Toughing it Out in the Boundary Waters w/ Rick Brule

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 166 of the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode I was joined by Rick Brule from Vapor Trail!  When Ricky was previously on the podcast he spoke about his upcoming Boundary Waters bear hunt.  For this episode we recap this specific hunt and the challenges it presented. 

When it came to preparing for this hunt Ricky was all prepared and did his research.  However, since he was completing this hunt solo the weather played a factor in keeping him at camp for four days.  Being stuck at camp tested Ricky mentally and physically!  We discussed what he did during these 4 days and how he was able to still overcome challenges throughout his time there.  Ricky shared what these challenges were and what he did to overcome them.  To wrap up the story on this hunt Ricky discussed what he plans to do if he is able to draw this bear tag again in the future and what others can learn from his trip this past season.

To finish off this conversation Ricky spoke about his whitetail season and how his first year in the saddle went!  We talked about goals and improvements we are looking to make for this upcoming year including mobile hunting, future plans for Vapor Trail rests and a podcast! This was a great chat with Ricky and I hope you enjoy this fun episode!  

Thanks again for all the support and best of luck out there and Antler Up!

Show Transcript

Jeremy Dinsmore: [00:00:00] Hey everyone. Welcome to the Antler Podcast, brought to you by tethered the world's best saddle hunting equipment. We have a repeat guest on today's show, and on this week's episode, I'm joined by Ricky Bruley from Vapor Trail. When Ricky was previously on the podcast, he spoke about his upcoming Boundary Waters Bear Hunt, and for this episode, we recap this specific hunt and the challenges that it presented.

When it came to preparing for this hunt. Ricky was all prepared and did his research and just was ready to get going. However, since he was completing this hunt solo, The weather played a factor in keeping him at camp for the first four days [00:01:00] and being stuck at camp tested Ricky mentally and physically.

We discussed what he did during these four days and how he was able to still overcome challenges throughout his time there, and he shared what these challenges were and what he did to really overcome them and to wrap up the story on this specific hunt. He discussed what he plans to do if he is able to draw this bear tag again in the future, which he really does want to do and what others can learn from this trip from this past season.

And to finish off this conversation, Ricky spoke about his whitetail season and you'll hear him. Or their lack of and how his first year in the saddle went. We talked about goals and improvements we are looking to make for this upcoming year, including, mobile hunting future plans, what they have going on for Vapor Trail with the rest, and also a potential new podcast coming out.

And this is a great fun chat with Ricky's, a great dude, and I hope you enjoy this fun episode. So thanks again everybody for all your, all of your support. Turkey seasons right around the corner. We [00:02:00] have trout season coming up. We just had the youth weekend. So hopefully everybody enjoyed some time outdoors with some family members.

But before we get into this episode, really quick, I just want to talk about a couple items. And one of those is just again, please, and if you have the chance, you like what you hear when you listen to this podcast, go give it a five star review over at Apple iTunes and definitely over at Spotify as well.

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Enjoy this fun episode. So what's up everybody? . We're back. We, I have a repeat guests here. We got Rick br Lee, Rick from Vapor Trail, Stoker Eyes. Man, it's a pleasure to have you back on. I was fascinated by, your [00:05:00] story last time we had you on it was getting ready for your boundary waters hunt and doing all that stuff and so I'm anxious to, to hear, I know we text a little bit during the season just as hear and I got the man, it was awesome.

I can't wait to tell you more about it. And you know what, it's always like a bittersweet moment when you have friends and they're doing these awesome adventures because I want to know right then and there, but I'm also. I want them to have the chance to tell me also on the podcast, because then it's, I'm in shock one and two.

It's just a cool feeling of wrapping it up for you as well. But man, welcome back to the show,

Rick Brule: Ricky. Thanks for having me, man.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Appreciate it. Oh man, it's all, like I said it's a pleasure to have you on. We got some really cool things coming down the pipeline with you guys just released the gen integrate, X Yeah.

And got that on the new pse. I sent you that photo. It's man. Yeah, it looks great. Oh man, that rest has, was the easiest rest ever that I put on any bow. And I'm not just saying that cuz you're on, that was [00:06:00] the simplest, easiest thing to.

Rick Brule: For me. That's the hope. That's the hope. We always hope we try to keep it simple.

Not too complicated. You start adding in any complicated mechanism, anything like that, and you've got a greater chance of failure. So that's our goal is to keep it light, keep it simple and make it easy to use for anybody to set up. Yeah. We'll,

Jeremy Dinsmore: I want to dive down that a little bit later, but dude how was your season this past year?

Like you said, I know like you went on that awesome trip, what, how, you. Start wherever you really want to, .

Rick Brule: Yeah. So really it just it was probably one of my slower seasons, actually, in quite some time. I have a two-year-old now, so it's a little bit more difficult to get out. I don't have as many travel tokens as I used to.

Yep. But so I basically put all of, everything in one bag and just made that one trip up to the boundary waters. I did get into the whitetail woods a couple of times, but mostly just again, like in the last episode we talked about, I had just gotten a new tethered saddle. Yep. So wanted to get some more experience behind that.

Of course, every day that I went out [00:07:00] was bitter cold. . But but yeah, the bear hunt and the boundary waters, was it was a blast. Of course, I didn't get, there wasn't any hero shots. It wasn't the hero when it came to coming home with a bear. And to be honest I wasn't really expecting it.

I didn't have high expectations because I know I'm aware of the difficulty of the hunt and as hunts sometimes go, and especially I was being up there for the most part by myself while I was hunting. Ran into a few snags and probably more so just got into my head than any real legitimate safety issue.

But got to a point where I was like, man I could be in trouble if I don't, if I'm not smart or careful about this trip. And okay, so I ended up having to leave a little early, two days earlier than I had originally. . But again, proud of the fact that I was able to make that choice cuz it's it was a tough choice to make.

, with everything all the time, all the money, all the effort that went into getting there and being there. And then, just that heart sinking feeling that I had to back out a couple days earlier.[00:08:00] Definitely looking forward to seeing my family cuz it hadn't been away from them that long.

