Out of State Hunts, Gear and Arrows with Cameron Derr

Show Notes

This week on the podcast we have on Cameron Derr from Exodus outdoor gear.  We talk about out of state hunting, hunting gear, and arrow builds.  Cam has some great insight to arrow flight and what makes a good hunting arrow.

We then dive into out of state hunting.  Cam has killed a few out of state hammers and we discuss some of the gear that helps on these hunts.  We discuss out of state hunts that are across the country but also just a few hours away and the different challenges these present.  

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

Other topics

-Mobile hunting 

-Less gear is better


-Shooting deer at close range 

-Arrow set up

-Overlooked bow tuning 

Show Transcript

Byron Horton: [00:00:00] What is up guys? It is Turkey season here in the Buckeye State. Good luck if you are getting in the woods. We had limited hunting done by the squad over opening weekend. Rick got out and his nephew got I think his first Turkey on his own. So congrats to that squad for getting a bird down.

As for me, I'm hoping to get out maybe later in the week here and get some hunting in, and if the birds don't cooperate, I probably will do some TSI if I hunt my small farm. If not, scouting is the concern. So we got that going on. The other thing I did wanna mention on here is I've been putting a couple extra videos into like my self producer class, which is geared towards guys wanting to accelerate their learning curve.

In solo filming, solo production. There's branding, photography, videography, type discussions, examples. I've got, I don't know, six, seven podcasts as well as eight to 10 videos that come with that course. And I run that through Patreon just to [00:01:00] make that thing like a landing page, but wanted to mention that.

Don't plug that enough. And I think some guys, if they're wanting to accelerate the learning curve, they can go there. Other than that, let's get to Cam, the camera man, this computer. All right on the line with me, if you will, Cameron der cam, the cameraman cam from Exodus. What am I missing there, cam? What else is in your title?

Responsibilities video creator for Whitetail Cribs. A lot of people probably know that show as well as the other Exodus content.

Cameron Derr: Yeah, we're wearing many hats here. Over here. You're a podcast host. Podcast host. I do the accounting work for Exodus. There's a lot,

Byron Horton: man. That is a versatile piece.

I think. I'm gonna tell Chad, he should bump your pay. Hell yeah. But wanted to have you on and discuss a variety of topics from mobile gear to arrows to. Outstate or hunting locations that are a distance away from home. I think a lot of that stuff is gonna be on people's [00:02:00] minds, probably more in the month once Turkey season wraps up.

But traveling to hunting, I feel like our core demographic does a good amount of that. And so I think you've got some good thoughts on that. You've hunted both states away, like if you will, but also maybe two to four hours away, which is a little bit of a different game. And I want to ask you some stuff on that, but.

If I had to pick a guy who has researched arrows, testing broadheads, you have put in some time behind some equipment, but hammer gear self-testing, reading. How many hours do you think you've put into arrow configuration and testing.

Cameron Derr: Oh man it's really hard. It's probably really hard to put like a number on it.

I, we spent two weeks, 10 hours a day in the summer last year with a high speed camera. So like daylight. It's to dark every single day, testing different configurations. And if you shoot three veins, if you shoot four veins, if you cut your arrow in shorter, what does it do? If you have your arrow launched from a certain point, [00:03:00] what does it do if you twist a string a certain way?

What does it do? So just in that like high speed camera testing, there's a hundred hours plus. And then I host a podcast with Co-host it with DOR from Fire Knock. So I spend two hours a week with him and then like it has just consumed me to, I'm not, I'm spending eight hour, like a single, full day every single week researching different topics around aero flight and a harmonics.

And I actually, it's funny. I just got off the phone with my brother. He's an aerospace engineer at Ohio State, and I'm gonna be spending a whole bunch of time with the Ohio State Aerospace Engineering Department testing all of the theories that everybody talks about within Aeros with an engineering department.

So if it is real, if it was a theory, we're testing it and I'm gonna put. I'm gonna put a lot of things to rest with that testing on certain myths or theories on aero flight, [00:04:00] specifically around high let off compound bows. So I

Byron Horton: would, just rough quick math year, easily over a thousand hours research into archery and aero flight within the last year.

Cameron Derr: Yeah, just in the last year. Yeah. E easily over a thousand hours.

Byron Horton: Nice. That is cool, man. And when you started some of the podcasts, I called you, I think on your second or third podcast, I was like, like Cam, like I need some Cliff notes versions. I've heard a few things like what are three quick takeaways for me that I'm like, some of the information is very high level and we talked a lot about recovery rate because I was shooting some micro diameters and that was like a sticking point in some of your research that.

You and I don't have the numbers in front of me, but it was like, Some of these deer that people are shooting, like especially inside of 10 yards, that arrow may not even be fully recovered if they're shooting a certain setup. Can you talk a little bit about some of that discovery?

