The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 078 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Gracie Spearman & Steel Turner

December 04, 2023 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 78
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 078 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Gracie Spearman & Steel Turner
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

We recently sat down with young hunting enthusiasts, Steel Turner and Gracie Spearman, for a chat that spanned from big game hunting to duck hunting, and even thermal night vision hunting for coyotes and pigs. And let me tell you, their experiences and tales from the wild are nothing short of exciting.

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Racks&Quacks
Steel Turner
Gracie Spearman
Hunting Stories

https://www.youtube.com/@RacksAndQuacks23

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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 really good one for you today. Today we actually connect with a couple youngins. We've got Steel Turner and Gracie Spearman on the podcast today. I want to thank them, of course, for coming on the podcast, but more so than that, steel's been helping me kind of set up a deer camp recently, so I was very excited to meet them both. I was very excited to hear their stories and they did not disappoint. They had some amazing Western big game stories, some crazy hog and coyote stories. So I hope you guys enjoy. I don't want to steal their thunder, but make sure you give them a follow on Instagram. It's Steel underscore Turner 10, gracie, dot Spearman and Rax dot and dot quacks. I will go ahead and put links to all that in the show notes, but thank you again, guys, for tuning in. Now let's let Steel and Gracie go ahead and tell you their stories. Alright, guys, welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. How you guys doing.

Speaker 3:

Doing good. Glad to be here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm glad to have you guys. This is going to be a new one. I've had a lot of hunting buddies before. I've had a lot of guys hunting or hunters on with their wives in the background, but I've never had an actual, I think couple on before. So this is going to. We're going to see how this goes. I know some of you guys can do things together and some couples can't do things together. So I'm hoping you guys can can tell some great stories.

Speaker 3:

So let's take this thing off.

Speaker 1:

Let's have you guys introduce yourselves. Why don't we start with Steel? Let's go there.

Speaker 3:

My name is Steel Turner of 19. I've been hunting since I was little, shot my first year at seven years old with my dad, and been addicted to it ever since. Recently passed a couple years of getting big into duck hunting and we've been shooting birds, public land, private holes, you know all kinds of little stuff, and I have a bow fisherman, avid fisherman, love to be outdoors, just always, always find something to do. But my biggest thing I'm a big time thermal night vision hunter. I spend a lot of two, three nights a week we spend together outside hunting coyotes and pigs.

Speaker 1:

So oh, wow, that's awesome. We do it a lot.

Speaker 3:

We do it a lot.

Speaker 1:

That's super cool. And then, of course, gracie, why don't you introduce yourself? Like I said, we saved the best for last.

Speaker 2:

Well, my name is Gracie, I'm 22. And I've hunted for as long as I can remember, just growing up with whether it be my dad or my uncle. My dad worked in the old field a lot, and so my uncle kind of stepped in and was like, hey, I'm going hunting this morning. Like you want to go and like, just hang out and see what we see? Like if we see something cool, if we don't, we just get to hang out. We deer hunted a lot when I was younger. Now that I've gotten older, he got into thermals and then introduced me into thermals and then I introduced my dad into thermals, and so that's basically what we do Most of the time. We've been duck hunting a lot recently too, and just getting on some cool guided hunts down in South Texas.

Speaker 1:

A couple of weekends ago we limited out like every hunt that we hunted, and so that was super fun too, hey that's awesome, well cool, well nice to meet you, gracie, to tell the listeners kind of how we ran into each other because I usually end up doing that eventually on a podcast I'm going deer hunting in kind of northeast Texas and steel, you're helping me out, man, and so you. We were connected by, actually, my cousin or maybe my second cousin. I don't know how all of that works, yeah, but I can't say enough things about you, steel, to say you are a gentleman, you are beyond helpful, and I'm excited to actually come out there next week and meet you in person and maybe do some of this thermal hunting man, because I've never even looked into a thermal scope, so I'm pretty excited to see what you got.

Speaker 3:

It's a different ball game and it takes a lot of getting used to, but I've done it. We've got a company here in Lindale. They guide thermal pig hunts and he does a lot of other stuff too. But I grew up down the street from him and he's a few years older than me and he started this thing called a team swamp stomp and it was basically him and a couple buddies running around and they were shooting pigs for people that were just tearing up their horse pastures. And as the years went on he started taking some guided hunts with some people. You know, with thermal hunts and whatnot, and he's turned into, I mean a huge deal. He's got a 112 acre high fence. Now that's nothing. Oh, wow, yeah, he high fenced the back of his property and he's got nothing but pigs in it. I mean that's all it is. He had 175 in there at one point. I mean it's wild, but it's crazy. Yeah, we have a lot of.

Speaker 1:

I've seen a couple properties that have a lot of hogs and it looks just like the entire first two feet of soil just basically been flipped upside down.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's all it is and he put a lot of time in this place. He took and he buried water lines all the way through like a center trail, straight through the high fence and he brought cow troughs up from the ground, buried them about halfway down and has those filled with water and then he'll get you know with our local feed stores and stuff and he has shipping containers just packed full of corn and like soiled old feed and he yeah, there's pigs out with it, but you know he takes them out. He's got a big rack in the back of his truck and we'll put hunters in there and we'll, you know, we'll, go around and hit a bunch of different properties and you know, if we get on pigs then that's awesome and if not, we bring hunters back. We've had people from Australia, China, all over the US. There's a big map in the gun room in there with everybody's pins on it where they came from. That's awesome.

Speaker 3:

We get, we get to see some meet a lot of really cool people, get to do a lot of really cool stuff with them. Then a lot of you know, hogdog hunts. Those are pretty exciting, you know, getting people have never been around a pig and they're we're putting them on the pig. You know we're holding that pig down and they're running a knife and I'm just for the first time ever it's. It's really cool to see their excitement.

Speaker 1:

That's crazy. I've heard of people doing that, but only in Hawaii.

Speaker 3:

I've never actually heard of people doing it here in.

Speaker 1:

Texas, texas, they're big guns.

Speaker 3:

Yeah that's.

Speaker 1:

that's cool man, that's super.

Speaker 3:

We don't even yeah, we don't even allow guns on the hunts. We it's knives only. I mean, on rare occasions one of the guys will carry a gun, just in case. But you know, we've run into like, especially if a client or something has a gun and just a pistol on their hip and stuff starts getting a little chaotic quick. And we have, you know, five, six hogs in a group and we have, you know, eight or 10 dogs around them, it starts getting hairy pretty quick. And if a dog runs out and pigs after it or whatever, and they start shooting and getting scared or something, we don't want a dog getting hit and you know we have them with vests and collars. The dogs are safe, but not from a bullet. So we try to keep it as safe as possible for the hunts and dogs.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's an adrenaline rush for sure.

Speaker 1:

I bet, man, I bet I have a friend she's she played volleyball at the University of Colorado, not a hunter in any ways whatsoever, but she went to Hawaii and like she just tells these stories about running around at night and like literally just the dogs chasing the hogs, stabbing the hogs, just seeing like her blade is like this black shiny which is obviously the bud, and it like changed who she was. She's like I can't imagine not having experienced that and I imagine a lot of your guests feel the same way, man, because it's it sounds.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I don't know how to explain it. It sounds heavy metal, right, Just like stabbing. Yeah, I mean it is, you know, I'm going to guided hog hunt and I'm only taking a knife with me, Like who come on, who does that?

Speaker 3:

You, you yeah, you know we let the dogs out. It's awesome just to watch the dogs work. You know we're watching them on a GPS tracker and they're running. They'll be eight, you know nine, almost a hundred, that are almost a thousand yards from us all the time, and you'll start hitting the bar. You know they've got to set bait up and we'll finally get to them and we'll run the catch dogs in there and when those catch dogs, you know, jump on that pig's ear and pin them to the ground, it's it gets. It gets wild fast, but it's a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

So how I mean we're off topic here. I want to get into stories, of course, but how big of a pig do you go? Oh shit, our dogs need help. Like what point. I don't like worried about the dogs, because I guess what point can the dogs handle?

Speaker 3:

When a pig will grab ahold of that dog's vest and sling a dog. You know there's a bunch of them there, but if it starts slinging dogs, you know we try to get in quick because the dogs are just all over that pig and you know we're trying to get it over quick as possible. So we'll get in there. We'll grab the pig by the back back legs and flip it on its back and try to get somebody in there quick. You know to dispatch that hog. But yeah 150, 200 pound pig.

Speaker 1:

It starts getting pretty solid, pretty quick. I bet man and those and those dogs are crazy. I don't know if you listened to the most recent episode, actually with Cliff Gray where he goes hog hunting or not. Excuse me, not hogging. He goes hunting with dogs for mountain lions and man check it out. It's. It's a good one. It's just one crazy story where the whole time is like Cliff, I wouldn't have done that. That doesn't sound like something that I would do.

Speaker 1:

But you're telling me this story, so it's a great one. But okay, speaking of stories, let's just get to it. We've learned a lot about stabbing pigs. Yeah, yeah. Now now tell us a story. I don't know who wants to go first or who has one in mind, but why don't you set the stage for us? I saw an elbow. I'm not going to say who it was from to the other one, but I saw one who wants to tell a story.

