Pushing the Limits with Hunting Gear & More w/ Josh Raley

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 159 of the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode Dimitri and I were joined by Josh Raley from the How to Hunt Deer Podcast and the Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast.  Both of these podcasts air on the Sportsmen’s Empire on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Josh was a great guest to have on our show and we really enjoyed this chat!  We dove down some gear rabbit holes in this one.  So, if you are into that type of stuff, I believe you will enjoy this one!

Josh was able to attend his first ATA show this past January and he shared with us some of the items that he really liked from the show and then some gear that he really enjoyed using this past hunting season.  We then discuss how things are really evolving when it comes to hunting gear.  Really pushing the limits for maximizing how efficient our bows are, the mobile gear we use and everything else. This was a fun topic to chat about because everyone is going to use different gear for all aspects I just mentioned.  So, it was great to hear what Josh’s and Dimitri’s take was on the trends of hunting gear and where it is heading.

We wrap up the episode having Josh talk about his success during this past hunting season and what all went into that.  From there we get into some postseason strategy as well.  I  hope you enjoyed this episode and if you are heading to the GAOS make sure to stop by the Tethrd booth on the weekend to say hi!

Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!

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

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Go Wild is a free social community created for and by Hunters. Go Wild. Has recently partnered with Mountain Tough for a free 30 day workout program. Designed to get you in shape for Turkey season called The Go Wild Challenge. Download. Go wild to sign up and let everyone know in a go wild post that you are joining us.

Then each time you do a workout tag, go wild and Mountain. Tough to hold yourself accountable. Also Go Wild. Will be attending the Great American Outdoor Show. February 4th through the 12th. If you're in the area, stop by Booth four 12. Meet the guys and learn all about Go Wild. Visit, download go wild.com and sign up.[00:01:00]

What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of The Antler Podcast. And on this week's episode, Dimitri and I, we are joined by Josh Rayley from How to Hunt Deer Podcast and the Wisconsin Sportsman's Podcast. Both of these podcasts though Air on the Sportsman's Empire on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and.

Josh was a great guest to have on our show and we really enjoyed this chat and I really think you will as well. We dove down some really good gear rabbit holes in this one, so if you're really into that stuff, I believe this one's for you. But also we dive into some hunting success from 2022 for him. So really cool topics that we dive into with that as well in post-season scouting.

Josh was able to attend his very first ATA show this past January and he shared with us some of the items that he really liked from the show and then some gear that he used this past year that he really loved and broke, went down some rabbit holes [00:02:00] with that and some certain things about maybe over the last couple years that he did not see a need for anymore and all that stuff.

But we also discussed though, like how our hunting gear right now is really pushing the limits for maximizing, like how efficient these. All our gear is, so from like our bows, our mobile gear that we use to, you name it, how everything is just being maximized and really efficient for us. And we talk about too, like the pricing of everything.

And it's just a real conversation that we really enjoyed. And I'm glad it was brought up because it was great to hear Josh's and Dmitri's take on like where the trends of the hunting gear and like really where it's heading. So like I said earlier too, we are, we wrap up this Es episode with Josh talking about his successful season this past year and like really what went into that and how we as hunters really get in our own head when, we tell ourselves we're going to do one thing, but then we do something totally different, right?

So it's just [00:03:00] cool to hear Josh's success with Adam again. We wrap up talking about some postseason strategy, what we have going on with that as well. When this episode drops, when this airs, the Great American Outdoor Show will already be going on. So hopefully those of you that stop by the tethered booth the first weekend, I had a chance to say hello to you.

It was great to meet you as well as this last weekend coming up. I will be there Saturday and Sunday as well. So come by, say hello, say what's up to everybody, see what we have going on at the booth. So really appreciate all the support. Looking forward to what's to come here this year. Thanks again.

Everybody enjoy this episode.

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over the past year, you've heard some awesome things that Go [00:05:00] Wild has been doing, and one of the things right now at the Great American Outdoor Show, they'll, they have their booth up there, they'll be there until the last day, February 12th. They're going to be in booth four 12. Go get your picture taken with squash.

Yes, like really go do that. And what's going to be really cool is if you have a hat or a shirt or something along those lines, you'll get a free gift from the guys over at Go Wild. They're going to be handing out stickers, selling items from brands like Garmin Vortex, tact Cam Trophy line atn, and a ton more.

So go check them out. Hopefully at a chance to check out the guys from the oh two Podcast. They were there I believe Monday and Tuesday, so awesome things. Bomar Tonic, I believe was also there Monday. I'm gonna hopefully try to get there this last weekend on Saturday. Stop by the booth and hang out as well for a little bit.

Sneak away from the Tether booth and get there. But. Awesome things going from these guys. Some really cool initiatives that they're doing a UTV giveaway. [00:06:00] They're wrapping up the Mountain Tough Go Wild Partnership activity that they have going on the workout plan. Check out Go Wild's app.

It's a free app that all of us outdoors, men, women, could all use post about, questions as well as just our trophy all our fun things that we were doing out in the outdoors. So go download the Go Wild app. Go read some cool articles that I wrote on there about saddle hunting.

There's a ton of other people I know. Bo just posted a really cool one about you're at home doing an at home bow kind of sanctuary area. So go check it out. Go wild and we'll, hey, let's get rolling here. We have Josh Rayley on the podcast, another individual that has been on we've done, we did your podcast, the How to Hunt Deer podcast, but you also run the Wisconsin Sportsman podcast over on our network, the Sportsman's Empire.

So Josh, man, welcome to our show. Yeah, guys, thanks for having me. I'm really looking forward to catching up with you guys again. It's been a little while since we had you [00:07:00] on the Hot Hunt Deer show, and yeah. Glad we could sit down and do this. Absolutely, man. We were just off air talking about what, what's going on, and I liked what you were saying of like the other gig that you've been busy on doing and busy doing.

So what's happening right now for Josh? Yeah, man. So right now, a couple of different things. Number one, still grinding with the network. I corral all of you guys, weekly and get all of your content and work with the network to make sure it's all going out and all sounding good.

Also have the two shows going on, Wisconsin sportsman right now we're talking ice fishing, we're talking bow fishing, that kind of stuff. Then how to hunt deer. We're about to start talking, ata, we're gonna be talking postseason scouting and all that good stuff. But then I'm also doing property consulting, habitat consulting for folks as something I just started doing this year with Whitetail Partners, which means we do anything from a virtual design where we look at your property and help you lay it out the best for Deere.

We can come and do an onsite review of your property and, tell you where exactly where we'd put the bedding areas and food plots and that kind of thing. Or we even do [00:08:00] pre-buy, pre-purchase reviews. So if you've got a farm that's 20, 40, 50, 60 acres, whatever, and you say, Hey, I wanna make sure I'm investing this money.

Look at these two farms, Josh, which one could you do more with from a whitetail hunting perspective? And we'll help you think through each of those properties and which one might be best for you. That's crazy. Dimitri, have you ever gone bow fishing with the bow? No. Never have.

Yeah. There was a guy that used to run that one Boondock Saints around here that I know that used to do it, but I know a lot of people around here are into that stuff. Yeah. You guys haven't tried it yet? I haven't. No. I, it, I could only imagine Ian doing that and just like shooting every fish, , , I could only imagine our buddy Ian doing that.

That would be so much fun to the three of us, or get more multiple people to go and do that, because that just seems like a blast. Yeah. I'm hoping to try it this spring, so I've got a guy coming on. We're gonna talk all about it and how the sport is really growing in Wisconsin. And then usually, so I drew a season a [00:09:00] tag, which is the very earliest Turkey season for Wisconsin.

And usually that means I'm done by about 15 minutes after sunup, not be, I'm not a good Turkey hunter. They just, that time of year, they're all flocked up and they respond really well to decoys. And so it just usually works out because of really high quality properties, large Turkey population. So I'm hoping the rest of that week I can spend doing some bow fishing while I'm still up there.

Nice. When is that timeframe for you? That, that you say that it's early because here in Pennsylvania we're super late, like early for us as the junior youth hunt when it's like AP April and that last week of April I think, cuz then following weekend is statewide opener, which is in May. So what's that timeframe for you?

Yeah, so opener for us comes in on April 19th for the adult seasons. Our youth season is April 15th and 16th this year. And I say that's early there cuz we've still got mornings in the twenties. We're still dealing with some pretty cool temperatures. A lot of years there's still snow on the ground, still snow to come.

But and you really have not started to see really much of any [00:10:00] dispersal yet as far as the flocks. You'll drive past the field and there's still, 50 birds flocked up together, which makes really cool hunting. That's crazy. Dimitri, do you got anything you wanna start off with Josh?

