Meat vs. Antlers

Show Notes

On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, Dan is joined by the host of the Huntavore podcast, Nick Otto, to talk about hunting to fill the freezer verses hunting to put something on the wall. The guys discuss if there is any overlap, if both types of hunters can get what they want, and if specific rules and regulations are preventing one group from achieving a goal.

Nick is a self proclaimed "Meat Hunter" and Dan's goal every year is to put down the oldest and biggest antlered buck as possible. Given the two different approaches to hunting, the guys have an intelligent conversation and how both types of hunters can live under the same roof. This is a fun episode, be sure to share!

Show Transcript

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Happy Friday everybody, and welcome back to another episode of The Nine Finger Chronicles [00:01:00] podcast. I'm your host, Dan Johnson. And, uh, man, the last week in this house has been crazy. I know a lot of you guys can relate. I today is like, like a 50% day for me. So I had the flu real bad yesterday and half the day, the day before.

And, um, I, I'm starting to feel like 50% again. And, uh, we had the throw up, we had the poops, we had, my daughter had it the same time I did. And then earlier this week my son had it. And then earlier, uh, earlier than that, my other son had it. So the only person that hasn't had it yet is my wife. So knock on wood that she doesn't get it or my dog, and I don't care if my dog gets it and dies.

And that's a different. Uh, because I'm not a huge fan of my dog right now. He, uh, let's see, what did he do today? My wife went to bed and he [00:02:00] sleeps on our bed, and he got off of the bed and then he got into the trash in my bathroom and he chewed, like he just got everything out of the trash. And what else did he do?

Oh, he started chewing on some underwear, uh, some of my wife's underwear, and it's ruined. And what else did he do? Oh, he, sometimes he still poops and peas in the house. So, uh, I spent $2,000 on this dog. It's a cockapoo. It doesn't retrieve sheds, it doesn't retrieve ducks. It's just what I would call a companion dog.

But nobody in my house likes this. And even my wife right now is starting to get to her wit's end with this animal, and I am pretty close. I mean, I'm, and I don't want to be sound like an asshole here, but I'm really, really close to doing one of two things. The, the nice thing would be to [00:03:00] rehome it or the other thing I would do is just like, drop it off.

this sounds so bad, just saying it out loud, but like dropping it off at a, at some kind of no-kill shelter or even out, out at a farm where there's some little kids and, and just leave it and, and just make it somebody else's problem, which is not a cool thing to do, but I want this dog outta my house. I, I've tried to love it.

I've tried to get past it, but I can't. And it's, it's starting to be more of a problem than it is, uh, like a good thing. So that's what I'm going through. You know, I got the flu and I got this dumb ass dog that, uh, I I'm trying to deal with here on the, uh, in the nine finger layer, so to speak. So today's episode, however, though, is much brighter, right?

Today we're gonna talk with Nick Otto. Now, I love interviewing [00:04:00] Nick because Nick loves deer hunting. He loves to cook deer meat, and he's just an overall outdoors man that I think ac in my opinion, I think more people need to listen to. He is the host of the Hun Hunt of War podcast on the Sportsman's Empire Podcast Network, and I am a huge fan of Nick.

So I wanted to get him on today. And the topic is meat hunting verse antler hunting, or mature buck hunting. If there's any overlap, if there's anything to do to bridge the gap between these style of hunters, because in one camp you have, Hey man, I just wanna fill the freezer and they shoot whatever comes by.

And I would put Nick into, into that court category. And then there's me in this category and that is, Hey, I want to, I want the, the oldest biggest mature fu uh, buck on the farm. And, uh, I'll, if he has the biggest antlers, even better yet. Right? And so we have [00:05:00] a guy who wants to fill the freezer and then a g and that's his first priority, like Nick.

And then a guy like me who's first priority is big antlers on the wall, and a subset of that is meat for the freezer. So I wanna talk, I wanted to get Nick on because lately in on social media and in other podcasts, I've been talking about rules and regulations and, you know, if they are the best for particular states.

I've been trying to involve people from other states, but what I've found is a lot of the people who comment are just like me, right? They're more in my camp than they are, let's say, in someone like, like Nick's camp. So I wanted to get someone on this podcast to talk about deer hunting, who is as completely opposite at of me as possible.

And I thought, and, and so Nick came up and, and Nick graciously, uh, decided he wanted to come on. And, and here we are. And out comes this really, really awesome podcast that I know you guys are going to [00:06:00] enjoy. Um, when I, when I first started deer hunting, I can say this, when I first started deer hunting, man, I was, Uh, I was all about just trying to get out into the woods.

And then really when I started deer hunting, seriously, is when I got, I, I say, got ruined by the big butt craze because in 2000, and like, I've been hunting since I was about 14, I think 12, 12, 13, 14, I really can't remember. Um, but I was going out and I was trying to shoot anything that moved it brown, it's down, right?

And then, uh, I never did shoot a deer, uh, in those first couple years with my bow. I never did. I never did go shotgun hunting in that timeframe. I was just archery. And then a whole bunch of time goes by and 2006 shows up. I'm 26 years old, I'm outta college, and I get back into deer. And, and I get back in seriously.

And I, and [00:07:00] then I was ruined by the big butt craze, right? And so then I jumped all these steps and I started passing deer and things like that. So I understand that. Um, there's different phases for everybody and people, and I've, I've mentioned this in other podcasts, that, uh, people are products of their environment.

I'm, I am a product of the Iowa environment that I live, which gives me the luxury. And I understand it's a luxury to pass small bucks, to get them to be a much older and bigger size, you know, in other states, maybe in Nick's kind of category. Um, he doesn't have that luxury, so he hunts different ways. And so it's two people from two different environments having a conversation.

And that's what today's episode is about. Before we get into today's episode, I'm gonna knock out these commercials and that's what pays the bills. I guess if you are a company, if you own, uh, a hunting company and you want your brand to get, uh, a lot of exposure, man, hit me up. I would love to work with, uh, some good [00:08:00] quality brands and I'd love to take your money and I would love to promote your product.

And that's how this happens, right? It, it's a, it's no-brainer. I sell advertising space, uh, and that's how I make my money. And that's how this podcast stays free. And you, you get it. Everybody gets it. So, uh, here's the deal. Tethered, I'm, I'm pretty jacked up about getting back in the saddle literally this year, and, uh, I think I'm gonna be doing less spot in stock, hunting in more, less spot in stock hunting in more.

What kind, what kind of more, more saddle hunting, more mobile hunting. And just like the guys at Tethered say, A saddle isn't the only way to hunt, but it is an awesome tool to have in your lineup. And so I'm, I'm looking forward to being as mobile as possible this year and using a te uh, tethered saddle and accessories to do that.

So if you're looking to get better educated on how to become a saddle hunter, go check out tethered YouTube channel, [00:09:00] their website, everything you need to know, including the products to buy, are on, on their website. So go check that out. Was archery, uh, badass, broadheads man that just do nothing but destroy whatever they hit, leave nasty blood trails.