Cameron Derr: Sure. Yeah. So the number one key to maintaining energy in your [00:05:00] arrow is how fast it recovers, how fast it reaches equilibrium.

And when you think about what that looks like in an arrow, that's just when it's spinning a nice tight elliptical spin. So it's not gyrating, it's not going all crazy and. The smaller diameter shaft that you have, the longer it takes for it to get to that tight elliptical spin because to get a spine to be stiff enough in a smaller diameter shaft, you have less surface area.

You have less to work with. You need the inner diameter wall thickness to be a lot thicker, to be able to withstand and be tough enough to be a 300, 250 spine arrow shaft. So what that does, The thicker the wall, the slower the reaction. So a larger diameter shaft with a thinner wall is able to take that vibration in the arrow.

Get the, accept the force curve and recover a lot faster because it's a quicker reacting material. And [00:06:00] whereas the thicker wall DOR calls it the elasticity memory effect, and basically alls that mean, all that means is that it's slower to react. So it takes the same amount of force to bend. A 2 46, 2 50 spine and a 1 66, 2 50 spine, it's spine that way.

That's what that means. But the 1 66 is gonna react a lot slower because of how thick the wall is. So

Byron Horton: getting to that, what I'll call like good arrow flight, right? That you gave me some. Do you have the numbers in front of you that, hey, like your setup might not be recovering if you're shooting the micro diameter until it was yards, you were measuring it in and

Cameron Derr: Yeah, from the testing that we did, we found that It's a lot tighter between aero shafts than you would think, but like a 1 66 shaft wasn't recovering for us 19 yards was the point that it would correct and hit that ti elliptical spin 19 yards.

So when you think of [00:07:00] the impact of an arrow, you want that impact to be straight. And that's the idea between people say like you want high foc so when your impact is straight and it pulls it through. But if you have high f ooc, micro diameter shaft and your impact is at 10 degrees or five degrees or three degrees, the back end of that arrow is gonna keep going and it's gonna wobble.

Yeah. And if you, it's a real simple test. If you take something and cut it with a knife and you cut straight down on it. It's a lot easier to cut. If you turn your knife. You gotta put more force into it to cut it simple. It's really simple. Yes. So you want your arrow to be recovered and straight upon impact.

So a 1 66 shaft isn't fully recovered until about 19 yards. If the further the larger the shaft gets, that number decreases. Like a 2 0 4, was it like 14 yards and a standard diameter 2 46 was like 10 yards. And [00:08:00] then you add the arrow concept system from fire knock, which we licensed for the excess M T shaft and that yardage number turns into feet.

So once that bow is launched within a, like within three yards, you're pretty much, it's stabilizing

Byron Horton: and flying

Cameron Derr: efficiently. Yeah. And what that does is, number one, it gives you an impact point that is perpendicular straight, and. All that. Any ener, any harmonics in the arrow, any vibration is lost energy.

So the quicker you can stabilize, the less energy loss you have, the more energy you have to put into your target.

Byron Horton: Which is wild cuz I feel like bow hunting, like you said, 19 yards, I bet 30 ish percent, maybe 40% of the deer I've shot with archery equipment have been inside of 19 yards. Like a good amount.

And it's okay, so my arrow was not even like hitting them with max efficiency inside what we call bow hunting [00:09:00] range, if you will. I was just, I was blown away by that, that, oh, thought or statistic, if you will. That's a very important thing that that I took away from several of those early podcasts.

One final question here regarding arrows and archery tuning. What do you think's the most overlooked aspect of guys looking to, I don't know, maximize that,

Cameron Derr: to, to get like the best flight to, to optimize flight

Byron Horton: to essentially get in hands the best hunting era for their setup. If you looked across the market or across consumers, ah, guys, you should probably put a little more dollars or thought into this part of your arrow setup.

Cameron Derr: Okay, so that's pretty simple because con accuracy and durability are like hand in hand the number one things that you need in a hunting arrow, right? You gotta be able to hit where you put it and you need it to withstand the shot. So within those things, you need those two things to be consistent.

Consistent accuracy, [00:10:00] consistent durability, consistent flight. And the easiest way that I don't see many people doing for consistency is spine alignment, spine indexing. You need to, a lot of people will do it within NOC tuning. Takes a really long time. But how many people do you know that like just one guy.

Byron Horton: In my phone book and I've got some good caliber deer hunters in my phone book. But there is one guy that does second level archery tinkering. Everyone else is more focused on scouting and getting their hunting stuff in order, getting their food plots in, pulling cams. They're all focused on that

Cameron Derr: aspect of it.

Yep. And then when it, like, when you think about 'em, when it comes down to being able to take that animal that you scouted for, You need your arrow to do the job, and you need to be able to rely on that arrow. And everyone has five or six arrows in their quiver. And I guarantee you, if you ask people, they have one arrow that they trust.

