Traditions, Planning Your Season & Half-Rack w/ Josh Dutton

Show Notes

Hey everyone, welcome to episode 164 of the Antler Up Podcast!

On this week's episode I was joined by Wisconsin native Josh Dutton.  What an absolutely fun conversation that we had!  Josh works for Half-Rack which makes some real fine gear for hunters.  We only get into the gear a little bit at the end.  Josh shared his hunting traditions with his family and you see the impact that it has had on who he is today.  

Josh from a very young age knew he wanted to work within the hunting industry and mentions how Half-Rack started.  Really cool story regarding that and then he follows this up by telling hunting stories!  Josh maps out his typical year for planning for the next hunting season.  From right now, figuring out what hunts he will get to come fall, to getting his property in good shape with land management and of course getting lots of time behind the bow.  

We get into other hunting strategies, and stories throughout the podcast!  I am really looking forward to having Josh on again in the future.  Really enjoyed speaking with him and would like to dive deeper into some stories that helped him become successful in and out of the woods!   Enjoy this fun episode!  

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

Show Transcript

[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 good one for you all. This week Josh Dutton joins us on this week's show, and over the last few seasons, there have been a few staple pieces of gear that I've always been in my bag all year long, and those are coming from half rack.

And Josh tells a really fun story about how Half Rack got its name and really came about, but however, this episode is a lot more about Josh than it is about Half Rack. And he's from Wisconsin. An avid bow hunter loves going out for Whitetails, and we begin this conversation by catching up and chatting a little bit about how awesome.

The state of Montana is, [00:01:00] and we quickly transition to talking about Whitetails and Josh shares some of his key factors that really has helped him develop into the hunter he is today. And we dive into traditions being that he's from W Wisconsin and obviously here from Pennsylvania. So we talk about how both of our fathers played a role in who we are today as hunters.

And just a fun conversation here. And we wrap things up with Josh mapping. His yearly planning process when it comes to hunting from right now, getting his hunts lined up, doing his scouting, land management, and making sure to get a ton of time behind the bow. And really enjoyed this conversation. Really enjoyed this episode and looking forward to having Josh on again in the near future to talk about all the hammers that he's really put down.

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So check them out That's it. Everybody that I have for this week, get out there scouting, get ready for Turkey season, make sure you're still shooting your bow, all that stuff. And we'll see you next week when we do a live episode, I think with Andrew Mills. We will not sure if it'll be [00:04:00] released next week or what, but we got a few others that we're gonna be coming out here soon.

Really appreciate the support. See you next weekend. We're up. What's up everybody? We're back. We're live for a new episode of the Antler Up podcast. On the other side of the computer Tonight we have Josh Dutton. Josh, welcome to the show, dude. Hey, thanks for having me. Ah, I appreciate it, man. It was funny because I'm sure you've gotten this now a lot over the last two plus years of the whole like Yellowstone stuff in Dutton

And this is my way of I guess cracking the ice a little bit. My wife and I were chatting today and she goes, oh, you have a podcast? And I said, yeah, I got Josh on from half Rack. She's oh, great, cool. She goes, what's, what's his last name? I said, Dutton and she goes, you're gonna call him John about five times.

I guarantee it during that podcast. I was like, Nope, that's my goal. I was like, I plan on not calling him John during it at whatsoever. So I feel like it's almost everyone's icebreaker now when I first get to meet him there. Hey, you watched Yellowstone? I'm like, I actually do. I enjoy Yellowstone too, so I do too.

Have you ever been to Montana? I have [00:05:00] been to Montana. I've not been too deep into Montana. I've been on the western side of the state. So I spent like maybe a day or two there. Not too much time. Haven't hunted it. I would love to hunt it. Yeah, I would love to hunt it. I feel like that is like the mecca of all outdoorsmen, just because you have everything there.

You, you name it. This past summer when I was out there with tethered for the tack event we went, so that was I think the end of July. I, man, dude, it was unbelievable. First time there, so I just went to Big Sky, so I don't really know area at all whatsoever. And that evening before other people arrived, me and one of the kids, I was actually on the tagged out tour spoony.

We ended up going, he's a big fisherman, and I like fishing, but I wasn't going to go to Walmart to go buy a fish and Rod or anything like that he went and bought one. We go down to the right where our Airbnb was. It's pretty close, obviously, to the connecting of the resort. And man, I'm, we're just, he's fishing.

I'm just mosy my way around looking at the, every, the scenery [00:06:00] basically. And all of a sudden I hear something coming behind me and there's these two big mule deer, in the summer. Man, they don't care. Just like all these, just like whitetails, where we are from, they could care less.

During the summer months, dude, I got to three yards to, to me I would, oh my gosh, I would've. Been flipping crazy. If I would've had the opportunity to hunt or kill one of those, either one of them, but dude, three, four yards, I could hear it. Like chewing on the cut and yeah, it was really cool.

And yeah you name it, they have a mule, deer, elk, whitetail in certain parts of the state and yeah, I would definitely live there for sure. They had some like outstanding whitetail hunting for years and years. I think blue to took the numbers down quite a bit on the whitetail side of things.

But like I remember so I was that junkie that would go out and buy the Monster Buck videos, like the minute that they were released. Yeah. I'd go up to, at the time Gander Mountain and go and buy 'em. And I remember like knowing what Montana had for whitetail, just from that, like the Milk River, like that little basin and the deer that they had coming out of there.

It [00:07:00] was just something that I'm, I asked, I always wanted to try to do that. Yeah. Yeah, that was, like I said, first time there, seeing that scenery, man, I was just blown away. I'd definitely an area that I would go back to for sure, and maybe try to hunt elk one day. I don't know. I'm not sure totally. I'm not a big points guy.

I'm, I don't know the ins and outs when it comes to that type of stuff yeah, I rely on my buddies to be like, Hey, put in for a point for this. Maybe we could go out in a year or two or something like that. But I'm not a die hard to, for that. I would li I'd rather I am like that when it comes to my points for Iowa and Points of Kansas , like the whitetail side of things.

But when it gets to the, some of the Western game, man I'm out of it. You can get pretty consumed by it. I remember probably four or five years now, we were doing our research to try to find an elk unit in Colorado. And I had 16 spreadsheets. I had pivot tables, I had all kinds of different things trying to figure out like what unit was actually open to it and had an opportunity to kill, your highest success rate with, [00:08:00] ease of drawing a tag.

Plus then you try to layer in like bigger bulls and there's different areas of the country that have bigger bulls or different AR units in Colorado, so you can get lost in it pretty quick on the point system thing. But I'm with you typically I am Let somebody who's been out there a couple times tell me, Hey, this is the unit you need to apply for.

And yeah, that's, I tend, I generally take their direction. Luckily for me and a couple other friends of mine, we have two really good friends Tim Csoc and Tom Run Scavenge. Both of those good friends of mine have done out-of-state hunts with both of those two individuals. They are the guys that have on your side when it comes to that.

They're the ones that have the spreadsheets and how many points and their odds to draw all that stuff. So yeah it's nice when you definitely have those individuals on your side to help you out with that. I haven't messed around with it, but I think it's, OnX has now a like a layering like on their maps system where you can see that they have draw odds and stuff on it, so Wow.

I think the game's gotten a little easier. Yeah. It's not like it used to be, like you'd have to print it off and like [00:09:00] highlight and mainly key in and do all this kind of other stuff, but I think they're making it a little bit easier just like everything else with. Technology and those app-based scouting tools that are out there.

Dude, another thing with all that stuff though is how expensive it's getting. Like it's, if you want to apply for multiple states and multiple different species, dude it, I'm sure it creeps up on people pretty good. Yeah, I see. I've got mixed emotions about it. I like the fact that it's obtainable, right?

Yeah. So there's some states where you literally, it's 50 bucks for the app and you put it in. If you get drawn, then it's whatever the license cost is. And I think Colorado used to, and I could be wrong and you'll probably fight out if I am, I'm sure people will blow me up on all your social media , but I think Colorado changed a couple of years ago where you only have to pay a set amount that's not the full license amount.

And I think what happened is they got a ton of applications because of that. So it is like a double-edged sword. Cuz you had, it's a commitment financially you're putting up like 600 bucks for an elk tag or whatever. [00:10:00] and it gets reimbursed besides like the 25 or 30 bucks if you don't draw.

