Pre-Rut Scheming & Daydreaming

Show Notes

The best time of the year is here! The wind is brisk, cool, and from the north, the ag fields are being cut, and the bucks are starting to cover more ground, laying down sign and  in search of the first hot does.  This can only mean one thing, the pre-rut is upon us!

In this episode of the How to Hunt Deer Podcast, Josh talks with Pierce Nelles about their thoughts, plans, and strategies for hunting the pre-rut. The guys discuss the deer they're chasing, their thoughts and reactions about an upcoming episode of the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast they just recorded, and take lots of different rabbit trails on all sorts of pre-rut topics. Enjoy!

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Show Transcript

Josh Raley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the how to hunt deer podcast, which is brought to you by Tacticamp. This podcast aims to educate those who are interested in becoming deer hunters, brushing up on essential skills, or maybe just adding a few new tactics to the toolkit. Here, we cover a variety of topics that are going to help you be more confident and successful in the field while you're hunting deer.

Folks. Thanks for tuning in with us again, this week, we're getting up to the very. Best time of the year and the pre rut some good activity is right around the corner So I had my buddy Pierce Nellis on and we talked about some of the things that have been going on in our neck of the woods We both got confirmation of a giant buck and in our respective hunting areas Pierce actually right after we recorded this episode got a picture of Not the same buck that he got that we're talking about in this in this episode.

But got a picture of an even bigger buck walking [00:01:00] through at 1. 30 in the afternoon. So guys, it is about that time. Time to hit the woods. So in this episode, Pierce and I talk about not only what we have going on coming up for a little bit of a rut hunt. We talk about our favorite pre rut strategy.

Kind of what we're going to be doing. Just a good all around random conversation about rut thoughts. We actually had just recorded an episode for the Wisconsin Sportsman podcast, talking with Sam Bilhorn about his favorite pre rut strategies. And so we reflect on that a little bit as well, but then just get into what we're hoping to be doing this time of year.

So it's a great episode. I hope you enjoy. Get ready to share your hunt this season with the Tacticam 6. 0 point of view camera, featuring a built in one inch LCD touchscreen. One touch operation, weatherproof housing, and mounts to fit any style of hunting. The Tacticam 6. 0 is sure to simplify the self filming process for you, and make sure you have high quality footage to share with family and friends.

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com. Now let's get into this week's show. All right. Joining me for this week's episode of the how to hunt deer podcast. I've got Mr. Pierce Nellis on the line. Pierce. What's up, buddy?

Pierce Nelles: Not much, man. Getting fired up for

Josh Raley: deer. Dude, we've been talking deer for hours at this point. We jumped on the line here, I think two and a half hours ago, roughly.

And for folks who maybe don't know yet, you are now the co host of the Wisconsin sportsman podcast. I am indeed. Yeah. You will eventually be taking that over. As I step away, it just got a little too much to try to [00:04:00] keep up with Wisconsin when I'm 15 hours away, and while I do, yes, make trips back there every year, and I'll be there in two weeks, looking forward to that.

But at the same time, it's just hard to keep up with what's going on there. We had to cancel it. We had a trip planned for the summer, had to cancel that. We rescheduled the trip for the fall, thought I'd be up there the first week of October, had to cancel that one thing or another, family stuff my family coming in town here where we live now, all that good stuff.

So I, I've just realized more and more, it's just going to be more difficult to keep up with it. So brought on, can only do so much cell cams can only do so much. And, I'm living vicariously through you and I'll be honest with you, man. It's, Wisconsin is really like a sportsman's paradise.

Where I lived, where you lived, like it is the Mecca, right? You got everything there. You could want, you got big deer, you got turkeys everywhere. You got. Trout fishing all over the place and whatever, anything else you like to do. If you like to [00:05:00] pheasant hunt, duck hunt, all that stuff's up there. And I'll be honest with you, man, it was impacting my attitude.

Like I just had a really poor attitude when it comes to thinking about, being back in the South and hunting in Georgia, which, things can be good here, but it's just not quite like Southern Wisconsin, but. Anyway, so I will be yeah, man is and every time I had to talk about Wisconsin it, it brings me back into this like state of depression.

I've realized that I'm not there. I'll be stepping away from that podcast. This will allow me to still come up, still do the things that I'm doing, but I don't have to be thinking about it all the time. I'm living in one world and that's just a trip that I'm going to make rather than trying to live in both worlds all the time.

Yeah, man. Yeah. But anyway, I know how it goes. I

Pierce Nelles: was doing the same thing when I was in college down by Chicago. And I didn't, it was like you said, when you moved back to Georgia, he's you didn't realize how much there is to do in the state of Wisconsin until you're somewhere else. And then you're like, what the hell, get me out of here.

I want to go back to

Josh Raley: Wisconsin. And I think everybody probably thinks that about Chicago. [00:06:00] Yeah. Yeah. If you love the outdoors. And you live in Chicago. I'm going to roll the dice and say you probably don't like it. Just

Pierce Nelles: did. I, I guided a handful of people from the Chicago land area and everybody, and even just regular, fishing and stuff for trout and all that in the driftless region, we get so many Illinois plates up there at bridges.

There's so many people who know, god, I would love to live up here and, take advantage of this resource. And, it's a lot of, very wealthy retired or semi retired Chicago professionals who make the trip up there. But I know a guy who's He's not retired, but he's doing well for himself, but that dude he literally drives up with his wife and their Airstream every single weekend from like April through the last week of trout season.

And he comes up and they camp at the same campground. They just got a standing reservation and they camp the Airstream. [00:07:00] He does his fishing and, whatever he wants all day, his wife sits in the Airstream or comes with him and, paints or reads books or whatever it may be. And like the two of them just haven't made, but it's every single weekend, he's got to drive all the way back to Chicago.

And I haven't done that for years in college. I'm like, that wears

Josh Raley: on you, man. Yeah, that's a lot. I, as I think about it, I don't know. I keep daydreaming that there's this time that will come that I can come back. I won't say that I miss like all the snow shoveling, once deer season ends, that, that time period between deer season and Turkey season in Wisconsin.

I'm just meh, whatever. I never really got into ice fishing. Yeah. I never really got into ice fishing or anything like that. So that wasn't really my thing, but dude, if I could come up there and live for spring, summer, and fall, and then head back south for the winter. That'd be pretty sweet.

But man, I'm not here to gripe about living in the South. I actually do really like it. There's a lot, there's, it's got a lot going for it. And I'm covering a lot of that over on the Southern Way Hunting Podcast [00:08:00] right now. But we are here to talk about though, the pre rut. So we are recording this October 18th.

This is going to launch on October 19th. And I thought what we would do this week is just talk about our pre rut strategy. We just had an awesome conversation with Sam Billhorn from Whitetail Partners, Wisconsin. And we were talking all about Sam's pre rut strategy, how he's setting up his property to take advantage of what deer are doing during the pre rut, what days he's getting out, what he thinks of weather and all that good stuff.

