Starting a Guide Service

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan talks with his cousin and good hunting buddy Sam Maedke about what it takes to start a guiding business for waterfowl.

Sam guided waterfowl hunts for other outfitters for several years and has recently decided to start his own guiding service. Sam primarily hunts in the Northeast corner of Wisconsin but loves to explore new places and get new properties. Sam spends his spring helping friends and family punch their tags on Turkey and spends his fall chasing anything that flies. Dan and Sam grew up hunting together in their home state of Wisconsin and spent a few years knocking down what birds they could in Missouri. This episode is full of stories and how-to’s when it comes to chasing migrating birds.

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

Connect with Dan Mathews and The Nomadic Outdoorsman

On GoWild, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook

Shop Dan's Podcast Gear and Hunting Gear


Connect with Vortex

On Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Online


Connect with Rogue Texan Outfitters

On Instagram, Facebook, and Online


Connect with Infinite Outdoors

On Instagram, Youtube and Online


Connect with Sam Maedke

On Instagram and Facebook

Show Transcript

Dan Matthews: [00:00:00] All right guys. Welcome to today's show, and joining me again on the show is Sam Meke. Now, Sam and I have probably hunted together longer than I've hunted with anybody outside of my immediate family. We have chased after things in Missouri, in Wisconsin together, whether it's Deere or ducks, coyotes. In fact, we used to be like flushers for my uncle going out, walking cornfields, and I shouldn't say used to be as if it happened all the time.

A few times we would go and zigzag through cornfields, hoping to flush out pheasants. I don't think we ever killed one that way, but we've done all kinds of stuff together. And so I'm really excited because he is starting a new adventure and I can't wait to have him share that with you guys. It's gonna be an awesome episode.

Let's jump in.

Like he was doing things that were just badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dane had the [00:01:00] gun, I did have the rifle, like we would be Okay.

All right guys, welcome to today's show and joining me again, dude. How many times have you been on this show? I don't know, man. At least half a dozen. Yeah, it's been quite a few. You might be my official, like most common guest. I like that. It's gotta be pretty close at least. So my cousin, Sam Meke is here with me and we're gonna be talking about a bunch of stuff.

First off, I haven't said anything about frog gagging this year. Normally we do an episode, so I might do some recap on that, but we've got big bucks showing up on camera. You've been finding deer sheds. Waterfowl season is not that far away. We're right into the middle of, we're getting close July, man.

Early teal's gonna be coming up in what, two months and then seasons kickoff from there. Yep. Thanks for hopping on, man.

Sam Maedke: [00:02:00] Absolutely. I appreciate being

Dan Matthews: on here, dude. You've got some big news cuz you've been essentially taking friends and family out hunting for quite a while.

Even when I've got people that I want to take out, you're like, oh yeah dude, bring 'em up. We'll go shoot some birds. But you're officially jumping into guiding.

Sam Maedke: Yeah, I am. I am finally taking it on, head on for myself this time. That's instead of working for somebody else and letting them get the get the glory from it, the trophy.

I, it's not about the money as it is about, Me being able to get the smiles put on people's faces, if it was about the money, we, I can promise you we'd be charging way more than what we are now,

Dan Matthews: dude. You guided for years in several different places. Talk about that and then talk about why the transition to doing it for yourself.

Sam Maedke: So growing up, I've always wanted to hunt for a living. I've always wanted to have a job [00:03:00] toward, that's my job that I just, I take people out hunting and watch them be successful, watch the smiles on their faces. And so at 18 I started guiding started off in Missouri. Worked for a few different companies throughout like Missouri and Arkansas, Kansas.

Worked for one company where we traveled quite a bit. And to be completely honest, I miss it. I miss the traveling, I miss the hunting in different states. You get to see all the different types of landscapes and you get to shoot a lot of different types of birds. The species of birds that we shot down south is very rare to shoot where I'm from, but after a while like I said, I still really enjoyed it, but I started having some kids and it was just time to start to settle down. I came back to my home state, which is Wisconsin, and started growing my family here and the whole guiding thing just never left my mind, and it was always something where I was trying to either figure out a way that I could still do the traveling.

And I was like you know what? I was like, what? Why don't, [00:04:00] why not do my own thing? Why not? I have tons of people whether, there are a lot of friends and family, but a lot of people I don't know too, that. Turkey season, waterfall season. They come up here and I would say, our success rate is probably comfortably, I would say at 95%.

It's very few come up here and they don't have a successful hunt. So it was like why not? Why not start something for myself and see if we can't, I've got something good going on here. We've got a lot of land here. We've got a lot of birds whether it's waterfall or turkeys, and we've got big deer, so maybe the big deer thing will be in the future.

But right now I'm just focusing on the birds and seeing where that takes me. So we're looking at building a lodge so that we've got something to provide for our clients. It's gonna be right off of a lake landlocked lake. So I'm, yeah, I'm super excited for it. I figure if we're gonna do it, we might as well.

Go big or go home,

Dan Matthews: yeah. That a lot in the south. It seems like the southern states, they've got these huge lodges, tons of land, and I feel [00:05:00] like it's over, like the north is somewhat overlooked as far as that type of stuff goes because it just happens early in the year, yep.

The birds show up. A lot of times by the time the full migration hits, the southern states already have birds trickling in, and so it's oh, we're just gonna stick around here. But there's nothing like being the first people in the US to shoot at some of these migrators. Yeah,

Sam Maedke: absolutely. And the nice thing about it too is when they cross our path, They haven't seen nearly as many decoys and spreads or hunters as they have once they reach Arkansas or Missouri.

I can't even imagine. I bet you their numbers of spreads that they see, probably triples by the time that they pass us and get down, to, at least Missouri or Arkansas area. So to be able, I'm not saying that it's not challenging. They're still smart birds, and they're still, they still got pounded in Canada, but when they reach us, they aren't nearly as gun shy or call shy or decoy shy.

So I truthfully [00:06:00] do believe that is, it is a lot easier than it is down south. And where I'm from there's way less competition. There's no such thing as a 4:00 AM boat launch, here. There's no such thing as boat racing here there is down in Arkansas.

Yeah. You still gotta fight your spots every once in a while, but for the majority, you have respect for somebody else nine times outta 10. Like they'll gain respect for you and you either hunt together and you work together as a team for the same reason of why you're all out there.

