Chances are if you're living on this planet and have access to a television, you've probably been exposed to some Hollywood version of the survival genre that pits man against nature as though nature is some mean bastard that's best avoided, like fretting about mountain lions while you drink your own pee. The reality is most survival stuff is produced for entertainment, and that's about it. Maybe it's fun to watch, but much of it is nothing more than a good way to make a bad situation worse.
That's why we wrote The Meat Eater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival. It's my latest book. In it, you'll learn from the hard earned advice of accomplished outdoors men and women, including river guides, lifelong hunters, mountaineers, emergency room doctors and wild foods experts like how to effectively find and treat water, how to gear up for any outdoor adventure, why cooking accidents mess up way more people than grizzlies. How to deal with a porcupine quills in your dog and a porcupine's meat on your fire and how to develop a mindset that keeps you calm, rational and focused during your most stressful moments, no matter your skill level.
This book will be a staple on your essential gear list, and if you don't have an essential gear list, it will teach you how to make one head over to the meat eater dotcom slash survival to check it out. Now, that's the meat eater dotcom survival Yuva.
You've seen this cook up some pretty wild stuff here at Meat Eater, like whether we're experimenting with deer heart, making our own sausage or rendering down some bear fat or in one case, even snake oil fat to make a bit of tallow. We are passionate about what we cook and how we cook it. And we know that not everyone has access to these odd cuts materials. So we decided to hook up with Port Road and give you a chance to join in the fun.
I'm excited to let you know about our new meat eater Porter Road boxes. Now hear me out. They work a lot like other subscription boxes, but we got wild with it. We have a large intaglio box so you can try your hand at rendering and stepping up your frying and baking game. If you remember our episode years ago with the not even years ago, a while ago with the absolutely fabulous wild game chef Jesse Griffiths. He talked about his world class fried catfish, which he fries in beef tallow that he renders himself.
We also got a sausage box, which includes pork back fat and pork trim and casing to pair with one diers worth of shrimp, meaning sometimes depending on where you live, it's a pain in the ass to get good quality pork fat and trim that you can cut into your own burger or cut into your own sausage. This takes care of that problem where you get very high quality pork back, fat sent to you, frozen you use to process and work with your own deer.
And then for fun, we've got a scavenger's box. It's got everything from kidney to Shank's. It also includes a signed copy of my book, The Scavenger's Guide to Cuisine.
So here you can get this stuff up your cooking game. And then when you're working on your own deer, in your gut, in your own deer out, you'll have some know how to begin working with some of the more exotic cuts on your own venison. With any luck, you've already got GAMAE in your freezer, are you? Soon will. And now it's time to start thinking about how to put it to good use. Head on over to portero dotcom slash meat eater to check out our latest collaboration and get cooking.
That's Porter Road p0 rtr road dot com slash meat eater again. Go in there, get the pork fat pork trim box with casing so you can get busy making your own wild game sausage and burger with great pork trim. That's easy to source and of high quality portero dotcom slash meat eater. This is the Meat Eater podcast coming at you, shirtless, severely beaten, in my case, underwear, less than half a meat eater podcast.
You can't predict anything. Presented by Onex Hunt, creators of the most comprehensive digital mapping system for hunters download the Hunt app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Know where you stand with Onex. OK, ladies and gentlemen, your your bearing witness to a fee of covid induced technology where we're all over the damn place, not in our studio. Well, that's not true. Cal's in the studio. Hello, Carl. Hello, Stephen.
Brody is in the studio hello, Brody. Hello. And Janice is in the studio.
Hello, Janice, love Deanne's to join join there by, I think Kirin's and there Phil's in there. I'm quarantined at home.
This is my fourth quarantine. This time I'm so quarantined that I'm out in my own guesthouse. Like, I'm not allowed anywhere near even my own family, so I have to look out the window into my home to see my family going about their business, which is the saddest thing on the planet. But my kids are treating me like an underdog and they're watching out for my interests and have gotten very mad at my wife for talking rudely to me. So I'm manipulating them.
They feel they feel very bad for me.
And joined by Jim Heffelfinger from Arizona, Jim Koti. And our friend Brandon Butler, who's now joining from Missouri, correct, Brandon, that's right. Now, Brandon, this is like short notice, Brandon, coming down here, because the weirdest thing happened that I just found out about, someone sent me a link. To a go fund me. That's being put on by Brandon's friend. And Brandon Hilter, what happened, but. His son sunburn his damn hunting camp down in this hunt camp we recorded podcasts out of.
So that's kind of like is the relevance of people, remember years ago? Jani and I were out spring. Turkey hunting in Missouri, and it was a time if you really stretch your memory back and we're paying attention to our show, back then Johnny had gotten to Turkey and I actually found an old crippled turkey and got that like I jumped up a crippled up turkey. And got it and tagged it and we were staying at Brandon's house, and so I was quite alarmed this morning to see that someone had burnt the damn camp down like full on arson, but.
Listen, Brand, Johnny, you don't even know about this brand and tell what happened, so, yeah, that was that was twenty eighteen when Unionise came down and joined me in Parker Hall and Steve Jones, we had a great, great time.
And you guys had you'd been there right when the cabin kind of started coming together and called this place Driftwood Acres. It's down in Shannon County, Missouri. It's a it's a rough part of the world, a very almost lawless part of the world.
So I knew what I was getting into going down there as a professional conservationist. And, yeah, it didn't play out so well. Back in 2000 and 17, a friend of mine was hunting a field just off my property when a little seven pointer whitetail, we call him seven pointers back here and Missouri was out in this field.
A road hunter shot it off the road, wounded it. It ran over on to my property. They drove out across my property, jumped it up. It ran for my buddy who's wearing a blaze orange, stands up in a tree stand, is waving at these people.
They continue to fire at this deer, wounding it more. It goes into a creek and finally they confront my friend and tell him it was his fault for not putting orange at the entrance of this field at the road so they would know not to shoot from the road.
At that time, I went up and confronted these people. I was told to know my place. I talked to the law enforcement and he suggested just kind of letting this one ride and man, that is just aimed at me for years, like the fact that I didn't press charges. I just kind of took it, moved on, tried to survive down there this year on Sunday of opening day arrival season at eight thirty at night, me and three of my friends, Nathan Shaggs, McCloud Paddled, Don Canfell and my cousin Derrick Butler, we're sitting around a campfire and the creek had flooded.
And if you guys remember but this just a couple of nights ago. Well, no, I'm talking about deer season. So this would have been like November 15th, been burned a couple of nights ago. Oh, I got you. I got you.
So if you guys remember, I had to bring you in through the forest because the creek had flooded. That happens a lot and we're on the backside of it. So the creek is flooded and we're thinking nobody's coming in for deer season. Well, this truck comes across the creek anyways. They stop at the end of my driveway, maybe hundred and fifty yards down from us. It's a long driveway. Look up at us having a fire go about 200 yards further, pull into this field, throw on the light bars.
I mean, it would be like turning on the lights at a professional baseball stadium, just lit this thing up like crazy. Jump out and start unloading so close that we're watching the muzzle flashes as they poach these deer without even thinking. I jumped in my side by side and took off after them. My cousin and friend start charging down the hill on foot to follow me up, thinking I'm I'm going after poachers, unarmed. They're obviously armed. They take off.
I get the license plate number. I call the license plate number. In this time, I'm pressing charges. There's no way I'm ever going to live with that guilt again. I had no idea who it was turned out to be. Some locals, the threats started coming, started being told, I don't belong down there. All that starts coming through, email, social media, stuff like that, telling me that snitches end up in ditches. Good luck.
Good luck hanging out down here. And then Monday night at twelve, twelve o'clock at night, my wife wakes me up. The neighbor called in and said the cabins burning down right now. So I jumped up. Grab a few guns, take off, it's a three and a half hour drive. Get down there about sunrise, just as the the final flames are still flickering.
So, you know, it was it was just a building.
But the possessions that I had in there were probably 30 taxidermy mounts of mine and families. My, my my grandfather's folds of honor flag from World War Two after he passed away my my handmade great grandfather's bed. I mean, just the endless amount of, like, personal possessions that are just irreplaceable.
And thankfully, I had cameras all over. The person has not been apprehended yet, but they will be and and. Yeah, so that's it.
You know, took a stand for conservation, stood up to these poachers and they burned my house down.
God, man, the pictures are really upsetting to man. Yeah.
It's it's still hard to like look at the pictures because every time I look at them, I notice something else that that's there. If you look hard, you'll see my friend Kevin Ortman bought me an antique book press. And in that book press was the The Meat Eater Cookbook, Volume one and volume two of the Tips and Tactics book. So so even lost even more sets of the. If you go back to the episodes we did from there, I did the I told a story about the steam breathe in Turkey.
And Steve, you said that man, that was such a beautiful description. If I was a painter, I would paint that and some dude did.
And you guys used it as a tour poster on your your first go around.
You were you were kind enough to make me twenty copies of the Driftwood acrs version of that poster and Unionise signed it and sent it to me and it was in a frame next to the actual fan from the Steam Breathe in Turkey. That was centered between two books that I killed down there and two books that Shaggs scaled down there that were mounted.
All that's gone. Every Turkey fan that I ever had is gone. Every European mount that I've ever had is gone. Is the go fund me still up there?
