Dan Comes Out To Tony Peterson

Show Notes

People change, cultures change, and in todays world we as society have become more tolerant to those who are different than us. On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan comes out of the closet to his guest Tony Peterson, when he admits that he no longer is just a bowhunter. Recently Dan bought a muzzleloader and this year he will be hunting the late season with firearm.

On top of that, Dan and Tony get in to another conversation about specific rules and regulations that they like and dislike including the attempted introduction of crossbows in to the Iowa archery season. The guys also get in to a discussion about the difference between hunting stories where the hunter uses a bow verses using a gun and public land verses private land. Just another great BS Session with Tony.

Show Transcript

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What's up everybody. Welcome to another episode of NFC, the old nine finger chronicles. I'm your host, Dan Johnson. And today we have returning guests and he might be up there with Justin czar now for. The most appearances as a guest on the nine finger [00:01:00] chronicles. Tony Peterson is the guest today and man, we have, let me pull something up here real quick on my computer.

I'm going to, this is crazy, right? I like to think outside of the box and it's just dan, the title of this episode is Dan comes out to Tony Peterson and obviously it's not what you think it is, but in today's episode I'm not going to, I'm not going to talk about the first part of it because I want it to be a surprise about what.

I come out to Tony Peterson about, so it's it's funny. I thought it was hilarious. It's a good introduction into our conversation today, but man, we have we have we have a fun conversation about that. And we also have a conversation about specific rules and regulations. I don't mean to. To bring up the crossbow conversation [00:02:00] again and beat it down again.

But we do talk about crossbows. We talk about some other rules and regulations within the United States. We talk about late season, the late season hunting. And then we talk about one of the other conversations that we have in today's episode is about storytelling and. What stories are better than others, right?

So is if you, if someone tells you this amazing story, but then they end it with, then I shot him with a gun versus I shot him with a bow. Is one story better than the other? And me and Tony get into a, basically this episode is just a fun BS session. Again love having Tony on. I can say I can relate to him in many ways.

Not only in, not only just in age and in culture, but in, I guess the approach we take to. But a fun, fun episode today. Real quick. I'm just going to go through the old nine finger [00:03:00] Chronicles partners, and then we'll get right into today's episode. If you're looking for a saddle, you got to go check out tethered, man.

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And huge fan of the, that, that system along with, if you are the type of person who likes to spray down with scent elimination spray, they have other scent elimination products like laundry detergent, wipes, body soap, and then of course they're real and synthetic deer urines and deer scents.

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This company's been around since the 1940s. And and so if you've been along that long, been around that long, you're doing something right. So go check out woodmanspal. com. Last but not least there's two more. Huntworth man. In my opinion, this camel company, this hunting clothing company has one of the best layering systems in all of the hunting industry.

And I say that after I say that as someone who's already worn the elite brands, right? The other brands that we all know, the top end, the very expensive ones, these guys have very similar quality, but they're more affordable. And there's equal options, man. And so I really think everybody needs to go to [00:07:00] huntworthgear.

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Let me pull it up real quick. I just got another t shirt design for full sneak gear in the mail or in the mail through email and it is bad ass dude. I think I told some people this already, but I went to the internet searching for companies that did design work for death metal albums, because I had this idea that I want a zombie looking white tail on it.

a t shirt. And so I found a company in Eastern [00:08:00] Europe, like Hungary or whatever. I think they're from Hungary or some Eastern Europe, European, like Czech Republic or something like that. Anyway, these guys, all they do is create albums. Album covers and t shirts for hardcore death metal bands and hardcore rock and roll bands and I had them create me a t shirt design.

And this thing looks ridiculous. It is a whitetail buck in a forest with human skulls. And the whitetail buck is like decomposing, but he's standing. It's like a zombie, like the walking dead. And I cannot wait to share that on full sneak gear. com. It's just completely out of the box and hopefully you guys enjoy it.

And it's something different that we, that I think we could all wear. The name of that t shirt is going to be the full sneak slayer. And go out and keep keep an eye out for that one, along with all the other products that we offer at [00:09:00] full sneak gear. Alright, that's it. Dude, I'm jacked for everybody, man.

I don't know why I just got this big pump of energy today. I'm so happy that I'm alive. I'm so happy that my family and my kids are healthy. I'm able to live in a neighborhood with, Great people as neighbors. You, I watch the news every day and it's just, it's a shit show everywhere else. So I'm so happy to be American born in America and living in a place where bombs are literally not dropping on my head.

every day. And man, I love this country. I love my family. I don't know why I'm saying all this, but I'm trying to spread positive energy. I'm sending good vibes out to you. So good vibes coming your way, especially with this episode. So let's get into today's episode with my man, Tony Peterson. Three, two, one, Tony Peterson.

How are you? [00:10:00] I'm good, buddy. 

[00:10:01] Tony Peterson: How are you? I'm doing good, man. 

[00:10:03] Dan Johnson: I'm doing good. Let's see here. First crazy question, and I know this is gonna sound weird coming from a hunting podcast, but we've already covered weird you and I, so it's just going to be par for the course. Have you had a friend or relative or anybody that you knew or maybe confided in you come out of the closet to you?

[00:10:30] Tony Peterson: Man, I have a story I really want to tell for my college days. Okay. I don't really know if I should or not. Okay. 

[00:10:40] Dan Johnson: If you want to say pass, we can pass. I had a random 

[00:10:46] Tony Peterson: co worker in college one time come out of the closet to me who I had just met. Yep. And God, how do I put this? 

[00:10:55] Dan Johnson: He had nobody else to go to and you were the closest person.[00:11:00] 

It's no, 

[00:11:04] Tony Peterson: in my college days, I did a lot of things that I wouldn't want my kids to do as far as substances and such. Okay. Okay. And I was partying pretty hard with a group of people who had some substances that you, that make you think things that maybe aren't true or make you see things that maybe aren't true.

And it was during one of those nights that this dude who I just met, who just started working with all of us confided in me that, and let me tell you something, man, that makes your brain think a lot of weird thoughts. Like why is this stranger telling me this right now? Am I giving off these weird vibes?

What's going on? And so that was my entirety of my experience with that and it was very weird. 

[00:11:51] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. I've been there, dude. I've been there. Not necessarily having anybody come out to me and I'll get to the point here in a second, but I [00:12:00] did one time, and we've all changed since 20, 2025 years ago when I was in college, at least I hope I've changed.

