Whitetail or Western Hunting?

Show Notes

On this episode of The Nomadic Outdoorsman Dan wraps up the Bowfest series as he sits down with repeat guest Tom LaLond and newcomer Cole Mehney to talk about the differences and similarities between western hunting and chasing whitetails.

Cole is a Kuiu Team member and a serious western hunter. Just take a look at Cole’s instagram and you will find no shortage of amazing animals that Cole has harvested with his bow. Cole, Dan, Tom and Sam sit down to discuss what it takes to continually take mature deer in Michigan as well as the strategies and tactics used to pursue giant bucks and bulls in western states.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] All right, guys, welcome to today's show. Now I've got to apologize first and foremost to Cole, my guest on the show today. Now, to be fair, there's three guests. It's Cole, Tom, and my wife, Samantha, but this was recorded at Bowfest and somehow it got lost within all the other files that I had recorded and I just uncovered it and I was like, man, I got to release this.

We've got hunting season coming up, so you better believe the next episode is going to be an update on all the hunts. What's going on here in my neck of the woods, the encounters that I've had, and there's a couple pretty crazy stories. So I'm going to fill you guys in next week on that. But for this episode, I'm joined by coal, Manny, Tom Alond and my wife, Samantha.

It's an awesome episode, so let's jump in.

He was doing things that were just badass. That was one of the coolest moments of my life. I was really scared, but knowing that Dane had the gun, I did [00:01:00] have the rifle we would be okay.

Alright guys, welcome to today's show. We're hanging out here at Bofess. I kinda like this. I don't get to do in person interviews very often, so the fact that we get to do this every day is pretty sweet. Now, Tom is here, we've now named him Facebook, because Tom's everyone's first No, it was MySpace. Sorry, MySpace, I already messed it up!

Tom's up. Cut, restart. Glad that's not sticking now. MySpace, Tom. And Cole Maney, thanks for hopping on. Tom, first of all, you're like our number one groupie. I feel like we officially have a podcast groupie, but I think I got asked to come on. So is it count as a groupie? If then you came back every day.

Can't we, can I just be a podcast friend? Yeah, that works. Like if it, if you need a groupie, Dan, like I'll be your groupie, but. Listen, this is my favorite part of any event, is hanging out with [00:02:00] other vendors. Cause just walking around and talking to you guys, and then all of a sudden we're hanging out at night, we're getting up, shooting the course in the morning that's the best part.

I know you were touching with, talking to me earlier, touching on How just shooting with other people, you said that you were shooting really good, but then they started talking to you, critiquing you a little bit, pulling through a little bit more opening up and then boom, you're hitting 12 rings. Yeah.

Just random stuff like that. Being able to sit down and hang out with everybody. And it's just, it's a fun deal and then get to hang out outside of just work. Go and have a couple drinks. Go and watch a concert. The networking here is... Oh, the people watching is something. We people watched for two hours.

Legitimately. It was so weird because there was glass in between us, but they could watch us watching them. Yeah. They thought it was hilarious. Yeah. It was a lot of fun. But you guys do shows quite a bit. Absolutely. Cole, why don't you share who you're here with, what you do. Yeah, so I'm Cole Maney.

I'm a regional sales rep for Kuyu. Mainly an out west hunting company, but we're [00:03:00] really starting to transition more into the whitetail woods. We got a new whitetail line that just dropped this past year. It's called the Proximity Line. It's fantastic. Got to test that out quite a bit. And get to travel around.

Do a lot of hunting. Do a lot of shows. Tons of shows. Because if you guys aren't familiar with Cuyu, we are a direct to consumer. So being able to get around the country and actually have a chance for people to try our stuff on, get their hands on it, it can be difficult looking at a computer screen and trying to figure out, all right, this layer will work for this.

It's nice to get your hands on it. So that's basically what we do. We have four regional sales reps throughout the country, me and three others. And we basically deal with a quarter of the country each. It's a lot of traveling, a lot of states, but it's a lot of fun. And then you get to meet people like yourself.

