Generations In The Wild: A Father's Day Episode

Show Notes

For many of us, our dads are the ones who got us into the sport of hunting. This week on Southern Ground, Parker and his dad reminisce on past hunts they've shared together. They talk through the highlights of their early days of hunting, and how that shaped the bond that they have now. 

There may not be a more important relationship in your life than the one you have with your dad. This week, we want to give dads a huge shout out. Thank you for bringing in the next generation of hunters!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey, thanks for tuning into this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, where you're gonna hear a valuable hunting based conversation that's tailored for us southern folk. If you love what we do and would like to support Southern Ground Hunting, you can visit Ground Hunting, or you can click on the link in the show notes below.

We'd love for you to join the Southern Ground Hunting community today. Again, that's Ground Hunting. You can also support us by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. It helps more than and we greatly appreciate it. And now let's get to the show.

All right, everybody. Welcome back to a Father's Day edition of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast. I'm joined by my father live. Live by my father, and by my father. I don't mean the Lord. My actual father, [00:01:00] Randall McDonald, thanks for being here today. It's very good to be here. Happy Father's Day.

Happy Father's Day to you too. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah, you haven't, it's been a little bit since you've been on podcasts. I guess it's been a little bit, last time I was on it, I didn't like what I did, so I'm really glad that I get to get a another chance at it cuz I thought I was awful.

Come back and totally redeem yourself. Redeem myself, I hope. You killed big old Buck this year, so Yeah. That's a redeeming quality that you've got. Yeah, it was a fun hunt and we talked a little bit about it like fresh in the moment and I didn't actually remember that. We actually, we had that conversation back in November.

It was from November the ninth and I think it was called like big bucks on small tracks or something like that. But I look back at the dates you were like, yeah, we talked about it already. And I'm like, I don't remember that. I looked at the dates. It was when I was probably high on pain medication from having kidney stones.

I think I killed that buck on November. Was it November 5th or sixth [00:02:00] I believe? Whatever opening day of Yeah. Texas season was. That was open day of rifle season. Sure. Was opening day. That's the first time. Is it? It's, you killed that, that other big buck. Was it opening day or was it a couple days after the opener?

Because it would've been right around the same time. What other big buck? The other big buck you killed on that property, the 10 point you got mounted? Oh yeah. Yeah. That was a November 7th buck. Seventh, okay. Yeah, that was definitely a November 7th buck. Texas has, the rifle season opens up right around then.

Every year. Yes, every year. Which is peak rut and. You've done pretty well for yourself on that week, once I learned what the week was and how to hunt it and do it right. I think I think forever I will be able to probably kill a decent buck there now that I got a little better understanding of it.

You have off years, I'm sure, but Yeah. But as far as knowing the time that you're supposed to be on that property, it's at 20 acres, right? 20 acres. About [00:03:00] 20 acres. It's hu it's a Hable 25 though. Okay. Because of the state's right away and stuff, but it's a H Huntable 25 hable, 25 acres. And you've now killed one really good buck.

Yep. One, another one that was a legal Texas buck, which is still a pretty good buck. And I love that buck. That buck was a 10 point with really good brow tins. Yeah. Was nice for East Texas. I'll never forget that day. That was a good day. I had a great day in the woods. I didn't kill anything, but I saw a bunch of deer.

Yep. And then we were both back and forth, just like one of us is gonna kill a deer. Eventually. Today it was because we were both, I think I saw 20 bucks that day just running around. Just all over the place. You were here in Texas though. Yep. I was, yeah, I was in Alabama. Yeah. We were just texting back and forth and I'm like, I know at any moment dad's about to pull the trigger, but Texas has these, we've talked about it.

We talked about it probably every time you're on, but the the, it's not an antler point restriction, it's a width [00:04:00] restriction. It has to be thir, was it 13 inside, 13 inches inside spread. Inside spread. Which is a very tough thing to, to try to Oh, it's real difficult, judge. And I was thinking about this the other day.

Mike Perry, who. Most people listen to this, probably know his friend of mine, and he's been on the show a few times. He killed that big buck, that big, nearly 200 inch deer and had a 15 and a half inch inside spread. And you think about that, a 200 inch deer a or I think he was what, 1 96 or 1 94?

Some, what was it? One 1 96, wasn't it? It's something like, it was big, whatever. It's but he could be a 1 94 and be 13 inches inside spread and he wouldn't be legal. Yeah. And he was almost illegal. Yeah. So you think about that, it's a hard thing to try to judge at a distance is inches.

That's that's a hard thing to try to judge. And so you are at a disadvantage to where you're like, I have big buck. Just walk through. I just don't [00:05:00] know. What it was, I had a real mature the year the year after I shot that 10 point. Yeah. I had a really good buck that I would've loved to have shot.

It, but it was thick. It was an old buck. And but it had one messed up side, and it never would've gotten to the 13 inch rule. And I had my scope on him. I was ready to pull the trigger. He was at 20 yards. And I was trying to make it in any way that I could make that deer legal. And it wasn't, but it was a mature buck.

It was one that I really would've liked to have shopped for me. It would've been great, but I had to just let him walk right in front of me. Hey, going back to even talking about hunting that property at the right time, you had another chance to kill a big buck that you missed. Remember the one that you missed or at least you couldn't recover.

Over at Pop's Place spot and he came out oh, yes. And you got it on video. That was Oh yeah. The one I got on video. Yes. That was a big buck. That was a very good buck. Could have been the buck. I [00:06:00] personally think that there's a great chance that it was the buck that you shot this year. It could have been.

