Become a More Efficient Hunter w/ Aaron Hepler

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 173 of the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode I was joined by my good friend Aaron Hepler.  Aaron has been on the podcast a few different times already but the topics on today’s episode we haven’t really explored.  What we wanted to accomplish in this week's episode was to discuss how we can become more efficient hunters this upcoming year.  I think we honestly just scratched the surface and will be completing another episode or episodes to build on this. This is a really easy podcast to listen to and some of my favorites to complete when a good friend is on and we just chat hunting.

Kicking this episode off we dive into my turkey success stories.  We discussed how taking what I’ve learned in the turkey woods this spring can help me out come fall for whitetail.  Following that we get into what we can do to become a more efficient hunter.  From trail cameras, prepping your gear now, shooting your bow and a heck of a lot more.  One aspect that we touched upon was scouting and how important it is to have confidence in yourself completing your scouting missions.  From speed scouting, creating predetermined tracks on your map, to what sign to look for when setting your cameras for specific times of the year, Aaron covers it in this episode.  We end on two different topics being which cameras we have had the most luck with and how persistence has helped us in the woods. Check it out and let us know what you think!  Enjoy this fun episode and see you next week! 

Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Antler Podcast, brought to you by tethered the world's best saddle hunting equipment, and we have a fun show for you today. On this week's episode, I was joined by my good friend Aaron Heppler. Aaron's been on the podcast a few different times already, but the topics on today's episode we haven't really explored.

What we really wanted to accomplish in this week's episode was to discuss how we can become more efficient hunters for this upcoming year. I think we honestly just scratched the surface and will be really completing another episode or a few episodes to really build on this. This is a really easy podcast to listen to and really some of my favorites to complete when a good friend is on and we just [00:01:00] chat about hunting to kick this episode off.

We dive into my Turkey success stories. We discuss how taking what I've learned in the Turkey woods this spring, how that can really help me out come fall for whitetail. And following that, we get into what we can do to become that more efficient hunter from trail cameras. Prepping your gear now shooting your bow and a heck of a lot more.

One aspect that we touched upon was scouting and how important it is really to have confidence in yourself. Completing your scouting missions from speed scouting, creating predetermined tracks on your map to what sign to look for when setting up your cameras for specific times of the year. And Aaron covers it all.

In this episode. We end on two different topics being which cameras we have found are most luck with and how really persistence has helped us in the woods. So check it out. Thank you so much everybody, for all of your support. If you like what you hear, please go give us a five star review either on iTune, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcast episodes.

We have some really cool things coming down the [00:02:00] pipeline for you guys this summer. Really want to say thank you for all the support and means the world to me. We'll check you out next week. Have a good week, everybody. Antler up.

Tethered is a team of saddle hunting fanatics with a passionate addiction to whitetail hunting, designing, and engineering products. To be a more efficient and confident hunter Tether produces the most mobile, stealthy and safest elevated hunting gear on the planet. Built by saddle hunters forward the saddle hunter.

Head over to tether to see for yourself what exactly I'm talking about.

And before we dive into this week's episode, I have some really exciting news for you. If you've been eyeing any Exodus products for a while now, then you're in for a real treat. In celebration of their eighth year anniversary of trailblazing, the trail camera marketplace. [00:03:00] Exodus is now offering exclusive campaign for you guys, starting on May 19th.

You'll save 25% off the entire Exodus website with the deal. This great exodus will be offering these savings for the first 300 Exodus renders, as well as the 300 rivals. So the good news, though, is if you miss out on these savings, you can lock in 25% off the entire site until June 12th while supplies last.

All you have to do is use code au at checkout to unlock your savings. In the case. You need to be a little bit more familiar with what Exodus really has to offer. I'm about to share some of their key attributes. Flagship model of the render is powered by the Verizon 4G LTE Technology boosts lightning fast transmission times, making it the fastest in the industry.

Plus it's incredibly user friendly and dependable, and it's ensures it's gonna work flawlessly when it matters most. You can also save $125 with purchasing the Exodus render security bundle with code au. [00:04:00] And if you're looking for that budget friendly, personally, it's my favorite camera. It's amazing, it's super awesome and it takes amazing pictures and the quality and functionality of it is just as simple as render.

Then check out the rival with our exclusive code au, you can grab this sucker for under $140. Backed by Exodus renowned five year no BS warranty. This new camera is simple, reliable, and dollar for dollar. Is the best camera on the market. So take advantage of these limited savings. And remember, you'll always be back by their five year warranty.

They stand behind their products. On top of that, they offer that five year theft and damage warranty, a peace of mind. And let's remember their best in class customer service to solve any issues or hiccups that arrive. So use code au checkout What's up everybody? We're back.

We're live for new episode of the Antler podcast. I'm joined on the other line. My good friend Aaron Heppler. Aaron, appreciate you coming on again, dude. [00:05:00] What's going on? Any anytime, buddy? Not much. How are you doing today? Today was one of those days where it is, the first week of May. And you would think it'd be nice out and we could take our students outside to go play some really fun, phys ed games.

But yet we're inside and there's 80 kids tr because like we have select, so we have maybe 90 kids within a class, and there's four teachers. And we, usually, what we do is we split up and you have one person, like right now has, the fitness center, one person has tennis, the other person has team sports, and then the other individual has mountain biking.

Yeah. But when it's raining out and you can't get outside, we're con and it's AP testing, so our gyms are used. So now it's it's a mess, man. So you end up having. 80 kids in one big gym trying to figure out what can we play all collectively. And it's just sometimes I'm like, [00:06:00] wow, this is crazy.

R Red Rover. Red Rover. Yeah. Yeah. It's fun. Don't get me wrong, there's some classes are really cool about it and embrace it and, but today it seemed like, cuz I asked my wife how her English classes went and she said they were lazy and, giving me attitude. I said, I felt the same way.

If I have to bargain with you that's not good. Yeah. So that was the, that was my day and I've been hitting it hard, pretty much in the weight room right now. And doing, I'm going back. I'm, I've, I've been, I should say, since I think at last week of January I started again, I started doing the Mountain Tough program.

I did it a couple years ago. Oh, cool. Yeah. I did it a couple years ago when. We went out to Utah and really enjoyed the program. Now that's even better. They offer that app and all kinds of cool stuff. And so yeah, that's what I've been going And recently they just released their pre-season hunting program, which is 16 weeks, but it's the 2.0 version, and that's the one [00:07:00] that I originally bought a couple years ago and I loved it.

So I was like, all right, sweet dude. Like I'm on day three and I'm so sore. Nice. And I've been working out since January, but it's just different now, it's a whole new program, so I'm just, I feel so, so weak. So between that and the rain and everything like that, I'm just like, ah, I, and I just wanna go back out Turkey hunting and scout a little bit more.

Yeah, for sure. I'm ready for some scouting. I wanna, I haven't gotten out Turkey hunting yet, but I'll Friday, I'll go out this Friday, Saturday It should be good. I think with the, it should be good crappy weather this whole week. I think. Clearing up. Yeah, clearing up. I think they're gonna be hammering down.

Yeah, I hope so. I hope so too buddy. Do you, you ended up, you, it was so funny cuz we talked about a couple weeks ago and you're like, yeah, I'll buy the second tag. Did you end up buying one? Yeah. Yeah. I always do. Cause I figured if nothing else, it puts money back into the, I don't know what they use it for, but hopefully they use it for turkeys.

I don't know. [00:08:00] Yeah, I know. That would make sense. Do. When Friday was going on the day before our opening day, I was like, okay, buy your extra tag, buy your special tag. And with teaching and other things going on around in the house and everything, I just totally slipped my mind. Yeah. I was just so dead red on make sure you're up at this time.

What's the weather doing? Where are you going to go? So I went out scouting again and I just totally went brain dead and the day it was going on and it didn't. Dawn on me until I killed that Turkey and I was like, dang, I'm tagged out. Just like you were saying, for people that don't know Yeah.

