Limbhanger - Dave Owens' Thoughts From The 2023 Turkey Season

Show Notes

Welcome to the Limbhanger podcast! Turkey season is over and we don't want to talk about it. But this is a podcast, so we have to talk about it. The redeeming news is that Dave Owens of the Pinhoti Project is joining us this week. It's hard to give Dave an introduction. Do you talk about his unmatched skillset of being a hunter? Or should you talk about his championship calling? He's really just one of the most genuine, down to earth people in the hunting industry, and it's an honor to have him joining us. 

We're getting in the weeds this week as Dave gives us some insight into the things he's taken note of in his career as a travelling turkey hunter. Each spring, Dave travels across the country hunting turkeys. So who better to talk to about turkey populations, regulations that might need adjusted, or new regulations that might actually be working well? It seems to be commonplace for hunters to talk about a rise in pressure. Covid seemingly opened the flood gates and some people believe the spring turkey woods will never be the same due to increased pressure. What does Dave think about this? Well, rest assured you're going to hear this and a lot more this week. Thanks for listening!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Limb Hanger Turkey Hunt podcast, brought to you by Grounded Brand and their new impact 2.0 Turkey vest. Get The limb Hanger Turkey Hunting 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 we creatures in North America, the Wild Turkey. Y'all stick around. It's gonna be a great show.

All right everybody. Welcome to one more edition of Limb Hanger Turkey Hunting podcast. This may be our last weekly podcast, I guess until. We, before we dive off into this long nine month off season [00:01:00] that us Turkey hunters have every year we wanted to finish up things this year with a Turkey hunting state of the union of sorts in that we wanted to get the perspective of a traveling Turkey hunter that has been dang near everywhere, almost every year, and get some feedback from him, what he's seeing across the landscape as a whole or maybe even a regional perspective, bird populations what these changing regulations that we're seeing all over the country now, how that's affecting a traveling Turkey hunter and good, bad, ugly trends that he's seen this year in years past.

And maybe what he's seeing, reading the tea leaves going into the future for the next handful of years. We wanted to get the perspective of traveling Turkey hunter, like I said, who've seen every corner of the country. And who better than Mr. Dave Owens. So Dave, it is smack in the middle of June right [00:02:00] now.

It is a tough time to be a Turkey hunter. How you holding up? Oh man. We're doing what we can. You know what I mean? You can relate. I think everybody here can probably relate to what it's like that first or second full week of not getting up. Every day, you're still waking up, seeing sunlight come through the blinds and panicking, jumping up, thinking you've overslept.

And yeah, it's just, it is what it is. We just gotta take it in stride. It's we got it up. I can see on video right now, and I can tell the bags under your eyes are not as large as they were a couple weeks ago when we were seeing y'all on Instagram. You're looking, you got a little bit more color in your face.

You're looking a little bit healthier. So it maybe do you bounce, they bounce back pretty quick after season or as far as, physically, because I know, you spend more days in the woods than anybody that we know of, and it has to physically take a toll on you. So do you bounce back, eating halfway decent food, when you get back home, three meals a day kind of thing?

Do you get [00:03:00] in better shape after season? Yeah, most definitely. Just coming off the road and not eating just trash, which is what happens on the road, all the fast food and stuff that you ingest on the road. I'm glad to get away from that. Get home to some of Courtney's cooking is always, is a welcomed always welcome that because yeah, like I said, man, you just get tired of peanut butter sandwiches and McDonald's and, folks like me that, that spend so much time in the McDonald's or places like that with wifi so that we can work.

It's, I'm, I've had about my last Big Mac for the year. I think so. And you become a connoisseur of roller food at the gas station and truck stop. Listen, I do that cause I'm on the road a lot for work, so I could probably do a good power ranking of truck stop food. Yeah. It's never a bad option though, to choose.

Gas station pizza. Listen, I have been no to a lot of different gas stations and very rarely do you find one that just doesn't taste good for me. Like Dave, you're talking about being happy that you don't have to [00:04:00] eat that food anymore. There's part of my soul that is lost whenever I'm not eating gas station pizza all the time.

I forget. Love this. You can't go. Can't go wrong with a hunk of pizza or a hunk of hunt Brothers Pizza, I think is what is the popular one around some of the southern eateries Casey's pizza though. It's stuff to beat Casey's in the middle Midwest. Oh, no, Casey's. Yeah. It's hard to beat Casey's and those are some of the the diamonds in the rough, you'll find some of these convenience stores that have a lot of the delis and the home cooking back in the back, and those are you remember those Yeah. You drop pins there too, yeah, man. Absolutely. Dude, like Joey said, like it's hard when you're coming off of just going so much just nonstop. I wanna know like. When you do, first off, do you keep count of how many days you actually spend in the woods?

And if you do what is that number like as far as like a hundred days, 200 days? Like how many, how? Obviously it wouldn't be 200 days, but is. As far as [00:05:00] spring specifically, and this is, mornings with either a gun in my hand or a camera in my hand, it's usually around 90 or 93 days is what it has been over the last couple springs.

This spring, I don't think there, there was, there's, I don't think this spring was an exception. I think it's, if I sat down and counted it up, it would be about the same because we started really early, we ended a little bit sooner because like typically, like last year, I think I went to the sixth and typically it's around the fifth through the seventh or so when Michigan or Maine will expire.

And this year we were in Maine and we finished on the second. So there was a handful of days there. And then there was a I think there was two days during the spring just caught myself in a position where it was bad at weather outside and I didn't have a tag and couldn't find nobody or something like that.

But frankly, from when we kicked it off Let's see, February 26th, I think it was the youth season in South Florida this year. From that date, you get to hunt a couple days there, then you've got about five days to scout, and the [00:06:00] big boys get to swing to bat, and then it's, it's a rollercoaster from there till June.

Very fortunate to be able to see that many sunrises and yeah, it's, it is exhausting. There's bags under the eyes, but it's like you're a machine. When it gets, you get about, what is it? I think it says after two weeks, things become a habit, so it doesn't take long for you to get into the rhythm.

And and it's just a, it's a welcomed exhaustion because I'd do it again tomorrow if I could start over and tomorrow was, March 3rd I'd be signing up, no doubt. Wishing my life away, I guess you could say. Yeah, that's that kind of takes us right into one of the things I wanted to discuss with you as far as changing regulations and season dates between, Florida opener and, you guys spend a handful of days or several days out there, you chubs and squirrel.

Seems every year now, it's almost become a tradition now for you guys. Is there a gap in between Florida and Mississippi now that Mississippi is changing things around for non-residents? Or are you still able to pick up in Florida and go right into Mississippi? Yeah, you can [00:07:00] pick up in Florida and go straight into Mississippi typically.

Or you can move on up to central Florida because, their season usually comes in about that same time. It's all dependent obviously, on tag availability, whether you still have tags in your pocket or not, or whether you can find somebody with a valid tag to follow. That's one of the things that I think People they I know everybody was up in arms about the situation with Mississippi.

And one of the things that I do take. A offense too, when it comes to Mississippi is they have this little asterisk to where you can't, if you draw one of their public land permits or tags or vouchers, I can't remember what they what term they use, but you can't have someone that's, come with you.

So if if you draw a WMA permit in Mississippi, you can't have a buddy come with you to call or, just enjoy the hunt. Which I find is a directly a conflict, because it reduces opportunity for folks. It gives you look in the National Forest, Brooklyn, and it's if you go hiking in the national forest, always go with a friend.

Don't ever go alone. [00:08:00] But if you go hunting on a national forest, you're supposed to go by yourself. So it's a conflict there that I think needs to be addressed. I'm not sure even why that's in place, other than that little. Rule or regulation. Even if you don't have a tag, you can assist somebody.

You can go with somebody, you can enjoy the hunt. And if you're a true Turkey hunter, I understand you've gotta spend a certain amount of time behind the gun itself. I won't pretend like you don't, but you're there for the, you're there for the game, you're there for the process. I don't have to be responsible for, the final step of that process.