He was that style of Buck Uhhuh he was. And I thought when I videoed him, I was like, man, did I just miss that? But I never could get any blood off of him. He jumped like I hit him, but I never got any blood. Never had buzzards flying around. And so be easy. I looked and looked for it, but never got, it'd be easy to lose a.

A deer on a marginal hit on 20 acres. On 20 acres. That's tough. And that spot right there is right next to the to the river. And that other guy's property is just so it, if he goes across the river, I've lost him. Yeah. And not to be the dead horse on this thing, but I, cuz I know that we've talked about your property quite a bit over the years of hunting it and it's a, it is a hard property to hunt the first year that you had it.

Yes. You saw what one, one button head that whole season. Yep. Yeah. Hunt hunted every day and then just learning. And it goes for every [00:07:00] property. The guys listening to this, that maybe you hunt big tracks of public land. You understand this, that certain places you can only hunt it at the perfect timing.

I think most seasoned deer hunters would tell you that. Now there are some people like. Bobby Worthington, he's, he talks about it in his episode. If you're gonna hunt a buck in a spot during the rut is the time to hunt him. And you sit there every single day until you kill him. Yep. You sit that same spot because the ruts the time when you can get away with a bad win, blah, blah, blah.

But what you risk when you do that on a small property is like you risk if you go and hunt that place on the wrong day, on the wrong wind you may have just very well given away your whole season. And think about this, that 13 inch rule really comes into play at that point because you're only gonna see a handful of 13 wider deer out there.

And if you, if they've got your scent, you're not gonna see 'em. They're gonna go nocturnal.[00:08:00] You're just not gonna see 'em. So it just decreases your odds of getting that buck, though I do believe in what he said is right. It's just. If you're gonna kill that big buck on 18 acres, 18 to 20 acres, yeah.

You better have everything in your favor to getting Yeah. And I think you learned that lesson, and you've, through listening to your podcast, through to Yeah. Listening to podcasts. I remember the first time I showed you a hunting podcast, I think it was Wired to Hunt. And I was like, this is the greatest thing ever hunting podcast.

What a cool idea. And I thought, this'll never work. Yeah. Nobody's gonna listen to this. Nobody's gonna listen to a podcast. But here you are at 50, whatever, however old you are, closer to 60 than 50. And you're putting these things to play. Just got on x in the last couple years.

And I'm trying to extend my hunting years [00:09:00] because. I if it hadn't have been for some of the things that I hear on your podcast and some of the other podcasts I'm listening to I don't know how much longer a guy like me can hunt without just hunting in a deer blind, yeah. The one that you always go to and just, that's all you can do with my piece of property.

You've gotta cross over a slew even to get onto the property. So if it's rained, you're gonna have, it's gonna be an issue. There's no easy way to get to it. And the older I get, man, some of the techniques and some of the things that I've learned off of the PO your podcast has made the, a world of difference of how I hunt that acreage.

But what it's also done, and I hate to just keep going on this, but I. It's made me look at OnX maps and try to find public land that's around me so that I don't hunt my land so much. And that saved my land. Now I'm [00:10:00] getting big deer on it because I'm not out there all the time. They patterned me, those deer absolutely patterned me.

Yeah. But now I go out to I've gotta drive about an hour and 15 minutes to get to one. But there's a spot and do you mind me talking about that right quick? No, I'll talk about it. There was just don't name, don't name the place. I'm not gonna name the place but there, yeah. Talk about it.

There was a place that I found, which in, within an hour and 15 minutes of my house, now I can drive up to two to three hours and still be on that public piece. It's a pretty good size for Texas. It's a pretty good size piece, but I found a spot it really wouldn't be a spot that I would normally hunt like I do in Alabama.

I didn't it just wasn't similar, but because there was tons of pines trees. They were spread out pretty good. Underbrush in them. I went out and sat in that little area. The first time I went out there, I had a dough within 40 yards of me. During both season. During both season, yeah.

And the first [00:11:00] time I set out on that piece of property, and I thought, man, this is so cool. I had an opportunity to kill a deer. If I had been up in a tree, I would've killed that deer. But I was down on the ground and by the time I spotted her it was too late. But I talked to you about that piece of land.

I said, through OnX we were able to look at it. And I asked you, I said if you were me on This track of land, public land, where would you go? And you looked at the map and you said right here, there was a specific spot. And I don't know how to give details on, I don't know if you remember. Yeah. It was a creek.

There was a creek and there was a nice hard edge that was in there and a little hub. And then there was private. And I found a day that I had good wind. The wind was perfect for the spot. And I went I went to that spot, hunted on the ground. And you said I would look in this particular direction if I was you.

And man, if I didn't see a [00:12:00] buck walk, the exact trail that you said those thermals are gonna be planned and they're gonna come in scent check in that area. And that's exactly what he did. I just couldn't find if he was a 13 inch or not. He was a mature deer. He was a thick deer, but I don't know if he was 13 inches.

Yeah, because you only got, he was just sent checking really quick and you only got a side profile from I got a side profile. I saw him once on, on where he came across the private. He came onto the land, was getting ready to cross the creek. I saw him for about three seconds and then I found an opening on the other side of the creek and I saw him for about two seconds and I had my scope on him, but I couldn't tell if he was 13 inches.

But it was perfect. And I'm going back there. I got, yeah, it did exactly what you said. And then you can start replicating it too, Yeah, you can start replicating it and find in the spot it says you. As you continue going back there, you just, man, we'll go try this new one that looks like this.

