Flying high with Drone Deer Recovery

Show Notes

The guys are at it again this week with a sit down with Mike of Drone Deer Recovery. Mike has taken his knowledge and passion for drones and technology to the next level to aide hunters in finding dead and wounded deer.  This conversation is a great one, and another tool that we as hunters in Ohio can have in our tool belts to help locate a deer after the hunt if need be.  Mike’s company is growing and new operators are all over the state ready to help you if in need.

The guys are busy with life, so not much to report from their time in the woods this week. Andrew did do some scouting of a new property, and having a little success on the cameras.  Paul has been under the weather for a couple days so not much happening with him.
Around the state, the hunting seasons continue to open.  September 9th opens up the first days of archery hunting in the DSA! Be on the look out for a new invasive insect problem, the zigzag elm saw fly.  Turkey research happening in the state, as well as Hocking Hills ranked #1 top tourists spots in Ohio!

Have a great week and enjoy the O2 if you get out into Ohio’s great Outdoors!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] And what's up everybody? Welcome back to the O two podcast today. Just Andrew going to start off our little intro here to get you started into the show. Paul is feeling a little under the weather, so we will we'll be able to handle this one on our own today. Let's see. We'll start here with some announcements and some news from around the state and stuff.

I actually just got an email, I like to talk about trees. A new invasive tree pest has been discovered in Ohio. The Elm zigzag Sawfly is discovered, has been discovered. Infesting elm trees in Delaware and Franklin County. So go to OD R'S website. Excuse me, check that out. There's more information there.

Looks like it's an invasive insect native to Asia that was first found in Canada in 2020. So similar to the emerald [00:01:00] ash. Bre, another one that has come from overseas and is now going to be another pain in our butt. But the biggest thing of that is when we're outside, just being able to take a look.

If you can, ID your helm trees know what you're looking for. I'm sure you can report sightings back to OD n r and other groups involved. But OD R'S website is Ohio They'll have more information there if you wanna know more about that. So literally that email just popped up here on my computer, but news from around the state, I thought there was some that I was like, this is cool.

Hocking Hills State Park has been named. A top spot to visit in Ohio just in time for the leaves colors to change Hocking Hills State Park earned another high tourism honor the US News and World Report named Hocking Hills, number one in its top 10 Best places to visit in Ohio. So congratulations to the Hocking Hills State [00:02:00] Park.

But we got a multi-year study underway with research of Ohio's wild turkeys. Paul, I can fill us more in on that next time he comes in. Maybe that was the one I was really thinking about, wanting to hear his 2 cents on that. But for our perspective, and we're coming up on our hundredth show, so if I can count right, which is debatable, this is like number 99 that you're listening to right now.

That means next week is going to be show number 100. And every week we read you off our little promo of stuff about our different groups partners that we work with, and most of them have been very gracious with us to give us something to auction off or not auction off, raffle off, do a prize, a giveaway for.

Stay tuned. I will post on Instagram and go wild. What we can do or what we're going to do in order to be a part of those giveaways. It'll be simple. I'm not smart enough to do all that high tech hashtags and all that kind of stuff, so just be on the [00:03:00] lookout. But we'll have stuff to give away from half Rack and Timber Ninja.

Black Gate go wild. I got all kinds of stuff, while we're on that real quick, go wild time to go That's your online social media platform for hunters and anglers. Lots of great stuff on there right now. Lots of questions being asked, people starting to post things. Congratulations to Mike Larsson with a great velvet mule deer.

He said it almost killed him to get it, but you know what? He's got a story and something hanging on the wall. Super cool. Thanks to the guys at Half Rack Ohio Outdoors. 15. Save you 15%. All kinds of good stuff on there As you're pulling your stuff, your hunting gear out, and you're looking through trying to figure out what you need, what you don't need, what needs to be replaced.

Half Rack has a lot of that kind of stuff that bow ropes and hangers and different things that you might need as you're getting set for the upcoming season. Black Gate cameras. It's black. Oh man, I always forget this. I gotta, I need to write this down. [00:04:00] Black Gate hunting, black gate

So this is Ohio based company and we've got some of our, the pictures that we've had coming off, our cameras are up on, oh, some of the social media platforms, but the man image quality, amazing. I need to put 'em where I got more deer coming through. But there's so many cool parts of the cameras and pieces and they really thought everything through very well.

We did an episode with 'em a few weeks ago. Go back and check that out if you got any questions. And the code on there is oh two podcast will save you 10% Midwest Gun Works. So these are our buddies out there in Missouri. All your gun parts needs ammunition are out there. Paul just got a really nice rifle from those guys.

Getting geared up for the trip to Michigan later this year. But if you've got anything for your firearms that need, you need to get replaced or upgraded, this is the time to be on there. Get it picked out, get it ordered. Ohio Outdoors. Five, we'll save you [00:05:00] 5% X vision optics for your thermal needs.

Night vision needs. Can't say enough about it. Love that stuff. I show videos all the time with people about, we were out coyote hunting, whether it was, just what the bobcats or the deer or the, the coyotes and all that kind of stuff. Super cool technology. Really stoked to be working with those guys.

And finally, timber Ninja Code is Ohio gets you free shipping, but Timber Ninja is a US based company. US made products super very. Intuitive. Jason is he built this stuff because he wanted it and then he figured out other people liked it. And it's, it's amazing. It's amazing.

Looking forward to getting up in the saddles. I know the sticks are top-notch. I've used those for a couple years and definitely something to put on your radar if you are interested in the mobile hunting game at all. I'm not sure that we've got a whole lot other going on.

