Targeting Specific Bucks on Small Properties with Nate Thomas

Show Notes

Hunting season starts just next month for many in the whitetail's range. Stands are being hung, velvet pics are rolling in, and hit lists are being built. Unless you hunt large parcels of primo whitetail ground, you might think that being able to target and hunt specific bucks just isn't a possibility on your property. Well Nate Thomas from the Missouri Woods & Water podcast has been successful doing just that for a number of years on the small parcels he hunts. Though the deer aren't necessarily living on Nate's farms, he's still found a way to build his season around targeting top tier bucks. In this episode, Nate lays out his process for locating, building a plan, and executing when it counts on big bucks.

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

Connect with the How to Hunt Deer Podcast on Instagram.

Connect with Josh and The Wisconsin Sportsman Podcast on Instagram.

Connect with Nate and the Missouri Woods and Water on Instagram, Facebook, and online.

Show Transcript

Josh Raley: Welcome to the How to Hunt Deere podcast, which is brought to you by TACTACAM. This podcast aims to educate those who are interested in becoming deer hunters, brushing up on essential skills, or maybe just adding a few new tactics to the toolkit. Here we cover a variety of topics that are gonna help you be more confident and successful in the field while you're hunting deer.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. We've got a great show for you. Had a chance to catch up with Mr. Nate Thomas from the Missouri Woods [00:01:00] and Water Podcast. If you haven't been listening to the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast, they've got a great show over there. It's a group of guys. They always have a good time, they have really good guests on.

But one of the things that I wanted to talk with Nate about specifically was how he targets mature bucks year in and year out. He has had a lot of success when it comes to targeting specific mature deer on small properties. Now, he'll be honest and tell you that doesn't mean those deer are living on his properties necessarily throughout the year.

There are times when they're on the property and times where they're off. His chances can be really good in the early season or really good during the rutt. It really just depends on what the specific buck that he's after is giving him in the moment. So I wanted to pick his brain in here. How does he manage his trail cameras?

How does he put together their strategy? How does he manage his pressure and how does he process, how much pressure he's putting on a property? How aggressive does he get when it comes to his style of hunting? And actually, we kick off the conversation talking about [00:02:00] how he names his deer, which is really interesting.

Some guys love naming deer. Some guys don't love naming deer and like to make fun of people who named Deer. I think there's a good case for it, and Nate has a good system that works for him and makes it really fun. I hope you enjoy the show. Get ready to share your hunt this season with the tactic Kimm Solo Extreme point of view camera featuring one touch Operation weatherproof housing, and mounts To fit any style of hunting, the Solo Extreme is sure to make filming your hunts foolproof and hassle free.

The Solo Extreme features up to eight x zoom image stabilization technology that takes the shock out of the shot and lets you capture crystal clear wide quad HD footage. From now until August 31st, you can get the Solo Extreme and a stabilizer mount for just 1 49 99 with free shipping. To learn more or pick up your solo Extreme today, head over to tac

OnX Hunt is always striving to help make hunters more successful in the field each season. And OnX has just released a bunch of new features to help you on your next hunt. These features [00:03:00] include new aerial imagery options like leaf off, recent imagery updated every two weeks with historic lookback and imagery on demand.

On top of that, OnX is reinventing the trail camera market by syncing your hunt app with multiple cell camera manufacturers and helping organize and analyze your photos. Try OnX Hunt for free for seven days or go to OnX to learn more hunting comfort. This season with camo from Hunt Worth, they make high quality technical camo at a fraction of the price of other brands.

My personal favorites for the early season include the Durham lightweight pants, which are rugged and durable with just the right amount of stretch where it counts in the Shelton mid-weight quarter zip hoodie with built-in face mask. To make building out your kit simpler. Their website now features their new system builder.

This tool will help you grab the right camo no matter what season or species you're hunting. To check out their full camo line, head over to hunt worth Alright, joining me for this week's episode of the How to Hunt Deer podcast is Mr. Nate Thomas from the Missouri Woods and Water Podcast. [00:04:00] Nate, welcome back to the show.

Hey, what's up man? How's

Nate Thomas: it going?

Josh Raley: Going pretty well. It's 187 degrees here in Georgia today, so I don't know how you're feeling there in Missouri, but it's miserable here.

Nate Thomas: It's actually beautiful today. It's, we have, we're having a slow soaking rain. Nice. And it's about, actually, I'll tell you exactly what the temperature is at the moment.

It is 71 degrees.

Josh Raley: What.

Nate Thomas: And we need it. Man. It has been so dry here this summer and last that we're definitely in some rough areas. So we need the rain and it's the perfect rain. It's just this slow soaker. Couldn't be better. I hope it keeps raining. I haven't been outside in the last hour now, but I looked at the radar earlier and it should be.

Yeah, it's still raining, so just keep going. That's all. I'm good with that.

Josh Raley: Nice man. I was wondering if you had been affected by the drought, man, I know my spot in Wisconsin where I hunt, they are in what's called like a, I forget the ranges, but it's like a [00:05:00] significant drought or whatever, and then they're probably about to roll over into extreme drought for the year.

And it's just, it's been rough, man. I've heard, stories of farmers who are potentially, gonna be making insurance claims for the year as opposed to harvesting. You kinda,

Nate Thomas: you stole my thunder. So anybody that's listening to this before next Tuesday, our show next Tuesday is actually with National Deer Association about how the drought affects deer and antler growth.

Nice. Because, I don't know if we're technically in a drought anymore, 'cause the federal government, whoever tells you that you're actually in a drought. I just know last summer and this summer it's been really dry here. I think we're like 10 plus inches behind in, in rainfall and it's dry.

Yeah. So that's all I know. I can look at my pond out behind my house and see that it's five foot off the bank and that's hasn't been like that in the 12 years I've lived here. It's dry outside and that can't be

Josh Raley: a good thing. Yeah, for sure. Do you have [00:06:00] plots planted yet? No.

Nate Thomas: Okay. No, I'm, I probably won't do it either.

Okay. I tried a few plots last year and they didn't take, I'm not a very good caregiver of plots. And then this year, the one property that I would was gonna plan a plot in, I don't know that I'm gonna waste my time there. Ah, because there's nothing there that I think is gonna be on a, what I would call a hit list.

So I might focus efforts on other things. Okay. So I don't think I'm gonna plant the plots. Now Micah did. Micah planted some corn and some clover and the clover's struggling. The corn is finally we got some rain a couple weeks ago, and that really helped it. I don't know how well it's gonna produce, but I think it'll at least give food for the

Josh Raley: deer.

Yeah. When was that clover plot planted? He planted it last year.

Nate Thomas: Okay. All he planted it at a good time last year, and it got It [00:07:00] got established. And then, if I'm remembering correctly, he frost seeded it this early spring. And it did pretty well. Now I don't know how it's doing now with the drought, but I'm hoping that it's well established well enough that it's, not taken over by weeds.

But I haven't talked to him and I haven't been to that property with him this year yet, so I need to ask him about it. But

Josh Raley: yeah, man, yeah, we haven't planted here yet either. We normally won't plant until, here in Georgia, we'll plant mid-September, then down a property in Alabama.

