Opening Day Buck with Amy McTauge

Show Notes

We have our first successful hunt episode of the fall! Special guest Amy McTauge joins John this week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast to talk about her opening day buck. Amy is still fairly new to hunting, but likes to challenge herself every year with a new method or weapon of some kind. This year's challenge was to harvest a deer with her bow from a tree stand, and as you can see it didn't take her long to accomplish that goal!

This episode isn't all about storytelling though, Amy is also a full time taxidermist and owner of Prime Time Taxidermy. She gives listeners some helpful tips on how to take care of an animal for transportation and delivery to the taxidermist, some helpful skinning tips, and even teaches John a few things he has been doing wrong. John and Amy cover caping deer, skinning bear, what to do with a bobcat, and how there's no need to cut up your moms pantyhose to keep a ducks feathers organized. 

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 will be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Oklahoma Outdoors podcast. I am your host John Hutsmith and we have a absolutely jam packed show. And so I actually took notes this time. Got them sitting here in front of me because I have Quite a bit of stuff that I want to cover in this intro before we get into the main event.

So I want to do a little bit of gear talk here. I got a couple new things that I'm gonna be running this year that I'm really excited about and I thought it was worth telling you guys about. So first off, I am almost officially a saddle hunter. I think [00:01:00] I might have mentioned it. Good ol Andrew from the Ohio Outdoors Sportsman's Empire.

He hooked me up with a tethered, I believe it's the Elite saddle. And he shipped it down to me from Ohio. I got it ready to go with that. But he kept a lot of his ropes and everything. And I was talking to my buddy Charles, who had let me borrow his saddle. When I went on my Nebraska trip, and he said he actually had a couple extra ropes and stuff like that he would give me.

And I remember, I got on Tethered's website. And I was ordering some other stuff, because he was like, Hey, I'm gonna need like the carabiners, and a platform, and all that stuff, I put all this stuff in the cart online, but I didn't actually hit, buy because I wanted to wait to see, what Charles had, what all he was gonna give me, so I met up with Charles, I gave him his stuff back, he brought me some of his extra stuff, and yeah, he helped me out a lot, gave me some some tethered, er, yeah, tether ropes, not the brand, but the actual rope and stuff like that. And I swear that I went back and hit Confirm [00:02:00] on my order, but I was looking through it today because nothing had shown up and I couldn't find any trace that I had Actually ordered all this stuff. No emails, no shipping stuff So yeah, I guess I just didn't actually hit or ever hit confirm And so I actually just went in earlier today and re you know filled everything in my cart And did actually get a confirmation email this time.

And so the rest of my saddle gears on the way should have it in plenty of time for Iowa. And hopefully do a little, public land hunting around here before I go to I, mostly I just want to practice with that stuff. Climb up and down and hunt and shoot and all that good stuff.

So yes, saddle stuff, I'm officially going to be good to go as soon as those last few things come in. One other random gear thing that I wanted to throw out there. If y'all listen to my Nebraska episode, I was very unhappy with my pack situation. I used the big pack that my buddy Randy had bought me on my elk hunt when all my stuff got stolen.

And it, it fit everything, I could carry [00:03:00] everything, but once I actually got to the tree and got set up, it was just way too big and bulky and didn't have, it didn't have enough... stuff, like my release and my headlamp and batteries and knife. You don't need a lot of space for that type of stuff.

And generally when I'm whitetail hunting at home, that's really all I need. And so I was looking around online and went to a couple of stores and just wasn't really finding anything that I needed. And then it happened super randomly actually, I I got an email from Cabela's, and it was, Whitetail Gear Sale or something, and so I clicked on it, and I found this thing, it's called the Sitka Tool Belt, and I think they have one I think they have a full pack called the Tool Box maybe, but this is the Tool Belt, and it's really like a fanny pack, and never been a big fan.

I've always felt like it was limited, but I got to look at this one because it was 40 percent off, that was part of it. Normally very expensive, and still pretty expensive being 40 percent off, but the more I looked at it, [00:04:00] the more I liked it. It's got a pretty big pouch. The pouch has like a little Oh, like a piece of plastic's not the right word.

Like on a lot of packs it'd be like a piece of bone or something that you put through a hole and turn sideways and that's how it latches. So it doesn't have velcro, doesn't have zippers, doesn't have anything loud like that. Just has the nice little latch. It comes with two like bottle holders on each side, but they're pretty oversized.

Like you could fit a Nalgene in there. But the thought I had was like my range finder, but you put your range finder in there, but both those also, you can just hit two little clips and those pop off if you don't want those on there. So it has some custom customability but then the thing that really sold me was it actually has shoulder straps.

And so if you're like really weighing it down or you have to go a long way, or maybe you're just wearing a lot of clothes that are real bulky and it's not going to stay up very well. You can throw those shoulder straps on and it'll help it stay up and what kind of really sold me on that was like one of the hunts I did in Nebraska [00:05:00] To carry my sticks in the platform Charles let me borrow like his little pack that holds the platform and has thin little shoulder straps And that's how I carried my stuff in and so with this Fanny pack thing I could put that on and then still put the saddle backpack on, and then I have all my gear, my sticks, and my saddle platform all on my back, and my hands are completely free, minus carrying my bow.

