We’re heading to Central, sort of Central, Western…we’re heading to Illinois. And we’re going to meet up with the R2K boys now. Kyle Peterson, Kyle Leonhard and Randy Brewer are the guys that make up R2K. Now if you’ve been on social media, you’ve seen them and they’re all…you know, they’ve got channels all over the place.
And, guys, it’s exciting to have you on the show and this is a special Sunday edition of Whitetail Rendezvous. And so with thinking of that, you know, let’s start off with, you know, why you guys are existing. You know, what’s so special about having another group of guys saying, “Hey, here we are and this is what we’re doing and check us out”? So let’s talk to the viewers, which are hundreds of thousands of them. Why don’t you tell them, you know, what’s so special, or why you created R2K?
Less is More – R2K Exposes Deer Hunting – Randy Brewer
We wanted to be able to show the people our passion for hunting and just show everybody that you don’t have to be a professional hunter or have tons of sponsors to be able to do something like this, to be able to get a name out there for yourself and let people see what your adventures are and how your hunts go, good or bad. You know, the good side and the bad side of hunting. You know, there are a lot of people that don’t get to experience the stuff like we get to, you know, where we can take the time off work to go out and be in the woods. We just want to, you know, show people that it’s a lot of fun, no matter if it’s good or bad.
So reality TV comes to R2K?
Well, I know you guys are fun. And, Kyle Peterson, what’s your thoughts?
My idea of it is we enjoy hanging out with each other, having fun, sharing the family values that were taught to us when we were younger. And even though some kids, their parents may not hunt. And so the kids, they may not even know anything about hunting, but they might love it if they tried it. And for us if we can show them how much fun we have and how much we love the outdoors, it might get us some more kids involved and it would be a good thing for everybody.
I mean it’s always…for us it’s about friendship, family, you know, being outdoors, enjoying the time out there in nature. I mean we’re not dealing with all the crimes in the cities and we’re enjoying it.
I think they touched about all the points. I mean it’s just the passion, just bringing all the content, getting it out there so everybody can see it.
He’s not a big talker, if you haven’t noticed yet, Bruce.
Now, Kyle, are you behind the camera all the time then, or are you a shooter?
No, I try to do shooting. I need a…you know any good cameramen? Because I got some that forget to hit the record button a lot.
I’ve noticed that.
This guy sitting next to me, he missed the turkey hunt on film this year.
Yeah, I had a guy once, we had a nice double setup and I was rattling like a banshee. And we had not big bucks, the big buck stood about 80 yards, we never could get…really get him on film. But the little ones were just all over, it was just great. And I said, “Oh,” after the session was over, “Oh, man, this is going to be great.”
I didn’t buy the beer that night, that’s for damn sure.
Hey, in my defense though I did get the sound of the shot and the flop on the ground, but I didn’t get the actual shot on film.
You know, you get…
You got to hit that little button. You got to hit that little button that says “open lens cap.”
You know, and you joke at that because, you know, everybody from, I don’t know, pick somebody that’s known in the business, you know, and have done thousands of thousands of thousands of filming. You know, and, you know, Pursuit Channel, Sportsman Channel, all that, every single one of them has had, you know, goof-ups. I mean, and that’s just inherent because you get excited because, you know, in comes a turkey, in comes a doe, in comes anything.
I mean when they’re coming in and they’re in proximity to your stand, I mean, it’s exciting. You know, I don’t care what it is. When I get deer that close and they’re completely clueless that I’m hanging around and in a split second, you know, they could be deer sausage, you know, that excited me, but it also excites other people because they go, “Oh, oh, there he is, there he is.” And they tense up and they get buck fever just like everybody else and they don’t do their job, and that’s why it’s hard, that’s why filming is hard.
And, you know, all the people I’ve had on the show talking about filming, it’s very, very difficult and it takes teamwork and it takes a lot of repetition and hundreds of hours to get it finally down to where it’s really clicking. Because everybody knows… And I don’t know how you guys set up in the morning when it’s dark out anyway, I mean you got two sets up. If you’re using climbers, you got to do that. If you got hang-ons, they’re hopefully already up. And then you got to get up there and get all set up, and then, you know, wait for the action. And sometimes I’ve had all day sits and me and the squirrels and that’s about it. Well, no, but, you know…
We do a lot of self-filming, too, it makes it even harder,
Now do you have an arm then that you just click on? Do you have it in one place and you have an arm and you click on it?
