Bears, Bous and Bucks

Show Notes

On this glorious edition of THE Ohio Outdoors Podcast, Paul and Andrew check in with O2 Podcast royalty, Justin Ross. Justin runs the Archery Hike event here in Ohio and dedicates his time to the Farmers and Hunters Feeding the hungry. This time around Ol’ J-Ross stops by to talk all about his trip to Russia’s neighbor, the great state of Alaska. Wanna feel small? Take a plane ride to the middle of the Tundra and hop out of said plane for over a week! Justin breaks down the hunting, fishing and ins and outs of taking a trip to Alaska. The guys also discuss Whitetailin’ in Ohio and FHFH in the Buckeye state. Buckle up folks, this shows a good un.

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

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Let's go, I'll wake up to a little bit of, I'm ready. Are you ready? Did you, let me ask you last episode, did you like the intro music? The new intro music I put on, I did, I'm always up for trying new things, so that was good. That was a refreshing. It was fun. I liked it. No, let, if you're listening.

Yeah. If you're listening, let us know what you thought about the show. We got a ton of feedback about Dan's episode. Anytime you talk like controversy or hot button topics, man, you get people, but the feedback was good. It was great. And that's what it's about, right? Is creating a discourse or a conversation, whatever the hell you want to call it.

So I enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun. The part I found funny is I had one person reach out to me and it was like, man, I love this Dan and his crossbow ideas. And there's other people are like, to hell with that. Let him use cross. Like it is exactly what that show is intended for. Like they're controversial [00:01:00] topics.

There don't need to be, it was fun. Yeah I've tipped my toe in the controversy world and turkey hunting. And man, I'll tell you what you thought when you blend anything that people were passionate about was something that they might not agree about, it doesn't matter where it is, hunting, sports, raising children, man people get fired up.

But Hey apologies to the massive fan base, all 12 of you for not having an episode last week. Paul and I are average guys, and some of you reached out. Don't worry, we're still here. But it's life. We're just busy and yeah, we work and this is a hobby and fun. We're trying to hunt.

So I was on the road constantly last week, man. It was tough. Yeah, sorry about that. We know we're trying to keep 'em coming yeah. Yeah. Yes. And everything lined up, there are times where it just it gets to be a lot. So that's it. We're going to work better and continue to try to look through here in the fall and get you guys some good content.

Good. Yes. I'll be honest. I'll be honest. I [00:02:00] was so busy. I forgot that we didn't do an episode last week. That's terrible. Terrible. We got to go on this week though. We do. We do. Let's see here, Paul, real quick. I saw crackling in my headphones. So if anybody, I hope you guys can't hear that, but it's going Through all of this.

I'll mock you relentlessly. So I saw I saw a news article, and this isn't really like relevant to Ohio, but it's relevant to hunting, I guess in general. So there's this to outdoors, which is just this huge conglomerate they own. Just a ton of brands like Primo, Stone Glacier, Quiet Cat, they own all these different outdoor hunting and fishing related brands.

This outdoors was purchased by a I want to say it was like a Czechoslovakian company, Czech company. So all of those brands now offshore. Not that, whatever, we're not going to dip our toes into the free market world here, but controversies, but I don't know, man, that was surprising.

It was a [00:03:00] 1. 91 billion, billion dollar sale. So that's insane. You mentioned quiet cat. I might've purchased any bike here recently, so that would be, but I'm really looking forward to that. There's a controversial topic for it. Quiet or e bikes. Yeah, we should have gotten into that with Dan. But anyways let's see here, paul.

We're going to continue down the news path. Let's be here. Sorry, I derailed you. I thought that's what we're doing. No, you're good. It's morning and we're just plugging along. Okay. ODNR has let's see the 2024 internship program for a summer of fun and learning. So there's some information there for college students of all majors are invited to apply for ODNR's 2024 internships.

If you are a student in the outdoor industry. Or fields. You might check that out. I'm just gonna run through these quickly. Just a reminder that all have has properties available for you to hunt this fall. [00:04:00] So the Ohio landowner hunter access program is where we're teaming up landowners and hunters and the state to get your access.

Dave Kohler has been on the show in the past to talk about that, but they've been adding properties across the state. Paul you've used a lot of those yeah. So get out there and check that man, Paul in our travels, cause I know I was up Northeast part of the state last week. You went all the way out to the East coast the very tip of Long Island.

Just the tip off the The colors, man of the leaves it's one of those things that happens every year and I think every year I get more and more appreciative of it, but like driving on the road with the kids and I'll be like, guys, just look at those colors of those trees. It's just magnificent. So right now we're like, yeah, back there.

I pass, right? Take a time to get out and enjoy good fall destination or fall color. destinations [00:05:00] across the state. We're peaking now, like across the state. I just, what I see we're probably headed down.

Not going to be long. More than 14, 000 pheasants have been released cross select hunting. Public hunting areas in the state Delaware. I'm going to read off a few of them. Oh my God. There's a lot central how you got Delaware wildlife area, Northwest Kildare Plains, Oxbow Lake rest Haven ring that bridge amongst others.

Northeast, you've got Charlemont, Metro Park, Berlin wildlife area, Spencer wildlife area. I don't know. There's a whole bunch. You have to go to Ohio DNR. gov to get the whole list and find out if there's any near you. Have they have, as the state released the numbers from the DSA gun season, gun opener, what was this last week?

Wasn't it? See, I guess it wasn't it? No, I have not seen that. [00:06:00] I have not seen those numbers. So yeah, I'm curious to see what that was like. Yeah. If you participated in that, hit us up on go out or Instagram. Let us know how that went. Yeah. And I'll be honest. We've had some listeners sending us pictures and stuff, a box they've taken here.

Over the last couple of weeks, I jokingly put that the October lull should be called the October lullaby because these deer were going night, deer were going night, but the that's a good sign. And I, you and I were talking this morning on the deer side of things. It was a deer killing morning.

There was deer moving. Oh dear. Oh my God. It was amazing camera. It was cool. It was cool. It was beautiful out. Foggy. Cameras. Cameras were lighting up. I talk, I was talking to somebody on the phone. They're like, oh, there's a deer. As they were driving down the road I saw a bunch out late last night, my camera last night.

I sent you that picture, this spot. I'd be lucky if I had two deer in there at any given time, whether there's six. It was like a zoo. It was, I'm like, where did you guys all come from all at once? So yeah. And I think a lot of what you're seeing is, has to do with the [00:07:00] crops coming off, getting pushed around, food sources, changing habitat, cover, all that kind of stuff.

I've got some ideas on that, but I don't want to get into that right now. Let's get into some of our partners here. Let's dive off, man, with our buddies down South, great city, Kentucky, go wild time to go out. com and find their app on the. Apple app store or Android or the good old interwebs, Andrew, like a boomer or an early millennial.

Just get on, type it in time to go wild. com. It is your free social community, social media for hunters and anglers. A ton of knowledge floating around on there. They got a ton of gear available. You get a free 10. If you open up your account, if you're listening to the show, you're probably going to go wild.

If you're not get on there, it's freaking awesome. The people we've met Andrew from that platform have been phenomenal. You click on the shop part, you scroll down a little bit. You can find half dash rack. com products on their meat lugs. The blaze orange [00:08:00] vest you've got. Freaking everything that a deer hunter could possibly need accessories, the hunter hangers hanging up over here.

Oh my God. Those things are a lifesaver. Love those. Check them out. Half dash rack. com into the code. Oh, two podcasts to save yourself 15 percent at half dash rack. com today. What else months Timber Ninja Timber Ninja outdoors, but they're also on go wild and Jason and Bo and all those guys down there putting together great products.

Part of the, what I love about some of these people that we've met and worked with last week, I'm getting ready to go up to my milk recon and we'll talk about that in a second. And I realized. That I didn't have my tree tether, right? I needed a new tree tether, I couldn't, I didn't know where it was, I, no clue.

And I called I put an order in to have a Timber Ninja tree tether sent to me from GoWild. Dan and those guys got it in the mail, got to me before I [00:09:00] got back up to Mill Creek and just it was fabulous. So not that I've got what I need and quickly and good products, all that kind of stuff together.

So probably part of that story is I did end up finding the old tree tether and the rope men and everything else laying in the grass out at the other property where I got my dose. So I must've been pulling those does out. So damn tired at the end. I went back and I was able to recover that. So I'm still intact.

People helping people, man. Yup. Anyhow, pretty cool. Black gate cameras. Talked about those cameras lighting up and the black gate ones were definitely. Shining yesterday. It's always when I compare the different ones I have, I have the black gate and I've got a couple other brands, it's so night and day, man.

The other ones are foggy and it's not those black gate ones are so crystal clear, beautiful, easy to use all the extra bells and whistles in the app. As far as Tonya weather patterns and all that kind of stuff. And there's so much more to come from them. Every time we talk to Justin, I can't keep up with them because.

He's [00:10:00] got all these ideas just coming out, man, that's a freaking rocket ship in the shape of a trail camera that I couldn't be happier with that. Check out their website. Blackgatehunting. com O2 podcast is our code there. Man, the herd watch I just want to, I want to mess with the herd watch.