All that to say, like I said, it was expensive, but I got it 40 percent off, I think I ended up spending like 110 or 120 bucks on it, or something like that. But just very excited, like I think it's the perfect size and very mobile, and when I get in the tree I can use the shoulder straps to hang it on a hook or something.

It'll be right at the level that I need it at. Like I said, easy to grab stuff in and out and just really excited about it. So anyway, I wanted to throw that little piece of gear tip out there. This last weekend. So this last weekend was opening weekend. Oh, welcome to deer season, by the way.

And bear [00:06:00] season and elk season and antelope season. I've seen online, you people are getting after it and congratulations to all you who were We're successful opening weekend, but myself, I didn't have a very good opening weekend. I was hoping to get off early Friday. That didn't happen, so I ended up getting out to the ranch late Friday.

Saturday really my only goal was to get my food plots planted. And if you listened to my episode last week, you heard me go on and on about how I wasn't sure if I should plant them, or wait, or all that, and, the wind, and we had an east wind, and blah, blah, blah. So basically, I got up there, and, I kept checking the weather, and it was just solid east wind.

East wind no doubt about it, it was gonna be an east wind. And basically, the decision that I made... Was I didn't feel like I could hunt on that east wind. It was also still, burning hot And I looked ahead and I saw this upcoming cold front that we'll talk about in a minute And I just decided that it would be better To stay out and wait and also like I [00:07:00] really want to get my food plots in because there's a big chance of rain This week and I know you know, actually the Episode we did last week.

We talked to Keith, you know from stratton seed and he was talking about how you know You didn't want to wait too much longer before you got that seed in the ground So all that to say I decided to forget hunting and just finish all my prep work And I know I preached that all that stuff should be done But, again, with the food plots, I tried to plan them two weeks ago, I couldn't get the equipment had other obligations, and so this was my last chance, and it took me like a half a day, of course, to get all of our equipment together and operating and air, in the tires and all that good stuff. Got it over there, had my seed. Got my first plot, the big one in the back, completely planted. I did that one first, cause, just in case I was gonna be able to hunt.

I wanted to just disturb that one as least as possible. Did the big one first, and then something happened on my way to the second one, the one that's in the saddle. I don't know if I caught a limb, or a [00:08:00] root, or what, it's pretty rough and woolly back there where I'm hunting. But, I get to my second plot, I drop the disc down on the no till drill, start going forward, and I look back and I realize nothing's turning.

And so I raise it, back up, put it down, try it again, nothing. Look back, and I see that a chain is loose hanging off the sprockets. So I go back there, luckily I had my little tool bag get that chain put back on, feeling pretty good about it. Get back in the tractor, start going again, still nothing.

I'm like, what the heck is going on here? Climb down again, go back there, I'm looking around, and I see another chain hanging down. And sure enough, it was the drive chain. The one that goes like around the wheel and initiates everything. Turns all the gears. At first I thought it had just come out, come off also, but I start looking at it, I see it in dangling, which is never a good sign and looked a little closer.

And again, I don't know if it caught on something or what, but the master link was [00:09:00] gone. I don't, maybe it just got old and worn down and the pin came out or something. But, all that to say, at this point, it's like 4. 30 or something on Saturday in a small town, and you're just not getting that fixed under those conditions.

And that was pretty much it for the drill. And luckily, I had one... bag of seed that I had not put in the drill yet. And that one bag of seed was actually perfect for that little food pot I was about to plant. With the rain coming and everything, I decided, what the heck, I'm just gonna throw it out here.

So I just went around, I had a little styrofoam cup, and just broadcasted it by hand. Didn't have a way to drag it or anything like that. But just broadcasted it all the way across the plot, and then, took the tractor back to the house and everything, got it unhooked I've pretty much decided that I'm done with the drill even though it would still be nice to get my last two plots, really drilled and seeded good it's just so much hassle and work to get everything back there.

We like, our drill is about [00:10:00] 16 and a half feet wide and most of our gates are about 16 feet 2 inches. And so you have to take this super long winding route. And like I said, it's just a huge hassle. I love having access to all this equipment. I know I sound kind of spoiled talking about it.

But honestly the equipment is a little bit too big to be used for like food plot, hidey hole food plot type things. So yeah, so that was pretty much it for the planting. I went to. Walmart, and that was the only place I could think of that I might be able to get some kind of food plot seed.

And sure enough, they had a couple bags of I think it was Evolved Harvest 7 Card Stud. And I actually liked the look of the seed mix. I don't know about the quality of the seed, but the mix looked pretty good. And the next morning on Sunday, I went out and my third food plot that I didn't get to, I went ahead and just broadcasted a bunch of that seed out, again, by hand.

And it sounds like I'm recording this intro on Wednesday and we're supposed to get this big storm coming through tonight. I'm hoping that stuff gets a big hard, [00:11:00] soaking type rain on it and it should be okay. A lot of those cereal grain, a lot of the mix was just wheat and rye, oats some turnips, I think a few radishes, stuff like that.

And all that stuff, it it's fairly easy to grow. Obviously it's better if you can drill it in. But I think I should at least get something so yes, food plots essentially are done. I can't say I'm super happy with them. But it is what it is at this point. I'm not messing with them anymore, I don't think.