If I could just be there for the rest of it, then I'm happy. So you can usually find somewhere, yes, it become more challenging. Yes, the Mississippi situation and the non-resident vouchers that you have to get, which I do feel like's unfortunate. I understand the reasoning, but I do feel like it's unfortunate and I'm afraid that it's gonna be a knee jerk reaction for other states.

I do, I applaud Mississippi for looking for another. Avenue about, still allowing a Turkey season to open on March 15th, rather than doing what [00:09:00] some of the surrounding states have done in delay in their seasons. They got creative and I do, applaud 'em for that.

But I'm just afraid that, stuff like that's gonna send a send to a attack on non-residents. And I don't think that's the answer. A lot of people may, but I'm just not one of those people. Based on your personal perspective and experiences in Mississippi, did the quality of the hunt go up any this year as far as pressure, things like that since they introduced the tag system or the draw the sy draw the quote attack?

Yeah. It's been tit for tat man. I mean from, from the years, and I won't pretend like I've got this exhaustive like Mississippi experience because I don't cuz I didn't start visiting Mississippi regularly until Alabama started delaying their season. Because I was always coming home to hunt, and Alabama opened right there with Mississippi.

So I was always coming to Alabama to hunt and they delayed their season. And then that was about the time that I started getting the flexibility that I now have. I [00:10:00] had a couple different components there that caused me to be a Mississippi regular at the beginning of their season. But as far as what I've seen from the years that I've been there consecutively now, which I think is 20, 20, 21, 22, 23, so fi four years in a row.

The hunting's been, it's been comparable every year. Yeah, there's some good years that are better, but that's, that doesn't have anything to do with pressure as far as pressure specifically. I would say there's less pressure now than there was. I have heard some people say that, and then I've heard some people say the opposite because they think the the public land voucher stuff adds a little bit of urgency so that like when somebody gets chosen, they have to go now to where once upon a time they didn't have that urgency and people didn't come.

Frankly, I just think it's been a little bit of an inconvenience. I don't think it's affected the, affected the hunt pressure at all. From what I see for for those of us, that live in the southeast and that hunt primarily in the southeast, I think the. [00:11:00] The regulation changes for a handful of states are a little bit easier to juggle and navigate than somebody like you that, you just said you spend 90 to 93 days, Turkey hunting in the season across, X amount of states, which I would assume is probably in the double digits by the time it's all said and done.

So how do you navigate changing in seasons bag? Bag limits, any, cuz any one change in a regulation in one state. It's almost e easily overlooked if you're not doing your homework and you're not paying attention. How do you navigate that? Do you either have a spreadsheet, is there anything that you have organized to keep up and Hey, I need to make sure I can go, to this area on this date.

I can access whatever area. Like how do you how do you sort all that out when you travel all these places? No, I don't do nearly as much of the the planning and the strategic planning, like I used to back in the US slam days, everything was based on what I, where I hadn't [00:12:00] been yet, and doing the exhaustive amount of research to make sure that I could do it efficiently.

And I looked at that now, obviously visiting these states. And yeah, with the rule changes and I've gotten in trouble with that before, like not paying attention to new stuff. So it's, always at the top of the list. Now, luckily I have, friends that kind of helped me stay on top of that Hey, did you see the new rule change here?

Or, oh, I heard that was gonna do this, you better look into it. That kind of stuff. So I'm pretty well aware. And I get a as the season approaches, I get an update on what states have done new cha or made new changes. But that is one of the advantages really, is it's just not really a hindrance, it's an advantage to having the flexibility I have.

It is just to if somebody makes a change that doesn't work into my schedule, I usually have the ability to flip and flop around to, to find somewhere else to go and do. So yeah, it doesn't really take any, more just paying attention, I guess you could say.

We we're always quick and a lot of [00:13:00] people on social media are always quick to jump on the negative side of these regulation changes, all a all every, all across, everywhere. You don't have to name a particular state that has made a certain change, but are there any changes that have really benefited you as a traveling Turkey hunter?

Benefited me, man. I don't think so. I'm trying to think off the top of my head. Nothing that's really I can say for sure if I was a southern Turkey hunter, a southeastern Turkey hunter, the change that Tennessee made and allowing the season to go all the way to the end of May. I know some peoples gonna cry and wine about having to hunt summer or turkeys, but let me tell you something.

If I was still stuck at a nine to five and I was somewhere in the southeast buddy, I'd be jumping for joy if somebody was gonna let me legally Turkey under the end of May I understand it's gonna be hot, but you know what? That could be in Maine as well at, in, at the end of May. It's just all, how, what what we were given at that time of frame, at that timeframe.

As far as anything that was beneficial, I'll just be honest and say that I'm the luckiest man alive because I get to [00:14:00] just go. It's so nothing I can think of off the top of my head has been a change that has been. Beneficial. No, it's just, it is what it is when you have that kind of flexibility.

Just trying to think of from a local perspective, I could definitely see where the the negativity's there when some folks can't hunt like they used to hunt. I heard that is loud in Alabama is anywhere, we've had a reduced limit and we've had the season pushed back and things of that nature.

And then a lot of folks were, up in arms. And I, it's hard to understand like the explanations for the public land delay when the private land's. Not that explanation to me isn't, doesn't ring quite as clearly as just an overall delay in the season. I can understand it. I don't like it, but, I can understand it.

But still it doesn't ring as legitimate as just an overall delayed season it seems but other than, it's just I guess I [00:15:00] just have the normal gripes as the next guy. Yeah. And it's so hard, Dave, and so I know that you as a person who has a platform, you have to be real careful about how you navigate those waters too.

Because you have a lot of people listening and you have a lot of people hearing what you have to say and holding you to what you say on a podcast when, in two years, information might be different. And people need to understand that part about what we talk about in these type of podcasts.

You're just a guy who has got a large data sheet for Turkey hunting, right? That's who we're talking to right here. A guy who has been to a whole lot of different states, as Joey said earlier, and. But I, that being said I hope I don't set you up for potential persecution.

Are there any things that you have seen with all these regulation changes that you feel like is absolutely been beneficial? Maybe not for you, [00:16:00] but for the turkeys? Yeah, just getting to the first part of your comment there, your where you started was, yeah, we can all change our minds, right?

I can understand, we learn new things and the Turkey world right now, there's more data and research and statistics coming out that we get to digest and formulate our own opinions. And that's one of the things that I really like with this day and age, that everybody's processing and digesting this information and they're coming up with their own, issues or their own solutions.

And. I think the melting pot analogy is really good to where if everybody just throws their ideas into one pot, we're sure to have the answer in there somewhere. As far as the regulations go into the second part of your question there, comment the regulations that have been beneficial for the Turkey?

I'll be honest, man I'm one of those people that I think the Turkey, the resiliency of the Turkey itself is gonna win. As long as we keep legal [00:17:00] measures in check and man, where I know what hole we're diving down into right here. Because what's legal and what's ethical is two completely different things.

And I don't want to get dive down that rabbit hole so to speak, because in my opinion as Turkey hunters, we need to keep our focus on. Making more turkeys, I think. Sure. The taking from the population, the killing of the turkeys. As long as we're focusing on male turkeys, do we need to keep an eye on it?

Do we need to like, keep it under, a microscope? Sure. Let's pay attention to it. Let's just, don't ignore it. But I think the bulk of our effort and our focus needs to remain on the production part of the Turkey world. We need to focus on making more turkeys and why we aren't making as many as we used to is dirty and is, and involved in that conversation about the techniques and the strategies and that kind of stuff that gets you down that rabbit hole and it gets you shunned by a lot of people is, as many [00:18:00] times as I've been involved in that discussion, that conversation, I don't mind that discussion.

Because I have my beliefs as everybody else does. I just don't think that is the answer to our quote unquote Turkey issue that. People are so vocal about nowadays. Yeah. And I preface that the second question with the first, because I expected you to have a similar answer to what you did and I, what I was hoping to hear was in steps in a direction are a step in the right direction, right?

