Hey everyone, welcome to episode 172 of the Antler Up Podcast!
On this week's episode I was joined by fellow Pennsylvania native Travis Melochick. Travis and I grew up in the same area in NEPA. Travis runs the Anthracite Antler Addict content page. Take it from the name, Travis cut his teeth growing up chasing bucks in the mountains of the coal region. No easy task, but Travis continues to put in the work and reps the rewards. One aspect that Travis and I both believe in when it comes to hunting is the non-stop passion for learning, growing and developing as a hunter. I think you all will enjoy this week's episode because Travis and I cover a few different topics relating to the whitetail woods.
Kicking this episode off we get an introduction on how Travis began tackling the tough terrain of the coal region. Then we transition to stories and lessons learned from this past hunting season. We discussed what Travis keys in on during his scouting missions, how he specifically prioritizes the pieces he plans to hunt. Loved this specific discussion. Then we get into scrape talk, deer calling, scouting for future hunts, hunting in specific elevations and of course some trail cam talk. I believe you will take a lot away from this episode and I look forward to spending some time with Travis this summer when scouting! Also, check out our website under the “In the Field” tab for an article Travis wrote! It is a great one for any level hunter! Check it out and let us know what you think! Enjoy this fun episode and see you next week!
Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!
Jeremy Dinsmore: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Antler Podcast, brought to you by tethered the world's best saddle hunting equipment, and we have a fun show for you all today.
On this week's episode, I was joined by fellow Pennsylvania native Travis Meloche. Travis and I grew up in the same area in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Travis runs the anthracite antler attic content page. Instagram, YouTube. Some really cool things coming down the pipeline from these guys, and specifically from Travis, and take it from me in the name, but Travis cut his teeth growing up, chasing bucks in the mountains of the coal region.
No easy task, but Travis continues to put the work in and reaps [00:01:00] the rewards. One aspect that Travis and I both believe in when it comes to hunting is the non-stop passion for learning, growing, and developing as a hunter. And I think you will all enjoy this week's episode because Travis and I cover a few different topics relating to the Whitetail woods.
So to kick off this episode, we get a quick introduction on how Travis began tackling the tough terrain of the coal region. We transitioned to stories and lessons learned from this past hunting season. We discussed what Travis keys in on during his scouting missions, how he specifically prioritizes the pieces he plans to hunt, not only this year, but also for next year.
Like we loved this specific discussion on this topic. And then we get into scrape talk. Dear calling again, scouting on future hunts, hunting in specific elevations and what sign and where he really finds a lot of the action. Also, Wouldn't be out on another podcast and talking scouting and deer without some trail cam talk and how he maps out his philosophy regarding that.
I [00:02:00] believe you'll take a lot away from this episode. I look forward to spending some time with Travis this summer when we go out scouting. And in the fall we're gonna get together for some hunts. So check out also our website under the, in the field tab where we have some articles posted. Travis was able to write one for us this week.
Awesome piece. Great for any level, hunter. So definitely check it out and let us know what you think about it. Thanks again, everybody for all the support if you like what you hear. Go, leave us a five star review, whether it's on iTunes, go write a, a little blurb too about it. And then also on Spotify, we really appreciate the support.
Also want to give a quick shout out to Mike, Jim and Lyle for what a great day at the mountain Archery Fest this past year or this past weekend at was it Camp Freedom. Fun trip. Fun event. Definitely going to do that again next year. So yeah, so thanks again everybody. We'll see you next weekend, Laura.
Up. Before we dive into this week's episode, I want to mention a few things regarding some of my favorite gear that I use, and [00:03:00] right now, Turkey Season's a full swing plan on doing an episode again next week with Aaron Heppler. That's going to recap a little bit of my Ohio and pa Turkey hunts.
So lucky enough to tag out there. And again, like I said last week, tried out the M two vest this past year. Loved it. I'm really looking forward to what I could do with it in the Whitetail Woods. So made right here in the usa. Check it out email@example.com. Also, there's going to be some really cool new products coming down the pipeline from Tethered, so be sure to be signed up on their newsletter.
Follow on Instagram, YouTube, everything that you can find. Tethered products, amazing people. Great products. So check it out firstname.lastname@example.org.
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And use code a U 12 to save 12% off your custom set email@example.com. All right, what's up everybody? Welcome back to this week's episode of the Antler Podcast. I'm joined by fellow Pennsylvanian Northeastern Pennsylvania Pride. Man. We got Travis Meloche from Anite Antler at addicts. Dude, pleasure to have you on, man.
Thanks brother. I appreciate it. Aw, dude, it's I, trust me, this is a long time coming and I really appreciate you ti your time coming on. I know you work crazy hours and trying to find the right time and the right day to, to do this. And this is perfect because I feel like now is when people start tuning back in a little bit to podcast take a little bit of a break and go and [00:05:00] get ready for the whitetail season.
And that's what I'm all ready for, man. So pleasure to have you on. Dude.
Travis Melochick: All it's honor to be on here, man. I talked to you at the Sportsman Show. We talked about doing the podcast, maybe a few scouts over the summer and whatnot. So like you said, long time coming right around that time, everybody's getting out in the woods wanting to see Antler growth.
Everybody's starting to listen to podcasts again, stuff just like you said. Yep,
Jeremy Dinsmore: absolutely. So before we get rolling, dude, I, like I said, obviously Northeastern Pennsylvania, we grew up, I would say, in that same heritage of hunting since we were really young. What kind of other things could you really, talk a little bit about yourself as far as letting the listeners know, like what you got going on as far as your page, and, and I know again, we'll talk about some things that you're doing as far as content and all that give a quick, brief little introduction, a little bit about yourself. Dude.
Travis Melochick: I grew up in, the heart of the Anite region, SKU County here. Yeah, I. Grew up hunting and fishing just like pretty much everybody did around here. Little bit [00:06:00] more involved, I'd say, cuz the kids up the street. My dad been taking me out in the woods since I was probably big enough to walk.
So we'd be going on scouting missions, tree standing building missions and everything else like that. And when I was about probably four or five, he would take me actually out on hunts in archery season, whether, we'd be climbing up 20 feet in like a built stand outta sticks. He'd lash me to the freaking tree with a rope and then I'd just sit there with him the whole time.
Or he'd stash me in like a rock pile with binoculars. He went up and climbed up another tree, like maybe about 25 yards away. But he said he was really impressed that I could keep quiet, being at that type of age. Oh yeah. But he said right then and there he is. I knew you would be ready for it because you just were calm, cool.
Collected. You stayed quiet and you just moved real slow. Yeah, I like, but
Jeremy Dinsmore: I like that you said the key word there. Building, building the tree stands cuz I, those days are, I remember those days pretty vividly.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. Here's a saw. Go cut down that sapling. We're gonna use that for rums all the way up, yep. Yeah. 16 penny nails, driving 'em in and everything else. [00:07:00] Exactly. Ugly, ugly stands. They worked. Absolutely. They did
Jeremy Dinsmore: work. So keep building man. Keep building on I guess to what led you do doing your thing, what you're doing now?
Travis Melochick: I, I really got addicted to archery hunting probably when I was I started when I was 13.
I tried to go when I was 12, my dad said, eh, I don't think you're strong enough here. And he gave me exercise tubing. They keep drawing back repeatedly. He goes a hundred times every night until you're strong enough to draw bow back. So when I would hit 13, was able to draw a bow back and started taking me, I ended up shooting my first after about five misses, I shot my first year with a compound bow.
And I was hooked ever since. And then I spent three years in the service where I couldn't archery hunt, which that killed me. Like every time it was fallout. Like we had block leave. We could only take leave at certain times of the year. It was either in August or around Christmas. So spend time with the family.
I'd take Christmas, but every time we leaves it'd be changed and I'd be like, dying. I'm like, I need to be home and in the stand. Yeah. And then when I got home, it was like, all right, hit the ground running. Boom. I was a hundred [00:08:00] miles an hour archery all the time. And I spent years just bow hunting locally.
And then a friend of mine introduced me to Ohio in New Jersey. I started hunting those states. And then I wanna say probably about four years ago me and a couple buddies of mine were just talking about how the industry was, how we're getting like. Away from watching the TV shows and everything.