I guess we could talk about ata. That was a big topic Yeah. That you and I we didn't really discuss, but just had some ideas of, where things are going as far as what we've seen the last few years. Yeah, absolutely. So Josh, was this your first year going? It was, man, my very first a t and dude, it was super intimidating walking into that room.

First of all, Dan Johnson is a much bigger man than I thought. I don't know how big you guys. I'm five foot seven. Like I'm a short dude. All right. So we're at the same height. Dimitri's the ogre in the room. He's six three football linebacker ready to tear your head off.

Okay. So you're our Dan Johnson for tonight. Yeah. Because Dan is like a towering dude, and his shoulders are like six and a half feet wide, and he's just a, he's just a big dude. So that was like the first [00:11:00] shocker for me was to walk in and be like, oh, yeah, I'm rooming with you. I've never seen you before in real life, but I guess this will work.

Yeah, that was good. But yeah, man, you walk in and there's all these hunting celebrities that you've watched on TV or seen on the internet and, for me, grew up watching a lot of these folks and you walk in and they're all right there in the same room, and it's like overload. What do I do?

I don't belong here. What am I what am I doing here? Yeah. That's, I last year, . I worked it with tethered and if we had a couple minutes to go walk around really quick, one or two of us, that was really my time. And walking maybe around in the MO in the morning before anybody was even in there just to just walk around.

And obviously no one's at the booth so you can't really go and mingle or pick up a product or something along those lines. But it's definitely, I could see from that side like how you said, how it could be intimidating just because it's so big and so much going on. And you guys were there. Did you go two days?

Cause I forget like what the rule, actual rules are for who could go when and all that [00:12:00] jazz. Yeah, so day one is buyer's day and it's only, it's really only buyers and vendors, manufacturers that are in there now. Dan, me and Dan both had press passes that were good for buyer's day. , which was really interesting because, as you're walking around, people think you're a buyer, so they're like trying to talk to you and then all of a sudden they realize you're pressed and they're like, ah, we've got all week to talk to you, get outta here.

Yeah. So that, that was pretty interesting. But yeah, so we were there on for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but Thursday and Friday are open to, all press and that kind of thing. And that's when guys are really looking to slow down, do some podcasts with you, do a little more talking with you, that kind of thing.

Day one is like they're trying to get business done. Yeah. Trying to get their meetings outta the way, get their sales done, and yeah. Then day two and three are a lot more laid back. Yeah. I noticed from this year, and I said this to Dan through text message and stuff, was there wasn't a lot of coverage.

This year as far as like new products just in general. Like I, and I know [00:13:00] talking to other people, like they said it was down as far as like attendance and who was there and whatnot. But, for you, going with this, Josh, I do want to ask what maybe something that you liked that to show or a product that you could see yourself maybe tinkering around with that along those lines?

Yeah. The man, there were a lot of things that I was really excited to see. There was a lot of innovation this year in the saddle hunting realm. , which I'm excited about. I felt like with saddle hunting, mobile hunting, we were getting to the apex. How much lighter are you gonna go on a tree stand than a five pound tree stand?

Like, how much more are we gonna push the envelope? But this year people got creative and I think some really cool stuff came out. The thing that I was looking forward to the most was the latitude sticks. , gosh, I forget what they're called. , but they are all carbon sticks, all one piece, no bolts, no hardware, nothing.

And they are rock solid. , I climbed up on 'em, jumped on 'em, had one of their guys climb on 'em, and filmed the step to try to see if there was any flex or wiggle or [00:14:00] anything like that. Nothing, it just was absolutely rock solid. So super impressed with those. Looking forward to get my hands on 'em and, put 'em through the paces a little bit more.

See how they hold up. What about anything that you saw, Dimitri, that you saw that maybe you could ask Josh that you, if you had a chance to check it out or anything? Like you said, I tried to scan a couple videos probably like the week after. And, there was a couple things I just wanted to see if anyone had some coverage on.

And, like you said, there wasn't a whole lot of no, videos or, the companies themselves put out some videos. But as far as the reviews and stuff, there wasn't, as much as you typically see in prior years, and the thing I ask you is, going into ata, I've never been there just watching videos.

You hear the bad stories, you hear the good stories of ata, of, how you can network, what was your expectations going in, and then now that you've been there, whether it was good or bad, if you wanna cover a little bit of both that's okay too. Now that you've been there.

Yeah. Man I'm with you. I've [00:15:00] heard the good and the bad. So my expectations, I try to just push it all out, right? Like I was going in there with the goal of. of networking with people, because that's one of the coolest parts about doing the podcast and that kind of thing. I like to talk with people and I like to get to talk with people on these shows that I don't normally get to, that don't, they're not in my day-to-day circle.

And so that's what I was looking forward to the most is getting to know a lot of these brands, getting to know the people behind them. , especially some of the stuff that I already use or already get in there and meet some of those folks. So my expectations were I was trying to just tamp it all down.

I did expect to see a lot more, like you're saying coverage folks doing, live interviews on video, that kind of thing. I didn't see a ton of it. There was some going on. I know the bow hunter die crew was there and they were doing a lot. , but outside of them or, and let's see Lancaster Archery, you guys are Yep.

Probably familiar with them. They were doing a bit of that as well but you're right, there was a lot less of that than I've seen at least coming out in previous years. And my goal was to go in and cover as much as I [00:16:00] could as far as getting pictures and talking with people so that I can come back later, piece together the content that I wanna share, have it in a more a more polished fashion rather than try to rush back to the hotel room or head to the press room and crank out an article real quick.

It's kinda I'm gonna tuck all this in my back pocket. A lot of this stuff's not gonna come out until, March, April, may, even June for a lot of it. And so it's really not ready anyway to launch. Yeah. And it's really not a big service to these companies to write an article about all these products that, and you can get your hands on it in six months.

Yeah. You know what I mean? So I'm sitting on a lot of stuff that hopefully I'll be cranking out here over the next couple of months as we get, closer to the launch date for some of these things. Yeah. Cause I know even for tethered, they're releasing that new lockdown saddle and I'm, they are shooting for an early summer release, even on, on that.

Just because till we get a kind of like a, the right manufacturer of within the United States that's going to make those and has the right, panels or X, Y and z whatever pieces of equipment that [00:17:00] goes into it. So yeah, that's, that is the, I think, like you said last year, I think about Stan archery, their releases, and I remember there was one that they released last year.

You had to wait until June, July to get it and just, yeah. Which is fine. That's totally fine. It's just for people like us that are, who, like for me, like we shoot our bow almost all year round. I don't think there's a month off that Dimitri and I don't shoot our bow. So it's you want that release, you think that could be the one that could, you want to try out or whatever.

And if it's not out, you're just prolonging that to get, used to that single release. . Yeah. And how often have you seen products at a t a where for the company, something comes up , it might be a malfunction in the product that they wanna get ironed out. Yep. And it just gets pushed way further down the road.

I'm thinking of some of the things from last year that were, part of the innovation zone that were really anticipated highly, and then all of a sudden they disappeared. Yeah. And the product never made it. Yeah. And that's another thing of I don't wanna push a product or, write a lot about a product, get guys hyped about a product [00:18:00] and then it never make it to actual production.

Yeah. But man, that tethered lockdown, saddle, oh my word. Did you sit in it? It's incredible. It's incredible now. I don't think it's gonna be, for me long term. Okay. Big pouches on the side and stuff. It's a little bigger. And I'm pretty happy with kind of the standard style of saddle, but for guys who haven't spent a lot of time in a saddle, or guys who maybe want a little bit more, there, a little more substance to it.

It's gonna make a really easy transit. For the tree stand or lock on hunter into saddle hunting. It just, it opens that door a lot more for more people to feel comfortable trying it out. I believe. That's awesome. I, yeah, I think they hit a home run with th they found like a good medium where people could, that are very, over the year, the past year, Dimitri, we had a lot of people talk about how they want to minimize gear, and that's something that you and I even both did this year.

So people that want to bring less into the woods, how awesome is it that you could have those [00:19:00] shoulder straps on if you would like, and put your predator pack on there if that's the. or whatever piece that you're able to probably run on that. But let's just, keep it on the tethered side of things.

You put your predator pack on that you're able to take it off that, so you don't just hunt with that on. And then on your side you could, those pockets are big enough to hold, say your tags and kill kit or just your knife or whatever you might need. For say, quick and easy hunts, especially early season when you don't need your pack to carry in a jacket or whatever.

That is like a awesome feature. And the one thing that I've always said to the guys is, I'm a sitter when it comes into the, to the saddle. I love putting my knees in. I feel like I'm compact to the tree. Minimal movement. That's my personal preference. And I've always felt say a time where if I'm sitting long enough or I don't have my tether at the correct length, if I need to pull that down just to cover my ass a little bit more, having no, having those loops on this new lockdown to be able to expand that now.

