Southern Ground - MUST BE NICE with Michael Pike - GRAND FINALE

Show Notes

This week on the very last episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast, we're joined by another previous member of the SGH team. Michael Pike sits down with us from across the country as he travels the American West. Must be nice...

It has been a pleasure bringing you all podcasts for the last 5 years on the SGH podcast. We'll see ya'll over on The Southern Collective Hunting Podcast starting August 1st!!!  

Show Transcript

Parker McDonald: [00:00:00] All right, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast. I've got on one of my buddies who you guys if you've been following along with with Southern Ground since the beginning you probably know this name, Michael Pike. Mike, how's it going, buddy? Long

Michael Pike: time.

It's going good. Yeah, it's. It's been a good bit of time, hasn't it? It has,

Parker McDonald: A lot of things have happened. A lot of a lot of life changes happened. And currently you're you're not even in Alabama, right?

Michael Pike: No, I am in Jackson Hole, Wyoming right now. You just

Parker McDonald: retired? Retired early.

Michael Pike: Yeah.

I'm [00:01:00] taking a few months off, off a life. Yeah, I know I talked to you earlier and showed you the view I got out the back door of my SS U V. That was pretty, pretty sick.

Parker McDonald: So what made you decide to do that man? Just hit the road for a few months?

Michael Pike: Yeah. Years and years ago, like almost 20 years ago now moved out.

Aspen, Colorado worked at Ski Resort and got the first taste of the Rockies. And ever since then, I've just had that itch and the itch has just gotten stronger and I had to

Parker McDonald: scratch it. Man. That's fun, man. You having a good time so far?

Michael Pike: Oh, yeah. It's it's been a really good trip so far.

That's awesome. I haven't really run into too many hiccups, so that's always

Parker McDonald: good, dude. Let's talk about this. So we're doing, you're doing this solo big solo trip. I went out solo to Wyoming last year for Turkey season. And yeah, the west I've done a lot of solo trips down south, here [00:02:00] in Alabama I've done Kentucky solo, Tennessee, solo Georgia But it's different out west, man.

You kinda really find out what you're made of as a man when you go spend some time alone.

Michael Pike: Yeah. Like I told you earlier, I was like, this camp spot is definitely I'm gonna get eaten by a bear. There's no question about it. There was signs and I came over a bare tooth pass and it said this was grizzly country.

And I was pretty sketched out for the first day and then, I'm out there at night shooting astrophotography in the dark. But over here I, I saw a couple of more signs and talked to somebody and they said there's two grizzly bears over here that frequent this area. And I'm pretty sure one of them was that campsite out.

I came to, first, I turned around and come back down the hill just a little bit. I actually have better views here, so that's nice.

Parker McDonald: So are you seeing like bear sign? Is that why you think it was right there?

Michael Pike: It [00:03:00] just, so I've seen two grizzly bears so far in Yellowstone and it looked like the same exact habitat that I was seeing those was in.

I'm just like, I don't know, this just looks very bearish and I don't, I'm not even, up to, I guess I don't, I'm not very knowledgeable of anything to do with bears. Yeah, we don't have, we don't really have to deal with bears back home. Maybe in Northeast Alabama or something like that, and there's a few spots in between.

But the mi amount of miles that we've probably covered and never seen a bear. At least I have. I don't know if you have in the woods

Parker McDonald: I've seen one in Florida or two in Florida. That's it. Yeah.

Michael Pike: Yeah. Florida's a different story, I think. I think there's a good bit of, bears down there in Georgia.

Tennessee. Yeah, but this is, I, it just looked like if I went outside to take a leak that y'all may never hear from me again. So

Parker McDonald: I was I talked to [00:04:00] Dave Owens about it when I went on that Western trip by myself and. Dave, guys like Dave. He comes across as fearless almost.

Like you can't imagine him, freaking out about being out in the woods in the dark. He just never has given me that vibe anyway. But when he was telling me about, being out there, You just really find out what you're made of. It's, yeah it's not an easy thing to be out there by yourself, so kudos to you on that, man.

Sounds like it's a heck of a trip though.

Michael Pike: Yeah, I think I've covered 10 states so far. That's it. There's a lot to be seen in that amount of driving. I think I've covered, let's see here, 2534.7 miles so far, and I've been on the road for eight days.

Parker McDonald: Wow, man,

Michael Pike: that's that's cool.

And no showers. No showers. I need a shower. I need a hot shower.

Parker McDonald: You've camped with me before you know that I ain't scared of that. That don't hurt my feelings. Too bad. Yeah,

Michael Pike: me neither. Me neither. I'm just wondering for everybody else's [00:05:00] sake because you get used to your own smell.

I'm just wondering, is everybody else picking up on this? I've used some of those dude wipes, but. That can only, get you so far. Yeah.

