559 Extraordinary Individual – Dave Lucas – Stand4 Outdoors

WTR Dave | Stand 4 Outdoors

 

We all have something that we are passionate about. These passions are the things that we stand up for. Dave Lucas knows this too well. As the co-founder of Stand4 Outdoors, he shows his passion for hunting and fishing by spreading them the right way to kids, youths, and adults, fostering respect for the outdoors and the animals. He tells us all about Stand4 Outdoors and shares his tap for the fall season. Dave also dishes out his hunting traditions and shares why they’re important to him.

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Extraordinary Individual – Dave Lucas – Stand4 Outdoors

I’m heading to South Carolina to meet up with CEO, Owner of Stand4 Outdoors, Dave Lucas. Dave, welcome to the show.

Thanks for having me, Bruce.

I’m excited because you’re one of the guys that are giving it back and bringing to the forefront about our military families, our first responders and hunting itself because we’re under fire no matter how you want to look at it. Here you are creating a company. Let’s start right off the bat with that. Why did you start Stand4 Outdoors?

As Americans, it’s our right to stand for things that we’re passionate about. There are a lot of folks out there that’s good at doing that. I feel like I needed to create a way for people to express their passions a little bit better. I’m doing it on screen-printed t-shirts. Everyone is passionate about something. Everyone stands for something or feels like something is very important in their life. I started with some designs that I’m very passionate about. Some of the examples of those designs are a stand for our flag, for our cross, for our Second Amendment, for our law enforcement and our firefighters. I’ve got stand for military families as well as the family members of our military that didn’t get the recognition that they deserve.

This was someone’s daughter or son. This was someone’s mom or dad or brother or sister who’s gone for six months or a year, losing sleep at night not knowing if their loved one is safe for what they’re going through. I can’t imagine going through that. I feel like the family members of our military deserves some recognition. I’ve also got sporting shirts, like a stand for bowhunting because we are always under attack. If it’s something that you feel passionate about or something you stand for, you need to be vocal about it. Stand for our Second Amendment, stand for bass fishing and duck hunting. We’ve got several of those designs. We’ve got some in the making right now for different sports like catfishing and carp fishing and stuff like that.

Is this a business for profit or are you going to be a nonprofit? How does that work?

It’s a business for profit, but we haven’t gotten there yet. We started out in January. There’s a lot of expense involved with screens and artwork and that kind of stuff. I wanted to do this to give me a way to get more involved with our community and our youth in the community and get our name out there. We did our first giveaway here in the last month or so. We give away free trips to the youth in our community. It’s free around the counties. As we grow, we’re starting to find some great partners out there that’s willing to step up and help us out with some of these. For example, we gave away a catfishing trip on Lake Wateree. We had a fourteen-year-old boy that won that. He also got a free fishing rod from a local retailer here, Nichols Store. They had a great day. He caught a twenty-plus pounder and a seventeen-pounder. They caught about twenty fishes. He got to reel all of them in. He’s addicted to that. He’s never done anything like that. We gave away fishing trip on Lake Murray down in Columbia. Another fourteen-year-old boy is getting a free fishing rod. We gave away a deer hunting trip down in Jasper, South Carolina. Taxidermy donated the mounting of the child’s first deer. That was a great thing.

We were able to find great partners. The deer hunting trip, the sheriff for Chester County, Alex Underwood and the South Carolina DNR are going to be involved in that. They’re going to provide a gun. They’re going to take the child through some gun safety classes. They did understand we need to educate them on all the aspects of deer hunting. I’m excited about these giveaways. We’ve got plans in the future to do more. We would want to get involved our community and helping our youth introduced into the outdoors. We don’t want to take the child hunting or fishing. We want to teach them the right way because they don’t always get taught the right way. How to respect our outdoors, how to respect these animals and how to handle themselves and the safety aspect of it. It seems like it’s time for these kids, the future of our country and they tend to get wrapped up in iPad, iPhones, video games and running the streets. It’s our responsibility as parents and adults to ensure our children have a bright future set them up for success and introduce the doors to them. Let them know there’s more to life than sitting behind electronic.

