On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Brian talks with Cameron Manwaring about an exciting new option for showing off your big game trophies.
Cameron is one of the co-founders of Mini Muleys, a crazy cool new company that can make mini replicas of your big game animals with the exact same character and colors as the original. Cameron and Brian chat about the different options this allows hunters to use, from doing a Euro with your original animal and a shoulder mount Mini, to getting Minis made from African Big Game animals and potentially having them waiting for you at home by the time you get back. Also, use the code TROPHY30 to save 30% on your Mini Muley order! Available for a limited time! Check out Mini Muleys at the links below to learn more.
Discount Code: TROPHY30
[00:00:00] You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks, and strategies from season western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. That part said 26 game animals. You can fool their eyes.
We can fool their nose 300 yards back to the road, turned into three miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters go harvest an animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you.
Welcome back to another episode of the Western Rookie Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Krebs, and today we are going to stick with the taxidermy theme we just heard from good friend Reese Anderson on doing life-sized taxidermy. And now I have my friend Cameron Man, waring from mini mules. And [00:01:00] what's really cool about mini mules, we had Cameron on the two bucks podcast.
You guys have come out with one of, I would say the coolest outdoor, I don't even know if invention is the right word, because you're just changing a lot of things about how some people can do taxidermy, completely changing, like revolutionizing options for taxidermy. And I just think it's amazing the last couple years it's one of the coolest things I've seen and we were just talking.
About sleepy the giant. Truly giant velvet mule deer that Cody and Kelsey from. Is it live to hunt shot? Yep. I think it's almost been a decade ago now, right? That deer, but we were talking about it beforehand and and so I'm cited for this entire episode and to have Cameron here with us tonight.
Cameron. How are things going? I see you are in a phenomenal theater room, which is a big update from the last time we had Cameron is building his own house, folks. Yeah, no, [00:02:00] we thanks Brian. We just got moved in a few months back. We actually made it in time for Christmas and so it time's flown.
And but we just built a house in Swan Valley, Idaho, so we're just a little less than an hour outside of Jackson Hole. And it's been fun for a lot of reasons. One, we're surrounded by nature and wildlife, and I also just by happenstance happened to be like really close to a lot of. It's an antler mecca.
Like just last weekend, literally on the 20th Jackson Hole had their big antler auction that they do every year. And then coming up soon in the next couple months, there's actually the western antler rendezvous. And that happens in Alpine, Wyoming, which is only 25 minutes from my front yard.
And so there's like tens of thousands of antlers from all over the nation that people bring. So it's, anyways, it's been fun. I just keep being immersed by more and more things to [00:03:00] do with antlers and I love it more and more antlers. And you're also in the neck of the woods, like northern Utah, maybe Utah in general.
Wyoming, Iowa, Idaho. That's some of the most dedicated shed hunters I've ever seen in that like tri-state area. Yeah, I, I don't think there's anywhere as like competitive or dedicated as like Utah shed hunters. And then I think it, it spreads from there, but it's a different, it's like a whole different culture to shed hunting.
Like people take it seriously and people like they do it very seriously. Yeah, no It's definitely a shed hunter territory. So yeah, we just had the scout to hunt folks on the podcast talking about the shed giveaway, and I just thought they could do a, they could do another giveaway and make it like the extreme scout to hunt 50 k bit coin giveaway, where instead of a, an antler place, they go out and place a mini muey and [00:04:00] you gotta find that sucker.
Oh dude, that'd be way harder. That's the needle in the haystack. It almost you like. You bring everyone to one parcel of public, like one 3000 acre chunk and say it's here somewhere, guys, whoever finds it gets the, the prize. If you look at some of our early videos on Instagram, we have these like almost trick videos where we made, these mini antlers and we go place it next to vegetation and stuff that's smaller.
Yeah. So when you're looking at it, it just looks like a freaking real antler. And then you see the fingers going and pick it up. We thought about, we're like, we should just hide a bunch of like sheds around shed hunting type country and just for people to freak out is this a squirrel? Is it, yeah. But on the scout to hunt, we actually did a mini mule replica for the 50 K Bitcoin shed last year. And we have it on our limited series, so that's fun. We just. Last year sometime, I can't quite remember when, right around the 50 K Bitcoin, so maybe it's been about a year. [00:05:00] But we launched a limited series where we have some kind of unique animals or sheds.
We have the Spider Bowl, we have the 50 K Bitcoin shed where people can buy a copy of it. And so that, that was fun. Oh yeah, that would be really cool. Because the Bitcoin antlers are, they're like at least this year they're colored, they're black and white. They look really, I think they look incredible.
Last. Same last they look, it's like they look tougher, like they look more rugged and and tough. And so I thought they were cool. I would've loved to lived close enough to try my hand at it. And I knew I wasn't even gonna be close. So I, I instead partnered with those guys and did a couple of the hint giveaways and helped promote it.
And so I disqualified me from partaking in the fun. No. Yeah, it's cool. It's a cool I think it's only a place like Utah. That would have that much enthusiasm, and energy for getting out and like really making that a success. And obviously they're doing it [00:06:00] two years in a row, I think Yeah. And Utah does, like you said, there's something different about the shed unders there and it's be, I think it's because Utah has some of the best elk hunting in the world. And I feel like it doesn't get its due diligence in a way because it's so hard to draw the tag. That people always think New Mexico cuz they can get a landowner take or Arizona, which obviously have giant elk as well.
