Football & Whitetails

Show Notes

On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan talks with Bradie Ewing about his passion for football and deer hunting. There are times in life where you have to choose, and Bradie is well aware of that. Once you reach a certain level in any activity, especially if you want to make it your career, you have to fully commit. This means that other hobbies, like hunting, get put on the back burner. Bradie talks about his time playing football at the University of Wisconsin as well as getting drafted to the National Football League. Eventually injuries caught up to him forcing him to retire earlier than he wanted. Now, with more time on his hands and living more of a "normal" life, he is back in the woods living his best life as an avid deer hunter.

Show Transcript

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Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, to another episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast. I'm your host, Dan Johnson, and today we have a pretty [00:01:00] intriguing conversation with a gentleman named Brady Ewing. Now, Brady is a former Wisconsin Badgers football player, so that's D one. That's a a very high level.

He made it to the nfl, which is even a higher level. So his passion is obviously football, but his passion is also the outdoors and hunting in deer hunting specifically, and for those of you who know, most of you know that football and hunting. Overlap as far as timeframe is concerned, there is always a every, especially D one, right?

Every Saturday is football. Now in the nfl, every Sunday is football, but at that level, football is life, right? So everything. Uh, football is every day. Uh, there's something going on every day. And so the, the opportunity for Brady [00:02:00] to get out into the woods, uh, very like diminished when he was, uh, following his passion to becoming an N F L football player.

And so that's what this conversation is about. It is a kind of a, a hunter profile podcast where we talk about Brady, we talk about, uh, you know, having to basically choose football over hunting and, uh, sometimes life makes you choose between your passions. And, uh, he, he walked his path, but now that path is over and he's back in the woods.

And so that's what this conversation is about today, and I hope, hopefully you guys enjoy it. Before we get to this episode though, we gotta do some company shout outs here. If you're looking for a saddle, go check out. Tethered, tethered has a full lineup of all your saddle hunting needs, whether that is platforms, whether that's climbing sticks, saddle hunting, accessories, uh, saddles themselves.

Uh, they're number one for a reason, and it's because they've created this community around their brand to help you [00:03:00] not only be, you know, the product is key, right? But the education that they provide. To their community is top notch as well. So tether, go check it out, was archery. If you guys are looking for the broadhead of all broadheads, in my personal opinion, uh, majority of their heads are made in America.

Best materials possible. Strong, feral, right? Awesome design. And so you add all that up, you put it on the end of a well-balanced arrow, it's going to destroy whatever it hits. And so, uh, I'm really confident over the years I've been able to harvest some really good deer with, uh, with a, a ra or, uh, uh, a wasp, broadhead on my, uh, a wasp broadhead on the tip of my arrow.

And, uh, and straight up, they have destroyed, uh, they've destroyed whatever they hit. And that's the job of the broadhead. So was I do have a 20% discount code available, and that is N F C 20 zero. [00:04:00] Go take advantage of that now. Uh, vortex Uh, vortex. Is, you know, they are, they are the creme de la creme of the optics world.

Huge fan of their spotter in their binos, uh, that I, that I use when I head out west or whether I'm in the tree stand, uh, durable. The v i p warranty is there and for a limited time, I believe for the month of May. If you go to, there's one specific website here, what is it? It is euro E U R O O P T I c, euro

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It's pretty badass, man. I just got the ring jacket in. It's legit. So, uh, next on the list we have HuntStand. Uh, if you are looking to become better, eight, educated about the properties that you hunt, there's no better. Um, Hunting app in my, you know, in my opinion, I mean, there's a lot out there that do a very good job, but there's a lot of functionality, uh, with HuntStand.

And so HuntStand has the ability to, you know, change the, the base map. It has the ability to, you know, to do all the things that, all the other stuff, uh, all the other ones do. But the, the satellite imagery on that, um, the satellite imagery on there is second to none, right? It, it's updated monthly and, uh, so that can tell you a lot about the property.

On top of that, they have the pro whitetail platform, uh, that has a ton more [00:06:00] functionality if you are a serious hardcore whitetail hunter, right? So go check out, uh, and new, we have the Wood Woodman's Pal, and this is a machete. Uh, this company was founded in 1941, so they've been around. It's an American made product and.

We've, we, we've just started working together and I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet, but I have chopped down some, some stuff in my backyard, and it's legit, man. It, it's, it's a, it's a machete, but I can see it being useful, uh, keeping it in the. Uh, in my truck, when I go to check trail cameras, I'll be able to hack some, some growth that, you know, let's say like a vine that's grown over it or, uh, maybe there's a, a branch that's triggering the trail camera.

I'll be able to chop it down. Uh, I can clear shooting lanes with it, hack some lanes. I can, uh, use it during stand prep where I can, [00:07:00] you know, hack some small limbs and, uh, and, and get my stand in a, in a tree the way I like it. So, uh, go check out wood wood mans, W o O d m A n s p a, uh, and check out what they have to offer.

It's, it's pretty sweet and the best part is it's made in America. So I can see that being on my hip, you know, when I'm out, you know, trimming, you know, uh, shooting lanes and doing my, my tree stand work for the year. So, Uh, and then that's it. All right, so huge shout out to all the, the companies that support this podcast.

Um, if you have any questions about these companies, feel free to reach out to me and, and ask me. Uh, I'm pretty much an open book with all of the brands that I work with, and if people have questions, I'm gonna shoot you straight. So reach out to me if you have any questions. Uh, da da, please go to iTunes, leave a five star review.

Let everybody know that the Nine Finger Chronicles is legit, and[00:08:00] 

follow me on Instagram. And I think that's it. Let's get into today's, uh, hunter Profile podcast with Brady Ewing. Three, two, one. Alright, on the phone with me today, Mr. Brady Ewing. Brady, what's up, man? Not much. 

[00:08:20] Bradie Ewing: Thanks for, uh, taking the time to connect. I chat with you a little bit. Yeah. Not a long time fan.

[00:08:24] Dan Johnson: And boy, I appreciate it. I appreciate it. Uh, I, I, I love how, you know, there's been some people in, in the past who, you know, they get real nervous or they're like, oh my God, I've been listening to your podcast for so long. And then they finally meet me and hopefully they're, they're not like they're, they're just like, okay, well this guy isn't as cool as who I thought he was.

[00:08:50] Bradie Ewing: It's funny, I haven't watched any of the, I know you're doing some video stuff Yeah. On different platforms now. And so we're here talking on video, but it's cool to be able to [00:09:00] see, uh, see your little studio set up and Yeah, kind of. Get some more behind the scenes. 

[00:09:04] Dan Johnson: So yeah, I, I wish you could see how actually shitty my office is.

Like, it may look good from where you're at in this little section here, but if I turned it around, it's just like an old computer box. My old computer, like just gear stacked up a couch that might have mouse poop on it. I don't know if it does. Nice. But, uh, you know, so that's what we're dealing with in, in the loft office of the, of the garage.

That's all right. Yeah. Okay. 

[00:09:33] Bradie Ewing: Nobody needs to know that. I'm, I'm at my work office here and I got, uh, stacks of paper and all sorts of stuff piled up myself, so, 

[00:09:39] Dan Johnson: Hey. There you go. There you go. All right. Um, so our mutual buddy Paul, he was on the podcast, uh, earlier this year and he recommended you. He says you're a killer.

Is that accurate? I've had, 

[00:09:54] Bradie Ewing: I've had quite a bit of success, whether it be with a bow or, um, rifle hunting for white [00:10:00] tails and. Pretty fortunate. I've, I've grow, grown up hunting some great land. Yeah. And, um, so yeah, I've been able to put it together year in and year out, so it's been 

[00:10:10] Dan Johnson: pretty awesome. That's awesome, man.