Or you go your separate ways and you go ahead another spot and you try and make it happen there,

Dan Matthews: yeah. The competition side of things is challenging, but you've worked for years now at gaining access to properties, private land, fields and golf courses and ponds and potholes and you've made a name for yourself in that area as being someone that Yeah, we're gonna let you come hunt on our property.

We talk to the neighbors, they know you. They've given you like, not necessarily reviews, but they speak highly of you. And [00:07:00] so now you've got a ton of land and a lot of it, you probably don't have much competition, if any. And I can attest to it every time I'm up there, you put us on birds and it's more birds than, we'll shoot.

If I were to bring four of my buddies up there, we would probably shoot more birds in three days than we would shoot in a whole season here in southern Missouri.

Sam Maedke: Yeah. It's, we, like I said, Wisconsin gets overlooked a lot and I don't want to break it up too much cuz I don't want to start seeing a bunch of people over here, from outta state.

But at the same time, we've got it really good here. I'm fairly close to Lake Michigan and they, it seems like every year I don't know if the migration keeps shifting east or if all of a sudden. There's just a lot more lost birds that are kinda getting off track of the Flyways.

And when they hit the Lake Michigan, like the Lakeside, instead of crossing over Lake Michigan, they just follow it right down and and I mean there's a lot of times we're hunting fields with anywhere [00:08:00] between two to 10,000 birds in it. Geez. So there's, and we're

Dan Matthews: not talking No, it happen every day.

Snows, we're not talking specs. Nope. No. These are two to 10,000 geese and mixed bags of ducks and Yep. It's crazy cuz you don't see that many places, you'll get your goose migration, which is awesome. But the amount of ducks when you call me throughout the year, especially leading up to season and you're like, dude, we just found a new roofs.

Like a field where these birds are hanging out. There's probably 10,000 birds on it. 4,000 ducks. 6,000 geese. Yeah. And I'm, it just blows my mind, because when we find a field that's got a hundred birds in it here, we're super pumped. You remember how it was like, oh yeah, most of Missouri is not like this, but we're in this weird little spot where you just don't get huge numbers of birds, right?

Sam Maedke: Yeah. We have those spots. You know where it gets. It gets really high populated. And a lot of the [00:09:00] times it gets overlooked because a lot of these people are like, oh, look all the birds in that field. There's a reason why those birds are in that field. It's cuz the landowner won't let you hunt it.

How do you know if you don't go check? Yeah. You know what I mean? The worst of the worst a landowner's gonna say is no. And a lot of the times, to be completely honest, I have a hard time taking no for an answer. I've had numerous times where I've been told no from a farmer or from a landowner, and I'll keep talking to 'em a little bit more.

Next thing I know oh, I found out, they need a helping hand on the farm or, I'll offer 'em some meat or I'll come back the next year for Turkey season and I'll be like, Hey man we were really successful this year. I went and got some jerky made, some Turkey jerky made.

And just wanted to say, thank you for taking the time outta your day to talk to me about, doing some hunting on your land. Like I know it didn't work out, maybe sometime in the future. And you showed that appreciation to these farmers and you build a bit of a personal relationship with them.

Can I check in every now and then see how they're doing at the farm? See if there's anything [00:10:00] that you can help with. There, it's farm work. There's always something to be done. Yeah. So you can pay them back for letting you hunt their land.

Dan Matthews: Yeah. It's pretty incredible in talking with you and driving the country roads with you and you talking about all these different properties that you have, figuring out where the birds are.

Telling me the stories of Exactly that. Getting access, hey, they said no, and I came back a year later and I was just talking to 'em, helping them out, doing whatever, and all of a sudden they're like, you know what? Yeah, go ahead. And that's with Turkey, with ducks, with whatever. But one thing that I feel like is really special about your area is you time it out, right?

You can be up there hunting, pheasants, dove, ducks, geese, archery, white tail, and then, you got predators thrown in there also. Like you can go up there and have quite a week all day. Yeah. If you're an, if you're a non-resident and it's not that expensive for [00:11:00] non-residents in compared to some, in comparison to some states.


Sam Maedke: Compared to some of the states. We are very fairly priced as a non-resident tag. And, most of these, most of the guide services that I hear about and that I've worked for, you're paying anywhere between 300 to $450 per person per day. Yeah. And let's think about it.

If you're paying $450. You are paying three times the amount that I charge for one day and I can promise you, like we will at least get close to matching what you are gonna pay for down there. We don't have, I'm not trying to sit here and say that we're the same as Stuttgart. Obviously it's stuttgart's.

There's a reason why it's called the duck capital of the world. But we have those birds. So many people focus on Stuttgart and they don't look around the surrounding areas. Kansas, when I hunt in Portia, Kansas, it was insane with birds there, and then looking around [00:12:00] here, especially this here, driving the country fields and stuff, like I've already been getting out talking to farmers, trying to get some permission.

And just as I'm driving around, I can't help but look into the water holes or into some of these fields that are next to water holes. And we have an absolute insane amount of birds here right now. Yeah. And. I don't think I've, and I feel like I say this every year, I don't think I've ever seen this many birds here.

This, in this time of year. The amount of babies are, it's, it is, when it's July and I'm already seeing 300 birds sitting in a field, that's a, that's crazy to me. Yeah. Where are these birds coming from? Because a lot of the times, while your brother's calling me gimme a second.

A lot of the times there's not even water close to these fields, but there's 150 babies out in that field, they've gotta be coming from somewhere. But yeah. Nonetheless, man, it, when you come up here, let's say sometime October[00:13:00] like you said, there are so many different types of things you can come up here to hunt.

Waterfall obviously being one, like you said, pheasants being one. We have. I have some of the best spots that I can think of about for Dove, and I actually just took a couple guys out last year and they said, are you kidding me? They said, you're not charging for this. They said, this is insane.

They're like, we're seeing tens of thousands of doves like in one flock. Yeah. And they're like, this is stuff that I see on videos from Argentina. So I'm like I can throw it in. Like again, I'm not trying to make a killing off of it, but why not? Yeah. An extra 50 bucks and you can come out here and shoot 15 dubs per

Dan Matthews: person.

