The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 085 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Finn & Jon Weddell

January 29, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 85
The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 085 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Finn & Jon Weddell
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As I welcomed the extraordinary father-son duo, Finn and John Waddell, to the mic, we unearthed the layered narrative of hunting traditions that have shaped their bond. Our journey with the Waddell's takes us through laughter-filled tales of moose mishaps and deer that turn up their noses at garden pumpkins, to the poignant stories of camaraderie and resilience that can only be found in the quiet of the woods. Together, we celebrate the victories, both big and small, that come with a family's legacy in the heart of the great outdoors.

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Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and we got a good one for you today. But firstly I want to say I apologize for missing last week. Moving across the country seems to be just consistent whenever I do that I seem to not be able to put out an episode that week. So I apologize, but that's okay because we've got a good one for you Today. We're actually connecting with Finn and John Waddell.

Speaker 1:

Finn is the youngest guest to be on the podcast, at 16 years old, and then his father and they tell some great stories about a family hunting spot and I want to thank Finn and John for coming on, but Finn especially for being persistent and staying with me as I was moving and getting this thing scheduled. So I'll stop there, but enjoy the episode, guys. Thank you very much for tuning in. Now let's let Finn and John tell you their stories. Alright, fellas, welcome to the Hunting Stories podcast. How you guys doing Good Thanks, thanks for having us. Yeah, I'm super excited to chat with you guys Today. Guys, we have some listeners coming to tell us some stories. In fact, we have our youngest guest so far, finn, and his father, john. Why don't you guys introduce yourselves real quick so that people know who they're hearing some stories from today. And, finn, why don't you go ahead and go first?

Speaker 2:

I'm Finn Waddell, I'm 16 and a listener of the podcast.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, john.

Speaker 3:

I'm John Waddell and I never even really heard of a podcast till we were on a long drive and Finn said I'm going to download some podcasts for us to listen to on the dead spots where you can't get any radio on the way up north.

Speaker 1:

And somehow you guys found my podcast. So thank you guys for listening. I'm glad you guys enjoy it. Finn man, thank you for reaching out. You've been persistent with me as I've been moving across the country. I moved from Texas back up to Colorado. It's been crazy, but you've stayed with me and here we are, so we get to hear some great stories. I want to hear a little bit about you guys. Where are you guys from? How long you've been hunting? I assume, John, you've had Finn hunting basically since he put on diapers. But you guys tell me the story. Whoever wants to take that one?

Speaker 3:

Well, I started hunting pretty young and then kind of, you know, when a son comes along, eventually you kind of always hope that they're going to be into it. And actually Finn was not a late bloomer but early on he didn't really seem like he would be that that was going to be his interest. But then suddenly he started showing some interest in it and then, just just before COVID hit maybe the year before COVID hit started to show some interest in it. And then during COVID, when everything was shut down, we had a lot more time to like hockey was shut down, school was shut down. Yeah, you know, so we were, we had, we had a lot of time to shed, hunt and fish and hunt, and it kind of really solidified our you know path down that road.

Speaker 2:

So that's awesome. Where are you guys located? We're in Innisfell, Alberta.

Speaker 1:

Okay, and Finn man, I got. I got asked like what, what was the switch? Like what besides COVID and not being able to do anything else? So, like what, what was the thing that made you go? You know what? This hunting thing's pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

To be honest, I couldn't tell you. I really I'm not too sure, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Nothing wrong with that.

Speaker 3:

The first time we went out hunting, we just went out and got a whitetail and we're back home and by lunchtime, and I think he just thought it was that easy. It just needs to be like that.

Speaker 1:

I've never had a hunting experience like that, so that's, I'm a little jealous to hear that, but that's, that's funny, okay. Well, let's kick this thing off. Who wants to tell the first story? Finn, john, I don't know if you guys have any in mind and I'll let you guys pick, but if you could set, the stage should we know kind of where we are and go from there.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so so I don't know how familiar you are with, with Alberta, but it's. It's interesting that you have a Texas background, because Alberta and Texas have some similarities and, if not, if not in culture, but just in geography, because Alberta is a little bit smaller than Texas, but not much, and top to bottom Alberta is almost the exact same size as Texas is. East to west, that's big. So, yeah, that's big. So there's some long drives. This, this, where my extended family is from up north, it's when I was a kid. It took us about 14 hours to get there.

Speaker 3:

Now now where we live we're about it's about half that now it's seven or eight hours to get there now. But so, like I said, there's some long stretches of of and some you you can't get any radio reception. So Finn kind of introduced me to to podcast while we were driving up there and and we were listening to to your podcast and Finn kind of casually said one day when we were driving along, well, if you were on this podcast, what hunting story would you tell? And because I'm always telling some story right, and so I said, well, I it was a kind of a tough question because you know, you've I've been hunting for basically almost 40 years, 30, 38 years or something.

Speaker 3:

So you got quite a few tales to tell and I said I thought about it for a while. I said, well, I think I would tell the story of the river which is where we go when we go up north and it's a family land on my, my mom's side of the family and there's just this really special spot. And so I said to Finn, I would, I would tell those like the stories around that spot, around the river. And that was kind of the last ever thought of it until I had a date with you.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, all right, well, that's awesome. I'm glad that you have this like really special place. That's really cool. I don't have any family land, but I do have some spots that I'm like. This is my father in law passed away this year and I started hunting with him and I've got a couple of spots in mind that I'm like, if I was ever going to tell someone about a special place for hunting, even though we never harvested anything there, you know it's the places make a big part of the entire hunting story, so that's pretty cool. But, john, okay, share some of the stories with us.

Speaker 3:

So the the, the, the river that we call it is this it's almost a full quarter section. It's cut off a bit by the river, but it's sort of the legacy of my, my grandfather, Sully Paul, and so he bought that the place. While he took it over back in the fifties and then actually bought it out. I think they sharecropped it at first and then they ended up buying it out in the sixties, and so grandpa grew up like the north was still the frontier, basically that long ago. Right, it's, it's very fresh, fresh land up there and his, his father died when he was 12. He got sprayed with water at the grain elevator when it was minus 40 and tried to make it home. Tried to make it home and froze and then he ended up getting pneumonia and passed away.

Speaker 1:

That's crazy. So making it home like that long ago, it's like walking home.

Speaker 3:

They took the grain in and a sleigh with the horses and the sled. So that would have been around what that would have been like 1925 or something, 1930 maybe, and then. So grandpa, from a really young age had to provide for for his family by hunting and trapping. And so he, he, and then he, he not only hunted for his family, for he hunted for all his aunts and whatever. And they were. I think they were pretty fast and loose with the tags back then and they had a.

Speaker 3:

all the town was on party lines, so you know he had six or seven people that were all on the same phone line so he never knew who was listening when when you've made a phone call. So according to my uncle Stan, they had a, they had a. The signal for bring the tag out was bring the caller for the big black dog. Now, I mean they had a boost on the needy to run the tag out.

Speaker 3:

So but of course that's a long, a long time ago and you know, different era, different world now, but so but Sully was a, was a big hunter and he left this big family and legacy behind him and he had like you could easily do a whole you can get my uncle Stan, my uncle Denison and you could do a whole podcast just on Sully stories, but one of one of the ones that is part of his legend, that is, he most of the time they just when they got killed a big deer or a big moose, they just left the antlers in the bush because they were dragging it all out on sleds by hand.

Speaker 3:

Just wasn't worth the wait, right, yeah, and but one time they got one that was pretty close to the road. So they dragged that, decided to drag the head out and he had it just laying in the backyard so that the dogs could chew on the nose or whatever. And there's a knock on the back door and there's some some city slicker grandpa called him sitting on the back step and he starts making small talk and asks what he's going to do with these horns in the backyard. There's this giant moose laying in the backyard and I don't know nothing.

Speaker 3:

So the guy offered him I think it was 300 bucks or something, which back then it would be like getting offered a couple thousand now or 2000. And so he sold them, like he's like I've left bigger ones laying in the bush, you can have them. So he sold this guy. And then later on that year there's a story comes out in Alberta Sportsman's magazine and they were the biggest, biggest moose in Alberta that year or something, and the guy had made up this story about how he spot and stalk this moose. And really and it was the same guy, same antlers, yeah, and the grandpa just thought it was funny, he just, he could just craft them up.