And that episode is going to be launching on the Wisconsin Sportsman podcast this coming Tuesday. That would be the 24th, correct? All right. So that's going to launch. You pulled that up before I did. Yeah. I got the phone right here. So I'm but so that's going to launch on the 24th. So guys, if you want to hear that episode, you really should jump over to the Wisconsin sportsman podcast.

Check that one out. We've got a lot of stuff that we talk about. That's going to be really relevant because there's a [00:09:00] big cold front coming through that is super well timed for guys like Sam, who really love to get out there for some pre rut activity that 25, six, seven range, pre Halloween, I feel like Halloween is the day that kind of ends.

Pre rut in my brain and we get into November 1st where it's okay, now the rut is on. I know it doesn't work like that. And we cover that in that episode. It's a bell curve of behavior and movement and all that kind of stuff. But anyway, yeah. So Sam loves a pre rut. We talk all about it in that episode.

If you want to learn more, do go listen to it this coming Tuesday, October 24th. But Pierce, we thought we would talk a bit about our strategy going into things here and maybe some of what we learned. Maybe we won't give all the details of what we picked up from Sam, but we'll talk about it just a little bit.

But before we do though, I feel like we've got big news because both of us in the last 24 hours. Have received [00:10:00] intel of a giant in our respective hunting locations. So what can you tell me about what you've learned in the last 24 hours? So

Pierce Nelles: I, yesterday got my first daylight. It was like eight 26 or something like that in the morning.

I got my first. Daylight shots of one of our shooter bucks who's running around our place. Now I'm still going to be planning to hunt out at on previous episodes, I've referred to it. We have for the last year or so now of my folks property as is the perfect five, it's a little five acre postage stamp, but it's surrounded by Pretty much everything you could want it to be surrounded by.

We got a creek down in the bottom of it. We got a nice little ridge line of timber. It's about 120 yards wide going along the, I guess the southeastern side of it with ag up above that. And then to the north, [00:11:00] it dips down through a little hollow that's probably 200 and 250 yards wide. That Connects to another big strip of timber and then between the ag, the timber and the creek bottom, there's a little sort of a tiered meadow for lack of a better term, just prairie grasses.

It was not sure what exactly it is. It's not pollinators or anything like that. It's just grass pretty much. But yeah, it's pretty good. I've been in good contact with my neighbor who hunts everything around us, or I guess he doesn't necessarily, but his his hunting party does, he and his relatives.

But he and I have been in close contact for, the last month or so, just sharing cameras and talking about what stuff we're seeing here. And we've got one buck which was our, kind of our target buck last year who made it through. And he is a freaking stud this year. I unfortunately haven't had him over on my cameras yet.

However, he did just in this [00:12:00] last week he quit hitting my neighbors. He had a. Camera on a scrape that was right up on top of this hill on an apple tree, and that seems to have dried up with the last cold front that we had here and so he's made it, that was across the road from us, so he's come down across the road across the creek even, and he's about 600 yards north of where I'll be hunting this fall, and, It was still at night that he was working another scrape, but he was hitting another one down there, and we got a little bit different angle on him, and his body is absolutely gigantic.

He's got a freaking gut on him. And I'm really hoping that either myself or someone in his party can... fill their tag with him this year. But we've got another one who's real nice as well. Real, real heavy through the main beams and he's got some super tall brow tines. And he showed up yesterday at 8 26.

Like I said I don't have a camera on the mock scrape that I have up on our little corner. However, The [00:13:00] direction he was coming from makes me think that hopefully he just beat the hell out of that thing and then walked in front of my other camera. I'm feeling pretty good. I'm excited. I'm looking at the weather here.

I'm, we'll get into weather and all that, but in a little bit, but looking at the weather, I'm feeling pretty good going in the last couple of weeks of October here. How about

Josh Raley: you? I just want to say first, it was really interesting. We were talking the other day and you were like, Hey, you know that buck hasn't been on my buddy's camera again.

And then I think it was the next day that you were like, Oh, but he found him and he was down in this area, which was to the north of you. And then it's like a day or two later, boom, he's on your ground. So I think it's pretty interesting this time of year, these bucks are starting to do weird things, and they disappear from us.

And if you don't have a good relationship with your neighbor or the other folks that are hunting around you, it can be like what happened to them? It's really interesting to get the picture of this guy. Okay, he's just making this weird move. Like he's just out doing his thing, man.

Like I, I doubt he's returning to that [00:14:00] guy's property every night where he's. Been getting him on camera. You know what I mean?

Pierce Nelles: At least not the same area. We have an idea of where he beds and it's pretty goofy. In this real thick timber that's on the inside of this bend in the road.

That's like it almost, I don't want to say it's like a hairpin turn, but definitely, sub 90 degrees and it's just this little bit that juts out. It's really steep coming off the road. And growing up out there, I've seen deer out there all the freaking time.

Yeah. And,

Josh Raley: I see what you're talking about. I'm looking at it. I'm looking at it. I'm on X right now. I see what you're saying. That it's pretty steep right there. Yeah. So you think he's on the end of that?

Pierce Nelles: Yep. I think, I don't know if he's on the end of it or if he's further up in it, but he he'll go from there and he'll jog across the road to the Southwest of that.

And then that apple tree scrape is up on the, he was behind one of our neighbor's houses and then up through some weird, it's just like kind of a. Thick ish south facing slope that runs alongside the road. But then they'll go [00:15:00] up, they'll eat apples and they'll hang out and they'll hit scrapes and everything up on top of that.

And then they'll run back down across the road. They'll get water over there because as the crow flies, it's only 300 yards if that To get from, really it's the top to really, ridge top to ridge top. It's probably 400. It's nothing too crazy. And especially as they start getting into the rut, those bucks are, covering ground like crazy.

I think what was, we just talked with Sam, he was saying that he's had a, in late October, he's had a couple of bucks that have covered, multiple ridge tops on a 40 acre. Stretch or whatever that we're like, he's covered a thousand yards in an evening before dark. And for us on that small parcel, it's just really a matter of, okay.

They're around, we just need to be in the right place at the right time when they cut through our little corner and we can make it happen, which

Josh Raley: they usually do. Yeah. Yeah, man. I'm looking at this. Does your buddy have a food plot too? Okay, it looks like [00:16:00] there's a little food plot off that ridge,

Pierce Nelles: but...

No, they they, so those two fields down in the very bottom there between the road and the creek those two fields used to be in crops and a couple of years ago, they've turned them in or they switched over to CRP. And then this year, I think, I don't know if it was because of the drought or what exactly, but I know there was some sort of I don't know what you would call it.

And it might not even be in CRP anymore. But they did something where they allowed. Landowners to cut and bail their hay due to the drought. I don't know if that was to let them subsidize, like maybe they can sell the hay then or how exactly that worked. I didn't get the full details on it.

But right now that both those bottom fields are cutting full of big round bales. And so

Josh Raley: gotcha.