Parker McDonald: I think everybody's wondering the same thing that I wondered whenever you first told me you were doing this, is this going in like does hunting at all relate to this trip or is it just completely unrelated?


Michael Pike: so I've called a lot of flack for that. I have zero hunting gear. I take that back. I have a lightweight puffy jacket. And a hoodie and that, that's it. Besides my beside my lower hiking boots there's no, absolutely no hunting gear. In this vehicle. What I did is decided to buy a new camera and basically just come out here and document and take a bunch of pictures of everything.

Now there is a plan that possibly later in the fall I might [00:06:00] meet up with some people and go for a hunt and actually have them bring me my gear out. But that's to be seen so far. I don't really know what the future holds. I don't know how far my money will take

Parker McDonald: me. Is that the same potential Hutt that I'm gonna be on?

Possibly, yeah.

Michael Pike: Okay. Do your listeners know about it yet, or

Parker McDonald: no? Nope. Okay. Nope. Nope. We can't talk about it. But dude, what happened, man? I like it seems like you took the year off of hunting. I did. Why? Tell me, tell us

Michael Pike: about it. You as good as I do, how hard we went. Yeah.

For, gosh, probably the last eight years. I've just been going. It took it, it wasn't a healthy, it wasn't healthy at all. And with the standards that I'd put on myself, it just got to where I just did not enjoy it anymore. I was [00:07:00] passing up decent deer and I think it got to the point especially after, missing, I think that one year, like maybe.

Years ago, three years ago, I missed three good bucks that probably would've went over one 30. Now some of those were in different states, but it was a year that just really wrecked me. I had that one really good year. Remember when we went up to North Alabama for the dough hunt that, that season?

Yep. I. I tagged out on bucks that year in our state, but that may have been the same year that I'd missed. All of those good ones in different states,

Parker McDonald: I think was, but after that, I think it was like after Alabama, you were crushing 'em and then the other states it was just not happening.

Michael Pike: Yeah, it was just one after the other.

I was, that was not[00:08:00] it was my year and it wasn't at the same time, but, I don't know. I think I just, I went too hard and it just took all the fun out of it. Like I said, I just put too much I don't know. What word am I looking for? Help me out. No,

Parker McDonald: you just, it became your priority. You became addicted to it and not a good way.

Michael Pike: Yeah,

Parker McDonald: exactly. It was and, dude, do you know what's so hard about that? Is putting all your eggs into the basket of a wild animal. Like something as unpredictable as a freaking like you're better off trading stocks. You know what I mean?

Michael Pike: Getting into that. Very similar Yes. 'cause I've tried that too.

And it's, 50 50, it's a 50 50 chance, it's better to be lucky any day. And you can do things to improve your odds, but ultimately, you just gotta be in the right place at the right time. That's right. And I've never focused too much on the rutt [00:09:00] portion I don't know.

That could be totally

Parker McDonald: wrong. No, I think I know what you're saying, Mike. You're saying you've never put your focus in that because it's a different game and it requires a little less strategy.

Michael Pike: Yeah, exactly. It, in my opinion, it requires a different strategy, let's put it that way. Yeah. I like finding where the deer are and how they're moving, what they're eating on that kind of thing.

But I'm focused solely on the buck portion of it. And when it comes to the rutt, all of that flips on its head and you've gotta focus on what are the do's doing. And I've never really spent as much time doing that like I should have. I think a lot of people are, can be a lot more successful by focusing on the D, learning their patterns, learning where they are.

And then focusing on that, just in that short little burst of rud action we have in certain places in Alabama.

Parker McDonald: [00:10:00] Yeah, dude, I mean you're that's exactly, as well as I do, I kill, I like to kill a bunch of those and part of that is figuring out where they're at, early season, that's about, you also know this in Alabama Big Woods, early season is, it is.

It requires a bunch of skill to get good at it, but it's mostly luck. Like you just, it's so difficult and and

Michael Pike: I, let me interrupt you here real quick. I think that's where me and you are different, and you are really good when it comes to the rut and you, you'll knock down three bucks within a two week span every single year.

Me, not so much me, I honestly get on more deer more bucks in probably the first three weeks of the season. Yeah. Than I do the rest of the year. Like last season, I hunted, let's see here, I think the month of October and then maybe [00:11:00] Two to four days in November, and that was it for my whole season.

Parker McDonald: Do you think you, you think your, but I saw, do you think your odds went up in that early season because you're moving around a lot?

Michael Pike: No. I think it's because I focused on one particular let's see, one particular feature. In the mountains, and I'm sure all of your hardcore listeners and diehard mountain hunters will know without me even saying I almost hesitate to even say what it is, but I'll go ahead and throw it out there.

