Hey everyone, welcome to episode 182 of the Antler Up Podcast!
On this week's episode I was joined by First Lite’s Whitetail Category Manager Gregg Farrell. This is Gregg’s fourth time being a guest on the show, and with each appearance, I continue to learn every time he is on. Gregg lives, breathes and sleeps all things whitetail. I don’t know about you, but right now in the middle of July I am ready to be in full swing season mode. Gregg and I kick things off in this episode catching up a little bit. Following that we dive right into what Gregg is doing and what he shares I believe is such a great perspective on how things have evolved for him when it comes to preparing for the whitetail season! So for this podcast episode we get Gregg’s preseason whitetail checklist covering what he is doing right now and the rest of the time leading up to the start of his whitetail season.
When it comes to planning for the whitetail season, Gregg shares his upcoming plans for how he plans out his hunts. Obviously being the First Lite Whitetail Category Manager has a huge role in this, Gregg still gets a lot of time to hunt his property in WI. Following this discussion we dive into what the months of July and August look like. From prioritizing non-hunting items, developing game plans by e-scouting and being able to get boots on the ground. Gregg makes sure by the time the season rolls around that all his gear is dialed in and ready to go. Then when the season kicks off, he uses historical data and reads current sign to make a move. A really fun chat with a good friend and again someone who just LOVES hunting whitetails. Check it out and let us know what you think! Enjoy this fun episode and see you next week!
Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!
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Jeremy Dinsmore: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Antler Podcast, brought to you by tethered the world's best saddle hunting gear, and we have a great show for you all today.
What's up everybody? Welcome back to this week's episode of the Ant Laura Podcast. On this week's episode, I was joined by First Lights Whitetail category manager, Greg Ferrell. This is Greg's fourth time being a guest on the show and with each appearance, I continue to learn every time he is on. Greg lives and breathes and sleeps all things whitetail.
I don't know about you, but right now in the middle of July, I'm ready to be in full swing season mode. Greg and I kick things off this episode by catching up a little bit. Following that, we dive into really what Greg is doing and what he [00:01:00] shares, I believe is such a great perspective on how things have evolved for him, and I think a lot of us will be able to relate when it comes to preparing for whitetail season.
So for this podcast episode, we get great pre-season whitetail checklist covering what he is doing right now and the rest of the time leading up to the start of the whitetail season. Give you a little bit more Cliff notes on this episode. Obviously we catch up a little bit, but being the whitetail category manager at first light.
Obviously he has a huge role in developing gear, but because of that he has a great opportunity to test gear out. So he's planning his hunt, so we get an opportunity to hear how that really dictates that, where he spends still a lot of time hunting his property in Wisconsin, which is really good and cool to hear how he has done work on that a couple years ago with Jeff Sturgis and how that's evolved for him as well.
But then we get into really what is he doing right now and what does August look [00:02:00] like before September hits? And he might have to go out and do an early season hunt. So definitely enjoy this fun episode because I'm telling you this, Greg is just one of those individuals that I just love to listen to when it comes to what his philosophies are, his strategies, just because these are things that, even though out here on in Pennsylvania, I do find myself thinking back and applying certain things that he talks about.
And when it comes to what he's taking care of right now, it really hits home because it's trying to, not to do a little spoiler alert, but some things aren't always related to hunting. Although I fall on that line, I feel like right now I've created a really good balance of. Pre-season stuff, handling everything going on in that hunting world as well as my family world.
So I hope those of you that are doing that, continue to do that, push towards that. It's I hope, I'm hoping to pay off when the season rolls around. So thanks again everybody for tuning in this week with Greg [00:03:00] Ferrell next week. We have a really fun one that I'm really excited to air Pennsylvania. Hu Hunter smashed four bucks last year in three different states, so be on the lookout for next week's episode with Chris Wist.
Really enjoy this conversation that I have with him. But if you like what you hear in this conversation with Greg, please don't hesitate to go leave that five star review over on iTunes and Spotify and just if you have that written review on iTunes, I really appreciate it. And then, like I said, I'm finalizing the deal details with Exodus to get some arrows out to you guys.
So we'll be on the lookout for that here shortly. Thanks again everybody. See you next week, aunt Laura.
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And a special code is made for our listeners of the Antler Podcast. For America's best Bo strings, use code antler up and you'll save $10 off your order. What's going on everybody? Welcome back to this week's episode of the Antler Up podcast. I'm joined by a good friend of mine. Third time on the podcast we got Greg Ferrell on the first light Whitetail ca category manager, a guy that [00:05:00] I, one not only respect because of the hunter that he is, but also the brain and the.
Stuff that he puts in behind the scenes when it comes to putting out some phenomenal gear for us, Whitetail hunters, especially from first light, obviously, but, he's made my life a heck of a lot easier and enjoyable when I'm up in the saddle when it's November and it's very cold. Greg, man, it's a pleasure to have you back on the podcast.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah. Or thanks for having me back. I appreciate the very kind intro. I don't know if it's deserving, but I always enjoy hopping on here and catching up with you, and seems like every time I come back the podcast has got a lot bigger and you're doing a bunch more things. It's definitely
Jeremy Dinsmore: cool to see.
Yeah, it keeps me busy and I'm very happy with where things are going, and feedback's been great, but, we're just saying where you were away on a hunting trip and things broke loose at the house, what what have you been up to, man this past spring?
I, I know you're diehard whitetail, but I didn't know what your spring was up to this past year. Yeah,
Gregg Farrell: It's Spring's always, I always [00:06:00] try and take, call it like the new year at least into the springtime to just kinda reset, it's like we go so hard, honestly, like even through the summer when you're starting to talk about prep stuff.
But once that season hits in September, really through end of December, it's like you go pretty hard. So for me, I always try and take a little time to reset from the whitetail stuff, definitely still shooting the BOA bunch and kind of getting gear back in order and things like that.
But, do a bunch of family stuff. My wife and I like to camp and get out and do a bunch of that, get a little bit of yard work catching up with stuff around the house, but just generally, try and travel a bit and spend more time with family and friends and all that stuff to fill the cup up before dive back into season.