Really cool meeting you, Tom, and then I, or, yeah, meeting you, Tom, and then meeting you, Dan it's a lot of fun, and the networking is just through the roof, and a lot of like minded people, it's just easy to talk to, it's fantastic. And then just talking hunting outside of the vendor side of things, outside of the professional or business relationship stuff, you just start talking to people and figuring out what they're passionate about.

And I [00:04:00] will say I was a little bit annoyed with you the first night And here's my reasoning. Was this was at dinner when he's he pulled out his phone and he started Talking about, oh yeah, I got a unicorn for Michigan. And then he showed me another unicorn, and another unicorn. And I said, dude, no, you shot a whole herd of unicorns.

I don't know, what's the plural for unicorn? Is it a herd? A pack? I'd say a herd. I'd go with a herd. A herd. A gaggle? A gaggle. A murder? Because they're a horse. Yeah. But they have a weapon. So that's I feel like a pack is An army. Let's just go with that. A platoon. A platoon. I don't know. Platoon of unicorns.

We're gonna have to look this up. Anyways, But you started showing me these bucks, and I'm like, You can't start something with oh yeah, These things are really rare, and then show me that you've killed six of these really rare things And then, I really just regret not [00:05:00] having my phone out, and Snapping a picture of your screen when you zoomed out and showed me all your spots.

I was like, this is where the real money is right here. You go, you'd have to sort through probably 400 pins in Michigan, but it's cool growing up in Michigan because it is the most hunted state for whitetail, the most hunters for per square mile. It's hard hunting. It's really hard hunting, I got into whitetail hunting.

I was so thankful for my dad to get me into it at such a young age. I shot my first deer with a bow when I was nine years old. Nice little basket racquet point. Just to get my toes wet and I was absolutely hooked. And then growing up, I didn't have the time or the money to get in any trouble, my, my getaway was the woods and then transitioning into out West hunting.

I've fallen in love with it. It's a whole nother breed. It's way different. Don't get me wrong, but it's a lot of fun. It's a whole nother animal. But growing up hunting Michigan and with it being so difficult to find and track these big mature deer because they are so elusive. Whitetail are elusive in general.

Yeah. But you get these over pressured deer and it's tough to find. When you're running 30 cameras on 30 different properties just to [00:06:00] find one deer to go after can be really tough. But then you take that and then you go into other states, like I lease property in Missouri and northwest Missouri.

Going out there is a game changer. It's a totally different world. But from the background of Michigan to going to these other kick ass states, it's unbelievable. So now we get out here and we're really successful in other states, and we only have a week to hunt, it's because you're putting all those tools that you learned hunting hard to hunt ground, and then going into these other states, and it's fantastic.

It gives you a better appreciation, yeah. But I can't complain. I love it. I feel like pressured whitetail just act like pressured whitetail. They do. No matter where you go, they have the same prey instincts, where it's just okay, here's danger, this is what I have to do. This is how I need to evade, this is where I need to hide.

And so that can transfer all over. But when you start out hunting a really hard state, you look like the world's best hunter when you go somewhere else. And it's just... Duck hunting in Southwest, Missouri. If we can kill ducks here, like we're gonna [00:07:00] be duck slayers everywhere. Yeah, that's right So that's sweet though.

Kudos to you I've not killed a single buck like the ones that you were showing me on your camera And maybe it's because I grew up hunting a place that's super easy in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin. I should have just It's gone somewhere way harder to start than maybe I would have. Everybody's background is different, but that's the cool thing is we can sit here and we're like minded people talk about the same stuff and we have the same passion.

Yeah. But yeah, hunting these other states it's a game changer. It's a whole nother world. And I think when you do, like going back to your point about after the

I was going to say. Sorry. Are we good? I muted the wrong one. I was like, Sam's not talking, I was just going to mute her. She's working on some logo stuff for me. And then I muted the wrong, that's it. I can take a hint. Talking after the show, it's like, All the product questions thoughts are like, just stripped away.

And it's just literally just Let's talk what brought us here. Yeah. And [00:08:00] we were talking at the concert, music blaring, and we're sitting there, having a trying to have this conversation about hunting mature bucks, like what we talked about, how it's hunting a different animal. Yeah.

