The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 070 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Matt Kusmierz

October 09, 2023 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 70
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 070 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Matt Kusmierz
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Join us on a riveting journey as we sit down with Matt Kuzmirz, the ingenious mind behind the phenomenal archery tool, PaperTuner. An intriguing figure, Matt is a Michigan native turned Texan, with an infectious passion for hunting and archery. With a blend of humor, warmth, and candor, he takes us through his captivating hunting experiences, from the initial expeditions in his hometown to his triumphant return to the sport after a decade-long break.

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Michael:

Howdy folks and welcome to the Hunting Stories Podcast. I'm your host, michael, and as usual, we've got another good one for you today. Today, we connect with someone who actually is a mutual friend of mine introduced us, and he is someone that I was aware of and apparently he was already listening to the podcast, so it was great to meet him and he has some great stories. His name is Matt Kuzmirz. Matt is the founder of PaperTuner, which is an awesome archery tool. If you haven't seen it before, but check out the show notes or the Instagram, you'll be able to find out a bunch of information about PaperTuner there. Let's go ahead and kick this thing off and let Matt tell you some of his stories. Alright, matt, welcome to the Hunting Stories Podcast. Brother, how are you Doing great?

Matt:

Thanks for having me. I know we've been trying to do this for like a month or something and finally made it happen.

Michael:

Bg schedules. But it's nice to have someone who we have, a mutual friend who I think it's kind of a funny story Maybe you could tell more details than I can but someone we both know and he recommended you reach out to me and I think you maybe already were listening to the podcast, is that right?

Matt:

Yeah, so I was already aware of your podcast for at least a month. I was talking to a friend of mine and Terry Stewart he just mentioned hey, I know this guy, we met at Elk Shape gathering two years ago and he said you gotta reach out to him. So of course I quickly grabbed my phone and looked down at Instagram and I was like, ah, I've been listening to his podcast already, so perfect.

Michael:

Very aware of him.

Matt:

He's like yeah great guy, so definitely reach out to him. So I think I might have texted you first and then shot you out.

Michael:

I think so. Yeah, I think Terry connected with me and he's like reach out to this guy and we just started talking. I put you on the back burner because I had to go to Elk Season, which I just got back from, which was a successful Elk Season. I'd love to tell you the story, man, but I'm gonna have to have a special podcast with the folks that I was hunting with. We're all gonna get together and call each other's bluffs on what's true and what's not true, and hopefully that'll just be a bonus episode I'll throw out there at some point. But let's get back on track. Man, why don't you introduce yourself so the people know who they are gonna be hearing some stories from today?

Matt:

Yeah. So Matt Kuzmer is originally from Michigan, born and raised in Texas about 2008. Been here since Married a nice Texas lady who will never leave Texas, so I am now a Texan. I am what they call a Damienky.

Michael:

That's funny, man. I married a nice Texan as well. That's why I'm down here, although she has been converted to Colorado, so we jump back and forth between it too. Our happy place is there, but her family is here, so it's hard to get away from the family sometimes.

Matt:

Yeah, that sounds very familiar. Every summer we go to Colorado because once you're a month or two or three hundred degree weather, it's time to get out. It's time to go somewhere cool, somewhere beautiful, somewhere that's got something green.

Michael:

So we head to Colorado yeah, somewhere you can get outside.

Matt:

We go to Michigan every once in a while, michigan's beautiful in the summertime, but I've had my fair share of winter, so I'm finding Texas.

Michael:

I never have to shovel heat. That's the truth. Never thought about it that way. Well man how long have you been hunting man? I know well, you answered the question first.

Matt:

Yes, basically I was born in a family that grandpa's uncles dad were all hunters. My dad wasn't the best bow hunter. I think I can count on one hand how many times he actually went hunting. Probably had one of the original bear recurve bows. I wish he had it, but I'd like to know what model that was, because that would have been kind of cool, just to know.

Matt:

So I started just sitting in the blind with my dad sitting in the blind with my uncle, and I was more drawn towards the archery. So I was finally old enough to go archery hunting one or few times With my dad sitting in the blind, and that was pre-sent control, pre-fully understanding the whole hunting world. So I can't say we were very successful.

Michael:

Awesome. Have you always been an archery hunter? I know that you currently have a super cool archery product we're going to talk about that in a second but have you ever dabbled in firearms, or has it always been an archery for you?

Matt:

I feel like the firearm portion of the hunting that was more of our social gathering. I think I was successful hunting. It was interesting because every deer I've ever shot was with iron sights. Never shot anything further away than maybe 25 yards with a rifle. So I hunted the swamps in Michigan so you didn't have a lot of hills or there was no glassing back in my day Gotcha, gotcha, okay, and so when did you?