You know, and thinking about that, what if that deer doesn’t come in that way? You’re screwed, right?
Well, we have a couple of…I think each and every one of us either has a Tactacamera https://www.tactacam.com/ or an UltraPro or a GoPro https://shop.gopro.com/cameras or something like that that we can mount up in the tree, too. And I remember last year that, because I messed up on a deer, I had the UltraPro above me and a wider shot of it. I could have shot, but I was thinking more about the big camera because it wasn’t on the deer. So I let the deer walk.
There you go. and that’s what it is. It’s just all of a sudden, you know, you’re thinking more about the film and getting the shot on the film than harvesting the deer. And, you know, a lot of guys told me, you know, their main objective is to get the game on the ground.
and they can do all the other stuff after that. But the biggest part of any show, right wrong or different, you know, is getting the harvest shot, getting the kill shot down so people go, “Oh, okay, they got it done.” Because, you know, for all the shows on TV, I mean the thousands of deer that are shot on film… You know, I don’t know if we went over a million deer last year nationwide. I know in Wisconsin it’s 100, I don’t know how many in PA, I don’t know how many deer. But, you know, let’s say half a million or more deer were taken last year, bucks or does. And you just think about that. You know, that’s a lot of content.
And more and more guys, and gals, are going to sell filming because, you know, there’s a big need for it and the platforms allow it, GEN7 TV https://gen7outdoors.com/, CarbonTV https://www.carbontv.com/. You know, you don’t need Pursuit or Sportsman Channel. Sorry, guys, but they don’t need you. You know, because people are figuring it out. And, you know, you put up good quality, those two channels put up great quality, there’s no question about it, and they have guests. But some people can’t afford that, that can’t. And so they’re in…or guys like R2K that are out there sharing it and this is reality and this is the oops and the ops and this is…you know, this is the story that we’re going to put together.
So talking about stories, how do you build the story for your hunts? What do you try to do?
I think we just go off, like, the history that we’ve had with some deer
I think we just go off, like, the history that we’ve had with some deer. I mean I know I’ve got history with a couple of deer that have eluded me, and I think about everybody here just kind of builds their season off their history and what we’re getting on trail cameras. And so for us, like, the deer I’m after is really old and he’s went from close to a 200-inch deer down to he might hit 130 this year. And he’s just old, but to me he’s still the biggest trophy out in that timber. He’s mature, he’s smart, and I’ve been after him for three years and he’s just…he’s a genius, I think.
Okay, let’s stop there. Okay, he’s in your timber on private land, right? He’s on private land?
How many acres?
The farm that I originally started on in the area was only like eight acres. And it’s because my sister happened to see him in her timber, so that’s where I went. And then I got permission to hunt the property south of there, which is about 200 acres, but there’s still only about another additionally 20 acres’ worth of timber. But he’s using the CRP field to the north and the cornfield to the south to get back and forth, and then I got a creek on the east side.
Bruce: So do you have a funnel or a pinch point you can head them off?
Not really, there’s just too many ways around. I mean you can go any which way and…
Too much open ground.
Yeah. Too much open land for me to pinch them down.
Okay, so you got CRP, which is open. Then you got standing corn, which is a great place for deer to live, I mean just to flat out live. Then you got a little creek bottom. So what does he do during the rut, or does he not play so much in the rut no more?
He mostly goes nocturnal during the rut. Like I’ve had two, three pictures maybe, last year during the rut of him in daylight and it was on days I was at work. So changed where I was parking my truck, how I was entering any stands, and I finally one night got him directly underneath of me. But it was so dark I couldn’t see my pins and it was after hours, so he got a free pass. But that’s the closest I’ve ever had him on hoof to me.
Was he on the field edge that night, did he come down the field edge?
He’d actually come across my sister’s lane going to her house and came into the timber a different way than what I expected him to, and walked directly underneath me.
So you had a hang-on sitting?
And he came from the neighbor’s, or did he come out of the cornfield?
Yeah. He came out of the CRP, crossed one property and into the other property.
And then you’re sitting in a little patch of eight acres of woods.