I want to have a herd to watch instead of just, being this public land schmuck that I am. I don't know what he says. I'm going to dive into that months, but today is not the day. I just started using the the The videos I haven't sent them videos to me now where I've got them out.

So yeah, pretty cool, man. So check them out. Black gate hunting. com. Use the code.

Oh, two podcasts, correct? Yes. I'm sent off. There you go. So middle bus, gun works. com. Talk about it every week. I've got a six, five, a weather, be six, five Cremor from there. You've got a, what would you get? You got a six, five and AR platform. Six, five. Coyote gun. Coyote killing gun. You got the silencer from them.

You've [00:11:00] got all sorts of stuff from them and their parts finder, Andrew is exceptional. If you are tinkering on a firearm, and it's not just stuff that's modern. They got stuff all the way back. Some really weird stuff available, custom gun work or gunsmithing available.

So check them out. Midwest gun works. com.

I'm a, I'm an idiot when it comes to gun stuff, like it's just, I know people that are really good and into that and they can break them down and put them back together. They make that so easy though. And then if you do still have questions, the customer services is second to none. It's exceptional.

Yeah. It was, it really is. Yeah. Midwest count workshop. com. Oh two. Oh, Ohio is five. Oh, there you go. High on tours. Five. And then your boys. Yeah the old thermal stuff. Man, that, that thermal technology has taken off, but man, to see at night, what's going on. Definitely take a look at those guys exposition optics.

com. Yeah, but they were gracious enough to give us a range finder to give away during our 100th episode [00:12:00] and the guy that got it sent, send the message and said that he's pretty happy with it. Pretty cool. So yeah, they got some cool stuff, man. Night vision, all that kind of stuff. Check them out.

Paul, tell me about your Eagle Creek hunt. Oh man. It was it was fun. I talked to Henry from BHA, the Ohio state chapter president, and I had a ton of really good trail camera pictures of bucks on that property and So talking to Henry and he was saying that he stopped using trail cameras. He had a huge deer that he found a couple of years ago, never really saw him, but only got him on camera.

And his point was ignorance is bliss, right? Like you don't know what you don't know. And so I, I saw all of these good deer. So I had like really high expectations went down there. My son shot a doe, tracked it for a freaking half a mile. She went into a powerline easement that the brush was just above our head, man.

And we just. She just ran right into it. And we had [00:13:00] great blood going up to it, but once you got that real high stuff months, we just couldn't find her, man. Couldn't find her. So went back down a couple of times. Turkeys were gobbling hard down there, which was really neat. It was like a good old spring morning.

Did see one buck coming up a ridge. And it's just. We were hunting a thermal hub. I was talking to Jason red from timber Ninja about this. I only had, and I hate talking about this because I put a lot of effort into it. And I'm trying to like, I wanted it to happen. So I was hunting a thermal hub, all these draws coming in and thermal action was pretty light that day.

Didn't really help me out. And my wind was just going off. Just in our face, but right over my, like my right shoulder. And I knew once the thermal subsided, it was all going to change and it was going to end up going like back on my left shoulder, which is where I wanted it to go.

And about 20 minutes after the thermal started to shift and move the wind direction changed, but that we, I saw his buck walk up that Ridge and he just. He just stopped and he could smell like the remnants of our scent,[00:14:00] just like hanging in the air and he didn't blow. He just trotted off and he turned around and looked one more time.

And then he just dumped off. The only reason I saw him Andrew was because I was watching a bunch of turkeys on the ground. And that was it, man. Went back again. Weather was terrible. It was 85, 86 degrees when I walked out and it was just hot. I found I was hunting the only active scrape that I could find on that whole property.

And I had, it was the last day that I was going to hunt there. And nothing walked in. I saw a couple deer far up, but that was it, man. It was a great experience. It was a beautiful property. And yeah, I had a lot of fun. Feel like you learned something. I did, man. I definitely learned something.

We were in deer. The moment that we stepped on that property and I had put, I put those trail cameras out a while ago. The property is open to hiking and recreating, just not open to hunting by permit only. And man, I obsessed over the maps. I did a ton of on the ground scouting and I knew I [00:15:00] knew the area that I needed to be.

I had the data from the trail camera. So I like, I needed the wind, like the bucks. I. You know how they're using those hubs and how they're using the thermals to their favor. They were there on very specific wins because I could see it on those black eight cameras because it tracks that stuff.

And so I'm like this. And I had that wind for two days and we were there, but man, there were does everywhere. Acorns were pounding. It was just, yeah, I definitely learned deep hill country, man how they're moving. So yeah, it was cool. It's hopefully I'll be able to get out there on, on some of those bigger public properties, chunks that I hunt all the time and make something happen.

I'm getting itchy, man. I'm ready to go. Yeah. The I was in the opposite of your world, right? So you had all these trains and thermals and this and that change. I went up to my lottery hunt was mill Creek, Metro park. And I know it's been a big, hot topic up there. We talked to talk a little bit about it, but they got a lot of deer in the Metro park and that's where Youngstown's, urban deer kind of epicenter is.

Now, [00:16:00] in that hunt they had about six or seven different properties and the one I drew was more out in the rural area. It was still Mahoning County, but it wasn't, it was not, I wouldn't consider it urban at all. And I believe it was a property the Metro Parks owns. I wouldn't necessarily, it's not your typical Metro Park feel.

It was different than what I thought it was going to be and it was completely flat, which is fine. Transcription by CastingWords That makes the walking in and out easier. But the real quick rundown of my week was I don't know if I was getting a little bit too confident, but I went up on Sunday morning, buck crack at dawn, got up there about five o'clock in the morning.

So I left my house about two 30 and that Sunday was the first day. And it was going to be a day where I basically. Scout at the property. I just wanted to see what I was working with. So I, but I was like, I'll go up, I'll hang in the tree. We'll see what's going on. I'm sitting there in the tree. It is the first minute of shooting light and I hear, [00:17:00] and I'm like, Oh, here comes the deer.

And I go to pull my binoculars up. Cause you can see better with the binoculars and the low light. I'm like, I'll look down. This buck is right underneath my tree. I could have spit on him and I'm like okay. And I knew it was legal light, but. I can see this rack underneath me. If I, even if I was at full draw right then and there, it was like a spine shot.

I was terrible. It was a terrible shot. So I'm like, all right, maybe we just see what's going on. He. Gets to the tree and smells me or something hops back. I'm doing one of these situations where I'm trying to catch moonlight or any light that's coming through the canopy to try and see him better.

I had the bow and my hand never got drawn, but he eventually hopped away. And I was like, all right and I literally, Paul, he scouted, just hung up in a tree. Didn't think much of it. Man, I got really lucky that this deer, I was on his [00:18:00] path. I ended up on his path. And it was right next to a marsh, which this was really interesting.

I'd love to talk to somebody who hunts marshes and swamps a little bit more, but there's a marsh and I figured be deer being edge creatures, they're going to walk right along that edge of that marsh and what I found out in that day, all the deer were walking 40 to 50 yards off the marsh. And so that, of course that was where I was set up, which is great.

But I was I'll set up off this marsh downwind of it so that I'm not. In that area and I'll catch them working this edge. That wasn't really how it worked out. But anyways, later in the day, I ended up, I think I had six or seven does it came through and it was like a bunch of college girls that, you're at the bar and they're all looking out for each other.

So I go to get drawn on one and this other one starts blowing at me and stomping and I'm like okay, there we go. Don't talk to him. He's fat, right? Don't you don't want him. So [00:19:00] yeah, and then one other time I was like trying to turn around in the saddle. I love my saddle and I should have known better.

I don't know what the hell I was doing. The whole thing was just a mess. Anyways, that was the best day up there. I went back and then did Thursday night, Friday and Saturday. Saturday was like rain, cold nastiness. Friday I did some extreme access maneuvering. I had another buck that was underneath me right at shooting light again.

So I was in the right spot, but he busted me. So I don't know. One of the things I've told you, I think I told you is like the thing I learned out of this was. Scouting is huge, right? Because after I did this big U loop just to get into the one area where these three creeks came together and that was a good spot, but the access like getting in there, it was a long walk and it was, I made a lot of noise, probably left a lot of sun on the [00:20:00] ground.

Turns out there was actually like a gravel road that came in from the north side and said, come in looping around from the underside from the south. And I was trying to play the wind and all that kind of stuff. And I don't know, maybe I would have used that gravel road. Who knows? Dan Johnson, I called him, he's Mr.

Access to the stand. And I said, all right, Dan, here's the deal. Are you trying to. Come through the back door, making a lot of noise, or you try to sneak through the front door, right? And Dan's all about the back door. So yeah, I'll say it again. Dan was all about the back door coming in there and making a lot of noise.

Even though I really feel like I could have done a lot more stealthy move coming through the front. So whatever live and learn. But the other thing is I'm taking my damn ozone machine with me everywhere because, that Marina wool doesn't smell. Like it doesn't pick up the scent like some other clothes would, but I still don't care.

I feel like I needed that [00:21:00] evening neutralization, whatever, to just knock that out. But it was good hunt, all that kind of stuff worked out well, except I didn't come home with any deer. So I feel like I learned something. I'll apply for it again. And who knows, but thank you to that's it, man, opening that up.

