Early Season Public Land Big Buck Strategy with Jacob Sklenar

Show Notes

For deer hunters, the early season is often where the high hopes of summer fade into disappointment and confusion. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you're tired of blanking early season and wondering where all those bucks you had on trail cam throughout the summer went, then this episode is for you!

In this episode of the How to Hunt Deer Podcast, Josh talks with Jacob Sklenar about how Jacob finds and hunts mature bucks in the early season. The guys discuss map scouting, in season scouting, connecting the dots, and of course, executing strategic hunts in the early season. Enjoy!

Find Jacob on Youtube and Instagram.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the how to hunt deer podcast, which is brought to you by Tacticamp. This podcast aims to educate those who are interested in becoming deer hunters, brushing up on essential skills, or maybe just adding a few new tactics to the toolkit. Here, we cover a variety of topics that are going to help you be more confident and successful in the field while you're hunting deer.

My name is Josh Raley. I'm your host, and we have an awesome episode lined up for you today. I was able to catch up with Jacob Sklinner, which if you haven't. If you haven't heard of Jacob Sklinner yet, he's one of those guys that I feel like is on the on the rise, I guess you could say, in the whitetail space.

The guy just thinks about deer hunting differently. He takes things to a whole other level, just the way he thinks through not only his strategy, but his tactics as well and he's just a good dude. He's a good guy, and the guy really knows his stuff when it comes to hunting whitetails. I wanted to get Jacob on to talk a bit about early season strategy.

Now [00:01:00] Jacob has experience in a lot of different kinds of terrain. So I think you're going to hear a lot in this episode that's applicable for you. We talk a bit about map scouting. We talk about in season scouting. We talk about pressure and the impact that can have on early season deer. And then finally, of course, we talk about setting up on early season bucks.

I'm going to let you know now it's a great episode. You're going to learn a lot. You might want to grab a pen and paper. Now sit back and enjoy the show. All right. Join me for this week's episode of the how to hunt deer podcast. Mr. Jacob Sklinner, Jacob, welcome to the show. Thanks, Josh. It's good to be here.

Really excited to get into deep diving conversation here. Dude I can't wait, man. We've been talking now for, I don't even know what time it is. What time is it? It's seven o'clock. So it's seven o'clock my time. So we've been talking for 30 minutes already and I'm freaking fired up to get going here on, on some deer hunting stuff.

We've. We've been talking about your season so far and how things have gone and hunts that you've done. And I've got my first set of the year tomorrow morning and I cannot wait, like I cannot get in the timber soon enough. [00:02:00] Unfortunately, I'm going to be working on podcasting stuff until roughly 12 or one tonight.

So it's going to be a, it's going to be a long one, but it'll be good in the morning to get out there and get after it. Jacob, just real quick, man. So you were on episode 91. Of the Wisconsin sportsman podcast. I've not had you on the how to hunt deer podcast yet. We did a whole episode where we were talking about map scouting and upping your game.

I think a lot of guys maybe approach map scouting in kind of a haphazard kind of way. They just pull up the map and it's like, all right, what am I looking for? And you really provided a systematic approach where you really broke things down. Why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your background just real quick for folks who maybe don't know you and maybe give them an idea of why that episode talking map scouting was so dang good.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate the compliments. So yeah, my name is Jacobs Glenner. I'm originally from Pewaukee, Wisconsin, so southeastern Wisconsin. I went to college at UW Platteville on southwestern Wisconsin, which [00:03:00] is a lot of hill country. Quite a beautiful place, honestly, for deer and terrain in general.

But I was a mechanical engineering degree or mechanical engineering major there, graduated the degree and I wrestled there as well. So I have a lot of my hard work drilling background and my. My very obsessive background comes from wrestling and a lot of my analytical approach comes from that mechanical engineering side of me.

And I'm currently have moved back to Southeastern Wisconsin and I'm working in Waukesha now and doing a lot of hunting around here, but a few years back, I I had a really. Interesting story that dealt with a lot of hardships that came out with a very nice book on public land. I'd always talk to Dan Infault a little bit just through forums and stuff.

And I shared with him that hunt. And he said, Hey, do you want to come over and interview and make an episode out of this? And so we I came over, we talked for three hours. He said, you know what? This went really well. You should probably just keep filming for us. Like you should keep filming your hunts and you should keep.[00:04:00]

Putting them out on the beast. And I was like, all right, as long as I get to edit it, cause I just want to become good at that side. And so ever since then, I've been filming for the hunting beast. I actually just did my first public land challenge with the hunting beast, the battle of the bows in Nebraska.

And yeah, man, I'm just absolutely torn up with deer hunting. I don't think obsession even lights a candle to it. I think I was put on this earth to do it and to help teach people how to do it as well. And nothing gets me more excited than being out in the woods. Yeah, man, there are certain guests that I get a chance to talk to and I talked to a lot of folks, right?

But there are certain guests that I get a chance to talk to. And after having that conversation with them, I change, like things change in me. Like I just make changes just out of nowhere. And that conversation that you and I had back a couple of months ago now at this point man, I made some big changes.

Like my map scouting has changed for the better. Just my thought process when it comes to map scouting and figuring out where I'm going to be on a property has changed. Dude, and I started [00:05:00] working out pretty hard too, because you guys are all getting after it on Instagram. And I was like here over the last couple of years, I've found myself getting frustrated because I'm in that situation or that, that age of life where it's I can do what I used to do, but I pay for it.

Like I can go in as far as I used to, but I'm going to be like really hurting. And so I'm starting to make decisions based on my fitness level, where it's like, should I go to that spot? That's a mile and a half in, or should I stop here at three quarters of a mile? And it's I'm going to stop here at three quarters of a mile, or whatever the case may be.

And it's based specifically on the fact that these, these dang boots are feeling heavy or whatever the case may be. And I was like, I can't be doing that anymore. Like I need to make decisions on about hunting totally based on the hunt where I think I've got the highest odds of success. Not, where I think is going to give me an easier in and out.

Yeah, man, I, after that conversation, I changed a lot of things about my approach for this year. And I'm going into this year feeling really good. So I've got a spot that I'm going into tomorrow. I've not, I, [00:06:00] so I've been there. I've been there during turkey season. But I've not hunted whitetails there.

I did not scout the area. But I think after After what I've learned from talking with you, After a lot of map scouting, After some hard work, I'm going in there pretty dang confident in this spot and it's essentially, it's a scouting mission, but I'm going to climb a tree anyway, when I get there in the morning, we'll see how it goes.

But man, so let's kick things off here talking a little bit about early season strategy. Like I said, last time we talked, it was all about map scouting and I want to hear when it comes to early season strategy. Like, where do you even start? Yeah first I want to say it's great to hear that, that you've been inspired and that you're busting your butt, man.

