Engaged to a Die Hard Hunter

Show Notes

On this episode of The Western Rookie Podcast, Brian talks with Tyler Jensen about all kinds of Montana Big Game hunts and being engaged to a die hard hunter!

Tyler Jensen is a Montana Resident that gets some serious hours logged in mountains each fall – especially since his fiancé Savanah loves to hunt just as much as him! Tyler and Savanah hunt together as much as they can, and the proof is in the pudding because these two have tagged out on some giant animals over the years! Brian and Tyler talk about hunting with your significant other, chasing giant elk and deer, and some tactics for finding mature mule deer. Check out the links below to see more of Tyler and Savanah’s adventures!

Tyler’s Instagram

Savanah’s Instagram

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Have Questions or Comments? Send an email to Brian@westernrookie.com!

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

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] You're listening to the Western Rookie, a hunting podcast full of tips, tricks, and strategies from seasoned Western hunters. There are plenty of opportunities out there. We just need to learn how to take on the challenges. Hunting is completely different up there. I've harvested 26 big game animals. You can fool their eyes, but you can't fool their nose.

300 yards back to the road turned into 3 miles back the other way. It's always cool seeing new hunters go and harvest an animal. I don't know what to expect. If there's anybody I want in the woods with me, it'll be you.

Welcome back to another Western Rookie Podcast episode. I'm your host, Brian Krebs, and I've got Tyler Jensen on the podcast tonight. So Tyler is an avid outdoorsman. I'm looking at some of the pictures you post and it looks like you are an equal opportunity hunter. Any species that you get a tag for, it looks like any weapon.

You're just [00:01:00] spending as much time out in the mountains as possible. Is that right? That is correct. Yeah. If there's an opportunity to chase a species, whether I know how to do it or not, I'm going to give it a shot. Yeah. So we were talking just a little bit in the green screen. You live in Montana.

Are you, were you born and raised in Montana? Nope. I I grew up on the East coast, so I grew up in Northeast and then I was, I joined the army and got stationed over in Washington. And then I do HVAC for a living. So I got all my certifications in Washington. And I was like, Oh, I'll just buy a house here, make some good money.

And then I lived about 45 minutes South of Seattle and worked in Seattle every day and where I grew up compared to Seattle, it's just like polar opposites. I grew up in a small, like wooded area, like seven towns, one high school, less than a thousand kids going to like. Got a neighborhood full of 10, 000 people.

And I did three years of that. And I was like, you know what excuse my French, but fuck this. I gotta get out of the city, get away yeah, the money's good, but it's just miserable being here. Ever since I was a little [00:02:00] kid, I've always wanted to move to Montana. And, I saved up a good bunch of money, bought a house, sold it.

And I was like, now's the time to do it. So at 20, 24, 25, I said, fuck it, we're going to Montana. And I sold everything I had and just. I never even visited Montana, bought a house and the rest is history. Oh, wow. How long ago was that? Like, how long have you been in Montana now? So I moved in the winter or yeah, I guess I moved October of 2018 and then yeah, five years.

I think I'll be coming up on six. Awesome. And so is a lot of the hunting that you're doing. Now I see antelope, mule deer, elk, bear, bison, which is super rad. Is a lot of it in your home state now? You're just staying in Montana and just using all of the opportunity Montana has, or do you still bounce around different states like Idaho, Utah, Oregon?

No, I actually, I don't think I've posted [00:03:00] anything. I think everything that I've had posted on the last five years has been Montana. And yes, I'd love to go to Wyoming or Idaho or even like Utah, but I get like anxiety. Cause you do get so many general tags in Montana. I'm like, fuck, I got so many tags to fill here.

And so much time wrapped up around here that. I don't have time to, to drive down Utah or even over to Idaho to chase them, cause it's unknown territory. So I don't really have time to scout whether it was like I do here, we, we do camping trips in the summer and we just scout our areas and set up cameras and get a feel for what's going on in that area.

But hopefully in the near future, I would love to go down actually I'd really love to go up to Alaska, experience that once or twice and then, go to Wyoming, do an antelope hunt, something simple. Yeah, the Wyoming Antelope can be a good one to get fired off early. Especially if you're doing archery.

I know Montana Archery Antelope opens up pretty early as well, but that's probably less pressure to like, miss a few days of Montana Antelope for Wyoming [00:04:00] Antelope versus miss your rut. elk season to go chase elk somewhere else and go from probably near a hundred percent odds down to 10 percent odds and then spend, instead of 30 for your day, you're talking 700, like nothing works out very well in that situation anymore.

Yeah. It's, you hit it right on the head. Like you look at. As a resident of Montana you get so many tags in there. To be honest with you They're very cheap for a resident like if you move here Like I think my elk tag is 20 bucks like a general tag, And you can always get an over the counter elk tag too for cows and that's another 20 bucks so to go to idaho or wyoming or utah and put in for these draws and have to spend like the whole trip would be thousands of dollars.

You're like, I think I'll just keep my happy ass in Montana and just do my thing here. I hear you, man. It does suck when we go to Montana, that tag price bites. It's, I think it's eight. 90 by the time we get everything that we [00:05:00] need to hunt elk in Montana, and you're like, oh, Jesus, that's a lot.

Even if you shoot one, you're still at five dollars a pound for meat. But it's worth, it's the passion, right? So you do it, but I get it. Montana, I think Montana by far has the most resident hunting opportunity. Out of any state. Just when you stack up the species, the season dates, the tag costs, the amount of public land.

There's a lot of states out there that have great resident hunting, but man, would it be hard? Maybe Alaska would be the one where you could argue is better than Montana, but then you got to put up with being an Alaska resident. Yeah. And Alaska too, people don't, I think people fail to realize like when you go out of state, let's say you fly to Alaska, right?

That's pretty much the only way, unless you really want to make the road trip to Alaska, going through Canada, all that bullshit. Let's say you kill something up there. Like you got to get it home somehow. So yeah, like tags cost a lot, the flight, get up there costs a lot. Okay. [00:06:00] So now you're coming back with a moose or a caribou or like a bear.

And you're like, dang, that's going to be another, I don't know, maybe a couple hundred. maybe 800 to just get your meat that you've got up there. So it's not always about the money, of course, because the experience of hunting Alaska and getting a moose or caribou, like obviously we don't have caribou down here, but it's just.

You gotta think about those things, you do shoot one like if you are successful next thing you're like, holy shit I gotta spend this amount of money to get it back and then customs and whatever it may be. It's I don't know part of me wants to do it The other part of me is just like i'll just go out my backyard a couple miles down the road There's a million acres of public land.

I'll just go hunt that Yeah, the moose thing would be probably the one because it's still like a once in a lifetime draw in montana for moose, so If depending on how long you want to wait, that could be the one reason why you would maybe go to Canada or Alaska. But yeah, other than that, you got it, it's pretty much set in Montana.

And [00:07:00] for the listeners, you're not only trying to fill however many takes you have in your household. You have it looks like double everything, double the deer tags, double the elk tags, double the bear tags. Cause your wife looks like she loves hunting just as much, or maybe even more than you.

Yeah. She's born and raised in Montana. And I will say this, like we talked about it earlier. I don't see why a lot of people don't. hunt with their significant others. But then I remember like before I met her, you have a girlfriend or wherever it may be. And they're like, I want to go out hunting.

And they're like, I want to try it. And you get like excited. You're like, yeah, this is this will be fun, but it seems like a lot of relationships, like the, and I don't want to sound like sexist, but like the female perspective, it's like, they don't understand the grind for the most part where they're like, I think in my scenario, experience.

It's like they just want to go out and have fun, but they don't understand like there's tactics to it. There's, you got to be quiet. There's scent and it's not just, oh, let's go for a little hike in the woods. It's oh, you see that mountain over there? We got to get up [00:08:00] and over that. And that's where I believe the elk are going to be, and they may not be there.

And so to find somebody who is just passionate about it. If not more than I am, and then willing to just go into these hell holes, this poor girl, these fucking miserable hell holes I bring her into, and she's just happy as a clay, I'm just, yeah, let's go. It's, it is, I think it's rare, and it's I'm super excited and happy to have it.

Yeah, I do feel like, to be fair, to the female perspective though, When we come back from an elk hunt Oh, it was awesome. We saw this many bulls and this happened. And then that, my buddy did this and then we shot one and we had a bonfire at camp and you never tell, like you only tell the highlight stories, you never tell the low light stories, I guess would be the opposite of that, but yeah, for three days we hiked our ass off and didn't see a damn thing.

We were exhausted. I got wet feet. I ran out of food. It rained. I got super like. We don't go into detail. We might say the guy [00:09:00] ran the first day, but yeah, then this other amazing story happened. And so the person on the other side of that, if they're not a hunter, they're just hearing Oh, they saw the pictures.

Oh, that's so beautiful. They saw the, they heard the stories and they got so excited about it. They didn't realize you hiked your ass off and sweated through all your clothes to get up there before light, to take that picture that you sent back home. And so I think there could be a huge mismatch of like how it gets explained versus what it's actually like.

And you bring that person out there that has no clue. And they're like, Oh, I thought you just drove to the top of the mountain. No, I agree. And I think that's just like how dudes like explain stuff. Like we're just. We don't explain to them like you're saying like it was shitty for the first five days like it was one it was super hot didn't hear a single bugle or like I don't know like it was freezing cold we were miserable like it sucked but then you do kill one because it's miserable and it's cold and it's like nobody else is out there and that's where they're gonna be is when it's miserable and cold and [00:10:00] you're like oh my god we killed one and it was beautiful like whether it was a raghorn or whatever but like The whole point of being out there is because you're trying to kill one of these animals and when you do, you're like, Oh, like I would even if it was the worst five days of your life, if you kill one, you're like, Oh, I would a hundred percent do it again.

Don't even care. Yeah. I'd never think about it. I've shot some bulls before. One was a really easy pack out. I guess both of them are pretty easy, but one was like, I was hunting solo in the alpine at 12, 000 feet and I shot him at last light and I didn't even think about the fact that I'm going to be quartering this elk and shuttling it down to the road until 2 a.

m, right? Which, but if you like think about that ahead, it's like, if that's how you explained it Hey, you're going to be by yourself. It's going to be cold. You're going to hear a lot of weird noises in the woods and you're going to be quartering this until 2 a. m. in the dark. You're like, yeah, I don't know if that's my thing.

I'll stay at camp. No, I agree. There's a, yeah. I think there was like like a psychotic portion to like Western hunting in a way, because you do put yourself in a lot of situations where, [00:11:00] like you said, you two in the morning, you just finished hunting, it's not that you just showed up at, eight o'clock at night, shot a bull, you're like, okay, that's the day now we get to work.