There was one day. where we got so high, I accidentally ordered 25 pizzas from Papa John's and it took two cars to come and I was like when it got here, I had a 20 bill and I was just like here, you take this, I'll take the top one. And then I just slowly shut the door right in their face.

And then and then I could remember later that night, we watched a kitchen clock on a stove and every time a minute would change, we would have this blowout celebration because time was just crawling. Yeah. Oh, it was nuts. And so yeah, anyway, I need to come out for pizza delivery. I know, right?

They also, [00:13:00] I should, 

[00:13:00] Tony Peterson: I have to ask you, did you ask me this? Cause Mark confided in you or something or 

[00:13:06] Dan Johnson: going there, we're going there. No, nope. He hasn't done that yet. The reason I say this is cause I need to come out to you about something. Oh my God. I'm going to do it. Right here, right now, because I feel like it's my job, as a content creator, to share how I'm feeling with you and all of the people who have confided in me and allowed me to come into their ears every, every week.

And I take pride in being a bowhunter, okay? I'm, I bought a muzzleloader, dude. And I don't know how I feel about it. I bought a muzzleloader. And so that's really me coming out and saying I'm just not a bowhunter anymore, man. I'm gonna, I'm gonna slowly transition into a gunhunter too. And it feels good to say it out loud [00:14:00] now.


[00:14:01] Tony Peterson: I feel like a lot has changed in the last 25 years, too, and I fully support your transition into a muzzleloader hunter. 

[00:14:06] Dan Johnson: Dude, a big weight's come off my chest now. Dude, I feel like I felt like I was gonna get rejected by the audience, and after you said that, dude, I feel really good about myself now.

I feel like I can accomplish anything. 

[00:14:19] Tony Peterson: Let me tell you something. Last weekend was the muzzleloader opener in Minnesota. Okay. And 

[00:14:23] Dan Johnson: I hunted. Yep. And I had 

[00:14:27] Tony Peterson: The most fun I've had deer hunting all season. Yeah. In those two days, and I'm going back tomorrow, I'm gonna bring one of the, one of my dogs down, I'm gonna pheasant hunt some, but I'm also gonna muzzleloader hunt some.

Because it's just so damn fun. Yeah. After a season of carrying a bow around, and for us it's a little bit different too, cause you might have a cameraman sitting over your shoulder or whatever for a lot of your hunts. And dude, I'll tell you what I had, I went down, I went and hunted some of this public land in Western Minnesota that I've been like, I [00:15:00] gotta try to figure this out.

And I went down there and I was covered in hunters, but I also was covered in deer and I had so much fun and a huge reason is because I didn't have to bow hunt those 

[00:15:12] Dan Johnson: deer. Yeah. So fun. You can get a little bit outside of that bubble. Dude, I got way 

[00:15:19] Tony Peterson: outside the bubble. 

I was, I, in fact, we can talk about this if you want, but we, I had fresh snow, just a little bit of fresh snow on Sunday morning.

Yeah. And my plan to ambush him did not work. I didn't see any deer. I spooked a bunch. I could hear him in the dark. And so with the fresh snow, I'm like, where did all the deer I was on go? Because I knew they were going to bed in these cattails and this dogwood patches and willows. And so I went looking and I got on seven different.

Fresh tracks of deer and I jumped seven deer within 30 yards of me following those around and had I had the my sights My scope on three different bucks [00:16:00] that 

[00:16:00] Dan Johnson: morning that were all 

[00:16:01] Tony Peterson: bedded and let me get super close and I never got a shot Yeah, that's all anyway, but dude it was I What happened is When I got on the first track, I was just I got to go see where these deer, how did they get back to this bedding area?

Because it's wide open down there, right? And, Saturday morning, I got to this vantage point. I saw 14 deer generally work into this cover. And then Sunday morning, I saw zero deer go in there. So I knew it was me. Yeah. And so I'm like, I'm just going to go. It's like a free play. I'm not going to hunt here tonight.

I got to drive home. And I got in there and got on the first set of dough tracks. And I'm like, I'm, I didn't have a dough tag, but I'm like, I'm just going to follow it and see where this goes. Cause they're fresh. Yeah. And she got up out of her bed, 15 yards away from me after five minutes of trail on her.

Yeah. And then I was like, Oh my God, this is what I'm going to do for the next several hours. And then I got on a buck track. And the difference between where he traveled, how he stayed in the cover, and then how I jumped him. [00:17:00] And he was really nice for that area. He was probably 120, 125 inches, got up right next to me, and I couldn't get a shot at him.

Just, it was so freaking fun, and it was such a learning experience. And I did that. seven times and got close to 

[00:17:15] Dan Johnson: seven deer. That's awesome, man. I gotta tell you this layout, okay? Last year was my first year hunting this new farm and it's in, fortunately for me, Primo, Iowa ground, right? This south of Des Moines, Iowa, it is Just a spectacular piece with a real high age class, which means big antlers, right?

And good genetics. And the cool thing about this property, if I haven't said it already, is it's like a mile and a half by two miles rectangle that there's no roads go through. All right, and this farm is in the dead center, so all of the terrain comes [00:18:00] right down into this property that I was the first hunter period last year, three years ago.

And the only other hunter that hunted it previously was the landowner's cousin. And he was a shotgun season hunter only, and he would sit in a little cabin that's out there. And. I'm guessing he shot from his the front of this cabin and he just, basically it was, hey, I'm going to go relax for a week or whatever.

Okay. All the neighbors are non residents. Most of the neighbor neighbors are non resident landowners. Okay. And one day, I called this landowner up and he, Basically told me I'm disappointed that someone's hunting there now because of this layout, right? He keeps about 10 acres of standing crops whether it's corn Or beans and then he bush hogs it right before the season starts and [00:19:00] it's just this destination food source late season it's just you imagine finding a place on public that borders A standing cornfield and you're just going to see 50, 60 deer a night, right?

So that's what happened last year. I didn't have a muzzleloader last year. And so I talked, this guy, he has his box blind right over top of this, right? So he's going to come here late season, right? He can't get a tag archery tag every year. He's going to come here late season and he's going to try to shoot a deer right off that, that comes out of my property that I have access to, to feed on his.