You it's, we don't really post that stuff. A lot of us actually feel really uncomfortable posting that workout stuff. Myself included, cause my motto has always been like work in the dark, all throughout wrestling and you don't want to see your opponents. Watch them, your workout, but the fact that a few people take some stuff from it and that it's giving you confidence in [00:07:00] your season and you're making some life changes like that's, what it's all about.

So every time I get a message from someone or I hear from someone that I look up to, like you, like the stuff you're doing is awesome. And every time I hear that, like it, it makes me feel inspired to be better too. So that's not just the one way Avenue. So I really appreciate hearing that from you.

Yeah. Thanks. Hey, keep. Keep posting it though, because that's stuff you guys are doing on Instagram. I see that and I'm like, alright. So maybe I missed my workout, but I'm going to go do something midday. I didn't hit it this morning, it. We're the same way with it. Like us guys that you think that you see us posting all the time.

Like we don't love getting that kicking our own ass, essentially. Like it's not the best thing in the world, I saw that, I saw that Bo got out. I saw that Jake got out. I saw that, ryan Glitzky got out. I saw all these guys that got out, got in some work, and they probably felt the exact same way I did.

I felt like I didn't have time, but I was like, damn it, they got out, now I have to. I gotta get after it. And we're the same as all you. We're not any kind of untouchable or super motivated or anything like that. We're just guys that, that make the [00:08:00] decision a little more often than we don't to do some hard work.

But I don't want to get too far on that tangent because I know we're going to dive into some tactics here. We got plenty to cover, but yeah, with early season strategy. So it's similar here in the marshes to what it was in hill country. And it's a lot centered around Oaks cause that window is short and it's it's closing fast here.

It's actually fading a lot sooner this year than I believe it has in the past. I think we're. dealt with a little bit of drought on the front end this year and a lot of really smoky conditions from wildfires in Canada in Wisconsin. We're dealing with that smoke and it's caused. I've seen acorns aborted, dropped when they were green and premature.

I've seen that in early august, late july. And as of this point right now, we're three days out from season. And I've tried to stay out of the woods for about two weeks, at least. I preferred to stay out, the month before season. But there are some areas that I don't expect to hunt till rut and I'll give them some checks [00:09:00] yet.

But my early season strategy is going to be the bedding that is shifting to acorns as food or to maybe an ag field. But hitting acorns first, so it's going to be keying in on those food sources that are phasing out rather quickly. And it's not that I'm hunting those food sources, it's that I'm hunting travel to those food sources.

And acorns are like your rarity where you can have an isolated tree, it can be a, what I call a secondary food source. to an ag field, which would be the primary. So they might be walking a mile to an ag field soybeans. If they're still right, like this time of year, they're not good now because of how dry it's been.

But, they be, they may be going a long distance to a major food source. Like maybe it's a major Oak Ridge, but they could be traveling 50 yards from their bed, 20 yards from their bed. Sometimes 100 yards from their bed to this secondary, which might be a lone oak tree. Things I'm really keen on in marshes and sometimes in hill country too, [00:10:00] are a stinging nettle jewel weed.

I'm looking at certain kinds of mushrooms and stuff like that. A lot of really. Unique, smaller food sources that are going to get hit on the way there, like in Nebraska, we just talked about it. Sunflower, wild sunflower like that. That was a great source of browse. Goldenrod, great source of browse sometimes, and I'm keying in on cutting a buck off and that betting that isn't quite frankly, isn't going to last long in this area.

Like that pressure is going to hit them. I'm keying in on betting that I know is going to go out of phase because of pressure or changing food sources. And I'm keying in on cutting him off on his way to those temporary secondary food sources so that I can take advantage of this short time of year that we have where these bucks are relatively unpressured in comparison to, rut and stuff and taking my best crack at them right away, getting really aggressive.

And then as the season shifts on those food sources start to change, I'm going to do a lot of in season scouting to adapt and figure out when they're [00:11:00] shifting. But yeah, there, there are plenty of really specific setups that those go hand in hand with, but I guess that's just my general approach there.

Yeah. That's good. I wanted to start with that big picture framework now piecing it apart just a little bit. Oak trees, man, those are huge. No matter where you are, if there are acorns falling on your ground especially if you have white oaks, like they're going to be a tremendous draw.

A couple of things that I've run into where I hunt in Wisconsin had a lot of burr oaks, those would often drop what you're saying was early this year, they would often drop, like that was their normal time, like they'd be done by the time, season rolled around. Now you could find some white oaks that were still, dropping some, technically they're both part of the white oak family, but what you traditionally think of as a white oak still dropping.

Down here in the south where I'm at. There's this big concept around feed trees. Have you heard much or thought much about that? What's your thought about feed trees, man? Because I hear these guys talking about a feed tree. This is the one tree that somehow has the magic sauce in those acorns.

And that's the one that [00:12:00] these deer want to go to. I'm working on developing my thought process on this. I don't think they're correct. I think it has to do with other factors. I'm curious your thoughts. That's Hey, immediately. That's where I'm leaning. It's funny. They say that because I've seen plenty of stuff like hill country in Western Wisconsin, where for some reason, there's this giant patch of Oaks, there's Oaks dropping in a buck's bed, but there's.

An oak tree 100 yards away that is just torn up. And, you sit there and you look at it for a second and you're like, Man, this is the tree for some reason. This tree's got honey dripping from it or something like that, and you think that there's some kind of crack in these acorns.

And so I just started eating the acorns to find, I'm just kidding. But I thought you were dead serious. And I was like, yes so at first it just looks like it's a hot tree and now my theory, and I may be in a different area of the U S. Other people are seeing different things, but my theory is you're thinking here, it's related to bedding and [00:13:00] other deers travel.

It's related mostly to that. And so what I'm finding is that tree 200 yards off, at least in my area, when I hunted in Western Wisconsin, that. is, you can see track marks everywhere. There's poop everywhere, but it's away from the bedding. I'm finding that's their nighttime culmination.

The reason it's their nighttime culmination is because there's a lot of different bedding areas intersecting at that point. There's a lot of deer kind of activity going on. Sometimes there's scrapes nearby. If if you're in a tall forest that doesn't have many licking branches available in the area, you might not see a scrape in that.

But I'm finding it if you spread out the palm of your hand and you look at the center where all your fingers join up, That's a lot of the times where I'm seeing these feed trees, right? And, those trees are also sometimes, it's not a pattern of whether they're the first to drop or the last to drop or they have the biggest acorns, like I see very consistent oaks all around them that are very similar, but I think it's the culmination of bedding a lot of the times in those points.[00:14:00]

And I think there's a difference between what people are seeing as far as a screaming hot feed tree, if they're calling it. Like this amazing feature that all the deer go to, I'm sure there are guys down there that's their definition, and there's a lot of deer there. I'm assuming that these deer are in areas where they're going to reach their feeding destination before dark, where that's really not the case a lot of the time in the north.

