Gobblers & Banditos - Outfitter Stories From Borderland

Show Notes

This week on Limbhanger, we're talking about when and where might be your best bet when it comes to booking an outfitted turkey hunt. This is important especially when it comes to chasing the 49 state Super Slam. While the majority of our conversations are focused on public land hunting, there are absolutely some scenarios and states where you may want to consider an outfitter, and some that it would be necessary. 

Adam gets the opportunity to do some of these hunts through his job and recently came back from a trip to South Texas hunting Rio gobblers. Joey booked an outfitted hunt with Jay Scott for his Goulds hunt in Mexico. As the guys talk through their experiences, they break down some of the good and bad when it comes to this style of hunting. 

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Limb Hangar Turkey Hunt podcast, brought to you by Grounded Brand and their new impact 2.0 Turkey vest. Get grounded@groundedbrand.com. The limb Hangar Turkey Hunt Podcast strives to bring opinions and discussions from all aspects of the Turkey hunting community. From legendary Turkey hunters who hunted in military fatigues to the modern day hunters embracing technology while maintaining traditions passed along for generations.

All are welcome at this round table conversation about one of the war creatures in North America. Wild Turkey. Y'all stick around. It's gonna be a great show.

All right guys. Welcome back. We're here with another episode of Limb Hanger, just two of us here tonight. Adam and myself, Joey Parker. He is doing family night from what I hear, he's hanging out with his wife and kids. He's been on the road a lot. [00:01:00] They've been on the road. Yeah. So I guess they're finally coming together tonight.

Matt's out tonight, so it's just the last two amigos here. And I'm still the only one that hadn't been Turkey hunting yet, so there's still that sad. The Tennessee team here, team Tennessee. I guess I'm the last of the Mohicans. I have heard some gobbling turkeys in last week though, so I got that going for me.

I ain't totally skunked. I think things this weekend will get you really heated up. Oh, it's supposed to be good too. It's been hot the last couple days and I went out listening. Today's Wednesday. I went out listening Monday and Tuesday morning and I didn't hear a thing. I think it was just warm.

It was overcast. Some stuff, we had a couple little fronts moving in I think. So it just, conditions just weren't right for Cobbin. But let's see, when was it? Saturday I heard a lot of gobbling. I forget the temperature. It was a little cool, but it was clear, man. It was lighting it up. And this week, the weekend [00:02:00] forecast looks a lot of the same.

Kinda like it did Saturday. So I think Saturday and Sunday both should be banger days. Now they do have some rain in the forecast on Saturday morning. I think they changed that, which I don't know if it's gonna be Saturday morning or what time Saturday, but I think there's about a 30% chance now.

Yeah, that's a percentage where they don't really know what's gonna happen. Yeah. It could be, could or couldn't happen. Could be. Could wait till lunch. Could be that afternoon. They just know it might rain somewhere. Possibly that day somewhere. Yeah. That's pretty low about that amounts too. But yeah, exciting things on the horizon.

We've had some exciting things behind us. Parker's laid a couple birds down. Matt's laid a couple birds down. You went on a trip and got a bird. Just one. Did you just get one on that trip? I did. I got my first Rio on that trip. Ended up calling up a bird for another buddy and he ended up slinging.

Slinging at one, at a chip shot and mist, so that stunk for him. But I was also at the back of my mind, I was like I could have been bird number two. Cause I am the guy that says, is [00:03:00] all about me. I'm the narcissist, Turkey hunter. Hey, I'll say this, man. I thought about you during that hunt because that was a, I've taken my kids and.

Turkey's from my oldest. He's missed a few killed one. And every time I've loved that that's just been like an experience in a lifetime. Usually when I'm hunting with other guys, like I said, I just, I like to pull the trigger I, something about it. But this this guy, he's never Turkey hunted before.

He's never hunted in his life. He shot guns, never hunted. And so for me, like getting to know him a little bit better on this trip, we weren't that close or whatever, but getting to know him through. And then watching him progress as Hey, I'm totally new to this. To having not only one gobbler coming in, but we had gobbler on two both sides coming in and getting to see his reaction to that.

And then shooting, I could tell he went from being someone that probably didn't care that much about Turkey hunting. All right, we're go. We're gonna get this done. So that was fun to [00:04:00] watch that transition. I really had a good time doing that. That is awesome. And the man, those Rios will spoil you. And the fact that, that was his first Turkey and he had, how many did you say he had coming in?

Two at the same time, but on different directions. Literally like they were both running at the same time and they were running down two roads and we were like in the middle of cactus and brush. They were converging on y'all. That's what they were doing. The one that ended up popping out is not the one that we expected.

We thought he was still hanging back cuz we could see him and we couldn't see the other one. He came around on a different side and man, he's just got go. Just coming down that road and we're like, okay. He's approaching and coming and then all of a sudden the one that we thought was way. Boom, Goggle's hard.

And I'm like, he's on top of us, and he's And I look over my shoulder. He is, like I said, shoot, man, shoot. So it was fun and I can't wait to get back after him if all, if everything falls into place, I'll be in Oklahoma into April that last week for a handful of [00:05:00] days. So I'm hoping to get back after him.

I've only hunted Rios that one time, and it was in Oklahoma and a different area that I'll be at. But all they were so much fun. And the. Did I remember those hunts And the more I hear about your hunts and Parker's Rio Hunt from Texas and did I watch other Rio hunts? Ah, I miss them so much.

I love hunting. Miriam's just for the fact, they like to gobble a lot too and the scenery is gorgeous. But more and more I love the way a Rio acts cuz. They've come just storming in. And I had that one in Oklahoma. Quick story when we were out there in 2020, I had one. If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I never would've believed it.

If somebody told me that it happened, that bird pitched off that bluff and flew like a hundred yards in my direction. I never would've believed it in a hundred years that happened. If somebody was telling me, if if you were telling me that story, there'd be something in the back of my head like, ah, maybe, maybe he's telling a good hunter stretching it.

