On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Dan and Brian talk with Ethan Pateman about shot placement and follow up shots on Western Big Game.
Ethan is from Western Montana and has already racked up a lifetime of adventures hunting big game. Early in his career Ethan guided elk 20 miles deep into the famous Bob Marshall wilderness area where they had lots of encounters with huge bulls. From there, Ethan started taking new hunters out and showing them the ropes while continuing to chase big game with his brother and friends. Ethan also hosts his own podcast and started a gear company specifically for western hunting. To check out more of Ethan’s story, click the links below!
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[00:00:00] All right guys, welcome to today's show. And Brian and I, we're gonna have a little BS session before our guest jumps in, but Ethan Pateman, he's gonna hop on and I would go over his whole resume, but all you need to really know is that this guy guided in the Bob Marshall. And so if that doesn't give him credibility, I don't know what does.
Um, but it's gonna be a good episode, man. Yeah. And if, and if you don't know what the Bob Marshall is, you, you're either listening to the wrong podcast or you need to listen to a lot more Western rookie episodes. Cause I would say the Bob Marshall is probably one of the, like, it's a top 10 famous wilderness area for sure.
Oh yeah. I ha I have yet to go, I want to go up there so bad. And who knows, man, maybe here in the next couple years. But this is, this is the type of place you don't go as a rookie unless, unless you're that guy that's just like all in all the time. Then you can go and kind of figure out how hard. El Cunning [00:01:00] can be.
Oh yeah. I read Cameron Haynes's book Endure. And he said a big part of why he got into long distance running was cuz they switched from hunting Oregon to hunting the Bob Marshall and Oh nice. And went in there and he was like 20 miles in. And he's like, well, if I can run a marathon like 26 miles, that means I could just like run outta the Bob Marshall.
If anything ever happened to me or like anything ever goes wrong, I could just run my way right out . Yeah. Unless it's like a grizzly attack. Yeah. And then you're still 20 something miles in. Yeah. Less a grizzly attack or a lot of I've That was when he was young and he even says like, like I, I've realized how silly this sounds, but I was thinking like a marathon's 26 miles.
But dude, I mean it's the Bob is 26 miles deep. Like I'll just start running marathons so I could have just run out of the Bob Marshall if, if that's what kicked him into gear, man, maybe I need to go hunt the Bob Marshall and turn into campaign's. I, I'm not gonna [00:02:00] say 2.0 campaign's. Point five maybe. I'd be happy to be 0.5.
You, you guys are about the same size and you're, you're on the same trajectory as him with Ink. Oh yeah. There you go. He's pretty tad. Is he He is pretty tatted. Is he? I thought he was even shorter than me. Well, because I'm not like a tall guy. I'm not a short guy. I'm just under six feet. I'm just a guy.
you're dude. No, you're a big guy. You're not, you're not an average sized dude. I think he's like five six. Five five. Yeah. I was gonna say, I thought he was pr quite a bit shorter, but I've never stood next to him just in videos. I'm like, I think he's probably pretty short. Yeah. When you see him next to his truck and you're like, that's either a really jacked up truck or you're not a very tall dude, either way, it doesn't matter.
Well, I I don't think he helped himself out, cuz I think he does have a jacked up truck too. Yeah. So, I mean, it just, it just uh, goes against his height, I guess. I've seen guys like with camera work, I mean, a lot of actors, [00:03:00] they do camera work to make themselves look like their normal height, but apparently there's like a whole list of people, big name actors that are really short and you just couldn't tell because of the, the cinematography.
Yeah. You're talking about like Kevin Hart? No, Kevin Hart. Everybody knows he's tiny . Yeah. But like Tom Cruise, you know Tom Cruise, I would've never guessed he was a small guy. Really? And then years ago I found out that he's pretty small. I think he's like five six. Well, and it's, it's funny because like you can't do anything about your height and everyone like has a number that they wishes.
They were. And I, I have a sneaking suspicion everyone's numbers like three inches taller than they actually are. Like no matter how tall you are, like everyone wishes they were three inches taller. But my brother's five 10 and I'm six two. And that difference alone makes a huge difference when we're out in the mountains, out cunning.
Cuz I'll all, I will cross. . Like there's, there'll be logs we're I'll cross in stride and he has to like stop and [00:04:00] climb over them. Dang. Yeah. Yeah. That, I mean, once you go from anything under to six, anything under six feet to anything over, unless you're awkwardly built, I feel like that's a big jump. And I mean, I'm with you, dude.
If I was three inches taller, I'd be super pumped. In fact, the other day I was sitting in the bedroom and my legs kind of hurt and I had done, uh, leg day like three days earlier and I was like, man, I have like those growing pains in my legs. And I turned my wife, I go, babe, what if I just grew like this late in life, just put on another three inches?
And she's like, that'd be pretty cool. I was like, well, one, I'd thin out. I wouldn't even have to go to the gym. I'd like thin out as I grew into that frame. But yeah, if I could be six two, I'd be all about it. Yeah. I'm gonna stretch into these cheek. Yeah. . Yeah, exactly. Uh, dude, so what, uh, what's up in your world?
What's new? You're getting a lot of snow, I'm guessing, along with everybody else on the northern border. Yeah, we're [00:05:00] getting snow. I mean, it's not as bad as they made it seem on the radio, right? I mean, I, I brought Abby into work just cuz I had the pickup, but you know, I was flying by people. Um, bad visibility.
That was, that was pretty bad. So not getting out, not gonna be shed hunting this weekend. I was kind of excited to go home and shed hunt the farms, um, this weekend. But we'll probably just go for a nature walk instead, you know, get the snowshoes out, just see if there's any new trails starting after the snow.
You know, it will yard deer up so if anything hasn't dropped yet, which is common, I mean, every year people are like, oh, now you, every year people are getting earlier and earlier shed hunting and you know, now it's the cool thing to start in January. But you know, there will still be whitetails hole nailers into March.
So see, I, I was under the impression that all of them had dropped down here, and I, I got a couple trail camera pictures on my new property camera, and it was three bucks that had all clearly dropped recently, like you could see it. Mm-hmm. . [00:06:00] Um, and then on the way out to the property today, I saw a small buck and he just had one side.
It was just a fork side. And then, uh, I checked my camera. Uh, I, I was so busy this morning, I didn't look normally I wake up and I check all my notifications on my uht cam, and this morning I didn't get to do that. So once I got out there, I looked at him on my phone, first buck of the year. Well, first buck with antlers I've ever seen on that property.
And so I sent that picture over to you. It looks like he could be it. I don't know if he got injured, if it was all fighting or what, but he's got a messed up left side, his right side. I think if they matched. with his right, he'd probably be like 115 inch deer, maybe 120. Yeah. He looked like he was just a really solid two or three year old buck with like good genetics and a weird side going on.
Like he had tall, yeah, he had tall, his right side was pretty tall. Um, so yeah, he could definitely be a contender, you [00:07:00] know, for the farm next year if he's, if he's hearing this to be three or four. And that other side kind of just figures itself out. , hey, I should probably set up something, some criteria now, but I'm gonna have a really hard time passing almost any decent buck even on my new property.
Because if I could shoot a deer on property that is in my name, that's like, that's like life goal right there for me. Okay. Well I've shot lots of deer on property that's in my last name. No, dude. I'm talking like you are the sole. Well, I mean, Sam and I both own it, but like Yeah, when I go on OnX that first time I go on OnX and I see.
Dan and Sam Matthews, I'm gonna be so pumped. And then to be able to shoot a deer, I'm not waiting for Onyx, it's already in my name. Right. So if it's like season comes and yeah, Onyx hasn't updated yet, I'm still shooting a deer. Uh, but I think that would just be, that would feel really cool [00:08:00] and really accomplishing.
Yeah. Yeah. No, that would be cool. I, you know, I have a pretty strong drive to, to only shoot like that, that really good three or four year old, I'm not crazy. Like I'm not five only or anything like that. And with a bow, like it's really hard to mess that up cuz they're so close. Yeah. And you usually see 'em coming from so far away that, you know, especially doing in as much trail cameras as you and I do, like, there's hardly ever a buck that I walks by me that I don't know already.
You know, yearlings for sure cuz I don't pay attention to the yearlings. But, you know, 2, 3, 4 year old bucks, like I know which buck this is because I've been watching them for all summer or hopefully for multiple summers by now. . Yeah. Does your property get a lot of new bucks on it? Um, like during the rut, do you have bucks that you haven't seen before or is it almost exclusively Deere that you've tracked?
So since 2014 we started running cameras and we've shot [00:09:00] one buck, maybe two bucks since 2014 in the entire family that we didn't have trail camera pictures of ahead of time. And one of 'em was, I shot 157 inch buck, but that was the year I had my North Dakota elk tag. And so my brother ran cameras and so the camera success didn't really pencil out.
He's like, I put a couple out, but I was busy and you know, and our pictures were just down that year, so it wasn't really like, we didn't get him on camera, we just didn't do cameras as good as we usually do. Um, cuz everyone was busy that summer. . And so to answer the question, I don't think so. Cuz you know, it's the proof's in the pudding and we're just not shooting many bucks we don't know about.
Yeah. Dang. I, I love having the bucks that I see all the time come through. Mm-hmm. , but I also love the unknown of like, I could just have anything, I had a, I had 180 inch deer walk out into the field that I was hunting. [00:10:00] It was 300 yards away from me, but I watched it come out into the field and I had never seen it, never had trail camera pictures of it, nothing.
And I'm just like, this thing is a tank. Come to find out, the neighbor had pictures of it, like tons of pictures of it. Oh really? But I had just never had it on my property before. And so it's like a giant mainframe 12 with trash everywhere. And Oh geez. It made the, it made the buck that it was with look small and that buck was big enough that I ended up shooting it.
So I was like, yeah, yeah, that's a big buck. How many cameras are you running though? Because we're running 18 to 24 cameras across 600 acres. So I think, and it's all flat egg land with a lake on, like they can't really get any farther south. Cause there's a big lake, like a, a really, really couple hundred thousand acre lake.
Um, [00:11:00] man, that sounds big. Maybe not quite that big. It's a big lake and so I think deer just move a lot. And since we have, we're casting such a wide net, like they'll be bucks we shot that weren't on our farm this year, but we had pictures of 'em last year. We've seen them scouting. Yeah, like in the truck, like we knew.
So I guess he kind of moved into by one of our stands and, and my nephew shot him. But we, we still knew who he was. We knew who he was on the block and stuff like that. So I think that's probably more so it's like we just have a really transient deer cuz we don't have any topography. , the, the entire county is about as flat as a two by four, so Yeah.
Yeah. We, I mean, we definitely get deer out there. I, I'm running six T cams right now. Mm-hmm. and I, I'm not gonna say it's on 300 acres because really the pro, the portion that I'm mainly focused on is probably 60 to 80 acres. Um, it's, [00:12:00] it's two bean fields that border a like 12 acre wood lot. They're on the south side and on the east side of them.