It's like you started the day at six o'clock in the morning, you hiked off all day, shot it last night, and then by yourself, Scun up and bag this whatever it elk, like 800 pound elk. Yeah. And now you're like, oh sick, I gotta put this on my back and then get down to the road in the pitch dark where there are wolves and cats and bears.

And you're like, yeah, I think we're all a little fucking crazy at the end of the day. You're like, if you tell anybody that who's from the city, they're like, why the fuck would you do that? You're like, I don't know, cause it sounds fun. It's just, it makes sense to me. Yeah. You'd be like it was a blast.

And they're like, what? Yeah. Like hunting grizzly country. I don't know. It's exhilarating. Every day could be your last. Yeah. God, I just, I try not to hunt as much grizzly country, but in Montana, especially this year, there've been a ton of reports. Like they're in, drainages in Missoula, which is like.[00:12:00]

Not unheard of, but not as common. And then even in the bitter root, like when I first moved here, people were like, Oh, there's no Grizzlies in the bitter root for sure. I was here. I ran into one. I was like, that's not a black bear. Fuck that thing. Yeah. That guy's big. Yeah. It can definitely depend on how you want to be careful.

It's not like you want to go to like realistic and like pessimistic about explaining what it's like. You don't want to go too far. You don't want to romanticize it too much. And give like your significant other an unrealistic expectation of like how fun and nice it is like it's not type one fun Antelope hunting is type one fun.

Elk hunting is not, you gotta be able to draw the line But you also don't want to be like, yeah elk hunting is brutal It sucks everyday sucks unless you shoot one and then it really sucks because then you know Then they're gonna be like, if it's like that, I don't want to go at all So you gotta yeah, you're right.

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Go to steelheadoutdoors. com to check out all of their security options and pick the right one for you. One day, but I would, I'm going to go out on a limb and say your wife probably hunted before she met you. She grew up hunting like her dad was a huge advocate in hunting like obviously born and raised in Montana It's pretty rare that you meet somebody who's like from Montana who's never Hunted like they've at least done it once and with her dad Really instilled it in her and brought her around even took the time, you know When they're younger to bring her out in the mountains like she was hunting elk with her dad when she was little.

And so just like that exposure at a young age, and I'm sure they got successful sometimes and didn't, but just like having that fun time with one, your dad, and two, like out in the woods sharing a passion. I think it, for all of us, it just gets you hooked. And so she's been hunting,[00:15:00] way before she met me.

And then, we hunted together one time or, we got together, we started hunting and you always have that Oh, am I going to have to, I talked about this on other podcasts. You're like, am I going to have to baby? Am I going to have to step my, cause like I'm a grown man. I can go through the woods quicker.

I'm stronger, faster, whatever it may be. Am I going to have to like dull down how I hunt with her. But it has been like, no, like no, don't even skip a beat. Like she's right there next to me. I don't have to slow down her tactics and my tactics are. Pretty similar. So I'm like, okay, there's a bull, like we should do this.

We play the she knows so much about the woods that I don't have to explain it, which is super nice. I'm spoiled in a way that like, I don't have to be like, Oh, we have to go this way because of the wind or I don't know, it just makes it a hell of a lot easier and just, it's super enjoyable.

Yeah. Yeah. That is, I think something a lot of people. What's interesting, you [00:16:00] hear two different responses. Some guys will be like, Oh, I would, I would love to have a wife like yours or, whoever, especially if they're speaking to you, they might be like, Oh, I'd love to have a wife that hunts as much as yours does or loves hunting as much as you don't do it.

And then you get the other guy. It's Oh no, I do not want to hunt with my wife. That's my time. And I'm like then why did you marry her? If you don't want to spend time, like if you want to get away for a week at a time I don't feel like you might've married the wrong person. Dude, I agree with that, because hunting has been a huge part of my life, like hunting the east coast I grew up in New Hampshire, obviously, so I hunted my whole life ever since I was a little kid, and then to be with somebody that doesn't even want to like, I don't know, it doesn't make you feel good if she's no, I don't want to go, or I just can't imagine being with somebody and being like, oh, I don't want her to go that doesn't make sense to me Every time I get offered to go to like a buddy texted me the other day.

He's Hey, you want to come on this like snow goose on South Dakota? And I was like, yeah. So I texted her. I'm like, Hey, I'm going to go to I just got offered to go on this snow [00:17:00] goose hunt. And like her, she the first thing she said was just like, can I come? And I was like fuck yeah. It's just, it's, it makes it easier.

Cause anytime we talk about going somewhere hunting, if she, if if it's a us thing, there's no yeah. Yeah. Hey, babe, I was hoping I can get off this weekend and not do fall festival stuff and go hunting She's what are we doing this weekend? And I was going hunting She's like good like I haven't planned anything like she knows so it's I guess it takes a fight out of I don't know You see that most relationships on social media and their jokes like can I go out this weekend?

No, we got apple picking or some bullshit. Like for me, I don't have to worry about that. Yeah. It sounds like you follow the nomadic outdoorsman. He's a good buddy of mine and used to lead this podcast, but he, him and his wife post a lot of content like that because it's clickbaity when he asks his wife for permission to hunt, and then you get all the people coming.

If you need permission, if you need to ask your wife for permission to hunt, you should probably like. Where the start wearing the pants or whatever wear the pants in your relationship, but you I mean you've heard it all but [00:18:00] you're right I mean if you both love the exact same thing Then it's very easy to get on the same page with what you want to do on your free time Yeah, it is super nice and like I don't know.

It's just like I'm just spoiled in a way I know I've said that before but it's so much fun just because Like I know the weekends are filled with what I love to do with the person I love the most and what she loves to do the most. So it's just, it's a win in all categories and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Yeah, so I've noticed you had a picture on your Instagram with a small child and your wife's Instagram has a picture with an announcement. So as I assume that means the small child was yours. We are now pregnant. Oh, gotcha. I, yeah, so I, I don't have any kids. Not yet. I just have dogs. But not yet.

But we, yeah we're pregnant. I tell everybody that I'm pregnant. I'm like, I'm pregnant. And yeah, [00:19:00] come April 2024, we will be introducing a baby girl to the family and we are terrified and excited and scared and it's our first kid. I obviously don't have kids. I don't know what to expect, but there's a part of it where I'm excited to have a daughter and kind of raise her the way that I was raised for the outdoors and like her as well, my.

Beyonce and just be like, Hey, this is my time to teach you like, this is what we do. And I'm excited for that portion of just like teaching a little girl that's mine to love and respect the outdoors. That's super exciting. It's changing my question a little bit because I didn't check dates. I just saw that the pin was posted.

Or the post was pinned. And so I just figured it was a little older and I thought the baby was yours. It looks, maybe it was family member or something. But I was going to ask, has that, how has that changed? Cause. It's obviously going to change a little bit. Both, you have an infant, I'm assuming you're not going to both be able to hunt the same time.

So that's, yeah. So[00:20:00] we've, it's so funny because like when we found out. You do the math in your head. They're like, okay, nine months should put us around April. All right. Late April, Turkey and spring bear. I've already started. That's like what goes through my mind as a dude, I'm not like, yes, I'm excited. I'm having a kid, but also it's like, all right. You're just starting to think through what plans are going to look like. And yeah. Yep. Yeah. I'm it's funny because I'll be like, so you're not going to really need me around the house come May because like I'm pretty much useless when it comes to the child because she wants nothing to do with me and she just gives me like the desk.

They're like, how dare you? You will be here to support me, but I'm sure, she'll, I think it'll be more like, I'll probably want to stay around the house more if I have a kid. Just cause it's a child and I'm excited. But maybe I'll just annoy her enough to where she's go bear hunting or something.

Get away from me. And I'm like, I'm out of here. I don't know if I would bank on that plan, but you do you, man, you do you, Tyler, it'd be [00:21:00] whatever you whatever you find out, let me know how it works. But but in a real sense, like how much of your, average hunting is since you live so close to like endless opportunity, how much of it is like true day hunting?

Or versus like maybe elk camp is where you go and set up like a wall tent for a week, you know Is there opportunity where you can just get out for a day and hey, you know Maybe an in law's in town and they're gonna be by the house So you can go out for an afternoon or a day hunting and be home.

Yeah I mean I live in the bitterroot valley. So like I would say two miles from me is like a BMA that that holds elk on it. They pass through. So like it would, it's it's not going to be like a weird thing where I'm like, Hey, I'm just going to go sit real quick with my bow, a couple of whitetail spots, or I'm going to go bring the rifle up real quick to the top of the mountain.

Just see what I can see. And even with her, there's spots where we could just drive and I can glass to and I was, and if it like worse comes to worse, I'm like, Hey, you should go shoot that elk or you should go shoot that deer. [00:22:00] I'll watch the kid. And then if we kill it or whatever, we'll have a backpack for the kid. We'll bundle it up. And then somebody will just carry the kid around and the other person will just pack the meat out. We've already talked about like day hunts and like what'll happen. Yeah. And we have there's a lot of people that I see on social media that like have their little ones out there, like antelope hunting and like doing, cool stuff.

And so I don't think it's obviously going to change with the freedoms that we have now, but. I think that there's just going to be different different ways around it where it's just yeah, we're all, we're going to go out. We may not be able to go out like a 10 day elk hunt. But there'll be plenty of opportunities to, to notch tags and have fun as a family.

Yeah. I've got some close personal friends that they just had their second child, but when they had their first child, they were the same way more in the. In the East Whitetail hunting, but like hunting every day in the fall and just always in the woods. And they hunted right up through the entire pregnancy.

And then that for, I think their first baby was like an [00:23:00] early spring baby, like a March, April. And that fall they were like hunting with the baby, especially earlier season. Later in the season, they had grandpa and grandpa watch, but I mean they still hunted a lot. I'm sure it felt like a huge impact for them for their first child.

Obviously things did change, but it happens. And I had Sean Curtis from Wyoming. I don't know if you follow Sean. But he makes it a point to bring his entire family out with him for opening archery elk And he's I know we're gonna blow almost like we got three kids and my wife like this is not gonna We're not doing spot on stock here But I'm pretty sure he said that he shot a bull with his like one of his youngest daughters in like a backpack a child carrier and shot a bowl with her, like on his back.

So pretty cool. It really is pretty cool, but he just said, I love the tradition of bringing my entire family out for archery elk and my kids are starting to get old enough where they can blow a bugle tube and it's just fun. I like it. Even though we [00:24:00] hardly ever shoot anything because there's five of us, but he said that's just like what he looks forward to the most now.

