The Fall Sessions - Ep. 6

Show Notes

On this episode of the Nine Finger Chronicles, we continue The Fall Sessions series and talk about deer hunting rules and regulations. Aaron and Dan get in to an in-depth conversation about some of the deer hunting rules and regulations in Michigan and Iowa that they both like and dislike. Topics include non-resident tags, number of bucks tags a hunter can acquire in a year, cost of tags, and season dates. Whether you agree or disagree, it's difficult to find rules and regulations that make everyone happy. Please leave your comments on Instagram and let us know if you are happy with the rules and regs in your state. Enjoy and share!

Show Transcript

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What's up everybody? Welcome back to another episode of The Nine Finger Chronicles. I'm your host, Dan Johnson, and this is the sixth installment of the fall sessions that I've been doing with Aaron and man, I have a lot of fun. Recording these. I love the conversation [00:01:00] that we've been having, and today's podcast is no different.

The topic at hand is rules and regulations. Now he's from Michigan. I'm from Iowa. Two different worlds. If you were to ask any serious hunter who maybe has had the opportunity to hunt both of those places, the rules and regulations are different. The season dates are different. The amount of deer that you can harvest in a given state is different.

And we talk about all that stuff, right? We talk about what we would do if we were the president of hunting and we were in charge of all the rules and regulations and what what we would do in given scenarios. We talk about what we would change in our own states, what we'd like to see change in our own states.

And other than that, It's just like a really good conversation about deer hunting rules and regulations. And oh, one thing, it's a hot topic and the question that I asked on Instagram. So if you go to the Nine Finger Chronicles [00:02:00] Instagram page, leave a comment about if you would pay more money to reduce non-resident for your tag to reduce non-resident tags and make up for make up for that.

And I believe non-residents have their place in any state, but I also believe that the rules and regulations should be based about off science and data, first and foremost, and second, the residents of that state. I don't know. I'm not sure why I believe that. It's just, I feel like if you live, if I live in the state of Iowa, I feel like the rules and the deer hunting rules and regulations should be.

In the benefit of the residents first and the non-residents second. And so that's just my take on some of that stuff. We, that's another part of the conversation that we dive into as well. All right, so let's see. Today we got some commercials heading your way here. First off, thank you guys very much for taking time outta your day to listen to this.

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I think you guys will enjoy. And that's the commercials. Ladies and gentlemen. What are we doing? Let's get into today's episode with Aaron and this sixth installment of the fall Sessions. Hopefully you guys enjoy 3, 2, 1. All right, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the fifth install. Or no, sixth, this is the sixth installment, is it?

I think so. The sixth installment of the Fall sessions. And I am, I'm blessed to have Aaron in my life. And dude, how do you think these have gone so far? 

[00:08:37] Aaron: I don't know, man. I really enjoy 'em. I may sound like a dummy sometimes, but, I'm just speaking from my experiences and what I do and, but honestly it's just refreshing to talk to someone like, you and I get the podcast game cuz we're in it every week, multiple times for multiple years, and it's like we can just sit here and bs like we're sitting across.

From the table from each other. So that's what I [00:09:00] really like is just, no holds Barr. No. Really script we're going off of Yeah. And we're just rolling with it. I like that. 

[00:09:06] Dan: Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like we've provided some good, not necessarily obviously the entertainment aspect, but I think the educational or the information that we've discussed and talked about has could, it could be helpful as well.

[00:09:22] Aaron: For sure. Yeah. And honestly too, I've had some of my listeners reach out to me saying, man, I love what you're doing with Dan on the Nine Fingers podcast. And I think I've converted some people over there to that haven't Oh, that's a win. So that's always good too. That's a win-win there.

Yeah. But a couple people reached out to me and just said, haven't listened to the Nine Fingers, but now I'm listening to it because you guys are doing this little series and yeah, they're liking it. Good feedback on my 

[00:09:45] Dan: end. That's great. Same here. Same here. I appreciate that, and I'm sure there's some cross there's plenty of crossover there.

I'm sure if I had to guess, some of the G guys who listened to yours also listen to mine and vice versa. So yeah. Let's see here. How was your [00:10:00] week? Anything cool? Crazy fun happen. 

[00:10:04] Aaron: Awesome, man. We just had our Michigan Total Challenge event. Oh yeah. Just got back. So Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I was up north in Thomasville.

So Crystal Mountain for any Michigander that know about that area, but did the tac thing, man. I worked full-time for Latitude Outdoors, so I was in the booth all weekend. Got to shoot two courses though. Met a lot of people, shook a lot of hands, and, had a lot of fun, drank a lot of alcohol, so yeah, it was a good time.

[00:10:32] Dan: Yeah, that old alcohol that'll sneak up on you when you're not looking? I've never been to one. I think I told you this before, but I think my, my buddy John, who's also on the Sportsman's Empire Network, and he's the host of the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast. He ha he's real close to where they hold the the TAC event down in Oklahoma.

I forget the name of, I forget the name of the place. But anyway, he says it's pretty fun. He does it [00:11:00] every year and he's trying to get me to come down and do it with him at some point. So if I go to one, it'll probably be that one. 

[00:11:06] Aaron: Yeah, no, it's a lot of fun, man. It's, my perspective on, it's a little different because I've always been working a booth with either a partner or my job, but a lot of people roll through there and a lot of people that I talk to, they're shooting multiple days.

I know guys that shot six courses over the course of three days. Yeah. And it's they make an event of it. Yeah, let's go up there, get an Airbnb with friends and just go and have fun. Like a little mini vacation. And that's what I would do if I was not like in the position.

You and I are in like in the backend of things as well. Yeah. I'd definitely be like, get your closest buddies, get an Airbnb, and just go up there and have a good relaxed weekend. How many arrows 

[00:11:42] Dan: did you lose? 