Paul, one other thing while I forgot, it's not on my board. So we're talking about food sources, changing acorns, all kinds of deer nuts. Okay. These guys were a partner with here a little bit. The this is another food, a food source that you can throw out on your private land, but it's not crazy to think that you get more deer this year.

It's not insane to believe that a 12 point buck will soon be smiling at you from over the fireplace. It is however, nuts, deer nuts, the savory acorn flavored attractant deer can't resist made of advanced extrusion technology. They're easier to eat and harder to dissolve in rain. Grab some deer nuts that gear.

Get deer nuts. com slash [00:22:00] Ohio while they're check out some cool merch, like no nuts, no glory, truck decals, and more that's get deer nuts. com slash Ohio deer nuts. You could try hunting without them, but you'd be well nuts, Paul. I love it. What was your one liner you had about it last week? What's the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?

What beer? Beer nuts are 49 cents. Deer nuts are just under a buck . Oh, that's good. Hey, yo, . That good stuff? Alright, what do we got man? We got old Jay Ross coming in the house today. He is telling us all about a trip to Alaska. We talk It was a pretty wild trip, man. We're going to let him tell the story.

I showed up to this interview a little late. And then we get in and talk a little deer hunting with him. He is a, an exceptional Ohio deer hunter. We talk a little hunting [00:23:00] controversies. Everyone wants to talk about it, man. People have an opinion. That's what this country is about. Yeah, you're going to really enjoy this show.

Stick around for after the Alaska talk to hear the. Stuff that Justin talks about in his opinions. They were really interesting. Yeah, Justin's our dude from Archery Hike and FHFH. Yeah, dude, this guy's just salt of the earth, man. And go out and kill a doe and donate it to FHFH.

Hashtag, what was it? Donate a doe? Donate a doe. Donate a doe. But enjoy the show. Everybody get out there this week and have fun. Be safe. Keep tagging us in your pictures. Bunch of killers. Love it. Start getting people on here. Tell us about their hunts. Yeah, we'll talk to you guys soon and take care.

See you guys. So tell me

about your your trip there. You Recently came back from [00:24:00] Alaska, right? That's correct, man. So that was a project in the making just to get there, right? Because this is, this goes, did this go back to COVID or was this that that other issue they had up there with the native? What do they call it?

So both I guess to start this goes back all the way to when we booked, it was, I think, August of 19 to hunt in September of 21. Okay. So I had to book it that far out and yes. So then COVID happened, March of 20 COVID happens as we're rolling into the fall, the transporter, we're just, if this is unguided, You know, seven day or eight day drop off hunt in the tundra.

So all we were confident with was for them to fly us in and out and we were in a camp gear off of them. So tents dehydrated food, a little camp stove, some propane pretty much it. And so you take that out. So anyways, as [00:25:00] we rolled in the fall of 2020, the transporter got a hold of us and said, hey, this COVID things, it's these travel restrictions, people aren't able to get up here.

We would appreciate if you guys could move back to 22 because there's not going to be some people. able to go in 20. So we need to push them to 21. So at that time, we got pushed to 22,

2022. Yeah. So then, okay, that's fine. We understand. But as we rolled through with the whole herd, the herd size of, so we were hunting the Arctic the Northwest Arctic caribou herd. And that herd size has been, it goes up and down. It fluctuates. It's been on a downward trend and Alaska fish and wildlife, their threshold is 200, 000 animals with their count.

So when it goes below that, then they start thinking about harvest. What do we need to do about that? They want to see it go, essentially 180 to 220. That's where they like to see, but their [00:26:00] threshold's 200, 000. They did a count and. I think it was the fall of 21 and their count was 183, 183, 000 animals.

I remember right. And at the same time, then when that happened, the subsistence tribes, their board, they threw up a a proposal saying, Hey, we don't want any residents or non residents up here for the next couple of years. We want to essentially close down hunting except for the subsistence tribe.

So what happened that did happen in certain game lands up through there. And our transporter wasn't able to get us. They only had float planes at the time. So they weren't able to get as far enough north to be able to hunt the animals earlier because they needed to land out on the water, whether it was lakes or in the rivers with their float planes.

And so that ended up pushing us back to 23 because, like I said there were still areas you could hunt, but you just, [00:27:00] it, our transporter was taking us essentially historically, they hunted in areas that were closed. By the subsistence tribe. So anyways, that, that pushed us to 23, because like I said, they didn't have planes to be able to land us.

And in the meantime, our transporter went out of business. So we get an email, transporter goes out of business and then somebody else buys them, which, okay, great. Maybe this will happen. The new owner gets ahold of us says, Hey you guys can hold your dates in 23. We've got different planes. We can get you farther North.

Do you still want to go? Absolutely. We'd love to. So that's how it turned into September of 23. So in 23 was the herd where the herd numbers back up to that closer to 200, 000 or no, if I remember right, the last count they did then it was around 160, 000. And they still let you go, they still let you go up.

Yeah, because so if you listen to Alaska fish and wildlife the numbers, the herd was on the [00:28:00] decline or is on the decline for whatever reason. But what Alaska fish and wildlife is saying is, Hey, these residents and non residents flying in, you're talking three to 400 animals a year getting killed and they're bulls only.

We could only kill bulls. We can't kill cows or calves. And the subsistence tribes were allowed. I think it was five a day, essentially year round. So they could kill five bulls, cows, calves, whatever a day. And if you last, if you listen to Alaska Fish and Wildlife, they're saying, the subsistence tribe, you guys are killing way too many animals and you need to not be killing all the cows and the subsistence tribe of essentially arguing without going into the whole argument, they're saying no, we just don't want, residents, non residents coming here and flying the planes. They argued that the planes, flying over top essentially over top of their lands that they hunt, that the planes were changing the migration routes or the caribou, which, Alaska Fish and Wildlife had done, tests on that, which wasn't true.

Or, they had scientific data, tracking data that was [00:29:00] not true. And, So anyways, it became a legal battle, but like I said in the beginning, the subsistence tribe has some rights to some of that ground up there, so they can trump what Alaska Fish and Wildlife says. So anyways, the herd, yes, is still on the decline as of the last count, but Alaska Fish and Wildlife knows that we're only killing bulls.

It's more the subsistence tribe needs to limit within their tribe, they need to change their regulations, which they did, they changed that. And now they're killing less animals. And if I remember right, they're only killing bulls as well. So hopefully hopefully that will change where the herd size will start growing more.

There's multiple factors in there. You've got predation with bears and wolves. That's killing some animals. You've got winters, harsh winters that are killing animals. Obviously hunters are part of that as well. So hopefully with these changing regulations on the subsistence tribe, That hurdle start changing and that herd size will start [00:30:00] gaining again because there'll be less cows being killed.

There is a lot of moving parts there, isn't there? There is. And then you got to throw in, climate change is part of that is part of that data. Because the animals. The animals aren't migrating as far south as fast now, which is, that's a constant changing thing. And so that was another thing that the subsistence tribe was arguing is that they were arguing saying it was the planes were changing the migration routes, but Alaska official wildlife has collar collars on a lot of animals.

So they've got color data. And that just shows that they're coming in later, which they're assuming is not from hunter. pressure. It's actually just from climate change. They're just not moving as far south as quickly because the climate's warmer. So they don't need to go as far south as quick if that makes sense.

Because obviously they're migrating so that right now they're migrating to essentially from [00:31:00] it'd be west of Prudhoe Bay. So way up on the north slope in northern Alaska, way up there would be west of Prudhoe Bay. That's where they're at in summer times. That's where they're essentially raising their calves.

And then as the winter starts blowing in, they start migrating Southwest towards coats of view point hope down around no attack. Kobuk River down through the Kobuk River into those areas, and that's where they overwinter. And then they'll have their, they'll have their calves in the spring and start moving back north, and that's where they so essentially what's dictating that is the weather.

As it gets colder, they start moving south to get, come down south over top the Brooks Range, and then out on the essentially the Coatesview Peninsula out in that area, that part of Alaska. And we'll get to your actual hunt in a, here in a second. But I think this is fascinating to me.

I do tend to enjoy politics, although less lately than in the past. But you in Ohio, when comparing it to Ohio, we talk about Turkey populations [00:32:00] and here comes Mr. Turkey himself. But the we talk about Turkey populations and why they're declining. You look at something up there and we've got a similar issue in your population going down, but perhaps the reasoning could be drastically different.

And then when you start talking about native tribes and subsist, subsistence residents and that kind of stuff, man, that's something we don't have. We don't, we're not talking about, we've got the DNR and they're doing their research and the NWTF and that kind of stuff when it comes to the Turkey population, but when you talk about caribou and you've got the Alaska fish in game, but then you've got this other sector in here that, it's blaming the planes for migration changes and, all that kind of stuff, that sounds like it gets to be a very intricate web of.

Nastiness pretty quick. Yeah. And to, we can't fathom the scale up there. So we'll talk about the hunt here in a little bit, but one, when you get [00:33:00] dropped off, you're not really going anywhere, you can hike around stuff, but it's not like you can just call somebody, we're on our Garmin in reaches.

That's the only way of communication up there or satellite phone. And again, it's not like you're moving around. The ground is so large up there and where we were at out in the tundra. Again, you're not traveling more than a few miles a day would be, and you could get in a waterway like in the Wolk River.

