Whitetail Talk with Gregg from First Lite

Show Notes

The rollercoaster of life keeps rolling right along for Paul and Andrew.  This week Paul actually spent the time in the woods looking for bambi, while Andrew continues to ride the struggle bus of life.  Paul did not have any luck but was able to take advantage of an OHLAP property to have some good encounters with our white tailed friends.

This weeks show covers hunting white tail deer with Gregg Farrell of First Lite. Gregg has been with First Lite for a long time and really helped develop and bring to market a lot of the gear we use day in and day out in the white tail woods.

Good luck as you get out in the woods, and enjoy the upcoming few weeks, because the most wonderful time of the year is upon us!

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


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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey, what's up, everybody. Welcome back to the OT podcast. Tonight, just Andrew, and I'm going to be really honest with you. I'm struggling with some technical stuff. Again, Paul is traveling, has some of our equipment with him and he's doing some really cool stuff, but regardless, we're going to do it the old fashioned way, just right through the computer.

And it's not going to sound great. I apologize. We had technical issues in the actual recording. Because that's not my forte. So I just I apologize ahead of time, but real quick intro this week. First off, want to give a shout out to our partners. We've got the guys over at go wild time to go wild.

com online, social media platform for hunters and anglers. They've got their shop on their super [00:01:00] cool platform for. All things hunting and outdoors, lots of pictures going up there. Very fun. Just a cool atmosphere. It'll give you something to do if you're sick of the regular social media.

And they've got lots of cool items there in their shop to, search from, points for all kinds of stuff. So good place to be for hunters and anglers time to go wild. com. Excuse me, Half Rack is our other, one of our other partners. So thanks to the guys over there and everything that they do, all kinds of little knickknacks and stuff for hunting.

That meat lug cooler, can't wait to put that to use putting some deer in there, super creative cutting edge type stuff. But at the same time, some of the tried and true stuff that you need out in the woods. Blackgatehuntinggear. com, Blackgate Cameras, I'll say it a million times over, the quality of those images is second to none.

And I got [00:02:00] a whopper of a buck the other day on there, and you can count, I think he's somewhere in the 14 point range and he is a typical deer, but I may never see him again. I'm not, I was super excited at the time, but at the same point, you know how that goes. But it was, there was no, hesitation to realize what exactly that deer had compared to some of the others on the market which are just blurry and it's Oh, I think that's a deer.

Maybe it's a buck, but Blackgate Hunting Gear appreciate those guys. The code for Blackgate is O2PODCAST, that'll save you 10%. Real quick, back to Half Rack, that code is OHIOOUTDOORS15, to save you 15%. We got Midwest Gunworks, so as we get closer to our firearm season, but also duck season and all the other fun stuff, Paul will be...

Would be very upset if I didn't mention turkey season, [00:03:00] you get on to Midwest gunworks got all your parts accessories anything You know that you need for firearms great guys to work with over there and very good customer service Ohio outdoors 5 save you 5 percent Exhibition if you've seen any of the stuff I put on some of the social media the thermal optics that's a new ball game right there.

And the folks over at X Vision have all the stuff you need there to get you going and get out in the field at night. And yeah, it's addicting, be careful go and check it out, and be ready to spend lots of hours all night long when you should be sleeping because it's a heck of a lot of fun.

XVisionOptics. com. Timber Ninja, Jason, Bo, and the crew down there American Made and Design. Super high quality stuff. Couldn't be happier with that nano [00:04:00] saddle. And it's like wearing nothing in the woods. Super comfortable up there. Very lightweight. And I've had their sticks for a couple of years, and I've told this story, those sticks are unbelievably light.

If I could put them in every tree I would those are one of those things that when I put them up, they always come down with me at night because I'm not going to take any risk that those walk away because they're just, I'd be lost without them. So thank you to the guys over at Timber Ninja and that code is just Ohio and that will save you.

Your shipping will be free. We've talked a little bit about deer nuts. It's not crazy to think you'll get more deer this year. It's not insane to believe that a 12 point buck will soon be smiling at you from over the fireplace. It is, however, nuts. Deer nuts. The savory acorn flavored attractant, deer can't resist.

Made with advanced extrusion technology, they're easier to eat and harder to dissolve in rain. Grab some [00:05:00] nuts at getdeernuts. com slash Ohio. While there, check out some cool merch like No Nuts, No Glory, truck decals, and more. That's getdeernuts. com slash Ohio. Deer nuts, you could try honey without them, but you'd be nuts.

So there's a, obviously that's the read that they provided us, but if you're looking for something new to throw out there and catch your cat, catch a cruiser passing by who might be hungry give the deer nuts a shot there. Okay. I think that is it as far as our partners go. Real quick, news from around the state, we've got a few things here.

I really wanted Paul to be here for this, but Ohio's 2023 wild turkey hatch results came in. And let's see, the 2023 Ohio index was 2. 8 poults per hen. Which is above the 10 year [00:06:00] average of 2. 7 poults per hen. I think the goal is usually about 3 or more. But, we're above the 10 year average I don't know.

That might be a Mark Wiley question. Have him come dive into that a little bit more. That, and Paul, he obviously can give you some insight on that. We've got the reminders to check out the... foliage of the leaves all around the state of Ohio. It's hard to miss and man, they've been hanging on for a long time, but I'm sure there'll be falling soon.

We get one of those good cold snaps with a little storm with it. And the next thing they'll all be down. So enjoy them while they're there. Just. fabulous fall color this year. ODNR is going to hold a, nope that's gone, nevermind, groundbreaking ceremony for a new eco discovery center at Salt Fork State Park.

