Tales of the Chase - Dan Johnson

Show Notes

This week on the Missouri Woods & Water Podcast we get to talk with Dan Johnson, host of the Nine Finger Chronicles podcast about a crazy story of a deer he killed a few years back.  This story has a lot of twists and turns and also shows that perseverance in a track can pay off.  Thanks for listening!

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up folks, welcome to the Missouri woods and water podcast with your host, Nate Thomas flying solo today. Also solo in the show with our guest, Dan Johnson, host of the nine finger chronicles among other podcasts and owner. of the Sportsman's Empire Podcast Network that we are a part of. This is actually the first time we've had Dan on our show.

And we thought, what better way to kinda keep the momentum of our new season running with another Tales of the Chase episode. Dan talks about a deer he killed a few years ago. I kinda this story among others that I've done in the past because it shows [00:01:00] You know that drive to recover a deer that you don't you might not even think is dead and he kept on it and Luckily got to recover the deer that he shot.

So it's a good story and You know a good time talking to Dan

Since it's about 1145 As I'm sitting here recording this, I'm just going to jump into sponsors and let y'all get into this show. Let's kick it off with Weber Outfitters, WeberOutfitters. com. Give them a call. It is October, but it's not too late to get stuff set up. Get out there with your bow and get going.

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That's all I gotta say. I don't get cold no more. And I don't wear heat packs, none of that stuff. The only thing I gotta worry about is my feet, and that's still probably gonna be a problem for me this year, but... I'm excited to use my heat boost stuff again. Alps outdoors use our code 2023.

That's two zero two three woods, water for 30 percent off. Get yourself a pack, get some stuff for the season that it's just kicking off [00:03:00] still. Zamberland boots, Zamberland, USA. com reveal, reveal cameras by tacticam. I've got a few cameras I need to be moving around. I'm, I've been slacking to be honest with you.

It's been busy around our house. But doesn't mean I can't do it. And then finally Habitat Works, Dustin Williams. Give him a call 816 752 7390. Appreciate all our sponsors. Let's hop into this show with Dan Johnson. Tales of the Chase, this is the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast.

All right, for the first time in our show's history, we have got the emperor himself, Dan Johnson. On the show. What's up, man? It's going good. However, every time anybody from the network introduces me as the emperor, I like, I feel like a douche bag , [00:04:00] because who's this guy think he is? That they have to address him as the emperor?

To be fair, you didn't give yourself that name. Okay, good. This is all I will say this. I went to a kid. I went to high school with a kid and he gave himself his own nickname and he called himself that all the time. And then we just made fun of him for Years, I think. Yeah. Because he gave, yeah, he gave himself his own nickname.

This is where you get off the hook because you didn't do this to yourself. Andrew Munz with the O2 podcast is the one who started all this, I'm pretty sure. And it just grew legs as things do. But yeah, it's not your fault. You just got stuck with being called the Emperor because of the name of the network, which, if anybody doesn't know, is the Sportsman's Empire Network.

Dan is the owner of the network and the host of Nine Finger Chronicles podcast, Hunting Gear podcast, and I don't even know what other ones. I think those are the only two you're running [00:05:00] right now. If you haven't checked them out, you should, and I'm guessing you've heard of nine finger chronicles.

One of the first podcasts that I actually ever started listening to back in the day. And it's just funny that we've had 180 shows and this is the first time I've had you on, but it is what it is. You are an asshole, so I'll let it slide this time. That is true. It is true. What have you been up to, man?

Okay. This is what I've been up to. All right, I'm just going to be extremely blunt with you. I've been hating my dog a lot. That's what I've been up to. But something, there's, they say there's always a silver lining to any bad. If you can find a silver lining, that's a good thing. And I don't know if it's necessarily a silver lining, but we earlier this spring, I believe it was like January even, or February, we bought a puppy, a cockapoo.

And one of those dogs that serves no purpose. I was gonna say, what the hell is a cockapoo? [00:06:00] Yeah. It's a mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. Okay. So from a functional standpoint, it serves no purpose other than to drain money to drain. Patience and ultimately you end up resenting it.

So with all that said, so here's here is the last couple weeks. I'll even go as far as the last couple months. He gets in the trash in the bathrooms. If someone doesn't, if we don't shut the door, he'll get into the trash. He'll dig out. This is gonna sound gross. He'll dig out tampons. He'll dig out any type of garbage.

She wanted if there's food in it and he just spreads it all over. If anybody leaves any cardboard. He'll chew it up. He drug it like downstairs right now. After this, I'm going to go downstairs and clean my basement because the damn dog got into some cardboard and it's all over the basement right now.

But here's the silver lining of [00:07:00] that. Before we even bought the dog, my wife goes, I want a dog. I want a dog. I want a dog. And she kept calling and going on place. Okay, fine. Let's get a dog. But I'm telling you right now, our family has no time for it. We're a very busy family. I personally am not going to provide anything.

towards this dog. Like I, I will help pay for it, but I'm not take, I'm not potty training it. I'm not going to take it on walks, all this stuff. Yeah, that's fine. That's fine. I, I'll me and Ava, my daughter, we'll take care of it all. We'll take care of it all. And it was a couple of weeks ago when she was blowing up at this dog and asked and telling me telling me, why don't you ever help out with this dog and all this shit, she said some words that made me sound real happy.

And that was, I wish I would have listened to you earlier. Hold on. I wish let me rewind so I can get my phone out and record this. [00:08:00] I wish I would have listened to you in January when we bought this dog. Because this dog's an asshole, like it's just a nightmare puppy nobody pays attention to it. She works, I work, the kids are in school, and what's this dog do?

Just chews shit, ruins shit, it doesn't even poop in the grass. We had some pills now you can get medication shipped to your house. It chewed up and ate. a bottle of pills. So what did I have to do last week? Take it to the vet to get its stomach pumped, right? And so money.

