Don’t Overcomplicate It w/ Jake Hofer

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 198 of the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode I was joined by Co-Owner of Exodus Outdoor Gear, Jake Hofer.  Let’s get straight to it everyone, Jake is an individual that just flat out puts in the time to be a better hunter.  Jake hosts the Exodus Podcast where he has the chance to interview weekly some of the deadliest deer hunters out there.  So, from learning from those guys, to his personal experience I wanted to have Jake on to talk about this timeframe where it seems some hunters can overcomplicate things. This discussion is centered about how to not overcomplicate it, enjoy it and put yourself in the best opportunity to have success!! 

We begin this episode by hearing Jake share some information regarding a specific hunt that really stands out, the lessons learned from it and more.  Then briefly Jake shares what he has been up to during this point of the season and plans for Iowa, as he finally drew with 5 points. Then we get into the bread and butter of the discussion.  Having success right now in this timeframe of November.  Jake shares how past history with time on stand and trail cam data play a role in his strategy to hunt a specific spot.  Following this we dive into how to not overcomplicate our hunting for right now! We also talk about some traits he has taken from the guests he has spoken with on the Exodus Podcast and also some new stuff Exodus has going on!   Be sure to check Jake out on the Exodus YouTube channel and Podcast every week! Enjoy this fun episode and see you next week! 

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

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

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the antler up podcast brought to you by tethered the world's best saddle hunting equipment, and we have a fun show for you all today.

What's up everybody. Welcome back to this week's episode of the antler up podcast. We're on episode one 98 and man, I got a good one for you all today because on this week's episode, I was joined by co owner of Exodus outdoor gear, Jake Hofer. So let's get straight to it. Everybody. Jake is an individual that just flat out puts in the time to be a better hunter.

Jake hosts the Exodus podcast where he has some of the deadliest deer hunters on week after week. So between hosting the podcast where he's able to have the chance to interview these guys, learning from them, but he also brings in his personal experience. And I wanted to have Jake on to talk about this timeframe where it seems some hunters, me [00:01:00] including in this bunch when I'm saying that some hunters over the years, can overcomplicate things.

In this discussion, though, we centered it around how to not overcomplicate it, enjoy it, put yourself in the best opportunity to have success. So we begin this episode by hearing Jake. Talk about really the information about a specific hunt and what really stands out about it. The lessons learned and the good, the bad, the ugly with it.

Then briefly, Jake shares really what he's been up to this point of the season, his plans for Iowa that he's finally drew after having five points with it. And then we get into the bread and butter of this discussion, having success right now during November. Jake shares how past history with time on stand and trail cam data play a role in his strategic approach to hunting a specific spot.

Following this, we dive into how to not overcomplicate things for our hunting right now. We also talk about some traits he has taken from the guests he has spoken with on the Exodus podcast, and also some new fun [00:02:00] things Exodus has going on, which I'll talk about here shortly. So be sure to check Jake out over on the Exodus YouTube channel, as well as the podcast.

Every week. Enjoy this fun episode. Everybody get out there. Time's clicking. Have fun. Enjoy it. Antler up. Like I mentioned earlier, the Exodus crew is launching that brand new Exodus vault. It's a place to look into for significant savings on their website over at exodusoutdoorgear. com. But real quick, additional coupons cannot be used with it on the Exodus vault, but to show support for the podcast, just go ahead and put antler up podcast or AU anything along those lines that will just show support that you listened to it.

You heard it from us. It will mean a lot to me that you did that. So I appreciate that. And thank you so much for your support. Also the Exodus vault though, with this is where you could get some of your favorite gear at a huge discount price. So the render you got some extra arrows that were maybe overcut or someone didn't want or anything along those lines as well as [00:03:00] the memory card placeholder.

You are getting these at a discounted price but the Exodus render is a fan favorite and once these are gone they're gone. Something new will be coming out here in the future which is cool to know certain things are coming about from Exodus but you could save 95. You got great Plans as far as your data goes, you got great images, great video.

You have the final, you still have the five year warranty for theft and damage. Man, this thing is just straight up bulletproof and it stood the test of time. Just some new things are coming out, which is fantastic. Just always innovating. And that's what the guys over at Exodus really do. So again, like I said, flexible data plans, great images, no glow flash, awesome videos, just get it out there, man.

And to save 95 bucks, you're not going to get anything better than that over time. It's one of the best and is the best in my opinion cameras, because like I mentioned last week, we had some other issues since then with some of our older, different brand trail cameras, cell cameras. And, these ones just haven't failed.

Like I mentioned, even [00:04:00] earlier podcasts, my Exodus Trek. Which they don't make anymore is still kicking and works better than most camera, other brand cameras that I've had for less amount of time. So check them out over at Exodus, outdoor gear. com at the Exodus vault. Let's get into this episode with Jake.

Enjoy everybody. Best of luck to you. Antler up.

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You have deer prediction, journaling, and the best maps on any hunting app platform there is. Use code ANTLERUP to save 20 percent off your Spartan Forge membership at Spartan Forge. Welcome back everybody to the show this week. I'm joined by an individual that I have a ton of respect for. Jake Hofer.

Jake, finally, welcome to the show, man. Thanks for having me, man. I'm I've been looking forward to this since we set it up. Just thanks [00:06:00] for having us having me on. Yeah, dude. I, like I just said, we're just BS and for just briefly so far, what a year it's been, we're recording this October 20th and it's.

