This week on The Average Conservationist Podcast, Marcus sits down with Dan Nelson and Sebastian Alvarado from 2% Certified Local Outdoors Brand. Local Outdoors is a lifestyle apparel brand supporting conservation with an emphasis on creating memories and getting outdoors in your local area, wherever that may be. The guys open things up talking about their upbringing in Michigan and how the two re-connected after growing up in the same small town. Dan discusses how the company was formed and why conservation is at the center of everything they are doing. If you're looking for some new gear to show some love for your home turf and support conversation in the process, go check out Local Outdoors.
[00:00:00] You are listening to the average Conservationist podcast brought to you in partner with 2% for conservation. 2% for conservation's mission is to create an alliance of businesses and individuals that ensure the future of hunting and angling by committing their time and dollars to fish and wildlife.
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Getting 2% certified means you've made the same commitment as popular brands like Sitka Stone, glacier and seek outside in giving at least 1% of your time and dollars. Back to wildlife, but it's not just for outdoor companies, breweries, contractors, coffee roasters, and even piano repair companies have earned 2% certification and stand out as leaders in their communities for doing so.
Businesses that are committed to conservation deserve your business. When [00:01:00] you shop, learn more about 2% for firstname.lastname@example.org. That's fish and wildlife.org.
Ladies and gentlemen, good day to you. Welcome back to the Average Conservationist Podcast, and I am your host, Marcus Shing. All right. Today with me, I have two gentlemen from the great state of Michigan Dan Nelson, Sebastian Alvarado, and they are with 2% certified local outdoors brand is much like the average conservationist is a, it's a lifestyle apparel brand.
And the story [00:02:00] behind local outdoors and the evolution of where things started with the brand to where they are now. Some changes that have been made from a branding perspective and just to and Dan and Sebastian do a much better job going into this, but to something a bit more all encompassing in terms of the outdoors.
Dan and Sebastian as I mentioned, Michigan guys here grew up over on the west side of the state, and the two of them have been or were grew up together for the most part. I would say apologies here. I'm I'm fighting this terrible cough and it really kicks in after about a minute and a half of talking, so I'm gonna try and keep the intro relatively short here.
But yeah, Dan and Sebastian grew up and were friendly with each other. They, I wouldn't call 'em like super tight but they certainly knew each other. And then I think it was probably five years ago or so a random[00:03:00] exchange between the two of them on social media has turned into just this.
Crazy tight brotherhood bond that all formed through the outdoors. And I'm sure many of us listening, or many of you listening probably have some type of experience along those lines where a bond has really been formed a friendship what have you through the outdoors in, in some capacity.
With that again, with the two of them growing up as lifelong hunters and anglers and whatnot the outdoors and, spending that time with family is certainly something that's near and dear to them. Which is where the part of the idea behind local outdoors comes from.
And not only that the conservation piece is certainly a big one for the guys, and it's I don't even want to try to go into it too much because we take a pretty deep dive in and we spent quite a bit of time on it, which is which was really nice. And it was it was good to, to just talk about, all the different [00:04:00] reasons why conservation is so important to their brand.
We've certainly had those conversations with a lot of folks in the past. But a lot of times I feel like maybe we don't, I don't get the opportunity to spend enough time and a lot of that is likely my own doing. But we really wanted to to put an emphasis and put a focus on that during our chat.
So it's just you can tell that these guys have been friends. There was a, an instant camaraderie between the three of us. And you can tell as the conversation goes on things we certainly loosened up a bit. Not that it was, stuffy or anything to begin with, but you just, we find a groove here as the podcast goes on.
Great conversation. One that I would certainly like to to do again in the future when we get a chance to. So enough rambling. I said I wasn't gonna make this long. And here I am episode 1 54. With Dan Nelson and Sebastian Alvarado. Enjoy. Before that, before the conversation with the guys, I wanna take a minute to tell you about my friends over [00:05:00] at Go Hunt.
Now is the perfect opportunity to be scheduling, planning, getting ready for that that big perhaps fall out-of-state hunt whatever. Maybe it's a hunt of a lifetime, whatever it is. Make sure you are going over to Go hunt.com, checking out the gear shop, picking up anything that you may need, boots, packs outerwear, base layers, whatever the case is.
Also, sign up to be a Go Hunt insider sign up and get the go hump, the Go Hunt maps. As far as a mapping system goes I'm hard pressed to find a better one out there, so head over to go hunt.com and help support conservation in the process. All right. From local outdoors, I have Dan Nelson and Sebastian Alvarado.
Guys, how are you tonight? Great. Good. How are you? Hey, I'm doing all right. I I appreciate you guys making some time sticking with me through the rescheduling process and everything, but [00:06:00] another I alluded to it, go forward. We started recording here, but another 2% certified Michigan brand.
I'm super pumped to talk to you guys and learn more about your story and about your backgrounds. Why conservation obviously is at the center point of everything that you guys are trying to do, excuse me, with local outdoors. So before we get into the brand and kind of talk about the origin story there, why don't you guys tell me a little bit about yourself and a little bit about your backgrounds?
Sure, Sebastian. All right. My family's originally from Chile. My dad's family is, my mom grew up on a dairy farm in North central Michigan. And when I was about two years old, my family moved from Chile back to Michigan. And since I come from half dairy farmers, I learned how to hunt and fish from them and fell in love with it and being outside, living in the outdoors.
And my family moved to Luddington in the early nineties. Went to school here, [00:07:00] grew up like anyone in West Michigan does on the beach all summer and in a tree stand all fall. And then I'm back on the steelhead waters all winter and left for college and did that and started working. And that's, once you get through the craziness of the post high school college days, reinvent yourself and figure out what it is that you actually like to do with your time.
Yeah, absolutely. So after grad school, actually it was during grad school to keep my sanity, I. I fell head over heels for bow hunting and that became my main passion. And then when I finished grad school, I got a chocolate lab and I was gonna be the world's best lin Hunter, and she was about a, she's about 14 months old and blew her a c l out.
So I went and bought a new bow after I paid for her surgery and fell hard back into bow hunting. And Dan and I actually grew up together and went to high school together. Yeah, we played high school tennis together and we were always [00:08:00] friendly. We skied together on the weekends, but we didn't really hang out with one another.
And I was actually living in Pittsburgh, working in the oil and gas industry, and he started following me on Instagram and sent me a message about how great it was to see me getting into the outdoors. I sent him a pretty terse message back man, I don't know where you've been, but I've been doing this my whole life.
Yeah. And so that's how we ended up reconnecting. And he came out to Pennsylvania and I showed him how to. Weather the storm on the Pennsylvania public ground chasing big public ground Pennsylvania deer. Oh yeah. And and yeah, he hasn't been able to get rid of me since. Yeah. I moved back to left Pittsburgh, moved to Oklahoma, moved back up here in 2019.
And about the time I put the last box on the truck, Dan called me and he told me he was also moving back to Waddington. So it worked out perfectly. And so we were been hanging out constantly ever since. [00:09:00] And that's, this is all part of the origin story too, yeah. No, it's good. It's good. Yeah. Trying to not give too much of an away.