Well, congrats. And I'll tell you what, it's the land that makes the big difference. I mean, that's the, the one thing I, I feel like a guy can have the best possible strategy. He can get out there and he can, he can know how to, you know, hunt specific terrain features and he can go out there. Sure. And he can have the knowledge, but if the land doesn't match the expectation, then, then success may be hard to find.

[00:10:39] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. You don't have the beer at the end of the day, whether, whatever your standards are, if that's certain age class bucks, certain size deer, you know, just management in general. If you don't have the deer, it's gonna be pretty tough to. To find something to kill. So yeah, I've been, like I said, fortunate 

[00:10:55] Dan Johnson: that way.

Yeah. All right. So a couple things here real quick. Before [00:11:00] this, and this may determine whether we stop the podcast here right now, or we actually keep recording. Because you played football at the University of Wisconsin, correct? Correct. Yep. And I am a Iowa Hawkeys fan, and there's a bit of a rivalry there between, we're done.

What? I'm just kidding. We're done. Oh, my outta here. You're out. Uh, sorry, go ahead. No, it's all good, man. It's all good. I love it. Um, and so what, so you played, uh, football at the University of Wisconsin. What years did you play? So 2008 

[00:11:38] Bradie Ewing: to 2011. 12. So my. Senior year. A lot of fans. Remember Russell Wilson when he came to Wisconsin for a year?

Yep. Russell and I were co offensive captains, and that was my senior year was his one year 

[00:11:51] Dan Johnson: at Wisconsin. Oh, okay. Cool man. So what, uh, what position did you play? I 

[00:11:56] Bradie Ewing: played, I came in as a running back. Okay. And then played transitioned to [00:12:00] fullback and special teams. So, okay. So much like I will, we still have the, the fullback at the time.

Yep. And, you know, took pride in, in trying to help the running back out. 

[00:12:08] Dan Johnson: So did your coach say you had to gain a little weight going from running back to fullback? 

[00:12:13] Bradie Ewing: A ton. Yeah. I, I came into Wisconsin at 2 10, 2 15 and they wanted me to get up to 2 45, 2 50. So started, I put me on a weight gainer program. It was insane, man.

It was fun for the first couple days and then it got to be a chore from going into the facility for the first meal of the day. About 2,500 calorie shake of berries, oats, peanut butter, weight gain, powder milk. I mean, just a myriad of things. And then, yeah, you know, a meal was typically Chipotle with double everything.

Double beans, double rice, double meat. 

[00:12:50] Dan Johnson: I'm, I'm listening to this now and I say, boy, that just sounds awesome. That sounds like what I want to do with my life. Hey, 

[00:12:59] Bradie Ewing: like I said, it was [00:13:00] fun for a couple weeks and then it became a short, I mean, I'd get two foot long subs at lunchtime. Yeah. I'd eat eight 18 inches and then eat the other six inches, like an hour and a half, two hours later, just every hour and a half, two hours eating man, anywhere from 500 to a thousand calories.

[00:13:15] Dan Johnson: So that's crazy. I was also on a weight game program when I was in college, but I did not play any athletics. So my, you put on the freshman 50 or whatever, or freshman 15. Oh yeah. It was more than that. Dude, I bet I put on, uh, here's what I'll say is my, Senior year in high school on the football roster? I was two 14.

I was 214 pounds. Okay. When I came home for Christmas, my freshman year of college, I was 245 pounds. So you got after it? Yeah, I did. And what? Well, it's a combination of getting after it and then not also getting after it in other parts of the life. Right. So I just went, [00:14:00] oh, it's true. Booze food and no exercise.

And that's how I gained my weight. That'll do it 

[00:14:06] Bradie Ewing: to you. Yeah. I mean, the biggest thing is going from, you're probably a multi-sport athlete in high school to, you know, not doing anything as much and still eating the same or drinking a little bit 

[00:14:18] Dan Johnson: more calories. Yeah. Let me ask you this, so, so obviously when you were, uh, in high school, right, in order to be number one, good enough to go to.

A co a D one school like Wisconsin that has a really big, uh, you know, tradition history is always near the top, uh, in, in the Big 10 as far as you know, the record and whatnot. Yep. You what is, what is so, so in high school you had to have that somewhat of that dedication too, you know, cuz natural talent only takes you so far.

Then you get, you get to go to college and then ultimately you're, you make it to the nfl. But talk to us a little bit [00:15:00] about the dedication that it took from, I mean, all the way from high school to the NFL and, and what you took away from that process. Yeah, great 

[00:15:11] Bradie Ewing: question. It was, it was really a journey and I always had goals and destinations in mind.

Mm-hmm. But just like anything, whether it's with a business or football, tried to break that down to, okay, what can I actually do today to set myself. Up for where I want to be long term. Yeah. And so football, at least in Wisconsin is, you know, it's not a year long thing. You know, down in Texas, Florida, some of those guys are glorified college programs at the high school level.

And that's just not the case up here. I was a three sport athlete, thought I wanted to play basketball early on in my high school career. And so I was doing the AAU circuit and tournaments and you know, traveling around the country doing all of that fun stuff. But once I made the transition really going my end of my sophomore year, junior year that I wanted to play football, [00:16:00] that was, you know, working out in the summer, two days a week, eating to put on weight, working on skills, going to camps, trying to get out and get recruited in front of coaches.

Mm-hmm. And, you know, that mindset shift as far as football focus, you know, really didn't lead me until, you know, from mid two thousands till 2015 when I quote unquote retired from football. Yeah. And. Um, just an awesome ride. I think where I saw some guys get into trouble is when, whether I was a walk on at Wisconsin, so I had a few scholarship offers a D two one, D one scholarship offer, but I walked onto Wisconsin, which being an in-state guy, you know, I always wanted to play there.

And so I got the opportunity, it was able to earn a scholarship, but I think that kept a chip on my shoulder where I, you see a lot of guys that come in as freshmen in college on a scholarship and they think they quote unquote made it. Mm-hmm. You know, and, and so I, whatever you're [00:17:00] doing, as soon as you get that mindset, you kind of relax yourself.

And I've always prided myself on doing everything in my power to control the controllables and put myself in a position to succeed. Um, no doubt I was gifted and talented, but I had to do the intangible things to Yeah. Find that 

[00:17:18] Dan Johnson: edge, especially as a walk-on. Yeah. I, I listened to. A very short documentary about this power lifter who for a while there he was like a, a big deal.

And I, I can't remember the dude's name right off the top of my head, but he liked to lift. They showed the gym that he lifted in and it was like mildew on the walls from water. I mean, it was old equipment. It was just like dingy and smelly and, and it didn't look like a Gold's Gym with all the, the best equipment and, and things like that.

And he said, he said, you know, if I, if I go to this Gold's Gym and [00:18:00] I get a sponsorship with this, I'm gonna not have the drive cuz it sucks to be in here every day. And I think the suck is what made me so, you know, good at what I was doing because if you take me out of that environment, I, there's, I don't want to get out of this environment because I'm already in something different.

And that's what made him. Uh, that's what he said helped to make him successful. Yeah. 

[00:18:25] Bradie Ewing: I think anything in life, you know, you put your mind to it, you continue to work and you always have that next things to reach for. And for me it was, you know, obviously doing well in high school, but yeah, getting to that next level, becoming a contributor, working to be a part of the team, you know, eventually working to be a team captain, you know, trying to get to the nfl so there's always something next.

Um, so it was, it was a challenge to enjoy the moment. Yeah. Because you're also, you know, you're working today to try to better the future, but, um, awesome ride. Yeah. And met some amazing people. Lived out a dream and, [00:19:00] uh, couldn't, couldn't have asked no more. 

[00:19:02] Dan Johnson: Yeah. And so how many years were you in the NFL Played Three 

[00:19:06] Bradie Ewing: years.

