In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Steve Sherk (Sherk’s Guide Service) discuss summer planning for your next big buck. Jon discusses his recent activities and plans for the upcoming season. Steve details his upcoming big mountain scouting camp you can attend this summer. Jon explains how to manage dry spells and a new technique that can change your hunting property.
Steve explains the importance of water and acorns this upcoming year. Steve details his upcoming season strategy and evaluates the food, water, and changes in habitat on landscape. Jon converses about leasing ground and things to consider if you are in the market for new property. Steve is taking time to evaluate the deer that survived last season and get his inventory read for the upcoming season.
Steve identifies where deer are this year versus last year and what locations deer are going to reside in this time of year. Jon explains recent events on his own property that explain what big bucks may be doing this time of year. Steve and Jon discuss gimmicks and quick hunting fixes that do not work and how easily people buy into band aid options that do not lead to success. Jon explains how he approaches scouting this summer and property improvements. Steve discusses hunting smarter than harder, and what he is doing differently this season versus last year. Steve and Jon discuss youth hunting and why it's important to take a different approach to introducing kids to the outdoors.
Jon Teater: [00:00:00] Welcome to Maximize Your Hunt, the podcast dedicated to those who want the most out of their hunting property. This podcast explores land management habitat improvement and hunting strategies that will help you maximize your time in the field. Follow along as industry professionals that live and breathe Whitetailed Deer, share their secrets to success.
And now the founder of Whitetail Landscape. Your host, John Teeter. Hi, I'm John Tito Whitetail Landscapes. This is Max Miser Hunt. Welcome back. Everybody. Just wanted to have a little add in here. For those that are listening to the podcast that have listened over time, I truly appreciate, you know your contributions, emails.
A lot of people have been reaching out to me recently. Asking about consulting. I really appreciate that. If you wanna get on the schedule, just stay in touch with me and stay on me to get into the 24 schedule separately for those that [00:01:00] are listening and the good feedback I have been getting, which it's been a lot.
I am going to. Give away a hat every so often. And you may get down selected and I'll mail you out a hat, so keep those coming. If you could do it on Apple, that'd be appreciated. A lot of people want to email me stuff and I do like that. I've got some Instagram messages as well, but, I would prefer On the, on, on the apps are always the best because it, it helps kinda increase, the visibility of the podcast.
Just wanted to add that. Hopefully everybody can do that and I appreciate it. Alright, so I've, it's been a while. Steve s Shirk and I have not talked in a while. We've communicated a bit every now and again, but it's been a while since I've checked in with him. So I wanna kinda see where he's at, what's going on with him what's he got going on this summer, et cetera.
Hey, Steve, are you on the line? Yes, sir, I am. All right, man. It's been a while. How have you been? What is going on in your world? I've
Steve Sherk: been good. It's been crazy busy. And probably some of the listeners I do landscaping, this time of [00:02:00] year and it's just been a super tough year as far as finding employees.
Most years I'll have 15 to 20 and I was down to two guys for about the past month and a half. Some of it I have intentionally downsized my business just to for the most part, eliminate a lot of headaches I was getting tired of having, but still been pretty shorthanded and, but it's starting to get a little bit better.
High school kids are now available cause school just got out in this area. So I picked up a couple good kids to help me out. And other than that, family's good. Everyone's healthy. Just enjoying this. It's just real nice summer weather and, but we know what's yet to come and what's coming next.
That'll be the fall and deer season. So I'm definitely starting to think about it. Yeah.
Jon Teater: And I just did a podcast with Mark Haslam from Southeast Whitetail. And we talked specifically about, getting prepared for this season and things to think about. And I really think it's important that people are in the mode.
We get into this summertime, lackadaisical, wanna be in the beach, and I [00:03:00] feel everybody in that se same sense, but when the rubber meets the road, so I'll just give an example on my property, particular, I'm moving three box blinds around. I have box blinds on my property. I'm doing all my preparatory work like within this month.
I'm in between clients right now. So I have time, like a d I have a day there, and I'm taking advantage of those and. Whether it's you have your own property or you need to go out and scout and prep stands, find locations, create trails. Cut. The other thing I wanna mention is I went out and I, I mowed trails last night for deer movement and flow.