Speaker 2:

I'll go first.

Speaker 1:

Perfect.

Speaker 2:

So go back to February of 2020, we're getting ready to put in for the Colorado archery draw for elk and bear tags With my aunt and uncle. They had both gone. The previous year my uncle shot a I think his bull was a five by five and then my aunt didn't feel any of her tags. She had a cow, elk and a bear tag and they didn't see anything that was within them to get a good shot on.

Speaker 2:

But I was grad, just graduated high school, and they're like, hey, you're in college now, like you're going to be free, like let's go, and I was like, okay, what's up, let's do it.

Speaker 1:

You're going to be free, let's just go ahead and ditch class Come along.

Speaker 2:

And so it was the first week of classes, my freshman year, and I told my parents. I was like, hey, I'm going to Colorado for 10 days to hunt. And they're like you're doing what? But I'm leaving, I'm going to Colorado and ditching school for 10 days, and they're like, okay, as long as you catch up on all your work, and I'm like I'll do it, it's fine. So I drew a cow elk tag and a bear tag, and then my aunt drew an either sex elk tag and a bear tag and my uncle drew a bull elk. So we all packed up the trailer, headed out to Colorado, so we left August 31st because we could hunt September 1st through the 10th. We got on like 3,500 acres of private land, so we weren't fighting with anybody.

Speaker 1:

Wow, okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna make an assumption here. Cherie, is what you're doing, because you're hunting in September.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay. I just want to make sure the listeners know what kind of weapon you're rolling around with. So yeah, yeah, going sorry.

Speaker 2:

And so we get there. There's three other guys that came with us. They were all close friends of my aunt and uncle, so we all knew each other. We got up there, I mean, we got to the guy's house at the base of his property and it's an hour, an hour, hour and a half full way to ride up to cabin camp where we so we pitched camp or whatever and we get a game plan and there's a little watering hole. That's public land, about an hour right out from where we were camping, and me and my aunt both of our bear tags were public or private lands we're like well, we can split up and hunt that off and on between the two of us and see what comes to that watering hole or whatever.

Speaker 2:

For the most part we all kind of hunted together just because we had a variety of tags and we wanted to together, because we did videos and all that kinds of stuff. It was like, and I mean, like we're camping out of a shed, basically like there's no running water, no electricity. We took generators, took everything up there. We're living off the land for 10 days, which is super cool. I've never done something like that and so I was super excited to just be able to say that I had done it. Whether or not I came home Filling a tag or not, I was just super excited to be up there and have the opportunity to go.

Speaker 1:

But or do you remember I?

Speaker 2:

Want to say it was close to 12,000.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you're up there. Did you guys have any? Any like altitude sickness in the group or no?

Speaker 2:

No, no, everybody was fine and most of us are. They had been going to Colorado to hunt and we've been up there skiing before, so we were Fairly used to it for the most part. But yeah, we got going and we set up a couple of cameras. They let you do cameras with just like regular SD cards you can't do the cell cams or anything like that. And we set up a couple of cameras that night and had a big group coming into a watering hole and my uncle was like hey, y'all both have a cow elk tag. Like why don't we try to group up and see if y'all can double up on a group or something like that?

Speaker 2:

So we hunted that hole for the first five days or so, off and on. I mean, we would wake up at 4 30 in the morning because we had a heck of a trek to get to our spots and where we wanted to be Before sunrise and shooting life. So we would get up super early and stay up till midnight just trying to get game plans of where everybody was going. And yeah, we all knew what we were going after and everybody's game plan for the day. But yeah, we hunted that hole, I would say for a solid five days didn't see any elk, heard a bunch of them up on the ridge line, saw a bunch of them, but no, nothing came in within our. I mean, we decided into like 70 yards I think, and nothing would come in Within range for us.

Speaker 2:

So then we were like, well, let's start looking for a bear tag. And so we jump over to the Public land and we're like hoping that nobody comes into it because we're trying to fight for spots at this point and we get up on this group, this mom and just two younger bears come to the watering home. We're like they're small, like we're just gonna let them pass, like we don't want to take a bear this early in our 10 days Out here. We can just see what's going on and we're on like day eight Nobody's shot anything. We're all kind of getting hopeless. Nobody's really knowing what's going on. I mean, the other three guys were hunting one side of the mountain. We stayed on the other and we're like let's just switch and see if something happens.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I know that gloomy feeling of eight days of hard work and not seen a thing.

Speaker 2:

It's yeah, not fun, but that's of course when things pipe off, usually right.

Speaker 2:

Right, yeah. And so that night when we switched, one of the guys shot a nice bull here. I think he was a five by five decent body size. He was pretty bang. We brought him back, cleaned him up, everything. And so now we're on like day nine and we're like crap we have. Like we got to get down to business here. We have tags to fill.

Speaker 2:

So my aunt's like let's go back to the watering hole, the public land, and see if we can Find another bear to come in. And well, sure enough, a Pretty good size black bear comes in and I was like you can have the first, because I had already. Well, let's go back a little bit. I Day five. I was sitting with my aunt at the big watering hole where we had been seeing a bunch of outcome, and a big herd came down to the hole. They're like 45 yards out, man. It was like you just have to take your best shot, like this is as close as they're gonna get. I was like okay, why not? Took the shot, made a great shot when didn't end up finding her it was. We tracked for Two and a half hours that night. It's on into midnight. We're like we've got to be up early in the morning. Everybody else has tags to fill, so we'll just let that one go and it'll be okay.

Speaker 1:

She jumped the string, or was she just like quartering a little funny, or what do you think?

Speaker 2:

I think she was just kind of quartering a little funny, and so the shot might have been a little bit further back than what I really wanted it to be. Gotcha, we looked back on video and it was kind of hard to see where the shot hit because of trees and stuff we were trying to get around. But I think she was kind of quartering away a little too much and the shot kind of got back a little too far and Was it in the? Right spot.

Speaker 1:

I shot my bowl that I mentioned and like it was quartering two, but there's no blood. So it's like sometimes things just don't work out. I mean, we were lucky that we found him, but I can, I can see that, just like you know A good shot and sometimes just you just can't find what you're looking for.

Speaker 2:

And then the animal, unfortunately, is it found right and it's super like it was super Getting down and like dang, like that probably was one of the only opportunities I'm gonna get, or any of us are gonna get, and nobody's filling tags at this point. So we were super down, just like crap, what the heck are we gonna do now? And then we get into that day eight and one of the other guys shot that boom. We're like, okay, the last three days, we're gonna, we're gonna make it happen. So we started hunting super hard, got up super early, we kept moving around a lot, just trying to get, maybe see if we could get the animals moving a little bit more, just for other people around us.

Speaker 2:

Then me and my aunt we actually all three went and sat at that watering hole the public land again and I was like, since I've taken a shot on the cow elk, I'll give you the first shot on a bear, since we both have bear tags. And she was like, okay, cool, and we're sitting there and it's really kind of very ironic. We're sitting there. It's like lunch. My uncle pulls out peanut butter and honey and he's making us off sandwiches. I'm like there's a bear, there's a bear like a jar of peanut butter and honey, or Okay.

Speaker 2:

I'm like, okay, there's a bear and it's on the opposite side of the Little pond that we're kind of sitting on, and she was like I'm just gonna take the shot, like this is as close as we're gonna get. It was a decent size bear. Um, she's sitting in between us and I'm sitting on one side and my uncle's on the other. He's trying to video. I'm trying to video, I can't see the bear at all. I never saw the bear. She's the shot.

Speaker 2:

And then that bear comes running straight at us and I'm like, and we're just sitting like in a little makeshift like blind thing, like logs laid down in front of us. We've got our little like tripod chair sitting on the ground like we're completely out in the open. Yeah, a couple of branches sitting in front of us, and I'm like this sucker is coming straight at me. Well, I like I have no other defense, like I have nothing in my hand. She's the one that has the gun and my uncle's like reload it, reload it. And she can't. The Gun jammed up on her and she couldn't get it reloaded. So he yanks the gun out of her hand, tries to reload it. Mind you, the bear still running straight at us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, at the point in time. I never saw it until it started running at me. And and then so he stands up over her and has to shoot over both of us, like he gets the gun loaded. I fall flat Straight to my back because I'm like crap, you're shooting over me and the bears right here? I mean that bear died within five feet of where I was sitting.

Speaker 1:

No way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, give the whole the.

Speaker 1:

What do they call it?

Speaker 2:

the like the death moan, yeah, and like it did a little like spin and I'm like, oh, it's going down in front of us. But then it kept coming towards me and like literally fell within reaching distance of me. It was crazy a crazy type of adrenaline rush and we tried to look back at the video and it's like you see the bear coming at us and then all of a sudden the phone drops because my uncle's Like trying to get the gun all reloaded and stuff that. It was great.

Speaker 2:

Yeah so we were excited about that being able to fill a tag and not having to track. Essentially so that's super cool.

Speaker 1:

One thing I want to mention, just this one's for the listeners. I'm sure you know, but in Colorado during the archery elk season the bear you can get an archery tag or rifle tag. So when you're shooting with a rifle it's totally legal. I just want to make sure that everyone's aware of that so that I don't get any mean emails. But yeah, there is in a rifle bear season in September. Keep going. Sorry, I just wanted to throw that out there.