Michael:

I have to assume you're pretty passionate archer just because of the nature of your project. Why don't we take a quick step to just tell the people about the paper tuner? Because I saw it again months before you and I ever connected. Before Terry connected us I think I actually was it Elk Shape. You sent him one, I think I saw it on his Instagram. It's a super cool product and I told you earlier I think it's like if you're getting into archery, it's the logical first thing to start doing everything on your bow yourself. It's like the first step. You don't have to buy this crazy bow press, you don't have to do all these crazy things, but you have to paper tune and you're proud of it. I was like, oh man, that's brilliant. So why don't you tell the people a little bit about paper tuner? Yeah, so what he's talking?

Matt:

about is after being in Texas for 10 years, I got back into the archery world and of course, I went and built the PVC paper tuner and I got two kids and their stuff takes over my garage and I quickly realized that, all right, I'm an engineer by education and what I currently do, so there's got to be a better way than just PVC.

Matt:

So I looked around the garage like I got no floor space left. So I looked up and like, all right, I got plenty of ceiling. So everybody says they start something from the ground up. Well, I started it from the ceiling down.

Matt:

I figured how do I make this thing small, compact, easy to use and I don't have to go to the internet every time to figure out what my tear is? So designed it made it super lightweight. Put all the definitions of the tear on the front of it, just to kind of make it super easy for the user.

Michael:

Yeah.

Matt:

Put the paper above. It designed it so the paper, even with the tears in it, you can easily pull down with one hand. And I thought that's pretty slick and I was tinkering with it just in the garage for myself. And then one day my wife came out she kind of like looked at it. She's like that's actually pretty clever, you should try selling them. So I made a couple, sold them on eBay. They sold quick and I'm like huh, I think I can turn this into something, being that I'm in a engineering role. I have the suppliers, I know who to reach out to, so started going down that rabbit hole and here we are today. So that started after hunting season last year.

Matt:

Yeah, it hasn't been that long. So we really launched the website and the product January 1st of this year, so we've been growing. It's awesome. It's been an interesting ride.

Michael:

It's pretty cool, man. I like I've been to a couple of bow shops for paper tune and it always seems like such a broken process because, like, we'll go, we'll shoot through the paper and then they'll walk back, they'll, they'll, they'll, like, take a photo of my tear mark and they'll go to their little book, flip through their book to read what they're supposed to do, and then they'll walk over to the you know, and it's. I'm just like this just doesn't seem like the logical thing. And then I saw your product and it has the tears on the side, like what you're supposed to do, right there. So you can look at your tear and find out the correction you're supposed to make. It's brilliant. Like I said, I'm tearing my bow down now that I'm done with elk season and as soon as I get some new strings I'm gonna buy myself a paper tuner.

Michael:

So okay, that's that unless you have anything else you want to add. Otherwise, let's jump into some stories, because that's what I'm going to be a paper tuner guy so.

Matt:

I'm okay with that.

Michael:

Cool man. All right, Matt. Well, let's, let's tell your first story, bud. I know you got a couple ready for us. Why don't you? Why don't you set the stage?

Matt:

All right. Well, I would probably say I'm the classic example of the okayest hunter and I'm okay with that. So I grew up in a family that loved to hunt. Can't say we're the best hunters, probably didn't have the best teachers, but we sure enjoyed it. Yeah, and I can't remember the age where I started to actually start bow hunting, but first few times hunting I was with my dad and we'd sit up in the tree. My dad was like ahead of his time, like he made all my tree stands. He was a machine shop for a tool and die guy at General Motors. So I was probably in high school and I realized that oh, you can actually pay people to do stuff because he was the.

Matt:

He fixed your bracket. He fixes it. He needed, he makes it. You know, roof on your house, we roof it. It's just kind of her in the small town in Michigan. I have a friend like that, so I know my wife always says I got a weird accent, so I don't know what she's talking about. Apparently I have a midwest accent. She's from Texas, so I think she's got a weird accent.

Michael:

Yeah, your kids probably sound ridiculous.

Matt:

I'm just kidding, I don't know what they sound like. I need to take them back to Michigan and see what my family think. Yeah, but anyway, so grew up hunting and it was all in Michigan. So just millions of acres of state land, drive off the side of the road, go hunt, and complete opposite in Texas. Pretty much everything's privately on here, unfortunately. But we had this location kind of the middle of Michigan, not in the UP, but kind of the mid dead center, and my dad went there as a child with his dad, so it's just a piece of land that we were very familiar with for a long period of time.

Matt:

So we'd always hunt that and then this was first story, I'll tell you is my first deer, so it's pretty much the first time I hunted alone. My dad and uncle were still there. That was our ritual. We camped all summer long and then during hunting season, we camp pretty much every weekend hunting. So the opening was like a holiday in Michigan. So, opening a bow, everybody pretty much shuts it down go hunting.

Michael:

I heard a lot of kids get like school off and stuff like that. For the opener of deer.