Up to that point. But yeah, definitely one of those bittersweet trips. But going into it, my plan, like I'd said before, it's a leave no trace. So you technically really can't bait in a traditional sense like you would here in Minnesota where you would leave bait out, you put it out a few weeks, get the bears used to coming in.

And then when the hunt starts, you're just relying on pattern, patterning them and Yeah. And keeping the bait replenished so that they keep coming back, that sort of thing. And in this particular situation, you can put bait down, but it has, you have to remove it same day.

Okay. You can't leave it overnight, that sort of thing. And and I didn't really wanna, I was going back way back in there and I didn't want to carry a bunch of bait with me either. So my plan was to do a lot of fishing and then and also try to just survive and live off the land as much as possible.

I definitely brought. More than enough food to survive every day, just in case. But wanted [00:09:00] to, live off fishing and see if, see how long I could go and see how I could do and then use the fish carcasses as bait to bring some bears in. Also I had been keeping an eye on the B W C A website because people can report bear sightings.

Oh, okay. And had been keeping an eye on that. And the campsite that I would wanted to stay at had several encounters with bears. And so I'm thinking, oh man, this might be a chip shot, if I'm just like frying bacon at the camp. Oh. And just keep my bow close by, maybe I might be able to just lace one in camp, but that, of course, that never happened. It's like they have the, they have that sense where they just know something's up or who knows. I'm not really too sure, but Yep. To

Jeremy Dinsmore: rewind and just to maybe backtrack a little bit. You, I can't recall, were you planning on two weeks?

Yep. Yeah. So two weeks. So dive into, cuz this is once you said the whole mindset, your chance where you're like, man I could be in trouble [00:10:00] maybe. Talk about what mentally you were doing before the trip to prepare yourself for, and then like when shit hit the fan a little bit of okay, things are a little bit dicey.

Here's what I need to focus in on. Hey Ricky reel back in, man, you got this. Like, how, cause that's the stuff that I I love that kind of mental chess match you have to play with yourself and talk, I guess a little bit about that before you dive into the hunting aspect of things.

Rick Brule: Yeah, I. You do everything you can to prepare. You go through every possible scenario in your head. And I've been up there a couple of times, but I don't ha, I wouldn't say I have an extensive amount of experience, canoeing in and doing those sorts of things. And the one thing that I didn't think about or anticipate was if I got any sort of inclement in inclement weather Okay.

And the chances of me paddling out of there by myself. What ended up happening is a couple of days into the hunt [00:11:00] we had got, we got some pretty big wind gusts coming out of the west, and I had to paddle. West to get out. And it got to a point where, as part of my strategy was to fish and then use the fish carcasses as bait.

And so the first day I got out there, I was just slaying bass, like catching 'em like crazy. And I'm thinking, okay, I just kept throwing 'em back. Cause I thought I'll probably catch more. And ended up getting into a, into that situation where I'm at camp and the wind picks up and it didn't let down for four days and I could not get out of the campsite.

I couldn't paddle out, I just couldn't fight the waves by myself. I was stuck pretty much Maro, pretty much marooned, .

Jeremy Dinsmore: Man. That's tough. What are you doing to during those four days? Are you're basically

Rick Brule: stuck at camp? Yeah. I definitely was hunting. Yeah. But. , what do you do?

It's so thick. I spent one day just kinda going through some of the brush and see, maybe I was like, oh, maybe I [00:12:00] can find a den or something like that, where that'll gimme an opportunity to see maybe where a bear is living or where they're staying. Maybe I can, camp out outside the den and try to do it that way, like ambush style or but it's so thick.

There's no chance of sneaking up on one. It's not, wow. It's not possible. And but I did a little bit of that and then you. Of course I would just I found a spot that I thought there was a lot of activity and would just, sit in the mornings, sit in the afternoons in hopes that I would just get lucky that one would come by.

I did manage to shoot a couple of ducks while I was up there, so I used the duck carcasses as bait for a couple of days, but a pine Martin was getting 'em. Or it could have been a fisher, I'm not sure which, but and it's not legal to hunt them, so I basically just had to watch a pine Martin come in and take my ducks, wow. Yeah, like that's tough. So that's, that got, that was a little bit frustrating too. But that was pretty much it. Just hoping maybe one would stumble through, being careless with my food. Like I said, frying [00:13:00] bacon at camp in the mornings yeah trying to do all that. And then I just passed the time.

I, had some books I would read. I was making, I had some mice running around camp, so I was making dead fall traps to try to see if I could catch some, just like whittling everything outta sticks. Yeah. So that's pretty much what I did.

Jeremy Dinsmore: What kind of techniques or something along those lines that maybe changed or did not change for you that you were really trying to focus in on?

Or was it the, Hey, these dead carcasses of my ducks and the fish that were hopefully in the bacon, we're trying to maybe lure some of these bear in.

Rick Brule: Really that's about the best method you can. you can use because there's just, there's really no, they're so elusive. And if you think that deer and good about being one step ahead of you, sometimes you, if you know you're wandering through the woods, you might bump one up or kick it or, you can see their tracks or, you can follow 'em in that way. But it seems like the bears are always one step ahead of you. They're just, and their senses, their sense of smell is just incredibly keen. And again, [00:14:00] I basically just doing the best that I could to try to find any sort of track, any scat.

That was where I determined where I was gonna s where I was gonna sit when I found the tree that I was gonna sit in, typically, because that's where I found the most sign. As far as scat. Tracks are very difficult to determine unless you're in snow or anything like that, which I didn't have until the last day.

Of course, and it, and I, the odds were against me from the beginning because I didn't have an access permit, so I couldn't go in until October 1st, which again is a little later than ideal. The other thing is too, is that you can leave scent. And so my original plan was to go up ear, a couple weeks early.

And somebody had given me a great pointer. They said, take the scent and put it in like a Nerf or not a Nerf, but like a super Soaker. And then you go out and then you spray it, like in the trees, you get up under the leaves and stuff, because then the, then if it rains, it won't wash your scent, all the scent away.

And then you just have to be careful about not doing it too early. Because if the bears are coming into the [00:15:00] scent, but then there's no food, then they just start, they kinda lose trust and then they stop coming in. But with all of the sightings that people were having, I thought it won't be necessary for me to do all that.

