ended up.

and then a smaller butt came through and actually helped distract the other deer. And then I look over my left shoulder and I see this massive butt coming over, coming up the ridge out of the swamp. And the rest is history drilled him. But two th since 2017, I have had some really big deer that I've been after every year.

And the curse is that I have either shot a spike or a button buck accidentally with my bow. And since then so [00:30:00] that, that chase for that mature buck is still on. In 2020 I Arrowed shoulder shot what would be probably my biggest buck mainframe 10, 150 inch biggest deer. I really studied this deer's habits.

What, when he would come in even looked at moon phase for those that don't think moon phase but there was a pattern. He would show up every four fourth or fifth day. Every other week, and it was like clockwork. And as soon as he daylighted in the morning following a group of do I went the third or fourth day and it came, he came in like clockwork and I thought he was dead to right.

In my mind, he was dead and I ended up shoulder shooting. Unfortunately didn't recover him. That was an absolute nightmare. But fast forward to this year I had some really good potential deer. A split G two 11 pointer, and those deer just kicked my butt and I ended up shooting another spike on the gun opener with my buddies.

Which we can go through. I [00:31:00] know Dan wants to ask some questions about that, but we had a really good every year, my buddies from college all over. I talked a little bit about it in the last podcast, but we'll do a gun hunt every year. And we had an absolute blast. But go ahead, Dan.

I know you got some questions about what I just talked about. No, I listen, man, I can totally relate those button bucks. They just they'll get you, man. It happens. Especially, yeah. Here in Missouri, we've got, we don't have like tiny deer. Okay. There's some tiny deer in different parts of the country, but we've got decent size deer.

But growing up in Wisconsin, man, I'm used to hunting big body deer. Like really big bodies. In fact, I had a buddy come up from Tennessee this last year on a goose hunt. He came up to Wisconsin and maybe that was two seasons ago now. Wow. Time flies. Anyways, we're driving around and it was funny.

There was a big flock of geese and we were driving the roads, like trying to follow these geese in the air to see where they're, they were gonna go on feet for the evening to get set up for the next days hunt [00:32:00] and. , there were just deer all over the place. And he's dude, oh my gosh.

Look at how big those deer are. Those are the biggest deer I've ever seen. I'm like, dude, that's two yearlings in a dough. Like those aren't, those are just like normal deer. Going from hunting down here to going up there, you see a deer in the woods and it's the size of a mature, like a fully mature deer down here in Missouri.

Yeah. And wow, it's just a year old, wow. Like I, I would bet you, I would bet you every year, if not every other year, there's one or multiple button buck shot in the woods by people who, same exact thing. They think it's a dough and it is what it is. It's ah, yeah, sure. That buck might not be around, but what are the odds that buck's gonna be around anyways?

Not every buck's gonna turn into 180 inch six year old. So it's like you shoot it it's good meat either way. Yeah, so I'm an experienced hunter, not a professional, just love being on the woods and, I, everyone has their journey [00:33:00] starting out, whether it's, shooting your first deer or spike I love introducing you, hunter.

So I'm like, you shoot whatever is legal and whatever makes you happy. We're all a part of a different journey when you're hunting, but right now I'm, my focus is getting that mature deer, that mature buck, and it's just ironic. You should know telltale signs of what is, obviously, you know what a spike is, but low light situations, me, I'm just like, you itching to release an arrow.

It's your, first hundred this season, you're not seeing anything else. And there's telltale signs. Like usually when you see that first lone deer by itself, it's probably a button, it's a buck. But just every situation, every year, it's it just invades me and I end up shooting it.

But they taste good. And I guess the curse is just giving me more meat. But the socket continues 2023. I'm hoping to arrow. A big buck. So we will see and talking about that annual hunt. So every year I try to get my buddies together. Big solid group of buddies, played college soccer together.

