Colder than a Well Diggers…in Cody Wyoming

Show Notes

Chris and fellow Houndsmen descend on Cody, Wyoming for a cold day to support a premier conservation organization, The American Bear Foundation for their second annual bear banquet.

Joe Kondelis, the President of The American Bear Foundation joins Chris for a recap of an awesome weekend where tens of thousands of dollars were raised to support bears and bear hunting in North America. They recap the banquet, the prizes given out, the kids that received lifetime conservation stamps, where the money raised is going and what the future looks like for bear hunters in the United States. 

Show Transcript

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Yeah. Good boy, ranger Uniting Homan across the globe from east to west, north to south. If you're gonna catch a cat or a line, you have to have teamwork. We take you to the wildest places on earth. Yeah. So how many days a week can you spend on As much as I can, to be honest with you.

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Man, we had an awesome weekend in Cody, Wyoming at the American Bear Foundation. Second annual Bear banquet. Here's a great time. I've got Joe Conde on here. We're gonna recap all of the fun that you missed out on. If you weren't there, mark it on your calendars for next year. You need to go to Cody. It's a great town.

We're gonna cover all that in the podcast, so I'm not gonna repeat it here in this pre-roll. I wanted to drop a little comment here and let you guys know something about Patreon. Okay. If you haven't joined us on Patreon, we've talked about it. You can see Seth's videos about it. We've [00:04:00] talked about a lot on Facebook and on Instagram or social media platforms.

But here's the thing, if you're not checking your email, we're finding that a lot of people are missing our content over there because Patreon goes to a lot of spam. Folders. So if you want to get the full benefit of being a Paton member, catch our tailgate talks, our videos, all the stuff we're pumping out over there, make sure you check your spam folder and you've probably got a message in there about a missing address too.

We can't fulfill your benefits. We can't get you that Sportsman's Alliance membership without all of your information. And Seth has dropped you an email. So if you're supporting us on Patreon and you say, why don't he write, check your spam folder. I guarantee it's probably right there. So check that out.

Hey, short pre-roll. Let's get into it with Joe Kellis from the American Bear Foundation. [00:05:00] The dog box is rocking. Let's get tailgate down. It's time to dump the box,

Joe. What's up buddy? Much. How you doing? Good man. You hear me okay? I hear you. Great. I hear you. Good. Back home, safe and sound. Yeah. Made it all home after that awesome weekend. Did you guys get any warm, you guys had a warmup, didn't ya? Just today, finally, shoot, I think it was 38 today. Yeah, so a lot of that snow melted and it was pretty dang cold there for a few days right when you guys left and then it got warm, which is pretty typical for out here.

It's, we'll get some chinook kind of stuff come in and melted all off and back to normal. It was warmer there today than it was here. No kidding. Yeah, I guess we're getting the fallout, but yeah. We didn't have, we didn't have [00:06:00] 15 degrees below zero on Sunday. Here. I can tell you that.

Thank goodness. . Oh my gosh. You guys at Christmas time it was 41 below here. It was it was 15 below here at my house. And then, yeah. So everyone in the country is pretty cold relative to where they live. Oh yeah. Yeah. That's crazy. Casey Stutzman that the one of the Hounds men that came with me.

Yep. It was, I think he said it was 56 below at his house in Marion, Montana. Good gracious. . Yeah. It reaches a point where like 15 to 20 below and another 10, you just don't, it's just freezing ass cold anyway. You look at it. Yeah. I said, what in the world do you even, do you know ? Yeah.

It's hard. Yeah. No doubt. No doubt. Yeah. Man, that's a great weekend we had up there in Cody. That was quite the event, man. I was impressed. So good. It was it was a lot of fun. So well attended [00:07:00] and for me, like last year, I saw a glimpse of it with our crowd. Had a very diverse , I don't know if you wanna call it an eccentric crowd, but a very diverse crowd with a lot of younger people.

And then a lot of different groups because when you're try and do a banquet, it just doesn't seem like you're gonna fit three. There wasn't 300 bear hunters in there, but there's, there was a lot of people that, support what conservation's all about and hunting and stuff. So you, we got a lot of different people, which I like seeing and I like seeing the younger kind of people come to the table.

Yeah. A little bit with this conservation that's so important. You even got the dirty Hounds men in the door this year. We had a table full. I loved it, man. I know you guys and about, there was about five other pretty hardcore hounds men in there and I loved having that. I, it's such a good opportunity for, the hounds men to get together and then, meet each other from other areas.

Hounds, men are like bear hunters sometimes. I think they're in their little groups sometimes and don't,[00:08:00] homan are homan, are bear hunters, Joe? Yeah. I guess I would say some of those hardcore lion guys keep to themselves pretty good. Oh yeah. Yeah. We're we definitely are fly under the radar most of the time.

It hurts us at times because nobody knows really what we do or what we stand for and that's why doesn't understand it. That's why we do what we do here at Hounds Man xp. But Luke Worthington came all the way over from, he's east of Gillette and drove. Yeah. He came a long way weather.

Yep. Which I was stoked cuz I hadn't met Luke yet. And I've talked to Luke a hundred times on the phone. We talk a lot about things and I was so glad to see him come over and meet him, man. And a few other people I had never met but have had like a working relationship with for several years.

Luke says he works hard on that ranch. But I talk to a lot of people that say they talk to Luke a lot on the phone. And anybody that's ever talked to Luke Worthington on the phone, it's never a short conversation. So I don't know how he's getting, [00:09:00] I dunno how he's getting work done, but I tell you what, you better set aside some time for that one

And we're gonna pick on Luke cause he's not here to defend himself. Of course. And he would me anyway yes. Yeah. Let's just run down the banquet a little bit and I wanna tell everybody what they missed by not coming to this thing because it was a great day, it was a great night.

It was Wanna talk about, how much money we raised for conservation, where that money's gonna go. I want to talk about the diverse crowd that we had there. I wanna cover it all. I want people to think after they listen to this podcast, I want 'em to think I've gotta go to Cody next year, and then I'm gonna talk to, talk about the stuff that we did on the side.

That was awesome. Heck yeah. All right. How many do we have at the banquet Joe? Right around 300 folks at the banquet. We had we had intended to sell 300 tickets and [00:10:00] we we went sold 268, and then we had some comp seats that we set aside for a few folks. And then, we tried to keep a few aside just in case.

And then, you know what, the weather, I think we might've ended up, I know we fed 268 people. Oh, nice. Yeah. Nice. Yeah. Who was the farm? That's all we could fit. Who, yeah. It wasn't crowded. The facility was great, but if you double that, it's gonna be packed. Yeah. Yeah. Who was the farthest away?

I think you and Sean and Alex were the farthest, so them guys, Sean and Alex came from Virginia. Yeah they got me beat by a couple states. Yeah. And then you, and so then I told people there was guys coming from Virginia and they couldn't believe it. And I was like, that just shows, it is, it's a big stretch to come that far.