And so I've got most of my cameras up on the edges of that wood lot. We call it the sanctuary. We leave it alone. We don't walk in it, we don't do anything in it, and the deer just love to go in there. And so I'm basically just trying to catch deer in transition into that area. And don't get me wrong, there's, there's deer all over this property, but for the most part,
The rest of it is cattle pasture. And those cows, unless you get your camera up high enough. I've had one year I put out like five cameras on that, on the cattle pasture area where they can get to it and three of them were broken within a week. Yikes. Yeah, we got, I was not thrilled. We lost a camera once to a sub soiler.
Oh, . I bet that was fun pictures. Yeah. Well we didn't even get pictures of it. It came in the, in in night [00:13:00] and, uh, my uncle's, uh, hi hired hand was turning around and just whack it took it so it hit it so hard. It was mounted to a railroad tie that someone used as a fence post. So like a, an oil soaked eight by eight with the metal strapping to keep 'em from splitting.
Ripped it half. Yep. That's how hard he hit this thing. My gosh. With the corner of the disc. Yeah, because he was turning around. So you gotta imagine like a 40 foot disc. , the edge of it was flying. Like coming down. Yeah. Yeah. He may have only been going 10 miles an hour, but that outside edge was probably cooking.
Yeah. He hit that post going mock Jesus, and it it broke it. It was one of those old primo D like it had four D cell batteries and my uncle's like, I'll, I'll replace it if you want, since Tom broke it. And my brother's like, don't worry about it, man, you let us hunt 500 acres of your land every year for the last two decades.
It's fine. Yeah. So , so then I sent it off to warranty. I [00:14:00] was like, Hey, this camera doesn't work anymore. Here's the serial number. And they sent me a half off coupon to buy a new one. Dude, imagine that, like if it was something vortex because in their showroom and kind of all over the place, most shields have like a vortex.
Yeah. Showcase of all the warrantied I items. Imagine just having like a big disc and then just a, a flattened trail camera in one of those showcases and a railroad tie that looked like a grenade one off in it. . Yeah, . Yeah. That, that's cool, man. I mean, it's not cool, but that's a, that's a good story. Hey, that's probably the most creative, uh, camera destruction I've heard.
Yeah. But I did see just today on TikTok, there's a company out there that's making, they're making camera trail camera posts for cattle ranch land. It's like a huge solid steel. And it comes with a slider that like, you, like, you know what a post hole pounder is, right? And you come off the top and you're like, oh, yeah.
Yeah. So it's basically like an integrated one. So it's, yeah, it's the worst thing in the world. The tops the top is mounted for your camera, so you slide [00:15:00] your camera on and then you lock it in with like a little hitch pin key. But yeah, the post has this like collar, the stainless or the steel collar, and you slide this collar up and just ram it down and it.
It just pounds it in and it's got this huge, like huge pointed base to it. And it's like heavy duty. He says, it says like 10 pounds. So it's made for like cattle ranches. So cattle don't wreck your trail camera. Well, I looked in the comments. Yeah. And the guy, I mean, to, to install it, you had to like go like this.
Right? So one of the first comments was like, I've been training for this my whole life. . That is awesome. Yeah. Oh man. I found, I found a couple good solutions, not only for, not only for cows, but also for like, if you have an issue with people stealing your camera, if you're putting up cameras on public land.
Uh, at both the Western Hunt Expo last year and the ATA this year, there was a guy with a booth and imagine like a giant paint brush roller or like the extendable Yeah. Poles for rolling on [00:16:00] paint. Yeah. Um, it's that, and then it attaches to your driver bit on like an impact drill. Oh yeah. And then on the end of it, yeah, you can actually like, Fix, uh, a mounting bracket onto it, screw it into the tree.
Way high up. They make a laser attachment that clips onto that so you can see exactly where it's pointed. And then you hook your trail camera to it and it's a quick disconnect. Like you rotate the pole counterclockwise to connect it and you rotate it clockwise to disconnect it. And so all you have to do is basically carry around this pole on public land and you can pull your camera down or put it up.
And then, uh, an impact definitely helps. But if not, you could even use a screwdriver with that, with that adapter on it. Oh yeah. Yeah. I've heard some, I've heard some pretty wild stories from, again, guys in Utah running cameras on public land on all the things they gotta do, cuz there's bears, there's all kinds of people running around.
There's giant [00:17:00] bulls. Like people are like, they get pretty intense with their trail cameras. And so I, I, one guy told me what he does, and he's like, please don't tell anybody cuz I have 150 DS 4k stealth cams out across the mountains, and like, I don't wanna lose 'em. It took me a long time to keep 'em and, but the level of work that he was putting into each camera set, I'm like, holy Moses, man.
He is like, yeah, it's intense. Like, you gotta protect these things right here. You'll, you'll pay just as much insecurity for your camera as you'll put into your camera. I mean, looking at those, you literally said that boxes and mm-hmm. . Yeah. Looking at the boxes, looking at the mounting brackets, the cables, everything.
I'm like, dude, I could buy twice or three times as many cameras for that price. I would almost just risk it and go, okay, I lost one, but I can replace it multiple times before I pay the same amount for a steel box. Well, his involved the welder as well as part of its system. Oh my gosh, dude. Yeah. Yeah. I'm out.
What? He's a full-time [00:18:00] officer. One of those, this, his livelihood. . Yeah, for that. I mean, it's definitely worth it. You gotta walk around the mountain of the pole. Well, I mean, once it's up, it's up. You know? But like, I think about that and then I think, okay, if you're running it out there, if you're only checking it once a year, you're probably mounting solar panel, uh, charger with it.
And so then it's like, do you do the same thing for the solar panel? Because obviously it's gotta be open to the sun. How do you secure that without somebody stealing it? Um, I don't know, man. Yeah, I, I fortunately have not lost a camera. I shouldn't have even said that out loud now. It's probably gonna happen.
Um, but I lose 'em to those freaking cows. And to top it off, I got pictures, like a hundred pictures after it had knocked it off the tree. It then stood over the top of it and it's like it took its time to just stomp it to pieces, . And I got so many pictures of this stupid cow tag number 1 47 in its ear.
And I'm just like, dude, I'm gonna [00:19:00] shoot that freaking cow one day. I'm gonna call him and just be like, Hey, listen, when you're butchering cattle, I want one 40. Let, I just want to be the end. Yeah. I'm gonna, I'm gonna do it slow. . Uh, that's funny. Well, dude, let's, uh, let's get Ethan on the show. I'm excited about this man, because being up in, in Montana and hunting some of the best elk country out there, I'm curious to see what he has to say, some tips and tricks for us.
Yeah. It sounds like he's pretty much done it all, so I'm excited to, excited to hear his story. Yes, sir. Should be good. You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks and strategies from season western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges.
Hunting is completely different up there. That part is some 26 big game animals. You can fool their eyes. We can fool their nose, 300 yards, speck to the road, turned into three miles back the other [00:20:00] way. It's always cool seeing new hunters going, harvest and animal. I don't know what to expect. There's anybody I want in the woods with me.
It'll be you.
All right guys. Welcome to you today's show and joining. Brian and I on the podcast today. We've got Ethan Pateman now. Ethan, dude, your, your answers to the questions that are on the forum to hop on the podcast. As I was reading, I'm like, is there anything that he doesn't do or hasn't done? Like college football grew up and hunted the Bitterroot Valley, you know, guided the, Bob Marshall owns a hunting company, has another hunting podcast.
I'm like, dude, this guy just needs to be like mine and Brian's life coach. I feel like . Well, that's, that's awfully flattering of you. But no, it's, I, I've, I've been very fortunate in my life have the opportunity. I grew up very little [00:21:00] known back about me. I was actually born in California. Uh, my grandparents had a ranch in a little town called Copper Opus.
That kind of started my, you know, I think to this day we went, we actually went back for Christmas. I think there's 300 people in the town now. . Dang. Um, so, and then we moved to Wyoming in 94. So I was four years old when we moved outta California. Um, and, you know, my dad was, he was a rodeo cowboy, bird construction, hunted, fished.
We did everything, um, processed our own meat, raised our own cattle, slaughtered, you know, slaughtered our own cattle, everything. We had horses for, for hunting, adventures, things like that. So what, cause they were all of our rodeo horses that we just, you know, took 'em in, you know. Um, so I've been very, very fortunate with the way I was brought up to be able to have those experiences.
Um, you know, I was, I was like, my bro, I have a brother that's two years older than me and I was the little brother [00:22:00] at hunting camp. Like, can I go, can I, you know, one of. Memory that sticks out with me when I was a kid at 10 and we had just went in and set up this awesome elk camp for opening weekend of rifle season with another couple buddies of our family cuz his, their, their sons were their middle sons one year younger than I am, but their older son was my brother's age and went in, had like a log couch and three, you know, tents and everything set up.
And I, I don't like broccoli so I was trying to convince my mom that if I ate this entire like salad bowl of broccoli, that she would let me go to Elk Camp instead of school. Um, that didn't work, but that, you know, that was, it's what, where I grew up and how I was grew up doing things. So, you know, to be able to now later in life, while still work in construction and have these other opportunities have been fantastic.
Granted, when I was guiding that was. You know, when I was a [00:23:00] younger man after college, you know, didn't necessarily have the responsibilities I have now, but, uh, great experiences and just a great time. Yeah. I feel like guiding is, I talk to a lot of people, um, and know quite a few that have guided for all sorts of different things, and it seems like that that college right after college age is great for guiding.
And then unless you own the guiding company , it becomes very difficult. I mean, the, the financial and the time commitments and just the amount of energy. Like sleep deprivation, all of it. I, I don't envy the people who have the pressure of health, like being responsible in a sense for getting on animals for others.
Uh, well, getting on animals. So, and we, so guiding in the Bob, um, the company I work for is a chef Gas ranch, had Charlo, um, chef Outfitters. They're, I think their, their new name's Chef Legacy cuz there's, there's been a couple generations spaced out since I, I worked for 'em. [00:24:00] Um, great company. Still a fantastic company.
If anyone's looking for Bob Marshall Hunts. Uh, we had three camps, 28 miles in, um, from the Trailhead, which was I think 20 miles inside wilderness boundary. You know, nine meal strings, horses, and the things that we would have to go through on a day, I mean, it was the later hunts were easier. So in Montana back country, um, rifle season starts September 15th for elk.
So there's a ton of elk hunter, which is, I, we we're, me and some of my hunting buddies are trying to figure out a way to where we can get back in there without having to bring outfitters. Cause you know, we killed, um, in the one season there was three bulls taken that were all over three 70. Geez. Oh my gosh.
That's big. So are [00:25:00] you gonna let us know when you plan that trip ? Sure. Let's, let's plan it right now. I'm, I'm game . You're gonna be sore as we all get out, Dan, by the time you get 28 miles an week, we need horses. We need horses. That's step one. Yeah. Horses, . I can't help in that in that sense. No, we're, I'm trying to, we're that.
I have a five to 10 year plan with my wife that we're gonna get livestock here once we get the house built. Um, I have lucky to have some land outside of Missoula, so, um, I still have all my saddles and my tack. I just don't have anything to put 'em on. Well, so what? Yeah, and you're gonna need that, I mean, 28 miles in, I mean, that's what the Bob is known for.
And, and right away when Dan told me, yeah, he used to guide in the, the Bob Marshall. I'm like, oh my gosh, I want nothing to do with convincing clients. It's a good idea to go in 28 miles to the Bob Marshall . Yeah. Luckily that was all the owners, that was all mixed job and he did a [00:26:00] great job of it. We got handed the, uh, um, you know, the clients on, everyone's like, oh yeah, you know, we meet 'em at the Trailhead.