It's a Friday, it's getting ready. Things are in the thick of things. I listened to that latest podcast that you guys just aired and how Byron messaged you the other day was like, we're halfway over through October. And I was listening to that. I was like, my gosh, Byron quit doing that. Do you know, he's just spitting the truth.

It's crazy. Yeah, absolutely. And it does go by so fast and that's something that. I'm making a very conscious effort this year to just enjoy it. Don't let petty stuff bug you and just, it goes by so fast. You have to enjoy it because then if you don't, and you're sour about it, or maybe something doesn't go how you planned or the buck you were chasing got hit by a car or something like that.

You're still alive. You're still above ground and just have fun. That's the whole point of this. Yeah, I have to agree a hundred percent with you on that one, Jake. That was my goal and thought [00:07:00] process. Mental game going into this year was just have fun again. I have, I bought almost. I bought a full slew of dough tags for PA if it's legal and I'm big enough, I have an idea of okay, when I get this one, I'm making this out of it.

If I get this one, I'm making this out of it for the family, for myself and to enjoy my friends. I'm bringing in some chip steaks already to some colleagues of mine, some frozen ones for them. I'm like, here, make it with this. And that was my goal was to enjoy it. And. Really take it in.

And so far, man, like I said, only a couple of sits, but all have produced either in some form or fashion with either a notch tag or seeing something. And that's been really fun for me this year already. Yeah. That's exciting. Yeah. That's a, I've been out, I went out to Iowa the first weekend of October.

And passed a really nice deer, like 135, 140 inch deer on my first sit. And my second sit and I'm like, man, this is so cool. And it was funny because it was the deer I had no intention of shooting. And I had my face mask on and I caught myself just smiling ear to ear, my face mask, [00:08:00] man, this is so cool.

It was so fun. I felt like a weirdo, but I was like. I just caught myself doing that. I know. It's so funny how you could catch yourself doing things like that. Obviously for you, you drew that Iowa tag, which I do want to talk to you about. And having that fun for me, my latest hunt with the success that I had was my first filming like action shot that I've killed a doe on film or a deer on film.

And so that was like really cool. I went into that night. I told my wife, I go, I'm going to go kill a deer tonight. She goes, okay. Bucked out. I'm like where I'm going. Probably a dough, like just knowing the area and everything like that. And I said, I'm going to get it on film. She's okay, and it got to 610 and, I hit the, my Insta 360 camera on made sure that was running this time.

Cause my second deer, I hit it, but it wasn't running. I turned it on. I just didn't hit record. And I'm filming her then also with my extra, my normal camera, Sony camera. And for 20 minutes goes by, I get the shot off and I'm like, I hope it's on there. I don't know. We'll see. We'll see. And it's funny.

Cause then when I turned it over, I You just see, you could see in my face [00:09:00] mass to like my cheeks poking out, I'm smiling. I'm like, let's go. I finally did it like for three, three and a half years in the making, because I've either just said, screw it in a hunt. Like I'm filming and instead of moving the camera on actually the deer, I just go in full kill mode and take the shot.

So I've done that before. I've done the whole, I'm done bringing it to the hunt, like in the tree with me. And finally, I just needed to commit to it and I did. So that was a goal of mine. I did it. I would plan on trying to continue to do it. I could see why people love it and I could see why people hate it.

And just go out there and enjoy it. And again, what we were just saying, just get out there and enjoy your time. And whatever that looks like to you, do it. Yeah. I have the utmost respect for anyone that films their hunts and gets the kill on film. That's. I think, and I've said this before, but people in the comments always rag Oh you met, why didn't you get the shot in frame or man you messed that up.

And it's man, you don't, if you've never done it, you don't understand how challenging it is because now you have to get your bow ready. You got to get your [00:10:00] release on the D loop and then you have to get it in frame. Now you have to anticipate where it's going and then you have to draw back without getting busted.

And then is it running? It's just. It's already complex to get to your anchor point and squeeze the trigger. That's hard to begin with of the bow, throwing a camera. Oh my gosh. The utmost respect for anyone that does that. I agree with you on that one, Jake. Dude, to kick things off, I want you to think back to either a season, a specific hunt that really just stands out to you, man.

Where whether it be a success or a failure hunt. What is a big takeaway to that? Like I want, again, think back to either a season, a specific hunt. What comes to mind? Man, there's a lot of thoughts that come back, come through here. One, and this might be something for people to consider.

So there was a deer that I found out about that. It was really big and it was really far from where I could hunt. And. This is a almost a two year saga. And I just told my dad, I said, would you be, would you crap your pants if this deer showed up? And he did. And I'm like, oh my gosh.

And it was one of those [00:11:00] weird, it was a a cell camera on a field edge pointed out and there's a scrape in the corner of the frame. And I just got this giant deer. It's a minute, midnight, November 11th or something. And my dad's I bet you it's that deer. And he's very optimistic, probably to a fault.

I'm like, yeah, whatever. And I had to lift two on that scrape as well. And sure enough, it was this giant deer way far from where I knew he lived. And so long story short, he was in there for a brief amount of time. And then all the annual data, I know it's almost firsthand knowledge now, but even two or three years ago, people looked at you like you're trying to read a palm or something like, yeah, okay, whatever.