Right now is a great time to get out and shoot your bows. Get out and pack your packs. And we've got [00:06:00] our opening day up in the d s a, it is coming up on September 9th. So in just a, this will release, I think on the seventh, and then we will go to right around, a couple days later. Get up there.

It's gonna, it's gonna cool down a little bit this weekend. It's a million degrees right now, but it'll cool down this weekend. And if you get a chance up in that D s A. Disease surveillance area, which is hardened Wyandot and Marion counties. You've got that early opener there. I know there's plenty of people that were out this weekend.

Old buddy Brian Hall out there doing a little squirrel hunting and keeping busy there. One other announcement from our show, as far as things go, we're gonna start releasing on Thursdays. We've had some things come up. Just gonna make it easier on our schedule to make sure that we can get the content submitted and on time and not, rushing to the last second.

Moving forward, at least in the short term, you'll start seeing our shows release on Thursdays. And I hope that's not too [00:07:00] much of an issue, but we look forward to continuing to bring you content. Our hundredth show. We've got a special guest for that one. I had a lot of fun with that, but this is number 99.

So next week we will drop that 100th show. In the meantime, the O two podcast on Instagram and O two podcast on Go Wild. With that is where we'll put the announcements on how we're gonna do our giveaways. Check us out the o two and I'm trying to think, relieve a review on iTunes, Spotify, wherever you guys are listening, we appreciate that.

Try to keep you entertained here moving forward into the hunting season. Today's episode, we are talking to Mike Yoder from Drone Deer Recovery. I. If you've never heard of Mike he's a real cool interesting person. And we had a great conversation. Mike grew up in an Amish community and now he uses thermal imaging to find drones flying around the, [00:08:00] find deer, excuse me, after they've been shot to help the hunter find the animal.

And this is something that I think he started the company only a couple years ago, and he'll give, he gives the whole background. It's great. But this is a big deal and I think that, hunting or the recovery dogs are great. Good woodsman skills are great, but they all have downsides. If you have a deer that you've hit and you didn't see it drop or it got dark afterwards or whatever I've been there, I know plenty of other people that have been there.

The last thing you wanna do is bump that deer and t trancing through the woods. Even if you wait, what you think is long enough, or, if you bring a dog in after you think it's long enough you can still bump that deer and having this drone idea. From my perspective, last year I had one, I shot it in the evening.[00:09:00]

It didn't, I didn't see it fall, but I knew when I got the arrow, it appeared to be a gut shot. And I didn't really have an option of what to do. I called the dog and the dog handler said if you got shot that deer, which all signs indicated I did. Even the, although the shot placement on the video that I had didn't look gut shot, everything was on the arrows.

That gut shot. He said, I'm not going in for 24 hours. I said, okay. I said, it's supposed to rain tomorrow. He said, yeah, if it rains, it's okay. It help, it'll actually help the dog's nose. Turns out there's a difference between rain and three inches of rain. So it rained and rained and rained.

So by the 24 hours was up, we had gotten almost three inches of rain. There was nothing there, there was nothing to smell. There's no blood to see. It really got to be quite the challenge. And after that, at that point, it was one of those things that had I even known about drone deer recovery [00:10:00] it probably would've been worth my time to bring, and money to, to have Mike's group come down and fly that property just to give it a whirl and see what was there.

And if we could find anything I. I wish I would've known about that. I really do, because I don't think that helped that situation out for me at all. But now I do, and we hope you guys do. And I looked at, actually the other day, we did this episode, oh, probably a month or two ago, just when we all had time to do it.

But Mike's got he's got more pilots and more pilots around the state of Ohio now. So where he was up in north central, northeast Ohio. Now it's got he's got more guys down southern Ohio, central Ohio and gives a bigger radius of where they can cover. Definitely something to look for, be interested in if you have that opportunity if something happens, right?

We know things happen in the woods and if just for some reason you can't find that [00:11:00] deer. Make sure you look these guys up. With that, I will get you guys to the show. Appreciate you. Have a great week, and we'll talk to you soon. Thanks.

All right, everybody, we are back. Andrew and Paul joined with our special guest, Mike Yoder from Drone Deer Recovery Mike? Yes. And I'll tell you what, man, this is I think this is the earliest show we've ever recorded Paul First thing here on a Monday morning. So this could get interesting.

I hope you're ready. I've been up for three hours, man. So I am wound tight. I've had a couple nice couple cups of coffee, so we're good. Mike, tell us, what is Drone Deer Recovery? I. We use thermal imaging drones to locate the heat of carcasses that you guys our clients can't find. And yeah, we basically [00:12:00] use a thermal imaging drone to find the heat and then use a big zoom camera to zoom in on the deer to see if it's the Bucky hit or not.

So your YouTube channel is pretty, it's pretty awesome to be honest with you. Thank you. And you just make that sound way simpler than what it actually is. When you guys go out and I, if you go out and watch we'll get all the information here in a bit, but watch these videos. It is like the sweetest drone you've ever seen, the sweetest camera imaging you've ever seen.

You've got your whole little landing pad, the whole, the big screen, everything. It's a real operation. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, so we we did invest a lot of money in, into our drones. We do not use small, I call 'em baby drones, like Mavic, three Es. Everybody wants to use cheap equipment to do this, and that's not what we do.