I went back [00:13:00] later in last season to that spot, and I thought, all right, I know what I'm gonna do because I found a number of scrapes just right all together, and I thought, I know what I'm gonna do. No I'm gonna kill a deer today. And there were four other hunters right there on top of it, so they knew too.

But early season it was a good spot and I will probably hunt it again this year. But man, that. That was, so looking at Onyx and how you interpreted it, I learned some things. I guess the point is on Father's Day, it's good to have a reverse here where the father learn learns from the son and be able to replicate some of the things and find some of those things.

And man, dad's learned from your sons. We are in a age of technology. And a lot of the guys my age, we've adopted all this new technology and it's it's kinda like a second nature to us. We just pick up the phone, we're like, oh yeah, look at that map.

I can use this easily. [00:14:00] Guys 50, 60 years old are looking at I don't even know where to start on this thing. It's the truth. It's the truth. I've talked to a lot of my friends even in my church, I got a number of guys who hunt And technology is just not what we do.

Yeah. We just go look at sign. Yeah. And there, that's one thing, there's one way to look at that is if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But if you are finding gaps in your, the way that you're hunting, some of this newer technology is a good thing, but you you kinda let us perfectly into what I really wanted to hit on.

Okay. Which is this idea of, you, you weren't really raised hunting yet. You raised, I would say I, I grew up hunting, it was. It was it was what we did, but you weren't raised doing it. You really only got into it really at the same time that I started going with you.

Yes. And so I wanna know, obviously what you did, there's a part of what you in what you did that is, was [00:15:00] absolutely right. If fathers want to raise sons who are, outdoors men and I don't know what you would seasoned hunters, I guess if that's the what they wanna raise and they're not maybe feeling like maybe they're new to it as well.

And a lot of guys listen to this podcast. I know a lot of guys listen. I can think of three that I know right off the top of my head who are adult onset hunters. Maybe they have a little bit of background in some outdoors stuff, but they're not really into it. And now they have found. Hunting as this escape or whatever, and they wanna know how to raise kids to do the same thing.

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That's all uppercase. All one word, sg h. Ut start out by saying, I believe the Bible is correct, and I've been a preacher, guys, I that's, I've always referred back to it, so it's my life. Yeah. But what you sow, you reap. I think that's not just a biblical value. I think that's a value in life.

I think it, it transcends it. So what you put into, you're going to, you're gonna get back out of it. And I remember we would go when Parker was a little boy, we would go to his me mom and Poppy's house. Poppy. Your poppy. He's poppy. He's poppy. Yep. But we'd go to their house and you'd sit out in the back with a little daisy bb gun or pellet gun or something.

And every once in a while you'd come inside and bring us a bird and say, look what [00:18:00] I got. And if I remember right now, there was a spot they had this little courtyard. Yeah. And like right outside the door. And I had, there was a bench and I had set up sticks and stuff to make a little blind.

Yep. Right there. And there was one like Rose Bush that grew up, and birds would just come and sit in there. And I would sit behind that blind until a little sparrow would pop up or something. And he'd kill it. And I'd kill it. He, that's what he would do. And everybody would celebrate it, except for me, Moff.

It was a pretty bird. She didn't much to care for that, but, no, it was the beginning of it. And then we went to a hunt in Eden and shout out to a man by the name of Sean Thomas. Don't know. He kinda started it. Yeah. He kinda got us to a place where we could go out and a shout out to him.

But the place though, Eden e is in Eden, Texas. So in Texans listening to this, they're gonna know this is Hill country of Texas. Important part of this is though that. It's target rich. I it's a target rich environment. Yes. It's I [00:19:00] really think for me as a kid now, I was all boy through and through.

Yep. I wanted to climb stuff dig in stuff, kill stuff. It didn't matter. I liked the blood and guts, bring it on Hawk my son is just the same way. Yep. And so I think I would've probably enjoyed it no matter what. But I will say that going out there and seeing all those deer and all those turkeys and quail and axis deer and all this stuff, man, you're just, as a kid, you're just like, you feel like you're on this African safari, and that's what you're going for Now, I hunted a lot of places after that when we would hunt in Alabama, that was. Not target rich. Yeah. But I always wanted to chase that feeling that I got because I knew what it felt like. You know what I mean? And you ran into it on accident.

Yeah. But [00:20:00] for me, like I, when I think about taking hawk to places, I wanna take him somewhere. Man, I don't know that he will fall in love with it like I did if I just start him out, going out on a boat at two o'clock in the morning hunting public land. That's hard. It's hard work.

That's hard with not a lot of return. No, it's a battle. Because while I was sending you pins this year to your places, and you were seeing bucks in those pens, my very own pens, I was not seeing bucks on. But do you think that had, did that have something to do with it maybe for you too of n at that point, you now got to experience that.

You hadn't really experienced anything like that before them. No, and that's a good, that's a good part to talk about because my dad would take, he had an automotive paint supply business and he would take customers out hunting and, because he would take customers out hunting and it was mule deer in New Mexico, so we got to go with him, me and my brother and sometimes my whole family, [00:21:00] my sister and my mom would go but generally me and my brother, we'd go with him and he would, I don't know how you would say it but he would pay for the hunt for these customers to go out and hunt and we didn't see any bucks and not really hunt, just kinda, no dad just kinda shoot the bull.

Yeah. Yeah. Dad and the customer drank a lot and but I got the taste of it and I love, now here's the thing that I got out of those was the campfire. Yeah, that's what I got. That campfire experience that being out there in the hunting camp and we had a bunch of people and just the environment of that.