But now I think it's only you have to put in for the app and then if f you get drawn and then you have to pay the full license amount, which I I liked it before cuz I felt like even if it was just in my mind, it kept some of the people out that weren't maybe, willing to make that commitment like I was, yeah,

But I it's, the more access and the more people I can get out and experience because the Western states are just totally different. I'm a diehard whitetail hunter and I prefer I do that's my bread and butter. But man, getting me out less, I do love chasing those big game animals out there.

Heck yeah man. Let's dive into a little bit about that Josh. Tell us, obviously I know like I mentioned earlier, working for half Rack, what is your story? What is your I guess you know, your upbringing, like you said, kind of bread and butter. Did you grow up hunting, doing all that type of stuff?

Yeah. I, so I live in Wisconsin. Okay. Grew up in Wisconsin. Pretty much just spent my entire life here. My [00:11:00] family was always big into archery hunting by, some of my best and earliest memories are going up to private or public land up in the middle of Wisconsin. And having, watching my dad and my uncles and cousins go out and, they were just tickled to see a deer.

Yeah. If they got one, it was a big deal. There was big woods hunting. It's really big woods, it's like a lot of the state property is up in northern Wisconsin. It's hard to try and find deer even still today, and I can't say I'm like the most accomplished whitetail hunter.

I've had some success. It's still hard, to go out there and try to find a, an animal to kill. It's not as it's not easy. But that's what kind of got me started in all of it. And. . My family has always, in one way or another, been in the garbage industry. My brother still does.

He owns his own special waste company. And my dad managed and worked in landfills. My grandfather did my uncle it's just that was. the thing we did. Okay. And I was probably like 12 years old or something like that. And I had a friend [00:12:00] who's still a mentor to this day, and he works in the industry.

Marty Fry, he we went to church with him and I remember like one time he's just so he worked for a distributor at the time in sporting goods. All they did was hunting, fishing stuff. And he invited me up to their office and they had a sample sale. So at the end of the year, they would get rid of all the samples that they had.

Like to 12 year old me, like going in there. It was like a candy shop. All it was hunting and fishing stuff. And I'd fill up a box and the guy's yeah. 10 bucks of all literally everything you wanted. And I spent that day with him and saw like what it was about, like the marketing aspect of things and the sales aspect of things.

And like literally from that day, I'm like, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna find a way to work in the outdoor industry. So literally s. I've tried to do anything and everything I could to get into that industry and Marty would, saying again, he's the one that helped me get into it. And my first job outta college was working for a company in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

And I lived up [00:13:00] there for about a year and it was due North and they had the and r NRA licensed Camel Line at the time. So I was like a junior rep and just, slinging product and trying to get placement and stuff like that. And I was there for about a year and I ended up taking a job with that same distributor that I did the whole little sample sale thing with Yeah.

A year later. So I worked for them for probably 10 years and just have always been in the outdoor industry. I just, Committed to it when I was young and said, I'm gonna find a way to do this. Half Rack actually started as something like that. I was more on the content side. I was like, I really wanted to do this.

Like I was telling you earlier, before, I think you're recording. Like I was that guy that lined up to go get, I don't know that there was ever any lines to get Monster Bucks , but I would, the first couple, weeks that it would come out, I would go out there and save up my money and go buy, I think it was DVDs.

I don't think I was buy, I'm not gonna age myself that much. I think I was buying DVDs at the time and I would buy the Monster Buck videos and the Primo [00:14:00] videos, the Truth About Hunting series and all that. And I would literally just sit there and watch 'em. Yeah, like crazy. Me and a couple of friends in high school kind of wanted to start doing that, right?

So we had our like old crappy camera that I'm sure my dad like, was like, go have fun with it, do what you need to do with it. And we started trying to film hunts and stuff and we came up with our own little hunt club and we called it Half Rack. We had hats and shirts made and I went as far as to get an l C for it when I was like 18 years old even.

So I started in that element of things and half Rack went away and I'm still friends with a lot of those guys. Still hunt with a lot of 'em. And then, fast forward 20 years or whatever it was, 15 years and a couple of other friends, TJ, who I think you know pretty well and one other partner we have we just had this opportunity come up and we really had the, with half rack, we really had.

Skews and the items already developed. We knew what we wanted to do, we just didn't have a name for it. And I was like I had [00:15:00] this name back in the day. And I'm like, I can, half racks the name and TJ's that's it. I love it. And that night I remember him like sending me some doodles of some of the logos and 20, 20 minutes later we had the brand, we had the logo, we had everything from there.

And that kind of launched us to where we're at today. Three years later, Spartan Forge stands at the nexus of machine learning and whitetail deer hunting to deliver truly intuitive and sign space products that saves the hundred time spent 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 Spartan Forge membership at Spartan. Dot ai dude. Almost four. That is so freaking cool man. That is like so awesome to think that a dream that you have when you're 18 years old with your buddies and then like you said, fast forward 15, 20 years ago. Here it is. And you know how ironic too that you're, here you are working in industry now from, many years and you're like, yeah, I have an idea Dude, that [00:16:00] is so wild that I love that story.

Yeah, it's a fun story. I like to tell it. And they actually, thank you for asking cuz it's like one of the things, we do some podcasts now and then, and we, I don't think I've ever actually gotten into the detail of like how it actually started. Yeah. But that's how it started. So dude, I love that cuz when you see these brands and these companies and you wonder what.

What goes into their logo, what goes into their brand name, all that stuff. Cuz even antler up, I think what, it's funny, when I talk to certain individuals and they're like, Hey, antlers up, and they're throwing an S on it. They're, just totally opposite and , I, when I started it, I don't know, I, my daughter at that time, she was like six, like five going on six type of ordeal.

She was really into surfing, like watching Bethany Hamilton stuff. Yeah. And like all this stuff. And I don't know, I just was like, antler up, like surfs up and my buddy Jim who does stuff with me here with Antler up and I was like, what does it mean to you? And he is man, it's like poker.

You gotta Annie up, it's antler up. Gotta get in [00:17:00] there and do it. I was like, that's what it means to me too, man. It's just have fun with it. Yeah. And get, go for it basically. And all that stuff. So it's just neat to hear that you had that. And we're doing that with friends.

When you're 18, like that story that hits home, man, like that just, it's so cool to see that come to life basically. Yeah. We've tried to grow the brand around that too. We've tried to stay pretty close to our roots. I, some of the product names that we have for Half Rack are literally places that I've hunted or people on the team have hunted.

Like we name product after some of the spots and some of the towns, and now we're probably giving some stuff away, . But you still gotta find the state. Yep. . Yep. But yeah, there's we, we've stuck to that and we really are, we've tried to develop the company as being one that's for people like us people that are just, we like to hunt and we like to go out and have a good time with it.

And we're conservation based and we try to make an affordable product, but also a quality product so that, we want it to be like an all-inclusive [00:18:00] spot. Yeah. The way that we talk about it in our meetings and stuff is we want the guy that's wearing the Walmart knockoff Camel brand.

And we also want that Sitka guy, like we want 'em all in the same spot where they can, utilize the accessories that everyone uses, but nobody really knows what that brand is. And you can ask, most people be like, Hey, where do you get your little gear hook? Who makes that?

Bet you 90% of the people you ask be like, I don't know, I just bought it from wherever. We're trying to be the answer to that and be like, oh no, it's half rack. There's it's, something like we've always said is we wanna be a brand with a soul. We want to create a community.

We want people to, have a brand to cheer for, basically. Yeah. And we've tried to develop half Rack to be that. That brand. I'll tell you what though, real quick. Just a short, product plug. My dad has stolen both of my bow hangers because on our pri private property that we have here in Pennsylvania, he set up his two, his core areas and he stole both of them cuz he's he used to love the old school real tree one, and I don't know if they made some type of adjustment to [00:19:00] it, but yeah, he's, he took my two and he was like, I'm taking them, I'm using them.

I'm like, go for it, dad. This is, it's just cool because that is the one person that I have no problem lending things and doing things for it. Like I love now when it comes to holidays and birthdays because I love to spoil 'em just because of Yeah. I have that opportunity of working and doing that because he did a lot for me.