Yeah. Do you get out at all for
Jeremy Dinsmore: Turkey?
Gregg Farrell: I do. Yeah. Yeah. In Wisconsin where I live our season's a little tight. So the way it works here is you have to apply for not only a region, but also a timeframe within that region. You basically end up with a seven day season. You [00:07:00] can get leftover tags for a lot of the later season sometime.
But yeah, I'll always get out around here. I don't typically travel too much to to chase birds. I'll chase 'em in Wisconsin and, that's it for
Jeremy Dinsmore: me. Yeah. That's cool. Yeah. I had a fun spring. I got two, I got one here in Pennsylvania, one in Ohio. And man, I'll tell you what, it's so funny to see when I've hunted with friends now in this past spring and obviously wearing the specter and they're like, man, This is like the end all be all when it comes to the camo pattern.
I'm like, dude, it is the best when it comes to whitetail from, August. If you're going out to North Dakota, early September, whatever, have it to, obviously during the rut in, in November. Then when the green comes up, it's even better for Turkey. It's awesome, dude.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, that we've been obviously, as that pattern was three plus years in development, so we were excited about it when it came out and about as confident as you could possibly be through all the different lab testing we did, and then in the field testing we did on it.
But it's been fun to, really see that [00:08:00] come to fruition in the market. Not only on people's success stories, but. Other companies and partners that are fired up on it and want to include it on, bows and rifles and Yep. All kinds of other license gear. It's done exceptionally well.
And there's a lot of people really happy with it, which is cool. Nah man,
Jeremy Dinsmore: congrats on that again, I know we talked about that before on the podcast, so it just shows the hard work and effort that you put in and your team and it's just, it's great stuff. But, let's dive into some things here, Greg, where, we're getting down to that nitty gritty time of like you were just saying, preparing for that summer you've been shooting your bow and I've been wanting to talk to some of my good friends, and especially these diehard whitetail guys that, live and breathe this stuff.
And I know you are one of them and that's why I really wanted you to have you on for this and not necessarily talk about gear and one of those. One of the aspects I want you to cover is like your whitetail checklist, like your summer checklist when it comes to, either prepping your gear, mentally getting prepared, whether it's scouting habitat [00:09:00] management, let, we could dive down probably a bunch of holes that we hopefully could cover a good bid on as far as timing goes.
But, when we look at it, we're gonna air this in July, so I guess you could do a brief overview of what you've done up to this point and where things are heading from there.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, for sure. And honestly, I eat sleep. Yeah. Live and breathe and stuff, but I'm gonna guess that, my kinda lead up to, or my off season is maybe a little non-conventional compared to a lot of really, other hardcore whitetail guys and we can get into why that is and definitely not saying it's right.
But it works for me. Yeah. Yeah, we can get into all that. I think where I'm a little less conventional is, I think a lot of guys, once spring roll, spring Turkey season rolls around, it's oh, it's time to get cameras out. It's time to, start scouting deer, watching deer grow.
Things like that. I used to do that. I used to, June 1st, right? It was always like, if my cameras weren't out by June 1st, I was [00:10:00] upset with myself. Yep. Yeah, exactly. And I've just, I've stopped running cameras, honestly, most of the summer. For me it's fun watching deer and for me, that's what I was always doing.
Like running cameras in the summer is you're just washing deer and there's nothing wrong with that. But I don't personally hunt any parcels or have any parcels that are big enough that the deer, all the deer I see in the summer are gonna be there in the fall. So it seemed to be, I think.
And let me take a step back. If I'm, let's say I grab a new chunk, which I don't have any new chunks this year, I'll run cameras in the summer more or less to figure out deer movement. You can put boots on the ground and you can, which I still think is the most effective, important way to scout.
But if I'm trying to learn a new chunk I'll put the boots on the ground and then I'll run cameras to really like, confirm my suspicions about is this pinpoint actually getting used the way I think it's going to? Are the deer actually betting in, this area and feeding from there, moving, transitioning to this feeding area.
That's where I'll use them in the [00:11:00] summer if it's ground that I know already. A lot of times, like I won't really put cameras out until, either the beans start to turn or it's getting pretty close to season. Just because what I'm trying to do now is I'm trying to find. A couple of deer to go after, right?
Don't get me wrong, I'll shoot a handful of dough every year and, keep the freezer full. But in terms of harvesting, like a mature buck normally it's, if I have three of 'em that are on the hit list, like that's a good starting point for me. Yep. And what I've found in my area is like those deer just move so much from their summer patterns to their fall patterns.
So getting too excited about finding deer in the summer, while it's cool to watch 'em grow, like it was always just a bit of a fools there. And for me it's like this
Jeremy Dinsmore: big buildup and then it's just that balloon just deflates and you're like, oh, now I gotta go find them now. So it's like a whole other workload that, that you have to do.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah. Yeah. And I know a lot of guys are gonna argue [00:12:00] with that. A lot of guys don't agree with me on that, and, that's totally fine. But for me, what I like to do is like this ju call June, July, August That's where I prioritize all the other stuff that frankly I want to have dialed before season.
So it's shoot my boat as much as possible, right? Like I shoot my boat year round, but it's this is the time where, maybe I was shooting spots all winter and it's like I'm going to, foam deer targets now, or animal targets, like really focusing on not shooting spots, that muscle memory of picking a spot and the repetition there.
So it's that's really important to me going through the gear that, it was all put away in December of last year, but it's like checking all my, my straps and ropes on tree stands and sticks and saddles and like going through my pack and, all that stuff that. Just to make sure it's like nothing's broke, nothing needs to be fixed, yep. You did my, it's did my grunt tube fall in the mud last year and didn't get fully cleaned out and it's like things like that's what I [00:13:00] really like to focus this time on. Obviously if I'm, picking up a new parcel or trying to get a new ground, like boots on the ground now, maybe running cameras there.
That's something I focus on. And then I do have one chunk. A buddy of mine owns it in Western Wisconsin and that's arguably our, one of my better spots I have to hunt and because it's private ground, we have the ability to do some habitat management stuff there. So we'll spend obviously this time which it takes a lot of time, right?