You just what? Let a tease man, just drop the ball. I don't even know. I don't even know if I'm going, I don't know how much I'm gonna do this year. But focus on the bluff gaps. Oh yeah. Early season like clockwork, I had, let's see, maybe eight cameras out and now a few of 'em were duds. A few of them, for whatever [00:12:00] reason, they did not use, and I don't know if it had to do with, their more of their bedding location and did it provide enough for these bachelor groups.

But I had. Three or four different bachelor groups all using the same bluff gap. Like one group had five or six bucks in it, and they would come through like clockwork, 30 minutes before dark, 30 minutes to an hour after daylight. They did, they were so consistent the first three weeks of the season that I was just, Blown away.

Blown. I know for a fact that if I was to go to those same spots this year, and if they lit up like that, I would have probably I could probably have multiple bucks down in the first, few weeks if everything worked out as far as wind thermals, that kind of thing, because [00:13:00] that's what's gonna get you in those locations.

Parker McDonald: Dude, what everything you're saying to me, it's and I understand exactly where you're at. And I understand where it comes from. Like we spend so much of our time in this, in this time of year thinking about it, thinking about our strategies. If I would've just done this last year, and to me that's the thing that kills me is when I set a high expectation for myself.

And I start to not meet it. And then I start really working to try to meet it, like working too hard to try to do that and putting too much pressure Yes. On my own self. Yeah. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. And I do that in the early season all the time. I wear myself out

Michael Pike: for sure. Last season I passed two, two decent bucks and.

When I say decent, something you would've shot with your bow, like around a hundred inches. Yeah. But [00:14:00] I knew what else was in the area and I did not wanna, go ahead and screw it up on, one of the smaller to medium sized deer that were in, some of these bachelor groups, but I never I'll take that back.

I did end up seeing one of the shooters and actually so let me tell you this too. I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this out there too, and I may catch a lot of hate for it, but for some of you that don't know what you're doing in some particular areas, these deer were using the bluff gaps, but I always assumed that they were bedding up top and dropping down in the evening through the bluff gap.

That's not what was happening during the first three weeks of the season because the temperatures are so hot. They were batted up against the bluff wall and they were coming up out of the bottom and feeding on top and then dropping back down in the morning. And so [00:15:00] what I did is I was going along the top of this bluff wall and easing down through here.

Probably. Maybe about 500 yards from the bluff gap. And I come down through there and I'm scanning everything, kinda looking, I don't see anything and take a few more steps. I'm, you whining around just, easing through and stopping every once in a while and resting, and I stopped to rest and look at look at my map.

And like it always happens. As soon as you stop, they get a little bit spooky. And as soon as I started up again one of the smaller six points and this big 10 point jump up out of a little, all it was like four or five seaters together. And they're not big cedars. When I'm saying cedars, I'm talking about four to five foot tall, maybe just a hair taller than that.

And. They were just feted up against those [00:16:00] probably about 20 yards off the edge of the bluff wall, and they took off. I, it was bow season, so I had my bow, but they had just got, a little too far outta range. So I looped around and, because I knew they wouldn't go too far, so I, my loop was about a half a mile down and then cross over the creek and then a half a mile back up to where, I was on the opposite side, but not the side that they were, realizing I was gonna be on.

And I went to another bluff gap on the other side and I eased off and set up probably about 50 yards from the bluff gap. And my thermals gonna be dropping. I was I had a feeder creek that fed in. So I knew my thermals were gonna drop down and they were going to go farther down past where they were at and then [00:17:00] keep on going.

But what happened was, because I spooked them, they went down just a little bit further and so dark came, my, started dropping. I could hear 'em coming up the creek on the other side, the same side that I spooked him off of. They came up, they crossed right where the feeder creek comes in and they were fine there, but then the wind switched and it kicked right in the back of my head and went straight to 'em and got busted.

And so that was kinda that story. It paints a picture for, how the setup was for that early season. You know what could potentially work for you.

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You can see Botec full selection by visiting botec today. Yeah, I think I found Early season, even with those I typically find 'em coming out of the bottoms and it's almost like you, like I'll see 'em come up to the tops occasionally, especially if I'm on like a feed tree or something like that.

But it's almost never from top to bottom, you know what I'm saying? Yeah. Just what you're saying, like usually coming up. And it's easy to assume that they cross somewhere and maybe they do sometimes, but I. I think they bed down low a lot more than people think.

Michael Pike: Yeah. And especially in your case they're not catching pressure from that one particular area.

It acts as like a back wall. Yeah. And it's also cooler [00:20:00] too, so it just makes more sense altogether for them to, from,

Parker McDonald: come from there. Dude, I this year, it's funny you say that. This year I'm gonna be doing I'm still gonna be boat hunting. Don't get me wrong. I'm still gonna be water access hunting.