There's gonna be, we're gonna figure out the solution when we, as we do these things. And so I appreciate your answer. And like always Dave Owens never leaves us wanting more or needing to hear more about that. It's just, I mean it's like a, it's a restrictive thing if you start reducing opportunity, which is.

A slippery slope. I'm not one to say that it's not. I don't like reduced opportunity way in the beginning of these whole Turkey decline discussions and the first thing they started [00:19:00] wanting to do is ask the beginning of the season and take away opportunity. I don't like it. I'll be the first one to tell you.

That is what I should, I feel should be the last resort. Yeah. I feel like we should cut the corners of the pie before We should take a slice right out of the center. And I feel like cutting away season length and cutting out the beginning of the season is cutting right out of the center is if it's necessary.

I am all on board with, I just felt like we hadn't cut enough of those corners yet and hadn't done enough looking. Now I'd also understand Something's better than nothing. So I'm glad that we have agencies that are listening to us now, because I think for a decade we had researchers and scientists and people that were screaming from a screaming into a hollow bucket that nobody was listening.

Once this stuff began getting some momentum, some of these researchers were like, look at this paper. Look at this. This discussion that I had eight years ago, I couldn't get anybody to listen to. So I'm glad we have at least people listening, and like you said, a step in any direction could potentially be a step in the right [00:20:00] direction, as least somebody's listening.

But yeah, I would I'm glad that we have a lot of research hitting the ground and have some people with some bright minds trying to figure out how we could find a solution to this thing with hopefully minimal impacts to us as hunters at our opportunities and stuff. Yeah, this isn't Much of a question, more of a comment.

David, you and I talked earlier in the year. I had some T W R A had some stakeholder meetings as far as what, then they wanted feedback on maybe how to best to approach Turkey management going forward. And you and I had a discussion and I think, the topic was brought up in our discussion of how cyclical turkeys are, a really good hatch in a certain part of the country can probably raise the population of that local population.

Almost 25%, maybe even 30% or even higher, more yeah. Or more depending on, what the Turkey population is down there. And [00:21:00] it got, really got me to thinking, and it really opened my eyes as how I've paid attention to hatches in the past, maybe the past decade or so, especially around Tennessee.

And I've said it before and I'll harp on it until I'm proven other otherwise, is that significant weather I think has had the biggest effect on Turkey hatches, at least in Tennessee, maybe even the Southeast than I think anything else. No doubt. And I think the hatch in 2021, the hatches from last year in 2022, and we haven't really had that bad of weather up until now in spring.

So I anticipate, and I'm starting to see reports and sightings of multiple couple week old poles, per hen. So I think we're probably gonna have a pretty good hatch this year. And I think once we have a few of these good hatches in a row and we see this kind of uptick. In populations, at least here in the Southeast.

[00:22:00] If my theory or if that theory is true, that weather is so significant on on Hatch success and pulse success, I'm anxious to see what comes out of these next few years. With harvest data, a hundred participation, all the other studies that, TFTs got going on, the NWTF is going on, and now we got the low Country Game Bird I forget the exact name, but that's three big players doing Turkey research now.

And you've said it before, the best thing to come outta all this is that people are talking, more, people are talking about turkeys than there ever has been. And there's more research going on than there ever has been. And I really hope that these. State commissioners take this data and take these hunter observations.

This is why the the poll surveys are so important on, during that summertime and there's so many states that have 'em now, there's no excuse. And I've got to where, I dont know if Alabama has one, but I'm down in Alabama [00:23:00] for work this week. If Alabama has a poll survey, I'm gonna look it up and I'm gonna fire that thing up.

And while I'm riding around down here for work, if I see turkey's, I'm going, I'll log it, for the state's sake. But yeah, long story short, with all this stuff, all this information that we have access to now and all this, all the research that's going on, I really hope in the next few years we really see science-based hunting regulations, aside from maybe outcry from social media, maybe ill-informed opinions just coming from hunters in general.

Yeah, I agree. I just watched, I used to, or my dad used to be a really big rabbit hunter. He used to be a small game hunter from back in the day. And I watched a lot of these public meetings that I went to. And that was the example that I was given was, look what's happened to the small game hunter because our, deer ruled everything.

And no matter where you're at and when we go to these public meetings and they get the comments and the deer hunters, [00:24:00] whatever they want, kinda is what goes. Cause that's, what, butters the bread, so to speak. So I watched the rabbit hunters go to I never went to a public.

Input meeting where there wasn't a group of rabbit hunters there just begging for their season, just begging for their small game season. But every flipping year they got ignored. The deer season got longer. Every year they would extend the deer season. And these rabbit hunters were just like look, y'all are just eating away at my small game season because 99% of the ground is leased up by deer hunting clubs and they won't allow us to rabbit hunt until the deer season is over.

We can't run our dogs. We can't, and except for a couple of beagle clubs, they just flat out couldn't hunt. And I got to thinking, I was like, man, deer hunting is continuing to grow and continuing to grow and hunting in general. That's good. I would never shun anyone for becoming a deer hunter.

But that being said, I wanted to make sure that what I was passionate about, being Turkey hunting, never. Was ignored, it was a lot, [00:25:00] it would, honesty, we can all say that would be a long way from being ignored in the southeast. I do travel and I see parts of the country to where turkeys are ignored and they are.

I almost disliked, I've told the story once and if I've told it once, I've told it a hundred times. But the story in M Main where I, I asked permission to hunt on this big dairy farm and saw a couple turkeys on it, knocked on the guy, caught the guy out there on his tractor, stop and talk to him.

He says, no, it's just it's just, for the farm, we don't allow anybody to hunt it. You can't complain with, you can't be mad at 'em. This is their property. They're, this is their prerogative to do what they wish. So I just, making small talk like, you see any turkeys in the area?

Oh yeah. We have hundreds of turkeys. He said, as a matter of fact, when they come in the fall, we shoot 'em by the hundreds off our silage stacks. Cause they get in our silage stacks and scratch it out and bust open the the twine and they get scattered everywhere. So we shoot 'em, we just drive up to 'em when it's all, when it's snowpack, they can't go anywhere else.

We just shoot 'em by the hunters off our [00:26:00] silage stacks. And that just turned my stomach to the point. I physically almost got sick and I'm like, but you won't allow somebody to go out here right now and legally hunt to kill a couple of them. You know what I mean? Nope. It's just, it's our, it's what we do for the farm.

And I was like, man, if somebody was shooting hundreds of turkeys, In Georgia or Alabama or Mississippi, there would be an outcry. He would be crucified. You know what I mean? So I'm I'm just glad that we in the southeast don't have that kind of issue, but can you imagine if Turkey hunting, like the opportunity was suppressed to the point to where people didn't care about turkeys anymore and that kind of thing was allowed to happen?

Like I said, we're a long way from that in the southeast because we have died in the world, Turkey hunters, but it's just, you can drive, a handful of hours up the road and see it, and that just scared the crap outta me. Opportunity is a big thing for me. I like the opportunity.

And just continuing on the opportunity discussion, people [00:27:00] want to compare. I know when all of the opportunity was starting to some of the opportunity was starting to shrink and they were making some of these changes, you heard an outcry of people. Yeah. We need to reduce the opportunity because I used to be able to go out here and hear 10 turkeys or 12 turkeys, and now I do good to go out there and hear three or four turkeys.

And I'm thinking to myself, the next thing out of their mouth is, when I went to Illinois or when I went to Iowa, you can go up there and still hear 15 or 20 turkeys in the morning and they only have a one week season. And I'm like, look, if you want that experience, if you want the hearing 15 or 20 turkeys in the morning experience, go get you an Iowa tag, get you a Missouri tag.

Go for that experience. I'm the one that had rather have to hunt him for five days and just be able to hunt him. I'd rather have the opportunity, I'd rather it be more difficult. I'd rather have to put more effort into it to actually kill a Turkey, but have the opportunity to do so rather than being able to go out there and hear 15 and kill one in a day or two.

