This week on the Missouri Woods & Water Podcast Nate gets to talk with the guys at Driftwood Outdoors Podcast, Brandon Butler and Nathan "Shags" McLeod. We get into all kinds of fun topics with Brandon and Shags like their backgrounds in the outdoors to their recent trip to Africa. The guys over at Driftwood Outdoors are top notch and we enjoyed the chance to get to talk with them. Thanks for listening!
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[00:00:00] Welcome to the Missouri Woods and Water podcast. I'm your host Nate Thomas flying solo on today's episode. Really cool episode that I've been looking forward to talking to these guys for a while. We've met them. Oh, I don't know a while back when we first started our podcast and been, we've been wanting to get them on.
Today we actually have Brandon Butler and Nathan shags McLeod. With Driftwood Outdoors Podcast. Driftwood Outdoors is another Missouri based podcast. If you don't know about them, you should. You should go check them out. They're a really good listen. They have some really [00:01:00] awesome guests that you don't see.
A lot of other places. They do a lot of fishing content. They're just a terrific group of guys that I love listening to learn a ton from them. And we just talk about what their show is and some of the stuff they've been up to. They just got back from Africa. Actually. We talk about that talk about all kinds of cool stuff in the episode with them and it's just a really good time.
And. Two great guys that you can you can feel like you can sit down and have a beer with them. And I probably butcher Shags name, last name, like 15 times. I might have even already done it once. But, he'll forgive me when he listens to this. Shags. I'll keep butchering your last name, but I apologize man.
Anyways, let's get into some Some sponsors real quick before we hop into the show. We've got a nice lineup here man reveal cameras by tag to cam This time of the year things are starting to shift bucks are starting to do different things This is when I usually start moving cameras around [00:02:00] to when I'm out hunting or, a specific trip out there.
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I was on that app this morning. I won't tell you what I was doing this morning as you guys are well aware, but that's what I was doing when I was on the app. It's a great time to to reflect and decide what I want to buy from Camel Fire. Lucky buck. Definitely. Slowing down my usage of it right now, but absolutely love going and dumping it.
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I use the wind feature on X all the time during deer season. And that's just one of the many features they've got. If you want to hear more about their features, go back a few weeks and listen to our show that we did with Jared from on X river's edge, tree stands, lock ons. Ladders, you name it. I put together five ladder stands this summer, and all five of those ladder stands are still sitting in my shed.
I did a crap job of preparing, but they might get out soon. We'll see. Or they might get out next year, but at least they're put together now. It's an enjoyable it's a good feeling when you get a nice two man ladder stand put together. Midwest Gunworks. MidwestGunWorks. com. Use our code WoodsWater for 5 percent off.
AthlonOptics. AthlonOptics. com. Find a dealer near you. I'm running the Midas Tac and the [00:04:00] Ares EHD. Those are the two scopes I'm running. And their rangefinder is legit. WeberOutfitters. WeberOutfitters. com. Hop on their website. Give them a call, get in the store. They've got shotguns out the wazoo now Benelli, you name it.
They they seem to have it now. So check them out for all your archery and gun type needs. And then last but not least, morale targets are my big roller. Went out to Colorado or Wyoming with me and it's nice. You just got the truck, you throw it and you shoot whatever side shows up.
It's pretty awesome that way. So check them out. Thanks to our sponsors. If you haven't checked out our website, check it out at missouriwoodsandwater. com. We will be continuing to grow our gear section slowly, but surely. And if you would be so inclined. Leave us a five star review on whatever podcasting platform you listen to and go check out the fellas at Driftwood Outdoors.
If you have not yet, you can find [00:05:00] them on any podcasting platform as well. Just search Driftwood Outdoors and you will find their show, but let's get into our awesome talk with the fellas at Driftwood Outdoors. This is the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast.
All right, with us, we've got Brandon Butler and Shags, Nathan McLeod. I don't know if I ever say your last name right, but that's what I'm going with. You nailed it, dude. Nobody ever gets that right and you nailed it. Well done. I've listened to you guys a time or two. Of the Driftwood Outdoors podcast, boys, what's going on?
Man, just getting ready for fall, we are in the... Throws of summer and getting tuned up on the bow ready for this fall fishing looking forward to some rainy days Some overcast days on the river and just loving life man. That is what he said That's what he said. Yes I'll tell you what boys So we just [00:06:00] recorded a show for your show your podcast as well And I think I figured out why I like listening to you so much was that you both have That voice that is soothing to an individual's ear.
Oh, man. I hope the ladies are listening. That's what it is. I hope ladies are listening. See, people listen to our show. Here on Late Night Radio. Brandon Butler. People listen to our show in spite of me being on it. And I think they listen to you boys because it's just so enjoyable to the ear. Look, dude, don't cut yourself short.
There's a guy named Ben Shapiro out there that stuffs his mattress with money. And he sounds like a three year old boy. Yeah, but he's pretty smart. Oh he's one of my favorites to listen to. But man, what a curse to have that voice. Yeah, that, that is a, that's like chalk or nails on chalkboard.
That's for sure. But yeah, what he's got going for him and he's super smart, maybe even genius. I just don't sound [00:07:00] good. And I can't think real good either, but Hey, it's a double whammy. I grew up with my dad telling me that this alligator mouth was going to get my hummingbird beehole in trouble one day.
And now I'd like to remind him that this alligator mouth pays the bills. That's hilarious. Fellas for the listeners on our show If you listen to us, you should know that there's another awesome podcast based out of our state driftwood outdoors. And we're talking to the two host of the show.
You guys have been around for a long time, obviously. And what I love about what y'all do is what you two do outside of the podcast, right? Brandon, I know you, I know part of your background obviously is in conservation and what you've been doing with your professional career.
And then shags, obviously, you talk a lot, right? You're good at it. Just kidding. It is my job. Famous radio DJ. It is my job. So how did your guys's podcasts come together and give everybody like a little background about. Where you come from and I did not [00:08:00] warn you. Okay, so here's how I want y'all to do this I want you each to introduce yourselves talk about your background And if you ever listen to our show one thing I ask our Missouri based Guest to do is tell me about the favorite thing about the Missouri outdoors for them.
So okay You guys have to think on the fly, but introduce yourselves and let's talk about where Driftwood came from. So how about I introduce myself, Shags introduces his stuff, and then I'll come back and tell how we merged. Okay, good plan works. All right, so I moved to Missouri in 2010 after a stint out West.
I graduated from Purdue, moved to Colorado, learned that Denver is just another big city. So I went to Montana. I was up there for quite a while. Had two babies in 13 months. Went back to Indiana where I really learned how to apply. Western tactics to the outdoors to the Midwest. A few years later at the time I was serving a sentence in hell as a [00:09:00] pharmaceutical sales rep, but it was good for getting around Montana and hunting and fishing.
When I got back to Indiana, I ended up going to work for the Department of Natural Resources as the governor's liaison to the department. And I started writing a syndicated newspaper column in 2006 called Driftwood Outdoors. I moved to Missouri in the early spring, late winter of 2010 to become the marketing manager at Battenfeld Technologies, which at the time was owned by MidwayUSA.
So I went over the brands like Caldwell, Wheeler Engineering, Tipton Gun Cleaning Supplies. We brought Lockdown to market. Created things like the Deadshot Field Pod at that time and helped bring that to market. So it was a lot of fun. Then, Mr. Potterfield decided to sell that company. The writing was on the wall that it was going to change quite a bit.
And I got an opportunity to go to work for a marketing agency for a year and help bring Walther Firearms into kind of a stand [00:10:00] alone position in the North American market. They branched off from Smith Wesson. Then I also covered Starline Brass and Sierra Bullets down in Sedalia. After doing that for about a year, the executive director position opened up at the Conservation Federation, and I got into the running for it.
They offered the job to another guy first there was a situation with the board, they ended up not approving that person. So then they opened it back up, they offered it to another guy, he turned them down because they couldn't meet his salary, and I'm still standing there in the room waving my hand saying I'll do it, I'll do it, I'll do it.
And so I was the third first choice for the new executive director job at CFM. And I like to think we did a really good job of the five years I was there bringing that organization into a more modern era. So while I'm there, though. It was one of the most tumultuous times in conservation in recent memory, 2014, 2015, [00:11:00] 2016, the legislature, some for some ungodly reason got behind these high fence deer operations.
