Rabbit Hunting is Legit

Show Notes

Small game hunting has been a passion for Tyler Thompson his whole life. On this episode of Michigan Wild, Nate and Tyler discuss that passion, along with how Tyler helped Nate get rejuvenated hunting small game. For years they have really enjoyed running rabbits with their beagles from January 1st into late March. This conversation goes into detail for finding the right terrain, which includes how to use digital and in season scouting. They also break down how access is gained on private ground and the effort it takes.  Then a small deep dive into some gear they use, and what it takes to get started. 

Overall Nate and Tyler love small game hunting and encourage people to get outside and enjoy it themselves. Nate also looks forward to Tyler's journey this fall as he wants to get more serious about bowhunting whitetails. 

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

Show Transcript

Nate Rozeveld: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Michigan Wild Podcast.

We're just here walking around. We're going to go set a tree stand. Don't worry. My dad's weird. He never shot a huge buck before. I just shot a freaking big buck.

Get that one. Oh, you hit him. Go get that one Henry right here.


the size of that deer. All righty. Welcome to episode two of. Michigan Wild podcast. [00:01:00] Today's episode's gonna be with my good friend two shot Tyler. Oh yeah. The game I've given him over the years and we can get into the why later probably. But no, he is a good buddy of mine and we've been friends for a long time.

We went to school together, I think like sixth grade on pretty much, and we've continued our friendship through adult life and yeah. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself there, Tyler?

Tyler Thompson: I am let's see. I don't know if you call it a Fairweather kind of outdoors man or the kind of guy that just finds a certain niches that you want to try everything at one point and then narrowing it down to the few things that you get good at or what you figure out what you want to do.

But yeah, through hanging out with a few buddies, you figure out if they go out whitetail hunting and you want to try that a few times you do that or you go duck hunting or goose hunting. You got some buddies for that. Through my friendships. I think that's bridged a lot of opportunities for me to get in the outdoors and try a bunch of different things.

But one thing I've landed on just from my family's perspective [00:02:00] growing up was rabbit hunting

Nate Rozeveld: for sure. Yeah. Small game. You're the small game master. I would say. Growing up your dad and you, anything to do with being outside and active, that's like your jam. Yeah, growing up you didn't really whitetail hunt as much.

You'd go gun hunting, but yeah, you realize I can't believe you guys' sit in a tree and not doing nothing. We're you're the guy that's exploring, that's walking, that's not afraid to put miles on and heck we came and riding the truck with you and you're not looking in the field to see what's going on.

So personality wise, small game hunting definitely has fit your niche a little better. But as you've gotten older, you shot some deer last year for

Tyler Thompson: first time in a decade. I've shot a deer though, so that just kinda shows you where my priorities lay. And like he was saying first of the year through.

March 30th, I am out rabbit hunting, Yeah, like a madman. If

Nate Rozeveld: it's the beagles and yeah, we run 'em with our beagles. He's, you've had, how long have you had a beagle

Tyler Thompson: in your life? I've, I'm 32 years old and I've never not had a bele besides three years. And in that period of time, I still had someone I knew that had a beagle [00:03:00] that I could run.

Yeah. Yeah, it's worked out quite well for that aspect. And just like with rabbit hunting, that's probably the, one of the bigger positive attributes to that is that they're prevalent and, you don't have to try and worry about hurting their numbers at all because they'll be back next year, if not stronger.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, it's easy to find spots and it's a good, it's good clean fun. I primarily grew up with a family full of whitetail hunters, like that's my jam. And that's what I did. And then my uncle did a little rabbit hunting with some beagles when I was young, like 10, 11, 12, somewhere in that range.

I did a little bit. And then, becoming friends through school and all that stuff. And we all got a little older. It was like, okay, this Tyler Guy, he's all about this whole rabon thing. And I really enjoyed doing that with my uncle. So I didn't really get a chance to take along until I was able to drive, I think cuz once, yeah, once we had driver's licenses, changed the game with that entirely for all the outdoors.

Yeah. Everything. So yeah, I remember we would, we would all pile in vehicles and meet up and go pick up. I didn't have any dogs at the time, but you did. [00:04:00] And a couple other mutual friends had some and we yeah that was like the highlight of our winter, doing that kind of stuff on a weekend and go tramping around and go chasing rabbits and always a good time.

And yeah, I'd say that's the best part

Tyler Thompson: about it is the fact that you can always have people, like you always need people essentially just to cover the ground you're hunting on. But yeah, you just call up a buddy and if that doesn't work, call up another buddy. And if that doesn't work, you call up a third one and then all of a sudden he.

He comes up and says, oh yeah, my dad hasn't hunted in years either. So is dad. You bring your dad out there too and they'll relive the nostalgic moments. And I was just talking to someone the other day about that kind of stuff and someone was telling me just like every old timer story about how track and be with beagles and stuff like that, you'd lose a dog and then you'd put a jacket down and then you'd come back the next day and then the beagle's still there.

So that's changed a lot since. Yeah, we started, we run the Garmin tracking collars and I think that is a huge asset as far as and enhancing the experience [00:05:00] and seeing how rabbits operate further rather than just listening to the dogs and judging by sound. You can really.

Track distances and patterns and see, depending on what time of year it is, how big of a loop of rabbit's gonna run to.

Nate Rozeveld: So yeah, we've gotten pretty good at killing rabbit, or not killing rabbits is we kill rabbits, but pretty good at knowing how to kill a rabbit, yep. It used to be, oh, let's listen for the bell.

Or you have no idea what your dogs are constantly yelling for 'em cuz you're just petrified they're gonna be the next freaking section over, or you're

Tyler Thompson: just jump shooting like crazy. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. Doing

Nate Rozeveld: that kind of stuff. But yeah, the, as in our adult life with electronics, it's definitely been a lot of, we've seen the change and it's, yeah it's a joy to do it now, but yeah.

Before we get, I would like to touch base on how our year went. I also want to touch base with you. Like what, when did you start like small game hunting? Was this something like, I. I grew up watching my, my, my family like shoot deer. So like I tagged along and we shot deer.

Like I knew I was gonna shoot deer when I was 12 years old and with my bow and then gun hunting, I just couldn't wait for [00:06:00] it. So I did do some geese hunting also cuz farm country, Alf fields and oat fields and stuff like that. Up north where I live now, we get the early goose season back then and I would always be tagging along and run.

I was the dog for everyone kind of growing up. Yep. That kind of thing. So my, my experience was a little bit of goose on before deer season started and then after that it was pretty much it. Like I didn't really do much after the first of the year. And then once I turned 12 it I don't know why my, maybe my dad got busy with work cuz he is, on his own business and, living far away.

I didn't really goose on anymore once I was able to, I went a couple times, shot maybe a few. And I didn't really get into turkeys too much either. I shot one when I was little, but like from a. Killing small game. I didn't really do it. But it seems like you had the polar opposite growing up

Tyler Thompson: I would say.

Yeah, exactly that we grew up in building, so there's a lot of room for generally it was first at pheasants and then switched over once pheasants started disappearing from Western Michigan. My dad's always [00:07:00] had vehicles, like I said, so it was something he always did. I don't remember growing up and sitting in a stand with him for deer hunting.

It was just getting out in the field and being the dog and retrieving the rabbits. And I was doing it probably when I was like 10 or 11 years old, before you could actually legally hunt. I was just out there with them doing everything else besides that. So I got to experience it all firsthand and fell in love with it.

Cuz I'm out in the field with the dog, I'm out with my dad, and my brother. So once we got to. Start hunting. I gotta be a little more competitive too, because how many rabbits could you shoot in a day? I got my full five or Yeah. You only got two

Nate Rozeveld: or now what kind of dog did you guys have when you were little?

Is, was it a pointer, a lab?

Tyler Thompson: What did you guys use for professors? Yeah, we had a German short haired pointer. My dad spent a lot of money training that dog. To get him to be a primo pheasant killer. So that's

Nate Rozeveld: cool that you got a little taste of the pheasant hunting cuz you know, Michigan's not what it used to be.

At least I know here and talking to my grandparents and stuff like that, that live in this area. There used to be pheasants abound and now you go towards the east side of the [00:08:00] state or you gotta do, put and take for pheasants. So you got the tail end of pheasants. We walk a lot of miles in our area.

Every, in past few

Tyler Thompson: years we probably came across like two pheasants. I'd say two. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: And I think recent when we, we heard it, we were like, There's is that real? And then you automatically go, there's no way. It's a wild one. It's gotta be a put and take. And then you hear it a couple times, it's I've been North Dakota, and I'm like, dude, I don't know.

Like it looks the same as one out there, but I'm not versed in that. But yeah, it's cool that you actually got to do that.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah, definitely a privilege, I would say because yeah, just a kid that couldn't sit still either. My dad probably saw that too and said, I don't wanna sit with this guy in this dance.

So I'm gonna get him out and moving a little bit. So my brother was the one who turned more towards whitetail and some other outdoor activities. But yeah, for me working with a dog just is barning on the best.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. You love dogs. Yeah. So that's like something that you just did at a young age.

Like you always had a dog, like Yes. You always had a dog in your life, right? Yep. Never even talked twice about. Not just like a dog that sits around and doesn't do anything. [00:09:00] Like you've always had a working dog. Yep. And that doesn't, and that doesn't mean you guys have had five or six, you've always had one or maybe two and that's been your jam.

And like I know you know, growing up, like being with you in high school, I mean you had Beagle dog and that dog was every weekend. Yep. He was running rabbits and your dad would go. After work, too. So like these dogs knew how to hunt and it was always really fun,

Tyler Thompson: just like how we are now. I got one dog.

You got two dogs? Yeah, Tony can get a dog. So you get a couple people that just, everyone has a beagle and you get beagles together and

Nate Rozeveld: it's a blast. It's like deer camp. So so for me, I didn't like my deer camp style. Michigan's like a huge tradition place. So deer camp for me is just strictly close family and maybe some, maybe a couple of really close friends.

Like we don't do a big camping trip. We just go up north to the grandparents' house and we all hang out and we, the family spends the night, but then we always have certain, relatives and people you have have come over for dinner and you celebrate the, the harvest if there is any.