Yeah. And so I had that in mind and that was like the, he was in there for the like the 11th, 12th, 13th, let's say. Just for, I don't have the dates right in front of me. The following year, he wasn't in there on that scrape on the 11th, 12th to 13th. And I'm thinking, oh crap, maybe, it wasn't down to the date and he could have been in the area, but obviously we didn't get a picture of him.

Then I ended up getting a picture of the darn thing and it was [00:12:00] shotgun season in Illinois. And so I go to a stand that I had pre hung for this specific deer for this exact situation. And. It was near the fence line of where I, where you could hunt and where you couldn't hunt. And sure enough, about 10 o'clock, I see a doe coming.

And then everyone during this time of year, this was like November 19th. And I'm thinking to myself, wouldn't it be cool if that deer was following that doe? And sure enough, he was, and this deer will probably be the biggest year I've ever had an opportunity at, and mind you, I have a shotgun in my hand.

He's a hundred yards away drinking water and I didn't shoot him because he was on the neighbors. Oh, and everyone's going to have this moral dilemma at some point in their hunting career. And I had this, it was a seven minute encounter. I had this internal debate. Do you do it? Do you not do it? It's a 200 inch deer.

Do you, and so I'm just going back and forth. Oh man, and it's and I just literally set my gun down. I said, I cannot do this because every time I look at this deer, I'll have to lie. I'll have to come up [00:13:00] with a bullcrap story. I will feel like a failure. I will feel like I cheated myself.

And Everyone's going to have that dilemma at some point. And I encourage everyone to make the right choice to where you can sleep at night. And a long story short, never had another opportunity to that deer. And he got shot the following year opening day of archery season. So it doesn't have a great ending, but I think that's important because as this goes live on November 8th, you're going to probably have a quick decision that you have to make and always make the right decision.

And you'll just, it's just the right thing to do. It's easy to get caught up in the moment, but that was probably. I don't know if you've pulled 100 people that were in that same exact position. I don't know how many people, I don't know if it's a 50 50 split. I don't know if it's 70 30, but that was really hard to do.

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You have two arrows to choose from, one being the M T Arrow, which is a 2 4 6 diameter shaft, and the new N I s, which is a 2 0 4 diameter shaft arrow. Use code au to save 15% off your tailored arrow. Wow, man, just make the right decision. It's, like you said, it's don't lose sleep over it.

Don't make yourself, like you said, Jake, you don't want to make yourself feel bad and lie and do all that stuff. Like you have a moral compass and, go with it and that, in the, so it was this unreal. Cause you watch, I watched him make a rub, like freshen a scrape and then the dose went off and he stood there for a while longer.

And then he went and bedded an area and I'm like, okay. Okay. I'm on a food source right now. Hopefully he gets up and comes to the field and then I, get the opportunity to do that. Never happened. Never. It's just one of those deals where it I don't know. Hopefully the dear gods reward me someday.

And I'm not [00:15:00] expecting that by any means, but it was the right thing to do. But gosh, dang it. It was hard. Yeah, I bet, man. We're, you're just talked about earlier the first week in October and you were in Iowa, how. What is new with you? How has the season, been thus far? What's your approach to this year?

I, I, that's the thing, the beauty of the podcast world. We, you get a chance to talk to a bunch of different people, but if you're not on with like chat or cam or somebody, we don't get a chance really to hear what Jake's up to. So man, like what's been on the docket for you or what hunts are you about to embark on too?

Yeah. Drew that Iowa tag, really excited about it. And I went out to Iowa about three times this past summer. And I'm hunting with a friend, Steve Hanson. And so he bought a farm and he's been gracious enough to invite me to come out and hunt there. And so it was pretty cool. He bought that farm in the spring.

And the second time he ever walked, it was with, I was with him and we were hanging cameras, like dropping all the different pans, like this should be a good spot, this should be a good spot. What about putting food here? And so it was fun to be part of that initial process. And then it's October 20th right now.

I'm going out there next week. [00:16:00] I'm a big fan of and I'm really excited about it. So that's the biggest thing. And then here in Illinois, I've done I've done a lot of off season work as well. Where I live have a farm here. And so I did a ton of work, planted like 2000 trees planted some more of season grasses and bought a tractor earlier this year, drilled in all my food plots.

I know this is more Pennsylvania centric, but this is how we do it in the Midwest. And I hunted out there with the intent to shoot a doe and then, I ended up seeing there's four bucks, none of them that I would probably shoot, but I got to see all four bucks on my farm doing what I was hoping they would do.

And to me, that was really rewarding. And it's one of those deals where someone would be like, man, there's nothing to hear, huh? But it was just cool to see, okay, this is year one of all these major projects. What's it going to be like in three or four years? So that was really fun. And then I'm chasing a specific deer right now, and he is also very random, and I hunted last night for him, and no show, and last picture's October 11th, and I'm almost looking forward to the change of scenery in Iowa, just to force a hard reset and [00:17:00] a little bit more relaxing in a lot of ways. And so that's my season to this point, I've deployed a lot of cameras imagine, hard to imagine that no, man it's just been a lot of fun and it's only October 20th and I'm just, I'm making a conscious effort to relish the season as much as possible, no matter what.

So here's a question that I have even more on a personal level with it because I'm experiencing that same thing. How, like, how do you... Come up with some type of game plan when you got a buck that you're after that is just damn near so random, like for my example, in a nutshell, think of a north facing, ridge system mountain, and this deer just makes a oval.

Up the, up and down, and he stays close, obviously he probably does travel to other spots, but constantly you pick I heard Steve Sherkin, good friend of both of ours talk about how he deploys certain cameras. In strategic places throughout that mountain, he has been on.