Like we do TSI every year, which is a couple weekends for sure. We spend a couple weekends getting we do a lot, we've been doing a lot of like screens so like plot screens and trail screens, stuff like that. Planting those. Getting the actual plots in. We've put a few water holes in that.
We've moved a few times. Hanging stands we like to a mix there of pre hung stuff and then, we'll obviously run and gun as the season goes on, but in terms of actual like property work do a bunch of that in the summer at that place too. Now
Jeremy Dinsmore: is that the area that Jeff Sturgis was with you guys a couple years ago, [00:14:00]
Gregg Farrell: correct?
Yep. Yeah, he came in and did like a property overview and plan with us and we've been implementing some of the stuff, that we talked about with him as well as some other stuff. So that's it's fun cuz it's always a work in progress, right? Like it's never done. There's always.
Something that we want to improve or change. Yeah. So that's always a fun thing to do this time of
Jeremy Dinsmore: year. Yeah. One aspect I know that you were saying that I totally agree with you on, like wholeheartedly, Greg, is the fact that when it's time to switch that muscle memory time and get those repetitions on those deer targets or other animals, depending on what you're chasing, like if you're going out for antelope or whatever, you are practicing that.
Do you go one area that I've really worked on is to handle that moment of truth, right? Being able to calm the nerves, do you do anything strategically wi Strat strategy wise, like with your process like, Hey, I do X amount of shots, or I may maybe get up in a tree a little bit and take shots and then.
My last two shots, they have to be in a certain area and then go from there. Do you do anything like [00:15:00] that?
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, I do. I'm pretty lucky. I have from my back patio to I get just about an acre or whatever here. So from my back patio to, I have the targets way in the back of the yard.
It's 85 yards. So it's, I got a good ways to stretch it out. What I really like to do is it's like I leave the bow, very accessible. Got a little shelf for it right next to the garage door. And I pick one time, maybe like in the morning or right at lunch or whatever, depending on what the day has, I'm like, I love that cold shot.
Yeah. So it's I haven't shot at all. I'm not warmed up. It's the first arrow out of the bow, I know the yardage, but it's you gotta make that one count. And I always try and simulate, it's okay, this is like a hunting scenario, right? This is. November 4th, I haven't shot a deer yet this year, yeah. And then what I typically like to do is I'll do that, at some point in the morning or early afternoon try and get, whatever, even if it's a half an hour to, a little bit longer. If the day allows to actually just shoot a bunch of different yardages, I'm always like, I'm a three [00:16:00] shot group guy.
That's my sweet spot is shoot three, go get 'em, come back, shoot three. Yep. And then I like to do that one more time, like at the end of the night, maybe it's like after dinner, just at that dusk, it's like when the shot typically always happens, right? Yeah.
It's like right before shooting light ends like. Do that, that one shot again, it's can you make this one count at a known distance? You don't get a follow up shot type of thing. Yeah.
Jeremy Dinsmore: now when the summer months happen, when do you start, obviously I'm sure it even dates prior to the summer, but mapping out like where you plan on going as far as like out-of-state trips, and I know like you said, you have your home, Wisconsin, I know you've done Kansas the last couple years.
What do you have planned coming up right now, and then how are you preparing for those opportunities?
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, and a little bit of that for me is influenced through work. Work, to be completely honest. The job that I have and do field testing gear is one of the most important things, in my like, yearly cycle of, let's call it product development.
And I know people [00:17:00] like laugh at that. Oh, you what a tough job you got, you to go on field test gear. But It's, and I think I've probably said this before to you I know I have one of the most important things for me in developing product is making sure that our customers are not Guinea pigs, right?
When we put a product out to market, it has been thoroughly tested both in the lab with regards to like textiles and insulation and, things like that, but also in the field. So for us, the way our product cycle works is, we do all the lab testing that we can do both on, the individual piece levels, so different linings and shells and insulation and trims, and then we build a garment Yep.
Out of these things after we've qualified all of the parts and pieces. So we qualify all the parts and pieces, and then we start prototyping actual garments. So we'll start putting those parts and pieces into prototype garments and then those go into the field for an entire season for example this is gonna release in July, right? Like this coming fall. So [00:18:00] September through December, I will have pieces of gear in the field that aren't slated to get launched until 2025. So I'll actually be prototyping the f you know, the field test samples this whole season. We'll go back to the drawing board.
We make a bunch of changes, right? And then we make more of them. We call 'em market samples. And those will go out to our pro team or our ambassadors or whoever next year. So 2024, they test them for an entire season. We make more changes, finalize things, tune things up, tune things in, whatever.
And that gets released to the public in 2025. So that's our process. So because of that, like some of my trips are really based off of what gear I need to test. So the stuff that I'm building for 2025, like. It is built for a specific set of circumstances, whether that's weather or types of hunting, geographic regions.
So some of my hunts are based around what, where do I need to be and what do I need to be doing to appropriately test this gear?
Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah, obviously [00:19:00] the trace is out, you're not really testing that out in Kansas in November. Yeah, exactly. Exactly right. So yeah, and kudos to our good mutual friend Taylor Chamberlain for, I'm sure, not to my knowledge, but good for him for not boasting something on on a video or something like that, that he wasn't supposed to.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah. So I guess the, long, long answer to your not so long question is we typically start like January one, right? So this last January, I'll sit down with my team both on the product side and we like to build content and show some of this stuff, right? So it's okay.
These are the things we're talking about here. These are the things we're gonna do in terms of product we're gonna build, what are the locations we wanna showcase, what time of year do we wanna be going to those places? And then we'll start figuring out do we need to put in for tags there?
Is it a, is it over the counter state? Do we have a connection of a place we can hunt? Are we gonna hunt private, public, whatever? Excuse me. We'll start putting those things together and then, [00:20:00] kinda wait to see what we get in terms of draw results. And then we'll fill in the, the holes from there.
So typically by, obviously like July 1st, I really like to have my schedule dialed in for what my fall's gonna look like in terms of, the out-of-state stuff.