And just because too where our relationship was growing up to where there was a disconnect for such a long time. And then, the last. 11 years of when I after graduating college and we started going back to hunting together and life slowed down for me. It's just, I don't know. So that's my favorite piece now.

So I'm like, yep, go for it, man. You could take 'em and have fun with it. I totally relate to that. Yeah. I totally relate to it. We I had a great upbringing but we weren't rich by any means. We were, we were scraping by too. I didn't know it. I guess that's a, yep.

That's, something to credit my family for my parents for, because, I thought it was just [00:20:00] like how everyone lived, and, but like we cherished the hunting stuff that we had, like the little bit that we would get that would be new man. Yeah. Kept good care of it. Yeah. And we, there's a lot of hand me downs and stuff like that.

And so now that I can, honey products come a little bit easier to come by nowadays. , I can I can hook my dad up with some of that fun stuff and get 'em hooked up with the, the nicer bows and the nicer arrows and the nicer camo and of course the, the accessories and stuff.

But we'll we'll get plenty of Bow holders for you, bowings for you and your dad yep. It's, a guy. Yeah. But and what's really cool is, man, I think it was when you guys just started getting product out. I did a, I bought some product and had my daughter open up the box and we did a little f Instagram thing and she's, cuz I got her a rifle that year and cuz it was the first year that she was able to get a mentor license.

So I geared her out when in some half rack stuff, we got her the orange vest. So she's all she's dressed head to toe and some half rack stuff too. Awesome, man. Yeah it's really neat and like you said it's good for anybody, you, we need those accessories and that's [00:21:00] exactly what it's for is, it's for that and it's affordable, which is great.

But we'll get into product and stuff, Josh. Yeah. One thing. And I loved your upbringing of hearing that story because I think, I know you people listen to podcasts and it has the ability to, Hey, tell us who you are, where you come from. We do all have these different stories and there's a lot of similar stories to them with that.

So I like that. That was really good. And one thing that I want to ask, and I've gotten away from it for the last couple episodes, I actually for a while now, but. When you look at that baseball card, right? Or you pull up a video game and you're going, you're selecting your character of who you want to fight with or whatever.

If it's a fighting game, and you could pick that one or two, power boost or superpowers or anything along those lines. And you were saying about whitetail being your bread and butter, what in that whitetail world would you say is that key attribute that you feel very confident?

I've got this down Pat . I don't, I wanna meet someone who's got it down pat. Dude, how about it? And me too. [00:22:00] The second you think you got them things figured out, man, they will. Yep. They bob and weave and you can. Yeah. You can think that you become the master of that game and you never are. I think, or maybe you, like I was gonna say, go either explain that or even maybe explain like your favorite things that you love in the whitetail woods, even the, to your tactics that you like doing. Yeah. I think there's like a progression and I, gosh I wish I knew who the author was, but it said there's stages to a whitetail hunter where you start out and you just want to kill one. Like you just literally want to try to shoot one. I went through that. It was like, I think I hunted from 12 to 16 and shot and missed at a lot of deer. Probably one of the biggest bucks in my life. I had a shot at and missed at 13 or 14. And I, so that's a real thing.

And I understand like when new people are getting into it, especially like late onset hunters or whatever, they have to start out a little bit later. That's the thing. It's hard. And I think what I've liked and what I've seen now in our industry is a little bit, is like we're moving away from the 200 inch deer.

I think more people are like, Hey, , enjoy it. Whatever you consider is your [00:23:00] trophy, however you wanna fill your tag, you fill your tag that's gonna make you happy. If that deer makes your heartbeat, that's good for you. And everyone brings that person up, right? For me, I think it's just the stages.

You go through it and, I was in the same stage just wanting to kill one, and then it what got to the stage where I wanted to kill as many as I could, and I just, got to wanting to stack up deer. And then I went to wanting to shoot mature deer, like a mature deer. And now I'm at the stage of last year I only hunted literally in Wisconsin.

There was one buck that I was gonna really wanna put my tag on, and I didn't kill him. So he beat me, and he's beating me for the last six years. And I, it's to, to me, I think, I, what I like is just being out there and everything slows down. And just like the mornings when they're nice, crisp, like October morning and you can hear nature wake up and you're the first one out there and you start to hear that first bird go and like all of that is.

It's just like a, like it, it's my way of resetting and refreshing myself and like just cleansing. Yeah. All the [00:24:00] busyness that goes on in life. And I've gotten to the point now where I used to put like a tremendous amount of pressure on me to I had to get it done like this day or that day.

And it, it's gotten a little bit easier because I can, I have the luxury now it's flat out of luxury. If I want, if I, wanna go hunting on a Tuesday morning, I can go hunting on a Tuesday morning where, you didn't have that, I didn't have that earlier in life where I had to get something done on a weekend.

So it's a little bit different in that respect, but it's, more of a, just enjoying the process than the actual harvest. And I've allowed myself to realize that instead of putting all that kind of pressure on me to be like, Hey, I gotta get a, I gotta get a buck down. . I say that now.

March, whatever. What is it? The seventh? Seventh? Yeah. If it's November 8th or ninth, I'm probably not gonna give you that answer. I'm probably getting a little more nervous about, wanting to see something, or get my tag on something. But yeah, I would say just the slowing down of the process and learning to enjoy it.

And just, the chase itself is [00:25:00] more appealing to me now and the ambiance and sharing camp with friends and having people to do it with. I really enjoy that. I'm still a solo guy. I go out by myself. I get mildly annoyed when there's camera people and you have to do all that kind of stuff.

Yeah. And cuz it's just, it makes it difficult and luckily I don't have to do that much, but like that does make it harder. And I've learned more now to just enjoy it. Like the times that I get to hunt with my dad or my brother, cuz I know that those days are, , you never know.

And I don't know, over the last couple of falls, I've just taken more time to. Enjoy it. My dad barely hunts. He gets up and he'll yeah I can go sit in this stand and then he goes back to bed or whatever, or he'll hunt until like primetime and then he gets down when it's primetime cuz it's too dark or whatever.

And, but he likes to be the camp guy, right? Yeah. So he is back at the shed and he's Hey, what'd you see? All this kind of stuff. And I mean it used to annoy me a little bit, but now I'm just like, hey, that's, that's what he likes to do and it's stuff that I'll always remember about him.

So I, it's the process and just [00:26:00] enjoyment of it and, you learn the more time you spend out there. The thing that I would say, like if the, for somebody who's just getting started in the whitetail hunting is be in the woods. Yeah. And just the more time you get watching animals and understanding movement and like understanding why you saw deer move and correlating that with like weather.

or, run activity or stuff, it starts to click. The more you're just out there and you understand what those prime days look like. Yeah. And feel and you can start to recognize them before they happen. And that's just something that takes time and just understanding and learning and, playing the wind is a huge thing.

I think there's, it depends on what you wanna do. Again. Again, if there's people out there that are just looking to fill their tag and, they want to, they're happy with a, a spike buck or a four point buck, God bless you. That's awesome. I'm excited for you. And I'll be the first one to high five you.

Yep. But they are also the dumbest deer in the woods, . And they're not, that, they're not [00:27:00] that difficult to kill like a, a sing like a younger Yep. Buck is pretty darn easy. And not you gotta have 'em, but I'm not trying to diminish anybody by any means, but once you get that and understand that you can.

Learn from it, but you wanna move on too. You're like, okay, I've, I can kill that deer like in your head. You don't have to actually execute the shot. You're like, I know I could. Yeah. You won. Take that deer if I wanted to kill that deer. You won that battle amongst you in that whitetail.

Yeah. And that's how I think of it. Yep. You're, and I practice drawing on deer. I think that's another good thing that people, spend a lot of time don't spend enough time shooting deer. Yeah. Especially archery equipment. So I'm a bow hunter, pretty hardcore.

Same here. Like I gun. , but I gun hunt for the family element of it all. And I like to get together. I like to play cards. I like to drink with the guys. And of late, like now, like it's something that I have two girls that they can do. This was the first year that I took them out and they sat out there and my brother has two boys and they're not yet interested, but [00:28:00] they will be hopefully sooner and later.