We'll talk about and you can make your way all the way to the ocean if you wanted. But what I'm trying to say is the scale up there is so different than anybody here can imagine. The millions of acres of ground that's honorable at any given time is amazing. So it is, it's hard to fathom what they're going through.

And that's why, Alaska Fish and Wildlife is doing their collar data. They're doing all, taking all these scientific benchmarks and following that because they need to know as well. And that's not the only herd of caribou in Alaska. There's 20 herds of caribou in Alaska. That was [00:34:00] just the herd that we were hunting.

And that goes to show as well the size of the area of Alaska and just the little portion where we were at and how they're, how they watch the different herds. And what's acceptable with those thresholds. It's crazy, Paul. Welcome to the show, my friend. And we were just discussing Justin's, leading up to his hunt there in Alaska, some of the different intricacies that, they had to deal with.

So anyway, Justin, you got to Alaska this year. Finally got there, we got there and we're back, I wish I was still there and you're back and your freezer's full. It's not full. What happened? My, I tell you though, my heart's full. It was everything. It was everything I wanted it to be. And pretty much expected it to be other than just the caribou hunting.

And that's what sucks because that's what we signed up for. But that's fun. That's, and again, that goes back to That goes back to the scale of where you're hunting. When you [00:35:00] get dropped off you're really at the mercy of your transporter. And again, we'll talk about it, but they, they were touting how they were saying, an 80 percent essentially 80 percent chance or opportunity of seeing animals and a 75 percent harvest.

And then, we get into it, we get dropped and we don't see a single caribou the whole time. That's what hurts the most is when you got a transporter, that's I wouldn't say guaranteeing anything, but definitely the proud, and then we just got dropped in a crappy location and, you can't do anything about it right now.

We found out why later, but so first of all, you're gun hunting, right? Rifles. There was four of us, which one ended up getting flown out after the first day he was having some asthma issues. So they took him out. So we had two, Randy and I were bow hunting and then John and Matt were rifle hunting.

Gotcha. But when Matt ended up flying back out early, then he left his rifle. And so I pretty much started rifle hunting by the end of the [00:36:00] week. Okay. And. So you got, you think you're going in a good spot. You've got 80 percent or whatever. And everybody's proud to send you. And what, what happens?

Okay. So we get there, I could, I don't know where you want to start. Travel in general is just a long timeframe. We went from Columbus to Seattle, had a, like a three hour layover in Seattle, flew from Seattle to Anchorage. Had a seven hour layover in Anchorage and then went from Anchorage to Coatesview, which is a little peninsula subsistence village.

There's an airport there. It's small, the small airport that there's one commercial flight comes in and out from Alaska airlines every day. And then a freight plane comes in and out. And other than that, it's, that's the only way to get to Coatesview is by plane or boat. Once you get there.

Then, that's where our transporter was and was flying bush planes out of there to get guys out in the field. And you essentially are just at the luck of the draw. At that point, they leave it up to the pilots of the bush planes to [00:37:00] say, Hey, we're gonna take you here. With hopes that you're, a day or so ahead of animals.

So when you fly in with caribou, moose, I think bear I'm not sure what all animals in Alaska, but anyways, with us, we weren't allowed to, we weren't allowed to hunt on the day we fly. We had to wait until 3 a. m. The next day. Now, granted it, we couldn't have hunted at 3 a. m. Cause it wasn't quite light yet.

But anyways, so what the idea is that they will fly you in maybe a day or so ahead of where the migration is coming through and migration could be one or two animals. It could be 50. At a time, but you might just see animals throughout your week there. Their idea is leave you there and then you'll see some animals within, a mile or so of your camp.

You shouldn't, if you can get to a high glassing knob, you should be able to find some animals, spot and stock and hopefully harvest the animal and then obviously get that meat back to your camp. But we'll again, we'll talk more. But we found out later that people were killing caribou. [00:38:00] They were at minimum 50, if not 75 miles northwest of us.

And so there was, they just weren't, there was no migration where we were at. We were just in a crappy location. Was that on the pilot? Yeah. We yeah, we talked to the owner afterwards to try to figure that out. And he was wishy washy. He was blaming the pilots. When actually, I think it should be on him.

Our idea is that if, you should know where the migration's at and tell the pilots, hey, we need to get these guys here because, these guys are killing. So when they fly out, we know the migration's here and then leave it up to the pilots to get us essentially on the ground, landed into an area that we can, that they can land on, that's obviously at the pilot's discretion.

I think what was happening, or I know what was happening, it was our transporter had been backed up because of COVID. Just people not being able to hunt. And so they just kept booking people and they were way overbooked. And we just drew the short straw. They [00:39:00] were trying to put people wherever they could in the field.

And two of us, or actually three of us had seven day fishing license. And so they said, you guys got fishing gear? I said, yeah. And they said, okay, we know where we're going to take you. And it turned into, I think it just turned into we can make their week. At least they'll be able to fish. I, I don't know if it was that blunt, but I got a feeling it was because we weren't even close.

We were, like I said, we were 50 to 75 miles from any caribou. That's insane. So how do you try, is there a way to try and vet that before you go on the trip? If anybody's listening, like I want to go on a caribou hunt, but I don't want to have something like that happen, is there a way to, you don't read the Yelp reviews for that, right?

No, and so there's only two transporters going out of Kotzebue to hunt these caribou that were, that are unguided. There was another service in there that was doing some guided grizzly hunts. I don't know if they were doing any guided caribou hunts. Yeah, you're, like I said, you're at the mercy.

You read reviews, you talk to [00:40:00] them and, everything seemed to be on the up and up. They were very personable and talked. Definitely had plenty of good reviews and plenty of bad reviews behind. But again, the company the old owners, they'd went out of business and this new guy had bought it.

And, if you look at social media on his stuff plenty of animals, he talked about how he'd been around and hunted different areas and he knew what was going on. You got to take it, with a grain of salt and a way, cause you don't know you're going to this area, you have no idea.

You just hope for the best. And like I said, if we didn't go with them when he offered, we probably wouldn't have went at all because of the change in ownership. But so again, I would say read reviews, definitely don't just watch social media, because all you're going to see is social media is.

Probably all the good stuff. Definitely not there that transporter pages, you're going to see all the good stuff there, but try to seek out some people that had hung with that transporter. And, maybe you can get ahold of them, private message them, and you can talk. That would probably be the best route.

[00:41:00] Again, people with this transporter were killing. It was do we just drew the short straw, I think, and got put in a bad location. So Justin, you're a very positive person and upbeat. And I know you had a great trip and I think we, we all have had this discussion about what a successful hunting trip or outdoors trip looks like.

And it's what your expectations are. Obviously you were disappointed that you didn't get on the herd and that didn't work out, but. In talking with you, you still had a great time. Oh, it was amazing. It really was. And I am, I'm a positive person. And look, if any outdoor adventure, if your barometer for success is harvesting an animal, you're missing the point.

Like the adventure is what we all want. Now, nobody that doesn't sell anything per se. That's not what we've been taught. Yeah. We go back to the talk with Tonkovich or Tony, like talking about big bucks. That's what sells. That's what people want. But at the end of the day, it's not, at the end of the day, that's not the memory.

The memory is what you did while [00:42:00] you were there. And that's why the trip was so awesome. Who can say they've been on a, an eight day drop off in Alaska where you have no contact with anybody except the people you're with and the environment, it really was amazing. And yeah, obviously we want to double harvest animals and bring meat home.

But we didn't, and it was still an amazing trip. So what did you do when you were out there besides look really far for caribou and not find them? You said you were, you're fishing, grizzlies. Any of that kind of stuff, moose. So we flew in first, first spot. And I I had my in reach and I was communicating with the kids and my wife a little bit just sending them messages, through the in reach.

But we, so we land, so they, like I said they said, Hey, you guys have fishing stuff. Yeah, great. We know exactly where we're going to take you, perfect. Yeah. We'll be able to fish. So we're flying in and flew about 38 minutes. So about 70 miles or so, maybe 80 miles north [00:43:00] of, it would be, northeast of Kotzebue, towards the Red Dog mine is where we went.

We flew over the mine road going in. We saw semis coming in and out where they were hauling. I think it's a zinc mine, I think. But anyways, it's anyways, we were flying that direction. That's when we landed on the Wallach River and. We come down, land on a gravel bar. Again, it's everything you've seen on TV, YouTube, whatever, on these adventures.

We land on a gravel bar, there's water flowing, you see the willows, the altars, the tundra, the mountains off in the distance. It was amazing. So we land and, the pilots, there was three pilots that flew us four in, drop all the gear. They're like, Hey, we got to get out so we can move some other people.

Keep your eyes peeled. There's a bunch of bears here. There they go, they leave. And so we're all looking around like, all right, here we go. We got to find a place for camp and we just started scouting around and it really didn't take, but a few minutes, we were all over [00:44:00] grizzly tracks, they were everywhere and, we didn't know at the time but there was all kinds of fish and the chum salmon were actually swimming upstream and the wall river there and spawning and dying.

And so the bears were just forging on fish and which they do this time of year. So we're searching around. We find all these grizzly tracks. And again, I was messaging with the, my wife and kids, but I, I wouldn't say anything about the grizzlies. Oh. And what I was going to tell you too, when we got to town, the transporter said, Hey, just FYI, one of our groups had to shoot a grizzly.