There's a couple in the group that have never killed deer. And [00:34:00] I finally got a guy from Texas that come up and, the plan was actually, we actually borrowed muzzle loaders. We had that muzzle loader was seasoned, and then Saturday was gun open. So they came in Thursday. They were supposed to come in 12 and one o'clock.

My buddy's flight was supposed to land at one plan was for us to be in the woods by 1 32, get set up, get everyone set up and ready. My buddy's flight gets delayed, right? So I get everyone set up around 2, 2 30 and just wait for my other buddy that was picking up the buddy from Texas and the flight didn't land until four o'clock.

He doesn't get, we don't get. To the hunting spot to about four 20. We set the blind up exactly four 30. I kid you not four 30. It's right when deer start it's prime time, like that four 30 to five o'clock window, and then you have another maybe 15 flight, like four 30 is you better be in the, you should be in the woods an hour and a half ago, maybe even two hours ago.

So I'm like, all right, we'll just go in the [00:35:00] woods. Reggie. Thanks buddy. Thanks for being like, it's not his fault. The flight got delayed. So mean, we could have sat out and not hunted, but we wanted to be in the woods together. So we got set up in a blind and we're just shooting the shoot and talking about talking about hunting and like I'm teaching 'em about like, how can you tell a deer walking versus a squirrel walking?

A lot of times you always get tricked by a squirrel, but like you can hear that fasting, your deer is methodical. I'm literally describing that and I'm like, Behind my left shoulder, I'm hearing that methodical walk. So I open the peek, open the zipper door, and I look, here comes an eight pointer, walking 50 yards parallel, two of us along this dry creek bed.

And I'm literally like, I'm looking at the deer and I'm like, how is this happen? This was 15 minutes in the hunt, like 15 minutes. So he's got my brother's mo loader, and I'm like, Reggie, there's a buck. There's a buck. And he's like looking out the window. I'm like, I'm in my blind chair, he's in his chair and I'm on my [00:36:00] my tippy to like inching out looking at the buck.

Like, all right Reggie, he's about to come out the window. So I'm like, Reggie, get your gun ready. Reggie pulls us out his gun. All right, here it comes. And then the buck literally has no, I nose to the ground. This is pretty much rut not chasing, but he was nose to the ground, had no characters in the world.

and I run at him, stop him. Reggie drops him. Never, he's never shot a muzzle alert in his life, never shot a rifle and drops the buck. And we just screamed. We were elated. It was an amazing time. Oh my. An eight man fucking person. Yeah. Amazing. That's so cool to, to be with someone when they shoot their first deer.

There's nothing like it. Yeah. There really isn't. And I've talked about it in the past and I tell friends about it all the time. I'm like we all advance as hunters. Like you go from just getting into it to maybe you set a size limit or an age limit on a deer. You might [00:37:00] go from rifle hunting to muzzle loader to bow, like you're tweaking things all the time.

For me, it's not the end, but like one of the more advanced stages of hunting is getting new people out there. You've got to experience it and you love it so much that you want to share. Passion with other people and I'm telling you, yeah, that's like I got to be part of so many awesome hunts this year and so many first time hunts.

Like my nephew, I got him on a nice nine point, almost the exact same story as what you're describing. Yeah. We're sitting there, I'm ta talking to him. He got in late, he's, his dad lives in New York. But his mom, my sister lives in Wisconsin, so he came in just for Thanksgiving and the hunt, we get out there and it was like 30 minutes into the hunt.

He goes, uncle Dan, there's a deer. And I was like, what? Where? Yeah. And I look over and here's this buck and I'm like, dude, Aiden, that is a big buck. That's a big buck. You need to shoot that deer. Yeah. And it took him a [00:38:00] while. He was shaking like a leaf and he couldn't find it to save his life.

And I stopped, I grunted at that buck, or I did the man like three different times to stop this buck. And it did each time. And he's like trying to find it in his scope. He's shaking so bad, he ends up shooting it, man. And it was just the coolest thing ever. But back to shooting button bucks. I gotta tell this story.