You, I don't, I really don't know anywhere else in the world. You get something like that. Yeah. Just that closeness with God and nature and being out and friends, family. Yeah. You took, it's just, it's surreal almost. We didn't see any bugs, I'm telling you. For 10 years I hunted New Mexico and didn't see bucks, saw lots of do, but I couldn't shoot dos.

And one particular hunt, I counted over a hundred do, [00:22:00] didn't see no bucks. Didn't know how to look for the bucks. They probably were there, but I had my eyes on the do all the time cuz I hadn't had any, no training. Yeah. Whatsoever. So I thought that was what hunting was. And then come to find out that really wasn't.

Kind of the right way. And we went out to Alabama, learned through my brother-in-law Kevin. He taught us a little bit. He taught you? He taught me, yeah. He went with you. I don't think Eden was the first time that I had ever gotten to go deer hunting with. But I remember thinking, I remember one time sitting at Nana and Papa's house and Uncle Kevin took you hunting and Oh, I was mad.

And I remember y'all it was, that was back in the plaid days, you were wearing a red plaid shirt taking it out. And I was like, man, I want, that's what I want. I want to go do that. And now I'm experiencing it too, cuz my son does the same thing. But one thing that that Kevin didn't know, or maybe he did, but he didn't do, and that was the public [00:23:00] land I.

Yeah he would do the leases and he would do the, yeah, I think he grew up hunting public land too, whenever he was younger, but he had gotten onto hunting leases and things like that. So when we would go to Alabama, if we didn't have a place to hunt, we didn't know about public land. Or we would've been out there much or earlier.

Yeah. We, you and I would've been out on that public land. I know. We would've just to have a spot to hunt cuz we loved it so much. But we went to his hunting clubs and did that. And I appreciated him for allowing us to do that cuz that kind of got me hooked and then eventually helped get you hooked.

But here's the thing that I felt like, and this is what I would say to dads on Father's Day,

if you'll show interest in something, if you'll if you'll take your sons and your daughters with you hunting. There is a very good likelihood that they're going to enjoy that. They're gonna either like the campfire, they're gonna like the meals that were prepared around [00:24:00] the campfire, or they'll like the kill the harvesting of a bug or a dough and it gets in your blood and then you can't wait for the next time to get back out there. You could have been susceptible living in a mid-sized Texas city where there wasn't really much else to do around west Texas city. Except for drink or Yeah.

Do whatever party. Yeah. Honky tonk. But what you did is you wanted to go hunting with me every chance you got. And the thing that I think worked for us is as soon as I felt like I could trust you with a gun, we put you in a stand by yourself and you fell in love with it. And you killed some big, you killed way bigger deer than I did in those first years but we couldn't wait to replicate it.

So in Texas I had to spend $2,000, which is probably translate to about $5,000 now, but at that time, 2000 was a [00:25:00] lot of money. But in order for you to get hooked, man, that. It took a lot of money, Uhhuh, and it was worth it. I don't regret it because I don't feel like you dealt with a lot of that other junk that was out there because you always wanted to go hunting and so it just worked for us.

And now that I've got my own land, you grandkids can come out any time. If I was better able to get the corn out there, they would have a lot better chance at it. You got some dogs? I got some dogs. You got dogs out there right now. Oh my goodness. Pack a wild dog. But I think that investment of taking your kids out and showing 'em, I, I know when we would go fishing, I didn't want to bait the hook and tie the hook on because you would never learn to fish that way.

So I, what I felt like I had to do was when you were a young boy to teach you how to tie your own hooks on and it worked. Because you became a great fisherman on those camp outs that with men and guys who were real good fishermen, you could fish with them because you already knew how to do it.

[00:26:00] Yeah. It was an investment in my time. But then here's the thing I want guys out there to understand is you get a hunting buddy for life if you do it right. That's true. And that is the payback because I have a hunting buddy for life. Now I'm gonna stop there and let you talk. Tearing up. Yeah. It's true.

I wonder though, did you feel like you had to do any forcing me to it, like did, was there any like push that you made I'm gonna make sure my son likes this, or was it a situation where you just kinda let me lead in my. The things that I wanted to do, and you just adapted to that.

I saw what you liked and I told myself, adapt it because I don't want this to be just a momentary thing. I wanted it to be something that would go for and help you. And now it went way further than I ever thought it would. But I wanted help. Might not be the right word. [00:27:00] Maybe not help me Sometimes I feel like my life would be better if I did not.

Yeah. Can be addictive. It definitely can be. But I do feel like that, that, that investment I never forced no. Never. You were always begging me to go. So that was always something. There was also a point in your life that you were starting to sew some wild oats. You were doing some things.

You were and. When we would go on our hunting trip, where we would go, we would, I think I can say we went to Big Lake. Yeah. Big Lake, Texas, from outta Midland. And I'd go to my deer lease there and Parker would go with me. And the distance between Midland and Big Lake was probably, what, about an hour and 15?

An hour and 20 minutes. Yeah. But that hour, in 20 minutes is the time. That I could tell you anything, talk to you about anything and you would pay attention and you wouldn't check out it to me that distance was [00:28:00] where I got to speak into your life. The things that I think that were gonna make you the man that you are.

It wasn't necessarily at the camp, it was the distance between the camps and cuz you've even said that when I would come and pick you up at school and we would drive that distance. You just couldn't wait. But that was the times that I could speak and you listened, you absolutely paid attention to what I was saying.

Yeah. And to me, I would do it all over again for that, that was worth it. We, I agree. I remember a lot of post football trips. Yeah. But, you'd pick me up after the game and we'd drive straight to the deer lease during and deer season and we'd do our. Recaps of the game. What I did wrong, what I could have done better, what I did well, I usually wanted to, I'm sure just talk about the things that I did.

