The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 083 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Dave Thomas

January 08, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 83
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 083 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Dave Thomas
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Episode 83 with Dave Thomas

When childhood adventures pave the way for a lifetime passion, the stories are bound to be riveting. Dave Thomas of BowHunter Planet joins me,  on a journey through the wilds of memory and experience, painting a vivid tableau of life as a bowhunter. From his earliest days with a bow in hand, nurtured by family traditions, to the birth of BowHunter Planet amidst the less-than-romantic realities of funding a dream, Dave's saga is as heartfelt as it is humorous.

https://www.bowhunterplanet.com/


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Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the hunting stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and we got another good one for you Today. We're actually connecting with Dave Thomas. Dave Thomas was introduced to me by the folks over at Carbon TV, so that's a fun little connection. But beyond that, dave is the host of bow hunter. Check them out on carbon TV. He does a lot of good work, especially if you're in archery. That being said, he's got some amazing stories for us today, kind of rapid fire, a couple at us, but it was a lot of fun and I laughed really hard. So thank you, dave, again for coming on the podcast. I really appreciate it To you listeners. Thank you guys for tuning in. Yeah, let's just go ahead and jump this thing off and let Dave play some of his stories. Thank you, alright, dave.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the hunting stories podcast. Brother, how are you Great? Thank you, yeah, man, I'm glad to have you here. We're going to dive in the story pretty quick here. I want you to introduce yourself, but I'm wasting this gentleman's time here. I forgot to hit record, so we just chatted for like 10 minutes and I was like, oh shit, so sorry about that, dave. So we'll just jump into things. No pleasantries, we've already done that.

Speaker 1:

We know that we like each other. We'll just move on. Introduce yourself please, sir so yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, dave Thomas, bowler planets in this kind of just, my story actually goes around the beginning of bowler planet either way. So we'll talk about like that. So I had in 2007 I had, and before 2007 I've always been really big in a bow hunting. My family got me into it in the 90s. My brother would go hunting with his friends and I would literally, you know, be so excited, waiting to hear if he got something or didn't get something, and I remember those feelings and shooting my bow. I had a browning spike, buck one. I actually ended up reacquiring that bow just because of that memory. I wanted to have it again. So I have it still. It's like a great product for back then, for kids, you know.

Speaker 1:

That's what's funny about that, dave, is I always ask every bow hunter that goes my first bow, I got my first kill. I always ask you still have that bow? Most people either do or pass it to someone who still has it. But it's awesome that you went back and found one because it meant a lot to you, because I think that's important. I have my first boats sitting under a sitting under a bed somewhere in Colorado right now. I got to get back to it.

Speaker 2:

I don't remember the second bow I think it was another browning. It was like a longer one. I don't remember that one, but my first year I shot was with a dart and viper, and I again I lost that bow. But then I went and reacquired the bow and so I have that bow too, which is cool, and I actually thought about trying to redo that one. Start over, and you know, see where we go, see where it goes from there. You know what I mean. So. So, basically, I had a lot of background in this and then, when I hit 2007, I got into this.

Speaker 2:

Like fish keeping I don't know what you want to call it. People call it reef reefers. Like fish keeping, it's like saltwater fish tanks and I got on this forum and I remember trying to sell my own fish food or something stupid, right, I don't know. You know you come up and do things to do in life and I sell this. I'm trying to sell this fish food, and these guys are like you can't sell this here, you're not a company and I'm like, well, I'm just trying to sell a couple of these to see if they even work, or people like them.

Speaker 2:

And they gave me a hard time and I was so mad about it that I told my buddy Tim. I said Tim and I went to college together at Central Michigan and I said, I said we should create our own forum and you know, do what we want on these forums. One of these people, big brother, looking over me and telling me what I can and can't do, right, and so that was where the whole start of Bo Hunter Planet came from, and so that dwarfed into us doing like a poop waste removal business to make money to pay for it, so we pick up dog poop to pay for it and anyway.

Speaker 2:

So that leads into the story, because it basically I needed this like first push into once. We started going. So we got this thing going in September 15, 2009. And I started bringing in family members as fast as I could, like anybody I knew a hundred. I was like dude, I need your help, I want to film these things. So people like right now, when you think about like the hunting public, great guys, I was doing that back in 09. But I just wasn't doing it like they do it like well, they do it very well, like we were just doing. It was like half half asked. You know, it wasn't like that. But we started.

Speaker 2:

We always hunt in state land or whole lives, and so we start on state land. We went out there as me and my cousin Brian, and we go out this lot. You walk back like 1.5 miles into this. It'd be like any sort of public ground, I guess, for anybody in any state realistically. But art Michigan's different. It's a lot of flat, flat land, a lot of woods, a lot of trees and very few clearings. So we get back in the state land. We had already put up stands, like maybe a couple months before and I had just gotten, you know, I even know a bow I had, because it's not, I didn't get the shot here. So get back into this field. I get into, it's like early morning and we had driven. It takes hours, you know, hour and a half, to get to this place in the morning, two hours in the morning. And so I get up in this tree. He gets some tree.

Speaker 2:

I got this camera because I don't know what I'm doing yet, but I'm thinking, ok, well, I need to film our hunts. I mean this is all. I'd be part of this community of bow hunter planet. And so I get the camera. I'm looking around.

