The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 069 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Jeff Lindsey

October 02, 2023 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 69
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 069 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Jeff Lindsey
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As your host, I invite you to come along for a memorable journey into the world of hunting with none other than Jeff Lindsey, a TV presenter, seasoned hunter, and an expert storyteller. An episode filled with laughter, anticipation, success, and valuable lessons, as Jeff opens up his family's hunting journal to share stories of triumphs and trials, from his son's attempts to bag a deer with his bow to an exciting turkey hunt with his wife in Kansas.

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Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and as usual, we got a good one for you today. Today we're actually connecting with Jeff Lindsay. Jeff Lindsay is a television show host, a hunter, just an all-around great guy. I kind of discovered him recently and reached out and he did not hesitate to jump on the podcast. I want to say again to Jeff thank you very much for coming on the podcast and sharing your stories with us. I don't want to steal too much of his thunder, but he's got some great ones for us today that bring up a lot of emotion and a lot of laughs, so I hope you guys enjoy. Now let's go ahead and just go ahead and kick this thing off and let Jeff tell you his stories. Thank you, alright, jeff.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. Brother, how are you? I'm doing great man, thanks for having me. Yeah, man, I'm super glad you were so quick to say yes. I think I messaged you on Instagram and I was like, brother, I just discovered you, I love what you're doing and I'm wondering if you have any good hunting stories. And you immediately were like yeah, let's do it. So thank you.

Speaker 2:

I try to turn down any podcast man, so that's just kind of my homage to the hunting community. Just try to do one a week or so.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. That's funny. What's funny is I've had some people ask me and I get nervous about being a guest on podcasts. Being a host is easy, but being the guest and like providing the main chunk of the meat and of what's going on is it scares me? I don't know why Either way?

Speaker 2:

me too.

Speaker 1:

Every time I'm like, oh dang yeah well, hopefully this podcast is a little different than what you're used to and hopefully a little bit more fun. But let's kick this thing off, man. Why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself to the listeners, so they know who they are hearing some stories from today.

Speaker 2:

Alright, yeah, I'm Jeff Lindsey of the Lindsey Way. We've had the Lindsey Way Hunt show this is going on the ninth year, believe it or not and filming for about seven or eight years with Drew Outdoors, who's on their television series Dream Season and was also in the DVDs back when DVDs were a thing. Now we've been doing the Lindsey Way and we started off on the Sportsman's Channel for three or four years and jumped over the Outdoor Channel. Now it's Outdoor Channel and YouTube social media and probably as much social media as more than anything. That's really kind of what people are on their phones now, so that's kind of close for our audience.

Speaker 2:

It's probably having you on this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's definitely how I found you. Since finding you, I've definitely dove-ing up the deep end, like watching your YouTube videos and stuff like that. It's always nice to find something new. I told you I'm from Colorado, so when you start with Western bid game, that seems to be all you ever find. Now I moved to Texas and all of a sudden this whole world of kind of like the eastern part of the United States and Whitetail hunting and all that stuff has started showing up and I'm like this is awesome.

Speaker 1:

So I'm excited to hear some of your stories because, I feel like my podcast is a little too West heavy.

Speaker 2:

But I definitely got some Western hunting stories, but we'll probably stay East Coast or Midwest East Coast on this one.

Speaker 1:

Perfect. Well, man, let's just jump into it. I know you said you got a couple stories in mind. Why don't you set the stage and we'll just get going? Start hearing some stories.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, yeah. Well, we're kind of a hunting family. That's kind of one of the reasons we really just jumped into Lindsayway because it was like our family hunts. My son and just been born. I wanted to chronicle that, I wanted to show all that and my sister loved to hunt, my wife loved to hunt and we drew outdoors. We had a heck of a platform but we couldn't really show all of our family and everything like that just because there's only so much time on a 23 minute episode. We had 12, 14 people on the show and it was a bunch of killers, so there's a lot of kills on the storylines. We just really kind of wanted to venture out and do our own thing where we could really get into storylines.

Speaker 2:

So, yes, I've been hunting with my dad forever. He was in the tree on my first year ever and so, looking back now at how things have kind of transpired or progressed since, I shot my first year when I was 10 back in 1990. And my son shot his first year when he was five, I think it was. And my nephew just shot his first year with a bow two nights ago with his grandpa my dad's sitting in the stand with him, and it was just a solid eight pointer for a three or four year old eight point deer. And I'm like dude and yes, he's pumped, he's happy, but I'm like it took me. I was probably 18, 19 years old before I killed a deer that big with my bow. It's hard to come by.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome and my son. That same night we were out. He's nine years old and we were trying to get him a deer with his bow and I think we'll get it done this year. He shot several with a crossbow server with the. He's killed almost 40 deer, you know, between crossbow and the rifle. So I and muzzle loader, but I think we can get it done with a with a bow this year. I say that you know, we got all the poundage and stuff calculated where I think you can get a few inches penetration, enough to kill one. But our range is 15 yards. We had a doe the other night 17 yards. I'm like, look, we got a plan, we're going to stick to it. She even gave us a pretty good shot that I'm like, yeah, we got a plan, we're going to stick to it.

Speaker 2:

But that kind of leads me into my first hunt story. So I was, I was 10 years old and honestly, you know my son is is absolutely eight up with hunting. I mean, that's that's hunting, fishing, it's all he, all he really thinks about and wants to do. But me, I had a cousin when I grew up. He was my age and we'd go with our moms a lot on the weekends and while my dad would go to hunting camp. Hunting camp was a little different back then, a little rougher crowd, I guess, so he wouldn't. He needed courage me to go, but but not maybe it wasn't maybe the most kid-friendly place where we would go you know so.

Speaker 1:

I've been in a few fields like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'd try to kind of go on the weekend, so I just remember them playing poker all night and stuff like that. But we went and we went. He had a box stand kind of built in the woods back then you know there was I'm not saying there was no such thing as there was lock-ons and and you know, but most of your stand, 90% of stands you hunt out, were you know as wood-built ladder stands or wood-built. You know just boxes in the trees or platforms, you know with big old spikes. You know railroad spikes getting up to them. So this one had railroad spikes getting up to it. I vividly remember it and we hopped up in the stand and I remember taking my shoes off. My feet were cold and I remember the exact boots I was wearing. They had, you know, red shoe laces and technologies come. So you know, so far since then, just from being cold in a stand, and I think it was October 27th. The reason I remember that was my sister's birthday and he woke me up and I shot this spike.

