The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 082 The Hunting Stories Podcast: John Lusk

January 01, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 82
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 082 The Hunting Stories Podcast: John Lusk
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Join us on a gripping expedition into the heart of hunting and the stirring narratives of life in the wild with our guest John Lusk, a seasoned bowhunter with tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With a background as rich as his arrow quiver, John's experiences as a pastor and hunter uniquely intertwine, painting a compelling picture of adventure and introspection. His YouTube channel, Lusk Archery Adventures, captures the essence of his analytical prowess and passion for archery, making him an extraordinary storyteller for this episode.

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Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast and happy new years. This is going to be episode one of 2024 and we have a great one for you. Today we're actually hearing from John Lask. John, I heard him on another podcast and I just knew he'd be telling some epic stories. He did not disappoint. After the first story I was like, well, how do you eat that? And he did. After the second story, I was like, well, how do you eat that? And he did. And he continued with three or four stories that way. So if they want to take John of course for coming on the podcast, I can't thank him enough. This is one of my personal favorite episodes. I don't thank you guys for tuning in to listen. Let's just jump right into it and let John tell you some of his stories. Thank you, all right, john, welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. How are you?

Speaker 2:

Good. It's good to be here with you, Michael. Thanks for having me on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, john, I appreciate you. I reached out out of the blue. I actually heard you on someone else's podcast and you just had a vibe to you that I was like I need to hear his hunting stories.

Speaker 2:

So thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for taking a message from a random stranger and then joining me today to record some of your favorite hunting stories. So let's kick this thing off real quick. Why don't you introduce yourself, John, to the folks so they know who they're hearing stories from?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that's my name, John Lusk. I turned 60 in January. Man, like just a short time from now. It's hard to believe that, gosh. But I grew up all over the place. My dad was in the military so we moved around, you know, every few years. Then I graduated from college, I went into the full-time ministry, went to theology school, went to the ministry. I've worked as a pastor ever since. That was like in. I got married, worked as a pastor ever since that was like 85. And so we traveled around a ton doing that all over the states. And then we lived in Bangkok and Manila six years in Southeast Asia and then came back in Colorado and Iowa kind of started finding the hunting locations. Now we're in Texas. So I still work as a pastor. I love that.

Speaker 2:

But I grew up hunting. I grew up gun hunting and bow hunting. My dad was an avid hunter and he was a devoted family man. So he took his boy out in the woods, man, and that was my piece and boy. I just I love those times so grateful.

Speaker 2:

My dad I mean he was a three-star admiral. You know he's the vice commandant of the Coast Guard. He's such a busy dude with so much going on, but he always found the time to take me hunting and fishing and I love that. So you know that just grew up in me and I couldn't hunt when I was over in Southeast Asia. It's like it's like a major sin to hunt over there because they believe in reincarnation you might be shooting your great great grandfather or something reincarnated as a deer and so I had to, like keep everything down and then came back to the States and had been making up for lost time and I've gotten so into it, especially bow hunting. I gun hunt too, but I haven't done that and probably I don't know how long 15, 20 years, something like that. I went up the way I stopped at as I had a buddy that invited me to go hunting during gun season, but I thought about bringing my bow and then I thought no, I'll just take my seven mag.

Speaker 2:

So I took my seven mag and I was sitting down on the ground it was raining, we're living poncho Got up to take a leak and I walked a little ways away and did my thing. And then I turned around and there's this beautiful nine point buck just staring there and looking at me and I'm wearing a poncho. So it's like what's that big blob? I lifted up my rifle it was on nine power the scope and all I could see was brown and shot and it dropped right there and I'm like man. It was at 11 yards.

Speaker 2:

And I thought I should have brought my bow and so from then on it's been bow only and so I do that every chance I can get. And then I started a YouTube channel and I do I film on my bow hunts and then I do a bunch of gear testing, especially broad head testing, and my channel is called Lusk Archery Adventures and I have I don't know over 400 videos and now like over 12 million views and 36,000 subscribers. It's really picking up steam. I got a shout out from Joe Rogan the other day. He was on his podcast biggest podcast in the world with Cam Haynes and he's like I've been following this guy, john Lusk. I'm like what my cool factor with my sons in law went way up after Joe Rogan gave me a shout out, but the channel's been doing really well.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool. Yeah, I heard you on the Dance State and Elk Shape podcast and exactly you know. First off, I love the story that you told and maybe you can get a little bit more usable. You talked about Southeast Asia where you they don't hunt, but you were there telling everybody your hunting stories.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, that's right. Oh, did I tell Dan that yeah.

Speaker 1:

That was crazy.

Speaker 2:

Okay, cause like I'm a preacher and I like to tell hunting stories, you know, and I I believe like a lot of men don't like church because it's kind of been so emasculated, you know, and become really wimpy Ned Flanders kind of thing you know, like from the Simpsons and and so I really believe in like talking about hunting, not every Sunday, but you know a lot of Sundays and I got a lot of cool stories and so I was over there and before I learned Thai now I can speak Thai fluently, but before I learned Thai and a translator, I'd say a line in English, he'd say a line in Thai, and so I'd be telling like every now and then I'd tell a hunting story and he's translating it. After about a month of being there, he sits me down. He goes oh, john, it is like really, you know, humble, and I share some input. I'm like, yeah, that's name is sunshine, yeah, sunshine, what is it? And he goes.

Speaker 2:

You notice, when you tell a hunting story, people tend to kind of look down. I go yeah, you know I have no sad. He goes. That's because over here it is a major sin to hunt, it's like illegal, it goes against Buddhism and these people are Christians but they came, they converted from Buddhism and just culturally it's like a big taboo. And so he goes. You know, it's very offensive. I'm like dude, so sorry, and why didn't you tell me earlier? All those all my favorite, you know preaching illustrations are like stricken from the book for the next four years, while we were there.

Speaker 1:

That's funny, yeah, that's. Yeah, that's. That's a great story. It's a you know one off hunting story. Yeah, I loved that. I loved hearing that. And your YouTube channel. That's amazing that it's going so well. I can't say that I'm that many of those views, but since listening to the podcast, I have dove in and I'm definitely enjoying it. I've got a lot to catch on, I'll tell you that, but I did hear you on Joe Rogan, or heard him bring you up on Joe Rogan at talking to Cam Haynes Same road trip, actually that that I heard you on the Elkshade podcast.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

I've got a bad, bad habit. It's not I really have it, but I have a. It seems that whenever I asked him to be on my podcast, the next thing I know is they're on Joe Rogan podcast and I can't get a hold of them anymore.

Speaker 2:

So I was like okay, john, let's, let's schedule as quick as we possibly can.

Speaker 1:

I think I've had five people so far and only one of them has done on his podcast and come back to me. So I'm still working on the other ones, but I was like, oh, we got to. We got to talk to John quick. But yeah, that's another hearing there, john. Thank you so much for coming. Let's jump into some stories. I know you have some prepared for us. What, uh, why don't you set the stage on on your first hunting story for us?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean the one I. It really comes to mine. Man, I do have a lot cause I grew up doing it, but the one that really comes to mine. You know we're on video here and behind me is part of my trophy room and there's this nice elk like right over my left shoulder and that's the story.

Speaker 1:

I will say this to the listeners, since this is this is just audio, but you have more mounts behind you than anyone else I've ever talked to, John, so you've you've done your fair share of hunting. It's a beautiful trophy room.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's like one of like six walls with stuff. I'm running out of room, man, I'm going to need a bigger boat, right, but anyway we um. So what happened was I was living in Colorado and I was a pastor of this big church and we had a big staff. But to the staff my, to my youth ministers, campus ministers working with campus ministry um, they were really getting into bow hunting. I was mentoring them in bow hunting, they were mentoring me and fly fishing, so it was like a trade off and we'd have our ministry training times either out on the water or out in the field.

Speaker 2:

Well, we would train, trained all year for this elk hunt. I mean, we're running the trails with 50 pound packs and student and stuff like this. I'm going to take these two young bucks out there, and so we we've located this place, that that we we'd scouted a little bit, and it's in Southern Colorado and it's extremely rugged. Matter of fact, this, this one area, is known you can ask Aaron Snyder, he'll tell you. It's known as like the most rugged area in Colorado.

Speaker 2:

And we didn't really know that at the time, but we knew it had some nice elk in it, and so we not knowing that ahead of time?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right.

Speaker 2:

So and we're going hardcore. You know I'd read Cameron Haines book on back country bow hunting and we had all our gear and we're going to go live out there for like a week. You know that was a plan way off the grid. So then the night before we left is this massive storm. I mean, it was massive in Denver, but we're watching the news and where we're driving is about four hours away, it down south of Denver. It was like terrible. We thought we're not going to be able to go. So we had to leave a bit later, when the storm cleared.