No why do you think he went the way he did?
I’m not sure.
Like if I’m not there, last year on October 6th he was in that timber for over four hours in daylight and I wasn’t there, I was at work. And then the next day he was there for a couple hours, bedded down 10 yards from my deer stand, and then goes back into the CRP. And then it was… What was it? I think it was the end of October I went in to hunt and he come walking in the CRP. I was downwind from him, I mean I had no idea he just…he got about 150 yards away and just stopped, turned around, and walked back the other way. The wind was blowing away from him, but I have no idea. It’s like he knows I’m there.
Did you walk the trail? Was that your entrance trail?
No, I come in on a complete different side, the opposite direction of what he came from, and he still wouldn’t come in. It’s almost like he knows the sound of my vehicle.
Well, he might. But what about the sun, was the sun hitting you and casting a shadow?
No. And the stand I was in that night is on the downhill side and the sun was already down past it. So I have no explanation.
And one clue, and I’m really happy you said it, you came in…you walked way out of your way to get to your stand. Now some guys, they’ll walk the shortest way to get to their stand and think nothing about it. Jerry Berlin…Jamie Berlin shot a 180 after three nights on him, but he walked over a mile out of his way. And it was a quarter-mile from where his truck was, but he walked a mile out of his way, got on his tree stand, the deer walked underneath him, and the rest is history. That’s the only reason he got him. Because he found a creek bottom, he found an access downwind, everything, so that deer had no clue, because the truck was in the barnyard. Just another truck in the barnyard, right? It doesn’t say, “Jeremy’s truck, I’m out here to kill you,” on the bumper. You know, it doesn’t say that. I mean come on. But he took…he went all that way around, got in the tree stand, sat there, within an hour the deer was dead.
I’ve heard of guys taking boats.
I’ve heard of guys, like if they hunt near a river or something, taking boats in to get to their stands.
Yeah, boats or canoes. You know, or walk in creek bottoms, you know, in your muck boots, your LaCrosse boots, whatever. But so many people… And I’m guilty of it, too. I’ve got one stand, you know, it’s 20 yards off the farm road. You know, and I park and I walk a quarter-mile to that and walk up. And they know I’m there. As soon as I get off that farm road, they know I’m there and they won’t come by. Yet the trail cameras say if I left the stand at 10:15, at 10:25 there he is.
They’re that smart. And, folks, if you don’t believe that, just hunt for a while. And I’m not trying to be a smart-ass here, but, I mean, those deer know. I mean they truly know and they sense you. They don’t scent you, they sense you. They sense something isn’t right. And, you know, I can’t wait, Kyle Peterson, to see a picture of you hammering that guy, but you’ve got to change it up. And as I had one guy said he only hunts three days, he’ll hunt one deer three days. And if he doesn’t get him, then he’ll go someplace else and figure it out. You know, because it’s just, you know, if you got…if he’s liking that wood lot, you know, how about staying out in the tree stand overnight? Making sure he’s not there.
It has cross my mind, but the mosquitoes are terrible down there.
Well, no, but I’m serious. Just bring one of those heater body things. What are they called? Body heaters?
Heater body suit https://heaterbodysuit.com/?
Yeah, heater body suits.
I got one you can borrow.
get in that and just strap yourself in. I wouldn’t trust my… I’d actually buckle myself into the tree. Forget the safety harness and all that, I’d buckle myself to the tree and just go to sleep and…you know, and see what happens.
Towards the end of last year…well, towards the…during rut he was bedding…I had to get the stand out of there. Well, I did it in January, I took the stand out of there, but I couldn’t hunt the stand that was in there. Because every night he was coming in and he’d bed from 2:00 in the morning until 7:00 in the morning. And I knew that if he was going to keep doing that every night, there’s no chance of me hunting that because he was never coming in the afternoon and he was bedding during daylight and he’d just go right onto the neighbor’s property that I don’t have permission on. And that was just the luck of the draw.
So show up at 12:00.
Show up at 12:00, get in your body suit, just, you know, spray down with all the great scent stuff, you know, Ozonics, Scent Crusher, I don’t know what you have to do. But watch him come in, watch him come in and bed. And just…you know, just let him go to sleep. And then when the sun comes up, and then he’ll stand up, and you shoot him.