But that event itself is done. [00:07:00] I get these throughout the week so I try to save them. In an attempt to give them to you somewhat

on time, but ODNR celebrates Gorman Heritage Farm H2O Ohio wetland project. That's down in Cincinnati. And

what else? A lot of stuff about this Eco Discovery Center at Salt Fork State Park, so if you're interested in that, Salt Fork State Park is a fabulous place to go for the family, so if you haven't ever been, definitely take a look at that. One thing to remind, and I don't think any hunter needs to be reminded, but to stay vigilant for deer activity on the roads this fall.

And, we all know that they are starting to move I've seen them at night, cruising around. I'm sure your trail cameras are going up, mine is literally blowing up right now as [00:08:00] I sit here and try to record this. We got a little warm snap coming here, but I don't think we're far off from the majority of the movement to really kick off.

We're coming up on Halloween, which a lot of these big name guys talk about one of the best days of the year, I don't know, from what I've seen. My couch for my trail camera because I haven't been able to get back out in the woods lately is That they are moving and some of the people I've talked to either put bucks down or They are also seeing a lot.

So the times here guys the time is here. It's gonna be Like I said, a little warm up here in the next couple of days, but the rut is upon us. So I wish you all the best of luck. This week's episode is going to be with Greg Farrell. So Greg is a I don't know his official title, but he's a big wig with [00:09:00] First Light when it comes to the Whitetail development team.

And Greg has been working with them for a long time. He was the outsider at the start to. First light because he was a whitetail guy. He grew up in Wisconsin about the first five minutes of our interview gets cut off So you'll hear it. It's Again, I apologize, but such as life, Greg grew up in Wisconsin, big whitetail hunter and still avid in the whitetail woods, just, but also his job is with First Light, just developing new things and helping to bring the best products to the market.

I think I've made it pretty clear. I dove into that realm a few years ago and I'm just I've never been happier with a clothing line. They do a good job. And if you haven't tried it I would encourage you to at least dip your toe in the water. Anywho, next week we'll be I think, to give you a [00:10:00] warning, if you ever listen to the Wisconsin Sportsman, Josh Raley does all of our uploading for the shows on the network on the Sportsman's Empire.

And Josh is going on his little vacation. So we're going to have a couple episodes that we're going to send in to him ahead of time so he can get them uploaded while he's, before he goes out in the woods. And so we might not have a whole lot of breaking news updates, but if there's anything that, we see that's worthwhile, like posted on Instagram or go wild time to go wild.

com is, or on the app, you can find us O2 podcast. And with that, the music started fabulous. But also on Instagram, it's the. o2. podcast. And I'm trying to think the O2 podcast. com is our website. We're gonna have some cool stuff coming up there soon, but we'll get you more details on that. [00:11:00] We appreciate you guys and bear with us.

We're trying to get these shows out and extremely busy times of life. Along with, obviously, the greatest time of the year upon us. So good luck to everybody out there. Be safe, be smart, and shoot straight. Take care, everybody.

You don't turkey hunt, but, I guess we'll go right back into it. Yeah. Where are we at? Public and private land rights history. Yeah, public and private. Sorry. No worries. You're good. We're not gonna start over. Okay. We'll figure that out. No. What do you, you made a comment.

So what do you think you like more? Do you like just diving off into an area? Oh, we're going to [00:12:00] hunt this WMA in a state that I've never been. Or, you go back to those same honey holes or those same areas you've hunted on those out of state trips. Gosh, it's that's such a tough, I think, honestly, I appreciate them both because they both exist, right?

Like for me, some of the most exciting. Sits are those sits where you have no idea, what's in the area, right? Like completely fresh, no Intel. It's like a giant could walk by at any moment, right? There is something really exciting about that. And I really like learning like for me almost.

As much fun as, sitting in the stand or hanging in the saddles, like learning these new parcels and trying to figure out how deer use them based off of human pressure and, topography or the topographical maps and food and bedding and all that jazz. But there's also something to be said for really honing in on an area, I find for me, at least, and.

Maybe I'm just not as good at this as some other guys, [00:13:00] but it seems to be like that third year of hunting in areas like when I really seem to figure it out. There's a lot of stuff you can figure out pretty quick, but I think it just, it takes time in the woods, especially in new areas to figure them out.

So there's something cool about going back to a place and really just chipping away at it. And so you're just using, like that historical experience hanging tree stand, maybe moving a little closer, trying to find, I, so you're using your, like what during those hunts, the experiences that you gain to really hone in.

Yeah. I'll do all the, the background research ahead of time, try and gather as much intel from folks. If I knew, if I know anybody that's hunted there before do a ton of time looking at, spend a ton of time looking at maps spend a ton of time looking at the surrounding area.

Depending on if I can get to it or not, do some scouting in the summer, via, be it from the truck or boots on the ground. But man, for me, like I've really transitioned, I would say in the last, I don't know, six or seven years to like, it used to be where I put all this time [00:14:00] in ahead of time and I would be picking out my tree on Google earth, before I went in, which is super helpful. And I'm not negating the importance of that, but I've just really transitioned into I want to hunt deer where they are now regardless of whether that's early season, like ramp up to the rut, middle of the rut. And that changes so much as the season goes on.