And so it's just taking that little extra, it took me 35 minutes. I went in, I mowed out all these areas and I'm just creating that landscape movement that I want. I'm doing that now. I'm not waiting till the season comes to create these improvements. And again, that's just literally going out and taking time and using my mower and creating trail systems.
And you can do things in the evening, for half an hour. It can, depends on where your property is. A gross scout for an hour or two and just get some intel. Yep. Get your time in the woods. And I think that's really important for folks, that are thinking about hunting [00:04:00] season.
So I wanna get. Oh, I had another question for you. Don't you have your scouting session, you're having your overnight this summer. Correct. Are you having one or two sessions? Yeah. That's gonna, yep.
Steve Sherk: It's gonna be a scouting camp. I did one in the spring as well. It's August 12th and 13th.
And if anyone's interested, we still have some openings to do that. So the first day we'll be on a Saturday. We'll start late Saturday morning. It's gonna be, here in northwest Pennsylvania it's all big woods mountain, deer type related stuff. We'll go over like buck bedding in the mountains.
A lot of my stand placement, trail camera strategies just. Give people a feel on how I do things. And then the second day what I do is I take people to specific stand sites where I've killed some of my biggest deer and kind of break down the story and the situation and how the hunt went and what all is going on in that specific spot that, led me to that harvest.
So we did the one in the spring. I thought it went [00:05:00] really well. I know summertime might not be, Is attractive to do something like that. But I still think it's once again, like how you touched on, you always gotta keep your foot in the door, even different times of year when there's a lot of other things going on.
I still think we can't completely get our minds off. Of deer hunting at any time if you wanna be successful at it. So I think it will, we'll have a good time and like I said, if anyone wants to wants to come join us feel free. We're gonna have meals and lodging will be included.
The Saturday evening. We're also, I'm also gonna have a seminar and talk about a lot of my weather and buck movement research. So it's gonna be a whole lot to learn and just feel free to reach out to me. Either on Facebook or Instagram if you're
Jon Teater: interested. Hey, Steve and I appreciate you promoting that, and I wanna promote that as well.
This brings up another point, and I just had a conversation earlier in the day with another consultant on this topic, and I want to get your opinion on it. And I don't know if you've observed this. We talk a lot about deer movement and there's the GPS [00:06:00] studies and everything else that's out there, and then there's the data of your deer in your landscape and you're very specific and trying to pay attention to that, at least diagnose it.
Have you noticed. At least from your observational or maybe trail camera right after a rain in areas that have a lot of vegetation, you notice more interest in, vegetation that's herbaceous, that are available to Deere. Have you noticed concentrations ab
Steve Sherk: Yep, absolutely. Especially when it comes to browse sources.
It's almost like putting salad dressing on it or something. I know it sounds kinda silly, but no, it's good. They definitely I honestly, what I really think it does is it makes it more palatable, maybe a little more flavorable. Who, like for us, if you get a salad, not 99% of people aren't gonna get a salad without dressing.
There's probably a little more to that, but I see a huge shift towards brows and green brows, especially right after rain. That's 100% true. And that's a great point. Something for people to always keep in mind.
Jon Teater: [00:07:00] Yeah, and I was thinking about that today and I didn't mention that when I was talking to the consultants.
Some of the thoughts I had all the way through it. But, I'm really talking about water management a lot lately, just because of the dry spell that we're having, at least in my particular area. Oh. Brutal here too. Yeah. Yeah. And so one of the ideas, and this is a great strategy for anybody who's starting to think about this, is, putting in these ponds, the, these water allotments and then having, trash pumps hooked up and sprinkler systems.
And so you can replicate artificially. Those rain sources now, I would apply the rain, really early in the morning or into the evening, not during the day. And then that resource becomes available to those particular animals. Just an offshoot of thinking. And that's natural.
That's, that's utilizing a resource. It's just exchanging it, putting in another location and then allowing deer to consume that. And then I was just, Thinking about that because, your strategy is built around all these factors, right? Temperature we hammered on that last year, right?
And then, and now we're talking about these other [00:08:00] resources and how deer utilize them and they may utilize them more because of the water content in the plant. And I just absolutely take that as a factor, particularly in the summer months and yep. I just wanna throw that out there.