Speaker 2:

And we drive to where we're going to drive, where we're going to enter into the area and it's about maybe a 10 mile, maybe about five miles of kind of rough roads. You know, very, very off road. But because the storm there was dead fall after dead fall, we're the first people to go through because the storm had just passed. So we had to clear. I think it was 11. Dead falls on our way in there. So it was like taking. We were late already and then it was taking forever. One of them, one of the trees, was so big we couldn't clear. There's nothing we could do, so we built like a ramp over it. Sticks were like digging and like I mean we literally built up like a little levy over it and we drove over it and got over it.

Speaker 2:

And we finally got to where we could park and we parked in the place hours later than we wanted to be, got our gear on and then we just set off and it's about I don't know like maybe a five hour trek back to where we're going and and there's a shortcut where you go. Actually, we walk through the Great Sand Dunes National Park on the way there. Great Sand Dunes National Park, that's. It's so cool. I don't know if you've ever been there, but it's. It's the highest altitude stand dunes in North America, in the middle of Colorado. It's really crazy.

Speaker 1:

Super cool and there's a little river that goes through and the wind catches it. So this little river of just trickling water has waves on it. It's a super cool area. I'm actually a Colorado native, John. I don't know if you knew that.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I didn't know that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I live down here in New Bromphills right now. I'm moving back to Colorado shortly. But yeah, I grew up in the Boulder County, louisville Lafayette area.

Speaker 2:

I lived in Louisville. I lived in Louisville for years.

Speaker 1:

I mean, we live, that's so cool, we probably crossed paths Right by Cold Creek Golf Course.

Speaker 2:

There was a big fire there recently. We watched our old house. It burned down my parents' house. It did Wow.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that was two years ago, and they got a letter of occupancy for their new home last week, so they're back in their home, which is crazy Wow.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it is a small world.

Speaker 1:

It is a small world. We'll talk more about that later, since I'm sure we don't care too much.

Speaker 2:

So we go way back there and there's a shortcut that we're seeing on the map. We can go way around or we can take this super steep area. We're like, man, we're short on time, let's go for the super steep. And it was pretty much hand and foot. It was so steep and took about, I don't know, maybe an hour and a half just to climb up over and then we climbed down the other side. But then when we get down in there we are like in another world. I mean, you go, this is what you dream of. It's like we're just way back there and it's like, oh, but he's there, it was as cool as it gets. So we find a little place, we set up a camp on this creek it's right on this creek and this giant ravine that goes for miles and we set up our tent and we go out and scout a little bit. We scouted some bulls. We're like, oh, man, this is going to be sweet.

Speaker 2:

Next day we like did our thing, you know, went all over, saw a bunch of signs, saw some bulls, didn't have an opportunity. And then the next, oh, and then that evening of the second day, we go out to scout one more time before going to bed and we're out there till just about after dark. We come back and our tents two of our tents we had three tents were ransacked by a bear Like and we had clean camp. I mean we had hung our stuff just like you're supposed to way up in the air, like 50 yards away or 100 yards away or something. So there's nothing in our tent but I guess just the human smell and I mean they're just like the whole canopy, everything not shredded but ruined and tent stakes broken and stuff. So we're like, oh my gosh, I mean we spent that night trying to tape stuff together and so forth.

Speaker 2:

So then the next morning comes up and we go all right, let's go down this area. We go down this one area, we're cow calling every 15 minutes or so. We didn't really know what we're doing. And then we hear this bull bugle. I mean, would you hear that for the first time? Like responding to you. It's like it's crazy.

Speaker 2:

So we split up and we're like you know, let's go after this thing. And we're, all you know, really stealthy. Well, I get up there and I drew at one point. I'm like I'm sitting there and I could see something moving, and then it comes out and I just range that area 40 yards drawback, bam, I stick it. I mean I stuck it really good and it just ran. I lost sight of it, but it ran away. And then my one friend comes from my right. He comes up, he's like did you shoot it? I go yes, man, I got it. And then another friend comes up from my left, he goes, he starts making like his hand over his throat, like I thought he was saying be quiet, but he's saying no, it's dead. He goes. I watched it fall right in front of me. He was just about he was starting to draw, I didn't even know where he was. And then he watched me hit it and watched it fall.

Speaker 2:

And so we go up on this elk. I mean it was like a horse, this thing was huge, and I mean what an ecstasy, you know, there's no better way to describe it. So we took the pictures. Then we get it, you know, all butchered and that took forever to get it all deboned and so if we're so far back, we had to debone it. So we put it over, you know, lake Shostewe, over in a cool area out of the sun. We got that all good. We had to eat some of the tenderloin that night or last night together celebrated.

Speaker 2:

Then the next morning we're like okay, now we got to pack it out. We load up our packs. We estimated each of the packs. They varied like from 150 pounds to like about 100 pounds. I mean they were really heavy packs. And so we're like all right, let's go. We thought we can't go out the way we came in because it's just way too steep with this weight. We thought we can't do it. So we go. Okay, we're going to go to the mouth of this creek and on our maps it looked like okay, it's going to take a couple extra miles, but not be so bad.

Speaker 2:

But so we're packing out, packing out and we come to this area.

Speaker 2:

We're like, okay, let's just take a break and I go.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to go scout up ahead and make sure I can find what we're going.

Speaker 2:

And it's like the trail. It's hard to explain, but the whole side of the mountain it kind of turns to sand. It's near where the Great Sand Dunes is and so there's this game trail that we're following that goes across this kind of steep incline. That's just all sand, but there's a little flat game trail on it. So I'm like, okay, let me just walk across it and make sure I can do it. I have like a trekking pole. I'm walking and then it just the ground falls out from beneath me. I got, you know, heavy pack on but it's just the sand just goes down and I'm like sliding down the hill and I stick my trekking pole on the ground and like all my weight hangs on it and I'm looking over like I don't know how far the drop off was 100 feet and there's just this, this rough stream down below and rocks and white water and stuff. And I'm just sitting there like I was afraid to move because I thought if I moved the ground could fall out for me again.

Speaker 1:

How far did you slide down from the game trail? It wasn't that far.

Speaker 2:

It was like maybe, maybe 10 feet, but enough that I was out of control and I thought, with this weight on my pack, I thought I thought I was dead. And so I'm just kind of hanging on the edge. And so I, one of my buddies his name is Brian, I start calling Brian. But I buy this stream and they're by the stream, you know, upstream, and it's drowning me out. I'm just like I don't know what else to do. And so then, out of the blue, brian comes up. I just see this. This comes up, jumps. He just jumps, launches himself on the sand below me and he sticks in his trekking pole and then he just takes off my pack and pushes me up and then he carries my pack up. He's kind of a stud and I'm like, dude, you saved my life, man.

Speaker 2:

It was just one of those sweet moments. You know, little little little tears there. We gave each other a little bit. We're like all right, you know, now let's go. And so then we like journey on and we're walking out. Now it's turning into just pure sand and it's really steep and it was a kind of thing with that weight, every like two steps up, you slide like about one back and so it is so hard to walk. I can't explain. It took us an hour to go about 150 yards. I'm not exaggerating. Like we just thought this is your and then, brian, I was I loaned one of my backpacks. The belt broke, like you know that like puts all the weight on your hips. It just, it just broke.

Speaker 2:

And so then right, and so now all the weights on his and I mean it was just treacherous. So we're just going to. We ran out of water like a long time ago and we're going. And then now it's about like we left at eight in the morning it's way farther than we thought and it's about like eight at night and it's a sun is setting seven or eight at night and we've got all this meat. We're totally dehydrated. We're like what the heck are we going to do? And then I remembered I go wait a minute. On archery talk that's this online forum I wrote down the number of a guy who posted about a meat packer with horses in the southern Colorado area and I'd written down his number in my phone. So this is like a guy I don't know. In a thread you know on this forum wrote down some guys number and name. So I take out my phone and it's on like the red sliver.

Speaker 2:

You know where it's like it's about done with that or both of my other buddies. Their phones were dead and so I'm like, okay, let me call this guy up. I'm like hello, hey, I got your number from a guy on archery talk and I heard you back out horses, are you a meat backer? And he told me the whole story. He's like what? I'm looking at my battery, I'm like I'm running out of battery, dude, he goes, he goes. Yeah, he goes. I got horses and then he goes.