Speaker 2:

No, you're good. And so that happened kind of late afternoon. And so now we're like well, crap, we're about to have to pack out this bear in the middle of public land Almost it's almost dark, and so we call up everybody else. We can't get them out of their spots, we're not gonna mess up somebody else's hunt just because we fill the tag. And so we kind of waited around, tried to go get the full wheelers, and because we couldn't drive them on the public land, we just stopped at the fence. But it's still a good mile hike in. So we're like we're gonna have to pack this bear out right here, like where we're at, and just carry in the meat and wrap up the hide and do as best we can. Mind you, none of us have ever saw the bear. The couple of years that they've gone prior they didn't even see a bear, and so we had no idea we were doing my uncle's like can you YouTube how to clean a bear for a rug?

Speaker 1:

I believe it. I've had a bear tag every season I've ever been hunting and I've never seen one.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, I mean, and she wanted a rug made, and so we knew that there was a certain way that you have to skin it to where the hides Properly lays out and everything. And so he was like you're gonna have to look up a diagram on all these different cuts we're gonna have to make. I was like, okay, so we just all got this, my little phone set up on the ground and we're all just Going at it trying to get it done before everybody else gets done with their hunts, before dark is completely dark.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, that was awesome. And then Day 10 last me.

Speaker 1:

Stop real quick. How's the rug look I.

Speaker 2:

My uncle. Actually he got it. He didn't do that. They didn't do the felt back on it because it was more Into the dude that way, and so he ended up. He just got the high drive and the head is stuffed. And then he made it into like a pack and so it's kind of rolled up on the wall. And then he built a little like wooden pack thing and got a pack Cantines and all kinds of always wanted something like that.

Speaker 1:

That's, that's a super cool way to do the taxidermy. Okay, sorry.

Speaker 2:

And so it's day 10. I'm sitting in a stand, a tree stand by myself. I have my bow and the rifle because I'm like, whatever comes out today, I'm. It's going down like this is it now or never?

Speaker 2:

Hunky opportunity right yeah and so my aunt and uncle they take off on foot and my aunt got really good at bugling and calling and so he was like let's just go walk this mountainside and see if you can't call in a bull for me.

Speaker 2:

And it's like right at shooting light and I can hear a bugle often the distance and I'm like there's no way that that's like her Bugling or and I could hear it back and forth Calling back and forth. And then about 30 minutes later he sends me a picture and he's like I got a big bull down. He was like don't get out of your stand, just stay in your stand and see what comes out. I'm like, well dang, everybody's feeling tagged and I'm not here day 10 and haven't seen anything to even shoot at. And so he shot his bull think it was a four by four and she called it in for him. I mean it came within 20 yards of them, tell from them. But yeah, it was super fun just to hear them talk about her calling it in and him being able to take a shot and Knock it down. Was it the first?

Speaker 1:

time that she'd ever called one in.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

I'm excited because she had been you tubing all these different things about a call and ordered all these different kind of bugles, trying to get everything in, and she ended up doing it for him, so she was super happy.

Speaker 1:

I bet, I bet, they both were super happy.

Speaker 2:

And so it's. I mean I'm the last one to fill a tag and so I'm like, come on, we've got to like find a bear, find a cow something, some things that I can get on, and. And when my uncle shot that elk, he was like I saw like bear sign, kind of where we were, where they were hunting at, and he was like let's just go sit over there and see if, just see, just to see, I mean what's it gonna hurt? Now it's day 10. We have nothing to lose at this point. And so I get out of my tree stand and we go over there and I got down Probably after lunch and I was just like, well, let's just go sit up there until dark. And I mean it's getting dark quick at this point and I'm like dang like the days over, like the hunts over, we go home in the morning like this isn't happening, back to college.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, back to reality.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's about, I mean like five minutes before shooting, right, like legal shooting lights done, and and then I'm like dang, like it's over, like I can't see, like let's just get up and leave them on goes like no, like we're gonna stay the whole time even though you can't see, like we're just gonna sit it out and lay. And I'm like, okay, two minutes before legal shooting line and this bear walks out within 25 yards of us and we're just sitting on the ground yeah, kind of some bushes. And he's like can you see? And I'm like I can't see it all, like I can see, like where the bear is, but I look through the scope and I literally cannot see a thing.

Speaker 1:

You're like it's a blob.

Speaker 2:

I don't know what I'm shooting. I don't know if I'm shooting up the head or the butt, like I have no idea where I'm shooting at. And so he like was like let me look. And looked and he like got the gun like where he thought it was at and he's like it's right here, don't move the gun, just pull the trigger. And it's like he's like looking at his watch and it's like 30 seconds. And he he didn't tell me this in the meantime, he's just pranked the good lord that I pulled the trigger before the time is up. Sure enough, hold the trigger before time was up. And he looks at his watch right after. And he was like you barely made that happen. I hope that bears on the ground.

Speaker 1:

I gotta ask, gracie, did you look down the scope or did you just pull the trigger?

Speaker 2:

I looked down the scope, but I had I had full faith that he had to be where I needed to be and I was just like I'm gonna go for it.

Speaker 2:

Um, so we get the flashlights out and I mean we can't see. It's super dark. We're walking up and I'm like that bears on the ground. That bears on the ground like Didn't have to track, didn't have to do anything, and I'm like where the heck did I shoot this thing? I couldn't see anything. Like did I Make a good shot that I shoot him in the head, like what happened and I we walk up to and he was like you shot it in the neck. I was like I picked the smallest part of that bear to shoot and I shot it. So it's just crazy that that happened and we didn't have to track anything. It being big and billing that tag, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So when you talk to your uncle, we're like were you, did you aim it at its neck, or what was he aiming for?

Speaker 2:

He was aiming for the shoulder, just like a normal we're going for behind the shoulder shot here, and I mean just Good luck. I guess, I don't know what else to call?

Speaker 1:

That's. That's a crazy story. I'm so glad it worked out for you but, like I can't imagine, just pull the trigger, you'll get it done. Your uncle sounds like a character, but that's awesome and congratulations. That's a super successful. I've happened to it a lot in Colorado, if that's the only time you've ever done it. You were way more successful than all of my hunts, except for this most recent one.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a long, 10 days for sure, but it was definitely worth it.

Speaker 1:

That is amazing. That is amazing. That's so cool. How was that pack out? Were you able to drive light? That was on the public too, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was on the private land.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so you were able to drive the.

Speaker 2:

We were able to get the buggies down there and we loaded it up and took it back to camp and packed it out there. So it made it a little bit easier than the last time.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. So that was 2020. Actually, here's a question 2020, there was a giant snowstorm. Did that hit where you guys were, or were you somewhere where the snow didn't hit?

Speaker 3:

Like here in East Texas.

Speaker 1:

No 2020. In Colorado I was hunting and I was hunting kind of northern Colorado but the front range and if you guys aren't familiar, the front range is like everything that isn't the mountains as soon as you hit East, like Boulder, fort Collins, denver, colorado Springs, they got snow like September 5th and I was hunting up near Steamboat and we got like I want to say like 14 inches of snow on September 5th, which was absolutely crazy and I'm pretty sure that was 2020. I've actually I've had other guests that tell stories about how they were backpacked in and had to get like helicoptered out because of that snowstorm from 2020. So you guys didn't have any.

Speaker 2:

No, I know that the year before I went my uncle, they were hunting in shorts and t-shirts, practically, and then two days later they're hunting and it's in the teens in the snow.

Speaker 1:

Maybe that's it, then.

Speaker 2:

Maybe I'm off by year, but still 19 when it snowed on them, so we were prepared for the snow. Luckily it never happened. We were hunting, I mean it was like 75 during the day, so it was perfect.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. That's awesome. Well, gracie, that's a great story. I'm glad that it worked out. I'm sorry about the first eight days, but that's. That's public land and just out hunting in general in Colorado. So well, steel, what do you got man? Are you going to follow that up? Is a bear going to die in your lap Because that's a 5-day away for you?

Speaker 3:

I've never shot an hour. I get jealous every time I see that bear hanging on the wall. I'm just like man. I won't ever do that cool.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh, actually that's a good question, gracie. What did you do with your bear? Did you? Did you get a taxidermy or no, I did the same thing my aunt did.

Speaker 2:

We did, we packed it out and did like a little roll-up thing and it's all like hanging over with its head and it's paused down Super cool.

Speaker 1:

Did you keep the meat? Did you eat the meat?

Speaker 2:

Well, fun fact about all of the meat from the elk and both of our bears we processed it all ourselves with like everything rendering the bear fat down to ground meat, jerky, all of the things. The deep freeze went out six months later and we lost all of that meat. So we barely got any kind of sausage. I mean, I ate bear sausage and that was just when we were trial and erroring seeing what kind of seasonings and stuff we wanted, but we didn't really get to eat hardly anything.