Three years. So yeah, we've drafted 2012 to the Falcons. Played two years there and then played one year in Jacksonville. Yep. Uh, each of my years I ended up on the injured reserve, so I've had Oh, that sucks. Um, nine surgeries throughout my career, throughout my life and, um, each of my NFL seasons, I had at least one surgery.

So my body had gotten to the point and really challenged it and pushed it to its limits, and it was, uh, starting to fail on me. So I knew it was time to Yeah. Figure out what the next 

[00:19:37] Dan Johnson: chapter was at that point. So when you say I retired, it was more of like a, a medical, Hey man, listen, I have an option. I can maybe not walk in 10 years or I can just Right.

Give it up and, and move on to something different. Yeah. 

[00:19:53] Bradie Ewing: And I'm, I'm in okay shape. I've, you know, unfortunately I've had, you know, acl, a couple shoulders, both my [00:20:00] wrists reconstructed hernia stuff. Yeah. But thankfully I didn't have a lot of head trauma. Yeah. Um, as much as some other guys that I've, I've played with.

So, yeah, you get to the point where, and most of my injuries were early in the season. Mm-hmm. So it was. Things where at that level I had to be able to, like I talked about earlier, control all the controllables. If I wasn't able to, you know, outwork people and out strain people out on the field, I just, you know, couldn't compete at that level.

Cause there's so many talented guys and I got to the point where I couldn't do that consistently Right. To be out there. So it was like, okay. I kind of saw the writing on the wall personally. Yeah. And made the decision to 

[00:20:40] Dan Johnson: turn the page. I, I know a couple guys on a personal level that have made it, you know, a couple of 'em played, uh, D one, uh, or wrestle D one, uh, at some other Big 10 schools that I've met.

Um, played at Iowa, did, did fairly well at Iowa and, um, uh, [00:21:00] and, you know, made it to that level. And, and they talked about how big of a, a culture shock it is from the, uh, from. High school to college, especially on a D one program like Wisconsin in Iowa. What was that culture shock like going to that next level where it's all funneled down again, they take the best people from college to the pros.

[00:21:25] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. So it So you're saying from the college 

[00:21:27] Dan Johnson: to the pros? Yeah. 

[00:21:28] Bradie Ewing: Yep. Yeah, it, it was, um, honestly, high school, the college was a huge jump, like you alluded to. It was cr crazy from the time commitment, but also as a 17, 18 year old guy, you're going against 22, 23 year old guys that are, you know, grown men and you're just coming outta high school.

So I think that jumped physically, but also it was culture shock. How much time was put in from the weight room to film sessions, to meetings? I mean, you're looking at eight to nine, [00:22:00] 10 hours a day. Um, plus the school commitments, right? So when I made the jump to professional. Honestly, it, it wasn't as much of a challenge because that's all you were focusing on.

Okay. And you were at that point where the biggest jump for me was just the speed of the game. You know, there was all of the guys were, you know, the creme de creme of Yep. You know, their, their positions physically. So, special teams, especially, I noticed it a ton because your kick return was always the worst.

You, they put these, you know, 6, 4, 6 5 guys out there that run, you know, 4, 5 40 yard dashes and your backpedal, I'm trying to block these guys like this, this isn't gonna end well. So yeah, from punt cover to punt return, the athletes were just crazy as far as in the boxes as a fullback, you know, blocking linebackers, honestly, college and the big 10 was probably more physical.

Mm-hmm. Um, but once you got outside the [00:23:00] tackles and you're trying to block cornerbacks or safeties, it was. A bigger challenge is because of the speed. 

[00:23:05] Dan Johnson: Right? Right. All right, so here's where the hunting comes into play. The, the Hunting podcast, part of it comes into play because there's some, there's some very well known, um, professional athletes out there who are also big time, uh, you know, hunters or water waterfowl guys, fishermen, outdoorsmen, whatever.

And so football especially, and even into baseball a little bit. And, you know, even basketball we're, we're talking, uh, time of year, right. And so the n NFL and College Ball runs through October, runs through November, runs through December. And if you're good, it goes further than that. So how were you able to, if you were even able to at all, to still be an outdoorsman while you were at college and while [00:24:00] you were in the N F L?

It was 

[00:24:02] Bradie Ewing: tough. Honestly, that was, especially once I transitioned to the nfl, because you have a little bit more flexibility in your schedule, but there wasn't much for deer hunting at that point. For me. I didn't, you know, hunt down in Georgia. I didn't hunt down in, in Florida. I did some fishing and things like that.

But, um, so that was definitely a challenge At Wisconsin especially, you're playing football, you're preparing and, you know, opening day of gun season, typically, we had a game in Wisconsin, which was always a, a big event in, you know, Wisconsin communities in, in my family. So it was always tough not to be a part of that.

So it was constant reminders that, hey, this is a finite window of time where I can, you know, be able to play this game that I love and, and do this for a living at the NFL level. And, um, just trying to remind myself that I have many more years to hunt after that. But yeah, there was one year, um, my first real big deer that I was able to, to kill was, We got some time [00:25:00] off during Thanksgiving and at Wisconsin, and our coach specifically said, now all you Wisconsin guys don't, don't run home and go hunting.

And uh, of course I did. I ran home and, uh, got a dough. That was when we were in Uck, got a dough the first day and then, uh, shot up 200 inch the next day that Oh, wow. No idea. It was even out, uh, running around on the 

[00:25:20] Dan Johnson: land that I was hunting. Wow. Wow. So, so you, you got time. You, it sounds like you made time, uh, when at all possible.

Yeah. If I had 

[00:25:30] Bradie Ewing: moments through college, I made it work. You know, I'd get out even if it was to sit for a couple hours, you know, just to decompress, get out of the concrete jungle, per se Yeah. Of the city. And, um, yeah, just connect, disconnect a little bit. The nature. Nature and hunting. Give me an avenue to.

Just be a peace in life and just Yeah. You know, even nowadays with, with four kiddos, um, and all that, just, just a chance to disconnect and, and take in Mother [00:26:00] 

[00:26:00] Dan Johnson: nature. Yeah. All right. So N F L, uh, well see Madison, Wisconsin, I mean, it's a, the ar in the area surrounding it. Some might say that's a, a bigger area, but Sure.

I feel like within 30 minutes, 45 minutes, you can get outside of Madison and you can be in some decent hunting, uh, you know, have some hunting opportunity. Atlanta, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, not so much. Right. 

[00:26:30] Bradie Ewing: Yeah, a hundred percent. You know, in Jacksonville was, there was hunting opportunities down there, but more of a fishing city.

Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, from Atlanta's perspective, I know there's a. Some guys in the industry that are making a living, kind of bouncing around the urban box city. Yep. Yeah. And, and hunting that stuff. But that was something, you know, I didn't take any of my firearms down there or anything like that. I didn't have my ball.

So yeah, it just, um, trying to focus on the main, making the main thing, the main thing, and trying to make a living playing football, which, [00:27:00] which was fun. 

[00:27:01] Dan Johnson: Awesome. All right. So did you, I mean, from Wisconsin huge, traditional, you know, state as far as tradition is concerned. Um, did you grow up in a hunting family, like, uh, brothers and everybody and uncles and, and dads and everybody did it?

[00:27:18] Bradie Ewing: We did, yeah. It was, for us, it was always, I didn't grow up bow hunting, grew up gun hunting, so it was taking along with my dad and my brother, um, getting out to the, the family farm. We had a little cabin at the time out there, and my uncle would get together with us and other friends and we would have the traditional deer camps.

So stay out there the night before, um, opening day, and that's really where my love of hunting grew and spending time with family and friends. So yeah, I could remember being in the tree with my dad and him opening up his coat and just wrapping it around me when I was just a little guy just to keep me warm and try to spend, you know, 10, 15 more minutes out in the stands.

