The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 080 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Armando Martinez

December 18, 2023 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 80
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 080 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Armando Martinez
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Has the thrill of the hunt ever been overshadowed by a heart-stopping moment of fear? It certainly has for our guest, Armando, who shares a riveting tale of an oryx hunt in New Mexico that turned terrifying when his son went missing. This episode is not just about the chase of a formidable game animal, but also about the lessons learned, the beauty of father-daughter bonding, and the inherent risks that accompany the thrill of the hunt.

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Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and we got a good one for you today. Today, we connect with someone who's not only been on the podcast before as a guest, but as a guest host as well. Armando and I spoke when we were in 2020-24, season Recap and he started telling me a little story about his daughter's oryx hunt that he had this year. When he hit me up after that was like hey man, I gotta tell you that whole story and all the gory detail, and it's just as good as his first episode. So I want to thank Armando for reaching out. There's some cool details at the end of the podcast, so make sure you hang out for that. I don't want to steal too much of the thunder, so let's just go ahead and just kick this thing off and let Armando play some of his stories. Thank you, alright, armando. Welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. Brother, how are you?

Speaker 2:

Hey man, I'm so happy to be back. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man. So this is technically the third time you've been on my podcast, but this is the second time as a guest, which puts you as number one in our hearts, so thank you for being here.

Speaker 2:

I'll take it.

Speaker 1:

I don't think we need to introduce you, but why don't we go ahead and why don't you introduce yourself? For maybe some of the new listeners that haven't caught up on what Episode six, I think you were.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I was early dude, I think. Yeah, I was sub 10s, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, now in this episode it's going to be, I want to say, like 80.

Speaker 2:

Good, for you Very cool. Well, my name is Armando Martinez, I'm one of the owners of the Bow Hitch Simply Savage Solutions and was fortunate enough to come across the podcast meet Michael, get invited to get on and share a couple of stories early on of some earlier hunts that were pretty epic. We had a great conversation and this story that I'm going to share with you guys today was extremely special because it was a hunt that took place over three different trips, a very difficult hunt that in New Mexico you're allotted an entire month to hunt because it is so hard of a hunt. It's with my daughter. My son went out on the first one. He had a little scare, so I mean this just gets even a little emotional man.

Speaker 2:

It's a tough one, but we got it done.

Speaker 1:

I'm really excited to hear every detail of the story because you've given me just the Cliff Notes version previously. It was before we recorded the my Elk Season Recap. But I want to say to the listeners please, please, please, check out Armando's first episode, because you tell a couple stories that are some of my favorite stories I've heard on the podcast your Axis Deer Hunt in Hawaii. Man, when you go back to the airport I'm not going to ruin it for anybody, but I think about that all the time and then your Mule Deer story where you get run over by a truck.

Speaker 1:

You're like damn, I can't believe. I told it. No, your first episode I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't heard it already is one of my personal favorites, so I have no doubt that you've told me multiple times. The story we're about to hear is your number one, and you've already told me so many great stories that I can't wait to hear this one, brother.

Speaker 2:

Yeah this one's epic and I think, especially if you're a dad or a parent of any kind, you know been a grandpa, whatever this one, this one will resonate just because it. I think it's going to touch a lot of buttons, and a lot of you have probably been there in one shape or form or another with a lot of what's about to go down.

Speaker 1:

There we go, man, there we go Cool. Well, you know what? It wasn't a waste any time. Armando, why don't we just set the stage for us? I know it's at this point, everyone knows it's with the kids, but what are you hunting? Let's dive right into it, man.

Speaker 2:

So the hunt that we are on right now is it takes place in June in New Mexico. It's an off range oryx hunt. The oryx were introduced to New Mexico it's an African animal, also called Gemsbuck, which is commonly referred to in Africa, and I want to say they were brought here in the fifties and let loose on White Sands missile range just as a test to see how well they would do in the New Mexico environment.

Speaker 1:

I have a feeling they did just fine.

Speaker 2:

Huh, Turns out they did, turns out, they did extremely well. And the White Sands missile range is hundreds of thousands of acres, like it's a stupid amount of country that they're allowed to go in and out of. So after they established a big enough population on the range, they started allowing hunts on the missile range. Now, the population kept, continued to grow and to the point where the oryx started feeding off of the range. Because it's just your standard, you know three, five strand barbed wire. They go under them, even though this animal is probably, you know, four or 500 pounds on the hoof. They don't jump, they go under the fences. So you'll find crossings just like an antelope. So they're.

Speaker 1:

I got a crazy antelope barbed wire fence story that I'll tell you later.

Speaker 2:

Actually actually a species of antelope, but just a giant, beautiful antelope, so, um, so that's a little history on them. So the tag that my daughter drew was an off range tag and because these animals are like you know, and it's frustrating to say this and to be told this when you're trying to hunt them and when you're trying to say, hey man, you've killed a couple, you know where are you going, like you want to get some spots and you want to be able to give some spots, but it's just, they are where they are. You know they could be all, they could be all over someplace. You hunt them where they're at is the phrase. And uh, and so the border of the white sands initial range is hundreds and hundreds of miles. So for you to pick a spot and go into it, you're, you're throwing a dart that off of the moon, you know, and the lands where it lands, and you may come across them and you may not.

Speaker 1:

So Start at a haystack, aiming for a needle right, exactly, exactly.

Speaker 2:

So, so we uh, so we're starting this hunt on June 1st Um, it's myself, my daughter who has the tag. My son, uh, my daughter's 13 years old, um, my son 10 years old. And then, uh, my uncle James is with me, he's my hunting partner. That's, uh, that's with me 99% of the time, and uh, so we take off quick questions for you.

Speaker 1:

Sure June, new Mexico Is it? It's getting pretty spicy, it's pretty, it's pretty warm, or is it still pretty warm?

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, it's, it's pretty hot yeah.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

It's uh, I don't I don't remember the exact temperatures, but it's hot enough to where you're like this sucks and the air conditioner is on and your windows are up. Gotcha, these tags are definitely difficult to come by. Uh, I want to say she probably had like a 10% chance of drawing it as a youth hunter. Uh, and the even even to make it sound more difficult is they only are off. Uh, april and May are the only two months you don't hunt the off range oryx. Oh, so they're hunted year round.

Speaker 1:

Yes, she, just she, just she just did a June tag.

Speaker 2:

And they bring it around. And most people don't want to hunt those summer months June, july, august because it's freaking hot and there's rattlesnakes out there. So that was her best opportunity at drawing this tag at 11%. So that's why I put her in for it. I put her in for the hunt that was on the missile range because there's a freaking hundred to one amount of animals, you know, as opposed to off the range. But uh, that's like a 2% draw and so she didn't draw that. So on this, she drew her second choice. Uh, for New Mexico, it's either an any weapon tag. Um, typically people will only hunt with the rifle because your shots are typically going to be, you know some some long antelope types types shots.

Speaker 1:

Do they hang out in the same kind of terrain as like pronghorn antelope? Pronghorn antelope are not actually antelope, but they hang out in the same terrain.

Speaker 2:

Exactly like that, so for the people listening.

Speaker 1:

That means flat like much cover.

Speaker 2:

Yes, flat, wide open country. There's a lot of creosote and, uh, some rolling hills, um, but a lot of creosote bushes and, um, just, your, your high desert vegetation. You know some of its uh, scrub oak, you know, it's just, we have a lot of different New Mexico, new Mexico's uh, we kind of got it all. And these, these animals will be in the pinon and junipers because we do have some mountain ranges that go through there and they'll be in the P and J and these big giant brush brux that are, you know, brush buck, that's 20 feet around and they walk through all that stuff. So they just are where they are and that's they even are in the river bottoms.

Speaker 2:

Now, off of us, some cottonwood flats, you know they're off the real ground river. They go and feed in these alfalfa fields and go through the river and then come back across. So they just literally are where they are. Man Thriving. That's cool, right, yeah, they're doing well and they're a beautiful animal and one of the best game needs the best game me, in my opinion, for any species you could kill in New Mexico, and it's a very coveted, very coveted uh, meat here in, uh, in New Mexico.

Speaker 1:

So you would say better than elk, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I love elk.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, I know you've had access to your before and I know access is typically number one for like access, access are number one for people.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, okay, access is probably number one, Orics would be number two. Uh, I like antelope also, but I would say elk is just easier because they're so big, you know, you don't have to work as hard to process, uh, you know, to get the cuts you want like out of a small antelope. Um, so I do like elk and then I don't know antelope's good man, so what. It's a toss of elk, antelope and then deer would probably be towards the bottom of the list as far as, uh, my, my, my, uh, my taste.

