Deer Hunting – DIY Hunter – Preston Mullens

WTR Preston | DIY Hunter

 

You have to hunt to the quality of the deer in the area that you’re hunting because a trophy is relevant to the person and to the area. Preston Mullens, doctor of chiropractic medicine and one of the gurus in DIY Hunter, talks of his hunting journey of having a couple of bucks in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Furthermore, he shares the essence of hunting in your environment and how hunting has changed his life. Discover as Preston gives us some insights of becoming a better hunter based on his experiences.

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Deer Hunting – DIY Hunter – Preston Mullens

WTR Preston | DIY Hunter

We’re heading out to Pennsylvania. I’m happy I caught Preston Mullens before he took off for Ontario. He and his crew and the family are going to go up walleye fishing and they’re going to slay walleyes. They’re going to have a blast. Preston Mullens is a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine in Pennsylvania, but more so than anything he’s a crazy DIY hunter and he’s a joy to have on the show. Preston, welcome.

Thanks, I appreciate it.

You’ve got a couple of nice bucks. Tell us the story.

This is a Pennsylvania buck. He’s solid and nice eight. In the same year, seven days later, I had this guy with two double-hook brow tines. He had his brow at 12:30 the day before and I shot him 9:30 the next day and it was gone. In seven days, I managed to lose a brow tine and a third inside beam off two bucks. That was tough but that’s deer hunting. It was a rut. They were probably out busting things up and it cost me. I have pictures of them. It’s better than nothing.

The solid eight was in Pennsylvania. Where was the crooked brow tine?

Ohio. I hunt very heavily. I’m in Pittsburgh and I can get into Ohio, depending on where I hunt, anywhere from an hour and a half to four hours from where I live at, I hunt. Since we can’t hunt Sundays in Pennsylvania, I’ll hunt in Ohio until I fill my tag and until I come back to PA first. Some of the areas I hunt are a little bit higher quality in Ohio. I’ll put all my time into Ohio until that tag is filled and then I move back to Pennsylvania or at least the last years I’ve done that. I have all the expectation. I probably won’t hunt in PA. I work until late at night, so I don’t even have evenings for early season. I’ll spend my weekends in Ohio and hopefully, I can get a tag off early so that I can get back into Pennsylvania. The quality of deer and the time, if I drive out to Ohio Friday night after work, I can hunt for the next two days. If I sit in Pennsylvania, I can’t hunt on Sunday, it’s a waste of time. That’s how I approach things, but I got lucky. A couple of years in a row, I filled a tag in PA and Ohio within seven days of each other.

It might be fifteen seconds from when you saw the deer and when you have to shoot, you don't get all day. Click To Tweet

Tell me those dates.

I am always curious how people do this because they’ll rip off dates of everything that they fill. I can’t give you exact dates, but I know time frames. In 2015, I shot my buck in Pennsylvania first. I know that was a Saturday because I know I can’t hunt here Sunday. The following Sunday, I shot my buck in Ohio. That was somewhere around seven days or eight days apart. In 2016, I shot my buck in Ohio the Friday before Halloween weekend and then the Halloween weekend Saturday I shot my buck in Pennsylvania. It got up in the 80s that day and I shot him in the morning. It was only about 45 degrees and it got up into the 80s. I got him down in a creek bottom about 10:00 AM. That was only a seven or six-day span. I shot the buck Saturday and then the following Friday, six days. The year after that, it would have been November 11th or 12th and then November 15th. I don’t know why but I always got hot in those streaks. It would have been four November bucks before the 20th and then two were before Halloween weekend but right at the end of October. That was a hot fall. I was pretty glad to be done with going into the 80-degree weather everyday hiking.

I had a guy and he hunts from 25th of October to the 15th of November. What you’re saying is that the earliest was the 27th-ish of October and then the 30th-ish. You hit it right the 26th, 27th, 28th and Halloween. It was funny he says, “Never not sit in your tree stand the evening of Halloween.” I believe that.

