Canadian Bucks and Bears

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan talks with Canadian Hunter Jon Lehman about his many adventures in the outdoors.

Jon is a passionate outdoorsman from Alberta whose love for the wild started as a kid.  Jon takes advantage of the many seasons that Alberta has to offer, from black bear and coyotes to sheep, elk and deer. He enjoys learning about hunting and sharing what he knows with others in hopes of sparking the same passion in someone else. When Jon isn’t hunting he is a full time firefighter, gym goer and ice-bather.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome to today's show and on the show with me today. I've got John Layman. Now John is from Canada and it seems like I've had a lot of guests on from Canada lately, which is totally fine because it's a very intriguing place to me. Not only do they have a ton of wildlife, they grow some huge animals up there, and so we're gonna talk all about his experiences in the outdoors, what he's into, hunting and fishing, and it should be a great episode, and I need to make a trip up there.

I keep talking to people from there. I keep talking to friends who go up there for specific hunts, and I just need to start branching out a little bit. It's not that far. In fact, I used to go up every summer fishing, and it's been years since I've done that, so I need to start planning a trip to Canada.

I just decided that's what I'm gonna do. But before that happens, let's jump into this call with John.

Like he was doing things that were just [00:01:00] badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dan had the gun, I did have the rifle. Like we would be Okay.

All right guys, welcome back to the show. And joining me is an Alberta hunter, and looking at his backdrop, I'm pretty jealous. He's got whitetails, he's got mules, and you've got a killer mustache, I must say. I try to do the mustache. My wife won't, she hates it. She's there's about a three hour period where she's that doesn't look bad.

And by the end of the night she's can you please cut that off? John, thanks for hopping on the show with me. Yeah, thanks for having me. A mustache is killer, but you gotta get past that first stage and you're good. I know. And my other problem, I call it the reverse Hitler. I don't grow anything like directly be below my nose.

It just has a gap right there. And so no matter what I do, my facial hair game isn't that strong. I feel [00:02:00] like you could start a new trend with that though. You could have the comb over version of a mustache. Ooh, that's good. Just cover it up. I did, I started using some beard oil a while ago when I had a little bit more facial hair and I would comb it I would just part it from the center down my chin on my lip and part it out.

And as soon as I did that, I'm like, man, I look like a sailor. Like I look like one of those old crusty dudes on a tugboat freezing in the Atlantic. And I loved it. But yeah, my wife, she doesn't like baby face. She doesn't like clean shaven. I don't like it either cuz you can see like all three of my chins at that point.

But I, she also doesn't like a long beard, so I'm like stuck in limbo. Yeah, just roll with it. Hey, look, it looks good now. So roll with that. Hey, I appreciate it. So why don't you share with the listeners a little bit about yourself. What maybe one, a little bit more about where you're from and then what you're into as far as hunting goes.

Yeah I live up in Alberta, Canada, and [00:03:00] started hunting at a really early age, and when I started hunting, it wasn't to the extent that I hunt now, it was went out with my dad and his friends and, did whitetail hunting and did some mule deer hunting. He had to do draws around here for mule deer and moose and, I did a little bit of moose on with them, but it wasn't a ton.

It was just mostly deer and just push and bush style. So grew up with that. And then, yeah, as I got older, I. Obviously being in Alberta, it's like the mecca. We can almost, there's not a lot we can't hunt in the province. I got into bowl hunting and that's when things really took off and yeah, now I, it's funny it's what is, it's March 22nd today, so yesterday me and a buddy picked up our first loader, bear bait.

We get a bunch of, so we picked up a whole pickup truck. So we're getting ready to do that, getting ready to do a hog hunt. And then in the fall, yeah, I'll hunt with my bow because you don't have to draw or whitetail, mule or elk. So I'll chase those with my bow moose. There's a area about 45 minutes from me where I can hunt moose with my bow without [00:04:00] drawing.

And yeah, then I got into sheep hunting four years ago and yeah, so the list goes on. Waterfowl I can't miss either because we talked a little before, but yeah I do a lot of waterfowl hunting Yeah, it's I think, so you can do all of that within an hour of home? Yep. I can do all of that.

Where we, my bear hunting, our base camp is in Northern Alberta, and so the base camp is about two hours from me and then our Bates, and we have a house. My buddy has his farm's there and we have a shop, so it's a little setup base camp. We stay there and then we can get to all our bates within about an hour from that place.

So yeah, I'm pretty lucky for that. And yeah I'm jealous for sure. I can, I can do a lot of small game hunting. I can deer hunt and Turkey hunt and then waterfowl. None of it's amazing. Some of it's pretty good. And then everything else I basically have to draw for, we don't have moose.

Yeah, [00:05:00] we are just getting into elk and bear. There's no wolves here. There's no. Antelope, there's no mule deer. So where I'm at, I'm pretty restricted, but yeah, I could drive a half a day in any direction and get into a lot more of that stuff. Yeah, that's nice too. I I like traveling, but, young, I have a young family, so I have a five year old and eight year old.

So it, it's nice to be able to leave my house and know that I'm here within an hour for most things. And it's funny, like I, I sourced out a lot of people in my province, they hunt elk. So the way it works, it's different everywhere. Some of the season opens in the fall for deer in elk and moose, August 25th, and some of it opens September 1st.

So up where it opens for elk, specifically August 25th, you can hunt from 25th till September 16th with your bow. And then the rifle season opens. So you still get a little bit of that rut. And yeah, so I picked an [00:06:00] area away from there because I, instead of battling gun hunters, there's a lot more people that go up to that area.

I was able to find an elk spot, about an hour door. I can be, leave my door and be in, sitting down within about an hour 15. So got lucky. Dang. Yeah. That's awesome. What, have you noticed with it being over the counter, you can just get a tag without drawing? Is the caliber of animals and the quantity of animals still pretty good there?

Yeah, I would say so whitetail, like between us and Saskatchewan, I think we have some of the best whitetail hunting in the world. If we're talking, if we want to go through all the animals. So a lot of people come up here from the states and shoot whitetails. Excuse me. It's funny, lots of guys. They won't touch 140, 150 inch whitetail around here, cuz they, you can get way bigger.

I'm not saying that's what I do, but a lot of guys, they won't, to them that's, it can grow. Yeah. Where I know you guys in the states, like 1 40, 1 50, you guys are like, oh, Lee, like the one behind me is 1 70, [00:07:00] 1 75 roughly. So yeah, big boy. So we have, it's good for that mules, same thing like you have to draw in rifle, but a lot of zones you can chase it with your bow.

And the thing hampering, the mule deer population here is chronic wasting disease. So the way they've managed the herds in the last few years, it seems like they're either dying off because of that, or it's taking less years to get a draw. So I find like our mature mule deer population guys used to shoot 200 inch plus mule deer on the regular.

And I, I feel like talking to other hunters and. Some of that, I feel like that's dropping off. They're still here, but it's dropping off a little bit. And then, yeah, as for elk, they're so smart that yeah, you're still seeing good elk populations and to be honest, if anything, they're expanding like into areas where normally you don't see elk.

So where I have where I hunt I get lots of permission cuz the farmers, they don't like the elk, they wreck their crops. And they're not native [00:08:00] to that area. So the farmers just within the last, I would say 10 years, probably not even that, but I'd say about 10 they've started to have issues with them, so they want to get rid of 'em.

So yeah, it I think the populations have been pretty stable and our government, like the fish conservation do a good job of keeping that moose as well. So moose, ever since I've hunted, you've had to, you've had to draw for them. Except for there's an area to the west of me that's, it's more populated with lots of houses, like rather than farmland.

So they allow you to go in there without a draw and it's bow or muzzle loader after a certain date. And you can take a moose every year out of there. But everywhere else in the province for the most part is a draw. And I've just noticed, even in my area last year, I drew and the moose population, like I'm seeing moose way more than I had seen any other year.