Speaker 1:

That was explaining this. I'm so glad you said that because I was deer hunting this last weekend and my buddy, who shot a couple white tails and that's really all he, he hunts his white tail and I was like, hope those other guys get something. And he's like, well, don't you want something? I was like you know, I've got a freezer full of elk and not eight. With that I'll skip on a white tail and then I stack, ranked my meat. You know, I was like let's go out there with with axis and turkey and odd ed and Elk and white tail and mule deer. I put white tail at the bottom. So that's just me as my personal preference. So I'm glad to hear you said the same thing because I know he listens and he'll remember the conversation.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, yeah, no, it's. It's fantastic me they're. They're really exciting to hunt. They run really really weird something that if you guys ever come out West or come to New Mexico to hunt these and they just run like they were already shot, like they just like the ugliest run on the planet no, not well, I mean, they cover ground like any other animal, but they're not like an antelope. An antelope will blow the doors off of these. It looks like a stick elk running.

Speaker 2:

Like like it like it's like a Eight beers deep elk running. They're just the wood like a I don't know dude, like a. It's a really unathletic elk. It's just a very four left-feeted elk.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, but they're they're.

Speaker 2:

They're gray in color. They have a black stripe going through them, not like a zebra, but just some coloration, a little bit of black on them and then the kind of a white face we call it the clown face. So when you're glassing, if they're looking at you, just kind of pick up this clown face and then the males and the females both have horns single, or you know two horns coming up, just like an antelope, but instead of them having any prongs or any cutters coming off of them, they're just spears that come straight up and swoop back just ever so slightly.

Speaker 1:

How can you tell between a male and a female? So your glass so.

Speaker 2:

So both of them grow horns. The females typically get a couple inches longer, however they're a lot thinner in, they're thinner and they're typically smoother. So the males have these big thick rings that kind of go higher up on the horn itself and and their bases are just a lot thicker. And the stature of the animal you could typically tell the difference in a mature bull as opposed to the cows. They're gonna be, you know, another 70, 80 pounds heavier, under pounds heavier, got it. So that's the animal we're looking after, a gray animal With these two giant black antennas.

Speaker 2:

So another thing to keep in mind is that these animals breed year-round. There's not like a rut, so there's always, you know, there could always be baby with them. The babies come out and they have these little mubs on them. So at a couple months old they already have horns. Oh, when they're born and they're kind of brownish and so they call those brownies. You just got to make sure you know you stay away from shooting a brownie, but they're really hard to feel.

Speaker 2:

Judge, if it's your first time coming to New Mexico to see one, because you find one by itself and you see these big old horns coming off the top and you're like oh shit, there's one you know and that's a little you. Yeah, you put all of them and it's 24 inches long, which really isn't, you know, isn't very big. So a trophy is gonna be like you know, your 400 inch bull is, you know, an elk hunting a 200 inch buck and would be anything like a Bull, oryx, anything over like that. 38 is Okay, 37, 38 is a giant. It's a big, beautiful. So if you can kill a 40 inch bull, you're a special hunter and you've killed a special animal. They're, they're, they're out there and they kill them. They're just like those big 400 inch bulls. But it's tough to do. The females are a little more common to hit the 40 inch range but, like I said, they're a little bit thinner, longer at long and long and thin, but just a beautiful, one of the most beautiful animals there is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't even imagine just a 40 inch spike coming off of a critter's head.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's insane, because you're just looking out to this desolate country and this giant African animal Disappears on you and you're like what dude? It's great with black antennas and how the hell did I lose it? You know, with the white face and just like it just like any other animal. They disappear on you? If yeah, just what they do?

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. I yeah, I could see that. I mean I can't. I think everything I've ever hunted, I've seen one and then just completely lost it and I don't know why something with 40 inch or three foot long antennas.

Speaker 2:

I would yeah, it's insane dude it's it's, it's a, it's a craziest thing, but that's. That's mother nature at its finest.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, so your daughter do the tag. June I'm assuming she chose rifle.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so we're hunting with they. It's a Remington 7 mag, so it's a big sendero, remington sendero. It's got a suppressor on it, it's got some trigger work done. It's a was a built by a good friend of mine. His business is whiskey Mountain Dynamics, so shot out to him. He just does fantastic work and he he, anyway, he's the man he put the gun together and it just shoots lights out. She's killed several animals with it and it's so heavy and this tripod that I have, I have a really nice big Faisal tripod with the really right stuff clamp head, and so with the combination of the weight of the gun and the heavy tripod that she shoots off of, there's like no recoil. So she could shoot it all day long without ever lynching, ever thinking that it kicks.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'm not much of a gun guy, so like I've never thought about reducing recoil by just adding weight, so yeah, it's a huge, huge help. Yeah, okay, huge help makes sense, I get. Yeah, I was like what do you think about it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so so that's that's the rifle that we take out. She's comfortable with it. Like I said, she's killed many animals with it and it's lights out. So if we see the animal, I dial to whatever it is and you pull the trigger and it goes down. It's just kind of how fortunate we've been with that, with that gun. So we take off dude. So it's January 1, my son myself, january or June, june, june, june, june, sorry, june, june 1.

Speaker 1:

I was like man, you were scouting early yeah no, no, we didn't do any scouting.

Speaker 2:

It's probably from where we're hunting, about two hours from my house, so not too far. We were just gonna make a day trip out of it. And so it's the four of us, and I have a Chevy pickup diesel, it's a, I think it's a oh oh six, oh seven LBZ Duramax. I put the four-wheeler in the back just in case we shot one. We could just drive in, pull it out and go home, and. And so we're cruising along, man, we have an area.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're cruising along, we have an area we want to, we want to hunt and just be at first light and Don't quite make it to that spot first thing in the morning. So, as you guys are following along with me, you know we're driving south, sun is coming up, you know on our left, and we're getting a beautiful sunrise coming over the prairie. It's miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of prairie and then a mountain range that the Sun has to come over and when it peaks over it's just like this amazing orange and red that's just coming up over.

Speaker 1:

So we have an amazing sunrise and a low sun. Rises and sunsets are the best.

Speaker 2:

That's what it is. That's that's what we're looking at if we're coming in.

Speaker 1:

So the storms in that country are the scariest. Yeah, shit changes quick.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, things, things escalated quickly. Yeah, that kind of happens a lot over here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So so we're driving in and just not seen anything. We're a little bit late from where we wanted to be at our first place. Not seen anything, and so we're trying spot one. We get up on a high point, we get out. You know, my uncle glasses one way, I glass the other, we switch spots and we know we cover each other's tracks. The kids are over there, you know, playing and doing whatever it is they're doing to keep themselves busy. I think Layla was asleep for the first couple of hours. You know a young teenage kid, 13 years old. She's passed out. My son is a trooper.

Speaker 2:

He never sleeps, so he's up with us but he's kind of he's 10, he's 10, so he's just kind of doing his own thing. But he has the best eyes, like phenomenal eyes. I have good eyes I'm proud of like. If it's out there, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna find it, but he has just natural like he can spot anything. He's really really good.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, yeah he hasn't got me to hunting oh. Well, you know, it's not for everyone. But my hunting buddy has eyes, maybe like your son, where? He can spot anything. I don't even say I'm good. But I also have to throw this out there, because I make fun of my hunting buddy on this podcast often and he's like what do you guys say something good about me and I'm like all right. So I think I said this once before.

Speaker 2:

It's throw the bone.

Speaker 1:

We're throwing him a bone but and you bet you've met him. I don't know if you remember me in him or not, but he can. He had spot in Anything and it's amazing. We're working on him explaining what he's seeing to me so I can find it. He's like that tree and I'm like we're looking at 15,000 trees bro, like, yeah, so we've got room, so I can't give him it for free, right, it's gonna cost him a little bit of comfort, but he, his eyes are.

Speaker 1:

I've never met anyone that can spot more than than my hunting buddy, and if your son's that way, you'll have a lot of fun in the future years if you get him it hunting yeah yeah, well, the good thing is he likes going, you know, and he doesn't mind yeah, he doesn't mind finding the animals for us.

Speaker 2:

He's just, you know, but has no interest in being on the trigger yet, but he likes going, he likes doing the whole deal, so we love having him there. Yeah, so it's cool. So, yeah, so we're trucking along, dude, spot to spot to spot to spot and nothing. And I know that I'm gonna hit this one road that gets super sandy and Buddy of mine had told me about he goes you're gonna hit this road, you're gonna hit this fence, you're gonna follow the fence east and as you drive, in about a mile or so, it starts to get sandy. And when you start to feel it get sandy, you probably should stop right there. You know, once, once you get the kind of the feeling just stop because it only gets worse. And so, because I was in my pickup this time, I was like, well, we're not gonna push it. So I drive down the fence. It's, you know, it's not too bad. It gets a little bit sandy and I freaking spot an oryx dude all by itself. So I'm like, all right, baby, it's game on.

Speaker 1:

And Now are you guys going into this hunt? Sorry, sorry to interrupt Ramondo. But sure you are you going in thinking a, if we find one, it's going down, or you like actually looking for a monster or no?