And so there's days where I just want to leave the front door open, let it go, shut it, and then play dumb and be like, I don't know. I don't know what happened to the dog. Let's go find out. I'm telling you, that makes me feel very happy with the decision we've been making so far, because we're in the opposite boat.

So my dog just passed away about he's been gone for about six months, I think now. [00:09:00] And he was the world's best freaking dog you could ever ask for. There will never be a better dog in my life. And he was an awesome, he was a German Shepherd, a working line German Shepherd. He was well behaved.

He was intimidating looking. So when I was gone, he took care of my, my wife felt safe with him. But he was 10 years old when he died and he was, he was easy to take care of. Not to get too detailed about him, but he was a very high end working line German Shepherd who's got frozen semen on file, where he was a stud at.

And so I could get one of his sons tomorrow. You'd have to wait for the litter, but I could get a son of his pretty easily. Which I really want someday. But right now, just like you said, we don't have time for a puppy. And I know what puppies do. I know what puppies turn into. They're little assholes as puppies.

Then they turn into young dickheads as basically a teenager, which is what sounds like you're going through right now. And I don't wanna, I don't wanna handle that first [00:10:00] 18 months of their life. And so right now... It's no, no dogs coming. Yeah, I like hearing that you ever made. Yeah. I liked hearing that because I don't want to dick with that right now.

Yep, absolutely. So I took my that's what I've been doing or that, that's been. The thing that I've been thinking about the most today is that dog and how I wish it was dead

Now you ever seen that meme of Michael Jordan Where it's black and gray and he's sitting like this and look like he's thinking and it used to say just do It was really well somebody took that me that picture and they made a meme And it's always made me laugh my ass off, but it was he's got that same look and that same, thoughtful look, and it just says, fuck them kids, right underneath it.

I should make one for you that says, fuck this dog.[00:11:00]

Man, I tell you what, if it was good enough, I would put it on a t shirt and wear it. Oh, so this is a toxic relationship you're in at this point. Oh, a hundred percent. Are you talking about my dog or my wife? Your dog. Okay. I won't talk bad about your wife like that.

I've met your wife. She seems like a lovely lady, so I would never speak like that about her. Okay. Yeah. Looks can be deceiving. Oh, that poor dog. After, so what you're saying is after we get off this call, you're going to go clean that basement and do everything in your power not to just... Beat the ever living hell out of that dog.

I understand. I understand how you feel right now, man. That sucks. Hey, deer season's almost here. So that's good. Oh buddy. Yup. I'm I'm pretty, I'm looking forward to it, dude. And I think a lot of it has to [00:12:00] do with that dog. Like I'm looking forward to leaving this house for periods of time to get away from the only thing that really brings well.

My family brings me stress too, but that dog brings me a lot of stress. And when I can remove myself from that stress, that makes me happy. And deer hunting does that. Deer hunting makes us happy. Yes. And we're, I'm the Missouri woods and water podcast is kicking off deer season with some of our.

Some of our stories we haven't got to do a lot of those this summer. We've been doing a lot of learning along with our listeners this summer. So we actually just recorded a show. I don't know when it's going to come out around yours. We did another tales of the chase with a a good friend of ours.

And I thought Dan Johnson has some really awesome stories. We've all heard the story of shipwreck and, all those cool stories. But I've listened to you for as long as you've had a podcast and I've heard all of your deer stories. And a few of them have [00:13:00] stuck out to me. The one we're going to talk about today, did that deer have a nickname?

I don't think, I don't think he did. I don't think he did. I don't think he did either. No, I don't think he did. I don't think I gave him one. No, I don't think, I don't think I gave him one, to be honest with you. Yeah. I believe that one didn't. And the story, it's going to be I'm hearing it for the first time too, because when you listen to a bunch of stories, they all kind of start to which one was I listening to when I heard him say, it went behind a tree and I had to hold and blah, blah, blah.

I remember listening to this story and being very painting myself a lot of mental pictures because you had a lot go on in this story just from the beginning to the end. So what year did this this story take place? Do you remember? 2018, I believe it was. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Was that a new farm? I can't remember. No, this was a farm that I had been hunting since 2007 [00:14:00] or 8. And so it had been 10 years in. To this farm, but really 10 years in with, man, limited, like I found success on that farm in 2012. I chased a lot of really good deer in that time, but I was still in this like learning process.

I talk about 2006 being the year that I jumped into deer hunting and really it took me 10 years. I found success within that 10 year period a couple times, but I contribute that more to luck than it was actually skill and strategy. And so on that farm, I'd shot some does I shot a really good buck in 2012.

On that farm. But, and I found some success on some other farms, but really it took me until [00:15:00] 2016 where things started to click. My strategy as a whole was really coming together And then putting, being able to put in plant, put plans in place using access routes and using wind direction to really get in and, get in some really good areas where I could use quartering winds to put myself in the right position and make the deer feel comfortable as well.

And and so I, that was. So I found six. I my strategy started to click in 2016 on a good, a good four year old 2017. I shot a decent buck. And then 2018 or 2017 is when the. Yeah, the some the fall of 2018 is when I or 17 is when I identified the spot that we're going to be talking about as a four year old who was running in the [00:16:00] area and then ultimately You know, just, that's where the story, that's where the story actually starts is the year 20, yeah, 2017, that, that year when I caught him on trail camera.

Nice. And by that time, like 2016, like you were saying, stuff started to really click, right? The first 10 years of your hunting career, quote unquote and I can feel that way too, cause I haven't I didn't start hunting until I was almost an adult. I was 20 years old, 20, 22, 23. First time I went hunting and then I didn't take it seriously for a while.