It's just Utah. It's very limited, which is why you guys have, I'm sure there's a 400 inch bowl running around in Utah every year. Multiple ones? Yeah. Oh yeah. There's multiple units that usually have. Some sleep or some ghost in there, so yeah. Yeah. And a couple, probably two, three people know about 'em and they keep their lips pretty tight but speaking of sheds, I saw you guys just posted a single of a bighorn on your story.
Yeah. And so you can also get a mini muley of, your favorite shed antler. If you find just a giant. Or a unique one or maybe more for the [00:07:00] whitetail guys back in here in Minnesota, in the Midwest where I'm from, maybe that buck you've been chasing for five, six years and you have a lot of history with, and you finally find one of his big sheds that'd be a lot cooler, rear view mirror ornament than just going and buying one from the outdoor store.
I think I told you last time, that's really how Mini Milly started was specifically that. It was how cool would it be to take one of my sheds? And make that into the mirror ornament instead of the, copy paste from China plastic one. And that's what we have. And we have hundreds of customers now that are going around with their unique sheds.
And lucky enough, once in a while I'll be driving down the highway or in a parking lot and I'll be like, that's a mini mealy shed because they are super unique. Yeah. And the, what you mentioned though, we, yeah, we just actually. Maybe two months, three months ago we just did Ram Sheaths for the first time.
So like even if you want to go get the plastic, cartoony version from [00:08:00] Sportsman's or Cabella's you can do that for deer elk sheds. But I think we're the first ones that have ever done a ram sheath and so we just have a big horn ram sheath and that's turned out cool. We launched it just at this little expo in Rock Springs, Wyoming.
It was for Mule Deer Foundation, and we actually ended up having a customer that ordered like 20 replicas of his sheep, and he did like sheaths of each one and euros of each one. And anyway, th those have turned out really good. That's what I have rocking in my truck right now is one of our big horn ram sheaths.
So I might have to, I might have to put in an order for one, because I used to have the knockoff China special. Of an elk. Yeah. And I went down this year to Colorado and I met up with Steven and and we, he's a big shed hunter man. Yeah. The guy finds sheds and so he brought us to New Mexico and we had a great time and he found this beautiful brown elk shed.[00:09:00]
And he was looking, but he was eyeballing my little shed hanger. And he goes, yeah, where'd you get that? And I said, shields. And he goes, what's Shields? Because Shields must be like a Midwest version of Cabella's or a Bash Pro. We have one in Utah. Yeah. But that literally the only one I, yeah, that's it.
And so I said, I got at Shields 10 years ago. He goes, I'll trade you that brown elk shed for that hanger. And I'm like I'm not gonna turn that deal down yeah, yeah. Super nice guy. Super nice. But yeah, we had a great time, but now I don't have an antler hanger, so yeah, now you can get one of the big brown elk shed, so I could either do that.
Oh, it'd be cool. What does it take to, for, so I know maybe we should back up and share how the mini mules are made. Like how does a person get a mini mule? We'll start with that, but then I'll ask another question about the shed side of it. So the simple way, we basically figured out where we could make a replica of anyone's animal from photos alone.
And so all you have to do is have a smartphone and [00:10:00] you literally just go in a circle, take pictures of your shed, of your euro, of your shoulder mount. And then once we get those, we composite them together into a 3D model. We do some digital sculpting to clean everything up. Then those, they go through a resin printer.
We end up carving and cleaning up those models, and then every single one of them is hand painted multiple layers to give this really realistic effect with the depth and everything else. So it from start to finish, you send us photos, we send back an exact replica of your animal, and then we just as of one week ago, We just launched a small partnership with trophy scan and trophy scan.
They do the 3D scanner side of things, and so they have thousands of customers that have already scanned, these amazing animals. And so we've made an and figured out on our backend pipeline where I, if you don't have a [00:11:00] scan, you can do photos. If you're a customer of trophy scan and you already have a scan of your animal, then we can utilize that as well.
We still have to do some of the digital sculpting and whatnot, but now we have options for both. So that's the, that's the dense start to finish process. Oh yeah. That sounds incredible. And and so my question was to do a shed. You just need the antler. You don't need the whole, obviously. I suppose that was a silly question cuz when you only find one shed, you don't have the whole thing.
Even if you find one shed. And that's the cool part of what we can do. Yeah. If you find a shed, yeah, we can replicate that shed. But if you also only found a shed, so let's say your friend, he finds that big brown elk antler, but he only found one side. We can mirror that brown l antler and then you could bring him back to life and put him on a euro or a shoulder mount, so there's more options than just what it is as is. But as long as you have an antler or the antlers or the horns, we can [00:12:00] do any variation of what you'd like to create as an end output. You're talking about the full size taxidermy. We're not very limited. Like again, even if it's just the skull cap, even if it's just a pair of sheds, we can do a shoulder mount in a matter of weeks for someone.
And they can do that at a fraction of the cost and by far a fraction of the time. And so definitely the cool part. Yeah. If someone out there is listening and you haven't heard of Minnie Mully, taxidermy's always been traditionally. Localized. It's as far as you're willing to drive that animal.
And now we can have customers worldwide. So whatever species, wherever you are in the world. Anyone can send us photos online and that's all we need to make 'em and we ship worldwide. Yeah. That's awesome. So that's what I was thinking I could take cuz the, I have a pretty nice bowl that I mounted and the taxidermist put a peg in each antler so I could fit it through doorways and stuff.