Speaker 2:

I remember standing looking around and I was like it was freezing and I was looking around and there's a little field, like just a tiny field, and the fields connect us to where we are. So I can see he's in the edge of that field and I'm, you know, in my field. It's like an L and got it probably like five, four hundred, three hundred yards, three hundred yards apart, maybe, maybe four. And I look up and I see a deer in the field and I'm like, well, that's weird. I'm like, and I see him, because I can actually see him because I realize that he's only in the field, he's in the edge, that feel like ten yards in, but I could see him clear as day. And then also I see him starting to draw his bow. You know, I'm like here we go, baby he's got a good camera.

Speaker 2:

I got the camera on this and you see him draw and you see him shoot this deer. The deer gets hit and the deer runs and it takes off and I'm like ecstatic, right, because I'm like this is unbelievable. I randomly looked up just to see what's going on and I see this deer and I look up, I see him I get the camera on it at this minute and also I see him draw on his bow. I'm like no way, no way, you know. And then, sure enough, he hits this deer, takes off and I can see him. He sees me at this point and he's like doing one of these, you know, on the tree, all the way across the field.

Speaker 1:

Big arm pumps yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, big arm pumps and he, he, he. So he gets down, we get down and I'm like I can't believe it. You know, I'm like we just started this website and you got a deer right. This is unbelievable. This is like the best thing that could happen.

Speaker 2:

So we got a year to the first, one of the first videos we ever did. You can see that footage. It's so funny, like just looking back on the memory of him holding a deer there with the leaves falling. It was just such a beautiful memory, you know, and him talking to the camera and I remember thinking like I can't believe we got this done. You know, like this was crazy. Like state land it doesn't usually happen like that. It's actually like three or four days of grunt work, you know, trying to get a deer to come in. I'm talking like a spike. I'm not even talking like a big buck here. You know this is, this is like, I think, the biggest buck I've ever seen. That lot there's probably an eight point. That was, I mean, year and a half eight point, you know, like something real, real young, you know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, something that maybe in a few years will be impressive, but there's so few and far between. You're going to harvest it that year, that's my, that's my first mini story.

Speaker 2:

I got a lot of mini stories today because I don't have like one necessarily, but I do have a lot of minis that make up a lot of really important memories for me. The next one was Northern Michigan, was hunting on some private land with my buddy, ron, and we were filming for the website and I. So at one point we had two hunting shows. We had bone driven and hunt series, which we don't really have those anymore. They're kind of discontinued just because of. To be honest, it's more of a funding thing because the companies at a certain point companies couldn't afford to really do that anymore, like give bows to all these hunters and it just it's a lot of work, right, and it's a lot of money, and if it's not TV, they weren't really doing at the time.

Speaker 2:

So anyway, I'm hunting with Ron, he's shooting a Strudler bow. Strudler had sponsored the show at this point and so we're sitting there and I'm not exaggerating, this is beautiful buck starts walking right at us. I'm like no way. And I'm filming it on a DSR too, so the quality is really nice. And I'm sitting there filming this and this buck comes in and he just plugs this deer. I'm talking like heart shot, like 15 yards, like unbelievable shot. But the best part was so the deer runs and I'm on the tree and I'm like kind of going around this tree and we're sitting like this. You know, we're really close to each other Like I don't know if we're probably like an owl yeah, we're like an owl, like this.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha. So 90 degree angle back, to back on a tree or something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly, and I turned the camera and I turned it around him and you could see him blurred, kind of in the background. You see the deer, and the deer is like staggering at like 20 yards away it didn't even go far. It's like staggering, staggering. And then it goes down and you see him going like this, like in the camera frame. He's like, yeah, I backed up the camera. He's like, yeah, it was shaking so bad.

Speaker 2:

It was the coolest moment and I'll never forget it because it was just such a good like everything about it was almost the picture, perfect honey moments for a bow hunter. The deer came in. We saw the deer we had. The deer had no idea we're there. The shot was close, easy shot. He's a swacker. I mean it hit that thing in the shoulder area and just opened up and went right through it like butter just and that kind of see like those those are. Those are important moments because they're gold for their, gold for the business and they're also gold for us. You know it's just people's they're hunting, because when you capture stuff like that on video, you're like, wow, that that really came together. I wasn't expecting that and yeah, so that was a great experience as well.

Speaker 1:

I've told you I'm relatively new hunter and I've only been whitetail hunting once. If you look over my shoulder you can see my, my South Texas whitetail with a shotgun of all damn things with buckshot. But I'm still hoping out or holding out for that first archery whitetail kill man. And then, like hearing stories like yours where it's just like shaking, fist pumping, I can't wait, and hopefully this coming hunting season to be 2024 of a buddy in Kansas. I put in for a draw because it's, you know, out of status, is a draw there and I didn't get it. But hopefully next year I'll finally have the opportunity to have a little whitetail archery story of my own. Yeah, that's awesome. I am.

Speaker 2:

So this next one's a little bit. It's a good experience, but it was kind of a weird experience, kind of a creepy one. So we had gone to the same state land we talked about in the first story and I was with my cousin and he had just bought Did he do? What bow was this he shot, because I remember it was like a bow thing and I think he missed. And then he so he just bought the switch back from Matthews, which is one of the most popular bows they ever made, and he was in his tree stand, the same state land that we're talking about earlier. He was in a different stand, though this time a little bit closer to the road that we started on, and I was in the same stand actually that I saw him shoot that deer out of. Well, he's in this other stand.