But I'm gonna hunt a little different as well. Just because, like I did it during Turkey season. Like I, on these out-of-state hunts. I don't always water access on out-of-state hunts, but I do for the most part here at home because it's just, What I like, it's just become the normal, that's just where I hunt, whatever.

But during Turkey season this year, I didn't even use the boat. And I was like, you know what? I'm gonna do the same. I'm still gonna use it, but just a lot less this year. But I think for the early season stuff, like what you're talking about, that's part of the draw for me is because there's just so much, there's a lot of food sources right there up close to water temperature is a little cooler, close to water.

I do think that it makes a difference when, [00:21:00] in the early season they're used to, the deer are used to a lot more noise on the water with people, fishermen, people out on their, for sure. Their lake houses and river boats and crap like that. Whereas during the fall, you're usually the only person on the water any given day.

And so I like that. I like that deal. But you also mentioned that about rutt hunting yeah. I typically kill my deer during the rutt, but I'm like you in that. I really, to me, it's such a different style of hunting that I feel like I know how to do pretty well. That most of my preparation, most of my time scouting is trying to figure out things.

That I can do during the majority of the season, which is usually early season or late season. And in a lot of ways they hunt very similar.

Michael Pike: Yeah, exactly. I'm a lot better late season too. I usually go, I'm on bucks really early, and then I struggle through the rutt and [00:22:00] everybody around me, they're killing all these big deer and I see.

The big deer now, as well as I do, I'm definitely not the best shot in the world. Oh, and I miss my fair share each year. Usually at least one or two, but sometimes three with a rifle. I'm a lot better shot with a Poe that one year I killed, I think two out of the three with a bow and, missed.

Missed three with a gun.

Parker McDonald: Michael, I blame you for my problems. I don't know if you know that or not, but

Michael Pike: I do know that. 'cause I think you texted me one day and you were like, I think you rubbed off on me or something.

Parker McDonald: I remember the day extremely well. You recorded an episode and you were talking about how you, it's not seeing the deer or having the encounters with the deer.

It's making the shot. And I was like, and I didn't even mean it in any way Intentionally arrogant. And I was like, [00:23:00] I don't usually I struggle more with the encounters. Usually if I get a shot off it's a done deal. And dude, from that point forward, man, my whole life has changed.

Michael Pike: What's really funny is I got the same same comment from.

Andrew and Jacob, because Andrew missed a boon or last season and Jacob showed me the the pictures and stuff for the video of it. And it's a big old deer and Andrew missed it. And they're like so much for that. 'cause they were tac drivers and, they did not miss and they felt the same thing that kind of rubbed off.

Maybe a little

Parker McDonald: bit. I, so I just just people might remember me talking about a deer that I had shot at last year and it was right after I'd had kid the second bout of kidney stones. And it was the day my boat motor broke and I missed a really big deer at 10 yards with my rifle on the off side, like a off, [00:24:00] a weak side shot right underneath me.

He ran out to about 30 yards and stood there for 30 seconds. Just in the wide open and my gun had jammed and and I couldn't ever get another shot off on him. I just got the the nerve to look at this video, like in depth just 'cause I knew how big the deer was. I saw him very clearly.

And so I just got the nerve to do it. I was sick afterwards. I watched the footage, but just not real well. And so I I put together a little clip of it and I saw more angles of this buck than I had ever seen before. And so here I am nine or 10 months later, dude, just like sulking hard just in a.

In a bad place thinking about this buck that I missed. And then he just stood there, dude, he just stood there for 30 seconds. I just sent you the clip of it. So after we record, after we finish this, you need to check that out. And it's funny. Okay, it's it's heartbreaking though when you see how long it [00:25:00] actually stood there, just waiting to get shot and you could hear me fiddle with my gun.

But dude, it's just it when you do that I'm right there with you, dude. There's points in my life where within my hunting career that I can remember, and this year being one of 'em where it was just like, dude, I just wanna quit. I've put too much of my heart and soul into this. And it's just a heartbreak.

That's all it is. It's just a freaking heartbreak. And my family's struggling. My work is struggling. Everything's struggling because I have this thing that I'm chasing so hard and it's just killing me. And it's important man to get, kinda, get back in the right head space. You know what I mean?

Michael Pike: Yep. I totally agree with that. Have you found There was a lot of things that, a lot of things that changed for me during the last two years and I know that my hunting, it took that priority [00:26:00] and, I could have done a few things a little bit better, in my life with work, family, that kind of thing.

And just the joy of hunting, when you place that kind of pressure on you to succeed it just takes the fun out of it. So I think if anybody's in that same boat, don't, you feel this pressure to, I guess make everybody else proud or I

Parker McDonald: really don't know.