I'll let not let Dan tell the rest of it. But since we both moved back here to Ludington, it's been just. Shooting bulls in the side yard. He's his, him and his wife got a new farm a year-ish ago. Two two years. Yeah. Oh yeah oh yeah. Yeah. It's been two. Oh yeah. Oh. Either way. And helping him get that set up to hunt on, he's helped me on the property.
I hunt. Just any excuse for us to be outside. Yeah. Working on habitat and chasing 107 inch Michigan whitetail there. It's, yeah, that's what we all chased for. Yeah. So that's Sebastian's background. I too grew up in Luddington and Sebastian gave a lot of a lot of our background through high school and how we, knew each other and, Didn't necessarily hang out, but we were always in the same place.
My story goes with myself going to five different colleges, failing out of a couple of 'em, [00:10:00] finally getting a degree and then joining the army. So I did four years of active duty in the United States Army. And after I left the military I came back to Michigan and I was working for a medical device company.
And that's actually when Sebastian and I started talking again, was while I was working there I was living in Kalamazoo and Driving back up here to be able to hunt. My, I grew up, we have a family farm, so we've got 50 acres that I grew up hunting, and it's been, my, that's been my place ever since I was a little kid.
My dad used to take me out and, he, he kept with it after my brother had expressed some interest and then he had decided he didn't really like it that much. And my dad took me out, when I was, yeah, probably nine years old. And, one of his favorite stories is being able to take me out at nine years old, and I just loved it so much.
I'd sit there and, I'd be the one to el one him to shut up when he was started snoring because I didn't want the deer to get scared, at any rate, so moved back to Michigan. I was in the National Guard for another three years while I was working down in Kalamazoo, and moved around a little bit here and there, and then decided to move back [00:11:00] up to Luddington and again, like Sebastian said, it was we started hanging out again right after that.
And it was really I think it was actually. During, or actually would've been just after our Pennsylvania trip, while I was still in Kalamazoo that I started shot local and shot local is the origin story of local outdoors, shot local, meaning, I harvested this animal somewhere that is local to me.
Not necessarily, everybody always says what's local, outdoors? What's local? Locals, wherever you are. Yeah. Local is whatever you care about. Wherever you grew up. It could be the trout stream that you grew up fishing with your dad and the up it can be somewhere out west.
It can be wherever you care about that you've been going your lifetime and that you enjoy. And that's one of the reasons why we, stuck with this whole local theme is we want our, our, customers to actually make recommendations on where our donations go. So it goes to somewhere that they give a hoot about, it, it goes somewhere that they actually care about and are passionate about.
At any rate, that's getting [00:12:00] down the wrong line. So moved back to Luddington and like Sebastian said, we've been hanging out ever since. And it was probably a year after we moved back, shot local, had never really gotten legs, never really took off. And we started talking about it and we both said, this is a really good idea.
It just needs a better execution. And so we started with a new execution and started with the whole local outdoors theme. We have caught local shop, local camp, local hike, local drink, local boat, local, all these different, sub-brands underneath the local outdoors.
And all of these different brands are what we're using to give back to different things that we care about. Whether it's, we also have golf, local, we give back to high school golf teams. We give back to conservation. We give back to all kinds of different things that we all care about.
So anyway, that's how we got to where we're at and now we're chugging along. I love the reasoning behind it because. I grew up in Michigan, very similar upbringing to you guys where started at a [00:13:00] young age, with my dad. Grandpa with my uncle. Like all these things, deer hunting, upland bird hunting, duck hunting, all these different types of things.
And as I'm much older now and have a family and a wife and kids like that, like the whole idea behind like local and like I don't live necessarily where I grew up. Now I'm a I'm much further south, but there's this nostalgia that comes with going back home. Like even if I'm not going to, to hunt or to fish or anything like that.
Like just being in that area. Yeah. There's just something about it that just all of a sudden, like you're transported back 25 years and you're like, holy shit. Yeah, man. The times that I had here and and at the time, like I didn't realize it. I don't know if you guys were the same way where like you enjoyed what you were doing and Yeah, like it was cool, especially to spend time with dad and stuff and maybe sometimes we did it begrudgingly cuz we wanted do other things like hang with our friends or just be a high schooler or whatever.
But you get older and Yeah, that's when you start to realize man,[00:14:00] that was it. Like those were the good old days, so to speak. Totally. Yeah. It's funny, you touch on that, going out with dad when you're a kid getting up to our age. What about taking dad back out?
That's what I do every year is now I own my own 50 acres and I bring dad out and I've got a blind that's set up for him. And honestly my my sister was a, a late onset on earth. She never did it as a youngster. And when she started hunting, it was probably seven years ago and her first year out shot her first doe and it was, it's that feeling until my kid shot his first year last year, that was the.
The coolest deer I'd ever seen, up until when he got his, my son shooting his was obviously a little bit, a little more touching to me, but sure. It was what taken her out. And I never knew what my dad felt when he watched me shoot a deer until I watched my sister shoot her first deer.
And it's just, we want to share that with people and we want people to, get to enjoy it forever. And that's one of the reasons why we do the donations back to conservation is so that all these things are still here for [00:15:00] everybody years and years from now. Yeah. No, absolutely.
And for you guys who have been obviously doing this for a long time, and I'm just curious if you feel the same way that I do, or you hit that point, like you've been hunting, you've been fishing, you've been doing all of these things for a really long time, right? And certainly there's been highs, there's been lows, but for the most part you could probably look yourself in the mirror and be like, you know what? I've been pretty successful at this, right? I've shot a lot of good deer or Turkey, I've caught a lot of big fish. Whatever the case is, but you get to this point in kind of your outdoor journey, right?
Where you just have so much fun it, it becomes much more about the pursuit than the kill, so to speak. Yeah. And like the journey becomes much greater of a story than the destination. And you wanna just share that. It doesn't matter at that point, like how successful you're gonna be.
You wanna share that feeling, Dan, like you were just talking about like when your sister shot that deer, when your son shot that deer. Like those feelings those firsts are something that you can't really put into words, right? You just have to be there to [00:16:00] see it. Yeah. Yeah. There's no way to explain it to anybody.
Sharing that moment with someone you care about, it can be like Sebastian, he hunts with his wife. It, it can be whoever you're, you care about that you take out there and into the wilderness and go fishing with, I think it was it last summer, Sebastian and his wife both caught master angler salmon on the same boat trip.
How cool is that? Yeah. When they both got to submit and they both got their patch and everything and that's pretty sweet stuff. Weren't very good at that. Yeah. Sebastian moonlights as a first mate okay. Very good. It was what, 2020 then when you guys rebranded?
Or was it, when was it that you shifted gears from shot local to local outdoors? End of 2020. Yeah. End of 2020. Yeah. By the time the pandemic hit shot local was, yeah. Dead in the water and it was 2020. No one had anything to do and we all had our little covid pods and so yeah, we were in each other's Covid pods.
So [00:17:00] inevitably the conversation would turn back to that, that, this is a good idea that there, there are a lot of outdoor lifestyle apparel brands and I, lemme get the sense that you like us. There's a lot of good out there. It's been cool to watch the pushback in the hunting community. Railing against the, oh, you shot a one 40.