Pierce Nelles: Okay. Might need to get one of those. Redneck bail invitation, blinds

Josh Raley: and there you go

Pierce Nelles: and be really nice to my

Josh Raley: neighbor. Yeah, for sure, dude. I'm just looking at your perfect five here, man. And I'm like,[00:17:00] they're not farming a lot of that.

Like they could just give y'all a little bit more of that ridgeline and stuff. And what would they even they wouldn't even notice it. I'd

Pierce Nelles: like to think that, maybe down the road, we're able to work together on, clearing out some of the honeysuckle and stuff and, maybe doing a couple of controlled burns together just because, we've.

Over the last couple of years, we've gotten to be pretty good buddies, especially during deer and turkey season when we're both out and, just sharing with each other what we're seeing. And they recently had a transfer ownership and stuff and a little bit of a restructuring within there.

Family in that property. And so it's I'm hoping going forward here, we're able to really establish a solid relationship with them and you can just work things in a, as mutually beneficial away as possible, even if I'm not hunting on there, just like helping them do things that will. I don't want to say in a selfishly motivated way, but, maybe just draw a deer through our little corner or something or, whatever it may be, but really just, even that transfers [00:18:00] from crops to CRP the amount of wildlife we've seen, the Turkey population has exploded His grandfather, he used to own the property.

He was a big pheasant advocate. And so he would basically just buy or buy birds and stock them on his own property and stuff. And for a while there, I remember in like middle school hunting out there and walking through a. On a fence line and stuff like that. And like all of a sudden a couple of birds would just explode from three feet from me and just scare the hell out of me and all of that.

We haven't seen any of that lately, our deer and turkey populations so far are just exploding. I think that's a big part of it. So continuing that kind of land ethic there and just. Making it as beneficial of an area as possible for all sorts of wildlife. I'm willing, I'm on board for any of that.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Yeah. Good stuff, man. Good stuff. In the last 24 hours, a rant there. What's that? I didn't mean to go on such a rant. No, man, there were follow up questions in there. I was trying to pull a little bit [00:19:00] more out of you. I wanted to go down that road just a little bit, but my last 24 hours.

We've got a buck that, that you and I are hoping shows back up on a piece of public this year. And if he does, this is about the time we expect him. I was telling you the other day, last year he showed up for the first time, October 20th. I knew where he was early season because of, again, a neighboring property.

The guy had information on him. He was running actually with, early in the season, he was running with the buck that I ended up killing. They split up, but they moved the same direction. They just weren't together anymore, if that makes sense. And this deer was a giant. He was a three year old last year.

Very big deer, but I get a buddy or I get a text from a buddy yesterday. Up there near where I would expect that deer to be early season before he shifts to where he does that says saw a giant at such and such today. Same place. I saw him last [00:20:00] year. A tank, his tines were as thick as my forearm.

I'm getting pretty fired up and I'm like, no kidding. Do you get a look at his antler configuration? Here's a picture of him last year. I'm hoping I can relocate him. And so I just, send them this information. Notice the split G2, one side's bigger than the other. There's some stuff to there's some stuff there where you can recognize him, and he says, that's likely him. That's his response. That's likely him. I'm not an expert. But I'd say what I saw was nearly 180 inches of antler. Oh my god. He got me fired

Pierce Nelles: up because tomorrow, hopefully, as you all are listening to this, I will be out there hanging cameras for Josh and Ryan. I

would love just to get eyes on him. Dude. I'm going to have my bow with me, but I would love to see him. I hope I bump him or

Josh Raley: something. I don't know. I've got the, he [00:21:00] dropped a pin where he bumped him. So I'm going to send you that as well. And do you have a, do you have a standard SD camera anywhere floating around?

I should have sent you one of those too. I've got one.

Pierce Nelles: Yeah. It's a piece of crap, man.

Josh Raley: Okay. All right. All right. I was wondering if it would be worth getting a standard SD camera up where he bumped him, at least up there in that direction. But if nothing, if nothing else, you can go up there and scout and you can see if there's, big sign up there, but and then he follows it up, his body weight has to be two 50, maybe more.

Oh man and this guy has lived in Wisconsin his whole life. Like he knows big deer, he hunts Southwestern Wisconsin. He's used to the, the size of the deer. And then it just goes on. He jumped up while I was, I can't say that part. Cause you might figure that out. I was shocked. His antlers were so thick.

So yeah, man, this could be him. This could be him. I don't know for sure. But with. With him saying, Hey, that, with that antler [00:22:00] configuration, that could very well be, could very well be the same deer or for him to say it was likely him, he's real exciting, dude, that's real good news.

And even if it's not

Pierce Nelles: him, knowing that he's out there and

Josh Raley: the other ones out there too, so if I'm putting the pieces together, I know that this deer was three years old last year, so I know he's going to make a big jump. I know he made it through gun season because someone saw him after gun season.

If this is him again, I know he's still on the property and around as a four year old, I would expect a jump anywhere, somewhere around that one 80 mark is probably what he would be this year based on how big he was as a three year old, one 80, if not even a tick. Bigger would be expected.

I think so man putting all those pieces together, it could very well be him. And if it's not him then there's another big one to chase up there. And that's the same area where, this deer was up there last year in, in this section, I'll just say in this section of the [00:23:00] of the public and but this guy also jumped another big buck up there last year too.

And this is just a good area for this timeframe. So I need to get in there and do some scouting, or you need to get in there and do some scouting or something where we can figure out like, what are the pieces of the puzzle here? Because I think that spot, I think that area might be a little bit overlooked for some very obvious reasons.

When you and I are talking about it off air, we know just an overlooked spot. Like, why would you hunt up there? If you think the spot where I'm hunting looks, looks not real good on the map. Like you definitely have no reason to hunt where he jumped that giant yesterday dude. And

Pierce Nelles: it's thing to where like we were talking the other day, we were texting about this and I was looking at an onyx and you hadn't sent me the pins yet.

And I'm like, where the hell is this feature? He's talking about what on earth? And then you sent me the pin and you explained it to me. I'm like, Oh [00:24:00] yeah. So you need to be in there if you're going to ever find that spot. Cause you're right. As it, as you're just looking at Onyx, it looks like absolutely nothing special.

Like it looks like any other, overlooked, whatever, like just who cares. But then once you factor in that, Oh, okay. This is what's there. This is the feature in the, in, and the landscape that is there and you start looking around it, you're like, holy smokes, man, this whole area looks like, knowing that's there, this whole area makes a hell of a lot more sense now.

And I'm right. Stop me if I'm giving away, I'm trying

Josh Raley: to be vague here, but no, you're good. And I just want to say this is a good segue and a good point to make this time of year. If you're bow hunting during the pre rut timeframe, or even, this first. That early rut timeframe.

Sometimes being in a good area is not good enough when you're bow hunting. It's almost never good enough, right? Like [00:25:00] you've got to find that place in there where it really pinches down the movement. Or you've got to throw a bunch of sits at it and just hope that it comes together for you. And that's how this area is it's good, but it's big, good.