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You talked very passionately about recruitment and taking people out. Personally, what have you done to move that flight forward?

I’m very passionate about getting the youth now, but I’m also passionate about getting adults out there that never experienced deer hunting or duck hunting or anything like that. I take them off my brother-in-law. He’s a grown man. He’s in his 40s. He’s never been deer hunting all his life. He came out. I showed him how to handle the weapon, keeping it unloaded, climbing in and out of the stand, wearing a safety harness, wearing the orange, that perfect shot, not taking shots at dusk, dark and you’re not sure what it is. That’s our responsibility. I took him out. He got his first deer. He went out and bought a gun this year. He’s addicted to it. I took my nephew out. It’s the same thing. He was a gamer. All he wanted to do is sit around the house and play video games. I took him out. I let him rode the right way. He always dispersed a deer.

My sister got a little mad because it costs him about $200 in process and fees because he wanted Slim Jim’s jerky. He ate it all up. These giveaways that we gave away to these three kids and now, I’ve got a child down the road that never had the opportunity to do any hunting or fishing. He’s pretty pumped. We went and got him a boat and got his gun license. We’re going to start teaching them how to shoot. I’m teaching him all of the aspects of hunting safely and respecting the outdoors. My wife and kids eat venison, deer meat, and food sometimes three times a week. I try to get obviously from our appraiser things like six is the number to get me by until the next season. I’ve enjoyed learning different ways to prepare it to where the whole family can enjoy it. I’ve shared it. I can share a secret with you. I found that we like butterfly steaks.

We like stew meat both the stew made in the crockpot with gravy, but the secret to the steaks and the stew meat and stuff like that, you can get a one-gallon ziplock bag, put this meat in there after it falls out soon. Put water in the bag, zip it up and squeeze it. The water will turn red with blood. You open a little bit and you drain it. Put more water in it and you squeeze it. It won’t be as red. Do that about four or five times in the water will get worse not as red and the meat won’t be as red. It’d be more of a brown look. You cook it and it’s got a much better taste to it. I’ll take my butterflies steaks and I’ll do that process. We use that four or five times. The meat will start looking brown and then I’ll put my secret stuff in there. Steak season in and Worchester sauce and that kind of stuff. A lot of guys like deer meat and they can’t get their wives or their daughters and their kids to eat it, but we have no problem around the house.

Does your wife hunt?

She doesn’t. She’s trying to be an author. She’s a nurse and has all of her free time writing books, doing crafts and stuff like that. My eighteen-year-old daughter, I took her out a couple of years ago. She got her first buck. Now, she’s involved in college. She hasn’t been going with me. That’s why I’ve been reaching out to other kids in the community trying to get involved with those kids. Maybe single parent home situations or maybe their dads out serving our country and they don’t have anyone to take them out hunting or fishing or maybe they lack resources or financial reasons, they can’t do it. That’s one of the reasons why I’ve reached out to some of this.

What’s on tap for your fall season? I know you’re going to Ohio during the rut, so let’s talk about that hunt and tell me the details.

Both seasons already started here in South Carolina. It started on September 15th. It’s in the high 80s. The mosquitoes are bad. The hurricane came through. It’s a miserable out there. I still try to go every once in a while. The first two hours of daylight and the last two hours of daylight. Our gun safety starts on October 11th. From October 11th to the 1st of November, I’ll be doing some gun hunting primarily for trying to get those five or six for my freezer. I try to get one for a local pastor. He feeds the hungry. He goes out every day and gives some food, so I try to get him a deer. I’ve got this kid I was telling you about. I want to get him on his first deer this year. After that, I’m going to Ohio first or the second week of November. I watched the weather first, trying to time the rut right. It’s has been a little unseasonably warm here. I don’t know how that’s going to affect. We usually go in the first week. It may end up being the second week. I’m not going on a guided hunt or paid hunt or anything like that. There’s a ton of government land up in Ohio, owned by the power company in the state.