And we had an ah ha moment together, both of us, of... In hearing all these other stories from other people and finding the consistency. I don't know. Should we tell them or I don't know if we should release that. No, just no, and it's nothing groundbreaking, but it's just an observation. I think it's interesting.

A lot of the three of the stories I heard yesterday from two from you and then another one from Nick. Involved sitting on trails or sitting within areas on either weather patterns or just trails with low travel numbers. So you're only going to, they only saw one deer that day. It might've been within the first hour.

It might've been within the first few hours. You're not getting like 20 does right throughout the morning. Yeah. And I think that's, I think [00:09:00] your lesson, because I'm a huge weather. Yeah, got front like a front guy. Yeah, when I killed my buck in 2019 with the XOP the day the XOP I got the XOP saddle There was a front rain front coming in and so I got it was like midday and I did some stuff at work and then I Checked out and I went up and within an hour.

I had buck come down. My biggest buck to that point. And took him out and you had yeah I, similar story. Yeah. That's a sweet story. And I think it's huge. Here's the deal. When you're hunting brand new areas, like we touched yesterday, I haven't killed a single buck in Michigan that I wasn't specifically hunting, and when you're going that route, your hunting tactic is completely different.

If I were to go to Missouri where I'm not running any cameras and I'm running, say it's pre rut or just getting into the rut. Okay, I'm going to be sitting down, downwind of a bedding area, major travel corridors trying to get numbers to come past me and hopefully a mature buck [00:10:00] comes through. Now, when I'm hunting Michigan, like that, that, yeah, the story I was talking to you yesterday for I have a spot, it's a small property and I've been hunting this one specific buck.

Really hard to get on. I had him all through velvet and then as soon as he lost his velvet, I had three pictures of him. And the only three times that he came in was the worst conditions you could think of. 30 mile an hour winds, rain, warm, the opposite of what you think a perfect night would be.

Yeah. And I studied my cameras like you wouldn't believe were for specific deer movements and why they're doing what they're doing. And I would sit and hunt that deer and I would see 20 plus deer on a good night. And but he would never show up on those good nights. He only came in horrible weather.

So one day I was, I had a full time job at the time I was running a warehouse and we had those exact conditions, 30 mile an hour winds, pouring rain, super warm. And I basically said, Hey, I'm taking a half day. And they looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was going hunting. Yeah. So I get out there and I'm getting poured on.

I'm miserable. I think it's probably the dumbest thing I did at the time is what I was thinking. And I didn't see any deer that whole hunt, except for the [00:11:00] buck I was after. And he came in and I ended up shooting him in pouring rain. I had to race down the tree, quickly track him, find him, drop a pin, and then back out.

And by the time I came back 20 minutes later, the blood trail was gone. But I knew where he was. And but that's a perfect example. Like I said, 20 plus deer, almost every single hunt I sit there. But, I hunt a non favorable day that's pouring rain and just nasty conditions. But, that is what that buck was used to when he hit that area.

Why? I don't know. But, just catching on to that and understanding that, and using that tool, I end up killing that deer. I feel like that's a good point. When you isolate a deer, or you select a target buck, or even if you have a handful of them, where you're like, these are the deer I want to go after, it doesn't matter what all of the other deer are doing.

That's right. And people get caught up on that a lot, I've got a bunch of trail cameras out right now, and there are certain nights where it's just Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! And it's every camera is all going off, and I'm like, Man, the deer are just going nuts tonight. And I [00:12:00] don't have a single mature buck.

Yeah. Yep. It's just does, and I'm like,

And then it's those other nights where you don't see any deer and it's just dude, it's super dead. And then all of a sudden, boom, he shows up or like you get a small bachelor group that are all two and a half years or older. And you just it's pretty incredible to watch how it just shifts back and forth.

But then obviously during the red things can change pretty. Oh, yeah, it's like you want the numbers like yeah Eventually one of those 20 does is gonna be hot and then there might be eight bucks Yeah, no, I think the weather is huge I think back to another hunt that I had on that same property years ago, and I didn't end up taking the buck but It was like the windiest day of the year, like absolutely awful.