And in the Midwest and in places that people are constantly targeting, I'm sure again, I'm sure they get targeted very hard in the South, but I think a lot of the times they aren't reaching that feeding destination here. So it's not much of a use. to actually pattern them on that, to try to hunt them on that.

And so I think the other definition you can go by with a feed tree is the place where the buck you want to kill is showing up all the time. And it's particularly showing up in daylight. So a screaming hot feed tree, to me, Is that secondary food source that the buck is reaching 15 minutes before 15 minutes after shooting like that kind of golden range [00:15:00] and my goal is to, if I can sit back on that tree shirt, I'll hunt that tree.

That's not to say that, he might, if he's a mature buck want to hook down, went to that before he goes and feeds for a while. My goal is to intercept him on the way to that tree. So my kind of definition of a screaming hot feed tree is somewhere where the buck I want to kill is consistently intercepting.

And I'm sure there are guys in the South that see feed trees the same way. You could probably put a camera over a feed tree that a whole bunch of deer are culling at night. You're gonna get that buck all the time. You're gonna get a bunch of does all the time. You're gonna get other bucks all the time.

And it's probably largely going to be at night and you might get them during the day too. But I bet you there are other people that have that definition that I go by. Where it's, for some reason they find it exiting the bedding, maybe they come across a big track and they see oaks around, they set a camera on that, and their screaming hot tree is that area that buck is touching in daylight way more than he's touching any other tree.

It might not be because it's his favorite place to feed, but it's probably where he's stopping. On [00:16:00] his way to his primary food source. Yeah, man. That's really good. That for me, I've gone to, to thinking about feed trees in the sense of. They are, like you said, they're a hub of some sort, it's not, you could almost think of them as like a primary scrape because that's all the deer in that area are going to be passing through there at some point.

So I put up cameras on a couple of different, what I would consider feed trees last year. And what I noticed was there was one in particular, had I just hunted it one afternoon, I would have shot a nice buck because there were nice bucks passing through there. It wasn't the same nice buck every day.

There were different ones. And so I've come to think of it as, it's either the one that's closest to the bedding cover. So you get that bachelor group that hits their first, they spend a bunch of time milling around there. Or it's the one that, because of the terrain, it's where just a lot of deer end up meeting up.

Maybe there's a couple of bucks that bed over here and one buck that beds over here and a couple of does that bed over here. And that's where it all converges [00:17:00] for them, as far as, as far as the first place where they all just mingled together in the afternoon or last place they mingle in the morning.

A Midwestern analogy for this. And again, I get a bit of this experience from recently hunting out West and sand hills in Nebraska. It, you see a lot of deer replicating behavior when there aren't trees around that they would. When the archers are on, you just don't get to see him do it because there's topography and trees and cover and whatnot in the way.

But you're like, man, that makes sense. He's doing the exact same thing. He's Jayhooking off of this point to go bad. Or, he's doing the same thing that I would picture them doing in hill country with timber, but I don't see them doing the timber. But like an ag country, we don't call it a screaming hot feed corner of the field.

Like we don't call it the hot low corner, it's the place that the thermals are dumping in the afternoon, right? It's the place where multiple betting features meet together, when we see bucks come out and, their day lighting, especially before the season starts their day lighting, we don't call it that hot stuff, but they're [00:18:00] going there because we've seen that, that's where they have the advantage.

Where down in the South, that's ironically now you're shit, you're covered terrain. So to speak, where you can't see them behaving that way, where we see them on egg fields coming in there, sitting still, looking around, staying 10 yards back in the brush, smelling everything, letting does go first, that's something we're very familiar with that might be the exact same way that they're approaching these feeding scenarios, but it might just be a point, like you said, a hub that they can really easily monitor on the way out from their bed.

Yeah, or many deer can really easily monitor for danger. It's a secure area. If pressure is such a huge factor and an oak tree has relatively the same nutrients as another oak tree on the exact same ridge, 100 yards away, do you really think a deer is going to sacrifice its life for taste? It's not, and I do believe that they select food based on the nutrients they need.

I know that's the way [00:19:00] they're made up, but I don't think a deer is going to go for the Twinkie over the, oatmeal cake or whatever you want to call it because he has a particular taste. I think he's going to go for what helps him survive the best. And I think if you're chasing mature bucks, if you make the bet on the area that helps him survive the best.

And you target that over, the area that he might want to be or that you think looks ideal. I think you're making the right decision most of the time. Now, I, man, I agree 100%. I agree 100%. And along those lines I have a scenario that I want to run by you. You alluded to it earlier. You're trying to focus in on that betting that you know is about to shift.

Last year I was hunting Wisconsin at the end of September, right? I had four days there, something like that two days to hunt this area. And then another day that I was going to spend, so I guess I had three days another day that I was going to spend with my buddy Pierce. Hunting on his property.

So I went in [00:20:00] to areas where I've found terrific buck betting in the past, off down in the marsh. So I go into the first spot and I get to where I want to hang a camera and I'm going to push just a little bit further and then climb a tree while I get in there and I'm like, I'm looking at the sign and I'm looking around.

I'm like, dude, this feels bucky. This feels really bucky. Like my spidey senses start going off. And I'm like, I want to hang this camera here though, because I know this scrape is going to fire up in, in November. So I was hanging cameras for my return visit in November. I took two more steps and a giant jumps out of his bed and takes off straight towards the water.

And I'm like, crap why was he bedded here? He's right on the edge of this little like hardwood patch and the marsh. They're usually bedded a little further out into it. So I was like, all right, whatever. I'm going to hang this camera and I'm going to go hunt another bedding area that I know of. So I hung the camera there.

Wasn't thinking anything about the bump and dump. Cause I knew I wanted to hang another [00:21:00] camera anyway. So I back out, pull out, go down and around to this other bedding location. And I hit another spot, very similar and access and egress trails of the deer or whatever, going down into the marsh. So I get down to there and I'm like looking at the sign again.

I'm like, boy, this is looking the same way, the same way as it was before, but I was like, that's all right, so I literally walk out, I hang the camera, I walk out into the marsh and I'm looking at a couple of trees that I wanted to hang in and then I hear something back behind me and I turn around and look.

And another bug, he was probably only about 100 inches jumps up behind me or had jumped up behind me and was standing there looking at me. He was 30 yards from me just watching me, but it wasn't until I stopped and started looking up at the trees to figure out which one I was going to climb that he decided to jump up.

So those bucks hadn't bedded or hadn't shifted yet down into the marsh due to pressure. So my postseason scouting had told me they were bedding further down into the marsh. I wasn't taking into account where they might be bedded early season. [00:22:00] How are you thinking through not only where that bedding happens, but when that shift happens, because.

Man, I missed it. Season had been open for two weeks. They should not have been bedded up there. In my opinion, I was clearly wrong. Yeah, that's a really interesting case, man. And that's happened to me and not in the exact same way. But that's happened to me very similar, literally several times.