Yeah. I think it like, again, I just think it's, you have a kid and. There are going to be things that change, but for me, like there were things that changed when I used to hunt by myself compared to when I met my now fiance, I would be the most minimal dude, like when it comes to elk hunting for 10 days by myself, I would pack like some peak refuel meals, and then oh, at night I just have a turkey sandwich, and I buy a bunch of turkey meat, and like sometimes I would just eat turkey and mustard but now that she's around, it's oh, she's already planned out like all the meals that we need, has made like breakfast burrito, like she's on top of it.

Yeah. It's like a different thing like there's more stuff that we need now that we're hunting together because she's no We're not just gonna sleep on fucking sleeping bags on the ground and i'm like why we're gonna be fine She's no you're an idiot we're gonna buy a camper.

We're gonna do this do that. I'm like, oh, okay That sounds better. And so I think with a kid same thing like, you know if you don't like killing an animal is [00:25:00] what obviously you're out there for But to have those stories, like, when you get older I remember when I was hunting with dad, hopefully you have grandkids, and yeah, dad took me out when I was four years old, and I watched him call in a bull I think those are just memories that yeah, you may not have killed it, but they'll just be, like, heritage stories about how cool it was when dad You were little and dad was shot a whitetail or called in a bull or put a stock on a bear.

I just think Everything's just gonna be different. Yeah. Yeah, there's some truth in that For sure, and it'll get I mean it'll change I mean imagine like 15 years from now You're gonna be bringing your 14 year old potential hopefully she likes hunting but that's gonna be a completely different thing that's gonna be like as much as you love hunting with your fiance Now, imagine hunting with your fiance and your daughter, or your, obviously your wife, 14 years from now and your daughter, it's just going to be like, even more special to, to share, the same passion with just more people that you love.[00:26:00]

And so I think it's, it's a short term window of, yeah, this is going to impact our life Like really impacted for five years and then mildly impacted for the next 10. But after that, once, your daughter gets a driver's license so now you're not like having to do the sports things or, she's starting to get more independent. Now she wants to come with, she can, pack out, maybe she's not packing out a a three 70 bull rear quarter, but maybe she's doing like a backstrap and a tenderloin or a front shoulder. Like eventually you're going to get to the point where it's the opposite of a burden.

And it's actually helping you enjoy it more. Yeah, I think you're right. Like I've always enjoyed like watching my fiance kill stuff. I don't know what it is. Like when, whether it's her or like a buddy that like, I had the hunt, lefty guys come out last year for a deer hunt and I got to watch a couple of them like shoot deer and they paid all this money to come out to Montana and they worked really hard to like one, get out here and then to like hunt and when you see guys like that get successful.

You're just [00:27:00] pumped and I didn't even fire around that weekend and I was just like in the mountains with them like just stupid happy and like when I don't know I just get super excited with the homies kill shit and like it's just a good time for everyone. And so I think that's what's going to happen with like my daughter.

Hopefully, I can't imagine she won't like hunting, but, to watch her shoot her first deer elk and then just I'm sure I'll cry like a little bitch. I don't know I'll just be I'll just be excited. Like I just watch I love watching people be successful in the woods because it's like a passion of ours.

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It's like the highest of highs. Like you can't, it's the greatest thing ever. And then to be like, Oh, my daughter did it. Yeah, I don't know. It's going to be pretty exciting. Yeah. My brother's got kids now that are. He's quite a bit older than me, but he's got some kids now that are that age, like his daughter's in college, obviously, pretty much fully independent.

His sons are just getting their learner's permits [00:29:00] about to get their driver's license. And and they're just hunting fools. They will ask to go scout ducks before school. And so he's said the same thing. Like he's he would way rather watch his kids shoot animals than him. And I was the same way.

I watched my wife now when we were dating. I brought her in a tree stand, decked her out in all of my spare camo. Mine you like, she's 5'4 and I'm 6'2. She's like rollin up sleeves and rollin up pant legs and looks like the Michelin Man with all this huge clothing. But she shot her first deer.

Opening day of the first season, I brought her out for gun season. Dropped it in its tracks. Free hand, so she's left handed. And we're in shotgun zone. So we shoot like rifled slugs or rifled barrel, slug guns, but my shotguns is fully automatic or not fully automatic, semi automatic. But so the gap, it's, a right handed automatic shotgun.

So they eject out the side. She's left handed. So it's like right in front of her face. They're injecting like in front of her eyes and she's shooting free hand with this shotgun that's too big for her [00:30:00] and just drops it right in her tracks and a nice little buck. And so I was like more excited. I feel like I was more excited for her than she was.

I hung a second tree stand. So I'm like over her shoulder in my own tree stand. Yeah, dude, I'm telling you, it's it is the greatest feeling, especially like to have somebody like your girlfriend or fiance, kill shit. Especially like in your instance I don't know, like your wife didn't grow up hunting or didn't do it when she was younger.

So her dad is a hunter. For sure. Like a lifelong hunter just hunted in a different way, more like hunted traditional, like deer camp for gun season. And then maybe he would go to his buddy's place to hunt a few times here and there. But so like when I grew up, my parents in my family, I guess in general, it was just very blessed.

I grew up with 650 acres of like private land in Minnesota to hunt between what we owned and what like our next extended family owned, but it was all like exclusive access. And so we were like every weekend. [00:31:00] Saturday, Sunday, all day long, we're pheasant hunting, deer hunting. Just that's what that was our life.

Versus just someone that does it when they can. And so she hunted a little bit with her dad. They did a little bit of bow hunting. She had a bow already, but she had never shot anything. Public land, like where they live just is not a great, it's not the public land you're thinking of in the Bitterroot Valley.

I'll tell you that much for free. So it was just challenging. And then she dropped it to go to pharmacy school. For a long time until she met me, we, I, I just drug her along. She probably just wanted to hang out and go on dates and I'm like we can go on a blind date and she was a date in the blind watched me, I think she watched me kill a doe with a bow.

And then that same season she shot her first buck with a gun and then slowly, just, I think being a part of me and like how much a part of my life hunting is, got her more and more into it. And to the point where like she shot her bow this year and she's man, this thing's like old. And I'm like, Hey, since you shot that, let's just go [00:32:00] to the archery store and you can just shoot a new one and just see what you like.

But I knew what would happen as soon as she shoots like a brand new Hoyt. And so sure enough, we walked out with a brand new bow. And I was super excited. I was more excited for her new bow, than if I would've got a new bow. And so she's been shooting that. And she wanted to shoot the, we just bought a 40 acre farm here.

And so we live on it now. And so she's been wanting to shoot the first deer all summer long. She's telling me like, I'm going to shoot the first year. I'm going to shoot the first year. And she wanted to shoot it with her brand new bow, which didn't happen. But she did shoot the first deer on the new farm.

So she's got that win in the ball cap. Yeah, she's getting more and more into it. Now she wants to do the Western hunting thing. Now, she loves hiking, and she used to backpack truly backpack, camp, and hike before she met me. So I think it would be an interesting mix between that and hunting, to do a couple of backpack hunts.

Maybe a backpack deer hunt. You don't want to really backpack hunt antelope. And I don't think backpack elk hunting is the greatest launch into Western hunting. I think there's better stepping stones to go through [00:33:00] first. I think so. I think like the biggest misconception. And I was guilty of this too, like people coming from the East coast and they go to these like big Western states and they're like, Oh yeah, like I've never Western hunted before, but I'm going to do a 10 day backpack, like bivy hunt.

And you just, they never make it 10 days. And it's tough, man. There are things coming from like an East coast state where you're like, Oh shit, I don't have this. Or this would have been nice. And you're fucking five, six miles in bivvied up and you're like. Like it sucks.

Sometimes it sucks and it's just tough. You're like, Oh, this is not fun. Yeah. Weather and season can play a big role. We've backpacked. I talk about that all the time, like that exact topic. And I'll, I'm really curious to hear what you think. So I'll commonly. I'm not by any means like a Jake Clark, world's best elk guide, but I've done it every year for, since I got out of college, I've done some other hunts.

[00:34:00] I post on Instagram. Now I obviously do the podcast. So people know that I do it. And sometimes just like the fact that I do it. Is enough for them to ask me advice because maybe they've never done it, right? So it's okay, you don't, I'm not looking for the best Western hunters advice. I just know you did it.

I want to get, so I'll get questions and I'll get someone that comes up and be like, Hey, I'm doing, it'll be funny. It'll be like, Hey, do you prefer like a jet boil or an MSR? And I'm like what are you doing? He's I'm doing a 14 day backpack hunting. I'm like 14 day. Have you ever gone a hundred?

No, that was my first outcome. Me and my dad and I'm like you're asking a very deep I feel like we've glossed over a bunch of things to get to what's better an MSR or a jet boil, by the way, either one probably be fine, but I'm just like, I'm torn between being realistic with them and trying to help level set.

Their expectations or just not coming off as an asshole and be like, yeah, good luck. I'd get the jet boil I don't know. I'm the same way like I think [00:35:00] If somebody came to me and was like, hey, i'm doing this 14 day hunt and again, you're like have you done this before? And they're like no, that's my first hunt.

I was just like I think you're Not to be disrespectful, but I think you're biting off more than you can chew. Have you ever even camped in your backyard or in the woods for 14 days, not hunting, not hiking around just camp for 14 days. Like even that's miserable. Like you, you fail to realize like all the amenities that you don't have.

So it's you're gonna stink, you're gonna be gross, you're gonna be, like, you're not packing in filet mignons or chicken breast or whatever you're eating dehydrated food, which I think they're good, but after 14 days of it, you're like, fuck these things, dude, get me something that's actually worth it.

So I think the biggest mistake when it comes from guys who've never western hunted is that they plan these massive hunts that they've never... And they bite off more than they can chew. And then next thing you know, they're like, Oh, we packed out day three and hunted somewhere else from the road, which is fine.

Yeah. I would [00:36:00] actually prefer that they start that way. And you saw, I'm like very opinionated about the topic in general, like talking to you or just say I'll say I think anyone that wants to go from zero to a 14 day is going to fail. Unless you shoot your out the first three days, you're not and, but when someone comes up to me and asks me, I'll be like if you want to know, like I've done a couple of things I can tell you about, like my experiences, I never say you're not going to do this because the people just, the walls shoot up.

I'll tell them like, Hey, I did a solo, that solo Alpine hunt in Colorado. It wasn't even a backpack hunt. Like I was ground, I was base camping and then a storm rolled in. I'm by myself. I had to break down camp. Now I'm sleeping in the back of my truck. Cause we had, a foot of snow. Even just not talking to people, like shitty cell phone reception, so you're bored, you can't.