Yeah. But lemme tell you swear on my children. That thing pitched off a [00:06:00] rock bluff and flew towards me. Go. And he like gobbled before he pitched off. He gobbled when he hit the ground, he just, he just kept it. And now I'm, I've just missed it even more and more over the last year or so. But yeah.

Yeah, what we're gonna talk about tonight, going back to your your Rio story, that was an outfitted hunt. Yep. And that's kinda what we're gonna talk about tonight. Why you should, or maybe you shouldn't go on an outfitter, where you might, should go on an outfitted hunt. Questions you should ask or questions you should ask, and all kinds of other stuff.

I don't know, what do we need to start with? Do we need to start with the scenario of when you should decide to call an outfitted hunt? Let's start. Like different species and states. So yeah, and I think, a couple of the popular ones that I think of when I think of more of a necessity to go on an outfitted hunt, osceolas come to mind cuz there's only one place to do it.

The [00:07:00] Goulds Turkey down in Mexico and then probably, Miriam's Rios and I think Eastern's. To me, they're at the bottom of the list. Yeah. Unless, I don't know, I'm trying to think of a situation where I would go on an outfit at Eastern Hunt. Maybe if, I think maybe if it was just like bachelor party or Yeah, some kind of, some group of guys or some group of folks that just wanted to go hang out low key, high success or high probable success.

I got you one, I got you a reason I won't. Okay, go. I was thinking about this other day. I was like, if I wanted to go I, I was thinking of hunting with someone to learn from specifically, and there is an outfitter bent Creek or Lodge. I think that's what it is in Alabama. And I'm, yeah. Now that I just said that, I ca I forgot the guy's name that God's there.

It's not Eddie Salter. It's one of those big name Turkey hunters and he gods there. I think I know who you're talking about. And [00:08:00] Walker. Is it Bob? Bob Walker. Thanks Bob Walker. That name sounds really familiar and that may be right, but either way that lodge is known to have like just top of the line elite gods.

And I was thinking, man, if I just wanted to go and tag along with somebody like a, you wouldn't normally get to hunt with second Dave Owens, right? Yeah. Like that caliber of a Turkey hunter just to learn from. But I'm willing to pay and that'll pay dividends the rest of my life and maybe generations to come if I can produce Turkey hunters.

I would be willing to make that sacrifice and pay that. Pay that price. I gotcha. Yeah. Yeah, I can see that. I can see that. Because, and especially if you weren't familiar with that subspecies. Yep. Like when I think of if I was gonna go on a guided hunt for osce, I think Doc Weddle does guided hunts for osceolas or he does something with an outfitter for guided hunts for osceolas, and I think they do some of that on public land.

Now I would, might be inclined to do something like that. Yeah. P a public land guided Osceola hunt [00:09:00] where you are gonna have to be a sponge to absorb all that information from somebody. Especially if it was from somebody like, Who Senate for, what'd we say in the last couple podcasts, decades upon decades, with multiple US super slams.

And he's not slowing down much from what I see every, every year he's still, he pops up in the springtime and he's got a pile of turkeys across that feed. So yeah, I would be inclined to, to go on a guided Osceola hunt on public land That would be my thing. I bet there's some listeners out there.

I, looking at me and like the things that kind of hit the fear factor like a big old cotton mouse or alligators. I think about that now. I've hunted Florida swamps and the nastiest stuff on public land, but I also went on a outfitted hunt and hunted the same kind of crap. I would suggest that if someone's okay, it's hard to go find an Osceola on public land because I know [00:10:00] it's going to be a challenge both from the habitat and just probably pressure if I wanted to find an outfitter that's hunting like clean orange groves, cattle pastures, and is I don't have to get my feet too wet.

You know what sometimes. Maybe just go ahead and schedule that sucker. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Cause I'll tell you, I went with that outfit, that outfitter in Florida last year, and we went to the swamps and the nasties and man, we weren't here in Turkey's, gobble. And there was another guy that was hunting a cattle pasture.

And dude, he's done with his hunting like in a day, two days. He's done. And so I got a chance to go on that same cattle pasture area and I kill 'em 10 minutes. I was like, okay, this not the same experience, but I got it done. But if you're into that kind of thing, maybe on the Florida Osceola, you just go for the outfitted hunt.

There are, when I think of whether or not somebody needs to go on an outfitted hunt, I think of three factors, and that's time, experience, and. Oh yeah, if you have the time to devote to like a full week or something like that where you can [00:11:00] grind it out and try to find birds and get on birds, then yeah, you can probably do diy.

If you have the experience, you can go diy. And if you don't have much money, obviously go on d going DIY is gonna be cheaper supposedly. You could probably break it all down and, okay. I'm buy. Fuel for truck, food, lodging, or just whatever. You might could make the argument that an outfitted hunt could be comparable.

But I think generally speaking, we're pretty confident in saying DIY is gonna be cheaper. Now, if you don't have the experience and you don't have the time where you have a handful of days to want to kill a Turkey and try to learn as much as you can, then yeah, go outfitted. And if you got the money to do it, go outfitted.

Turkey. I think Turkey hunts aren't as expensive. They're certainly not as expensive as big game outfitted hunts. No, and I think the price or the fear of the [00:12:00] price is just intimidating to people. Cuz what are Osceola hunts going now? They're, I see some of 'em come across 2,500 bucks for a osce.

Now I don't know any of the, anything about the outfitters down there, what the facilities are and success rates or anything like that. But I'll go ahead and tell you. My ghouls hunt in Mexico was 27 50. And what was really good about that is I went with Jay Scott. A lot of people know about Jay Scott.

I paid half upfront, which was my, Which was in 2021. So when I booked it, I paid half up front. So that was 1325 is my math is right? Yeah. Somewhere around in there. Oh, close. Good. Little over 1300 bucks. And then a year later when I went on the hunt, I paid the other half. So essentially I had, I could have had two years to save up for this.

