This week on the Missouri Woods & Water podcast we talk with Mark Denham with Outdoorsmans about western hunting gear. Specifically Mark talks about the items he thinks are most important. He talks about tripods, optics, packs, boots, tense, GPS, and more. Thanks for listening!
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[00:00:00] Welcome to the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast with your host, Nate Thomas. Today's show is one I recorded with our guest, mark Denim, actually quite a while ago. We've had some stuff slide in front of it and things like that, but it's a really good episode about Western gear for the mid-Westerner going out west, whether that's hunting for elk, mule deer cos deer, which is something that Mark talks about quite a bit in this show.
Not something any of us has ever hunted. Or really thought about hunting. So it's an interesting topic. He gets into kind of [00:01:00] talk about, I think it's about six items six things that he would recommend for someone who's going out west. It's a little different than anything we've ever talked about before.
This is a little bit more driven towards glass and things like that. And then he also talks about three more items, but it's it's really just a gear driven podcast more than anything with Mark. I do wanna say before I get into our sponsors, want to give our condolences to our buddy Vince Houseman.
Vince recently lost his father, and we just wanted to tell Vince that we're sorry for his loss and that we're thinking about him. It was great to meet his dad at some of the Midwest wildlife events in the past. And just wanted to tell him we're thinking about him and hope he's doing okay.
All right let's get into our sponsors for today's show. Before we get into it. First off, Morel targets. Been shooting the shit outta mine, basically. Trying to get this new elite era. I think I got the era. Yeah. Kind dialed in. It's going pretty [00:02:00] good. Also got the bowtech assassin, or I'm getting the bowtech assassin rung and I'm gonna get it all set up too.
So I got a second bow ready to go in case something goes wrong in Wyoming. And the morel targets we've been shooting in have been a big help for me, so check 'em out. Weber Outfitters. Make sure you guys enter the ultimate bow hunting giveaway. It's gonna be linked in the show notes and you can get to it on our website.
Biggest thing is honestly, if you wanna enter into the bow hunting giveaway, which is $1,200 worth of stuff, it's an entire bow setup, essentially. Ready to go for anybody. Bow Arrows, broadheads Release. Target, et cetera, et cetera. If you want to enter it, you can't figure it out, just get ahold of us, we'll tell you how to get there.
It's easy. I'll shoot you the link. It's not that bad and you can enter multiple times, which is sweet. So check 'em out. Weber outfitters.com out in Hawk Point, Missouri. Make sure you stop by. Midwest Gun [00:03:00] Works. Use our code Woods Water for 5% off with them. Haven't been doing much with my guns lately.
It's been sticking, bow and arrow lately, so haven't been doing a whole lot lately. But check out Midwest Gun Works. It's a one-stop shop, really. Especially if you like building stuff, man, they got a little bit of everything, so check 'em out. Alon optics on top of the guns, I've been getting from Midwest Gun Works.
I think I've talked about this before. I specifically have a 2 23 bolt action gun that I got from them. Ive got an Alon Midas Ack sitting in a box still ready to go on that. I'll get it done soon, it's a Thursday night. I'm actually leaving for a vacation tomorrow morning with my family, so I'm not gonna get done in the next week at least.
But hey, it's ready to go whenever I need it. River's Edge tree stands. Use the code Missouri, 10 for 10% off, plus free shipping on hang ons and ladder stands. Honestly, 10% plus free shipping is more [00:04:00] like 10, 15, 20% man. Check them out. I just recently put together five Two Man Tree stands for the boys so they can hopefully get them in more situations this year and instead of saying no because I'm going somewhere they can't go.
So check out River's Edge, they've got a little bit of everything. It's nice in that sense. Lucky Buck, I just dumped. A little bit late, two different sites today, actually. It, I woke up this morning and it was foggy and it had rained last night, so I trudged through the wet grass and crap and two of my properties and dumped some lucky buck.
At least it wasn't. I was still sweating my ass off. It was, it's just so damn humid. But still got it done and I'm sure I'll start getting some more pictures or continue getting pictures in those spots. So check 'em out. Lucky Buck Mineral, if you haven't started using it yet, you are way behind, but it's never too late.
Make sure you hop on and do that for the Lucky Buck. Speaking of Lucky Buck [00:05:00] check out Reveal cell cams as well. As I was out dumping the lucky buck, I replaced some batteries in two of my cell cams and set another one out. So got those running. Like I talked about last week, easiest camera I've ever used.
And that is also including cameras that weren't cell cams. Just because I don't do anything with the settings, like I said on the camera itself, I just set the camera, make sure it's got service. Once I got it set, then I worry about my settings and I can mess with the settings however I want, whenever I want, which is nice.
Super impressed by 'em. So check 'em out. Reveal by tactic am on X, use the code mww 20 for 20% off. You gotta go to the website. Now's the perfect time of the year to be on your maps, checking stuff out, especially if you have new properties. Like I've got one and scouting this time of year is cool, but it's a lot harder to see trails where the deer are at.
So reading those [00:06:00] maps is helpful. Plus it sucks walking through the woods right now, to be honest. It's. Hot. You get sweaty, there's ticks all over. I use a lot of OnX right now, especially when you're trying to look at somewhere that you can't go to Wyoming or Colorado.
It's a good place to be. So check out OnX Maps. And then last but not least, black Ovis use the code Mww 10 for 10% off. I can't think of the last thing. What do I got coming? Oh, I ordered a release for my bow. A I got the exact same release I shoot now as a backup. I'm getting into this weird ass, being prepared for the worst type of deal.
Like I'm, I just said I'm getting my bowtech assassin rung. I'm gonna get it set up. So that it's ready to go and I'm getting another release exactly like mine, that it, I'm gonna put in the pack. I've got old releases that have been in my pack before, but I want that exact same one. So just ordered one like last week and or [00:07:00] last couple days.
And I'm doing that. I know it costs people more money, but especially if you're going out west or something, man it just, it scares me being on top of a mountain and then you're release breaking and you're just Sol. So check 'em out. Black Opus and then Camo Fire. Download the app. Easiest way to use it.
You can open it up every morning or every afternoon when you get home from work or something. Scroll through, check out the cool deals. Andy has been right, they've been doing trail Cam Tuesdays. I don't want to give him too big of a head, but he ain't wrong. Check them out. And that is the sponsors for today.
So let's get into the show with Mark Denim, where we talk about gear for out west. This is the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast.
Okay with us today. Mark Denim manager, general manager for [00:08:00] outdoorsman and another dude that lives in Arizona. That we can't figure out how to talk. Yeah, cuz we don't know how to tell time. What's up man? Hey guys, how's it going? Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. Absolutely. Hey, no problem.
And this is just funny. We were talking to Mark before the show. We had a show a few weeks ago with Kevin Guillen with Wilderness Athlete. And the same damn thing happened with Kevin. I thought a certain time Mark thought a certain time and it was not the right time because y'all in Arizona are the only sane people in the country that don't observe daylight savings.
That's how we like to think of it. We like to think that we're the same ones and everybody else is wrong. So we're trying to bring everybody into our way of thinking. But I would definitely it definitely screws some things up sometimes, dude, I would love to get rid of daylight savings.
Supposedly they're voting on it at some point, but I don't know. We'll see what happens. I know, who knows? My wife said she had heard that we were gonna spring forward this spring [00:09:00] and not fall back like it was a done deal. And I haven't heard a peep about it, so I don't think that's gonna happen.
That's what I was told too. Yeah. I mean there was like news articles about it and it sounded like everybody was super sure it was happening. They were gonna change one more time and it never changes again. And all of a sudden daylight savings happens again. And I was like wait.
Thought that was, I thought that was gone. And they're like, oh no, that didn't happen. Of course. Okay, I guess we just can't, yeah, of course it didn't happen. Can't have nice things. Imagine that Congress or yeah. Congress or the United States government didn't get something done on time.
Exactly. Oh, shocker. Crazy. So if you haven't listened to it yet we recorded a show, like I said, with Kevin Guillen, a wilderness athlete a few weeks ago that was centered around the physical aspect of getting ready for the, going out west as a, and even a first time person, but someone who's done it before, but specifically a first timer, like someone who wants to do it.
This show with Mark, we're gonna more talk about gear and other ways that you can get yourself ready for going out West. [00:10:00] So before we do get into that, mark, why don't you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do. Yeah, so I've been with Outdoorsman for about seven, eight years now.