It's weird what word's it's it's like most people are. Are pretty selfish people. And hunting's a pretty selfish sport. When we post something on Facebook, it is like a lot of people are gonna be just jealous more than anything. They might tell you congrats, but a lot of people are, and you can tell just on social media the way that our natural instinct is to be jealous and to come up with a reason why, you know so and so they, that one was over corn or that one was blah, blah, blah.

Or [00:27:00] that one was whatever. But it's it really hurts your ego when you see everybody else. You feel like everybody else posting pictures of these big deer and man, I just had one right in my fingertips and I couldn't make it happen. And it sucks man. It's a crappy feeling and everybody can say as much as they want that they don't do it for that.

But it does, it is a hard pill to swallow.

Michael Pike: Sure. It's. What I'm doing right now, I'm gonna be posting all of the great clips, but you're not seeing you're not seeing my bucket tore up by these black flies and mosquitoes and yeah you're not seeing me go dig a hole to take a take a deuce in, or, having to.

I carry around my bear spray, make sure I don't get eaten by a bear. And there's a lot of things, all this traffic I've had to deal with going through Yellowstone, I took a three hour detour just to get around so I could avoid the traffic I [00:28:00] took. I was halfway to Old Faithful, which I, to get down here.

It was like a route that was gonna be the quickest. And I got halfway and I was like, we came to a dead stop. For about 10 minutes. And I was like, no. I was like, this is not gonna work. And so I turned around and backtracked where I just came from. I took a six minute video clip of me driving about 35, 40 miles an hour back from where I just came from, which is the west entrance Yellowstone.

And it was just car after car for six minutes straight. Jeez. So I'm saying all that to say this, like when you see somebody post a big, a big buck down, or they're having a really good season, don't get all been outta shape about it, because all you're seeing is all of the, the glory, I guess [00:29:00] the, just that one moment, like for one thing you don't know.

That person could have been hunting that area for five years straight and covered thousands and thousands of miles scouting and you don't see the hard work put in behind some of this stuff. Like with you and the podcast, everybody gets, like an hour long podcast, but they don't see the two hours behind the scenes just to make every podcast actually come to fruition.

And probably even. Longer than that in some cases, especially with the audio messing up or having to reschedule and yeah, all these other, things. So it's just something to keep in mind. When you see this big buck, all you're seeing is that one little snapshot and not all of the other things, that either people are having to deal with or what they're going through to kill those deer.

Parker McDonald: I think everybody looks at [00:30:00] things through their own filter, and it's usually like the must be nice filter. And I'm guilty, I think. I think a lot. Everybody's guilty of it, right? Sure Must be nice to be able to get to hunt anytime you want. You know how many people tell me that?

Michael Pike: Must be hunting a high fence. Yeah.

Parker McDonald: Yeah. You ain't gonna look at me in my deer to know that I'm not hunting a high fence, but. Must be feeding corn. Yeah, I've gotten that before. Must be nice to get to hunt whenever you want. And it's yeah, but also like I, it was a lot of work to get my life set up this way.

I also, severely skipped out on work today and didn't make any money because of it, yeah, it's, it's nice I guess, but it has its own challenges, right? And yeah, and I always, I Turkey season it's even worse, believe it or not. Turkey hunters are a Cali, they're a whole other breed.

But I put out a post one, one time, probably a couple years back, just encouraging guys, because man, it's so easy. [00:31:00] To be pissed off when somebody you don't like kills a deer. You know what, if that bruise is a deer hunter, chances are eventually they're gonna kill a deer. So you gotta, you just, all you're doing is setting yourself up for failure.

If you are gonna get upset about that kind of stuff, that's all you're doing. Yeah. And I'm preaching the dag on choir. Yeah. Because I'm guilty of it.

Michael Pike: Yeah. You can't always compare yourself to what's going on in other people's situations because you're, you can wear yourself down that way.

I know we're our own worst critic and we think we should be killing, these monsters like all these other people. It, that's not always the case,

Parker McDonald: yeah. It's not. I learned that Mike, whenever around the time that you were a part of Southern Ground and we'll take a stroll down memory lane, if you will.

I didn't ever really have a whole lot of hunting buddies. I never have had a whole lot of hunting buddies. And I would say you're probably the first person [00:32:00] that I hunted with on a regular basis other than my dad. You know what I mean? Of course my dad's my hunting buddy, right? But as far as like sharing spots and or sharing pens and locations and, feeling confident and comfortable enough to do that with somebody else, like that.

I would say you were the first person that I ever did that with. And it rekindled the, which is really what we're doing with the Southern Collective with this new thing. Is it rekindled that community aspect of hunting that I think is super important. And you're a lot like I am dude, in that, that you tend to, it you're drawn to, to being a recluse in a, during dear season.

Does that make sense? Yeah.

Michael Pike: Yeah. That, that lone wolf mentality.

