Where's Waldo

Show Notes

Matt Johnson joins Nate on this episode of Michigan Wild. The two guys sit down and go over Matt's upbringing with hunting. He started hunting in the UP at a traditional deer camp. Matt and Nate also talk about his first black bear and first buck he shot at camp.

The conversation leads into Matt getting more serious with deer hunting after college. He started passing deer waiting for more mature bucks. By doing so that leads us to the story of Waldo. Waldo is a buck Matt had multiple years of history with and actually rekindled Nate and Matt's friendship. Give the episode a listen to hear about Waldo and how big deer don't always bring out the worst in people.

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

Show Transcript

Nate Rozeveld: Alrighty, welcome to another episode of Michigan Wild. Archery season is in full swing and it doesn't get much better than that. I uh, I've had a good couple hunts already this year, I know some of my friends have. One of my buddies shot a buck this morning Another one shot a doe last night and a few other people have connected and seen some good stuff I did have an epic an epic failure Thursday night, but that'll be hopefully talked about in another podcast.

That's gonna launch this week I'm gonna try to maybe do a little something Um, have two podcasts a week and one of them, we mostly focused on like my hunts and possibly with a guest or someone, a buddy can do it with me and we can kind of give a perspective of the last like week of hunting. So yeah, look for that.

But this one is a podcast with my friend, Matt. We have known each other for quite a while. We went to high school together. We're friends in high school [00:02:00] and then we, uh, you know, both went to separate colleges and then kind of drifted apart, just how it goes when you. You know, early twenties and late teenage years when you're going through college and doing all that.

But, uh, we actually reconnected. Um, when we were probably, I don't know, it's probably been, Oh, five years almost, we've kind of got back together and kind of started hanging out and you know, both of our wives are friends and we all went to high school together. So, but we actually got back together and that all started over a deer and a deer hunting.

And it was over a pretty big deer and that deer's name was Waldo and the title of this episode, you know, being where's Waldo, that was kind of Matt's journey was trying to figure this deer out. Um, find them and hunt them and do those kinds of things. But this, this episode, we kind of break down how he started hunting, kind of his journey.

He was, you know, went to the UP quite a bit as a young kid with his family and, uh, had deer camp up there and bear camp. He actually, we talked about his first berry shot and his first white tail, his [00:03:00] first buck up there he got, and there's kind of go over. his, his mindset with passing deer and how he's like had his journey of hunting.

He's got a piece of property, primarily hunts, and he does quite a bit of work too, and just the time he does have, he just loves being outside and doing that. So this episode kind of goes into that, into, uh, um, just a good conversation between me and a friend and talking about our, you know, mindset for the year.

Um, how we got to know each other through deer hunting and. You know, he just reached out to him over a big deer and that instead of, you know, ruining the friendship or Not having that friendship anymore. It rekindled it and we've been, you know, going strong ever since so we kind of go through a lot of things this episode is a good sit down with him and chit chat and You know, we talked about, you know doe hunting in Michigan and how there's a lot of does and just a lot of different things and I think it's a it's Just a good episode to kind of bring us into this first week of archery season Hoping to have some hunts.

Um, like I said, I'm hoping to talk about some [00:04:00] hunts and break some hunts down also. I still have a few other podcasts with people lined up through the fall, so it's gonna be a good year. Um, but yeah, just to kind of do a quick little thing, uh, Henry is sitting down here with me on this episode. We thought maybe he'd talk a little bit about the two hunts he's been on.

I don't know if he wants to quite yet. He's, he's been deciding, but he, uh, he actually went out two times. He went out once with me, actually. And we sat, I want to say it was either, I think it might've actually been October 1st we went, and we seen quite a few deer, um, two nice bucks, you know, nice eight points we saw at a distance.

Ashley shot her bow a few times and, and she is, she picked up right where she left off shooting her bow. I mean she was just hammering the bullseye at 20 yards and she was feeling pretty good. Just had to tweak a very little, little form things here and there, just noticed what she was doing. The great thing about teaching someone like her is she's very open minded and will [00:05:00] listen and Somehow she can just instantly do it and you see the the the effect it has so she's been shooting good She's went out twice But yeah, we went the first time and we, we saw a lot of deer.

We saw quite a few does, like I said, two little bucks, actually, they're really not even that little. I mean, the one was probably a two year old for sure. And the other one was probably could potentially have been a three year old. He was the farthest one away, but he popped out and yeah, the nice high and tight KGA point.

And then, uh, And then we, fast forward a couple of days, I, I kind of bounced around a little bit, hunted a few times. And then Thursday night was the night of the epic fail, but, uh, it wasn't really a hundred percent of fail. It just didn't seal the deal. So I'll break that down some more in the other podcast launches this week.

But yeah, saw a lot of deer, some good movement. We'll probably end up going out tonight. And, uh, yeah, I don't know, HGs or anything you want to hop on here and say it all. Are you feeling pretty good? He's shaking his head. You've had a good, good fun so far, the couple of times you've been out. [00:06:00] He's shaking his head yes, so no, it's been good.

But yeah guys enjoy this episode Uh, thank you for all the support and anyone's got a success story they want to talk about, reach out to me, hit me up on Instagram or, um, you can hop on, uh, I don't have a Facebook page for, for Michigan wild, but you can just, you know, hit me up Nate Roosevelt on Facebook and message me.

I'd love to sit down with some people and talk about it. Have a good week guys, take advantage of this awesome weather and, uh, get out there and enjoy creation.[00:07:00]

Please be working and it is alrighty. We have another episode of Michigan wild tonight and I have a good buddy. Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson: came over tonight. Finally. We've been trying for a while. Talk about a busy schedule. You have, we've only tried three or four times.

Nate Rozeveld: I got super sick. The one time finally felt better.

You're like, dude, I'm sick now. Yeah. Then I got COVID and it's been trying back and forth for forever. So you're saying COVID still exists. Oh, yeah. In 2023.

Matt Johnson: No, don't catch it this time. That was not, not fun. No, I'm glad to finally be here, man. Yeah. So.

Nate Rozeveld: We went to high school together and we were The reason why we became friends, I think obviously you and Ashley went to school forever together So like you guys knew each other more than me.

I was kind of outcast later in life, but I decided to take some of the hard classes and you were in all the hard classes too and I was always like I was probably the kid that I did okay in them, but I wasn't a genius [00:08:00] or like super smart when I was kind of struggled, you know, so I was like, Matt, you're way smarter than me.


Matt Johnson: I don't know about that, but we

Nate Rozeveld: kind of helped. We compliment each other well on those classes, especially being outnumbered by a lot of girls. I felt like. And most of those, but I remember, yeah, high school days we were, you know, doing physics or whatever together. And we would always, you'd always talk about going to the U.

P. Yeah. And we, we would talk about

Matt Johnson: hunting. Yeah. We never really hung out much outside. No, just school. We were in different sports and didn't hang out much outside, but. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: I mean we. We liked to run. You like to run too much,

Matt Johnson: not anymore. Put too many years

Nate Rozeveld: on for that. Well, yeah, then we kind of went to college and you, you went,

Matt Johnson: went our different ways.

Yeah. I went over to the other side of the state. Yeah. You know, did my, did my thing there. And then finally came back, but we, we didn't really reconnect.

Nate Rozeveld: So it tells us some deer was actually hunting. Yeah. But, uh, yeah, the cool thing is, is that you married your high school sweetheart and I mean, you're my high school sweetheart.

So [00:09:00] we've kind of been a couple that always hung out. Like you said, we didn't do much in school. We were always together, lunches and classes, but then, yeah, we didn't start hanging out outside of school until frigging these white tails kind of brought us back together. But, uh. So like, yeah, what kind of, uh, upbringing did you have?

Cause I know you always talk about UP. Yeah. And that was where you, yeah, that

Matt Johnson: was, yeah. I mean, that was one of the main things, one of the main summer trips, you know, always go to the UP, pick off the ticks. Every time you go outside mosquitoes as big as carry you away type of mosquitoes. And we, you know, I, my grandpa hunted, my dad hunted and we would go out with them.

That's kind of how, you know, how everybody gets started, you know, go out with your dad, go out with your grandpa, watch grandpa shoot a deer, you know, kind of get the, get the buck fever early on. But I didn't, I didn't do much for the youth hunt, you know, back then. It was kind of weird for us. Cause we kind of, the rules were different.

You couldn't.

Nate Rozeveld: You can start when we were like, probably what, like already, we were almost old enough to, we were already gun hunting when I think when the youth

Matt Johnson: [00:10:00] started. Yeah. Yeah. So I never over 14, I didn't do much in the youth hunt and I didn't bow hunt, you know, just with school and sports. I never, never got big into bow hunting.

My dad would bow hunt, but I never, never did much of that. Actually, I, I shot. My first bear before I shot my first deer. Oh, you did? Yeah. In the UP, correct? In the UP. Yeah. So that, we got into that back. And that's like family

Nate Rozeveld: property? That was family. Or did

Matt Johnson: you hunt state land? Family property. It's private property just South of Marquette.

It's probably about six hour drive for us, which isn't bad. You know, we would shoot up to the UP. I mean, it's beautiful up there. I think there's not a bad spot. Yeah. When did you shoot the bear? Were you in high school when you shot that? Yeah. Yeah. That would have been. 2008

Nate Rozeveld: yeah, I think and you guys baited it and all that.

Matt Johnson: Yeah, we put it for a tag And it was easier to get tagged then than it is now. I think the DNR gave up more tags then But you put in for your period You know draw if you want [00:11:00] first second or third period and we put in for Gwynne Area in the UP and then we had a great big block of granola is what we baited with that year We just one big block Slid it off the truck and there it sat.

And did

Nate Rozeveld: you use trail cameras then? Yeah. Okay. So that was like when

Matt Johnson: trail cameras were kind of. Yeah, it was before, uh, cell cams. But like, I'm

Nate Rozeveld: trying to think 2000, 2008, 2009 is when I started using cameras like more often,

Matt Johnson: but, but not cell cameras back then. Did you have an SD card camera? Cause when did

Nate Rozeveld: those first come out?

Cause I didn't buy one until 2008. It was the first time

Matt Johnson: I bought an SD card. So you were right in that time. You didn't know what was up there until you had to go pull the camera and put it in the SD reader and get a little grainy image. So back then they were only. Eight megapixel cameras at best greeny.


Nate Rozeveld: Now, how pumped are you? Oh, back then to go pull a card,

Matt Johnson: like just excitement to pull, pull a card and start seeing bears. I mean, just how, yeah. How crazy of a

Nate Rozeveld: thing [00:12:00] to think. the whole way. You're just like, Oh my gosh, I can't wait to see what's on there. And

Matt Johnson: right away, you know, you see bears are coming into the bay and you're just thinking, man, what, what am I going to do when one of these come in?

Cause I, you know, I, like I said. I hadn't shot a deer yet. I've been out deer hunting. Yeah. I've seen my dad, grandpa shoot deer, but I hadn't done it myself.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. So like, is there a lot of deer in that area of the UP or was it kind of flow kind of, or not

Matt Johnson: much. So if you guys shot a

Nate Rozeveld: deer. During gun season.

You were pretty pumped. Oh

Matt Johnson: yeah. Okay. But, but like I said, so growing up, we always, I mean, deer camp was a thing. I, I don't think there was a single year I ever went to school around Thanksgiving. It was deer camp, deer camp, go up to deer camp, go up to the UP. Great grades.

Nate Rozeveld: So who cared? Your parents were like, man, this kid's doing

Matt Johnson: fine.

We'll let him go up there. We'll make it up. We'll go up and go out, hunt all day, take a nap, you know, middle of the day, then go back out. And so like the

Nate Rozeveld: excitement, [00:13:00] I'm trying to think like back, you know, like when we were that age, the pure, like excitement to go, like, I didn't go obviously near as far North as you, but I always went North to see my grandpa on the farm, you know, and.

Had we had no idea what was going we didn't know what deer was around like we didn't know bucks We didn't know we just knew there was deer and this the the dreams of oh, man, i'm probably gonna I might shoot eight points. Yeah, and

Matt Johnson: talk about stuff like that. Like you didn't know it's not it's not like yeah, I wasn't out pattering Deer naming deer and stuff.

Yeah, you just sat and daydream hope something that walks in. Yeah Yeah, just sit all day make a scene you hear a squirrel come in Is this the time? Is this going to be, is this, you know, is this going to happen? But, but before that, you know, I, I would bunny hunt once in a while, get a rabbit here and there, squirrel hunt, go around, shoot whatever I could with the 22.


Nate Rozeveld: you smoked that bear. That was 2008. So that would have been in our senior year, right?

Matt Johnson: Senior year. Yup. [00:14:00] And that was, I mean, you, you got your bear earlier this year. It's, yeah. It's unbelievable to, to see something that big come in and that was the hard part that bear walks in. You know, I, okay. I've seen deer.

I've never seen a bear up close. Is it a big bear? Is it a little bear? How do you tell? That is like the hardest

Nate Rozeveld: thing and Yeah, you got, especially back then for you, the pictures you do have are not probably the most clear, it's like you're saying they're just this blob, you know, the camera was probably too close or, you know, we sucked at doing that back then, but yeah, bear is the

Matt Johnson: most, yeah, you're trying to judge, okay, is it how big is he?