We spent about $18,000 on one drone kit. It will fly in snow, rain, you name it. It'll stay in the air. Then we also have a tv case that we bring [00:13:00] out to show our clients what what we're doing. So they don't have to really stare on at my small screen. But yeah, it's, it, to try to explain it exactly how we do it is a little bit harder than it is to go watch a YouTube video and you'll get, get to see exactly what it is that we do.

So the drone itself is $18,000. Or is that with the thermal? If you say that, that's the whole kit. Okay. That's all your batteries, your spotlight, your landing pad, the whole nine yards. Just the airframe itself. I think you can pick that up for around 13 grand. Gotcha. Because I know the thermal stuff that's expensive.

We work with a company called Vission, they do thermal scopes and stuff like that, and those things are not cheap, so Yeah. Yep. It comes with all of that Gotcha. In the kit. Gotcha. What, Mike, what was the driving factor behind wanting to start drone Deere recovery? The long story is I'm an arborist.

I take care of residential [00:14:00] hazardous trees, love trees, and I, I was just over it. I met all my goals, made more money than I ever have had a, have a family, have a house, this and that. And I was just not motivated to continue, pushing that business. And I was life had me down.

I had a back injury. I was drinking a lot. Way more than a guy should. Basically turned into an alcoholic for a whole year. And one night I was down. I don't know if you guys know my story. I do stuff with Jared Scheffler from Whitetail Adrenaline, or have in the past. And Jared called me one night and he just went through a burnout basically himself.

And I told him what I'm up to. And he is Mike, I just went through something similar like that. He's Mike, you have to do something that you wanna do. Go have fun. Because I was always working. It was all about work. And So I did, I gave up drinking and then I started praying to the Lord that I want new visions, new dreams, something that motivates me, gets me [00:15:00] going, and So that's happening.

And then I'm with a buddy one day sitting in his kitchen or eating, and me and him were talking about using thermal imaging drones to find deer. And he also used them for roofing inspections. And he's Mike, I think it'd be a great idea. And basically I, I bought a cheap one, the $80,000 one, and made a video about it and took it to an expo.

And the the hunters were just over it. They were like, this is the best thing. And by next season I went and bought all the proper gear. I spent the big money and away we went. So October 1st, 2022 was really the first time that I'd launched it publicly and started making videos on it.

And your background, besides being arborist, did you say you were a pilot when we were talking earlier? Yeah, so I'm a private pilot. I've had my pilot certificate for seven years, [00:16:00] so you understand the whole aviation scene a little bit. That's pretty good. Yep. And then something, I, something you'd said earlier is that you grew up Amish and Yep.

I think this is interesting being a complete outsider to the Amish community, but obviously, not a whole lot of technology involved there. And here you are on the opposite side, using the best and top neck notch technology that there is which is pretty, that's interesting to me. Yeah, cool.

Yeah, I've, I've always liked technology even while I was, living the Amish lifestyle. But when I was about 17 I chose to not live that lifestyle. I'm the only one in my family that's not Amish, but we're all good. It's basically it. That's a lifestyle. But they do use technology in certain ways nowadays just because of how, the society has progressed with, you basically have to have technology to Right.

Have businesses in this world nowadays. I'm sorry, my phone keeps going. Huh? You're good. You're good. Ha. Have you ever wounded [00:17:00] a deer and tried to find it with dogs and not found it? Or have you been through that emotional rollercoaster as a hunter? Oh yeah. Yep. So I I was, I.

Like ev any hunter we don't like to wound a deer and not know what's going on. Not know, is it dead or what type of shot was it for her? No, there's this one buck that I hit. I hit him back and I was like, I know that booger is gonna die. Like I just it's back. But he went into this big old c r p field with big old Russian olive bushes, and we tried tracking him through there, but there, there's just not we weren't gonna find him.

I called a guy out of Michigan with a dog and I was so convinced on getting them here that I was gonna fly up there, pick 'em up and bring 'em down. So yeah I've went through that stuff. It's like you'd almost do anything you can to figure out what's going on. Yeah, it's, it is, for those that are listening that haven't been through it, it sucks [00:18:00] and it's gonna happen to you eventually.

I've been through it. Been through it and it is miserable and you put every ounce of energy and effort into trying to find that that animal. So like how what did, like the first so you're sitting around the dinner table, you were talking to the gentleman from White till Adrenaline, gave you the, the find something that you wanna do, find something you like to do.

So you just went out did you just start flying around fields looking at deer? What was kinda like the the beginnings of it? No, so I've I've always been into rcs, like flying air, like small airplanes or cars or boats or something like that. As a little Amish for I've, I had those gadgets.

Really, how did it get into flying drones and looking for deer is I was using drones in my other business anywhere, tree care to just video type of stuff, to create content. And as the technology progressed and got good enough with the, on the thermal side of [00:19:00] things with the drones, and the drones were built bigger and better, that's when it became really a tool rather than a toy.

And that's really the technology progressing is what made this available. I've, I've been flying drones for many years. I've been flying RC airplanes, so being around the radio control stuff is so some, something I've always done. So if I'm a hunter, I wound a deer, I'm tracking, I know that this is gonna be a long track.

At what point do I call you? Obviously, just like the dogs would probably tell you is I would love for you to call me before you go after and bump 'em the first time. The process would be, you've tried tracking him, you probably can't find him at this point. You're gonna reach out to drone data recovery, either through the website or call the phone number and see where we're at that time, and we'll get a, get an operator out there to help you.