And frankly, it changes year to year. Like things happen in the surrounding area with. Crop rotation, hunter pressure, timber stand improvement, logging, et cetera, that, those things they're in constant flux. So to me, the most valuable, if I had to, if somebody tasked me with, okay, you got five days in a year to devote to deer hunting, to go kill a deer, I'm going to wait until let's say we're in the Midwest. I'm going to wait until the end of October. I'm going to spend three of those days boots on the ground and two of those days hunting, where previously it was, I would have spent four of those days looking at maps and hunting for glass and for my truck, and one day hunting. So I've evolved, I think, as [00:15:00] I've gotten older and spent more time, I think in more places to more of a system like that. Greg. Oh, go ahead, Paul. So what do you think kickstarted that evolution? Those are, four days to one day to more of that.

You're looking for that experience. And Sam, what was the driver behind that change? You just enjoy being in the woods more? Honestly, I think it came from I just started finding more success doing it that way. Like in my younger years of hunting, I would get so fixated on it's okay, this is the area I want to be in.

This is the tree I want to be in. And I get in there and, it's I'd walk past good sign, or I'd get in there and be like, actually, man, like a hundred yards that way looks a little better, but I'm going to stick to my guns and sit here. And then sure enough, it's you see those deer.

Walking in, that spot you're going to go to, or, the sign that you saw behind you. And, I just, I started having more success, like [00:16:00] really hunting fresh sign and hot sign. And, that obviously depends on what time of the season it was. So I think that is what just evolved me more towards that system of trust in my gut, trusting like my woodsmanship.

And seeing what's going on in the moment and hunting that more so than, what you think you should, or what it says you should do on paper. So I have a question. I've heard you just brought it up just hypothetical, but I heard some other people talk about this. You got a week on a property, right?

And I don't remember exactly what the ratio was you said, you're going to spend three days boots on the ground and four days hunting or whatever. I'm an idiot. Okay. And I'm just trying to visualize this when you say three days boots on the ground and I don't know how big the property is, maybe that has something to do with it because obviously you're not gonna spend three days walking an 80 acre parcel because that's way overkill.

And you're just gonna. Mock up everything, but like I had one recently where I had about a week, my plan was to go out one day. I went out first thing in the morning, just hung in a tree. Then I was gonna get down [00:17:00] and walk around. I had a really good success in that tree that morning, at least visually.

But I wouldn't want to spend three days walking around mucking that up. I would have been, I guess I'm trying to visualize what it really looks like when you say three days boots on the ground. Is it? Yeah. Literally boots on the ground. Are you just constantly moving, looking, marking spots as you spend those three days, but still actively hunting with your bow in hand, hanging from a tree, getting down midday, going to different spots.

What is that? Yeah, my way off. No, that's a great a great call out. So if it's mid season, I'm not giving up three days of potentially hunting to walk around this place, right? If season's open, I'm saying that I'm boots out of the ground, but what I'm really doing is I'm being super mobile.

So like I'm hunting, right? It's I'm going to do my research ahead of time and be like, okay, this is where I want to start. And I might go in there. Afternoon one, right? Stand on my back. I'm going to go in there and hunt, but on my way in, I'm scouting my way in. It's I'm headed to this area, but [00:18:00] do I maybe end up here?

Do I maybe end up in that area? And then based off what I see or learn, it's like, where am I going to go the next day? So it's I'll try and spend those 3 days being super mobile, like while still hunting. But doing so in a way that's maybe low, like somewhat low impact, right? So it's I'm not putting myself like in the hot seat on day one, I'm trying to set up where I'm still like intercepting what's going on in that hot zone, or like still in the mix of it, but without knowing exactly how deer move, maybe how the thermals are acting in that area. I don't want to dive in so deep right away that I blow everything out. So it's Almost three days, call it, of like semi conservative mobile hunting. And then, if I still haven't killed something, it's I'm gonna dive in those last two days, because I only have two more days to get it done.

And I've gained a lot of intel on how this property plays out in the first three days. And how often has it happened where you do your e scouting ahead of time, [00:19:00] you show up to a property, basically, in the dark. Not actually in the dark. Whatever. Your first sit. And you were actually successful until two years ago, like zero, I've had a streak the last couple of years where, I don't know, three or four hunts I've it's happened like day one, sit one some of that's just dumb luck, right?

I think some of that is just continually evolving how you hunt. But man, normally I'm like the, I'm the guy that kills on the last day. Normally that's just seems to be the way things go for me. After you put all the pieces together. Yeah, exactly. That's good stuff, man. I want to ask you about, and this is something that I'm really like, I've I'm diving more into this just trying to understand, but like what when you're e scouting or just looking what kind of terrain features draw your attention?

What are you honing in that you see something on your map? You're like, I'm going to start here. Is there anything? Yeah, for sure. I think a lot of it [00:20:00] depends on. Kind of what the area has around it too. For example, one of my spots in Southern Wisconsin that I hunt, like there's no topography, right?

Like it's flat and it's flat on my piece. It's flat everywhere around. So like there, I'm looking much more at like crops, crop rotation, bedding and travel corridors. So and when I'm talking about travel quarters, it's a lot of this area is ag. So it's I'm looking at wood rows that connect.

Essentially ag to betting, if there's some CRP things like that. So for me in an area like that, where there's no topography whatsoever, it's more of what is the ratio of food to cover? How does that play into what deer are using for travel corridors? And then that's where I'm going to start.

It's I'm going to try and get in between. Obviously where they're bedding and where they're feeding and a travel corridor that I can get into, with the right wind pretty undetected. So in a spot like that where it's flat, that's definitely what I'm focusing on. Now we go to Western Wisconsin where [00:21:00] there's a ton of topography.

