Oklahoma Drone Recovery Company

Show Notes

We live in a technology driven world these days, so why not use that technology to our advantage? Rhett Acker of Oklahoma Drone Recovery Company joins John on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast this week to talk about how drones could help you recover more deer. Rhett was well prepared for this episode and brought a lot of knowledge to the table. Not just about recovering deer, but also animal behavior, and even more importantly the laws surrounding recovering animals with drone and thermal technology. 

One thing John wanted to be sure to cover in this episode, is the advantages and disadvantages of both tracking dogs and drones when it comes to recovering downed game. Rhett actually sought out dog owners to learn from them and get their take on the subject as well. Whether you are pro or anti more technology in hunting, this is an important episode to listen to. While there are certainly advantages to using tools like drones in the outdoors, there is definitely an open door for them to be used in the wrong way and Rhett does a great job of covering that topic as well. 

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant, outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you'll be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

All right, let's do this. What's up folks? Welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. I am your host, John Huts Smith, and welcome to the show. If you guys caught last week's episode, I did my pre Nebraska hunt breakdown and we did an episode on velvet hunting and everything. And I explained in the intro how things were gonna work out with just, that episode as opposed to when the hunt actually was with, the release date of my podcast and everything.

And so this episode is not about that Nebraska [00:01:00] hunt that will be next week when I get home. So I explained all that, but one thing I forgot about was, even though I had recorded this interview that you're about to listen to, I had not done any editing, which is what I'm, sitting here doing right now and why I'm doing this intro.

But I still have not left on that trip. And so even though I mentioned there wasn't really gonna be any Nebraska talk, I'm gonna talk just a little bit because I haven't actually got on the hunt When you are actually listening to this episode, if you listen to it on the day that it comes out on Monday, I will have either, killed a buck and be driving home from that trip.

Or I'll be super stressed out and in desperation mode trying to kill a buck and then driving home through the night because my mom, who's coming with me has to be home by like noon on Tuesday. And yeah, that's where we're at. So I have not left on the trip, but when you listen to this, I will be on the trip and then the next episode will be about the trip.

So hope I didn't make that any more confusing trying to explain what's [00:02:00] going on here. Yeah, as I mentioned, have not left on the trip, but I'm in my super final preparations for the trip. I've been doing a lot of shooting shot my bow a lot. I switched over to Broadheads from Field Tips and practicing how I'm actually gonna be shooting, I feel like I feel like my bow shoots better with Broadheads, which I guess is good.

I know they should shoot both the same if it's, finely tuned and all that. But anyway, so feeling very confident with the Broadheads. I've shot 20, 30, 40. I don't really shoot my broadheads further than that 'cause I don't think I'm gonna shoot at a white tail any further than that.

Honestly, I'm not sure I would take a 40 yard shot at a white tail unless conditions were, super perfect. And again, just practicing how I feel like I'm gonna be shooting. I also spent a lot of time in the saddle over the last couple days. Just trying to get super comfortable. I've been hanging it, just a foot or two off the ground and I actually shot my bow out of it for the first time and it was a little awkward.

Again, I'm not getting super high. I'm not so worried [00:03:00] about shooting, the shot angle and stuff. 'cause I'm used to shooting out of tree stands anyway, so it's not the height or anything like that I'm worried about. I'm just worried about the goofy angles. And so the first time I shot it, which maybe I should have started with an easier shot, I literally set the target up, like on the opposite side of the tree.

And, 'cause I just want, I wanted to test my limits and see what was what. And so like I started on my strong side, which would be the left. And so I was like leaning way out on the platform. There was a limb on that side, so I was like bending my knees and stuff to get below the limb. I was having to draw up to the side and then bring my bow in.

And of course my, my cam hit the tree, so I was bending my knees more. And I shot decent. Like I definitely wasn't, hitting the 10 ring. But all my shots were, killer shots. But I did think it was very important that I did that because like that is not the best shot for me to take, obviously.

And so knowing that I can try to either get a shot before the deer gets there or after, and so sent a couple arrows that way.[00:04:00] And again, wasn't shooting bad, but just not necessarily hitting exactly where I wanted to. So I did a couple arrows like that, and then I switched to the other side, so I didn't move the target.

I just, I, I got to practice like bringing my bow up and over my what's that called? The bridge, I think. So I did that. I practiced like kinda rolling my hips and sliding the rope through the saddle, so I was, more like perpend or Yeah, parallel, more parallel with the target.

And then, got to practice drawing like that. And I felt a lot more comfortable. So the audio's weird. It's because I'm moving around like I'm in the tree. And I actually felt a lot more comfortable shooting on that offside than I thought I would. And I think a big part of it is because I could really turn my body, and get my arm out in front of me as if I was standing on the ground.

Whereas when I was shooting on the strong side at that angle, I almost had my arms like in front of my body. And, I was trying to roll my shoulders and straighten my hips and all that, but it was just weird. So anyway, so yeah, I fired a couple shots like that, [00:05:00] kinda got the feel.

And then after that I started moving the target around. So I was shooting in a more of a natural position. If the deer's straight to my left, I feel very confident. Deer's straight to the right. I still feel pretty dang confident with that. And again, just working my way around the tree, shooting, practicing all those angles.

One thing, what was I about to say? Oh, one thing I did learn, and, part of the reason I wanted to do all this is my buddy that's letting me borrow the saddle he gave me the platform and everything and so I had to kinda make some adjustments. He's a lot bigger guy than I am I was trying not to screw up his saddle too much, but I was making some minor adjustments.

But one thing that he has, and I'm sure he does it for noise, is he just has a rope on the platform that has different slots in it. And so basically you just get it, as tight as you can. You put it on that slot and then you pull down against the tree to get that strapped tight.