They destroy flesh and that's what you want in a broadhead. You want it to kill whatever, whatever it hits. And so when I, even, even on a marginal shot, I'm very confident in the outcome of, of that. And that is, You know, complete and utter destruction. And so if you're looking for a badass broadhead, whether that's a fixed blade or a mechanical, then you need to go check out was

I do have a 20% discount code for you NFC 20, and that's gonna get you 20% off of all of your broadheads made in America. A majority of their heads are still made in America with some badass material and some badass designs. Uh, don't overlook wasp. And then we have HuntStand, as of [00:10:00] right now, HuntStand, it's one of those, it's, it is a tool that I don't know what I would do without my mobile hunting apps.

Right. You take that away from me and I'm starting back to the plot map stage. If you guys can remember life before digital maps and uh, you know, like having to, being able to pull up HuntStand, look at a landowner and their property boundaries, a like. Going backwards into that just seems unfathomable at this point.

So, um, that's why I love Hunt Stan, and literally being able to document everything that you find and everything that you, you see out in the woods, and just create basically journal entries for all that stuff. And then you can reference that throughout the year. So, uh, go check out, read up on all the functionality as well as the Pro Whitetail platform upgrade that's available.

If you're a whitetail nut, you're definitely gonna wanna check that out. Uh, where are we at Vortex [00:11:00] Optics? Last but not least, vortex Optics. Man, I mentioned this in an earlier podcast cast. Really vortex, especially in the hunting industry, is the gold standard for optics. Whether it's a rifle scope, whether it is a pair of binoculars or range finder.

Now, uh, You know, optic accessories, like their new tripod series that they have, that that's come out. These guys are it. Uh, and on top of just having awesome quality products, they have this v i P warranty. You smash it, you break it, you destroy it, you send it in for free. They will fix it and then send it back to you because they want lifelong customers.

If you have any questions, you call their experience customer service line, and they will help you with all of your problem. So Vortex optics is in, in, forgive me for my language, the shit. All right, so vortex Please go out and support the brands that support this podcast, man. I really appreciate that.

Please make sure you are [00:12:00] following along on the Nine Finger Chronicles Instagram page. I know I'm probably banned or I have, uh, limited visibility on the platform because of what I post. So please go out, search for me and find me and follow me, and that would help me out. And, and also subscribe to the Sportsman's Empire Podcast Network, RSS feed, and the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast RSS feed as well.

So please go out, do all those things, support the cause, and, uh, enjoy the content. 3, 2, 1. All right, coming to you live from the backseat of a truck in Michigan, Mr. Nick Otto. What's up dude? 

[00:12:42] Nick Otto: Hey man. Hey, it's, thanks for having me on. I tell you what, um, when it comes to being a podcaster, like this is the, the new west of, of, of media.

Mm-hmm. and it, we gotta be able to do this wherever, whenever. So here I am in the back of the truck. It's not my first rodeo back [00:13:00] here. So this is actually comfy, uh, with all the padding and everything. Yeah. And yeah, without a bunch of stuff. I got plenty of 

[00:13:05] Dan Johnson: room back here. Perfect. Perfect. Let me ask you a question.

I'm just looking at the inside of your truck. What year is it? 

[00:13:11] Nick Otto: This is, uh, 2013. Ooh. It's a Chevy Silverado. Okay. She's, she's, no, uh, she's not young, but at the same time she's experienced. Yes. Um, we got a few dents on the side, and so it now really is a truck. Once you get a new. It's you, you, you baby it until you get that first dent.

Yeah. And then after that, it becomes a tool in your toolbox. This is definitely a 

[00:13:34] Dan Johnson: tool. Yeah. Yeah. I've a, I'm sitting outside, uh, in my driveway as a 2005 Nissan Titan with a, with a topper on it. And we're gonna get into that here in a second. But, uh, and it is literally the biggest hunting tool that I have because out west, I sleep in the back of it and I take it everywhere I go.

And just like what you said, uh, and it's, it's the reason why I don't buy brand [00:14:00] new vehicles anymore, I always buy 'em used, uh, is because I beat the shit out of my equipment these days. Mm-hmm. and, uh, when I'm like, I have rust around both wheel wells, I have, you know, dents and scrapes, uh, you know, on up my, my tailgate.

Uh, uh, opener doesn't work, so I gotta slide my hand in there and, and jimmy it open and things like that. So, uh, , it's one of those things where, where, uh, I like having a piece of it's paid off and I, if I scratch it up some more, no big deal. 

[00:14:33] Nick Otto: Amen. Amen. Yeah. At that point, I mean, shoot, I have a face for radio , let alone, like my truck used to follow suit with that as well, you know?

Exactly. We're not prettiest. People find us handy, not handsome, so. Exactly. 

[00:14:45] Dan Johnson: Exactly. Um, and, and so big announcement in your life, you now, you've now joined the topper on your truck club. 

[00:14:53] Nick Otto: Yes, yes. Um, I know we've just said a min a second ago that cosmetics weren't a big deal. Yeah, but I did, [00:15:00] I I waited to find one that fit the oh seven through OT or uh, through 13 model.

Um, I had a 98 Chevy and I had a top around that. And when I put it on, the guy was helping me that I bought it from, I bought it for 80 bucks. We threw it on and he's like, Hey, go two inches your. As I'm was about to say, Hey, go two inches your way, . So this thing definitely, it was the right like length, but width-wise it was off.

And then height was, was really wonky. Yeah. So my, my white truck then looked like a tortoise, like, because it had this extra shell on the outside. Right. Just looked bad, but I didn't care. It did a job. Exactly. It was a function of, of a truck, you know, naysayers here or there. I was like, you know what, it works.

And so that's what this was. I did wait to find one that matched though. So now I have a, it's sleek sides. It fits all in. But just like you said, it's gonna be a tool when we get the camper out, like all the kids shit goes in the back. Yeah. And we can load more shit. That's what camping is. How much can you [00:16:00] take to the campground?

So, but yeah. I'm gonna be using this, this spring break, uh, heading down to Oklahoma to join John, who from the uh, Oklahoma podcast. We're gonna shoot some hogs. So, Ooh, buddy. The top was on. I wanna keep water out of there because we got coolers going down. Yeah. , we are gonna load them things up. 

[00:16:18] Dan Johnson: Yeah. The best part, and here's my favorite, uh, and really the reason why I, uh, have like beat a beat up truck is because you can get blood and mud anywhere.

And if it, if you do find blood or mud, you can just spray it off with a hose inside or outside of the truck. And, and really that's all it is, is just a dead deer, uh, carrying case. If you want to say yes, . I love it. So, well, congratulations on getting a topper on your truck. Look, I have a random question to ask you.

Yeah. You know, whenever a person says redneck right, they, they, for some reason, everybody thinks of the south. Mm-hmm. , do you, are [00:17:00] there rednecks in Michigan? Absolutely. Okay, good. Absolutely. So it's an everywhere. It's an everywhere thing. 