Speaker 2:

But man, I haven't been on a horse since my wife died. I'm like what? And he goes. Man, it was like six months ago we were riding together, my wife and I. She's on horse friendly. She gets bucked off, breaks her neck. He goes. I put her on my horse, carried her back, then we had to have her medivac and and she died. And he goes. I'm like, oh my gosh, and I mean my heart's going to him. And then he talks he goes. Man, I was a Marine and overseas I had my buddy, you know his. His head was blown off right in front of me and he's like telling a story and I'm like my heart's going out to him. But man, my battery is going out a little bit more and I'm like hey, man, like I don't want to be insensitive.

Speaker 2:

but right now, like you know, that's really rough. But you know, on the side of this mountain we cannot. We need help, man. And so he's like, okay, okay, he goes, all right, we'll get back. He goes, I need to get out, I need to get back on the horse. And he goes, just just mark it with your GPS, put it in a tree, go back to camp. I'll meet you at your, where your truck is. I know that area. I'll meet you there tomorrow morning. I'm like, all right, so we take off all that way, put in a tree, market our GPS. And then we feel like, woohoo, we could run out. And so then we just go, and again, we had no idea how far away we were. We walked, we got back to camp about midnight.

Speaker 1:

And male. We came on a creek. We just like hours.

Speaker 2:

It was four more hours without heavy pack and, and then we came to this creek. First water we just drank straight out of the creek. I mean, we're just guzzling, guzzling. Got back to the camp and we, we set up camp there. I slept in the truck, the other two guys set up camp. I'm like I'm going to sleep in my truck alone. Okay, you guys set up your tents.

Speaker 1:

And so they set up the tent.

Speaker 2:

Well, in the middle of the night there's major snowstorm hits like this blizzard. We wake up in the morning. There tends to truck, everything is covered with snow. It's like it doesn't snow that that time of year. It's like way early and and there's this giant deadfall that blocked my truck from being able to get anywhere. It's like more deadfalls after that storm and I'm like, and it's just, I mean it is coming down. And so the guys said they would be there about 11am. What's 11am? I go out to where they're supposed to be and like nobody's there and I'm texting like hey guys, I'm thinking man, that guy, you know if he remembers that we talked the night before.

Speaker 2:

I'm like you know, I'm just, I'm struggling, like what do I do? We can't get out because a tree's blocking us in. I want to get my elk, you know what. And then, out of the storm, I see these two figures start coming and there's like I mean, it was straight up like a John Wayne movie. These two long riders were in the long leather coats, they got the hats and they're riding up on their horses like literally out of the storm. And they just walk up and the guy goes I'm Gary, I'm like Gary. That's the guy we had talked to on the phone and he brought a buddy with him. He goes just give me your GPS, we'll go get it. I go, you want us to come with you? He goes, nope. So we give him the GPS and he goes off. A couple hours later they come back with their horses. They got my elk loaded up on the truck and then we went back to Denver.

Speaker 2:

Major, major adventure. I mean from the deadfalls to the bear ransacking our tents, to taking down this beautiful elk. I mean it's like a 300 inch elk, six by public land, diy over the counter unit with two of my best friends Total adventure. Brian saves my life in the edge of the mountain Gary saves our lives, coming and picking us up, and Gary and I became great friends after that, went on other hunts together and, man, then I wrote up that story and I put it in Eastman's bow hunting journal and they gave me a bunch of free gear for it. Now I got the elk on the wall behind me and the guy Brian kind of saved my life. He's like hey, man, when you die can you put in your will that I get that elk mountain? It's yours, buddy. It was such a cool adventure.

Speaker 1:

You're like hey, hey, don't, don't count me out yet, brian, but not really yet, but one day, that's what hunting is all about right, the friendships and the adventure, and that's man that that trip really held it.

Speaker 2:

I mean those three of us got so bonded and then and then, just the adventure. I mean the near death experiences, that just man. That's what hunting just makes you live in a whole different dimension 100%.

Speaker 1:

And you know what I loved about that story, john, is there was a little bit of story before you harvested the bull, but that bull harvest came pretty quick in that story and that way I knew I was going to enjoy this, because it was the pack out that became the story and the pack out stories are always where the real adventure happens right. So that that was great. I did not see half of that coming. I thought you were just going to talk about how much of a struggle it was, but I didn't. I didn't expect you to slide down a sand mountain. I didn't expect Gary to ride through a blizzard.

Speaker 1:

That was an awesome story with some amazing visuals, so it made me think of it. Like you know, those Western artists that draw those cowboy things, I need you need to hire one of them to like paint Gary coming out of a snowstorm on his horses.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's exactly right. Yeah that was. It was epic. I mean, that was just epic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's a great one, man. The transitions of the stories are always a little funny, but let's go ahead and kick off to the next. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I don't know how you're going to talk about that one. Okay, so I had this really cool experience in Canada. I had a buddy that I had helped spiritually in his life when he was in his medical residency at in St Louis. Then he became a really top notch surgeon and so he just was really grateful for it we're good friends grateful for the way I helped him. So he'd take me on some pretty cool adventures that I could never afford. And he took me to Canada and we're going to go up there and it was an early season moose and deer hunt.

Speaker 1:

And all it was what's that? I know that you posted a photo of a moose. You just got back.

Speaker 2:

This is several years ago, Okay that's a different moose.

Speaker 2:

Okay, this one didn't end as good in that way. Okay, this is more of it, but anyway. So the hunt. It was pretty boring hunt. We each would just sit in a tree stand. Two different areas, a tree stand overlooking a natural mineral lake, dark till dark, and so you'd trej on in there through the swamp while it's dark. Early in the morning, climb up in your tree and you get talent, start trej back through the swamp and then the outfitter picks you up. And so that was it for like six days of doing that. Well, I know it was the first day. The first day I'm in the tree, the outfitter had told me you also get like a complimentary free wolf tag. Okay, unlike Colorado, they want to get rid of the wolves. Okay, so Colorado just introduced five or whatever the other day.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, you see that video that's going around. I mean, that happened two days ago, that black wolf with the yellow eyes. He looks like he's already got a moose to kill, Like it's just he's just like all right buffet. Let's go, it's terrible.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that was the worst thing that ever happened. So, there, you get two free wolf tags. So the outfitter told me that like, hey, here's your wolf tag. He goes, but you know we never see any wolves, anyway. So I'm, he goes, oh, but he goes.

Speaker 2:

I had a trail camera out there and every morning these horses would come in. Well, there's wild horses. I didn't know that in Alberta this is in Alberta there's wild horses and and they're, and I and he said they'll come in to the mineral lick. And I said, can you shoot them? He goes, well, you are allowed to shoot them, but they're just, you know, because they're, they're not regulated, but they're a pain, how would we ever? What would we do with it? So, don't shoot it. And he and I said, do I just shoot them away? He said no, they're super wary and if you make any kind of noise and they see you, they're going to start making all kinds of you know, nay, noises and stuff like that. They'll scare everything away.

Speaker 2:

I'm like, okay, well, man, he said it's usually about 830. Well, it's like 830 and I hear this noise and I'm like it's a moose. It's a moose. I look up, nope, it's horses. And there's three like regular sized ones, and then one little one, one full, and so they come up and then they stop right the edge of the mineral lick about 50 yards away it's a big mineral lick. They stop and they're staring like right at me. I'm like, oh no, I'm way up in a tree, but I'm like I'm busted. So I'm just like frozen, hoping that they just calm down. And then as I'm looking at them, I realized, oh, they're not like exactly looking at me. They kind of look to be looking to my right a little bit. So then I slowly, super slowly, turn my head to the right and I look down to my right and there's three wolves right below my tree. They're like, they're like laying down, peeking over this little hill and they're ready to ambush these horses.

Speaker 2:

They patterned them as well and so, right as I saw them there, I'm like, oh my gosh. Then, boom, it was on the three wolves chase. I mean straight at the four horses and they're going for the little full. Well, all four horses go running farther out into this field. Then there's this alpha, this big old lone wolf, on the other side of the field. They catch him in the middle. It was like a total set up ambush. I mean my hair now is just standing up on my arms because I was just nature at its finest. And so this big alpha comes up and now there's like four wolves and four horses and they're literally chasing around my tree. And there's like all these saplings in my big tree and I have my bow at full draw and I'm like they're running. I'm just like I can't get a shot because I mean they're literally running.