Sean having and overseeing the state chapter, I think he thought it was really important. I think the impetus for Sean coming out was [00:11:00] Alex. Alex had bought a ticket well before, we were sold out. He bought a ticket back in like December. So he was coming regardless.

Yeah. And I think he he really talked Sean into it, which I was so happy. Such Alex, a neat guy, neat story. And then to finally get to meet Sean was incredible. Yeah, Sean Clarkson. And Alex, I'm gonna butcher his last name. Kche. Yeah, I think that's right. He, everybody knows Alex. He's hunting those, I told, we had breakfast with him the next day and we were talking about, about his dogs and he said, everybody calls him fuzzy dogs.

The little yellow fuzzy dogs, the, they're west side barian like us, totally different. He's really changing. He's bear hunting. That's a very non-traditional way in Virginia and I think he's opening some eyes with everything that he's doing there cuz he's showing people that you can do it a different way and still be widely success.

Yeah, it's so interesting. I really, I [00:12:00] enjoyed talking with Alex and I'm, so I'm doing that with him at some point and I'm trying to talk him into coming out here and see if we can put some of those likers behind behind a cat and see what happens. I'm gonna make a point to go to Virginia and trail them dogs with him.

I gotta see that. That is so fascinating. And I, like you said, I think he's changing some people's perceptions of how you can run bears with dogs. . Yeah. Yeah. Cuz Appalachia is, that's definitely, Virginia is a lot of Walker hound people over there. It, I'm surprised it's not the state dog.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, all those, fa founding fathers brought those running walkers in. And so those Virginians love those spotted dogs, man. They love them. Yeah. And you bring Alex in there who's got the yellow fuzzy dogs and he speaks with that Russian accent. Yeah.

He is not easy to hide either. He's a. No, he's a big dude. . Yeah. What do you think he is? [00:13:00] 6, 6, 6, 5. He's gotta be six. Six. He looks down on me. I'm six maybe on a good day. And yeah, he's a big fellow. Yeah. I think you're trying to sneak in an answer two there, Joe. I might be . It's radio right?

Yeah, that's right. Prove it. Prove it. See I made the mistake and get my picture taken standing beside him, and I look like I'm about five, five standing there next to him. He's, I know. And but no, he is a super guy. He's got a lot of he really surprises. He doesn't surprise you, I was impressed as a better way to, to put that.

He's very insightful. He's a deep thinker when it comes to, techniques for hunting bear and conservation and just a lot of different, he's an interesting guy to talk to. He's just he's really cool. Very much I thought the same thing. I was not sure what to expect and super knowledgeable.

I didn't get to talk to him enough. Yeah. There were a bunch of people there that we didn't get to talk to enough, but I know. So how many I [00:14:00] don't even know what, it was such a good time. I don't even know where to begin with it. , it was we had the Wyoming Wildlife Federation on hand that, that was helping put on that banquet.

They worked their tails off. And just, if you don't mind just talk to us about, the partnership with Wyoming Wildlife Foundation and the great help that they provided. Yeah. Those guys are, without them our group probably would struggle to pull something like that off just in.

we'd get it done. But, a couple years ago, Jayden Bales with Wyoming Wildlife Federation was bugging me about doing a banquet. And I said, we just won't do a banquet. I think banquets are outdone, and I'd been to so many and we go to 'em, right? It's part of what conservation is doing.

We go on support and, so I just got bored with them. And so I was pretty anti banquet for a while and it was also hard for me to envision where to have one because, we're a national organization. I'm like, where do you have one? And then who's gonna put it [00:15:00] on me living in Cody?

And then our board spread out. I'm like, we need kind of someone to do it and be where they're at. And so finally he just talked me into let's do one together and I'll help you. And I was like, okay, we'll do one. Where should we do it? And we were bouncing back and forth between Cody and land.

He is I think Cody, man, we need to do it there. And the amount of sportsmen and people that earned outdoor recreation here, it just fit. And last year we threw this together and didn't really know what to expect. We were hoping for 200 people.

We, smoked that last year and just had such a great turnout. And our idea of a banquet was to keep it fun and loose. I didn't want a big stuffy thing where people feel like they gotta dress up and it's quiet. And I was like, I want people in there having fun, drinking, talking, playing games.

I wanted it to be more blue collar where , just about anyone can play a game, get in on a raffle. We didn't want to do a very long live auction because those can just drag on. And I was like, let's put a few fun things in there and. Because sometimes people [00:16:00] just can't play the, they just can't afford that stuff, yeah. But they're spending 50 bucks to get in the door. Let's, try and make an event for 'em that they want to come back to. And last year that was one thing that everyone said. They're like, my gosh, you guys did such a good job. It was like, it wasn't super long and drawn out. Everyone had a good time.

Like we, we had everyone out of there last year by nine o'clock. And they're like, awesome job. We had so much fun. We're coming back. And so then this year we were like, we gotta do it a little bit better as far as the food, and spend a little bit more money on food and stuff and try to get, hey, before we get too far off base, why am I eating chicken at the Cody Cattle Company?

That's, I couldn't even figure that one out. I'm like, I'm, oh, yes, Cody, you drive around Wyoming, it's Wyoming is beef and all this stuff. And then I get to the Cody Cattle Company and it was chicken. I was like, I know, dude I struggled with pounded so bad. Price per pound. It's gotta be more expensive right now than beef

Right now it probably is. When we set the meals up [00:17:00] last year we did we did pulled pork sandwiches and tater tots and I had people that are like, great, that's perfect. But yeah, we were trying to keep the ticket cost down. Yeah. Cuz I was like, yeah, we can do prime rib and everyone will pay a little bit more.

But this year we were like, let's go a little bit higher. But all the beef stuff for when they quoted us prices, I was like, oh my gosh. Like we wanted to try and keep it cheap. So I'm just busting your chops of food was outstanding. That's okay. I believe me. Everyone said it was really good though.

I didn't eat, but yeah, it was it was really good. It's not Grandma's fried chicken from back home. Don't get me wrong. I'm not no. I'm not gonna throw my grandma under the bus here, Joe . But for banquet. For a banquet, it was well worth it. We weren't there. Yeah, you like to have good food and stuff but The food was great.

And it was great. Yeah. Good time. Yeah. And this year we tried to cap it at 300. I ca I talked, when I talked to the venue guy Greg Greg Penley. I said, Greg, what [00:18:00] can we fit in here? And he is you about what you had lash year. I was like, we need more. He's so I went out there and visited with him a couple times and we looked at layouts and stuff and he's you could see like 312 or 20 or something.

And I was like, but then you don't really have room for everything else. So we ended up capping it right about, we were gonna try and do 275 tickets for food. And it ended up perfect. The weather really probably affected our turnout. Not as bad as I expected. It was still so packed, but I definitely know we lost some people cause of the weather and travel, we lost our, yeah.

