The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 091: The Hunting Stories Podcast: Phil Mendoza

March 11, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 91
Ep 091: The Hunting Stories Podcast: Phil Mendoza
The Hunting Stories Podcast
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The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 091: The Hunting Stories Podcast: Phil Mendoza
Mar 11, 2024 Episode 91
The Hunting Stories Podcast

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I recently sat down with Phil Mendoza, a legend in the archery world and the visionary behind No Limits Archery and the Mile High Hunt Expo. Together, we took an introspective look at the transformation from rifle to bow, exploring how commitment to craft and community shapes the essence of a hunter. Phil's own evolution mirrors the metamorphosis of hunting itself—a tradition steeped in the beauty of challenge and the bonds of family. His stories of balancing a bustling bow shop with family duties will hit home for anyone striving to marry passion with daily life.


Promo code: HS2024
https://milehighhuntexpo.com/

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Phil's
No Limits Archery
www.nolimitsarchery.com
Mile High Hunt & Fish Expo

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

I recently sat down with Phil Mendoza, a legend in the archery world and the visionary behind No Limits Archery and the Mile High Hunt Expo. Together, we took an introspective look at the transformation from rifle to bow, exploring how commitment to craft and community shapes the essence of a hunter. Phil's own evolution mirrors the metamorphosis of hunting itself—a tradition steeped in the beauty of challenge and the bonds of family. His stories of balancing a bustling bow shop with family duties will hit home for anyone striving to marry passion with daily life.


Promo code: HS2024
https://milehighhuntexpo.com/

Instagram
Phil's
No Limits Archery
www.nolimitsarchery.com
Mile High Hunt & Fish Expo

Support the Show.

Speaker 1:

Howdy folks and welcome to the hunting stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and as usual, we got an amazing episode for you today. Today, we're actually connecting to Phil Mendoza. Phil is the owner of no Limits Archery in Denver, colorado. He's also the founder of the Mile High Hunt Expo, which is an expo coming up here in April in Denver. Check it out, guys. I'm going to put links to everything in the show notes. There's also a discount code, our first ever discount code, because this is going to be the event that changes all of outdoor events. It's going to be fun and if you're in the Denver area, hit me up. I'd love to go with you. Just make sure you use my discount code.

Speaker 1:

Beyond that, guys, I do want to apologize. I've recently taken a new role and I've had some transition in the equipment that I use and I just learned and listening to this episode, the audio isn't great, so I apologize for that. I'm going to have about three episodes with poor quality, but then I'll get right back to where I was. So sorry, but you know what? Let's go ahead and kick this thing off and that Phil will tell you some of his stories. Thank you All. Right, phil, welcome to the Hunting Stories Podcast. Man. How are you Good, man? Thanks for having me. Of course, man. I'm super excited to have you here. You are the owner of my favorite bow shop. I didn't know that when I started going there, but why don't we start with this, phil, before I tell my story about your bow shop to the listeners and why they should go to a good quality bow shop, why don't you introduce yourself to the folks listening to the day?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, my name is Phil Mendoza, born and raised in Colorado. I grew up in an outdoor kind of. You know my family is very much involved in the outdoors, I guess the best way to say that and my dad raised me rifle hunting, fishing in the summertime. You know he was a entrepreneur and I was born into that, I would say, from a young age, so it was something that there wasn't a ton of time for, the hunting and the fishing trips, but it really, you know it, I took to a very early, at early age, and I just I've raised my family the same way and so grew up rifle hunting, went to college, played a couple years junior college baseball. Once I got done with baseball, as when I got into archery and okay that was, uh, I mean I played with the bow a little bit with some of my buddies and stuff in high school, but never really like took the dive, you know. So, yeah, I was 20, 21 years old and been been pretty successful, pretty lucky, hunting with the rifle for years. So my uncle and I was like we're gonna start this archery game. You better give this a shot, you know. So I took the dive, I went out, bought a bow and I started shooting, and I tell you what it was like I was.

Speaker 2:

I was living single, I was living alone. At the time I was not married. Yeah, I started finding different ranges and I was four or five nights a week I was in the range shooting. That's awesome. So I just a bug bit me bad. You know, a lot of people tell me similar stories, right, so it was. I just got so immersed in just learning everything I could.

Speaker 2:

I started competing in some local 3d shoots probably 2005 time frame somewhere around there and by 2008 I was hitting all the circuits I could around Colorado uh, triple crowns, mostly 3d. And in 2009 I started competing at the asa circuit and that's the same year that I opened my bow shop and, um, so I earned my way through the amateur classes in asa 2014, I think I uh wanted the pro class, so I earned my way into the pro class. I only shot there for about a half a season and my wife had our second son at that point and I've been running the archery shop. I've been helping my family run a family-owned business since I got out of college and doing the tournament thing was a lot, so, um, I chose a family route.