Imagine, I don't know what, like 12, 13, [00:13:00] 25 divided into 12, what? A hundred bucks a month? Yeah, 25. A little over 25 bucks a week. That's very doable. And then factor in having to get out there. I know my situation is different. I travel a lot for work, get a lot of airline points. Didn't cost me anything to fly out there.

Rental car was cheap. My buddy and I split the rental. But still, if you've got plenty of time to save up for one of those hunts, and people talk about someday I'm gonna do that. Somebody know someday I'm gonna do this. When you find someday on the calendar, you let me know because someday it's gonna creep up on you and someday you ain't going to be in good enough shape to go on any of these sides.

Yeah, I feel like flip on that. I think the price is intimidating to people, but it shouldn't be. And that's how I see it. Let me ask this about your your gold hunt man. Like you said you rented a car, did you have to drive into Mexico and did they meet you or how did [00:14:00] that work out? So the way it worked with Jay, so we met Jacob and I flew into Phoenix.

We could have flew into Tucson, I think somewhere closer. But one, it was just easier to fly into Phoenix. Like we could get a nonstop into Phoenix. And it was actually cheaper. So we flew into Phoenix and just made the drive down to Douglas, Arizona, which is a little border town. And it was a sizable, there had plenty of hotels there and places to eat.

It wasn't like a little, it wasn't sketch, yeah. At least on our side of the fence. It wasn't sketch. And the guide Jay didn't guide us. He had some guides that work for him. The guide met us there the night before we crossed the border and we stayed the night at the hotel and left our car there at the hotel for the duration of the hunt.

And it was fine. And we just rode with the guide over into Mexico. And lemme tell you is I didn't show my passport to. [00:15:00] Until I crossed back into the United States. That's crazy. The the border guard for Mexico, he basically stuck his head in the window, had a quick look around and just said, all right, let's go.

Now, he might have known the guide because they're in and out of there, all the time. Because they were hunting. I think we hunted within a couple hours of that town, but, So they're probably in and out there all the time, but still it was just funny because they just waved us on through.

And then Jay has some contacts down there. There was some guy that lived in that the town on the Mexico side. And Jay would keep all their guns and stuff stored there. So you would cross the border and you'd go directly into this little neighborhood to some random. And go in there and they'd have their guns and cuz we would use their guns.

Okay. You can take your own gun, but it's, there's so much paperwork. It's such a pain that we just borrowed their guns and they don't shoot junk guns. I think we shot like a Tristar[00:16:00] 20 gauge. Yeah. With Apex mo, with a red dot. They were good guns yeah, that was just that was just funny.

Just we were in the middle of the street in Mexico, in front of this house, putting guns in the truck and getting food and stuff for the handful of days that we were gonna be hunting. And it was it was just weird just being down there and doing that. How concerned were you for your safety while you were down there?

I wasn't. Now I had been to Mexico several times for work. And oddly enough, I had been to more sketchy places for work than I was on this hunt trip because, I work in the concrete industry. They don't put concrete plants in the good parts of town in Mexico it's rough. Like I've been in places where I couldn't ride around with my window down because I get robbed at a stop sign.

Now at this place in this little town, it wasn't that way. It was pretty safe. And then, We drove a little over an hour, a couple hours maybe to the ranch that we were gonna be hunting at, and it was in the middle of nowhere. But I never felt unsafe. I never [00:17:00] came into contact with any sketchy characters while I was down there.

So you're telling me on my Texas hunt, I felt more unsafe than your own me on your Mexico. That's what it sounded like, man. You had the action, like y'all, you had an episode of cops from both sides of the fence, it sounds dude, it was so crazy. We, I guess it was like the first the, so it's gonna be like the morning of the.

Second hunt that night. We had helicopters going over the place. We're staying all night. It's whoa. Just all night. We're like, what in the world's going on? So we wake up and the guides are telling us, yeah, there's three different groups of drug smugglers on the ranch.

That's the bad news. The good news is there's nowhere, they're nowhere near where you guys are hunting at. So we go on the, th this hunt and they come to pick us up for breakfast and dude, there's like border. Everywhere. I'm talking, it's like a convoy, it's like a military exercise out there.

There's two helicopters. Not only are they like on the ranch, they're like all [00:18:00] over like our lodge at this point. Like just sweeping back and forth and hovering hundreds of yards away. Our guides are getting AR fifteens and they're driving around looking and come to find out, there was one of those groups, there was three guys in camouflage and one of 'em had a rifle.

And they were on the trail camera close to the guys that we were hunting with. There's only a creek that's running through there. They were on the same creek. So they think at some point those two groups, the hunters and the drug smugglers had crossed paths. So obviously the drug smugglers aren't wanting to have an engagement with Turkey hunters.

They're just trying to get their drugs. From point A to point B, like they're not trying to probably hurt anybody at this point in time. No, but who knows, still just a crazy scenario and I'm like texting you guys video and all that stuff. I don't know. We got into, that's wild. My dad went bird hunting down in, I think it was Fear Texas and I'd have to look at a map, see exactly where it was at, but I'm confident it was really close to the border someplace down there.

And [00:19:00] he was saying when. Getting to be sunset or whatever, he would see people crossing the road, under the, trying to be under the cover of darkness. Be as inconspicuous as possible. Yeah. They'd sneak back and forth across the road. So it's long story short, if you want some wild stories to tell afterwards, book of Gould or not or a Rio trip somewhere around the border.

And I guess Osceola trip too, because Lord only knows what's gonna happen in. The the, yeah, the Midwestern Rios and and Miriam's probably have some more calm stories, but go back to your Mexico trip just a second. You haven't had issues. Now, did you ha, I don't think you personally had issues, but some of your group had issues with either was it the meat or what was it getting back across the border so we could not bring the meat back across the border.