Every single one, [00:18:00] but it's like, there's no rhyme or reason. And I shared the picture with you and for some people that could look at it and be like, Oh, you just need to get in there. It's it's not that easy. You know what I mean? So what are you or what have you learned to maybe try to do to up your odds when you got that buck that is just totally random?

Yeah. It's this was actually the first one I ever bought and there was a couple of cameras on there. Actually, when I closed on it, and so of course I grabbed the cards and looked at them all and returned the cameras to the guy that had them. And there was, he was, I assume a three year old then, and this camera, they put it up November 19th or something.

And so he was on there shortly after. So I didn't have any of that October data. So then going into the first year that I owned it, he was four. So spent a little bit more time on the farm in the summer and then early October. And then just a little bit less around right about now, like the, let's say the 12th to the 17th and then he was gone.

And now I didn't have a ton of cameras on this farm, [00:19:00] but the deer was random. So then going into the next year. Okay. So I have some of this data and then it's the same deal where. There's a crop rotation and this piece is basically all timber. Same situation, early, late, very few summer pictures, very few late September, a little bit early October, and then disappears and shows up again, late season.

So people are going to like it. I actually brought in a dozer, put it in a food plot, did everything I possibly could on the side where he tend to spend more time. And actually the last daylight picture I got of him was in the morning when I was in Iowa. And so now I haven't had a picture of him since the 11th.

And I've put out some feelers and I know that he was during Mosul season a mile away from where I was at. And then I got a picture of him. So I got him on camera on Wednesday in December. And then he was a mile away two days later. And then he was back two days after, someone saw him.

So he is this truly a random deer, which is really frustrating. And I wish there's guys [00:20:00] out there that I'm sure could kill this deer and figure it out and just have an act for it. I'm not one of those guys. I'm a very average deer hunter. So this should be very relatable to most people. And so my current plan is I just stacked on as much food as I could.

I actually put in a different road for better access on a different plot. And. I went through this weekend and made a whole folder and updated it. And there's probably going to be a very short window in November, like the 12th, the 13th, when he'll be in there, it seems like he's on a dough around then, and then late season is where it seems like he's at.

So I don't know. And you hear about the guys, I listened to Mark Drury on Mark Kenyon's podcast here recently. He talked about six year olds being the hardest to kill when they were six. That matches up because he was the most infrequent last year. So he's seven this year. And I'm hoping that. His range shrinks towards me, but there's a really good chance.

His range is going to shrink where he spends more time too. So it's just, you don't know. So my plan is to monitor cameras, hunt it, try to get eyeballs on them, not over on it. And that's the balance too. Everyone's you gotta be in [00:21:00] there. But what happens when you get busted by the does and the does are like, yeah, I don't really want to eat here in the daylight anymore.

Or I don't want to, bed in this area anymore. Cause I've, I've been, I've experienced pressure. So that balance is really challenging. And right now I don't think he's on me. And if we get a picture of him, then that'll change. But it's tough, man. It's like people make it looking, some people make killing deer seem very simple.

And it's not , right? Yeah. That I told my wife last night and I was like, I don't think I'm probably gonna kill him. I just wanna see the darn thing. Yeah. So I can figure out Yeah. One little piece of information that may help me. But yeah, mark Luster, he he posts a lot on Facebook and there is a saying he, he shares that really rings true is they have to be right every time.

You just have to be right once. Yeah. I like that. And I, that's a really good mantra for Whitetails because it is Right. They are gonna win and they are. Masters of staying alive and evading death, but you just got to be right once. Yeah, I like that. So Jake with obviously the best time of the year coming up for some people.

I, I know some people were like, I hate the rut [00:22:00] and I can't stand it and I, and all that stuff, but over the years, man, you've had a really good, a bit of success in that November timeframe. What do you, what contributes to that consistent factor of success? Man, I would say November 3rd to the 10th or that those are my favorite seven favorite days of the season and I've killed a lot of deer on November 3rd and November 10th.

I think it's just a, it's a fun time to be out number one and I get that. I think for the guys who are really refined deer hunters, I understand why they love late October. I get it. I'm not there. So give me the rut, I would say some of the biggest things is just understanding, okay, these are it's, this is how dumb it is.

Mornings I'm hunting bedding areas, evenings I'm hunting food areas. That's it. And so there was a time where I would do a lot of all day sits. And then you realize, man, I just wasted an evening and it may, maybe it was good to three or four o'clock, but if there's no food nearby, then that's where you need to be.

So that's something that's really key. And the other thing too, is a lot of the deer that are showing [00:23:00] up right now. October, late October, those are probably going to be the deer that you're hunting during this timeframe of November 11, 12. That's what I've noticed over the years. So right now is critical for getting good camera information.

And it really boils down to that and just being persistent and logging hours. But. I have this battle all the time too. It's, you have to log hours, but you also have to think, am I even remotely in the game or am I wasting time? And there's times I'm wasting time. I feel like, but when I really, there'll be a stretch in there where it's am I wasting time or am I actually in the game?

And when I really refocus. It's okay. I need to get in the game. And usually something happens not far after, but I think it's just an exciting time of year to be in the right place at the right time. That's what it comes down to. For sure. If you're in the market for finding a new trail camera, I highly encourage you to look no further than Exodus.