The issue for him is this year, I'm going to be between him and that deer. And so I know he's going to be there the same time that I'm there. I just I can see him getting pissed off the guy getting pissed off because when I called him, he's I saw your I saw you have a trail camera.[00:20:00] Right on the fence line and it seemed to bother him and I'm like, yep, it is.

It's right on the fence line, it just takes pictures of deer. He's oh, okay. Hey, you're too close. You're too close to me, but he's just pissed that now there's someone hunting that property and he's then another caveat here. He starts telling me, hey man, I only try to take deer in the one sixties and higher.

and then I start asking him questions and stuff and then he tells me I also let my buddies from out of state hunt when they draw their archery tags and I tell them 140s. It doesn't matter, right? He's he's trying to tell me maybe you should stick to 160s. Tell your buddies to stick to 160s.

You know what I mean? Do 

[00:20:40] Tony Peterson: you think, are you getting a little bit of a cheater vibe out of this dude? Is that why he's gatekeeping this so hard or is it just a, he just doesn't 

[00:20:46] Dan Johnson: want anybody else hunting there? I think what's happened. Is that he had a primo bedding area that for years, late season for years would just all the deer after the crops are out funneled right down into this property [00:21:00] and they just pile into this standing food plot that he's created standing egg.

And he's frustrated now that he might have to change his strategy up a little bit. Because what it's worked for 10 however many years he's owned this property and now they're, I don't want to even say it's competition because we're not even on the same property. It's just, I'm lucky that I get access to the property that the deer are on and have to step out before they cross the fence into his.

So if I'm, let's just put this in a scenario. The buck that I shot earlier that I didn't kill in November pops up. I'm going to be able to watch this deer come out of the woods, preyed by me at under 100 yards, and I'm going to shoot this deer probably 40 to 20 yards from this fence line, with a guy in the box blind, right there wait, waiting.

And it's like a tough shit [00:22:00] type moment for this guy. . 

[00:22:02] Tony Peterson: Yeah. Isn't it, that's, that just is what it is. Yeah. But isn't it weird that's legal? But if you took, as far as like bus hogging, that, that corn field or that bean field that's legal. , but not carrying out, yeah.

250 pounds of corn and just dumping it on the ground. Yeah. 

[00:22:19] Dan Johnson: Dude, I've been thinking about so many things like that recently. About my thoughts on baiting, my thoughts on crossbows, my thoughts on different weapons throughout the year, tag allocations, like who can get what and when, and it's just weird, like I don't even have a real answer because I, you think about things and you don't have a set opinion, but some of those things, Because I had a podcast earlier this week about baiting or I, it's not about baiting.

It was about a guy from Ohio that he didn't kill his buck over bait, but he had bait [00:23:00] piles on that property in order to get pictures of deer. And so in Iowa, man you can have food out. You just can't hunt over it or anywhere close to it. 

[00:23:11] Tony Peterson: Yeah, don't you have to be like a hundred yards away or something?

[00:23:13] Dan Johnson: See there's no, in Nebraska, it says you have to hunt 200 yards away from a bait pile. So that's a black and white, cut and dry, right? In Iowa, there's no law that says you have to be this distance away from a bait pile or mineral lick, mineral station. 

[00:23:34] Tony Peterson: How do they, how do they bust somebody then if you're just hunting a trail leading to the bait or what?

[00:23:38] Dan Johnson: Yep it's officer discretion.

[00:23:43] Tony Peterson: I know. It's so weird. I just, I look at that and I go, how easy do we need to make it right? And I know there, I know everybody draws their own lines, like I'm not out there making my own cell phones and shoot them with I get that everybody views it differently, but I don't understand why [00:24:00] we have like ambiguous baiting laws like that.

Like why I don't understand why it's just not cut and dry, especially in a state like Iowa. I don't know, man. It's literally the best state in the country to hunt whitetails, and then to have that going on. It's just weird to me that they haven't drawn 

[00:24:16] Dan Johnson: that line. Yep.

Yeah. Not only have they not drawn the line, but okay. So shift, just slight shift here about rules and regulations, Minnesota all these states, right? They have from a Political standpoint they have lobbyists That try to come in They say hey, we'll donate to your whatever your campaign if you vote for this law that wants So right now the big thing is crossbows and i've beat this horse to death on this podcast my thought about all of these new rules and regulations that seem to get brought up Every hunting season every year is Iowa, like you said, [00:25:00] is one of, if not the best deer hunting state in the country.

And it's that way for a reason. I strongly believe it's because of the rules and regulations that we have and how we allocate tags is what makes it the greatest. State to, to do that. Now we don't have the population like Minnesota or Wisconsin or or Michigan or Pennsylvania, right? We don't have that.

That's a big check or a plus for us. But outside of that, the rules and regulations, man, they're pretty, they're really good, especially for residents. 

[00:25:36] Tony Peterson: Not only that, but you're just, I was just a sweet spot where you're not going to get winter kill hardly ever, it would be like a really rare thing for your deer herd to get knocked back.

Amazing, amazing soil to produce the right food, like the right climate. It's got, it's, there, there's so much going on and they have done a really good job of just we're going to. [00:26:00] We're we see what we have and we're going to protect it. Yep. So it's always weird to me when I see something like that where You know, you could go put out 5, 000 pounds of corn in a certain spot and as long as you weren't hunting like you could get away with hunting Deer around that somehow or like relating to it somehow, but not be it legally like just so crazy And then I'll tell you what man the crossbow thing You can fight that all you want.

I just, it's like the freight trains coming, man. Like we got it in Minnesota this year, but it's always, I don't know where Iowa stands like as far as do they allow anyone to use it other than a medical exemption? It's not youth 

[00:26:44] Dan Johnson: during the youth season. Okay. Elderly, I think it's over 55 or 60.

Okay. And then obviously disabled whether that's mental or bad shoulder or things like that. And then late season. So late, our late season, our late [00:27:00] muzzleloader season is considered a primitive weapons season. So I can use my bow, you can use a crossbow, and you can use a muzzleloader. And now even our shotgun season in Iowa is now straight wall cartridges, rifles, and it's slowly going to be going to a rifle season because every year here's the cool thing. The Iowa bow hunters association now has got enough funding to where we are now hiring lobbyists. Of our own to fight the lobbyist.

So now we're on the approach to take the offensive. Against that freight train that you're talking about. And every year these rules and regulations come up, they try again, we have the right people in the right places to identify them, and then we all go to, hey, do not do this to our politicians and so it's held off so far.