And I was like, oh, this is a good spot. It's got a big tree, I think. And so I went back there and sure enough, it's got a tiny tree. [00:13:00] Absolutely awful. So you get up there and I was putting my release on or doing something where I spun around standing up and then all of a sudden I looked down literally right below me and there's a beautiful.

8 pointer and he was just on the edge of shooter or not and Passed him, but it was so cool to see. He was the only deer that I saw, same thing, coming that way. There was does that I saw coming back to bed like 100 yards, 150, 200 yards off. But, he was that only one that way and I think that's such an interesting thing.

Hunting those weather fronts mixed with the right locations like you said. I don't know what it is about weather like I really don't because you can see it across multiple species Oh, yeah, this last year. It was just dirty out in Colorado. I'm talking like freezing cold Whipping winds. I felt like I was climbing Kilimanjaro or Everest, Like we got up to our spot before daylight and the wind was whipping [00:14:00] so hard There were moments where you couldn't see 20 feet like the snow was just blowing and so all of Everybody's hanging out by the side by side and we're like, dude, we're not gonna break our cover right now.

We're just gonna hang out here, tuck in away from the wind, and it got light enough to where I was like, I'm gonna go take a peek, like I can see a little bit farther. Maybe there's something over this knob. We had been seeing elk anywhere from a mile out to 400 yards out, like right below this shelf.

And I remember all of the guys, and these are like Pennsylvania boys, right? Some of them are very used to extreme cold. And they're huddled up and I peek over the edge and there's two bulls at 230 yards. Yeah. And I'm like, you gotta be kidding me. It's whipping. I would have thought every elk in the area was tucked under a cedar tree just like riding it out.

These things were just walking around. No big deal. And we ended up shooting both of them. I sprinted back up the mountain and I was like, [00:15:00] Gosh, gosh, big bulls! And they're just like, can't even hear me, the wind is whipping so hard. And they're like, what? I'm like get your rifles, there's two bulls! And sure enough, they grab the rifles and we get set up and But those weather fronts, I don't know, I don't know what the science is, I don't know why they like them so much, But you just do see movement, you see a lot of activity during that.

I'd be curious and I've never actually... But I from our last conversation about with smoke, right? So yeah, they're curious about it because it's a especially out there. It's a can be a fatal thing if they're not right. I want I'd be curious to study what predators coyotes wolves Whatever the predator is in that area, what they do on those crap weather days.

And does that affect the movement of the prey? Yeah. Alright guys, I've got to tell you about some of the new XOP products that I've been using this fall. And some of them I use in kind of an unconventional way. First off, I use the Mondo Saddle, but I [00:16:00] also use their Turkey Hunter Vest. And I take the Cold World Stand, put it in the back of the vest, and carry it in that way.

Depending on how far I have to pack in, I'll just bring a foot platform, but one thing I've learned is that if I put the seat cushion on the underside of the seat and flip it up, it turns it into a knee pad also, or I can flip the seat down and sit on it like a conventional tree stand. I also use their holster kit clipped right onto my saddle to carry in my climbing sticks while keeping my hands free.

If you're interested in getting a mobile hunting setup like mine, go to xopoutdoors. com and use code nomadic for 10 percent off at checkout. Alright guys, here are a few quick tips to help you increase your deer encounters this fall. A lot of people like to set up on an area because they found a scrape or a rub.

But I'm telling you, you need to put more of the puzzle pieces together. If you can find a scrape line or a rub line, [00:17:00] especially one that comes to or from water, bedding, or a food source, that is going to tell you a lot of deer are using it. and not just one nocturnal buck. Also, don't be afraid to take the day off from hunting and do a scouting mission instead.

If you can set up from a distance and glass the area that you're hoping to hunt, you might see exactly where the deer are coming in and out without just walking in and randomly setting up in a tree hoping that a deer comes through. And if you want to save money on the right optics to get the job done right, Head over to euro optic.

com and use code nomadic 10 at checkout. Now let's get back to the show presented by Vortex.