You have to buy that tag before opening day, so like you have until Friday. Yeah. But once opening day rolls around, not that's a no-go. Yeah. I don't, I, I don't know what their strategy is with that. I don't know if it's to get people to buy more tags or so that they don't sell that many, yeah. Because I don't think the tur, I don't know what our, [00:09:00] I haven't looked at the success rates for a while, NPA on turkeys. But I know it's not that it's not great, it's not horrible, but I think it's something like 25%, something like that. And so I think maybe they'll figure oh, it'll either save some turkeys or it'll get people to buy a second tag that are usually successful.

Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting though. I've, Amanda. The way it happened was just totally nuts. Just totally random. Because I originally was going to go out to the spot that I scouted a couple weeks prior for the youth hunt for my daughter. And like I've said before, that ended up having a wildfire.

So I that before Nora had a chance where I located birds, we couldn't access that road. So that's part of the mountain was actually blocked. So we went to a different spot for her hunt and then the week happened, I went to Ohio, [00:10:00] killed that bird there, came back and yeah, I had some other things to do around the house and so I didn't really get out scouting until Friday the day before, and I went back to that area.

And there was a truck on right before. I like, let's think of an 80 yard stretch. There was a gate on the right, like where you could park a parking spot on the left that you could pull in. And then another spot on the right, all within 80 yards. The farthest one on the right is where I originally located these birds, and everything. But there was a truck on the left. I was like, man, they're a little too close. I don't know which side they really went on type of ordeal. So I went to the first spot on that, just to walk down this far road and just see if there's human tracks and Turkey tracks. And it was raining.

It was miston. Not a whole whole lot in the first a hundred yards, but then it opened up, there was a lot of Turkey sign. There was, a lot of tracks a lot of Turkey poop some scratch in all kinds of stuff. So I was like, great, this is where I might come in the [00:11:00] morning. And I liked the terrain features to that.

It presented as far as like the vegetation and everything, I was like, pumped. I was like, I'm gonna get here super early. Cause I know people here will get here at four 30 just to claim their spot basically of, Hey, I parked here. So moved to the next spot, dude, I got there at 4 35 and there was a truck there.

Go to the next spot. There was that same truck there. That was the night before. Go to the next spot. Up further, basically to turn around. But there was a truck there. And I was like, holy cow. So I looped back to back around, almost to the beginning of the game lands because there's open fields far back that I actually hunted before for whitetail.

And I was back there for a while. Not a whole lot no calling, didn't hear anything. So I ended up turning it into a deer scouting mission at six 30 in the morning, basically. Nice. And as I was walking around, just, slowly came across dude, a ton of [00:12:00] deer, sign a ton about eight to 10 scrapes that I actually walk through and nice.

A couple small rubs. And then further back when it really goes into the big hardwoods, that's where I found that little dink shed. And yeah, I really liked the terrain feature, so I, that was always a spot that I wanted to go back into. So I was like, all right. Win-win. I have consolation prize. Shed got some deer scouting in.

I was soaked by that point in time, like I was texting you that day and I started working my way out at eight 30. My wife's what are you going to do? I was like I'm, I might just come home, grab, grab some coffee, get something to eat. It was pretty dead. And it was, those couple cars, trucks were there.

So as I was coming into town, I was like, screwed. I'm going right at the light. I'm gonna go out by more public land, like Blackie area. And I turned around the corner and drove on that road and there was on the public landri. It was basically gonna bring me back to like where [00:13:00] I started, but on the other side, if that makes sense.

And as I was driving on that road, dude, it was truck. Now I could see on my map that I'm getting pretty close to the end of the, like back to the road. Basically the main R Highway road. I was like crap. Then all of a sudden I just looked and I was, I kind of the terrain feature that we looked at and scouted back at home.

Like that Turkey foot. Yeah. I was like, yep. With the topo lines. I'm like, man, that kind of looks good. I'm just gonna go in there. It's, it wasn't raining as hard. I just want to go down in there and scout again for whitetail I have all day my like all that stuff. So that's what I do. I park and I start walking into this blow down dude, and then all of a sudden I just hit a soft call.

Mer, mer me. A couple seconds go by and then all of a sudden it was, and I was like, oh boy. And a dude for two hours. We just played cat mouse just going back and forth and every time I think I would move, I think every time they were [00:14:00] probably. I thought maybe they were moving forward, away from me.

They actually were probably staying put more and they would see me and then they would go. But dude, it honestly, it worked out. I got lucky that it worked out because for two hours, like I said, we were playing this game until I finally shot 'em. But when ended up well, yeah, you texted me at work, like the, you're sitting there and one gobbling, and I was like, oh, he's on one.

And I texted you back oh, get him, dude. Yeah. And then I was like, oh, he must have fizzled out or something and then three hours later you're like, walking out with a Turkey. I'm like, heck yeah, dude. So like he, what I was doing was, I was going straight to him on this point, on this ridge and.

After I finally wised up a little bit and calmed myself and collected myself, I looked at the map and I noticed, okay, from in the hardwoods to the blow down, if I were to hug that, basically that line of the, the difference to come into the big woods there was [00:15:00] looking down over that ridge.

I was, it wasn't I don't wanna say it's a field cuz it's not a field, it was just this open area and I was like, man, they might be down in there. So I cut back into the timber at this point. Cause like I said, I was hugging that line. Then I cut right to go back towards the blowdown, walked down until I could see down into the bottom from that ridge.

And what I ended up doing was I found that big tree trunk falling down and it was like on an angle and then behind it made a another tree. So it was almost like a tea. And I got right in that crook and put my back up against it. And that's where I sat for over an hour plus. And just call him back and forth and I had calls with him going until 10, 10, 25 or 10?

Yeah, 10 25 we'll say. And at that point, that was the last gobble. I tried back maybe a couple minutes later silent and I was like, okay, [00:16:00] I will sit here for the rest of the ti day until it's noon and figure out what happens. Cuz they're either gonna be working away from me or they're actually gonna be coming back towards me.

Luckily I, I did that because about 11 o clock, on the dot, I have something caught my eye down in the bottom there were turkeys scratching. And making small little clucks here and there. And I softly called one, started working its way up towards me and I could see there, there were gobbler and as he is walking up, he's on a beeline straight to me, dude from north to south, but all these big trees were in between us.

And I had my gun rested up and just ready to go left or right, whichever way he was gonna pop out basically. And as I gave like a soft call, one from the bottom just came up like a bat outta hell. Like just all what's going on? You know what I mean? Like just running up basically. Yeah. And I was like, oh my gosh, this is awesome.

I turned the gun to him. I'm on the red [00:17:00] dots on him, and I said, I say to myself, he's close enough. The red dots on him. He's close enough. The red dots on him. And then finally I just went, I blasted nice and he starts going down. The other turkeys are attacking him. I'm like, stomp foots on the neck. They're still like, clucking nearby.

I'm like, get outta here. Like just, yeah, because it took forever for them to go. And then that was it, man. I was like, oh my gosh, 1120. It was crazy. And then looking on social media on Saturday or Sunday, like both days. I don't know how many people said from 1120 to 1135, they killed turkeys.

It was crazy. Yeah. I mean it's a, it's probably the time of year to do it cuz the birds are, I mean we, we have a late opener in PA compared to other states, which is fine. Like biologically. Yeah. Yeah. I would get it. Okay. Yeah. But it sucks cuz they're not quite as responsive to calls first thing off the roost.

Like first thing off the roost. They're looking, I. Or a hen and if they're roosted close [00:18:00] by, you'll hear 'em gobble three or four times and then that's it. Yeah. So they're with hens in the morning. Probably, my guess is they were gobbling at your calls, but nah, I'm good and more here. Yeah. And that's, yeah, they definitely had hens too with them, like for sure.

Yeah, exactly. And that's the thing, the hens, that they're gonna lose their hens at some point in the morning and what your call on staying put, it's, it sucks to stay put in the Turkey woods, cuz what you really want to do is you want to have that hammer and back and forth call match with one and have it come into your call and then but it takes a lot of serious patience to just sit there and wait for a Turkey cuz you're, it's not like a deer like you just expect them to be gobbling and that kind of thing. And when they don't can get to you for, but if you can sit there and do what you did, like they're gonna come back through there. At some point they heard something there so they want to check it out.