But now within the next, I think with by between now and the [00:28:00] time the Iowa deer classic hits, we're going to residents in Iowa are going to start hearing a lot more about the offensive that we're going to be taking to put the brakes on some of these things and maybe what's that called when let's say I, I approach the government and I say, or I lobby the government and I'm trying to change the law.

But then there's a law that says, okay, this has been shut down and we're not going to address this issue for another 10 years. There's a term for that. And that's what our goal is with that is to be like, okay, we've beat this 10 years in a row. It's going to be another 10 years until you can even bring it up now.

[00:28:43] Tony Peterson: Why like a moratorium? Why do you think that the average just the average hunter in Iowa deer hunter, do you think they're opposed to crossbows? 

[00:28:55] Dan Johnson: So here's the thing is I don't want to say the average [00:29:00] deer hunter is opposed to crossbows. It's, but it's not the Iowa residents who are bringing, it's not me and the rest of the Iowa residents saying, Hey, we demand a bow, a crossbow during archery season.

We want to use it. It's not coming from us. It's coming from a crossbow company that's hiring lobbyists to do that for them because they see a dollar amount associated with every state and they say, okay, sales will go up. This much on the initial purchase, and then every year after that, we're going to see this much, this many dollars come out of Iowa.

It's not us, we're not the people saying, I'll crossbows, we want crossbows. It's somebody else from a different state doing it. Can I tell you 

[00:29:45] Tony Peterson: something that's, I don't want to burst your bubble, but it gives me, I'm glad you're optimistic 

[00:29:51] Dan Johnson: on this. 

[00:29:53] Tony Peterson: We had the same thing in Minnesota where we got, I think it was 60, 60 years old plus [00:30:00] was the first wave and then maybe kids or maybe it all happened together and it happens in this incremental creep just like you guys have going on and I thought, I mean I knew it would come eventually in Minnesota, but I thought there would be more opposition from the average bow hunter.

Like I thought there would be, I thought a lot of people would be like, no way. Yeah. Yeah. How quickly the average hunter 

[00:30:25] Dan Johnson: adopts that weapon is wild. 

[00:30:27] Tony Peterson: So there's like a, I know this sucks like from your position, but there's like a silent will of I want easier. And I'm telling you, dude, I saw people who I've hunted, like not necessarily hunted with, but known, like guys who hunt the farm I hunt or whatever, I could not believe how many people I knew switched this year because it was legal. It's just, I was living in this world where I was like my kids shoot them, whatever, but they don't interest me at all. I don't I don't care [00:31:00] about them hardly at all. They don't, it's not really in my purview.

I don't care. Yeah. But I was just shocked, because I was living in my bubble, how many people wanted that. Or how many people, as soon as it was available, were like, I'm going to that. Yeah. And they'll never go back. 

[00:31:14] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yep. I understand. It's crazy. I understand. I don't know, man. I'm just of the mindset.

We have such a good thing going here. Why ruin it? Alright, because instantly what's going to happen is you're going to have more hunters in the woods, more hunters equal, more deer shot. At some point you're, whether they start to take more of the upper age class, then it goes from, hey, every year my, this farm in this area has produced a four or five, four, let's say five year old.

Now, I haven't had a four year old for a couple of years. Now, I haven't had a four year old for a couple of years or a five year old for a couple of years. Now, I haven't had a four year old for, and the next thing you know, it's just that cream of the crop starts to go down a little bit and then what we have is not as special as we, we think we have.


[00:31:59] Tony Peterson: And it, [00:32:00] the amazing thing about Iowa is how many buck tags they've managed to give to residents. And keep that quality and that's where it'll that's where it'll come in like when they legalized in Wisconsin Which was a few years back now Wisconsin does a pretty good job of tracking Harvest by county because that's how they manage same here in the county that I was in and You know, Wisconsin has a lot of hunters right 200, 000 bow hunters 600, 000 gun hunters but it's a two buck state shoot one with archery shoot one with gun and Previous to the crossbow legalization, you had to use a vertical bow.

So there wasn't, there was a consistent crossover, right? There's certain people that do both, but a lot of people didn't. Then you give them that weapon and the County that I hunt in, it only took a couple of years before the buck harvest. From archery, so bows and crossbows eclipsed the rifle harvest.

When you talk to some people, like some states haven't seen like a huge impact on the [00:33:00] resource, the kill has stayed somewhat similar, but it's entirely dependent on how many tags are you handing out now is this an extra buck that can be killed or not? Like in, in Minnesota, Minnesota is essentially a one buck state unless you hunt the CWD zone in a couple places.

And so really if you go shoot a buck with a bow In most of the state, that's your buck, you can go party hunt and whatever. That's a different story But the impact on the overall harvest here be as great as a state like Iowa or Wisconsin where it's like you, every resident can kill two bucks or three if you own land or whatever.

And so that's where you start seeing not only maybe the quality you're talking about, just attrition to opportunity because the resource is getting impacted. 

[00:33:44] Dan Johnson: Yup. And I talked with my buddy Byron Horton. He is a he lives in Ohio or Hunts, Ohio, and he was talking about, He was looking at some statistics and it's seven out of every 10 deer shot during [00:34:00] archery season or with a crossbow or something like that, right?

And so it just, when that switch gets flipped. It gets flipped hard and it just whoop like whoop. And I'll be completely honest with you, man. I 100 percent support the disability, the people who are disabled kids, right? Elderly people to keep buying their tags and getting all that stuff.

Yes, absolutely. Shit. There was a period of time this year with my shoulder that I thought I was going to have to go get a crossbow and get. To be able to shoot, but because I'm a man No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I won't go there,

No, I just toughed it out. So yeah, I don't know, man. I don't know. I've just been think really thinking a lot about that to the point where it's am I being a dick? Because I have these opinions and thinking about this and express that, or is what is my thought or my thoughts valid?[00:35:00] 

[00:35:00] Tony Peterson: It's a valid concern. I just think, I don't know, man, I'm so torn on this. My kids, I would not have been able to hunt the last couple of years for deer with my kids. If crossbows weren't legal for them. And so I'm like I'm really a walking contradiction cause I don't have any interest hunting with them personally, 

[00:35:18] Dan Johnson: but it 

[00:35:19] Tony Peterson: has been so fun to hunt with my daughters that way.