[00:11:44] Aaron: Two three, three in two courses. So out a total of 40 targets. I actually physically lost one, left one on the mountain, but I broke two other ones, okay. Lose, I didn't shoot very well the first day. The second day. Dude It was, I was money. Yeah. I'm not gonna lie to you. I was shooting really that's a good 

[00:11:59] Dan: feeling. [00:12:00] That's a good dude. Yeah, it is. I'm stroking them. I'll tell you this I would have to come with a lot of arrows if I had to leave today to go to an event.

I haven't shot in a while. I'm trying to like rehab a shoulder and so yeah, my I haven't pulled out the bow in quite some time and I need to do that. I need to get, I need to get back at it. You got. 

[00:12:21] Aaron: Yeah. And it got to the point. Now, don't get me wrong, the courses are hard, but it got to the point, the second day we had a big group, we had 10 of us.

We're all close friends and everything and we were making the shots harder. So you're supposed to have your foot on the cone that they have there. Yeah. But we'd move off a foot or two. Still safe with it, but we'd move off and shoot through little gaps of trees for four inches, and just try to sneak arrows through there.

So we were trying to make a little more competition. But it was all 

[00:12:46] Dan: good fun. Yeah, man. Sounds fun. Okay. Let's see here. I'm trying to think. I, let's just get into it. Let's just get into today's episode and I want to talk about [00:13:00] rules and regulations. All right. Okay. And I, obviously I live in Iowa and you live in Michigan two kind of comple, almost completely different approaches to deer herd management.

Sure. If you were to ask me and so how, just straight up how do you feel about Michigan's rules and regulations? 

[00:13:24] Aaron: Man? I definitely want them cha, like some of them change for sure. I'm okay with them, but I feel like there just needs to be more precedent put on them. There needs to be more, honestly, from an outsider's perspective, it looks like the state of Michigan doesn't do that much.

It looks like it's a money grab from an outsider's perspective. And. I feel like they're talking out of both sides of their mouth in a lot of ways. And now, and I'm not saying this is the DNR, because this goes [00:14:00] to higher ups from them as well. Yeah, they're, the DNR aren't making the final decisions on a lot of these things.

There's definitely some things I want changed, culturally and historically there's some things I want to stay the same, but I want 'em to change also. Yeah. So I'm talking out both ends of my mouth. But yeah, as a whole, like I'm okay with it, but I'd really like to see some things done differently.

[00:14:18] Dan: Yeah. And so it would surprise, this is what surprised me when I got into an in-depth conversation a while ago with a guy named Skip Sly. He is a, he's a a bow hunting advocate here in in Iowa. And talking to him and talking to some other the department of Natural Resources, people who work within that organ that part of the state.

They actually don't have very many much say in how rules and regulations are introduced or put into law, because that's all politicians, right? And so right now, or I shouldn't say right now, it's [00:15:00] every year there's always some kind of new law or that is trying to be passed, or they're trying to increase the amount of deer that can be taken, or they're trying to allocate more tags to non-residents or landowners or just anybody really.

They're just trying to up the ante on everything. And what we, what you find is that it's politicians that are back or that are introducing these, say, Hey, we want to introduce 7,000 more deer tags in the state, in this state, or at a rifle season, or at a sh a crossbo season. Or, allocate an additional.

10,000, to 10, allocate land or more tags to landowners so they can sell them to the list goes on about all the crazy stuff that happens. And when, whenever these scenarios come up I get really frustrated because the people who are in it, that know the biology, that know the science, that know the numbers, they're not making any of the [00:16:00] decisions on how to manage a deer herd.

It's the politicians, the, the senators, the representatives, and that just doesn't make any type of sense to me. 

[00:16:09] Aaron: No, not at all. And I think, and I've been blamed or I've put myself blamed for it as well, like the DNR point fingers at them is the easy button. Until you really know, like you, I can't imagine you could roll into any d n r office or.

Anything around the state of Michigan or Iowa or anywhere and walk in there and be like, ask 'em a question, one buck or two bucks. What would, I can't imagine that all of them would say, oh, two bucks is good. Two bucks they're fighting for us. Yeah. I gotta really, I, they're no dummies.

Yeah. So it, I think the DNR pointing the blame at them is the easy button. But you're right, man. It's these people that really don't have a clue of what's going on. I don't know who the hell's telling them what to do and what to propose and stuff like that, which is very scary when you think about it.

Yeah. Because they have the power [00:17:00] at their fingertips to probably just be like, no, it's not that big a deal. Yeah. Let's get rid of 

[00:17:05] Dan: all this stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know, man. I just the more I learn about how all this goes down the more I get pissed and a lot of people, so I am. Here. I don't wanna say anti here are some things in Iowa that we have to deal with every year.

Non-resident landowners, right? They have to go through the draw system just like everybody else, just like any other non-resident does. And so there's laws that are being introduced every year that says, Hey, landowners should be, even if they're non-resident, should be able to come in and hunt Iowa every single year.

And so that's the scary one for me because what happens is then these land, then everybody floods to Iowa, the Mecca, right? And then it just displaces locals. And it [00:18:00] increases land prices for people who, so it. It starts to fade towards, you gotta pay to play, you gotta be rich. Especially when Iowa is less than 2% public land.

And this, everything I'm saying, I've already said, again, I've already said before, but yeah that's a scary one. And I'm not necessarily against landowners shooting tags or, shooting that, but I like to look, I like to look a step further down the line and say, what's the impact and how will this impact everything moving down the line.

There's so many layers to this stuff that don't get addressed when they propose some of these bills. And quite frankly, the people that do it don't care. Yeah. And so the other one that really frustrates me is, Hey, we want crossbows during archery, during the archery season. All right and then people are like c certain people, I'm not necessarily anti crossbow.

I I You already have a season to use your crossbow in the late season here in Iowa, and they won it [00:19:00] in the archery season. I think Ohio, I don't know the numbers for sure, but Ohio is a crossbow state, and I think 70% of archery tags or something like that, 70% of archery tags are filled by crossbows.

So it just goes it goes up now like the success rate goes up because it's an easier weapon to master. And in my opinion acro, crossbow is not archery. And that sometimes that makes people mad. What I'm trying to, the. The whole thing I'm trying to say is I don't want any laws in Iowa to be changed.