I might try that this year, I’ll let you know how it works.
Let me know how it works, yeah. I mean I don’t…you know, you can’t nock an arrow and you’re not hunting, you’re sleeping in a tree. I don’t think that’s against the law.
Yeah, I don’t think there’s a law against that.
No, I wouldn’t nock an arrow, I wouldn’t do anything, I’d just be sleeping in my tree because I’ve got some… I don’t know. , I’d try something crazy because,, he likes that place and you’re so close to getting him, I mean you really are. There’s this one little piece that you haven’t figured out. Either that or he commits suicide. He just says, “Okay, fine.” He walks down a lane and he goes, “Okay, fine. Here I am. Don’t miss. Don’t miss.” Yeah.
folks, you laugh, you know, we’re having good giggles and laugh, but, you know, that’s how much you get involved with some of these bucks, especially on private land. Because you get to know them, they get to know you, and that’s part of hunting. You know, and that’s a good thing about why we hunt.
you got any stories like that? Or tell me your story from last year.
do actually. One of my bigger bucks, actually it was the first big buck that I took with a bow, I hunted him for three years so I could get him within 30 yards. And I was sitting at a corner of a fence row, because you know how them bucks love to run fence rows. And he was holed up in his thicket, it was a bunch of saplings, I could never get him in. So the last year I hunted him I made it a point to stay out of that stand until the first week of November. And I took my daughter to a dentist appointment in Peoria, got back in town at noon, by 12:15 I was in the stand, at 3:15 I had the deer on the ground. He come in chasing the doe, come in about four yards underneath me, stopped, looked at the doe, looked up at me and was like, “Oh crap.” But I was already at full draw then, it was too late for him. I got him on the wall.
So he knew you were there.
He knew your stand was there.
That’s why I was… Because where the stand is, I mean, it’s all open field, there’s nowhere else there to put a stand in. There’s a timber down at the bottom, then it goes back up to the top, there’s a cornfield up there, then there’s a bigger timber next me. So I sat right in the corner of three fences coming together and there was no other tree to really get into the timber. You know, I’d actually put another stand further over into the bigger timber hoping I could catch him coming through there, but he never did. So I knew it was going to pay off over here, but I was just patient, waited for him, and got in there at the right time of day and it worked for me.
Now how did you slip in there? How did you do that?
There’s a pasture that was directly behind me. And I could walk the timber along that pasture, then it’s just a straight shot to the stand. You’re only out in the open for about 60 yards, and then you’re back in the cover again. And he was bedding down in this bottom, it goes down into a ravine. It’s a big cattle lot, is what it is, a farmer puts cattle in there, you know, at certain times of the year. It’s got a few little fingers in it. Well, that’s where he was bedding up at, he was bedding down in the bottoms in them fingers.
So, you know, the wind was perfect that day, the wind was blowing at my face, it was blowing away from where he was bedded. And actually before he came in a 150-inch 10-pointer came in chasing a doe and I thought it was chiquita. Then I seen him chasing that doe off, then I heard that deep below grunt and I knew it was him. Doe come out, she stood right underneath me and here he come, right up through that little thicket of saplings that he would always hole up in.
Well, how about you, Kyle? You’re the last man standing.
Yeah, my ground is a lot of CRP, it’s mostly a pass-through area. I’ll get…I don’t really have a lot of history with too many bucks right now. I got a couple on velvet. Two of the bucks that I had on camera last year, the neighbors ended up getting them. That was the story of my season last year.
So what can you do with your neighbors, anything?
Nope, they don’t go over there.
Because they’re staying on their land, you’re staying on your land, right?
Yeah. Yeah. I have a lot of deer that come through there during the rut. Just being there at the right time, about like any other one.
Yeah. No, with your neighbors, do they practice QDMA https://www.qdma.com/ ? Or are they, you know, brown and down?
