On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Brian chats with “Big Merch Guy” Chris Neville about hunting general and over-the-counter units!
Chris is a die hard western hunter and contributor for GoHunt. Chris gave many people, including Brian his mule deer partner, false hope of shooting giant mule deer on a general south east Montana tag on an episode of “Fresh Tracks”. Brian and Chris talk about the upcoming Elk Season in Colorado, and how Chris is spending a majority of September chasing bugles on his own and with the help of some friends from GoHunt. Check out the links below to see more from Chris and his Big Merch Guy line of apparel!
Have Questions or Comments? Send an email to Brian@westernrookie.com!
[00:00:00] You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks, and strategies from seasoned Western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. I've heard of some 26 big game animals.
You can fool their eyes, but you can't fool their nose. 300 yards back to the road turned into 3 miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters go and harvest an animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you.
Welcome back to another Western Rookie Podcast episode. I'm your host, Brian Krebs. And today I have Mr. Big Merch Guy himself, Chris Neville on the call. And we're going to be talking all things Western hunting. How have you been doing today, Chris? I've been doing good. Just slinging some merch. I'm thanks for the plug right off the top.
I like that. Yeah. You got it when you [00:01:00] got the big elk guy t shirt that it looks like you just dropped. And and you were wearing the black one right now. I see it is a giant. Yeah, gotta have a big elk on the big elk shirt, right? Yeah. So do you, is that the, is that a new series? Or is the big elk the final addition to the series of shirts?
Do you have a big mule deer guy or a big antelope guy? So the big elk guy was the first place that I started doing this merch with, and this just started like a couple of weeks ago. I got an idea. I'm like, Hey, maybe I could sell some merch and it's almost elk hunting season. So I'm like, Oh, I'll just.
Hit up this guy that I follow on Instagram. He makes cool designs and tell him like, Hey, I want a big elk guy design. If you can draw me up something, Oh, what's up something, put it on a shirt and just threw it out and see how people responded. And so far people have really liked it. So I think now my next steps are, I'm going to go down the line of different animals as the seasons come, like white tail mule there.
And just go down the line of [00:02:00] all the different animals that we can hunt and shoot them out there. What's your guy's name? Cause so this is a podcast I was offered to take over and I love it. But I started my own podcast called the two bucks podcast, which is 100 percent outdoor entrepreneurship and talking with people like it'd be great to have you on and talk about like how you're starting a merge business or the guy that does artwork, because I think a lot of people incorporate merge at some point in their entrepreneurship journey.
And so having that connection to someone that can do art would be a really cool. Yeah. His name is, let me see, it's L Ray artist. I'm pretty sure it is his Instagram. That's perfect. I can follow him on Instagram then and reach out. El Ray artist. And he does, he's got like a unique style. Yeah.
It's like an old school, Western kind of style that he usually draws for people. And yeah, he does commission pieces. So if you hit him up and ask him, just tell him what you want and he'll draw it up for you. Ray [00:03:00] Lou and Nani. As close as I can get it. Is that the one? No, that's just Ray Artist.
Wrong Ray. Yeah, it's E L and then Ray Artist. Gotcha. I also did not catch up on the Mexican pronunciation of L. Yeah. Ah, there we go. Big old goatee. Now I know what you're talking about. Yeah. Wait a second. What's his real name? It doesn't say. He looks just like a guy that just sent me a book turning feral by Zach Hanson.
Maybe it's him. Maybe this is his coverup. That's his, he draws on it. But yeah, he draws, maybe he did all of his own artwork for his book. Yeah. No, I've had some ideas for shirts. I'd love to do with the Western rookie I don't want to say them cause they're really easy to do. I want to release them first and then we can talk [00:04:00] about them.
But no, that's cool. I think you should come out with a big meal to your guy shirt, because I have a little bit of a bone to pick with you. When it comes to mule deer hunting, you like mule deer overall, don't you? No, I don't. I definitely Elkhorn no outside of that door. There's actually a 350 inch bowl.
I wish I could fit them in my office. Cause it'd be a cool backdrop. Like you got my ceilings aren't tall enough. That's the part when you mount an elk, you can't really mount elk in an eight foot ceiling because you put their chest like 18 inches off the ground Yeah, they're too damn big. Yeah, they're huge.
But no my story So I've been hunting the West every year for elk for seven I think this will be our eighth year and then I always try to sprinkle in another mule deer or an antelope or maybe a western whitetail and I finally convinced some buddies from the flatland to go out on a mule deer hunt with me.
And I'm like, you guys would love it. You just ate up with this. You're going to love how much game there is and you'd be in vast. And so we decide to mule deer hunt in Montana because I could draw [00:05:00] the combo and get both that season. So I could do my elk hunt in Montana. Then I could just easily add for like basically 150 bucks.
I could get a mule deer take two. So the cheapest way to do a second hunt. And so we're going, and it's the same year that you and Michael Parente filmed your Southeast Montana mule deer hunt. Oh, yeah. And so that was the video that I was watching. I was getting excited. I knew it would be hard, but my buddy that I brought was completely new to Western hunting.
And so he watched it and he's Oh man I really want to shoot a 170 and like Southeast Montana. Yeah. There's all kinds of deer that's known for a lot of deer and he's I know we're gonna have to walk and work hard But man, it'd be really cool to shoot one like Chris did and I'm like, oh I don't think we're gonna see any like that Yeah Do you guys go the year after too?
So to be honest It probably was the year after because you know because of the like production editing and release schedules you guys probably did that hunt We hunted it in 20, [00:06:00] 21 was your hunt in 2020. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. So we would have been hunting the year after like third year of a record drought in a row.
Yeah, I was going to say, cause after that, cause I went out to Montana a couple more times after that hunt, it was not the same. It was pretty tough hunting. Like you're seeing with the drought out there that the deer numbers really dropped, especially like mature bucks. Like I w I wasn't seeing hardly any.
No, their age class box. Just a lot of little ones running around. Yeah, we struggled hard. Plus we got hit with a double whammy of not only was it a drought. And then the constant pressure, like obviously Southeast Montana always has a ton of pressure. So we knew that going in, but then we got hit with the first day it was like 75 degrees on a November rifle hunt.
Yeah, it was brutal, but eventually it started cooling off. And then on the last day we actually doubled and tagged out. He shot his right in the way in the morning. We went, packed it out. It was a really easy pack. We grabbed lunch in town, went back [00:07:00] out and we're like, okay, we got five hours. I'm like.
All right at this point like let's just get miles on the pickup like we haven't found any spots where it's like This is a spot. We knew an area and so I'm like, I think we can drive this like road That's like off the main road like a cattle ranch road And then we'll just stop ahead of every like good glassing knob and we'll just glass Everything and just like move glass first one.
We got to there is the biggest buck we've seen which is still like 120 inch Hey, you'll take it better than the last day. Oh, for sure. And after like we've he kicked himself cause he passed up like 130 inch four by four on the first day thinking we could do better. Literally it was 20 minutes out the door.
So he thought Oh man, super easy. We'll probably see a lot of bucks. And he kicked himself for the rest of the week. But yeah, so I tried to stock that deer, but like you said, it was such a high drought, the cattle had mowed. Everything lower than like a golf course lawn. So there was no hide and he was bedded up high on basically an open Valley.
And so I'm [00:08:00] crawling and I could see with my scope. I just put like a 25 power scope on my, on that rifle. Cause I wanted to build like a long range chassis rifle. And so I had it dialed in and I was watching his eyes and he was asleep. And so I'm like, as long as his eyes are closed, I'm going to close.
I'm going to keep crawling across this like bare desert. And soon enough, he opened his eyes and he was looking right at me and it was 496 yards. And I'm like, here we are in life. I built this rifle for this shot. I practiced all year long and eventually I, drilled them in the heart and I did have to walk my bullet in one time because the shot, I'm like that didn't make sense, but I measured it with my scope and I'm like, okay, there must be a different crosswind on that.
Slope than I'm expecting and then I drilled him and my buddy got it on film, which was, I didn't even know he was filming through the spotter. It turns out that was the same buck. He jumped the day before it had a broken leg, real busted up rear leg. So it was like perfect to like cap the hunt and take out an animal that.
Based on the drought and a broken leg like what I had a really rough winter. Oh, yeah Probably wouldn't made it through for sure. [00:09:00] Yeah, you never know like they're so such tough animals But yeah, you never know and it's obviously like he's not thriving anymore No, so no, especially that time of year either.