So yeah, got that stuff done. My blinds I think I told you guys, I, I set the one blind up that had blown over, but it was really uneven. And so I brought a concrete block with me to put underneath one of the legs. Straighten it right up. The door closes and everything now, so that was super exciting.

It definitely leans a little bit to the right, but I can deal with that. The other blind in the saddle that was so low last year from the bulls rubbing on it and pushing the legs out while I was back there planning. Use the forks, lift that thing up. Again, I had some concrete blocks I had brought with me.

[00:12:00] Slid those under the front legs, so that one's pretty good to go. And, that's basically it. I think everything else is good to go. All my feeders are filled and running. All my cameras are field and running. I do have one cell cam that's not sending me pictures. And so I actually have an antenna. I just didn't have a pole to put it on.

And next time I'm up there, I'm going to take a pole with me, attach an antenna to it, and hopefully get that one to where it's sending pictures. So all that to say hunting wise, not a great weekend. But I do feel like I made the right decision I needed to get that stuff in the ground just for the entire season.

I have since gotten pictures of all the bucks I was getting, still in daylight and stuff after I did all the planting and everything. Didn't screw anything up stone is still coming in pretty much every day in daylight he didn't. I think Saturday, I think the night I planted, he came in a little bit later.

Which, with the tractor driving around and stuff, that made sense. I was prepared for that. The next night he was back, last night he was back. So yeah, still very, still [00:13:00] feeling very good that I can kill that buck hopefully this weekend. Yeah, very excited about that. What else is on my list here?

Oh, yes, this upcoming cold front. It's time to play hooky, guys. I I, yes, the conditions are perfect these bucks are coming in, in daylight and so I am pretty sure I'm gonna work like a half day on Thursday and maybe not work at all on Friday, and I'm gonna hunt Thursday evening for sure.

Not sure how I feel about Friday morning, I haven't had a lot of activity in the mornings but if I don't kill Thursday, I'm gonna stay and hunt Friday evening as well. And then probably Saturday morning, like it's supposed to dip down quite a bit that that night. If anything, I need to kill some coyotes and some hogs.

Been getting lots of pictures of those. But yes very hopeful. And I know y'all are going to be listening to this kind of after the front is through, but I will just tell you anyway. This first big cold front of the year during hunting season, you need to be hunting. If it's too late for you this year, put that on the calendar for next year.[00:14:00]

Because these first real big drops in temperatures, it's gonna drop over 10 degrees, you need to be out there. Alright, I've already been going for 15 minutes, so probably tr time to transition into the actual episode. This week we have one of my favorite guests on, we have Miss Amy Matej, and she is a female taxidermist.

Female hunter, and she has just been rocking it the last couple years. She is big on goals, and she does not quit until she accomplishes those goals. And so that's why I admire her so much. She also does fantastic taxidermy work. She's done, I believe, two shoulder mounts for me now the last two years. And she just has so much passion.

For her work and does such a good job and just a really good person So so tonight we're talking to Amy She already has a buck on the ground as well as her son already has a buck on the ground And so yes, just very excited for it our first Yep. Yep. Sorry. I had to double check myself our first [00:15:00] successful deer hunt of the year right here on this episode So hope you guys are ready for it Please help me welcome Amy in After we hear a quick word from our sponsors.

Thank you guys for tuning in. Lots of good stuff coming up and we will get into the episode after a quick word from our partners 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, Rivado 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 BravadoWireless. com or check them out at one of their retail locations. Bravado Wireless, the power of connection. Hey everybody, welcome to the show and today we have one of my favorite guests on.

Miss Amy, how you doing?

Amy McTauge: I am doing wonderful, John. Thank you for having me [00:16:00] on your podcast.

John Hudspeth: Absolutely. I always enjoy having you on and you're just so fun to keep up with. You're so goal oriented and you work so hard to accomplish those goals. And yeah, I love following along with you and everything.

And we're going to talk about a little bit about that today and share your story and everything. But before we get there real quick, why don't you just give everybody a quick little introduction of who you are?

Amy McTauge: Wow that's a very limited, how would I describe myself? I am Amy with Primetime Taxidermy.

I was once a dental hygienist of 20 plus years and now I own and operate my own taxidermy shop and I am starting my third year this October and I'm an avid hunter. outdoorsman, love to fish, love to, be outside period, but I'm a mom of four boys and grandma, and I just love life and [00:17:00] I love sharing my journey.

And I just, I absolutely love everything that I'm

John Hudspeth: doing right now. Yeah, exactly. That's why it's so fun to follow along. I feel like you're just like, hey, this is what I want to do, and I'm going to do it. And don't, and get out of my way while I do.

Amy McTauge: Yeah, I feel like a bull in a china cabinet sometimes, but you know what, if There will be a homemade.

That's all I'm going to say. And I will leave an impression.

John Hudspeth: That's right. That's right. Awesome, Amy. I don't want to talk about this book that you just killed. It was opening day, correct? Yes, sir. It was that evening. Okay. And we were talking a little bit about this before we started recording, but it seems like there's just been an above average amount of.