As our keynote speaker. We had a couple people that were presenting prior to that couldn't make it, which was really a bummer. But we made it work. We just improvised and the idea of, I, I think it, it really to me says a lot about, what kind of that group is.

We're just a laid back, carefree group that's oh, they're not gonna be here. Let's just throw it on Zoom and we'll get through it. And no one really seemed to be too upset or nothing we made it work. Yeah, for sure. For sure. We had a great meal. [00:19:00] We had a good auction. Who was our auctioneer?

Who was that? Randy Burtis. So he's he's hounds man lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He volunteered for us last year and he kinda, he does a lot of that on the side for a lot of conservation groups. He's involved with a lot of groups. Yeah. Big with Bo Hunters of Wyoming and just, I've known Randy A.

Long time. Great guy. He's the type of guy that if I called him today and needed help, he'd be here. And he just, he really does a good job, helps us organize it, because we're running around. He's give me what I need. I'll figure it out. And so it really takes a ton of pressure off us.

And then Lee Livingston, who's an outfitter in Cody country, he helped Randy out. He does a lot of that stuff too. Where he's up on stage, they're going back and forth. And so last year we didn't have that. And this year it just added, it added to it so much. Yeah. A great team had spotters on the floor.

They did it. They kept that auction running and ran Randy, he just, he's quick on his feet. Those auctioneers are [00:20:00] a special breed I'm telling. . I don't know how they do it. It's Yeah. . Yeah. I asked him if he wanted to drink about halfway three. He is oh, not till I'm done. I'm like, hell, bud.

I'm about four deep. You need to catch up, . Yeah. Yeah. How let, we won't run down the breakdown yet. Let's talk about what all was on the floor there and how did you run the rest of the the fundraising there, Joe? Yeah, so the big thing with these banquets, but my biggest fear is always getting stuff right.

These companies that you have to go to get hit up so much. And I always struggle. I try not to go to the same well too many times, I think after last year and then, sending out thank yous and everything to everyone, I think it was an easier ask this year. And we did.

Several games and we had a general raffle, and then we had the silent auction and then the live and the games last year did really well and we kept them the same. So we had a Texas hold them game for for a stag arms gun. Yeah. Then we had we had a [00:21:00] guest to pack weight game for a stone glacier pack.

And then we had the big one last year. And the big one this year was the mug raffle where we have a, we had a company in Theopolis, Wyoming Lasers Edge do a do mugs for us. So they laser engraved American Bear Foundation and Wyoming Wildlife Federation on the mug. We sell the mug. The mug sell the mug for 50 bucks, and when they're gone.

They only did 50 of them and then that was on a aara 300. And so we put that with a modern day sniper shooting course and a Spartan bipod. And and a rifle scope. So it was a whole package. And man, I could not believe I was up front by the stage when the doors opened. And obviously the beer line was long, but I could not believe how quick those mugs were gone.

I I didn't even get one . I didn't either. I didn't either. I turned around and they were gone so fast, and then the general raffle was just so full of people buying general raffle. I'm like, oh my goodness. And then the pack [00:22:00] weight, you know that one, you can do as much as you want, but the Texas hold 'em sold out fast.

I was like, we're outta games before we even sat down for dinner, and so it was just so cool to see that kind of like reception to what we did. And, all those games, all those items were donated they were all, , that's all just to the g to the good. We didn't have to pay any of them items back.

So it worked out. Fantastic. Yeah. Run down through I wanna build this up so that if you know somebody's out there and they're listening to this and they might be in the industry, they're gonna want their products at your banquet, so let's just run down the list of some of the companies that were involved in that to give people, not only that, but to give people an idea again, what they missed out on by not being there.

Yeah. So I will run down kind of a list here. It was big and it was so diverse from Vegas. I don't want, I don't want you to risk leav leaving somebody out and. Slight somebody but I would like [00:23:00] to give people an idea. Yeah. I think I can get most of them. There was some late that I might not get, but, we had alpaca raft company there.

They donated a backpacking raft, which is big, in the, in out west with backpack hunting. And people want that. They're a little five pound inflatable raft. We had a local company of Zerka Wealth Management. We had a company outta Canada, bear Beans Coffee roasters. They donated a bunch of coffee.

I saw that. I got that. I won that. It's good stuff. I buy it for all the guys at work. That's what we drink at work. Yeah. Bear Country Outdoors. They're outta Washington, Oregon kind of area. They donated a huge box of swag black Rifle, who we've recently just did a corporate sponsorship with.

They were a huge part of our success for this banquet. Black Rifle Coffee best Western did some rooms for us bore Masters Wildlife Attractants. They're big in the bear hunting attractant space. Our outfitter that donated part of that hunt , the bear hunt was latitude's outfitting out of Montana.

Cabela's, big sponsor of ours, they donated [00:24:00] a ton of optics for us. Couple Taxidermic, Cedar Mountain Taxidermy, it was here and donated $500 towards taxidermy work, which was huge. Copper Line Wealth Management did one of our youth conservation lifetime licenses. Yeah, we had Camp Co last year, camp Co.

Federal Credit Union last year. They were huge. And they came in big this year again and helped us underwrite that stag rifle. We had a local guy build a king size log bed for us. Dale Sims did a great job on that. That was a good looking bed. That was a good looking bed frame. Eastman's Hunting Journals donated us those limited edition whiskeys.

From Wyoming whiskey. They donated those things went crazy. I think the highest ones sold for 16. 1,617. 1700 was the last one. Woo. Yeah. , I couldn't believe it. Yeah. We paired that up with a gun. A couple guns. We got for a good price at Rocky Mountain Lake. Discount Sports here in Cody.

And it was just a great turnout for those four whiskey bottles. Went for [00:25:00] over $5,000. Yeah. And only four people got a chance on those two, two firearms. Yep. It was pretty neat. And it was that's a good way to do that. Yeah. We did a Glock we got a brand new Gen five Glock 10 on there, and then we had a.

a Glock nine on there as well. We were gonna do a his and hers and give both away to one winner. And then we thought that day, why don't we split it up? So two people at least will win out of the four. So you had a 50 50 chance of winning a gun, pretty good deal. Yeah, it was was some companies out of Bozeman that really stepped up Fhf gear.

Some donated us a bunch of stuff. Stone Glacier has been one of our sponsors for the longest time. They sent us boxes of stuff to do. We had sleeping bags, packs, those guys always come through. How about Joy Dog food? Jeff Brown donated a whole pallet of dog food to us. He just called me up one day and was like, I'm coming to your banquet.

Do Juwan a pallet of dog food? I was like, hell yeah, man. We're gonna have a bunch of [00:26:00] Hounds men there. That'll be perfect. We had one of our sponsor. Yeah, those, Jeff was so nice and helped everyone load dog food up that night in the freezing ass cold and wind. And so it was just, it was cool.