Parker McDonald: Yeah. Do you think that has affected do you think that has affected your hunting and maybe. Been a cause for you getting into the kind of crap season that you were in the last two years? Oh

Michael Pike: for [00:33:00] sure. And I'm glad you even brought it up 'cause I didn't even think about it.

My work schedule was the biggest, reason why I hunted along. When I was off work, everybody else was at work and when everybody else was hunting, I was stuck at the hospital. And Every single chance I got to go on a hunt with other people. God I just enjoyed it so much.

So much more, you had the comradery, at camp, everybody cutting up. I think that makes hunting special, sharing it with somebody. Yeah. And you don't get that when you're hunting by yourself. No man, and it's not necessarily because I wanted to, now, I don't mind going by myself.

The, when we first got started with Southern Ground or when you did and I jumped on I can't remember, had I already gone to Kentucky or did I go that year by myself because I couldn't find anybody else to go. I [00:34:00] think you

Parker McDonald: went the year before we started hanging out. You had went that early season, like just like on a whim,

Michael Pike: I think.

Yeah. I'd ask people to go and, it never fails. People will back out until they see that you're actually gonna do it. And then they're like, what the crap? I didn't think you was actually serious. And usually what if you make that first step? Say, you've got a group of friends.

If everybody says that they wanna go and then they're back out eventually, if you just take that first step and go on a solo trip by yourself, after that, you can find people to go with you every single year you want to go. But you've got, sometimes you've gotta make that first step. But back to the, I do think it had a lot to, to do with, me getting worn out, by yourself.

There's no real, hunt camp because it's just you're covering all this stuff. You're one man,[00:35:00] trying to put all these pieces together where if you're with a group of people you can basically accumulate more man days in less amount of time because of what other people are seeing.

You can put all of your heads together and come up with, okay, I saw this deer feeding on this afternoon. In, in your area. You may not have seen that because you weren't next to that food source, or somebody might say that, I saw 'em bedding, down low or up high, or, this or that.

It really helps out a lot. When you're hunting with a group of people, a group of friends more specifically that you can trust because not everybody you gotta find a really good group that's willing to share information and not get bent outta shape about, all of these small things.

And I think that goes a long way,

Parker McDonald: dude. It's crazy how many people. I have [00:36:00] met just today today I found myself in a similar situation. It's a Monday and I work for myself so I can make my own schedule and I'm trying to shoot this new bow and get some reps with that.

And I was like, man, it sure would be nice to have somebody here right now that I could just go shoot with and not have to do all this stuff by myself. But you get, you kinda get used to that just. Doing all this stuff by yourself. But nowadays it's the same thing with online dating man. Like a lot of people are meeting online now and in our groups kind of our niche style of hunting.

Most of the people I know who do what I do, And hunt the way I hunt, live in other parts of the state, or maybe not even in this state. And so it's hard to it's hard to find people that you can trust. And for whatever reason, it seems like most of those guys that I know are online. I will say there's a few local guys too, but it is, it's a true thing, man, like being there and having that hunting buddy.[00:37:00]

And I don't know, I, I wouldn't say that I'm even there yet. I would like to have More of those type of relationships because I think they're super valuable and they really do help you. They encourage you more than anything, and those points of the season where you're getting down and you want to just quit having good friends is a good thing.

That's for dang sure.

Michael Pike: And they, it can help you out because you get stuck in these same little ruts you, you clinging the things that you know and are knowledgeable about. And it's good to have a different different mindset. When it comes to styles of hunting, I remember me and Nathan Protts, we, you'd have probably thought like we were like brother and sister or something like that, or husband and wife, the way we went back and forth.

But I'll be honest, I think we both took away a lot of different things. By seeing how each other [00:38:00] saw the woods differently. I know there's, a few things that I picked up that he was saying that he was doing, and I'm sure he did the same with me too. Because, you just get stuck doing the same thing over again.

And, sometimes it may be successful, but sometimes not. And if you just have a different mind there to To point something different out then, can go a long ways to help you grow as a hunter.

Parker McDonald: Yeah, you've gotta have, you've gotta have any good leader, any good organization has a team behind it.

We can only do so much on our own. And I do respect the guys who are the solo hunter kind of guys. Because that's a. That's a whole other mindset. The guys who can go out and do that consistently it, it's impressive. But I think will you miss out on a lot when you don't share this stuff with other people that [00:39:00] that's really that know, looking at the last few years of my hunting career, my hunting life, maybe three or four years. I've done a lot of hunting by myself and I set it on an episode a couple weeks ago. Like those, all those success stories, they're great, man. I, some of my biggest deer have been on like solo type hunts, but the ones that really live in my memory. Are the ones with other people.

Dude, I will never forget when we were in Kentucky and you shot that six point from the ground. I'll

Michael Pike: never forget that trip. It was our last day and I can't remember if I messaged you like after he came by 10 yards and I was on the ground hunting. I was tucked into the timber and I was like, Hey man.