And I've been going out there for 20 plus years since I was a kid dang. I think they're doing a good job at it. [00:09:00] Yeah. That's amazing. To hear that the populations are doing great, obviously C W D when that comes in Yeah. There's a, as much as they try to manage for it, it's one of those things that like, it's gonna do what it does, that there's gonna be a die off.

There's gonna be a lot of fatality. Yeah. Her mortality issues with it. But I'm hoping that with all the research and all the different states and provinces that are dealing with it right now, That they're gonna start figuring out solutions, like whatever that looks like. Yeah. Do you cut the deer herd down to 50% and then all of a sudden it can bounce back and not be as prevalent or, I think we're gonna see more answers for it here in the next five, 10 years at least.

I hope so. Hopefully. Yeah, me too. Find a way. I think they put a lot of effort into studying it. Like you said it's pretty, it's a common issue. And again, I go back to being a kid. I remember like Saskatchewan is east of me. It's an ex province over and I remember oh, don't hunt. But the border, like D w [00:10:00] D is coming.

And now, I'm for three, four hours probably from the border, maybe a little less too. Anyway, it doesn't matter. I'm away from the border. Now it's all the way halfway, if not further through the province where you have to like mandatory submit. Yeah. And actually this last year just found out they they gave up on the mandatory submission because it's so many zones that they're overwhelmed.

So they're just doing border to see how bad it is, and they're doing the edge, the other western edge to see how far it's gone and how bad it's getting over there. Anyone in between, if you wanna submit, you can, but they're not making you anymore yeah. Yeah. It's a, it's definitely a problem, but like you say, I'm hoping they have a solution or they're gonna come up with one.

So Yeah, they've, I know they do a lot of different things depending on what state you're in here. They do different, like either mandatory submissions in Wisconsin this year, actually, the taxidermist that I took my dear to, he was like, Hey, would you be okay sending [00:11:00] in a sample? For C W D and I was like, yeah, that's fine.

And he's okay, cool. I get paid like $7 per sample I send in or something like that. I'm like, oh, that's an interesting way to do it. You incentivize the taxidermic or the deer processors some counties up there, you have to do it. Like no matter what I think they're gonna start being more strict on sending in samples here in Missouri where I'm at, because from what I understand, they found C W D in a lot of counties last year.

And so we'll see Oh really? How that affects the deer herd because we've dealt with Blue tongue or E H D. But yeah, C w D hasn't as far as I know, been prevalent in my part of the state. And now that it has, who knows? I've seen government agencies go one of two ways. They're like, Hey, it's gonna run its course, or, Hey, we're gonna wipe out the entire deer population here and then start over.

And I don't know what Stan Missouri's gonna take on that. Yeah it's, yeah, it's such an interesting problem and [00:12:00] yeah, like you say, I hope they can figure something though. The same here, just, it got overwhelming and they've changed kind of the way they make you do submissions. And I know some people they don't submit, but it's crazy, like the disease itself.

Like my buddy, he arrowed a really nice buck this year and he actually wasn't gonna submit. And the tax dermis that we go to, he's big, he's written the articles on c w D, so he convinced him to submit and it was positive and he couldn't believe it. To have a healthy, what looked like a healthy deer, I probably would've had a rough winter.

But yeah, it's crazy to watch. And talking to the tax theist, it's pretty, if you get a positive case like that, then within the deer herd it can. The percentage that other deer are gonna get it is actually pretty high because, they herd up so much this time of year or like January and that they're together and so yeah, hopefully, I don't know if it's thinning the herds or like what the best option is, but hopefully they can figure something out.

Do you guys have a contentious debate up in Canada about the origins or about how it spreads? Because I [00:13:00] know down here in the states there's a big, like it's high fence operations, it's deer farms, they're the ones spreading it across the whole country. And then there's a lot of people who are like, that's not it at all.

Deer. Yeah. Deer can wander and they can, although mature deer have a small home range, like younger deer can move and it doesn't take long for it to spread. Yeah. And from my understanding, I don't really know like where it came from. It's funny you say that cuz you know we don't have a lot of fenced farms, like deer farms up Yeah.

In Canada here cuz we have such a good population and it's so vast and. Yeah we just get big deer. So I've actually never heard that. But as far as how it spreads, I've had discussions and I did my own research. When it first came into Alberta, into my area, I got like super stressed out.

Cause I'm like can we get it? Like, how does it work? And from my reading, and this could be wrong, but from what I understand it's a, it's in the same family as mad cow disease. Yep. But it doesn't transmit to humans. And but it transmits between the [00:14:00] herds just from like their feces and their urine.

So you can imagine, you've walked deer trails, like if that's how you know it spreads. And we don't allow baiting here in Alberta. They do in Saskatchewan. Which is interesting cuz that's where it started becoming prevalent. Yeah. But the problem is farmers have grain bags.

And That's a big argument among, amongst hunters is like, what's, what, does it matter if we bait or not? We know all the deer going to the grain bags because, they can get 'em open and then the spread of the disease is there anyway. Yep. So it's interesting. And then like when I read in the article, they'd done a bunch of research on, they'd put a whole bunch of infected mule deer in a corral and let 'em eat and, do their thing in there for a week or I forget exactly how long, and then they put cattle in there to see if it would contaminate and there was no transmission between the two animals.

So it's just an interesting, it's an interesting disease. I, like I say, I don't know enough about it, just a little research I did. It's, there's been no evidence that it's ever been transmitted to humans. Yeah. [00:15:00] That being said, I do my due diligence and I take my, I do most of my butchering, but then I'm not quite set up yet to be able to make my own pepperoni and stuff, so I'll take that in.

I make jerky and keep my good cuts and stuff, but, So I feel like I have to do my due diligence, make sure it's not contaminated when I'm giving it to them, or they do like other livestock and stuff. So yeah, it's an interesting problem. And like you say, I just try to stay informed and on top of it and ask s to the people that know when I can.

Yeah. Did you do you know if your buddy ate that deer? It's funny that you asked that, cuz he called me and he's have you ever had one positive? And I said, no. And he's it's not transmitted. And he's I called the fish cops and asked what I would do. And they're like we have to tell you to get rid of it or burn it or bury it.

But He's it doesn't transmit, but he's knowing what I know now, it's not the same. So he is I think I'm gonna throw it out. And I think he ended up throwing it out, but it bothered him cuz yeah, as hunters we want the meat and we [00:16:00] enjoy it. And he took the time to butcher and he was pretty upset about it.

And then the other issue that happens is that's a draw, right? So that took him, I think three years cuz it's dropped. It used to be five to get a mule deer draw and you don't get that tag back, right? So it's, dang, it's it's, yeah, it's interesting. But I guess do our thing and try to help solve the problem is the best thing we can do.

Yeah. So it's good he submitted cuz in my area he I didn't realize it wasn't mandatory this year again, like it had been then it changed. So it's good to know that, around my deer heard there is a po like there's a possibility that you're gonna get some positives I got lucky this year.

I have not had a positive, in fact, I don't know if anybody in my family has killed one that tested positive. I don't what I do for a long time I was like, ah, dude, I just eat it. There's no case. It's never been transmitted. And then I think what if man, what if, yeah, it's the one. What if I'm the one?

[00:17:00] But statistically it's almost impossible because you have to think there's hundreds of thousands, if not millions of deer that have already been consumed where the consumer didn't know that it was positive for C W D. Yeah, and Nobody's going crazy. People are going crazy all over the place, but I don't think it's from that maybe we solved the world problem.

Maybe that is what it's from. Yeah. I, that's why everyone's going nuts now is because they're getting C W D and transmitting it and nobody knows it. Yeah. Yeah. I'm the same way. I just know I butcher, I touch differently. Like I wouldn't even say differently. Like I won't they say to stay away from the spine and the spinal cord and those fluids.