Speaker 1:

Ugh Stuff. I'm sorry to hear that, but that's like my worst nightmare. I have little kids and my deep freeze is like we parked the car and it's the deep freeze next to the door and my little kids get out of the car, walk up to the deep freeze and spin the dial down below and I'm like, no, come on guys. I tell every adult in the house I'm like if you see the kids touch, and right next to that's the hot water heater I'm like if you see them touch the hot water heater or the freezer, fix the dial, otherwise we're going to lose the meat or we're going to burn our skin off in the shower, so like pay attention to the children.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, All right, Steel your turn, man. What do you got I? Know, you're jealous of this western big game stuff. But what Tell me about some pig? You wrestled or something. Come on, but far this west I've gone is like up near Seymour, texas.

Speaker 3:

I used to hunt up there with a buddy of mine from high school and he and I've got all kinds of cool stories He'd be cool to have on here. But I went up there the first time I think I was in eighth grade, maybe my freshman year of high school. I was young and me, him, another buddy of ours and his dad all went up there, to this Lisa there and I get out there with them that night. It was like a five hour drive from us and we left after school. One day we get up there and they've got two ranch trucks, an old Dodge Dakotas, and he's like, hey, get in. We got to go throw some corn in the feeder off the back of this Dodge Dakota that just plugs in on a switch. He's like we're going to go corn, everybody's lanes. So when we get up in the morning, you know everybody can hunt and we'll keep some deer in the lanes. So you know it's. We go corn in lanes and there's, I think, like eight something stands, you know. So they're everywhere. It took us a long time and we're out bouncing around. We threw one of the thermals in the truck with us and corn lanes. It was like two in the morning. We got to be up super early.

Speaker 3:

Man, what did I get myself into? And we come around this corner into this open field and there's a group of probably 10, 15 hogs and this he's like in this Dodge Dakota, like I said, like eighth grade, I'm riding with him and he's like we're hitting them. I was like no, let's get the thermal out. He's like we won't shoot enough of them. I'm running them over. So I'm like he's like no, no, no, I've done it before.

Speaker 3:

So you know this, this old truck, it's got a big bumper, you know bed liner bumper on it, big 35 inch tires, and he runs and these pigs are hauling across this deal, but they stay grouped up and he runs smack dab into the middle of this group of pigs and I'm like this is like inhumane, this isn't right. And so he runs through. I think he ended up hitting like three or four and I was expecting to get out. You know the pigs be broken down, you know like halfway alive and we get out I'd be dad gum, they were all completely dead and we throw in the back of the truck, took them back up to camp, we skin them out, put the meat in the freezer, like.

Speaker 3:

I was like that is at the time that was like a new thing to me. I'd never run over a group of pigs and not worry. Like pig ran out in front of me when I was driving. I'd be scared of you know. I wouldn't want to hit it in the truck, but we ran through them. We had fun doing it and got up hunting the next morning and we took a couple of trips. I don't know what trip it was on, but I was trying to get on a deer up there.

Speaker 3:

We're sitting in his stand. They called it the tall bottom stand. It was nosebleeds, it's a big box, blind, it's way up in there. But it had five lanes out in front to each side. It had a feeder about 150 yards in front and another one about 80 yards behind and it backed right up to the Brazos River and the stand was just covered up in deer. I mean it was nothing to see 30, 40 deer in the morning just walking. They'd walk out, they'd hit one of the lanes and they'd just started eating corn. We'd watch them. They'd walk all the way to the stand and they'd turn and they'd go to the feeder and they'd eat the whole way to the feeder and corn in those lanes made a big difference, but we were

Speaker 3:

hunting. We hunted it. We'd go up after school every other weekend or something. And one of these trips I'm sitting here and I'm asking them like hey, I was like you know, that looks like a good deer. I was like I think I can shoot that deer, you know he looks. He looks big enough for the camp rules, you know, I think I think there's 120 and above. And I'm looking at him like man, that's a good deer, he looks. He's like that is good dear, it's like, in fact.

Speaker 1:

I'm shooting him.

Speaker 3:

I'm like no man come on, I want to get you. I've been working for that's my dear and he's like, no, I'm shooting it. So he was shooting a 300 win mag and let him shoot it.

Speaker 1:

What's the etiquette here like? How do you determine who takes a shot other than your buddy just bossing you around?

Speaker 3:

well, I mean it was his lease and he's been whole life. Fine, you know I'm doing this. It's like my third trip here. It's a really nice deer.

Speaker 1:

He deserves it, you know yeah, yeah, if he's, if his dad, I assume, is paying for it, that it's time, and yeah, yeah he deserves it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah for sure. So anyhow, I'm looking at this deer. He shoots, he's got, like I said, he's got this 300 win. Mag deer is about a hundred and hundred and fifty yards max, so not real far. He shoots and the deer kind of stumbles and then gets up and runs and you know the grass in between the lanes isn't real tall. It's kind of that north Texas just underbrushed us so we can see him trotting along and we'll lose him every couple of seconds. You know, behind the bush or something. He'll come back and he comes back out the lane directly in front of us. He was on our left. He comes back out directly in front of us and at this point he's like close to 300 yards.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he's like man, what happened with my shot? So he, he's like the deer happened to just stop. He's like obviously I didn't hit him. So he shoots again and I see the bullet fly. It's beneath him. You could see, you could see the dirt hit, you know. And I'm like he's like man, my gun's off. He's like I felt good with that shot. So he's like give me your gun. So I gave him my 308, which is cited in like a hundred yards.

Speaker 3:

You know, I'm used to hunting these Texas, I'm not used to this long range shooting. And uh, you know, mind you, he's shooting a 300 win mag and he's like, hey, does this thing kick? I'm like, no, man, it doesn't kick, come on, it'll be real. And I'm like, no, I was like dude, you gotta get your mind right. This is a nice deer, you know you gotta shoot. So, anyways, he ends up shooting with my gun. I was like, hey, it's cited in a hundred, just hold it a little high. And he shoots. And, uh, drop the deer right where it's. I mean it, it may run just a little bit, but yeah, it was beautiful deer. And we got him back to camp and we spent a few more weekends up there that season trying to find some deer and what did the deer, what did the deer end up measuring?

Speaker 1:

did he, did he make camp rules?

Speaker 3:

yeah, I'm sure he did. He was plenty big and if I don't remember what he measured, he's mounted somewhere. I could get a picture of him. But uh, he was a nice deer, really nice, I was working.

Speaker 1:

I was just waiting and knowing, knowing a bunch of you said you're in eighth grade at this time. I was just waiting for that story to end up with your buddy like shooting and then your gun knocked him out of his chair out without the blind door or something like that. I've. I've seen a little kid shoot a 12 gauge and just like top backwards.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, maybe a hundred pounds at the time. You know, it still kicked both of us. But uh, he made a good shot on the deer and uh, yeah, we had some fun trips up there. We had one.

Speaker 3:

I was, uh, we were just out kind of riding around looking at the property during the day and uh, I was on the full-wheeler and I kind of come up over the crest of this hill and there is this biggest group of pigs I've ever seen. There was only four, maybe five of them, and I'm riding the fence line. I come up over this hill and they're all coming from my right to my left, hitting this fence line, like those are huge pigs. So I get up and I'm standing on my full-wheeler, I've got a bolt action 308 the same one he shot that deer with and uh, it was one of the coolest shots I've ever made in my life. This pig is running, he gets through the fence and I shoot and I catch him right behind the ear. I mean it was a great shot and it rolled in right there. He weighed 351, he was a big, big old pig.

Speaker 3:

He had never been old, he didn't have real big cutters on it, looked like they'd been, like you know, cut down at some point. But he was a. He was a big old pig, you know, and I've only seen pigs that big that were like somebody caught him, castrated them yes, yeah, I just. Was he castrated? No, he was not, he was intact.

Speaker 1:

That's an impressive hog if he was spending a couple months a year running after ladies and still got that big.

Speaker 3:

I know, yeah, it was wild, and I mean all the, all the pigs in that group were that big and I've never seen anything since, even touch all of them were that big every pig in that group was like a massive, massive wild hog and it was just wild. I've never seen, like I'm used to seeing, you know, max of 150, 200 pound pig, but these were just a. There was just a big old group that must have run together and they were all all like that, that's a crazy cool shot and uh, but we get him back.

Speaker 3:

So I call my buddy. I'm like, hey, and they're not in the service down there, but we had these little radios and we'd uh, we talked to each other and uh, anyways, I'm like, hey, I shot this pig. He's big, I can't drag him. You know, like I said, I was young, I was little, this is just you no one else just me and I was like man, I can't this pig and uh.

Speaker 1:

I'm a grown man. I'm 6'4 and I'm not moving a 350 pound yeah, I couldn't even no way yeah and you killed a 300. We don't know how big it was exactly, because it broke the scale, that went to 300 pounds, uh, and the scale just snapped under the weight of this hog, uh, but it took four adults to get this thing up into this truck, so yeah so man they get heavy and uh, anyways, we get in and uh, he wasn't real, far from that.

Speaker 3:

Fence lines. We run that old dodger coda in there, run the winch out, drag him up to the fence, and if it wasn't all, we'd go just old, just torn up fence. It wouldn't keep anything in or out. So we were able to pull the wire up enough and slide him underneath and uh, but the winch comes out of the front truck and for some reason it was one of the dumbest things I had ever done in my life. We talked about this yesterday again. I was working together and that's awesome.