I'm happy with where everything at is at right now. I feel like our state is well managed. I feel like non-residents get an opportunity, sometimes they gotta wait depending on what zone they decide to hunt in. But and if you're a non-resident landowner, you have the opportunity to hunt as well.

Maybe not during the archery season every single year, but you get other opportunities to hunt on your own property. And so I just am not I don't, [00:20:00] I've seen what happens in other states when these laws get introduced and it just murders everything that you're, that you come to love and expect, especially from a state of Iowa.

It takes nothing to to wreck that with an additional, 10,000 allocated tags that are added into the mix. And so I don't know, man. I I get really heated when it comes to things like that. 

[00:20:23] Aaron: Yeah, no I don't disagree with you. It's, this weekend after, it was Saturday night after, or no, I'm sorry, Friday night after the tack event, we were all back at Airbnb.

We had some guys over and we were just drinking a couple beers and just talking and we got talking about cuz Michigan, this last week as we're recording this, they, went to vote with a couple different, changes, proposals and everything. And one was gonna be a statewide a p r, so antler point restriction.

And it got squashed. It, it got turned down pretty easily. But, so that got brought up, somebody posed a question to me of what would you [00:21:00] like to do? And I'm like, honestly, I would like to adopt Iowa's. From A to Z adopt Iowa's whole gamut. And I said, not because they have bigger deer than us.

It's not like we're gonna, as Michigan gonna adopt Iowa's rules, and next year we're gonna have just giants everywhere. Yeah. And I don't want to say sound like there's giants everywhere in Michigan or Iowa. There's bigger deer per square mile, I would say. But it's not from a, it's not from a bigger deer standpoint, it's just from the herd management, the tag allocations, the registering your deer, registering your harvest, that sort of thing.

And I feel like their data and their seasons, their hunting seasons make total sense. Way more sense. Yep. And that's not gonna change the fact that Michigan has, twice as many or three times as many deer hunters as Iowa. I get that. Yeah. But to go to Iowa, [00:22:00] I have an uncle that shoots a cross bow because he is older and Yep.

He is got a bad shoulder. He can't go to Iowa and hunt with a bow unless he gets a doctor's note. Yep. As a non-resident, and I don't know if that's for residents as well, but I'm like, to me that could be a good thing, yep. I'm not anti crossbo either, crossbows for youth, I'm okay with Yep.

To get 'em into it. If that's the ga if that's the case. And then crossbows for senior citizens or, senior session say, or disabled, 

[00:22:29] Dan: older and disabled. Yep. 

[00:22:30] Aaron: Or disabled. Yep. Yes. That's where I draw the line. Guys like you and I don't need to be shooting crossbows if we're perfectly healthy.

Yeah. We don't I don't care if you don't have enough time to shoot in the off season. You need to make the time. Yeah. You need to. That's not an excuse for me. I don't mean to be so blunt, but that's just the way it is. You're shooting a crossbow that's. 400 plus feet per second and there's no, you don't have to pull a boat back or nothing like that.

Like you can't sit here and tell me that it's not easier for someone to shoot a crossbo. Now it is [00:23:00] legal to use that weapon. A hundred percent get it. I am okay with that, but like you said, let's make a season for it or let's put some regulations on it that so people aren't abusing it. I know people that are my age, I'm 36, perfectly healthy are shooting a crossbow because it's easier.

And they've told me that and I'm like, that is wrong. Yeah. 

[00:23:17] Dan: Speaking of Michigan, do you, what do you feel would have the most impact? Would it be removing crossbows from the archery season or would it be moving the firearm season out of the rut? 

[00:23:31] Aaron: Moving the firearm season outta the rut? Yeah.

Yeah. And then it'll never happen, which is. Fine, because it's November 15th, it's Yeah. Go back to historical the historical things that I really enjoy is November 15th. Like that's deer season. That's when gun season. I'm okay with having it starting at the 15th if it's only four days long.

Yeah. Our gun season right now is essentially 28 days long. Yeah. And we can shoot rifles. You can shoot rifles in a [00:24:00] lot of, a majority part of the state, so that, that's an issue. Yeah. And all the gun hunters that are listening to your podcast right now are just eating me alive right now.

I get it. But I understand. Like our deer camp, we have over half of us, the older guys that I grown up with the guys that are like fathers to me, that's all they do is rifle hunt, and I get it th this might be their last fall I understand, but man, let's move it back five days, six days.

Cause my whole proposal is let's move it back to Thanksgiving. Because every year people get Thanksgiving, they usually get four or five days off. Yeah. That's just it. Because the Thanksgiving and Black Friday and everything move it to opening day is that weekend. Families that come back home, they're all together.

It's Hey let's make this your tradition. We're here, we can hunt. We, we don't get a lot of time to hunt. Boom. Right there. Yeah. And the ru is still going on. I say move it back to that timeframe. And that's me being a more passionate bow hunter. Yeah. And wanting his [00:25:00] cake and eating it too.

But it's just I'm also not, I'm looking at it as far as like a herd management standpoint as from the whole state is, dude, we kill a lot of deer. In two days of rifle season. Or even in one day, opening day, there's a lot of deer that get killed. Yeah. So I would like to move it back or shorten it for sure.

[00:25:18] Dan: Do in your group of friends or in your family, when you do your, your your family hunt, do people bitch about small bucks still? Or are they just out there to have fun to do the traditional thing and just shoot whatever comes by? 

[00:25:35] Aaron: They don't really bitch about small bucks. A lot of my close friends that are my age are more of to the point now where it's just we don't know how many falls dad or grandpa has left.

Yeah. So we don't need a bitch about it. It's but I will say Dan is like, All my friends, we leave for opening day now. We go to a different state. We go to Kansas, we'll go to Iowa, or we'll go somewhere Ohio. We don't really hunt rifle season, opening day anymore. And that's [00:26:00] been like that for the last four or five years.