Yeah. Especially when they lose their hen. Yeah. So that was my thought process, man to the t because like I said earlier, I it turned in, [00:19:00] it turned into a quick deer scouting mission very quick. Yeah. Once it was so foggy and I didn't hear anything and when it would lighten up, cuz the same thought process went into my mind when you and I texted, usually when it's lightens up or it stops raining, those Turkey are hammering in those fields.

Yeah. And I never, I heard one gobble back in that area that week that I was scouting for Nora. And unfortunately as I was deer scouting, I found some pretty fre fresh wing feathers. Now I don't know if that's from. I didn't see anything else. I don't know if if a young one killed one from the week prior.

Oh yeah, you'd sent me that. Yeah. And I was like, I couldn't really make out what else was going on and, you and I would be like maybe Coyote will eat one today too. But, yeah. So yeah, so I'm usually that running gun. I, but once I, I will be patient with a Turkey if I know I'm, if there's one that I'm hunting basically.

Yeah. I think that's usually the mistake that I've always made, like growing up is not being patient on a Turkey. [00:20:00] Yeah. But that's like an important thing to do, especially this time of year later, actually. If you can get on one, like later in the last half of the season, usually you can do better in the morning, in the last half of the season cuz the hands are done being bred.

Yeah. They're, they're more. Open to working later and the hunting pressures last the last half of the season too. I know it's gonna sound pretty weird or maybe not, I don't know. But I'm actually excited to take what I've learned in these two big, I'm big, not big, but like in these two specific hunts into the whitetail woods.

Yeah, absolutely. So I, like I said, I think the trying of your patience is the big thing, right? Anything that talks back to you, if you, that's what you're looking for. Like in the, when you're hunting a deer, you can go sit in a tree all day long and be content. Yeah. Because that's what you've always done.

That's how you do it. And at some point the deer's gonna come walking by. Yeah. And you have those like the [00:21:00] magical moment, like 6:00 PM and oh, gotta stand up that, my dad always used to say, that's when you gotta stand up in your tree stand, exactly.

Yeah. You have that when you're deer hunting, but it's those it's almost the same thing as like, when you know it's time to eat, your mouth starts watering. Like if you don't hear that Turkey gobbling or you don't hear the elk bugling, you're like, ah, they're not here. Yeah, they're there if you've heard 'em there before or you've seen them there before, like even if you have pictures of 'em on your trail camera in the fall, they'll, they're gonna be there.

Yeah. It's just being patient, but I think being patient and if you can be patient on a Turkey, you can teach yourself that even more on a deer. Yeah. That, I'm taking that aspect of things. Taking the, I know this is gonna sound funny because obviously there's been multiple times, like you and I have scouted for whitetail together.

Jim and I have scouted Dimitri and I used to go all the time. There's been plenty of scouting trips, but I feel like scouting. I honestly feel like the attributes, I always relate things [00:22:00] to, joking. Like whether it be a video game or a baseball card. You look at someone's attributes of they're improving this.

That is one aspect I really do feel more confident about. Confident about. And I owe it to all the guests and I owe it to you and all my friends because, we're able to bounce things off of each other. And again, that's why I love this platform is to learn and grow as a person and as a hunter.

But I feel dude you couldn't catch me dead probably in the years past to be out there and going. Go find Gobblers before you go find 'em. You know what I mean? Like I, honestly, I know the one here in Pennsylvania that I killed, yeah. That was more luck because I saw a spot on the map that I really wanted to ultimately go scout for whitetail.

But you're right. But in the grand scheme of things, like I was going out prior and was finding the Turkey sign that to, to hunt it. And again, like that's where I want to bring that into the whitetail woods of getting better as an individual, getting better as a hunter to be more efficient. And that's ultimately when you and I talked of [00:23:00] what I want this to be about is how is hunters, can we be a little bit more efficient and utilize, and prioritize our time more wisely and more calculated when it comes to hunting and scouting and stuff like that.

So yeah I think, again, I'm excited to ca hopefully carry this momentum in, into the fall. Yeah, I think you picked out a few good things there, and I think one of the, one of the big things is is the map stuff. Like you, you wanted to check that stuff out for the, you saw that Turkey foot looking area, and by Turkey foot we're talking about basically a ridge that split, has three splits in it somewhere.

Yep. And or a couple bends in it. It doesn't necessarily need to look like a Turkey foot, but a couple bends in it where it's the train's folded in that area. And I think that's one thing that you've really been keen in on. The, this the area that we scouted with Jim last year. That was something you really keyed in on, was like how many different. Not just terrain, but how many different things come [00:24:00] together here, based terrain, vegetation what's on the ground? Is it, does, is there a rock edge meets a soft wood, meets a hardwood with, folded terrain there.

And I think that's something that you can spend time looking at all the time. So that way when you do go to scout, you're going straight to those areas. Oh, let me, and that, that can be your first time through an area when you're scouting. But having a plan to just, if you want to save time, make a loop before you go scouting on your map.

I'm gonna start with this train feature and this, these edges that I think are gonna be good. And then I'm gonna go and make a loop. You can do that. And let's say you have a 10 mile loop, you can do that. Three, four hours if you're speed scouting oh, I'm just going there to see what it looks like and see, next time I come in here I'm gonna pick this one apart or pick two of them or something like that.

But that way if you're spending time in your maps and you know it you're gonna save yourself a lot [00:25:00] of time when you get there. Yeah. And I think that's one thing that you did with these turkeys is I know where I'm gonna go because you were going deer scouting and you happened to pick up a Turkey.

The good thing about deer and turkeys is they eat a lot of the same stuff. Like they're gonna be in there and they like that. Most game animals like that protection of some kind of terrain based feature, whether it's a hard edge like on the side of a cliff or turkeys like to roost over water a lot.

So if you're, on a creek bank where they can fly down into something open, a lot of creek banks are really br or creek edges are really brushy. But if you can find that opening there, that might be, yeah. Something for a Turkey, but something that protects them so they can get over a barrier and get away from you real easy.

And if you're preparing for summer shooting right now, getting ready for the hunting season, and you are in need of a new arrow, then check out the Exodus M T, arrow Taylor built to your specific setup. Go to their builder online, get precision build arrows, and experience the most consistent and [00:26:00] dependable arrow available.

All you have to do is go to exodus outdoor, click onto the arrows, put in all your specs, and you are going to be able to get the arrow built for your knees. If you have any questions, just give the guys a call. They'll be more than happy to help you out. Again, this savings going to start May 19th until June 12th.

You'll get $70 off a dozen of MMT arrows just by using code au, so check it out while supplies last. Yeah, when you said about speed scouting and the thing I was. When you said that, the first thing that popped in my mind is, I love the fact that you said a predetermined loop.

Because a couple weeks ago, I, that's what I did. The one time when I was hanging some cameras, actually it was when, do you remember a couple weeks ago when I sent you that message with the deer that was still holding antlers? What, was that still in March or end of March, almost April?

Actually it was April, I think. But long story short, I did a [00:27:00] pre line of okay, I'm gonna hit it here. And as I'm walking that area you are able to go through it quicker without your head on a swivel because I'm like, okay, this doesn't, this isn't meeting my needs, right? One, one, it's not the terrain feature.

Two, there's really no sign here, so just keep going until you find what you're really looking for. And that's what I ended up doing. I was like, okay, great. Now here's. Where I want to be. Slow down, find certain things, market great onto the next. So like you said, using that time wisely, using that speed scouting in efficient way rather than just, okay, great, but keep going basically.

Now I think something else too about, I think one, one side note on the loop thing, like if you find that spot where you're like, eh, like there's not what I wanna see here. That's the area that you don't hunt that fall. Yeah. But you should put something there. You should hang a [00:28:00] camera there.

And I say that because if you don't think it looks good, somebody else isn't gonna think it looks good. And maybe deer again, push there. Yeah, you're right. Maybe that's where the deer are going and the sign just isn't there? Cuz that's where they're going to hide when the pressure's high.

Or that's just where they're traveling during the rut and the sign just otherwise is not really there. So it would make sense to, to hang a camera or something like that. Or something as simple as if it's over like a boulder field or rocks or something, find that spot where there's mud and rake the leaves away so that way when a deer steps there, like you're getting tracks.