At the time when CWD was just starting to spread throughout the state. These guys are moving these infected deer around, they're taking CWD and moving it from point to point. That is not arguable, that is a fact. And somehow they bought off the legislature to get behind this industry, calling it agriculture, which is the greatest load of bullshit I've ever dealt with in my life.
Shags is trying to win the love of a woman at this time, Savannah, through the Department of Conservation. So he starts really supporting MDC. That's not completely true. All right, let me, I'll eventually get to that. So I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Very tip corner. If you grew up watching Goonies I grew up in Goonies country.
When I visited his [00:12:00] home, I got to see the Goonies house. You did, man. You got to hunt out there. As, as long as I could remember, ever since I was a little ankle biter, I wanted to be a radio DJ. Like I would turn the DJs up, the music down, the music got in the way of these guys making prank phone calls and telling fart jokes, like doing everything I was doing and getting trouble in school for.
I went to college in Minnesota on a basketball scholarship and played hoops with guys from Booneville, Missouri. So after graduation, I went back home, I started doing radio. They didn't want to move back to Booneville, so they moved to Columbia, and they kept telling me, you gotta come to Columbia, man, this place is awesome.
And long story short, I was getting fired from that radio job, so I applied to every single radio station. In Columbia, Missouri, and only one returned my email and for a part time five hour a week, not five hour a day, five hour a week, Saturday, seven to midnight shift. I was like, good [00:13:00] enough. I'm coming out.
The things you do when you're 21, 22 years old, I drove, what, 1, 500 miles for a five hour a week job. Smart investment, right? That's why you are where you are now. I chased a dream, man. I lived on an air mattress. I used to call it my white trash waterbed. I couldn't afford water, so I just filled it with air.
When I started my newspaper company, the first question I had to answer was, will you do it for free? Yeah. I worked three jobs, seven days a week there for a while, just chasing the stream of radio and turned it into, management. And when I started, I took a three year sabbatical and ended up back home and then they called to ask me if I'd take over for Bob and Tom.
I was actually fish salmon fishing on the Columbia River, and I did three interviews over the phone. I started each one. With if I hang up on you, I promise to call you right back, but I'm not going to lose a salmon over a job. I might not take and goes to show you how diehard I am when it comes to fishing But I ended up taking that [00:14:00] job and moved back to Columbia took over for Bob and Tom on the classic rock station doing mornings and that is now 11 years I've been doing it and what Brandon was hinting at was I was like to just tell my stories.
It was just easy show prep for me to talk about hunting or fishing or just my love for Missouri outdoors. And Brandon was right in the fact that we had a couple of representatives and a senator that we're trying to gut the Department of Conservation. We're trying to defund them. And with my job, I get to be a professional troll, and I would call them at four o'clock in the morning and ask them, leave them voicemails knowing no one was going to be in the office, and ask them, why do you hate Missouri, why are you destroying the things we love, and I would then post on social media their office number, and I would tell all our listeners, will you please call these two representatives, and asked them why they hate Missouri.
It got to the [00:15:00] point where one of them was quoted in the St. Louis Dispatch, I do not hate the state of Missouri. Then I want to do something. We had this great idea, we had a mutual friend, was like, hey, do you know who Brandon Butler is with the Conservation Federation of Missouri?
First... You're on the air saying, I'm coming to the Capitol with a bullhorn. I was going to storm the Capitol. That was the plan. Yeah, I was going to go down there and somebody was like, you need to meet Brandon. And my co host Trevor and I, and who was the other, was it old was it David? There was four of us there.
Clondro. No, it wasn't David. Maybe it was. I think it was a CLC student at the time. Yeah, we sat down at Shiloh over wings and a couple of beers and we decided to create Conservation Day at the Capitol and that turned out to be what the biggest yeah It's one of the biggest lobby days in the Capitol. In the Capitol every year.
I got a hold of shags I said, hey, man, I love your passion. [00:16:00] I think I have a better idea And what we did was we went into the rotunda, which is the third floor for anybody that's not been up there in the Capitol. You have the Senate chamber on one side and the House chamber on the other side. There's a big circular open area in the middle, and that's under the dome on top of the cap.
If you're in If you're a Missourian and you haven't been to the capitol, you need to just spend a day and drive down to Jeff City. Because we have one of the most beautiful state capitol buildings in the country. It's beautiful. It's remarkable. So anyways, If you're ever curious where your tax money goes, just go walk into the capitol and you will realize this is where all the money is.
We filled that floor. They're like, okay, the most you can have up here is ten tables. I took that rule, threw it out the window. We spread at least 30 organizations out across that floor on the first year. And then we just refined it. We brought in a bald eagle from the World Bird Sanctuary. So now all the politicians get to come out and stand in front of the American flag and take a picture with an [00:17:00] eagle.
And we showed like unity and conservation through. Putting the Missouri Trappers Association right next to the Environmental Council of Missouri and the NWTF right next to the fishing guys and the pollinator people next to, the quail hunting guys. And so we, we showed that conservation really is a big tent that we all fit under.
And if we can just put aside our individual differences and focus on the 80 to 90 percent of things that we all agree upon. We are a huge voice, and we did that through Conservation Day, and really that's why the Conservation Federation of Missouri is so special. It is that Big Tent organization where, you know, the hunters...
And the non hunters come together with a love of wildlife and a love of wild places. And we got that representative on the radio show to admit it was all a political ploy. So we spent a [00:18:00] lot of time in the Capitol. I was the point man for five years. Shags has done so much more volunteer work than most people could even imagine.
It's a lot to ask somebody to come to the Capitol, sit in a chair in front of a dozen or more legislators who can ask you questions that you cannot ask questions of. Take their beating, be the puppet in their grandstand show, and still have the strength mentally and the fortitude to stand up there, make your point.
And try to move forward collectively with people that'll do that with you. The number of people that show up, it's pathetic. It's, you can count them on, both of your hands. In those House committee meetings they're tailored for the politicians. They sit up way above you, staring down at you, and you're in this little chair, looking up at this little mic, and they give you like three minutes.
It's super intimidating, and they know what they're doing. And I want to be clear that I'm not calling people pathetic. I'm calling the process pathetic. Because you're trying to get [00:19:00] input from hunters and anglers from around the state for these decisions that they're trying to make, which nine times out of ten they don't have the constitutional authority to do in the first place.
So it's a waste of taxpayer time and money and lawsuits now going through the Supreme Court have proven that to be true. So it's just, it's pathetic that we can almost make a mockery of something that's so important. We live in a state where 550, 000 people buy a deer license. Unique people buy a deer license each year, collectively buying like 1.
3 million deer licenses. We have over 2 million people in this state that identify As anglers, and that's out of a population of six million people. If you love the outdoors, there's no place better to be than Missouri. And yet, we, year after year, deal with politicians that are willing to basically take bribes from people that want to demean and diminish conservation in the state.
So the Citizen Army, which is CFM, and all the affiliated organizations, of which [00:20:00] there's a hundred, comes together. and defends us against those attacks. So long story short, I didn't use my, I didn't get to use my bullhorn and Brandon and I became best friends. And now we've lost a bunch of money doing a podcast.
And we're the three best friends.
And I guess the other question was the favorite thing about Missouri. I have to give Brandon credit for too, because growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I grew up trout, salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, all this type of fishing. I came out to Missouri and was like, Oh, you guys don't have anything. And he's dude, we got some of the best trout fishing in the country.
I was like, yeah, and then we went to Lake Taneycomo and I got introduced to that. Cause I thought trout fishing in Missouri was just opening day. It was in the parks. Everyone is shoulder to shoulder, all that. And I was like, that's not what I want to do. But then he introduced me to not only Taney Como, but then I started exploring the trout parks and outside the parks and some of our [00:21:00] wilder rivers.
And that is my favorite thing outdoors in the state, is down in the Ozark, wade fishing, floating, that type of thing. Now for me, it's going to be a similar answer. If I had a 2, 000 acre farm on the Iowa border, that would probably be my favorite thing, is to be up there in those hills. My, my job today is in renewable energy.
I work for Raceline Alternative Energy. I host a television show called Prairie Profits. It's another podcast as well, and it's all about the intersection of agriculture, conservation, and renewable energy. So I love North Missouri, where all of our farms are. We're around Bethany, Alderney, Unionville, Milan.