And then I got serious. And then you're like there's gotta be more to this. So then you get into bow hunting because I got to it. I got into it the other way around. I started rifle hunting first. And then I'm like, all right. I want to get closer to these animals, but so I can under, I can see what you mean.

And then, so 2016, you start clicking and by 2018, when this story actually, when the actual harvest [00:17:00] happens, you've got to be prevalent, feeling pretty confident with your hunting acumen by that time. Yeah, I was feeling good. I will say this. I have been hunting since I was 12 or 13.

I think 11 or 12 years old, maybe 13 something somewhere around there, but it was never serious. I was a weekend warrior school activities and all and boy scouts and football that all came first, but it wasn't until I was 26 when I started taking all of it serious. I didn't start hunting in oh six, that's when I dedicated myself to deer hunting in, in that.

So that's when I started taking everything serious and starting to learn as much about whitetails and their movement and their behavior as possible. So yeah, I was 2017 the fall and I was hunting a really big block of timber. And the cool, [00:18:00] and I'm going to get into this, but something happened in this period of time when I really started to document deer deer via trail camera and where they were and where they were also at in other locations.

And I'll get to that here in a second, but 2017, I noticed them on trail cameras in a on a. I believe that year was a bean field and after he didn't show up on that farm until after the beans had been picked and then I had a trail camera on a fence crossing that he started to use regularly, but it was not terminal in 2017.

I also had a new farm that I had picked up and started to hunt and that's where I shot my gear in 2017. I noticed him and it was one of these deer where he was a four year old. I'm guessing he was 145. He was a nine pointer just like he was [00:19:00] in 18 when I shot him, but he's a four year old, probably 145, maybe somewhere around that, maybe a little bit maybe just a little bit smaller between 140, 145 as a nine.

And I said, Oh man, that's a great deer. But I only had. him crossing this fence and it was all nocturnal. So I really didn't pay too much attention to it. I hunted that area a couple times in more of an observation sit just to get an idea if he was even in the area. If I could maybe rattle him or call him in or something like that.

And it was a no go. It was just all nighttime pictures. And so fast forward to that spring, I went shed hunting and it was the best single day of shed hunting that I have ever had in my life. I believe in 30 ish, 30, 40 minutes, I found 11 sheds all. No, it was more than that. It was probably. Yeah, I was somewhere around 11 to 15 [00:20:00] sheds in that amount of time.

I found a couple match sets in that period of time. And I found the, I'm looking at his antler right here, the right side of that buck. Okay. Nice. And so I'm like, Oh, this is awesome. This is awesome. So that let me know that at some point in time, I have a trail camera picture here. I. About, I want to say 100 yards away.

I found his shed and that's, I had two, two points on a map, right? I say at some point throughout the year, he is in this area. Okay. And so I checked another trail camera while I was shed hunting that spring and I got a meta, I got another trail camera picture of, so now what I'm starting to do is triangulate this deer's position.

Okay. I got a point of them here. I got a point. I [00:21:00] found a shed here. I never saw him from the stand. But then I also got a point of him here. So now I'm starting to see the area in which this deer runs. Okay, found his sheds forgot about him because in 2018, I was also chasing a once in a lifetime, another shipwreck another once in a lifetime animal.

And so it was 2018. It he this buck was like 2018 2019. Thank you for watching! He's sitting at 200 plus as a non typical, just ridiculously gigantic animal. And so I was really focused on him. This buck shows up like no velvet pictures at all the whole summer of 2018. And so 20, so yeah, no velvet pictures in 2018.

And then September, I believe it's 19th. I'm on my computer. I don't know if I [00:22:00] have the files on this computer, my other computer, but 20, 2018 in September, I'm guessing September 19th, he shows up on trail camera in full velvet still so he held velvet late, or maybe it was the ninth, but anyway, still late in, it was early September, mid to early September, still had full velvet on.

I caught him North, on the north piece of the property that I hunt across the road. And now I got a fourth position on him, right? So now I have this triangle or this rectangle from, and you can start to see a little bit of why is he betting here? It's cause it's thick and nasty. Why is he coming down here?

Because it's a destination food source. All right. So I said to myself, okay, I need to find. And this was in September, early October, and I said to myself, okay, I gotta find [00:23:00] in this rectangle that I've documented on a map, I have to find the best terrain features to hunt, and there's one terrain feature that just called to me.

It was this big two ridges on each side of steep drainage that ran draw that ran right up it right up into a field and on certain winds all of it was the low spot. So on certain winds or cloudy days or low pulling thermal days, all of the scent would just drop right down in here and deer would cross this little crossing right on the outside of this field edge.

And... They were, they're able to cent check the whole field. And so I said to myself, I'm gonna wait until the best time of the year this early October, or excuse me, this late Oct late October early November [00:24:00] timeframe, where the deer are still in a pre rut, maybe try to wait for some precipitation or whatever.

I had good luck with that in 2017, where . It rained for two straight days. The second it stopped raining, I got in a tree and I killed my 2016 buck. So now no more trail camera pictures of him in 2018, but he's still in my head. I don't know if he's dead. I don't know. I don't know what happened to him, but no, no trail camera pictures of him.

And so sometime around this early first week of November, we were due for a. Two day rain event and it rained for almost 24 hours and the best part about this rain is that it was going to rain and it had been a wet fall already. So the crops hadn't been taken out the corn standing corn had not been taken out of this field.

And so I had just awesome cover [00:25:00] walking into this timber line. And then I was probably about 20 yards off the field edge into the timber. On a Southwest wind to where all of the field was getting drained down in my scent was blowing over. And so we had a low, my scent didn't necessarily get sucked down into it.

It was like the perfect setup. The perfect setup, man. I'm telling you if I Southwest wind. The perfect setup. I was feeling confident. It was still raining when I went and got into my tree stand that I had set up specifically for that hunt in, I want to say, September or early October.