Speaker 2:

I'm glad I did. It's been, uh, it's been good. But the shop man, I tell you it's, it's been kind of. It started as a side gig. It's evolved into its own animal, which for a good reason, you know a good way. But I'm blessed to have good, good employees and a good staff there that that takes care of the customers like I would like to take care of the customers 100%.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's top notch guys. I mean, I'm not kidding when I say that, phil, I went in there. I told you briefly. I'll tell the story just so the listeners can hear it. But I bought a brand new bow. I bought a junker bow from, uh, you know, you probably know Parker, right, they went out of business. So I just waited until they were liquidating, because I have a 31 and a half inch draw and I'm lefty. So I was like I love to always have giant left-handed bows. I waited until they were like 200 bucks, started shooting. It was like, oh, I love this.

Speaker 1:

And so then I saved up to buy a bow, went to your shop because they had the most that I could try, and that was the first time I'd ever been. But I ended up buying a Hoyt RX-7 Ultra and uh, they your, your staff basically was like are those your arrows? And I, and they're like can we see them? And they were looking at my arrows and they're like we won't, let's, we won't, sell you this bow. If you, those are the arrows, you're gonna shoot out of it because your bow will explode. And I was like what are you even talking about? Just thinking they were trying to upsell me the arrows.

Speaker 1:

Your boys were like no, you're spined incorrectly. Like it's basically like you're dry, flying your bow every time you shoot. And I'm like what are you? Are you kidding me? Like this is the same specs as my other bow, like that doesn't make any sense. So I left thinking your guys were trying to upsell me, to be completely honest. But I went home, started googling around, started looking into it, looking at my draw length, the speed and all the different things, and I was like no, they were right. I'm like underspined by like almost a hundred, like it was dangerous what I had been doing. And, and I'll be honest, I went into another shop up north of where we are right now. What mentioned? They're actually out of business at this point, weird. But they I was like I don't know what I'm doing, this is my bow, set me up and that's what they set me up with.

Speaker 2:

So I'll just reiterate to the listeners man, getting a really good bow shop, like Phil's bow shop, no limits, archery in Denver, is super important because you can you can hurt yourself yeah, yeah, man, it's one of those things, like I said, sometimes you know, anything hunting related, there's ego involved, right, yeah, and this is where, um, if, if anything, my biggest challenge with, uh, my staff and this is just full disclosure, you know, maybe sharing more information I need to is that I would say that we're right 95, 98% of the time. We're not right all the time, you know what I mean, but we're right most of the time because we consult with the manufacturers, we consult with sales reps, we learn, we really learn, what we're supposed to learn and we go in depth with this stuff. But we get it wrong sometimes. But because, my, because we do have that background with the education, sometimes it can come off like you're being arrogant when you're really trying to guide the customer in the right way. You know, yeah, because you know that's.

Speaker 2:

That's where it's a difficult, it's a different difficult industry. If people perceive what you're saying with ego and attitude and that's where I just try to get my guys to understand it's like, look, you you're probably right with what you're wanting to relate to the customer, but you really have to back, take a step back sometimes and and mellow out the conversation, mellow out, mellow out the delivery sometimes because it's it's really easy to get perceived as as being an a-hole, you know and for sure, and it's just, it is what it is yeah, I will say, your guys were at no point a-holes, I just thought they were trying to sell me.

Speaker 1:

I did go back in, walked right up to bow who's the guy who's working with me? And I was like, uh, my bad, you were right.

Speaker 2:

I need those new arrows so let's get that started.

Speaker 1:

So, um, either way, we've gone off trackville. Thank you for for letting me tell my little archery story, because yeah since then I've been like super particular.

Speaker 1:

I moved to Texas for a year and I was like, no, I'm not just going to any shop. I went to one shop that I heard the guy drew guns on people, just because I had to get arrows cut, and the guy nearly drew a gun on me and I was like, well, this is exactly what I thought I would get. Um, but anyway, let's, let's get to the meat potatoes of the episode here, man um. You've been hunting a while, why don't you set the stage for for the first story today?

Speaker 2:

yeah. So I guess I'll tell you this one's one of my more memorable ones and, honestly, on an emotional standpoint, because a good friend of mine who helped me at the shop for a long time passed away a few years back and this was one of the last hunts that I got to share with him, even though it was brief. Um, he really helped a ton and he was this kind of guy I mean anybody who knew my friend Joe that, like I said it's I'll just leave it at that but um, he was a type of guy that was the happy, happy guy in the group, super helpful, you know, well connected. Yeah, so, long story short. This this is a. This was my dad's sheep hunt, my my dad's bighorn sheep hunt from from here in Colorado a few years back, and my buddy, joe, was elk hunting in the same unit where my dad drew his sheep tag. So, over the counter, archery elk, and we drew, my dad drew his sheep tag, which it was a rifle tag, but through September, right, and so my buddy had just told me he's like, hey, I'm going to keep an eye. If I see the sheep come down a little bit lower when I'm hunting, I'm going to call you. You need to be ready to head down here in a hurry, right, if they start moving down or we can get to. Otherwise we'll just hunt them a little bit later in the season.