And I just, I look at this stuff and I go, so when you talk about, when Byron's talking about his experience in Ohio and it's a 70 percent kill rate, Minnesota went. Went legal this year and in the first four weeks 40 percent of the archery harvest was crossbows already. Yeah, so in One or two more seasons.

We'll be at that major majority, right? It'll be 70 80 percent Yeah, but I'll tell you what I hunt like I hunted Oklahoma this year Oklahoma's had legal crossbows for a long time. I probably saw 15 or 20 hunters out there [00:36:00] in my time scouting and hunting. 

[00:36:01] Dan Johnson: Yeah, I saw two people 

[00:36:04] Tony Peterson: Two other guys, not in my little group carrying vertical bows.

The rest had crossbows, but I also saw how they hunted because I found stands and blinds and I actually saw people out hunting while I was hunting. And let me tell you something that crossbows do to people is they start to hunt like gun hunters. And I'm totally stereotyping and generalizing here.

I know not everybody does this, but when you have a. A weapon you can shoulder and it has a scope on it, and you don't have to practice a whole lot with them because they're super accurate. The amount of people I saw go sit on the ground like they're turkey hunting with a shotgun. Pop up their little tripod or whatever on the edge of a field and like super obviously visible.

I was like, man, I don't know how much of an impact these people are having on a resource. So I don't know if it levels off a little bit over time where people are like, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna crossbow hunt. [00:37:00] The same methods that I bow hunt like you're I don't think you're gonna see a ton of people in a saddle up In a tree with a crossbow like you'd see some for sure But I think it gives people a false sense of like I can walk around and shoot one or I don't have to put The work in but the reality is it's still a pretty close range weapon for most people and if you hunt like a You know like the average gun hunter and you're like I'm just gonna go out put my back to a tree You're not like a huge threat to a lot of the deer, so I don't know, I don't know where you land on that. I don't know if there's actually like a, an impact to that eventually leaning into that hunting style or not, or if it's just my bias from what I've seen, like on public land in certain states, I 

[00:37:42] Dan Johnson: don't know. I just feel it's crazy. It's crazy how the mind works.

And cause I find myself thinking about. this in just about all aspects of life. When I'm at the grocery store or whether I'm [00:38:00] listening to, whether it's the local news or, CNN versus Fox or whatever, name something and I am a lot of the times I'm just like, Oh, this is what I, this is what I like.

This is what I do. I don't give a shit that. Those people screw them, right? And I'm trying really hard as I get older to be less like that. But there are certain things, especially where I'm just like dead set. I'm dead set in Iowa that I do not want non resident landowners to have landowners tags every year.

They can go through the same thing as us. I'm dead set on that. I don't like that. I'm dead set on crossbows. Not being allowed in the archery season except with that little asterix that we've talked about and things like that. And I don't know. I'm trying to be more, hey, walk a mile in that dude's shoes type of attitude and it's sometimes it's really hard, man.

[00:38:58] Tony Peterson: Yeah. The non [00:39:00] resident landowner thing. Yeah. That kind of stuff I feel the same way as you do where I look at it and I go when it's structured so big money can always play, and everybody else can't that's when I get real Nervous about it. If it's I'm not as I'm not as hardline Crossbow as you are like, I just don't I We've I was at bow hunter magazine when this was coming out like this was starting to hit 

[00:39:27] Dan Johnson: hard 

[00:39:28] Tony Peterson: and we fought that for a Long time ago You know, all the bow companies started making, not all of them, but most of them started making crossbows.

And it was just like, you could just see it coming. And I was like I'm tired of fighting it just like the CWD thing. And I was like, I just got burned out on these issues. But anytime that something comes up where it's if you have the money, this is what pisses me off so much about so much Western hunting right now, like New Mexico, right?

If you can afford one of those landowner tags, you can hunt. [00:40:00] primo shit in New Mexico every year and if you're just a random dude applying like it's just such a different it's Anytime we allow like big money to dictate that kind of stuff It tends to really exclude a lot of people right and so if you look at a your example in Iowa of a non resident By and whatever 40 acres or whatever the minimum would have to be to get that tag.

It's four 

[00:40:27] Dan Johnson: Okay, four acres, four acres. You could go buy 

[00:40:31] Tony Peterson: the most worthless four acres of swamp off your brother in law's cousin somewhere and now you're hunting there every year. And that's going to change now, and then you're going to find, resident landowners who are like, I'm going to auction off every four acres of there.

You know what I mean? As soon as it's like a real money grab on this public resource, Which is the white tail Then i'm just like, ah, man, it doesn't make me feel good those 

[00:40:58] Dan Johnson: things Can I ask you [00:41:00] is that why you tend? Because in a way I feel it's connected Is that why you tend to just go to public a lot and not deal?

I know you have some private spots, but Is that why you tend to? Just go to public They're partially yeah, 

[00:41:17] Tony Peterson: I mean I, part of it is I just genuinely love the challenge and I love not having to play by anyone else's rules. So if I have permission based stuff, which I do, and if I have buddies who have land or whatever, like I I'm super grateful for those opportunities, but like when I went to that public land in Minnesota last weekend, when I was muzzleloader hunting, I walk in there and, okay, I don't have a doe tag, so I'm hunting a buck and I can hunt any buck I want.

Nobody can say a thing, right? People could shit on it. If I shot a spike or whatever, I don't care, but I walk out there and I go, this is just my haunt, I have to figure this out. I have to do this. If I want to hold out for a big one, great. If I want to shoot a little one, great. But I [00:42:00] just, I like the freedom of just I can do this and everyone else can.

And the other aspect of it is. But you mean a main reason I started hunting public land so hard was because I was a starving freelancer after the housing market crashed and all of us got laid off from where we worked Yeah, and I was like, I want to relate to people like if people are gonna pay me for advice and I was doing the speaking circuit i'm like It's just more relatable if I if I could go hunt a badass place and I decide i'm gonna go hunt public land that experience It's just, for me, it's like a communicator.

It's just different. Yeah. Dude, and another part of it is just ego. It's important to me to kill deer on public land and show that I can. I just like that feeling, yeah. Why do 

[00:42:47] Dan Johnson: you think And I think people who hunt high, highly managed, box blind over food plot type style hunting, right?