So I could just pop my favorite side of him off. And that could be my new elk shed [00:13:00] mirror hanger. Yeah. And even without that, even if you just had his shoulder mount was like permanently mounted on there. Yeah. You just take the photos and you say, I want the left side, and we'll go ahead and isolate and re carve and kind of sculpt it so you don't even have to make it detached or not.
Like we, we can do whatever from there. And we don't charge extra to do any of those requests. Oh, cool. Cool. Is anyone getting like a euro as a rear view mirror hanger? Yep. We have lots of people. We haven't done 'em as much because. They're hard to balance. Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
Every animal's completely different. So finding that like perfect balance point and then we're like, drilling into the skull to put the eyelet to hang it. So it's a really easy conversion. What we've had most people do is they'll buy one or two sheds that they've already, had or even just to combine.
And then they just use our simple shed hanger. Drill a tiny little pilot hole in their euro and screw it in. It's [00:14:00] super duper easy. And yes, we have a lot of people, I think for the Euros more common is people are putting 'em on the dash of their truck. Oh. So we, every single one comes with a little stand and a 3M pad, and it's just like a double-sided 3M pad.
And you could put it on any dash of any vehicle. And it just rides front and center there. So we even had a guy one time towards the beginning, like a year plus ago, he had a big Dodge Ram truck, but like a eighties or nineties truck and he actually got a Ram Euro. That's life paint, lifelike painted everything.
And he swapped out the metal ram on his car for one of ours. And he, he had to jimmy rig everything and made a little metal dow to screw it on. But now his r his Dodge Ram has like a. Little lifelike euro on the front of it and so Pretty cool. Yeah. Like a hood ornament you're talking?
Yeah. Yeah. The hood ornament. Oh, that's so cool. Yeah, that's, that would be the better one is for sure, is the, to do the [00:15:00] pedestal mount on the dash, cuz it's just so much easier to hang, man. And it's not getting in the way of your eyes probably nearly as much. Yeah. It's just like a bobblehead, but it doesn't bobble so well.
And another thing that I've thought about since our last podcast is there's so many laws nowadays around C W D and CWD Transport law. Yeah. That it makes it really hard to do a European mount on a big game animal from the west. Like any outta state, it's really hard to. Figure out the logistics and you always have that, like you said, that localized option.
But that means I have to leave my animal, could be Utah. And I'm from Minnesota, so now I gotta figure out how to go get this animal. And the costs for F Freight and creating and shipping and it's a lot, and people that are doing these replicas, a lot of them have the money to do it, but.
To your point, there's also places like Africa, there's some animals in Africa, like lions are an example, but there's some [00:16:00] animals in Africa that you can't bring them back no matter what. Yeah. So it's not just logistics or costs, like legally, they cannot bring those animals back, but. They could take photos of the animal in the field and then we can still capture, protect that, and be able to create a replica for those people.
And in some cases have them delivered before they even get home. So there's just cool options worldwide and I think a lot of it as we've gone on, even since we talked like six months, seven months ago, probably 90% of every single custom mini that we sell is a gift. And so there's a lot of people that, it's just cool to display it at the office.
It's a conversation piece. They get to take that memory with them wherever they go, but a lot of people, it's gifts. It's that they go on the hunt. One person pulls the trigger, but there's friends and family or a guide or other people on the hunt with them. And so this is the [00:17:00] neatest, most personalized gift that you can get someone because they get to take a replica of that same animal home that they have memories with as well.
So that, that's really the cool thing and it's just not as cost effective. To make 10 full size replicas for every, then everyone that was in your hunting group and all your kids and grandkids. But it's really cost effective and really quick and easy to do the minis. And within a matter of weeks that person is able to gift that the memories are fresh.
It, we just see a lot of people doing that and that's, it's just morphed into something we didn't quite. Expect to go so much that way, but yeah, we're probably 90% gifts. So yeah, and I thought about it in, in a couple situations before I even met you, and I think before you guys even started, like four years ago, I shot an elk.
That for me, was really, it was a really tough call. Do I shoulder mount this or do I euro this? And I decided, you know what, the c WD law, I don't [00:18:00] think I can bring the skull home and do a euro myself. I don't really wanna leave him here in Colorado. And so I decided to skull cap him and do the shoulder, which is fine.
But now I would always have that opportunity to scan him and get a mini euro if I want just the look of a Euro. Exactly. Yeah. And that's we get a lot of people that do that. We actually just had a customer yesterday, I was talking to him. And he had two shoulder mounts and two euros, and he wanted, one of each.
And because one, he can display in a different way and he gets that look. So it is it's fun. It's like a regret free, hassle-free way to do it where it doesn't really matter what you ended up doing with your animal. We can always do another option for you. And there's a lot of people that even just cost wise it costs them not that much to do a euro and they didn't really wanna splurge on doing a full shoulder mount, so they didn't keep the cape and they didn't do this.
We can make a shoulder mount and then use the filled [00:19:00] photos to match all those particulars, the chest patterns and the colors and everything. Oh, yeah. So that it's not just. It's not just a likeness like it is your animal. And that's something even in traditional taxidermy that's hard to do.