Speaker 2:

It's. It's kind of hard unless you, unless you have a ton of time to trophy hunt for off-range, you're not being very picky, you're. You see something? You know, as long as it's not a very immature animal, more than likely you're gonna shoot it. You know, and to each his own. Some people will go and if they've killed a bunch of them, maybe you're waiting for a giant and you can definitely kill them. But you know, keep in mind, I'm with you know, with two kids, and you know yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I'm not getting too crazy for this one day trip. And we're driving down this road, it's getting sandy. I we find the oryx tell everybody all right, let's do this. My son is on the iPad and so he's zoned out. So I'm like Moises, do you want to go with us? We're going to walk up over this ledge and we should see the oryx right here, but we could be gone for a while. So if you want to stay, you can stay, but you got to stay here. So he's like oh, and he looks up and he looks around, he goes I'm good. So all right, you got it, you got it. So he stays there. So I'm like all right, buddy, stay here. You know, everybody's excited.

Speaker 2:

Layla jumps out of the truck, my uncle jumps out. I got my backpack on, I got my rifle and make sure we got the shells, like everything's you know, getting ready to go kill something. I got my tripod, like it's go time. So I get on the good foot dude, I start walking, Start walking, start glassing, and he's kind of feeding away from us. When I first found him he was like want to stay, like probably close to a mile away. Okay, so I'm just working, working, working my girl's good dude. When I go, she's on my heels and she knows the game. She'll just stay right behind me and do wherever I go. She knows you know where to be, which is really, really cool. So we're working it's me and her that my uncle's right behind her and make sure she's doing all right.

Speaker 2:

And we get closer and closer. Finally cut off to 1200 yards. So I'm like, all right, that's good, but I'm pretty sure we can get closer. Let's get closer. We start going, we keep going. This whole time we're working away from the truck, keep going, keep going, and he freaking dips it. I get to 800 yards and I was like we can shoot him. But let's get closer. Let me ask a couple quick questions. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Just because when I know they are a type of antelope, are they? Are they known for their their ability to smell their site, or what are you?

Speaker 2:

worried about. Okay, so just like pronghorn, you just like pronghorn as you're sneaking up.

Speaker 1:

you're not doing it in line of sight, you're just dropping down, coming up.

Speaker 2:

Right. So the topography we're going through is sandhills with a decent amount of brush for cover. Okay, so he's never looking at us when we're moving and a lot of the times he's behind brush or behind a little roller of a hill. So there's these little rolling hills and then there's a draw that goes from east to west and we're walking south. So he eventually feeds into that draw that goes east or west and disappears from me. So I'm like, okay, baby, it's go time, we're going to get to this point, we're going to sit in this tree. He'll pop up, we'll shoot him. So we're hauling ass, we get to the spot, we stop, we wait and I'm like, okay, just glass up, we'll find him. He'll pop out, you know, somewhere in here and we'll kill him. So guns on the tripod Binals are on tripods Like lay those behind the gun, just sitting there just waiting for the word. You know where to aim. And a thing never pops up. Man Just never pops up and I'm like he's got to come out. Guys, like he has to be here and dude.

Speaker 2:

So we sat there for probably 15 minutes and just looking and looking and I said, okay, well, let's, let's inch up to get to the top of this rise and it's just going to be a close shot when we get to him and, dude, he, he ghosted us and he ghosted us. So all the while, while I'm walking away, I'm like, damn it, this thing is taking us pretty far from the truck and I'm starting to worry about moises. You know, I'm like this is this has kind of been a little bit of a while. It's going to take me a good 30 minutes to walk back to the truck. Now, you know, if I turn and go straight to the truck. So I'm kind of kind of just got this bad feeling, dude, you know, and I'm like, oh man, so then I call. I call the phone and he had my daughter's or the iPad, I forget what. He had the phone or something like that, and no answer. So I'm like maybe he's all right because he, if he's zoned in, he doesn't answer the phone.

Speaker 2:

I'm like, well, maybe you know, but I just had this just nasty feeling. So I was like, james, you stay with Layla, you guys can glass, I'm going to haul ass back to the truck. Um, oh, shoot, I left out. I left out a part, guys. So let me tell you this.

Speaker 2:

So, as we get out, it's sandy. Right, we are on the truck, it's super sandy. I'm telling you, we're rushing, we're getting everything ready. Moises says he wants to stay the whole time. While I'm doing that, preparing everything, my uncle unloads a four-wheeler. We drive the four-wheeler down the fence line to get through the sand. We leave the four-wheeler about a quarter mile from the truck and then we get out and start to beat feet, and so that's, that's a pretty important part there. So I'm like, guys, you know, we're back to where I'm starting to worry about Moises. I'm feeling, man, I don't, I don't really don't like this. You know, it's kind of getting, it's getting a little bit hot. Moises has been at the truck for probably, you know, 40 minutes by itself right now and it's not really his cup of tea anyway. But I don't know, you do get the feeling when something is going on, dude.

Speaker 2:

So I'm starting to get yeah, I'm starting to get worried. So I I turn around, dude, and I just start going back to the four-wheeler as fast as I can. And I get to the four-wheeler and the four-wheeler is parked in the fence in a bush. So I'm like, oh shit, Moises came over here because it wasn't parked like that when we left it, and I see his tracks. So I see his tracks walking away from the four-wheeler.

Speaker 1:

So I'm like, well, at least he's walking back towards the truck. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

He's walking back towards the truck. But you know he's, you know like we're. I said we're already a quarter mile away and and and then he calls me and he's hysterically crying and I'm like, oh, dude, what happened? What's going on? And I just feel like the biggest piece of shit on the planet, dude, like I'm disgusted with myself. How could you do this? It's just an animal. This is the middle of the desert. Like you know, all kinds of things can happen. He could have wandered off, he could have done this, he could have done that. So I'm like son, dad, where are you? Dad? I was looking for you and I was in the. I went looking for you and, dude, and just all these things going through my heart just just feels so like, even right now, I just feel like the worst father on the planet.

Speaker 1:

And I understand. I'm like voices. I got a four-year-old little dude and, like I can't even imagine, I'm sure it all works out because I know who you are Like I feel. I feel the, I don't know the, the your heart. I feel my heart sink, so I know how you feel, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my gosh, dude. So I'm telling him, son, son, because I had been calling him this whole time and nothing, nothing, nothing. So finally he gets across to me, he dials out and happens to catch a signal. I get it. And it was just like Moses, I'm on my way, dad, where are you? He's crying, I'm. I'm sorry, son, I'm sorry, I'm on my way, I'm coming as fast as I can, and you know. So I get to the truck and on the four wheeler and I'm hauling ass as fast as I can.

Speaker 2:

And two is just the worst. I just feel terrible even thinking about it. And I see his tracks. You know where he could stop, and he's looking. And then just I get there and he's just falling his head off dude in the truck, and he's fine, and the dude, like I can see it, man, and like it's, it's probably like 930, 1030, probably about 1030 in the morning, but his lips are dry. Like you know, this is the desert, it's getting hot. Like he didn't have chapstick is probably as simple as it was.

Speaker 2:

But in my mind I'm like, oh, my God, my son's been out here for two days. He's all chapped up and sunburnt, you know, and that's what it looked like and it's probably what it felt like to him at a 10 years old like very traumatizing, as what I envisioned. I don't know. I think that hopefully I'm making it worse, but you know I'm hope I am envisioning it worse than it was for him. But you know he's crying and I'm just so sad and I'm apologizing to him, son, and I'm trying, you know, to really not get mad because I'm like, son, you don't walk away. You told me you were going to stay here. You know, when you said you were going to stay here, I understood that you were going to stay here. You never leave, you never leave.

Speaker 1:

Emotions for you in every direction, oh my gosh.

Speaker 2:

And so he you know we're talking and I get him you know, some Gatorade and stuff, and the cooler was strapped down with the tie down super tight. He couldn't get him one done to get you know the Gatorade and stuff. And he was just sad and crying and you know, booger face, it just gosh. I just I just felt, felt Terrible dude. And so I'm just hugging on him and telling him I love him and trying to do my best to say hey, bud, like you did a good job by coming back to the truck, Like your thoughts were right. He said I got. So he starts doing something like well, tell me what you were thinking. That's, let's walk through this son, let's figure out what, what happened, you know. So he tells me well, I was in here and I was starting to get scared because you guys were gone for a long time. So I went outside and I started yelling for you and no, I didn't hear anything. So I saw the tracks from the four wheeler. So I started following the tracks and then I would yell for you from the tracks. And then he said at one point I yelled and I thought I heard somebody yell back to me from the opposite side of the fence he goes, and that scared me because you said you were going to be on that side, on this other side, so I don't know if somebody was yelling at me.