And that's because that arrow is the closest to being spine indexed. The [00:11:00] rest of them are not. So you can't just flex an arrow. The consistent from error to arrow. Every arrow shaft is gonna have a different first dynamic bend in the arrow. So meaning it's just gonna flex on a different axis, it's gonna flex from a different point.

There's a weak spot in the spine. And if you put the cockbain on the weakest part of the spine, when you release the arrow, every shaft is gonna react the same way and catch drag the same way off the flight. So then you have consistency, and then you can spend a little bit of time not tuning to get the perfect tune from that.

But like the. Most important thing to have a consistent arrow where you can trust any arrow that you grab does. If you shoot a buck and miss it and you go to grab that next arrow and you're like, oh man, this one doesn't shoot very good. That's that time that you thought to think about that the buck's gone.

You need to be able to trust every single arrow. Why would you buy 12 if you could only trust one? So having consistent flight between them, the biggest missed step in that is spine indexing. [00:12:00] Interesting.

Byron Horton: Interesting. Is that easy to do? I don't even know. And or is that something that some companies do for

Cameron Derr: you?

Yeah, it's a good question. Some companies claim to do it for you, but the problem with that is when you buy a full length shaft that comes, quote unquote spine aligned, once you cut that shaft, the spine moves because it's a spiral. Sure. It, the spine in the arrow is spiral, so if you cut it, And you put your F flushings on a different area.

Now that spine is moving, so a factory spine aligned arrow, then you build, you're moving the spine. So that is like misleading. Where they think oh yeah, we're spinal line this for you. But not once you cut 'em. And not everyone is gonna cut the same, like at the same point in the spiral.

So you're gonna have erratic flight like crazy. We are doing it for people. We're. We're doing it. That's the last step before we f flush it. We'll take fire pap system, spinal line, the arrow, so you know, out of all 12 of your arrows, they're all gonna react the same way. There's no questions about it.

Byron Horton: That's the best [00:13:00] thing I like about the M T model of doing things is go scouting. Go get time in the evening to shoot your bow, get your gear in order, like you can focus on the pursuit your arrow show up to the door and it's almost plug and play. That's what I, that's what I love about it, cuz I can focus on other things that I wanna devote more hours to.

I'm not an archery tech. I'm not super nerdy on arrows, but I definitely like the plug and play aspect of the M

Cameron Derr: T. Yeah, we're giving people a super high technical arrow. Without having to think about it. It's simple. You go place the order, we do all the legwork, you the arrows, show up, you shoot 'em, and you're like, oh, I'm ready to hunt.


Byron Horton: good. Okay, cam, let's shift gears because you do a lot of talk on your podcast about mobile hunting minimalist. Don't take X, Y, and Z to the woods. I found this little gizmo that I really like. One, what is [00:14:00] your current mobile system, if you will for hunting and what? How'd you settle on that?

Cameron Derr: So I basically have some priorities and what I need my gear to do. Number one, it has to be lightweight. Number two, it has to be packable. Number three, it has to be functional, and I'm pretty much in that order where if something is super functional but packs not so well, or is super functional, but ass heavy, I will tend to.

Give up some functionality to get more lightweight or to get more pack ability. Tho that's how I prioritize what I'm using. I have a plethora of different lightweight gear that I can use. I'm a saddle hunter. And 90% of the time, or I'm on the ground, I would maybe even 70 to 30%. I'm running the Latitude Method two Saddle.

I chose that because of the functionality, the lightweight, the pack ability. It's a two panel saddle that packs into a one panel saddle when you're walking. There's no metal. There's no noise. I'm [00:15:00] using the, I like three different kind of stick models. I was using the B sticks for a really long time because of the liability and the functionality and the weight of them.

But as more and more things come out, they don't pack very well. So I have moved on to different items. I ran the Elevate their sticks for a little while if I don't have to go very far, because they're a little bit more heavy. I do like the way they stack together with the magnets, but last year, what I spent the most time using, Was the tethered one sticks because they almost had everything in the functionality.

They climbed really well. They're super lightweight and they pack like you don't even know that you have 'em with you. I use the Sitka tool belt pack and my sticks have to match. The way that I carry them in. I can't have sticks that pack really bulky because I store them underneath the lumbar pack And you run 'em

Byron Horton: horizontal, right?

Yes. So yeah, they're going horizontal almost [00:16:00] across your butt,

Cameron Derr: right? Yep. Along the bottom there's like a, there's a couple straps on the bottom there that they're just slide right in. The tethered one sticks. In Iowa, I, there was times where I like almost started walking back to the truck because I.

Thought I forgot my sticks. Because the way they packed was like, they weren't even there.

