Shiny Objects: Early Success with Ben Guttormson

Show Notes

Shiny Objects is all about our current obsession. The Shiny Object could be a piece of gear, an upcoming adventure, a good book, or simply finding better ways to get through everyday life. The sky is the limit when it comes to an individuals current Shiny Object, and we never know where the conversation will take us. 

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Range everybody. I'm Ricky Bruley, and not joining me today is my sidekick Hollywood. As you can see, I've got my mule deer buddy here joining me, filling in for him. We are so busy here at Vapor Trail that unfortunately he was unable to get away from the day-to-day operations to come and record.

Thank you all for joining us. You can find the video version of this episode on our Vapor Trail YouTube channel. So please head on over and subscribe. Give us a and hit that bell so you can be sure to be notified of everything that the range has to talk about. So this is our little segment that we like to call shiny objects, where we talk about what is currently grabbing our attention.

What is that shiny object in our lives at this moment? Could be a new piece of gear. A good new read, a song, an upcoming hunting trip, or even just a feeling. So what is your current shiny object? Let us know and we'll send you a little gift. We'd love to share it with the range listeners. You can shoot me an email at[00:01:00]

Let me know what your shiny object is. So last week we spoke with Bigfoot, AKA Ben Gamson. He's a good friend of ours. He's a very accomplished bow hunter, and he is a Western territory rep for out tech and marketing and sales rep group. Last week, Ben spoke of his shiny object and he has very exciting news about that.

So we decided to have him on again today to talk about it more in detail. Welcome to the Range podcast. I'm Ricky Bruley, and with me is Jake Hollywood Iversson. Join us at the Archery Range where we'll tell stories from the hunt, discuss technical bow shooting tactics and gear, and pick the brains of some of the most successful people to ever shoot a bow.

Whether you're about to shoot that X for the win, or send an arrow at a trophy B. This podcast is for you.

The Range Podcast is brought to you by Vapor Trail Archery. Makers of the Best Bowl strings money can buy, originators of limb driven arrow rest [00:02:00] technology and innovators of Stoker eyes stabilizer systems. So Ben, I don't know if you're familiar with this segment of the Range podcast. It's one that we like to call Shiny Objects.

And in this segment we basically just like to chat quickly about what our current obsession is what's the current shiny object in front of your face. So yeah, man. What is your what's your current shiny object right now? My shiny object right now is probably able of season that opens on the 15th.

There you go. Yeah. Yep. Can we say that for western hunters? Absolutely. That hunt some of these western states the 15th, and it's like the kickoff. Yep. It's the kickoff for the season and it's the first tag to go live and I can say antelope hunting taught me a lot about being patient.

A lot about being, being, when to be aggressive. When not to be aggressive [00:03:00] and the recipe that it takes to be successful as a spot in stock hunter. I can probably say antelope is the species that has taught me the most of any species out there. Really? Wow. Okay. Because, and I'll tell you why.

Because you can hunt them from sunup to sundown. There is no evening to wait for or morning only activity. They're on their feet, on and off all day. If you can find one, you can probably screw up a stock on one. So that's, and there's a, some guys say there's a ratio to success and it's like you gotta stock 15 times before you get one within bow range.

And I like to eat antelope more than anything else. And what I've found is that if I put my time in before the season opens and have a [00:04:00] pattern down, they're like a white tail on opening day of archery. They're hitting food, they're hitting water. They're very predictable. So antelope have taught me a ton and they've frustrated me a ton more.

And now I'm outta a blind because I like to eat them and I wanna fill my bag. There you go. See, I did the same thing with turkeys and I started using a gun just because I was like, I can't, I like to eat Turkey and I want to have one every single year, but now, of course, then this year I did end up going back to the bow and taking one with a bow, with a push from na.

But but yeah, no man. That's cool. So you're, when do you. I think I remember when we were talking. So you start on Tuesday, or you're headed out Tuesday? Today is Wednesday. I start Tuesday next week. Okay, nice. Are you in Washington yet? Yep. So folks, this conversation [00:05:00] started with Ben in Oregon and now he's in Washington.

And then you're gonna travel around for the next couple of days, and then you're back home Monday, and then you head out Tuesday. Yep. Just get some last touches in with a couple of accounts. It's a new part of my territory for me this year, and I've got a lot of relationships over here from working for previous manufacturers and stuff, but it never hurts to just poke your face in, say hello and dang yeah. And they don't expect to see. Yeah. I try not to take any time. Just wanted to, when they see you in person, it's different than on the phone. And just for the listeners so you are a territory rep for out tech? Yeah. Regional manager. There's a bunch of things you could call me, but yeah, so I, I cover multiple states for sales and service or sales and marketing agency.

Yeah. Yeah. That's pretty sweet. I've wanted to do [00:06:00] antelope for the longest time in, maybe I will when I'm out west in a few weeks, maybe if I get an itch. 'cause the private land we are going to, I guess they have some on their ranch and they. Don't touch 'em. So there you go. It's another couple hundred dollars, but as long as it's still over the counter, whatever, a couple hundred versus a thousand, it'd be cool to try it, but Right.

For sure. Yeah, that's, and I know it's antelope season two, Ben, because right now the amount of emails and phone calls I've had that says I'm going on my antelope hunt next week. I need my strings. It's unreal. There's plenty of business. You right now, the shops are super busy and everything else, so Yeah.

It's, it never fails every single year. We'll push, March, heavily for everyone to get their strings and everything, in check then 'cause you know it's slower for everyone. And it never fails. I know there's a couple guys I'm dealing with that. Yep. I'm antelope punting, in two weeks.

Okay, you had seven months. Come on man. Yeah. Yeah it's [00:07:00] coming up quick. I'm excited though 'cause it's weird saying already that in a few weeks I'll be heading out and starting to do some scouting and hunting out there. So I'm I'm ready. I'll be ready even more when it gets to be the time there.