How, how old is it? Is it a, is it a sow? You know what, what is it? So we actually, we hung molasses jugs from a wire so that they had to stand up. Yeah. To try to grab it and then you get an idea. Okay, this bear stands up if he can reach that that's a big bear Absolutely. So we're sitting there my dad and I Here comes [00:15:00] one and they're quiet It's it's crazy to see a bear come in because you would think walking through the woods.

They're gonna be crunch crunch crunch Hardly here. Just a ghost. Yep. So here he comes and already shaking. You want to talk about buck fever, bear fever. So I got the, got, we had a three Oh eight. Okay. He got that up. We're watching, watching. I don't know. Is he, is he big enough? Reaches up, swats that jug down, scares him.

He runs off. He was gone. Oh no. Did I just blow it? And that was the first night Went out the next morning had another smaller bear come in let him walk Thinking oh, okay. Here we go Well the other one third night, maybe he'll come back and I don't I don't know if it was the same one, but Here comes a great great big bear and he comes up to that granola block Puts [00:16:00] both paws on it and starts eating and shot him right straight on And he fell right there cuz that was the other thing we're thinking.

Okay, if I shoot a 300 pound bear Yeah, this is a cedar swamp. I mean, we're talking up thick cedar swamp I can't carry out a 300 pound bear. No, I was I was running back then. So I'm, you know, tiny Nothing skin and bones. I can't drag a 300 pound bear.

Nate Rozeveld: So you were like

Matt Johnson: punk that it fell right there We backed the truck all the way up to it, hoisted it into the back of the truck and went down the road.

The neighbor, neighbor has cows. He had a scale. We were able to put him on the scale right there. And, oh, it was crazy. Even being able to

Nate Rozeveld: back, so like the bear I shot and the couple that got shot at camp, the other one I helped with. Dude, they're like the most dead weight, awkward thing to try to move, like,

Matt Johnson: a white seal's got antlers, or a head, or you

Nate Rozeveld: know, a doe, you

Matt Johnson: grab a back leg and

Nate Rozeveld: pull.

You can't grab onto anything. Nothing. Like, and [00:17:00] they're just solid,

Matt Johnson: dense creatures. And then, you know, I watched, you know, my dad field dress tons of deer. Yeah. You think, okay. A bear's pretty similar. You start cutting and you like how I can't get into this thing . Yeah. It's so, they're so

Nate Rozeveld: weird. Yeah. Like, yeah, that was a good learning experience.

I mean, I can, I mean, after doing my bear learned, got to do a help, and the second bear, I was like, oh, yeah, this makes sense. But like, it's definitely a foreign thing. Like it's nothing like anything else. So, but we've got, you made this bear with it dressed or not dressed. Before it was dressed. Okay. So how much did that thing end up

Matt Johnson: weighing?

It was right around 300 pounds. And then, cause the DNR pulls a tooth. And I want to say it was, it was either six or seven years old. It's it's been so long. I can't remember exactly what it was. Six or seven years old. So it

Nate Rozeveld: was definitely a mature boar for sure. Oh, yeah. Nice. Yeah. Awesome. So that was your first like big game.

That was the

Matt Johnson: first big game. Like I said, it got small game growing up, you know, you said, yeah. Squirrels, rabbits, and fishing, you know, [00:18:00] we go out of where fishing, you know, pike, bass, fishing all over. But that was the first big game kill. It's pretty cool. And that's a good story. You know, I think that's a great stories like that.

You'll, you'll remember forever. Yeah. And you can tell people, you can tell, tell your family,

Nate Rozeveld: tell friends. I went to, cause I remember you're like, yeah, I went to the UP and shot a bear. And I was like, what? Yeah. Like it was

Matt Johnson: my, my mom went, we came back, you know, cause we, we drove back that day. We had school.

The next day after she went, this is when you still got film developed. It was pre cell phones. I didn't have a cell phone to show pictures. So she went to the probably Sam's club to get the, our film developed and go to school the next day, show her pictures, shot a bear. It's just something that not many people would.

I mean even still not many people do that in michigan No,

Nate Rozeveld: like, you know, that's a thing like that was never really on my radar ever until the wyoming thing like everyone's like Oh, have you never done michigan? I was like, dude, I like there's [00:19:00] bears around but it's not like one of those things That's like

Matt Johnson: not many people talk about it.

It's not it's not Like

Nate Rozeveld: you said you get to draw, you know, like here in michigan. We're so used to just like Go to the place, buy your tags, buy a tag, and like you have to apply, and do these points, and it's just like, we'll see, and it's like, nah, I'm good. It takes, it

Matt Johnson: takes a lot more planning. You gotta choose what period, you gotta choose the area.

It's essentially

Nate Rozeveld: an out of state trip, because I mean, like you said, the UP is six hours away. That's a pretty

Matt Johnson: good trip. Well, the nice thing is that you can bait. You can kinda... Plan, you know where you want things to be

Nate Rozeveld: but because I did a podcast with Brandon that launched Earlier this week the week before and he uh, he talked about how he his in laws Been bear hunting for like 40 years in the up So they do it all themselves They bait, you know but it all depends on who's got the tags because he said, you know, it's like maybe once every four years They might get the bow tag like going through it.

Yeah, like you just said those six year swaps It's like you can't even

Matt Johnson: see like and it's changed I don't know if they give out as many now. I think right now I have five or [00:20:00] six preference points. Wow. And it's been five or six years since I've been able to draw a tag. So, but that was, that was my only one so far and got the bear rug.

You know, I, I don't know if that's what you're doing with your bear, but I'm going to

Nate Rozeveld: do, I've thought about a couple of different things. So like the fur on the bear, I shot, she was older. Like you were saying, like, you know, like your age, like eight. I mean, I think he said seven or eight years old, I think it was the guy.

So he pulled the tooth and she was rough. Like she's got scars all over her face, which are cool. But like her fur is like super thin and like, not nice. Like your bear rug and like most of the ones I've seen from Michigan, they're like, just

Matt Johnson: beautiful, shiny black for

Nate Rozeveld: this thing's kind of, she kind of looks a little mangy almost.

So I think I'm going to do like a raw rolled up rug version kind of a thing and still do that, but, so. You roll, you smoke this bear and I don't know how cool that is. Like that was your first UP kill. When did you get your

Matt Johnson: first deer? So like I said earlier, I didn't, didn't really bow hunt. So my, my options were limited to [00:21:00] the typical gun hunt.

I know it's kind of a typical Michigan hunter thing. I, we'll, we'll get into it later. Changed since then, but back then it was, you know, your seasons. Two weeks. Yep. From November 15th to, to the end of November, and we had blinds down here. We're fortunate enough to have private property down here. Mm-hmm.

in, in Kent County. Um, and I'd go out and maybe once in a while see a four point or a spike. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: But you took, like, your, your, you took the, the approach just like how I did, like you watch grandpa and these guys do this deer camp thing like you're. You, you know, have a bait pile of carrots or whatever it may be.

Yeah. You have your spot and you put it out there and you just put seat time in. And if one comes out, you shoot it, you're ecstatic. So like you kind of take that approach down here in our area we live in is completely different than like wooded area, you know, this is ag country. Yeah. So it's a lot, there's a lot of food and they, they don't just come out.

Like, I know there was a spot. My grandpa, my mom's side of the family, I, he had shoot deer [00:22:00] there. Like he had a spot, like he bow hunted and gun hunted. And he would shoot deer on a bait pile middle of the day almost, because there was literally no egg fields for miles. Like if there was, it was a rye field.

And that's

Matt Johnson: what most people did back then is just dump a pile of corn and sit and wait. But then down here, they have

Nate Rozeveld: food everywhere. Yeah. So it was, you know, that, like, I think I baited, uh, I baited probably maybe two years when I started hunting on this area, instead of just going north. I remember. I used uh corn usually and then I think I might have tried the apple thing too And I learned really quick that they never came to that unless it was after dark Like it was just not even where it was pointless.

I never shot a deer over it Yeah, you know coons and the deer would get it after dark. I

Matt Johnson: I think I don't know If it was just, I was unlucky, you know, back then, or just didn't have quite the patience to, to put in enough time for it. A lot of my hunting experiences have been a little unlucky. I've had a lot of, a lot of mistakes, but that's how you [00:23:00] learn.

You have mistakes along the way. I think one year I was in the gun blind by myself and had fallen asleep and woke up and there was a six point there and I'm reaching for the gun, reaching for the gun. And then the Crete, the seat creaked and there he goes, gone and story of Matt Caesar, gone and I had an opportunity here and there.

Um, but my first buck actually, so I went, you know, went off to college, didn't hunt for those first couple of years and finally had a chance in my schedule just for the gun hunt. Again, didn't have time for archery over there. Didn't have, didn't have the property, didn't have the resources for it. So. Got the, uh, gun season off right around Thanksgiving to the UP and we had this eight point on camera.

My dad had seen him and passed him. You know, he's hunted all his life. He's like, I don't, I don't need to shoot this one. Yeah. He seems pretty picky. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah.

Matt Johnson: [00:24:00] He finally shoots one. And so I'm in the gun blind again by myself and This is late morning. I normally wouldn't stay out this late cause I can get impatient and it's probably not, I don't know, nine 30, 10 o'clock and getting that time.

Like, okay, it's, it's time to go back to camp and think about lunch, just about getting ready to leave. And he stepped out into one of the shooting lanes, a nice little eight point in what was nice. It was Cedar swamp bucks up there. The antlers get up in the UP. Yup. Their antlers, almost like a, almost chocolate, nice, dark brown, and got the gun up, got the hammer back, lover action 30 30.

So you have to make sure to get the, get the hammer back without, you know, make sure it doesn't slip, accidentally go off and dropped them clean heart shot. Quick call my dad. Hey, got one. No, you did. The monkey is off your back. Yeah, you just, I mean, we rarely [00:25:00] would shoot deer in the UP. It's more of the experience.

Go up for deer camp, but you did it to actually shoot a deer up there. Finally did it. And it. You know, it wasn't the biggest rack in the world, but first one ever big big body deer those those deer way bigger Way bigger, I mean they have to be tough, you

Nate Rozeveld: know, you look right above you right there That's my first buck, you know a little seven point barely like That deer would have been a mega giant if he got older for a year and a half old buck to have seven points like That you know, but that was I mean, that's how i've always been brought up and everyone.

I know like I preach shoot some deer, you know Like shoot those first couple deer. Yeah, you know, even you know your college age who cares like you have never shot a deer You get opportunity to shoot it and you're just like I just hear you tell the story again. You're pumped just

Matt Johnson: thinking Oh, yeah, you know and that's If you think it's a trophy Take it.

Yep, you know Especially if it's your first couple of deer, do it. Now, if you've shot 30 deer and you're out shooting a spike, there's a [00:26:00] little, we're going to have an issue with that. Educate a little bit. Yeah, exactly.

Nate Rozeveld: Like, Hey, like, yeah, that we'll get into that. We'll get into that. That's how we kind of are like, Hey.

Just to let you know, we're not shooting deer like this. We're trying to shoot deer like this and there's proof, you know, but yeah. So you, you shot that UP buck, which is cool. I've never shot deer up there. Like, that's kind of cool. You got that checked off the list. And then, so that was, you said like in college, like second, like junior, senior year, probably junior, junior year.

So then. So then, yeah, let's see, I was, yeah, this whole time, I mean, I've been a hunt fool this whole time. I like set my college up to

Matt Johnson: hunt, so that's kind of me, and that's why I don't have a degree right now. That's why I had other options to go. One of the, there's a college up in the UP, Northern Michigan, Marquette.

I remember that was one that was kind of top of the list. And I was, you know, if I go here, I don't know if I'll go to class much. I'm going to be out, I'm going to be out hunting. I'm going to be out biking. I'm going to be out fishing. I'm gonna be out. I'm like [00:27:00] superior. I'm not gonna be always an outdoor,

Nate Rozeveld: dude Yeah, you spend a lot of time your freedom.

You're out doing something. Yeah. Okay, so let's let's kind of like fast forward a little bit So you your college is done. You're married, you know, you started hunting more around closer

Matt Johnson: to home married Like you said high school, sweetheart, you know,

Nate Rozeveld: you've been married for many years now Uh, just almost 11 year ago.

Yeah. We got married kind of close same time. Too bad we weren't friends. We could have went to each other's wedding. We didn't really have that relationship anymore. But yeah, so yeah, you, you did that. I, I would say this is about 2018 probably is a year. So at this point in time, you had shot a few more deer with a gun, a few deer.


Matt Johnson: shot some with a bow. Yeah. So we'll, we'll back up when I, when I came back. So, like I said, my growing up, my family had property here. We had 80 acres here in Kent County. I married into property, didn't know that was going to be, yeah, that was the

Nate Rozeveld: benefit. You're a sweet girl, Laura. We love [00:28:00] you very much, you know, but it

Matt Johnson: was a perk that your parents are proud of.

There is, there is a perk to that. And she knows. She knows. Came with, uh, 110 acres of prime, uh, agriculture farm field land. And actually she's the one that got me to hunt it. Yes. That's right. Cause we came back in the first couple of years, you know, I. I didn't hunt it. I didn't really hang out here much. I didn't go out on the, on the farm much.