I'll just, like I said I'll just cook bacon at camp and be careless with my food and one will come in. So that was mistake number one. And as with, as long as I've been hunting, I should know better, right? Yeah. But , yeah. Trying to take the, trying to take the easy route out, right?

So yeah, so that, that kind of put a damper on things. I didn't. , I didn't have a i, as far as how I would compare it to what I would do to scuff or whitetails it is I tried to use some of those same tactics again, trying to find tracks, trying to find scat, trying to find any scratchings, see if I could find a, a scratching tree or Yep.

Something like that. And I put on miles in, in those woods, man, and I'm like, and then you get to the point where you're like, okay, maybe I'm making it worse cuz I'm, leaving all this scent around in the woods and, if I push a bear away, is it gonna come back? So then I [00:16:00] just backed out and I quit doing that.

As soon as I found a spot that I thought was the most promising, then I just stuck to that and I just stuck to the same trail to get there, same trail, getting out, all of that kind of stuff. And like I said, you can't really rely on listening for them to come in cuz bears are extremely quiet.

That's the thing. It's

Jeremy Dinsmore: just amazing. Isn't that amazing? It's so fascinating to me how frigging quiet, like when one could sneak up on you. And then I have one on film from a couple years ago that was like barreling his way in to a water hole. And then again, this is before bear season, and it sounded like a herd of deer were coming.

I'm like, oh sweet. Someone must have bumped something. And then the next thing you know, I just see this black blob come running down the hill and getting, just jumps right into the water hole and is in there for like fi at least just shy of 10 minutes, just rolling around. But I've had other bear come in and I'm like, whoa, where did you come from?

It's just amazing how elusive and quiet.

Rick Brule: Yeah, I've, of the two bears that I've [00:17:00] killed so far, I didn't, had no idea they were even there until they were in the bait pile. Wow. So it's, yeah. And I, I've watched 'em walk around and you'll watch 'em even lift a back leg up over the smallest little twig just to avoid making any noise or any sound.

So yeah, whitetail tactics don't work so well. , and that's why baiting is the most effective, either that, or dogs. But using dogs in, in the state of Minnesota isn't legal. And so yeah, so it made it really difficult. I just, I found some, what looked like pretty fresh scat and But again, if they were moving, it was at night.

It was definitely not during the day. Spartan Forge stands at the

Jeremy Dinsmore: nexus of machine learning and whitetail deer hunting to deliver truly intuitive and science-based products that saves the hundred times sped scouting, planning and executing their hunts. 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 Smart and forge

So after [00:18:00] the, that four days were up and, you started after that win died down, what did the rest of your week look like after that?

Rick Brule: I had, it was like a, it was a Friday when it died down and I planned on staying till Sunday. And With it all dying down the temptation to go out and start fishing and trying to create some, some bait.

, was very enticing. But I had also told myself that if I didn't get a bear by Friday that I was just gonna ride it out and just hang out and whatever. Cuz I didn't want to, I didn't want to I want to give. Plenty of time to pack the bear out. I was, I think six or seven miles back.

And again, my concern was, okay, it's a calm day now. If I end up if I do end up killing a bear and then the wind picks back up I have no idea how I'm gonna get that bear out of here. I, and I did have a satellite message, phone. I had a s spot X out there with me so I could communicate.

I didn't have a buddy that said, if you get one, message me and we'll come up and we'll help you. So I did have [00:19:00] that. But again, the temperature started to drop. And I had enough, I probably had enough food for, I bet I could have got away with. At least 10 days. Okay. Fairly comfortably. But again, temperature was dropping.

It was getting increasingly difficult to light fires. I was running out of fuel for my jet boil my water purifier. My catine was, the filter was clogged so bad that I could barely filter water. So I'm like, okay, I don't have a solid means of boiling water if I need it. I don't have a way of purifying my water if I need it.

I'm running out of fuel for my jet boil , so then I'm just gonna be eating dehydrated food, straight out of the bag. Yep. and I also, wasn't sure how far the temperature was gonna drop. I was prepared for, temperatures in the, in the teens and maybe a little less, but if it was to break below zero, I wouldn't have been prepared for that.

Whew. So again, [00:20:00] I'm like, boy, if I get stuck out here, that could be bad. And also embarrassing, right? As a I don't claim to be a survival expert by any means, but at the same time, I, again, you get all these things going through your head Yeah. Where you're just like, make the smart decision, is it worth it? Is it worth hurting yourself or damaging yourself or getting lost, or, who knows, right? So I'm just like, man, it's a beautiful calm day. Maybe that's a sign that I just need to pack it up and slowly work my way out. And that's what I did. Packed it up, fished my way out, caught some more smallies on my way out and then went home.


Jeremy Dinsmore: where's your GoPro? To get you on? Alone show. I'll give, be get your, the next season of that. Man. That sounds so as you're writing, like telling this story, I wrote down what are some of those key items that you had to have with you, or now that you're like, man, I wish I had that.

Just because, not all of us are going to do this style hunt, obviously, but one people are in that, trying to possibly do a style hunt like [00:21:00] that. But even things that now you're like, you know what, I'm always gonna have this in my bag. Whether I'm outta state, maybe going to wherever on a whitetail trip I want to have this with me.

Is there anything like that, that you could think of? ,

Rick Brule: a buddy. Yep. Because again, I had everything that I possibly could have needed, at least for the time that I wanted to be there for. Yep. And again, I have some skills as far as forging and all that kind of stuff, once the snow starts flying, that's a different ballgame.

Yeah. And had I had somebody there with me, we would've had no problems paddling out. I just couldn't do it myself. I just didn't have the strength. Yeah. And even in some cases, cuz like the first week that I was up there I was up there with a friend of mine for a little bit just to do the scouting stuff and just to hang out and we had hit some, some moments where even him and I struggled to, gain any ground against the waves. So that, I think that's the big thing. Yeah. Is I would. I took pride in trying to want to, wanting to go and do it myself, solo. Yeah. And then just getting [00:22:00] away, having that time away.