The go for me just came up today. And your body, your body put that up. Um, yeah. And I'm, I had insurance, I, I'm gainfully employed. I am not in horrible need of money. So I'm, I'm humbled by the outpouring of support and the friendship and, and all I can say is like whatever comes from the go fund me will not be used selfishly. I'll find a way to use this money to to further conservation, hunting and fishing.
And, you know, I had a full blown raft, you know, like a W I used to live in Montana and fished all the rivers you guys fish. And I had a fourteen hundred like a pack raft and outcast pack. Fourteen hundred that burned up on the trailer. The water scooter I had when I lived out there, burned up four kayaks, my kids, kayaks and man that's the hardest part. Like, you know, my girls are teenagers, they're 14 and 15 years old.
So sometimes dragging them down to this wilderness retreat was a pain in the ass. Like I had to get the Internet for them to even want to go down there. So I like satellite Internet, but they're crying. They're scared like they're they're worried these people might, like, actually come to our home.
So, like, I'm leaving the house at twelve thirty in the morning with an AR 15 in one hand hugging my fifteen year old crying daughter with the other hand. And it took me about an hour and a lot of Metallica songs to realize like what I had done, you know, like I'm walking out of my house armed.
Would like a military grade weapon hugging a 15 year old child that's crying and I'm like the position that I've not only been put in myself, but then to react that way, like I had to, like, sit her down and talk to her.
And but, you know, it's a scary situation and it's a scary place.
And so why like, why are the law why is the law enforcement so reluctant to deal with it? I don't even get this man.
It's hard to explain, man. I don't have the answers for that. I'm I'm friends with the game wardens down there. They're underresourced. Of course they're underpaid. I'm counting on a sheriff's deputy who probably makes, you know, in the 30s as far as money.
And this guy's got to put his life on the line to go after, you know, hardened criminals because my cabin burned down.
Like, that's a lot to ask of somebody to, like, go into this holler where there's no phones, no service, no Internet and try to apprehend somebody willing and able to do such a heinous crime for 30 grand a year.
So then, you know, there's also a huge national park there called the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. And they have law enforcement and they have a hard time with getting the prosecutions to go through.
There's just a real clannish culture down there and and trying to get people prosecuted and through the judicial system is hard as well.
So it's you know, it's just a very strange part of the world, very appellation, like it's the poorest county in Missouri.
But something has to change. And I've got you know, I'm friends with the lieutenant governor of our state. I've got a call into his office. I've talked to a lot of law enforcement people.
You know, if I have to be the martyr for this to finally raise awareness that there's almost a lawless society existing within our state and the fact that good people cannot go down there and build a home and enjoy the outdoors and increase the economy or anything that needs to be done to make this a more civilized society, then, you know, what's it going to take?
So I'm really hopeful that this is a turning point in the history of this county, in the history of the Ozarks, because it's one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the country.
Man, I wish we could get it into the parts of this that we can't quite get into yet. But it's just like kind of a heartbreaking story, man.
It's so maddening and disheartening, man, but, well, like, I want to revisit it later on down the road, but one of the things about the go for me, I know you were saying, oh, you know, it doesn't really matter. And you had insurance, but I'll come out and say that. You've been real good about. Share in that place with people and being generous with it, and instead of having a little chunk of ground that you lock up for yourself, trying to have a place where you invite people in and encourage conversations and try to use it.
As like something that's positive. And to get people to relate and interact around conservation issues.
And I think it's like it's a cool spot and what you were doing there is cool man. And I hope that people go and check out your go fund me. Because you did lose a ton of stuff and it wasn't like a selfish project you had going on, it was something you were trying to do.
To be a good dude, you know, so I feel like you should tell people about the go fund me and people can come in and try to lend some support for someone that that fraternity and some deer poachers had all their memories and something that they care a great deal about burned to the ground. Well, thank you very much. The outpouring of support has been humbling, man, when I saw my phone go off today with your name popping up, I was like, man, this is getting around, you know?
So I really appreciate you guys, all of you.
And, you know, Clay Newcomb's been to the cabin a few times, Hal Herring's been there and Russell Graves out of Texas, like, I was trying to make it something special that would hopefully bring some awareness to that area as well.
I was trying to do good things for the people down there and and show that this is an incredible natural resource area of our country.
But yeah, I don't know, man, the go fund me whatever money comes from that, I'm going to use it for good, for conservation, for figuring out how to get more people involved in the outdoors, taking more people fishing and hunting. I lost my raft that I wrote a lot of people down the river in that raft.
So it's on the driftwood outdoors Facebook page.
I think the go fund me is called Brandon Butler's cabin burned by poachers. You can look it up, but the best way probably to find it is just to go to driftwood outdoors on on Facebook. But what like like I said, you know, like this money will be used in a way that will let these people know that they didn't win, that, you know, we're going to continue to take a stand for conservation. You know that.
I've been asked that to like, man, I bet you wish you wouldn't have turned them in, like. Absolutely not. I'd do it again tomorrow. Like, and I've had a bunch of people reach out. Like, my favorite thing is, like a few folks have been like, dude, this is like the Pearl Harbor of Shannon County. Like, they don't know what they just woke up like we're going to get after it. So, yeah.
Yeah, don't let some piece of shit with a pointless life. Drive you out, man, right? That's absolute truth. So we're just going to keep moving forward. That's all you can do in life, right? Like my family's safe and healthy. Thankfully, nobody was there.
You know, the important stuff is still intact. Ran, and I know it hurts to lose all those material possessions, but sounds like you've got the right attitude about it and, you know, thankfully no humans got hurt. And what that song which can't take away from us are those great memories, man. And I've got some incredible memories from that place. And I can attest to what you're saying about its natural beauty. It's absolutely incredible. You wouldn't think that southern Missouri would have water that flows of that color until you go and see it.
And I urge everybody to do it.
It's absolutely stunning.
But, yeah, the memory we have, it's burned into my mind is that opening morning, a turkey season when I snuck in there and call that old Galba over to me and I shot him in my head, I could just see you and Steve up there on the other side of the ridge going, was that Johnny?
Could that could have been Johnny. They can't take that away from us. Yeah.
You know, the feeling of knowing people are jealous of you. No one could take that away.
Yeah. Yeah, I'm trying to I'm trying to hunt with Steve, you know, and I want to, of course, show you guys good hunting, a good time. And, you know, it was like we said, it was like Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, like Steve and I didn't hear anything. It was like wildlife had become the void. And then we show up and Yanase is like, oh, yeah, so easy.
Killed one in 30 minutes. So so me and Parker, we had a good hunt, too. We got three turkeys out of four and we should have had four.
So it was. Yeah, man that's the breathing. Turkey will live on forever. That's right, that's right. Well, we'll get you we'll get you to replay the parts of it that we can help replace, like the books and the steam breathing turkey poster. We'll get that sorted out.
I appreciate you. All right. Thanks for calling in on.
Short notice are joining in on short notice, man. When I saw that, I knew I wanted to have you on to talk about it. That was pretty upsetting.
Well, I really appreciate it. You guys are the best. Thank you very much. And look forward to talking to you soon.
Yeah, I hope some dudes come in and kick down on that. Go find me and help you out, man. Thanks a lot. All right. Take care of yourself when you want to come out, when everything goes back to normal.
We'd love to have you out in the studio. I'd love to do it. Thank you. I do. Talk to you soon. All right. Thanks.
Oh, yeah, so, Johnny, tell me now what's going on with your dog in the mountain lion and everything to mountain lions to be exact, but Mingus and I spent some time walking tracks and chasing lions this past week while you were in pencil talking and. We were with Jake Grib, who you know as well, buddy of ours. Oh, yeah, were you there? And he got that bobcat recently? No, I haven't been in on a bobcat kill yet.
But that guy is amazing, man.
I don't even know how much we should really be like talking about how much how good he is online because he's going to start he's going to be like that that other Jake, that we know from Wisconsin who people stalk him because he knows where all the sturgeon are under the you know, and I'm afraid he'll put too much attention on him. But anyways, I actually had a neighbor call me who had found a track. So we it was a day old by the time we got to it, but we went and ran it anyways, eventually got on on the cat.
This was, I think, Monday morning.
And how did he find the track? How did he find the track? My name stumbled into it. Yeah. I just looking forward. I knew that he was just right across the drainage from me and I had told him just to keep an eye out. And he was, you know, a couple of hundred yards behind his house just doing a little walkabout with some family members and and stumbled into it. And so we put the cat up eventually.
It's late in the day. By then it's like 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. and Mingus had gotten had gotten a smell. The we eventually found the fresher track that was the day of and he had been on that track and smelled it a little bit. And he he took off down the track. But five minutes later, he came back. Jake's dog stayed on it. He came back like, hey, guys, what's going on? You know, like he just he doesn't have it quiet there to stay on it yet while we get to the tree.
Jake's dogs are there, Trehan barking up a storm and Mingus's, like kind of joining in on the barking, but more because he's like aerialists bark and I'll bark a few times, too. Right. But he just can't like the cats kind of high, like, I don't know, 20 feet, maybe 25. And it's a pretty thick dog for a lot of branches in there. And you just can't get a good view. Like I'm only seeing, like, you know, part of the tail.
Like if you just get the right angle, you can see its face and you just like he just can't put me at that point.
He couldn't put two and two together that what he was smelling on the track EQ.. This cat up in this tree.