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Two already are set up in Northeastern PA for me, and they're working flawlessly. And if you're looking for an all encompassing cell camera, seriously, look no further than the render. It's their flagship camera. It stood the test of time for thousands of hunter across the country. I have one deployed here locally where I live and another one I'm saving for back at Northeastern PA again, zero issues.

And I'll tell you what. Exodus stands by their five year warranty for accidents or for theft top of the line customer service So see for yourself why so many made the switch to exodus and experience the exodus difference Use code au to get 15 off your first camera today The one aspect that I like you just said that is difficult Because you do [00:25:00] play mind tricks with yourself like am I not even in it what i've noticed for my hunting Over the last couple years of if my morning spot where I'm at back at home in Northeast PA is not on fire I know I'm not in it.

You have to be in there and I think what I've learned is if I'm not in it early In the mid morning, I'm going to get down, maybe try to find scout slowly, find where I think I could be in a good opportunity for that evening. Like you said, a food source where deer have traveled through that mountain.

And obviously things change a little bit, they blow downs, all that type of stuff and learning and gaining that data, that past history. And what maybe that up that year is specifically doing that's helped me be a little bit more in the game and mentally be like, okay, you're still in it, dude.

Absolutely. There's typically an East wind during this eight, nine, 13 in November. There's almost been one every single year that I've been paying attention to. And the [00:26:00] morning with an East wind, I've always just had exceptional hunts. And so I think if they're usually that's correlated with the front, obviously, and I've just shot a lot of deer on East winds during this time period.

And I don't know exactly where that is, but anyone that's listening, they see an East wind coming up the next day or two, go. And that's the other thing too. Most people don't ever set up a stand for an East wind. But I'm some of the farms I hunt is ironically better on an East wind. So it works out, but having a spot in the back of your mind for an East wind where you're like, man, I can't really hunt it unless it's an East wind, which maybe that's some of the magic too.

Cause you're not in there at all. You're not just going to go do a burner hunter. Like I'm just going to go in there. It's a West wind and it's a so so day. I think that's also a big part of it as well. An East wind during this time period is. You gotta be go to the spot that's been in the back of your mind.

Yeah. So during this timeframe to Jake, I'd like you, I love scrapes. Do you pay any attention or how do scrapes play into your strategy when it comes to hunting this timeframe? Yeah. There's people. [00:27:00] And the data, I'm sure like the science shows that the scrape activity dwindles. But if you know the right scrape or the it's a scrape right outside the dough bedding, I've had giant deer.

Some of my biggest deer I've ever had on camera ever out of the blah, blah cameras. I run the like the ninth, 10th and 11th. I've usually have a giant on a scrape somewhere. It might not always be daylight. Sometimes it is. And I think it's this when they're looking for the next dose. So I think that really hot.

Scrape during, let's say, so someone listening to this now, okay. What was really hot late October. And if there's still somewhat activity there, it could be, I wouldn't overlook it. Now I wouldn't just set up on a random scrape on a field edge. No, but associating it with doe bedding, it'll be good.

Last year I messed up on a deer. And it was when it was a hot stretch here and people like, man, I'm not seeing anything. There was a hot dough in the area. This comes down to that and I was in the thick of it. And I, there was a really wide deer that was like 60 yards away. Couldn't get a shot.

And he met up with the dough that evening. And then I'm like, okay, so all right, start the clock here, 48 hours. [00:28:00] And sure enough, I relocated to a different part in the mornings and a more morning stand. And. Sure enough. I see them go back to bed and this is 48 hours later, like to the T of what, man, some of this stuff actually works.

So then they go to bed and then about 11 o'clock here, he comes by himself, hits a scrape. And it was a situation where I got caught my pants down. I'm like didn't expect it to work. And then he came in fast and then, this is one of those deals. So I think. Like I seen him just get off a dough and then go work a scrape immediately afterwards.

So it's, that's with my own eyeballs. Yeah. I like to, during that timeframe, I think back to one, which scrapes are usually, like you said, on fire, but then also which ones have does really hammered on. I make sure I have that marked because That's where a Bucky either that late October, early November time frame where he could be looking to see okay, who's in the area.

And that's one aspect that I've really tried to key in on as well. Absolutely. And that's [00:29:00] something that with cell cameras, people are only saving the buck pictures. But at the end of the year, I take my SD card from my cell camera and I put it in a file. And then for every time frame of okay, I'm going to go hunt this farm tonight.

And I go through there, I open up my folder and I click all through there. What does we're hitting at what bucks we're hitting at when. And I think that's really important to your point of understanding when were the does revisiting some of those scrapes and you're going to lose. Cause. With standard cameras, a lot of people just did that out of nature, but with cell cameras, people are missing that step in my mind.

And so it's really important to do that. And you'll get those key little insights that may just give you a little bit more advantage. Yeah, I'm with you. So this is that crazy time, man. We're deer running wild. We're there. We are, as hunters are either in it or we're not, and we're trying to find it.

How can we not overcomplicate things, man? And avoid that unhealthy trait of just overcomplicating things when it comes to one hunting whitetail, but [00:30:00] two specifically hunting that whitetail rut. Yeah. I used to, so this is a debate. It's man, when I was a. I still had opportunities during this timeframe.

I had no clue what I was doing. And so sometimes I go back to, okay, you don't have to over complicate everything. Just go back to the basics. Now is the time when the basics work and you don't have to have the pins on the wall going every single direction. It can help maybe, but don't let don't over paralyze yourself with thinking too much.