And it worked great when I was standing straight on it. But one thing I learned is when I was shifting my weight and rolling around, trying to get those better angles is, excuse me, there was a few times where that platform shifted on me. [00:06:00] And I didn't really like that. And so I think I'm going to get a actual ratchet strap for the platform just because I think it would make me feel more confident having that sturdy base.

And I, and know I worked with it, like I played around, like I practiced, like rolling kind of my heels off the platform and shifting my weight, trying to make it, the, my weight go more down than on the side and everything like that. But I don't know, I just feel like having a real ratchet strap on there, getting that thing solid and tight, I think it would make me more comfortable if I had to, lean out and get that crazy angle.

And one thing that I'm still working on, I have a few more days and tomorrow evening I'm gonna get to spend a lot of time before I go playing with it. But Just I'm still trying to figure out where I want to set up on the tree in relation to where I think my shot will be.

You hear a lot of people talking about how you wanna put yourself on the backside of the tree, which is true. But again, that was kinda that crazy shot angle that I was practicing. And so while I do see the [00:07:00] advantage of being on the backside of the tree because it covers all your your movement and everything to get a good solid shot, I just feel like I need to be a little bit more on the side of the tree.

Not, 90 degrees where you're sticking out like a sore thumb. But I feel like I need to angle myself a little bit, maybe 45 degrees or something like that, 30 degrees. And then once I do that though, like I, I can't decide, which, I can't decide which side I wanna roll to. Do I wanna roll to my strong side?

Where I don't have to move the bow over the bridge or anything because honestly, I think I actually felt more comfortable shooting on the offside of the tree because like I said, I could I got to where I could roll my hips a little bit and the rope would slide through the carabiner and I could get my body like really perpendicular to the target and you point my arm at the target like I wanted to and everything.

And so again, just little small things and obviously I can't just set the deer, where I want it. Like I'm gonna have to be ready for it all. But just little fine tuned [00:08:00] stuff like that is, is where I'm at now. So feel very good in my shooting. I'm taking everything but the kitchen sink.

As far as my gear, I have a pop-up blind. I have the saddle, I have my stand. I've been going through my bag and making sure, like I have everything where I know where it is. Binoculars all my straps, sticks, everything like that. I bought some of those, like rubber coated wire tie things.

And so I have one for my stand to, to take the seat up against the platform so it doesn't rattle. I have another one that I just wrap around the sticks, just to keep them nice and tight and held together. Gosh, what else? I got a chair for the ground blind. I got a little stool if I want to just sit in the corn.

Yeah I'm, I feel very ready to go. One last thing is I've talked about the wind up there quite a bit, and it seems every time I check the wind it's doing something different. In the morning it'll be west and the evening it'll be north. The next day it'll be southeast.

Like I just feel like there's no consistent wind. But I was checking the weather for when, [00:09:00] on the days I'm gonna be there. And it's supposed to be hot, super hot like it's gonna be low nineties to high eighties, all the way up until, and then the day I get there and the four days I'll be there, it's 98, 98, 99, a hundred.

And so it's gonna be way hotter than average. And if you check the wind on those days, it's south wind. And so no variation. So I was doing my scouting with that in mind. With that South wind and it's not the best. If I had to pick one wind I didn't want, it would probably be a south.

And so I'm hoping once I get up there that, it shifts or, not necessarily shifts, but just that, that changes. And maybe I get some west winds, some north winds, even east winds. And I can make it work. I think with the South wind, I just don't think I'm gonna be able to hunt the exact spots that I really wanna be in if I just have a straight south wind for four days and it just limits how much I can move around.

Also, even though I have a decent amount of acreage to work with, when you only have one wind for four days [00:10:00] straight, it just limits how many setups you can do. So anyway, that's just some of the challenges I'm facing. Warm temperatures, consistent winds. But I'm still super excited and I think I'm gonna have a pretty good shot.

So yeah. Even though I said this week wasn't gonna be about Nebraska. There you go. My entire intro, which I'm going a little long on was about Nebraska. So anyway, wish me luck. I'll be leaving in two days. Like I said, taking my mom and daughter up there. We're gonna have a great time. I'm gonna hang out with my sister quite a bit.

We got college football, which I'm stupid excited about. So get to watch some of that while I'm up there. And that's about all I got. So anyway, that's that. This week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, we have a very awesome episode. This is one that I hadn't really thought about, but I met this guy rtt at the one Nation Expo a few weeks ago, and he does thermal drone recovery.

And so he can do, deer that you maybe bad, made a bad shot [00:11:00] on. He also does like pets and cattle, and basically anything that's lost or you need to find that's what he does. And so he has a very nice, expensive drone. He's got a thermal on it. He's got a camera on it, he has a spotlight on it.

Super, super nice. And so I'm gonna let him explain all that. But yeah, a really interesting episode. And obviously one of the big hot topics when it comes to this is dogs. Like the drone versus the dog. Which one's better? And we talk about that a lot, and we kind give the advantages and disadvantages and maybe a place for each.

And so if you're a dog fan or maybe you have a dog or know somebody with a tracking dog, I'd encourage you to listen this still and just kinda see what Rhett has to say about it because I think he does a really good job of addressing that. And so yeah. Anyway, I don't wanna ruin it too much. So that's what we got going on this week.

Yeah, huge shout out to all you listeners. Hunting season's, basically here we got Dove season opening up, so hopefully young get out there and kill some birds [00:12:00] before too long. It's gonna be deer season, duck season, goose season, all the season, bear season. So yeah, good luck to everybody this year. I hope you enjoy this episode.