And y'all get together and help clean and skin deer at night and it's just this thing. So I never had the deer camp of we're going four hours away and we're [00:10:00] camping and we're just gonna be, gone for a week. It was very focused on we're hunting spots that are been in our family for years and they're high deer quality.

So really good experience of shooting deer. So like this deer camp and not seeing anything wasn't for me. And you didn't really have a, because your dad's been just so foc, does your dad really deer hunt anymore? Did he ever, when you're growing

Tyler Thompson: up? Not really. Once he got us into it, it was like, if you guys wanna do it, I'll take you.

But if it's not something you wanna do, then we'll do something else. Yeah. And he,

Nate Rozeveld: so so for you, you didn't, if you were gonna do deer hunt growing up, it was, go try to find a spot in state land or something like that if knew

Tyler Thompson: someone, potentially someone Potentially, yep. Yeah, a couple years. I got pretty lucky in hunting out in Greenville at a Christmas tree farm.

Yep. But you didn't,


Nate Rozeveld: we knew someone up there. So it wasn't like you had this Teacher per se. Hey, here's this sweet farm, here's all this stuff. A nice deer blind, like you roughed it and Yep. A high energy kid that's always been doing things. You're like, you know what I'd rather go somewhere where I can shoot a lot two shot Tyler, shoot at least two times.

But no. So what was your first like you remember your first small game kill, I guess the first thing you

Tyler Thompson: [00:11:00] Yeah. I can't remember. It was out in Kent City area, but it was just a small swale and we were out running with our two beagles at the time. We had our our older dog freckles and her son Duke, that we had from that litter of eight or 10 dogs.

But we got rid of all of 'em except for the one, and then we raised him. Underneath her cuz she was a good, really good teacher for that. And it just so happened I looked over to the next section of the woods and I saw a squirrel over there and I was like, dad, can I go shoot that? He's yeah, go ahead.

So I ventured over and stalked him up a little bit, but he was in a tree too, so it was pretty easy. And then I had a single shot, four 10, both action and Oh dang. Put the hammer down, put action. Four 10 single

Nate Rozeveld: shot. Yep. That's what your dad was like. Here you

Tyler Thompson: go, son. That's what you need to raise on.

Yeah, that's why I shot skeet and stuff like that. Learning how to use a gun. That was

Nate Rozeveld: a good, it was like a full choke or what was it, to have adjustable chokes or just smooth

Tyler Thompson: board. Just let her rip. Yep. Wow. So that


Nate Rozeveld: really cool. And then, so you weren't two shot Tyler then, or

Tyler Thompson: No, it, it [00:12:00] should have been because it was one shot and then I got up, threw him in my pack and Okay.

Continued hunting. The

Nate Rozeveld: rest of the day. You found the tree, it went up. You essentially typically, I'm sure lots of people know this, you find the tree and you're able to get a shot on him. Oh yeah. So it wasn't the most smartest squirrel.

Tyler Thompson: He didn't try to hide from you. It was just perched up or what?

No. Yeah. I closed the gap quick too. Yeah. Obviously I was excited You were running.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, running. Tyler likes to run after stuff. Yeah. Okay. So he is dusted this thing out of the tree, and it's a fox squirrel.

Tyler Thompson: What is a black squirrel? Red squirrel was squirrel. Okay. Pretty big fox squirrel. Nice. So threw him in my pack and we continued to hunt out the rest of that spot and.

We get back to the truck and start unloading stuff and I'm like, to my brother Hey, pull this thing out the back for me. And as he goes to reach for it, all of a sudden he is like pulling on it and he let go cuz the thing was like still alive. Oh gosh. And holding on the inside of my bag. So I'm over there swiveling, just trying to get him off, gosh, was this

Nate Rozeveld: traumatic or was this like funny or was

Tyler Thompson: it weird? It was both, young enough to be traumatic, but then laughing it [00:13:00] off later. Yeah. But yeah, it was like out of all the instances, your first squirrel, this is how it's gonna be. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: Oh, that's great. Yeah, like we could, small game hunting 12 for that also. You could shoot one with a shotgun. Now it's different. But even when we were 12 years old, like I remember the first, I mean I've, I grew up watching lots of stuff die. Like I would tag along and deer would get shot and you do the processing ourselves and gutting and the tracking, like all this stuff like growing up around farms.

So you get the. Those, you got cows that produce milk, but than they can't produce milk anymore. That's something you end up eating. So I grew up seeing that happen with pigs and chickens and all this stuff, but even the first time I shot something of size, twee birds and stuff like that, I did that growing up.

It was a little different. Yeah. Who didn't? Yeah, exactly. That's, yeah, red Rider was terrible. And then you get to the, I remember dude, I was dangerous when I got a pump pellet gun. Oh man,

Tyler Thompson: oh, pumping that thing 20 times, thinking that make a difference. Loading two bbs, one down the barrel.

Nate Rozeveld: And so we grew up doing this kind of stuff, but I [00:14:00] never, the first deer I shot was definitely an odd experience for me and that, everything went, I didn't have a squirrel trying to live in my back

Tyler Thompson: for you all the time, but he was just hanging out for a bit.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. You got in that 12 years old, you were very prepared for that and that was, and it, they didn't deter you.

Like I have a brother that, he's first year, he's shy. He is I'm cool. I don't need to do that again. Each one is different and yeah, that's crazy.

Tyler Thompson: First. Yeah, just like my brother and his niece. I think the first time we took her out she was like four years old and it was like a hiking backpack, like a carrier for her. So she sat either on my brother's back and then eventually when she got too heavy, switched over to me. But yeah, she's holding up rabbits and she knows a whole set life. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: It's just a way of life. Exactly. Like it is been a way of life for you. It is been a way of life for me and yeah.

It's a pretty cool thing. I guess we can go forward a little bit like then once we were in high school together and like buddies and knowing that you hunt and do all these things, like I didn't really know the extent of small game hunting you guys did. Yep. Cuz I just knew, oh yeah, you got, you're bored, you go out back, you [00:15:00] kick some brush piles and maybe you shoot a rabbit or two, and then, I had went with my uncle who had some beagles and we had a couple spots we went to, but it was pretty much Hey, we're going to this one spot. We'll let the dogs run and you hope for the best. And I had no idea what a good dog was or like, we didn't know that you just went out and had fun.

Like in some days you shot, quite a few rabbits, other days you chased dogs all day. That was just my taste of it. And then, fast forward five, six years, get a driver's license and friends of school, I'm like, Hey, like I'd love to go do that. And I can drive oh yeah, you're in.

You're driving. All right. And that's a

Tyler Thompson: lot of people's experiences with rabbit hunting for the first time. It's I only ever went out and you noticed stomped a couple piles and I never got to experience hunting behind a dog. And I'm like, on the complete opposite side, I'm like, I probably can only put on my hand five, less than five times that I've hunted without a dog.

Because it's just not as fruitful, obviously, but just. We're getting to the point now where we don't even actually like hunt. We just let the dogs run,

Nate Rozeveld: yes. So I was gonna say it's trans, it's went from when we were younger, like how many of these rabbits can we get? Kill everything that stands.

Yeah. Let's, I think you grow [00:16:00] as a hunter, as a kid. Like you mature and there's reason why there's bag limits on stuff. Because, when you're a kid you're just like, this is awesome. This is a cool thing. And then you do those, I got my limit before you a thing, and then you're driven because you want to I'm gonna go over there and get it.

But yeah, I remember the first time I went with you guys and we had a, a handful of dogs and I was just like, oh my gosh, this is awesome. And we did that. I can't, I don't necessarily remember, there's lots of stories in between what we did and, a lot of learned, but I know we've always, even at a young age, we've always been communicating really well with each other.

That's the thing you like when you really group of guys like. Yeah. Don't we care about the dogs? Is number one, nothing's more important than us, your friend and a dog. Yeah. So even though we were like, let's get our limits, or we're very driven by that. We still were very, smart.

But as we've grown, we've matured to like, let's have, let's just fun, let's go sit,

Tyler Thompson: set other people up in spots where people going in and yeah, dude, I don't necessarily have to shoot, but if I do, the hammer down.

Nate Rozeveld: Some days you wake up with more, it's I feel like we're taking this gun and it's going [00:17:00] down.

We're like, let's do this. But then yeah, there's a lot of times we don't even shoot anything.

Tyler Thompson: It also comes down to how you feel about how many rabbits you want to clean at the end of the day. Cause it can be pretty tedious. I try and get as much as I can as far as meat off of rabbits when I harvest them.

I'm not just kinda cutting off the back legs and back straps and, calling it good. I take time,

Nate Rozeveld: take legs. You're, you showed me how to. You showed me the that it is possible to treat that the same way as I treat whitetails. Yeah. And for me, I don't know if it's bad or not, like I always looked at that as like a lesser animal from like a eating perspective.

And like it's a, to me it was just like a rodent like kind of a thing. And then exactly what they are, the potato

Tyler Thompson: chip of the

Nate Rozeveld: animal kingdom they have. But then, going with you and your dad and like realizing that this is like a way of life, it really inspired me. And then, we did that through high school and I had a lot of fun doing that.

And then we we both went to college and life happened and we we still communicated, but we never really hunted that much. And then all of a sudden I got, I don't, I had my son Henry, and he got to the point where he was like three, two, [00:18:00] almost three years old. And I was like, I need to go do this again.

This is awesome. Yep. And we did that and yeah, like the. The desire you had for rabbit hunting grew from high school to use your adult life. I was like, dude, this dude is like part of my identity. Yes, exactly. Which is cool. It's inspiring, it's fun. And then another thing I wanna say we grew up in high school, we played football together and we would find fields of goose hunt on and we would be like, all right, I'd be like, dad, can I please take your truck to school today?

He's like, why? I was like you got the truck, we can put all the decoys in the back and we'd meet before school. All the shotguns would go in one truck. Yeah. Yeah, we had shotguns in the parking lot but we never thought nothing of it. Like we just had everything in there. And then we'd be like, oh, I hope practice gets done early tonight.

Cause we're like, it's a great night. Geese are flying. And we would just hop the truck and bound to a spot, run, set decoys and we'd shoot geese after school. We would go Turkey hunting before school too. Like we just have always done this stuff. And yeah, that's just, and then that was like.

A lot of fun from a like, [00:19:00] good, clean, fun. Yeah.