Text your girlfriend. You can't text your dad. Yeah, you can go down to subway and get a sandwich, but that's not really if you're a social person, like if you're an expert like I am, like that is not, after five days of basically not [00:37:00] talking to anybody, like the mental challenge is there.

You quit eating. All of a sudden now you're cramping up. I'm like, it's tough. Like I, I decided I don't think I have what it takes to be a solo out of state Elk hunter. Like it just wasn't that much fun and I shot a six by seven, like I shot a big bowl and it's just I don't know if I want to do that again.

I don't know if it's worth it to me to do all of that by yourself, at least not right now. Again, yeah, it's just like people have these expectations of like how it's going to go and they don't think of the worst case scenarios and honestly, worst case scenario would be if you fucking killed one because now you got it like skinning a bull by yourself in the middle of nowhere is hard.

I did mine last year and it sucked and I was like, I shot my bullet like 10 o'clock in the morning and by the time help came up, like they drove two and a half hours. And then they hiked an hour up by the time they got there. So I had just gotten done and it was probably, I don't know, [00:38:00] eight, like probably close to five o'clock in the afternoon.

So it's and I was like a quarter mile from a gated road. So it was like thank fucking God. Like I killed this bull and now we can pack it out to the road and just walk this gated road down with snow. But. If you're up 12, 000 feet and you kill one and you're like, oh shit base camp is like 4, 000 feet lower Like that is not gonna be a good time No, I was super lucky too.

I only had to pack them out a few hundred yards and then I could get to A old gold mining road that was still good enough to get my truck up But it's not the kind of road I would take unless I had to pack an elk out. It was a great four wheeler road. It was not a great pickup road. But it worked.

I got my elk to that. But yeah, I shot him last light. I think it was like 7 p. m. in that unit. He, I watched him drop. So that obviously huge help there without having to track him and not knowing do I wait an hour? What's the deal? Because that would have just backed up everything.

But yeah, it took me from 7 to 11 to quarter that bull. I [00:39:00] saved the hide for a shoulder mount like all the, like it took four hours. Like I've quartered a lot of elk, probably not as many as you, cause you're obviously you live in God's country, but it's easy when you have someone to hold the leg and Hey, put some pressure on this.

I'm going to pop this joint, it's not easy when you're trying to put it on your shoulder and stand up and Cut and not cut your hand and do all you like you said, it's yeah worst case that's not truly worst case scenario, but like best case scenario is more on comfort Worst case scenario is you don't find out it's snowing Ahead of time and break down your camp and now you're stranded up there and your truck battery dies and like you're screwed like That's yeah.

Yeah, and that's I like I don't know I just think there's a lot of people that fantasize about West, like Western hunting and like they should, it's fine, like it is a ton of fun and it's a new experience and even if you kill anything or not, like some of the views that you see from the tops of the mountains, you're like, yeah, it's not like hiking trails, you're like, you're beaten through the woods and you get up on this [00:40:00] outlook and you're like, holy shit, like how pretty it is up here and yeah, how I wonder how many people have stood right here, it's that's what's always in my mind.

I've always wondered, How many people have stood on because I've been in some really deep shitholes, like way out in the middle of nowhere. And I'm like standing on this peak and I'm like, I wonder how many people have actually hiked up here. Is it 1000? Is it four? But I think people need to police themselves, and just be like, hey, what are my abilities when it comes to being in the woods for that long? And do I know them? And worst case scenario happens, do I know how to survive? Yeah, you know if you're up on the mountains and it's fucking a blizzard rolls through do you know how to make a quick shelter and a quick fire and so that way you can wait out the storm and then do you know how to like boil water I mean I don't know I just think a lot of people have like I'm sure it happens every year people get out there and they get hurt and they're fucked yeah either die or there's pay a million dollars for helicopter retrieval like unfortunately there was a guy in our elk camp this year you Or not in our elk [00:41:00] camp, but like we drove by and the signs were still up of hey, missing person.

It was a guy that was scouting elk and 79 years old. He texted his wife like, hey, I'm gonna be home in a half hour. Like I'm a half hour. He said, I'm a half hour from the truck or the road. I can't remember which one and then I'll be home. Never saw him again. I mean it was like going on two, three weeks when we got there and the signs are still up, like they still haven't found this guy.

And it was like a highly populated area, unfortunately for us. There was, it's not like he was in the boonies. Like he was, there's a ski, he was on the same mountain as a ski resort. Like the missing signs are through the, out the ski resort and they still can't find them. It's just very like shit happens.

There's a reason the saying is like things are about to get Western. Yeah. Yeah. It happens. And a lot of people don't. I always carry like an in reach with me. Yeah. I make sure it's fully charged before I go. And if I were to fucking fall and snap my femur I could hit the SOS button and...

You'd, yeah, you'd almost have to because you're gonna bleed out [00:42:00] before you... Yeah. Yeah, it's just, I don't know. I would say people need to be cautious when they bite off more than they can chew. And it comes Oh, I'm going to do a fucking 12 day, hunt or 14 day hunt out in the middle of nowhere.

I'm like, okay, but just be careful. Like you've never done it before. So like maybe do three, four days, come back to the truck, kind of reassess. Maybe do another three, four days, break it up a little bit, but more power to them. It's the United States of America. Have at it. Do whatever you want. Good luck.

Yeah, I have a hierarchy that I'm, I would push if someone asked me Hey, give me your unbiased opinion just give it to me. Don't filter it. Instead of saying, oh, you shouldn't do you, because we railed on that for a little bit, but instead I would say, Hey, if you just want to get out, you just want to start hunting the West, you think this is something you're going to want to do the rest of your life.

Go on an antelope hunt first. Go on a rifle antelope hunt. Go find a tag in Wyoming with public land. I, I use GoHunt. A lot of people use it. You might not need it. If you're an in state, you just hunt in Montana, but [00:43:00] go get GoHunt, go sign up, go pick a unit that you can draw. You might need a year of points, whatever.

Go on a rifle antelope hunt. Find a buddy. That you like that you've maybe butted heads with someone, you can get along with if shit does hit the fan and go on an antelope hunt and try that and see what you think it's, that's as fun as it gets. Like it's as easy and as fun as it gets.

And if you like that, then go on a mule deer hunt, go on a rifle mule deer hunter, maybe a West river whitetail hunt or an archery mule deer hunt, early season, usually pretty good weather, dry, lots of deer, lots of encounters, probably not going to shoot anything unless you know how to spot and stalk.

But you're going to have fun, do that a year or two, maybe do antelope and a mule deer. And then I don't know, year three, four, go on an archery elk hunt. Still nice weather, get some, you got this buddy you've been hunting with a while, like things are working. Now you go on an archery elk hunt, you learn, maybe you spike out a day or two.

And you build some more experience, you, hopefully you're successful, you feel what it's like to pack a bowl three miles out of the shit,[00:44:00] and then maybe then you start doing some of these bigger hunts. For me, for some reason, I think archery elk is easier than rifle elk.

Because, man, the weather just sucks for rifle elk, usually. And that's what makes it good. I've never gone on a rifle hunt where it didn't snow in the West. I've gone on some archery hunts where we've gotten two feet of snow in early September. Like for some reason, it's just like archery hunting to me, isn't quite as extreme as rifle hunting.

I think it's I can see where you're coming from. Like for out of state hunting is well, yeah. Archery elk hunting too, for a resident, like one. Like I wasn't successful this year in archery elk like the spot that we hunted is not like a secret spot It's not this like honey hole that we found that's 10 miles back We ran into more out of state guys even local guys like there's people everywhere And so we called in probably a handful of different hunters from out of state like oh, yeah, I'm from Michigan I'm from Minnesota from whatever it's okay, but with archery elk [00:45:00] it's Okay, you go in here and you bugle.

Oh, there's one over there. So you're like, I know there's maybe one elk, maybe a herd of elk, but they're over there. So we know we can work in that area and maybe get into them with rifle elk. It's I'm going to climb to the top of this mountain because there's a lookout spot and it's going to take me about two hours because I'm trudging through the snow and I hope that the elk are here.

And so you get up there and you're like, yep, the elk are here let's kill one, whatever. And then most days you're like, they're not in this fucking county anymore. We got to find a whole different spot. So then you go to a different area, you're like, I'm going to hike up to this side of the mountain.

I see where you're saying where it's yeah, and then it's, most of Montana like this week, so it's October 24. But tomorrow in my elk hunting spot is supposed to be like a low of six and then on or no, excuse me This weekend supposed to be a low of six and then Sunday is supposed to be zero Yeah So yeah it sucks like especially a lot of elk hunting is just finding a glassing spot and seeing if they come out of these parks or Not so [00:46:00] sitting in the cold.

I don't care what cold weather system you have sitting in the cold zero or ten degrees You ain't going to be warm. Your feet are going to hurt. It'll be like, I've build a fire. It's just going to suck. And then you kill one. You're like, Oh yeah, I would do that again. Like it's, yeah, it's a give and take.

Yeah, I do think rifle elk, obviously better chance for success, but it's, I think it's, there's more. It's less comfortable than archery hunting. Archery hunting, generally, the weather's nicer. Usually day hunting, you can spike. It's just, I would say, an easier entry point. But yeah, that's how I would always recommend somebody do it.

Start with antelope, do a deer hunt or two. Do a rifle hunt, maybe then do a deer bow hunt. Try to spot and stalk something. Maybe do an archery elk hunt. Now, here's the kicker. If you're going with people that are experienced in anything, That's going to be easier. If you're going with a group of six guys and they're all killers, like they just have an elk camp set up.

They go the same spot every year. Sure. Go with them. It doesn't matter how experienced you are. They'll help you along the [00:47:00] way. Hopefully, then it's easy, but if you're doing this by yourself or you're trying to convince like a buddy to start, from scratch alongside you do the easier route, you're going to have so much more fun along the way too.

Let's be honest, elk hunting is. 95 percent being uncomfortable and 5 percent the best time you've ever had in your life. I agree. And like the caveat of what you're saying about going with friends, if you're going to a state that you don't know anything about, hit up an outfitter yeah, they can be expensive, but you're going to gain so much knowledge from an outfitter, like your first time elk hunting as to what you're looking for, what.

Oh wind, or this is like the area that we're thinking about. This is how the elk move. Like just that information alone coming from a state that like doesn't have elk and this is your first time. That'll give you enough information and knowledge to be like, I think I can do this on my own.