I go up there. I scout around. You’re not allowed to use ATVs or anything like that. I like the old-fashioned way. You go in there, scout and you look for signs. You go in with your climber. You climb up and you hunt. It was twenty degrees when I went up. It seems like everything is uphill in Southeast Ohio is like 60-foot embankments. I’ve been in the mountains and it tested me physically. I’m starting the preparation this year so it doesn’t affect me so bad. I used to watch the hunting shows and reading magazines and that kind of stuff. They talked about the importance of being in shape for deer season. I was always like, “What are they talking about?” We got halfway through them. We got ATV in. We got the deer out with ATV. I don’t know what they’re talking about. You might have to drag it a little way until you get the ATV. When I went to Ohio, I quickly figured out what they were talking about as far as being in shape. It’s one of that rough terrain, uphill and you might have 60-foot embankments that you’d have to climb. That’s rough. You’ve got to be in shape for that especially in that cold weather.

How close to the Ohio River are you?

It’s probably about 25, 30 minutes west of the Ohio River.

Is that egg country? Tell me about what kind of crops you got.

As you’re going north, we go through North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and then into Ohio. When you first come into Ohio, it seems like a lot of cropland but over toward where I’m hunting at, there is not a lot of fields or crop. It seems like a mountainous terrain with mostly country and residential. There’s not a lot of crops. You’re looking for hardwood trees and that kind of stuff and acorns to hunt.

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We all know deer need three things. They need food, shelter and water. Do you do any Google Earth scouting?

Yeah, I do. I’ve got onX on my phone and my iPad. I like that app because it shows the boundary lines. The last thing I want to do is wind up on someone else’s property. I enjoy that app. I also look for changes in the terrain or the land where I like to hunt that bought up the thickets. I like to hunt because of these things like the bigger bucks like a stick next to the thickets. They’ll slip out of those thickets right at dark or right after daylight. They’re eating acorns and hardwoods and slipped back into the thicket. When your rut comes home, they could end up parking on targets. I have a strong passion for both now. It adds another depth of talents to it. I got into bowhunting here. I’m pretty passionate about it here in the last couple of years.

Why did that happen? Why did it change over from gun hunting to bowhunting?

It seemed like gun hunting wasn’t challenging. I could go out about any time and harvest a deer with a gun. It was the challenge piece of it. I didn’t take it seriously the first couple of years I started hunting. I would go to get me out of the house and in the woods. Both seasons come in four weeks before the gun season, so I would do it to get out in the woods and see what was going on. I started on my yard and I started getting better at it. I finally harvested one with my bow. It’s hard to explain the excitement that I felt. It’s more like the way people used to hunt years ago before we had all these high-tech weapons. That’s the way the Indians hunted and to go out and harvest the deer the way they did back at the beginning of the time really gave me a good feeling to be able to do that.

We talked about your hunting tradition. Let’s go back through that. Let’s go back to when you were a young kid or whenever you started hunting. Why is that important to you?

As a child or a young adult, that’s the time when you’re setting up your future and the direction you’re going to hit up. You find things that you enjoy doing. Maybe it’s selfish of me to think this way because I’m a sportsman. I don’t know but there are a lot of things out there that we don’t want our youth going in the direction that we don’t want them going in. I feel strongly about trying to direct our youth into the outdoor thing. If it’s deer hunting, if it’s turkey hunting, if it’s bass fishing, it’s something to direct them in the right way. We want them to be passionate about something that’s not going to turn into problems for them later on in life.

How did you get started?

A friend of mine introduced me deer hunting. We both bass fish together. I was nineteen years old. He was big into hunting too and I wasn’t. One day, I was coming back from fishing in a pond. He was riding by South Atlanta and he said, “If you got a few minutes, I’m stopping here and see if there are any fresh signs in there to hunt.” I’m like, “That’s fine. We can do that.” I got out and started walking in the woods with him. Looking at the signs. There were some old grubs. He was explaining to me how that happens, that whole process with grubs and scrapes. He was looking for droppings and food sources and fresh tracks and trails. I started getting interested in it. I went and bought me a gun. I got excited and started doing more scouting with him. I started to hunt with him. I enjoyed it.