Okay. That was, some kind of legal thing. So we gave, when we dressed the birds, we gave the meat to the ranch hands and the locals there, so they got eaten. And we [00:20:00] taped our turkeys out. Cuz all of us were gonna mount our turkeys cuz when you go, if you go down there one time, you're gonna mount that thing.

Yeah. So we all taped them out and we had the fans and everything. It was all nice in a little package wrapped. It was in a gar black garbage bag taped up. And so when we got back through when we crossed the border, US customs had to inspect everything, sign off on paperwork, match up everybody, the whole deal.

The issue came when we, the issue came when we landed in Nashville. It was a, it was myself and Jacob. A friend of mine, Chris Jenkins and his son, and Chris and his son had two birds of peace. So they had four birds and Jacob and I had one a piece. So there were six birds or six bird capes. And my 90 quart.

And we were all taking them to John Beard at Birds only taxidermy here in Dixon. And I told Chris and his son like, Hey, I'll just take your birds. It's 30 minutes from my house, [00:21:00] no big deal. Put some dry ice in the coolers, kept 'em getting cold and just declared, just showed the Southwest bag check person there when we come in.

No issues there. We taped up the cooler so the lid wouldn't come off or fly open or just whatever. It was all in good shape. We get in Nashville and I picked this cooler up. We had to go pick it up, an oversized baggage like off on the side there. I pick his cooler up and I told Jacob, I said, this cooler is light.

Ugh. And we open it up and there are. Two packages in there. Now I say Chris and his son had two birds. They had between the two birds of peace, I think they had one cape and fan I think knocked feathers off of one. Tail fan got messed up. I forget. But they kind of Frankenstein two birds together, from the floor.

But anyway, they were missing Jacob's Bird or Jacob's package. [00:22:00] Yeah, Jacob's package and Chris's son's package. Now what was strange about that, Chris and I kept our birds. They returned our birds. Apparently Chris and I's birds were sitting on top of that stack in that cooler. So they would've had to remove our birds to get to their birds, and they somehow did not put their birds back in the cooler.

I, to this day, I don't know. But anyway. To make a long story short, I traded a bunch of emails with Southwitch baggage claims filed a claim filed a thing through t s a and I'll be honest, you're pissing up a rope trying to go through t s a because they they didn't care.

They I don't think I got one returned correspondence from them at all. No phone call left. I don't know how many voicemails sent. I don't know how many emails. Southwest on the other hand they were accommodating up to a point. And this [00:23:00] lady's, I forget exactly what this lady said I should have pulled up the email before I jumped on here.

But the lady basically said that there wasn't really anything they could do and she tried to pull that off. I've flown for South, flown with Southwest for over a decade now, and I've had the highest status they can. For at least eight of those years. And I pulled that card, I was that guy.

Oh, yeah. And I let him know. I was like, if you go back on my, if you go back in my flight history, I've taken, X amount of flights every year for 10 years, which would add up to X amount of thousands of dollars of business that we've given to you guys. Nothing you can do for me. A couple of days after that, I get a phone call and my caller ID says Dallas, Texas.

I was like, oh, I got a, I think I got some customers around Dallas, maybe it's one of them. And I, an I answer it and it is the head of baggage, I forget his exact title, head dude over baggage at Southwest Corporate. And he says This, [00:24:00] Mr. Bell. I said, yes. He goes, I was looking, I was sent your file and your claim, and I was looking at everything and he says what really stood out to me, w when I saw, I think I had Turkey pelts or Turkey something or another on there.

And he said I'm a hunter myself. And I know exactly what it would feel like if I went on some of my trips and didn't come back with anything. He says, I can't fully refund, the cost of the birds to your friends or whoever because I know, that stuff is thousands of dollars. What I can do is I can issue you the maximum amount can issue for a claim, which was $3,800.

So Southwest sent me $3,800 and I sent it to, Jake and Chris. But that was that was the end of the Ghouls trip. And even though, they lost their birds. They now have a little bit of extra money and a desire and need to go back down there. [00:25:00] If if you had some advice or anything for someone you were talking to about going on a trip to Mexico after turkeys, what would you suggest?

Like questions to ask an outfit or any of that kind of stuff? One thing that I found out when I got down there, and I don't want this to sound like I'm talking. About Jay Scott and the outfit or anything else? They, my experience was absolutely excellent. I had zero complaints. What I didn't know before I got down there was that they use a lot of electronic calls.

And I'm a hard-headed Turkey hunter from the southeast, and I wanna call my own birds. And I didn't ask about that before I went. Now, would it have deterred me from going, no. It would just took me by surprise and I feel like it's something that some people should know. It would be something if you're really concerned about that or if it's something you need to know before you go, that's something you may need to ask.

Everybody else, they didn't care. They're not [00:26:00] as deranged as I am, when it comes to turkeys, but man, ain't nobody calling a Turkey for me. I don't, if I go hunting with Dave Owens one day, I'm gonna call my own Turkey. Sorry, Dave. But but it wasn't an issue.

The guy did get aggravated with me one morning because it was my turn up to bat. And we had set up, it wasn't my turn yet. I think it was Jacob's turn and then it was my turn. We called in a bird for Jacob that morning with the electronic collar. Jacob killed his bird and I think there were other birds gobbling.

And the guy told me to get ready and get on the gun. I said, I'm not shooting a bird over your little karaoke machine, Turkey collar over there. And I think he got a little pissed at me karaoke machine and he kinda rolled his eyes and he was like that thing's a better collar than you. I said, I know, but I ain't shooting a bird over that thing.

We did have decoys, I was. Originally gonna try to just kill one without decoys. I was planning on, I was fine with being the last [00:27:00] guy up. Yeah. And spend a couple days working for a bird. But we ended up having tire issues and we had some vehicle issues which wasn't a fault of anybody, but we basically had to, we needed to get things done and get out of there so dude could get his tires fixed because we had patched on this one tire all day long.