And I was like, man. This just looks too good to be true. And I found it and ultimately set a tree stand up. So then when I when I went back, the next time I hunted that stand [00:26:00] was like the first week of November. And I can remember. Just feeling like some shit was about to go down that day, walking in there, right?

The rain is just about to stop the it's gonna push through deer gonna be bucks are gonna be on their feet It's been 48 hours and they're gonna start cruising and they're gonna start laying sign and they're just ready, right? I get up in my tree. I sit there for about five minutes And this is bullshit rain.

Yeah, the rain stops. Okay. And so now I'm taking off my rain jacket. I'm taking off my rain jacket and it's quiet in the woods. Everything's wet. You can hear the only thing you can really hear is maybe some birds chirping and then the drips from the trees hitting the ground, right? Just you just and then I hear a twig snap behind me and I'm just like, [00:27:00] It's quiet.

A squirrel is not going to be making that kind of noise and I look behind me and he's standing at about 40 yards state like looking right at coming right out of that draw coming right at me. And so I have one hand, one sleeve still in my rain jacket. So as he's walking toward quartering towards me and he's about ready to get broadside. I take my jacket off and this was like one perfect motion. Take my jacket off, set it on the seat of the tree stand, grab my bow, hook up. drawback and he had already made it through my shooting lanes. Okay. And so he ends up stopping upwind of me and he's just sent checking the area.

He's looking around, but he's [00:28:00] hard quartering away. And that year I had also went on an elk hunt. Okay. So I was shooting fixed blade broadheads that year because anytime I go out west to hunt elk, I don't change my broadhead. back to mechanicals for white tails. I keep it fixed blade. So that way I don't have to tune anything again.

I'm just, so I'm shooting a really heavy arrow with a broad head. That's not going to release any energy, right? There's no energy loss. The energy loss on a fixed blade is way less. than a mechanical because the energy lost during deployment. Yep. Yep. Anyway, I take a a really hard quartering away shot and I hit him.

I thought I hit him back in his liver, and at that angle, it would have went up into his chest, hitting probably one lung, maybe heart, don't know, and [00:29:00] so the rain was done, the forecast, so anyway, I draw back, I hit him, he kicks, mule kicks, and I'm just like, yes, okay, and so I wait about 30 minutes, I make the phone calls and I get down out of my tree, and there's still plenty of light left.

Still plenty of light left. I shot him fairly early. I think I had maybe 40 minutes to light left after I shot him. And so there was time for me to just relax a little bit, got down out of my stand and went to impact and there was good blood. Okay, really good blood or not necessarily right at impact.

But as, as he starts bounding off and bounding away, I was able to find some good blood. He started bleeding pretty quick. Yeah, he was bleeding pretty quick. And I'm like, okay, it looked like good, like vital blood not hit him in the butt or I [00:30:00] hit him in the guts or something like that.

I'm talking pink, really good or pink Or dark red, sometimes like liver. I even saw some that had bubbles in it. And so that tells me, oh man that's airway blood, right? So maybe I nicked a lung. Maybe I got, I don't know, like maybe I got it right up into his like esophagus or something like that.

And I got him. So I kept following blood just a little bit. And I get to a spot where he had been standing like he stopped, but it was out of my view, he stopped and there was a pile of blood just dripping like you could tell it had been dripping there. And then he tried like then it starts to like drips like I would just see drips not like constant blood.

And so I started to worry a little bit. I'm like, Jesus, man this is. I thought I drilled him. And so one thing that I've learned over the years is do not push deer. [00:31:00] If you have any questions and that old saying, like when in doubt, back out, man I said to myself, I called a whole bunch of friends.

I wanted one buddy to come help me right away that night, but he was on a good deer too. So he's hey man, let's just back out. I'm gonna hunt in the morning tomorrow, and then when I get out you can go, maybe you can go start for it, but go start for it, and I'll come in and help you if you haven't found him yet.

And so I end up going back home, settling down, just trying to like envision where I shot him and trying to find the arrow and where I shot him. My gut told me, Oh dude, dead deer automatically dead deer. Like he kicked like that. And usually, so I don't know about you, but whenever you hit him in the guts.

They hunch. They don't kick. Yeah, they'll just go. [00:32:00] And then if you hit him in the vitals, that's when they do that mule kick where they'll just kick their back legs real high up. And so he did that. And I said, I got something good. I got something real good. And so I backed out next morning, supposed to be a really good day of there wasn't any rain in the forecast until later that evening.

And that's when shit started to get really weird. Stuff got weird. Question though. Did you ever find your arrow or was it in him when he took off? Yeah, I, yeah, the arrow the arrow, I saw the fletchings disappear into him. Okay. And, but I didn't find the arrow. Okay. I found the arrow when I eventually recovered it.

Which sometimes can lead to, I hate saying this, but if you're, if you don't pass through, you almost hope he breaks the arrow off or something happens to [00:33:00] that arrow when they're running, because it seems like arrows can plug things up and, make it harder for you to track deer too.

Yeah. I've had deer, I had that deer that I shot in the guts. It's the only deer I've ever seen that I shot in the guts who I saw sprint for 350 yards across the cornfield, cut cornfield, cut bean field, excuse me. And once I recovered him, found that I gut shot at him and I'm just like, wow. That was not what I would have expected from a deer that was gut shot.

But he barely, he didn't bleed at all. And the only reason he didn't bleed is because the arrow pulled intestines through the exit and the entry wound was too high for him to bleed out of. And so that was like an anomaly, but. With deer that I've had an arrow not, make it all the way out of it's sometimes harder to, see that, that blood trail because that, that arrow acts as obstruction to stuff getting out.