If someone doesn't salvage a cape, you're looking all over trying to find something similar enough, and so we can just guarantee that it matches your animal For sure. And you're like a 10th to a 20th of the cost to do a full shoulder mount, so Oh yeah. Oh my gosh. I think our taxidermist that we use is charging 800 bucks for a whitetail shoulder mount nowadays.
Yeah. Which like taxidermy has gone up a lot in the last few years and yep. I was thinking more so hey, if you do a shoulder, then you could bring a year with you and the truck of the office. But I'm like you said, I'm guess now that you say that, I think it's probably more common someone's gonna say I'll do the euro with the real set of antlers because it's more cost effective.
And then I'll just do a mini. For the full [00:20:00] shoulder and bring that to the office or put that on my desk or the mantle. I feel like that's a big Yeah. And sometimes, the antlers or the horns are usually the most unique part about an animal, but that's not true of every animal. We just did a pie ball, deer, and with a pie ball, like there's all this unique coloring and pattern that it's more unique.
Based on its cape. Yeah. Than it's based on the antlers. And so there's just cool things that way too. And we, we focused on antler and horn species. We found through experience, like we, we can do a bare shoulder mount or a Bo bore shoulder mount or a wolf shoulder mount. Like we can do any of those as well.
And we haven't launched it yet and we don't have any concrete plans or a timeline, but we have tested and we can do full size, like full body mounts. And so that's something we've been just trying to play around with. I, if it makes sense for us. It's a lot more time consuming. Yeah. It is more [00:21:00] costly because we're still hand painting like it.
It's a lot more work and we're not sure for most people if it makes sense. But once again, you factor in the cost of a life-size mount. Yeah. And we're still, no matter what, gonna be a 10th to a 20th of the price. It's something we've considered for a long time and we might be rolling that out sooner than later.
Yeah. What is the, what's one of the most unique locations that you've got a customer from that, cuz I, I assume, like you said, we started with the sheds and we did those mini teaser videos and I'm sure at some point, You started thinking like, man, this could be big, this could this, maybe this would be worldwide.
But then I'm sure you've still been surprised by a couple of the countries you've gotten a request from. We, at the very beginning we just had a lot of requests for like worldwide shipping. And I think, and I'd have to look cuz I've never thought about it expressly, but I think we've had customers from every continent.
So like I'm almost [00:22:00] positive every continent that we have. So the one that stands out in my mind, we've had, Africa and Europe and Middle East and all over. But there was a guy in Bulgaria and I just remembered cuz he was talking back and forth with us a lot, but he was super excited to do this stag like a European stag and.
Yeah, just some random guy in Bulgaria. And I remember when we were doing all the shipping, the address that was coming up and it was just like, okay, this is weird, but he got it and he loved it. And yeah. So all, all over, I Sweden South Africa, Tanzania, Austra, lots from Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand.
The uk we've had customers from all over, so mostly Canada, United States, but but yeah, through social media and word of mouth that, it's spread everywhere. Yeah. Bulgaria is a country where I wouldn't have guessed, yeah. Africa's the obvious one. Yeah, I bet there's people in Africa, Australia.
That's a pretty big [00:23:00] hunting culture there, but I probably Europe has some awesome hunting I think. Yeah. It's just so funny. Like they're not. I think traditionally and like culturally with Americans, we're like, we got our guns and we go hunt. It just, it's more understood. In Europe, I think they just slip under the radar and, but like mo, a lot of people have guns, but they only are allowed to have hunting guns.
Oh, oh yeah. There's lots of handgun laws and stuff, but people hunt and it's pretty common in, in Europe, they have some freaking amazing stags and elk and moose and. They have some cool animals and they have some unique stuff that we don't have. Yeah. Anyways, it's, that's one of my bucket list places.
And I think some of that comes from, I see these animals that get ordered and I'm like, Sweet. Like those animals exist in this country. I gotta put that on the list. Yeah, that's almost a better question. What's the, like the most unique animal? Is there an animal that came through that you were like, I didn't even know this was an animal.
Oh man. [00:24:00] Good question. Some of the African big game species, I think I'm just not as familiar cuz I haven't been over there. Yeah. We know all of our like Rocky Mountain, Bighorn l Deer, but honestly, I it wasn't even from it wasn't from Europe or any exotic, but we did a crocodile skull for a guy.
And I wasn't aware, and again, I'm just this far west, we have no crocodiles where I live. But I didn't, I wasn't aware that people would hunt crocodiles. I've seen like the shows where they like. Go out in the boat at night with a spotlight and they're shooting it with a 22. And, but I'm thinking it's just for the meat and stuff and maybe like the skin, but it's okay, yeah, it makes sense that they do a skull.
And we did a really cool crocodile skull turned out awesome. And yeah, that was a unique one for me. Yeah, that was like, once again, was not expecting the answer to be a crocodile. Yeah. That's crazy. It [00:25:00] would be a cool skull. I thought COGS would be a really cool European mount because they got those, I don't know what they're called.
I don't think tusks is the right word, but they got those sharp razor sharp teeth tusks. Yeah, I think so. What I was gonna say is that, yeah, the. A lot of people don't know this because we haven't even put it on the website, and I wish we were more dedicated about updating things. We would love for this to be our full-time.
Right now, our team is about eight people and it's mostly part-time. The work just comes in as it comes, but. On there. We have this big dropdown list of all the species and we've tried to add things as we go. That being said, we could do any skull and we could do any shoulder mount, and it doesn't matter, like I was saying before, it doesn't have to be horn or antler at this point.