And you think about it like you go to some high end outfitter in the south, and like you said, you pay three to f, three to $450 a day. And you go out and you get your six birds. Yep. And then you're done. And that's it. That's it. Dude, you just paid $50 a bird, if not more, [00:14:00] $75 a bird, and then you're done.

If it's okay, we're gonna go do that, and then we're gonna go shoot our 16 doves, or whatever the limit is there, it's Wow, that just changed everything. Now instead of having a two hour hunt in the morning, now we get to do an all day thing or, yep. That's a special part about outfitting for yourself and having that freedom to be like, dude, I got a good coyote spot.

No guarantee. Yeah, but we go sit or let's go hang out. Do this. Not to mention, you've got beer and cheese and Green Bay Packers right next door. There's so many cool things. And like you said, and like I said, Wisconsin does get overlooked for this stuff, and I don't understand why.

I moved down to Missouri and as soon as I did, I was like, dude, man, Wisconsin is so good for waterfowl, for whitetail, for all these different things. Seriously. And there's parts all over the country that are pretty well known for their duck hunting or for their goose hunting. [00:15:00] But as far as just not competing with a million other people, every time you go out as far as seeing these migrations, you guys don't have crane hunting there.

But dude, you will see the crane migration. You'll get to experience it while you're out there ducking goose hunting and Yeah.

Sam Maedke: We're nothing like the Dakotas, but we've definitely got 'em here, that's for sure.

Dan Matthews: Oh yeah. They're all over the place. And I just feel like for a person who's looking for an amazing hunt at a good price, you can't just, don't overlook it.

You're gonna be so much less into it. You could do it twice, three times for the price that you could travel to the southern states and do the same hunt. And so I think you're gonna realize pretty quick, you're gonna be booked up. You're gonna be like, maybe I should have charged a little bit more.

There's not enough openings for all these people, but it's a hunt that I always look

Sam Maedke: forward to. We've got helping hands. Oh yeah. We've got people that, I've got people on the line that [00:16:00] they're willing to help. And if I have to book more than one group at the same time, that's fine.

If they're willing to hunt together even better. But I've got people that if it comes down to it we can split 'em up. We can put 'em on two good fields. I know the only reason right now that we're charging so cheap as of right now, is just cuz we're just starting up. Like we really don't have all that much to offer.

Like we're still working in the whole lodging thing, so we're not gonna be providing lodging and meals. I have talked to a few hotels in the area. It sounds like I will be able to get a deal with one of the hotels. So if lodging is something that is interested in you or interested to you, I could definitely help with that.

At least get you a discounted rate to a local hotel here. But I just, I'm just getting those ducks in a row, I'm not gonna turn around and be like, Hey, I've got very little, but I'm gonna charge you the max. Yeah. And even when we have lodging, I still have a hard time believing that I'll charge $400 a gun.

That's [00:17:00] insane. Yeah. I would much rather somebody could be able to come up here, spend maybe 2, 2 50 a day, have their lodging. Have the guys time, have the guys weekend or whatever it is, and spend very little and have just as much fun as they were to go anywhere else

Dan Matthews: from mule deer to whitetail and everything in between.

Vortex shares your passion for chasing life's wildest moments and has the optics and apparel you need to succeed in the field. I've been running the Fury 5,000 range finding binoculars, and I am excited to officially partner with Vortex this season. Head on over to euro That's E U R O P T I to get 10% off your vortex order by using code nomadic 10 at checkout.

Yeah, no, I get that man. And you guys do get the birds, you get the birds that people are [00:18:00] after. Everybody likes a good greenhead. Like it's just North America's waterfowl icon and it's if you can get into greenhead, if you can get into geese and you're shooting bands, dude, you guys shoot so many freaking

Sam Maedke: bands.

Yes, dude. Nuts. It drives me quite nuts. A few,

Dan Matthews: and I hate that every time I hunt with you, you shoot a band or somebody shoots a band. It's crazy

Sam Maedke: to think about that. To think about guys in the south, especially when they come up here and they do some hunting. When we kill a band, don't get me wrong, everybody's stoked to shoot a band, but it's not like it was 10 years ago when we shot bands, now it's I see these guys from south, from or from the south come up here. And when a band gets shot, whether they shot it or not, they are kids in a candy store. Yeah. And it is like the first band they ever saw or they ever shot, and it happens all over again and it's wow.

You don't really realize how good you've got it until a little bit of the [00:19:00] outsiders start coming in. They sh they show you how you used to act when that happened. Yeah. So I would say comfortably. We shoot at least double digits every year,

Dan Matthews: dude that's just crazy to me.

I remember when I came up there, I think it's been two years now that I came out up there with the Buck Gardner guys and my buddy Drew, and in one morning we shot a Drake and hen both banded, yep.

Sam Maedke: Yeah. One flock after another.

Dan Matthews: Yeah. It was like, yeah, basically back to back. We had birds literally, it was not raining and it felt like it was raining, the amount of birds that were hitting the water before shooting light, 10 feet and then flying it over us 10 feet.

Oh yeah, dude. We're sitting there staring at birds guys, three minutes. Don't shoot.

Sam Maedke: Come on, man. And some of them that were coming in the way that they were coming in, they were coming from right? They were coming from right to left, but a lot of them were coming right over our head.

Yeah. And I swear there were so many times, I bet you I could have jumped up out of my blind and grabbed one. Oh, I guarantee they were, they're

Dan Matthews: buzzing three feet over a [00:20:00] Just grab a fishing net, get 'em real quick. Oh,

Sam Maedke: no band let it go. Yeah.

Dan Matthews: That's one way to do it. Yeah. Yes. Seriously. Eight man limit all bands or sitting, catching them.

Sam Maedke: We came up, so we came up with this thing last year, and I want to try this so bad just to see how well it works, but I wanna put a, I wanna strap a goose shell to the top of my head, and then I want to go and hit like a pond or a river and see how close that I can swim out to these birds.

Dan Matthews: Oh dude,

Sam Maedke: you can't tell me it won't work.

Dan Matthews: Oh, you'd get real close.

Sam Maedke: I think. I think I could get within an arm's reach.

Dan Matthews: Dude, I've almost I mean there were multiple times hunting in Colorado, hunting the pits. You're below the ground level, right? Like the top of the pit is the ground. And we'd have birds working and then all of a sudden you see feet.