It's real close to the Gulf. And we're talking October before we plant, which probably sounds wild coming from a guy in Missouri. But our ruts not till February, so we're not too concerned. So just so

Nate Thomas: is your rutt in Georgia? Not till February also,


Josh Raley: The Rutt in Georgia here is about is like November.

I'd say prime for where I'm hunting right around that, like mid, mid-November 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th. And then, so same as here. Yeah, about the same as there. [00:08:00] And then a little north of here, I've got another property and it's around that Thanksgiving timeframe. So it's a little later in the, in into November.

That's nice. It is, yeah. To have 'em staggered. And that's honestly, man, that's one of the, one of the blessings about hunting in the south. We don't have the size of deer, obviously Georgia's got some really good deer. But for the most part, it's not gonna be Midwest quality hunting down here.

But you can hunt the rutt from if you want to travel, you can hunt the Rutt from August until February. If that's what you're into. That's pretty cool. Yeah, it is. It is. Man, I'm curious about this podcast you're gonna record for about how drought affects antler growth.

That's been one of the questions on my mind. You're recording that next week, you said, or it's gonna launch? No, it's already been, it's already been recorded. Okay. It's gonna launch. Yep. All right. So this is gonna launch on Thursday. Yours is gonna launch the following Tuesday. So if you're listening to this and you want to hear more about it, man, I've got a buck in Wisconsin [00:09:00] that last year as a three-year-old was probably in that one 60 range, maybe a little bigger.

He was a sure enough, like really good dear, one of those that you're like, I'd really like to see you, but I'd also really not to, because if I could see you at four, you could be something just really special. And I'm wondering how that drought is gonna impact his antler growth for the year.

Any, any teasers from the show that you learned that you're thinking, can you point me one way or another, The answer is yes, it

Nate Thomas: will. Why'd you? That's basically, it was as cut and dry as it could have been with our guest. And, it doesn't mean that their antlers won't be as big as they could have been.

Now, who know? Who's to say, you'll never know how big they would've been. Sure. But, it affects, it definitely affects the food. It affects density in the bone. A sometimes you'll see drought of directly correlate to broken times during the rutt because they're not as [00:10:00] bent, dense, boned.

That sort of stuff. It just affects everything. And those plant nutrients don't. Come to the tips of the plants as much when the drought, those plants are holding those nutrients back so they're not getting to, to eat some of the stuff. They really like those minerals, those the moisture that they're eating and the stuff they browse is just t sometimes typically not as good.

So then they don't get as, as good of food or whatever. And he said now the nice thing about a drought, just to give you a little more teaser, is deer who are searching for food tend to travel more. So it could actually help some hunters in a drought because deer will move to find what they need.

It could help certain people in certain properties, but easy answer is it's going to

Josh Raley: affect them. Okay. All right. This thing's not getting a pass either way. If I can end up laying eyes on 'em. I missed him by about an hour and a half last year. But like I said it really would've [00:11:00] been a shame to shoot that one.

He's bigger than the deer I took last year, but it would've been a shame because he has a lot of potential to express still, I think it's weird to think about a deer like that on public land though. Like when you're thinking about public ground, you think, oh, that's a nice buck. I'm gonna take it.

But I, I know now that he lived through the gun season, which super thankful. But anyway, we'll see. And along those lines, we were talking off air. I think we're gonna talk today about targeting specific deer. Now that's not something that I have really done much of before, other than to say, Hey, I know this deer is using this spine.

I've got trail camera pictures. He comes out into the food plot at x time or whatever. So I've gone after specific deer like that, but it's never been like a, Hey, it's this deer or bust. I. Or I've never built like a specific, hit list where it's these are my, two or three top deer.

So I'm gonna change my hunting strategy to get one of those deer. I've always just been hunting more of I'm just looking for a good buck. You know what I mean? Yeah. But that's something you've got some experience doing. I'm looking at the deer [00:12:00] on your wall. I know you've got a, you've got a whole strategy behind naming those bad boys, which I think might've been one of the first episodes I ever heard you on was when you were on with Dan talking about how you name your deer.

You've got some studs there on the wall. What's, what are their names?

Nate Thomas: Right here behind, right over top of me, this is my guy, nub Sait, and my boy down here a little further is Scorpion. And I'll just give a little teaser. The deer I'm after this year is named Baraka, and if you've ever.

Paid attention to kids about, between 30 and 40 there was this awesome show and game called Mortal Kombat growing up, and that's what I named my deer after most of the time. There are some deer that have some basic names, but I like to nickname my deer. It's fun for me. And I hunt a lot of several properties with different people.

So that's where it started with the naming because it was easier to discuss those deer with names. And mortal Kombat is just, they've got badass [00:13:00] names and there's a lot of them, so I can pick different names. So that's

Josh Raley: their names. Yeah, no I like that man. I go back and forth between laughing when people name their dear or like thinking, man, that's actually really useful.

I should probably look into that because you're right when you're texting buddies or something and you're like, Hey, I got another picture of. The buck with a split G two and they're like, oh, the real y wouldn't you? No. The tall and narrow, you know that, that's such a pain. Yeah. Where if you could just say, NOBE Abbott showed up on camera.

Yeah. A lot easier. Think about it.

Nate Thomas: Let's look at you and me we're both short with dark beards. So you know, Dan's having a meeting for us someday and he is like, Hey, you know that short guy with the olive hat on? That's got a dark beard, right?

Josh Raley: Yeah. We're wearing the same color hat today too.

We're talking Nate. Yeah.

Nate Thomas: Which one's he talking about? Yeah. It's just so much easier when you got a Nate and a Josh. Now we know who's who. Yeah. For Micah likes to make fun of me 'cause Micah's not a fan of naming deer. What's funny is him and I are hunting a property together this year that we both just got this year and we nicknamed [00:14:00] that Dear Baraka, and he keeps saying that name every time we see him on camera, he's did you see Baraka this morning?

And I'm just, I laugh inside 'cause I'm like, it don't seem like he don't like saying that name

Josh Raley: oh he's got one that I guess he deems worthy

Nate Thomas: it, honestly, it just got fun for me, you know what I'm saying? Yeah. It's, I like to think of a cool new Mortal Kombat character name.

And like years later, I can still remember the hunt I had for Subzero who got away from me, I didn't kill him. And two seasons ago I was after Reptile also and he got away from me. I'm always gonna remember that Buck's name, whereas, and I'm always gonna remember those stories and those experiences, but it just makes it even a little more.

Personal when I can go, yeah. I remember when reptile got away from me in 2021 or whatnot. It's just fun for

Josh Raley: me. Man let's talk about, chasing some of these specific deer. I know you've got one that you're targeting this year. When it comes to, setting the stage, I guess you could say, [00:15:00] when it comes to a deer that's going to be on your hit list or one of your target deer, what are we talking as far as, qualifications for making that list?