It was just. It was essentially bluff charging them day after day in their camp trying to get into their camp and finally it just got too close and one of them had to it was got it just was too much. So then there's a whole process that you got to deal with that because everything's got to get verified.

I wasn't saying anything about that. So we get to camp, find all these grizzly tracks. And figure we just need security. We need water obviously for, to make dehydrated meals for coffee, drink, drinking, [00:45:00] whatever. And we just set up camp back in, in a little chunk of willows where we felt secure and it's, is what it is.

And we got out and started fishing pretty much right away. And that's when we realized, man, there's a ton of fish here. I don't fish a ton. I do some here at home, but mainly like ponds. I don't really follow these really awesome salmon streams. And apparently the wall river is like a world famous.

Salmon stream. We did have two, two boats float past us guys that were on seven day floating trips fishing. That was the only people we saw the whole time. And they had a transporter, took them way upstream, dropped them off. And then they were just Floating down fishing for seven days, all the way to the ocean, get picked back up.

And that was the reason why the Arctic char were up in their Arctic grayling, chum salmon, we were catching them all. It was, and so we were eating really well, honestly because the fishing was so good, but it didn't take long. Actually, after we set up camp the first [00:46:00] night we hiked through the willows and up into the edge of the tundra to where we could see out.

And we saw our first grizzly that night. And we watched him. He was about a mile and a half away on a hillside just forging and we didn't really know why or what was going on. But the next morning we got up and the way the wind was blowing, we were like, we got to go over to that where he was at to that.

No, that was the highest spot where the wind was going to be good. And so we hiked around. It was about a two and a half mile hike to get around the river to where we could hike up to that knoll. And then we click, which we never saw that grizzly again there, but there was berries, blueberries everywhere.

And so those bears were up there, forging on berries. And, they go down in the willows and they probably sleep or whatever. And then they go down to the water, get a fish and so forth. And but that was our first glassing knob was from up there. And there was just grizzly sign everywhere.

And before we were there a couple of days. And then I ended up getting on the in reach to the [00:47:00] owner of the transport service. I was like, Hey man, you got to move us or there's no caribou here. And which we ended up, he and they ended up moving us another 22 miles north where we didn't see any caribou.

But the last night before we left, I was going to tell you, there was a grizzly, we were out fishing and a grizzly came down to the river. And that was the closest grizzly that we actually had in camp. He was 261 yards and I don't think it was a huge grizzly. I did get some pictures, but probably four or 500 pounds, not a, what you'd say is a monster, but that thing didn't care one bit that we were there.

We got out of the river and try to get some pictures and then, essentially walked right out at yelling and it didn't care. It would just go out in the river, grab a fish, come up and maul it. Go back down the river, get another fish. But the issue we had that night was the sun was going down and we wanted to get, we wanted to get out of there before the sun went down just for security sake, and ended up feeding down around the river and out of, out of view and before the sun went down.

All [00:48:00] was well, but again, you're in Alaska. So if you're uncomfortable with that stuff, then you probably shouldn't go. It's just part of the gig. I'm uncomfortable with that kind of stuff. So I don't think I'll be in Alaska anytime soon. I'm ready. I told him about hunting in the Everglades and he was just like, you're out of, you're out of, you're out of your mind.

Come on months. It's outside of Ohio. Look, dude, I'm already having like second thoughts by going to drumming again with wolves and cougars and bears and oh my, I like to be the apex predator in the woods. I don't know. I can tell you. You guys know I killed back a few years ago. I had a public land tag for an alligator in Florida and killed it, killed an alligator with my bow.

I think it was back in 18. And that was on Lake Trafford down there. It's a West. I think it's pretty much West, maybe Southwest to Okeechobee. And Oh, is it a Monique, a monarchy or however you say that town? Immokalee. [00:49:00] Immokalee. I think it was right close to Immokalee. If I remember right, but Lake Trafford, anyway, anybody can look it up, had a public land tag and ended up killing 11 foot gator, and there was people swimming in that Lake, like locals, like it was they'd swim in it.

And I can tell you, there is no way in hell I'd ever get in that water after being out there, hunters, gators, oh, dude, there's gators everywhere. Now, granted, we were out on a, like a airboat and calling, but my God, there was gators everywhere. It's wild down there, man. It's a different, it's a different world.

It's like the reverse of Alaska. If you're in the right spot, you feel it's very intimidating for sure. Yeah, I'm not sure what's worse, not being able to swim away from a gator or not being able to run away from a grizzly. I think the swimming. Death is staring you in the face either way.

It's gotta be the swimming. If you're on the ground and you, if you had a weapon or something, at least you can defend yourself. I feel like when you're in the water, you're just toast. So I, let's play a game here. If you are in a fist fight with either an alligator or a grizzly [00:50:00] bear, which one do you think you're going to survive the longest you're going to die, either option, but which one are you surviving the longest?

And it's gotta be the grizzly, right? Because you're going to get more punches on a grizzly bear's nose than you are on a gator. I think you're right. I think, yeah, I think you're right. I think you, yeah, I think it's the grizzly. But doesn't you might be able to ride the back of an alligator for a little longer.

Maybe that would be it. But a grizzly could like, Bear hug you, right? Gator just got like little arms, right? He's not going to eat that. That's not a thing, right? He can maybe use his tail. I don't know. Can move so fast. Whether they're biting you or whipping you with their tail. Oh my gosh. Like the Gator could bite your leg.

Just say that's like where he's going to be focused. Like the grizzly could bite your arm and then grab your back. And then I don't know. So you're going Gator. You would survive longer versus with an alligator. Yes. Okay. Yeah. The alligator is probably going to crunch your leg and spin and just twist your leg off.

Yeah. But then he could drown you. So that's a whole nother thing. If you [00:51:00] can't breathe yeah, I don't know. I'm sure that's a tough one. These are deep thoughts. So I do have a, I do have a wolf story as well from Alaska. So we, after a few days there in camp. And the first camp, we'll get with the transporter yet.

We'll fly out, be there tomorrow morning, just pack up, be ready. So we had to take our tents down, pack everything back up. Which isn't a whole lot. I didn't mention, but other than so all your gear that you have with you. So this does not include food. Or the camp gear. Tents tents, food, little, the little propane camp stove.

If you take all that out of the mix, you're allowed 60 pounds. That's the clothes you're wearing, boots rifle, bow, binoculars, spotting scope, whatever you want. Camp chair, that you get 60 pounds. So when I say pack things up, there's not a whole lot to pack up. It gets pretty quick when you're talking, an eight to 10 pound rifle or bow, four arrows an ammo, [00:52:00] whatever, a set of binoculars.

It's going to weigh a good few pounds. Your clothes. You guys know me, I'm a big tall guy. Like my clothes aren't lightweight even the best of clothes, which you got to have, or you just won't make weight. But anyway, we packed stuff up and they pick us up, fly us up to this other little River basin area.

Actually, they hadn't landed in there yet. They circled around it twice before they landed. 'cause they were like, we don't know how big it is when you land in there. So we come down in and land, we hit, I've got a cool video that I ought to send you, but we land and you can't see it in the video, but we land.

You can tell we bounce. So we hit the water, our wheels hit the water coming in, hit the gravel, we bounce and my door flies open. We bounce, we stop, we unload everything out of the planes. The pilots are walking back and forth, counting, throwing big rocks out of the way, counting. I think they counted 667 feet, if I remember right.

And they were [00:53:00] like, I've said, so what do you need? And they were like we like to have a thousand. They're like we got 667. When they didn't have, when they were unloaded, they took off and they got right up and out of there. But after the fact, when we were there, the rest of the trip.

When they picked us up to take us out, they would only take one of us at a time. They couldn't put too, it was just too much weight. They would have never got up and out of there. That's how short the quote unquote gravel bar runway was. It just, it, again it was an adventure. But so to the wolf, so we land down there in the camp too.

And so we're looking around, where can we go to spot, try to get up spot animals, where can we set up camp, whatever. The only place we could set up camp was on the other side of the river. So we, you got waders, that's part of the gig, that's part of your 60 pounds. You got to have a set of waders.

There's just no way around it. We put our waders on, we're carrying all of our gear across the river over this, again, another little patch of willows. We figured we'd set camp up right there because it's right close to the water. You feel secure in the willows. So [00:54:00] at this point, Matt was gone. Randy and John are there and we're setting up camp.

I'm like I'll go ahead and just come down here and get water. So we'll have water, for dinner and so forth. There's no sense of me trying to just be in a mix of setting up a tent as I'm setting up or getting water there. I hear this click clack and like a horse run on asphalt.

And I look down the river to my right, it's getting louder and louder quickly. And I turn and there's a calf caribou. So I said, we didn't see any caribou, but it's a calf. She wasn't legal anyways, but. This calf caribou running as fast as it can right up the edge of the river. And I'm like that's cool.

There's going to be more caribou come and thought we're in a good place. We'll see, maybe there's some caribou coming through. Oh, no. The calf running all by herself and there's a wolf behind it. Jet black wolf. Like definitely German shepherd, bigger, taller, but like a German shepherd jet black.