And you're going to see that yeah, we horse, we, we rode horse back into a camp, set up a wall tent. You're like I don't have horses. I'm not carrying a fucking wall tent so maybe i'll just find [00:48:00] some drainages to do whatever but like I think there's like a I think for most montanans and I could be wrong on this, but I would say that like they Don't necessarily look down upon people who use outfitters, but I think it's like the safest way for somebody who's not used to elk hunting to go about it.

Like I, I think like you should use an outfitter for certain if you don't have anything going for you in terms of you don't know anybody, you don't know where to go. You've never hunted the West. You don't have any friends that want to do it. You don't want to do it by yourself. Yeah, I think if it's a realistic option to start with, one of the best hunters I know.

This person has done a sheep slam with his bow. Just a phenomenal hunter. He just shot a moose that was so wide that he couldn't pack it out because it's, right antler was dragging on the ground when he had it on his pack. He had to bend over, and I think he shot like an 11 foot brown bear on the same hunt.

This dude is insane. And his advice was like, hunt with an outfitter. [00:49:00] I've learned more hunting from outfitters than anything else in my hunting career. Obviously he has, the means to do all that. And so yeah, you might have to save up, but yeah, I think it's a great strategy for someone looking to get started for sure.

Don't skip out on the Outfitters. Yeah it's more, serotonin when you do it by yourself and you're successful, but that doesn't mean you're not going to have fun with an Outfitter. Do an Outfitter for a year and then maybe not, or do it for two years and then maybe not. I don't know.

There's a lot of ways to skin the cat. I think it's important that you do something. If you, nothing better to learn how to hunt the west than hunting the west. However you do it. Yeah, I think like your probability, if you go as an outfitter, one, they're like, essentially they're the professionals, like they do this for a living.

So they're probably, one, they probably have leases on private land, or they know some spots they've been scouting all year where you haven't been able to. And I would say your probability of becoming successful on the hunt is higher than just being like, I'm just going to go do it myself. Oh, [00:50:00] 100%.

Yeah. So you're going to get that high of shooting your first bull, and you're like, okay, cool. So that's the first step. So now, what would be the steps of like, all the gear I need to buy to do this on my own? I just think... I don't know. I think it'd be better if a lot of people hit up Outfitters were like, Hey, I'm coming up to this hunt.

What do you charge? And I understand, like I've seen some prices of some elk hunts and I'm like, geez, like I don't got that money just laying around like Godspeed if you do, but. I'm just forced to do it by myself and learn the hard way of I hope they're here and they're not. So the next bridge over, you have a Montana outfitter that you're engaged to.

So that's a nice little perk. Someone that's been hunting that state her entire life. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I think the thing too, is like people fail to realize coming from, lower elevation States. Like I live at 3, 500 feet where Elkhunt starts at seven, seven, five. So it's it's double. And you don't think it would fuck with you, but it does there'll be days where I'm like, [00:51:00] I have been working my ass off, fucking cardio, hiking all summer.

And then I get to my elk spot and I'm like, why am I so out of shape? It's like you have half the air in your body. Like you are struggling. That's hilarious that you brought that up. So we just got done archery elk hunting in Southwest Colorado. Our base camp was at like nine. A lot of our hunting was from like nine, eight to 10, six.

10 5, and then for one, just to say we did it, me and a buddy hiked up to 11. And which isn't that much like to go, we drove to 10, so we only walked up to 11. It's not, I've done worse. I've done worse. Like National Pike Park hikes, right? And that it's not that crazy, but it does, you start to get there.

We all train as much as we can. Like I used to do a ton of CrossFit just because not because CrossFit, I didn't drink the Kool Aid, but it is like one of the best. If you could only pick one thing to do, it's like the most varying. I like it for training because it kicks my ass every time and you get weights and you get cart, [00:52:00] whatever.

And I was doing all this and everyone in our group, so we got some people that are insane. Like when we say, yeah, let's run up there, like they're like, oh, okay. And he will actually run up a mountain and chase, like chase the elk. And we're like, no, we meant let's just hurry. And we got some guys that are in phenomenal shape.

One guy's in the army too. He's a, he was a, I don't know what he's doing now. He was in charge of four tanks. Like he was on one of them and then he was in charge of three others. And so we get out there and we're doing this hike and a local Steven Walker. Was it, he's been on the podcast twice. Now we went shed hunting with him in New Mexico.

He's from the area. He hunts I don't know, hundreds, maybe even a thousand miles a year of shed hunting. And then all Western hunting, like he's in the mountain all the time. He find his record. He said it was like 700 sheds in the season. Between him and his son and his like close friends. Yeah, he said he hasn't done that very often, but He's just a billy goat, but he's like a, he's like a bigger full size guy, like [00:53:00] six, two, like not a string bean, obviously not overweight.

He's in good shape, but he's not a small, like little, light ass person that can just hop in, everywhere he goes. And so we're hiking in and it's kicking my butt. We're going up one of these slopes that's like this. And it's just never ending straight up. Yeah, and they wanted to go straight up, and we're getting out, and we're going up the other side.

And it's funny, because all of us were starting to feel it. A couple people went ahead, one guy had wet boots, so he wanted to get them off. And Steven was like, itching to go. He's I can't, he doesn't really want to be taking this many breaks. Because we're climbing like a mile out of this hellhole.

And so we're like, Steven man, if you're good, just go, follow Ben, like you guys can go. And so the rest of us were just taking our time, not trying to get too gassed. And so Steven runs like a hundred yards up the mountain. We can see his headlight to catch up to Ben and then just starts walking from there.

Doesn't even need a break. And Ben's I needed a break eventually. Like I did pretty good, but I did have to [00:54:00] take a break to catch my breath. Steven didn't need to catch his breath. He just started talking. And so we're doing this. Then he goes, yeah, I just, I wish I could hike like I used to, but I got COVID like six months ago, man.

It's still it's my lungs still aren't the same. I'm like, dude, you just floored all of us in our group. And we've been training for a full year, but yeah, it's the difference. He lives like he, we had to drive a half hour up a mountain to get to his house when we went shed hunting. Like he lives up the mountain, not in the Valley of his town.

And so I'm sure just, he's always doing it. He's always breathing that air. He's always climbing mountains. And he knows I don't know, a hundred times better shape than I was for it. It was insane the difference that it made. I just think that there's no better place to train for the mountains.

I really don't think there's like a workout plan that somebody will try to sell you or Oh, you should be doing this every day. I think, cause no matter how much you work out, how much cardio you do, Them mountains don't fuck around. And I live, like [00:55:00] I'm in the mountains a lot. I'm not in them every day, but I am in the mountains quite a bit.

And there are some days where I'm just like, God, like, why am I sucking so bad today? It's just like these mountains ain't no bitch. Like you gotta, you just gotta say whatever. Like it is what it is. I think the difference is I could train my ass off and just say I gave it a full year of literally a hundred percent.

Like I am passed out on the gym mats every workout. Yeah. I'm going to be way better than I was this year. But the difference is even when I get to the mountain, that oxygen is going to take its tax. Versus if you do the same, like you're giving it a hundred percent, but you're just running trails in the mountains, like you're going to get better too.

But the difference is you're like you're training for the event and so when you get to elk hunting you're like I know exactly what I can do because I've been doing this exact thing versus me It's like I did as best I could but I really don't know how it's gonna compare because we didn't have a mountain to judge You know, I wasn't doing it on I was doing like I wasn't [00:56:00] really practicing for the game.

I'm playing It's like I was practicing baseball and I got a football game coming up Yeah, yeah, some fundamentals are gonna carry over but it's a little bit different when you don't have that elevation Yeah, for sure. And I think coming from an army perspective, and I talk about this on a podcast with the Hunt, Lift, Eat guys a lot of those guys are military as an infantryman, you do a 12 mile ruck march, right?

And you always do everything for time. So you try to do it as fast as possible because you're like, I only have to be miserable for two and a half hours, and I'll just be fucking done, and I'll be left alone. Like, when I first came out here into Montana, that was my mindset. I was like, oh, I need to get to the top of this mountain as fast as I fucking can.

But in reality, I just passed through so much like huntable terrain and because I was being like a dork army dude being like, Oh, I'm going to be tough and get to the top of the mountain in an hour. You spook elk or you spook deer like you don't you forget that I'm, yes, that's where I want to go but I'm passing through some pristine hunting [00:57:00] area and not paying attention and you bump deer or elk or something like there's been so many times where You're just on a mindset and you just get to the top of the mountain and you're like dude We busted out so many fucking deer on the way up here and then you get to the top and you're like There's nothing up here.

Like why did we even waste our fucking time up here? Yeah. Yeah, that's funny You say that cuz I've thought the same thing to yeah, you can go faster But at least for me like if I hit the red line too hard I'd never it takes a long time to get it back versus if I just keep stopping in the yellow It seems like I can just recover that much faster So it's almost I saved time by taking a little bit, you can't go wild, like you can't be taking a break every 10 steps, but I don't think breaks are bad.

There's a ton of times where especially if you're hunting in the, like in the cold, I try not to get super sweaty because I know wherever I'm going to be sitting. And that's just not a good combination to have. So if I know my body, I'm like, okay, I'm getting a little sweaty.

I'll relax for a second and I'll either go slower or I'll just sit and. Hang out and like the fiance and I will just like bullshit. And so then I'll be like, are [00:58:00] you good? Yep, we're good. Let's keep moving because like again, I learned the hard way where like you busted your ass through the snow to get to the top and you get up there and You're like, oh, I'm gonna sit here all day it's seven degrees out with a 10 degree negative fucking wind chill.

And you're like, this is awful. Like I'm soaked and I'm freezing and I want to get out of here. And so I think a lot of guys are like, Oh, you've got to get to the destination. You got to be hard. I'm like, but you can also take breaks and make sure that you're out there all day. Yeah. So I wanted to ask you about mule deer hunting.

Before we go. Cause you, you and your fiance have shot some just dandy bucks. But before we do that, I was elk hunting in Montana one time. I'm not going to tell you where, cause we'll probably go back there. It was a good unit, but it was one of those days where it was snowing and I, we were running out of options.

You know how you're like, Oh, plan a plan B. Hit plan a again. Now we're like plan C plan D plan. You start you're like, Oh no. It's bossy. We got like day five and we [00:59:00] haven't shot an elk yet. And so I go out on my own. I'm going to do a scouting loop through some stuff that we heard was good.

And so the, for the first half of the hike, it was just like super easy trails, nice walk and plenty of parks start, there's snow on the ground, but man, when I started making my hook, I just started getting into like deadfall and creek bottoms that I had to cross. And you think like you, when you ever, you see a creek on a map, you picture it's going to be like this nice, slow creek with a couple of pebbles to step across.