I'm gonna go get packed up and get ready to leave. That's all I got. So we're gonna hear a quick word from our partners, then we'll get into drone recovery right after this. There is truly no place like the great outdoors in Oklahoma. When you're out in the wild, you want your wireless devices to work unlike other carriers.

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Bravado Wireless, the Power of connection. Hey everybody, welcome to today's show, and today we're talking to Rhett Aker. How you doing Rhett? Hey man. I'm doing well. How are you? Good. Did I get the last name [00:13:00] right? It's actually Acker. Acker. Okay. I almost went with that, but cool man. This is an episode that I'm pretty darn excited for.

You and I met at the the expo this last weekend. And you have a really cool service that you provide. And so that's what we're gonna be covering today. But before we get to that, real quick, why don't you just tell everybody a little bit about yourself? Yeah, you bet. My name is Red Acker.

I'm out of Macall, Oklahoma, and I own Oklahoma Drone Recovery Company. So we are a company that specializes in Deere recovery with thermal drone technology, also branching out and searching for pets and livestock and cattle and worst case scenario people. But not only that, but we also, offer real estate needs and herd inventory and things of that nature.

Awesome man. Yeah. That's part of the reason I'm so excited. It's just a unique, a little bit newer thing. I know drones have been around for a little while, but the technology has come a really long way in the last couple [00:14:00] years. And you mentioned pet recovery. I actually, this just popped into my head, my sister a few years ago, actually it was during Covid.

I have a sister with ms. And so when Covid first started getting around, everybody was, real nervous about it, didn't know anything about it. My sister came up and spent a lot of time with my brother and I. She was living at, for, in Fort Worth at the time, and she brought her two dogs and one day out of nowhere, they just ran away.

And she actually called a tracker. That brought a dog out to come try to track her pets. And unfortunately, we were never able to find them. They never showed back up. But yeah, like I, I had never even thought that would be a thing to hire somebody to come try to find your lost pet. But yeah and then, you mentioned cattle.

We've come close to buying a drone on ours. We check our cows a lot in the spring when they're calving and everything. And we have thought so many times, it'd be nice to just sit on the back porch and fly that drone around before having to, go out and drive around in the cold. So yeah, really neat idea, I guess is what I'm trying to say.[00:15:00]

No I get it, man. It's it definitely makes things easier, especially on them, them cattlemen able to save them time and search their property. I know we got called out on this one farm and we were able To search, right around 2000 acres. And just a matter of, I don't know, an hour.

And it's just one of those things where, you know, searching from a bird's eye view does something, it gives you more visibility and especially once you activate that thermal man, it, it is just really amazing what that picks up. And just the things that, you know, that you can do with it.

Yeah, absolutely, man. That's a great segue into our first topic here, because obviously we're gonna somewhat focus on deer throughout this. If we get into other things, that's fine. But you just mentioned thermal, and I was gonna say I'm guessing this drone that you're using is not one that you just run down to Walmart and pick up.

So I want you to tell us a little bit about this thing. The advantages of it, all the cool toys, all the things you can do with it. Just tell us about the equipment [00:16:00] that you're using. Yeah, for sure. So yeah, you're definitely right and I wish we could just roll down to Walmart and grab one.

But man, it's definitely not that kind. It's A D J I Matrice 30 t t for thermal. And what's interesting about this drone is that, how most of like your scope thermos have, white hot, red hot, or excuse me, black hot. The things like that. This thing actually has a variety of different thermal options.

So depending on your application you can choose whichever thermal option best fits your needs. It's paired with two batteries that run this thing. And this drone's a pretty good size. It's not one of, it's not gonna be like your Mavic Pro where it can fit in the palm of your hand.

This thing's pretty bulky. It's loud so it takes a couple batteries to run it. We have a plethora of batteries, but it, it's paired also with a a spotlight and a megaphone. And that's really what allows you to be able to search at night when it comes to being able to distinguish between,[00:17:00] the animal you're looking for.

For instance, if we're flying at night and I have the thermal activated ultimately now you're able to distinguish between, a pig or a cow or a deer. But what you're not able to do is you're not able to get a unique identification on that animal. So what we'll do is we will turn that spotlight on pair it with the.

Gimbal and basically light that animal up, we'll then turn our thermal off, and that acts as a almo, almost like a night vision, if you will. So that's how you're able to, identify what you're looking at. So if we're, for instance, like if we were, looking for a specific buck that you shot we can go find a deer, but with that thermal, you're not able to, you uniquely identify what deer you're looking at.

So we just like that spotlight up and be able to distinguish there. So yeah we're running a a pretty intricate piece of equipment. [00:18:00] Yeah. Now you mentioned multiple batteries and stuff, but just curious, on one charge, what kind of flight time are you looking at?

So that actually, it's subjective to the environment, right? Those batteries are gonna operate differently in, in a hundred degrees, we degree weather than they will at 40. So currently right now we're seeing flight time around that 35 mark. And obviously we have quite a few batteries, so we're able to just interchange 'em and charge 'em as we go, but, come winter. I fully expect just based off of experience with other equipment that, that, that charge will actually last a little bit less maybe, probably, in that 25 mark ish, maybe the 30 30 mark, but that, that's still yet to come.

But, we're getting pretty, pretty good battery life out of these things. Yeah. I was just curious. One of my buddies when drones first started coming out he bought one and it was one that, it didn't have a camera attached. And you had to attach a [00:19:00] GoPro or something to it.

So I had a GoPro, he bought a drone, so we went out together to, to play with it. And I wanna say those batteries had a eight minute flight time. It was in and out. It's like I said, I know technology's come a long way, but that's why I was curious, oh, that's funny.