'cause busy season will be kicking us left and center, and I imagine, I'm guessing that segues right into your shiny object. You've already been touching on it a little bit. Yeah, a little bit. I'd say, I don't know. I'm gonna try and I could try and pick a new one, but honestly the, I think the fun part of me now being in my house is figuring out what I'm gonna do for goodbye, Ben.

You just, bye-bye. Completely gone. He's screw these guys. Yeah. I'd say for the me, it'd be the house just 'cause now I'm like, I don't know. I'm not like O C D, but I'm like big fan of the organizing things. So I'm like, ooh, I got two pieces of pegboard up. So in like the garage, I'm like, Ooh, we should go there.

We should go there. So now I'm just like, welcome back. He's back. Sorry guys. No worries. All good. I'm just talking my shiny object I think [00:08:00] right now is just every day when I leave work since I'm in our house now is going home and just figuring out how to organize the garage and the shed and where to put.

The archery equipment because setting up your little shop there. Yep. I'm like, okay, I want to do some sort of workbench. I want a bow press, I want all these things, but it's hard for me 'cause I part of my generation is I want it now. Yeah. And so I'm just like, I gotta wait. I got cool down just a little bit, but I'm prepping for all this stuff and I'm like, yeah, it'll be sweet once I finally have a station to build arrows at home when I want, when I leave here.

Separate work from play. Yeah. And then work on my own bow and all that stuff. I'm stoked to finally being a homeowner. It's cool. Yeah. It's awesome. It's awesome. It's cool until something breaks is what I've heard. As soon as we move well welcome. Yeah. Yeah.

Exactly. Yeah. And you're smart. You I use, I always used to try to talk you into getting a credit card, 'cause I remember you were saying, oh, it's [00:09:00] really hard for me to afford all these tags. And it's get a, yeah. And what I, I guess what I'm referring to is like the tags that you have to pay for upfront, whether you get 'em or not.

And so it's that's what credit cards are for, right? Yeah. Because then you can, recover your money. But but either way, you got a pretty good head on your shoulders when it comes to that. And you're, and yeah, just play it smart and when things Yeah. Except for when things break, that does suck.

But if you're smart about it and you got money set aside Yeah. For that, in case then it's not that big a deal. No. It's not so stressful, 'cause it's, it is unfortunate though that, home appliances are not near as sturdy as they used to be. My AC unit is the original and my house was built in 1978.

Geez. And. Granted, it's a energy sucker. You know what I mean? My and my electric bill in the summer is insane. You're crossing off diesel because of the ac, but it's still kicking, and I don't, there's no AC unit you buy now that's gonna last you that long. No way. No, it's, but I don't know.

I'll be learning a lot in the next couple months. I know that. First one I'm waiting for is [00:10:00] the irrigation bill. The water bill? Because I have inground sprinklers. And previous owner was setting all those zones to a good chunk of time, and I'm like, oh my lord, I can't wait to see this come through for grass.

Gotta make it look good if you're gonna sell it. Oh yeah, I know. I could tell that's exactly what he is doing. 'cause now that I took the time down a little bit, yeah. The grass is turning a little bit. So now I'm like, Dammit, trying to play. Nope, nobody's gonna wanna buy my house. My grass is all dead.

I should say. My creeping Charlie's all dead right now. Just spread some rye. You'll be good. A lot of quack grass coming up now that we finally started to get some rain, but what is Rick's shiny object now? So mine is right now, so I've got a week off coming up here in the first week of September. I took that week off with the hopes of drawing a bear tag in Minnesota, which I did not.

So I am just going to go and kick it in the boundary waters for a week and just fish. And in [00:11:00] retrospect, I wish I would've picked like maybe closer to the middle of the. Middle of September because then I could have brought my bow with me Oh. And had a deer tag in my pocket and hunted ducks and done some of that stuff.

But so now I'm going in too early where I can't do any of that, but I can still fish and whatever, just man run around and be by myself for a week. For those that don't know us locally Rick and I we have a fairly heavy hand around here and frick you for leaving, man. One week and first week of September.

Yeah, I know. Come on man. I know. Which is, no, it's all great. I've done it to you guys the last three years, so I can't say anything. Yeah. Which is one of the reasons why I've never been antelope hunting either. Because to go out in the middle of August, oh yeah. Being here for 17 years, it's like, Yeah.

August is just, it's I would all, I'd feel bad leaving. I feel bad enough leaving in September, but yeah, mid-August and even then it, back then, no waste. Steve was gonna gimme that time off. If I was gonna try to go on a hunt, I'd be coming back to no [00:12:00] job. Around these parts, p t o gets pretty slim in August and September.

Yeah. End of September. Maybe a little easier, but yeah, it's, the last three years, saying I was on muskie fishing trips, so I can't say too much in the middle of August, payback. For sure. We'll be right back.

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Ben, what's [00:13:00] up man? You're back again in your home office. Appreciate you coming by. Yeah. How are you doing? How are you doing today? Good, man. Man, it's busy right now, I tell you. Most shops are busy, so it's it's good, but it just means that the season's close, exactly. So the next phase of the season, for me, so yeah, we're nuts here right now. It's just crazy. Which is the reason why Hollywood isn't here. And I, we've got my Mule deer cohort here on the show today. I recognize him. Hey. Yeah, he's that's the buck that we packed out on Thanksgiving Day.

Yep. Yeah, that was pretty crazy. We talked a little bit about that one in the previous episode. But yeah, so that was a really cool memory. I'll never forget that. In fact, one of the things we didn't talk about is that was a trip that we took with our buddy Cal as well, and we ended up going three for three on that trip.