Everyone's pushing him around. Yeah, I would not be fun. Yeah, that's there's a lot of pressure We were seeing like if on it
Yeah. And so it's I love seeing people hunting, but I also like to hunt spots without dancing around trucks as well. So it's a double edged sword. Yeah. That's the name of the game. In eastern Montana during that time of the year. Yeah. I decided I probably won't go back until they start getting a little bit more rain.
But it was a fun hunt for sure. And so I love meal deer. I do, but yeah your hunt the year before it gave us a false impression of what public land would be like in Southeast Montana. Plus you have an arsenal of knowledge on that. The crew you were with at, not only yourself but Michael and obviously he has a lot of all those guys experience to tap into if you [00:10:00] need to.
Yeah that certainly helped and we were brand new to the unit, so we were Bo Bebopping around all over the place trying to find a spot. I think I gave myself false expectations too, 'cause I think I went back there the next two years. Didn't have a shot. I think I shot one more meal there in that area, but it wasn't probably the same as you like 120 maybe.
Yeah. Probably would have been a nice decent four by four, but then with no food, it just capped out on what they grew. Yeah. Not not a, what was it? One 90. Just laid up, letting you stalk him, do a two mile stalk. Yeah, just laid out in the wide open. Yeah, that was a sweet, that was a sweet episode that was able to come together between you filming it and Michael sitting behind the spotter he's getting I don't know what's going on, he...
He's there, the deer's there, and then you're like, yeah, there's a huge log in front of him. Yeah. No, Michael's great. I love hunting with [00:11:00] Michael. He cracks me up. Oh, god. He's hilarious. I've never met him, but he looks like an absolute hoot to hunt with. Yeah. Oh, dude. It's non stop lacking. I was gonna say, half cameraman, half comedic relief.
Yes, that's exactly him. That is him to a tee. Yeah, I was, I don't know, I think I was watching, I don't know if it was aired or if it was just a short he posted, but they were filming something and running and all of a sudden he just trips and goes down hard. Absolutely just trips right over a rock, right as we're going in.
Was that, oh, was that the same hunt? Yeah, that was the same day that I saw that big buck. We're going into this high point. It's do some glassing and he absolutely biffed it. Oh, cause I remember it was right after he biffed it. We got up there and then that's when I spotted that buck. Oh my gosh. I remember he was wearing those big sorrow, like knee high hiking boots.
But yeah, that sounds like a good hunt. So do you, the way you said, do you like mule deer more than elk? Now I gotta, now I'm curious. Do you like mule deer more than elk or are you still a big elk guy? Big elk guy for sure. Big elk guy. I [00:12:00] figured since that was the first shirt that came out. No, I'll, I hunt basically everything from antelope.
Elk, mule deer, like I, I definitely have a full season every single year, but the one that I probably look for and like most excited about is definitely elk hunting. Yeah. And you're doing, you, we just talked in the green room that you moved to Colorado. And so I assume you're doing to take an advantage of Colorado elk this year.
Are you doing any other elk hunts? Nope. I'm just going to focus on Colorado over the counter. I think my goals, I'm trying to get, I was just looking at the calendar, I think yesterday, just all the hunts that I want to do. I think I got about, I want to do about 20 days in Colorado cause it's going to be over the counter.
So I know it's going to be tough. Okay. But yeah, I'm going to, I'm going to try to get out there about 20 to 20 days this September to see what I can do. And then Charles actually going to come out here too, from like the 15th to the 25th is like when I'm going to take off the big. Long stretch to, [00:13:00] to hunt it hard, but gonna probably do like Friday, Saturday, Sunday for the, for most of the that'll get you a good, like baseline going into that week with trail of Hey, I've been checking out all these spots.
I've been seeing elk and peering bugles in this drainage and give you a good starting spot to like really hard once you got two people. Yeah. Now over the counter, what I've learned the most from is just a lot of, it's just time. The more time you put into it, the more time you're out there, you're able to find the bigger bulls and where they're at where they're hanging out Just you can get more educated on the whole different area. So yeah, I think time is the number one killer So more time you can put out there the better your chances are Right my goal this year for over the counter Which really goes to show how valuable getting a scouting trip out ahead of time is if you're like a non resident We're going to the same spot year after year.
So you can really start learning a mountain range or being a local. Cause I remember, I don't know if you've ever remembered [00:14:00] like Ryan Carter from Utah used to do like super bowl Sunday, where on the same day as the football game, he was having like everyone's shooting like pictures of giant elk. This episode is brought to you by steelhead outdoors.
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And the number of like over the counter Colorado unit, like monsters like gross boon for sure. Or even 400 inches and over the counter units in Colorado. Like it was like, okay, they're definitely there. Now it's just, you got to find them and work hard to get them. There is some monsters in some.
The counter units? No, for sure. Yeah, there's, yeah, I see pictures all the time, every single year from over the counter units.[00:16:00] A three, having a goal for a 300 insure, like for an over-the-counter unit is, to me, like that's, it's pretty high, a high standard. But at the same time, I think it's, if you really put yourself out there and give it your all, I think it's something that you can achieve.
So it's one of those. I don't think it's that crazy to try to shoot like a 300 inch bowl on over the counter unit because I think there's plenty of them. Yeah. But there's a lot of other aspects that can definitely make it tough on over the counter with just people and pressure and where the elk are going to be.
So what probably provides in a weird twisted way, like the perfect situation to grow a mega, like a monster, because a lot of people go to over the counter Colorado expecting to shoot the first legal bull they see. And so if you, if that bull makes it through those first two, three years, like all of a sudden he starts getting a little smarter, he starts getting a little bit more secluded and everyone else has maybe taken out before they get to that bull or find that little honey hole versus if you're just on [00:17:00] them and you're good and you local and you spend that time, I bet you could uncover some diamonds in the rough for sure.
Where these bulls just go and get old. Cause I feel like it's like the Utah. Strategy where it's like over the counter spike hunts are the same units where like their biggest trophy bulls are, and they're hardest to draw hunts. So they're still getting a lot of pressure and they're still shooting a lot of young bulls, but it's still growing huge elk because once they get through that phase, they get smart and they get old.
Yeah. And I'm always like, I look at maps a lot in different areas in Colorado and I'm always just shocked by. The amount of area and country that there is in Colorado that you can hunt over the counter is it's limitless. It would take you forever to find every spot and look at all over, there's definitely some good diamond in the rough. If you can find them. Oh yeah, for sure. And how does it work when you work for a company like go hunt? How does like PTO work when you're doing an Elkhorn, especially with trail, does it, are [00:18:00] those counted as like offsite team building days or is it.
Basically, for the most part too, is like a lot of it's we're getting content assets of some sort, whether it be like photos or short social media clips. Sometimes they're filmed, sometimes they're not, but yeah, a lot of it's content generation on these hunts for the most part, but I think this one is, this one might be the first one that Sheryl and I go on together, that it's just us having a good time, like no cameraman just us two as friends out hunting for...
And not having to worry about a bunch of other stuff, which I'm actually looking forward to. Yeah. I feel like that's gotta be, in a way, just a nice stress reliever of not know or knowing there's not a camera following you or that third person or for me, what usually happens is just this added pressure of oh, I should capture this.
Oh, I should have captured that. Oh, I should stop and get my camera out. Or, and then it's, it, in a way it does Take away from the [00:19:00] experience. When I go on those trips and I just write it off, like I'm not worrying about, trying to become the next YouTube star and getting everything on camera.
It's that's when you can really plug into the wild and be away and enjoy the whole time. Yeah. There's a lot more than, that, it's hard to see from the outside when you just watch like a finished YouTube video, but yeah, there's a lot of preparation and a lot of other extra things that you have to be aware of and be thinking about when out there.
Which, it's not too bad and it hasn't really ever bothered me too much, but it'll be nice to not having that like extra thing that I have to worry about. And I can just worry about myself, my gear solely focused on the hunt, which hopefully the outcome will be two big dead bulls. Yeah. Hopefully.
I don't know how far in you guys are planning to go. Are you doing like day hunts or are you thinking of setting up like a elk camp or are you going all the way backpack spike camp style? Yeah, we'll probably [00:20:00] backpack spike camp Sal. That's true. And I just prefer that style of, not to say that you can't kill stuff next to the road.
Like I know people who are really good road hunters and it's I don't know, I think it's a different skillset. I know road hunters that kill every single year and they just have a nice camp next to the road. But for me and like my skillset and what I'm good at, it's getting away from people and that's where I've had the most luck is hiking in.
getting away from people, finding elk, actually being elk, bugling, responsive to calls. Yeah. And then, yeah, the style we do is we have our camp on our back every day, so we'll be hiking around, find a spot, like we've been chasing elk all day. Put our tent up, wake up in the morning, pack our tents, put everything in our pack and just keep following the elk until we get one down.