Speaker 1:

So that's so funny that's oh my goodness. Did he ever try and track the guy down and like or did he just just let it? Let it go?

Speaker 3:

I think he didn't care. I think he thought it was a fair deal. He had his 300 bucks or whatever it was, and the other guy had his story and I think grandpa would have thought that was like fair trade, right?

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that's pretty amazing. I have a. I have a funny moose story. It's not it's not my story to tell exactly, but I've, I've. I've been unable to get one of the original hunters involved with this story, but it's a moose story and you, and for some reason, this, this jogged my memory. But when I started this podcast I was telling my neighbor that this whole concept of what was going to happen, it's like, yeah, you. I was like I wish my dad was still alive, because he has a great story about moose hunting in Minnesota. I think it was Minnesota.

Speaker 1:

Either way, they go moose hunting, they draw the tag, and it's not quite as easy to get a tag there as it probably is up there in Alberta. But so he, he hunts for a week, no luck. And so him and his hunting buddy are like all right, well, time to go home. So they basically just are having beers, probably have a couple, a few, too many beers, right, especially too many to then drive home. And they're driving home and they clip a moose on the drive while they're drunk driving, and so they, they kill the moose, they total the car and like, well, what do we do? And like, well, they put their tag on it.

Speaker 1:

And then they went to town, bought a truck because their car was totaled and then threw the moose in the back of that new truck and then just continued driving home, like well, I can't really tell it, like they were too drunk to do anything, you know, like that was just the logical thing Go to town, find a crappy little truck, throw the moose in it and just go about their business. So, unfortunately, my, my neighbor told me this story, but his and it was his father that did it, but they, he can't find or can't get in touch with his father's hunting buddy. I mean, he's not even sure if he's still alive, but for some reason your story reminded me of that one.

Speaker 3:

Sounds like it has potential to be quite a story, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm sure there's plenty of details that I don't know. I just know like the real high level stuff. But I've always thought about that story and it always makes me laugh.

Speaker 3:

Well, like I said, if I, if you got my uncle Stan and uncle Dan is going, they can tell sully stories for forever. But so they sold my uncles and my dad and my grandpa, they they would have this fall hunt every year where they went up to up north to every every every year. I can remember my dad. He would make a. He'd make a cardboard box to put his old Lee infield three old, three British in and ship it on the bus. Then he'd take the bus up to Edmonton and jump in with my uncle and they'd head up there.

Speaker 3:

And so this is kind of it's actually kind of an interesting like nature versus nurture study with my brother and I, cause we were brought up exactly the same, my brother Jair, and from the time I can remember I was like determined to just get old enough to go on that hunt, right, and my brother had no interest in it, like hunting just didn't even flash on his radar. And but yeah, when I, when I turned 12, I uh, I've been saving up forever all birthday money and bottles money and whatever. And so I Ruled my bike over to the neighbor's house and mr Maglione and I he was a gun collector I said, mr Maglione, you lead, would you sell me a 22? And he's like, oh, you know what, I'd sell you a 22, but but you'd have to ask your dad for it. And I was like, well, he's like, he's like I'd tell you this one. Here is a cui To. You know the old to be their magazine, cui 22 with the carving of the rabbit on that pistol grip.

Speaker 1:

I'm not familiar, but it sounds awesome.

Speaker 3:

Millions of them out there. Anyway, it was like pristine when I got it, brand new and looking, but what old but perfect shape. And so, anyway, he's like, yeah, you'd have to get your dad to come over and get that for you, but I'd sell you this for sixty five dollars. And and so I ride my bike down to where my dad worked and I'm like, dad, if I save up my own money, can I buy a 22 off mr Maglione? He's like, yeah, if you save up sixty five dollar or I told him a sixty five you save up that much money you can buy a 22. Thinking it would take me years, right?

Speaker 3:

so I rode my bike home, went under my bed and my, got a coffee crisp tube and and pulled out the sixty five bucks. Rode my bike over to which magazine?

Speaker 1:

deal.

Speaker 3:

So that was, and I came my. My mom, I think, was out of town at a meeting or something. She couldn't believe it and she got home I had this gun, that was. But, like I said, my brother is, you know he'll. He's come on a couple hunts just for the, for the Experience, but never bought a tag yet.

Speaker 3:

So oh, Interest yeah, and so, anyway, we We've got. So the where the cabin is is this it's a very unique property because it's it was quite early in the Settlement of the province. They stopped letting people homestead or claim Homesteads down in the river valley. So whoever originally homestead that they're homestead of, there must have been a very early homestead, and so it's.

Speaker 3:

It's crown land on both sides, or public land on both sides for a long ways, east and west, up and down the river, and then the river itself is on the north side of the, or the cabin property is on the north side of the peace River, and it's Just this. It's a, you know, no power, no, off the grid cabin with a spring that runs all year round, and which it's? It's got a, well, it's got a pretty nice outhouse now, thanks, thanks to my uncle, larry, but it's Basic and which makes it awesome, right, and when you get down in the valley your cell phone doesn't work, which also is fabulous, right, it just, yeah, adds to the experience. So much to be just, you know, cut off right from the modern world.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely there's there's tons of mule, deer, moose, bears everywhere. Yeah now there's elk. There wasn't really one as a kid, but last ten years or so the elk have moved in.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's cool.

Speaker 3:

Lots of gross. There's lots of honey farmers up there, so it's got. I'm pretty near bear hunters. Welcome signs hanging here and there and I. Don't know. My cousin Zach says he he killed nine one time in one day.

Speaker 1:

No way Do you need like a tag or anything, or is he just Well?

Speaker 3:

that was becoming and they rack the corn. So you're allowed to defend your crop right. Okay but he also comes from a long line of bullshaters, so I don't know. Okay the but anyway it's, it's a special spot because it's just so productive and and so unique and so secluded and yeah, that's pretty amazing.

Speaker 3:

It is, it's, it's so again coming kind of circling back, you know it was, it's, it's a, it's a super special place for me. And then it's been a really cool journey over the last few years here to have Finn sort of find that same connection to that spot, right like it there's, it's like just this part of it's a spot that is kind of a part of who you have become eventually right. And yeah, it's cool when your son finds that same, that same sort of emotional connection to the spot.

Speaker 3:

That's beautiful the so and then yeah, over the years, right to vist with because it now like Finn's generation. Well, I was originally bought with my great-grandpa Emma, so my great-grandpa Oliver, who's my, my grandpa's father-in-law, they bought it together as winners.

Speaker 3:

So, so, finn, finn's actually the fourth generation to enjoy that spot and the world he's. He's one of many, yeah, and Over the years there's, you know, lots of my families have had different first experiences there, as far as you know, hunting experiences, and I got my first year up there just just outside of the gate, and it was because as soon as you go to the gate you're on crown land and which is public land. And then so I my, and then my second year that I got that like a year later and it ended up. So my first year I got one shot, perfect shot, just dropped in its tracks, seemed so easy. The next year, next year, my second year, the I ended up dying in almost the same spot, like within a few, within a few hundred yards or a hundred yards Maybe yeah, but.

Speaker 3:

I chased him all over the valley and shot at him 11 times. 11 times, yeah, I think I hit him seven times, but none of them were. None of them were good hits.

Speaker 1:

I had a good.

Speaker 3:

I shot a 30 30 back, then you can unload five pretty fast right.

Speaker 1:

How old were you when you shot that deer 11 times or shot at the deal of it types?

Speaker 3:

I think I was 18 then, because my grandpa just died, so okay, gosh, my dad was over the right over the rise and he could. He's like what's going on over there?

Speaker 1:

The Reminds me of a story might, if you don't mind, I'll tell you a quick one. And then my hunting buddy is gonna kill me for this, cuz I told them I wouldn't tell the story in the podcast, but I have to. It just reminds me of taking too many shots. We're, we're in Texas, this is this last deer season and we go to, and maybe I told the story. I don't know, but we're, we're deer hunting, but the feeders weren't going off, so the deer don't know that we're. There is but ways to time, but we have a great time.