I don't know if I've ever told this story on the podcast. I get a call from my buddy Drew, and this was not this past season, but the season before. And he had taken a guy Chad out to hunt on the property that I hunt and I've got sole permission on it, but I can like have my buddies out there, right?

And I told him, I was like, yeah, man, you can go out there. I'm not gonna be out there today. If I get out there, it's gonna be later today. And so they go out and I get a call from him. He goes, Hey, what's the neighbor's name south of the road? And I was like, dude, I don't know them. I haven't met them yet.

And he is oh, I just shot a dough. And I was like, [00:39:00] sweet man. Awesome. I'm like, I'll do some digging, see if I can figure out who it is or see if I can figure out how to get ahold of them. And he ended up going across the road and there were drops of blood on the road. So like he trailed this deer and he looks over and he sees it like just, literally just down the ditch.

And so Uhhuh , he just grabs it quick and drags it back. And I get a call from him and he is Dan, I ed up. And I was like, what do you mean? He goes, what? What happened? It's got horns. And I go, Cool. Like how big? And he is like not big enough because like we on the property, if it's somebody who's hunted for years, or like some of my buddies who have done this their whole lives, we set certain size requirements or age requirements and Yeah.

And he's one of those guys. But same thing. First time hunters, you shoot whatever, man. I want you to come out and have a good time. Shoot something [00:40:00] and we're gonna celebrate. I'm like, wait a minute. Like he called me and said that he shot a dough. . And now it turns out it's not a dough, it's a buck.

And I'm like, how, like how big is it though? And he is technically it's like a nine point, but it's not like a nine point that you would envision. . And so he sends me a picture, and this is a young deer like, yeah, I've never seen a nine point year and a half old, but like the body and everything about this just made it look like a freak.

Like it started growing early or something because it was a small body deer, but it had, two main beams, five on one side, four on the other. All of them were only like an inch long, and the main beams weren't even that long. It like packed the, it just looked like you took a buck cut all its tines off and just shrunk the rack.

And I shrunk it and I'm like, drew, this is like worst case scenario, man. That's a killer deer [00:41:00] for being as young as it is. That could have been a tank. And I was like, it's, you messed up. I don't know how I think I asked him, I was like, so walk me through this because when you call and tell someone you shot a dough, , and then it turns out to be a spike, a nub.

I can totally understand. A button back when it's got nine points. That's a hard one to sell, and , he's dude, I was, we were just slowly creeping through the woods and I saw this deer and it looked like a dough. And I pulled my rifle up and he is the only thing I can think is that there was like brush obstructing, its like the top of its head, or like the antlers blended in with the trees in the background.

But he's I just shot and thought a hundred percent. He's I literally called you and told you I just killed a dough. And I was like, yeah. You were pretty convinced. And anyways it happens to everybody, man. All the time. I've not, I have not, I've shot plenty of button bucks in my life.[00:42:00]

I have never shot something that has more than six points that I didn't already know. Had that many points. Yeah. Yeah. . Wow. So your buddy got his first buck. Did what did he do? Did he get it shoulder mounted or European or? He did a amount just actually sent couple weeks ago. He did a euro amount.

Looks really nice. And then the gun opener on Saturday, he shot a dope, like he's two for two. And then that night it was low light and I think we were literally about to pack up. My, my other buddy from England was like, he was flashing his light like 200 yards away, like ready to get down and like we're distracted looking over and then all of a sudden they're in our logging road.

There's a, I thought was a big dough and, pull up with the two 70. I'm like, All right. Reggie, me or you? He's you take it like Reggie could have got a third one, but I ended up drilling it. Turn off. It was a spike. Should have [00:43:00] known. Couldn't see, like I literally could not see the handlers.

I'm like, this is a nice dough. Ah, it gets me every time, every year. , dude. The curse man. What's your requirements there for calling it like a buck or I don't know if they use the same terminology, if it's like antlerless or antler. Antlerless a buck. If it's protruding out of the skin, it's antler.