So I was curious if you had an arrow up front. [00:34:00] So he was bleeding pretty decent then, with an arrow still in him, right off the bat. Yeah, right off the bat. Ultimately... I feel that arrow staying in him was one of the reasons, not the sole reason, but one of the reasons I ended up finding him and that he was hurt so bad that he couldn't, I don't know, like he was hurt so bad that he just, he couldn't move or he didn't want to move.

And that's unfortunate because. I'll just, the reality of it is that deer suffered for probably 24 hours, if not longer. And I've heard the story. So we'll, when we get to the end of it, we'll talk about why I wanted to hear this story today. Because there, this is why I I respect you so much as a hunter outdoorsman.

This story is one of those reasons, but it's a dichotomy with the with the arrows, right? Because. I want to see the arrow out of the deer, but [00:35:00] like you say, when an arrow is sitting inside of them, it's also continuing to damage. And move around and cause problems. So at the same time, you want to be able to find blood But it's not the worst thing in the world for the arrow to stay Because it's gonna continue especially if the broadhead is still sitting in them somewhere It's gonna keep cutting stuff up.

But yeah, I see what you mean there, but okay So so day two your buddy goes does his hunt you go out and start doing some searching by yourself first Yep. I waited until the sun came up. The next morning went out. Actually, it was right at crack of day. I was drinking coffee in my in my truck with the windows down and I wanted to hear, I wanted to basically hear if I could hear any coyotes.

Yipping or anything like that. And I didn't. And so it was probably about eight o'clock in the morning when I started, ended up tracking, looking for this buck. And I was, [00:36:00] I went back to, I put an arrow, this is what I always do. I put an arrow in the ground, watching Zup. For last blood and that's how I know if I can't find blood, I'm going back to the arrow and then I'm going to start over again and then, you start to grid these little areas looking for last blood and so I ended up going, he started working his way downhill, right?

And so I'm finding little drips of blood, little drips of blood, little drips of blood and he gets to a crit crossing. Yeah. And it's not, there's no water in it. It's like a dry crick bed. There's maybe a little bit from when it rained, but usually when it deer, if he's hurt bad, they jump a crick. Something will be, there'll be more blood on that.

And so I'm, he's heading this direction and it almost acted like he took a hard left turn and then crossed this crick instead of [00:37:00] following the crick. He crossed it. And then I looked on the other side and I found a little bit more blood. And I'm just like, okay, it's a weird move for a deer to do, but I'm going to follow it.

So I follow it and I go up and I'm following it down on the opposite side of this little creek. And I go, and I'm starting to my way, but can't find blood, can't find any more blood. And so I'm just like, man, this is weird. He, it was consistent, but I've been there before, man. I've hit deer.

In 20, in 2009, I double lunged a buck, but he was real stretched out, and so I shot him, and when he closed his legs, and started running off, his fat and skin covered the hole. And so he, all of his blood he bled [00:38:00] internal. Yeah. And it took us till the next morning to find him, but I double lunged him.

So he was dead real quick, but just no blood to follow. Okay. Here I am just going and finally, my buddy shows up and we start to tag team this piece of property. And one of us stays at last blood. Then I would go forward, look for more blood, and we weren't finding it. And so we went back to the arrow and I just was like, okay, I'm gonna walk straight up this ridge and then I'm going to I'm gonna go straight up this ridge and I'm gonna, just to get a better view the.

And as I'm on my way up, I start to find chunks, like in some additional blood. And I'm like, are you kidding me? This deer now is going up [00:39:00] real steep terrain. So then, obviously that has a guy second guessing himself is Jesus, is this deer hurt that bad? Because, from my experience, deer just keep going downhill, maybe try to find some water depending on where they're hit.

Or they just. They're just not going up that type of terrain if they're hurt that bad, but this deer did it. And so he ends up going up this ridge to where it flattens out, walk in this way, and then he cuts back down on the opposite side of the ridge, and we're starting to follow blood of him coming back down the ridge.

Until it gets to back to where we were literally just at with the arrow in the ground. So now I go, where did this deer go first? Did he go up up the side or did he go more of a, on the opposite side and go up and then come back down the steep part, right? So I'm just [00:40:00] like, okay, how bad is this deer?

Did I follow him backwards, originally or something like that? Yes. Yes. Did he go up the... the side of the ridge with the, or did he go up the steep? Because that would tell me, okay, if you went up the gradual incline, he could still be hurt. But if you went up the real steep stuff, that's going to take a lot more energy to get up.

Then I'm second, then I start to second guess myself. Anyway, so now we have this trail or this blood trail that is now looped back around to the starting point. And so my buddy hops, I think it was my buddy. He hops the creek and then he's, I think he found some blood on the other side of the creek.

And I'm like, what? What did this deer do? What's he doing? So what's he doing? And so I get on the opposite side of the creek and I start working my way up the opposite side or [00:41:00] edge on the opposite side of this big drainage that this creek flows through. And what do I find more blood? And so I get up there and I.

I find some blood where he was either bedded or He was either bedded or he was standing for a little bit, and then I walk another 10 yards, and when I say I walked 10 yards, this is a matter of maybe 10 minutes. Me searching for blood in this Malta Flower Road, and I find, then I find an official that this buck is laying down on top of an arrow that's in him, causing him a ton of pain.

And so I find this other bed that it was noticeably sat in and the blood is just not, it's like a brown. And so he stands up and I work, I'm working my way up and following blood. And when I'm like, this whole story is taking hours, right? I'm telling you a version of this [00:42:00] story that takes a couple minutes.

From the time I started to this point is four hours long. Okay. My buddy hops in at about an hour into this story and he's helping me until I tell him, dude, I'll, I, he had to work that night. He works night shifts. And so he ended up going and then, so now I've leaving. And so now he helped me find this blood and he helped me get up, to this certain point, but now he's got to go to work.