But at the same time it did def definitely put me in a situation that scared me a little bit enough to the point where it's yeah, I don't know if I would, I dunno if I would do that again. Again worst case scenario, I'd be able to hike out of there. If that was the case, so that, that would've been a non-issue.

So it's not like I would've been forever stuck there. I would just stash my stuff somewhere and, could go back, hike outta there. So a lot of different options. But again, just all those things going through my head, it's and supposedly that campground that I was at too, there was a guide that I had run into on my way out there, and he's oh yeah, there's a it's a big, it's 500, maybe 600 pound bear.

And the reason I make that face is sometimes I wonder if people really know what. 500, you know that. Yeah. Because they're very difficult to judge even for somebody who's hunted him for a long time. Yeah. And again, he was a guide, so maybe he did know, but I'm like, man, if it really is a 500 pound bear, that's gonna be a lot of work.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Do I wanna stay here? Do I really wanna shoot that bear when I see him? What, so you're saying [00:23:00] about getting away how was that man, like mentally disconnecting a little bit? Were you able to, how was that? Just because for me, in the whitetail woods, I love certain evenings, even if it's a 45 minute hunt.

Like my wife looks at me out I'm crazy. Like, why are you only going out for 45 minutes? And I can't explain to her like, Hey, these are the 45 minutes where I get some solitude, man, like this she gets it. But I don't know if she quite does. So how was that for you? Because that sounds

Rick Brule: awesome. . Yeah.

It's definitely good. And also man, it you really there's emotions that drum up that you didn't even know you had. Yeah. You know what I mean? And so you obviously you've seen alone, and by the way to the producers of a loan, if you're looking for a contestant, , it's my dr. It'd be my dream.

It'd be my dream to get on that show. Just, but anyways yeah, dude, it's it's good. And then you also you really learn how much you love your family and the people that are around you too. Yep. And so it's just, yeah, a [00:24:00] lot of emotions just start kicking in, both my folks are gone. And so there's that, put a lot of thought into all that kind of stuff. And and it is, it's hard to fight that urge to to just want to go. , . And so again, going back to what you're saying about that show, it's man, if I was ever on there, that would probably be the most difficult part, I think would be just the solitude.

Cuz it is nice in moments, but at the same time it, it can be a little bit frustrating. And what's the Castaway with Tom Hanks? He had Wilson. My phone was Wilson. I was like recording, stuff and like talking to my phone like it was my friend and , it's sounds crazy right now when I talk about it. Again, you just want to document it, so there's that part too. And of course you do the goofy videos where you're like, welcome to Wilderness Cribs and you're, showing everybody around your tent. And but again in, in a way I wish that I didn't, I hadn't had any of that technology either, just because.

you get a little bit immersed in it, where I was like recording some videos. I was like, oh I'm making a dead [00:25:00] fall trap. I should be recording this. And then pretty soon I'm running outta space on my phone. So now I'm flipping through my phone for an hour trying to delete videos that I don't need.

And then I'm just like, what am I doing? Put this away. Go enjoy nature. Yeah. So I had to remind myself of that. Now again, if I had the opportunity to fish, I would've been out on the water all the time. If I wasn't bear hunting, I would've been fishing or eating, yeah. One of, one of those three things. But again, you're just stuck there, so you're like, all right, what do I do here?

Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah. That's the funny thing that we've talked about recently on a, the last couple episodes, like with certain guests on the podcast, were originally three years ago when we started this, it was like, Hey let's go out west.

You have all these dreams, all these ambitions and. thinking you're doing cool stuff, and which it, it all is cool. It's all great. , but like how recently my mind and like my interest is I would rather do a really cool hunt experience chasing whitetail. [00:26:00] Heck, even I, it would be even cool to go down south a little bit to try a bear hunt or up north to New York to do a bear hunt.

. But I, man I tell you what, like I want to do an elk cunt one day just to say I did one. . But there is no desire for me to try to go out west where I am 20 plus hours away from my wife and my daughter. God forbid something happens. How am I getting home? , all that type of stuff. And where now if I'm gone for a week, if something happens, I'm at least a, Hey, I'll leave now.

I'll be there in the morning, or I'll leave now, I'll be there in the middle of the night. Something like along those lines. But that's just funny to hear. How, cuz again, like I just said, I know I, I said earlier, 10 minutes ago about the solitude thing. Like you said they're snippets, right? Hey, I had a trying day at work, or Hey, today was this, I just need a little bit of time.

Those are different, like how you, like you're saying, because I remember as a kid, I was, my mind was always going and when my dad as a 13 year old boy says, Hey, you're sitting from [00:27:00] dark to dark in a tree stand. I remember holy cow, I thought about every little thing in the world.

I'm, from everything. Yeah, man that's really neat. And I give you credit because that's tough to go out there for that many days by yourself, like you said. Going with someone I maybe could have helped there on the water ,

Rick Brule: yeah, definitely. And as you were talking about that, it made me think about I spent nine days in Idaho hunting elk with a friend of mine.

And, I missed my family when I was there too. But it was different just knowing, having somebody there that I knew had similar skillsets and, we could keep each other held accountable and all those kinds of things and help each other out, with all of that, you got somebody there to talk to, and laugh with and all that. That definitely makes it easier. And it. . I don't know. In retrospect though I would do it again. , it's just you have to put yourself through those things, I think that's part, that's a big part of Haing. My, my wife's always asked that it just seems strange that you'd want to go out there and suffer.

I just, I don't get it. Yeah. The thing is you [00:28:00] slingshot out of an experience like that and you come back refreshed and you, and your mood. Is that much stronger. And I think that goes with, you could e that's how I justify, like I don't do ice baths, but I see all these people doing it.

I'm like, okay, I get it. You put yourself through the suffering and then you come out and you get this euphoric feeling and you're, so it's similar to that, just a little longer lasting. And so I still think it's necessary, and I'm hoping to do it again. I'm gonna apply for the bear tag again this year, and as long as I don't draw anything out west that's probably what I'm gonna end up doing.