And so we're the other crew. We are typically coming from Minnesota. That's where I live. That's where a majority of our group lives. And we typically go out and we set up more of your bigger base camp off the side of a road or at, somewhere a lot [00:21:00] of times we'll rent for service cabins cause they're used to be really cheap.
I think the prices are starting to go up a little bit, but and we'll do a base camp and then we usually go in. We're usually in that one to three, four mile range off the road, but then we hike out every night, but this year being as far south in Colorado as we are and with just the way it works out, I think we're going to actually start doing more of the, I would say it's probably spike camp.
We go to a spot, set up a camp back in farther and then hunt around that area. But that leads me to it's all new to me, so I just got a bunch of gear for it. And I was wondering like, how heavy is your pack then when you're doing the day camp?
I try to, I have a limit of 50, I try to keep it a limit of 50 that seems doable, right? Yeah. 50 is very manageable. You definitely have to take a look at every piece. I'm not necessarily like counting ounces. Like some people are really crazy, but yeah, you have to be cognizant of. Every piece of gear that's going into your [00:22:00] pack and how much it's going to weigh and like where you can cut weight when it's needed.
But yeah, I, right around that 50 mark is my sweet spot. I think you start getting over 50, it starts weighing on you quite a bit. And to do that for, four or five, six, seven days in a row, it can be tough. But if you're eating a bunch of food, you're always getting lighter. That's how, that's always my mindset.
It's this is the heaviest my pack will be the whole week. To be fair, if you don't eat a lot of food, you're also getting lighter. Yeah, you're just losing weight. But yeah the pack thing and then finding good water is obviously key because you don't want to be carrying six days of water.
That's impossible. We can carry six days of water. That'd be your 50 pounds right off the bat. But when I think about it, it's it's. Sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off, but when I start to look at my pack, like most of what I pack really isn't that heavy for what it takes to hunt and kill an elk.
Like I have my optics, like my binoculars and my bow are by far the heaviest two pieces of equipment. I have a kill kit, I'm using like Randy Newberg's knife. That's [00:23:00] pretty light. A set of game bags is pretty light. We usually split game bags. Like I'll take half, you take half and that way, we're probably not shooting two.
At one time. And if we do, we'll figure it out. But a little bit of kill kit stuff and emergency kit, that's only a couple pounds. And so the rest of it really is like your camp, your food and your water. That's where it seems like most of the way it adds up now, every year I say that and every year I put my pack on, I'm like, man, this is heavier than I thought it was going to be.
Yeah. Your food is definitely going to be one of the heaviest things you. you take for sure. So there's one, that's something I do look at pretty closely, like making sure it's like my calories, a hundred calories per ounce. Like I don't want anything that's like super heavy that I'm not getting the benefits that I need from it.
Yeah. So food, I like to keep my food around like a pound and a half per day. Are you doing preserved food then? Yeah, so I'll do freeze dried at night. And then, so mostly I'll have a [00:24:00] bar in the morning. And then for lunch, I'll have, I usually bring dried salami and then single packed, like little cheese, like you can buy them at the grocery store.
They're just like tiny little squares. Like I'll bring a couple of those and a, Slice of pita bread, like just a little circle pita. And then I just made like a salami sandwich kind of thing. And then chips, some other, maybe one or two more bars. Some like energy replacement kind of thing.
Like either some like chews or some energy chews. Yeah. And then I really like honey stingers and then Justin's peanut butter. Okay. So like Justin's peanut butter, super lightweight and it's just packed full of calories. Like 250 calories per ounce kind of thing. Yeah. Cause that's, I've been looking at the food pretty hard and trying to figure out, so I don't do it enough to justify the home freeze dried kit.
And I know that's becoming a really popular thing for some people, but you really had to live outside to justify spending [00:25:00] three grand on a. And it's a lot of time just prep time. Meal prep time. Yeah. A lot of time. Yeah. But the thing I always tell people about their food system too, is make sure like everyone knows what they like, right?
So yeah, that's how you should build it around. Like me, like I'm a chocolate, peanut butter, salami, cheese, and chips. That's stuff that I eat every day. Regularly. Yeah. Yeah. Like when I'm at home, like those are like some of my favorite types of foods. So making your food system around your favorite types of foods is always a good idea because I've I know people and I've done it like in the beginning where it's just like This is super light and it's super good.
Like I don't really care and i'll be out there after the First couple of days, I'm like, I can't eat this thing anymore. And that's one of the things I've always said, because it seems like every shed hunter content creator, they're like food system revolves around tuna packets and I've done the tuna packets before too.
And I can't stand tuna. It's [00:26:00] I don't care how much more views you get apparently from eating tuna packets, cause they all do it. And it's I'm not doing the tuna packets thing. I hate tuna so bad. I don't mind. I don't mind that some of the tuna slice, cause they have a ton of different flavors.
Yeah. But the weight in the calories really isn't that good. Like a tuna packets, maybe 110 calories. And I think, and the packet itself is pretty heavy. Yeah. So it's from if you look at like the ounces to calorie ratio, like it's. It's not that great for what you're getting, like how much you actually have to carry.
So that's why I ditched it. And like you were saying, after a while, tuna can get old. Unless you have a tortilla or something. Yeah, that would help a lot. I've been looking at for me more it's, I don't know why, but I'm looking at like calories per dollar too. Because some of those, like it's, some of those freeze dried companies now are like close to 20 bucks a meal.
And you're like, yeah, dang 20 bucks. It's like 450 calories. I'm like, I'm gonna find something else. So I was looking at [00:27:00] peak refuel. They've got some like high calorie stuff that seems to be pretty, pretty good on the sodium too for being that many calories. And so I was thinking, just like you said, like one, I was probably planning like one freeze dried entree for dinner.
I don't know what I'll do for breakfast. I might try to do some like instant oatmeal. Cause that's pretty light. I just don't know how many calories are in that. I got it. I got a good breakfast for you. The bars. No, I do use bars, but I just started doing this last year and I love it. So it's, you get like a small tortilla and you get pre made bacon.
Oh, okay. So and you do some cheese and like hot sauce. It's like a little breakfast burrito. Yeah. It's. And like the pre made bacon, you can buy it at the store and it's it never goes bad. Okay. And everyone's always asked me too about the cheese. So I'll buy like the Talmud like little squares that are like packaged.
Yeah. If there's no oxygen, it can't go bad. Yeah. And I've been in like 90 degree weather. It's yeah, it gets a little sweaty, but I've never had same with the salami. I've never [00:28:00] had any issues. Yeah, that's I mean going bad. That's how people got to the 21st century It was jerky dried goods and have you ever seen a block of cheese like they're just sitting out on the counter in Italy and then they cut them and now you eat it Which we had the bacon cheese and tortilla for a quick little breakfast, super lightweight.
Tastes great. One thing I'm interested in, cause I've been switching over to more of a, a carnivore diet, really. I'm trying to cut out as many calories as possible and trying to use fat as my energy source a little bit more, just something I'm trying. I'm by no means a health expert and I haven't reached my goals yet, so I wouldn't start it based on what I'm doing.
But it's it seems like fat sources are really dense for like when we start talking calories versus ounces. So I was thinking of like almonds, cause I think an ounce of almonds is like 160 calories. And it's a majority of fats. Obviously you need a little carbs and a little protein, but I'll get plenty of those with my, my freeze dried meals whatever I go with.
Yeah. And the other thing I too, I think about is like one reason why I don't [00:29:00] do like I'm a coffee drinker. Like I drink coffee every single day. So like on the mountain, I won't drink any coffee, won't have it just because I don't like Like oatmeal and stuff. A lot of the times, like I'm in these spots, I have a liter of water left.
Oh, so you don't, cause you want to limit like your water dependent. The less things that I don't need that needs hot water, like the better. That's why I just do one freeze dried at night. And that's, and what's good about the peaks. I'm also a big peak refuel fan is. They use less water. Yeah, they use a lot less water.
Yeah. Yeah, it all adds up I haven't added all my stuff together My tent is a little heavier than I wanted it to be but I went with a two man because my wife loves Backpacking and I'm just thinking alright if I'm gonna get a tent Should I just go for a two man and then that way it works for what I need and then it works if we want to Do something together, too And maybe I'll partner up with one of the guys in our group and say, Hey, I'll carry the tent.