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You have deer prediction, journaling, and the best maps on any hunting app platform there is use code antler up to save 20% off your Spartan Forge firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah, nice. Yeah, so when you're mapping that out, over the last couple years, because that's obviously it's probably very relatable to someone like myself that wants to come out west.
You're strategically planning like how many years out am I, that's a little bit of a different process for you and your team just because, like you said it's a specific piece of gear that you're going to be trying to map out. Okay, hopefully one of us pulls this tag out there [00:21:00] or wherever and try to get it done.
Yeah. So that's pretty unique. So when that time comes and are you Obviously it would, it's great to be filling tags when you have those out of trip, situations. Are you, I know you've talked about it in the past, map, scouting, getting going, making a trip out there earlier beforehand, like what's your game plan when it comes to that?
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, it really depends on the situation, if, let's say for example I'm trying to think. So like this year, one of the things we have on the docket is Illinois in late October. It's a chunk of ground. It's a big chunk of ground. It's a spot I've never stepped foot on before because that's fairly close.
I have a couple pronged approach. Like one I'm gonna lean into people that have a, know something about it, right? And can start me off in the right direction. Then secondary to that, I'm gonna start digging into the maps big time. Yeah. It's Looking at, pinch points, travel corridors, bedding, food, not only that parcel, but [00:22:00] obviously all the stuff around it too.
And just really start taking notes. I'm dropping pins on Onyx taking notes in terms of like places I really want to actually walk through and check out. And then a place like that, like I'll try and make a trip there just to confirm at least the layout of, the ground and what my suspicions were on the computer screen at some point.
And what I like to do is, I like to do that at some point, probably earlier than most. Like I really almost like this timeframe or like July, obviously the vegetation changes so much and, that can affect these spots that you've picked out, come late October.
But for me it's more, it's less of picking out trees and more of oh yes, this ridge does actually run from here to here. There is, a flat top here. There is a, there's a draw here that, I need to be concerned about thermals. Like this is a food source that I thought it was.
So it's really like confirming the pieces of the puzzle. Cause then I can go back to the maps, right? Yeah. [00:23:00] And with all that information, it's like actually come up with a game plan so that when I show up in end of October, it's like I'm ready to then go pick that tree because I know about all these other parts and pieces.
Jeremy Dinsmore: And that's great because I think the next part that I want to dive into with this is with your, a lot of out-of-state hunts, I would, please correct me if I'm wrong, I would say you probably spend more time out of state hunting than you do in your home state. Wisconsin.
Gregg Farrell: That's an interesting question.
I've never actually figured out Yeah, the days, I guess like hours in the tree, I probably spend more hours in Wisconsin just because. Our season opens September 15th. It doesn't close till January. And a lot of the spots I have for especially until daylight savings time, like I can hunt after work, right?
So like hours, like butt in the stand, it's probably more here, but I typically do at least three out of state hunts a year. So I do spend quite a bit of time traveling.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Okay. So like when, [00:24:00] so let's talk about Wisconsin and then all these other states then Greg, cuz you doing these. Trips and everything you've been able to adapt, right?
Learn on the fly, and be able to put yourself in a good situation, adapting through the season. How are things like tr changing for you? If, like you said you go out to I Illinois here at the end of the month and you get in there then October and you're like, man, this isn't what I've thought.
Like now it so much has changed. Yeah. I do need to, I need to adapt, what's your thought process to make that pivot? Where are you coming up with, I guess either from game plan A to game plan B, if that makes sense?
Gregg Farrell: That's a good, I think that's such a good question and I think, the answer you're gonna get for me today is frankly different than the answer you would've got five years ago and especially 10 years ago.
Like when I, I think back to the, a younger version of myself and like I would spend. As much or more time ESS scouting. [00:25:00] And I would get so set on this is the plan, this is the spot. Yeah, you go in there and this is the tree you picked out. And it's I'm going in that tree because all of the other things say I should be in that tree.
And like I was almost too rigid in my process. And I think it cost me, like that's one of the biggest lessons I've learned in chasing Whitetails as long as I have and being as serious about Whitetails as long as I have is like the need to be flexible. Yeah. And like I've taken it almost to the other extreme now where I think that's why I like scout less during the summer and run cameras less during the summer than I used to is because like my whole mentality now is like hot.
So what's happening now? So it's if it's the first week of the season, it's like what's happening now is around food and like I need to figure out, where are those deer are coming out to feed, right? Not. A month ago, where are they coming out to feed yesterday? Where are they gonna come out to feed tomorrow?
And that's where I'm putting my attention to. If we get into October, it's like, [00:26:00] where's the pre-read activity happening? Like where are the scrapes? Where are the rubs? And what are the ones not that they made, last year or even a week ago what's the one he made yesterday?
And that's really where like I've transitioned from going from plan, like Plan A is great. Like I, I think there's no substitute for doing your homework and being prepared, but to me plan B is more important. And sometimes that means the situation where it's like you found your tree, it's like gray light you're maybe like five minutes late, you could like still get up there and be okay, but then you're like looking and you're like, God, that spot 50 yards over there is way better.
But you still go up that tree because you don't want to be moving around. It's like sometimes, and I do this more often than not, it's go to the tree. You know you need to be in. Go. Because if you go in the one that you don't know, you need to be in. And even if you're up there 15 minutes earlier and that deer walks by the other one, like you still can't shoot it.
And if you bust that deer like going to that tree because you were late, at least you followed your gut and like maybe you can still make it happen. And I think [00:27:00] for me, that's been like the biggest thing in the last 10 years is like being more flexible hunting actually like the deer and what they're doing now.
And really trusting your gut to go from Hey, I put in the work for Plan A, but I'm gonna trust my gut for what I'm actually gonna execute. Dude, that
Jeremy Dinsmore: is perfect. I always, lately I've been. Coming up this past spring, just to fill you in real, super quick. I've said it multiple times on the podcast, but I did not coach this past year.