It’s my absolute favorite. If I do any trip hunts, that’s when I’ll pick. I’ll pick to be in my stand the day or two days before Halloween. I don’t like getting two weeks or three weeks into November. Have I had success? For sure. When I think I can control it a little bit better is at the very back end of October, give or take three or four days, into the very start of November. That’s when I tend to have a lot more luck being able to control the hunt versus, I don’t want to say luck but a little bit more luck in something moving your way randomly. Things get a little too chaotic for me two to three weeks into November, everything is going every direction.

Let’s talk about controlling the hunt. It’s pre-rut activity and they’re seeking and chasing or chasing and seeking. They’re looking, they’re out and about and then it starts to ramp up and things get serious. I love to hunt funnels and I love to hunt topographical features. I love to hunt places where I know deer are. I’m going to do an all-day sit and I’m going to wait them out because I know the deer are here. Are they five miles away or are they 100 yards away? I don’t know, but I know they’re on their feet and they’re moving. In Buffalo County, I’ve hunted a couple of river bottoms that I had a perfect funnel, I see deer all day long and I didn’t see the deer I wanted to kill. I had a guy say, “Do you know how big that deer was?” It’s a big body deer. I said, “Yeah, it was a big deer but look at his rack.” He goes, “You can’t eat the rack.” I go, “I didn’t want to shoot him.”

WTR Preston | DIY HunterMy green light is purely instinctive. If I instinctively jerk on first glance for my bow, odds are there’s almost no percentage that an arrow isn’t leaving my bow. If I don’t instinctively jerk for my bow, there’s something in the back of my head from experience and from doing it that I’ve almost already made the decision. If I get my hand on my bow, I don’t have a quite enough trigger finger to not shoot. If I instinctively don’t go for it, I’ll have to fight the urge to grab it off the bow hook because if it comes into my hand, it goes into my bow hand, I’m probably going to shoot.

It’s either I don’t know what the score was or wasn’t. You black out when it’s happening. I’m either going or I’m not going and it’s from the first glance. I don’t overanalyze. I feel like you can get paralysis by analysis sometimes in deer hunting, I go off 100% instinct. If an arrow hits it and I get up to it and it’s smaller than I thought, which is pretty much every time, there’s not a bone in my body that regrets the decision I made in that split second. You know how it goes, it might be fifteen seconds from when you saw it and when you have to shoot. You don’t get all day.

The deer you saw sitting over my shoulder, it’s the prettiest buck, perfectly framed ten-point. He’s a Booner buck, except I killed him too young. I saw him come out and everything was perfect. I went, “He’s such a pretty buck,” and it was gone, it was over, that was it. I couldn’t have been happier. I walked up to him, everybody goes, “Well.” I go, “Look at him. He’s a gorgeous deer, he’s perfect. There are no deductions.” He’s 135 and it’s a perfect buck. I shot him. I’m like you. If I see him, I’m either going to shoot him or I’m not.

As I’m saying it, I’m thinking it in my head. I’m talking the last eight bucks I’ve taken with a bow. I don’t remember even having a question or doubt. The bow was in my hand almost immediately until he got into my shooting line. I never backed off from it. I’m not killing 160 or 170-inch deer but it’s all relevant to your area. If a 125-inch deer walking by is in the top 10% of any buck you’re going to see every year, to you that’s still big because that’s what you’re scouting and seeing and looking for because that’s what’s there.

With the amount of podcasts I’ve done, this has come up on probably half of them. I always tell everybody, “You have to hunt to your environment.” I have a buddy that runs a podcast here in Pennsylvania too, Tradgeeks Podcast. I’ve heard them say it over and over because they’re in Central Pennsylvania. They’re like, “If I get a three-and-a-half deer or a 120-inch deer, my arrow is leaving a bow 100 times until I take my deathbed.” I’ve said it, here in PA, which is my primary home turf, it is producing bigger deer and it’s getting larger deer but the tracks and the ability that I have to get on and off property, that’s not an equation. Once the gun season hits, there’s nowhere to hide, there’s nowhere to turn. If I get on a three-and-a-half or a four-and-a-half-year-old deer, I’m doing everything I can to put an arrow in that thing before Halloween because once that nose goes up in the air, he’s ending up somewhere with an arrow in him. You hunt to your environment. You don’t hunt to the quality of the deer you think you want to hunt. That’s not how it works. You hunt to the quality of the deer in the area that you’re hunting. A trophy is relevant to the person and to the area, I personally think.