Yeah. And on, on that plea, that's just money. [00:20:00] So it just depends, like I think again, it's, and it's also comfortable if you're a leaner, but I think that sitter and that individual that is looking to bring less into the woods in a more confined area, that is going to be a great saddle option for you. Yeah.

And if you're a 50 50 guy, if you like to sit for a while and then lean for a while and go back, so the way the pleats work. It goes with you the entire time. So you're not gonna find yourself doing a lot of adjusting. If you want to move back to a seated position, it's gonna hug you pretty well, exactly where you had it.

And it's gonna expand back with you when you sit down without you having to do a lot of fiddling for it. And to me that was the, that's what makes it a bit of a winner when it comes to the actual, saddle itself and what sets it apart from a lot of others. Now, I lean 99% of the time, so not a huge deal for me, but guys that do both, man, it's gonna be, it's gonna be a home run, like you said.

Yeah. Dimitri, you're a leaner, right? Yeah. I probably never sit. Yeah. Yeah. I just cuz you even run [00:21:00] a regular size. Yeah. Yeah. See I have an Excel that I want you to just try it out just to see how it would cover your butt just to, for a comfortability, even like leaning wise, I just, I don't know.

I ha I have, and I just want you to try just to, S see how it feels. But anything else, Josh, that, that kind of, maybe here was another thing, like Dimitri and I said, man, if let me ask you this. What bow are you shooting right now? I'm shooting a Matthews TX five. Okay. So that was three years ago. I th I want to say it was their, one of their 2019 models.

It wasn't like the flagship for the year. Yeah, it was the year after the tr the, was it the Triax It was the year after the Triax? Yeah, I think so. I think so. So it's it was a shorter brace, hype bow pretty short axle to axle really made for getting speed to those with a shorter draw length.

Okay. That was the sell for that. Hey, if you've got a short draw length, we've got a five inch brace height bow, which is, obviously shaven. Or not. Yeah. Anyway, shaving two inches off of [00:22:00] the I'm trying to think of the term now, but anyway, shaving an extra two inches, which is huge for your power stroke. Yep. Yeah. And it's, long range that, that's where you're sacrificing your speed for your forgiveness. And that's what the Bray side's doing with all that. Okay. So 2019 is pretty, let's just throw that out there. 2019 was the last time we got a new bow man, new bows.

Now they're going up in price no longer than 9 99. They're 1299. And then for certain models, They're 13 plus and then four carbon bows. They're 1800 plus. Yep. You're having jackets, $300. It's not cheap anymore. And I like Dan and I had that conversation on his podcast where, it's the, how much money could you buy this land and hunt?

And it's not really bene like going out there and helping say, a newer hunter or an individual that's looking to get into hunting. Man, it's tough right now. If you want some of the top of the line stuff and Dimitri, what, because I know this is something that you particularly brought up, so I don't wanna steal, but go ahead and whatever you wanted to dive into or however you wanted to [00:23:00] bring it up. Let's talk about that. Yeah. And that's one thing I noticed is watching some of these videos the last couple years of new products coming out and yeah, the innovation is great. But then it also comes with price, right?

And, just thinking about the small town that we live in, not everyone can afford some of these prices. Fortunate for us, we have pretty good jobs and , but, thinking about trying to budget for some of these, products like we just talked about that the saddle, right?

And they have a new pack out, right? And there's sticks. If you start adding those, phenomenal, each piece that, go in the woods to become a better hunter. But then, It's really sacrifice your budget and what you can afford. And I'm not necessarily a gear guy and you probably, a lot of people probably hear that.

You give me anything, I'll take it out in the woods and I'll try using it. I don't have to have the latest and greatest. And I always try to portray that I use a budget bow this year, right? And killed Ford Deer with no problem with that. But, I just see the prices going higher and higher, which.[00:24:00]

Brings better products, but I just know a majority of people out there, especially going through a recession, are gonna have trouble affording these products. Yeah, and I think too, the, like Nate Sellers with average Jack Archery, he owns a shop. Josh. I do you know Nate at all? Have you seen him online?

Average Jack Archery. Yep. So you've had him on a couple times? Yes. Yeah. Awesome dude. And his bow shop is three minutes from my house, 10 minutes from Dimitri's house. And like Dimitri said in our area, I look at it and I'm like, oh man I hope he's he's killing it. He's doing very good because people are, he's doing heck of a lot of retr and bows.

But man, you walk in there, there might. One new bow within the last five years. And then you look at the rest of the bows and they're either cross bows or they're bows from like 1999. Nate's such a good individual, and he's so kind and polite, and I said to him, I said, at what point do you be like, dude, just so you know, like if something goes wrong, I [00:25:00] cannot fix it one, or get a piece that could replace this bolt or this limb.

You might have to, like you said, Dimitri, save your money and maybe get that good bear archery that is 5 99 for your whole setup. You know what I mean? If that's the type of Indi individual, because they haven't bought a new bow since 2002, right? . But yeah, that's but he's doing a great job. He has, his league night is p slammed every night.

There's, bows are being bought and he just became a Matthews dealer, so I'm hoping that, maybe having Matthews like a bigger name, like I know he sells PSE and Athens and Bear, so I, obviously pse PSCs a was his main flagship Bo company, but now adding Matthews, I'm hoping, more, obviously that's a, p has a bigger falling out of most brands, basically.

But hopefully that will allow him to, even flourish in, in our area. Yeah I would encourage folks to if you're in that space where you're like, look, I really need some new gear, but the pricing is holding me [00:26:00] back. There's some really good gear out there at decent prices.

, and you mentioned Bear Archery. I spent a good bit of time talking with some of the guys from Bear Archery and they have got some really nice bows at that 4 99, 5 99 price point. that man, you put 'em up against a bow from three or four years ago, a flagship from a big company, they're gonna shoot just as well.

, they're, they may not be quite as dead in the hand, and that's probably what you're sacrificing is that the feeling at the shot, but as far as it's being an accurate bow and being able to do what you need it to do and being able to kill deer with it. Yeah, absolutely.

All day long. Yeah. Because Dimitri, you, how often do you think you shoot your bow? Probably over the wintertime, a couple times a month, but then, going into spring I'm probably shooting, oh, I don't know, maybe a couple times a week, and then that just progressively gets more till I get closer to fall.

Yeah. Josh, how about you? Yeah, I'm a I'm right there with you, so I probably shoot right now. [00:27:00] Three weeks out of four. Throughout the winter. And when I say shoot, I mean I go out in the backyard and I shoot six Yeah. To 10 arrows and I'm done. It's not a long shooting session whatsoever.

And honestly, I try to keep that rate for pretty much the entire year. It gets more, more often as in every day. But it doesn't, I don't shoot a lot more than six to 10 arrows a day anyway. Just cause that's when I'm fresh. I want to catch that, first shot of the day kind of thing. And I'm really bad about getting in my head.

. So if I'm not shooting well today, I don't need to sit there and shoot more to try to get things figured out. I need to put it down and walk away. Yeah. Or I'm gonna mess something up and it's not gonna be good. You know what I mean? Absolutely. So the best thing for me is just set it down, walk away, come back tomorrow.

Yeah. Right now I'm two to three times a week or two to three, two to three times a. . And then again, just like Dimitri said it'll ramp up as we get closer to fall. So I'm obviously in that same boat. So I would say there's thousands of individuals that are like us and there's thousands of individuals that are even [00:28:00] more obviously in, in a, maybe doing indoor leagues for money and ramping it up even more than we are.

And then there's individuals that I probably would be between the three groups that I just said, there's probably more people that don't touch their stuff until the summer, that don't touch it until the very end. So I feel like it's, I don't know where I'm, where I really want to go with this, but that is exactly the group that don't buy that bow every single year, or don't buy that bow every couple years.

But for like you were going rewinding. if the individual that is looking for a better price on something. Like I actually just saw on AJ's Instagram, someone asked like, how do you buy a flagship bow? Or something along those lines for a decent amount of money without breaking the bank.

And I love what he said. He's dude, buy a two to three year old flagship bow that's still in good shape off someone. Because you could un, there's people like Dimitri said, there are people that have a good enough job that [00:29:00] will buy that new bow every single year because that's what they like to do.

They're, however see fit with their money. You could get a good deal on that. And that's, it's the same thing too for what we wear in the woods, camo boots saddle, whatever, whatever gear. , our buddy Mike bought a whole saddle set up and never once used it.