Tyler Thompson: It kept us outta trouble. Yes. I would say for

Nate Rozeveld: the most part. And then so then as we get onto our adult life, I kind, I get reintroduced into it. You had never stopped. You mean, I know you had a, one of your dogs have passed, but you guys got another dog and like you kept right on going.

And I got back into it and I, I've had spots where I can grab a hunt, and then it was like, all right, I'm back into this. This is fun. It's wintertime. Like what else can we do? And I realized with you and your dad, you guys got a lot of spots

Tyler Thompson: and that's what's nice about it too. It's like the spots haven't changed much in the past decade, I would even say to where we can go back to 'em every year and, we know how the layout is and how to approach it and how to have fun.

We're not out there just. It's rare you can actually get skunk rabbit hunting. I would say. You'd have to really try to get skunk and go like to the worst spots. But once you get the layout of what they hang around in Yeah, you can pretty much find it. Yeah. You

Nate Rozeveld: guys understand terrain, like you understand what kind of, what [00:20:00] habitat you need for rabbits.

Yep. Like me, I always thought, oh, the brushy spot or oh, this or that. There's a lot of, not all that stuff's pretty equal and like you and your dad have a good feel for what that looks like. And I got to tag along and totally took advantage of I'm, what are these guys doing? How are they walking?

Like where's a good spot? Cuz like your dad just has a knack for knowing where to go.

Tyler Thompson: I feel like he can see tracks from the side of the road better than I can. Yes. Even he's oh, some rabbit tracks right there. And I'm like, I didn't even see that. It just looks like snowfall. But yeah, sure enough, you get out there

Nate Rozeveld: and it's just, yeah, that dude's probably missed more rabbits and I'll shoot my life.

Yeah. Realistically. And he doesn't, I mean he misses, but it's not like he's terrible. There's usually, they don't have a chance when he sees him. But I think that was a big thing for me. I was like, okay, like we gotta have a lot of spots. And once we learned what we needed, I am not afraid to knock on doors.

So like we transpired and I ended up getting a beagle myself and I was like, dude, this is great. I can take my son. Like you're talking about how your niece would go yeah, you can go with a kid. And granted, you have to know your kid, like [00:21:00] what they can handle and you have to be like a responsible adult with like temperature and clothing and all that.

But like I would just throw 'em on my shoulders and walk. Yep. And I just wanted to be

Tyler Thompson: outta the house, carry him over all the do that sticks

Nate Rozeveld: and stuff like that. You can't really do that deer hunting, like deer hunting. You can have a kid come with you, but like you can't. You gotta be quiet to an extent.

Or I never once felt like I was limited having him out there and he's out there learning how to be, look for stuff and be in the woods and learning this woodsmanship like this way of life that we've grew up as. And yeah. And then I, so I got the desire to like, let's do this. And you really went on a tear yep.

When we do this every year a couple times we'll just take a day. Maybe it'll run to a spot that's little and we'll just let the dogs run and we're like, today's gonna be the day we're gonna knock on doors. And we've gotten some really good spots just by doing that. I

Tyler Thompson: think having a the's kind of the right, extroverted personality too, to be able to approach someone in today's world even and knock on a door and kind of present the way we're doing it in a way that's not like we're going to go on your property and, shoot the crap out of [00:22:00] everything.

It's we're gonna be respectful. Leave it cleaner than we came in, and. Be in and out and you won't even know we're there, basically. Unless you hear a few shooting. Yeah. A couple shots right now.

Nate Rozeveld: We're, we got a good way of scoping the property out. Yeah. We, fortunately we hunt, ar a pretty good area of space, so we, excuse me.

We know these areas so we're like, okay, we have a good feel. These people like deer hunt. Yeah. You go approach the place and be like, Hey, we're just looking in the spot to run our dogs chase some rabbits and we won't do it. And if this is after deer season, we'll say we only do this after the first of the year, after deer season is completed.

And a lot of times they just, they're like, oh my gosh, I love seeing rabbits, or I love seeing dogs run rabbits. Everyone loves that. You, not everyone, but some people do like it. And then, you gotta to determine how the property is. And I think you've got the niche for finding the places that we can't hunt, but they let you run the dogs.

And that is like super, like that is still awesome.

Tyler Thompson: Oh yeah. People that have grown up without any kind of idea of how beagles operate while rabbit hunting and then they see 'em for the first time, [00:23:00] they're like, that's how they bark. And this is what they do. It's yeah. And they are built for it and they absolutely love it.

If you want to see a big be, it's happiest. It's not sitting in the living room on the couch laying down, or whatever. Bumming around it's. It's out there getting after it. And when nothing gets me more pumped up too than seeing my dog get pumped up. And seeing his tail start wagging and hearing how Hardy's sniffing the ground or any other dog and you call 'em all over and then they all get on the track and then just start tearing it up.

It's Yeah. Complete different feeling. That's something I never get Sick of you.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. It's very fulfilling. If you have that mindset, like even for our buddies that go, never have done this before, what a great way to get people into hunting. You're like, hey it's usually abundant. We can we cherry picking spots is not me the right word, but like we try not to hit the same spot twice.

So we like get to the point where we have enough different locations and that's private land, that's state land, it's all these areas. So it's hey, we got so-and-so that wants to tag along. Let's make this a great experience for them. Or older gentlemen's and that kind thing. And There's easy access.

You [00:24:00] direct traffic and help 'em out and no one's not smiling, right? Like you hear a dog get after it and they're all pumped up and you're sitting there talking to 'em and they're like, oh, it's happening. You take someone new that's never whitetail hunting before. I can't necessarily I'll hunt all year with a bow and gun and maybe have one, two opportunities at a deer that I want to shoot.

And they give you

Tyler Thompson: that feeling of

Nate Rozeveld: that excitement. And that's my excitement. But there's a lot of days that I get kicked in the face. Yeah. You're bro, you're cold. It's rough, you're tired and you go out. So introducing someone into hunting that way. Even if you do take 'em into a gum blind with a heater and that kind of stuff, like that's just not the same experience.

Like when you're doing this, you are outside. Yep. And you are in the elements. You're in the thick of it. You're having fun, you're shooting up your bike. It literally is like the deer camp of small game hunting, I feel like. Yeah. And the same goes for Wild for Honey, but we just like love rabbit hunting.

It's such

Tyler Thompson: a community thing. Last year we had a guy who hasn't been out in years, and all of a sudden he is dude, when can we go out again? It's yeah. As soon as they're out, they're hooked on it too. And they know that we're going out every weekend basically. So they're, if your [00:25:00] schedule's available, you know what we're doing, dude, just,

Nate Rozeveld: yeah.

Let's do this. Yeah. It's it's good. Clean fun, and Yeah. I guess we can transport how like our year went for that. I'm trying to think. I've been, so my son's seven, so I, this is probably my fifth year getting back into it and. How do you feel like the year went? Like overall it was a, would you say it's like a different year for

Tyler Thompson: us?

I didn't like the weather, but yeah, this year actually taught us, I would say a lot about our dogs that, we don't normally see. So in Michigan you normally get a steady layer of snow on the ground to cover from, the first of the year through the whole season. So different dogs operate in different conditions and we had strong storms and then it would melt off entirely.

So we had bare ground we were working on for. I'd probably say half the season it was like heavy snow, no snow, heavy snow, no snow, really cold in February, and then it just petered out. But through all those periods of time, our dogs actually flourished in the conditions with no snow When we thought that, we're like, oh, we'll just see how it goes today.

And they're barking the [00:26:00] whole time and it's wow. They're doing really good today.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. We, there's been times the past, we don't go cause there's not enough snow. Yeah. Yeah. Guess what's never gonna happen again? That Yeah. Basically. Yeah. We're gonna be like tearing it up now. All times.

But yeah, we had the day that comes to mind, my favorite day this year was we were in that grass field and dude, we dropped the dogs and they didn't stop barking for how

Tyler Thompson: long was that? Yeah. There was no lapse between they when they were off one and onto the next one. And we were killing between that too.

Someone else saw a rabbit go another direction as soon as we shot that one. Dead rabbit. Dead rabbit. Call 'em over. Yep. Get 'em on

Nate Rozeveld: it. We just got going and they were circling 'em. Great. Yeah, it was just, and I think we only shot probably three or four rabbits. Yeah.

Tyler Thompson: And that was my favorite even

Nate Rozeveld: younger dog coming through.

Yeah, that was my

Tyler Thompson: favorite day. Yeah. This year was like a big progression for him, I would say as far as like getting the gist of everything. And I wouldn't necessarily say and slow down because he's a puppy and he's got a lot of energy, but. Yeah, just the three dogs we have right now are,

Nate Rozeveld: they're hitting their stride if feel like, yeah, we have a really good mix.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah. They pack up really well and honor each [00:27:00] other. So

Nate Rozeveld: we are not beagle

Tyler Thompson: snobs. Yeah. Would you say We're not about running a fast dog and trialing and all that stuff. It's strictly like recreation. I don't know snobs the

Nate Rozeveld: right word, but purist, I don't know what word, whatever word you wanna say.

We're not so into it where we have to have this pedigree or this type of dog, or who cares how fast. Oh, this dog in circle. We don't get into any

Tyler Thompson: of that. I got my dog because the guy previously said that he was too slow for him, so we're just like, and I'm like that. Yep.

Nate Rozeveld: Nope, not slow.

We don't care. We just, I get what is important to you for a good beagle dog

Tyler Thompson: or a good rabbit dog? What do you like? Just really realistically being able to circle. I don't really care about holding a tight line if they run good checks, if they could, if, if they can keep on it or even jump themselves too, that'd be another good aspect.

But just that and being able to be called off at one point too. And I think this. Past year for me was like getting better with my dog as far as doing that and moving him in, kinda really helped strengthen that bond between us. Yeah, I know he is definitely gonna be more for listening to me when I call.

And it's hard too because a [00:28:00] lot of instances it's like I just really want him to run it out because I know it's a rabbit and I know want to, I wanna see what he can produce out of it. Because most times, even if the rabbit's like in something besides a hole, he'll get 'em out of it. So it's just let him go.

Don't, unless we're like moving to a different section. I don't normally call my dog off. We don't

Nate Rozeveld: care how many rabbits we shoot. We just care if the dogs are having fun. And to us that means they're, you can tell like they're circling good. They're vocal, they're loud, they're doing their jam, and we can sit back and shoot the breeze.