All right. Let's let's get into this. What's going on with your scouting and what are the strategies that people can do right now to get ahead of the game? What are you doing personally? Yep. Obviously
Steve Sherk: in my situation, and I know a lot of the other listeners know this, I am not, the person that's creating food plots or, building up a property to better my hunting.
I'm hunting all public land, so every year. There's it's like a new year for me. There's always different changes that are gonna be happening and so I always have to be, be able to adjust and pay attention to, what these changes are gonna be. So this year what I'm starting to see is, I think we are gonna have Acorns, which is gonna, which is almost three years since we've had any, I can't be for sure yet, but it just, from what I see, we've had minimal [00:09:00] frost oak trees look healthy.
So I am banking on an acorn crop, which that's gonna really help us out in the RU because we'll be able to concentrate dough a lot better than what we have in the past couple years. But as you brought up water I really think water's gonna be a factor for us going into the fall because this is as dry as I've ever seen it for this early in my life.
Like this. What we're seeing now is more like late July, like August scenario as far as hot dry weather and the only water we have and it's just a trickle is way down in the bottoms of the valleys, and I don't think it's gonna be able to recoup. Even throughout the summer. So I do think, water's gonna be a huge factor coming this fall.
I think it's also gonna have an effect on brow sources. I think you're gonna see, a lot of the Forbes and that kind of herbaceous stuff might. Die out sooner just because, lack of water. Even though it's a little bit early, what I'm doing right now is paying attention to any clues I'm getting as [00:10:00] far as food sources, water habitat changes.
Like I'm trying to figure all that out now and then every bit of information I get, I note that down and use that to prepare for my strategies for this coming
Jon Teater: fall. Yeah, that's really critical and it's funny. We wouldn't normally have these conversations, at least in our area that frequently.
And now that we're talking about, drought or droughting conditions and you're thinking ahead about how it impacts the vegetation. Some vegetation isn't gonna grow and, yep. For those that, that do have food plots center are, and placing food plots in your landscape, you're suffering the pain of this specifically.
Try to apply this rule of thumb and see, okay, where are areas that are more moist? Maybe it's getting permission on another property and thinking more so you know, about that strategy. Going ahead I'm in the place now where, I've lost a bunch of spots hunting wise and I don't wanna feel limited.
I'm starting to look outside my typical area and drive a little bit, and I'm. I'm not inclined to hunt some of the state land in our areas just because of [00:11:00] the lack of deer. But some of these private land areas, that is a factor of water resource when I'm trying to say, okay, I'd like to go after this land owner versus this land owner.
And so it's just, yep. It's thinking a little bit more about that, which, you normally wouldn't. When have that conversation, per se in most instances, at least in the Northeast, for that matter and that may apply more to the Midwest guys. They're probably thinking about this consistently and whatever other things that come about, disease, as, disease propagates and some of these droughty conditions as well. I've spoken about that on other podcasts. Alright beyond that, what are the other things? Stand prep, trail camera data, like what else are you getting into right now? Oh, collecting information. Just collecting, we're trying to figure out what your lived and died from last season.
Now's. Yep. Now's the ability and maybe phone recruitment. You thinking about some of those things. What's the population look like? What are you doing now?
Steve Sherk: Oh, I have, well over a hundred cameras out. There's a lot of deer I know that made it, last season that I'm already starting to keep tabs on and, hoping that they [00:12:00] get bigger and better.
But there's still some, there's also deer that, we're still wondering about. We had, pretty mild hunting pressure last season we're expecting them to live. So really it's, it's really a huge inventory time. Probably, from now through August just trying to get an idea.
And cuz we, I don't wanna say that, because we don't have, size minimums as far as how my business goes, but we always are, targeting the bigger, better deer that we find. So this is, this is a very important time to to see what and what we're gonna have. And then obviously, I'm a big social media person and I post a lot, so I wanna be able to show off, what we have, not to brag, but just.
To let people know cuz I, I really think this season due to the lack of hunting pressure last year and the mild winter, I really think we're gonna have a real special season as far as a big deer inventory. I think we're gonna have, a lot of big deer to hunt. I think the antler size potential is really good, other than these drought conditions could be a factor.
[00:13:00] But, we're just super excited to see what we're gonna have. And as I'm getting these pictures and collected inventory, I'm also keeping tabs on where these deer are moving through. You'd be surprised, a lot of people think, summer intel has no, effect on what you can do in the fall.