Speaker 2:

It was like the horses, the big ones, are kicking like like beauty and the beast out of here, like the cartoon where they're kicking at the wolves, and I mean it's like straight out of a movie and they're kicking. I mean trees, a little tree are getting knocked down and then one wolf peels off right In front of me 35 yards trotting, but not like running. I draw boom, paste him. I mean it goes zips right through and he goes whoo. He makes this whoof sound and it goes right there. I can see my arrow on the other side stuck in the mud. He goes running off to about maybe 50 yards, like where those horses originally were, and I already range that area. So I get another arrow and I'm about to draw, but he's just standing there. I thought you know what, don't spook him, just let him, let him bleed out. And then another wolf comes up and is like like kicking him out, like hey dude you.

Speaker 1:

Okay, you know they're like right around each other, Smell the water or something, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I think he heard him like, oh you know. And so he comes running over, but there he's trying to protect him, like. So I thought, okay, just let him die, don't scare him by shooting. Now, honestly, that was one of the points where I've learned, like if you get another shot, take another shot. Like I had it again, I take another shot, okay. So then the wolf that was okay, he ran off. The one that's wounded, I mean he's got some serious blood and he's walking through this field. And then he stopped. He just stopped. And I'm like, yeah, go down, go down.

Speaker 2:

And then on the far side, in the tree line, about 200 yards away, I hear this, like I mean the deepest bellow of that alpha wolf, like it was haunting, it goes to this whole valley and he starts. He starts howling like that, and then when he would do that, the wolf that I shot would get up and like, walk farther. I'm like, no, no, and then he'd lay back down and be like, oh, he's like, come on, man, like you can do it, you can do it. And so I'm wanting to get down and go shoot him again, but then I'm like I don't think so. With that, I mean I'm telling you that sound. It wasn't like a coyote, it wasn't like oh, it was like oh, it was like I'm gonna eat you, and so that goes on. Can I turn on my camera? Like my camera, I had a strap. It wouldn't fit around the tree. So once that happened, I picked it up.

Speaker 2:

I still have the film of the bloody wolf walking and the thing howling, the other wolf howling. It howled for an hour and 50 minutes, almost two hours, and I'm watching this thing lie down and get up two hours and then at one point like it went down. I didn't see it get back up and then the big wolf stopped howling. I'm like, okay, let me get down. I get down, I'm going to go out and find the outfit, or I go out to the road. He had this you know thing, like put a stick in the road, I'll know you're there. And so I flagged him down. I said you just get a moose. I said, no, man, but I shot a wolf. He's like, oh my gosh, nobody shoots a wolf, but he gets a wolf for these parts, especially during during bow season. And I told him what happened with the wolves. He goes wow, he goes. Listen, I've been an outfitter for all these years he goes. No one has ever heard of the wolves attacking these feral horses. He said what? What you experience? No one's ever experienced that he goes.

Speaker 2:

I always wondered why they did it, why they didn't do it. Now I know they do do it because you know there was a foal in their midst. And so so he comes back, gets his rifle and we go walking out following this swath of blood. He sees the blood in the, in the grass. He's like oh man, we're going to get this for sure. And then we find several places that it had laid down, got back up and then we get to one last place and there's nothing else. And I mean we looked forever Like, and then I went back and sat in that tree is the only place I could hunt for another, like three days after that, and I was just looking for for birds or something.

Speaker 2:

We never got it. I I don't. I mean it was kind of a high lung shot or high midsection shot. Maybe I just hit, you know, an area that wasn't lethal, or maybe they dragged him off. I really don't know what happened.

Speaker 2:

But that the experience of seeing I mean first of all seeing wild horses is pretty cool. But then seeing a true ambush, like it's like Jurassic Park type ambush, you know, with those little dinosaurs where they like I mean three and then the one I didn't know they could communicate like that, and then to see this thing wounded, its friend comes up to check him out and then the alpha is just like calling to him for almost two hours and he made it Like I mean it was I. I look in regret that I don't have a wolf mountain in my my trophy room. I really I think about it all the time. I would have just put the arrow a little bit, you know lower and you know I think about it. But there's experiences go, which again, that's what hunting is like. Man. That was an experience of experiences. I love that whole adventure.

Speaker 1:

God, that's beautiful. I I'm jealous, but I'm also terrified. Like I don't know if I could have reacted the same way, got my bow back. I would have been climbing higher up the tree, probably, john, like nope, get away from me. Like I would have been. I don't know if I would have come down ever from those trees or those rounds, do you think? Do you think that they got? Did they get one of the horses? Or when you shot the wolf? No they were like what happened and they backed out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they never did get the horse. But, matter of fact, the next day what's funny, the very next day in the tree, I never saw the horses again. But I did hear something behind me. I turned around and the wolves were back there. They were coming back to try to get the horses at the same time, but the horses were like we're on to you now. The horses didn't come in, but it's. It was really interesting. You know how we? We patterned an animal. We're like, okay, this deer's going to come, but to see an animal, pattern an animal and set up an ambush, that was just really crazy cool. But yeah, they didn't. Maybe they got that one. They got that that fall later, but they didn't get him that time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, that makes me like more concerned for Colorado knowing that good at hunting. Like I know they're great hunters, probably the best there is out there but like just the fact that like they're pattering things and like they're in the right place at the right time of day, like all right well that's again. Not what, not what we're here to talk about. It is a joke. Ballot box biology is a joke in general but yeah, that's an amazing story.

Speaker 1:

That's. I've heard a lot of wolves stories and I think that just trumped all the rest of them, although one one person, brittany Kitchett, in one of my earlier episodes, told the story where she saw a wolf coming is like tall grass, and you know, in Jurassic Park you talk a lot about movies it always feels like a movie with wolves, but it was coming through the grass and you couldn't see the wolf, but you could see the grass parting and it's just like sneaking through the grass and it's like no thanks, no, you guys are braver than me, I'm building up to go on Idaho where there will be some wolves in April We'll see.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, all right, john, that wasn't a me. Okay, so I don't think you'll fall the first one, but you just keep them coming.

Speaker 2:

You know it's 60 years of hunting. You know you get some stuff. Okay, I got this other cool hunt that I went on. Okay, I was down in in South Texas I'm going on a javelina hunt. I've never hunted javelina. I'm at this place it's low fence, you know, it's just it's private land but I paid the guy to let me hunt there and and so there's hogs in javelina but I really want to have a lean. I love hunting dogs but I take them. A lot of dogs Never got to have them and so I'm not seeing any javelina and I'm like walking all these roads and stuff and then in the afternoon I walk in and I smell this like super pungent odor and they're known to be like super stinky. Right, okay, you need that, yeah you're.

Speaker 1:

I know they're stinky and they're ornery. They're their mean little buggers, that's all I know, other than they look like pigs and they are not pigs, but that's all I know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're peckery and they they say like those are not tusks, they're teeth. They're like the longest teeth of any omnivore in North America or something like that. I didn't know that it's like crazy, but you could see that on the wall too, behind me, like over my shoulder.

Speaker 1:

That's the same one. That neckline is what, yeah, and those teeth.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so that's the story. So then I'm like walking really slow. I love still hunting. My dad taught me like whatever you think is slow, it's slower. You know like I'll take a step and I'll count to like hand take another step. And you know, I mean I really like to go slow. And but then then one of them okay, this this heavily just comes across the road, darts across the road. Then this other one comes the road and stops and I either do it really quick, I draw, I shoot right as I shoot about 25 yards, it, it, it. It starts moving. So I hit it.

Speaker 2:

I couldn't tell where I hit it, but I later found out. I hit it like in the back hip. I had a big mechanical and so I hit it and it ran off. I waited a long time. Then I go up there I see a little bit of blood. I'm like, okay, good, I know I got it. I don't know what kind of blood, but it's like there's blood. But then the thing with these avaline and this is this is like summer or like early, like late spring in in South Texas. This brush is like it's like brush I've never seen before. I mean, it is like it's like you know. I mean it's so thick and like stickers and not like I always think, like I've seen brush, not like that.

Speaker 1:

This is like, this is like super brush and so but if you, everything is trying to cut you, every single plant is trying to cut you, and yeah it yeah, and, and so you know there's a road through it.

Speaker 2:

I just been on the dirt road. I've been on this dirt road. Well, as I'm looking at the blood, I get down on all fours and I see there's like a little tunnel in the brush and that's what these havalina just run through. They, they, you know, they wear like a hole in the brush. I mean, it really looks like a cave in the brush. So I see the blood go in there like that and I'm like, man, I want to have a line and I haven't seen any and I'm finally got one.

Speaker 2:

So I like get on my stomach and I'm like going down the havalina hole, I'm like going through and follow the brush and I go through for this one area about 45 minutes, and it comes at big loop.