It's very simple. Think of all the guys that. Like the typical rut hunter that probably didn't grab their bow until late October and then they go out and they shoot a slob. They're not overthinking it at all. No, not at all. And they're getting opportunities. And then you have the guy that's thinking, this wind, this pressure, he was only here on a blah, blah wind with these temperatures.

Dude just go out and do it. And if you, and another thing too, is you have to follow your gut. You're it's the same thing of if you follow your gut's first [00:31:00] reaction, it's probably going to be right. If you're this crazy about white tails, the knowledge is in your brain, let it release and just follow your gut period point blank, because when you start second guessing yourself or overthinking things or thinking there's a 0.

1 percent chance that he might be here because of this. Follow your gut, go to the highest odds location. And go figure it out. And if it doesn't work and you're not having fun or, you don't have the gut feeling anymore, go somewhere else because guess what? You're going to blink. And the best time of the year is going to pass you.

And then you're gonna be like, man, there's a clock. There's a clock, man. There's seriously a clock when November 10th hits or 11th hits. And I haven't notched a buck tag. I'm thinking, Oh boy, this is only going to get harder here for a bit for the rest of the season, period. So I think that's, is really important.

Don't waste any sits. be strategic. And that's what it comes down to. And I do think timing, I think timing weather makes a pretty big impact because last year during there was a warm stretch during the historical best days, there was still good camera activity. People still killed big [00:32:00] deer obviously.

And I was still hunting during those periods, but it was a light switch when that cold front 12th last year. It's boom, run activity, vocalization. Pick a tree and park in there and you should be all right. And I think the other thing too, is for someone that just wants to shoot their first good buck, whatever that is to you, go where there is the most good bucks and set up.

It's really that simple. It's that. It could be that easy. It could be hard, but it could be that simple. So we're just, we just talked about that unhealthy trade of overcomplicated things. And Jake man, you've had the great pleasure of not only working with great hunters, but also interviewing them and picking things up.

And, over these last couple of years, what are some of those things that you've learned that maybe that you. Really implemented like within, into your hunting style. Or you think that can help people that maybe you're like, you know what? Because of my style of hunting. No, that's a tough one just because like I said, you have the great pleasure of working with some people and then also [00:33:00] interviewing these guys that are just incredible hunters and, and anything that you think comes to mind, even if it's like a mindset or anything like that.

I think one mindset thing is let's say you mess up. Okay. You messed up and you didn't get the shot off or you missed, or you got busted. Buckle up the bootstraps. I'm going to work a little bit harder and think, okay, I had to work this hard to get one opportunity. I just have to do that again to get another one.

And so that's something that I think is really important. And there's so many good hunters with so many different skill sets with so many different things. And sometimes I think it, it limits you because you have on the Exodus podcast, you have one guy that's. It's very strategic, be aggressive, but be very calculated.

And then you talk to the next guy that also is very successful. Just go in there with a machete and get it done. And so it's that balance. And I think you have to understand who you are as a hunter. What are your skill sets? What, no matter where you hunt in the country, what are your realistic expectations, you cannot compare yourself to someone that has more opportunity, whether it is [00:34:00] time, money.

Or anything else or access, if you have, I'm like, I can only hunt this farm will number one, maybe go find some other spots, but be strategic. So I think that's just be very realistic, maybe to almost a pain of I'm not as good as I think. So I need to this. Do what I can, run your race.

That is what the rut is. Run your race. If you're, your goals are set on a certain type buck and you want to shoot them. If you're, trying to get better. I think that's another thing too. Like the last couple of years I've been passing deer that I typically would not have passed.

Sometimes it's a little painful, but how I look at it is it's like forced growth. You have to be uncomfortable to get better. And so I think that's, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. And that maybe that's the setup you're in, or maybe that's passing deer that you haven't done. So either, cause you have to bust through, whatever that next level is to yourself.

So that's just something that I've picked up. And then, like that from a tactic standpoint, I think a couple of different things, a lot of the really good hunters. That are not great archers, [00:35:00] 20 yards, 25 yards set up for that in mind. Don't set up for the maybe 35, 38 yard, 40 yard shot. I've had multiple people already text me.

Hey, I made a bad shot. I missed. And it's like my first question every time. How far was it? Yeah, 50, 61, 45. It's so that's another thing too. Yeah, to build on that one specifically, last. When I just shot that doe and she was 44 yards feeding away from me is where I picked her up at.

And I'm thinking to myself, man, I'm ranging her at 44 yards. I couldn't I'm confident. Not like I could shoot out to 100 yards and 3d target and have fun with my buddies and feel extremely confident doing that, but I'm watching that and I'm like, holy cow, I would have to try to sneak it through this, and this, like I'm not Levi Morgan, like I, I can't do that. And when she finally came in, like it ended up being a, on the dot, like 29. 8. And I had a good clean shot, all that stuff. And it's funny looking back on the video. She drops within 10 [00:36:00] seconds. I heard her crash. She had the big donkey kick, all that stuff. In the moment, in my brain, and I'm like, Oh man, that's a great shot.

When I watched it go back just to look to make sure I knew like where to pick up the blood trail. But long story short, when I look back at the video, I'm like, dang, she actually had another, she took a step. So she moved. Do you know what I mean? Like in my brain, when I ranged all that stuff, yeah, I didn't, I did not take that into consideration.