Speaker 2:

So my dad's first year was a spike. My first year was a spike. I wanted my son's first year to be a spike. But the spot we hunt our county in Georgia. Here it has to be four on one side to be illegal, so that couldn't happen. So it was a spike. And you know we had the whole hunting camp there. One guy was video and another guy we just had a pile of people go out and track it. You know, I think I ended up hitting him a little back. He didn't run that far but we found him. It was just a big experience.

Speaker 2:

And hunting camp you know, just kind of anytime I go into a hunting camp whether it's like next week Elk Hunt, you know you just come in, tell everybody the stories. It just kind of takes me back to that. I don't remember like I say a ton about that day, but there are definitely some vivid memories I have of getting that little old spike. But I was excited. And then the next year I killed a couple, next year a couple more and it just kept growing. And when I was 12, I shot my first year with a bow.

Speaker 2:

And you know just kind of back then it was more of a weekend sport or when you had time, when you weren't busy with your friends or something. But now it's really a lifestyle. It's year-round for us, whether we're shed, hunting or managing for deer, or always doing something on the farm. It feels like every weekend, or at least every other weekend if we're not out of town something to improve the habitat, cameras, get ready for fall, something that you know. And it's always with the family involved, because I say, my kids enjoy it. My son loves it, my little two-year-old loves it, but she's kind of not there where she can go every time. I mean my six-year-old she's jury's still out. She likes to. She's kind of more of a hanging out with mom right now, but I think they'll change. She won't shoot her first deer this year, so so I get it.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing, right. Yeah, that's the lineage and like the heritage that I'm hoping to develop with my family. I told you my listeners know I'm a new hunter. I'm just winging it, trying to figure it out and stumbling as I go, and I've come to grips with the idea that I'm never going to be the world's best hunter. That being said, my son's got a shot right.

Speaker 2:

So and my daughter right, Still a hard one. That's the best way to learn anything, in my opinion. You're going out there, boots on the ground yourself, learn, learn from your mistakes, I mean, and you kind of got a little advantage, you know, versus me at 10 years old, I'm learning and just doing what my dad says. Well. Well, now you're learning stuff and you can process it so much quicker being an adult. So you know, a few years you'll be, you'll be called up with yeah, we'll see, We'll see.

Speaker 1:

Either way, I'm having a ton of fun with him. Man, my son, he's really gotten into his bow. He's got that, like you know, that bright orange bear bow. That's 20 bucks, so we're flinging that at some straw these days, literally. When it was two days ago, he just came up. He's like dad, let's go shoot bows. And I was like yes, sir, awesome. Yes, sir. So I haven't taken him hunting yet, but it is my plan as soon as I can figure out. You know, texas it's a little tricky, everything's private.

Speaker 2:

I got to figure out where I'm hunting, but as soon as I do, he's going to join me in the stand and then my daughter.

Speaker 1:

She's two right and I just got back from an elk hunt so I was practicing my cow calls. Whenever she hears me cow call, she runs over, looks around the room, finds my bugle and goes that and she just wants me to rip bugles around the house.

Speaker 2:

Really.

Speaker 1:

I think I'm raising them right, but hopefully I can develop that kind of you know, I'd love to be hunting with their kids you know, 30 years from now, whenever it might be. So what you have, I'm jealous of just where your family's come from. As far as hunting, because it's beautiful, it's amazing and I've never experienced it Hopefully I will I just want to tell my nephew.

Speaker 2:

The night when he shot that buck with my dad, his grandpa, in the stand, I was like look, buddy, you know you don't realize it now, but be in the stand to harvest your first deer with the grandpa. You'll your first deer with a bow, and his grandpa was with him when he shot with a gun as well. But you'll never forget that as long as you live. You will never remember this from night right there, and you know it's. It's easy for me to tell a 12 year old kid that, but it's hard for them to understand that now, but they will. They will later appreciate that for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yep, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

So my wife you know she hunts as well and this kind of gets into my next story, which I've told this story a few times at some some hunting banquets or sportsmen's dinners, stuff like that, wild game dinners, and you know I'm not a good speaker but I can't tell a funny hunting story. I guess I'm going to try to remember all of this one. It's been a few years since I told it, but when I, when somebody says hunting stories, you know, when you first approached me that, I was like, well, forget the opportunity. That's, that's the one I'm going to tell because it just it, it, it just hits home so much. And my wife was there, like I say, she doesn't get to hunt as much as she used to. It's just three kids, one on the way. Every year it's less and less. She has killed a lot of deer. She's killed some good deer. She loves to bow hunt, she really loves to turkey hunt and this was a particular hunt in Kansas.

Speaker 2:

I had bought a farm in Kansas. It was 320 acres and it was our first hunting trip that me and her had ever went on. We had no kids, we hadn't been married. I gosh, it wasn't long, it wasn't a couple of years max, best I can remember and it started off a little lackluster. We missed our plane. We get to, I said you brought my broad head. I have a little broad head case. It looks like a little fishing tackle box. And she said oh yeah, I did. Well, she grabbed the wrong little case. So we got there, didn't have any broad heads, had to go buy Cabela's and at that time Baltimore, I don't even remember Rage's or whatever we could get our hands on. And so we go out there to the Western Kansas and Rio's out there which are very forgiving turkeys I know you're probably familiar with those If you're in Texas and some parts of Colorado has got the Rio, some of the Merriams I guess.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I'll say the Rio's in Texas are to me pretty easy. The Merriams in Colorado, those are tough.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the Rio's are friendly. This seems like the louder you call, the faster they run. But she had her bow. She had her bow at the time we were shooting PSE. She'd never.

Speaker 2:

And it was bow season, because Kansas has that like early bow season for turkeys. I think it's like one of the only states that does that besides Nebraska. And so we we head out there in the first morning. I'm like you know, I knew I didn't have a ton of turkeys on that farm. It's a very arid climate out there in Southwest Kansas and so. But I knew I had a couple.