And I've already got my access permit so I can get in. Oh, sweet. I didn't get an access permit for the opener because I was the permits went on sale at nine o'clock. I didn't get in until 9 0 3 and they were the Friday, Saturday was already gone, but I got an access permit for September 3rd, so I'll be able to get in at a reasonable time.

And again, hopefully I've already recruited a few of my buddies to see if they want to join me. And we'll just see what happens. And if somebody doesn't, find up having to go out there by myself, I'll do it again. , yeah. Just because, [00:29:00] just, and especially knowing that I have the sense and the wherewithal to make sure that safety is the number one thing and not it's just not worth taking any risks.

Jeremy Dinsmore: So what say Trip 2.0 happens, and whether you're with someone or by yourself, what maybe certain things would you make adjustments to.

Rick Brule: I'm definitely gonna do the the scent thing. Yeah. For sure. So I'll be cruising around in the woods with a super Soaker full of bear scent

That's so awesome. So the, I'm definitely gonna do that. And obviously I won't be able to go up there early because I won't be able, I take that back cuz you can go in for day trips, but that would be a lot of work for one day trip to go in. But maybe I will, maybe it won't. Just kinda depends I guess on the sightings again.

But I just I know that when I was out there in October, there's a chance that they may have been prepping to Dan up and I had some other people not too far from there saying, oh no they're wandering all over my backyard. Heck, if you wanna shoot one off my deck, you can right now

And [00:30:00] I'm like I don't have, my permit isn't for your area. But and and then I was also mad. I'm like, don't tell me that man. I just literally almost died out in the wilderness. Yep. And you're gonna tell me I could have shot one off your deck, . Yep, exactly.

Jeremy Dinsmore: I know I sw, I swear there were four times during the late season here in Pennsylvania that I was hunting this one private little piece.

It's only two acres. It's not very big, but it holds dough. But we had no snow this year and usually four of the last five years when there's snow there, I've killed a dough late season just to get more meat in the freezer, get extra hunts, all that type of stuff. This year I did not have that.

And I had, I was trying to get in on these deer, and I just could not, and the second I would pull out on the road and drive somewhere, I would just do a loop. And there, there would be flocks. Ricky, Just herds of deer in everybody's yard, just munching. I'm like, you gotta be kidding me.

I like, yeah, [00:31:00] there were, there was one of the big bucks actually that I saw, I think it was early October. My wife and my daughter, the three of us were just driving around one, one evening. It was a Sunday, so we can't hunt Sunday here in Pennsylvania. And again, I know where these deer congregate in people's neighborhoods and stuff.

And we get to one and it was like, oh, look at that. He's a cool little six point. Oh, there's a forker and there's 12 do. And then there was a bigger six point in the next yard. And then we passed the next house and there was a really nice big eight or nine point. I couldn't really make out what he was, but he was a stud.

And later on in the year, during that late season, it's a very close nearby, but these deer like to feed out in this like cemetery area and okay, I'm like looking. . At this point they're still 400 yards away as I could see through this property my binos are on. I was like, oh, there's that six point, and I could see him like messing around, like with another deer.

And I threw and I looked more closely, and next thing you know, he picked his head up. I'm like, holy [00:32:00] shit, that's that big one from earlier in October. But man, it just, it never failed. Like you said. How you go back to that person was like you could shoot one off my porch. It never failed me this year that, especially more locally in that late season, as soon as I would get done hunting, the lights, it's dark, but like you're driving around and you could see all them with the street light or whatever, neighborhood lights.

I'm like, you gotta be kidding me. Come on, . Oh man. That's tough. Dude I like it that, I hope you pull that again. I hope you do not. I want you to have round two because I feel like whether you recruit somebody, you have that extra chance. I don't know. I think. success. Either one could happen, or two success could happen by you staying a little longer, experiencing different things going through that type of hunt sounds really interesting and fascinating to me.

And I wouldn't, I would like to maybe do something like that. Like I said, wouldn't, maybe not that particular hunt per se, but do something up, up north in Maine or [00:33:00] something along those lines to, for me, I think that'd be a really cool opportunity.

Rick Brule: Yeah. Yeah. It was it, again, it's just a different, it's a different Difficulty level.

Yeah. And, bear hunting here in Minnesota, I think the most difficult part is, drawing the tag now, cuz it takes three or four years, okay. Aside from that, if you're doing things right if you've got the experience and you've got a few guys that can help you out, and you can bait consistently and you got all the cameras out, you can pick and choose and oh, usually there's, three, four bears on each bait and that's how I've done it in the past.

And the actual hunt part of it is very short, a day or two and you got your bear and, unless you're like really picky or waiting for one specific or, a lot of times, if you're waiting for the bigger bear or maybe it's, maybe there's one that's a chocolate that you really want.

they have a tendency to allude people. And, but if you're not too picky you can usually make it happen relatively easy. And this is just a different, a totally different experience. Yeah. There's not a [00:34:00] lot of information out there as to what has really successful and what works, because I don't think there's been a lot of success up there.

And so I definitely look forward to the challenge. I definitely want to do it again, although it won't supersede me drawing a North Dakota mule deer tag if I draw. Okay. Okay. If I draw that tag, then that's where I'm going. So Mul deer

Jeremy Dinsmore: are so fun. I, that, that's what we went out to Utah for, was mule deer and my, or my good friend Tim, he's killed a mule deer.

He is killed an elk. He's done it. I think he's the mule deer was with a rifle and the elk was with a bow. Okay. And he's done both of those by himself. And. If he still holds true to the last time we've talked and about this question, he will choose a mule deer over an elk any day of the week.

Now he just, there's something about the mule deer that get 'em going and man they're neat. Like they are so cool. And again, I've haven't had that chance to hunt elk, so I can't co compare, quote unquote, but yeah, I can see why people [00:35:00] get the mule deer bug. No doubt.

Rick Brule: Yeah, it's definitely a blast.

And I've only elk hunted one time, so maybe, my feelings on this may be different simply because of that fact. But I would probably do an elcon over a mule deer hunt, aside from the cost that's involved. Yeah, that's the only thing that, that prevents me from going out and hunting elk and my lack of experience because I'm not real good at calling.