Early season success. Like I saw so many good deer, on social media and stuff. They were killed opening day and even a few days after opening day, which to me oddly doesn't make sense because it's so hot. And, I tend to almost. Preach [00:18:00] not hunting opening day. Cause usually just the conditions aren't right.

But for whatever reason this year, and I would say the conditions weren't right, but still it just seemed I'm wondering if maybe the drought had something to do with it. If deer more reliant on feeders or food plots or something, I don't know, but it just seems like a lot of deer have gone down already.

Amy McTauge: That's what I was thinking because where I hunt, there is no grass. There is no. Everything's falling. It's the deer are coming in. They are in the woods, but it's, they're going to the feeders regularly and all that other stuff where my buck was in an area that does not have a feeder.

We did put some mineral out. But it was, in the trees in a certain spot. And that was just my goal was to get a deer or get a buck with my compound bow. That was my goal. And so went out. Opening morning, I couldn't wait. Of course it, it is like a national holiday. That's exactly what it's become for me.

And Of course I, there, [00:19:00] there were does around me, there was, but nothing would give me the right shot. And it, they scattered about 10 o'clock and I was like, okay, it's going to get 90 degrees. And about that time, my son texted me and he had gotten a monster buck and Of course, my granddaughters were super excited about that.

And I was like, man, why didn't that big one come in for me? And of course, that's what everybody thinks. And my granddaughter, my oldest one who does hunt a lot, she was crying because daddy got one before her. So she'll be the next one to get it. But

John Hudspeth: now we're y'all hunting on the same property or we all in different places.

Amy McTauge: Okay. No, completely. He's hunting up in Northern North central Oklahoma. I'm in Southern part and Like I said, I told my husband, I was like, I'm going to go take advantage because I have just a limited days to hunt because life happens. And another grandson is going to be born. And and deer season is going to be very active.

And I was just super excited. I was just like I'm going to, I'm going to go on out. I don't know what's going to happen. So I went to the

John Hudspeth: same [00:20:00] spot. Hold on a second before we get there. I do want to back up just a little bit before we get into that story. Yeah. Yeah, I was going to ask like.

All leading up to opening day, like you mentioned, y'all put some mineral out. Were y'all running feeders? Did you have cameras running? Were you after this buck or had you did you know he existed? Okay.

Amy McTauge: Yes. We knew he was, he existed cause he was an older buck and, declining in health. I, we knew that from watching him. We had seen him and he did not pattern himself by no means. It was just he kept coming every day to a different feeder, different location, different places and stuff like that. And we'd see him in passing, whenever we checked our cameras, yes, we checked our cameras regularly.

We had him running. We knew what was out there. But it was, like I said, if he, it was one of those that one of us. Hopefully we would get him that was my husband and I is okay, yeah, he's an older buck. We need to take him out if we could. [00:21:00] Okay, and that was it. That was the conversation.

John Hudspeth: Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. All right. Now we'll fast forward so tell us a little bit about this stand. You mentioned this is your first year from a tree stand, right? Yes. Okay. So tell us about, setting it up, where it was, how you decided to put it there and all that good stuff.

Amy McTauge: It was in for one, I do not like walking to a deer stand, period.

I'm one of those that if I could put bells on and run the whole way, I would, I am terrified because of the hogs and I know they'll run the other way, but I am terrified. We found this little opening in this tree line and John and I had discussed, my husband and I had discussed, that this area, because there was a little opening about.

No, 45 yards, I'd say inside the tree line. And we were like, I think that tree, and then there was some lanes that kept going, sprouting off of there. And so we [00:22:00] opened that area up just a little bit more to where they had a little bit more room. And John has a lot of skid steer business that he does, and he made the clearing just a little bit more to where those deer, they had walkways.

They don't like to, our deer, they love the lanes that they can travel in and that's exactly what they did. They started traveling those lanes. And like I said, during the summer, we put mineral out and there was a block and a camera, and that was all that we had in this area. And we put this tree stand up and the first day in the morning, I was looking at.

The deer that were below me and I'm like, they're 10 to 12 yards away from me. And I'm like, that is really close. And I, the whole time I was just watching and I'm like, I cannot even breathe. If I blink, they're going to see me. And they did, they ended up, they did see me during the morning.

And like I said, I was really doubtful for [00:23:00] the evening, but I was going to go no matter what. And so I told John, I was like, I just, I said, I'm going to go again. I said, we're going to have to move the tree stand. I think I said, because it's just too, it's too close to everything. And it's right out in the open.

We just, I was, I did it myself. I told him this is where I wanted it. And so he let me. Figure this out. Remember I am a new hunter in all of this. So I'm learning as I go and he was like okay, we'll put it here and So I don't even know what time it was But anyways, I went out there early like I do because I love to sit there and I love to just absorb Nature that was outside, just enjoying it and it wasn't bad because it was in the trees The sun was, not beating down on me.

It wasn't super hot and oh, I guess it was about five, five 30. I noticed that. The shadows started running down this tree line that where I come in [00:24:00] at, and that gave me enough time to stand up in my tree stand. And before I'd gone out, I had talked with John about, okay, now, when I'm in the tree stand, at what point do I stand up?