Yeah. We talk about some pretty intense stuff. Like it's a good, it's good for us like to be able to do that and have that, but yeah, for me, I want a dog that when I say here it comes like, I want a dog that I can walk on a leash and it's not gonna try to yank my arm off the whole time. Yeah.

So I think we really focus on some of the smaller details with our dogs. And like you said, you're, you're in the position now, you're gonna spend a lot more time with your dog on a day-today basis. I have my dogs and they sit, they, they wait to eat their food. Like they're they're, they're part of the family to an extent. They, I want them to know that when I say Let's [00:29:00] do something, they're like, cool, let's do it. Yep. But I also don't like, oh, jump a rabbit and 30 seconds into it start screaming at 'em and zapping 'em and doing all these things that you know you could do.

It's let's let them things be dogs. See how they, turn out they're bred

Tyler Thompson: for rabbits. They're not really bred to be house pets. And I think that's another thing too, a lot of people don't realize is like generationally through. Our lifetime that's been, everyone's had outdoor dogs and then all these outdoor dogs are, all of a sudden everyone's having this huge swing of having indoor dogs.

So it's oh, you're cruel for doing that. And I don't know, just the traditional side of me says that keeping the dog outside doesn't give it the temptations of what's inside. To distract it from what it likes to do. And so I know for, yeah, seven years my dog was an outdoor dog, and then it just happened to where I was in a situation where I was moving.

Another buddy we hunt with is a huge hounds man, and he's dude, the temperament of his dog of your

Nate Rozeveld: dog, Hey Hill, that dude is a Hounds man. He's gonna be on [00:30:00] here. Like his dynamic. Yeah. He's like next level above us. He loves them dogs, but them dogs are like, they're different breed, like how they like to operate.

Like they're tough as nails. Yeah. They're chasing bears, they're chasing bobcats, they're doing all those things. So a little different aspect of a dog, but. Yeah,

Tyler Thompson: but also taught me, I could bridge that gap and his temperament really, allowed me to bring him in. And I still know he's very well motivated to run rabbits and yeah, not really distracted by what's inside.


Nate Rozeveld: yeah, he loves it. And we do use, our Garmin collars, they have shock mode. I think sometimes like when I approach people, most hunters probably understand this, but there's some people who hunt, don't know anything about heaven hounds, like that tool of that shot collar.

It's not just a shot collar, you have multiple settings on it. You can vibrate, you can tone in different, you can do all these things different. There's, there is like a stimulus for a shock, and you can go all the way down to one to 18. There's like all these levels.

And it's such an important tool. Like a, I can [00:31:00] teach, train my dog more efficiently. There's no, there needs, there's no I don't have to yell and intimidate my dog. You can use this as a tool. Hey, this is what you're not supposed to do. You can vibrate tone and then give 'em a small stimulus and you work your way up until you get a reaction.

And yes, I have held them things and like full tilts, quite the thing. But you don't ever need to be on full tilt. No. And we do not abuse those things. So it's just like anything else in life. Like you have to be responsible with what you have. But them collar, I feel like keep dogs from getting hit by cars.

You can keep 'em from running deer all over the

Tyler Thompson: place. Like you train with deer. That was gonna say what the two biggest fears for a rabbit hunter are since we live in more rural areas too. In some instances it's like a split between farm and then coming into the city. But yeah, you just worry about people that aren't looking for that kind of stuff all the time or that would.

Yeah. Not even care if they had a dog or we can watch our

Nate Rozeveld: dog, which way they're going. Yeah. We're like, there's a road over there. We need to either A, call 'em off. Or B, we can get in a position where they can see us and call 'em off. And then last [00:32:00] resort is a stimulus when they get really close to the road.

Yep. And we, our dogs are not abused by it, so they actually are, receptive to it. And man the headache, I remember, like I said, I only did it for a few years with my uncle, maybe only two. And then I did it with you guys a couple times in high school, for that two year period.

What a nightmare. Before we had those around dogs up and find dogs and you're just like, you'd lose dog. Like people lose lost dogs because of that. And it's they're not just dogs to us. Like they're no different to us as like anyone else with their pet. We still love 'em, we still care about 'em, we make sure they're fed and watered.

And like they're part of the family. Yeah. We go do something like that, may puts 'em in danger. Someone may say, why would you let them do that? Because, but it's you don't understand. They love this and we love it. This is a thing to do with 'em and them.

That is why we do it because of the dogs. I would not like to rabbit hunt. Like I know we're sing on rabbit hunting here, but this is our jam because of the beagles. Yep. And the dogs like that is just a fantastic feeling. And I guess we are just, we've been talking quite a bit the last couple weeks, like [00:33:00] how it's we kind of wish, we want small game hunting to be great again, yep. To an extent because we're, we're seeing properties that you've hunted in the past and like we've hunted and now they're getting or developed or, bulldozing like a spot, like to most it looks like just like this feral field. And to us it's that is a lot of good memories.

That's a great opportunity to be outside because we wanna recruit people to do this because we love it. And yeah. They're just, it just getting bulldozed. Yep. And that seems to have 'em probably like what, a couple times, couple properties a year almost, it seems yep.

Tyler Thompson: But luckily, like you said, we have enough in our.

Stockpile of places so we can, oh, we haven't tried this place in a while. Let's see how it looks. And yeah, sometimes you get really lucky and they'll just be so fruitful and you're like we gotta go back here now because

Nate Rozeveld: this place isn't Yeah. Keeps us motivated, I think too, to an extent. But yeah, we want small game hunting to be great again because there's there's a lot of kids that are, going into high school or, in their teenage years, middle school years growing up.

They don't know what this is.

Tyler Thompson: No, not at all. They have no idea of that round. They [00:34:00] just know whitetail hunting. They know November 15th. Yeah. They know, the rut and all that. They have no idea what it's like to be

Nate Rozeveld: outside and Yeah. And this involves, Turkey hunting, geese, hunting, waterfowl, all that stuff.

And then the rabbits. But it's yeah, they don't understand what it is. And my fear is the, is, that trickle effect of small game hunting goes away that's just gonna slowly weep its way into deer hunting because yeah. I. The first thing I hunted with a gun was small game. Yep. Or waterfowl.

That was No, that wasn't, no, I was probably gonna be a deer hunter. Any, any anyway, but it still was something for me to do and it helped me learn how to have proper gun control. Cuz when you go with a kid with your dad or your uncle or whatever buddy or someone that takes you, you can be right by 'em.

You can teach you, you can learn how to be a responsible hunter. You can have all that stuff like you safe and all that. I

Tyler Thompson: would say that too, because it really ingrains like a lot of the safety factors and like safe places to point your gun and being in communication to know where everyone is [00:35:00] at, knowing you're shooting lanes, knowing you know, where the dogs are.

So there's a lot to factor in and it may seem a little intimidating, but it's really, not once you you're out there and experience it for yourself, it's,

Nate Rozeveld: yeah. And it's, explain how you feel when you see a rabbit coming. That, yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that cause we're gonna bring up the two shot Tyler here.

Cause of that.

Tyler Thompson: It's something amazing I think when you're already like, your eyes are like just looking for any kind of movement and your ears are just ready for any kind of brush rustling. And it's cool when you can approach a brush pile and you're like, I know there's a rabbit in there, just based on how it's built.

And yeah, you can step on that one and you're like, oh, I guess not. And then you move on to the next one and. Or something you didn't even expect a rabbit to jump out of. And then there it is. And it's like an instant, your eyes are wide open and focused, and you're hollering out for the dogs if you didn't start the dogs yet.


Nate Rozeveld: so you like how I [00:36:00] equate it? I like shooting rabbits and I have fun, but you get way more worked up than me because this is your thing. I love it, but I equate it to like, how he approaches every day and every place we go is how I would equate this to how I deer hunt. Like bow hunt specifically.

I, like we have a game plan where we're gonna go, for conditions and it's like how I pick the right tree. Yeah. And then I go with that tree and I'm like, this is the spot this puck's gonna come by or the deer's gonna be here, but it takes me four hours to see if I'm right or not.

You get that and Minutes. Yeah. And you can do it multiple times a day. Yep. So for someone like you who is, high energy, loves to walk, active guy, always been, it fits your personality so well. Yep. And it also fits my personality. Who uses as more of a, like I'm just having fun. I'm gonna lay back, don't get me wrong.

There's times I'm like, dude I, Tyler's always showing me up where all these rabbits are. I'm like, you just watch this in my little four 10. I don't wanna show you how it's done under my pistol. And a lot of times I'm wrong. Like you said, you just feel like, you're like, oh my gosh, it's right there, this brush pile.

And especially my son, I'm like, let's go walk over there and see. And it's just [00:37:00] lets such fulfillment. But you get like rabbit

Tyler Thompson: fever, like you said. It's that time where you can like, Have that time with the dog circling the rabbit so you have more time to think about it. Yes. And you're like, he is either gonna come here.

Yes. So I only have these opportunities to shoot and then I feel nine times outta 10 he comes in a situation you don't really expect. So then yeah, that's where like I need to put this rabbit

Nate Rozeveld: down and he uses a pump and I don't know how you shoot twice as fast as you

Tyler Thompson: do. I turned that pump into a semi-automatic.

Yeah, you do. It's impressive. As fast as I can pull the trigger, I'm dumping

Nate Rozeveld: rounds in the brush. Yeah, you've got that. You've got that. And yeah, two shot Tyler is legit. And that goes for rabbits. That goes for ducks. That goes for turkeys. I've feel like also First

Tyler Thompson: Turkey. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: So you know he's on it and that's strictly because he just loves it.

Yeah. Like it's fun for you, Yeah, I'm razzing here a little bit, but yeah, it's always sometimes you can,

Tyler Thompson: just miss to get him running a little faster is what I like to say too. You got the brush buster, yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: Give him, oh, you want to give him a fair chance? Yeah. That's why. Yep. Oh, that's great.

But no, that's why he, that's always been that [00:38:00] way and I love that passion. It's contagious. I think that's why you got you wanna hunt with people and do things in this life with people who are, like-minded. And also you don't want 'em to drag you down. Like you want to be like, this is a fun positive every time.