You carry the stove and then we'll just sleep. I don't know how big it is. I'm new to all this stuff. I found [00:30:00] some good deals on back country or, and I was, and honestly, you guys are so busy. A lot of this stuff on go hunts already sold out. Like I got into this game a little too late, a little too close to season to be buying gear still.
So yeah. This time of year stuff flies, but yeah, sleep system is definitely going to be a spot. If you need somewhere to cut weight, but the one thing about sleep system is you pay what you get for. So it can get pricey real quick. If you want a really nice lightweight sleeping bag, like it's going to cost you 600 bucks kind of thing.
And that's just, that's it. That's the key. Yeah. That's the tricky part about. Same with a nice lightweight tent, 300, 400 bucks usually. And so we just bought this farm here in Minnesota and every, when you buy a farm, it seems like everything you need just doubles or triples in price.
Like when we rented the little houses, all I needed was a little tiny hand pump sprayer to like spray weeds around the garden. Now it's yeah, I got to spray acres. And so now I need a big sprayer and everything's starting to add up. So it's fine. But I was [00:31:00] just being a little bit conscious on cause you could.
It seems like you could easily go to two grand for a complete back country system. But if you, especially if you didn't have a pack or a stove, it's like every one of those things, like your pack, good pack can be 500 bucks. I have mystery ranch. And then you got like a 500 tent and a 500 sleeping bag and pad combo, and then you got a hundred, 150 bucks into your stove and, all of a sudden it's yeah, it starts to add down.
The one thing I do tell people about, like some of those bigger purchases and I always tell them like you got to look at it over like a lifetime because like a pack like a Mr. Inch pack is going to last you a lifetime like a 600 sleeping bag will last you like 20 years. Yeah. A nice tent is going to last you a lifetime.
Like those are all things that you can have forever. And I just say people that are just starting out, I say, pick something that's. And just do it one year at a time, like this year, I'm going to buy a nice tent and then next year I'm going to buy a nice pack and just break it down over the next couple of years, and a lot of times it's a little bit easier.
Like I would, [00:32:00] and this is probably really close to more what GoHunt's doing with helping people understand hunts and opportunities. But when people ask me like, Hey, I want to hunt the West. What should I start with? It's I'm never telling people you should start on a backpack Elkhorn, if you've never hunted the West before, I'm usually like, you should look at archer, a rifle antelope.
That's a great first hunt. You can get a hotel room. You it's not you basically just need a rifle and if you don't even have a pack, you probably don't need a pack. Like binos, glass and a rifle. If you shoot one, just put it over, put the quarters on your shoulder and hike back to the truck and put them in a cooler, very like low barrier to entry.
And then if you like that, like then try a mule deer and then maybe do an elk and then start with a base camp day, like base camp day hunt, elk trip. Versus like a backcountry elk hunt trip because I'll hear people like at work or something. They'll say hey I'm doing my first elk hunt this year and I was gonna ask you like what sleeping bag to use, And it's what are you doing?
And I think oh, I'm gonna do a 14 day solo backcountry hunt I'm like, oh, no, you're not [00:33:00] You're gonna do a three day backcountry hunt and then you're gonna do an 11 day hotel hunt Or you're going to come home and I don't tell them that because you don't want to, rain on their parade, but it's that's a really hard way to start hunting the West.
And it's a very expensive way to start hunting the West. Cause you need everything at once. Yeah, no, for sure. I'm the same as you. If anyone asks, I always say do an antelope hunt. That is it's a really fun hunt. It's like one of my favorite hunts is like a rifle antelope hunt. Just super easygoing.
Oh, like success rates really high. Like you always have a good time. Like you see a lot of animals I would yeah work your way down the line As you're going to do it and if you are going to if you are going to jump into a backcountry hunt Like you have your mindset at least go with somebody else and yeah Have a hunting partner so you can push each other to do it and then just know have realistic expectations of what you're going to get into because I think sometimes people have These expectations that don't match, if you're going on over the counter backcountry [00:34:00] elk hunt for the first time, you've never done an elk hunt before.
It's going to be super low. Like it's going to be a really hard hunt. It's going to start not be fun. Your success is going to start with the decimal point. Yeah. Yeah. And it's hard, like hunting alone is hard, especially for people from the Midwest, because like when we go hunting, it's usually deer camp, there's people.
You go back for lunch, people, you go home at night, you see your family. If you're from the mountains, I think people are more acclimated to it because it's pretty typical to go up in the mountains for a weekend by yourself and. I did a solo Colorado hunt and that's what I was meant when we were in the green room talking about Colorado points.
But I did it by myself. Cause I was the only one that had points to draw the tag. And I was in that no man's land of five points. So it's I'm looking at like 10 to 12 to get anything better as a non resident and by then it'll be point creep. So it's I better cash in now. And it was like the hardest part of the hunt by far was mental.
Just being alone that long in a new place. It's I was going to subway for a sandwich just to [00:35:00] see somebody, and I think it's okay the cashier. Yeah. I think that's normal to be like, hey I'm gonna take an off day. Like I need to bounce back. I'm a soul like it's your hunt You can do whatever you want.
Like I don't you know, that's I think the new people maybe over Overestimate how much like type 1 fun elk hunting is and underestimate how much type 2 a fun elk hunting is Yeah, oh, it's gonna be awesome. We're gonna be in the backcountry. It's yeah, That's six days of just being a little uncomfortable the entire time.
Yeah. Or really uncomfortable depending on like the weather and how things go. Exactly. Yeah. I've done some real terrible ones where like it rained and snowed for a week straight and it's just awful. But yeah, I think just having realistic expectations and then the more prepared you are, the better you're going to be off physically and mentally.
If you can do some stuff to get your mind right before you go out. I think it helps a lot as well. Yeah, I feel like I would love [00:36:00] if I could get it set up where like a standing antelope camp. Because you don't really hear of that. You hear of elk camp, you hear of deer camp, but no one really talks about an antelope camp where it's hey, we're gonna pick this over the counter unit.
There's hardly any over the counter antelope units anymore, hey, we're a group and maybe we'll just rotate states, but we're gonna pick a spot where it's like, Always lots of game. We're never really going too far towards the trophy. And just to be like, so we could bring like basically open invite.
Obviously you want to like control, like any shady characters getting invited, but yeah, it's Hey, there's eight of us dudes that just love hunting and we're all just going to camp in the same spot and then go our own direction and chase antelope. And then I feel like that would be such a fun vibe because then you can like.
Stay up a little later on the bonfires, maybe sleep in a tad bit, more have that camaraderie aspect where when it's elk hunting, it's I'm here to hunt elk. And so it's I don't start bonfires and elk camp. Like I go to bed, I get home, I do the, I do camp chores. I get some food and I go to bed.
And it's I miss out on having that [00:37:00] camaraderie. So that's one thing I've thought about trying to like, start as like an analog. Let's start one up, dude. I'll go. I would love to. My wife is sold on the antelope. She watches Randy Newbrook's antelope puns, which he is like such a great storyteller, but when he's antelope punning, he's like.
He'll talk about the first part of every successful antelope hunt is getting a bag of donuts and then and a coffee, and she loves coffee, and so she's that's what I want to do, is wake up, get some coffee and some donuts and head out and find some antelope, and it's true it's, he's not sugarcoating anything, even if the donuts are sugarcoated that is antelope hunting.
If you want it to be a fun, relaxing type one hunt, that's what it is. So that's, I think, going to be our first Western hunt. I don't, haven't decided. I would love to do a rifle, but she's, she just got a new Hoyt and she's loving, she wants to do it with a bow. And I'm like that's, it's very tricky.
It's very hard to antelope hunt with a bow if you don't want to use a ground blind. Yeah that's what I always tell people. I prefer Archer and that's like my go to weapon of choice but yeah, shooting out of a blind is [00:38:00] super effective if you can do it, if you can sit and wait on a water hole, your chances of shooting antelope are pretty high.
And I think she just wants more of the hiking adventure style hunting. yeah, spot in stock. Yeah. That's, I have a Eastern plains, Colorado, Archer antelope jag right now. And we've been getting so much rain out here that it's hard to. Predict like they just have water everywhere. So the water sitting on water is not super effective, but I've been doing some spot in stock this weekend and it's a whole different ballgame.
They're pretty tricky. If you can't find, you gotta get them in. What I found, it's like getting them in the right spot. Like finding them in a spot where there's like some topography, some, like some rolling, some cliffs, some areas that you can actually get on close. But a lot of times they just sit on the wide open in the middle of like flat flats.