I was like a little buck. And he was little. He was really little and I never would've shot him. I was [00:40:00] like, Hey, man. It's our last day. I was like, I just had a little six point come by and I think you were like, Dude, shoot it. We have a, we have like videos to produce, like we gotta have some content.

And so I shot that deer. I was like, oh my gosh, I can't, I still regret shooting that deer. Like I, I just would not have ever shot that

Parker McDonald: deer. I think what happened, 'cause I didn't have any service where I was at, where I was hunting at that day. I remember walking out and you saying that you had just shot one.

And you said, I think it's a little buck. And what I was like, who the freak cares dude, that's awesome, man. That's great. It was a, that was, I'll never forget though the next day Adam came into camp and we freaking almost died from. The lightning and then Woodrow and Amman came and tracked that deer for us.

Like it was just like a whole bunch of cool things. Yeah. That happened. That would [00:41:00] not have been that much fun without somebody else with us. You know what I mean?

Michael Pike: I was, I was thinking about that when I was passing through Kentucky. And I thought about me, you and Tyler going up there and do you remember his little video, like where he zoomed it in on his face?

All it's is his little mustache. And so we called him Mustache Malone for a little while. Do you

Parker McDonald: remember that? How could you forget that man? It was freaking hilarious. Oh my gosh. I was thinking about that same one because Matt Reeves they're up in Kentucky, or they just got back from Kentucky yesterday, went and scouted, and they, they found a couple really nice bucks, Tyler did too.

That same day, he found that freaking stud of a deer in there. Gosh, that was so much fun. It was a good trip.

Michael Pike: It was, or the time that me, you and him, we were supposed to get, what was it, two to four inches or three to six inches of snow. So we wake up, or no, we went [00:42:00] and in camps, we went and stocked upon food.

You remember him? He bought like $50 worth of snacks at Dollar General. And then we went to the lake house and camped that night, didn't we? And then woke up really early. What was it like two o'clock in the morning and we're off and headed over to, to get there before, daylight.

And we may have seen like five flurries total going there and it didn't stow at all and we were so bummed.

Parker McDonald: That was some good breakfast though that morning.

Michael Pike: All of his $50 worth of snacks.

Parker McDonald: We dude, we, no, dude, we went and got french toast.

Michael Pike: Oh, that's right. We went to that place. What is it called?

Parker McDonald: We where We ain't naming it.

We ain't gonna name it. My goodness. Oh, is this your first podcast, Mike? My, my gosh, I forgot.

Michael Pike: We did eat that. And then y'all are [00:43:00] passed out. I've got pictures or videos of both of y'all like snoring in my truck while I'm driving. I was out. Yeah. And then you passed out again? Once we got back to

Parker McDonald: the lake.

Yep. When we got back to the house, I think I went to sleep for another little, I don't think I ever actually, did we even sleep that night before? I feel like we were up until two o'clock.

Michael Pike: We may have been. I don't know. I know that I've got videos and pictures of both. Y'all sleeping for? Yeah, a majority of the

Parker McDonald: trip.

I don't remember being in the truck much because I slept the whole time we were in the truck. How about the time that opening day when I shot that dough and she didn't leave a dang drop of blood and you had walked in from the long route, walked down in there, we drug that deer out opening day, and then you went off and and killed.

I think you killed a dough from the ground later in that week. And the [00:44:00] reason I remember those so much man, is because those were some of my first experiences, like dragging out a deer or another buddy coming into my spot and helping me drag a deer out. Or me going in with a buddy into one of his, good spots and dragging a deer out.

That was those were big moments. It's oh God.

Michael Pike: I was wondering which one you were talking about. You're talking about back home. Yes. Yes. We tracked. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I came over there after that hunt and you're like I shot it right here, like a freaking mile later is what it felt like.

I'm just finding a little drops of blood, like on every couple of hundred yards. It felt like it wasn't that much. But. Once we got to the deer, it was like there was blood everywhere and what was it? The arrow. It did something funny, yeah, it went in, hit the front shoulder and bounced back out or something.

Yeah. You just switched those broadheads, didn't you? Got the eBay [00:45:00] version of these broadheads? Yeah. Oh my gosh. Yeah. That was rough. I never forget that. That was the longest drag longest drag ever.

Parker McDonald: That was ever, that was a long drag. Yep. I have actually I shot a Turkey over there, close to that spot this year.

But that, I wanna say that was the last year I shot right there. 'cause it's all long freaking drag. You gotta really want it. Yeah. And at that point, like that was the first deer I ever got on film. That was the first deer kill I ever filmed. So I was, I really wanted it that day. Huh.

Michael Pike: Yeah,

Parker McDonald: man, that's that's fun.