Speaker 2:

I'm pretty sure he heard his echo off of a mountain range in the back, but so he started getting scared. And then he said you know, I'm walking on the, on the road, and then I hear all these noises from the bushes and we have these giant lizards, do like you know, a foot long lizards that are running across and think, you know, just scaring the crap out of him. Just, you know, you think everything is dangerous when you're out there by yourself. So he's afraid, he's by himself and you know, it's just not his element. And so he's telling me this and I, just, I just like, lose some of my soul with every word. He's telling me, dude, and it's just the worst, the worst, and I'm trying to listen to him and trying to understand his thoughts and logic and you know, coach, the whole time.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, that was a good idea. You saw the tracks, you stayed on the tracks, it was a good idea. And he goes, you know. And then I saw your tracks and I started to follow them and I was like, oh shit, Like number one, there's snakes out there. Number two the tracks disappear. He's not a track reader I can follow tracks but yeah, dude, it's all it takes.

Speaker 2:

You know, if I walked through a where where her decals had went through, gone, there's no idea where he's going and I and then now I don't know where he's at, so he goes. So I walked back and followed you for a minute, but then I walked back to the road and just went to the four wheeler. Then I started the four wheeler and tried to turn it, but it was so sandy he drove up and into the fence and was yelling from there and then he decided to walk back. So he walked, he got to the four wheeler, turned it around, got it stuck in the fence and then walked all the way back to the truck. And shortly thereafter hopefully shortly thereafter, that's when I found him. We talked about it and you know he jumped on with me and we took the four wheeler back to go get my uncle and my daughter. Oh bro.

Speaker 2:

So, needless to say, the rest of the day was just absolute misery, just thinking of what could have happened and if there was this or that. Or even now, dude, like you know, how many of us have such a simple you know? And? And is it a mistake? I don't know if it was a mistake because he should have not moved. You know, is it a mistake on my? It's probably. It's a mistake on both of our parts. Like I'm not saying it on blameless, but like if you tell me you're not going to get out, don't get out Him. And I should probably have talked about that a little bit more. Like I promise you now, if he says he's not going to get out, he's not going to get out, but you know.

Speaker 1:

I will say this, Armando, like it's the, it's easy to dive into what could have happened.

Speaker 2:

Sure.

Speaker 1:

And fortunately none of it did what I will say as a 10 year old. Your little dude is way braver than I was a 10 year old because I would I would not. I don't even know what I would, man, I would have flooded your truck with tears.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yeah, so he sounds he sounds like a little, a little monster in the making. But yes, you're right, it's. You're going to dig yourself a hole just thinking about all the things that could have happened. Either way, he's smart enough to go back to the truck and he's smart enough to follow all the tracks, and he did minus leaving the truck. I think he did everything about right.

Speaker 2:

I think you're, yeah, absolutely right. I just wish I wouldn't have put him in that situation to have to do that. That's kind of what it boils down to. I'm like, dude, it's just an animal, like it's just an animal. But you know, you get so and in my mind, if I see it, I'm killing it Like there's no question about it. I see him, I know where he's at, I got good wind, I got topography. I'm like this is, this is a dead oryx, that's, there's no two things about it. We'll be home by lunch. And but now, so so that transpired, dude, that's opening day, day one, find one oryx and it gives us the ghost. And my son, that happens to my son. So you know, we hunted for a couple hours, kind of on our way out and I was like dude, you guys ready to go, like this has been a, it's been a long day, so we a lot of emotions, a lot, of, a lot of energy spent.

Speaker 2:

Dude. A lot, of, a lot of energy spent with, just so, my poor uncle. He's like dude, that's not your fault Like he's trying to walk me off the ledge. You know, and nothing happened. He's your uncle, right You're yes, he's my wife's uncle, You're okay, but him and I him and I have been hunting partners for years, so he's got kids.

Speaker 1:

You see the same guy that drove over your foot in that other story.

Speaker 2:

Exactly Okay. Okay, all right, I'm going to get the culprit. He's the usual suspect.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay, keep going, I'm sorry, that's one of my favorite stories. I had to bring it up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's him. So, anyway, he's like buddy, like you know, you couldn't have known and if he wouldn't have gotten out, none of this, you know, would have happened. Like it's okay, you know he's okay, we're okay, we're just going to learn from it, and you know all the right things. And. But at the time I'm like, dude, I don't want to hear that I'm just a piece of shit and there's nothing that you can tell me to make me feel any better and I just need time, I need to process it, I need to heal my son, I need to make sure that he's okay. Like those are the things that are going through my mind, Nothing else. Yeah, not, you know.

Speaker 2:

And uh, dude, so that was the first time we went, so that was day one of this 30 day hunt, you know, and we had just planned on trying to get out on the weekends a day here, a day there and um, so that was day one. Dude, I come home, gotta tell my wife about our experience and talk about feeling like more of a piece of shit. Like, tell your wife what you just put your son through. I know.

Speaker 1:

I could, just I could see her like hitting you in the chest, like how could you leave?

Speaker 2:

him. I uh yeah.

Speaker 1:

I understand where you were coming from and I understand what you just went into.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh, dude, so it was. It was brutal, but him and I talked a lot about it and, you know, tried to make sense of everything and where you made good decisions and where you could have made better decisions and, just, you know, definitely use it as a learning experience and, um, something that I'm sure we won't have to deal with again, uh, but yeah, a learning experience nonetheless. That was, you know, like we always say in our family, is from the guy who built my gun, mark. You know he always say it's all part of the adventure, bro, and that's what we chalked it up to, you know, and we always say that, daddy, it's part of the adventure. And I'll tell the kids, hey, it didn't happen, it's part of the adventure. Like, we don't, like this is the good stuff guys Like, believe it or not, like these, these little things will be in your mind forever, and I agree, man.

Speaker 1:

And I also think, like you've told me some pretty amazing hunting stories and you've also told me that this is the your number one, and maybe you know I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a, I'm not a paid professional, armando but maybe it's because you hit such a low, low on this hunt.

Speaker 2:

Oh dude.

Speaker 1:

And maybe when you get to what I'm going to assume is a high high. Yeah, that's that like that. That's why this story is so big for you, because it's it just brought a full spectrum of emotion, which is cool.

Speaker 2:

And then that's.

Speaker 1:

I think, I think, I think this is maybe a little bit more emphasized than normal hunting stories, but like part of the reason every hunting story is great is because it sucks a little bit. And so like you, yeah, you found some extra suck.

Speaker 2:

Oh dude, well, when you, when you fall to the bottom. You got to climb really high to the top.

Speaker 1:

You found some extra suck to make the highs higher to make that that distance better and to make this story that much more grand for you and hopefully for all of the listeners as well.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, absolutely that, definitely. So that's what we're contending with guys on day one.

Speaker 1:

That's that's.

Speaker 2:

That's how this hunt started. So long story short from that. We made it home. Ok, talk to the wife, talk to voices about it, and he didn't take him out again.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. He actually by the time we were home, even when it was done, like we were two hours in, I'm like, son, you ready to go? He goes now we can hunt. I'm OK, Like let's go, and and for his mannerisms and for you know the way he is like I was really proud of him and really surprised that he didn't want to say, dude, I just want to go back home. But he was like no, we can hunt, we're already here and that's pretty awesome. So, you know, I just drove slow, I was on my way home, but I wanted to let him know like we can't give up because one bad thing happened. Like we're here, we have a job to do.

Speaker 2:

Like we're just because just just because one little thing took place doesn't mean we call it quits and tuck tail and go home. So I just made kind of a slow loop and just drove really, really slow and was stopping and talking and trying to give mind off of you know and the story of this or that or whatever, and I think, all in all, like I, was probably able to salvage it. You know fairly well for for what transpired, because he's never brought it up or been sad about it, or you know. So that's comforting and I had never really thought of that until I brought it up with this story. You know, telling you in such detail that he's never brought it up and been sad or scared or anything like that about it. So that's, that's kind of cool, yeah, so, yeah. So day one ends, we tell mama all as well, we get up and we gear up for another hunt the following weekend and I'm going hunting with another buddy. So now this time Moises hops to stay home.

Speaker 2:

It's a it's Layla, myself and a good friend of mine that retired from the fire department Sean, sean, doubt, and just a salt of the earth human being, and has killed tons of oryx off rain, and so he's like, hey, well, I'll go with you, we'll try a couple of spots I've killed a couple in and see what happens. I'll just show you some different country. And so we did. We got out, we went for another day trip and he showed us some spots. We didn't see a damn thing. We saw where they had crossed in and out. He was like man, they like to cross here and they'll come out, they'll hit this water that's here, and then they'll go back. So, sure enough, dude, those fresh, fresh tracks, and we could see the oryx on the white sands and this will range, and it's posted. It's posted, you know, we see a half a dozen or so, like a couple of yards off, and we just missed them, like just missed them, and so, anyway, that's the way it goes, that's all we saw. We hunted, hunted hard, and they ended and didn't, didn't see nothing. But I learned some new country and I could see where they were coming in and out of. So I was like, well, they left. You know we'll, we'll come back and give it another shot, baby, but we're done for the day.