Matt:

Opening of gun hunting was always a day off from school. It didn't matter, that's fun. And they pretty much shut General Motors down because everybody at General Motors wasn't going to show up anyway. So first time out by myself. I've been to the stand multiple times and we baited it a little bit. Usually we'll bait just to get things going a little bit quicker. That's back in the day when you can actually still bait. I'm pretty sure it's been a long time since I've been there. I know they can't bait anymore.

Matt:

But got the tree stand. Dad made it pretty sweet and sitting up in the tree got to it. I was just happy that I found the tree stand by myself and then on the way to the tree stand stopped, went to the bathroom, totally sank control out the window. So go to the bathroom and I realized, oh, my tree stands like 15 yards away. So I get to my tree stand. Probably not the quietest either. So I'm like trying to figure out how to get all my stuff into the tree by myself and get up in the tree sitting up there.

Michael:

And then right off the get go.

Matt:

Here comes a like four deer. So I'm like, oh sweet, we're gonna seal the dealer really tonight. So this is no sites. My first recurve bow is probably maybe 40 pounds, and it was a darting drama.

Michael:

I wish I knew the model. Yeah, the first bow.

Matt:

My dad had a buddy that had kind of his own little bow shop in his garage, so it's just one that he had from a previous kid of his. So I'm just trying it out and getting the tree. Here comes the deer man. You know it was a dough, had some serious buck fever going on, so you're not even cold. It's like September, so it's super warm still. There's nats and flies all over. You're trying to sit still while you have all these bugs growing on you. So here's the deer. I pull back on it. I'm like I got this. It's only maybe 15 yards away, so I shoot no sites. It skims off the back of the deer. I'm like, oh man, it's like I literally just got here. I thought this would have been sweet. Shoot the deer and then go out and kind of tell my tale how great of a hunter I am.

Michael:

So easy.

Matt:

So apparently not as easy as I thought. So all I can see is this arrow sitting there in the dirt because it skimmed off its back, went up in the air, came down and just nosed into the dirt. So I'm looking at the arrow like, well, that was an epic failure. So I'm sitting there and like, well, it's super early, maybe something else coming. So then the rest of the night the deer would come in all around me and you could hear them. They're just snorting, they're just.

Matt:

I watched one go over right where I peed as I was coming in and just sat there and like smelled it, like what is that? And I'm like, man, it was a great show. So then, starting to get a little bit darker, I'm like, all right, I guess it's not going to happen tonight. Then one lone deer comes in and I'm looking at it I can't tell size or anything because I'm kind of a newbie at this whole thing and I'm like, all right, I'm going to shoot this one. So it came in, gave me a broadside shot, drew back, shot it and I'm like, well, that was it, that was easy. I wanted to do that the first time.

Matt:

Then, super excited, I sat there for a minute and you could just hear all the gears kind of run off and you could hear them snorting and I didn't hear a crash. I'm like aw, maybe I didn't have a good hit, oh well, so I get down, make a ton of noise, just burn that whole area out, grab my stuff. Now it's pitch black and I'm walking out. I got all my bow gut. I don't know if you've ever used one of these or even seen one of these, so this is like the old school. What do they call this thing? The game tracker?

Michael:

It's basically like metal flots. I've not seen that.

Matt:

And back in the day you would tie it to your arrow and you'd shoot, and then the string would just peel off, and then you'd just use that to track your deer.

Michael:

Oh. The head of that one it basically threads the deer like a needle.

Matt:

Yeah, so it's like I've actually never used it, but I had it on my bow for many years. My uncle used them all the time and he swore by them. But obviously you've got to be pretty close because that's going to be some serious drag and you hope that you took the cork out where you took the shot. You know what come bouncing back at you.

Michael:

So I had that on my bow.

Matt:

That's kind of important story. So I'm walking out of the woods and it's dark. I'm like I should have been out of the woods by now. So I'm like crap, now I'm lost. So now I'm walking through the woods, I'm trying to listen for cars or people talking or headlights or anything. So basically I was walking in circles and I finally get out of the woods after probably like an hour. By this time they're honking the horn and I can hear the horn. So I followed the horn.

Michael:

Get out there, like how far in were. You Like how far should that walk have been.

Matt:

Oh, it was probably just under a mile so it was a good.

Michael:

It's like 20 minutes or something like that.

Matt:

Yeah, ok. So I missed an important turn. I was just too excited to get out and tell them that I shot something. So I finally get out. I come out of the woods like a block a city block away from where I should have, and I start walking in. They're looking at me like the heck happened to you and they looked down. I got string all over me and I didn't realize that that little device was just peeling string out the whole time. So I'm like, all right, well, that didn't go as smooth as I wanted to, but I was back to being just first time out. You got to get all that.

Matt:

The jitter's out Just kind of see what happens so then I drop the bow off, grab my knife, we grab a rope, we head back and as we're walking in, they're like looking, they can see that string everywhere they're like what'd you do? Zigzag out of the woods. I'm like all right.