So I'll just, especially mule deer. There's been some positive cases in whitetail, but it's obviously a lot more prevalent and mule deer anyway in our area. And then it's even more prevalent in bucks than it is those. So yeah, I just take a little extra effort in trying to stay away from that spinal cord and all that stuff, just to, if I do get, I haven't [00:18:00] got a positive either, so I've shot a mule deer, oof, I don't know, last couple years, and I have no positive.

My whitetails haven't been positive, so here's the hope and yeah. Man, that's crazy. So of all the things that you hunt, I know you said that you got into archery, that's when things like really kicked off. Now you're into sheep. I hear a lot of people talk about sheep as like the top of the top. Once you're into sheep hunting, there's nothing like it.

Is that how it is for you? Yeah. You know what, I I have a love hate relationship with sheep hunting. It's a battle. So I've done, we don't have horses. We met some guys this year with horses and it, it's, that's a different world in itself as well. It definitely takes on a whole world where, I could deer hunt in some pretty awful camel and some pretty awful clothing and my, maybe my boots weren't the best and my whole life maybe didn't spend top dollar.

When you're in sheep country, it's a different world. Like it, it is. It's rugged and it's windy, and [00:19:00] if it gets wet and you get wet, like you're wet for a week. Like it's rough. And so I got baited in. I think I've went this year coming up, we'll only be our fourth year. So the first year we went the end of September and we got beautiful weather.

Like we got some snow the one night, but not a bunch. And we got some sleet and like some windy days. And I remember those days being like, I'm like, why do people do this? Like in the time when you reflect on the trip, you're like, man, it was a blast. And I have yet to kill around. Cuz they have to, it has to be a trophy si or it has to go past it.

The curl has to go past its theory. There's like a rule for it, right? So we've seen some rams, none of them were legal. So good experience. And then year two miserable. Like it, it snowed. We woke up to A skip on our tent, but like up the hill there was like six inches and like wind, the wind was nuts.

And it was just miserable. It was everything in me to I'm pretty stubborn and we gritted it out, but it was just [00:20:00] everything in me. And then this year we decided if that was bad, why don't we go at the end of October? So that's what we did. We went at the end of October and it was cold and miserable.

I enjoyed it more than the year previous, cuz I was prepared, I think mentally for it. Yeah, I'd been, like I said, baited in the first year with oh, it's beautiful up here. And then, got hammered. So It is, I love it. I love every hunt. I do. I like learning about the animals. In Alberta here.

And you haven't been able to hunt grizzlies since 2005? BC st. They stopped hunting grizzlies, I want to say four or five years ago. It might be longer now. The population I don't care what the government is saying, it's outta control in those zones. I know some, I've seen more grizzlies than I have.

Sheep bared, geez. Like hands down. And this year I talked to a, he's a guide and he knows wildlife very well. And he said he was in a bowl. And in the time he was in that bowl, he counted six different grizzlies. And he did not see one ungulate track, [00:21:00] not one the whole time he was in there. So I'm a little worried about how that's gonna pan out and not to change the subject into bears, there's a lot of people that used to bait bears on that western edge of our province towards the, about Rocky Mountains there.

And they ha they started to get grizzlies on their bear baits. So the bear baiting areas that you're allowed to bait in is slowly dwindled. Yeah, I don't know. It's tough. I'm a firm without getting into. Debates with people. I'm a firm believer there needs to be a grizzly season. I don't think you, you don't need to go out there and hunt them like you do black bears.

We want to keep the population. I'm all for that. But nothing kills the grizzly bear except for old age and other grizzlies. And trains. So it'd be nice to do something. I don't know if you can do something like the Yukon where you want, you can get a tag every three years. I just want a tag. If I shoot a ram on the mountain, I've heard too.

It's like a dinner bell for them. And they'll come running in cuz they know there's a meal there. And animals aren't stupid if they haven't been hunted for 15 years. They know [00:22:00] we're not a threat to them. Yeah. So anyway I won't get into that, but as for sheep hunting, it is a different beast.

And it's something you gotta be physically ready for and like mentally ready for. But man it's beautiful country and it's worth it. It's good. Yeah, it's cool. When you can get into a hunt like that, that just pushes. Your limits. You have to push yourself past comfortability.

It's, Hey, it's a grind. We're out here. Yeah. We gotta do whatever it takes to make it happen. I totally understand the grizzly thing, like in my mind, all animals should be, man, all game animals should be managed in all large mammals, especially should be managed by the biologist. The conservationists, like they do this for a living and they've been successful.

Like you said, you've got growing populations all over the place. With grizzlies, if they're becoming a problem, they need to be managed just the same. And it shouldn't just be government trappers going and dealing with problem bears. There's a way that they can produce a revenue for the province [00:23:00] and allow hunting opportunities.

And so that's where I stand on it. I stand on that with wolves, with bears, with mountain lions, bobcats, all of these animals that people. For some reason think are cute and cuddly, even though they'd tear your face off if they had the chance. And yeah. Yeah, I just think they need to be managed and yeah, obviously if it's got too small of a population, they're probably not an issue.

It's not a problem. But in those areas where they are, something's gotta happen. And even just the animal understanding that we are a threat now. Yeah. Just that little bit of fear of us. Cuz I'm worried about and there has been a attacks and there's stuff on a attacks and I mean if you look at the province won't tell you there's a problem, but if you go out and you talk to anybody that's sheep hunting, like we went, we would go to, we went to those horse, these horse guys, we met their camp after and you're visiting with a bunch of different guys and everybody's on the same page.

Like the people who are out there, they're like it's becoming a problem. And so I'm gonna go into the wolf thing you said, it's funny cuz [00:24:00] I wolf hunt as well. I've never shot a wolf cuz they're smarter than me. But they're incredibly smart. It blows my mind, but. We were up hunting actually a little bit further north than where I bear hunt now, but in the same area.

And, we weren't, we've seen some tracks, but we weren't seeing a bunch of animals. And then we get back to town and we talk to somebody in the grocery store. He's what are you guys hunting? And we're like, oh, we're out for wolves. He's oh, he ain't gonna find any here. And I'm like, what do you mean?

He's oh, the government just came with helicopters, last month and they shot 250 of them. You don't read that in the news. No. And the whole reason they did that is cuz there's a caribou run there and the wolves, they destroy the caribou. And they're so smart.

You can't wolves are tough. So the government killed a bunch and I, I started, did some research after and it turns out Yeah. And there was trappers losing their mind cuz they, they just left them to rock. And their trappers were like, I can't leave any piece of fur on my line and the government can do this.

So Yeah, it's frustrating what they. What they do behind closed doors to keep everyone happy, where, there's ways to manage the [00:25:00] population. And the problem is in a perfect world, I tell people it's yeah, we shouldn't have to manage this. But you look at pipelines and all these things that we put into the bush.

And now if a if alpaca wolves gets caribou running down, that, it's easier for them than in the bush. Like we've given the advantage to them. So it's our job to help ma manage in every aspect, if that makes sense. But yeah. Yeah. There's a natural order and animal populations balance out.

It's very rare that one animal completely depletes another population that eventually they balance out, right? Because the caring capacity for wolves isn't gonna be sustainable or it's not gonna be very high if all the prey is gone. And so that's where I fall in the, like you look at Alaska, everyone's wolves are the worst, wolves are the worst.

And it's but if you truly believed that, If a wolf reintroduction happens, all the elk are gonna be gone. All the deer are gonna be gone. All of these things are gonna be gone. How do you explain Alaska? [00:26:00] Yeah. Like they've got, everyone wants to go there to hunt. They've got giant animals, they've got all kinds of hunting opportunities, and there's a ton of wolves there.

Yeah. And it's the fear of the unknown. And so when you're in an area that hasn't had wolves for 60 years, and all of a sudden the government's saying, Hey, we're gonna reintroduce them. Now you're going, okay, that's impeding on my hunting opportunities. The amount of animals that I'm gonna see, it's gonna disperse the animals.