So the shot was still a lung hit and exited out towards the liver. Again, she died within seconds, which was great. But at the same time, I was like, man, that's how. It is and I'm, I have a hard time stopping deer with my mental shot process, everything that I've got going on to add or some type of noise.

And to be honest with you, Jake, every time I've done that, they go. There's no stopping it. They're gone. You know what I mean? There's just so I don't have good experience with [00:37:00] stopping So I hope they are stopped and I try to obviously do my best to take those lethal shots and so far Man, the three for three deer have been killed with under 35 seconds, right like a combined huge confidence builder, huge, extremely, but you said 25 and in or 30 and in, I'm confident if it's a little bit more wide open, like when I hunted Maryland and all that type of stuff, like I probably would say a 35, 40 could be stretching it, but not past that.

Yeah. Yeah. I think that's really important. And anytime I've messed up, it's usually over 30 and I've never shot a deer over, over 40. It's like that 35, 36, 37. And to your point, by the time you draw back, like the deer's probably still walking in the margin of error, just gets bigger and bigger. Yeah, exactly.

I'm all for shooting a 50 yards every day at your target. And so when 20 comes along, it feels like a chip shot. And that's, but yeah, I think that's, it's really important because During the rut, like things happen fast and we as humans see things that we thought we [00:38:00] saw that didn't really happen or all these different things.

And it's just try and get them in your lap. A lot easier said than done, but don't force it. And especially during this time period too. He may come by a 50 and let's say you took that kind of marginal crappy shot. He could be back in there in 10 minutes at 20 yards. I've had that happen on a deer.

I shot a couple of years ago. He was 40 just standing there saying, there's I'm not going to shoot him. And he came back 15 minutes later at 25. And it's there you go. Yeah. Doesn't always happen that way, but I don't know. It's just, but for the guy like John Dudley. The dude's a professional archer.

I'm sure he can effectively shoot very far. I am not a professional archer by any stretch of the imagination. I know that. So here's a, I love the fact too, that you said going with your gut during that timeframe, it's huge, now with. With Iowa coming up, what's, how excited are you, man?

Because that is obviously a coveted tag that a lot of people can't wait to do. Like I myself cannot wait to do in a year or two. What's your expectations for this? And like you said, you already passed up on a good deer. Obviously [00:39:00] you, you do have some type of expectation going into this hunt.

Ride the wave, man. That's more of my heads that I don't have a specific, I want to shoot a mature deer. That's the biggest goal for sure. And just ride the wave because it's, it's took me five points to draw this tag. And that's a long time. And I'm looking, okay I'm 29.

Now it'll probably be a six point tag by the time I draw it next time. So I'm going to be, 35. Dude, that's a long time. Just enjoy it. This enjoy it. And that's what my expectations are to have fun and just go out and experience the white tail rut. And if I kill one late October that's awesome and fine.

And if it, if I grind it out to the end of November and that last portion of the rut, I'm completely fine with that too. I, that's my expectations and, they may evolve and change throughout the year. I think that's another important thing, but as of right now, it's to shoot a mature deer.

And shoot them at 20 yards and smoke them and watch them pile up and relish the moment and it'll be ingrained in my brain forever. And that's what I want. The power of patience is going [00:40:00] to be virtue there. Yeah. Yeah. And that's fine. Yeah. Cause I it's it's hard to expect because I know there'll be times where it's man, where are the deer at?

I thought this was Iowa, yada, yada. But it's. There's also probably someone at that same point hunting in Florida or Georgia, or, where there's no opportunity for the deer that you may see there. So it's you have to have the perspective or maybe there's someone out there that got in a car crash and they wish they could hunt so bad.

They didn't even care where they went or what they, it's all about perspective. Like you have to realize how lucky you really are. And don't have the comparison is a thief of joy. If you are going to get upset by other people's success, then don't log on to all on the internet or, but there is enough for everyone for success, like someone else's success is not going to take away your.

It should elevate it. So I think that's just the, that's just the thing there. So if, yeah, that's rambling a little bit, but just go out there and have fun. As simple as that is. I know there's gonna be hard things, but guess what? [00:41:00] Most hard things can produce a great reward. So I'm just fine with it being challenging.

Cause it's gonna make that much sweeter. Heck yeah. Are you focusing on like a specific terrain feature, like a funnel, pinch point or anything like that? Yeah. So this farm that I'm primarily hunting. It's a lot of CRP and there's a couple, it just looks like an Iowa rut farm to a tee. It's got a couple of North South ditches on the farm.

It's got some washouts in the Creek where you can cheat the wind and anticipate deer movement. Hung some stands there the last time I more of a rut timeframe. And so there's a little bit of food. There's a lot of grass, a lot of cover, and then just some bomber, ruff. This is going to be sweet to stack up in and see what unfolds.

So that's, those are the biggest things, but the I think for in general in the rut, it's just getting on those. Where those does are stacking up in there and if you've been out on wherever you're hunting enough You have an idea where those are and that's where you want to be and it's don't overcomplicate It can't be that simple.

Yeah, I can't it really can't be you know, [00:42:00] I like it, dude So before we wrap things up Jake, obviously I've been using the Exodus arrows from the MMT's during 3d season to once the NIS got released I've been using those for hunting three for three, man, like we're saying earlier, obviously the MMTs are more durable as far as there's just a makeshift and of how they are constructed and everything compared to the NIS, but dude, I gotta tell you, I'm three for three straight pass throughs.