Matt:

That's kind of embarrassing. But so we kind of laughed it off. And then we get in, my dad and I walk in the correct way and we go straight to the blind and then I start looking for a blood trail, but then my uncle kind of peeled off a little bit and then all of a sudden you hear somebody yelling. Somebody shot a dog.

Michael:

Oh, no Look.

Matt:

God. So then we walk over there. It made it 20 yards from where I shot it and it was just a little fella.

Michael:

So it wasn't a dog.

Matt:

But so the joke was hey, anybody can shoot a big deer, but can you shoot a small one?

Michael:

Yeah, it's hard to hit, that's for sure, and no sights.

Matt:

So then we're like well there's no sense putting a rope on this. Just grab the back legs and we'll carry it out. So my first deer by myself. I guess it was a success. I didn't get lost and there's a good story afterwards.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You only got kind of lost and you got to play around with your hunting floss or whatever that stuff's called.

Matt:

Yeah, you don't have to look that up. I don't know if they still make it or what, but it was funny because I just remember that today and I'm like I got to find that I pretty much have all my original hunting stuff. So my original, not my original bull by second bow, I imagine that would crush the flight, Like it would be so unpredictable, oh yeah.

Michael:

You couldn't shoot over 20 yards. That's for sure, I'm sure of it. That's crazy, but that's a funny story, especially than following your crazy zigzag line back man.

Matt:

Yeah, it's like if I would just follow my line, I could have at least found my way back to the tree and started it over. Yeah.

Michael:

So you just basically shot a six-month-old deer or something like that, just a little baby Pretty much you didn't have it spots anymore, but it was the veal of the woods.

Michael:

Yeah, I'm sure it was delicious. I'm actually listening to Randy Newberg's podcast today and he was talking about his elk hunt and he was talking to his camera guys Like I won't shoot a spotted calf, and the second time it happened the camera guys like there's no spots on that calf. So people do it, people do it and as a first hunt man, that's pretty great.

Matt:

So that was my first hunt by myself. So that was, I chalk it up to great success. And then after that I'm like I'm getting sights. So then we went back to my dad's buddy and he's like, all right, I'm going to upgrade your bow and we're going to get you some sights. And then I had like three or four pins on it and then after a while I took all the pins off except for one, just sighted in 20 yards. And I'm like I don't need any more than 20 yards Because everything I hunt I was pretty much 18 to 20 feet in the tree and I'm shooting no further than 15 yards anyway, preferred the swamps, because that way you find like a nice cedar or a pine tree and you're just looking for those big old ruddy bucks.

Michael:

And that was what I enjoyed doing.

Matt:

Yeah, and Texas, completely different. I had to learn how to hunt Completely different here and so if I hunt here I go northeast Texas, so I can still get into some trees, so it's kind of like Oklahoma.

Michael:

OK.

Matt:

Well, that was story number one. Two. I call this why you should wait. So this is my probably first or second deer with my second bow. So I was probably 13 years old, I think, OK.

Michael:

And is this a compound, or is it still a trad bow or a stick bow?

Matt:

Compound. Let me show you the bad boy. This is the deer slayer right here. Still has no one pin on it. So a bear tree. You're familiar with them.

Michael:

I am. I am actually my son. He's a little bear. He's only four, coming up on five, but he's got that little $20 bear.

Matt:

Oh yeah, my daughter's have that one as well.

Michael:

Yeah, they make them in bright orange and bright green, you know what I'm talking about Green and black. Yeah.

Matt:

And so that was my deer slayer. Killed a lot of deer with that bow. I don't think I'd ever got over 57 pounds either. So, you don't have to have 80 pounds, but I'm guessing, if you're shooting for the 15 yards, that's where the poundage comes into play.

Michael:

So the second deer.

Matt:

This was a early weekend again in archery season it was the last morning. So I went out there by myself a completely different area and got up into the tree Sitting in the tree and then it's pitch black out and I hear something like climbing up the tree. I'm like what the hell is that? I sit there and then you hear that scratching and it's coming closer.

Matt:

And then finally it gets light enough where I can kind of look down and there's a porcupine coming up the tree. I'm like, do I put an arrow in that? And then, as it's coming up closer, I'm just trying to let it know like, hey, I'm here, you want to bail now because you might end up getting a piercing. Eventually you got probably about three feet away from me and then it really saw me and then it just sort of turned around no hurry, just climb back down, making a ton of noise, and then finally gets down and then slowly makes his way out of my area and it just sounds like I heard a deer. And then, without even thinking about it, I'm thinking all that crunching noise that scared anything off.

Matt:

Then I look up and then there's four deer standing like off to my left. So I'm like, well, crap, how long have they been standing there? So I watched them for a while. I was waiting for the buck to come in. These are just four, does? I'm thinking to myself, well, I got like two hours left in this tree and then I'm going home for the week.