I think it was made out of patch patches by the end of the day. Yeah, just stuff like that. I did end up killing a bird without the radio. Was the only one on the trip called my own Turkey. Thank you very much. Nice. But yeah, just something, just stuff like that because they just, those guys and his guides were like from, I forget.

I think our guide was Nate, Nate, Nate Diamond. He was awesome. Excellent dude. They, he was from Denver, I wanna say, or Colorado, and I think a couple of their other guys. Are from western states and those guys just don't think about turkeys. Like we think about turkeys. Yeah. So another thing too was that they book hunts back to back, [00:28:00] not at the same ranch.

So Nate had us from, I wanna say from like Tuesday to Saturday and Saturday afternoon, he was supposed to pick up the next group of guys and go to another ranch. And go hunt for however X amount of days. So what that kind of did was made them in a rush. The quicker they could get us all tagged out, the more time they had to prepare for the next group.

Which is understandable. Yeah. But if you're wanting to go down there and just hang out and work for a bird, kinda like I was really wanting to. You may ask about that, before you go it. And like I said it's, I'm not talking bad about Jay or the operation or anything, it's just the way they operate.

They're trying to get people in there. They want people to kill birds and they want to get ready for the next group. So just a couple things like that to keep in mind. So on a trip like that for me I'm sitting here thinking, okay, I'm going to Mexico, [00:29:00] which is not the safest country. You've already told me, man, I felt completely safe.

You've told me, Hey, they've got plenty of birds, right? They know what they're doing. Although it's not necessarily how we would wanna do it on a trip like that, where I think the the conditions are a little bit different. I'd probably be like perfect. If I got ready to book to Mexico, absolutely.

Jay Scott. That's guy I'm gonna go to just because of everything we've talked about tonight. And then in the past it's like I've kinda already got my mind made up, Hey, Jay's probably my guy unless something, were to change in the outfitting world, or I met someone. I think those things are important.

Now you said Tuesday through Saturday, so was that a four day hunt or five day hunt and with travel and all that stuff? So we crossed the border. Tuesday morning and started hunting when we got there. Okay. I think Nate had asked us, what we wanted to do, if we wanted just hang out, rest or whatever, and we're like, no, we ain't here to rest.

We're here to hunt, but we ended up killing, I think, like two birds that afternoon. Nice. They had a tremendous amount of [00:30:00] birds. Nice. And they acted. I am co I would be very confident in saying that many of these birds had never seen a human being in their entire life. Because, we saw nobody at this ranch.

There were, I saw two other people on the ranch. One was a an older lady Mexican lady, or I don't know her real name. Everybody called her cookie. She didn't speak a lick of English, but by God, cookie made the best. Mexican food I've ever had in my life. She made homemade tortillas all day, every day, daylight till dark.

We had a pile of tortillas at every meal. So we saw her and I think there was another older ranch hand that was floating around there. But yeah, there was nobody else. And yeah, it was the probably the least pressured place I'd ever been to in my life. That's impressive. Yeah it was incredible.

The birds. Just imagine a Turkey that's never [00:31:00] seen somebody and never heard a Turkey call. And the thing about their electronic calls were they were recordings of actual turkeys. It wasn't like not a dig at primo, but it wasn't a primo call, on a box blasting out there.

It was actual turkeys. These people had never heard an actual Turkey call. It was wild. So have you ever done a self-guided hunt? Obviously you went full guided. Yeah. Have you ever done like the self, the semi guided where it's just they drop you off and say, Hey, go to it. Have at it? That wasn't an option for Jay at that time.

I think he actually does that now. He may have started that this year. The thing about that was you still had to provide your own transportation. So you. If you if you had to drive down there, you also had to have an ATV or a side by side to get a, around those ranch tracks. So that was an option there though.

You could have done that. I don't think we couldn't have last year. Oh, okay. I think he started that this year. [00:32:00] Because I just saw him post about it and her I've heard him talk about it here recently somewhere, but it wasn't an option in 2022. Now I would do. Looking back, I would do that, absolutely.

I'd have to just borrow a side by side or something like that, to take down there. But I, the thing about that too is, all the paperwork that's needed to take your own vehicle down there, to take your own guns down there, there would be a lot more headache, I think, to do that as far as like getting into Mexico.

And once you get down in there, yeah, that would be the best thing ever. Just camping out. I think they would still provide you like a ranch house but provide your own food. They would just, you're just basically at some extent you're paying a trespass fee in Mexico. Yeah. There, I mean there's a lot of different ways I.

Turkey hunting outfitters do it right? Some will do, like the Mexico experience, maybe not electronic calls, but you may go on an Osceola hunt [00:33:00] and a guy takes you, he wants to do all the calling, he wants to do all the maneuvering the set up. So for me eh, I probably don't wanna do all that, but like in a place like Mexico, we're talking about, Hey, you know what, that's almost.

That's their, the way they have to do it. But if I was thinking about going back to Texas, I would want to go like I did on this Texas trip and just ask, Hey, when I get there, Are you gonna release me out into the wild? Are you gonna feed me? Are you gonna clothe me? But not clothe me. I would say provide a place to sleep.

Do I need a tent? Whatever. If they're providing me with my camo, that's a different story. There you go. But I do, I did like the aspect of just being dropped off. Cause I've done both, I did a guided hunt where a guide was with me not necessarily having to call, but he's with you the entire time just to make sure you stay on property lines and things like that.

And this one was just like, I got there and I said, Hey man, tell me where my boundaries are. And he said, you're not gonna walk outside your boundaries. You're good. We're gonna drop you off and you go find the turkeys and you do [00:34:00] your thing. So I really enjoyed that experience and. As I think about this and I know a lot of our listeners are just public land guys.