Yeah, you shot yours first. Then Cal shot his, and then I shot mine and it was, they were all within, what, it was like four or five days I think we were out there. Yeah. I actually have that book [00:14:00] in the. In the room over here too. I should maybe at the end I'll grab him and come out. But I remember that, that buck specifically the one I shot I was just dogging the herd, just following him.

And that was the one where I crept up on him and he heard me coming and he he came back. He thought it was another buck. He was gonna fight me. Yeah. And here I am full Rob behind that bad land mound. And I shot him at 18 yards. Yep. So that was pretty cool. For sure. Yeah. And today I was going through photos and I you had sent me some spotting scope photos of that buck.

I'm pretty sure it's that buck. Previous to all of that, so that's pretty cool. So we've got a bunch of content that we can Cool. Show for that. But yeah. You have some pretty exciting news regarding this week's shiny object. You had talked a little bit last week about how you were excited about the big opener for pronghorn antelope.

And so why don't you spill the beans [00:15:00] for all the range listeners of that story? No, I I was excited last week. I think I was I was on the road when we filmed, I think it was like the first week of or just getting into the first or second week of of August. And the opener was the 15th and I was out on the west coast and, made a trip home, regrouped, got all my stuff.

And I'm a big proponent of whatever works best for antelope. Antelope are incredibly challenging to hunt, spot and stock. Anybody that's done it knows that and. They're one of my favorite animals to eat. So I will do whatever I need to kill. If it's sitting in a blind, I'll sit in a blind.

If it's, sit a fence crossing or a, an ambush location, I'll do that. And this year we've had a really wet year, so I went and checked cameras and my cameras were, I'd have antelope, but the, it seems like the cattle rotations were all different this year because of how wet it had been and I wasn't getting antelope in my normal spots, and I've got, half a dozen locations where I'm always checking and so[00:16:00] threw the blind game out the window for me. But this year I was afforded a little bit more time. I didn't have to attend any fall market or spring market shows that are, that happened in the fall.

Okay. So I was able to take my time a little bit more, and I had found one buck in particular during scouting this year that. Really I took a liking to and that that just so happens to be who I focused on. And after a couple days I actually was able to be successful. That's awesome.

I, it was like probably the funnest pronghorn hunt I've had for a number of years, because it's always a busy time this time of year, but with no false shows needed. And I was able to maintain, dealer needs and stuff like that through the first few days of the season. But I was able to get it done and I did it just knowing the train and letting the animal teach his pattern and, more observation than anything.

I didn't blow any stalks on him. I did bump him once when I was just walking through the ground that I, he frequented trying [00:17:00] to learn it. There was a, about a mile and a half long fence that I, I walked the entire length of that fence. To check for specific antelope crossings.

And I found that crossing that he frequented. And then I found another one that, that he used and I saw him use that one. I set some cameras up and then after a couple days, and I, a couple of frustrating situations I had, this buck was pretty visible by the road and he came in and was just liked to be right off the road.

There was some water, there was good green, lush stuff that he could eat. And that was his like, favorite spot, but it was very visible. So other hunters came in to play a couple times. I had a couple guys move in when I was, sitting on him waiting for him to make a mistake, which is my style.

I let the animal make a mistake instead of me forcing a mistake that I make. Yeah. And they blew him outta the country and I was like I hope he comes back. And it would take me, sometimes all day, 12, 14, 16 hours to find him again. But, He always, he ended up turning up in the same [00:18:00] general vicinity every time he got blew out.

And he get, I had him blown out three different times by three different situations with other hunters moving in, just trying to get something to stick, trying to get lucky, whatever you wanna call it. And but what it did is it showed me his pattern. And ultimately I capitalized on that pattern.

And he's he's a pretty good buck for Montana, for what we see up here. I killed one several years ago, I don't know, probably six or seven years ago in the same area that was also very big. And it actually is a spitting image of that buck. Oh, really? Very big prongs. And I'll have to share, share photos of that buck too, and, yeah.

Less than a mile as the crow flies. And they crossed some of the same ground, like they, they inhabited some of the same ground. And I hunted that buck until the day before the firearm season for Antelope opened, which is like the first weekend in October, usually in Montana. [00:19:00] Okay. I killed him that afternoon, the day before Tel opened.

And that buck I had, I did a shoulder mount. He, rough score just over 80 inches, like 87, 8 or 81. Wow. And this buck is very close to that. Very similar in its characteristics. But I'll make sure that you have a couple picks that you can share and kind of show these two bucks.

It's actually the. That was pre beard too oh, I had no beard in those photos. So you'd be able to like, chill me with no beard. So I saw the pics. 'cause I knew you had been out there for roughly a week or so, or had been a week since you had gone out, and I thought, all right I was gonna, I wanted to check in and see how it was going.

And you were like, yep, I'm still working on it, hopefully, get it done soon. And then it was the next day I got a picture of his balls. Classic photo from you. But then, it wasn't long after that you sent me the hero shot. So yeah, I'm not the best judge of size, but, to me, and based on, looking at some of the other antelope that you've shot I knew he was a good one.

So [00:20:00] no man, I was stoked, to be able to put it in and have a storyline to it. I. I hunted almost every day. But, I had work, I've got work obligations and stuff and and I'm able to, to keep up with my work stuff. So it wasn't like at any given moment I waited for him to be in a position, waited to, to tell me what he normally wanted to do before I moved in and made it happen.

Let let everything play out more than try to force anything. 'cause I think these animals, their instincts their defenses are, you're gonna get lucky. You put 10 stocks on, you're gonna have one where you might be able to get your Dr. Bow drawn back, get the range, get everything worked out, and then you still gotta make the shot.

And a lot of times it's a long shot, but I shot this bucket 31 yards, awesome. He came through a fence. I've got video of his d coming through the fence too. I took some video on my phone. So I'll send that to you. Yeah, it's a pretty cool little deal. And to me that's what it's about.