I'm guessing they might agree with [00:43:00] what I'm about to say, but why is it when we start to tell a story about hunting an animal, there's like trump cards that can be thrown, right? If I tell a story. And then I say I shot this animal with a gun. That story doesn't seem to be as cool as if I said, Hey, I shot this with a bow.

Or, hey, I shot this on public versus private. Why do you think people get more excited about these stories one way or the other? Because 

[00:43:36] Tony Peterson: We are inherently aware of our advantages. We are inherently aware of the things that we do that make things easier. Yup. And we're also mostly just insecure about ourselves.


[00:43:48] Dan Johnson: being totally honest. Dude, I'm laughing because I can agree with you. I agree with you. 

[00:43:51] Tony Peterson: We want to sound badass, right? It's let me, I'll give you an example. So I played in the bird dog world and the dog training world for a long [00:44:00] time. I have a ton of friends who are like amazing trainers and I just, I love that world.

And if you look at somebody who's been training. 30 40 years and has been there done that like just they know their stuff when you talk to them There's no projection of ego. They're just like I do this when the dog does this or if that dog is this way I do this and it's just like a very Calm confident demeanor and a lot of those people and then you take the 30 year old who's trying to build a reputation for his kennel and his training and his YouTube channel and he sees the old guard has it made in a lot of ways There's like just this natural tendency to make yourself sound like you have a better system or you have a better strategy or you're doing something the hard way and they're not right oh they have trainers working for them to do their bird and gun introduction or what like shit like that and it's all the same thing it's an insecurity thing yeah and it i mean honestly it's so weird to me i that we do this to such an [00:45:00] extent because it's if you have a bad a place to hunt and you put a redneck blind up over your food plot, whatever, and you kill a buck, right?

Who cares? You know what I mean? Yeah. Great. Or if you go out and you grind it out on public land with a recurve and you kill one, great. It's weird that we are the way that we are with this 

[00:45:15] Dan Johnson: stuff. Yeah. I don't know, man, but even consumer like I can get the point about insecurities telling the story, right?

But even people who are not hunters, let's say you tell a story to someone who maybe they know what a gun they know what a gun is. They know how close you have to be. For a bow. All right, even people who don't hunt who I would say have no investment in hunting That like i've told stories to some of my wife's friends and then I they said okay So how far away was he when you shot him with your gun?

I'm like, oh no, I was [00:46:00] 20 yards and I shot him with a bow And I had to climb up in a tree and I had to knock all these thorns off the tree and you get into the story And they're blown away by those. And then when I go, when I tell the same stories about, let's say a turkey hunt, which I know is a completely different animal, but I was on the ground.

I called him and I shot him with a shotgun in his face. Okay, there's no, there's a completely different reaction from these people than me. I don't know, man. I'm a like here's, I don't hunt a ton of public land unless I go out west to hunt like mule deer or whatever. When I'm out, out of state it's public land.

But in Iowa, I'm a product of my environment. I hunt a lot of private. Here's the deal. I still think the public land bow hunter has the trump card over everybody when it comes to When it comes to stories, man. 

[00:46:59] Tony Peterson: Cause we [00:47:00] inherently know that it's more difficult. Yep. It just the thing, part of the reason that we do this and part of the reason that we're so confused about this is for so long, we were fed content from the hunting industry that came from one place and it was very, a very privileged place where.

They didn't have to work that hard generally to kill big shit yeah, and we just saw big stuff and we elevated those people and Then somewhere along the line people got really sick of it because they go You know when you watch a video and 50 60 deer pour into a food plot and they're shooting a buck That's a hundred and eighty inches that they've watched for six years.

Most people are like I've never seen a buck Anywhere near that size in my entire life, and it so there's like this movement where you're like, okay they have it. They have a different thing. Why are they pretending they're like me? And there's like this division to it. And that created this opening for people to come in.[00:48:00] 

And so we've conflated all this stuff and now we have all these qualifiers on it because we've all been exposed to These various levels of hunts and you and I know it the audience knows it And so if you're making content trying to make a name for yourself You want to make it look like you're doing things the hard way as hard as possible And I don't care what anybody says you see this stuff trickle down to the average hunter.

I mean Look at how often you'll see somebody who's like they're hunting 40 acres here, there, or whatever, and they're posting a trail camera picture of a 140 inch buck, and it's he's too young, he's not mature yet. I'm going to let him go another season. Like they're hunting a thousand acres of, Primo ground in Southern Iowa.

Yeah. This shit trickles down. And so it's it's just pervasive these things we do. And it, that, that's part of the reason, like when you asked me why I hunt public land. Part of the reason I do that is because I've always been like a counterculture guy. 

[00:48:58] Dan Johnson: Yeah. 

[00:48:58] Tony Peterson: I grew up in a little dairy [00:49:00] farming community where everyone I knew listened to country music and I was listening to Tool.

You know what I mean? Like I've always just been a little different and I like that. I like just trying things that are different and showing people like there's more options out here than following this formula that comes from somebody who has a very curated hunting experience. You're probably not going to get 

[00:49:21] Dan Johnson: that.

That's a great point. I'm going to switch topics up here. Just a minute in Iowa leading up, we had most of the Midwest was under some kind of drought. This last this last summer and even multiple summers in a row now we're, and you start to hear rumblings of EHD this summer.

This summer wasn't too bad. I didn't hear a ton. I didn't hear a ton even leading into September, but now I'm starting to see or hear rumblings, especially in Southeast Iowa of major EHD damage. Have you heard any rumblings from the people that you've been talking to [00:50:00] in any other states? I 

[00:50:02] Tony Peterson: actually have heard about some of the eastern Iowa stuff.

I've got a buddy who lives down there. And, man, EHD sucks. Yeah. I've experienced it in the Dakotas a few times and some of the places I like to hunt. And, man, it is, it can be real bad. 

[00:50:20] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah, man you hear the stories. In 2012, I believe it was 2008 and then again in 2012, certain properties, especially if you had a creek running through your property or if you had a a pond, mostly ponds because, there's no running water there.

They were hit pretty hard in eight and then again in 12 and now the last couple of years you start to hear and then you hear the DNR. And you say, okay, the DNR says that for every amount, let's say you find 10 dead deer on your property. It probably means [00:51:00] that there is a hundred dead deer in the area that have died.