But at the end of the day unless you're dealing with agriculture or ranching, like I get that side of it. You got a bunch of sheep, you got a bunch of cows. I wouldn't want wolves within 200 miles of where I'm running cattle. As far as hunting goes, I think again, it would have to be regulated.

By the government, by the fish and game agencies. Otherwise it can get outta control. All right, guys. If you've been listening to the podcast, I'm sure you've heard me talk about the helicopter hog hunt that I did down in Texas. Now, I went down there with [00:27:00] rope Texan Outfitters and Landon and Brandon, the owners put us on the animals.

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

I stand by what I've said in the past, and that's that helicopter hog hunting is the funnest thing that you can do with pants on. In addition, they offer Sandhill crane hunts, and predator calling. So if you're looking for the most exciting hunt of your life in something that you're gonna want to come back and do year after year, go check out rogue and book your hunt today.

Yeah. And I think you're right and I think this is just a guess. I have no evidence to prove this, but I've told people this is the wool population, even some of the grizzlies that are, [00:28:00] I remember my dad and some older people talking about like prairie grizzlies, right? Which is unheard of now.

And now you're seeing 'em start to move down and do their thing. And I'm like, I see that because, as they move down and as these wolves are there in some of the like, big bush area, I think it's pushing. And that's why I'm seeing elk in these areas. I hunt. It's pushing them into the farmland cuz there's, they're, there's predators there and they're not stupid either.

And so they push, they move, they migrate and they learn to live a little bit differently. So if you go back to, you know what my dad would've told me when he was a kid, like years ago, I think maybe it's just like you said, it's like a cycle. We're going back into that, which isn't necessarily a bad thing either.

It just changes the way you do things, right? Yeah, it definitely does. I very rarely hunt in moose, or sorry, in grizzly or wolf country. And so I feel like it's somewhat unfair for me to have a strong opinion about this stuff. But it's funny because the places that I have gone, [00:29:00] like out in Colorado, we were driving through this one town to get to to get to our elk camp this year.

And I saw a sign some farmer had posted a sign up on up on this post and it was like, if you voted for the reintroduction of wolves, recreate somewhere else, you are not welcome here. And I was like, oh, shoot man. But apparently in some of those areas, they've already had livestock mortalities due to wolves and yeah.

And I think the biggest issue that they're gonna face with it, especially the reintroduction side, or animals that are pushing into new areas where maybe the deer and the elk aren't used to being preyed on by them, is that the deer and the elk aren't used to being preyed on by them. And yeah, there's not gonna necessarily be that instinct of dude, I gotta run from this thing.

It's gonna take a couple years, and there's gonna be a lot of animals that get killed quickly because they're not used to having something higher up on the food [00:30:00] chain aside from humans. Yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah. It all, and like you said, at the end of the day, it does all, I think, balance out pretty well.

And I don't know, but yeah. You say you're, yeah, like you say, you don't hunt in wolf country, but that's the thing. It's just like you hunt lots of animals so you understand how animals work and Yeah. Even me, I'm not grizzlies and wolves I'm not super familiar with, but I understand that they're big and they're scary and I don't want to have to deal with them.

Yeah. I wouldn't, couldn't imagine having to live out there with them every day. So yeah, it's it's interesting. Like I say, we, for me, a sheep hutton, I, that's where the grizzlies are. Otherwise, I don't really run into grizzlies in any area that I hunted in. And then wolves are, they're so smart that you don't normally see them unless they want to be seen, or the odd time on a cut line, you'll catch one crossing.

But there are wolves where I bear hunt. I'm actually surprised we haven't had any on our baits for Black Bear. But yeah it's interesting. It's fun. Pre predator hunting is a whole different beast like, [00:31:00] Blackbird hunting. I know you said they introduced that earlier. So we're ramping up into that right now.

And it's honestly, I hate to say I don't hate to say this, but it's probably my favorite hunt. And I tell people, I'm like, I don't know if it's because I'm cooped up all winter and I can't hunt anything, and then I get to go out and it's beautiful and it's one of the first hunts I take my kids on.

So both my kids, they're only eight and five. They've both been on bear hunts. I shot my bear two years ago with my six-year-old with us in the stand. And it's wild for them. It's like a zoo. Like we had 12 different bears coming in and I didn't know how my, oh man, it was nuts. I got videos and I didn't know how my kid was gonna react to it, I don't like, iPads and games, but I'm like, I better take, we're gonna be sitting there for a while. I better take an iPad and some headphones and make sure I have an entire backpack full of snacks. I don't think he looked at his iPad once. His eyeballs were huge and he just, he couldn't believe that these animals were walking underneath us, eight feet, cuz I think we're about 12 feet up in one of our [00:32:00] stands and just mind blowing.

And then this last year I took my youngest and same thing like, yeah, it's interesting cuz you explain to them, I take them bird hunting too. It's the two things you can I think you can involve them in and get them into seeing what hunting's about without ruining a hunt.

Like sitting for 10 hours and never talking or moving for a white tail isn't gonna happen. So Yeah. But with, yeah, bears, it's fun. It's good. Bear hunting is something that I've always wanted to do. I've got a buddy who went up, I don't remember what province he went to. Wherever it was. Baiting was legal.

And he went up in the bush, like miles back on four wheelers and they had this whole camp set up. He ended up arrowing two bears, one big cinnamon, one big black. And he's dude, I had this one bear was feet from me. I'm he. When he got up there, he was like, one, can I hunt with my bow two, can I hunt on the ground?

And the guy's we don't normally have [00:33:00] people ask that, but they set up a little ground blind for him, just piled up some sticks and made some cover for him. And he's dude I was sitting on the ground and I heard an animal breathing like right behind me. And he is I slowly turn and here's this giant black bear head like in my blind.

And he's it ended up running off. I, he went after it anyways. Amazing story. And after he told me that, I'm like, I have got to do this at some point. And everyone I talk to who's into bear hunting, they say the same thing. They're like, there's nothing like it. You're dealing with a giant predator that most people only ever see in a zoo.

And yeah. It's in front of you and it's surreal. And it, I'm sure at some point, you get used to it, but I can't imagine that getting old anytime soon. I was gonna say yeah I would say in the mouth I've, and I, you know what? I got into it. So to explain my history of bear hunting, I got into it a body's you wanna come bear bait?

And I was like, I [00:34:00] don't like the word bait. I was just like, ah, I don't know. I'm like, you know what, I'll come try it out. So he went and baited that year, and now I explain it to people, I'm like, you a it's very controlled. So for new hunters, I've never shot a bear with anything other than a bow.

So for new bull hunters, it's very controlled y Like once they commit to the bait, normally you have a ton of time to make sure your shot's good. If you're nervous and shaky, you can tell 'em, Hey, like I went and hunted with a guide during Covid cuz he had no one coming up and I learned a lot there. And he would do that to guys like, Hey, calm just take a minute, the bear he's eating, just take a minute, you'll have a chance.

And and then I learned, it's like you, you get to see their behavior at the bait site and just how they interact with each other, whether it's a sow or a boar or cubs. And here as a, I'm sure it probably is everywhere, but you can't shoot a South Cubs or a Cub under a year, right? So you gotta pick.

And so far I've been lucky. I've shot all mature boars. I've never, I don't wanna shoot a female bear. I'm not against [00:35:00] it. But may like when I went baiting that year, my buddy explained to me that the big boars will kill the cubs to put the sal back in heat. Yep. So that helped me with the whole bait thing cuz I'm like, now I can control what I shoot.

So yeah, it morphed into, going up, baiting with them one year and then Covid hit and then there was, we went up to a God and we baited with him and I got to hunt on the ground, which was an eerie feeling too, cuz he just take, he's you're an outdoorsman. He's I have another guy here that doesn't really go outdoors, so I'm gonna take you in five kilometers in off this oil lease road.