Let’s talk about Ohio. Ohio is known to have some big bucks in certain areas. You see pictures and pictures. I’ve only seen in the United States one 200-inch buck and that was in Buffalo County. I’ve seen a couple in Saskatchewan. Neither time did I have a shot.

I’ve never seen one in real life. I would say the top end that I’ve ever seen in real life with my eyes was tipping 160. I didn’t even know how to react. I was shaken. I had a shot coming up and he got on past the 32 yards because I had a twenty-yard opening that he was walking, feeding right to and a doe popped out and he took after her. If you tack 45 inches onto that, I don’t know how I would react or that I even could react. I’d probably watch him leave.

It's a little easier to drink beers and have fun when you're in a warm house instead of in a tent freezing. Click To Tweet

Do you hunt public or private land?

Both in both states. It’s going to be a lot more overwhelmingly public in Ohio than private. PA is going to be very 50/50, depending on activity I’m seeing in a couple of new areas of public that I turkey-hunted that I plan on deer hunting. I’ll pull the ripcord on it if I’m not getting into stuff. I don’t have that many days in PA. If I’m not seeing what I like once I get into there, I’ll pull the ripcord and fall back to my fail-safes, properties that I’m a little more comfortable with. I’ve had a ton and ton of miles put on in public in Ohio. I’ll probably be 90% public and 10% private in Ohio depending on how the season goes because I’ve got some late season areas that I can get into some food on some private that will help me come December or January. If it gets to that, I’m not so stuck on hunting public only that I’ll ride it to the gravestone to the end of January not seeing anything. I’ll back off to where I’m a little bit more comfortable. Kentucky is going to be public as well, 100%.

Are you going to hunt in Kentucky also?

Yeah, I’m going to hunt it Saturday, Sunday and Monday the first two weekends of September and then depending on how the season unfolds, I have two elk hunts I’ve got to jockey in between.

WTR Preston | DIY HunterTwo elk hunts out east or out west?

I have an Idaho elk hunt in archery and I have a Colorado elk hunt in rifle.

Where are you going in Colorado? What part?

Northwestern Colorado.

Up by Craig?

It’s very close to Craig. We looked at houses in Craig. We won’t be too far from there at all.

That’s where I live. Do you know I live in Colorado?

I didn’t. We ended up renting. The only place we could find that was big enough was in Steamboat. We’re on the western side of Steamboat.

Along the Yampa River towards Hayden.

We got about a 45-minute to a 50-minute drive to where we’re hunting. As you’re aware, there’s nothing there. We’ve been in this area before and we stayed about an hour away because there are no homes to rent for six guys anywhere. The hard part is with archery hunting we all have individual camping tent stuff. We didn’t have anything for six of us to stay in and we said, “With the rifle hunt, our favorite thing is when we’re all back at the lodge.” I’ll be the first to admit to you I don’t think being in the woods makes it any cooler than when I get to sit back with my dad and have a beer. We’re in the heat with a shower and in beds. That’s as fun to me because you’re not festering or struggling because of the elements. You get to do what you’re there to do but get back to civilization a little bit as well. When we archery hunt, we’re backwoods the duration and we don’t come out. Archery hunting is a lot different than rifle hunting and a little different in game planning. It’s not even in the same realm of each other. They both have their fun and their pluses and minuses, but we make the rifle hunt a lot more fun. It’s a little easier to drink beers and have fun when you’re in a warm house instead of in a tent freezing.

I’ve done it both ways. The older I get, the more I like a sauna or a hot tub.