Yeah. You, man, this is great because this is great. Experiences where we could talk about things that even you and I did. Speed scouting when we were down in that swamp. I'm actually going to finally a year later get to make, a reel from you talking about one of those scrapes that we found.

But anyway, When we were going through that swamp area [00:29:00] before the swamp. Really? Yeah. Little to nothing. Like we were like, yeah. Keep going. We found that swamp area again. At that point in time it was still, that was early August obviously if deer were living down in that bottom cuz it was colder, cooler in Yeah.

During that timeframe. Sign again, wasn't nuts. However, we still hung up a camera there and Dude, I had deer on that and great bucks on that camera. All year, right? Yeah. It wasn't a major beat down trail. Wasn't major features other than the swamp in certain pieces that could connect to the other areas that we found.

But again, that was, that's a prime example of what you just talked about. Yeah. One thing that I think about PAs, Rocky, right? Yeah. We got these little, and they're not like, they're not right And it's not all Giant stuff, but it's stuff that kind of sucks to walk over. And most of the time you walk through an area like that and you're like, deer are never gonna walk here.

There's nothing to eat on the ground. There's no oak trees, [00:30:00] all that stuff, yep. And then you go in there when there's a little bit of snow and you find you find that trail that they're walking through those rocks and then you find their beds in the rocks and you're like, what the heck's like their mountain goat in here, yeah. But those, they still use it. Yeah. So you sh if you're not like you, okay, let's say you make a loop, you got five spots on it, you speed scout all those spots and you find two that suck or you think suck cuz there's no sign there. Hang a camera on both those. If you're getting good deer on camera, or having good encounters in those three spots that you hunt in the fall, there's a really good chance that you're going to.

You're gonna catch something in those not so great spots that, that you thought sucked. And then you're gonna have that history built up to be like, Hey, I know where I'm going November 4th, or Right. Hey, I know where I'm going that the pheasant, muzzle, odor bear, crossbo ev, everybody in the woods opener.

You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. That might be something you could try then. So here's a good transition question that's still within the, [00:31:00] our realm. When we talk about sign and trail cameras, because that's starting to be that time, right? It's starting to get to that time where we're getting, okay, June 1st.

I know people put out cameras. I know people out, don't put out cameras until the end of the summer. They don't care about the growth of watching. When it comes to sign, Aaron, what is your. What is your trail cam scouting kind of mission that you really are hoping to find? And does that change to what you actually will hunt over slash set up on or do?

Does it really, you could even give example of how something would pull that into mesh, if that makes sense. I've been really just experimenting with trail cameras the last couple years just to see. Yeah, I, it's always good to change something up a little bit. Yeah. But I think the best thing to do with trail cameras is to think of three elevations.

So high, low high, medium, and low elevation. And then really think of different features that are gonna work through you [00:32:00] throughout the year. I know I'm gonna get velvet on summary food stuff green Briar is great anytime of the year, I talk about clearcuts a lot.

If the is is low still, like you don't have that head height, deer, head height, vegetation, like that's really good submarine because I don't know if it's true, but they say bucks don't like to go through really thick stuff when they've had velvet cuz their antlers are sensitive. But, low lush stuff like that, you're gonna get a lot of velvet pictures on.

But then, if you want that to work for you in the early part of the season for hunting, make sure there's a white oak close by and you got some kind of, I like poke berries in the early season. Okay. It's just, it's basically a weed, right? Let's say you have a highway worker putting a new guardrail in, you'll get poke berries growing up and that kind of stuff.

It, I, it looks like a bunch of a bunch of grapes. But if you're listening to this, just Google poke berries, you'll know what I'm talking about then. But that's a really good summer food source. And then it gets you into the fall. Sometimes if you have warmer, you get that first couple weeks of the season, week or [00:33:00] two.

But then if you have white oaks close by, that's a real draw for that ear cuz everybody talks about the white oaks in early October, late September, if that's your opener. But you have that draw to those white oaks plus you have that summertime food source that they were already feeding on, so they're already used to that area.

So you can use those cameras early. And then you're moving to mid-October now. Now you want scrapes. You still might have some Red Oaks, but you need some brows close by. If it's a dry year, water helps. Water's always good. But that's, so that's your second time. So you're thinking about early October, mid-October, deer starting to come into the scrapes or you're looking for bedding to those scrapes.

Okay. Because that's what they're going to next. Usually that's better for hunting if you can find the area that they're going from bedding to scrape. Because they, they usually, I've seen deer a lot of times check those scrapes before they go feed and then they'll check them underway. You'll get Yeah.

On nighttime pictures all the time. Yeah. [00:34:00] And then you want some cameras in an area where it's gonna be a rut traveling. Okay. So downwind of those scrapes, downwind of dough bedding. So you need cameras in all those different spots to get yourself through a whole year, but then you only have to check 'em once before the season, right?

I don't really like to check cameras unless I'm passing it. Like I'll check them in early September so that I'm not going back in there. Cuz you're not the only, even if it doesn't matter how far back you get, there is going to be somebody else there. So if you're spending your, if you're going in there every two weeks to check a camera and that other person is going in there every week to check a camera and then somebody else is going in every three weeks to check, that's a lot of pressure.

Before a season and you can't automatically think you are the only person going in there to check a camera cuz you're not. You might think you are, but you're probably wrong. Yep. So if you want to, if you want the best opportunity for your spots to work for you, the best thing is to check them once, [00:35:00] like three weeks to a month before the season.

And then don't check them unless you are passing them on your way out of hunting. Pull the car, don't even look at it while you're in there, pull the card, put a new card in and get out. It tends to work better for you that way. Here's a Then go ahead. Go ahead. You finish. I guess the last thing for that would be is like if you want to know what's heating up?

Yeah. Either a, put a cell cam in there. If you don't have service, put a camera near a main access. It be creative because you don't want that camera getting stolen. Everybody works hard for their money and people feel the need to steal cameras. It sucks, but if you'll be surprised how many deer we'll use an area close to, even if it's at night, but at least like they're getting closer to morning here, like in my spot, they're gonna be there, they're gonna be on their feet in shooting light.

Yeah. That's pretty key because then you can, if you can [00:36:00] get off a main trail or a service road or whatever it is, And grab that camera quick and put it back on that tree. And those deer aren't gonna be affected by that. Almost at all. Yeah. So when you were saying too about checking out your cameras, try to as minimal as possible.

When it gets to like how you said that spot where I want to go in here, novo, November 4th, right? When that happens and you do go in there November 4th, do you check that camera if it is a non-cell camera okay, hey, I'm checking it, it's really hasn't been heating up and it gets gray light. It gets light, are you still sticking around if it things aren't going the way you, the camera kind of told you slash what you're gaining or noticing from the tree? I'm pretty stubborn, so I've built some history in the areas that I've hunted in. So if I have history that says that There's bucks heater at this time of year.

I don't really care. Like I'll probably check the camera and look at [00:37:00] it while I'm in the tree or something. Yeah. But I'm probably not gonna move if I know that's an area that's he let's say it's November 4th. I know. I ha I can think in my head of specifically a spot that's really good.

November 4th, your camera is, my grandfather always used to say there's more room, there's more room around him than there is on 'em. And it's true for your weapon as, as well as trail cameras. Like you're capturing what, 15 yards? 20 of space? Yep. In a, in an area that you can see maybe further than that.

And there's also a backside to that tree. So if you know that's caught pictures before I probably wouldn't move if I know that there's deer going through there. Just be bummed there's no deer on the camera. Yeah. But that's also that's also why it's a better idea to check 'em on your way out or just pull the cart on your way out.

Cuz honestly that could change somebody's mind. I know this is the right day to go sit in this tree. I know I should, I know, dear, [00:38:00] we're here before. This is why I think I should sit here. And you have made a calculated good decision to sit there. Yep. And then you check a camera and you're like, ah, there's no deer here.

And you move to the next one. And then that camera gets a picture of a big 12 point 10 minutes after you left. You know what I mean? Yeah. That's not a good way to hunt either. Yeah. Cause like you said, historically, maybe those deer are just not using that one little trail that you have that your camera set on.