And it's changed. Even that's changed. So it's like more trying to get the kids involved with it, which I do enjoy, but at my soul is bow hunting. Yeah. So I prefer to be out there chasing them with the bow. I'll tell you what, man. Amen. To, to everything you said. And one key thing that you said, and I wrote it down because I wanted to make sure I elaborate on it because it is the one thing that I fell victim to and I think a lot of hunters fall victim to is to, is you said be in the woods.

Right? And prior to that, go through those experience. And then you also said prior to that about slowing things down and you need to do the both of those things at that time. And I know that's probably what you're getting at and saying, but man, I think a lot of people, what I did in the past was I'm in the woods to be okay.

I gotta get it done right? I'm hunting I'm hunting, I'm a hunting, I'm hunting. I gotta kill, I gotta kill, I gotta kill. And if you don't, maybe. And I'm not saying you have to write down, oh, I saw a buck siding. Oh, I saw a deer. But slow it down. See why, [00:29:00] see how your wind's going.

And just like you said, build up that resume. B, build up your attributes, your woodsmanship, because like I said I know for a fact within the last, three, four years of starting antler up and doing all this stuff, you get suckered into that. I gotta produce, I gotta do who do I gotta produce for

I'm just from, just to say I did that. And that sucked. And like you said, I, even though I did not kill a buck this last year, this was a great learning year. I took a lot in, I got in on a lot of mature deer. I did not. Had just, I did, I just didn't have that opportunity.

Could I have slipped a 45 yard bomb in the big ta in the big woods, on the mountains of pa out of the biggest buck I've ever seen. Yeah. Why I wasn't taking that chance. Yeah. I wasn't confident enough to do that, and it would've been a very tight squeeze. There's things like that. So if you're in the woods and you're going through that, you're learning, slow that down and really, take it in exactly what Josh said.

And then another thing that I want to talk, you said an October morning, [00:30:00] woo. That those are like that, that speech right there amongst, depending on who you're talking to, is like the end all, be all. Don't do it. . So go ahead and maybe elaborate on that because man, I'll tell you what, like you said, you had the luxury, right?

If you want to go out on a Tuesday morning because the weather looks great, some people don't. I want to get out as a school teacher, I'm not. I'm very like, man, I don't know how many days these kids have off. But then as a teacher, I have in service, I have to go during these end of October 28th, 29th, like the days when it's just about getting really good.

I have to rely on those Saturdays. Yeah. And here in Pennsylvania we don't have Sundays. So yeah. That's such a, yeah, it's crock of shit, but . Yeah. When you. . So what is your maybe, growing up or things that you've developed over the years of, I don't know the October mornings and things that you prefer of maybe things that you've gone through?

And that was actually a question that I have was like, yeah. What are maybe things that you've experienced like trends and not necessarily trends in gear or things like that, but just things that you've noticed in the woods. [00:31:00] So a again, I do it for enjoyment too. Yeah. And I like, so if you asked me like, what is my favorite day to hunt?

I would say November 2nd. What's your second favorite? Favorite day? It'd be October 31st. So like I, that last week of October, I've had a lot of luck. And if you can get a good cold front that's pushing through I would really like those. Yeah. I really like those mornings. I typically don't hunt mornings during the early season, so unless I've moved in and saddles have changed a little bit of the way that I hunt too, where you can get a little bit more after 'em.

Okay. And you're more on the offense than you are, like, not to say tree stand hunting's, like where you're playing defense, but you, I feel like it's just way more you can be way more aggressive if you have a saddle, cuz you can get in tight on places and there's depending on what you're, of course, trying to harvest if you're trying to harvest the deer and you just want to dow or a smaller buck, you should be hunting every October morning. If you hunt 'em on, bed to feed patterns, [00:32:00] you're, you can shoot a dough, you can shoot it doesn't matter if you know you're gonna see 'em if the weather's right and you catch 'em and you know it's not A terrible hot or whatever, right?

You can shoot a, you can shoot a deer in October or September. It's to me, just, it seems if you got the right conditions that come together and you can move in on a deer and you've got like really good intel that, that deer's in that area, whether that's, on foot scouting or you're getting your trail cameras and especially now with's like trail cameras that are sending you, live basically information.

Which that's a whole story too, in itself. Yeah. But you can get some good intel to be like, Hey, I'm gonna move in on this guy. , and the best way for me to slip in too, and I think that's something that not a lot of people talk enough about is entry and exit. Yep. And if it's easier for you, I've got one farm that's easier for me to get in for morning hunts, cuz it's just easier.

I've got the cover of darkness, I don't have any issues. I can get in there without bumping any deer. And it's not as easy to hunt at night because the deer come back out in the [00:33:00] fields. And it's hard for me to get off of that at night. So for me it's just, it's a better spot to hunt in the morning. It's set up better for me to get in and out and I'm not bumping a bunch of deer.

And that to me is a big deal too. Like I really spend a lot of time thinking about how I get in and out of a property without, I'm trying to be as light impact as possible. Yep. But yeah, I would say, October mornings are, the number one reason is cuz the conditions are usually pretty nice.

You can go out there and it's, it's brisk, it's 40 degrees out or 50 degrees out, so you're not freezing. It's not like that late December hunt where you've got, 15 layers on and your feet are, frozen. And it's just comfortable, and if you're out there, like to enjoy it and spend the time out there, the colors are beautiful.

Yes. It's awesome to be out there that time of year. And that's just one of those times that, when I think of deer hunting, I always just think of, late October, early November. Yeah. Which I think most people think of early November. But I definitely, I'm not a, I'm not a guy that's gonna sit here and say, do you, [00:34:00] do, you should hunt in October.

You definitely should hunt in October. Yeah. No doubt about it. And I will second what you said, I. Like you said, the colors, just everything about those October mornings too, and just seeing the sun come up it's very relatable to the Turkey woods, right? When the spring and it's starting to green up it's a whole different feel.

Especially you got the green coming up in the spring and then obviously when it's those oranges and yellows and reds and everything in the fall, it's just something magical, man. You just know like you just hear ch when the deer was and then that first gobble in the morning, in the spring just hammering down.

It's good times. And then, man, this is getting me fun. This is getting exciting for hunting season. The spring tur huntings, actually I feel that probably more Turkey hunting cuz I think you're pinned up, like for me anyway, living in Wisconsin, we're supposed to get another snowstorm on Friday.

So you just get sick of it, right? Yep. You're done with the winter, you're done with being inside, you're done with being cold . So the first time you go out and you're actually able to sit outside and be. Back outside without freezing. And you that first gobble. Yeah. To [00:35:00] me that's, you can't beat it.

Like I, it's, I just as much love Turkey hunting. I'm a deer guy first. I feel like I get asked that question a lot, but the, if someone was like to say, Hey, you had to pick one, it would be a real hard decision. It would undoubtedly be deer hunting. I would pick whitetail hunting, hands down, yep. No questions asked. But I do love to Turkey hunt. Heck yeah, man. What tell us I guess a little bit about the traditions that maybe your family has had, like you said about camp and your dad and your brother and everything like that. Just because it's coming from Pennsylvania myself, same thing.

Grew up, really in that traditional, orange army. I did bow hunt. My dad was always a big bow hunter and I. 12 years old when I received my first big boy bow that I could actually kill a deer with basically. And I was very, I was actually successful when I was 13. I think I was either 12 or 13.

And so yeah I've had the archery bug my whole life, which just seems like you as well. But, what are some of your tr like family traditions that, that you do back in Wisconsin? [00:36:00] We never, so I don't think I tr had like the traditional Wisconsin hu hunting upbringing because a lot of it still is like they will close school for that opening week of gun season.

Here we have a 10 day gun season and I've learned to love it. But growing up we never did it. Like we, we barely ever gun hunted. We didn't have any place to go. Like we hunted public property and nobody really gun hunted. So we would spend, maybe this is another reason why I like October. Like we would go up and.

Camp at a state campground with like my uncle, my, my grandfather and like the whole families were up there, like wives, everything. So they'd all be there and I just, we always did it and the group would be bigger, some years and smaller in some other years. And like the stories, I wish I was around for some of the earlier stuff cuz my parents, like my dad tells stories and my uncle tells stories of like back in like the seventies and like going up there with where there was nobody else at Bohan during that time [00:37:00] and they'd be up there for two weeks and they'd have some awesome stories.