Speaker 2:

It comes right back to the same road I was just on. It had crossed that my same road and I didn't even know it, and so I'm following it across the road and then, man, it goes on like about an hour and a half and it's getting really sparse and I almost gave up. I'm like that's it, dog on it, no more blood. And then I'd see one little drop. I'm like, oh, so I find that the blood now is starting to pick up and I'm like, yes, hour and a half of belly crawling, and this time where I am, it's the thickest of the thick. So my bow, I'm on my belly and I'm pushing my bow in front of me and then like shimmy, and so I push it and shimmy push. I can't even get on my knees, I'm literally shimmy, if you wanted to right, I'm not even holding my bow, it's on the ground.

Speaker 2:

I'm just. I mean, I got a little about 10 inch hole that I'm going through and then, right then, I hear the fiercest like, like that I remember the guy that told me that, the guy that I'm saying. He said, hey, listen, if you want to hog, call me. I got dogs, they'll come track the hog. But if you want to have Alina, don't call me, because I won't send my dogs in there, because they'll tear the dogs up. And I'm like, I'm thinking of that.

Speaker 1:

As you're in a taco made of thorn bushes. You're just stuck in there.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly right. Crunchy on the outside too. And so it's then this thing, all right, and it's like, comes at me face to face. You can see the mount behind me. I mean, that's exactly what it was and it's my bow is on the ground and it's in front of me. So it's about the distance from the bow to me, so you know, whatever about three feet. And I just screamed, I went, hey, like really loud, loud as I could, and it just it just paused. It didn't run away, it paused and it kind of like backed up. And then I looked around and I could see a little bit of light, like about six feet away, where I thought I might be able to stand there.

Speaker 2:

So I that we crawled to this place where the brush is a little thinner, and I like stood up through the brush and I'm like I mean, I broke through the brush and this thing is right at my feet. It's about like like three or four feet away. It's not running away, it's like and I grabbed my bow, I drew back, I shot and in the arrow, just even though it's like three feet away, it just got deflected, it just went out of nowhere. So then I draw again the second shot. And I'm in, this thing is like, and I shot it and that one just drilled it, pinned it to the ground and I mean it just died right there. And I was like, yes, yes, it was like it was incredible. I mean it was just the experience and the near death or so to speak, I don't know it died, but it scared the crap out of me experience. And then I'm like, how am I going to get this thing out of here? I figured out, you know took a long time to get out back to the road, but man, that heavily meant something, and so I haven't mounted in that same snarl on its face that I saw at, you know, three feet away from me. You know when I'm down at its level. So it was a well earned amount.

Speaker 2:

Okay, then there's this other funny part about it. So the outfitter sends it to a taxidermist down in Rockport, down this kind of the coast, and his tax services in Rockport, the main one. And so I go okay, you know when it will be ready? I don't know, you know, whatever. Eight months.

Speaker 2:

So then I'm back in Iowa, I'm watching the news and there's this big hurricane and it's hitting right at Rockport and I'm like, oh no, I go get my receipt and I'm looking at what's the name of my taxidermis. So I see the name of the company. I'm watching CNN dudes in a boat, the cameraman going down Main Street and he goes here. We are the first footage, you know, in the aftermath. And they're going down Main Street and, I kid you not, they passed by. You know, here's a restaurant, here's the taxidermy thing. The roof is caved in and it's like full of water. And I'm looking at my receipt, going, that's my taxidermy, that's where my mount is, and I'm like, oh no, like I'm starting to really sweat. So I call, like, hey, man yeah, I can just, I'm leaving messages.

Speaker 2:

You can figure it out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm like yeah, right, I'm like where is the guy?

Speaker 2:

I'm like. I mean, of course I was compassionate for all the people who lost their homes. I mean, what's my little gripe about losing my mount? But you know, that was my gripe. I'm like man if I lost that thing. And then I finally got a hold of the guy. He had had plenty of time to evacuate and he got my mount out. So I got it, you know, lived happily ever after. Sorry for all the people in Rockport. They went through hell there, but anyway it was a well-hard earned trophy in many ways.

Speaker 1:

John, I don't know if you are. It's one of two things You're either a lot braver than me or a lot dumber than me. You could pick whichever one makes you feel better about the situation, but I don't know if I would ever crawl into a spike hole after a javelina, like, no matter what I'd try another day is what I'd probably do. So good on you, man. That's a funny, funny story.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was a good one. I liked that one.

Speaker 1:

I personally think you're a lot braver than me, but yeah, that's crazy. I've seen the brush down there. I've hunted in South Texas, like near Piercehall.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, I'm from Piercehall.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, not far from Piercehall actually. Yeah, so I know that brush.

Speaker 2:

And no thanks, no thanks.

Speaker 1:

I think so. I wear Sitka gear and the only reason I wore it is because I've fallen off of a log, skewered my leg, but the pants didn't rip. I was bleeding underneath the pants, but they didn't rip. I took those same pants into Piercehall, Texas, and that's the only place they've gotten rips from Just the brush.

Speaker 1:

Literally just every vine has spikes on it. The only rips I have on any of my gear is from South Texas in that country, so I know what you're talking about. I know how vicious it is, and good on you, man, and congratulations. It's a cool mount. I can see it over your shoulder there. I do not want that thing three feet away from me, even when I'm mounted.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, as small as they are, it's like a little Wolverine man, it's like a little wolf man kind of thing coming at you. So he's a weird question.

Speaker 1:

But I know they stink and I assume that stink comes from their back half, I think, probably from a gland, not their rear end. Does the mount stink or did it stink when you got it?

Speaker 2:

It stunk at the time and the guy showed me oh, we cleaned it and everything and caved it and you could see that gland. I mean, it is a nasty looking gland and he's like don't touch that because it's oil-based and you won't get it off. They're called skunk pigs. A lot of people call them skunk pigs and so he said he didn't know anybody that eats him. He's like there's some locals that'll make tamales with them or something. I'm like not interested and so yeah, but what I got doesn't stink at all, thankfully OK.

Speaker 1:

Man, but they are cool animals and they do look very different than pigs. Like I can see your hog on one side of you and the hoveling on the other side and putting them that close to each other. They're very different animals but they stink.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they're really different. That was a cool one. Ok, I got another one. You got time for another one, or is this a?

Speaker 1:

wrap. No, john, I tell this to everybody. I know I only schedule this for an hour, but I will listen to stories as long as you're willing to tell them, so keep me up if you need to. I'm here to hear your stories. That's why I do this.

Speaker 2:

OK, thanks, you're fun, I like telling stories. Ok, so this is another story. That was really just a different experience. I'd gone out El Contín in Colorado, didn't get anything and came back, and this was not too long ago. And then back at home I had a million messages on my phone. I hadn't checked it for like a week. So I'm looking at the messages and I'm just like dilly, dilly, dilly, dilly. And then there's this one that it just says unknown and I mean, bro, 99 out of 100. If there's no caller ID, it's getting deleted.

Speaker 2:

But for some reason I opened that one and I thought, well, let me see what it is. And listen, it's parks in wildlife. Ok, colorado Parks and Wildlife. And they go. We're calling you because you applied for a mountain goat tag and you were an alternate and somebody just canceled theirs and gave it back and you're first on the list. If you can contact us by Friday at 5 PM, then you can have the tag. And I'm like, and I'm looking at this, it's Saturday and I'm like, oh no, and I mean the hardest is you do not get one of these tags. My neighbor worked for the Big Horn Sheep Society and he told me OK, I'm going to tell all the viewers. Now I'm not in Colorado anymore, but he told me this trick. He goes listen if you want the best hands.

Speaker 1:

I'm moving back to Colorado and I'm going to keep this to myself. Ok, I'm going to tell you this. Ok, cut this out, go ahead, but I will tell you, but he goes.

Speaker 2:

The best chance of getting the mountain goat tag is he goes. Don't apply for an archery one, there's so few. Don't apply for a billy, so many people apply for that. He goes. Apply for the last season, the late season, nanny rifle tag. And I said, well, I don't want a nanny. He goes, john, people don't even know the difference between a nanny and a billy. He said it's actually harder than you think you even to get a license. I don't know if you do this. You've got to take a test, a proficiency test in identifying the gender of the goat. And because it's not easy at all, the horns sometimes don't tell the whole picture. You've got to see how they pee. Do they pee this way? Do they pee that way? It's so hard, so he goes. Most people will never know the difference. The mounts look cool either way and there's a better chance of getting a nanny tag.