They were all mature deer, they do a pretty good job. I have a couple of neighbors, they’ll shoot about anything. But most of the neighbors on each side, there’s four neighbors and they usually are pretty good about not shooting small deer. Until gun season, then there’s…
It’s open season.
and that’s hunting. And, I mean, just…you know, and I can’t say…you know, when I started of hunting, I mean, if it was brown and it was legal, it was down, boom. You know, there wasn’t any question. Because we had…well, we had 20, 30 people in all the families that we’re feeding. You know, these small Wisconsin towns that I was hunting with the family. I mean you have five kids and they all have families and all of a sudden, you know, you got 20 people. I mean literally, you know, we’d shoot them in the morning, hang them, and then that night, I mean, they’d all be coming part…you know, by midnight they’re in the reefers, they’re in the freezers, or they’re hanging…you know, they’re hanging in the meat locker because they want to age them.
But, you know, so I grew up in that tradition, you know, “Everything that you see here is going to get eaten.” And people still…there’s a lot of people in this country that still do that. If they don’t fill up their freezer with meat, then that’s not such a good thing. Plus now we have the organic thing. You know, venison is an organic, you know, meat. And, you know, people are going, “Hunting, organic. Yeah, you want to eat organic? I can help you get the best organic in the world and you won’t pay, you know, $20 a pound, or whatever, you know, for it.” Because we live in a different time, it’s really crazy. You listen to your stories and it’s just…you know, it’s…we live in a different time.
Let’s talk about the upcoming season
I got a pretty decent 10-point and probably 130, 140-inch 8-point I’m after. They’re all older deer, five and a half, six, somewhere around there. But last year I had a strange buck, never had a trail camera picture of him, the biggest mainframe eight-point I’ve ever seen in my life. And I caught a limb when I shot and it exploded my arrow and I never saw him after that either. So I’m hoping maybe I’ll get redemption on him this year if he comes passing back through. But, other than that, there’s a 10-point and the big guy and just waiting to see which one is going to make themselves more vulnerable early in the season. Outside of that I’m going to pick off a couple does and put some meat in the freezer and enjoy it.
No when you hunt, you know there’s different seasons within our hunting season. So early season they’re coming off the summer pasture or summer groceries, and then they’re starting to change over to, you know, what they’re going to be eating during the fall. And the patterning later September changes. So how soon can you get after the deer in Illinois?
October 1st when season opens. And I actually have…I have an alfalfa field, a bean field, a cornfield, and a clover plot all within 150 yards of my stand.
Jeez. They got everything they need.
Yeah. And a creek is only about 250 yards.
Where’s the brassicas? Do you have any brassicas?
No, I do not.
So you don’t feed them during the winter? What do you leave them up for the winter?
Well, we can’t actually feed in Illinois, so basically I just pray the farmers’ combines aren’t quite as efficient.
No, can you put a brassica field in and just not hunt it? Or how does that work?
We can hunt food plots. The only problem is that the small amount of acreage that I’m on, everything else is tillable. So there’s already…the farmers have already got their…you know, all their crops in, and then they do winter wheat and stuff like that later on. But, yeah, I can’t really…I only got a small area I can plant and I usually try to…I’m trying to keep the deer healthier through the summer months because it seems to be when we’ve had the most issues, as far as deer getting sick or anything like that.
So you got food, water, clover…I mean cover, and then the only thing you don’t have, but that you do have because it’s ag. land, you got stuff for them to eat during the wintertime.
Because your winters aren’t brutal there, are there, like they are in the Upper Midwest?
I mean they can be. I mean we had one day last year that was about 35 below.
That was just one day though.
That wasn’t a month.
It’s not months at a time.
Right, right. Yeah, because anybody can survive 35 degrees below zero for a few days. But if it goes along for a month, you know, below zero, you know, it gets hard. You know, it really gets hard on the deer and stresses the hell out of them. And then when it’s time to have the fawns, you know, they’re not in good shape.
That’s for sure. So, Randy, what’s your game plan for the fall?
I got a couple big eight-pointers I’m after this year. I’ve got one that I’ve been chasing for the last three years. And he came in close last year, but he was with a… It was early October and they were still in a bachelor group, which was kind of strange because they were bumping these two yearling does around. I couldn’t understand that, it was just odd. It just seemed like the rut last year here in Illinois was a lot sooner than it normally is. It hit about mid-October, and then it just went away, it was gone. And then later in November they started chasing does again, but last year was kind of a funny year for the rut around here.