They've never ridden a horse, or, you know, and they're talk, they're all, you know, they're jazzed, they're excited. A lot of 'em, a lot of eastern east coasters would come out. Um, just, yeah, I'm so excited to go hunt the Bob Marshall. This is gonna be awesome. I can't wait till tomorrow. And I'm like, yeah, sure.
Yeah. We'll, we'll do whatever you want tomorrow. Lot of times that turned into, Hey, there's this meadow that's like 300 yards from camp. We're just gonna walk out there and sit there for the day and you know, maybe, we'll, we'll see something. Cuz these guys, you know, riding a horse, everyone's like, oh, that's easy.
If you don't know how to ride a horse and then you get on one for 28 miles, you will be sore the next day. Yeah. Like there's some guys that take two to three days to recover fully and then, then they get to ride back out. , you know, seven day hunt, you spend two days [00:27:00] in camp, one day in, two days in camp, three days hunting one day back out.
And it, it could prove brutal for people for sure. That's what I was giving Dan a hard time about. I mean, I've ridden enough horses that I'm not an expert and I, I feel like I get it right. You have to move with the horse, but you, my legs, my knees, my hips still get sore after like a three hour ride. Not much less a 30 mile ride.
Oh yeah, I, I'm, I'm slightly terrified of the next time I get it's been, shoot, it's probably been five years since I've been on horseback, so I, I'm pretty confident the first time I get back on one is gonna be , I'm gonna be stove up for a couple days. . Yeah. See, I don't think I, I mean, I'm not signing up for that trip just yet, but before I did that I would go to one of these local farms and be like, Hey, gimme some lessons.
Let me ride. Cuz I've, I think I've been on a horse aside from at a fair or like at a, yeah, at the fair, probably twice in my life. [00:28:00] And my aunt and uncle had horses. And I remember as a kid, I got on one with her and she just opened that thing up, man. We were running and I was screaming. I was like, Nope, this is not for me.
But I was probably, I bet you I was under five years old. Yeah. And uh, I think I probably got on one more, maybe around 10. And that's probably the last time I had been on a horse. Nice. Yeah, that's, I've been very fortunate to live with the life I have and it, it, but, you know, guiding has, the, the nice thing about that is, you know, you go, for lack a better term, and I, I don't mean to be offensive to anybody, but you're professional babysitter.
You know, we're, we're, we're all cutting or we're, we're, it's elk, deer, and bear all at the same time with rifles, you know, riding horses. It was, we'd would drive ride people we'd, you know, have the same couple ridges we'd go to cause good glassing vantage points or spots that, well, you know, this weather pattern, most likely the elker over [00:29:00] here.
Uh, but, you know, riding around the woods on horses with some new friends for a week basically is what we did. So it was a phenomenal job. But it, you know, looking back on it now, from where I. , help me really prep for Hunter Hunt being a mentor for hunters, for New Hunters. Um, I don't know, have you guys had the chance to take out young kids hunting yet?
Oh, yeah. Yeah. That is some of the most challenging times I think I've ever had in the woods with young children, you know, well, not young, you know, younger, younger generation. But the needed for that is insane. Fortunately, I had quite a bit of experience out in Colorado, like at a, they called it a camp, but, uh, it was this, we, like two nights a week you'd come, you'd learn how to spin fish, fly fish, Thai flies, archery, trap rifle.
Um, and so like teaching them in that setting was [00:30:00] different. But then, yeah, as soon as you get them out in the field, it's like you, you remember all the things that you should have taught the kids , like how to walk quietly. Walking, walking quietly. If I say like, Hey, slowly turn to your left. It means slowly turn to your left.
Not what you know, , you gotta, you gotta take kids out for like rabbit and pretend they're deer first or squirrel or something before you get 'em out and do a position like that. 3D targets . There you go. Yeah. No, it's, we had this last year as, uh, first year I was able to take, we have, Montana has a youth hunt.
Um, the first two days before General RI rifle, uh, all hunting shut down except for ages. Uh, with the apprenticeship program it can go all the way down to 10 years old, uh, 10 to 16, and deer only, buck deer. You know, you can't shoot a dough or no, you can't shoot to, um, depending on the unit, but, um, deer [00:31:00] only.
So whitetail meal, deer doesn't matter. But kids, you know, I, the, the, each one has to have an adult with them. Adults can't be carrying rifles, you know, that whole, whole deal and took two brothers out. Um, you know, probably that, you know, that two year age gap between the older and the, the younger one that was out with us.
And same deal. You know, we start hiking in the morning and they were really into it for about the first 20 minutes. And then we hadn't really seen anything yet. And the, the talking and the joke, you know, and the jokes and the, this and that, and we actually, one of them, the oldest actually ended up walking into a herda cow elk and blowing him out.
Like he got within 25 yards of him. Geez. Oh my gosh. And just like, you know, he looks back, I was with, we, the kid I was with, we, we split up. He went, um, the, the older boy went with my cousin on this side of the ridge and I took the other [00:32:00] side and off the shaded side of that ridge, there was this group of about eight cows.
You know, I hear them from the other side of the ridge, just in sense, you know, blow out. Everything's running down the ridge and the young, the older boy go, you know, once we meet back up, he goes, what was that? Did you not see the eight giant animals that almost ran you over? Yeah. No. Okay. But it was, it was fun.
He actually ended up, uh, he shot a dough right at last light, uh, three miles from the truck. So that was a fun, fun pack out for us. Um, cuz he, uh, he tried, I mean he, they gave it the, the old college tried dragging this dough out around three miles. They made about 200 yards. They made about 200 yards. Yeah.
That's a learning experience. I'm gonna drag this dough three miles in Montana, up and over, all these ridges. Luck. Luckily it was on a road. [00:33:00] It wasn't the first year we had seen, but it was the first one that gave him a shot opportunity. Uh, it shot was per, I mean, a hundred, a hundred yards freehand, perfect shot, double longer, right where it was supposed to be.
She made it, gosh, I don't think she made it more than 50 yards before she, she piled up. So he, I incredibly proud of the shot he took, um, was, it was awesome to be a part of that. But the drag out afterwards, cuz he, he was also one that was like, oh yeah, I can pack out a deer, no problem. Mm-hmm. . And he was saying that, you know, the whole time, like, okay, all right, bye.
We'll see you, the truck. And we, we actually, we were being a little bit of a pain in the butt for him cuz we, we just started walking. We left him with the r you know, we tied a rope around her, her head and her front feet. And we just took off like, okay, see ya. We got out of his sight, went. Just, you know, let's hang out here on the [00:34:00] side of the road and see how long it takes 'em to just catch up to us.
And , about 30 seconds later, we hear, you know, feet running on the gravel road. Hey, can, can you guys help us? ? Yep. Here you go. So it's fun. Um, you know, that that mentorship role is something that I somehow walked into with not even just kids. I mean, I have a couple buddies too that are those, you know, uh, one, one friend of mine is two years older than I am, so he is 33.
Um, just getting into hunting last year, trying to help people get into it that want to try to find, find their way to do it, you know? What kinda hunt do you bring? Like what would, like, if, if you had a buddy that reached out to you at work or something that said, You're Hunter Ethan. Uh, you know, I'm, I think I wanna try it.
Like I've, I've been watching you for a couple years and my other buddies, what kind of hunt would you send him on for like a first Western hunt? I'm assuming it's [00:35:00] not into the middle of the Bob Marshall. No, no. Um, a lot of it's gonna come down to, you know, first question asked would be, what weapon do you want to use?
Yeah. Do you wanna to use archery or do you wanna use a rifle? I, I try to push, you know, first year new hunters into, let's do it with a rifle first. Let's, you know, let's, mm-hmm. . Let's first and foremost, make sure you know what you're signing up for. Cause as much as I love archery, like I, we have a whole, if you guys look at all at our Instagram page, um, that's almost all we do is archery hunt.
I mean, in Montana I can start archery hunt in August 15th for antelope, and January 15th is when my last whitetail doe tag expires. So it's. . I have six months to hunt with my bow and all over the counter tact, except for the envelope. That's a, that's a draw. But, um, so it's, you know, four to five months solid where I can go out and [00:36:00] kill things with my bow.
Um, but rifle would be the one I would push 'em for first. And I'm not much on targeting species, so I'm a except. Okay. With the rifle, I don't target species as much with the bow, very much focused on elk cause it's, you know, we get to go bow hunting during the rut and there's, in my opinion, nothing more fun than bugling and chasing elk during the rut is just so much fun.
Um, when it comes to rifle, I'm very much, whatever's the first legal opportunity I can take is what I'm gonna take. So if you're out, you know, and granted it all comes down. What are, what is that person's goal? Is it. First time out, I want to go out and I want to shoot a four pointer better, you know, mature buck, or I want to go shoot a mature bull.
Okay, great. That's, you set that standard. So let's you know, what kinda shape are [00:37:00] you in? Are, you know, can you climb, yield deer your country? Because I know, you know, there's spots around that. Yeah. There's good deer up here, but it's 1500 vertical and three quarters of a mile. Can you make that climb and can you make it back down from that climb?
Yeah. Um, so it, I would, I would probably say deer would be the most buck being as we live in Montana. I had this last season, you know, just to ex kind of explain better where I hunt, my nephew shot his first elk on the same ridge that I've shot my biggest white tail buck. Dang. So we, where, where I, I try to hunt in areas that have equal opportunity for everything.
Um, you know, it. He shot this really nice four year old cow I, two years ago on that same ridge, I shot 140 inch whitetail. So geez, it's, I need to come hunt there. . Hey, that sounds awesome [00:38:00] man. I've seen draw the tag. I've seen whitetail in elk country. But yeah, to have it, to have it that common, oh, that sounds pretty sweet.
Yeah. Dan's not even talking about Montana. He's just saying that one ridge is where he wants to go. Say . Yeah. No, no, no, no. Send me a pin drop. I don't need to know anything else. Just the pin drop. You don't, you don't wanna know where my pin drops go , because that's, that's my, this is my, this is a spot that we've hunted for a long time and um, part of it was we're gonna have to find a new spot moving forward cuz it, it's still good for bucks and, you know, late season cow hunts for the youth cuz youth ages two or 12 to 16 can shoot cows on their general tag here in some districts.
Um, So it was an easy spot and I had drawn a, a rifle do tag for that spot too. Um, but up to last year, my archery do tags were good in this district. Mm-hmm. So we would, and it's a river bottom. It's a high, it's like a high mountain, river bottom corridor [00:39:00] that has phenomenal whitetail habitat and I've seen mul deer in it and have obviously also seen elk, you know.
Yeah. Um, so just a, a great corridor to have. Um, but it's, it's the spot that, you know, okay, if I, if I'm taking a new hunter out or a young, this is where we took the, the kids out. Cause it, it's just got a good deer population, you know. And especially with the older boy, being able to shoot elk is like, well if we run into an elk, there's a good chance she's gonna be within a half mile of the road.