And now he's going trying to do a light little lightweight, hang on, . That's just the nature of the beast of what we're doing, yeah, keep your eyes on the forums, keep your eyes on class, on the classifieds. And man, honestly, when those bows, when the new bows start dropping, so when folks start getting the, this year's Matthews or Hoyt in their hands, watch eBay.

Cuz those guys are selling off the last year's bows or two years ago's bows and trying to offload 'em. They're, they're trying to get rid of 'em, trying to either pay for their, new accessories that they're gonna get or whatever. And you can find some excellent deals that way. Yeah.

Yeah. And I think a lot of it too is these companies and the major influencers that we would have in the space, they're always show showcasing the latest and the greatest. And I [00:30:00] think some, sometimes more people need to do a better job of trying to tailor to other people too.

And I get that's where they make their money and that's where they're gonna get most of their profits. So they have to kind of market to that. But I just think you knows. That's why I feel obligated to showcase to a lot of our listeners that, hey, this can get the job done just as a lot of these other tools and and that's okay.

It, it kills the deer the same way that $2,000 Bo does. And if you have the money to buy the great bow and that's what you want, that's fine too. But if you wanna spend 500 bucks, I'm sure you can kill just as many deer too. That's right. Absolutely. What what pieces this year that in the hunting season, Josh, did you run with at, will definitely be back in your bag or whatever your, with you next year?

Yeah a couple of different things. Number one, I swapped over to hunt worth gear camo this year. Okay. Is, it's not up [00:31:00] there in the price point of , Sitka or First Light or anything like that. But it's a little bit more than the real tree camo, you go grab, grab off the shelf at Walmart.

And that stuff performed so well this year. Nice. Just did a really good job. The pattern I was using it's called their Tarin, and dude it was fantastic. I did not, I had Deere trying hard to pick me off in a tree this year on several occasions, and they couldn't do it. I was really impressed with that.

Some of their pieces, I ended up getting pretty riddled up with Briars, but I don't think you can hold that against the piece. That's all against the user at that point. You tear something up pretty good. So that's definitely gonna be back for next year. The bow, I'm not gonna upgrade, man.

I like the TX five. It shoots it's pretty dead in the hand. I'm reasonably accurate with it. and I don't see a reason to upgrade. If I was gonna upgrade, it would probably be for one of the Bayer bows that I saw this year. Just nice hearing about the technology that went into it and, realizing I don't have to, basically decide between a new truck [00:32:00] and a bow

It's just getting crazy with some of that stuff. So those are definitely making a return. I'm probably gonna finally put away the old lone Wolff sticks. This year. They have served me well. They've run their course though, and I'm done with, tightening bolts every year to check it all out.

And honestly, they're just big, I got the full length sticks and everything. I've never modded 'em. And I think I'm gonna be changing sticks to the latitude sticks this year, but I'm still thinking about it. So I've got a company right now called Overwatch Outdoors. I don't know if you guys have heard of them.

I've seen their stuff online. . Yeah. So they make the transformer saddle and then for a while, I don't know if they're still doing it or not, they made a saddle called the Orion, which was a heavy duty saddle, let's say, built like the old kestrels used to be built.

, but a lot more comfortable in my personal opinion, and I'm debating whether or not that's gonna make a return to the woods this year or not. I was super comfortable in it. It's not the lightest though, and there's a lot of metal on it that, we could potentially move away from. But we'll see.

But I was really happy [00:33:00] with with my camo this year and then the tethered platform. I still have no reason to move away from that thing. Yeah. It's just, it's rock solid. Do you use the regular or do you use the Excel? So I've got the regular I had a gin one until November of last year.

And on November 2nd last year November 2nd of 21. . I go in and, they had some problems cracking at the base. Yep. And I pushed it too far, man. And it finally cracked at the base. I still sat on it that morning or still stood on it that morning and shot my buck. So it all worked out.

like everything was fine. Shooting a buck off a cracked sa cracked saddle platform. But so currently I use the regular, I've been thinking a little bit more about the XL just to get a little more foot room, but every time I look at that one, I'm like, ah, I just love the size. It's compact. It's easy to get up in the tree and I don't have to buy something new.

Yeah. Yeah. Dimitri, you run the XL. Yep. Yeah, I run the xl, I'm size 13 boots it just makes sense for [00:34:00] me to have the little bit more of the room now, I run that on the back of my pack and it's, the width is not wider than a normal backpack. I just run an X O p I forget even with the name of it, whatever the, their backpack is that they have.

And it works out fine for me, so I don't feel like it's too big or bulky or heavy compared to the regular platform. I, this year I exclusively ran the regular. I was I bought the regular like gen, I think maybe gen one as well, Josh. And then I ended up selling it for the Excel version.

Had the Excel version since it came out. And then, cuz the thing that kind of drew me to the Excel originally was the grip on top compared to it being just nice and flat on the Gen one version of the platform. Yep. And now, like the latest in addition of the regular platform it's basically the same cutouts on the side and now you have the grip on top as well as the Excel does.[00:35:00]

But yeah, this year I think it was from like doing all the other teaching train tour events and everything like just standing on that, the regular size one at these events where I was like, I'll give it a shot and see how it goes. And I. I, I, for me I'm only a nine and a half boot, so it was plenty room on that sucker.

And I felt like it wa it was perfectly fine. So I could see myself using that excel again in the future. It's not like it's, does not have a place, but I did use it regular exclusively this year. I did not grab the XL once. Yeah. So do you think that you'll you think you'll make it a little more permanent and a little bit more of a decision time?

Yeah. Honestly, if you're, if I had to get rid of one, I would get rid of the xl. Okay. Yeah. All right. And I, because my worry was the all day sits just being able to, I will say yeah, like when I turn, stand up and put my back to the tree to take a leak it's not as easy as it was probably on the xl.

Sure. But having the suspenders makes that a whole lot easier [00:36:00] too. , yeah, just holding it up. X O p had a little platform, or not a little platform, they had a platform there that had no seat with it. But it was about the size of a custom gear 0.5. Of just a platform, but it looked like a saddle platform.

And man, I asked him, I was like, Hey, are you guys gonna do anything with this? Will this be coming out? And they were like we don't really know. We just brought it along cuz it's something we had, but then guys started stopping and asking us about it. Man, that thing if that turns into a, an offering that they have, I'm I would be really excited to try that out for some all day sits cuz I like to occasionally, stand up, turn around, put my back to the tree, have my yeah.

Tether going over my shoulder just to get a different field of view and just break things up during the day, especially when you're there all day. But this would give you lots and lots of foot room. . And I think it's three and a half pounds Yeah. Or something like that, if I remember correctly.

It's crazy light. Yeah. And that's as much as the XL platform. Yeah. It's three and a half. So Yeah. There's not a lot of material. [00:37:00] Like when you hold it, you're like, boy, there's not a lot here. . Yeah. What's what's something maybe whether this past year or within the last couple years, what was a thing that you were so maybe juiced about giving a shot and then you were like, yeah, this is, I won't bring this back.

Oh, man. That's, it's not because you're not, we're not, and we're not bashing a company. It's just maybe a piece of gear that just you did not see a fit in your style of hunting or whatever. Yeah, man, that's a really good question. There were a couple of things and it, the first one is probably more on the modification side, but I took all my lone wolf sticks and I swapped 'em over to the double steps.

, so that I had steps on both sides. And those were, they added a little bit of weight, that kind of thing. And they just, it, it didn't do enough for me to justify having a fixed position stick that I couldn't fold back down to get more compact and that kind of thing.

So that, that was one of them. And then there was a, [00:38:00] so I won't name the company, but I did try on a boasting for my bow, carrying it in and outta the woods. And dude, that just got to be such a pain. And I didn't even realize it. Like I was just using it like, like everything was fine. And so I'm carrying, this sling in and outta the woods.

And, occasionally I think, oh, this is pretty handy. But it's one more thing to keep up with and one more thing to stow away once you're at the tree and one more thing to leave at the base of the tree on accident and have to walk back into the woods to go get, and so I very quickly ditched that thing at, basically I, I used it all of last year and then just nixed it Yeah.

For this year and decided that's I'm done with that. And then, last thing I'll mention is and I almost hate to say this, single bevel broad hits. Okay. I ditched them and man, I was a big proponent for a little while. I was shooting big 200 grains, single bevels, popping hairs on the way out, sharp.

And I shot a couple of deer with them, and I got miserable blood trails. And I was [00:39:00] pulling them out of the ground on the other side of the deer, which was great. And they were just shoot up, like blades chewed up beyond being able to sharpen and refine those. And so I just had to make the call. I was like, these are just not performing like people said they would.