We've practiced, we figured out that really any animal that you could possibly do anything with taxidermy, We can replicate it. And so if you have something out there and just cuz you haven't seen it on our [00:26:00] Instagram, be the first let us know and we can do it. We just actually over Christmas, not over Christmas, a little bit after Christmas here in Swan Valley, one of my good friends, they run an excavation company and they're out digging the basement for a customer.
She found about six feet down in the ground, a woolly mammoth tusk. I saw that. And so it was freaking awesome. And so I get this phone call at 9:00 PM one evening, and she's Hey. So I found a mammoth dust. He's it's not mine. I'm gonna give it to the owners of the land. And they'd looked into all these, how, who owns what and do they have to report it or whatever.
But they did want to make some replicas so that they had something to remember it by. And so I went over and I took the photos and I gotta see the real deal and hold it and look at it. And we made a few tests, so she found it in two pieces. And it was cool. We replicated it in two pieces, just the way she [00:27:00] found it.
All the same coloring, cuz that's like the memory of it. And that's just like a nice desk ornament. And then we also, this was cool. We found a 3D file that had been scanned from some archeological survey or a museum or something. We found through a lot of searching this 3D file of a mammoth skull online.
And We repaired digitally, the mammoth tusk, we mirrored it and then we placed it onto a skull. So we did our first mammoth euro. So anyways, almost as a joke, but we truly can, we went and put on the website under Species, you'll find Mammoth. And funny enough, we posted that and then I got 10 messages on Instagram of people being like, oh, I need you to replicate my mammoth tusk.
And I'm like, How many people are out here? Fucking tusks, and, but up in Alaska and different places. It's not uncommon. I, it's rare, but it's not uncommon. So yeah we've [00:28:00] we've done everything under the sun at this point. It's been fun. That's incredible. So is the mammoth euro on the limited series?
Could someone order? No, it, all the limited series. We just like made agreements with the people, who we did it for, so full transparency on it. We made an agreement where we made a free one for that individual Okay. As a trade to be able to do it. And so they got a euro and a shoulder mount of their animal, and then they're just like allowing it to be on there.
And it's been good for them because some people. Than friends or family that wanted something of their animal, it just made it really easy for like their friend to go order it rather than them, them to have to be the one to do it. So anyways, it honestly, not many people have bought the limited series.
Sure we've added on there and maybe we haven't advertised it super well. But there's some really cool animals. And the whole point on there was that there's some people that follow us that they're [00:29:00] not big hunters themselves, but they like really the animals and they like, almost pokemon. I don't know. Like they, gotta catch 'em all. Like they, they just, it's not even that it's their animal. Yeah. But they just like these cool, unique animals. And so we have had some people that have ordered them, but definitely it's obviously more cool and unique. To make your own animal oh, for sure.
I was just thinking the Mammoth euro probably would be a very popular limit series. I know a guy right now in Canada that would buy one because he has Canadian camouflage. He started a company called Canadian Camouflage, and his mask, his logo is a woolly mammoth euro. Yeah. And so he'd probably get one just for his desk, probably that we've actually done that with some.
Muey Crazy is one we've done it with, where we took the Muey crazy buck, the one that their logo is based off of. Yeah. We've done replicas for them and they sell 'em in their shop and stuff of that. So there's some companies out there where if they have an animal or [00:30:00] an antler type thing for their logo, we can bring that to life and actually make.
Something from that. So that's been a cool one. I don't think we talked about this last time, but we have had a lot of business for companies that are doing like raffles or banquets or dinners, and they'll order like 50 or a hundred minis. To be able to give out as door prizes or auction 'em off or give them as gifts, like there, there're places that are charging $200 for a dinner reservation ticket, like an auction.
And it makes for a really cool personalized gift where they're doing like the logo or let's say the state record buck from that year. And that's like what they're giving out. So that's a fun thing we've done. And so if any company's out there listening and you're thinking of, what's a really cool gift we could do for all of our employees for Christmas, or what's something for a banquet or a fundraiser, it's a really cool thing we can do in bulk [00:31:00] and we give discounted rates based on, how many they're ordering.
So I think I know the answer to this question already. But if someone's got a bunch of horn mounts what's behind me? Yeah. I assume no issue at all. Just take the pictures. Same as ever. Cuz there's some bucks that it's like some of these that I've got, they, maybe I was too young and I didn't have enough cash or whatever the reason was, I decided to not get a shoulder mount.
It would be cool. Nice. Yeah. Yeah. Go back and get the minis of because that's something where, I always joke that I'll never stop shoulder mounting big deer. I'll just build shops to put 'em in. Yeah. But eventually you do run outta space. Like you, it everyone eventually would run outta space or money to build shops, right?
You see some of these, I think one thing that we've had a hard time with, I'll just say it out loud here, like we've had a hard time with, are we being competitive to taxidermy in terms of replacing it? [00:32:00] Or are we complimentary? And so far we've always taken the side of we're just complimentary.
Yeah. If I get a really big animal, I'm still going to do the full size taxidermy. Yep. And most people are now, look, if you don't have the money to do it or it's something you regret not doing before cool. Like we're an option. But I think that's where we've seen where 90% is gifts, is that, again, one person brings that real animal home, but there's so many other people that have the memory with it, and it just makes for a really cool personalized gift.