Byron Horton: You taking 2, 3, 4, depends on the

Cameron Derr: mission. Three with a two step eighter on the first one. Okay. I, Ty typically don't hunt very high. I haven't really found it necessary. If I do end up having to get a little bit higher, I just stretch out as far as I can and I'll put my knee up on that stick and pull myself up.

And would you ever

Byron Horton: transition that double

Cameron Derr: step eighter? I have, yeah, I have in scenarios like out in North Dakota where there wasn't a whole lot of cover, there was a couple trees and there just sticks and I had to get a little bit higher. I did in that scenario, but I didn't find it necessary most of the time.

That eighter I'm using. So the ator, the it's a three, it can be a three step or two step. Yeah. And then the step planks are adjustable. [00:17:00] Oh, nice. So you can change if you kinda

Byron Horton: hear it as it gets close to that bottom step, if you will.

Cameron Derr: Yep. And if you have if you're hunting in the late season and you have more layers on and you can't step as high, you can shorten that up a little bit to, to customize your leg gate, so to speak.

That's the stick set up. I am, I did order the latitude. Carbon series sticks. I figured you would. I'm excited to see how those work, cuz those pack really they're lightweight. Yeah. And I think they're gonna climb really well. I haven't put 'em on a tree yet. Using the X-Wing platform from Latitude, because that is like the smallest, most functional platform that I can find without dealing with a ring of steps.

I just wasn't a big fan of the ring of steps. I thought it

Byron Horton: I emergency saddle hunted one time. And I had to stand on steps. And dude that kills your boots or your feet, that's super uncomfortable. That was not ideal. To each their own but yeah I definitely think even just a smaller ish platform to to [00:18:00] maybe combo with that.

I could not imagine hunting all day, just


Cameron Derr: on steps. No, when I first started saddle hunting, I would just stand on the top stick. I would just stand on the steps of my top stick, and I could only do that for a couple hours until it got really uncomfortable. But in my head, I always wanted to be as close to the tree as possible.

The goal, like being a saddle hunting the tree is, A big advantage to you. But you wanna be as close to that cover as possible. You don't wanna be sticking way out. I've always leaned towards being the tree, like Yeah, getting as close to the tree as possible. So a small platform that doesn't put you way out against a tree looking like a tree limb.

I don't think that's the best way to use a saddle platform. So I went with the X-Wing platform cause it allows me to stay tight to the tree, but I can still. Use those wings to have 360 degrees of shooting ability. Just a no-brainer. Yeah. I

Byron Horton: wanna ask you, have you ever messed with the individual step type systems that are out there?

I think Boman has some

Cameron Derr: and squirrel steps.

Byron Horton: [00:19:00] Yeah. And Cramford obviously has like really good screwing steps, which aren't exactly super legal everywhere, but like I am, I have messed with the taking three sticks and two steps, like in your pockets, cuz you can climb the tree with a stick on each side.

Like it's very fluent. Have you messed with any of those,

Cameron Derr: like any of those? I have not. And I wanna say I felt, why do I feel like it was you that told me not to? Someone told me to stay away from cuz they were really loud.

Byron Horton: Ooh. I, out of all the steps I've messed with, I haven't, like they, they, none of them are super loud.

I, I've messed with the Bowman. They like redesigned him last year and he's teased on his social some sort of hook type mechanism that I think would make him a lot easier to use. That's the big negative. They're a polymer, like a, almost like the handgun plasticy metal.

So to me that screams is strong enough, if you're gonna Sure. Do an explosive propellant out of something, it should be pretty solid. Yeah. But to me it's I'm looking at what he's doing and hopefully I, I don't care [00:20:00] who manufactures it, but I would still I'm interested to see if somebody, plus I run a lot of cams.

Elevated and those packing a backpack a little better than a

Cameron Derr: double stick. Sure. Yeah, that's a good point. I it was Josh Hulker from the Hunting Beast that kind of was like those, it was the cranford steps, the fold out, like squirrel steps type things. And he is I tried 'em. They're just really loud.

Byron Horton: Yeah. I could never get those as tight as the bull mens. So I if somebody was looking at one, I maybe might lean that way at this point. Although screw and steps, dude, Crawford's got 'em. Yeah. I don't know. And I will say this too, their accessories where like your, the row hooks and stuff like that, whatever tip they do it just goes into the tree.

Like butter, like left-handed is not a problem. Like it's

Cameron Derr: legit. That's the, that's like the biggest thing for me with those type of. Accessories that screw in. If you don't have the right tip, I'm not using it.

Byron Horton: Yeah. You're sitting there just getting four out a after. Yeah.

Cameron Derr: Hanging your set. Yeah.

Sweating. Yeah. Thank you.