Yeah. Cool, man. Let's get into more of the recovery that's I, what you're really here to talk about and and for us to cover. Up until recently, like I would consider that there's basically two ways to find a wounded buck. If the buck doesn't drop or run and you can't, track it down immediately the old, the oldest school way probably is just call a bunch of your buddies and start grid searching.

And I've done some grid searching by myself. I remember I, I shot a buck one time that he ended up, he only went like 40 yards from where I shot him, but it took me over two hours to find him. It was a real frosty day and he just didn't bleed much. And so I've been, I've done, definitely done some grid searching.

And then what's gained a lot of popularity recently is using dogs. And I've had that situation [00:20:00] also called in a dog and. The dog was great because it, it gave you a lot of information you wouldn't have otherwise had. For instance, I learned I was tracking in the wrong direction. We ended up not finding the deer but it also, like the fact that we didn't find the deer gave me some peace of mind that I wouldn't have otherwise had, and turns out I got a picture of that buck a few weeks later.

He was still up and around, so that, that kind of gave me some peace of mind also. But but man, I see so many advantages to what you're about to talk about. So yeah, just take us through, one, the process two, some of the advantages and just the whole gambit of recovering a deer with a drone.

Yeah, man. So I'm actually glad you asked this question because whenever we launched I had friends who own dogs and people that, man, I've never even, I've never even met, just reach out to me and I don't know just, just share some, words about their concerns with this.

And I think it almost portrayed that I was against traditional tracking. And I would just like [00:21:00] to clear that up. I am not against traditional tracking. I'm not against dogs. And you're right. They've, they're proven. They're tracking dogs.

That's what they do. But as technology evolves and as it improves we, or at least in my opinion I'm a nerd. I'm an engineer for a living. I wanna evolve with it. Just being able to give yourself an advantage that, that maybe wasn't there in the years past.

As hunters, I think. I think that's what everyone would want. We owe it to ourselves to find an animal. We owe it to the animal to, to find it. And I know dogs are proven. I know dogs have done that. But like I said, this is a very interesting method, a very inter, a very interesting a way of going about it and achieving the same thing.

With the drone there, there are several advantages that I can think of Okay. On paper. And I would like to, even open it up to you and see if you can think of some other advantages that maybe I'm missing. But one of the advantages is, you're able to search the [00:22:00] area without ever disturbing it.

We're not walking into the the, we're not walking into the area that we're hunting. We're not leaving ascent. We're not bumping deer. You're able to fly from an aerial view and cover more ground in 30 minutes than ultimately what you may be able to cover.

Using a dog in that time. A benefit would be no cent trail. You're not leaving a cent trail, you're not disturbing the area. You're able to cover more ground. And I think what a big one is rain or shine, whatever. You're not limited to a blood trail, you're still able to go out and search whether or not you have a blood trail or not. How many times have you shot a deer and have not seen a drop of blood? How many times have. Have you heard of your friends shooting a deer and no blood being observed, but that animal is dead, right?

40 or 50 yards or even a hundred yards down the road. And and it was just one of those things, it's in that instance it's really beneficial because,[00:23:00] they found the animal. But what do you know? What do you do if you if you can't find it? And so being able to search from the air and have that thermal option I really think puts us at an advantage of locating, locating animals or, these deer being able to pinpoint okay I'm picking up a heat signature here.

Let's slide it up and see if that's your animal or not. I think it just puts you at a a from a statistics point of view a more. Higher advantage. In fact, at the Shot show the other weekend or the outdoor expo, man I was seeking out dog owners. So it was funny. We would let 'em know, Hey, we're Oklahoma Joint Recovery Company and give our pitch.

And some of them didn't, some were some, oh, I have a dog and those were the guys I was going after, right? Because I wanted to hear from those guys. And I've had several that I was able to chat it up with and hear their perspective from a dog owner's, point of view that maybe.

I not fully understand on my point of view. I was actually shocked to hear [00:24:00] that a lot of them supported the idea, supported, what we're doing. And one of the disadvantages that that I asked what am I missing out on from not having a dog? Some of those are not so much the tracking ability, but more of the companionship between the dog.

So when you look at maybe, on paper the advantages and disadvantage I think they're clear. But I'll be honest I don't own a dog. I've never owned a dog I don't I don't fully know exactly what benefits that, searching a dog would have versus, searching from the air like we're doing.

Yeah. I got two points I'll throw out there. You asked if I could, share my opinion as well. So the first one Yeah you hit on was the whole scent thing. I'll go back to when I called that dog on that deer. I thought that I hammered that deer. I didn't even follow the blood trail.

He had ran through an open gate, and so I knew where he had gone. Turns out I found out later I had hit him low. I, so I basically shot under his belly and hit his [00:25:00] opposite leg. So when he was running off, he was stumbling and I could tell he was struggling and saw him run through that gate.

And so I, I just ran over there. I gave him some time and everything, but I wasn't tracking, I wasn't trying to look for blood or anything. And then when I got to that gate, I really expected him just. Just to find him dead in the thick stuff there.

And all of a sudden I didn't find him. And so then I start, walking around looking for blood. I did a little bit of grid searching 'cause, just 'cause I was so confident that I killed this deer. And then, end up calling the dog. And again, like I was way off of where the deer went and everything.

I went through that gate and turned right, 'cause I found one drop of blood. The dog went through that gate and immediately turned left. And so that was a situation where, I could've messed things up. And if somebody knows they be made a bad shot, then they probably know, Hey, stay back.

I'm just gonna call the dog. But in those situations where you think that deer is dead, you can really hurt yourself when it comes to the dog and the scent and everything. So that's [00:26:00] one. Two, and this is more of a personal thing I am super colorblind. And so I am a terrible blood tracker because I just don't see red.