I've been working on it, but still I really don't. If I went out there by myself, , tomorrow I would fail miserably. Yeah. You know what I mean? So that kind of thing. But if I was going mule deer hunting I could, I have a lot of confidence in my ability to make that happen. Yeah. So that's a big part of it too, is the experience that I have, yeah. So

Jeremy Dinsmore: how was the Saddle Game free this year? Did you use it for whitetail hunting at all?

Rick Brule: Yeah, I did. Like I said, I got it out a couple of times. And every time it was bitter. It was almost zero degrees the three times that I got out . But I love it. It's, Again, I can't do it quite as fast as I could say with [00:36:00] my with my tree stand set up that I have.

But I'm getting faster. That's good. Every good single time I do it, I get faster. I'm just, I'm trying to be probably overly cautious because I don't want to get too complacent and then, not make the right connection and then just fall out of the tree, obviously. That'd be terrible. So yeah, you don't want that happen.

I'm just being over overly cautious right now, but the more I do it, the faster I get with it. And just playing around with like different trees and stuff to see, if it's at a certain angle, how would I, how would I, set up and what would be the best way to be in the tree in order to make things happen?

I love it. It's great. I, the only thing I'm upset about is that I didn't wait because now they came up with the new model and I'm like, oh, that lockdown.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Do you sit? Do you, I love that one. , do you find yourself leaning or sitting more?

Rick Brule: Gosh, I don't know. It's probably a split. Okay. I shift back and forth.

Okay. Yeah. Between the two, and again, maybe it's just, maybe I wouldn't shift as much when I was bear hunting. I basically just leaned out more, I think. . But, in the cold, getting into that seated position and kind of, yep. Tucked in yourself up in the [00:37:00] fetal position, you stay a little warmer.

So that's probably why I was doing that more. But yeah, I just love the versatility, the ability to shoot in so many different angles and swing around the tree and it's just yeah, it's, and comfortability too, were you able to

Jeremy Dinsmore: figure out your comfort zone with that? Yeah,

Rick Brule: absolutely.

And I can't sit as long as I used to in a, traditional tree stand my back. Just, I, it starts to get the best of me and in the satellite could sit all day. Yeah.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Isn't that funny? Because I remember having a guest on years ago and they're like, did you sit in on all day? And I think at that point in time, I was coming up to the first year for saddle hunting.

Cause this past year was three full years for me doing it. And I said, no, not yet. I'm like, oh, just wait. And which for some people I know that it is difficult, but I, honest to god, man, like I really don't have any issues. Like I, if you find that saddle, that cups. The way it should, right?

, you're wearing it properly and you find I al I [00:38:00] look at it like it's our integrate, eight x breasts. Like you can micro adjust your tether height. You could micro adjust your bridges, you could micro adjust your bridge length. There's so many different things that go into it, and I always feel like when I'm doing showing demonstrations to certain people, I always say that when you read something or you watch something or, and someone says, I, it's uncomfortable.

I would honestly say 80% of those individuals actually probably had their saddle on. incorrectly. Like meaning like again, cuz a lot of we're so used to pulling up our pants are at a certain height. Like you actually want your saddle to be lower. Like you want the top of your saddle to be right below your, where your belt loops are.

So then now this is the phantom, so this is because of the way it's shaped like a football. So that's why you want that one little bit lower and. And the first time I had someone at the Great American Outdoor Show and he had it like way up high. And I just was like, man, you're not going on in the [00:39:00] water.

You're not going you're not fly fishing. So I was busting his chops. I said, he goes, oh, you're go going to have it down really long. I said, yes. And as soon as he made that one adjustment, cause I think he was, I was with someone prior and he was doing it by himself and it was riding way up high.

. And he was like, oh my gosh, that's a whole different feel. Now. Not a lot of people are doing that, but again, I just still think people are just wearing it incorrectly, doing what I did. Even at first, like my tether was super high and I just was running my bridge super short. I don't know, I just, you gotta practice it.

And I've tell, told people hundreds and times, now you just need to get a foot off the ground. Mess around with those three things, your bridge height, your or your bridge length, your tether height, and your comfort channels. And you will, you should find at least something comfortable out of leaning or sitting.


Rick Brule: doubt about it. . Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And the only other thing that I need to make a change on right now is I'm just using my lone wolf sticks. . And so I definitely need to get something [00:40:00] lighter. Yep. And at ATA show I was looking at some of the new sticks that Tethers offering too.

Probably invest in some of those this year. And then just keep my long little sticks with my long little stand, which I guess I'm not sure if I'll ever use it again. I don't know. , like funny my own a private ground where I can just hang in the stand and leave it. But yeah, I love it.

It's just so many different things about it that just make it an amazing tool.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Tethered is a team of saddle hunting fanatics with a passionate addiction to whitetail hunting, designing and engineering products to be a more efficient and confident. Tether produces the most mobile stealthy and safest elevated hunting gear on the planet built by saddle hunters.

Forward the saddle hunter. Head over to tether to see for yourself what exactly I'm talking about. Oh that's awesome. I was, honestly I, during the season, I was thinking, I'm, I wonder how Ricky's doing with the old saddle, and I apologize that I didn't get a chance to talk to you about that.

How was the whitetail woods for you this year? Because I know you, [00:41:00] last time we talked, you were talking about a couple different property neighborhood properties, even that you had chances to hunt a little bit of urban style. Did you get a chance to do any of that, or how, or like you said, it was tough this.

Rick Brule: Yeah, I didn't do any of the metro stuff this year, again, I was coordinating a hunt, so it was, it's every other weekend, October through November, and each weekend is like four days. . And so my wife was just like, man, that gets to be a lot of time, to be away. And and I know my daughter and I know she can be a little bit of a handful sometimes, right?

So it's okay, I don't, I try to put myself in her shoes and feel and go okay, yeah, that would be a lot. Then that's when I asked, I said would cuz the, would you rather that I just took a couple of weeks off and then just went somewhere? And so she.

she said that she would prefer that. So that's when I decided to do the bear hunt. , and then start applying for out west again. Then I'll just make one stint out, come back. And then so the metro hunts I didn't do last year. I, and I probably won't do 'em for the foreseeable future, like I said, because my intent is [00:42:00] to try to get out west again.

