#488 Fell From The Sky – Chad Bales

WTR CBales | Hunting Accidents

 

Chad Bales started to hunt at a young age and started Outdoor Legacy with some friends. In this episode, he tells the story about how an oversight caused him to accidentally fall from the sky. He reminds everyone to always check their gear and make sure someone else knows where they are when they’re out on a hunt. He goes on to tell the tale of how he still managed to hunt despite his accident. Chad is also working with Shock Effect Probiotics on a supplement program for a bigger and healthier deer herd.

Listen to the podcast here:

Fell From The Sky – Chad Bales

We’re heading out to Oklahoma and we’re going to visit with Sasquatch. Sasquatch lives in Oklahoma, aka Chad Bales. Chad has been hunting since he was twelve years old. He loves hunting. He’s working in the oil fields and that supports his whitetail habit. Chad, welcome to the show. I’m excited to hear your stories.

Thank you for having me on.

It’s interesting to travel around the country via my guests. I’ve had people from coast to coast, up in Alaska and Canada. It’s a lot of fun to visit because we’ve all got a story.

That’s probably the most wonderful thing about hunting deer. Everybody’s got stories to share. I think anybody and everybody that hunts can sit and talk for hours about it. It never gets old.

Let’s start off with your first story. At age twelve, you went out and you shot a buck. Tell us about that.

My hunting started probably when I was even younger than twelve. My dad and uncles were always bringing me rabbit hunting when I started growing up. I go out with them all the time. When I was old enough to start deer hunting, I was able to go. We happened to be out one cold November morning in Missouri during rifle season. Here comes a little deer. I thought it was just a little forked horn or little spike. I ended up shooting him with my grandpa’s .30-30. I don’t think he ran far at all. We walked over to him and he happened to be a little 6.4. That buck still hangs on my wall. He’s one of my biggest trophies of all, being my first deer ever.

Your dad and your grandpa got you started. Was that a Winchester or a Marlin .30-30?

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It was a Marlin .30-30.

Was that a 336 or something like that?

I think it was a 336. It had a golden trigger on it. Grandpa had an old fixed four-power scope on it. That thing still shoots like a dream. My little brother has it. It’s one of the guns that he has. That thing has killed a lot of deer over the years.

Let’s stay right there and talk about calibers and rifles. My first rifle was a Marlin 336 and I had a Weaver 4x fixed on it. I shot my first buck with that. Sometimes, the guns that our fathers, uncles, or somebody used are just as good as some other guns in the right application. A .30-30 isn’t going to shoot 300 yards, 400 yards, 500 yards. You could do it, but accurately, anything under 200 yards, you can put him down with that .30-30. What are your thoughts?

I have to agree for sure. Growing up in Missouri, it was all wooded with a lot of thick spots. For us, a .30-30 was more than perfect because you’d be lucky if you got shot at a deer over 75 to 80 yards. My dad’s favorite all-time caliber was the .30-06. I think the .30-30 is probably one of the most well-rounded deer calibers that I’ve ever known.

I’ve got a .30-06 and have used that a lot. Like you said about your six-point buck, that .30-30, there was a deer and when the trigger went, he dropped and that was the end of the story. When you think about hunting, when you’re out working in the oil fields, what do you think about?

I’m always thinking about, “What I’m going to do to better my setup, better the property that I have to hunt? Am I going to have time to get in the food plot?” Since I’m usually working, sometimes I completely miss the best part of the food plot season. Sometimes, I had to do without. I’m thinking of new spots to put stands or thinking of a different spot that I can put a trail camera to see the activity of the area on my property. The property I’ve hunted here in Oklahoma, I’ve only been hunting it for a few years. I’ve still got a lot of learning to do. It seems like each time I go to that property, I’m learning something new about that property and what the deer are doing on the property. It’s never-ending. Anytime I’m at work and I’ve got free time, I’m always thinking, “This time, I’m going to go in here and check out this spot or put a camera up in a spot and see what the deer are doing.”