He's you're not gonna have cell service, but if you shoot something I'll be back. I'm like, okay. Takes me in with a track machine through the musk egg, sits me in a ground blind. And it's okay, see you later gone. And then he took, takes this other guy hunting and yeah, I had bears. Same thing all around me and I carry a gun and I carry bear spray, but and it, it was a good experience.

It got dark. I had to wait for them and hear the quad coming back. But, such a good experience and he's been [00:36:00] baiting bears for years. So to just learn from him and learn tricks and learn how to tell Sal from ab bore. So that year was a really good experience. And then me and one of my best friends just took it upon ourselves like why don't we just bait ourselves?

So we've slowly, in the last three years, just built up barrels and got bait connections and yeah I've been my taxer, miss Lassy, cuz the Bears I'm not, I don't toot my own horn, but he's like the bears you killer. It's incredible. And I've killed one every year. This year I might just leave my bow in the truck.

Cuz this year we went out and my buddy that I bait with, we started baiting together. We have two sites and we're hope this year we're hoping for three. The second one was brand new this year. So I'm like, you know what, my girlfriend's coming up, my two kids are coming up. I said, I'll go to the new site cuz we know there's bears there.

Just so far we have SALs cubs and younger bears and I'm like, it's for the kids, right? Get them to experience it. I'm sitting there watching the bears and like my girlfriends in a different stand with the kids trying to get my attention. And I look over and [00:37:00] she's pointing down and I look down and there's a giant bore below me.

I'm like, oh my God. So anyway, we watch 'em come in Monster. Like I have pictures on my Instagram, but I can show you pictures too. And so I pass em, I'm like, Hey, I'm gonna leave him. I don't need to shoot a bear this year. So we go back, we meet up with my buddy and he's having no luck and he hasn't shot a bear yet.

So I'm like, okay, why don't you go sit in this site, like he's gonna come back. And he's no, I, there's a bear at this other site. I, he's gonna come in. So I just, I looked at him, I said, Mike, if this bear comes in again, I'm gonna shoot him. Like I can't pass him again. Yeah, it's bothering me. So I go in with the kids again and he doesn't show up day two, so whatever.

Kids loved it, right? Like they had such a blast. So they were only there for those two days. So day three comes. And I say, Mike go sit this bait site. He's I wanna do one more at that other bait. I got a feeling cuz we had a bunch of big bears and a real big old bear, [00:38:00] pretty consistent on camera.

And he just had his heart set on it. So I'm like, okay. So I go out again and I didn't sit down for 20 minutes and that bear came in and I'm like, oh my God. And so I text him, I'm like, this bear's at bait. I'm like I'm taking him. So the bear was smart. He would lay down behind the barrel and then eat.

And he knew I was there. He was watching me, I'm watching him, and he got up to leave the bait site and went crossways. And he just gave me a window enough at 15 yards. I got an arrow on him, heard him go back. I'm by myself. And so this is a bit of a story, so it's, I feel bad.

It's good. I'm like, oh my gosh, I want to do this so bad. Oh man, you gotta, so I'm by myself and. I don't want to interrupt my buddy. And he's with another guy too, at that site cuz he hasn't got a bear yet. So I already feel guilty cuz I just shot my fourth bear in four years and he's still waiting to get his first one.

So I'm like, yeah, I shot this bear. He's do you want help? I'm like, no, I'll figure it out. So I get down from the [00:39:00] stand, follow the blood, and yeah I find the bear and it's not a small bear, so I'm like home, okay, I gotta get the quad in here. So I go get the quad and I, and that, that was an ordeal in itself.

It probably took me 30 minutes, 40 minutes. I had chainsaw and I had to cut some trees and I had to get back. So I'm by the bear. I took a few photos, I'm like, I need to get 'em outta here. I don't have a trailer. All I have is a quad. I don't have a snatch block, I don't have anything of use to get a bear onto a quad by yourself.

So I take the winch and I use some gloves and I wrap it around a tree to make a two to one and bring 'em over the seat. Yeah, so I, there's a sling in the quad. Luckily, I wrap it on him and I get the back end of the bear up and I got a log under his front feet and I'm just, I'm lifting with all my might and I just and with one.

And then I'm like trying to nudge the winch control with my elbow just to bring the slack up. And so anyway, long story short this goes on for 30 minutes. I'm drenched in sweat. It's may, [00:40:00] it's like pretty warm out. I get 'em on the quad. I'm like, okay, drive out. I go past the bait site. I grab all my bags and everything.

I have no ratchet straps cuz I'm an idiot. I left 'em at the truck. Yeah, I just need to get to the trail. If I'm on the trail. There's some nasty puddles and mud I gotta get through. But I think slow and steady and I'm like sitting on the berries, like behind me, the quad sagged.

I get almost to the road, the bear falls off. I'm, I honestly wanted to cry. I was like, oh my God. But I refuse. I refuse. To call anyone. So I do the same thing with the winch. I get him back on at this point when you've exerted so much energy you're feeling weak and you're like shaky.

Yeah. I'm exhaust You could throw up out of exhaustion. Yeah. I'm exhausted. Finally get out to the trail and right when I go onto the trail, the bear slides and he almost falls up the quad. And I like put, I just put all my weight that I could just to hold, just to pin him. And luckily he didn't fall off.

I don't think I would've got him back on. I don't know. [00:41:00] So anyway, I'm like, I just gotta get through these mod puddles. So luckily everything on the trail goes pretty good. I just, I see the trailer and I just ram onto the trailer. Okay. Roll the bear off the quad, he's on the trailer. I just, I literally took my clothes off, like down to a t-shirt and I just sat down and just drenched and sweated.

That took me two hours. So these guys meanwhile are texting me like, what's going on? I'm like, I finally texted back, I'm like, I got it. We're good. I'm like, I'm heading back home. I'll meet you guys there at the end of the night. So anyway, yeah. Long story short, we, they come back so we have a scale.

Cuz the first year me and my buddy shot a bear, sorry, the first year we started our bait when I was with my kid, we shot a bear. We couldn't get 'em on the quad. And my buddy is six six, like six five and he's 260 pounds. He's a big individual. Yeah. And we struggled, two of us. So we're like, we'll be like, we gotta get a scale to see how big these bears are.

So get this black bear back and he's two, or sorry, he's 331 pounds. So for a blackberry, guys always [00:42:00] say oh, 500 pound bear. That's rare. Like 331 pounds. That's big black bear. Yeah. And so anyway, that was the story of last year and so he, he didn't end up getting bear last year.

So yeah, this year it's all for him unless it's color bear. Yeah, maybe I'll shoot one, but I say I'm gonna leave my bow in my truck, but I know full well it's not gonna happen. So No, you're so be it. The thing is I struggle with that all the time. I'll go out somewhere, even if I'm just going out and checking trail cameras or doing something like that, I'm like, ah, I'm not gonna bring a gun with this time.

When I don't bring a gun. I see a coyote out in the field and I'm like, dang it, man. I should have brought it. When I do bring a gun, I never see 'em. And I'm like, dude, I don't know what it is. It just seems every time they outsmart me one way or another, or maybe, yeah. I don't know. I just can't seem to get it right.

But I'm to the point now, unless I'm just going out scouting, like I always have an arrow knocked. I've always got a round in the chamber I'm [00:43:00] ready to go because Oh yeah. I don't wanna miss that one opportunity. Yeah. And that's when it'll be too. I know it. I just know it, so yeah. I'll probably take it, but yeah, bear hunting.

You're gonna love it. It's a, it's a. Different beast. It's you know the feeling when you put your trail cameras out for deer? Yeah. If you know your area, you got an idea with deer there, but you're still like excited oh, I want, can't wait to get these pictures. Oh, for sure. Like times that by a thousand for bears because once they get onto your bait, they're just bears everywhere.