Speaker 2:

So we set up a ground blind. We hunted out of ground blinds when we bow hunted back then it was, or that it was just the start of that. You know, now it's popular, everybody just turkey hunts in a ground blind. But this was like one of my first times ever in a ground blind. I knew she was going to need the concealment and so I put up a. I put up a decoy, popped up the ground blind, just went in there blind in this wheat field right on the edge of our timber, and I think we had two birds gobbling. And so he gobbled, had his hens obviously going in and out all morning and moving around up down the little little creek bottom there. I say a creek, there's no water in it, but it's creek bottom, a sagebrush. It's kind of an older cattle farm. It's got fences, which the fences are going to be important later on in this story.

Speaker 2:

So we're sitting there and patients, patients kept working, felt like he was getting closer. Finally the turkey comes in, struts up there. We have the decoys at like 10 yards, maybe 15. I can't remember well within her comfort zone. So he's strutting up there. I even videoed it. I don't even remember much about that video. I can't even think of it in my mind. So I now.

Speaker 2:

But she ended up helping call the bird in and so it's an exciting morning, but it didn't really get too exciting or it got really exciting when she, when she dropped the hammer on him. So she shoots this dear as turkey and like all turkeys, and this is why one of the reasons I just kind of despised bow hunting turkeys I've killed, killed a bow, but I'm like turkeys were meant, in my opinion, to be shot in the face with a shotgun, because it's such a just a let down or lackluster experience when you shoot on the bow and they take off running or whatever thing you got to try to find them. They don't leave no blood trail, or is it going to die, is it not? Well, nonetheless, she shoots this when this son of gun takes off running like a road runner, and so we'd been sitting in this blind.

Speaker 2:

Now for gosh, I don't know three or four hours, I don't remember exactly, but apparently and we're on these little stools, you know that just crouches you up and you got. You just got to think of all your blood is just compacted in your midsection. Okay, and there and I remember, after I did this, I looked this up this is some type of something that happens to you. I don't know what the word I'm looking for here, but something that happens to you when you've been sitting down in a position like this forever and you jump up and try to run. It's like your legs are not capable of keeping up with your mind. So I jump up and my legs are like half asleep or whatever.

Speaker 1:

And.

Speaker 2:

I'm running and right out the gate they start giving out and I'm like man, what is going on? This is weird. And I keep chasing. I see the turkey. I'm right on those hills. It's like Wiley Coyote and the road runner, you know. And so I'm facing that, down through this brush and I mean it's tumbleweed and briars and small cottonwoods and prairie grass, and then I lost all feeling in my legs and I'm falling down. I'm just tripping and this was like the most helpful feeling in the world. Help was feeling in the world. I've never felt this to this day. I've never felt like nothing like that, where you no control over my legs. It was like paralysis or something.

Speaker 2:

And the turkey, by this point it kind of slowed down and I knew about where it ran. And like a few seconds later whatever, a minute, I don't know how long it passed by, my wife kept telling me. I was like I can't go anywhere. You got to help me up and somehow we get back on my feet. My legs are still not full. And then I was like he went this way and I get over there.

Speaker 2:

And this is and I'm telling this, this is all happening so quick, but this was a span of several minutes and I get over there and thank God for those fences I was talking about earlier. I was like, okay, get your bow, he's right there. He's called up almost in the fence. He couldn't fly, he couldn't go past this barbed wire fence. So had that barbed wire fence not been there, that son of a gun probably still be running. I have no idea. But I feel like, okay, I was like you got to shoot him right here. He's, this is as close as we're gonna get. It's like I don't have my arrows and I was like what?

Speaker 1:

you know it took minutes to get down.

Speaker 2:

You got to go get your arrows. At this point he's too alive, like he wasn't gonna live. I mean, he was winged, something would have ate him, but he was not mortally, I guess wounded here. So and of course we're not filming this because it's all I can do to I left camera in the blind. This was probably even before GoPro's. It was all I could do to even get there and I'm and she and she loves to tell this story she laughs like crazy.

Speaker 2:

She went back, got her arrows, come back. I come up over there. He says Jeff's from one side of the fence, the turkey's five yards away, on the other, and they're both looking at me like which would, you know, kill me? Now? You know this is terrible. We're both wore out and I'm out of breath. I just dying for thirst, but just as bad as it worst shape I've ever been in in my life.

Speaker 2:

I remember she gets her arrow, she shoots, the turkey misses the first time. So we only had like three arrows and so she's got one arrow left and I think she hits him almost like pin, cushions him enough where I can grab them. I crawl over there and grab and I don't remember we choked him out or what happened, I, but nonetheless he died. We got him and I was, and I was like this is why I don't like bow on turkeys, you know. You know we're not, we're never doing this again. You know this was crazy.

Speaker 2:

But and then, once it all happened, I got my feeling back in my legs, you know, several minutes later, and we were laughing about it, joy, and now, hey, it was her first turkey ever with a bow and gosh. I think it, looking back, it was her first turkey. Yeah, it was her first turkey ever and it was, and of course you know, so I'm not gonna do that again. The next morning we were back out there and called in another one, she, she actually missed it that morning, but when I think about funny hunt stories and I probably miss the details, but dang, that was I'll never forget that and I hope I never had that feeling again in my life. It was probably like the closest I ever felt to, I mean, being paralyzed. I was, I was paralyzed.

Speaker 1:

My leg just made me think, jeff, of. It's a meme. I'm sure some of the listeners, maybe you've seen it, but it's like you know after spending 10 minutes. On your phone on the shitter and then you try and get up and you fall over.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly what it was, but you know, I didn't have that sensation of like a dead leg or something, that they didn't feel like that as Far as the tingling or whatever. But that's exactly how it respond. My body was responding. I was like my mind was telling me to go and I and I could not do anything and it was.

Speaker 1:

Maybe maybe you were too caught up in the moment, maybe that tingling sensation was there, but due to the fact there was a bird and you're going after it and you're attacking that, you just didn't realize. But man, that's, that is funny. I could just see you like crawling after an injured turkey man.