So [00:28:00] it's like a different. It's a different desire for folks, the people in Alabama don't need to expect, in my opinion, the people in Alabama, if they're gonna hunt national forest for public ground, shouldn't expect to hear 20 turkeys in the morning. That's an Iowa experience. But the guys in Iowa only have seven days to hunt because if they get chosen for their tag, they get period B or period C or whatever it is, they get seven days to go have fun.

To where in Alabama, I can wake up for 40 to five days in a row and go have fun, that's one of those things that was overlooked during that discussion that I was trying to get people to realize, like there's, it's a completely different desire. You just gotta want to go.

That was probably down to some rabbit hole that we didn't intend to go down, but we talk, you talked about rabbit, you talked about rabbit hunter. So it was all related. No. There we go. That's what it was. No you you're talking pretty strong about opportunity there. You get to see what the opportunity is like across the country and, it's no secret. [00:29:00] Since C there's been at least a perceived uptick in hunting pressure. I will say, for me personally there's only been one place that I've been to that I felt like it was an unreasonable amount of hunting pressure. Only one place. Everything else seemed like it was gonna be pretty.

It was hable, the, I haven't seen just crazy amounts of pressure. But again you have been to a lot of the country in the last three months. Have you seen a lot of that, quote unquote covid pressure start dying down? Or do you feel like it's still continuing to climb up? The pressure that I see now may have just a fraction to do with Covid.

And I will say that only because I think Covid taught, people taught a lot of people their value taught a lot of people, they couldn't get fired, they were too valuable to be fired. And I don't think they ever realized that before. So the whole working remotely changed the whole [00:30:00] scene of being employed being able to, work from from a laptop or whatever.

So I think that changed. The whole world. And that obviously added to people having some more flexibility during the spring to do what they love. And I would not, people can get mad if they want to, but I just, I think that was a good thing. I think it was good for people to pursue their passions. I'm the luckiest man in the world because I did just that.

I, I walked right to the edge of the cliff and jumped. I was like, it's gonna be this or nothing. I won't, you won't hear me complain about pressure because I went from one corner of this country to the other and I just haven't seen it with exception of Coke. The 2020 spring to where there was a couple places where I did see enough pressure for me to go, man, this could be an issue for the turkeys.

No other place in the country. Have I seen, has there been more people than there was 10 years ago? Yeah, there's been more people than there was 10 years ago. I haven't had one issue finding turkeys and having turkeys to [00:31:00] myself. Has there been isolated spots, like you said, has there been isolated areas that I went to and had some people due to one reason or another, who knows why the reason was, but has there been a couple more trucks on said specific road?

Yeah, there's been those types of situations, but guess what, two roads over. I had it to myself. So I think a lot of that has to do with effort and a lot of that has to do with the popular excuse, it's just a popular excuse right now. And I'm sure somebody will be ready to throw stones at me for that and blame me for the pressure or whatever.

That's fine. Because if it was so bad, why are, these people able to go, including myself, go from one area of the country to the next and have success year in and year out? It's just flat out not that bad. It just it's the popular excuse right now. I kinda wanna start gearing towards.

Third populations and different areas of the country. And like I said, we can break this up in, regions like southeast, [00:32:00] northeast, northwest, Southwest or Midwest or whatever. And we'll try to stay away from specific states. So we don't get called out for hotspot in states except for Kentucky.

We all know how good Kentucky Turkey hunting is. But yeah, we can as far as like I was saying before, with the good hatches that we've had the last couple of years, at least here in the southeast, it, I can tell you from the spots that I went to this year, there were just more turkeys almost everywhere I went.

More turkeys, more goblin birds in general. Are you seeing that I guess we can start here in the southeast. Whatever you want to deem the southeast, did you see more turkeys in the southeast maybe this year than you have previous years or did you not see as many or what's your feedback on that?

I'm just a lucky guy, cause I just, I don't, I haven't had issues finding turkeys or hearing turkeys anywhere I've gone

at any point, [00:33:00] frankly. Like I said, the 2020 season, maybe the pressure had to subdue a little bit in certain areas, but other than that the Turkey populates, I'm a bad guy to ask because I don't stay in one place more than a couple days. And I do believe there's probably isolated pockets where turkeys are not doing as well as they once were.

Like I said when we started this discussion, I will always be one to err on the side of, Hey, let's talk about turkeys. Hey, yeah, there's something wrong because I don't want y'all to ignore 'em. I want them to stay at the top of the discussion. I want them to be an issue that we all have to address.

So I will never say oh, turkeys are doing great. We can just ignore 'em now. Cause I think that was what happened, for the last decade or maybe even two. I think, we got 'em to a point, and when I say we, the agencies, organizations like N W T F and these people that, that put turkeys where they are now.

All of these state agencies, I think we got 'em, was like, man, we got 'em. And they're good. I don't want that to happen again. So I'll never be the guy that was like, oh man, there ain't no [00:34:00] Turkey issues. Y'all need to quit looking at 'em. Just let us go like we were. But If it was just doc, if Dave Owens had to say, is there less turkeys now than there was five years ago?

I couldn't tell you that there is because I've never had an issue finding them or I, here again, I, there's some, the people that I really trust out there that they're talking about the issues around, say their specific area and I trust them. Like I don't doubt them. I, if they are saying that there's an issue in their area, then there's obviously an issue in their area.

But as far as what I've seen traveling from one corner to the next, no, I haven't seen anything that I would say is that, is quote unquote Turkey decline. Yeah, we may, I mean with with that kind of feedback, we may just, skip over the regional population discussion because it's so isolated, just like you said.

One thing I have. Go ahead, Parker. Would you're, are you about to skip past that? Because I have another question that has to do with that kind of, go right ahead. Okay. I, cause I don't wanna, I don't want us to [00:35:00] get past this because, and I know we're doing, it's more informative, right? From your perspective type things.

But you did mention some pretty tactical things in there. At least you, we could go down that, that rabbit trail. I don't, we don't have to go all the way, but I do wanna mention something. You talked about effort people like it's the popular excuse to say that there's, there is something in fact wrong.

And man, I just to back that up, we talked to a lot of people, right? Through podcasting, through network stuff, whatever. We talked to a lot of different people this year. I've had people tell me it was the worst season. Ever. There's no turkeys. They're gone forever. They're extinct. And I've had other people tell me, my goodness, we got more turkeys than we know what to do with no rhyme or reason really to why, as to why there's more turkeys here than there are over there or whatever.

But one thing we do talk about it a lot, especially when we talk about going to other states, is having [00:36:00] the flexibility to move around and get, if you're hunting one national forest over here you may get there very well and find out that it, for whatever reason, there's not a lot of turkeys or you're struggling to find them, but then go into another area and you may find, a pocket.

Do you find that to be. More or less the truth what could potentially separate good pockets versus bad or empty pockets could be as simple as moving 20 miles north, south, east, or west. Is that kind of what you, when you say you don't have trouble finding turkeys, is it because that's what you're constantly doing is moving that quickly if you're not finding them?

Yeah, and just being adaptive. I think anybody that wants to be successful as a Turkey hunter has gotta be able to look at what they can use to their advantage. Whether that be, wide open areas and using glassing and whatnot to find turkeys quickly, whether it be a lot, finding the area of the state that, that's gonna [00:37:00] hold more consistent Turkey populations or the area of the state where the weather's gonna be better while they're there.

I've changed, I've put a whole plant on its head before because I looked and this. Side of the state was gonna be getting high wind. This side of the state wasn't like, when I'm going to a place where I'm hunting with my ears, the, that is the most important thing for me because if you go to a place where you're gonna have to rely on your ears, deep timber, f a wooded ridges or whatnot, and if you go there and show up and there's a 15 to 25 mile an hour wind for three days, that's really gonna impede you finding turkeys.

Yeah, I will, I think when I say I don't have problems finding turkeys, a whole lot of that has gotta do with experience as a Turkey hunter because I take those type things into consideration where somebody less experienced may not. It's not to say that I'm any. Shape, form, or fashion better than anybody else.

It's just that, when you do something and you get it wrong, you tend to remember that pretty well. So [00:38:00] those, those meetings when you come back without a Turkey or without hearing a Turkey or seeing a Turkey, you're finding sign you, you quickly figure out how not to do that again.