Especially on a green background, when you're looking at vegetation and dead leaves and stuff. My wife is actually a much better tracker than I am, even though she's only done it a handful of times. And so in a situation where you've got somebody like me I could see, calling the drone out, right off the bat could be helpful also.

I will give one pro dog thing here that I thought of while you were talking about. I could see like early season when there's still a bunch of foliage on the trees and everything and you're in a real thick area. I could see where the dog might have a little advantage. And again, I may be wrong on that.

I know you fly these a lot more than I do, but I could see the thermal having a little harder time getting through all that thick stuff than maybe a dog would. Man, you're exactly right. And I'm so glad you brought that up. 'cause I actually have that wrote down here. When you're talking about October [00:27:00] one, right?

The environment obviously is much different than that of December 15th, right? Or December 4th or so. I couldn't agree more with you and in, in the case of, okay, it's October one the, there, there's still quite a few leaves on the trees, cer certain areas of Oklahoma.

It perhaps may be a little bit more beneficial to, to have a dog come out because or at least in my experience, whenever I kill a deer. And your experience too where do they typically go in. Bay up at the thick, it's in the thickest possible, right? The thickest stuff possible.

If they can get to it. Whenever the leaves have fallen and, and there's no foliage, man, a drone's gonna pick that up in no time. It's, it's you can't hide from that. But whenever you have foliage on the trees you have pockets that, that you are, you forced to look into.

And I'm glad you mentioned that because at the end of the day, okay we're [00:28:00] a company that offers a service to the people of Oklahoma for recovering deer and other things. But the end goal is to deliver the deer back to the hunter. That's the end goal. Whether that's the use of a dog, whether that's the use of a Jonah, I that as this.

Technology and these businesses start to pop up. That would be my encouragement to to everyone looking, looking into something similar, is that that our end goal is to deliver a deer to the customer. Whether that's a, the means of a dog or a drone, doesn't really matter.

One of the models that I have for this company is that we're out to make money, not steal it. So if I feel as if, okay, you've shown me your area it's really thick then look I'm probably gonna tell you it's gonna be a risk because of the environment in which we're in.

But if you want us to come out, we certainly will come out. In fact, I'm gonna digress a little bit. I've actually done that with our dog search. So one of the things[00:29:00] we've done in the off season is going looking for pets and dogs and one of the things that I discovered was, A dog who has been missing four or five days or two weeks even, obviously is much more difficult to find a dog that has, ha has a siding within four hour period.

And we found a dog, we found a dog that had been missing for five days. I gotta the point to where I was actually telling people that hey, look, sorry that you're finding yourself in this position and I certainly will come out and I certainly will search for your animal.

But hey, I actually reckon we wait until exciting and then immediately call me because people would have the greatest amount of life of finding their animal if they're gonna be spending the money for us to come out. So that's what I mean by, by. Make stealing it. Yeah, we could go out and fly, but if the odds of us finding that animal like a pet, for instance, [00:30:00] man we were heading to Arkansas and it had been missing for I think it was like four weeks.

It was a German Shepherd and there, there are different sightings all, all throughout the past couple weeks in which we were called and calculating. He had traveled 40 miles. So you're looking at a pet, traveling 40 miles a dog, traveling 40 miles. And just that short amount of time and it's, it's one of those things where I didn't feel comfortable.

I don't feel comfortable charging folks if I don't feel like the likelihood is finding what after is gonna be probable. Yeah. So I that that's how we based. That's the direction we're heading and we've headed with this company is we're out to make money, not steal it.

So whenever it comes to recovering deer, like in October depending on re which region you're in, I couldn't agree with you more. If you're out in West Oklahoma where it's, where there's hardly any trees at all and you just have a bunch of holes and canyons and things like that, then I [00:31:00] don't think October one's gonna be an issue.

But whenever you're out in our area and you're in southeast Oklahoma in certain areas, and you're in the thickest stuff possible, then you're exactly right. Perhaps it's better to call a dog in. Does that make sense? Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I appreciate your honesty and stuff. I think that's important and I think that's a, an amazing trait.

And so yeah, I appreciate you sharing that with everybody. Yeah, of course. Awesome. I feel like I had another question here before we went on, but can't think of it now. So we're just gonna go on. Awesome. You, one thing you mentioned you did was like deer surveys and, flu and counted deer and stuff like that.

Talk to us a little bit about that, just kinda, what you're looking for, what that would entail and then any just cool things you like, is there, oh, excuse me. Is there like a certain type of, terrain feature, you tend to find deer? Have you I guess what I'm asking is have you learned anything about deer behavior from, doing all this flying time and looking for these deer?[00:32:00]

Yeah, that's a man, that's a good question. I'll tell you. A lot of what I've seen has actually just affirmed what I thought I knew. So for instance, you look at like OnX Hunt, right? And you look at the layout of some ground and attract and fingers from, acting as what I would think would be like quarter war from one, one area to another.

And on the map you're like, man, that looks really good. What I've seen actually recently and in some recent surveys is that and keep in mind whenever I go out I'm going out at an hour before dark and throughout the night a few hours up, up throughout the night.

And so these deer are up on their feet. So what I'm actually seeing is they're a lot of deer are using fingers. And do you know what I mean by a finger? Yeah, like maybe a little stretch of trees going out into a field or drainage bridge, something like that. Yeah, absolutely.

So they're using these fingers as quarter wars, if you will. And and coming out. And actually what I've seen a lot of is a lot of these [00:33:00] deer bedding down on like open ground on top of hills. Recently, the other day I went out and saw one a group batted down in, in what appeared to be just a big pasture ground.