We had a company outta South Africa come to our banquet and donate a safari Indo safari's. So we ended up selling that hunt to a friend of mine and Kiff Farru, who's now in Wyoming, donated some stuff lari and son's boots. I think you got the boots, buddy. Yes, I did. Steven and James at Lari and Sons have always been so good to us, and I have a good relationship with them.

And it's just been, it's been a nice thing for them, small company, but never hesitate to help us out, so definitely appreciate that. Starting to work on a partnership with Leopold. So they donated a bunch of stuff to us. A big one that a lot of people might not know it's starting to get big out here is Modern Day Sniper.

Phillip was out here with Modern Day Sniper, actually lives in Cody, and they donated a full [00:27:00] online in-person shooting class, and then several online courses and. I tell you what, they're like the cream of the crop. He's the marine sniper retired and he'll take you through the paces on how to shoot, man.

It's legit. And so that actually went for more than the value of the thing, I believe. Yeah, that was a neat package was really cool. And he was he had his crew there too, so he came out and he with the bank, which was so nice. I just so love when the people that sponsor want to come out and be there too.

And it's just so nice to be able to thank him in person and show him like, Hey, this is what we're doing with your stuff, . Yeah. Yeah, OnX Hump Maps did a bunch of memberships for us. Rasco out of Bozeman did a holster for us. We had a local accountant firm. Stein Bus did a gun for us.

We had the stag arms hooked us up with that rifle. Another local company that really stepped up huge. And that's what's so neat to see too, is some of the local companies like [00:28:00] Superior Welding and Fabrication bought two Youth Lifetime conservation stamps, $200 Kuya gift cards for those kids. And it was a big deal.

And I had people come up to me after and were like, every kid, we're gonna make sure next year gets one. So we got a lot of people wanting to do that. It's a neat thing Wyoming does, where you can give a kid a heck that one kid was maybe one gave 'em a lifetime conservation stamp, so they'll get some use out of that.

Yeah. Our tagline, our head, our late, our head sponsor was Tanager Beverages is a local beer distributor here. I happened to work for 'em and , they came up big with cash. went to the well there again, but you bet. Had a couple fishing trips donated a river fishing trip, rafting trip here in Cody that went huge last year.

It was a big competition between a couple people to buy it. And this year it turned out the same way. And then my aunt and uncle donated a lake fishing trip. They have a guide service, Wyoming real action fishing where he runs a lake boat and he fishes all these lakes around here, take you for lake [00:29:00] trout, coconut, whatever.

And so he donated a fish and trip and, those are some of the big ones. Just incredible for this little town. And, relatively small organization. We're not our m e f or mule deer or wild sheep. So to see what we can get at these is, is pretty neat to me. Do you want to, do you want to talk about the total that you brought in the whole Yes.

Yeah. So we grossed about 43,000 in, in one night, in a few hours in Cody, Wyoming. Amazing. Huge. On a nasty, it was oh minus 10 degrees when we left there. The metal doors on the inside were frosting up, so every road into Cody was closing. That's what I was just like, I saw people that went, they had no business being on the road, and they were at our banquet.

I was like, oh my gosh, why are you here? You drove from Helenor someone from Jeff, from Joey Dog who drove all the way up from down in Cheyenne, and I was like, I didn't even know the roads were open. He is we made her like [00:30:00] to Leon do that Leon Brown drove down from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Leon's car, looked like it had just went through a drift when he. Yeah, he, and he won that dog food. So he stuffed 12 bags . He did he stuffed 12 bags of that joy dog food and that Jetta and and hauled it back to Coeur d'Alene. . He did. I was like, we were out at the bar later and I was like, did you get that all in there?

He is oh yeah. I go, have some weight for the ride home. I didn't know there was an after party. I didn't get invited to that. We had our own, we had our own after. Did you guys do something? We stayed around there for so long, cleaning up and there was a few people just hanging out, drinking, and everyone was like let's go to the dollar.

I was like, I'm in. We, so we headed down to the silver dollar and Cody and had a little after party . Oh, it's pretty, man. I got stuck with those Virginia guys. I think we might have stayed out longer if my wife wasn't there. , I don't know. Most Alex isn't really a Virginia Guy, so he is from Virginia, but.

[00:31:00] He's also Russian and they've got a, they've got that reputation of being able to, put it away. So yeah, it's probably a good thing. Your wife was there. . She was our driver. So when she was like, time to go, I was like, great idea. But that was the latest. I've stayed out in ages one 30 or so.

Wow. Yeah. Yeah. It still hurts today a little bit. I'm still tired. . All right. So you'll hold in 43 K. Great. Yeah, like great night. And Cody, we'll, we netted each organizational net. W we did we have after the food and the venue rental and stuff, we'll, each group, so we split it with Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

And we'll be in that 15,000 range each which is, that's that's our biggest fundraiser of the year. And no doubt. . So it's just, it really helps us do things down the road. And it's also, it's so important that we do these, I think, going forward, just because of what it shows that, we're here, what we're doing, because we get a chance to showcase what each [00:32:00] group's doing.

We get to talk to people that maybe you don't get to talk to every day. All right. We know why we know why people should come out to Cody. It's an awesome place. We spent just a few hours at the banquet, but just the Buffalo Bill or the Great Western, what's that called? The Great Western I call the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, museum of the West.

It is, yeah. It's unbelievable. We spent two days in there total. We probably spent about six to eight hours in that museum over two days, and we didn't get to really take it all in. But besides that, Cody's a cool place. There's, they're up in just the small old main street. You can go into all kinds of historic places, the Irma, and it's just, and then if you drive west towards the park, you drive into some of the most beautiful country you could ever imagine.

It really is stunning living here. It's such a neat place to come and visit, in January it's tough, but normally we [00:33:00] don't have that kind of weather and it'll be cold, but, there's so much to do even here in the winter and like just the main street and actually the winter is probably my favorite time here just because it's not overwhelmingly full with tourists from the park.

Yeah. Yeah. So it's like you get real Cody in the winter, you get the local people, it's just a, I love living here. It's such a neat place to come visit. It's a little tricky to get into, but once you get here, it's people love it and they wanna stay. Yeah. A hundred thousand people is what it grows to over 4th of July and the month of July.

And you can normally run about 10,000 people. Yeah. It's insane. We'll, it is just, we're not quite as bad as Jackson Hole, but in the summertime, July, around the 4th of July, when we have our big stampede event for four days, it's insane here. So there's, and it's 50 miles from Yellowstone and we have a direct access to the East Gate, so it's just constant.

That's another reason to come out in January and go ahead and attend the banquet, cuz you can avoid the crowds and see [00:34:00] Cody without hell. Yeah. . Yeah. It's awesome. It's awesome. Yep. Let's let's talk about what that money that was raised, what everybody came out and emptied their pockets and supported the A, b F.