All these little rule America towns that really my soul belongs to I'm a rule small town kind of guy John Mellencamp was my guy growing up, you know in Indiana during the 80s and 90s If you didn't listen John Mellencamp, it'd kick you out of the state, so small town Jack and Diane [00:22:00] That's like the score of my life movie, but it has to be the Ozark streams.
If people haven't heard the story of my cabin, it's pretty tragic. I have heard that story, but yes, a simple Google of Brandon Butler cabin will explain it all to you. But long story short I bought. 40 acres on Sinking Creek, just outside of the new Echo Bluff State Park. I was working with Governor Nixon and State Park Director at the time, Bill Bryan, to build awareness about this incredible piece of property they were developing into what has become the premier park in the system.
It's booked out for years in advance. And I just happened to be able to talk a guy into selling me the closest piece of property to it on the creek. And built this incredible lodge and then got into it with some real shitbags, man. Meth head poachers. And I turned in some poachers after years of dealing with it.
Deer season after deer season ruined by their dog running the [00:23:00] pride that they take in breaking the laws of conservation. And I took all I could take and I couldn't take no more. And I turned them in and they burned my house to the ground. So that cannot put the fire out though, metaphorically in my own heart for those Ozark streams.
Given one day left to live, I would try to gather my family together and go wade, fish in Ozark stream for smallmouth bass. Yeah, what's funny is you guys both your answers are super similar to about every other answer I ever get on that question and it's because and like I love listening to that answer every time though You know what I'm saying?
Like how many times can you be told one plus one is two? It's so true the state of Missouri I always say it this way. It's like there's five states in one state here you have The Ozark Mountains. Southeast. The central part of the state. Just south of St. Louis looks [00:24:00] like a different, different place.
And then you got the northern part of the state, the western part of the state, you got crops. It's just like Missouri is this awesome place of, like, all these different states that just merge together to make our badass state, right? And that's why I love hearing that answer every time, because it's almost like it's the diversity that this state has.
If you're a deer hunter. You can hunt deer. If you love fishing for trout, you can do that. If you love turkey hunting, you can do that. There's nothing you really can't do here. You can even elk hunt here now. Five people. You know what I'm saying? It's just amazing what the state offers. Did you apply for that elk tag?
I do every year. It's what is it, ten bucks? I can't remember. Yeah. I'll never draw it. And if I do, that'd be the best thing ever. And if I don't, then... Don't say never dude. I got the golden ticket this year. That shit happens. It's true. It's true. It's true. It's true And I told you guys on your show about the elk tag I drew with a point seven [00:25:00] percent chance of drawing so it can happen But I we did a show with your CFM back when you were with CFM Brandon about Man, I don't remember what it was about now this I think it was about share the harvest And, I, me and Micah learned so much, Andy wasn't on that show, me and Micah learned so much in that show about how awesome conservation is in the state of Missouri.
Like we were the first state to adopt the half percent of, what is it, half a percent of one? No, it's one eighth. Here, I'll explain. Yes, do it correctly. Yeah, we're very fortunate in this state to have two constitutionally mandated sales taxes that were put in place by the people. We've got a one eighth of one cent conservation sales tax.
That means when you buy anything that is taxed at a store, you're paying an eighth of a penny per dollar. So if I sold you a [00:26:00] bow for $8, you're putting a penny into the jar. I think it's on average we spend $13 a year of a resident. On conservation. So collectively though that money, those pennies add up to right now around $120 million a year. Yep. So that means not only are the deer, hunters and anglers. Putting money into conservation, every single person that has the luxury of seeing a beautiful prairie on state land or seeing eagles fly or experiencing clean water to swim in. The conservation work that's being done is funded collectively by all of us for all to enjoy.
We have over a million acres of state land. We have over 1. 5 million acres of national forest. We have hundreds of thousands of acres of Army Corps land around many of our reservoirs that you can hunt. A lot of people don't know that down on Truman, you can pull your boat over and hunt turkeys. You can sit out in Truman and catch crappies while you're [00:27:00] waiting for a turkey to gobble.
Eat your boat, walk up on the shore, kill that turkey, find a mushroom on your way back to your boat, get in your boat and go catch more crappies. And I believe it is on average within 30 miles of every resident. Every resident, there's like a 30 mile radius where there's a boat ramp or a conservation area.
So we have all this conservation money that's making sure that these lands that we have are managed well, that our wildlife is healthy. On top of that, we have a one tenth of a cent sales tax called the Park Soil and Water Sales Tax. One of the greatest things I've ever been part of was in 2016.
As executive director of CFM, I led the renewal campaign of that tax. And that was amazing to see how we could all agree on something. We held our meetings at Farm Bureau. Most times, I was in the capital, Farm Bureau was against it, I was for it. I was for it, Farm Bureau was against it. an unfortunate relationship and then we came together and [00:28:00] that's because that tax goes to the department of natural resources.
It's about a hundred million dollars a year and it's split 50 50 between funding our state parks. So we have every year Our state parks are awarded as some of the best in the nation. And that is, I have traveled to nearly every state, and it is so true. We are blessed in this state with state parks.
They are phenomenal. And they're free to go. Free. The first time I went to a state park was when it's spring. And I drove around trying to figure out where to pay. I found one in the concession. I'm like, where do I pay? And they're, because I grew up in Indiana. Yeah. For the DNR, it's seven dollars for a resident license plate to come in.
It's 10 for a non resident. So 50 percent of that money goes to fund our state parks, keep them the best in the country and keep them free for all to enter. The other 50 percent goes to fund the soil and water conservation districts in Missouri. Every county has one. So essentially what you're doing there is you're taking public funds and you're [00:29:00] privatizing them on private lands.
To the benefit of all and the benefit being, conservation improvements on your property to keep nitrogen and phosphorus out of our waterways to implement practices that help solve erosion issues, whatever. So it's things that the landowners and farmers likely wouldn't be able to afford to do if there wasn't assistance.
But in, in funding their efforts to do we all benefit downstream. So it's something that you can feel really good about. And that tax taught me that as long as you put something on the table for everyone, you're likely to succeed in life. We passed that tax in 2016 with 81 percent of the vote, and we won 114 out of 114 counties.
So Missourians. It's insane. Missourians stood up and said, we love our state parks. We love clean water. We love supporting our farmers. We love landowners. Let's all just work together. And man that might sound like some kumbaya shit. But it worked, [00:30:00] and it's possible for politics to work like that if most of our politicians would simply, try.
Instead of the theatrics and the show try to work together. Because we know that the people will do what's right when it makes sense. Yeah, and what I love about organizations like CFM too especially after talking to CFM back when we had them on which neither of, it wasn't you, it was you probably remember Colton Zirkle, he was on with us.
Oh yeah, we know Colton really well. I'm a life member of the Missouri Conservation Heritage. Yeah, actually. No, it's the Hunting Heritage. Let's get the name right, it's the Missouri Hunting Heritage Foundation. Foundation, you got it. But what I love about, learning about what CFM really was, right?
Because if you're just an average person, sometimes you don't know what some organizations are. Like what's CFM? What is this? It's amazing how often. Politicians and or people are coming after our hunting rights and the average outdoorsman has no [00:31:00] idea it's happening. They're just not there because there's organizations like CFM that are on the front lines, fighting for our rights as Missouri hunters.
Or outdoors men and women. And the more I learned about it, I was like, okay, that is awesome that we have something like this because forgive me if I'm wrong. Not every state has that luxury that they have. Most states have a similar organization. It's just that Missouri's is one of the strong, one of the biggest.
Michigan United Conservation Clubs is real strong. Wyoming has a good group, Montana has a good group, Georgia, Alabama. There's some strong groups around the country but unfortunately they're not in every state that strong. It's actually an affiliation of organizations through the National Wildlife Federation.
Which I'm a fan of most of the time, but they've gotten a little too pronouns on business cards for my taste lately. I hear you. But at the national level, you've got the [00:32:00] sportsman's alliance. Those guys are incredible. Those guys don't, they don't pull any punches. They talk about what they believe in trapping, hunting, shooting rights.
You got the TRCP, the Theodore Roosevelt conservation partnership and the congressional sportsman's foundation. They're doing a ton of behind the scenes work with legislators at the Washington DC level. So when it does come time to make some donations throughout the year. If you're interested in supporting your rights, look at those organizations to make a 20 donation to you.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I just, we just learned so much. I didn't mean to go down this big rabbit hole as bad, but we learned so much. They talk about, let's say you're a deer hunter, right? Okay. And that's all you are. You might not care that they're going after hound hunting, right? But make no mistake about it.