I still hunted a parent's old property and still just gun hunt. Yeah. And didn't have any luck. Wasn't having any luck over there. So, you know, let's try this out. I've got, got this resource here. Let's, let's see what it's all about. You know, hung a couple of cameras, talk to some people that had hunted in the past, and I think it was the first or second year I hunted it.

It's got my 10 point with the 44. It's like, okay, we're changing tactics here. The 44. Yep. We're, we're, we're changing tactics where we're going to be hunting down here now. So you're like, [00:29:00] yeah, this is good stuff. Yeah, that was, I'm missing out by, so that was your first.

Nate Rozeveld: So you shot a 10 point right away.

Matt Johnson: Yeah, that was property. Yeah. That was the first one down here. Nice. And didn't make the best of shot. We had to actually track it the next day and we were able to recover it. Yeah. Cause I didn't know about tracking dogs.

Nate Rozeveld: And then you get the 10 point. So there wasn't, okay. So

Matt Johnson: there wasn't much in between.

There wasn't much in between. So you kind of jumped into this big deer thing a little quick. So right off, but you're older though, too. I'm already older. Yeah. I've been around hunting your whole life. I've been around hunting. So kind of past the point of getting excited about a spike or a point, you know, jumped right into, you know, okay, I see all these deer, you know, it's starting to click if I pass these deer, you know, here's what they can turn into.

Yes. And what fortunate enough to have enough property and enough neighbors around us so we can start managing it. So that's kind of.

Nate Rozeveld: Okay, so you were doing that already and [00:30:00] then my dad ended up buying a house that kind of almost butts up to that property so He he has some, you know, a little hobby farm and some property.

But um, So then he bought this property and then got you know The neighbor that has some property behind we got any good with him and hey, you know Do you mind if we do some hunting? He's like, oh, yeah He owns just like a little bit of woods and feel we like goose hunted and did stuff like that So then like 2018 I believe I was in between houses, me and my wife and Henry.

Uh, we had sold, we had, we were renting, but they were in the process of buying a house. So there was that transition period. So I was living at my parents house for a year. And well, I just worked a lot because I didn't want to be there. So it was, you know, no one likes living back in their parents basement when you're an adult, but.

So I was gone all the time, but I do remember

Matt Johnson: kind of the story of my life with work. Yes. Working for the power company. There's been a lot of 80, 90, 100 a week here and there. I'm

Nate Rozeveld: sending you a picture. I'm in the tree stands like, Oh man, what are you doing? Working, working again. Yep. A [00:31:00] storm hit. We're working.

Yeah, you're at the mercy of that. Holiday, we're working. Yep, doing all that stuff. But yeah, so I remember 2018. I, so I knew the last name. I knew that was like Laura's, um, family property back there. And, uh, but you know, we were a property or two over, so like we didn't, you know, but the deer would always come from that area and works through this ag field.


Matt Johnson: but at the time you and I weren't, we had no idea. We didn't reconnect. We didn't even were there. Yeah. We didn't know it. We were right across from each other.

Nate Rozeveld: So I remember one night, early October, I got home from working late. And it was like 45 minutes before dark and I like looked down this bottom and there was two bucks fighting I just see him fighting.

I like You know, early October fight, like it was getting after pretty good. And the one deer was nice. And I was like, Ooh, that that's piqued my interest. And at this time I had shot a real, my first big buck right here. It wasn't 2017. So like that was my five year drought. Never shoot a deer in my bow. No bucks in my bow, waiting for a big one, shot one.

So going in 18, I was like, I'm still doing this. Like, so I saw a deer. I was like, [00:32:00] Ooh, that's like borderline shooter. Like that's a nice buck. I figured a three year old and I grabbed the bow and I put a stock on him in the, in the field and I'm just running across the field. I already crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl,

Matt Johnson: crawl around us.

So they cut that, but you still have about a foot of the

Nate Rozeveld: stock so good. They chop

Matt Johnson: it high, chop it high. You can, you can get down and go

Nate Rozeveld: through. And I get over the rise and I can only get 50 yards from it. That was just too far of a shot and you know, working off. So I had told my dad about that deer and he's like, he's like, Oh, nice.

And we had permission to, you know, shoot guns out there. So I think we might shut a door too. But I remember 2018, my dad's like, I think there's a guy that hunts that. You know, you're that Johnson's property or not. Johnson's, whatever. We'll just say Johnson, but we don't need to give it away But um, and I was like, I was like, no, I wonder if that's Matt And so like you saw you a couple times we didn't have each other's phone numbers anymore at that time But yeah, none of that so like had no idea and then [00:33:00] You ended up shooting deer late in the year and it ended up being that buck that I saw with a bow, correct?


Matt Johnson: well it was it was actually early october. Was it? Okay. It was early october. Okay. It was the second week of october That's like right around the 15th. Okay, and that was actually So by this time, you know, I'm, I'm full into it. I'm getting, getting into bow hunting, figuring that out. Cause like I said, didn't, didn't bow hunt growing up.

So that's a whole new thing. Figuring that out, figuring out stands, you know, starting to really learn some things on what are the best stands, you know, where, where do I look? So that was the first one with the bow. That

Nate Rozeveld: was, that was,

Matt Johnson: and he, he came out, this is pretty. It was at night and he was, it's all, like I said, it's corn, but the corn was already harvest harvested.

And they, um, they just chop it up here for, for silage. So there's a lot of leftover that they pick around and he came out and I've been watching him for like half hour, couldn't get him to come toward me. You [00:34:00] know, he doesn't care. And there's a lot of, you know, they don't care about calls around here.

Cause there's a lot of road noise that kind of goes over some of the calls. And this was. Kind of before the rust, he didn't care. He was just eating his corn, doing his thing. So I'm trying to keep my nerves still for half an hour. And he finally came towards me and perfect broadside shot. And just that, you know, that noise of the first bowl kill, that whack, you know, you guys hear it hit and know it's a good shot.

Get down, see the arrow, officially see the nice clean blood, you know, it's nice, bright red blood. No, you know, no guts, no nothing. You know, I made a good shot. So I knew he was down, but I, I left him for a little bit, went back, got my dad, got Laura. Alright, we're going to start the track here. So we had all the lights and the way it's set up.

It's kind of over a hill. So you guys actually saw the lights from, it's [00:35:00] probably a quarter mile away. Yeah, it's a good

Nate Rozeveld: distance. We're not like crazy. You can see the naked eye. Yeah, you can

Matt Johnson: see. So, you know, I, we do our thing, you know, clean it. Take care of it and everything. And I don't think I posted anything yet on Facebook.

You didn't

Nate Rozeveld: post it. I knew that someone was hunting back

Matt Johnson: there. So you knew what something was something, but I didn't know. And I think it was the next, either the next day or. Maybe a couple of days later, you had reached out on Facebook saying, Hey, do you hunt here? Did you get a deer take it anymore? I was like, man,

Nate Rozeveld: that was a really nice buck.

I wonder if that was him, you know, and had no idea. I didn't know you lived close by. I just, just on a whim reached out to you.

Matt Johnson: And I was like, oh, it's, you know, I haven't talked to you for whatever, eight years, almost eight years. Yeah. And we started texting back and forth and it's like, sent me a picture.

Where did do you live? You sent me a picture and I was like, sent me a picture with the buck. You shot my

Nate Rozeveld: buck. . . But yeah, that's what started all then. That was the first, yeah, that

Matt Johnson: was the 10 point. Yep. With the, that first one with the bow. That's so [00:36:00] cool. It's a nice, nice buck too

Nate Rozeveld: season. And I never just being pumped, like, I mean, I've never been one to get really jealous for people like granted, yeah, I would like to shoot a nice deer, but.

I've always tried to be like the, the supportive friend or the neighbor. Like if you shoot one awesome, you know, I can help and do that. So I remember just, you shot that deer and I was just like, I was really ecstatic. I was like, dude, that's so awesome. Like you're still doing this. And then, yeah, we just kind of kept communicating through that.

So then unbeknownst to me and my dad, we had put trail cameras out. And we're going to kind of roll into this part of the story, but yeah, this,

Matt Johnson: this is what you've been wanting to

Nate Rozeveld: talk about for, this is why you're here for

Matt Johnson: a couple, couple of times. We would try to get together. You said, we got to talk about this deer, this deer.


Nate Rozeveld: so what actually I'll back up just a little bit. So I put a stock on that deer and I told my dad, I was like, it's a nice, you know, probably three and a half year old buck. It's a good one. And, uh, we, and then I want to say like, It had to be right after you shot your [00:37:00] deer because we were already talking at the time So I want to say like the 18th of October probably or 19th My dad calls me and he is losing his mind because he you know has a little hobby farm So like right where he can walk around his barn and stuff we can oversee like a lot of the stuff and he's calling me saying dude, I saw the If not the biggest deer I've ever seen in Michigan Number two, he's like giant.

And I'm like, I'm giving him crap. I'm like, dude, he's a three and a half year old deer. I was like, it's not that it's, it's probably nothing, you know, like you're getting all worked up. He's like, no, I'm telling you thing was trashy. It was huge. And I was like, how do you know? He's like, well. Cause he's got, you know, he's got guns all over the place.

Cause that's just how my dad is. He's like, I had the rifle scope on them at 120 yards. And he said, and he was lip curling and pushing deers with a doe. And I was like, what? He's like, yeah. So then he went to the store and bought like 10 trail cameras. And I mean, he lied and just feel that jump with cameras.

Cause he's like, I need proof. And yeah, sure [00:38:00] enough. I want to say like. Maybe two days later, he started getting these videos, you know, all video mode. And this thing is a mega. And I remember reaching out to you and be like, do you know about this? Like


Matt Johnson: big, you said, yeah, I think that was what exactly was exactly what you texted.

Do you, have you seen this deer? Yeah. I sent you a picture. You said, that's the one. Yup. As soon as you said, I knew what do you, you're talking about? Deer is that to you? So Waldo, so this, I think this is one of the first deer that I had to name. And that's, that's been fun now back to this

Nate Rozeveld: year is. I have maybe the biggest deer score wise, probably only one other deer.

I've seen that typical score is bigger. So, so this is like rare name,

Matt Johnson: the name came, it was actually the year before. So this is, this is 17, you know, I'm, I'm back. I'm, I'm full into it, actually spending some time during the summer, you know, trying to, trying to prep, prep stands, prep trail cameras. And I want to say it's August of [00:39:00] 17.

I've got a camera up and it's a daytime picture, this buck, he's run after a doe and it's something out of a magazine. It's, it's something that you would see, you know, in, in a hunting magazine, it looks fake. Yes. I mean, he is all of, you know, and I've, I've seen a lot of deer. So when people say, oh, it's, it's a big deer, you think, okay.

You know, or people post on Facebook, yeah, I shot this 150 inch deer. And you look at the picture and that's, that's a hundred inch deer. Like there's poppen Young. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I've scored deer with the measuring tape. Yep. I've seen deer scored. And you've shot a couple nice ones, right. And shot a couple nice ones.

Yeah. Two nice ones under your belt. Right. So kind of, you know, kind of getting into it. Well, I had another one. No, sorry. Yeah. A couple deer. Two. Yeah. Had

Nate Rozeveld: shot the one with the gun, one with the bow yet, or no? He hadn't shot the one with the bow yet. No, not yet. But, but, but your dad has shot

Matt Johnson: a few, like, so you've been around decent weapons.

Been around it. Yeah, so he's all of It's a mainframe [00:40:00] eight The tines are probably I don't know. What do you 15 inch tines for sure and I don't even know. I could tell the spread. So like,

Nate Rozeveld: we're talking about this. So we've known this deer is big and we'll, we have a way to know what this deer was. So like at this year, we'll tell that kind of later.

Cause it falls

Matt Johnson: in later, but it falls in later. So 170 inches, 170 inch deer he's got. He's got kickers on the g2 He's got drop tines speak of the

Nate Rozeveld: kickers because i've never seen a kicker like this. They are stacked kickers

Matt Johnson: stack kickers He's got three three kickers kickers. They'll come out horizontal dang near.

Yep, and not not just like half inch I mean, they're two three two three. Yeah, scorable

Nate Rozeveld: points scorable points and

Matt Johnson: just massive drop tines on both sides And we're talking four, four and a half inch drop tines. This is 17. So

Nate Rozeveld: we didn't get a picture of it until 18, but This is

Matt Johnson: 17 and it's a daytime picture.

And he's looking towards the camera. And like I said, it's, and he's got the sun's [00:41:00] behind him and it, it, it looks fake. And. I didn't tell a soul. I didn't even, there was, there was a couple of other people hunting with property with me. I kind of feel bad after the fact I did not tell them. I didn't tell anybody except the only people that knew her, my family.

Yep. So that's why every time I checked the trail camera, they're like, is he there? Is he there? So that's why it became where's Waldo? Where's Waldo? So that's why we, we named him Waldo.

Nate Rozeveld: When I reached out to you in 18. You were like, yep, that's this deer. That's that

Matt Johnson: deer. I knew right away what deer.