And so you're in Ohio northeast Ohio, but what kind of [00:20:00] radius are you looking at covering for people around the state? Okay, so we're actually going to be covering 15 states. We haven't gone public with this yet. We've got 26 operators in 15 different states right now. And basically we're gonna be able to help you guys.

No matter what state you are in, as long as the state has operators in there we're growing rapidly. It's actually pretty amazing. What what we're gonna be able to do this year. Is there a list of those states on your website? I'm sorry, sorry. Right now as we're recording this podcast, we don't have that up.

Hoping to have that maybe here in a month. Okay. We got a whole team working on ge, revamping the website, going from a Ohio based company to a national based company is, we're working on it as we speak. But you'll have, it's before a hunting season, right? Obviously. Yeah. Yep. Yeah.

That's really neat, man. Congratulations on, on, on that growth. So I wound deer, I call you in one of the 15 states. When of the operators [00:21:00] comes out, what's kinda the process from there? What's the conversation that you have with the hunter as soon as you get there? So basically we're gonna build some rapport.

We, we wanna know aside from you having history with the deer, this and that, we're gonna ask you to pull out a map, show us where you were hunting and where initially put the shot on the deer, where you tracked them on your map of choice. I don't care, is it Google Maps or OnX or something like that.

But and some people turn on their tracking on their phone so we can see where they've gone. And then we'll look at the terrain, how the terrain lays, ask the hunter where they want us to look. And we will start there. We'll start with the drone looking in that area. If we can't locate the carcass right away in that area, basically we will, we'll come up with the boundaries of where the property line is.

I'd prefer you to notify your landowners that we're gonna be flying the drone. Not that we legally have to, but that way they have an understanding, Hey, there's gonna be some big drones out [00:22:00] here. And then we just start flying a grid, basically like you would with a bunch of buddies in a big old C r P field.

Walk this straight line, go down, come right back. Three, four feet over overlap. But we can do it way more precise than anybody's could walking a C r P field, 'cause it's all g p s recorded, where we've gone, what our lines look like and that type of thing. How close do you have to, how close does the drone have to be to the carcass of that deer before you, you pick it up?

We are usually flying at a 394 feet. So we don't have to Very specific number. Yeah. Yeah. Because we wanna stay below the 400 feet, a g l above ground. Yeah. So there's some f a rules that you gotta follow. Gotcha. Okay. Yep. So you're flying the grid pattern. If you find the deer, like you can, I've seen your video, you can see blood trails if you're there in time, right?

Not with thermal. No, not with thermo. Okay. No,[00:23:00] if you find, are you talking about maybe that like a couple of the Instagram reels or something where you see like footprints? Yeah. Maybe that's what I'm thinking about. Okay. So yeah, that, that's footprints, that's the heat of the deers.

When they get up and they walk, like the camera is so good that you can see the temperature change, like trail. Yeah. Yep. Yeah that's, dude, it's insane. It's insane How long after that, before those the tracks disappear for the thermal? If, once you know that they're there, you could probably watch 'em for, I don't know, 20 minutes.

Gotcha. Okay. It all, it depends on the outside air temperature. There's a lot of variables that go into thermal reading itself. Gotcha. So if you find a wound, if you find the deer in question and it's still alive what do you do? You just hang out until it dies.

Keep the hunter outta there. What's the plan from there? No. I just basically if if the deer is alive, that's probably not good for you. I can't stay there. I can't navigate you in there. I basically, my [00:24:00] job is done at that point, gotcha. If I if I find the deer, I will show it to you.

You can evaluate it, see the shot and then, you, the hunter have to make a ethical decision at that time about what it is that you want to do. Give the deer time, so on and so on, because there's gray. Area here about using a drone in the aid of hunting. And that is one thing we do not do at all is aid in the hunt itself.

Yeah, it's it's gonna come down to the hunter and himself, what he wants to do. If we do happen to find the deer or any, he's still alive. Do you find that deer and say there's where it at, that there's where it's at? My, my job's. That, that, that, that makes sense. Yeah. I'm done after that.

Yeah. The gray area, I do, you get a lot of pushback from people on social media. I'm sure you do, where people like way less pushback than support. Of course, it doesn't matter what it is that you do in any industry, I don't care as a [00:25:00] hunting or boating or whatever, there's gonna be people that don't like it and as part of it.

But yeah. For the most part, They, we get a lot of support. Yeah. I think it's, I think it's very interesting. The wounding rate for archery specifically is tremendous in this country. It's, we've talked to people. They said it's 60% of the total harvest of deer are wounded and not recovered.

That's a staggering. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's insane. I know. We did we did some numbers ourselves based the, there's a study done that I heard on a podcast that the guy the c e o of Grizzly stick had some of this data on, wounding deer and it's oh my gosh. Like the amount of the, in the heat of the sea, there's just not enough drones that could go around Yeah.

To keep up with the demand, okay. Not to get off on a tangent, but we're gonna do this real quick. When we're talking about the archery rates and stuff like that, there's Customer that I work with, [00:26:00] and he is very, he's very anti-gun and all this stuff. He's like, why don't we just use, bow and arrow?

I'm like, actually, there's a lot of animals get shot with bone arrow don't die. And he's oh, really? He didn't quite understand that. So it's interesting in that whole dynamic of everything. So now that I've completely derailed the conversation sorry Paul.

No you're, no you're good, man. That's the rabbit trail. Right on, on the ethics side of things, Mike, first of all, I know legally you've got, now you're gonna have 15 states. Is that a challenge to abide by all the laws across each state, or is it up to each operator and, especially with the drugs, it's a challenge.