That's just a low hanging fruit. They're, they go after, the low hanging fruit sometimes so that they can get that one out of the way, and then guess what might be next? And if you're a outdoorsman or [00:33:00] woman or a conservationist, you should care about everything that is available out there, not just what affects you.
And that's what's cool about organizations like CFM and other state organizations and the one, like Sportsman's Alliance and other national ones that you talk about. But, man, I. I appreciated meeting a guy like Brandon and Shags that were like front line type of dudes that were...
Doing the, our bidding for us and like fighting for what the, what is right for us as a state and as outdoorsmen and women. So you guys always sit up on a little bit of a pedestal for me. Don't get big ass heads. I'm not saying you're, but they had to make me a special helmet.
But I know shags is already like 6'10 anyways, just Yeah, I was gonna say if we're on the front lines and it's John snow and the giant in game of thrones Funny that i'm watching that whole series again because you know the giants that are north of the wall.
Yeah, that's shag skin That's me. [00:34:00] That's where I come from white walkers. That makes sense. That makes sense north of the wall, man I was just a wiseness on the radio that had a platform that could stand up for conservation They got just lucky that My big goofy ass likes to hunt and fish, and I got a giant signal and a microphone, so they're forced to listen.
We were talking about consistency not too long ago, and that's the key. You guys putting out your podcasts every week, we put our podcasts out every week. I wrote my first newspaper column in September of 2006, and I've published a newspaper column every week since. So it's the consistency.
I write from vacation, I've written from the hospital. Wherever I have to be, I'm consistently getting that message out. And, over time, nearly 20 years now, it started to to build a little bit of a following, that's impressive, because I have a hard time forming one sentence, let alone writing an article.
I'm proud of you for that. When I was a kid, man I was fortunate to have a grandpa that consumed outdoor media. And it's just funny, [00:35:00] like, how life works out, because my grandpa... Like I would literally stay the night over at his house on Friday nights, and this is pre cable. That's how old I am.
We're talking like 1988, 1989. I was 9, 10 years old in that time period. And we'd stay, I'd stay the night there. Grandpa'd get up early, make pancakes, and then at 5 30 in the morning, we would turn on. Channel 38. It was a UHF Christian channel out of Chicago. And we would watch N. Fisherman Bill Dance, Babe Winkleman, Roland Martin and just consume it.
He recorded these tapes. I lost some of them in the fire. Or he recorded these shows on VHS tapes. And I lost some of them in the fire, but I still have a few. And he also went through every magazine and just underlined and highlighted. We recently had Al Linder on, the founder of InFisherman, and that was my dream come true.
I've never seen him more excited before in my life. My grandfather up in heaven is bragging on his [00:36:00] boy. He had no idea. He never told me I could do this. He, there was never like, you could be an outdoor rider. You could be an Al Linder. No one ever told me. I was the dude that literally had deer wallpaper.
I had this mural in my bedroom. Girls would come over and be like yep, nice to meet you, bye. Leave my bedroom. What a loser. I was, in my fraternity at Purdue, I was the guy at midnight saying, Shut up, I have to go deer hunting tomorrow. And they'd be like, Dude, there's 15 sorority girls in this room.
You sure you don't wanna hang out with us? And I'm like, No, I'm going deer hunting. And why didn't somebody say to me you can go deer hunting when you're 40. You only get this for a little window of time. But that's how consumed I was with it at an early age. But still, nobody ever said you can make a living in the outdoor industry.
You could be a writer. You could do that. So I try to promote that all the time. And I, we talk. in our podcast with you about encouraging other people to do what we're doing right now. And [00:37:00] I think you've done a great job of that, Nate, like telling other people if you got something to say.
Say it. I'll do my Bradley Cooper imitation from A Star is Born. You got something to say and people want to hear it, so Oh, I thought you were gonna do the, I just wanted to get another look at you. I saved that one for other times, man. That was a good line. It was. Screw Bradley Cooper, too, He's probably the closest thing I've ever had to a man crush.
Just on his acting and looks alone. And then he turns out to be a goddamn rock star. I'm like, why do some people just get it all? Hey, I've asked that question my entire life, but I'm never going to get an answer. Yeah, but that's a good movie, man. Yeah. There's so many things I want to talk to you guys about because, I've been listening to your show pretty much since we started our show.
And you guys have had, I don't really want to bring it up, but I'm going to, okay? Cause I know it, it is a tender subject for you, Brandon, but the episode you did, and I was actually[00:38:00] scrolling back through trying to find it on your guys's list, but the episode you did talking about driftwood acres.
I think that, did you call it that? Driftwood Acres? No, yeah, that was the name of the farm. Yeah. The cabin and all that, but you're probably talking about the episode called Up in Smoke. Yes, that, that episode. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I drive a lot for work. I, that's all I do. I don't listen to the radio.
As far as music playing, right? I love listening to podcasts and yours is one of them. And that show, you ever listen into something and you get... emotional with the people telling the story, like your emotions change. As a result, and that's when you know the content is good, except I felt dirty because the content I was listening to was you talking about losing this freaking, dream of yours essentially, right?
The cabin and everything that was in it. You just said you lost some of your grandpa's memories in there and stuff. [00:39:00] Oh man there's no end to the list of things. Yeah, no end. I would just encourage our listeners to go back and listen to that one and kind of hear the I'm still scrolling trying to find up in smoke.
It's episode 74. Driftwood Driftwood Acres up in smoke. Episode 74. Shag's lost things too. A lot of people did. Shag's had his two biggest white tails of his life. Two biggest deer, two biggest bucks I've ever harvested in that, were in that cabin. Three hour show. And I listened to every second of it from beginning to end.
What was amazing about that day was all these people showed up to help me clean it up. There were so many people that poured themselves into building this place. And I could look at a wall and be like, Oh, Paddle Don and David Calandro put that cedar up. Or I could look at a railing and be like, My dad built that.
My dad did the shower. My Uncle Tom, hung the rock behind the fireplace. Shags was there for moral support.[00:40:00]
He could put nails in high spots. I actually couldn't. That was a funny story. All I had to do was drill the tin into the ceiling and I kept shooting screws. So I couldn't get it to, and they're falling down on Brandon's dad's head. He was building a bathroom from nothing. I was watching it form. And, yeah they, I could measure and I could saw, so you just stayed outside and I just cut, I cut the lumber.
You were like that guy in The Simpsons, I'm helping. I'm trying, I was trying. So I had taken, there, there was an old cabin and I took it down like piece by piece and I took the old roof and made it the ceiling of this like real high vaulted ceiling. It was 20 feet from the floor to the peak. And I ran a rock wall all the way up.
I had my grandfather's Boone and Crockett mule deer. His only mounted whitetail and an antelope there. I had my half life sized bear, another bear skin that I had from British Columbia. So many things. I had Ron Kruger's ashes, so he got [00:41:00] cremated twice. So he went through the cabin fire. Oh, God. Lord help us.
Poor Ron. I had my bed was handmade by my great grandfather. I had a cannonball safe that had been passed down since the Civil War. Not a cannonball safe, a cannonball chest. Yeah. So things like that, man. And like it was incredibly painful, but at the same time, humbling, you've talked about your faith, Nate, and I appreciate that.
And I'm one of those people that's always been a believer, but. I've always had this, where's God in my life? Like, why do these people claim that God talks to them, and they have this relationship, and I've always been here waiting for my turn. And in that time, man, I gotta tell you, I felt like the hand of God on me.
And it was in the form of the people that came out of the woodwork to shelter me from the pain that anyone would expect to feel. And when strangers [00:42:00] showed up, to clean up this burned up dream of mine. Like it really showed me that good can outweigh evil and typically does. So we had a lot of those people on the podcast to tell their version of what it was like at the cabin and close the book on something that was really special.
We actually had just listeners of the podcast to reach out and is this the weekend you're cleaning up? And they came up. From southern southeast Missouri. Yeah. Chad Huber and his buddy, they drove all the way up just to help clean for the day and then left. Back, yeah. It was like I said, I felt like I was experiencing it with you the way you guys were telling it.