And so I'm trying to get Randy and John's attention. Cause they both had wolf [00:55:00] tags. You can buy a wolf tag for 60 bucks. I'm cheap. I didn't buy one. I wish I would have now. So I'm trying to get. I'm trying to get Randy's attention or John's behind me because they're setting up the tent about, I don't know, 30 yards away.

So anyways, I'm like trying to get off the bank and I'm like Randy. And so he sees me, I'm like, there's a wolf coming. And at this point, the wolf has already, was up close to us. And I kneeled down and that wolf was about 30 yards standing there, stood broadside, just looked at me.

And I think it was as surprised as I was, it just looked at me like, what are you doing here? Big old paint tongue hanging out of its mouth. And Randy was behind me at that point. And all he had was his pistol. Cause we had, the planes had just taken off. This was probably 10, 10 minutes, 15 minutes after planes took off and are, the rifles are still in the pack.

And so anyways, Randy pulled his pistol and took one crack at the at that wolf and it took off running and. And all I can hope is maybe we save that calf caribou's life because it took off the left and the wolf went to the right and who knows, [00:56:00] we end up, we had our waders on, we went out and look for blood and everything and then, didn't find anything, but it was over about as fast as it happened, but it was just amazing to see, the chance of seeing a wolf.

They said there's a chance you see a wolf or like a Wolverine. But it happened, again, just another on the trip, you see a wolf it was amazing. I was going to say to that camp, that first camp, we had a bull moose. Actually come down into camp as well. He was on the other side of the river, but came down.

And again, this is why I'm trying to just tell how cool the trip was. Cause you have a bull moose come down. He's just down there doing his thing. He didn't care about us and he wasn't a big moose or nothing by any means, just a little, a young one, but still had little paddles on him and it was just neat to see you right there with them.

Then we actually had a cat or a cow caribou and a, or a cow moose and a calf moose come down the Hill actually in camp two, we saw as well. It's wild. I was listening to the Bear [00:57:00] Grylls podcast recently and. I was re listening to the Daniel Boone one. Have you listened to that? Yeah, it was fantastic.

And I listened to the render. I don't normally listen to those, but it was the last one that they did. And there was a line in the Daniel Boone podcast, like the actual one that Clay did with with some of the historians and one of the, one of the guys talked about how there was this woman, I forget her name, but she said that she had met.

Like Daniel Boone and she said that the, the, her comment was basically like the old woodsman. Like she had this perception of this man going in and then she meets him, at 80 years old. And he's just like this frail, meek, individual. And so they talked about that. And then fast forward to another episode, clay was talking about that Warner Glenn guy.

Who's the dry land or dry ground mountain lion hunter. And he said that he had the, he met this man, this guy's 81 or something like that. And he's six foot six, but he's got like this meek, humble personality. And so I was thinking about that. [00:58:00] And that's a lot of like woodsman or hunters, whatever you want to call us.

When they get to that advanced stage, they have just this meek, humble personality. And they're just quiet. And I was thinking about that. And I feel like it's because if. A lot of times we find ourselves in these areas in the world that you're just small and you're just as insignificant as a freaking pebble, on that gravel bar.

And I can imagine, I've never been to Alaska. I've been out West. I've been in those areas that are way bigger than Ohio and you can see for. Miles and miles. And I feel like that's one of those places where you just, I'm sure you just stood there and you're like, this is as small as I'm ever going to be right now.

Yeah, it really is. And I could sit here. I feel like I'm preaching. And I just, I want everybody to, even if it's at home, even there's a lot of good wild land in Ohio, you go to one on the way national and hike up in there. You can get to some pretty desolate areas. [00:59:00] even there or across the country.

There's plenty areas, but man, I just challenged people to make yourself uncomfortable. I'm not gonna lie. Some of that stuff was uncomfortable. When we first started seeing those grizzly tracks, I thought, man, like we got a week, we got a week of this. There is no way that we're not going to have a grizzly in camp.

They're everywhere. That's living, that it's such a cliche, but it is, that's living, that's when you were at your best. Is when you're in an uncomfortable place and you just deal with each situation, there's no distractions that, that, I guess that was the distraction, but there was, you deal with it.

And I just want to challenge everybody to put yourself in some of those situations and essentially set your phone down where you're not connected and just go live. With your buddies or your kids or your wife, whatever, just go on a little trip where you're not connected to anything but them.

And it's a whole different feeling. And like you were saying, Paul, it makes you feel in a way it makes you feel [01:00:00] small but it makes you feel whole because everything matters. You're sitting at home and there's a thousand things going on, when you're there, there's one thing going on.

It's just you and the environment and that, that makes you whole because you're always connected in that sense compared to all these other distractions. Yeah. And it doesn't have to be sitting on a ridgetop and ask Alaska, like you said, it could be Lincoln County, Ohio. It could be Ashtabula. It could be anywhere.

Cleanse the soul, man. It goes back to the point of if your barometer for a hunting trip is a harvest, you're missing the, you're missing the point. You're just missing the point. The idea is you need to go have a fun time with family or friends and enjoy that peacefulness or that adventure of what it is.

That's what it's all about. That's what you remember. Yeah. I started enjoying hunting. Yeah. Absolutely. A million times more once I got to that point where I'm like, that was a lot of fun. Really enjoyed my day. I'm [01:01:00] coming out the same way that I went in, right? And that's, I just got done with that Mill Creek opportunity up there.

And I had a very similar thing. I think Paul, you've seen me put a lot of stress on myself over the years, but the. And I walked out of those woods with nothing and it was just like, it was amazing even sitting in the rain and cold and everything else. Got to have that. Yeah. It takes time to get there.

It's like talking to you on your way home from one of those hunts, you're like, dude, it was miserable. I was out of here for eight hours and it rained the entire time. You're like, I had a blast. There you go, man. Justin, what do you got on the whitetail radar this year? I've been so far behind.

I put so much effort into the Alaska trip. And quite frankly, I was shooting my bow, daily all really I shoot a lot anyways, but really from archery hike, in July, up until we left in September, it was constant shooting mold wear as a day, different ranges, just, you just.

essentially. And so I didn't even set up anything for white [01:02:00] tails. It's terrible. And now I get home from Alaska. I haven't shot my bow since I left. I don't know if I'm just You just don't have time. I got back and obviously we were all busy with work. And just actually a couple of weeks ago, I got a couple of cameras out and the two places I hunt, whether it's my own property or my cousin's property and seeing some deer around I hate it.

I haven't even hunted a bow hunted yet this year, but I'm trying to get some stuff knocked off with work. And I missed that cold front last weekend. Just again, just busy with things trying to play catch up which I hate, but we got a four month season here in Ohio. Again, depends what adventure you want.

If you want that early season it's that early season's moving by pretty quick, but we've got a great the areas I hunt, there is a great acorn crop this year. I don't know if that's statewide or not, but there's a great acorn crop. And I can tell you the deer on is an acorns hardcore right now.

And that's the place I might try to get out this evening just to go sit. The other side of that coin is that [01:03:00] I know if I go, I'm going to bust a dough and it's, I gotta make sure I have time to deal with that, butchering and so forth when I get home or we'll talk about FHFH, maybe I'd just go donate it and get a first donation out of the year.

But I gotta make sure I have time to do that as well. Cause that's the other side of the story, sitting in the woods and harvest an animal is step one. Step two is you got to do something with the meat or the animal. And you got to have time to do that. I'm a little disappointed. You haven't been hunting yet.

I wanted to call this episode bows and box. Booze and buy with a caribou. It's oh, it would, I wish I had, I wish I had, I just, yeah, I have it, but we'll get there. We'll get there. And it goes back to that, that talk you guys had with Tom, a few weeks ago about the four month season. I can see why.

Yeah, we transitioned to Ohio, but I can see why he might want to shorten that season down some, but it does make it nice because we've got warm weather, changing leaves, an acorn crop, colder [01:04:00] weather, snow with all these seasons in between. And it creates some awesome adventures, especially with our, our bag limits here in Ohio.

You can hunt all these different seasons, enjoy all this four month timeframe. Yeah, for sure. Definitely acorn crop out there. And I, you talk about that being what you're seeing, but I, it's nationally I've heard guys from, out west, down the south. Acorns just thrown everywhere.

So that's definitely a big thing right now. And now we've got crops coming off the field here in Ohio. So that's usually good for at least seeing deer and moving them, but we'll have the rut kicking in here before you know it and it'd be good. If we can obviously we're wet. Now, here in Central Ohio, we had that rain which kind of took the farmers out, out of the fields from harvesting and, I corn still a little green, but it will be nice to get the corn off, you do, you end up losing a lot of deer and the corn when you're trying to hunt them on the edges, they get in the corn, you just can't find them or whatever, because they're munching what they can, but once that corn comes off and it pushes them back in that edge, yeah, that's when the hunting gets good.

And [01:05:00] obviously the rut's going to be firing up here in another couple of weeks where they'll start chasing and which again, just that transition, it makes it enjoyable. I need a tie of a farmer friend that I need to ask him, but man I feel like the corn is hanging green long this year and I know we haven't had a frost.

maybe sporadic frost at this point. But it was so dry. I would have thought it would have gone, gone brown a lot earlier. Maybe I'm just getting ahead of

myself. I think it was telling me, which they're grain farmers, and he was saying that, I think it was somebody from the Department of Ag the Ohio Department of Ag, they were saying that the smoke we had roll in earlier this year, that pushed, at least the beans pushed them about two weeks off.