So right so if over you know the years if they're used to hey the big box like oh, hey most prey including humans are I don't know if they've tied it to humans, but I'd be curious to look and see what the coyotes are. It could definitely [00:18:00] be a learned behavior where it's just Hey, right now we don't feel pressure from other things, we're going to be out. And nobody if it's nasty weather, I'm not going fishing.

I'm just not. Now, seeing what I've seen in the past dude, I'll still go sit in the stand. But there's just certain things where I'm like, yeah, it's not really worth it today. You look back to, and me being a Michigan boy, grew up in Michigan, Whitetail's always been my bread and butter.

Now working with a Western company and doing a lot more out West hunts, before I started working with them, I had the itch to get out West and just get my toes wet and at least go for something in the mountains, yeah. I've always been so curious and I've wanted to do it. Finally, I just pulled the trigger and I said, Alright, I'm gonna go Colorado elk hunt in September, over the counter archery.

And it's probably one of the most difficult hunts out west just because of the numbers and how hard everything is pressured. It's brutal. But I ended up calling up my buddy, Clay. He's a Florida boy. He's never been out west, never been in the mountains or any elevation. And he's hell yeah, I'll come and film you.

So he's my cameraman. We just hoof it out there. [00:19:00] 22 hours through the night, get there, buy our tag, get up on top of the mountain. And the very first day we get in on, a 350 inch bull and this is an over the counter hunt, and we have them at 30 yards come to full draw. Just can't actually get a shot on him.

And then his cows walk past us at 12 yards, and, this unit I the success rate was not good. It was less than 1 percent success rate for bulls and 5 percent for cow But it fit the type of hunting I wanted to do. Yeah, so that's why I picked that unit And you're used to hunting unicorns I guess this was a type of a unicorn as well because We hunted really hard for, I believe, 11 days we were out there.

So many people moved in. 27 cars, the trailhead, when we get there. Started to get discouraged after we couldn't get on that first bull. And all the people moved in and pushed all the elk out. We're just sitting there, twisting our fingers what do we do? Where do we move? We ended up hiking 14 miles in.

Ran into a base camp, had no idea how they got in there. Super discouraging. Finally, at the end, we just wanted to have fun, though. We [00:20:00] said, hey, we'll hike back towards the truck. Check out this one overlooked spot that's right next to the trailhead and maybe some guys just didn't think about it.

And if there's no sign there, we'll go hoop it up in Denver and end on a good note, regardless, end up getting in on this bull and we worked them back and forth. For anybody listening who does hunt elk, you know the struggle of calling for yourself. It's really tough to call for yourself.

Normally it's nice for having somebody 60 yards behind you. Doing all the work. Those, especially in the over the counter units they'll cover ground, but they won't cover the last hundred yards or so. Yep. And that's the hardest part. We end up getting on this bull. Sounds young. Weird, messed up bugle.

Didn't want to bugle at him, so we didn't want to scare him. And he ended up shutting up. We actually backed out, slept in the truck, because it was a mile and a half away. Wow. And came back out the next morning and got right back on him. Same screwed up bugle. Long story short, same thing happens.

He shuts up. We say it's the last day. We'll throw a bugle at him, see what happens. And as soon as I let that bugle out, he cut me off and started chuckling at me, screaming back and I'm like, oh boy, here we go. Now we knew what we were working with, so we worked this bull like crazy for about a half [00:21:00] hour, and he just would not come over this crest.

He just wouldn't come over this little hill. And finally I took the Montana decoy and said, hey, I'm gonna go over top and see if I can't get a shot on him. I came over this ridge and as soon as I stepped above it, he was five yards in front of me and he busted right away. And we're in thick timber, so I'm cow calling, getting them to stop.

He turns around, looks at the decoy, still got nervous, started to run again. I dropped the decoy. I still have a 65 pound pack on my back, dropped my knees, come to full draw to shoot underneath the brush. And he just so happens to stop in the only somewhat of an opening I have. And I let it fly, and I'm used to judging Whitetail.

I thought he was like 25, 30 yards, because his body is so darn big. And he ended up being about 40, but it dropped right on in, hit him in the heart, went over the ridge, died about 40 yards later. But what was really cool about this bull is we are in the middle of just a huge chunk of public. Yeah. Like this bull has probably lived his whole, most of his life on public land.