It's every gas station you go into and you can buy a pocket knife or a key chain with your name on it. This is like times a thousand because it. I don't know. As guys especially, I feel we're, we grew up playing with action figures and we, there's something about that and now it's like having this action figure of your animal.
And on the female side, they love it for the space savings [00:33:00] and they also love it because they're super cute. And I always joke at like expos and stuff, I'm like, yeah, we're not supposed to say that word at a hunting expo, but They're really cute. Like it's just kinda it's fun where we can cross boundaries.
Like on the guy side, they're just super cool and on even the kid side or the girl side. I can't tell you how many teenage girls that have gotten into hunting, but they're not this rah white blood on my face after the kill. Like they're a 13 year old girl that just got her first elk and for her, It's a lot more approachable and a lot more, I don't know, special to have her elk on, like her nightstand in like more of a, a miniature way.
There's something more endearing to her about that way to display it. So I think we've crossed boundaries too. And we have a lot of female customers and I think for that reason Oh yeah. It's not as in your face or as I don't know. Vulgar is not the right word, but [00:34:00] there's something clean about it.
And some people don't care and they're like, yeah, that's right. But there's some women even in the hunting world, They're like, I don't want dead animals in my house. And no matter how clean they really are, there's still something off-putting to some people. And we found that a lot of those people really love what we're doing cuz it's just so approachable.
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I just was thinking, because some of these I just eh, I'm not gonna shoulder not that one because if I sh, I mean there's eight, I guess I gotta count again. Yeah, there's eight in here. And I have two more in my garage. Hormones mounts. Yep. And so that would've filled up a room real fast if I would've done a full-sized shoulder on each one of 'em.
But at least I could do a mini on them and just remember the, I have a picture of each one's hide, so that's, that would be for the color. And then I could do like the 3D pictures of the antlers to get the sizing down. I still think once you talked about also the sizing in your house or like building a shop, But one thing, and I wish [00:35:00] someone would take us up on it, like fully, we've had people do it a little bit, but also have you ever been to some of these hunt expos and think of the cost and the like to trailer in on a semi, all of these shoulder mounted animals to advertise their hunting ranch.
Okay. You could put in a suitcase every single animal, not just five or six of the best ones. You could do 500 minis. Oh yeah. And say this is like the wall of fame of our hunting ranch. And how many heads would that turn? If you had like hundreds of minis and they walk up to your booth and it's we've done all of these bucks.
There's something impressive about it and there's still so novel. I see more heads turn when there's like a bunch of minis to look at than a full size because it, I think we've gotten used to it, right? Yeah. You go to a hunt expo and. There's hundreds of mounts and they're cool to look at, but I would argue you save [00:36:00] money and you might get more attention by setting up a booth that way, at least for the first few people that do it so well.
Yeah, and I, I go to these expos and hunts and shows too. You're right. They usually bring it depends on who it is. Like moss bags probably bringing a semi, but most people, like you said, they bring their handful of favorites. But I'm always looking at it like, okay, I can tell that Mount is older.
Okay, you shot one big elk. Is that it? Are there more? That's, one doesn't really tell me much because I got one big one too, but like you said, if there was a hundred of them and they're all big, then you're like okay. Let's say you've had a hundred people at your hunting ranch at even if you're gonna make a full size replica, or let's say the real thing, okay, good luck.
Have fun coordinating with a hundred different people from all over the nation, all over the world, that have hunted with you, and then transporting, ensuring, and bringing all these animals. It's just logistically impossible. Like Mossback is one of the only [00:37:00] people that I've ever seen successfully do that year after year.
But for most people it's just not doable. And now it's cool because yeah, if you were on the hunting Ranch, You can take the photos right there in the field before your customer ever leaves. And then you can make replicas of the animals that were on your ranch, and you likely have more history with those animals than any of the customers that walk through the door.
Oh, for sure. You've been watching those animals for years and you know them intimately, they know them for a week. So we also find that like the guides. It's such a cool present for the guide because a lot of them, again, have more history and love for that animal than sometimes the customer does.
Yeah. What would be the minimum number of pictures that you could do a replica with? I'm thinking back so the last, since the last time we talked, I found out I have a long lost cousin that is an outfitter in Montana. Nice. And he is about the same age as me, him and his. His dad started the business.
Now he's following up. [00:38:00] And they are known like their bread and butter is big meal deer. And so they've got, their website's full of big pictures of mule deer and each one, I'm sure they have a folder with a couple different angles that they took it. Would that be enough to see what the tools can do to recreate it digitally?
Or do you really need that full 360? It's full 360. Cuz you can't just make up what you can't see. Oh. I, I could paint a picture of you right here, but everything in the back would be flat. And and especially when you're talking about animals, there's kickers and there's colors and patterns and there's shape to all of it.
That's really Okay. Hard to capture. But the most important part, you can get away with 50, 75 photos of an animal. Literally, take two minutes, just walk around quickly and snap a bunch. The most important part is it has to hold still. And without getting into a lot of technical details, if that thing shifts when we try and put all the imagery together, it just craps out on us and it doesn't [00:39:00] work.
Oh, the most important part is that it's just held still from there. It's super duper easy. And to that effect we've had. 85 year old grandma take photos of a deer that she wanted to secretly gift to her grandson. And she was able to do it. She was able to get out her phone, follow the instructions, our step-by-step instructions on the video, and she's sending the photos and we did it.