Just, you know, the way the road systems worked in there from the logging my, we actually got my nephew's cow out hole. We sled her straight out, got to the end of the, this little saddle and straight down to the road, into the back of the truck. I've always been out west and you'll see a flatbed truck with a full elk on it.
And I'm like, where are these people shooting these elk where they get the whole thing out on a [00:40:00] truck. I've never once shot an elk or had this elk that was even close to being able to, to shoot and get it out whole. I am, we did it for the first time this year. We, we, except it didn't go into a truck, it went onto the back of a four-wheeler.
So we all lifted this elk conduit, a four-wheeler, and the suspension on that thing, I mean, the arms on the back of it are supposed to be like, yeah. You know, 45 degrees up and they're about like 20 degrees negative. Was it? And how big of an elk was it? It was, I think it was a four by five. Oh, so it's like a two year old, three-year-old bull.
Yeah. Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. And we got it. We, we got it on the back of a 400. Uh, I think it was like a Yamaha 400 four-wheeler. Yeah, I can see that at all. Um, it's on my, I'm trying to show you guys the photo here, but it's, lemme maybe if I don't blur it. Um, so couple years back. Oh yeah. Geez. Got a four. We had, we had four Elk on the back of that truck.[00:41:00]
That's a half ton. So there's, um, the, the block management program out here is pretty awesome. Yeah. Uh, and this is an area, it, ironically it was right behind my house where I grew up. Um, I actually had remodeled the ranch owner's house at one point with my dad. So, you know, I've known the family for forever.
And we, we parked at the sign-in box and went in opening day rifle and there was four bowls taken out of this group. Me and my buddy both shot one and then the ranch manager, who I happen to know, shot two out of it as well. He was like, Hey, Ivan. You mind because no, my truck's like a mile and a half that way.
Backed up to it with the hay, you know, it's a half ton hay bale heater. Hooked up the chains to the head and the feet, lifted 'em all up onto the back of the truck, drove 'em to the parking spot. Cause it, it, we were on hi their property, you know, so them being the, the property owners, they were allowed to drive wherever they wanted.[00:42:00]
Um, us being, you know, public use of private land, we had to park in the, in the designated areas to gain access. So that worked out really well. But then, you know, switch over to my cousin's bull he shot this year, that was a three mile pack out and I had 170 pounds on my back. Geez. No, it sounds like he needs to start a mountain, uber service and just drive around for everybody with that, with that hay track.
It would've been nice. Um, there's been, you know, I've, I've, I've been pretty fortunate in my elk. I've, I've, my first bowl I shot. Had a little bit of a fiasco, bad soil conditions for horses type of deal. Um, it took nine hours to get that, that bull back to the truck. Wow. Had to bone it out, a bunch of other stuff.
Um, my second bull I shot. Ironically, most of my hard kills have been with my rifle. Uh, second Bull I [00:43:00] shot. We had to come back the next day to finish the pack out cuz he was about 4,000 vertical above the road and it snowed 12 inches overnight. Um, yikes. last bull was the one I just showed you guys. Yeah.
With rifle and then the, my first bull I shot with my bow. Uh, he, I shot him. We were on the way back to the truck after hunting the backside of this private property and we had just finished this steep climb. He's on the side hill raking a tree. I shot him. I guessed, you know, I didn't have time to range him, so I guessed range at 40.
So I put my 40 pin mid body, touched the shot off and like, looks great. Right at the last second it drops and I'm just like, shoot, you know, I, I shot low, he whirls and he runs uphill and stops at like 90 or something. And then my cousin's behinds like, gimme a range. I think I hit him in the leg. I need to get another arrow off.
And he keeps running [00:44:00] uphill. He, he, he eventually dies 50 yards from the access road, which is only a half mile from the truck. So I, he was at four, turns out he was at 45 yards and that, that shot went perfect and just 10 wheeled his heart. Um, but he ran uphill. So he, he died in the only flat spot. Cause if he would've ran downhill, it was 600 vertical in less than half a mile that we would've had to have gone down to bring him back up.
Um, Relatively easy pack out there. And then the bull I shot this year was a mile, I think it was a one point, one mile one way, but only about 400 yards. 500 yards of that was off of a Yeah. Bush whacking in a trail instead of on an access road. So I've been fortunate in most of my packouts and uh, it's been fun.
My brother shot a bull once in [00:45:00] Montana. Um, I guess it was kind of far from you now thinking about where Missoula is, but he shot it on the backside of the mountain and he, the bull ran around 180 degrees around the mountain and all the way down straight to the four wheeler. Literally cut a mile and a half off of our pack out.
And then we got 'em in the bottom of this like open valley mead. Where we could literally see the four-wheelers from where we, where we were quartering him. That's fantastic. Yeah. , he claims, like, I tried to do that. I'm like, your elk ran a mile and a half buddy before it expired. I don't think that's what we're trying to do, but luckily we did.
We did get it and everything turned out good, so. Oh yeah. That old saying, I'd rather be lucky than good any day. Yeah. That's the, that's the story of my brother's outcoming career. . Yeah. That's juxtaposed to that. My, so my brother, um, my older brother's finally, he, he spent a lot of time in the baring sea working up there, so he was gone a lot.
Um, he [00:46:00] finally got back into bow hunting here last year, two years ago. He bought a be, um, this last season he actually, you know, got, kind of got bitten by that elk bug after he saw my, our elk season this year was phenomenal. I had, or at least mine and my cousin well, all around. It was a, a great season. Um, I shot my ball four hours into my season.
Um, I, I couldn't make it out opening weekend. We had a wedding we had to attend, which was, you know, it was 90 degrees here, 95 degrees, uh, opening weekend of September, which is opening a, a bow, a big game, archery here in Montana. Um, and my wife's best friend was getting married at Flathead Lake. So spent the whole weekend, you know, didn't spend opening weekend in the woods, sweating.
I spent it at the lake with a beer in my hand, in the water. So , I'm not gonna complain about that at all. Um, next weekend we went [00:47:00] into the spot that it, we've chased some really big elk in here. Um, it's also got a really high grizzly population. Um, I wasn't able to, I didn't go in that spot at all the year before.
Just timing didn't work out for me and we were hunting some other areas. Um, but this year's like, I want to go back in there. I think it's gonna be, you know, we had a great water here, so it's like, I know those, those big bowls are gonna be bigger, so let's go. And there's this one ridge that there's, if yes, the two get with my, my cousin Jared, and then my hunting or my business partner and good friend Jed, um, they will tell this story completely different than I do from when the first time we saw this big bull Cresta ridge, uh, Jared, we went to this spot.
Jared shot his cow the night before we [00:48:00] got her out hole. The next morning we got woken up at 2:00 AM with two bulls just losing their mind 400 yards behind camp. Dang. And we had, we had. We had set alarms for 5:00 AM to go, like I wanted to go all like a, a six mile high can in the dark. And so we sat there, you know, finally the alarms go off at five and it's legal light at seven, and these elks still just losing their minds.
So we sat there, fully dressed, ready to go for two and a half. Oh, you know, almost two hours before we were like, okay, let's slowly work in here. And we chased these bulls back into the ridge and sat down. Finally, like had one come in, he hung up at 110. Gorgeous dark antler, ivory tipped, just, you know, he is probably a 3 20, 3 30 class classical, just a he.
And he was the, he was the satellite bowl that we had seen in the meadow. We had seen the [00:49:00] satellite bowl, and I had sent those two out to this patch of grass, but we didn't know that the herd bowl with the cows were to our left. So cow's cup movement got sketchy. They boogie still that, you know, the bowl was still bugling cuz that other bull hadn't seen us and he was still challenging.
So then I, I started challenging both of them and ju we just played this kind of triangle, scream match all the way up the base of this mountain. And once we got closer, we actually got two more bulls involved. And it, you know, we got to a point after that one bull hung up, he kind of clammed up cause he, he'd saw something, you know, he, he saw us type of deal.
We were just set up the wrong side of this little opening basically. Mm-hmm. , um, he clams up and we get to this point and it's like, okay, do we go after that bowl? Do we go after that bowl or do we go after that? And we're like, [00:50:00] okay, well, you know, pulled up OnX and well there, let's take this road over this way.
There's a ridge that's kind of right in the middle of all of 'em. Let's just go sit there and it's nine o'clock. Let's go have a snack. You know, I'm hungry, I'm exhausted. I I do most of the calling when we go out. So we sit down and I don't even think I was halfway through my Snickers and my cousin goes, there's, there's elk on that ridge and they're 900 yards off and here comes some cows over the ridge.
And it was that, from what we can guess, it was that original group that we had seen in the meadow earlier. And we could hear a bowl bugling with them. And he was bugling down at this other bowl that was about 400 yards away from us where we were sitting. And you could count tines when he crested the ridge with your bare eye.
Geez. Wow. He's a big, big seven by eight. Um, just an absolute unit. And I'm, you know, I'm sitting there. They're, they're bugling, but you know, I, looking back. I'm like, no, I should [00:51:00] not have done what I did. Because they're, they're bugling on their own. The cows are working down towards us into the saddle to like, okay, they're gonna come down here in bed.
I should have just, we should have just stayed sat still and just shut up. I was like, no, I gotta challenge him. I gotta bring him down that hill to fight. Like, let's, let's do this. This is perfect. We're gonna get Jed, his first elk ever and it's gonna be that bull, you know? And so I, I challenge bugle and he stops and stares straight down at us and he runs probably 30, 40 yards downhill's.
Like, okay. He, he, he's into this, the lead cow turned and chirped and you, you just saw her just turn head chirp at all the other cows and they just start side hilling. They just start, she's like, Nope, I am done with this nonsense. I'm going to. . Um, I stopped that bull three more times and turned them, but he would not leave the cows.
How far away was all of this happening by now? Like how far [00:52:00] away are they from you guys by, at this point he's, they're still six, 700 yards. Yeah. Up the ridge. So we're, you know, we're down here, the ridge that they're on's up up here and they're, you know, two, 300 yards under the crest of it. I think where they first popped out from where we were sitting, we went back and ranged and it was a, it was 850.
So, you know, we, we started moving closer. Like I just took off running. Um, I hadn't quite been to this spot, so I didn't know what was ahead of us. I was like, if I can get, like, okay, I know I'm on his bubble. If I can get within, if I can cut two, 300 yards off this, he's gonna come down the hill. Like I gotta get into that zone.
So I take off running and we get to a dead fall patch. Um, I didn't have my pack on anymore. I had left my bow. With my pack. Oh, I just had my bugle and grut tube and just turned to Jed, like, Hey, let's go. And I just take off and we get to a to [00:53:00] dead fall and I just start, log the log, like just going. And I'm, you know, I'm taller than Jed is.
Jed's, um, the running joke is he's Gimley, I'm legless. He's, you know, built for sprinting over short distances. Yeah. . Um, and I look back and I'm, you know, I'm in solid, solidly in the middle of this deadfall and they're still on the edge looking at me. It's three, 300 yards away. Like, dude, we can't keep up with the elk that are running on top of the race.
And I, I had to, you know, admit defeat and turn around like, yep, that was stupid. Um, but, you know, just a phenomenal, phenomenal little spot we had to go. So I, we went in there this year. and shot. Ended up shooting my bowl. Um, you know, got there the night before Friday and it, it's weird cuz every most opening weekends there's a or second weekend of season, you know.