And honestly I've killed bucks in the same places where I've. Seen them in the summer. I'm not saying they're always using the same trails or eating the same foods, but just knowing the areas that these deer are living and paying attention and monitoring. Okay, I know this deer's been on this bridge before and Adam here in August that, he could easily, be there again trying to get an idea and how to narrow down a big deer's home range.
That's stuff that you can be figuring out right now. We definitely are, are excited and we're gonna do our homework all throughout the
Jon Teater: summer. Yeah, and it's great that you do your homework for your clients and obviously, there's there's a big push now and again, right?
Everyone's focused on big [00:14:00] antlers and, we're trying to get those mature deer and we're trying to figure out where those mature deer are, and you bring up the point of the dispersal and not having maybe these large ranges of dispersal, particularly in large forested settings. I've talked about that with you and on other podcasts about how that dispersal's gonna be very like microclimate specifically.
Yep. And then you know where these improvements are. Like if you have, forested land and they go in and they do a cut, you know what, what creates that volume of interest? And it depends on the species that are there, the type of cutting that they do, et cetera, and recognize that may move deer on the landscape or any natural changes that kind of occur.
I think that's, An important aspect to consider. The other piece of this is taking the data and applying it and doing something with it. So right now, if you could categorize what's going on, like where are you finding at least these mature deer or deer that you're trying to concentrate on, at least getting intel on them.
What kind of areas are you finding them to, to live [00:15:00] in?
Steve Sherk: And you know what, once again, I keep bringing up the hot, dry weather, but where you saw deer last summer might not be the same, or you might not find 'em in those same areas just for the fact that, it's just a whole different scenario with.
With it's a weather related situation, but honestly seems like North slopes. My camera's on North Slopes right now are doing best, but you got a factor that North slopes hold more moisture. It's gonna be cooler. A lot of that browse on North Slopes is gonna have more water in it. That's honestly, where I'm finding the, the biggest deer so far is a lot of times a year they'll use all sides of the mountain, but right now it seems like north slopes are really key. And if it stays like this, that's, that's what I'm gonna be continuing to focus on. It I usually have a lot of cameras on in around younger clear cuts just where there's a ton of brows.
But it just doesn't seem like the deer, they're coming in those areas a little bit at night. But it seems like our deer really sluggish right [00:16:00] now. I think cuz they have to travel, far to a natural water source just seems like the movement is minimal. But the north slopes I think are gonna be the key this summer to focus on.
Jon Teater: this is totally anecdotal and I said on a podcast a couple weeks ago, I said in three weeks my target deer will show up on my property in a particular area. It was contingent on some of the cutting work that I've done, and I'm saying this completely anecdotal and I don't wanna say this like I'm a know-it-all.
So I went over to the land, right? I'm making a bridge across an area so I can get my my kid's four-wheeler back and forth. I bought my son a four-wheeler and we're tearing it up right now and literally taking it apart and trying to fix it. But anyhow I went over there and I went over there with my tractor and I'm doing some work and I look up on the hillside.
And there he is there. Wow. That's, there's my deer. And he's got particular markings on him and he stood and he's Again, this is north my, a lot of my properties north or North slope, which is a problem, guys. The good example of the benefits of [00:17:00] North Slope, but there's negatives to it when it comes to hunting season, et cetera.
It depends. There's some, it's hard to hunt, et cetera. But anyhow, I'm looking at the deer and I'm like, you've gotta be kidding me. I called my shot three weeks ago. Now, I said at that point, hunting seasons could be a complete flop, but the fact that I saw the deer and he was with two other nice bucks and this buck.
This Buck is my target. This is my dear, and he's spent more time in the summer than he ever has on my property, which again shows the improvements are starting to work. Yeah, he's next to a clear cut area and when I do clear cuts, I'll do 'em in line. Small areas I. And anyhow, so long story short, he was there, but North Slope, so to your point, Steve, you gotta be a hundred percent right on this one.
Yeah. Yeah. I don't know, it's just, it's fun to think about some of these things and you're doing pretty simple math when you think about it. You're saying, okay, what's the volume of vegetation? Where's the moisture? What are they eating? What do they prefer? And you're literally walking the landscape and saying, okay, how do they use the terrain features to a particular area?