That's where I'm going to start looking more into like saddles geographical features, be it elevation or again types of cover and things like that, that create pinch points. But especially in those areas, like where you have that topography, I find it almost easier, right?

Because it's somewhat more predictable, like how the deer use those terrain features. And typically I have a lot more success early on in a hunt and a spot like that, where it's okay, I see this saddle that connects, this feeding to this bedding, or it's this is a ridge that connects.

One area to another area. And there's no logging road on it. It's like in those steep, when there's those steep terrain features, it really seems to dictate deer movement a lot more. And I think it's easier to pick those starting points. Yeah, that's I, most of my hunting occurs in the, the Eastern, Southeastern part of Ohio for deer, and it's just hilly man and [00:22:00] hilly.

And then you get down to the river, it gets just treacherous. And so those are the areas that like you said, you've got these areas that, these train features that, are going to move deer. I just got some access to some private property here in the County that we live in, it's flat, completely flat, like the tiniest little hill surrounded by ag, and I'm standing out there looking in and I'm like.

I don't even know where to begin, man. I think this is so different than anything I've ever hunted. But it's your point earlier. I just start walking around and, I hunted and I'm like, I'm going to see anything I'm going to move around and you start seeing those signs and the, the sign.

And like you said, the travel corridors, I don't know. It just it's neat, man. I like getting into those new areas. That's my thing. If I had to, if I. I want to go somewhere different. Every time I hunt, man, I don't know why I just like seeing new terrain. And I don't know. It's all going to change this year.

I think so. It's crazy to like area to area. I was down in Mississippi last year. And first time I had been down there, but. And like the Delta, right? Like that [00:23:00] area it was right at the beginning of December. So it was pretty cool. Cause that's when the deer, those deer rut down there.

So you can almost like chase the rut South. It's like you hit your Midwest rut and then go down there. But I was down there and I was hunting with some folks that, hunted there a lot last 20 years. And they kept talking about ridges. And when I first got there, and I was like, What are you guys talking about?

Like it's all flat, and to them, a ridge is anything like, two feet of elevation gain is a ridge, but especially in that Mississippi Delta, it's like those deer use those ridges because when that floods, like when that water gets high, those ridges, are the only spot where they can travel.

So even when it's dry, they've become so accustomed to walking on these, something that I would have totally overlooked, cause I'd never really spent much time in that area or hunting that area. And it's for them in that spot, that's a train feature where anywhere else, it's like, you wouldn't even think twice about it.

Yeah. One of the, and Jason red and I have talked about this. One of the things that [00:24:00] like the train features that I just freaking love, man, if I see it on the map and I've got hardwoods or ag or a marsh, I'm going to the marsh 10 out of 10 times to Turkey hunt, to deer hunt, I don't know why marshes and swamps.

I love it. Now, Wisconsin, you guys got some pretty wild marsh land up there. Do you get into those at all? Yeah. I did a lot. I don't know, 10 years ago I had some access to some areas and even, when I was in college too, we had some great public that, butted up to marshes and.

I always like it's I hear what you're saying. Cause like in Wisconsin, when you hear Marsh, like automatically you're thinking big deer, there's always big deer that live in those areas. They're hard to kill. And that's the reason they live in those areas, but it always holds big deer. And then the thing I love about them.

And, when I spent more time hunting them is like. It was another feature that for me, it was pretty easy to predict deer movement. It's if there's going to be deer coming into or out of this area, like this is where they're going to move. And it seems eight out of [00:25:00] 10 times, like you were right.

So that's a feature. That's pretty cool. Honestly, I don't have. A lot of the places I hunt now, I don't have a ton of access to marsh ground anymore. So it's been a while, but yeah, I always did really enjoy it. All right, Greg. So on the marsh thing, how do you hunt a marsh? And what I'm going to, I'll try to give you an explanation.

I had access to one last week, first time I've ever hunted a marsh or area like that. Basically surrounded by hardwoods and acorns. So there's plenty of food. You got this marsh in the middle. I'm trying to figure out how to set up on the wind, right? I don't really want the wind blown into the marsh.

In my mind, I was like, I'll set up 40 yards off the edge of the marsh thinking they'll use the edge of the marsh as their kind of main travel corridor. And I didn't see that. I saw the deer moving. Forty or fifty yards off the marsh right where I was which is fine, right? That's cool, too Except they got a little bit too close for me.

I [00:26:00] Just because I was trying to overthink everything I guess maybe in the process But how would you hunt a marsh you how when it comes to wind? Access food source all that kind of stuff where you're setting up on it Yeah, a lot of that is going to depend on what's around it, right? Like in terms of food, other hunter pressure, betting, things like that.

In most cases, like in the areas that I've Hunted marshes, like the deer are using the marsh for cover. That's their safe spot. They know they're not getting bugged in there. So what I'm always trying to do is like figure out where I can intercept them going into, right? If they're pressured or bumped going into that marsh or frankly, coming out of it right at in the evening to feed or in the morning and be going back into it.

But that's their safe spot that they tend to use to get to bedding. Or they're going into that to get away from pressure. And then. They're betting on the kind of the very edge of it where it's dry. What I've always done is like a figure out where are they going into and coming [00:27:00] out of there?

What's their travel corridor into or out of that marsh? And then B, the first thing they're always going to do, right? They typically have multiple exits from that marsh and they're going to choose which way they're going out based off of wind direction. That's their best sense. So I'm always trying to figure out, it's okay, based off of this wind direction, I don't want to obviously I don't want my wind blowing right into their exit route, but I know that I need it to be in their favor in order for them to use that exit. So I'm always trying to find that like sweet spot between not giving up, the wind totally, but having that cross wind where they still feel comfortable enough to come out and I'm going to get a shot or an opportunity right before they catch my wind.