And so he ends up. So I follow blood, I'm following blood, I'm following blood up, and I'm like, dude, if he crosses the road, it's over, right? And I lost blood again, arrow back in the ground at last blood, and I start to grid search basically an area. I follow this trail up to the road, no blood, I look on the road, no blood.

And I'm like, okay, I'm gonna come back down on the opposite side of this ridge, and I'm gonna go back to this crossing where we found it [00:43:00] and see what happens. And Ultimately, on the opposite side of this ridge is Blood, I find more blood and now this blood that I'm finding is headed down and where does it go?

It goes to the same spot, but the other two trails intersected And so now what we've done is we've we got a figure eight scenario, right? Where this deer in some way shape or form? Has gone all the way with just this consistent low dripping blood and I'm looking up just like I'm not finding this deer now.

Now remember this little crit crossing point here. Okay. Okay. Just save that. And so now I go. I know that the rain's coming. And it's 2 33 o'clock in the afternoon, and I start to grid. And I'm gridding it like I'm shit on it. I'm going up every rich. I'm going up and down at [00:44:00] multiple times on The east side, then dead center, then on the west side, because all these, the big drainage runs west to east and all the fingers run north south on both sides of this drainage.

And so I am straight up gritting at this point. And I don't, I've not found, I know that he he figure eight, he did the figure eight move. And then I thought maybe, okay. He got out of there. He's following the water down to the river. And so I started getting no luck, no blood, no deer.

I'm not even bumping deer out of here, right? I'm just like, Jesus, what's going on here? And it starts to rain. And it is pouring and I'm wearing a range. Jacket. I'm just like, Jesus, I'm never gonna find this deer. And this, at this point, this is, and it still is, I would say is the biggest deer I've ever shot.

All right. And I'm just like, Jesus, this sucks. And so it [00:45:00] starts to rain and I'm, I continue gritting in the rain. I go back, things are, washed out again. Like even the blood where I knew it was at is disappearing. And so I'm just like the literal worst case scenario. And so I grid the whole South side of the property of this big.

Drainage. And there was like three ridges that I needed to do yet, but the rain just came and I was like, all right, I'm done, went home and my stepdad, he told me. Hey, I got a buddy who's not doing anything. He's got a four wheeler. Would you want him to come and help you? And I was just, I was hesitant at first.

I was like, yeah, I just, I don't need anybody, like I just, I, in my mind, I said to myself, this, I'm not really covering this deer because I literally gave everything on this property, looking for it. And I don't know where, I don't know. You spent that tire next day searching for him.

Yeah. [00:46:00] I spent 10 hours. looking for that buck the next day. Basically sun up till almost sundown. And then the rain came and I got to my truck and the 15 minute drive from just a little bit of light in the sky. And then I got to my back to my parents house and it was dark already in the whole night.

And cold front came through and I said, yeah, you know what? I'll take this guy if he wants to come out and put around a little bit and help me find him. Let's do it. And We get in and I'm like, okay, here's these two ridges that I haven't walked yet. He was on a four wheeler. He was older, he's a, he's probably in his sixties.

And so he ends up dropping me off at the top of this ridge and I'm just walking it down. And ultimately the ridge that, that I didn't. Finish the three ridges that I didn't finish gridding all lead down to that [00:47:00] intersection that I was telling you about, okay where the middle of the figure eight happened.

And I'm coming over this ridge and as clear as fucking day, that buck is lying dead where it had crossed like three, three times. And I'm just like, you gotta be shitting. There's no way. There is no way. That I missed him laying there because I was standing there's, there are boot crossings on that crick right next to where I found his body.

Okay, so I had been there. My buddy had been there. There's no way we're missing 150, 155 inch nine typical nine, right? Typical whatever 155 inch 9. 5 year old buck. You don't walk by that. Okay, especially in this timber scenario and I come down over and I'm just like, you [00:48:00] gotta be kidding me.

And so I, I've just I get really jacked up. I'm pumped. This guy, he drives his four wheeler down, finds a way in the timber, drives it down and I'm looking around and this buck was straight up flanking me. And my buddy the entire time we were looking for him. So as I would go up one side of the drainage, I'm guessing that he could smell, he put himself in position to where he could smell and hear us, maybe even see us from a distance.

And as we would go up or disappear behind a ridge, he dropped back down. This is a theory. And he went up the opposite side of the on the other side of the ridge to get high ground to stand and maybe watch us or listen for us without leaving the safety of the timber, right? And as we ran that figure eight looking for him, he was [00:49:00] doing the same thing.

But just not. And then finally, he came down off the north side of the drainage that night looking to go back into some kind of thicket, probably hide. He didn't make it. He made it to the bottom next to the creek where we found him. And sure enough that's where he had, I rolled him over and this is crazy.

Thank God for heavy arrows because without one or with, without a fixed blade broadhead and without a heavy arrow, this deer, I would have never found this deer. I would have got straight guts and then. straight guts and then, no impact or no, no penetration. So anyway, I hit him in his ham in the back, in his rear end, and that arrow had so much penetration behind it, it went through his ham, through his guts, [00:50:00] out went through his diaphragm, I think it hit a little liver, and then it nicked the bottom of his, it nicked the bottom of His

opposite side lung just a little bit like it was very minimal. So aside from the diaphragm, which usually makes it hard to breathe for them, and all this pain through the intestines and stomach and lungs and everything he was hurt really bad. Actually, one blade of the broadhead unzipped.