I've been working the road shows for outdoorsman since I was we'll call it 18 cuz I wasn't supposed to be doing it while I was 17. And so it's been a while now. It's been about 12, 13 years that I've been working directly with outdoorsman. I was raised in the western hunting industry. My father, Chris Deni owner of Western Hunter Magazine.
Western Hunter tv. He's been dragging me around with him since, since about I could keep up we'll call it, we'll call it eight or nine. He's been dragging me around everywhere he could possibly take me. I've been hunting big game in Arizona and across the west since I was 10.
Shot my first shot, my first co deer when I was 10, and pretty much never looked back when it comes to cos deer here in Arizona since that day. It's we joke here in Arizona that it's about the most addicting thing you can do when you're a, when you're young especially, is getting into co deer hunting.
But been [00:11:00] doing that for a really long time. Started working full-time with outdoors. It was about six years ago and have been guest starring guest hosting on Western Hunter. For 10 seasons now. I think we're on a season 11, and I started hanging out with them in season two. So it's been a long journey.
A lot of western hunting in the meantime. And especially working for outdoorsman, learning about the equipment and designing outdoor equipment for the past six, seven years has been honestly, extremely eye-opening. And you learn just an absolute ton about the intricacies of the equipment that we use.
And people tend to, I think the equipment can be overlooked in a lot of areas. And I would agree that some areas can be, they can be cut back on or, some things you can do without, but you really, what I've learned most is the things that are necessities and that are extremely important to have.
And we really try to focus [00:12:00] on. Those things at outdoorsman, the things that we produce and manufacture, and then also the outside vendors that we carry, we believe in. That's our, that's our motto. If we're not gonna use it, if we don't use it in the field, or if we wouldn't recommend using it in the field, we're not gonna carry it.
So every single product that we do carry, we can stand behind and we can say that I would be happy using any of these products. And especially when it comes to the products that we manufacture that's extremely important to us. Manufacturing and standing behind products that we believe in and that we rely on every day feel so.
That's my spiel about me. So what's that what's COOs deer hunting like? Ooh it's different in a lot of ways. Eastern whitetail hunting, I haven't done much eastern whitetail hunting in my life. So the the comparisons are in my opinion, I think the biggest comparison is the patience that it takes.
So if you're sitting in a tree stand, for [00:13:00] day, hours, days, even months on end to try to find that specific buck. The direct comparison would be in cosier hunting. You're sitting on top of a hill glassing for hours, days, months to find a specific buck. The biggest difference, I think is just the size of the landscape that you're operating inside of.
They are, they live in some of the most impressive, and I would say scary landscapes in Arizona. They're basically mountain cliff dwelling deer that get up into some of the areas that you would just be appalled to see a deer on top of that mountain. I can't count how many times I've been glassing down in bottoms of canyons and, Bottoms of hills, not finding anything.
And all of a sudden I look up to the top of a 7,000 foot mountain. I'm sitting at, I'm sitting at 3000 feet and boom, there's a co deer silhouetted [00:14:00] on top of this mountain. And geez, something, you would see a, something you would see a sheep in. And I think that's where the addiction comes from.
They're extremely hard to find. They're small, they're hard to hunt. And it's, it, there definitely is a bit of a more rewarding feeling after a hunt like that. It's definitely a lot like sheep hunting. There is a lot of work between getting to camp or getting, starting to hunt and actually, actually killing a cos deer with other types of hunting here in the west with mule deer hunting and elk hunting and archery elk cunning.
There's a, there's definitely a lot of steps involved and there's a lot of, hardships during the hunt, but the amount of ground you're gonna cover, the amount of elevation you're gonna do, the amount of glassing you're gonna do, there's nothing that compares to co deer hunt. And I think a lot of Arizonans agree to that.
And I think that's [00:15:00] why we get addicted to it, because it's easy to draw. There's a decent population here in Arizona. So as far as tag availability and opportunity it's very high. You can be successful in almost any boosts your unit in the state. And so I think that's where the addiction comes from is accessibility and just the adventure of the hunt can be whatever you want it to be.
You can do, you can go on a road hunt and you can go on a 15 mile backpacking trip. There's so many, there's so many in-betweens and there's such a difference between what you can do year after year. We try to mix it up every single year and do a little something different just to, to mix things up.
And I think that's where the excitement comes from, is one year we can go to a unit and if we're feeling a little lazy or weather's crappy or, the season's bad or, we're not expecting great activity, we can keep it simple. We can walk up a hundred yards to a hill right outside of camp and [00:16:00] do some hunting.
Or this year, like this year is a great example. We've had, we record rainfall for the past, I think 30 years. No, I know where it all went. Don't quote me. Yeah, we're dry. Exactly. Yeah. We're Arizona out here. Yeah. Yeah. The rest of the country's, the rest of the country's appalled by this, but us in Arizona over this winter, it didn't it felt like a different state.
We had people coming into the state to see our flowers bloom, which is, you would, coming into Phoenix, Arizona to see our flowers bloom in the spring is like who would, who in their right mind would do that Yet our hills were a different color and they were yellow and orange.
And it was appalling. I've never seen it in my lifetime. This is the most rainfall we've had in my lifetime. And we had a decent year of the year before and a decent year of the year before. So this year we're expecting to see record antler growth and record health and populations.
And so you can take those low opportunity hunts that you would see in dry years. Those 10 mile backpacking trips into areas that no [00:17:00] one accesses. And you could, you could find the state record. That's the beauty of it is, we get people calling all the time into the office and.
They ask about Arizona cos deer hunting and simultaneous they ask about cos deer hunting and they say, oh, you know what what unit should we put in for? What unit should we hunt? And they say, I your best opportunity or best draws because there is a boon and crockett deer guaranteed in every square mile of every Ku deer unit in Arizona.
There's no trophy units. There's some that people consider better and they house, better populations and things like that and more density. But if Arizona's doing well, the COOs deer are doing well and they're gonna do well across the state. So I think that's where a lot of the draw comes from is just the adventure, the accessibility and the difference between other hunting styles and cos deer honey.
Yeah, it is quite different. I was just gonna ask like what. What are [00:18:00] the chances to draw Cuz not to talk bad about Arizona, but my dumb ass has been putting in for elk for the past five, four or five years and I'll be lucky to draw for an elk by the time I'm 55 years old. Like it's really difficult to draw, especially as a non-resident, places like Arizona when you haven't been putting in until you were in your late thirties.
So when you started talking about Cosair and how awesome it is, I'm like, I wonder how hard it would be to draw a cos deer tag. So now a non-resident might be a little harder than a resident, but it's probably a little bit more opportunities for non-residents in something like a cos deer hunt compared to an elk hunt.
Tons of opportunity. Yeah. So that's, it's the same thing for us, our elk hunting for non-residents, it's near impossible for residents. It's annoyingly long. For elk hunting. So I drew at. 11 years old, an elk tech I drew at 18 years old and I drew at 27. So I have, it's been eight to nine years in between my elk hunts.
And that's a resident, with my hundred [00:19:00] point and my loyalty points. Yeah. Every opportunity I can to get more points and yeah, I'm putting in for decent tags, but realistically, even if you put in for okay tags, you're five years and you need something to do in between then every single year consistently.
That's where cosier hunting comes in. That's two, yeah. Same for, yeah, same for non-residents. It's not a guarantee. You're not a hundred percent in most units in Arizona, but you are a hundred percent in at least one every single year for non-residents. So there, there is an opportunity for non-residents every single year.
There's, tons of resources as far as As far as draw odds and things go out there and if you watch those closely and look at the updated draw odds and just pick the a hundred percent just pick the a hundred percent draw odds or one point, one point maximum type things and just go on.
Cuz like I said there's good units, there's better units, but there's no bad units for custer hunting in Arizona. Yep. If you've got a [00:20:00] hundred percent draws or at least 75% I would absolutely recommend doing it. And once you build up some points, that's the beauty of it. You don't draw that year, you're definitely gonna be a hundred percent the next, so you're your maximum year of missing cos deer hunting in Arizona for a non-resident is one year.
The next year you're two points, you're gonna, it's pretty percents and you never know. You might get lucky, like me and my brother-in-law, not this one, but my other brother-in-law, he and I both drew a general elk tag in Wyoming with two points this year, so Oh yeah. So we felt like we hit the lottery.