Oh, why it wasn't a one 50. It, and there's, especially being a fellow Michigan, I'm sure you also believe in the, let him go to let him grow philosophy. But the really what pushed Dan and I over the edge to, to really sit down and put ink to paper on getting this idea going again, was that the tides were turning away from the glorification of just the kill.
Yeah. And the part that seemed to be missing to us was the conservation aspect. How many kids, [00:18:00] young people, new hunters, don't know anything about Pitton Roberts. They have no idea what that is. And it's great that they're doing it. It's great that un unbeknownst to them, their money's going to that, but, How much more could we do if we could just shine whatever light we have onto that?
Yeah. And so that's when the conversation switched from just haunting, cuz yes, I am a part-time first mate, but haunting is still and always will be my passion. But then we started, it was that idea that had us go, okay, what do you do about fishermen who don't hunt? For, that's such a hard concept too, for Michigans to grasp.
Yeah. Cause every one you meet in Michigan, they, if there's an open season, they'll tell you exactly what time the sun is and set what, how big this needs to be a keeper. And that, and, it's, it was, that might have been one of the most difficult things [00:19:00] for and I to wrap our heads around is, Do we really need to do con locals?
Does anyone actually really just love to fish or can we just sell camo hats to guys that love to both like us? Yeah. Yeah. So it oh, I lost my train of thought and where I was going with this. No, but I like that thought process, because I've said this before on the podcast, is a lot of times I think Michigan gets slept on Yeah.
As far as like a state and what it has to offer for the outdoors because i, and maybe it's just because people tend to look at the deer hunting and go it's not Kansas, it's not Illinois. Iowa, yeah. It's not some of these other Midwestern states, and I'm okay with that, but. These other states don't have world-class trout streams.
They don't have the Great Lakes. Some of absolutely. We have great Turkey hunting. We've got great upland bird hunting. Great duck. We have so much that you can, what, whatever you wanna get into, we probably have that here for you with, and we got, elk for crying out loud.
Good luck drawing a tag. But yeah, you still have that option. Yep. So there's the idea [00:20:00] of trying to encompass it all, like as best as possible. Whatever you want to get into, whether it's hunting, whether it's fishing, like you said, like golf local, like I grew up golfing.
And there's a ton of people who love to golf, those guys who golf probably bow hunt or they rifle hunt or they fish, right? Like they're doing all these other kind of, more traditional outdoor recreational sports, like we do. And I think that there's a lot to be said about that, about trying to.
Encompass and include all of these different outdoor activities that Michigan or any state for that matter has to offer. Yeah, that's when I first started the idea was that I was going to choose a a 5 0 1 nonprofit in every state. And I was gonna have a different design for every state, and I was gonna be giving back to all these different places.
And that's, it's really hard to scale that. So that's where the idea came from to say let's let our customers choose. Let's let them pick where the money goes because ultimately, What I care about is [00:21:00] conservation. It doesn't have to be right here in my back door.
It can be anywhere because conservation throughout the entire United States is what matters to me. And it's educating people, it's getting people to see that it's an important thing. And that's one of the things, and I want to touch on what you had said. There's so many different activities in Michigan that you can do.
And this is gonna sound like a pure Michigan ad. Too bad I don't sound like Tim Allen. But we have some of the most beautiful state parks in the United States. We have some of the most amazing hiking trails and, and if you get up into the up, there's so much stuff you can do.
And so that's, like our hike and our camp local line, that's where that came in was, we give back to the state park system so that way, when the, what was it, the our state park had a building where the roof collapsed. Yeah. And the friends of the Wellington State Park.
They are the ones who paid to fix it. So it was usable last summer because it wasn't in the budget. That's where some of our camp and our hike local money goes to is it goes to helping out the state parks, it goes to [00:22:00] keeping areas, usable and beautiful and just taking care of for everybody.
It's not just hunting and fishing it's outdoors. It's keeping nature, natural, yeah. So whatever we can do to make it So anybody out there who wants to get outside can go get outside. Yeah. Now as hunters as we are, we, I think it's fair to say that, hunters are arguably the biggest conservationists that there are out there.
And it's a weird dichotomy and we've all heard that arguing before from people who maybe don't quite understand, how we can call ourselves conservationists or how we can love, love deer so much when, we shoot two a year or three a year or one a year, whatever. Yeah, those numbers, you can get 10 here, right?
Yeah, no, you're absolutely right. But no, I lost my train of thought.
Shoot. So [00:23:00] at what point was it for you guys when the conservation light really went off right when you were like, we've been doing this for so long and we've been, Quote unquote, taking from the land for so long, like how do we start to give back to it? Was there a specific moment for you guys or was it one of those things that you were always aware of, you try to do your part as much as possible, but then you started thinking, I think again you mentioned like on a much like more scalable size or bigger scale.
Okay, we can do more than what we're doing now. What was that kinda the turning point for you guys when conservation really became like the focal point of the brand? So for me a as the original founder of Local Outdoors, it, I would say it started in, 15, 16, 17, somewhere in, in that range.
Maybe started in 15 and then really grew into me wanting to do something. And by the time we had 17 and then 18 is when I actually launched. I don't know that there was a pivotal moment for me. I think it was, I. Becoming more mature and [00:24:00] realizing that quality deer management, is something that we should be doing for the, when we're out there hunting, I prefer to, take older animals so that way I can let the younger ones live a little longer.
And I just realized that somebody's gotta be doing something. And I, there's so many amazing organizations out there. Sebastian and I are both on the board for Ducks Unlimited, and that didn't start until, what, two years ago? I think it was about two years ago. Fly Flaming and Ducks Unlimited.
Yeah. But I always thought man I really want to get involved in one of these things. I really want to do something. I really want to, make a difference. And that was where Shot Local kind of came from. And it was, I was, I remember I was at my dad's house and his, he and his wife were helping me talk through some of the The ideas that I had, it was actually my, my, stepmom who came up with shop local, because it sounds like shop local, and, what I had was a bunch of different ideas and I just really wanted it to be that local piece [00:25:00] because, I obviously that's a huge selling point and, the fact that you're taking care of local, places is really big. But that's when it hit me. I think it, it was just, I matured as a, as an adult and realized how important it really is.
My son wasn't my son at that point in time. He was, my, my wife's kid with her first husband. So that wasn't really something that hit me as far as, oh man, I want it for my kid. And that's what is hitting closer to home as I get older and through my marriage and through watching him grow up in the outdoors and enjoy fishing.
The kid, gosh, he loves to fish. Took him while I fishing for the first time this year. Oh, it was killer. We had such a blast over on the Detroit River. Just absolute blast. Speaking of mass wranglers, I caught on that trip as well. At any rate it it's just matured over time. Yeah, I'm looking at it, but that's really what it's been for me is it's it's matured over time.
Just as it started, as a little seed of I wanna make a difference and then it's turned into this over time and I dunno what Sebastian's. [00:26:00] Yeah, I, that's a really tremendous question and I appreciate you asking it. Cause I, I don't think anyone's ever asked me that question, let alone in the context of local outdoors.