So yeah, it's super like finding them in that. Yeah. Find them in a good stockable spot is the trip to that. It's a super effective survival strategy. I was one of the podcasts I recorded this morning. We were talking about archery [00:39:00] antelope and I was wondering if hey, do you know what a ghost blind is?
Yeah. I've seen I've seen them before. Aren't they like completely see through? No, that that's a different style blind. That's a new blind where the material is like one way mesh. So you can see 360 degrees. No, I'm thinking of the reflective, like mirror panels. So when you set them up, if you set them up at an angle if you're in the middle of like grass and you set it up, you're completely gone.
Cause everything looks like grass. Now, if you're on like the edge of a tree. And then you set it up. It's there's not supposed to be a tree over there. Like you're on a tree line and then there's, the mirror doesn't quite work, but I was wondering if a two man archery team with the front guy, like carrying like this ghost blind and just walking like from behind and then the second guy, like obviously I'm bigger, so I'd walk in front of you, carry the ghost blind and you're like, knocked in ready to go, we get there and then like you lean off to the side and draw and shoot around me.
Obviously don't shoot me in the back with your expandable broadhead, but I was wondering if that wouldn't be an effective method to spot stock antelope. I [00:40:00] think if you can I'd totally try it. Antelope are one of those things like you really never know unless you try. Cause I've seen people go out with all sorts of different decoys, cow decoys.
They got the ones on their head, the one on their bow. I know a lot of people that just put on a white t shirt. I've heard that too. I've heard the white flag thing. You like wave at once and they catch it and then you put it down and they'll come investigate. There's something about the white that they're very curious about that I've heard has worked.
So yeah, any of those tricks that you can use to your advantage. Yeah, I'm all game for yeah, I will try it we'll start an antelope camp and then we'll try it with the ghost panels cuz they're really cheap. They're only like 50 bucks or a hundred bucks. I might actually have, I might have to go buy one because after this weekend, I'm thinking I need something.
Yeah. And that's what I was going to ask is so obviously you're in Colorado, not quite resident yet, but next year you'll be a resident. So I'm assuming that makes everything easier, but the over the counter [00:41:00] Antelope options are really becoming sparse. And I think it's like at this point, especially after the winter, a lot of the Antelope countries had, I think it would be.
Like maybe only doe over the counter tags available for a little while. And probably not even them. Cause that's the ones that are probably cutting back the most on is the doe tags. Yeah. I know Colorado, I'm not sure how many units there are, but there's over the counter and it's a buck tag too.
So you can shoot a buck with archery though. Yeah. Archery only. Yeah. It's yeah. That was thinking the rifle, right? Bow, an antelope bow camp would be. Probably a little bit more fun if you think about it. Cause if you had an antelope rifle camp, it's like, all right, everyone shows up to camp. Everyone takes out the next day.
Yeah. Oh, and that's, unless someone's really picky, but a lot of times when you get on an antelope, it's, I wouldn't want to be the antelope. Yeah. Rifle and antelope, it's always game over. Usually [00:42:00] an antelope archery camp would be a good, like. All right. We're here for a week and we're going to be here for a week and we will definitely be here the whole time.
Yeah, that would be fun. And then all the stories like, yeah, I can't believe what Chris did. He was, he just ran right at it with this mirror in front of him. Works like a charm. Yeah. Imagine if you invented like the next new thing on all of a sudden turning archery antelope into near the same success rates as rifle antelope.
Yeah, that'd be hilarious. Yeah. Then you'd have to come out with the big antelope guy. Next year, I'll have a big animal badge t shirt come out. Are there any more t shirts coming this year? Yeah, I think I'm going to, I think I'm going to do like white tail and mule deer. Okay. You said you're from Iowa.
So do you still have that big white tail itch to sit in a tree stand over a food plot? So I actually drew my, I actually drew my Iowa tag this year. So I'll be out there this fall. Do you still have connections and land opportunities back home? Or do you have to public my family, we have some property.
It's it's not very [00:43:00] big. It's probably like 12 acres, but it's surrounded by 300 acres of other timber, and it's just like one of those pinch points where it works every single year, like end of October to the first 10 days of November. Like your chances of a big buck coming through there one of those days are pretty good So I'm gonna do that and then I have some other people around that area that I have permission to hunt from so that's good Look, it's been like so I think the last time I went to 100 and I was like seven years ago I'm still living there and then for a little while.
I didn't really care for like, all I'm done whites all hunting and it's been like just the last couple years I've really been like, God, I miss sitting in a tree. Like the beginning of November with bucks rotten and run around everywhere. Yeah. It's such a different, I don't know. I grew up in Minnesota.
I've white on in my whole life. I don't think I could give it up. I do really enjoy a Western whitetail hunt where it's more spot and [00:44:00] stock, glassing, running ridges. And I do like that, the openness of it, but man, I could never give up. For me, it's we've always had land. And so like managing land, I just bought a tractor.
My dad's always had a little tractor doing food plots. And yeah, it's fun. And it's a whole year, like setting up trail cameras, shooting lanes, hanging tree stands. And then you start seeing like this time of year, you start seeing all that effort pay off. There's, Deer using your food plots and yeah, I just love it.
I could never and something about a big white tail Big everything. It's not like I'm going to turn down a big anything. I'm a big everything guy. You got to make that shirt for me. But yeah, when they get that big, gnarly, like heavy Brutus looking rack that, oh man, I just get addicted. That's why you can see all the shed antlers behind me.
I love, I just love antlers. Springtime, you start picking up sheds. It's, yeah, I was just in south of you, but we went to, we met up with a buddy in Durango and. [00:45:00] in New Mexico this spring and found some elk and mule deer sheds. Yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, no it's a full life on the when you own property like that in the Whitetail world, that is a 365 degree or day thing, but to be fair, so could mountain hunting, like you could be scouting in the spring and working out and shooting all summer long and getting your spots.
A lot of people do that. Yeah, no, it's both of them have, they're like the same, but different. Like they both. To be good at both, if you really want to be successful at both, like it takes a lot of preparation and time, the more time and preparation you put in, usually the luckier you seem to get.
Yeah. Do you think, what do you think makes like a better Western hunter over time? Like going, cause there's two things that you could do. You could go back to the same spot every year and it's like we live or die by this spot, but we know it. Or you could bounce around every year and it's like we never have the same spots.
And now we got to get good at other things like being able to quickly analyze a mountain or quickly find feed or [00:46:00] quickly find fresh shine. If you, if which one do you think results in a better I don't know, success rate over time. I'd probably say going to the same spot. Yeah, just that being able to really dial in a spot.
Yeah, if you can go to the same spot and it has the trophic potential you're looking for and has the animals that you're looking for. Like the more you go to that same spot over and over again, the more you're going to learn it, the better you're going to be off. But if you are, since working for GoHunt, most of the hunts that I've gone on I've been, I've never been to this, I've never been in this place before in my life.
Like I'm stepping foot into this place for the first time. Yeah. Which it's usually, it takes you like the first three or four days to really figure it out. So like in those types of situations, I like to just have a longer hunt. If I can have a 10 to 12 day hunt, like somewhere I've never been before.
Yeah. Because those first couple of days are just, Kind of a crapshoot like you're learning roads or like the spot you thought you could get to you can't get to Or [00:47:00] there's people everywhere. There's no elk or there's no deer So it's like you're doing a lot in those first couple days to like hone in to where then you actually like Hunting for seven, but Yeah I like if I can find a spot that I can like consistently go to every single year and it's like a good spot I would, I'd prefer that for sure.
I would agree. Unfortunate thing, man, like it was a non resident. We don't like, we have some favorite spots, our favorite favorites in Wyoming. We've never been to the same spot in Colorado twice. We've been to the same spot in Montana twice in two different occasions. And we did pretty good there, but it's usually we don't like, we'd love to hunt the same spot twice, but it's so hard with the tags thing to get a tag every year.
And that's like where we are now. Like I'm developing like a multi year elk strategy to, because we want to help on every year. And this is the first year we've had to resort to Colorado as a full team. Last year, half our team [00:48:00] had to go to Colorado because. The party size thing in Montana, we had to split the app and we actually got drawn.
We were really bummed about it. So we applied, I don't know, four or five days ahead of the deadline. And then the next day, go hunt released the article, the strategy article for the Montana zero point strategy. And that's what we did. And we're like, Oh no, now everyone's going to do the zero point thing.
And now we're not going to get drawn. It turns out we did get drawn and they did not with though a greater than zero average. And so it was just the way it worked out but now we had to go to Colorado. And it's, you really need an over the counter state in your rotation now to hunt elk every year.