Let's talk a little bit about what that money's gonna be used for, Joe. I think that's important part. Yeah. I think it's so important. O one thing that we've always been really proud of is being all volunteer. And so when we have a banquet like this, it's not used, the money's not used to pay for anyone to, to do that.

We're all volunteering, so the money we raise is all going back onto the ground primary. Some of the projects that we have we will write the check pretty much for what we brought in for the banquet that'll go out in the next month and a half. And right now we're doing a, we're doing a partnership with Safari Club International in Wyoming, where we have a ton of grizzly bear conflict.

We're doing a huge bear spray giveaway in the spring and the fall. We're gonna do three bears [00:35:00] spray giveaways this spring that are gonna be right before shed hunting season starts when we start seeing some of our conflict pop up. You got a hunting license or a fishing license.

You come, we'll give you a can of Bears spray. So we're partnering with S C I on that one, so there's a big chunk there. And then our big one that we're still in the middle of is our Blackberry Research in Wyoming. A big chunk will go to our the grad student, Emily Davis, who's doing a lot of that work for us down at the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming game and fish.

We'll give them a bunch of that money to go and continue her research and stuff. And we're getting onto the downhill side of that, where we're gonna start seeing some big results. You saw some of it but there's a lot more to come. And so we're gonna continue that study.

And then, gosh, we have so many commitments already that we've made to projects not only in Montana and Wyoming, but Idaho and Washington and big stuff coming up in Virginia. And so all that stuff's going on the ground for bears Bear hunting, bear [00:36:00] research, it, it's just, it's crucial. And we can spend that and do that.

Now. We're, two, three years ago, we were not able to do that. And, Wyoming Wildlife being a little more overarching, Wyoming Wildlife Federation's gonna spend a ton. All their work with ungulates and carnivores, but they really, they do a lot. They're a great group.

They're so active in this state. I'm so happy to be partnered with those guys on a lot of different things. They got a lot of irons in the fire. Yeah. I'm gonna have follow up. Joy, joy Bannon couldn't make it. She's the executive director for the Wyoming Wildlife Federation. Yep.

She couldn't make it because they've got a big event going on in the capitol Cheyenne there and So she's gonna join me at a later date and talk about that event and what they're gonna do with their funds that they raised. Yeah. Yeah. They have an awesome event today. Camo at the capital's a big deal.

Yeah. They put that on for our legislative session. It's important. Yeah, for sure. So we'll get a, [00:37:00] we'll get a recap on that pretty soon. Some of the things I want to drill down a little deeper into, what that research looks like, what's happening in Montana and Idaho and Washington and California.

Where are we at, on, on the, are we ready to roll out the news? Expanding the state chapters or where are we at on that too? Yeah. Yeah. So California State chapter is in place. We are just I, like two days ago, got the federal or the state tax paperwork done and submitted. So we're there, they have a board they're ready to take off and that. So crucial as everyone's following stuff going on in California with carnivores and especially bears. Washington is in the process of electing a board right now. So Right paperwork is in and submitted for both those states. Won't they have the board going? They'll be ready to rock and roll.

We've been doing a lot as a national organization in Washington kind of support. [00:38:00] what needs to get done there until this chapter ramps up. We're gonna be involved with the, some stuff going on with a bunch of other organizations involving the commission and the governor, and a lot of things need to get done out there.

And we're right in the mix with that. But the chapter eventually, when it's strong enough, we'll fill in and take that role a as a state level organization, rather national. And then, Virginia's role and man, those guys are doing some good things out there. And we're looking to get more chapters on board.

I've got some people interested in a chapter in the Northeast possibly like a New York, New Jersey chapter. , which I think it'd be so badass. And I think, we'll worry about Montana Auto and Wyoming as the time comes, but I'm looking at states where we have some real things to accomplish or we have what are you hoping, what are you hoping that, yeah, so what are you hoping that since Virginia's up and running, you say they're doing good things there.

What is the, what are they doing and what? Why should bear hunters in the state of [00:39:00] Virginia support the Virginia Chapter of the American Bear Foundation? The Hounds Man XP podcast network is powered by Cajun Lights. All of your lighting needs for hunting can be taken care of. At Cajun Lights, they have three models of cab lights.

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I think what's the most important thing they're doing is they're for all bear hunters. And that's been missing there a little bit. They're just trying to represent all bear hunters, whether you use hounds or you don't. They're out there for all bear hunters and they're very active with the state.

They're working with the Department of Wildlife Resources a ton. There's phone calls, there's emails, there's back and forth. We didn't get asked to be on the management. , [00:41:00] oh, committee, whatever, to develop their 10 year bear plan. And they know how frustrated we were about that. We've moved on past that and Sean is working with Carl and all the guys in the department to get the information so we can look at the plan and work on that.

And so they're working on all that. And then on the same token, they're doing things like pilot studies, like we paid to Hounds, man some money to go around and see if, hounds using dogs could work as a like a hound abatement, using dogs to, to keep bears outta, outta corn and whatever else.

And so they're doing things like that. They're. We've already committed $10,000 to Black Bear work in that state. We've verbally committed. We're just coming to the table like, we're here now. Yeah, we're new, but we're gonna be here and this is what we're bringing and this is what we're gonna do.

And I think at first they're like, oh, another group started up, whatever, and then now they know, I think sometimes when they, when you start annoying them, that's when you're doing your job. And we might be there. I think we're doing a kick ass job down there. Like we have a presence, we [00:42:00] have a voice down there and.

there are just some smart folks on that board, and they're all diverse. They're from all different walks of life. There's some Hounds men, there's some people that don't own Hounds, and they're just, they do a good job of communicating with each other and finding out things that need to be done. Little things, it doesn't have to be conquering the world.

It's couple hundred bucks to a Hounds man to see if we can go do some Helen's abatement stuff. And now we're gonna be looking at conflict mitigation stuff down there and spending some money on that. That's all things chapters can be doing. Yeah. That if it's me here or our national board, it's so hard to realize all the little tiny things that could get done in each state to, to help improve.

That's where these chapters are gonna be so crucial. It's a grassroots effort. You got somebody on the ground locally that can keep their eye on legislation. Not only legislation, but a barometer for the what's going on a watchdog group to make sure that things are going according to plan and nobody's good old boy system type stuff there and the [00:43:00] resources suffering or that all bear hunters aren't represented properly.

And that's one of the things that that I guess I'll get on my soapbox about a little bit about the A B F when I was out there, Wyoming's not a hound hunting state for black bear, but . We've just got to continue to find ways to bridge those gaps and tear down those barriers that are separating us and pigeonholing us and things like that.

And that's, that, that's what I talked about in my presentation out there was the fact that, when you walk in that room, I, none of us were wearing labels that said Hounds, man, stand, hunter, spot and stalk. Nobody was wearing those. We were all just there for that common thread of being a bear hunter.