Let's collect some data. [00:18:00] Okay. And does it prove my point, right? Is your hop hypothesis correct? Is it giving you the information you anticipate and expect? And it sounds like you've done enough. Looking at the basics, like hunting doesn't need to be so darn complicated. I think you listen the masterclass to kill this big buck.
All right. Deer wanna be safe. They want good, convenient areas cuz they want to be co comforted, right? They want the security they want the food availability, they want the space, right? They want the water, whatever they want. They want it in a location and they want it in abundance. And as long as that's on the landscape, it's just diagnosing the deer herd and their preferences.
On that particular day or that particular week. And it isn't, we make these things so complicated. It's complicated, hunt and kill them, but where they wanna be and why isn't so complicated when we boil down to it, and I think, there, there may be some nuances to what I just said there, but generally speaking I think it's simpler than we make it.
Do. Do you feel like there, there's too much going on in the world today where people are getting baffled by, oh, this is the [00:19:00] next greatest thing and it's like the, we're throwing. We're trying to throw a bandaid fix on something that may be like a large problem. Like you have a wetland area that's really hard to access that has no hammocks or terrestrial sites.
Okay. There's not gonna be a lot of deer in those areas. We'll we'll put a mound here, or we'll create this food plot adjacent to it, and then deer are gonna show up. Guys, it doesn't work that way. It's a systematic like chain link fence of all these improvements or all these changes on the landscape and.
I don't know. Do you notice that so often now, I think with all these podcasts and YouTubes and it's this will fix your issue. Yeah.
Steve Sherk: You know what? What I see is how you brought up, a lot of hunters are making it too complicated because knowledge is so accessible anymore with YouTube and all these podcasts and people are really.
Craving it, which is good. But there's so many differences and opinions. There's a lot of stuff being said that really isn't true, and people are, there's companies paying people to say things and do things that and you [00:20:00] know, and say, you use this and you'll kill a buck instantly or whatever.
But there a lot of what you're hearing is really worthless. And I think hunters need to understand, especially like a mature buck hunter in general, like deer. They're not so similar to us. Like they're, they have pretty simple agenda throughout their day. They want security, they want food.
Water's a big deal. There's not a whole lot. More to it other than, yeah, you can learn your areas better. You can find more food sources. You know that Deere need. You can break it down a whole lot there, but so many people are so focused on every little detail and every product.
And it's just it almost just makes it no fun to to make it so complicated like that. There's three or four things you really need to worry about as a hunter. And other than that, just make it fun and focus on a lot of the more simple stuff versus trying to do every little thing that you [00:21:00] hear and trying to perfect it's just a waste of time, in my opinion.
Jon Teater: I'm happy you said that because I talked to my partner this morning and we're talking about a couple projects we've got going on and. And I'm a big visual person and we're doing a layout on a client property. This actually this weekend, and then I'm on the road. And I was just thinking about some of the basics and I'm just like, we have these simple steps to change, right?
I wanna get movement and flow a certain way. I want deer to reside in these areas cause it makes more huntable. And they're gonna wanna be there, and I'm gonna create the environment for them to wanna be there. And it's thinking through, okay, when will they use it and why? And how do I cut this area in a specific way?
It'll create the right amount of interest at the right time for, all season values. And that's the other thing. It's like a lot of these areas, like somebody's I'm gonna go in, I'm in a clear cutting area. And okay, when they go clear cut on forested land, the deer use it for a certain amount of time, and then it becomes either, not dense enough or too dense or, maybe the vegetation isn't what they prefer and nobody goes back and does any [00:22:00] maintenance management.
So it's got like a lifespan and life cycle to it for the deer, and it's taking these small precautionary steps. It's I don't Large, clear cut areas with my clients. They're like, what? Why? I said, one, you're not gonna manage it correctly after I leave and I'm not being critical to anybody, but generally speaking, most people are not.
Some people are. So we gotta have a system in place where you can manage it and then you're gonna have the data and information to say, okay, this makes sense. Deer are using this. This is what they prefer. They're not betting in these clear cut areas. And by the way, folks, that's a big misnomer.
I feel like, oh, if you clear cut your woods deer are gonna be in there. It's maybe they're not. It depends on how you manage that wood lock. How much volume did you cut out of in a particular area and. So I'm just bringing up these points. It's like you could put out these t posts with these hemp ropes.