But just Turkey numbers in general. When I'm cruising across, I'm talking to biologists and they're, frankly the amount of biologists that I've talked to, there's only a couple regions in the country where I've talked to 'em, where they say, turkeys aren't doing so well here.

Turkeys are are on the downward. I may talk to somebody that says, they're not as quite as many as there was a few years ago, but there's still plenty of turkeys. And I don't see that as a Turkey population decline in the sense that it needs some type of We don't need to do anything that's just Turkey populations doing what Turkey populations do.

And like Joe who was just mentioning like we've seen crazy good hatches. In my opinion. I'm going from one side of the country to the other. The amount of Jake's, and this is all the way from 2020, like I've started seeing Jake's in 20 20, 20, 21, 22. Like these hatches that we've [00:39:00] had have been phenomenal, in my opinion.

Most, in most. I'm sure there's some areas, Arkansas, Louisiana, I think had some bad hatches with the floods they had with the river there over those years. But for the most part that a majority of the country saw some good, Good weather. And I think Joey hit the nail on the head when he said, mother Nature decides how good your hatch is gonna be.

I don't, we can assist, but our assist are so minute they can almost be overlooked. Because if Mother Nature don't want there to be a good hatch, then you might as well put your hands in your pockets. Cuz no matter how much work you do, it's not gonna matter. But yeah, like as far as finding turkeys, getting back to that original question I think it has to do with twofold.

I think there's, I think the Turkey populations across the country are. Doing pretty flipping. I think a lot of the noise you're hearing is just like we said, it's social media is a couple clicks away from being able to express your opinion. And when you get mad everybody writes more when they're mad, they're not, they don't write more when they're just having a normal old day. And [00:40:00] that combined with having the experience to be able to put yourself in the right place keep your feet moving, oh, I walked into four goblin turkeys today. It was day three. You don't ever talk about the first two days where you didn't walk into four turkeys.

So it, it's kinda maybe a little bit amplified considering social media and you share the good days. That's right. And just to, To further that point like one common factor that I see in people who have similar answers to yourself with this I'm not seeing like a crazy decline.

It's not like they're not there or about to go extinct people like, like yourself. They always have the willingness to move, right? The willingness to go find, because things like weather do have such a big impact. As we just talked about, you could have had a great hatch 20 miles north of where you're at, but you would never know.

And I find that to be one of the biggest hurdles that other hunters [00:41:00] have to learn to, to hop over at some point, right? Like they cannot get past. But what if I'm staying here? What if I'm sleeping in this location? I. I can't just move. Yeah you have to. Like most of the people who are Yeah.

Who are talking about what you're talking about, what we're talking about here have learned that it's just, you've got to be willing to do that and find those, find where those pockets are. Because when you can find, when you do that, when you finally figure that out I mean you're there's so much freedom in that, Joey, we can talk about it even in Montana, like while we were there, having that willingness to maybe go 20 miles south or, and not just depending on maybe previous intel or a bird.

The bird that we saw on private land or whatever. Like just having the willingness to go and do that. And then before every single Turkey, Dave and Adam, you guys can probably both relate to this the 10 minutes leading up to leading up to your next Turkey [00:42:00] kill. It feels like you might never kill another one.

You know what I'm talking about? Like Absolutely. Yeah. Do you remember how to do this? Yeah. Have I ever done this before? While I just did it? Even if you just killed one the day before that, you're just like, it's hard to, but when you, once you do, once you make it happen, you kill this Turkey, whatever you look back at those things and it almost always, for me, seems like a common denominator thing that I did in every single one of these hunts was I did something a little bit different.

I maybe moved to a different place or whatever. And yeah, I don't have a follow up question necessarily, but more than anything, just to, I believe a hundred percent what you're saying is true. I think if people will learn this one small little detail of how you hunt, especially when you're traveling to hunt, man, it can.

It can make you believe that there's not, in fact an issue with the Turkey population. And then, and doing what I do, and I hear it all the time, trust me is yeah. Watching my,[00:43:00] watching the Pinho project. It's not like I'm faking anything. I'm not making any of this stuff up, but the interactions that I get to have those experiences that I get to have so frequently may be somewhat of an embellished reality.

And I try to tell people that not what I'm doing is fake. It's just that what you have to consider is this. I'm a guy who's put myself in a position to where I get to go, where the turkeys are gobbling the best I get to go where the weather is the best I get to be there when the turkeys are in the perfect stage of breeding like that.

That's the flexibility that I've created. And so yeah, sure. It seems like I'm always in goblin turkeys and I'm always around goblin turkeys, but it's like those couple good days of spring, like if you hunt Alabama all spring and there may be seven or eight of 'em where the turkeys are just, you can't do anything wrong.

My philosophy is being in each state on those seven or eight [00:44:00] days. So I'm not faking anything, but at the same time, like my reality is chasing those seven or eight of the best days across the country. So when somebody's oh man, he, he's, he kills so and so turkeys of the day, or he see he, that pinho guy, he kills one a day.

No, he don't kill one a day. He sure don't, but he, whatever Dave, you do, he says, it's if the turkeys, if I hear rumor, like I have a buddy's Hey man, switch just flipped in Tennessee, or Switch just flipped in Kentucky or switch just flipped in Missouri. Guess what? Dave's in his truck.

Then, hopefully within a day he's there to enjoy that switch flip, that's the reality that kind of goes a little bit unnoticed cuz it just seems like a guy that's going into woods wherever he just happens to be. And it's not, I'm not there by chance, I'm there for a reason.

You gotta think too, the amount of days that you just are able to spend in the woods, period. Like even if you just had a 10% success rate, [00:45:00] you'd kill nine turkeys, all season. Which is more than 95% of the Turkey hunters out there probably. But the fact that you get to spend, so many days out in the woods, I'm not trying to discredit you or anything, but we've Parker and I have talked about it before, if you just spend days in the woods, you're gonna find success eventually.

And if you get to a spot you don't know nothing else to do, you know how to at least walk and you can find turkeys if you walk enough. So I think this, this, the amount of opportunity that you provide yourself as an individual, be it Dave or Parker or Adam or any of us, the more days you spend in the woods, the better odds you're gonna have.

I kinda wanna go Time is that ingredient. Yep. Yeah, exactly. I wanted to go back. We handed on social media a little bit and how much that we see on social media nowadays. I know you don't have your nose in your phone, offspring, you know your, you're Turkey hunting. But I do know that you probably keep a finger on the pulse of what's going on.

Overall, is there anything you noticed [00:46:00] this past spring, either a good trend that you saw or maybe something that you hope to never ever see again as far as social media goes? Man, just the same old song and dance, nothing overly that, that was more this year than last.

You, you, and it's mostly coming from just a handful of individuals, the we just have to understand that there is a certain, there's a certain sector of quote unquote us where people who dress up in camouflage at least that are doing things for the controversy that has become so, apparent and we still continue to give these people our attention. If we could somehow muster up the ability to ignore that certain sector of people who is obviously doing things that just knee jerk, just cuz because any [00:47:00] impression is an impression for them, they just need the numbers. If we could somehow figure out as a hunting community, just ignore those people it'd be great.

Granted you can't let those people go unregulated because I think that is the good that social media provides to where, I think I, I get the. I get the comment, probably more than most about how, social media is killing hunting, social media is ruining the sport of hunting.

Social media is ruining our water, wildfire, wildlife populations, and I'm the first one to tell you, if I could flip a switch and end the whole thing, I'd probably be the first one to flip it. And they're like, oh, that don't make sense. You submit to social media so much. You do the videos, you do the Instagram, you do the Facebook, you do all of that.

Look, that's because this is the idea with social media is it's clicking. You need to get clicks. And if social media, if we, okay, this is calling myself good, so I don't mean to do that, but I feel like social media is gonna be here. You ain't gonna flip a switch and get it to go away if [00:48:00] there's not some good.