Speaker 2:

So, long story short, it's the. I think it's the last day of over the counter elk and the day before that, I'm sorry. So he called me up and he says hey, what are you doing? I said well, we're actually going to head down that way just to go scout and see if we can get in any animals here tomorrow sometime. He says you need to be here in the morning. I'm like, well, we weren't planning on being there in the morning. But what's going on? So the band of five rams just came down. He said I'm glasping them up. He said they're probably three quarters of a mile from where I'm hunting. He said but they just they're just hanging out on this knoll. It's a stockable area If they don't go far. This would be a great opportunity for your dad. Now my dad is just shy of 70 years old now he is. He's a guy that that his mind tells him he wants to keep going and his body starting to show some limitations.

Speaker 1:

Right, His body's not agreeing fully.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, but my. But my dad can go, you know he can still go, he just limited on his pace now. So I'm thinking, awesome, we fly down there that afternoon and and I had my gear already and you know it was, it was, it was ready to go. So, long story short, we meet up with Joe in the morning at the trailhead and he's still elk hunting and he he's hunting in the same area. So he said I'm going to get you guys in position. If they're there, I'm going to let you do your thing. If I'm in the elk, then I'm going to go up and elk, because the last day of the season, but if I'm not, then I'm going to help you.

Speaker 2:

So we start hiking in. We probably hiked in about a mile and we got to this vantage point where we were going to be able to see up the mountain. And so we, we hike in about a mile and it's just the lights just just starting to get daylight and there's elk screaming everywhere. I mean I'm telling you, there's bulls, four or five bulls, no kidding Within a half a mile of where we're at in this little basin. And and I told him, I said man, I said we need to get set up now. I said you need to. Where, where can you set up to shoot? I said I'll sit back and call. I got my calls on me. He's like no, no, no, just just relax, just relax, you know. He says we're going to go a little further because it was just light enough to see. But I can hear the elk everywhere, man, and it was, I'm telling you when, when it sounds like a Primo's video you need. You know, it's just that's what it sounded like.

Speaker 2:

So we still couldn't see any elk yet, but they were closed. So we kept hiking up and we're hiking through oak brush and it's you know, when you got oak brush over your head you can't see half the time where you're going anyway. So he's got trails cut out, marked out. So we're going through these, these cutouts, and we get to a little bit more of a vantage point and all of a sudden that you can see on the side of the hillside of the mountain, I don't know, 70, 80 elk that I'm seeing scattered around the mountain, and and then there's bulls that are even closer now. And I told him, I said Joe, I said he's like we can see the sheep from just up here. We could just, let's just go further. I'm like the sheep can wait. Let's, let's get a see if we can get a shot on one of these bulls, you know. And and my dad's just sitting, you know he's sitting there loving. He loves hunting period, especially when you're in that interaction like that. So he's like no, just just relax, phil, let's just keep going. So like okay.

Speaker 2:

So we hiked about another 150 yards and I'm kidding you, I hear elk crashing through the timber below me. Less than a hundred yards and it's so thick that it was. He knew the area and that's where he was patient with it. But I finally told him we got to a little bit of a clearing. I said, get over there. I said I'm going to sit back here and call.

Speaker 2:

And sure enough I hung back and I just started cow chirping, a couple light bugles, and one of these bulls comes up and then another bull comes up to him and I see him go to full draw. He's about 50 yards in front of me and he shoots and you hear the arrow crash through the oak brush. He hit a, he hit a limb arrow, went sailing, they go crashing out. And so I hiked back over to him and he's like how I missed. I hit a branch, but that's right, so let's keep going. So we keep hiking up the mountain and we got about another, I'd say about half a mile up and the bigger herd bull was kind of moving the other way and I mean it was awesome. Just you know, when you see elk in their habitat in the rut, it's, I mean, it's something that people need to experience if they haven't experienced it.

Speaker 1:

Not alone, here We've heard that big.

Speaker 2:

That's crazy man, I'm telling you there was. There was no less than six or seven bulls in there, some satellites, smaller bulls. They weren't all trophy bulls, but it's the interaction, right, it's, it was super fun. So we get up with the hill a little bit more and he goes, look up there. And I started glancing up and I can see the sheep. You know I'm like, oh nice. So we start watching and I'm, I'm glassing, I'm looking and I'm like there's a couple of three quarter curl rams in there and and I had already taken my ram a couple of years previous I'm not a seasoned big horn sheep hunter by any means, but I, you know, I'd spent quite a few days on the mountain with my hunt and scouting and and learning about what I could, so getting into position, trying to get my dad in position for the best ram he could take.