Byron Horton: Exactly. So Cam, you have done some variety of [00:21:00] travel hunts in the last 2, 3, 4 years. And I wanted to ask you, you've gone out west to hunt some whitetails and that obviously is a longer commute. You're probably there for a longer extended period of time. And doing that, I don't know if it's designed to do before you can start hunting at home, but talk a little bit about why you decided, hey, I want to go drive a bazillion miles and hunt some whitetails.

Cameron Derr: Sure. There's a lot of reasons behind the motivation for it. Number one, it just fits the way that I like to hunt. More than hunting around home. I'm an open, kind, open prairie kind of guy. I like to see a long way. I like to watch the animal do what they're doing. I like to game plan around a visual, off a whitetail, so that lent itself to going out west into the more open ground.

And then when I got out there, I just fell in love with number one. Yeah. You're sharpening your skills before you come back home. And I have a lot more time to hunt around home than I do out there, so I have to be pretty [00:22:00] efficient while I'm out there. So it puts you into a high pressure scenario with having to get it done, having to make sure that you're making all the right moves.

And then when I come back home, I'm sharper, so I'm not screwing up the, I get less opportunity at home, even though I have more time because it's just a little bit harder to hunt. So allows me to sharpen my skills and then. Traveling to hunt to me has brought me like a newborn passion for just seeing new places, having new experiences, hunting in different ways, and hunting with different people.

So I have made a Iowa, I went by myself. I went solo last year in Iowa. Never, I will never do it again, just from. Having another person to bounce ideas off of. If you get in a hairy situation, who you gonna call? I had some kayak trips that I was like, if I roll in the this water that I've never been in before in my life, who am I gonna call?

No one knows where I'm at. And hunting with [00:23:00] people has been a motivation for that as well. Because if you tell someone like, Hey, I'm gonna go to Kansas, you wanna come hunt? They're gonna say, yeah. I'm in northeast Ohio, gonna go hunt a 20 acre parcel. You wanna come out nah, I think I'll pass.

So I could say that's more, that's part of the motivation.

Byron Horton: Yeah. Now making that big commute. Anything you found to be efficient from something in your vehicle to some gear you're bringing to Are you saving on travel expenses by sleeping in a tent? Any cool, like far away travel gear that should be pointed out?

Cameron Derr: Yeah, so when I hunt in North Dakota, I usually travel with a book. My buddy Trey, he has a cap on his truck, so that makes it really nice to if we get in some rain, we can just sleep in the his back. I have a cot, it's called the King Camp. Caught, and it's like a foldable cot and it weighs like three pounds or something, which is really nice.

It packs up like in the size of a little head pillow. Okay. So it's a, that, that's been really nice. One. If I'm camping or I'm sleeping in the bed of the truck, [00:24:00] I just lay that out. Keeps me off the ground. So that is something that I have really enjoyed, a good sleeping bag. I have a first light sleeping bag.

No, it's a Nemo sleeping bag. That first light collaborated with I'm a big coffee guy. I gotta have coffee while I'm out there. So I am a either the jetboil coffee plunger. Okay. I don't know if you've seen those.

Byron Horton: No I'm gonna take a note here.

Cameron Derr: Yeah, there's a little coffee plunger that can go in your jet boil, which is nice for having a good cup of coffee while you're out there.

And I'm also just a, I'll boil water and put it in a coffee press. I have a little portable coffee press. So those are big staples for me when I'm traveling out there, cuz I like to, I'm not out there glamping by any means, but I like to enjoy myself. I like to be comfortable. I have a.

What's the tent Alps? Mountain Gear Tent. It's a, this is like something I learned. If a tent says it's a two-person tent, it's a one person tent. If a tent says it's [00:25:00] a three-person tent, it's a two-person tent. So I have a three-person Alps mountain gear tent. Packs really small. It's pretty lightweight.

I bought it for a trip to Colorado. And only used it once on the mountain. So any Turkey hunting trip I go on any deer hunting trip I go on, it's always with me cause it takes up almost no room. And if I get on a deer or on a bird or something that's three miles away from where I'm staying, I just pitch a tent somewhere and have a nice, comfortable place.

So that, that's the camping gear. I'm, I take like the least amount of stuff that I can. Take with me to get by. Yeah. But still be comfortable.

Byron Horton: Yeah. And I think it's important cause I remember I asked Chad, this has been two years ago, like when he was doing some big woods hunting and staying. I was like, do you take anything for comfort?

I. And he's just roughing it. And I'm like, man, like I've hunted alone in other states where you're isolated and like little things keep you going. And it's oh, like I you got I pre-made some pasta one night or [00:26:00] whatever, and that was like, I heated it up and with my stove and it was like warm, good homemade food.

And that kept me going. I take, when I stay in, in my wall tent, I've got a cot, but then I throw even a pad on top of that. Because it's like, Tony Peterson has talked about for years, quality sleep on your out-of-state whitetail hunts is definitely

Cameron Derr: needed. Oh dude I'm, yeah, a hundred percent on board with that.