In front of your lid walking around and you're like, oh crap, dude. We already have birds on the ground. Like [00:21:00] these two or three or four snuck in from behind landed, and they just walked over the top of us. And I'm like,

Sam Maedke: dude, that's crazy. Can I just grab this one? Can

Dan Matthews: I grab? No, dude, we got more birds working.

Shut up, dude. Do not grab it. And I'm like, oh, I just want to grab this bird while it's alive. And yeah, I feel like that'd be a pretty cool experiment. I wonder if you'd get in trouble for harassing wildlife.

Sam Maedke: That's my, that's why I haven't done it. I was like, man, I gotta talk to our local game war or something, because I can't express to you how embarrassing it would be if I got busted by a warden with a goose shell strapped to the top of

Dan Matthews: my head.

Oh my gosh. He's dude, what are you doing? And you'd have to make sure you're the only one out there, seriously serious. Some dude like creeps up through the woods and there's a goose. Shoot it.

Sam Maedke: Yeah. Take 'em boys.

Dan Matthews: Yeah. Hopefully they would know. You gotta put like a big orange spot on the back of the head so that anybody coming up from behind, spray paint.

Yeah. Spray paint decoy. Yeah. You thought walking behind a Turkey decoy was [00:22:00] dangerous. Try swimming with a goose shell on your head.

Sam Maedke: Oh, public land baby.

Dan Matthews: Yep. Dude,

Sam Maedke: that's, yeah, man the public land here really died though. I will say that. At least in my area. I know. You got like the Hoan Marsh and a lot of people go there, and then you've got like the Mississippi River, but we have a lot of just public ground that's like maybe 80 acres and on the 80 acres, like Ducks Unlimited went out there and they put a bunch of ponds in there.

Some of these places have 30 ponds on an 80, 80 acre plot. Yeah. And I don't know if it has anything to do with like the hunting pressure or the dry seasons that we've been having, but at least before, even with the hunting pressure, they were still at least roosting ponds. And I really, I always said in the past that we need to, when it comes down to those public spots, we need to shut it down in the afternoon.

Give those birds a way to be able to get in there and sleep. We still have [00:23:00] to, as Sportsmans, we still have to provide for our waterfall, for our game, and. To a point, we still have to protect them, so when it comes down to public land hunting, like I really feel, especially when it comes down to water, close it down for the second half of the day.

Yeah. You wanna get out there in the morning, that's fine, but you gotta give these birds a place to feel safe, somewhat safe, besides town. Otherwise they get in town, they never

Dan Matthews: leave. Think about that opportunity though for the dnr. Like you could shut it down the last half of the day, and then in certain public land areas, you could offer a draw, hunt.

Yeah. For the afternoon. Like literally one night a week or two nights a month. You offer, Hey listen, we're letting four groups go out here. You can continue to hunt. Your hunt starts at this time because birds, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if it's sunset, 30 minutes [00:24:00] before sunset, two in the afternoon.

As soon as you can't legally shoot anymore, those birds come compiling in. Yep. They're smart. Oh yeah. I, but I don't think they know the days of the week. Exactly. They're smart. They know, Hey, we're gonna be like, it's always, you're picking up decoys in the evening. You've got birds dumping on your head and if you set it up that way to where it's like, Hey, basically all season except for six days, we're gonna shut it down at this time.

And then the people who do draw those hunts, you offer six tags per party and you do five parties, whatever. You go out there and you have the best time of your life cuz these birds are used to coming in there.

Sam Maedke: I really feel, I really feel that as much as I don't want like the hunting I guess you could say mortality, I guess you could say.

I don't want us to be the same as down south. Yeah. Even though like I love hunting down there [00:25:00] I love the camaraderie of the guys, but I don't want the same pressure here as they have it down south because, let's be honest, the amount of duck hunters down south is insane.

In insane. Yeah. So there's a reason why, I talked to I was talking to a few guys, even the guys on FOMO podcast too. Like I was talking to tho talking with those guys and when they're talking about hunts that they killed six ducks on. And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's good to not only, you can still have a successful hunt by not shooting a lot of birds or limiting out every time. Yeah, there's still success behind the killing, to sit there and think wow, man, like these guys good out there and they are crushing on this public land.

Like they're hitting this hard timber. They're fighting these spots. They're scouting 'em for weeks on end, and then they go out there and they kill six ducks and they are pumped about it. And I'm not gonna lie, you're talking

Dan Matthews: about, this might kinda sound bad. You're talking about people like, I don't know those people.

[00:26:00] Dude, you want to know what we get excited about? We get excited about not getting skunked. Yeah, that's what I'm saying. And when we do get skunked, we're like, dude, at least we saw a couple birds. Yep, exactly. And then when we don't see any birds, we say we limited on friendship. We got out here.

Sam Maedke: Yeah, that's right. Got away from the house for a while. But that's what's crazy is to think, boy, let me tell you, I don't know what I would do or how I would, how I'd react if I went out hunting and didn't see any birds. I don't know how, what I'd do, because I put so much time and money and effort into doing this that I mean, like I'm going out there and when I hunt these spots, I'm fully expecting at least a few limits.

Yeah. And if we don't I can promise you that afternoon. I'm hitting the road hard and for a long time, and I'm gonna find a really good spot for the next morning. Cuz now I need redemption. Yeah. I have an obsession for it, but we just don't have, [00:27:00] like I said, we just, we don't have the competition that we do like they do down south.

And I'm really glad about it. I want to, I wanna be able to share with people, but at the same time, I don't wanna feel like by sharing, I'm getting it taken away from me, yeah.

Dan Matthews: All right, guys. If you've been listening to the podcast, I'm sure you've heard me talk about the helicopter hog hunt that I did down in Texas.

Now, I went down there with rope Texan Outfitters and Lannan and Brandon, the owners put us on the animals. We killed 150 pigs in 19 coyotes, just from the air. On top of that. We went out thermal hunting at night and got up close and personal to more hogs. I didn't have to worry about bringing guns or ammunition because all of that was provided for me, and it is to this day, the most action packed day of hunting I've ever had.

I stand by what I've said in the past, and that's that helicopter hog hunting is the funnest thing that you can do with pants on. In addition, they offer Sandhill crane hunts, and predator calling. So if you're looking for the most exciting hunt of your life and something that you're gonna want to come back and [00:28:00] do year after year, go check out rogue and book your hunt today.