There's a lot of goodness all the way around you. And to really capitalize on it, you've got to find something in there. And last year, I just happened to find that special something between crossing. Some pressure, other fun things that I just won't say. I hate that. I've got to be so dang vague this year.

Maybe next year, I'll feel a little more comfortable talking about it, but I want to kill, I want to kill one more out of there first.

Pierce Nelles: Was it this podcast or another one that you got the message saying

Josh Raley: Hey, I know where you're at. Oh, that was the Wisconsin sportsman. Okay. Yeah. I literally got a screenshot of where I killed this buck.

The guy sent it to me through the County GIS map. And was like, [00:26:00] Hey, I found the spot. Cool, dude. No, it actually turned out really well. So this guy he and I hunted together. What's that? He killed two, didn't he? No he doesn't hunt a lot out there. This guy actually ended up filming my turkey hunt in Wisconsin this year.

Oh there was another guy though, who had been watching my Instagram stuff last year. I pull up to the parking lot. I walk over. I'm like, Hey dude, I'm going this way. Which way are you going? Or I actually asked him first, which way are you going? I'll go the other way. And he was like, you look familiar.

I just got done watching all your stuff and Oh good. I'll just. Point this camera at my face alone from now on then. So anyway that's all besides the point. Pierce, we're coming up on the pre rut man. A lot of folks favorite time of year, especially, Sam Billhorn we talked to him earlier.

I know a lot of guys who on private ground. The pre rut is their favorite time of year. That [00:27:00] seems to be, I don't know. That seems to be pretty specific to me though. Like it's, it seems like guys that have a good piece of private where they know the deer or maybe a piece of public that they're really familiar with and they maybe have some cameras out and just.

They know the deer on the property that pre rut is really good for a couple of different reasons. And Pierce, I'd say it's probably up there on your list too. So what is it about the pre rut that gets you fired up? You

Pierce Nelles: know, man, I've been thinking about it for the last 24 hours or so, just as we were getting ready for our episode with Sam and all that too, and.

I've realized there's something like last year, so I've archery hunted for 10 years now, and there's something about, so I have made every mistake in the book. Done every stupid thing that I possibly could have from, literally hunting without a range finder right off the bat and missing what would have [00:28:00] without a doubt even today been my biggest buck to date.

Josh Raley: While I was

Pierce Nelles: kneeling on the ground, doing stupid stuff like that over pressuring land, not playing the wind, not understanding thermals. Relying on the rut and just hoping that it's the rut now I read field and stream seven best days of the rut. Let's fire up and get in there.

I am so last year when I didn't finish that thought last year, I ended up my goal for the season last year was to finally shoot my first archery buck. I wrestled with a bunch of, stuff in years past. I'm like, he's not big enough for I, I shot one that I was really would have been really happy with, but I just hit him high and things didn't go well, he ended up living through the year, but then I never saw him again.

And so I was able to fill my first archery buck tag last year after a lot of years of passing. And there's something about, and I don't know if it's just because like I've conditioned myself to suffer through the entire month of November until gun season, [00:29:00] and then throw a Hail Mary with that.

But there I wrestle a lot with like in the pre rut when you're dealing with a lot of predictable buck activity I wrestle with having almost a little bit of FOMO and being like if I shoot a buck now, then I'm not going to suffer the whole bit of November. I'm not going to have that desperation, God, it's got to happen.

The gun season is getting here closer every single day. This year, though we've been talking about how each of us feel very confident going into this deer season for better or for worse with or without any evidence backing,

Josh Raley: let's be clear. We have no reason to be more confident and feel good this year.

We just do

Pierce Nelles: it's just a gut feeling exactly. We've got a lot of blind optimism this year which I'm really enjoying. It's a lot of, it's a lot more relaxing. Feeling I've got going into this season than in years past. But yeah, so I'm wrestling with the fact of killing a buck in the pre [00:30:00] rut and like putting, a lot of effort into the pre rut it is unbelievably rational and it makes so much sense because you've got bucks on a routine, they're checking all those scrapes and everything.

I don't know, as you get closer and closer to the rut, they're hitting those scrapes, they're laying down sign they're starting to be. More predictable and then the rut cracks open and then it's just a shit show and everything's kind of chaos Sam said it perfectly when you're when it's pre rut You can set up on a scrape and you can watch that buck come in and you know With almost certainty at least if you're on private land, so you're you've got three that's as meticulously groomed as Sam's is you know that buck is going to come in.

He's either gonna, maybe he hits the ground, maybe he hits the branch there. Maybe he just bumps it, for a second, he's going to hit that. He's going to stop there. Rather than during the rut, maybe you've got a buck hounding a doe and rather than, playing the game very nicely and, Laying [00:31:00] down sign working that's great.

Maybe he's on that thing's tail and he is running full bore Across the the ridge 60 yards from you. So it's less predictable which in a way I like, but at the same time I think if you're really Jones and to get after a big buck and catch one, that's, on a routine, figure out the hell of a time to do it.

So I'm excited for it. I'm looking, I'm like I said, we've been looking at the forecast for the last week here and things look really good. At least in Wisconsin here in Southwest, Wisconsin, where I'll be hunting. Things are looking really good a week from, this'll come out tomorrow on the 19th.

So a week from today, things are looking really good. Yeah. A lot of stable temps, but then that cold front Thursday, Friday going into Saturday, I think a lot of bucks are going to die next weekend.

Josh Raley: Yeah, dude. You've got. That 26th, 27th timeframe [00:32:00] of that cold front blowing through. And it's just, it couldn't happen at a better time with

Pierce Nelles: a bit of rain too, so you can be a little aggressive, let that rinse off and then go back in there and not worry about scent quite as much, right?

And if it's your wind, but not ground sense

Josh Raley: so much. Yeah. And if it's true that, wind and leaves in the scrapes and rain on the scrapes gets bucks up on their feet. Freshening those things up because they want to get back in there and start working that sign again, man. If that's gosh, if that's true, this is a perfect recipe, man.

It really is. So I'm excited. I wish I was going to be there for him and I really do. I am not going to be in Wisconsin until November 1st. Which is still a

Pierce Nelles: great time to be in there. Oh, it's not

Josh Raley: a, I don't think,

Pierce Nelles: it's not a bad time. I don't think Rutt fully starts, at least like where I hunt.

I think it's like November 3rd or fourth. I think that's when we go we make the shift from pre Rutt to Rutt. And obviously it's Give it a day or [00:33:00] two and there's some fluctuation and in what you're seeing, because some of the bucks are in rut mode. Other bucks are still in pre rut mode, but right.

I think after that's when it starts getting chaotic.

Josh Raley: Yeah. And I think what I've seen too, from my cameras for the last couple of years, this area where I'm hunting. is a little delayed from where you are and delayed from where Sam is. In that we don't, I don't see that like running, chasing behavior until 12, 13, 14th, basically that week, right up into gun season, man.

When I, when both times I shot the buck last year, that poor thing, I'm stuck in full of holes, but. Like both times that I encountered him last year, he looked like he had just gotten up out of bed, and was coming through to work these this scrape area. So that was in the evening too.