Gotcha. Now the older guys, I will say, 10 years ago, or even five, six years ago, like a two and a half year old buck that's a hundred, 110 inches was like, that was a big deer. We have made a step up from that with the older generation in my circle. Yeah. Now it's like the three year olds we're killing more three year olds that are, one 20 to 1 25 to one 30.

And they're excited, way more excited about that. But we do have a, we do have a good amount of two year old, a hundred inch deer that get killed on opening day. Yeah. So they're just happy to be out there, 

[00:26:38] Dan: honestly. Yeah. Yeah. It's hard to, Number one, you'll never make anybody happy. But I feel like if you really are trying to do what is best for a given state, then it's not gonna make people happy.

It's gonna I would feel like there would be a year or two of a band-aid rip type scenario, and [00:27:00] then people would be like, okay, all right, anyway, here's the new normal and this is what we have to do now. And it, yeah. Then for example, once you start getting a higher age class of bucks and people see the change until that, until they see no one, nobody has vision.

Nobody has the vision to see into the future of what an older age class would do. How do you, where do you stand on Michigan being a two bucks state? 

[00:27:28] Aaron: I'm part of the problem. I shot two bucks last year. Yeah. I could, it could be really easy for me just to shot the first buck last year and not buy two tags, but my whole thing is if I can buy two tags I'm going to, because that money goes to conservation.

Yeah. And this is what I tell people that aren't hunters, as far as like I'll take, my mom first, for instance, she's not a hunter, but she could buy a tag and that is her donation to conservation. If she would like, people like that. That's just a, but my whole take is, yeah, [00:28:00] I want one buck.

For sure I want it tomorrow and I'd pay a hundred dollars for that one buck tag. I really would. Yeah. That's just, yeah. For older age class deer and for bigger deer, a hundred percent. But in the grand scheme of things, I know. That our herd would balance, give it two, three years. Our herd would be a way better balanced herd than we'd ha than we'd have we've had for the last 30, 40 years.

Yeah. Because that's gonna force guys and gals to shoot more d Yeah. And those guys that, want the meat so bad to that maybe don't like to shoot do, they're gonna shoot do, and that's just gonna, in turn, you give it three, four years, it'll balance out the herd. Man. One buck. I would, I'd give anything to have one buck back, you know what I mean?

Yeah. Actually not back. We've never had it. So that, I guess that's my take on it. But you guys, as Iowa, if you're a landowner, you can shoot three bucks, right? Yep. Three bucks. So three bucks for landowners. Is that a big, is that a big thing for you? Do you look at that and [00:29:00] man, I don't really agree with 

[00:29:01] Dan: that.

I. It's hard to say because a lot of stuff that goes down, that second landowner tag is coveted, right? People, you just, it opens up what you can do if you're a landowner what you can pass and what you can, what you're willing to shoot. You have one archery tag, and then you have one which would be considered a firearm tag, and you can use that for early season muzzle loader.

You can use it for any of the shotgun season or the late season tag. Now you throw in your landowner's tag on top of that. So anybody with four acres or more then can get a second tag. I, I don't know if it needs to be based off if they need to bump up that four acres and make it more like 10 acres or something like that.

I don't know. I feel we have so few hunters compared to you guys that I don't think it's a big issue right now. If, because a lot of the guys who do let's just say they're not [00:30:00] filling their tag, they're not filling the, that, that tag on any buck. So usually what happens is they'll shoot and I'm not saying this is the norm or anything, I'm just saying this is what I feel happens.

They're gonna shoot like a one 40, then they're gonna hold out for a stud and then they're fire season. Usually some guys will do the muzzle, late season muzzle loader. Most people that I know who are landowners, they have their statewide archery tag. Then they have their landowners tag, which they use for during the rut.

And so whatever one they fill first, then they hold the other one for giant. They're passing, like they're managing their own land. They're passing small deer. They wanna get that older age class. And then the firearm tag is usually for a muzzle loader in the late season. And you can use it where really, wherever you want.

And I don't know, there's a part of me that likes the Kansas system, which is one buck. You can use a [00:31:00] gun with it. You can, during the gun season. You can use a bow during the archery season, whatever you want. We don't care. But you only shoot one buck now. I think a lot of it depends on the amount of cover on, in a given area too.

So Kansas is, more pasture less cover even then, Southern Iowa, there's a, there's good cover in southern Iowa. Northern Iowa, not so much, but so in certain areas, taking two bucks. I wish they could, I wish they could do what they do with dos, right? So in Iowa, every county has an allocation to dos.

So some, like the county that I live in, there's a lot of people and the DOE tags run out fast. And then by the end of August, all of them have been purchased. But in my the county that I grew up in, there's always like 3000 extra DOE tags after the first initial purchase. And so what [00:32:00] you have there then is like just you can go back.

If I wanted to, I could shoot as many dos as I wanted. There's that many tags. Okay, there's that many tags left over. I wish they could put the science that, the science they use there and say, Hey, this is a one buck county, or this is a two buck county. And so to balance the herd.

And so it would be based off county, but I don't think, I don't think that would ever go over because certain people, let's say if you have a river bottom ground in an all Ag, in an all Ag, that guy definitely wants to keep his second buck tag. While it probably won't affect the guy up, in, in ag country once the crop crops come out, right?

Because everything's flooding down to where he's at anyway. And so that guy, there's all these little micro e ecosystems that are within every little place and so that, that makes it difficult as well. So who knows, man. 

[00:32:55] Aaron: Tell me this, do you think that a [00:33:00] landowner getting possibly three tags for the year is a bigger impact than the early muzzle loader season?