What point do, how do I do this? How do you know, explain to me? And he was walking me through it. And he goes. I stand up on the seat, cause I'm anchored to the tree and I'm like, I don't trust myself for that. So that's not what I did. And so when he, when I saw this deer, cause I didn't know if it was a buck or a doe coming down the trail or, the tree line, I stood up and then I had my bow angled down at the ground, just ready to go.

And when he walked in, I'm like, Oh my gosh, that's him. That's the book. That is the Cole book. And so I just took a slow, deep breath to try to calm my nerves because instantly I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. And he walked in, [00:25:00] looked directly at me. Like I said, I'm direct, I'm right in his line of sight.

I'm not hidden in the trees, which was wrong. I found that out. All of this, I did everything wrong, but that's

John Hudspeth: how you learn. That's how you learn.

Amy McTauge: That's how you learn. And my husband's very good at letting me make my mistakes on this. He'll tell me, he'll advise me, and I'm like, no, I can do it this way.

And that's usually our conversations. And he goes I told you. But he, this buck was meandering around the trees, and just looking and then he'd stop. And, just. It was a slow move, but he got within 10 yards and was looking directly at me. And I'm like trying to be as still as possible.

Like I said, I'm not up against the tree. My legs are up against the seat of the tree stand. That is the only thing that is keeping me still from swaying and from him seeing me. And I, like I said, I still do not know how, he did not [00:26:00] see me. Of course, I'm decked out in camo and everything like that. My face painted, but

John Hudspeth: I'm just this How high how high were you?

Amy McTauge: Ooh. Honestly, I don't know. I 15, 20 feet. Okay. Let put this way high enough to hurt myself. .

John Hudspeth: That's a good way to put it. That's a very good way to put it. I did that.

Amy McTauge: I did that two years ago. I know. High enough to hurt myself. But anyways, I, he looked at me several times at 10 yards.

And I did not move a muscle. And, but like I said, I don't know how he did not see my broadhead jumping off my bow because it was pounding. And he walked to where the mineral was in the ground and was sniffing around there and he stood up, not stood up, he looked up and then he looked away from me and that was when I thought, okay, I've got one shot, I've got one chance to try to pull my boat, my bow back.

And I pulled back and angled right. [00:27:00] He took one step away and that opened up that right shoulder because I was on his right side. It opened up that right pocket and that's where I aimed and it went right on through and hit the ground and he, he jumped and took off and I had to sit down at that point because I was shaking so bad I couldn't hardly stay in the tree stand.

And I couldn't tell if my arrow had blood on it. Like I said, it just went straight through him. And I just was like, Oh, did I, what did I do? What exactly happened, and I was like, he did exactly what usually happens. He kicked he, he did exactly what he usually does, but he ran off, and ran through the trees, and I watched him run, and then I, then he disappeared, because he ran through everything.

I messaged or I didn't message John until I got down from the lighter stand from the tree stand. But once I got down, it was about 10 minutes, I [00:28:00] went over there. And of course it was bloody arrow. And I smelled it just to make sure, just make sure everything was good. And it was, everything was perfect.

And I was like, okay, so I messaged him and I said, I got a bloody arrow. And he goes, do you see him down? And I'm like, no, I said, I've got a blood trail. And so he, he was. Took him 30 minutes to get out there and by that time I had found just a little bit of the blood trail and then I lost it in the higher grass and I knew which way he went and so once he got there, I waited for him to get there and started walking.

I think he, I think the deer was ran about maybe 50 more yards. And it was high in high grass. I know that because I have all the chiggers and ticks I've got right now. That tall grass is brutal, but yeah, he was a great buck. And my biggest one to date, 12 points.

John Hudspeth: I was going to say, you keep calling him a management buck, but he was a pretty solid buck.

He [00:29:00] might've been old, but I don't know if I would've called him a management buck.

Amy McTauge: We've got some, we. We've got some shooters around us. Okay. Okay. I've got my eye on one particularly, but I don't know if I want to Battle the hogs that I've got with It's gonna be one of those patients if he'll show up in the right spot,

John Hudspeth: right?

You did one thing really well that stuck out to me and that was wait for the right time to draw and shoot I think that's where a lot of Beginner hunters hurt themselves, they get in there, they get excited and they rush it. And especially, if the deer is on to them, they're like, Oh no, I got to go right now.

But it sounded like you were nice and patient waited for him to look away. And so that is something that you definitely did well.

Amy McTauge: Thank you. The, my first buck, that chocolate buck that we had, that we met with on the first podcast, that one was that one was at 30 yards and it took me [00:30:00] four tries to pull back my bow.

Cause I was so nervous. Yeah. So that's what I was afraid of whenever I saw this one and I knew I was going to try and taking, but it was just like, oh, am I going to do it? That type of thing. Yeah. But yes, learned, I've learned a lot as I've hunted, breathing, breathing is not just breathing, but learning to calm yourself by breathing slow and by breathe, managing your fears and your, or your nerves at that point.

That's the number one thing when you're bow hunting. The other thing is I used to try to shoot it when their head was down. And I've learned that is a, the biggest mistake that you can do. You wait until their head is up and it's not, they don't use that projection to.

John Hudspeth: Yeah. That's something that I had never heard really.