This was September [00:54:00] 9th or 10th I think. So, you know, we're still, we're in the middle of Full Moon, so there should have been elk there. You know, we camped out that night, same spot, waiting to hear the bugling from behind camp. And we, we heard one bugle. Um, I was like, okay, well there's, there's elk here still, but why is there only one, you know, it's full moon.
They should just be losing their minds right now. Um, we loop back, didn't hear hardly anything until we get back to the spot that I call the bedroom. It's just this maybe 50 by 60 little flat spot that's kind of tucked up against the bottom and protected by thicket and dead fall. and it's just, it's like a, a lawn just owed grass, nice and small, good, tall, you know, good tall pine trees, great little hangout spot for bowls and you know, there's RAs in there and things.
Um, and we, we pushed back towards this spot and I, I cal call and, and I wasn't [00:55:00] viewing much cuz there we hadn't heard anything really. And this bull, like just, it just makes a weird noise, right? It was a, not a grunt, not a, a gnk, just a, an elk noise. I was like, okay, well there's an elk here. Great. We, we get set up, Jared goes over to the right down the road so he can, in case he loops to come that way because we, you know, I, every time I've tried to get back into the bedroom, it just, there's one, one thing in front of us that just, you know, can't go that way, can't go this way, can't go that way.
I had no idea how the elk get in and out of it. Um, Little rag horn comes in. He, he is a four by five, but you know, he had an inch and a half of back fat on him, so I will take that every day of the week. Uh, ended up shot him. He came in and was, looked like he was gonna go to Jared. Comes back and gets like, he was kind of trying to figure out where we were.
So I, Cal called back [00:56:00] behind me, he's like, okay. He, he gets all like stiff legged and starts acting like he is, you know, Mr. Johnny Big. And I'm going, dude, you, I had to pull my binoculars up at a hundred yards to make sure he wasn't a spike . Like, you're, you're not a big bull . I don't know why you're posturing like you are, that this means there's, there's not the, you know, you're the only elk here if that's the way you're acting, type of deal.
Yeah. And he, he starts making this tree 60, 70 yards out. And I, I got a little closer but couldn't get too much and. Finally I cal, called the game. He comes in, he gets to 40, he broadside 40 yards. There's a, a tree. He stepped just far enough to where I had about a foot between the back of his front leg and this tree that was about 20 yards in front of me.
But I leaned out just to get myself a little clearance, touched the shot off, you know, hear a crack, and he whirls [00:57:00] and stops at this other tree I had arranged at 50 yards. I was like, okay. And he's, you know, he is doing the stumble, you know, back ends going, says Perfect heart shot. He's gonna fall over right there.
This is fantastic. Easy pack out. Great. He doesn't fall over. He just stands there. You know, in my, you know, this feels like it's taking longer than it did, but it was probably 30 seconds between. So second shot hard quartering. I'd come back to draw, put it back behind his back. His, you know, just in, just in front of his back behind quarter, we found the broadhead up in his front shoulder on the opposite side.
Um, I hit a tree branch on the first shot. Oh no. And when I, when we were, you know, prop, quartering him up, I cut his artery and I sent her, punched his back knee joint. I'm shooting the three blade, Q a d [00:58:00] Exos, uh, victory. One, uh, two 50 ripped TKOs going, 3 0 3 475. Grain arrow. So complete. You know, that arrow was a complete pass through, but when I cut his, the rest of his hide off, his leg just fell off.
So he was going to, you know, he was gonna perish there. If I would've just let him stand there for another couple minutes, he would've gone down. But that second arrow, um, Helped him on his way. You know, he made it 20 yards and fell over after I shot him the second time. Um, but just, you know, that, that shot placement, that second knowing, you know, being able to get that second shot on that bowl was phenomenal.
You know, that, that helped us out a ton. Um, oh yeah. Yeah. You never, I mean, they're tough. Yeah. If the Elk's still on your feet and you can still shoot, like you have to shoot Bo or rifle, I mean, if you've got an arrow in him or a bullet in him and he's not on the ground, like, I don't feel good just being [00:59:00] like, ah, he'll die.
I'll let 'em, I'll just let him be. No Midwest guys and Eastern guys, I mean, anybody who's listening to this and planning on going out there, most of the time you get one shot at a deer, right? If you're, if you're hunting, yeah. Out of a tree stand, you get one shot at a deer, typically, they don't stick around for a second.
That was one thing that I had to get used to. They were, they were telling me a story at my first Elk camp and they're like, oh yeah, dude, so-and-so shot an elk like six times last year. And I'm like, dude, what are you shooting, man? Like, are you, are you shooting like a 22, 2 50 out here? Why are you shooting at six times?
And then they explained to me, they're like, dude, you'll watch that impact on the elk. You'll hear the thud in the chest cavity. And they'll just stay on their feet. They just, the will to live is insane. Like nothing we've ever seen. And I'm just like, yeah, okay. That's just called bad shot placement. Well, over the years now, I've [01:00:00] seen so many videos of guys that are shooting like big boy guns, you know, they're not 300 rums, 300 wind mags, uh, 28 nozzles.
And they're putting great shots on elk. And that elk will just stand there and eat it. And they put another one, and another one and another one. It's like if it's standing there, just keep. Dump and let its way, I mean, obviously you're not being reckless just shooting at elk, running across the hillside, but if it's, if you got a, if you've got a shot at it, especially a follow up shot.
Keep going. Yeah. And that's, we go ahead. Oh, I was gonna say, the bowl that's in that picture on the floor behind me, that was my North Dakota bowl and I shot him with what, like a gun, like Dan was talking about 300 short, may 200 grain lead. Um, you know, just a huge bullet. And I shot him, broadside, knocked him down, and he rolled down a 30, 40 yard hill, like a pretty steep hill, rolled to the bottom of it and crashed in these [01:01:00] like little cedar trees at the bottom.
And I'm thinking, awesome. Once in a lifetime tag one shot, he's down and I see him stand back up and I'm like, he gets up and runs . What? No, he gets up and walks straight towards me. And so I'm like, okay, I guess reload, shoot. This time I see him like visibly like, do the buckle. And I'm like, all right. Solid shot.
Hit him again. Keeps walking right towards me. Shoot again. I see the shoulder and peck this time. After the third shot, he turns and just stands sideways, broadside. And I'm like, this is, what is this? Elk, . And so at this point, I'm out of Rowlins in my clip. So I take one out of my, my stock sleeve, put it in, and I shoot.
And this time he just crashes and then it hits me like, oh, he walked 75 yards closer to me. My bullet hits six inches higher. And I hit him in the spine this time and like , but just like he, just, [01:02:00] for him to crash down a hill into a bunch of trees and then just stand up and walk. Like, not run. Yeah. Not take off.
Just like, oh, sorry, I, I slipped there for a second. I stumbled, but I'm good now. Yeah. Oh, I see. Yeah. Something a lot of guys fucking graze me. . Yeah. I see a lot of guys doing the high shoulder shot or neck shots on Western game. Now I've never done it and I can't, I don't think I could even train my mind to do that, cuz even for coyotes, like I have no problem shooting a coyote through the shoulder.
But in, in my mind, I've just practiced so many times behind the shoulder, behind the shoulder, behind the shoulder, it, it's not even a thought in my thought process while I'm squeezing the trigger off, like, hey, maybe I could do a high shoulder shot or an neck shot. Um, and I feel like it's a neat shot if you want it to drop real fast, if you make the shot accurately.
But there's nothing better than a target that's, you know, two feet by a [01:03:00] foot because that's gonna be, you wanna pop a giant water balloon or do you want to hit a golf ball? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. And that's, I, you know, back to when my guiding days there was. People that came out. Oh yeah. Because high shoulders taught quite a lot in African hunting cause they want that animal to drop instantly.
A lot of those hunts though, they're not shooting three, 400 yards. They're shooting out of a blind, you know, 200 yards max type of deal. They're also shooting four 60 nitros and putting like a 500 grain ball into that front shoulder that turns into a grenade. So they did pop the balloon as well. Yeah. You got all that force there.
And I mean I've, I've cleaned elk that have perfectly mushroom bullets on the, in, on that shoulder impact cuz people went for the high shoulder and it didn't break like that bone can be. So, and it, it changes from animal to animal. Right. Knowing, you know, that's probably one of the largest arguments in archery right now is heavy grain arrow, you know, Ashby versus [01:04:00] normal, you know, let's, let's say a reasonably heavy arrow.
It's, you know, it's always weight for speed with, with archery, right? Oh, for sure. I, I think a reasonably. Heavy arrow. You know, I shoot, I have a 31 inch draw. I'm shooting a Matthews Vxr. That arrow's going 303 feet per second at four 70. I have plenty of speed to kill everything from a moose down to an antelope.
You know, I'm fast enough to, to beat a speed goat and I'm heavy enough to kill a moose. I'm not gonna shoot, I don't, I don't need to shoot the 700 grand arrow. You know that, that balance in our train anyways, between the perfect setup and it's gonna do the same thing is so slim that yeah, I'll take the extra 30 feet a second that I get from the lighter arrow just cuz you, you missed that dodge.
But when we were guiding, we had to, we had one guy come in [01:05:00] and we ended up shooting this bull five hunts later, I think caught back up to him in the snow with another hunter. He shot him twice in the neck and each time that bull dropped, you know, cause it's with, with a bow? No. Oh, right. Rifle. Rifle. Okay.
And this was in the bob, um, drop, you know, each time, because that impacts the neck and it shocks their spinal system. So you can just hit nothing but muscle or just that little bone fragment, you know, cause the neck, bone on elk have those big fins on the back of the, the vertebrae. Yeah. So you can hit that and that'll be enough vibration to shock their spinal system and drop them.
But it didn't do anything. It just, it, it shocked them enough to drop 'em for a second. They get back up and run. This guy took two. Cause like, oh, I, you know, all the old boys down at the, the, the bar before we came in told me to shoot 'em right in the. [01:06:00] Uh, you know, it's like, yeah. That, that's a, if that's the only shot you have as a follow up shot, yes.
Do it. You know it, it's gonna drop 'em. And if you have long, you know, if you have one in the boiler maker already, you, you knock 'em down. Odds are they're not gonna get back up again. You know? Yeah. That's, that as a follow up shot. Absolutely. Get, get whatever you can in them. But I, I think next shots it, you know, there's a lot, they work great for a lot of people.
You know, I'm not gonna poo on them or say that you've wounded a lot of animals in your time. It's just, it's not a shot that I'm gonna take, it's my first opportunity. Oh yeah. Um, nor, you know, to Dan's point, try to train myself to, to take that shot on a first opportunity cuz it's just not, I, I need the room for error.
Right. You know, I'm not, I'm not perfect. I'm not a Yeah. Well, and it's even hard on an elk, especially a rut. To you look at that neck and you're like, oh, I'll just put it in the middle. Well, that's not where the bone is. Like you, it's very, very hard. There's no structural [01:07:00] landmarks for you to aim at when you're aiming at a neck.
Cuz there's, and when I took my both of these bowls down, broke 'em down, like the size of the neck roasts off, these animals are huge. Like literally 25 pound Neros off each side of my North Dakota bowl. So think about like that much meat is dead man's land. You know, the famous, like no man's land above the lung.