And so again, I'm just gonna go back to. Mule deer hunting in North Dakota. I should draw a tag this year. So we'll see how that goes. Their population is rebounding, so we'll see. Nice. And then I've been plant trying to plant some elk tripps with a few other friends over the last couple years.

But again, money always gets in the way and so I'm just like, and then especially now too at the economy being. Being in in the dump where it is now, it, that makes it that much more difficult. But the mule deer hunt is relatively inexpensive and it's, you knows, sim same experience that I could get on a nail hunt too.

I'm really looking forward to this hunt this year too, cuz I I have an opportunity to hunt with a friend of mine that I've never hunted with before and he's an absolute killer oh, nice. I'm really looking forward to getting out there with him and hunting with him and matching wits and see what we can do out there together.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Yeah. Yeah. Heck yeah. What's something that maybe you're focusing in on for next year? Other than like scheduling or kind of applying for certain hunts, is there anything else that you really want to focus in on, to try to get better at?[00:43:00]

Rick Brule: I def I definitely wanna work more with.

with the saddle. , get better with that. Of course. And aside from that, just I guess getting back to a level that I used to be at. I don't shoot my bow near as much as I did. I don't get out and hike and do that kind of stuff as much as I used to. So I'd like to put an emphasis on doing some more of that and getting myself back into, mountain shape, so to speak, for a flatlander anyways.

what about you, man? What do you got planned coming up this season?

Jeremy Dinsmore: Honestly I've said this before on the podcast, but I'm not coaching anymore. So this spring is the first spring in about a decade that, oh, that I have to myself because my daughter will be nine, so that's about right.

So it's been challenging over the last couple years to. Get out, scout, tried new things. This past year though, Ricky has been like a light bulb opportunities for me where , like my dad said it to me just on my drive home, [00:44:00] like pulling this camera that I had decent bucks on.

He's man, you really had, you found a lot of good bucks this year, what to key in on. And I finally feel like I'm using the knowledge I'm gaining from guests on the podcast to really hone in and put pre put money where my mouth is, and this year, yeah, this year I had I had good, a good season without killing.

a buck, but I saw a mature, couple mature deer on the hoof while I was in the saddle. Just know they either obviously did not come in range or at a closing moment, just could not happen because of whatever I've talked about it before. But I feel like I made progress there and I just want to continue to do that with this spring opportunity.

Like I said, I was just Sunday night, like Thursday after school. It's gonna be beautiful here. I'm going to go just straight there. My, I've, we have a good routine within the household. Now. My daughter's basketball season is over. She's just doing dance on Thursdays now. She plays guitar on Mondays.

So there's nothing really [00:45:00] else that could quote unquote get in the way, I guess you could say. Yeah. , and being almost nine, she's at that age where she could come with me now and last a little longer. Sure. So she wants to really shoot her bow this year. Honestly, dude I just want to continue to improve.

My woodsmanship, like how you were saying about that. That's this spring I, I've always been jealous of the guys that are like, I put on a hundred miles plus 200 miles . Now I don't want to do that. Don't get me wrong, it'd be cool to say that and, but, and I don't, and that obviously doesn't translate to killing a buck, but man, I just want, I've always felt like I've been behind the eight ball with my woodsmanship.

I finally feel like things are clicking and I just want to continue to improve upon that.

Rick Brule: Yeah. There's something about the just being able to apply all of the things that you've learned. Yeah. And man, I can't imagine how agonizing it's been to Yeah. Gaining all this knowledge but not being able to put it to use.

Yeah. But yeah, and that's one of the things that I look forward [00:46:00] to is starting the podcast too, is having these conversations right. About cuz you're always learning new stuff and you always should be learning new stuff. Yeah. And , that's one of the biggest things that I look forward to starting our own.

And and I look forward to seeing what you got in store. Oh, thanks, man. That sounds pretty cool. I'm I'll be keeping an eye out and see how things are going with increasing your woodsmanship. Yep. And I hope you can put that G i eight X to use and Oh yeah.

Take those big bucks that you got on camera too,

Jeremy Dinsmore: talk really quick. How's the shop doing what stuff is going on with Vapor Trail and and talk about the podcast too.

Rick Brule: Yeah, things are good. I can't remember if we had moved into the new facility Yep.

Or not. Yep. I think you just

Jeremy Dinsmore: did when we had you

Rick Brule: on. Yeah. So it's coming along really well. The pro shop is taking off, we've got almost 40 members now that come in on a regular basis to shoot in our 40 yard range. Pro shop is beautiful. And that will be, When we do our podcast, that's where we're gonna do it in the pro shop.

We're gonna have a little area that we're gonna designate for that. And hopefully we can, we gotta do [00:47:00] some testing and just make sure the sound is gonna be okay. Cause I, I'm okay with some of the ambient sound with customers being in the shop and things like that. , in fact, I want that to be kind of part of the experience.

And so we'll see how that goes. But that's the newest adventure right now. We just wanna put an emphasis on gaining some, a greater following on YouTube. So we'll be filming the podcast. I have a co-host. He is the general manager of the pro shop. His name is Jake Hollywood.

Quote, in quotes, Iverson good kid. He's in fact in, I think. Geez. Just a four days. He'll have been with the company for 10 years on the dot. Oh, wow. And so him and I are currently the two longest tenured employees here now. So it'll be cool for us to take on that adventure and just have some chats about hunting.

And we've got some guests lined up and hopefully we can have you on at some point. Yeah. How just to do this, it's fun just talking about hunting and learning new things and seeing how everybody's doing and getting the details. It's just it's awesome. Yeah. Heck yeah, man.

Jeremy Dinsmore: I like the, what you're saying about having it at [00:48:00] the shop and having it just be real and, if there's some people noise in the background and that's what it is, that's gonna make you guys unique in, in your field, in that . That's awesome. Dude. I, no, like you said, I've, I just love talking.

I love having that opportunity to, Catch up with people and that are down to earth and just awesome. And like you said, the learning aspect because as a teacher and man growing up, I never thought I would say how continuously learning and growing as an individual is important. Cuz I've been like, yeah, whatever.