I know for some people it's age, for other people it's antler size. For other people, it's man, this is just the one that showed up on my property. I've got 35 acres that I hunt in Alabama, and we usually get one good deer a year. If we have two, they'll be on two separate sides of that 35 acres.

And it's they don't even cross paths. They don't even, there's a creek that runs in between. They do not show up on the other camera across the creek from one another. For us it's Hey, there, there's a good eight showing up in this food plot. That's our target deer for the year.

So how do you set those standards?

Nate Thomas: Obviously I've got I've got three farms now that I'm hunting. It sounds like I've got all this awesome stuff, but one of them small, one of them is a giant open field, and the other one is also small. So I'm lucky into the, in the fact that I do get to put cameras out in the summer, right?

Because I have access to [00:16:00] private property, so I can get to know who's there throughout the summer. And every single one of the farms I hunt, I share it with somebody else. One of 'em I don't really share with anybody, but technically somebody else has pro permission to, he just never goes there.

So what we do is, and it's specific to the person. I start seeing the deer throughout the summer and I'll say, Hey, that deer, first thing I do is, does that deer deserve a name? So if they have a name, they're probably a decent deer or a deer that we like. Maybe it's a young deer that we want to keep track of, but does that deer deserve a name?

So they get a name and then I just work from there. But Micah, who I share a property with, might be in a different boat than me, which he is a little bit. He's not killed a buck with his bow in a few years now. And last year he shouldered a really nice buck with his bow and we weren't [00:17:00] able to recover it.

What I might say is a pass or a shoot he might disagree with. And that's the beauty of it. Until one of us buys the other guy's tag for them, we're not gonna say shit about what the other guy decides. He's going to, shoot. We tend to have the same philosophy when it comes to trying to, kill more mature deer, which typically means a bigger rack, but not always.

There, there's a buck. A few years ago, I've got one of the coolest encounters I've ever remember in the woods, and he was nicknamed Evil Eddie, which is not a mortal compact character, but the reason he was nicknamed Eva Letti was he was this eight to 10 year old, just giant G one and maim beam deer.

That's it. He had nothing else. G ones and maim beams. I love it. But that deer was so old, he had a big old growth coming out of his jaw. His back legs. The skin was so [00:18:00] flappy, you just were, he was an old man and that deer, I would have shot him straight in the face if I could have that day.

I had an awesome encounter in the rain with him at five yards on the ground. And I could not shoot that deer because my county has a four point restriction on antler points on one side. No. And he only has two points on each side, so I couldn't shoot that deer. Ah, but had there not been some sort of a point restriction, I would've shot a 40 inch deer.

He, he had two beams that were probably 18 to 22 inches long and a G one on each side, and that was it. That's all he had. So he wouldn't have scored 50 inches. Wow. Maybe. But he was such an old deer who was so smart and so cool that I was so thankful that I had that encounter with him that I almost feel like I do have him hanging on my wall, if that makes sense.

Yep. Because he was at five yards on the ground. He [00:19:00] was dead. I, if he was any other buck, he would've died. So it doesn't necessarily mean big rack is dead. I'm looking for a deer that I either have experience with or I know who is at least four, hopefully five or older in our area.

Okay. Typically that's gonna correlate to a bigger rack, but not

Josh Raley: always. Yeah. And how many of these are you expecting to get on your farms? You mentioned two of 'em are smaller, one's a big field, any given year. What does that look like for you? Are these farms holding deer through the deer season?

I think we've talked before and you've mentioned that your farms vacate late season.

Nate Thomas: It's none of these farms are probably gonna be holders. I would say each farm, typically I'll get one to two on average, what I would consider shooters every year. The, so one farm that's a, it's just a larger open field.

There's some years during the summer, there's five to six, what I would say, shooters showing up throughout the summer. But that farm will [00:20:00] turn to ghost town as soon as they go hard horned. And you have to play that farm for the Rutt. You're hoping the Rutt brings 'em back and it has Scorpion died.

Scorpion died at that farm. It has happened. The other farms, yeah. On average one to two. The farm that I just got permission on this year, I don't know, because this is our first season with it. Sure. But the farm that Nobe Sabot died at was the same way on average, between one and three shooters would show up throughout the summer, and then I would kinda start figuring out what I need to do there.

So really for the last five seasons, four to five seasons, I have been specifically targeting between one and four deer for that season. Okay. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. I don't, I've never been like a one deer or bus type of guy outside of maybe this year. And that might be out of a necessity because right now he's the only shooter.

Wow. Okay. [00:21:00] But so I've targeted between one and four deer every year. And have been successful at it. Let's see here. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5 of 'em died over the past five seasons. There's, it comes with its own issues. There's a whole different change in the game when you're only specifically targeting one or more deer.

But to me it keeps me so much more locked in to the season, right? So much more locked in. I'm so focused on what those deer are doing. I keep a note app on my phone and every little encounter that I have with that deer, whether it's a trail cam picture or whatever I'm now doing even more than that.

But I used to just, write down the time, the direction they were traveling, all that stuff. Now it's the time, the direction they're traveling. This weather that day, which way the wind was going. I used to get on historical weather data apps and I would go [00:22:00] back to that day and see exactly where the wind was coming from.

Was it cloudy? What was the barometric pressure? And I would record all of it and hope to start seeing a pattern like with a deer that I'm after. And it just keeps me much more locked in. You know what I'm saying? It was it's been a lot of fun for me to target these deer the way I have the last kind of five years.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Mean I, I've gotta say, so last year in Wisconsin, it's probably the closest that I've gotten to I just lucked into it, right? I got really familiar with a couple of deer that because of the way I distributed my cameras, I was able to begin to put together a piece of the story, especially when I had my first encounter with the big one.

And then I shot him on the third day and he got away and I shot him again five days later. So it was really the first year that I was, it wasn't that dear or bust, 'cause I knew it was just a flesh wound, but it, I was really able to piece together a story with him and man that you're right.

Every time I stepped into the woods I was conscious of what I'm [00:23:00] stepping on. I was dialed in, I was focused, every hunt was a targeted strike. Rather than I'm just going into hunt for the day, or I'm just gonna go sit this and see what I see. It was specifically tailored to what this deer and actually three others that I had seen were doing in this area.

So Baraka, is he on the new farm? Yeah. Okay. All right. So did you pick this farm up because you saw Baraka or was it No. You picked up the farm and then you found him?

Nate Thomas: Yeah, I just picked up the farm and then put some cameras out and there he was. Okay. And to go back to what you were saying, that's the negative to that targeting specific gear.

You can stress yourself out in a much different way. Because just going hunting is awesome. I'm gonna go hunting, I'm gonna go where I think this could be a good spot today. And I'm hoping to, to harvest an animal. When you're targeting a deer, you're, like you said, you're worried about every damn twig.

You break you're seeing [00:24:00] pictures on your phone and getting upset. I remember a, another deer that I did not kill the same year I killed Nobe. I was after another deer called named reptile. And Reptile was bigger. Reptile was like number one on the hit list. And Reptile gave me a window to kill him in early September, and I tried my hardest to kill that deer.