And it's really just like When I'm within that last, depending on the deer's visibility, it's usually around 300 yards, don't put a number on this yourself if you're thinking of a scenario, because, open hardwoods, crackly leaves, no wind, whatever it's, they're all completely different scenarios, but when I'm within probably three times the distance that I think that buck is going to Catch me from his bed.

I slow way down, right? I right. Every step is deliberate. Every step is a pause. I'm analyzing the new cover that's around. I'm checking on trees when I get to a pinch in a trail. I'm [00:23:00] checking on trees for time marks and stuff like that. Something I've noticed in cattails and something I've noticed in and river crossings and stuff like that.

Is there water or mud splashed up onto the trail? Like, how fresh is every bit of the terrain around me? And oftentimes I'll have these preconceived notions that, they should have shifted by now. And, sometimes it does take me bumping those deer to figure that out. I'm not going to say that I'm perfect and I go into these scenarios and there's this one thing that if you just pick up on it, like you're going to get it right every time it's not the case.

And sometimes you'll sit too far back, but I err on the side of aggression. I might've done the exact same thing you did. But I err on the side of aggression because of how much I do post season scouting. I work my butt off to find a hundred scenarios for any kind of variation of the wind.

And they're all not, they're not all perfect, but I've worked very hard over the years that if I do bump up deer like that, I call them my sacrificial lamb, if I bump up deer like that, they [00:24:00] provide me that info I needed, they're done. They're dead to me if, I don't necessarily think they're going to come back if it's a hard bump, they caught my wind, they saw me like, they're, they might be gone to me, they might be in a whole new area.

but I can start to apply this to a bunch of different areas. And at least the surrounding part of the state, at least this region, it's a little different. If you go to a completely different part of the state, you can't expect the pressure to equal out generally. The more that you scout, the more you'll actually find the human presence as well.

And if you can't age that human presence, Just think about how obvious the spots are. The same way you sit in a buck bed and you think like, how smart is this buck? There's no way I can hunt this deer. You start to get a feel that he's really intelligent. He's probably mature deer, right? You start to get in these spots and you see a can laying around, right?

Usually if I find cans, I don't think it's a very intelligent hunter. And I think it's probably a little bit later in the season. If it's even a hundred. Let's say I only find. Marks on a tree. Like I only [00:25:00] find places where sticks dug in and it's in a bent over tree and there's no branches trimmed right until you get to the very top that I'm like, shoot, this guy's probably pretty smart.

And I started looking at the surrounding cover. I was like, man, he's sitting right on these Oaks. I know that I'm probably going to get one crack at this Oak Island, and like how obvious is it on a map too? If I'm seeing it on a map pretty easy, I think it's something that's probably going to get hit right away, but, so I gauged the intelligence.

Of the pressure in the surrounding area, right? And then I get a feel for when I think those hunters are hunting it in the off season. And then and then I'll use that to gauge when I think the deer will be shifting back. I can tell you right now, there's an area I might sit opening day.

I'm getting bucks on it. In the evening, I know where they're going to be entering that island. I have a scrape further onto the island that I have a camera over. And I'm getting mature bucks on that scrape, little bit after dark and stuff. But I know where they're going to be entering that island in daylight because they're betting pretty close to it.

I know that I got one to two days to hunt that spot. It's an oak island in the middle of a marsh, and Dan's been preaching that for [00:26:00] years. It's gonna get hit, and I'm even debating shifting off of the island opening day. But the potential for success on it is high.

So it's high risk. I'm probably going to encounter another hunter. But if I don't, it could be a very successful sit. So what I'm doing is taking that knowledge I gained in the off season or any little thing that I pick up on the way in if I'm obviously I'm seeing hunters on the way and seeing boot tracks, seeing where they're generally setting up.

I'm taking those little things into account and I'm determining that the pressure is typically going to be progressing further back onto the property. As you go. And then those overlook spots close to the edges and the stuff that people don't think to hunt is what's going to get really good pre rut.

And so I'm hitting those areas that I think is a little more obvious, but it just might not be getting hit yet. And I'm planning on them shifting off of that once the fresh human sign and the historical human sign. I think it's hit the area. Hey guys, just want to take a quick minute to let you know that the how to hunt deer podcast is brought to [00:27:00] you by Tacticam makers of the best point of view cameras on the market for hunters and anglers there on the cutting edge, making user friendly cameras to help the everyday outdoorsman share your hunt with friends and loved ones.

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com. Share your hunt with Tacticam. This particular spot. [00:28:00] From your answer, I know exactly what I didn't do. I didn't look for hunter sign on the way in. I was pressed for time. I knew I wanted to get two cameras up. I was hurrying. Now I did slow way down when I got into, my last sort of what I consider the final approach to where I wanted to hunt.

But I had just blown through all the other stuff, and I wasn't looking to where I usually see other hunters set up, or I usually see their boot tracks, or I can usually tell, hey, they, they've been walking through this tall grass over here to get to that tree to climb it or whatever. I just blew past all of that, and that's where I went wrong.

And this area, so I've had I've hunted this specific area, I think three early season, no, two early seasons. And Both times have had consistent mature buck encounters, but it's it's really inconsistent as to how they come out of the bedding in this spot where it can be anywhere within this 150 yards span.

So I'll see them like they're 60 [00:29:00] yards that way. So I move over there and the next day there's 60 yards the other way and I'm like, Oh crap, now I gotta move over, so you play that cat and mouse back and forth game a little bit with them. And but that's always like a week or two after.

So we're talking, october 7th 8th Would usually be when I'm in there, which I still consider early season, but there's some like strategies that you can actually employ if, so for reference, I'm moving back to Southeastern Wisconsin. I really want to kill on the swamps this year.

And I did a lot of post season scouting, identified a lot of human sign. I don't know how that's actually going to lay out the season, like when the timing is going to be. So I'm using what I would have thought of probably three years ago. As far as my order of sits and I'm using that as I assume that's what I'm going up against some pretty intelligent competition.

I don't want to hunt spots that I don't select spots to hunt that I would picture anyone else selecting because I don't think a mature buck is going to live in an area where a bunch of people would select to hunt. So I'm gauging what I assume other people are doing based [00:30:00] on what I probably would have done, on my second best.

But there's a few things that I did in the hills, and there's a few things that I do all the time that actually help me gauge that stuff whenever I'm spring scouting. I'm constantly looking at the ground. I move really slowly in spring, especially in the summer months. I move very slowly scouting because you have to when it starts to get greener.

But I'm looking at the ground for tracks. I'm looking up for climber marks. Anytime I feel like I'm in a spot, I'm always looking for that trow camera tree stand that strap left in the tree. Anything like that, and so every time I come across human sign and mark it in my onyx and that like deep red color, and to me, red means danger.