So I've put in a lot more time scouting, just checking some old signs, especially where I live here in central pa. Just because last year I didn't do that. I put all my eggs in the basket of northeast pa. I was chasing like two really good bucks. And with that now I was like I'm going to get out here just to Scott A.
Little bit. And what you're saying is an analogy that I've been trying to help myself through this process of being able to have multiple spots is I want to be able to go to the dance, right? Yeah. And so let's go to the dance. Let's at least be able to get in the door. But then from there, [00:28:00] exactly what you're saying once it's in season, if that means I'm in a square area of, okay, I found good sign, I found the, what I want to hopefully hunt when it comes fall.
If I get in there and it's not, The sign that I'm hoping for, then it's go find it. At least I'm in that general area that will then help me to adapt and find what I really need to basically be in.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, and I think, I agree with that wholeheartedly. I think the other thing too is, I don't care what anybody says, like whitetail season is a grind and it is long.
And if you're putting, as many hours in the trees as, guys like us do, like at a certain point in the season, you start to get burnt out. Yeah. Like it's inevitable. And those are the times where you typically make mistakes. You're not in as early as you should be. You don't sit as late as you should be.
You're clumsy with, you forget a piece of gear you need or whatever. Cuz you're mentally toast. What I've found is the longer I can [00:29:00] keep that from happening, typically the better I am. And if I go, if I start going, full gas in July, Yeah. And come like October that sets in right?
Where it's if I like pace myself this is a marathon, right? Yeah. And start going full gas later. It's like I can keep that burnout to towards the very end of the season. And I just, I find myself like more effective and more energetic and I'm thinking clearer and frankly, I'm hunting harder than I would be if I, started going a little too hard, a little too early.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah. You said it again about going with your gut and we, I've talked about this the last couple weeks with certain guests. Man, it seems like anytime I go against that I really burn myself and the times that I should have, or a friend or a relative. Did go with say a gut that I, asked me maybe for what would you do in this scenario or what do you think?
Or anything along those lines. Some have had success, some have, whether it's, oh man, I saw this happen, or whatever it [00:30:00] be, like you said, it's amazing to me talking to you since we've been known each other the last almost four years, basically, and you're dating it. Back to how you're saying over the last 10 years, how much things have evolved for you.
I'm sure that gut is something that you've are adjusting to and being like, okay, I need to just go with that. Is that kind of how another progress to the learning over the last 10 years as well?
Gregg Farrell: Totally. Last, like Kansas last year was like the perfect example, right? Okay. So it's like I, I was fortunate enough to draw Kansas three years in a row, and obviously draws have gone down there.
I did have obviously any points any year because I drew the year before in. Finally last, like it's last year. That was the hunt I was waiting for. It's mid-November in Kansas. Good luck, find anything better than that, right? Yeah. So it's like we show up and, we've had, we have three years worth of, data on this place now.
And it's I know exactly where I'm gonna kill the big deer this year, right? I know a deer that's still alive there from the [00:31:00] year before. I already I felt more prepared than ever. And we roll in, it's like it's the perfect time of year. We've really honed in on what the best week is, and this warm front comes through and it was just like, five years ago me would've been like, whatever, it's the second week in November.
Who cares if it's warm? Like they're gonna be doing the same thing go to the spot, they are right, and. Last year I was like it's warm the winds because of that, right? Like it's, there's a little bit more south than what I would like for that spot. I was like, we got 10 days. I'm like, there's a really safe spot that I know is like my great travel corridor and somewhat of an observation sit.
And it's like my gut was just telling me it's just go there because you never kill a deer on the first day anyways. And don't risk blowing that deer cuz I was after one deer. It was a deer we saw the year before. He was a giant the year before, like we knew he didn't get killed during archery or rifle season.
He was somewhat of a home body. We had a ton of pictures of [00:32:00] 'em. And so we took we played it super safe. We went into this spot that was frankly not that far from the road where we park. Our wind was great the whole time. And just to see what was going on. And lo and behold we killed that deer in that spot that morning.
Yeah. And. The reason was is we got in clean, it was an unpressured deer. He was using, he was using his intelligence, right? All the data he had from the last five years to keep himself what he thought was safe. And he was still running those. And what was super interesting is that nobody else that we had four hunters there that year.
Nobody else saw any rut activity that morning. And we were like blown up in it. Yeah. And we just happened to be in this little pocket right where those mature deer like, and I think it's it's, not to get too off topic too, but so many times, we go out and we're like, oh, the ruts not happening.
It's no, the ruts happening. It just, it wasn't happening where you were. Where you were. Yeah. And I think sometimes in these like unusual like wind direction or weather patterns that happen [00:33:00] during, our quote unquote rut that we think turns it off. It's just, especially those old mature deer, they continue to rut, but in really small spaces that they feel really safe.
And I think we just happened to be there that morning, and I think that's the perfect example of how my thought processes changed. And somewhat of that was luck. Like I didn't know those deer were gonna be rutting there this morning. What I, that morning, what I knew I didn't want to do is blow that deer out of there, trying to push in too hard,
Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah. So let me ask you this, just because you've been doing that land habitat management in Wisconsin and you're going to these some awesome states and you've killed some fricking hammers, like you said, in Kansas. I feel like the one aspect of my hunting journey over the last two years that I'm getting better at is, obviously asking that word why and really piecing those more pieces of the puzzle together.
And part of that was, and I. I think it always went to the back burner and it was what you just said, that safe zone, right? There's that one area where these mature deer [00:34:00] feel like they could get away with things because they have in the past and no one's really been in there. When it comes to your land habitat management, are you doing anything to create that safe zone for these whitetail that like now if you have that you've seen say activity happen or success happen, that now you are pulling that to other states or like in reverse.
Did you notice that from say, Kansas, that now you're like, I could try to recreate something similar here on my land that I hunt in Wisconsin?
Gregg Farrell: Yeah, honestly, it's some of each, right? Yeah. It's when you have boots on the ground as much as we do on that Wisconsin parcel, it's every year it's such a, it's such a an influx of information and there's so much learning that goes on, not only about that parcel, which obviously is the case, but lessons you can apply to other states to your point, right?