And I didn't know what in the world, like what attracted these deer. And these were good bucks to, I didn't know what in the world attracted these deer to that specific location. So I went out and looked. It was actually on our. Or farm, and I still don't know to this day what in the world. The terrain, if you will, there's the big saddle.

So they're, they're they're in this low area, but me, I would think that these deer would be, or would wanna be betted down, like on a hilltop where they see everything, kinda like on a high ground. But these specific deer were betted down in the saddle.

And and ultimately what what was around them was a finger in which connects one property to the other. I've seen these, I've seen these bucks, and I've seen the, these deer, utilize those fingers quite a bit. And even like I.

Coves, [00:34:00] if you will. Like pockets that it makes a cove, if you will. Tho those deer or a lot of deer, what I've seen have actually walked from the field inside the bowl of that cove even. Yeah, so it, I've seen some interesting patterns some of which that, just affirmed what I knew and then others really made me quit about this area.

Is this deer really drawn to? That's cool. Yeah. My, my guess on the saddle would be that they're, getting that wind coming up out of that lower area that, it's gonna be forced between that in or in that saddle. That other one's really interesting though. Here's a random question that you may not, may or may not have the answer to.

I just thought this as you were talking because as we're talking about this technology and all this stuff I can't help but wonder that somebody could use this for the wrong purposes. Are you aware of any laws of basically using a drone for hunting purposes, like flying up with this thermal drone, finding this buck and then going in and trying to kill it?

I'm sure there's some [00:35:00] kinda law against it. Are you aware of any specific laws? Oh, yeah, man. So I would encourage folks who you know, who, who are wanting to get into drone and this kind of thing to really study the Airborne Hunting Act in there is out specifically what is and what actually allows us to go.

And recover deer. But if you were to look at Kansas for, str prohibits it complete the recovering of deer, the scouting of deer, the locating of deer, the harassment of deer. Of course we cannot harass an Oklahoma according to the airport hunting act, nor would you want to.

But when you look at Oklahoma, like one of the biggest questions that I was talking to the li lieutenant colonel the warden for Oklahoma, we spent a couple weeks talking about this was, okay, what happens if you locate a deer that's not killed? Locate a deer that's not dead, it's just wounded. At that [00:36:00] point, what is the appropriate move? Because it's one thing to locate a deer that's dead. Okay, congratulations. Go recover your deer. It's an, it's completely different if. You know that, that deer is still alive. And in which case, what do you do then?

According to the Airborne Hunting Act, what would be illegal is for me to have the drone hovering and aiding in that kill A I D I N G aiding in that kill. So I can't have the drone hovering and you on the other line and me saying, okay, man the cedar tree, 30 yards to the north, and then you're gonna cut back to the right.

Yeah. That's strictly prohibited. I can't ha I can't do that. Yeah. No one can do that. But when you locate a here, that's not dead. The direction and the allowance that you have is to to put away the drone. The drone's not in the air. There, there's no firearms in, in, around, in the midst of us flying everything's stowed and put away you [00:37:00] stow the drone now, whenever I leave, and if that hunter decides that he wants to go and try to kill that animal that's on him.

And that's what I was told is that's legal. That's fine. But I cannot aid in the attempt to kill that deer in the sense of I cannot di direct those hunters to that animal. And the same goes with private property, right? So the f a regulates the airspace. It, they control the airspace.

So if we've got a deer that someone thinks that, has ran on the neighboring property legally I can fly over that neighboring property. Now there's a state law that. That discusses the harassment or I have to go back and I'm paraphrasing here so don't quote me, but the the disturbing of a hunter or something along those lines.

So in other words, like if there's a hunter that's in a stand and I go and I fly and I disturb his hunt that's illegal. But we'll be hunting, we'll be searching at night, right? So that's not really applicable for what we're doing, [00:38:00] but if we locate a deer that's on the neighboring property we, or the hunter cannot go and get that deer without the permission of that property owner.

Just 'cause we located 'em does not mean that okay, now we can go get 'em. No, that's still private property. You still have to request permission to go and get that deer, if you don't have it already. Yeah. There are some, there are some specific laws that, that are prohibiting.

A, a lot of those things. And that's why it's very important that folks are educated when it comes to, to an unmanned aircraft. And, the Airborne Hunting Act. Because the last thing that anyone wants to do is find themselves in a pinch where, they're, inadvertently or accidentally breaking the law.

Yeah. Yeah, man. Yeah. Great answer. Great information. Also I'm almost ashamed of myself that I hadn't thought of that question before we started recording. I should have thought about the law part of it more very good in info. You [00:39:00] have the right to the best wireless service. Bravado Wireless provides the best mobile, wireless, high-speed internet, latest devices and customer service at prices.

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Bravado, wireless, the power of connection. And another thing is when we first launched there's a lot of ambiguity around drones and deer recovery in Oklahoma. And when one of the things that, that I know is happening is, and I've been able to converse with a whole lot of wardens and what I've been told is that the regulations are actually in the process of being updated.

When the regs were written years ago, this technology wasn't even a thought. Who knew we were gonna be [00:40:00] here? So it, it doesn't really say a whole lot about it, which caused a lot of confusion. So whenever we first opened up, a lot of folks were saying, this is illegal.

They're messaging me and out, out of good intention. I'm glad that there are people out there that are willing to do that in the event that you know something like this was actually, illegal just watching out for your fellow man as a way I took it, but the regs don't really say a whole lot about it.

So I had to spend, man, I've spent quite, quite a bit of time talking with the local gay mors even up at the lieutenant Colonel. Status man, just going back and forth, really wanting to understand, okay, what can we do here that's allowed? And ultimately it was ruled that, this is fine.