Over the counter, nonetheless. So he's been called that a million times, but what's cool is he ended up being over 15 years old So he was [00:22:00] ancient. Yeah, if you guys ever hop on my instagram, it's just cole maney c o l e m e h n e y You'll see those pictures on there. And you'll see this bull. He's a weird looking bull, you know he's got a big turkey foot on one side his Left main beam comes up and does it just kinks straight over to the side.

It's just weird He's definitely on his downward incline, yeah, he was going downhill but for me I am more excited and more proud of shooting that 15 year old bull than I would have been shooting that 350 on the first day, and not to mention the experience that we had. We're out there we're, we've got a Florida boy and a Michigan boy out in the mountains at 11, 000 feet.

And we got a little telescopic rod catching 20 inch rainbows from the reservoir and having bonfires every night, so we just had a lot of fun. Yeah. But if we would have shot that elk on the first day, we wouldn't have had any of that. Yep. So for me, the experience is everything. And I look back on all that and it just makes me smile.

So ever since that hunt, I've been hooked on out west hunts was able to get out to, Nebraska this past year for a [00:23:00] mule deer, first time going for mule deer and, we shot a really nice mule deer on the first day on an over the counter hunt, nice Nebraska is a really beauty.

Tough place to hunt. It's, the hardest part with Nebraska is there's nothing to hide behind. And when we were there in September, it was 100 degree weather. Every single day. Dude, I'm out, man. I love chasing deer. I love chasing elk. I hate hunting in the heat, man. I just really do. Yeah, it's nice to be able to put the gear to the test though.

Oh, yeah working for a company like kuyu They're a fantastic company to work for and you know I'm not gonna be the guy that sits in this booth and says hey this will work well for this hunt if I haven't done It you know, I want to at least get out and hunt as many places and wear as much gear as I possibly can So I know what it can withstand what it can do, you know So I'm better educating people on what they should use and when they should use it why they should use it You know, so like I said, 100 degree weather, our ultra merino, our merino wool is unbelievable.

The first morning I wore a t shirt [00:24:00] because it's so hot and I got my butt kicked by the sun. Yeah. And then I, that evening I ended up wearing all my long sleeve, long underwear, ultra merino, one 45s and I stayed cool and it was mind boggling. And from there on out, now I can speak on behalf of that, but, and then to be successful, that's just a cherry on top.

But being able to have those experiences and get out there and do all these things is just, it's priceless. I absolutely love it. Chasing whitetail, obviously shooting monster bucks, patterning a specific animal. Or, western hunting, new experiences. This is the challenge that everybody has, right? You get good at a certain craft, you get good at a certain type of hunting, but the allure of something new.

Sure. Or perfecting the next thing or being better at the next thing. So it's polar opposites for me. I knew I always wanted to get out west and do some western hunting. I've always wanted to. But I always thought to myself Whitetail's always going to be my bread and butter.

Yeah. That's what I've done my whole life. It's what I'm really good at. It's what I enjoy. I figured I was going to have fun going out [00:25:00] west and it was going to be a blast. I didn't think it would ever trump Whitetail. So it's really hard because I look at it completely different. When I'm out West, especially if I bring a camera crew with me or buddies with me it's a social thing to, you get to do all these experiences that are more than just chasing a specific animal, and the unknown.

I don't know what's out there. I don't know what bowl is there. I hear a bugle and I don't know what's coming in. You know what I mean? It's a surprise every time, but I don't know, it's really tough for me because I look at it two different ways, but it's really hard to be an 800 pound animal that's just screaming his head off.

Fifteen yards in front of you, and you are shaking like a leaf, but there's no feeling like that man. Yeah, I'm right there with you. I'm right there with you But then there's whitetail and you know with whitetail you're it's a puzzle you're playing chess and you're trying to outsmart that specific deer and something about that especially You know, I'll hunt some deer, like I chased one buck for four years, and I had three different properties I hunted him [00:26:00] on, and they're small chunks, but they're all about a mile and a half apart, and I got pictures of them at every single spot.