September 18th through the 25th. Basically, our season starts on September 15th here, and I remember being at my daughter's volleyball games. Getting pictures of him and getting upset that I wasn't there. 'cause he was there at daylight. Yeah. And it stresses you out. I wasn't as locked in as a dad watching my kid play volleyball.

'cause I'm looking at pictures getting upset. So you can't be as locked in as you would've been. And then the next night I'm out there and I'm trying everything I can to get there. Then I'd be at another volleyball game and boom, there he is.[00:25:00] So you're like, you're almost like resenting your kid for playing volleyball right now because you're just like, if you weren't playing volleyball, I'd be in the woods right now or whatever.

Yeah. And this deer and I played merry-go-round every night. I was at the spot. He wasn't. And then every night I wasn't. He was. And eventually something happened and he left, which I knew was gonna happen. That farm has always been that way. They leave after they go hard horned. So I knew I only had a short window.

Unfortunately, he left before I was able to figure him out, and then noob came back at the right time and got killed. So it's, it can be just stressful. It makes hunting a little more stressful. Hunting isn't really supposed to be stressful. And that's the negative I would say to, I guess watch it when you're trying to like target specific bucks is don't let it stress you out because it can, and then it's not fun anymore.

Then it's like, what are you doing it for? There's some of [00:26:00] that and I've gotta watch it because I will stress myself out with hunting. I want to be successful. I, I've got a personality that is driven to be su goals need to be achieved type of Yeah.

Personality. So when you don't achieve the goal, you get angry and. You gotta think to yourself, is that what you wanna accomplish out in the woods today? Leaving mad? Is that what you want? So you gotta have to, you do have to, figure it out. But I do have a lot of fun if I can remember to tell myself, this is supposed to be a sport.

This is a supposed to be something that is enjoyable for you. If targeting specific bucks gets me upset, then that's where I'll stop doing it. But I have enjoyed doing it. I am able to put cameras out. I'm able to learn these deer throughout the summer and formulate a list I guess you'd call it, which I never actually write it down, but I've got a list of [00:27:00] shooters that I'm trying to kill.

And so it's happening and it's happening again this year. And yeah, Baraka is gonna be cool.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Man let's hope you encounter him. I'm thinking about. Going into this with the right mindset sounds like it would be so important, especially maybe for a guy who hasn't done this before, or maybe a guy that doesn't have a ton of big deer under his belt.

You've really gotta go into it with your head, head on straight. Because if you don't, you can really ruin your season in a hurry. That's what I'm not just your season, but like your family life. Oh,

Nate Thomas: Yes. And I don't know what the saying is. I can't ever say it correctly, but don't pass something on the first day that you wouldn't on the last, okay, so let's say you've got this specific target buck and you wanna kill. Okay, cool. So opening day, you're sitting in your tree stand and a another buck walks in front of you. That's a really good buck that he's not your target guy though. So you let him walk. All right,[00:28:00] then Big Boy never shows up and at the end of the season, you're sitting there holding your tag in your hand.

Are you gonna regret letting that buck walk day one? If it's the regret, then you're doing it wrong, in my opinion. In my opinion, that's, I guess that's where you gotta watch it, because if that buck would've made you happy to harvest that walked right in front of you opening day, then shoot his ass.

What are you doing? What are you sitting here waiting for something else? That's just my opinion. Yeah that's what you gotta watch. If a buck's gonna make you happy, then let it fly. Let it let her eat. They all eat the same enjoy it. But so that's where I'll even pay attention to the bucks that aren't considered, hit listers.

Like for instance, the same farm that Barack is on, there's a few good eights. That depending on what they do when they go hard horned, I might not let 'em walk in front of me too long, that type of the situation. So every year though, I do have deer that are game time decision. Deer, a [00:29:00] camera can only tell you so much.

Especially in velvet. They all look huge in velvet. When they go hard horned sometimes more, some of them have a better do a better job with keeping their mask than others. Yeah. A lot of, some of those deer, I'm like, Hey, I like you. I'm gonna keep my eye on you, but if I see you in person, then I'll make a nice decision.

And I just have to know that I'm gonna be happy with the decision I make. So if I have an eight pointer that is a decent eight pointer walk in front of me and I make the decision, I'm gonna let you walk. I think you're, you deserve another year. Then I. I know that when I leave the woods that night, I'm gonna go, had a great encounter tonight.

Could have killed a deer. I let 'em walk. But if you leave the woods saying, I wish I'd have shot him two months later because you didn't shoot anything, then that's where you really have to think, what is it I'm trying to accomplish here? Yeah. And everybody's got different goals. I've got different goals than you, Micah, Andy.

Everybody's got a different goal this year. [00:30:00] Think about what it is you want to achieve, even if you're specifically targeting a deer.

Josh Raley: Hey guys, just want to take a quick minute to let you know that the How to Hunt Deer Podcast is brought to you by tactic cam makers of the best point of view cameras on the market.

For hunters and anglers, they're on the cutting edge, making user-friendly cameras to help the everyday outdoorsmen share your hunt with friends and loved ones. Their new 6.0 camera has a ton of upgraded features this year, but the one I'm most excited about is the new L C D touchscreen. In my mind, that's a total game changer and one area tactic cam really shines is with their mounts and adapters that are made with the sportsman in mind.

If you've tried to film your hunting and fishing excursions in the past, you know how frustrating it can be to get an action camera aimed just right or get it attached to your weapon or in a good spot for a second angle. Tica makes all of that a breeze with their line of accessories. This fall, I'll be using their stabilizer mount on my bow with a 6.0 camera and their bend dec clamp paired with a 5.0 wide camera for a second angle, and to make sure I don't miss any of the action.

To learn more and [00:31:00] check out their full line of products, head over to their website, tac Share your hunt with tac cam. That's a really good point. I've got one deer specifically that comes to my mind right now that was using this same area as the big one that I was talking about from last year.

And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt at this point, after looking at trail camera pictures, after talking to other people, running it by people, this was a 90 to 95 inch one year old. He had kickers, damn, he had kickers off of his G twos. He's the most unreal looking one year old that I've ever seen.

Either that or it was a dough with big antlers. And this year he's gonna be a two year old and he was using that same area last year, and I'm guessing he'll probably blow up and be a hundred twenty five inch, which, that's not unrealistic in Wisconsin. That happens, quite a bit.

Mean Dan Infa talks about a lot of his, Pope and young deer are two year olds. It's just how they grow there. But I really hope I don't see that deer, as a two year old. I wanna get lots of pictures on him so that next [00:32:00] fall I can come back, but I don't want to see him in person.

Yeah, this year. So let's talk a little bit about your strategy. So you go into this property, you find Baraka, you're like, man, that deer is gonna be on the hit list. How does your thought process evolve from there now that you found him? What's the next priority? 'cause I'm guessing you're not just Hey, he's on the property, so I'm just gonna go throw a bunch of hunts at it.

Nate Thomas: Yeah, it I almost feel like I'm wasting a little bit of time right now. 'cause everything changes when they go hard. Horned and crops come outta the ground, but this is a new property for me, so I'm trying to get as much information as we can right now. What's cool about Baraka right now on this property is I've got mineral out and which is legal to have out in Missouri.