And like me and my buddy will just constantly talk to each other and we're like, Hey, we gotta, and we try to name these bears to try to keep them separate and we'll be like, oh my God. Look at that bear. And it just the excitement builds and it, yeah it's indescribable and then it's nice because, it'ss good.

You get it up in the mornings and we get our ready, we check our cameras and we just hang around the shop and shoot our bows and have some lunch. And then we head out to the bear Bates and you sit at night and it's it's beautiful weather. The only downside to all of bear hunting is the [00:44:00] bugs.

The mosquitoes are terrible up here in Canada, yeah. Other than that, man, it is such a good experience. So do you have a trick for getting the bears to come in during daylight or to get more comfortable during daylight? Because my mom my mom up in Wisconsin, I think she's had, I think she's drawn three different years now for bear, and she's been baiting, she's got pictures of this giant boar and the, I can't remember what she said.

The conservation agent that she talked to said this bear's well over 400 pounds. And she does, she has no idea. She's never killed one. But he's based on this picture, he's like, how high up is this part of the tree? Whatever. He's asking her all these measurements for comparisons. He's that's a giant bear.

She gets 'em on camera every night, 15 minutes after she leaves the stand, that bear is in at the bait every single night. And I told her, I said that Bear knows that you're there and he's waiting for you to leave. And her husband [00:45:00] comes and picks her up with the side by side. And I said, you need to have him come as if he picks you up or as if he's picking you up.

And then leave and have him do that 30 minutes early and see if that bear thinks oh, okay, she's gone. I'm coming in now. She hasn't tried it yet, but I told her That's my trick. I don't know if it'll work. I'ma Are you, is your season in the spring too as well? No, hers is in the fall, okay. Yeah, she's got a fall season.

It basically coincides I think with, I think it's right before whitetail archery season starts. It May. Okay. Yeah, sometime I'm not a hundred percent sure. Yeah, so for the tip I've heard a guy, I've never tried this. We had a bear, some bears are just smart man. Like we had a bear once. My buddy wanted to kill cause it was actually on his private land and we baited and it would come in and when we left and out and then it would, it switched to the mornings.

And that's when I said to him like, you need to go out there dark in the morning. Get in that stand and wait. And he, the one morning he was gonna do it, he [00:46:00] didn't, the bear showed up whether it would've or not. One time he was sitting in the evening, he literally watched the bear walk into the bait, all calm.

And then I don't know if he just moved a little bit or what, and the bear stopped, looked at him and he said the bear literally backed out, like facing him, didn't turn around back backwards and then just laid down and watched. Like sometimes they're just smart, like wild. I know. Yeah, my advice, I've heard of people putting their hoodies in the stand and leaving 'em there.

Just leaving clothing with Santa and also like the movement. I don't know if that would work. The, I like the idea of the quad cuz you know, they get to know if that for us too. They get to know if that's a dinner bell. They get to know that you're leaving. They get to know all these Yeah, they're smart when it comes to that, yeah, it's interesting. Yeah, that's a big bear. Yeah. See we, I'll have to send you a picture of it. I've only, she's sent a couple of 'em and this is on their whitetail property. Like this area is not known for bears, but on her in-laws land, she was sitting there eating dinner one night and she looks [00:47:00] outside and here goes a sal in three cubs across the driveway.

And she's no way. And so she started putting cameras out, putting bait out and she's fallen in love with it. But like I said, three years hasn't had success yet. Yeah. And I keep telling her I'm gonna shoot a bear before she does. I buy an over-the-counter tag when I go out to Colorado.

For my elk season. Never even seen one out there, but every year I call her, I'm like, you got a bear tag? Yep. I'm like, me too. I'm gonna kill one first, and then neither of us ever do.

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Yeah. For us, the nice thing too I don't know about you guys, but for, we have a fall on a spring season as well. Fall season. I don't hunt bears because I'm just so busy with everything else. I have a bear [00:49:00] tag usually. Cause we get two here, right? So I usually shoot one in the spring and then have a second.

But for the spring season, it's nice cuz they just wake up and they're hungry. So we don't get, they're not as heavy. That's why like mine, 330 pounds is a big bear in the spring because, they just woke up and started eating. Yeah. So they'll come to the bait because they're so hungry.

So I find the smart bears still, we can have that problem, but less as in the fall. And the fall. And even in the late spring here, when it starts to green up and the ruts kicks in, you'll see we'll have bears pattern. They're at the bait every night. And then all of a sudden, eh, every few nights cuz they're out, doing their rut stuff and they, and stuffs greening up.

So they're like eating, normal stuff that they would eat. So I find it in the fall. You have that too with all the grain and all that stuff. Like sometimes maybe the bait if they know you're there and they, if they don't have to come to eat, then maybe they'll do that instead, but, okay.

Yeah, it's, I don't know that for sure, but I do know like food is more prevalent then we're in the spring. That's why the baits are so [00:50:00] successful in the spring. But No, that makes sense. Yeah, if they can eat at a different food source and not be, in danger or not be around people, that makes sense that they would do that and then just come back in after dark or, come in every couple days instead of every day.

Yeah. And some bears are just smart. Like they, they don't the big ones, they get, it's like every animal, they get big for a reason. So it like I said, even last year mine, he'd come in and he'd lay down like, and it's funny to watch the pecking order too. He'd sit, there was a big sow with cubs and that first day when I told you my girlfriend pointed below the stand he was laying there cuz he knew if he went in there, she was gonna, Beat 'em up.

She was gonna get him, get 'em outta there, chase 'em off. And I always say maybe I should be a little more, not scared, but aware of bears, but I'm like, they're they're scared of us. Yeah. We walk into the bait all the time. There'll be three bears make noise. It's the mom with cubs.

That scares me. Like we had a mom with three cubs for our bait this year. And if she was around like mutual respect, right? Hey, we're gonna stay away from you. [00:51:00] You stay away from us. You eat all you want. I'm here to help you out too. Get the kids food. I don't care. Yeah. And then those adolescent bears are funny because, they're trying to prove themselves too.

So I have had a adolescent bear this last year charge us. He was following us around and we were making noise and then he'd just come back and it's, he's just trying to prove himself. So I've had some of that. But it's funny to watch the real big bears, like the sows beat 'em up.

Like they, they run their show. Yeah. Very similar to humans. Yeah. They run our show. We know you don't fight it, you don't fight it, you just let 'em, you just let 'em do it. Yeah, no, it's interesting to watch their pecking order. I've seen some of the videos of guys riding it on quads and they'll get some of like bait off of the back of the quad and they walk over and there's bears feeding.

The bears will push back, 10, 15 yards, let 'em restock the bait, and then they're back at it before they make it back to the quad. And I'm like, that is, it's just crazy to me, like no fence in between, no glass in between. You're out there with an apex [00:52:00] predator and I know that fatalities on humans are pretty low from black bears.

They do happen every now and then, but, yep. Still that's a different level, man. Oh yeah. It is wild. Like where you go to put bait in the barrels and lots of times we'll go back to a quad and they're in the tub trailer on the quad. And it's Shoe. Oh my goodness. That's a trick too, right?

Like taking the seat off of the quad and hiding it. Cuz they'll shred it. And I've had my buddy, they're just des destructive animals it seems. Oh yeah. It's like they're little kids, they just have to tear up everything. That is exactly what it's like. They're like little kids, man. But you know what, like I said, so fun to hunt, I'm not, I love hunting everything, like I said, and we talked about sheep a little bit and it can be a grind and there can be some frustrations.

And you whitetail, that's another big one. I get in the zone and I'm I would say I'm not a nice person to be around cuz I'm so focused and I'm like, I need to be in that stand. I need to be there all day. It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be miserable. Just leave me alone until this thing dies.