Speaker 1:

The hunting camp isn't always about shooting animals. It's about the people that you're with the place that you're at right. But one evening we go out, we go thermal hog hunting, really really windy. So the animals aren't doing anything, the coyotes aren't doing anything, the hogs aren't doing anything, and so we're walking this property, we're looking for anything, and a little armadillo Just starts. I'm like, charges one of us and what the hell is that little thing? So, like the little armadillo, comes at us and ends up running off into the woods. It can't get away from us because we have thermal imaging. So we see this thing running up the hill. We end up my buddy. I won't. I won't say his name, but he hasn't had a good hunting season. My other hunting buddy and myself I killed the big elk with my bow. My other buddies killed like three white tailed the years. We're like, hey, man, that armadillo is all yours. He's like, okay, so he goes, he goes, he grabs somebody's AR and he goes and he's pointed at the, the, the armadillo, and click like misfire. Well, that's weird. Okay, click misfire. All right, that's weird. And he's all right, put this gun down.

Speaker 1:

Apparently that gun is the guy that was taking us out. It was his girlfriend's gun and heard Sister put the wrong ammo in it and kind of screwed up the firing pin Not his fault, but still funny. He took two shots, nothing went off. Puts that AR down, he takes the one that I have and I loaded one in the chamber earlier. And then when we're getting into a truck to drive from one property to another, I'm like, hey, it's not coming out, I don't know what to do. This is your gun, I don't want to like force it because I don't want to break your gun. And he's like, oh, I'll take care of it. So he takes, he doesn't, we don't take care of it. But there's a round chamber. But he takes that gun armadillo, click. Nothing. Oh my goodness, three shit, three attempts, and I'll be for this clicks. Um. So then he goes okay, give that gun a game.

Speaker 1:

We got a third AR, last one, it's the one that he started with. We don't know why we switched it off him in the first place. But he goes and boom, we're all like, yes, he did it. He got himself an armadillo. Mind you, armadillos are gross. They have leprosy like you don't really want to get around armadillos. But next thing we know, boom, another shot. Like, oh, okay, double tap in the armadillo. I didn't think you'd need that with the, you know the AR. But he takes another shot.

Speaker 1:

Next thing we know, boom, a third shot. Yeah. And then we're like, alright man, we think he's dead and he's like I missed him. I missed him. He got away. And we're like what? Like you took there? And he's like, yeah, he's like I was probably like six feet. And I'm like, well, what are those rifles sighted for us, the guy who owns the gun? He's like about a hundred yards. And we're like, yeah, yeah, you, you missed him three times, didn't you? So he took basically Six shots on one armadillo, and the armadillo got the one that day. So just just reminded me with your 11 shots on your deer. But I mean, yeah, armadillo walked away without any injuries.

Speaker 3:

We don't run into too many armadillos around here.

Speaker 1:

I bet, I bet there's. There's a something's not similar between Alberta and Texas, right?

Speaker 3:

no, yeah, well, with 11 shots he's not hard to do the math right. Five, five and then one. Finally stop an aim, right. But and then? And then, like yeah, my cousin Josh got his first dough just up the hill, and then Did Finn get his first? Deer on that same property. Finn did, yeah, he got his right on the property, though like right in the garden it was. How many, how long ago was that Finn.

Speaker 2:

Two years. Yeah, I would have been two years ago, two years.

Speaker 1:

You want to tell that story or was it too easy of a hunt. It's not much to tell. No, it's a.

Speaker 3:

It's a pretty cool story, because it's one of those ones where you almost feel like Somebody, somewhere, somehow, is kind of helping you along. Right, it was the you want you want to tell. You want me to tell it. Well, because we were up.

Speaker 2:

We have. What do we have? We had a bear tag. Yeah, we were up in this kind of Valley that goes up behind the cabin trying to find a bear, and we kind of climbed up this like goat trail and we're glassing. Then we look back and like right in front of the cabin there's Dole, couple fawns and a dry doe right. Yeah, I'm sorry the term is drawn a blank for me no funds, so it's Not.

Speaker 1:

doesn't have any funds with it. Gotcha Okay, and was it?

Speaker 2:

the bucks with them as well. There was a little tiny little spike buck there. Yeah well, Finn only had a do-tag that year.

Speaker 3:

Okay. So we pondered a bit and decided to go back after these deer, because we don't we're not seeing any bear sign.

Speaker 2:

So we run back because it's like a race against dark. Now, okay, we run back down, we we get out our binoculars and they're gone.

Speaker 3:

We cannot find them.

Speaker 2:

We can't find them we can't find them, we can't find them, we can't find them, we can't find them, we can't find them. They're gone, we cannot find them. They disappeared. So we decided to hop in the truck and go down the road a bit to the kind of the next garden that is blocked by a line of trees, and they were all just eating in the garden.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, with this this is this is an off subject question, but your property he sounds pretty remote. Do you have an active garden or is it just like like the yard?

Speaker 3:

No, my, my uncle, my uncle Stan and my cousin Tim still have a active market garden there, and so they grow corn and pumpkins stuff that you're in.

Speaker 3:

Yeah well, they uh, it's funny, you know it's funny they don't eat it more. To be honest, I'm always blown away. They like they punch holes in the pumpkins, but they, they reckon, but they don't eat them as much as you think they would. Huh, interesting, the Tim grows these giant pumpkins and sells them on Facebook Marketplace and I think he does he's. He's pretty good at driving or all over the land trying to, trying to sell them at market gardens or farmers markets and whatnot.

Speaker 1:

So that's pretty cool Okay.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so by that time most of the garden is plowed under, and so these, these deer were picking up the bits and pieces of corn that are. The discs have rolled over, okay, and then we're, we were able to kind of get the tree down, and we also doesn't get plowed under.

Speaker 2:

So, but you, you keep going, yeah. So we, we hopped out of the truck and kind of followed the tree line down to where that dillweed was, and on the way we walked past this big birch that had blown down and dad reaches down and breaks off a stick and it's like the perfect stick. It has a Y in it, so it's just the perfect height. So he grabs that and he kind of puts it out in front of me. I rest my 303 British on it and we start walking up towards the dillweed. And as we walk towards the dillweed, the deer kind of walking back towards us at the same time. So we're going to be like crossing the dillweed at the same time.

Speaker 2:

We eventually make it to the dillweed and turn with the dillweed. So we're behind the dillweed from the deer's perspective, but they're about to cross the dillweed and so as they're coming across, we work up, we work up, work up. Dads has me by the belt loop of my pants and is telling me when to go. When to go, uh, still has the shooting stick out in front of me and we get within. Like it's about 80 yards. Yeah, and stop. And the the dill with. Did it have three phones with it?

Speaker 3:

It did yeah.

Speaker 2:

It had three phones with it. The one dough crossed, then the two bucks kind of crossed, then finally the dry dough came across and I boom. That's about it, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you made a great shot on her and we own nice clean one-shot kill and um it was. You know it was one of those ones was just perfect.

Speaker 3:

You're on your your own property and you know like everything was right about it and uh, totally righteous hunt, and um, and I, the Finn, had been in on a couple kills of mine previous to that, where I, you know, tried to kind of give them the, the, the Coles notes on, uh, on how to field dress a deer, but it both times it was, like you know, minus, what minus minus.

Speaker 1:

I feel like it was like negative 40 is when both equal each other. So that's pretty, that's right.

Speaker 3:

So yeah, it's cold Like you know, like, not like. You're in trouble like freeze, to death cold, but still after sitting there you're usually yeah.

Speaker 3:

So it wasn't really messing around too much when we did those two. And then so when Finn got that dough, I mean, okay, this is perfect, it's, it's nice and warm out. We've got all the time in the kitchen, we've got all the ingredients from the cabin. This will be the perfect time to teach Finn and let let him do it, let him kind of work his way through it, and then we just get started and I just have this overwhelming feeling of like just panic to get it done and I just kind of absolutely rush him through it, even though with my plan to not and uh, I think it was uh my subconscious that I was loaded and in the truck, I was in an absolute emergency to get to the out house.

Speaker 1:

Oh so I was thinking a bear or something was going to show up. I didn't expect it.