Right. So no matter what I did, we're like I'm trying to take his head and point it up into the tree. And Jake's looking at me like, do you have to try that a thousand times? It just doesn't work. And so we spent, whatever, half an hour there and we took off.
So it was a little bit of a bummer because I was like, man, we had invested like, you know, I don't know. We started at five o'clock in the morning. We walk out of there, too.
You know, it's a long day and I didn't really feel that my dog was any better for it. You know, it's kind of like, well, I guess we had to go do it again. So two or three days later, we went to run another track. And this one was very fresh, like like, you know, hours prior to Jake finding it. It was late in there. So we get on it. And Jake, he's got a young dog he's trying to train well, too.
So Mingus kind of gets second pick. And I always tell my girls the best way to understand it is like Mingus is probably a kindergartner. As far as like his level of understanding of his game. Jake's eight month old is probably in like fourth, fifth grade. And then he's got like a two year old that's like, you know, towards the end of high school. And he's got one more that's a full on professional. So when his eight month old is running a fresh track, he wants her to only be seeing what the other dogs with more experience are doing.
And he doesn't want a dog like mine was a kindergartner just run around in circles half the time playing grab ass, you know, ruining a good thing. So his dogs go first. It's and I'm basically behind with Mingus on a leash and just making sure that Mingus is literally taking every track, every footstep of that lion, putting his nose into it and just walking. And it was great to watch because you can actually see sometimes he'd get excited, he'd veer off where the dog tracks went, but it wouldn't take but five or six feet and he would jump back to the actual lion track.
Well, I've been on a few long ones. You and I have been on a few long ones together. This one was like abnormally short, like from the time we cut Jake's dogs loose, I don't think.
An actual three minutes went by until you heard, oh, boo boo boo! The constant barking. Are you serious? Yeah, I mean, it was fast. So we come over the ridge and I look back at Jake. I'm like, are they train?
He's like, oh, yeah, that history. So we walk down to Mingus and I follow the track all the way to maybe 50 feet of the tree. Now I let go the leash and just let him run in there and you can see the cat plain as day. This time it's not quite as high. It's only 15 feet up or so.
Same thing with his dogs. Interestingly enough, two of them, the more experienced and the pro, are all over the tree. They know what's in the tree. They're barking up a storm. The youngest one is sort of like going around the tree, doing a lot of barking, like she knows that that's what she's supposed to do and that's where the scent ends. And it was interesting to watch, too. You could tell when the thermals would come down just right and that cat scent would come straight down to her nose.
She she'd light up, you know, Mingus again, two or three minutes into being at this tree. He's kind of like losing interest. He wants to run back on the track because that's what was exciting, what he was smelling. And he just can't put two and two together still. And I know, Jake, that he had told me like it's been you can't do it. I've tried a thousand times, but this time the cats like more wide in the open.
It's not as high up the hill, so steep that you only had to take like five, six, seven steps back from the tree. And you're almost eye level this cat. So we're about in that.
Was that because I got to understand, when he says you can't do it, he means you can't make a dog look into a tree and see a cat.
Yes, exactly. Because that's what you want. Do you like it's right there, just like his head in that direction.
How could you miss it? Connect the dots. Yeah. Yeah.
And I think it. He's he's smelling it, he just doesn't know what he's smelling. Again, I was trying to explain it to my daughters. I'm like, if you were smelling an apple pie but had never seen one and never tasted one, you don't you don't have an image for what you're smelling.
You know, you know, it might smell good and might be pleasurable. You don't know what it looks like. Well, I had to try it again.
So I grabbed that dog's head and I pointed at that at that lion and kind of like looking at him, looking at the lion and man. It was like it was almost like his head kind of quivered and shook just for a second. And then it just locked.
And then the next thing was, well, I mean, just blew my eardrum out and just went berserk. So he was just like, holy shit, that's what that's what I've been smelling, that it I got it. And just like everybody, look, everybody, look. There's a lion in the tree. Yes, exactly. And I ever believe what I found.
You want to talk about one track mind at that point, we were just you know, we're just Jake and I are milling around. His youngest is kind. He doesn't know for sure, but kind of a tree climber. So he's keeping a real eye on her to make sure that she doesn't get too high up into this tree because it had some low priced out low branches. So she was making it up six, seven feet pretty quickly. And of course, he doesn't want her to do that.
But we're just milling around and talking and enjoying the situation. It's so funny because every time I get between Mingus and that tree, he'd get real annoyed and, like, had to jump to the side to be like, no, man. I'm like, I got to see this thing and bark at it. So don't get in my line of sight, you know?
But yeah, very it was just a very awesome feeling as a dog owner, you know, to see something like that click and to see it, see it go down and see the dog, get excited. Oh, that's great, man. That was sweet.
The cool thing is you got him from the pound, didn't you? Yeah. Yeah. He's a foul on Livingston, Montana.
Shelter dog. Yeah. Do you are? Is there anything that you can't like, like can that dog be a coonhound and a lion or you got to, like, pick his pick his path in life?
No, I think that the the owner and the handler has to do that. I think they're they're probably only limited by how much their owner trains them, I think is what I've been getting from most. I mean, I'm sure there are some people out there that tell you that it'll be better if they're just a one on one trick pony when it comes to that. But I mean, certainly Jake's dogs do bobcats and lions, and I know they're both cats, but I think that if you just spend time with them, they can do it all.
You know, they can figure out when they're, you know, supposed to be chasing one and it's supposed to be chasing another. Yeah. Are you going to bring oh, go ahead, but don't doesn't cowboy coatis dogs down in Colorado? They run everything like pigs and cattle and that's Ryan's straight run like.
Yeah, they run lions and cattlemen.
Yeah. He said they'll run whatever he tells them to be interested in. Now, are you bringing that dog when we go to Arkansas, coon hunting with Clay, are you bringing that dog down? Yes, sir. How you get that there? Airplane, you drug it and fly it, OK? Yeah, that's what I was planning on, I don't know, maybe I should drive. I don't care, I mean, they're fun road trip, I was looking for you due to you dragging it and flying it in the bottom of the airplane, but whatever, you don't even have to drugger.
Unless you're into I guess I thought you need to juggle a little bit when they're kind of wild dogs like that, there's some some folks that think that and a lot of other folks that I've talked to that are like, no, the dog, as long as the dog is comfortable in a kennel, a plane is the same as the back of your truck is like they're just going.
Yeah, but you haven't seen the honest dog and have you seen the owner's dog in the back of a truck?
No, I don't know what you're getting at. I've had me in the back of my truck.
I guess it's a lot. It's a big loud ass dog that makes a lot of noise, man. He can't be. You hear him? If you were in the plane sitting there trying to sleep, you're not going to sleep on the airplane.
If that dog's underneath there, that would be a fun airplane experience because you got to think of how few people understand what that is, the banging of a hound.
Now, luckily, I think that he's not he doesn't seem to have any sort of like separation anxiety or, you know, he doesn't seem to like how ball Barak or whatever when we're not home. So I don't know. I don't I don't expect that I wouldn't expect that to happen. I've only flown a dog once and we didn't. Drugger.
Mm. Hmmm, I'm looking forward to that trip, man. Oh, yeah, me too. Me too. You know, we already got a title for the episode, right? No, please tell me, dog in the fight. Oh, that's a good title. Now, I'm looking forward to making that episode, man, O'Learys, I don't want to make it as I know what we'd call it. I don't know.
Go ahead. Go ahead.
I'll just say, I don't know if I also talk about this about about hunting the squirrels or the coons.
That's good news. I'm glad I like tracking the progress of Mingus, the dog. I want to move to can we move down to this this thing about how not to how not to damage your skull on a horse, please?
After that, I'm out of. Where are you going? I'm kidding. Oh, this dude wrote in, this is one of the more interesting guys it's ever written in. He. We had a podcast episode, it was during the covid pandemic, I remember that I think it was early pandemic. We had on our beloved friend, Kevin Murphy, world's greatest small game hunter, who had recently returned from Mongolia and he had been doing some falconry. In Mongolia, and we talked about that and we got to talk about riding horses, and I got to talking about how hard it is to ride a horse without damaging up your Scarrow.
And for me, at least, and he wrote it, and he's this guy wrote in and he's the most interesting guy I've heard from in a while.
He's a blacksmith and a horse trainer. Him and his wife teach people to ride rope. And jump on horseback and he says that were also naturists and I feel like I've heard this term because that guy rode into it was a naturist Elkanah.
Yes. Yeah, he he both hunts out naked and was saying how he could read the wind real good, like like no know is what way.
Yeah, like he never wonders what way the wind's blowing. It's like you just feel it naked, so. This guy is this guy. Has a lot of insight and riding not hurt near your scroll, and he goes on to say what a lot of other people wrote in to say. About how if you're if it's taken a beating, you're like your seat is wrong, you have to sit the horse properly in a Western saddle, your ass is tucked under you, you're pressed back into the seat.
You're upright, you're not leaning forward. Your knees are bent. Your heels down. He says that you can you can if you're sitting right, you can ride comfortably with pants or no pants. But he says this is where it gets interesting. He says, I still prefer a pair of bike shorts or something as underwear. Because when I am wearing clothes, my scrotum just kind of relaxes and expects support. Then he goes on to say, this is something that's never occurred to me before.