Well, there's a huge no man's land above the neck and the spine in a bowl. Like, it's very hard to, even, even if you can train yourself to go for a neck shot, it's hard to know where to put the cross air. Yeah. I mean, and it changes each animal, right? Like, yeah, is that bowl a clean bowl? Did he run up a bunch?
Has he been wallowing? How much hair does he have left? You know, that that all just turns into just a bigger and bigger target that you're aiming for something the size of a beer can on its side like, Man at, at 400 yards I'd, I'd like to say I could probably hit that beer can. But if you're telling me I can get the same result by shooting a two foot by two foot square at 400, I'm [01:08:00] gonna take the two foot by two foot square every day, you know?
Yeah. Plus, especially when, oh, go second. Yeah. You're elk hunting, you're exhausted. You're probably shooting it at an insane angle that you haven't practiced at. Like your adrenaline is just pumping like crazy. Yeah. I think going two foot, two foot by two foot target over, you know, Six inch by eight inch target is a much better option.
I was gonna add on top of that, I'm training myself. Don't be looking at the antlers, like focus on the heart . I don't want any more of the head in the, in the scope as, as I can get. And with the Colorado bull, I shot that bull like, like Dan said, horrible shooting position. I've laying on my back on one ridge, shooting uphill, steep to the other ridge, like nobody practices shooting from their back.
And so I'm putting the bipod literally on the ground between my legs shooting uphill. And I shoot this bull and he doesn't move. [01:09:00] And all the other elk are going crazy. And I'm like, oh my gosh, what happened? You know, like that's the last thing you want is every other elk to be running. But the one you shot, like, I'm like, did I miss?
There's no way I could have missed. Well, a calf runs right in front of him and puts her head right over his heart, like 20 yards in front of him. Heads right in front of this, my bull's heart. So there I am. Freaking out. What happened? I'm watching this bull for like 30, 45 seconds, not move. And there's nothing I can do about it cuz I'm not gonna shoot again.
I'm gonna hit this calf right in the head. Yeah. And so that bull just stood there. Finally the calf moves just enough. I shoot again. Bull doesn't move. Shoot a third time bull is not moving. I'm like, okay. I I, I have to have had a bullet in this elk. So I, I feel like I have to keep shooting, pull the fourth one out, shoot.
All of a sudden I just see this bull start going like this and just tips over, just stood there. Did not even lift a foot for four straight rounds [01:10:00] into him. Are you shooting solid copper? No, that was a Ledcor. I'm switching to solid copper though. I'm switching to a really fast, solid copper. I've, I've been shooting the Barnes Triple shocks.
Um, TSX is, yeah, the TSX is the solid coppers. Yeah. I shoot 3 0 8 1 68 grain. Yeah. Um. You know, kills a ton of things. Um, but I've found that I've had to have more second shots because of, you know, what you just described, uh, the bullet you guys saw in that, that truck photo, I shot him twice at 200 yards, right?
In the boiler room. My bullets were two inches apart, and he stood there for three minutes. Well, that is, that's kind of explainable because that's the dynamics of a solid copper bullet. Right? It doesn't fragment. Yeah. They're not ex so you're not, they're not expanding and transferring the energy. Well, you get that knockdown power that lead has.
Well, not as well. They don't fragment. And [01:11:00] when you fragment a bullet, you're putting 20% of your energy into, into the elk because it's fragmenting and all those fragments are staying in. So you can, like, there used to be people that were shooting like extreme deep, um, hollow points that were intended to fragment, not mushroom.
And so yeah, when you shoot 'em with those, you get a hundred percent energy transfer and no exit. So those animals usually don't take a step, but you're pumping lead through like a majority of the animal you're about to eat as well. Yeah. Yeah. That was, we shot 168 grain boat tail match, great hollow points hand loaded, um, out of the horny book for a long time.
And yeah, we never had an animal take more than a step. Right. But you know, after, you know, the, the lead surveys and things they released, like, okay, well yeah, that makes sense. Tend to switch to solid copper and it's, it's gonna be a thing where people have to realize when you shoot big game with a solid copper bullet, [01:12:00] keep your eye on 'em and yeah, your shot was good.
You can get another one on the great, but it's gonna take you a minute to bleed out. Yeah. It's, it's not the instantaneous kill that we're all used to. They're dead. They just don't know it yet. It, I've seen there's, I feel like there's a little bit of a curve, cuz I have seen with the really fast, solid coppers, like if you're talking, um, 135 grain solid copper out of like a six five and just a screaming bullet, that velocity, especially on like deer, that velocity causes that same shock wave you're talking about with the neck and makes 'em drop because of the speed.
And then by the time, you know, by the time they kind of get their, their feeling back, they're, you know, once their feet quit being asleep, they've suffocated. Yeah. They've already, yep. They've already, they've already had hemorrhage to the point where they can't get up again. So I think there is a, a kind of a, a sweet spot for like deer and antelope because antelope are famous for it.
Right. You hit those things and they collapse. Um, I just think Elker band, those [01:13:00] things are just like, they're just mountain oxes. Like they just don't go down. I, we, I saw one one year actually through. I, I wish we would've had this on camera. Um, this bull we were hunting, um, a property boundary. And this bull had seen other hunters on the ridge.
And there was, you know, this herd of 70, 80 elk with 17 legal bulls in it. Just one, just absolute unit, you know, the big herd bull. He scooped a six, a small six point rag horn up by his ass in his head and threw him over the fence. Just picked up this 800 pound animal and tossed him. Wow. And he had been, you know, hounding this bull the entire time.
And that bull, the younger bull had kept trying to keep cows and things, you know, he, he just got on the wrong side of, of jumbo's attitude that day. [01:14:00] And that, that younger bull ended up getting shot in the middle of the road. My dad dropped him. Right. You know, road was legal. Boom, we had to move the elk out of the road to get the truck by it to get the truck elk into the back of the truck.
But, you know, just watch an animal, pick something up and throw it 20 feet. That's the same size of it. It's there. There's so much power and muscle in that neck. Yeah. And the rest of their body that no, I, I'm gonna, I'm gonna fight the ribs and that's it. You know, stay away from that shoulder. Um, stay away from the neck, obviously.
But they're insanely tough. That chest cavity, man. I mean, you just can't go wrong. There's so many things, and I think we were talking about it the other day, Brian, about that frontal shot, uh, uh, and, and just how many things there are to kill, like that will kill it on the frontal shot. Multiple things like you could hit five different things that will kill the animal on a front on shot, but everybody loves that broadside shot.
And [01:15:00] this year, I mean, that was my bull. I shot my bull. Uh, it was at 6 37. Pull the trigger. Get back on it. And I just see it standing there hunched over and I'm like, oh dude. I smoked him. And he just kept standing there and the bull in front of him just kept standing there. And I was like, well, here we go again.
And luckily on my second shot, I dumped him, but I'm like, I, I get it. Like the, the idea of it even moving at all after the first shot, the nerves start to kick in and you're just like, oh crap, did I mess up? What's wrong? Why didn't he go down? But mm-hmm. , when you're shooting chest, you're not gonna get that most of the time, you know, you're not gonna get it just dumping because you're not doing anything to spinal cord.
You're not, you know, severing that caption. Yeah. They're just act completely different. Cause we're all used to like whitetails and you shoot a whitetail and it just does that huge meal kick and you are like, yeah, I smoke. Right. Like that thing kicked and turned. Well, elk, [01:16:00] they just like, they just take it.
They're like, they just eat lead. They're just like, they don't react, they don't duck, they don't meal kick for the mo. I mean, I'm, I'm sure someone's gonna write in and be like, Hey, I had a elk that meal kicked and ducked my, um, okay. Well most of them don't . Yeah. Yeah. But also it's ducting your arrow as an elk.
I mean, you've gotta duck three times as far to get outside of the vital zone. The kill zone. Yeah. Yeah. Whitetailed, you know, it's a 18 inch target elk. The whole body cavity's three feet wide on them. Yeah. But no, it's, you know, it, you know. Then, so back to the, before our long, you know, diversions from that, my, the next weekend we go out and shoot my, we go up different spots, so we, we pack my bowl.
There's fresh grizzly bear and fresh wolf shit in the middle of the road. And we're like, okay, yeah, we're not gonna sleep. You know, the meat poles behind camp. [01:17:00] We had to bring the truck to the road to get the elk back. It was like too much blood. We're just gonna break camp down, go home. Not enough elk here to risk it eaten.
Uh, next weekend we go to a new spot, a spot that I'd hunted, hadn't hunted this specific spot before, but had hunted this mountain range and knew there was some elk there. Um, next, that next weekend and that Saturday we go in and I call this nice six point into my cousin, uh, he ends up shooting him at 19 yards, comes down off the ridge out of this bowl.
We're on a road, you know, gated road cut. So we're down here and it's, you know, he's on the upper side. It's probably a 1920 foot elevation difference between our feet. So, you know, up. Bull comes in, comes down. I had, I didn't have my bow cause I didn't have my tag. Um, so I wasn't packing, I was this caller.
I had, um, a new sh a new hunter with us. It was his second ever elk [01:18:00] hunt. His first one ever out with some people that, you know, had done it before. Before that he had just been on his own. Um, my cousin. And then I put Jed further down the road in this one setup and bull comes down. I thought he was gonna run over.
Jared like just comes down off the, you know, long call sequence, just no response. And then finally, I think I annoyed him enough. He, he cues off on us and he comes, comes down to find us. He flunks at me. I challenged him. He comes across the road chuckles at me from our side of the ridge. I cut him off and just a tractor coming down the hill, you know, just here comes sticks flying.
And he comes out, he's 44 yards from, uh, me and the new hunter. And I had him next to me for a reason. Like, Hey, one, I, I always like having a shooter near the collar. Two, I wanna make sure you don't do something you shouldn't . You know, a lot of things can happen in that instance. And this bolt comes out, walks right [01:19:00] down to the edge.
He's 44 yards from us slightly. Quartering was like, you're gonna wait. You know, you're not gonna, he's at full job. Like, Jared's at full job like, Noah, don't shoot, don't shoot yet. Wait. And if that bull had gone off the edge of the road down to the road to try to find, you know, the elk that was calling at him, he would've knocked Jared off the cliff.
Like just that, that close that. And you know, he is a 260 inch, six point, you know, a decent bull. Um, but so the bull turns starts walking sideways and I'm still like, I'm trying to arrange for Noah and trying to keep track of things. I hear Jared's bow go off, bull jumps forward. , I cow call, I stop him. He's 24 yards from us and all we can see is his neck, , neck and head tree, you know, big thick pine tree blocking his front shoulder, little pine trees covering the rest of him.
I have no idea if Jared hit him or not. Jared's like kind of running up the road [01:20:00] without trying to spook the elk. Like he's waving his hands, but I can't turn my head far enough to see what he's trying to sign to me. And I'm, you know, I Ryan's like, no 24 yards. Dude. If he step, as soon as he steps forward, bury that pin and kill this thing, like just smoke him.