Because I see. A lot of residents killing giants in that early muzzle season in October. Like I know, I personally know guys that are like every year are like killing giants. Yeah. What do you think is a bigger impact without really probably knowing the numbers, just like as on, on your head and what 

[00:33:29] Dan: yeah. I, I don't see the for me anyway, I don't know personally of a lot of guys who actually hunt the early season muzzle litter. Okay. Yeah. So I don't really have any information on it. Now, what I will say is late season muscle loader guys are slaying giants. Yeah. They don't even hunt their rut because they know when all the crops come out around their farm, they have standing crops in theirs, or they have food plots and it just turns.[00:34:00] 

And Yeah, dude I know guys who are not good hunters at all, who are smoking giants with muzzle loaders in the late season, every single year. And it's just they hunt the archery season. They're not good at, putting themselves in position for bow hunting. They can't make it happen.

But their failsafe is the late season muzzle loader, especially if you have standing beans and you have the money to do that. Sure. And yeah, so that's where they're finding their success. But outside of that man, it's hard to tell because there's there's so many you cut, you go Interstate 80 in Iowa through Des Moines, and you cut the state in half north-south.

They're two completely different states. It's all ag up flat Ag ground up in the northwest corner of Iowa. Yeah. There's some river bottoms and things like that, but everything gets, like where my grandparents grew up, there's deer there, but they're all stacked into these little [00:35:00] river bottom properties.

And then right off of that is where all my grandparents, and it was just ag as far as you could see, ag as far as you could see. And man, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. 

[00:35:11] Aaron: It's tough. I feel like this conversation's always doesn't matter who you have it with. Yeah. I feel like it's always talking in circles.

Yeah. Because it's we wanna do something different. We might have a couple of good ideas that we think are good ideas, but then it's it's just a revolving door of talking in a circle. Yeah. 

[00:35:27] Dan: Because if you take a tag away from a landowner, what I mean, there's no real benefit to being a landowner then.

I maybe. Cuz if you take a tag away from a landowner, then you have to take a tag away from a non landowner almost. You take a tag away from everybody. 

[00:35:44] Aaron: And I also think though, that could be twofold, right? And tell me if I'm wrong here, I'm gonna, I'm gonna hop take here. Yep.

Let's say you take that landowner tag away cuz you're gonna get guys, cuz you only have to buy four acres. I say only, but for some guys that's probably not that hard to do. Yeah. Let's [00:36:00] say, you got guys buying tag or buying land just because of, just to get that tag. Yeah. Now, in the flip side, if you take that away, wouldn't that open up more public land possibly for, for the state to buy?

Possibly. You know what I mean? Because I was, you said it's only 2% public. There's not a ton there. So let's say you take that away. The logistics of that might be a nightmare, but what I'm thinking is If you have a certain amount of hunters buying land and just purchasing land just to purchase it for a tag.

Do you think that might open up more public land possibilities for the state to buy? 

[00:36:40] Dan: I don't know, man. I don't know. 

[00:36:43] Aaron: And maybe that four acres is so small that it's really not even gonna make a big deal. Yeah. Yeah. Like, why would the state of Iowa buy just four acres and put it in public land?

I don't know. 

[00:36:52] Dan: Yeah. So then what you're doing, in a way, it looks like you're taking something away from a landowner to give it to [00:37:00] to everybody else and not Yeah. Everybody else. Yeah. They could take advantage of it if they wanted to too, but I don't know too many guys who are private landowners in Iowa that go and hunt public too.

I know a couple of them. But they save their farm, their, they save their farm for the rut or the best time of year. And then they. They go hunt public sometimes as well. Very few guys do that. A majority just, they just go hunt their own farms, so they probably they wouldn't take advantage of it.

And I think there would be, there would need to be a ton of land purchased in order to make a difference. I agree. Yeah. And that would be, it's, it would be impossible given the financials and all that. If you were president of hunting, right? If you were the president of hunting or you were in charge of some natural resource committee and there was no vote, you didn't have to, you didn't have to pass a, any type of [00:38:00] law.

You just implemented whatever you wanted across the entire country. What are you doing? Hey, 

[00:38:07] Aaron: you're putting me right on the spot there cuz it's so situational. Yeah. But as a general, as a generality of everything, I think I think every state and this my, after I think about this more after we're done recording, I'll probably change, but right off the rip, every state is a one buck state, non-residents coming into that state.

It has to be a draw. Like it's, there's no over the counter stuff, but it might, it could be a year or two, I think it has to be county based. Like you said, like Northern Iowa's, very open, very not a ton of timber, I think. I think you do an analyst of each state and county and you come up with a plan for those counties and those zones.

And you zone everything off. And maybe that's when you go, okay, we can take two bucks per zone here, but the rest of it's gonna be one buck. And and then how [00:39:00] I would do the dough allocation is the same, basically the same way you gotta do your deer census to, to figure out how many you can take, but to try to keep that good balance there.

But I, the other thing is too, like non-residents fund a lot of states, like Nebraska right now, they just, they're basically cutting their tags, their non-resident tags and almost 50%, like that's a lot of ad or that's a lot of revenue that comes into that state from non-residents.

Yeah. So like non-residents do fund a lot of that. But I, being a traveling hunter as well, I love to be able to do over the counter. But in the grand scheme of things, I like to try to position like, oh, I can hunt Kansas this year and I'm gonna draw Iowa in two years. I don't have to, you can hop scotch, and really make a plan there. I would really like to see like a draw because the way Iowa does it, $60 for a point for non-residents. You're getting the state's getting money that way too. And the people aren't coming to hunt that, that's just mailbox money, in my opinion. Yep. So why not do a system like that and then when the [00:40:00] tag, when you do draw the tag, yeah.

It's gonna be a pricey tag. Yeah. It's gonna be 500 bucks or more. Yeah. And then you're just, cuz it's coveted and in turn you're gonna make want, you're gonna want more people to come to your state or people are gonna want to come to your state because you have a better deer herd. You have bigger deer to chase.

And it's not like an every year thing. So it's gonna be a little more sought after, I think. So right off the rip. And, that's as a 30,000 foot view. I think that's some things that I'd really want to do. Yeah. 

[00:40:29] Dan: If you were to ask this question to any resident of any state if we reduce non-resident tags, would you be willing to pay more for your tag?

What do you think their answer would be? 