Shut up . But now it does. And like you said, in this field we have this passion, we have this drive to do something like, I don't know, I love even your quick little edit videos of things that, like when you show me check this out. I love that. I wish I was better at that. And obviously YouTube is a great resource.

I don't know how many times of I've talked to a couple of my students that are really good with the camera, like they do some awesome stuff for our sports teams, for our school. And I'm like, [00:49:00] holy cow. And a couple of them are like, you need to come in the woods with me. I'll pay you. I'll do something.

Like just get some cool content for me for for the channel and everything like that. I'm like, where did you learn to do this? They're like, oh, YouTube. I'm like, man, I'm just that stupid, I don't know but it's

Rick Brule: crazy, man. Yeah, and it's I'm really looking forward to it too because, up until recently I've always been a one man show.

And so when I presented the idea of doing the podcast to our director of operations, he was like whoa, slow down just a second here. I need you to come back down to Earth. Where are you gonna find time to do a podcast? And I was like, that's a very good question. . But I was able to bring in a young gentleman.

He's a great kid. His name is Damon Wolf. He's got, he's only, he's 18 years old, and he's gonna graduate high school this year. But he's got his own content creation company called Offer One Media. He's already done some work for Dialed and some stuff for what's the Ultra View Yep.

Thing. And also Spartan Forge. Okay. And he is just got an amazing portfolio. He's super talented. He was just in here [00:50:00] yesterday and we did some filming. We're gonna be putting together a little video on Bo Strings. And so getting him all set up with that stuff and he's gonna be taking over our social media.

He'll be doing about 75% of the content there. So we'll have more consistent postings create more of a consistent theme across the board. Cuz right now we're just really missing the ball with a lot of things because I just, I can't post consistently enough. . And so we're gonna shift so that he can be creating that content for us.

And also posting it, I'll be still be doing some some of the fry Gs and some of those things, and then focusing on the podcast and also putting a greater emphasis on our pro staff. Cause we have about 65 individuals on our pro staff over the last couple of years. Haven't been able to really do focus with them very much and communicate with them very much.

So hopefully we can we're gonna be taking a more, what Rory would call grassroots boots on the ground approach to our marketing. And I think the podcast is gonna be an integral part of that. I've had a few people say there's so many podcasts out there.

What makes you think that yours is [00:51:00] gonna be, and it's it's not really so much about it being greatly successful. I just think that we have a really good platform to launch off of already. And it's just, it just adds another element to, to what we, what our abilities are and how we can get the word out and Yep.

And keep it consistent, yep. Yep. I'm looking forward to it. Dude. That's awesome.

Jeremy Dinsmore: Here. Yeah. That's exciting. Dude. I'm excited to, like you just said for me I'm excited to fall along and catch in and tune in and all that stuff because dude I will say this as when you guys, I love when, just as a, because how much I love archery, like not even hunting related.

I love even just seeing the vapor portrayal. Archery shop, the bow shop, like posting when people are in the shop, shooting, doing league night, all that type of stuff. Because I just, I'm like, man, that place is awesome. That looks so cool because we don't have that here. Like Nate Sellers is open, opened up average Jack Archery shop, and dude, he's killing it.

He's doing such a great job in his shop, and it's only three minutes down my house, but he's doing with what he's [00:52:00] got and he's doing such a great job, but it's seeing on your scale, it's man, that, that looks sweet. There's another place, Northeast pa, it's called out Outdoor Insiders, I believe.

Okay. They have an out a shop too, the big retail type of bow Shop as well. But their indoor space is so cool. Like they, they have black light night, like it's, oh yeah. It's all lit up in a cool way and everything. And man, that's just so neat. Like it's just a different avenue again as a parent.

I'm like, shoot, I could go shoot my bow and my daughter's gonna freaking love this because it's black light night. You know what I mean? . And so yeah, dude I, so just as a total outsider, I post even th those posts I think are cool, even though, it's not, doesn't, you wouldn't think it's a home run of Ooh, it's just a couple people shooting in our league night.

But I don't know, I find that cool. .

Rick Brule: Yeah. It's just, and again, it's just a matter of being more consistent and just getting it out there more, and and we've been getting a lot of help from, we, [00:53:00] we've got some local guys that they go around and they go to a lot of the different shops in the area.

And they promote a lot of the shops just promoting archery in general. Yep. And so it's really cool to. Guys like that kind of bringing us all together really, because that's really how things used to be. Yeah. And when I first moved to this area and I would go shoot leagues, like just the amount of fun and camaraderie that was involved with all of that was amazing.

And social media was not near as prevalent. And now it's it's disheartening to see, hunters battling hunters and things like that. And so it's just been amazing to see all these guys coming in and we're just talking. It doesn't necessarily have to be about archery either.

Again, it's just that whole thing where it's like, how's your family? How are you doing? What's happening? And just getting that, connection with everybody has been really cool to get back into that. Yeah. Instead of being just like jammed into a manufacturing facility all day, if I need a break, I just go out in the shop and I can just shoot the shit with a couple of guys and have some fun.

Jeremy Dinsmore: So heck yeah, man. Dude, I appreciate you coming on again. I loved hearing your [00:54:00] story. I loved just, Catching up, dude, and where could people fall along here in the next couple weeks, in the future with what you got going on?

Rick Brule: Of course you can find us on Instagram and on Facebook, vapor Trail Archery. We also have a separate page for the Pro Shop, so that's Vapor Trail Pro Shop. And as we purchased Stok Rice stabilizers a couple years back, so we also have those both on Instagram, social media. You can find me on Instagram at Ricky Wayne 80, and I'm also on Facebook, Ricky W Brew.

So awesome, man. I

Jeremy Dinsmore: appreciate it all. Yeah, dude. Any, anytime. Always. Welcome Ricky, and thanks again everybody for tuning in. We'll see you next week as we, let's see. We'll be hopefully this will be already in March, so hopefully we will be getting down to the old nitty gritty when it comes to scouting stuff.

So thanks again everybody for tuning in. Appreciate it. Antler up.