It's, this is easy shot. And he stands there for 30 seconds and instead of stepping forward, he's side hilled. He just sidesteps up and starts walking away from us. But when he turned, I see Jared's arrow and he was a little, I mean still back at rib gauge, he was still in the diaphragm. quartering away cuz the bowl, I guess he, after we talked he ended up, the bowl stepped right as he shot, but he was already at a quartering away angle so it didn't affect the exit point as much.
So he still got both lungs and probably liver. Yeah. Um, but the, you know, I see that arrow [01:21:00] sticking out of the bowl and there's this much of the fletching sticking out maybe eight inches and Jared's got a fairly long draw length and he's like, no shoot him, just, just put it up. Just shoot him. Don't care.
Put it in his butt hole like Texas hard shot , get an arrow in this thing. Like let's shoot him, you know, like, cause uphill shot little back quartering is like, he's gonna go downhill at some point. We need more blood to trail. Yeah. Cause we're going to run outta blood. Um, it took us five hours to find that lull.
Oh my gosh. We were within 10 yards of him six times. He made it maybe 80 yards from where he was shot. Like he looped, he looped to, and we were on this creek set, you know this, this finger ribs comes down with two creeks on the sides of it. And we shot him kind at the point and he looped around and just walked off of the hill.
And we just went quiet and backed around to give him time and you know, good blood going uphill. Like okay, this is [01:22:00] good that we have blood, but he's going uphill and that's worrisome. Um, we're, no, we're looking down into the creek bottom to our left and it's, you know, the other side's a north facing slope that is just absolutely disgusting bottom's, full of dead fall.
But like if, if he went downhill and died in there, this is gonna take us six hours to get him to the road that we shot him from, you know, let alone the three miles back to camp. And we get to a point, he, he'd block himself in with deadfall on three sides. And that's where we had last blood. . He had looped back around.
He went downhill and went back around the ridge to try to go where he came from and died in a tree, well, like, just fell over, uh, a another deadfall log underneath the pine tree and was laying like, we looked back on our OnX track, you know, our map cuz we were all tracking on OnX. Like, let's make sure, cuz we started grid searching.[01:23:00]
I, I was, I was con I had a little bit in my mind convinced that he went down here and died in his bottom. Like I, he's on this side. There was no way he, you know, climbed and went the other way. He, he's dead over here and he wasn't. Um, but we were within, three of us were within 10 yards and we just couldn't see him.
Oh my goodness. Um, just, you know, nice six point, we ended up getting him out. We, luckily we didn't have too much meat spoilage. I think Jared only lost like, maybe 10 pounds out of that back ham that he was laying on. Um, But you know, again, could have gotten a second shot, you know, first, you know, the next shot.
In that instance, we didn't know that the bullet was hit, so obviously we're not taking that shot. Once we knew he was hit, get an arrow in him, like, just, just put an arrow in him cuz it as great as, you know. That worked out for us and it was a good lesson. You know, it, it's almost a reverse. [01:24:00] My third story that I'm about to add onto this will kind of bring the whole thing full circle with, you know, my, my bull.
I shot twice cause I needed to Jared's bull. We should have shot twice. And so then my brother, who I mentioned earlier, sees that, you know, I shot my bull Jared shot his ball. Uh, you know, in my mind was like, great, I'm done elk hunting. Elliot's got too much stuff going on. He doesn't wanna go elk hunting.
He texted me that Monday, Hey, I can go out elk hunting next Sunday. . Okay. Um, I got a spot local here that his spot I shot my ball two years ago was like, Let's go, let's go. You know, we'll do it. So we go in, we drop down, um, hunting the backside of this ranch again. And we get to the back and I drop my pack to lose some layers and I locate bugle and we get a bull coming from the property boundary.
I was like, okay, great. I know exactly where he's at. We can get to him, we can get set up and we can get him killed. And two more balls pipe off down [01:25:00] below him. I was like, perfect. Wind is good. Let's go dude. So we dropped down. Um, I set him up and we had a, a wall of scr. Not screw, but you know, thick little pecker, pole pine, things like that along this road.
And so I like Elliot. Elliot. Go to the corner and get 30 yards from the corner. Cause that's your top 10. It'll be a perfect easy shot. I'm gonna bring this bull straight into that corner. You're gonna kill two hours later. That bull still hadn't come around the corner. We had just gone back and forth and I, there was cows moving up on the hillside a above us, so we couldn't, you know, push around the, that edge of that thick stuff.
If I would've put him at the corner, he would've shot the bullet 44 yards. Cause there was a pine tree 44 yards from that corner that was just absolutely destroyed that we had heard him destroy. It's just like, oh, okay, well he's, and he's still bugling [01:26:00] and, but he's pushing back on, it's like, no, he's, he's going back onto the ranch property.
He's gonna go up on this ridge and bed. Like, I know exactly where he is gonna go bed. We're gonna just kind of slow play this, give him 10, 15 minutes and then we're gonna go to the property boundary and just annoy the living hell out of him until he comes down to kick my ass. Like, this is how we're gonna play this ball.
He's al, he's obvi, he's fired up, he's still bugling from his bed, like he's gonna come down and we're walking down, you know, it's still on the access road and. Coming around the corner and Elliot spots this rag horn not ahead of us. He's like, blah, blah. It's like, great, let's kill him. Like he's broadside, he's grazing.
The wind is in our favor. We were able to put this big pine tree between us and him walked right in on him. We got to a point that we were 50 yards from the bull broadside. Elliot's got a, he's only got a three pin, which I'm currently trying to find him a five pin cuz I, I, I hate anything less than [01:27:00] five for hunting.
Um, but 20, 30, 40, 50, I was like, great. He's at, dude's like, Hey, he's at 50 yards broadside right now. Take two steps to your left and the grass thins up, but the grass is at 20 like you can see through the grass, but you're 50 pin through the grass and shoot him. He, he didn't feel comfortable with that shot, so he didn't take it.
That's fine. Um, he got to 19 yards again from this bull. Wow. Goes to draw and we're bulls downhill from us. And he had kind at that point, he had gotten too close. He had heard, you know, the crunching on the gravel and he was feeling nervous. When Elliot goes to draw his limbs, break the plane of that grass and that bowl of wheels out.
And I we're standing in the middle of the road, no cover, no nothing. It's a younger, you know, rag horn. Three and a half year old, nothing major. Nice. You know, might've been a six by five, I don't know. [01:28:00] And I just, I just vehicle, just make all the elk noises. I can't. This bull stops broadside at 60. Just stop just staring at me like, what are you, because he can't smell me.
I'm not really moving. Elliot's still at Draw. He's parallel to me. He is like, dude, 60 yards, shoot him. And you know, we had gone over, he knew where he aimed the hits for 60. He, he, his shot breaks loose bull worlds. I was fairly confident he missed, I stopped the bull again at 65, dude, 65. Like, you might like try to get another, we, we try to get another shot.
I'm, I'm at full draw at this point. Just, you know, if I see blood, I'm, I'm touching off and shooting cuz it's, at this point we have a wounded animal. We need to get him on the ground. In my mind, this bull starts walking away from us. So we're running paralleling him on the road. You know, he's maybe 30, 40 yards away from us this entire time.
Just we're [01:29:00] trying to find angles to get him to stop in an opening where we could shoot him and. . He gets to this one point and I'm looking at him like, okay, 60 yards from us right now, but there's a tree that that's gonna deflect the arrow. We can't make that shot. And he starts acting funny, like he starts doing the stumble and the tripping.
It's like, no way you hard shot this bull. So gets there and he stands there and then he does four feet sideways and tips over . Nice. I look back at my brother, he's like, good elk. Hunting's not supposed to be this easy. This is your second day out and you just shut your first elk ever with a bow. Like, I'm not even paying attention to the elk anymore.
Like, he's dead off my mind. I, I text my cousin, Hey, we're at the backside of this rage. Can you come, uh, start driving? We're gonna start processing Elliot's elk here in a minute and it's a two and a half mile pack out. Like, come help us pack out, walk back [01:30:00] up to grab my grunt tube and all the stuff we yard sailed and.
He's calling his wife. You know, we're all excited . And it's like, okay, let's go, let's go find your arrow now. You know, five minutes go by. I'm like, it's, I, we saw the bull die, like not a big deal. Walk over to where the bull was standing when he shot him. And you know, he's shooting, he's shooting a triax, uh, 28 inch draw.
His arrows are, they're a little light for what I would like them. He's probably in the four 10 range. Um, shooting Q A Q A D, fixed heads. The Exodus 1 25. I was like, but you know what, at 60 yards, that arrow's gonna be laying right here. Cause you didn't see it in the elk. Like if you got a pass through, that arrow is right here somewhere.
No arrow, there's no hair in the tracks, no blood. We, we go to the spot. Second spot, the bull stopped tracking 'em. And it's like the dude, there's no hair here there, there's still no blood in hair. Like, I'm a little [01:31:00] in the back of my mind, I'm going. Wait, what? We find the arrow 40 yards past where the bowl is standing just buried in the dirt, about eight inches, completely clean.
And you know, that immediately is like, oh, shit. So I look up the bull's gone. He's pieced, you know, just disappeared into the woods. There is a barbed wire fence that was under the pine needles that he was standing on that was now exposed. He tripped and fell. Oh my gosh. That's a, that is the wildest encounter I've ever heard of, dude.
Just absolutely bananas. Like I, we found the spot, you know, there's barbed wire now, like all mangled up coming out of the pine needles. You see where this elk body hit, you know, we, there's no, there's, you know, there's some tan hair there. You know, [01:32:00] there's a little bit of hair, but it's. Hair that fell off the bowl.
There's no blood, there's no nothing. The arrow is spotlessly clean minus the dirt on the broadhead and it just goes from like all the way up here to, what the hell. So the, the, like I mentioned that reverse lesson, if we would've paid attention cuz that bull tripped 40 yards from us where he finally fell over, we could've taken three steps down the hill and stood there and watched him.
And if he would've stood up, we could've shot him at 40 yards. Perfect broadside. But we had both assumed he was dead and just let him, let him be. So it was like all, you know, going that follow up, like if you can get it and you can see that animal, do it. Yeah. Get that shot. Cause it, it was, you know the difference between my brother shooting his first elk, first actually his first ever animal with a bow to.[01:33:00]
Okay, well now we have a long pack out. You know, call Jared. Hey, actually you don't have to drive an hour and a half to come help us pack out. We missed like just huge, high and low, right? So it elk cunnings. So much fun. . So for anybody listening and if you're wanting to get out West Elk hunt, be prepared for physical and mental roller coasters.
I mean, the hiking and just the mental beat down it. I mean, it's not like that on every hunt, but I've seen more often than not. Like you, you shoot an animal and if you don't see it go down, you start beating yourself up. You start second guessing, you start questioning where you hit. It doesn't matter how many eyes were on it when it hit, like you start questioning everything.
If you don't see it, go down right away. Oh yeah. Yeah. Such a good [01:34:00] lesson for the listeners. I mean, if you've never been elk hunting like the, like Ethan, your stories are just like a testament to like why people get so serious about shot placement, your broadhead construction, what kind of bullet you're shooting.
It's like these critters are tough. Yeah. And I'm, you know, that's God Broadhead. We could have a whole nother two hour podcast of just us discussing broadheads and arrow setups. All, all of our listeners would abandon us by the time we get done . I know. Single be versus double bevel versus some of the greatest elk cunning stories ever.