No, no doubt about it. Unless you have a state that has wrote black and white law, you cannot use drones to look at wildlife, then you can't do that. But most states, most laws that were written not knowing that this type of technology would be able to be used to, recover a carcass.[00:27:00]

So I would say 95% of states have a gray law. It's a law that was written that states something about you can't use aircraft in the aid of a hunt. And that law right there is what some states are interpreting as. If we use a drone, then we are aiding in the hunt. And that is the farthest thing from the truth because yeah, I'm gonna go on it because it's okay, so if you hire me to come look for your deer, I have no interest in pursuing that deer.

Me, me, as the operator is a separate entity of the hunter, him himself that, went out and put a hit on that deer. So there's a area there that they're just misinterpreting and we are not aiding in the hunt. I will not navigate you in there. I will not come look for your [00:28:00] shooter bucks.

So all of that type of stuff is just gray. It's, they're misinterpreting the law. So I, I do wanna stick on and just real quick the one thing that frustrates me exceedingly to, to just a seeding level is the way that. Natural resources across this country, state and federal, if it the gray area.

That's one thing that I wanna see disappear and wildlife regulations across this country. At, yeah, at every level. If you're gonna deal with, semantics, it better be crystal, crystal clear. And so I do, I like, you're aiding in the recovery of a deer. You have a hard line. Like when I asked you if it's wounded, you're like, I'm done.

It's that way. Boom. Yep. That's it. And so I, I do I like that. And I think that, people need to hear that, that it, it is, that there may be grayer, but yours isn't. Your, the way that you operate is crystal clear. So good. Good for you, man. Another thing that we get oftentimes is there's a law written about using drones to harass [00:29:00] wildlife that we are harassing wildlife with our drone.

And that is also the farthest thing from the truth because when I'm at 394 feet, and you guys can watch these videos on our YouTube 98% of the deer that we are looking for have no clue that we're around. They, it's, we're flying so high, the drone doesn't make that much noise that it's busting out the deer.

And what I would say to that is, I would say if you take a dog in and you're busting out deer, looking for a deer that you've wounded you are probably harassing those deer more than we are flying over top of their, bedding area. Because if you're walking into their bedding area, you're bumping them up and they have to run away.

It's we're not doing that at all. There's some of those things that come around. It's guy, it's think this through. Like we're a professional company. We have no interest in doing those things that you're telling us that we're doing. And it's just not true that we're harassing wildlife.[00:30:00]

Do you think it's just because people fear stuff that is new? A hundred percent. A hundred percent. It's, I was talking to another guy on a podcast, it's I'm sure, I don't know for sure, but I assume that if when, Thermo Scopes first came out the technology progressed to be able to put it on your gun and stuff I'm sure there were people like, oh my gosh, now everybody's gonna go out and shoot their big buck at night because you don't need a spotlight and you won't be, you won't even tell that somebody's out there looking at your deer in the field because the scope's got so good.

So I'm like, I'm sure it doesn't matter what technology comes around, there's gonna be people that are like, oh my gosh, this is the end of the world. Like you just referenced, people getting upset about thermals versus spotlights. Can you imagine the first guy that's I'm gonna use a spotlight to shoot this coyote.

People probably lost their freaking minds. Oh my God, this guy's using, he's not using candles, or whatever the heck they, there's always gonna be something. That's human nature, right? We fear, I watched Terminator too the other day and all that. I'm like, oh my oh my God this just this is now,[00:31:00] put me into a spiral.

Yeah. I went down a dark hole months. I like the the one thing I love when I watch your videos, on, on YouTube or Instagram, and you get to Hunters, and I've been in that spot where I've just wounded a deep, the biggest deer I've ever killed or ever shot, and I can't find him.

And I'm at a very low point personally, or any of us. When you show up and you're like, yep, one people are like, how confident are you? I'm like, eh, 10. I'm at a 10, man. 10 outta 10, we're gonna find this deer. I like that. I like that confidence. What What creates that confidence for you, that 10 out of 10?

The technology, I know that I know for a fact that if the carcass or the deer is around the search area, we will find it. I don't know. I don't know why I'm that confident. It's because I've seen it time and time again that's how it is. Dude, I did over a hundred, I think I did 110 recoveries myself, and I asked the hunters to stay in contact with me for the ones that I did not find.

Basically what I did wanted to know [00:32:00] is how many, at a later time were found in the search area where I was, because that would tell me, if I missed him. And over a so I did over 110 and only two got back to me that the deer The deer was in the search area. One was in water, four inches of water.

So it was really hard for me to find that because water looking for thermals in water, this just doesn't work. And the other believes that the deer was not even in the search area when we looked, he was out of the search area and then came back at a later time and died in the search area. That being said, basically, I don't think that there's many deer going going to waste in my search area, because if they're there, they're not laying in water.

I'm gonna, I'm gonna find them unless they're inside of a log or under a rock. Those deer laying in water. They're the ones that have watched the Predator movie. They know [00:33:00] Paul's going, there you go, all nineties movies, he's covered in mud, hide and water. The mike, when you've got a canopy cover.

So as an arborist you can appreciate that, but it gets thick in there and that thermal can see through all the leaves and everything else. So early season it is way, way harder. But majority of our, good season using the drone is when the canopy is dropped. You know that the rutt is what, usually 1st of November till third week or something like that.