It was just unrealistic expectations and unrealistic scenarios. And even nowadays such you have the, a lot of big neighbors out there that have their wealth of information on deer, but their situations and the way they hunt just didn't apply to us. And their information didn't like, like I said, it didn't translate well to us.
We're like you couldn't pull that shit off here. Yeah. So they're like, we should really do something to represent the people in our area. So let's start our own thing. Push come to shove. I was like, oh, Anite antler attics. That sounds great. And they're like, that's badass. Let's run with it. So it's just pretty much me and like a handful of my friends that we hunt seriously, but we don't [00:09:00] take ourselves seriously at all.
It's like we're a bunch of clowns. But we love to hunt and we hunt hard, yeah. There's very few people that I trust more than these guys because I'm trusting 'em with my hunt spott. So Yeah. You know that around here is like gold. Oh,
Jeremy Dinsmore: dude. And I know that. And that's, you know what you said you take your hunting serious, but you don't take yourself serious, right?
And Oh, absolutely. And so between that and between what you're saying, how, like you're saying, but you can't really relate to some of these quote unquote big, TV people, so you make it relatable. And that's what, yes. It's fun. Like even some of I love, there's. Like I, we were talking before we started hitting record here, we were saying about you, if you go on a hunting trip with someone you might have just recently met, you're, you could probably tell within five minutes if you're in good company.
And that's when you interact. And that's the one thing, dude, that I've always appreciated. Do we share trail cam photos? We bounce other ideas and what we're going through. Like we [00:10:00] know we're in good company. And that's relatable. It's you trust each other in a sense. And, we didn't really hang out for what, more than 10 minutes other than the outdoor show and you, and so forth.
So it's yeah.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. We're just very relatable to each other. And it's, I try to like, and I've told you this before, on messages and stuff that I try to relate to the blue collar man, the working man. Yeah. Because that's what I am, I work second shift. I'm lucky that I work second shift and I enjoy it because I can hunt every morning.
There's guys out there that are working swing shift and everything else trying to make it happen, and they're just as hard a hunter as I am, but they just don't have as much time. And I use my page to help put out information there that might make the best use of the time that they have.
And I also use it, it's like a bragging board for everybody to come together and celebrate everybody's, kills everybody's trophies and whatnot. And I think that's just a great way to build the community up and not tear it down or tear it apart. Now I will say I, sometimes I go in there and I stir the shit pot a little bit.
That's just me and my nature. But it's always in good conversation and good humor. There, if you bring [00:11:00] negativity to my site, you know you're gone. Yeah. Yeah. But that's what I put it out there for and that's why I really started it, because, it's also to. Gain knowledge too, because there's tons of times I'll put out a top of a conversation and I put out my opinion, but I say I'm always open to suggestions.
I'm always constantly learning, and that's a great part about having a social media page like that. Because you get in contact with other people that are hell a lot better than you, or they have just a different type of thought process than you, that may
Jeremy Dinsmore: open doors for you, dude. 100%. I love the fact that you were saying how like you come and you celebrate other people's successes because I've done that too.
Like with my Aunt Laura Page, like on Instagram. I love when friends, other people that I really don't even know, or fellow guests that I just interact with for an hour and a half. And really, that's the only other time we talk other than maybe through, private messages on Instagram and all that type of stuff.
Like I love seeing that. And like you said this, when people ask about the Antler [00:12:00] podcast, like what is it? I just say I'm a teacher is my day job. So I believe in that continuously learning and furthering your education and to a certain point, right? That doesn't mean college. And it could just mean Oh, absolutely.
You know anything. And that's where this branch is often and that's exactly what you know. I've learned to, like we were just saying I've been in the same boat with the Turkey hunting thing, right? I've grew up hunting with my dad and we would go out, but I wasn't a die hard. We got more, I think, lucky than we did, saying we're good.
And then as I grew older, man, I grew further away from it because of coaching and life obligations. And finally I was like, all right where could I learn from people I've listened to? Certain, I don't really, I wouldn't say I listened to podcasts about it, but just listen to fellow hunters. There's a, Andrew Mills lives down the road.
I've had him on our podcast twice, and dudes a Turkey slur. I say he's about five. I'm probably stretching it. He'll probably be less than that, but five years maybe away from killing a Turkey in every state you could kill a [00:13:00] Turkey in, right? Dude, he's an animal. And I take everything. He's he says, as really as the gospel, right?
Okay, what do you think? And hearing that and. It's proven. You know what I mean? It's proven. He's proofing the pudding right there. Exactly. And that's what, you learned the same thing as with my dad. My dad loves don't get me wrong, he loves Whitetails number one, but dude, Turkey hunting and small game, because that's what he grew up doing is Oh yeah.
Is right there on the heels as well. Yeah. Man I love exactly what you said. Relatable. The fun things like the serial killer, stuff that you have going on. Dude, I
Travis Melochick: love that stuff. It's a lot of like I said, a lot of twisted and dark humor added in there too. Yes. You know what I mean?
Because we're all individually different and it's good to have a laugh from a different angle every once in a while. Fresh Breather. Now if you notice I, I. A lot on my pages and whatnot on my posts. I have punk and heavy metal music rather than, traditional country stuff. I try to stand out a little bit differently than, most people.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Dude, man, you're just being you and that's awesome. I love it, dude. Yeah, no I appreciate it. Like you said, it is a breath of fresh air. All right, dude. Here's what I want to, before we dive [00:14:00] into certain things after following you along this past season, I love keeping up with some of the deer you were after, what you were hunting for.
Give a recap I guess of your whitetail season, right? And then what I want you to do is do that and then we could dive into what you did prior to the season and what now changes you're making for next season, right? Because again, before we went, yeah. We went live, you were talking about.
Setting up mock scrapes for 2024. So no. So not even next year, like this upcoming year, you're doing it for the following year. So doing things like that. So yeah, I guess talk about your past hunting season. What went into prior, during all that
Travis Melochick: jazz? This previous hunting season, the one that we just ended yeah, I got in there early.
I always start my scouting around December. As soon as your rifle season's out, I'm out there starting to pound the ground already, because to me, I like to see the woods and I hate scouting with snow. Hate it. Yeah. Some people love that shit. [00:15:00] I don't, I believe it gives a false narrative where the animals actually are at the time during archery season.
So I like to see the line as is when it's during the fall, so I could able to see the scrapes. I could able see, everything looks different when it's burn ground, when it's when there's no snow on the ground. So I. Really like that. So I'll start scouting December, January, February, March.
And by that time I think I had over 300 miles logged on my boots. It was something ridiculous. My friend's you're pretty much living in the woods every time when you're not at work, you're living in the woods. I say, yeah, that's a fair assessment. And yeah, I found a lot of spots and set up my trail cameras.
Me and my buddy Luke, he's whoa, say two seasons ago. He was my apprentice. This year he's on the crew, but yeah, this year he set me and him shared cell cameras. So we set him up in areas and when I wanna say around August, I think we were running like 35 regular SD card cameras.
And then we were running like seven or eight trail rael cameras. [00:16:00] But we got, I wanna say northward of 10 shooter bucks, mature deer that we were gonna go after. And probably even more, to be honest, cuz he has. This was just on pub public, I'm counting on private. He had probably three or four more others on private ground that he had access to that, that were serious deer.
And yeah, we broke into the archery season with head full of steam. I went right to one of the, one of my best spots cuz I wanted to get in there early if even if it wasn't to get a crack at the buck, just to see what the deer movement was like in that position. We had a cell camera up in there and we were getting them in that gray light a lot.
And I said if I'm gonna get in there, I'm gonna get in there 90 minutes early and just really let everything settle down. And I'm gonna say it was the first week archery. So I got in there and I didn't see the buck. However, I got notification on the cell camera that was quite further down the mountain that he was in the area.
So I was like, all right, so at least I know he's still [00:17:00] in the area. They didn't disperse or anything. But I did see a pile of dough come up and they came up the exact way I thought they were going to. And they used the area the exact way I thought they were gonna use it. So I was like, okay, I'm making a mental note of this and I'm backing out.
And I backed out also because Luke had hit a really big buck on that private property. Unfortunately we didn't recover that there, but it's still, it was an experience for him. It would've been his first archery buck. So he thinks he knows where he hit it, but at the same time, he came back to me at a later date and said, I, the gentleman Rush just took over and I really can't remember.