Speaker 2:

That's like a baby loves to tell that, like she said, she come up there and then we're both laying on opposite sides of the fence, both of them, you know, just our heads are awake but everything else is just dead. And she she that it was funny times, but it was a good trip. It made a lot of memories and, yeah, it's something that's one of those I'll never forget as long as I live. One of those type hunting stories.

Speaker 1:

I bet, I bet it's one of those stories. I've had a couple of these on the podcast before. I'm like I think I'd like to hear your wife's version over your version. Yeah, I guarantee she remembers a couple details a little different than you do.

Speaker 2:

I tried it. You know when I tell it on the butt of the joke, but yes, she'd probably make me the butt of that joke, but I deserve it. I don't know what happened to this day, I don't know. And I still I'm like I don't like wine chairs. You're gonna put me in a chair, give me something I can. I can move around. And now I'm like, if I'm anticipating something like that, I'm gonna stretch and get up and and try to keep the blood flowing.

Speaker 1:

Oh, man, did you, did you get a chance to like inspect the bird and see what happened with her first shot?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think she's just winging. I really do. I think she just winged him. You know, I just broke that wing and you know, going back I got a ton of buddies that she bows or at turkeys, you know, kill tongue turkeys with, with the archery equipment, but me I'm just like gosh, I just, I just feel like you, you have such a high, six high chance to Just wound them, you know, but it makes a lot more challenging.

Speaker 1:

So at the end of the day, probably probably even now, yeah, I've killed three turkeys and I've I've actually used three different types of weapons. So my first turkey was Miriam with shotgun. My second one was a Rio with my bow it was actually my first archery kill ever and then my third one was with a 270. Of all damn things, yep, in Texas.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I called it in.

Speaker 1:

I actually had given up. I'd been hunting for two days, not seen a thing, and I was walking around with my bow and my rifle, because I was actually there for access to here, but it was turkey season, so why not? Yeah, and I hike around this whole property, long, skinny property, which is why I have the, the rifle, because I'm like if it steps onto the property, I really need to hit it With my bow, I, or my rifle, I. I can't afford to try and stock it because it'll just walk off the property in a matter of minutes. Yeah, so I've got both with me and I walked the whole property. Nothing's happening. I gotta get out of here. I'm just gonna leave.

Speaker 1:

And I go back to my blind and I like, whatever, let's throw out a quick call and, you know, maybe he chimes up. So I jump into my blind and he pops up at like 35 yards or something like that and I go full draw and there's some brush in between me and him and I never really fired my bow through any brush. I wasn't confident and I was like I don't know how I feel about this, got him dead to rights, but I just don't know if my arrow will make that and he didn't like my, my setup. Did he pop the setup? He's gobbling, nothing was happening. So he go ahead and turns around. So I let down on my bow and and bring out my slate call and he pops up and that was about 50 yards and I'm like, well, let's, let's make something of this trip. So I just pull my rifle up and I bring it up and it's like times 10 my scope, and I can't find this bird to save my life, yeah, so.

Speaker 1:

I'm like, oh god, like, where is this? I wind it down to times three and pull it up, see the burden boom. And yeah, he did not live nearly as long as your wife's turkey did. He was down pretty quick.

Speaker 2:

Was it like this? I've always wondered what happened when you shoot him with a rifle. It's just like a Feathers pop out, or what was on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you know the. I couldn't even really find the entry wound, but the exit wound was his wing, his, his. He was kind of walking away from left to right, kind of courting away, and I hit him high, which is what I was aiming for. So I wanted to try and preserve his breasts and his legs and it just right who is blue as the back wing off basically. So the exit wound was pretty, pretty messy, but all the rest of the meat was perfectly fine and he just he died real quick.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. Yeah, I think Texas is the only thing you can hunt him with a rifle, high-powered rifle, and you know my son, like I said, he is infatuated with that. He wants to go to Texas one day and shoot one of the rifle. Just I guess those see, just so he can say he did it.

Speaker 1:

But that's his goal in Colorado, I think. In the spring it's either a shotgun or bow but and they have a fall turkey season, it's the same time as like elk season and you can use a rifle or basically whatever you want for the fall turkey season.

Speaker 2:

In Colorado. Yep, you say, in Colorado, you could yep in the fall turkey season.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you can never never taken an image of it, but I was. I was kind of looking through the regs and I'm like why would I, you know, earning points and stuff, because you can actually put in for draws and get two turkey points per year if you do the fall in the spring draw and don't draw.

Speaker 2:

Not a ton of turkey. Points in Colorado but maybe there's more states. I just didn't know. I mean, that's just not something I ever think about it shooting a turkey with a rifle, but there may. There's probably more states that have that opportunity or something like that. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure you can some states with a muzzle loader, which you know it's just always baffle me.

Speaker 1:

But Whatever bigger, and bigger rounds, man.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right.

Speaker 1:

Well, jeff man, that was a great story. Thank you for sharing it. I love it when people are willing to make fun of themselves or, you know, laugh themselves a little bit. So thank you. But what else you got, man? Let's keep going.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, okay, I'll go back to one of the bigger deer I've ever killed. In the reason this, this story kind of takes me I don't want to say that a dark place. But you know, me and my dad David, we kind of have this thing. He like loves to pick out a certain buck, and you know, I was our home home farmers. When we hunt the majority of the year that's just kind of that's what we've done the last 20 years. But we originally from the south or from Georgia, and but he likes to pick a certain deer and and he just got gets a little Vendetta against this deer, he just kind of the bone to pick with him and that's what he will All gas, no brakes, no other deer he doesn't think about, he just keeps hunting until he kills that deer. And he always kills it and it's a great feeling and I've always said, by hunting one deer, once you kill that deer, it's the greatest feeling of the world. But but leading up to that point, the amount of Anguish and other deer you pass, and all that focus and energy, it just just makes it tough. So the story I'm about to tell you that it was, it was a very tough Season, this deer, his name was big chocolate and I first had an encounter with him and the reason he got this name is because my son had picked up his sheds the year before. But first time encounter with him, I think he was for uh, four years old and he came out I don't even remember seeing this deer um, all summer, because we try to get a pretty good inventory of our, our, our bucks and stuff and he came out and I was like man, that's a nice deer. I thought about taking a shot with him late season with my bow and like I don't really know him and he doesn't look over four or five. Uh, another year goes by, he gets a little bit bigger.