Dude, I remember one hunt that I went up there with you, there was like 11 guys or something like that. And we didn't quite get an 11 man limit. And you're like, man, I'm really sorry guys. I'm sorry we didn't limit. And I'm like, dude, I saw more birds today in one day than I've seen in my entire season in Missouri.

We killed more birds today than me and my whole group of friends collectively will kill in one season. And you're just like, yeah, I know. But we did have fun. We had some awesome shots, great memories, but we didn't get a limit. And I'm like, part of that could be that, Four of us missed a lot.

The thing is, I feel like I haven't gone up and hunted with you where we didn't have opportunities to fill a limit almost ever. [00:29:00] I could probably count on one hand the amount of times that we've waterfowl hunted together, where we didn't at least have opportunities to get a limit whether or not we shot a hundred percent.

It doesn't happen. You shoot a bird and it gets winged and gets away, whatever, but the birds are there. You put people on the birds and I tell people all the time dude, you want to great hunt. You want to go to a place you've never hunted before. And I talk to a lot of waterfowl hunters.

It's insane how many of them have never hunted Wisconsin for anything.

Sam Maedke: I feel like that's because. And I could be way wrong on this is just an opinion, but I feel like Wisconsin, when people hear Wisconsin, what do they think of? Big bucks. Big bucks, Whitetail. Yep. That's right. So I feel like the focus on Wisconsin, Wisconsin has such a huge report for big free land whitetail.

Some of the biggest in the country, some of the biggest in the world. And it has such a huge title for that. Then you can't focus [00:30:00] your eyes off of it. Oh yeah. When people are like, oh yeah, I'm gonna Wisconsin to hunt. If you don't tell 'em what you're hunting for. I can almost guarantee you every single person will think, oh, he's going up there to shoot a whitetail.

Yep. And that is nice. Like I said, that is nice. It does help when it comes down to the competition. And it does, it is nice when it comes down to the bird population too, because a lot of these birds like. Man I've watched birds in the same field for three weeks straight. Never had to worry about a single person going out there and touching them, and I just let it build and build. And it's like, all right, you know what? There's probably about 35, 3500 to 5,000 birds in there. Let's hit it this weekend. Let's hit it. Before, before it. They either eat it out or they finally, we get a cold front or something to get up and to get outta here.

Let's get on 'em before it happens. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It works out nine times outta 10.

Dan Matthews: Yeah. And that's a great point that you bring up about Wisconsin known, being known for whitetail and not waterfowl. Cuz it's you think about it, you go to a city, say you go to Kansas City, everyone talks about the chiefs or this great sports team [00:31:00] and things like how good their barbecue is might get overlooked.

Or if there's a big attraction in a city close to you oh dude, you gotta go to Wisconsin. Dell's like their water parks are insane. Guess what? There's a lot of really cool stuff to do there. But everyone knows them for their water parks, and so all of these other industries just get overlooked.

Even though they're great, they might still benefit a little bit because it's known for their water parks. But when you're so well known, when you're known as the number one country or number one state in the country for producing Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young Bucks. Yep. Everyone just turns off the idea that the Turkey hunting is insane.

The pheasant hunting is insane. The waterfowl is insane. The coyote and Bobcat hunting's insane. I mean the walleye and pike and muskie fishing and bass fishing and trout fishing. There is so much to do there and I would challenge people to [00:32:00] find another state. That would compete at that high of a level on almost every outdoor category.

Yeah. Like they just don't, like there's states that we have a

Sam Maedke: lot of, a little bit of everything.

Dan Matthews: Pretty much. Yeah. And what we do have is good. You get into Slam or Hunts and fishing trips where you're pulling your bags on almost everything you hunt. Yeah. And I think that plays into that.

That is an advantage for you because you don't have that hunting pressure that the southern states have. Like dude, as soon as Stuttgart was named the duck capital of the world, think about how many people just completely bombarded that over the last couple of years. I've talked to a lot of guys who normally go down there and just limit out on birds and they're like, dude, we did better on our Central Missouri property than we did in Stuttgart this year.

And that's gonna come with the territory. Like when you're known for [00:33:00] it, the birds are gonna figure out pretty quick. Dude, there, there are, we can't land on any body of water. We can't land in any field without getting shot at. We're moving out of town. Yeah. And it can only sustain that way or maintain that way for how many years before the birds get wise to it.

And then a county once stayed over is the new duck mecca.

Sam Maedke: There's a reason why those areas are so populated. You've got all the flyways, but not even mentioning the flyways. You've got one thing that we don't have here is flooded fields. Yeah. And down there, it is such a popular thing for a farmer to grow a crop, harvest part of it, and then flood it.

And claim, get an insurance claim on the rest that he didn't cut as crop damage. Yeah. And so they have an insane amount of food resources. [00:34:00] They have insane amount of water and any, when it comes down to waterfall. Those are the only two things you need. As long as you have a water source and a food source.

That's it. Yeah. You'll get the birds to come. So I wish we could flood here. I'm actually gonna look into those reg regulations here in Wisconsin about what it's gonna take to flood. Cause I know we can't flood fields. However, I wonder if we could flood spots of the field.

Dan Matthews: Yeah. Things that, yeah. Not flooding the whole field, but yeah. You gotta think about it. They need food and water like you just said. Exactly. What do you have there though? You've got food and then you've got Lake Michigan. That would, I would almost rather the birds go out there and have just a sanctuary and they can still be hunted on the lake, but as far as predators go, like raccoons aren't swimming into Lake Michigan to grab waterfowl.

Yeah, they will swim through that rice field right up to a whole group of birds in the middle of the night and grab wood. [00:35:00] Kayaks. Bobcat. Bobcats. Yeah. We've got, you've got an amazing setup there because one, we've hunted within a mile of the lake before. Heck, we've hunted on an inlet right off of the lake before, and you watch these birds in the mornings and it's oh, they're kicking up off the lake.

Get ready. The skies are gonna fill up. And they do. They come in and I can't imagine that the predation is high at all out there on the lake, on birds, maybe. Birds of prayer coming down and getting them. But other than that, like they don't have to worry about things. They're, they can just get fat and happy.