He spends enough time nude around the farm and around the woods that he claims that his testicles have retained. The natural ability, which I don't know, is like that you lose it, but he he retains. The natural ability to retract and firm up in times of physical activity. Like when running or chopping wood or hunting. So he just adds this advice stretching routine, it's like, hold on, limber and tighten up.
So he's saying that most fellows like us who run around like suckers wearing their clothes all the time. That you're losing your ability to retract and firm up, but that he has retained the ability to retract and firm up, then that has nothing to do with the fact that his nuts are cold.
He's like, I retain the ability to firm up in cold water. So my advice is he says, dude, I'm not even half joke. I like this guy a bunch. I don't want to seem like in any way, in any way that I'm like like I I would go hang out with this guy.
My advice is, unless you're going to spend a lot of time nude and exercising the muscles that retract your boys up into your pelvis like a samurai. Where something for support and learn to sit properly in the saddle. So he's saying there's a binary decision to be made here.
Go nude enough. That the boys learn where to ride. On their own. Or sit, right? So I made a decision, I'm at a pivot point. As a rider. This suggests that the overwhelming majority of people have learned to sit right. And skip the nudity part. Yeah, I'd go with virtually virtually everyone that I see riding nowadays has taken the second choice, but when we go down to cocoons of clay, we're going to be riding around on mules.
And yeah, I just don't want you to be surprised.
If you see some things you maybe don't want to see. No, I'm fine. Well, yeah, but you got to do, man, I just think of all the like, pasty, white, transparent. Old rancher skin. That has never seen the light of day really reinforces the fact that people just learned how to sit, right? Oh, sure. Cal, you know what I want to do, I want to move into something for that Cal is going to talk about, but I want to break up Jim forefingers responsibilities.
Jim, do you mind? Tell everybody what you were telling me about about the ocelot and the Jaguar and all that. Yes. And are you going to be able to share those images so people can go see them?
The images are actually embedded in the scientific paper. And I was just sent this morning this paper, and it was just a short note. And it has a series of photos, nighttime photos from a trail cam that's next to a water catchment in northern Guatemala, where there's ocelots and jaguars both. And they had images of a Jaguar coming into the water, taking a drink and then going back off into the darkness. A little while later, a taper comes by and drinks out of the water and the Jaguar leaves it alone.
Taper leaves and then a little ocelot comes in and starts drinking of the jaguar, pounces out of the darkness, kills the Jaguar, kills the ocelot in the dregs, the ocelot off. And the scientific paper has images embedded in the paper itself. But then there's some note that I haven't followed yet that says that there's supplemental information, which usually means there's more information somewhere online. But a lot of times the scientific papers are our you've got to subscribe to the journals to get into it.
It's not always open access. So I haven't checked yet whether those images are available. I can send you the paper and we can see if that's available to the public.
Why do you think he would kill? Why would he not kill the tapir, but he would kill the ocelot?
Yeah, the papers are kind of big, but that's part of their part of their diet down there in the jungle. Why he would kill in Oslo. That's what makes it so bizarre. That's what makes it so noteworthy to show up in a scientific paper is a note. It's just it's not really a competitor. So strange.
Well, and I don't think that we know for sure, just from those pictures, if the thing disappeared into the darkness, that it was necessarily just sitting there that whole time period. Maybe it was out for a walk about while the tapir was there and just happened to be back when the ocelot showed up.
I mean, that's a good point. Is there like any evidence that they do the same thing that wolves do with coyotes and just kill them to kill them?
Like they're just I don't think there's a lot of evidence of cats doing that because they're more solitary animals just living in the jungle, kind of doing their own thing. So it's pretty strange. Hey, do you think, Jim, right now at this very second, do you think there are is a Jaguar in the US right now? Do they know?
I don't I don't know. We normally have had one. It's not always the same one. We've normally had one. But I haven't heard since before we talked last time. It was been a year since I've heard any fresh information, so I don't really know. Yeah, so there might not be yeah, that's too bad, I can't remember. Do you root for Jaguar's root against Jagwar? Yeah, we have we have that conversation. I root for the same thing you do that they continue to be able to come up and visit and hang out in these mountain islands in southeastern Arizona.
There was some talk and there still is of putting them in crates and moving up to the Ponderosa Pine High Elevation Forest in central Arizona. And that doesn't make any sense to me.
Yeah, I guess. Why not, Delgaudio? Why doesn't it make any sense? Oh, that was that was really beyond the range of the core of Jaguar habitat, so there's like there's over one hundred thousand jaguars throughout the range in Central America and at the Amazon is the epicenter of Jaguars. And they came up and they they came and visited Arizona, New Mexico. They came up being a little farther than that in prehistoric times like the Pleistocene. But this Arizona, New Mexico is the northern fringe of their habitat.
And they should be able to do what what animals do with the northern fringe, come up and visit and colonize and stay. But this really isn't the core of their habitat. And to take them from other populations like northern Mexico and then putting them up into what is really not good. Jagwar Habitat, a real dry Ponderosa pine forest, is not ideal Jaguar habitat, even though 100, 200 years ago we have some evidence of them moving through their.
So it's like trying to read they would be trying to reestablish a population in a place where you feel it would be dubious at best to say that they were that they had a breeding population there.
Yeah, we know a lot about what kind of habitat Jaguars do really well on, and they do the best in those more tropical habitats and then they do OK in in areas like northern Mexico, in the mountains and the sky islands in southeastern Arizona and central Arizona were just really areas where they moved through and like we talked about last time. But if you look at the Native American cultures in the Southwest and Arizona, New Mexico, the Jaguar wasn't part of their their culture.
They don't have motif. They didn't revere the Jaguar. And that's really the case in Central America where they were really common and right in the center of their distribution.
Oh, man. I mean, you know, we've talked about this for I love those things. I think it would be. You know, it'd be pretty great to be walking through the woods and there's one standing there. Now, I didn't send you that book Borderline Jaguars.
Did you go? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that, but I like that.
But that's got a good documentation of these jaguars in this northern end of their habitat, you know.
All right, Cal, we're going to touch on this a little bit because this dude wrote in. It's kind of interesting that a guy wrote in about possession limits and he's not the first person to write in about possession limits.
And just so people are saying what we're taught when we talk about possession limits, be in hunting, you'll you'll quite often see that you'll encounter a species where you have a what's called the daily bag limit. And this goes for fishing. This goes for hunting. For our case here. Let's say that we're talking about fishing. Let's say you go somewhere and they have a daily bag limit of five walleye, OK? That means in a day and a given day, you're allowed to catch and retain five walleye.
You'll often see tacked on to that. A possession limit would be typically. It's very common to see a possession limit be to daily bag limits, what that would mean is let's say you're camping out OK. And you got a fish camp set up here at the River Access, you got your camper trailer there, you've been there for a couple of days. They're saying that you could have in your cooler or in your camp to bag limits. That doesn't mean that out in your boat in your life.
Well, you have to bag limits. But like, you went out at 5:00 on Saturday, you went out and caught five on Sunday. They're cool with you having Saturday and Sunday's daily bag limits in your possession. And this this system starts to get really complicated for people because a lot of times it winds up being like, OK, does that mean that I can have it in my freezer at home? What if I have it where I've already turned it into jerky or sausage?
Does that count as my limit? This guy the road and brought up a really interesting twist on this question of how possession limits work, where he says this dude from Illinois writes in.
He says, for example. Illinois has an early Gousse season in September, but there are two zones with different limits. The North Zone has a five Gousse daily limit in a 15 Gousse possession limit. So there you can have three daily bag limits. The South Zone has a two Gousse daily limit and a six Gousse possession limit. He then goes on to ask, let's say I live in the south zone. But for three days in the north zone and bring home eight geese, am I breaking the law since I am too over the possession limit?
Or another scenario? I live in the north zone and have 12 geese in my freezer from the early season. Then in October, the regular water fall season starts and the possession limit changes to nine. Am I then violating the law? I'll take this one away.
This is a great, great topic and it it really doesn't get confusing as long as you keep in mind that hunting is a management tool and fishing is a management tool and your bag limits and possession limits change by state. By zone, by region and by and by fishery and flyway such as the north south zone that this fellow rode in with and in Montana. Right. We have a Pacific Flyway and a central flyway that you can hunt without leaving the state.
And it gets really interesting when you start looking at fisheries as well. A great example, Red is your your bucket biology examples of taking, let's say, perch and dumping them into new ponds. So there is an example here in the state of Montana where. You can have two bodies of water. On the same highway. One has a daily possession limit or a I'm sorry, a daily bag limit, you know, your daily take of perche the possession limit is three times the daily take.
It possession in Montana is your possession of that species in total, so it means what you have on you, what you have at your camp, whatever that camp may be and whatever you have at your home. It doesn't say the example that the dude wrote in, which is hilarious because he threw on something that I hadn't even thought of what she was like, well, what if I have a mounted bird on my wall?
It's like it's a bird.
That's a great it's a great question is a great question I hadn't thought of.
And in the state of Montana, it doesn't say anything about taxidermy as it does in the fact that if you were going to transfer a bird to a taxidermist, the state that it needs to be.
But possession limit is anything cammed smoked it implies. Whatever state that meat is in, if it is the species in question, it pertains to your possession limit. So to finish with this example, if you go further down the same highway into a new drainage where they have somebody has transplanted those perch illegally into this other fishery where they do not want the perch.