Speaker 2:

And then late season. Most people don't want late season because there can be a freak or not a freak. It's like October, there can be a snowstorm. He goes, but the tag is good for a week. In Colorado, rarely does bad weather last a week. So if a snowstorm comes in in a couple of days you'll be able to go back and he goes plus. At that time of year the coats are growing an inch a week Because they got a bulk up for the summer and I'm like whoa, an inch a week or I think it was that. Maybe it was an inch a month, but they're growing like crazy. The best coats are late in the season. So I go, ok, well, let me apply for that and that's what I got. So I get this. And then I told one of my friends the guy brought in. I told Brian, the guy saved me on the cliff. I told him to do that. Two years later he got the exact same tag, the exact same thing I did, isn't that?

Speaker 1:

cool. Ok, so I know it takes a couple points. How many points did you have? I know just curious. Not many.

Speaker 2:

I want to say I probably had well, but I think it's different now than it was then. Whatever is the minimum you need, that's what I had.

Speaker 1:

OK, probably three then.

Speaker 2:

Then probably three, but it was that late season Nanny with a rifle, but I didn't want to use my rifle. So then I go OK, I'm going to go scout, and I don't know if you know the area, grayson Tories, like it's kind of that base. I think it's 35. They're different numbers than for elk season, but it's up by Georgetown, it's up above Georgetown. So the season comes up. I didn't even when I oh, so I didn't know if I could get the tag. Back to that. I'm like, man, I want to get the tag but it's like a Saturday and I'm supposed to tell him by Friday. So I call my buddy, Aaron Snyder. Man, do you know anybody at the Parks and Wildlife? I called the guy at the Big Horn Society guy in my neighbor. He's like, oh man, I know somebody that works there. I'm going to call her and I'm leaving all these messages. Man, I'm like I just got it. I'm hoping they come in Monday and they haven't given it to someone else.

Speaker 1:

Well, sure enough, I called her. I was waiting to hear that you're there Monday 7 AM, blocked to the front door. Monday, maybe I'm not knowing what's getting in here until you guys understand I know, yeah, nobody's getting in.

Speaker 2:

I call them first thing Monday I'm calling. It's like whenever time it was 8.55, 8.56,. I'm like finally somebody answered 9 AM and I said I'll put it in there, like we haven't given it away, it's yours. I'm like, yes, I didn't even know when the date was, and it's like two weeks from then, so I don't have time to scout. I just wiped out my schedule, took leave from work. I'm like I've got to go do it, even though I just gone on the elk hunt, like this was like a chance of a lifetime. So I did some scouting. And then me and Brian that same buddy, brian, he's going to go up and be my Sherpa. And so our wives we go up together, get a little Airbnb in Georgetown and our wives go do the wife thing. They're having fun.

Speaker 2:

And Brian and I set off at dark and go to the top of this mountain. We drive up there grazing Tories, and then we're going up one side to side that I'd scouted and we saw some, but we just they were so far away and I mean we are going up. This. It's like this is so treacherous. It's like all this scree field but big rocks like six inch diameter. Those things start to roll Like you're in trouble. And we had rope and we got up in some areas where he would take the rope, I would grab the rope and it would help us jump to the next thing. And then we got to a point that we were clipped out, like we're literally we can't go up, we're afraid. We couldn't even get down and so we had to just come all the way back down. We're like come all the way back to the car like shoot.

Speaker 2:

Well then there was this guy that we'd seen there. He was going, he was going running. He like just this is weird. He flew in from Boston and he got caught up. We saw him at like dark when we got there. It's like five in the morning and he's just arrived. He's like I'm going to go running, I just got here from Boston. We're like that's crazy. There's like still snow on the ground and stuff.

Speaker 2:

Well, he comes back to. He comes back to the car right at the same time. We're back here in the parking lot and he goes hey, man, I saw a bunch of goats up that hill. I'm like really where? And so he pointed up this other hill in the opposite direction. We get our binos and we can see this group of them. But I mean, it is it's like maybe two and a half miles way up. It's like the peak elevation there is 13,200 feet, and they're about 13,100 feet and so we're like, ok, we're game. We've been working for this all year, training because we just got back from the Elk Hunt, so we're feeling pretty good and so we take off. Took about two and a half hours to get up close and I had one of those decoys. That what's the company? I'm just drawing heads up, I think it's heads up. It attaches to your bow and so it's like it looks like a mountain goat and you're like stand behind it and so it's like just a two dimensional one Ultimate predator.

Speaker 1:

Does that sound right?

Speaker 2:

That's it. Thank you, ultimate predator.

Speaker 1:

I have one of those for Antelope. I've played around with it a little bit. They're super cool and they're out of Colorado, just near the springs, but yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I got to know the guy that started it, this guy, lance. Yeah. So yeah, they're out of Colorado, colorado Springs, and so I have that and it's helping Like we're getting them, but then they would still kind of push off. Every you know when we get too close, and so that wasn't working. We get up to the top 13,200 feet, and I'm thinking, man, it's beautiful, super windy. But I thought, man, we're not going to be able to get anything. So we're like, ok, well, let's go back down, we'll go around to another area, and on the way down there's some undulations. And no kidding, I just prayed. I'm like, ok, god you know.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if you really honor these kind of prayers. You know, I know it's trivial, but, man, I just pray I'll be able to see a nice nanny on our way down. We come up and there's this ridge, this ravine in the mountain on the way down and here comes this nanny and I just go, I'm going to get down, and we get down and this nanny there's a whole herd but this nanny had broken off and nice nanny, like hoping, young, 8 and 1 1⁄2 inch horns, and she comes up, really mature, and she's like staring like straight at us and we're just like hunched down trying to look like boulders and then for a long time we're pinned down. There's nothing we can do. I didn't want a frontal shot.

Speaker 2:

And she's looking right at us and then she just poses, turns sideways and like looks at us and then looks away sideways, broadside, 35 yards, and my buddy Brian is filming and man, I drew back and just zapped it. Boom, just, I mean the arrow zipped right through. It was like I don't even know if she knew she got hit. I mean she goes running off a little bit. She stopped at 50 yards and I thought like I learned from that. Whoa, what another one. And my biggest fear with mountain goats is that they're going to jump off and die off a ridge right and go down and shatter and you never get it Fall 1,000 feet and steam cliff yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And so there's a really steep cliff that she's running through. So she stopped, boom, I shot her again and you just see this puff of hair, white hair, go off, oh my god. And then she comes running down the other way, stops again. I literally put a third one in. I'm like Brian, don't show that in the film, but I put a third one.

Speaker 2:

And then she goes down, piles up and she's just. I mean Brian and I are cheering. He's so encouraging. I mean we just we had this moment together on the mountain. It's just this picturesque blue sky, snow, 13,000 feet, colorado.

Speaker 2:

Get down there to the goat and we're going to take pictures. And I mean she's beautiful, just the hair. That time of year, everything's perfect. And then I said, brian, I'm going to just pull her. Just, it's a little bit flatter right below where she is. I'm just going to pull her to that little bit of flatter so I'd be better for pictures. He goes, no, this is fine, I go, I think it'll be easier.

Speaker 2:

So I grab her by the horn and I start walking. It's like grass. I start walking on the grass and she starts sliding and I'm like, I'm like running next to her and she's picking up, steam sliding, and then Brian just is laughing because I'm like going down the hill holding it. And then I trip because I'm just keep up, I'm rolling while I'm holding her and like rolling together, and then I just I'm we're coming to the edge of a cliff and I just let go, dude. She goes over that cliff and launches, like like those distance jumpers in the Olympics you know where, they just put their ski poles back. And she, just she launches over the edge of the cliff and I'm like oh, I'm like oh no, and I go running to the edge of the cliff. I look down. I can't even see her. I'm like I'm looking with my binoculars, I'm like why am I looking?

Speaker 2:

with my oh my God, brian is just laughing. I'm like dude, stop laughing. And he goes. Man, this was so funny and I'm like oh my gosh.

Speaker 1:

So then did he catch that on video. Please say he did.

Speaker 2:

No, no, he didn't get that. Yeah, that would have been right. I thought that would have been the best part of the video. Got everything else on video. It's on my YouTube channel, but that part he didn't get. That would have been hilarious.

Speaker 2:

So we go around and it's way around. We go all the way around and we get to the bottom of it and there's like these bushes about 50 yards from the base and we find her like in the bushes, like all like completely Mangled. Her hair is just like brown. Only one of the horns was was a couple inches was broken off. So that was okay and but I mean she was a mess. We like pull her out and you know, into an area and this thing looks like a piece of old crap. I mean, it was beautiful animal. I just wanted a little bit of a flatter place for pictures, like throwing her off the cliff and then and then. So I, you know, we took the pictures and we, you know, we Skinner and everything, and actually the meats is some of the best meat I've ever had. I mean unbelievably tasty meat.

Speaker 2:

Now too for you there you go and then there you can see in the video, she's right over the cake, buffalo.