Almost all the areas that I'm searching at that point already lost their canopy. But early season, we start September, last Saturday, September. You could have challenges with that. Is that Oh yeah. It's definitely a challenge. Yep. Yeah I did find some this year though, with the canopy on trying to think how to explain it.

So what happens is when, so the sun is out all day, the leaves hold heat, and then the bark of the [00:34:00] trees actually also hold heat, like the wood itself. So if you call me right away and the sun just went down, I'm gonna have to go through a lot more data. Like I'm gonna look at a lot more hotspots, then I would if the canopy's off.

And I'll have to look through smaller holes. So if I see a heat signature on the backside of a hole, I'm gonna have to maneuver the drone in a way that I can. Look through that hole to see down into the tree canopy to really identify if it's your deer or not. So what I like to tell people is if the canopy is on versus off, if I find the deer with the canopy off, say in 20 minutes, if the canopy is on, it's probably gonna take me 40 to an hour and a half to find that same deer.

Because of the tree canopy. Is it something that if you, so you shoot the deer in the evening and then I don't know how late you work into the night and from your videos it looks like all night, but that you go out, but right before the sun comes up. So those trees have [00:35:00] lost as much of that heat as possible.

Yeah. So how I'm gonna do it this year? Last year I was all about get out there quickly, fine. Because I did not understand how long a carcass holds heat. And I was scared that if I don't get there right away I'm not gonna find it because it's gonna be cold. The more I've done it, the more I see that's not the case at all.

Like I, this year I'll probably wait, try to encourage you to, let's just hold off. We'll start an hour or two before sunrise and we should be able to find the carcass because it's gonna give the leaves and the wood more time to cool down. And so you're not looking through all that data. So that is something I'll probably be moving forward to doing this season.

Last season I worked all through the night basically, start at 5:00 PM didn't get home till 7:00 AM the next morning. That's crazy. Do you have different, When you talk to the hunter and he says, all right, [00:36:00] I hit it with a gut shot. Now, we've always been taught for years, 24 hours on a gut shot, and I had one last year.

The dog would not come in. If I had known you, Evan, I would've called you. But he didn't wanna come in. He ended up getting three inches of rain in that 24 hour period. Everything's gone, right? So there was no hope. But would that, dude, I would've loved to look for it because that's perfect conditions for us on thermal.

I think I heard your show like two weeks later and I was like that sucks. Definitely one of those things. But if you get a gut shot, are you going to tell guys, same thing, wait for it, or you coming right now? I don't think we have to come right now. And the reason I say that is because you want the deer to expire before I get there, because if the deer is alive when I get there, you're just gonna see a live deer and you're not gonna know if it's gonna stay there for sure or not till, you make a decision to go in.

After the deer I've had that already happen to me is I went, the deer was dying. [00:37:00] I they seen it, they know where it's at, I leave. They go in the next morning to retrieve it. And it, by that time it was either bumped by coyotes, got up and ran a little bit farther and they couldn't find it. So I would tell you now, the experience that I have now is, let's just wait is not a, it's not a big hurry to come right away.

Now I understand that you're, you're super fired up. I am too. When I hit a big buck, it's you wanna find this thing? I just gotta get my hands on it, but let's dial it back a little bit. Let's take some time. We'll come in there, first thing in the morning, we're still gonna find your carcass at that time.

Interesting. Yeah. Like it. Mike or Andrew, go ahead. I, a couple more thoughts I had what kind of explain the differences between hunting public land and private land and using your services. Are there any differences? You talked about, notifying the property owner, [00:38:00] but as far as you can't fly a drone just over somebody else's property.

Is that correct? If you think it ran onto the neighbor's yard and it's, I'm speaking from experience where I knew I hit one that went into an adjacent property that I couldn't get access to. Track it, but if you were flying the drone and you went right up to the property line at 394 feet, how far can you see over to see if there's anything over there?

Or can you actually take it over? Dude we can fly, we could, we can fly all across the neighbor's land. Yeah. That's often a question we get. Can you fly across the neighbor's land? And then I like to reference this to you, like this is do you have a helicopter stop and ask you to fly across your land?

That's amazing. Yeah. They don't really just, and be like, uhoh, I know can't fly across this property. One of the don't have permission. In that specific instance, the dog guy wouldn't go without permission, which obviously he was walking on the, okay, so that's different, right? That's different, right?

You're physically on their land. The drone is [00:39:00] not on their land. They are in federal airspace. When we are flying our drones, we are in federal airspace, so we can go wherever, federal allows us to We have these guys say if you fly across my land, I'll shoot you down. That type of thing.

That's also not legal. But if we go across the neighbor's land, we're not technically on his land. We're, we're in federal airspace, we find the carcass in on the neighbor's land, then you're gonna have to go get permission to go retrieve that deer. That's, have you had anyone try to shoot at your drones?

Not mine personally, but we have had one of our operators already had somebody shooting at at his drone. That's awesome. It's gonna happen. The more the, the more drones we have in the sky, the more people are gonna be like, okay, I'm gonna try to shoot this thing. And then is there any restrictions on public land?

Okay, so in the state of Ohio and I'm only speaking for state of Ohio, I don't know all the laws of every state is different. [00:40:00] Texas is really strict. The state of Ohio, before they just voted on a new rule, new law is you can't fly a drone from public grounds. So you can't physically be on the public ground to fly the drone, but you can fly the drone from private to public.

Gotcha. If that makes any sense. And a whole conspiracy, and a whole conspiracy on this is, drone deer recovery blew up and started going Semial. And I think what happened is the O D N R got wind of it, or somebody reported it Hey, you guys gotta tell, The general public, you can't fly drones from public or whatever.