[00:17:07] Nick Otto: Yes. Yeah. Yes. It's a, it's a true lifestyle and, and maybe, maybe the definition of redneck.

Yeah. We've got some folks that really, like the way they communicate can come off very redneck ish. Um, but I would say it's more on the lifestyle. Gotcha. And you see things that folks do with, with discarded pieces of equipment or the hodgepodge of putting things together or just ideas you never thought of.

Like red redneck ingenuity is strong here in the mission state. If you, if you can't buy it, or excuse me, it's, if it's too expensive and you can't buy it, you are gonna find a way to make it, you're gonna find a way to make something happen. And so that's where we really see that work here in Michigan.

That, so we turn a lot of heads, but at the same time, we get things done. Yeah. 

[00:17:52] Dan Johnson: So, so you've already made a kind of a quote from Red Green. And so it sounds like what you've just described [00:18:00] is a, a red green SH show type deal. . Absolutely. 

[00:18:03] Nick Otto: Right, right. 

[00:18:05] Dan Johnson: Cool, man. All right, so I've been thinking a lot lately about hunt hunters in general and the separation, um, kind of between, and I'll just use us, me and you as an example, okay?

Mm-hmm. , when I, whenever I go out hunting, my goal isn't necessarily always to fill the freezer first. Filling the freezer for me is a benefit of. Trying to kill a big mature whitetail in hopes that he has big antlers on his head too, right? Mm-hmm. . And so I'm a product of my environment here in Iowa. And so I wanted to talk with someone on the network who is as complete opposite, and I don't mean that in any disrespect, but who is, uh, as, [00:19:00] as complete opposite of me as possible in their approach to a hunting season, per se.

And so, and, and, and you popped up, right? Because you really focus on the, the food. You focus on the meat and, and, and, and I feel like you focus on ma, you know, maturity and antler size, less like it's on the bottom of your priority list. Is, is that a, a correct, 

[00:19:27] Nick Otto: as. . Yes. That is a very fair assumption to make that I like how you said priority.

That, that it's a list, like Yeah. Is it, is it on there? Oh, sure. It's definitely on the list. But just like you said, like you're a product of your environment. You're a product of what your motivations are, and so that's gonna shift those priorities and Absolutely. You could take my list and almost flip it and that would be then your list.

Yeah. So yeah, you were good in, in picking me as far as someone who's, you know, I'm not des when it comes to [00:20:00] stuff on the head, like that is secondary. Yeah. By all means, something big comes in front, oh, we're gonna, we're gonna do our best to take it. But saying I'm, that's not the end all, be all to 

[00:20:08] Dan Johnson: the story.

Exactly. And so recently in uh, uh, in some of the podcasts that I've done, I've really been focusing on the needs and wants of me. And, uh, some of the other people who are like me in this, uh, in the state of Iowa or just in general, like serious bow hunters, uh, who may or may not hunt during the gun season, or if they do hunt in the gun season, it's just an extra season to them.

They put most of their eggs into the archery basket. And so I've asked questions along the lines of crossbows, right? Should cross our crossbows. Uh, should they be allowed during an archery season? Would you count that as archery or to, to a guy, uh, you know, to someone like me or, or someone who complains about not [00:21:00] having big bucks in their state.

You know, you, you often hear that coming outta Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, like, Hey, where's our big bucks? We don't have any big bucks yet. You have a two bucks state, yet you have a, a rifle season during the rut and so on, and things like that. And so I've, I've really voiced my opinion, um, in really just my.

uh, in, in my field of view and what I want for how I hunt. But I've, you know, I wanted to get you on to talk about the other side of that. Cause it's only fair, right? If I just said, Hey, this is what I want. That's unfair to every, uh, every other hunter. You gotta get it from all sides. And so, and so I want, I want you to, to, I, I don't know if the right word is stereotype or generalize, but I want you to talk to me about the category of hunter that you feel that you fall into and, and how you think along with the other people who you would relate to [00:22:00] think in a given year.

[00:22:03] Nick Otto: Gotcha. Gotcha. That's a big question. Yeah, because. And, and I, as I was trying to, you, you told me this was gonna be the topic. And so as I was preparing for this, I kept coming back to kind of what we just kind of tipped off there at the beginning, that it's a list of priorities. Yeah. So there's, there's a test called the Enneagram, and that Enneagram basically uses a, a questionnaire and lays out, doesn't, it doesn't tell you your personality, but it maps out where your personality tends to go in a stressed environment, say, work, and what are some of your attributes that you may tend to do?

This is based off years of data, years of study, and it, it ne necessarily puts you in a box. But what it does is it helps you be able to relate to others on this spectrum. And as we come into your, we all realize that, yeah, we're [00:23:00] hunters. Whether we're out there for, for antlers or we're out there for meat, we do fall into this category of hunters.

But yet, This is an amazing platform where you've been able to, now let's get both sides here. Let's talk about who wants the bigger bucks? Who wants to, to put in the extra effort? Who's going to basically hold onto that tag? Do tag suit because they are in search of something greater. They want the perfect chess match versus the side that I come from.

I don't necessarily need to play the chess match. I'm there. I'm there for the checkers. I'm there for the enjoyment I want. I want the big handlers. Yeah. But at the same time, there is a goal. that I am trying to fill at that point. And that is first and foremost the freezer. Mm-hmm. , the, the element of having a full freezer of high quality food, high quality meat is a priority in my household.

Um, I could probably go into a [00:24:00] whole thing on how I should probably have less of that. I'm not the most healthy person when it comes to portion sizes. So Yeah, like venison, like I was gonna get into macros at one point where say venison does have, in a three ounce portion has, you know, basically one and a half times the amount of protein that beef does.

And that's all been proven. But at the same time, I'm not looking at labels at that point. I'm looking at how big of a back strap I can put down in my, in my gullet. Yeah. But that's the focus is the meat aspect. I love to have the burger. It, it sustains my family as they continue to grow and grow. I've got three boys and feeding them heathens now is becoming a, a real thing that it's now approached us.

We're, yeah, we're gonna be, well when we make Mac tacos or we make spaghetti, it's now two pounds that comes out. Um, and they're only at eight, five, and four. So when they, when they get into their teens, I mean, it's gonna be like three pounds. If we're gonna make tacos, it's definitely gonna be, [00:25:00] be up there.

But the food aspect is, is one thing of it. But the same time, the opportunity, yeah. To be able to go out and get an animal, I think is a real draw. for folks that are sitting there in my neck of the woods and in my, my boat that are going after the meet. It's all about the opportunity. Mm-hmm. , I'm going to strike first and I'm going to get out because my time is valuable versus where someone who wants to play the chess game, you are mapping out an entire season.

You are saying that this whole archery season, I am going to chase this specific animal or this specific class of animal. And that's gonna be, that could be right at the beginning of the season. That could be, you know, hey, that was a Hail Mary wind. I went in deep, got him, and I, I get to pull out. More often than not, there's a lot of time invested, not only in the preseason, but in the late season [00:26:00] when I'm going into getting an animal.