I think for me, having grown up around farmers, there's always, in the back of your mind an underlying respect for the land. And as I grew into the outdoors and very proudly announced that I would never milk cows for a living, that when I, I grew up in Luton and spent a lot of time in macOS County that's, I went to college in Ann Arbor and that was culture shock for a 17 year old freshman to go from everything I knew to that.
And I, I can't tell you how many times in four years in Ann Arbor. I'd be talking to people I knew and they'd say, oh, we're gonna do this, that, and the other thing. This weekend I'd say oh, I'm at a town. They, oh, you're going [00:27:00] home? I'm going up north to go hunt. Oh my goodness gracious. How on earth could dear?
Beautiful. Have you ever eaten one's St. Arbor F Fantastic. And yeah, they're trying to sterilize deer instead of killing. It's ridiculous. Yeah. Yeah. But either way, tremendous school. Don't regret anything about it, but I had some weird interactions, and I do think it's part of the story that I, that was maybe the first time I realized there are a lot of people who don't know what hunting and fishing does to make sure that they can get on their high horse about not hunting and fishing.
You know how many people don't realize what. The annual Deer harvest does to make sure that people aren't smoking deer on the freeway every time they leave their house, right? Yeah. They're, yes. Deer are, they were here long before us. They'll probably survive an apocalypse, but left to their own devices.
They will breed to [00:28:00] the point where they eat the land, Barron. Yep. And then eventually starve to death, which is way worse than being respectfully, responsibly harvested by a hunter. Absolutely. And look at what's happening with Krueger National Park, with the elephants that are migrating in.
There are other species that are trying to leave Krueger National Park in South Africa because elephants are coming from the entire eastern side of Africa because they know there's food there. Yeah. And it through all of that I realize that not everyone is doing just a little bit, because if everyone did just a little bit for conservation, we probably wouldn't need Ducks Unlimited or the foundation.
All great organizations. And I don't That's a really good point. You'd be doing what you're doing. I'm sure that we wouldn't be doing what we're doing because eventually I realized that holy crap, hunters and fishermen we're the only ones that are actively doing this. Yes. Whether we realize it or not, we're the only ones [00:29:00] actively participating in conservation.
And just like Dan said, just like you said, I think there's a the realization comes with some age and maturity as you grow into the outdoors and you realize how much it's done for you as a person. Yeah. The lessons it teaches are second to none. You can make a team sports argument all you want, but if you wanna learn about patience, Go ice fish.
Yeah. Go sit in a tree. Stand mid-October. Yeah. Then talk to me about patience. Exactly. Swatting mosquitoes when you get in. Yeah. Shivering to death when you get out. Yep. And I think that when Dan launched Shot Local, I was very excited about it. I know I wasn't the first hat order cause we were in the middle of moving to Oklahoma.
Yeah. Cause I know I got that in Oklahoma. But that for me was the light bulb moment that it doesn't necessarily take the RM e F for Du or the Roughhouse Society or anything like that to make a [00:30:00] big impact on conservation. And the other thing that you've got me thinking about is I worked in the oil and gas industry from the time I was a junior in college until 2020.
And say what you will about the oil and gas industry, at least we're not lithium miners. Fig the last four years I spent in Pennsylvania the client I was working for was a pipeline midstream company, and that was the same time that a line five stuff kicked off in Michigan. And, I hope that no one sends you or me death threats over line five.
But either way, one thing that a lot of people don't realize is that when oil wells get drilled and then reclaimed, or pipelines get installed and then reclaimed just how much good that does for the environment they're in and the wildlife that they're in, I. I was directly involved in about 40 miles of pipeline in [00:31:00] Pennsylvania, and to this day I get text messages all fall from landowners.
I worked with holy cow smash. You won't believe the deer. I shout off your pipeline. Man, I don't work for them in five years, but awesome. What are you doing next weekend? Can I come visit? Can I come back? So it, yeah. You got some room for me. Yeah. It was really kinda eye opening for me to see it.
That it, it wasn't just conservation organizations. There are other industries that, yeah, and I don't, I'm not gonna say that the oil and gas industry goes out of its way too protect. Hunting and fishing and habitat improvement. But the way the rules and regs are, you can't just slam a pipe in the ground and call it good and kick some dirt over it.
It has to be reclaimed. Yeah. They don't get their permits released until there's x percentage of vegetation growing on it and they're not out there planting the same Scott's grass heat you put in your front yard. The mix my client used in [00:32:00] Pennsylvania was developed by Penn State University for them, for the region of Pennsylvania that they were in.
Not only so that it would grow, but so that it would give back to the environment because we might have to take some trees out here. We're cutting through ag ground there and it, that was part of my like aha. Light bulb going off moment. Yeah. About conservation coming from so many different places.
And so when Dan first called me and pitched shot local to me, I said I'm in, what do you need me to do? I was like, oh, hold on, we gotta hold on. I wasn't ready for that big of a commitment. So it, I again, I think it's, and I do, going back to what I said earlier, I think the tides are shifting a little bit on conservation.
So over Memorial Day weekend, our local outdoor shop captain Chuck's two Luddington, Michigan for all your hunting and fishing needs for anyone who's in the greater Luddington area. You're welcome Scott. They [00:33:00] do a customer appreciation event and truly the owner of Scott Kestra has been when we rebranded and decided to really dive into this, we met with Scott and said, are we crazy?
Do you think anyone is gonna care about this the way that we do? Here's what we're thinking for products. And I think his first words were, do you have room for more partners? We're like, oh, so you think it's a good idea? He said, great. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway over mo this past Memorial Day weekend, he asked if we wanted to come set up a booth and be part of his customer appreciation event.
And the last person we talked to was a 12 year old kid. Yeah. Who, he was there. Cause his dad is a charter captain and this young man, first mates for his dad. And they were just there, tire kicking it's tire shop on a holiday weekend. Why wouldn't you? Yeah. And so he came up to us and we talked to him for 45 minutes.
Yeah. And we were gonna pack up at five and we didn't leave till [00:34:00] five 50. Yeah. Because he stopped by, he was. I'll let Sebastian finish it. It was amazing. It was such a cool experience. Yeah. So he asked the same question that we get at the outdoor shows and all the shows we go to. He was like, so what's your deal?
And so we give him the abbreviated version, the origin story. And when we brought up conservation, his eyes lit up and he said, oh my gosh, that's what an amazing idea. I don't think enough people are talking about this. Yeah. I don't think that people reali, he brought up, I don't think he could have helped Pit and Roberts of his life depended on, but he brought that up and that's really what spurred the conversation that we ended up having with this young man.
And it, as Dan and I were loading the truck to leave, all we could talk about was how when we were that age, conservation was the furthest thing from our vines. Yeah. It's come on November 15th. I just want to shoot it here. Yeah, that's it. Again, I think [00:35:00] we're, all of us that are focused on conservation.
I think we're in a unique spot in time where even, you know, 10, 11, 12 year old kids know what conservation is and they're excited about it and excited for ways that they can be impactful too. Yeah. No, that's Sebastian, you bring up such a great point there. And I've, I'm gonna sound like a broken record because I've talked about this with a lot of people in the past, but there's this changing of the guard when it comes to the outdoors, right?