And it doesn't matter if it's eight degrees outside or, 60 and sunny, no snow. Or if you're super successful or not. Yeah. We don't care. We're like, this is great. This is, and it's so healthy, like for us as men, like in, females and all this stuff. Like they have this thing that we can go do and you feel so fulfilled at the end of it.

And that's why I love

Tyler Thompson: everything about that. And it's the gut of winter. There's really not a lot going on. Like the Super Bowl just happen, so sports has slowed down. I'm not really a basketball watcher, but Yeah. More football obviously. And so you're like, what else is there to do?

What else is there to look forward to? Every week? Every week we have an opportunity to get out there and. Take a walk in the woods and see some, and I do deer scouting while I'm, yeah, that's the other part too. It's a double-edged sword. Yep. So you can do some shed hunting and I've actually, yeah, found my first shed, it was a two year old shed this year.

Yep. Pretty sweet to a spot that we always looked [00:39:00] at and said, oh man, how do we get to that spot? And another tool we haven't mentioned yet, that has been absolutely crucial to what being able for us to access different properties is on X. And since we've got in on that and you're like, oh, let's see, I think this person might know someone.

Or it's a name that I recognize so you can knock on the door and kind of approach it that way too. Hey, so and if soandso. And that kind of makes it easier for someone than knowing or saying a complete stranger to allow on

Nate Rozeveld: your property to hunt. And for anyone who's wanting to do this or get into it, you don't need to.

So There's lots of stuff out there about how to find like good deer hunting properties and like what you're looking for and all that rabbit hunting. You literally can have a great rabbit hunt on two acres. Yep. You have to be smart about where that two acres is located, but you don't need a lot of cover to have multiple rabbits in there.

So when you're looking through, like what do you like, what do you like to look for in a property when you are like an aerial or when you drive by? Like where do you have a couple key things you like to

Tyler Thompson: see? Yeah, I feel like number one's thickness. It's gotta [00:40:00] be like the right height of the brush line.

Yes. Where it's not so much like a one or two foot gap out, where it's like they gotta have areas that they can weave in and out of, and it's not just like like open running. They gotta have heavy cover that they can get to that no other predator can get to them at and still semi-open.

Nate Rozeveld: But yeah, it can't be so thick You, it's almost like you got, when we walk through it, we have to like weave Yep. Through it. You don't want to like those like raspberry patches. Yes. Those can be good, but if it's just strictly raspberry and bramble, like rabbits are there, but we never really have as good luck if we have like pockets of raspberry bushes with like dead fall downs or like low hanging shrubs and Yep.

Like we don't really we've circled rabbits in open woods, but we don't really find them in the open woods. Yeah.

Tyler Thompson: And it's like they're in the brush, but then if they get kicked out, they'll run a loop. Yes. Out in the open. But that's rare. And I think another thing we've been fortunate of as well is being able to grow up in Apple country.

Yes. So you get all these apple farmers that generally [00:41:00] want the rabbits gone, so they're more than happy to say yes to allow you on their property. And I feel like most of 'em have setups where they're like field, they have the windrows and stuff like that, that have the brush and the cover. Just for the tree specifically, but then also it houses tons and tons of

Nate Rozeveld: rabbits, so yeah. I think in like dirty apple orchards. Yeah. Not like the well manicured, Yep. Yeah. You can orchards for sure. So like you the well manicured apple orchards or anything we treat those like crop fields. Yeah. Cuz the rabbits will go out there and eat and live. We wanna find the cover like butts up to that.

Yep. And then, but if you can find like an older apple orchard, like one that's been the family, they maybe don't primarily use it for income and those don't have to be big either. Those can just be like an overgrown spot. We have a spot that is literally, how long ago was that apple orchard?

80 years ago it looks like. Yeah. And it's a great spot and it's on state land. Yep. And we got a couple of those like you just, but you find those by walking. But when, so yeah. When you drive by, you've taught me that we wanna find, like we wanna [00:42:00] find cover that is low. And not necessarily like the whole thing is like that.

A grass field is, that's one thing.

Tyler Thompson: That's great. Like you said, you gotta be able to walk through it. Yes. If it's thicker than snot and you're like, oh, the dog will get through there. It's, sometimes it's still not

Nate Rozeveld: lucrative. Yeah. And like almost, there's not as many, like they don't just chill on that.

Like they're usually on the edges of that, yep. And then there're a big thing, like when I'm looking on an aerial map from walking these properties, you, if there's a creek system Yeah. That runs through it, but not

Tyler Thompson: too wet. Like it can't be like kind like a basin where Yes. The water leaks out from the crick if it's just a crick and they're,

Nate Rozeveld: yeah.

They'll move into like swampy areas when it's frozen. Yep. You'll get that. But that's only that's gotta be cold. So like lot this year, because it was so warm, we had some spots that we've had good luck and we walked quite a bit and didn't find any rabbits in those spots. Yeah. Because it was too wet.

Like they will cross water. They do that. But if they don't have a spot where they can eat and be dry, they're not gonna do it. So like when a swampy area that meets up to an egg field, It's frozen and you got people know what I'm talking about. You got all like the canary [00:43:00] grass that folds over and makes little pockets for 'em.

Exactly. They'll hang out in that when it's all frozen. But this year they were, it was like a wasteland, no rabbits. Yep. Cattails. No that nothing. Cause they need to be frozen. So take that in consideration. And then I like to look for aerial I like to look for like windy swales.

Because like you're saying pockets where the rabbits like to be in. And it's also really good for our dogs to circle rabbits because you don't want to have this giant chunk of timber or cover, cuz the rabbits, excuse me, bush lights get me. But cover where they just go anywhere.

We like to go to a spot and be like strategic and hit this area and give our dogs like the opportunity to have a good hunt. Like we start from one side and work our way through. And you strategically handle these spots, I guess is what I'm saying. So when I look at a map, it's okay, we can access here, we have a nice spot that runs through.

And we can, there's a creek system or some sort of not like necessarily flowing like heavy flowing of water, but like drainages and stuff like that. Rabbits

Tyler Thompson: love that stuff. Yeah. The ravines, they definitely love hanging out in the ravines that are butted up, like you said, the ag fields [00:44:00] because they have all those, that brush that just build up in there and

Nate Rozeveld: yeah. And like you can find, and another good thing about some of those spots, they're not necessarily like good deer hunting spots. Wait let me back that up. They don't hold deer. So like we can get permission on they're good for like gun season maybe when deer running all over the place.

But it's not like we go rabbit hunt spots that have we very rarely see deer.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah. You rarely jump a deer if it's a good rabbit spot. It's a good rabbit spot specifically, but

Nate Rozeveld: Correct. Which is good because that means we can get access. Because it's not like this deer mecca, which that helps out.

It's also like the part of state land it's at, it's like a little pocket that people don't necessarily like. When they look at a map, they're not like, oh, we need to hunt right here. They're like always walking somewhere else. We find this like little off secluded spot that we can hunt. So I like that. And

Tyler Thompson: another thing you've mentioned with scouting probably the best time of the year to do, it's the winter by far driving around in the winter because things look a whole lot different in the summer.

You may drive by and be like, oh man, look at all that vegetation that looks so good. And man, I see

Nate Rozeveld: rapid's, that [00:45:00] person's lawn every day. Yeah, you should

Tyler Thompson: drive by it in the winter and take a look at it cuz it won't look the same. I guarantee you that. And another thing I think I look for is how much snow can like, hold on the brush too.

So if you get snow that can pile up on the brush and create more cover. That's good. But if it's like sparse brush with no snow holding on top of it, then yeah. It's really not gonna

Nate Rozeveld: be that. And it's not like the snow that is there for a day or two. It's gotta be like a week. Yep. You like give the rabbits an opportunity to like move into their spot and once they can hide in those spots from predators, hawks and, owls and these kind of things, boxes and piles, boxes makes it a little harder for them to get through than they eat.

The bark and all that. That's another

Tyler Thompson: sign to look for too. Yes. So if you're driving by a country road and you look into the brush in the winter, they got bark tore up on the bottom two feet of a all of the stuff around you, you're like, okay, there's rabbits here we go.

Yeah. And another thing too is my dad taught me full moon nights. So if you drive around on a full moon in the winter better too, because you can actually see 'em as, they'll come out in the full moon and hang out. So you'll drive by and you can [00:46:00] just see rabbits sitting out eating brush, safest time of the night for them

Nate Rozeveld: to do it.

Can learn to see a spot. Yeah. They can see and they can see what's going on. And we

Tyler Thompson: we've also experienced that, I think this year it was We were going to hunt that ravine and it was a full moon like the night before, and we're like, look at all this rabbit crap. And look at all these tracks.

The sign was amazing. The signs were there, but the rabbits weren't, and we just figured they were out all night. So there's no way we were gonna see that many. They were all that day.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. Yeah. Not every day is created equal. No. It's just like any other kind of hunting like we. We have a good, we have a good feel now, like it's gonna be a good day.

So then we pick our spots based on that. So it's it might not be the greatest day. Let's go explore, let's go hit this spot of state land that we've talked about. We don't like, it's just like whitetail hunting. If you have a good spot where a Buck Lakes hang out and he's a late October, early November, activity.

You don't go in there and blow the place up the first two weeks of season. You just sit back and use your intel for that. Yeah. Like

Tyler Thompson: you said, we don't learn like the scenting [00:47:00] conditions. So that's the thing, like running dogs too, you're like, what's it like to today?

What's the, is the snow like crystally and just Not good for like packing, cuz when it gets that little bit of a packing consistency, you just know that holds a little bit of moisture in there. And that's what helps the dogs, get that scent a little longer. But if it's dusting and just super cold then it's not the best.

But we've, still ran dogs in

Nate Rozeveld: situation. We learn how to hunt in that circumstance. Like we know that hey we might actually have to assist different spot out of the wind. Yep. Exactly. Yeah. Find a cover spot Or maybe cuz like the one day, like we had the really good day where they ran nonstop, then we went to, we didn't have necessarily, it was a nasty day.

We went to a state land spot that we've, we've known about and wanted to try and went there dude, them dogs hammered. Yeah. Again, and we only shot two rabbits but like they were doing great at spot we've never been to before. It was like, this is perfect. But now we have archived, it's like we should probably actually do a better job at journaling our stuff.