From maturing. They just, yeah, apparently they didn't grow as much. And so it pushed them about two weeks back. And now granted a lot of farmers are out pulling beans now. But it is late. And so maybe that's the same thing with corn. So if you don't harvest your buck on your normal [01:06:00] timeframe, you're a couple of weeks late.

We just blame Canada. Is that what you're saying? Oh, Canada. I don't know what else you got, Justin you had said you had a comment on the controversial topic discussion that we had with Dan Johnson and Tony Peterson and those guys. What was what was the one that was getting at you?

I've, and you're not the only one I've had a quite a few people reach out. Oh man, we had a lot of fired up about some of that stuff. Yeah. Oh, it's great. It's great that people, that's what gets people involved. And it really, I don't even think they're highly controversial topics because it's by communicating we're finding resolve and finding common ground.

So that's really what needs to happen. But I wanted to touch on real quick Tom was saying that from 2011 to 2012. We've had a 90, 000, a 90, 000 drop in hunting license. Is that correct? That was me. I brought that up. That was from the DNR. They put out a just like [01:07:00] it's a PDF. You can just Google it in Ohio and that was the, yeah, that was the, that, and that was just right there.

I'll have to, I'll send that PDF to you. That's like the easiest. Thing to, to research the state. They do a really good job putting that out, but yeah, that was the drop 2012 to whatever the date was. Yeah. I pulled that up during the conversation with Dan Johnson. Oh, okay. And I thought that was really interesting because that was, we were saying that was like a 50 percent reduction.

Was that right? And I'm not sure what the. I'm not sure what the, what I don't I'd have to pull up that P D F again. I'm not sure what the reduction say. Even say it was a 30% reduction. Yeah, but harvest, deer harvest in the state is plus or minus, we're, we're hovering around that 200,000, maybe it's 180, maybe it's 2 10, 2 12.

Like we're give or take off 200,000, but we've dropped that many, which is good. Maybe that's, obviously people were killing more animals, but I just, I thought that was a fun fact. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. More, more efficient for sure. I think talking to address that too, that people were, are taking [01:08:00] advantage of that liberal season length and shooting more dose than they probably were, in the past.

So having to cross bows and other opportunities. Yeah. That was one that was interesting. The number of deer that were killed with a crossbow. And it was it a majority Andrew, or is it like 43%? I thought it was 60, 65 percent of the archery kill in Ohio. If I remember it, 65 percent is with crossbows and I don't really know why that's a negative thing.

I guess we've always had it in Ohio, so we don't think any different, but I think what falls short in that conversation is people that don't like crossbows. I think their argument is that they don't like how easy it is to set one up and go kill an animal with it. I think, would you guys agree or not?

Yeah, that people, there's a perception that it's easier to kill a deer with a crossbow. Is it? Yeah. I can tell you right now, I used to, I watched my son shoot a doe from [01:09:00] 26 yards with a crossbow. Kid hadn't shot a deer in a year. Never, actually never killed a deer. He's killed a lot of other stuff, but we didn't find that deer.

The blood everywhere, you shouldn't deal with archery tackle, whatever that is, right? Longbow, crossbow, trad bow and stuff can go wrong. Do you think the same people that don't like crossbows? Do you think they ever hunt with firearms? You know what I mean? That would be my argument.

If you don't like crossbows, then why are you hunting with a modern firearm or a muzzleloader? You hunting with an inline muzzleloader? Yeah, maybe that's great. That's a great question. I think it's, there's a very there's a very elitist mentality. It's all driven from social media, right? That's where this word's derived from.

There's very elitist mentality within the archery hunting community about crossbow, public lands. Versus private, I've got my first access to private property this year written permission to deer hunt and dude, I'm walking through this property [01:10:00] and I'm walking the private or the property line and I see tree stand.

I go to the other property line. I see tree stand, and that's just two sides of the property. I'm like, okay, so there's more pressure here to all of these people that are like, oh yeah, it's easier to kill deer on. Private property. I've been saying that for years. I don't think that's true just from just a couple visits out there because there's people everywhere.

And if I want to hunt this little area, I'm going to deal with the three other people surrounding me, public property. I can go freaking mile into the woods and have nobody well, and like on pressure deer the crossbow thing. No, you're good. Cause it's, it is continues down this whole path.

There's so many different avenues for this, but so you don't like crossbows, but you hunt with a compound. Okay. Today's compounds are sick, right? Those and it doesn't take a ton of skill to be pretty proficient with one of those. So if you're so good with that, and you're going to be such a traditionalist and elitist in that use a trad bow.

And then if you're going to use trad bow, I don't want to [01:11:00] go to spirit. Like you can go down that, that line and it's just stupid. And especially in Ohio, where we've got so many deer and our her, it's, it, that is, they're just, it's silly how many they're everywhere. What's missing from that conversation, and I think the common ground that nobody brings up is what people that don't like crossbows, what they're probably arguing against, but they don't say it is the lack or less of woodsmanship.

Because archery is all about woodsmanship. Yeah, obviously, you got to be a good shot with whatever bow you're using. But it's woodsmanship. If you can't get within bow range. Bingo. Then why does it matter? But I think what people that don't like crossbows, I think what they are arguing is it's it, they could shoot more accurate at a further distance.

So which in turn means you have less woodsmanship. If you could get when we set up 20, 30 yards from a, from an ambush, from a [01:12:00] trail or a feeder or, an inside corner, somewhere where the deer are traveling, we want to be 20, 30 yards. That's a whole nother thing. One, you gotta be able to shoot, which we can all shoot 20, 30 yards with a crossbow or compound, whatever.

But there's another factor that you've got wind. You've got, you've got all this woodsman ship. That takes part in that. And I think that's the topic that never comes up that people that don't like crossbows, they get frustrated because people can step into the game really quick and shoot an animal maybe at a further distance at a quicker time frame because they can go by crossbow side of the angle shoot.

But it's the lack of woodsmanship that doesn't get talked about. You don't have to, I feel you don't have to know as much to hunt with the crossbows you do with compound, but you still have to be able to get close. What is 60 yards is that I don't think I would feel comfortable shooting 60 yards with a crossbow.

Maybe if I really. Dialed it in, but I don't know. There's so many topics. I know we don't have time to get into this rabbit hole. But we could talk over hunting, hunting over bait, [01:13:00] hunting from a, a blind elevated blind versus a saddle or a tree stand or off the ground. There's is one really better than the other.

I, I. Think you could make a pretty good argument that hunting from an elevated blind over a feeder has different challenges. Those deer are weary and they don't always come in during daylight. There's a lot there, right? And it's a different, like we started their conversation, which I got two other things I want to bring up but.

It's a different adventure, whether you like it or don't like it. That's what's awesome about say Ohio or wherever else you get to pick what adventure you want. Do you want to sit on a trail and maybe pick off just a random deer? Or do you want to get on a feeder and try to pinpoint a certain buck that you're trying to get to that feeder?

Again, neither one's right or wrong. It's a different experience and it's a different, it's a different adventure. I can tell you sitting over a feeder, which I've killed deer off feeders before. It's fun because you typically see a lot of deer, but it can be pretty boring as well. Like it's just because [01:14:00] it's, you don't really see anything other than looking at a feeder.

Yeah. If you're sitting out on a trail, you got deer moving through the woods. It's fun. Animals, maybe they don't come in, but. Get your excitement up. It drops back down. Again, it's just a different adventure. Yeah. Yeah. One thing I wanted to move to with Paul real quick, you were brought up public or private.

So the leasing thing, I've never leased any woods to hunt on, but I understand. I get it. There's a value to those animals and this one's going to hit home. And I thought about it after you guys conversation. I love it. Cause it's going to piss a lot of people off and I can't wait. So you guys can take the feedback.

Why will somebody dump thousands of dollars? And their kids to play travel sports. But they have a fit to pay somebody to hunt their land. What's the difference?

There's no difference. So I get monetarily, I guess there's not a difference. Yeah. All you're doing is creating experience with your child, right? That by letting them play travel, any sport, [01:15:00] it doesn't matter if it's travel or not, but typically travel sports is the way people go. And there's a lot of costs.

You're traveling weekend to weekend. There's nobody ever bats an eye. They'll dump thousands of dollars into that. But man, somebody wants them to lease something. Yeah. I don't think I want to do that. Do you think that, do you think that a majority or a lot of the people are leasing property are doing it selfishly just for themselves?

Or I would say that on this is just based on literally nothing. I would say a majority of the people that are leasing property are doing it, not with children in mind. probably the vast majority. But that goes to my point again, if they could have a place with if they could have a place to hunt with their kids, would you be willing to pay some money to have that place?

My, my perception on leasing has changed as I've gotten older and I can afford to lease property, right? 15 years ago, zero chance I was freaking rubbing 2 bills together. You know what I [01:16:00] mean? I find it funny the way people allocate, they'll allocate money and then have an opinion on it and people value things at home because I'm not a sports guy at all.

The chance of those kids ever going anywhere or doing anything in sports long term is, let's just say zero, the chance of them living an awesome lifestyle, hunting, or living like out and experiencing nature, a hundred percent, if you put them in an opportunity when they're kids, it is. That's very much.