Both times. Yeah. Both times were in the evening. Did not see him in the morning. I saw some smaller bucks cruising in the morning, but what I was also seeing the whole time that I was there was does with their [00:34:00] fawns still. So there were, there was no separation of the doe family groups yet. I only saw one buck chasing a doe.

And it was a little buck. And the doe would I don't know if you've ever observed this behavior maybe around the rut, but like when the doe is not ready, at least this has been my thoughts, when a doe is not ready and she's running from that buck, you'll often see her like run, and then she'll stop and squat down and pee.

And then she'll run off again and that buck will come up and smell it. And I've watched them like smell that spot and then lose interest. So it's they're like, Oh, okay. She's just letting me know. She's not quite interesting. So I've seen that in person. I've seen it in Alabama. I've seen it in Wisconsin.

I've seen it on my trail cameras before. It's just, yeah, you have a doe run in, she pees, he comes in, sniffs it, he get, looks up and goes off the other direction where it's okay, not yet. I saw that exact thing play out last year where doe runs in, she stops, she [00:35:00] pees, she runs off, he comes in, he stops, he smells it and he's nah, okay.

And goes on about his business. So I don't know where I was going with that. Is there a pretty high,

Pierce Nelles: Doe density?

Josh Raley: In the area that I'm hunting public in Wisconsin? Yes. Yeah. There's so many deer. So I have counted ag fields in the evening out there with 70 plus deer in them. Jesus. Now those are special evenings. Like it's not every night, but there are a lot of does. But there are a lot of bucks too, man, like the, but I would say there's a lot of does so like high dough density, but I would say the buck to dough ratio is not bad.

If that makes sense. So there's a lot of I think last year, if I'm not mistaken, last November, I saw as many bucks as I did does[00:36:00] and I think that's probably pretty consistent for this spot for me over the last several years. Early season, it's a little more skewed. Towards, but I'll have early season sits or I would have early season sits out there where I would go and I'd see, three or four small bucks and a doe and two fawns come out and that was it, so I don't think the ratio is too skewed. The age structure is pretty decent too. I showed, I sent you some pictures of some other deer that I had on camera last year. And I think it's pretty healthy age structure out there. Yeah, I would say so. There's a lot of good genetics out there too. Yeah.

They're all right. They're all right here. Yeah. People should really hunt a lot more around Milwaukee. The marshes are nasty. That's what we're talking about for anybody asking. Pierce, let's jump into some pre rut strategy here, man. We don't have too terribly long left, but like, where's going to be your focus?

I guess over this next week or so, as things really start to ramp up, as we've got the cold front [00:37:00] coming what are you doing? Cause you're going to be on a mix of public and private. Hey guys, just want to take a quick minute to let you know that the how to hunt deer podcast is brought to you by Tacticam.

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Pierce Nelles: Yep. I'm going to be on a mix of public and private this coming week. So prior to this episode releasing as I mentioned, we've got really stable temperatures. And so what I'm looking at is going to be a change in wind direction. And I'm going to be watching my cell cam out at the perfect five to.

See if that buck shows up only on a specific wind because yesterday in the morning we had wind blowing out of the north east and so the direction he was coming. He had the wind right in his face. However, that was at 826 and at 10 a. m. the wind totally flipped, did a perfect 180 and that was the most buck activity I'd had on our ridge so far this season.

So I'm still trying to figure out if that was wind related or if that was just they're starting to get fired up. It's November 17th yesterday. And things are really starting to take off here. [00:39:00] So I'm going to be focusing on public. I think until then there's a marsh that I've got on my radar near me that I'm going to be trying to figure out where there's a pinch point within that because it separates a really steep line.

Thank you. Hilly bit of public which is equally good. I saw a lot of sign in there in the early season. I have yet to actually hunt it though. But I'm gonna devote my time towards that and then look for the pinch point between that super hilly terrain and then down in this marsh where then it, there's a little bit more gradual incline up to a, an ag field on top that's got beans in it this year.

So I'm. Curious to see just how that Plays out in there. I really got to get some boots on the ground as we were talking, our Wisconsin trout season just ended this past Saturday. And so that's been taken up the majority of my time. And just hitting your running guide trips and stuff like that.

So I'm just now finally starting to be able to fully devote [00:40:00] my attention to deer. Which I'm pretty happy about, but yeah, so I'm thinking that's going to be the key. For me, at least my game plan. However, if that same buck were to show up. Later today or tomorrow morning, I might start thinking about, okay, they're not as concerned about the wind direction as they are just wanting to lay down signs.

So I'm going to make a play off of that and see about trying

Josh Raley: to get in there. Yeah. What were those wind directions yesterday? Yesterday it was

Pierce Nelles: blowing when he came by, it was blowing from the northeast east to northeast more so east. And then it flipped like an hour and a half later.

Went north for a little bit and then started blowing, basically, then it switched to a south wind and then a southwest wind which we get a lot of out on our property and a lot of times like it bodes well for the morning because they'll actually blow out over the top of this thicker sort of yeah.

I don't know, meadow [00:41:00] prairie sort of thing. That's along the ridge top just downhill from the ag fields over there where they, a lot of times they'll run through our corner through the ridge and they'll go out through that meadow weave in between all the, just a couple of apple trees up there and they'll weave between those and some honeysuckle bushes and then they'll drop down through the, at the very kind of the mouth of the hollow that we're in and then they'll cross over there and, Their way over to the other ridge top.

Josh Raley: Gotcha. So what was that wind doing before he came through? Same direction. It stayed still So it was consistent? Yep.

Pierce Nelles: Consistent outta the northeast. Interesting. And then, yeah, it wasn't until they flipped that, then things switched around. Which is weird because I've intentionally hunted northeast winds and even east winds that blow directly off that ridge top.

Yep. And I've had crap luck while sitting there, like I'll see maybe two deer if that, and a lot of times they're even, they don't even want to go [00:42:00] across the ridge top. It's more so they're cutting down on a lower trail and skirting out through the mouth of that hollow and going up to the other side.

So I was honestly surprised to see that buck come through yesterday. Let

Josh Raley: me ask you this. Let me ask you this. It was eight 16 in the morning, sun's up, thermals starting to rise. Okay. Thanks. Do you think I guess we don't know, did he follow the ridgeline or did he come off that other point that's straight kind of north of where you've got that camera?

I think he followed the ridgeline. You think he followed the ridgeline. Okay. I was curious because with a northeast wind, if he followed that ridgeline, he could be downwind of any doves and be checking any of those bedding areas. Yeah,

Pierce Nelles: and there's a bedding area directly south of us there as well.

Josh Raley: Okay, so just cruising through. Okay. Hey, when you're on the, when you're on the public, what's the sign that you're looking for, man? So you're looking for terrain features. Obviously they're going to dictate a lot of that movement, but what's going to be the, [00:43:00] I guess the sign that makes you say, all right, this is the spot.

This is where I'm setting up camp.