The story, man. And I. In a perfect world, you walk over a ridge, he's standing their head down behind a bush and you just shoot him and and it's the first time you've seen him or [00:21:00] interacted with that animal. And I can say I saw this animal over a month before I, I was able to hunt him, and then yeah.

I put together his pattern and then I exercised that pattern against him and was able to capitalize on it. And it's that's to me, the pursuit is what it's about. It all ends at the harvest, the kele, whatever you wanna call it. But it's bittersweet.

But at the same time, it's like when you put in the work and you've gone the distance with the animal and, you do that. It's fun, public land hunting, man, there's other hunters, there's other people out there and and stuff like that. I had some guys come over the top of me two days in a row and it was.

It was it was frustrating, but at the same time, it's what exposed the pattern to me. Yeah. Like he ran up, I couldn't find him for, half the day and then five, 6:00 PM he'd pop up. I'd be like, he's in the same spot. And he's gonna come back the same way and probably use that same crossing.

I walked a mile of fence. I found two major crossings and antelope are just like, a white tail. They're habitual. They do the [00:22:00] same thing. They don't migrate or roam near as bad as animals like elk, alcohol, travel, drainage after drainage covering ground.

And white tails will too, when the rutt really gets going. But for the most part, they stick to what they know. Yeah, we've seen that a few times, out in the western plains where we. We've, chased a group of mule deer around in circles and circles.

They just can't keep coming. The dough just kinda keep going back around. They wanna stick to that core area. And then the, of course the bucks aren't gonna go anywhere. They're gonna, they're gonna stay right with them. Yeah. Speaking of, so last week we, you had talked about, you had made a really good point about, people trying to be YouTube stars and all that kind of stuff.

And I don't know particularly that's the case in this area, but then you also had mentioned, do things out in the field like, in a way that you want to be respectful of other hunters. Yeah. Don't let all those other things get in the way of being a an upstanding hunter in the community.

And maybe you don't have to get super into detail, but I'm just curious about. These guys that kind of went over the top of you, what kind of, [00:23:00] what was the situation or what was going on there? It's a public road. There's public land on both sides of the road.

It's a mix of B L M B M A and state property and B M A for those that don't know, that's a block management area in Montana. So basically you sign in, you can hunt private property, and anybody can do it depending on the type of B M A it is. I'm a early morning guy. I got a real early, almost every day got out, and that's when these animals are on their feet.

They're the most active. And the low light angles give you the best visibility. They pop in the mornings and the evenings. Because the way that the light reflects off the antelope are a bright animal. They're white and tan, and they're out in the, sage. Country or, grass or willows, whatever it may be.

And it's wide open. And the one day I did communicate with these couple guys, I said, Hey, I'm gonna, yeah. They pulled up on the road while I'm glassing this buck, he's ways off the road. And they're like, oh, are you gonna go after him?

And I said, oh yeah, sure. And that was it. [00:24:00] They didn't stop to chat anymore. They were like, oh, okay. And then they motored down the road and I, obviously he can see where I'm standing or my truck is on the road. So I got up over the rise and I'm like forces my hand. I'm, I try to be as l less impactful as possible with animals I'm trying to hunt because I want 'em to remain in their comfort zone. They're less on alert. And after I said that these guys went in and tried to, they. They were dropping in. And I did, later I talked to these guys. I was pretty frustrated when I talked to 'em the second day and he said it was just in, in case they ran up that way or something.

And I'm like, I get it. We're all out to try to fill our tags and stuff like that, but still, you gotta, we're bow hunters and bow hunting. You force it, you lose. Yeah. Very seldom is forcing it work. And that works with rifle. And I think we were discussing before you started recording, but a rifle hunt, you come over a hill and animal's at 300 yards, it's click, boom, you're done.

That's, the hunt is over and that's where the bow hunt [00:25:00] starts. And I think it's important to, to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the other person. I've had it happen in basins for elk. I've had it happen in the ri for antelope. I've had it happen in, in mule deer country, everything.

And just. You gotta give a bigger bubble, give more space, the guys that are successful typically will put the time in on every stock that are consistently killing. Like a four hour stock on an antelope is not unheard of for me. And, these guys wanna hurry up and get to the next one before they're even finished with the one they're on.

And that seems to never come out, in a in a positive light because you're, the defenses that these animals have are all working against you. They're evolved over thousands of years and they pick up movement. There's, I'm not sure the exact amount, but I think pronghorn have a 30 degree blind spot behind their head.

And that's it. The way their eyes protrude [00:26:00] out the side of their heads. And How lucky do you have to be out of 360 degrees to, to land in that spot when you pop up and draw your bow and everything else and they only have to turn their head a slight degree to cover that area, exactly. But no man, cherish the hunt for what it is and enjoy it for the experience. And, we all wanna be successful, but, make sure you put yourself in the other person's shoes when you're decision making. If a car's pulled over, you don't have no clue where that guy is on a road.

Where you see some deer, some elk, some antelope, whatever it is. If that's the case, it seems like the closer to the road you stay, the more you get these people that are willing to just fly by night and go over the top of you and stuff. And, but that's a positive to getting back or glassing areas you can't see from the road.

And the further back you get, the more. The more opportunity to get a quality stock in without disruption is I feel like. And yeah, and we talked about it a little bit before too, is, it's part of the challenge of hunting on public [00:27:00] land. Yeah. But it's as much as I hate the saying it, it it is what it is.

But at the same time, again, I think it's important to get that message out To me, it speaks to, inexperience probably but maybe not, I don't know. Maybe these guys are, like you said, not seeing many opportunities and trying to capitalize on one and not really taking into consideration the other hunter, despite asking you, if you were gonna go after it.