They're always like hell holes. There's, oh, they're miserable. They're deadfall and timber, and si you got no options. You're like, Ugh. And so I'm getting into it and I'm just like, it's taken me, it's taken me down to a quarter of a mile per hour, like climbing over. Deadfall and backtrack and going this way, going that way.

All of a sudden I finally I'm like, okay, if I bust it up and over here, I can just follow all these parks out. Parks aren't a common term. It meadows. We'd call them meadows, but everyone in the West called it parks. So [01:00:00] meadows and I'm walking down the edge of these meadows and I can see it's pretty wet out in the middle.

So I'm just walking down the edge and I take a step and I sink to my armpits. I went from hard ground, I take one step, and I fell through, and my rifle was on a sling, like in a gun scabbard, like the Kefaru gunbearer, and that hit and went sideways, and then got stuck under my arm, and that's what stopped me this My rifle laying, now laying flat on the ground and I'm like what and I'm like one leg Folded so it was like still up on high ground like on a knee But my other leg was in the muck all the way up past my like belt And I'm already pissed at this point I wasn't seeing any elk and I was doing dead falling shit now I'm falling in a sinkhole like a real goddamn sinkhole, you know my entire life I'm like sinkholes really aren't that big of a deal That I, not as big of a deal as that, like they made them out to be when I was in an elementary school, like everyone thought like sinkholes are just everywhere and they're the end of the world [01:01:00] quicksand everywhere.

Yeah, quicksand really didn't turn out to be as big of a deal as I thought it would be, but I found some in this and it was wet and so I'm clawing my, I'm literally clawing my way out of this hole and I get out it. And I just like, that legs, like I'm wearing brown pants and that legs now black, like just mud and water.

And I'm like still three miles from the four wheeler. Through a trail I haven't gone. And my plan was to walk these meadows out the whole way, but clearly that's not a good idea. And the side wall goes straight up. So I'm like, now I'm trying to like billy goat over these rocks to stay out of the meadow.

Cause now I don't trust it. It was the most miserable day of elk hunting I've ever had. I got back to camp like with two hours left and I'm like, F it, I'm not going out again. I changed clothes. I hung up everything over the wood stove. I just started making supper for everyone else. I'm like, screw this.

So you have more days than that. That's so funny because you have a lot of those days where you're like, where we hunt is like old birds. So [01:02:00] six years ago, a place with bird and now it's like our elk spot. It's. There are some spots and there's ways to navigate around it, but you end up doing twice the amount of mileage going around the shit, which is fine, but four years ago, I could just walk right up through the deadfall, but people don't realize how miserable walking through deadfall is.

It is the fucking worst. We got into some deadfall one time in Trout Creek. Where it was like I can't even describe it. It was huge trees, like four footers, like massive trees. And they were all down and they were all on top of each other. Like usually dead falls, like 50 percent trees are standing.

50 percent are down. It's just a jungle. This was, I should have taken a picture. 100 percent deadfall. It looked like an ocean of driftwood. Like the ocean had rised and a bunch of driftwood came in and then just plopped down like there was not a tree growing in it Nothing. I don't know what caused us a tornado a [01:03:00] avalanche I don't know, but it was like hundreds of acres of this and we get to the edge and it's Log on top of log on top of log So some of the logs are like eight feet off the ground because they're going over to other logs and so we're trying to go up and over these things and down and under them and eventually we're like I just hopped on top of one and I just ran the log.

And then when I got to the end, I jumped on the next one and ran that one. And then jumped up and rent. And we just started going, I actually went really easy, but I'm like, I've never seen deadfall like this. Like literally one, not a single tree standing for hundreds of acres. Yeah. There's. You gotta be careful with running on deadfall too.

One, because if it's wet it's gonna be slippery. But, there's been times like you said eight you start climbing deadfall just trying to find the next log, whatever, and you're not paying attention as to how high up you're getting. And next thing you know, you're like, I'm ten feet up!

On this deadfall and there's nothing below me, but like more sharp deadfall. Yeah, if I fall this is gonna suck [01:04:00] The only thing was these logs were so insanely big that it was like walking on flat land and they were dry Walking on wet logs. I'm terrified of it Like I just feel myself like throwing an ankle or a knee, but yeah, no, it was crazy I've never seen it again We never went back there, but it was just like the craziest experience with deadfall that i've ever had Yeah, I hate deadfall and a lot of spots that we hunt is like old, like thick timber and they get burnt and then the root system is all fucked so like the wind come in and blow it all down.

But the problem is to the elk love that shit. Yeah, and they're in it, but there's no way you can stalk an elk at deadfall it's just not a thing, and but you think you can and then blow elk out. It's starting to sound like a personal experience. Oh, dude, it's, I had so many bad experiences in the deadfall this year.

I left my fiance on this wall. I'm like, I'm going to go to the top of here. Cause I used to go to the top of here all the time. And I'll bugle at the top and like down the other side is like this nice, [01:05:00] thick timber, meadowy kind of area. And I always, we always seem to have like at least one bugle down there.

So I'm like, I'm going to go check it out. It used to take me like 25 minutes to get to the top. It's an hour and a half and I'm like three quarters of the way up. I'm sweating bullets. The logs are wet. I get to the top. Not a fucking bugle. So I'm like, all right, let me come back down. So I come back down and like I said, it's wet.

And I like stepped on this log and just both my feet just went out from underneath me. And then I just went. Boom, right to the ground. And now I'm stuck in between fucking deadfall. I like, like I threw my bow. It's six yards away from me. I'm like, Oh, what is, I can't get up. I'm like, fuck me. I'm like, take my pack off.

And Oh, it was like, I'm never coming. I told her, I was like, I'm never going back up there again, unless this burns again. Like I'm never, don't even ask. There could be like a 400 inch bowl up there. I'm not going up there. I'm not fucking doing it. That's hilarious. We had, I was, we still got to get to the mule deer, but I was crossing some dead fall on our way out one time.

And it [01:06:00] was four of us and one of my buddies was walking and I can't quite remember what happened, but I'm pretty sure the lace loop on his bow or his boots hooked one of the sharp sticks of a deadfall and it was one of those things where it was like four or five trees and it wasn't real.

We weren't really in deadfall, but it was like four or five trees that all fell down. And so everyone was just like. First log, second log, third log, and then down, off, right? Like you're just walking up and over these dead, like this one cluster. And he was last, I was right in front of him. So I was walking and I just hit the ground and I hear just this, like everything goes out, like dubstep forest dubstep.

And I look back. And his boot was hooked and it was up in the air because his laces were caught on a, one of the branches. He was in the hole. So he was on the ground. And when I looked down, I saw nothing but arrows and broadheads going all different directions. In with his limbs and broken branches and his bow.

So when he [01:07:00] fell, every arrow in his quiver came out. Which is super dangerous. These are razor blades and he fell on top of them. And I'm like, holy shit. Like this guy's going to need to get H fact didn't even break a break, a skin anywhere, didn't get cut, but I'm looking down like on top of them and he's in this hole and there's just limbs and his limbs, tree limbs and arrows just in a maze and I can't believe what happened.

Dude, deadfall, deadfall is the timber fucking quicksand. Deadfall will get you the best way to wreck a hunt is try to walk through deadfall. Yeah, just go around it. But onto the mule deer, we got to touch on the mule deer. So you and your fiance have shot some dandy bucks and I'm sure it takes a lot of scouting.

But I have shot, I've shot two really good bull, one nice bull, one world class bull. Like [01:08:00] the, I've shot a bull that I probably will never shoot another bigger one unless I start hunting those outfitters we talked about. And but I've never had what I would call a good meal deer hunt. Every meal deer hunt I've ever been on, it was in a unit and a year where like the drought or whatever was going on.

It was like shoot the first legal buck you can see. Cause it's the only legal buck you're going to see. And so I've always done that. And I've shot I think the biggest mule deer I shot was like 130 inch three by three. So it looks really impressive next to my, whitetails, but overall, as far as mule deer go not the, not the dream by any means, I just want to do a mule deer hunt where you can pass on bucks, like you see a couple of bucks and you're just like.

Yeah, I don't know. It's early. He's a maybe doesn't have a quite as deep of forks as I'm looking for or maybe you know I don't know. He's not very heavy or you know what I mean? Like just be able to pass just look at locks of bucks. I want to go on a mule deer [01:09:00] hunt Like an antelope hunt where you see a lot of game and you eh, yeah, that one, that's cool.

After that one I like. And I'm just curious when you guys mule deer hunt, are you, is that typically how it's going? Yeah. So like her and I are big advocates on for us, like We don't, unless it's like a nice, either an older deer, like I shot like on Sunday, I shot like an old whitetail, like gray face whitetail, like he's not the biggest rack, but like his teeth were worn down.

He's probably the biggest buck in this area. Yeah. Or one of the biggest, but like I shot a mature older buck, which is trophy wise yeah, he's not like super heavy or whatever, but he's a solid buck for an archery bow. And I was happy to take it. Yeah. I like, there's a lot of times, like last year we passed up on so many four, like I shot the biggest bowl I probably ever shoot.

I think like on public land ever, I'm ever going to shoot. Like I shot a three 50 inch bowl last year on public land. Is that the one in the snow? [01:10:00] Yeah. Which is very like. Hard to do, right? Oh, yeah It's super. I mean I to be honest. It's just fucking luck at that point. Like I found a track I had a cow tag, I fuckin chased his bull, I thought it was two cows, ends up being two bulls, he was closest to me, 27 yards, and I blasted him with a rifle in the timber.

But, so after that, I had this mindset okay, I shot this really nice bull, I'm gonna wait out for a 170, 180 inch mule deer. Yeah. And we saw some really nice mule deer. But they were always playing a game of we're on private today. We scum through like the public or the area that you can hunt, like this one corner, but now we're on another section of private, we don't have an issue with not filling buck tags just to say Oh, we shot a buck.

So we will not shoot spikes. We won't shoot small three point. Like we just, we don't really if we need the meat, we'll just shoot a doe. Like we're not. We're willing to eat the buck tag. Yeah. To wait out, to shoot a heavy or a solid [01:11:00] buck. And so like the tag she drew this year for her mule deer.

It's not I wouldn't even really say it's a haunt like it's an area where you're shooting like yard bucks But there's just so many massive deer around so like we're driving down It's like it's not a hunt I would say like we didn't really do a lot of hunting like we didn't like we spot in stocks But like it's not I don't know not really a haunt But that's like the draw area like you're driving by and there's been like 200 inch deer that have been taken out of this unit Yeah.