That's the way I've always approached it. And had pretty good success.

I love the game and the chess match. It is. That's why we're thinking it. Yeah, I that's one thing that, and here we go months buckle up that I love about turkey hunting is I can just go in there like an idiot and not have to worry about. My wind where it's going, I [00:28:00] just got to be quiet, and that's one thing that like this year I've really started to like obsess over the, not obsess, obsess is the wrong word, but be cognizant of the access that I'm, that I'm taking and reading into that wind and I don't know, man, that's a, it stresses me out, Greg, I don't know why it stresses me out.

It's funny you say that too, because it's I'm. When I started at First Sight, I was employee number seven, I think. And I was the first person in that office that had ever really whitetail hunted. There was people there that had gone on a few whitetail hunts, but they weren't whitetail hunters. And I came in there and I was the guy that would give up, elk hunting or the best week of mule deer hunting to go sit in a tree stand. That just baffled everybody. Like they couldn't understand it. Like I was the weird dude. And obviously whitetail hunting is my passion, but.

There is something so it's almost like stress free about turkey hunting or Western hunting because it's I don't care about how I smell. I don't care about all these little things that we obsess about as for [00:29:00] hunting mature white tails, like they just seem to go out the window and it's just it's a different, like other stuff matters, right?

Like your priorities just change, but it is funny. You bring up the turkey thing too. Cause every spring I get my turkey stuff ready. It's Oh, like I don't care if it smells or I don't need to run it through my ozone machine. It's I can just throw all my stuff in the truck. I don't have to worry about it.

It is nice to spray it down with permethrin. And then you're about exactly man. I, and I'm a big dude and there are times like in the deer woods, like we'll hike in two miles in public land and I get to where I'm going and I'm just like a, just a mess. Just an absolute mess. I'm like, you know what?

Why am I doing this? Like I've wrecked everything I smell sweaty. So I don't know, man, I definitely enjoy it. So I want to ask you. So you definitely have taken that there's I feel like there's an evolution, right? I've gone through it with turkeys where you just start to, you start to play the game differently.

And you, you [00:30:00] said that like with your wind and the marsh and like, how you're like, so is there like a little more risk taking in your decision making that risk, but you're willing to like, what you can get away with. With deer, because you've had some success and you've been doing it longer.

That, that experience is, it sounds like it's really taking you to the next level. Do you feel like you've taken that step? Yeah. I don't think it's a conscious step, that anybody takes. I think it's with doing anything, I've been at this for gosh, 30 years now, of trying to kill these critters and getting bad, getting better at it. And frankly, like. There was a long time where I wasn't good at it. Like when you're young and dumb and just like you, you bull on a China shop, right? Like you learn pretty quick that those things don't help. And, I used to be of the mindset too, where it was like, I would spend more time in a stand than anybody every year.

And I wasn't having success doing that. And I couldn't figure out why. And I was just like, I'm hunting [00:31:00] so hard. I'm putting so much time into this. Like, why am I not having the success? And I think it's just. It's an evolution of becoming almost more surgical, in a way where when you're, when you're trying to kill a deer or two deer like maybe on a property, like there's one or two mature deer that are on your hit list.

You typically only get one chance at them. And if you mess it up, that might be the last chance you have all season. So I think I've just, I've evolved into kind of becoming more surgical and becoming. More focused on doing the right things at the right time than just like casting a wide net and hoping something happens.

Yeah that's definitely I'm in the middle of the two of those because it's always been just cast that wide net and I'll take what, I'll take what comes my way, right? I'm not going to be upset in the Whitetail world because it's not like just a huge priority to me. I love doing it, but if.

It's not what makes me tick, but I don't know, man, this [00:32:00] other guy on the screen is got me all worked up about to shoot deer and I'm just like I'm like freaking out about it, but in a good way, And so I hear guys like you talk and I'm like, man, it's just you show much more like detailed than I am.

And just even compared to where I was like three or four years ago, like I'm a thousand times more detailed than I was, just plodding into the woods man, I'm gonna shoot whatever comes my way. But I, so let me, I'm going to ask you a funny question. Who is, this is a safe space, Greg. Who is the worst meat eater personality to go on a white tail hunt with?

And I don't mean worse, like in I hate this person, but worse you're driving me nuts, man. There's got to be one of them. I know there is. Oh my gosh. That's a tough question. You're like, you love the person, but you're just like you're really, you're wearing me out. There's got to be one of them that just wears you out.

Gosh. I'm going to say, I'm going to vote just off of the experience that I have just from the internet and the conversations we've had. I'm going to say [00:33:00] Giannis would be the one that I'd be like, dude, you freaking stop. Will you stop moving? You're pissing me off. I love you. Stop it. Like he, he would be the one that I could see that just we're going to climb this mountain.

And you're like, there's no reason to climb this mountain. I'm not going to climb that damn mountain. Stop it. That's just how he seems like. We've had him on the show once. Great guy. We had a lot of fun with him, but that's where my boat's going. He's a, I gotta say an interesting case study because he's got bit by the whitetail bug hard in the last handful of years.

And like he is dove in and obviously he's got, a lot of resources, right? I spent a ton of time talking to him, obviously Mark spent a ton of time talking to him and he's got his property now. So he's he's on the up and up in terms of, really understanding this white tail thing.