Yeah. So it's just, it's and you say that, and during the conversation with one of the guys that I had, like I said, I was very frustrated when I entered the conversation with both of the guys, and they were separate. One was on the road and one was. I actually walked out and talked to him in the field, he was like 150 yards from where I'd been sitting all morning, and he didn't know that I was leaving to check on things to try to see if I could locate the buck to try to put more of that pattern together that I talked about, but I told him, I'm like, I would give you guys, basically, regardless of what side of the road I thought you were on, I would give you the whole thing just 'cause I didn't know, I wouldn't wanna to step on your [00:28:00] toes.

And it's just, sometimes guys think it, and when during that discussion he said these are the only antelope we've seen of this entire stretch of drainage. It, the drainage is like 20, 25 miles long. And it's yeah, I understand that. Okay. So there's a lack of game because of the year we're having.

It's an odd year. But at the same time, I. That still doesn't make it right to disregard other hunters and throw ethics out the door and stuff like that. I think it's important to, to put yourself in the other person's shoes, what if he is over there? What if, 'cause if he's parked somewhere, and this goes for trailheads too, or basins.

If you're dropping in from the top off a road, one basin that's 600 yards across, if a bull elk is bugling in that basin, guess what? Anybody that's in that basin can hear it. There's a high likelihood. So then that be, creates a foot race to the animal and nobody is successful.

Yeah. If that's, if you don't know, assume that they are, I guess I, I don't know. I'm a [00:29:00] get there early kind of guy, so Yeah. I won't say all the time, but most of the time I'm the first one in a particular spot. Because I won't go over the top of people like that.

And it's, it happens to me almost every year and it's frustrating, but it is also part of hunting public land. So I think collectively, if everybody says I'm gonna, I want to be the difference, I want to be the one that, that maybe allows that person to do what he wants to do. And granted, you're not gonna always know where somebody's at or anything like that.

You're gonna have interactions. There's more hunters in the woods. More hunters hunting public land than there ever has been, probably. Yeah. It's become very popular and the information that's out there is really good. But, communication and just, taking the high road is, what I always try to do.

Yeah, for sure. And. Said. And so going back to the buck that you shot Yep. Walk us through a little bit about how that all went down. [00:30:00] So it's funny 'cause it was raining the day I shot him heavily raining, so a lot of other people weren't out hunting, like and it was a weird rain for August for, the mountains, the prairie, wherever, Montana in general.

We don't get those all day rains that time of year and I had set some ambush locations on a fence crossing and it's funny, I was driving up, driving down, checking out some stuff 'cause I'd sat, 'cause my last confirmed location was away from the spot where this buck liked to be.

Okay. He was up on a dry section that didn't have any water and he always came down. He liked to, to hang out in this lower section along the road. So I knew he was up in the dry section the night before I confirmed it. I get in the blind before light, before first light. I'm sitting there and it starts to rain like before 7:00 AM and it didn't stop raining.

So I'm like I'm gonna wait till it slows down and then I'm gonna walk back the quarter mile [00:31:00] to my truck and have lunch. And I'm like, that's probably not a smart idea, because as soon as it stops raining, they're gonna be moving around. So I'm like, and I don't have rain gear, I don't have, I'm, I'm ill prepared in that regard, but I'm sitting in a blind, I'm not getting wet.

Quick question. So for the for the listeners so the rain typically keeps 'em, holds 'em down. They typically will bed down or what do they I wouldn't necessarily say that I kept trying to think of what I, what an antelope would be doing in the rain and and obviously if you bed down, you're gonna get muddy and dirty and stuff like that. If it's rained a substantial amount and I thought, ah, maybe. I, I don't know. I think they just, I think their vision might be compromised slightly because they don't have a, the brimm of a hat to block the raindrops and they've got those giant eyeballs.

And if they're constantly getting hit by raindrops, they gotta blink a lot more. And I think it, it weighs on them a little bit, but and I think that might've come into my situation that where I became successful too, because of how it broke down. So I sat from before sunrise to about noon.

I'm like, all [00:32:00] right, I'm going to get some food. And I went, I walked back to the truck. By the time I got to the truck, I was soaked. I'm like, okay, I'm gonna drive up and down. And the area that I was in was all socked in, it was all foggy, so you couldn't see more than about five, 600 yards anyway.

So I can't check from the normal angles where I can see most of the ground. And what I ended up doing was I drove up, and it was a weekend. I got in touch with some accounts that needed some stuff. I reached back out, answered some emails, put some orders in, did some stuff, and then I boogie back down to the to the spot where I was sitting after, sitting up where I had service for a couple hours.

So about two o'clock, two 15, I come down and I get close to the blind and then I can see little white butts on the hill. About 200 yards out from the fence crossing. And here I am in my truck because the last thing I said to myself was, Ben, you're not gonna shoot that antelope sitting in the truck.

That's the advice I gave myself at that point in time. And I remember distinctly saying that. I'm like, I'm not gonna kill him sitting up here. Working. So I'm like, I gotta [00:33:00] get back in that blind. So I went down and sure enough they were there. And I semi panicked.

I was like, I think I said f-bomb, like 20 times everything else. I was like, I pulled in my normal spot where I parked and then I couldn't see the antelope, so I hopped out real quick, got my bow, got everything I needed walked across the road, dropped down to cross the fence, and I look over and I could see 'em.

They moved up on the hill enough to where I could see 'em, and I'm a quarter mile from the blind. Know it's in, in a, it's in a low spot where there's some cover and I brushed it in real good and and I just was like, oh. And I'm like let's just see what they're gonna do. And it's pouring, no rain gear again. I'm getting wet. And they haven't he hasn't spotted you at this point? The d the dough had. Okay. It's never the buck you worry about when he is got a pot of dough. It's always d so the dough did, and they soft bump up the hill. And there's about a 60 foot hill there.

And then it goes over the top to the backside of a hill where there's a big [00:34:00] bench. And they slowly went up the hill and I didn't continue to move. I just stayed by the road on the fence and whatever. And there's cattle operations, there's always people moving around.