Speaker 1:

These are my favorite kind of stories when people do very stupid things, so keep going.

Speaker 3:

Oh yes, it was just awful what we did. But so we were like how we can get this pig in the truck? You know, we gotta get him back to camp somehow, like we gotta get this sucker weighed. So we spin the truck around and we run the winch from the front over the bumper, over the hood, over the cab, over the back headache, rack down, past the tailgate and hooking it onto this pig. And at the time we're like this is gonna work great, we're just gonna winch him right into the bed, disconnect the winch and run it back in front. And it did work great. We winched him right in the back of the truck, but we left a pretty solid mark on the hood and on the top of the truck steel man and I was like looking back.

Speaker 1:

I was silent for all that. But, gracie, you'll, you'll count, you'll vouch for me. I was shaking my head, like that was like.

Speaker 3:

I looking back I was like why on earth? Like I wouldn't, you know, and the truck was, I mean, it was, it was beat up, anyways, it didn't look any worse for wear. But still like damn, why, why did I ever do that?

Speaker 1:

you know, yeah, it didn't break the windshield or anything. I could see it pressing down hard enough and cracking the windshield or something like well what saved us was the headache crack on the back.

Speaker 3:

It stuck up over the cab just a little bit and it was. It was square tubing, so it took the weight of the pig. But the actual table it wasn't like a synthetic rope, it was a cable and it was sprained a couple places and it it scratched the paint up on the front of that hood. So I bet man, yeah we we're gonna pretty start talking to when we get back to camp.

Speaker 1:

I bet yeah that's right uh, doing stupid things is an important thing to do. The best lessons are self-taught, right like here's a lesson absolutely but that same guy.

Speaker 3:

This is only a couple years ago, but uh, so we've got on the Sabine River. There's this deal that's been around since the late 60s and, uh, it's the only section on the Sabine River that I know of that they do this. But since the late 60s somebody went in there and built a floating cabin in the middle of the river. They took old boats, they took some foam and some 55 gallon drums that they sealed off. They built a platform out of them and then struck a cabin and over. You know, no running water, no power, anything like that and uh, it's a good buddy of ours interesting, it's still there oh, it's still there and uh, at the time it had like a six foot front porch.

Speaker 3:

It was real little, but then it was like 30 feet long.

Speaker 1:

So, anyways, his grandson owns it now and uh, he right, let me ask you about that, because, because I'm thinking okay, he's got something hanging out in the middle of a river.

Speaker 3:

Texas rivers are public land yes, so that's the gray it owns it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that is gray for sure so we?

Speaker 3:

this cabin's been there forever. His grandson owns it. Now it's gonna be. He's done some remodeling and stuff and it's got a big sign on front of it says the original. But since then there's probably 12 to 14 more of them that have been put in no way so you put in. You go up river or down river from the boat ramp and you'll find six to eight of them either direction and anyhow just good old boys riding the river and going.

Speaker 1:

That's a great idea.

Speaker 3:

They run blood boats and they go up, they can't, you know. So I grew up on the river with my dad and you know we were trot line and we, you know, we do a little duck hunting, whatever, and we had a lot of fun up there and uh, but primarily, primarily, just riding the river. You know we go play boat tag. We'd run around corners and there'd be a little eddie, we'd shoot a boat up in there and the guy behind us wouldn't see us, he passes. We'd come up behind and be like how'd you get back there, you know? But anyways, a few years ago I think four years ago now, my dad decided to put one in.

Speaker 3:

So we he took, and, uh, he, he built metal buildings for a living. So he built this big metal structure and beveled all the boards and we took 80, 55 gallon drums and sealed them and 80, 80, 80. It's 30 feet long and 18 feet wide and we built it, put it on a 32 foot dual tandem trailer, douce, neck and back that sucker down into the river and it floated and we put all of our materials to construct the cabin up on top of it. And when the river came up, you know we start we hooked three boats onto it and we started pulling it up river. And uh, where it sits now it's about three miles up river. It's got a tagline off the back that holds it in the current, and then it's got a tagline off one side with a counterweight that holds it out of the main channel, and then one excuse my ignorance.

Speaker 1:

Tagline explain that to me a table that runs from the, from the barge.

Speaker 3:

We call them the barge. It's the floating cabin back to the bank. Most of it, okay to you know big oak trees somewhere up in the woods and it keeps it in the water and so, anyhow, we've got this floating cabin. We went ahead and uh how are those below water?

Speaker 1:

above water, like when people are boating down the river are they gonna get decapitated like what's? Oh, the cable is a.

Speaker 3:

No, they're they're flagged, but they all run directly up, so when the river's up.

Speaker 3:

Even then the counterweight keeps it over to one side, enough that, uh, I mean the flag that's flagged, but the cables are well up above you. That I mean you could jump from the front of your boat, not even get close to touching it. Got it okay anyhow. We put one in years ago, did the back hat. It's got a little three foot back porch just for a bathroom area and then it's got a 15 by 18 cabin, a 15 by 18 porch and we put some bunk beds in there. We uh plumbed it for some gas. We'll take propane bottles up and uh did a solar panel and a little battery pump. Off the solar panels we can get some running water just straight out of the river just to wash dishes and stuff. But we know, you know, we go up there camp for the weekend. You know, last year I sat up there and I'd spend two, three nights and we'd leave out in the mornings to go dot-con but that's amazing.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, and part of anything like this, and I'm very jealous of your life right now steel no, it's.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we have a blast up there, but uh, my dad's fireman and him and another fireman built it and they dug their shift chains. You know, when they get off shift they come out to the barge and hang out and uh, so it's shift change.

Speaker 3:

Got a big metal sign hanging off front of it, but we were up there, me and the same buddy from north Texas that I hunted with. We were up there one night and we'd run a bunch of trot lines earlier today and we were like hey, it's you know nine, ten o'clock in the night, like hey, let's go check trot lines before we go to bed. So we put the we let's, you know, we just hide the boats up to the front of the barge and just let them float in the water. And we untied the boat, went check all over lines and the water'd come down a little bit and we hadn't know. We didn't know it.

Speaker 3:

So we get off in this little spot where we had a had a line kind of up. The water was flooded outside of its bank. So we were kind of up in the trees a little bit and you know it's pitch black. We're just running off flashlights and we're checking this line. He's pulling it up and they get snagged and it gets snagged on something. So he's pulling on it and I'm helping him with it. I don't realize I'm floating back in the more current than I thought it was. So anyhow, it gets really tight, really fast and it pops. It caught on the side of the boat and it pops and he takes a five-bottom hook straight up through the nose, in from the inside of the nose and then out past the barb.

Speaker 3:

So you know it's mad this front line off the side of the boat. You know he's like, hey, man, this hurts. You know like, get the boat. You know like I'm it's pulling me down so I get the boat like gun at the board. You know, get the tension out of the line and took a pair of pliers and cut the barb and fished it back through his nose and, uh, you know he was bleeding a little bit. We went back to the barge and put some hydrogen peroxide in it and it was fine. It was fine, but it was a funny story. You know he was just hate inside the boat. He's like man, how are we gonna get this out, bros? You know he was hurt and we make fun of him all the time he's sitting there. He's like, you know, kind of that little bit of quiver in his voice. He's like, how are we gonna get this out, bros?

Speaker 1:

you know I've heard that quiver before with some of my buddies. That's so funny, but uh, that was.

Speaker 3:

That was a fun trip. And then last year we took a couple trips up on the airboat. We put in, we put the state on the barge and uh, we had that boat loaded down. I mean, we had decoys hanging off the cage and then we had our guns down the bottom, had the dog kennel on the front and then food for three or four days, coolers with some drinks in them, and we went up there tied off, got the heaters running hung out for the night and then we went and duck hunted early the next morning and uh, hadn't gone in to check the spot. We'd found an old section of the river channel about two, three hundred yards outside of the main channel. That, uh, it was. It was an old river channel but it held water somehow and we'd flown the drone up and uh, we're like, hey, you know, this looks like a spot we can probably get some ducks in.

Speaker 3:

So we get up there, we park the boat the next morning, we haul all of our decoys and stuff in and it wore us out and we finally got in there and uh, sat for a while that morning, shot a couple times at some ducks, but we ended up having a group of those blackbirds, the grackles, and they landed all in these trees above us. You know we're sitting in the woods and they come down. They're all around this water and hole and I'm just sitting here, you know, waiting on some ducks. You know we're sitting here. We got our decoys out. That sucker starts shooting same friend and, uh, he starts shooting blackbirds. He's like I'm bored, and three and a half inch steel shot at blackbirds for no reason. And he's like my dog needs some work. So he lets his dog go out and retrieve and stuff.

Speaker 3:

And uh, that was a cool trip, though, but the only bird we shot, uh, was on the way out. He was, he was sitting on the front. He was sitting next to me on the airboat and I'm driving and, uh, I told him not to, it is illegal to do, but for some reason he flip. We flushed the birds that came out right in front. He post up off the front of the boat and smokes a couple of what he's right off the front of the boat. I was like man, why? You better be glad the game warden's not out here on the water like that was so illegal man like yeah.