Speaker 2:

At this point we were starting to keep up with him now and I think when he was six uh, this is when my son found his sheds and uh, cash at the time was probably he was four or five and and they were on the other side of this fence and, uh, which was our property, it's just an old cattle fence. So I remember we were shed hunting, we got this on camera, we threw him up over the fence and he went and got it and he's like, oh, you know, this is the deer. I want to kill these giant 160 inch sheds. You're like like I bet you do, buddy. And then, uh, so we'd always they. We called him, uh, mr Chocolate, um, but but then my son started, he's like it's big chocolate. And I'm like, oh, you know what, or changing his name, that sounds better. So big chocolate it was, and man he was, he was a giant.

Speaker 2:

I haven't seen you picture this deer, but uh, once he got to seven and a half, and that's kind of when our deer in in Iowa this is not the same in every state, I know that for a fact and that's not that way in Georgia. You know, it's just kind of more of a, an upper Midwest thing, but but when he got to seven he blew, he was a, like I say, a 160s that year. And then when he got to seven he was, you know, 180, something inch, typical. And then and and he was, he just had a huge frame and this deer looked he was 180, but if you would have told me it was 200, I probably would have believed it, cause that's just how big he looked in every single trail camp photo. It was just Mr Photogenic. He looked great. He, um, and he was a cool deer and uh, we got a ton of pictures of him. But his home range was one side of our farm to the next and we have access to about 3000 acres in this one chunk Um, and so, from one side of the next, you just never knew where he was going to be. And so, um, and we had trail camp pictures in the summer. He was everywhere.

Speaker 2:

But that never really crossed my mind when I, when I I'm like, okay, this is the deer I want to hunt this fall, it was kind of me and my dad typically will take turns hunting big deer and that year was just kind of mine and that year was kind of in the areas that I hunt, we have our areas. So I said, okay, I'm going to get after big chocolate early season, nothing. My dad ended up actually seeing him finally get the first eyes on him. Um, that, that early November in a spot that, um, real, similar to where I we're, almost killed him a few few days later. And so I'm, I'm just bouncing around on this deer and this was. We had cell cameras out and I'll never remember it was like this deer, I feel like he had a cell camera on on my bedroom or my driveway Cause this deer, when you talk about, one step ahead of you, he was the enemy of that type of cat and mouse game and uh, just everything I'd done, I was wrong, I was in this stand, he wouldn't be in the other one, or whatever stand I was in, it was just.

Speaker 2:

It was like this for for day, for months. Our season opens October 1st, uh, november 15th, I think, november 14th, 15th or something. That's when I I finally had the encounter. But, like I said, I had not seen this deer, not one time. He's hunt, he's at around this big timber area, um, and, and our deer, and Iowa is great as Iowa is, we have a ton of timber and uh, it just, you know, just complete opposite of, you know what you're probably used to out West. So you just don't, there's no real. We do have some topo there, but it's not topo that just like truly funnels, the deer like bluff country or or something like that, or woodlots, it's just a lot of timber gently rolling and those deer can go everywhere.

Speaker 2:

So I never laid eyes on this deer for a month and a half, other than some trail camp picks, and we did have some daytime trail camp picks I would get, and then it would just be, you know, taunting me. I was constantly checking these cameras and and, and you could almost say trail cameras. That year, you know it, with this book, I was not going with my gut instinct, I was. I was almost going wherever he was before and I couldn't get out of my mind that he was there. He's going to come back by as he in that area you know just who knows it. Just an incredible game of cat and mouse where I was the absolute loser every single day. I mean, I could even get even a small win of seeing the deer, or or or having an encounter or something you know, and it was just getting my fanny kicked.

Speaker 2:

Um, you know, and my, actually my neighbor after, after this, there was just, it was an emotional roller coaster because I was hunting this deer so hard, hunting almost daylight to dark in the rut and just draining you. Uh, and that's why I was like man, this one deer stuff just isn't for me. My neighbor actually shot over his back. He almost deer in this pursuit. I had no idea. Um, I remember a couple of times there'd be people, poachers, whatever, shooting off the road and all I could ever think of was man. Did they get big chocolate, you know? And then not have to wait till a day or two until I got another picture of him to know he's alive A wild dog dinner in the property, um did you have a lot of poachers on your property?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, well every now and then we do. And then we had some guys that were kind of hunting a neighboring property and one day, and during all this my dad calls me, he's like I got them right here in the middle of the property. I don't know what's going on. They got to know this deer is in here. Honestly, looking back now, they probably didn't have a clue that deer was in there. They've just happened to be in there because that's a I don't know good spot. But we called them, it was dealt with and all that Um got you Nonetheless.

Speaker 2:

But there was so much just drama every day with something wild dogs, like I say, rifle shots off the dirt road, this neighbor here telling me about it. It was every day. It was drama, but it was just. There's no, never, no good news. I mean occasionally. You know, oh, he's still alive over here.

Speaker 2:

This is where I'm going to go killing, you know, looking back, and, as they say, time heals things. But even telling this story, it's a dark time just thinking about how hard I hunted this deer and I had a new cameraman this year, that year and the kid had a really good attitude. But man, we, we just we didn't kill nothing there for a month and a half, or we'd been hunting September. We shot an elk, I think, and and we just been getting our fannies kicked and so finally, um, I'm in this big CRP field one night hunting this box stand. I have been wanting to hunt there.

Speaker 2:

I finally got this Northern wind where I could go over here and hunt, and uh, me and him are there, and and we'd never seen this deer before. And so he's like, oh my gosh, there he is, he's coming up the edge of CRP. He was locked down with his dough. So when you know, when they lock down with these, these does in the whitetail world, they're going to be with that dough for two or three days. That's just typically how it always works. By the time they can breed her, she goes through her cycle and, uh, he comes in, there Is the deer, is the buck leading or is the dough leading?

Speaker 2:

And sorry for my, she's leaving whitetail.