Part of his guts and he had stuff hanging out of him. So that's what we were finding. Yep. And it came out his front, it came out his front shoulder or on his armpit, on his opposite side. And it was just sticking out a little bit. So that made it hard for him to walk too, I feel like if that error went all the way through him, [00:51:00] we would've never found him because it was doing work as like we were unfortunately Yeah, like we were talking about. Yeah. And man, just a ton of damage, and that's why I love her talking about, we'll get to the rest of it here in a second, but that's why I absolutely love heavy arrows.

And, it makes the argument for fixed blades as far as penetration is concerned. I love using mechanical broadheads, especially on marginal shots that are broadside. But in that scenario, it was the fixed blade, heavy arrow combination that ultimately did that deer in. And man, it's it was.

It was gnarly. It was just, that took me, what was it? I want to say 13, we put in 13 hours looking for that deer and ultimately found it on the, of just searching second [00:52:00] day from the day, just searching from the day you shot him the day I shot it whole day, went by, kept looking for him 10, 10, I would say 10 hours plus that day.

And then the next day was an hour or two into it as well. Somewhere around that 13, 14 hour mark over the course of three total days. And I ultimately found him. Yeah. And that's about that story. What I love about it, obviously, I don't really feel like we even have to say this, but we would prefer to double long heart shot a deer and find them in 50 yards.

We, we all know that. I don't, we ain't really have to say it, but what I talk about, and I actually had a show with Aaron Blysee at the fall podcast. Probably about a year ago at this time, maybe even longer because he had a similar story two or three seasons ago about a deer. It took him two or three days to find.

And what I feel like happens is that second day, right around either lunchtime [00:53:00] or for some people at the end of that day, they're done. I'm not going to find him, he's not dead. Either they say he's not going to, he's not going to die or I'm not going to find him. I searched for him all last night, all of today, if they make it all the way to that point and they say, I'm done.

But I feel like as conservationists and hunters. That's what can give us a bad name is when we give up because we, Meh, I'm not going to find him or I don't feel like I, I did it. And that's where I respect guys like you and Aaron and the story we had with him. Is, it's putting in that extra effort. I put an arrow in this deer and I've got an obligation to see this through.

And if you didn't do that, you don't find him. You might find him the next winter looking for sheds you might find his, his dead body [00:54:00] down there, but you lose, the deer that you, you decided to touch a arrow off, an arrow off on. And that's what I love most about that story.

And I remember I feel like you put stories out or you were doing videos, during that time talking about, Hey, I'm, haven't found him yet. And I kept waiting for the next update. And what I thought was, super impressive was like you said, the amount of time you put in trying to find the damn deer.

13 plus hours searching for him when there are a lot of hunters out there that would not have put that time in, they would have walked away and said, I'm done. So that, that's where, I I really enjoyed that story was from that aspect. Obviously he's a bad ass deer, but that kind of became secondary to me.

By the time you found him, cause it was just like, dear Lord, every time I, turn on my Facebook or Instagram, Dan's got another video talking about, no, I [00:55:00] don't, I haven't found him yet. He's double back on me. The first second, I feel like a lot of people, the first second that deer started going uphill and they lose blood, they're done.

Oh, he's going uphill. I can't find blood anymore. He's not dead. Yep. How many times do you hear that? Oh, a ton. How many times have I been on a track job with a somebody friend or someone looking throughout the years and the first obstacle that they hit, Oh, he's dried up, and then you go back and they find him during the shed season, exactly like what you said, but it was just another 40 yards away or something like that.

I'm just like I think me anyway. That's the only person I can talk about is myself. I put in so much time and energy thinking about deer, doing deer activities throughout the year, hunting. And then when you finally get an animal that is, it takes, like for me, it takes four years for an animal to be alive before I'll even look [00:56:00] at it, right?

If they're older, like this deer is a five year old. And so I was just like, man, it takes five years for a deer to get to this point in his life. I owe it to this animal. And to myself to exhaust every resource that I have to look for them to find them and to try to get the meat out of and so stories like that, where it took me two days to find him.

He stunk so bad when we found him, right? I'm surprised coyotes didn't get to him on that second day. I wasn't able to use the meat out of him. And so that was it. That was a huge downfall for me. And just like the buck that it took me a day to find the buck this year with the story that I had and the coyotes got to him before I did.

And so then we got that situation too. And so I wasn't, I was unable to get the meat. So it's only really like a half success because I love venison and I love eating [00:57:00] deer meat. And when you shoot it, a buck. The ultimate is to shoot a buck with big antlers, take his meat, eat him, and when you're at the table you're going, God, I shot this buck, right?

I shot this big, mature whitetail, and now I'm eating him, and I'm look, like, when you're eating him, you're looking at him on your wall, and you're just like, this is awesome. Yeah, bitch. But yeah, it's, but it's only part of the story. It's only like batting instead of batting a thousand, you're batting 500 because I couldn't get the meat.

And so I was thankful that I found him, but I was upset because I couldn't take the meat off of him. Yeah, on the totem pole of like hierarchy of successful hunt for you. Yeah, it wasn't like the most successful hunt in the world because you weren't able to use his meat. But what you were able to, salvage is the legacy that deer will always have. From a story standpoint and he's always going to live on because you were able to save the [00:58:00] cape and at least, respect him in that manner, instead of him just rotting, for no freaking reason, you gave up and he's just rotting in the ground for the rest of the, mice chew up on his antlers and you can't even, utilize, that and he can't even live on through, through through that way.

Yeah, it's not like how you would draw it up. And I'm sure you had those moments I've had, when I told you that story of that deer that ran 400 yards across the cut bean field after I gut shotted him. The second I touched that arrow off, I knew I was back, and I knew I was high. Which, I had to be high, because it was a high angled shot.

But, the second I knew I was back, this sense of dread comes over you. No. You know what I'm saying? You've ever been in a sports event or something bad happened in your life or something and you just, a sense of dread hits you like that. Yeah. You don't want that. Yeah, and when it comes to bow hunting, man.