I think last year, maybe two years ago was the first time I'd ever heard people talking about that, about shooting with their head up and not down, because that was the [00:31:00] old thinking. Wait till they have their head down so they can't see you. But I think just, I think so many people are filming now, and that's where people started catching on because they were slowing it down.

And they found, yeah, like when their head is already down, basically, they're already preloaded to jump. Exactly. If the head's up, they have to lower that head and then do it. And yeah, that's something that I can't say. I think I've only killed one deer with my bow since I learned that.

And he had his head down, so I guess I didn't listen to it. But that is definitely something to keep in mind. And.

Amy McTauge: I was going to say, but that's what you think is the right thing. They're not looking at you. So you can, if they're looking at you, why would they stay there and look at you while you shoot the arrow? You think they're,

John Hudspeth: yeah. Yeah. And it's also just good. Like you said, you mentioned you got a bigger buck.

It's good that you got maybe one under your belt. Cause the more expensive experience you have, the easier it is to calm down and slow down. One thing that I always struggled with, I hit a lot of bucks high when I [00:32:00] started hunting. And I think part of it was being excited.

Another part of it was being elevated. You tend to shoot a little higher when you're shooting down at the air. And so I remember, I guess it was three years ago, I was shooting a buck and I was whispering to myself, aim low, but it was really late at night and it was last light and he kept moving.

Like every time I'd start to, to shoot, he'd take another step or something. And I got in a hurry and I ended up hitting them high again, even though I was whispering aim low, because I, when I, when it got down to it, I just hadn't conditioned myself. And so that's something I've. Always been working on and the last two deer I've killed have been a lot better.

But yeah, like I said, getting some under your belt is always a good thing too.

Amy McTauge: One thing with bows, bow hunting is you'll never. Be 100 percent you'll never get to that point where you can't learn you always have to learn you. You'll always be learning. You'll always be practicing.

You'll always be fine tuning. You'll always be changing something saying, oh, [00:33:00] I didn't realize this. And that's I think that's what I love about it is the fact that. It's not the fact that you can't conquer it. It's the fact that there's more to learn every day. You can get out there and try something new and do something different.


John Hudspeth: right. Excuse me. Sorry. I keep having to clear my throat, but but, also that feeling, that excitement, That panic, that's why we do it, like that's the whole point of this thing to get to that feeling. And yeah, awesome. You described him a little bit, but describe a little better for us.

Did you say 12 points?

Amy McTauge: It is 12 points. Yeah. And they're not big tines. It was just a solid deer. It was a solid buck. Yeah. And of course, there's no scars. Maybe some old scars on him. I didn't really inspect him like that, but, he is going to go on the wall, of course, a certain amount, but other than that, it was just a real good heavy and fat deer, heavy and fat.

Yep. So I don't, I hope that's [00:34:00] not a predisposition. Predisposition what winter is going to be here in

John Hudspeth: Oklahoma. I know I've been hearing some reports that it could be bad, but the deer that I'm after this year, my number one buck I named him stone and for two reasons, one, because I had, I put one of my cameras on video this summer and I had.

I don't know, four or five videos of this deer where he wasn't moving at all. I don't know what started the camera. You might see his ear twitch or something. And but statue didn't roll off the tongue very well. And so I was like, ah, stone's better. But the other thing that popped in my head was like, like you were describing he's not a monster.

But he's just a good, solid buck, just like a stone, he's good and solid. And yeah, that was the reason behind me naming him. Yeah, I don't know. I don't know if he's going to be on the wall or not. I might save that in case I get the 2 percent buck. He would definitely be coming to see you.

But we'll see what happens with that.

Amy McTauge: Yeah, I would say I've got that 2 [00:35:00] percent back to something like that. It's like I've seen him once on camera or actually twice on camera. And it's like. Where are you? I know you're right there. I know. I know other people are after you too. And that's the reason why I'm like, where, but I know where he's at.

And I know where there's some other animals that I really don't want to come across either, even though I feel them. It's

John Hudspeth: just, yeah, there's a difference. There is, I get it. That was one thing. When I went up to Nebraska last month. There was a couple of times where I was walking through some, wooly, stuff, head high, nasty stuff.

But I remember thinking to myself at one point, I was like, I would never do this in Oklahoma, but here, like not a big deal. Like they don't have hogs. And that's the only thing I'm really afraid of. And so it does make a

Amy McTauge: difference. I completely understand. Yes. Cause I did go on a hunt up in northern Missouri last year.

And. They kept saying, they were going to. [00:36:00] Go to a certain spot. And then they said, you walk down that way and you'll find it. And I'm like no, what else is out there? I want to know, they're like, what are you afraid of? I'm like, freaking hogs in Oklahoma. They will come after you and they're the size of buses that down there.


John Hudspeth: Awesome. Awesome, Amy. Yeah, super proud of you. Super happy for you. Glad you got some more hunting ahead of you as I'm sure you do. But I also wanted to to take a second here and give some people some tips. So as you mentioned, your taxidermist do great work. I think you've done two for me already.

And I think we did this last year a little bit, but I was just hoping that you could give some people advice, maybe people who have never shot a buck that they've wanted to shoulder mount or haven't done many. And I know for me, like the first buck that I killed that I was like, man, I definitely want to put this on the wall.