Chased that deer for four years, and when I say chased him for four years, he was mature for four years. Jeez. And so I was actually trying to kill him. And I saw him on hoof multiple times, and disappeared for a month and a half, thought he was dead. Went out to one of my stands to shoot this 200 pound doe that I had on camera because I saw her every, I was in her core area.

And next thing you know it, he walks in. And I haven't seen him in a month and a half. And this is four years in the making. I hunted 70 out of the 93 days of the season for that deer that season. And he came in. He was behind some brush. I come to full draw. I was using, I don't want to throw anybody on their bus right now, but I was using Rage Broadheads and I plugged him right behind the shoulder.

Absolute perfect shot. Yeah. To the point where I called every one of my buddies and I'm like, he's dead. I finally got him four years in the making. I'm so excited. I get down. The blood is pretty minimal, but it's lung blood. I got bubbles. I got everything else. It was a fantastic shot. It was 15 yards. [00:27:00] Yeah.

And the rage didn't open. I tracked that deer, ended up jumping him up, backed out, came back the next day. I chased him for a five mile loop. We have two days left of the season. Now we're getting to the point where I don't know if this is going to kill him or not. Maybe we have to get in there and try to get another arrow in him because I don't think he's going to make it to the spring.

I didn't want that deer to go to waste. We chased him around like crazy. He ended up disappearing. I got pictures of him after he dropped his antlers. And I jumped him up twice, and the second time I jumped him up, he did not look good. He looked very injured, so I didn't think he was gonna make it.

Long story short, I get a picture of him after he dropped his antlers, and he's still alive. He never made it back through spring, though. He must have died that winter. Talking to a neighbor a couple years later, he was telling me about this giant 10 point he had on camera. I explained the buck, and he's Yes, that's him.

I told him when I shot him. He pulled up a picture on his trail camera from that year. And it was three days after I shot that deer walking past his camera broadside. And I laughed about it because his kid made a comment, said, dad, look, there's even a little bullseye where you want to hit them because [00:28:00] that was my scar from where I shot him and it was right behind the shoulder.

Absolutely perfect. So for me, it's just really hard to put so much time, effort, money in and then.

In all honesty, to win, I did what I tried to do. I got him in front of me and I made a good shot, but, for something like that to happen and not open up and then lose that deer, is, it's so tough. I don't know. I look at whitetail hunting and Western hunting completely different, but they both have their own place and I love both of them.

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Yeah, it's cool to see people get into one after being so heavily involved in the other. And there is some weird dichotomy that happens with it where they are so different, but you love them equally as much. I love putting on miles in the mountains. I love it. I love suffering on the packout. But I also love just sitting in silence in a tree stand.

And I don't know if you have to have that balance or what. There are two different kinds of rewarding feelings. Yeah, it really is. [00:32:00] Physical, mental, emotional, but at the end of the day, you're still in a different type of predator mode, right? Think about a wolf, just cruising, slowly stalking prey, finding that opportunity.

Or an owl perched up on a tree, waiting for a field mouse. You know what I mean? I just feel like it's just every level of prey. Predator interaction that you get hunting only two different animals. Yeah. You know That's right. That's a hundred percent right. What's on the plane for you guys or on the docket this year for Hunts?

There's a lot trying to find the time, but I am gonna go back out to Montana in September and try to shoot a bear with a bow. That's definitely on the list, so I want to get that done. But a lot of white tail hunting this year. Yeah. Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri. And maybe Texas.

That's still going back and forth on it. But, yeah, a lot of traveling, but I'm excited. It's going to be an eventful season. Do you have any unicorns you're chasing this year? This year, I have a couple on camera. They're not giants. They're probably [00:33:00] 145. But Michigan 145. So it's, they're good bucks.

So like an Iowa 300. There you go. It is funny because I do have some other buddies in the industry that live in Iowa. And we'll go back and forth. I'll be like, listen buddy. A 160 in Michigan is a 200 in Iowa. And he'll call BS on it and whatever. But, it's all jokes. But yeah there it does make it a lot tougher, but I like the chase, I enjoy it I got a couple bucks that we're going after but I think once I get cameras out here in the next month or so In Missouri, I think we're gonna start to see some really nice deer.