So there's freedom in Oklahoma to really explore with this kind of technology. And when you think about it really helps the conservation, right? It really helps the it gives us the best odds at finding the animal, which, if you're a hunter, of course anytime you shoot something, you wanna [00:41:00] find it, right?

So I understand how it could definitely be taken out of and, I don't wanna say context, but it could be used in such a way that violates the law. It's a shame to say, but that's with anything, right? That's with the thermal scopes as well. Here at Oklahoma Joint Recovery Company, I really run a tight knit ship.

You know what I mean? Making sure that we're complying a hundred percent to the law and not stretching it by any not stretching it by any means. So with the regs being updated I'm hoping that they will come back and clear some of these questions up.

Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, it's definitely something that you gotta be careful with. Kinda like you said there's a really high upside to a lot of this, but there can definitely be a downside. Yeah. Great stuff. Really good stuff. I do have another question on the survey stuff.

Let's say I have a property and I'm just curious, maybe my buck to DOE ratio or how many deer, an estimate I have or something like [00:42:00] that. When you do your surveys, do you normally do those during the day or during the night? Because I feel like you could kind have almost two different answers.

I don't know. I'm just curious what your thoughts are on that. Yeah. So I, like I said earlier I typically go about an hour or 30 minutes before dark and it goes into the night. Okay? Now you cer you certainly can absolutely you can do a survey at, in, in the middle of the day.

But what I've observed is that, and this is if you've been hunting for a while, it makes sense, but when are the deer most active? Morning and evening in the evening, right? So whenever I do a survey I wanna put us in the best position of seeing the deer that are localized on that property.

So we'll go, the evening and in into the night a little bit and use the thermal to really locate those deer and be able to. Light 'em up with the light and see what we're looking at. Yeah. And one thing I feel like we should maybe touch on this just for people listening, 'cause I still have a lot of people asking me about [00:43:00] thermal versus night vision, all that.

And night vision is for night, it requires zero light. If you use a night vision during the day, you're gonna mess it up. Thermal does not, it doesn't matter what time of day thermal is, it's simply seeking out heat so you can fly this thermal drone day or night. Like I said, if somebody's listening to this, don't feel like, oh, it's nine o'clock in the morning after, wait till nighttime before we get this drone there.

It's an any time of day type thing. Yeah. It certainly is. Now one of the things I would caution against is, you hit it on the head that this is a hundred percent a heat seeking, method. So that picks up any heat, it doesn't distinguish between okay.

A rock that's been heating up with the sun and a deer that just has natural blood flow going through. That's picking up heat. So during the day, what I've observed is everything is really washed out. So you're gonna pick up a whole lot of, if you're on the option with the red, the heat lights up red, you're gonna pick up a whole lot of red.

[00:44:00] And what happens is you have so much red that you can't distinguish, okay, what's really a deer or whatever you're looking for versus. A branch or a rock that's lit up, or even soil that's lit up because it's been absorbing heat all day. Whenever I say that we can search during the day, you absolutely can, but we never really use our thermal deer in the day because it's really non-value added.

And it's really much it's really less it's not clear as to what you're really looking at. So when that sun goes down, and that's why we searched, that last hour or 30 minutes before the sun goes down because everything's starting to cool off, the rocks and the soil and the branches and everything starting to cool off through conduction and things like that.

And now what pops is gonna be live animals. So whenever we're out 9 30, 10 o'clock I. What, what's popping is what's lighting up, is really those animals that you're looking for. So that's something to keep in mind, right? I don't want to mislead anyone in the, when, whenever I say we can search with thermal, we absolutely can, [00:45:00] but it's pretty much it's deemed useless during the day, in my opinion.

Gotcha. Okay. Good stuff. Good stuff. Is there such thing as waiting too long, like letting that animal cool off too much? Or is it still gonna be putting off enough heat to find it? Man, that's a, oh that's, I'm glad you asked that question too. So we're actually in the middle of a study right now.

We've been asked that question and the answer that I have is is the answer I have is that we're figuring that out right now. Now we actually went out and killed a 200, about a 250 pound hog. My buddy and I were out and we ran into another hunter and he actually donated this hog for this case study.

But this was shot, let's see, it would be Saturday night around nine 30. Today's Monday, and this probably is the worst time you could possibly ever conduct a case study just because in Oklahoma it's like 105 all week. Yeah. So that thing's just sitting out and [00:46:00] baking in this heat, right?

So it's oh man. Okay. There, there are some, there's a factor there that I'm gonna have to probably omit a little bit. But so I flew this, I flew the drone up yesterday, around 10 o'clock at night and went and looked at this pig, and lemme tell you something it was lit up.

No different than it was the night before. So it's a night I'll be going back out and flying over it and just basically repeating this thing until I don't see any more heat coming from this pig. Now, again, I may have to deem this study a little bit invalid just because of the conditions we're in right now.

Yeah. But it, it is interesting at least to see that even two days later that, that this pig is still lighten up as, as much as it is. I'm gonna conduct another study come fall whenever we have, whether that's more like in the fifties or sixties, uhhuh, because I'm not oblivious I, or naive.

I do think that's going to impact that. So our goal and the reason why I. We're expanding the [00:47:00] company. You and I talked about that. We're actually in the middle of expanding the company. I bought a few more drones, so we'll have pilots on the west western part of Oklahoma, the northern part of Oklahoma eastern part of Oklahoma.

And the reason being is to increase our availability but also drive down costs. But another factor is that we wanna get to the deer as quickly as possible. We want to be able to get to those deer the same night you call us, or folks call us, and, to prohibit or at least mitigate those scenarios where we can't get to an animal or we can't get to that deer, until it's.