Oh, okay. Yeah that's interesting. I'm curious how many, like, how many variations of that rule different states have, cuz I think in Wisconsin it's three inches. The spikes have to be three inches in order for it to be an antler deer. Wow. Yeah. I think if it breaks the skin and there's no, it breaks the skin, then it's technically a buck.

Yeah. There we don't have, we don't. Antler requirement inch requirement, but as far as antlers, buck as soon as the antler pokes through the skin, it's above. Okay. Do you are you still running trail cameras out there or do you pull 'em down after season? I've actually got a [00:44:00] few I've got a few for Turkey season just to see if, I've got turkeys out there.

I am gonna see if, bucks are still holding antlers cuz I wanna obviously anything we do hunting, we're just obsessed like our wives or your significant others. Are you done with hunting? No, but shed hunting, Turkey hunting. I'm hunting and I'm scouting and I'm hunting some more.

I'm always hunting, but yeah. I've got a few cameras out. I've ran five tap camera reveals this year and a bunch of TASCO cameras. I use those on game lands. I am I've found a hunting hole game lenss, I'm letting it brew. . I have a camera out there that I checked properly, maybe twice a year, and it's got some decent deer and I'm patterning them.

And every time I get some good pictures, I'm adding in the other Tao cam trying to find bedding and just I'm gonna sneak attack one of these ears and I'm gonna kill the bruiser. But I love to use, tact cams, sell cams and these cheap task cams to get at Walmart, like 32 bucks. They run really well.

And [00:45:00] if someone steals 'em, they're $30 versus a hundred, 200 plus cameras. So I highly advise using those if hunt game winds and you're a feared of someone, yanking us out. Yeah. You've, dude me and you are cut from the same cloth, man. I have eight different Walmart cameras, like I'll, or I'll go on Amazon and find a pack where it's Five game cameras for $150.

And I'm like, perfect man. Sign me up. And so I run a bunch of those and then I, yeah, I think I've got, I think officially I've got six of the reveals, the Revealed 2.0 I think it's called. And I love 'em, man. There's nothing like it. I, dude, I love just sitting there and getting a ding on my phone and I hear it and I'm like, no.

Yeah. No matter what, no matter where I am, what I'm doing, I get that ding and I'm so pumped. The problem is, so my buddy wanted to be on the account with me, right? That same guy Drew, who shot the nine point do , he [00:46:00] wanted to be on the account because he and I we hunt the property the most out of everybody.

I've got other friends that come out here and there, but he and I spend the bulk of our time hunting there. . And so I was like, yeah, sure. He's Hey, also, I bought attack to Cam, so I'm gonna add that to the accountant. I'm like, awesome, man. It's 10 bucks a month, whatever the I, I don't remember what it is.

And so I was like, sure, this one's, yeah. Yeah. So I was like, that. That sounds great. Then he puts it up on his property, which he's got five acres. He's had really nice deer on camera there in the past. He's seen them driving in, like literally laying next to his neighbor's sign. He's got like a old brick wall that looks like it was a sign for something at one point.

And there's a buck all season long that Beed right next to it. He could see it from the driveway. Wow. And it's a nice, it's a nice, probably 130 inch deer and just not a care in the world feels so super safe. So he puts his camera up. Then he started construction on his property, and so he [00:47:00] uses his tica as a security camera.

which is fine. The problem is all day long I get pictures of him walking around with a hammer or contractors showing up and I'm just like, I hear that ding and I get excited and no longer you've ruined it for me, man. And you have your, my, my favorite is my wife's the envious, why are you smiling at your phone?

Are you in your chat group smiling? I'm like, fuck a hundred percent. I'm like, listen, you got nothing to worry about with me. Yeah. If I'm sitting over here secretly looking at my phone, it's because me and my buddy are planning on a planning a hunt trip that you don't know about yet.