And he's on that mineral. But until yesterday, I never have caught him on any other camera on that property. And I basically have cameras [00:33:00] surrounding the mineral in different areas. So I'm like what's he like? Where is he coming from? What's he doing? So right now I'm actually going to go out with Micah probably Friday afternoon, and we're gonna move some cameras and we're just trying to, like, all I want is to catch him on two cameras on the same day, so I wanna catch him at seven 30, let's say on the mineral, and then at eight on another camera. So I can say, now I know he's going from here to here at least today. And then hopefully I can at least get an idea during the summer what it is he's doing. And let's say, I don't know this yet, but let's say he's coming from north to south.

And each time he is doing it, he's doing it in the morning and every time it's a southwest wind. That makes sense. So in the, when the [00:34:00] season hits, I'm probably going to use the data I've taken and said I don't know why I would hunt him in the evening right now, because it seems like he's here in the morning.

So I'm gonna hunt every morning that there's a south to southwest wind and I'm gonna set up here. That might put him in front of me because he's done it before. Is that a great strategy? Maybe not. I love doing evening hunts. In fact, evening hunts are my favorite hunts. Over morning. I just, I like going in, knowing what I'm seeing instead of not knowing what's there.

So I love evening hunts. But that would be a way to try to attack a deer like him, or any deer you're after is if you know what's going on during the summer, that might keep going on early season. And that's where I'm hoping to catch him on more than one camera.

Coincidentally, the camera we got him on yesterday, he [00:35:00] wasn't on the mineral after that. So it's like, all right, we got you on this camera, but then he wasn't on any other camera, so he still isn't giving us interesting, like the second puzzle piece. He's just only giving us the one. Yeah. Which is fine.

I don't really care. He's letting us know he exists and he is letting us know he is comfortable there. And that's something I've always been happy with. If a, if you see a deer dozens of times at your property throughout the summer, we always hear about deer having, summer ranges and rutt ranges and that's a legitimate thing.

I've seen it, but. It can't be a bad thing that the, that a deer is comfortable on your farm. Because that means they might be back. Yeah. That's all I really want is a might, I don't have some of the best farms in the world. I'm not hunting 500 acres of primo ground that I can make 'em live on me.

So if I just know that they're happy there and they can feel comfortable, then I might see 'em again. That's what I'm alright with

Josh Raley: Have you heard [00:36:00] mark Drew's theory about Bucks in the middle of August?

Nate Thomas: Maybe, but keep going with it. So

Josh Raley: he kind, because I don't remember it.

He suggests that, like sometime around that middle of August timeframe and I think he, he puts like a specific date on it. I don't know what it is. But he has this theory that these bucks will go on these kind of little jaunts where you notice a shift in their behavior where what he says is they're checking out their fall range, or they at least make a loop through their fall range.

So I wonder, as you're saying, he didn't show up on the mineral, but he did show up over here. I'm curious if that behavior continues, over the next couple of days, like maybe that was a soiree through, through what's gonna be more of his normal fall range. How far is that other camera from your mineral?


Nate Thomas: far. It's not a very big farm, so that camera from the mineral is probably 250 yards. Okay. All right. Yeah they're, all those cameras are [00:37:00] somewhere within like a, gosh I'm horrible at like sizes, but maybe a 30 acre. 40 acre size piece of timber. Okay. So yeah, they're all within, a couple hundred yards of each other, I would say.

Yeah. When it comes, if that's true, then he's dead. Because if he's taken a soay into his fall range, which is 250 yards away from where he's been he's in trouble. Yeah. Hey, I hope that's exactly what he is doing.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Yeah. Man I'll say this, so the deer that I hunt in Wisconsin on this parti particular piece of public through this, will now be, I guess my fourth or fifth year hunting this property.

And I've learned that during the summer, I can expect the deer about 400 yards to the north. And then they make this shift, 400 yards to the south, really predictably during the rutt. And it happens right around the same time every year. And I think [00:38:00] it's, it has to do with this dough family group or two that live in this.

Really thick bedding area, right? It's not always a big shift, but it's enough where you no longer see those bucks in the bean fields or the crop fields up towards this corner of the road where, you were seeing them during the summer. Now they've made a shift and they're, I don't wanna say too much 'cause a couple folks are really keying in on where I've been hunting but they do make a shift down to the south and it's not a huge shift.


Nate Thomas: could be man, and that worries me with this farm because this farm is on the end of a block of timber, let's say. It's not really the exact terminology, but, and so I definitely have that worry that the shift is gonna go down to the thicker block of timber. My, I do have a.

I haven't seen as many Ds on camera as I would like to see at this place. Okay. Yeah. And that, that scares me a little bit, but and honestly, I really think it's just one dough with twins that I've been [00:39:00] seeing on camera that freaks me out. Yep. But, I'm gonna learn a lot about this property this year.

It's new for us, and I know he's there at least puts you in the game. It doesn't mean you're gonna kill him. It doesn't mean that you're even gonna see him, but I know he is there. And for me, that's a lot of fun. There's a lot of people that don't use trail cameras, a lot of people that, that just go hunting.

And I can see how free that would be, how freeing that would be, just to go hunt and anything can happen any day. And then there's the guys like me that are, running cameras trying to figure these deer out. And I have an idea what might walk in front of me. But if you're going to target specific deer, I would just say don't get too eight up.

Yeah. Don't become Nate Thomas with a deer like reptile or sub-zero, sub-zero i o I was the same weight, I didn't get eight up, [00:40:00] but it got stressful. And then that's when you gotta take the step back and be like, honestly, the best thing that happened was when reptile, dipped out and was gone.

It gave me a reset to go, all right, he's gone. What are you gonna do now? Yeah. And it just allowed me to settle back down and just be like, listen, there's, he could be back. You never know. There's other good deer there. Just hunt how you were gonna hunt. Because I totally changed everything.

That farm was a farm that I don't touch until, at least the last week or 2nd of October. And I hunted that thing half a dozen times in a seven day, seven to eight day span in late September because of that deer man. It's, it totally changed what I was gonna do, which obviously if I would've killed him would've been great.

But, you just, I would say just be careful with being too eight up over one or two deer. 'cause I can [00:41:00] promise you, if I'm out there hunting for, if Barack or any other deer that I'm after this year, and a beautiful representation of a white-tailed deer walks in front of me that gets my blood pumping, he's still gonna get shot.

It is what it is. That's, I don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Yeah. He's gonna get it too. It'll be

Josh Raley: right after you shoot that one. He runs off and you're getting pumped to go take up the blood trail that Baraka walks by

Nate Thomas: and then I'll kill him when I can with the next

Josh Raley: tag. There you go.

Oh, that's right. You guys get two, you get two tags in Missouri. Yeah,

Nate Thomas: it's not like right away depending on when harvest your first deer, but you do get two buck tags, but you only get one early archery season, then you get one for rifle, and then you have a second archery tag if you don't kill anything with that rifle tag the rest of the season.