They've they're still like stories they'd talk about deer that were shot, bad and like stunk cuz they didn't find it till the next day or whatever and they still talk about it. Yeah. And it's, one of those things where, it's always you put it on this pedestal of what it was because they talked so high about it.

Yeah. So when you actually finally got to do it, I just remember being. Ridiculously excited. And I didn't even get to hunt because the first couple years that we were there in the state of Wisconsin at that time, you had to be 12 years old. Yep, same here. So we would, I would just go up and literally sit with my dad in the woods and I would watch him hunt and I don't know, I don't think I ever actually saw him harvest a deer with in person, but I've seen a mis deer, which I remind him about sometimes.

But yeah. So that was like what we did. Like we would, we'd be, take that we, they would take us outta school and I remember doing homework. We had a pop-up camper. [00:38:00] Okay. That was nothing fancy by any means. And I remember doing homework, sitting there at the table during the day and, having to keep up with my schoolwork.

And then going out with my dad at night and going out in the morning. Sometimes I'd go out in the morning, most of the time I'd go out at night. Yeah. And we'd had, there's a little pond there and we'd fish and it just, . It was awesome. It was great. It's some of the best memories I have of my youth.

And then probably, my, my dad and his best friend went Turkey hunting every year. Like when they first started. I think my p my dad and Denniss were like, that was like, we called him Uncle Dennis. He was a family friend, but he was around all the time. So he, those two, I think hunted the first ever Turkey season in Wisconsin, or like the first one after they reintroduced.

So like early nineties maybe. I don't know exactly when it was. So they started Turkey hunting in Wisconsin, at the beginning. Okay. And so they got into it like hardcore. Like hardcore. So they'd go up the week before they'd scout. You only have a week in Wisconsin to [00:39:00] kill, like to Turkey hunt on your permit.

So when they, when I got old enough, like I didn't get to go with them until I was 12. . So like it wasn't one of those other kind of camping trips where you could go and everyone's there. It was like, no, this is the guys are going up and having a guys' weekend now. And my, I understand how important that is now, but at the time that was like, I was not happy.

I was pissed. I had to stay at home . So I remember like that first year and I was 12 and got to go up with them and got to experience te hunting. We did it every year. Yeah. So we would go up north and we rented, like we hunted at that same spot that we would deer hunt, but for one reason or another we always rented a.

that time when we would go and it just, I, it's all the classic things that make you like it. You'd get out and we only hunted till noon. So that's the season closed at noon back then. Yep. So you'd go out and you'd hunt until noon. We'd chase birds around. It was great. The numbers were awesome.

There was birds gobbling and then we'd scout take [00:40:00] naps and then 12 year old, my dad and his buddy go to the bar , so I get like fistful as a quarters to go play darts and PackMan and as much Mountain Dew as I can drink. And they were hanging out at the bar. Yeah. As a young guy that's, you're looking at that man, this is awesome.

It doesn't get better than that. Yeah. So I did that for, throughout my entire upbringing, basically all the way through high school. I think I, yeah, I went to One homecoming. The rest of 'em I missed cuz I was Turkey hunting. Yeah. America's best Bo Strings has been manufacturing high quality custom BO strings in the USA since 2006.

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[00:41:00] Use code antler up and you will save $10 off your order. Yeah, so that's crazy, man. That's just where I put my priorities at that point in time was like Turkey hunting was where I needed to be. It's so funny. It's so funny because I'm so positive that, I mean we had very similar. Stories and upbringing.

Like we, my dad and I, we would not necessarily go somewhere to stay. I would stay at his house because of where we would, go hunt and everything like that in the mornings. But man, it's just so funny just to hear cuz I'm, as you're saying, these memories are popping up of doing certain hunts with my dad and when I'm walking behind him and if I stepped on a stick, like I'd get that G there , like just what has it reversed for you yet?

Because I remember like having that look too, where like I would follow my dad and I'd step on a stick and he'd look back at me. Now I'm walking in front of him and I could hear him like dragging his feet and I would turn back and look at him. Shut off . Dude, it's so funny because I'm the same exact way because I, there were multiple times this year where like rifle season, like you said [00:42:00] earlier, I was like, Hey dad I'm gonna go down like for entry exit areas.

And I, I told him, I'm like, I'm going in this way. I know which way you're gonna go. So I'm going down first. Let me get a headstart, cuz I know he's gonna be a little bit louder, and he's totally fine. It's so funny. He'll be like, go ahead Jer, go ahead. Just, yeah. Go ahead.

And I'm like, he's probably gonna be sitting up here drinking coffee for Oh yeah. It just, it's so funny how that is because again, as a young kid, I remember just being so like, man, what? I'm trying to be as quiet as I can and, and I'm getting the glare and all that stuff. And oh man I love it.

And growing up, like everything, if it was the same for you, like what Whatever my dad said was gospel. Yep. If he said it, I was like, take it to the bank. And now I hear 'em, like dragging my kids around in the woods and they love just to walk the woods with my dad. And my dad loves it too.

And he's like pointing out stuff and he's, oh that's a, redheaded whistler. And I'm like, No, it's not like I it's just fun to hear like how it, you know how he says, and my kids are the exact same way that I was when they're like . Hanging on [00:43:00] every word that he says, which is great.

Yeah. I mean it's just, it's a, it's one of those moments that you just, that's why you like being an outdoorsman. Yeah. And being out in the woods. And those are experiences that you only experience if you get the chance to go out and run around the woods. Yeah, no doubt about it. Actually, that was one of, like when I first started antler up.

On the webpage, I wrote an article of, hindsight's 2020 just because of my upbringing. I love now, now, right now in the seat, in the position that I'm in, raising a daughter and with my, I'm so lucky, my wife is really cool. Don't get me wrong. There's times where she drives me crazy with the whole hunting thing and how much she gets on my case about it sometimes.

But she's very supportive with it. But I wrote this article because of growing up, I had what we just talked about, right? And I enjoyed it. And then that whole young teenager where girls are important to me and , I was playing sports and doing things like, I still loved the outdoors.

Don't get me wrong, that was always still a huge part of me. That was a huge aspect of my life still during that time. But once college hit and [00:44:00] I was playing baseball and doing certain things it took a back burner, right? And my relationship with my dad was a little bit strained, and it was strained for other reasons as well.

And man, I'll tell you what, like once. . Like I said earlier, once I got a job and I was able to slow things down a little bit, our relationship slowly started to get better. And then I missed the outdoors, right? I missed those opportunities. And I was like, dad let's get back. I'm coming back in let's, let me join that the club again and do all this stuff.

And, ever since then, it's been awesome and making more memories and man, hindsight's 2020. So all those times that I thought, man, I, when I would even times where I would be in the woods and sitting and I'd be like, man, I wish I was with my friends, or I wish I was doing this. Man, that's what I needed back then, right as a trouble, young teenager.

That is exactly what I needed. And I just wish, I wish someone was able to, like the relationship that I had with my dad, I wish he would've been able to smack me upside my head basically. And been like, Jared, relax, and slowed it down [00:45:00] for me because, but now I'm lucky enough now, like you said, I'm able to go hunting with him.

I'm able to, to help him out. It's funny cuz doing this has, it's an educational based platform being a teacher, so I love the education side of things and talking and I'll bring to him tactics and things. I'm like, Hey, like you just said earlier about the entry and exit routes, that is something that I've known.

And like you said earlier, there's things where it's a lot easier. And I told him, I said, why don't we park further down the road like that road's not that bad. It's a little bit longer for a walk for us. Yes. There's a big deer that's we've had on camera, like with within the hundred yards of where we park.

I know for damn sure dad, he's probably watching us go somewhere. You know what I mean? Oh, for sure. There's no doubt in my mind no doubt in my mind. And so I, I told him, I said, I'm gonna be coming up within the next month, buy or rent. Let's go rent one of those shrub cutters from the hardware store or whatever, and let's go make a new little parking spot where we can pull our trucks in.

He's yeah, let's do it. He's all for it, right? Because [00:46:00] I'm obviously, I'll be the muscle man and to do it, and, which is great, but it's just so cool now where he'll listen to me. And just exactly what you said earlier is, you, we hung on their words and, which I still don't get me wrong.