I was going to answer your question with a kind of a, not a cop out, but I was going to just generalize Western hunters, right? Because they're so used to like, you can get away with you're always doing something you're glassing or you're. Eating snacks while you're [00:34:00] waiting, or you're going to get up and go over to this next Ridge to check that out.

There's always something to do. And you put those guys in a tree stand and tell them like, they can't do anything for the next eight hours. And they just freak out. It's there's like scratching their face, like two hours in Oh God, I'm freaking out. Yeah. So I I'll call one person out and just cause I have the experience with him and he knows it's true too.

But our Our old VP of marketing when I first started, Ross Copperman, he doesn't work at First Light anymore, but he eventually was the president of First Light after the merger happened and stuff, but he had not he had not really ever spent any time whitetail hunting. And I got to go on a whitetail hunt with him.

I think it was actually his first whitetail archery hunt in Montana. It was like a, Cottonwood, like river bottom situation, just unbelievable whitetail hunting, but. The first sit, we went out, we actually sat together cause I was going to show him the ropes and he wanted to learn some stuff.

And it was the exact situation you were just talking about. It's we had been there maybe 30 minutes and I could see him [00:35:00] getting fidgety and he's looking around and then, he's talking to me and it's okay, you need to be quiet and you need to like, stop moving or we're never going to see any deer.

But it's it's just there's people that grew up on just Western hunting. It's all they've done. It's just, it's such a different experience. I think. Have you done any Western hunting yourself? I mean for elk or mule deer or any of that kind of stuff? Yeah in college was my first kind of when I started getting out West and I'd do like a trip a year.

We'd go out, me and my buddies and we'd either chase elk or chase deer. DIY public land stuff. And then obviously when I started with First Light the first four years I worked for them, I lived out in Idaho. Before we really had a whitetail program. So I spent a lot of time chasing elk and mule deer out there.

So when we talk about Western hunters trying to go to the whitetail woods, I can definitely see how they would be fidgety and all that stuff and not care about scent and all that kind of stuff, or not as much. Does it go the other way where if you're coming from the whitetail woods and you're just up there and you're like, I don't want to move, or is it [00:36:00] easier to adapt to that Western?

Let's be honest. We all know white tail hunters are smarter, so they probably figured it out quicker, but no, I think it for sure goes the other way. That was one of the hard lessons I had to learn elk hunting is like the first three or four years I did it, I was just way too careful and it took, me actually going out with some people that knew what they were doing and dude, elk are big.

They make a lot of noise. Like you need to be way more aggressive. And I think that was a hangover of right. Like my whitetail experience where I was just like, I was too cautious. And I, I never had success until I changed how I hunted elk because of that kind of whitetail hangover, I think.

Awesome. Greg, so we just talked about that cold front or I guess earlier and heck, it might've got cut off in my technological. Errors, but the you guys have that cold front come through there in Wisconsin that really jumpstarted a lot of things and moving forward today is the 18th. I [00:37:00] think we'll probably air this about a week from now, so we'll be pushing, knocking on the door in November.

Will there's a big spike in that activity of the Whitetails and then will it taper back down or is this like we're just going to move right into the rut? Will the rut be pushed forward? In your experience, because I think there's some guys out there will tell you that early October cold front is, not as hyped up as it should be, or as some people make it out to be.

I'm just curious what to expect, at least in your perspective, moving forward on the activity range. I'm a firm believer that the rut happens the same time every year. I think our perception of it changes based off of these, external features, like what's going on with the moon phase, what's going on with temperature, what's going on with weather, things like that.

I don't think. The actual rut changes. I just think how much we see of the rut, during active hunting hours might change based off those external features. So that's what I've, I was [00:38:00] experienced and believed to be true. So I think in terms of the ramp up, it's the same every year.

It's just using those external factors to your advantage to really capture that. So it's like, For me, if I had to choose hunting, pre rut or rut, I'm going to choose pre rut every single time, like that week leading up to the actual kind of true peak of breeding for me is like the sweet spot because I just, I've had better luck calling deer.

I've had better luck seeing deer. They're still a little bit more predictable, right? Like they're still on some type of normal pattern. They're just more active in that pattern. Or once you get to true breeding, it's like you're at the mercy of what those hot does are doing, and you could Bring any buck, any direction from the next County into yours or vice versa.

If the wrong doe or the right doe does, a certain thing. I always favor that pre rut time over, don't get me wrong, I'm going to be sitting in the woods, right? If I got a tag in my pocket during the rut, but if I had to choose one, I really liked that pre rut time.

I love it. I've seen a lot of [00:39:00] people talking about that. The pre rut. That's if you asked me, if I had two days to turkey hunt, sorry, Andrew I'm going to take the last two days of the year, last two days of the season. That's where I want to be out there. So yeah, it's interesting people like just how, like the perception that people have of the season, it's neat how everyone's different.

So that first week in November, Greg, you want to take a guess at where I'm going to be? Take a guess. Turkey hunting in Pennsylvania.

So your spring comic got me all fired up, man. Hey, don't get me wrong. I like turkey hunting. I just, I didn't want to mislead you that I was more of a hard worker. We can kick him off the call at any time. Just give me the sign. Okay. The all right, Greg. So you work for first light. I love first light and I probably have way too much of it, which probably makes you happy, but Anybody who's an obnoxious amount, Greg, I'm going to tell you an obnoxious amount.