It never ends. More and more guys and gals that I talked to, they’re 365-day hunters. It comes from shed hunting to thinking about food plots, watching crops grow, setting stands, hunting, and then doing shed hunting all over again. It’s quite the sport.

Since I work, I’m usually out of town for two weeks at a time. I’m home for maybe a week at a time. I have to try to put in what effort I have in the preseason/postseason to make my season the best that it can be. For the short period of time I’ve got, I try to put in as much as I can. Sometimes, it may be tough because we’ve all got families and try to include them in there.

You’ve got to balance the family with work and then be able to get out in the treestand for a little bit, Being a 365 hunter, there’s always something to do. The season doesn’t end for a lot of us. Some people, they go hunting for their nine, ten-day season, come home, hang it up and take care of their deer. They don’t think much about it until the next year. That’s okay, too. We’re all a little bit different. It takes us all to make the hunting community grow. Back in 2015, you got started in the outdoor industry with a group called Outdoor Legacy. What was that all about?

I ended meeting some guys through Facebook. I was friends with them but didn’t know them all that well. I happened to see one of them who was talking about meeting some Pro Staff for filming. I was like, “I’m not getting into filming.” I messaged them and started talking to them. They wanted to start filming hunts and maybe try to make a show. I started out helping them out. We all filmed our hunts. We were all trying to get hunts on film back then. At the same time, we were trying to get a footstep into the hunting industry. We started by trying to get some sponsors. When I first started out with them, they’d already worked out a deal with Whitetail Institute. I was shocked by that. They are a great company. They helped that group out a lot when I was with them. We were lucky in a little short time that we all stayed and worked together. We were able to put five episodes out on YouTube which tell you how good they did. I don’t ever remember looking and seeing how many subscribers or viewers we got.

That was my footstep into the hunting industry. I started helping them get sponsors and started talking to different companies. From there, I found out that I have a knack for being able to learn and work with some other companies. I took my footstep from there to where I’m at now. That was the time I started in the industry. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. All my life, I was growing up watching Roger Raglin, Dan Fitzgerald, and way back in the day also, the Hunters Specialties movies. Watching all of that made me want to be considered a professional hunter, somebody who gets to do for a living and hunt 365.

It’s a hard industry, but it’s a great industry. It’s difficult to break in and get your name known. If you watch Sportsman Channel or Pursuit Channel, there’s content all over the place. You go, “Bill Winke is one of the guys that’s made a great name for himself by doing his own show with videos, a blog and other things,” but it took him a long time.

It’s definitely a tough industry to get into because you’ve got so many people trying to get into it. Everybody wants to film their hunts nowadays. People are doing YouTube channels and there are outdoor networks like the CarbonTV, GEN7, and all that stuff. Everybody’s starting to put shows on TV which is awesome because it gives us great content to watch and all that. There’s a lot of competition and it makes it even tougher.

Being a 365 hunter, there's always something to do. The season doesn't end for a lot of us. Click To Tweet

The competition is tough but the more content, the more opportunity we have to expose it to more people to say, “What is this GEN7 TV? What is this CarbonTV?” All of a sudden, they start watching it. Just one thing somebody says, one hunt, or whatever, somebody can say, “I’m going to ask somebody about that.” It’s tough to make a living in the outdoor industry. Only so many people will make it substantially, but a lot of people make a pretty good living doing what they love. If you’re going after that, more power to you.

It’s all about getting the hunting industry out there, getting hunting out there in general, and exposing it to more people. I know the numbers are on the decline for us which is not a good thing. Anything to help get the numbers up is always a good thing.

Keep up the good work on that. Back in 2016, something traumatic happened to you. Let’s unpack that.

2016 started out as pretty good year. It was summertime, my dad and I ended up finding a piece of property in Missouri that we wanted to purchase. We were working on getting everything set up to purchase the property. The day before we closed on the property, I’d been up to Missouri. We already had permission from the people that we were buying the property from to go in there, start cleaning the property up and hunt the property. I went in there to start hanging a treestand because my dad had already been doing a lot of work and had trail cameras and pictures of nice bucks. I was like, “I want to get there to see if I can hunt one.”