Some of them have private land, but it's a lease and it's got a ton of pressure and most of 'em are probably thinking, oh, I don't know if I ever really want to do an outfitted hunt because it's probably not as extreme or it's maybe not as difficult. Bull crap. Dude, I've only been on two, two outfitted Turkey hunts.

Last week. I was literally the only guy that killed in camp and that was just, wow. And that's just because. The abundance of turkeys just weren't there, right? Yeah. It wasn't like we got there and there's 30 different gobblers going off. It was a tough hunt, and we had some Turkey hunters on that hunt, and it just, it didn't unfold for everybody, thankfully, I got on the right gobbler at the right time. That acted just like a Rio, wanted to come right down the gun barrel, put on a show, thankful for it. But to those that are sitting there out on the fence, if you can find a semi godded, [00:35:00] self-guided style of hunt to where you're basically paying that trespassing fee like you've talked about.

Man, that can be a really great experience of just opening up the door to get you into a place that you now have access to. And if they feed you, that's even better. Now, I don't know about the clothing part, never know. Some of those guys at least have free t-shirts. Maybe they can give you no, they charge you, but the, and the semi God are self-guided is, I don't know, I don't know how much cheaper, but it's gotta be significantly cheaper than a fully guided, outfitted whatever operation.

What do you think what it is? It would a self-guided be maybe half of a fully guided trip you think, or maybe a little over half? I think that's about right from what I've looked at. Lemme, I'll give you one example. I like, you know what? I don't know. I think it depends on your destination.

If you go to Texas versus Oklahoma, I think you're gonna get two different types of prices because Oklahoma, it's easier to find public land. I think it's easier [00:36:00] to knock on doors and get permission. Texas, man, that state is just locked up tight. There's not a ton of public land. If you look on OnX and you look at, the private land blocks, it's huge freaking ranches.

It's huge ranch after huge ranch, and you're not getting on those ranches unless you go through an outfitter because that's part of their revenue within that ranch. So from that, that experience, I think that one probably was more expensive just because the locale Florida's gonna be the same.

Yeah. Everybody's trying to get to Florida, kill an Osceola. There's only so much land to go around. So many osceolas. That's another tough one. So I'm, I've knocked my two hard ones outta the way except from Mexico, which that's like that. Maybe last on my list. I just don't know yet. I think Mexico it is fun.

I had a very good time. But you're gonna have to really accept the. That when you go down era on a fully guided hunt, you're just, you're gonna be there to kill a Turkey and probably really get out of there. I don't wanna say that the hunting wasn't fun, [00:37:00] but I think that the hunts that I've had here in the east and some of the other ones that we've had out west, they were more of that type two fund that we talk about.

It was, the memories are just, it's a different kind of memory, and it's a little more rewarding, we've talked about that to go out on your own, find turkeys on your own and be successful, versus going outta Mexico and having a guy all but hold your hand across the border into Mexico and want you in the right direction and, get you on Turkeys, knows exactly where to go and everything like that.

But I will I ever go back to Mexico? I might one day. I just, that's not in the cards. That's not in the cards. Again, for a while at least. Anyway, I got plenty of other things I wanna do up here. But yeah, it was fun and I'd recommend it to anybody. And like I said, you have at least two years to save up [00:38:00] three grand.

Yeah. Which, that's an affordable. Unless you're in pretty bad financial shape, I think it's very doable. Very doable. Absolutely. Let me ask you this, would you do Hawaii outfitter or would you go public land? It's why you mention that because I have got my wife sold on going to Hawaii for at least a week.

Yep. For vacation slash Turkey hunting. She has accepted the fact that I would be Turkey hunting until I killed a or two turkeys or however many turkeys I can kill. So long as we, yeah, so long as we, went with somebody else either somebody else with kids or somebody else that's willing to hang out with her and kids just so she's not stomping around Hawaii by herself with two kids.

But I don't know. I would probably go, I'd probably just go diy. You, I think I'm confident enough that I can do enough homework to at least fire these and get in amongst a Turkey somewhere out. So now, maybe [00:39:00] now I may say that, and maybe at the end of day three when I couldn't hardly tell you what a Turkey looked like anymore, I may have to go find somebody to let me go shoot one.

Yeah, I've heard it was crowded as all get out this year too. I don't know how true that was, but I heard it was very crowded on public. Yeah. It I'm actually see what comes out of that, if they start. Something. Their regulations, like Nebraska, they put a cap on their non-resident tags.

Yeah. Hawaii may do the same. We'll, a lot, we've talked about it before. A lot of these states are having to start capping and looking at how many non-residents are coming in. This is like a new phenomenon with the onslaught of non-resident Turkey hunters going in these states. It's just something they're not used to.

And Turkey hunting is much different than deer hunting. It's not like you're just stationary. These guys are on the move and there can be dangerous situations. So states are doing the right thing looking at it, but I think I'm gonna do public for Hawaii too, by the way. Yeah, that for sure.

Yeah, and I've talked my wife into it as [00:40:00] well. Now we haven't got into the de details of, but she knows like Turkey hunting and h not a honeymoon anniversary. So I, we're working on our 20 year coming up and that's, Oh wow. That's what we're thinking about there. You. Yeah, it, my wife knows that I absolutely hate the beach.

I have no desire to be on a beach, near a beach. I don't care to even look at pictures of a beach. But her and the kids might like, she likes beach. Yeah. Unless it's like Scott and hot. But yeah, she's totally fine with just turning me loose to go play, while they play on the beach. But the pressure you were talking about, that may be another incentive to get on a outfitted.

If these if these places are getting so swamped on public land, maybe you don't wanna fight that, maybe you want to have a more enjoyable hunt. And we were talking on the Patreon group just today. We're talking about different regulations and wm or public land regulations and private land regulations, and it got to talking about, hunt [00:41:00] quality or, yeah, I think it's, I think it's what we ended up talking about, like where does hunt quality come into play as far as regulations go, and keeping the pressure down on public land.