They're moving cows, they're, they're doing whatever. And they slowly worked their way up over the hill. There were nine or 10 dos and then the buck and he went up over the hill after a few minutes. And then as soon as he was out of sight, I'm dropping elevation down to the blind. So I'm even cutting the angle steeper.

So it's not like they're gonna pop into view again. And I get down there to the blind and I'm working kind of my way into it. And I keep looking back up the ridge. 'cause now I'm looking at it from a 90 degree angle different than from the road. And there's a little gut that's behind the hill that I can see up.

And I get about 20 yards from the blind and I can see an antelope head. And we don't. And I'm like, and after I got into the blind, I did make it into the blind without spooking her, but I arranged her, they were about 500 yards away. But still, antelope [00:35:00] get antsy when you're that close.

Yeah. It's nuts. And you're off like a major causeway, like a road or something like that. And I slowly worked my way over and back to the rain thing. I think their vision was, is slightly compromised when it's raining like that. And I was able to just slow walk over to the blind, got behind the blind, then I jumped into the blind and I, one of my windows was pointed right up that direction.

And I'm constantly checking and glassing and that dough hadn't moved still in the same spot. Still look in my direction. And I'm like what's she gonna do? Did she see me? Is it a young dough? I'm only seeing one. The rest of 'em have to be there. And then I look up after a minute I go back to check and look up the hill.

And all I see is the top of her head and her ears in the same exact spot. So she had bed down. Okay. And then I was like, wow this might actually work. 'cause I'm at the spot that they were on their way to before they went up the hill. And they wanna come down. 'cause he's been in that high [00:36:00] spot, that high dry piece for this is going on, 24 hours now.

He wants to get back down to the low piece where he likes to be. And it might not be him, it might be the dos that wanna be down there. I see him, he's my target, but he's just following them around right now. At this point. So I sit down in the blind.

I wait two hours, literally two hours, and then they start coming down the hill. They get up out of their beds, like same exact spot. She bedded down and she stood up and then all of a sudden I could see three or four, three or four turned into eight or nine. And then the buck was with 'em and they slowly worked down and They came to the fence, they got to the fence they hit the wrong spot of the fence and then one of the more matriarchal dos made it over to where the right spot was.

And she went under and then her fawn went under and then another one. And I got video of the first couple coming under and I'll send you some video. Yeah. Of that. And then 1, 2, 3, 4, the buck came through last course and, with a little bit of space between him and the do he immediately came through and my plan wasn't to shoot him at [00:37:00] the fence crossing.

I wanted him to come across and offer a better shot. 'cause I figured he'd come through. 'cause the fence crossing is pointed directly at me. So they come through and it's like a frontal shot. I didn't want to take that at 40 yards. So he turned after he, I hit full draw as soon as he made it under the fence.

Soon as I saw his head dip, I. I drew back. And I'm like, I had placed a couple of sage bushes on the trail that they walked to get out into the open out of this little bottom. And in hopes that he would stop and maybe rub his, horns or his glands to scent mark that crossing a little bit and he decided to send Mark right at the crossing. And he started coming across and I had to pivot. I had two windows open that were facing that direction. And when I pivoted, the grass is still dry in the blind 'cause it's covered. And it made a little bit of a, I tore a bunch of the grass when I pivoted on my foot and he heard that and he stopped behind the only bush that was [00:38:00] there, of course.

And these two sage bushes that I have, I range them, they're at 30 yards. So I used them as range reference and also as a potential place that he may stop on his own. And he stopped behind me only like little willow bush that was there, and I could see the tops of his head. And he started doing that.

If you've ever seen antelope that are nervous about something, they do this little high step, like slow walk. Okay. And they're naturally curious. So he did that towards me and I'm like leaning out over the edge of the blind at full draw, and he clears the blind and he's still doing that step.

And as soon as my and having prearranged everything as soon as my 30 hit right where it needed to I cut the shot. And looking through a small opening or window and a blind, you don't get the same perspective as you would in the open, right? So I didn't see the arrow flight. I'm shooting a orange fletch, so it's the same color as the hair.

That's, on their top half of their body. And I couldn't see the [00:39:00] arrow. I heard the impact. I heard the th whack, the expandable opening. And I thought, okay, everything sounded good, but it's pouring. And not even five seconds. I got out of the blind, walk over, found my arrow was in the dirt, covered in blood, but very quickly washing away.

And like the first 10, 15 yards there was blood, good blood. But you could see it was diluting, it wasn't like normal blood spattering on something dry. And then he crossed some kind of open dirt and then up a little rise on, across a little, creek ditch and ran into the sage.

And I walked up that hill and at this point I'm following big muddy tracks from him running. And I got up to the top of that hill and I could see the doors about 200 yards away. They'd made it across the sage flat. So I glassed them, didn't see the buck, and then I just started. Taking one or two steps and then scanning.

I don't see blood at this point because I'm probably 45 to a minute, maybe two minutes after I made the actual [00:40:00] shot. And that blood with the rain is just dissipating so quickly, right? Yeah. And I took about three steps into the sage flat, and then he was like 30 yards not moving completely motionless dead.

And it I pin wheeled him. I hit him right in the 12, if you imagine a broadside antelope, like a reinhardt, trophy buck. Trophy antelope, yeah. At the corner of the white. Yeah. And it exited like three ribs from the back. The last rib on the opposite side. 'cause he was slightly quartering two when I gutted him, it would pin wheeled his first lung, the onside lung and the offside lung.

It like came out the back end of the lung. Okay. It never popped the diaphragm or anything, so I mean it was, oh it was, and they have a huge heart lung area 'cause they're. They're a, they're runners man. They're right stars. That makes sense. And he went, maybe 50 yards and there was not a lick of life kicking or anything in him after the shot, so That's awesome.