So yeah, that's where my love for the outdoors grew [00:28:00] was. It was more around the people and the process of it than necessarily just 

[00:28:05] Dan Johnson: killing deer. Yeah. That's awesome. Um, and so your story is, what I would say is more of an average, like the not average, but the normal story, right? Everybody kind of gets their start on, uh, during gun hunting as a kid, and then as time goes on, they, they start to show interest in archery, in bow hunting.

When did that start for you? For me, that was like 

[00:28:31] Bradie Ewing: fifth or sixth grade. I Oh, okay. Right around that time I did, and I think Paul mentioned this on his podcast with you, but learned to Turkey Hunt and started to getting more involved with my friends in their, um, you know, families from a hunting perspective, whether that's raccoon hunting, you know, learned to Turkey hunt and more exposure to bow hunting.

Gotcha. And for me it was an op opera. You know, I loved being in the woods and the traditions of gun hunting, but just loved, um, bow hunting and just the [00:29:00] more natural feel of it. You, right. Yeah. I mean, the deer moving around much more natural and, um, you know, not pushed around, not hunkered down, trying to find a place to hide.

Mm-hmm. And, um, so yeah, it's been, I think it was fifth, sixth grade, picked up a bow, started practicing. It took me a while to get my first deer under my belt. And, um, but that's really become my passion now. I love gun hunting, love getting out with the family and, and friends, but, Passion to be out there.

Yeah. And, um, by myself or even in, in a blind with the kiddos trying to, trying to see what the deer are doing. 


[00:29:39] Dan Johnson: Here's, here's what I kinda went through. I mean, my story is not the same as yours, but I got into hunting at this, this, uh, 11, 12 year old timeframe. Right. Got excited about it, really liked doing it, and then sports hit, and it was one of those things where I, you just can't [00:30:00] do both.

Was it hard for you to shelve hunting to go on to sports?

[00:30:09] Bradie Ewing: Not really. Okay. I mean, that hunting was, while it's such a big part of my life and who I am, it was, you know, other than in college and professional, I always found ways to do it. Whether it was the Saturday morning after Friday night football game in high school. Mm-hmm. You know, Walking off stiff leg and sore out to your stand.

Trying, trying to get up in there. And um, so I always found a way to make it happen. And to me it wasn't always, you know, I love Turkey hunting. Yeah. When we got into that too, so spending time with my dad doing that, calling in birds, um, it, it wasn't that tough. But I do know other people, buddy of mine that has hunted a long time and I played football with, at Wisconsin, he cut his, you know, n f l adventure short.

He didn't end up on a team right away, but he was getting a lot of tryouts and practice squad and he, he ended that just [00:31:00] because he wanted to focus more time and attention on hunting. And from my perspective, it's like, okay, you know, you get a finite opportunity, whether it's a couple years to try to pursue the N NFL thing.

Mm-hmm. Um, but for him it was, you know, he wanted to focus more time on hunting and everything associated with it from out west to lo hunting here, local 

[00:31:20] Dan Johnson: and Wisconsin. And I'll tell you this, that that's. That's awesome to hear that, because that just shows you how much hunting can impact, uh, an individual where they're just like, I'm going to choose hunting over the nfl.

Right? Like, you say this, right? You, you say that. Awesome. You say that to an average person on the street, they're gonna be like, what? What are you talking about? But you say that to me or maybe to you, and I can go, yeah, I get it. I get it. So, oh, it, it's crazy how, how much people can prioritize that in their [00:32:00] life.

A hundred 

[00:32:01] Bradie Ewing: percent. And, and you know, it's counter-cultural, right? Mm-hmm. People, there's a lot of perspectives out there on hunting and it's, you know, but yet you see people's perspective on the nfl. They think it's, yeah. The best thing since sliced bread. Right. Which it's a, football's a great game. Yeah.

The NFL's a you know, putting together a good organization. But, um, yeah, the passion and the love for hunting, being outdoors, the people you're doing it with is, is tough to come 

[00:32:30] Dan Johnson: up. Yeah. All right. So, uh, you mentioned you have four kids, right? Yeah. Okay. First question, why second? That's a good 

[00:32:44] Bradie Ewing: question, man.

I mean, honestly, it's probably, I grew up in a family of four. Okay. My 

[00:32:50] Dan Johnson: wife 

[00:32:50] Bradie Ewing: grew up in a family of four, so, okay. You know, when we pictured our, our family units, we always thought we'd have three or four kids and, you know, we have four boys [00:33:00] nonetheless. So it's the energy and. Physicalness is just off the charts.

Yeah. You know, they're involved in things, but it's tough for them to find outlets for it when we're in the house. Yeah. And especially in the winter months where they're not getting outside and being as physical. It's, it's crazy, 

[00:33:19] Dan Johnson: man. Yeah. So I have a, uh, our neighbor right across the street has four daughters.

Okay. Okay. And, you know, he probably would never admit this, but when he found out he was gonna have his fourth child and it was gonna be another daughter, there was a little sadness in his face. Right. You know, that it, that's over now. Right. You can't do anything about it. Um, and he's not gonna be able to do anything about it cuz he just had a vasectomy.

So, uh, shout out. Shout out Pete. Uh, but anyway, um, I, I always debate and they're like, what would I rather have? All, like if I was gonna, if I could only have all boys, or if I could have all [00:34:00] girls I'd, I think I would, from a, just like raising another human, I think I would choose all boys because like, I feel like boys are very rubber ish, meaning they, they all do something naughty.

You can yell at 'em, get mad at 'em, and then they rebound real easy after, after that. Now my daughter, she does something naughty. I, I get after her. She will hold it against me for a whole day or two and I'm just like, man. Really? Yeah. So how old is she? She's 10. Right. Okay. So she's starting the transfer into, you know, the, the period of time before being a teenager and actually being a teenager where she thinks she knows everything.

She's starting to get into that phase right now and it's like, I love her to death. She's a sweetheart. But it is hard. It's hard like with her. So I feel like [00:35:00] my boys, I can tell 'em, shut up and do your chores. And they'll be like, okay, I'll go do my chores. Right. So that's serious. Yep. Yeah. Yep. So yeah, I can, I can 

[00:35:09] Bradie Ewing: relate to that.

It's um, I guess it's all I know, you know, you have both, both, both perspectives. But for my boys getting after 'em, coaching 'em up. Right. You know, they're pretty res they're pretty resilient. Yeah. Do they push the limits? Absolutely. Absolutely. Are they difficult? Do they have energy? Yeah. Yeah. But I think, you know, as you look at long term, I think I'd rather rather raise, 

[00:35:30] Dan Johnson: uh, boys than myself.

I've never had to say this to my daughter. Did you wipe your butt? Did, did you wash your hands? Right. I've never had to say that to her. She, she does it now. My boys on the other hand, like, Hey buddy, what do we do after we, we poop, we wipe, we flush and we wash our hands. Right. Those three things have to happen after you poop.

Okay. Constantly remind there too. How do you, [00:36:00] 

[00:36:00] Bradie Ewing: you think after a hundred times they'd figure it? I mean, I say that at least twice a day and, and 

[00:36:07] Dan Johnson: then the brush, the teeth thing. Oh, yeah. I'm sure that might 

[00:36:10] Bradie Ewing: be a battle for girls and boys alike, but Yeah. It's like with four kids, I would never have guessed how much of a chore would be to get your kids 

[00:36:19] Dan Johnson: to brush their teeth.

Oh, right. How, how old are your kids? So my oldest is eight. 

[00:36:24] Bradie Ewing: Okay. And we have a six year old, a five-year-old, and a two-year old. Okay. All right. All's 8, 6, 5, 2. So they're, yeah. They're all, I mean, they're all pretty tight together, but it's so cool to see how each of their personalities is unique. Yeah. You know, they're very close in age, at least the, the older three.