Yeah. But there are times where I'm like, man, we should try this. And he's open to it, which is cool, yeah. No, that's cool. Oh, man. Yeah, we've, I've gotten that too a little bit where he's he's only ever. , hunted big woods, and when like to, that's all we hunted.

Yeah. Like we only hunted public property. And I was probably like in, got a sophomore in high school and my parents bought 40, 40 acres up in like Blacker Falls area up in west central Wisconsin. Okay. And that was a game changer. So that changed like everything cuz the Deere numbers are like ridiculous up there.

So you, I mean you could sit for a week and not see any deer. And now if you go out on the property that they still own it. They live there actually. Yeah. So you go out on that property and you don't see 10 deer, [00:47:00] you're doing something wrong. There's something wrong cuz there's just that many deer.

It's actually to the point where we need to shoot more deer off of the property cuz it's hurt our buck. Numbers up there aren't what they should be. And the caliber deer. isn't what it should be. And I think we've gotten a little bit there cuz it's like a 40 acre piece. There's only so much you can do.

But same thing, like I've talked to him, I've got, obviously some friends, the guys at Domain Food Plots. Yep. Like Mike's a good friend of mine, Mike's the man and Mike is awesome. He, I've gotten dad convinced him to putting some food plot in there and having some kind of different green for the deer to come to that's different from, corn or soybeans that's up there.

And but yeah. And he is open to it, and he's more than willing to do it, gets excited about it, it gives him a project. Yep. Yep. Ah, man, that's awesome. So what are you doing now? What does a typical, I guess maybe even outline in a Cliff Notes version that certain pieces you could go dive deeper into if you would like to, Josh is, what is that typical.

Outlook or a plan for you in a [00:48:00] hunting year look like you could start from, hey, from now, I guess would make perfect sense because obviously you're maybe planning out-of-state hunts or you just said you've, you were outsmarted for the sixth year in a row from this nice, big buck and did not fill that tag.

So maybe what are some things you're planning for the year? Just because I obviously now is a time when a lot of people are doing the out-of-state stuff, figuring out points. , where do they like to hunt? Maybe getting a new bow, what does a typical year timeline for Josh look like?

If I had all the time in the world I'd be spending on property improvement, I'd be out there all the time, like right now so we don't have snow where we're at currently. Okay. And I, we went out shed hunting Sunday. and it got me already, like the wheels turning. I'm like, I really want to get this spot filled out this year.

Like last year I needed to put a food plot in here. Never end up doing that. So I'm already starting to think about what I want to do. I need to be better about cutting some trails in this property too. It's such a thick piece. Like this one property that I hunt. It's awesome. It's a great property.

It's really thick, [00:49:00] but it's so hard to maneuver and it's, I think you can almost funnel deer movement if you have there's a couple of like really small trails that I've made myself. And it's just turned into highways. Like the deer use 'em constantly cuz it's the easiest way to get through this.

The property was like select cut, maybe. Six years ago and that opened up the canopy and there's a bunch of just, it's tons of great brows, tons of great cover. Like it's an awesome bedding area. Like it's a phenomenal spot and it's in between two spots for feed. So it's it's really just a really good spot.

Exit e entry's not ideal. So like I'm thinking of different ways to get into the property, like how can I get into the property? Cuz I think that there's a lot of times if you're hunting a specific caliber of deer, like if you're trying to kill something that's three and a half years old or bigger or something that's even five years old or six years old, I think a lot of times those deer, if you're hanging in.

in the same stand every year over year. They have you pegged just as much as you think you got them pegged. So I'll maneuver, I'll move stuff around. That's one of the things [00:50:00] I actually wrote a article for a while ago for Mike, was just being aggressive and not being scared to move. Yeah.

If you see like dear movement, like there's so many times I think people are like, man, I just hope he comes over to me and like, how do I get him to come over here? Just train your, gotta re wait. Just think about it differently. Yeah. Don't wait for them to come to you. Go after it. If you have an opportunity, especially like during the rut, I, won the biggest deer I've ever killed.

I saw chasing a dough on the totally off opposite side of the property and I knew I was in a good spot. Like the spot that I was in, I was like, man, that's a really good spot. But I got down, ripped the stand down, went right up there and literally hung right where I thought they came out. and that night I killed him coming back around.

He was circling back in because I know that he busted her out at I didn't know that at the time. And after I went and looked, it was bedding area was like everywhere. So there was a ton of, there was a little Dough family that was beded up in there. It was a dough in two fonts and that was their little bedding area.

Just I think people tend to [00:51:00] be a little overcautious from time to time. And I think es especially in the right time of the year, if you're doing the things that you need to do about playing wind or whatever, you need to be aggressive. You need to go in and make a move on a deer if you can make a deer a move on a deer.

So I'm just thinking about that right now. Like on the pieces, like for whitetail properties, like the whitetail property that I have, I'm thinking about like, how do I maneuver in and. Where's my, where are my tree stand locations gonna be food plots. I'm starting to think about that. Like how do I put a food plot in?

I've been reading and hearing a lot about water and I've gotta get some kind of re like a little pool pond, something going that I'm gonna try to do that too. So those are like on my checklist of things to do. Now I always have these great, grandiose plans, and then it's always tough to get the time to do it, 70% of it done.

I'm always like, it feels like scrambling. It'll come down to August. And I'm like getting nervous about oh my gosh, I didn't do this or didn't do that. So I start to try to plan out what I can do. I'm even starting to think about turkeys. There's a couple [00:52:00] areas cuz I hunt that same property for turkeys.

Try to sneak in and get close to where they need to be to. And yeah, so I'm thinking about that. Traditionally if you, if we've got an out-of-state hunt obvi, like most applications, I think April's about the latest. Yeah, there's some that are private later, but you're putting your, in your apps, making sure your applications are due, even if it's for preference points and putting in your preference points.

So just continue to bank those. What's on your agenda for next year? Any out-of-state or staying closer or over a academy? I've got my, I should draw a Kansas tag. Okay. So I'm hopeful that I'll get that. And then I'm also. , I'm pretty sure I'm gonna do an elk hunt too. Okay. So I'll have that in Colorado.

And then I would love to do, I do a North Dakota hunt almost every year. And last year it was just a blast. We had a great time. There's so many deer. It was fun. It was just everything you want to do. Yeah. But I've got all these, I want have all these other opportunities. It's hard to not do that hunt cuz it's ridiculous.

It's [00:53:00] just fun and it's not that expensive and it's easy to draw. And I've got friends that are local that love to do it and have been out there a couple times. But yeah, if I get drawn in Kansas and I get drawn and on my elk sometimes, unfortunately, gotta give, and that'll unfortunately probably be it.

And then otherwise it's, I'll hunt Wisconsin. for whitetail and then possibly Illinois. So let me ask you this question about Kansas, because Kansas, I'm in the same boat I could draw on that is a plan hunt. My, like I said earlier in the podcast, a friend Tim we have planned to do that.

, obviously couple years ago it was, people went, and then for some reason it seemed like this past year, it, you would look at other people's social media accounts, other things like that, and they're saying it was hammered. It's dumb, right? Just how many people, so does that draw you away from it?

Does it take away that that lust for it? I guess you could say, because that, my feeling is I'm hoping if people get so [00:54:00] turned off from it, from the hearing, so many people talk about it from last year that maybe this year it won't be so bad. Or maybe people will have that same thought process and still just go, I don't know.

I don't know. I know that their applications were up like a ridiculous amount from year over year from last year, which is part of the reason I drew the year prior and shot a awesome buck Yeah. Down there. And I was anticipating Dr. Getting drawn again for next year. So I was surprised and I didn't, so I, I was a little bitter but it's, I'm a newcomer to Kansas.

I can't say I claimed it oh, I've been hunting there for 10 years. I've been, I've hunted there three times. I've gone Turkey hunting there a couple times more. But it it's a magical place. I think that's part of the reason why, especially if you're like in Pennsylvania, like you or, in, in parts of Wisconsin there is some kind of fantasy land spots in Wisconsin where it's just ridiculous. But I don't get to hunt those. Kansas is one of those things and I've been pretty lucky to hunt some really cool [00:55:00] properties out there. But it's been by far the most fun whitetail hunting I've ever had in my life.