Yeah. What that's lottery right there. That's lottery numbers, wasn't it? 0.7%. We had a 0.7% chance of drawing and we drew. Oh yeah. That's some of the lowest, that's some of the lowest draws. I've successful draws I've heard in a long time. The only reason we put in, I've never drawn a tag like that.
The only reason we put in Wyoming is because Wyoming, as you probably have heard, mark has been doing some stuff and there's been a lot of [00:21:00] like hubbub about them trying to get rid of the non-resident and blah, blah blah. So we had two points and we're like screw it. We don't want to just lose these points.
Let's just put in what's it gonna hurt. So we put in, because we had, we haven't put in for Wyoming at all before. We've just been buying points every year or the last two years. Yeah. And we're like, screw it. Let's just put 'em in that way. We. Felt like we got something out of our money that we wasted and boom.
Got it. That's crazy. Little bit of a segue into the main topic. We went off into a, what we like to call our rabbit hole with co deer hunting right off the bat, but some of the stuff that people want to do to prepare themselves from a gear standpoint. And, other things that we get into, especially for the new person going out west.
We've been going out to Colorado for five, six years or whatever it is chasing elk every year it seems while we're there, we go, ah, it would've been nice to have one of these. Would've been nice to do this. So the idea with this show, and show the show [00:22:00] with Kevin is to try to maybe curve that, shorten that learning curve for people who are brand new.
That. They're gonna have a budget. Obviously they can't go spending 20 grand on, on all kinds of, every new gear that they can find, but we can maybe hope, hopefully put 'em in the right direction on what they need. And that's gonna change based on elk where you're going based on mule deer cos time, season time of the season.
Yeah. Some of those things will change and we'll probably get into some of those nuances. But let's just start at 30,000 foot and kind of move in from there. What are some things that you would say to the brand new hunter that is going out west for the first time? So definitely to somebody that's never hunted in the west before, never done any type of Western style hunting.
We have outdoorsman has three words underneath its brand name and that's tripods, backpacks, and optics. Those are the three things that we specialize in because we believe those are the three things that every western hunter. [00:23:00] Should have the, they should know extremely well does not matter. And that's this, like you said, budget is something we talk about a lot with our customers cuz we do produce and we do manufacture a very high end product and we do sell a lot of, very high end optics.
But that has nothing to do with what you need to start west, western style hunting. We sell slick products as far as tripods go, which start as low as about 120 bucks for a tripod. Some heads we can get down to about 1 0 7, 1 0 8. So budget is something that I think people see a lot of western style hunting with.
These. $90,000 F three 50 s and these $5,000 hillenburg tents and, these guys with $10,000 rifles and all this stuff. And it, it looks very intimidating. Sorry about that guys. Oh, you're good. Lemme turn that off real [00:24:00] quick. I just silenced mine like five seconds ago. Yeah, I know.
It's the office. Yep. It's the office phone. I always forget about it. So I think a lot of people get intimidated by that type of stuff. They, they watch the TV shows or they see people on Instagram and social media and stuff with these, insane piles of optics and these trucks and all this stuff.
And I think that's the first misconception you gotta get, you gotta get rid of. You don't need the best of the best, but you do need these items. And so tripods, backpacks and optics are the three things that we recommend to, to get figured out before you get out West. Everything after that is like your, those are your wants.
After that, your needs are tripods, backpack, and optics. So starting with tripods the main reason is I would say elk hunting, mule deer hunting. And for the people who are gonna accuse deer hunt, it's even the most important. But glassing is gonna be something that you're going to need to get [00:25:00] extremely familiar with.
And if you want to be, if you wanna be successful in the West, I've definitely been successful by walking through the woods and all of a sudden, something just happens. But that's about 1% of the time. Yeah. 99% of the time I'm sitting on a stool and I'm staring through a pair of binoculars and my eyes are burning after eight hours, and then on day three, something finally happens and and you find what you're looking for.
But blasting is the way to. Save your legs. You can't cover as much country with your legs as you can with your eyes and with a tripod. It takes you from an extremely inefficient glasser. Cause if you're hand holding binoculars, you're doing about 10% of what you need to be doing.
Putting those binoculars on a tripod or a spotting scope, or any of your ob observation equipment on a tripod will make you immediately make you a better [00:26:00] hunter. We don't even say it's not oh, you need to practice, a glass glassing with a tripod, or you need to practice doing all this stuff.
If you know how to put your eyes against a para of binoculars you're done. You put it on top of a tripod, you stabilize it. It's perfectly still. You put your eyes up against it and yet start looking for movement. That's, it's a very simple concept, but it takes a bit of, gotta turn that off.
Oh, you're good. Somebody wants to yell at him right now. Why aren't you working? Yeah, I know, right? Are you ready? We are no like we're no strangers either to tripods. We do a lot of coyote hunting out here in Missouri. That's our, like our one a thing. And that's what we use to coyote hunt is tripods.
Yeah. I think all of us use, all of us use tripods. Yeah. No, we've also, and we also do thermal hunting, which is even more important to have a tripod almost mandatory, I would assume, but yeah, tripods. Exactly. They changed the game for us when it comes to, shooting coyotes, [00:27:00] you can be, what's the other one?
The tr Just the bipods? Yeah, the bipods. I've actually thought about trying out one, but yeah, bipods are good too. But you're, there's no doubt that you're more stable with a tripod than a bipod. So I understand what you're saying as far as making you a better glasser. Makes total sense. Yeah.
Yeah. Cuz and that's a great, that's a great comparison because. You talk about give somebody a rifle and tell 'em to shoot an agent and steal plate it a hundred yards 10 times. And even the best shots in the world are probably gonna miss a couple, and then you hand a 13 year old, a rifle on a tripod, a stable tripod, and you tell him, hit it. He's gonna hit it 10 outta 10 times. All you gotta do is sit there and pull the trigger. That's, it just makes you more efficient and especially when it comes to glassing. We always, we were talking about the differences, and your tactics and especially your equipment, the differences between elk, mule deer, and cos deer.
And as it seems simple, but some people tend to overlook it. [00:28:00] As the animal gets smaller, your technique and your equipment becomes even more important. So when it comes to elkine, yeah, I'll carry a spotting scope with me every once in a while, but most of the time my 12 power binoculars are 10 power binoculars.
I'm gonna be like, okay, there's a bowl and it's an okay bowl, but I'm gonna be able to spot the difference between a three 30 bowl and a three 80 bowl with 12 power binoculars within, at least a thousand yards for sure. Then you get all the way down to co deer where the difference between a shooter is 15 inches and all of a sudden that equipment needs to be higher magnification.
But it even, it's even more important, it becomes even more important and stabilizing those binoculars, stabilizing that equipment is even more important cuz of movement. When you're glassing, you're not looking for color, you're not looking for [00:29:00] shapes, you're not looking for anything but movement.
Because these animals are the, they're the color of what surrounds them. You're, if you're looking for shapes and eyeballs and things like that, it's not gonna go very well. You're gonna, you're gonna miss things. Your eyes actually don't like to look for color, especially in magnified optics.
What it likes to do is look for movement. We always tell people that being as patient as possible and just staring at the center image, of your binoculars can be one of the most effective ways to glass is you'll get those little flickers of movement on the outside of your image or on the outside of your field of view.
And that's what we're looking for. And so if you are creating movement in your equipment, that's decreasing the efficiency of your eyes, cuz your eyes are having to process all of that movement coming from your hands and your body. Then decipher, okay, did I create that movement or did the, did something in my field of view create that movement?
And when your [00:30:00] binoculars are completely stable, it's pretty easy to discern whether or not, cuz they're not, you're not moving at all. The animals are, it's gotta be. Yeah. There's no question. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. So your eyes process your eyes process, the center of the image is where, color and detail comes from.
And then the other 90% of your field of vision is, they always say it's, if it's actually in black and white. Like a, people say oh, you actually, you're the outsides or the peripherals of your vision are actually in black and white. Your brain feels in the rest.
I'm not a scientist, not a doctor. I don't know if that's, extremely true or accurate. But what I do know is that the peripherals of your vision are absolutely designed to pick up movement. We were prey at one time in our lives. And, we are designed to pick up tiny movements in our peripheral vision.