So I want my onyx to reflect the way a deer is thinking. And so whenever I come across a human trail and I see night eyes, I see flagging tape, anything like that. I walk that trail and I track myself and I put it in red and I have lots of places in Western Wisconsin and a few places already in, in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Where I haven't even hunted yet. Where I've got humans common [00:31:00] access to their stand. I've got, whether they marked it or not, whether it's just following old boot prints or not I'm marking places where I see boot prints, places where I see trail cameras, where the stands are, how I think those people are getting in, and and so I might actually cruise by and check whether that stand has been accessed or not.

And a lot of times when people are going in their stands, they cut a branch or something, or they cut a branch at their stand. And, that's pretty obvious to a human being to be able to see whether that tree's got its bark ripped up or a branch cut off. You can see that, if someone's been in it recently.

And one thing I used to do in western Wisconsin is you got those logging trails everywhere. You got your ATV trails going way back. A lot of times you got places with light dirt or mud or sand or whatever. I'll take a five yard long stretch. And I'll take, however wide that it's usually like tire tracks or whatever, or maybe it's the whole width of the trail and I'll just whether it be with a branch or my boot, I'll just smooth out the dirt, I'll just make it flat.

So if something passes over that dirt, sometimes you pick up a buck track, but if someone passes over that dirt, they're not going to walk five yards off the [00:32:00] trail and risk making a bunch of noise, right? They're going to walk on that trail and they're not going to notice that oh, gosh, this section's cleared. Maybe someone's looking for my boot print. They don't do that, right? So I might know that there's this one trail that's accessing a major area this Ridge and there's pretty obvious set up along it I'm probably early on in that trail gonna smooth out an area and see if I catch a boot track in that and it might be a Scenario like I'm thinking right now for early season where if I see pressure, I'm going to, I'm going to bump off right away and get hug up to that bedding a little bit closer, might be an area where I go in there and say, if this ridge is disturbed, I know this other spot is going to be really hot for the same wind.

Yeah. So I might keep a monitor close to there. Some people probably go as far as setting trail cameras to monitor human presence. Yeah. I don't got the money or time for that, but that would not be a bad strategy either. I actually employed that. I was, that was going to be my next point is.

I did that this past year. There is a specific terrain feature. That's a route that's really good during the rut. And if it's [00:33:00] trying to think of the best way to say this, there are some people who know around where I hunt. And I've run into them on the property. So I want to try to say this the best way I can.

If this one gets pressured, I know where the next one is, where the movement adjusts to, if that makes sense, or as it gets pressured. Oh, absolutely. So I know where that I know where that second best movement flow is, if that makes sense. And it's almost better when that one is pressured because when that one's pressured, all the movement goes to the secondary spot.

As opposed to it being split between the two terrain features, if that makes sense. I've put cameras on that main access trail, brings you to that terrain feature. Because everybody goes through there. You're not busting brush to get there because it is too thick. There's a very defined way to get there and, not only have I gotten a lot of good bucks on that camera, cause it's just a hotspot, but at the same time I'm getting intel of whether a hunter was in there or not, whether it's been pressured or not, and that actually played quite a bit into my into my [00:34:00] rut hunt last year, knowing exactly what those other hunters were doing.

Yeah, and that's another mentality of the shift. A lot of people think of the shift as acorns are out or food sources are changing and stuff like that. The shift, the way I think about it the most is the pressure. If those deer could just select the food sources that they want to hit based on what they're hungriest for, what they desire in daylight.

Cause I care about the daylight movement, I care about the way they move in daylight to get to those food sources. If they could just move wherever they wanted in daylight and it only had to do with those food sources, then. This wouldn't be that big of a deal, be pretty easy to tell when they're shifting, I could glass oaks from quarter mile away and see if they're dropping, but, it has a lot to do with pressure, which is why it isn't obvious, which is why you can't always predict it, but they're like we talked about, there's little things you can do to try to boost the odds in your favor, right?

So let's jump into, we've alluded to this a lot, right? In season scouting plays a huge role in your overall strategy. Like you're always on the scout. [00:35:00] I'm curious about times where I know I've had moments where I'm like, I'm just not on the deer. Like I'm just plain not on them right now.

And I've got to go back to the drawing board because, my post season scouting from last year. It's not shaken out like that. Like I've got to figure something new out. What does that process regrouping scouting effort look like for you? Are you just saying, I'm going to go in here and blow it up just like it's post season or are you still taking those targeted, I'm going to go sit this, but I'm going to scout my way in kind of approaches.

Yeah. So there's like a, there's a, there's three different things that come to mind right away. There's hitting completely new properties, shaking the etch a sketch, going fresh. There's that. There's stalking your way in. Hunting, but literally stalking to the point where you plan on shooting one in bed.

And there's observing. And I use those three strategies dependent on the situation. I don't often just go to a completely new property unless I feel like I busted it [00:36:00] out and that's the reason I'm not seeing deer, or I feel like other people have busted it out. And that's why I scout so many different properties so I know where good bucks are on a lot of different ones.

And if I'm trying to hunt my way down and I just find that... I've either busted too much or other people have busted too much, or maybe that deer's dead and I'm chasing a ghost. I'm like, hey, let's restart here. I keep that confidence in myself that I know I can get it done in any amount of time.

I know it can happen. I don't think it's necessarily going to I know I have. I have confidence in ability, but not confidence in outcome. I'm not certain that something's going to happen where I start getting complacent with my actions, but I'm certain that at any moment it can, and I'm certain that I can earn my way to it in the blink of an eye.

So I keep that confidence up. I keep confidence in my ability up, and I shift to a new area, and I tell myself, hey, New shot, let's go learn what there is to about this land and I can, track down any buck and I know there was good bucks in this area, so I may do that. I have gained a crap load of confidence these past few years in my ability [00:37:00] to stock up on a deer, whether it's mature or not, whether it's light wind or high or, high wind or not.

I've gained a lot of confidence in that. And that's in the last few years, I've stocked up and got shots on Five deer. Now you guys will see in my Nebraska video, I do a couple of stocks and some are great, some aren't so great. And I've gained a lot of knowledge about the deers movement in the way they bet.

And so when I'm not certain about what a deer is doing, and I implemented this strategy in Nebraska, it's do what I call. Like I find a sacrificial lamb, I think we talked about that a little bit already, but I find that I'm like, I don't know what these deer are doing. I can't gauge this pressure, I'm like, I'm going to go slowly walk up on this buck bed from a long ways away.

I'm going to make sure my wind's in my favor. I'm going to make sure I'm only moving when there's some other kind of sound and it might take me all frickin night, but I'm eventually going to get to bed and I might shoot a deer in it and I might bump a deer out of it. But when I get to that bed, I'm going to figure out why that deer was doing what it's doing.[00:38:00]

And that deer's gone now. But, and it may be a situation where they bump downwind and I can actually locate them again and hunt them again. And it may stack areas in my favor. But generally, when I'm slapping that deer on the ass and telling them it's game on, it's not always a great thing.