The one thing and I'll stand by this, true and true that, good luck arguing or changing my mind on this, that I think I've learned [00:35:00] is that like the thing that still trumps anything you can do from a habitat improvement standpoint or from, whether that's food or cover or transition or travel is pressure.
Yeah. Like you can do all of the right things on, in the best location in your state. And if you over pressure deer In that, what that chunk that, call it like whitetail heaven, if you over pressure deer, like good luck killing big, mature deer. If you have a piece that's maybe not as optimal for habitat and food and, travel corridors and all those things, but those deer aren't pressured, like I'll take that second scenario every single time.
They're both important, right? If you can put both of those together where it's like you create a haven form 'em and you don't over pressure 'em. That's the best case scenario. But sometimes it's outta your control. Like even the, our place in Wisconsin, it's, there's three of us that bow hunt it.
Okay. But it's a family owned piece of land and a lot more people gun hunted. So even though they're not actively hunting during bow season [00:36:00] they're in and out of there doing things, hanging their own cameras, getting their own stuff set up for gun season, which as they should be.
Like it's their spot, it's their land. It's. That they have as much right to it as anybody else, but it does add an element of pressure that's out of your control, which I think could also be said for like public spots too. I love hunting public spots. It's maybe one of my favorite, things to do, especially new spots.
And I think, five years or 10 years ago, music used to get frustrated when other people were in there, rutting around and whatever. But it's That is the one thing that I think has more impact than anything else on a piece of property in deer is the actual pressure on them.
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You have two arrows to choose from. The [00:37:00] first being the MMT arrow, which is a 2 46 diameter shaft. And the new NIS 2 0 4 diameter shaft arrow. Use code au 12 to save 12% off your tailored arrow. email@example.com. So you just said something that sparked a light bulb to go off for me, like when I'm going out, especially locally here, where I thought I found a really good spot.
It was a little bit further away than, and the access to that area was pretty tough actually. And I got down in there and the sign was just lit up. It was like someone plugged in New York City's Christmas lights and just bing, like it was just rubs, scrapes, you name it. And I'm walking around through all these little trails, nicks and crannies, like faint trails, good trails.
And I'm looking up and down Greg and I'm, I could not find a trail camera. So I'm like, man all I might be in the money here. And then I finally found one and I gave it the thumbs up. And I started in that moment. I walked up o over this one little ridge, and I just stood there for a little [00:38:00] while and I was dissecting the map and I'm looking at it, and my thought process at this time was, okay, if there's one, maybe two guys hunting this area and I know where the easier access is on the other side of the ridge.
Okay, where are deer going? And if deer feel safe down here and this guy comes in from this end, where do deer feel safe? Like I'm trying to then see, okay, where the pressure deer is going to go, where maybe then I will plan on trying to go hunt for next year. Yeah. That's that. So like you said, it's almost, and honestly it screwed my dad back at home on our private piece because this older gentleman who only hunts rifle season, he.
At at the club meeting was telling my dad, oh, this is where I'm hunting. Showing him a couple pictures of some really good deer that we did not have on camera near our area. And where he was explaining it sounded like he was way down the mountain. Come to find out, during rifle season I crushed a dough.
[00:39:00] I think it was the second weekend, and I just started walking around a little bit and I look, I'm like, holy cow, what is that? The Taj Mahal basically doing here. And I looked on my mat and I knew where I was and I look and I was in line basically with my dad, just shy about 300, 400 yards across a two track into some thick, nasty stuff and timber.
And I texted my dad a waypoint of this. Of this blind, basically. And I said, dad, I said that older gentleman that's a member here, I said, is literally straight even with you, but just on the other side. And he goes, what? He goes, I thought he was down more. I said, Nope. So we're, and I would say Greg, about 300, maybe a little bit more than that.
Up a couple ridges is where my brother's area, quote unquote would be with a, he has like a hang on up there and my dad sometimes goes in there for bow season and he has a camera near there. It was like the least amount of deer ever on, on that camera. [00:40:00] He hunted it maybe once or twice and really did not see much.
And I guarantee you that guy brought in that stand post during the rut and just blew everything all out. And it was a, we didn't know that though, until the second week of rifle, the season's over basically at that point in time, yeah. So it was that pressure in that area.
Like during the rut in Bo season, my dad hit a buck and everything like that. And I had a couple encounters, but it wasn't to our usual, deer sightings that we usually have had in the past. And I really do think some of that pressure by that guy moving in really put a dampering on things.
Gregg Farrell: Yeah. And some of that's unpredictable, right? Oh, 100%. That's outta your control. There's nothing you can do about it. I think, you hit the nail on the head for me too. It's then, It's not what do they say? The definition of insanity is like doing the same thing over and expect different results.
It's I sometimes think back to the way I used to hunt and it was like, gosh, that's what I was doing. It was like I was doing the same thing over and expect different results. And it's like you just gotta adapt and learn as you go. And whether it's like somebody in a [00:41:00] spot you didn't think they were at, or frankly it's you scouted a spot and there's sign everywhere and it looks like you know the best thing you've ever seen, but you hunt it and you don't have any success.
It's you gotta move. Like as good as it looks if it's not producing, it's like figure out what the next play is. And I think, the evolution of like super lightweight tree stands and saddles and like huge, that's helped that scenario so much because your energy investment or your bandwidth into moving is so much less now.
Yeah, it's to move a hundred yards or 50 yards or a mile if you need to. It's it's not as big of a deal as it used to be. And I think that's something that's really changed, for a lot of people's hunting styles too, is like this idea of being mobile and adapting.
And not only is it more fun, but I just, I think it's really important and it depends what your goals are, right? Everybody's goals in hunting are different as they should be. Like for some people their goal is, to spend time on the family's 40 acres and to put some meat in the freezer [00:42:00] and, there's five stands that have been there for 15 years and there's always dos that walk by and that's great, right?
If that's your goal and you're successful and that's what you enjoy doing. Like more power to you. Yep. There's certain guys that won't sit in the same tree twice, right? Like it's just like out of principle type of thing, and they're constantly moving and. That's what makes it fun for them.