Yeah. They're not as tough as people said they were. They're not holding the edge as well as people said they would. And honestly, I just hate sharpening arrows. Yeah. I don't like sharpening broadheads all the time. I don't have the time to do that if I've got a spare hour at home.

I'm gonna go play with my kids. I'm not gonna sit around and sharpen up some broadheads. So this year I swapped over and I shot some grim reaper mechanicals, which is dirty word. I know. Using those mechanicals, I don't know what you guys shoot, but that don't matter as long as you kill something with it.

Whatever. You like shooting it, who cares? Yeah. So I shot the Grim Reapers this year because the vector broadheads I was waiting on to come in didn't come in time. And so I shot the Grim Reapers this year, was very happy with those. They're not cheap though, because you're not replacing any blades [00:40:00] or anything, so you're buying new blades or new broadheads every time you shoot something, but really happy with their performance.

And then I do have the vector broadheads now in hand, and they are, they come sharp as anything. They have replaceable blade and they shoot really well. So I'm looking forward to slapping those things on for this fall and maybe shooting a combination, of Yeah. Of fixed position and.

Mechanicals, just depending on where I'm at. If I'm hunting on the ground, maybe I'm pulling out the fixed, if I'm hunting in from a tree stand, maybe I'm pulling out the mechanicals. Just depends. Dimitri loves those severs. I do. It's hard to go away from 'em. Yeah they're, I haven't shot those, but they're on the list, man.

They're a great broadhead. I have nothing, I have zero bad things to say about a sever broadhead. Yeah, it is. They're tough. I know years ago, like when they were first coming out, when they were like the 2.1 people were talking about like penetration, and, but man, it, if you got that arrow in at least eight inches, that sucker was just going to annihilate the insides of [00:41:00] that deer.

Like it was gonna only be dead and within 40 yards anyway. Like I, I don't know what people, but then they came, they had that 1.5 inch and then they made the two 0.0 inch. And Dimitri, you hammered like this year, that's all you use, right? Yeah, I shot all four deer with a 2.0 and I think my furthest deer went 60 yards, so I was probably between 30 to 60 yards.

Yeah, man, that's not bad. No. Even on marginal shots, right? I like, couple times I know, like Dimitri, even you were like, I'd shot it maybe a little bit farther back, but I watched a bed like from his tree and just snuck out and go back the next morning and it's exactly where it was.

Wow. And this has never moved. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. The, I just feel like the entry and the exit is just so devastating. You get such a big cut that it just does so much internal damage, even if it's a, a gut shot or liver shot, that there's just so much damage done that, As long as, you don't [00:42:00] bump the deer and you play it smart, it's gonna be there.

And I, we, we never had, I never had, I, I don't think you have either had any issues with their overing. No. Cuz you know they're held in tack with an O-ring that silicone or whatever it is, obviously. I shot a deer with the wreck mechanical, which that deer I basically put out of its misery that, that year I used a dough tag on, it was hit by a car and just, you could tell it was going to die.

So I just shot it and it let left a nice hole on it. It resembles the sever. Matt's they're great people over there. They're actually out of Michigan, so USA made and everything like that. Nice. I shot. Kill the deer with the annihilators. Which they're a great broadhead as well.

That one was a pretty crappy shot kind of arrow. Got deflected off a branch and just went right in that, that back ham, but it hit the femoral artery, whatever that is back there. And the deer dropped within 15 yards. Dude, those shots are so gruesome. If you can catch that back. [00:43:00] Artery Yeah. Is it is a, it's like a horror movie.

Yeah. As soon as, as soon as I cut her, like as soon as I went in to, to, field dress her, it was just like blood everywhere. I was like, oh, this is gnarly. Because, like I saw that it was actually, it was it last? Yeah, it was last year. It was the last day that I could hunt and it was getting down to the last couple minutes and the deer came through and I was like, all right, just let it rip.

And I didn't see the branch and I saw the arrow hit the branch and the arrow deflect just like that. What, 16, 20 inches and just hit that back ham. And I was like, oh no. And I'm watching her like just the way she reacted and then like she bounded three times, fell over and that was it. I was like, what?

you know what I mean? And it didn't all hit me at that moment. But yeah, that was the, it's a really cool broadhead. They fly really good. Yeah, I, but I'm actually sur surprised, like not, I shouldn't say I'm surprised, but I was intrigued that you said about the single bevel. Yeah, man, I just have you guys shot single bevels a lot.

I see you on that rabbit hole. No I've put [00:44:00] it this way. I've tested them. I've never shot 'em at a deer or killed a, but I've shot them through my bow. Yeah. Yeah. So I love shooting a lot of weight up front. I love how quiet that makes my bow. I love how that cuts down the hand shock. I loved it all, but man, they just did not do what they should have done.

Now I will say I was not shooting iron will broadheads. Okay. Great head sharp. I remember I shot a field point and I shot a, another Broadhead, I forget which brand, and I shot the single bevel 1 25, and when I shot it through, it must have clipped one of the other arrows, like a knock or something like that.

Okay. And that it had a huge chunk taken out of it. Yeah. And I called them and I'm like, Hey could I use my lifetime warranty on this? Here's a picture. And they sent me a replaceable blade and it was super easy to replace. And I bought like the screw, I checked the size that you would [00:45:00] need as far as like the star wrench.

I bought it off of Amazon for 3 99 because they sell theirs for 1999. Oh yeah. But I was like, what? What would that have done if it was in an animal? Yeah. How about a rib bone? What, what would what would a rib bone have done if a knock, chewed it up like that.

And that was, for me I, had my buck back in 21 double lung, the thing. I caught a shoulder on the way out on the backside. But the whole broadhead was just wrecked. Yeah. And that was the last straw. That was the, okay, I'm done with these. I've tried my best.

I've done what I can do and I've gotta move on. Because they're not as tough as people say they are. And honestly, it made me real confused why so many people are like talking about how. All these single bevel heads are because I've been very disappointed. Yeah. Because our buddy Bill Dimitri, he shoots the iron will from per near outdoors. And he's he loves 'em, he's man I'll shoot a deer. Deer has no frigging clue. It was just shot through the heart and goes and runs, 60, 70 yards and it piles up and, which is awesome. And, I just think it's such a user experience when it [00:46:00] comes to broadheads.

I think that's why that is like the biggest rabbit hole that people could go down. And I just think you shoot what you are one very confident in, and two that, there's nothing really else, I guess you could say. Like it just shoots, it flies great. It's your bows tune. Great. Okay. And you're confident in that head, let it rip.

Whether it's a single bevel, whether it's fixed or mechanical. Yeah. I've talked to a lot of guys that, that I really trust who shoot iron wills as well and they've all had nothing but positive experiences. That's why I say, what I was shooting was not an iron will. And so I definitely don't wanna , calling a question.

Anybody that's shooting one of those. Cuz man, all means if you're having a good experience with it, then shoot it until you don't. I know people that shoot rage and have never had a problem with 'em. Yeah. . I had a bunch of 'em and so do so have a lot of people that I know.

Yeah. But there's a couple of folks who have always seem to get a good batch and man, if they work for you, more power to you. Yep. Where to next? Dimitri? What? Rabbit hole? . . It doesn't matter. Maybe his success this year. Yeah. What he, [00:47:00] because I know you killed a buck. It was pretty cool. I'll tell you what that was like one of the most heartfelt messages I've ever received.

When you're like, dude, I listened to which podcast was it? I forget now. Dude, that was Ryan Glitz. Okay. I think it was Ryan Glitz. Yeah. I think it was Now that you say that you guys had him on like right there during the rut. Yep. And yeah, so I, I was doing exactly what he talked about in that podcast.

I was covering a ton of ground. Looking for fresh sign. And I was in the middle of wondering okay, how much time do I give a spot? And he had a little bit of a different take than some guys where some guys were like, man, hunt at once, and boom, you're gone. And he was like there's some spots that deserve more.

There are some spots that need a little bit more time. And then he, the way he just talked about keep grinding and all that, man, I, so I really took that as like my my marching orders for the week. And so I had that shot a great buck in Wisconsin. Very happy with him. And yeah, man, shot the deer on day three and grazed him well, didn't graze him.

I got right underneath[00:48:00] the cape on the back of him, basically. I basically got into the, just underneath the skin. Okay. Pretty much. It was like it was like a nice piercing, basically, could have worn it as an ornament if he wanted to. And then but kept after him.

I knew he was in the area from the sign that I was seeing, from seeing how comfortable he was when he came through on the first day I had a little bit of trail camera intel, but I did wanna mess with some other trail cams that were in the area. And so I left those alone and I had some cell cameras that were telling me where he wasn't.