To counterbalance the bad's gonna be there because they're there for the wrong reasons. They're there for the cliques, they're there for the impressions, they're there to get paid. Typically that's not gonna do well for our populations. It's gonna give hunting over all a bad name most of the time.

And I think if there's not good there within that community to to say, no that's not how we do it. That's not how we wanna be represented. Then I think the badge is gonna run amuck. I don't think so. If it could end all tomorrow I think the honey community would be better off because we would recruit within, we would be able to do enough without social media to keep the hunting community alive.

And frankly, I think the bad that the bad part of this social media thing does to the non-hunting community and kind of makes us seem barbaric and stuff would be a greater positive. Unfortunately, we're not flipping any switches. I don't think Elon's gonna figure this thing out quick enough to end social media.

I don't think, it's so it's not [00:49:00] going anywhere, so you gotta have the good. But trends that I saw this year, I won't, it's just the same old song and dance man. Same people just putting stuff out there that they know is gonna trigger. They know it's, and that's why they put it out there, you put on a Turkey hat this time that you know what it's gonna do. You know what you're putting that video out for, and you're gonna sit there and sit on your high horse and talk about how it's, whatever. But you know why you're putting that video out there. It ain't to show a Turkey hunting video, I can promise you.

Yeah. You, we've talked about it for years now. You absolutely have to take into account what non-hunters perceive. Hunting to be via social media. And I don't wanna brag on myself, but I am gonna brag on myself, but I think I will. But I think I will, I don't think I've posted anything in memory on social media that could be used against hunting.

I, I'm, I think I'm proud of myself for that. [00:50:00] And the stuff that I post on social media, I have in the back of my mind I know we all do. We know so many people that have zero clue about hunting. And we may be the only hunter in there, quote unquote newsfeed or on their friends list or whatever.

And if we're the only thing that they see, In relation to hunting. And if we post something dumb, then that's gonna change their whole perspective on what they view as hunting. And I have my wife has a really good friend of hers. She lives up in Wisconsin. She's a vegetarian of all things, but she knows that, she knows I'm a hunter, and specifically a Turkey hunter.

And she's on our team. She is gonna be, she's one of those that even though she's a vegetarian, she may not ever go out and shoot something and eat it. She will go to the polls and vote for somebody, or vote for a bill that is gonna be in favor of hunting. And [00:51:00] I'm proud of myself for that, because just that's the kind of people I think we need to recruit into our camp.

Those non-hunting. That none hunting, voting, public that we've talked about for years now we have to keep recruiting those people to our side and showing them, Hey, this is what on these other accounts. That do all these dumb things. That's not what hunting is. Here's what we do.

We do things in different ways. We have our quote unquote little communities of how, we Turkey hunt and how other people Turkey hunting, and there's deer hunters and all the different things that they do, but we do it in a respectful manner and we try not to cause trouble. And so that's, that's the least you could do is just not be dumb on social media.

I wanna follow that up. Going in a different direction. You hinted at it, as far as tactics and travel. Is there anything you did different this year that got you on more turkeys? You ain't got, you ain't gotta divulge all your secrets, but man, I think I, I think if people watch my video, cause [00:52:00] they know there's not secrets left.

I got a camera running like 24 hours a day it seems but no man, I've, I'm just an old, I'm just an old soul that's set in my ways and flexibility is the only thing that, that I have. Needed to improve on. And I think I've just about gotten to myself to where I can come and go and still trying to improve on that because people think I just quote unquote hunt for a living.

They don't know about all of the obligations that I've signed up for and what I've gotta produce and who I've gotta answer to and who needs what by what deadline. So there's a lot of that type stuff. But I've even learning as I go with this Pinho project thing and the web content thing and the mossy Oak go obligations and sponsor obligations and that kind of thing.

I'm learning as I go and I think I'm getting better at it, which allows me to not hunt more, but just hunt a little bit with less stress. Because, everybody would think that, oh man, he gets to Turkey hunt every day. He must just Live [00:53:00] on a cloud. And for the most part I do, but at the same time, there's obligations in the stress of not knowing what comes next.

And now that I've done it for a couple years, I'm like, I'm learning how to spread myself. Cause those first couple years, like trying to editing and and the, the moving footage and it takes hours. And then, people don't realize these episodes will take 12, 16, 20, 24 hours to edit and they want one a day.

And you're like, man, that ain't possible. Getting the expectations to reigned in to be somewhat realistic, figuring out how to space my content that I gather over the off season out to where it ques everybody's thirst. And then just time management on my own.

In my own life to where I can do more with less time and enjoy Turkey season a little bit more. If you follow along with the social media channels, you'll, you missed out on a lot of the quote unquote kill shots this year as far as the after the kill, usually I would take a good picture like I [00:54:00] always do, but I would share like the day after or that, that evening you would get what happened that day.

You saw a lot less of that because photography, when it comes to turkeys, man, then after you document everything that I do from beginning to end, then the photography part, it begins to look a lot like just, it just makes work out of it, and not that it quote isn't work, so to speak from what I do, but it just got to be a drag like so some days, I would take a good picture with the Turkey, but I just didn't stress about it like I once did.

Waiting till the lighting was just perfect to get the right shot, driving for an hour to get the right scenery. Like I just that's a thing of the past for me. I know there's some guys out there still doing it. They get remarkable stuff, if you get a good scenic pick with me, that's cuz we were close to it.

I try to always get something to encompasses the world that they lived in, but, I'm not driving six hours outta the way to do it anymore. [00:55:00] Dave, I think there's an epidemic of sun, Turkey hunters out there just gets stressed out, man. They're anxious. They're, if they get killed on a run and they're not killing turkeys like it starts wearing at 'em.

You got any advice for guys like that? I don't know personally any, but yeah. You don't know anybody like that? I do. Yeah.

You got any advice for guys like that, Dave? No, man. Not really. It's gonna happen to all of 'em. I can pretend if I went on a hunt trip and it was day five and I hadn't sat down on a Turkey, that I'd still be in a good mood, but I hadn't you can watch my videos, like I, I do a terrible job of hiding that kind of thing.

I wear my feelings on my sleeve a lot, even if I'm by myself staring into a camera and I know when I'm hitting the record button Hey, the record button's on, look like you're chipper and happy. I'm just terrible at that. I have gotten a lot better about just knowing that the world's not gonna end.

And it's definitely gonna come together eventually if I just keep plugging [00:56:00] away and seeing every glass is half full. And appreciating the opportunities that I do have, and realizing you gotta have those to make the good days seem like good days. But that's about as much as I can give you.

Anxiety's still gonna be there. We talked about that just a second ago. I'll pull out of this flipping house every February man, I hope I remember how to do this because it seems like it's been so long ago that I got to sit down and Yelp at one. I am not a hundred percent sure.

I still know how to ride that bike, it's it's the anxiety and the unknowingness is always gonna be there, I think makes a. There's a monkey on every Turkey hunter's back at the beginning of the season. Now, I've talked about it before, like until you kill that first one and he's, you got him in your hands.

You have no idea if you'll ever kill another Turkey in your life. There's always, the monkey never leaves. He's always there. He might get a little bit skinnier, he might get a little smaller, but like as soon I can't hunt turkeys for another, nearly a year, [00:57:00] for 10 months now or whatever, and he's already made his way back up there on my shoulder.

Yeah. May never kill another. No, man, it it's tough. These birds, like we we can compare and contrast on to deer a lot because they're both in what we do, at least for me personally, I think for all of us. Here. Me and you, Adam, I think you and I actually, I may be the only legitimate deer hunter on this on this call.

I'm the only person who actually cares about deer. Dave I know you're good at deer hunting, but I don't know if it even comes close to Turkey for you. Like we, we get so caught up in this we've gotta be successful. This goes back to the whole social media conversation as well.

We've gotta be successful, we've gotta be successful, we've gotta be successful. And it's really hard to overcome that. When it's constantly in your face, man, I've had times where I've okay, no social media. I'm done, finished, freaking done. Then your phone dings, or you gotta look at it for [00:58:00] work and it's just really hard.