Speaker 2:

And so I had to come home and the following weekend had to travel up to Pugosa, colorado, for a mountain archery fest. We had our booth set up and Doug and I were doing our thing with the bow hitch and so fast forward past that, layla and I, for the next weekend. I have a land cruiser and I have a sleeping platform built in the back. So I'm like Layla bear said you ready to go kill one? I said if we get home in time, we can load up the truck, we can get out, hunt for about an hour and a half, maybe two hours. We'll spend the night in the truck and then we'll hunt the morning and then make it home by whatever we had to do the next day.

Speaker 2:

And she's like, yeah, daddy, let's go.

Speaker 2:

So I said, okay, I loaded up all of our stuff, she has her gear, I have my gear and we get out there.

Speaker 2:

And she had enough time to drive a little bit dude. And so this is her first time driving. Like she's driven our side by side, which is pretty close to a car. But you know, I gave her a little bit of time to get to the spot we needed to go and she's driving by herself and the cruiser and we get to talk and she's, she's having a blast and doing really good, like there's one brush, one big brush on the side of the road and she freaking smashes it with the side of the cruiser. And I'm like, oh my gosh, layla, there's one freaking bush and this whole thing you could have hit and you hit it and so. But she did really good, she had a good time and and that was it. So we get out there, she drives. Finally we were glassing. I see an Oryx dude and I'm like oh shit, baby, here we go. I said I got him Start working our way to this Oryx Dude just hauling butt.

Speaker 1:

Get to them on my way to the Oryx and then how far out was it when you first spotted it?

Speaker 2:

Probably probably three miles like far Okay.

Speaker 1:

You're hauling butt in the truck, right, so you're not hiking three miles.

Speaker 2:

Well, we drove about a half a mile and then the road kicked up. So now we're about to hike a couple of miles, but I'm working my way there. There was two of them and I have them on video. So I'm like, well, it doesn't matter, We'll shoot either one. So we start working our way over there. And then I'm like man, I need to, I need to check our back trail, because there was two fence crossings where they had crossed the day or the week before. And so, sure enough, dude, I looked back and there's Oryx on the fence. So I'm like change of plans, baby, we got some here, like 800 yards away. Let's close this gap. As soon as they cross the fence, smash. We're done Like right here by the truck.

Speaker 2:

So, sure enough, we start to do a stock. We get a big bush behind us. I could see the Oryx. They're working their way to the fence, to the fence, to the fence, to the fence. I run out of cover. So I stopped, set her up on the gun, get it dialed in. She's watching them and they're just feeding dude. Up and down the fence, up and down the fence, up and down the fence, and they get stuck. I'm like mother effort. So we walk back to the truck in the dark. We drive down the way a little bit and just to get out of the area park the truck dude. I pull out the cooler, pull out our chairs. Her and I had bought subway on the way down there.

Speaker 1:

We enjoyed a nice subway.

Speaker 2:

She had a gate or a water, whatever, had me a beer and we just chatted, watched the stars and had the best night. We just talked and just had a wonderful night and I said love you the nights in the Southwest dude.

Speaker 1:

they were perfect.

Speaker 2:

Epic. So I told her. I said, well, let's get some sleep and we'll get up and we'll kill them in the morning. I'm sure they fed in here, we'll find them on our side. And so we went to bed. Dude set my alarm, woke up, walked out there to where they were at, set up, started glassing nothing. I found a couple. I found a couple on side the missile range and that was it. So it was, that was that hunt. So we hunted all morning. Dude had to get back for the day, for the afternoon, and so that was it.

Speaker 1:

How far is this spot or this missile range from where you live roughly? We're about two hours.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so it's good. Drive Two hours, it's a good, yeah. I mean yeah. So we end that day with nothing, dude, we get back to town and that's a wrap. I kind of leave everything in the truck because I know we're going to try to go back out the next weekend. So we we, you know do our thing for the week next weekend.

Speaker 2:

I'm like, okay, baby, we have another chance to make an evening of it. We're going to have another two hour hunt in the evening, and but what we're going to do is we're going to go to the spot where we found the Oryx, real far away, and I'm going to glass that area first. I'm going to see if they come out in that kind of thick stuff. And okay, daddy, you know, whatever it's like, it makes no difference to her, okay, daddy. So I said we're going to have to get up, I'm going to walk on the point and glass, and then wherever we have to go from there, we'll go. We'll just leave the truck there and sleep in the truck again.

Speaker 2:

Okay, sounds good. We're not going to get enough, dude to get to our spot. Start glassing. Sun's going down quick this time. I must have got there a little bit later and the wind is howling man Probably and I wouldn't say howling because for New Mexico's blowing pretty good, it was probably 25, you know, 20, 25 miles an hour, which was not great, knowing I was gonna probably have to take a decent shot.

Speaker 1:

But you guys have in New Mexico, you guys have like super wind where like a gust of wind will knock down forests, right.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, yeah, yeah, yeah, we shit gets Western real quick in many different ways.

Speaker 1:

You guys have some gnarly stuff I don't even know. I heard about that. I think I actually heard it on the Elk Bros when they went hunting somewhere.

Speaker 2:

Oh, joe, yeah Joe, jillia. Yeah, that whole mountain fell down, dude. Yeah, where they were at, I can't even imagine we do have those. I live in the front range of Colorado.

Speaker 1:

When I'm in Colorado and we have you know, 30 mile an hour, sustained winds, often enough with 100 mile an hour gusts, but it's nothing that's not can force down. So I can't even imagine what you guys got down there. So, but I interrupted, continue. Yeah no, no problem.

Speaker 2:

So I'm up on this hill and I'm glassing and I could see the fence line where the Oryx had traveled in and out of before, and then I can also see where the Oryx were that I was originally going after the first two that I had spotted the week before. And so I'm, dude, I'm glassing my heart out, I'm glassing, I'm trying so hard and like maybe I'll find them. I know I will baby. And she's just behind me, dude, playing with sticks and throwing rocks and drawing in the sand, and she could care less, like Just happened to be a dad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she'll just look up and go when I turn around and tell her okay, daddy, and just dude, this, the she's just a beautiful, a beautiful little girl inside and out, and so she's just happy to be there. Dude, I have my backpack on, I have all of our stuff. I got food, I got water, and when I say food and water, I mean enough for the evening, you know, to rehab some snacks and some water, cause the truck's right here. We're in a plan on going anywhere. So I'm glassing, basically west, southwest, and the sun's going down and I'm just watching it go down. I'm like, oh my gosh, come on man. I'm like, pick up my tripod, pivot, get to a new high spot, start glassing south fricking. Find one dude Like baby, I got one. She goes. Really. I said, yeah, I got one.

Speaker 1:

I said okay.

Speaker 2:

I turned around and I looked down her with my finger and I said Layla, he's far baby, he's like two miles away. We have probably like 40 minutes, something like that. Like, if you want to kill him, we could probably get on him, but we got to go and we're going to work hard. She goes, let's go kill him, let's go. So.

Speaker 1:

I said okay, dude, I got that yeah.

Speaker 2:

I throw my rifle on the solution, dude, that you know sling, I get the big tripod and we're hauling ass, and we're hauling ass and we keep going and we're still hauling ass and we keep going. But I had a really good landmark behind me. There was a small mountain range that came up behind me, so I had a peak that I was marking and just made a beeline. The sand that was pretty sandy, so that I got kind of tough to get through, you know, moving at a quick, brisk pace. But as we start getting pretty close to her I think he's at a freaking group of cows is in there and they're starting to look at me pretty funny and make all kinds of noise Moo cows, moo cows, yes it. And so I'm like damn it. So I was like well, we're running out of time, like if they blow them out, maybe we'll see him and we'll get a shot. I think he's still a little further away. So, dude, just by the grace of God, they veered off to the right instead of going away from us, and they got out of the way and they didn't blow anything out, they didn't. They just kind of moved out of our way and chilled out, dude, and I said okay, layla, we're doing good, baby, let's go.

Speaker 2:

And so we kept going and going, dude, and as I'm getting close, I see this, this area where I'm like Layla, he's gotta be right here, you know, and I'm doing the whole whisper and I'm like baby, and I stop and I get the gun on the tripod and I'd lock it in. We start creeping up and I'm like Layla, he's right here, he has to be right here, be ready. So she's, I'm holding the gun, cause the freaking things, like you know, 10 pounds, you know. And then with the tripod, probably 12 pounds, and so it's actually hard to pick up and move. And then I have her carrying my binocular tripod and so she's running and setting it up and then running behind the gun.

Speaker 2:

And so it was. It was. It was a little circus there for a minute, but I'm like baby, he's gotta be right here, dude. I creep up and over this hill 70 yards away, just standing there broadside 70. And I'm like oh shit. And then he turns and he sees me and he kind of startles. And I startle and and try to get her on the gun without, you know, making too much commotion, and he kind of takes just a few steps off and gets behind this bush, and so I get her on the gun and he blows out. He's like okay, something's happening, and but he runs over?

Speaker 1:

Did he hurt you when you said oh shit, no he had seen me first.

