Oklahoma Whitetail and Elk with Trevor Johnson

Show Notes

Trevor Johnson of My World Outdoors is this week's guest on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. Trevor is a southwest Oklahoman who has a passion for whitetail deer and is fortunate enough to get to hunt elk on a consistent basis near the Wichita Mountains. Trevor and John start off by talking about some of the differences in hunting whitetails on opposite sides of the state, and the two surprise each other with how different deer act in the big timber versus the open mesquite country. While the terrain and some behavior varies, there are also several traits that seem to remain true no matter where you chase mature whitetails.

The second half of the episode focuses on the special and rare Oklahoma elk. Trevor is fortunate enough to have access to some amazing elk hunting opportunities that are hard to find. He talks about the different methods he has used to hunt them over the years, and how they have opened the doors to opportunities in the outdoor industry. This is a great episode with a great guy that you won't want to miss.

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

Show Transcript

John Hudspeth: [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.

What's up folks? Welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. I am your host, John Hudspeth, and I'm so glad that you are with us today. We have a great show lined up. I recently got back from Colorado. My wife and I planned a last minute trip, and when I say last minute, I think we planned it like four days before we left.

And so yeah, super last minute. But we had a really good time. We enjoyed the cooler weather. We ended up going to Colorado Springs and like in the actual town, it wasn't that much cooler [00:01:00] honestly than here. It was like still low nineties or something. But as like it's a different kind of heat.

But we also we went up into the mountains quite a bit and we actually ended up driving to the top of Pikes Peak, which was really cool. 14,115 feet, something like that. And I kid you not, we're up there. Some weather was moving in, we were kinda getting a little nervous, trying to figure out if we should, go back down or not.

And it ended up not getting too bad, but I started feeling a few drops and some of those drops actually turned into snowflakes. And so it was I guess it was late July at that point. And and we had a few snowflakes. So I'm sitting there in my t-shirt and shorts, just soaking it in. I was like, yes, this is what I've been needing.

This is why we came. Yeah, so that was a great trip. We were only there two days really. We we flew out, when did we fly out? We flew out Thursday and came home Sunday. So we had a full two days there. For the first time ever I missed a flight. We both did. [00:02:00] The Denver airport was absolutely insane.

Security was crazy. We ended up missing our flight by four minutes. So they put us on standby. Luckily there was another plane like 45 minutes later, something like that. And so we're waiting and they start boarding the plane. We don't know if we're on or not yet. And the lady calls me up to the counter and she says, we have one seat.

It was my wife and I and our baby, and she was still like riding on our laps. And so she's I think your wife and child should go ahead and get on the plane. And so I called my wife over. We talked about it. We decided, yes, she should go ahead. 'cause we checked our bag with all of our baby's stuff.

And so all we had was like, what was in the diaper bag? We had three diapers and a little bit of formula and two pouches. And so we didn't have enough. If we had to stay overnight, which is how it was looking. And so my wife goes ahead and she gets a ticket. She gets in line, and the lady told me, she's Hey the next ticket is yours.

Just, stick around, stay close. I was like, all so they call, group number five, number six, number seven, number eight, number nine, all the way. [00:03:00] So the the entire plane is loaded now, and I'm just looking around and I'm like, Gosh I'm not getting on. So I'm like, is there any other there I could basically sit at the airport all day trying to get on a standby.

The next flight they had available wasn't until the next morning. I was like, I hate Denver. My truck got stolen. I don't wanna stay here. And so I'm sitting there and the lady picks up the microphone and she's last call for passengers. Such and such and such. And like my heart started beating.

I was like, Oh, somebody didn't show up and so I'm sitting there, I'm looking around. There's other standby passengers. We're all looking at each other who's up? Up and the lady, she didn't call my name, she just looked at me and kinda gave me the little come here finger and I walked up there and she slid me a ticket.

And so I purposely turned away from all the other people who were waiting and just jumped on the plane. So we ended up getting to come home only about. 45 minutes late. So luckily, not too bad. We didn't get to sit next to each other, obviously, but once the plane got up and the seatbelt signs went off, the guy who was sitting next to my wife, he, had [00:04:00] figured out what was going on and he came back and switched seats with me.

So we ended up getting, finished the flight together. All that to say ended up for what happened, it really ended up working out about as good as it could. And so that was super good. So we had a great time. So yeah, that was last weekend. This coming weekend. I am gonna run out to the ranch real quick.

My wife and daughter are going outta town. She's had, she has a girls weekend. She's gonna take my daughter. And so unfortunately I have a couple commitments this weekend. So I can't go for the whole weekend like I really wanted to, but I am gonna run out there. A good buddy of mine is letting me borrow a an a t v this fall after, mine got stolen last year and so he's really helping me out.

So I'm gonna go pick it up. Run it out to the ranch. And then really the main reason go I'm going is to get all my stuff gathered for my Nebraska trip because guys I leave in three and a half weeks or something like that, which is absolutely insane. But just after last season, again, I feel like, I dunno why it keeps coming up in this episode, most of my [00:05:00] gear got stolen on my L cut last year.

And so I had bought a bunch of new gear at the end of the year. First light was huge, came through and they actually ended up sending me quite a bit. But I just haven't really used any of my stuff because deer season was just about over. And so I'm just gonna go up there, lay everything out on the floor, figure out what I have, what I don't have, if I need to order anything like that.

And need to get my the pack that I normally carry my stand on, it got stolen. So I gotta figure out if I have any backpacks that'll work to carry my stand and sticks when I'm doing the mobile hunting thing. Also a good buddy of mine, Charles, he's been on the show I think twice now. He reached out to me 'cause he heard my debacle with the saddle, how I decided not to buy one.