Speaker 2:

And this, the first year I don't know what year was was like the first year you could do a combo in Michigan, so it meant like you could shoot a deer and you could shoot another deer if they met a criteria. So he shoots this buck that comes in the smaller buck and it runs away. Five minutes later another buck comes in and it's bigger and it's shootable. He shoots that buck. So he's got two bucks and I'm like and so he calls me. He's like dude, I got two. I don't know. A tool came in and this is again state land. Well, we only go like once a year. Well, the odds are we're not going back to that spot again. So he's like I'm just closing out my year right here, you know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so this is also what makes Michigan kind of suck for hunting. To be honest, is this two buck to? You could do two bucks. It's a bad idea, honestly, but either way, this was in the beginning of it. We don't do that now either way, unless it's a monster, you know it'd have to be like unbelievable. But whatever, teach his own. So he shoots this this year, right, okay, so we find the first year no problem, like. It's like 15 yards away, you know, piled up fast, we drag it out. We go back for the second one, not so easy. It gets like pitch blackout.

Speaker 1:

So we're like okay, excuse me, do you drag it out the hole? You said a mile and a half, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Suck. No, four wheelers Can't use any machines. Nope, it's all illegal to take a machine anything back there.

Speaker 1:

So I'm more familiar with, like Western big game. You wouldn't, you know, break that thing down and throw in the packs? You just, you just drag it.

Speaker 2:

The breakdown method is not something that's done in Michigan.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay, I mean not that it doesn't suck a little bit.

Speaker 2:

I've actually never heard of the breakdown method until I got more into years later of bow and replanted stuff and like, oh, oh, okay, we pack out, okay. And I started learning about you know, balance I'm good friends with balance on the guys like, oh yeah, we have packs that do that. You know that's what's made for. So, yeah, good idea. Though I understand how it makes sense. A lot of those got a lot of us would take it and use to get right to a butcher and the butcher takes it from there like as a whole, you just got it basically. But you know, nowadays we don't do that. We have four wheelers. We just drag them right out. You know, and we're on privately and it's easy. You don't have to take a truck right up to the edge and throw in the back of the truck quick, you know, just drop it off. So we still don't really have to pack out. But back then we didn't know anything about pack it out, even though it's a great idea.

Speaker 2:

We always had a hard tag, got the one out. We go tell our friends who live in the area that, hey, you know we got a deer. So they all come show up to help and they come in. And God, these are bringing back some weird memories, man, I'm starting to remember other stuff now too, holy cow.

Speaker 1:

There we go we find the blood trail.

Speaker 2:

We start walking it and we get to the edge of this huge field and we flash the light across the field and you see deer eyes and we're like what the hell, man? Like that can't be the deer. You know, we're thinking like that can't be the deer. Then you know it's looking back and I'm like well, that's pretty stupid, because what else would it be, right? I mean, think about it. It's like why would there be a deer there? And the blood's going that direction, right. So we follow the blood all the way to where the eyes were. We get to this edge and it's like another little. So we're to the edge of that other field. Now, this is far, this is like 500 yards. We get to the edge of the other field and there's a little valley, just a little valley, in there, and we're looking and we see the blood going into the valley. So we have a guy in his hands and knees, like looking for this blood, and he looks up and the deer's right there, like 10 yards away from him, and it gets up and it's going. Wow, there's one dude in the group pulls out a 9 millimeter and drops a whole magazine on this deer. A whole magazine.

Speaker 2:

This is at midnight in the state, a Michigan State Force, pitch black, and I'm like, dude, what are you doing? We're all diving to the ground and I'm like you can't. I'm like, what are you doing? Like you know, I'm like I'm out of here. Dude, I this is crazy. Like you can't shoot a gun in the pitch, like I don't even know if it's self-defense. I mean, I understand it looks like it was really going to gore the guy. I'm not going to lie, but at the same time there's a guy in the ground he could have shot that guy. You know what the frick are you doing, man?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So we leave my cousin, like that.

Speaker 2:

Like one, two maybe Like 60 shots of a 9 millimeter block Six. Good God, I'm telling you it was the craziest shit. Like it was like do do, do do. Flashes going everywhere. I just hit the ground. I felt like it was at World War II or something you know. I was like what's going on? So my cousin's like that's it, we're out of here. He was so pissed he's like what are you doing? And we're out of here, we're out of here, and the next day we come back. That year it's literally five yards from where it jumped up and he didn't hit it one time.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so later in my life, like in the past like four years, I've really gotten into guns a lot. Like we own gun hunter plenty too. We don't do a lot with it but we do own it. So I started getting into guns a lot and actually SIG saw our sponsor this last year. It was pretty cool, and so I've learned to shoot really good like with pistols, and it's not easy to shoot like distance. It's not like him thinking he could actually hit that deer without really aiming slowly and accordingly it would be pretty hard to do.

Speaker 1:

How far was the shooter from the deer 20?

Speaker 2:

yards.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and there was a guy halfway in between.

Speaker 2:

Correct On the ground laying because he was looking for the blood. I mean I think he dove back or whatever, but either way it was stupid Like I'm like. What do you, do we dude?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I bet you never hunted with that guy again.