Cool. But those were always extremely valuable moments right there that I think a lot of people listening to this who [00:29:00] may find themselves as a seasoned hunter like myself guys like me, who grew up doing it and we've, I, it's, it is the most important season of my year for me is is dear season.

And so it's hard to imagine giving part of that up for your kids. Maybe not hard to imagine cuz I love my kids, at some point I'm gonna have to pull back. Do you think you gave up. This is an easy question. I don't even know why I'm asking it. Do you think you gave up a lot of hunting opportunity for yourself so that I could get into it?

No. Really? No, I didn't give up. I Was there ever a moment where you're like, yes, crap, I wish I could have killed that deer. Not Parker. I'm not gonna lie. Yes, there San Angelo. There was a beauty of a deer. Oh my goodness. This deer was a trophy. I wish I knew what he looked like and I saw him for just a minute, had the gun.[00:30:00]

But I wanted you to have the opportunity and you just couldn't find him. You just it and this was a brute. He was a brute dark horn, chocolate rack, wide big deer and not super tall but very nice deer. And you just couldn't find him. And I had the chance to shoot that and I didn't.

There's been. There's been some opportunities that I that, but eh, you know what? Not really. No. I. I think to me, the hunt is the camp and the cooking biscuits in a Dr. Pepper can, to me that wa come on, you. It don't get better than that. Yeah, that was fun.

We, it was probably Dr. Thunder knowing Yeah. Knowing how you were, but yeah, those, that, that was the highlights. And then going out to a deer lease and you called me and said I pretty much decapitated that dough. That was the coolest thing. My first [00:31:00] deer with a bow. Yeah. Yeah. I mean that I will, I'm not gonna go too far into that.

No, it's that my first deer with a bow. I don't know if I've ever shared this story on a podcast. It's so embarrassing. I shot her I'll say this. There was like 10 dos underneath. Of me. You had this tripod set up like five yards away from where the feeder was at. And it was a perfect tree though.

It was great. They had no idea I was there. No. And I shot once, missed shot twice. Missed shot a third time, missed shot, a fourth time missed. At this point, I'm shooting rages, so if anybody shoots rages, once you shoot those things into the ground, they're pretty much just flimsy. They're not closing back.

And so all these deer just stayed there and I was like I'm outta arrows. I gotta get down. I get down out of the, out of this tripod stand, go grab my arrows, all the deer run off, climb back up before I even get up to the platform. The deer already coming back. And [00:32:00] so I was like I'm just gonna keep trying until I hit one.

And so finally I hit one and it wasn't the one that I was aiming, it wasn't even the one I was aiming at, I don't think. I don't remember all of this story, man. I just, the end run of it. Oh man. And the reason why it happened that where I, the reason I hit her where I hit her is cuz I wasn't aiming there.

I was just so far off and I wasn't a bow hunter. This was my first year with a bow and ends up like hitting her square in the neck. Yeah. And just, it was a what? A blood trail it was. She was dead in 10 yards. Yeah. It was that was a moment. But those days like that were just super valuable.

And these days even myself, like the,

you know what people say, like our kids used to be able to play out outside without having to worry about anything. Now we worry about everything all the time. Yeah. And blah, blah, blah. You can't. It's hard to leave your kids to do anything these days. But I was 12 years old I think, when I first started hunting by [00:33:00] myself.

I got my hunter safety course done as soon as it was legal. And once you have that, you can do it. And I know you were on pins and needles that first, cuz that was a trip to Alabama. Oh my goodness. Oh, that was the scariest. Talk about how you, first off, as a husband, how did you convince my mom of all people the most worrisome, one of the most worrisome people or children that I know.

She's always worrying about us. She was when we were kids. How did you convince her that? Or was it just a she's not gonna listen to this so I can tell you the truth. She didn't know. She didn't know you were by yourself until later. She would've said, you're not going to do that.

And, we're, we got a good marriage. But I didn't, we didn't talk about it. I think afterwards we did, and she was a little upset but it was as much my training as it was yours because it was hard for me to let go. When that sun starts going down the woods take on a whole new [00:34:00] look.

They don't look like they do when you go up. It's a scary situation for a 12 year old boy. And I just just worried and worried until you finally, I saw that flashlight coming down off that hill. And then I took abr a breath, but I prayed a lot. I did, I prayed a lot. And I, if I'm being totally honest, I'm still to this day I do worry about you.

I worry about, you hunt different than most people. You hunt a rugged li you get up at two 30 in the morning to get out there and that, to get to where you go you're traveling in a weird hour, you're tired. You do it days on end. You then you kayak in or you boat in, or however you do it.

I worry about you, man. I've spent a lot of days praying for you. But I always have on my cell phone, I have. The friend or friend with you, and I always know where you're at. And guys, I highly recommend if you go into the woods, you have somebody that knows that trail. [00:35:00] It's always worked out great for us because I'm not really you don't live where I live, but you know the people that I know for the most part.

And so you're like having a hunting buddy, but I really don't have to worry about you going in and hunting spots that I'm in. You know what I mean? Because I promise you, there's some joker over here listening to this saying, I ain't sharing my spots with nobody. I share it with my dad.

That's pretty much it. Yes. And he knows where I'm at all times. If something were to ever go wrong that's why I do it, yeah. I don't do it because for any other reason other than just y somebody knowing where I'm at all the time. And let's face it, that one trip to Nebraska.