But I got one of them…one of the eight-pointers, I named him Bob because I’ve got him on my Tactacam a few times just walking underneath my stand. And everybody goes, “Well, why do you call him Bob?” I say, “Well, because he’s like a neighbor, he’s always around.” Well, he was only a two-and-a-half-year-old and three-and-a-half-year-old, so this year, you know, he’s going to be a four-and-a-half-year-old deer. So, and he’s looking pretty good, he’s 140, 150-inch deer.
Now how many acres…
Then the other one… I got 40 acres right here that I hunt, then there’s another 30 acres over by Oak Run that I can hunt, also, that we lease.
So you got 70 acres. That isn’t a whole heck of a lot to some people.
To some people.
But you know what? To me I would rather hunt the smaller plots than hunt the big timbers. Because where I hunt there’s probably 300 acres across the railroad tracks from where I hunt, it’s called the brickyard, it’s where they used to make the… Or is it Burlington Favors? And they get a lot of pressure in there. Well, they push their deer over to us and it’s just me and one other guy hunting that and that’s it. And he’s got other property he hunts, so most of the time it’s only me in there, which makes it nice.
So how do you decide where to put your stands?
I look for…to me it’s been a longtime theory of mine is find where the trails cross, X marks the spot. Anywhere you see trails coming through that are heavily used, not something just that’s been dried up and not used, but are heavily used and they cross, I always try to put a stand in that location. Because you’re going to catch them coming either to food or back from food to bed. And, you know, I never get in close to a bedding area, I stay as far away from a bedding area as I can. But yet I’ll still…you know, I’ll still hunt it, but not right on top of it.
So, and then I like putting my stands on field edges. I’ll hunt, like, gateways, you know, where there’s a corner of the field. I like hunting them corners of the fields because you catch them across the field or, you know, going back out of it into the timber.
So have you ever noticed that some trails… And you notice this in the wintertime when there’s snow on the ground. But some of them are 45 degrees to the heavy trail. So they kind of…it’s like an arc. So if you have… Let’s see. You got the straight line, and then you got the hypotenuse type thing. Wait a minute. Right angle triangle, that’s what I’m trying to say. So you got this part, that part, and then you got a trail that connects the two and it arcs. Have you ever hunted those arcs?
No, I haven’t. No, I haven’t.
But basically, from what I’ve learned and what I’ve studied, you have to do this in wintertime to see it. But the bucks will intersect those arcs not at the X, but some number of degrees away from the X. I can’t tell you is it 20 yards, 10 yards, 15, because terrain is everything. But there’s an arc that will connect the two main trails and they’ll be able to scent check. The reason they do it, because they’ll hit that arc, they’ll get in the middle, and then they’ll scent check based on the wind and they can cover both those trails standing from one point and they don’t have to come to the center.
And it’s interesting how bucks will loop trails, main trails. Because you know in the staging area/transition area the buck will stand up, he’ll wait, he’ll get the wind right, and he’ll just check the field. You’ll never see him because he just scent checks it. Same on a ridge.
Yeah, he’ll use the flow of wind and he’ll just scent check. You’ll never see him and, land sakes, it could have been, you know, a mature buck, you know, within 100 yards beyond you just scent checking and you’ll never see him. That’s how smart they are.
But next winter check those connecting arcs. Because what you’ll find is that they’ll actually figure out that if they make loops where those two trails intersect, you can…they can scent check them and they can even eye check them, you know, for does.
So just FYI. Check it out, see if it works.
Yeah. Yeah, I’ll check that out.
Let me know if it works out.
So, Kyle, what’s your deal? How many acres you hunting and…
I got 60 acres that I hunt, that’s my mom’s husband’s. And then the neighbor, he was four or five years ahead of me in school, his dad has, it’s like, 110 acres that butts up next to the 60 that I hunt and he allowed me last year to start hunting that.
So you got plenty of land. Actually, eight acres is plenty of land, in fact, if, you know, you know how to hunt the buck. It’s just harder to hunt a buck on eight acres because he knows you’re there. Really knows you’re there. You know, and the odds, let’s figure the odds, on eight acres to have some buck coming from five miles away cruising through there are slimmer than 120 acres, or 100 acres, I mean they just are. You know, the more land you have, the more opportunity for bucks to move. Because during the rut, Halloween on, whenever, you know, the peak rut is, I mean those suckers are moving, they are. You know, we got enough collar studies to show that, you know, home ranges don’t mean jack, I mean they’re gone. There’s one thing on their mind and they’re going to go find it.