So let's say for instance the year that I killed Scorpion, I killed another 10 pointer six days before I killed him. [00:42:00] I killed that 10 pointer the Monday before rifle season and then I killed him opening day of rifle season. So you can kill 'em pretty close together depending on when harvest the first one.

But that's the closest I've ever come to like that, back to back it was six. It was a six day

Josh Raley: span. Yeah. Boy, that timing's gotta work out.

Nate Thomas: That was fun. That was a hell of a week, I'll tell you that much. So let normally doesn't

Josh Raley: happen that way. Yeah. Yeah. Let's talk now about kind the changes that you're gonna be making to try to figure this deer out a little bit more.

What's that gonna look like when you're making the shift with these cameras? Are you pulling all your old cameras and shifting them more towards where you saw him on this other one? Or are you just bringing in more cameras to, to add to the mix?

Nate Thomas: No, I'm gonna move them around. So what I've been seeing with like his pictures is it looks like he's coming from a certain way just based on the way he's standing every time he's there in the first set of photos.

So I've already got a picture in that, or a camera in that [00:43:00] direction, and he's not hitting it. So I'm gonna take that camera and I'm going to. Take that camera and another camera that I think is being wasted and I'm gonna move them down in there somewhere where I'm hoping to find like a travel cord or this time of year.

It's so hard to find trails. You can find 'em, they're not easy to find. So I'm probably gonna get down into the creek and try to find a crossing and then throw that camera onto that crossing and do the same thing somewhere else. So I'm just gonna try to find like, where's he coming in and out, and that's, so I'm just gonna take cameras that are already there that aren't catching him, and I'm gonna readjust them, set him somewhere

Josh Raley: else. Okay. Looking for, that's really all I'm gonna do. Looking for some kind of travel area, some maybe small feature that squeezes 'em down, pinches 'em down, that kind of thing.

Man, from, for my buck last year, that was, that made all the difference. There was a tree that had fallen a huge oak and I had no clue and it [00:44:00] actually blocked. A second trail that the deer had been using, I guess back when I first hung the cameras was in October, early October, no, late September.

And then by November this big oak tree had fallen and it shifted their movement up by 75 yards to the north. And that's where I ended up killing him eventually, but made all the difference in the world. Just that 75 yard shift. Now all of a sudden I'm in the money as opposed to, sitting there and not seeing anything.

So when it comes to these specific deer, how important is it for you to figure out exactly where they're betting? It sounds like you could be on an early season game with this deer.

Nate Thomas: Could be. I'm almost positive he's betting close to where I'm at right now, at least. Now obviously things change, but I don't know.

Deer bed a lot of different places. Like sometimes I, I hear the term bedding and it, I [00:45:00] cringe because I've seen deer literally bedding on this, if you have a crop field and then the tractor or the farmer has a little lane for his tractor to go up and down next to it and it gets taller with grass, they bet in there all summer long.

Yeah. So is that betting now? Technically? Sure. That's betting, right? So like betting could be literally anywhere. I'm looking for like obvious bedding features that you would consider, a typical bedding area. And I would say that exists on the neighboring farm with some thicker some thicker timber that they're probably hanging out in during the day and then coming my way.

So I'm not really worried, like even if I don't catch him on any of these cameras, that I'm gonna move around. I still have an idea that's the direction he's coming from. So that's going how I'm going to attack it early season, I'm just gonna try to like, find [00:46:00] where that might be happening. And at first I might be moving it more towards that mineral, even though they stop hitting that as much during, September or October.

I might start closer to that and then start moving my way. So maybe I catch a glimpse of a buck or even him, then I can make a second move and then get closer in I, I'm a little less aggressive upfront, and then get a little more aggressive as I need to, the later the season gets.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Speaking of aggression, then in your hunting style, How concerned are you maybe this time of year when you're trying to put the pieces together with pressuring that deer?

Nate Thomas: I don't like bumping deer. So like when I'm going in and dumping mineral and changing cameras, I really don't like bumping deer.

I don't think they care as much in the summertime. So I've actually changed my strategy a little bit and I, we will see how it works and see what you think about it. But when I go in to do [00:47:00] work now, this time of year, I'm as loud as I can be. I want the deer to know that I am not there to hunt them.

I am not there to bother them. I'm just a farmer there working. Yep. Is what I'm hoping they think. I used to do it, the other, I used to be like super quiet and I didn't only go in when the wind was correct. Now I'm just like loud and a lot of that's outta necessity. I don't have the time to wait for the perfect day.

So I'm like I have to go there today, so they're going to smell me, so I'm gonna be loud as shit. Yeah. And just let 'em know that I'm just there working, if I take a side by side or something out there, I'll let it run and I'll drive it as far as I can, that sort of stuff. So they have that, that feeling that, okay, this guy's here, I'm gonna, I'll get her outta here, but I'm not too worried about it 'cause I don't like doing it.

The worst. I bumped a fawn actually at a different farm setting cameras. And I walked right on top of her. Like within [00:48:00] five feet of that fawn. And I was even upset at that. And that's just, if Fawn has no idea what is going on. But I'm like, okay, if I bumped you, that means mama is somewhere close to you and she doesn't like what just happened.

I don't like this. I tried not to bump dear and I was being loud as I could that day. She obviously heard me 'cause she was gone. But the fawn stayed. And I don't know. People have different strategies with that. I know I've talked to some folks who like to go in when it's raining and it's nice and quiet and the deer are probably not gonna be moving so much.

That'd be great, and I would be okay with that. But I just, I'm like one of those guys that if I have the afternoon to go, I have to do it. So the way I'm approaching it now is I'm gonna be loud, I'm gonna make my noise and I'm gonna get out.

Josh Raley: Yeah. Now I agree with that, man. We, so I do some habitat and hunting, property consulting, and for all of our clients, what we tell them, if you're going in this time of year, especially, here in Georgia, we're having to [00:49:00] plant food plots.

This time of year we're hanging stands this time of year, but our opener is September 9th. So we're right at a month away. We tell 'em go in there making a noise, crank a chainsaw, slam your car door, talk to your buddies, give them a heads up because there's such a shift when those deer recognize a more hunting style demeanor, I think, I see it here in my backyard.

We've got deer in the backyard, right? If I go outside and try to sneak to where I can snap a picture on my phone or something of the deer, they lose their minds. But if I walk outside and it's just like any other day and I bring the dog and, he doesn't pay them any attention. And so walk out there and just Hey, deer, I'm gonna, I'm gonna take a picture of you.

They stand there and look at me like they're confused and maybe they'll bound off a little bit and then just look back. But if I go sneaking, I can watch them run for 150 yards and never stop. And they're just gone. So I think there's definitely something to that.

Nate Thomas: Have you ever thought about that during hunting season too?

Oh yeah. Because there's always there's those differing [00:50:00] opinions on how do you walk in, in the mornings? Do you find the low ground and creep and creep and creep and take an hour to get into your stand, or you just bust through the damn woods, disturb 'em for 15 minutes and get up in your tree and be done and shut up?