And it was an awesome deal. Yeah. That's the most important thing going forward. I think is breaking down these barriers that we all have with each other and, not to say I don't have 'em, but I've learned over years. We do, but some are so much stronger [00:44:00] than others.

And we as hunters, whether you're a hunter, a trapper or whatever, like it's time to be done with I'm a trapper or I'm a hounds man. Or I'm anti hound hunting. Yeah, I'm a bait hunter. It is. You are a hunter, you're a trapper. We're all the same. And you talked so much about that, which was so important.

And that's what I wanted to really make this banquet about was getting so many different user groups together. People from all different walks of life that enjoy something in the outdoors. Yeah. Maybe different than me. And just being in the same room and having a chance to talk to someone from like I said, like having a chance to sit down with Alex or Sean from Virginia or you've been all over this country hunting and you've seen so many different things and like what a resource for someone that is only hunted in Wyoming.

And we take things for granted live in here because we have a very red state. Things kinda always go the way of the hunter here. It's not always gonna be that way. So it is important for us and people that live in [00:45:00] states like Wyoming to talk to other people and understand what's really going on in this country because it's a kind of a scary thing.

We get, we only, we only look in our backyard or we only look at our own yards and we don't consider what's going on someplace else. So I let, I kinda wanna get back to the state chapter thing. What are you, California's ready to roll. There is a lot of bear hunters and a lot of hounds men that used to be bear hunters in California.

So I really want to talk about what the A, B, F is gonna be doing in California and maybe convince some of the, yeah, we lost our ability to. Run bears with hounds in California. But why should a hounds men still come out and support the A, b, F in Cal, that California chapter? One thing I want people to know too is we get a lot, I think, because maybe we started out [00:46:00] west and some of the states out west, you can't run bears.

But we are such a pro hound hunting group. If it makes sense on the ground to do it, we're all for it. And where we see states where it's been taken away, we're like, it wasn't taken away because of science or management. It was taken away because of emotion. Yes. So that's not great. And so what we see in California and some other states where the use of hounds has been taken away for bear hunting.

You can't hunt lions there. I don't even think you can hunt bobcats anymore. So it's, no bobcats been taken off the table. Yeah. So we're just losing all this stuff. So right now, Priority number one for the chapter in California is gonna be to build a defense and start getting stronger as far as okay, what's coming at us now we gotta have some strategic plans in place to defend that and then grow growing opportunities and growing opportunities Includes how do we get hound hunting back?

How do we get a chase season back? How do we get, some different hunter [00:47:00] opportunity in the mix because they got a lot of bears out there and a lot of land, they got a lot of land and we, we have, we are so interested in growing opportunity, whether that be through the use of hounds or a two bear tag deal in California, maybe because, they don't have a spring season, so all their bear hunting's in the fall and they're not hitting their target of harvest, not even close.

No. So it's like, how do we do this? That's the thing. And what the wildlife professionals in California, they've got the studies and the management goals and different things. So they've got objectives, they've got harvest objectives, and when they don't hit those, they're still killing bears.

They're doing it through wildlife services or state government, hired mitigation, conflict mitigation type stuff. So anybody from California that might have happened across this podcast, just [00:48:00] because hunting bears, if you think you're protecting bears by voting against hunting, you're not, no protecting them.

You are just forcing the government to step in to do the work that hunters would be doing because we're such a valuable part of it. But do you really think, do you really think that there's a possibility. That hound hunting bears in California could be restored. Joe, what's your honest opinion? Honestly, at this point in my life and in this point in the, our country and in that state, nope.

I, it's gonna be tough. I just don't know. I listen to a commission meeting. I'm, I usually get on to any California commission meeting where hunting bears especially is involved. And I've never quite seen a display like that in my entire life. And I've been on a lot of commission meetings.

I, people were screaming and hollering on the phone swearing. I couldn't believe it. I was like, this is a disaster, first off. . [00:49:00] There's, they need a new management plan there. And that's one thing that could dictate a lot of what happens, but they have not updated their management plan in a long time.

That's part of the process here. And this commission meeting, they wouldn't let anyone talk about hunting. If you spoke about hunting, they cut you off. And I tried to get online to talk and I couldn't, this management plan will be very important. But the states keeps backpedaling on the management plan, and they're trying to figure out the scope of it.

And, I personally reached out to the people that are gonna be involved with this management plan and brought, I said, we'll bring money, we'll bring the knowledge of how to do a management, like a study , because they're like, we need to find bear numbers. I was like, we're doing a study right now in Wyoming that's state-of-the-art cutting edge, like other states are copying it.

I was like, we have it built in and we'll bring money and people, and I guarantee a lot of these anti-hunting groups are not doing that. But I was like, let's get a good count. . That's great. Let's figure it out. And then I think from there, maybe we can look at our [00:50:00] hounds gonna need to be in the mix, which I think they are there, but I just don't know, man, it, with ballot measures and all that crap, it's just so hard to see happen.

That's what I mean. Can you imagine being a biologist right outta college, having all this fire in your belly and you're gonna change the world and you're gonna save. And you come out and you start doing this real wildlife work, and you're trying to work within the, according to the North American model, you've had all this stuff and you're like, man, I'm gonna get out here.

I'm gonna start doing this work. And you put together a management plan and then you. 14 lawsuits to, to put a stay on what you're doing, a cease and desist order, a suit against the department. I it's gotta be frustrating as all get out in that state. Yeah. And the people that really know about bears in that state, the hunters, because hunters oftentimes know more about wildlife than anyone.

I would say more times than not they're like, we [00:51:00] are so loaded with bears where we hunt, yeah. And the deer hunters you talk to, and , you talk to hunters in Washington where they don't have a spring season anymore and California, and they're like, oh, I see three, four bears a day, deer hunting.

And it's just holy crap. There's deep, there's bears south of la, there's bears all the way up there. There's no bear population problem there. And so maybe a management plan would be the first step of saying, Some realization, and maybe if it's on paper, some of these people will change their minds. I've heard this saying over and over again that it's like you're not gonna change someone's mind that's so against you.

You're just gonna have to try and change the mind of the people that are middle of the road. Those chicken, those chickens are all gonna come home to roost one of these days and it's gonna slap people right in the face. And again, they're gonna sit back and cry and say that the government didn't do their job when you've had different things proposed to, to control the bear population, but they're gonna [00:52:00] run into population density problems, which they've already got.

They're going to run into genetic divers diversity problems there where, the infanticide and all that stuff. Density dependence. It's disease. It's it's just, it's such an emotional decision by people and to me, I'm, I get an emotional I get flat out sad when I see a bear in a town and there's I've seen it on TV and they're in LA and they're like a helicopter flying and there's a bear in some guy's yard trying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Yeah. Breaks my heart because that doesn't, that bear shouldn't be there, and it's freaked out and then they're gonna just put it down. I'm like, there goes one more that, a hunter could have took or if we did our job as humans, we wouldn't have this problem, but Right.