Yeah, I shot him with that. So Cool. That B three exodus, or no, [00:41:00] B three EXO three. Head three blade. It's like inch and a half diameter. It's a smaller cut. It's what I killed my elk with last year with my kids. That head has turned into a good head. I really like how that head works, yeah, it looks pretty deadly. I was looking at him out at the a t a show this last year, and yeah. Hollywood's really been drooling over him too. He bounces around, shoots all kinds of different broadheads and plays around with stuff. Yep. And so I'd be interested in trying that out as well.

But that's yeah, that picture you sent me had the, had his balls in the picture and then the broadhead and what else was in the picture? Was it, I don't, maybe it was your bow. I think that was it. Can't remember. No, there was no bow in that one, but yeah. No, that's a cool, that's a really cool story.

I like the way that it turned out. Public land is, one aspect of it. You're, you're dealing with other hunters. You were able to overcome that the rain, everything that there's a lot of things that had to come together for that to happen. And yeah. It's a really cool story.

And then for it to be the buck that you've been watching all this time and Yeah. It's just [00:42:00] so exciting. And when you sent me that picture, I was like, check this out, honey. And I showed my wife right away and she was like, oh, cool. And I was like, I don't think you quite understand the gravity of what's going on here.

I, I an antelope are one of those things where five inches is like 50 inches on a deer, yeah. A 65 inch buck and a 75 inch buck to 10 inch difference is like a hundred and a hundred inch deer and 160 inch deer. Yeah. I mean it's a big difference.

Yeah. So there's not a lot of ways to get an antelope to to score big. And like mountain goats, I mean like a, it's inches separate bun and Crockett and Poping Young and where it's. It's a lot more in other species, and honestly, I think I've said this before, antelope are my favorite to eat.

Yeah. They are absolutely the best in my eyes from what I can hunt in Montana. I really enjoy elk too, but antelope just takes it for me. It's it's awesome and my wife and kids are the same way, [00:43:00] yeah. Yeah. That's really cool. And I I think I'm, I know I've had it before, but I think it was like, I think it had it at a wild game feed, and it was like pulled, so it was like, oh, okay.

Pulled antelope, barbecue style. Sure. I don't know if I've ever had just like a straight steak or a backstrap or anything like that, but but yeah, I, I. If, if you're telling me it's good, that makes, now it makes me really wanna get out there and antelope punt one of these days. Yeah.

Maybe something that we have to talk about maybe one of these days, especially like more recently now with getting the last episode with you on, with getting photos and all that kind of stuff into the video portion of that. I've been taking this walk down memory lane. 'cause I've got all the pictures pretty well organized, like in a nice folder, but I always have a hard time finding it.

So I finally, I found it this morning and I've got all the pictures from 2006, 2007. Oh, no kidding. There's a gap. I don't have anything for 2008, so I wonder [00:44:00] maybe we didn't hunt that year or something. I can't remember. And then I've got a couple more years after that. And so just going down this whole memory lane, it's man I missed that.

We had a lot of fun out there hunting, so we definitely gotta try to set up a hunt one of these days. But that being said, going down memory lane and looking at all these photos it helped me realize a couple corrections that I have to make from the previous episode. There was a few holes in our story and I just wanna take a second to correct and clarify those.

So I started working at Sportsmans Warehouse in the Fargo location and I wanted to give credit to and I'm pretty sure you know both of these guys, but Eric Dun rude and Dave McMillan 'cause they Eric really First got me into like serious, into getting back into wanting to bow hunt again.

Sure. Then sh showing me a few things here and there. And then Dave had gone on a lot of hunts out west and so I had a lot of conversations with him about that. And then I, I was only there for, I don't even think a year. And then that's when I moved down to the Minneapolis area and [00:45:00] started working at Coon Rapids.

And then that's where basically those guys planted the seed and then you just watered it. And I did verify that it was 2006. That was the first year that you and I went out and that was I didn't have a bow with me. I didn't have a tag, but that was when I went out with you and just tagged along and you showed me the ropes and I was like, oh man, I can't wait till next year.

So the first year we hunted together, did I come back from Montana? Because I moved out to Montana in the spring of oh seven. Yep. Yep. You had to have 'cause yeah. 'cause that first year that we hunted together was oh seven and that's when I shot my first buck. Okay. And and I found that picture.

I found those pictures too from that first buck that I shot. And then one mistake that I made too is I said that you were with me for my first and second mule deer, but it was actually my first and third because the second mule deer I shot out there was that velvet buck. And that was in between, I was hunting.

Sure. I went out early season with cow. Yeah. That year. And then, so I filled my tag and then we hightailed it back to [00:46:00] Minnesota so that we could, 'cause it was velvet, so we wanted to preserve the velvet. And then we came back out and met you met you and Bill. So I, okay. Yeah, we hunted late that year.

Yep. Yeah, so I was with you guys, but I had already filled my tag, so I was just tagging along and Sure. I think I had found a really cool dead head while I was out there, so that kind of made it worth it too. But, so yeah, just going down and just getting reacquainted with how that all went.

And then lastly, we did talk briefly about the buck that you killed out there, that we named Lefty. And part of the reason we named him, we named Lefty 'cause he had a little tiny fork on the left, G two. And you had actually got, that was the first buck that I was within Bow range of ever. And I screwed it up because I remember he, he was in a bed and we got really close and got into a position where we were behind a tree. And then basically I just stood out and drew my bow and he stood up, but he was facing directly away from me [00:47:00] and. You're like, shoot shoot.

You said it like, I don't know, you said it like five or six times. And then finally he took off and you were like, dude, why didn't you shoot no patience for anything back then? You were like, dude, why didn't you shoot? And I'm like I just didn't feel like I had a good shot when in all reality it was probably, I could have made that shot happen.