Yep. Which one is better? Yeah. Honestly, boy it's just I don't know what the answer is. It could just be dependent on the property. A public land is obviously a little bit different than some private, but man, I don't know what the right answer is, but sometimes sometimes I've really thought to myself in the mornings, I'm just gonna get out of the truck and I'm gonna get to my stand and I'm gonna be done.


Josh Raley: I don't know. I mean that for me when I it depends on what I'm hunting. If I'm hunting a betting area, especially, either morning or evening, I guess I'm trying to get in quiet. If I know there are deer beded within a hundred yards of me, I. I'm taking that last little bit pretty slow because I don't wanna blow them out of the, of where they're beded and then them go off and do something totally different.

Head out the other direction that [00:51:00] evening or, leave that morning before they would get up and, do their browsing around thing at nine or 10. But if I'm hunting what I consider like a travel corridor where if they're a deer there, they're passing through kind of thing, I'm just going right for it.

If I'm not banking on the deer getting up out of its bed and walking to me, then I just Yeah. Walk. I'm not trying to make a bunch of noise, I'm not,

Nate Thomas: no. I still have a fundamental problem with breaking sticks. Like every time you walk over a stick and snap, you're like, damnit.

It's not like I enjoy doing it, but I get yeah, you're right. There's some times where I'm a lot like more worried about how quiet I'm being.

Josh Raley: Yeah. And I, it's just dependent for me on the situation. Yeah that's very true. Yeah. All right. Let's assume, and let's maybe talk about some of the other deer that you've targeted.

After you get this idea during the summer of where they are, you get a, an idea for how you're going to hunt them. What do your, targeted strikes look like and what's your thought process with each of those? Are you playing it super [00:52:00] conservative or are you trying to say, you know what, I've got him on in this area, on this wind with this kind of weather, and I'm going in where it's either kill him or spook him?

Nate Thomas: I would say I'm probably considered aggressive because the properties I hunt make you be aggressive. If I had the ability to lay off a little more, I probably would at times. But I'm not hunting 250 acre awesome places. I'm hunting cool place, they're good spots, but they're smaller and.

Harder to hunt if the larger ones just, harder to hunt because there's not much to it. For instance, when I killed NOBE Sabot right there above me, it was like, all right it's the rutt, it's we're rifle season. I have a feeling he's in the area. And if I were him today, what would I do?

I would sent check this area, and [00:53:00] I would probably walk this direction. So I'm gonna sit on the end of where I think he's gonna be sent checking. I, he could have been bedded back where I was that morning, and I could have spooked him. And I have done that with deer. Unfortunately, and it sucks when you watch this beautiful rack jump up and run away from you.

It sucks to see. But I. In his case I got back in that area early in the morning and I even remember not going, so a good buddy of ours has a a deer camp breakfast every year at the beginning of deer season. And I said, I'm not gonna be there because I wanted to be in the woods super early.

And so I got to the woods super early, got set up into the stand that I was hoping, and he did exactly what I hoped he would do. He came down a trail with his nose to the ground, walked to 30 yards and got killed. Could've spooked him, but that was an aggressive [00:54:00] move. I'm like, I can probably get away with more in the Rutt, obviously, because they care less about you and this is what I think he's gonna do.

And this is the only option I have today. So this is the option I'm gonna take. And it worked. And it doesn't always work out that way. I, for every time I've made it work, I've also watched a deer bound out of my life and or been, 80 yards off and watched them walk out into a field and away from me.

But especially during the rutt, you can definitely become more aggressive and cause less damage to your chances than if it was

Josh Raley: October 10th. Yeah. When you're taking swings at these, older, mature bucks, especially on these smaller properties, do you see any consistency in what they allow you to get away with?

Is it man, if I bump 'em once a week for a week, they're gone? Or are they letting you get close a couple of times?

Nate Thomas: I think [00:55:00] this is just me. I think bumping a deer does less than a deer smelling you. Okay. Yep. And when you bump a deer, they might also smell you too. I don't know, obviously it just depends on what the wind was doing that day, but bumping a deer almost feels like that early season.

You're walking through the woods and you bump a deer. But I've noticed, especially like with reptile, I'm almost certain that deer figured out I was there because of wind. And he was gone after that. Never again did I see him on camera, in person, nothing Other deer. I've bumped him just because I've walking in and Oh, I went a little farther than I should have.

He's already here. Or whatever. And that doesn't seem to change much. I'll see him again right now. I'm not saying they probably love [00:56:00] that, but, and I don't like doing it, but I. I'm pretty certain I bumped a deer a couple days before I killed him, and if it wasn't him, it looked a lot like him with nub.

Really? Okay. I was making a similar move. I came in a different direction. I actually walked around the farm perimeter and tried to come in a different direction. And when I got to the bedding area that I hope, I was hoping he wasn't in, he was in it and he hops up and takes off and it looked a lot like him.

I didn't get a, like an amazing look at the deer, but it looked a lot like him. And a couple days later he was back there and I killed him. What I'm saying is if I would've got into a tree stand that night and my scent went into that bedding, let's say for whatever reason, I feel like that would've done more damage than me walking up top on top of him and him taking off.


Josh Raley: [00:57:00] Yeah, I agree

Nate Thomas: with that because it's like they know something just wa they might not even know it was a human, that if they didn't smell you that walked in on top of 'em, they just know something startled them and they took off. When they smell you, it's over. They know it was you.

They know there was a person there. They know something was there that I don't want to be around. So that's why I sometimes wonder, if a bump is less damaging than, them smelling you. I'll take those chances and I've gotten burned. But like I said I'm pretty, I'm about like 90% sure that Nobe was the deer I bumped a few days before I killed him.

Josh Raley: Yeah I agree with you on that. I have even seen, now it hasn't happened with a good buck or anything, but with doughs and smaller bucks, I have, all you get that situation where you're 10 yards from 'em and they jump up and just sprint away from you. I've climbed a tree and Could see, okay, they went way over there across this marsh and then you see them coming back and they circle back through and they get down into where they just were and they start sniffing all around.

'cause [00:58:00] they're like, what was that? Was that a person, was that a coyote? Was it just some kind of weird limb falling in commotion in the woods? There's all kind kinds of stuff around. Yeah. Yeah. There's all kinds of stuff that jumps them on a regular basis that I think that if they don't smell you, I think you've still got a good chance.

I think especially with a bigger buck, they're probably gonna come back and scent check that area though. So I think the biggest mistake you can make is to say I bumped them, therefore I'm leaving for the day. What do they call

Nate Thomas: it? A bump and dump. Yeah. Isn't the great Dan fall like great at that?

Yep. Absolutely. I mean I didn't bump and dump him that day, but I know he didn't smell me that day. 'cause I know I had a north wind. He didn't smell anything, so he probably was back in there that night. That I bumped him. So that's why I say I would rather bump something than, and than have it smell me.

That's why when I do hunt, when I am aggressive, I am very specific about my wind. I will get into an area and if I'm not happy with the wind, I will get down and leave. [00:59:00] Yeah. Because if they smell me, that's when I think I've got problems.