Speaker 1:

Okay, got it. Oh, he's outside of his normal, that's that sounds good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and this is an hour before daylight. You know he's um, he's in a just a almost a drunken stupor in love with this dough and he looks as big as ever. And my camera guy I mean, he'd never seen this deer in person. I hadn't seen him this year and it was just wanting to happen so bad. And so here it is. When he first comes out, he's like at 17 yards, right to my left and we're in this redneck box, blind, and he's like I can't film him. I'm like what you gotta film me, man, you got to figure it out and he couldn't do it. Well, the deer gets out there to 24 yards or 26. I can't remember exactly. Giant body deer still very much in um, in a killable range. You know top pen territory, and so this this next thing I'll tell you is very important because I want people to learn from this Um, and I actually ended up going back and watch videos on this, uh, because I didn't really know.

Speaker 2:

Obviously, when you shoot out of a box blind, it's going to be a little noisier and if your bow's not extremely fast which might, I shoot a very fast setup, but nonetheless, a lot of times a deer is going to react. You know, you always hear about that in Texas. When you shoot, that deer is going to drop. Well, you got to think of, if you're in a box, blind, it's going to amplify that sound a little much and it's going to scare them. But this deer had its head down and his, his antlers were, were a giant wreck, you know. So they're going to weigh a lot. So when the deer is feeding with his head down or has his head down, when he goes to jump, his head acts like a pendulum. And Grant Woods done this it's this long, detailed studies on YouTube, a video that when he throws that head up, the quicker that back end goes down. And it would just make sense, the bigger the rack, the more that back end would go down, the faster, or whatever.

Speaker 2:

And I was shooting a broad head that day and I'm never, I've never been one to blame the broad head and this particular broad head I'd killed tons of animals with and I've never had a problem. It was a little bit different variety of a little later model I guess I hadn't shot a deer with, but I shot and that deer probably drops, I don't know eight to ten inches at 24 yards, which is that's a big jump for a mid-whitetail, you know it's 250 pounds or more. And my arrow went in under the spine, you know, and it just didn't get any penetration. And I don't know if it was because like a glancing blow, if like somebody's trying to run by and you're trying to swing at them, it's hard to hit them square. You know there's a lot of physics in here that I'm just not smart enough to figure out. But nonetheless he was, he was going down, my arrow was going out, so kind of just glanced on him and it just it didn't penetrate. It penetrated, penetrated a little bit, but not enough at that angle to to do any damage and I'll never know how much internal damage it probably really done. But but anyhow, I'm like, oh my gosh, what happened? I think I hit him too high. We give him till the next morning.

Speaker 2:

He ends up running on my neighbors. We track him for several hours, spotty blood actually, find where he beds down in this tall CRP grass right by the flipping road. So we're already worried. Oh my gosh, it's somebody seen right here and they grab him, they shoot him, finish him off in the night. He's not here, no more, there was no more blood, but I couldn't really see where anybody had drug a deer, so just added to the whole list of unknowns and so at this point I'm like I'm ready to sell all my hunt gear.

Speaker 2:

You know, I I'm not, was not happy with life. It was the I can honestly say, the darkest time and I've said that a lot but the darkest time in my hunting career. And I still, to this day, if a big buck gets in this area where I hunted him a lot right there for that that month and a half, I don't even want to go over there and hunt because I'm like I need time to heal. Still, because when I think about over there, I think about chasing big chocolate and I just there's bad memories, bad memories. So, um, I'll never forget um, he disappeared off camera, as they typically do when a deer gets hit like that. You know, my theory is they just kind of go in hiding. They got to go lick their wounds, they got to recuperate. They can't move a ton, they can't. They're going to be trying to feed hard and once they feel like they, they get the wound to stop bleeding and all that but.

Speaker 2:

But it went um, gosh, that was 14th, 15th, I can't remember what day that was, and I think it was the, maybe the day before Thanksgiving or something like that. A week or 10 days and went by and and you know it's the mental anguish of you know, is this deer dead? You know, did they? Yeah, I have no idea, I'm just not getting any pictures. Well, I moved a ton of cameras on this area, um, and I didn't. I didn't know what to think, and so I'll never remember, I'll never forget. So I went hunting in that same field on the other end of it. I think it was like the night before Thanksgiving and we had some family in town and me and my dad hunted together, with no camera, guys and his holidays, whatever, and we rarely do that me and him hunt together, you know, deer hunting in the same tree or whatever. This may happen once or twice every other year, it's just just not a common occurrence and where we'd parked.

Speaker 2:

I remember coming out that night after dark and I almost still get chills thinking about it. But it was like this ray of light, um and I'm not saying it was anything spiritual or anything, I mean, I'm definitely a you know, bible believer, but it was like a ray of light coming out of the sky and I think it was just more of the moonlight or reflection or something, but it was shooting down on this ridge. Um, you know, just up the hill, about 300 yards. I'm like that's it. I said we're coming in here tomorrow. That's where he's at. He he's died up on that ridge. This is my sign. I'm like you know, because I'm just thinking, you know, any little sign at this point I can get for taking what you can get, yeah, I'll take it, I'll take it. And so then I'll never remember, I'll never forget.

Speaker 2:

And then this is when I had all my cell cams on this particular area coming to my email, so I didn't have to log in that, they just came straight to my email, these four or five cameras I had in that this couple hundred acre block and, uh, I'm sitting there just casually going through email. Look up. And I remember screaming out oh my gosh, my dad's like you know what, what is going on? And whoever else was over to house that night, he's like, what was going on? It's big chocolate. And he was.

Speaker 2:

We got, we got a picture of him that night a couple hours after we came out. It is an exact same spot, that that ray of light was coming down on that ridge. It was the exact same ridge. Good lord, you know, this is this is you know, is this divine faith, or is this what is what's going to happen here? Is that mean I'm going to kill him up there now? So, and he was, he looked okay. He didn't, you know, you disappear week or 10 days like that, and I didn't know how much he had eaten, I didn't know if he'd left the farm, went somewhere else, um, but but he looked okay and uh, so I hunted him pretty hard. Next next week or two, um would get an occasional pick and pretty much, uh, he was still in kind of the, the um, you know, recovery mode. So I didn't. I hunted him hard, but not as hard as I hunted him in November.