I don’t disagree with you at all. It feels great. Roughing it is fun to an extent but you’re like, “I’d love to lay down on something,” be in the heat or be in the air condition, whatever it is. I enjoy all of it but with the name of our brand there, DIY, we run and gun all this stuff ourselves. I have an Alaska archery hunt for moose, we have a rut rifle hunt in Wyoming for bull elk and I’m doing a boar hunt in Florida. We dig around and do all of it. Eventually, I’d like to be at least mediocre at hunting most species or at least say I did.

You have to keep applying for tags though. That’s one of the secrets of hunting out west and all those other games.

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We’ve hit full stride. We’ve got about a five-year turnover the way our points fall. We’ve sat down in theory. Life changes, work and family but we can roll over our elk hunts with states because we’ll have enough points that we need, we can plop Iowa in for whitetail in there, we have mule deer points and we have it gridded out. If everything goes accordingly, the next years on paper, we’re good to go unless point creep starts coming into effect, which is a whole other topic. Theoretically, we’ll be okay. We may take a lesser unit that year or go straight public because we don’t have enough points, which we’re absolutely okay with.

In Colorado, there are plenty of places you can hunt.

In Idaho, there’s a ton and Wyoming is changing their laws. I saw you only have to be with a Wyoming resident to hunt all of the wildlife areas which opens up half the state. If you can find a resident or somebody you know and give them a couple of bucks to hoof along with you, there is plenty of over-the-counter stuff, so we’re not concerned. We’re not trophy hunters. We got three of us going for our archery elk hunt. Guy A is the shooter, guy B is the filmer with a backup bow and guy C is the caller. If it’s a freaking spike and you passed it, if you’re letter A, you’re at the back of the bus, you’re the letter C now.

Make sure he’s legal. In some places, it’s four points or better.

WTR Preston | DIY Hunter

Generally, we’re picking units based on statistics but we’re also going in to draw units with our bows if spikes are legal. To us Eastern guys, it would take a lot of spike bull elk for me to probably put an arrow in before I get sick of it. If you’ve ever experienced it, it’s like nothing else and to get one opportunity in a week’s hunt and if it’s a spike bull, you don’t get five or six opportunities in a week. If that comes in and you pass, you’re back of the line and you’re at the end of the rotation. If there are three of you, you’re probably not getting up again. We come in with that expectation and we say, “It is what it is.”

I’m going to give a shout-out to goHUNT.com/insider. If you’re not a member of goHUNT Insider, you need to do that because it’s got the best Western research. I wrote a lot of the profiles for Colorado. Use my promo code, WR. You can get the best research as you can possibly get. It has everything that you need to do and it will save you so much time. It costs $150, you get a $50 gift certificate when you sign up. It’s still $149 for the year, but it’s the best information at all. As much as you guys are going to hunt different states, it’s good to find out, “You can go here, you can have a restaurant here, here are places you can stay and here are access points.” No hunting holes but, “Here are the trends and here’s where the elk should be in these drainages.” Will you see a 300 bull? No. Will you see Pope and Young bulls? Yeah. That’s open and that’s off-the-counter stuff. The limited access is where you’re going to see unit two takes 22 years to get a tag. There are 350 to 370 bulls in there, but good luck getting a tag.

We’ve run goHUNT, we were on board with it when it wasn’t a thing.

You should have told me right away.

We have a YouTube video that we explained big game Western application and we have almost no views on it at all but to us, it was informative because we figured it out years ago and we got our Excel spreadsheet and into goHUNT. I’m talking for hours and hours. With New Mexico, the way they draw, long story short, you get three shots at it and we go, “Cream of the crop, cream of the crop and the decent percentage chance of drawing unit.” Without goHUNT, we used to do this stuff through forums and websites and talking and talking endless hours and hours.