It's insane. I get, yeah, I'm that guy, [00:40:00] but the, to somebody who might be new to it or is looking to upgrade stuff, can you give us three, three items within the first light lineup that would be, here are the first three things that you really need to look at putting into your arsenal before you go headfirst and the whole closet becomes first light.

Yeah, for sure. I love this too, because this is this is realistic, right? Like at the end of the day, the stuff we make is expensive. It costs a lot of money. I think it's very unrealistic to think that someone would, could or should, frankly go whole hog, when they come into first light.

And when people ask me this, even if they don't ask me as detailed questions, you just said Hey, what first light piece should I buy? This is how I attack it because I think a, getting people to understand the benefit, you're not, you're actually paying for something.

You're paying for a technological advantage in textiles and design. And you will notice that in the [00:41:00] field. And personally, I want somebody to appreciate that and buy into that before they spend all their hard earned money on it. So the first thing I always tell people if you're only going to buy one piece of first light, or two pieces of first site, focus on your base layers. Your base layers are your foundation for everything else. And if your foundation falls apart, it doesn't matter what you have on top of that. So an example of that, you could buy our most expensive outerwear pieces. Let's say jacket and bib, right?

But if you have. Cotton long johns on and like a cotton sweatshirt underneath that outer, those outer pieces, they're not hurting you, but man, like you're maybe getting 50 percent of the value they have to add because your foundation isn't working with those pieces and it's doing you more harm than good.

So my suggestion always for those first pieces is. Get a next to skin, base layer and what that piece is going to be, frankly, depends on what that person's doing or the majority of their hunting. But for me, [00:42:00] what I always do is like our wick, which is our lightest weight merino wool pieces, that is next to skin on my top a hundred percent of my hunting season, like in the early season, if it's super hot, that might be all I'm wearing in the very last set of the year. That's my next to skin piece and I'll build on top of that. So my first suggestion would be like a wick base layer. I love the hoodie because I, get a little extra protection, whether it's concealment or, from the sun or et cetera, if I need it, but, I could flip it down if I don't.

And then on the bottoms. Something like our kiln, which is our mid weight is typically my go to once it's cold enough to put long johns on, like that's the weight that seems to be this sweet spot for me. So I really like that, it's like a 250 weight merino wool long john.

Would be like the first, I don't know if you can call it the first piece of the first two pieces, but that was, that's always my suggestion is like Marina wall next to skin base layers. I would agree with you 100%. If there was like three [00:43:00] things that were extras, bells and whistles, you got that gift card for Christmas or whatever, that you're able to just splurge on, what would you tell people to consider?

I'll give you my three after the fact. So let's say, I want to see what you say. Cool. Cool. My other two suggestions regardless of any other external circumstances, I would say origin hoodie, which is like a, it's a midway what I would call like second or mid layer, right? Fleece hoodie.

It's super feature rich. It's got a built in face mask, kangaroo pocket, thumb loops, the material itself, it's fleeced interior. So it's really comfortable. It adds a little bit of insulation, but you have a durable water resistant exterior dead quiet, right? It's like that would be a piece for sure.

And then in addition to that, I would suggest our source jacket which we call like the white tailors, puffy jacket, so everybody loves puffy jackets because their warmth to weight ratio is incredible. But typically when you think of a puffy jacket, it's loud. It's [00:44:00] delicate, like the opposite of what a white tail hunter needs.

So we created a durable, quiet, puffy jacket for white tailors. And man, like if you had a wick top and origin hoodie, and then that source jacket, you're covered for. Man, like 90, probably 90%, 80 percent of most whitetail seasons. Like once it gets below probably. I don't know, let's call it mid forties, right?

Like you're tapped out with that system. But if you think about the majority of days in the field as a white tail hunter in the Midwest, like 75 to 80, down to 45, like that's the majority of your day. So I love that like trifecta of a combo on top. And personally for me, like my top, the one I'm wearing on my top is more important than what I'm wearing on my legs.

So I'll always defer to get the feature rich technologically advanced pieces on my top. If I have a budget and I'll sacrifice what I'm wearing for [00:45:00] pants. Cause they're just. As a whitetail hunter, they're not quite as important to me. So my three, solitude vest, I think that thing, and I'm not, I haven't been a vest person my whole life, but recently I've gotten on board with that.

That thing is, it's good for the outside, good for the inside, super warm pockets. Beautiful. The transfer pack. So taking it outside of the the clothing side of things, most of what I do is mobile to some degree. And I never thought I need a bag that big, but I find a way to fill it. And it is I love that thing.

It's super well thought out. And then. Just recently, I discovered the beauty of the origin pants. Wore those as my outer layer, and it was like wearing sweatpants in the woods. And talk about comfortable, man. Holy smokes. Those were I've been a, I've been a huge fan of the hoodie, right? But when those came out and I'm like, all right, I got to try them because, I just got to and oh my gosh, man, I [00:46:00] wore those last Friday and I was, I felt like I was at the, sitting on the couch watching football, but he sent me a text and it was like, these things are like freaking sweatpants, dude, I was so excited.

It was like a little girl. I was so excited, but the cool thing about those is like. They, they're like a technical sweat pant, right? Like they have the features that you need to wear them as outerwear. If you truly want, I spent a lot of time hunting with those as my pants but they layer so seamlessly under any of the other garments too, just because of the fabric and the fit.

But man, if you're wearing them as outerwear, you're not giving up anything in terms of like pockets or features that you would on a typical outerwear pant. Yeah. I, we, I switched over and started getting first light. So this is, I think my third season wearing it and it has been tremendous.