Speaker 3:

No, it was more. It was more dire situation than a bear and uh, so I barely made it to the outhouse in time and then the next day, by chance, it ended up being that Finn ended up going to the outhouse where, uh, my cousin Logan, just the two of them, went off to uh uh where.

Speaker 2:

Because you decided, because you had a moose tag, so you decided to.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I went back up to this other Cooley that's a hard hike to go to and um, I went that way and they went off to where Logan had a tag for another area and um, they got a buck there that night and Finn had gotten on the with a terrible lesson that Finn had got the day before. You didn't, at night, in the dark, in bear country with by the time we had got it done.

Speaker 3:

It was like we shot it like 45 minutes before sunset and then by the time we got it done it was like an hour after sunset I had uh, I was the one man search party by that time and I'd gone up and got my cousin Jesse and we're, we're gonna, we're gonna put the lights from the side by side balancing through the trees, but I was starting to get a little concerned right, and then, like I said before, the cell phones don't work down there, so it's um.

Speaker 3:

I was relieved to see them come bouncing out of there, and then they had the funny story to tell of uh, of uh, the, the blind leading the blind there on the but yeah, he did a pretty good job they ended up, but other than that it was pretty good.

Speaker 1:

That's not too bad. That's not too bad. That's pretty funny. How old was Logan when all of this story happened?

Speaker 3:

Logan's an adult 1820s. Oh, okay, logan's in his 30s. How old is he? But he's just immature, oh.

Speaker 1:

The.

Speaker 3:

Okay, but he sort of he has and he it wasn't his first year, but he was always with somebody who just Is his second year, second or third Maybe he's a second buck, yeah. And he, he's just always with somebody before that has dealt with it for him and you know it was cold or they were in a rush or whatever, and he never really got the lesson right.

Speaker 1:

So Gotcha, that makes sense. Here's a question for you, john, that that belt loop trick. Is that something that somebody taught you? Or are you just in the moment and being like I got to slow him down, I'm going to hook a finger in that belt loop.

Speaker 3:

I, yeah, I think I was just trying to figure out a way to communicate without making sound Cause they were just on the other side of that windrow of dill weed from us and so I had to be, and they would. They were like you know, it was just like in the, just like in a hunting show on YouTube or wherever, where they'd lift their head up and they put their head down, and lift their head up, put their head down.

Speaker 3:

So when they put their head down, we'd move a few steps, and when they lift their head up, we'd freeze, and so the belt loop was just a good way to silently communicate. It worked really well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it did. Yeah, finn, what did you think when all of a sudden, you felt the finger go in your belt loop?

Speaker 2:

I actually didn't think much of it. I was like, oh, that's kind of sweet.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's brilliant, I love it.

Speaker 3:

It was a pretty intense moment. So it was like and then, like I was saying, when I reached down into that pile of sticks and pulled out like this, this tree had tumbled over the fans and smashed into a million pieces. So I just picked up a broken stick and it was perfect. It was a perfect height, had the perfect Y on the top, we had the perfect dry dough there, perfect night. That was the thing. Like it was, almost like, you know, you could almost feel Sully kind of helping us along there for that moment.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, yeah. Or maybe it was your subconscious again being like we got a poo brewing. Let's just wrap this thing up. Yeah, we gotta get this done, Like your body knew way before you did and just made sure all the pieces were there for you.

Speaker 3:

I've had a few camp food emergencies over the years, almost froze to death in the outhouse one time when it was minus 35. Bad batch of oysters, bad batch of oysters. My buddy Raymond saved my life. He came out middle of the night. He came out with his little one burner heater and just slid into the outhouse because he knew I'd been out in the outhouse for 45 minutes at minus 35. I must be near death so I'll never, I'll always be grateful for that little stove sliding into the outhouse door.

Speaker 1:

That's so funny. I'll tell you what. I don't think I will ever be brave enough to have oysters at Hunt Camp, no matter what the situation.

Speaker 3:

I have not eaten oysters since. I can tell you that it was the worst night of my life.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I've had oysters and I do enjoy an oyster, but just like hunt camps, not the time or place, john. So I guess no, no.

Speaker 3:

My mom was a nurse and so I'm listing off all the stuff. She's like, well, what did you eat that day? And I'm like, wow, we had this, we had that, we had that, we had smoked oysters. She's like it's always the oysters, always oysters.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, I haven't been brave enough to eat a single oyster since. That was quite a few years ago now, and we were out at Ray's Trap Line and it was so cold it was actually the night before it was below minus 40, and we went anyway because we're like, well, we don't go, and we don't go when we're too busy, we don't go when it's too warm because we can't cross the river. We don't go for this reason. We don't go for that reason. If we don't go when it's too cold in the winter, we're just never gonna go. So that was probably the coldest expedition that I've ever been on, was that one Took us 24 hours to get the generator warm enough by the fire for it to start.

Speaker 1:

So Wow, that is cold.

Speaker 3:

That is cold. It was cold it was negative 20,.

Speaker 1:

you said that was negative 40. Negative 40,? Okay, I'm doing some computer math. Oh, negative 40 is what I said earlier, that's- 40 is 40. Yeah, 40 is 40. That was easy, that's cold. I was just doing when I moved from Texas to Colorado I had to unload my truck and my camper when it was negative 18. And I was like, nope, no interest in doing this, like I just threw things in the garage and went inside Like this is terrible and that's 20 degrees Fahrenheit colder.

Speaker 3:

It's kind of like if it's not windy, minus 40 is so dry that you don't without a wind. It's not as terrible as you would think. If there's any wind you're in trouble Like if there's any wind you just can't even stand it. But if there's no wind then there's no moisture in the air. So like your clothes all insulate really well and you never get wet, you're always dry, right.

Speaker 3:

So, but yeah, the anyway that was like I said. I've had a few campsite emergencies and the first lesson on field dressing paid the price for one of those.

Speaker 1:

So but then, so this again back to the river cabin there.

Speaker 3:

It's one of those things that you kind of take it for granted when you've been going there your whole life. I mean, you don't take it for granted but you just forget how special it is. And then that same guy, raymond, there with the trap line. I've took him up there over a few years and the very first time we went up there, he was just so you know, he was just so you know, and we went up there, he was just so impressed by how unique and awesome it was. And the very first night we were there he got this amazing blonde bear, like pure blonde black bear and for that color phase bear quite a big bear too, and the which we had to quite ordeal dragging out of the woods but in the dark with other bears around and whatever.

Speaker 3:

But and then this is actually going back even longer. This is a when I tell stories about the river here. This is one I often tell depending on the crowd I'm with. But my cousin Nancy convinced me to tell it one time with a bunch of her city friends and they didn't think it was as funny as the you know when you're with your more sort of rural friends.

Speaker 1:

The good old boys.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's right, it's more of a good old boys story, but so quick background to the story is I worked for this guy named Bowman and he, his family, is originally from Denmark, and so he calls me into the office one day and he's got his uncle is coming over from Denmark to go hunting in Canada. He's 72 years old and he's been planning this trip since he was 12. And so Bowman's asking me. He's asking me about the, about where they should go to hunt moose and whatever, and they're totally reading the regs wrong, like the regulations. They're totally mixed up on how to interpret the rules.

Speaker 3:

And I'm like oh my gosh, this is like the blind leading the blind, and I mean, if this guy has been waiting, he's 72 and he's waiting since he's 12 to come. I mean he's really got all his marvels in this one bag, right.

Speaker 1:

So he's going to a moose hunt. That's what he's excited about.

Speaker 3:

He wanted? Well, he just he wanted to come to Canada and hunt. But yeah, moose or bear was what he wanted to hunt.

Speaker 1:

So I feel like Denmark. They have moose. I'm like totally off base there. They don't have any moose or anything similar I have no idea.

Speaker 3:

He said the most dangerous animal they have is a badger.

Speaker 1:

All right, maybe they got nothing in Denmark. Okay, I don't know.

Speaker 3:

So I'm like, well, because it's very far and few between in Alberta where you can just go hunt moose with a general tag, like you have to go way far north. Everywhere else is draw and they were misinterpreting the regulations, thinking that you could just get a general tag anywhere. And so I'm like, the more I thought of, all the more I thought, oh man, like I just feel terrible for this guy coming over here with just sort of no direction, right. So I said to Bowman, I said I'll tell you what, like you give me the week off and I will, we'll go up to my family's cabin up on the Peace River and I said we won't be able to get a moose tag there, but back then you could still get a general mule deer tag and it's all drawn out.