Speaker 2:

He saw us when we came over the hill. His visual, he saw me, cause we had really good wind. The wind was in our face the whole time, the sun was off to our right, was already going down, and so we had everything working really good for us and he was just feeding. He just caught our movement as we came up over and crested and he was just literally right there. Dude, I could have shot him with my bow and and so, anyway, he feeds or he kind of boogers a little bit over this one hill, and then behind him was a. So there's a little hill that he was on. He feeds his runs up and over it, but behind that I could see I had a pretty good hillside. So I said, oh well, smoke is ass when he comes out of here, you know.

Speaker 2:

So I got her on the gun. I said, laila, he's going to pop out over here, baby, just be ready. So I have the gun. It's dialed, it's set at 200 yards. Oryx runs out. Dude stops at 220. Laila, what Stops at 220. I said, laila, get on him. When you're on him, and mass dude wax him. So I'm like, oh, freaking, great job. So he runs a little bit. I'm on him 100% Rock another bullet, he stops and beds and I have it all on video. Dude, it's freaking awesome oh man.

Speaker 2:

She puts another one in him bugged, smoked out dude, just dead right there. Just two great, great shots she put on him and he piled up right there Sun's down, dude, some. This is getting dark now so I'm like, well, he's dead, let's work our way over there. So we get to him, and as we get to him it's literally dark, and so we take a couple of pictures and we make a couple of phone calls and it was cool. I had to walk up and away from where the Oryx was to make the phone calls Cause he died in like a little depression on that hillside and battery's going low on my phone. This is all good yeah.

Speaker 2:

The battery's low on my phone. We're a good two miles away from the truck. It's me and Layla with some snacks and some waters to hold us over from, you know, for a hike, and we have this giant dead Oryx here. So I walk up, we make a couple phone calls and one of my buddies the guy that was with us the week before, who had told us, hey, try this area, shanno. He lives from where we were hunting, about three hours away. So I call him and he's like, oh man, right on, good for you. And he knows this area intimately. And so I tell him where I'm at. He's like, oh great, right on, dude. He said you want some help. When I said, well, I ain't going to say no, shanno, but you're a long way away, dude, he goes. I'll be on my truck in 20 minutes. On the way he goes, I'm going to get my neighbor up and we're going to go help.

Speaker 1:

I said OK, you can't wake him up.

Speaker 2:

You got it. You got it Because it was still only like probably close to 9 o'clock, 8, 30. So he goes, I'll be there in a little bit. I'm like all right, cool, so I know he knows the area. I give him perfect directions. He goes OK, you're at the gate by the house and you turned in. I said, yep, you'll see my truck Follow our tracks in there. Just stay on our tracks and you'll be all right. All right, I'll see you in a bit, a couple hours, all right. So me and Leila get to work.

Speaker 2:

Dude, we cut this oryx up, we take some pictures and we have them all quartered and laid out. We got him in game bags, like he's 100% ready to go. So it's starting to get late and I'm like, well, sean should be here pretty soon. Like I should be seeing some headlights and I could see the highway and every once in a while we see these headlights and these headlights and these headlights. And keep in mind that I have heard down at the oryx and I'm walking up to the top of this hill to make these phone calls and to see if I'm missing any calls. My battery's going dead, yeah, so OK, forgot to mention this. Well, as we're quartering it up, I'm probably, I don't know dude 20 minutes into quartering them up, headlamp number one goes down.

Speaker 1:

Now we're down to one head.

Speaker 2:

Number one. So now we're down to head to one headlamp.

Speaker 1:

Let me ask is that because you and your daughter each have one, or did you have a backup as well? Was your backup on your daughter.

Speaker 2:

No, I only had a backpack. She didn't have anything. I had my backpack with two headlamps, because I usually took two, so I was going to give one to her, but I always have a spare for myself, so my spare was going to be hers. So we have the two headlamps. One of them goes down. We're down to one headlamp. We're two miles from the truck.

Speaker 2:

My buddy's coming to the spot that I told him about. So I'm like well, we'll just relax. Baby, we have our snacks, we're drinking the water. So now I'm like shit, we're going to be here for like three hours. We're really trying to take care of this water now.

Speaker 2:

And this is like mind games start to come into me now, because now it's like 10 o'clock, 10, 30, 11 o'clock and I'm like, ok, well, he's got to be getting here pretty soon. A, I can have her walk another two miles back with me. Hope this headlamp doesn't die, hope my cell phone doesn't also die, and hope we're able to stay on these tracks in the pitch black and get back to the truck, you know, like in the middle of the night. So I'm like well, let's just chill, he's on his way, let's chill out. I get cause like we happen to kill this orex at the perfect dead giant brush. So I gather some sticks, I get a bunch of debris, I build us a fire. So she's laying down, we're happy, we're smoking and joking and talking and I'm so proud of her and you know, oh, daddy does and that. And you know she's getting tired and I give her a little more snacks and no, daddy, you have some. And so just just like epic, like we have some good conversation, I tell her how proud I am, like I'm like, well, baby, now we'll just wait. You know, like we're safe here, there's nothing going on, we'll just wait till he comes. So why don't you just go ahead and lay down by this fire?

Speaker 2:

I held it for a while, passes out, just snoring, just exhausted, all that emotion, tired anyway, you know, without teenagers like to sleep, and so if, dude, she curls up into a ball and just passes out next to that fire, dude, and sleeps, and sleeps, and so this whole time I'm starting to my mind's starting to wander, like do I just get her back to the truck? Like it's warm? It was t-shirt weather, like literally she had a light jacket on and I think I was in my Merino wool shirt and that was it. Like it was perfect. Like the wind stopped. God was taking care of us. The wind stopped 100%. It was warm, it was just like the perfect night.

Speaker 2:

So I built her a little fire. She was just curled up by the fire and I'm sitting there thinking I'm like, okay, do I just make a go for it, like I could come back and get this meet in the morning and that'll be okay, should I? You know, like it was just I was fighting that fight with myself quite a bit. So I'm like, well, if I walk over there and Sean comes from this other road for whatever reason, then he's not gonna find us because I'm not in the spot where I marked on Amix to tell him to come and my phone is dying. I said, okay then if my phone dies, like all these things are just going through my mind, like I need to. Not, I need to not move because Sean knows where I'm at. I need to move because she's probably tired and gonna get hungry and it might cool off a little bit more. I knew it wouldn't cool off too much more but, like you know, just to get her back and so I've got to do them just playing these games in my mind, you know, with myself, and I go up to the top of the hill and I just wait to see if my phone gets any random voice mails of where he's at. And, dude, it's 12 o'clock, it's 1230.

Speaker 2:

Finally, sean O calls me. I'm on the top or I get ahold of him, and what one of the two? But we get ahold of each other and he's like man, where are you? And I'm like dude, I'm like I could have swore I just saw your headlights. Are you in this area? He goes yeah, I am.

Speaker 2:

I said, well, you know, I'm on that road, dude, that's where I was at. He goes well, shit, I came in on a different road because I went to that road and I didn't see your tracks. So I thought you might've been mistaken and I was like no, they're there, but it's rocky at the beginning and of course everything looks different at night. I said, yeah, dude, we got through the rocky portion. You can't see my tracks, but we're just past that. So he came up through another way so I could see his headlamps.

Speaker 2:

So I'm like, oh, frickin' cool dude. Cool, cool, cool, like they're coming, but it just seems like they're taking forever, and forever and forever. So I go up to the top of the hill and I shoot my gun While my freaking gun is suppressed. I didn't think about that. So he, finally, he sees me. I get to the top of the hill on flash I'm trying to conserve my headlight so I don't want to just keep you know so I flash him with the headlight when I see him and they finally start working directly towards me. And so, dude, they come up to me and he had a like we were fine, Layla was still asleep. You know, it's just my brain going a million miles an hour Like my poor baby's here After the first trip that we were in the atom.

Speaker 2:

I'm like dude, you are the worst dad on the planet. And so, luckily, sean, he had stopped at the cruiser and brought my daughter's backpack. He had asked me. When we saw the headlights I said, okay, on your way in, stop at the truck, get the other backpack. And because she wanted to, she was adamant I want to help Carrie, you know. So I said, get, do me a favor, bring her backpack with her and a couple of waters, and we'll be fine. And so finally they got to us and he's like you know, you ought to take that suppressor off if you're going to shoot in the air. So I could hear you.

Speaker 2:

He goes. I could just hear a couple of psss, psss, psss, psss, psss, psss, psss, psss, psss, psss. When I heard the second one, I knew for sure it was you, because I knew you were shooting that gun. But yeah, just something simple to think about, for you know the listeners like that's funny. It hadn't crossed my mind, I shot, and it was you know, I don't know, so that that Loud enough for you, but not for anyone else.

Speaker 2:

Loud enough for me, like she slept through it. She was still asleep at the fire. So when they got there they were like, where's Layla? I'm like she's right there. And they were like, oh shit, she's like she's still bald up at the fire. So I woke her up and she gave him a big old hug and said thank you. And now, man, we, we loaded up the Oryx and and and um, divvied it up. I took, I took two Heinz out and some, uh, some loose meat, and then, uh, the guys took the other quarters and, uh, the head and um, we got it out of there, dude, and uh, we ended up getting back to my truck at four AM, yeah, so it was such a long night, but my girl was right next to me the whole way.