We’re heading to Idaho, we pull up all the units and then we get back together and we go, “What five units did you come up with? Where do you want to hunt? Which five?” Based on trophy versus population versus bull to cow and then whichever five that we have, whichever one of those that we layover, that’s how we pick our unit. Three of the five units we each picked and I was like, “That’s one zone-ish, let’s pick one of those,” and we said, “Okay, cool.” We’ve been scouting it. We made our decision and I don’t know what we did without it before, it was a lot more of a pain in our butt but goHUNT we use even for tracking all of our whitetails, “Do we have to draw in Kansas?” Our Excel spreadsheet sucked before this. It was not fun.

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I’m pleased to say and proud to say I was part of their success and they’re still good. Chris Porter and Brady Miller and the guys there. Lorenzo Sartini owns it and he is the President. They’re all great guys. If you ever meet them at the shows, they’re like you and me.

I stand by it and we run it. It’s a cornerstone for us. I look forward to meeting those guys. I know I will, it’s a matter of when.

What do you wish you knew five years ago?

I go over that all the time because I sit out in the tree stand at times and I go, “Could you imagine my deer hunting success if I knew X when I was twenty and if I could add all those years up?” Maybe someone like yourself, does that ever stop or do you always feel like you’re more knowledgeable than five or ten years? You’ve probably never hit a wall, have you? You’re always better than what you were.

I talked to the guy that has a UV product that dampens the UV because at early light and late light, your camo will glow if they have a blue thread in them, any kind of blue. You’ve got UV light. I didn’t know that until a few years into it and then I was hunting out west. I had my blue jeans on and it was dusk. It’s getting darker, those suckers were glowing. I went, “What is that?” They had bleached or it had brighteners in the thing but then you take your wools and how the guys hunted, the Benoit brothers, they wore wool clothing. Everybody in New England wore wool. All my elk hunting stuff is all wool for cold. Not for archery but for the late season, it’s all wool. Wool doesn’t have the same threads as our camo and stuff. You start learning that and say, “How did that affect it?” The times I’ve been sitting up in my blank camo and all of a sudden, the deer bust me. I don’t care if it’s carbon or I don’t care what it is, but it was that low light thing and the blue hues came in which the deer can see. They see blues readily and all of a sudden they’re gone with no interest. I’m downwind, everything is set up. I was glowing. I had to be.

WTR Preston | DIY Hunter

 

I would say for me, one of the things that I did not know but one of the things that is a primary focal point and/or that I feel very good about is where, when and in what situations bucks are going to be bedding, moving to and from where and calculating in temperature changes during the day. Here in PA, even in Ohio, I hunt very hilly terrain and I would say what I’m better at is correlating all that. Meaning a primary dominant northwest wind on a day that it’s going to go from 30 in the morning to 70 in the afternoon, where and when are these bucks going to be bedding and how and why are they going to be moving.

I feel like I’m getting down not to a science but a lot better at it. Had I known it then, probably my success in the last years would be better than what it is now. It was a little bit more of me refining or taking that a little bit more serious than I did maybe in my twenties or my late teens. I would bust in full-blown and go hunt. I have two days to hunt and I’d trudge right in. “I know this is a bedding area. Hopefully, I catch something. I don’t know if they’re five miles away or a mile. They’re going to come running by.” It was a little bit more luck, shot in the wind, whereas it’s a little bit more scientific.

I would say that would be the thing that I’ve refined the best. Getting into an area or a knob where I know I’m going to find buck bedding if I go into it completely blind. Whether they bed there that day or not I don’t know because, as we know, bucks move around and whatever pulls them here and there, food, whatever it happens to be. I can at least almost guarantee you by walking into areas I could find us a buck bed on a knob that I would like to hunt or get near hunting to pin between him and feed. A tough part around PA is how many hardwoods we have. A lot of those knobs and those spots that I find have feed right on top of them. They don’t have to go anywhere and we have predominant northwest winds and they’ll get onto these little benches and flats and they never leave it. They don’t have to. They don’t have to go anywhere. You can’t hunt or kill a buck that does that until he slips up. That’s all situation-dependent but learning that I got a lot better.

On the ridges, where do they get their water? They need water.