Uh, but they all have their personality. Our first is very much an obedient one. Yeah. And kind of, you know, by the book, uh, where our second works, the fringes a little bit more. Yeah. And, um, kind of has his own ideas is almost things that he wants [00:37:00] to execute. If it's not his way, it's kind of the highway. So yeah.

Third one, verdict's still out. He can go both ways, but Yeah. 

[00:37:06] Dan Johnson: Um, they're fun, man. Yeah. They're fun. Absolutely. So are, are they taking interest? Do they show interest in what Dad is doing in the outdoors? They love it. Yeah. They 

[00:37:18] Bradie Ewing: do. And I know Paul asked you this on the podcast. I listened to it just about what age is the right age to Yeah.

Have that exposure and that's conversation. We have a lot, Paul and I. Yeah. Uh, my kids, I've taken the. Approach a lot of fishing. Mm-hmm. I think that's like what you said. Yep. Um, a lot of outdoor time, whether that's putting in food plots, you know, shed hunting, um, things that aren't necessarily associated with hunting, but your outdoors.

And it's kind of an ancillary events associated with it. Right. From a hunting perspective, I've taken them Turkey hunting a couple times in a blind. Yeah. And then deer hunting in a blind, uh, as well. [00:38:00] So sometimes I won't even take a gun, you know, when they were younger. Um, but just take 'em along with me.

Have the experience and yeah. They, they love it though. I mean, I was out Turkey young this morning before work and I didn't take one of my kids just with how early it was, but sending 'em videos and they just, They eat that stuff, they it up. Awesome. Pretty fortunate that way. 

[00:38:20] Dan Johnson: Hopefully that continues.

Well, it sounds like you're, you're taking, you're taking the path that I'm also taking and that is to not pressure 'em into it at all. Mm-hmm. Because I, I, you often hear guys say some of their biggest regrets are two, like two extremes. One is not involving them at all because they're trying to achieve their personal goals.

And the other would be to try to involve them so much to match their enthusiasm level and they just get burned out almost automatically. 

[00:38:52] Bradie Ewing: Right. Yeah. And I think you see that in sport a lot too. Oh yeah. And I'm sure you know people that, you know, they've [00:39:00] focused on one individual sport at 8, 9, 10 years old and that's all they're doing.

Yep. And um, you know, it's a similar thing. I think at the end of the day, you gotta let your kids come to it at their own time. Honestly, if anything, my kids are asking to do more with me. And we do a lot together. Yeah. But, um, you know, if anything I, I want to do more with them, but it's like, okay, let's think of this as a marathon here.

Right. And, um, not necessarily me just wanting to do it for selfish stuff, but it's cuz I'd much rather go out with them. Yeah. It's just, I don't, I don't want them to get burned out and even, you know, shooting a deer or killing something in front of 'em, I'm, I'm still figuring out when the right time to do that is Right.

So have you, have you tossed that around in your 

[00:39:44] Dan Johnson: mind at all? Well, I haven't shot an, well, I've shot deer, not Yeah. With them around me, but I've brought the body or we've gone, like my daughter, she's been on a blood trail with us. [00:40:00] Um, yep. I, we've been hunting with my daughter. We've gutted fish, you know.

Yeah. We've crossed those types of bridges with my kids. Um, I've, I've brought the, the morning that I shot the Turkey. I shot the Turkey before the kids and I was back home before the kids even went to school. Mm-hmm. I was able to show them the Turkey. I've showed 'em dead deer and things like that, and they seem to be okay with it.

Um, I don't like, honestly, I'll be honest, when I was a kid before I started the hunting path, I can remember my uncle's shot a coyote and I lost my cool. I was just like, I cried and I'm like, you murdered. Damn, you killed blah. You know, like, because all I was used to was Disney. And then, you know, you, you, as you get older and you learn a little bit, I cuz I, my parents weren't hunter hunters, they just fished.

And so I, I, it was a little bit different of a approach into, into it, but I'll tell you this man. Uh, [00:41:00] one, but at the same time, I also kind of grew up on a farm. And seeing dead animals, like, Hey, this cow is gonna die today, or this chicken's gonna get its head cut off because we're gonna eat it tonight or tomorrow, or whatever the case may be.

So, or we're taking these pigs into the slaughterhouse and then out comes package meat. Right. So you get, you get to understand that, hey, this, like, an animal has to die in order for you to A, be a hunter or B, eat it's meat. 

[00:41:33] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. And I, I've taken a very similar approach. Yeah. I mean, my kids have been around anything that I've, if they're around, um, anything that I've, you know, killed, whether there's turkeys, deer, fish, and they get the life cycle of Yeah.

You know, how we get meat, how we get food on the table, whether that's gardening something in the garden or whether that's, you know, a cow, you know, getting killed. They're a deer getting killed. Yeah. So they've put it, they've put it [00:42:00] together and. Um, excited to see how, you know, they continue to take to it here in the future.


[00:42:06] Dan Johnson: super enjoyable. Heck yeah, man. Heck yeah. All right, so I gotta get into this with you because Yep. Paul, um, our buddy Paul Anir, uh, he, he says, I got a guy, he's very surgical in his approach to deer hunting. And so before I assume what that means, I want you to tell me what, what does that mean to you being surgical in your approach to deer hunting?

[00:42:34] Bradie Ewing: Honestly, it's, I don't know if surgical is the right word. It's funny, Paul, Paul used that, but it, it's probably a, because I have kids and because I've, you know, worked quite a bit mm-hmm. That, you know, I'm watching trail cameras, I'm watching the weather, and I'm pretty, if unless I'm taking the kids out, I'm pretty darn picky about where I'm gonna sit, when I'm gonna sit there.

Gotcha. And [00:43:00] making sure that one, the deer I'm looking for is in the area. The weather makes sense. The wind makes sense for a specific stand, uh, associated with where that deer typically beds or where he travels or where he feeds. So, um, you know, I've kind of fell, fell into that by default. If I could, if I could, I'd be out there every, probably every night, you know, and it's, uh, because of work, because of the kids, because of the coaching commitments working with them that I've become, um, you know, pretty picky on when I go out and, and how I do 

[00:43:35] Dan Johnson: it.

Yeah. And so let me ask you this, uh, it, it sounds like it's, is it, it's less about strategy and more about time. I mean, I know those two things kind of intertwine with each other. Um, but it's le I mean obviously you have to know the strategy, but it's the time restrictions that force you to be. Surgical [00:44:00] about it, kind of.


[00:44:02] Bradie Ewing: And, and to best use my time while I'm out there, you know, I can think that's what forces me to have strategy. Gotcha. And that's what forces me to, you know, put the plots in, make sure I got my stands in the right spot, make sure that, um, you know, I'm watching the wind weather and all of that stuff.

Yeah. For thermal, things 

[00:44:19] Dan Johnson: like that. Yeah. Okay. Now let's talk a little bit about, you know, Wisconsin has ag, they got, uh, like, especially along the Mississippi River, they got some big terrain. Uh, some steep, you know, some steep that, uh, Buffalo County, I believe it is. And the, like, the, the, the Mississippi River Valleys that lead into it.

Uh, talk to us a little bit about the farm that you hunt and, uh, and what the terrain like looks like on that farm. Yeah. It's, 

[00:44:50] Bradie Ewing: it's the un glaciated area, so it's rolling hills. Mm-hmm. It's rolling hills, it's farmland. Um, quite a bit of timber. It's sum tillable. We [00:45:00] recently, you know, moved onto the property that I primarily hunt.

Mm-hmm. Have access to a few others. But, um, it's unique. You know, it's, it's got, I guess it's unique for the area. It's, it's got, you know, good bedding, it's got good cover and it's got food. So, you know, it's the basics of hunting, transition, hunting dough, bedding area during the, the rut. Mm-hmm. And, um, just kind of letting 'em get to an egg structure.