Yeah. Maybe they're, there's. 25 yards behind it that you're not, you're not getting any photos. Caption. Yep. Yeah. And I've seen that a lot of times. I know I had a camera on a tree three or four years ago and it just wasn't getting pictures. Like I was getting a lot of summer pictures and they like tapered off and we had a regular, this was a cell cam, we had a regular camera there the year before and had great pictures on it.

And I'm like, this is weird. This cell cam's not getting anything. And [00:39:00] I'm like I'm gonna go sit there. And all the bucks went behind it, every single one. And in fact, LA last year I actually didn't hang any cameras in there last year and last year I sent a buddy and I was like, yeah, it's like pretty good spot.

I had a couple good hunts there. Is that today that he had he off 13 bucks. Yeah. And a bear. And I think he said two of the bucks were Pope. Yeah. And the other ones were what, above a hundred, A couple of the other ones were above a hundred inches, but based on what he told where he told me those bucks were, I would've not had a single one on the camera that I normally hang in that spot.

And how can you beat a day like that, even if you don't get a shot? He had his bow drawn twice I think that day and just couldn't get them to stop. Cuz it's a rut a pretty good rut cruising area. Yeah. But how do you have a day like that and be like, running sucks, if you don't No, that was my October what, 30th this past year when I had the, all five of those bucks came running.

Yeah. Yeah. That's, yeah, like you [00:40:00] said, those are days in the woods that you say that you're, you'd be mad that you'd hope to get a shot and even though if you don't, but Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. I think the other thing we need to talk about cameras, when we're talking about efficiency is how many Yeah.

Normally I normally, I'm running like somewhere between six and 10 cameras for a core area. And maybe that's I used to run six over maybe a mile. And then two years ago I ran, 10 or 10 or 12 in a little bit less than a mile Last year Troy and I hung 20 cameras in that same area that we did the year prior.

And honestly, it didn't make a difference. You think you're gonna pattern a deer and think that oh, if I got him coming from this direction, then I'll catch him on this camera. But they're going all over the place in the big woods. They're going all over the place. Yeah. And yeah, we got some pictures of the same deer and kind of could figure out which direction he was going or what kind of loop he was making or whatever.

[00:41:00] But it didn't really help you like nail it down any better, just This deer prefers to be this direction more than this direction, which is good because then you can narrow down the areas that you should hunt a specific buck. So if he prefers the 300 acres towards the east, then he does towards the west, or he shows up at night on the 300 acres west end during the day on this.

So you know where to hunt him. Now during the day, you have to use your smarts on what kind of food he's using. What kind of food does he prefer when he is coming through those other cameras? Is he picking on little brows or is he, the big mass crops? What is he doing in the pictures normally?

D does he hit a certain scrape pattern? Is he hitting again, these scrapes at night, these scrapes during the day? Is he hitting scrapes that little bucks hit, that kind of thing. But That's probably the only thing that hanging 20 cameras versus 12 cameras did was, oh, he prefers this side a little more than he [00:42:00] does this side.

Which you can still do with less cameras. Yeah. You just get less, a little less info. But I think if you have, let's say you have let's say you don't have that many cameras. Let's say you have 15, and these aren't all cell cameras either that you, let's just say you have, but normally for cell cams, normally what I'm doing is I like one, one cell cam for every 10 cameras that are running.

Got it. So nine of my cameras are regular cam one is a cell cam. And I we'll talk about something else in cell cams in a little bit, but I think, let's say you have 15 camera or 15 cameras. I would break 'em up honestly in fives like. Pick five core area or three core areas and hang five cameras in each area and, put one in the middle and then four on the one in the, on the northeast, one in the northwest, southwest, southeast, and one in the middle.

And then because you are, [00:43:00] because you're you're you have it like that, you should probably pick something specific that it's looking at. Running it on on a travel route for rut is great, but bucks are still gonna hit scrapes in the rut. Especially during a lockdown phase where they're trying to find doze here and there.

So find that area that if you're focused on the rut, Doe bedding is the best. So if you're, if you need to hang in on a travel route, find a trail that's near the dough bedding that the Doz are gonna use all the time, cuz then you're gonna get good rut pictures. But scrapes are probably your best bet when you're running that few cameras or some very good, like a water hole would be a great thing to have right in the middle of that because you can, you know for sure that deer are gonna come and hit a single water hole versus if you hang it on a creek or something like that.

They obviously use creeks, but if you hang it on that moving water, you need, it needs to be on a crossing because then you know you're gonna get. That actual movement, but water [00:44:00] hole in the middle. And then just pick a scrape on the outside corners of that. Spartan Forge stands at the nexus of machine learning and whitetail deer hunting to deliver truly intuitive and science based products that saves the hunter time spent scouting, planning and executing their hunts.

You have deer prediction, journaling, and the best maps on any hunting app platform there is. Use code antler up to save 20% off your Smart and Forge Would you say, using these cameras and over the last couple years of growing and developing like your own little system, do you think this has made you a more of a efficient hunter?

And then if so, like when in what way? Yeah, I think so because I think you learn more about the woods. You're more prone to get a picture of a deer and he's eaten something in the back of your trail camera. You go there, you like, Hey, what's that? And you take a picture of it and go look it up online or You can un you start to understand more of why would a deer move here at night?

He's not moving here during the [00:45:00] day. Go figure it out. The camera is giving you only a small piece of the information. They're great. They don't replace scouting. We, this is such a popular topic to talk about right now as the ethics of cameras and cell cameras and whatever, like they are a tool that's in your bag.

And if you don't know how to use it, you're gonna it's not gonna help you. And a lot of people, and a lot of people use them still don't kill whitetail or don't use it to, in, in a I have a lot, I didn't kill a buck last year, so it's not like it's, it guarantees you that, that kill.

No, absolutely not. And I like, I guess in the way that you use it, I ha I haven't really. I'll be completely transparent, like I write for a trail camera company, but I've only used trail cameras for four or five, I think five years now. Some, I don't know, four or five years.

Okay. Let's say this'll be the fifth. This'll be the fifth season that I used them. Okay. I killed, [00:46:00] I've killed two bucks that were on camera. One of them I knew about before I killed him. So one I guess I knew about the other one, but I didn't know it was him until, hi, like hindsight, I shot like a six pointer.

Three or four years ago now, and I had him on a cell camera way down a ridge from where I was hunting. I knew the area the spot that I was hunting was good. I never had run cameras on it, but I had a really good encounter the year before towards the end of October. And I'm just gonna hunt there.

My, my buddy was hunting down this ridge where I had this cell cam, or close to where I had it, and I ended up killing a buck that we had on the camera. Now, we only had rung one camera in that whole area. We just had that cell cam there because we found a scrape and thought it was cool or whatever. Oh, we're hanging on here.

And then, not last year, but the year before I killed that 10 pointer. We had him on a lot. I had him a [00:47:00] lot. And I knew about him from, I had pictures of him on July, August, September, October. I had him the entire time. Again I didn't pattern him with a camera. I just knew he preferred this general area during the daylight.

Yeah. And I probably, and you could tell me if I'm wrong, Aaron I agree. When I see people post especially like when Byron posts about, like he, I know he recently had one where someone said a story, like he got this deer on camera and went in, out in his backyard or whatever, and he basically with, especially with a gun and knew where the area he, the deer was traveling. He cut him off and he shot him. I, we don't do that. We've never Like you said, it's gonna help you maybe put yourself in the right area. And when we say area, it's a huge area. It's not even like you can, yeah, you're talk be bright, you know what I'm saying?

You're talking, yeah. You're talking big woods. I think one thing that cell cams do is it [00:48:00] keeps it fresh in your mind. Like you're getting that instant gratification. And actually the place that I ran a cell cam that I just told you about with the six pointer I ran a cell, I would always run a cell cam out there.

This year it died in the beginning of October and I just didn't feel like going to change the batteries to be completely honest. And I did. I just didn't get to it cuz I was elcon in September and in October, I'm like, yeah, I'll get there when I get there. Now it's hunting season and I had run a camera, so for three years on that tree and I was like that's where I killed my buck this year.

I didn't have my buck on camera, but I knew that area would be good. This time of year I use that cell camera as a tool. Not as a crutch. And I think that's the important thing. The unfortunate thing is that there's no, everybody's is saying there's no true definition for fair chase and there's no regulation to define it.