And then I'm the [00:53:00] happiest person in the world. But there's a grind in all those. And I just find with bears, it's a lot of work to keep up to how much they eat to keep debate full. Cause that's the other thing, keeping it full, with work and stuff, you gotta keep 'em there cuz if you run out, they'll find other food or you maybe lose that, pattern that you had, but the grind just isn't the same.

And I attribute that as a fall hunt kind of to waterfall, right? There can be a grind there if you're, if you don't have the birds or maybe you're not, your sets aren't good or whatever, but for the most part, you have, you can have good hunts up here. Anyway, where I'm at again, I'm really lucky.

Like I'm just in the eastern part of Alberta, so right in the Flyway. And it's, this last year was wild man. We had a hunt sw I'm switching over to, I'm all over, but I'm switching over to waterfowl and we had a hunt and I've never decoyed birds like that in my life. And I don't play video games.

I'm not a video game guy. But I've heard people talk and it was like re spawn man. We would shoot 'em and [00:54:00] we'd be going out to get 'em. And we're yelling at the guys get back in, they're coming, there's a tree line and they're just coming over. And I got pictures of me carrying birds in and behind me there's just like another a hundred birds coming in.

It was like, it's like a video game, man. It was wild. Geez. Sometimes when you're on the X, like you can't do anything wrong. Yeah. And that's, we've had a couple, we've had a couple like that where it's it's very rare where I'm at here, but other places that I've hunted, like you can be moving around and it seems every time you get outta your seat, birds are coming in.

We make that joke all the time. Dude, somebody go take a leak or light a cigarette. As soon as you do that, the birds are gonna start dropping in and you're not gonna be ready. And it happens all the time. But I actually jacked my knee up. The worst injury I've ever had was on a duck hunt. And I was coming back because we had to bust out ice on this big lake here in town, and.

We probably busted like 20 feet out. We pushed the big sheets underneath the other ice, cleared it all out. [00:55:00] We were just hammering teal. It was crazy. We've never seen teal in that kind of weather. And we were just hammering teal. And my buddy yells at me and he is like, dude, get back more birds.

And so I'm like coming back. My, my boot from my waiters gets caught in the mud and it drops me to my knee. Something underneath on the ground sliced through my waiters. A pair of coveralls, sweatpants, and a thermal layer and all the way down to the kneecap. So I don't know what it was, but it cut about an inch and a half all the way down to the kneecap.

I didn't realize it. I just thought I like busted my knee on something. I'm like, dang, that sucked. Get back my leg stiffens up over the course of the morning. My boot's completely full of blood. Didn't know it. I just thought it had leak in my boot. They ended up, ha they ended up calling an ambulance for me cuz they're like, dude, you're going in shock.

You've lost that much blood. And I'm like, no, I'm good. I'm good. And all of a sudden I'm just like, something feels weird. Like I feel really odd. And they're like, we're calling an ambulance. It was bad. Yeah. [00:56:00] Is the hunt over? No we stayed there, man. We stayed there till we got our limit. We we did that and then it was like, all right.

Time to go. And once we left, that's when everything kicked in. I realized when I went to stand up and get out of the blind, I couldn't bend my leg. So I'm literally like walking and dragging my leg behind me and they're like, dude, you are messed up. I'm like, I'll be fine, I'll be fine. The whole morning was crazy.

After it, it was the best hunt and then the worst stuff that tagged along with the hunt, the truck got stuck. The trailer got stuck. We had to have a buddy come and pull us out of the mud. Had to call the ambulance. I had to go get stitches. Ended up having physical therapy. It was just wild. But, One of the best te hunts I've ever been on.

Yeah. And you're recovered now, so it's a good story. Oh yeah. It's all good. I can't jump as high as I used to be able to, but that's our, no, you don't need to jump to be a duck hunter. No, you're good. Yeah, we it's funny you say that. So I hunt with a group and we'll get to that later, but it's called, we call ourselves Bea Birds on Instagram, but Alberta birds, bura [00:57:00] birds, and there's probably four of us that are like the mainstays and we always hunt together.

And we, I like to bring people like new people, like fairly people that just, we have all the decoys. And so I'll bring whoever wants to come. It's fun. It's just such a good experience. I'll bring my kids, whoever, but one of the guys smokes, and we always say if it's slow, we like light up a goose start.

We call it a goose start. And I could you not every time, almost not every time, but statistically speaking, he's on 80%. Yeah. And there's birds coming. Like it's wild. It's, and I know it has nothing to do with it. I'm s. It's a superstition thing or I don't know what it is, but there's times for me though, where I'm like, dude, there's gotta be something with the amount of movement because you see with goose hunting dude, you can go out there and flap.

If they're far enough away, you flap and it's just movement and chaos over here. It might get 'em to come in. And I think there's gotta be something with that. Because when I go out to pick up decoys, that's the other thing. Every time we go to pick up decoys birds every single time, and my favorite is my buddies, man.

They'll go to [00:58:00] take a leak and they're like, dude, if a bird come, I'm gonna lose my mind. If a bird comes in, by the time they get their waiters pulled down, all of a sudden they hear a p They, oh, they get so upset and Oh man. Yeah. It's such, it's so much fun. And we don't do a lot of water hunts here.

Like we do a lot of field hunting. Oh, okay. So it's a little bit different. But yeah it's a blast out there early. And I get some good pictures too, just cuz it's dark and you get to see the sunsets and. Yeah we have a blast and actually, so we kill a lot of, we have lots of mallards here, Canada snow geese, and then Speckle Valley geese.

It's and we get a ton of all that. And then, we, we kill some other ducks, but they're not really colored up cuz it's at the beginning of their migration. Yeah. Two years ago though, we got wood ducks. We shot in the same like movement. They came in together and we shot 'em at the same time.

We shot like a Hannah and a Drake. So I have those mounted, like we don't get those here ever. Yeah. I shouldn't say ever. The taxist from Alberta told me he's done about four to eight in his [00:59:00] career and he's been doing it a long time from Alberta, geez. I'm sure there's been some more, but yeah, they're a rare bird.

So Yeah. It's fun. We get, and when the Canada's and the specs come in like it, it's wild. And it can be so much fun. And actually we just Sandhill cranes, they just opened up here as well. So we haven't actually shot any of those and we don't have any decoys. But this last year is the most sandhill cranes I've seen in our area ever.

Like they're a little bit further east towards kind of Saskatchewan. I see a ton of them. But this year, like in our area we had a lot of them, so hopefully they call 'em rib outta the sky. I've never tried 'em. So I, I did my first Sandhill crane hunt this year. First time ever eating it, it was unbelievable.

Okay, so it is good. And shooting an animal that big it's crazy. You hear 'em from two miles away and you can see 'em, you'll just hear. And I'm like, where is it? Where is it? Everyone's like looking around and [01:00:00] the guide that we went with, he's stop moving. Don't even whisper when they come in.

Don't move. Don't whisper, don't do anything. And we're like, really? And my buddy's Hey, they're off the right side. They're off the right. And he's shut up. Don't say anything. And we're like, dude, you're no joke. He's these things will spook in a hurry. But he had us, like I said, he had us on the X, he knew exactly what time the birds were gonna come in that day.

He knew the order. He's we're gonna get pears and three packs and four packs, and then it's gonna be half a dozen, then a dozen, then we're gonna get into the twenties, thirties, forties, fifties. Then a couple hundred. We didn't even get that far into the morning and we had already all limited out. And all of a sudden we're like picking up decoys.

We're all outside of the blind and there's birds just cupped up landing gear, coming in and we're like, oh dude, you put us right where we needed to be. And he did a good job. But that was down in Texas and it's just cool to see like the different regions. If you did, if you were able to follow the migration or you were like, dude, I really wanna shoot a [01:01:00] redhead, or I really wanna shoot a pintail or a canvas back, or a wood duck.