So if you're thinking about going to a state and their public land gets hammered, especially the first handful of weeks of the season. And maybe that's is the best time to go hunt. Maybe that's the best time of season where gobbling is peak or just whatever else. And if you don't wanna fight that, maybe it's worth it going with an outfitter.

Yeah, Hawaii might be tough. The ones I've looked at, I think they are booked out at least one year. That may be kind a Jake Scott scenario where you need to put a deposit down and you got a little bit of a wait time. So something, think about well, and again, if it's booked out at least a year, that gives you more time to save money.

Just squirrel away a little bit more money. As far as I'm. Yeah. I'm trying to think too, I was thinking just a little bit ago about Miriam's Guided Hunt. My experience with Miriam's is that they're they're in like pockets from what I've found out there and from what I've heard the other [00:42:00] guys say.

My only fear for that would be they're either on your ranch or they're not. They could, yeah, it could be a situation where they just spend a few days off that ranch. That could be the few days that you're there. And I don't really know how you would determine that before you go, so that may be something tricky.

And Rios too, maybe. And maybe what happened with with your trip. Maybe this moved off for a handful of days. And you just never know. I, we had, I think our second day, I'm not sure, I think only one group out of the three groups that were there heard gobbling that second morning and then that third morning.

I'm pretty sure we all heard multiple turkeys. Like I, I heard three turkeys that day. Like you said, man, they could be there one minute and go on the next. Yeah, it's I guess you'd probably just have to do your homework. And ask 'em. And I would hope that if they're a an outfitter with integrity, that they would tell you, Hey, sometimes they're here, sometimes they're not.

Here's [00:43:00] the gist of it. I didn't go on, this isn't a Turkey hunt, but I, when I got drawn for sand hill cranes a couple times here in Tennessee over the last handful of years, the first time I got drawn, I went with double H Outfitters out in East Tennessee. And we ended up having to reschedule that.

I don't know how many times we rescheduled it that winter because there weren't any birds. But the outfitter called me nice and said, Hey, we don't have any birds yet. I don't want you to even, I would highly recommend that we reschedule. Here's the dates I have open. I didn't have to pay a deposit.

I didn't, it was a day trip. So I think it was like 200 bucks a gun to go down there. And I and when we finally got to go, we limited out. There was a three man. Limits of six birds, and we killed that in 45 minutes after daylight. So that was fun. And the second time I got drawn, it was the same thing to where we kept having to reschedule.

And it got late enough in the season. The, it was, I think the lady was named Nikki at double H. She was like, look, I'm not confident enough. [00:44:00] I would hate for you to show up here and not fire a shot. And that's really what it's looking that's gonna. So she said, Hey, try to get a draw again next year and we hope to see you back.

So I don't know, I don't have that much experience with Outfitters to know how many of those out there are. Honest. That Honest, yeah. As in honest enough to tell you not to even come. Or if they're like, Hey, I don't know if they'll blow smoke up your hand in or what? I honestly don't know. Next week, I think we got a pretty interesting episode scheduled, and I'll keep it the, on the DL on who we're bringing on.

But we wanna bring on someone to talk about the actual questions to ask an outfitter. So today is kinda like that primer, Hey, we're talking about our experiences, what's happened, but really bringing on someone from the firearms industry that schedules multiple [00:45:00] hunts every year. Has been on good hunts and has been on bad hunts, and knows those very specific questions to ask an outfitter.

So I think that'll be a really good one to just help, listeners us figure out the right questions to ask and to make a, as successful as, as much control as you can over the trip. Yeah. Yeah. And another thing too, if. Say if you got a kid or something and you wanted to go outta state man how much more fun I think would that be if you and your kid went on some place with a lodge and or some kind of accommodations with a higher success rate versus going out to public land, having to get up at two 30 in the morning and be at the gate and encounter Florida man like Parker.

Yeah. And that whole experience for a young or a new hunter like. I would, sign me up for a higher success rate in a comfy bed versus a sleeping in the truck at a sketchy boat ramp. Yeah, man. I think I was waking up at five [00:46:00] 30 this past week. I was in the woods by six 15, had a little daylight.

They still wasn't daylight yet. And then 10 minutes later they're gobbling. I'm like, all right, this ain't bad. That ain't bad at all. And one of the first, I think it was the, yeah, one of the first. It was, no, it was the first western hunt I ever went on was for Antelope out in Wyoming. I forget what year it was.

But anyway, our guy there, and I'm still in contact with that guy. He's since changed jobs or whatever, but we've stayed pretty good friends and I've hunted with him out there a couple more times since then. Just, on public land or whatever out there, but, He was like, yeah, these antelope are good hangover hunts because they hang out all day.

You can get up at nine o'clock in the morning and hunt 'em if you really want to. But it was the same thing. We, we got up at daylight, but it wasn't that early. You're not having to fight for a spot. It's, you can sit there drinking your coffee and BS with dudes or whoever they're in camp and then go out hunting.

It's just more, it's so [00:47:00] much more relaxing. If you wanna go on a relaxing hunting, You probably can go with an outfitter because when Jacob and I go hunting, we don't relax. We're, you're hunting daylight till dark and you're eating roller food at the gas station. Probably camping. So it's it's that type two fun.

Like we were talking about it is a little bit more memorable. That is for dog owner. Sure, yeah. The type two fun. Oh yeah. Most of my memories are from stuff like that and not so much the guided hunts, but still the guided hunts were a very good experience, especially that one western that antelope pun I went on, got, dent my toes in that way.

And then I've been out west a few times since then. It's a good gateway. Just like I said before, if you don't have the experience you don't really have the time. To, devote to a full week or something like that, to really cut your teeth and accept the fact that you could probably walk away with nothing after [00:48:00] that week, then you probably need to go with an outfitter and you'll learn stuff.