And so you drive by and you're like, okay, that deer is massive, but is it this unit massive? You're like, you're passing on, there are some bucks that we saw, like one buck that we saw got killed that morning was one 96 by a kid and it was in like full velvet, like beautiful buck, they shot it in a little field behind some lady's house.

So it's not, it's it's legal, it's what they do. It's just not that. But we've had [01:12:00] instances where we're glassing up bucks and I've passed, I passed on last year, I don't know, 15 different bucks. And I'm like, eh, he could use a year. And mind you, it's public land. So he may not make it a year, but for me, I'm like, I don't, I wouldn't necessarily be proud to show this buck off that I shot it.

I'm like, there are bigger bucks out there. I'm willing to put in the work to find it. So if I don't, I'm okay with one, not shooting a deer or two shooting a doe that year. And that's what I ended up doing. I just shot this like mature doe at the last day. And I was like, I called a friend of mine.

I was like, Hey she couldn't hunt. She had shoulder surgeries. And I'm like, Hey, if I shoot this doe, do you want it? Cause we already had killed two elk. I shot two to our four does and she shot a buck. And my little sister at the time was living with me. She shot a buck. So like we had enough meat. And I was like, if I shoot this dough, like I'll pack it out.

Do you want it? She's yup. And I was like, all right, I'll call you back. And I ended up shooting this like mature dough, packed it out. No big deal, but I was happy to donate that meat to her rather than shoot a little, three point and be [01:13:00] like, Oh, I killed a buck this year, but I don't see the point in that.

Yeah, I agree. That's exactly how I am in whitetails. I haven't killed a whitetail buck since 2019. Because we got private land. I love habitat. I love managing them. I'm only shooting bucks that are four years old. And if as soon as I say that I'll accidentally shoot a two and a half year old, cause it was low light, but that's the goal.

But for the mule deer thing, like there's a couple, so like you're, I don't know if you remember it, but your buddy Jim's buck, that was like 100%, like I would be super happy with. I've never seen a mule deer buck as big as that hunting mule deer. I've seen was that his second one or his first one. Oh, I don't know.

It's a four by four It looks like it's two years ago Roughly 100 weeks ago So probably is like 2021 Yeah, so we were out doing a veteran hunt and jim and I were looking at some deer we have found it's so funny because my buddy zach [01:14:00] We're just trying to get Jim to shoot any deer. We're like, dude, just shoot that one.

And He's no, I want to shoot like a decent buck. Zach and I are just down his neck like, Oh yeah, that's a monster. And he's it's a fucking like little three point. And he's I'm not shooting that. I'm like, come on dude. Give us like, we've been hiking these mountains. Like we want to pack out together, have the homies pack out a deer.

And so we get. We're looking around. We've seen some nice bucks and again, they're on private and so you're trying to get access, but like everybody and their mother calls this poor landowner and he's please stop calling me like, you understand, but yeah, and then we're just sitting there and he like, I have the spotter.

I don't even have my rifle. I just brought a spotter and he's got his by nose and he's I think I see a buck. Or it could just be a doe with sagebrush. And so I'm like, all right, where's it at? So I put up the glass and I'm like, look at, and it's this buck. And he's I call it ugly sleeping. Like his head is down.

Tongue is out like this. Oh, he's just passed out and there's a ton of does around him. And I'm looking at him. I'm like, Oh, that's actually a decent buck, dude. No, like I'm not bullshit. And he's like, all right, let [01:15:00] me see it. And he sees it. And he's okay yeah, I'll shoot that one. So then we like, climb down this mountain and he shoots it.

But those are shooter bucks. Like every year for me, I would say those are shooter bucks and like the size of the buck obviously goes down if it's like archery yeah, I'll shoot some. lesser of a bucks if it's archery, just cause you have to like stock them and it's cooler. But with rifle, I shot my antelope at 500 this year, just like the technology and rifles.

It's unfair. I'm like, Oh, there's a deer 500 yards out. Like he has no idea that we're even here. So with rifle, I'll be very picky. Unless it's like a cool characteristic deer. I don't know, maybe he's got like a weird side or like a pollination and he's little, but for the most part, like Savannah and I, when it comes to deer.

We are equally on agreeance that if it's like we're not going to shoot little deer, like we would rather eat our tags and again, like last year I, I essentially ate my tag on a buck and just shot a doe, but it didn't bother me at all because [01:16:00] I didn't go home with a one and a half year old two year old deer that was like, had potential to be a really nice deer.

But I. Shot him early. Yeah, and I passed a meal to a year and a half old like big fork not big fork like he's just a normal fork year and a half old fork on that, Colorado Hunt cuz he was off the road. I'm like, I don't need to be able to do that bad Like at this point, I'm like, I'm ready. I want to shoot up four by four like a nice four by four I mean you and Savannah's Instagram feeds are filled with like great four by four So I'm not even talking like a great four by four.

I'm talking like A one 54 by four, like just your average four by four. I just want to be able to do that. And I guess my real question is is that something where you're really having to like scout the summer and like really spend a ton of time in Montana versus an out of state or can show up to a decent unit and just work hard for a week and get a crack at them because we tried that in southeast Montana and I knew it was going to be a lot of people.

I underestimated how many people it was going to be. And so I don't think I'm going back to Southeast Montana, but that's [01:17:00] Montana is probably going to be the place, maybe Wyoming, but probably Montana is the next Mule Deer hunt. Yeah. I would say, to be honest with you, like we don't Mule Deer scout at all.

Did you see when you're doing other stuff? Yeah not even that. I the buck that I shot with my bow a couple years ago, was a complete accident. I didn't expect to see a buck this size in here. All I'd seen was, like, little forkies little spikes. And I ended up just walking up on this deer in his bed.

And he just picks his head up, and I'm like, Oh, that's a fucking decent mule deer. And put an arrow in and shot him. It was, again, the luckiest thing I've ever done. But when it comes to scouting mule deer we don't. We don't take time, like before a season okay, we're gonna go check these areas.

We just don't. We just know of habitat that they're in, and she's very good, and I'm very good at being patient and just sitting on a ridgeline and picking apart sage. And that's a big thing, too, is if you're gonna go hunt eastern Montana have good glass. Be patient, because there's been times where we're just sitting on this ridgeline, we're like, there's fucking nothing here.

We've been four hours, and we end up moving [01:18:00] 200 yards down the ridge. And looking back on our ridge and there was a buck bedded behind or down below us, like a decent buck like a couple hundred yards and just, I don't know, I just think, like this week or when I shot my antelope, there was four bucks that I'd seen in this area that were studs I tried to get one with a bow, but That didn't happen, but small chunk of BLM land, just south of Mantelope, and next thing I know, I just see These three bucks just come out of this river bottom thing, and I'm like, holy shit, these are some shooters.

And it's in the middle of nowhere, and I don't even know if you can access this road when it's snowing. I don't know. Yeah, I just saw a buck in Colorado that I think was 180. He was huge. He was wide, tall, deep forks. I could see his mass from 500 yards away as he's running away. It was insane.

I was like, that's the biggest mule that I've ever seen, but I've never seen big ones when I'm hunting. That's the problem. I think I need to work harder. I think that's definitely a good part of it. I think. To me, mule deer hunting seems like it should be antelope hunting, but I think I need to just put in a little bit [01:19:00] extra work and get a little bit farther off the road.

That's the thing too, is that we were driving like about my antelope, like after opener here, like the antelope are just sparse because everybody shoots the shit out of them. Like it's, you could shoot an antelope six, 700 yards. Like they just stand there, but we ended up we're driving down the road.

I just looked in the rear view mirror and this grouse just goes flat across the road. And I'm like, I look at my buddy, Pat, and I'm like, shoot a grouse? We haven't seen shit all day. Everything's been on private, can't get access or whatever. He's yeah, I'll shoot a grouse. And I'm like, all right, pull over the truck.

And I'm like, let's hop out and shoot this grouse. So I'm like, I'm going to bring my rifle just in case. So I get my orange on and we're looking for this grouse, whatever. And I look way in the backside of this BLM piece, where like the rolling hills go, where you can't see from the road. And there's two bucks just bedded out in the middle of this field.

So I'm like, no shit. So I think if you go out mule deer hunting, Act like you're shed hunting or something. I don't know. I think that's the trick. Like you just if you're going out for a species act like you're not going out for that species and you'll run into them. [01:20:00] That's how it's always been.

It's funny you say that. Because I found four mule deer sheds. I found four mule deer sheds when we were mule deer hunting and we were like, we were hiking. Not like archery elk hiking, but we were getting like a mile off the road setting up glassing. Cause I've done a couple of mule deer hunts and that's how I've always found them.

And it, we'd tagged out, but we'd, it was just shooting the first legal buck you could find. And it, I don't know, I would like to do more like looking at them and just being like, yeah, I will see another one. I'm not ready to shoot that buck yet. I think like Southeast Montana is tough because there's a million people.

And it was like a three year drought when we went. Yeah. And like that area, they give out a lot of B tags for rifle too. So I think a resident, you can, you can buy dough tags for 10 bucks a piece and there are fucking doughs everywhere. And they just get shot to shit and then there's roads that go everywhere and they're side by side and there's people, there's big bucks in there.

The one he shot last year was in that area, I think. [01:21:00] And I don't know. He just it's just a tough area and the deer numbers are way down. It used to be really good, but it's just not as good as it used to be. Yeah. Are you doing a lot of your mule deer hunting on winter range? Or are you doing it up in the timber?

We hunt a lot of eastern Montana, so it's like a lot of coolies. Kind of sage bluff areas. Okay. I've killed. I've seen some really nice mule bucks mule deer bucks in the timber The problem is that like it's hard to glass in the timber So unless you're like walking around and you like see one It's more like elk hunting where you're just like bunkering around in the woods but For the most part we'll find a spot that's more open per se and just find a bluff and sit on it and then just pick apart the sage and you'd be surprised how Many deer you actually find and if you find a doe in the rut Like I'm sure there's going to be a buck around somewhere.

So like just wait on her a lot of times we'll just sit there and Oh, there's a bunch of does down there. And next thing there's like this, smaller buck or a decent buck, just crest the hill. And you're like, Oh, there's a shooter. Oh, there's a buck. Yeah. I do love glassing.

I, [01:22:00] that's why I'm so drawn to mule deer hunting. Cause it's You're finally, it's your chance to just sit in glass. And I love glassing. I'll glass sheds. I really enjoy it, but I think I've just got unlucky. I think I just got unlucky, picked a couple of units, had a couple of droughts, hard to, low deer numbers.