Speaker 3:

But he's shooting while the boats running. They know what's going on, but those were the only birds we end up shooting all morning. I think that's funny man.

Speaker 1:

He sounds like a hell of a character. I uh something else. He and I had a lot of fun hunting together. I can't imagine taking a hook to the inside of my nose like.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I know it had to hurt.

Speaker 1:

I told him I had to hurt Might as well.

Speaker 3:

Just leave it open and put a little piercing in there or something like a ride, you know just a little ring in there and yes, but dazzle the ring or something. Sorry.

Speaker 1:

Really like, if you're gonna hook your face, that's probably one of the better things to hook, like it could have been his eye you know, I've told this story before and it's not my story. Do you guys watch the show alone?

Speaker 3:

Yes, you know Biko.

Speaker 1:

Biko is the troll, the guy that, like, killed something and put a bone through his nose. He wore overalls so I had Biko on the podcast but I lost the audio and I've apologized to Biko a hundred times about this and I've apologized to the listeners, but his he tells a great duck hunting story where somebody gets hooked. So he's hunting or, excuse me, yeah, he's duck hunting with his father and Biko's like I think he said he was like eight years old, eight, nine, ten, somewhere, somewhere in that range, and they're, they're on coastal Washington, because that's where he's from. And, uh, his dad would always shoot these ducks and he'd never be able to get it back because they didn't have a bird dog. So what his dad fashioned was basically a bunch of shark hooks, tied them all together and put them on the end of a fishing rod, so he'd shoot these birds down and he'd cast the rod and you know it's not that hard to cast in relative proximity to something. So he cast, catch the, catch the bird and reel the bird in and it worked out great. So he's like, oh, what a great idea.

Speaker 1:

So he's out there with his dad, his dad's shooting ducks, his dad shoots ducks. It lands in some tall grass and his dad casts, he's pulling, pulling and it's stuck and he's like I can't get this duck out. So he starts yanking on the, yanking on the, the rod and the hook comes loose, which means it's sling shots right at him, right, and we're talking shark hooks. So we're talking like big Marley and we're talking I don't remember what Biko said exactly. It was like five to eight of these things and it goes straight at his dad's face and his dad just throws his hand up and Takes the hook to I don't know if I'm gonna hear me, because I'm blocking my mic but takes the hook in the center of his palm. So now he's got like Five to eight shark hooks sticking out of his hand.

Speaker 3:

He looks at his hand.

Speaker 1:

He looks at little Biko. He looks at his hand. He's like, all right, boy, strip down, you better go get that duck. And so he makes little baby Biko like, takes his clothes off and swim out and retrieve the duck. And then when Biko gets back, then they go to the hospital because it wasn't like your friends with the. The barb was out, right, it was inside of his palm so a crazy story.

Speaker 1:

I feel terrible that I I lost that episode because it was one of my favorite ones I've ever recorded. But you know what it was. I was using some bad software. I had my audio so all you could hear was my stupid laughing. You couldn't hear anything that Biko was saying. It was terrible, um, but it's a great story. It's great enough that I've actually, I think I've told it on two different podcasts, so hopefully I can get some more of his time and and get him back on here.

Speaker 3:

But yeah, Ben.

Speaker 1:

It's. Your story immediately made me think of Biko's dad catching that hook in the pool. Wow, all right. Well, I took off soft track again, but do you guys have any more stories? Um, either one, uh.

Speaker 3:

Um, we've got lots like most recently. You know it's duck season now, so we've been duck cutting the past three or four weeks, but uh, so I mean since opening day, we spent opening day. Um, her sister is in college and uh, she came home from college. She drove five hours here for open day. Well, she comes home for youth weekend on accident. She didn't look, she didn't look at her dates, right. So she comes in for youth weekend and uh, I mean that's a relevant story.

Speaker 3:

It was just funny she came in a week early, had to drive all the way back to college and then come back again. Anyways, they came back down in the quick end and uh, we went in camps on the lake the night before. So she, gracie, me and my little brother put my boat in and uh grabbed the dog, grabbed most of the gear. We grabbed a tent and the decoys and some little heaters and stuff and we put in and uh made it back to this point and I'd scouted it about a week before. And uh, we get all the way back there and I was thinking, man, you know, we're getting in here the night before tomorrow morning Open day. It's going to be packed with people back here. We're getting in, we're going to get our spot set up. You know we're going to be with, the birds are at. And uh, we get back there and I'm shining my light. You know I'm trying to work. I'd already come off playing on the boat because the lake I was on is real, real stumpy. I mean, there's dead trees everywhere and you can see most of them, but the ones you can't see are the real dangerous ones. You know, if you're running and you hit it, you're, you're in trouble. Yeah, yeah, anyways, we come off playing, we're just idling.

Speaker 3:

I'm kind of shining my light, looking for the point, and uh, I see three sets of lights start shining back at me. I'm like. I was like, are those dogs? I was asking her. I was like, hey, are you know those like dogs? Is it? Was that there the whole time? Or those just come on. She's like I don't know. So I turn my light off for a minute and they all shut off. I turned it back on and they all came back on. I'm like, man, are you kidding me? There's people back there in our spot already. I was like I mean, they had to gotten there well, during the day, you know, we were already out there after dark, we had to work and whatnot, but uh, so we ended up. We had a little backup spot.

Speaker 3:

We get around this corner and uh, anyways, I'm driving and uh, we're coming around this point and I hadn't been to the secondary spot. Her dad had actually dropped me to pin of where he thought would be a good spot to hunt. So we're coming around this point and I'm looking at my maps and I'm like the year before this lake had dropped Six or seven feet. They had they had to do some work on the dam to this lake so the water was way down. So the last time I'd been up in this cove was the year before and everywhere I was at was all dry ground. But now it's all water.

Speaker 3:

So I'm looking at my aerial you know I'm looking at my phone trying to see where I'm at and I'm cutting across what looks like dry ground on the aerial but the boat was just putting right through it. So Boat starts slowing down. I shine the light back behind me and it's just churning mud. It's like oh dang, we're getting shallow. So I cut back out towards deeper water as best I could. We're cutting out there and we run up on a stump. I'm like dang, you know the motor flips up or whatever. And uh killed the motor.

Speaker 3:

So I'm back here working on it, get the motor going again and it didn't want to come off. And you know we're already cold, I hadn't eaten dinner yet and we had gotten some dinner on the way. And I look up for the front of the boat. My brother's sitting up there kind of kick back up against the dog kennel with a when they uh Powerball from taco bell, sitting up there with his fork. He doesn't have a care in the world. He's like he's just sitting there. He's like, are we stuck? I'm like, yeah, you're gonna give us a hand. He's like, no, it's too cold, too deep, I ain't getting in.

Speaker 3:

So eventually we rock our way off of this stump and and uh make it the rest of the way around the point found where we were gonna set up and uh drug the boat in the rest of the way because it was just too shallow on the flat bottom. And uh got in there and got set up and uh, her sister, her little brother and her dad met us up there later that night what 9, 30? And uh, we had the tent set up for him and uh, I have a cot and a little real thin mattress you know that I'll use for stuff like that. I felt bad taking it, so I gave that to her dad and we had my brother has one, gave it to her sister.

Speaker 3:

So my brother and her little brother slept on the ground in the bottom of this tent and I was like, man, where are we gonna sleep? Like this ground is on level. It's been rutted up by the pigs. It's on the bank of the water. It was just rough, nothing was. We just weren't gonna sleep well, and you know we already had to be up super early and uh, so anyways, I'm like let's just sleep in the bottom of the boat. So we throw our sleeping bag down in the bottom of the boat we didn't have these little mattresses because I've given them some you know giving them to everybody else and uh, we're laying down there in the bottom of the boat and uh, start getting sleep. And I realized this boat is the bottom of it all channels towards the center. It's very subtle, but it's enough to keep you awake.

Speaker 1:

So down there. You know I can't just enough for your cuddle in your brother a little bit more than you wanted to be, yeah, yeah so uh, pick him out, put her in there. I was like you know I don't want to be.

Speaker 3:

I'm gonna put my clothes on and uh, anyhow, I left my bibs on because it was already pretty cold. And uh, we're laying there, couldn't sleep for anything, I just kind of dozed off and the boat starts shaking. I'm like what on earth?

Speaker 1:

I was like is there a generator somewhere? Like what is making this?

Speaker 3:

I mean the boat was like vibrating, what on earth. It was my dog. She was in the kennel. I, you know, I was laying backwards in the boat. She was up on the deck of the boat, behind me in her kennel and she was in there shaking. Poor dog was so cold. So I cut no and she comes both over my head, lands down at our feet, does a couple circles and goes to bed down there. She was happy as could be down there at the bottom of the boat and I kind of dozed back off.

Speaker 2:

And then I hear this boat.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and I hear this sound again. I wake up Somehow. I don't even know where it was at, but somehow or another she found the bumper that I used to throw, for you Know, when there's not ducks and stuff, I'll throw that bumper for it. Somehow she found that and shoot it up. Of course I gotta break her that somehow, but anyhow. So take it from where I cut it down in my mud boots that were behind me and covered it up, so she couldn't get to it and we didn't have pillows. Mind you that I'm sleeping on my jacket, you know, it's just. It was awful. We didn't sleep all right and there's no way we should have Come up with a way to keep heat down in the boat. But we had the little mr Buddy heater sitting kind of to our right and up on top of the side box of the boat and it helped a little. But when it ran out to an morning it got cold quick.