I learned a lot just on the handful of days I went antelope hunting. I learned quite a bit on the Goulds trip, Turkey hunting. So you'll still learn something on an. Absolutely. And don't be afraid to ask those questions when you get there like that night that we got there, the very first night, the morning before or the night before we go in that first morning, they're pointing, Hey, this is where you're going.

This is where, we've seen turkeys roosting, but getting in there deep and saying, Hey let's hang on a second. Let's talk about the habitat. Where in a place like Texas, there are only so many roo trees. Tell me exactly where those roost trees are. Here and here. Okay. Yeah. Just because they may roost here doesn't mean they might not be here and here.

And if I hear them go gobble in that direction, I know exactly where I need to be lined towards. So just thinking about those types of questions the night before, basically when you get there and looking over maps is having those types of questions too, and something to think about.

Yeah. There's so many [00:49:00] question. That you won't think of? Oh yeah. Until you get there. It was just like with the with the electronic calls and, I, and I, but I did ask Jay before, Hey, can I call my old birds? And he said, yeah, you can call your own birds. But before he said that, he said, he asked how good I could call.

I got, what are you talking about here? I gotta. Gotta win a contest or whatever to call my own birds down there or what. But I think he was joking because those Woodhaven guys go down there and all those guys can call turkeys, they're, yeah, you got Billy RGUs and those guys. But yeah, just just, anything you could think of, there are no real, there really are no dumb questions cuz you don't know, if, especially if you've never been to that area, what do you really know and how would you know, unless you ask.

I'd also say, don't be offended if the outfitter asks you some what you think might be dumb questions. Like how often do you like handle a firearm, right? Yeah. Because they're trying to figure out safety concerns with their guides when you're riding in and out is you have your gun unloaded, is it unsafe?

Things of that nature. [00:50:00] They need to ask and just, I'd say be respectful and don't pop back. Yeah. They don't know you from Adam. Yeah. Most of the time. No offense or no pun intended. But cuz they have got, they have all walks of life that come through there. They have kids, they have ladies, they have dudes, they have experienced people.

They have people that have never hunted before. Yeah. Like your guy and they just have to know how to plan or how to what to. Because, it's, the easier you can make their job, the more fun that everybody's gonna have, I think. So one thing we are gonna have a follow-up podcast to this one.

We're bringing in a guest next week. He's going to really go through some of those specific questions to ask an outfitter before guiding the hunt. If you have as a listener, a question that you would like to see us ask, hit us up on Instagram Southern ground. I think that's the Instagram handle, right?

Just private messages on at Southern Ground Hunting. And we'll absolutely look at that question. Vet it, and if it's a, if it's a good one, we'll put it on the show. [00:51:00] Yeah. I may actually message the page myself, because there's always something that I forget until after the fact. But I'm one of those guys.

You almost have to drag information outta me because my memory is so poor. I can't just, I can't just draw it out of the file. You have to hold my hand and kind of drag it out of me, but, Yeah, it's going outfitted hunt. It's a lot of fun. If if you got the, if you got the money and you got the lack of time, lack of experience, and you want a more relaxing hunt, and outfitter is certainly the way to go in, in many cases.

Absolutely. I know over the next few weeks we also have a few tactical type discussions. We've got some early season and mid-season discussions coming up. So again, if you're out there listening and you want to hear some very specific type of topics or even specific guests that you would like to see us bring on shoot us over suggestions.

I'd love it to hear some originality as far as guests are concerned. Yeah, I talk about it. I know in our groups we talk about it all the time. It's oh, another X person [00:52:00] is on the same, another podcast talking about the same topic. It's man, just we'd love to see some new fresh blood. So if there's any suggestions out there for potential good guests we'd love to hear 'em and bring 'em.

Absolutely. We could all learn something from anybody. That's a good thing about Turkey hunting. Oh yes. I'll probably learn something this weekend when you and your boys come out and kill some turkeys. I hope we got some good Turkey stories to tell next week. Oh gosh, that'll be great. I look forward to it.

Anything we missed tonight? I'm sure there is that I'll think about as soon as we hang up, but, I honestly can't think of anything off the top of my head. I think we covered it pretty good. From where to consider to go or where you think you probably need to go for an outfitter? Probably a ballpark price.

What to expect on a couple places. Yeah. What to expect in, hunting terrain or hunt or hunting experience. So we covered a. Absolutely. I wouldn't be ashamed to go. I guarantee you I'll do more guided hunts in the future. Oh yeah, absolutely. [00:53:00] It's there's gonna be, there's gonna be one coming up sometime or another, and I'll jump right on board to go.

All right. We'll catch up again next week. Yep. Thank you guys for tuning in. Good luck this weekend. If you Turkey hunting if you do tag us in something so we can see it. I for sure love seeing pictures of dead Turkey. And smiling faces. So that's another thing too, real quick. Like a five second rant.

I can't stand when people like, don't smile in. They're hunting pictures. Yeah what'd that bird do to you? Are you just mad that you killed that thing? Smile. You worked hard for that thing? Supposedly. But yeah, I smile on all my pictures and I, it just, I don't know. It's pet peeve. Somebody don't smile.

They got a Turkey. I noticed that it with a guy in high school, man, he always looked like he just beat something up or got beat up. And I was like at that moment in my life, I was like, man, this is a really thrilling, fun moment show. Just, just be yourself. You ain't gotta be somebody you're not in a stinking picture.

God, it's [00:54:00] annoying. Yeah, don't be mean mugging the camera. It's like a mugshot oh, I have to be here. I had to kill this Turkey. I'd much rather be at home with my wife or mowing the yard. Cow people smile. Turkeys hate me. Yeah, turkeys hate me and I hate them Toos. All right, y'all. Good luck.

Appreciate you hanging out. We'll catch you next week and good luck this weekend.

Hey, thanks for listening to the Limb Hanger Turkey Hunting podcast. Hope you tune in next week for another great conversation about our favorite bird of woods. That's the Wild Turkey. We'll talk to you guys next week.