There is no daily limit on perch and there is no daily possession limit on perche. So. What the hell does a game warden do that?
Especially if Steve's fishing at the reservoir where there is a daily limit and a possession limit and I want to stop in and see Steve on my way home, which would make sense because it's on the same highway, right?
But I have a cooler full of fish that are totally legal. I just happened to be passing through a zone where had I been fishing and catching fish in that zone, it would then be illegal. I had to call a game warden on this and, you know, they laugh typically because the what ifs can really run rampant. But, you know, it always comes down to a game wardens discretion and those possession limits, the definition of possession is different in every state.
So I was looking at an example this couple of guys in Texas got caught with.
Boy, I can't even remember now like seven times the daily or seven times the possession limit, the legal possession limit for Croppy, a ton of Groppi. Very illegal, but if you read the law in Texas, the the way the the possession limit is written in Texas, if you have a permanent camp, as in a real diesel cabin. That you live at and can get mail at. Your possession. Anything that you store at that place does not count towards your possession limit, but if your buddy is right, right next to your cabin where you get your mail and they're in a camper trailer.
That they do not get their mail at. The fish that they bring back to their camper trailer. Counts against their possession limit.
So to me, that's almost like an odd sort that you're kind of getting into the haves and have nots there where it's like, well, if you can afford to have a house on the lake cabin, not a house two blocks from the lake, you're more than likely to be able to retain a hell of a lot more fish just because you don't have to spend time and travel to get the fish to the place where they don't count against your possession limit.
I don't think. Let me. Yes, go ahead.
I want to throw another wrinkle into this, and I know we're like that. Maybe you have a final hopefully you have like an answer because we're like it's like a question with a question because these are all things that I'd be curious to have Jim speak to this, too. I feel like these are things that are well-meaning laws, you know, that are so confusing that it's like setting people up for failure because you can't figure out how to be compliant like you.
You brought up let's say you go get a bunch of geese and you make sausage. Yeah. I mean, so now you have a bunch of goose sausage sticks. How do you figure out, like you you save one bag of sausage sticks and then the next season starts up, how do you go? Like, OK, I need to account for this being like, what is this, portions of five geese? Is this like a goose is worth?
I feel like you're putting people into a situation where you're kind of like and it's probably why you don't read about people getting busted for this stuff unless they're like big time poachers, because you can't roll into someone's house, dismantle their freezer and start trying to reconstruct their last year of activities.
And that that is the answer, though, is documentation. And in this day and age, it's so easy to to document. So, you know, you just got to label your stuff and you do need to be accountable for it. But yeah, you're exactly right. Like a bag of jerky. I turn a lot of meat into jerky. Last year it was it was big game. So it's easy to keep track of, but. Yeah, if if game wardens came into the house and grabbed that bag of jerky and decided to start doing DNA analysis on it.
You know, they're going to have a single bag that has an elk from Idaho, a mule deer from Idaho, accused deer from Mexico, you know, and for coots and yeah.
And in that, you know, all that testing cost money. So what's what's the end result going to be? Right. So in waterfowl terms, you know, Canada geese and Montana right now are like a plague.
Never seen so many birds in my entire life. It is unbelievable.
But, you know, if, you know, big goose spreads, lots of decoys or big investment. And I just started kind of doing the math on if you really wanted to get involved in goose hunting and have all the decoys. And be compliant with the law as it's written. In order for you to just go and hunt Saturday and Sunday and shoot limits of geese. You have to. I mean, every licensed hunter in your household has to eat.
Six Canada geese. Per week during during Monday through Friday, you have to eat six cans if you. If you want to keep at it. Yeah, I'm sorry, Tim.
All right, so, yeah, yeah, ten, ten Canada geese per week per license, hunter, if you want to keep at it and we're going to have you in reserve beyond that.
So. We one time asked the state trooper in Alaska, you don't have game wardens or troopers, but we asked the trooper, we're trying to understand possession limits and how it works there. And let's say you have let's say you happen to have a fish back at this fish shack, you have a freezer and you're curious, OK, if a halibut possession limit is to daily bag limits, that means you're allowed to have four halibut in your possession. The way when we were trying to get clarity on how this worked.
We spoke to troupers who said that the minute it's processed. For consumption. It no longer is in your possession limit, meaning if you go if you get two halibut and you take them home and you fillet those halibut. And portion them and vaccine them and freeze them, they're no longer in your possession. Then it's just a matter of your daily bag limits don't exceed how many days you've been at your cabin, meaning if you're at your cabin five days, you could theoretically freeze.
10 Helbert. But you better not have 12 because you haven't been there that many days to have accumulated them. And when we talked about, OK, like what about something that you're not cleaning like, let's say you're talking about shrimp, OK? You catch shrimp and you just freeze the tails and you can be on the water with just shrimp tails because you're allowed three quarts of shrimp tails. So I haven't done it. I haven't processed that. All I did is freeze it.
And they said, if that's how you process it, if that's how you freeze it for later consumption, we would regard that as being processed. So why not just throw my whole poached deer straight into that bale freezer I got I'm good to go, but you're saying if that's how you like to eat it later.
Yes, you know, I save the guts that way so that you're like, this is how I cook. This is how I cook them. Here's another wrinkle, right? My girlfriend. Shot four geese and brought four geese home. She doesn't put the geese in her freezer, she puts them in my freezer, so those four geese are labeled. With her information. And but they're there at my residence where I get my mail. With my guys that.
Because of the overlap, I have labeled with my information as well. Right, and this is like paranoia, basically, like very few, but I feel like that would feel like a warden would respect that system. They I think they would as long as they were, you know, not looking to find something else, I guess. I think, you know, as most of these wardens that you talk with. Right.
It's like we. I have no reason to doubt you until we do and then if we're going to make a case where we're going to make sure that we make the whole case, essentially. Yeah.
You know, a good way to look at. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead. I was going to point out I was going to point out a helpful way to look at this kind of stuff, we have a friend called in.
You're friendly with him, too, who used to he's a lawyer and he used to represent the Wyoming. He used to represent Wyoming as their head attorney, the Fish and Game Department and. We were talking about all these arcane rules, like little known rules and ways that seems like you could get in trouble and we got on the subject of of bartering and selling wild game, OK? It's illegal to barter and trade with wild game. Like you can't use it like currency.
Right. So it would be illegal for someone to you to go to the guy that changes your oil and he's like, oh yeah, don't worry about it, man. I'm happy to do it. Just make sure to drop me by a couple of walleye flays next weekend. You're technically breaking the law because you're bartering and trading with wild game. But this attorney invited me to go and look at where he guys go. Look at where you actually see.
That enforcement tool applied to people. He said it all, you'll only find it get applied in places where you have someone who is in a real, real bad position.
And you'll find that a warden will then add on every possible thing he can add on so that when you start fleeing down, you have a mountain of shit to plea through. And he goes, that's he goes, that's the only situations where I see like this bartering and trading thing coming up when it's someone who's done, like some really bad stuff and they're going through and they're being like, OK, three counts of this. We're going to add counts of this.
We're going to add counts to that.
And it just winds up being a. It winds up being a way to just lay it out heavy when someone really has it coming and they kind of need to it because a lot of these Mattey, you look at so many wildlife violations spread all over all the news sources and inevitably people who are in the know and people who are just being exposed to this stuff for the first time come to the same conclusion. Right. It's like that is a reprehensible crime.
I can't believe they got away so easy.
But the reality is, is a lot of times that that is exactly what the law provides for. It's like, well, that if you look at it, that is a maximum allowable fine of. You know, five hundred dollars, a thousand two hundred fifty dollars, and it's like, so that's why when it's time to nail somebody, it's like stack them up because.
If they get out of some of it, it's just it's not almost not even worth our time type of thing. So it's I call the. I call the warden the other day because we were having a hard time, we were arguing a lot about a law that we couldn't figure out what it meant. And. I got to the point where I decided it wasn't just me. Like like I felt that it didn't make sense. And when I got him on the phone and I invited him to go read it.
He read it and it was kind of funny because he read it and he's kind of like, huh? Yeah. You know, but then was able to solve it for me, like he saw something that I didn't see. But it was just it was an interesting interaction to have with someone to be confused about the law, call up.
They're really glad that you called. They respect the fact that you're trying to sort it out. And then it wasn't like, you dumb ass. It was like, oh, I see where you're confused here. Let's look through it. Consider this. And that's a way better interaction to have than to wait till later and get in trouble and then be like. But it is confusing because at that point it's like you probably should have cleared up, cleared up the confusion.
Great, great example. Read I called the Region three Montana Fish and Game office the other day talking about accessing some ground that would fall within this late seedbeds hunt that we have going on. Chronic wasting disease mitigation deal. And Warden. Was super helpful and we were talk he's like, now remember Montana stream access law? Does not provide for big game hunting, it provides for recreation and fishing. So if you want to access that spot, you better float to it or drag a canoe with you.
So I could legally drag the canoe upstream, paddle the canoe upstream and have this situation where I've got a boat with me, so I haven't exactly just walked the high water Mark Lynelle.
That would make it more legal. And I said I was like, yeah, I'm familiar with this, I understand it, but.
You know, this just is not right. This law is designed to make your life a living hell, right? And he said, well, how so? And I said, well, because in the state of Montana, no matter what season it is, hunting season or not, it's 100 percent legal to carry a firearm anywhere I want on public land.