It's oh hemp rope, every deer and its brother is gonna scrape underneath that tree. You and I are, we like the old beach trees, right? We're old school. I like a good old American beach in the woods. Save the beach trees. Exactly. [00:23:00] And just keep it simple. We don't, if it's convenience, put a T post out there.
That's great. But, I think we have resources. So leave a tree or two that's gonna be available to those deer that you don't have to go in and move around when you're putting your food plot in. Or, it's a resource for them at a certain point in time and oh my God, maybe that beach tree will produce a nut someday.
And it's a food source at the same, moment. And I don't know I just I'm critical of folks lately, but I just feel I've noticed my conversation with Josh just simple is man, we give them this I wanna say the key. We give 'em the key to design their property and layout, and I go back to these client properties and I'm like I was watching this YouTube channel and I know what you said.
And I'm like, yeah, I'm not saying I'm right, but I'm saying I'll give you the 80% solution and the 80% based on all my failures is probably gonna get you to the point where you might. You might get something outta this. And so we're having that conversation recently, and I just, they listen 30% of the time and anyhow, you're just thinking about, what they actually gained from the conversation.
[00:24:00] And what I realize is it's gotta be simple, stupid, and I'm not criticizing them. For the simple, stupid piece of it, but it needs to be for me to implement it so they understand the purpose of what we're doing and why. And I just wanted to go on a rant there for a second, Steve, cuz I, I think Sure, guys like you and I, there's not a whole bunch of us.
And I think if we're thinking really simply about things, it doesn't need to be this next gimmick. Your resources are right in front of you. You just need to know how to leverage them and this observation and putting things in the right place to collect data, like trail cameras, to having good trail cameras and a good location and you being, prepared to go in and get that data and analyze it.
And I think a lot of people just don't wanna do the work. Yep. No,
Steve Sherk: that's especially where I'm from there, the amount of work hard to get to areas, difficult terrain. I would say work ethic, where I come from is right at the top of the list of having success and I'm just glad that I was brought up in this situation cuz this is all I [00:25:00] know.
Not knocking on anyone that. Hunts any different way or different areas, but I do believe where I come from, it's as hard as it gets, but that's what made me a good, hardworking, successful hunter. I just, it's in my roots now. I think, we, how we touched on, with all this, these podcasts and everything, I almost think sometimes people are looking for an easy way out.
And if I can just, find a way to make it easier. The truth is, once you take that road, It just gets worse. The biggest key I think to, to having success as a deer hunter is to work your butt off at it. Work, work hard year round. These 90 degree days. If you're out in the woods putting work in now, whether it's your property or someone like me just scouting and figuring out, how how I can be, make myself more prepared for the upcoming season.
Like just constantly working at it, working hard versus looking for the easy way out. If you're on that path, you're definitely gonna be successful.
Jon Teater: Yeah. And [00:26:00] it's just going as far in my world is taking the time and. I just, I had this, I'm doing layout and we're doing a couple things on my own property, and I looked at it and I'm like, man, the steepness of this hillside I'm not sure I want to get a dozer over here.
It's a little dangerous in one particular area. And I'm talking to Josh about it, and he said what are you gonna do? I said I'm gonna go in with a shovel. I'm gonna dig out those spots for the deer. He is you're crazy. And I said, no, I'm not. I'm not crazy. And, maybe that's working harder, not smarter, but it's thinking that way and yeah.
This kinda gritty, grime or mindset and that I think that we employ really kinda gets you to the next level. It's that insanity. He said to me, he goes, you're insane. And I said, I am insane. I said, insanity makes you in some capacity. Yep. It makes you cr it could make you crazy.
It also could make you successful. And I don't think your point is, has gone wrong at all. Where even if you don't find success and you're spending that, day out scouting that 90 degree weather, [00:27:00] you're learning something from it and it's. Stepping back and saying, okay, I don't know everything.
I don't know. When you walk the woods, I feel like I don't know how you feel like the Terminator and you're like analyzing every little step. I go way too slow sometimes and I need to speed up, but I'm like analyzing that hillside, that slope. There's moisture. What's the food there? How you, I'm just diagnosing all these different things when I'm ru walking, I don't wanna talk, I don't wanna look at anybody.