He said, Hey man, just take mine. And we're gonna meet up. He's gonna give me his saddle or loan me his saddle, I should say. So I have, a couple weeks to practice with it, get in the tree, shoot with it, everything like that. And again, I'm not sure I'm gonna take it. I should have enough time to, to get comfortable with it and everything if I really focus on it.[00:06:00]

But I'm gonna take it no matter what and just if the situation calls for it, I'll use it. If I can get by using the stand that I'm more comfortable with, I'll use that. But, just the more options I have, the better I feel like. And yeah, so I'm gonna go through all my gear, get all my gear situated, get my stand situated, figure out how I'm gonna pack everything in.

I'm going to grab the saddle over the weekend, start climbing in some trees with it, shooting with it, all that good stuff. And guys, like I said when this show drops, I'll be headed to Nebraska like three stinking weeks later. And so very excited. I really like. I my focus is more on getting ready for the trip.

I, I really haven't done that much scouting because honestly I feel pretty good. Like I, I went up there this spring kinda used Turkey hunting as an excuse to go up there and do some deer scouting. And so I have specific trees marked. I have crops marked, like what the crops are gonna be.

And so I just feel like pretty darn prepared. I have three cameras soaking. [00:07:00] And I'm taking off work the day before the season starts, so I'll drive up there. All things go as planned. I should like, be there before opening day actually, which is, changed from last year. So I guess what I'm trying to say is I just feel I.

Pretty good about where I'm at for this trip. So yeah. Anyway, gonna get the a t V up there, gonna get all my gear. If I can run around and put out, I still have two more cameras I can put out. If I can get those out, great. But if not that big a deal. Yeah, guys, like I keep saying it's coming.

I hope y'all are prepared. I hope y'all have been shooting your bows getting your muzzle loaders ready, getting all your gear tucked away and stuff like I probably should have already had done by this point. Because it's just about here. I do have another weekend, I think the following weekend.

I've already talked to my wife and I'm pretty sure I get to go the whole weekend that weekend. So that'll be my kind of final touches weekend. I keep talking about how I need to level some blinds and replace some tree steps, straps stuff like that. So I'll get that done. If any inkling of [00:08:00] rain is in the for forecast, I might throw out a little bit of fal season seed.

I just don't, it's been so stinking hot and dry the last few weeks and every day when I check the weather, it's the next day is just the same old thing. Another like 105 degree day with no rain. And so not sure I'm gonna do any of that next weekend, but we'll figure out when that time comes. So yeah, that's what that's what's been going on with me.

We have a great episode today. I had never met this guy. Basically how this kind of got set up was throughout the fall just when I'm going through social media, if I see somebody from Oklahoma who, shot something interesting, or a big deer or whatever, I'll just screenshot it if, if the name is on there.

And every now and again, I'll just scroll through my phone. And that's how I got hooked up with Trevor. And so I reached out to him this week. He said he was welcome or willing to come on. Come to find out he is a wealth of knowledge. I was like, God man, I cannot talk today. I apologize. He is a wealth of knowledge and so we talk [00:09:00] white tails and believe it or not, he has a sweet little.

Elk hunting spot in Oklahoma, and so he gets to consistently hunt elk in Oklahoma. So we spend a good amount of time talking about that and he knows how fortunate he is. And he is also a part of the My World Outdoors team. And so he does a lot of filming. They're on the outdoor channel. And like I said, just got super lucky with Trevor here.

And so we have a great episode. He's a southwestern Oklahoma guy, so that's also cool because I love talking to people from other parts of the state. One of the big things that we talked about was just how deer where I am tend to disperse a lot, have different home ranges, like summer range in a fall range.

And he talks about where he's at. He doesn't really see that. If he's, glassing deer in the summer, there's a good chance that deer's still gonna be there when hunting season rolls around. So we talk about that 'cause that's something that's just very different. Even though we're in the same state so yeah.

I don't wanna give the away the entire episode, like I feel like I just did. So that's what we [00:10:00] have coming up this week. Huge shout out for to Trevor for coming on. We're gonna hear a quick word from our partners. I'll quit talking 'cause apparently I can't do that this week. And I hope you guys enjoy the episode.

So we're gonna hear a quick word from our partners and I'll get to the episode 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. Bravado Wireless believes that coverage in rural areas is important so that you stay connected with competitively priced plans and coverage where you need it.

The mission of Bravado Wireless is to keep you connected no matter where you are. Visit bravado wireless.com or check them out at one of their retail locations. Bravado Wireless, the power of connection. Hey everybody, welcome to today's show, and today we're welcoming in Trevor Johnson. How you doing Trevor?

I'm doing going good, John, how are you doing? Oh, I'm doing pretty good, man. Man. How are things going with you? It's been [00:11:00] it's been stupid hot lately. I'm sure it's, hot where you are also. Y'all getting burn up? Yeah

Trevor Johnson: It's ridiculous over here. We're keep and the Rams running all day and it's just miserable trying to work out there and gotta do everything early in the morning and late in the evening.

Kind of stay away out of

John Hudspeth: the heat. Yeah, that's right. That's right, man. Cool. We have all kinds of stuff to talk about today. I'm really excited about this. But real quick, before we get into all that, why don't you just tell everybody a little bit about yourself. All right. My

Trevor Johnson: name's Trevor Johnson.

I live down in southwest Oklahoma. Married to my wife Kaylin. And we have two beautiful girls. Baylor. She's five and Piper just turned one. And I work here on the family farm. I'll be like the fourth generation We raised. Club Lambs is our main thing. We have about 600 head of ewes and run a few cows and farm some wheat and some milo, and that's about it.