Speaker 1:

I was like, you know, I hope it's meant to be for this year maybe you're uh killing any of your pictures, getting any like views of the the, the shot or like the wounds.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah it's like it's like man, you know that shot, that shot should kill him. It should just absolutely kill him. Where I hit him, you know it just wasn't, it wasn't a bad shot, you know maybe a little bit higher than where you would aim, but it's right here it just looks like it should have gotten.

Speaker 2:

The only thing I thought, you know, in my mind was I just didn't get enough penetration to hit those lungs because you know you don't have to, you don't have to just blow through those lungs, you know you nick them pretty good and that the deer nine times out ten he's gonna die. I mean, they can't live on a single lung hit or something, but it's, it's very tough for him too. So, but they are tough, resilient animals, especially these big miss midwestern bucks.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, I guess that's why you call them big chocolate instead of mr chocolate, right, that's because it's tough, yeah, it's tough, and tough, and so I'm like I don't know if I'm gonna kill this deer or not.

Speaker 2:

I said, maybe and that's kind of how I live my life maybe it wasn't meant to be, maybe this deer is going to blow up to be some giant not typical next year after this injury. Maybe I'm not meant to kill him and and that was what I was telling myself to get by. So I still had not killed a deer in um in in Iowa that year. Uh, I shot one or one or two in Illinois, I think, so I kind of at least blew some steam off over there. So it rolls around the late season and this is yeah. I vividly remember it now. It was 2019, um, and because it was, I think it was the first day of 2020 and I took my mom hunting.

Speaker 2:

He had been, uh, we went down to Georgia for Christmas and he had daylighted a couple times in this one field, the same field. I had seen him like three or four years prior, when I first had an encounter with him and it was in this cornfield. I said, well, that's where I'm gonna hunt him, and this was almost a mile and a half, two miles, from where I had shot him. But this is kind of where he was winnaring. Um, I say that, but I think that's um. It's been a couple years now, but I think that's about how far he was it. It may have been him. I'm saying it may have been a mile, but no, I think it was close to a mile and a half. So where the crow flies, so I'm sitting there and I'm going to go hunting. I hunted him a couple of days and he wasn't showing up and I said I'm going to take my mom out this day and it was either New Year's Eve or New Year's. I think it was New Year's Day, it could have been.

Speaker 2:

It was New Year's Day because I was like man 2020 is, we're going to start it off right. You know, later we found out we'd be one of the craziest years in history. But so I'll take her out there and this book shows up. He walks out, man, gets within 80, 100 yards and we didn't even film him much. I'm like first chance I get this deer stops. I got a muzzle loader in my hand. It's muzzle loader season. I said I'm killing the son of a gun and she's with me. She's my good luck charm. We still say that to this day.

Speaker 2:

And he came out there. We got a little bit of footage of him. Boom, I shoot, just smoke goes everywhere. I was like I know I hit him. I can't confirm that on the video, but I know I did. So we went and got everybody Sure enough, go over there, start tracking him. And this time he had finally ran out of his good fortune or his good luck and I killed him and it was with a gun. Yeah, I would have loved to gotten him with a bow, but nonetheless, to me it's always kind of more about the animal than maybe my personal accomplishment on something like that. But he's dead.

Speaker 2:

But looking back, yeah, and we were extremely happy, like I say, and he was a giant, he was a big deer. But still, when I think about that deer, because he had put me through so much, not on purpose, you know, but the lowest of lows, you know, if you say even kill is your life is average or you're somewhere in here, but the lowest of lows were lower than the hive me finding him that night, because I almost was just like I was relieved it was over, because it consumed my life, that entire fall, and not necessarily in a good way, you know, it's just everything revolved around that deer and it was like once I killed him I could go on my life and I was. I was extremely relieved. It's not like that, but with me and deer.

Speaker 2:

And then since then, when there's like oh man, you know you need to go hunt this deer, I was like no, I may go in there and hunting more than twice, but I am not walking horns with another buck, I'm bouncing around the farm, I mean I'm hunting some of my favorite stands, I'm enjoying the size of sounds, the smells of the rut, but and I'm sure one day again I'll fall down there and grab a whole hunting a specific buck, but but since then I have not. I am not scared of a, I'll go in there and a buck's not doing right, he's not showing up, I'm on to the next one. I don't, I haven't lived, you know. Just get me engulfed like like big chocolate did, and you know he's hanging on my wall, his beautiful mouth was his official score.

Speaker 1:

If you don't mind me asking.

Speaker 2:

I didn't never get him officially scored but I scored him and usually I always get within an inch or two of the ones that I've had officially scored. But he was 181 inches and and he would have been he had 21 inch beams which he looked like. He had 25 inch beams and he didn't. So that's why he he looks bigger than 181, but he's got tall times. Brow times are a little short, but just a big, big client. You know 10 porno with a couple of little kickers. But had he had normal beans, beans for a deer that frame, that size? You know he's easily 109 inch, typical, but but he's 181, 182, somewhere in there.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, is he the biggest deer you ever killed.

Speaker 2:

No, he's not the biggest one. I've killed a few bigger than him, but it was a.

Speaker 1:

I've hunted none harder I can promise you that I've hunted none hard Cool story man. Yeah, I stand by the fact that I am not a good enough hunter to ever hold out for any deer or elk or anything in particular.

Speaker 2:

I you'll get there, you'll get, you will get there quicker than you think it's, I bet. I bet I'm putting in more and more time, but yeah, at this point.

Speaker 1:

I'm just happy to have meat in the freezer. It's been. I've had a little bit of a drought and, like I told you, I just did put down my first archery elk, and so I'm pretty pretty fired up to fill that freezer when I get the meat back.

Speaker 2:

So, oh man, that's good eating right there.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, oh yeah, especially the guys that I was with. I was like all right, boys, we'll split all this meat up. I want everyone to eat. Well, and they're like Nope, nope, you take it all, so I've got really yeah, yeah. They. One of them is like him and both of his children killed the elk last year. So like we got so much, we got so much elk, we can't take any right now. So you know, first world problem, I guess to have too much Right.