It worked in your favor because I found you. It's true. I found you I followed you and we were talking and you were coming home because you had kidney stones. And I just got sick. I just got sick. Was it sick? Yeah. And and I found public land that you were passing by and I said, off to your right, right now as you're traveling, there [00:36:00] is public land and you might see a Turkey and you said, dad, there's a Turkey out there.

Yeah. In that field. And I directed you back. I was sitting here in Tyler, Texas and you were just, that was, to me, that was probably one of the funnest hunting trips that I didn't go on. Yeah, it was cool. It felt like you were there, cuz you were, tell, you were looking at other parts of your map.

I'm looking at my map trying to figure out, and you were able to, you weren't driving like I was. And you were able to say, okay, turn down this road. That's how you get to the gate. So I was turning down that road. All right. The gate should be right up there. I get to that gate, I get out, all right, I'm going in.

No more communication and what was it, 30 minutes? 20 minutes? Yeah. Less. 20 to 30 minutes. You had a Turkey Dad killed that bird. That was awesome. That was so much fun. Those are the moments that I think guys miss out on when they don't invest that time. You know what I mean? Yes. Like I can think of, yes, I know a lot of guys, I [00:37:00] can think of so many people who Yeah.

Who will never get to experience that because they never took the time to, to make that an important thing. Right now, Hawk is, was just my son. He's at an age where he's three years old. He's learning what he likes. He's just, he's all boy, a hundred percent boy, he's not. He's not into baking or anything like that.

He is, he wants to his favorite part, I talked about it in the last podcast with the join or Die guys, and I talked about how he loves the night. Like the cutting, let's cut that thing, let's get that does, let's get bloody. He loves it. He had Spider-Man today gutting him. I'm serious.

He was gutting Spider-Man. Maybe that could be the toddler of this. Yeah. Gut and Spiderman. How a gut, a spider-man. It was a little spider-man doll. And he was like, we killed him. We're, what'd he say? We're skinning him or something. It was his, that was his, we might have just admitted that. My son's troubled I don't think he is.

No, I think he loves hunting. [00:38:00] Yeah, he does. I think he loves the whole aspect of it. He does. And man, I want to do it the right way, but it's harder. Because I like to hunt, and so I do find myself in those moments where I take him and I'm like, man, if I could just I had the moment with Turkey hunting with Henley last year where I could kill Turkey that day.

I really could have killed a Turkey that day. Yeah. A hard Turkey a Turkey that I didn't kill for the rest of the season. That, that Turkey was smart. The only other time I ever got an opportunity at him was when you got the opportunity at him. That's the only time I called him in was that day.

And he came on a string, but I didn't have the gun in my hand. And it was just an awkward position for you where you were at. And so those, those are tough. It's tough to get everybody, you know what's funny in the moment with Henley? I've never once regretted that. Never. One time, even as I was leaving that Turkey goblin, whenever I had Henley.

With me and I couldn't kill him. I didn't, I never once [00:39:00] was like, oh man, I could have killed that Turkey. I know I could have, and that may be a little bit disappointing, but even driving back it wasn't a hard decision to say, eh. I think what scares people more than anything is thinking about those moments.

It's not the moment whenever they happen it, it's not hard. It's not a hard thing. You're like, man, my, my little girl got to hear a Turkey gobble for the first time. That's what I came outta that with. Yeah. Is she heard that Turkey gobble and it lit her world up. And hawk, I think it's gonna be the same way whenever I get to, kill something with him being there, we've killed squirrels and some things, but never a deer or Turkey.

And I think, when we do that, I will say we, I took him hunting this year, deer hunting this year, and we saw deer and he was fired up about it. I bet. Those moments like that, I don't get too caught up in thinking about the things you're gonna have to sacrifice, because I promise the sacrifice is pretty easy.

I if it I guess I should also say [00:40:00] I, if you go into it with the right mindset, knowing that this ain't really the time, there's gonna be a time when kids get older, when it's gonna be time to kill, it's like it's gonna be time to hunt when we hunt. We're hunting, we're not worried about snacks, we're not worried about where we're eating afterwards.

There's gonna be that time, but early on it's just going, I love how you said it. It may not be the actual hunt that they fall in love with. No. It may be the breakfast afterwards, but that's like finding that one thing. And I think even for Henley, she loves going to Jack's and getting pancakes. After we, your sister, after we hunt.

Yeah. Your sister loved the going either cooking breakfast or going to the restaurant. She loved. That was the funnest. She did like that and I did too. Yeah. I enjoyed around the table. I enjoyed the fellowship and thinking about guys like Dale Washburn. Washburn Good. Nah, that was so much fun.

I keep coming back to this. I haven't said it yet, but I keep thinking about it is not [00:41:00] being afraid. Guys like me, I have a hard time at this point in my life because I know public land and I know how to hunt, and so I have a hard time thinking about going out to an outfitter or something like that, or paying money to kill a deer.

Yeah. But those kind of things, consider it, I've been talking a lot with Adam Cruz, who. Who's got kids. He's got a son who's really fired up about turkeys right now. And he killed a public land bird. But me and Adam talked about it back and forth a couple times, getting kids involved, trying to get your kids involved when you are a hunter, like we are a public land, a grinding hunter.

Not a pleasure hunter. We've talked about that. An outfitter is not a bad thing and it has its place and it may not be the thing that we wanna do all the time, but as an investment for kids that, like you said, you spent 2000 bucks Yeah. Every year. Saved up. And I loved it.