I'm not staying up all night drinking, like I need to get some rest cause I need to be sharp. The I do use a pad that King Cot has these they're like, I don't, they're elastic. Bands on the bottom of the cot and you slide a pad underneath it. Okay, nice. So it's very streamlined. You don't have to worry about your pad like sliding off the cot.

Yeah, it's just stuck under there, but still gives you the padding that yeah, that King Cot has been one of the better purchases I've made for traveling and hunting. Cause you could put it anywhere.

Byron Horton: Nice. Yeah. And the the coffee recommendation I think is important too, cuz yeah, if you, who doesn't like a warm cup of coffee?

Especially when you get to a place and maybe you're just driving roads, [00:27:00] like figuring out parking, glassing other hunters like, dude, just sit in a good cup of coffee cuz you might be 15, 20 minutes from a gas station if you're like, oh, just run to town every time. You burn a lot of time and fuel

Cameron Derr: and money.

Byron Horton: So something I wanted to ask In general, do you, so you've also done some hunts where you're only like two to four hours away. You've went to Pennsylvania with Shirk. Is that different? Do you look at some of those trips that maybe are two to four hours away as something you might do multiple times in a season?

Or is that like maybe a back pocket type play where if you kill one early, you can go there again? How does that different from your big travel?

Cameron Derr: I guess it depends on the location. I have some property in pa. I have some areas in West Virginia. I can go hunt and I have obviously just drive a couple hours south in Ohio and I can go hunt.

To me it has been more of a back pocket play and the more and more I get into my position at Exodus and my goals for how I want to hunt, I am gonna spend. The [00:28:00] majority of my time in November when I'm everything's fired up outta state. So when I come home, if I tag out early, yeah. It's a back pocket thing.

I'll go to West Virginia, I'll go to pa. So I don't treat those as like mul, multiple trips, unless there's a big deer, unless there's something going on that I'm like, I need to keep heading up there. I typically will drive almost every time that I hunt an hour though, I don't have a total, I don't have a lot of ground super close to home, so anytime I'm hunting it's typically an hour or more.


Byron Horton: Yeah. Oh, I wanted to ask this cuz you have gone west and killed some hammers, but like when I go outta state a lot of times like I'll probably, I would say on average I would shoot a buck that's five to 10 inches smaller than my home state cuz I'm just like, I don't know what's out there. I have limited time.

If I had a I'll just paint a picture here. October 15th and 120 inch, like eight point comes in [00:29:00] here in the home state, like I'm probably passing that deer, but let's say I went somewhere September 15th ish, and th that deer walks in and he, maybe he's a little heavier, 120 inch eight. I'm probably shooting him.

Oh yeah. No. There's no probably if he's framing ish Yeah. I'm

Cameron Derr: shooting him. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm like, where I'm at in my, my stages of hunting. I'm not to the point where I'm passing a pope and young deer. And so home, state, outta state, whatever, like I'm shooting for trying to find Pope and young deer.

But it also depends on where I'm at, how I'm hunting. And what the goal is in North Dakota, I would've shot 115 inch deer if it was in full velvet. I wanted to kill a full velvet deer. I passed a deer when I shot my North Dakota buck this year, I passed the deer that was bigger than him, had a bigger frame than him, wouldn't have scored higher, but had a bigger frame than him because he was shed and there was a full velvet deer with him.

So I shot the velvet one. If that deer was, [00:30:00] he was 165 inches. If he was one 15, he would've got plowed too. I wasn't passing him

Byron Horton: because Okay wait. So I'm gonna, so you're saying it what, okay. What if a one 60 was the front deer he had shed his velvet one 60? No, the back frame deer is full velvet one 20.

Which one are you shooting? The one 60. Okay. Okay. So there, there is there, there's probably somewhere where the break even happens. Yeah. But you had made the decision both good bucks. I'm gonna take

Cameron Derr: the velvet one. Yeah. That was the biggest deer in my life. So if it was the biggest deer in my life and he was shed, I'm shooting him.

But if it's like a 10 inch gap, one's full velvet, one's not, I'm shooting the velvet one. Now that I've shot the velvet one. I don't think I would do that because dealing with the velvet was a mess. Yeah. But like in, in Iowa last year, dude, the experience of the hunt that I had, I shot 120 inch buck in Iowa.

But I had an absolute Amazing hunt, and there was a tank of a buck with that deer, and I didn't know which buck was what, and I shot one and I freaked out. Yeah I'm just more about the [00:31:00] chase memories. Not inches, as Greg Litzinger would say, I like it. It's more about the experience in the situation I'm in.

If I have the exact hunt of like exact way I wanna hunt, and the deer's a little bit smaller, I'm shooting them.