It's hard to, it's hard to overcome that aspect of it. But man I just really appreciate guys like you, Dave, who are so real and honest about. Your kinda your feeling in the moment in the season. I never feel like, I never feel like I watch you and feel like you're faking it. If you're mad about something, you can tell that you're upset about it.

If you're super jacked up about something, you can tell that you're super jacked up about it. And I've always really appreciated that you, and I've also used you as a as a standard for a lot of my own opinions, right? Sometimes I'll see some things and maybe I'll hear you speak up about it or maybe I'll hear you say something against it or for it.

And a lot of the time your influence. Really goes into shaping my opinion. And so I wanted to say personally to you that I appreciate that. And I'm also curious to know from you I'm trying to think of the right way to put [00:59:00] this. Speaking of just those anxious moments, right? The those moments when you feel like you suck, I'm sure of it, there is a time this season that you felt like, man, I must be the worst Turkey hunting Turkey hunter on the planet.

Can you share, oh God, a story from this season where you just felt like I suck. Because I, oh man, I hold you to such a high standard. I'm like, every time I screw up on a Turkey, lemme tell you something. It happens every year, but for some reason this year, It was a year of missed opportunity, so to speak.

Because like typically I took a, like a, an oath probably a decade ago cuz I would always have these reservations about moving on a Turkey or or something to where at the end of the day I would go, what I should have done was, and I'm like, you know what? From now on when these decisions are presented to me, I'm gonna [01:00:00] sit down and stop and think and go in an hour.

What am I gonna, what am I gonna say? What I should have done was oh, my phone's on low battery. You guys still there? We're there, yeah. All right. But anyways, I'm gonna say what am I gonna say? What I should have done was and so when I took that oath, honestly I had a lot less missed opportunities.

Because I would slow down just long enough to go, man, I'm gonna wish I would've done this or done that. And mo more often than not, that comes together. But this year it wasn't because I failed to do that, it's because like I prepared well enough and two things happened. Something that I still don't have an explanation for happened, or I almost took it for granted that it was gonna come together because it was just supposed to, the way it ha came together, I was like, oh that's, this thing is done.

And then it just didn't. So I guess I'm like a [01:01:00] little spoiler alert here. I missed two turkeys this year and I haven't missed two turkeys in a season in my life, I don't think. So both of them were almost identical scenarios too. And not only that, there was like probably three or four other opportunities to where the Turkey came up and either I mist traced his footfalls or I wasn't where he needed to be or I caught him up.

I caught him on camera coming over the ridge top and I didn't see him until he had already seen me and he was making an escape or something. I'm like, that doesn't happen to me. Like I'm always trained, I'm always acute to the situation. And three or four different times this year, the Turkey got away.

Because, and I'm thinking to myself, you know what? I've got the best of camouflage. I've got the best material of camouflage. Like I've got the best leafy suit in the country. Like I [01:02:00] have everything at my disposal and these freaking turkeys keep seeing me. What am I doing? And I don't know if it was the glass on the camera, I don't know if I need to take more time on the external mic that sticks out.

I don't know. But I kept having cam turkeys come, if you hunt the ridges, the turkeys come over, you don't have a whole lot of time to, sing and dance there. You need to make things come together. And I was failing to do that, frankly. And like I said, I just flat out swung and missed on a couple of them.

And yeah, there's been, there was quite a couple handfuls of times this spring where I was like, do I really have a clue what I am doing? Like how could I have messed up such a perfect situation? I found a perfect Turkey and I just, Crap. The bed, for lack of a better term, I just made a mess of the situation.

Yeah, there's, they're they're gonna come I assume every Turkey season's gonna leave with some of those memories. Yeah. It, it is deep inside of me. It's good to know that Dave Owen screws up sometime. It's aw man. This season [01:03:00] was a good one for that.

There, there was more opportunities. It's every time I turned around I had an opportunity, but if I would've made 'em all come together, it would've been one for the ages, no doubt. But man, I just kept getting caught with my pants down somehow. I don't know.

Couple more questions and hopefully your phone don't die before we wrap this. Yeah. I was gonna say, I may have to plug this thing in. I dunno if I can get it to tell me what I got going on here. We'll give you a minute if you need it. Let me see. I can downsize. I got 20%. Y'all reckon that's on hold?

Yeah, it'll be good. Yeah, we'll be good. Yeah. Everybody likes to talk about gear. We spent a whole night last week, Adam and I talking about gear. Do you have any new toys this year that you played with? Lemme think. It's to talk about man, like I said, it comes back to the strategy thing and how I approach each spraying.

I've set my ways and trying to think if there was anything new that really hit the scene. People saw me wearing a Bino harness [01:04:00] this year and the only reason I wear that Bino harness is that, so that I can drop my vest and still have that GoPro on my shoulder. Cuz I do quite a bit of crawling and for the couple years there I was having to crawl with that vest on just to have that angle so that bin no harness gave me another shoulder strap to clip that thing too.

I do the bin, no harness, but I've still gotta do a little bit. Looking around. There may be a better option. I'm not sure. I just haven't got a lot of experience with 'em, but people, are asking me if I liked it. And verdict's still out, I guess you could say. I do being able to drop my vest.

Let me think. Other than that man the cause were the same, as this kind of guns were the same, the loads were the same nothing really groundbreaking that that entered the scene that, that I would say was a game changer, no. What about any changes or plans? What's your, what's the on the horizon for Pinho project in 2024?

Man, I hope this, I hope the sand don't run out of this thing is all I hope for from year to year, at the ends. And I'm thinking, gosh, if I could just do that one more time. [01:05:00] If I could just have a spring with that much flexibility. One more time. That's all my fingers are crossed, hoping that I get to do it again.

That's the only I'm gonna try, I every year I get to this point in the season and you wanna mope and I do my share of moping around, don't get me wrong, but I try to be productive. I'm like, man, I'm gonna wish I had these two or three weeks back when, it's about February of next year.

So I'm trying to be productive. I've got myself a to-do list over here. Courtney told me I'd do a lot more productive if I made a list of the things that I needed to do. And it has helped. It really has. So I've got some things done instead of just sitting around and crying, but just trying to come up with something, trying to come up with silly stuff like shirt ideas or hat ideas that I I won't be stressed to come up with something new.

Just, trying to be relevant, man. Just the life of a guy in my shoes, I got one more question then I'll be done and I'll pass it along to anybody else. But the last thing I had for you what can we as Turkey hunters do for turkeys in this off season? [01:06:00] Man, I think we're as Turkey hunters, we're starting to formulate a calendar to where we're figuring out what we need to do at certain times of the year, and I think that's being very productive.

A lot of my, like last week, a ton of my week was spent getting caught up on the turkeys for tomorrow stuff, I'm a board member for those guys and I my responsibilities I won't say or forgotten, it's just that I can't be as involved as I should be during the season considering the demands of what I do.

So I get caught up on all that stuff and kind of pick up some pieces that I've let fall to the wayside. So a lot of last week was dealing with that and getting all that on the up and up. Huge things coming from those guys. They have not taken while I've been distracted, they haven't taken their foot off the gas pedal, my cousins puts together the N W T F banquet back in my old hometown and I was talking to him and getting the dates set for all that next month.

And and to help him get the word spread out around that and try to be present for that. So [01:07:00] I think, like I said, I think I've had this discussion before at this point in the game. Just being present for the discussions, making sure your voice is heard. Like I said earlier, I think the melting pot analogy's great because if we all throw our ideas in there, Either one or a couple of 'em bound to be right.

So as there, as long as everybody keeps seeing the data and the strategy or data and the the new findings that we're having from the researchers being, just staying up to date on everything that's being, and also approaching all of that with an open mind. Don't come into the doggone discussion with the same flip and, just listen a little bit more than you speak.

I understand people being firm in their beliefs, but and I'm guilty of it as anybody. But I think if everybody just can try to be productive in listening to what we're finding and Everybody gives their input. We're sure to find the answers in there somewhere. But like I said earlier, I think we've already done a considerable amount [01:08:00] just by being present for the conversations.