But I get to learn a lot. I get to learn with absolute certainty what that buck that I now have seen Cause I went slow and I was feet away when they jumped and that's almost always how it is. I get to learn with absolute certainty what the class of the deer was that I bumped, why he was there, what the conditions are at the moment.

And I gained a whole lot of confidence learning exactly what that deer was doing, both why he was bedding there, why he went the way he went. If I saw. Satellite betting in the area. I learned all these different things from it, and that boosts my confidence. And I can whether that blows up the property of that deer or not, I'm gonna copy that scenario and paste it to a lot of different areas.

And I start to [00:39:00] see the way that those line up. And I get a, an in depth look at exactly what's going on in my time of the season for at least one mature deer in the area, which those areas, those concepts apply to many different deer. And I learned to paste it in different scenarios. And it helps me get on deer.

Very quickly. We talked before the podcast about my experience in Nebraska. And, man, did that help a lot. That helped so much. I came into that scenario with a lot of different misconceptions, and and a lot of them got removed. I gained a lot of certainty, and I gained a lot of confidence, and it helped me a crap ton in Nebraska.

And then, that third strategy is, observation sits. And a lot of guys talk about this, but man I'm curious. Because I hear this all the time. There's so many guys that sit in observation sit and also get a crack at the deer. Where they didn't think. Isn't it weird how much you hear that?

I'm just gonna go into this spot and observe and they're like, holy crap, I was like 70 yards away, or 60 yards away, or this buck came under my stand and I shot him. That happens shockingly often. [00:40:00] And I don't think it's a loss cause. Especially observing in the morning for where buck beds to target in the afternoon or if you had the opportunity to stock up on right away during that day, during that morning I think you're learning a lot of information and at worst, if you're in a good area to observe and you're really diligently picking out every individual piece of bedding cover and taking long looks at it and stuff like that, you've at least ruled out an area.

There may be one buck that slipped in there while you didn't see it or a couple of does or something like that. But if you're in an area that you think should be loaded with deer and you're observing that bedding and, this doesn't work in all scenarios, but if you're observing that bedding and you believe a bunch of deer should be stacked in this and one or two and you don't see a mature buck, you may miss a deer, but you can relocate to an area that is going to be stacked with stuff.

And you can eliminate a bunch of land by either Eliminating the scenarios that they're not betting in by doing that stocking in you can figure out what they're doing by, bumping one really close, you can figure out, you can [00:41:00] visually see how they're behaving if you're doing observation.

So if you interchangeably. introduce these strategies, you can get rid of a lot of your misconceptions and then gain a lot of certainty in a very short amount of time. And yeah, you're gonna have to sacrifice a deer or you're gonna have to sacrifice your son in area. It may want to hunt or you're gonna have to sacrifice a morning where you could kill.

At some point, the reward way outweighs that risk. Yeah. And that's where I think I wonder over the years My fear of bumping deer and of messing things up, I wonder how many deer that's cost me over the years because I'm afraid to get in there and bump them, or I'm afraid to sit back and observe because, Oh no, I saw him, but he was at a hundred yards.

Now I'll never see him again. But I'm just so scared not to be in the right position to make that moment count to force it to happen in that moment that I think it's cost me a lot of deer over the years. I want to learn how to observe effectively here in the [00:42:00] Deep South because I think it can be done.

I'm on a journey towards that this year of trying to figure out, okay, what does... What does meaningful observation look like? It's probably going to involve gas lines and roads and power lines and all that kind of stuff that, it's not flashy at all. When it comes to, when it comes to it, it's not observing, from from a hillside where you can look out over the prairie and watch them come down and cross the river in the same spot or what, it's not that, but gosh, I do want to just, I want to get a lot better. At that. And honestly, we, I talked a little bit about it earlier. This year is an in season scouting year for me on this new lease. I did not pick this lease up in time. It was Turkey season by the time I got the lease.

And it was go time for Turkey hunting. I was either hunting here with my kids or I was in Iowa or Wisconsin or Alabama or whatever I was doing something Turkey related. Then by the time it was, I did have a little bit of time to scout. It was so green. And just so thick and so busy, man, the summers now have become.

Like [00:43:00] those have become the let's make sure the family feels loved so that come fall. I can do what I need to do, right? Absolutely As far as you're like observing there. Yeah, I think you're right like it's not gonna be glamorous by any means it's not like you're at West. It's not even like you have necessarily an open oak stand, like you might have in Wisconsin And it's cool hearing a lot of people talk about that.

I haven't done observing In that capacity as far as glassing it. I've observed a large bottom, I was on stand at the time. But I would say that keep in mind a glimpse of a deer in a travel direction. At the conditions that he's arriving at is a lot of information gathered.

Yeah. You can extrapolate that stuff from a trail camera picture, but there's always going to be that little thing sitting in the back of your head. Just that little bit of uncertainty, yeah. And because you don't know what the wind's doing at the exact spot of the camera necessarily, or what the humidity felt like, or you don't know if that deer was just bumped or something, but if you're out in the woods...[00:44:00]

You're sitting on stand or you're sitting in an area and you can hear and see and smell and everything that's going on, man, set a rush. And is that a confidence boost, whether you get that deer or not, like that little bit of information you might gather from that tiny gap you have to look at or say, you're just observing of, a 50 yard patch that you wouldn't typically hunt.

You stand to gain a lot from a very little. If you observe and it just depends on what you're willing to risk as far as your time in the woods, right? And I would save it for days that you're obviously if I have you know Nine out of ten factors on a bedding area that I've been looking for lining up.

That's probably not a day. I'm gonna observe because I haven't ran out of that confidence at least in one area, But if you're really pounding your head in the wall, that's probably the day to get to it Yeah, and so tomorrow morning it's gonna be hot. It's gonna be muggy it's not ideal conditions.

I don't know the property well, but I do know that in this location there are six or seven factors that are all contributing to [00:45:00] a buck being in this. 200 yard circle at some point during the day. So I'm going to put myself in that circle and just get in there and see what I see, and gather Intel because and I learned, learn this talking to Jake Bush the first time I had him on the show.

He was like, dude, if I don't have the Intel, I'm going to go in there and get it no matter what. I'm not going to sit back and hang in a stand when I have no idea what's going on in there. That makes zero sense. That's a terrible use of my time. So I'm going to get in there and get what I need, whatever I have to do to get it.

Dude. A hundred percent. And based on the time that this podcast is going live, I'm okay with giving this away, but I had a shot opportunity in Nebraska, right? I actually released an error on this. But I was in a stand. And it was really hot out. I was sitting in this oxbow of a river that was shaded and everywhere around me was sand hills, right?

And sitting in this oxbow and I have this fawn come out that I glassed in the morning going out the exact same way it did this morning. And I was like, [00:46:00] alright, it's going to start working like all the other deer that I saw this morning are going to start doing the same thing, right? And in Nebraska, the cattle mingle a lot with the deer and They're fine with going 20 yards from each other.