Speaker 3:

But back then it was general and it was just actually kind of another interesting side story because we used to see like 80 herds of 40D or 80 even doze, without a single buck in the herd, and if you saw a two point buck you nailed it because that was all there was. And now, after 20 years of being on draw, you don't ever go up there without seeing 170, 180 bucks all over the place, groups of six, seven bucks, that big in groups and almost equal bucks to doze ratio. It's amazing how it's changed it with the being on draw instead of general tags, but that's crazy.

Speaker 1:

I mean you hear, of course, the North American conservation with draws and all that stuff and hunting being how they like manage the animals, then it's good for the animals. It's crazy to actually hear it where you just had a ton of dough and now all of a sudden you've got all these beautiful bucks everywhere. That's cool, that's very cool.

Speaker 3:

It's been an interesting swing.

Speaker 1:

I will say from your perspective, is it harder to like? Before? You were just getting tags, probably willy nilly. Now Is it harder for you guys to get tags?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it takes about three years, I think roughly, and then I know you can get two years or even every year depending on how many they released that year. But between the three year between Finn and I and Logan, we kind of are trying to get into a rotation where every year somebody has one right but the where was I going with that story?

Speaker 2:

The Danish guys, oh yeah, the Danish guys.

Speaker 3:

So anyway, we go up. That's a. I'm also knowing to get quite sidetracked in my stories, but we go. So we head up to, we decide we're gonna go up there and try to try, from Eau de Euron, black Bear. And we, we head up there and these guys just couldn't believe it. Right, like they have never driven in a straight line for six hours without making a turn. Right, like in Denmark you would have, or in Europe you would have crossed eight countries right.

Speaker 3:

And you not only are you in the same province, you haven't turned, you're just driving in a straight line. We went up. There's a couple of different routes you can go. We went up the trunk road which takes you up the west side of the province, up kind of the edge of the mountains and pretty picturesque. But it takes even longer. And they the one guy, so there's two guys from Denmark. There was this, johan, and then his son, his son-in-law, owa, and Owa could speak English, but Johan couldn't. And very much he could. He had a few words and he just kept saying so much nature.

Speaker 1:

And so.

Speaker 3:

so we, we head up there and we hunted pretty hard. We, we, we went back and forth across the river glassing for bearer and then going back with this little zodiac I had and hiking all over the place and we just some some years in the fall there's bears out, if there's still food sources and there's still berries, there'll be bears. But other years it was dry or whatever. They're gone. They, as soon as there's no calories, they're, they're in bed, right, and that year was like that. There was just we found one set of tracks down on the other river and that was it. So we, we switched our, we switched our, our plant sites on mule deer and then, and then just trying to, you know, include these guys in our sort of culture up there and cause it's a market garden, there's always rotten vegetables around in the fall. So it's a long standing family tradition to shoot rotten pumpkins and rotten cucumbers Pretty much every single one of my family members.

Speaker 2:

That's how I learned to shoot a shotgun, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Just going to say everyone, that's how everyone in my family learned to shoot shotguns. And there's that rotten cucumbers, so that's awesome. So anyway, these Danish guys I mean they, you can't just shoot guns willy-nilly. And his, he has his farm. I think he said was 60 acres, and he said, for the area he's in is a quite a good size farm, so it's 60 acres. Even you got to be careful where you're shooting guns, right? Yeah, so we would. We'd sit, we'd sit on the deck of the cabin eating open face sandwiches that Danish guys don't put tops on their sandwiches for whatever reason. So they, so we sit around, eat open face sandwiches. I'd run and put pumpkins and cucumbers up on the hill and this Johan would shoot, shoot these rotten vegetables. And he just thought it was the greatest. And afterwards is Owa told me that he each shot was like eight bucks or something in Denmark. He must have shot 200 rounds into the side of that hill. No way, and but it was. He loved it, right, because it was such a neat experience for those guys.

Speaker 3:

And so after so, after we we hunt mule deer for a couple of days, we we go, we go up top and start trying some of the farmland that we had access to up on top and we find this, this pretty decent buck. And so we get get Johan set up on a on a fence post. And I'm looking through my binoculars and he, he shoots the bucks, kind of quartering away, but but not crazy quartering away. And he, he shoots the buck and I'm like looking through the binoculars it looked like a perfect head. He hit it right behind the shoulder. You could see the ripple go through the buck and the buck like flips over and lands on on its side with its head kind of trapped underneath itself.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so it's analyst like jammed down into the dirt and then all its weight is on top of its own head and so, because it and then it didn't move, and so we thought it was, it looked like a perfect shot. The deer reacted like it was a perfect shot. We're like, wow, you know you're all high fiving or whatever, and cause there's a big group of us. There's Bowman, his brother, hands their dad, nels, johan and Owa and myself, so there's six of us.

Speaker 3:

So we all go back to the truck, cram in this crew cab, that one door didn't work, which was a nightmare. Six guys in a truck with three doors and we drive out in the field and we go up to this buck and it's laying there. It hasn't moved an inch, laying there on its side and it was kind of twitching a little bit but I figured it was done for, and just you know nerves or whatever. But as I'm walking up to the buck, Bowman's dad hands me this giant toad sticker knife that he had, that like the tang on it is like three eighths of an inch thick. He whoa I can't remember what exactly the story was, but him and his two sons took like a knife making course or something back in like years and years ago and they all made themselves a knife, something along those lines Like it had sentimental value to him.

Speaker 1:

Right, this knife was special to him because of the this 12 pound knife. Yeah, exactly it was like 12 pounds.

Speaker 3:

It had like a antler handle, like it was like this crazy looking knife. It looked like it was from the you know back in the 1800s or something. How many centimeters?

Speaker 1:

long do you think this thing was? You looked it looked like you were shown about 30, which is like a foot. Whoa.

Speaker 3:

Actually it wasn't as long as it was thick and heavy, right, it's just pretty like a Bowie knife size right?

Speaker 1:

Oh good, it's a good size knife.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, big knife, and, like most guys around here use a knife with about a three or four inch blade at the most right. This is like an eight inch blade, right. So anyway he, so he hands me this knife, hilt first, and says he's like, use this. So I'm like okay. So I took the knife and I wasn't even really too sure what he thought I should use it for. But I had it in my right hand and I walk over to this deer and I kind of reach underneath it and I straighten it. I grab its antler and I straighten its head out, pull it out from under itself and as soon as I straighten his neck he does this like, pulls this huge breath in and just explodes up out of the stubble.

Speaker 3:

No way so, but I've still got a hold of it, right? And so I don't really know what to do. I'm afraid to let go, I'm afraid to hang on, and I'm thinking. And then I sort of remember that I got this giant knife in my hand. And but in my mind I'm also thinking, cause when I was walking up to the buck, I'm thinking well, my last thought before the buck jumped up was well, we better keep this buck for taxidermy, in case they want to do something with it, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And so I was still thinking that, so I didn't want to like stab it in the neck or whatever. And so it jumps up and it's kind of on its back feet, kind of doing the like the high host silver with its front feet. Okay, and Are you still holding the?

Speaker 1:

tailors. It's doing that.

Speaker 3:

I'm still holding his antler, but now my arm is like way up above my head right, cause the deer's quite tall when it's standing on its back legs. We're kind of going in a sort of a semi-circle dancing around, as like the buck's trying to turn around on me and I'm trying to turn away from it, and so I'm like, well, I'm going to just stab this deer in the armpit. So I just start stabbing this deer as quick and hard as I can under its arm, trying to find something vital to stop this insanity that's going on, right, and then so I, I don't know, I it's.

Speaker 3:

You know, it's like a blur, those moments, right when it's so I don't know how many times I stuck the knife in, but multiple times when it was still up and it might. I must have got something that sort of took the energy out of him because he sort of wilted over and then I kind of like pushed my, pushed him over so that I ended up on top of the the pile and then gave him a few more over because he was still kind of trying to get up. And by this time my adrenaline is just like pumping through my bloodstream right and, yeah, I stand up and I'm, and I'm like in kind of a semi in shock about how it just all unfolded and right, like here's your knife back.