There's different places that are known for all those things. Yeah. I didn't realize that about Texas, man going down there hunting in the coast, redheads, we saw hundreds of thousands of redheads. Really? And I'm like, dude, we don't, we never shoot 'em. Like I, I think, I don't think I've ever shot one up until Texas.

And you'll see a swarm of 'em. I mean it's like a moving cloud in the sky. And he is those are all redheads. And I'm like, what the heck? It's just cool. I, yeah, I do love waterfowl hunting. It's, I, yeah, I love it. And it's a nice, in, in the fall I find, I call it a nice break cuz I'll be crawling around on my hands and knees and canola and plus 30 chasing mule deer and just getting busted stock after stock.

And yeah, one year I was successful the first day so it was an ultimate high. But usually, you have those lows and it's nice to just say, okay, let's go hunt some birds, like Yeah. And the guys that know birds, like I'm learning over time. A couple of guys in the group I [01:02:00] hunt with, but it's nice the four of us.

We throw ideas off each other. If they're flaring or doing something, we're like, what's going on? And we play with stuff and in hunting in general, that's why I like hunting so many animals is cuz you're always learning and you're learning. I don't need to be successful in harvesting an animal.

I just like learning about them, like the way they react versus other animals. And that's where waterfowl in itself, it's it's a whole nother world amongst the world of hunting when it comes to like, how they react and how to set your decoys up and there's a science to it and, but yeah, as far as hunting other places, like I just, I dream I want to hunt flooded timber so bad.

Some of the guys in the states? Yeah. They're down in the timber. Like me and my buddies are like, we're at some point in our lives. We're all four of us are going down there and we're like you said, doing a few hunts. If we can follow, go to a couple different states and follow a little bit, we'll see what happens.

But. It's yep. You just need to, you just need to talk to some guys. I guarantee you could swap a hunt. Yeah, probably. Hey man, we've [01:03:00] got amazing field hunting for specs and snows and Canadas and mallards. What do you think about us coming down there doing flooded timber? And people do that all the time and they've, I mean there's companies that have started websites off that stuff now where basically you go on and you just trade hunts with other people and that'd be so sick.

I might have to look into that. Yeah. Yeah. There's just, I'm, once you get the bug it's just, it's outta control. I know we've talked about a lot of different hunting. We might have to do another episode, but the other thing I wanna pick your brain about, cuz I started hunting turkeys I haven't, cuz it where I hunt them, I've went to Ontario and shot an, I shot two or three, I don't know, two or three Easterns in Ontario.

And we have Miriam's here. Yeah. In the south little part of our province, like right down by Montana and BC and Idaho. But like down in, in Alberta still, but it's like a 13 year draw. Oh, dang. Something ridiculous. Yeah. And you can hunt 'em in BC too. Which I've been looking into, but like my goal at some point [01:04:00] like is to get the slam of all the turkeys.

So yeah, I would like to, I would like to try to do it in a year. I follow that Johnny Utah, he, I think he's big Turkey guy. Yeah. And I think it's like a cool challenge. I don't know that'd be the first thing I'd go for, but man Turkey without getting to it, like they're another beast in itself.

I went with one of my buddies and he'd hunt him his whole life. He's one of the guys I waterfowl hunt with and he had moved out here and me being me, he's Hey, they got really good eyesight. And I didn't say this out loud, but in my mind I'm like, listen bud, I like, I hunt mule deer.

I get it. And we're like, I swear we were like a kilometer and a half away, which is like a mile. Yeah. And the turkeys take off. And I'm like, and we weren't like walking in the field. We were like ducking through the bush. And he, I'm like, where are the turkeys going? He's they seen you. And I'm like, no, they didn't there was no way.

And just, again, learning, I was like, Jesus. Like maybe swallow your pride for a second. They're nothing like other [01:05:00] animals. I actually, when people ask me about it, I equate turkeys to elk hunt. If you're hunting 'em in the rut with the colon and the gu I don't know, it's not the same, but I think turkeys are like the dumbest, smartest animal you can hunt.

Yeah. You get 'em in the right moment and they're just stupid. Like they really are dumb. Yep. I've crawled on my hands and knees after turkeys. I've seen the videos of the guys that will just put their elbows out and walk around like this and the turkeys come after 'em. Like you can get 'em in this moment of just stupidity.

It's just like a guy, like some guy checking out a chick at the bar and he is all horny and he'll do whatever it takes. Yep. Like it's just like that. But then you get the ones, I had one last year, I was walking in the field like there is a house and a road in between me and this field that this other bird was in.

And I wasn't even walking towards it. I was walking like, I guess maybe quartering towards it. And all of a [01:06:00] sudden I'm like, is that a Turkey? So I pull up my binos, I stop in the field, I pull up my binos and I look and I'm like, shoot, that's a Turkey. It's a hen like I can't shoot it, but it's a hen and all of a sudden I see its head pop up.

And it just books it, full on Velociraptor runs and I'm like, I'm 700, 600 yards away from this bird. And I know it, like I just watched it spook because of me. Yeah. And I like there's three different fences in between us. There's a house and a road and it still spooked even though I was that far away.

And I'm like, I just don't, I don't get 'em. They drive me crazy. But I have started to like Turkey hunting a lot more lately. But actually something you said earlier made me realize I think that the reason a lot of people love Turkey so much is cuz there's nothing like you do come off that dry spell of no hunting and it's just I gotta get out, I gotta get out, I gotta get out.

They're fun to call, they're fun to watch, [01:07:00] they're fun to listen to, but at the end of the day, it's still just like a 20 pound bird. You know what I mean? Yeah. I'm like if Turkey hunting was smack dab in the fall in the middle of elk and mule deer and whitetail and bear and all these other hunts, would people love it as much?

I don't think they would. Yeah. I think, yeah. I think you have a couple guys that were crazy about it. I'd still go out and try to shoot him, but I don't think, I think a big part of it is that it's like that's the only thing you got going on. Yeah. And I like our weather up here. It's like it's been minus 30 with two feet of snow on the ground, and if I go outside my face hurts.

So it's funny, I love the fall, like I love hunting, obviously. Yeah. That's why we're here. But my favorite people are like what's your favorite season? I'm always like, the spring man. It's beautiful. It's finally, and I, again, I go back to that all winter I'm just miserable. And then it's it's sunny it's warm, but it's not like too warm.

It's just beautiful things are greening up like, and so yeah. I think there goes to something too when it comes to all these [01:08:00] spring hunts that I've talked about, bear, whatever. Maybe I like it so much cuz it's if before I hunted them I would have to wait till September and Yeah. I'm not a patient man, so I'm like, there's gotta be something else I can do.

Yeah. The I and I feel like I like the fall for that same reason cuz we come off of summer here and it'll be 110 degrees and 90% humidity and it's just, I'm sweating every day and you can only take so many clothes off before you're illegal out in public, and so I'm like, dude, I just can't I, I gotta have those sweatshirt nights where it gets cold and you can start a fire and just hang out outside.

And yeah, once those nights start, I just know hunting season's right around the corner oh yeah. It's the best. John, I appreciate you hopping on man. I do think we're gonna have to do a second episode cuz we could keep on going with this stuff and before we hop off though, I want to give you an opportunity to share where people can find you, where they can follow you and see some of those pictures that you were talking about.

Yeah J Layman, [01:09:00] so it's j l e h m a n zero five is my Instagram handle. That's where you can check out like all the stuff I'm doing most of my hunting. And then Berta bird, so b e r t a underscore birds, b i r d s. It's like our little waterfowl, we separated that. So if you wanna see some waterfowl stuff and it gets, it's not as active now, but it gets pretty active in the fall.

And if we do a spring goose hunt here, so yeah, those are the two. I do have TikTok as well. It's JL Outdoors I'm not as active. Instagram's the one to catch me on, so yeah, hit me up and I'll I'll chat anyone if they want to chat and send me a message. Sweet. That sounds good man. Thanks again and we'll be in touch.

Yeah, appreciate it.