We got great genetics. Yeah. And so letting, letting the deer get to an age structure that, you know, I get excited about hunting and, um, yeah, waiting for the right opportunity. 

[00:45:40] Dan Johnson: What, let's see here, when it comes to your, your overall strategy, talk to us or, well fir first, the first question is, I'm gonna lay the foundation here.

How many acres do you have access to in a given year to play the game on? Let's [00:46:00] say 

[00:46:00] Bradie Ewing: three 

[00:46:00] Dan Johnson: 50 to 400. Okay. Three 50 to 400. Um, that's about the size of the, the main farm that I have access to hunt as well. And so I feel that that gives me a little freedom to be like, move around a lot, you know, hunt different areas.

I can hunt back to back days. I don't necessarily need to wait for a specific wind, uh, you know, cuz I have options. Yep. Talk on, on that 350, 400 acres. Talk to me about your yearly, I guess your overall strategy. How do you approach a, any given season? So, 

[00:46:39] Bradie Ewing: you know, leading into the season, I get my cameras out.

Mm-hmm. And, you know, start working on getting an inventory of what's there. Did the bucks from the previous year make it through? Um, you know, for this, this year for instance, you know, we found a matching set of sheds on a, a buck. Really excited to see. Assuming he's gonna make it through, but excited to see him.

[00:47:00] So getting the cameras out, checking inventory, seeing who's around and starting to put a game plan together. I got a core set of stands at properties where I feel comfortable. Mm-hmm. Uh, based on history, especially for, you know, rut funnels, um, you know, proximity to a food source, um, but then, you know, fine tuning that approach if there's a buck or a certain area that he's living that, um, you know, I wanna make sure I have a couple stands set up on, we'll work on that throughout the summer.

Then it comes down to food plots getting bigger into, you know, you know, forest stuff. So cutting trees, right. You know, making, uh, more bedding cuts, things like that. Um, so yeah, that's really the approach leading into the season. And then it's. How does my, you know, the weather and how does my trail camera data and how does my time align, align with having opportunities?

I think you hit the nail on the head earlier is that time is really my limiting factor. [00:48:00] Yeah. And living closer to hunting land now Paul's always picking on me that I don't, don't get out as much, but it's um, you know how it is, man. Yeah. With, with the kiddos and, and with, you know, running around with work commitments and things like that.

And kids, yeah. Sports. Um, just trying to find those days to get out. And then I do take some, some vacation as well 

[00:48:21] Dan Johnson: around the rut. Yeah. So how many other people have access to hunt the farm that, the farms that you do? I'd 

[00:48:30] Bradie Ewing: say about half of those acres, I'm the primary hunter. Okay. No one else really else has access.

The other one, it'd be probably one or two ethanol, so Okay. Pretty, pretty 

[00:48:41] Dan Johnson: fortunate that way. Oh, that's awesome. So you, you a, you actually have some control. Over some of the, the acreage that you hunt? Yes. Yep. Good, good. And what's your neighborhood like in this area? I mean, a bunch of like-minded individuals or do you got some B brown?

It's down guys. [00:49:00] There 

[00:49:01] Bradie Ewing: are, so one of the neighbors is a brown, it's down. Mm-hmm. But only during gun season. Okay. They hunt opening weekend and so they can do some damage, but I would say it's still limited when I look at some of the other landowners I know and what they're experiencing. Um, so that would be not too bad.

The another landowner is pretty, pretty thoughtful about what, how they're approaching it. They're not, it's brown us down. Mm-hmm. Um, you know, they're watching trail cameras and communicating with other adjacent landowners, which I appreciate is, you know, here's what, here's what's out there, here's what I've been seeing.

Making sure we're on the same page to. Um, as far as how we're gonna approach things, right. And yeah, a few others, but I'd say I've had both extremes, but overall, um, the one I have control on is, is a pretty good setup. That way I can feel like 

[00:49:56] Dan Johnson: I can grow some deer. Yeah. Okay. And so then what does your average year look [00:50:00] like then up there?

Uh, we talk like what, what if you walked away with this buck every single year with, let's just say during the archery season, what does that buck look like for you? 

[00:50:14] Bradie Ewing: Thinking, you know, four and a half, five and a half year old deer and pushing 1 55 plus. 

[00:50:21] Dan Johnson: Okay. All right. So that's a, uh, and, and are you able to, are you able to close the deal on that on every, every given year?

[00:50:33] Bradie Ewing: The last couple years? I, I have, since I've gotten control of, you know, some land. Yeah. So it's been, um, Yeah, it's fun. Yeah. You know, some of the other land I have access to, I don't have ultimate control of it. Mm-hmm. But I have access, it's an awesome piece of land and, you know, I've hunted it for a long time.

Um, but it's nice to have control and, and feel like you can make an impact and actually grow deer and, [00:51:00] and do things to help funnel them or help hold them a little bit 

[00:51:03] Dan Johnson: more. Yeah. That's awesome. So, okay, so you are looking for a, a set, um, a set number of deer. Um, you, you just described a caliber. Now every year I have a caliber of what I wanna shoot and it's somewhere around, you know, that four year old, you know, four year old, five year old.

I'm looking for something probably this year in the one fifties and up, you know, and so, but every year I get. Pictures of bigger deer as well. Oh yeah. The cream of the crop, you know, the, the, the, the big dogs. And so how often are you hunting that six year old, that seven year old? Maybe that, that one 70 plus type type caliber deer 

[00:51:51] Bradie Ewing: seems like every, it's tough to say.

I mean, every 3, 4, 5 years. Okay. I'd say, you know, there's [00:52:00] always a couple shooters or bucks that would be on top of the hit list. Mm-hmm. And, um, I tend to be pretty picky. I, I mean, I, I'll pass deer that I think are young, or I know are young and have incredible potential and, you know, the neighbors still may shoot 'em, you know?

Right. Or a neighbor, a couple adjacent properties away may get a crack at 'em. And so, yeah. I mean, there's definitely a big deer. Yeah. It's just a matter of them getting through and trying to make your home. As appealing to them as possible to get them to spend more time here? 

[00:52:34] Dan Johnson: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Okay.

Um, now when it comes to aggression in a strategy f for me, like we, I, I have a feeling we're we're one and the same, right? We got the kids, we got the, the schedule. We've talked about that. And so, yep. We have to, we have to pick very carefully when we go in, how we go in. Um, and some may say [00:53:00] that's patient patience, but I, I disagree.

I say it's very aggressive. Um, because for, for me, I feel like waiting to the right moment is the most aggressive, and then going into the best possible stand location is the most aggressive play that you can make. What is your, like, where would you say your aggression level is towards the season?

[00:53:30] Bradie Ewing: Man, if I got a a good, I'm cautious. Yeah. So when it comes to making sure the winds right, making sure the thermals are gonna be good, and like you said, aligning all of those variables, I still probably could be a little bit more aggressive. Yeah. And, and diving a little deeper, um, I'm big on access. How I'm accessing stands, how I'm getting in and out.

Um, I don't like the bump deer. Right. Unless I'm with my kids, then I don't really care. Yeah. Um, so that's a [00:54:00] mindset shift. But, you know, I'm very picky. I probably could dive in a little bit deeper and be even more aggressive at times. Yeah. But I tend to hunt the fringes and fortunately the areas I've hunted and, uh, the land I have access to, those are pretty darn good.

So whether it's, you know, climbing up a, a steeper ravine and popping up on a ridge, you know, minimal access, good wind blowing out over. The ravine. Um, those have worked. Those sits 

[00:54:31] Dan Johnson: have worked really well for me. Yeah. What are you a bigger fan of? Like, uh, like staging areas or bedding areas? Uh, destination food sources, fence crossings.