Get rest, come in, gorge themselves. Go right back. If you're an avid listener of this podcast, you've probably heard me talking about Infinite Outdoors in the past. Infinite Outdoors is expanding access for hunting and fishing on private land across the country. From whitetail hunts in Missouri to waterfowl hunts in Wyoming and pheasant hunts in Colorado, they provide access to over a million acres of private land listings for all types of hunting and [00:36:00] fishing.

Best part is it's incredibly easy to browse in book properties, all on the Infinite outdoors app. The app is free to download and easy to use. All you have to do is sign up and you can browse over 250 different adventures across 10 states. Download the app today and use nomadic 15 for 15% off your membership.

Sam Maedke: Yep. We found a spot last year it was opening, opening weekend for goose hunting. September 1st is when our goose starts, but we found, or I found a spot where, again, this is early season. Like you find two 300 birds in early season in the field. That's a good spot. Yeah.

Like you hunt that field, and I bet you this field had a minimum of 1500. Dang. And I'm like, this is insane. We are gonna hit it. We're gonna hit it hard. We killed 130 birds out of that field. And then come to find out, It was a pretty small field, it was [00:37:00] long, but very skinny.

So we could really traffic them into this field, easily put 'em right in our laps. But right on the other side of this field, there was a big drop off. We were wondering. I was like, man, I swear to God that the, these birds are coming, like from down in this area. They're coming up over this hill and they're dumping down this field.

We go over there and there's a small lake. It's a river, but it's 30 miles from Lake Michigan, yeah. So it's getting small now. It's not like no Mississippi River. So we get down there and sure enough, this thing's probably 25 feet wide and maybe three feet deep.

And they are loafing on this thing like crazy. So I come back through there that later afternoon, and I kid you not, when I say, I bet you there was at least a thousand honks sitting on this loafing spot, and this is coming right through a cattle pasture. So all these cattle are coming through grazing, the grass dude looks like a fricking, looks like the green on a golf course.

It was [00:38:00] just like perfect. And when I walked down there, the amount of goose crap that was down there was insane. And I'm

Dan Matthews: like, boy, Sam's out there behind a cow silhouette creeping up on all these birds. Yeah. You

Sam Maedke: just hear 'em. Yeah. You ever reap a cow before? Yeah.

Dan Matthews: This is my cow reaping

Sam Maedke: decoy.

Yeah. It's honestly crazy man. And I've actually, so with this whole, with starting up a guide service and everything, I want to. I wanna be able to have control of a lot of the stuff that these birds do or want. So I'm, right now I'm talking with some farmers about leasing out their properties, farmers that I know every single year these birds are in their fields or on their property or on, somewhere on their property.

I'm gonna, I'm gonna do the best I can to make sure that I can have full access only, sole access to these properties. So then that way, if for whatever reason some clients come up[00:39:00] and let's just say man, like I just, I don't have anything like I scouted and scouted, I don't have anything.

I will always have something to fall back on. I can leave these spots alone and give these birds a sanctuary. Not only just in town when they're sitting on water, but just out of town when they're sitting in fields eating too. Yeah. It'll give them more comfort and it'll keep 'em around longer, so I've got a lot of plans for this coming up season, and so far they're looking really good. Everything's going the way I'm expecting and

Dan Matthews: planning it to. Heck yeah. Dude, I gotta, so quite a while back in the podcast, you had mentioned how many, like young ducks and young geese are out.

I had one of the coolest experiences. I love having encounters with wildlife, even if it's not the target species. While I'm out there. Oh, same. It doesn't matter. I saw one year I was bow hunting and I had a family of baby, it was a mother and a bunch of baby armadillos walk under my stand.

Never seen a baby armadillo in [00:40:00] my life. And it was just no kid. Weird man. It was so weird. But the other night it was opening night of frog season here in Missouri. Me and all my buddies go out. We hit the big pond out at my old place. That was the last pond we went to. And we're cruising around. I'm like probably between nipples and belly button deep in a cattle pond.

Headlamp on big spotlight in my hand, gig in the other hand. And I see movement in the water. And we had seen more snakes this year than we've ever seen. Didn't see any, didn't see any water moccasins. They were all northern banded water snakes and so not a big deal. Still don't like it, but I see movement and I look over and here it is probably eight or 10 wood duck ducklings.

No way in the water middle of the night, they were just on the other side of this stump that was popping up outta the water. The stump only came up like eight inches. [00:41:00] And I'm like, what in the world? I'm working that way. I don't want to mess with them. Yeah. And so I, I'm like taking a look.

I'm like, dude, I don't know where they went. Whatever. I see a big frog. Get the big frog, toss it up to a buddy who's on land and keep moving. And all of a sudden I hear all these ducks rustling in the tall grass. And they saw my headlamp where it was hitting the water. They swam out to it and got within a foot of me.

They were literally a foot off the front of my belly. And they kept like swimming out and they were like, what in the world? And then they'd turn around and go back in and it was just like one after the next they would come out and investigate. And they were just making this like loop as if they were a train under a Christmas tree and just coming out.

And I'm like, this is the coolest thing ever. And unfortunately out there's so many skunks, raccoons, possums, armadillos, like even bass, there's big enough bass in that pond to take those things out. Oh yeah. Easily. Absolutely. The snakes and the [00:42:00] frogs, even like some of the bullfrogs could probably take one of those out.

But it was really cool to see all those little wood ducks come swimming up to me. Yeah, that's a

Sam Maedke: really cool experience. That almost sounds a lot like snipe

Dan Matthews: hunting dude. I was also kinda worried. Yeah. Dude, that's exactly how you snipe hunt. Yeah, grocery bag. But you know that snipes are real, right?

Oh yeah. And there's an actual season during waterfowl season for them.

Sam Maedke: Yeah. No, we shoot 'em here. Yeah, we shoot Snipes in

Dan Matthews: Woodcock. Yep. It's so funny because all of the people who hear, oh, my grandpa used to take me out snip hunting. I'm like, no, it is a real thing. Yeah. That's the way that you do it.

And it makes me curious though. It really does intrigue me because I look at that and how those birds came out to the light. Even when I had chickens, if they didn't make it back in the chicken coop, I would shine a light on the ground and they would all follow the light back into the chicken coop, and I'm like, Maybe [00:43:00] people used to hunt snipes like that.