Yeah, for sure. Yeah. It's definitely getting tougher coming out West and. Like guaranteeing yourself a tag in the same area in the same spot every single year But if you can and like you can go to the same spot but at the same time always I always hear people like there's nothing here anymore Then you also have to be like adaptable [00:49:00] like right one if you're going somewhere That's not meeting like your needs and what you're looking for and what you want to do on a hunt Then like it's probably time to find a new spot I think some people get like stuck and like i'm going to this same spot for the next 10 years Which there's going to be a point in time where?
Yeah, it's just not worth it. That's like the, that's like the Swansong or whatever you would call it of Southeast Montana there's people that would go for 30 years and it was the best mule deer hunting for the average person Like there's big ones. There's small ones. They're all over the place And then lately the last 10 years I would say it's really been on the decline and then you know The last three years really topped her off with the drought and the pressure Those people that have been doing their deer camp there for, forever are probably like, yeah, we're not going there anymore.
Like we got to find something else. Cause it's just not worth our time. Yeah, no, that's definitely something to always keep in consideration, especially like you're saying, like some effects that like we can't control, like nature, mother nature, and some of [00:50:00] those areas where there's a lot of die off from winter kill.
Even though you've been going there for the last 20 years and if you are going to do it, just have realistic expectations of what this hunt might be because it's probably not going to be the same as it was when you were hunting it before when it was in its prime. Yeah. And that's the, that was what I was getting at with the other option of moving every year that causes you to be adaptable and it causes you to build other skills and you're relying maybe more so on skills than experience.
And at the end of the year, like I agree with you, I'd give the hat to the person that's hunting a unit that like stays good or stays equal anyway, but they hunted every year for 10 years versus the person that hunts 10 different spots in 10 years. But I think at the end of the day, like just hunting every year is going to make you far better than waiting for that once in a lifetime or that 10 year tag and then going for the first time.
And now you're really starting from zero. Yeah, you, you have to at least get out there because that's the only way. You're ever going to learn anything. The more time [00:51:00] spent out there, the more you're going to learn and the better off you're going to be. If you're not spending time out there, you're not going to, you're not going to figure it out.
It took me a while to just like gear alone by itself, like what you should take on a backcountry hunt. Oh yeah. Like the first time you do it, you're like, Oh my God, what the hell now? Now I can do it automatically. Like I have it in my head of the stuff that I mean, I can pack my bag and an hour or so.
Like it took me forever and just learning. What gear worked, what gear didn't work, like what I shouldn't bring, what I should bring, and that all comes from experience. The only way you can learn that is if you go out and experience it. Yeah. And one of the things that I've thought about doing with this podcast, since it, they it is targeted towards people that are like, maybe more so from the Midwest and looking to get out West is come out with like pack lists.
Cause I live and die by a pack list. Like I got all kinds of them from all the years, but here's what I bring, or here's what you should bring. And I'll probably tailor out in a way. So instead of saying bring a, the Sika Kelvin hoodie, I'll [00:52:00] just say bring a lightweight, puffy insulator, mid layer.
And then I'd maybe just link it to the Sika one and, set up an affiliate link. But that way it gives people an idea you can do anything, but it's really helpful to have here's what I use. I use this all the time. And then that gives people a starting spot. Because if you can shave a couple years off of some of these learning curves, it just gets you that much closer to success.
And then like the backpacking thing here's what you need to think about, for example, like the multi tools, like my Leatherman or a Gerber multi tool, like super valuable, but my Leatherman weighs like a pound. Yeah, they're heavy. I got the full, it's do I really want to bring this thing or should I just bring a pocket knife?
I don't bring, I don't bring a Leatherman. No. I think I only bring, I think the only tools that I bring are. So like most of my hunts are like archery. And so I'll just have the, this, the like specific Allen wrenches that I need for if something broke or if something needs to be tightened. Yeah, that's a big one.
And I know like the Gerber has the center drive, which is like meant to have [00:53:00] bits and then it's got the pliers and the everything else, but that's, what's I already have a honey. And I had John Barclow on the podcast talking about like back country mission planning, which is his outdoor outdoor class series, which Owned go on to major.
Yeah organizer. Yeah, we yeah, we own Outdoor class. Yeah, it's just like a different partner with like randy and cory and all the other. Yeah, so he's that's his class and he's talking a lot of like you don't Just because you're nice and you're cook It doesn't mean that can't be your knife for your other thing too Like you don't need to bring two knives like he's thinking through some of that and it's Yeah, so it's like I don't need the leatherman for the knife Do I need the Leatherman for the players?
Do I need it for the sod? What would I need it for? It just seems like you should have a multi tool, but then when you get to thinking like, what do I need a multi, what do I really need a multi tool for out there? Yeah. There's so the more gear that you can find that have like multi use, you can get them to do like multiple things.
It's just going to end up saving you weight because you don't have to bring something extra if this thing can do [00:54:00] the job of three other things that you would have brought instead. Like trekking poles could be your tent poles. So that's the, that's like a system I run as I have I have bring trekking pools with me anyways.
And then my tent, I use them for my tent to set up my, I have a stone glacier ULT tarp system. So it's just two trekking pools to pitch it. So do you do a base or do you sleep on the ground? I do a base. Yeah, I do a liner on the inside. Just because of like wet and bugs and it's not too much heavier.
I wouldn't, I would do it for snakes. That's the one thing like I can handle a couple of bugs. I can handle being a little wet and uncomfortable. What I can't handle is waking up with a snake near me. Just right on top of you. Yeah, it would be terrible. I slept out in North Dakota and the badlands and they have rattlesnakes out there.
I don't think they're super common, but they have them. And I just put my cot out on the side of the road. And slept and I woke up in [00:55:00] the morning and I was terrified because I forgot that there were rattlesnakes in my class. What if a snake found me in the middle of the night and then crawled in to stay warm?
And so I'm like trying not to move but trying to feel everything like in my bag and oh man And I'm like no more So then I would just set up my cot in the bed of my pickup like with the tailgate down and sleep in the bed Of my pickup and I was like at least I'm like five feet off the ground now.
No, I'm with you, too I absolutely hate snakes. Not a fan I can't imagine like spot and stocking a mule deer or an antelope and then crawling into a rattlesnake. Yeah. Last year we had, we're actually out in Colorado. I was with Brady and trail where archery on antelope and we're like staying, this buddy had a barn, just like in the middle of nowhere, Eastern Colorado, and we're staying like in this barn and we're sitting in there one night and I look down, this rattlesnake is right next to Brady's foot, I bet you like an inch, just ready to go. I'm like Brady jumps out and yeah, [00:56:00] huge rattlesnake to God. Did the rattlesnake survive? Nope. I want to rattlesnake hat band in a bad way. I would I would be sweet. I would use it cuz I do have a bunch of cowboy hats, too I'm a more of a rhinestone cowboy.
I don't own any horses. I have horse stables now, but I don't have any horses So yeah, but I can swing dance So I feel like if I wear it I can prove that I am allowed to back it up a little bit I don't wear big ones Like I don't I think it was Steve or Nella said you should never wear a hat that has more personality than you And so I don't wear like a big old feather or anything coming out of it.
It's just a normal hat. Just a simple. Now you just, you add rattlesnake to it, it'll be perfect. Yeah, keep the rattle too, and put it on there, so as you move, it shakes. Yeah, I don't necessarily know, I'd figure it out, I'm an engineer, but if I saw a snake, I'd be like, Okay, what am I using to get this snake?
Because I don't want to like, get too close. I know a lot of people probably [00:57:00] just grab them, but I'm not that guy. I think we use like a shovel or something. Okay. I use them at the farm, but I, I'm thinking through, I probably don't have a shovel on my archery antelope hunt. Nope. You have to, you're gonna have to shoot it with your bow.
Yeah. And then it's man that's an expensive broadhead because I'm shooting the grizzly sticks for elk, obviously I probably wouldn't shoot that for antelope, but yeah, it's starting to be an expensive snake and you got to hit it the first time. Yeah, that, that could be real pricey real quick.
Yeah, we'll see. I might rethink this whole rattlesnake hat band. Depends on how big the snake is too. I don't know. Yeah. You're going to have to get a big one. Yeah. Cause I have a big head. You never know, like you can never size someone on a podcast, but yeah, I have a giant head, so I'm gonna need a bigger house.