That I'm about to break the news to you on. Or I'm looking at trail camera pictures. Hundred percent. Hundred percent. I saw a meme recently like that, or not a meme a little video. It may have been a TikTok and it was like some cartoon deal where, Basically this guy and I think it's weird. I think it was like a banana or something.

I don't know what show it was from or who made it, but he's like in the room [00:48:00] at night on the computer and then all of a sudden his wife walks in and he like, looks back behind him as if she busted him looking at something bad. And then it goes to the screen and people put like their own image in there.

And it's I saw a couple guys do it with hunting. I saw a couple guys doing it where there's a guy on the screen holding a giant fish and he looks all guilty when she comes in and busts him. caught me again. Yeah. Got me again. That's, yeah. My wife, dude, I don't have time for another relationship man.

I got too many animals to chase after. That's awesome. What so you've got fishing coming up, you've got Turkey season coming up. Any new hunts that you're gonna try this year? So actually 2024. So I have a buddy that lives in cascade, Idaho. Great high school buddy. Actually hunt his family, his parents' property.

About 45 minutes away. A hundred acres oh, I'm just gonna put this out there. All the land. I hunt for free. Like I have 44, at least 400 [00:49:00] acres at disposal. Obviously think about five or six different properties I'm off of free just through connecting with people and they know I hunt, be like, Hey, I got some deer in my land.

Anytime I hear someone say, I got some deer in my yard. I'm like, oh, do you Let me tell you what I do . But what was I going with that? Yeah, so really good high school buddy. Best friends with lives out in Idaho. Worked for ywam for y so youth mission trips. Yeah. Lives in Cascade, Idaho. And I, if anyone knows about Idaho, which I didn't realize how beautiful it was, I'm thinking Idaho potatoes and it's swag and there's potatoes and it.

when you look at the pictures, it's like Colorado. I'm like, this is amazing. He is a go-getter out there. He pretty much is an entre entrepreneur, so its cutting boards and custom knives. But he is strictly a meat hunter. If he can get he get whatever he'll, whatever's out there, he sends me huge still head.

He's catching and he'll send me mule during, in the back of his yard. He [00:50:00] elk hunts, he's strictly meat. He not lives off the grid, but costs meat his way up there so he will get a cow elk or whatever. I believe they're, coming from North Carolina, our hunting regulations are like, a five year old can understand them, but when you go out west, like y'all's regulations are insane.

So he's got the McCalls unit. I'm not gonna say the unit, but just a, just one to me. . Yeah. Maybe. We'll, . But anyway, the unit is in a short range weapon, so you get to use, he uses a shotgun with slugs bo or mu loader. So he kills a cow every year and he'll send me pictures of huge bulls.

Just not huge bulls, just small ones just for the viewers. They're not big, they're just small. Yeah. And, but anyway, he said it was in Colorado, right? Yeah, Northern Colorado. Yeah. Take time. But anyways, he'll kill a cow elk every year. He does black bear hunts. There's wolves out there, but I don't think he hunts those that don't all assault that.

But he is true outdoorsman and I'm like every year in honey, you gotta go out [00:51:00] there. So 2024 don't have exact dates, but the plan is to take the whole family out there, stay with them and do some back country elk hunting. So it is team get fit. I am on my mission to lose 30 pounds, lost 12, so p far.

So I'm one to get fit and be the, my best. when I'm out there in the woods, obviously for my family and life in general will be healthy. It's very important. But when I go hunting and for help, I don't wanna get my ass kicked and I wanna be able to make it day one. Yeah that's a good goal, man, if, yeah, if you can make it a few days into the hunt your odds go way up.