[00:40:46] Aaron: As for a resident of that state? State? For a resident 

[00:40:48] Dan: of the state? Yep. 

[00:40:50] Aaron: I think you'd have a heavy lean towards, yes, I'd pay more. Yeah. Yeah. And that's I think that, I think the like kind of the fair weather guys [00:41:00] that are maybe just rifle hunters, maybe the little older generation, they might be a little more reluctant, but the guys like you and I.

There's more of us than that older generation. I think they're gonna be like, yep, how much is it gonna 

[00:41:12] Dan: be? Take my wallet. And here's the thing, there's so much old school mentality into this because number one, I paid 28 50 for my statewide buck tag. 28 50. That's it. That's it, man. Like I feel like that should be almost 50 bucks or so.

[00:41:31] Aaron: Some, lemme ask you this, Dan, what if it was 

[00:41:32] Dan: a hundred? Would you pay it? Yeah, of course I'd pay it. Cuz this is what I do. If it was $200, I'd pay it because this is what I do. If it was $500, I would pay it because this is what I do. Okay? Yep. This is what I do. I don't do anything else but it, just because something is cheap doesn't mean it's affordable.

So 28 50 to me is nothing. 28 50 to, somebody else could be, geez man, that's I got, I really have to think if I [00:42:00] can afford this or not. Sure. And I don't know. I feel like the whole point of that question was, I feel like any state, I understand how non-residents bring money into states and the amount that they do will because they're paying more.

And I feel like a non-resident should pay more. But I also think that all the rules and regulations that are set should keep the state's best interest or the resident's best interest in mind first and foremost. Cuz ultimately they're paying state taxes, right? They're paying, they're living there, they're paying the state taxes.

And if you balance that out a tag in Iowa versus what I'm paying a non-resident tag in Iowa versus what I am paying in taxes to the state every year. There's your answer right there. Now states like I think it recently Nebraska cut non-resident tags, you said. Wyoming, or was it Wyoming or Montana?

Did the same. And I'm okay with that. It just means the line to get [00:43:00] into the, those states are gonna get longer. But the, if you really want to hunt a state, like move to the state, and that's what I say to the these non-resident landowners where they buy the land in Iowa knowing the current rule, and then they bitch about not being able to hunt here.

Why did you buy land in Iowa if you already knew the rule in the rule existed? So you're now you're moving into you're buying land in a state now you're trying to change the rule, right? That's what's happening when people leave Caif, they're leaving California and New York and they're moving to Texas or Florida or something like that.

And then they're, they bitch about the rules that are there, and then they vote in the same thing that's going wrong in their state. When they get there anyway, that's that same mentality. And so yeah, you love something about a state, so you go buy land there, then you wanna try to change it for your own benefit.

And I don't like that. 

[00:43:56] Aaron: Let I agree with you. I want take a little step further and go back to your [00:44:00] initial question. And if you were to ask resident owners or resident people of that state, if they had paid more for a tag, lemme ask you this a couple podcasts ago. You brought to my attention that you talked to a guy at a sporting event and you, you realize that, he was talking a big game until he realized like, who, what you do and how invested you are.

And then maybe he's not as invested. So let me ask you and somebody that, that might be like that, like you could say Fairweather or, they're just not as invested. They just do it to do it. Do you think those guys. Would be reluctant or willing to pay a little bit more like how, what's your, where's your headspace on 

[00:44:39] Dan: that?

Okay. So here's what I would want to see, and this would have to be in depth research, but I would want to see the average income from the people who buy hunting license. And you don't have to give your name or social security number, but just a survey that says how much money do you make a year?[00:45:00] 

And I feel like the people who buy who are hunters would be at the average or higher. The average would be at the state average and or higher, right? Sure. So people who are currently hunting, Are making more money than the average person, if that makes if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah, I would feel like the fair weather guys would still pay it, would still pay it pay a 50 or a hundred dollars for a tag like that.

But I see. Because I've been there before when, when my mom and dad got divorced, man, we, we didn't have much, we're, we were pinching pennies pretty tight. And so an additional X back then though the tag was $12 to get a deer tag. And even then, I can remember certain scenarios where like $10 was a thing.

Back in the late [00:46:00] eighties, early nineties. And so now times it by two, whatever, You now you're, it's the same kind of thing. Some people may seem 28. I just, I would, in order to make that decision, I would have to have some more analytics to look at. 

[00:46:16] Aaron: Sure. Yeah. And I think that's what a lot of stuff that we're talking about is the numbers need to, the num, the numbers need to be, we need to know the numbers before we make any knee jerk reaction.

[00:46:26] Dan: Because I don't wanna see someone not be able to hunt because it's too expensive. You know what I mean? And 

[00:46:32] Aaron: That was like my next question too, is do you think it would be advantageous for the state to be like, we're for residents only for residents? If you're under this average line or whatever line that might be.

Here is like a payment plan you can do and you have, cuz I, I agree with you. Yeah. There's some people that are less fortunate and probably can't budget the way. That a lot of other guys or gals can. So it's okay,[00:47:00] three or four installments. I know it sounds really like Billy Mays, but three or more installments of this by this date.

Yeah. You can still hunt while you're paying on it, but it needs to be paid off by this. Yeah. Would that 

[00:47:12] Dan: be a way to go? Maybe. But it just becomes complicated for the state to have to figure that out. Sure. Someone would have to manage that and that's more money to a person instead of towards the natural resource.

So you're ha you're having to hire someone to manage that system. And I just then I don't think it would be beneficial in the long run. 

[00:47:34] Aaron: Now tell me this, what about having a booking agent, like a worldwide trophy adventures, like a WTA that they'll float the cost, so if you're that booking agent, Dan Johnson is Dan Johnson Inc.

And I'm a lesser, can't really afford it, and I go to you, I'm like, Hey, I don't wanna buy. I wanna get a deer tag this year. You float my cost, your company does, and then I pay you [00:48:00] back. You know what I mean? So the state's still getting their money. I know there's gotta be cash flow going there, but there's a lot of companies that do it.