I just want to go. And if you don't have that data set or that, that knowledge to look across the landscape. It, it's just talking to going, like going to your Mountain Scout, scouting event. It's talking to other people and just starting to shift your mind a little bit because you're gonna pick up stuff from other people.
I picked up something the other day from somebody. It was totally unrelated in my field. I was like, oh, I can apply that in my business. No question. And so I think it's important that we start thinking differently and it's not thinking abstractly enough where you're like coming up with these Habra ideas.
It's thinking more practical and maybe that isn't, like you said, the easy [00:28:00] fix. Example it may require a little more work and aptitude in this example, but I just, I want people to think that way. Alright, so I got a question for you, but before we end this. Yep. So this season, going into this season, what are you gonna do different this season than last season?
And take the water and all the things we talked about that what's, what is, what did your lesson learned last year? You're gonna do something different this season and are you gonna kill a big buck or not? That's my next question.
Steve Sherk: I don't wanna sound cocky or overconfident, but I think if I tell myself I'm not going to, then I think it could have an impact on my mindset.
So I am going in into this season definitely telling myself that I'm going to, and if I don't, so be it. I know I'm gonna try hard at it, one thing I'm gonna do that might surprise some people is. And, and I'm not, I don't wanna bring up I'm not gonna hunt as hard, but I am gonna hunt probably less and focus more around like prime weather fronts and just more prime conditions.
[00:29:00] It's not so much that I'm losing interest in hunting or anything, but I found that. My odds have increased and so much more like hunting prime weather conditions, prime days, prime times a year, and guiding and that I wanna put more focus like. And not that I, I don't wanna say that I've put myself first, but like I will say, six days a week, cuz we can hardly hunt su or Sundays in Pennsylvania, like I always hunt an hour or two in the morning, hour or two in the evening, even when I'm guiding, cuz that's when I have people in stands.
But this year I'm gonna. Probably only hunt those prime weather days and that other hour or two in the morning or evening, if it's 80 degrees I probably wanna focus more on scouting and, just I just feel that over the years when I look back like. 95% of the deer I've taken have been on prime, those prime weather days.
So that's gonna be my mindset this year is, it might be more [00:30:00] applied to a hunt smarter, not harder. Although I'm not saying I totally agree with that, but I guess my overall point and everything I said is I'm gonna hunt more. Mainly just those prime weather situations versus like hunting six days a week and grinding it out.
I really I'm really confident that I can kill a good deer if I just play my cards right and, wait for those right weather
Jon Teater: events. That's awesome. That's awesome. And I'm assuming that you have a couple deer in the back of your mind and we'll talk about those, a little more going forward.
And then your strategy specifically going into the season with this, hunt, hunt smart, not hard. Yep. And we'll diagnose, how you're gonna do that. And let's think more about the frequency, the volume. I think this season you and I need to talk a little bit more about.
Our individual strategies on a particular, group or deer that we're going after, I have one deer to kill this year. Will I kill him? I don't know. I don't even wanna make any [00:31:00] projections at this point. It's my son's first year hunting and my priority is my boy.
Great. And so if he can get. Himself a deer. And he said, are you gonna shoot anything he can minus a fawn? And I said, all I think that's a good start. I said, I'll look at the numbers. We'll, I might have a preference towards, maybe shooting a couple dough, it's up to you and just.
Getting him into the sport and letting him have a good time. What I did notice is he killed the Turkey early season, and then after that I couldn't get him to go again. I don't wanna make it too easy on him. And I certainly hope a giant, buck doesn't show up. I shouldn't say that, but, I want him to put his time in and work.
And I think, it's one thing walking into a quality deer, it's another thing. Where it's planned out and okay, we're gonna go kill, that four year old this afternoon. I don't want him to hunt like that. I want him to find his own way in the equation. So I think we, we sometimes make it too easy on our kids, and I think we gotta be careful of that.
That's in my opinion, not good parenting. And I, this is not a parenting podcast, but I'm learning how to parent my child better and I feel [00:32:00] like I. Giving them opportunities, but not giving them everything is really critical. And I think that's the way to have these children grow up and give 'em the best opportunity to kinda learn on their own.