Maybe that's where it all came from. And then when everybody started being unsuccessful at it, it became a joke. But I could see it working, man. I really could.

Sam Maedke: So I always thought that, so like how that came about was like somebody was walking through, because I know I know, I do know people that catch Snipe at night with a flashlight.

And so like when they walk through, like they walk through real slow and they scan it. And when you hit 'em, their eyes will glow just like any other animal, yeah. And so you're all, you're pretty much blinding them. And if you're slow enough and you're quiet enough, like you can catch it with your bare hands.

And so I think that's where it came from. And then people are like, oh man, like we should do it as a joke. Have him get a grocery bag and tell 'em like, Hey, You can catch him with the, I bet

Dan Matthews: that's what it is, man. I'm gonna have to look up the origins of snipe hunting. I think I'm

Sam Maedke: gonna have to.

Yeah, I'm gonna

Dan Matthews: have to as well. Dude, we've put so many people through that dude, just go stand here. Put the grocery bag in between your [00:44:00] legs get ready, man. They're gonna come running. And especially when you can sneak in on, it's dude, shut the light off for 15 minutes. Maybe one will run through the bag.

Maybe not if they don't turn your light on for a little bit. And there was one dude, and I don't know if we just got lucky or what, but we were quite a ways off and we tossed a rock and it hit his bag or maybe went in the bag, dude straight up starts screaming.

Sam Maedke: I got one.

Dan Matthews: We, we had a lot of fun with that in college. I can't imagine how

Sam Maedke: stupid I would feel,

Dan Matthews: dude. And the other thing I always thought was like, dude, what if by some freak chance somebody actually catches one like this dude, imagine being out there like, all right, man, I'm gonna play, we were ruin the game.

Yeah. I'm like imagine being out there like, all right, dude, I'm gonna post up here. You just go like a hundred yards that way and get set up and you're posted up and then all of a sudden your bag just starts shaking. Oh crap, dude.[00:45:00] This doesn't make sense. It actually worked.

Sam Maedke: I, dude I don't even know what I would do, honestly.

That, that'd be so funny.

Dan Matthews: I wonder if you can just go buy Snipes from a bird farm somewhere. You buy a bunch of Snipes and bring 'em out there, and then you like, I wanna, I want to train Snipes to run into grocery bags and then take them, take people out to a spot where they're planted and then I wanna be like, dude, just humor me.

Dump 'em

Sam Maedke: out. The ice cream pale into the bag.

Dan Matthews: I humor me. My buddies are like, dude, I know it's a joke, but yeah, we'll play along with this guy. And then my buddies all go out in the woods and there's a bunch of snipes planted that actually run into their bags. Nobody would ever believe it though.

Sam Maedke: That would be funny.

Yeah, we, dude I'll tell you right now, walking through, so like we, like I said, those public properties with all those ponds and stuff on them, like there are quite a few properties that have quite a few trees and stuff on them. Walking through, especially when it comes [00:46:00] down to shed hunting.

Walking these big public sections, marsh, grass the prairie grass. The woods. Boy, I'm telling you, them things pop up and go to the bathroom before you hit any of those public properties, cuz you will shit your pants, dude. I can't tell you how many times, like my, I feel my heart sink down to my feet.

Them things get up. They don't even really make a noise. Like the flutter of their wings. Yeah, but I think they screech, I think the wood do woodcock screech, something like that. I don't know. But either way, man, as soon as those things get like three, four feet off the ground, it'll drop you to my, to your knees.

It scares the crap outta me every time. I don don't know why. It's not like I have anything to worry about here, like you guys do down there. Like I don't have to worry about snakes and stuff like that, but, For whatever reason, dude, it's like the one and only time a woodcock will ever make me think that I'm getting attacked by a bear.

Dan Matthews: Oh, dude. That's like when you're walking through the woods in the morning and a quail takes off. Seriously? Oh gosh.

Sam Maedke: That we're on our due [00:47:00] property. Oh my gosh.

Dan Matthews: A grouse dude, A grouse sounds like an Apache helicopter. It's terrifying. Yeah. That's crazy. Dude I appreciate you hopping on with me.

And yeah, I don't want to cut this short, but I can hear the kids, they just got out from their room and I know I'm gonna start getting knocks on the door here in a minute. Where can people find you? Because like I said, I think you're gonna get a lot of inquiries about getting up there and hunting.

And you and I talked about, we haven't set in stone, but I feel like we could do almost like a hunt giveaway at some point where it's like, Hey, I'm coming up, sign up. We're gonna accept six people to come and hunt with me and you and one of you's gonna get lucky and get a free hunt out of the deal.

I don't know. We'll talk details on that, but where can people find you? Where can they reach out if they want to come hunt? Yeah, so

Sam Maedke: if you guys wanna reach out, if you guys wanna book a hunt you can always find me on Facebook at Sam Med Key. [00:48:00] My last name's spelled m a e d k e. You can message me on there, add me as a friend.

I've got my Snapchat and stuff as well. That's shot collar, Sam. So you can watch my stories nine times outta 10 if I'm hunting, Snapchat's the first one to see it. So if you wanna follow the season before you come up for your hunt, you see how we're all doing. You can reach out to me on there.

Otherwise, my phone number is nine two zero six four five. 3 1, 1 5. Shoot me a text, gimme a call. If you got any questions, I can feel free to ask away. I'll answer 'em to the best of my knowledge. Otherwise, yeah. Go ahead and follow my social medias and just watch how we go through our season.

We, we definitely like to pile 'em up, that's for sure.

Dan Matthews: Dude, we're gonna have to get a hunt plan this year. Absolutely. We don't have anything on the books yet, but are you gonna, you think you're gonna make your way down to Texas with me in January?

Sam Maedke: Dude, I, we actually need to keep in touch about that because I think when are you talking about?


Dan Matthews: [00:49:00] January 7th through 12th, I believe.

Sam Maedke: Okay. So I got a good buddy down in Arkansas. He's part of a big duck club down there. He's gonna get us on some flooded timber hunts. Nice. So I was thinking if I can plan this out right, I'll come down there for two or three days and since I'm already down there, I'll shoot down to Texas for two, three days.


Dan Matthews: like that.

Sam Maedke: So just make a week trip, hit a couple states and come home.