Speaker 3:

I didn't. I didn't know it, but until much later I looked in it because there's not like too many mirrors around, but it was just like the movies. I had the blood spatter all over my face for every time, though. So Johan, the one that didn't speak English too much, he turns to oh, and he's like you know, blah blah in Danish, and then always says to me Johan wants to know if this is how you always do it it's a good question but that time, like I said, I was so racked with adrenaline I almost I basically picked the deer up and just threw it in the truck by myself, because I'm like, let's get out of here, right, like let's yeah over the situation

Speaker 3:

yeah, we went down to the river and got cleaned up and field dressed the buck or whatever, and in the end it ended up doing like a European mount on it, so it didn't even matter if I would have stabbed it in the neck, but it was just just one of those crazy stories that that happened amazing and so amazing.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so it was. That was the story of the end. It was funny because then, like months later, this is this is kind of been the days before every cell phone had a camera on it and like months later, bowman calls me into the office and he's he's like you want to look at the pictures from the hunting trip? I'm like sure. So I start flipping through the pictures and he's got pictures of the whole event. Like he just taking pictures, you wasn't worried. He thought I had it under control. I guess I didn't you have those photos.

Speaker 2:

Did he give those to you?

Speaker 3:

no, I have no idea where they are like oh yeah, god, I'd love to see that the pictures don't really start until I'm kind of on top, like it must be a going on the but he doesn't have any of the when I had him by the antler, so that would be funny that is amazing.

Speaker 1:

I gotta ask. So the shot like what happened, like I understand it, getting stuck upside down, but like where did where did he hit that? That deer just sat there for the. You know however long it took you to get to him so actually a great question, and it was this.

Speaker 3:

That was totally once I calmed down. I'm like what happened? So when we, when we skinned him out, we sort of did the forensics on him and so these around the 75 stab wounds yeah they.

Speaker 3:

So the bullets that he was used and he had brought over with him from Denmark and like they looked old and I don't even know if they were jacketed, they looked like you know what rimfire 22 shell has, that super blunt nose bullet that's, that's what the projectile. They were 30 odd six bullets, but this weird old-school looking blunt projectile and that looked super soft, like pure lead almost. And so because the buck was quartered away, he, he hit it right flat on a rib and it deflected the bullet and it went under the shoulder up the neck and lodged on the back of the skull, behind the ear. So he, that was no vital, yeah, I think that buck would have lived.

Speaker 1:

If that buck would have ran off, he would have lived, I think so you're thinking, so I'm just guessing here, but he shot it rib, shoulder, head, the deer, basically I mean it's it hit hard so it flipped over and just his antlers got stuck is all that was on there, it was just stuck upside, I think.

Speaker 3:

I think he pinched his windpipe off the way. He was so folded over and I you know, obviously the the shock of the bullet you know in incapacitated him so that he couldn't couldn't straighten that out, but he must have been getting just enough air to stay it, to keep going. And then, as soon as he was straightened out and could draw a full breath, he just exploded into action and and it was just this crazy deflection that that the bullet went up its neck because it not only deflected, it not only deflected laterally, it deflected up as well, like vertically as well, right that is crazy and then it probably you know probably hit him in the head pretty hard too, because it was against against his skull behind a year, so well crazy I've

Speaker 1:

never seen anything else like that right and then he ran into you with your boat paddle of a knife and game over. That's a great story, john, thanks, thanks for sharing that one. When people tell me amazing stories like that, I'm like, well, I don't know, do you have any more? It's gonna be hard to beat that one well the soul.

Speaker 3:

When I, when I found out today that we were gonna be doing this and was kind of trying to think about you know what stories to tell and and how to how to wrap it up, I thought that you know, I wanted to tell that story with the Danish guys because it's it's a, you know, it's one one that I've told many times. And then, but then this, just this past fall, we had a a pretty significantly special trip that I thought I would end off on it can.

Speaker 1:

I ask what is significant about it, or will the story kind of reveal that?

Speaker 3:

yeah, well, there's just it was.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's, there's multiple reasons so okay, we'll get there then go ahead.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so we've been trying, like we I mentioned earlier. We like traditionally there was this fall hunt. That was an event every year that my grandpa hosted and the the uncles and cousins when they were old enough. I'm one of the few cousins myself and my cousin Jed were really the only ones old enough to partake in that. Okay, and but the last few years Finn and myself and my cousin Logan have been trying to kind of resurrect that and so it was so Finn and I and Logan were up up there again this year, and then my.

Speaker 3:

I have another cousin named Josh who he also shot his first year down there yeah, we mentioned that earlier, but he so not long after he got that dough by the, by the garden there, he was in a really bad car accident and he ended up breaking his neck and is a quadriplegic and it's terrible, like he was 18 when that happened and he's he's 36 now, so half his life is has been, you know, with the extra challenges of being in a wheelchair.

Speaker 3:

But so anyway, the last couple years he's he's been showing interest in it so he decided he was gonna come up and and and try to get involved. So we we're trying to put it all together and my cousin Logan is a super intense guy, hey, he's makes him awesome at what he does. He's this rising star, superstar engineer guy for a big oil field company and he just knows how to get things done. So he kind of got us organized and got him Josh, organized and then figured out what that he could fly up for a couple days and ran to car and meet in the closest airports like an hour and a half way drive over, right, it's like all these moving parts yeah and so Finn and I are Finn and I are up there having this relaxing time with the cabin and we're hunting elk and looking for a mule deer for Finn because he had his draw this year, and Finn ends up, we, we, we've, we've walked all over the place.

Speaker 3:

We've put like I don't know, probably like miles and miles and miles on going up and down these coolly's looking for a decent deer, and we were way back on the end this coolly. We look up with our vernaculars and right behind my uncle Dennis's place he lives up at the top of the valley. Okay, the valley's about a thousand feet deep there, like I think it's 960 feet deep. It's quite a coolly well, it's a coolly.

Speaker 3:

I'm not familiar with that term, I just be my ignorance is like a coolly, just a steep valley, right, okay, okay, and that's what I was, that's what I was assuming.

Speaker 1:

I just didn't want to get the get it wrong in my head. So hopefully they help some listeners too.

Speaker 3:

But keep going yeah, the main valley is huge, and then there's these giant offshoot coollies that come off of it okay, and.

Speaker 3:

Dennis's place. That it's kind of a long story, but now my cousin Jesse rent, lives there is at right at the top, and so it kind of commands the access to this giant coolly awesome for hunting, yeah. Anyway, we're down the coolly and we glass up and right behind Dennis's place. Jesse's place is this like we're far enough away that you can't tell how good of a buck he is, but you can tell that there's some mass there, yeah, and he must be a decent buck. So so we and you can tell how he's big-bodied yeah, he's huge.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so we. But we're a long ways away now. We're like as far as you can see with binoculars, right. So we're like, and now we're kind of in their race against dark, race against the speed of dark. I think there's like half an hour left or something like that. Yeah, it was weird. By the time we got up there like I was like sweating profusely.

Speaker 2:

We actually talked them twice too, because we went over there once saw a deer in the field. We're like, oh shoot, there he is. Went back to glassing, then saw him again and went back the second time yeah, there was two bucks there that can confuse us.

Speaker 3:

We thought we could cut him off and then we saw one out in the field that we didn't have permission on and we thought all we miss them, even though he's right there, he's off limits. And then then we saw that then we picked him up again, that he he hadn't made it past us. But anyway, we, we go up and this, this, this, we were able to sneak right up on this buck.

Speaker 2:

We got up maybe 60 yards away from him and he's actually in the field that we didn't have permission on, but as we came up on him he jumped back over the fence onto public land well, actually that's Dennis's land.

Speaker 3:

Well, that's. Dennis, yeah. So anyway, we again we had a little felt like we had a little help from from above there, yeah jump where we needed him to jump, and then Finn made a good shot on this buck and then a couple follow-up shots to get him before he got down in the coolly, and one of the ended up being this, if I don't know if you can see it here, it's oh wow, it's only a two point on one side but it's the biggest two point buck I've ever seen.