Those are some fun days. We need to do that again. Like you're sitting over here talking about, sitting over here talking about like when you worked at the hospital I can hunt in the middle of the week, man. We need to make that happen more

Michael Pike: often. Yeah, definitely. I'm not working at the hospital currently, so I've got all the time [00:46:00] in the world.

Yeah. You wanna go buy my, you wanna go buy my storage unit back in Coleman, Alabama and bring it way out here, out west somewhere.

Parker McDonald: Bring your bow. Hey, listen offline. We'll have to talk about that. 'cause early season I may be around I don't know how long you planned on being gone?

Michael Pike: I don't know.

Probably. September, October, November, somewhere in that timeframe. Nice. It just depends on, how quick the fun runs out or how far my money is gonna get me, or, those kinds of things.

Parker McDonald: Are you finding yourself, I know you're sleeping in your truck or in your vehicle a lot. Are you finding yourself are you having to talk yourself outta getting a hotel room, or has the camping been great?

Michael Pike: No, I haven't. God, one of my first nights I made it to the Badlands there in South Dakota and got up to this really, it's a beautiful overlook and, but it, you're on top of the freaking mountain [00:47:00] and I'm like looking off of the distance and I see a little bit of lightning, so I pull up the radar and it says, Two inch size hail and 60 plus mile per hour winds expected.

And I'm like I was like, this could get really interesting. I swear it wasn't 30 minutes and I felt like I was in a car wash with, you know how at the very end how the like of course, you're just getting blasted with water, but then, All of a sudden the dryers kick on and they're on each side and it's blowing your car from left to right and you just feel the whole thing shaking.

Yep. That's seriously what it felt like. And I was only 10 feet from the edge of a 75 foot drop off, and I was like, I'm gonna be a owner. Like it's raining. I'm on this slick muddy dirt. And that [00:48:00] wind's blowing so strong. It's just going. I'm just gonna start sliding. It's just gonna blow me right off the cliff.

That was the most interesting piece. But other than that, it's really been pretty nice besides the mosquitoes and black flies. The biggest thing I'm wanting right now is the shower. So that's the plan. Fishing. Fishing with the guy. Yeah, I'm supposed to go fishing with a guy on Wednesday, fly fishing, and he's supposed to be up here in West Yellowstone and has a campsite reserved, and he invited me to come over stay tomorrow night.

So we'll see if they have a a shower there at the campground. I'm thinking that they probably do, since it's in Yellowstone, it's reserved. It's not gonna be, just a, a. Hole dug in the ground with a building around it. Yeah. So

Parker McDonald: now is this just a, is this just a plan to try to find a cute little western girl whose daddy's got some property?[00:49:00]

Is that what this is?

Michael Pike: No, but I wouldn't be opposed to it. But no, this is just just scratching that itch I had, wanting to come back out here. There's a lot of states, that I haven't been to. So I just wanted to get to, to see everything. Yeah. You never know how long you're gonna, you never know how long you're gonna live.

Don't know when your time's gonna be up. So there's some more things I would like to do to scratch off on the bucket list. So I think that's where

Parker McDonald: we're at right now. I think the I think the mid two thousands frat boys came up with a phrase for that called YOLO and yes,

Michael Pike: Yolo.

You only live. You only live once. That's right. That's right. Back in our day it was Carpe Diem. Seize the day.

Parker McDonald: Seize the day. That's right. Man, I do appreciate you coming on and just taking a little stroll down memory of the lane with me. Man, I appreciate all you did for Southern Ground in the past.

I look forward to seeing the things that you're gonna do. In the future and man, [00:50:00] have a heck of a time living the dream. It must be nice. You know what I mean?

Michael Pike: I appreciate it. I appreciate it buddy. And good luck with the new venture. Hopefully it goes well for you. I know I. I know you're ready for it wish you the best of luck.


Parker McDonald: yeah, man. I appreciate it, buddy.

Alright, y'all, this is gonna wrap up the Southern Ground Hunting Podcast for the foreseeable future. Really appreciate you guys coming on and and listening for the last like what, five years we've been going. We've been going five years. And a lot of episodes, a lot of really good guests, a lot of fun.

It's been a blast. I've met a lot of listeners met a lot of people in general through doing this thing and it's what really put us through to making this decision to merge and start the Southern Collective. Action item for you. We are giving away a Botec CP 28, fully loaded.

We're gonna give it away on August 1st on the [00:51:00] Southern Collective Hunting Podcast feed. So go over there and make sure you're listening on August 1st. We're gonna announce the winner of the Botec CP 28. So you guys go and check that out. Excited about the future again. Thanks guys for listening and yeah, signing off.

For the last time God gave you dominion over the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and the beast of the earth. So go out and exercise that dominion. Talk to you next time. I guess we won't. We'll talk to you on the Southern Collective. See you guys over there.