Yeah. Yeah.

Is the whole getting permission on public or on private ground. We're all looking for convenient ways to find get permission. But the problem is we don't have a lot of that sense of community. When we were kids, we gained permission to hunt on people's land because we worked for him or the first place I hunted, I worked for the landowner.

I worked at his car wash when I was 15, but he let me hunt his land. And I think that's [01:17:00] another thing in the conversation that never comes up as we, as a society, we don't have that community anymore. And that's why you see a lot of private ground, whether it's being leased or people can't get permission because there's not that sense of community or they, you don't know somebody personally.

It's transactional. What's that? It's transactional, not relationship driven. Yeah. Yes. Yes. I absolutely agree with that. Yeah. And, but nobody ever brings that up. The easiest way to gain permission is you got, you have, you can't just go to them and say, Hey I'll work for you. It's just being part of the community and that landowners like, Hey man, I saw you up there helping on the square, maybe helping whatever, do some community activity, if that's what it's about and why can't we have that discussion, it's because we're a different society this day, for sure.

Yeah, I think things are definitely different. So last week I was up at an event in Worcester and with the high school students and career fair and different things. It's part of the The event, the career fair part, these students had to come up [01:18:00] and talk to you and, ask you about what your company does and what your job is, how you got to be where you're at, all that kind of stuff.

It's very awkward for high school kids to go up and start talking to industry professionals about that kind of stuff. But I really feel that she's someone of your magnitude. Oh, I know. Yes. So important. It is but they don't know, they don't know any of my history. So that That's actually interesting part of it.

But to me, that, that part is so important, the communication, right? And you talk about asking Justin, it's like adding on to your point for, we have umpteen million ways to communicate with people nowadays, emails, texts, phone calls, all the different social medias, all this stuff. The people's social or people's communication skills suck.

A lot of them, it just, they have a hard time carrying a conversation, looking people in the eye, shaking their hand all this stuff that goes with it that would lead to that community, to that being, comfortable asking somebody for permission. Yeah, it's hard as hell to go cold call on somebody and ask if you can hunt their [01:19:00] farm, if you've never talked to him before, but having that relationship and all that kind of stuff, the other thing and you're.

I think as raising kids and I see this, it's hard for to see them fail, right? There's a spelling test, a soccer game, whatever, but that's part of life, man, we fail and that's part of hunting. If you ask somebody for permission and they say no. You have to be able to cope with that and not just, go to your safe space and hang out, move on, go on to the next thing.

And this is like such a rabbit hole. We're probably dying with that, but I think it's good for kids. I've taken mine with me before to ask for permission and you get told no. And guess what guys that's part of life, right? We'll move on working towards a goal. It's just work. It's all it is.

It's just work. Good stuff, man. What FH. Are you got anything else? Sorry. I just saw a note here real quick. I wanted your guys opinion. One thing that came up, why does [01:20:00] everybody say it's leads into FHFH per se, and to talk with the Tonk. But why is it that it's I can see it in the old timers that have been around a while, cause they, they run a lot of deer around.

Why is it that people go after a buck? They're like, I'm killing a buck. And yep, I can't believe my season's over with already. It's it's not, I don't understand why what is it? Where's that mentality come from? Now, granted, we're all essentially the same age. But it leads into the FHFH thing and why people, go donate a dough. I just, I would just want, that's such a good hashtag. Donate a dough. You want my two cents first? Yeah. I have no problem shooting those and all day long. But I did, when I took mine earlier this year, it was a shitload of work, man.

That's the only thing I can say is that Kind of you, you hinted on earlier having the time that morning I had time, so I knew that after I, if I was gonna let that arrow go, I had to have the time to take it home. And I do process it my myself. But if I hadn't, it was a Sunday, so I would have had to wait till the next [01:21:00] day to get it to the Butcher and I'm not trying to give excuses because to me, sack up and do your part, but the I pulled those deer.

I think I measured it. It was something like 600 yards out of the field to my truck. It was 80 degrees and it was uphill most of the way and it sucked. That was a lot of work and I'm in relatively good physical condition. That was a difficult process. So I think part of the problem these guys, if they go back into the woods, first of all, they get on a buck, right?

They're going to, I'm only going to shoot this buck and I'm not going to disrupt anything out in these woods until that buck is down. Once they get done with that, they're like, all right, let's go on to the next thing. Start worrying about holidays, whatever. But the idea of this being actual work that you have to pull this thing out of the woods.

And if you were two miles deep on public land and all you had was a rope and a drag and you're by yourself. Yeah, that's a lot of work. Now, if you can pull a four wheeler up to it or a truck or side by side or whatever, that might be make it easier. But you go back to your [01:22:00] point real quick.

If you're two miles deep on public land, you weren't prepared. You need a pack frame where you can pack the thing out. If you're expecting to drag it out with a sled you're, you prepared wrong. And that's not you're not wrong. But I also, at least in my experience, when I think of packing animals out.

That's an out West thing. Like I hadn't up until last year, I had never actually seriously considered it. And that the only reason we, I, that thought came to mind is cause I was in Pennsylvania, probably two miles deep. We had eight guys and we drug this buck out up. A couple hills and down a couple hills that were huge, but we rotated three guys at a time just constantly.

And that was a hell of a drag. And somebody had said we should just probably quarter this thing out and take it, pack it out. None of us had packed frames. We didn't have any of that kind of stuff because in our minds we had eight guys. And if you should, whatever. So I think the bottom line, it just comes down to it is work and it's got to be a labor of love.

And that's the same thing with processing it yourself and all that kind of stuff. It doesn't make it right or wrong, but I think that that, that might be part of the reason that [01:23:00] people don't take those like we do. Yeah could be. Now, granted we live the lifestyle, that's our red meat, so obviously we don't, that's, we're killing animals to eat them not that, that sounds awful, not that, not everybody's doing that, but.

We have to kill animals or at least that I live that lifestyle. That's it. I got to kill animals to eat them or to have that meat. But maybe you're right. It's just, Hey we've got enough time that we can put forth, try to kill a buck and then that's it for the season. We got to go to the next, next thing.

Good stuff. Yep. Regardless, donate a dough guys. Donated a hashtag, shoot a dough man, drop it off. Oilers meat processing in Utica. There you go. Get your pen. And it goes to good cause goes the farmers and hunters feeding the hungry. And what's the, is it far fhfh. org? That's correct. Yep.

So if you've got any questions on that, there, you got a list of all the processors around the state of Ohio. So if you're not in Utica or central Ohio, but Justin, you, you run that for central Ohio, [01:24:00] right? Yes. Yeah. So great. I'll drop on the website. FHFH. org. And there's actually an interactive map on there where you can find butchers all around the state by just like actually looking through a map of the state and they're all there's pens dropped there.

And as well as chapter coordinators Contact information. So if you're hunting around, you're like, Hey man, I'm going to be in this area. Or, you can call that chapter coordinator and get more information as well. And what else I can ask you? Okay. You've got it all going. So you're our archery hike guy archery hike.

com. If are we gonna do that, we're gonna do that again next year. Absolutely. So July, what is July 11, 12, 13, you've already got, you got the date set and everything. Let's see, July. Yeah, it's not out yet, but Oh, 12, 13, 14. I'm assuming that it's going to be that weekend again, 12, 13, 14, July, 2024.

So we are going to do some special stuff. We'll talk about that maybe in the spring. Yeah. We'll definitely have you back on and talk more about that. And then, I don't, do you have [01:25:00] an Instagram or someplace if people had questions for you about your Alaska trip and the experiences that you had good and bad, is there a way they can reach out to you or email you, even if it's your archery hike email or see your pictures or anything?

Yeah, absolutely. So if you go on Facebook you can look up Justin to Ross. on Facebook. I actually essentially typed out a blog, a multi day blog on there that you can read all about the trip. Whether it was us as a crew, the flying in the fishing bears, whatever, just the trip in general.

Definitely a great place to go read about that. You can find that on my Facebook page, Justin to Ross. I think I shared it on archery hike as well. And then, yeah, instagram, you go to archery hike. On Instagram or just shoot me an email at archery, hike at gmail. com. And I'll, I'd love to tell you more talk about some of the, I guess you could say behind the scenes stuff, cost, how to prepare what you need.

It, like I said, going to Alaska and getting home is just is a whole adventure in [01:26:00] itself before you even go on the hunt. You're talking seven hour layovers in different spots. It's a whole adventure in itself. Awesome. Justin, we appreciate your time, man. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks for having me back on.

And yeah, we'll talk soon. And you guys have good luck out there. I know you Andrew, you've harvested two animals, two does so far and yeah, maybe I'll get out tonight or whatever. We'll see. Stay posted. Hopefully we'll all fill all the, all of our tags this year. Keep us in the loop, man.

Appreciate it. I need change. Thanks man. Thank you. Donate a dough. Hold. I'm about to quit my job. Cash for a ticket. I'm going on a trip and I don't plan a visit. I'm gonna stay there till I feel like I'm winning low. And this is just the beginning. I need a big change. How me feel like living. I need a big swing.

Home runs, I'm hitting and I never look back. Moving on till I get it all.