Speaker 1:

You see up there but you know, fixed or I did.

Speaker 2:

I got, I got her horn fixed, but then when we moved here to Dallas it it broke off. So you can't even really tell I it's funny, but but anyway it was like you know. So my I took the pictures and she's all brown stuff. So my buddy that was really good with with what he called like the the computer software that like fixes all.

Speaker 2:

Photoshop, yeah, yeah, photoshop, sorry, photoshop. So he Photoshop. You know the rest of her hide. So decent pictures after all. But, man, what an experience. And one day, during rifle season, public land, 13,200 feet with my best hunting buddy and she launches over the side, my gosh.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's amazing, john, every one of these stories. I thought you were starting with your best one, but they all keep getting better.

Speaker 2:

They are they are pretty. I love the memories, you know. It's one of the things I like about filming because I can just go back and watch them and it's not a vanity thing. It's like you forget and you know, you think you remember, but then you watch like, oh yeah, I forgot about that. And I love just having the memories of all these hunts, you know, with my buddies right there together With me. I kid that that's really cool to see that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, and then that's the beauty of hunting stories it's. It's so much fun to read all these things there, obviously a big part of your life and I bet you're having a hell of a good time. Like you said earlier, the hair in your arms is standing up or telling some of your earlier stories, and that's exactly what we want, and I hope that the listeners can feel that as well, and that's my. That's one of my favorite parts. I just love hearing people tell their favorite favorite stories.

Speaker 2:

So hmm well, john.

Speaker 1:

I've taken a more time than I asked for it. Do you have more? Because I'm gonna keep listening.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I'll do one, I'll do one more, and then I gotta go.

Speaker 2:

Okay because this one's fresh. I just got back from Alaska not just, but it was, this year was in June. I got back from Alaska and this was a hunt that I mean all my life I've dream like, I've dreamed of. You know, I want to do this, I want to do that and you know, in a pastor salary I couldn't do much. And this, this doctor, he took me on a few adventures, which was really cool. But then through the channel, that that I have in the success of the channel, that's given me a platform and ability to go on some of these hunts and everything I spend on them. It's a tax write-off as well, because the channel is a business, and so Discover that right about my podcast.

Speaker 2:

I was like wait a minute.

Speaker 1:

Hold on. So I have to go back and do some 2023 research to figure out what I spent on things. Some, but continue.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I keep a detailed record it's. It's an amazing way to do it. So so anyway, I like oh I, there's certain bucket list animals like moose I got a moose that's another story for another day. Mountain goat got that. L got that. Kate Buffalo got that, that's another cool story for another day.

Speaker 2:

Zebra I took a zebra, 82 yard bow shot. That was an incredible adventure. But but grizzly bear, brown bear, the brown bear and grizzly bear are the same species. Most people don't know that. But as grizzlies go inland they kind of get, they get grayer and they they. They don't eat as much protein and fat as the ones that are along the coast. They get the salmon and so they get a lot bigger and they get a lot browner. Their coats get browner, so they call them brown bears. But they're the same species.

Speaker 2:

So that's always been like top of the food chain, top of my bucket list, but I've always thought I'd never be able to do it. Well then I started researching it and I found that through, like, if you do like a tree stand hunt, then it doesn't take two weeks, you can do it like in a week and it's about half the price or a third of the price. And so I Call a guy that I saw he'd done a video, he's, and then he I go hey man, what was your outfitter? He tells me guy, I call him. He's like I don't do that anymore. And he goes maybe you want to call this guy. I call that guy, he's like I don't do anymore. Why don't you call this guy? So I call like a friend of a friend of a friend, like I get to this one guy, then he's like, yeah, you know I do that. He goes. I usually only do rifle hunters, but but yeah, I'd be happy. You know I got an opening. I'm like, so I book it like a little over a year in advance.

Speaker 2:

This guy was awesome, okay, it was in Kenai, alaska, down the southern part of Alaska, and I've like chased caribou up way inside the Arctic Circle in the very north part of Alaska. Now I'm in the extreme south, totally different terrain, and we go back there, okay, and you're in like a tree stand for ever. I mean like we get in there at like five in the evening and we're sitting there and then it's like it's light till about 1130 at night and then the guy I thought we were gonna leave and go back. The guy goes, you know, like he's really quiet. He goes okay, I got the sleeping bags here.

Speaker 2:

We're just gonna go to sleep for a little while. I'm like what I go, we're staying here, it's. So we just pop up our little chair and like unroll a seat and we sleep in in the, in the little blind, and then like the next morning, tree, tree blind or Tree stand it's like a box blind, kind of like a box blind, like, okay, built up, though, though you, but no, like no air condition or you know either, or anything like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but, but you know just a box, and so we, you know, so we would. Then the next morning, you, you open up the, the windows and you're really quiet because you know you hit the side, it makes noise and so, and then you just keep watching. So this is in, they've just come out of hibernation and the big ones come down from the mountains, and it's really amazing the timing he, he said, okay, right, as they come out of hibernation, the rut kicks in, and so the males are looking to mate, and interesting one thing is what the what the males will do is if they find a Female, a sow with cubs, the males try to kill the cubs Just to drive her back into heat so they can mate her so they're the cubs of that, of that bore right.

Speaker 1:

So, like Kids, they will do it just to just get laid again.

Speaker 2:

It's crazy man right, nature's metal man. I mean, that's just like. That is brutal. People talk about hunters being brutal man. This thing murders like it's own kid just to have sex one time, like you go my gosh. So that's happening.

Speaker 2:

Then the guide says this this is also the time that that the moose dropped their calves. So there's moose all over this area. These calves have been whatever in inside of them I don't know how many months. And finally all the moose moms are like, oh right, I'm gonna have my baby. And they drop this baby right as the brown bears, the grizzly bears, comes out of their den. They go really hungry I haven't eaten anything, I'm hungry and I'm horny. And then they go. I smell a moose calf and so they, they put a collar on one of the brown bears in this area.

Speaker 2:

The fishing game did not while we were there, but there was a study and one brown bear, a 58 moose calves in a three week period. Right, that's why hunting is really important, because imagine if, if, we didn't control them because they don't have any predator. So anyway, this, all these forces are converging. You know, they're coming out of the dance, they're super hungry, they're super horny, they're chasing the females, they're trying to kill the babies, the moose calves are trying to keep away from. It's just like nature is colliding, you know, and you're watching from this box, blind, you're watching all the sudden, some wolves jump out and some horses.

Speaker 1:

John spinning in circles with his bow and shoot. Yeah, okay, Sorry it's like that.

Speaker 2:

So anyway, we sat in there. We sat, I added it up for like I was like it's like a 60 hunt, for like it was four and a half days, 55 hours of sitting in the blind and most that not seeing anything. We just weren't seeing anything. And then it all changed. It started to rain, the weather changed. It's getting into that. You know the mating time it's, it's really starting to hit.

Speaker 2:

Well then, I mean this one evening and the next morning the action was just crazy. I mean these, these bears come in, and you know I've hunted black bear. You know it's cool to see a bear. When you see this Brown bear come in and see how big it is, it's like, oh good lord, like what's wrong with this picture? I mean it is like a freaking monster, and so I guess it's just. You know, one would come in and I'm like, I'm like, let's shoot it, let's shoot it. And the guy's like big enough. I'm like, like, if this one comes in, it's like under 10 yards from us, it stands up and he's like not big enough, I'm like, and then it goes away. I'm like we should have shot that. I have unfilled. You know me going. I think we should shot that. He's like no, no, no. Well then it this really cool thing started to happen. So we this this sow, this Massive, so I want to shoot this out.

Speaker 2:

But it had cubs. But the cubs were huge. The cubs were probably no kidding, probably 300 pound cubs. I mean they were. There were giant cubs, are like in their third year. They're right about to not be cubs anymore. They really they should be off on their own. They were like you know, failure to launch. You know they're like a 23 year old living in the base.

Speaker 2:

So these cubs come in and the mom is like off in the distance and then the mom starts. All of a sudden the mom looks up and she looks away like to my left I don't know what she's looking at and then she makes this noise. I got it on video. This video is on my channel and it's like make this noise, like I Never heard that noise, and immediately the cubs run to her and then they all go running off and I'm like my bow were, like is she afraid of? Then we hear, from the direction she was looking, that same sound, like it was a weird, like clicking, kind of snorting sound, and then we just see this Lumbering, and I mean the bear that I wanted to shoot earlier. Okay, that was a big bear.