Matt:

So I'm like all right, I'm going to take the biggest doe, shoot that. So then the doe finally gets close enough and then you're ready to draw back and then it keeps coming closer. It's like beeline to my tree that I'm in. So it comes straight to the tree and as it's at the tree then it kind of smells me and then it turns around and starts walking away. So at that point I drew back and pretty much shot it straight down and shot it and it ran off and I'm thinking, oh, that was awesome. It's like what are the odds of that? So I'm thinking, all right, that has to be a kill shot. And I watch it run off and it goes through some tall grass and then it disappears. So hop out of the tree, walk back to the truck. Don't get lost this time. Grab my dad, drop off the bow, grab my knife, grab the rope. Was it a good shot? I'm like it was awesome. Straight through it. Here's my first. So I thought it was a complete pass through, but I didn't find the arrow. I just assumed it was.

Matt:

So we walked back to my tree and he's like tons of blood. And you're like, yeah, it wasn't the nice foamy lung shot and it was kind of like all right, maybe that was a gut shot. Then you're like too excited, and then we're trying to get packed up and ready to go home. So then we start trailing the blood and then we see the deer. So I'm like sweet. So we walk up to the deer and as we walk up to it he like jumps up, scares the crap out of both of us and then starts running and then as it's running, it's guts are just coming out of it. Oh, and then the more it runs, the more it comes out and it just it's smell bad. And then we're thinking, well, crap, all I got is my knife. So I'm like running after with my knife in my hand. I got my old timer fixed blade and, running up to it, got up to it and did Rambo Style and split its throat and I'm like all right, I feel kind of bad.

Matt:

Yeah, and then, after cutting its throat, it's finally down for the count. Get it gutted, what was left. And then my dad's like that smells terrible. You get the back. So we couldn't find the rope, so we lost the rope and all this. So I just had my knife in the deer. So he's like grabbed the front legs and this is like a big dough. So I'm like, ah, so I grabbed one of the front legs. We started walking for a while and we're like, ah, we're kind of in the swamp so we're trying to lift it up and keep the water out of it. So, walking behind it, this is horrible. So for like I don't know, a solid year or two, every time I ate venison I just smelled that. I'm like, ah, I'm good on venison for a while.

Michael:

Yeah, so what exactly? If you can remember or if you even looked at the time, you may just have packed up and moved along, but like what happened? Where did that shot hit it, where did it come out? And like what caused the cuts to just basically fall out.

Matt:

So what happened is, when I shot it, it shot. It must have been actually still facing me, because it shot like it was going to go down into the lungs, but due to the angle it just kept going into the guts and poked out its stomach Gotcha. So it never made it into the lungs, never hit liver, nothing. So that's why the topic of this one was why you should wait. Yeah, so behind the state you should have seen the top of other stories.

Michael:

Yeah, yeah, man, that's crazy. I've never taken a shot that steep. I don't even know if I could hit that. But it reminds me of two other stories, One when you said you only had your knife, you had to go over it and let it throw it. I don't know if you live into the Bert Soren episode. For those who haven't he tells a story about his hunting mentor and he goes out to get a deer that hasn't expired and he doesn't have anything with him. So that's a pretty crazy story.

Michael:

Did you listen to that one, Matt.

Matt:

No.

Michael:

I'm going to have to go back to that one. Yeah, I won't ruin it for you, but I definitely strongly recommend the Bert Soren episode.

Michael:

He's got a bunch of crazy stories and then this other one I can't even remember who it is, but somebody shot a bear and it basically just gutted it like that and the bear was running off and its guts hooked on a tree of all things and it turned around and was gnawing at the guts just trying to free itself. It's just a horrid picture in your head, but yeah, it's just kind of the nature of what we do here.

Matt:

Not every shot's perfect, oh, yeah, I remember as my dad laughing so hard, he was crying, and then he was running after this deer and then he was like holy crap, you caught it. That's impressive.

Michael:

I think I'd like your dad. This would be a pretty funny, and then him being like oh, it smells awful, you get the back. Yeah that was an awesome hunt.

Matt:

It's like I can still smell it to this day.

Michael:

That's what.

Matt:

I started talking about. It's been a while since I even thought about that. So yeah, that was definitely chalked that up to okay as hunter stories.

Michael:

Right, well, I said it before on the podcast, but, like, the best lessons are self taught and you probably won't do anything like that ever again, right?

Matt:

Oh no, it's like and after all that was said and done, my dad's, like you think we should have waited. I'm like I didn't know that was an option. You're supposed to teach me that.

Michael:

Didn't know that was an option. Oh, that's funny. I thought you were trying to get back home. Oh, that's good.

Matt:

That was, yeah, that was fun, good time, good memory. Make sure to let me revisit that one.

Michael:

Of course, of course man.

Matt:

What else you got, man? Oh, it's another good one. Of course there's like good ones in between all that and then eventually I'd say the most meaningful hunt I've ever had was my last deer that I didn't shoot and that was the post my parents passing away during COVID. They both passed away like early on.