Pierce Nelles: If I find a heavy trail with a pretty worn out scrape. Near it or on it, I'll be probably making a set off of that. Otherwise if I find maybe what looks like a buck bed and I'm starting to see a rub line working to or from, or along one of those heavy trails I might try and set up off of that.

But I think right now going into, before we get into November, I'm going to be focusing on,

Josh Raley: On scrapes. Gotcha. So are you trying to shoot the scrape? Or are you trying to get fancy and do a lot of guys are like he'll be downwind of it. He won't actually come in and work it. I'm going to try and shoot the scrape.

Pierce Nelles: I'm not that, I'm not that good of a hunter.

Josh Raley: I'm the same way, man. If I've got a scrape, that's like I'm set up near. If there's any way possible to shoot that scrape, I'm going to be on it. I pulled that last year. Gosh, it would have been a few days before I shot the buck for a few days before I, I saw him maybe a day or two before I saw him the first time.[00:44:00]

I had to get on the ground and I couldn't see the scrape, but I had a deer come in from that direction. And to this day, I don't know what deer that was or anything like that. I couldn't see it. And I was kicking myself. I was like, man, that's the last time now granted in this spot, I didn't have a choice, but I was like, that's the last time I set up on a scrape and that I can't shoot like it's too predictable, man.

Like they may not spend a lot of time there, but my goodness, it's there for a reason. It's because that's usually where they walk. They're not really in the business. And I hear guys say this a lot yo, you got to be back off the scrape. And I get it. I get it. Deer use their nose a lot, but

Pierce Nelles: off the scrape enough that you can shoot to it without getting winded, but I'm still hunting that

Josh Raley: scrape.

But I think a lot of guys will say, man, you get 50, 60 yards downwind of it because that buck's going to come 30 yards downwind of it and he's just going to scent check it. And it's maybe, but if I'm 25 yards from the scrape. And that buck comes in 10 yards downwind of me. I'm just gonna, I feel like I've got a [00:45:00] better chance of, cause I can shoot him at the scrape.

And then if he, if he's coming in, then I'm going to make sure I've got a shot that's downwind. So before he can hit my scent stream, I'm going to take a shot, right? Rather than saying, oh, I'm going to be 60 or 80 yards downwind of the scrape. And then you watch him walk in 60 yards away and work the scrape and walk off out of your life.

I just can't get down, can't get down with that. I'd rather shoot that difference in the middle and be able to shoot the scrape and shoot a little bit downwind. If I had any way can, but man, that's going to be, that, that would be my play too. I, unfortunately, I'm not going to be getting out a whole lot for the pre rut.

Like I said, that early November timeframe for where I'm going to be in Wisconsin is very pre rut ish. Especially on that property on that specific place. I know places around there where guys are like, by November 2nd, I'm seeing, bucks chasing does I'm seeing deer locked down and I've seen quite a few deer locked down on this property too, but it's never until the 15th, 16th, 17th timeframe, that's usually [00:46:00] right before gun season.

When I see bucks locking down with does. in this specific area. But man any takeaways from the conversation we just had with Sam that you're like that blew my mind. I'm going to keep that in my pocket for this year. Oh,

Pierce Nelles: man. I think when you're, the big thing for me that stuck out was when you're dealing with, one thing I'm kicking myself for not asking, I thought of it after we finished recording was how much consistency is he looking for? Before he decides to make a play, is it one sighting because, I'm over on the Wisconsin sportsman.

We chatted with Ryan glitzky a couple weeks ago and, we were discussing how you're interpreting trail camp data and basically if you get a buck on there, a handful of times, whether it's In daylight or at 2 a. m. He's more inclined to make a playoff of that because he's saying, regardless if he's there [00:47:00] at night or during the day he's in that general area.

He's showing up on camera. I know that he's nearby the odds of him. Making a pass, whether he goes and on top of it too we discussed trail cams are only part of the picture, right? And we've all had cameras that don't fire when a deer walks by or they've, they're scared summer, whatever happens.

Josh Raley: They come too close to the camera. They skirt underneath your field of view. They're just too far out. Yeah, all the things. Yeah.

Pierce Nelles: It's they know. Yeah. But really just looking at I'm thinking here as we, we go into this coming cold front next week, between now and then I'm watching for, like I said I'm watching for a change in the wind direction.

I think that's going to be critical depending on what your property lays out best for where your best stands at. I think really, if you've got cell cams in the area, really watching those close to see what deer are doing with a different wind as temperatures are [00:48:00] stable, I think that's going to be huge.

And then, the big one for me too was, with this rain that we got coming a week from now slip it in there. A week, an hour before that rain is projected to stop. Get a little wet, but get in there quiet, take advantage of the wet leaves and a little bit of mud so that you can make a nice quiet entry and run in there, get set up, be aggressive hit one of those prime stands, and hope that as soon as that rain subsides, like just bank on those deer being up on their feet, wanting to freshen those scrapes, And just get after it.

Sam made another good point too, that, if you've got breaks in the rain, that's a prime time to hunt. And then when the rain picks back up, if you're going to, if it's a couple hours coming, use that time while the deer are pinned down to go in and. Swap SD cards if you need to, check hands and stuff like that, use this as like your last, like we said, it's the perfect storm right now, really [00:49:00] coming into next week. Use the rain as an opportunity to gather as much Intel as you

Josh Raley: can. Yeah. Scout if you need to go on in November. Yeah. Scout if you need to boots on the ground. I think when I took away from the conversation with Sam, the primary thing was when we pressed him and said, all right, Sam, you can't be on your well manicured land.

You've got to go out, you've got to try your hand on public. And he was like, I'm viewing that as man, I've got nothing to lose. So I'm going to get out there and find the sign that I need to see. And then I'm going to sit on it. And I was like, man, that's such a good reminder. That was my mentality last fall.

It got me on the deer and had me coming home with a buck, man. And so that was, I wanted to share that just for our listeners again, because we can get so timid. I feel and just say, okay, we're trying to make sure we don't over pressure this spot or whatever. First of all, it's a rut.

You can get away with a ton, right? But second of all, what do you have to lose, man? If you bump them, [00:50:00] if they skirt you, if they move, whatever the case may be, keep going just get out there and get after it, find the sign that you need to see that says, this is the spot that you have to sit. Don't settle garbage sign.

But then. Then again, like last year I have to bring this up again. The very first decent, and I say decent because it wasn't even that good. It was a faint deer trail that I crossed. And I said, the first year sign I've found not that impressive, but we're getting closer. That's the trail I ended up killing my buck on.

Also don't be afraid to, but there was a lot more that made it good. Terrain and a lot of other stuff came together to make that a good spot.

Pierce Nelles: And if you've got a couple of days too, and you're hunting public and you find that faint trail. Worst comes to worst, obviously we're not all able to take, multiple consecutive days off and stuff like that, but still if you're going into a spot for the first time and you're looking for a sign, don't be afraid [00:51:00] to set up on that and use that as an observation sit and have an idea of, okay this secondary trail probably runs parallel to or intersects a main trail and then.