What like, do you have a go-to or, or a favorite stain Location to hunt. Love 

[00:54:47] Bradie Ewing: using staging areas and then terrain. Yeah. Um, using terrain, especially later in the year, or not later in the year, but in the rut. Um, yeah. A lot of my success have [00:55:00] been, you know, ridge pinches or just areas where I know when I do get that time, I have good wind.

I'm gonna see deer. Yeah. And they're gonna be funneling through this area to, you know, try to go check another bedding area. So. Okay. Those have been super successful for me. I say that all and then there's been times where I've been hunting a really big deer in the past. And kicked myself because I probably wasn't as aggressive as I should have been.

Okay. And, um, neighbor ended up killing that beer and finding it a couple weeks after he shot it with his bow. But, um, that sucks. Yeah. Wish, you know, looking back at that situation, I hunted the fringe than had him on camera, you know, a hundred yards behind me and tried using terrain in that situation and just, um, probably wasn't aggressive enough Yeah.

[00:55:49] Dan Johnson: With where I was getting pictures of him at. Yeah. Have you ever, have you had kind of an aha moment yet in your career where, or your hunting career where you [00:56:00] or, or an experience or maybe, uh, a season or something that made you go bugal? I, I understand now. I understand how they move. I understand where they move.

I understand like how weather affects 'em. Oh, for sure. 

[00:56:17] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. I would say it, it was probably four or five years ago. Okay. As I started to have more time. So when I got done playing in the nfl, we talked about how I didn't hunt much when I was playing. Yeah. And so when I got done playing, I coached at University of Wisconsin Madison, uh, on the football staff as a assistant strength coach for one year.

So I didn't get much time out hunting there, but as I probably those year or two after I got done coaching and actually got to spend more time in the woods, um, you know, got to see how deer react, how they move, how they, um, you know, where react to certain things. And really for me, in this hill country was putting together, I'm a firm believer in the wind and, and the thermal.

So putting together not only how [00:57:00] they move, But how they want to, um, use that terrain and then how I can use that terrain to my advantage depending on morning, evening, wind direction. Um, just putting that full picture 

[00:57:11] Dan Johnson: together. Yeah. Yeah. And did, once you were able to do that, did uh, success come immediately?

[00:57:23] Bradie Ewing: Not really. It was, you know, kind of a slow thing and, and like, I'm fortunate to hunt some really good land, so I think that's a huge part of it. But, you know, the last, like I said, 3, 4, 5 years have been able to put together a picture on what that looks like year in and year out, and consistently have success by just doing some of the basics.

The basics be attacking with the right wind, the right thermals, you know, being on good land, being on good transition areas. Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. But, [00:58:00] But that said, I still wanna find ways to continue to push myself as a hunter, because on private land it's very comfortable and I love having success and love growing deer and, and doing all of that.

But, you know, I, I'm still looking for that next thing on to continue to challenge myself so I can continue to learn. Yeah. And, um, just enjoy 

[00:58:21] Dan Johnson: that too. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about, um, have, have you ever had a deer that you kinda have been, I know you, I, you said you shot a 200 inch deer one year.

What year was that? That was 

[00:58:38] Bradie Ewing: 2009. 

[00:58:40] Dan Johnson: 2009. Okay. So that was your freshman year in college? So 

[00:58:45] Bradie Ewing: sophomore. Well, 

[00:58:47] Dan Johnson: yeah, sophomore year. Sophomore year. Okay. Outside. And that was with a gun. Right. And that you Correct. You had no clue that deer was there. Okay. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. So, Congratulations on that. I hate you a little bit for that.[00:59:00] 

Like, I wish, I wish a just a random 200 inch deer would walk by my stand sometime. I, I mean, I, I've had it happen once I screwed up, but, but nonetheless. Um, has there ever been a deer that you've been just completely obsessed with 

[00:59:17] Bradie Ewing: there? Has this, this would've been 3, 4, 5 years ago. I'm horrible with dates, but yeah, there was, uh, that beer I mentioned earlier, whereas a monster deer, I think it ended up scoring like 2 15, 2 14, 2 15.

Mm-hmm. And I had him all over my cameras and never laid eyes on him in the flesh. I mean, he's been, he was behind me, like I said, in one sit a hundred yards. Um, never saw him and just became absolutely obsessed with him. And that's, Where I wasn't aggressive enough and 

[00:59:52] Dan Johnson: Okay. That didn't really that bucket.

Gotcha. Yep. And so how many years did you chase this deer? That one was just [01:00:00] one 

[01:00:00] Bradie Ewing: year. One year, okay. Yeah. It wasn't a big story of, you know, I had multiple encounters with him over, you know, three, four years and watched him grow up. But, um, yeah, I, I did get, I should say I got a picture or two of him the year prior and then had him more regularly, basically from mid-August till when he was shot, or mid-October, excuse me, till when he was shot, um, in 

[01:00:27] Dan Johnson: November.

Okay. So let's, let's, uh, talk about what this deer was doing. Okay. And then if you had the DeLorean to go back in time to, to be more aggressive, like you mentioned, talk about what you would've done different to get this deer on your wall. 

[01:00:47] Bradie Ewing: Yep. This deer was basically transitioning from bedding, which was actually on the neighbor's land.

Okay. Through the land I had access to, to food consistently. And this was [01:01:00] mid-October and the dude was daylighting all over the place on this land. I had access to 

[01:01:06] Dan Johnson: what is consistent. So my what? What, in your opinion, what's consistent as far this was? You said he was consistent, you know, consistently daylighting.

What is that? Is that like three days a week? Is that five days a week? Is that every single day? 


[01:01:22] Bradie Ewing: This guy was probably five days a week. 

[01:01:24] Dan Johnson: Okay. 

[01:01:25] Bradie Ewing: Wow. I would say, yeah, it was very, very consistent. So my thought process was, okay, I'm gonna hunt him safe. You know, he's daylighting, he's on this land I have access to, so he is, you know, not exposed to a bunch of hunter other hunters.

I'm gonna hunt the fridges. Yeah. You know, play it safe. I'm gonna get an opportunity at him. Cuz that's, in the past, that's always how it had worked and I didn't. Yeah. And so there was a few spots where he was consistently funneled through a fence crossing, uh, between two fields. Um, you hear my kiddos 

[01:01:58] Dan Johnson: or no?

No. I'm, I, [01:02:00] I haven't heard 'em yet. It, it could be I haven't heard them or I'm so good at ignoring children that my brain just isn't picking it up. 

[01:02:10] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. I can relate to that. But when I'm on a podcast a little different. But yeah, there was certain spots where I had cameras set up that he was always funneled through and I was trying to put together the picture on where else he was traveling and never was able to do that.

But if I would've dove into those spots, looking back in hindsight, that one area was a low area fence crossing area and the wind tends to swirl in there. Okay. So my, that was my big fear in there was blowing them out. Um, and so I never did that. Yeah. But he consistently daylighted there, like I said, you know, 4, 5, 6 times a week.

Wow. And, um, so I was always hunting the fringes of that area along with a few other areas that he was consistently passing through that were tough areas to 

[01:02:57] Dan Johnson: hunt. So. So he must have had, like [01:03:00] if you weren't seeing him on the fringes and you were still getting daylight activity of him five days, five days a week.

Yep. He must have been on a line, like a line where you couldn't see him from the fringes that you were hunting. Correct. 

[01:03:17] Bradie Ewing: Exactly. And he was, he was very calculated. I don't wanna give him too much credit, but very calculated as far as how he traveled. And not so much when he traveled, but how he traveled.

Mm-hmm. And they were very, they gave him the advantage, at least what I would perceive as an advantage from a wind perspective and a vis. Lacking visibility 

[01:03:41] Dan Johnson: perspective. Wow. Man. It's crazy how they do that. Um, and of course, you know, now going back into time here, wishing that you would've done something different, um, right.