Michael:

So that was kind of a bummin.

Matt:

So that was my hunting buddy. Yeah, I was like how this went, divine intervention. So it was actually the first hunt, my first bow hunting hunt in Texas. So I went like, hey, life's too short, you might as well enjoy it. And your way to enjoy it is to hunt, right? Yeah, if you're not hunting, what's this says? So dug out all my stuff out of the attic and I'm like, oh man, I haven't touched any of this stuff in 10 years. Pull it back, I think I might need to buy a new bow. So just funny, because you're out of the industry for like 10 years, so much technology happened in the last 10 years that I was unfamiliar with.

Matt:

So that's why it's kind of funny that I'm in the paper tuning business and back into the archery world after taking 10 years off and you realize, wow, a lot of things have changed. I bet Paper tuning.

Michael:

That's still PVC. 10 years ago I didn't even own a bow, so I can't even imagine what was going on then versus what I got going on now. But yeah, keep going.

Matt:

Oh yeah, so then I just found a PSE Evo and I'm like man, that's a sweet bow compared to what I had previous. My other bow was probably 15 years old or better, so imagine the technology within 15 years. So then I get it all decked out and I'm like man. I'm at tree stand somewhere in West Branch, michigan. My tree stand still sitting in a tree problem, and so I went to a property just a week before hunting season just to see it. I've never even attempted to hunt in Texas at all, so I drove out to this place and there was still public land for Northeast Texas.

Matt:

I'm like all right, this looks like you might have some deer on it. So then walked around, kind of just scouted for a while, and then the next time I was in the woods I had a tree stand on my back and bow that I only target practice with, and ready to go. So the beauty of the last time I hunted till now is on X.

Michael:

What a miracle that thing is.

Matt:

So, a ton of e-scouting before going. So kudos to that company and that technology. That's just awesome.

Michael:

Yeah, 100%. I actually have never hunted without it, so I can't even imagine I would stay a lot closer to my truck if I didn't have on X. I'll tell you that.

Matt:

That's why you got to get one of these things. I think you just pull the string.

Michael:

Yeah, all right. Just leave a little trail of dental floss from truck to wherever I'm hunting.

Matt:

So I'm just walking through the woods using all my pins that I e-scouted and I get to a ridge. I had an oxbow and I'm like this is just perfect. So then I try to get up in the tree as quiet as I could for using this tree stand and my tree sticks for the first time in the woods. I've played around with it in my neighborhood, but this is literally the first time doing it all for game day yeah, Get up in the tree, and it's the day before Thanksgiving.

Matt:

So I got family at my house and nobody's out in the woods and I pick places that are archery only so if there are people gun hunting, it's like they're all out in the woods somewhere else.

Matt:

So I pretty much have 2000 acres to myself. So I'm sitting up there and I'm like man, I haven't used this grunt call in 15 years. I pull my grunt call out, hit it a few times. You're like, well, holy shit, it's like here comes this buck just running towards me. I'm like where did he end up at? I'm like literally haven't been in this tree more than 30 minutes and then it's on one of those. Texas has got the weird rule. Was it 13 inch spread or inner spread in order to make it? Yeah?

Michael:

you know, I've only killed 11. I'm hunting for whitetail once down here this year. I'm hoping to get out there and do it, but I've only been once. I don't even know all the regulations as of right now.

Matt:

Yeah, I gotta get ready. It's either 11 or 13. I'm sure somebody out there is going to correct me, but the loom pole is if it's got an unbranched side. So this thing that's coming towards me is a three point. It's not an old deer at all, but I'm like, all right, I got to knock the cobwebs off. This literally comes straight towards me, it's on. So we literally came right to the base of my tree and then there's a tree that fell. So it was forced to turn.

Matt:

So I'm pulling this bow back for the first time with the stock rest and the arrow comes off the rest, really. So I got my bow up in the air and I'm like flipping it, like trying to get the arrow on the rest, because it's not like a handski or anything where if it falls off the rest you just pull back and it'll center itself, just literally what came on the PSE? And so eventually it goes from seven yards away from me and now it's like 17 yards drawback. It's quartering away from me downhill. I shoot, perfect shot. It like goes in because you're aiming for the other side of the deer. So it literally went in high back where I shot. But it popped out long and hard. So I literally watch it run maybe 50 yards, it stops and just rolls over feet up in the air. I'm like, huh, that was easy, I'm sitting there. So then, sort of look up, You're like all right, I guess somebody was looking out for me today, so I call it the divine intervention story. So I think my dad was hunting.

Michael:

Yeah, that's pretty funny man.