Yeah, episode 74, January 26, 2021 when that one came out. Yeah. And I kinda, obviously there's so many things I've listened to, but there's certain things that I was excited to talk to you guys about today. That not excited, to talk about that, I've never met Brandon or shags in person.
And actually I don't think, yeah, I've talked to both of you one [00:43:00] time. It's cool to Ask about that, and then you fast forward to a few months ago, and Shaggs has this Shaggs strokes out. The podcast is a real grind, dude. I'm like I blame Brandon for that.
I'm like, Shaggs, come on, man. We need a break. So he's like, all right, I'll just have a stroke. Yeah. And that podcast is called The Great Stroke. The Great Strocation. Yeah. I'm glad we can joke around about it now because it was pretty scary in, in the moments. Dude he has a stroke. I'll let him tell the story about how it all went down because he, it's crazy to hear somebody explain the process of going through a stroke.
But I will give my plug for modern medicine since that when I got to the hospital about two hours after he was there, he couldn't talk, he couldn't walk his right side of his body was shut down. And I was genuinely, out of my mind, scared for him. I thought, he's never going to be the [00:44:00] same.
And, three days later, he walked out of the hospital. It was just, it was a true miracle, man. The big He got there in time. Yeah, they gave him medicine, and it worked, and clearly God's got more plans for this guy. Hey, looking out the window in my basement here, and there goes a whole herd of deer.
I've got, I live in Columbia at the moment. There's this place behind the house where there's a bunch of city deer. Yeah. Yeah, the city deer. Yeah, they're, you can walk right up to them sometimes. But yeah, the story, dude, of how the stroke went down. Yeah. You can just go back and listen to the strocation because it's a long story.
Episode 173. Like you woke up aware that you were having a stroke. No, I woke up mid stroke. I didn't know what was happening. I didn't know I was actually having a stroke until I realized I couldn't talk. I remember waking up from a nap and just being like, what is, where's my right, where's my right arm?
And remember in a haze, like looking around for it, I couldn't find it. And then it didn't even look like it was a part of my body. It looked like it was. detached and just on the bed and I remember [00:45:00] grabbing it putting on my chest and then trying to get up and I couldn't get up and I even had the thought of am I having a stroke?
I was like, no, dude, you're, I was 44 at the time. I was like, you're 44 years old. You're not having a stroke. So I found myself awkwardly off the bed and on the bed. And it's I guess this is how Savannah is going to find me. Cause she was supposed to be home. That's my fiance at any time from work.
So after about 30 minutes of laying there, I got a little bit of feeling enough to sit up at least. And I tried to stand up and I fell back down on the bed and I just shuffled. around enough to put some clothes on and I remember going and just standing outside like a weirdo and people say that a lot apparently when people are having strokes and and someone seeing it like, Hey, we need to take you somewhere.
There's something wrong with you. They get very combative. And I can see that now because it never crossed my mind. I was ever in any danger. And even though I was dragging my whole right side around. [00:46:00] For some reason, it just couldn't comprehend. I was having a stroke. I was having a traumatic brain injury and it wasn't working correctly.
And it got to the point where I was like, man, maybe I should go to the hospital. I'm just gonna drive myself and I had to pick up my right leg, your gas pedal leg and pull it into my vehicle. And we talk about higher powers, or people looking out for you. My key went in the ignition, and I went to turn it, and my phone rang.
And it was Savannah. And that's when I realized I couldn't talk, because the whole time before, I was all in my head, talking to myself through this. Yeah, and then that's when I couldn't even make a noise. I was just heavy bre I couldn't even squeak. I couldn't do anything. And that's when I realized I was in a lot more trouble than...
I ever comprehended. So they, she gets there, she gets me to the hospital. And it was probably a good thing I couldn't talk because there was some kid in front of me asking the receptionist in the ER a bunch of stupid like questions you could have Googled. [00:47:00] And I was back there brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Like, trying to grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr literally dying, standing, my brain is bleeding.
And, hahahaha And I couldn't get, I couldn't get out of dude, get out of the way. Like I'm in some serious trouble. And as soon as they saw me, I was back getting tests. And when Brandon showed up and a couple of other co workers, they had already given me the medicine. But apparently I wasn't much help, because I kept nodding yes to everything they were saying.
Like, when did this start? Like one o'clock and I nodded my head yes, two o'clock and I nodded my head yes, and thankfully the doctor and Savannah were just gonna risk it and give me the medicine because apparently if you take it after the small window It makes the injury even worse So it was a real risky thing that they did that got me to where I am now But when Brandon was talking about seeing me He's the first one that noticed that I could comprehend what people were saying because he asked me.
He's you can hear us, right? I nodded. Yes. He's you understand what we're saying? [00:48:00] Yes. He's do you think you could draw? Do you think you could write and I nodded? Yes so they got me a pen and paper and I sat there and just stared at this thing at this clipboard this paper and this pin was in my Hand I couldn't even get I was like just scribble dude.
Just make the mark just scribble and I couldn't get my right side I couldn't get my hand To do it and another friend of ours, Josh Ryan was there and he just leaned in. He's just draw a dick, dude. I was going to say, it would have been really funny looking back at just some boobs. But in my head, like I started to well up, like I started crying because in my head I was like, I can't even draw a dick.
What's my life going to be where I can't even draw. Who am I if I can't even draw a penis? Yes, so it started to all like everything started to catch up with me of I'm the living out of speaking and I can't even Doodle or I can't even communicate what's my life gonna be? How am I gonna provide and it was a super scary moment, but after having That clot [00:49:00] bluster or clot buster.
They gave me there was improvement every single hour. We were just seeing it was pretty even to the next day when Brandon saw me I could start I was speaking again But it was no in short sentences like I couldn't keep a long conversation going But yeah to go in Monday afternoon early evening not being able to talk, walk, communicate, to walking out on my own on Thursday and then saying I could go back to work if I wanted to was a miracle.
It was pretty impressive. Yeah that, I was gonna say, I was listening to that one too and it just, scary, fun, you can make fun of a lot of stuff now, after you know what happened and Shaggs is good to go you can always kinda like laugh at yourself later. But, at the time, I think there was a show right before that one, I think that Brandon gave an update on Shags, maybe, before the Stroke cation.
Yeah. And that one, I was just like, man this could be, like, is he gonna be alright? Is he done? [00:50:00] Is, all this stuff, and, so once again that was another one that, I had the feels were going on, right? And we had, I don't know if they were exactly the same time.
Let's see. Yeah, your stroke happened... December 5th. After. I will never forget. So it was before yeah, it was right around that same time. But we actually had a show with a guy, a friend of Micah's. His name's Danny Goldhammer. What a name, by the way, right? That's a great name. Goldhammer, sorry. We called him Goldhammer.
He had a stroke. He got COVID. And he's 38 years old at the time, or whatever he was. Younger. And his wife was doing some research on something, and he's man, something's wrong, and she's maybe you're gonna have a stroke because it does say this. He ends up having a damn stroke that night and it was the same situation as you.
His wife ends up like putting him on top of her back and like carrying him to the car and he gets to the hospital in time. He loses vision in both eyes for a long time, [00:51:00] or at least one eye couldn't see at night. He goes from having that stroke thinking that he's never going to see again. Can't drive a vehicle to kill him.
One of the biggest bucks of a lifetime that deer season. And you're just like. When those things happen luckily it hasn't happened to me. So you can see other people going through it and you're just, you're like, how fleeting life can be. You're just moving on through your life and you wake up and you're like, I'm having a damn stroke or something, right?
And luckily, sounds like you've made a pretty full recovery. Everything good now? Yeah. For sure. And you're right, dude. It definitely gives you a appreciation for life and just the idea of the things we take for granted because I like what will I ever get to wait fish or river again while I build it.
Get out and hunt or walk to a stand. There's a lot that crosses your mind when you're laying at the, staring at the ceiling in the hospital, in the ER, [00:52:00] but. Yep. It's a fortunate man who's humble enough to wake up each day and be thankful. Yeah, for sure. To walk. Yeah, exactly. And just to be clear even if I was still sitting here and.
not being able to doodle, we would still be making a lot of fun of it, and making jokes is an unhealthy coping mechanism. Oh yeah. When I'm uncomfortable I make jokes. Is it bad that I'm, I am a little disappointed? Because I, I had a vision in my head of Him looking the old man Lebowski in his wheelchair with the blanket over his leg.