Well, that’s pretty much it. So we got private land, and so you’re not hunting public land at all. Let’s talk about…I think it was you, Kyle Leonhard, talked about a 365 hunter. Talk to me more about that.
Kyle Leonhard, talked about a 365 hunter
Well, it starts, like I said, all year, I mean from the time the antlers drop. And then doing a little timber work for TSI, I’m going to do that this off season, try to get the… The woods are pretty open, not real thick, so I thought about doing a little bit of timber work this year to create some bedding areas to try to keep them. Like I said, it’s more of a pass-through area where I hunt. I started doing food plots a couple years ago, so that takes up most of the spring and summer, mowing and spraying. And then this year I got brassicas and got some beans this year, as well. I got about an acre of standing beans for this late season. So it’s just that’s something I enjoy doing. Started a little apple orchard on the ground, too.
Wow, that’s good, apples work, they just take a long time to mature.
I got…this is…it will be the third year they’re there, so they’re not really producing much yet.
How about hinge cutting, have you done any hinge cutting?
That’s what I want to do this winter.
That’s a lot of work.
but it works. Just don’t get carried away.
Less is more
Less is more. Yeah. I mean, and you can read that all over the Web and a lot smarter people. Adam Keith and Matt Dye from Land & Legacy, https://www.landandlegacy.tv/ .I’ve talked to them quite a bit. And, you know, most guys go, “Oh, yeah, I’ll create this,” and not so much. Unless you timber it, unless you’re going in there and taking out the prime one logs and timbering it, and then you got a whole different story. But if you’re just hinge cutting, you know, there’s right ways to do it, there’s right locales to do it. You know, you want to do it where deer naturally would bed if they had the cover. You know, and, you know, there’s keys to that. So before you jump into that wholeheartedly, you know, do some work and ask a lot of questions. Because done right it’s great, done wrong it makes a mess and you don’t accomplish what you think you’re accomplishing, that’s for sure.
So we’re getting to the point of the show where you can talk about the one big thing and I’d like to ask each one of you. It’s 2018, for five years ago, 2013, what do you wish you knew then that you know now?
That this buck was going to be as smart as he is. No, a few years ago I had a pretty good chunk of ground leased and I struggled with getting to any stand because the property was so long and narrow, it had so many access ways to get into a stand. And I learned by hunting a smaller property that had I maybe brought my stands out to different spots where I don’t normally…
Yeah. I mean I always used to have to take the long hard walk up and down the ravines on the old tractor roads to get back to the back pasture. And every time I’d go back there I was spooking a deer or two. And so I learned the last year I hunted that property and the last couple years hunting the smaller property that if I would have just brought my stands to the front of the property and played my cards a little better, I probably would have had a few more big bucks down. But instead I was trying to get back in where they’re traveling more. But I learned the last year I hunted the property, which is two years ago, that I literally stuck a stand…there’s one draw out in the very front cornfield and I stuck a stand right in the middle of it. And about 15 minutes before dark every night they just start flooding out there.
Why they came to that field I have no idea, but I just… My cameras never really showed it earlier in the year, and then all of a sudden it was they’re there. So I’ve kind of learned now to be more patient and hunt the fringes more than getting in where I think I got to be.
Yeah, because they’re going to bed in the woods, unless it’s really good…there’s a mass crop. Okay, you got acorns, that’s a whole different topic. You know, you have to hunt them differently. You’re really running and gunning then. And I know some guys, they don’t even put up stands, they just…they’re hunting them right off the ground.
Randy, what’s your thoughts on what you wish you knew five years ago?
I’m like Kyle, patience. I wish back then I had the patience that I have now. It’s been proven, I’ve got three big bucks on the wall from being patient, not trying to over-hunt an area, not being too aggressive with calling, scents, you know, anything like that that’s going to alert the deer that you’re there. So, and I found a lot of times that just being in the right place at the right time and just being patient, and it comes through for you.
Less is more.
Yeah, less is more.
Actually, that’s what I’m going to name your…that’s what I’m naming your show.
Less is more.
That’s the name of your show, by the way.