So like it's pretty dang easy. We've made it as simple as possible. Yeah. I could easily see Moss back cuz they're, like you said, one of the only new ones that really does it at scale to the next time they get 'em all together for the show. They just quick scan 'em all, and they're like, all right, we're done with this.
We're not renting semis anymore to bring all these animals to the Western Expo. I think they'll always be, and again, we're never gonna replace the real deal, the real animal. That's not our goal, but we are able to make it where you can take those memories with you so many more places like.
I've joked about it and I used to do viral videos, was [00:40:00] like my job. I've done over 3 billion views on YouTube. Holy smokes, all over the world. That was my thing, but I've thought about a bunch of different viral videos for mini muey and one of just like the kind of sales based videos. Is a guy showing up to work and he's got this elk and he's walking around and he's yeah.
Out and he's at the store and he is oh, check this out. And he is, at the barbecue and he is like holding this big shoulder mount check it out. And I think like naturally we want to show off and share the memories of these animals. And this is such a cool little conversation starter.
Yeah, no one sees that on your desk at work or in your truck or something. And it brings up this whole opportunity to share a story that's memorable and meaningful to you without lugging around your elk and being like, look at this. So it I think again, we're not gonna replace the real animal.
Like we wouldn't have minis without the real animal, but it's really cool what we can do with technology and I think it's cool [00:41:00] that it can now be shared with so many more people. You know that's the coolest part. That would be an amazing like ad or like that would be a great ad and then like you would end, you could end it.
The guy goes all over the place, right? The gas station, Cabela's, everywhere, the barbecue. And then you end it with him, like walking into his office and like showing the receptionist. And then he gets in the elevator and he's like trying to get it in and he's check it out. And the guy's check this one out.
And he holds up a mini instead. Yep. I know. No, there, there's a lot of fun things we could do with it. And honestly, to that point that. It's that's where we're at, we're we really are in a figuring it out phase of what we're doing with the company and, we've talked about this a lot to be flat out honest, like we've done very well for our first year and a half, like very well.
We've blown away, kind of averages in numbers of like most startups, how they do and [00:42:00] they're getting to profitability and things like that. We've done excellent. That being said for at least us, it's more of, it's at a level where this would make it'd be like a dream con come true for someone if they were out there running this business on their own spread across as many people as we're doing to kinda lighten the burden where it's not our full-time focus.
It's hard to give it the attention that we really would love to, and We've been at this balance point. It's like we, we want and hope that it grows to even just a little bit more than it is so we can justify putting in more time, continuing to innovate at a higher level keeping things fresh and and so yeah we're figuring out and seeing where that goes.
Oh, I have no doubt you guys, all eight of you will be full-time eventually. I hope so. That it's so cool. I think a huge market would be the whitetail property managers. Yeah. So like for example, me and my wife, [00:43:00] we just got under contract on a new home on 40 acres, super jacked about be able to hunt right out our back door.
And so we're probably gonna see bucks year after year, but the neighbor might shoot him. This happened. I was, me and the family, we've been doing food plots and habitat management on our family farms, and we had a buck, we called him Bert. He, because he was running with another big one called Ernie.
So Burt, Ernie. And for three years we watched this buck grow. I saw him in person a couple times from the stand and just quite didn't get it to go. And eventually my niece shot him. So super happy that it stayed within the family. But even that, yeah, but even that, my niece lives two hours away from me.
Yeah. So that was two years ago. I still haven't seen that buck cuz it just got back from the taxidermist now. So talk about timeline. Yeah. Two years. That's a, an exam we have that happen all the time. Yeah. Where a deer like Bert, you have all this family and all this history and it's Kate, good for [00:44:00] her, but can we make some replicas of this animal for ourselves?
Yeah. And maybe we don't wanna go to this huge costly extent, but you would love to at least have one and go, oh yeah, we have history with this animal. It's just fun that way. Yeah. Yeah. We have me and my brother both like tag team to buck. He took the first shot, he could only see like it was bedded.
He could see it's one ear and one antler, and he assumed the head was on like the left side of the ear and it was on the right side of the ear. So he missed. And then, I shot it and it was a whole better example Kalamazoo. But yeah, now we both share this buck. We pass it back and forth between the house and at least like the other person could have the mini, and we could just trade, like swap.
He shot a buck that I had on camera. We, it's all a team effort, so we had on camera. He shot that one completely on his own. And I just really liked that book. I watched every, he would call him Hollywood cuz every morning he would stand in front of one of our cell cameras and just take picture after picture.
So we all, it's every day where he was checking in. And so I think that would be huge. Even with, without like outside of [00:45:00] the family. You talk about Ironically, some of the biggest whitetail hunters in the industry all are neighbors with each other, which is probably how they all got so big.
But they're all down in southeast Iowa, Northeast Missouri, and every now and then, I'm sure one of 'em shoots a buck that they've all been chasing, and then they could all just work together and get a bunch of minis made. I think that would be a huge whitetail market. I think it's the gift side of it too, when you have a buddy come and help you, let's say pack out now white tail hunting is different. Your packouts are honestly lame, excused. But it's you can't even use the term pack out cuz most people drive their pickup up to the animal. Exactly. So like my first mule deer. I put in 20 miles in the first 24 hours and I had an 11 mile pack out from 11,000 feet down to 4,000 feet through like scrub, like rough pack out.