I said, it happens to everybody. Yeah. Eventually you'll get over it. You really gotta try and calm yourself down before making that shot. It's tough to do. And Buck Fever gets us all. Don't hang your head too low, man, just get back up on that saddle and ride again.
Yep. So as the season progressed, I actually saw more bucks than those and I was getting frustrated that cuz I wanted to get a dough in a freezer, cuz first and foremost I'm not paying for eating. I hate it. Yeah. I hate it. So I wanna fill that freezer. [00:18:00] I never got a chance at a dough. I just kept seeing bucks and smaller ones and pass them.
And there was a cold front that came through, I wanna say mid-October, and I bumped into one of my good spots and I passed two bucks up that morning. They came within shooting range and they weren't the one that I was after and one was after I called it Berserker because every scrape that I doctored up, he trashed the looking branch.
He ripped it completely off. So what I did, every time I'd go back in there, I would tie it right back up with this yarn and then resent it, reapply. And then I started adding tarsal glands. Next time I went in, he tore it off again. And then he went and just smashed every tree rub wise within 15, 20 yards of that tree.
Oh, that scrap, he just shredded the whole entire place out. Damn. That day I went in there, I was like, I'm not shooting anything unless it's him. And he just never showed. So I had to get down at about 10 o'clock cause I had, second shift. So I had to get down the mountain [00:19:00] plus where I go.
That was two and a half mile hike up the mountain to get back in there. Yeah. So I had to, allow time to get back down, get ready for work and go several good bucks that went by me throughout the season. Nothing that I wanted to shoot except for on November. I wanna say fourth. Okay. I got in there nice and early in the same spot that I had the berserker was I checked the camera in the dark and there was probably six shooters that were using that whole area.
I just cruising back and forth and my golly, it's on. And at that point in time I thought to myself, I want to go hunt Ohio and I want to go hunt Maine as well. Yes. So I'm in an area of opportunity where there's multiple shooters cruising. I'm not gonna be picky. If berker comes, he's definitely dead.
If another big one comes, I'm not being picky at that point. So I'm making calls, I have a specific set of calls I do. I'll hit my bleed cam, I'll hit it three times, five seconds in between. And then the third time I hit it, I do a stutter bleed. [00:20:00] And when I use the ble cam and I normally just do a regular bleed, have regular primo, bleak, can I just tip it halfway?
I don't do the big long bleed. Just a little quick, bleed. And then the third one, I do a stutter bleed, and I just tilt the can and I shake it a little bit to make it stutter as it goes. Making
Jeremy Dinsmore: it sound like the doughs moving.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. And then immediately after or during it, I'll hit the grunt call and I use a.
Like a really cheap, like I think it's a flam o or some type of cheap Walmart grunt call. But I wanna sound immature. I wanna sound young and I wanna sound beatable because for some reason I think if you go ahead and blow a big buck roar or overly mature buck grunt, call deep, crawl deep, Paul, you'll end up scaring the deer away nine times out of 10.
So if I sound like some little pissant trying to bug in on these guys, ladies, he's gonna come marching in. Yep. So immediately after I do that stutter bleed, I'll go ahead and hit that [00:21:00] immature bunk buck run call, like a tending gr real short grunt that, that. And I put my calls away. I remember the window was supposed to be southwest that day.
Which is perfect from where I was. It was coming up the same way. The deer were coming up and I'm thinking, this is great. I'm in ghost mode at this point. Yep. And then all of a sudden I just start feeling it, doing like park Core off the trees. I'm like, what is going on here? It switched six times.
So I went to go get my little win indicator out and that little bit of motion, I heard two big jumps and I just sucked my head down and I said, he's behind me. And I looked behind me and I just saw the big golden rack on him. He had a very yellowish rack with dark bases, and I just saw the size of it.
And Oh, the thing about it, it was is it's not like he ran dashed out of there. He took two big jumps, looked around, put his head back down and just snuck off real slow. Yeah. [00:22:00] So it gave me hope, but it killed me at the same time. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yep. It gave me hope that he wasn't spooked too much, that just, maybe just the motion freaked him out a bit.
But I thought to myself, he'll be back. So fast forward to the couple days later. I, yeah, it was the following week and I remember seeing that Tuesday had the perfect win for the spot that I was on October 8th, the day Luke hit that buck. And I was gonna go back there, but Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I was gonna put serious time in the Berserker buck area.
And then I get a call from a friend of mine who's game commission forester or Forestry Tech, and says, Hey, we're burning that area of the game lands. I'm like, what area? And he pointed it out in the map and it's right where Berserker is. And I just I was like, no, you're joking. You're clowning, man.
I sense clowns and he's no I'm pretty serious. It's on the, he goes, it's on the schedule. Like I got [00:23:00] pretty verbally aggressive with him and he's it's not my fault. I don't make these decisions. Yeah. I'm like, I understand. I'm just venting. Yeah. So Spartan Forge
Jeremy Dinsmore: stands at the nexus of machine learning and whitetail deer hunting to deliver truly intuitive and sign space products that saves the hundred time spent scouting, planning and executing their hunts.
You have Deere prediction journaling, and the best maps on any hunting app platform there is use code antler up to save 20% off your Smart and Forge firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't understand, don't mean like I don't try to remember your train of thought because we had that too here on our public land.
Right before the, like it was in November. What in their right minds makes them be like, Hey, middle of November, let's do a control burn. Did your buddy give you at least a reasoning. Listen.
Travis Melochick: According to him, he says there's certain times of the year, there's two times of the year that really meet the conditions that are needed to be able to control the burn.
Okay. [00:24:00] And he says it's the spring. And it's the fall. And there's certain conditions that when it's really dry, it's actually better because you figure the area we're at, they're trying to kill a lot of the laurel off because it is just takes over. Yeah. It takes over. So they wanna get rid of it and that holds a lot of moisture.
And it's a son of a bitch to burn. It has to get really hot for that to burn. So things have to be pretty dry for that To go Yeah. To go. So I understand what they were trying to do and I don't hold it against them, but it gets it more interesting. So I get that call and I'm like, Tuesday, if a good buck comes in, I'm killing it cause I don't have time up there now.
So Tuesday comes really windy out. I get outside in my. Outside of my apartment, I look up at the post office and I see the flag and it's like straight out. I'm like, oh, this is gonna be great. This is gonna be fantastic. So i's I got in my truck and I said, I want to go back to bed. I wanna say screw this.
And I thought to myself, I said, screw it. I [00:25:00] said, the days that you don't want to be out there are the days that it happens. When you stick it out. Those are the days things happen and I'm not bullshitting you. I said that. Out loud. I was like, screw it. Got in my truck, got all the way up there, got in my stand nice and early.
It was like 90 minutes before first light. I got all set up. It was only two sticks up in the stand or in the tree. I was like eight feet up. I got up in the spot I was looking, overlooking the scrape that I had done up and between wind gusts of 30 some miles an hour. It would get calm for a couple minutes and then I'd do my call sequence.
Yep. But the first call I had my camera set up everything. Everything was ready to go. After my first call sequence, I put my calls away and I remember I texted Luke before I did my call sequence and I went, I said, when was the last time we got bucks on camera up here? Because it hit, it was his camera, it was down the mountain.
Further, I wanted to see if there was anything, local. And I pulled the camera out. I pulled the go to pull the phone outta my pocket [00:26:00] and instantly I hear crack and I went, shit. I looked to my left and he'd already, he was 20 yards in closing already. Like he didn't come from the trail that the dose came up the previous time I sat there, right?
Like he came through the laurels. There was no trail there. He like bulldozed through the laurel silent, geez. I just, I saw the frame on him and I was just like, you're dead. There was like, no, no time to think. I turned and grabbed my bow. By the time I turned my bow to face him, he was 10 yards. By the time I clipped onto the, to the D loop with my release, he was three yards.
And then staring at me, I'm like, oh, I'm just part of the tree. Go about your business. Ignore me. Please ignore me. And then he just lost interest. So he started walking up behind me, which is downwind. And it's actually uphill. So by the time he got to about six steps from my tree, he was about eye level.
And [00:27:00] I drew back when he was moving still. And then he stopped to look at me and he raised his head to hit, get a whiff of the wind. And that's when I drilled him. And he only went about 40 yards. He ran uphill, which initially I talked to you about this before. Yep. Running uphill kind of scares me, but his tail was tucked.