It was a high roller lease. And you wasn't a high roller. You was a past, I wasn't a high roller, but I love He's a holy roller. It was so fun though. Yeah. And we spent a lot of [00:42:00] time out there. We did. So that was cheap to. Really think about it. That was cheap in comparison, if you had have been on a travel ball team playing baseball or something that $2,000 on a hunting lease was way less than what those guys spent. And you still got to shoot deer. You still got to do it too. Yes. Yeah. I got to do it. Morgan got to, I wanna ask you a question. Okay. And I hope I'm not diverting here, but so all these years you've hunted, you've done this, and I know we're getting close on time, but all these years you've hunted.

We've hunted a lot together. We've went some different play. We got to hunt Kentucky last year. That, man, I didn't kill a deer, but that was the funnest hunt. When all these hunts that we've had, what was your special memory? Of, out of all those hunts that we've had. Was it a campfire? Was it a deer? Was it a moment? Was it a a special story? What was it that you remember the most outta your, I'd say those formative years.

That just really says Yeah. That, [00:43:00] that, that was it. Like the moment that got me just hooked into it. Was it Eden? Was it Lake? I'll tell you the moment where I lost my chill more than I ever have before I killed a button head deer. And that was great. In Alabama, I killed that little button head, and that was my first deer ever.

Yep. When I was 10. Yeah. With me and you. And that was awesome. But I didn't really have anything to compare it to. Cause that was my first deer. The next deer was That seven point. And that was a cool one, the one that Roy Bolen took us out on that hunt. Oh. Oh yeah. That was a cool hunt.

Yeah. And you killed a deer on that same day that I did. Yeah. That was my first buck. There's a lot of cool things and we were excited. We were really excited, but still, it was still a pretty new experience for me. But after you kill a couple of them, you're like, okay, I'm a deer hunter.

Yeah. I'm flipping deer hunter now. Yeah. Boy, you can't stop me. And the next deer that I killed was on this lease that we've been talking about. You got on that [00:44:00] lease and you and I were hunting together. Yep. This season. And I don't remember why on this day we hunted together, but I was already hunting by myself.

But we were hunting together for whatever reason on this day in this retarded little Three point. Remember that? Yeah. Yeah. Remember that little deer came limping up and he was not gonna live. Now you gotta, people have to understand, at this point in my life, I am, I've only killed two deer, but I am sold out.

Like I live for this now and I'm everything in my, I think I had whitetailed bucks running as wallpaper in my room. I had, I was tore up with it. I live for this little goofy little three point deer that still had velvet. He was he may not have had a ball sack. We might not have looked like it might have.

He messed up. It might have been a, that poor deer. A dough with antlers. But he still had antler. Didn't know, but he had this giant basketball sized like tumor on his leg. Yep. And he [00:45:00] couldn't walk. And I remember that deer walking up and I had no intention of really shooting a deer that day cuz I was hunting with you.

Okay. And that little thing walked up and you're like, oh, that, that dude needs to die. That is not, he's not healthy. And you said you wanna shoot him. And I said, yes, I do. And I, of course, you remember, whenever I was like, okay, get ready to shoot it, it was just, oh gosh, I've been dreaming about this my whole life.

I've been waiting for this moment. And Wow. And I missed him the first shot, but he couldn't run away. And so I shot him again and hit him. And that was, to me, that was like when I, it like, set the precedent for how I was gonna act from there on out when I shot a deer. And I don't think I've shot another deer Wow.

Since then that I wasn't just Stan Potts, give, gimme a minute, just fired up, I think from that deer on. So I would [00:46:00] say that one and I think a lot of it too was wow. Was, that was the first deer that we worked for. We had set up blinds on this place. We'd never had our own place to hunt.

And we had set up these blinds and by we, I mean you mostly built these blinds. And I went out there and helped us do what I could. But you handbuilt all these blinds. We went and put 'em up. We were keeping putting the feeders up. This is West Texas, so this is just how you hunt in west Texas.

Putting feeders up, making sure there was corn in it. This was a whole new world for us. We weren't just getting invited to go hunt anymore. Like we had a place that we could go whenever we wanted and we killed that deer. That was the first deer we killed off that property. And I just remember ju it just being like this whole, we had hunted several, I don't remember at what point in the season we had hunted, but we'd hunted all Bo season.

I know for sure. Cause I shot him with a rifle. So we hunted all that bow season. Part of rifle season we had put time into it. And finally there was, and [00:47:00] as goofy as it was that was the first one that we shot. Didn't that shot. And so I've thought long and hard about it before.

Like what was the one I thought it had been the 11 point. That was the next year I killed. Yeah. Was that big 11 point. Cause that, that one, to this day you say you weren't crying down there, but I know you were, you, when you got, when we got to that deer and you picked up its horns, you were just, you were tore up.

I'm a grown man now, and if I shot a deer, a nice bug, I get a little teary-eyed sometimes. Just, it's just like the adrenaline rush. It's not necessarily even being emotional. It's like you just, oh. And I remember feeling it that day with that dumb little three point. Isn't that amazing?

Because I don't even give that three point a thought. In my mind. It's nothing I, and I wouldn't now it's a mercy killing is what it was. It was, it doesn't even compute in my brain. I would've went immediately to the 11 point. But that day was something special for you because it was the first time that land produced and we were hunters now.

Yeah. And it [00:48:00] worked. Somebody didn't put us on that deer. No, we put us on that deer. We put us on that deer. We picked the spot. That such a good perspective. We did. We did all of it. And I wish I still had that skull cap. Yeah, I do too. I know we have had it here in this house, cuz I remember it being in that little side shed that you have on the other side of your carport.