Speaker 1:

All that heat going straight up and not down into your boat.

Speaker 3:

I get that, yeah, and we could just catch the little bit of side of it. And Anyways, we get up the next morning, got up early, got set up good, got our decoys out and got the boats well hidden, sat for a while, then sat some more and we didn't even fire a shot. We did all that work, slept so bad. Spent two days of prep, a week of scouting and didn't see a bird, and all those guys that were in that code you know that we originally wanted to hunt. They shot all morning long and I was like. So we left and Got checked by the game board and on our way out he was a nice guy and her little brother sitting in the bottom of boat.

Speaker 3:

He's 12 years old and he's sitting in the bottom of the boat and the game board is like uh, hey, how old are you, buddy? He's like yes, sir. Like hey, no, no, how old are you? He's like, oh, I'm 12, you know. So he was super nervous and he's like you know, got your life jackets. You know we checked all our guns and stuff and uh, is there any other hunters?

Speaker 3:

I was like yeah, man, go go check them guys back there in that code they've been shooting all morning, but we went home and We've only hunted more since then, I think, and we shot For five ducks.

Speaker 3:

Yeah thanksgiving morning we went out and I think we shot five. But then thanksgiving night, uh, this you know, just last week we, uh we went out and sat at the deer stand. We had this nice deer come up on camera and uh, so she and I sat together in the stand and uh, deer, of course, never came out, but right at dark we, we usually take our thermals and throw them in there too, because when deer don't come, the pigs do, and both of our guns are suppressed. So uh, I've got the video from it. We had a little group of pigs walk out, shot a couple pigs that night too, which was pretty fun. And uh, anyhow, couple nights later, you know, she said she got her dad into thermal hunting. And so she and I do it like all the time. You know we're shooting suppressed ars and uh, she's shooting a 6a and I'm shooting a 308 and uh, you know we hunt all the time. We're used to it. You know it's hard to tell your yardage in a thermal how far you really are from something without a rangefinder, and that really takes them getting used to. And uh, we, we were going hunting. I was like I hold her dad. I was like, hey, you want to go with us tonight? He's like, yeah, man. So he shot my backup gun. And uh, we're hunting and we get to this new property.

Speaker 3:

I'm walking to set the coyote call out you know it's electric fox pro and uh, I'm walking to set it out and I hear him holler at me, real quiet. I'm like what is it? He's like hey, there's pigs, come on. So I get back there to him. I get my gun up and I'm looking. I'm like where are they? He's like right there. You don't see him. I'm like, no man, I don't, I don't see anything. He's like they're right there. I was like what are you talking about? He's like you know, I was like dude, that's a pile of bricks. It was like bricks and some materials stacked up like 50 yards from us. He swore up and down. He's like these are pigs. You know they're moving. I'm like, no man, that's, that's in your eye. That's just a pile of bricks that had absorbed some sunlight and were warm within the outside air. That's amazing.

Speaker 1:

No, that's just a pile of bricks.

Speaker 3:

A pile of bricks. He was so excited to finally find some pigs that night and we ended up getting on a group. A little later we walked in, we walked a long ways, got all the way up to this feeder and it had already thrown and there was no corn on the ground and so she and I walked all the way up to it. Her dad was a little ways behind us. He had stopped for something and we're sitting here looking at it, kind of waiting on him to catch up, and Pigs start walking up this hill. The corn, this feeder, sits right on the edge of a hill, real like steep looks like it should be in colorado kind of hill. And Anyhow, we're sitting here looking and pigs start walking up the hill coming to this feeder. So we're, you know. Now we're hollering at him. Hey, come on, there actually is pigs this time, like you.

Speaker 1:

Quick bricks are moving yeah exactly the bricks are moving.

Speaker 3:

So we get up there and there's no corn on the ground to keep them there. You know they're in, they, we know they're, they're about to head out and he wasn't quite caught up to us yet. Now turn around and I can see him. He's to our left, not really behind us, but in relation to the feeder he would have kind of been behind and Anyhow, they, they started. Well, I was trying to get him on one and they started high tailing out of there. They just they knew there wasn't corn, they kind of. There was a real moonlit night. They could probably silhouette us because the moon was at our back.

Speaker 3:

So they were, they were, they were getting out, and you can hear the video of what she recorded. She's like shoot him. So she and I both shooting, and All of a sudden you hear him shoot on suppress and it just rings out like every I mean so much different than these suppress guns and he, he starts shooting at this group too. And, uh, you, we never found them. We found some blood. You could hear it in the shot, you can hear it make contact, but we didn't find the pigs. You know, we searched high and low. I ran all the way down that hill trying to track, you know, looking with a thermal, get all the way down into this next bottom. And it was real, real, marshy, like you couldn't have gotten through without waiters. And I was like, well man, all of gaspartanit.

Speaker 1:

I found was like dusted bricks in pieces. Yeah, exactly, but that's, that's great man.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that same property. Our very first day I picked her up, I was like you know, because I've actually found her on TikTok, you know, you know, you know what TikTok is.

Speaker 1:

But of course I know what TikTok.

Speaker 3:

I'm fair enough.

Speaker 1:

So, anyhow, I'll learn you, but I understand the world TikTok.

Speaker 3:

So now I've seen this girl's TikTok videos and I'm like man, she's got like she's did you drop into her DMs.

Speaker 1:

I think that's getting right. I did, I did so. I found her.

Speaker 3:

She's like yes, she did, oh she was not having it at first and I saw these videos like man, this girl hunts. You know, this is kind of cool. You know she and I would probably get along really well. And I added her, actually, on Snapchat and didn't hear from her for like three weeks and you know I was like all right, I'll cut my losses. And the one day I hear from her I'm like, hey, you know what I'm talking to this girl now.

Speaker 3:

So we start talking and ended up going on this first date and I was like, hey, I know this isn't like a typical first date, but do you want to go coyote hunting? I know you've got a thermal, you know, but you want to go with me? So she's like, yeah, let's go. So we go on this first date and of course it's still super awkward. And we're walking this same property and we're walking to go get set up on some coyotes and a group of pigs runs right in front of us and I mean it wasn't what five yards, six yards and we folded just a good size pig. I bet he was 150, 200 pounds and we folded this big pig right there in front of us. Now, that was cool for a first date. You know the significance.

Speaker 1:

Gracie was that cool for a first date? I think it's. It's your determination.

Speaker 3:

That's the heels.

Speaker 2:

He can't I think it fit better than going out to dinner, for sure.

Speaker 3:

I'm not a big fan.

Speaker 2:

Let's go eat a fancy dinner. Let's get dressed up. I'm like let's hit the woods tonight, you know okay, that's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Well, good for you guys. You know that's funny. This is so. I've had one engagement story told on the podcast before the guy in Alaska, his wife, shot a mountain goat, which is crazy. Uh, but this is the first first date story, so thank you for sharing.

Speaker 3:

Little different, but yeah, fun and we've done a bunch since we shot coyotes. We've got people that little call us and like hey man, we had one last week.

Speaker 3:

He's like hey man, I get that, we got this cat and we had a cat before I'm going to cat before that and they keep getting eaten and I'm pretty sure it's by coyotes. So we go up call his. We go up to call his place and we're walking in and we didn't even turn our guns on yet. You know, we we are carrying our tripods, carrying the gun in the other hand. We're walking into this place and we're a hundred yards from where we were going to set up and I hear a group of pigs. I hear one of them kind of squeals. I get my gun up. I'm like hey, did you hear that?

Speaker 1:

She's like oh, I didn't hear anything, so I get my gun up.

Speaker 3:

There's a big group out there, and so she and I get set up on them and we shot two of them there, and of course we didn't shoot in coyotes, which was what the land owner was wanting, but he was happy. We took some pigs off his place and we need to go back to call his place again. He wants those coyotes gone, but there are noosins around here. They're all over the place.

Speaker 1:

I believe it, I believe the last time I was up in that area, man, I was standing outside and just howling for like hours.

Speaker 3:

I thought it's it's wild that they're all over the the place you're coming into your hunt here. Uh, house place, the property next door to it. I used to work for him for quite a few years, just kind of taking care of his land. I cleared all the trails for him on does or whatnot, and, uh, I've hunted his place and it's really not set up for it.

Speaker 3:

It's not the way the property lays down. It's on a hill. There's a bunch of trees, kind of on the hill it's. You know you're not shooting at anything, it's not a dangerous place to hunt, but he's got some cows there. So you know, you kind of have to be cautious up. But one night I was bored, I was like I'm going to go throw a call up over there see if something's coming in. And that has been one of my best little coyotes. They just covered up. Yeah, I mean not 200 yards from where I set those feeders up. You know for it. Those are they're. There's coyotes there. They're wearing that place out, that's good to hear.