It comes to one of those things like, I wanna strike first because of a number of reasons. One, my time is valuable both with my family and then even, even with work. . So there's a time crunch for folks that are saying, you know what? This, this archery season is a great time to be out. I do like that. It, it's quieter, it's uh, less stress on the animals.

I want to take advantage of that. So by being practiced in archery, you can get out and be efficient about getting that first opportunity. So you get your group of dough that come on through, you find the biggest one out of that, take that and you're done for, you know, that week until you can then pair that animal.

Then the game can kind of change. You know, if you, once you've got something in, in the freezer, at least maybe you can be a little bit more choosy with your second tag. Uh, we have the combo tag in Michigan, so you can take a buck and you can take a dough. Um, I believe in archery, you can make it two doughs.

I don't think it necessarily has to be [00:27:00] a buck, but at that point being first to get in, get your animal, get it hung up, get it into the freezer, that's just a bit of pressure. Yeah. Off your should as the season goes on, because then once the end of archery season happens, we do fall into gun season. Yeah.

Um, Michigan is notoriously a orange army state, and, um, as one who does like to get things in archery season, I, I, I pride myself in being proficient with a bow if I didn't get the work done in that time. It is a second opportunity with now. Okay. Now we have a little extra range here, and so now we're able to go out with a firearm and take that.

I live in the limited firearm zone, so we're, I'm, I'm with a, I'm still with a slug gun. I like the 12 gauge, uh, which works out very well in the property that I'm at. But if I can get it all done and not even have to take out that firearm, beautiful. Okay. [00:28:00] But at the same time, you get to late season and I have room in that freezer, this is the, a great tool to be able to go back in there.

Take another two animals, be it the, hopefully that they're the dough at that point, cuz you can get several dough tags versus just your two buck tags. But be able to take those animals, get them proper, properly, uh, butchered, and then to get those in your freezer. That's, that, that main goal that we're trying to do.

At no point are we wanting to, to be a hassle on others' goals or Yeah. Uh, what people are aspiring to do. It's, we're just focused on what our needs are from this family. Right. Or from, from what we're trying to do. And that goal of being able to say, Hey, if I can get a year's worth of venison in this season, and then I have to worry about it until next season, heck yeah.

Let's do that. Yeah. How many? So yeah, that's a long way to, yeah. To it 

[00:28:58] Dan Johnson: out. For, for you and [00:29:00] your family, how many deer is a full freezer? Uh, or, or what would be the minimum that you would. How many deer to, to feed your family for a year? 

[00:29:11] Nick Otto: We are currently at 3, 3, 3 deer. Um, again, I'm, my redneck is going to really expose itself again here.

Um, we have what I'm affectionately called the salvage season, and if you travel up and down the rural roads of Michigan, you'll find people who snuck deer with their car on a regular basis. Right. And so I was actually able to get two bonus salvage deer this year just off of early hits. So at that point I could, I could stop at three being as young as they are, but I'm seeing that we're gonna probably need to put four to five probably when they get older.

So taking advantage of of one that's just being discarded, you know, again, there's a whole, whole, uh, methodology to that, but at the same time, yeah. Um, yeah, so I I, in our freezer right now, we're [00:30:00] sitting at four. , but I got a podcast that I'm supposed to create content for, and so as much distance as I can get to play around with and to show people, Hey, this really worked, or this really didn't work, then, uh, yeah, I need a little bonus meat there as well.

[00:30:13] Dan Johnson: Yeah. So would, would it be okay if I called you a meat hunter? Would, uh, would you, would you wear that badge or not? 

[00:30:22] Nick Otto: Yes, I would wear, I would wear that badge and I'd 

[00:30:26] Dan Johnson: wear it proudly. Okay. All right. So as a meat hunter, do you ever pass deer? 

[00:30:33] Nick Otto: Yes. Um, in a couple scenarios. One being that I am not willing to take a questionable shot.

Mm-hmm. , a questionable shot at a range that I may be iffy at is going to be something that is gonna put a detriment on my end product. , if I have a big buck come through and [00:31:00] let's just say my, my ethical range is 35 yards and I have a buck come through at 37, I'm not willing to put a poke on that in the archery season.

Again, we're talking that, I mean, length changes once you get to, uh, to firearms. But if I put a bad hit on that deer at 37 yards, that is gonna mean I now have to track this animal. I've gotta find blood. I've gotta maybe find, you know, maybe I've hit it in the gut. Maybe it was a bad hit, but now there's, there's time where my meat, my end product, my goal is now on the, on the time crunch, I've put a bad hit.

I now need to pull back, wait a couple hours, go back in, and hopefully come upon this animal that, I mean, that's hunting. Yeah. Um, if I can give myself. Confident shots, close [00:32:00] range. That means that animal's gonna die quickly. I've been blessed with the past several years seeing them move off, stop and fall, and that has just been that.

That's the perfect scenario as a meat hunter is I want that to fall within view. I know exactly where it's at. I can get down. I can now begin my process there. What is sickening to me as a meat hunter, and I say sickening as in your own feeling Yeah. Is I've now wounded that animal. There's the, it has to now go suffer to go die.

But at the same time, now, when it does die, that now length, it's on a, now on a time crunch. It's now on a ticking clock. You can almost think of the show 24 where you just have that ticker beep beep going in the back of your head that I need to get there before it spoils. Yeah. I need to get there before in some places where coyotes are going to take my bounty before I get there.

And so the idea of, [00:33:00] oh, let it lay all night and then we'll go check for it in the morning for an antler hunter, that's a great practice because you are after that goal and prize of killing that mature animal. And mature animals fight hard. They live hard, they don't die easy, right? And so that's a big practice, um, that I see from the antler hunter that doesn't transition well into the meat side of it.

So specifically, a close shot is, is what we wanna be able to do. And if that deer's flirting at that, that ify range, That's gonna let me kind of wait for the next one. Right. If maybe they turn, maybe they circle back, uh, maybe they something jostle 'em and they move back around. But taking Iffing shots is not in our wheelhouse.


[00:33:50] Dan Johnson: Outside of that though, uh, outside of, uh, an iffy shot, age, class, sex, any, do any of those determinations if, if, is there a deer [00:34:00] at 20 yards broadside that you are not shooting? 

[00:34:05] Nick Otto: If it's tiny and Hess spots? Yep. We'll, we will, we'll let that go. Mom's probably not too far behind, but if we can, if we can manage to let yearlings go, that, that would be something that we could totally be willing to do.

Yeah. Um, and again, like just with, with anybody, like, would you. Would you be happy with this deer at the end of the season? If you pass it at the beginning Yeah. Of the season. Yeah. And so you look at some of these larger spikes in, in Michigan, we've got some pretty big deer that don't necessarily show a lot of head gear and a spike to come through at that premier opportunity.