I had no idea, what to do, how to take care of it or anything like that. And if you wouldn't mind, [00:37:00] just give us a couple tips, some good practices and stuff like that. So if somebody is looking to mount a deer, what's the best way they should take care of it.

Amy McTauge: The first thing I would say would be get it to a processor as quickly as possible.

Yeah, you're gonna, if you feel dress it, definitely try not to cut it up. The cape once that the breast, the front of the deer, do not, please do not cut that up between the arms, please. , that just, yes, it can be repaired. It just takes a whole lot. A lot of stitching to do that's the number one thing.

Most people do keep cutting until it stops and you don't need to do that. Just cut up to the breastplate and that's it. But once you take it to the processor, you can ask them to cape it and they will take care of it for you to where you do not have to do it. However, if you have no means of doing that and you're going to be doing [00:38:00] it yourself.

Cutting it behind the shoulders all the way around is your best bet. Cutting the hide all the way around the shoulders and peeling it off all the way up to the base of the neck. That's, that is the way that I would advise you to take it to the taxidermist. But most people, I would say 95 percent of my clients, they take it to the processor and they are the ones that keep it out for them.

Another thing right now is to get it as cold as possible, obviously because of the heat. But even whenever it's cool and fall weather is about to hit us, hopefully your deer is very warm and hot from just living. And so therefore you still need to get it as cool as possible. You need to get it inside and do not ever put your deer, your hide, your animals, anything that you ever kill.

This goes for any animal [00:39:00] across the board. Do not put it directly on water or ice. Triple bag it. And then put it in your ice chest and then put ice on it.

John Hudspeth: So when I bring you one with an ice bag, shoved up the neck, that's not good. I think I've done that with both the ones I brought you. It's

Amy McTauge: okay though.

I got to it fast enough. Yeah. Okay. And the reason

John Hudspeth: why is because And I think you told me that last time. I think you did tell me that. So I'm glad you reminded

Amy McTauge: me. The water will melt and then it'll keep a hide. Completely soaked and therefore that increases your chances of slippage on my end.

Gotcha. Okay. That's the reason why you just, you roll it up as fast as possible, tuck it, put it in the bag, put it in another bag, put it in another bag and then put ice all the way around it and then get it to your trax dermis as quickly as possible.

John Hudspeth: Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Good reminder. Good reminder. Yep.

Amy McTauge: All right. So when you get one this year, you just call me and say, I'm not putting it on ice. [00:40:00] Okay. I'm putting it

John Hudspeth: on ice, not ice in it. Yeah. When I text you and say, I'm headed your way, you can tell me, Hey, no ice. Yeah. Okay. And one thing that I'll just add, and again, not the expert, obviously, as I just proved, but I remember I remember a taxidermist years ago telling me that You can't bring him too much hide or her too much hide, meaning like you were talking about, cutting up, you don't, obviously you don't want to cut up past the sternum for that cut, but also just, cutting further down and giving you that hide.

You can always cut it away. It's harder to add to it. Especially if you want to do something a little different or it's, maybe turning or something like that. So yeah, like I, I normally go about mid belly or so and basically take everything from there up to the neck.

Amy McTauge: And the last few hides that I've, or the bucks that I just caped out just this past week, they've, it's been the whole deer. I've got, I've gotten the whole hide. Yeah. And so I have to, I've been [00:41:00] doing the ones I've been cutting it. And so it's easier, leverage whenever you're pulling that hide off to just keep going whenever you've got it going, like from the tail

John Hudspeth: down, that makes sense.

I can see that. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like I had, I feel like I had one other thing. Nope. Can't think of it. I didn't think of it. Okay. Let's cover a few other critters just in case people listening. What about let's say Somebody's sitting in there and they shoot a bobcat or a duck or something like that What about what are some good ways to take care of that?

Amy McTauge: Those go whole so you do not gut them Obviously you just put them the same process Make sure you tag it and make sure everything's you know, correct with that aspect of things, but you just With your bobcat or with your furs, usually what I do is I tell people to curl them up as if they're curled up in the floor.

Just make a circle, [00:42:00] put them in a bag, put them in another bag, and get them into the freezer as quickly as possible. With your birds, I say the same thing. I put a, I say put them in a very extra large ziplock baggie. Tuck the head up underneath the arm or underneath the wing. And get all the air out of the bag and then put it in another bag.

And then what I usually do is I have my hunters put a masking tape with all their information on that bird, when they got it, all of the numbers that they need, the dates, everything on that masking tape. And then that way the hunter knows exactly where their bird is and when they want it, to get it.


John Hudspeth: Gotcha. Okay. Yeah, that's good. What about back in my day, which was a long time ago, I haven't had a duck mounted in a long time, but what about pantyhose? Have you ever heard of that or done that?

Amy McTauge: I've [00:43:00] gotten some with that, but majority of the people that I've spoken to, the ones that have been doing, Bertaxidermy a lot longer than I have, they said that, That's been disregarded.

It doesn't really matter. As long as you just put that head underneath the wing and lay it, of course, you don't want to just throw your bird. You want to take care of it. You're going to lay it into the bag just as best you can. To me, it does not do anything.

John Hudspeth: Okay. Gotcha. So yeah, for the people listening, that's what I was told to do to help protect the feathers, you slide it in there and, tie it off and stuff and the pantyhose help compress and keep everything tight.