Under the high watermark, so how can it be legal to hike in under the high watermark with a rifle? I could be wearing orange or not and just say, like, well, I don't have the intention to hunt game and other people are out here, so I'm wearing orange to be safe and I like having my rifle with me. And then I had to change your mind and decided on, you know, I've got to work on the way and it's just that may work on the way in, but not on the way out with your whole life.
Yeah, but you want to go to court for that, have the like dragging your boat and what's recreation like?
It seems pretty obvious what you're trying to accomplish. So like the fact that you're like, oh, but I have a boat with me. I mean, I know the game wardens saying that's the way to cover your ass, but it doesn't seem right. You could have. Yeah, it's just it's odd, odd thing, but there's a lot of that out there.
And it's like, do you want to take the mountain stream access law? To court and try to get a specific provision put in for big game hunting. Where you could possibly risk. You know, screwing it up for everybody somehow, some way. They tried to make laws black and white, but the reality is there's just a whole bunch of gray in between. Oh, yeah, and that's the fun parts to pick at, man. I had another interaction.
We'll move on after another interaction with the warden, where I was looking at a spot on a map and I was like I. It's it occurred to me that a fellow would be able to go do a certain activity there that just seemed like he shouldn't be able to. And I said I said, man, I keep looking at this and it just seems to me like you'd be able to do X there. And he was inviting me to he's like, why does it seem not right to you?
Like I was asking wanted me to entertain this to myself and see if there was something there or not, rather than being like, aha, I found a secret. You know, he was kind of like inviting to use some discretion. And not try to view it like, can I get away with something that maybe feels a little funny, you know, but it's not enforceable. Yoni, here's the thing I wanted to mention to you, and it's interesting to you, I think is.
Diana, you guys have you guys actually you guys have had babies at your house, right? Correct to. And then you talking about the human babies. Like like birthing babies. Yeah, not just like baby powder. Did you use did you burn them into the water? I think now both times we had we're looking at an image here of the blowup bathtub that babies are burdened to sometimes. Both times we had those setups. I believe it.
No, I want to say Baltimore just on the bed, I think that my wife actually found it too relaxing and it took her out of that mode of get baby out and took her in some more chill mode. And yeah. So it didn't happen in the water. Yeah, well, that's interesting, this dude wrote in that his wife was having a baby at home and they had a little kiddie pool, they filled up with water and he took his SUV circulator out of his kitchen and set the SUV circulator in there to keep it at the right temp.
Very good. Which is which is genius man, like a sweet baby, I might just I mean, I don't take baths often, but next time I do.
I mean, the art we have, like a porcelain cloth footer, you know, and boy, you start off nice and cozy and then and then, you know, you read a half a chapter and it's kind of a kind of a tepid bath and not so much fun anymore. So this might be a thing. Little mini whirlpool. Oh, yeah, man.
You take you set that Suvi thing at like one or two and jump in there, be like, great man, this other guy. Real quick, this other guy wrote in. He got the new survival book, The Wilderness Skills and Survival Book, and he went on this trip and the great Smokey National Park with his girlfriend, five day backpacking trek. And they ran in all these weather problems and the weather got all bad and everybody got all cold, and it was it turned into kind of an unexpected survival situation.
And he wrote in to say that he used he actually burned the book and it worked great.
He but he said he had already read all the pages that was all wet on the rim, but he found dry in the middle and burned the book and saved the day. I feel like I do deserve to know he deserves a new book, I think. Oh, definitely. I like his little description, too, when he says later that evening after he's all wet, said it began to rain, then stopped raining for 30 hours.
And not only was it raining, the air seemed to be so thick with moisture I could almost drink and breathe at the same time.
That line caught my eye to man. He's got to he's like he's a wordsmith. He's like a little bit of a right. He's putting it on heavy. I'll admit I was getting skeptical after a while. Then I saw the picture of the book and I believe him.
Oh no. That books that book's been through hell, man.
I feel like we should I got to try to figure it out and remember to send this dude named Dylan out to Omaha, Nebraska, to send us dude a new book to replace the book he had to burn up. But it's nice knowing your books come in handy, you know what I mean? Yeah, and this is exactly what that book was written for, exactly what this guy ran into.
Like, just out for kind of a yeah, I don't want to say mundane, but like just a little regular outing, not some crazy big adventure, not going to bed. Yeah, there was a three hour tour.
All right. There's another thing I want to get to that we're going to have done. Jim Heffelfinger is going to swing back in for us.
Chris, Chris Gill Ridge Pounder is. He's been on these comes on the show quite a bit. He's working on a fine art project. Oh.
Where he's been taking pictures of fucked up old deer stands. And we've been talking about how. We want to do a coffee table book of fine art, coffee table book called Fucked Up Old Deer Stands.
It's going to be. We created email. It's like he's only got like he's got six or seven that are book worthy. But to really do a good book that we can sell next Christmas to really do a good book, we need like 50 great photos. So we're going to start a crowd source. Chris Gill is Rich Pounder is the photo editor, so he's going to do primary photography, he'll probably have more pictures than anybody else. But if you do a picture and you, the listener, send your pictures in, your pictures might make.
The fine art coffee table book. So we made an email, it's fucked up, old dear stands. At the meat eater dotcom. Send in your pictures, Crisil, get them. We'll contact you for permissions and everything, and you got to find the oldest Janki, it's like we're talking about the kind of old stands that, like, look real hazardous to get into and along. Like 50 years ago, someone nailed a tarp up.
And it's just blue, free, blowin in the wind, like the worst old deer stand you know about it could be a tree stand ground by whatever. Send a picture and Chris might need to advise you on how to get the right picture, because remember, this is not this isn't deer camp humor. This isn't like a hat that says, you know, I didn't wake up grumpy this morning, I let her sleep. It's not like that kind of stuff.
It's like fine art. It's fine art photos know people, fine art, photographs of fucked up old dear stance, so send your yeah, if you're thinking about getting this done with your brand new iPhone 12 pro. Don't bother.
OK, you know, maybe you can. I don't know, maybe they're that good. Maybe.
Maybe. Best game on the game. Yep, the email is set up, fucked up old deer stands at the meteor dotcom. Send them in. Eventually, Chris will start digging around in there, will notify you, and we're going to make a book and we're going to have it be for next Christmas where you'll be able to buy.
A fine art coffee table book under that title, that's the title of the book, it's already been decided. So runout. Go ahead. I was just going to ask, do you have I feel like we are going to be inundated. Oh, it's going to be a thick book then. Yeah, I think it's going to be way more than 50 pictures. I mean, Chris, alone, just on the little chunk of property that he and I hunted together this year in Wisconsin.
I think he got to take pictures of six different, very fucked up old deer stands.
And I think that's the six he's talking about. And he got he got another one.
He got a very fucked up world there stands to narrow it down. And I know he got to know.
I know, too, that when you walk by, I think there would be, you know, very, you know, high contenders for the book.
We he took we found just a section of ladder. In Pennsylvania, a section of a ladder stand where the stand was gone, but it had snowed a lot and so just kind of like this low. It looked like a real metaphor, like half of a ladder standing out in the woods. And he took a picture that shows he wasn't really feeling it. But, you know, it could make the book. I don't think it's the cover photo, but it could make the book.
Could be the back cover.
And we're going to caption we're going to write captions for all the fine art photography for me.
If there's an interesting thing that goes on with these old deer stands, because when they're only like kind of old, like someone just sat in them in the last five years and you look at it and you can tell that it's been retired, you look at it like, I wish someone would take that thing down. It's such an eyesore. But then like another 10 years, 15 years goes by. They become art. Yeah. You walk by and you have like a little nostalgia for four days.
That's Yemen. The last time I was in Pennsylvania looked at my old would stand. It was just like part of the earth. That was sad, you know.
Ten menus for you. There's a there's a genre of old man type hunting camp painting where it's like an old deer stand, a fucked up old deer stand, and there's a big buck standing by it. That's like a genre of art. And you're supposed to look at and be like, oh, man, you know, yeah, that old codgers probably dead now. And here's a giant buck by his stand. So help out there, if you can, folks, and we'll keep you posted on how it goes and Rich Pounder will eventually get in there and reach out and he might have advice about how to make it more fine art.
If if it's not if it's not fine art. And it's more like kitsch, he'll probably help you steer it into fine art. So keep your eyes peeled. That's one of those projects where you get the title and then you have to do it. Oh, yeah, well, our original title was Chris wanted to call it old fucked up old deer stands. But then we cut one of the old we cut one of the olds out just to simplify the title a little bit.
OK, Jim, tell anybody about why we what you sent in, I thought was so interesting that I want you to come on and tell us more about it.
Yeah, I wrote an article for Deer Deer Hunting magazine last year and specifically Human Health and and lead bullet fragments and and shot pellets in game meat. And I started getting interested in that because I felt like there were a lot of peer reviewed scientific papers, a lot of magazine articles, a lot of banter about the dangers of using lead bullets and lead shot to human health specifically. And the more I looked into it, the more into the science itself, the more confusing it was.
It doesn't look like the science was there to support some of the statements that that I had seen. And so there's there's a lot of reasons why you might want to switch to non led bullets for sure. I mean, there's a there's impacts just the individuals getting individual raptors and bird sick populations. There could be some population effects, certainly condor. Absolutely a population level effect because they're an endangered species. And lead is really a serious conservation issue of their recovery.