Speaker 2:

Man, it's great, I would. You know I love all types of venison, but as far as just ground, I mean, I would almost, if there's a pack of deer and there's pack of elk that lay in there, I'm, even though that elk is an old, 10, 12 year old, rutted up animal that ground. Elk man, it's tough to beat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Man, I will say have you ever had access to deer? I've had some.

Speaker 2:

I have. I have. All I've heard is how it's the best, probably the best, wild game on the planet.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, my, my wife is very particular. In fact she I've shot one white tail. She's not interested in chowing down on that guy. But I shot a an access to deer and a doe and she was like this is phenomenal and she would eat that all day, every day. And I'm excited to see what her opinion is of the elk, but I'm hoping it's in the same regard as the access to your. Otherwise I got to figure out how to hunt more access to your because what is it like?

Speaker 2:

a like a lighter meat.

Speaker 1:

No, it's just, it's very, it's just red meat, it's very much like. I mean I don't know if I can say this because I don't know if it's totally accurate, but my wife says it's so similar to beef that she's like it's. It's fantastic, it's very, it's very lean, like all game meat.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it just doesn't?

Speaker 1:

I don't know. She thinks the other meat has gamey flavor.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, maybe it wasn't cleaned well enough.

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, a little fat in there, or something like that. Yeah, so either way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Jeff, you got to try access to your first off. They're beautiful animals and they're fun and they make oh God it's, and all that stuff Orders yeah.

Speaker 1:

But they are. They're really good eating. I will say don't eat their fat. I, when we killed that, that doe, the gentleman I was with, took a little bit of fat and just wanted to just kind of render it down on top of it and it just tasted it's like we coated that backstrap in wax Still delicious Just gave us a real weird you know texture in your mouth.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I get that. No, you know a lot of people they do say like your wife was talking about the game in us. And yes, I do believe some deer is not processed properly, you know, clean properly or maybe you know got some blood exposed or whatever. But but you know, I've had a lot of people lately and I kind of believe it is just how much fat is in that meat, especially on on venison, and that that's kind of what really, if you're ever just smell fat, you can, you can kind of just kind of see how that is. But that's what really gives it a gamey taste is when too much fat gets mixed in with your meat. I believe it.

Speaker 1:

I believe it. Well, jeff, man, that was an awesome story. It was fun. I could feel your anxiety as you were telling that story about it, like just all season long, just being pent up and every day worrying if something happened to this buck that you have been targeting.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yeah, that, yeah, what took me down a little dark hole having to retell that story. It did, though it did. Honestly, I was just crazy times.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, I believe it, I believe it. I don't know if I'll ever get there and I kind of, after hearing your story, hope I don't. But whatever, we'll see right. That being said, man, you got any more stories for us, any other ones you want to tell? If not, I'm you know I'm content, but I tell everybody this I'm not going to stop you.

Speaker 2:

Right, absolutely. Yeah, I think that's probably about it. I'm trying to think of it, any other ones that really come to mind, but that was kind of my big three I think I had on on to share. Of course, you know I could talk, I could talk deer hunting, deer stories all night, but those are, those are definitely two of them, the ones that I most memorable. But they're like you said earlier. You know you tell them to non hunter, they're not, they just want to hear the punchline, you know. But that as a you know, as a hunter, you can. Those are. Those are longer stories that definitely have to be told, with all the details to the devil is in the details, the fact that your legs quit working as you're chasing a turkey.

Speaker 1:

like some non hunters may not understand that, but to me that's right, perfect, so they should be in Well cool. Yeah, why don't we tell the people where they can find you? I know you mentioned it a little bit at the beginning, but give them another dose of where they can find everything that you do.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely man, yeah, we're. We're easy to find on social media. You know, at the Lindsay Way, whether it's Instagram, facebook, twitter, TikTok, we're on all of those. Youtube, you know you can watch most all of our hunts on YouTube. You know kind of more behind the scenes action. We're on the outdoor channel five, five times a week. Our main time is Tuesday nights, 8pm central, 7pm 8pm Eastern, 7pm central. So that's where we're at. The Lindsay Waycom has all of our air times, a pair of sponsors, all that stuff on there. You know we're we're surrounded by a bunch of great partners kind of kind of keep us going. And you know we just out here trying to have a lot of fun hunting the, hunting them wild, mainly the white tell beer. You know we're going to get in a little bit of the elk and the ducks next couple of weeks, but most of the most fall. You can find us chasing that white tell deer.

Speaker 1:

Perfect man, Perfect Jeff. Well, thank you again, man. I really appreciate it. Like I said, you jumped on the opportunity to tell some stories and I want to say thank you, so I appreciate you.

Speaker 2:

Yes, sir, man, I enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun reminiscing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, we'll have to get your dad on here, and then I'm sure I actually get a message from, I'd say, at least 50% of my guests as soon as we hang up the recording, being like oh man, I just thought a whole bunch more wanted to tell you, so yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely All right, man Well thank you again.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks a lot, man Take care.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you as well. All right, guys. That's it. Another couple of stories in the books again.

Speaker 1:

Jeff, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I really do appreciate you and your stories. They're pretty classic, I mean, I can. I can just picture you trying to run up to that turkey and your legs just not cooperating. I've told a lot of story to a lot of folks in my own circles already because it's just too funny. So thank you again, sir. I do appreciate you. Make sure you guys go out there and follow them. They're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok. You can find them everywhere. I put links to everything in the show notes. You can find them right there, and girls, of course, have a website. Beyond that, guys, please make sure you give us a follow on Instagram and subscribe to the podcast. Share with at least one person so we make sure that we're growing and then more people are finding the podcast to tell us their crazy stories. But that's it, guys. Thank you again. I really appreciate you all tuning in. I hope you had as much fun this week as I did and get out there and make some stories Zero.

Hunting Stories
Bow Hunting Turkeys in Kansas
Turkey Hunting and Deer Vendettas
Hunting and Chasing "Big Chocolate"
The Hunt for Big Chocolate
Deer Hunting and Meat Quality
Appreciation for Guest and Podcast Promotion