Speaker 2:

No, no, yeah, actually I didn't talk to those people anymore, ever again, because I'm like dude, that's so messed up, that's too messed up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't push you, I can't point your what Two miles into the woods Like if you hit somebody. You know that's a death sentence. Basically, you're right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I didn't even think of that. Yeah, so if it was an accident it would have been bad, no, anyway, yes, that was crazy. That same area. I'm like moving around the map in my mind. So the same area. If I move over to where I shot my first buck when I was younger, my first buck I was sitting in that same area. I started in here for the first story, but back a little ways further, like to say 30 yards for the back or 50, I was 30 feet up in a tree, way too high, like way up there, dude, I know what we were thinking. We were young and dumb. And so I'm up in this tree. This deer comes in. You could bait back then. So we have bait. So I bait down. This buck comes in, starts eating the bait and I never shot a deer. This is like my first time. It's like 2000, 2001 or 2000. I can't remember the year right in there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm like Are you bringing like corn or like some apples, or what are you baiting with?

Speaker 2:

This would have been corn or carrots, the easiest thing to get in there. Generally, corn would probably be the easiest, not I think about, but either way. So it's definitely corn, carrots or sugar beets is one of the three. So he's eating it. I draw my bow back and I'm like at first I can't believe I'm about to get a shot. You know I'm shaking, I'm like going. You know my body's just going crazy and I shoot them. I hit them high but in the lung, and at the time I was shooting like XX78s, super slams, and I had like a Muzzy on there with that viper, the dart and viper. It runs behind me and takes off right.

Speaker 2:

So I have no idea what this deer is. I just I've never tracked a deer, really in my own deer, at least to this point, and so a lot of those same guys we talked about in the last story came to help look for my deer. But this is like years before, right, this is like way before that other thing happened. So we're going. It's like pitch black. You know, at this point it's a night hunt and so I leave with them, we give it some time, they come back and we all go back and then we go in there and look for it.

Speaker 2:

I'm like man, I really hope I get this my first year. So we start going back there and you could hear like Coyotes howling everywhere. It was like the scariest scenario and like we get, like we get like just past my stand, like 40 yards past it, and you could see eyes of Coyotes like circling us. It was crazy, I'm like. I'm like I'm like what do we do? We're just going to man up and keep going. Like there's the six of us, you know, I mean, they're not going to do anything.

Speaker 1:

There's six of us yeah, so we get this time roughly 18 maybe.

Speaker 2:

Ok, yeah, 18. I just graduate high school in 99. So somewhere in there. So I get there. You know, we find the deer and it's got some chew marks on its legs, you know. But we got to it, thank God. And then we got it out of there. But yeah they, they took off after a little while. You know, of us being there, I think they got scared. They probably came back for the guts, though, because we decided to leave the guts there to keep them occupied while we got the hell out of it. I'm sure, man, I'm sure.

Speaker 1:

That's actually just hunting with one of my former guest, steel Turner, and he was saying as far as Coyotes, he, he does a lot of thermal hunting in Texas and he puts out his little, like you know, wounded rabbit noisemaker out there and he says he, he watches these coyotes, man, they're, they're crafty where they'll come in and they'll completely circle the, the, the noisemaker like two or three times and he just watches these animals.

Speaker 2:

Look at the issues.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Just looking for issues building a strategy. They are. They're surprisingly smart. People don't give them credit because they're. They're little killers is what they are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I'm a firm believer in the hierarchy. I really like the, I like the idea that they're there, I like the idea wolves are there. I just I really believe in the natural hierarchy. So like, if it's, I don't just shoot anything. Like that's the other thing about me that's different than someone. I will not shoot a coyote if I'm not going to eat a coyote. So I don't shoot coyotes. So it's just me. It's just something I live by because I don't believe in wasting animals or meat. But I get it. I know why people do it. I just it's not something I would do. So like I had one guy told me he's like oh, I shot this porcupine. I'm like why, why did you shoot the porcupine? And I'm like why?

Speaker 2:

Like you're going to mount the you guys to hide, or oh no, I just kicked it to the side. I'm like then what's the point? I've never seen a porcupine Like I would have loved to have seen that porcupine in the field, you know, or an otter, or something cool. Like there's no reason just to kill something, you know I don't know, that's just me again. Everybody has rules are different. You can do what you want.

Speaker 1:

I prefer to eat what I harvest as well. I don't know, I can't think I've killed anything, except for maybe I'm not much of a duck hunter but a coot. I've killed a coot that I wasn't able to retrieve and people scared me out of eating that thing. But that's that's. That's about it. I did see a porcupine one time in the woods that you mentioned and I was with a buddy of mine and it was the funniest, smoked it.

Speaker 1:

No, no, we just, we just saw it. And he's like oh man, watch out, It'll shoot your quills at you. And I'm like man, you've seen too many cartoons.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Like, unless you're going to go up and sniff that thing, you don't have to worry about those quills, but only ones that creep me out really are the raccoons, and it's not that I don't want to shoot them, but like they do scare me because I feel like they can climb my tree. They can literally make me fall out of my tree if they start messing with me in the tree, which is creepy for the little stuff, I mean. And squirrels don't really mess with you, but they do come check you out, which is weird sometimes. But they make that stupid allowed alarm sound.

Speaker 1:

Yep, throw, throw, throw nuts at you if you're in their area. Yeah, all right.