And so I just kept at it in this area. And I shot the buck again. About 75 yards from where I shot him the first time on day eight. But yeah, man, I was sitting there in the tree stand, I think it was the day that it was like 70 plus degrees outside. It was like 72. And I was hunting dark to dark, just miserable weather for hunting the rut, especially in Wisconsin.

And you're thinking, there's no way these deer are gonna move. But I popped in that podcast and it just, dude, it got me fired up, man. Kept me kept me going through the tough times and [00:49:00] yeah, walked away with pretty good deer. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Very happy to have him. He's definitely the biggest buck that I've taken and way bigger than what it was gonna take to make me happy on this trip.

Man, I was thinking solid hundred inch and I'm going home a happy man. Had a 90 inch, eight point or nine point that walked through and at two 30 in the afternoon, I just about let one rip, but I didn't. I let him walk, and then, I'm kicking myself for letting this deer walk and I'm like, man, should I have done that?

And I left bunch. Aren't you hunt hunting Wisconsin? Aren't there just one 50 s just, and that's it. Oh gosh, dude. It was like the week of the dinks, man. I was passing little bucks left and right now, I will say during this time I had two encounters with this buck that ended up being right at one 40, which, is, for me, that's a stellar buck.

Public, private, whatever state you're in. A one 40 is a good deer man. So I had two encounters with him [00:50:00] though. And another encounter with a 120 inch eight point that winded me before I could get turned around and get the shot. And a guy that I met actually shot that buck a few days later.

Oh, cool. Not far from where I was hunting. And I think he was right in the same spot where I had seen the deer a few days earlier. Because where I was at on the evening, I shot my buck, I heard the guy rattle, and then I heard his BOGO off and I thought, oh my goodness. I can't believe it just happened 200 yards from me.

There's no way I'm getting a deer tonight. And then next thing I know, I see antlers crossing the little ditch crossing out in front of me. And sure enough, it was him. I've been sitting from since Daylight Man and. I was already in the back of my mind, like kicking myself okay, this is it.

Like I'm not, I haven't seen another deer all day. I saw a bunch of small bucks this morning. My trip's getting close to over. I better just go ahead and start thinking about packing up and heading home. I got a couple of days left to hunt, but it's probably not gonna happen at the last minute.

And dude, the, all the naysaying going on in my own head of [00:51:00] you big dummy, you host a podcast called the How to Hunt Deer podcast. And , what do you know? You're out here. You can't even kill a deer. You sucker. But yeah, man, and everything turned around within about two minutes and I shot the bucket at 10 yards.

Two. Yeah, it was, that was wild. So both shot opportunities I had on this buck. One was at 15 and one was at 10. Nice. So I had 'em in nice and close. Yeah. That's the goal, right? We get 'em in nice and close so you don't have to take that 45 yard shot through all the big timber. Dude. Yeah. When, but when he was at 10, I was wishing he might be at 15.

Yeah. . It's like a super still evening, and very quiet out and he's right underneath me. So the way, this spot where I was hunting set up I had, I'd been hunting this area because of some scrapes that I'd found and known bedding that I've hunted for the last three seasons. And he came out in a few evenings before, worked a scrape, then came back out of the scrapes and heading up towards me.

And I thought I knew what he was doing, [00:52:00] but then every time I would leave this area or walk into this area, I would bump deer in a specific spot. So finally I was like, Josh, you big dummy, like the deer telling you what they want to do. Stop going past this. Just stop right there. So this morning that I went in, on the day that I killed the deer, I go in and I wait until it's daylight already because I'm like, why are the deer crossing right there?

It doesn't make any sense. , they are literally, they literally have pheasant hunters on top of them. It, when they cross there every day, like it doesn't make sense that this is their preferred route. But I go in there after daylight and I'm gonna, I'm, I've already made the decision. I'm stopping short, but I want to get up into there and see what's happening.

And there's this long agricultural ditch that runs, it used to be an agricultural ditch, now it's just a ditch cuz there's no ag in there anymore. But the banks of the ditch are really steep. And then you hit this one area where I kept seeing the deer crossing every day, where I kept bumping deer from.

And the banks of the ditch flatten out right there in that one spot in a [00:53:00] span of maybe 15 to 20 yards. Okay. And that's where all the deer were crossing. Problem is the only tree that I could hunt right there was basically on top of the trail. Everything else was just too thick, too small couldn't make it work.

So I get up into this tree, and as I'm watching the smaller bucks that morning dip in and out of this ditch, they would pop down into the ditch outside of shooting range. And then by the time they'd pop back up over the bank on my side, they were right there and like almost eye level with me. Because then they would come down the bank a little bit and they are right underneath me.

So I knew it was whatever was gonna happen, it was gonna happen super fast and I would have to just make a judgment call probably before they even got on my side of the ditch. So anyway, Saul, like I said, I think three, three little bucks that morning. A dough with her two fawns, which, not very promising for the rut when you see a dough dragging her fons around still and not being chased by anything.

But then that evening, probably 20 minutes before shooting light was gonna end. I see antlers [00:54:00] on the other side, but I think it's one of the dinks again, like just all I see is like a time sticking up, , but it pops down into the ditch. But I'm like, I might as well grab my bow. It's closing time.

Who knows? And when he popped up on my side of the bank, I was like, oh that's not expecting. I thought it was gonna be 40 inches of antler that popped over and it was 140 inches of antler that popped over the bank. So it's okay, this is, it's go time. This is real now. And man, he walked that trail at 10 yards, gave me a perfect shot, and yeah, actually ended up not making the best of shots.

I spd him. But he expired really quickly. I got another arrow in him real fast, and he didn't run anywhere, which I was really thrilled about. . Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. But appreciate your podcast, man. Cause that that's why we, that's why Dimitri and I do it, man. Yeah. It was. . When we talk about those little train features on our podcast quite a bit is those are things that you can't see on a map.

And cuz we talk about ees scouting and pinch [00:55:00] points and, bridges and things like that. It's those little train features that, that kind of funnel deer into a specific area that, that are gonna make huge success for a lot of people. And that's what kind of what I've figured out in the one spot I've been hunting as well.

And that's why getting boots on the ground and paying attention to like that crossing, even if you didn't see that, it would take you seeing the tracks or a beat down path in that train. Cuz you might even overlook that little, that flatten out ditch if you just walked by it and didn't really notice it.

Or the tracks or, the deer crossing in that area too. . Yep. And there, there weren't a lot of tracks. There wasn't like a beat down trail, but it was the sightings that I kept having that I was like, dude, you stop being a dummy. Like you've gotta, you've gotta stop there. In fact, a few days earlier I was walking into this spot and I told myself, okay, if you see a deer there this morning, when you're walking in, you're gonna stop right there and you're going to set up there.

I saw a deer there, I [00:56:00] thought, huh, that's weird. And I kept walking. just blew the deer out and went all the way past it. Again, going all the way into where I had been, where I had been going, working way too hard, way harder than I needed to. So I knew that I needed to pay a little closer attention.

One thing I did do, so a little tip for folks who are maybe trying to figure out, that, that terrain feature that's really hard to see on the map because this one you could not see on the topo. I went into OnX and I turned their elevation Exaggeration feature. Have you guys seen that? Yep.

So I turned that all the way up, and once I turned it all the way up, Boom, there it is. And I was like, dude, that's so subtle. Like I would not even know that this is a spot I needed to zone in on like that and turn the e elevation exaggeration all the way up. So many things were pointing me to another spot, 75 yards past this that had I not paid attention to what the deer were doing and walked in there and then seen the crossing for myself, [00:57:00] I would've never, yeah, I would've never thought to go that in depth on finding it.

So if you've got OnX and you want to use that elevation exaggeration feature to try to dial a spot in, it can be super helpful. And Dmitri, that's what we talked about with Cam, right? Was like we tell ourselves all the time. Like Josh, you said to yourself, if I'm going in there and I see a deer, I'm gonna set up there.

And what did you do? You kept walking by, right? And doing that we do that all the time. Ah, man, like what is it with us? , right? Yeah. Oh my gosh. You would think, man, cuz I literally was recording podcasts with people about that topic, . I was literally talking about that thing with people on my shows and still for some reason couldn't, finally pay attention.

Then after the successful hunt, I had Casey Smith from the Element on one of the shows and he was talking about that exact thing and I was like, got to humble brag with KC for a minute and I was like, Hey man, look, I did this exact thing the other day and I shot a buck because of it, . And I was like, it only took me [00:58:00] eight days to stop being an idiot and, slow down where the deer were telling me to slow down.