The odds of going out there and making it happen day one are slim. But you're right, man. Getting in shape, like physically, mentally, I don't know if you've got a good trainer or if you've got a meal plan or what you're doing, but if not, I've got a guy that you need to talk to. My buddy Thomas, he's I always joke with him, I'm like, dude, you're like the black Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He's just [00:52:00] just, I think I saw the video today, like guys massive. Oh yeah. I was like, you know what? We could probably make some really funny content that would go really viral if. in every video of us working out like, you're helping my wife. You're like, spotting her. And I'm standing in the back like, barely curling any weight

He's that'd be funny. But yeah, he's, dude, he does meal plans and workout plans and he, I don't want to, I don't wanna discredit him at all, but I'm like back to 10 pounds lighter than I started with him. I had lost almost 40 pounds in a couple months with him and then I started drinking a lot of energy drinks and eating whatever I wanted to

I just like food, man. It's hard. It's hard. I used to say all the time I'd rather die young, having enjoyed every meal than live to 99 years old and eating, kale salad. Yeah. Wants to do that. No, but dude, that's awesome, man. That's exciting. That's a big trip to look forward [00:53:00] to and Yep.

Just be ready once you go. Once, man, you're gonna want to do it every year, so you better be prepared for that. Absolutely, man. I'm absolutely excited. Yeah, I I'm trying to dive into a bunch of different hunts this year, man. I've been super fortunate to be able to hunt a bunch of different things that I never would've thought, but I think after our first conversation, I started getting really excited about hunting deer with hounds.

I want to try it. I've never done it. Yeah, I know there's a stigma around it, but I don't ever want to discredit something or form a strong opinion about it until I actually know. And a guy, I think it was last week, was like, dude, you should come down to Florida and hound, hunt for deer.

And I was like, Florida. Say no more. My wife. Yeah. That's a hunt. That's a hunt. She will get on board for all day long. Hey babe, we're going to Florida. You're gonna hang out on the beach, right? I'm gonna go hunt, dude. She would, I could spend nine months outta the year hunting if she got to be in Florida on the beach.[00:54:00]

Yeah. And if you ever want connect with my guy that, he does bear hunting with the hounds, but he, his club does deer dogs. So if you ever want to, invites out there, I can connect and we can plan that out. Yeah, that'd be sweet. All right, we've got this figured out. You're gonna come out here, we're gonna kill a bunch of rabbits with beagles.

I'll come out there, we'll go chase after bear and deer with hounds, and then we'll connect out west once you get a couple seasons under your belt and you're hooked. No. You know what? Once you get one season under your belt and you're like, dude, I'm doing this every year, then we'll start hunting the west together and it'll be awesome.

Let's do it. Sweet man. I don't wanna, I don't wanna take up a ton of your night, but for the listeners, where can people find you? Where can they follow along? Because I'm telling everybody it's awesome content. Every time it pops up on my page, I get excited. I watch your videos and it's fun to keep up with and follow along.

You can find me on Instagram down the outdoors in color underscore the outdoors in color. I, on TikTok Outdoors, in [00:55:00] color on Facebook and YouTube. So we try to push a video on YouTube every week, every Saturday or Sunday either fishing or hunting content. That's pretty much what we're doing.

Family based one inspire new hunters to get outside. My goal for 23, 20 23 is to mentor 10 anglers or hunters. I've already got two hunter in my belt that I'm trying to get out. Actually rabbit hunting next Monday I'm gonna bring a new buddy out. And then just one, inspire others through my passion through hunting and fishing.

wanna inspire families to get out with their kids and enjoy the great outdoors. That's my number one mission. Get more people outside, man. You're killing it at it. I love seeing it. I love seeing all the kids in the pictures. I love seeing you out there with different people all the time. And I think that's a really awesome thing for people to do.

If you're listening to this episode and you're like, man, I, have become stagnant in my hunting, or I don't know what's next, get new people out there, cuz I'm telling you, it's a whole different level of accomplishment and you just, there's no better feeling than [00:56:00] helping other people get into the sport that you love.

And especially when you can be with them when they find success. Dude, thanks a ton, man. We're gonna, we're gonna keep this rolling, dude. We'll just have to hop on a couple times a year and connect and see how the hunts go. And who knows. Maybe soon we'll be doing a podcast live together after a hunt.

Oh yeah, man. Looking forward to that. Thank you for having me.