Instantly. And so, I kind of hinted at it earlier about bad luck. Mhmm. So, it kind of factored into it. It was that year. You know, the year we're talking about. It's 17. Yep. Yep. I'm out. It's bow season. I'm, I'm still pretty new into bow, still trying to learn, you know, where to sit. I'm still teaching. [00:42:00] Yeah, I really, I'm doing most of this by myself with the bow, trying to figure out, figure out things.

So I'm in a stand that, uh, my wife's uncle and I, we got up, it's just a little ladder stand on the edge of a field. And it's, it's October kind of just getting into the rut. And I'm up there, you know, that not nothing's going on it's it's midday, it's pretty warm. I'm sitting there, you know, just trying to stay awake sometimes, you know, how it is.

Nate Rozeveld: Well, yeah, you work. So like in your defense, you work swing shift swing shifts. So

Matt Johnson: I'm not very limited. Yeah. Yep. So, um, there's a lot of days. I can't believe you fell

Nate Rozeveld: asleep with a deer that big run around,

Matt Johnson: but there's days I'm, I'm running on, you know, up for 30 hours. Yeah. Okay. I got a day to go hunt.

Let's go hunt. Let do this. Yeah. And I haven't slept for a day and a half. Yep. So it was a warm day. So remember that. So, so it was warm day and trying to stay awake. Guilty of having the [00:43:00] cell phone out. Everybody's guilty of that plane. On the cell phone doing something. Mm-hmm. . Well I didn't turn the sound off.

Forgot to turn that my phone goes off and it's a loud ringtone, . I don't, I don't remember if I was on call or why I had the volume up. Yep. And here comes this, this ringtones blast and I'm like, ah, crap. And it's just getting to, I don't know, we're maybe an hour from, from, uh, when the sun goes down. So you're talking just about to prime time with your phones, phones, blast.

And I'm like, ah, crap. And I'm on the edge of a Creek, look overlooking a field and it's thick behind me and I know there's deer bedded down there and I'm, I got the wind working for me and I know there's deer in there. Sure enough. I hear crashing everywhere after the phone goes off. I'm like, Oh no, and they're still crashing.

I'm like, okay, maybe it wasn't just my phone. And there's now I'm getting a little [00:44:00] excited. I mean, there's just crashing everywhere. It sounds like a million deer running through. I mean, what is going on? Finally, here comes a doe and this is just getting into rut. All comes a spike. Okay. Then outcomes of four point.

And then out comes a six point like, what is going on? There's three deer on this one doe and they all come right in front of me. I mean, I could have shot every single one of them and I, yeah, I mean, I, I'm not shooting any little bucks at this point. I'm just, I'm

Nate Rozeveld: just watching the cause at this point.

Like you jumped in and you know, especially having a picture of that deer. Yeah. You know, you're just like,

Matt Johnson: and I like, I know he's out there. I don't know, he's about to show up, but I know he's out there. So I'm watching these deer, you know, there's these three little bucks are they're on this dough. I mean, they're chasing hard.

And then I hear one other crash behind me and I turn and there he is

perfect daylight, just a mega. [00:45:00] And I've, I've never seen anything this big on foot, you know, and. Just even on video. Yeah. I've never seen a Michigan deer this big. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: It's just, I don't think, obviously there'll be some pictures in the cover are, and even It's, we've had video of this deer, like the year after and stuff like that.

Like just this deer was just impressive. It's like just an impressive, just the fact

Matt Johnson: that he can, a deer can make it this long in Michigan alone is impressive that he snuck through the crack that he can sneak through. So how far away was he? So he was. He was probably about 80 yards. Yeah, that's right. I remember he was

Nate Rozeveld: just like, he's

Matt Johnson: too far.

And I was like, okay, my, my options are limited. I had a Dobley and I think I had a grunt call. Did you have the can? I had the

Nate Rozeveld: can. Yeah, dude. That can, every guy's in Michigan's got

Matt Johnson: to have a can. Everybody's got to have a can, yeah. And he didn't care at all. You know, I'm, I'm trying not to move. Cause I'm a little exposed in this stand with kind of where these deer are at.

And he didn't even, [00:46:00] he didn't care at all about me. He's just watching those three little bucks do their thing. Watching that doe. He's not moving at all. Cause he, he knows he can go in and beat any one of them.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. He's like, is she really ready? You boys

Matt Johnson: go figure out. You figure out I'll, I'm going to stand here and watch.

So I'm. You know, I don't even need binoculars or anything. I'm just watching him. He's in the field and I'm just staring. Meanwhile, try not to have a heart attack, you know, I can kind of keep the shakes under control a little bit. Cause I've been hunting for a few years, but still they start to creep up.

Is you, you know, your mind starts, okay, maybe, maybe this is because

Nate Rozeveld: he's in that window where it could

Matt Johnson: happen. Yeah, it could happen. It could easily happen easily. 40, 50 yards and no time. That doe I could have gotten all three of those little bucks came right underneath me. But. He just stayed far enough out.

He either knew, I don't know if he knew something was up or he just, just watching, just being a big buck. Just they're smart. You're not going to make [00:47:00] it four and a half, five years being dumb. Nope,

Nate Rozeveld: not in our area. Not, not here. So this is, you know. 23. So we're talking six years ago. I mean, a lot has changed even the last five years for passing deer.

Matt Johnson: I think, I think the movement, I think it's, well, it's definitely gaining momentum, gaining momentum, but like

Nate Rozeveld: passing deer past two year olds. No.

Matt Johnson: And like, it was like,

Nate Rozeveld: you're a year and a half

Matt Johnson: back then, but everybody I talked to, you know, cause I, I, for college for some extra cash, I worked at Gander mountain and even back then everybody talked to, yep.

If it's brown is down. Yes, I shoot two bucks no matter what no matter what no matter what gotta get my tags I'm i'm a michigan hunter, you know If I don't shoot at my neighbor will that's everybody this is like that's one edge of this Yeah,

Nate Rozeveld: this is like right when things

Matt Johnson: are starting and i'm already i'm full into it.

I've you know, i've gone full into You know, just trying to one buck a year, you know, three and a half, four, if I can. [00:48:00] And this is the first chance, like, well, this is like, it's all paid off. Yes. So anyway, back to, back to him. Yeah. I'm, I'm trying, I'm not trying to overcall cause you don't want to spook him.

He didn't care at all. And I bet he stayed, he maybe came 10 yards closer, just circling for the rest of the night until it got too dark. I couldn't see him. And then I just waited until he finally there's a set of railroad tracks by us. Yep He finally walked over and gone gone and I saw one more time that bow season Probably at about 150 yards and never saw him again so That was

Nate Rozeveld: 17.

I was 17. So then 18 rolls in i'm like dude this deer giant and he's like, yep That's waldo and I was like I like he, the, you had such like what you responded so fast and it's so much like authority. I was like, yep, he knows. And what's kind of cool about this story is we're talking about top 3 percent of deer that I've ever [00:49:00] seen.

Like I, yeah, there are big deer in Michigan. Like I've seen other ones, but like for me hunting and properties, I can hunt the second or first biggest deer I've ever seen me and my dad in any, in,

Matt Johnson: in Michigan, you know, you go further South in Michigan, you get some crazies, you get some crazies, you get the.

The big, the bean fields, you know, you get those crazy deer, but this is for something like that around here that can make it that long. Cause it's pretty high pressure around us and there's, there's a lot of hunters. So instead

Nate Rozeveld: of taking this opportunity to like, like, I guess big deer make people do crazy things.

We've heard this story so many times. And I mean, I've got examples of it and that kind of thing. We use this deer to actually like. Make our friendship better, you know, which is kind of a cool thing because it was like, Hey, like, obviously you have the most property. I'm just a kind of a guy I'm, and I haven't, I never really hunted this deer.

It was more of like my dad's area to hunt. Like, yeah, I stalked that one deer in the field and I've shot like a doe or two in the field. But like, I'm always like opportunistic. Like I happen to be there and there's [00:50:00] bow's in my truck. And I run out there and try to do something crazy. Like, well, my dad actually hunted this deer along with you and me and my dad and you, and you know, all this stuff, use this as an opportunity.

Like, Hey. We're in this together. Yep. Like, first of all, we're on Boro Pass and Deer. Well,

Matt Johnson: what was nice for me is, you know, until this, I was kind of not, not on my own, I had another couple of people that hunted the property with me, but in terms of neighbors, I didn't really talk to neighbors. I didn't, you know, I didn't go around to see what other people are seeing.

So this kind of kicked that off. Yes. And now, you know, you definitely see the benefit the more people you talk to around The more you can get on on board with hey, you know, you pass a couple of these little ones Here's what they can turn into exactly and that's approach. That's helped. Yeah, it's helped showing these pictures because I mean, you still have, I mean, you're just up the road from me.

You've got neighbors that no matter what they shoot two bucks a year and you'll, you'll talk to them and say, Hey, we've passed this deer all bow season.

Nate Rozeveld: Show them a picture of it. They completely don't believe me. I'm like, well, why are you [00:51:00] passing that deer? I'm like, we'll be, and I'm not trying to be arrogant or cocky.

It's just like, Hey, we're passing deer like this because deer like this exist. And I don't, I never use Waldo as an example. Cause I was like, I didn't want to

Matt Johnson: be, I didn't tell many people, but we have other deer that are

Nate Rozeveld: like great examples of like three and a half or four and a half year old deer. It's like, because a deal like this exists, if you pass those and they, I, the certain people, they don't believe you.

Yeah. And then they get the other guys, like, for example, another neighbor this year, I got to talk to and talk to him a little bit about another deer that was going on. He's like, yeah, I just moved here. You know, first couple of years, I shot a couple, you know, nice two year old eight points. He's like the biggest deer I've ever shot before.

It's this place is cool. And I was like, Hey, like. Not trying to tell you how to do your thing,

Matt Johnson: but just to let you know, I don't want a guy that's here I'm not gonna bash anybody's deer, you know, if that's what you want to hunt sure. It's a trophy But if you can get him to buy in the idea of hey Maybe shoot that doe.

Yes, instead of shooting that little buck. Well, and

Nate Rozeveld: if they know that they're not the only ones yeah, like so like okay like cool, you shot that deer but just to let you know like [00:52:00] you can keep shooting that if you want but Me, him, her, him, over here, you start pointing on the map. We're all cool with letting deer like that go to get to deer like this.

And you can show them the pictures.

Matt Johnson: Yes, and show them the proof. Yeah. So back, so then the next year I had cameras up all summer, didn't have pictures though. And I thought, okay, maybe somebody got them and I didn't know. And I want to say it was probably. Not till October. I finally got another picture and it's like, yes, you know, just he's returned.

He's back. And I saw him, I think once or twice that year.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. Cause that was October 23rd is when my dad got the trail cam picture. Yeah. And then I had

Matt Johnson: a picture on a camera. Past muzzle odor that he was still alive and you could tell I mean his back legs are are pretty you could tell he's got arthritis Do you get that something going on in his back legs?

So I don't [00:53:00] think he made it that winter. Yeah But I think he passed the jeans on because we, we got, we're really good friends, but

Nate Rozeveld: we have a little bit of a disagreement, but we, we, we have no way to prove it. So we have no way to prove,

Matt Johnson: but I trust Matt. I thought there was a, there was another deer that looked close to him.

Yes. I mean, he had the same thing. He had kickers on one

Nate Rozeveld: side. Someone reach out to me because if the, the three kickers on his G2 that stacked up in line, if that's a trait that's common, or if that's not, let me know, cause that's the only thing I can back this

Matt Johnson: up, this, this other deer was, you could tell, he was.

It was a lot smaller. So what we need to do

Nate Rozeveld: is we need to like figure out where they buried the like skull plate of this deer that got shot. , dig up some teeth and then we can set it off and see how old deer was. We can age it, but Yeah.

Matt Johnson: But it's, who knows. Anyways, since then we've been texting back and forth every year.

These yes, these big deer and kind of bad luck. My last couple of target bucks the neighbors have gotten. Yep. And it, it is what it [00:54:00] is. You know, it's, it's fun to see other people get here. I'm hoping to do

Nate Rozeveld: a segment, so like this is kind of gonna kick it off. But like, I'm going to title it, you shot my buck and like do like one, two episode, like one or version one, two, three, because the past five years has been rough for like me and buddies, like you said, like, who knows what happened to Waldo?

He may have someone, someone could have

Matt Johnson: him on his wall. So this other one, we said Waldo jr. Waldo jr. Yup. What's the next one? Was that two years? We knew about that deer. Yeah, we knew him for a couple of years and the neighbor got it. You saw him one time. Yup. It actually won. I saw it on the, I think Michigan buck pole and right away, you saw it, you said it, and I'm out in the stand as you send this picture, like, is this your deer?

And oh crap. And actually went up to a local buck pole and won the buck pole. I think that was the prize of a gun. Yeah, that was so cool. I don't remember the score. It was I think a 15 point. Yeah, because he had a couple kickers and he had yeah, he had some trash going on one side Not a big [00:55:00] body. No, but still won the buck because you're so old Was not the same deer, but uh, that's I mean, so that was one.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, we had a mega last year. Yep Framey typical deer that got shot by the neighbor. Yeah So like I actually talked to him and reached out to him and he said he'd do a podcast sometime So i'm really looking forward to getting that story because he had That's just a cool story, but yeah, that, so we've had these deer, but every time we've had this opportunity, the person that shot the deal that won the buck pool, we are now friends and communicate with them.