Byron Horton: Yeah. I like that thought a lot. And it's funny too, like when stuff happens fast or if you debate sometimes that opportunity goes, but like Dave and I will pick up sheds and there's a shed over here on the wall that we call the ribcage buck, and he's 110 inch shed.

10 point, but side profile, he looks like a one 50 cuz he's got five inch fours and you're like, dude, if you saw that thing side profile, you were shooting it 10 outta five days a week. Cuz you're like, dude, that could be a 1 50, 1 60. Yeah. And yeah, like I, dude, yeah. The interest thing is man, that the experience is, and I will say that podcast you did when you got back, when you were discussing how, like you didn't want the trip to end.

That deer were being deer and like it was like watching an episode of Midwest Whitetail every hunt, or not every hunt, but a lot more days than you get here in [00:32:00] Ohio. Like to me, that was a very powerful podcast, if

Cameron Derr: you will. It hits honestly that trip and what happened and how it played out has changed like a hundred percent how I look at a lot of the things that I'm doing.

That it, that made it more about the experience than anything. I was having a little bit of a miserable time hunting around home. Trying to figure out, like trying to find a deer to the caliber that I wanted to shoot was like really hard. I was like, what's the point of hunting if I wanna shoot 135 inch deer and I don't have one?

Yeah. To shoot. So then I went out there and I was like, oh my God. Like the first day that I was in a tree, I saw 17 bucks hit one scrape. And I was like, what is going on? I

Byron Horton: won't see 17 bucks all of the Ohio season with

Cameron Derr: 30 plus six I have in Ohio in my life, dude. I don't think I've saw that many different bucks in Ohio where I hunt in my life.

And it was like I never even picked my bow up by her. And I was never even I was so infatuated with what was going on and just like watching them. And then I wounded a really beautiful weight pointer. And the next morning [00:33:00] I went out just to observe, to see if maybe I see him again, or then that morning, the morning that I couldn't shoot anything because I had an arrow in a deer and I wanted to like, do what I needed to do to recover that deer.

I had the best hunt of the trip. Yeah. I watched 140 inch deer, like Harass Adau pinned her up against the fence, wouldn't let her leave. He was fighting off all the other bucks around him. I, for hours. On hours, I just sat in the tree, snow falling down, and just watching deer be deer. And I never, I didn't have the opportunity to even be like, I'm gonna shoot one of these.

Cause I couldn't. And I had more fun then. Yeah. It was amazing. Then I shot the buck that I shot, had an absolutely amazing hunt, and I was like, man, I gotta go home. Yeah. So yeah that that is another reason that plays into traveling and getting those different experiences. Cause I just can't have those here.

Byron Horton: Yeah. Yeah. Especially yeah. Where you set and. Oh, your location in the state and the surrounding states you [00:34:00] can get to. It's just not, it's not the core of the Midwest if you will. It's the armpit. Yeah. Cam, let me ask this. Do you have plans in place for, I don't know your goals you're chasing here this season?

Cameron Derr: Yeah, so I'm gonna go back out to North Dakota. I am I say this every year, but I think this is my last year that I'm going out there. Because what I'm talk, I want new experiences. I want to go hunt different places and test myself in different scenarios. I have two for two out there. And if I go three for three, it's like, how do you leave that?

How do you end up wanting to go somewhere else? But I wanna hunt early season in Wyoming. I wanna hunt early season in Kentucky and I want to do different things. North Dakota this year, trying to go out with a bang, maybe the last year for it. And I'll draw, should draw a Kansas tag this year.

That is a hunt that I'm really looking forward to. That's gonna test that's gonna test me to the max. If I can hunt the way that I wanna hunt, [00:35:00] I have a vision of how I want it to go down. I don't, yeah, I, it's gonna be one of those things where you get out there and the vision's gone.

It can't do that. But right now

Byron Horton: you gonna, you're going to do the whitetail, adrenaline decoy.

Cameron Derr: Yeah. And I'm just gonna try it until it works. Like I have a lot of time for this slated and I'm gonna try it for 14 days. Okay. Until it works. But that's the goal. At least, I'm gonna go to an area where Chad had some success.

Clint Campbell's had some success out there. So we have a little bit go, we know what's going on, know what areas to focus on but it's It's been a bucket list hunt for sure to try to get on the ground in the prairie with a white tail. And it has me really fired up.

Byron Horton: Nice man. Now will you devote less time then to your Dakota trip because you're like, ah, I if I've only got x amount of days, I wanna put 70, 80% of those in a Kansas new experience

Cameron Derr: type hunt.

A hundred percent. So my North Dakota trip is the season comes in on Friday. I'll get there Thursday and I'll hunt. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Come home. [00:36:00] Okay, so it's

Byron Horton: four day. Yeah. Is it hot as can be out there that time of year? Because I have done some early season hunts that start in September, and dude, it's miserable as far as I'm like, oh, I'll scout all day, dude, it's 85 and like the mosquitoes, the ticks, the snakes.