Pretty simple. Awesome,

John Hudspeth: man. Awesome. Yep. Yep. My my little girl just turned one as well. My only one. There you go. It's [00:12:00] my hunting seasons have changed a little bit here as of late. Oh yeah. I'm sure you're, I'm sure you're well used to that, oh, yeah.

Trevor Johnson: Yeah, I had my first daughter on a opening day of rifle season, so Oh

John Hudspeth: yeah.

That, that wasn't real smart of me. Yep. My wife and I are always joking back and forth every time we start talking about having a, another kid. The timing is very important to me, much more so than her. You gotta plan it out. Exactly. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. Priorities, but, yeah. Yeah. Cool man.

Just so the listeners know basically how I got. Hooked up with you. I don't even know if I told you this. I saw a picture of you on Oklahoma Bunard. Oh man, I can't talk today. Oklahoma Bow Hunter several months back. And took a little screenshot. I do that kind of throughout the season.

And just every once in a while I scroll through my phone and find those old screenshots and came across yours. And hit you up and you said you were willing to come on. And so that's how this came about. And just talking to you a little bit before we started recording it sounds like we have a lot to talk about.

And so I'm very excited about that. Yeah. Yeah let's start off with some [00:13:00] whitetails. This is Oklahoma. Most of the people in this state are gonna be whitetail hunters. And so let's just talk a little bit about, I mentioned to you too, I love talking to people from other parts of the state.

And for me, like I'm in timber country pretty much. We have a cattle farm. But for the most part, this area is timber. And so for me, summer scouting is pretty much just trail cameras. I don't have a big hill I can sit up on and watch a big wheat field or anything like that.

Yep. But tell me about your situation. What do you do for, in the summer for your scouting?

Trevor Johnson: So for me I'm down here in southwest Oklahoma and it's super flat. I do, we do have some mountains, a few miles from us, the Wichita Mountains. We're on the north side of them, but it's mostly just agricultural ground and mesquite patches super flat.

So in the summers it's pretty easy just to drive the roads when, this time of the year and check out the milo fields really right now. And there's a few corn fields around here right now, but it's hard to see in them. But mostly right now I just drive around in the summer and see what kind [00:14:00] of bachelor group bucks I can find and I'm about to start putting some cameras out, running a little bit behind what I usually do, but I got a few places cleared to throw out some cameras here in the next few days, but I did mostly just driving around this time of the year, late in the evenings.


John Hudspeth: man, that's awesome. When you're running your cameras, are you, do you do more just trails? Are you throwing corn out there? I assume where you are. Water's probably very important. Do you run cameras over water? I. Yeah, you can.

Trevor Johnson: Yeah. When it's this hot and there's a few places I have that have just, one pond on 'em that is a pretty popular spot.

But mostly just over corn piles is what I do. Yeah. But these places that I've hunted, I, I've hunted for since I was younger, so I'm pretty dialed in on, what, where, what time of the year to run what spots and. It's mostly over corn though.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Yeah. Have you ever, and this is like I said, a different world for me, even though I've hunted some big places and stuff like I don't think I've ever, I.

Glassed up a buck [00:15:00] in velvet and then killed them that fall. Like I, I've gotten pictures of bucks, but usually I'm killing them, way far away from where I see 'em during the summer. Oh, really? Have you ever, yeah usually our buck shift quite a bit. Is that different out there?

Have you No. A buck in velvet and killed him? Pretty close to there.

Trevor Johnson: I've always, Wherever I see these bucks right now is where, they'll be first part of hunting season for sure. And most, and then, they'll, during November, they'll move around, but they'll always come right back to where I see 'em right now.

No it's always where you see 'em right now is where they'll be during hunting season comes around. Yeah. That's weird.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. No I'm jealous. Actually one, one thing that was cool, I got to learn we, we sold this place I don't know, it's been four, four years ago now, I think.

But we had a piece that was pretty long and skinny. And it just so happened it ran north and south. And it just so happened that it had a creek that basically ran down each side. One on the east and one on the west. And we, we had a mile of each one of those creeks, and I had [00:16:00] this one feeder on the north end.

And during the summer I'd get a picture of tons and tons of different bucks on this one feeder. And then right about the end of September, early October, it's like those bucks just picked a creek. And went south. And then that's where I would hunt 'em. I, I was hunting them like three quarters of a mile from where I had 'em all summer.

Really? And it was cool 'cause our place was big enough that I could kinda watch 'em do that shift. But yeah, they'd always go about, half to three quarters of a mile and then that's where their fall range was. So

Trevor Johnson: that's weird. Yeah. Yeah. Right around here. I.

I've always noticed that right? Where, you're, you see 'em this part of the year and start getting truck camera pictures of 'em, that's where you're, if you're gonna kill 'em, that's where it's gonna be

John Hudspeth: mostly Interesting. Interesting. Yeah. So let me ask you this you mentioned you're in flat, mesquite.

Country. Do you do much ground hunting or do you, you know how I'm assuming you don't have many tree stands setups and that's something that I struggle with? No, I have zero. Okay. Zero tree stands. Gotcha. All right.

Trevor Johnson: I definitely, there's a, I've tried [00:17:00] to find some big mesquite trees, but you're then, you're only six feet right off the ground and I'm a big guy and I stick out like a sore thumb, gotcha. It don't work real well. But yeah. Here in the last few years I've started doing more mostly during the rutt, went over at Decoy having a. Having a ultimate predator decoy on my bow and trying some lockdown setups like that. My buddy Brandon he started doing that and I saw him have some success and it's pretty cool to try that out.

But mostly just out of ground blind and on trails or over corn is what I usually do.