As time went on, I got older and I got a little more educated in that thing that he didn’t show me. There are some things that he didn’t show me that he should have when it comes to safety, how you handle yourself in the woods and that stuff. I picked those things up myself. As I introduced people to the outdoors, it’s my number one priority to teach these people, friends, family, whoever, the right way. Wearing your safety harness when you’re in a stand. You owe that to your family to do that. Climbing in and out of stand when your gun unloaded. You are not only a danger to yourself, you’re a danger to people around you. Wearing your orange vest, not shooting moving objects when it’s dusk or dark.

It could be someone walking across the field. That’s happened way too many times. Taking your stand before the season comes in before you climb in it to make sure they’re safe. They’re decapitated or rotten or anything like that. I don’t believe in shooting high powered rifles from the ground if you don’t know what’s behind it. There are a lot of different things. There’s more to this. Teaching people how to pull the trigger, there’s a lot more to it. I hope that anyone that’s reading this is introducing their loved ones or friends or family or anybody to our sport that they’re teaching them everything involved with it, not just pulling the trigger on an animal.

If you think about mentors and everything and I hear it loud and clear that’s what you really want to be is a mentor, do you have a regular plan setup or mentoring youth and recruiting youth into the outdoors?

With our Stand4 shirts, a lot of them has got to do with hunting and fishing. A lot of kids getting into our area, they get into where church and school. It turns into something. I do these Facebook Lives to try to get these kids more involved with us. As I said, the Sheriff of Chester County does this hunt every year for our youth and our community. I’m volunteering to take part in that. The local DNR is going to be involved in it and get these kids introduced to gun safety, a deer stand and harvest their first deer. We’re going to continue to do these giveaways to the youth in our area. Keep continuing, introducing more kids to the outdoors and the different sports that we have to offer.

Why don’t tell us about the shirts and tell us how to get ahold of you if somebody wants to reach out to you?

We have one that is Stand4 Tag N Out. It’s got a whitetail buck, a turkey and a gator on it. We have Stand4 Bowhunting. We have our 2ND Amendment shirt, “If you want our guns, come and take them.” Another is Stand4 Our Flag, Kneel for Our Cross. It’s Rippin’ Lips, that’s the bass fishing shirt. We have Stand4 Military Families. Those are family members, our military to get any recognition for what they sacrificed. We’ve also got different kinds of hats. We’ve got more shirts. We’ve got Stand4 Law Enforcement, Stand4 Firefighters. We’ve got, “We Demand a Cure for Cancer.” Honestly, it’s a lot of things that I’m passionate about. We’ve got Duck Hunting and Turkey Hunting and so on.

Are you going to start a 501(c)(3) when you start making some money? I’m thinking you sell so many shirts. You can give some money to local military families or people in need. Food banks are great. We donate a deer every fall in Wisconsin. I’m trying to think where you can go with Stand4 other than getting the word out. What’s your goal? What’s your mission statement?

As I said, we’ve got a shirt that demands a cure for cancer. That’s got a special place in my heart. I’ve lost family members from cancer or even lost a 21-year-old nephew from cancer. Everyone is aware of it. All the talk is cancer awareness, but everyone’s aware of it. We demand a cure for all cancer. We’re going to donate 100% of the profits to Saint Jude’s with that shirt. We’re going to donate some money to military families as well, as I said, once we get to a profitable state, we can do that. In all honesty, I didn’t start this company to make a bunch of money. I started it so I can reinvest in things that I’m passionate about. Those are the things that I explained on these shirts. The number one passion would be getting involved with our youth in the outdoors.