Guys like us like our age demographic. Like we're becoming at the forefront of the outdoors of hunting, yeah. Of fishing of conservation. And I think that, For all that social media is, there's really great things about it. There's really shitty things about it, right?
Yeah. The good things are certainly that, this young man that you guys had the opportunity to speak with for, at your, at the customer appreciation day there, [00:36:00] he, I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but he's probably grows up in a family who likes to hunt or to fish, and like most young kids, he's, probably on social media, so he's getting, if he's, I guess following or, tuning into kind of the right people in the industry, like he's getting a strong dose.
I know that sound anywhere. He's getting a strong dose of that conservation message, right? Yeah. I think back to when I was a kid and my dad, he did everything from tie his own flies. He built his own drift boat. He did all these things for fly fishing. He was, he loved to hunt.
Like he just, he became super obsessed with whatever it was. You know what, whatever pursuit it was, and we never talked about conservation right now, if we were at the boat launch, it was make sure everything's outta the boat. We don't want anything flying out. Leave things better than you found it.
Like we talked about it indirectly. But that word [00:37:00] conservation was never like, Hey son, this is what conservation is. Like that wasn't how it is. And I think that as time goes on, as social media becomes more prevalent, as, guys like us are getting our kids, our friends into the outdoors.
Like those conversations I think are a little bit more readily available. And there's other things out there like social media that can echo those same things that we're trying to teach the next generation, yeah. Yeah. That's so true. That's, and I think, part of what our main mission is not only to give back, but it's to educate.
It's to, let people know what they can do to help and, that's probably the most, and I, like you said earlier, it sounded like a broken record, but that's the most important thing to us, is to be able to give back and educate and help people realize how important this is. So it's still here, when we're dead and gone, I want it to still be here when my kid has kids and, I've got grandkids are around.
I want it to still be here because that's what matters. And it's just one of those [00:38:00] things that I think generations don't think about it sometimes. And then, as as you touched on with social media, our generation is like the. What is it? The beginning of the social media age?
Yeah. Maybe like a little bit late onset. I'm almost 40, so I'm not yeah. We're didn't grow up with internet and social media didn't exist until I was a little older. Yep. But, having folks like us out there promoting these ideas is what gets kids to see it and realize how important it's and to ha, to touch on Sebastian's comment about the, that young man that stopped by, he said, how cool is that?
That's amazing. I love what you're doing. And for a kid who's 12 or 13 years old to really grasp that, and I don't, my son would grasp it because I preach it, but this kid, he just thought it was the coolest thing in the world that we're giving back. And that's, that's what we want people to realize is it's not about us, making a buck.
It's about us making sure we can protect these things that we love. Yeah, no that's very well put. [00:39:00] So in terms of sticking with the conservation team here, how did you guys first learn or find out about 2% for conservation? Oh, that was the first podcast that we did and I would not recommend anybody listens to it cuz we had terrible audio, but it was actually with the okays hunter guys over in Wisconsin.
Yep. We did it remote and unfortunately the audio's not great on it, but we touched on a lot of great things and they were the ones who said, Hey, you should check this organization out. And we got in touch with him and I believe it was Jared. Is it Jared Frazier? Yep.
Yeah, so Jared we emailed back and forth a couple of times and he set up a call and, Sebastian and I got on and talked with him and it was just an amazing conversation you to, to hear that. He's doing what he's doing in order to bring all these businesses together to make a bigger impact.
That's a huge deal because when you think about how much is actually coming in from the bigger brands and the smaller brands and all, [00:40:00] everybody in between, that's how you make an impact bigger than the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, bigger than, ducks Unlimited. And that's how you make an impact for all the folks that are out there, all the the consumers who are buying product is they see all these different brands being a part of this.
So then they respect it even more. And, it's been great for us because I think we've had a number of folks who've stopped by, we at a trade show or something like that, and they see the 2% and they say what's this? And, we tell 'em about it and we say, we're committed to making sure we're following these rules and we're donating this much back and, we're giving this much time back.
And I think it hits home with a lot of folks that we talked to at these events and some folks it might blow right over their head, they don't really care, but doesn't matter because they heard us talk about it and the next time they hear about it or the next time they think about it, they're just gonna have a little bit more respect for it because they've heard it over and over again when they've been seeing these types of brands out there.
Yeah, no, that's you bring up something really important about 2% and how [00:41:00] they're bringing all these brands, When you look at the totality of an organization like 2% to, if you can be mentioned in the same breadth and the same conversations as, organizations or companies like Cka.
Yeah. Stone Glacier Go Hunt. And to know that even though, companies like local outdoors companies like the average Conserva, these small, one, two man companies who are, we're trying our damnedest to do what we can for conservation, but to be mentioned in the same breath with them, I think is something really cool.
And that's what's it's really cool, not just because you can put yourself in that same class to a degree when it or you can put yourself in the same class when it comes to Absolutely. Efforts and the things that we're trying to do for conservation. Now the financial thing, I think.
It's, Jared talks about this a lot when, especially when he is on, he's, he always says conservation isn't a competition. And I really agree with that because Yeah, there's no way guys like us could compete with, what sick is doing or anything like that. But at the end of the day, [00:42:00] if throughout the course of the year, if you can donate a thousand bucks, $2,000, something like that, like absolutely.
That's awesome. That's huge. That's $2,000 that, or a thousand or however much that, these three or four, however many organizations didn't have prior to that. And that's gonna help them continue their mission. And that mission is important to you guys, to your customers. And that's, that's what conservation is right there. And it's such a, it's such a cool thing to see. Yeah. And I think one of the most unique things, about 2%, and I, it floored me to see is. They don't care if you're Sitka or you're a steel company or you're a, a candy store, animal repair company, Mackin Island, it they don't care Nope.
Who you are or what your business is, as long as you have a conservation mindset, a conservation goal, and Yep. I don't know if I've even told you this story. I'm not sure if I should admit this out loud, let alone to the listening public, but Dan's [00:43:00] telling me about this and I'm going, Dan, nobody cares about this.
No, nobody there's enough companies and they're all, and everyone's making camo, Dan. And so when I pulled their website up, and I think I did the same thing you did and how you found us. I went to Michigan and the very first company I clicked on is a manufacturing company. And I thought, oh, I wonder what.
Part they make for, browning or whatever and they make automotive parts Yeah. I don't wanna say weird. It's just, it's a normal, it's related. Yeah. That has exactly, has nothing to do with hunting. It's, it's not a down rigger company, it's, but the owners, the top of that corporate food chain said, you know what, this is something that we care about.
It's something that we think our employees care about. So we are gonna make sure that every year we give back 2% to conservation. And another [00:44:00] unique thing about it is that yes, there's always gonna be a financial part of it, but the more and more you dig into 2% for conservation, The more you realize they care more about you actually putting boots on the ground and going and making a difference that people can see and touch and feel and experience.
And there again, from a conservation standpoint, I think that's the most impactful way to reach people who aren't died in the wall. Hunters, fishermen, outdoors folks, is being able to say, we did this. We cleaned this public beach something tangible stream or, because then it's there for everyone to enjoy.