It's close and you're looking to fill it. That one, it, it's gonna depend. If it's a, if it's a smaller skinnier deer, at that point you'd probably let it walk. Yeah. But at the same time, if you've got a job to do and your goal is to, to put meat down, [00:35:00] there's not too many animals that we're gonna let just walk 

[00:35:02] Dan Johnson: by.

Yeah. And, and that's a great point because man, um, whenever a dough group comes through, and I'm talking about in Iowa too, uh, a dough group comes through and then right behind it, this dough group or maybe in with this dough group is a spike. That, that that's, you know, yearling spike is already bigger. Or, you know, our first year deer is already bigger than a three year old dough.

And so if you're looking for meat and, and you're looking for most meat per deer, I mean, why not? Right? And so, um, so let me play devil's advocate here a second. And Absolutely. And, and maybe, maybe you fall into this category, maybe you don't. And you know, really what I'm trying to find here is this, this opportunity for an antler hunter and a meat hunter to meet in the middle or something like that.

Um, and f and, and from what I hear in [00:36:00] Michigan, there's plenty of doughs to go around. Um, as a meat hunter, why, um, why don't you just shoot doze and also like let young bucks walk, if that makes sense. 

[00:36:18] Nick Otto: Yes. it, it really comes down to, again, my, my own personal setup is opportunity, right? And more often than not, if I need to get something that week, if early part of October, I have this, um, this, this cloud of Thanksgiving.

My family owns a Turkey farm. So I have these, basically my, my deer hunting halts for two weeks that I can go back to turkeys. And so I have this, this cloud coming of you can't hunt for two weeks, uh, cuz you have dedication time elsewhere. So I feel this crunch. [00:37:00] And now the first thing that is available is a sizable deer right in front of me.

Mm-hmm. . It happens to have small antlers, but at that point, the opportunity. or me to take this animal and to then achieve the goal that I'm trying to be able to achieve is right there in front of me. Mm-hmm. , more often than not, when you get a deer who's not really paying attention to his surroundings, usually moving on his own, usually early up, you know, first one up, moving around, it's gonna be those spikes.

It's gonna be those yearling bucks mm-hmm. that are just mindlessly walking around and that seems to be the opportunity. That kind of falls into mu meat hunters a lot. Yeah. We want the first available there. He is. Would that would, knowing that behind that, that buck or later past that buck, if we knew, if we had that crystal ball that says, Hey, here comes that group of dough, if you wait past this, uh, spike, you will have the [00:38:00] opportunity for do, by all means.

We'd say, Hey, you know what, if that's what we're gonna do, if we're gonna save young bucks, and we'll wait for those doughs to come through. We could do that. Um, but at the same time, that's holding a crystal ball. Yeah. We don't have that crystal ball. And it's the opportunity, it's the need for us to be able to fill it with a body first available.

Yeah. And so that's where we would take that. Not because we have a desire to just shoot young deer. Are younger deer more tender? Are they, uh, what do I wanna say less, uh, venison tasting, absolutely. Mm-hmm. . But at the same time, I can also see the argument on the other side. Wouldn't you wait for a bigger animal to be able to then maximize your yield per shot or per tag?

we would love that day in and day out. But it's that definitely that opportunity piece. Gotcha. That really plagues a lot of me. Hunters. 

[00:38:55] Dan Johnson: Let me ask you a question. Let's say me and you both owned a farm, and let's just say for the [00:39:00] most part, uh, the farm was identical, but the deer that lived on mine also lived on yours.

I, is there a way for guys like me and guys like you to live next to each other, get along and, and still both get what we want out of? Uh, and this is a hypothetical question, obviously, like for you to, you know, I don't wanna say necessarily it's a brown, it's down, but, but, you know, you're an opportunity guys, so whatever's in front of you, you're gonna shoot.

And for me, I, I, I pass young, young bucks and if I want to, if I do wanna fill the freezer, I'm gonna shoot a dough and try to let long, young bucks walk. Um, is there, is there a. a way that our two types of hunting can, can coexist. 

[00:39:56] Nick Otto: Absolutely. And the first thing that I think [00:40:00] needs to happen is a communication between both sides.

Yeah. I hold, I hold a bias thinking that my side is right. Mm-hmm. , and at the same time, I know antler guys are saying that my side is right. It goes, it goes back and forth. And if we're gonna come to any sort of common ground of two farms, being side by side, one, you trying to be able to achieve your goals, and one mind, or me being able to, to choose or to achieve my goals is communication upfront.

I say that and the fact that also the first communication, you know, I, and I hear it all the time, like. Just in here in Michigan, there is so much that we guys are pushing for APRs, guys are pushing to have rule changes. Guys are pushing for wanting to get us to be a one buck state. And all this is coming across [00:41:00] in a very, it is a very angry place.

I didn't, I didn't achieve my goals. And they're, they're slamming their fists that we don't have, we don't have big deer. And it becomes not a, not a discussion, but it becomes of you need to change. Yeah. Because of my goals. And that's a, I don't wanna say that's a heart pill to swallow, but that's also one of those like, well wait, where do, why do your goals take precedent over mine?

[00:41:27] Dan Johnson: Oh, I agree a hundred percent, man. Yeah. I, I, I just got off the phone with a landowner that is next to a property that I hunt, and the first words out of his mouth are I, I l I really, I really like to pass one 60 s. and I'm just like, uh, I'm not passing one 60 s I don't care. Right. You know, like I, you know, it would have to be a very small bodied one 60 class deer for me to, uh, think about passing it.

You know, I go, I, I'm more of an age class guy, so if [00:42:00] 145 inch eight pointer as a five or six year old comes through, he's going to get an arrow from me. And so I like how it doesn't matter what, whether you're a meat hunter or you're an antler hunter, or you're this version of an antler hunter or this version of an an or a different version of an antler hunter.

There's always a group of people. That think that it should be different in, in a way. And, and so, um, I've, uh, recently I've been very vocal about Iowa and its rules and regulations and, um, you know, wanting Iowa to stay the same and not change any of, you know, any, uh, of their rules and regulations. And I think, um, I, I'm, I'm, I don't want to come off as an asshole, but I'm, I am very vocal, uh, about, um, you know, I'm very vocal about some of these rules and regulations because it makes really Iowa [00:43:00] stand apart from the rest of the states in the country.

And so, you know, you talked about rules and regulations that are fair. Do you, do you feel that there are room, there is room in rules and regulations to get. Are sides closer together, uh, while still being able, able to accomplish both goals? Yes. 

[00:43:25] Nick Otto: In the fact that, like I mentioned earlier, is opportunity.

Yeah. And again, I come from Michigan where deer are a dime a dozen. They're in everybody's backyards. They're they're suburban deer. There's urban deer and then there's rural deer. I mean, wherever you look, you find them. And then people are hitting 'em with their cars left and right. That we are not short of the whitetail deer.