We'll be able to figure out, okay, they're still using the secondary trail. It's enough of a trail that it. It's there. Who knows what's going to come out of that because especially if it's less, less used, the odds of that being, something that a buck might use because it's, for whatever, maybe the wind swirls, he just knows that the wind swirls well on that trailer.

Or whatever it may be we can tell when there's a doe trail and stuff like that, because it's usually a doe with a couple of fawns and they run the same, food to bed pattern all the time. And as a result, that trail is just worn down and just, a lot of times it's nice because it looks like a cattle trail and it's easy to find, but finding that secondary trail that intersects it and not being afraid to.

You can make a play off of that. Cause worst comes to worst, you learn something, right? Okay. Like worst case scenario, absolute worst case scenario. [00:52:00] You get busted. Okay. That sucks. Not quite worst case scenario. You don't see anything. Okay. Tomorrow I'm going to make a play somewhere else anyways.

So I think, yeah, like you said, just being flexible and not getting so locked into, here's where my stand at, here's where the trail is, and this is. How I'm going to fill my tag, make plays off of the sign and be willing to relocate.

Josh Raley: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Man, I had some of the deer are.

Yeah. Yeah. Go. Yeah. It's just like Dan Johnson's shed hunting strategy. Go to places where deer live. And climb up in a tree and sit there and wait for them to come by and see what happens. One other thing that I was going to just touch on, cause you, you hit it there. Not everybody can take a concentration of time off this time of year.

I get that. But you should really try like the odds are so much higher for you at this time of year. If you just take a long weekend, just add, take Friday and Monday [00:53:00] off and then hunt Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday. Scout all day Friday, scout Thursday afternoon into Friday, scout Friday, Saturday, and then hunt Monday, Sunday, Monday, do what you have to do to concentrate your time because this is the best time of year.

It's go time now, like as of next weekend, that weather front is going to push through. It is the time to be in the woods. It may be the best hunting weekend of the entire season. I think that's fair to say, other than if you're a gun hunter and you're like, I've got the spot for gun season.

Yeah, I get that. Okay. Your odds of success may be higher, but this may be the highest odds weekend coming up. So get out there in the woods, find the sign you need to see. Climb up in a tree. Don't be afraid to make moves. If you have to go where the deer are. Colin's sick. Use some sick days, man.

Do what you gotta do, but get out in the woods. Even if you can't

Pierce Nelles: do that, say you can't even get away for, three or four full days in a row. If you can find a way to work it with, [00:54:00] your job or anything where you can squeeze in consecutive morning sits. Or maybe an afternoon and a morning.

So you know, okay, this is where they went last night. And here's where I'm going to set up this morning based off of that. Just so you can get that real time Intel, get eyes on deer, have a really good sense of what's going on in the woods. It's cliche, but time in the woods kills deer, right?

Josh Raley: Yeah, it does, man. If you're not out there and it's, I'm learning more and more. It's sequential time in the woods. That seems to kill a lot of deer too, like it doesn't matter if I'm out this Friday or this Saturday and maybe I've hunted every Saturday of the season. Okay, great. You hunted 15 days, 16 days.

Okay. That's awesome. But you had very little actionable Intel. Yeah, but if you hunt three or four mornings in a row boy, you just learned a lot about what the deer are doing right now. And you can change based on that rather than changing on what you learned a week ago that is now irrelevant, and if your job is flexible, so many more [00:55:00] jobs are flexible now after COVID like man last year, I slept for four hours a night. I hunted from dark to dark every single day and worked at night. Got back at eight, nine o'clock at night, worked till 12 or one in the morning and did the whole thing again.

Not doing that this year, but do you remember like there were points in time where you and I talked and I was like a zombie. I think I remember trying to record a podcast episode and I was like, dude I don't even know if I can do this. I can't carry on a conversation at that point, much less try to ask questions that people care about the answers to.


Pierce Nelles: I think too, it's it's a grind, right? Especially when you're juggling work and family and you're trying to squeeze out time in the woods and stuff like that. It is a grind. It wears on you. There's definitely something to be said for if you are making yourself miserable because you're trying so hard to get everything done and you are like, you get out in the woods and maybe [00:56:00] you are a zombie or whatever you're not going to hunt your best at that point as well. Something you like, I can't remember if it was deer season or Turkey season where you were like, I'm sleeping in,

Josh Raley: I don't care. That was last year during the rut, there was a day that I was like. Re it was the morning after I shot the buck.

. I took a reset. Yeah. I slept in. That's the way it's gotta be, man.

Pierce Nelles: And don't be afraid to take the coffee Reset as well. Fan. Dude, the

Josh Raley: coffee. Holy hits the fan. Holy cow. . How did we not cover the coffee reset yet? But that is so important for folks. I, coffee reset, beer reset, friend, reset, whatever it is go do whatever your thing is. Like my thing last year was like, I slept in, I had a good breakfast, like fast food breakfast, like good as in delicious and filling and not a milkshake coming out of a blender bottle in a tree stand, because that's what I was living off of last year was shakes and protein bars and good conversation with [00:57:00] Pierce.

And then I went and shot my bow and I was ready. That

Pierce Nelles: was it. And then shooting the archery block mid, like during the rut, that is something that is so underrated. Cause it just keeps you sharp and granted, like you and I have struggled with target panic and stuff like that for the last couple of years, but like just knowing yep, still shooting good.

This is great. I don't have a single second guess in my mind now, like I know I'm hitting true. And when that deer comes out, even if it's been, 24 hours, you still like almost mental, you feel warmed up still. And yeah, dude,

Josh Raley: it's critical. Yeah. Nothing worse than seeing that deer and realizing I haven't pulled this bow back in three weeks.


Pierce Nelles: dude. That's a bad

Josh Raley: feeling. Real bad. All right, Pierce man, I'm going to let folks go when they're listening to this, they need to go start making their plans. They need to call their boss, take a day or two off. They need to tell the wife they're going to be out in the woods. They need to get their gear ready shoot their bow and get ready to deer hunt because the best time is upon us.

As we were talking [00:58:00] there

Pierce Nelles: about getting your butt in the woods and you can't kill I heard like in the

Whitetail Habitat Solutions videos that I used to watch and stuff like that. Jeff Sturgis just saying like saying you can't kill him from the couch is the worst bit of advice ever. Within reason of like wind. Yeah. But at the same time from an Intel gathering spot.

I don't know, man, he's got, similar kind of deal with groomed public and or a groomed private, I'm sorry. And a managed property and stuff, but if you're a public land hunter, man, fricking get after it and land hunter, get a saddle and get after it. You can run on the other side of the, that's something that I like.

Dude, I feel so much more lethal on that five acre chunk now that I've got a saddle and I'm not relying on, a ladder stand or whatever it may be. And I get that, it's, within reason, obviously there's always exceptions, but still it's like having that flexibility. I really underestimated how much of an advantage

Josh Raley: that is.