He ran uphill and then he did this like cartwheel backwards. I'm like, that hung the bow up. I'm like, all right, time to get to work. Yep. So that was my. Archery season for Pennsylvania rifle season. I took a junior out and I got him his first year. That was a great experience. Oh, great job. That's awesome.
Great experience. The kid really showed interest. He helped me scout an archery season, like in season, archery season. He helped me scout a few places and everything. I taught him, he like, shot it right back at me. Yeah. So I'm like, okay, I'm gonna take you out the first day. We saw a couple of deer, didn't get a chance cuz it was too thick.
And then they came back from other hunters pushing him around and he got a shot and he made a perfect shot at 80 yards through the wood for a first time Hunter Evans off. That's impressive, man. That's great. I think I, I thought I [00:28:00] broke his hand from fist bumping him so much. But it was a great experience.
That is a great experience. But as far as what went into the season I said lots and lots of boots on the ground. I did hours and hours of me scouting, just looking over and I really found that. Between 14 and hundred and 1500 feet of elevation in our area for me anyways. And the spots that I hunt was the ticket for some reason.
That's where I found the bulk of the sign. And between you get those steeper areas where the elevation lines are, stacked on top of each other, real steep. And then you get one that's just a little bit, wonky that's a little bit wider. And usually right there, is hot.
Then I, that's one thing I keyed in on this year, this past season. Do you think, and started to really,
Jeremy Dinsmore: yeah. Do you think a lot of people, especially in our area that hunt the big woods, do you think people take that into consideration at all? That the elevation difference and like really track that I think
Travis Melochick: in the bigger woods?
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. It's[00:29:00] down here is a little bit different than the big woods. It's not necessarily, you have elements of big woods. You have areas that are more open hardwoods, but it's different in, in, in and around Tamaqua around here. You do have ag a fields out more towards South Tamaqua.
You are planning around that area, new Ringle to Williamsburg and such like that. Yep. But where I'm focusing in is all old reclaimed mind ground. And a lot of that is nightmarish stuff. It's not necessarily, like I said, your classic big woods area and certain terrain features. You think this saddle would look great when you get there and there's a million and it's impossible to get through because it's super thick with, briars and blueberry and everything else.
That's where they like to go because it's security cover. I've preached this a hundred times that they say, find the security cover. It's everywhere. Okay, it's a thousand acres. That's the security cover. Where do you go from there? Where do you go from it? Go in an area that.
They could just bed down wherever they want. And they do, they just plop down random places because it's so fit. Yep. You do have to focus on [00:30:00] certain spots, like I said, with with topographic that terrain features and shit. Like I said, if they're super stacked on top of each other and you see that little bit of a space between the lines, those little, nooks and crannies like that can really produce.
I'm trying to think. I really tried to focus this past season on communication hubs. Okay. Like piles and piles of scrapes. I found one this past season I'm gonna hunt this year, I call Scrape City. And I sent a picture of you and there's over 20 scrapes in the area. Yeah. And it's not that big of an area and there's that many active scrapes in there, and it's just sign on, top of sign.
And soon as you get outside that area, it, the sign disappears. Until it's about another two miles down the mountain. Then you hit another one. Yeah, I did a smear campaign with cameras, just had them out everywhere and just trying to really get patterns down.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah. What I know, and I know we've talked about it, especially like coming into this upcoming season, right where you said, you don't plan on putting really any cameras out until like late summer. [00:31:00] Like you don't care about watching him grow or anything like that. Was that still what you did this past year?
Travis Melochick: Yeah, this past year I didn't start putting cameras out until June. I lied. I had a few early cameras out. I went out with a, an older hunter.
He wanted me to show him the ropes a little bit. So show him what he'd been missing cuz he is more of a traditional hunter. He he didn't really understand some of the modern sciences of sale. I wouldn't say modern sciences, but modern methods of scrapes, like over marking scrapes, making mock scrapes and stuff.
So I wanted to show him how they use it year round. So I put out some Scrap cameras in March and went and checked the cameras to show 'em here. There's proof they use it year round. Yeah. But for the main point of it all, yeah. I didn't start really putting cameras that I wanted in kill areas until probably late June.
Yeah. And that's just how I feel. Cuz to me seeing them grow isn't important really anymore. I'm just going for the straight
Jeremy Dinsmore: facts. Yeah. Like where are they, when and how do they move in, that type of stuff. Now when you find precisely, like when you [00:32:00] found Berserker and you might have had him on a different camera, did you start maybe adding more to an area?
Did you move cameras because he wasn't on others? Did you cluster, did you any, do anything along those lines that he really were trying to key in on that deer.
Travis Melochick: The funny thing about Berserker was we actually had a run in him with the season before this last one. Okay. And I thought he was killed by another hunter.
It really, to me, it looked like him, to Luke. Luke called my bullshit. He goes, that's not the same deer. Yeah. I'm like, all right, maybe I'm misremembering. And then when we checked the trail cameras I wanna say in August, and we went through and there was a picture in July, he pointed, he goes, that's him.
I went, yeah, you're right. That is him. Yeah. It just stuck out my mind, his frame and everything. I'm like, that's the one. So actually we had probably three cameras in that area and he was on all three. Okay. So we knew we were close. Like we didn't even need to really adjust cameras. We knew he [00:33:00] was in that area.
And just the way it was laid out, it was really picturesque. And we did have other hunters crowd in at some point in time, so I think that might have made him Really go slower and coming down to that area. So we were getting more night pictures. Yeah.
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Because I remember you sending me some of those photos and you're, you were saying like, dude, he keeps coming around like gray light and you mentioned that too, even. A couple minutes ago and stuff like that. [00:34:00] That's the frustrating part because, I remember this past season, like even for me, we, my dad had my dad's cameras more so than mine just because of where I had mine located up on the mountain.
He had that really big nine or 10 or whatever he was this past year and he was pretty, he wasn't a frequent flyer, but when he was a consistent time. Do you know what I mean? If you had that couple day window, he was that same time for those couple days. So yeah I'm hoping, cuz I, like I told my dad, I said, there's certain areas that I do want to put out another camera or two just to see does he is he on them?
You know what I mean? And if he's not great. Yep. Check that box because like how you were saying earlier about certain, where did these deer bed, right? Like that thick cover, it's shit, that thing is a hundred thousand acres. And so like my thing is, That mountain is so big.
It. I just can't see him only traveling [00:35:00] these certain little pockets just because it's, we've been on them and we've, yeah, he's only seen him twice. Like I haven't had an encounter with him yet, but yeah, he has, so trying tolo him to see where he maneuvers a little bit more.
So this year we will, we'll put out a couple more cameras just in different, in the surrounding areas that he could potentially make his way through basically.
Travis Melochick: Yes. But yeah, I have according to all the intel, I pulled off my cameras from after the season, I have a really nice nine point.
He's probably in the one twenties. He was freaking in one particular scrape a lot, but I actually have him on. Probably better part of a mile and a half section of a ridge. Okay. Just on all these cameras running back and forth. Also had a really good one, an older buck, a very mature buck on camera too as well, that got shot by another hunter a local hunter.
He I saw a picture online of it and I contacted him. I sent him some of the pictures I had of him. He was like yeah. He [00:36:00] was he was more up on the mountain a lot higher up on the mountain for the longest time running around. He's I didn't get pictures of him. And then for a while there, and then he ended up killing him and good on him.
That was it. He, we, he had that buck on camera for years and I actually found, my brother found a shed from him and I had camions. I think that there was probably somewhere around eight or nine years old. Wow. Running around up in the scrub oaks of, old reclaimed mine ground. Yep. Like I said, in areas like that, it's super difficult to get them cuz they have no particular place to be.
There's no agriculture for older area for them to go eat. And the forest up there the woods up there, it's just the soil isn't the best. It's not well drained soil, so you don't get really great mass crop production. And it's spotty, one stand of white oaks may produce one year and the other isn't, it's right.
It's really all over the place. They're eating lots of roughage and brows more than anything. And the oaks, when they produce, when they can, and it's, another thing is when you're, I'll show you, when you come up here scouting, I have a few places to show you. You'll get [00:37:00] these coal banks out of nowhere.
Like it, it's old mining ground. It was all clear cut years ago. So when they were mining, and then you'll get this. It's not part of the natural terrain. It's just a cone bank from the tailings and everything else. And then there's pits, there's trenches. And when you get in there, and you check the wind and you see it's just doing tumble sets everywhere.