I have a buddy from high school that moved out to South Dakota and he's, he does Archery Antelope every year and he said he's had a few times where he was, ditched the ground blind. I think they lost their private land access. So it forced him into spot and [00:58:00] stock. And he was crawling up to an antelope, and he heard a rattlesnake, and he had no idea where it was.
And he just stood up and walked away. He's No antelope in the world is worth this. No. Yeah, there's nothing worse when you hear that, and you're like, Oh God. Especially crawling. Where is this? Yeah, you don't know if you've already passed it. You look down, it's not on the hands. Okay. Yeah, I would.
Run. Run. How bad... That's, what I... I want to talk to someone that's been bit by one. I want to know, like, how bad is it really. I don't think you... I don't think you like it. I don't think it's good. I don't think he's going to be like, Oh, it's not that bad. I want to know am I going to die? I don't think you'll die.
I don't think I've heard of too many people dying. Rattlesnakes. And I think if you get to the doctor somewhere in time yeah. You got to get the venom and stuff. It probably depends a big part on like where you got hit too. I can just see getting hit in the face though. If you're like crawling for an antelope and that would be terrible.
I just can't see your face is completely swollen. Oh, gosh. And [00:59:00] then I bet that gets into your airway. If your airway starts swelling up, then that's not good. Then you won't be able to drive anywhere to the hospital cause you can't see. Yeah. That would be bad. You heard about the story of the, I think it was Kyle or Todd or the guy that got mauled by a grizzly bear twice in the same day.
He drove himself to the hospital. Yeah, it's oh yeah, he is a beast. If he survived two run ins with a sow with cubs, but yeah, the grizzly, the snake thing, if your face swells up, I'd be like, Hey, Chris, cut the, cut my water bladder and shove this tube down my throat. So I can still breathe.
Oh God. That would be an ugly haunt. Yes. Yes, it would. It sounds like you've been after the antelope and you got elk. Are you doing in state mule deer as well this fall or what's the whole fall stack up look like for you? My brother he drew a third season Colorado tag, so I'll go hunt with him on that.
That's the week before Thanksgiving, but yeah, from October to mid November, I'm going to be focusing on that. On that Iowa [01:00:00] whitetail hunt. Okay. And then I actually just picked up a reissue tag off Colorado. For an eastern plains whitetail hunt. Ooh, that would be fun. I bet there's some sneaky big whitetails out in the eastern Colorado.
They're, that's what I've heard. It can be tricky and it's not a lot of public land. So if you're like willing to knock on some doors and... And I've heard people are pretty nice out there. Like they'll let you hunt. Especially for whitetail. Cause I think... Yeah. Like you get into some of these species, like if you're asking to shoot bull elk, they're probably like, eh, no, but yeah, maybe a white to the I don't really care. And it's going to help a lot that you have a Colorado plate versus any other state. Yeah, for sure. And the tag that I got is actually, it's good for all the seasons of whitetail. So I like that. It gives me a lot of different options. If I have some free time, I can go out there.
It's basically from October to December. I can hunt it. So I would love that. Like late November where they're chasing and then you're like, you're seeing them out everywhere that I love. That's what I love [01:01:00] about Western whitetails. When they're seeking and chasing, you can see them everywhere. Cause there's nowhere to hide.
Like they're not seeking and chasing in a cattail swamp. Like they are up here. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you need to use big old rifles. Oh my gosh. Yes. Yeah. 300 wind meg with a, I have a big, like a half chassis. It's not a full chassis rifle, but long barrel, long scope bipod. And yeah, I would love to do a deer hunt again with that.
It's been a minute. Cause I didn't rifle hunt anything last year. We're in shotgun zone here in Minnesota for deer. So I don't use my rifle most years, unless I draw something out West. Yeah that's what I grew up with too in Iowa. That's probably why I'm such a big archery guy. Cause there wasn't really your best options to shoot a big buck was with a bow.
And the season, the way the seasons work out. Yeah. Oh yeah. It's way better than the shotgun stuff. And then. Yeah. Yeah. That's basically my hunt plans for this fall. I got a little white tail tag. I told you I'm back on the white tail game. Back in the white tail game. Yeah. You'll swing.
It's a momentum thing. [01:02:00] Yeah. Shoot a bunch of nice elk, shoot a caribou, and then you like just start over at the beginning again and go, all right, I'm going to work my way through the list again. I got to go through Whitetail and then just reboot it all up again. Yeah. Reboot it all up.
Does are you married now? You're just getting engaged. Yeah. I just got engaged. Yeah. Congrats. My fiance, Abby, just, I think that was over the 4th of July. I popped the question. Congrats. I just got married and my wife's name is Abby too. But no kidding. We've got the Abbey's both of us. Is she a pediatric pharmacist?
Nope. Oh, I was just going to be curious if it was the same person. Yeah. They both pediatric pharmacists. So does your Abby go with you on any of these adventures? She just got her hunter safety. What was it? Last year? Okay. She just finished up around her safety. She's definitely super curious in hunting, like she wants to go hunting for sure.
Yeah? Yeah, she's she's like in the beginning stages of She wants to see, how things are done. And so maybe like tag along with you for a couple, see how it goes. Maybe ideal candidate for an antelope camp. [01:03:00] Yeah. And she like, which I think is cool. It was like, she said, she's she, when she does actually gone, like she wants to be fully prepared.
Like she wants to, whether it's archery or rifle, like she wants to have a lot of practice and know exactly what she's doing yeah, she doesn't just want to go out there and wing it. Like she wants to go out and be like fully prepared too. Have a successful hunt, which I think that's pretty cool to, cause I know some people just just give me something.
Let me go out there and try. And I'm like, I don't know. It could be, yeah, it could be tricky, but my wife's the same way. She wants to be dialed in like in, and it's funny and it's not funny. I love it, but it's funny to think about. Like when I started hunting, man, everything was like a. A very loosely assembled things of, it was a disaster and I was winning every year.
Yeah. Not no one's Oh, I'm just going to sit on this tree branch. And I haven't cited my bow in past, whatever, 15 yard, I was 12 years old and. I had no idea what to do. Didn't know how to, never seen someone [01:04:00] stop a deer, never, all these things where it's I was just winging it every minute of the day.
And that's how I got into it. And now it's just interesting to see, like someone, when they take off, take it on as an adult, it's no. I want to be like dialed. Like I want to be professional before I start. Yeah. Yeah. They're just smarter than us, for sure definitely true there, but no, that's exciting.
I'm excited to see how your whitetail hunt in Iowa goes. Cause I've I'm right next, right north of you. And I'll probably be in Iowa actually. In that time, where are you at Minnesota? We just bought a farm north of the twin cities, like 30 to 40 minutes. And then I actually work for a big green tractor company out of Iowa.
So I'm in Waterloo and Des Moines quite a bit. I'll be in Des Moines in October, actually. Yeah. So I just live like where I hunt and live like where I grew up is 35 minutes north of Des Moines. Oh yeah. I drive right through it on the way. Yeah. It's right between Ames and Des Moines is where I grew up [01:05:00] real close.
Yeah. I'll be there middle of October, probably before you're done though. More like October 10th. Have you pulled some trail camera pictures for me? Hey, I would love to do that for you. I'd swap them out and then send them to you. That'd be super cool. I need to get those cell. Have you had any, have you ever used the cell camera once?
Oh, yes. I love them. Our family is pretty much hook, line and sinker drink the Kool Aid. And I've been talking to reveal cam, tacticam reveals, and we're seeing if it works out to do some type of a partnership with the podcast. Cause this podcast is, super blessed to have the opportunity to lead it cause it's 250, 300, 000 downloads a year. So it's like getting we could do some cool stuff together. And but yeah the reveals that we've been using, oh my gosh, like setup. I was trying to take like a photo shoot, like we did a pretty cool product photo shoot with them. And so my wife was running the camera and I was trying to like, get these, all these like process, like storytelling of setting up the camera with the.
With the, setting up the trail cam [01:06:00] with the big camera, taking these photos and it like set up so fast that it's oh, it's done. Like it literally, I accidentally scanned the QR code with my phone inside the, like the camera plate. And that's all it is. It's boom, done. I'm like, Oh I guess we didn't get any photos of that part.
And so then it was set up and yeah, now I get them every day. I got one behind the farm here and I got two at the family properties a couple hours away. And then my brother and his family have five total. So we got eight or nine of them and it's fun. Cause you can get. Like you can share your camera.
So if someone else like your dad or your brother, just a buddy that hunts the same property has a couple obviously you don't want to be paying for them, but you can share back and forth. So then you can still see the pictures from all of the cameras on the property, not just like the one you have.