Speaker 2:

So we're going to move on to a little bit later years. So, 2015, we'd had a Canadian bear hunt and this one wow man, this was the experience. So to so, first off, this is like the pinnacle timeframe for Boner Planet. At this point right, 2015, we have. We have worked with Matthews, hoy, you name it. All the big brands have worked with Boner Planet. They all knew us, they all respected us. We have them on. I could have them all on speed dial even today, of course, but back then I had them at that point. So I'm like this is it, man. And so we started. We really spread out the bows. I was hunting with a Hoy, I think. A couple of guys were a baritree stuff, some guys were Darden, some guys were Matthews. So it was cool.

Speaker 2:

We had a huge group of people go. This was going to be one of the most exciting hunts and we had RVs up there. So, basically, we drove from Detroit area all the way through Sault Ste, sault Ste Marie, crossed over from the UP of Michigan into Canada and then we drove four hours north from there. I mean, it was, it was a journey. We got to this city and it was the middle, I think it was like white fish or something white, but anyway, we, we kind of got settled in and this is for Black Bear hunting and this is in August of 2015. And so we're there and there's a lot of us. Like I said, there's probably of our group, there's probably 10 or 15 guys of our beach group and out of the total group there's about 50.

Speaker 2:

So there's a lot of people including Mike Avery was there too as well, who's an outdoor radio host in Michigan here. He's a great guy, great guy, big in the hunting and 50 got 50 guys are at this hunting camp. Yep, it's huge absolute massive. So we I don't know what to expect here. So Kevin, my father-in-law, who was one of the owners of Bon Appliances, while he had gone near before and loved it, and said, oh, you guys got to go. It's really cool, it's a great experience With the 50 guys that year too.

Speaker 2:

I don't know Probably, to be honest, I mean as part of this outfitter who puts this on and you, you know he so anyway. So, and we're not all like 50 right in that one spot, but you know, throughout the city there's 50 of these total hunters who came in from all over the place to hunt and they go to this outfitter guy. Yeah, to be honest, I mean it's, it was hard. You know, it's really big. There's a lot of stories here. So I'm just going to, because there's a lot of people and we help with a lot of different hunts and stuff. So I'll start with mine, just because it's crazy. But I so they, so how it works is you take? So we had one of one of like I had my machine there. I had a four door like Polaris type thing. So we put the bait in the back of the Polaris and we drive 30 miles to the hunt camp area. The hunt area, okay, 30 miles in to this all woods. So I'm not talking like 30 miles on a road, I'm talking logging trails, 30 miles.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so we've got two hours.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so this is the start of the. The 30 miles is the start of the hunting area, Put it that way. So that's the base camp, basically for adverse. It's like base camp one, yeah, so we get to that area. Then we go out and sprout five or six or seven or 10 miles apart, right All over the place, and so we bait. We bait all these spots with this molasses, this grandma's molasses, candy bar crap, I don't know. It's like crazy, right, it's like it smells amazing, Like I could eat it. It smells that good. So the first thing that happens is nothing happens there. We bail these spots the first day.

Speaker 2:

We get back to the camp and we're in the RV. We're all hanging out having some beers talking about oh, tomorrow's. But you don't hunt mornings there and you only hunt nights because too dangerous apparently. So we get, we're like going into sleep and I hear someone yelling. Now I'm like what's going on? So we all run outside, was grabbing our guns and stuff. Everybody runs outside and there's a bear in the back of my Polaris licking. No baits, no, Well, like shoe, bear, shoe, this big black bear jumps down and runs away and we all go back in and then I hear yelling again. So we go back out there and apparently the bear came back and was in the back of it again and this guy yelled at him and this time he charged him and he like fell over you, screaming.

Speaker 2:

And so bear ran away. Then we went back to bed and then we heard screaming again and I looked out the window and I could see this black mass like moving through towards the woods Apparently the guy. The last time. The last thing that happens there was a guy in a tent and the bear went up and sniffed the tent and then it took its claw and just broke one of the ends of the tent. The whole thing collapsed. He starts screaming it's bear's control. Man. I was in like a harsh RV. I was good to go, I wasn't scared. So that happens the first day. So we're all like, kind of like whoa, you know what is going on here. There's like bears in the camp. Like what is this Like?

Speaker 1:

I thought this like 30 miles away At nighttime, and that's why I assume this bear got a free pass that night.

Speaker 2:

I don't know. I say I don't know, I don't know the rules, I just know that the, the, yeah, I don't know. Actually it's a great question, I don't know, but yeah, so that happened. So the next day we go hunting. So the first hunt I think my first hunt, this is my first hunt, yeah. So they draw me off, um, so we split up. I go with this Bob guy. Bob drops me off at three miles from him, so he drops me off and he keeps going and he goes three miles and I go to my stand there I get straight in, I go, okay, okay, yeah, straight in. I go in and it's interesting Landscape in Canada, northern Canada I don't know if that's actually called Northern Canada, but for me Northern Canada and it's a lot of moss.

Speaker 2:

So when you're stepping, you step on pillows. It's what it really feels like, Like you're stepping on pillows the whole way and it's this green, cool, sage and moss, and it's really really cool backdrops and beautiful, beautiful landscape, like that moss, like hanging off stuff, not the kind that you get in Florida or somewhere. It gets in your eyes and it's itchy.

Speaker 1:

But you know, this is like nah like really good stuff.