At nighttime. I’ve watched them up on these ridges. We’ve got huge red oaks and huge maples. They’re four feet in diameter. I had a deer years ago digging at the base of one down in the root system and I didn’t know what it was doing. I couldn’t figure it out. I figured it was fishing out acorns. I waltzed over to look and there was a dampness to the fungus and the moss down at the base of the tree. I’m pretty convinced it was digging down under there and it was pulling moisture up out of the root system of this tree. We were in a bad drought. The water, that’s one of the big things that’s tough because in certain areas, we get into these hardwoods. I don’t know that they’re moving to it too much in the daytime because our creek bottoms dry up pretty fast when it hits fall season until we start getting snow. They’re hitting bodies of water like ponds and lakes, but they go so nocturnal from the pressure. You could sit on it until you’re dead and you’re not going to have a deer come down to it in the daytime. They don’t do it, they hit it at night.

You have to be in the transition zone if the bucks are staying up on the ridges because they got food and they got shelter. How are you going to hunt them? They’re not moving.

The thing is a lot of our woods there are big transition lines. You can get into the ash and birch, but it’s also a great area for bedding. I’m talking on a year where we have a mass production, where there maybe is a set of hardwoods up on a big, flat, wide-open bench because we don’t get a lot of undergrowth. With our old growth, you can get into an oak bench or a maple bench and 100 yards in every direction you can see plain as day. The goal is finding the bedding that isn’t in that mass production. Getting that face of a hill on a south-facing slope maybe, where they’re going to have to come down to it and tuck into that bedding as close as I can physically get to where you’re maybe going to creep them at that last minute before dark.

With rut, it changes everything. They get into the corridors but the early season is very difficult hunting around here. It’s going to be huge mass production. I don’t know yet, it always seems like a shot in the dark but if it is, you don’t see them hitting any mineral sites. They eat white oak acorns here like crack cocaine. Whichever ones are dropping and hitting the ground, your odds are highest they’re coming to those ones because those deer know. It’s crazy how they find it.

How do they know though? I had a guy that said, “I’ll be on white oaks, they’re dropping. The deer is 60 yards away and my tree is dropping the same exact things, they go over there and then they leave that tree and come over to my tree.” What’s the magic?

It’s the nutrients of the tree because some acorns are sweeter and some are bitter. My uncle and his friends, years ago, did a test run on this on their private land back where I grew up. They picked three white oak trees in the spring to start liming and they limed it all summer. When that thing started producing in the fall, those trees were the first trees that every single deer ate every single acorn that fell. To that extent, what I thought was trees are like any other plant. If you grow three tomato plants in your garden, one of them explodes, one does okay and one dies or maybe it barely hangs on. Why? Something in the soil, some type of nutrients, there’s an absorption rate that was higher, maybe the production of the acorn itself had a higher nutrient content. This happened to me years ago. Me and my hunting partner both killed a whitetail in Ohio six days apart out of the same tree to the buck eating from the same tree that was dropping. The whole bench was dropping acorns, but they came to that tree. All I can come up with is nutrients in the soil is producing a better acorn.

Like me or you, if you went to five buffets five nights in a row, you’re going to rank them one to five and you don’t forget why you knew which one was better. If you’ve ever watched them mill out through these benches, they’ll cover 100 yards in three minutes eating. They know and they taste it. One is bitter because they don’t like red oak and they won’t eat black oak because it is very bitter. Some of them are sweeter than others and it attracts them to that tree until it’s done dropping. I’ve literally watched entire herds of doe stuck around one tree, eating that white oak and they don’t move. They sit in a ten-foot circle right there and you can hear them dropping all over the woods. That maybe comes with experience because I would assume the odds are that tree is going to produce sweet ones and so forth and so forth.

Is that legal? Can you do that on private?

I don’t see why not. They did it preseason, it wasn’t baiting and they were doing it from trees that they own on their property. All you’re doing is helping the tree along, no different than planting a crop field or putting out mineral sites.