And that's where that tripod and that stability really comes into play. Do you have a preference from, and I guess it doesn't, maybe it does matter, from elk to down all the way down to [00:31:00] COOs deer do you have a preference between binoculars and spotting scopes? And The reason I ask that is I have never really liked spotting scopes.
I don't know why. My brother-in-law's got a really nice one and we use it like when we're shooting to, see where we're missing and stuff. But I just don't like 'em that much for whatever reason. Do you have a preference and is there positives and negatives to having binos compared to spotting scopes based on the type of animal?
Yeah, absolutely. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. I'm not a, I'm not a spotting scope fan. I'm not a spotting scope guy. And I think it, it actually became fairly clear. There's one product that kind of differentiates itself from the rest of the market. There's there's two, I guess you'd say.
The large binoculars from Koa, the Koa Highlanders they come in a varieties of different eye pieces, but you can get from 20 power all the way up to about 52 power. And then the Swarovski btx, they took a spotting scope and [00:32:00] they turned it into a binocular. And once the, once I started using those two products or those types of products, extremely high powered binoculars, large binoculars, I realized what was happening is I just hate looking through one eye.
Yeah. Because there's so much fatigue involved, and your brain is not designed to process a single limit. That's, I'm telling you, dude, there's. My brain knows it. Try to walk around. Exactly. Try to walk around your house with one eye closed, you're gonna bang your knee against something. And it's just it's not designed to do that.
It doesn't process color very well. It doesn't process definition or detail and it doesn't process movement as well. It's having both eye open and I think once those products came out, I was like, oh, that's why I hate spotting scopes, cuz you're looking through a degraded image already and then you're magnifying it to 70 power and expecting it to look like an 4K television in front of you.
Like it's just not how it works. And so binoculars absolutely [00:33:00] are king when it comes to any style of hunting. There are, there's people out there that'll tell you they love spotting scopes and things like that. But what I use spotting scopes for nowadays is I would say Affirming what I've already, what I've already made it.
If I see something, if I see a little bit of movement or I'm looking at a deer or an elk even farther away than what I can really identify, then I'll break out a spotting scope. I will confirm what I'm, what I'm believing or disprove it, and say, oh, shoot, no, that was a branch.
It's not a, it's not 110 inch COOs deer that's a, it's just a branch above its head, or stuff like that. I don't, you definitely don't use those high powered optics as what I would call general observation equipment. Therefore identifying or confirming something that you believe and then get immediately out of it, because the longer you stay in a spotting scope with one eye open, one eye closed.[00:34:00]
The screw it gets. Yeah. If you'll notice, you spend a lot of time through a spotting scope, and it looks great at first, and then all of a sudden, five minutes later you're like, man, I can barely get this thing in focus. And, the colors are starting to look weird. That has nothing to do with the quality of the optic that is your eyes and your brain saying what the heck is going on?
Why have I had my left eye closed for, five minutes? I'm, there's no light coming in. All of a sudden this eye starts to go super blue. Cause it's trying to correct for something. It's screwy. And so using it at the range, really, oh, go ahead. I was gonna say it, it reminds me, and I don't know if you've ever done any of this, but we started thermal hunting a few years ago for coyotes using thermals.
And we have these items called thermal monoculars, and we use them to scan four coyotes. Like you would use a spotting scope and it's in one eye. So this is a very bright object, is in one eye. You're looking for these things. You see 'em, you take it down and everything [00:35:00] looks cuz your left eye wasn't looking at anything, right?
It was just black. I feel that same way with, a spotting scope and I never really put two and two together until you just started explaining that it's the exact same effect that you're having looking through one eye. And I don't know if it's because I have no idea if there's science behind this, but I do everything right-handed.
I shoot right-handed. My bow is right-handed, my guns are right-handed and I'm a left eye dominant person. So in reality I should be doing stuff left-handed. But when I'm looking through a spotting scope, I'm looking through it with my right eye, with my left eye closed cuz that's what I do when I aim.
Yeah. And it just hurts, and so yeah, I don't use it. I'll look through my brother-in-laws for a few seconds to, whatever. And then from there I'm just like, you just let me know what it looks like, yeah. I'd much rather, put up set of binos up that are just in my hands and use those compared to the spotting scope.
I'm not talking about [00:36:00] a hunting situation right now, more just shooting, but, that's, I didn't realize that was the same sort of science behind it, that your eye just doesn't really enjoy that. Yeah. We're programmed to accept StereoVision. It, we take two images and we reference what one is seeing and what the other is seeing, and then we triangulate it just like you would triangulate a cell phone signal, like you bounce it off two towers and you know exactly where you stand.
Compared to those two towers. If you got one eye closed and you bounce a signal off of that, of light basically with your eyes, it doesn't have that second piece of information to triangulate that position. And so your depth of field goes away. That's a big one, is in a spotting scope, it's a little different cause you only have one objective lens, but your brain is still processing two images and it's processing exactly what it was designed to process instead of handicapping yourself by closing that eye.
And like I said, super quick glances, totally viable. And that's exactly how spotting [00:37:00] scopes in my opinion, should be used. And that's not how they're used most often. People, when we hear people talk about how much they don't like their spotting scope because we offer a trade-in program and stuff like that.
So we'll get people, we'll get people calling in ah, I wanna get rid of my spotting. So not a fan of it. And these could be some of the nicest spotting scopes that you could buy. And they're like, ah, I'm just not a huge fan of it. We'll ask why, and say, I'm just not getting the clarity out of it.
I wanted to. And you say, okay, how are you using it? The guys will be, oh man, I'm glassing for, I'm glassing for elk with a straight eye piece. 85 millimeter, 95 er spotting scope. For how long? Oh hours. I'm just sitting there glassing with apon scope. It's more magnification.
I'm being I'm being better, I'm being more efficient. It's a higher magnification. I can see more stuff. We're like, oh my gosh, man, you're is, that pains me to even think about using it for that long. It's cuz that image is gonna constantly be degrading [00:38:00] cuz your eyes are just gonna get extremely fatigued extremely quickly.
So definitely to, to answer the question, yes, the equipment definitely changes, as you the different types of animals you use and spotting scopes, in my opinion. Start to get a little unnecessary. The larger the animal you go and the closer you're, you're getting to an animal. If I'm on an archery al hunt you can bet your butt.
I am not gonna have a spotting scope anywhere near me at any time. There's no need for it. Don't need it. If I'm on a rifle, hun, nah, I'll have one in the truck. But if I'm, if I'm going to glass on a peak where my longest glass is a thousand yards, I don't really need one. I might take a small compact one that I can glance through five, 10 seconds at a time, but that's really it.
You also have one on your gun. That's a really overlooked, yeah, that's a really overlooked thing. Most people are walking around with it. The very [00:39:00] minimum of 15 power riflescope nowadays. Three to 15 or something like that. If not 18. 24. 28. Or if you're 80 36. If you're 80. At 36.
Yeah. Yeah. Geez. Yeah. He likes the, he likes to see the nose hairs whenever he's Yeah. On. Ooh. Or is it a 32, 34. 34, yeah. Yeah. I'm usually like an 18 power guy and I'm usually like 16 power on an 18 power. So I'm a, I definitely like the lower notifications. We always laugh. We carry Callis products and Callis makes a 10 to 50.
Oh wow. Riflescope and I have looked through it and 50 Power is like looking through a Capri Sun Straw. It is, yeah. It is. There is nothing left of that image. When we talk about eye fatigue and high power optics, rifle scopes are like a great example. Sit behind the rifle for an hour. You can't do it.
I would guarantee you're gonna be like, oh man. After about 10 minutes rubbing your eyes and stuff. It's just not [00:40:00] there. We're waiting for the binocular rifle scope. I was getting ready to say, to hit the market one. When does that come out? Yeah, I'm sure it'll be a thing right at some point.
I never even thought of it in that manner though, that, using one eye is just it bothers you, physically. Physically. Yeah, exactly. That makes sense. So there's a perfect example for people right there off the bat. If they're looking for budget and they're like, listen, I don't have enough to buy Binos and a spotting scope, go for the Sounds like your recommendation would be with and go for the binos.
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Back before twelves came out or twelves were kind of a. Staple in most lines of binocular products, it was eights and fifteens or tens and fifteens. Cuz spotting scopes weren't spotting, scopes weren't the best back in the nineties, early two thousands.