As far as like the rut activity, the amount of deer you're seeing how open to calling they are. Like if you wanted to rattle and grind. Yeah, like how effective that is. Like for where I'm at and where you're at. It's not all that effective. I don't, I bring my rattling horns, but I barely ever do it. . I might grunt once or twice if I can see a deer to try to draw 'em a little closer if I need to, but I don't do a heck of a lot of calling in most of the spots that I'm in around here.

Just cuz it's not that effective down there man. It is a different world. Yeah. Like you can. Get some, you, it's just, it's a lot of fun. And it's, the terrain's different. It's a little bit more open. So I think you get to see more, it seems like you see more deer because you can see farther. Yeah. You know what I mean?

Yeah. Because it's not as thick. If you're hunting up in like the, even if you're hunting, the crop lands around by me. If they're standing corn, you could have 20 deer around you. You just don't know it. Cuz they're in the corn right out there. You see 'em. [00:56:00] Cuz there's like literally, not that much that keeps 'em in between those little fingers.

If you see those little draws and those little washout, those arroyos or whatever, they're in 'em. Yeah. Oh man, I, that's exciting. The other. Piece of me that's also a friend of mine from tethered, we both have three points in Iowa. And we obviously, the Iowa Deer Classic was this past weekend.

And yeah, I got the text message when we were coming home from Pittsburgh. We took my daughter for her birthday like a night getaway and everything. And he's like, how many points do you have again? And I said, three. He goes, so do I. He goes, do you wanna try to pull a cer? He gave me a unit.

I was like, man, I sure why not Like it, worst case scenario. I don't, and it's another point for Yeah, hopefully, then I would leave floor and if I do, then I'll just have to make it work. It's Yeah. One of those type of situations. So yeah, man I'm with you on that.

I am, I'm excited for a Kansas trip. Tim and I, when we were planning, I was thinking a kind of that right before Thanksgiving timeframe.[00:57:00] Just because of school schedule for me. And I've heard some pretty good things about that timeframe. Yeah, you might see a bigger guy and he might be busted up, but that doesn't matter to me.

I'm not a picky coming from where I, what I've killed in my life. I'm not picky with that type of stuff. Yeah. But yeah, I. . The one night I killed two years ago had a broken three. Okay. G three. And I'm sure it, I mean he was, but he was just broke off at the ti. I don't care. Yeah. That was a mature deer all day.

There was no re there was no, that deer wasn't getting out alive. There was no way that was gonna happen. So for me, I think that weekend you're spot on, like that week, that weekend? No. Like typically that's been, I think I was down there that week that I killed too. Was that Thanksgiving week?

Yeah. Because I remember having to try to get home in time for the gun season that opened for Wisconsin. So that was yeah, that was pretty fun activity. And it's weather dependent. It can be warm down there, obviously. There's times where I've done, been down there hunted when it's, 80 degrees out, which is hard, that sucks. Yeah. But it's a fun spot, man. I it's [00:58:00] hard for me to hate on anyone for applying there cuz it's such a cool spot. And I. They've been, it's been so accessible. Yeah. And for people that do out-of-state hunts, and I don't know if you can afford to do it and you got the opportunity to do it, I would, by all means, if you're a deer hunter, go, especially if you live out in Pennsylvania, go check out man.

You don't even have to go that far. Ohio's on my list. I want to go to Ohio, New York. There's some big deer getting killed in Indiana. Yep. Yep. I mean there's there's all kinds of good opportunities out there. It's just you gotta, get out and do it. Yeah, I know. And put expectations on yourself that are realistic.

A lot of times the first time I go to a spot, I'm just, I'm long gaming it, I'm gonna check it out and the, I might come back to that spot, I might not, it's, you're always just scouting, and as this spot got potential for me to come back to and. You get lucky. The spot that we found in North Dakota, I can't say we, I didn't find it, but my, one of my very dear friends found it and we've been, I've been going there for 20 years.

Yeah. What [00:59:00] about then, like when you get everything going and obviously, you figure out maybe where you're going to hunt, what's the summer look like? Do you get a chance to go out and do more scouting? Do you believe in that type of stuff? I know I have friends that obviously still go out and scout in the summer and I have other friends are, would rather not because of the ticks and everything else and, it's, it, a little bit ch more challenging I guess.

I don't care. I'm gonna go out. Yeah. If I can get out, I'm gonna do it. I, it's within reason, if it's, a hundred degrees out and, 70% humidity, I'm probably not gonna be, all that excited to get out there. But I'll still do it. Yeah. I get out there and look where I can find.

because I think especially for like early season and Wisconsin opens in September. Nice. I think it's the third Saturday. The third Saturday in September. Which I is really honestly, some of your best time to actually kill Yeah. The deer that you're looking to kill because they're patentable. So if you're out there and like trail cameras can tell you a lot, but they don't tell you everything and.

I'm guilty. I've fallen into the trap of trusting my trail cameras too much[01:00:00] probably two years ago even in a little bit last year. But I was way more aware of it last year than I was the year prior. I just don't, I don't trust them completely. I think that there's been too many times where I know for a fact that there's a mature deer in that area and maybe it's walked around the trail camera or some reason it didn't trip it.

And, I'm sitting on my couch because I'm like, ah, it's too warm, or whatever excuse I came up with where I didn't want to go out hunting and Oh, the trail cameras are quiet, so if the trail cameras are quiet, that must be no deer moving. Yep. It's not the case. There's deer moving, especially if you get to that time of the year where it's the rut and they're moving.

But I would also say that for early season though, so if you're going out moving trail cameras around, which is what I do a lot, I'll move trail cameras. So I'll put 'em out, set 'em out there for a little while. There's some that I'll literally go out there Turkey hunting and I'll let 'em soak all like.

all summer long. Yep. And then like usually the first, there's the spot that TJ and I hunt a lot. We actually call it TJ's grocery store because he goes out there and , he loves to shoot deer like two miles back in some [01:01:00] county. It's a, it's fun to get him out, but it's a cool spot . So I'll go back there and hang trail cameras during the Turkey season and then I'll come out and, that first hunt of the year, we'll grab 'em and, check what the cards are to determine like, Hey, is this where we need to be?

Is this worth spending another day out here hunting or, and move 'em around? Yeah I'm. I, if I can be out there doing something, I'm going to be out there doing something. It's low impact. You're not gonna hurt anything by going out there and moving around you. You want to get some tree stands hung too, and moving 'em around.

You can do that too. It's a little bit hard because you don't, I'm a big brush guy. I like to, be able to break up my, I'm six five pretty big human, so , I need to be able to break up my line of sight and stuff, or their line of sight. But that's, that's hard to do when you have no vegetation out.

You want to be able to do all that and get everything there so you know that you got your shooting leads established so that when the season actually does come in, , in early September everything's green. Yeah. So you wanna be able [01:02:00] to, you can go out and get a shot off. So yeah, if I can be out, I will be out.

I like to glass bean fields. I'm crazy about doing that. So I'll go out and, when I can go out and look at bean fields specifically, like up north, there's some spots like I'll definitely be around here. I live in southeastern Wisconsin. Okay. So I will take long ways home and, do some other stuff just to, get a chance to maybe see, right at Sun sunset to see if I can see any deer out in the bean fields.

But yeah, I do a fair amount. Like I'm always thinking about it. Yeah. That's awesome. I know, like I, I'm the same way. I'll get out, I, it doesn't matter. I'll help my dad do certain things and there's pieces, even if I don't get a chance to scout now, especially in the past, like I was saying earlier, with now, hopefully with me having the time of in the spring to go out and actually scout more, I'll have opportunities where instead of oh man, I've.

I gotta go check out this new spot. And it's July, right? That's not not so much fun and be able to find a lot of fresh quote unquote, past season sign. [01:03:00] So I'm anxious for that. And, and you talked about having your family, so I'm sure once the hunting season rolls around, man it's all full steam ahead for you.

I, that was a new question. I never really asked that. So I was going off it, a tradition thing like what kind of, yearly plan of attack, is it, and I guess you could say you, that's a question that, oh, what are you doing now and how do you get ready and everything like that.