On private land, you’re going to pick out a tree set up for the right wind with your stand and then they limed the tree like I limed my food plots.

That’s what they did and they stopped because our acorns are done producing. They’re dropping sometimes August or September. In PA, you can’t be baiting within 30 days of the season. They can’t consider it was baiting. They were done liming back in probably May or June.

You can lime the same tree where your thing is to always get the same crop drawing the same deer like a food plot.

If you’re not doing it within 30 days and it’s your property, no different than if you go out and you want to cut down your own tree, you can do whatever you want. They’re all very ethical. I would’ve never thought anything of it.

It’s a food plot. The trees there, all you do is helping them along and you want sweet acorns or the nutrients.

All three of them swear up and down on their entire life that these deer came directly to the trees that they did it like a feline. They swear on their lives by it. They swear it works.

That’s another tool though. We discovered another tool if you could set that up like a food plot.

It might help or maybe in the area you’re in, they’re all so sweet. It doesn’t matter, especially if you’re in maybe an area where it’s a lot of red oaks that are bitter. They don’t want to eat. I don’t know but I know it worked them.

With what you know, you’re probably going to end up with the Super Slam All North American 29 before you’re done because you’re young.

I hope so.

I had Fred Eichler on and he started a long time ago. It took him a while. It took him to 2009 to get it done with this recurve. He did it with his recurve bow all of them and I’ve got a few of them. The sheep has got to be the hardest thing for me. No question about that but having said that, what would you say to people that asked you about hunting and how it’s changed your life?

It constantly changes my life. I don’t even know what to say if it’s constantly changed my life as much as it constantly keeps my life in check. I know it’s made me on a personal side, a more organized person, which I’m not. I’m very chaotically organized because there are so much fine skill and refinement in hunting and planning it out. I don’t have all the days in the world. I’ve got to work. I worked my butt off. I run multiple businesses. I’m running around like a crazy person. Everything’s got to be checks and balances. Can I afford it? Can I do it? How do I make connections? One of the biggest things that it’s done that changed in my life, some of my closest relationships as we’re speaking have been made or compounded through hunting and being outdoors with that person because you get down to the core of somebody so fast, what they’re about and what they stand for in life when you’re out in the middle of nowhere for seven to ten days. You get to know somebody on a different level.

Has it changed my life but refined it in a better way? For sure. There are a lot of bigger things in life that little things aren’t as important sometimes to me because I realize that life’s so much bigger than what it is. If you go out on a million acres of public land out of nowhere, you realize that you are back in this world of gigantic everything. There’s a lot more to stuff in life to sweat on things every day. If any thing’s affecting my life, it’s giving me more of maybe a day to day calming effect. I can get over little stuff much easier. I got to go to work tomorrow still. What’s the difference? The day was horrible. No water. There was a wreck on the parkway. I can’t get home and work was slow. I got to be there tomorrow anyway. No big deal. Maybe a lot of stuff roll off your back a little bit better. I’m a little more disciplined would be a great thing to say as well.

Have you read Steven Rinella’s book, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon?

I haven’t and I had someone else suggest it.

You need to read it.

I’m a huge reader. To be honest, I do tons and tons of business finance economics reading and I get into holes at night and it will be midnight. I don’t do a lot of pleasure reading and I’ve been saying forever, “I want to start.” That was a book someone said, “You’ve got to read it.”

Get it off Amazon Prime. I read it in two days and I think he was your age when he wrote it. You don’t need to fan the fire anymore, but it will throw gas on it. Call me when you hit Colorado or email me.

I’ll call you prior to us coming out to give you a heads-up as to where I’ll be at and what’s going on.

I don’t so much rifle hunt but bow hunting, I know a lot more about bow hunting in Colorado. When you decide to bow hunt in Colorado, let me know.

We’re building points aggressively fast, so I will. We’ve done the hard work to get to where we’re at which is also why I’m glad we have many points in many other places and we can jockey in a little bit.

Any last words?

No. I appreciate it.

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