And so people, but the fifteens were, they were awesome. And so people were carrying like eights and [00:41:00] fifteens and that was a very common load out. So high power binoculars, absolutely. I would take, if we're talking, if we're talking one or the other, we recommend high power binoculars every single time.
You are gonna be more efficient, you're gonna spot more game, and realistically you're not gonna be missing out on much. Yeah. Spotting scopes and piece of the puzzle that we recommend. If you wanna squeeze one in there, go a little budget and, but don't skimp out on the binoculars, don't skimp out on, the backpack.
Then the tripod you can get away with saving some money on that too. But it's a, yeah, there's other important things other than spotting scopes, that's for sure. Sure. Yeah. So let's move into the packs. Like what are you looking for, and I'm sure it varies for each hunt, but like we're talking about 30,000 foot view.
What should somebody think about whenever they're going to look for a pack? Absolutely. One thing we always [00:42:00] tell people is just durability and capability. So the, I think the biggest difference between eastern and western style hunting as far as the use of a pack or the need for a pack is your distance when that animal is dead, your distance that you need to travel.
And most of the time that distance is without a road. So all of a sudden your pack becomes, Basically the most important thing you've got with you. So especially on elk hunts, I'm sure you guys know at this point, can get into some pretty precarious situations. After that elk dies seven miles from a road at the bottom of a canyon or the top of a mountain, and you're like, all right, I've got about 250 pounds of meat that I need to get seven miles, and I definitely can't carry 250 pounds at a time.
So now we're talking two if not three if not four trips. [00:43:00] And then all of a sudden your pack is like your lifeline basically. So cap capability of the pack is the number one thing we like to talk about. And when we talk, when we say capability, it's just basically can it hold up to anything you want to throw at it there, anything you're gonna need to throw at it?
And there's tons of great pack companies out there. Outdoors means we do manufacture our own pack line and our main focus is durability and just capability. So we make a pack that is very specifically designed for Western style hunting. It is one large compartment with an external frame that can handle basically anything you ever want to throw at it.
And because we believe that is the most important aspect, we don't make the most refined pack, we don't make the most feature rich pack in the world. What we do [00:44:00] consider, what we do think we make is the most capable pack as far as what western hunting entails because you got an elk on the ground, and I've done it a couple times where a situation requires you to load more weight than you want to.
And if your pack is the limiting factor there, It's gonna, it's gonna piss you off. There's a couple great pack companies out there that make extremely nice external frame and internal frame packs like Exo Mountain Gear, stone Glacier Cafaro Outdoors. Cafaro. Huh? I said Alps Outdoors. Yes, exactly.
There's tons of great pack companies out there. A frame is the, is if we're talking just general features that we're looking for in a pack is a frame. Internal is Okay. External's usually what we're looking for. It provides more rigidity and they can usually handle a lot more weight than internal frame packs.
Cuz like I said, if you're in a situation, so [00:45:00] me and my dad were hunting in Nevada, we're hunting mule Deer, Nevada, and we were just outside of Carson City. It was a pretty, it was a pretty metro style hunt. We were just, at one point we were glass and deer from a target parking lot, so we weren't expecting Yeah, it was a, that's funny.
It was an interesting hunt. And it was also about negative 18 that day. So we were very glad to be a little closer to civilization. So we weren't expecting much out of a kill. We were expecting to be, quarter mile from somebody's backyard. I ended up shooting a deer and it trotted off a little ways and we had to hike to 'em and we ended up about probably three to four miles away from the truck.
And we start skimming this deer and we look over our shoulders and there is a snowstorm beyond snowstorms rolling in. The sky was black. And we are two very Arizona boys who are not like, we're not snow savvy. To, to me a blizzard is oh I'm a couple minutes from death.[00:46:00] I need to be, I need to be near, yeah, I need to be near a vehicle or a, dwelling if snow is falling.
And and we looked at the, we looked at the storm, we looked at the forecast and it was not gonna be pretty. So we had two packs. We were not expecting to go on that much of a hike. So both of our packs were about half full of crap that we did not, should not have had in our packs. Combined, we had a total of one pack and we needed to get an entire mule deer into one pack.
She ended up was, 120 to 135 pounds, boned out meat. Cause we boned it out in the field for the, we thought time was we were like, okay, would we rather carry an extra 15, 20 pounds of bones or save a little time? So we just boned the crap out of it real quick. Threw it in the pack.
And at that point, I didn't think of it back then. I was still a little bit younger back then. But I think back to it now if I would've had a pack that would've failed on me or that couldn't have [00:47:00] done that, I would've been a really nasty situation, probably would've been fine. I would've had to go back the next morning and bury it from underneath.
The stove would've been frozen solid. And, I would've saved most of the meat. But it's that, it's those types of situations where if I need to do it, I wanna make sure my gear can do it right. Yeah. So that's the main thing we like to really look for in packs features and other things like that.
That's all personal preference. You can have, you can find, Cafaro has some great accessories and Stone Glacier's got some really great finishes on their packs and they're really well put together. So a lot of other companies have, they've got their niche and they do things really well.
So you just gotta find a company that builds a. A very capable pack and there's tons of options out there. And I think another point I wanna make sure, especially someone who's never went out west, really needs to understand, cuz I, I feel like people have gotten themselves in this predicament before is the pack that you buy.
[00:48:00] And honestly, if you stick to the companies you've mentioned, Alps, outdoors, xo Cafaro, you guys, those companies, it's going to be that way. But if you don't, or if you're looking at just different options for cost sake, you've got to get a pack that the meat is stored between the pack and your body, not where the meat is stored externally.
That is where you're gonna get a lot of trouble. When you got that weight just dangling, three feet behind you. It needs to be where the meat is stored up against your body or right up on the frame. Absolutely. Really after that it's just about, okay is this pack $600?
Is this pack's 200? I don't really care. Just like you said, features are great. I like certain things about packs I've had in the past about, I like this feature now that feature, whatever my new pack I'm really excited to use for next year. But in a roundabout way, it doesn't matter. It just needs to store meat up against your body.
The rest of it is just where your shit goes. Yeah. The [00:49:00] closer you can get. Yeah. The closer you can get the weight to you definitely helps. We say tight is light, so the tighter you can get that thing to your body, no matter what it is, it will feel lighter and in reality, it is lighter because you're, weight that moves, weighs more than weight.
That stays still. Momentum creates, momentum, creates energy. So if you've got something that's flopping around in your back, or it's far away from your, far away from your back, and it's got a little sway to it, that sways creating momentum. That sways creating energy. And that energy is draining your legs and your hips and your core and and your shoulders and everything.
But if I, glued a cement block to your back and it didn't, there's nothing could move, it's gonna feel lighter, even at the same exact weight. So that's a very good point. The tighter you can get the load and the tighter you can get it to your back. That's like number one we talk about.
When I tighten down a load on these packs, I'm putting my foot against the pack and like wrenching the [00:50:00] cinch strap so I can get that thing to. Just an absolute solid object. Just hoping you don't feel that snap if you're doing it, that always scares the hell outta me.
But okay, so I know that could be rough. We talked about three things that outdoorsman sells. Tripods, optics packs. Obviously those are important. I a hundred percent agree on all three of those. Pack being super, like I hate, I guess I hate to say it this way, like if I had to pick one of the three, if I had to, I couldn't get all three, I just could get one of the three, I would probably choose the pack over the other two.
Just because okay, if I glass a big ass elk, Yeah. Or a big mule deer or cos or whatever, and I go kill it and I ain't I'm carrying a backpack, I'm screwed. I'd rather have a backpack that I stumble upon and I sell, in that situation, and at least I can get 'em outta there.
But, so we've talked about the three things of what you guys sell, but what about things that [00:51:00] you have personally used in your life? Let's just say three. What is your other top three items that you would recommend to the new Western hunter that mark denim well need? They, he says You gotta have it.
Ignore the obvious stuff. We'll ignore like rifles and rifle scopes and you gotta kill 'em with something. Vehicles and crap like that. Exactly. I'd say
boots. Boots is something that I recommend people enough. I cannot, I can never like get my point across enough. It feels like that, how important they are and how important it's to find the right one. Don't go into the season using a new boot that you've never tested out before. I, it can get expensive.
That's the only downside to finding the [00:52:00] perfect boot is it can cost you, like in the grand scheme of things, it can cost you 1500, $2,000 over five years of trying out different boots and that's, it does suck. And that's a part that really hurts. But like the day you find the day you go on a hike and you feel at the end of the day you're like, holy crap.