John Hudspeth: Man, that the whole decoy thing, again, being where I've always hunted, that's just something I've never really got to experience. I, I'll admit I started watching, whitetail adrenaline a few years ago and got all amped up and went and bought a decoy and I usually pull it out, two or three times a year.

But usually where I am, it's just it's such close quarters that I just feel like it's not super effective. But man, that's, so do you use, you said you have one that attaches to your bow. Do you use, have you ever used one that you like, sit out [00:18:00] in the field or you just run with one

Trevor Johnson: on the boat?

Yeah, I have both of them usually. Okay. What, the last couple years, what I've seen my buddy do and that have seen success from him. He'll have a, a buck out in the field. And then he'll set up, in a cedar tree with a dough decoy on his bow. And it looks like, a dough beded down with a buck out there just watching it.

And he'll start doing some rattling and calling. And he killed a really nice buck here. Oh. It was last year, I believe, that he was just sitting out in the open, he wasn't even a cedar tree and had that on his bow and that decoy out and it came all bristled up and ready to fight and he shot it like 15 yards and just a stud, mature deer.

And it was, that's what opened my eyes to it. And it's just really cool whenever they come in ready to fight like that. But yeah, it's, I've seen it happen several times and it's started to pique my interest and next year I'm definitely gonna try it more.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Yeah. This year my regular listeners are probably sick of me talking about it, but I drew a unit [00:19:00] five Iowa tag this year.

So this will be my first time headed up to Iowa and I have thought long and hard about getting one of those decoys. And, it's, it'll still be fairly. Timbered, I guess where I'm going. But obviously there's a bunch of ag also. But I don't know. And you're a great patient person to ask.

I think, if I'm still working on the dates, but I'm probably gonna be there that first week in November. Most likely. So if it's right at almost peak rutt, do you think the decoy would still be good then? Or is it more of a pre rut

Trevor Johnson: thing? I think it's good throughout the whole thing really.

You just hoping to find a buck that. Is looking for one and sees that buck out there that's locked down and easy to go try to fight him for that dough. But my buddy Brandon, he does it all throughout November and has had luck the whole month. Yeah. But I would assume it's the same up in Iowa.

I went to Kansas a couple years ago and took the decoy and it would've been late October, I believe. And I decoyed in a really nice 10 point that ended up getting downwind before, right before he [00:20:00] got in range. But he was coming in bristled up and it was later October, I believe. And it was, it worked good in Kansas too.

So I'm gonna, I go back in Kansas this next year and gonna hopefully try it again.

John Hudspeth: Nice. I'm hoping to be up there next year as well. I've actually, I've had a Kansas Point for four years now. Really? It was actually about to expire, and so this year, so that, that didn't happen, I bought another point, so I actually have two Kansas points.

I don't know if that's a thing or not. I, but this year I already had so many trips planned and it seems every year I, I'm. Going out west to elk hunt or this year, because I drew Iowa, that's pretty much taken up all my spare vacation time. Yeah. Because I want really dedicate to that hunt, but Oh, yeah.

I'm thinking next year Kansas might be on the books and so

Trevor Johnson: Yeah. I didn't get drawn out last year and I have just got a point and this year I got drawn out, so hopefully I can get one on the ground.

John Hudspeth: Nice. Nice. Very cool. All right. Do Do you have very much luck late season out there, or are you more of a [00:21:00] Rutt guy?

Trevor Johnson: Honestly, I, early season and late season are my favorite. I hate the rutt, honestly, just because all them bucks just go crazy and uhhuh, get killed by neighbors. But yeah no. I've always seemed more dialed in on the early season and late season once, they get on feeding patterns.

Yeah. There's a lot more predictable, but obviously the ruts fun and, it's, you see really cool things, but no I love Lacey and once it. They get ran down and start hitting the food again. Just get a lot more

John Hudspeth: predictable. Yeah. Yeah. I, this sounds crazy to a lot of people, but I've killed more mature bucks in January than I have in November.

I absolutely love the late season. Yeah, I do too. Yeah I've had pretty good luck the last couple years during muzzle loader season. But I, I'm typically saving, like usually I'll kill one buck with either a muzzle loader or a rifle. And I'm usually saving my other tag to archery hunt.

'cause I do a lot more bow hunting and yeah. And so yeah, I, I [00:22:00] love the last two years I've killed a buck. December 28th. Same day, same stand, actually. Yep. And I've killed several on the first, fourth, eighth. You name it,

Trevor Johnson: yep. Yeah, I just love the late season, nasty weather and cold front snow.

Yep. Just always get some mature bucks on their feet.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Do y'all have, I assume y'all have a decent amount of ag ground around you. Is that what you're focusing on late season? Yeah, we have

Trevor Johnson: a lot of, yeah. Yeah. Just transition points from bed to, to food and it's just pretty simple that time of the year it seems and they're all where they are is where they're gonna stay for the rest of the hunting season. And and also it just 'cause, what survived you get out there that time of year when most people are done around here at least are done hunting.

There's not a whole lot of boat hunters around here and it, sometimes it's hard for me to want to kill one, December or January, just because I know they made it through the tough part already. And unless it's just a, one that I've had in my radar the whole time, it's sometimes hard to kill one, just 'cause I know it's survived the hardest part and I want to see it the next year.

But [00:23:00] no, I love late season hunting.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. I'm gonna assume y'all probably have a pretty high deer density over there. Yeah. We've got a lot of deer. Yes, sir. How do, how does that play into late season? 'cause that's one thing that I almost kinda like where I'm at. We really, especially the place I hunt now, we really don't have a very high di deer density.

Like I, I'm in smack dab in the middle of cattle country. So lots of cattle farms, there's still some scattered timber chunks and everything. We still get some good deer but we really don't have that many deer. Yeah. And so I feel like it works as an advantage to me in the late season, but I just picture a southwestern Oklahoma wheat field in, December, January.