Because of drone deer recovery. This is my assumption because they are saying that the reason they put this new law, or this new rule in effect is hunters were being harassed by [00:41:00] anti hunters with their drone. That already is illegal. So what is the point of you saying that you can't now launch a drone from public ground to go look for a carcass that will, otherwise go to waste?

You're telling me that you're gonna tell the anti hunters, you can't launch a drone from public grounds, but you can launch it from private and still go harass the hunters. So the whole thing is a little stupid if you ask me. Yeah. You almost wonder if they're concerned, just very broadly speaking about people using drones to aid in hunting.

So they just, they're like blanket statement. Yeah. That's a thing no matter what, like you make it illegal or not, the illegal person is still gonna do it. Yeah. It's like he doesn't give a rip if it's illegal or not. If that is his intent and he is a bad dude, the dude's gonna do bad. Or the gal, it doesn't matter.

Like everything. Yeah. Yep. What other, oh, go ahead, SCO. No, I just, I haven't got lots of ideas keep popping in my head. [00:42:00] Is this Yeah. Good. I love it. Are you only able you guys are gonna get me all fired up. I'm ready to go shoot deer. You I'll be calling you, I'm sure. The day versus night, if you shoot one first thing in the morning, can you come out during the day or do you have to wait for the night?

The conditions will tell me if I can come out in the day, so I can't come out in the day if the sun's gonna be out, if it's gonna be overcast and raining through the day. Perfect conditions, I'll come in the daytime, but for the most, most of my searches are done at night because you gotta have the coolness to stands out.

Yeah. Yep. Gotcha. And I guess my other main question is, maybe part of I love is the blood track tracking of a deer Now that's only when I know that it, it's dead. When it's that kinda like iffy is it actually dead type thing is when it, puts that gut, that feeling in your stomach, that sucks, but, so you shoot your, target buck, it's the biggest buck you've ever shot. [00:43:00] That might be a reason to call you, or really, anytime they wanna call you, what and maybe you don't have an answer, what kind of cost is associated with something like this? Because I know what some of the dogs will run and different things like that.

If it's one of those things that your kid's first deer or your biggest buck ever, and it is I what kind of, before you have to call your wife and be like, Hey, can I call this Mike Guy and see if I can come find my deer because you know it's gonna cost a little bit of money. What are we looking at?

Okay, so our cost one second here. What the heck's going on with my phone? Okay, there, it's our cost is $450 to come look another a hundred dollars if we find the deer dead or alive. For us, it doesn't matter if the deer is dead or alive. I'd prefer for you as a client that your, your deer is dead.

So you're looking at five 50. If we find the deer that is, that, that covers you up to 30 miles one way from my home location over that as a dollar mile. So you will definitely get into some [00:44:00] costs using this technology and our service. But like I tell people, dude, you have already spent.

What at this point, it could be thousands of dollars. Just your bow, your arrows, your camo, your scent control, like all this stuff, not including your food plots, your blinds go on and on. That's the, that's my favorite. When people are like, oh, this is free meat. And I'm like, oh no, this is the most expensive meat.

This is probably the most expensive meat we eat. Yeah. Y go beef has nothing on this stuff though.

That's funny. Mike, what other uses for drone technology are there within the hunting, hunting space? Oh, okay. So another big one that we did that just got out of control at the end of the season, I made a post on my Instagram about doing a herd analysis. Basically it's we come out to your property and we fly the whole property and we count the deer for you.

That is very valuable for big, big [00:45:00] landowners big ranches really for anybody that wants to pay to have it done. But those people that have big acreage that do, manage the thing to t it's very valuable. I'm not a biologist, so I don't know how that all works. What I know is how that I can come out and I can fly that whole property and I would almost put money on it.

I'm about 97% accuracy of how many deer are on your property. Wow. Yep. One proof that I have, the OD n r was a okay, so a guy built a fence, a high fence, and he needed to get all the native deer out. So the od n r flew over this 400 acres twice, and they told him, no more deer. Yep, you're good to release deer.

And he was just like, ah, I don't know that. I quite believe you guys. He hired drone deer recovery to come in and just check, make sure, dude, we found 60 deer in there and they told him that there's no more deer in there. Wow. [00:46:00] So it's that's old way of doing things. If you want an accurate number, if you're gonna get us out, we're gonna find deer that they could miss for sure.

Yeah, it was crazy. It was like, oh my gosh. That proves a lot deer. Yeah. That that proves that they did, they were not able to find 'em all with their helicopter. That seems like that would be valuable for, especially like biologists and, if you're looking for Turkey numbers or deer number.

Overall herd health there, there'd be some value for that. Especially in my world, the Turkey world, I mean for like health, not, for hunting, but just for, and Paul seeing how many of 'em are there? We've talked to Clint McCoy. One of his favorite things is flying around in a helicopter, trying to count deer.

So that's no different. It's probably a hell of lot cheaper. Yeah. I'm telling you what, if the helicopter guys get a hold of this, like this is way more accurate than a helicopter. You're not spooking deer out. You're not just counting deer that you can see out in the fields or in this bedding area.

Like you'll see every deer. If the conditions are right, you're gonna I, I [00:47:00] just don't know how to prove what my accuracy is, but I'm telling you, if the deer is there, I'm gonna find them. Yeah. And if they're, if it's 2000 acres and I count, 300 deer, I'm, I'd be. Really surprised if there's, 10 deer that get through that hole without me seeing.