On October 1st, I got to Missouri. It was probably around 10:00 to 10:30. I got out to that piece of property around 11:00. I had done a little scouting earlier in one of the times I’ve been up there but I wanted to hang on a treestand. I started putting my sticks upon the side of the tree. I climbed up. I had my harness on, had a lineman’s belt, all safety gear on to be safe while putting up the treestand. To the bottom of my feet was six-feet high. I was trying to put another set of sticks up onto the tree. All I remember was hearing a pop. The next thing I know, I’m lying flat on my back on the ground. I’m confused for a little bit. I finally get the nerve up to go ahead and get to my feet because I was like, “What in the world happened?” I get to stand up. As I stand up, I started to put weight on my left knee. It completely collapsed on me. I had nothing to stand on my left knee. I’m standing there, hobbling around on one leg. I’m looking around trying to figure out, “How did I fall? What gave way?”

I happened to get a hold of my lineman’s belt and realized that the stitching had given away around the carabiner clip. It caused me to fall. I got lucky. Had it been another two minutes from then, I’d have probably been up anywhere from ten to twelve feet high. I was in the process of putting a strap, almost to the point of having my next set of sticks strapped up when I fell off the side of a tree. I did get lucky with my knee. I just strained all the muscles. I didn’t have any tears or anything like that. I had my leg braced up in a full brace where I couldn’t even bend my knee for two weeks. I was hobbling around on crutches which, for me at that time, was tough. I was out of shape all that time. Hobbling on crutches was no fun at all.

WTR CBales | Hunting AccidentsLet’s go back to the lessons learned. Did you precheck your gear before you set it up? Was there any way you could determine it wasn’t ready?

I looked everything over and I felt confident with my gear. I knew my gear because I used it before. I just purchased it the year prior. I was thinking, “This should be good to go.” It’s all brand new. I take pretty good care of all my equipment, especially at the end of hunting season, I put it all away. I broke it out that year, take it out and use it. I probably should have inspected it a little bit better, but I did look it over. I don’t know if a person could foresee something like that, stitching giving away.

I don’t think you could unless you look at them and there’s been some gasoline oil, pine pitch, or something got on the stitches and start breaking them down, or they’re frayed. If it looks good when you tug on it, everything looks like it should then nothing should happen. Stuff happens. Readers, check your gear every year. This is the perfect example. Maybe it wasn’t preventable by anything, except putting it on a machine or something, trying to rip it apart. When you fell, did you have a way to contact your dad, your wife or a friend?

I got lucky my wife had come with me. They didn’t walk to where I wanted to put the stand up. They were hanging out at the front of the property around the pickup. I had my cell phone on me. I was able to get it out of my pocket. I called her. She came in. Luckily, I wasn’t but a few hundred yards away from the truck. I was able to talk to her to where I was at. She tried helping me. It was tough. My daughter was going through some issues. I ended up calling my dad to come and help me. He made it there in no time. He took off work. He said he just left. He said he didn’t go that fast in a long time. It didn’t seem like less than the time I called him to the time he got there, it was long. He ended up getting out there to me because he knew the exact spot where I was already wanting to put a stand. He made it easy. He came out there, helped me hobble my way all the way back to the truck and went to the doctor from there.

Did you think about calling 911 or the local sheriff?

No, I didn’t because I knew I had people available. Had I been by my myself, yes. I think anybody in a situation like that, if you feel like you need help, make sure you get a hold of people that can help you.

Out west when I would head up a trailhead or drop into a canyon, I always leave a note in my car on the windshield. If it was going to be bad weather, you just put it in a piece of plastic and say, “I’m heading up there. I expect to be in there for day and a half, two days. If you don’t see me by October 10th, then I’m in trouble.” That’s smart to do at any place. When we hunt the same 40s, 80s, or 160s and we think we know it so well. When it gets dark and you haven’t told somebody, “I’m at buckwheat stand or overlook stand,” it can make a hard night on a lot of people and you’re laying there needing help. That’s just a recommendation from this guy. What are your thoughts on that?