You may see 50 to 75 deer. Yeah. Yeah, that's definitely. Does that make things more challenging?

Trevor Johnson: Yeah, it can. It, obviously there's more eyes and more ears and more noses on you, but it's, it is what it is and I don't know if it's more challenging or not, but there are.

A bunch of deer that time of year. They all consolidating the food sources. And there are some big groups, but [00:24:00] I think, if you were hunting them on a, one field and just set up on the field, you'd be a lot harder. But if you're trying to catch 'em between and on, on trails and stuff, you don't have 'em in front of you the whole time.

Yeah. But yeah, there are a

John Hudspeth: lot of deer here. Yeah. I got a random question. So a again, my family we ranch and so I'm used to dealing with cattle and I've had so many people message me about how to deal with cattle and, feeders and food pots and all that stuff. But I don't know if I've ever had somebody on who raises sheep.

And so I wanna ask from your perspective, 'cause I feel like sheep they compete more for resources than cattle do. Cattle are more grass whereas, Deer eating more, shrubs and bushes, but I feel like sheep, that's what they eat also. So talk about kinda the relationship there.


Trevor Johnson: Luckily all our sheep are, here on the farm in the same quarter, running in smaller grass patches and I don't have to compete with them out in the, any of the hunting places that I'm, I do have to compete with cattle a little bit, but no, we don't have to compete with [00:25:00] any sheep, but I would, it probably would be harder having to hunt around sheep.

I don't know if I ever have around any kind of commercial sheep or anything. Yeah. But I hate hunting around cattle. I know that I hate having to fence stuff off and Yeah. If I hunt around, if I have a spot with cattle, I usually just raffle hunt it, and I don't even try setting up for bow hunting on it

John Hudspeth: usually.

Yeah. Yeah, it's it's a blessing and a curse. I tell people that all the time. Yeah. 'cause, most likely we wouldn't have the land if we weren't using it for the cattle. And my dad and my brother, they don't really hunt. My brother hunts a little bit. My dad doesn't hunt at all. And I'm fortunate enough that one, I don't have to compete with them, but two, we do need land for the ranch, and yeah, no man.

But I, yeah, I've always had to battle cattle because again, it doesn't really bother them if the cows get into the timber or into the food plots, but it's not really any skin off their back. And so I'm definitely used to that battle. Yep. Awesome. Yep. Cool man. I'm trying to decide if I want to move on or ask you any more whitetail questions.

You mentioned that you do some Oklahoma elk hunting, and [00:26:00] so I definitely want to cover that. Any other deer topics before we move off of it? Oh, not

Trevor Johnson: that I can think of. I had my best ear. No, it would've been probably the post. I don't know what post you saw. Was it a really tall time?

John Hudspeth: I believe so. Yeah.

Yeah, that,

Trevor Johnson: I think that was from two years ago. And. I killed a buck that I was after for four years, and then later on in November killed just another freak and killed elk that year also. So that was definitely my, my season of a lifetime. Yeah, gonna be hard to beat that, but killed. 350 inches worth of deer and elk on the same year.

It's gonna be tough to beat that. But that was that was a fun season. But yeah, I elk season is always

John Hudspeth: fun around here. Yeah. I wanna hear about that deer real quick first because again, my listeners are probably sick of hearing me talk about 'em, but I have a deer that I've been after for this will be my fifth season knowing about him.

I [00:27:00] passed him as a three year old five years ago, so he's now an eight and a half year old. I had my first real encounter with him last year. I had him at 44 yards. Ride at last light. And I was in a box blind and an old water bottle cracked because it was getting cold and spooked him.

And and yeah. And so the legend continues, but I got a picture of him on July 14th, the only picture I've got of him this year. But, so I know he is still alive. I know he lives on the neighbors, he comes on to us every now and again. And I call him the 2% buck because every year I give myself about a 2% chance of killing him because he just, I know he is there, but he is not very killable.

So give us a little bit on that four year question you just talked about and how it led up to you actually getting them killed. Yeah, this is

Trevor Johnson: probably my the first, long quest with the deer and it just got obsessive and, I, we got pictures of him. He was a three and a half year old deer.

What we assumed was three and a half year old deer just by his body and his head. But his [00:28:00] rack was just, crazy for a three and a half year old deer. He was probably one 60 deer when he was three and a half years old. Just super tall, kind, not very narrow, but heavy. And we were.

Trying to decide if we wanted to hunt him or not. And which it didn't matter if we wanted to or not. He just, he was a ghost. And we had zero opportunities to ever see him in person. And he would summer here and for the first three years of his li or first three years that I hunted him, he, I.

Right before season, he would disappear and it was like every two weeks he would show up on camera one, one night and be gone for, 10 days or two weeks and show up again. And I think for the four years or the, yeah, the four years that I had him on camera and was hunting him, I had him daylight on camera, I think four times.

And I saw him once in person. That was the second year after season, he ran across the road in front of me. And other than that, not until two years ago whenever I killed him, I I just made my mind up, the first three years of hunting him, I was, super careful picking, when I wanted to hunt him, everything had to be perfect.

[00:29:00] And this, that year that I killed him, he had started staying around a little bit longer on camera, closer to season. And I decided that if the wind was decent, I was gonna hunt and. I I think I hunted, I killed him on October 13th and I hunted him. That was the seventh hunt. So I hunted pretty much, every south wind I could get that first two weeks of season.

And he wasn't on camera for those two weeks and finally showed up the 13th about five o'clock, just outta nowhere. If he did show up on daylight, it was, 15 minutes left of light. Usually in the first, the first three times he showed up on camera, but this time my buddy and I had just been set up.