Josh Raley: Exactly. That that to me is when you've educated them to a point that they definitely know you're after 'em.

Like they definitely know that was not a farmer coming in here to, do a little bit of work. That was definitely somebody who came in, sat down, spent some time in here and was in here for no good. Last question I've got for you. What happens when these bucks go dark on you? I'm sure throughout the season and then probably with different bucks, right?

You're gonna have those times when. They just disappear for five days or 10 days. Had a guy on the show a couple weeks ago who not made a big, horrible decision, but it could have cost him this deer because the deer went dark, disappeared for a couple of days. His assumption was, oh, he got hit on the side of the road, therefore he's gone.

I'm gonna go do something else. The deer showed back up like a week and a half later which ended up costing him [01:00:00] this other deer that he was chasing. What's your move whenever the deer goes dark and are you trying to refine them? Are you still throwing hunts at it? Are you moving cameras around?

What are you doing?

Nate Thomas: What's dark even mean? Because you gotta remember, even if you have 10 cameras in a farm, on a farm, you are covering one 10th of 1% of the possible area that they are in, right? So is even dark. He could still be there. He just could be walking behind your camera. He could be walking 35 yards outside of the view of the camera.

He could be that one deer that all you caught was a leg, is he actually dark, number one? And then number two, if it's hunting season, I don't really care if I have if I have conditions that are beneficial for me that make the hunt a low risk hunt, I guess you'd call it from a wind standpoint.

And [01:01:00] that and or a high risk success. Let's say you've got the right wind and good weather conditions. I'm probably gonna be hunting because that's gonna give me the best chances to see that dark deer anyways. Even if he is dark. If I've got that northwest wind again and it dropped 15 degrees overnight, I.

What other time is he gonna show back up other than now this is the perfect chance. So I'm not waiting for a trail cam picture anymore. I'm not waiting for something to tell me, oh, he's back. I'm gonna go hunt and hope that those conditions made that dark deer quote unquote show back up. But like I said, if he shows back up in that condition, was he ever really dark in the first place?

Yeah. And just, I have to tell myself all the time, trail cams are just that they're cameras in one little spot. Yeah. If you had a camera in every square inch of every, like I if you had like a video camera that told you everything [01:02:00] that happened on a farm every second of every day, I think you'd be very surprised as to what you would see based on, compared to what in trail

Josh Raley: cameras.

Yeah I've heard other people talk about if you get 'em on camera, You've got to figure that he was in that area way more times than you actually got him on camera. If you're getting a buck once a week, he probably moved through there three times that week. Probably. Like you said, it may have been behind the camera, it may have been 35 yards outside of the camera's view.

Your camera may just not have taken a picture like it who knows what happened, or another deer walked past triggered it and you've got a delay set and he walks by after that. All kinds of things can begin to go in after that. Are you, I said last question, last time, but thi this is really gonna be my last question.

When you're in there after a deer that has quote unquote gone dark right? Or you just, you haven't gotten a picture of him lately, are you gonna become more mobile and start hopping around a little bit? Are you gonna stick [01:03:00] to those spots that are tried and true where, you expect him to show up again when he does?

Nate Thomas: Oh no. I'll definitely move around. Okay. Especially with this new farm, I don't even think I'm have. Stands out. But I'll definitely move around. I'm not scared to hunt off the ground. I actually really like it, but no I'll definitely move around. The one farm that I've got where no was actually killed at, I've got 10 stands throughout that farm now, and it's only about a 12 acre patch of timber.

So I've got most of that covered, honestly. Yeah. But even then I'll hunt off the ground there because there's some areas that there are no trees to get in. The encounter I had with evil Eddie, I told you about, I was on the ground on that farm because I was in a stand 70 yards away from it, maybe not even that.

And I just thought I was out of the game, so I, it was raining, so I decided to get down and move and that's when I had an encounter. Man, yeah I'll get aggressive I'll get on the ground, I'll go sit up against a tree and brush myself [01:04:00] in and. Do what I need to do, but it's really not because of the deer, it's because what am I feeling is the right spot tonight?

And sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes it's because of a camera. Okay, he's been on this camera and this camera only, so I'm gonna get in here because of this wind. And I'm wrong more than I am. But that's why it's hunting, not

Josh Raley: killing. Yeah, for sure. Nate, thanks for taking the time to come on the show today.

Tell folks where they can find more from you. You guys are pumping out lots and lots of good content.

Nate Thomas: Appreciate it. Yeah. You can check us out on any podcast platform, Missouri Woods and Water. You can also find us on the Sportsman's Empire Network. Check us out on Instagram and Facebook, even though we don't like social media.

But we are there. Missouri Woods and Water is all you gotta search. And we're excited to continue learning about the outdoors through this podcast game. And yeah, check us out, check out how to hunt deer, Wisconsin, sportsmen all the

Josh Raley: guys on the network. Yeah, we've got a pretty we've got a pretty solid network, man.

So I actually, I sent out an [01:05:00] email this morning and was like, Hey guys, had some cancellations, anybody got some time. And I think I probably had six different guys that were like, yeah, I'll, I can do it at this, today. They're like, yeah, the drop of a hat we'll make it work. Good content, but just good people behind the content, which I'm, I think makes a huge difference.

And, working with the network like I do definitely makes a huge difference that we've got such a good crew of folks who not only are they passionate about hunting, but they're actually decent human beings which those things don't necessarily go together. We've got a good crew here, so

Nate Thomas: I like to say it this way.

When we got into the podcast game, I was nervous about meeting some individuals, right? Is this big name a good person, are, and I've said, I really haven't met a piece of shit yet. I'm sure they're out there. That's what I like to say. Yeah. We're, I'm just not a giant piece of shit.

And that's, I think that's a bare minimum what you should expect outta people.

Josh Raley: That's a pretty, that's a pretty low bar. Nate, like I said, man, thanks for coming on the show, folks. Go listen to the Missouri Woods and Water podcast launches every Tuesday morning. And yeah, go [01:06:00] subscribe to that and it'll be wherever you listen to podcasts popping up for you as of 4:00 AM Tuesday.

So if you're an early riser, you get up to go workout or something like that, it will be on there. Nate, thanks so much. Good luck as you get after Baraka this season, and hopefully I can hear the conclusion of the story when you air this guy.

Nate Thomas: Hey I will promise you I will come on the show

Josh Raley: if I kill him.

Perfect. Alright buddy, have a good one. See ya. That's all for this week's episode. As always, thank you so much for tuning in. If you dig this show, be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever it is that you get your podcast. If you could leave us a five star review, I would very much appreciate that.

While you're at it, you can follow along with my outdoor adventures on Instagram at How to Hunt Deere. That's also the best way to get ahold of me. Suggest topics that you want to hear, guests you want to hear from, or questions that you'd like me to explore on the show. Big thanks to our partners, TAC Hunt Worth and OnX, please go support the brands that support this show and help me bring you great content each and every week.

[01:07:00] If you're looking for more outdoor content, check out the sportsman's where you're gonna find my other podcast, the Wisconsin Sportsman, as well as a ton of other awesome outdoor podcasts.