It's not like the Midwest, they have to live in the same areas. And but I noticed the cattle were all bumping the bedding that I deemed the bucks would come from and no bucks were getting up. And, it was hot as hell. I had not seen him moving well in the afternoon. I was like, you know what?

I don't have confidence it's going to happen. I just had to face it like I, I don't think it's going to happen tonight. I was like, I'm going to get out of the stand and I'm going to figure out why the heck the deer I saw that were bedded are not coming back and replicating what they did this morning and why only the fawn, did and so I started walking where I saw a mule deer doe and her fawn her pretty year old, pretty old fawn go to bed. And I get up and I had my GoPro on, I had my. Arrow knocked, I have my release on the same thing I always do. I have my backpack and stand on my back, but I'm always ready, and I'm stalking, walking [00:47:00] slowly and I get up to these beds expecting to jump the deer out of it because the deer aren't moving and they had just worked off.

Like you can almost see the grass recovering from where they were laying, and so they had worked off, but I hadn't spooked him. So I was like, all I was like they are moving, it's 15 minutes before shooting's over. Like they are moving at this time, but they're not moving far at all.

So in my mind, I was like, all right, tomorrow, the key is observation. Like the key is going to be that morning observation and maybe even intercepting by the way to where I think they're going to bet. And so I work a little further. I get around this turn and on this steep bluff that I essentially have to walk up.

There's. And on the ears, eight point watching me, like just standing there at 30, it was 32 yards. I guess I'm at 40. And I, GoPro, press record, drew back, put a shot out. And, I misjudged range a little bit, so I didn't kill the deer. Long story short. But But man I was stalking out of [00:48:00] bedding, I made the decision that I was going to figure out exactly what these deer were doing, and it just so happened that, I didn't see this buck in the morning because he was out of view of my glassing point, but he was doing the same thing that those does were doing, he was betting with the same, it's It's like a north I want to say northwest facing slope.

And it's very shade in the morning. And then he had a pine that he just shoved himself under for when that sun switched over the top of him and he could get shade in the afternoon. It was going to be a little bit warmer in the afternoon. But, for most of the day, he was in very good shade from the terrain.

And then he also had shade from that tree. So he was only 15 yards from his bedding. Like 15 minutes before closing, he had worked 15 yards. And I know that because I, I shot him and I went and found the arrow and walked up the hill to get reception and it wasn't very long before I stopped falling on my face from the steepness that his bed was right there.

Oh, man. And I just caught him in a position where he couldn't run anywhere because he either had to go straight up a cliff or straight down one. So no, he stood there for a second and [00:49:00] I was just around this corner. He was going to see what I was doing. Before he made a decision, so I got a shot off it certainly helps that they're not very pressured deer out there but but yeah, dude, it pays off to, whether you're on the way in, you're on the way out to have an arrow knocked, have your release on clipped if you want to, but be working slowly and all it takes, when you walk up on a deer doing this, you'll realize that all it takes is that deer making a step before you were, or while you were, or for, It takes two seconds where that deer enters your view for you to be still and that deer to be moving.

Or it takes a gust of wind for him not to hear you when he probably would have. If you're looking for that twitch of antlers, you see it. You see it a good amount. So then you're going to gain a lot of confidence in this. And you're not going to think that, say you get there tomorrow and sun comes up, nothing's lining up.

And once you have these confidence, this confidence that this can happen like this, you're not going to think it's a wasted hunt for you to go walking through, because there's a good chance it happens because you know that, what you're doing [00:50:00] can result in an opportunity, but. I found this in Nebraska too, it's a lot of the times where I thought I was about to bump a deer, I wasn't.

And that caused me to step back and realize hey, there's something, they're doing something very different than I thought they were. And that's when I took a step back even further than what I initially thought. And really got some observation and but I could have spent the whole week on my initial conception or my initial perception of what was going to happen, right?

And because I didn't have the whole recipe together and I was determined to get those ingredients, I not only got a shot opportunity, my entire week changed and led to much more success going forward. Yeah. How would your adjustment and strategy have changed if. You were not able to observe in glass the way that you could.

Yeah, so I purposefully selected areas because we were going all over the state. I purposefully selected areas that I could observe in glass. Okay. And I selected areas that I thought I might be able [00:51:00] to, I thought I might be able to sit in a stand and also glass. I selected areas where I could do both.

Okay. And then I realized from that glassing aspect how much it was getting me opportunities and like how much observing that behavior. Was working for me. And it just so happened that behavior lined up to a lot of different areas that I could also glass. If I couldn't do that, it was going to be a lot more walking and a lot more still hunting, a lot more tracks based, I see tracks, like most people see a trail camera pick, if I see a really good track, especially compared to what I'm seeing in the local area, typically, much bigger going in intelligent areas, not following all the doe trails, stuff like that.

If I'm following a track. That gives me really high confidence. So if I can't see the deer itself, I want to get on a track. I want to get on some kind of sign. If I can't sit back in glass and I can't select a scenario where I. We'll be able to do that. And I, let's say I'm totally handcuffed and I can't observe a long range and I'm only working through timber, like I'm going to keep moving on them tracks until they get fresher and fresher, and I'm going to keep the wind in my favor.

I'll be up.[00:52:00] But yeah, and it might just be bumping a deer. It might be that I never get to observe one before I bump it. And I just have to go off of the size of the bed and the tracks leading to it. But that is going to be enough info that I can help apply it to other scenarios. Yeah.

Rarely do you very closely, rarely do you bump a deer at 10 yards and you've been following his tracks for 30 minutes. And you're in this scenario where the wind's blowing and all that stuff. Rarely, when you do that, and you're very observant, do you have no idea what was going on. Where you're like, why the hell is a deer doing this?

And even if you're like that, even if you're like, why the hell is a deer doing this, there's gonna be similar places around you. And then you can start applying that to other areas. It might be a 180 from what you originally thought, but you can still take that scenario if you're willing to learn and try to throw it to some other stuff.

And it may work, it may not. But it's a much better guess than... I have no idea what these deer are doing and I'm just going to sit in this tree because I think it might be okay. It's a lot better than hanging and hoping. And, I've [00:53:00] gotten to the point now where I hunt fewer days than I did when I was younger.

Like by a lot, like I hunt a lot fewer days than I used to. But I'm more efficient. I kill more deer. I see more deer. And I don't think it's just because I'm not pressuring spots. I think it's because I'm hunting smart. And I realized I don't have time to waste. Like I don't have time.

I don't have a bad set to waste. You know what I mean? I can't just go hang in a tree. So I'm either going to be scouting so that my next sit is really good, or I'm going to be sitting somewhere where I can gain Intel. I'm not going to go sit somewhere that I'm not going to gain Intel and I'm probably not going to see anything.

That's right. At least putting yourself in the position to gain stuff. So like tomorrow, for instance I'm going to see something, I'm going to learn something. I might just hear the deer down in the bottom. I might hear them travel through. Okay, great. Like now I know we can adjust.