Like I found it, I found the right boot. That will change. It changes everything cuz. Western hunting, you gotta hike that. You can't really get around it. A lot of the times, you can glass from the road, you can hunt from the road. But if you shoot, if you shoot 500 yards away, you gotta, you're gonna have to hike 500 yards and, it's still a hike.
And so boots are something that I cannot recommend enough. And I don't care what brand you go with, I have had bad experiences and good experiences with pretty much every brand I've ever worn. And so if you have a [00:53:00] bad experience with a brand specifically, I would give another model a try. They make all these brands make, all these different models because Yeah, exactly.
Feet are very different. Ankles are very different. There's different styles of hunting. From one hunt to the next, you're, your boots are probably gonna change. If I'm hunting co deer in extremely rocky conditions. I want as much ankle support as I'm gonna get. So I don't roll an ankle on the side of a hill, but if I'm hunting archery elk in New Mexico, in the Pines, I want light and fast.
I don't care about ankle support as much. I want to be, I wanna be light cuz I'm gonna be on my feet for, 10 hours a day walking around, 15 miles. I don't need ankle support. So there's differences there, but Boots is a huge recommendation. Find the right boot. Our group's a perfect example.
Andy, who's not here today, so we're partnered with a company called Zamberlan. I'm sure you've heard of them and Yep. There's a model they make called the Cresta. [00:54:00] Andy has a pair and I have a pair. Andy absolutely loves those boots. Best thing he's ever worn. He didn't think he'd like 'em at first.
And now that's all he wears. My cresta, I'm not the biggest fan of, for whatever reason, my feet don't love them. They hurt at the end of the. The hunt or whatever. So I tried a different bra model out, which is called the links for anybody that's curious. And I freaking love those boots. They got the BOA system on top of it and I won't wear anything else out west.
The links is what it is for me, for Andy The Crest is what it was. Micah you like I ran the belt Toros last year. Yeah. I'm gonna try out the links this year. So it's just, that's why they make different models and it's the same thing with, Zamberlan and Crispy and but can attracts and all these different, nice.
There's a bunch of, but it can get expensive like Mark was saying. And I would recommend to somebody, if you do go buy a pair of boots and your feet aren't loving them, I would try [00:55:00] to sell those boots and find something else because your feet are really not gonna love them out west. Yeah, like there's no point in, there's no point in keeping a boot that you don't like if you don't like it the first time or even after okay, give it the break-in period.
Sure. Give it some time. But if you go on a hunt after a good break-in and you still don't like him, God don't waste your time. Move on. The cost sucks. And you might have to, you might have to explain it to your wife why you've, why you need a new pair of boots after three months.
They look perfectly fine, but it's important. Feet, you're gonna be using 'em for the rest of your life. You're, it's important to keep 'em in good shape and in good health. Bad boots can cause damage to your feet and if you're just wearing 'em constantly and you hate 'em, that's not a, that's not something you want.
Find a friend with your size and bum all his boots that he's probably already bought, like I blessed with having the same exact foot size as my dad. So I steal his boots constantly and just [00:56:00] shot through his closet, and then say, okay, that's, that's the one I want that.
And then you go buy those. Yeah. That's nice. Yeah, exactly. So yeah. Yeah. Find a 10 and a half. If you're a 10 and a half, there's no excuse for you not to be stealing your friend's boots. One of your friends is another, is also a 10 and a half I can guarantee you. So yeah, you don't wanna be thinking about your feet while you're hunting.
No. That's not, no. Not gonna be a successful situation for you. Yeah. All right. So Mark says Boots. I knew he was gonna go with socks or boots, but yeah, not that doesn't count as my second. It's one a I hear you. That's a no-brainer. One. A just buy good socks Darn tough from farm to feet.
Can't, I can't recommend those two brands enough to people. I don't know if you guys have a sponsorship of the sock or, Nope. I wear darn Tufts all the time, man. Morena wool, honestly. Yeah. Is what it needs. Any type of Marino. Wool. Wool, pretty much anything. Marino. Yeah. Yeah. Darn. I've got you. Never tried out repair of darn tufts.
They're pretty nice. If you've never tried out from Farm to Feet, that's another one I give a five star rating to. They're, I don't think I've ever been addicted to a sock [00:57:00] before, but I had to stop myself cuz they're of course, they're $25 a pair. They're ridiculously expensive. And I wanted one for every day of the week plus 10.
I'm like, oh, I can't spend that much money on socks. I can't justify that much money on socks. But my hunting socks for sure, like I will absolutely spend 30 bucks on a pair of socks cuz it's, it makes sense. Makes a difference. Yeah, it does. All right, so Boots is your number one thing.
What about number two? What do you think a tent tents are. They, it's, it doesn't have, it's one of those things that can get overlooked because it doesn't, in a lot of people's minds, it doesn't have a direct impact on the outcome of your hunt as far as success goes. But it has a fair, and this you're gonna notice probably a theme here.
All the things I'm talking about are quality of life. While you're out there, it's, there's a huge difference between roughing it for five days on a hunt. That's taken a [00:58:00] long time. And, being super comfortable when you're back at camp during the day, mental attitude stays high.
Western hunting, you spend a decent amount of time just sitting there staring, staring through optics. If you're in a pissy mood, if you didn't get great sleep that night, if you were cold, if your feet hurt, that's, you're not gonna be as efficient at at doing what you're doing.
So a lot of my stuff's probably gonna be quality of life. So a great tent, or at least a tent you can rely on is very important. We really like wall tents. They aren't, Feasible in some areas. Sure, you take up a little too much room in Arizona, especially driving a stake, another ground is almost impossible in some areas.
Floor less can you not be possible some places, but having a tent you can rely on and that can protect you from the elements in any conditions is definitely something that, that I would really put high up on my list. [00:59:00] Comfort is overlooked because, I think we're hunters. We like to tell the stories of the horror stories when we get home about how cold it was outside and if it's snowing outside, I wanna be sitting in a wall tent.
It's 75 degrees with a wood, wood burning stove sipping a glass whiskey. If I've got, a tiny little, one man or two man tent that I've been stuffing myself in for the past. Five days. I have no heater. I can't, I have no way of actually warming up or honestly even cooling down.
We have that problem here in summer, or can have a, it can have a huge effect on the outcome of your, huh. I think that's, that. Sometimes I people look past that, oh, I'll just sleep out or Yeah, I've got a backpack tent, I can throw up and it's ah, tents last a really long time.
It lasts longer than a lot of other stuff that we spend a decent amount of money on. Five, 600 bucks will get you a tent, the last 10, 15 years if you take care of it. And that's gonna, I can, that'll pay off, that'll pay for itself in two hunts.[01:00:00] Especially if there's, adverse weather conditions and stuff like that.
So for sure. Sure. And of course, that'd be my number too. You gotta know what you're getting into. Hopefully as a new hunter where you're going out, are you gonna have a base camp like Mark's talking with a nice wall tent? Then you can afford to have, a large tent that you set up and it's there for the duration of the hunt.
But if you're backpack hunting, then need something packing, getting one of those is a really stupid ass idea because you're gonna be miserable. Yeah. Then a one person, or, maybe even a two person, depending on what you're trying to accomplish. But a small one person tent that's lightweight, there's all kinds of those out there as well.
I've got one, I think it's called the links from Alps Outdoors. That is, that big, like 12 inches by this big Yeah. Is gonna fit my pack. And you might have to be taking that down every single morning and putting it up every single night depending on what your hunt is. So you have to have an idea what.
You're doing. Yeah. What style of hunt? He's not wrong. Yeah. What if it's raining? It's raining its ass off and you wanna get out of it, [01:01:00] there's no other way. Yeah. Except for getting in a tent, yeah. Unless you can find some cave to get in or some crap. But I've, yeah, I've been in those situations and it's just so avoidable that it pisses you off while you're just sitting there getting soaked to the bone and you're like, why do I not have a one pound, canopy at the very least some sort of shelter, on me, Arizona guys don't think about rain too often, so I get caught in the rain every once in a while and it's dang man, like weather just has a good shelter is something you can't ignore.