Yeah. Like still,

Matt Johnson: and it's, yeah, you know, the

Nate Rozeveld: same one shot the deer last year. Like he's, they're totally on board with passing deer and doing the same thing. So yeah, it's, it's really hard to be upset about that. I can't be

Matt Johnson: mad. You know, there's at first you're a little bit, a little bit disappointed, but really you, you can't be mad about it.

If somebody. I mean, it's your trove here. It's if it's on your hit list and somebody gets it, you know, there's a reason it was on your hit list. Exactly. I mean, there's, hey, you can't blame him. No, I'm not going to be mad. I wouldn't pass it up [00:56:00] either. There's a reason he's on my list, but yeah, so we,

Nate Rozeveld: so now after that, all those stories, not quite done yet.

So the deer got one, the buck pole. And then when did you find the little nugget? Yeah. Yeah.

Matt Johnson: So this was probably three years later. Yeah, it was three years after I first, it was 20 or 21. I was working on a property. This is early summer working on a new bridge. And there was a neighbor that I'd talked to once in a while, older neighbor, older gentleman.

And he stopped by. Cause he hunts once in a while, but not much. I mean, he's, he's getting up there in age, so he does a little bit of gun hunting, but not much. So he always, every time I'm over there, he drives the golf cart over just to say, Hey, you know what you're doing. Yep. Yep. See, see how things are going.

Yep. And we start talking about it. He starts talking about this shed and he starts describing it and right away I knew it was his shed. I said, please, [00:57:00] please bring it over. So he was, he was on a walk and actually tripped over a log and somehow landed right next to this shed and it was buried in leaves.

And he said, he dug it up and found it. And now I go shed hunting all the time. You can't find shit. I can't find anything.

Nate Rozeveld: Like I've shed hunted your property with you. And

Matt Johnson: yeah, we, we went with your son, Henry. Yeah. Henry put on miles and miles and we cannot find, I can't find him. I don't know if they just.

Go different places. If mice get them and it's

Nate Rozeveld: been buried under leaves for probably like two years,

Matt Johnson: who knows how long it was buried. Cause it was, yeah. Cause it was, we

Nate Rozeveld: were pretty sure it was the shed from 2017. It was the shed

Matt Johnson: from 17. Yeah. And I thought, you know, it's going to be all chewed up and not look anything.

He gets out of the golf cart. It looks exactly like the picture. I couldn't believe it. And I, you know, I, I've seen this deer for years and never got to. Put a hand on it. Yeah, just to [00:58:00] hold that shed. It's just like just to know what you know It was not what could have been.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, like I said, that was kind of our validation that we weren't

Matt Johnson: crazy Yeah giant.

I mean I I could I couldn't put my hand around the base the base Just just to hold on to it and think man to have two of these if you're holding on to it Yeah, that will be on the cover art for sure. Yeah, he's he's an older gentleman, so I don't want to see him go But he knows if something happens to him that that shed's coming to his family and let's, let's, let's, let's bring that back.

Yeah. Beautiful

Nate Rozeveld: shit. Like he says, dirty, buried leaves. And it's just like, you, there's a picture of you holding it out. And it's just like, Oh my

Matt Johnson: gosh. But I mean, so growing up, yeah, you get into deer hunting. You. But it's nice to get into it once you're, you know, into your, you know, later years to, to keep it going and it's made friendships like you and I, yeah, we turned this into a friendship.

Yeah, I mean, we, we didn't see each other. Didn't really know anything for [00:59:00] what, eight years, seven, eight years. And then you reached out just cause you happened to see us tracking a deer. And then, you know, we text and all, all fall about things. And we finally, I think met up the first time we finally got back together, we went bunny hunting.

Yeah. And you got, you got me into that. Now I'm, I'm hooked into bunny hunting. Yeah. That's

Nate Rozeveld: great. Yeah. That's how that works. Yeah. Cause like, you know, you're busy. I'm busy. Like all I think it was kind of hard to like finally get the, yeah, it was, it was hard figuring it out. And then also it's like, I had making this happen.

Matt Johnson: I had some trips planned cause we was

Nate Rozeveld: in school at the time. So like we were just

Matt Johnson: hectic. Yeah. You were busy. Yeah. I was. And then when I finally had time off, we'd travel. You know, we, if that's, we've been fortunate enough to do that. And

Nate Rozeveld: then once we got hooked up with the rabble hunting thing, I was kind of like the icebreaker and I was like, yep, now I can, we hardly get rid of each other.

Yeah. I mean, we, we just

Matt Johnson: walked around, let the dog. You know, let the dogs do their thing. As we walk around and catch up, like, what have you been doing with your life? Yes. We get to talk and like, Oh man, you live a mile from me. And [01:00:00] that's because of a, because of a

Nate Rozeveld: deer, you know,

Matt Johnson: which is what's awesome is our wives, you know, they, they like to hang out.

They go to baseball games, do that kind of thing. They, they text all the time. We just got

Nate Rozeveld: to get, a little better at planning them dates for like during season.

Matt Johnson: Send, send them off together. We'll do our thing. We'll be. It'll be nice to code. If we figure that out, it'll be nice. But this is throughout the season. We can get back together

Nate Rozeveld: and talk. Yeah, that's the goal. We're going to, I'm going to hopefully do that with a group of guys. And you're obviously one because you're close proximity and we share a similar mindset.

I think. You kind of like you have a little bit more hectic schedule. So like you're kind of limited to a property So like the way you handle that property You've really been fine tuned over the years And it's kind of cool to get that perspective because I think a lot of guys are in that position where they have maybe one Or two properties.

Yeah, and

Matt Johnson: I'm kind of committed. I mean, I I think I'm fortunate enough with how much I have here But there's there's guys that might only have a couple acres. Yeah That they have to focus on. And

Nate Rozeveld: I think, and you do like a really good job of [01:01:00] like taking advantage of the one property you have. You are doing stuff in the summer.

You're, you know, doing little trail work. You're doing, you know, where you're setting scrapes up, making mock scrapes. You're doing those kind of things. And it's really been, like you said, you've been self taught. You've been really figuring out things. The nice thing

Matt Johnson: too, we're so close to each other. Your dad with the hobby farm You know, we we I think at first joked about it.

Like hey, we got a perfect spot for a food plot At first it was kind of a joke and then we started talking like well, yeah, let's do it Yep. Now we the weather got a little crazy on us But yeah, the weather didn't cooperate with that drought earlier this year. But if you

Nate Rozeveld: have we learned this We didn't get the spring plotted on that spot because of the drought.

So we're like, Oh, we're going to be smart and not like way. See, it's we'll wait. And then the timing. So like, we're kind of fight like corn and all that stuff. So you try to tear other farms up to get equipment back there. Holy grass weeds. Weeds. Yeah. So we're kind of like, we, we, we just ran out of time this year.

Yeah, but I

Matt Johnson: could be right. [01:02:00] At times guys though. We'll see there's still stuff in there. There's some old corn, right? Yeah. There's some stuff that there's some corn that popped up back there. Um, but that was the other thing with reconnecting is now your dad's into it too. He's like, Hey, I'll build a food plot for you.


Nate Rozeveld: were helping each other out. Exactly.

Matt Johnson: Um, but yeah, it's just to be able to talk about it, you know, get these pictures and be able to talk about it. That's, that's half the fun. I mean, I, I haven't shot a deer for a couple of years or shot it, you know, shot a buck, but that's okay. I mean,

Yeah, it was a little rough last year and then seeing the target buck get killed by a neighbor. But it's fun to go out, you know, just to see that two, three and a half year old deer and be able to pass it. Yes. Now people think you're crazy when I show videos of, Hey, yeah, how did you let that go by? Yeah.

It's hard to.

Nate Rozeveld: It's hard to explain the fulfillment you get out of that. Like if you don't, if you haven't grown up with opportunity to do that, like you said, we have a lot of deer [01:03:00] running around. So, but like you, it's, you get a kick. So me and you don't need to shoot deer to survive. Right. We, we love eating venison.

You know, you process your own deer. I do. Like we don't get us wrong. We'll shoot does and we'll eat them like that kind of thing. But like, we don't need to. So when a deer that, you know, like we are trophy hunters to the extent, we want to shoot the most mature deer that we have because a, it's challenging and we get a kick out of that.

And like seeing a young, like once you see mature deer. And you see immature deer, you're just like, eh,

Matt Johnson: like you're an idiot. You know, then that's

Nate Rozeveld: nothing against people who haven't done that. Sure. Like shoot your fair share of deer. We're climbing the ladder, whatever you want to do. But there is a difference between a mature deer and an immature deer.

And you don't even pick your bow up or your gun up if you know, it's immature. Yeah, I, I think

Matt Johnson: last year I picked my camera or my phone up. Yeah, more than I picked the gun or the bow up just, uh, you know, all right, Playing with the camera settings and what what video can I get here? Just

Nate Rozeveld: and that's fun for us like this and we that's why we go out there to have fun You know,

Matt Johnson: like I joked about a couple times with people this week, [01:04:00] you know, it's If I was hurting for, for food, it's probably not the most economical hobby there is out there to go shoot a deer or even a turkey or a goose, you know, they spend a lot of money.

We spend a lot of time and a lot of money out there. Don't, don't tell the wives,

Nate Rozeveld: but, uh, we do. I do want to kind of roll into like current year 23. What we got kind of going

Matt Johnson: on. Yeah. I mean, we're, we're right around the corner now. It's happening. This

Nate Rozeveld: pocket will probably drop after season starts. Yeah.

I've got a couple in the bank case I get busy hunting, but we have one deer that we have two years of history with. Yup. And this will be year three. However. MIA still hasn't shown up hasn't shown up. So but that's not on

Matt Johnson: her this one You said this one doesn't have a clever name. No, it was just Jeff. It was just Jeff.

Nate Rozeveld: Thanks Henry We should name this deer. What do you think? He's like, Jeff,

Matt Johnson: that's well, it's stuck. Well, I mean, for, for his age, it could have been [01:05:00] worse. It could have been a lot worse. It could have been calling it fart. Yeah.

Nate Rozeveld: It's not whatever he yells, you know, kid, but, but

Matt Johnson: he's, he's in my a, but I don't know that the corn was in late this year with, with the spring we had.

So the corn everywhere all around us is, and it's, it's 10 feet tall. I have cameras up, but you, you can't get cameras where you need to. And yeah, the deer sticking to the field. So there's still hope there's still hope, like

Nate Rozeveld: it kind of shows up late September, early October anyways. So, and

Matt Johnson: they, they move

Nate Rozeveld: a lot around for us.

Cause like I glassed a really nice book, you know, close by quite a few times this summer and he's gone. I haven't got a picture of him. So cameras out, but like, we're not really worried because we did see a few deer. That we did pass last year, you know are showing they're out there out there. I mean, they're gonna be patient

Matt Johnson: You just gotta be patient see what shows

Nate Rozeveld: up But I so if we talk about if we start talking about jeff this year I would be really pumped because he's

Matt Johnson: a special deer too and you and i've been [01:06:00] you know, trying to get together to Talking on this podcast here, but I've been so busy lately.

That's the summer. It seems like it flew by. It was a quick

Nate Rozeveld: summer. Yeah, dude. You, you didn't even like, you barely got cameras out. I know I was like, you're

Matt Johnson: like, I'm guilty this year of how, how late I've been getting everything done. But we work was a little, a little hectic. Um, and you know, we've went on a few trips.

I don't know where all we went this year. We went to, I think we went to Savannah. How many states have you and your wife been to? So that's one of the things, we're trying to hit every state. We're into

Nate Rozeveld: almost 40. we did ice cream, you had, you guys went through the list. Yeah, we were

Matt Johnson: going through the list when we, one of the nights we, we went, got ice cream.

Cause that's, you know, that's, that's a benefit. You live just down the road. We can, we can meet up and go get some ice cream. Yeah. Get ice cream, do a podcast. 40, you think? Almost, almost 40. Yeah. And we've been to... 18 or 19 countries. So that's, that's kind of our thing. We get time, go, go travel. So I'm trying to fit in, [01:07:00] fit in, travel, fit in work.

And then

Nate Rozeveld: all the time, other things like, do you like to fish? Yeah. You do that stuff. So you're like, you're a

Matt Johnson: busy guy talking about outdoors of Michigan. I mean, there's, there's so much to do during the summer. Yeah. You know, I think just the other week I was out on my kayak. I was sending you some pictures of the pike.

Yeah. I got a great 20, 28, 29 inch pike. Those, those eat just as good as, I don't know, not as good as venison. Not

Nate Rozeveld: as good, but for fish, they're not

Matt Johnson: clean, clean, a pike and cook it right. That's, that's pretty tasty, but that's. We're, we're so blessed in Michigan. You can do just about anything. And I, this isn't about hunting, but biking, you know, I, I'm a big mountain biker, so you get on, get on a bike and I can be in the woods, you know, all year round.