There’s a guy, Joseph Michaels. He is a great guy who I met through Facebook that’s got a lot of partners. He’s helping us out. There’s a hunt club down the lower part of the state, Collins Hunt Club. He’s trying to get us a partnership with them. They have a log and all that stuff. We’d like to give away some hunts for some local use to that lodge. Some different stuff like that. We’re trying to get a partnership with Prym1 Camouflage. If that happens, we may be able to do some giveaways for some camouflage for you in our area that maybe can’t afford to buy any kind of stuff.

Joseph Michaels, that’s how we get together. Stacy at Prym1 is an amazing woman.

She sent me some stuff to give away. We’re going to do some drawings on that. Just a little bit of communication I’ve had with her, she seemed like he was down to earth. She is a great lady to work with. I’m pretty excited about potentially having that opportunity here real soon.

What do you know now that you wish you knew five or ten years ago in regard to hunting, your one big thing?

I hate to keep beating a dead horse on this. It may sound like a political thing to say, but I’m not much into saying the right political stuff. That’s what Stand4 is all about. It’s about taking this in action. Anybody can say they’re going do this and do that, but it’s all about the action. What are you going to do? Honestly, I wish I had known ten years ago the self-satisfaction that I would get out of introducing someone to our sport and getting them to harvest their first deer or their first duck or anything like that. There was a time when you’re hunting and your heart starts racing really fast when you see an animal. There was a time when I was deer hunting that I lost that. Bowhunting helped bring it back. There is no feeling in the world like putting the child or someone who’s never hunted a deer. There’s no feeling in the world to look over ever after they got their first harvest and to see the excitement in their face. Knowing that you’re going to be a part of that memory if they’re going to carry on for years to come. I don’t think there’s any trophy out there that could give you the same feeling that would give you. I wish I’d have known ten years ago.

Eddy's Farm
along the Baraboo River

A lot of people out there are paying accord in our industry. It’s a beautiful thing to do. One of the reasons for Whitetail Rendezvous podcast is to share the hunting tradition that this will be my 53rd year hunting whitetails or hunting in general. I’m hunting the same farm that I hunted in 1966 in Wisconsin. The guy who invited me to his family farm, he and I both are still alive. We’ll be hunting. The tradition is unbelievable because we have generations of the family now that are hunting in the same farm.

The one thing bothers me to be honest with you. People who don’t understand or quick to judge an activist and that kind of stuff, it gets to me. They fuss about harvesting a deer but at the same time, they’ll go to a steakhouse and eat a fillet. It’s the same thing. This is one of the frustrating parts for me and that’s why as a sportsman, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we answered those questions the right way when we get faced with them. It’s not all about killing animals. 90% of the time I’m sitting in a deer stand watching does, bucks and watching them play. I might even get out my phone and video record it or give them a little grunt call and mess with them. It’s about the stressful life that we have now.

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It’s the way to get away and enjoy nature that something that God gave us to enjoy. Watching that sunrise and watching everything come to life. The birds out of the blue, they start chirping and the squirrels start showing up. There’s no telling what you’ll see. It’s the enjoyment of that. That harvest is not just out killing animals. That harvest is going to be processed and this one goes in my freezer. We’re going to eat it. It’s like the meat they buy from the grocery store. Another thing is we’re responsible for as outdoorsmen and hunters are to know how to talk to it and know how to explain it if you’re ever faced with that situation if someone wants to talk to you about it. You know how to handle it. You know how to talk to them and explain it to them.

That’s a whole show in and of itself. With that, we’re going to wrap up this episode of Whitetail Rendezvous with Dave Lucas from Stand4 Outdoors. Dave, thank you so much for being a wonderful guest and a passionate guest. Keep up the good work because you’re making a difference out there.

I appreciate that, Bruce. I appreciate you bringing us on.

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About Stand4 Outdoors

STAND4 was created to help people express their passions, support their causes and STAND4 what they believe in. We believe in saying sir and ma’am, opening doors for the ladies, supporting firefighters, law enforcement and military. We also STAND4 our freedom of religion, 2nd amendment and being blessed to share our love for the outdoors with our children.