But like we have just a feel for what area is good. I mean there is so many different. Types of stuff you can hunt

Tyler Thompson: rabbits in. I feel like we always talk about that though. Like it's the [00:48:00] day before, so where are we gonna hunt? Oh, here and there. And we kind of str strategize and, oh, how'd we hunt that last year?

Compared to how we want to approach it this year. So that's another cool thing about is just the comradery is get getting together with a couple people and Yeah, just figuring out a game plan rather than you're just by yourself and you're trying to tell someone else this is what I'm gonna do.

And they're like, cool, I'm not gonna be there, so why do I care?

Nate Rozeveld: Yes, exactly. I think, yeah, so get out there if you want if you want to do this and you want kids, like everyone I know that likes to right behind his beagles has no problem taking people like, and you can reach out to, there's Facebook groups, there's places like that.

There's, there's I'm trying to think of another thing like we do occasionally, like there's, there are like Derby Rapid, that kind of thing that where you can maybe like, You see that's going on, there's a bunch of people there. Maybe just go there and introduce yourself or reach out to that club.

And usually someone who's a part of that club is big into it. Yep. So that's why it's there. So they can maybe point in the right direction. But you don't need dogs to rabbit hunt. Nope. By any means. It is because you [00:49:00] can get into it, doing the brush stomping and stuff like that. But it is a different level when you have that dog.

And it's good for, it's good for you. Cause that's responsibility for a kiddo, that's all these things. And like it's work. It is work. Yep. Like I put a lot of effort into my beagles and opposed to I've had labs and I have, pointer dogs and stuff like that also. But it's still a lot of work, but it's very rewarding.

And I think it's just one of those things where we just don't want it to stop. Yeah. And I think we want to encourage we're like, as we're growing older, we're like, man, we more people should do this. And I, I don't think that, I'm trying to think like how I'd feel if someone else had permission to hunt a spot, we had to hunt.

I wouldn't be near as upset about it if it was that compared to deer hunting because you're like, Hey, someone else is getting after it. Because guess what? They have dogs and those dogs are having the time of their life. Yeah.

Tyler Thompson: And some different circumstances, they may be able to talk to 'em and say, Hey, can we run dogs together?

Yes. And yeah, people are very welcoming. They're not like, and I think that's another reason why I like rabbit hunting so much as the deer hunting community in Michigan specifically is like toxic in a way that just that [00:50:00] yeah. Turned me off to it a little bit and hearing all the stories about, oh yeah, guys will shoot your dog.

No question guys will shoot your dog. No question. That's why I don't run. Until late January 1st cuz I give everyone their opportunity to shoot a deer. And then I'll go out and hammer down. But another thing I liked about that too is the sustainability. Rabbits are prevalent and at the rate we harvest them, I was actually able to not have to buy chicken or with shooting too deer this year as well, not buy beef for a good period of time.

And that's saving a lot of money in the long run. You

Nate Rozeveld: supplement a lot of your intake and is with wild game and that includes rabbits. Very

Tyler Thompson: comparable to chicken, I would say. If you've never tried Rabbit before, I highly recommend it. Yeah. And I either would par boil it to try and get as much meat off as I can and then cook it in like a soup or a chili.

Or, you can just lop off pieces and wrap 'em in bacon and, that's always a good route to go too.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. Everything's better with bacon, but yeah. What so for you moving forward I guess what overall Our harvest of rabbits this year was probably the lowest it's [00:51:00] been.

Tyler Thompson: Yep. We weren't out killing like we were, I feel like a lot of weekends we were just saying, let's get the dogs running, dude. Let's just get out for the dogs. So

Nate Rozeveld: yeah, we, we did that and then we took a couple new people. Yep. And we Primarily focused on that. Trying

Tyler Thompson: to get them to shoot a rabbit, getting them in position.

Yeah. And

Nate Rozeveld: we sucked with no snow. Like we sucked. The dogs did great. Yeah. We just didn't know what to

Tyler Thompson: do. It's so hard to see 'em without snow. That's another factor too. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: So we didn't set up correctly. So now, but it's also, I think this is a really good year moving forward. If we have a similar condition here, I think we have a really good idea of what to do.

Oh, yeah. And what kind of terrain to hunt with that. Yep.

Tyler Thompson: I think it'll be awesome. We

Nate Rozeveld: already were like, dude, that spot, we've seen that spot. We just never really asked because we're like, oh, maybe it's not gonna be that good. But now it's like with no snow, that probably would be a dynamite spot.

Yep. So yeah, there's those kind of things, but yeah, I want to get into what do you like, what's your weapon of choice? Because I, we got two different kind of like how you handle, like your weapon and gear compared to me is Pretty different. Oh yeah. So I want break down like how you operate, like what you use.

I don't wanna say you're cheap, but you're like, you use stuff [00:52:00] and if it ain't broke, you keep using it. Oh yeah. There's

Tyler Thompson: a pair of Carhartt bibs that I wore the crotch out of and every other place that hit the brush for years before I switched to another pair. But I also had like non insulated bibs that I'd run on the warmer days and then insulated bibs.

I'd run on the colder days. So we're talking

Nate Rozeveld: years like, so your like input cost to do this is so substantially

Tyler Thompson: less. I've never bought a game vest. My dad bought me it and I've still been rocking, still rocking the same vest. So years I've always debated on it, once you know it and you're used to it, they

Nate Rozeveld: got me who buys a new one every two years and gives it another one away cause says like trying new things.

But yeah, you, this is something that you can do for a very affordable You get in, you gotta buy a pair of bibs. Yeah. Or you can buy a pair of brush pants, whatever. But bibs work really well for you.

Tyler Thompson: I don't like bibs. The price for bibs and brush pants nowadays is very comparable. Yeah. Very comparable.

So like

Nate Rozeveld: I rock brush pants, I do you gotta, there's different, so I would say like a proponent for bibs is you don't wreck your knee high boots as quick cuz you can wear your bibs over top of those. I, with my brush pants, I never was able to really do that. So I [00:53:00] toasted some nice boots because I was walking through knee deep snow and, yeah. Did that, so I translated to like wearing gators or like something like that. Just because I'm, I run hot, so like when I'm walking all those miles, I'm just, I don't wear long johns, I'm just like, Pair of brush pants are good to go. You're like wearing bibs and just freaking killing it out there.

And I'm like, dude, I don't know how you do it. But everyone's different. So you got a pair of bibs, you got a pair of boots that you've wore for years. Yep.

Tyler Thompson: Typically like mede, high muck boots are pretty good for that. Yep. We did rock like when we were younger. Those like military grade. Yeah. Mickey Mouse boots.

Yep. But they're so heavy. Yeah, so heavy. Yeah. And one, one thing about those too is they hold temperature so well. Like snow would be melting and falling in my boots. I remember growing up and it would just be walking in warm water. Yeah. Warm water

Nate Rozeveld: nuts. So now what for a weapon, like

Tyler Thompson: what's your go-to?

Started out with that four 10 and I think that's just what helped me take my time and, make sure it was a good shot. And then my dad bought me a 20 gauge in Remington eight 70 and that is yeah. The gun for me obviously. Yeah. Still

Nate Rozeveld: like you've been rocking that thing this whole time.

Yeah. [00:54:00] But

Tyler Thompson: I would say if alternatively, if people are interested in spending a little bit more money in the rarity of the ammunition, just hard. I think it's hard to find. It's a 28 gauge. But a youth model 20 gauge is super light, super compact. So you can navigate the brush and stuff like that a little bit.

And I guess there's different ways of hunting about that too. Now I think about it. There's the. Rabbit hunters that don't do anything and let the dogs do everything. And then there's guys like us that like getting in on the brush and then jumping a rabbit out and then getting outside of it and

Nate Rozeveld: positioning ourselves if you're a football player, high knees, we are doing that through brush.

It's a great workout. Yeah. We're in the thick of it still. Yep. We are that way. Like we're in it with our dogs. It makes me feel good cause I'm like, I don't, our dogs can jump rabbits, but we're like, let's get this party started. Let's do this. And I think that's because we grew up being brush busters for deer drives or rabbit hunting.

But have a gun. You have a gun that you have, you got your dad got you. As a kid. So take a, if you're younger guy listening to this Yep. Give the old papa grandpa or dad Christmas, skip Christmas, skip. Yeah. And you can rock that thing [00:55:00] until you're an dull, right. And those.

Tyler Thompson: Those guns aren't horribly expensive, I think for, getting started into

Nate Rozeveld: something like that too.

Yeah. One buddy who got we brought along a couple times this year he did it and he went and bought a pump gun on sale for I wanna say it was like 300 bucks. Yeah. And

Tyler Thompson: they multiple use too, because I've shot my first Turkey with it, that same 20 gauge and yeah. Very universal. Yeah. Super.


Nate Rozeveld: And then you do have a pistol that you'll use a 22 pistol occasionally. Yep. Actually

Tyler Thompson: a couple years when we just started, when we decided we wanted to run the rabbit or run the dogs more and not shoot as many rabbits, it was just a fun way to get out there and still shoot, but not kill. So pistol day?

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, A pistol day only,

Tyler Thompson: or the one day I did shoot a rabbit, I was so pumped. The rabbit wasn't running obviously, and he gave me two shots at him, but I'll never

Nate Rozeveld: forget that day. Good memory. Yeah, we've done single, like single shot day, we've done, pistol day. You can do that kind of stuff.

But yeah, you can get into this, really affordable. And then I've I'm like a, not like a gear like junkie, but I'm like, Ooh, that lever action four 10, that'd be a sweet rabbit gun. Oh, throw red dot on it. So you can customize it to however you tailor it, to however you like to [00:56:00] do it.

So yeah, I primarily rock like a four 10 lever right now. That's a really sweet gun. What shot do you use in that four 10? That's a good question. So I have always used, I've always been the proponent to four shot or six shot with I grew up with a four 10 pump that had only a full choke.

So I usually shoot six or seven shot with that. But then with the smaller guns, no choke, the four shot has actually been pretty good. You have to be on it. Yeah. But four and six usually is what I've used. I am running out of both those, so I'm gonna probably use some like seven shot this year and just see I need to just go and pattern it, but I haven't.