Always make sure that somebody knows where you’re going. You may be hunting in an area where you may be the only person that hunts that area. Your wife or somebody like that may not know exactly where you’re at, at all. Try to make sure somebody at least knows where you’re at. If they know about the time you come in like, “He’s usually home by 7:00.” If you know he’s not home by 9:30 to 10:00, you might want to check up on him because something could have happened. I try to make it a habit. The new property that I was able to hunt down here in Oklahoma, I’ve already made sure I’ve taken my wife out there a few times. I drove out that way and had her go out there with me. That way, she knows, “This is where he hunts at. If something happens to him, I know how to get there.” Not only that, I’ve got other friends that know how to get there, that hunt that property with me. At least, if they’re not available, my wife knows how to get there.

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I definitely think that is something important. I know a lot of people out west have their Garmin inReach and stuff like that which is an important piece of equipment. Growing up deer hunting, I’ve never had a use for the handheld GPS or anything like that. It’s something I’ve never used. I’ve been thinking about one since I am thinking about going out west to hunt. Maybe it was something like that for people who come by themselves a lot, to have some way to communicate in a situation that they need help.

The one unit you talk about that a lot of guys use that I know is called SPOT. It lets you send a thing, “Doing well. Everything’s fine. I’m in St. George. Talk to you tomorrow.” When you’ve screwed up, you hit the panic button. It alerts State Police and 911. They’ll know the coordinates and that you’re in dire straits. They have things all the way through it. Somebody else mentioned it. If you know who it is, send me an email at WhitetailRendezvous.com. There’s another company out that you can text an active text. It’s not pre-inputted. Let me know about that because our safety, your safety is critical. We all have loved ones that want us to come home. They want us to have a great hunt. They want to have spring meat for the table but they also, more than anything, want us just to come home.

It’s safety first. With me and my job, working in the oil field, that’s something they preach to us all the time, day in, day out. It’s something they drill under into heads. I definitely try to incorporate it to my hunting because I know that can be dangerous, especially climbing 20 to 25 feet up in a tree for some of us. I learned luckily the modest situation, falling six feet, not twenty feet up. If it had been twenty feet up, there’s no telling what could happen.

You mentioned in your bio that you’re thinking about doing some YouTubing, putting a course together, or doing some talks about treestand safety. There are tons of information out there but sometimes, we need somebody like you to say, “This happened to me. Don’t let it happen to you.” Have you thought more about that?

I’ve thought about that a little bit. I’m still learning a lot about YouTube, videography and all that stuff. There’s something I’ve thought about doing, adding in different parts of pre-stated safety and trying to look at different pieces of equipment for treestand safety. I know one piece of equipment that I found after that accident that made me feel safer for climbing and treestand hanging is using a hang-on treestand. It’s a set of climbing sticks made by Hurricane Safety Systems. They call it Gravity Forward Safety System. They angle towards the tree as you’re climbing up. That way, you’re not having to do like with a normal set of climbing sticks. Once strapped up against the tree and when you’re after the hanging, you’re having to use the lineman’s belt to lean back into like I was doing when mine broke and gave way. This gear, you’re leaning more towards the tree. You still obviously wear your safety harness. I still use lineman’s belt whenever I’m putting it up. The steps are almost like a ladder. It angles towards the tree. As you’re going up, you’re leaning forward, not backward. I was like, “That’s a game-changer as far as hanging climbing stands for me,” because I’m not being right on the side of the tree. It made me feel safer and made me not scared to put another hang-on stand up after my accident.

That might be one company that you’d reach out to and say, “I had an accident and I’m using your stuff now. Let’s put something together so I can tell others.” We can get some resources from them that you wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s just a thought.

I may have to do that.