But so that's what I was just wondering. Okay.

Amy McTauge: Nice. Yeah you hear different stories. You hear the old timers that do say that this, that does really does help. And then you hear the other people that say a Ziploc baggie is, it's the plastic. It's not going to. Grab any feathers because it's very slick, and if you lay all your feathers down the way that you would normally tuck it in, it's going to stay that

John Hudspeth: way.[00:44:00]

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com or one of their retail locations in Eastern Oklahoma. Let Bravado Wireless connect you to your family, friends, and business partners all over the world. Bravado Wireless. The power of connection. Man, I remembered the other question I was going to ask on deer and I already forgot it. And then you'll remember it again.

I might. I hope so. I hope so. All right. Man, am I missing anything, Amy? Any other helpful tips or tricks when it comes to taxidermy?

Amy McTauge: I'm trying to think.

John Hudspeth: I got a little bit more challenging one for you.

I've [00:45:00] seen several people who have taken bears this year, and I know that bears can be really tricky to skin. Have you had people, any people bring in like a whole hide? Would you recommend them trying to do it themselves? Would you rather do it? What about a bear? I'm

Amy McTauge: glad you asked me that because I did get two in and one of them, of course I got the whole hide and we're going to do a shoulder mount and so therefore I did it according to the way that I needed it done, but the pause.

Of course that's something that I do, and I, you would, I'm trying, it's hard to explain on a bear it's rolled up, of course, you've got the head skull that's in it, and then you've got the, depending upon how far you go down on the arms, or, on the legs, on the arms and legs, how much meat is left on that.

One of them had no meat, [00:46:00] it was just down to the wrist bone. Another one had pretty much the whole arm, except for the shoulder. And that was a little bit more tedious and more difficult, but that I do that because I have to get it down to the last knuckle. As far as gutting it, of course you're gonna be, you're gonna do that out in the field and then taking it off, everything is done for me.

I'm doing the rest of it. So I don't know if that answered your question

John Hudspeth: or not. Yeah no, it did. Yeah, I was just curious. I I thought I might get to do a little bear hunting this year, but some things didn't work out like I thought. And because I did think I had a chance to actually kill on opening day, I ended up not getting a tag.

But it's definitely still on the list for sure. Like a lot of Oklahomans, I think it's definitely.

Amy McTauge: But you know what, they're growing in numbers. So therefore I think it's going to definitely be something that is going to be happening for us really quick.

John Hudspeth: I do think. I think so. I think so. [00:47:00] Awesome.

Amy, I can't think of any other questions. I can't remember my last one. But before I let you go, I want to be sure to give you a chance to shout out your business. So if people are listening to this and they want to bring you something to get it mounted, how should they reach out to you?

Amy McTauge: They can find me on Facebook or Instagram.

At primetime taxidermy 2021 and even on TikTok, but, TikTok is very limited on my stuff, but they can definitely reach out on that. I've got cards at some of the processors here close to me, but I don't know if I could put my phone number out there or if you'd just rather do social

John Hudspeth: media, you are welcome to, it's completely up to you.

Amy McTauge: Oh yeah, here's my number. I've got two numbers working. And so I will answer if I don't answer, I'm in the woods, but you can text me. But my number one number is 9 1 8 9 6 8 5 My other number is [00:48:00] 918 290 8633. Perfect. Perfect.

John Hudspeth: Awesome. You need to double check real quick. That's okay. And I feel like a fool.

Nah, that's all right. I'll fill time by saying it. Oh, go ahead. I did it

Amy McTauge: right. 9 1 8 3 9 0 8 6 3 3. It's been a while since I had said that number. No problem. No problem. Both of them work. I respond, like I said, to text or email or a phone call. Sometimes I'm elbow deep and deer and.

varmints and different things. And so therefore, if I can't answer the phone call immediately, a text will be appreciated.

John Hudspeth: Sweet. Amy, primetime taxidermy. I really appreciate it. Like I said, I love having you on. If you get that other buck, be sure to let me know. I'd love to have your son on sometime if we can work that out.

And yeah just really looking forward to the upcoming season. Really [00:49:00] excited for you. And I hope you not only get your other buck, but I hope you get lots of business.

Amy McTauge: I appreciate it, John. Thank you so much. And I look forward to seeing

John Hudspeth: you guys. Yes, ma'am. Absolutely thanks for jumping on with us.

And until next time we will talk to you later. Perfect. Thanks, John. And There we go. Thank you Amy again for coming on as I mentioned at the beginning just an awesome person And I've really enjoyed watching her hunting journey her taxidermy journey Her life, the growth, everything about it. So just a super awesome person.

Like I said, if you're needing some taxidermy work, be sure to look up primetime taxidermy and you won't be disappointed. So that's it for this week. I hope everybody is safe out there. I hope everybody stays warm. I've been waiting so long to say that. I don't know if it's actually going to be cool enough to really be cold, but I just wanted to say that anyway.

So like I said, get out there, do some hunting, be safe, wear your safety harness. Practice with [00:50:00] your weapons, all that good stuff. And until next week, I will see y'all right back here on the Oklahoma outdoors pod.