It's a nightmare to try and hunt some of these. You could use some of these trenches and these cone banks to your advantage because it can corral them into and neck down in areas and make pinch points. However, the wind is gonna be your biggest adversary in those places. Yep. Cause they know it more better than you do.
Jeremy Dinsmore: yeah. Yep. And then once they smell that they're on edge and then,
Travis Melochick: yep. Because they're like, Ooh, that's not normal. Yeah. And some, like I said, I. This I'm mainly a rut hunter. I've always been mainly a rut hunter. I always try to find a pocket of those and try to pattern them and get on them.
They're my live bait. And then I go to areas like those communication hubs, and I just, I go [00:38:00] for high percentage areas where I know there's gonna be multiple shooter bucks. I very rarely try to target one specific individual deer and I just go for high percentage areas during the rut.
Now this year though, I felt this past season, I realized I probably should have been a little bit more aggressive. Okay. So elaborate. Yeah. Elaborate
Jeremy Dinsmore: on that Seasons. Yeah. Elaborate on that.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. Cold fronts. There's a couple times where I felt there was cold front came in in the berserker buck area.
There was cold front that came in, and the wind. The wind would've been close, but I'd have been right off his nose. Okay. And I just I wasn't aggressive enough. I said, nah, I'm gonna play back off of it. If I would've prob, I think if I would've perhaps moved up maybe another a hundred yards to where I felt he was traveling, I think I might have had a better chance at getting him, cuz that, that particular day I have him on camera.
I checked at a later date when I pulled the SD card, he was there [00:39:00] and I used it 60 yards an error in our area. You won't see that deer sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. So it just I played it too safe. And I just realized that because I have, so I'm used to the old adage of, okay, there's a big buck in the area, play it safe, inch further back as the season goes along, and then the rut be right on top of them.
After going after one specific deer. Yeah. But I'm starting to realize I have all these other shooter bucks on camera. Who cares if I blow one out, I can go to another one. So I, now I can, I have the confidence to be more aggressive now. Now there's a situation where a cold front moves in the first week of October.
Screw it. I'm going in right after 'em. Yeah. High risk, high reward. Yep. If I blow 'em out, there's always others. Yep.
Jeremy Dinsmore: That was one thing that I actually wrote down as we were talking and I wrote down like stock in your year. Like meaning how much stock do you put into a particular quote unquote, timeframe?
And you were just saying you really I'm the same way. I would consider myself a better rut hunter than [00:40:00] anything else. Yeah. Just because of, man, I don't know how many times over the last, my whole life basically going from middle, from opening day until middle October, how many buck I have actually seen, and I'm talking like, At least a six point, like not very many.
It's from that middle October on is when I'll finally start seeing some bucks. How mu how do you like, and you just said high risk, high reward early on if I'm if you're putting, you get that that, either that camera or that intel by scouting, all that type of stuff.
And I guess that kind of leads into the whole, it's like a two question cause I was gonna ask you about your scouting per se of like in season, right? So like how much you do and how much does that put into a stock of your year? Hey, I'm getting this buck hitting this camera, or I've have eyes on 'em and it's October 4th, right?
We're only like two days into the year or prior to the season, do you go for broke potentially on an opening day? If you have that or if you're like, you know [00:41:00] what, I'm gonna play the waiting game, or like, how much stock do you put into your season for when it comes into timing?
Travis Melochick: Again, previously, like I said, I was a slow burner.
Yeah. I was like I'd play it safe. The year I had the first interaction with Berserker, I went into that area and I was in the game. I was in a really great spot, but I wasn't deep enough. I actually saw him at 70 yards with a, with his little, her of doze. There was like six or seven dough that morning.
It was the se it was end of first week of October. And I saw him, I said, okay, backing out and I'm gonna come in Nov November 5th. I'm coming in and I'm gonna throw him out of his own party. I came in, he was there. I was there. I just wasn't paying attention in. No, that was that. I was looking one way.
Luke was filming me. He was looking the same way I was, and then I heard something and I went, he's behind me. And I went and he was standing there 27 yards in my shooting lane. There was nothing I could do. Yeah. I had to watch him walk away. So I as As a [00:42:00] lesson, now I'm gonna be a lot more aggressive.
I feel I have the ability to do that. I have to know how to do that. I've walked these areas hundreds of times. Yep. It's, I know it, I just have to have more confidence in myself. I have to stop second guessing myself. Yep.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Stop second guessing. Be aggressive like you're saying. And what that has and what your in-season, post-season scouting, like just scouting in general, allows you to do is to do that.
Because now, like you said, if you go in and you fuck it up, you have more, you have other areas, like you Exactly. You don't like for me, dude, like that's where I think I've burned myself the last couple years because I'll put all I've even said it, I put all my eggs in the ba in this basket.
I put, I've done this. And when shit doesn't go right, I'm like, damn it. Cuz then, because yeah I'll there will be a time where I'll, my wife's why don't you just go down the road, like on the public land here piece and like I've done it. And it's, October 20th or October, mid-October, whatever.
And I'm like, dude, I don't know what I know I've hunted [00:43:00] certain areas, but I don't, and by the time I get there, because it's either after work, I don't have time to scout. So what I, yeah. So what I've done already is I've been out more. I'm having areas, backup plans. So again, if things start getting wary or out the window, at least I could, have an idea.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. The one thing, like you, you mentioned in season scouting, finding all checking all my cameras during the season, I said I don't go outta my way to check the cameras. I check my cameras as I hunt the areas. Yep. And what I started seeing and what I noticed on my field cameras, the cameras the areas that I hunt, and then I actually pulled the cameras in areas that I'm scouting for the year in advance.
I checked them all. I went back, went historical weather data. I went historical wind. I went real in depth on it. And there was a timeframe of, between October 17th and the 22nd that there was a couple of times that the temperature actually dropped more than 20 degrees, and that was brought up on another podcast [00:44:00] by shirk.
Sure. Shirk. Yeah. Shirk. Yeah. He brought that up and I made note of that. I'm like, holy shit. It is a big, it is a big factor. And during that week there was so much daylight activity and mature bucks on my cameras and everything else. So that's gonna have a, like I said, that opened my eyes to a new strategy.
Yeah. And what really, like I said I tried that out this past season with the scouting ahead. As you brought up for future seasons, not seasons. I'm not even gonna step into this year or should, I should say spots. I'm not even gonna step into this year, this season because I just feel it's less intrusive.
For me to just go ahead. Okay. I found, say I find a new spot this spring. Okay. All right. There's sign everywhere, but I don't know how they're using it yet. It's not that evident. There's sign everywhere. It's all tore up, but because like I said, there's no agriculture, so there's no directional pattern of feeding.
They're just like browsing through and it [00:45:00] said it's super thick everywhere. So bedding, trying to find a specific bedding area, there's areas they may prefer to bet over one or the other. Throw some
Jeremy Dinsmore: at the screen, you'll find it then, wherever it lands.
Travis Melochick: Exactly. So what I decided to start doing is that is said throw up camera, over these communication hubs. Three or four cameras, maybe five or six, maybe even fucking 10 cameras. It all depends on how big Gary is. I'll doctor up the scrapes. I put cameras over scrapes and over real hard run trails or sign post rubs, and because.
If you put if you put cameras over, like in the spring when people put, mineral blocks, I think you attract more people than you do Deere. Yeah. And it's putting a flag up saying, Hey, I hunt this area. And you're gonna, you're gonna wear your batteries out with thousands of pictures.
And to me, that's pointless. So I put all my eggs in a basket with the scrapes and the signpost rubs. Or if a trailer is super pounded, I'll put a camera on it. But to me, when I do that, I. [00:46:00] I won't step foot after I, I dock those cameras up, I'll doctor 'em up in the first week of September.
And then I will not be back until the end of archery season. And then when I pull 'em, I can go ahead without ever stepping foot in that place. I'll have an idea of how they use that area when they use it. Direction of travel, timing, everything. Yep. Weather patterns. I have that all without even stepping foot and putting many more un unwanted pressure in that area.
I also get a beat on if anybody else is using it too. Exactly. So what, I could go in and hunt that area this year, but what if somebody's already in there? That was a wasted hunt that I could have done or possibly killed a buck in another area. So that's why I scout for season ahead.