Speaker 2:

So, anyway, I get into this tree stand, I'm sitting there, I got my bare mace, I got my bow. There's no gun allowed because I'm American and I can't shoot. I can't bring a handgun with me. So I have no gun. I have a bow, can a mace, five arrows total and that's it. No communication, no phones work, no radios work, nothing worked nothing.

Speaker 2:

So here I am, I'm like, okay, I put these go pros out, because of course I'm filming for the stuff. And I'm like, all right, I put out go pros in a full circle of the area. So I got them on a remote control, full circle, five of them. It's actually pretty incredible footage because I have so many cameras. So I I'm sitting there and first thing happens on there maybe 15 minutes, maybe 15 minutes and I look up and there's a bear staring at me at the edge of the. So the bait. If the bait is like here, I'm here, the bait's here, this is about 25 yards, okay, 20 yards, we'll call it and then the bear is right here at the edge of this, like looking at the bait at 10 yards in the bait pile, I don't know.

Speaker 1:

Are you? Are you elevated or is this like an elevated?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm in almost like a wood, a wood stand that was built into the tree like a huge platform. It's probably like four by four. Uh, nice platform with rails on the backside so you can't fall back, okay. Um, so I'm, I see it and I'm like, okay, here we go, you know, and he's like drooling, scaring, flies all around his face, like I'm like what I'm like? I'm like I don't know about this, but I'm like, all right, whatever, I'll stick this bear, I ain't worried about it. So this bear comes into the barrel. There's a barrel you put the bait in and his back is below the middle line. So that's an indicator. He's not big enough to shoot, right. So I'm like, okay, not shooting this one, it's going to watch him eat, whatever. So he does this thing. First thing, he does knock the barrel over. So there goes my line, right, there goes my judgment line.

Speaker 2:

My thanks dude, great, wonderful, didn't think of this, right you know, when I was sitting there, like they need to put a pull on the ground or something, right? So like you know what I mean. Like, so you know. So, anyway, he's eating, does this thing? No big deal? And then maybe like 20 minutes goes by and I hear crashing to my left, maybe an hour, I don't know how long it was, but crashing my left.

Speaker 2:

I look over and I see a black mass running through the woods charging the bay pile. And I see him get out of the bucket area and start running and I'm like, oh damn, here we go. Big daddy came in. So I get my bow out. I get, I draw my bow. This, this bear is pissed man. It's like looking for that bear, it's like aggressive, like I mean, it's like full, full, like puffed up and all this stuff, and I'm like no way. So I get my bow out. I had this white carbon bow at the time. It might be the carbon RX five. It was awesome, awesome. But yeah, so I draw this bow back and I'm like set in. And he said 25 yards. I don't know how I figured that out, but somehow I knew it was 25 yards and just absolutely smoke this bear. It was like just right through it.

Speaker 1:

Was this bear just obviously bigger than the little one that just ran off, so you knew it was a shooter right off the bat.

Speaker 2:

We'll get to that part a minute, sorry I sometimes I've ruined stories by asking questions.

Speaker 1:

Keep going.

Speaker 2:

So I'm like smoke, this bear quartering away, just boom, right right through the pumper I hear a go, I hear a crash, I hear a ground, a ground, a ground grown in. And then I hear the other bear comes back and it's like, it's like I don't know if it's fighting it and it's dead. I don't know what's happening. It was like growling and running and all the stuff. And next thing I know that other bear comes back and he starts eating again. So I'm like, ok, well, this is a weird scenario because I have a bear down. I don't know if that bear is going to eat the other bear or what's going to happen with the dead bear. I know that he's in my set and I don't know I can't go anywhere because there's nobody here behind me. He's no like, I can't call, I'm getting darker. It's going to keep getting darker. Right, creep me out.

Speaker 2:

So then this bear, he's like doing the weirdest stuff and he's like itching his legs, like sitting on his butt. It's just the funniest looking scenes, you know. You're like what is this thing doing? And all of a sudden, like literally all of a sudden, it was like it was like some kind of horror movie is like itching his legs. All of a sudden it stops and it looks up and it's staring at this tree that I have a GoPro on, like it's looking right at it and all of a sudden it just walks over to it and starts sniffing it and licking it Like and I got this all in video Slicking and sniffing this, and it drops down to the ground with his head down. I swear to God, follows that my foot trail right to my tree, no way From 20 yards out. He sniffed that GoPro, dropped the ground and just sniffed like a dog would sniff a rabbit trail all the way to my tree. And he's looking up at me and he's putting his claws on the tree and I'm like what? The app is going on right?

Speaker 1:

now Right what just happened.

Speaker 2:

It was like everything is fine. You know, I'm watching this bear eat and also now he's on my tree about to climb up and kill me. So I grabbed the bear mace, I popped the tab off and I put it over as a rail. So it's not easy to like aim. So I got this rail and I'm aiming over the rail, I'm like and I start saying them don't do it Like don't do it, don't do it, I don't want to spray this dude because I'm thinking my head like this and get my eyes on mill nowhere.

Speaker 1:

If this gets in my eyes, I'm blinded, so if it's finding the bear that you put down would be impossible.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know what I'm going to do. So I'm sitting there going, oh my God, my heart is pounding Like. I'm like what is it going to happen here? And then I like it sets back down and starts sniffing, walks out in front of me and he's looking at me, like 15 yards out, like in front of me, like, looks back and just staring at me and I'm like, and I'm like like, get out of here, Leave on the bird. I'm like, get out of here. And he just starts eating again and give a shit. He didn't give a shit. And I'm thinking like, oh my God, like I might to defend my life here.