And dude, [00:59:00] if you're a private land guy and you've got that piece and you're listening to Jeff Sturgis and you're like. Don't say you can't kill him from the couch. You got to let your property rest. That's fine. Go hunt the public, go get yourself out there and get more experiences.

Learn more stuff, get yourself out there when the deer are up and moving. And if you don't want to pressure your property, because. I do habitat consulting, like I get it, like I'm, I fully understand, but go hunt the public, man, go where, go somewhere where you feel like you have nothing to lose and get after it because you're going to learn way more than you're going to learn sitting on your property or not sitting on your property or whatever.

I think there's a reason Jeff's killed a lot of big deer. The dude knows his stuff. There's no doubt. He has paved the way in the industry that I now call home, as far as professionally, but. And he's killed a lot of good deer on public land over the years. But I think that may be more of a symptom of how and when he's hunting what pieces of public land rather than his [01:00:00] public land prowess.

When we watch him struggle during public land challenges and stuff that he's done with others. When he went and popped up when I watched him go pop up a pop up blind on public ground and being like, this is where I'm hunting for the morning. I'm like, dude, there's no way, like you lost public land credibility in my eyes.

But like you literally walked out there and you popped up a tent, it ain't happening for you today. And so yes, listen to Jeff Sturgis on the things that you should listen to Jeff Sturgis on. Good guy. But also understand he, his situation is not yours. It's a different style of hunting. It's a different style of hunting.

And the dude, man, I watched him the other day. He passed a buck at his place. That I'm like, man, I'm shooting that all day long. And he's it's so cool to just watch these older deer. I'm like, it's a four year old shoot it. What are

Pierce Nelles: It's. It is perfectly to the tune of those who have a [01:01:00] property like that, who can devote the time and the energy and the resources to managing that property for them.

That is, everything he says is gold, right? Absolutely. It's it for private landowners who are grooming their property and all that stuff. Designing for this. He's got a hell of a lot of knowledge on that stuff. Great job with it. I don't want to, I don't want to bash him in any way.

It was just the whole can't kill

Josh Raley: him in the couch kind of thing. Yeah, but I think he would also say like he, if he heard me saying, yeah, you're right, you probably shouldn't go into your ground today or whatever, but do go out, go get on that piece of public. He'd be like, heck yeah, go do that. Cause that's where he, that's where he cut his teeth.

Like he's done that before. He's, it's not to say he doesn't have any skill. It's just to say he's separated from that, at this point in his career, but anyway, yeah, man,

Pierce Nelles: you gained so much from hunting both private and public, to, cause pretty much, I don't know, just say it.

The strategy that [01:02:00] I figured out when I'm going to go tackle a new piece of public is I go, okay, here is my little five acre bubble that I grew up hunting on. And I can see all the land around it and all that. And I know how deer use the stuff. I will go out and I will say, okay, I always see deer on this feature or work through this area on our private, if I go to public, I look for the exact same feature and then I build around it.

I go in, that's my first, my, my absolute go to, I'll maybe do a set off that. Otherwise I get in there and then I figure out, okay, actually on this property, they're doing this instead. And then you take that knowledge from the public land and you take it back to your private and you go, Oh, they're doing the same thing here actually, but I never looked at it because it was just on private.

And this is where my stands were. It, the contrast between the two and being able to take lessons from both and mash them together, I think that's so critical.

Josh Raley: Yeah. [01:03:00] I had my wife, we were talking about buying property and all of that. And my wife's okay, so what if we do buy a piece of ground?

Does that mean you're only hunting at home? No. I still need room. Nope. I will still hunt. I will still travel to Wisconsin or somewhere in the Midwest and hunt there. I will still do all the things like, yeah, my hunting will change, but I just, I need that room to roll, man.

I got to get out there. I don't know. There's something about struggling with creation, like struggling with the earth and letting circumstances kick me in the teeth over and over again, and then finding success after that. That's how I want it, man. Like I, I want it like, not that I'm not going to shoot a good one on the first day.

I'd love that too. And then, shoot one in Wisconsin on the first day and then head to Illinois. That'd be pretty sweet. But something about the adversity and dealing with the circumstances in the hand that you're dealt. It is exhilarating to me and I don't know that I'll ever be [01:04:00] over it.

We've got good private that we can hunt and I hunted it one day last year. And I didn't shoot anything. It's not that I didn't see anything. It just didn't shoot anything.

Pierce Nelles: And I don't know if it's psychological or not, but there's like a different feel to private versus public land. You know what I mean?

Yeah. I don't know. It's almost, I don't want to say that it's cause I hope to one day be able to acquire some property for myself and all that. But then I sit here and we talk about comparing, contrasting and all that stuff. And it's I would almost rather just be able to find.

Some private that I can hunt or, if you're fortunate enough to have family who owns property that you can hunt out there, but then, jump back and forth between that and public man, there's something almost not to take any business away from you, but it almost makes me like reconsider, like wanting to purchase property and be like, I'm still, that's still a lifetime goal of mine, but it makes me want to reconsider man, if I do that, then I got to like.

Okay. I got to devote a lot of time to it and I got to haunt it. Not that I wouldn't enjoy the process [01:05:00] of designing it for for hunting and turning it into the best possible. Property that it could be. But at the same time, it's then I'd still, I would still feel guilty, not trying to run around and explore something

Josh Raley: new.

You know what I mean? Absolutely. I've got a, I've got a guy, I just scheduled a consult with him in February of this year. I'm really looking forward to it. It's a 40 acre piece that is literally a blank slate. Like we can do anything we want with this spot and it is in the middle of a national forest.

Really? The dude has got the setup. It is in the middle, totally surrounded on all four sides by a national forest, and it's his little 40, right? So we're going to make this thing prime as prime can be. It's going to have the best bedding. It's going to have the best food. It's going to have the best possible setups.

And on those days that it doesn't set up well or, you 40, like there will be days where it's like, Hey, it's not your day, bud, like this is not a good one. [01:06:00] Strike out on this giant piece of national forest ground. That's what I want, that's what I want to have one day. So anyway, all right, Pierce, we got to run, man.

Thanks for coming on the show. Looking forward to seeing that kill pick that you take next weekend, whenever you've got one on the ground with this cold front rolling through.

Pierce Nelles: Hopefully, man, folks until then. Go out and go check out the Wisconsin sportsman podcast. You'll listen to our conversation with Sam.

Josh Raley: You

Pierce Nelles: will absolutely benefit from it. Regardless if you are from Wisconsin or any other corner of the country. Sam's just a wealth of knowledge and an absolute treat to have on and

Josh Raley: talk about deer with. For sure. Yeah. I'm, it got me fired up and it really, it's not specific to Wisconsin. So if you want to hear some good pre rut content, go check it out.

Tuesday, it'll be launch in 4 a. m. So if you want to be first in line, there you go. 401, you can download it. All right, Pierce, have a good one. Thanks. That's all for this week's episode, as always, thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig [01:07:00] this show, be sure to subscribe to this podcast, wherever it is that you get your podcasts.

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