But like I said, the more you kill, the more you gotta clean. So yeah, that's for me comes down to at the end of the day too. So learning how to, do that. But yeah, primarily I use, I like four and six shot for that. I can only shoot two and three quarters through it, but yeah, I I got a pretty nice gun.

But I can still beat the tar out of it. I don't really care. Like it's, we're not, super like stingy on what we do. Cause like you said, we brush bus, so

Tyler Thompson: Yeah. And if you take care of it, it'll last long. It lasts a long time. My gun just has a little bit of the wear marks on the wood from where I've held it for [00:57:00] years.

But yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: And I have a pump 20 gauge. I have, 12 gauge. I have all these other things and but yeah, I four tens, like a lot of fun for me and a 22 semi-automatic pistol, the red dot on it, that's my jam. I like carrying both those things and I think I gravitated towards the pistol right away when I started taking my son.

Just another thing to help with that and a lot of fun and you can get pretty proficient with that. I've shot my limit in a day with a 22 pistol. You can do that in a lot of fun. You just gotta be, don't give your kid a 22 pistol right away. You want to, cuz like those bullets go farther and there's a little bit of that going on.


Tyler Thompson: Any more of the small caliber, like the smaller, like the larger gauges I guess you could say. Since it's 28 gauges, like the highest I would say when people bring out the 12 gauges, I laugh at 'em a little bit. Yeah. Because I think it's a little overbearing, but 20 gauge. Two and three quarter, six shot is like the

Nate Rozeveld: perfect bullet.

The, yeah, I mean like problem with the 12 gauge. Cause there's days when I like, cause I have a nice fun, my gut 12 gauge I like to bring. It's oh, we're gonna go here. And I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna try to kill something. I suck with it because like it's just a different animal [00:58:00] and you're like, yeah, you just, it's not fun.

It's fun to carry. So yeah, I like gravitate away from that too. It doesn't take a lot

Tyler Thompson: to kill a rabbit. And when you got a 12 gauge, you really gotta be conscious of how close they are. Because was next question

Nate Rozeveld: in half? That was my next thing for you. I think you don't like 12 gauges.

Not because you think someone's sissy because you're 12 gauge or anything like that. It's more so like you're, I want to humanely kill this thing and I want to be able to eat it after.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah. When I'm processing it. I do not wanna pick up balance. That's the other part.

Nate Rozeveld: So I think that's why you're like 20 age is more enough and like I think you can.

I think you could do it with, a multitude of things. But yeah, like a 20 gauge is really good and it helps you get through the thick cover. It's like that really versatile round. But yeah, from a gear perspective, you need a game vest. You need a pair of bibs or brush pants, a nice pair of boots.

You can walk a long ways in. People

Tyler Thompson: still rock jeans and just insulated stuff underneath them and you could definitely still get through. Cause those jeans are pretty tough. Yeah, you can do that. I just know that I've been stuck so many times in my thighs and my wife, oh gosh, over. That's just tear, dude.

[00:59:00] That's actually one thing I've been looking at changing this year as far as my gear set up, is getting a pair of brush bibs, still rocking bibs, but not just Carhartt. They're more like what's that brand that. Oh, Dans the dance style. Yeah, they're like very much more geared towards RAB hunting and stuff like that because carharts are nice.

So you think

Nate Rozeveld: you're actually gonna have some bot before this year? Yeah,

Tyler Thompson: it's just the, it's the mobility it, you've about this been, you can move so much better with that kind of stuff. And like the Carhartt stuff, it's pretty bulky and I can't pick my knees up as high as I'm trying to get over stuff getting old.

That's why. Yeah, too, I'm just tripping over myself a little bit, but, and the wear and tear and all that stuff starting to really add up yeah. Yeah. It's,

Nate Rozeveld: that's be your I guess what's our kind of goal, I guess for this fall? We wanna, we've been talking, we definitely want to get, this summer

Tyler Thompson: we have a goal to besides avoiding all the ticks, is get out and run the dogs, at least in cooler temperatures, just to give them, more of a off season scent so they can run in completely dry conditions and see how they fare then.

And also keep them in good condition because people also talk about like, [01:00:00] how do you, how your dog like, hang out all year and then you're out every weekend running him hard for I don't, how many miles can they run in a day? Like up to 10, it seems yeah, a lot. So it's like they're running 10 miles and then they're going home and then they're hanging out for a week and then they're back out next week.

And it's I feel if you can condition them the right way, it's almost just like an athlete. You feed 'em the right food. Yeah. And you give 'em the right amount of exercise and Yeah. There's not, and they're motivated. So it's a dog if it's like

Nate Rozeveld: we know it Enough is enough too. Yeah. Like deep snow.


Tyler Thompson: you can tell when they're slowing down, we're like,

Nate Rozeveld: let's go crack the whip. Or Yeah. But yeah, we want to try to run 'em maybe a couple nights or something. Do that so that, yep. We're gonna start with that. Maybe a week or whatever, or something. And then We want to get a couple more pieces of information.

So we did, like Tyler was talking like we scouted some spots out this winter and did Drivebys, like just took a day and did that. And then

Tyler Thompson: yeah we knocked on the door. They weren't home. So we know, oh, we'll just go back when we see a car in the

Nate Rozeveld: driveway, we go, yeah, that's another thing. We go back multiple times.

There's been properties where I've been told no and I just keep sitting there. Persistence pays off for [01:01:00] sure. And then you start out with, can we just run our dogs? Nah, I don't know. Maybe, but not right now. Then next year, can we run our dogs Justin? Yeah, sure. Go out there, run dogs. You see 'em out there and it's Hey, there's a lot of rabbits.

Are you having trouble with your flowers or you're having trouble with your little garden? Like we can maybe shoot a couple. Yep. And then, you might get that, but yeah, we want to. So I think the biggest goal is let's get our dogs going this summer. See how that is? And like ticks for You're worried about ticks?

I'm worried about poison ivy. Oh. Cause that's my,

Tyler Thompson: i'll ticks off a dog all day at night. Poison well, you don't

Nate Rozeveld: get poison ivy. That's my thing for that. But yeah, we wanna do it for the dogs and then yeah, gain access to a couple poison. Other spots and then yeah, I get that. So I think if we get two to three more spots that are private I'd be really pumped going into the fall. And then yeah, obviously we explore state land. That's just one of those things. You just got spots marked out. We always hit a couple of those in the fall or the winter. And then yeah, I think that's our goal for that. And then I want to what's your deer hunting goal for this year?

Cause you did

Tyler Thompson: shoot two last year. I want to get out and bow hunt this year actually. Yeah. That's one big ambition. I've been in school for so long that takes away my [01:02:00] fall and all my focus there. So it's like I want the opportunity to see if I can get back in and sit for my deer hunting season.

It was literally one day I was fortunate enough to set out opening day and shoot my eight point in the morning and then go inside and, have a bit of a, some coffee and some breakfast and then, oh yeah, I'm gonna get back out there. Cause I know there's deer out there and get back out there and shout a dough at night, yep. Yeah, it was pretty,

Nate Rozeveld: you're dangerous, like pretty lucrative, pretty.

Tyler Thompson: You've always been dangerous. Also, I didn't put any of the work in that other people do to do that, and I want to see if I can go and scout out an area and put up a stand and see what I can see out of it. And see if I can actually turn that into something as opposed to oh, I just know I'm going over to this property and I know they got deer.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And you've been watching that aspect from a distance. Like something about me and you have talked a lot about it and my brother too. Brother, your brother. You're like, Ooh, I like this, like adventure. It's like an adv, it's like a little mini adventure. Yeah. Cause like you figure a spot out and you get the reward for that.

So I think it's, as you've gotten older, it's hey, I see the value in that

Tyler Thompson: a little more. Like you said too, like you see [01:03:00] how pumped I get about rabbit hunting. I see how pumped some people get about deer hunting and it's I can get behind that.

Nate Rozeveld: I want that. Yeah. I don't need some of that in my life.

Yeah. No. So there is one thing I do wanna talk about as we're closing this up. I had James Hibbs reach out to me for BHA Rendezvous that's back country hunters and anglers. Do you, have you ever heard anything about that? No. So I don't know a lot about it, but I, just talked on the phone.

I've heard it talked about a couple different times. Something I'm interested in, but they're actually doing rendezvous. In Michigan in a few weeks, it is gonna be at the Looking Glass River Sportsman Club in Landsburg. It's a opportunity for families and people to go spend some time together for the weekend and share a passion for the outdoors.

They're gonna have some education, so I to talk about this because we talk about let's get people into hunting, like friends. Yeah. I love the community aspect of it, that kind of thing for it. So actually what they're gonna be doing is they're gonna have some education sessions on like butchering.

So like for me and you, we grew up butchering our own stuff. Like dad helps out at a local butcher. So like you've, I've processed, I think I've only, I think I've only [01:04:00] had two deer my entire life get processed by someone other than me. And one of 'em was because it was outta state and you can't bring, the brain matter back cuz CWD number one, as I shot it really early in the year and I was like, I'm so swamped, I don't have time to I don't want the meat to go spoiled.

So I paid for that. But so yeah, you're gonna do some butchering sessions. There's foraging. They're gonna talk about spot estate hunting stuff. There's gonna be DNR reps there explaining what have what they've learned from the first year of the whitetail harvest report. The mandatory. So like for you, you have been outta hunting for a while, and then this year you gotta come in.

You shot some deer. How did that, how did you like that? Oh,

Tyler Thompson: I was probably smiling ear to ear, like the pitchers show too, how happy I was that day and

Nate Rozeveld: yeah. And then when you had to check in the deer with the, the harvest report,

Tyler Thompson: like mandatory. Yeah, that was easy. That was super easy. Easy.

People make it seem like it's a big deal. It literally took a couple seconds. Yeah. The only reason why I took longer is cause I didn't have service. But yeah, they give

Nate Rozeveld: you the grace period. So yeah, for me, I love it. Yeah. And watching the app and we've talked about like how many deer got shot, like it's a

Tyler Thompson: super cool tool.

But like you said, that meetup sounds really interesting too. Yeah. Because for as much as we stare at the ground for everything, [01:05:00] I need to learn how to forage because I am so yeah, true. We're

Nate Rozeveld: not the greatest with

Tyler Thompson: that. Yeah. Like I, I feel like I could pick up some berries,

Nate Rozeveld: and stuff like that, but yeah, there, there's some good stuff.