Steve Sherk: I'll just touch on that if you don't mind. Sure. Cause I do think the youth hunting situation is a very vulnerable, and it's not a. You look at today's youth and it's scary as far as the future, but I do hear, many parents and mentors say, you gotta make it easy on them.
In order to get 'em to like it but honestly, I don't think, I don't think that's totally right. I'm not saying beat your kid up and force 'em to go, but I think you do have to let them know and let them understand that hunting is not easy. This is a very challenging sport and you have to work hard at it, but there's nothing better than seeing a kid wanna work hard and achieve something.
I think there's a lack of desire for showing our youth, those type of things. And like last night we had a.[00:33:00] My son plays baseball and we had our first loss of a season and, I'll admit I was probably a little more, two more know into the game than what I should have been.
And I was yelling a little bit at some of the players. But you honestly just, you can just sense that. The society just wants to like baby kids and, you get a trophy whether you're first or last. And I just think it's kids are really being brought up the wrong way and that they feel that they can get anything and everything for doing nothing to achieve it.
And I just, I really think that we need to change the way we're teaching our kids and making 'em work hard and, feeling a little pain here and there and knowing that if you work your butt off that's the way to have success. Cuz there's really no other way to do it in
Jon Teater: life. Yeah, and I agree with you a hundred percent.
I agree with your mantra. That's exactly how I'm trying to raise my kids. And we go to church, right? We focus on what's important. We do the right thing. We care about others before ourselves. And then in this scheme of deer hunting and in our lives, we [00:34:00] prioritize it so much. I prioritize it so much.
That sometimes makes me miss out on the little things. And the little things is teaching them, the right work ethic. Yep. And it's buying that old Honda four tracks and piling through the brakes and trying to figure out and diagnose things and being a technician when you got no business being a technician.
That's what we're working on this week is, we're a ATV technician and so it's teaching them all the small things and that ATV is gonna be meaningful to him in the scheme of things. And I'm not just gonna give him something, I'm gonna make him work. And I wasn't exactly, I wasn't given.
Much in life other than some opportunities. And when I had those opportunities, I took advantage of it. And I appreciate those that have supported me over the years and I think we all do. And it's the lessons learned and the hard work that are more meaningful in the scheme of life. And I think I'd like to end with that, Steve.
Absolutely. All right, man, so it's great connecting with you getting back. It's been a bit for both of us and more from us this summer. And we haven't talked [00:35:00] about it, but, one thing we gotta talk about is, are we gonna do a tactical podcast come hunting season? I worked you last year. I made you get all these hot shots on my podcast and I don't know if I'm gonna bother you again for it, but you did a heck of a job last year and I really appreciated that.
Steve Sherk: Thank you. I've honestly I've enjoyed, I've been on many podcasts, but I've enjoyed talking with you just as much as anyone and you know that I'll be around as much as you need me I'm always looking forward to the next one.
Jon Teater: Yeah. And please reach out to Steve if you wanna get into that summer scouting.
See, when is that, by the way? It's
Steve Sherk: August 12th and 13th. We, and I also do half day scouting classes. That'll be every Friday in July, and I don't know if the, there's a two or three in August I'm doing as well. I don't have those dates off the top of my head, but feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook.
We also still have a few openings for Hunts this fall, both bow and gun, but yeah, just Like I said, shoot me a message even if you're just slightly interested or, whatever whatever your [00:36:00] thoughts are. Or just questions about deer hunting, big woods, or anything that I can help. This is the best time of year to reach me once hunting season starts.
I, I'm like a ghost.
Jon Teater: Yeah. Steve is, do you do your your summer scouting sessions in August or just July, your Fridays? This
Steve Sherk: year. July and. July and August, once we get into September, October, I don't do anything. I might do something in early October, like on a Sunday, maybe. Haven't quite drawn the plan for that yet, but we also do a bunch in the early spring as well, but, Obviously that's a long way to come, but we're definitely we're definitely interested in teaching people, this summer here, literally in just about a month we'll be starting up.
Jon Teater: Okay. I love that. And take advantage of that folks, just like we talked about today. Get you that next level knowledge. Alright, we will talk soon. See you, Steve.
Steve Sherk: All right. Take care. Bye-bye. Bye.
Jon Teater: Maximize your hunt is a production of white tail landscape. For more information on how John Teeter and [00:37:00] his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out whitetail landscapes.com.