Wow. I know for Turkey research, one of the, one of the methods is the biologists and state agency folks will fly pri or public property in a helicopter binding Turkey, scratchings flocks of turkeys. If there's snow, they'll look at, 'cause turkeys are messy. They'll rip an area up pretty good to find, sites that they, they can set up for research.

You're talking about less invasive, a helicopter or a drone, yep. Yeah. Makes it, makes sense. Oh I think we're just, we are just barely getting started with what these drones will be used for. Yeah. I think as the technology gets better, the drone's gonna be able to do it on its own.

It'll be ai, it'll be. The drone will go fly the property. It'll ping every hot spot it found. [00:48:00] It'll differentiate, if it, was it a deer? Was it a Turkey or was it a groundhog? I think that's where it's going. Yeah. It's gonna be years down the road, but drones are just barely getting started.

Yeah. And that's the interesting process for technology and hunters and humans and fair chase and how we use that. And, the informa, you collect all the data in the world, what you do with that information is the main point. Yeah. So Mike anybody listening's probably okay, this dude works October, November, December, maybe January.

What else do you do the rest of the year with the drones? Because that's a, that's an expensive toy to just go out and find deer for a couple months. I'm gonna stop you there and tell you that it's not a toy because I don't have that type of money to spend $18,000 on a toy yet. One day maybe I will have money to, buy a toy for 18 grand.

But yeah, so there is really not a to whole ton that I do outside of that in the season. But you make enough money during the season that it pays for itself. But we are [00:49:00] transitioning me and our team here is transitioning into the agriculture side of drones, and that is even a bigger industry than drone deer recovery itself.

We use big drones to do crop springing, so fungicides supplying on beams and corn and winter wheat and that type of stuff. But yes, it is very expensive. To just basically work for two to three months. But I, in my first, I spent 20,000 on my first Matrice, and I think I paid that 20,000 off in four weeks.

Wow. So on the ag side, because Paul and I both have a little ag background, the, when you're spraying, are you actually spraying with the drone? Like you've got the spray tank up there on the drone Yep. Or okay. Yep. So it's like a crop duster without, it carries 10 and a half gallons of fluent and you depends how much you're applying.

But most fungicide is between two and [00:50:00] three gallons of total solution per acre. If you have the ideal conditions, you're gonna be doing about 30 acres an hour. That's not bad. And that's that, that really doesn't have anything to do with the thermal side of it, right? That's just No. The drone. Okay.

No, because I know in the golf world they've used thermals and some of the sports fields and stuff to monitor hotspots in the turf. Where okay, it's warmer there, so therefore it's drying out. So let's spray, let's water that area specifically. Okay. Yeah. And then there's some, yeah, I could see that some of the injury research on different fields.

Now we're really getting off topic, Paul of where, rabbits running down the trail, man, a harder surface, might cause more injuries or softer surface may cause more injuries based on the heat and water availability to the plant and all that kinda stuff. Anyways, yeah. That's just on the thermal side of things.

Yeah. Yeah. 'cause you could, thermal drones also are used in roofing. So on big commercial roofs, If if you have a leak and you get water [00:51:00] into your insulation, that'll hold heat differently than the other port of your roof will. Thermal drones are used to do roof inspections for leaks.

Another thing thermal drones are used for is landfills. So a lot of landfills might have underground fires. And so if you go out there early in the morning, you can fly this whole landfill, you can see hotspots, and then they can do research if there's actually a fire underneath the ground.

I was just talking to a pilot yesterday, but that's what he does. He travels the country, works for a civil engineering firm, and they do a lot of thermal imaging on landfills for the basically e p a stuff. All right. I'm shooting this rabbit right now. Mike, where can people find you on social media if they wanna get in contact?

Yep. So all social media platforms, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, drone, deer Recovery on all platforms. Now, we already have [00:52:00] impersonators or people that are stealing the trademark. So you might see like drone deer recovery such and such. That is not, that's when you know you've made it. That's when you're official.

That's when someone starts scamming you on Instagram. Yeah. You wanna talk about it. And I'm sure the guy's gonna listen to this because he was quite the character. In the early stages of developing this. So many people were reaching out to us, hundreds of people, thousands of emails. And before we really knew how we were gonna structure this, we were looking at maybe doing ex exclusive rights in certain states.

While there's this one individual that reached out to me and I. Threw him a number for an exclusive. Come to find out, he was a little butt hurt about the number that I tossed him. Here he goes and he files with the state drone, deer Recovery State. And then he calls me and he is like, this is mine now.

You can pay me if you want it. I was like, no guy. This is not how this is gonna work. But just that to me was like, okay, [00:53:00] like we got something here, but now we gotta come and we gotta protect it. Yeah, for sure. Put the fence up, man. Mike, I love what you're doing. I think it's, I think it's really neat.

I like to see how it develops. I think people need to have an open mind. Anything that, that collectively we can do to. To limit the wounding rates and to recover the deer that, that we're pursuing or whatever the game is in the respective states that you're in. I think that's, we're all better for it quite frankly.

Yeah. Yeah. And the resources is better for it as well. Totally agree. Like it, like we were talking earlier, technology, right? It's always progressing. We might get scared about it in certain ways, but put it in the right hands. It can be used for good. It just, I just don't care. Yeah, absolutely. Mike, thanks.

Thanks for all your your time today. Good luck this year, man. Good luck with the growth and everything you've got going on. Thanks, Mike. Thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.[00:54:00]