You never know. That’s the thing in the outdoor industry, right place, right time, right person. Relationships are key. You meet people and say, “Let’s stay in touch.” All of a sudden, a couple of years down the road, they say, “We were talking about this. I’m ready to do that project. What do you think?” That’s how it happens.

I’ve noticed that over the past couple years. I’ve met many new people and got to work a few tradeshows for some companies that I endorsed. Working those tradeshows, I get to meet many new people. Someone would become lifelong friends. I talk to them almost every day.

Let’s talk about hunting. We’re going to transition to a couple of seasons to 2016. Tell us what happened there.

After my accident, I wasn’t able to go back to work for a couple of months. Was it fate that it happened to happen during the hunting season? That I don’t know. After falling off the side of the tree, having my legs fully braced up, being on crutches, it didn’t slow me down one bit. I had a friend who was more than willing to help me set up a ground blind. I was able to crutch into the ground blind and hunt. I can’t remember the exact date, but it was in late October. I was hunting one evening when I had one doe come in. She was milling around the feeder. She moved out a little bit. The next thing I know, here she comes back in and there was a buck behind her. He was busted up, broken off. He was grunting at her. They come in and I was seriously thinking about shooting him. I was like, “If he gives me a shot, I think I might shoot him.”

I was using a crossbow at the time because I didn’t feel comfortable. If I were to make a bad shot with my normal bow, my buddy would have to go practice deer. I didn’t want him to have to try again forever and ever. I was still pretty huddled up. I opted for a crossbow. I’m sitting watching this deer and I’m thinking about shooting him. I have him out of the corner of my eye, look over. I’ve seen another deer come in. He stepped more into view. He ended up being an eleven-point buck. He walked right in and gave me a perfect 25-yard shot. I made a good shot. The buck ran 50 yards. He didn’t even get out of the clearing that I was sitting on. Luckily for my friend who was helping out during that time, he backed right up to the deer with the truck and loaded it up. He didn’t have to do a whole lot of work which made me feel good. I was like, “He’s already done enough for me. I’m on crutches and huddled up anyways.”

About three weeks later, I went to Missouri for gun season. By then, I was in a movable brace with my knee. I wasn’t so much reliant on the crutches as I had to before. I was able to get around more. I went to Missouri. I was enjoying the gun season up there, something I try to do every year. I went hunting at the spot where I’ve been chasing a deer for what it felt like 30 years. I’ve been seeing him on the property while bow hunting. I planned on sitting on the ground, just going to pick a tree along this ridge top, sit there and see what happens. It was windy that afternoon. As I was walking in, I got close to the spot where I was thinking about finding me a tree to sit at. I sat and looked over and there’s this buck. It walked in over at the edge of the ridge. He was about 55 yards away. It was a perfect broadside to me. He had no clue in the world I was there. Fifty-five yards with a bow, windy, I was like, “I’m not going to risk that shot.” I tried sneaking a closer thinking, “Maybe the wind will cover my sound moving in.” I ended up spooking that deer off. I think my dad had seen that deer one other time on the property. He was not able to get a shot.

The next year, I’ve seen that same deer. I was not able to get a shot again where he came through at. This time, I went in there early in the morning. I took a fold-out chair and stuck it up in the back of a little cedar tree. I was sitting out on the ground. It was cold that morning. I’ve seen some does. I hear footsteps. I was like, “His footsteps sound extremely close.” I’m looking around, trying to follow these footsteps. The next thing I know, from rut on my right out of the bush, this buck walks in. He came nowhere out of this bush. It was standing at 20 to 25 yards, looking straight at me. I’m like, “What do I do?” I couldn’t move and it seemed like forever. I was watching this buck out of the corner of my eyes trying not to move because I knew if I moved any little bit, he was going to take off.