I know we've had it here, but I don't know, I don't know where it is cuz I think, but it is covered up in nasty old velvet. It was just a nasty looking deer. It was Oh, that deer man, just west Texas deer already kind of manje looking and he was just, that one was, or she, whatever it was. Yeah. And that's a good story though.

That is a, that's a really good story. And it kinda drives us to this point of lowering standards with your kids. And I think I, I hear a lot of people talk about my daddy didn't let me shoot blah, blah, blah. Or we, Turkey hunting like my daddy, he never let me shoot a Jake, so I block whatever people use [00:49:00] it as a high horse.

But I think having a realistic standards for your kids to be successful. Yeah. We set tee-ball we do tee-ball on a tee so kids can be successful and they can get a taste of the success. Nobody signing an autograph from knocking a home run off of a tee. You know what I mean? You progress and you learn and whatever.

But I promise you the first spike that I see whenever Hawk is sitting with me, A joke dead going down. I'm gonna, what does Pablo say? A spike going to die today. Shout out to Pablo. Pablo. But that, a, you've gotta do that. There's, you gotta make changes as a parent. You gotta make changes in how you do this thing.

Especially guys like me who are hardcore about this. And do you remember? Yeah. Do you remember the I'm not gonna mention this guy's name. Okay. Cuz I don't know that, that it was all legal or not but I remember we were at a hunting lease and a [00:50:00] buddy was coming to hunt with us. I know the story, you.

And he pulls up and he had a roundabout truck. And he pulls up and he jumps out of his truck and he's just the happiest guy. And he says I already got one of my tags field. And we everybody looked at each other and went, what? And he said, yep, hit this eight point on the way here.

And I threw him in the back of my truck. I've already got one tag, a big eight point, a pretty nice size eight point. If I, and if I remember correctly, you gotta know this guy to, to picture how funny this would be. But he talked about he had to he had to end up killing the deer with a hammer. Do you remember that?

Yes. And so whenever, yes, he did. So whenever, and some people are probably gonna think this is not appropriate story to share, but whatever he ended up killing this deer with a hammer and it was a brutal. A brutal bludgeoning, but it was gonna die. Sure. Yeah. He had to kill, he was gonna die and he wanted the meat and I'm [00:51:00] pretty sure we ate back, strapped that night.

We did. We ate it. I remember eating it. So to me that's perfectly fine. I don't have a problem with it. I know there's ways you're supposed to do that and do it right. And I but he didn't know. He just threw it in the back end of his truck. Throw it in the truck, we ain't good. And he was so proud.

He already got one of his tags filled, if I'm not mistaken, that the second tag that he filled out there. Was a buck that had both sides broke off, wasn't it? It was basically a big old long spike that everything was broke off, everything, nothing was left. And he shot it and he was proud of it. He was so proud of that deer.

So you guys giving me a hard time about some, about lowering my standards sometimes. You gotta understand where I was. You gotta understand my raising. This is the deer camp that I was raised in. Oh man. That's funny. I could sit here, we could sit here and talk about these stories and that. That's the whole point of this podcast.

So we got a lot of stories, a lot of good memories that wouldn't be there [00:52:00] without hunting, without the medium. Yeah. Which is hunting for us. And yeah. Dads, take your kids tell people one thing just one thing on their way out. You're a PR preacher. I know. You can pull something out. It's selfish right now, but I'm really looking forward to October.

Yeah, start planning now. Start. If you can't, if you don't, if you can't get land, you don't have land to go hunt, you don't do, just get on the internet. Get somewhere where you can find public land and go out there, it's yours. Go hunt it. Do it now. Find that spot. Find the spot drive out to it.

Look at it, see what's out there and set it up, and you won't regret it because you'll feel like we did all those years ago. And it's kind. You start somewhere, it starts somewhere. If you don't take the first step, you'll never get out to that thing. And I appreciate all that, that southern ground has invested in me.

Some of the other ones [00:53:00] wired to hunt some of the different ones. Of course, they're secondary, in my opinion. They don't hold a candle to yours, I'll say that cuz you're my son. But no I there's some good opportunities out there. And learn from the podcast and you'll do well. Cool.

This was fun. Thanks for coming on. Lots of memories. Yep. We could probably do a whole nother episode. Just share all the funny ones. Yeah. Because we got some funny ones. Hey, can I, okay. One thing I will close. Okay. Okay. Second closing. You're a pastor, something. This is normal. I close. One of the funnest things that we do is after we shoot a deer, we get fruity pebbles.

Fruity pebbles and if you're a deer hunter, you got deer camp things or you're find traditions like that. That's a neat tradition that we do. Yeah. And it's fun and it makes it just a highlight when we shoot a deer that evening or whenever we do it. Yeah. We're gonna have some fruity pebbles.

We get it Just for that case. Some people may crack a coal one. Some people may smoke a victory cigar, some people may [00:54:00] take a shot of whiskey. We we do it right. We tear up the fruity pebbles. Yeah. We just do it the right way and they don't know that they're wrong. There's my wisdom. That's my second closing and that's all I got, I think.

Awesome. Guys, thanks for listening, Deb, thanks for listening. Happy Father's Day and thanks for being here. My pleasure. Hey guys. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast. You can keep up with Southern Ground hunting by following us on Facebook or Instagram or subscribing to the YouTube channel, and you can be sure to check us to pick up some of our merch, read some blog articles, and all that good stuff.

I truly hope you enjoyed this week's episode, and we'll see you here again next week. Remember that God gave you dominion over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the earth. So go out and exercise that dominion. We will talk to you next week.[00:55:00]