That species is doing incredible in Michigan. Right. But it happens to be that we're now, we're fighting over a specific class of that on who can take it and who can't and when you can and when you can't. And the whole [00:44:00] idea of being able for me to have an opportunity to go and shoot an animal if it happened to come down to where we were gonna change our two buck rule.

it would not affect my, uh, my hunting style. Yeah. At all. Where I do start to do that is, or do start to get, I mean, it is one of those things like all of a sudden we have these, the, the, the APRs where we start having, you know, we're at one point, Hey, it's gotta be a fork, Dan, that's not gonna be a problem for me.

When it starts to say, Hey, you can only take a buck with four on one side, but I have a nice big six point that comes through, I'm not feeling great. Even though I'm letting that animal walk. I'm having experience. I'm looking at that. But for, for a, a governing body to tell me, Hey, you can't achieve your goals because others have taken precedent over what we want to have happen.

That, and it doesn't, I mean, it, I know we want older class and biology has [00:45:00] shown, and science has shown that an older class of deer in an area can be healthier for the environment, can be healthier for the landscape, can be healthier for the. , uh, species in general, but at the same time that again, that's taking away that opportunity.

Mm-hmm. , I, there's gotta be room in there as we're going through this if we want to have APRs in areas and, but then at the same time, to be realistic about those. Yeah. Uh, as much as you wanna say, well, if I, if I let it go, my neighbor's gonna shoot it. Well, at the same time you're living next to your neighbor.

If your neighbor is looking for meat, you know, what, be he be helpful to their goals because if they're able to achieve their goals earlier, they're gonna not gonna mess with your goals near as much. Yeah. Um, to come for forward and trying to be, be able to put regulations up front so that we can basically change rules so that we, we get to keep things the way we want to keep them and not offer [00:46:00] opportunity.

That's, I think that's my big sticking point right there, is I want to be able to have that opportunity to take venison and if, if it's gonna be one of those things where, Where maybe I do have to change a little bit on what I'm doing. Am I letting younger bucks go? Sure. But then there's gotta be something where I can take something, be it a few more, do tags.

Yeah. If we're want a balanced environment, hey, I'd be glad, but just give me that opportunity. 

[00:46:24] Dan Johnson: Gotcha. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. Um, a another, another little, uh, poll that I took was about gun gun seasons during November or during the rut. Uh, certain states start in November. I mean, hell certain states, uh, some states even start in October and go all the way through November.

Um, when does the, the gun season in Michigan start? 

[00:46:48] Nick Otto: We have the official kickoff November 15th. Okay. It's almost a state holiday. Um, but that is the day that, that you were able to use a firearm. Now there are [00:47:00] youth hunt. There's a youth hunt in September, and there's also a couple, uh, veteran hunts where firearms can be used.

So, They, they essentially get the first cracks of, uh, of the hammer there. Yeah. Of firearms. But at the same time, the big, the big showdown comes at November 15th. And yes, that is a, a drastic change on the landscape. But again, that's, I would say probably where we are. It's probably just, just past the peak.

Yeah. Of Ru at that point. Not so much ch Well, there's, there's still a little chasing going on, but there's. at that. Well, we've always just kind of say, it's like shuffling the deck again. Once the , once that morning happens of November 15th, all hell breaks loose. Everything's out the window as far as strategy goes.

Yeah. Cause everything's running toward its life. 

[00:47:46] Dan Johnson: Yeah. And, and so do you feel as someone who just wants to fill the freezer, for the most part, you could accomplish that goal by moving the rifle season [00:48:00] back a week? You know, this year, November, uh, November 15th lands on a Wednesday. If you moved that back from the 15th to the, uh, 22nd or even the 29th, let's ju and I, I'm just, I'm spitballing here.

Um, you could still accomplish your goal. Um, and then, you know, because the, the whole reason behind moving a, a gun season back would mean that younger deer, younger bucks, per se, are not getting shot. , uh, with rifles at longer distances just because they're all horned up and, and running around crazy. If, um mm-hmm.

do you feel like if the state said, all right, let's try this, let's move it back a week to the 22nd, you know, right there around that Thanksgiving holiday, um, and let the, what the rut wind down a little bit more in hopes that it would increase the age class [00:49:00] for bucks. Do you think that that would affect you, a meat hunter to, do you feel that, do you, look, let me ask you this, cuz you've used the word opportunity.

Do you feel that that would be a reduction of opportunity for you? No. 

[00:49:18] Nick Otto: Okay. Now, Dan, I'm glad you said the state was changing cuz if you were gonna ask me. To change the November 15th start Yeah. Of the rifle of the firearm season in Michigan. Uh, that would create a riot. Yeah. Beyond any scale. And that's more or less tradition at that point, but Right, right.

As far as opportunity goes, if the gun season was shifted back a week, I would not feel slighted in the fact that my, the, the weapon of choice now is changing. Yes. I guess that's how I would approach it, is that I think that would, for some meat hunters, it would probably play their hand to say, if you are [00:50:00] serious about eating, uh, someone who wants to fill their freezer, yeah.

You can continue to use your firearm at this point. This might move some folks over into the archery season to try and, Hey, why don't you learn a craft? Why don't you better yourself see the opportunity in the archery field as opposed to then, you know, have a, basically be able to lengthen your season of enjoyment.

use something in the archery season, but at the same time to move that, I don't think that would affect my opportunity at 

[00:50:30] Dan Johnson: all. Okay. Uh, and, and then now kind of going to another topic that I've talked about in the, in, in the past is, this is J again, personal opinion. And I'm not out for anybody who does use a crossbo, um, when it comes to being a meat hunter.

Uh, do, like for me in the archery season, I, I don't feel that a crossbow is archery. Okay. I feel like if you want to use it, use it during a [00:51:00] gun season, um, or use it during the late season, right? Like Iowa has opportunity to use crossbows, uh, in the youth season. You can use it if you're, uh, if you're disabled or if you're over over 65, or you can use it in the primitive weapon season, which is the late season muzzle loader.

Okay. So, uh, you know, by me saying that it, it frustrates some people, it pisses some people off, but as a meat hunter, if you are, uh, if you're looking to fill your freezer, is there a method of take rifle, archery, crossbow, whatever atalla, um, that you would, that you would prefer over another? Because I know in some states you can get one tag and you can use whatever, whatever weapon you want to use to mm-hmm.

to do that. Other states you have, like, IO has a gun tag and we have or archery tag, and so we get, we get two, [00:52:00] um, Michigan gets two as well. Where, where does a weapon fall into this convers. 

[00:52:08] Nick Otto: I would say that would even be personal preference, because here I am sitting as a meat hunter, but I enjoy the skill of archery.

That's something I, I really enjoy. Yeah. Um, I even got into the whole, um, the traditional, I've got a long bow and I love playing with that, that yet hasn't drawn blood yet. Um, but at the same time, like I would say method or weapon of choice, I think comes down to the individual. Um, because at that point, living in a state where the crossbow has now joined, uh, the archery season, it is now, it's several years that, that people can choose between a vertical bow and a crossbow.