They are still good to go there. They could still be in my quiver to shoot. All I gotta do is just clean them off and let them continue to rip. I'm thrilled with that. Obviously the. The rival came out what a year and a half ago now is January this year now Okay So so it's about a year now with that and been running those and then obviously the render and man my trek is still trekking along so some great things, you know You as a company, Exodus is continuing to elevate and promote great things for us as hunters, but man, some really cool things are developing for you guys, [00:43:00] obviously now with the vault, talk a little bit about that, what your, the goal is for that and, anything else that you could share with what's happening with Exodus.

I greatly appreciate that. And yeah, the rival launched in January, third week of January, I think this year, and that's been a, I love that camera. It's been extremely reliable and even testing it last year. I was like, man, this is, people are going to love this thing. And that, that came to be true.

So that was fun and the vault. So we just launched that here actually today publicly. And what that essentially is. It's a place for you can go on there right now on if we have prebuilt overstock arrows, you can order those and get them to your door. Pretty significant savings. The render an awesome camera.

It's been around the block here for a long time. A lot of people trust that camera and you can actually scoop that up now for a significant savings as well. Still the same five year warranty, all the different things there. So you can. Just periodically check that out and see what we have in the vault.

And, whether it's limited run products or we have something that we're going to phase out to make room [00:44:00] for new and exciting products, but it's, it's a really good place to save some serious coin when people are frantic and you've got a picture of the buck that you're like.

Oh man, I wish I could have another camera over here. Now go to the vault, scoop one up, and it's a great opportunity to save some coin. Cause I, I get it, honey, it is expensive. It, where do you draw the line? And so anytime you can save a few bucks is good. No, man, that's awesome. I just want to just say, continue to do what you guys are doing.

And I mean that wholeheartedly now, Jake here's a couple of things that listeners wanted me to ask you. They're quick ones. They're easy ones. Are you still shooting that prime? I am. Yeah, I am. Yeah. I I have a nexus. That's what I'm rolling with this. Okay. So you do it, you have upgraded.

To from that. What'd you have? The CT or the synergy. I bought it in 2017. It's I'm gonna bring it out to Iowa as a backup and I just love that bow shot a lot of deer with it. And, but I did upgrade to the Nexus and I like that a lot. But the I know some people sell their old [00:45:00] bows and it's man, that's, I can't let go of the memories.

Yeah. And it's nice to have a backup. Yeah, I hear you. So I have it set up and ready to go. That's awesome. And then another one at what point over the next month or two, do you do all day sits? It's going to be around it depends what you define and all day, sit all day, sit in the same tree, probably going to be that seven, eight, nine, 10 would be like those when I'm really blogging a lot of hours in terms of.

Morning, evening, and maybe my break is transitioning to a different place. And I hear pretty soon, very soon. So yeah I'm very excited for that. Nice. All right. So obviously you said the third and the 10th are your favorite days this year. What do you think? I don't know Iowa, but dude, the third and the 10th is just magical.

The 10th in the morning, if I could bottle that up and live that almost every single day, give me that day, that morning. I just love love, love November 10th, that it's just so much fun. And [00:46:00] November 3rd is fun because it's the tail end of scrape week. And if you have a deer that's showing up during that timeframe, you can squeeze in there.

You're probably going to see him maybe have an opportunity. So I just love those dates for whatever reason. And Those are only two days you're going to get out of 365, so go enjoy them and have fun. Yeah, I'm with you on that. Okay, so in those all day sits, what is that snack of choice in your backpack?

I like grapes. I bring a Ziploc bag of grapes. I like those, a little bit of hydration and you can eat them slow. It is one by one. I'm an uncrustable guy. I'll bring those out and I honestly like the Sitka Fanny Pack and then the Muff. That's all I bring out there. I'll bring a bottle of water, maybe two.

And maybe some almonds and some grapes and some uncrustables. Those are my go tos. I like it. A little healthy. I appreciate that. That's good. That's good. Yeah. A little sustained energy. That's the goal. Yeah. I like that Jake. Man. I just want to say again, thanks for coming on. Thanks for sharing some wisdom.

It's a fun conversation. I always enjoy when [00:47:00] you and I have a chance to talk on the phone or even through text message. So I just want to say thanks again, obviously where could people follow along with the Exodus podcast and check out things as far as cameras, arrows and everything else. Yeah. So everything.

You can go to exodusoutdoorgear. com. Check out everything we have to offer there. We have a YouTube channel where we crank out a lot of really great stuff. Anyone listening to this now, you can go back and watch some of the Whitetail Cribs episodes and that's those are really cool. And then the podcast is every single Tuesday, just the Exodus podcast.

So go check that out. We have a lot of the goal, the ethos of the company is to make quality products and help inform people to be better hunters. So if you could summarize it in that simple of a way. That's what we do. If it doesn't fall under that, then we don't do it. We're just here to sharpen our blade and help everyone get a little bit better too.

I like it, man. Not a lot of people do better. So continue on doing that. So thanks again, everybody for tuning in this week. Best of luck to you. Enjoy this best time of year. I'm already getting all fired up and I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about those early mornings, [00:48:00] like Jake said, so enjoy everybody.

We'll see you next week. Thanks for listening to this episode of the antler up podcast. We hope you enjoyed it. Please go check us out on our Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and go wild and at antlerupoutdoors. com. If you enjoyed this episode, go leave a review and subscribe for next week's episode. Until then, antler up.