Yeah. That's the nice thing about being outside, just to get outside, enjoy it, get some time away from work. So that's why

Nate Rozeveld: I wanted to bring it up because. Sometimes it's so I've kind of like dedicated my hobby to hunting [01:08:00] like that's been like the one thing I've done because it takes up a lot of time and I want to be a dude at a high level So like I almost to a fault Like I talked about I think earlier like this year in a podcast I did like I didn't do much summer scouting this year like The least amount i've done so I really focused on doing other things like with henry and ashley It used to be easy because ashley's like i'm studying you two need to get out of here So I mean henry just hop in the truck and go walk around the woods and we're just scouting he's he was little so Throw on my shoulders and walk.

I couldn't do much but now he's getting older. I've really Like looking to you and seeing how you, you know, handle fishing and you do all these things, you get to enjoy the outside and do these, and you're not like, because you know, that when October, late October rolls around, the

Matt Johnson: bucks are coming late, late October, October's your time.

So you're like really not doing anything else, but, but hunting, but throughout the year, you know, it's, it's kind of, kind of juggle that, you know, how much prep work can I do versus, well. Michigan summers. That's, that's a good time of year to do other things. So, you know, I've got my kayak, I'll run [01:09:00] up, throw it on the lake and catch some fish.

Nate Rozeveld: And yeah, you, another good thing, like how you attack your property. You won't hunt it if it's not a good time to hunt, like you're very like, you're

Matt Johnson: very patient. That's the nice thing with having the space that I do is like, I don't have to be in the woods, you know, you kind of, you kind of know what's out there and you can kind of depend on the wind and share it a little bit, but try not to, you know, don't pressure it too much early in the seasons.

Yeah, your brother, you're like, Hey, listen to this mister, I know

you First week of November. I'm just kidding man.

Nate Rozeveld: I'm just giving you a hard time because you've been on the podcast. He knows He'll be

Matt Johnson: on here. Yeah, he'll hear this. Yep But last was the last year First week of november that was 70s. Yes I'm, not gonna sit in the woods when it's november and 70

Nate Rozeveld: degrees So you didn't hunt the first week of november and then when did you go out and see that?

[01:10:00] one buck You waited,

Matt Johnson: that was probably the, with the week after I skipped it, I skipped, I went, I threw the, threw the bike, you know, went and rode some trails

Nate Rozeveld: and then you hunted and that almost connected on that one. Yeah, it was still, it was still, maybe it wasn't, we're not sure,

Matt Johnson: but yeah, I'm not sure, but it was bow season and it was just getting light enough that you could see and where I hunt this particular stand, it's kind of some rolling hills.

So when you get twilight, you can see a stuff comes up over the hill, then it'll disappear and then you'll see it again. And it was just getting twilight and you could see this rack just with, without binoculars, you could see this rack just moving like, Oh boy, here we go. And he was on his dough and this was probably a little past rut and we're, we're in the lockdown

Nate Rozeveld: phase lockdown.

So yeah, you're, we're saying in November, I

Matt Johnson: don't believe yeah. Second week, just before, yeah. And he's locked on his dough [01:11:00] and. This is on my hit list. Like this is his number one, number one buck couldn't get him off his dough. And he turned, followed her into this thick spot. And I, I texted you like, Hey, get over here.

Yes. Like we're going to try to corner them, surround it. Cause there's only a couple of spots that can come out. If you can get enough people around the edges,

Nate Rozeveld: he's a giant. And it was like, dude, get over here. Like that's just because like, we're in it together. Kind of a thing. I was like, dude, whatever you be just down the road.

Yep. I was like, I'm

Matt Johnson: there. You grabbed your bow and your saddle and, uh, Dan, my brother was out on the other side and he's probably 300 yards from this. And he could see the deer coming over the field and he's waiting for the, the big buck down text. Cause he,

Nate Rozeveld: cause from his distance, it looked like it was walking right by.

Yeah. From

Matt Johnson: his distance, it probably looked like it was right behind me, but it's probably still a hundred plus yards from as close as it got. Like in the house. In the house. I [01:12:00] mean, there's not, it doesn't take much to close from a hundred yards in a shooting

Nate Rozeveld: distance. But that paid off because you were like, I'm staying out of here for that week.

That was nasty weather. Did your thing. So like that almost like that, it paid off because you got to lay eyes on a really, got to

Matt Johnson: lay eyes. I mean, just, just to see a buck like that in Michigan can make your season. Now I didn't get it, but just to see deer like that and know that your hard work pays off.

Yes. And that does work. That passing deer pays off that, you know, I mean, it takes one deer to make your season. That's all it takes all all the hours that you hunt all the hours of prep work

Nate Rozeveld: or less Yeah, it could happen

Matt Johnson: in 30 seconds. Your season is made and it's it's kind of crazy to think about that you spend I mean just You're asking about this crazy.

Yeah, you're asking about this season the work. I mean, you know, i'm a little late but the amount of time the last week that you spend into getting ready and it's just Yeah, 30 seconds and your season can be can [01:13:00] be made like that.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, and like just to know I helped my buddy Kevin set a tree stand tonight, you know Like you're just constantly doing stuff and it's like he just got permission on a piece of property It's a sweet property.

Like I see sent me like a screenshot of it like the aerial and I was like do that I know the neighborhood that's like a great spot and he's like, he's the guy that he's always hunted but he's just like He hasn't had the greatest properties always to hunt. They're good properties for deer, but he's always like kind of limited.

They're smaller Uh, he's, you know, he's shot quite a few deer in his life and he's, you know, slowly, like he used to be like the first buggy. So I shot, and like, as he's gotten older, he's kind of like, he started past here finally. So I see this spot and I'm like, Oh gosh, that's a great spot. Like it just looks really good.

And then we go there and hang the tree stand and get it set up. And as I'm hanging the trees now, look, and I just see, dude. Giant old rubs. I'm talking like Top 10 percent rubs i've seen in michigan like huge. No one's hunted this property for years. It's not big but it's in a good neighborhood. Yeah So we hang the [01:14:00] stand and i'm like, hey, dude, uh Please don't shoot the first six or eight point you see.

He's like, what do you mean? I was like, I, you could, there could be a giant here, like really big. I was like, you know what? If you want to shoot, if a duck buck comes out and gets you jacked, shoot the thing, shoot some does, he's always good. And he's like, he shoots does like, he's like, he's not the guy that's like, I'm only going to shoot a buck.

You'll shoot does like good after bad. Well, it's like seeing that spot. I'm like jacked for him because like you might

Matt Johnson: pass pass a couple bucks And you could get a really nice one I mean, it's it's been a couple years since I shot a buck but i'm talking like Rubs

Nate Rozeveld: as big as my thigh dude, like you're like, you know Like you hear people talk about signpost rubs and i've only found a few of them in michigan It's because there's not that many deer, they don't get old enough to keep using them every year.

So, but there is like signpost rubs there that have been rubbed year in and year out. And it's just like sweet little,

Matt Johnson: I mean, you gotta, you gotta wait. And like I said, it's been a couple of years since I've gotten one, but it's not, the season's not a loss. I mean, we do this for fun. We do this for a hobby to to [01:15:00] enjoy getting out and talking being able to do stuff like this I mean i'm not Am I disappointed if I don't get one sure?

I think

Nate Rozeveld: we both shut a tear when january 1st hit we're like,

Matt Johnson: yeah, am I either my intake soup? Yeah, but then january 1st. You're like, hey, let's get the dogs. Let's go run. Let's go do that Let's go run bunnies. Yeah, and then if we're we don't care about the season anymore

Nate Rozeveld: But yeah, you agree that's a great point like We didn't shoot a buck last year, but it was still a good year.

You almost connected, you know, I just didn't pick the ball up on three times that were three and a half year old deer. Like I've been passing three and a half year old deer for like a while. But last year was like. So there's usually a three and a half year old I will shoot somewhere in years past and like last year I was like, you know what?

I'm not even gonna hunt those deer I'm hunting other deer and they just happen to walk by they're just like dying to wait three and a half year olds and They're on three separate spots. So like like you're saying like I had those great opportunities Could have easily shot a deer, you know did the whole Take a picture [01:16:00] of it and you know post it or whatever people do for likes like could have done that could have been like Hey guys, look I shot this great bug.

Oh, that's awesome I know but it's like for me it didn't meet that goal You know, you're the same way like you i've seen the videos of the deer you pass like I know the deer you pass Yeah, and I

Matt Johnson: those are great. I keep telling myself that the next one I get It's going to be able to do the shoulder mount.

Cause I haven't done a shoulder mount. I've done all, I do my own European mounts, which I, I had a friend teach me how to do that and it's actually kind of fun to do the European mounts. And I think they look really nice if you do it right. You know, if you get the nice. Keep, keep the antlers the same color and do the nice white peroxide on it.

I think they look nice, but I told the next one I shoot, cause I've waited so long. I know it's going to be, it's going to be a shoulder mount. We're already ready for it. I just got to find room for it. Don't have, don't have the room for it. Come down here in the podcast studio. Yeah, you can be down here. I don't have room for the bear mount, so I don't know where I'm going to put the deer, but we're going to [01:17:00] do it.

But, but yeah,

Nate Rozeveld: the season's not at loss because you didn't kill something. No, that's like a point of that. Like guys, they talk about it, but sometimes people talk, it's different when. Okay, it's easy to say that when you didn't have an opportunity the whole year, you know Like and then but then when you pass deer and do that It's like kind of hard to say it cuz like well I could have shot that deer and it would have been great But we're trying to hit this goal and we're like like minded, you know, and your brother's on the same page My dad's on the same page.

So it's really nice knowing that you have a group of people that are the same mindset And yeah, one of these times one of us is gonna shoot that deer last. It's been what one three years We haven't been lucky ones, you know for whatever years

Matt Johnson: that since and Like you said, though, one, one of us will get one and it's gonna be, you know, we'll, we'll be telling that story.

We can talk about that for the rest of our lives. Yeah, because your brother shot the one really nice one. Yeah. He, we

Nate Rozeveld: talk about that. Was that

Matt Johnson: 20 or 19? Yeah. He was able to get his first buck on this property and I was out with him across, uh, probably a couple hundred yards and [01:18:00] it was getting dark out and you, you'll have to talk to him more about it, but it was getting dark.

I saw. Great big body and running through the field. I thought, Oh man, that must've went right by him. And then I get the text. I won't say what the text said, but it said a lot of words and I was so pumped. You know, almost happier than me shooting one. And then waited a little bit and ran over. There. We're high fiving.

We were doing all

Nate Rozeveld: that. Came over to my house

Matt Johnson: after it was so awesome to walk up on that deer and it was a nice, yeah, nice deer for For a first deer. First deer and

Nate Rozeveld: yeah, with a bow and stuff. And she came outta the food pot. My dad hooked, you know, was able to do so mean. It all came full circle. We all felt like, I remember my dad was like, dude, that's so, he's like, that's totally worth the food plot right there,

Matt Johnson: you know, seeing deer like that.

Yeah. Just to see, yeah, to see somebody's smile. With a deer like that. Um, but yeah, I've been a little, a little behind on this season. I think I've been texting you.

Nate Rozeveld: We have, we have the Jeff is a possible deer that is possible.

Matt Johnson: We don't have you [01:19:00] named the other, like the cool seven point thing. Haven't really named any other deer.

You think

Nate Rozeveld: we haven't really had a chance to talk about hit list this year because we haven't really

Matt Johnson: seen the deer. There's a 10 point. I have that he might make the hit list. No, the tines aren't super tall. He's probably the

Nate Rozeveld: same one from last year we're thinking, right? The wide, narrow, small, tiny one.

Yeah, I passed him last year.

Matt Johnson: But I've, I've been having to play catch up, like I said, for this summer. Cause I was, we went through some, some sickness through my household. So I was down for a little bit. So. I've been putting in mega hours the last couple of weeks work until it was dark out. That's, that's the downside with, if you wait this long, it gets dark at eight o'clock at night.

So you don't, you don't have till 10 o'clock, but I've been all day working, you know, just checking, doing last minute checks on stands, getting, getting the paths trimmed out, making sure I always like to have a. A nice way to walk in. I don't want to be trying [01:20:00] to try to sneak in and trip on a route or trip on something like that.

So I've been playing a little bit of catch up

Nate Rozeveld: there in my head. So. The one deer I think I, I glassed up, he's a potential shooter, I think, cause I think he's four. And then, cause we're kinda like, we're not like set on stone, it's gotta be a five year old. We kinda like play the game, it's kinda like, oh what do we think, has he got good potential?

Like maybe we'll wait a year, put him on the list. We're not like set on stone, it's gotta be a five year old. Unless you've changed your mind on that, but I think we're kinda like four and a half. So like that deer's a potential one, Jeff is on the radar. There's another deer that we're kind of showed up last year.

We're not sure the kind of goofy looking some point. We're not sure what he is. This is a

Matt Johnson: nice thing. That's nice. You got a group. You're just down the road. We can talk about the same deer. We can wear our umbrellas. Yup. It's just the more people you get kind of in your circle, the more, you know, the more land you can cover.