But Yeah, man, we can be so hardheaded. It is, that's exactly what it is. We're very hardheaded. Now that you talked about, you wouldn't have found that unless you're getting boots on the ground, you wouldn't have saw that technically on the topo unless you use that feature or to get that idea, now that it's the end of January, when do you start piecing your plan together for what your 2023 hunting season will look like for you?

Yeah, man that's starting to happen right now. So trying to figure out first of all, what are the hunts that I'm gonna be doing? Okay. I did not hunt in Georgia nearly as much as I anticipated. A lot of that has to do with the success that I had in Wisconsin. It's a lot harder to get out when you come back and normal life is waiting and you just shot a nice buck, and you're wa you're waiting on your buck to get back from the taxidermy.

I feel eh, that might not be a good point to push my luck with the family. But right now I'm trying to figure out what hunts I'm doing. I know I'm doing Wisconsin. That'll be a rut hunt that's definitely happening. I know my [00:59:00] goal is to do Alabama again next year which will be a definite rut hunt.

The good thing about Alabama is I can hunt the rut in December. I can hunt the rut in January and I can hunt the rut in February. Just depend, determine by which part of the state that I go to. Okay. I've got a lot of wiggle room there. And then I'm thinking about doing an early season North Dakota hunt.

I've gotten a talk with a lot of guys that do the North Dakota thing and what I'm learning, I maybe shouldn't even say this on air. What I'm learning is they're all ending up in the same part of North Dakota. Okay. Like passing each other's trucks and realizing, oh, that's and I'm trying to dial in a little bit whether I want to do that.

But as far as boots on the ground, man, for those out-of-state trips, I'm not gonna be doing anything. It's gonna be all. Map, scouting, pulling up on X, and trying to determine from imagery. Boots on the ground though, here in Georgia has already started. So I was getting out before season even ended.

I started post-season scouting, if you will, in December, because honestly, I've gotten a [01:00:00] good buck this year. I would rather scalp than keep trying to hunt, especially when I don't feel like I have the intel already. . So I think I've already put on, I don't know, 15 miles or so which is a, it's a long way from my goal and I would rather be at, 25 miles by now.

But I'm already out there doing it, man, already out there doing it and looking into some tools to make me more efficient, like an e-bike. So if anybody's got an e-bike, they wanna send my. Two, let me know. Yeah. Three of us . How about at Diri? Three extra E-bikes you can send them to.

Yeah. Yeah, you could send them two. In Philipsburg and one in Georgia for sure. That's right. Two, two in Philipsburg and one in Georgia. Dude, I'll drive to pick 'em up, man. Just call me. Yeah I'll drive and pick the bike up. Like you ain't even gotta send it. I'm fascinated by the individuals to that like piece one together, but I just don't, I need, I don't have the skillset to do that. I'd be like, oh look, it's together in that first ride. I like, go on. It's like I'm, it's like I'm falling apart, yeah. And [01:01:00] I also, so I've seen some of those builds and what I'm realizing is a lot of those guys really have a lot of money in them.

They're, they really didn't save when you add in their. When you add in the fact that there's no warranty on it really aren't saving themselves a lot as opposed to just going with a commercial commercially available bike already. I got to use one this past summer from Liza Motors, which is a company out of Alabama.

And dude, those bikes are phenomenal and they are half the price of an equivalent that you'd get from one of the bigger brand names. They are fantastic. And looking at getting one of those for this year because one of the big things around here on the WMAs especially, and it may be the same way where you guys are they'll open up the roads on these WMAs, then they're blocked.

What's that? Then they're blocked, like they open the gate up, then they're, yeah, so they'll open 'em up for the for the rifle hunts, but they won't open them up for bow season. So you end up, [01:02:00] you got a road with four and a half miles of road that's behind a gate. , how can you ever feasibly hunt that during bow season?

You can't. , it's not gonna ha you, you can't, sure if you wanna leave your house at midnight you can maybe get back there, but I'm not really into that game. That's more Parker McDonald, with, with his kayaking in Yeah. Way of doing things. I'm not leaving my house at midnight.

That's just not gonna happen. So an e-bike would really open up a lot of doors because Dimitri and I we've done the mountain bike thing and especially in the scouting, it's nice because we're not hunting, but some of those times where we did use it on Hunts, man, it's, you're just gassing up to go up uphill and everything just to hurry up to get there because you want to have that time.

And then, you park your bike and you're full of sweat and just did, you saved a heck of a lot of time. But the trade off was now you're like, you're ready for an oxygen tank and ready for a shower, dude, I'm glad you said that. Cause my wife is Josh, just buy a good mountain bike.

Like you can get a good mountain bike for a couple hundred bucks. Just get one. And I was like, I don't think that'd be as useful as I [01:03:00] feel like it could be. Like it might get me there faster, but boy, paddling uphill really sucks. Dimitri, let me ask you, do you, where would you see a fit for one for us here?

For me, the biggest thing for me is some of the public again, has a gate, but they do open it up in archery. But the whole summer months it's gated off. We're talking Yeah, you're, I don't know, you could go the holy across there. I don't know what it is exactly.

Probably six to eight miles across the whole road that's gated all summer long. You can't do any scouting until they open that up two weeks before the season. . That's where I would probably use it the most just because some of the trails off the main road when you can park, it's definitely feasible for walking.

So basically it would be more preseason scouting tool than anything for us around here. I definitely see that because, our good friend Tim, this past year for hunting season, he [01:04:00] used it on a piece actually where he killed his buck and he had a bike. He's dude, I had a bike four.

What? I think it was like four, six miles past. Like our area is very like he has mountains as well in northeast pa, like where he was hunting, but I just don't know if it's like where we were Dimitri, like what we have here, if that makes. . I don't know. Yeah. And I think, on the one private piece I have of my father-in-law's property it's all a hill.

They use, they get to the top of the mountain. There's no way you could walk. Especially like in the morning or afternoon, it's just a long walk and it's straight up hill and steep. They use a lot of four-wheelers to get to the top, where an e-bike, you could, you could use that to get to the top pretty quietly and a little more efficiently to hunt that.

So that would be another tool, on a private piece to use it. Yeah. Really cutting down on that sound profile. Man, that, that's huge for me. And, I'm looking at a couple of different leases potentially for this next year mostly for my kids. Cause I'm not gonna lug my six year old three miles deep [01:05:00] into public land

But I, I could try it , but I want 'em to have a quality hunt either way. So I'm looking at some different leases and a lot of these places, roads are impassable unless you've got a four-wheeler and it's Gosh, I just really, I hate the way I disturb things on a four-wheeler, man. It's like anou.

I might as well go out there and shoot my gun a bunch of times and be like, Hey, dear, I'm hunting you right now, . It's just, I don't know. I just can't get around it. But Do you guys run a bunch of trail cameras? So what were you at this year? Dimitri? What? For how many troll cameras? Yeah. I probably had,

I had probably five or six here in Pennsylvania, and then I had two in Ohio this year. Okay. And I am right about 16 to 20 with minus, probably minus 1, 2, 3, minus [01:06:00] three moult trees because they'd never work. . I own 20, but 17 actually take pictures. Okay. Yeah, no, I dude, I totally get that. I've been there with, yeah, with some, and the worst part is you get a brand and it's like Multry for instance.

I've got some multry. I think it's the a 20 from six or seven years ago. And I can't kill those things, but I've bought other Moultrie since that basically didn't work the day after I pulled them out of the box. Yes. So it's it's so hit or miss with the model. But dude, check in trail cameras with a e-bike during the summer just sounds like a really pleasant outing as opposed to the bug covered sweat fest.

That can be trail cam check in you. the middle of August. Yeah. Yeah. Those trips that you and I did on our mountain bikes, going on that road. Remember that one time we we blew through those old people walking about, we probably gave them a heart attack cuz we're, you just see these two guys just flying downhill on this dirt road and we're [01:07:00] getting ready to go check our trail cameras.

And man, I just remember as I'm pedaling, I'm like, I wish that this was an e-bike. I wish this was an e-bike. And Dimitri, like I said, Dimitri's six three. So he has these long legs and I, you and I, Josh, we got those, the short syndrome legs. So I'm like 10 times working harder and he's flying and stuff.

But man it's an e-bike would definitely be in the cards and it's whole, it's so hard though for, to justify heck, even like you said, I know there's other really good brands out there that are a lot half the price. There was a good one that I know a bunch of friends were using that was like around the one K price range, right?

The thousand bucks. Man, is it really, I can't just spend a thousand dollars just for a piece that's going to let me go check trail cameras. I know some people do that and that's okay, but like in my situation, I just can't. Yeah. And that's where I have been as well. Yeah. And I mean it's tempting and it would be real awesome.