Jeremy Dinsmore: I like that. And then let's talk about then the scrapes. Cuz that's something that for the last three years for me, I've tried to learn and get. Diving deep, talking to Pinger, talking to just a bunch of other people. Troy, that you can't go wrong with Troy.
Travis Melochick: Yeah.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Between Ponder and Troy that [00:47:00] actually owns Buck Fever, sense and lores and everything like that. I just it's funny because how I was just saying, growing up, hunting with my dad, we've done, mainly rifle hunting except for like same age as you. I was 13 when I killed that. My first dough with a bow after shooting and missing her first time.
The second one, my, my kill shot actually killed her in the leg. It was just, just so bizarre. I, and I swear my dad just told me to do it cuz he knew I wanted to do it so bad. He was probably thinking, there's no way he's gonna kill this deer or kill a deer. And lo and behold I did. But the, three years ago I told him, I'm like, dad, we gotta really look into this scrape stuff, right?
Because dude, I don't know how many times up on that mountain I. We would find them, but they wouldn't be like relevant. They wouldn't just be Yeah. Like now. So I could find them a lot easier just because of, again, gaining that knowledge, what to look for, yeah. X, y and Z terrain features and the actual types of trees nearby for licking branches and such.
The first [00:48:00] year when it passed, when it was like more so hunting season, he's wow, look at all these deers, the dough and this and that. But it was when it was like the now timeframe, right? It was when, it was February, March, the April that just passed, that's when he would see these deer still consistently hitting them.
He was like, holy shit, Jerry. And it was so cool to see because I was like, I know isn't this awesome? This is a great thing that we could incorporate, try to find natural ones as well and so forth. I guess talk about your strategy, even from doctoring up to setting it up to setting over it for hunting, because that's always been, I've had guests on, especially Troy, I'm like, what is your setup over it?
Do you set up x, y, Z that you could shoot to it? Do you not shoot to it? Cause I know Moose does the same thing, like glitz when he finds one and all. I, there's, I know we're, there's all different methods to it.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. It's honestly, it's situational based now. And Mo said it once before, I heard him say that he'll set it right up on one if the case calls for it.
Yeah. You know what I mean? [00:49:00] So it's all situational depending on the terrain, the type of vegetation around, it's everything. Climbable trees, you mean even with. My mobile hunt hangup set up, I'm running a 1.0 and there's still certain areas that, are real screwy to get in.
And the only trees I can get in aren't the best, yeah. Yeah. I really can't make do with a situation like that. So again, it's all situational as far as doctoring them up. What I look for in a scrape first there is, yeah, there you go. Lo location.
That's the first thing to go. If it's near on the edge of super thick cover, which I'm perpetually always in if it's near within, bedding areas, and like I said, they could just plop down, whatever. But if I see, actual active bed sites, near these scrapes, then I'm gonna be definitely honing into that spot.
Yeah. And all shapes and all sizes. I always used to look for the big giant carwood dinner table size scrapes. Yeah. They're important. Absolutely. They're [00:50:00] getting a camera on them and I'm just gonna get, a tree picked out that's gonna be, perfect for hunting that spot. Yeah.
However, one of my most productive scrapes was probably maybe three feet long. That's it. Nothing spectacular. But the had six licking branches coming off the witch Age I'm tree. That was, that It was under, and the licking branch obviously is the most important part of it, of the scrape itself.
The dirt work it's, that comes along usually in the fall, but they're using them licking branches year route. Yeah. And that scrape for some reason was a hotbed. I had six different mature bucks smoking that scrape in daylight. It was just unbelievable. And it was actually in areas. I've kicked them out where they where they winter bed.
But, and to where I've kicked out a big group of those, is it on the southern facing side, it was like in a thick transition period position. It was like hidden by laurels and greenbriar. Okay. If you, you actually had to [00:51:00] lock it. And this is the only time I really will say that Snow helped me out to see, the use of travel between that trail was invisible during Greenup.
Yeah. You would've never expected deer to go through when everything started to die off. It really showed through. And then there was a scrape right there, like I said, and it was like a hotbed. And it wasn't a big scrape, it just had a shit ton of licking branches on it. And you know that those are the things I really look for.
The spot where I killed my buck this past season. I got up on that ridge, I found a bed looking down. Now this wasn't as gnarly. As the reclaimed mine ground that I was on. Yep. It's super thick up on top, but then gives weight to bigger open oak forest down below. And I was up on this ridge right below the super thick stuff.
I found rub after rub signposts. It was just tore up on top. And I'm thinking to myself, man, with all these rubs up here that I found a few beds that were looking down over, I'm like, there's gotta be something tying it together here. Some type of communication other than the signposts.
There's gotta be a [00:52:00] scrape tying it together. And I'm looking around and I look off to my right. I said, there, it doesn't look like the dirt work is there for this. And then I just so happened to look right in front of my face. I looked, there's a looking branch and I looked, there's another looking branch and there's another one.
It was all twisted off just above my head. I went, that has to be a pretty big freaking deer to be freaking twisting them, branches all the way down up there. And I ended up, killing my buck right around that spot. Only maybe 20 yards from that actual scrape. Yeah. So I really look for location in a scrape.
And then when it goes to doctoring them up, I use I know you use Buck Fever. I started using Smokies Okay. About seven, seven or eight years ago. And I just do, I go through the whole regimen. I put gloves on and the first thing I'm doing is I get twined just cheap stuff. The hell is it durable packing string I get from Amazon, it's seven bucks.
Here. Take a look at it for you. Yep. See that? Yep. I, go ahead. I get rubber gloves on. I tie that onto the licking branch. I make a little ball, [00:53:00] like I tie it over top of itself, make a little ball, nod it up. Then I'll put pre orbital gland scent on that little twine ball because if you just put it on the branch itself, weather will wash that right away.
At least it'll hold a little bit longer on that twine. Yeah. Above, above on the licking branch, maybe six to eight inches above that, or on a branch right next to it. I'll put another toy ball and I'll put forehead glance scent on that. And then after that's doctored up, I'll go ahead and I'll put Interdigital glance scent in the actual dirt work itself.
And by doing that, you're creating the whole illusion of another buck, a whole nother profile of another deer. Because you figure if a mature box come into that scrape, he knows X, Y, and Z deer. Every deer that comes by there, he could probably put a face to that scent because he knows his area. Yeah. He's in constant co communication with those other deers.
So he already knows, this scent, this is Bob. Oh, this is you put a scent in there of another animal that he has no clue who it is. It's gonna make him [00:54:00] curious or piss him off. Yeah. In Berserkers case, that drove him insane. Other deer, you're trying to get them to come back to investigate.
You're trying to make it a habit. And if you can get them, even if it's on the edges of their core area, if you could pull them out of that area for an extra five minutes out of their day, that's five more minutes, you have a chance to kill them. Yep. Yeah.
Jeremy Dinsmore: I found witch hazel, like you said, man, they just tear it up.
If there's ev It just seems every witch hazel that I ever found back at home. Good food source too. Yeah. Good food source. They just pound it. Like I've found I've found one actually recently here, scouting here this past season, the whole way around it was torn up like literally 360 degrees.
There was like a two by two scrape a bigger one than it was like on the other side. Like the whole thing was just torn up. Same thing like with you. I put the gloves on. I bring a little miniature rake if I'm doing like the whole mock thing, like where I'm Yeah. Creating
Travis Melochick: one ru [00:55:00] rubber boots work.
What I do is, and people may scoff at it, but it works for me and I've proven it. Time and time again. I spray my boots down with, I spray my boots and my pant legs down with deer danter. King Fitzgerald deer dander. I don't know why, but it works. And I put on the bottom of my boots and around the soles of my boots, I put that ever calm.
Oh, yep. And I've had bucks walk right over my walk-in trail and maybe a few extra curious sniffs, but paint no mind to it. Yeah. So that's what I do before I go in the woods. Yeah, that's a good tip. Scouting or anything. Yeah, that's a
Jeremy Dinsmore: good tip. So
Travis Melochick: I like that. But I just go ahead and I scrape the ground with my boob, just normal way about it.