Speaker 2:

Um, she never complained once, and uh. So when we finally got back to the truck, he told me where he kind of went wrong and took these other roads and whatever, and uh, but he, we got to his truck, he got us back to our truck, and, um, my poor girl dude, she, she gets inside, she goes. Daddy, I'm kind of hungry. Think I could eat that subway that we were supposed to eat for dinner.

Speaker 1:

And um dude she smoked.

Speaker 2:

She smoked a foot long at four AM. She was exhausted and hungry and just didn't complain one bit, dude.

Speaker 2:

So well well, I was unloading and putting everything in my truck and moving everything over, she was enjoying her subway and, uh, and he was like, well, let's get home. And so we just drove home from there, dude. I got home at six in the morning and, uh, we had an oryx in the back of the truck and it was, uh, it was freaking epic dude. But, uh, like the, the, the things, yeah, the things I remember the most, like our sitting there looking at the stars. You know, two trips before, when we were just going to sleep in the truck, just chatting with her there, um, and then the night that, uh, that we killed it. I got to talk to her, you know, and, and just ask her questions, and I had her, really cool. I just gave her my phone and I said, layla, I'm not going to post this anywhere, um, but just tell me what you're thinking and what your emotions are and and kind of capture, capture, whatever's going through your mind. This is just for you and for me, um, you know we don't, we don't need to put this anywhere, but, uh, man, she, she did a really good job with the, with well uh, other than doing this with the phone and moving it like and I get

Speaker 2:

vertigo so quick so I could only listen to it. I can't watch it. So it was hilarious because when I got it and I actually watched it, I was like what the hell are you doing, dude? Like I couldn't even use this if I wanted to because she's moving all over the place and it made me literally car sick to watch it. That's too funny. It was hilarious, dude, but we just we had some really good conversations and we're holding hands and just, uh, you know, she was with me the whole way, dude, and right on my heels. Every time I look back at which, since her first ever Anilopunta, eight years old, right on my heels, I would turn around. She just gave me that big smile and you, okay, baby, yeah, daddy.

Speaker 1:

Okay, let's go. That's so sweet that I uh, it makes my heart warm. Man, I've got two kids and they're not old enough to hunt with me yet, but like I can't wait, I can't wait.

Speaker 2:

I can't wait to have these kinds of stories for myself.

Speaker 1:

Um, I know that I won't do everything perfect, and um, and it's nice to hear that your story didn't go perfect, because that makes me feel better Cause I know it like there's no right or wrong way to do it, it's just about getting out there and doing it. And, uh, I'm jealous and I'm excited for the future for you, armando, for both your daughter and your son, to have more adventures, and for me, uh, I'm excited to get out there with my kids, man it's.

Speaker 1:

I think that's what it's all about, yeah, and the next thing I'm going to do is uh, I've said it on the podcast before I know I'm never going to be a very good hunter but I'm going to do my damnedest if my kids are into it, to make them some very good hunters, and I'm excited to have some story or share some stories of their adventures.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, man, you know, you know what I've learned over it is just, uh, it's, it's like like we say it's all part of the adventure, like the animals sometimes you're there, sometimes they're not like kill something. It kind of takes the fun out of it, like you know, when you got clients and stuff, it kind of it kind of takes a spark out of it. And and I realized for myself that I do put a lot of pressure on myself just cause I've been fortunate to be very successful Um, that people kind of just expect it including myself, you know, for my kids, like we're going to go kill something, like we're not going hiking, we're going to kill something. So I put that added pressure I know I do on myself and it's like, dude, let's just go, whatever, you know, it's just hard for me to good catch, it's just hard for me to uh turn off. Uh, you know that kill mode it's. It's just not a switch that easily gets, gets, uh, gets turned down.

Speaker 2:

So, as a parent, like if you're going to go and you're going to take your kid out, like their comfort level is first and foremost, you know, and the basics you know, go over the basics, cause. The basics are what save you and what keep your head on straight and, uh, and and that's what makes an enjoyable experience, because the majority of times I hear people who say they don't like hunting or fishing is because they're first, one and two times that they did it was a shitty experience. Uh, they weren't prepared, they weren't told what it was going to be like. They had no idea really. So if you go and you make it a fun experience that's comfortable for them, um, I think you'll be really setting yourself up for uh, many years of hunting with your kiddos. Dude, I think so, man.

Speaker 1:

I also loved how um it's like not even a big part of the story, but it's something that you mentioned multiple times is like every night that you had with just either your son or just your daughter just out there and you're like you just talked like it just had those conversations, Uh um, where there's no.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I know that your son had a tablet early on, but like you're just having conversations with your daughter, You're laying down in the back of the truck. You're just getting to know who this little person is becoming and I think that's pretty awesome.

Speaker 2:

It's, it's, they change so much every year Um oh yeah, absolutely yeah, and he, he, uh, you know they're. They're both not allowed to be it and I'll be on them all the time, but there's a time and a place. Like dude, this is a shitty stretch. Everybody's tired. Just log on for a little bit so you can relax, and when it's time to focus, we can focus. But they're uh, they're both pretty good about that.

Speaker 2:

So um, but that night it is nowadays, unfortunately, it is, but it uh, it uh. Everything that's managed, right is, is is fine.

Speaker 1:

So 100% my my wife and actually my entire family. We took a road trip from Colorado to um. I'm trying to blank out on the national park, but it's basically the Canadian border in Montana. What is it? Glacier to glacier, yeah and uh. You know like, we did it with a one year old and a three year old, and you know what? That three year old got some tablet time on the door, oh yeah, but when?

Speaker 1:

we got to camp. He couldn't have been happier. We had brought his bike. He's running around in nature. There's deer walking by like it's a.

Speaker 2:

It's a necessary evil, it is and and it dude, honestly, it doesn't hurt him. Like I would remember my parents being like oh, look at that pretty bird. I'm like oh my gosh, stop pointing out birds, dude.

Speaker 2:

Leave me alone, you know, and it's funny now, now we do the same thing. I'm like bro, look at that, eagle is just gorgeous. And they're like I roll severe, I roll like shut up. Yeah, it's a necessary evil, but uh, yeah, you manage it. It's cool. They don't get it all the time, but uh, there's definitely a time and a place when it's when it comes in handy.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. And well, Armando, that was an amazing story. I understand why it trumps your other stories, because it's uh, doesn't involve you being as dumb yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, cause you're, you're other ones, yep.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, you know, those are. Those are my personal favorites. Are people being?

Speaker 1:

dumb hunting stories, and so I love. That's maybe why I love them so much. But here's my thing is I think that, uh, you're just on the cusp of having a bun of stories that just keep trumping each other. I think you're gonna keep going out with your kids. You may have a couple of years off, really, when it comes down to it, but I think your kids are gonna be out there and every time they put something down, and every adventure you have with them, is this gonna be a better story than the year before.

Speaker 2:

Oh, dude, yeah, I cherish every one of them, but I thought that one was really cool just because it didn't start out the way you typically think of them starting off new. But it's something that can happen really quick that all of us need to really think about. Hopefully you guys can learn from my lesson and just have that conversation with your kid before it comes into play like, hey, if you ever get lost, just stop, don't move, we'll find the last place you were, but if you leave, I have no idea where you went. So it's a very basic principle. It's saved a lot of people's lives. So it's a little bit dramatic, but at the same time it's a fact.

Speaker 1:

Yep, yep, absolutely man.

Speaker 2:

So yeah.

Speaker 1:

No, that's 100% true, and your little guy did. He was smart enough to go back to where he started. Yeah, definitely a good lesson. But, armando, do you have any other stories for us? If not, I get it. We've been on. That was a good one and it was a long one.

Speaker 2:

That was a good one. I don't know how long we are, but yeah, Thanks for following along guys. Yeah, I don't remember how long we talked before we hit record.

Speaker 1:

But why don't we tell the people you got a couple cool things coming. I think I have my favorite thing of the holidays. You're about to kick off, so why don't we?

Speaker 2:

tell people about what you got going on and where they can find you.

Speaker 2:

So, guys, a wonderful opportunity to participate in something that is free, that is simple and that could pay dividends in ways that you'll probably never know, but where the trickle effect you know what do they call it? The ripple. You just never know how far this is gonna go out and what exactly. What I'm talking about is. We do a random acts of kindness campaign every January, so this is gonna be our third January and it's for the entire month. It's free to get into. It started.