And we're not finding that crossbows are even more effective than, uh, vertical bow. And that's in the, in the hand of the hunter at, at that point, [00:53:00] it's still gonna be, you know, is that animal gonna be able to come into range? And I mean, if you seriously practice yourself at the crossbo, you can reach longer distances, but at the same time, it's still a bolt or arrow coming off of a string.

You are going to be restricted. Is it gonna be faster? Yes. Can you get a little bit more range? Yes, but it's, yeah, it's, I, people always try to equate it to a shitty shotgun, but I would say it doesn't even reach that point as well. Um, because there's the element of people are gonna screw up, people are gonna have bad hits.

I, I don't have any data on this, but I think that false confidence of using a crossbow is gonna mean more shittier shots that are. Wind up in deer having to go expire and die and spend more time in the field, which means less yield. You're gonna be able to get off that deer if it has to lay longer than expected.

Yeah. Yeah. So with that, if a guy wants to choose, [00:54:00] given that we've already lived with it, guy wants to choose a crossbow, eh, he's, he's gonna choose a crossbow. Um, I'm not one that's gonna make a line whether it can be in archery or can't be in archery, because at that point, you, you do have an opportunity, an opportunity to learn archery if you wanna partake in that season.

Should we continue to open that because of the goals that the state is trying to, to, uh, trying to achieve? Yeah. I don't know. That's, that's tough because if, if you make room for the crossbo, there's another, there's another dark cloud on the side, on the, uh, horizon called the air bow . Yeah. Which is gonna be even more of an issue.

Yeah. So, Do you jump in the slippery slope or do you finally make a line? I think, I think just having a clear expectation of what you want during an archery season. Hey, keep it vertical bow, I, you're gonna have some people that are upset, but at the same time, you gotta lay out like, this is a season that we wanna be able to chase animals.

[00:55:00] We wanna be able to do it. Yeah. With a specific piece of equipment. I kind of feel bad for the muscle loader guys, that, hey, we wanna learn something about a flintlock. We want to use, we want a primitive firearm season. Why don't you just lay it out clear and say, this is just a limited, or, or this is a primitive firearm season.

Yeah. Being a misfit, like a crossbo, it's, it's hard to put you in 

[00:55:23] Dan Johnson: any category. Yeah. And again, it's one of those conversations where, uh, like it's impossible. I, I feel it would be, IM. To make people happy. Like, uh, imagine if the DNR come, came in tomorrow and said, all right, here's what's gonna happen. We're moving, we're moving the, the rifle season.

We're not taking any time away. We're just moving it back one week. Like, I honestly feel that Michigan would burn . Like, like I feel it would, yeah. Yeah. I feel like Michigan would burn, um, from, you know, just from [00:56:00] everything that I've heard about that. But at the same time, I think a lot of, a lot of people who take advantage of that would also see the benefit of that and, and getting, um, I don't know.

I don't know. I like just kind of going back to, to not everybody can be happy and I think a lot of the times people don't know what they like be. I don't think people understand the difference between what they want and what they need. Right. If, yes, if you want bigger bucks in your state, Then you need to change, uh, certain rules and regulations to a accomplish that.

Right. But it like, sounds to me. Now let me ask you a, a question. Do you feel that there are more people in your state or, and you can even use your state or the nation specifically, who are closer to your camp when it comes to hunting or closer to my camp when it comes to hunting? 

[00:56:59] Nick Otto: [00:57:00] Ooh.

I would say, I would say that people do start out with an opportunity focus, right? There's a lot of field of fork programs. That's how early hunters are starting out, is that we're out there. The meat specifically, this is the shoot prices are going through the roof. Food is expensive. I can get something high quality by getting a ticket, taking a firearms course, or taking hunter's safety.

And then being able to now year after year, I can go and chase after a critter and hopefully be able to take it. Um, I think we start out that way. And then the, the more experienced that you become in that, that's where people then begin to get, well, now I want to challenge myself, right? I want to go and I want to, I want to get a bigger deer.

I think the biggest hangup that we're seeing, at least in the, the individuals that I have spoken with is we like the aspect of then I [00:58:00] want to, I want to now challenge myself, but at the same time, there is no extra effort given by the individuals who want that change to happen because they want to now chase bigger animals.

Everybody should want to chase, right? Bigger animals. And that's where I think being our state, I would say probably. . I don't know, just being as ingrained as it is, as in the state of Michigan, I wanna say we're leaning towards, I don't even wanna say thirds. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm probably gonna go split right down the half middle.

Um, guys go up to camp, they shoot something, they bring it back, doesn't matter what's on its head. Yeah. Um, but at the same time, there's that also the camp that is really ingrained into wanting bigger animals. They are beating that drum. Yeah. But at the same time, like, Hey, you go to the same tree, stand the same way.

Yeah. You take along the same snacks, you haven't changed. Yeah. But at the same time, you want the landscape to change. Yeah. And hearing that, that's, I would say that's probably the, the [00:59:00] hardest sticking point is, is that we hear the complaining, we hear the, this is what our state needs. When it's like, Hey, let's, let's change this verbiage up.

This is what you want. This, this, these are your needs. Yeah. If I'm gonna talk to somebody like you sitting here talking to me, and you're like, Hey, these are my needs. These are my wants. , how can we, how can we work together with this? That is a table that I can approach and that is a table that we can work with.

Having a state like a, like Michigan being 50 50. Yeah. When we start to get, this is what needs to happen because of my goals and aspirations, that's what makes things hard. Um, that's where people are then going to hold the chips closer. They're gonna hold the cards because Yeah, we can, we, there's half of us that don't want to change.


[00:59:45] Dan Johnson: Right. And I think, and this is kind of where, where I stand is, I honestly feel that there, there is a happy medium, but it takes sacrifice on both ends to get what you want. Right. The, the [01:00:00] rules and regulations may or may not change, but it's just a matter of, Hey, I'm not going to shoot this this year, or I am gonna shoot this this year.

Or, you know, just a matter of you and your, your neighbors coming together, communicating and, and making, uh, And, and making, I don't know, deals with each other or agreeing on certain thi, you know, uh, management practices or things like that. But at the end, I also feel you should be able to do whatever the hell you want.

You want to go out and you wanna smoke the first deer that comes by. By all means you should do it. If that's a, if that's a forkey, smoke 'em. Right? If that's what makes you happy, smoke 'em. I, I, and I, I agree on that a hundred percent because ultimately I hunt because it makes me happy. And, and in this world right now, I need as many things that make me happy as, as humanly possible.

And so, um, I hunt. I hunt the way I hunt because it makes me happy. And for [01:01:00] me, that's a big deer. If shooting, uh, if shooting a, a dough or a spike or a yearling makes you happy, man, I'm never gonna question you on that. Uh, because it, you know, it is what it is. But if you bitch, but if you bitch about it, then I'll start talking trash, then I'm gonna start talking trash.