Like I can, that's one good thing about how thick it is down here. It's really hard for those deer to move through quietly. If you get into open pines, they can move through quiet, [00:54:00] but dude, this stuff is eat up with Japanese honeysuckle in the bottom and it's just, it's nasty. It's real nasty.

So they're not moving through that without making any sound. Man, we were going to hit on some thermal hub stuff, thinking about it, I think we're going to bump that to another episode. If you're good with that. Sure. Yeah. Because we're 57 minutes in. And this has been so good.

I don't want to do a hard shift. I feel like this has just been Pure goodness so far. And so I want to keep it as utility as utilitarian as possible for people. Cause I think we've given them a lot on one topic where they can take a deep dive. I want to pick your brain just a minute though, as we close out opening day.

In Wisconsin, Saturday, right? Where are you going to be? What are you doing? GPS coordinates, man. I don't mean, I don't mean generally, I need coordinates. Yeah. All right. So north 34, I'm just kidding. Yeah man, so one first [00:55:00] totally depends on the wind direction. I'm actually, I'm forcing myself not to look at the weather report right now.

I can wait till Thursday afternoon to look at it because you know what, I'm going to look at the weather report. I'm going to be like, this is my spot. This is what I'm doing. I'm set for it. I'm going to look at it Friday at midnight and it's going to be... 30 degrees off, 90 degrees off, and I'm going to change my whole plan, and then I'm going to go in with less confidence.

I'm going to tweak myself out. I'm handcuffing myself away from the weather app right now. Dude, that's a good move, man. I don't think anyone, the people at work better not be telling me weather spoilers. I'm going to be telling them like, hey man, come on, I haven't seen that movie yet.

I love it. Yeah, I'm going to get some weird looks but definitely man, like I, I am, I've seen a lot of oaks in my scouting. I'm I've seen oaks that are still dropping. I know from cell cam pictures and stuff. I know that we got oak still dropping from videos and whatnot. And I know we've got deer travel in relation to oaks at night.

So my goal is to be, [00:56:00] so this being marsh country, I'm targeting isolated cover around Oak Islands. Now there are some bits of cover that are much more obvious than others. For instance. a tree versus a shrub or a bush in relation to a tree or, downwind of access, that also leads to an island.

So my goal is to start with. The little more obvious things first and what that's going to be is probably a tree that's isolated outside of an Oak Island. And then I'm going to start to gravitate towards areas where I believe they'll be shifting to. If I eliminate those spots that are obvious and if other people eliminate those spots that are obvious right away, it's only stacking the ones that are a little less obvious.

I'm I'm not going to say it's going to happen opening day, I'm saying I have a lot of confidence because those deer aren't pressured right now. I have a lot of confidence it can happen opening day, but my confidence is only increasing as other people work their way into the woods, as I start to eliminate those obvious things.[00:57:00]

I often find them in willows about 100 yards on the downwind side of a willow island, of an island of trees. I'm going to be attacking those isolated covers around the Oak Island. I'm expecting people to hammer the actual edges of that Oak Island right away. Because, they're probably getting cameras blown up and stuff like that.

I'm expecting people to actually hammer the islands right away. I'm going to hunt the isolated cover around it, and I'm going to use that to slowly tighten that noose. on a deer. And then, maybe even some ground sits. I think that's gonna be a huge thing is here actually is some very tight quarters ground sits because not a lot of people are doing that in a marsh.

I think that's gonna help me get away from the pressure quite a bit. But yeah, that's my general attack, man. I'm gonna wait for the wind direction. Make sure Lines up for me to hunt it, but it mostly lines up for that buck to be in the bed. And I'm going to hunt the little bit more obvious stuff before people get into it.

And then I'm going to start narrowing down on those really key spots. I like bumping from property to property and replicating those scenarios. I like it, man. I. [00:58:00] Something you just said, I feel like can't be emphasized enough and I want to circle back to it just because I've seen it in Louisiana, I've seen it in Alabama, I've seen it in Georgia, I've seen it in Wisconsin, I've seen it in Mississippi, I've seen it in every state that I've deer hunted.

Those willows, like you said, or something that acts like them, where there's willow with some tall grass around it or something like that. that just holds deer. Like it just holds deer. And another thing that's consistent across, across states and across properties, whether it's private, public, whatever it is, deer keeping tabs on access, like even in doing, the consulting that we do, we always find if there's a neighbor with a long winding driveway, you go up on the high point that overlooks that long winding driveway.

And guess what? There's betting right there every single time. So yeah, it makes a lot of sense, man. Dude, good luck Saturday morning. I [00:59:00] hope you get a big one. I look forward to. Seeing that sucker pop up on on the old Graham. Where can folks find more from you and not just more from you, but this video that should be coming out pretty soon.

Yeah. If it's not already, it might be already. That's right. So there's one that's out a minute ago. Hey, first, thank you very much for the good luck wishes, man. Good luck to you too. I'm sure neither of us need it, but I'm sure some of us will want it at some point in the season. Dude, I need all of it.

I can get man. But yeah, so the channel you're talking about with that video that's going to debut is the wild calling That's my personal YouTube channel. Like I said, I make videos for the hunting beast I got a little bit of content coming on there But if you want to see my strategy pick my mind about how I'm finding this deer And see me call my shot and actually kill these deer.

That's going to be on my channel, the wild calling and that video you're talking about that is now two minutes old is a hype video for my Nebraska trip. It's a minute long trailer that took me over two hours to edit. [01:00:00] It's a man dude, it gets me jacked up. I had a few friends telling me they were going to run through some walls after watching it.

But man it gets me excited. I hope you guys like it. And this series is only going to be better than that. Awesome. Stay tuned. Dude, I'll link not only your YouTube channel, but also that video in the show notes for this episode. Thanks for that. And we got to get you on again because we had another topic that I wanted to touch on because I know it plays into, some of your Hill Country stuff, especially, and that is the topic of thermal hubs.

And they're becoming more and more interesting to me. I live in Hill Country now, so they're super interesting, but the differences between how deer use thermal hubs where ag is up high. Versus where they use thermal hubs, where ag is down low versus where I'm at in a true Hill country, big wood setting where there is no ag, but there's still great thermal hubs all over the place.

So how have you seen the shifts, but we'll have to save that for next time, man. So it gives us something. That's going to be a good one. Oh dude. I'm jacked for that because I hunt a little bit of the, I hunt a little bit of all three, right? Like just from [01:01:00] traveling from Georgia to Alabama to Wisconsin, like I'm in a little bit of all three of them.

Yeah, I can't wait, dude. Yeah, me too, man. I, you know me, I'm always willing to talk to you. I love it. Sweet. All right, buddy. Have a good evening. I appreciate your time. Thanks, man. You too, Josh. That's all for this week's episode as always. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, wherever it is that you get your podcast.

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