But either way it, and it is cool because then later on I think, I don't know if it was that same trip or if we had gone out maybe a few weeks later or something like that, but that's when, that was the buck that you went way back and shot and then packed it out by yourself. Wait.

Long before Cameron Haynes was doing all that stuff? No, I think he was doing it back then. Know I'm just but Yeah, so that was the only one we talked about. And so I wanted to touch on some of that too, some of the success that you had out there. So I wanted you to try to see if you could recall some of the bucks that you put down out there in the western plains while we were hunting.[00:48:00]

I remember the ones we didn't kill, the big ones that we'd find that we wouldn't kill that. Big boy, remember? Big Boy? Oh yeah. I've got some pictures of him in his bed. Do you? Yeah. That big inline extra. And then there was that. You remember that buck that I called Sylvester? Yep.

Yep. And then there was, and then there was one that he got in a fight with that we named Dolf. Yep. Dolf Ren. Sly and Dolph. Yep. No, man, that was some good times. But man like you say, when you get, have. A lot of experience doing something and you look back at some of the stuff you did and you're like, God, I was an idiot back then. And we would never run into anybody out there. Never saw any other hunters. No. And I haven't been back to those areas for a number of years.

Obviously with the oil boom and everything like that, a lot of that country changed. It did. Yeah, it did. Because I got my, I drew a tag in [00:49:00] 2019 and I went out there and I saw a good number of animals, but my my standards were quite a bit higher at that point. So I was really on the lookout for a good buck.

Yep. And I finally found one, but he was really hard to get to. I had to get some permission on private to access the area. 'cause I had to go through private to get to the area that he was in. And you know how that goes too. You get into an area you've never explored before and it was, it looks completely different.

Never what you think. Yeah. And I had no chance of finding him in there, but I tried yeah. And but like you said, and I didn't, I guess I didn't run into too many hunters, but a lot of the, a lot of the roads that we used to access got washed out, so getting in there is a little more difficult and, so there was a lot of that kind of stuff.

But I would say one, one buck in particular that was really cool. Was the one that you shot when your dad was right there with you. Yep. That was a cool [00:50:00] one. And in fact, I can't, I know I have a photo of, I have photos of that. Of you holding the rack of that deer. And I know there was some other ones where it's that your dad took, where it's me and you dragging the buck out, and I can't find those anywhere.

So I don't know if you have those, but if you have it, if you could send it to me I'll look. I've got one big like driver that I think I put almost all my photos in. So I'll dig through that and remember that. Yeah, if you happen to, if you happen to find that one, send that one over. But yeah, man, we had some good times.

We gotta get out and do some more hunting again. Try to see if we can't do something. Kids are getting a little bit older too, so maybe we can get them involved. I don't know. Yeah. But somehow, some way we gotta make it work. No, for sure. For sure. Yeah. But that's all I got. You got anything else?

I don't think so. No, man it's always good to I. You forget about things, yeah. Yep. And talking about 'em brings back some of those, it pulls those memories out of the memory bank that you didn't think you'd remembered anything about until you [00:51:00] start talking about 'em and you're like, oh yeah, they're in there still.

So it's, that's cool. Yeah. And what's what's neat about it too is I've got all this content that I've had over the years and I've never really done anything with it, and so you were filming a bunch for a couple years, weren't you? I got some film, but not a lot. 'cause I was using the, that Sony or not Sony, the Canon GL eight, which had tape and Yeah, high eight tape or whatever.

Yeah. And so I have, I think I have a bunch on tape, but I don't know where those tapes are and I would have to transfer 'em over and I've got some cell phone stuff. But man, back then, I. I it, the footage is awful. Especially in low light, a lot of that footage is pretty much worthless. But but either way, what I, what excites me is getting this stuff in a collaborated into a video, right?

That we can just access to any time instead of having to, 'cause I always have to dig through, four or five external hard drives to find the stuff. And even though I have it organized, there's just so much content. It's hard, it's still difficult [00:52:00] to find everything, so it'll be cool to have it all in, in one place.

Looking forward to that. So yeah, if that's it. That brings us to the end of this episode. You can find us at the Range podcast on Instagram and Facebook. You can find me, Ricky dot, Wayne 80 on IG and Ricky w Bruley on Facebook. And of course, like we said before with Ben, good luck.

He's a mystery. You might be able to, if you're those two guys that are I'm on there, but I'm not on there. Yeah. I know you probably, I know you go on there and look at stuff and whatever. And that's it's cool. It's, totally understand it. And but yeah, you can look him up.

It's just my full name. Ben Tomson. Yeah, Ben Ator, Instagram, Ben. Yeah. And I, you're probably on Facebook too, but feel free to look 'em up if you want, and Again, please be sure to head over to the Vapor Trail YouTube page subscribe dinging the bell for the notifications and just give us some feedback, give us some comments, whatever you think.

If there's any, anything you want to see or want to hear about. [00:53:00] And once again, big thanks Ben for taking the time outta your day. Absolutely. Happy to see that you're in, happy to see that you're in the home office now and you'll be chowing down on some antelope and I suppose probably getting ready for hunting elk here pretty soon.

Yeah, got a little less than seven days for opener. Awesome. Thanks again for the cool story. Appreciate all of that. It's just an, it's an awesome story, so I can't wait to get it out there. And with that we're gonna pack up our bows and arrows and we're gonna leave the range. Have a good day everybody.

Thanks Rick. See ya. Vapor Trail is now offering an exclusive discount to the Range podcast listeners. Enter promo code T R P 15. That's T r p 15 at checkout for 15% off V T X Bow Strings and Vapor Trail and Stoke Rice, branded t-shirts, hats, and other gear.

Ooh, heard it. Nice shot. What the hell [00:54:00] went line. Think. Think. I think he cut the, I think he cut the tube at the bottom.