And like I said, I still can get mature fucking on camera, so I must be doing something right. Yeah, I like
Jeremy Dinsmore: that. Here's transitioning a little bit. Trav is, sure. We talked about it earlier when we were saying about. Having, like unlike me having eggs in one basket, you have that opportunity to be more aggressive because [00:56:00] you're scouting a ton of more areas and hunting a bunch of more areas with all these hunting areas.
How do you prioritize them when it comes to that? Do you, and when do you do you say, Hey, this spot, like how we were saying earlier about putting stock New Year, like this spot, this is a nice like early season, hopefully Dough Haven, this is another spot where I know Dough keep, but then later in the year it gets really good buck movement.
So that's when I do that. Yeah. Like how do you do anything along those lines of here's this area, here's this area, here's this area, and this is good in certain periods of the year.
Travis Melochick: Yeah. Two seasons ago I had that problem, too many spots. I was spread out too thin and I could never make a conscious decision.
I ended up just like rolling the dice at the house. I'm like, ah, we're gonna go here. Yeah. And I, I would, strike the fuck out. But now it's it's a little bit more methodical. This year it also helps out that I got all that in-season [00:57:00] information and it really helped me decide, okay, I'm gonna put the bulk of my time and investment on this ridge.
It's, three miles long. I have several different areas I'm gonna hunt on it with the communication posts. There are the hubs up there and two other areas I'm gonna focus on. And that narrows it down. I all play on wind and cuz I've hunted those areas before, I know how the wind Goes in some of those areas.
I know which areas to stay away from on certain winds. So it all depends on, that wind, if it's, a south wind, I'm gonna go here. If it's the north wind, I'm gonna go here. I have, spots up for that. I do have the doe dilemma. I, cause I couldn't get on dough last year, which like I said sounds silly, but in there, yeah, I went out and scout.
Yeah. I went out and scouted for actual just legitimate dough areas this year, early season to get them out of the way. I said okay. They're definitely coming here to definitely frequent hair. There's feed, lots and lots of food available for them. This is where I'm gonna go [00:58:00] stock my freezer.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah, that's good because like I said, I think that is, Same thing. I think about a couple years ago when Dmitri and I, we were talking, we'd always would say, have plan A, B, C, D, E, and nf. But then when you have those you're like, you said, you're throwing a dice, like, where am I gonna go?
And it, it's trying to be a little bit more methodical when you're deciding on where are you going to hunt. And that leads to, a question I think I over ask, but I like to hear everybody's thing because I'm learning and we're all learning as we listen to this.
Absolutely. And one of the questions like that specific question is, how do you know, or what takes, what makes it like that right spot for you? And I guess this is where. Take the whole scouting out of it. Take, you're going on and outta state hunt to Ohio. You didn't really get a chance to get a lay of the land basically, other than looking at it on the eap.
And like you said, we could look at it and be like, oh yeah, look at that saddle. And as soon as we get up there, it's shit. It's not gonna be, it's not what it is. Yep. [00:59:00] So when you go to somewhere where maybe you, you haven't been, or you, hey, heck, it could even be your normal spot or area, but you're like, whoa, how come that's there?
Look at, that's a brand new scrape. You get that spidey sense, you're like, I think I need to be here. Do you do any, is there anything that checks the boxes? That, I guess that's the question. Like what boxes need to be checked for you to be like, I'm hunting here or I need to be here basically.
Travis Melochick: I'm trying to put this so it doesn't I'm trying to put this as politically correct. Possible That's possible. Yeah. And it makes my britches move. Yeah. Yep. It makes my pants thinging a little bit when I get in those areas. Me and Luke say that all the time. Ha, look at me. He goes, it just moved.
I said, yeah, this is the area. I've got into a spot where you could still, you smell deer. Yeah. You smell them and there's scrapes there. The, the sign is there, the activity is there. There's deer shit on the ground. When you have all that come together, terrain, if it comes [01:00:00] next, it, if you could notice they're using it there's a saddle up above and they're using the terrain feature that comes down into that flat.
You really gotta pay attention if it has all the hallmarks where it has, okay. You got scrapes, you have food available in the area. Cuz I've been to the spot where, okay, there's five gigantic scrapes in this one area and this is awesome. And I brought my buddy Tim along, who's a forester, and he goes, he.
Yeah, but they're not staying here. What do you mean? There's scrapes here. There's bedding over there. He goes, yeah, but they're not spending very much time, do you notice there's no shit on the ground. He goes, because there's no food here. Yeah. It's a great point. They may come by and check these scrapes at certain points.
They'd be checking 'em at night, right? At night. Yep. He goes, it's gotta, you gotta have something that wants to want them to stay there. So you get an area that has food scrapes has, I don't know why, but I haven't found a sp an area I'm reference to Scrape City. There's not a lot of rubs in there.
And there's a few and they're giants, but [01:01:00] it didn't explode. It rubs, but the scrapes there, the shit is all over the ground. There's oak trees available, there's witch hazel there, there's Green Briar everywhere. Yeah. It's when you have all those things come together in one area. And like I said, the terrain feature lends its way to.
You get that, that like sixth sense, yep,
Jeremy Dinsmore: exactly. I love, I get it. The one thing, it's gonna sound funny, the one aspect of this conver of that answer that I'm glad you mentioned, and I think a lot of people don't say
Travis Melochick: is the shit. Yeah. Because that tells you they're
Jeremy Dinsmore: spending time there.
There. Exactly. You know what I mean? Yeah, no doubt. And that's the one thing that like, if I find an area or something, that's the one other thing that I've trying to, I've been keeping an eye on is basically if I go somewhere and I find a couple rubs, a scrape or whatever, and there's a lot of deer shit, I'm like, okay, they're here.
They like being in this general vicinity rather right time. Other than maybe [01:02:00] like a two rubs, oh, like I don't know how many times I've posted on my Instagram, whatever, just cuz it's, I like, it's a cool maybe photo or whatever of this nice rub. But if there's no crap around, no shit around, there's.
He's just made it and he laughed. He walked on. Yeah. Or whatever. Or there's no deer. A lot of deer con converging to this one specific area. So that's the one little, I don't think a lot of people say it, as one of the thing, but that's the one aspect that I've been trying to I know it sounds silly and simple and easy, but they're not comfortable there.
Then they're not gonna be
Travis Melochick: there. Know. My dad been harping on that since I was a kid. I remember him saying, this is the best sign you can ever find. And what's that? And he goes, dear shit. He goes, if you find tons of it in one area, that means they're spending an ob know an obnoxious amount of time there.
He said, get in that area. He goes, cuz that's where they're spending a lot of their time at the seed, whether it's a staging area or whatnot. That's where they're gonna be. He was, he's old school fought, he has, he's, [01:03:00] I brought him along with the scrape knowledge and everything else and, but he was always thinking ahead a little bit, for his time.
He was. Like mobile before it was cool, he was always, he had his built stands, but at the same time he had his climbers and I, he was one of the first guys that, I remember sa saying the first shit is all your, always your best sit. Yeah. He goes, because it's, he's ah.
For years I would just walk into an area and scout my way in and say, okay, this is it. Boom scout and then hunt. It's he was a little bit ahead of his time in that I would say, he's been hunting that way since the eighties. Yep. You know what,
Jeremy Dinsmore: that brings it, that brings me up too.
We didn't have a lot this past season of Rain Day situations where Yeah. Like where it's lightly raining or just raining a little bit and then it would let up before say, you work in second shift. It wouldn't necessarily be your bread and butter I guess, but man, I remember a couple years ago, like even the deer that Dimitri missed two.
Yeah, two falls ago when we went in, because it was a [01:04:00] Saturday, it was raining hard all morning and it was not letting up until about. Three o'clock. So we went in about 1230. We're like, Hey, just bring that rain gear, bring an extra jacket with you to change into if you get completely soaked. And we went in scouting our way in, and we found some really good fresh sign we set up.
I had some deer movement, he had some, and the one he saw was a decent buck. He shot at it. We didn't recover. And it's in that article that actually, that you wrote, like literally when you're like little bit of bubbles and it, like it was, yeah, that was it to the tea. But but yeah, dude, like that is the one thing I'm trying to think back to last year.
I do not recall many rain days where it allowed to let up and already be set up and hopeful for some deer movement.
Travis Melochick: Yeah I'm not gonna lie a little secret here. I'm a scumbag, fair weather hunter. Sometimes if it's rain, sometimes I really don't feel comfy going out just. It all depends. If I can see the rains letting up and [01:05:00] it's just like a heavy mist or like an on and off drizzle, I'll go out.