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Finally, the deer turned. He started walking at an angle away from me which allowed me to get my gun up. He started turning across in front of me and stopped. Whenever he stops, there were like two little bitty steps right in the way of getting my shot. I was like, “There’s no way I’m not going to get this shot.” I tried leaning over, trying to get past the trees. I don’t know if it was just that little bit of movement, but that buck ended up spooking. My heart sank instantly. I was like, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” He ended up stopping about 60 to 70 yards away on this hump. All I could see was his shoulder up to his neck through this hole in the bush. I got lucky and I was able to squeeze off a shot. I dropped him out there in place. He ended up being a nice old nine-point. I was positive it’s that same deer that I’d been chasing for a while on that property. He was probably the oldest deer I’ve shot yet.

You put your butt in the ground. A lot of people are realizing that that isn’t a bad way to hunt, especially if you had hunted up a plot of land or acreage before and get a sense of what’s moving. We can luck out on first sit. A buck walks right out of a treestand, you shoot him or you can sit on a ridge, you get your bow, your rifle, muzzle, or whatever. You can take it all in and see what’s moving, see what’s not moving and go from there. I’ve heard a lot of guys ground blind and taking one of those. It’s warm. The ground is wet. They pop out against a tree, sit there and see what happens. I think of the days that I’ve hunted. You have to still do everything right. Bucks will come through.

I’ve grown up in Missouri. We did that a lot. We had a lot of different places that we could hunt. We didn’t have a lot of treestands, especially come rifle season. We go walk out over on a ridge where we have a good vantage point, sit down beside a tree and see what happens. I’ve killed many deer like that, sitting on the side of a tree on my butt. Here comes some deer. You still have to know the area a little bit and some of the spots. We could go back to that same area over and over again every year. It was nothing fancy. You go out there, you glass, you see the animals, and you make the shot. For Missouri, a lot of closer quarters, when you see the deer, usually they’re right on top of you before you knew it and you’re like, “Where did they come from?”

I’ve had many naps, woken up by squirrels. A couple of them weren’t squirrels. That’s part of it as far as I’m concerned.

Some of my best naptimes have been when I was sitting out there, You’re sitting beside a tree and you’re pretty cold. The sun starts coming up and maybe around 9:00 to 10:00, you start to warm up. I don’t know how many times I sit beside a tree and the next thing I know, I’m waking up an hour or so later.

Unfortunately, it happens a lot out west. You’re up at 4:00 and at 10:00, you break for tea, coffee or a little snack. You’re sitting and not warmed up. The sun comes out to warm you up, you’re out of the wind and you’re sleeping. What happened to 2017 then?

In 2017, my luck wasn’t on my side. Started out, I got to go to Missouri and hunt on that piece of property that we had. I’ve seen three nice bucks three days in a row. Every day, it was like something wasn’t quite right where I could make the shot. That’s typical deer hunting. It seems like one little thing could be all for something. Nothing happened there. I didn’t get any deer up in Missouri. In Oklahoma, I hunted hard. I didn’t even see a buck down here in Oklahoma. I’ve seen quite a few does and small bucks, but no decent bucks. I was like, “Am I doing something wrong?” We have a lot of hogs. The hogs came into the area that I was hunting and were in there a lot. It kept the deer pushed into a different area that I wasn’t able to hunt because I didn’t see them.

WTR CBales | Hunting Accidents

 

I did get lucky to make a trip out to Kentucky at the end of October. I got to go out there and hunt for four days. It wasn’t a bad hunt at all. I’ve seen quite a few deer. I ended up seeing three nice bucks. A doe came through and a buck comes grunting, running his head off not long behind her. He came through so fast. I didn’t even get the chance to turn around, get my bow up and even think about it. He was there and gone. He was an amazing buck. He had dark-chocolate horns. In Kentucky, I hunted hard. We may have had stops for an hour in the middle of the day, had a quick lunch and we were back to the stand. It didn’t happen for us. My whole season seemed like that. It did take a couple days to put a little bit of meat in the freezer, but the bucks weren’t in my favor.

There are thousands of people who could stand with you. There’s deer all around you but if the right buck or doe doesn’t come through where you’ve got a shot, you scratch your head. Other years, you sit behind a tree, a buck walks up and you shoot him.