Jeffrey. Yeah, Jeffrey Lebowski. And I was gonna push him up to the stand there at Dry Run Creek down in Arkansas, where only disabled people can fish. I was like, I finally have my in, and Shags would be sitting there in his wheelchair drooling, and I'd be fly fishing next to him, catching those lunkers, and being like, oh yeah.
I'm just helping my friend here. But no, he had to go and making me at the same height. He had to go make I a full recovery . Yeah, I was gonna get a van for [00:53:00] him with one of those lips and everything. Here he is walking out the hospital at like the 18, 18 van. Sounds like normal shags. You're a disappointment.
You have. Thank you. Thank you. Like God, can't you do anything? I know this guy gets us , but so you know, I'm kinda like doing this little like power walk through your guys' podcast. Some of my favorite ones and now, This show, as of the day we're recording with you guys, has not happened. I have a feeling it's going to.
Because the last actually it wasn't the last show I listened to, one of your most recent shows. You guys just got back from Africa. Not Shags. Shags, you weren't cool enough. But Brandon, you were, you went to Africa. I just didn't have the money for it. Yeah, so we just had a, we had an episode called Josh gets drunk and buys a trip to Africa.
Hilarious, by the way. Yeah, and he bought it at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet down in Jefferson City area. And he called and said, Hey man, [00:54:00] I bought this trip. Do you want to go? And I was like, yes. And then I asked my cousin Derek to go and both of those guys have been on the podcast a number of times.
Back in 2020, I was doing a executive MBA at the university of Missouri and we were supposed to go to South Africa to work through this third world country. It was like an exposure to an emerging market in the world on the world business stage. So I tacked on a. Safari at the end where I would leave Cape Town, everybody else would fly back to the States, I'd rent a car, drive to the southern tip of South Africa, it's called the Garden Route, and I was going to drive that to Port Elizabeth, and then go out on safari there.
So when Josh was like, yeah, it's a safari in Port Elizabeth. I'm like, dude, I'm in. I'm in. Because that got, of course, cancelled because of COVID. So I got to Zoom for two weeks instead of go to Africa in 2020. Sounds amazing. Yeah, so anyways when, this new opportunity got laid in my hands I jumped on it.
And there's so many [00:55:00] things to go over, man. First of all, I'll say this. The game is... It's getting you there for as long as you can be there, like our hunt was seven days or eight days. It needed to be about four days that the idea for them is like they give you a break on the lodging and food and everything you get in camp.
But they want to keep you there because there is no limit. There is no tagging out. It's whatever you pull the trigger on. So when we went over there, we had created our lists of what we wanted to hunt. Yeah. I liked hearing your lists. They blow you through your list and then they leave you to sit with nothing to do for a few days.
Unless you want to go to town, they charge you 80 bucks to go to town. Derek and I rode horses on the beach, and when we got there, they were like, yes, that'll be X amount of rand, and we figured it was like 27. And then we had to pay through the outfitter, though, who charged us 100. So he went up 400 percent on the actual cost of the excursion, which sucked.
Of course, now I've learned so much just [00:56:00] from one trip, but... When I'm talking about the game, there were fences all over. Like I, I was real apprehensive about going because of the fences. I'm going to write an article called When in Rome because I was doing what the Romans do while I was there and there, I didn't kill anything that a 85 year old man in a wheelchair couldn't have killed.
And that was just what I signed up for, unbeknownst to me what it was going to be. Am I happy I killed it? Yeah, I killed a Cape buffalo, a wildebeest, a Gems buck, an impala, and a white blessed buck, and I'm going to have this beautiful African wall. And I can feel incredibly good about where all the meat went.
All that meat. Some of it is sold like game meat to restaurants. There's a market for the prime stuff. But as the Native Americans did, they utilized nearly every piece of these animals. And when you see the poverty over there, and you see the [00:57:00] shantytowns that they call the location, and the people that are reliant upon the money coming in from hunting, and the meat that's provided, From the Outfitters to orphanages, old folks homes, food pantries, wherever, you can feel really good about what you're doing.
At times, it's like shooting cattle in a, in, in a very beautiful area. That's what killing the Cape Buffalo was, like, shoot that cow. And the back strap out of that and ate it that night, and it was some of the best open wood fire meat I've ever had. It was super, super cool.
But what I learned is the adventure is there. Like it's on you though, to set up your hunt the way you want it to be. Talk to the outfitter before you get there. Tell them what level of difficulty you're looking for. Next time I go back, I want to get a spiral horn slam, but I also want to just hit the bush with my longbow.
So if I'm turned loose in 10, 000 acres with a longbow, where there's baboons that'll rip you to pieces, snakes that'll kill you with one bite, there's real [00:58:00] adventure there to be found. But their goal as the outfitter is to get you to shoot as much shit as you'll shoot as fast as you'll shoot it.
So you'll order the next thing off the list and that's what Josh did. So please tell me he ripped through his list and just kept going. He did, like he added a bush buck. So like they pull things on you too. Like I got there and they were like hey, we got this special opportunity. This guy wants to turn his farm into a citrus farm and there's a herd of cape buffalo there.
And they want him gone. And I'm like, yeah, Kate Buffalo is like 14, 000. You got the wrong dude. He's he's you can do a cow for 2, 000. And they look about the same, just the bosses on top of their head are not as big. And I thought shit. Alright, so then I had to like, re redo my list. I, at that point, I'm like, okay, I'm gonna drop either the Gems Buck or the Kudu.
And if you've listened to me before I'm a collector. Shags is sitting in front of my Ironwood collection, my [00:59:00] Recurve and Longbow collection. I just collect shit. And I've got the World Slam with turkeys full body mounted, like once I start a process and I'm in this 50 and 50 by 50 where I'm trying to kill something in every state by the time I turn 50, I just collect experiences.
So when I found out that the Kudu is part of the Spiral Slam that also includes the Nyala. The bush buck and the eland. I was like I'm just going to come back and kill the spiral slam all in one trip. That way it's not like when Tiger Woods won like three of the masters in one year or when he won three of the majors in one year and then one in the next year.
Was it the slam? I'm not going to deal with that. I'm going to kill them all in the same year. So you can go do that and set yourself up for, adventures that way. Go over there, get your feet wet, shoot a bunch of shit, like it was fun, man, and feel good about the money you're spending going to these people that are living in poverty and the meat that you're providing to them.
The bones are taken and turned into jewelry. I brought Shagg's fiance back a a kudu bone [01:00:00] necklace and bracelet. So yeah, it, there's nothing that happened over there that I, feel guilty about, but at the same time, it wasn't exactly, that's not even a good way to say it. It wasn't even close to what I personally enjoy when it comes to hunting.
It's not what your version of hunting is, it's just it was different. There's like shooting live targets, which is like prairie dog hunting, which is cool, like I've done a bunch of. It's like shooting live targets. Anyways. Which, those animals over there, I heard you guys talking on that show where Josh got drunk and bought a hunting trip to Africa.
Like the baboons are so overpopulated, the I don't know about all the other animals being overpopulated, but, the money that comes into their economy from the hunters doing these sorts of things you could imagine what would happen if that were, taken away people with that, people would come over literally people would die if there wasn't hunting over there to feed people, [01:01:00] to give income to people, to create an economy around wildlife. And that's what just the average person, average Joe doesn't understand. Because even when Brandon had posted a couple of pictures on our social media page, there were a couple of comments.
of people not knowing, oh, you're just a trophy hunter. But then you show them a picture of the location and a starving baby. And now I put protein in that kid's belly. Come at me now. And And you'll always have people that See a Oh sure. Cute water buffalo or cute something and go, I can't believe you would shoot.
I mean there was a very prominent hunter that just recently, I'm not gonna name his name. Jason recently killed a Jaguar and over in Africa, and he actually put a nice, a good post out about how it's a leopard. A leopard. A leopard. A leopard. Yes. Jaguars are down in the jungle. You know who I'm talking about.
And there was a good post about why that was important. It's not about, oh, I just want to go and [01:02:00] kill a leopard. It's the money that comes into those economies. It's, you're helping the the hierarchy of the animals out there too. Some animals need to go. I remember listening to there's a podcast, I'm sure you guys know who they are, Working Class Bow Hunter.