Now when my buddy comes and helps me pack out that animal and he puts in the [00:46:00] work and everything else what am I gonna give him like a hundred bucks and be like, Hey, thanks man. Like you're, it's like dumb. It's almost insulting, so yeah. When you wanna do something really nice for someone that helped you out on a hunt, whether they gave you a tip, let's say that they pointed you in the direction and you ended up tagging out on an animal, or they let you hunt on their property, or they helped you pack out, they helped you skin it, whatever they did.
This is such a cool gift. That like it, it's not about the money. It's like a specialized, personalized gift that's really fitting as a thank you to that person. If a guy let me hunt on his land and I killed my first white tail, but that was like on his land, like he, how cool for me to make a mini replica and say, Hey, thank you so much.
Like here's an animal to remember it and every That's way better than being like, Hey, here's 50 bucks. It just, anyways I think that is yeah, I've said it up a bunch, but I think it's one of the coolest parts of what it's evolved [00:47:00] into is it just makes for that personalized gift that I think is just a lot more thoughtful.
Then here's a pocket knife, here's 20 bucks. Whatever. Yeah. And normally what you do, like what I've always done in that situation, if someone helps pack out an animal it's a little different when you go out as a team, because when you go out as a team, everyone's got a tag. You hunt together all week.
We just split everything equally. If one guy shoots an elk and there's four people, everyone gets 25%. Yeah. You get meat. You get this yep. But if I was to go out on my own, shoot something and call a buddy and say, Hey, can you come help? I would say you want a quarter? Do you want a backstrap?
And they're probably gonna say yes, right? They like venison, they like elk meat. If you just think about it like dollars and cents, like you gave that guy 75 pounds of meat, like $5 a pound, it's way more valuable than the $5 a pound at the grocery store. That's still a significant gift.
It's not costing you money outta your pocket, but it's way more valuable of a gift. Yep. And so it's like when someone's [00:48:00] oh, a milli for a gift. It's that's actually like half of what you gave them in meat. Really? Yes. If you think about it. Yep. So true. Yeah, that is something that I'm gonna have to look at cuz there are two bucks right now that I have a lot of history with that I don't hardly ever get to see.
Probably three. My nephew shot one too. That the whole fam, the whole family's watching these all year long and one of us is lucky enough to get 'em instead of the neighbor, but it'd still be nice to look at 'em at Christmas. Tell me the name, what's the name of the podcast again? This one or the other one?
This one. The Western rookie. Western Rookie. Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna make a discount code right now and y you're gonna be the first to know, so you're welcome to use it, but I'm gonna do Oh, perfect. Western rookie, just like it sounds. R o k i e. Yep. Yep. Just like it sounds. And we're gonna just do a 25% code, and then I'm gonna set.[00:49:00]
Limit and we're gonna do 15 times. So whoever's on here other than yourself or your friends or family that'll be on there. Western Rookie, 25% off stuff on the website. So feel free to jump on and grab something if you're listening. 14 of you are gonna get an awesome deal. There you go. I'm gonna be heading back to Alexandria to go to Canada fishing for a week on next Friday.
So I'm gonna, I'll take the pictures, man. There might be thir, there might only be 13 of you folks that get a good deal cuz there's two bucks on my mind that I really wanna get there. There could be four. So I'm making a compromise with the listeners. You can do it, you can do it in one order oh, perfect.
This will be off in order. So 14 of you are gonna get a great deal Western rookie. I don't know why this is not doing it. I'm gonna give you guys one more right here. Let, I'm gonna do one that I know [00:50:00] is working. Okay. You guys just lucked out because I can't get it to load from my phone. So the discount code you can use is trophy 30, and that is, For 30%, so you just got 5% more because of my mistake here.
So wow. Trophy, trophy 30, and I am setting a limit to how many times this one can be used. And we'll go from there. All right folks. Trophy 30. Cameron just must be feeling generous tonight and a bunch of you guys are gonna get one heck of a deal on a mini mealie. I'm excited to get 'em that's our steepest discount we ever do.
By the way we really can't go above 30% even on quantity. Just. We just don't have enough in it. And anyways, that's, yeah, that's the best deal you're ever gonna see, I'll tell you that much. There you go folks. It's, if you're waiting, if you were on the fence, it's never gonna get better than this.
Cameron has given you, given the farm away all I [00:51:00] ask is once you get your minis back, take some photos in front of the real size animal, whatever. Send him to us on Instagram. We can post them on social for you. And And that's the trade, some content. We'll be good to go. Awesome. Awesome.
Yeah I think it's, I think it's gonna be a big one. What you guys are doing is so cool with the minis and just the, I think it's really just the sum of what you said is it's an option, like it's opportunity. It's creativity, like people can do so many different cool things and just hearing you talk about all the stories and all the ideas your customers have been having.
It's expanded so much beyond, the original Mule Shed and now it's just all these different very cool products. I think it's gonna keep explo, I really do think all eight of you will have the opportunity to go full-time eventually. That's the goal. So I appreciate it. Yeah, appreciate the comments.
I appreciate you being here. I appreciate you sharing the mini Muey story and just, having fun talking about animals, like who, that's the whole [00:52:00] point of the podcast right there. And then being given the folks a great coupon code trophy 30 to use at their when they get their very own meal for themselves.
Awesome. Yeah. Thanks man, appreciate it and good to see you again. Good to see you too, buddy. And thank you for listening folks.