I guess everybody has their own ethics [00:49:00] and there's plenty of people that aren't ethical and there are plenty of people that are ethical. So I think that that hunters should be taking time to display what their ethics are instead of their opinions. If your ethics are like, I'm not going to put a cell camera on a bed and watch a deer stand up and down and go in there and try to shoot him.

Yeah. There's no nothing that says you can't. Yeah. But when you're talking about fair and you're talking about Chase Fair is the true definition of fair is not taking advantage of something. And Chase is very related to hunting in a dictionary, right? It, it literally says to pursue or chase down an animal.

So if you're trying not to cheat, literally just think about a camera and how you can use it to cheat and then don't do that. Yeah. Because that's where the, that's where the ethical part is, right? Yeah. Like when you're talking about fair chase. No I think that all cameras are tools [00:50:00] and if you if you only know how to use the hammer in your tool bag and you don't know how to use your drills and your what and you don't know about what you're working on, then you're not gonna get the job done.

I like it. What what was the piece that you wanted to talk about? With cell cameras because, go ahead. I guess we touching on that a little bit. It just is the ethics of them and like I said I think the, your mind is, so in, in October and November, the longer hunting season goes on.

The more you think about it, the more you're in tune with what's going on and the easier it is to remember what happened next year. Yeah. Like I can hang a cell cam in a spot that I've hung on for a couple years and be like, I'm gonna get a picture on that thing tomorrow, and I get a picture. Yeah.

And that's because like last year, because you're so hyper-focused on hunting, you can remember those bits of information. It, and it's It's the same thing with wave points that you save in your OnX. Like if you find a giant scrape in, in that spot, you're likely to [00:51:00] remember what wave point you marked there.

Yeah. But then how many times you opened your thing and didn't write things down, you'll remember that one. Even if you didn't write things down. Cause you know exactly where you found the antler or you found the big scrape, but then you have 15 other way points and you're like, ah, what that was, been there, man.

Trust me I've been there. But it's that thing that gives you that instant reward is like, Hey, I'm gonna remember that next year. And then, yeah, the next year you can be like I don't need to hang a camera there because I can use my, I can take the money I earned and use this camera on a tree that I don't know about because I know this area is works, works best at this time.

Now the thing that you lose is you might. Know that a big buck is in there and maybe you don't get a picture of 'em before. And people like have pictures of their bucks. I like having pictures of my bucks too. It's cool. Yep. You can be like, oh, I've, whatever. But it's more important to kill one.

So if you can use your tool and put it over here instead of something you already know about, [00:52:00] that's great. Now the other thing is maybe that area that you knew about is not good like it was. So you need to figure that out by sign or if you do have availability to hang that camera there for at least a little bit of time or something to know you're still using it, that's important too.

But using your tools elsewhere to build on your stuff that you got. That's a good idea. Yeah. With all these cell cra I shouldn't say, let me correct my, my, my wording there with all your trail cameras that you're putting out, cell and non, you are, Have already put out a good bit, and I'm sure you're going to continue to put out some more and move maybe some what is so far your game plan right now, as of May 3rd I put cameras out in areas that I really a, I haven't been to them or I haven't haunted them or hung a camera in there.

I want to see, I don't wanna see what deer using it. I want to see if deer liked to use it. You [00:53:00] can argue that they won't use it now as much as they will in the fall or something like that. But I want to know if is that terrain feature a something a deer likes or not? Are they walking around it, or, stuff like that.

Like I, this is gonna make me sound dumb, but I found this trail once and And I was like, man, this is tore up. And this is, I was actually with, I was scouting with Clint with Clint Campbell, and I was like, man, this trail is tore up. What is this all about? Hung a camera on it. It was a freaking mountain bike trail.

So but I w i, there's deer tracks on it, like of course deer walking on it every now and then, but you wouldn't know that till you hang that camera. Guess what? We checked it in July. Guess what we did with that camera? It went somewhere better. Yeah, exactly. And I didn't waste my time.

So I think that's important important now and then I have some stuff in areas that it might work out for early season. Just some light it's I [00:54:00] guess like I could say that it's a lot of stuff that's dead right now. That would probably be good in warmer seasons.

And then, Turn good for an early hunt, and then I might move some of those cameras if they suck, not, you should run a camera for a whole year in a spot. Yeah. But really it's just to find out if deer even like that. Yeah. Stuff. Yeah. I've hung a few and I'm based on what I find on those.

Then I'll either bulk that area up or eh, I'll just leave one in here and see what goes on. Yeah. Is there any like true deadline for you when it comes to hanging? Not hanging cameras, like I said yeah. I have friends that won't put 'em out until end of August, you know what I mean?

And we have friends that put 'em out all year because the one aspect that I think I've picked up on is obviously knowing how dear. And been using scrapes all year round, right? That's the one thing where I might just need to go change batteries. It's a good spot. It's a good location.

Yeah. It's a good inventory type of ordeal. So [00:55:00] that's what I'll usually run all year round as far as like on a scrape if it's continues to produce basically. But yeah. Is there really any beginning end date for you when it comes to with the cameras? I think that's what you just said is worthwhile scrapes that are used, especially if you're out shed hunting and it's like there's fresh dirt kicked up might as well hang one there and see what happens. But I think you're not really getting a lot of, unless you hunt the late season, you're not really getting a lot of information. Basically from the end of that late season through even the beginning of April, you're not really getting a whole lot of pertinent information.

I still hang, can't rely on cameras two or three weeks ago now. Just because I know it's an area that I'm gonna run out of time, going to the areas that I wanna bulk my cameras up. I know I already have certain areas where I'm going to put a chunk of, a bunch of, yeah. Good chunk of cameras. So I'm gonna spend a lot of time doing that in the summer and I'm not gonna get back to those areas.

So I'll hang those in. I'll go check 'em later. Yeah. Or I [00:56:00] can go check them and have time to hang those other ones and check those other ones later and not check these. But yeah, the, I probably, I'd, I usually like to get them out toward somewhere between the middle of June and the beginning of July. I like that, before July 4th.

Cuz I've had some, I've had some pretty great pictures that first week of July. If you like, the velvet thing, like that's, so that to me that's fun. I like I think that's one really fun thing about cameras is it's like something to get you excited about this season. Like you should always be excited about deer hunting if you like to deer hunt.

But I, I think it's just one more thing that gets you outside and is just fun. I don't know who doesn't like to see pictures of deer? If you don't, I, here's if I could, if anybody I please hit me up in a private message or something like this, if you have found some type of correlation to this, and I have the last two years [00:57:00] I try to get mine out at least before August for sure.

Whether that means, heck, I might even put a regular or a cell camera even in June, turn it on, make sure that it's working, and then I might be able to, if I'm able to from the app shut it off. Yeah. So then I don't care. Let it, I like, what we're saying. Yes, it's nice to get the velvet on, but at times were certain areas for me, I know.

I don't get a lot of buck movement on that mountain until it gets to fall. Yeah. But what I've noticed is that, oh man, what is it like the 23rd, like the 18th through the 23rd of August? My buck movement picks up. And what ends up happening is those deer will then be gone for whatever, many weeks before that shift, and then once the fall rolls around, they're back in that area.

There's been a couple deer that I've had encounters with, that my dad has killed two years ago. Like we had them [00:58:00] on camera in August. Like they did not appear at all, all summer, because I had that camera running all summer and then boom, it was like that 18th through the 23rd. You know what I mean?

We had encounters, I had an encounter with one of the eights. My dad killed one of them, and then, My last year, same thing, had some pictures of some in August that had an opportunities or missed ch missed opportunities on during fall, basically. And I, you would see them, but again, leading up to that point in time, nothing or a little bit after nothing until that shift happens again.

And I know I want to say Chad and the guys from Exodus on the podcast, they had a guest on a couple last year or something along those lines and they brought that up as well. And I was like, that kind of dinged for me. So if anybody listened to that episode or hasn't, and this is a, think back to the, to your middle end of August, pictures of that 18, 23rd, 24th timeframe, and let me know if you've Yeah.