But also, you can think about what about Hunter image when someone's shown this bald eagle that's getting sick from some bullet fragments to guard in the gut pile. And some people talk about the threat of litigation. If hunters don't take charge of this issue of switching to non bullets, there's going to be litigation that's going to force it and not on their terms. And so there's a lot of reasons why we can talk about the value of lead bullets in nine levels.
But one of those topics are subtopics is human health. And and I think there's this is a case where scientists always try to keep their advocacy out of science and just report their science and just do good, solid research. But it's difficult in some cases. It seemed to me like someone's advocacy for switching, having hunters switched from blood bullets to not let bullets was really kind of driving some of the research results. And so it's there's nothing wrong with advocacy.
But we should have science driving the advocacy. We should have good science, and then we should advocate for what's right.
Isn't that compressional, Jim?
Like when it would be when you when you read and when you see that the biologist's paper that is like here are the facts and there is no there's no bias that you can perceive.
There's no advocacy. It is so, so refreshing. Yeah.
And it's a great thing that good science and you can advocate for for what's right. But a lot of times people have this end game and that advocacy society. So to write a scientific paper, they'll have the results of what the results found. And then the last part of the paper is generally like discussion or management implications. And they have a little more latitude. And I was seeing papers where people would talk about lead being dangerous to human health. And it certainly is.
We've known that for for thousands of years. But they cite medical literature that talks about lead in elevated blood lead levels.
But from other sources, people aren't talking about actual how dangerous is it to take bullet fragments in and ingest bullet fragments once in a while or lead pellets? They're talking about paint chips and they're talking about led gasoline. And they're saying, you know, we got the lead out of paint, we got the lead out of gasoline. Why wouldn't we get the lead out of bullets? But what's really important, the distinction is really important is that there's different forms of lead and the metallic lead that we use for bullets is different than the lead that you find in paint, in the lid that you find in gasoline.
In the lead, you find a lot of other things. That metallic lead actually is not very easily absorbed in your digestive system or through your skin. But there's a whole bunch of other led some soluble organic compounds that do absorbed through your skin rapidly. They do absorb through your lung tissues. If it's an aerosol or have you ingested, they go into your bloodstream pretty quick. But those are different than lead bullets lead metallic lead and those organic lead compounds are found in in like dryers for varnish.
They're used sometimes in plastic molds to to kind of help set the mold there in clutch pads and brake pads. We we in 2009 there was seven hundred thousand metric tons of lead mined in the US alone. We use a lot of lead for a lot of things. Ammunition, batteries are big things, but there's a whole bunch of also organic lead compounds which are used in all kinds of different things as chemicals. And it's those organic compounds that are really easily absorbed in the skin.
And so that's the lead that we need to make sure we reduce our exposure to the metallic lead. It's really not that easy to get your blood levels elevated just from adjusting metallic lead. And that's why is it a really big difference. But why? OK. What is the difference between a Kondor who is getting it from metalic lead and a human like why is it effective but it doesn't affect us? Yeah, that's a bird and mammal different. So mammals, it's not really an issue.
You don't you don't see you don't hear about lead poisoning so much in wildlife and mammals and in more wild creatures. But birds have a gizzard and so birds and birds also will take little pieces of grit and sand and swallow it with their food, with their seeds. And then that muscular gizzard grinds and grinds and grinds. And so when they just lead pellets or lead fragments from a bullet that grinding really agitates that and kind of grinds some of that metallic out.
So the the bird digestive system is different than a mammal digestive system. And there's also there's also differences in species, too, because the condor is really susceptible to lead poisoning. The turkey vulture, they almost can't kill it with lead poisoning. They've taken captive turkey vultures and just fed it lead constantly. And after, like six months, they kill them and did a necropsy and don't see any evidence of problems with lead poisoning. So there's also species differences within the similar species.
But the big difference is the bird digestive system in the mammal digestive system is way different. Humans will pass a meal through their whole digestive system in 24 to 72 hours, and it only spends four or five hours in the stomach in the acidic stomach. So when you think about ingesting a little piece of metallic lead, which is not very soluble and doesn't go into the bloodstream very easily and it's sitting for five hours in the stomach and it's out of the digestive system in a day or two, that's not a lot of time for that that metal to actually be absorbed through the tissues.
Can you walk can you walk people through? You know, I know you weren't involved this from a policy standpoint, but but can you walk people through how it came to be that waterfowl hunting made the switch like I believe in the in the late 70s, early 80s, like like what did they were they addressing a real problem, in your view, when they banned lead for waterfowl?
And how are the ducks getting hurt by it?
Yeah, lead poisoning showed up in waterfowl and I wasn't involved in that at all. But but from what I've read and talking to other people, there's some people I know that were involved in all of that. The ducks were showing up with lead poisoning. And, of course, it takes a couple of weeks to kill a bird. And so it's a long it's a long process really suffer. But it's my understanding that it was litigation anchored to the Bald Eagle Act in protection of bald eagles that were on the endangered species list at the time.
And there was litigation because he's bald. Eagles were showing up after eating duck, showing up with lead poisoning. And so it wasn't a duck population issue. There's a small percentage of the population that was affected. It was, I think, this nexus with the Endangered Species Act and bald eagles. That's why I understand it from those people that were involved in that.
Yeah. You know, I have a couple of times in my life it was in Wyoming when it happened. Most recently, I actually did find. Steel shot. In a duck's gizzard. Where that dock and picking up grit had managed to pick up and consume. Steel shot, which is totally safe for the bird, but in the old days, that would have been, you know, led.
Can you walk can you walk people through the difference when you say it like that? It leads to bird mortality and in population level, like like talk about that distinction. Yeah.
First one individual. Right.
And that's that's the big thing. People talk about the effects of lead on wildlife and they tend to just put it all in this big cauldron and kind of talk about it. But it's a really complex issue. You need to talk separately about, about individual birds dying. And we know that that eagles and hawks and and condors will get lead bullet fragments and they will they'll die from lead poisoning. And so certainly we know the effects on individuals, but then people have said, well, is this really a population level effect?
And I myself used to say, well, it's not a population level effect. So we're talking about individuals, but we don't really know if it was a popular if we're having a population level effect on things like Golden Eagles, we don't do annual surveys. We don't we don't really have a lot of good data to know how lead might be affecting Golden Eagles. I suspect there might be some valley where a lot of people rabbit hunt or a lot of people, quail hunt and golden eagles might be picking up some lead.
And it might be a local issue in some places. But I've stopped saying it's not a population level effect simply because I don't think we have enough data to make a blanket statement like that. But I will frequently say, is this is this such an issue with raptors and wild birds that every hunter needs a switch in short order to non-lethal bullets? Is this is this a conservation issue that's serious enough, that requires our intervention to to right some wrong?
And I think that's I think that's a good question. And a lot of people aren't talking specifically about that. But I like to separate the effects of the individual, which no, we know absolutely that they die if they get too much, let the effects of population. Is this really a a conservation level issue that people in our profession need to be fixing? Or is it more of a local thing that happens at a low level and it's just kind of absorbed into the natural mortality?
I mean, I always get hit by cars all the time. I was once in a while pick up some blood and die. So this is this of great importance that we need to actually act and and get people to switch. And and I'm not an advocate of not switching and I'm not an advocate of switching within the next couple of years. I, I, I, my family, we've switched about ten years ago and I shoot nothing but all our copper, all copper rifle bullets with all of our rifle hunting.
And I do that because I like the clean wound channel. If you get off and you hit into a muscle group, you've got with a comparable you've got a little hole through the muscle group. And and I like the accuracy and I like the plentitude. And and it's really kind of a meatloaf's issue with me using copper bullets. But everybody really has to make up their own mind. If they're if they're concerned that their bullet might might kill a raptor on their property or somewhere out there, they may choose a switch.
That may be enough for them. But I think the conversation has centered around impacts the individuals, impact to populations, to the level that professionals need to take action and fix something that that's broken. We you talk about human health separately, but we also need to talk about the impact the Hunter image. That's a real issue that that we should talk about. And then some people claim that litigation is coming down the road. If we don't do something, though, it's such a it's such a multifaceted topic that when you throw it all in together, it gets it gets really confusing.
Yeah, it's funny because it's Saura Karlgaard.
Well I would like to see just more data. You know the big game is an interesting one and this is a topic that it's a really good topic.
It's so especially when you want to have that individual versus population effect and then you can kind of bring it together at the California Condor where it's like well enough individual loss on such a small population is a population level effect.
And you could get to this point where an individual affects the population, you know, so it's a it's a great topic. My myself like.
Having not, like, seriously pursued upland birds for a long time this year, I mean, I saw more wounded animals than I have in the last 15 years this year, and they were all upland birds, you know, like wild roosters getting shot.
And we just could not find the things hunting in South Dakota, we hunted.
You know, probably a good three and a half, four hour walk on, you know, a big chunk of public access ground and I found three dead roosters out there, you know, on different levels of decomposition.
But just, you know, the range, a Hungarian partridge with one little leg leg hanging as they fly a mile off into the distance and just not being able to recover those animals.
That is where the you know, and just like early in Montana, you can hit like those raptor migrations through October. And there are so many raptors around. And for me, I just I knew there were other predators out there with their eyes on that crippled bird at some point, you know, and and the mammals you don't need to worry about.