So yeah, they're gonna talk about the Whitetail Harvest report, so people are interested in that. They also have the 3D archery course open for people who want to, bring their bows and do that to place. And then there's gonna be raffle, there's gonna be a free dinner. On Saturday night and then there's also camping there.

So you could literally make this like a fun family getaway thing, when is that? And do that. And the date is, I do not remember the date. I wanna say it's in three weeks.

Tyler Thompson: That'd be perfect realistically cuz I wanted a summer camping trip to kinda Yeah. Cap off the end of the summer with, and it's perfect to bridge right in before the real season starts,

Nate Rozeveld: all that stuff.

Yeah, I don't, yeah, that's something we can talk about too, because I don't know what I have going on. I know this is kinda last minute. They talked about being a little last minute, but he just reached out to me and said, Hey man, I know you're doing this Michigan Wild podcast now. Do you mind like just getting it out there?

And I was like, yeah, absolutely. Like I've, I would like to know more about back country hunters and anglers, but like Yep. I think if you're trying to get people out outdoors in [01:06:00] doing that, like I don't see the negative in that. Nothing. It would

Tyler Thompson: be more fulfilling than to have a full.

Bag of stuff. Like for the first time this year, I tried a mulberry, someone had a mulberry tree. Yeah. And I'm like what is that? And oh, birds eat 'em and stuff like that. So I Google search it and it's oh yeah, it's safe to eat. So I picked more than I've ever picked in my life Yeah.

Of any kind of berry. And I was just smashing them. I'm like, I can't believe that. How many times we walked by

Nate Rozeveld: that. Yeah. Like something like raspberries and stuff like that too. But if you guys wanna find more information about this, you can just go to Michigan's back country hunters and anglers, Facebook or Instagram account.

And then you can also go to www.backcountryhunters.org/michigan and search for their events. And then, yeah I, if I do find the the date per se I forgot what that was. I know I'm terrible. I'm new at this, so I didn't save the date. But yeah, if you're interested in it, You can reach out to me through Instagram.

I'm sure they have it on their sites. The will have it, correct? Yeah. But I think it's in a few weeks. Which I know is last minute. Like I might have something going on, but it also sounds like a great time.

Tyler Thompson: I'm putting my life out two weeks at a time.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. I know our [01:07:00] significant others are the ones that have stuff.

We're very free going. But yeah, I think that'd be a cool thing. So I think it ties in what we're talking about today, let's just make small gaming, small game hunting great again. Get people out there, enjoy it. Cause we had, we've had so much fun doing that in our life and it's so rewarding seeing other people get into it.

My son loves it. Yeah, it's a great thing. In the wintertime it's hard to get kids outside for long periods of time because you sled or do those things, but We literally go out in the morning, you go get breakfast, maybe get a snack, go out, get some chocolate milk. Yeah. Do your thing.

Go out for a few hours and then like you can get lunch, you can go out again. Or he just walked three miles. There's been times that little dude's walked three miles. It's a good workout for me too, with carrying a kid on your shoulders. Yeah. And a gun. It's good. It's just good.

Overall like outdoor fun and you can get people into that. And I think it's a very important thing, like

Tyler Thompson: you said too, like getting a kid out there. It doesn't necessarily have to be, you can be the person to be, oh, let's get out there first light. As soon as shooting hours start, we're gonna get out there and hit it and rabbits are out there.

But you can also take the time and we were getting out like eight sometimes. Seven or eight o'clock or, it gets [01:08:00] lighter later, so even nine o'clock. I think we pushed it some mornings when I was running super late. Yeah. But we'd still have successful days. Like you can run. Yeah. It doesn't matter till two o'clock in the afternoon.

And I've never done like evening hunts, but I'm sure they're

Nate Rozeveld: just as lucrative. Yeah. We, I actually did those when I was little. That's what me and my uncle would do quite a bit. We'd actually go out last like couple hours at night. And I don't remember why. I think it was just like he had picked me up after on the way home from work maybe.

And like we would just buzz over there after work and go run him and yeah, it was a good time. But yeah, I think I think it's gonna be a good summer for us for that.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah. For preparation and everything and

Nate Rozeveld: it's just hard. It's hard because if you get this bow hunting thing going on, yeah, you're gonna be like back burner not like back burners, wrong thing.

Cause you still have your dog, you take care of and do those things, but you're gonna be like, you're gonna really you're gonna have, like right now you say, we got from January 1st, the end of March is like our rabbit season and we try to go once a weekend. Sometimes it doesn't work, but primarily I think it happens like more times than not.

Or we might do two days on a weekend, and, but yeah, we try to do that every weekend. But like [01:09:00] now you enjoy the outdoors 24 7 pretty much. Like you're, you like to go fishing, you're, we're working

Tyler Thompson: outside now. We're

Nate Rozeveld: absolutely love it. Yep, exactly. He is working with me now that's a cool thing for him.

But yeah, we're construction workers, but you got this whitetail thing like it's gonna. There's there that white tail season is a little longer. So from a prep and like all that stuff and scouting you're gonna be able to take advantage of those days to do that. And I think the summertime, so like for me, like you try to I'm in a little different spot in life because I've been married for a while and have a little kids.

So like you try to allocate time and like for me, small game hunting is really easy to like, it's on the back burner. On the back burner, on the back burner. Don't really put too much effort into it. And it's also oh, here it is. And it's always there. Yeah. And I can just go do it. Like I don't need to put this immense amount of prep work into it to be successful.

I don't need to do all those things. So it's really good with a family cuz you can go, like you just said, you can go at nine o'clock, you can go at 10 o'clock, you can go at one o'clock. You can literally go for an hour, whatever fits your schedule, hours and schedule. So it's a really good thing for that and it's just awesome and I want more people [01:10:00] to experience that.


Tyler Thompson: One thing I'm really excited about too is just the learning process. Like I have. Some knowledge about whitetail hunting, but not as much as like you or my brother. So being able to go underneath your guys' wings and being taught like the ways about the best way to do it and how to be super successful.

You can't guarantee it every time, science could point to this is the spot and this is the time and this is what's gonna happen, but that deer could just be somewhere

Nate Rozeveld: else another day. So yeah, it's a different it's a different thing. And I really enjoy like this journey that you're starting cuz like I've helped people do this whitetail hunting thing, like my brother-in-law, like he's gonna be on, I, he got his first buck with a bow and like these kind of journeys he's went through.

Like you we're gonna, if you like to, I'd to like, we can come back on and talk about some whitetail stuff that you got going on. Oh yeah. And bring it up. Cause I think it's gonna be really, it's really beneficial for. Like you've been around honey, like you've shot deer, you've done these things, but like bow hunting's new to you.

It's like things I take for granted. You're probably gonna be like, my brother-in-law did the same thing to me. What do you mean? And I was like, oh, I had to oh yeah, I gotta bring this back up. And it actually kinda helped me cuz it brought me back to the basics. Yeah. And like really [01:11:00] helped me, see where I came from and get enjoyment out of it.

So yeah, I would love to have you come out and talk about things. You go, you're luck, you might smash a freaking nice buck your first sit. That's how it happens sometimes, do that. But yeah. So we gotta, dude, thanks for this and I appreciate you hopping on and doing this. But yeah, if anyone wants to see anything, what Tyler Thompson's got going on, you can follow him.

Probably Instagram, right? Yeah. What's your Yeah, I post

Tyler Thompson: some stuff on Instagram. I think it's Powerline 91. Nice.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. Pretty simple. So you, yeah, you do pretty good. No, I guess we, we wanna talk about this, but we do post stuff on social media but not a lot because we have a lot of people who. Our non-hunters that are friends with us, but they're not necessarily like anti-hunt.

They just don't do it. So we always try to take like tasteful stuff and make it look good. But like you've had friends come rabbit hole with us because of what you posted on that.

Tyler Thompson: Yeah, and I feel like it's also educational. If people have never experienced it before, you lay out how it all happens and people are like, oh, okay.

It's not that bad. Oh, you're not destroying the whole rabbit population. And yeah, like we talked about, yeah, we're not murderers. Like you bring more people into rabbit hunting than. They know more people with property. So it's just another [01:12:00] opportunity to, it's grow. This is the access.

We're growing our community. Oh yeah. So my grandparents, they got property or something like that, and you're like, oh, gold mine.

Nate Rozeveld: Yes, exactly. No, that's cool. I think, yeah, if you wanna see any of that stuff, you can check that out for Tyler's and Instagram page and yeah, we're not like crazy.

I think I talked about that with the passing it torch. Like I'm not like this huge ins, Instagram guy or like posting everything. But we do sharing pictures every once in a while and it's a good way to communicate and reach out to us and yeah, see and like it's

Tyler Thompson: stuff we're passionate about, we're not trying to rub it on anyone's faces.

We're just trying to. Yeah. Celebrate what we've done. Yeah. Because it's a lot of work and to get to this point, like dog training and things like that, you're two dogs, like that's been a,

Nate Rozeveld: it's rewarding. Yeah. Like you said and super rewarding. So I think like the podcast, Michigan Wild Pod on Instagram is, we're probably, we will, I, we might post more now cause we kinda have like that as an outlet to put stuff and send people and see this kind of thing.

And Yeah. Like we're not just I love whitetail hunting, but I also do a lot of other things. This is like a cool thing. This is why I wanna do the podcast. Like Yep. We just sat down and talked for [01:13:00] over an hour about rabbit hunting, I don't know if I've like ever really heard a podcast about that in the hunting space.

And that could be, cuz I'm primarily focused on whitetails and other things, but I, like there's a passion here for this and it just is another tool that, or another not tool, but another hobby to have. That gets. It can get people off the couch, it can get you outside. It can help you feel good like being out there and doing that stuff.

Yeah, people

Tyler Thompson: look past it, but the opportunities are there for you if you want to take 'em that way. I

Nate Rozeveld: like that. Let's, you just gotta get outside. Let's end it that way. And I like to say that I don't have a clever outro, like I said last week, but get outside, have fun, do those kind of things every chance you can do that.

And yeah, Tyler's one of those guys that I don't have to remind him, he does it

Tyler Thompson: already. Yep. See the outdoors and there's always tons to see.

Nate Rozeveld: Yes, sir. All right. You guys have a good one.[01:14:00]