Yes. Oh, I do want to talk about the most interesting deer I think is actually have a doe. Yes, and [01:21:00] she's, she's got three legs. Okay. Tell a story about this

Nate Rozeveld: deer. Cause you told me I got to pee

Matt Johnson: and this, this deer, you know, talk about deer being tough. She's got three legs. One of them's healed over and she's been hobbling around for most of the summer.

And you would think all the coyotes we have, we've got bobcats around, you know, we've seen all sorts of predators that could have take her out. She had triplets, three fawns, following her around. And it's just incredible how tough these deer are. And to see a deer like that, that can make it, it's, you know,

just incredible to see. He's coming back.

Nate Rozeveld: So do we think that deer has

Matt Johnson: triplets or just twins? So I think she has triplets, now that you're back. [01:22:00] Yeah, I'm back. Cold beers in my mug. She's trying to think of things to say. No, you're good. But, yeah,

Nate Rozeveld: she... Thank you, Matt, for filling in for my bond man. I had a pause

Matt Johnson: there. I, my, my mind ran blank. So, the doe has a...

But she's hobbling around, and just, just like she had four legs. Yeah. You wouldn't believe this. You said three fawns were nursing fawns. That's probably the most interesting thing I have on camera. But like I said, when you walked away there, there's, I've got videos of coyotes, bobcats, all sorts of stuff that could get her and she's been able to make it through just to see how tough these animals are.

Nate Rozeveld: Nuts. But yeah, that's okay. So then my pee break kind of messed my train of thought up here a little bit, but we, what was I going to say about going into the fall? Oh, uh, so did you see the email from the D N R about Chad Stewart, that email about shooting more deer? Did you read through

Matt Johnson: that at all? To, to be honest, there's a lot of things that D n R puts out.

I kind of, I know because you don't like, don't pay attention. I mean, I pay [01:23:00] attention. You pay attention, but you're not, you don't put a lot of merit to, I know. I don't agree with a lot of things that the

Nate Rozeveld: DNR does. But did you read this email? I did not. Okay, so, I was shocked. So, it was talking about, um, he sent the email, and I think hopefully most of you guys know, but you can look into it.

It should be, if you're on the email list, you should have it somewhere buried. But, he was talking about how we don't shoot enough does in Michigan. Surprise. Yeah, would you feel like, I mean, you kind of feel like we don't shoot enough does in general. I agree with that, especially after watching, you know, the, the check in stuff last few years.

So he, he kind of went through and broke down it. I thought pretty well. Now we can, I don't want to get into the whole statistic thing. I don't want to get into like how many people didn't register the deer. I don't know any of that stuff. I'm sure a lot of that happened. However, even if, There's a bunch of people who didn't register.

I don't think it would, you know, change the data that much. But he, it was saying something crazy like 80 percent of the [01:24:00] hunters don't buy a doe tag and Then 17 or something like that or no it was 17 percent of the hunters shoot 90 percent of the does Yeah, and it happens during gun season after thanksgiving I believe that and we don't shoot we like woefully short on how many dogs we should shoot compared to every other midwest

Matt Johnson: state Yeah, I mean you know, you have a lease out of state this year.

Yeah, I think every Almost every hunter I talk to has leases Out of michigan. Yeah, which I mean, it's kind of sad for what we could have here. That's what's tough for me is I know what, I know the potential that we can

Nate Rozeveld: have here. I've had trail cameras, we've had trail cameras running almost all year. And we have, I bet if we tally everything up, we have the same amount of dollars as bucks on our trail cameras.

And Illinois,

Matt Johnson: Michigan, Michigan is not, so it was kind of cool. Two to one, three to one here in Michigan. So when you shoot

Nate Rozeveld: does your brother shoots does, when do you like [01:25:00] to target your dose for the year? It's, it's tough. It can be, cause you're in the same boat as me. I mean,

Matt Johnson: early season can be tough to, all right, well, here's a dough

Nate Rozeveld: work cause it's not too hot to process it yourself.

Yeah. Cooler. Yup.

Matt Johnson: But it's, it's always tough. And my brother and I have the same issues. It's, well. I know my buck, my hit list, my target buck's still out there. Mm-hmm. . And if I shoot this dough, am I ruining my hu for the buck? So it's, it's tough. Like I, I, I know that all the science and data that's, that's out there is, the more d we shoot, the better.

So I've gotta admittedly be better at that, taking more dose. And I know you take, I've the same thing.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. But it's hard because we, okay, we were just talking about how you're selective when you go in. So like if the weather's bad, you don't even, you're like, your mindset is to shoot a buck. So you don't go into this property on like an 80 degree, like for example, October 1st is projecting to be like almost 80 for a high.

[01:26:00] And I'll actually

Matt Johnson: be out of town. And you'll be out of town. I don't know what you were thinking. I know. So you did this a couple years ago. This was a couple of years ago. Same thing. I'm out of town. I'm on a trip because again, we, we like to travel a lot. So I'm thousands of miles away, you know, October 1st, October 2nd.

Here comes a text from Nate dead deer. Come on. How you can't do this to me.

Nate Rozeveld: Oh, dude, this might be good mojo. I might be able to do it this year. What if I shoot another one? That'd be great.

Matt Johnson: October 1st, I'll be on a mountain. Yes, you will. Out in Colorado. So

Nate Rozeveld: that's the problem because like yeah, I would like to shoot does But we're like focused on Taking advantage of our early October or middle October sets to shoot a buck because we have good luck with that Like seeing bucks and doing that And I hope more people can listen to this and like, I'm not trying to get more pressure on deer, but if you're strategic, you can have really good hunts in the first few weeks of October.

Yeah. I've had hard to go into

Matt Johnson: my best hunts really [01:27:00] can be early October. Yes. If you don't get the pressure, you know, if, if you, if you do that, right. And you, you hunt the wind, you hunt the right spots. You can have good hunts prior to the rut, which is nice. But then I also have fallen into the trap of.

You know, still thinking that something that is out there and then come late season, like, oh, now I better take a dough and then it gets late and then sometimes it's too late. So it's hard to get them. It's hard. And that's, uh, I think collectively everybody in, in Michigan has that, has that problem of they don't want to shoot doughs because, you know, they think the buck's out there, but there's not, we, we don't, you know, We don't have to shoot a doe in Michigan, which is other states, you know, you have

Nate Rozeveld: to correct There's certain spots where or you only get one buck tag, you know, so then they're like, well, I'm gonna shoot some deer So they're shooting those leisure.

We got two which is nice But it was [01:28:00] kind of like I read that email went through it and saw everything. I was like, you know what? I could probably do better because I do have a Unfortunately for me. I have multiple spots. So like for example, like the early season doe I shot behind my or my by my house I was like I haven't had a big buck on camera all summer like since all September so like I'm just gonna go back there and smoke a dough We're great another

Matt Johnson: camera another time.

I'm at work Text me got a dough There's been a lot of times I'm sitting at work for you get a text deer down

Nate Rozeveld: So I was just kind of like, you know maybe I'll do a little better job like shooting a dough the gun like I have a list. I got a little tote that, uh, when I was 12, my dad bought me that tote and I wrote with a sharp marker, deer slayer on it, you know, big block letters.

And I've always just kept it. It's all my camels in there. It's a tradition for me and I have a tally of everything I've shot. And Yeah, I've got gun kills and bow kills separated tallies. And yeah, I shoot, I've shot quite a few does, but they're mostly with a, [01:29:00] with a gun. Yeah. The last like 10 years.

Because before, when I first started bow hunting, Dude, doe walked out. Whap! Like, you know, I was, I was, you know, I don't want to use the word bloodthirsty, but I was like shooting deer. But, but

Matt Johnson: that's good. That's good. Cause I learned how to do it. Science is there. To support that. So it's like maybe I should go back down.

The more does you shoot.

Nate Rozeveld: So the year of 2023, if I don't shoot a buck, it's because I'm just stacking those, stack

Matt Johnson: as many does as we can. Yeah. There's, there's plenty of people. You can give the meat away and you can donate it to, I

Nate Rozeveld: always donate the money for that and do that. We have the, the, um,

Matt Johnson: the hundred sportsman's against hunger.

Yes. You can donate does too, which is great. Which is a good, good cause. Uh, stack a

Nate Rozeveld: dough. I'll do that. My grandpa, he loves shooting those. And, uh, he's 80. Sorry if you're listening to this, I can't remember how old you are. But, uh, he was threatening us this year because he still farms and does little crops and stuff.

He's like, yep, you boys can't get a buck. You can't shoot a buck till you shoot four does. was [01:30:00] like, man. And then my brother Noah was like, can you shoot some dough for me? So I can shoot a buck. I was like, well, I might try

Matt Johnson: if we had that rule though. I mean, think of that. Can you had to shoot a, shoot a doe before you shoot a buck?

And I mean, that'll never happen in Michigan. No, but if that were

Nate Rozeveld: true, I think 2008 was the last year we shot more does. Projected that we shot more does in Michigan than bucks 2008 that's not but it was like barely more just

Matt Johnson: sitting here talking the last hour about the potential that Michigan has We have an awesome resource here The things that you can do, I mean, it's not just deer hunting all the other things you can hunt you hunt fish everything you can do but If, if we get more people to talk about this, the, the better it is for, for all of us on shoot more does pass a little box and it's just more enjoyable when you, when you know there's something out there that you have to [01:31:00] work towards, you have to have the patience for it.

And it's rewarding too when you get that big buck

Nate Rozeveld: finally or yeah and be prepared that you might not get that or you might Not get it. Yeah.

Matt Johnson: Yeah, you can put all this time and eat tag soup every year And still just have as much fun even the the prep work That i've been doing the last few weeks I'm in the woods.

Mm-hmm. , you know, I'm, I'm just working hard sweating and I'm jealous, sweating way. How do you get poison ivy doing all that? Uh, that's the good thing. I can roll in poison ivy and I don't get it. I'm so jealous of that. I mean, you're just

Nate Rozeveld: video and t-shirt and so you know what, you know what screw you. I can send you every picture of me Shoot a deer when you're working because you're sending pictures of you knee

Matt Johnson: deep in this stuff with poison, dope, poison ivy and doesn't, doesn't bug me at all.

I'm. I'm trimming away. I'm sweating away. You got to, you got to put in the

Nate Rozeveld: sweat work to be successful. Well, that's a great point. And kind of, maybe we can kind of wrap this up, but we're me and Matt just kind of want to be like, Hey, if you, if you're, if you're on the [01:32:00] fence or if you're thinking like, I might want to try to shoot a bigger deer in Michigan, because like, you just want to be that way, or maybe up your game or you're taking it to the next level, climb that ladder.

Uh, Michigan can, it can happen in Michigan, but you just got to get the deer to be old enough. You know, there's certain pockets of Michigan, you know, maybe in, you know, places North of us, or there's pockets that maybe a five year old buck's never going to be giant, but he could be, you know, you never know until they get to that old.

So I know like I've hunted in other States where. I think, I think a buck wants to be like an eight point. Like I think, or Dr. Deere, sometimes I saw things saying like most whitetails, the perfect size rack is an eight point. And that means they can just grow that nice 130 inch eight point rack. They have full big body.

They can run, they can breathe. They can do all those things. Great. But they don't reach max potential until they're older. So like, if we just get deer to be that. The age. Yeah. Who

Matt Johnson: knows what can happen. A lot of it is their, their age [01:33:00] structure, I'm telling you. And, and some of it's nutrition. Yes. And pressure.

And there's, there's other factors. But one of the biggest is their age. Correct?

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And their age. And just let 'em get that. And I can tell you Michigan has terrain similar to Illinois, similar to Missouri. Similar to Iowa. Not the same, similar. Mm-hmm. , I have not been, you know, I've drove through Ohio. And I've drove through indiana.

I haven't hunted those two states We're similar to that too. Like we got lots of deer. It's just it's just the age is the biggest thing We have a lot of hunters. So yeah, if you're on the fence, don't be afraid to talk to your neighbors Like it may burn you that's the biggest thing burn you but I have yet to have it burn me yeah, that's

Matt Johnson: a big thing for me lately is talking to neighbors and I know with Waldo, I didn't send many pictures, but I've talked about it since, and I've shown other pictures of deer that are on my hit list.

Just because I show the neighbor doesn't mean they're automatically going to shoot it. I'm not able to shoot it. You know, just cause I show a picture doesn't mean somebody's going to come right in and shoot it. [01:34:00] But if you show those pictures and you talk about it, you get people thinking that way. And you can get more people interested because we need people to be, we need people to hunt.

We need people to keep, to carry this on because like we talked about earlier, I hunted with my grandpa, hunted with my dad, now my brother's hunt. You need to carry that on. Correct. And showing those big buck pictures, it can be tough because you don't want, you know, the thought is, Oh, somebody, the neighbor's going to get it or somebody's going to come in and get it.

Well. Good for them. All you can do is a clap.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And they're going to go buy a tag. They're going to go buy stuff. They're going to go. If my neighbor

Matt Johnson: legally shoots the deer, all I can do is applaud that, you know, good for them. And then I get to see it. As long as I can see the picture and maybe go see the, see

Nate Rozeveld: the mount afterwards.

We're kind of playing the long game here, you know, we're in our thirties. So like we are playing the long game. Like to me, it's like, okay, put this, put this effort into building relationships with my neighbors of proximity. It may bear me the first year or two where they [01:35:00] go. Oh my gosh that bucks that bucks around I'm gonna hunt some more and he happens to be on his property.