Matt:

So it's like so I got two hours left to light. So I'm like, do I get out of the tree? Because now I'm a mile away from the truck and it's like these wildlife preserve areas where you can't drive to it, you have to walk in or have an e-bike or ride your bike. And I'm like, well, I got a long trip back and my girl said if I shoot anything, they want me to bring it back whole because they want to see the whole deer. So it's not like I could go and just quarter it, take what I need and carry it. So I sat there for a while and then here comes more deer. I'm like, ah, do I? Because I can either shoot a buck in a doe yeah, on this property was a buck in a doe, so if anything else came in I can shoot another doe. I'm thinking to myself, that's a lot of work.

Matt:

So I said I get down and move all my stuff, pack it up, I get to the deer and, sure enough, beautiful shot.

Matt:

I'm like ah that's what the sights are for. I thought back to 10 year old Matt shooting it without sights and like, all right, I'll add a tarry practice and paid off. So then I drag it for the first 50 yards just to get it to like a main trail so I could find it again. So get the deer to a main trail and pack the rest of my stuff, get to the truck and it's still pretty warm in Texas even in November, so I'm just sweating bullets. You get to the truck, I grab my knife. I got a blue tarp in the back of my truck and some rope. So I grab a knife, grab my tarp, head back out and then get to the deer. And then you're like, all right, I remember how to gut a deer.

Matt:

It's been a while. So got the deer out and then roll it up in the blue tarp, throw the rope on it and just start dragging it. And then you're like start going up some hills. You're like, ah, I remember Texas being flat, where all these hills come from, and it was a great workout. And I finally get it back to the truck, drank everything I had in the cooler, drove home, woke all the girls up. I got two little girls a five and a seven year old and they come out. They're all excited and they look in the truck.

Michael:

How old were they at the?

Matt:

time they would have been three and five then.

Michael:

Okay, good ages. That's right where my kids are. I could see them being pretty excited, so go ahead.

Matt:

Sorry, they're super excited and right off the bat, the youngest one calls it Bucky.

Michael:

Like all right we can go with Bucky.

Matt:

Every time we eat afterwards they're like, hey, we're eating Bucky, so like, all right, so my kids know that food have faces, so that's a good thing, yeah, so. And then I'm considered the redneck of the neighborhood. So we live in an HOA nice neighborhood, but previously in the year I built a pull up bar in the backyard and it doubled as my deer hoist. There you go.

Michael:

Michigan. You didn't like throw it on a basketball hoop or something like that in the front yard. No, I have done that though.

Matt:

I know you have so in the backyard well, it's just me. So I get the deer, I find some rebarb you know my shed so I put it in the legs, I get it tied up, get it hoisted up into my pull up bar and it's just hanging there. I'm thinking, I'm sure glad my neighbors aren't home, because if they look out of any other second story windows they're just going to see this dead animal hanging there, and I'm sure none of them have ever seen a hunter before, let alone what they bring home. So now it's. I got skin everything peeled off of it. So now it really looks like something gruesome if you're not used to processing your own stuff.

Matt:

So by the time I got it cleaned, poured into coolers, I had to run and get more ice and then kind of clean up my mess. It's probably about 130 in the morning now. We got family over for Thanksgiving. All the coolers in the garage are now full of deer meat. So I saved everything so the girls could still see the head and all the pelt and all that fun stuff. And I left the legs hanging on the rebar, so we call it the dancing deer legs, and yeah. So then the whole next day while the family's over for Thanksgiving, and cutting up, processing all the meat. And yeah, that was my divine intervention story, my first deer in.

Matt:

Texas bow hunting after 10, 15 years.

Michael:

Yeah, that's a good story. I'm hoping to get out and get a deer in Texas this year. We'll see which funny is. I live in a little suburb neighborhood. We have about an acre of land but there's like 30 deer in our yard at any given time but we can't shoot them through the city laws or whatever crazy laws there are. So that and my wife? She doesn't appreciate death, she wants to avoid it. She understands what I do with the hunting but she's like, ah, not at my house. So I've got a small ranch up near Dallas, I think kind of near you, that I'm hoping to drop my first archery white tail ever, so hopefully I can make that happen.

Matt:

Yeah, I'm a huge fan of. I like to hunt out of trees. I'm definitely the running gun. I'd rather just be dropped off at a brand new place and just figure it out than have cameras set up all year or do a high fence. But this year will be the first year I gun hunt West Texas. I'm going to see how that goes.

Matt:

Properly you will be around it. Even so, it'll be interesting See what we come up with. I'm taking my oldest daughter with me, so this will be the first time she's hunted and pretty excited about that. One of her students dad. They have his family property out in West Texas. He gets a lot of fun out of taking people hunting because he's like it's not a lot of hunters anymore. So it's great that we kind of got paired up through my kids school Well good luck.

Michael:

I hear this beautiful mule deer out there.

Matt:

Yeah, I was surprised he sent me pictures once we got kind of connected. He's like, yeah, this is what my shot last year. I'm like, yeah, mule, deer like wow, you shoot anything in Texas right.