The way that Teddy Roosevelt had it in his head when he set up the national park system, it's for everyone. It's not just for honors. It's not the best for fisherman, it's for the people to go experience it. Yeah. [00:45:00] Without getting sidetracked too much. You know it's interesting when if you go to fish and wildlife.org, two percent's website.
And you look at all the different brands. And Sebastian, you're right, there's, it doesn't matter. I've had companies who repair pianos. I've had real estate agents. I've had traveling veterinaries, vet veterinarians, excuse me. It's just this wide, bright photographers that, that see the value in the outdoors or have some connection to the outdoors and want to continue to give back.
You know what, you don't see a lot of, you don't see any bow manufacturers. You don't see any big name firearm manufacturers. Which is always surprising to me. I don't wanna bash people. Cause I, like I use a bow, I use a gun. I, I'm still going to use these things, but it always surprises me that you have, for the most part, like what people look at a bow.
You have a bow that's designed for. Either target archery or for hunting, [00:46:00] right? Like those are your two categories. And I would say there's probably a lot more hunters than there are target archers out there. Yeah. When it comes to using bows. Oh yeah. And there's not a single bow manufacturer up there.
I don't know why that kind of sticks at, sticks in my crawl a little bit sometimes when, you, you know that, I don't know, over half your customer base is using it for hunting. And you're not giving back. Or maybe you are, I don't know. But I don't know. I just thought that was interesting.
I have some offline thoughts though. I'm willing to share with you about this, but That's fair. I don't think it'd be good for any of us to bring it up. That's fair. Yeah. You guys have both kind of talked about this throughout the course of our conversation here when it comes to donating your funds back or spending your time with getting the boots on the ground like you just mentioned.
How are you guys deciding, where those donations go where you're gonna volunteer your time at, what is, what does that process look like for you guys? We came up with the concept [00:47:00] that we want our customers to choose where the money's going. And that's really to speak to our, the local piece of our brand.
And that way they know it's going somewhere that they care about. So the first major donation that we had was like from when we started and partway into what was it, 22. We, we did a drawing and it was just one of those random spin a wheel things on Instagram. And I put everybody's, like first, first name and last initial and everybody who was a customer of our online store, it was entered into that drawing.
We did posts about it, told everybody about it. Did the little drawing thing. And it ended up being one of our friend's moms who had purchased some hats for family. So she got to pick where that money went. And so she chose the Tennessee National Wildlife Federation. Okay. And so that's something that's local to her and to her son.
And who our, who is, our friend which is really cool. But what we have on the website is we actually have a recommended donation. What [00:48:00] do you have? Is that what it's labeled as? So it's, a recommended donation spot or whatever. You can actually click on that and submit where you think the money should go.
So our most recent donation went to the Hennepin State Park Canal Restoration project. I can't remember the exact term, but that came from somebody who actually heard about us on the Ks Hunter Podcast. And they listened to us. They heard about our thing, thought it was really cool.
They bought a hat and they said, Hey, this is where I think you should donate to. And, they told us a little story about it, gave us some background. And we encourage that because we wanna learn about all these places that are doing great things for the outdoors, doing great things for, the natural resources we care about.
We encourage our customers to submit those. And, if we don't get any submissions, we'll pick something. When I first started, it was Michigan United Conservation Club here in Michigan. Yep. And, again, back to what I originally wanted was to have a, an organization that was [00:49:00] like M U C, but in every state This is a little more personal to our customers.
This is a little more, it touches them because they know, Hey I've made this recommendation. I think you should give it to, my local Ducks in unlimited chapter, right? Whoever, I don't care who you submit, but submit something that you think is worthwhile and tell us about it, and tell us why, because we wanna make sure those underfunded organizations receive the money that they deserve to receive.
Yeah, I love that idea because it takes the whole local aspect of the brand one step further, right? The idea behind, getting out and enjoying the outdoors locally, wherever that is to whoever your customers are. But then you're almost putting like onus back on them to say, Hey, what's important to you guys?
You're supporting our brand and our mission, but we also wanna support you. In your efforts. You tell me what's a cause that's important to you, why is it important? What does this organization do? Hey, that sounds great. We would love to help support [00:50:00] them because you supported us.
And I think that's such a great way to stay engaged with your customer base and also help a lot of these, cuz I've I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but I'm going to assume that some of the organizations that are either recommended or that you've already donated to are very small organizations.
It's not R M E F. Yeah. It's not du even though you guys are on the board for du it's not du or Pheasants Forever or Trout Unlimited or something like that. Like it's these small ones who are, making it their life's work to keep these natural resources just that natural and beautiful.
And they just, they need funding to, to continue their mission and it's guys like you who are allowing them to do that. So good on you guys. I think that's great. I always feel bad being a du local DU board member cuz we inadvertently end up bashing on Du and Dan and I are both life r e f members.
It's not that we don't believe in those causes, we absolutely do or we wouldn't, [00:51:00] I don't think we'd be where we were at if we didn't believe in those organizations. But one of the biggest differences is the discrepancy. And I, and here's my plug for RM e f I can't wait until I get my Bugle magazine.
And one of the first things I always read, it's usually towards the back, is their conservation update. Yeah. They do multi-million dollar projects in places that desperately need it. They're truly doing unbelievable work. But what about When the Ludington State Park building had a roof collapse and the state of Michigan God Blossom said, oh, maybe in next year's budget, friends of the Lukin State Park rallied the troops and they got it done so that it was ready to go for the next season.
For anyone who listens to your podcast, who doesn't know what northwest [00:52:00] Michigan is like in the wintertime, it's terrible. So nobody's here. But in the summertime, everyone's here moving. So if something in our state park is shut down in the summertime, people might not come back. So to be able to shine a spotlight on smaller organizations, lesser known organizations that are, that share our same vision and mission is.
It's really a neat opportunity and having the conversations that we've had with people at trade shows that contact us through social media, random people that stop me at Meyer when I'm wearing a hat to ask me where I got it. It's really eye-opening and it's humbling to know just how many people share this same vision.
But I think the more of those stories I hear, the more people I talk to, the more I realize there are so many underfunded, [00:53:00] unrecognized, unknown organizations that are trying to do some good at a local level. And it's not that the R E F R DU doesn't care about 'em, it's just not on their radar. Right?
Cause they can use their big funds to do big things for all of us that impact the entire. Atlantic Flyway or the entire central Flyway, or this entire region of elk habitat. But what about the local trout stream that is littered? Who's gonna go clean that up? You hope that everyone who goes and fishes there grabs a piece of trash, takes it with 'em when they leave.
But not everyone does that, right? So if we can do just a little bit and clean up a hundred feet of a stream somewhere neat, we can do that. I, everyone's busy, every, that's the world we live in. If you're our age, you're busy raising [00:54:00] kids, you got a job you've got these side businesses too.
Everyone's busy. But everyone, if they just do a little bit, they, we can all accomplish more and make sure that when Dan's boy is older, He can take his kids to the same places that Dan takes 'em now to hunt and fish. Yeah. When my son's two, so we got a little ways to go, but I also, he loves seeing deer in our backyard, but I still haven't been able to teach him that if you scream deer at the window, try and make him stay around longer.
But I want him to be able to go hunt the Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania, which is 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. That's a huge city. Yeah. It would be very easy in a few years for Pittsburgh to just swallow that part of the state up and say, this is, these are condos now. Good luck.