It's just, it's so important. And making sure that shelter is in good condition. I hate doing it. My dad makes me do it all the time with him. When you get home, set the tent up in your backyard again. Go over it, make sure there's no rip seams, make sure [01:02:00] it's completely dry, make sure it's all in good condition.
And I'm like, oh dude, I'm tired, man. Ugh, I don't wanna do that. It's 105 degrees outside or it's, blah, blah, blah. I just want to sit on the couch. And it's that's why tents last longer. Taking care of them. And the next time when it starts raining and there's water pouring through the floor of your tent and you realize there's a scene that was ripped that you could have easily fixed at home and now you don't have your repair kit on, it's like having a good shelter, taking care of a good shelter.
That would be my, that would definitely be my number two there. All right. What about number three, your third item? It would have to be some sort of GPS system, some sort of sos or GPS system that has become more important than a lot of items that, that we carry with us. It's not just, it's not just navigation.
Realistically, navigation is gonna be base maponics. Most people are using that nowadays. [01:03:00] GPS is not navigation anymore. It's sos It's communication and it's your lifeline in most of America. If you look at a coverage map or Verizon Wireless, most places that house really good elk and really cooled, really good, mild dear, are blacked out.
Yeah. No service there. Nice. They're a nice dark black color on their service coverage map. And we were. I can see, I can look out my window right now and see the mountains that we hunt, cos deer in sometimes. But we have a, we live in Fountain Hills out here in Arizona or in Phoenix. And we have a giant fountain and hence the name.
And from where we were hunting a couple years ago, I could see the fountain going off. I could almost see my house with 70 powered spotting scope, zero bars of service, not a single piece of service. And [01:04:00] now that those, now that these systems I'll talk about Garmin specifically, there's tons of options out there.
I'm not read up on a lot of other, we use Garmin. We use Garmin exclusively. And I, there's no other reason besides, there's probably a really well known name and they make a good unit, and they, it does what we need it to do. So we never really ventured outside of it. But I'm sure there's other amazing units out there.
But having one of the tiny little. In Reach mini. The mini in reach. Yeah. Yeah. The in reach mini. Exactly. Having that with you can there's no, it can save your life. It can absolutely save your life one day, and in the meantime, it's gonna make your quality of life a lot better.
You're able to send text messages from anywhere on the planet that, if you've got a family, if you've got, somebody at home or anything like that, it makes your life better. It makes them happier. And that's just a little small thing that, that helps you along the way while [01:05:00] owning that product.
And then one day you snap your leg out in the middle of the backwards. And, instead of thinking like, oh, this, I'm 15 miles from a truck, this might be a bad situation. You're 30 seconds away from a 9 1 1 call. And that is yeah, the technology. Is you can't ignore it anymore for a couple hundred bucks.
You can possibly save your own life, if not somebody else's. And I think that is undeniably one of the most important things you can have in your kit. Yeah. At all times. And the service, if you can't see your truck, go ahead. I was gonna say in the service, you can have the service just while you're on your hunt, so it's not even, you don't have to pay for the entire year.
Just do it month right. Around month or two. Yeah. Mid-August. Cuz I'm a little ocd so I don't wanna Yes. Around mid midgut. I go ahead and I activate it, make sure it's all right. So I probably end up paying for two months, but I know it's good. I can make sure my inReach Mindy's ready to go [01:06:00] and ready to go for the trip and the unit itself is, like you said, a couple hundred bucks.
It's not the cheapest thing in the world, I guess you'd say, but Yeah. You can find deals and stuff like that and. I would also, I'm gonna add a one A to your recommendation of the GPS system. Yeah. Which is adding mapping on top of that. Oh, a hundred percent. My first year out west, I bought a little Garmin, g p s little yellow, the little $80 and all it was a little dot.
Yeah. Was, yeah. And I had one for about a year. It was a dot where you were and a dot where your camp was or wherever you marked. But it was just on a screen. And I felt very out of place. First time I've ever been up in the Dark Timber in Colorado. And you walk 50 yards and you feel like you're lost.
And having that I was not a huge fan of, cuz I couldn't tell where I was. I, I didn't have a map. The next year I [01:07:00] had on X Elite. And once again we're sponsored by OnX, so that's who we would recommend. But there's other GPS mapping services. I would recommend getting one, being very familiar with it, and then downloading your maps offline.
Say that again. Download your maps offline. Because you have no idea if you're gonna have service, so if you don't have service, you won't be able to access your damn maps. So you download those maps before you leave for your trip, and then you can feel like you know where the hell you are. Yep. And I would always recommend to people if you feel like you're gonna be in this area, download your maps five times bigger than you think you're gonna need, so that if you end up bearing outside of it, you can, you still know where you're at.
And for me, I didn't feel lost anymore. I. I knew where I was. I knew I was right here on this mountain instead of on this screen blinking as a dot. And I've told that story before. It's right, the first, I think my first [01:08:00] day my brother-in-law and I were together and then he said, Hey, why don't you go this way?
I'm gonna go up this way. And all it took was me like going around this little bend in the elevation and I just felt like I don't know where he is anymore. I started freaking out a little bit and we probably weren't more than a hundred yards away from each other, and I hadn't, I had no clue.
He is one of them deals. So I would add to the GPS system. I'm good mapping. Yeah, a hundred percent. I can't, I can not agree more with that. And I have to back up your, download the maps while you have wifi at home so you're not stuck on top of a hill with one bar of service trying to download the maps that you forget.
Have to download at home. Like I have probably, like me and my dad have both done probably 10 times now. Just pissed off at ourselves, sitting there holding our phones over our head. Yeah. Trying to get a 25 megabyte file to download. Yeah. It's and also for the the [01:09:00] mapping softwares I think have changed more about how we hunt than pretty much anything else.
In the last six probably seven years, they've been, they've been pretty prevalent. They've changed more about what we do and how we hunt than I think any other form of new technology out there. It's pretty mind blowing what you can discover and the pre-planning you can do with them.
And all, there's a little bit of advice for the penny pinchers out there who own. Thousand dollars iPhones, but don't wanna spend the subscription on, on online Facebook. $80 a year. $80 a year if you use our discount code. Exactly. And I, it's no brainer. I know some of those people, but they apple is actually on the new iOS, they are actually offering on onboard offline maps now, really to a certain degree.
So there's no, you're not getting way points. You're not getting you're not getting the things you're paying OnX and the other companies for, that's for sure. But at the very least, use those offline maps. Cuz again, it's in that situation, just [01:10:00] having those offline maps is not necessarily about the hunt and how much it's gonna help you on the hunt.
It's about safety, and it's about being able to know where you are at a given time. And that's, again, it could save your life one day. With the Apple stuff, you're not gonna have, it's not really gonna change the outcome of your hunt. You're not gonna give you any information.
It's not gonna do any of that stuff. But you can at least know where you are. I think that's a safety thing at that point. What it could be is a backup, because what I've been doing, and yes, this is how I am, shit happens, right? Stuff can go wrong. I can download my maps at home. I usually, after I download 'em, then go into airplane mode and make sure there it is.
I don't have service right now, but stuff can happen. So like my whole life, since I started using maps, I've actually been paying for two different services. One of them I don't ever freaking use, but I download the maps on that as a backup. Like just in case something goes wrong with my OnX, who knows?
Maybe the app was supposed [01:11:00] to be updated and I didn't do it, and maybe my son deleted the damn thing on me before I left. You have no idea, right? I had it happen to me. I believe it was two years ago. Yeah. I had my maps already downloaded. We were going to the same spot, but before we got out of service, I didn't go in there and refresh it or something like that.
And so when I got up on the mountain, I went offline. Everything was just blurred. Blurred, yeah. Like it was blurred. Yeah. Like it still showed where I was at and everything, and that was my fault. I didn't do what I was supposed to do, but if I would've been by myself, I would've been like crap, now I gotta go find service or something like, but yeah, I could have been screwed.
Luckily I was, with four other people that had the same thing, so I didn't have to worry. But yeah, it's a big deal. Yeah. That iPhone thing, that could be your backup if you you have your OnX or whatever service you use I would recommend OnX. Just one of their features they have is my, my, by far my favorite feature, which is the direction of travel.
You can set it to where, wherever you're pointing the phone is [01:12:00] the way you're facing on the map. Yeah. So you can see oh, and to me that's been the best feature. That's just my brain works that way. So I'll give you a little piece of advice. And this is something that I wish I would've known prior.