He was filming me and we had been there for about 20 minutes and just done with our opening interviews and stuff. And I look up, here comes a dough, and then here comes a buck that if he was with another buck, it was this buck. So it was a good sign. And then right after I told my buddy that was a good sign that he's coming.

I looked behind him and here comes this tall kind deer. And it was just a weird feeling seeing him [00:30:00] coming in and just have obsessed over that deer and thought about him so much just to see him in the daylight walking towards you. It was a weird feeling, but made a, pretty good shot on him and got him recovered and it was just a.

One of those that I hope I want everybody to, get to experience that kind of relationship with a deer. And, it was almost sucks to close the story on it, but it was a, a fun four years of chasing after him and just a ghost that you never saw and always thought about.

Man that, it was always fun that first picture you got of him, of the year to see that he survived and that it makes you want another relationship with a deer like that, to just to like playing chess with 'em. But it

John Hudspeth: was a fun deal, man.

That sounds so much like the story I have with this deer and I hope mine ends the same way. I was able to chase a deer for multiple years one time. I wanna say I saw him for the first time, or he was like three or four. I ended up killing him at eight and a half. But he was about 120 inch deer, he wasn't a big deer.

It is and part of the reason he lives so [00:31:00] long is 'cause I wasn't really hunting him, if he would've came by earlier, I probably would've shot him. But yeah, that last year I did. I didn't have much else. And so I did actually hunt him and got him killed that last year. But I learned a ton from it.

Oh yeah. Yeah. And so yeah, anytime you can have a relationship like that with the deers Yeah. Is really cool.

Trevor Johnson: And it, just from when he was young, he just acted, he was never a young deer. He, it was always just a super smart deer that, it was just crazy. I've never Yeah.

Been hunted the deer that was like that and, it's just fun. You learn a lot from 'em and it's just so much more rewarding to, harvest a deer like that. Yeah. And it helps that, if they're big, but I'd much rather kill 120 inch eight year old deer than a 160 inch, four and a half year old deer.

Yeah. But yeah, it was definitely a fun, fun hunt.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. And that's one thing I'm still trying to figure out with this buck. I can't figure out if he's just that smart or if we're just, That much on his outer range, and

Trevor Johnson: I think that was, part of it. We were definitely on his outer range.

'cause I had a buddy that [00:32:00] was a mile away that he was also having a few encounters with him. More encounters than me actually. And but I think we were just out on his outer range where he would. Come and hang out on us for a little bit. And he just started getting a little more comfortable and more comfortable, later into the season.

So I think that was part of it, just being on his outside of his range. But he definitely didn't daylight ever and whenever he was on, on a night camera, you can tell that he just didn't wanna be there. Yeah. He always seemed on alert and just acted different than any of the other bucks I've ever hunted.

Yeah. Yeah.

John Hudspeth: Awesome, man. You teased us a little with the elk and so I wanna make sure we can get there. Yeah, tell us a little bit about Oklahoma Elk honey. I think I wanna say this is gonna be episode 137, somewhere in there. And out of all those, I think I've only done two Elk episodes because it's just Oh, really?

Yeah. It's just a, a rare thing. Yeah, I've been putting in for the draw hunts just like everybody else in the state and never drawn it. So yeah, I definitely want to touch on that. So from somebody who's, blessed enough to [00:33:00] get to hunt them on a fairly regular basis just talk a little bit about 'em, what you've learned from 'em.

Feel free to tell us a hunt or some kind of story and just everything you can tell us, yeah. So I'm

Trevor Johnson: very fortunate to have some family that. Has a centennial farm down in the mountains that their parents, were raised on. And I've just, I've been able to hunt it for, oh, the last 10 years or so, and I think I've killed I think five bulls off of it so far.

But it's a half section butts up to a mountain and has part of a draw that. Comes onto it, that is a real hot spot for elk and I think I killed my first one in 2014, I think, with a rifle. And I've killed the last two I've killed, have been with my bow, but it's definitely a blast.

I think I think I've killed three with my bow, but last year was my biggest with my bow. I me and my buddy, or we elk hunt, we take turns. I think I got the first [00:34:00] day and he got the second day. Then his, he was supposed to have the third day, but his kid got sick and so I got to go out and that ended up being the best day of calling and got one killed.

But, It's a it's a whole different game than white tail. Just being mobile and on your feet and it's, I've learned a lot about, and just just trying to get, the big thing I've learned is, them bulls that are wanting to talk a little bit, you're just trying to get in their bubble to where they.

They'll hang up and talk to you all day. But, unless you're, moving to them sometimes and, get to where they're, you're a little closer than they want you to be. And that kind of seems to what has made the last few that I've called in, commit, finally getting closer to 'em and moving to 'em.

But it's a different kind of rush and. Two years ago I killed one with a bow. We caught in and it was like six yards on the other side of a bush from me. And just stood there for a couple minutes and I was finally able to, I took a couple steps and squeezed one, [00:35:00] squeezed an arrow through a little hole in the bush, and it was 10 yards at most.

But it's crazy, having 1 15, 20 yards away from you, bugling, it's, it'll shake you. Yeah.

John Hudspeth: Now it's a cool experience. I've done a decent amount of western elk hunting, like I went to school in Idaho and everything. And the weeks everybody really wanted to be there was like the second to third week of September.

That's when everybody thought was the peak and they were the loudest and stuff. But correct me if I'm wrong, Oklahoma, the archery has been open until October.

Trevor Johnson: Yeah, we're in the special Southwest zone. There's no quota for us. Gotcha. And we have a short season, I think the rest of the zones, maybe one other one is different, but I think the rest of 'em are just like deer season October one through January 15th maybe.