If you share it with somebody else, it's like sharing a pen with Gohan. If you share a pen with somebody, then they can see the pen too. Yeah. Yeah. I need to get some, cause like I'm saying, I live in Colorado. To have them like just sent out to me get [01:07:00] them with they're cheaper than they've ever been to like they're hundred and some bucks And and then you can get the solar panels with them So then like when you set it up like you could literally go Christmas easter.
I don't know whenever you go back to visit your family You could set it up and it's done for the entire season. Like you don't have to touch it again It's we got all of ours with solar panels And my brothers had one running with a solar panel for a year and a half now. And it's crazy. Yeah. We don't take videos with them.
So the camera, the cars last forever, but yeah, the solar panels just keep them topped off. Like I've put mine out three or four months ago and they're still at a hundred percent battery because they all panels and good sunlight. So it really depends on sunlight. I think it would be interesting for people in the mountains too.
If you can find places where there's good reception, just to know are the elk using this valley or that valley? Yeah, if there's some good service, yeah, that's the tricky part about that. Yeah, that's the hard, you'd have to be up high. I bet. Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna have to what would you say those cameras are [01:08:00] called?
Tacticam reveals. So there's a couple different ones. I think for what you're doing, I just picked the cheapest one, which I think is the reveal 2. 0 or the expert that you can look them up. But yeah, you can do, so like I have mine set right now to take two or three pictures. And if the pictures are good, then I can request the video and it'll send me the video of it.
Yeah. Yeah, that is. Yeah, it's super fast. Technology has come a long way, huh? I had some, I like here, it opens up my app on my phone. And so right there are all the pictures of it'll send it to me. So those are all my brother's cameras. And then I just switched back to my home feed, and this one right here was this morning when I woke up, there was a deer out in the back.
Just some deer rolling around? Yeah. Yeah, no, they're sweet. How excited do you get when you get pictures coming in and you're like, all right, this is a big one. You know how when you're like in middle school and you got a text message from a girl and your heart rate just went up? Every time the notification comes I feel the same way and I don't even know what the picture is [01:09:00] yet.
Yeah, that sounds like a ball I gotta get some of these Yeah, it gets a little if you get a lot of them and you're getting pictures all day long It would literally distract you from being productive at work. So I set mine most of my cameras just update once a day at 6 a. m Which helps me get out of bed on time.
So you just wake up and you're like, all right, I got a couple of pictures, drink some coffee, look through. There's some, I know of some podcasters that have deals with other brands and they have 50 of them. And he's like in the hunting season. Like I will actually wake up multiple times in the middle of the night and check my cameras and then go back to sleep.
Oh my. Yeah. So I can imagine. Yeah. Imagine if you got reception for like in the Elkwoods and you were like getting pictures of 350 inch bowls on your show. Yeah. I'd be checking them all the time too. I feel like it'd start to really mess with my head to Oh, I was going to go to this spot. Now I'm going to go to this spot.
The nice thing about your situation is it's going to tell you what's not only out there, but what the, like the race and data has been. So when you land, you don't have to waste time [01:10:00] pulling cameras and putting pressure on your spot. You can just hunt. Yeah. And that's what I love about it is because I'm two hours away, which seems pretty close, especially probably you in the mountains, because everything's two hours away in the mountains.
But there's a long ways to just go pull your cards and come home. Yeah, that is. Four hours total driving, just pulling a card that takes 15 minutes maybe. Oh yeah, less than that. I set all my cameras up at our farms so I can get most of them out of the window of my pickup. Yeah. Yeah, drive right to them.
I do. Yeah, just to reduce the scent, mostly. Especially with the Ranger. With the Ranger, I can drive right to all of them and I pull the camera right out the window. So I'm not walking at all, but yeah, that would be huge for you. Just like knowing where you stand when you land, when you get home and start hunting, so you can hit the ground running.
Yeah. Yeah. I think I'm going to try to get back here in the next couple of weeks just to get some things set up. So I might have to get a couple of those cameras so I can one with 12 acres. Yeah. One or two would probably be [01:11:00] plenty, right? Yeah. That's all I need. Yeah. Put them on a straight kind of walking through.
Yep. Put it, hang a rope in front of them, put them on a sprake and a scrape and you'd be. You'd be like, you'd be climbing elevation on your Elkhunt trying to get reception so you can check your cards. What's going on right now? Yeah. Yeah, instead of calling home, you're trying to get your cell cam app to load.
I'll have to give it to my fiance so that I can in reach her from my Garmin and be like, Hey, what do we got for pictures on there today? Yeah, you should talk to Garmin and be like, Hey, I need picture texting on my inReach now so I can get to her. Okay, I'm in pictures. We got to figure this out, Garmin.
I think the rhinos had pictures, don't they? Do they? I don't know for sure either, but I know the rhinos have an LCD screen, but they don't have, I don't think they had the same capabilities as the inReach did for like universal satellite texting. I don't remember. Because I know Zolio and InReach are just all...
Yeah, I didn't [01:12:00] get all stupid. I was, I didn't know that you could Bluetooth your phone to your in reach so you could text off your phone. So I'm sitting there scrolling through the letters to type out my messages on my in reach. That's sounds awful. Yeah. That'd be tough. Yeah. And it's like over up up.
And it's not like T nine texting. It's literally scrolling through the entire alphabet, which I was like, I got nothing better to do because I'm by myself on this hunt and it's, the weird part when you go on a solo hunt, is it like on a rifle hunt? It gets dark at five and you don't really go to bed till nine.
So you got four hours sitting and looking at the wall of your tent. Yeah, I got plenty of time to send out messages. Yeah, it probably took you four hours to send one message. Pretty much. And then you get like a two word response back because whoever you were texting back home is like busy with their normal life.
You're like, great. I'm glad I spent two hours on that message. Yeah. Those garments are super nice. Oh yeah. They're a must. That's another thing. Backpack hunt. Add that to the list. If you're new to backpacking, like I would not recommend anyone going out, especially a newbie without a... Some type of satellite [01:13:00] communication.
Yeah. So that's for sure. Always gotta have one of those. But yeah, but awesome. And I just wanna say thanks man, for finding the time. I know I had to bounce around with you on the calendar. I had some meetings pop up today, but, I've had a blast talking to you about the fall. Yeah, man. Thanks. Yeah.
Thanks for having me on. Hopefully we got some good stories to share after this fall. Oh, heck yeah. We'll have to do a follow up. And in the meantime, tell people where they can get their very own big elk guy shirt. So places you can find it, you can go to my Instagram, CJ Neville 23. That's just my personal Instagram.
And I have a link there, but the website name is. BigMerchGuy. com Pretty simple. That's like my quote that I always do for all my Instagram posts because I got sick of writing captions. So yeah, the website's big merch guy. com. If you want to find these shirts, or if you just type in like big L guy shirt, it'll probably pop up too.
Perfect. Go check out all the stories and then go back on the big merch guy link. [01:14:00] And we'll put a link in the show notes as well. For anyone that wants to be a big L guy, like Chris. And I'm going to, I have to have some whitetail ones coming now that I'm going to be, I got two whitetail hunts this year, always a mule deer fan.
So those are going to be the next two coming down the line. How cool would it be if you shot a big whitetail and you could use that for the artwork, like the base of the artwork? That would be sweet. Yeah, I like that. The question is, do I do big whitetail guy or do I do big deer guy? You could do, maybe you could do like AB testing and do both, but then if you did a big dough, you'd be the only one in the industry. That's got like a big dough on a t shirt. Like I'm a big, Hey, I'm a big dough guy. I love shooting those. That's right. I'm with you. I shoot a lot of them, but I like jerky and it's, you don't get a lot of meat off of deer. So if you want like 25 pounds of jerky, 25 pounds of sticks and 25, whatever, it's you got to shoot a lot of doughs.
Yeah. Me and my wife can shoot 12 deer this year, legally. So we won't, that's [01:15:00] a lot, that's a lot, we don't have that much time but yeah, big deer, I don't know we'll put up because white tail gets a little long, same with like big, it's same with like big mule deer guy gets a little long, or I could just do it, big buck guy, that works.
Big deer guy. Big rack guy. Big rack guy. You take that any way you want. I'm just, I'm going to let you be creative with that one. That's right. Oh man. Yeah. Big deer guy. I'd say big deer guy could be cool. And then just like a monster doe. Just a huge doe. Yeah. Big old long nose. Yeah. That would be hilarious.
Awesome. Thank you for being here, Chris. And thank you for listening folks.[01:16:00]