Yeah. Because there, cause because there's a piece even where I hunt back at home where I did use the mountain bike getting in and out, [01:08:00] that made it a lot quicker efficient. I, it wasn't a far distance where I would be sweating a lot, but it was definitely got me in quieter. It definitely went from a 20 minute walk to a four and a half, five minute bike ride.

Yep. So that's a huge cutoff. But riding my an e-bike on that would cut that down to a minute and a half and potentially allow me to go even further. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, they, man they're hard to justify, but they'd be really nice. And, with the Habitat Consulting, I've been able to have a little bit more leverage there.

If I had one of these E-bikes Yeah, I sure could zip around these properties a lot faster. Yeah. Geez, if anybody's willing to help out the Antler Up podcast and the How To Hunt Deer podcast with an e-bike, let us know. We'll be more than happy to test run them and free you, but no, man, I, that's good stuff.

And sweet man. Josh, I, anything else you want to talk about before we wrap up? This was, we're, this was fun, man. I wanna hear your postseason scouting plans. I need to have you guys on the show again to hear what's going on in your world? Okay. I know this isn't exactly like slow [01:09:00] time of year for you, but like, when's it, when's the grind?

When's the kickoff? And do you shed hunt? Is that a thing or are you just ah, if I see a shed while I'm postseason scouting, I'll pick it up. Go for it. Dimitri, you start us off. Yeah. So that's basically what I end up doing. I. I guess I would call it shed hunting in the past. But the antler there's not a whole lot, right?

The deer density's not there. So it's a needle in the haystack. Yeah. We're finding spikes. We're trying, that's like . So I, yeah, so I will do some post-season scouting probably February, march, once, once it lets up I'll maybe check out a few pieces. And that's typically where I will scout out some newer pieces that I may wanna hunt in the fall.

And then leading into summer. Then I'll dive into those a little bit further. But I think this year I'm gonna change my strategy and I don't think I'm gonna put tro cameras out. All mid to late August okay. I'm gonna kinda, use the summer more for [01:10:00] family time and I've just, because what I've seen is, putting those show cameras out and getting those summer picks isn't really translating to what I'm seeing in the fall.

So I'm gonna dive those and utilize those closer to, the inventory and the transition areas that are gonna guide me into the fall and what, how I'm gonna hunt. Yeah, man I think that's probably a good move. So this past year I had really great intentions of getting trail cameras out and I didn't get hardly anything out until, I think it was September, like almost September 1st.

And I don't feel like the data that I had come hunting season, like the usable, actionable data, I don't think it suffered. No, I don't think it suffered, but it saved me a lot of time and earned me a lot of brownie points when I was saying, Hey, let's take the whole weekend and go camping instead of, Hey, let me go check a bunch of trail cameras.

Yeah. Jeremy, what about you man? When are you getting, when are you starting your off-season grind? Or has it already begun? I wouldn't say it has begun. I would definitely say like what Dimitri said, especially here locally, we're, [01:11:00] we are a couple days away from potentially getting six to 10 inches of snow.

So that's going to, close some definitely roads up to get. Your truck on and all that type of stuff. But I want to say about that same time, and like my focus this year is going to be especially back at home in northeast pa, the couple areas that I've been in this past year are in kind of another spot that I found and hunted where I had some really good bucks on camera and everything.

I want to dive into that a little bit more just to solidify areas of Hey, this is, I think I found a good spot, but I think I was still on the outside fringe of things where I could possibly put myself in a better situation. Like I found a good scrape deer. Were hitting that scrape every morning, but it's okay, where were they coming from?

Where could I have been in a little bit closer and maybe had a better wind or a better entry exit route? So I'm gonna try to those areas and those areas might be like a thing where in say April, I go in there and I do hang a camera, like a cell [01:12:00] camera, but don't turn it on until September. Yeah. Or until late August, beginning of September.

So then that way that trip is taken care of. And then those, and if I do it in April, it's gonna look a lot better than come August when everything's fully green, right? So that's my attack for that. But once the snow starts letting up here, there's a couple different areas that I heck that Dimitri and I haven't ever really been to or hunted to that I circled and really would like to get out and have in my back pocket for here, because I think next year I'm planning a trip to Kansas and I would, I'm still on the fence on when yeah.

So for going around here, I want to have a lot more intel because last year I did one day of scouting here in central pa and it was one day with Dimitri and we hung up a camera. We actually just, what? No, we put new batteries in it cuz we had it up for over a year and it's still up there, but so I want to be able to.

Hunt here a little bit more. And my goal is to I don't know, I say it now, [01:13:00] but I know I'll go out in October, early October times, but I'm not going to put a lot of eggs into those baskets. If it's, I don't know, October 10th and it's 65 degrees I don't know, like I might go out for a couple hours in the evening, but I'd rather maybe do something most of the day with the family.

So then that way when, like October 27th through, November 9th hits don't bother me, basically. Yeah. Dude, I, man, this is the first year that I've ever only hunted. I hunted very little before, before Halloween. I hunted two days three days before Halloween this year. And they were all basically over a long weekend.

And I banked all of my days really for that October 31st to November 15th. and dude, I have not regretted it. Yeah. One, and that's that kind of time. Yeah. Like I feel like I learned so much, not just getting to walk away with a deer, but I learned so much because as soon as I shot that deer and I was out scouting next day,[01:14:00] and then so I think that's a solid strategy and I don't think that I don't think it'll make you. I don't think it'll make you second guess yourself. Yeah, that's a that's the piece I'm excited for just because it was something that I was I said to myself to try to do this year, and I did not, it was still every weekend I took my daughter out like twice on, on the weekends when it wasn't as great.

We had crappy weather. Obviously it was warm in that early November time, but I waited until that, what was it, Dimitri? The, that 12th weekend, like our Saturday, Sunday, like our Sunday hunting that we had, I took that Friday and Monday to still hunt and put those eggs in that basket, which there were pretty good days, but man, though, my best hunting day was Halloween weekend.

And that's there's much rut craziness. I just, I didn't seem to get in the craziness like I've been able to the last couple years. Yeah. Yeah. So that's my, that's the plan, , get after it. Josh, man, I appreciate it. What when let everybody know when those episodes drop on our Sportsman's Empire.

[01:15:00] Oh, yeah. So my episodes come out of the Wisconsin Sportsman launches on Tuesdays, how to Hunt Deer Podcast launches on Thursdays. Sweet. Go both ends of the week. Yep. Tuesday and Thursday. I like it. And then I gotta give you a lot of props because I don't know how Mitch does the whole Pennsylvania I think that's where like Dimitri and I eat, sleep, breathe whitetail, right?

I know Dimitri loves going out Turkey hunting and does his fair share of that? You go out fishing? He goes out with the fly rod and everything like that and, but man, like I, and I was telling you earlier, like I like going Turkey hunt, but it's not something I'm like, I can't wait. Like how some people are.

Yeah. I just. I don't know. Like I, I'm, that's why like for you to do the Wisconsin things, like you're saying ice fishing and, doing the bow fishing thing I don't know, I'd be like, ask one question and I'd sit here and be like . I'd be like, Dimitri, what do you got? What do you got? ? Oh, dude, it there's so often that I've got people on that I'm like, I don't even know the right questions to ask you.

Yeah. Because I know nothing about your sport. [01:16:00] Yeah. I know nothing about what you do. And I do catch a little bit of flack where guys are like, are you ever gonna talk about anything but deer in turkeys? And I just respond with two word, two letters. N o yeah. Cause these are the things that I love.

Yeah, I'll cover as much as I can about Wisconsin, but at the end of the day, man, I'm a deer hunter. And I'm a Turkey hunter as a close second, and that's gonna get the bulk of my focus. Yeah. Yeah. I try to give something for everybody. Yeah. I wouldn't mind having people on for something where, like I said, I'm a big, like we're big in the education side.

That's, I think our main platform is is, we just shoot from the hip, but we're also educational base with that. And I think, even if I did not know, like how you just asked us like what's our scouting, like I would love, I wouldn't mind if someone wants to come on and talk to us about what their passion is because obviously they're going to be able to talk about it.

So Yeah. Anybody's interested, if that's listening and there's something that you've never heard from us and here in Pennsylvania and obviously there's Mitch with the Pennsylvania woodsman and everything, but, something for our platform, don't hesitate to reach out.

Yeah, man. If you are a [01:17:00] basket weave, Please reach out to the LER Up podcast, saying, I cannot wait to get that episode in my inbox. Weave that shit . Oh man. That's good. Josh, man, I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Check him out every Tuesday, Thursday with his zip, his podcast, and we'll get down and dirty with the whole scout coming up here soon.

So appreciate it, man. Yep. Thanks buddy. Thanks for having me on. Awesome. See you. Good next week everybody antler up.