You ever watch those videos where a guy goes [00:59:00] smoking, right? And it's a, the deer is going to pile up really quickly. And then you get these other shots. I've been there, man. I've been the guy who's pulled off the perfect shot, dropped them in 20 feet from where I shot him.

I've also been the guy who's pulled off one of these shots, unfortunately, should I have let this deer walk because of his angle? I just can't do that. Like I'm a killer. And unfortunately, in order for me to have success, an animal has to die. And so I'm willing to, I don't know I take shots to kill animals.

And I know what kills an animal. And sometimes they don't die like you want them to. You hope and you practice for the worst case scenario. But oftentimes that doesn't, or the best case scenario, but sometimes the worst case scenario happens. So you got to be prepared for that as well. [01:00:00] And it's just a matter of knowing the shot you took.

We're not going to go into it on this show, you took a shot that, that hit parts of that animal that are fatal. Even guns are, it's going to die. But you also hit lungs, diaphragm, that thing was in, in trouble no matter what, and it took you a long time to find him. You have other times where like the one I've told the story on now, I watched that deer run 400 yards, dead ass sprinting, gut shotted, and when I found him, he was gut shotted only.

And I thought I'm never going to find this deer, but obviously I got to try. I didn't even attempt to, I looked for blood right at the arrow. And I found, obviously, my arrow passed through, I found the arrow, found maybe two drops of blood, five yards away, that everything smelled bad. And I didn't even attempt to look for that deer that night.

We went home waited twelve, fourteen hours, went back the next morning, and there was only [01:01:00] one chance. There was one little block of timber he was running towards that was maybe fifteen yards wide and fifty yards long. That was it. After that it was another three hundred acre cornfield. Until the next property.

And I said to myself, the only way I'm going to find this deer is if he made it to that timber and stopped and laid down I'm screwed. I'm fucked and damned. If he didn't do that next morning, I went to that block of timber and he was dead right there. Now he had only died maybe an hour before I got there.

He was still warm. Everything was wiggly. So I not only found the deer, I also got the meat. Like it was a win for a horrible shot I took. Gut shot, got the meat. Sometimes shit like that happens where you get lucky and you get everything. Other times, you make a better shot in this story scenario.

And, shit happens and it doesn't work out. As hunters, we will have you've heard those dudes. I've never made a bad shot in my life. I don't make bad [01:02:00] shots. And I keep thinking keep talking shit. You're gonna, you're gonna have a string about five years. Cause I think as a hunter.

You hunt long enough stuff's going to happen where the shot doesn't go the way you want it to, or the track job doesn't go the way you want it to. And the reason why I wanted you on here today to tell this story was as the season starting for everybody, they need to remember, hopefully the idea is hunters and conservationists is that we should be doing everything we can.

To recover the animal that we decide to try to shoot this story that Dan just told is a perfect example of what you need To be willing to do if you touch an arrow off this winter or this summer this fall if you touch an arrow off be willing to put that time in to find that animal and You did a an exemplary job.

I don't even know if that's a word You did that. You did exactly that job. And I remember that story from four years ago, five years [01:03:00] ago. And that's what I wanted to talk about today. Yeah, man. Yeah. Yeah. You got to do your due diligence for sure. Yep. Got to do your duty. And he was a gorgeous book.

You got him. Obviously with the show release, I'll Released a picture of the buck with the show if people want to see him again, he's a gorgeous deer. It was a terrific story and almost a perfect ending. But you found him and it's just crazy the way it happened. That freaking deer died right where you were.

You would cross that time. How many times had you crossed that Creek in that spot? Three or was that the third time? No, probably five, six over the course of that timeframe. Yep. That's crazy. I, you just, I've never heard a story like that where that deer just kept going right back through there, right back through there.

And your theory is, I would say it's pretty correct. Yeah. He had to have been just either go, flanking you guys or what, wouldn't it be funny if he was following you the entire time? [01:04:00] Just like I wouldn't doubt it. I didn't look backwards. Yeah. I didn't look like I didn't, I was, I had my head down and I was trying to find, I had my head down and I was trying to find find blood.

Yeah, that's crazy. What a story, man. But that is the first ever Tales of the Taste with Dan. What do you got going on this year? You got some deer that you're looking forward to? Yeah, man, I got a buck that I've been chasing. I learned about him not last year, but the year before.

where he was one of those deer where you're just like, God, please do not show up in front of me. I don't want to shoot you. But if he like, if he caught me on the wrong day, I would have shot him. He would have been a four year old then. Last year he would have been a five year old and he was absolutely gorgeous.

Mainframe eight. With us on his left side split brow time, and he has crab claws on he had crab claws this year is a mainframe 10 [01:05:00] same split, but he also has crab claws. So he added, he added two more points, one on each side, and he's really cagey, I'm going to put them at that 170 ish nice mark.

Maybe even a little bigger, and he's an absolutely gorgeous animal that I'm gonna do everything in my power to, to to try to get, but then on my other farm that I hunt, it's just does right now, and there's a lot of farm work going on, and so it really hasn't. I haven't had any shooters show up on that property yet, but hopefully the farming operation stops here pretty soon.

The farming aspect of that property stops it, it leaves alone. Once the velvet strips, hopefully I start to see deer establishing, a hierarchy, the moving around and walking in front of my trail cameras and I can get a better idea of what's in the area. I wish you all the luck before we hop off here, let people know how they [01:06:00] can listen to some nine finger chronicles.

Yeah. Go to the sportsman's empire podcast network, or just Google. Nine finger chronicles podcast, and there's going to be a thousand different ways. You can listen to it, man. Awesome. Dan Johnson. Thanks for hopping on and doing a tales of the chase with me. Absolutely, man.