WTA is one. What's, there's a couple other ones that float tagged for people to go on these big hunts, but it could be like a booking agent 

[00:48:14] Dan: almost. Yeah. If it's third party, I'd be more inclined to do something like that than actually have it be a state run program. Sure. Yeah. 

[00:48:23] Aaron: And that just generates more jobs for the state as well.

Yeah. And there's ways that you could definitely work in conservation to that. But that could be an option, 

[00:48:33] Dan: I feel like. Yeah. Yeah. How much is a Michigan tag? 

[00:48:38] Aaron: I think I'm gonna be wrong. I'm gonna have to look it up real quick. I'll look it up right here. It shows you how much I really pay attention to.

I just buy it every year. Yeah. 

[00:48:49] Dan: So the cool thing about the, while you're looking that up, I'll say the cool thing, my, my first buck tag is 28 50. My first DOE tag is 28 50, and then my second DOE tag, I [00:49:00] think is like 12 bucks. And so from there, it's all cheaper. Now, when it comes to tag prices, I think landowner tags are $4.

Oh, really? Yeah. For a landowner. A landowner's tag. I wanna say it's four, $4. I

Dead air's not good. For how 

[00:49:24] Aaron: much Is no Dead air's fine. You talked to Joe Rogan. Dead air is good to go. Yeah. We're just looking stuff up here. How much is so a deer license, a resident that da. Why is it not giving me what I want here? Yeah, dead air's fine.

Everybody's landowner. 

[00:49:38] Dan: Oh, I'm sorry. Resident landowner. Any sex? $2. What? $2 for that tag? 

[00:49:49] Aaron: A resident landowner. 

[00:49:51] Dan: A resident landowner. I live in Iowa. I own land in Iowa. My, any sex tag is $2. [00:50:00] Okay. That needs to be, that need, that price needs to go up. I feel. I, because I think back in the day, the whole point of a non-resident tag was like, Hey, I'm having problems with deer.

I wanna shoot some of these deer. You know what I mean? And it's not but now it's something different. It's Hey maybe it is, but now it's not like I. The guys who are buying land strictly to hunt. Yeah. They may farm it or they may cash rent the ground out to someone who farms it.

Yeah, like that. They're not there for like herd management. They're there to kill giant deer, like to big bucks. And that's what they're using it for. And so I feel like the price of that needs to go up. No I would 

[00:50:45] Aaron: agree. So a base license, so basically Michigan calls it a base license, but it's like your hunting license for a resident is $11.

Okay. So that's just for your hunting license for you to be legal to go hunting. Now a resident [00:51:00] Deere license is 20 bucks. Okay. And then a resident combo. So that's, two Deere tags basically. One's a buck tag and the other one's an either sex tag, it is 40 bucks. So you're looking at, roughly $51 for a resident.

For a buck tag, an their sex tag in a base light, in a, your hunting license. Yeah. Now for non-residents, if you wanna know non-residents a non-resident hunting license is $151 to come to Michigan to get your hunting license. And then a non-resident tag is 20 bucks. So you're looking at like roughly around 170 some dollars to come hunt Michigan as a non-resident.

[00:51:45] Dan: How much? 1 67? 

[00:51:48] Aaron: I think it's 171 or a hundred. Okay. Low one 70 s for a non-resident to come and hunt Michigan. 

[00:51:57] Dan: Okay. Yeah, that's what I paid and I thought that was dirt cheap [00:52:00] 

[00:52:01] Aaron: for a non-resident. It's, in the grand scheme of things, it's one of the cheapest out there that I know of. Yeah, 

[00:52:06] Dan: I feel felt that Nebraska was fairly cheap.

When I went out there, maybe they raised their prices last year or something.


[00:52:17] Aaron: Anyway. What is one of the cheapest states that you've been to? That you can remember? 

[00:52:22] Dan: I went to, I can't remember if it was Texas or Oklahoma. Not that I've actually hunted. N Nebraska is by far the cheapest that I've actually hunted in outside of, as far as outta state hunts.

But I think Oklahoma, you can buy a book they give you, they don't just give you one, they give you a booklet and you can shoot two or three bucks and you can shoot six dos or something like that. I, I'm guessing there, but in Texas, I think it's the same way. They just give you a booklet, Alabama, I think they give you a booklet and you just mark it off as you go.

So it's not individual. That's so crazy. Yeah. [00:53:00] For a while there, Alabama, I don't know if this has changed. You could shoot a buck every day of the season. That's wild. 

[00:53:08] Aaron: think New Jersey, you can kill 

[00:53:09] Dan: five bucks. Yeah. It's nuts. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:53:17] Aaron: I do wish Michigan's out-of-state tag was probably a little bit higher.

Just a little bit. Yeah. I really don't know the number of people that come to Michigan to hunt. I really don't know that percentage and how many people are doing that. I can't imagine it's that high. A lot of it's probably. People that used to be residents of Michigan that moved away and they come home for Thanksgiving or oh, I'm from Michigan.

We got, my grandpa's got laying there, so I'm gonna hunt. So that's probably a, a majority of the non-resident hunting, I would think. 

[00:53:48] Dan: Yeah. Another thing that I would like to see is Iowa lower the age of the lifetime hunting license, I don't know, 40 or something like that. [00:54:00] Charge a thousand. How old is it?

I think it's, I think it's 60 or 55. Or 60. 

[00:54:06] Aaron: So wait a second. So you can, a lifetime goes until you're 55 or 60? 

[00:54:12] Dan: No. A lifetime goes until you're dead. But you can't purchase it until you're a certain age. 

[00:54:18] Aaron: Oh, I see what you're saying. Okay. Yeah. Lifetime. That would be duh. Yeah. 

[00:54:23] Dan: Iowa Lifetime Hunting license.

Let's see here. Non-resident hunting. How much is a lifetime hunting license in Iowa?