Speaker 2:

So I get another arrow out. I didn't have another arrow out. You know, I killed a bear. I'm like I can't shoot. Another was illegal. I'm like I'll shoot another If it's going to kill me. I ain't going to let no bear kill me.

Speaker 2:

So I get another arrow out. I'm thinking like, God, this is why I need a gun. Like well, this is crazy. So I'm sitting there and that thing's like keeps looking at me and doesn't know what it wants to do, and I'm thinking, oh God. And then more bears start coming in. Now I'm getting rid of this. I'm like I don't know, this is crazy.

Speaker 2:

So finally the bear would leave. He started leaving and then he would come back Like see, be gone for 20 minutes and then you also see him again at the edge of the field, come back in the eat, kept doing this over and over and then finally, as it was getting darker, you know, I I dropped the bear mace, basically like it was on, it was on the platform and something happened and I kicked it and it fell off and I thought I am, Of course I am screwed. So finally, I don't know why I made this decision to get out of there. I was like that's it, I'm going to hike the three miles out and get back to the truck. So I back out, I wait for him to leave again and I back down the trees fast, I can grab them, the mace.

Speaker 2:

I'm only like literally 15 yards from the road. So I back literally off into the road and I started going like right away, Just start hitting going the direction I knew that Bob went. Stupid idea. I get about halfway, Like some are in my own. This walk. Now I'm like this is really stupid. Like it's dusk, there's wolves out here, there's moose out here and there's more bear and I'm on the ground Like I have no advantage here at all.

Speaker 1:

Or the road splits and you don't know which way he went. I didn't even think of that. I didn't even think of that.

Speaker 2:

Thank, God that didn't happen. You're right. Yeah, I am, you're right, because I would have never been able to find where I went in either. You know what I mean. Like, where I came out, I knew I was going the right direction, but if I had to go back I wouldn't have found the tree stands, my point. I would have to stay on that road period. So, anyway, I did find the truck. It took me three miles of walking and the door was open, which was surprising. So I got in, but there was obviously no key so I couldn't open the window for air. You know, and the, the, the bugs, dude, they're hitting that window, like trying to get to me, like they're hitting the window and just like you know, like, just like this constant just smashing the window trying to get the wave of lies Disgusting is disgusting that when you were in your stand or no, I didn't notice anything, and then it was just right when I was on the ground in that sunny area.

Speaker 1:

Maybe this is.

Speaker 2:

Bob starts coming, starts coming down, waiting for me. It's like dark. It's getting dark. I could I see him walking down the road and I'm like you guys are f'ing nuts, never doing this again. He's not laughing at me, I'm like is there like a bunch of older guys, though they're laughing at me. I was like dude. I'm like you're like this is crazy, bob. Like literally I thought I was going to die out there. He's like oh, you're such a pansy. But I was like okay.

Speaker 2:

So anyway, that happened and then so we got the wind up going back. So I, with a lot of guys because I was like I'm not going out there unless this with like 15 guys, you know, like those bears are everywhere out there and it's crazy, right. So we all go back to the big group looking for this bear flashlight. So we're actually I got some really cool footage of this because one of our camera guys that came was using DSLR and he was filming this recovery and man, the footage looks so cool. It's like some of a movie the way he filmed it. It looks so amazing.

Speaker 2:

But Jamie finds it and he goes hey, there's someone shoot a black lab over here. I got a dog down. I'm like what's talking about? And then he's like here's your little puppy. And it was literally like a 70 pound bear. I'm like really, I'm like, oh my God, it looks so big. He goes. Well, it was pumped up, man, it came into a fight. Of course it'd be puffed up. I'm like, what's on my fault? The barrel got knocked over. I don't know what I'm doing. It's like the first time I've been out here. So I got this little. I had to wear this stupid hat the rest of the hunt because I had to wear a cub hat they called it, or something Smallest bear of the pack hat.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's too far. I'm glad that they have that tradition, though it's so which should make you feel better, because that means it happens to other folks as well. It's not just you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, I know Black labs later that night, though, like this is what I'm saying. This is so crazy. So a couple of quick stories from that experience. Like so this other guy shoots a bear it's, the bear was on its hind legs. He hits it in the brisket with a ramcat, with a crossbow. The thing takes off and it's it's like gone dude. It takes off off, like you know. So we all go out to help them look for it at night. So we're walking through this forest at night and there's bear dens everywhere. There's.

Speaker 2:

The thing fell off a ravine. So I ran full speed, like I'm talking 100 yards out. Then he hit a ravine and fell off the ravine, which was like a 60 yard incline ravine, no way to spell off a mountain, basically and it was laying dead at the bottom of the ravine. So we had to like cut a tree down, to wrap, you know, put it to the tree, strap to the tree and carry it out. One guy fell over exhaustion, like we had to like help him, like EMS type help, and I mean the guys they were firing in their EMS guy, some of them, so they knew what to do, but they'd like take the, take your jacket off, take your shirt off, cool down. You know he was like overheated from doing all the work, oh my.