And that's great. For me I'm somewhere in between I'd like to lean into spots that I know are historically good during certain times of year and, that's based off of 5, 10, 15 years of experience on those places. But I'm also like really to be adaptable and move around too.
And, my sweet spot somewhere in is somewhere in the middle of those.
Jeremy Dinsmore: That's how I've approached the hunting back at home more so recently, the last couple years, is with that mobile aspect because I know there's been areas that have always produced really good deer movement, but now it's, things change and Deere obviously are using different part parts and pieces of it.
So I'm just been able to, okay, where is that latest [00:43:00] sighting and sign and all that stuff. And being mobile has helped me out tremendously with that.
Gregg Farrell: It's been something, and I think there's kind of multiple levels. We're talking about being mobile in like lightweight stands and saddles.
It's like it's, this is evolvement of technology, right? Yeah. And you can apply it to trail cameras, going from the ones you had to take the film in and get developed to SD cards to now cellular cameras, right? Yep. The, the way these apps have evolved, whether it's Spartan Forge or deer Cast or whatever, and I did an experiment two seasons ago and I followed it up last year too.
So I have one chunk it's a lease. My dad and I have, it's only about 30 minutes from the house, and that's we're the only two guys that hunt it. It's 80 acres, nice. A good chunk of it is ag, so it's not necessarily huntable, but there's, it's a good deer density area.
Not a ton of like there, I'm lucky if there's a buck I want to chase on it every year type of thing. There's typically one[00:44:00] really mature deer, but there's a lot of deer. Sometimes there's two, that hit that four plus year old mark. But two years ago I said, and I didn't, I said, I'm not gonna run a single trail camera on this piece and I'm just gonna hunt it to hunt it.
Yep. And I deleted all the apps from my phone and it was so fun because it was like I knew the potential of deer that were there, but I didn't know what deer were there. Yep. And you went, I went back to my roots a little bit of instead of looking at deer cast or looking at Spartan Forge and being like, oh, should I go out this afternoon?
It was like, what's the barometric pressure doing? What's the wind doing? How's the temperature? What's the moon? Me kinda looking at those things. And also it's like, when's the next time I'm gonna be able to hunt and I had more fun hunting that chunk, like not using any technology to my advantage, like really leaning into like woodsmanship and every single hunt was like, I have no idea what I'm gonna see here.
Yeah. So it was like every hunt was fun. And frankly, like I learned a lot [00:45:00] that season. Even just on that parcel. And believe it or not, I ended up seeing more big deer more times than I ever had before. So I think there's there's a fine liner. There's a balance between that. Like I still use cell cams, right?
Like I, I love to use these tool, but I think sometimes we fall in a trap too of relying too much. It's oh, that camera hasn't gone off in three days. And Spartan Forge says today is like a core area day, right? It's I'm not even gonna go hunt. It's yeah, that camera didn't go off in three days, but did that deer that you're after a walk on the other side, I meant three days in a row.
It's Yeah it's, I think sometimes we get overburdened by the tools and technology and we stop actually hunting, which I think hurts us a lot of times. Dude, I,
Jeremy Dinsmore: you're not the first one to say that. I've talked to a bunch of people that feel that same exact way, including myself, so I like that.
To, before we wrap things up, Greg, so we know what we're doing for what you're doing. Basically mapping out [00:46:00] your hunts in that end of, in January and figuring out where you plan on going here because you're testing gear. Then your summer months, you're shooting, you're getting your gear already up, and you just said Wisconsin, you're already opening around that second week of September.
So when September hits, how does that switch happen? I always talk to, I love when I talk to certain people that are just straight up whitetail killers, man. And when it happens, they're like if I'm going out today and. I need to put meat in the freezer and they'll just say, Hey, I'm, if a dough comes out or whatever opportunity I get, that they flip that switch.
September one hits w what dial or what switch is happening for you when it comes to changing your mentality? Maybe a process to get ready for that grind that we've been talking about
Gregg Farrell: For sure. So I try and have the honey do list done. That, that's number one, right? Yep. No, for me it's, I have I look at it as like I have ebbs and flows in my season, right?
Yeah. [00:47:00] We typically in Wisconsin, we open like that second Saturday in September, we have a great opportunity to still hunt deer in their summer patterns. So end of August, like in the beginning of September, that's when I really I get into scouting. I try and do as much of it as I can from the truck cuz I'm hunting deer that are coming out of the timber into food, right?
So it's That's a great way to not rely on a camera to catch a deer, but it's I wanna see not only where the deer, but the majority of deer are coming into that food source that I'm gonna hunt. So like for me, the first two weeks of this season are like as hardcore as the rut. Like I'm after a deer that's patentable.
If I can find one that I want to shoot. And like it's game on. So I'm trying to hunt every single night that I can, every single opportunity that I can if I have something that I want to go after on one of these spots. So it's like when that switch flips for me, it's like we go from zero to a hundred.
Yep. Once those deer kind of transition from their summer, [00:48:00] into a true fall pattern. I'll back off a little bit. That's where it's like, Shoot a couple doughs, put some meat in the freezer, put a little bit more time into, back into scouting. It's that's a great time for me to move cameras.
Yeah. Get my cameras set up to now get an inventory of okay, what's gonna be around here, this fall? And what do their patterns look like? Try and spend like end of September, like into, as we get that October roll up, like really learning that. And then obviously, once you get to late October, it's like that switch flips back to a hundred percent on where it's like I'm now, the end of October, like I love the pre rut almost more than the rut.
Cuz again, it's like deer are patentable, they're predictable. Like I'm on one or two deer. The ruts a, a shit show for lack of a better term. It's Yep. Sure is. He could be under your stand. He could be two miles away, but you gotta be out in the woods. Yep. And then it winds down again too, where it's after the rut happens, like I'll slow down a little bit depending on where I am, like [00:49:00] geographically, right?
Like I might be chasing the rut, but it's if I want to put another dough or two in the freezer, that's a time where I'll do it. And then depending on what I have left for tags in my pocket, man, late season is about as, as good as that first two each of the season in terms of predicting deer movement.