This says $22. I don't think that's right, though. That can't be right. Resident hunting, $22. How much is a lifetime hunting license in Iowa? I don't know. It 

[00:54:48] Aaron: doesn't, $22 cannot 

[00:54:50] Dan: be right. It can't be right. 

[00:54:53] Aaron: So right here from Michigan lifetime, the fee for comprehensive lifetime hunting and fishing [00:55:00] license is 1025.

1020 $5. And she'll include all the following, a resident, small game license, resident firearm, deer license, and resident bow and arrow deer license. So that's what it is in Michigan. I don't know the stipulations on it though, like 

[00:55:16] Dan: when you can buy it. Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna have to do some more digging to that because that's just, oh, here it is.

See, this says 61 50. That 

[00:55:27] Aaron: can't be right. That's gotta be in the thousands, I would say. 

[00:55:31] Dan: Yeah. There's some stipulations here in asterisk that I'll have to read into anyway. I think it'd be cooler if they dropped that because they're still getting their money out of it and even, sure. Most people stop hunting at a certain age anyway. Like late seventies, I would guess. People are, don't go out as much anymore. Maybe if you're serious, you still buy your tag anyway and maybe go out for a weekend of gun season in your late seventies, but most people are hanging it up by then.

If I [00:56:00] had to guess. Yeah, I would agree with you. Now here, just going back to what we were talking about in this, one stamp I think if you, this is the hard conversation to have because I. What I want, and let's say someone like my stepdad wants art is too complete. My, my stepdad is a passionate hunter.

He loves going out, but he's not waiting for a four year old to come by every year. Even in Iowa he's pulling the trigger on he's more of abr, not necessarily it's a brown, it's down guy, but he's not a, he's not like me. And he's passing three year olds. Okay. He's shooting stuff, especially in the shotgun season.

Anything that comes by is getting shot when they, if they do a drive or if they're just sitting e Either way, this is the hard part is I can't just think about myself. I have to think about everybody else. Because if I wanted if I, if everybody was the same, then I would say implement Iowa's rules and regulations in [00:57:00] absolutely every state across the nation that, as far as whitetails are concerned, and that would I feel like everything would balance.

But that's your guess. I'm not a biologist, but I, people don't think like that. Not everybody thinks like that. So if I am saying, if I'm introducing some of these certain rules and regulations to make deer hunting like the age class up, then I'm taken away from the guy who just like, dude, I love hunting.

I'm gonna shoot animals. I don't care if it has big antlers. I don't care if, I understand that they can still do those things under those rules and regulations like Michigan with their antler point restriction and adding that statewide, that's a, that's harsh. I feel like that would Oh yeah.

That would be harsh. Even though I have a buddy that lives in northern Michigan and he was, he lives in an antler point restriction zone and he said, I have seen direct [00:58:00] results of that. A p r. Meaning, yeah. Bigger bucks. 

[00:58:04] Aaron: Yeah. And to combat that, because I have my co-host on our podcast, David Riley, he, his grandfather is, I think in his early eighties and still to this day, goes out and just wants to kill his buck, and his argument is like, APR would be good, but also for those older people, or the youth, they have to ab obey by those rules. And it's yeah, but grandpa just wants to go out and shoot his book opening day. Yeah. That's fine. I agree with you. So I would say, to combat that, like when you hit 65 years old, you can shoot whatever you want after that.

Okay. Kind of thing. You know what I mean? Okay. Yeah. Almost like my dad just turned 65 a couple days ago. My dad is still, he still shoots a vertical bow. He's still weights for three year old. He's an anomaly in that way, in that sense, but, Yeah. Like a lot of those guys and gals when they turn 65, let 'em shoot whatever they want.[00:59:00] 

Yeah. They, it doesn't have to be an APR because I think the percentage of those people is not as high as you really think. I think for the youth that and maybe when they get to 13, 14 years old or something like that then they have to start obeying by the, by everybody else's playing field.

But then when you get to 65, it kicked, cuz when you get in 60, when I think it's when you turn 65 in Michigan, you get the senior pricing for all the tags. Yeah. So my dad only pays five bucks for his tags now. Yeah. 

[00:59:28] Dan: Yeah. I feel you. Yeah, man. Good conversation today. I, it's something that it's, it is the hardest thing and the most confusing to me.

Number one, just being like, the people you are mad at the DNR are probably not making any of the decisions. Exactly. They're probably for, in, in Iowa, they're probably doing the allocation of do tags per county. But outside of that, shotgun seasons, rifle seasons, archery [01:00:00] seasons, dates, tag out tag allocation to landowners and non-residents, that's all done by politicians.

And I would, if I was president of hunting, I would say politicians cannot make decisions on hunting, like hunting rules and regulations. It's all done through the Department of Natural Resources. Yeah. 

[01:00:23] Aaron: Yeah, I agree with that a hundred percent. 

[01:00:24] Dan: Anything else you want to add before we shut her down today?

[01:00:27] Aaron: No. No, man. Good conversation. Appreciate having me on again. Yep. And 

[01:00:31] Dan: yeah, it was great. Yeah, there's gonna be a delay. There's gonna be one week without the fall session. Aaron's being lazy and going on a vacation, 

[01:00:41] Aaron: I gotta spend some family time, man, where I can just turn my phone off and have to worry about anything.

[01:00:45] Dan: Oh, hell yes. All right. Enjoy your vacation, man. And again, thanks for coming on. 

[01:00:50] Aaron: Thanks, Dan.


[01:00:57] Dan: And there you have it. Another episode in the books. [01:01:00] Huge shout out to Aaron. Huge shout out to all of you for taking time outta your day to download record. Please go leave me a five star review whenever you get the chance. Please go and support the brands that support this podcast. Tethered wasp, vortex, hunt stand Woodman's Pal, and Hunt Worth.

I'm really looking forward to sharing a couple more with you coming down the path and then, That's it, man. Good vibes in. Good vibes out. If you're gonna be in a tree, it's that time of sea. It's that time of year, man. Wear your damn safety harness and we'll talk to you next time.