Speaker 3:

It's he's. I think he was an old, old buck that was maybe on the way down, you know, yeah, he my. My grandpa has a about a 180 mule deer in the cabin that he had taxed terrible taxing me job. He's funny and kind of terrifying is kind of terrifying. He's like zombie deer, but we're.

Speaker 1:

No matter where you are in the room, he's looking at you.

Speaker 3:

The 180 buck fits inside of that two point buck.

Speaker 1:

It's crazy wow, that is crazy.

Speaker 3:

I mean, imagine that buck like and his prime right that's a beautiful buck, yeah, he's big, heavy, mature buck, and two points on one side, three on the other. Buddies his G twos are about I don't know, 13 inches long, maybe 14 inches long, like he's. He's a big buck, yeah, and he's one of the heaviest bucks I've ever dragged. He's he and he just got over the edge of the coolly. Even getting him back up to the top where we could get a quad to was a tough if we didn't have the quad it would have been yeah terrible

Speaker 3:

we kind of half fell down the hill and his anger stabbed me in the butt. He almost it was almost a tie. It was almost a tie between us and the deer, but the anyway that. So that was a. That was a big moment because that was Finn's first buck and it's, you know, a great buck. And we took him back to the, to the, my uncle's shop, and dealt with him there and and then that that put us in you know, total relaxed mode, to to really focus on on Josh's deer when Josh got up there.

Speaker 2:

So and Josh had both a doe and a buck take right, okay so.

Speaker 3:

So Logan flies into Grand Prairie, rents a car buss over to fair of you, picks up my cousin Josh who's, and in his van in the wheelchair and they go out to the gun range to try to practice. Because Josh has bought this, he had to order it in from the States and it's this crazy rig that bolts on to your wheelchair and it holds the gun well and it's. It's kind of got all these like pivot points on it and a cradle and how's it?

Speaker 1:

how's it operated? Is it like I've seen some that are like mouth hoses? Or is it like someone kind of does the aiming for him and he just fires it?

Speaker 3:

No, josh does everything himself. So, josh, josh has got movement from all the collar bone down or sorry, the collar bone up. So so he he can move his arms, but he can't move his hands. He can only, like, make fists. So so he actually wears a hook on, like on a velcro strap around his, his wrist, and that goes through the trigger guard and that's what he pulls the trigger with. Is that? So he's cool Okay going with the muscles on the back of his shoulder to pull the trigger. Does that make sense?

Speaker 1:

Okay, it does, it does oh so we get the gun.

Speaker 3:

There's actually a bit of safety issues involved. We, because you got to get the gun, all you got to get the gun all strapped in there, and then you know, put the bullets in, but you, we don't close the chamber. And then Josh gets all right, ready and Then you close the chamber because once it's hot, it's hot like you have to have no safety on because, because he has to be right, he has to pull it right and he can't.

Speaker 1:

He can't flip the safety, so it's got to be ready to go when he's ready.

Speaker 3:

That's right, that's right, so, so, any so. But there's there's quite a bit of messing around to it. So Logan thought of you, good if they went out and practice before you're in the field situation. So they go out to the gun range and spend the day there and took them all day to shoot six shots and they they changed the configuration of the of the rest a few times and it's so. It bolts on the front of the wheelchair, goes up and, like I said, it's got a few different pivot points on it and this cradle and the gun kind of Velcro's in with straps. So so once it's all set up, josh can adjust it and aim it and you can use the tilt of his wheelchair to change his Elevation and almost like artillery yeah, it's kind of like.

Speaker 3:

But so so he does everything himself, like once he's ready to go. It's his deal, right.

Speaker 1:

And that's awesome.

Speaker 3:

So so they go out and practice and then it's, it's go time. So one of the local, one of the local guys, a Big farmer up there who's got tons of land Really nice guy this guy fritz, he's got, they've got it like.

Speaker 2:

I know what do they say, like 30 quarter sections or something already or 40 like Like big chunk of land you can drive like pretty much anywhere in blue, like, oh yeah, I own that. Yeah, they either own it or farm it, but yeah and it's just a super, super nice guy and eat.

Speaker 3:

They know small towns, they know Josh's story and yeah, super close buddies yeah long, long life long buddies, like since they were in kindergarten or whatever.

Speaker 1:

Okay so it's.

Speaker 3:

Fritz is like yeah, so come up with, we meet at fritz's house and we, we all jump in the van, which we call the silver bullet because it's the silver van, but it's, it's a, it's the, because of the ramp, the wheelchair ramp that comes out. It's like Two inches of clearance on this van, so it's not really a great hunting wagon, but because you're like grinding on the ground everywhere you go, okay, so we all, we all, all of us climb in the van and we Logan is like okay, this is how it's gonna work. We need one guy on, you know, safety watch, one guy doing this, one guy doing that. He kind of had it all laid out. And we, we head off and Finn and I have no idea where we're going, like we are.

Speaker 3:

We're a ways away from there, from the river now, in area that I've never hunted before and or been in really before, and even though it's only a few miles away, and we're driving along and I'm like, I'm like, well, there's a dough out in that field and the other. The guys all laugh because that's exactly the field we were going.

Speaker 2:

She, she's standing on the path to get to the where we were headed.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so. So, anyways, we're able to. We're able to drive. I've passed that field and park on the side of the road Behind some bush. So we're hidden because it's like it's like this, like, especially because we're learning as we go. So it's like this you know we're dropping stuff and we're all giggling, and you know.

Speaker 3:

Yeah and we finally get everything all set up and Josh Drives around the, down the road, around around the corner of this bush, and then down this little goat path that used to go out to these abandoned pig barns that are out in this quarter that of fritz's and amazingly, this deer has just sat in this Stubblefield and ate the whole time without really paying too much attention to us.

Speaker 3:

And again, it's a dry dough, all by yourself, perfect, perfect scenario. And I, I Range, find the the dough. I said Josh, it's 110 yards. Josh gets lined up, boom, like there's a bit of mess around. He's lined up because his chairs, like you know, you can hear the motor working in the chair. It's like as he gets the exact height that he wants and gets it lined in, and then the hook that he uses to pull the trigger is actually it's a weightlifting hook that that he had for for strengthening his arms.

Speaker 3:

And then he's got his dad take a grinder and cut one side of this. It's like a two pronged hook. He's got one side of it off because I can't remember he said how much the one the is like 40 bucks or something. I think it was more.

Speaker 3:

Not, it was because the rest was a thousand bucks American which is like, which is like 200 grand Canadian and the yeah, I think, yeah, I was like a hundred bucks or something for this hook and he's like, forget it, they, I in, so they had cut the cut it off with the grinder Terry did. And then so, anyway, josh has the hook in there and gets lined up, boom, shoots this dough, and she just folds like just like Again, just like the hunting shows, you know, they go for the high shoulder shot or whatever, and it just crumbles. That's what it looked like. It was unreal and nobody could believe it because he just boom like a second and Actually turned out to be a neck shot. But it absolute clean shot, clean kill, done.

Speaker 3:

Like dinner. We drive up there or heat. Well, we walk, he drives, rolls up there on this little goat trail and it's we, we, we drag the, the deer up onto the trail, which was only like I don't, maybe 12 yards off the trail, and we take, we take pictures and we, we have this like family chat group that we all talk on, you know, multiple times a week.

Speaker 3:

Yeah 50, 56 of my cousins and aunts and uncles on. Oh, okay, that's.

Speaker 1:

I have one of those reminds like eight people, maybe 12.

Speaker 3:

I Never really realized it growing up that it's pretty unique that how close my first cousins are.

Speaker 3:

Yeah not every family is like that. But Anyway, we we send the picture of Josh with his doads onto the family chat group and we had only sent the sent the message that we were going off hunting ten minutes before. So they could believe it right, because we just barely got going and here Josh has this, this dough down. So that was he got his first dough when he was 17 and his sec second dough when he was 36.

Speaker 3:

That's amazing you hard miles in between there, and so that was pretty cool. And then my cousin Logan had brought some Fireball or whatever so we could toast the toast the deer, and so we did that and then headed back and got everything cleaned up.