People don't want take responsibility for being here anymore. Yeah. Yeah. That's for sure. And then so those are the two new ones. We're working on the Washington deal and one in the Northeast. Northeast needs all the help it can get. Joe, we need. Take time. We need to, yeah, we need to [00:53:00] jump in there and help carry that across the goal line that ball across the goal line.

New Hampshire barely ha got to have a bear season this year. That was a great win for Bear Hunters in New Hampshire, but man they sh they could use the help up in the Northeast. Yeah. I got a guy that lives in New York right now that is really interested in getting something going and that's what we need.

We don't, we normally need the people that are like, yeah, we'll support you and do whatever we need the people that are like you said, they got fired in their belly. They're like, let's get this going. And yeah. Cause it's some work, it's some work and you're not gonna get paid. But it's a pretty fair trade off when you think about what we're trying to do and what we're trying to protect and further for generations to come.

No doubt. No doubt. Let's talk about those conservation stamps real quick, cuz I think, if you're not from Wyoming, then I know that at our table, the question was bouncing around, what those actually are, and I think that's huge because you gave away four to kids that, [00:54:00] and that meant something.

So describe what that is and why that was such a big deal. Yeah, so Wyoming's really neat. Like you can get lifetime licenses in Wyoming on certain things. And so they have a, they have different ones and the base one is a lifetime conservation stamp. Then they have like lifetime fishing, lifetime conservation and fishing.

They have lifetime small game, which is, for us, Upland, birds, rabbit they have lifetime archery stamps. So all these things that the state has are a neat thing for kids because once you have that, even if you move out of the state, you don't have to pay non-resident conservation stamps.

So my daughter for instance, she's got. A lifetime conservation. She wanted at a different banquet that we were at for wild sheep. And now she has a metal, she has a plastic card that no matter where she travels in this country, she can come back here and have a resident conservation stamp if she moves away.

And what does that [00:55:00] mean? What does that mean? Like in Indiana we have a comprehensive hunting license that covers everything covers, it covers your small game license. It covers your bird stamps. It covers your, yeah. So is this like a, is this like a lifetime hunting license and do you need that license to buy the big game tags or how does that work?

Yeah, essentially a conservation stamp in Wyoming's your ticket to entry. Once you get that, then you can buy a hunting license. So you can't have a deer, an elk, a bear. Cat license without a conservation stamp. Gotcha. You can't hunt without one. So what it does is it gives you that, it's like in some states they have a hunting license and then you get an elk tag or whatever. Wyoming's got a conservation stamp. Montana does a similar thing. And so that tho we gave those away to kids. We bring every kid up that is under 17 and we just draw out of hats and give 'em to 'em. And it's a neat thing to try, we're losing that [00:56:00] next generation.

I think we got a bunch in the twenties and thirties that are bringing up the fold of conservationists. Yeah. But man the younger generation, like those kids just turning hunting age and they're, we're losing that. It's not good. W so maybe this gives them a, another thing to say, Hey, I have this, and maybe take some pride in it, and then, break that barrier or to entry a little bit, sure. So it's a neat thing to involve the kids too, because, people want, we want it to be a family-oriented banquet too, where you wanna bring your kids. And that's another reason people go to these because we're giving these away and they're like I'm gonna bring my, all five of my kids.

We, we gave a Tika 6.5 away, no charge. We didn't charge the kids anything. They just put their name in a bucket, gave a Tika six five away for the kids. Yeah. Luke Worthington's son Parker. He had quite the hall on night that he won. That he won the conservation stamp. Yeah, he did good. That was worth that time to come over.

No doubt. No doubt that kid has [00:57:00] walked. What'd Luke say? He's walked to a hundred Lion trees. Hundred cats. A hundred lion trees. . Yep. That's amazing. And I think he's what that is. You think he's 10 or 11? Maybe 12. Yeah, maybe. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe. I'm like, dude, I wish you lived here. I could go on some chases with you.

That's incredible. Yeah. So it's so important of all involve the kids. And it's not for selfish reasons. We're not trying to make money off 'em, we're just giving those away. And it also shows the crowd like, and the people that are there like that. We want to invest in our future as get these kids involved.

And I had several people come up to me, like I said, They're like, next year let me know. We'll just get every kid, we'll figure out a way to do it. And so that's important. What's the cost? What's the cost from that lifetime stamp? I think that lifetime conservation's 2 25 or two 50 and then it just goes up from there.

I think the highest level ones like 600 and that involves like fishing, conservation and maybe small game, and so as [00:58:00] you get going you can get more stuff, but they just cost more. You have it for life. Put Hounds, Inman XP down for a sponsor for one of those. That's awesome.

Conservation stamps for next year. That's awesome, man. Yeah, we will definitely do that. That's so great. Yeah I just. I get a lot of passion for helping kids and other people out and, it was neat to see the kind of the excitement with some of them kids when they get those things. Oh yeah.

They get all, they don't know what to say. They're excited , but they're trying to be cool. Yeah. , it's, yeah it's fun. It's fun. Except for that little one year old that won up, man, he didn't care. He was just like, he didn't know. Maybe in 10 years he'll be like, oh, I don't even know how I got this.

But cool. Thanks

I just sent those out yesterday. So all those Kittles will be getting those here in another day or two. That's pretty cool. What'd we miss? What'd we miss? Boy, I don't know. We covered a lot. Just, [00:59:00] I think one thing that I definitely want to just touch on is the different groups that were there.

Okay. A bunch of different NGOs and nonprofits were there that kind of was like trying to support each other. That's great. Bo Hunters of Wyoming Wyoming Wild Sheep was there. Safari Club International was there. We had a representative from Safari Club there. Wyoming Guides and Outfitters associated.

We had a whole table of guides and outfitters there. Hounds Man xp. You guys had a whole table there? Yep. We had, Wyoming and Wildlife, we had a state, the Wyoming State trappers had a table, and so yeah, I just look at that and I'm like, good night. That is so neat. Bow hunters aren't always focused on bear stuff.

The trappers have so much that they're always fighting for and they're like, you know what, we're coming to support you guys. And that's one thing that I'm always trying to like, make sure that we do as a foundation, is support other groups. No matter what. It might come, something might come up with Wyoming Wild Sheep, and I'm like, man, it really isn't in our wheelhouse.

But if [01:00:00] you need us to sign on for a letter to a commissioner or a legislator, and it's, it makes sense we're in, man we'll help you out because one day we're gonna need your help. And there's been a lot of that going on in Wyoming and it's so neat to see kind of everyone from different places come together and just support each other.