I think it's just in a way, the places we went just weren't that, they weren't that unit. I just got to keep finding units. I think. A big thing that we do is yes, we'll hunt some like big public land chunks and we'll hunt some like BLM pieces or BMAs I think a lot of people set their eyes on those because they're like, oh, there's a big chunk.

There's got to be deer in here and I'm sure there are deer, but like where we've become more successful is oh, there's like an 80 acre piece of public, the road drives by. A lot of people probably just oh, there's nothing down there and they drive by it. That's my, what I think is going on.

And then we go down like past where you can't see from the road. And there's [01:23:00] there's deer that are just huddled up in an area that you just can't see, and they're not getting fucked with. So that's where they're going to be. Yeah. It's funny. Cause like anyone would take a 40 in Minnesota to hunt deer.

Yeah. That's all take some people on twenties really. Yeah. And they're like, Oh yeah, plenty of land. I got three tree stands on 20 acres or like here we've gotten, I don't know, six, eight bucks on camera. Not all of them are giant, but we have 40 acres here and we've already got six or eight bucks and we've only lived here for three months.

Yeah, but when you go out West, everyone's Oh, there's 80, 000 acres. So ah, it's only 500 acres. Like it's not that, and then you're talking like eighties. Yeah, no one's hunting an 80 or a one 60. Yeah, it's dude. It's and like 80 acres is a fucking lot of property. Like I own eight acres and it I own eight acres and it's damn, it's a lot to take care of.

I don't even go to the backside of it ever, but if you think of 150 or even like 50 acres, you're like, dude, this place is huge. There's, there could be deer everywhere. Like, why are we not hunting these? And so we've our scouting for deer will [01:24:00] mostly be like, okay, look on a map. Like where are smaller chunks and we'll see if we can hit those.

And you can hit them quicker than hitting like a 200, 300 acre piece. But yeah, we just try to find like smaller chunks with a little bit of something like terrain, coolies, a little bit of brush. It's Hey, this one's got a brush. You draw and we can sit here and see the whole thing. But you can't see it from the road.

Yeah. Yeah. I want to do that. I also, I heard you say you got a camper or you were going to get a camper. Something about, I have a camper, the late season rifle hunts. I've been doing them in wall tents and yeah, I don't know. It's fun. Wall tents are super fun when it's warm. They're doable when it's cold, but man, when it's cold and windy, I think, yeah, I want to get a camper eventually.

I know you're not going to save money, but it's going to be worth it to have hard walls at a furnace. Yeah, I think for us too. It's like we did last year we did a 10 day elk hunt in a tent, like a four seasons tent with an air mattress and like it was doable. I'm 31 about to be [01:25:00] 32 and I don't want to sound like I feel like I want to sound like I'm a hundred years old, but there is something nice about coming home to a camper.

You just take your boots off, turn the heater on. Oh, I want to lay in the bed. Not some fucking bullshit air mattress. Oh, I have a table to sit on inside and make my sandwich or I got a microwave, a generator. I don't know. I've become soft, but it's no, it's, I don't think it's soft. I think there's yeah, some things are more extreme than others, but if you're out there to kill.

I always ask myself is this gonna help me kill or not? Especially spike hunting. Is spike hunting gonna help me kill or not? Can I just walk a mile out and get back to base camp and have a better food, better sleep, better everything, and then just walk a mile in the morning?

Probably. Now, if the elk are, like, 7 miles in, it's okay, now spiking in 6 miles or 7 miles is gonna help me kill. And so that's what I'll do it. And I think the camper thing, like late season, like you're going to get out of bed faster in a camper, you're going to get better sleep. You're not going to sleep in.

You're not going to skip hunts. You're going to get good food. You're, all these things it's like. Yeah, and it happens to be more comfortable. [01:26:00] Not everything has to be extreme just for the gram, Like I definitely want to hunt. I totally agree. I know we're like, it's so funny Cuz maybe I'll tell you I were talking about this the other day People are like, oh, I shot this bull like hey, you're back Damn, Montana internet But I'm not saying like people want to have these experiences and I think they're good about packing out a bull like really far out But dude, I'll take a bull like 200 yards off the road any day.

Oh yeah, I will definitely, like a year later, I will definitely humble brag about how far I packed out a brutal bull packout. But if there's a bull off the side of the road, I'm shooting it. I'm definitely not ashamed to pack a 100 yard packout. Like the first elk I ever shot was in my backyard.

Yeah, I would do it. I'll tell you what, I'll tell you right now. If I had elk on my 40 and I had a tag for it, I would be hunting elk in my backyard too. Abby shot her first deer on our farm. You could, you literally could have [01:27:00] watched the entire thing from our from our master bed. We have all windows on that side of the house.

I could have been laying in my bed watching her shoot this deer because we have a food plot. We had a pasture in the back of our prop, like our back of our yard and then we just turned it into a food plot and put a stand there and that's where she shot her deer, like it was literally a part of our backyard.

Right there. Yeah. Aw, dude. There's been times where she's woken me up in the morning and be like, hey, there's a deer in the food plot. And I can just roll over and look at it. Dude, I had a buddy who had this perfect where he built this house. He could glass up this public land park And there was always beer up there there'd be elk up there and I would just wake up early, not i'm like They're either going to be there or not.

So I would call him. I'm like, what's the scoop? And he's nope, there's nothing up there this morning. I'm like, all right, I'm going to go to this other spot or I'm just not going to hunt today. And then there'd be times he's yeah, there's a good one. Like hanging around the bottom. I was like, all right, I'll be there in 10 minutes.

I don't know. I'm all for, I'm all for the hard hunts, but to get an easy one out of the way, [01:28:00] it's nice to. It's nice to have a lot of that and just be like yeah, oh dude and you only get one easy hunt a year i'm like torn on that like You get one hunt that like just goes perfect. We're like, Oh, first day out shot, whatever I was looking for.

Great. Like whatever. And then the rest of the season is just going to be a tough motherfucker. And that's how it's been, we shot her buck this year, the archery buck she shot was like opening morning, pretty easy on it. And I'm like the rest of the season is going to be tough. And elk hunting this year was fucking tough.

Just quiet. Tons of people not just it was just a tough miserable experience, but we got to share that all together Yeah, I think you've got better hunting than I do if you get one perfect hunt every year So I'm like and I get one perfect hunt every decade I get a lot of great hunts, but like the perfect ones They are few and far between so you better cherish them while they're happening Oh, dude, if you ask my fiance like how lucky I am in the woods like It's unreal how stupid lucky I am.

Like my [01:29:00] first bull I ever killed, I 15 minutes into opening morning, I had five bulls in a drainage, first one called one in fucking 40 yards, broadside. Plugged in hunts over 800 yards from the truck. He was 25 yards from an old bike trail. So I'm like, all right that's fine. Like my first bull, walked in 15 minutes, put my in reach on, text my buddies, I'm like bulled out and they're like, bullshit.

I'm like, yeah, I'm like, y'all better get over here because these bulls will not shut. Like I had this whole basin was just lit up with bulls. I'm like, this six point just comes over the ridge. I get one cow call. He looked right at me, come down, turn sideways. Like perfectly in an opening fucking 40 yards plugged it.

I was like Wow, that's not how this normally goes ever Yeah, that's that is incredible that that doesn't happen very often. I'm gonna come on with you. I'm just gonna walk around behind you Dude that's what she does. It's fun Okay, I guess i'm gonna be i'm gonna be third in line then Yeah, i'll tell you right now with those days [01:30:00] Our luck will have it that like you come out and it's fucking 10 days into it and you're like, dude, we haven't even seen a grouse yet.

I'm like, I don't know what to tell you. This happened. Like it, there are days where, three days into it and you're like, there's no, there's not even Tweety birds around. What is going on? I've been on those outguns. I am, I think I'm 0 for 5 with my bow and 2 for 3 with my rifle. I'm okay. I definitely understand it's hunting, not shooting, but no, that's been awesome.

And It's been super fun here and like how you guys hunt together and just the whole Montana life. I mean it makes a flatlander like myself a little jealous That we don't live there, but obviously we get some cool things to like more than two lakes yeah, I mean it is a lot of fun to have somebody that like Obviously, you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then she enjoys doing what you do, and is willing to do the miserable sacrifice of hikes and bullshit and, deadfall and all that, and at the [01:31:00] end of the day, you're like, oh, we didn't kill one, but we had a lot of fun.

We heard them, we were hiking around, we got to spend a lot of time together. It's a blessing for sure. Yeah. I'm excited for it. I'm excited to start bringing my wife out. Do we're 10, I say we're like been married forever. We've been married for 10 months, so it's everything is new, so it's really exciting, but I'm excited to start our next new adventure of hunting the West together.

Cause I think she's going to love it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's a good experience. And she seems like she's driven, you've got her on the hook now. She's I want to kill deer all the time. So if you get her chasing bulls and cows, I'm sure she'll be. I hope she has like your luck when I start bringing her out and she just walks around and just whacks and stacks them Yeah, some people just have luck like I know a lot of people just oh, yeah My wife went out one time and she saw this 190 inch mule there and shot it.

I'm like motherfucker. How? Yeah, there's I've been lucky to I've [01:32:00] gotten a couple once in a lifetime tags so I can't complain too much Yeah, that's what I'm hoping for. My, my next dream hunt would be a moose tag. I've been applying for Maine and New Hampshire since I was like 12 years old and never drawn and I've been applying here for the last five years, never drawn.

I'm sure it'll be, when I'm 75, can barely walk around. Somebody's going to have to push me around in a wheelchair. I'll draw it. But I'm thinking about doing the DIY Alaska moose. Eventually, I think it's going to take a long time to get. All the things in place, like very comfortable hunting with grizzly bears, very comfortable doing 10 days in the woods.

All of these things, the logistics, but I think the DIY Alaska is probably going to be the, my way. Cause I don't have 70 grand to get a Yukon outfitter. But awesome. Thank you for being here, Tyler, sharing your guys story. I think the next time we do this, I'll have to make sure both you and your fiance are available because it sounds like she's got just as many adventures and stories as you do.

So it'd be [01:33:00] really cool to have her on the next episode as well. For sure. Yeah. Whenever you whenever you are in town, give us a call. We're always willing. Sounds good. Sounds good. I'll take you up on that if I'm ever in Western Montana and until then, good luck with the rest of your fall and make sure you tell Savannah the same.

Do you too. Good luck with the with your flu pot. Hope you slam a big one. Yeah, I hope so. That would be awesome. Thanks for being here once again. And thank you for listening folks.