Yeah, it's funny man Just regionally like we're here in Wisconsin right now. And I can't tell you how many people have walked up and they're trying to score these deer above me and They're like, all I mean that one's pretty small And I'm like, dude, I'm right here. You don't even cross his name off.

But like for here, like you're hunting Wisconsin, one of the States, the state with the most Pope and young and Boone and a crocodile deer. [00:34:00] And you have people hunting some of the better counties in the country and it would be the same thing in Iowa. But then you talk to people in Southwest Missouri.

And you should hear the opposite comments that I get from some guys down there. Dude, I've never seen a buck like that. Are you kidding me? And it's just really interesting, but what's cool is you can hunt deer that are just in like the top tier for the area. And it's just as rewarding. You know what I mean?

You're not gonna go down to Florida and shoot a 190 inch deer. It's just not. You have to know hey, what's the average deer that people are killing here? And then go, okay, that's gonna be my goal. I want to shoot a deer that is on the higher end of the list. Or, you just go out there and shoot for meat.

And, hopefully you're not shooting next to my property. But I love getting meat. I really do. But at the end of the day, I'm just like... Somehow, the meat hunters just like... It's really easy for them to kill great up and comers. It's like they're [00:35:00] attracted to each other for whatever reason.

There's a lot of arguments that go back and forth with it too, because I'm, I manage my properties like crazy. Yeah. So certain properties, I have to take X amount of does off of per year. Yeah. And for me, I shoot those every year regardless. So if I'm going to plan on eating a deer, I mean I eat all my deer.

Don't get me wrong. Yeah. But if I'm shooting for me, I would rather shoot a doe that's a little more tender, not testosterone driven, and they just taste better. And then I'm also managing my property at the same time. That's good. I really like when they still have spots. They're really tender. Yeah, you don't have to beat them with a hammer before you throw them on the grill.

No, I'm not saying when they're alive. Like Sam's all beating a deer with a hammer. She's very sensitive today. I think to animals. They started sensitive on our shoot, on our hunt or hunt this morning. On the course today, we found the smallest baby bunny that I think I've ever seen. Yeah.

Huddled up next to this [00:36:00] tree. And she just went into straight mama mode. Dan's over there doing, having, doing backflips and all kinds of stuff. Oh, I was just petting it and picking it up and everyone's You can't touch it! You can't! I'm like, that's a live sale. You 100 percent can. They will... It's gonna be totally fine.

It's fine. Everybody, it's fine. The odds of that bunny making it anyways is pretty slim. Do you know how many hawks there are in this territory? So they might as well have got some cuddles and love from... Dan. Big ol Dan! Like, how many bunnies around here can say that? Zero. Now what? Now what? Now what?

Now what? Yeah. I appreciate you guys hopping on and chatting. I feel like these are a couple of the relationships we've made here where we'll be in touch and I'm going to try to start doing some coding and hacking so I can get into your onX account. There you go. How about we just plan a hunt together?

Yeah, I like that. Let's get out. Hey, you come down and show me how to hunt a Missouri unicorn. I can do that. I love it. And then you can he's going to show me how to [00:37:00] hunt like... What's a, what's... A nubbin unicorn? Is that like the gist of it? Yeah. the full horn, but he's gonna be like... He can't get you on the biggest ones right away.

You got to work up your unicorn levels. Yeah. There's different levels. It's like Pokemon, man. They've got to I'm going to start making so many Pokemon references because my kids are like really into it all of on, share where people can find you. Follow along real quick. Yep. Cole, Manny, like I said, hop on Instagram.

It's C O L E M E H N E Y. Give me a follow. You can see all, a lot of my deer on there. Check out the unicorns. But yeah, that's how you can get a hold of me. Sweet. Xopoutdoors. com for me or tom underscore lalond. L A. L A L O N D. Or just go to MySpace and find your first friend. Your first friend.

Just type in Tom and it's probably right. Sweet. Thanks for the time guys. Thanks. Yep, thanks Dan.[00:38:00]