They also went to Africa last year, and one of them ended up killing a giraffe. And this giraffe was like an old bull that was hurting other bulls and he needed to go. How's it go? They make some money and he's able to harvest a really cool giraffe, I haven't got to go. I would do it in a heartbeat, I think.
But, hearing the stories about it is what is dry is my version of going to Africa now. When I heard you were getting to go, and then we set up this podcast, I'm like, there's no way he's not back yet. He had to have done it. I've got to ask him how Africa was. Yeah. The land itself, man. I've been telling everybody that it's resembling if Montana was on the ocean.
So you've got these beautiful different [01:03:00] landscapes of like bad lands, broken jagged breaks type areas, and then you've got mountains, some with snow on top of them, within spitting distance of the Indian Ocean. I hunted with a guy named Patrick one day who runs boats. in the bay for filming for shark week.
It was my absolute nightmare. He told this story, he told this story about a dude and this is in Plettenberg Bay. That's where I killed the cape buffalo was just north of Plettenberg Bay. And he said they were out there filming for shark week. He shows me this video of a shark eating his raft, like bites it.
Pops it is now attacking the motor and he's kicking the shark in the face and the shark is as big as the raft Trying to get it off his motor that it's destroying while his boat sinks that this shark just popped and he's Oh, this shark's name is Rolex And I'm like, why is this shark's name Rolex?[01:04:00]
He said, because there was this guy who used to live in town, and we all told him to stop swimming in the bay. These sharks are acting funny right now. You don't want to be out there. They found his torso. Minus. The arm that had his Rolex on it. So that shark ate his arm and had a Rolex inside of it.
And now they call it Rolex. Yeah. And they drug, and Patrick helped drag that dude's torso to the shore. Josh told me they were trying to put you in a cage and get you down sharks. But then apparently they made it illegal, you just mentioned my nightmare. I can think of, I, I'm not a fan of oceans, man they're beautiful, but I'm not a big fan of getting inside of something that there's a bunch of things inside that can kill me, and I can't see them coming, dude it, we just got back from Florida, and we were out on this sandbar one night with my sons looking for sand dollars, and this Where were you at in Florida?
Oh. Madeira Beach. I don't know what part of the state that is. It's [01:05:00] near Tampa. It's on the Gulf side. Okay. And he's Dad, look, and there's a dolphin like 30 feet from us. And I'm like, Oh, that's cool. And the whole time I'm thinking that thing could come screw us up if it wanted to, and everyone thinks dolphins are cute and lovely, but it's by itself. So I'm sitting there going, that's a male by himself. My other son's out there looking for sand dollars, has no idea.
This dolphin swims like seven feet away from them. And the kid's just oblivious. That a, an animal with so much power is just right there. And I'm just like, put me back on land now. You Midwest boys cranked me up. My parents have a winter home in Bradenton, just south of Tampa, just south of the sunshine Skyway bridge.
So I'm in that same area and I go down there to finish up my scuba certification. I did most of it here in a pool in Columbia. Then you gotta do your open water dives. I was planning on doing it at Bull Shoals I'm gonna be a freshwater diver. But I found myself in Florida with [01:06:00] time, and I'm like, I'm just gonna do it.
So I went to a dive shop, they hooked it up. Dude takes me out to Anna Maria Island, which is just off of the Sunshine Skyway. And I remember hearing that there's a lot of sharks that go through that channel. So we get out into the water, and it's like coffee color. I can't see my hand.
Extended. I'm picturing like, aqua blue Bahama water with little like Nemo looking fish swimming around me. And it was like being in the Missouri River. And he goes, okay, we're gonna go down. Now, if something big comes by you, it's probably, no, it might be a manatee. I'm like, cool. He's but it's probably a shark.
And I was like, wait, what? What? Could have done without that second statement. Yeah, man. And so I ended up doing it. And then he's okay, we got to do this one more time tomorrow. And I was like, nah, we're not, I'm not doing it. Like at that point, I'd already been in water. Let's [01:07:00] get this shit over with and get out of there.
So I made that dude drive an hour inland to a crystal clear lake that had an underwater obstacle course for scuba divers. And that was my jam. That was cool. There were largemouth bass, there was tilapia, there was all kinds of fun fish to play with. You could see 50 feet in front of you, and I'm with you, man.
I did my, yeah. I'm a prototypical I'm the version of a human being that knows he used to be prey. Like when I'm in the mountains, I'm keenly aware that mountain lions exist, and I'm keenly aware that, I don't want to go where the grizzly is, and I even know black bears can mess you up.
I am a sissy, so I don't like putting myself in situations where I can be the hunted. I like to have the upper hand, so the ocean has always made me uncomfortable because, oh, you've seen a Person try to swim. It doesn't work. So I said, I'm not afraid of sharks on the land. I'm just afraid of sharks in there.
And if a sharks wants to come and fight me on the beach, let's go, bro. Walk up to me,[01:08:00] but I'm with you, but that, that Africa trip, man I'm anxious to hear about it. On your guys. I loved it so much, man, that I'm in the process right now, helping my professional hunter.
Potentially with a land deal. I'm excited about this in the future. There's not much more I want to say about it right now. Sure. But, if we do that, I definitely want to get, some trips set up and get people like yourself over there and start spreading the word. I'm going to go down there and fish for tiger.
Yes. Tiger fish. Patrick, the dude that was kicking Rolex in the face, is a fisheries biologist as well. And he invited us to come over and fly fish for tiger fish. And if you're not familiar with tiger fish, you should Google that search. Google it right now. I have internet again, so I'll do it right now.
We're going to do that up in Zimbabwe. That's always been a bucket list fish of mine. And if this deal works out that I'm, Oh, dear Lord, that thing's got teeth like a tiger. Yeah, man. I'm going to, I'm going to have my own house on our cottage cabin, whatever you want to call it on about 2000 acres.
But not all the hunts for life, the [01:09:00] experience you had though, because there's uncle Steve has gone many a times in the one he goes to is like Tens of thousands of acres. We had tens of thousands of acres to cover, too. But they were separate farms. Some of them were not. We're never on anything smaller than 5, 000 acres.
And the fences are low. They're not like, they're nothing like what you see here. They are, they do impact the herd in some instances. I saw herds of animals. along fences that were just like zebras, things like the bigger things that were there. But they run their fences to where there's a lot of space between strands of wire that have no barbs.
So I watched a lot of animals just like the way a deer would jump over a fence they would just jump through it. And I watched like warthogs go through it, like it wasn't even there, they just blow right underneath it, like the bottom kind of lifts up. a cape buffalo, anything like that. If it really wanted to get out, it would be like breaking through a [01:10:00] piece of two pound fishing line.
It's not, it's more of a psychological barrier, I believe, than an actual physical barrier. But I don't want to give any kind of impression that I'm down on experience at all. Like it was amazing. It was so cool to, to see the animals, to shoot some animals. To just get that first hunt over there out of the way, because Uncle Steve and other, lots of people said it's a needle to the vein, man.
Once you, once you take that first hit, you're going back in. And I'm already planning, not only planning, I'm planning on becoming part of an outfitting operation over there. Nice. It. It really was. Brandon's jumping way off. Yes, he is. Cocaine's a hell of a drug, is what they say.
Nobody knows him was surprised when he came back. I own part of Africa, just so you guys know now. Dude, land over there is two, three hundred dollars an acre. It's like going back in time, man. It really is. But you can't just own it. Not, there is, there's political complications.
Sure. As well. Yeah. Oh, boy, that would be [01:11:00] nice. I have a buddy who just bought a farm for six thousand an acre and he got a good deal. Ooh. Oh, man, dude. For sure. I could sell my forty acres in Howard County. And buy 5, 000 acres in Africa with the same money, with the same money. Wow. That's crazy.
Yeah. I'm looking forward to that show. By the time this comes out for us that, that show might already be out. So if you are listening to us right now and you haven't. Go check out Triftwood Outdoors and see if you can see the show. I guess I'm talking for Brandon and Shags, but I'm guessing they're going to talk about that on their show at some point.
We've got, we did the we have no idea what we're getting into episode, which was Josh gets drunk and buys a trip to Africa. Then while we were there, we recorded four nights in a row, like recap. So shags in his, editing wizardry, in his editing wizardry put parts one and two together and parts three and four together.
So there's, there'll be episode one and episode two. Yeah, day one and two is part one, day three and four is part two. And then we're [01:12:00] going to do a wrap, a recap. Shaggy is going to interview me for a few minutes and then we're going to bring Derek and Josh back on and wrap the whole thing up. So we'll have four weeks total.