So what's reported is only 10%. And so now you start to put that at scale and it just. Man it can hit it hit hard and I'll say this about some of the properties that I've hunted I haven't experienced ehd. I found some dead deer. I'm assuming it's from shotgun season I did find one dead head shed hunting one year that still had velvet on it Not 100 sure Could have been ehd, but where you hunt have you ever experienced that personally?

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah and Each these weird 

[00:51:40] Tony Peterson: because it's highly localized. You know where it's going to happen Like you said if you've got a stream running through there, you're fine. Are you moving water or big enough water? It's like a, it takes a specific set of circumstances, and when it happens, it's highly localized, and it sucks bad.

Like I the first time I really ran into it, I was, it was back when I was hunting South Dakota a lot. [00:52:00] And I ended up, I used to go out scout for a few days, then hunt for a few days, whatever. And I ran into some locals one time, and they were like, you're wasting your time here. EHD came through, and I had already found, cause I was hunting ponds, I had already found dead bucks.

And so I knew, they were like, it's not even worth hunting. And I'm like, like I've never, I don't know if I've ever had a South Dakota resident tell me the truth about hunting. But I was like, man, there's still deer, like plenty of deer around, but it's all about like, where does your level of expectation like normalize when you think about it, if you're used to a ton of deer.

an EHD comes through, you are going to be hunting a way lower density, but it still might not be that bad. It might really impact the amount of mature bucks you have for the next several years, which is pretty likely. Yeah. But again, it's like this doomsday scenario and then when you get out in it, 'cause I spent quite a bit of time hunting South Dakota and North Dakota when EHD raged through in different spots.

It changed the landscape, but the [00:53:00] hunting, there was still hunting to be had. You know what I mean? It's like when people, we deal with wolves up here, and we've got wolves in Wisconsin, and if you talk to the average rifle hunter, they're going to tell you that the wolves ate all the deer, and it's no bueno.

And they do have a big impact, believe me. But it's not like you don't have some opportunities, and the thing that we do with that stuff is we go, the hunt I want. is gone. You know what I mean? Like I want to go sit on my ladder stand and I always sit for rifle on the clear cut and shoot a deer and now the wolves came in like you might have to reset like you might have to go find them.

Same thing with the HD. It might not, you might not get delivered the hunt you want, right? But you can go find one that's going to be pretty good probably, 

[00:53:45] Dan Johnson: right? Yeah. Yeah, man. That EHD, that CWD, all that It's crazy, man. I don't know, but yet nature survives, right? And I'm just assuming thousands of years of evolution and things like that, you would think that [00:54:00] there'd be less impact by these things because deer eventually, genetically there's gonna certain genetics in a deer make them less susceptible to EHD or CWD, or you would think that.

Do you know 

[00:54:18] Tony Peterson: why I don't think that? Why not? Because 99 percent of the species that have ever been alive on earth are extinct. 

[00:54:25] Dan Johnson: Yeah. And, 

[00:54:26] Tony Peterson: I know that argument, and I don't know if they've ever, I know that they were looking into that with CWD, if there were CWD resistant deer, if there were some kind of genetic component to it, and you would think that would 

[00:54:36] Dan Johnson: happen?

I just don't 

[00:54:37] Tony Peterson: know. I don't have that much faith that's the future like we're going to have super deer that aren't susceptible to it, maybe but yeah, I don't 

[00:54:45] Dan Johnson: I got you Let's see here. You're Your rut right every time I talk to someone slow rut shitty rut, everybody's mad because the rut Talked talk about your rut [00:55:00] Specifically and then maybe broaden it to what you have Man, like what you've seen throughout the years as far as trends when it comes to the rut.

I think 

[00:55:15] Tony Peterson: that we self sabotage. Around the rut in a way that we are not aware of. I think generally a lot of people look at, if you look at Minnesota's gun harvest, so our gun season open on November 4th, this year. And it was hot, like unseasonably warm, generally throughout the whole thing. And our harvest is way down and people will look at that and they go the deer weren't moving, but we also know that hunter effort goes way down when they believe the conditions aren't conducive to a good hunt.

I had, I hunted North Dakota and then Wisconsin with my daughter and then Wisconsin for myself, primarily where my rut hunts. I had a blast. I didn't see a lot of deer, like I had, in fact, I had two all day [00:56:00] sits in a row, one in North Dakota and one in Wisconsin with my daughter, where we sat all day, and the first deer we saw was like 20 minutes before dark, and we killed them.

And I think that I think people don't understand the rut, like rut hunting. Like I think we get so consumed with the idea that it's going to be a chase fest and it's going to be amazing. And it's so often not right. Like when you get those moments where it's bad ass or you get a little bit more of just Oh, that deer cruise through at 11 o'clock, like to keep your hopes up.

But there, there's so many places where you're hunting, like where I hunt in Wisconsin. The deer numbers got smoked last year in the winter like it's freaking bad I hunted 21 or 22 days over there between myself and my daughters and I saw five deer Wow, I saw it took me 20 days to see a doe 

[00:56:52] Dan Johnson: So she was a winner kill Largely, 

[00:56:56] Tony Peterson: I mean we have a huge predator population up there the winner did not do them any [00:57:00] favors last year It was way worse on them than I thought whatever but even then We killed two bucks decoying them Yep.

They were the only two bucks we saw, they were like, holy shit, there's a doe there. I'm gonna go sniff her butt like you could see them like, oh my god, but even in that situation where it's you're working with so few deer, they're still out there covering ground. It's just a matter of time in stand and it's a matter of just get out of your head that you're gonna have these awesome sits all the time or, if you go out and you blank or you go have something that just doesn't work out, That's just how it goes.

You're still deer hunting. Yeah. 

[00:57:37] Dan Johnson: I think I've changed my tune when it comes to the rut, right? I love the rut, man. It's fun sitting in a tree and watch all these deer go bananas for a couple days. But really, I don't care. I don't want my goal is to be tagged out. Before the lock, I guess you want to call it the lockdown phase.

[00:58:00] Like I, I want to be tagged out and I would have been tagged out this year if I didn't make a shitty shot. So I had to, regroup, go back out. And then I caught a buck. I'm who I'm assuming had already breaded dough and was now cruising. Okay. And so I don't, I like the rut, but I don't like to hunt.