But ours this year, I think starts October 7th in our zone. Gotcha. And you have five days of. Bow season, and then rifle season opens up for four days. So October 7th through 15th, I guess it'd be maybe this year. Gotcha. And you're, [00:36:00] it always seems in the past that you're catching the, the tail end of the rutt for them.

And after a few days of all the hunters out there calling, it gets tough and they get quiet. But hopefully, those first two days they're really talkative and. And real responsive, but yeah, I, we'll see. Yeah, it's ba it's, they got moved back just a few days this year, I think.

And so hopefully that doesn't hurt us too bad.

John Hudspeth: Gotcha. Yeah, that's I was curious like I said, I just wasn't sure if they were shutting up by then, or, maybe 'cause nobody hunted them in September that they're still being pretty vocal. So do you because I feel like pressure's probably a little less.

Do you feel like they're not necessarily easy to hunt, but easier than maybe going to an O T C unit in Colorado or Idaho or something like that? I'm

Trevor Johnson: sure it is easier. Yeah. With a lot less pressure, because I can tell, once the hunters are out there for a few days, they definitely act differently.

Yeah. So I can't imagine, having everybody and their dog out on public land chasing them how different they [00:37:00] act. But There's a, I have a buddy that hunts, right across the fence from me. And luckily we have a good relationship and are able to, avoid each other a little bit and help each other out on not, being on top of each other.

And it helps out quite a bit, but but yeah, I can definitely tell a difference, three, four days into the season, you know how the elk, I've heard some not so good calling and Yeah. And they are a little bit hesitant, but usually those first two days there's been some really fun hunts where, you call 'em five or six bulls into your lap and it's a, it's definitely my favorite, probably my favorite week of the year

John Hudspeth: for hunting.

Yeah. Yeah. I can't imagine there's too many world championship. Elk callers from Oklahoma, so I'm sure they, I'm sure they hear some interesting

Trevor Johnson: things. Yeah. I do a lot of co calling and I just use one of my mouthpiece or my, my mouth calls. And just try to halfway sound like a cow. Yeah.

If you want me to bugle, then you're have to find somebody else. Yeah. I don't do much bugling. Yeah. Yeah.

John Hudspeth: But. A [00:38:00] again, I feel like you're kinda, living a lot of people's dreams that have grown up here and get to hunt, fairly often and stuff. Have y'all kinda reached a point to where you're like, managing that land a little bit?

Or is it still kinda like first bull kill it? Or are y'all trying ha have you gotten to where you pass

Trevor Johnson: the bull? No we're all about. Yeah. We're all about management, especially on white tail and getting to more, since me and my buddy have killed a couple bulls we're definitely, we're not shooting the first legal bull or, really even the first decent bull.

We're trying to. I don't think he killed one last year. I didn't kill one the year before. We'll go a year without killing, a bull, not just killing one to kill one. We're, we have some good neighbors that are, passing on the younger bulls and, taking some cold bulls.

So it's definitely trying to manage them a little bit, just hunting the mature ones just like you would in white toe. But it's

John Hudspeth: it's a lot of fun. Yeah. What is a legal bull in Oklahoma?

Trevor Johnson: They have to have five on one side, I believe. Gotcha. Okay. Or for our zone at least, I think, I don't know about the other zones.

Yeah. One side [00:39:00] has to have five points.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Gotcha. But do y'all I feel like maybe, no. Do y'all ever do any just like basically white to hunting for elk? Do you have any like tree stands set up or blinds or anything like that? Or are y'all trying to really just, call 'em in like you would out west?

During that first

Trevor Johnson: season, it's just out west hunting, just boots on the ground, calling. And then there's a season in December, same thing, five days of archery and five, four days of rifle. And if you're lucky enough, if we're lucky enough to have 'em on us still they're hitting, ag fills by the end and there's not one close. You can hunt them like you would deer, over corner alfalfa. But. Most part it's just on the ground calling them.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Man, that's like I said very jealous. Just I'm sure a lot of people are, but Oh yeah, I know how lucky I am.

Yeah. I'm sure you do. And one cool thing is it seems like you're hearing. More and more stories of elk popping up here, elk popping up here and growing populations? Oh yeah, for sure. I had a guy on who was fortunate [00:40:00] enough to draw, one of the tags out there. I think that was last December, maybe December four last.

And he was just talking about how. Like I said, it wasn't necessarily easy, but he just said, you see so many elk. And so that is very encouraging to hear. And hopefully there'll be more opportunities popping up for everybody else soon.

Trevor Johnson: Yeah, they definitely are moving.

Their range is getting bigger. We about three years ago, we started having a batch of group of bulls here by the house, and we're about five miles from the mountains. And once we're planting Milo, they'd hang out in Mesquite and eat Milo all summer. But that's, and they're just still moving north and farther north than they have ever, and you'll, every year you'll see 'em somewhere different than you ever have.

Yeah, it's exciting to see, Here in 10 years what the elk will be doing and where

John Hudspeth: they'll be. Absolutely. I hope some of 'em stray into my part of the world. Yeah. Probably not down in the cattle country where I'm at though. Cool man. You mentioned also that you are part of the, my World Outdoors Team.

Why don't you tell us a little bit about that?

Trevor Johnson: Yeah, [00:41:00] so 2017, I think it is I didn't know at the time, but Brandon Adams, he was with Major League Bow Hunter at the time. He was a producer. He was doing his own kind of personal project. He was, did this series called Slammed, and it was he hunted all five big game animals.