Mapping softwares and your phone and binocular harnesses that use high powered magnets do not mix and do not go well together. And that is one thing I would highly recommend if you're going to be using a mapping software a lot, which I do, I'm like, cuz I I get lost. I'm not the best with directions to be completely honest.
And so I've got my mapping software up a lot and. We have found that it's nobody's fault. It's not the phone manufacturer's fault, it's not the mapping software and it's not the Bino harness manufacturer's fault, but all those things put together creates a problem. That compass inside those phones is [01:13:00] electronic and it gets absolutely scrambled by those by those magnets and those harnesses.
And I've been in some situations where it really put a damper on, what I was doing. It got me turned around eventually. Yeah, you've got the whole map and you've got your dot, you can figure it out. You're gonna start walking and you're gonna be like, oh my dot moved the wrong direction.
I need to go, I need to go this direction. But it's a little annoying when you know you're facing west and your phone is convinced that you're walking east and it's your DOT's moving backwards, basically. So that can get a little annoying. Never would've thought about that actually.
No. Yeah. Never would've thought about that. We, it took us longer than I'd like to admit, to figure out that was the problem. I, it took a new phone to realize that, like it's happening with the new phone. And I was like, I'm gonna throw this dang thing off a cliff. This is ridiculous.
I was getting mad at, I was getting mad at everybody. I was getting mad at, the mapping softwares, the phone, satellites. I don't [01:14:00] know what I was blaming it on absolutely everything. And I realized one day it, it made me think when when I was taught how to use a compass, I was always told cell phones towers or power lines, large forms of metal.
So ANGs and big trucks and all that type of stuff, even something down to a rifle, metal and magnets can have an effect on the way a magnetic field works. And then all of a sudden I was like, oh my God, I'm taking my phone. And I'm sticking it in the front pouch of this harness. It has three rare earth magnets on the front of it.
And sure enough, I take the pouch off, throw it off to the side, give my phone a few minutes to recalibrate. Works perfectly fine. That's crazy. I was like, Ugh. Wow. Interesting. That's something. So manufacturers have actually started catching onto that. We use a ton of products from a company called Marsupial Gear here in Arizona.
And they have actually started manufacturing what they call their nomad pouch which uses elastics and [01:15:00] other materials like that to, to get around that. And I've switched over to it completely cuz it. It is a problem that needed solving. And so luckily there's companies out there that are paying attention to things that makes sense.
I wouldn't have thought of it that way either, but No, cuz we've all done it. Let's all admit it. We've all started walking like 200 yards later. We're like, shit went the wrong way. I'm not going the right way. Yeah. You look like, you look, you're just walking in circles. It's the worst.
Yep. Yeah. But you just, you tell your friends like, oh, I actually forgot something. We're not, I'll be back. Let's go ahead and turn around. Let's go back that direction. Yeah. Awesome. So we got tripods, optics, packs, boots, tents and GPS slash mapping software. Those are the six things Mark is telling the new person that's going out west.
Focus on those. There's a lot more that comes to it, but if we talked about every little thing we'd be that the new person would need, we would. We would do about 10 shows probably. And even then, I don't know if we'd get it because I'm just thinking of my pack and my tote that I take, ev there's so many things I think are important that, yeah.
But that's just one person compared to another as well. And what kind of hunting you're doing, [01:16:00] there's all kinds of variables. So what I would say is it is we're recording with Mark right now on June 9th. It's gonna come out in a few weeks. If you have, if you are, if you know you're going out west, which you should buy now you've got all your draw results.
For the most part. I think every state's done their draws now that I care about at least. If you know you're going, you should be preparing already. Both physically like we did with Kevin Guillen and a couple weeks ago and now with Mark, you should be preparing and that means start buying your shit now.
Start playing with it. Get your damn boots, get your, I, if you don't have a GPS system or the mapping system especially do it. You can find discount codes all over the place. For us specifically like OnX, we've got a 20% discount code with them. There's all kinds of places that have 'em.
There's other companies as well. Start buying your stuff now because you might get a new, a pair of Binos and you might say, I don't love these, I want to [01:17:00] trade 'em in. Or I want to get a new pair. Same with Boots and yeah, packs and yeah, I'm looking at a couple pairs of Binos, right now for Wyoming, cuz I don't know exactly what I'm gonna get into.
And our partner Athlon has this really badass pair of Kronos that are 15 by 56, but. That might be overkill. For where we're going, I'm, I might only need 10 by 40 twos out there, but I'm doing the homework right now, not August 31st. Is there thir 31 days in August? Yeah. Yeah.
Okay. That's a bad time to be doing it two weeks before you leave no we try to recommend that to people as much as possible. This industry is I would say consumer heavy as far as, the products that are being manufactured sometimes do not meet the demands of the industry.
That means back quarters, that means, that means wait lists and things like that. Cause most of the time you're buying from companies like us. We're smaller, we don't have billions of dollars of inventory sitting on shelves ready for you to [01:18:00] ship same day, type thing. If you're purchasing from companies like that, Give them a minute, make sure you're doing your homework.
Make sure there's availability ready. Optics are another thing. You can run into availability issues and stuff like that. So that's not something you wanna be dealing with on August 15th, oh, I need 'em in two weeks. And you're like, we're three months out. You can January over the counter deer in Arizona, you're gonna have him for that.
But not much else there. So not early September. Yeah, that's a, yeah, not early September. That's for dang sure. So Awesome. Definitely would back that one up. Mark, we we really appreciate your time today and helping, the new Western hunter. I keep saying going out west, it could be somebody out west that just hasn't hunted before and they want to, start hunting.
Yeah. It doesn't have to be one of us flat landers, as I say, or flyover people going out west. Yeah. It could be somewhat already out there, the new person to me it's, I want to keep Hunter recruitment at high levels and we've seen Hunter recruitment levels drop over the past.
A decade or whatever. I think they've gone up good. That's good. [01:19:00] Especially with covid. Yeah. I'm sure they have covid. They started going up, the one thing I do worry about is the new Western hunter having a bad experience their first year and never wanting to go again.
And by bad experience, I don't necessarily mean kill something because you're probably pretty unlikely to kill something as a first year hunter, honestly, whether it's elk, what, whatever. But yeah, the experience itself needs to be good. Like for me, my first year, even seeing a damn elk was a win.
Yeah. Let alone trying to get one killed. So it was an awesome ex experience because I had people that helped me get ready for it. Some people out there aren't that lucky where they've got a group of guys that were already going so. They're relying on shows like ours, other people to help them get ready.
So at the same time if you have questions, feel free to reach out to us and ask us what we think, what do we do, what would you get? Mark, do you have any contact information if people want to try to [01:20:00] get ahold of you guys? Yeah, absolutely. I was gonna, I was gonna say, if anybody has any questions Arizona Hunting specific, do not hesitate to call us about Arizona, that's for sure.
We're a retail store. We carry certain vendors, we carry certain products. We don't really care. All us, we'd rather make a connection with a customer and hope that something we sell kept, we sell, catches their eye. Realistically, what we're here to do is just provide information. The three guys that we've got up front are some of, some of the most experienced people I know when it comes to.
Hunting and then the products that are required to hunt. That gap between, or that, bridging that gap of that knowledge. These guys are extremely knowledgeable. Do you want to talk Cozi hunting, especially Ryan. He will not let you off the phone. One of the most experienced guys I know, one of the most successful guys I [01:21:00] know.
So please, even if you're not purchasing anything from us, never hesitate to call us. We're happy to talk to anybody. We're happy to give anybody any information and we just hope we make a good connection. And then later on down the road, if you need something that we sell, we're, we'd be more than happy to sell it to you.
But that's really not what it's about for us. We're just about making good products and making good connections with hunters. So you can reach email@example.com. You can always reach us online, atmans.com. It's got all of our contact information there. And then our phone number is +1 800-291-8065.
And please seriously, feel free to call anybody, call us anytime. We'd love to talk to you. Awesome. Mark denim, we appreciate your time today, man. We finally figured out that you stupid Arizona folks who are actually the only sane people in the world. We'll probably mess this up next time, but hey, we figured it out.
Oh, I can guarantee it. I can guarantee it. We'll mess it up. I'll mess it up for the rest of my life. Alright man. Thank you guys. I really [01:22:00] appreciate you having me on. Absolutely. We appreciate you. Thank you. See you man.