Speaker 2:

You know, like I said, three years ago, my brother gave me a spotting scope the business was just getting started and he told me brother, here this is. You know, he's not a rich guy by any means. He's got little kids and he's like I got this for you. If you said and I want you to do whatever you want to with it, he goes you can give it away, you can sell it, you can raffle it, you can get followers with it, I don't care, but I want you to have it. And he gave it to me in November of 2020. And so I was like damn, dude, thank you. You know, that's cool. I don't know what I'm gonna do with it. So I sat on it for a while and come January you know it was around Christmas time when I decided what I really wanted to do with it and at the time, you know, the country's kind of at odds with each other for whatever reason, you know just everybody's yeah, yeah, kind of in the middle man, and everybody's just upset at everybody for whatever reason.

Speaker 2:

You know the election for COVID, for this, for that. So everybody's just pissed and they just pissed about everything. And so I said you know what? Let's give this away, man. Let's try to get people to do something kind for a stranger. So one random act of kindness is all you need to do to get into this to win this spotting scope.

Speaker 2:

And once I posted that my local archery shop I told them what I was doing and they asked me to go over to check on her inventory quote unquote at their shop. And the dude gave me a brand new bow to give away. He goes here, man, this is for you, I want to be a part of that random act. Just give this away to somebody. And, dude, and it grew from there.

Speaker 2:

So we ended up that first year with 14 prizes and then the following year got bigger and then last year a good friend of mine from out in Maui donated an access deer hunt and he said why don't you give this away, dude? Once you tell somebody they can come hunt on my place and they could kill a buck in the doe and that'll be your prize for your random act of kindness. And so, dude, it's just skyrocketed from there, the stories you go through and you read them in the comments, and I've literally been in tears with some of them, because they do impact lives. Man, it is the frickin' coolest thing. And not only does the random act of kindness impact the life, but some of the prizes have impacted lives, and the guy that won that first bow shot his first elk ever with archery equipment, with that bow, and was in tears.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's amazing, I didn't know that. Tears bro.

Speaker 2:

Crying tears of joy and just so grateful, so frickin' grateful. And so another guy he won a first form thing last year. First form like a workout type of stuff, supplements and personal training, just via the internet and talking to him and, hey, let me help you with get your diet right, and stuff like that. Well, him and his wife and his family have transformed their lives Like. He's an absolute machine Dude. He's been for the last 12 months, dedicated 100%. He's frickin' six pack abs. Right now Him and his wife rent the gym every day. He's chiseled up, he's helping other people and just that was a prize. He goes, dude.

Speaker 2:

I was needing something like this in my life to really give me a jumpstart, to get refocused. And he's a frickin' stud. So I'm actually going to do a live with him and just hear what was going through his mind, dude. And just you know, God put us together and it just worked out. And so the ripple effect, the butterfly effect, is so true, and so we never know what goodness is going to come of this. But I'm blessed to be in an opportunity, to be in a position to help facilitate some good things happening. So that's a very long answer to say that for the month of January, the Random Acts of Kindness campaign is live at the Bohitch. You just got to go to our Instagram page at the Bohitch, January 1. We'll say all of the rules and whatever it is we're going to do, but it's free to get into man. You just pay with a kind deed.

Speaker 1:

Perfect, and so they just got to basically follow you on Instagram.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, follow us on Instagram. Last year we were able to give a couple of bonus entries for watching like Elk Shapes videos doing Elk Bros going to their website. So some of our sponsors. I was really trying to get them some exposure as well, but there's only so much that I could really ask people to do without making it feel gimmicky and that type of deal. But, yeah, people are in it for the right reason, so they don't need the follows. They're not asking for anything. But I was just trying to say thank you by allowing people to have some extra involvement and some extra chances to win. But my buddy man I talked to him two weeks ago and he gave us another Axis deer hunt.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, I know. So Grand Prize again is an opportunity to go hunt Axis deer on the island of Maui, and this dude has freaking animals everywhere, so it's an epic hunt, epic hunt, hawaiihuntscom, if you guys want to look into the place. But it's the last guy who went out, who just couldn't be more grateful, so I'm happy for him.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome, man. And I'll say this this is not about the January random acts of kindness, but the last, and I told you this before the podcast started. The last three hunts I've been on, I've thought about you, armando, and that's because your products for lack of a better term kick ass. So I went on an elk hunt, carried my bow for nine days, 12,000 feet in Colorado, and every day I was like thank you, armando. I was like I need to make sure I tell Armando, thank you, because carrying your bow sucks and I was able to just hook it up on my bow hitch and it's the only reason I was able to keep up with the other folks I was hunting with Germain Hodge, pat Luttrell those guys are monsters and it made. Honestly, I don't know if I would have been there on day nine and killed my elk if I didn't have your bow hitch.

Speaker 2:

So check out the bow hitch.

Speaker 1:

Also, I told you I just went on a hog hunt and I've been carrying around some ARs and that sucks too. Yeah, carrying all your stuff sucks, that sucks too, and I was like man, I wish I had a sling for this. And I was like, wait, armando just came out with a new sling, so tell the people about that. I don't have one yet, so I can't say it's good or not, but I do know that if it's half as good as the bow hitch, it's all you need.

Speaker 2:

Dude, it basically works off the same premise. So the bow hitch strap that you have carrying your bow hitch, instead of a bow hanging from it, it's going to be your rifle. Your rifle is going to be upside down, like a safari style sling, but upside down, and so the weight of your rifle could be balanced to where you have the barrel in front of you, or you could slide it up toward the barrels, kind of vertical up and out of the way if you have hunters in front of you, and you could come to a shooting position without ever taking it off of your strap. So it's going to be a learning experience for people. They're going to have to see it to say, holy shit, like that's the way it was with the bow hitch.

Speaker 2:

If I explain it to you, you're like, well, I don't know, it sounds pretty wack, but once you see it you're like, oh, my god, that's it. And so it's the same thing with the rifle dude. So yeah, we'll get you up. We just got our custom swivel studs in rifle swivels. We just got a new lady sewing them up for us here in New Mexico, everything here in the US, dude. So it's a brick and epic. We're excited about it.

Speaker 1:

It's funny how you worded that, armando, because you were like if I were to, it's like the bow hitch. If I had to explain it, you'd be like I don't get it. And then you see it, you're like holy shit, you and I talked. I didn't have a bow hitch when I recorded episode 16.

Speaker 2:

Right, you didn't have it yet. Yeah and no no, I didn't.

Speaker 1:

And I was like, ah, whatever, cool, a bow, hitch, sweet. I understand what it is, it's cool and all whatever. And then I actually got it from you. I think I actually bought it at Western Hunt Fest two Western Hunt Fest ago in Colorado.

Speaker 1:

Put it on there and literally I've never shot my bow with someone who didn't then go buy it, because they were like what is that? That is amazing. So I don't push any products other than the bow hitch because I'm like, yeah, carrying your bow, socks Carrying your bow socks, I can guarantee if you listen to 80 episodes of my podcast. I have not talked about any product but yours, so if you're listening guys.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, guys, I appreciate you Get one.

Speaker 1:

Armando's not paying me anything. In fact, I'm not going to let you send me one of your slings. I'll buy it, man. But thank you, Armando. This was fun. This was a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

It was a great story. I'm going to tell this story, just like I'm going to tell the ones from your last episode again, guys, episode six. It'll make you laugh a lot. So thank you, man, I appreciate your time.

Speaker 2:

Hey, thanks for having me, guys, and go make some memories.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, brother, absolutely. Thank you again. All right, guys, that's it, another awesome story in the books. I want to thank Armando very much for coming on the podcast. Of course, could not have done it without him. In fact, thank you, armando, for your daughter as well, because she made that story happen by actually drawing the tag. But that was fun, guys. I hope you guys enjoyed it.

Speaker 1:

One thing, a couple things that I wanted to mention. One when I stack ranked the meat at the beginning, but why tell the bottom? That doesn't mean I don't like white tail, it just means that I have a preference for some other ones. If I didn't have a full freezer of elk, I would love some white tail meat. Beyond that, guys, the random acts of kindness get involved, even if you don't win anything. It's good for the universe, it's good for your soul. Just go follow the Bo Hitch on Instagram. I'll put a link in the show notes so you can just click on that. Take it right there, give them a follow and that'll be kicking off in January.

Speaker 1:

Beyond that, guys, make sure you follow us. I don't have anything going on, but it would be great to get a couple more followers so you can find out about all the episodes as they come out, and I'm sure something exciting will be happening here soon. Give us a review on whatever you're listening to right now, whether that's Apple Podcast, spotify, wherever it might be and then, guys, get out there and make some stories of your own. I think that's the most important thing Go out there and hunt, make some stories, reach out to me, and I'd love to hear your stories. Thank you, guys again. Now get out there and make some stories of your own. Bye.

Armando's Oryx Hunt With His Daughter
Hunting Trip and Wildlife Spotting
Child's Safety in the Wilderness
Father and Son's Hunting Misadventure
Father-Daughter Hunting Adventure in Southwest
Hunting and Killing an Oryx
Lost, Waiting for Help
Comfort and Conversation in Hunting
Kindness Campaign and Product Promotion
Follow the Bo Hitch on Instagram