Speaker 1:

I mean, well, it's not good to hear, but hopefully we can maybe put some down. Yeah, I want to tell you a story. Okay, your, your terrible night's sleep reminded me of a story that I have. Same, basically the exact same story, except elk hunting in Colorado, right? So I uh it was my first season archery hunting. I don't know anyone that archery hunts. My wife's like you can't go by yourself, so I just go on Facebook and I'm like hey, anybody want to let me come along. Like my wife, I don't care where you're going, I'll just be quiet. And you know, tag along, you can shoot first. I just want to go.

Speaker 1:

A big group, like, of a bunch of brand new hunters as well, basically, so like they don't have any more experience than I do. It's just a bunch of guys are like, yeah, come along. And they're all military guys. And, uh, one night we're like you know what? Let's, let's pack in. So we're going to pack in a couple of miles and I'm like why didn't really bring anything for that? And they're like man, we're military, we've got everything you need.

Speaker 3:

And so this guy, you know he gives?

Speaker 1:

he gives me a, like a little bivvy sack. He gives me a sleeping bag, which is really not a. If someone took a sleeping bag and took all of the stuffing out of it that's what he gave me Right.

Speaker 1:

So we, we hike in like probably two miles from camp, find this beautiful valley and sleep in this little valley. It turns out the reason valleys don't have trees is because they get extremely cold at night. It's where the cold settles and it was the worst decision we've ever made in our lives. Well, I ever made yeah. So I lay down, I'm in my bivvy, I'm in this sleeping bag. I have no pad, I'm, I think I'm like, I think I'm using, like my boot as a pillow, like.

Speaker 3:

I just like, I'm like I need my head to be a slightly elevated.

Speaker 1:

That's all my other boot I was smart enough to put under my backpack. Why did I do that? I was like maybe it'll rain. Turns out it worked out, cause it was so cold that night. Everything frosted over. And there was ice on top of everything except my boots, because one was my pillow and the other one was under my backpack yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so that worked out. But all I remember is just like being so cold, like so cold that I couldn't think, and so I was like, well, just get inside my sleeping bag. But those things are basically airtight, so I'd run out of air. So I remember being in my sleeping bag and thinking, I think I'm going to, I'm not tired, I think I'm going to pass out. So I had the choice of either, like, suffocating or freezing, and like those were my two choices.

Speaker 3:

All choices yeah.

Speaker 1:

Terrible choices, and so, like, if I'm not, if my head's not in my sleeping bag, my breath was catching on the bivy sack and it was dripping like ice water into my face. It was just the most miserable like night ever. I don't know if I slept at all, but I remember just getting up and then, of course, we hiked around all day and didn't see a damn thing, so like it's always how it goes, the more you're not going to see anything.

Speaker 1:

It's how it goes for me, yeah man, I think we might be the same type of hunter, still Like. I know some guys are like, yeah, I'm just lucky and I'm like I want to be lucky once. Like that's not the way that I hunt. I know, man, I'm, in fact, I'm barely even a hunter, I'm more of a hiker. I just am not a lucky hiker hunter, whatever that is. So. But yeah, your story reminded me and I remember waking up and the army guys being like. The first thing he said to me was I'm sorry, he's like you tested. He's like you tested every like those. The bag it was like a I was a 30 degree bag and he's like that means that 30 degrees, it will keep you alive.

Speaker 1:

It won't be comfortable and he's like you tested every degree of those 30 degrees because it's obviously colder than that. Out, because everything's frozen. So, he's like sorry, he's like my bad and I'm like no shit, let's wait. I don't remember I think like that was like five years ago. I think my toes are still cold from that hunt, so that's awful.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I had cold hands. That, thanks to Kevin Hunt, we took her little brother on to and shot a couple of birds kind of across this pond. It was a real like. It was kind of like a horseshoe shaped pond and well too deep in the center to get across and waiters. So we shot these birds.

Speaker 3:

Me and her little brother were like, hey, we're going to get them. I didn't even wear my waiters, I was wearing my boots and he was wearing his dad's waiters, so they were, I mean, just swallow in him. So I'm like, hey, man, swat me real quick. You know he wasn't tall enough or pretty enough to go, you know, chest deep in water and waiters that are oversized to go get these birds. I'm like, hey, swat me real quick, you can throw on my mud boots and I'll throw on these waiters. So I throw on those waiters.

Speaker 3:

And we walked around and got out and I'm using I get out there to these birds and they're still a little too far for me to reach. I'm using the butt of my shotgun like a, like a, you know, pry and stick to pull these birds to me. I finally get all the birds or whatever, and we get back up there and it's a good hike back to the truck and I handed her little brother, I think what four birds, three birds, something like that, from that side of the pond, and I hand them to him and I'm like, hey, I'll, I'll carry your shotgun. So I'm carrying a shotgun and he's like man, he's like my hands are cold. I said man, I'm sorry, you know, I didn't realize he didn't have gloves on. It was cold morning, it was 26 that morning.

Speaker 3:

It was cold and, anyhow, we're walking. He's like yep, I'm pretty sure I just felt frostbite in my fingers. So I'm like, all right, hold on, hey, take my gloves. And he's walking, he'll make it like 10 steps and drop a bird. So I'm like, hey, just put your hand, put my gloves on, put your hands inside your jacket and warm up. So I've got his shotgun. It's a it was an overnight nurse. I break it over my shoulder, I put my shotgun on my strap over my back and I've got this cradle of birds in my arms. And now I'm frozen because I've held two metal guns.

Speaker 1:

At this point, but no gloves on it 26,. Nothing colder than gun metal man.

Speaker 3:

Soaking wet and now I've got this armful of birds and it was like the longest walk and at that point I had, you know, my bibs on underneath. I had all my warm clothes on and then I had these insulated waders and I don't usually wear insulated waders, I just insulated underneath. So I was burning up on the inside just like sweat and bullets, but my hands were so cold like that. Back in the truck I was like I don't know either to turn the heat on and warm my hands up or to strip out of this and turn the AC on, like I was so cold but so hot it was. It was an awful feeling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I could just see you like just sticking your arms into your waders and just like.

Speaker 3:

Swabble it around, yeah, yeah that's crazy man, that's fun.

Speaker 1:

Well, guys, I've I've taken up a lot of your time. I don't know if you have more stories. I tell everybody I'm going to listen all night. I love this kind of stuff. But if you want to save some for another time or if you don't have anymore, whatever you guys tell me.

Speaker 3:

We can yeah, we can save some for another time. I mean, I'm in no rush, but what do we have?

Speaker 1:

an hour and 15 minutes, something, something like that.

Speaker 3:

Like that yeah, we can save some for another time.

Speaker 1:

OK, well, let's do that. Then, man, let's do that. So let's, let's sign off, let's tell the people. I don't know if you want to be found, but if you want to share your TikToks and your Snapchats and your one of those things you steal, because I'm too old to know that stuff. Oh yeah, the TikTok. No all right, if you want to share your Instagram, your Facebook pay you probably don't even have a Facebook your TikToks, share them.

Speaker 3:

Oh, people can find you. We're going to get a hundred years of.

Speaker 1:

Facebook marketplace. That's weird to me too. Man, me too. But yeah, why don't we start with you? Steal a little if you want to share it or not. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

My Instagram handle is just steal, turn her 10. It's pretty simple. And then she and I have a joint account called Rax and Quacks. You know, like dear Rax and Mallard Ducks and we're trying to. I assumed we're trying to grow that page. It's we're we're small on it right now, but we're trying to get it there. It's a pretty cool page, so we try to add our stories and some of our kills and stuff on there. We try to post as many pictures on there as often as we can, and so she can awesome.

Speaker 1:

And so those are on what. What's her? Is that Instagram, Facebook?

Speaker 2:

yeah, both.

Speaker 1:

Cool, cool Gracie.

Speaker 2:

Um other than the Rax and Quacks one. My Instagram is just Gracie Spearman. Pretty simple, perfect.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah so yeah, awesome guys.

Speaker 1:

Well, this was fun and I'm excited to meet you guys. Maybe next week I don't know Gracie, you're going to show up and I want to say, gracie, your presence, you know, but I'm trying not to make a pun of your name. But yeah thank you guys. I appreciate it. This was a lot of fun. Some amazing stories, some you opened my eyes to some stuff that I didn't even know existed, like yeah, yeah, hopefully you get a taste of it next weekend.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, hopefully, man hopefully, but.

Speaker 3:

I hope we get.

Speaker 1:

Cool, cool, all right, well, thank you guys, I appreciate your time.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely yes, sir.

Speaker 1:

Bye, all right guys, that's it. Another couple of stories in the books. Of course, I want to thank again steel and Gracie for coming on the podcast. Go ahead and give them a follow on Instagram. All the information you need is in the show notes, so so please check it out there. But I want to thank you guys, of course, for tuning in and listening to the podcast. I've had a lot of listeners recently reach out, so if you have some hunting stories, hit me up on Instagram. I'd love to hear your stories. I'll just share them with our listeners. But that's it, guys. Thank you again. I appreciate you all. Gracie steel, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I'm excited to get up there and maybe kill some hogs with you. But that's it, guys. Get out there and, you know, make some stories here. Thank you.

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