Speaker 2:

This thing comes in. You're like I'm glad I waited. I mean it just comes walking up, just I mean Massive, comes up there 32 yards. One thing that was cool is it had these white claws and in that area, like all of them are black but but it's like one in like a thousand has white claws and so, like it put its white claws up and I could see that. I'm like, okay, it was really low lights like five in the morning. Just, we just woke up, you know we just open the things and this was all going down. I drilled it, bam, it didn't go far, piled up. We waited forever, wanted to make sure it was dead. Then we go down.

Speaker 2:

Right, we go down there. He's got his rifle. You know a really great guy, k La Barton it was, and the guy Richard, richard Stewart was the outfit, or he runs a great outfit there. But we go down there, the bottom of this ravine, and there it is lying there and, dude, when you get up on a bear like this, like I always had these visions, okay, like if one attacked me, you know I could pull out my blade. You know, I even downloaded while I'm waiting, sitting in the blind and on the plane, I downloaded two books about grizzly bear attacks you know Cuz I'm gonna be here.

Speaker 1:

Why would you do that I?

Speaker 2:

know kind of freak me out at one point I'm like okay, I'm listening to this anymore, maybe when the trip is done, not on the way there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right, that'd be better. But I had these visions of okay, if one attacked me, then I see this thing Like, right there now, this is this measure, nine foot square, which you know it, that's. That's a massive bears 800 pounds by the fall, like after it bokes up, it would be about 1100 pounds, if you can picture that. The claws are about like six inches long. It's, it's like Wolverine White claws, I mean almost polished looking white claws. Teeth are about an inch and a half, two inches each.

Speaker 2:

But the thing is so massive so it's lying on its back and we want to just turn it over so we could take pictures. Turn it over on its stomach, just just off the turn Me and the an outfit or Caleb Martin, we get these like sticks as lovers. They were like both pulling, pulling, pulling. It took about 20 minutes Just to roll it over and I thought, man, my visions of fighting this thing. I can't even roll it over with a buddy when it's dead, let alone. They can run 35 miles an hour. They can chase down an elk. These, these claws. I mean it's just a killing machine. Yeah, and so I mean not my respect for just the beast that this animal is, just I mean went through the roof being that Close to such a monster, but you got to watch that video. That's a really cool video. I will, I will.

Speaker 1:

It's impressive animal. I'm not gonna ask, john, what broadhead did you use to shoot a Grizzly bear?

Speaker 2:

Man, I man, I wrestle. Yeah, I know so much about broadheads like I'm, so angle.

Speaker 1:

I know, but what did you every night?

Speaker 2:

I went with one made by. There's this company dead ex bow hunting, and they make this, this broadhead called the blood Blood flow, and I tested earlier. Okay, and here's just a quick little backstory. This company was just two brothers that they've made archery stuff. They're both Machinists, they had their own machine shop, so just on the side they would make like some different broadheads, dead expo. I mean, they're based in Missouri, western Missouri, and and so I came across this new broadhead they made and I reached out to the guys and had love to test it. Well, it tested really good and then he said that was that was a difference called the big game three.

Speaker 2:

That thing is massive inch and a half diameter, three blade, I mean is a gigantic head and I took some animals with it. But then they said but John, I've got a smaller one coming out. That's still massive, but it's coming out and I want you to test it first and we become friends. And so then he said he sent me a text. This is less this spring. He sent me a text hey, john, I'm gonna send him to you next week. I got him back from our machine shop. They're ready to go. I'm gonna send him to you next week. And then he didn't respond and he didn't know if I'm eating. Get him. I waited a few weeks. I reached out. He didn't answer. Reach out, he didn't answer. Then I get a text From somebody I don't know and then he said hey, john, I'm. I'm John. The guy's name is John Smith. I'm John's son.

Speaker 2:

My dad was on the way To mail the broad heads and was killed in a car accident. Oh my, and I'm like I mean Device. He's just such a good guy, you know, man of faith, and, yeah, become friends. You know, just through our tree, you know, you get close to people in the industry, like minded. And here's his son telling me his dad's dad. And in the car that was all mangled are the broad heads that that he's gonna send me, and I mean it. Just it broke my heart. I tested those broad heads. They tested Incredibly well. So then I thought, okay, you know, in honor of John, as he makes this incredible broad head At the end of his life, I'm gonna use that to go on my brown bear hunt. So that's the broad head that I use, that I'm glad I did yeah, one arrow put, put a brown bear down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, one it, one arrow and a cape. Buffalo man, it's just, it's amazing the power of one arrow. Wow, it's impressive.

Speaker 1:

That's so crazy. That's so. That's a. That's a crazy story and I'm amazed that his son, like, took the time to, you know, send that package back out to you, especially after everything that he'd been through.

Speaker 2:

That's crazy right, I know, and yeah, his son is now taking over the company with his uncle, and so they're continuing on.

Speaker 1:

Good to hear. That's good to hear. Well, john man, this you did not. This did not disappoint. I just had a feeling when I heard you on that other podcast I was like this guy will tell me some stories and you this. This might be my favorite episode. I'm gonna have to I'm not to sleep on it because I've heard so many great stories. But yeah, I know that we're gonna have you back, that's for sure.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I got a lot more we can do, know you do.

Speaker 1:

I know you do. For now, let's tell the people where they can find you a little bit more about your Instagram, your testing, your YouTube, whatever you want to share.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so you can find me on YouTube Lusk archery adventures. I have, like I said earlier, over 400 videos. Probably about 60 are my own bohans and about 300 are broadhead tests. So if you're ever wondering about what, if you're in a bow hunter you're wondering hey, what's this broadhead all about? You go to YouTube, just type in Lusk, lusk and the name of the broadhead and if I've tested it, it'll come up and you can see my tests. And I'm a.

Speaker 2:

I'm an engineer by Education as well as a pastor. I got a master's degree in theology but undergraduate degree in civil engineering and so from from LSU go tigers and so I really like using my engineering mind to do very Scientific testing under controlled conditions to provide Just really good data points to help people choose the broadhead that's best for them in their personal hunting setup, for their needs, the animal they're pursuing. So I have a really good system, I think, and I'm always working on it to make it better. But yeah, it'll help you find the right broadhead. There are hundreds and hundreds to choose from.

Speaker 2:

You can't trust the packaging. You can't trust the celebrity endorsement. You can't trust your buddy, because whatever, whatever he used and harvested, that's the best broadhead, whatever he used and didn't harvest, that broadhead sucks, you know. But this gives you a really good way to do it. So check it out there on on YouTube last car tree adventures. I'm also an Instagram same last car tree adventures. On Facebook same last car tree adventures. So follow me on one of those platforms and I I hope it's beneficial to you.

Speaker 1:

If you're gonna trust anybody, you gotta trust a pastor, so I Know yeah absolutely all those media influencers Got nothing on you, john, so this was fun, this is a lot of fun. I will put links to all of that stuff in the show notes. Thank you so much for for jumping on. Hopefully you get on the Joe Rogan podcast here shortly, but, john, this, this was a lot of fun. Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thanks. It was really good to be with you and I appreciate all you're doing. I mean given a platform to share hunting stories and to just inspire people to love the hunt man. I love that. So God bless you and your continued work in this way.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, sir. Yeah, I think I think a lot of people. I've got a lot of smiles from today's episode. So thank you, alright, guys. That's it. Another couple stories in the books again.

Speaker 1:

I want to thank John, of course, for coming on the podcast. Couldn't have done it without him. I make sure you guys go and follow him on YouTube. It's Lusk archery adventures on Instagram Lusk archery adventures. You know the drill. I'll put all the links you need in the show notes. Just go down there and give him a quick click, especially if you're into archery. It's the the best way to evaluate broad heads. He does it every year and he does a really thorough job of testing. So thank you, john, for coming on the podcast.

Speaker 1:

I really enjoyed your stories and I've shared them to people in personal circle over and over again. There's always a good sign for an episode. But that's it, guys. If you haven't already, make sure you go ahead and check us out on carbon TV Also, whatever you are listening to us on, and make sure you give us a review, whether it's four stars, one stars, five stars, whatever. It helps us be found Beyond that, if you have some stories of your own, reach out. And that's it guys. Happy new year. I get out there, makes episodes here I.

John Lusk
Epic Elk Hunting Adventure
Life-Saving Adventure With Friends and Elk
Unforgettable Canadian Wolf Hunting Experience
Thrilling Javelina Hunting Experience
Funny Taxidermy and Hunting Experiences
Mountain Goat Tag Hunt Experience
Memorable Hunting Experiences
Hunting Brown Bears in Alaska
Broadhead Testing and Bear Hunting Stories
Stories, Reviews, Listener Stories