Speaker 2:

God and the last thing that happened. Well, two things, the one of the things happened. So then the second night, so after this, I was done, right, I wasn't going back in those woods, unless it was with a group to help people I was like I'm good man, this is crazy crap, I'm good for now. I think I've had my share and, to be honest with you, not having like a, a shotgun or anything to protect myself is a huge difference. Right, like when I go hunting I do Black Bear, honey, michigan and I carry a shotgun with me, like a Shockwave, one of those type of shotguns, dude, I'm more of a handgun, you know, I was carrying a freaking 10 millimeter with 16 rounds or something. I'm good Like, I'm not scared at all, you know, but not that you can't get mold, you can, but I just feel better about it, right, I have something to protect myself, anyway.

Speaker 2:

So we're going into the camper. I go into the camper and I hear John behind me, my buddy, and he's talking and I'm like, what the hell is he doing? Is he talking to me? And then I hear him scream and I go out there and I go. What's his happy? He goes. Well, I didn't know. You went in the camper and I heard all this shuffling to the left and there was a bear trying to get into our cooler. Like what an idiot bear. You can't get no yeti cooler or moron. But I was like still, it was so funny. There was literally a bear with its butt sticking out under the camper, shaking, trying to get into this cooler. It's the Dude man, that's amazing.

Speaker 1:

You know, after you told all the stories, I understand why there were 50 guys in camp because there was plenty of bears to go around.

Speaker 2:

There was so many bears.

Speaker 1:

Just no way. There's enough bears for that many hunters.

Speaker 2:

But it doesn't sound like it was any guy who should have. Some guys didn't just shoot anything either, so keep that in mind. They were waiting for giants, but every guy hunted saw three to five bears during the hunts.

Speaker 1:

Wow, wow.

Speaker 2:

What do?

Speaker 1:

you think was the biggest bear that came out of that camp 350?

Speaker 2:

Woo, there was a giant, I think, like Avery shot actually, but there was, we had there's. It's cool, though, because you take the bear to a weight scale area. They weigh it, they mark it, there's all. Those guys are there, the 50 guys, like everybody's at this one spot where all the bears come in the meat area. You know the hangovers. They freeze it for you and everything. It's awesome. They freeze it in your cooler and do like a commercial grade freezer, so it's super iced up when you leave, and we drove home with the put in the yeti, froze it. We had four bears to come home, froze them in yeti's, and we drove home with them on an open bed trailer and they never thought at all that 12, 14 hours or whatever Solid.

Speaker 1:

Still, that's a fun story. I mean, I've been invited to go on my first Black Bear hunt in April and I'm trying not to, I'm trying to build up the courage to go. That your stories didn't necessarily help. No, it's kind of creepy.

Speaker 2:

But you know, Kevin's been on about 10 of them. He's killed bears every year. I think it's just a matter of feeling confident and having what you need, and yeah, he hasn't always hunt alone either, though you know you can help with somebody's a camera guy. It still helps if you have one more person.

Speaker 1:

I agree, I agree, and I'm not going to be going to Canada, I'll be going to Idaho, so I'll be able to bring a pistol with me.

Speaker 2:

That changed a lot better.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, my buddy Eric Boone, he's episode 66. I had him on the podcast and he had just the craziest. All of his stories are predator stories. He got attacked by a cougar because he stepped over it's cubs one time and he turned around and had his pistol out and the nose of the cat was like four inches from the end of his barrel. But the cubs meowed off so the mom turned around and ran off after them. Another one like you said, a bear came charging in, didn't know he was in the tree, ran up the tree above him and then pissed on him.

Speaker 1:

So if anyone listening wants to hear a great episode, episode 66 of the Hunting Stories Podcast with Eric Boone this guy told all these stories and then he invited me hunting and then I was like, yeah, man, I'm in. And then I hung up and I was like wait a minute. All of his stories were absolutely terrifying. I don't want to go hunting with this guy, but I think that's just the nature of it. I think that's what makes them good stories. So I'll definitely be joining him. But, dave man, this was a lot of fun. It was a lot of rapid fire, but it was a good change of pace from the big stories. That bear camp sounds fantastic, man, but let's wrap this thing up. I know we have a hard stop. Why don't you tell the people where they can find you, and then we'll get on with our days, man.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, you guys can check out bohunterplantcom for all of our links to everything and a whole bunch of content in regards to archery, hunting and stories Not these type of stories, but stories as in companies telling us what is going on with their new brand. So that's always fun too to hear from them directly on the stuff they're doing. So appreciate you having me on and look forward to seeing you on carbon.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely, man. Thank you again for joining. I really do appreciate it and, yeah, have a great day, brother, you too. Thanks, man. All right, guys, that's it. Another couple of stories in the books. I want to thank Dave, of course, for coming on the podcast. Could not have done it without him. Make sure you give him a follow on the social media stuff. Check him out on a carbon TV I've got the links to everything in the show notes and, while you're there, check us out on Instagram carbon TV, whether you're listening to Spotify, apple, whatever it might be, give us a review. We'd very much appreciate. That Helps other people find us and get in touch with us to hear some more amazing hunting stories. Or, if you have some amazing hunting stories, why not Reach out to us? I'd love when my listeners reach out. They're my favorite stories to actually listen to. But that's it, guys. Thank you very much for tuning in. I really do appreciate it. Now get out there and make some some music.

Hunting Stories Podcast With Dave Thomas
Bow Hunting Experiences and Challenges
Deer Hunting and Encounters With Coyotes
Bear Hunting Adventure in 2015
Bear Encounter While Hunting
Bear Hunting Adventure
Thanking Dave and Encouraging Audience Participation