It's been after 24 hours. So we definitely our goal is to get the folks as, as quick as possible. But that study, I think, is really held. That case study with this pig is really held to help us understand what we're looking at and how long heat retain, an animal retains heat, even after it's been dead for quite some time.

But unfortunately, like I said, I think our conditions are gonna sway the data [00:48:00] Yeah. On this one. Yeah. What made me think of that is I kill a lot of bucks late season, like after Christmas and I shot a buck that took me two or three hours to find. One day I had a decent blood trail. It was just, a really long, the buck ended up going 300 yards or something like that.

And it was super cold. It was like 20 degrees or something that night. So now I doubt somebody's going to wait three days to call you, if they can't find their deer. But I was just curious if there was like a, 24 hour, 48 hour type time period that, that you would need to respond to.

But yeah I'm glad you're looking into it. Glad you're doing some research I'd be curious to know how that turns out. Yeah, for sure, man. And I, just going off of, I don't know, I don't wanna say common sense logic maybe. I'm thinking probably a 40 hour, 48 hour.

And I, I guess it really depends too, right on, on if Cotes get to that carcass or get to that animal. Yeah. [00:49:00] Like if Cotes get to that animal and they tear up and all of a sudden now you're just down to bone is that going to show up different than a deer who's been undisturbed for.

24 or 48 hours, so I guess it's, I guess it's subjective to that deer's condition even. Yeah. Yeah. Sounds like you got some homework, man. Get after it. Oh, yeah, man. We're on it. I'll tell you. Yeah. Cool man. We got a few minutes here left. I don't, again, I don't wanna take up your entire evening, but are there any just general topics, things we missed, anything you've learned or anything else you'd like to cover before we go?

Man, I think that again I just have a heart to serve the people of Oklahoma. I know what it's like to have lost something. I lost a deer last year and trust me, that wasn't my first one. Again I just want to, I just wanna hit home the point that whether it's a dog or whether it's the drone what's important to me is that, The [00:50:00] hunter recovers what they've been working so hard to go after.

You know what I mean? Yeah. And I don't expect to be called on dough, right? I I can be, but I don't expect to be called on dough. Maybe. Maybe. But it don't matter if it's a door or it's a buck. We're gonna come out and do our due diligence and we're gonna search and we're gonna be there and we're gonna give it our best effort to help bring home this animal.

Whether that's a cattle or a cow, whether that's a deer or pet it don't matter. We're gonna go out and give it our best shot. And that's the end goal, right? The end goal is serving and the end goal is giving the people in Oklahoma the best opportunity to. And position them in such a way that's going to provide to them the best likelihood of finding that animal.

Whether that's a dog or whether that's a drone, it don't matter to me. Again, we're out to make money, not steal it, and I want folks to know that. Awesome. Awesome man. Sweet man. This has been extremely educational. I'm really glad we decided to do this. You sound like a great [00:51:00] guy. I really wish you the best this upcoming season.

Real quick before we go if somebody's listening to this and they're think, Hey, this is for me, where should people go to find you? Man, they can contact they can go to our website, www.oklahomadrc.com. My contact information is there. They can go to our Facebook, Oklahoma Drone recovery company.

And my contact information's there as well. Feel free to reach out. I love talking to subject. I love being educated as well. If you're listening to this and please by all me, and if you're listening to this and you at any point in time I've said something that, that is wondrous and, not factual, any, anything that's pertaining to the law although I'm confident that we're square there.

Please reach out because I'm not by no means gonna act like I'm a scholar of no means. Although I put a lot of time studying into the regs and things like that. But I, my, my door's always open is, I guess what I'm trying to say. I'm never gonna shut down anyone.

Yeah, feel free to reach out [00:52:00] and contact me. I'd love to talk with you guys. And I'll say this to the listeners this is the type of thing that you don't need it until you need it. And so don't get caught with your pants down. When that moment of panic comes across look up Rhett, save his stuff in your phone so that you don't have to try to, look up his website while you're out in the deer.

Stand with zero service, playing ahead, I guess is what I'm trying to say. It doesn't hurt to stick that number in your phone if you don't need it, but when you do need it, that's when it's gonna count. Rhett, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate you coming on and I think we're gonna have to do a round two.

I'd be really curious to have you back on next year after you have some, a season under your belt and everything with this, talk about what you've learned and I'm sure I'm gonna think of more questions after we get off the line. So definitely gonna have to back. Definitely gonna have to have you back on and man, I can't thank you enough for coming on today.

Oh man, it's, it is been an absolute pleasure and hopefully I have better answers for you as well, but, [00:53:00] oh, you, it's been absolutely you. Great. I appreciate you having me and it's been an absolute pleasure. Awesome, Rhett, thank you again and we will talk to you next time. Sounds good. Thank you.

And that will do it. Thank you Red again for coming on. Great information. Like I said at the beginning, really knowledgeable. I thought he did a fantastic job of laying out the facts but also being honest, just talking about the benefits, the weaknesses, and all that good stuff. So thank you Red for coming on.

Thank you guys for listening. These episodes, the last few weeks have been getting a little bit long. I apologize for that. I hope y'all don't mind. But just the closer we get to hunting season, the more excited I am and the more great content that we can have coming out. So that's gonna do it for this week.

Thank you guys for listening. Wish Me Luck in Nebraska. The next episode, I promise will be about that. And hopefully have a big buck story to tell. All right, that's all I got. I'm gonna get outta here. See you guys later. Thanks again for listening, and until next week, I will see y'all [00:54:00] right back here on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.