[01:01:19] Nick Otto: I tell ya. The whole, and you know, our friends, uh, Eric and Greg over there at Kist Hunter, I've gone back and forth with them and I I do, I appreciate, um, what they're trying to say is, yeah, it's, it's your tag. Yeah. Shoot what you wanna shoot. Yeah. And you're not gonna get any qualms from them or from anybody because if it makes you happy, you're, you are ecstatic about this.

You are a part of the brotherhood of hunting at this point. Yeah. If you're ecstatic about, you're happy about it and shoot, that's two tags. I see big deer alongside the road all the time. Get hit by cars that are then left and wasted. Yeah. Not just the meat, but shoot the antler hides, you know, the antlers hide there.

That's one less deer that [01:02:00] you were able to take. Yeah. That could have been something that you could have had. So the numbers are there. If we can get in, get, get what we need as far as the meat and, you know, have us get out of the way so that you, the chess game can continue by all means. I'd love to hear you say that, that uh, if it's your tag to do what you want, but at the same time, like I, I know it failed in Wisconsin and again, it, it would be change.

People would be so mad about it. Maybe half of Michigan will burn. But to do, you know, where you can continue to get your dough tags, but to maybe implement the earn auc again, I would be, I would be curious to see what would happen there. Because if we are so inundated with do hey, wish you should take those.

We need to take more dough. Okay. , well, let's take a dough and now you can go do your chess game. Now you can go, uh, get your big buck. And then for the meat hunter at me, oh, I'm just gonna stick to my same game. Just make sure that it doesn't have anything on its head and first [01:03:00] available. Hey, great. Now I can go for, if I want to change my game, I can now go and get that buck, bigger buck that I wanted to.

But if I've already earned that, that deer and I have a spike come through, Hey, I'm in with my two tags and I'm out of the way. Yeah. So yeah, I, that would be, that would be a, something, something that I would be very curious to see what would happen. I think, uh, there would be, again, be a lot of unhappy people.

I could already hear Wisconsin saying, don't do it. Don't do it. But at the same time, you know, that's just one thing that I saw that as both sides coming to the table. So there's definitely room Yeah. For, 

[01:03:33] Dan Johnson: for that to happen. And I think what happens when it comes to, uh, rules and regulations is it, it, it would take.

For some, some big change in some state like that to say the, like it would, it would be a bandaid rip for someone. It would suck the first year or two. Oh, this sucks. But then it would just be a matter of time until you would actually see the [01:04:00] results of mm-hmm. Hmm. a said change or, or something like that.

And it would piss a lot of people off. Um, but at the same time, I feel that it would be a, they would like it more in the long run. I dunno. I'm not, I'm not in charge. Cuz if I was in, if I was in charge of all the states, um, I would do exactly what Iowa is doing in absolutely every state in the country, every county has quotas.

Um, based off of how many doughs that you can take. You get one archery buck tag and you get one, uh, one, uh, gun tag. And, and so I feel like that management practice, uh, is, and in certain counties, and so in the county that I live in, there is less available tags. So there's more people actually, and the quota goes by faster.

And my homes, my home county where I went to [01:05:00] school and was raised that county, I can go back and kill as many doughs as I want every, every single year I could go hunt, you know, I think the quota is like 5,000 tags, uh, dough tags. And so if I wanted to, and there's always like a thousand left over at the end of the year, if I wanted to, man, I could go smoke a dough just about every day of the season if I wanted to, if I wanted to go and buy that, buy that tag.

So, mm-hmm. , I don't 

[01:05:27] Nick Otto: know. Hey, even in the big state of Iowa, there's the, the opportunity. Yeah, opportunity. That's the key word, man. Be able. Yep. That's, you gotta be able for. , uh, we know you've got your goals as set, but even in the great state of Iowa, there is opportunity Yeah. For folks to continue to be able to take animals and put them in their freezer.

So that's all we need. Yeah. That's all we want. 

[01:05:49] Dan Johnson: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Nick, um, I know you're a teacher and you are, uh, you're out in the parking lot of your school [01:06:00] recording this episode, and so Yes, the, the, the window here is closed and I gotta make sure, I gotta make sure you get back to sculpting the young minds of America and, uh, you betcha.

And so I, 

[01:06:11] Nick Otto: one, one game of dodge ball 

[01:06:13] Dan Johnson: at a time. There you go. There you go. Well, hey, man, I really appreciate you, uh, jumping on today and, and having this little, uh, this conversation, this, uh, this BS session with me. So, uh, I appreciate it, man. 

[01:06:26] Nick Otto: Yeah, I, I hope listeners get a lot out of this, that it, and I think it is, it's, I think it's more true.

50 50 or I even think that individually, Or as people begin to talk to others, Hey, these are my goals. I want to be able to shoot the biggest buck that I can find. I want to play the chess match. I'm gonna find the buck, the, uh, the beds. I'm gonna get in there, super quiet, go mobile. And then you've be able to come to the table with somebody that says, you know what I love?

I, I love hunting just as much as you do. And these are my goals. These are my sets that I want to be able to be able to feed [01:07:00] venison to my family on a weekly basis. Yeah. Like those two guys can come to a table, they can drink beer together. They can have an amazing night. And it's because we're continuing to know that the, our practice of hunting is what brings us together.

Absolutely. Whether it's on their head, whether it's just meat in the freezer, like. Taking a step back and I think seeing a face, seeing a person and knowing their heart on what they're trying to do, that's the first step. Yeah. Um, coming in with regulations and trying to be divisive, trying to be someone that says, no, no, we chase big antlers and we now all want to big chase antlers.

If you start to take away the opportunity, that's when the pitchforks are gonna come out. Right. And that's where we're gonna get the rioting. So as long as opportunity is there for us meat hunters, Hey, we can coexist with any big buck hunter up there. There you 

[01:07:48] Dan Johnson: go. And if a nice old five year old hundred 60 inch, 10 pointer comes by here, Stan.

That's a lot of meat, man. 

[01:07:57] Nick Otto: I tell you what, I will not hesitate . [01:08:00] And you betcha I don't have any big full mounts on my wall yet. But I will flex that one. We will full, we will full shoulder mount that one for sharp.

[01:08:13] Dan Johnson: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Huge shout out to Nick, man. Love that guy. Um, and really what it comes down to is just, you know, enjoy your time spent out in the woods. Like I mentioned in this podcast, man, I hunt because it makes me happy and I hunt the way that I hunt because it makes me happy and because I have the ability.

For, to do so, right? And if I didn't have this, the ability to hunt the way I hunt, I'd hunt a different way. And that would probably make me happy too. So, uh, uh, hunting makes me happy, period. And I know that hunting makes you happy. And why, why do things that make us unhappy or, or make the other people who enjoy our sport unhappy as well?[01:09:00] 

I hope that makes sense. So, uh, huge shout out to Tethered Wasp, Stein and Vortex. Please go out and support the companies that support this podcast. And last but not least, good vibes in man. Good vibes out. We'll talk to you next time.