Yeah. Oh yeah, for sure. And it, nothing would make me happier than to be able to take him out there and say, oh, this is where daddy messed [00:55:00] 170 inch public ground deer at 22 yards. Cause he panicked. We wanna make sure that places like that stay open and accessible. Hunters, fisherman, bikers. That was the worst part about, is people on bikes random, like through there, Hey, what are you doing?
Trying to be quiet. What does it like, mind your business. Yeah, exactly. Keep, it's and it's a really good point, Sebastian, because if, let's say, you guys have a goal to, to donate $5,000 next year or this year, whatever, right? Just arbitrary numbers and you're trying to decide where you want to donate that money, where you want to give back to, and yes, you could donate to one of these, one of the biggest organizations out there, like R M E F, like du and that's awesome.
You guys contributed, that's great there, there's nothing to hang your head about. [00:56:00] But if you don't, Du Army, like they're gonna be fine, right? Yeah. They're still gonna complete their mission or continue moving their mission forward. However, friends of the Luddington State Park or any of these other small organizations, that $5,000 that could help keep, a seasonal employee who's in charge of, cleanup projects on the books and get, all this work done throughout the course of the summer or, it could help fully fund, some project they have that they're, trying to accomplish on a shoestring budget.
And yeah, that's, I think that's where companies like ours, especially like yours can really make a difference when you really lean into that local aspect and give back where it's really truly needed. And again I applaud you guys cause I think that's absolutely the best way to do it.
Thank you. We really appreciate that. It's hard to get the message out there, but that's exactly what we're doing here right now, is trying to get that message out there so everybody can learn about [00:57:00] it and understand why it is we're doing what we do. They can hear the passion when we talk about it.
And that's one of the things we, we really want to impress upon people is it's a passion for something that we truly believe in, not a passion for making money, yeah. We don't care if we make a dollar on every product, as long as we're giving a dollar for every product that goes out the door.
For us it's about taking care of. What's out there that, we're not making any more land. There's, we're not, Nope, we're not. It's not a commodity that can be built. It's something that has to be preserved and conserved. So that's what we care about. And I do have to, I, I don't know if you're gonna cut us off here shortly, but one of the cool things and I apologize, I've been silent here for a second cause I've been trying to make sure I have my information correct.
But one of the cool things about, 2% for conservation, we were talking about that a while ago. Not only, is it monetary or giving up your time. You can also give products to places that you know might not have. Been able to afford [00:58:00] those that they can go sell and then, fundraise with.
Yep. And I just wanted to do a quick shout out. So one of the things we did was we sold a bunch of our hats and we actually did a special custom run because this is down in Florida, so the camel hats and the darker, colors that we have didn't necessarily fly down there. So we did some colors that were, a little more tropical, if you will for the greater Pine Island Alliance.
It's a friend of ours from high school after the hurricane came through, it destroyed everything down there. And what they're trying to do is rebuild that. And so again, just speaking to the things that we can do through 2% and I apologize for bringing it all the way back to that, but speaking to the things that we can do circle is, it's not just giving 'em money.
It's, we sold 'em at a discount to make sure they can make money and, our cost is covered and they get to sell it for, our retail and all that money. Is theirs, yeah. And obviously local, outdoors, the average conservations we're very similar brands.
Yeah. And I love that. I think that the message that, that both of [00:59:00] us are trying to convey resonates with likely a lot of the same people. Yeah. And I think that's great. So you and we both know like the unit, the number of units that we would have to sell to really really make some money.
Yeah. For us, like we gotta do, we gotta pump those numbers up, right? Like you said earlier, Sebastian. Yeah. Like people off, off nest oh, like how's the business doing? I'm like, it's good, but I sell hats and t-shirts and sweatshirts and I make X amount of dollars off of each piece of item.
And. So much goes to conservation, the rest of it goes right back into making new designs and buying more stuff. That's, it's just like this self-funding thing. Yeah. That essentially we're just using it to raise money for conservation, because that's what we love. That's what's important to us.
And if that means that's what we have to do or, we, I get the opportunity to talk with other cool people who are very like-minded and share the same interests. And it spreads awareness for conservation. That's a win for me. You know what I mean? [01:00:00] Definitely. Yeah. And the beauty of this industry is there's room for all of us.
Absolutely. There, there's room for every one of us there. What's the public land teas? Yep. I thought their concept was just killer. And other people say aren't they selling product and taking money outta your pocket because they're a competitor? No, I don't care.
They're still giving back to the same thing I'm giving back to. Yep. So a and there's so many consumers out there that, that are willing and what we touched on earlier, that this generation that we're in really cares and we want to pass that on and we want to teach our kids and we want to, pass that on to the younger generations.
So for us to have a little bit of our, expendable income, go into something like this, that's great. And there's, buy a shirt from them, buy a shirt from us, buy a shirt from you, buy a hat, whatever. It doesn't matter. They're gonna find something they like, something they care about from all of us.
Yep. And they're still going to go out and be a customer for everyone. There's just so much room in this [01:01:00] space. And to have more and more companies like us, Giving back and becoming a part of, 2% or what, maybe they're not a part of 2%, but they're giving back whatever it is.
Yeah. All these companies want to give back and there's just, there's plenty of space for everyone to operate and still. Continue their mission. Yeah. No, you're absolutely right. That's thing I, and you guys have certainly probably found this or realized this over time, is that you're almost gonna have three types, three types of customers.
You're gonna have one who love the mission and wanna support it that way. You have people who are gonna buy your products because they like you guys. Whether it's friends or family or people you meet at a show you guys just hit it off and they like that. Then you have people who are just gonna buy yourself because they're like, that's a cool shirt.
Yeah. I dunno. They don't care about the mission, they don't care about, they just think it's a cool shirt, so they're gonna buy it, and everyone's money spent, everyone's money's green. It all goes back to conservation. Exactly. However, someone, lands on, on, on your brand Hey, your money spends in conservation just as, as well as anyone [01:02:00] else's.
You know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. Guys, before I let you get outta here, I know we're over an hour here and it's, that's alright. Okay. All right. Good. Good. We're, let's call it summer, right? I don't know about you guys. My kids, their last day of school is tomorrow. Okay. So they're we're into summertime.
Yep. Which means we're real close to fall. What have you guys got in store for this coming season? We have product wise or hunting? No. What, kinda what kind of hunts you guys got coming. Oh yeah. Anything big. We drew Kansas tags again this year. All right. I'm just gonna end this now. Hold on.
No, that's exciting. We're very excited about it the last time we went. So Sebastian's been going for a number of years and not every year, but, on and off, et cetera. And the last time we went Sebastian and the other fellow, we went with both tagged out and I was, last day, final sit and just nothing.
I just couldn't get [01:03:00] anything to come in and it's funny. Being a Michigan hunter, I, man, I can't judge a buck if it's got 10 points, if it's got eight points, I'm super happy, yeah. And I it's really neat. It, one of the cool things about sharing this experience with a friend is that they can teach you.