He smokes a thing. Well, guess what? We're reloading every year, you know, like we have been reloading every year I'd

Matt Johnson: say almost every year we have that one buck that No matter what, if I see him, he's going down

Nate Rozeveld: and it's a, no doubt that it's not a board, right? It's like, we're all like a hundred percent agreement.

Yep. We're shooting that one. Yeah. So like, that's awesome. Like that is so cool to have that, that, that opportunity. So yeah, it's a long game, do that. And you know, like, like we Henry, you know, for example, like he, I want him to be able to have a great time hunting, you know, for years and years ago,

Matt Johnson: he's going to be able to get into it.

And we've had. since we've, you know, re reconnected. We've had, I think his teacher came over to Turkey Hunt. Yes. You know, you and I don't Turkey hunt much. Just Turkey suck kind . I, yeah. I don't get a whole lot of, in, out of a, out of turkeys. Not, I don't wanna bash Turkey hunting, but. Me and

Nate Rozeveld: Hunter are the worst turkey hunters.

Yeah, [01:36:00] I get it.

Matt Johnson: It is what it is. But yeah, that's a great point. He had the opportunity to do that. But yeah, we were able to invite other people just from you and I getting together. We were able to invite other people to turkey hunt. Yep. We've had other people come help coyote hunt with us. Yep. Which shout out to Lincoln,

Nate Rozeveld: Lincoln from Packer Max.

He's got some Kyle Hunt. Hopefully

Matt Johnson: he can come smoke some Kyle's for us. And we, they're, they're everywhere. This part of Michigan,

Nate Rozeveld: you know, all the time. Yeah. It's just like a, you're kind of, you know, building that network and, and then like, not to be selfish, but like you talk to those people. We got to rabble hunt some spots because of that or you know, you you let someone do so, you know turkey hunt It's like hey, he brought his son out there.

His son had a great hunt They didn't shoot a turkey, but they had some they saw Bobcat stalk up on a turkey Like how cool was that? Like his kid? I don't care how old this kid is I'm you know young and he got to see that that memory that core memory that's gonna be there forever for him So you just get those opportunities and like by no means are we saying hey, let anyone come haunt your thing, you know No, you know, you gotta be [01:37:00] smart.

You gotta vet people and do that kind of thing. You were responsible still, but yeah, you just gotta be open minded and do that. And it really pays off. And that, hopefully that kid is going to hunt for a very long time because of that opportunity he had, you know, and he's, he's a top notch guy. Cause like he did the one year that Henry was in his class.

He has not blown my phone up one time to ask to come again. He's kind of like, you know, I get this as a window of time. I'm not going to be abusive to your property. Like this is your thing. And he did it. It was a great time. And he almost, they should have killed a turkey. They had some good opportunities, but turkeys

Matt Johnson: are dumb.

So who cares? The more people he talked to, I mean, there's.

Nate Rozeveld: I say that I have a fall turkey tag in my pocket. So like you guarantee, if I see a fall turkey, if I see a turkey that's

Matt Johnson: fall shooting, I've got some turkeys for you over here. Occasionally you'll have a bad interaction with somebody, but for the most part, you'll have more positive interactions than negative, just building your network, talking to people.

Build that out.

Nate Rozeveld: So when do you think you're going to hunt for the first time this fall? Yeah, first is a [01:38:00] no go. I'm a little,

Matt Johnson: a little sad about that.

Nate Rozeveld: Are you banking for end of October, you think,

Matt Johnson: or? It might be pushing second or third week of October, which isn't bad. I mean, first, first week for

Nate Rozeveld: you, that second week has been good for you.


Matt Johnson: second, third week for our areas. Prime time. Yeah. I mean we've we're pretty good before the rut, but We'll see. I got a balance work Hopefully I could take all of october november off Gotta plan that a little bit better. Don't we all yeah, just gotta be retired So are

Nate Rozeveld: you like so you think availability is gonna be that second week before you'll probably have some good availability?

Probably and are you you like to hunt the front still that time of year, right? Like what are you kind of looking for you're i'm assuming similar to me Do you look for, this

Matt Johnson: year will probably be a lot time-based off of work. You're

Nate Rozeveld: gonna be a little bit more

Matt Johnson: like committed. Yeah. It'll be, but you'll be, if I prep, if I have a day off, I, there's, there's [01:39:00] only a few days off.

I have early season that I'll probably have to go no matter the

Nate Rozeveld: weather. Yeah. But you've done a good prep where you have stands for lots of different wins. Yeah. That's

Matt Johnson: the nice thing I have, I have a lot of options. Yeah. from the prep work that we talked about. I have, I've got a Northwest wind here. Okay.

I can sneak in here. Oh, now I've got a Southeast wind. Okay. Maybe I'm better over here. Yep. And that's the nice thing with having the, the amount of land that we do is you can sneak to different areas with the limited time that I have.

Nate Rozeveld: So it's gonna be a little different for you

Matt Johnson: then. A little bit different.

Yeah. I'm used to having a lot more time off this time of year, which

Nate Rozeveld: that's. But hey, it could be your

Matt Johnson: year. It only takes one. It only takes one. That's all it'll take.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah, so I think, uh, Yeah, I kind of talked about my intro for the podcast that launched. I was looking at the weather and it doesn't look the greatest.

Like, every day the high is above our yearly average, or, and I don't like usually, I feel like the days that were below the average [01:40:00] is better for movement at night and in the morning, because I'm not afraid to hunt early October or the morning. So I was looking at maybe Friday. It's kind of looking like it could be possibly a good day.

But I, uh, yeah, we'll kind of see. So family does come first too. So talking about this, we're going to, you know, with timing and all that stuff, like you're going on a trip, I say, I'm giving you a hard time about that, but you're doing that with your wife. And it's something you guys like, I also like try really hard to like, at some point in October, we'll have to go see the colors, like drive, we're random.

Like we have no set in stone thing. It's like, we're leaving today. We'll, we'll drive around and get a hotel somewhere maybe and see colors. So I have that kind of mixed in there. So I think it might work out pretty good because the weather doesn't look so good. So I might do that early. Like we

Matt Johnson: talked about earlier, if, if we do get that 70, 80 degree stretch, I'll throw the bike in the Gulf, you know, go for a bike ride or get out there and get out on the kayak.

I mean, I don't, the nice thing is with, with having that prep work and, you know, doing some scouting, you can do other things when the weather's not right. You can go out, there's [01:41:00] so much stuff you can enjoy in Michigan that you can go do. I mean. Yeah, I want to do your honey

Nate Rozeveld: to do list

Matt Johnson: on You got to get the honey do list done.

You see what I went through. I got yours yours a lot longer than mine But some inflicted. Yeah, I mean there's yeah, I want to you want to spend as much time in the woods as you can But there's there's a balance to it

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. And I got, you know, hey, the basement is like, I got like a little bit of cutting in a do for a second coat and I'm painted downstairs.

We're in your

Matt Johnson: basement right now and it looks great.

Nate Rozeveld: Yep. We're getting good. So that's good. And then,

Matt Johnson: uh, just have to have you build me one

Nate Rozeveld: now. Yep. Oh, way When you're ready for the house, I'll build it. Yeah. We're we're gonna get a house.

Matt Johnson: That's the nice thing. Build a house. Don't start it

Nate Rozeveld: in October. Well just, don't we

Matt Johnson: Right down the road.

Have a new house. Yeah, but

Nate Rozeveld: don't, please don't do it in the fall build. Like let's start this thing in the spring. You have to

Matt Johnson: plan around

Nate Rozeveld: October. Let's start in the spring, work on it all summer. And if we're not done by the fall, we'll take a little hiatus, you know, and that Laura will be fine with it, your wife, you know, and then we'll just start it back up.[01:42:00]

Matt Johnson: You got to, you got to plan kids around hunting season too. You don't have them in October or November.

Nate Rozeveld: You had, yeah. Or, uh, baby showers in October. Or baby showers to some brother that might be listening. Dude, I have a... I have a wedding and I love the person that's getting married, like a sister to me, and I'm going to be there.

But November 12th, I have a wedding out of state. So it's like, oh man, but you know what? I'm going to have more deer seasons to go to, you know, but that doesn't mean I can't give her a hard time. I'll

Matt Johnson: make sure to text you a picture of

Nate Rozeveld: a deer that morning. So you'll do it the 12th of November. If that's like the best, it's going to be the best cold front day we have of the

Matt Johnson: year.

Come a cold front late October when you and I are in the stand, we have Dan to send a picture to. He's at a baby shower. Somebody didn't plan that very well. He's at the mercy of a lot of things. But it's, it's fun. We've been. Just over deer hunting. You and I have been able to reconnect. Yes. It's been good.

And it's been, it's been awesome. It's a great friendship.

Nate Rozeveld: Yeah. It's gonna last many years. Couple, couple years. Yeah. It's [01:43:00] been great. And, uh, yeah, I think, we'll, like

Matt Johnson: we, we just touched on a minute ago. We're talking about you building my house. Yeah. I mean, I mean, that's over a deer. Over a deer is a deer over a deer.

Mm-hmm. , you know, that's, it's a cool thing. You, you build lifelong relationships and,

Nate Rozeveld: but you had to be, you had to be unselfish and I had to be unselfish in this whole ordeal, you know? Mm-hmm. . And that's like yeah, it's easy because it might have been easier for us because we were already friends before But like I've developed other relationships with people that I've never met before because of that So like just if you're if you want to inflict change and you want to be part of it Make sure you check yourself And make sure that are you willing to do what you're asking a neighbor to do if he was gonna if you're the roles are Flipped if you can't say yes to that Maybe you got to kind of go take a step back and see you.

Hey, what's important to you? If you're still like, hey, you know what I'm cool with shooting, you know, whatever it may be or I'm you know I want to do this want to do that Then do that and maybe wait a year and then maybe the next year you want to do it like [01:44:00] it's got to be The right time because you can't So like I have no problem with if you were like Man, I'm like, you know what?

That's cool You pass those deer but like I have only shot a handful of deer so like I can't promise you that the next two And a half year old 10 point walks by I'm not gonna dust the thing and I'd be like, you know what dude if that's What if that's you like that's if that's not really. Oh, yeah, I'm totally on board Like I'm, you know, I won't, I pass deer all the time.

And then come to find out you're constantly, every two and a half year old deer that walks by, you're just dusting. And I'm like, dude, what's going on? Like, is it, do you not realize you're shooting a younger deer? Cause there's some education that goes into that, but there's been certain aspects like, okay, I just understand this dude just likes to shoot deer.

Fine. Like, that's your thing. So it's like, guess what? I'm done sending you pictures, you know, because it's not doing me any good. It's not doing you any good. Like, if you still want to be that way, that's fine. We can still, if you need help tracking a deer or whatever, I'll be there, you know, doing those kinds of things.

We still kind of got to like vet people and do that, but it's really fun when you get people out of the same mindset. Yeah. And just,

Matt Johnson: just sit here. [01:45:00] I mean, time goes quick when you're sitting and talking about hunting. Yeah. I mean, just talking about stuff. You'll know if you were at an hour and 40

Nate Rozeveld: minutes, you'll

Matt Johnson: remember forever that first, that first kill, that first.

Anything that it is. It can be a squirrel, it can be a rabbit, it can be anything to get you hooked into it and stuff you'll remember

Nate Rozeveld: forever. So let's end it like this. I believe that Michigan's a great state to get outside and do a lot of things. You're, like you said, we touched on fishing, hunting obviously, all forms of hunting, biking, doing these wonderful things.

You have a hectic, crazy, busy schedule, but you still find time to get outside. That's like a good thing. So, like I like to say. Get outside, enjoy creation when you can. Michigan's a wonderful state. Go through, do that, create those memories and Try to get as many people on board with passing a little deer because like we could be a top end state It could happen.

It's got to start with us and maybe shoot

Matt Johnson: some more does it be shoot some more [01:46:00] dough to be determined on that. We'll see how that works. Just talk to, you never know where it can, what it can lead to great friendships. Yeah. Great. If you can go, yeah. You don't know where it's

Nate Rozeveld: going to go. Yeah. And thank you for not being a jerk about me having a picture of your walled up up.

Matt Johnson: Hey, I'm just glad you, you saw me just tracking a deer, just some flashlights and it led to all this years later.

Nate Rozeveld: But yeah, I look forward to having you on again in the fall, do some updates. Maybe, you know, we'll see how that all works. There's a couple of things in the works where I might have a group of us kind of get on the computer and talk about it.

Or obviously if someone shoots something, we'll do a podcast on that. But. Yeah, I look forward to talking some more and then yeah I would like to like break down the property a little bit more on how you hunt it Because I think there's a lot of good info on that because you hunt your property is way different than your property I hunt.

Yeah, so it's really cool to kind of go through and see how you guys have been successful doing that So but yeah guys, thanks for listening to this episode of michigan wild and uh, get outside Enjoy creation if the weather sucks [01:47:00] as matt would say hop on a bike go for a walk Or me maybe go spend some time with family take advantage of that with a couple nice days left for the summer So yeah, you guys have a great week.

Thanks for listening