So then I'll if I have tags left and I have a deer I want to go after, I turn it back up. So for me it's really like these ebbs and flows throughout the season pending on what's going on. Heck
Jeremy Dinsmore: yeah, Greg. I love all that now. Okay, so last two questions and I think these are ones I, like I said earlier, I'm asking these awesome whitetail hunters people that live and breathe this stuff, a takeaway from this past season that you plan on bringing into this upcoming season that you either learn from.
Maybe a bad situation, a great situation. What's the takeaway from this past season that you plan on bringing into this upcoming year?
Gregg Farrell: It's funny cause we talked about this earlier and I was like maybe patting myself in the back for doing it, but it's it's trusting my gut. [00:50:00] Yeah. I had two, I had a deer in Kentucky last year, and I had a deer in Mississippi last year that I let walk.
And both of those deer, I had a camera guy with me. We had great footage of these deer and I second guess myself on how old they were, how mature they were. Part of it was that these were both places I had never hunted before. Yep. So things change in terms of body size and style and just characteristics of deer.
Yeah. But in both those cases, I let very mature deer for that area walk. And had I had that chance again, I probably wouldn't have done that. Yeah. So I think, being a little bit more, I think I almost got a little too connected to all of the standard characteristics of aging deer in the hoof last year where it's like part of your gut, you just know.
Yeah. And I I went away from that a little bit too much last
Jeremy Dinsmore: year. Yeah. Okay man. And one more, so we've talked about, I've [00:51:00] talked about how to become a more efficient hunter and whether it's from a scouting standpoint, mobile hunt hunting standpoint, whatever it be, what's one thing a hunter can do this upcoming season that could be a, make them a more efficient hunter?
Gregg Farrell: And again, my answer might be different than a lot of others. For me anyways, it's taking care of all of the other non-hunting stuff. So whether that's like family time work stuff, like other responsibilities, having all of that buttoned up makes me a more efficient hunter because then when I'm in the woods, like even though I may have slightly less time, like that's all I'm thinking about and all I'm focused on, right?
Where it's if I'm going out to hunt and I'm thinking about the project for work, I didn't get out the door that day, or the list of, chores or responsibilities that are still, it's like. I'm not fully focused on what I'm doing, so I'm better off just get those things done and have a separation, right?
It's like when I'm hunting [00:52:00] and when I'm not. And that makes me way more effective and efficient when I'm in the field. Beautifully
Jeremy Dinsmore: said man. I love that answer. I appreciate you using that one. That's fantastic. Not one that was been used yet, so that's great. All right man. I was actually sitting here and I was thinking to myself, I cuz my a d ADHD is like a's all kicking in and stuff like that.
And you are, I said earlier when we introduced you third time Greg, this might actually be the fourth time cuz I think you and I have done it three times and then we had you and Josh on that one other time. So this is actually the fourth time man. This is, yeah dude, that's awesome. I guess is there, could you say what your upcoming season might look like?
Gregg Farrell: year? Yeah. I'm gonna be, obviously, I'm based in Wisconsin for a reason. That was one of the, that's one of the reasons I'm here is because. Luckily Firstlight finds it important enough to really, like they know how important it's for me to have access to get a tree Yeah.
As much as I possibly can, right? Wisconsin's, I was a huge part of my year. I have spots out the back door that I can get to, so [00:53:00] I always start there and I fill in the cracks there. So obviously that's a big part of it. Looking at doing like I said, a hunt in Illinois, kind of end of October.
We're gonna try and hit that pre rut. I'm gonna focus on my Wisconsin with, since I didn't draw Kansas this year, I'm gonna focus on that Wisconsin piece in Western Wisconsin. Ferrara like true. First week of November rut. Nice. Looking to head out to Texas actually. In December, I'm gonna do a little spot in stock, whitetail action there in the hill country.
And then there's one more that we're still trying to piece together yet bouncing between a few options, but likely it's gonna be Nebraska and deciding if we want to do it either. Like they have that really cool opener, which I've never done would love to get there for opener or we might piece that in as another chasing the rut type of thing.
So I'll tell
Jeremy Dinsmore: you what, if it's any weather like last year for that opener, man, you better have a, you I would just go create like a tray set of underwear. Totally. And that's about it. [00:54:00] Because last year I had two friends that were going to go out and they decided not to, cuz when they looked at their.
Temperature for where they were heading. It was like 98 was the low Yeah. For multiple days. So they were like, yeah, maybe not. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's cool. Greg, man, I greatly appreciate you coming on again talking. I just thoroughly enjoy when we get a chance to catch up, man. I'm glad life's treating you well.
I'm glad. Work's great. Hunting's awesome. So it's a pleasure to have you in the, in my phone book just to send a text message and get a chance to talk. So I greatly appreciate you coming on again, sharing wisdom, where could people check you out, find you fall along, or whatever, have it for this upcoming season, man.
Gregg Farrell: Thank you. Before I get into that, same for me, man. I always appreciate our friendship and it's crazy that this is the fourth time we've done this and how long we've known each other through the whole trade show circuit. Yeah. And, mutual connections and friends.
I, thanks for reaching out and, giving me the time and the platform as well. In terms of following along, I [00:55:00] keep pretty low profile. Yeah, you do like social media sense? I do. You can find me on Instagram, which is Greg Ferrell. It's a bunch of what, probably like woodworking, deer, and maybe some like water skiing or trail running mixed in there.
I like it. But you could find me there. In terms of the Firstlight stuff, firstlight.com Firstlight YouTube channel. We put actually quite a bit of our whitetail content out in serial, both serial and episodic forms on YouTube. And then obviously, the first light Instagram is a place where you can stay up to date on, when we're releasing a lot of that stuff too.
Jeremy Dinsmore: Awesome, man. Everybody go check it out. Greg's one of the, my favorite humans there is, especially in this world when it comes into hunting. So go check it out, watch those videos on YouTube and watch his Kansas hammer. That, that was a stud and a half. So thanks again everybody for tuning in.
We'll see you next week, aunt Lup.