So through my friendship with Sebastian, he's shown me deer, or we've seen him on the side of the road and he'll say how old do you think that is? It looks like a three and a half. And he's wow, it's actually a two and a half and here's why. And that's stuff I didn't care about until, again, back in that 17 timeframe, it's something that didn't necessarily matter to me because I was a Michigan hunter man. If it was brown, it was down there. It is. Yeah. Where we're at right now, we have been, ah, shoot my neighbor. Exactly. Yeah. It's really cool to be able to share that stuff with friends and family, from what I've learned from Sebastian, I've been teaching my sister and my dad and, I teach my son and it's really cool the community that we have, because throughout the [01:04:00] hunting, fishing, outdoor community, there's so much knowledge and there's so much, information that can be passed and shared that you, there are people who have forgotten more about hunting than I'll ever know in my life.
Oh, yeah. And I love talking to them because I'll learn something new. And I think that's one of the really cool things that bonds all of us as outdoors people, is that we're always sharing and learning and finding new strategies or tactics or whatever it is. With each other. And I think that's a really cool thing that we get to do.
Yeah. So Kansas, that's exciting. Are you guys planning for that? I don't know what their seasons are like from from a date standpoint, but are you thinking like November timeframe you'll be down there? Yeah, I think we, we come back on the 12th. I know that it like the fourth through 12th, fifth through 12th, something like that get back right before rifle opener.
Or I shouldn't say rifle opener, we're in Michigan. Gun opener. Yeah. Gun opener. Yeah. Yeah. All those south of the shotgun line people. Ugh.[01:05:00] Did you know that the southerners call off the rifle line? They miss define the shocking line. It is a shocking line. Cause we get to hum like normal people with Yeah, exactly.
They're, yeah. For the longest time I didn't even know that you could. That you had to hunt. This is when I was young, obviously. Yeah. But that, in certain parts of the state, like you couldn't hunt with Yeah. Like a traditional rifle. Like you had to use Yeah, a shotgun. But now, things have evolved in some of these three 50 and four 50 like Bush masters or whatever.
It's, yeah, you can reach out and touch something for, you might as well. My TC on the muzzle loader is basically a rifle. Yeah, exactly. So you've asked us a lot of questions this evening and Yeah. I've got one to come back to you with. Is how do you feel about the tag system here in Michigan for, oh my gosh, we're gonna start, that's, we made it this far and now we're gonna start a fight on a podcast.
Yep. I feel like this is something that Michiganders and I [01:06:00] apologize if you're listening, you're not from Michigan, but maybe you're gonna learn something new. I feel like this is something that's important for us to talk about. You speak, we speak about Kansas and why Kansas is one of those states that people, actively try to get tags in.
It's because they have monster bucks. And why is that? It's cuz their tag system isn't all jacked up like ours is. I almost dropped it all. Yeah, you were close. It's not all messed up like ours is how do you feel about the tag system here with the combo tag and then is, up to 10 DOE tags?
So the antlerless deer, I'm o I'm okay with a lot of antlerless deer. Being able to get a lot of antlerless tags. Yeah. Because we certainly do have a surplus of antlerless deer, especially in certain regions, in certain areas of the state. I think we need to try to reel those numbers in as best as possible.
Obviously the goal of if you look at like Q D M A is what it's like a one-to-one ratio, right? Yeah. Which we know is a pipe dream, but it's always something to work towards. I've certainly [01:07:00] benefited from the two tag system when it comes to bucks. Yeah. I would not be upset if we went to a one tag, like a one buck, one tag state.
I would never be, no. Because and this is, going to like social media what's the what's the account that always has just big bucks on Michigan, especially. And my buck pulling. Thank you. And my Buck Bull. And they get obviously flooded with submissions from guys and gals and whatnot, but you'll see guys who have, two, probably two and a half year old bucks.
Yeah. And don't get me wrong, like I'm not gonna criticize someone for the buck that they shoot. I like I agree with the guys from, from the old case hunter take what is gonna make you happy kinda thing. Absolutely. But when you're doing that and you shoot one and then 10 minutes later, you read this, the caption of it and it's yeah, I shot this one and then two minutes later, another one walked right out and I dropped that one and he's got, two, younger deer that he took out of the population in a matter of 10 minutes.
Yeah. Or if we're [01:08:00] not gonna do a one tag system, I think you need to earn your second one. Yeah. Was it Wisconsin that does that? I think they used to, they got where they wanted to be, so it's, there's no earn a buck. Yeah. Anymore. So I'm okay with, if for some reason we ever do go to a one, one buck, one tag for an antler deer, I would be more than fine with that.
Because sounds like you're pretty much on pa or on par with us. I apologize for putting you on the spotlight. No. It's all good amount. Your your, it's okay. Feelings about this that people need to know. The fact of the matter is if, and I understand a lot of local hunters probably don't want folks from Outof state coming up here and hunting and whatnot.
But ultimately what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If we can get more outta state tags that cost more money, coming here to Michigan and seeking Michigan as a place to go hunt. You know what that does? That just drives our conservation dollars up every single year. I think we see it as an advantage to [01:09:00] be able to have better, bigger bucks.
Get rid of some of the dough population. If you blow a bright call here in Michigan, you're gonna scare everything away. You're not gonna call anything in, no. No tactics like what? Like the approach that you guys will take in Kansas is far different than the approach you would take here in Michigan.
It's funny, I understand how to use rattling Am. Yeah. Cause he was like tickling them together, like they were glass and I was like, no, man. Like these deer. Yeah. But that's just it. You gotta get after it. How often do you hear of guys in Michigan, like really rattling in fuck right?
Like it's Western Livingston, Wasaw County area. Yeah. Jackson County. Yeah. Like it's rare, right? It's just, it's. There's so much pressure, especially in certain areas that yeah. You sneeze and deer like, Nope, I'm done. You know what I mean? So yeah. I think there's certainly most deer in Michigan have to compete for food, not for breeding.
Yeah. They have to compete for food and that's not a territorial thing. That's a, just keep [01:10:00] walking until you find it. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Sebastian, Dan, this was awesome. I really enjoyed the hell out of this. I appreciate you guys making some time. Yeah. Love to get you guys on again in the future, maybe after your Kansas hunt, share some stories and absolutely.
I would love to. Tod. Love to. I appreciate it guys. We might need to air that one a little bit later. Get it in here. That's fair. 10:00 PM time slot. All guys, we have yourself a good night, and again, I appreciate you joining me. Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having us. We appreciate it. Appreciate it.
Yeah, absolutely. All right there you go guys. Another episode. Thank you again to Dan and Sebastian for joining me on today's episode. I would also like to thank 2% for conservation. And if you're interested in learning more about 2% for conservation, you can visit their website, fish and wildlife.org.
And over there you're gonna see all the certified brands that have committed to conservation that you should support when you shop. I also encourage you guys to give 2% a follow on social media where it's [01:11:00] gonna be only positive conservation driven content that lands, lands in your feed. So it's something you will certainly enjoy.
So again, if you'd like to learn more about 2% for conservation, you can look for them online, on social media email@example.com. Thanks for joining me this week, everyone. Hope you enjoyed the episode. Stay tuned. Got another great one coming for you next week. But until then, stay safe out there and remember that conservation starts with you.