Speaker 2:

No, we ended up going on another hunt because it was so early.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, we did we try, we try, yeah, try to go shoot a buck, which did, and then so the next day was Thanksgiving, so and we weren't too sure, like if Josh was wanting to go back out again because he still had a buck tag and we, we were sitting around at supper and it's kind of this awkward like silence after it's everybody's kind of waiting for Josh. He's like she might be, josh like we're going hunting or what. Well, yeah, she asked. That's right. Jerry Marion asked Josh like yeah, we are.

Speaker 3:

So anyway, we jump in the truck. There was a van, silver bullet, and we're gone and we go out and there's the. We had a Couple chances where we couldn't get set up. And then another chance there's like there's a lot of deer in this country, right, yeah, another chance where Josh got a shot at a bedded buck and Just shot over its back, just missed it. And Then you're like I don't know if this is gonna come together, right, and then we go back out to that same field where the abandoned pig barns are and we were able to to get in. I think was it was at 133 yards or 123 yards something like that 200 and and it's a big group of deer.

Speaker 3:

There's maybe I don't 25 deer in this group and 24 of them spook and run and this one buck Stands there and looks at us. And again I range, find this deer and and Josh, he missed once, didn't he On that one.

Speaker 2:

I don't think he did, did he not? And he missed twice on the bedded one, not, he hit on that one, okay or no? No, he did shoot twice.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he did, he shot once, and then I whistled and the buck stopped Because I thought he hit the first time, but he did. And then the second time, another neck shot, just folded it up, and so we we dragged this buck back to the, back to the van, and and then we send another picture to the, to the family chat group of now Josh with his first buck of his life and With, you know, complete with the, the wheelchair and the rest and the gun and everything in the in the picture. And Well, yeah, we had just left my Aunt Mary and uncle Terry's house and we were phone Terry, like, if you know, I guess we're longer than an hour later, terry, we need your truck because we're in the, we're in the silver bullet, and so, anyway, it was again like just to kind of swing back to this. How you know, there's those moments where you just feel Like somebody's helping you, right, and yeah.

Speaker 3:

It was like that when we were stalking Finn's dough and that perfect shooting stick was there. It was like that on Josh's dough, when the, when, the, when he, the dough, just stood there for so long while we messed around and ticked around and Tried to get all set up, and there's six or what five of us tripping and stumbling and fooling around right and then yeah and then it was again like that.

Speaker 3:

On that, when 24 deer spook and one doesn't right, and um, like I can, I can still hardly talk about uh, josh's accident it was.

Speaker 3:

You know, I don't think my other cousins will be would be offended if I said Josh was like the favorite cousin of of all of us.

Speaker 3:

And uh, you know he, he had this, you know, super tough injury and um has dealt with it with such courage and grace and um, he's always, he always is concerned about everyone around him and you know how make sure that that uh, that nobody is, uh, nobody else is worried. You know that he makes, he makes it uh to sound like he's, he's all good, but you know it's a, it's a tough challenge that he that he has, so To be there for that moment and and be involved in it and uh see him, you know, circle back to something that he had just been getting into when he got hurt and uh have that, that moment and that success and the you know. Then we went back to my uncle's shop and hung the deer up and sat around, had a few rums and, you know, told tall tales and um Finn skinned out the deer while the rest of us be asked, basically, and um, then we gave Logan a proper uh field dressing lesson on that deer, under the headlights of the truck.

Speaker 1:

But there you go.

Speaker 2:

Full circle, that's right, you gave him a full lesson on the first dough, and then he actually got it.

Speaker 3:

That's right, he did it all himself. I went so so that he'll be ready for next time. But uh, yeah, it was. It was one of those moments in life where you know it's, it just felt like, uh, the All those hunting trips and all those um Deer that you've messed up on, or deer that you've been successful on, or over the years, though those, all those experiences led to that moment that that weekend To be able to help josh Be successful, that weekend right, it was it. Uh was pretty powerful.

Speaker 1:

I'm sure man that's. That's a great story. The all of your stories Were pretty awesome and and I think my favorite part about the whole this whole episode is that they're all the same place. Like not many people have have so many stories and so much history with one locations, it's pretty special, I think, what you guys got going on up there.

Speaker 3:

Well, I had to trim it down too, like there's quite a few right ones that. Either ones that Finn's mom can't know about, or whatever. Yeah, so they're just too long and but yeah, it's a, it's an amazing place and we're just uh, we're just super fortunate, just by the by pure luck, that we are born into that family, that we have this place to go to. It's uh, you know, through no, through nothing that we did right, it's just just luck.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, now I want to hear the stories that Finn's mom can't hear about. All right, well, we'll save that for another episode. Yeah, thank you so much. This was a ton of fun. I, uh, I love it when I leave a Recording. In my face hurts and just smiling because this was this was great. Um, I don't know if you want to share when they can find you, john. I don't know if you have it like a tick tock or something that you want to share with everybody.

Speaker 1:

Finn, maybe you want to share your Instagram or anything like that. Otherwise, you know, feel free to walk off into the sunset. Whatever you guys feel is uh is best.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, I don't have much of a of a social media presence. My, uh, my buddy Ray there that I told a couple stories about, we, uh, we, we la jokingly talked about doing a YouTube channel for with the trap line because there's so many trapper youtube guys out there, and we joked that our we'd call ours behind times trap lines because we're always late for everything.

Speaker 1:

Man, you trappers are. You guys are crazy. I've seen some videos of people because you trap something that you not legal trap, you got to release it. I've seen some videos sent to me of people releasing like mountain lions and stuff from those trap lines. Whoo, I don't have the courage to do, to do traps like that's. That's too much for me.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I do release a raven one time. I'm scared. I was scary enough, wow.

Speaker 2:

I would have guessed a raven.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's true.

Speaker 1:

Actually.

Speaker 3:

Finn was just saying there that it was that was kind of his first taste of of that kind of Culture and lifestyle was when Ray got that trap line and we started going out there and um, I think that's kind of what fueled, what like kind of got me rolling into hunting.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome I would be trapping. Yeah, I mean I'm interested to try it, but I just don't. I don't want to deal with the headaches.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a lot of work to Ray, like the bet, honestly, to me the best trapping trip. So when you go out there, you set tons of traps, see some great country, see some wild horses, whatever all else and then there's nothing in any trap, you just clean them up. I'm a hundred percent okay with getting skunked.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, sometimes it's just about the experience, that's right. Finn. Finn, do you want to share your social media? Or or, john, do you want him to share his social media as the uh consenting adult here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't care. Uh, I'm on instagram at cool moose baits. That's about it.

Speaker 1:

Cool. Well, I'll put a link to that in the show notes, uh, but, guys, thank you, this was. This was a lot of fun. Finn, thank you for staying on top of it and getting this thing recorded. John, thank you for the amazing stories and, uh, maybe we'll have an episode offline where we I can hear some of those ones that weren't supposed to be told, so, share it I'll just I'll tell, I'll tell them second hand and won't tell anybody where they came from right, all right guys. Well, thank you again. I appreciate you.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. All right, take care.

Speaker 1:

All right, guys. That's it. Another couple stories in the books. I want to thank fin and john, of course, for coming on the podcast. It was a pleasure here in their stories. It was a lot of fun to hear that story where he basically Arm wrestles a mule deer buck to the ground with a bowie knife in his other hand. Uh, I I've already shared that story with a couple friends and I only heard that story, I think, last night. So, um, amazing stories. Thank you, john, thank you fin, um and uh, for you listeners. If you have a good story, don't hesitate to reach out. I love it when listeners do, of course, share the podcast with someone and, if you can, please also, uh, you know, review us on Whatever your preferred platform in, whether it's carbon tv, apple podcast, spotify, uh, we would appreciate that as well. But that's it, guys. Thank you very much for tuning in now. Get out there, make some stories of you.

Hunting Stories
Moose Hunting and Family Traditions
Deer Hunting Adventure on Remote Property
Logan's Adventures and Cold Camping Stories
Hunting Adventures With Danish Friends
Challenges and Victories in Hunting
Josh's Successful Hunting Trip
Hunting Stories and Family Traditions
Thanking Guests and Encouraging Storytelling