The lockdown phase because I'm not joking on my farm that I hunt was hunting this year It was the pre rut was absolutely amazing deer moving all over Bucks just getting downwind of does and checking them going in bedding areas checking out stepping out and daylight there's some somewhere around the 27th It was on the seventh of October.

It was just money all the way until the seventh. The seventh hit and it was literally on my cell cams and my trail cameras light switch off and it just I doze and young bucks. Yes, but all the dough groups [00:59:00] were breaking apart. The you know, one it's one dough at a time would leave a buck would leave and I wouldn't see him for four or five days.

And then they'd come back one. Like I'd catch something on a scrape or something. And I don't know, man. I just, I like the rut from a, it's fun. It's November. Let's go. This is when I can hunt. But from a strategy standpoint and like I did, I think in the future. I might do it out of state hunts in that second week in November.

Just because of that lockdown phase. And it's just they're so hard to there's even in Iowa. They're so hard to find or pattern or get within shooting range because usually there's more than just one deer involved at that point. And it's a doe. or in a doe or a fawn and a buck coming and pestering them and then there's just more eyes and more problems and things like that.

I like what happened to me this year where it was the only deer I saw that night was the shooter buck [01:00:00] that I ended up shooting and he came out, I shot him, it was over, right? And so I like that better than seeing 50 60 deer but not getting a shot. Yeah, dude 

[01:00:11] Tony Peterson: I, I've been talking to Mark about this a lot too.

Those last couple of days, October, even the last week of October is I consistently have more fun hunting then than I do in November. It's just, it's a different thing. Like they're so much more predictable that you take out a lot of the wild cards where they're just leaving and going somewhere else.

Yeah. And man, that timeframe is 

[01:00:31] Dan Johnson: pretty fun. Yeah. What about, what are your thoughts? Everybody talks about the rut being a bell curve. And so we've both said now here we really prefer this pre rut time frame. And I look at this bell curve where things start to go back to normal but there's still breeding happening and still rut action happening.

Do you think that the bucks are susceptible to being called post rut as [01:01:00] they are pre rut?

I have no 

[01:01:05] Tony Peterson: idea. I don't know if I've ever called to a buck poster to be honest with you. I don't, I'm curious about that. And the reason I'm curious about that. This year was the first year I've ever owned a Dave Smith decoy, right? Meteor owns them. So whatever, take that for what it's worth.

But they sent me a dough and I told my daughter and when we were going to Wisconsin, cause she still had a buck tag left. I'm like, we are going to put this sucker out and we're just going to wait for a buck to lay eyes on it. And we are not going to hardly see any, but when they do, I think they're going to come in.

And the response we got out of the two times we did it was the best responses I've ever had on a decoys. And I think it was because there's a limited amount of deer there and they were like, there's my shot. And so I wonder, when you get, pretty late into November, and you're past a lot of the peak stuff, and they're like, can I pick up one more?

I wonder if the rarity of finding a doe, an estrus, [01:02:00] or an amenable doe, is like would produce better results from calling. Would produce better results from scents or some of this stuff. I don't really know, but it seems like academically like it might be true. Yeah. 

[01:02:11] Dan Johnson: Yeah, I personally I Mean I just all my good calling stories and experience come from the late October Early November like the first week in November time frame that pre rut time frame all my calling is done there and it's hard for me to give because most of the time I'm tagged out at least for the last 10 years.

I've or not 10 to 2016. I've been tagged out. I've only had two times. I've gone into the teens in November in that time frame. It's either been the 4th or the 6th or the 7th or even the 3rd on those dates. I've never shot a buck in October. Yep. Wow. Yep. And I think a lot of it has to do because I stack all my chips [01:03:00] into that, that other timeframe.

I take that back. I shot a deer in South Dakota in October, but that's, I don't count that because it's not Iowa. That was, that was just like, it's different style of hunting out there, 

[01:03:12] Tony Peterson: part of the reason that happened is because you're not going to be out of state in November.

Yeah, exactly. When you're an Iowa resident. Exactly. It's a, yeah. It's a different deal for me, growing up in Minnesota. I have killed a pile of bucks in October, right? Because you don't have November to 

[01:03:27] Dan Johnson: count on. Yeah Okay, I got to ask you know about you know I've talked about the muzzle coming out to you about muzzleloader not buying a muzzleloader Iowa has an early season muzzleloader that tends to lay right in that quote unquote law wall no movement period and then you got the late season muzzleloader, which is three three weeks as opposed to one week If you had to choose, would you rather take a muzzleloader and hunt an early season, mid October timeframe, or would you rather hunt a late season, mid to [01:04:00] late December, early 

[01:04:01] Tony Peterson: January timeframe?

If my goal from my experience, if my goal was to kill A decent buck. I 

[01:04:08] Dan Johnson: would pick the October. Yeah, I, but I don't 

[01:04:11] Tony Peterson: have, I've never had like a bang in late season spot where, you know, where they're all coming kind of thing. If I had that, obviously you'd choose those three weeks late season.

Cause you're going to get those deer real grouped up. But in my experience, I like mid October, 

[01:04:26] Dan Johnson: man. Like I think it gets 

[01:04:27] Tony Peterson: a bad rep and it's just, it's a lot better than people think. It's just not. It's just not an easy field edge time to hunt for a lot of people. You know what I mean? Like 

[01:04:36] Dan Johnson: it's a different kind of hunt.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Hey, Mr. Peterson, we're coming up here on an hour, so I appreciate you coming on, BSing with me, letting me voice my opinions and come out to you like we've already talked about. It feels good. Feels real good weight off my chest. Yeah, 

[01:04:59] Tony Peterson: you have a [01:05:00] glow about I know I can see a change, 

[01:05:01] Dan Johnson: right?

it's probably high blood pressure, but

I Appreciate you taking time to do this man. Have a good day Thanks, buddy.

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, another episode of the Ninefinger Chronicles has been put into Fort Knox for the rest of eternity. Huge shout out to Tethered, Wasp, Vortex, Code Blue, Woodman's Pal, Huntworth, and Full Sneak Gear. Please go out and support the companies that support this podcast.

If you do decide to purchase, use one of the discount codes. Let them know that you heard it on the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast. And man good vibes, right? I'm trying to send good vibes out to all of you. Good luck the rest of the season. If you're going to be in a tree, wear your damn safety harness or saddle and good luck to you all.

And we'll talk to you [01:06:00] on Wednesday.


by ESO. Translation by