Because I can tell you what I would've done. And I, and that's, that's me today, not me five years [01:04:00] ago. You know, like Right. Or, or something like that. But today, what would you have done? I would've don't been there. Oh, dude. I would've been in, I would've been on that trail that he was crossing or wherever that trail camera was, probably the second day.

I got trail camera, picture of him. Daylight once. Yeah. For me once is, oh, okay. This deer's Daylighted two is now, okay. Now we're starting to have a a, a trend or a pattern. Yeah. Then on the third day, I'm in there. Right. If, if I have the ability to do that, uh, yep. You know? Yep. And if the wind is right, like if the wind's out of the north and he's coming south to north, maybe that's not a good idea.

But along that line, I'm, I'm looking for the J hook to get into the stand. I'm looking for the 90 degree access route to get to the stand location. Anyway, that's just me. Yep. What, like what would've you done different now to capitalize on that, that pattern Exactly 

[01:04:57] Bradie Ewing: what you're saying. I mean, for him to be on [01:05:00] that pattern for three weeks and for me not to dive in there Yeah.

And just to continue to hunt the fringes, it's like, I mean, why not? Yeah. Even if the wind swirl in there, I mean, pick, pick the best day or just get in, I mean, get in there and a ground bind something. Yeah. That is going to give me a bow shot to that pinch point where he's crossing as difficult as an area as it is to access.

Um, I mean, looking back, I would've done it. What 

[01:05:29] Dan Johnson: did you need? It would've been worth the risk. What did you need for a, a wind direction that in your opinion, would've put you in the most favorable, uh, position? 

[01:05:39] Bradie Ewing: Strong, A strong 

[01:05:40] Dan Johnson: east wind. Ooh, those are rare too, man. I 

[01:05:43] Bradie Ewing: know. Because then that would've blown the wind right down that fence crossing into the ravine fence area.

Yeah. And um, yeah, that would've covered some of my, my sound getting into that area, hanging a set and or, and or [01:06:00] setting up a ground blind and would've limited the impacts of, of thermals as well, because we've just been Yeah. You know, 

[01:06:08] Dan Johnson: pulling down through that ravine. So a lot of times the wind that you need and the wind that the deer, one or two completely different things.

Right? So, so, That's where cutting the wind kind of steps in, in, into play. Um, did you find a pattern in what wind direction that he actually liked to come through that area the most with? 

[01:06:30] Bradie Ewing: I didn't because we didn't have any strong east winds come through, and he was so consistently traveling through there that, and it sounds silly, right?

In hindsight Yeah. Because why didn't I dive in there, but from all of my past experiences Yeah. You know, I was able to get cracks at deer like that by doing what I had Exactly 

[01:06:50] Dan Johnson: what you did. Yeah, 

[01:06:51] Bradie Ewing: yeah. You know, and so it, it, um, a good learning experience that, hey, if you got a deer consistently doing something Yeah.

Even if it's not the [01:07:00] most favorable area, dive in and make it happen. 

[01:07:02] Dan Johnson: Well, especially you might get more crack at it, but Yeah. Don't make it happen. Yeah. Especially on, on property that you can control, right? Mm-hmm. If this was public, I'm hammering right into that thing, right? If it's, if it's a piece of property that is private with other hunters, I'm gonna do exactly what I just said I was gonna do.

If it was property that I, that I had 100% control of, and I knew no one else was gonna be in there, you know, bumping him. Well, shit, right then. Now that's a different story. So I, and I can understand why you did what you did. Um, especially if you're finding success a certain way every single year doing it right?

There's no need to jump in because eventually he's gonna come by on the right. You know, especially if you know your property and how they work through the terrain. Uh, so my next question is, okay, so that didn't, that didn't work out. Now that you know, that specific Deere's, um, pattern through that area, [01:08:00] is there another buck doing the same thing right now?

Or are, is there deer movement through that area doing exactly what he did to where the next time a buck of that caliber or, or that grabs your interest starts doing that? You can, you know what to do. 

[01:08:18] Bradie Ewing: Yes. I mean, this is a natural travel area for him. It's just a matter of having it be the right deer Yeah.

To where it makes sense to dive 

[01:08:27] Dan Johnson: in there. Gotcha. Do you have a stand prepared and ready now for that? I do not. You 

[01:08:32] Bradie Ewing: do not, but no. Okay. I, it's, um, yeah, it'll, it'll definitely be either a hanging hunt or one that I need to get set up here in the 

[01:08:42] Dan Johnson: future. Okay. All right. So you, you know where you need to be, right?

Yep. Okay. Well that's awesome. Yeah, 

[01:08:48] Bradie Ewing: I even, I've even went to the point of, you know, cutting a better access route through this ravine. Mm-hmm. It's super brushy. Um, I always hesitate on that cause it seems like the deer end up using it more when it's a [01:09:00] super thick area. Yeah. And you cut an access trail.

Yeah. It's like all of a sudden the deer make that part of their normal, their normal access and travel, travel pattern in which is frustrating. So, cut that a couple years ago. Um, Still debating weather. I freshen that. I wanna freshen that up. But whether I actually hang a long term set there is 

[01:09:20] Dan Johnson: this, is this location, like if you envision it happening again, is this an afternoon style hunt or is this a, uh, a morning coming back to bedding type of hunt?

Like how do you going down 

[01:09:38] Bradie Ewing: this, that buck was doing morning and afternoon, the big one. But typically I would say it's a morning set. Okay. Where they're coming back and you can, you do have a little bit more flexibility with access as long as you get in early 

[01:09:54] Dan Johnson: enough. 

[01:09:54] Bradie Ewing: Yeah. And um, I would say it's probably 

[01:09:58] Dan Johnson: a better morning spot.

Okay. All right. [01:10:00] Well that sounds to, okay. Now, is that location closer to bedding or is it closer to food? Betting betting. So yeah, man, getting in there in the morning would be beneficial, especially if they're right. Cruising back from the food. That's awesome, man. Well, I hope it pays off for you. Uh, and uh, another is the, is the next deer that you found the sheds to, is he running this pattern?

[01:10:24] Bradie Ewing: That's a different property, so, oh, okay. So this is. The one I found sheds to is, um, on land I have sole control of this one was Oh, okay. Land I have access to. Gotcha. And so, um, different land, you know, gotta get my cameras back out, see what's running that, that path here, this summer. Summer fall 

[01:10:45] Dan Johnson: on the access then.

Gotcha. Well, cool man. Well, hopefully it all pays off for you. Uh, you know, I really appreciate you coming on and, and, and BS and we didn't really dive into anything too specific, but, uh, you shared your story and I know, uh, I love listening [01:11:00] to stories about unique individuals and so do the people who listen to this podcast.

So, uh, Brady man, I, I really appreciate you taking time outta your day to hop on and, and bs with us for a little bit. 

[01:11:12] Bradie Ewing: Thanks, Dan. Pretty cool to do a formal BS session with you after listening to MI throughout the year. So thanks for having me and, um, appreciate it.

[01:11:25] Dan Johnson: And there you have it. Another episode in the books. Huge shout out to Brady. Huge shout out to tethered wasp, vortex HuntStand. And the Woodsman, the Woodman's pal. Uh, please go out and support the brands that support this podcast. Huge shout out to all of you for taking time outta your day to download, subscribe, and follow along, uh, with the Nine Finger Chronicles.

It's that time of year man. Uh, we got nubs. We got nubs growing, and, uh, I'm excited to see where they grow, what they grow into, what deer return. And, uh, man, I'm just, I'm really looking forward to it. So, [01:12:00] uh, good vibes in, good vibes out, and we'll talk to you next week.