Like I, I want no part of it after day

Cameron Derr: one. Yeah, it's, it gets pretty hot. We've gotten really lucky the last two years with when we've gone out there. The first year I went out there was a drought and the day I got there, it rained like an inch and it really cooled a lot of stuff off. It was in the it, but it would be in the eighties and the day, but it'd get down in the forties at night.

So when the temperature does drop, it cools down fast. And when you wake up in the morning, it's pretty cool. But what's interesting out there is like you're you wanting to scout all day. Like you, there's no you're more efficient driving around because if you get out and walk, you're just walking through a 600 acre field, what are you gonna find?

You know what I mean? You're way more efficient. Getting up in the morning and scouting and [00:37:00] seeing where deer going back to bed.

Byron Horton: Yeah. That almost seems tough to do. Like the easier thing. The easier thing to execute, the more comfortable thing, the thing that doesn't feel like in the field scouting.

Yeah. I would

Cameron Derr: scout. We struggled. We struggled with that the first year. Like we were trying to find areas that we could get out and go look around and we couldn't find the deer. And then that night we drove around oh, they're, that's where they're at. So the next morning we drove around, we're like, this is like way easier to.

And it's way more efficient. We only have four days. You gotta be really efficient with your time. Yeah,

Byron Horton: man that's cool. I'm trying to think here. Oh, I one, one thing I did want to ask on some of your travel hunts was you got to go with Mr. Shirk. For a big Woods pa Hunt in person.

Obviously he's done a handful of podcasts with you guys, but. What were maybe like a few sticking points that you were like after seeing him work in person and hunting those big woods deer you're like, that is cool. Or like he takes things to the next level [00:38:00] by doing X. Did you have any major takeaways?

Cameron Derr: He just did. He runs so many cameras. It's almost mind boggling and the thing that I have taken from that, that really hammered home is seeing where he's placing his cameras, correlating what deer he's getting where, and like it really hammered home edge habit, like super hard edge habitat, like hard transitions.

That's like his bread and butter, like clear cut edge hardwoods. There's a mock scrape there every single time and he's getting on good deer. And then the way that Steve's amazing because his information that he has gathered is from firsthand experience. He's not influenced from media, which I just think is amazing.

And the amount of time that guy just spends in the woods is eye-opening to me. Cuz it's like a, there's always the pressure aspect of Not wanting to put too much pressure in an area and what you're able to get away with if you do, if you have [00:39:00] the right access, if you have the right if you just follow the right steps, put the wind in your favor.

That was pretty eye-opening. But the thing that I struggled with the most was hunting with him. I almost felt like I questioned him too much to where you cannot. It was like the first time you cannot control the wind in big Woods. You can't, and it was like hard for me to accept, like hunting this edge on this wind.

And then he was like, you just have to hope that when the deer is there, the wind's not doing that. Or like, when you have some activity, the wind's not doing that. So it I struggled to accept it, but what I got away with was amazing to me. I never really got it just allowed me to play that line a little bit more and take that application into some more predictable wind areas where I'm not as cautious about it.


Byron Horton: Yeah. Okay. That is cool. I think I know he's doing like a scouting type class and I thought about even maybe booking [00:40:00] some sort of semi guided hunt with him, just cuz I wanna learn from somebody who's doing things at a big scale. A lot of experience, a lot of cams, like you said.

I think I would learn

Cameron Derr: a ton. I'd recommend it. He's starting a YouTube channel too. It was a little plug for Steve, the Mountain Buck University. He's starting a little YouTube channel, but yeah, he's a wealth of knowledge. What's weird, Byron, you're not gonna you're gonna be like, what the heck If you do a semi godded hunt and he tells you to go in an area where he has a tree stand?

It is always a ladder stand. Fair enough. It was, yeah. I was like, what? I gotta, I'm gonna get in that thing. I was like, it was weird. But it was fun. I learned a lot from him. I learned more from him after the hunt, talking to him about what I saw, and then him being like, yeah, that's consistent with what we're seeing and here's why we think that's happening.

Byron Horton: Cool, man. Hey Cam, I appreciate you jumping on this. I know you leave for Turkey hunting here tomorrow. But I appreciate you carving out some time to, to make this happen. Where can people find you? Yeah,

Cameron Derr: Cam the cameraman on Instagram, the Deer Gear Podcast, anywhere you see Exodus content.[00:41:00]

Right now. The Exodus YouTube channel is we're going full bore, so there's a ton of content going on there. So yeah check out. I'd push more people to ac to Exodus than to me, but if you wanna find me cam the cameraman on Instagram wear is where you can find me. Very good.

Byron Horton: Cam, thanks for hopping on today.


Cameron Derr: Thanks, Byron.