But if it's any sort of like constant rain, I hate being out there. Call me a, a woos pussy, whatever you wanna call me. It is what it is. I just don't feel comfortable trying to track a deer after I hit it in the rain like that. Yeah. I feel I'm a very competent tracker, but I've been on too many occasions too many tracking jobs with friends and everything where it just got washed away and that deer ended up getting found weeks later where it was, eaten up.
Yep. It, that just horror stories, oh yeah. That always made me hesitate hunting out in the rain. Yep.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Two, two more. I got two more left and one of them is going to be Sure. You're hunting multiple states, I think this upcoming year. So what does this year
Travis Melochick: entail for you?
Yeah. I'm gonna hit New Jersey early, Fastly hard. It opens up two weeks before Pennsylvania's statewide archery season does. So I scouted out with a local oh, I shouldn't say local. He's a, he's from Pennsylvania, but he hunts jersey a lot. Steve STRs, backwards Bow Hunter, he is on Instagram.
Smart guy. He killed some [01:06:00] swabs. And we went out on a scouting session into Jersey North, more northern jersey. And found a couple good spots, good areas big giant. Like communication, a big scrape. We're talking like eight feet long. It was just gigantic. I went and I hunted the area previously in years previous, but I just, for some reason, I neglected this little corner by the swamp and I really shouldn't have, I, and better late than never.
Yeah. But I went in there and went, I really did not know this was here. I can't believe I, I was just dumbfounded. But that's gonna be probably my main spot I'm gonna go after be aggressive, hit that up right off the bat. And then Pennsylvania, I'm gonna try, I said be more aggressive this year. Pay attention to that first cold weather front that comes yeah, cold front that comes through.
I'm gonna start making moves. I'm going to Kentucky with Justin Sinon from lone Wolf Custom Gear. I have a hunt. Scheduled him down there last week of October. Oh, nice. So we're gonna get down there in the pre rut and see try and make it happen down [01:07:00] there. Then after that, I come back to Pennsylvania for three days.
And then it's off to Ohio the second week of November. Okay. So try and get that knocked out and done. I already, I've hunted out in Ohio for years and had, I've had success out there, so I already have predetermined spots. Dead are producers year after year. They're way back in and it's it's a bitch to get the deer out, it's worth it.
You could see a monster. So yeah, it's definitely worth it. But then hopefully if I'm successful in all those areas I'm gonna go to Maine with my buddy Tim again, cause I'm addicted to that. That one that's, no one won't be archery, that's rifle. But it's gonna be all
Jeremy Dinsmore: tracking. Yeah, that's, you just locate 'em, track 'em, and hopefully you get that shot
Travis Melochick: opportunity.
Yeah. Yeah, it's a different world up there. It's a different challenge. It makes hunting down here look like, isn't
Jeremy Dinsmore: it? Isn't that so cool that's the one aspect that we've talked about recently? The spring of I should say like winter spring on with certain guests is, man, [01:08:00] we always hear the glory of Iowa and don't get me wrong, like I'd give my right nut to go hunt Iowa every single year.
Like type of ordeal. I have
Travis Melochick: five points yet, I have five points. Yep. I gotta get out there. I have five points I should be doing it, but I've been putting it off, but, yep. Yeah, the glory of Iowa, but at the same time, Maine man, like
Jeremy Dinsmore: such a cool prospect. Cool, cool hunt, right? It's near, I don't wanna say it's nearby, but it's in our region, you know what I'm saying?
Like it's, you don't have to go out west and, that was the one thing again, I like, don't get me wrong I do want to hunt elk one day. I do love the, when I had the opportunity to go out for mule deer, like such a cool species and it's an awesome hunt, but, family and other things and being close by, you could do some really awesome, cool
Travis Melochick: hunts.
Oh, absolutely. I'm lucky enough that in a sense that I hunt. Like I said, I work second shift so I can hunt every morning, but my job is really lenient. I get five or six weeks of pto. Nice. I, of course, when I'm using it, I'm not gonna be dumb. I'm not married. I don't have kids, [01:09:00] I don't have a significant other, I don't have anybody.
I have to factor into it. So I just go and do my thing. Yeah. So it's. Blessing, gonna curse. I guess some people say, oh, I say at the same time when you're saying, honey, can I go hunting? I'm just going, you're just going. Yep, exactly. Hey, mind, I don't have to factor that in. So I'm blessed with that situation that I can go out and hunt all these states like that.
Yeah. I said, guys like yourself to have other obligations with family and kids, and as a teacher, Jesus, man, you gotta really pick your times to
Jeremy Dinsmore: go. Yep. There's like a national frigging sub shortage, so now it's crazy man. Like the way that works and stuff but you, that's why those early season, like western hunts or early season whitetail, it's, I mean it's, I shouldn't even say whitetail, but North Dakota and stuff, they opened up what, end of August, early September, August. Yeah. There's, there are times I guess that maybe one day I could pull it off again, but.
Yeah, not so much more so recently.
Travis Melochick: So yeah it's a tough one. Like I said[01:10:00] I'm gonna do my best. I'm using all my PTO time for that big that big push this year. And yeah, we'll see what I come out on the end with. I have I have a lot of confidence in myself to make it happen.
I'm not gonna be, oh, I'm only gonna shoot that. No, I'm gonna say if it's a mature deer. It's going down. Yeah. I don't care about, inches or whatever, I'm going for age. Yep.
Jeremy Dinsmore: I like that man. And then last one to ask is, as a, any type of hunter, new hunter, old hunter, just still gaining knowledge, all that shit when it comes to next season, how could someone, or what is one thing someone could do to be a little bit more efficient?
Travis Melochick: To be more efficient? Wow, that's a good question. Read up on everything you can. That's a, that's something that is lost upon our generation, I think, most people are listening to podcasts. You can get a lot of great information off of that. But real reading, there's stuff that's been written by guys that are the long dead that aren't gonna be on the podcast.
Yep. That, it's valuable information. [01:11:00] So just really educate yourself on every angle you can think of. Being versatile, sempra, gumpy, flexible, yeah. Be willing to adapt at, at the slightest inconvenience. You gotta be able to adjust and shift. Flyer.
Jeremy Dinsmore: I like that.
So I like that. Adapt and read out, dude. Really good ones. I like it, dude. Sweet man. We will, We'll be getting together here soon. I know. We'll, we will hammer down some dates to go scouting and figure out where we're going to trek long and have some fun chasing some whitetail for this upcoming year.
And man, I'm looking forward to seeing what produces for you in all those different states. I think you're gonna have a hell of a time and just a blast
Travis Melochick: doing it. I'm gonna be, I I feel very confident, but at the same time I'm like, I could also have my ass handed me. Oh yeah.
Really easily here. But at the same time, that's what keeps me coming back because it's like that nervousness about it, yep. It's am I gonna make an ass outta myself or am I gonna come back, be like, yo, I'm king [01:12:00] Shit. Yeah. So it's what it is. It's all about experience.
And I know one thing for sure upon this whole trip I'm doing this year is I'm gonna learn Yeah. I may not be successful. But I'm gonna learn a lot. Yeah. And to me that's invaluable. Oh,
Jeremy Dinsmore: 100%, dude. I like it. Trav, where could people follow you, what you're doing, obviously on online, maybe other content, all that jazz, and plug all of it.
Travis Melochick: You wanna follow us along on Anthro site? Antler. I'm on Instagram and Facebook. Just, I'm also on YouTube. I have a channel there. I don't have very many videos up yet, as last year. I just, stuff happened way too fast. I didn't have time to plug cameras on. That's just the way it was. But I am filming this whole season, so there will be documentation going along.
So anthracite on YouTube, can subscribe. We also got a bunch of stickers and decals coming out here. I have a serial killer line coming out. So it's based upon serial killers cinematically and realistic. With a little bit of comedic swing to it oh yeah, we have those for sale. [01:13:00] Contact us up and we'll ship 'em out to you.
Jeremy Dinsmore: I like it, man. Dude, I appreciate it. And I'm telling you guys great, dude. I hope you learned some stuff. I wrote down a bunch of stuff and really joy to talk. And we will, we'll do some videos this summer and some fall together for sure. So thanks again, everybody. We'll see you next week.
Till next time, aunt Laura up.