And I think by paying attention participating in your agency's comments sections, taking part in those poll surveys like you mentioned earlier, because I think that is one of the huge things that has been a win for this surge in interest in Turkey hunting is because the biggest thing for Turkey researchers is being able to count the dog on things.

We still don't have a proper metric to do that, I don't think. There is no camera survey that you can really rely on as far as I can understand, where you can get a, an accurate population of Turkey idea. So I think having a concerned public eye these biologists and these researchers can't be everywhere at once.

So having everybody's eyes available and trained to know what you're looking for has helped tremendously. And I think that's given the researchers so they can trust that consumer science a little bit more, because people are paying attention. They're just not taking Turkey numbers for granted.

They're actually [01:09:00] paying attention to when they see turkeys in a field or if they flush poles, somebody else is hearing about it, so I think that's good. And I think as far as what we can do as the public going forward is just stay in involved, stay in those conversations, keep those conversations going, and trying to be productive participants in that conversation.

Dave, my last question, take a little different route. For Turkey hunters preparing this off season for the next season, is there any just word of advice you can give to those guys, that guys and gals, to increase their odds of success in the off season? What would you do or what would you focus on? Or a couple things you might focus on the off season.

Starting from scratch, I would, I'm gonna fall back on what Joey and I were just talking about. I wanna make more turkeys. I think anybody that's taken from the population should this time of year be looking to make sure they're adding that many back. So there's gotta be turkeys to hunt turkeys.

So it's always good to, when it is, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. Let's do our part to make sure [01:10:00] we're putting them back on the landscape. But then also just, we talked about this earlier too. Time is that one ingredient, the more time you.

You devote to this thing. The more success, the more opportunities, the more experiences you're gonna get. So figuring out what you need to do March, April and May to get yourself another week's vacation or another hall pass or whatever you need to be out there. Figure out how to get your flexibility to improve to the point to where you can go when you want to go.

That'd be my biggest advice to anybody wanting to prepare for the off seasons how they can enjoy it next spring more. Dave, my only last question and it's it's a really good one. It's a really good question. If if you had to choose which cheap cigar would you choose every single time it's always been a cheap Swisher, just the originals.

Cheap swish. Original cheap swish or sweets. You can get it from the convenience store. You can't mess with tradition. And that's what [01:11:00] it's always been. Now the whole cigar thing, I'm just actually curious at this point. Have you, are you like a cigar smoker outside of Turkey hunting?

No. It's just, it's only that. No, I think it's disgusting. It's disgusting. Smoking is disgusting. It is nasty. Just makes you stink. Your breath is terrible or ruin your teeth. There's nothing good about it really. At this point you're kinda of a smoker. So I picked it up from chubs.

I give credit where credit is due. Is, he is, it was something that he added to my arsenal when we started hunting together some years ago, 10 years ago, I guess now. But he was I will, I'm not one of those guys that runs around and pretends I did all this cool stuff because, when we started hunting together, he did the cigar and when he sat down with this Turkey and we discussed what happened and laughed and cried and whatever happened with the Turkey the cigar was a part of that.

And I thought, man, that's cool. That's something that we can, that I can [01:12:00] do. And so I just picked it up from him and it's turned into what it is, but no, you won't see me smoking cigars at the lake or on the beach, or, out having a beer with my buddies. I don't, I'm not a smoker. No. See, I've got my own theory of why Dave Owens killed so many turkeys in a season.

And it's because you smoke those cheap little, those little. Emphasize on the little cigarillos, little ci cigars, because you can smoke one of them in probably about 20 minutes. And Parker, Jacob and we've smoked cigars for years. But in our opinion, life's just too short for cheap cigars.

So we bring, hog leg cigars sometimes to the woods with us, and it takes us over an hour to smoke one of those cigars. So if Dave's just smoking one in 10 minutes, he can be on his way and go kill more turkeys. Our rule is one Turkey a day, so we don't ever kill more than one a day, but we've been known to smoke the cigar and a nap, and it'll be three or four hours later before we're standing up.

But [01:13:00] that being said, one quick story is I started the cigar thing I think a year after. I think this is on video. We had a cigar, some cigar folks sent me some cigars. It was Southern Tab. Southern tab. Yeah. Cigar. I've heard of that. Okay. They sent me a handful of cigars and sleazy and I killed some turkeys in North Carolina.

And luckily it was on a little private piece he had and we were real close to the truck cuz I was like, man, we're gonna smoke these fine cigars this time. And we went to smoking on them things. Let me tell you something, I'm not an lc. I'm not a tobacco guy. Like I can't dip. I've tried dipping twice and I've puked my guts up both times.

I can't do tobacco. If I chew on a real cigar, like I get sick feeling like, I don't know if it's the nicotine or what it is. So we were chewing on these things and smoking 'em, he and I both were like, I don't think I can stand up. Like we, we about got like a high off this cigar and I was like, man, if it was up to me to walk a mile out of [01:14:00] this place right now, I just have to take, sit down and take a break.

So the reason that I don't smoke real cigars is flat out, cuz I can't, like it would put me on my butt and I'd be, and I'd probably have to spend the night, golly. Dude, that's funny. I couldn't keep up with Joey, I guess is what I'm saying. I don't know. I literally don't, you obviously smoke a lot of cigars and I don't know that I could keep continually doing that if I didn't enjoy it, if I didn't like tobacco.

Like I think it's just ironic and I'm actually probably gonna use this recording at some point of Dave Owen saying I'm just not a tobacco guy. No, definitely. Cause it's freaking hilarious. Definitely not. And I do enjoy that. The smell of lighting a cigar is nostalgia for me.

Like that smell is it. And I do enjoy. Like the cheap cigar taste like that initial taste of like just, I [01:15:00] don't know. It's just that smell that feels, it's just that aroma is just all around you. Like I do flavor too. The flavored too, ain't they? Aren't those swish flavored?

Yeah. No, the ones I do are typically originals, but oh, hunter likes the what, the tropical fusions and Drew and them smoke the grapes and Tanner smokes the grapes. They do all that. I just get the originals. But that being said, I do enjoy that. But if it came down to smoking a real cigar where you chew on the thing as much as you smoke on it no, I can't do that.

I'd be flopping like a fish outta water. Oh man. I don't got any more, no more questions for me. Yep. No more for Mr. Owens tonight. I appreciate it guys. Oh man, we appreciate it. If you're those guys and gals that are out there and they're still listening to Turkey stuff in the middle of June, y'all are people, lemme tell you, y'all are people.

But Dave, we really appreciate your time tonight. And everything that, all the observations and everything that you've shared with us we'll we'll let you go. It's it's late enough for [01:16:00] me anyway. It's getting close to my bedtime. It's dinner time dinner time, supper time. But we'll like I said at the beginning of the episode, you, this is probably our last maybe weekly episode here and we'll get on, we'll keep doing stuff in the off season because Parker can't ship me up for nine months, that's for sure.

So we'll just, we'll keep a little bit of Turkey stuff rolling off and on throughout the off season here. But we appreciate y'all hanging with us this season. I've had a lot of fun. I could do this probably every night if my wife allowed it. But I've had a lot of fun chatting every week, for the last few months now.

I think February is when we kicked this thing off. And that's fun. We've been steady talking about turkeys every week, and it has not gotten old. I'm really sad to not do this every week. But y'all y'all hang with us, don't unsubscribe. We're gonna have some more stuff coming out.

Like I said, it may be biweekly, maybe once a month and maybe whenever, if Parker lets me just get on here one random [01:17:00] day in October and ramble about turkeys for an hour, then that'll be it. I was gonna, all of a sudden it's gonna show up on my Spotify that there's a new limb hanger episode, and it's just Joey.

I got into them real good cigars and just went on the rant. There you go. Oh yeah. We appreciate everything boys. Y'all stick with us like I said during the off season, but in the meantime keep doing whatever it takes to make more turkeys out there and we'll catch you later on the lamb hanger Turkey on podcast.

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 in the woods as the Wild Turkey. We'll talk to you guys next week.