Have [00:59:00] seen something similar. I think that's a jury. It's a jury thing. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. I can't remember for, I know I've heard Chad talk about it and I think it's a jury thing, but don't quote me on that. I think you were right. I think you are right on that. So yeah, so guess I'm trying to get my cameras out before August for sure.

I guess I noticed that, but I think it's specific to the area that you're hunting too. Yeah. It might be the food. So I'll just, you know that big a pointer that I had this year? Now, that area was where I shot the 10 pointer last, the two year, my book two years ago. I had that, my book on camera in the beginning of July, and then I didn't have him on again until September.

Okay. Okay. So I can, I can't remember the dates in July, but I know it was in the first week. Same thing with that eight pointer this year. I had him on in the beginning of July, and then I didn't get him like he was on sporadically here and there, but we had so many cameras this year. It was a little bit different.[01:00:00]

I had him in the beginning of July though, and I didn't really get him until like late August. Yep. So he disappeared for almost a month from those cameras. So it might be specific to the area that you're hunting or you just need to have that history built over a couple years of hey the core Bucks used this area at this time, and then they come back.

Yeah. Or cuz then, I have plenty of bucks on, there's one specific camera I can think of that you know what, deer in the area and then you can tell when they go away and when they come back on that camera. Yeah. Yeah. Cause they always pass it. But yeah, that's good stuff man.

I like that. So other than trail cameras, what else are you doing maybe for this year preparing for hunting season already or that you plan on doing? So access is a good one for this time of year, and I think that I could do a little bit better. You can always do better at everything you do, right?

And that's why you should always like this worked [01:01:00] this year so I'm not gonna change that. But this part wasn't great and you should tweak that part, right? So that's what I'm always doing with cameras. But I think access is always something that you can work on. This year I think I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna get a new pair of hiking boots and just hike hiking trails cuz there's a lot.

All right. You can open up your OnX or Spartan Forge or HuntStand, whatever you're using, and it'll show you trails. You can walk those and learn them because those can take you in a really good distance most of the time. And they're something that everybody uses. So either Deere are gonna avoid them or they don't care, or whatever.

Whatever it is. That's something that is regularly used by people. So you can check those trails out. You ever go on a gameland and there's the trail that's marked is a service road. You walk to Service Road and there's eight different branches that go off the service road that either the game commission made, or like people like to look out a certain di a certain lookout or something.

So they made a trail to it and or [01:02:00] just from so many people walking that there's a trail there now. Yep. You should go learn those too and then turn your tracker on whatever app you're using, turn the tracker on because now you got a new access that you can get in there. Quick, quiet. There's already people sent there.

You're not adding anything new. It's a good idea. So you can find those those hidden trails or I know there's one place that you and I have talked about scouting together. That that has mountain bike trails on it, and none of them are marked on any apps ev at all.

Yeah. And it is just a maze of trails. They're, that kind of stuff is the stuff I'm talking about. You can use that as an easy way to access your spots and not, maybe not jack things up. Yeah, I know. I'm trying to, like I said, for me it's building onto the whole scouting thing, and that was one of my missions last year, and I think it's just to build on that as well, and [01:03:00] as time gets closer to be a little bit more calculated with things, and not and honestly calculated, but go with my gut, if that makes sense. Because it always seems like whether it's for myself, a friend, a family member, when it comes to, especially when it comes to hunting, Every time I've gone to my gut, I've, something usually ends up happening whether a suc successful tags been filled, or a really great encounter has happened.

Yeah. So that's that's not something really I'm working on. But the other aspect is also I've been very confident, I would say even probably too confident in the sense of like my mobile saddle hunting setup. Yeah. And for me, like I've talked about it already, maybe twice on the podcast, like I'm going to be running three sticks.

That, or, three sticks with my three step eighter my GC one from backwoods mobile, but. I'm going to repel down, right? So I'm [01:04:00] not one sticking, I'm just going to be repelling down just to be a little bit more efficient, especially since I'll be using those, the eighter as with that big gap climbing up, I have no issues.

Zero zip. But climbing down, especially when it's dark out, could be a little bit little bit wonky. So I just, yeah, I just want to be a little bit more efficient. And if I'm hunting back at home where it is private on certain times, if I know I'm going to be in the same tree, I'll just be able to zip down and yeah.

Call it at night and get back up in there in the morning. Now, if any of you listen to the podcast with with Jim, you can't ask Jim about the efficiency of haters. Yeah. Because they don't middle mates. Yeah. The one me, you, me, you and him did. Oh my gosh. That day he was like, what the freak jar? He's this sucks.

I know. I will say this. I, man, kudos to Jim because he's, I mentioned earlier about doing the mountain tough thing. He's been doing he's been hitting it hard as well in the gym. And he's doing [01:05:00] really well. He's, yeah, man, at the show, he lo he lost a ton of weight. Yeah.

Yeah. So he's, I love seeing success like that. Yeah. So anything else for preparing? I know, I'm excited. I know Exodus is gonna be having the 2 0 4 arrows coming down the pipe soon. Yep. I'm ecstatic for those. MMTs have been great. I know you've shot and killed multiple deer with them.

I and an elk with it. Yeah. I'm excited for the 2 0 4. That is just, I don't know, that's the, been my bread and butter when it comes to diameter shafts. The MMTs have been great shooting out, out of this boat. They've been fine. I just, yeah. I'm excited to, to do a little testing with them.

I'm going to, I'm gonna give 'em, I'm gonna give 'em a try They like us to try everything, yeah. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna give 'em a whirl and see how they go. I shot a micro diameter arrow in the past and it was just a crappy arrow to be completely honest. So I didn't love it. But I'm excited to try these, like they're built to perform well, so I'm, dude, they're, listen Exodus guys right now are on a frigging terror because with, they're gonna be releasing [01:06:00] that.

They have the new rival camera. It's a great camera too. Hey, did, do you run yours yet? Yeah I started running mine cause I wanna make a video of dude for the price. And after certain specials, and there's gonna be a really cool one this month. You could get it. I don't know, like I've talked about it before.

I've joined a couple different Facebook groups where I love just seeing what different trail camera people, pitchers people get. And it's great opportunity for people to discuss certain cameras. And I really haven't had a lot of issues when it ha when it comes to the reveals fromt cam.

Lately, I don't know what it is, but my, the image quality wasn't that great. And obviously I have a render, I have a track even still that's still is Bombproof, I swear to that thing. You could smash it and it's still gonna work. Yeah, dude, the quality is still the best out of all of them. And I we talked about that [01:07:00] one time on Dimitri and I did a podcast.

Like I, I have fewer Exodus cameras, but they are the best cameras, if that makes sense. Oh yeah. Out of all them and this rival, He it's awesome. And actually, I said it before, it makes, takes better photos actually than probably their render too. It's a great, it's a great a, it's a great budget cell cam period.

Verizon user, sorry if you're in a Verizon coverage area, it's at and t right now, but yeah. It's a dude. I've had the camera on a tree for, I've had that cam, so I put a solar panel on it. I had some leftover, this is breaking a golden rule. I'm sorry Chad. I had some leftover lithium batteries in in one of my my lift two s and my regular cameras.

And I popped 'em out and put 'em in that, cuz I was exci. I couldn't, all the stores were all sold out of lithium batteries. So I went and put old lithium batteries in this thing and paired it with a solar panel. I've had it on a tree now for three months [01:08:00] and. A hundred percent battery with the solar panel.

Yeah. Cause it gets, they run on ambient light or whatever. So it's a great, if you're running a cell cam, like use the solar panel cuz it's especially in area, especially in areas that you are getting a little bit more traffic on. Yeah, for sure. Way worth your money. Yeah, but I've had this thing on a tree for three months now.

I have it on a one shot burst, ten second delay. Cuz I don't, it's not like a time you need tons of pictures. I get 30 pictures a day on that ca on that camera so far. Sure. And the quality is great. So you, like that's basically like a new deer in every picture almost, unless it's, unless they're like hanging out, like they're munching on the bush that's behind.

Some, sometimes it's the one hang out and munch on a bush in the picture. But it's a lot of pictures. You're getting a lot of pictures and I. It's, I, the area that I have it in has three bars of service, so it's not [01:09:00] like a great, as far as like sending pictures, I really shouldn't be getting that many pictures.