Michael:

I have a friend who he's got a friend, a friend of a friend, who has a ranch out in West Texas as well and They've got game cameras on all their feeders and elk keep showing up and he's like we got to get out there before deer season starts, because when deer season starts those elk will get shot because no one's at the ranch until deer season, he's like. But they're technically an invasive species here in Texas. You could there's no rules, right. You can shoot a elk any day of the week. You can shoot him at nighttime. People always talk about shooting pigs from helicopters. You could do that with an elk in Texas.

Michael:

So he's like, let's get out there and let's have a go at these elk before before they will get killed. But yeah, West Texas is all sorts of crazy critters.

Matt:

Well, yeah, it's like my wife's uncle. He had red stag on his property, fellow deer, if you pretty much had all the exotics, isn't that way? He never had to get any special licenses for whitetail or any Normal species. That should be in Texas. Yeah he's kind of like a spincher. Are you got in his backyard and just call for him and all of a sudden see these big bread stags coming out of the woods?

Michael:

and Doughnuts and zebra coming through. She's not that property, weren't you wanting that?

Matt:

I Should now. He ended up selling it and now he's living, living without any responsibilities. Now he's like that was a lot of work having all those animals, because he had peacocks and turkeys and Pachas. He had it all. It was super fun to go to its place because it was like out of this world, like you're going to a petting zoo.

Michael:

Yeah, that's cool.

Matt:

So that was very cool, but yeah he sold that probably four or five years ago and now he's Living. He's just fishing now good for him, good for him.

Michael:

Well, matt, what other stories you got it? If you have anymore, like I sell this to everybody. I'm gonna listen as long as you're willing to tell them, but if that's all you got, then we can wrap it up. It's up. Yeah, that's all I got.

Matt:

Because you had so many epic hunters on this show that have done amazing things and awesome hunting Expeditions and been all over the country. You know what I need to throw in some. I need to throw in some.

Michael:

You know it's funny about that man is I get a lot of feedback from my listeners being like you know it's great hearing the everyday hunting story because people are tired of hearing you know this media influencer and that guy and they kill their fourth 400 inch elk and they're you know I don't know 200 inch White tail. They're tired of those stories. They much rather hear the everyday I'm hunter and then the stories that relate to them. So, man, I appreciate you coming on. It was a lot of fun. You had some fun stories. They all involved harvesting. I've had guys come on and tell a whole bunch of stories of not harvesting anything. So you know you're, you're maybe a little bit better than okay.

Matt:

Well, I know I enjoy it and it's fun and just glad I'm able to keep doing it. And it's kind of fun now with the whole paper to your business. It just means another reason to be out in the woods and just shooting bows. So you know when you're ready, we'll get one out headed your way.

Michael:

Yeah, buddy.

Matt:

What do we do this? Why don't?

Michael:

we tell the people where they can find you If you have an account, so they can like check on your hunting okay, adventures. If not, where they can find the paper tuner Website, instagram, all that stuff. I'll put links to everything in the show notes. But why don't you tell them where they can find you and We'll go from there.

Matt:

All right. Beauty of it is it's just paper tuner, calm, so you can find me there. And then I'm pretty much on all the social media. So Instagram's another one of my big ones, so that one's paper underscore tuner and then on YouTube and Tick tock and all the others. But all that stuff all that fun stuff.

Michael:

So you can find me somehow if you're in North Texas.

Matt:

Stop by, I'll even Show you the the whole shop.

Michael:

Awesome, awesome man. Well, thanks again, matt. This was a ton of fun. I really do appreciate it. Like I said, I enjoy all the stories, not just the you know the crazy African safaris and the you know all that stuff. So this is yep, thank you.

Matt:

And I listen to the guys being attacked by wolves.

Michael:

So oh, yeah, right that guy invited me to come hunting and I was like yeah, let's do it. And then I was like, wait a minute, everyone of his stories was him like almost dying and where he wants to take me. I'm a little little terrified.

Matt:

He scares himself. I don't know if I can go with him right.

Michael:

Awesome stories yeah absolutely.

Matt:

Is that the same one that I get?

Michael:

something by a scorpion I can't. Yeah, alright, man. Well, thanks again, man, I appreciate it.

Matt:

No problem, thanks.

Michael:

Thanks for having me, of course. All right, guys, that's it. Another couple stories in the books. I want to thank Matt, of course, for coming on the podcast. Great to meet him. I'm funny small world that he'd been listening to the podcast already and we had a mutual friend, so that was pretty cool. Make sure you check out the paper tuner if you are interested in doing your own Work, taking the shop out of the equation. It's the logical first step. Make sure you check out his stuff on Instagram. I put links to everything in show notes. But thank you again, matt for coming on the podcast and then, of course, you listeners. Thank you, guys, for tuning in. I hope you enjoy the stories as much as I did. Before we sign off here today, make sure you share the podcast with at least one other person so we get more people reaching out and tell us their stories. That's it, guys. Thank you again. I get out there making sure you're.

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