Of African content and we're interested to see if people like that, if they like, dig the idea. I've got sounds like four shows that I'll be able to just take care of at least a week worth of work. Thank you for that. That works for me. Shags. Yeah, but then I'm over there in, I'm over, yeah, I was gonna say I'm over there in Africa.
And posting Gimsbuck and Wildebeest and then Shags goes down and catches three giant trout in one day on the Current River and people are like, pfft. Africa, they just gravitate right to his post on social media and no one gives a shit about the Gemsbusters that just killed. Shags caught more trout.
That's because Shags is awesome. Thank you for finally recognizing that. What let's hear about this three drought, three trout day on on the Current River, man. Let's clarify. It was three trophies, not just three trouts. Three trophies. No, I'm kidding. He's [01:13:00] not kidding. They were amazing fish.
It's easy to go down there and catch three trout. Nobody's going down there and catching one while he caught three up. Yeah, I wake up in the morning. I piss excellent.
It just happened to work out. Because we joked about on our podcast when we interviewed you about gift cards and me losing my polarized sunglasses. So I'd gone down a day before and I had fished and I don't know what I did with my polarized glasses. I lost them. On that Friday, so Saturday, we had some work done on my trailer that I have down there and the fiance and I were like let's go get a bite to eat and then we'll fish in the afternoon and just be casual and I'm just gonna grab my spinning rod.
Because without my polarized glasses being able to see where my flies are at in the water, I didn't want to have to deal with that, not knowing where my flies were, because I like to sight fish and whatever. So I'm like, I'm gonna grab my spinning rod and some jerk [01:14:00] baits and we'll go down there. And... We weren't having any luck, and there was a person in the spot that I wanted to go to, and we were feeling very defeated and very frustrated, and we were already planning on where we were going to go next, and I changed That you were like, get this guy out of here, he just wanted to say how awesome you were.
No, I was sitting there and we joke, and I've even joked on the radio show and on the podcast that I want to stop talking about that area so much because now it's affecting my fishing because there's so many people down there. Oh, I can see. But yeah, and which I shouldn't because I'm supposed to be a sportsman and I'm all about conservation until it impacts my conservation.
Then I don't like it as much. But, we had gotten this plan okay, we're going to walk out, we're going to go to this other spot, we're going to try some things, and as we were walking out... I casted with a new lure and I caught that huge rainbow, which that rainbow gets lost in the photo dump [01:15:00] because it's not as colorful and pretty as the browns I caught.
But that thing was a beast. That thing was probably close to seven pounds. It was 23 and a half inches long and 14 inch girth. It was by far the biggest rainbow I've ever caught in my life. It barely fit in my net. It was. Hog and we released it and at that time I'd noticed the guys fishing and the spot down below were walking out and they'd already gotten past us.
So I was like, why don't we just keep with the original plan now? And even my head, I was like, I should just walk out. It's not going to get any better. There's no way I'm going to catch other fish that size. And in even Savannah was like, I don't know, let's just keep going. I was like, all right, let's go.
We go back down to the next hole where they were standing for an hour fishing and I didn't see them catch anything. I caught those two browns out of that and the one that's the super orange belly, I'd seen him in there before because he glows. That belly is so orange [01:16:00] with the polarized glasses.
You can see him in the water if you know what you're looking for. And it was so cool to catch him because he came out of the water like two or three times. And when I say come out of the water, he was completely out airborne, flying, just even Savannah's Oh my goodness. It's we don't like that.
We want him to stay in the water. And those were both over 20 inch browns and one was 21. The other one was right at 20. And yeah, it just was a remarkable day. I caught a handful of other fish, but to be able to catch three trophies in the first four fish you catch in the day is just unheard of that was by far one of the best days I've ever had on the water and it probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't lost my Polaroids glasses and if we hadn't got.
Frustrated and say we were going to walk out. It may have never even happened. That rainbow is a beast It was huge it that picture doesn't do it justice of how massive that fish was It was [01:17:00] the biggest rainbow I've ever caught. Have you fished Taneycomo much Nate? Oh man, it's been, my dad, so my dad's a huge fly fisherman.
He, that's all he does. He when my kids were younger, we used to go down to Taneycomo a lot together. I had a fifth wheel, so did he. Once I sold it, that has stopped happening as much. So it's been several years since I've been down there. You need to come to the CFM media event. I need to. Oh yeah, you should have them come down there for that.
Also, by the way, Shags, the sunglasses you're wearing in the rainbow picture... Those aren't your new polarized ones, are they? No. Thank God. Find you something better for you there, you know what I'm saying? Oh, come on man, those are my everyday walking around glasses. That's kinda cool. I'm just kidding you.
Dude, that is a beat. If that was like in the sun, because you can tell the picture is in the shade. Yeah. That is a giant rainbow. The boys are just that's what I love about Bennett Springs, the boys, there's just so many opportunities to catch fish. Heck, you're standing in the water and there are fish swimming [01:18:00] all around you.
Oh yeah. But most of those fish, aren't going to be gigantic. The boys just have an absolute blast with catching. My gosh, that rainbow is beautiful. Or that brown, yeah, that orange belly one was it was neat because I'd seen all three of those fish in those holes before throughout the year because I like to say I like to site fish with my fly rod.
And I couldn't catch him. And then now I feel like I'm cheating. I hear just like my, some of my guides, fly fishing guide friends talking about the cheater rod because I was the one spinning gear. Chuck Grease in my gear, saying it's cheating. But, it was just neat to be able to catch those three fish after knowing that they were in there.
Yeah. Oh, that's me all day. I'm a very as, as good as I feel like I am with a bow and, sometimes rifles when it's coyote hunting I'm the least talented fisherman in the world. I used to fly fish with my dad, was never amazing at it, still could probably do it if I needed to.
And, I'm gonna throw something on the end of a rod and reel and throw it in the water. That's my [01:19:00] fishing acumen. My son, like I was telling you guys earlier, could fish circles around me. Teaches me so much. The boy's already got like a bait caster for bass and stuff and he's just flipping the thing like, and he's just amazing at it.
And he pretty much teaches himself these things. And that's awesome. I'll have to make him, I'll make sure he has to, we need to get him down to Tanticoma, that's for sure. And some other places outside of Bennett. He just he has a special place in his heart for Bennett. It's, our family went there for years and, hell, my, my third son is named Bennett.
That's cool. Because of Venice Springs. So it's, it's got a special place in our heart as a family, but I need to branch out and let him hunt or fish in some of these other places too. See what those state parks tax dollars do for you. Exactly. We only need to get you into a Smithfly Rass. We'll row you down the, we'll row, roll down your whole crew down the river and try to catch some big fish.
Sounds like a good idea to me. Party at the Polish Embassy. Yeah. That's a good idea. Boys, man, I'll tell you what, I had so many things I wanted to talk to you about, but then I just started thinking about all the [01:20:00] different things I've listened to in, in your guys's podcast and, help get our listeners to know you all better if they don't already know you, but if they don't one of you to just give me a quick plug about how people can.
Consume some of the stuff you do and see you guys. Brandon is the outdoor writer. So you can read all his articles at our website, driftwoodoutdoors. com. And we have a weekly podcast every Tuesday comes out the same day. Your guys's does. And it really is just highlighting the Midwest, Missouri.
We get lucky enough to where, me growing up in Oregon, you like to go out West and hunt. We have a couple of podcasts. It's not only salmon fishing on the Columbia River, but also Brandon going and getting his first ever black tail buck out there. He's a world traveler now. So you get podcasts about him in Africa.
You get tear jerking podcasts about us turning in poachers and then burning down trade, burning down cabins. It's. It's quite the, we got strocations. It's [01:21:00] quite the spectrum of outdoor content. We like to say that it's not, it's called Driftwood Outdoors, but it's really about people.
And it's about interesting experiences, cool people, cool places that are somehow associated with the outdoors. Yeah, 100%. Love it, man. Brandon Butler, Nathan shags McLeod. I appreciate you guys coming on so much. Yeah, man, we really appreciate it too. And let's do it again. Yeah, for sure, man. Respect what you guys are doing with your guys podcast and just love it, man.
Keep up the yo hunt. Try to thanks boys. Thank you. See ya.