The go farther or stay longer like that is a real thing. And I don't, I, and I think once, once you get certain, start adding the pieces, like you really, I think people, they just, they understand that. And that's, I [00:47:00] think the number one thing for me that I've loved is like you said, the ability to layer the different pieces of the.

Of the gear that's been huge. I got the the sanctuary 2. 0 jacket. I love that thing, man. I love the sleeves. I love how tight they are not tight. They're just tapered. I love the taper on them. And we were hunting in Northern Michigan and it was 10 inches of snow on the ground.

It was five degrees and I'm just sitting there just loving life, man. So in the hand mop, that is my favorite piece. I love it. I use it nonstop. Love it. I appreciate what you just brought up too, because I get this all the time. It's my, my grandpa and my dad killed big bucks and car hearts and cotton flannels.

And you know what? Absolutely. There's people every year that killed giant deer and blue jeans and a sweatshirt and you do not need to buy first light to kill big deer. Like you do not need to wear. High quality clothing to kill big deal. Like it happens all the time, right? Without wearing our stuff.

But I, what I always say to people is like. [00:48:00] The best way I can describe is like people used to drive like a horse and buggy like into town, right? Like you could still do that now if you wanted to, but you don't have to write there's a better solution now. And that's what we're trying to provide.

At the end of the day, if it's, let's say, mid November. And you have to get down from your stand because you're cold or uncomfortable. Like to me, you're giving up a big opportunity, right? Yeah, you can come in and warm up and go back out, but you gave up a huge opportunity. And if your clothing system allows you to sit out there all day and remain focused because you're comfortable, like you're giving yourself an advantage.

And at the end of the day, like being successful in the Whitetail woods, it's you're playing a percentage game, every single percentage that you can tip in your favor, whether it's. Sent, your cam, like you don't need camouflage to kill deer. You can kill deer and solids. But if it affords you that extra second or two seconds that you might need where that deer doesn't know what's going on, or you're able to draw your bow, [00:49:00] it's like you're tipping the scale in your favor. If you can spend an extra three hours in the woods because you didn't have to get down in the afternoon, you're tipping the scale in your favor.

Like to me, all of those little percentages add up to a big difference. So that's always what kind of what I'm going for. Yeah. That's it. Like for, and in the spring, man I just, I destroy clothes that matter what they are. Doesn't matter. And I've got, I've been putting that new first light gear under some exercise in the spring and it's held up.

So that's been, yeah very happy with it. I love what you guys are doing. The cash pattern. I got, I actually just bought the origin hoodie in cash and that's, I'm going to use that during Turkey season. That thing is sweet, man. I love it. Greg is never coming back on our show again because you just derailed the whitetail talk to birds left and right.

So the origin hoodie, I bought it last year or right when it came out and it was a little snug. I lost some weight so it fit and I wore it. Extensively on my, my, my hunts, the last couple of weeks, [00:50:00] Whitetail hunting, Andrew, and I put that thing on. I'm like, man, I feel like a freaking badass.

Like it looks sweet, man. You put the hood up and the mask and this is cool. I like it. Ninja Paul. Yeah. And the source jacket, that thing is, that thing's pretty cool too. So I had to steal that. My, my son pilfered that from my closet last year. Cause I couldn't fit in it. Greg this year game on man, that's the thing's awesome.

But good deal. Great. Thanks. Thanks man. For all you guys do. One last, one last story. The, or question the guy that works at the store there in Idaho mall. What's his name? I see him on Instagram all the time. Do you remember his name? Keith. Keith. That guy's a Keith. That guy's a trip, man.

Is he like his persona is the same in real life. I feel like I could walk into the first light store and be like, I like this guy just immediately. Like the guy, I just love his personality, man. He seems like a hoot. He's if you walked into that store and didn't know anything about him, like he's just the nicest, most like personal kind of not I'm trying to think of the right word.

There's no like intimidation around, like he just, [00:51:00] he makes people feel comfortable. He's a goofy dude. He's super sociable, but man, you get that dude on the Hill and he is one of the deadliest guys that I know. Absolute stone cold killer. He spends more time on the mountain than, probably 95 percent of people year round, just scouting, finding critters, learning critters.

And it pays, pays off for him. The dude's insanely successful on the Hill. Yeah. Put him in a whitetail stand. How would he eat? Freak out. I, I don't, that's a good question. I don't know if he's done much whitetail hunting in the Midwest anyways. I know he's done some stuff in the West, but good deal.

Greg, anything coming out that you can talk about in the whitetail world and or Turkey world or. Waterfowl world. Man. There's definitely some stuff coming out. How much I can talk about is dependent on whether I want to keep my job or not, but there's a, yeah there's some, I will say this, there's a big.

Big stuff, big changes coming in the Whitetail world. Next year will be the biggest [00:52:00] year for First Light Whitetail since we released the Whitetail specific pattern. So you're going to see some serious changes to our offering in general. Did you see Munz's face? Just panicked. I just total panicked.

How much money am I going to have to save? Is the question. That's the... That all depends on how much fun you want to have. I'm sure. Good stuff. If you, yeah, if you pay attention really closely, to some of the team folks that are out in the fall, out in the field this fall, you might catch a sneak peek of what some of that stuff might be.

But yeah, next year is going to be a huge year for us and a really exciting time if you're a whitetail hunter and a first light customer. Very good. Greg, appreciate you man. Yep. And good luck this fall when you get out there. We'll be watching to see what happens. Yeah, you guys as well.

I appreciate you having me on and good luck to you guys.[00:53:00]