Every year is different. Every situation, every hunt is different. That’s what makes it so enjoyable. It’s that every hunt, you never know what’s going to happen. Something happens totally different every time you go.

You’ve implemented a new supplement program for deer on the lease you have in Oklahoma. Let’s talk about why you did that, what you’re using and what you hope to gain?

I got to know the owners at Shock Effect Probiotics. I got to meet them at a show up in Iowa. I started talking to them at the show and progressed from there. I became good friends with them. I started learning more about, “What can I do to maybe increase the size of the deer that I have on a property or maybe help keep more deer on the property that I have?” I used some of their products, started with mineral. I didn’t go expensive or anything like that, simply putting out some minerals for deer. They have a new product that they come out with called the Antler Tech Pellet. There are a few other different other products that they have. I’m not too technical with all of the products, but it has some of the other products that they use to help with antler growth. All that is in this one pellet. I believe one two-pound bag of pellets will treat 200 pounds of corn. It’s not too bad. I’ve got the pellets that I’m implementing into my feeders and trying to see how that’s going to do for my deer. I know they’ve had good luck with it. They’ve tested it on a lot of farm deer and just seeing some good results from that.

I’m excited to be taking their product and putting it in with wild deer. They’re starting to try to get more onto the side of wild deer. They started out with pen-raised deer, deer farms and all that stuff. They’re taking their products and time to also get into the hunting side of it to help anybody that has deer on their property, help them make them bigger. You may not have a spot to put a food plot in to help give them the nutrients. Maybe your state allows you to put a feeder out. In most states, you are allowed to bait in the off-season but you may not be able to bait during hunting season. You can at least during that growing period put out some corn, have these pellets into it to help give your deer that little bit more than deer corn.

Have you taken the census of what your herd size is on that land in Oklahoma?

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I haven’t been able to. There was one day we went out there. I counted twenty deer on that piece of property in one spot. I couldn’t believe that’s the most deer I’d seen at one time on our property. Most time, when I go out there, I see six or seven deer. To see twenty deer on that piece property at one time, I was like, “Wow.” I haven’t had as much time to do something like that.

A lot of people tell me that’s helpful, especially for a supplement program because you want to see if you can find the age class. Different deer need different supplements to maximize. Here, we use supplements. For 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 years, maybe he needs X. A mature deer 4.5 and up needs something else. You get up to the old guy, 6.5, 7.5, they need something else also to keep the growth coming and keep them healthy so they can breed. We want healthy deer so they can breed. We get more deer and we get a good gene pool.

That’s one thing I like with their product, especially the Antler Tech Pellet product. It’s a good all-around product to help your overall herd health and antler growth. I know in some of the free-range deer, they’ve seen up to twenty inches between one year. I’m not a trophy hunter by any means, but twenty inches of antler growth is I feel like a lot.

Do you have any final comments?

Be safe out there, especially treestand hunters. Always double-check all of your equipment. Take five seconds before you think about climbing up the tree to double-check. Make sure you’ve got all the straps that you’re using to hang your stand good, even your safety harness. If you’ve got a safety harness for a couple of years, I’d say it’s about time to go ahead and purchase a new one. That’s about all I got, Bruce.

I know we bounced around trying to get this thing put together, but it’s been a joy to talk to you. You’re a real guy with great information. I’d sure love to be able to hunt with you some time or sit down and talk whitetails again.

That sounds like fun. We missed each other a couple of times at some hunting shows. We may have to take the time at some of the tradeshows that we go to and sit down and talk.

I’d love to do that. A lot of guys go to these tradeshows and put up a booth. As people walk by, they’ll do a podcast. It adds additional content to the tradeshow, but there are some takeaways that sometimes you wouldn’t get. I’m looking forward to that next season to be able to do that. We’re almost to 250,000 downloads and 500 episodes with Whitetail Rendezvous. We’ve come a little way. We’ve got a long way to go to bring great content to the outdoor industry. Guys like you make it fun.

I greatly appreciate you having me. I look forward to being able to do it again.

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