Dan Matthews: Oh yeah dude. We're gonna hammer birds down there again this year. But dude, I can't wait. I love Wisconsin hunting and it's a lot like there's, it's a lot like

Sam Maedke: Canada. The landscape is a lot like Canada. The, I feel like the hospitality is a lot like Canada.

Yep. And we all sound really goofy compared to the people down in Arkansas. Dude, I hate the northern accent. I hate

Dan Matthews: it. And isn't that weird? I wonder if Southerners hate the southern accent cuz I think the southern accent, some, I should say some Southern accents are sweet. Yeah. Now when I hear [00:50:00] people talk from Wisconsin, I'm like, dude, you sound so dumb.

Sam Maedke: Oh my gosh. When I live down south. I could only talk to my dad for a few minutes on the phone. Cause it was like, you sound absolutely ridiculous,

Dan Matthews: dude. I remember that. I used to get made fun of in college. Like all my close friends, they'd be like, Hey Dan, what's that thing that flies up on the pole?

It's red, white, and blue. I'm like, A flag. Oh, a flag. A ffl. They're like a dude. He said, FFL. Hey Dan, what's a giant fire breathing lizard? A dragon. Oh, he said Dre a dragon. Oh my gosh. Oh, dude. They do, they just ran with it. And then there's things like bagel and I, so I just bag. I just imagined that it was pronounced bag.

And so then I'd say that, and they're like, dude, why are you saying it like that? It's bagel. And I'm like, because you don't say

Sam Maedke: anything with that sound of the name. Yeah. You never say,

Dan Matthews: why? Is that the exception? Huh? Yeah. So it took me a while.

Sam Maedke: I had to, one thing that got, one thing that got me with Southern folk was [00:51:00] oil.

Oil. O o. It's just an o, there's no other letters in that word. O o. I'm like, what O Oh and gas. And I'm like o gas. I don't like dude. It's a whole nother world, man. I don't

Dan Matthews: know. But that sounded dumb. No, you wanna know what got me retired malt. I talked to one guy and I'm talking to him, he is oh dude, I've been retired for five years.

And I'm like, what Tarded did he

Sam Maedke: just say? I'm like, what did he


Dan Matthews: say? And then somebody's dude, he's been retired. And I'm like, oh my gosh. Oh my. I didn't know. Like it was just the weirdest thing. It just randomly came up in conversation and he keeps saying it over and I'm like, dude, is that really what he's saying?

I'm so confused that one. And Coke, when people talk about Coke, everything's coke. They're like, you want a coke? Yeah, sure. I'll take one. What kind. Regular. Like just

Sam Maedke: Coke. I had that at a restaurant one time. Yeah. When I was, [00:52:00] when I think it was, I think I was in either Arkansas or like Tennessee, and they said the same thing.

I was like, oh, I'll just have a Coke. And they're like, oh, okay. And I was like just an original Coke. And they looked at me like I was dumb. Yeah. I'm

Dan Matthews: like, and I'm like, okay. I, to your credit, there's like cherry, there's cherry vanilla, there's Coke Zero. That's exactly what I thought. There's Diet Coke, but that's not what they're talking about.

They're talking about Mountain Dew and Sprite and root beer, soda. It's every soda is Coke. And I'm like, that's not right.

Sam Maedke: You're soda wrong. I would accept, I'll accept pop. Cause I heard a lot of Southern folks say that too. Pop, I'll accept pop for soda. Okay. But when they said that everything,

Dan Matthews: because there's not a brand of soda called Pop though.


Sam Maedke: Like you can't just, and they're like, oh yeah, Coke. I'm like, that's dumb. Oh, Coca-Cola. No,

Dan Matthews: you can't just be like, dude, you want a Snickers? Yeah, sure. What kind? I got Twix. I got Reese's. I got Hershey's. Why? Why'd you offer me a Snickers? [00:53:00] Like you just can't take a brand name. Okay, now we're getting into grammar here and it's just a terrible deep dive that we could go into cuz Kleenex is a brand, but everybody talks about, people will be like, Hey, can I get a Kleenex?

Or Now I feel like people are catching on and saying tissue more, but it used to be, Kleenex was like, kleenex. That was it. Or bandaid. Bandaid is a brand of bandage. Yep. But everybody wants a bandaid. Yep. This is equate, man. This is an equate bandage from Walmart. It's not a bandaid. It is

Sam Maedke: crazy.

The lingo between the two. Because I was telling a story one time about, like we were doing donuts with the vehicles, and we were having some drinks, whatever. And so I was talking about how like it made me throw up. So as I'm talking about this, and you know him Jackson.

Remember Jackson? [00:54:00] Yeah. So I was talking to Jackson about this. I was like, yeah, I was like, we were mud running, we were whipping a bunch of shatties. And I was like, we were spinning around so much. I was like, I was chuffing and he had no idea what I was just talking about.

He's what? What whipping shatties? And I was like, yeah. And he's what is that? He's like literally are you whipping? Like dog turds? And I was like, dude, what? I was like, no and I was like, how else do I explain this? I was like, Cheerios. And he's Cheerios. I'm like, oh my gosh. I was like, oh, donuts.

He's oh. Like you're like in the, and I'm like, wow. You. Your special one, and then Chuffing too. They had no idea what Chuffing was. I was like, throwing up. And if you don't know what throwing up means, I'm gonna slap you.

Dan Matthews: Yeah, dude. It's, it, yeah, it's really funny the different terminology that we use in different parts of the country.

Yeah I've run into that too, and I'm like, dude, I don't know what that guy just said. That was a different language.

Sam Maedke: Yeah. I'll play it off like I knew though.[00:55:00]

Dan Matthews: Dude, I appreciate you. I appreciate you hopping on, I don't know if we even have any more people listening at this point in the podcast after talking about, they're like, I don't want to hear grammar lessons from a dude from Missouri and a guy from Wisconsin.


Sam Maedke: Oh man. We're keeping, yeah, I guess if anybody wants to reach out, like I said Follow me on my Snapchat, follow me on Facebook. Those are the two that see it the most. So I'll have my own guide service up here shortly. I'll make sure to create some social medias and stuff for it, and I'm sure I'll probably be on your podcast again in the future.

Oh yeah. Once we get that ball rolling we can share all that social media and stuff


Dan Matthews: well. Sweet. Sounds good, dude. I appreciate it. Awesome.