I don't want to discount that. I think we need a ton of that going forward. It, from where I sit, as in, in the hound hunting community I hear so many times that, oh, you can't work with this group or the, the deer hunters. , you can't work with that group. And they don't, they hate Hounds men.

But I'll tell you what I saw when I came to Cody for this banquet. So I saw everybody putting their differences aside, supporting one another. It was like a, it was like a utopia in there. So I know that it's po I know that it's possible. It absolutely is pos possible to do this. We may not agree on every single thing, but we agree on conservation.

[01:01:00] We agree on, science-based wildlife management. We agree on people and their freedoms to go out and hunt the way that they choose to hunt within the boundaries of the North American model and all that stuff. And ethics. But support 'em it, we can do this, we can do it.

And I saw it being done and Cody. . Yep. It's a banquet. It was awesome. There's a couple things going on in this state that are, it's legislative session and so this is when you usually see the knives come out. Yep. And one group's trying to do this and the other group doesn't want that.

And I'm like, starting to see that, and I just was like, you know what, there's some things that we're trying to do that maybe the Wyoming guides and outfitters don't agree with. I'm like, I totally get that you guys, I love you guys. I'm gonna support you no matter what. If you don't like this.

I get it. And I think the same goes back. They're like, yeah, we're just gonna disagree on this one thing. I agree. It's not life or death. And like I even said at the bank, Whent, I'm like, we all [01:02:00] need to learn that we can have disagreements and not hate each other. We can disagree on things. It doesn't mean we have to hate each other, like it, it's just the way it needs to be going forward, yeah. I disagree with you on this one. Okay, cool. Let's just disagree. And if you wanna fight against it, that's fine, but we're gonna come together for something else down the road and we need to know that. Yeah. And that's important going forward. Yeah. I got a funny story that kind of draws that parallel.

When I was in the Marine Corps there's a lot of, there's a lot of rivalry among, companies in a battalion and stuff like that. And a bunch of us were out and we got in this big, it was crazy. We got in this big, it was basically a brawl with one of the other companies, . And by the time we got back to the barracks, it was all smoothed out.

But there was always that rivalry between us. And First, we were first platoon, they were third platoon. And there was always a rivalry, whether it was going through a training scenario or whatever. And but [01:03:00] when it came to game time, there wasn't a rivalry. , if they needed help, we were on the way.

If we were in a jam, we knew that they were on the way. And that's the same kind of mentality. You gotta have in this game. We don't have to agree on everything. But when the chips are down, we gotta be there for one another. There aren't enough of us not to be, we talked about it the last time we were on, divided.

We are just some small groups and user groups. But, when you couple the, just in the bear hunting space, the hounds man, the spot and stock guys and the bait guys, that's a fricking army. And we can be that way. We can disagree. That's okay. We're just like you guys just said, we're gonna disagree and argue amongst ourselves, but we gotta be brothers and sisters in arms here because the fights aren't gonna stop.

I have some bad feelings about some stuff coming up. I know. I know Humane Society's up to something nationally. They're probing a lot of states on their bear stuff, [01:04:00] so we are in for it and we gotta be ready yeah. Yep. And we're all going after the same thing. When you go into legislation, you've got your agenda, and the sheep hunters have their bills.

The only so many bills are gonna get passed, and they're gonna try to lump things together and they're gonna, and that's no different than what I was talking about in my analogy in the Marine Corps. There's like a Liberty pass for the company for the weekend with the best time, so you're all competing for that, but Yep.

But when the chips are down, we gotta be there for each other, so for sure. Sure. Amen. Joe, what else you got? We gonna wrap this one up or you got something else? Yeah, I think next year this is for people to keep it on their radar. I haven't talked to Jayden about it, but I'm gonna bring this thing to the next level.

I'm thinking of like a couple day deal almost, just so when people come out to this, they have maybe the banquet Saturday, but on a Friday night we do a meet and greet or whatever. Oh yeah. And then in the morning, on Saturday we have like some, instead of doing it prior to the banquet, we have some breakout sessions where we have, some small groups of [01:05:00] people where we have a maybe a talk about, I don't know, Alex talking about using Leicas or you talking about using the kind of doc, so we have little breakout sessions and maybe.

Before the banquet, we have something. So I got some ideas to try and make it a little bit more of a weekend event that if you're gonna come out here, you're definitely gonna get your money's worth and all those, it'd be free entry and just get people to, because the one thing that I was so bummed about is I didn't get enough FaceTime with so many people.

You're, you included. And I was like, man, if we all got together, like planned on Friday and just got together and sat down and had some drinks or whatever and just kinda visited. It'd be so nice to have that, where you're not trying to race at the banquet to do it, sure. You're a busy guy at that banquet.

You didn't have time. You literally did not have time for that, Joe. You were on the move the whole time and I don't think I saw you sit down except when you sat down to give your, and I thought it was funny you put a chair out on the stage and gave that talk and I thought he probably needs to [01:06:00] sit down for a little bit.

I did . Yeah. I was like, I wanted to sit down, but I was also like, I don't want it to be like I'm talking at people, I just want to be like a conversation. And the sit down was really nice. I tried to sit down a few times, barely saw my kid and I was just like it, but it was good. I love it, you're mixing it up and having a good time and it goes by so fast.

And when it's all said and done, it's sad. Yeah. Yeah. I'm sad that I, it's gonna be a year until the next banquets, so I agree. We are gonna keep it hot and when we start keeping this topic hot and when we start getting close to that time, the first of next year, we're gonna start beating the drums again for people to come.

Love it. It's. Cody's just a cool place. You got custom gun manufacturers out there that you can go and tour factories. You can go to the Firearms museum and the Buffalo Bill is beyond imaginable. You got the east entrance to the park. You got the mount ranges. There's just, and if it's cold enough, take [01:07:00] a couple extra days and go ice fishing or take a snowmobile trip or do something like that.

You really can't bring your dogs. You can run some lions. Yeah. We got, sky's the limit. There's a really cool Cody shooting experience here where you can go in and shoot a Gatling gun and black powder and, that's a fun thing too, for people to do. Yeah. Yeah. Cody's a cool town for sure.

For sure. Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate you taking time, Joe, I appreciate all your, all the work you're doing out there for Bear Hunters. I think we're just seeing the beginning of Yes. What the American Bear Foundation can accomplish in the United States. I'm gonna, I'm gonna be talking about it when I go to Michigan next month.

Awesome. And I've gotta go up there and speak to the Michigan Bear Hunters Association. I'm gonna tell 'em about what's going on with the American Bear Foundation and yeah. Keep getting the message out. Great. Give those guys our best. That's a strong group up there. They're doing good things.

Yeah. Yep. All right, man. Hey thanks Chris. You bet, [01:08:00] Joe, it is great to meet you this weekend and get a little bit of time with you, so Heck yeah, buddy. All right. Hey, until next time you follow your hands and I'll follow mine.