Like most of the time you're like checking your card and there's 40 pictures you missed or something. That's not happened yet. And I did that on purpose because I'm trying to see what works with this camera and it's great. Great camera. No, that's awesome. Yeah, so really cool things with that.

Last thing, Aaron. When it comes to our hunting that we've done the last couple years since we've built our friendship and everything, there's one thing that, one word that I feel like comes up when I think about it and that is being persistent and when whether it's good times, bad times, we're, we've talked about how we still grind it out.

That is the one other thing going into, this year is to be continuing to be persistent when it comes to the right time and the right moment. Yeah, absolutely. I guess when you know your burnout but you don an area is gonna be good, you just have to find a way to Yeah. To [01:10:00] turn that you're hunting off for a second and get yourself back in the game.

I know you, you clipped that one last year and you licked your wounds for that evening and what the next morning I think, and then you were back on the saddle. Yeah. You know what I mean? And you're still after it, for me, had cool encounters, didn't get a job, the job done, but I was still going after it.

And yeah, I think when persistence and and your drive slash you're still doing something you love. And it doesn't. Do a negative turn on you. That's my goal man, is where if I could have all those three things and not turn into a wear down of negativity. I know we've talked about, you hear people talk about, on another podcast and videos of take that mental break and it's okay, like that is totally fine.

Like I'm not putting that down by any means cuz I'm for that. When it comes to even just life in general, like there's days, yeah. There's days where I just wanted to come down here in the man cave and just sit here and [01:11:00] do nothing. You know what I mean? Like you need those me time. But my goal for next year is to have that persistence of.

Of being calculated, enjoying myself and getting that, getting the job done. Yeah. And I guess it's, you've been talking about like you've been hitting the weight room and gym's been losing weight and it's the same, it's the same thing as going to the gym, right? Yeah, there's Mo there's a lot of days you're not gonna do it, but if you go down there and you do it, you feel a lot better.

And you also know that you're not gonna get any gains unless you're in the gym. Yeah. Or you're not eating right. Or whatever it is. There's obviously a time where it's all right to step back and, hang out with your family or, take a nap or whatever that is take it and give yourself the moment.

But if you're, it's the same thing if you're not persistent in the gym. You're not persistent in a tree, you're not gonna get the end result that you want. Yep. And we're talking about doing it in a good positive way, right? Not just [01:12:00] saying f your family and just, like doing it like, like I, how I, with the Turkey this past year, like I was on my way to ready to go home and I said, you know what, no, you still have time.

It's not raining as hard as it was. Throw your gloves on the dash, let 'em warm up. Go drive around a little bit. Oh, look at that cool little train feature. Try to go scout it. Like that. That's what I'm, that's what I'm getting at. As far as as far as that goes. Yeah, we can have a, we can have a probably do a family discussion podcast and how you can manage your time better there, or not just manage your time better, but figure out how it works for you and your family to have a Yeah, have a good season.

We should do that sometime, but that will be part of the mountain One when we, yeah, when we do our scouting trip One. Yeah, I think that'll be a good one. I have, man. Anything else? Go ahead. Before we get off, I guess just you have to talk about shooting your bow when you're talking about efficiency.

Yeah. And I think you need to yes. Now is a really good time to, to hammer out your plan for that. Yeah. Whether you're gonna set a target out, I work seven to seven [01:13:00] when I'm, I only work three days a week, so I sound like I work a lot, but seven to seven or whatever. I still wanna get that sh take a shot when you get home from work.

Take three shots when you get home from work. But remember that when you're shooting a deer, it's only one shot. So if you are very good at one quality shot at 30, 40 yards,

you're gonna make yourself better that way. Yep. I personally, like every year I change that up too, but I personally like taking a handful of shots. Keep my strength up, keep, make, keep my mind in the form. Okay. And then my buddies want to come over on the weekend. I'll shoot 50 shots with my buddies because we're having a good time.

But otherwise, keep it fun for yourself. Of course if I feel like shooting more, I will, but if it's just Hey, I wanna make sure that my form's good today. Draw that bow, shoot that one quality shot, or preach whatever it is for you. Build some kind of scouting thing where you're getting consistent stuff and you can pull that [01:14:00] bow back and it touches the same spots on your face every single time.

And then, make a plan for the summer and make sure that you include some kind of, if you're shooting out of a ground blind or you're shooting out of a saddle or a tree stand, make sure you include that in your practice. I can't echo that enough. And I liked what you said.

I've used to shoot my bow for hours upon hours, like hundreds of arrows and. It did really, it did do me really well, but I think over time it did me really bad. You can get in your own head real fast, real freaking quick. And so now I love like a medium, like I like to shoot two dozen, if I, if like when I on these longer and I take a little bit longer breaks, I'm not just ripping, 24 to 30 shots, yeah. I'm, they're not quick ones. I'm taking my time a little bit more. I'm doing different scenarios and what Aaron said, I can't stress enough when it comes to shooting your bow in whatever hunting situation you plan [01:15:00] on doing.

If, one day you might be walking on the ground stalking and you have to shoot from both knees or one knee up and one knee in a wonky position, practice it. If you're gonna be hunting out of a tree stand, practice it. If you're hunting out of a saddle, practice it, and even practice setting up your stuff.

As well without even shooting per se. Yeah. Like practice maneuvering around the tree, all that stuff. That's right. If you want your opener opening to be good. Yeah. You know what sucks the most on the opener? Climbing up the tree in a saddle for the first time in the year. Yeah. You suck at it.

Yeah. You make tons of noise, you drop things in the ground, you forget to bring things up with you. Like all that stuff happens if you don't do it before. So that's just as important to practice. Yep. Like that kind of stuff. Get your first run done now. Get your first run done in June, July.

Yep. So that way, again when October or whenever your opener is, if you're going out to North Dakota in September or end of August type of ordeal, get it done so that way [01:16:00] that's already your 10th, 15th climb of the year. Yeah. And yeah, I just think that the practicing stuff is super key. And there again, with the shooting stuff, there's no problem with shooting tons of shots if you want to.

If you're going to hang out with your buddies while you're watching football in the early fall, or you're wa well, we're gonna watch baseball or, everybody's coming over, we're gonna shoot a ton of shots. Just have a good time. Don't pressure yourself. If you suck, don't get out.

Don't count that in your next, don't count that in your next practice. Be like, oh, I sucked last time, so I'm gonna suck this time. Just have a good time with your buddies and shoot. Yeah. And then get back to your normal routine of practice. Yeah. No, I like that, dude. What we'll do is we'll hit up another one, like I said, for sure after a scouting trip or, and probably another topic that we want to just chat about.

This was a good one, man. I, this one I'm excited to. Get out there because again, I think now is the time where trail cameras, people are starting to think about what cameras am I gonna run? How many am I gonna run? What pieces am I scouting? And how can we be a little bit more efficient [01:17:00] and we will build upon this.

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as things that we could cover. And again, Aaron, we'll, we will come back again and visit, Hey, we talked about trail cameras, we talked about some gear stuff. How else can we be a little bit more efficient as a hunter? Come next year? So yeah, I think we could do a part two efficiency and probably talk about a lot of more stuff, but, yep.

Yeah we'll listen back and be like, oh shit, we forgot to say that. Man, I appreciate it, dude. And yeah, buddy killing it as far as article goes for Clint, for Exodus, where can people find you fall along with what you got going on? Yeah. You can find me over at exodus outdoor

Writing a lot of stuff for them or truth from the Check me out in those places or if can check out the Instagram thing. It it's just Aaron underscore heppler. I like it, dude. I appreciate you taking the time, man. I know with the family and the girls. And same here. This was gotta go take care of the new Guinea pig.

Yeah, I like it. Now's when you gotta go grow some [01:18:00] like fresh grass and put it in a cage and let it go eat, go to town. Yeah. Yep. Exactly. I like it, dude. Like South Alpha, I don't know. I like it. All right, everybody, dude, I appreciate it, Aaron. Thanks ev, everybody for tuning in. Hope you enjoyed this one.

We'll see you next week, aunt Laura.