But, do you do any other, like you said, being a big bow hunter and everything like that. Do you do 3D stuff in the summer with friends? Yeah. Yeah. All that stuff. Yep. I'll shoot my bow a lot in the backyard, depends on what kind of hunt I have coming up. If I have to get more physically fit than what I am currently, I'll, Keep the regimen up of running on the treadmill or, putting some weight on your back and, putting the incline on the treadmill up to 14 and hammering away for a while just to get your endurance up a little bit.

Or, taking a pack and hiking, just running around if you can. And I definitely shoot my bow, I shoot my bow, I try to shoot my bow as much as I can. If I can shoot it every day I will. I'm in a [01:04:00] league that we do a 3D course and every, it's just it's fun. It's competitive because my, me and my friends make it competitive.

It's not there's no Levi Morgan's there. So like we can, we go out there, we have a good time, we shoot. But it's also great because it's all 3D target for the most part, and you're shooting at animals. And I fall into the trap of just shooting at a lot of targets. They're shooting at block targets a lot and white dot kind of thing.

Yep. And I think it's important to, , shoot at 3D and shoot at 3D the outline of an animal just because it's gonna help you. And then we transition into a platform league in August, which is fun cuz that's, everything's more or less for bow hunting, tree stand setups. And like the farthest shot I think is like 50 yards if that.

It might be like 48. And it's all elevated, so you're from a platform and you're, ranging these different targets and stuff like that. So it really gets you honed in Most of my shooting, like I even shoot in Archer League Thursday nights. I try to haven't been great. I'm getting to too many of them this year, but it just keeps you sharp, and [01:05:00] I've, there's target bows and I, I've shot those before in the past, but I go and shoot the five spot league with my hunting bow because the reason why I'm doing any of this is to be a better bow hunter.

Yeah. So I, I don't really care about my target shooting. If I can go out there and shoot a 300, that's great. That is important to me. I like to be able to shoot well, but I want to be shooting well with the bow that I'm actually gonna be hunting with and not some, seven footer that throws arrows down there at a hundred feet per second.

Yep. Oh man, that's good stuff. I, and it's. It's all true. And that's exactly, why we've done 3D leagues and why we try to shoot as much as possible. And it's just so neat just to, man, I love just talking to people that are diehards, like how Yeah. And believe and think the way I think basically, if that makes sense.

Yeah. We'll do, man what I know Half rack like a hard transition here, going from the talking hunting and everything like that. And obviously there's a new product that's not released yet from Half Rack that I'm dying to get my hands on Josh. And that is going to be, and [01:06:00] I'm, I don't know the name of it off the top of my head, but I remember seeing a video from ata.

Would TJ doing that? It's going to. Right back here and it's gonna be able to ho hold my bow. That little peg. I cannot, you probably have it somewhere that, like on your wall right now. Yeah, I do. , . I cannot wait for that. Like you were saying earlier, just like little fine little pieces of gear that make, it doesn't matter if you're, like you said the sick guy, the first light guy or, and then the Walmart guy.

It doesn't matter. That's where the pieces like that man. I'm a sucker for and I love, keeping things nice and as you can see, I, I mean I even got my, my yeah, rack hub, r h r one up there, got my R one there and I just, right back here is where I want to have that little nice little new post that half rack's gonna be coming out with.

And you got a cool little meat locker coming out . Yeah. Some cool things coming down the pipeline from you guys. Yeah. The hunters hangars, what you're talking about. Yeah. The hunter hanger, the one item. That thing's gonna be fun. And if you're a gear nut, even if you're not[01:07:00] it's just, it's convenient.

So I've got 'em in my office. I wish I could move my camera on to show you. Yeah. But I, it's got my bow hanging on it. I've got guns hanging on 'em. I've got a camera hanging on it. I've got some in my in my workshop that have decoys, I've got hung up on it. All it is it's something for you to utilize that, just, it's a really clean, neat way to put your bow on display or put your, whatever you will, you can put.

Rifles on it, you can put all kinds of stuff. So it's just one of those kind of dud no-brainers kind of thing. Yeah. Because most people like just, put a screw in the wall and they, hang their stuff up on it or whatever. But this is a lot, it's more a, it's safer, it's a lot more sturdier than what you would do with just a drywall screw.

And it, it looks good. It's clean. We've got a couple different colors. We've got an orange one, we've got a green one, we've got a black one and a gray one. And yeah, so early response on those has been, yeah, pretty excited. And it's just it's a no-brainer item. It's like one of those things where, you don't really think about it, but how much stuff do you just hang on your wall a lot, right?

Yeah. You just got stuff [01:08:00] that you just want to hang. So that'll be fun. And that should be actually, , those should be available. I don't know when you're launching this podcast, but like literally within weeks. Oh, nice. So we'll have those up on the website. We're gonna make a huge push on social.

You'll see it everywhere. All of the influencers will have 'em and start using 'em and show a bunch of different applications for it. And it's it's an item that we're pretty excited about. Cause it's just, everyone can use it. Even if you need you need to put like your, your extension cords hung up in your garage or something, you can use it for that.

So it's just it's one of those items that I think everyone has a need for. And you mentioned the meat log, which is one of the items that I'm pretty excited for. We gone through testing on that thing for a while. We really wanted to make a better cooler specifically for guys that are trapped.

We were just talking about like out-of-state hunts and stuff. And we fit, we felt multiple, but in the prototype, one of the prototypes, we were able to fit like a full size de-bone deer in it. Awesome. So [01:09:00] yeah, we'll have a couple different sizes. So it's just packs down really nice. So when you're traveling too, it's not gonna take up a huge amount of space.

It's 100% waterproof. So I literally tested it, brought on a couple flights and gets some looks in the airport. People are gonna be like, is there meat? Because it's got branding all over. It says meat log, . So actually when we were tested the first time I had the the stewardess or flight attendant, Take a picture of me putting it open in the overhang

She's is there a beating there? I'm like, not right now, but there will be hopefully sooner and later. That's awesome. But yeah, it's just one of those things that kind of answers the question. If you're in the fishing, if you're, small game, if you're in the, anything, it's just something for you.

The quality of the product's outstanding. It's like literally we over-engineered it. It's the, as far as the soft study cooler goes, it is the best soft study cooler. And I've got a bunch. Yep. I've got a ton of 'em. It is the best one I've ever used. And the part that I like about it is we're gonna, we're, I'm pretty sure we're gonna be able to retail it for 150 bucks.

Nice. Yep. Yeah. Which is, that's just a game changer. Again, like [01:10:00] the same thing, we want it to be accessible for everyone. If everyone's, even if you're not even outta state hunter, if you go up, like for guys where I live, a lot of us go up north. Yep. So it's a four or five hour car.

You need to have something. If you can de-bone it, put it in a cooler that doesn't take up a bunch of space or some ice in there and you're good to go. Brine and turkeys. There's all kinds of uses for it. So pretty excited about that one. Sweet man. That's awesome, dude. Josh, anything else you want to talk about before you I think we covered a bunch, man.

This was a hell Fun conversation. Josh, where could people check out half rack, check out and see what else you guys got going. Yeah, we're on Instagram, we're on Facebook. I think we even got a TikTok now. , I'm not the one that runs that, but so yeah, we're on all the social platforms. You can check us out at half as well.

We're pretty active on there. You can sign up for our newsletter. We'll send you notification on new products that are coming out. And we're in probably over 150 different retailers now too. You'll see us, we really [01:11:00] try to commit to, to dealers. So we'd like to work with the archery dealers and the mom pot type stores if we can.

And so yeah, if there's a lot of choices out there and, I, we appreciate everybody that's out there buying her stuff right now. We really, truly do appreciate it and we're honored to have that business and hopefully we can earn more. Again, man. I appreciate you Josh, coming on.

Definitely go check out half rack. Like I said, I pretty much have every piece of gear that you could have from them and whether it be from a gun sling to the screw in bow hanger to the orange vest for my daughter and myself it doesn't matter. Go check it out. It's affordable, it's great quality and definitely get check out, half rack for that.

And Josh, thank you for coming on man. And yeah, you know everybody thanks again for tuning in this week. We'll see you next week. Till next time, antler up.