And I'm looking and going, dude, we're an hour and 15 minutes into this thing already. I feel like we started talking 20 minutes ago cause I was just like completely locked in. So yeah, I mean, it may end up being a follow up episode type of thing, but, uh, I don't want to take up all your guys' time tonight.
And I know I've got a couple kids to put to bed here in just a minute. But I don't wanna let you go [01:35:00] without you sharing with everyone about your company, uh, about your podcast and about your social media handles. Um, yeah, because I know you've got a lot going on and, uh, yeah. Hopefully this can push some traffic that way.
That'd be awesome. Yeah. So one, I guess first, so Red Patch Outdoors was starting by my, uh, hunting partner, Jed. Uh, he's an ex-Marine. He started the company back in 2020. I became an official partner this year. Last year I was a, um, don't tell the IRS an unofficial partner. Um, just easier for tax purposes last year.
Um, but we
made make modular vinyl harnesses and gear, uh, you know, him being an Marine, he liked having the Molly chest rig mm-hmm. and being able to set up his Bino harness however he wanted. Yeah. Um, so that, that's how we started. Morphed into, you know, the, our, the things that we are now focusing on are, we've [01:36:00] made a bugle tube keeper.
So he got really annoyed with me saying, Hey, can you put my tube in my backpack? , um, been there. So we, we made a magnetic hit belt attachment. Okay. That goes right on your pack or your belt and you can magnet your grunt tube to it. Put a shot cord on it. Um, you know, I like it cuz it pairs with, um, cause I, I do like doing most of the calling.
It's not that they can't call it that. I won't let them. Um, we develop a three point sling for a bow. So you guys both bow hunt, right? Oh yeah, yeah. Bow slings are notorious for you gotta take 'em off. They get in the way, they don't work. Right. Yep. So I, my bow's actually in the shop right now, so I don't have it, but, um, it's called the bo Dangler.
It's on our website, red patch outdoors.com. Um, our wives actually named it sitting at a 3d, [01:37:00] but thing is, you guys can see me. So this is the, the strap on it. We basically just have two little quick connect points that go on your riser, top and bottom. So then when you go to shoot, so it's all, you know, for a right-handed shooter, it's a left hand carry.
These two points are hanging on your bow. So you can go strings down. Strings up. When I'm calling, I roll my bow strings up and I put an arrow in. Yeah. Cause I, my hands are free. My bow's sitting there. It's not on a tree or something. So I can call, I can rake, I can do whatever I need to. Then when you need to shoot, all you have to do is disconnect the top and punch your arm out.
Nice. Oh, nice. Yeah. That's sweet. So it completely, you know, This, we came up with this, uh, last year. We, we launched it last June or July. Uh, we were down at, we went to Salt Lake Conexpo with it this year. Really well received down there. [01:38:00] Um, just a fan. It, we were packing my cousin's elk out. Still able to shoot.
Yeah. Because we were all carrying our bows on our sides instead of on our packs. Mm-hmm. , you know, it's, man, that's sweet. That is sweet. You know, you guys wanna try it? Message me and we'll, we'll get you guys one. Cuz it's, it just changes the way you pack your bow, you know, 3D shoots, whatever. It's just, you're not carrying your bow.
Yeah. It's, you know, everyone's like, I don't like having stuff hanging off my bow. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Your bow's hanging off you. Yeah. You know, it, it, it's like a rifle. Swing it, yeah. Yeah. You have to have a pack system. I'm still convincing Dan he needs to dive into archery elk and he's just like loving all the archery elk stories, but, Definitely Dan.
Okay. That there, that's a beautiful segue into the third item we have. Um, so we started think so this year with the, you know, that, that whole story I just shared with the Elk hunting, [01:39:00] um, we've been working pretty closely with a company called Mount Archery Fest. Uh, have you guys heard of them? Yeah, um, Brandon's a good friend of mine.
Uh, he's started doing Blacktail last year. I've gone to every shoot he's had here in Montana. Uh, we're going to four events this year with him, uh, soldier Hollow in Beaver, Utah, antelope Butte in Wyoming, uh, beaver Point in Utah, and then Blacktail here in Lakeside, Montana. Um, but from all of the, you know, the experiences that both Jed and I have with bow hunting cuz I will, I will tell you I've probably made every bad shot you can make with a bow.
On an animal, on a target, whatever. I have made that bad shot. You know, this year I had a, what I thought was a good shot, but I was able to recover from it because of my second shot, right? Mm-hmm. Um, so we started to think called the School of Hard Knocks, [01:40:00] N O C K S, not K N O K S, um, to try to help new archery hunters or new, you know, people that are new into bow hunting or say you've been bow hunting for three, four years and you're not having the success you wanna have.
Um, for those of you that don't know mountain archery, it's, it's a lot like total archery challenge. They set up 3D course on a ski hill in a big area. Yeah. Set up realistic hunting shots and you go out and you shoot it, you know, just go out and have fun. First and foremost is always go out and have fun.
Um, but we're structuring a course with them this year where you'll shoot down with either myself or Jed and we're gonna go over frontal shot placement. , hard quartering shot placements, um, high en you know, high heartbeat, high stress, steep angle. Mm-hmm. Shots that, you know, we might, we won't be shooting from necessarily their designated pen that everyone else is gonna shoot from.
Cause they still try to give you a fairly broadside shot or Yeah. [01:41:00] You know, relatively the, a sentence that bothers me a lot when I go to 3D shoots is, oh, that's not an ethical shot. It's like, yeah, I 100% agree with you. That's not an ethical shot. I'm never gonna shoot 330 yards at a bear with my bow, but I'm on a mountain and there's nobody around me and I can see all the targets to that bear.
I'm gonna take a 330 yard shot at the bear. You know? Yeah. Um, but give people the opportunity and, you know, kind of force them to step out of their comfort zone, um, to go over the, you know, shoot a frontal shoot hard quarter. Don't shoot a hard front, you know, a hard quartering two. Right. I, I had that happen on a bowl and watched him run away with 30 inches of my 31 inch arrow flopping out of the side of the body that I hit him on.
Yeah. Dang. Um, you know, that's a sickening feeling. So trying to help, you know, we're not saying we're the best hunters in the world, but we've learned some things that we want to try to [01:42:00] help share with some other people to learn how to do. Um, it's called the School of Hard Knocks. It's on our webpage, red patch outdoors.com.
It'll be at those four Mountain Archery Fest events. Um, we have initial ascent packs for people to demo. I'm a huge, um, have you guys heard of Initial Ascent? I haven't. I don't, I don't think I have. Um, if you guys are looking for a backpack for hunting, the last pack I will ever buy. Yeah. Um, I had my cousin's pack out was 170 pounds for three miles.
My bowl. I had to we to get away from the thicket that he eventually died in cuz there was, he kept hearing things. And I had almost 200 pounds on my pack for about a half mile. Um, the best pack that I have had on my back and I've done, you know, SG Mystery Ranch tried the cue. You like, I've tried them all.
They have a [01:43:00] phenomenal frame system that you can absolutely load up with weight and it actually improves your posture somehow. Um, check 'em out, they're great. But we'll have, uh, packs for people to demo on the course. So we'll have a bunch of their day packs, um, so that people can try the packs out before they buy it and then they'll get a, a special discount code through the school of hard knocks if they so want, you know, choose to purchase one of those packs.
Uh, free onyx membership, um, and then discounts for through for our website and our gear. Working with some other archery chefs around locally for discount codes on arrows and things like that. Cause I'm gonna guarantee you, I'm gonna break arrows on the course. Yeah. So if they don't, then I don't know why they took the lesson from me
Um, but you know, just, it's an opportunity to try things out before you, you have to deal with them in the woods, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, so [01:44:00] good opportunity there for people to get out and try it. Um, but that, that would be something that Dan, if you want to get into archery, let's chat. Cause I have a, I have extra bows.
No, he's, Hey, he's a bow hunter. He's just, I'm a bow hunter. He hasn't given up his, just haven't done, yeah. Yeah. I haven't done the western bow hunting thing yet. I bow hunting. It's all the,
I may, you know, I'm an ignorant westerner. What? It's all honey. It's all still the same shot placement. It's just not in tree stands. No, I'm just saying. Oh yeah. Dan's soaking up all the archery elk, like talking to a bugle and him in, cuz he hasn't given up his rifle. He likes his rifle, huh? Do it. Yeah dude.
So Dan, awesome. Montana. We'll chat offline cuz I'm not telling people where to go . Um, but it, you know, be one of those situations for a western hunting situation on We're, cause we're doing it on ski hills. Yeah. You know, we're doing it on mountains that are right next to where people hunt. Um, [01:45:00] actually the blacktail told the funny story how her husband actually, uh, shot a, a mild deer buck and brought him up on the ski lift.
Wow. That was, that was kind of a funny story. But, um, so yeah, so folks can go to Red Patch Outdoors website, get connected with you. They can get the school of hard knocks. Learn more about you. Do you have a Instagram page that you guys keep active as well? . Yep. Yeah, so Red Patch outdoors.com is the company Instagram.
And that'll get you to, you know, myself or, or Jed's Instagram and all that information. We have our, our website's linked there. So Instagram's probably the, the best way to get to us. We're pretty responsive on there. Uh, we have a Facebook page as well, but it does weird things cuz I'm signed into two accounts on my phone.
So No, it's not a, we're not as responsive. All right. No. So go to Instagram, go to the website. Go to the Instagram, get yourself a modular, buying a harness and sign up for the school. Hard knocks . Yeah. And a boat angler. Quick hearing your bow around cuz it sucks. [01:46:00] Yeah. Well sweet man. Ethan, we appreciate you hopping on man and killer stories.
Lot of good information there for, uh, hunters, whether they're first time hunters or first time western hunters and uh, yeah, we'll, we'll be in contact off air. Yeah, for sure. Perfect. That's great guys. Appreciate you guys having me on. It's good chatting with you. And yeah, we should probably do a. A second episode.
Cause I think we could, we could go off on a deep end here and it could be fun. . We'll have to join, we'll have to, we'll have to guest start on yours for episode two. Get a little cross back and forth, actually. Ooh. Oh yeah. They gotta go here. Part two on yours. That's a good idea. Yeah, we could do that. Yeah, that, that'd be, that'd be real fun.
Awesome. Ours is a little more, uh, colorful. That's fine. . Hey, uh, hey. We don't, we don't, we don't put any parameters on this one. People just assume so, uh, fair enough. Yeah. We'll, we'll hop on yours and do part two. Awesome. Yeah. Uh, well, I guess, yeah, ours [01:47:00] is called to use what? You got podcast presented by Red Patch Outdoors.
So anyone wanna listen? I think we have like 35 episodes out. It's been a while since we've posted, but we, we, we did pretty good for that two week, you know, getting an episode out every two weeks. And it was just like, A little bit of fatigue, . Yeah, it happens. It happens. But we'll fire back up for episode two of the Ethan, Dan and Brian show and, uh, post it up on your guys' side.
Right on. Sweet man. Next time. Great chatting with you. Have a good one. Yeah. Thanks for being here, Ethan. Yep. All right. Thanks for listening folks. Recording. Stop.