In Oklahoma with his bow in one year. Or was trying to kill all of 'em in one year and he couldn't, he had an elk property lined up, it fell through, and then he was having a really hard time finding an elk property to. To kill the elk. But he got a, through friends of friends, he got ahold of me and I was able to put on, put him on an elk down here.

And we grew a relationship friendship through that. And then after a year or two he, he left major league boat hunters and. Started his own thing with a buddy with my world. And they were on just kind of social platforms for a couple years. And then once they started doing the sportsman channel, he [00:42:00] asked me if I wanted to join the team as a.

Field staff or whatever you wanna call 'em, and film all my hunch for them. And that's where it went. And I've, we're on the second season of being on the sportsman channel and we're about to kick things off. And so the filming stuff is a whole different world.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Yeah. I I like a lot of young men thought I was gonna be a television star when I was younger and did a decent amount of filming and.

I think I've told this story before on here, but I I finally got a bow kill on film shot. This buck perfectly centered in the frame, self filming, just beautiful footage. But when I was filming the recovery, I. A stick caught the cord where my microphone plugged into the camera and pulled it like, just part of the way out.

Not all the way, but part of the way. To where it was no longer recording with the camera audio or the microphone. Oh, yeah. And of course I was all excited and jazzed up and so I got, I filmed my little interview with the deer and everything [00:43:00] and and it was hot that day, and so I. Put the camera down and, went ahead and gutted him and cut 'em all up and everything.

And then I went to watch the footage and realized that I had no audio over the past, like three quarters of it. And that made me so mad that I still carry the camera every now and again. But, yeah. Definitely realized the whole, living on a prayer. Putting all your eggs into the filming basket was not for me.


Trevor Johnson: yeah, I was, I had started filming, a couple years before I started filming for my world, just on my own filming mine and family hunts, just mostly just the cool stuff. The, the the actual. The hunt and the kill wasn't doing a whole lot of interviews and stuff, but, and once I started, filming for my world, it's a whole different world.

Having to worry about, audio and making sure you're in focused and in framed and all the interviews, all the checkpoints you have to hit and, it's fun though. But yeah, it definitely adds a lot of pressure to the hunt. And I do a lot of self filming, so that makes it even harder.

But it's a challenge and it's fun. I enjoy it. Lots of opportunities. From, getting to meet new people and go to different places and [00:44:00] hunt different areas. So it's been a cool experience

John Hudspeth: for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Let me ask you this. Do you, when you're doing your filming, do you use any kind of bow mounted camera, or is the footage just to shaking everything to use?

Last year I

Trevor Johnson: got I think it was tactic cam. I had it a stabilizer mount, but I've usually, if I run something on my bow, it's just a GoPro that's facing me for my, reactions and stuff. I don't really care for the, outward facing. Yeah. Views and stuff, they never really seemed to turn down.

They usually just have my big camera, out on the deer, and then have several GoPros and stuff, of different angles and from behind and stuff. It's, I don't know, it's I've never really cared for the mounted, yeah. Cameras on my bow.

John Hudspeth: Yeah, I have the old original tac cam.

And yeah, just from my experience I've filmed, shooting a couple hogs and maybe two deer or something like that. And just when you shoot your bow, just the vibration and yeah. [00:45:00] A lot of times you drop in your bow and everything, drop your bow. Yep. Usually like the main reason I've done is just to see where I hit.

And usually you can accomplish that, you knows. Yeah. Just so you know, for the recovery purposes. But yeah, as far as usable footage, I just feel like it's, yeah, it's just not great, especially if you're trying to go, full TV quality. Yeah. I'll

Trevor Johnson: throw one on my bow whenever I'm elk hunting, just to have another one.

For backup. And last year ended up use, getting able, being able to use, part of that bow footage, but yeah, it's, There's a few places where you can use 'em, but I've never had much luck with 'em.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. Okay cool, man. We got started a little bit of late because of my fault, so I don't want to keep you too long.

No, you're fine. But real quick before we let you go I wanna give you a chance to just shout out anything you wanna shout out, whether it be, your TV stuff, Instagram, whatever you wanna do, where, if people hear this and wanna come find you, where should they go? I'm

Trevor Johnson: pretty easy to find on Instagram, if I think it's under Trevor Johnson.

Maybe Trevor t Johnson is my handle name, but if you want to look up [00:46:00] my world outdoors, we're on, all social platforms and we're on the Sportsman channel. Just had our first couple episodes this year starting up, and we've got a. A really good year of content coming out. And Brandon, one of the owners, my buddy, he he did the Texas Slam last year, so he's coming out with, another slammed series on Texas and but really just my world thing.

It's it's been a lot of fun. And if you wanna check it out, look us up.

John Hudspeth: Awesome man. Awesome. Trevor, I really appreciate you coming on. This has been fantastic. Yeah, thanks for having me's been super educational and so I don't know about that. No it's always, like I said, it's always fun to hear to somebody from a different part of the state and so I appreciate you coming on and we'll talk to you later.

I appreciate it, John. There it is, folks. Thank you Trevor for coming on another great episode and thank you guys for sticking with me through the late spring and summer. I know things can get a little dry. You're not really focused on hunting, but believe it or not, like I keep saying, Hunting [00:47:00] is just right around the corner.

So I already have a few awesome guests lined up for the next couple weeks. And then after that, like we're gonna be jumping straight into the season. So whether you're a deer hunter, a bear hunter, a elk hunter, a duck hunter, a varmint hunter, or hog hunter, whatever it might be, we're gonna have that content coming up right around the corner before you know it.

So stick with me. We've almost made it through the doldrums of summer and things are gonna be start sorry. Things are going to start picking up very quickly. So another huge shout out to all you guys. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for all the support, and we will see you right back here next week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast.[00:48:00]

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