Less is more.
Less is more. And how about you, Kyle? What do you wish you knew, you know, five years ago?
I wish I knew that there was going to be EHD. That really…2012 and ’13 was real hard here in the Midwest for that. It’s just…the population is just getting back up, I feel like.
So that’s been some tough years in the last… I mean last year was pretty good, I seen a lot of mature bucks last year. But, and patience, I didn’t have near the patience back then.
But you can’t do anything about disease.
I mean you just can’t. And the patient part, you know, I became a better elk hunter when I didn’t walk 5 to 10 miles a day to find the elk. You know, a guy told me, “Bruce, here’s how we hunt elk. We get as high as we can, we get looking over this base and that base and that base and we fine the elk first, then we go hunt them.”
And elk aren’t that hard to hunt once you find them. The hard part about elk hunting is finding the sucker. Because once you find them, unless you bust them, they ain’t going nowhere. Because they know where they are and they live in hellacious places. So once you find them, then a lot of people… You know, it’s just hard to say, “Okay, get high and glass and glass and glass and spend the whole day. You know, be there before dawn and stay there until after dark and see if you can find, you know, a herd in a basin. And then if they’re not there, you go to a different basin.” And, you know, it works. It works on public land and it works on private land.
that’s the thing I learned, is that, you know, even with whitetail I do a lot of long-distance scouting now. And, you know, I’ll sit up and I’ll get my long glass and, you know, I’ll glass a quarter-mile away. Now the farm, you know, probably the longest…yeah, it’s half a mile across one field to the next field, so I can check that. Other fields, it isn’t so far. But you’re still…you know, you’re still in your truck, you don’t get out of your truck, and you just roll down the window, put your glasses up, put your spotting scopes up, and hunt them that way and don’t put any pressure on them at all until you can pattern them, and then hunt them. Unless, as I said, you know, they’re on the oak trees. And if they’re on them, then you really just got to…you know, you got to spot and stalk them and hope for the best. Because you know where they’re going to be.
you just got to find them, you know, coming through and working it. But that’s…you know, that’s old style on the ground, you know, sitting there being patient. You know, being invisible. I call it being invisible. You know, you just have to become invisible, and then see what happens. And, you know, that’s exciting because you hear them coming, you see them coming, you see the horns coming up above the brow of the hill and you go, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.” And, you know, that’s kind of it.
So any last words, guys? We’re going to wrap the show?
Just we’re not professional hunters, but we look forward to sharing our stories with everybody. We do pro staff for a few companies, like Rage Broadheads https://www.feradyne.com/rage-broadheads/ and Nocturnal and Block Targets https://www.feradyne.com/block/, Happy Herd, Carbon Express Arrows https://www.feradyne.com/carbon-express/, just a few of them companies. They help us out to get through. You know, help us do this easier, I guess. Like I said, we all got full-time jobs and we’re just sharing our story and hope that we can share with a lot more people in the future.
how do people get a hold of you? One more time.
They can go on our Facebook page, R2K Outdoors, or they can contact us on Twitter https://twitter.com/R2KOutdoors, our YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5OfFZDCq5epN45jiCty4-g, and r2koutdoors@gmail
All right, less is more, what do you got to say for yourself?
I think that’s it.
Less is more.
I can’t wait to meet up with you guys and laugh because you guys are fun. So with that, on behalf of hundreds of thousands of listeners across… What did you say?
Oh yeah. No, I want to come hunt. it’s a matter of getting Whitetail Rendezvous to where, you know, I can hit the road and… and do it. But, you know, this has been a blast, we’ve had a lot of laughs, and we’ve shared some information, a lot of information, and I love the thought of, you know, small plots. You don’t need large plots. I know one guy, he’s got a 40. Every year his daughter and he take off 140-plus bucks off the same ground. And it’s surrounded by, you know, private land, it’s private land, but, you know, it’s almost suburbia, not quite suburbia. But everybody knows the bucks are there, but they get them every single year. And they hunt three days a year, that’s it.
Boom, done. Three days a year they hunt. And so they’ve got it done to a science. Hopefully I’ll meet him this fall and be able to do some work with him.
So, guys, thank you, R2K, for being guests on Whitetail Rendezvous.
Thank you, Bruce, for having us.
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