But those raptors, especially when you get a migration coming through, if there's a lot of wounded birds in an area, they're certainly picking those up and they're going to get sick from that. It's all about the nuance. It's all about, well, really, how many of those animals are out and available for raptors to see them and actually get consumed? How many raptors are in the area? What percent of the Raptor population is is being affected? They've they've just in the course of doing different research projects on hawks and eagles.
They've drawn blood samples every time they capture an eagle and then analyze those for blood to see if they're picking it up. And they've documented that during the hunting season that that raptor blood levels, the lead levels in the blood go up during the hunting season and then they drop off after the hunting season. Oh, you're kidding. They've shown hunted areas in 900 areas and shown differences in lead exposure. And so there's no doubt that raptors are getting bird just exactly that way and their blood lead levels are elevated.
The conversation, I think, should center around it. Is that causing morbidity or mortality? Is that impacting them in such a way that it's it's such a serious issue that that something dramatic needs to be done when we talk about advocating all hunters switching to to 911?
For me, it matters because I want to know what I'm killing. And the population level argument kind of goes out the window because I just want to know what I killed, and so then I'm thinking like, OK, one led bullet through an elk carcass.
Let's say you hit it a little bit back and there's a bunch of dead fragments in the punch and that's what's left out there. What's the effect of that? Like, how much are you killing with that versus a season upland bird hunting? And you have, you know, these smaller meals out there that are probably more likely to contain lead than a well-placed shot, in my opinion, on on a big game animal.
And that stuff just was constantly going through my head this season.
But if you walk four strand barbed wire fence long enough, you're going to see raptor deaths on that forest and barbed wire fence will lines, power lines.
These birds are are are definitely dying from a lot of manmade stuff out there. And we still have them around. Yeah, this this is where it gets this where the subject gets, like, hard for me to sort out, is that. On one hand, I see places where people within the industry. Get really uneasy when people start having the conversation that we're having right now, because they would they would prefer that no one talk about it.
Because, you know, it's sort of like a taboo subject, because you're pointing out some kind of problem with how everybody does things better, just shut up about it. We're going to get regulations that we don't want. Like you hear that from people, on the other hand. And I and I. And that gets my hackles up a little bit like this sort of idea that you need to censor real conversations about trying to find out information and put a plan together and have an open discussion about something like I think that's important to do that.
On the other hand, LED works really well. LED is inexpensive, lead is widely available. A lot of a lot of non-leading ammunition is like limited in abundance. It can be very expensive. It's like I don't want to see. That love like that kind of onerous. I don't want to see that kind of onerous regulations put in on people. And have everybody need to spend more money, have ammunition, be more limited. But I also realize that we're going to have to probably talk about this stuff and figure out things we can do in order to head off getting forced into a place where you're going to wind up in just that situation like you did in certain areas.
Well, I think now pretty soon, all of California where it's just like you're not allowed to use Lattman.
Also California, July of twenty nineteen from July twenty ninth turned. All of California is not alone.
So we're we're going to have to like as a community. Start talking about it and start thinking it and hopefully land somewhere where we're in the driver's seat and how we're going to proceed. Less like you're saying. We lose our seat at the table and in. Land in a place where we could have done a lot better had we been a little more proactive about it. Yeah, I don't I don't know. I don't know the answer, in my opinion, about all these conflicts, about this whole complex topic.
My opinions are kind of all over the map because I see all of like you're just saying, I see all of the pros and the cons and I'm not on one side or the other when it comes specifically to human health that I wrote the article about human health. I think there's people using human health as a hammer because that and I've heard people tell me that's very effective. One person told me at the while of society in Albuquerque had a symposium on wildlife and land.
And one guy at the break told me sometimes he says what's most effective is we show up to the check stations, the deer check stations, and especially if there's a wife or girlfriend there, we start talking to her about how do you know that you're your husband or your boyfriend poisoning you with led, you know, meat? And and they were laughing, saying that that is really the most effective way, because I guarantee you that guy is not using lead next year.
And so using the human health as a as an exaggeration for the true risk that it provides to humans. That's what I really have a problem with, this other stuff about the individual versus population and pending litigation and the image of hunters. I just I, I see all of that stuff and I haven't worked through it all myself and where I stand on all that. Oh, yeah.
Jim, you know, I know exactly your talk about and I know we drifted from a little bit. But Sherman, I've seen that, I've seen people like I've seen Raptor people switch and and want to talk about human health because they're driving at something with raptors. I think one of the most, like, weirdest versions I've seen of this is there's this group that's always been opposed to wildlife markets. They're having a heyday with covid or their act, like we always knew they used to oppose wildlife markets because they're trading in endangered species now.
They've switched their whole tonality. Wildlife markets are bad because of the disease issue. And it's like, well, using the disease issue to get where you want to land before you're using this as a new tool to try to win your old war. I don't like to see that either, man. Like, I don't like when I don't like when people do that, it's like be intellectually honest, you know? And I've looked at it, too, man.
And I've and I've always been a little suspicious of the human health thing. I first got interested in it when I had high lead levels in my garden. And that led me to reading about, you know, how to let get there. How does it how does it move? What what impact does it have on people?
And I've often looked at that and thought about that these like chunks of bullet lead passing through your system. It's just not the same thing as some of these ways in which people are getting led from inhalation and other issues.
Yeah, and that's the title of my article was Great Tocsin or Red Herring. And that's what a red herring is, is when you're you're you're arguing one thing, but that's not really what you're interested in. You may be arguing about human health, but you're really interested in Raptor mortality. I don't know if you've ever talked about talk to your wife about something and you're disagreeing and you suddenly realize that what you're arguing about isn't really what she wants. But the problem is it's really something else in the market or something else.
And so I think people find what's what's going to be the most effective message and they they gravitate to that. And my message is just let's be honest. Let's talk about all these different facets of this topic. And when we talk about human health, let's talk about lead fragments and and chart and how that really can translate to problems with human health, because that connection, the connection is not very strong. There's there are some cases where people there's a guy in that living in the bush in New Zealand, I think, and he was eating meat bushmeat that he was shooting with led bullets and he was eating every day.
So he basically had lead in his digestive system every day of the year. And they test his blood. And it was it skyrocketed with lead levels. And then there was a case of the Inuit community up in Greenland that was that was eating a lot of sea ducks that were shot with with lead pellets. And so they they asked, how often do you eat sea ducks? Because they they have a lot of little pellets in them. And those eight sea ducks, once a week or less were below the Center for Disease Control limit for for a danger zone.
And those that ate as they approached one sea duck, they approach daily consumption of sea ducks. Their lead levels were ten to seventeen above the CDC level of ten, ten to seventeen. And so there are cases where people basically have are eating lead every day or pretty close to every day. And it's always in their system. You can definitely have your blood lead levels up to unhealthy levels for sure.
The indiscriminate killing argument, right, is the one that kills me. Like I'm like there's just nothing. I guess you could argue that you just randomly decided that, yeah, I'm going to shoot that buck, but that's not the way I see it. Sure, I do a lot of looking looking over animals before I pull the trigger, and I'm just like a long way past sitting out and going through a brick at twenty two, I'll shoot.
And ground squirrels just don't do that anymore. Haven't in a long, long time. And so that's why I'm always like, oh shit.
That bird, that salen off with one leg hanging down. Is that a dead raptor? Like, did I just kill something that I didn't intend to kill, like I'm OK with the little bit of wound loss over the course of a season, like a mentally set myself up for that for these birds.
But I'm not quite mentally set up to say, yep, that is a prairie Phalcon or something else that is just bad ass that's out there. So if you started shooting your upland birds with steel, I finally got a hold of some bismuth.
It took me a long time to get a hold of bismuth. But I mean, then that's exactly what you're talking about, Steve. That bismuth is expensive stuff makes you think about pulling the trigger.
It just makes my God, does that stuff work, though, man, it does work. I just bought some I bought some federal premium tests for turkey hunting because it's so amazingly effective. And I just I just spent eighty one dollars on five shotgun shells. That's a tungsten.
You've got to line up, you've got to line up their heads, make sure you get you get my son missed the turkey the first time and so it cost me thirty eight dollars for him to shoot the turkey.
And the second time, you know, it's nice to see Jim with those two sets. I don't know if you already hunted with them last. Yeah, we had season, but you know, if they're so dense and so heavy that even if your patterns are a little bit low and you hit that breast, they tend to just whistle through that whole bird and you don't end up having know shot stuck in the breast. Yeah, yeah, I shot my girls last year with us about 40 yards, and the pattern was pretty dense.
I actually messed up the tail fin because there's just so much I'm using seven and nine together and kind of messed up the tail fin. But my son killed the Americans last year at 60 yards, laser rangefinder, 60 yards with a 12 gauge with TSF. It's amazing. Oh, man.
I'm getting all worked up for turkey hunting. I'm trying to not think about turkey season. All right, Jim, dude, thanks a lot for coming on. Sorry we couldn't be like normal where you come up in the studio, but we got to get through this get through this pandemic. It's killing me. Yeah, I mean, not literally kill me, it's literally killing some people. Um. I get those vaccines rolling out, get everybody back together.
Mr. Jim, thank you. Appreciate you coming on. Kalyani Brody. Phil, thanks a lot. Thank you. Take it easy. Good luck. Stay well. We'll see each other later. Take care of.