Speaker 2:

You know, I knew that he wasn't going to be able to go for days on end chasing sheep and sheep country. So I was really hopeful that we'd have the right situation the first time. You know, for his sake, because it my, my hunt was a grind in a different unit, that was, it was anything but forgiving. But we, we, we hiked up a little bit further on the mountain and there was bull elk again screaming right below us. So again I told Joe, I said get by that bush over there, I'm going to get back here and I'm going to call. And he says all right. So I, I, I backed up, called a bull and he shot a bull 35, 40 yards and the bull takes off down the mountain. And at that point we, I hiked back up to him and he's like, yeah, I think it was a pretty good hit. So he, he just kind of pointed me in the direction. He says if you get up here a little further, he said it's kind of like a hogback ridge. You know they're on this other ridge. If we, you stay on the backside of the second ridge, you can hike all the way up the mountain. So I was like, okay, you know that's what we're going to do. So that was the plan Joe went after his bull that he had put an arrow in and my dad and I start hiking up the mountain. And it was one of those deals where it wasn't that far. I mean, we're probably a half a mile of a hike up the mountain to where we can get into a shoot and he's got it's a rifle tag, so he where we, we should be able to get a shot. So this is where I mean my dad's my hero for many things, like like a lot of kids, right, because he set the tone for me in my life for many things. You know work, just life risk taking, you know so many things.

Speaker 2:

So we're hiking up this mountain and as I'm hiking I got all the all the gear on my pack and and he's pretty light, you know which. I wanted it that way. I'm like, okay, here we go. So I'm hiking up and I just start trucking up the hill thinking he's right behind me. So I go up about 150 yards and I turn back and he's about halfway down. He only made about half the distance and it was fairly steep, kind of rocky a little bit, but it wasn't like above tree line hunting, it was just at the edge of it, and so I was like, oh, I got to slow, I got to take this slower. You know, he just he needs, he needs more time. So I would do that. I just kind of waited for him to catch up. Hey, you good, dad, he goes. Yeah, I'm good. He says that's neat to bring a little break, you know. So I was like, okay.

Speaker 2:

So at that point it was one of those deals where, you know, appreciating that moment, because I don't know how many, we don't know how many more hunts we have right, but having that with him and an understanding that I was 100% confident I was going to get him in place for a shot, but I just needed to take it. If it was me, man, I would have charged up the mountain. You know, I'd have been up there ready in minutes and let find an arrest of picking out what I. But I'm like I got to. I got to really take this. I got to figure this out differently and take a different approach. So I'd hike up about 50, 75 yards, I'd get in the glass and place and I'd glass, get eyes on the Rams again, make sure that they hadn't gone anywhere, make sure that you know I was really studying to see which one we were going to try to shoot. Meanwhile my dad would catch up to me, you know, sit there for a minute with him, a minute or two, then I'd start going up the mountain again.

Speaker 2:

So I did this about five or six times and probably the last or second to last time. You know, he had ran out of his water because he had brought two bottles of water. We dropped his pack down below. He had a smaller pack and I carried the rest. So I'm giving him another, I'm giving him some more water and you know he was just taking it slow. He knew his pace, he knew how quick he can go and it was. It was good man, because it was one of those deals where I just I had to sit back and be more patient with it and but it was something I got to enjoy, that stock with him.

Speaker 2:

And so once we get up, it was the last kind of climb I was going to make. I knew when I came over the top of that hogback I was going to be somewhere between 150 and 200 yards of these ranks, which was in range, and but it was going to be. Where are we going to get the shot from at this point? You know where are we going to sneak up from. So I kind of start working my way up. And my dads I purposely got up a little bit ahead of them again so I can scope it out. I can see which tree or bush or whatever we needed to get behind. And and I got in there and I snuck up and I had my tripod with my video camera set it up on this behind this bush and I'm watching these rams and I'm just glassing them and I picked out the bigger of the two three quarter curl rams. There's a couple other ones that are about five eighths curl and I got in position.

Speaker 2:

I told my dad so once I and I backed up and I went and I met him about 30 yards away from I was in position and I said all right, dad. I said we're going to hike up to this bush. I said I got my stuff set up on the left side. You go to the right side of it, I said, and then use your shooting sticks. I said, just get set up. I said it's the second ram on the left side, it's the second one from the end. They're laying down right now, right, perfect, and that's it. It was perfect, right.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, and he said OK. He says give me a minute. So he sits there and he sits on the rock, just patient, and my dad's catching his breath, that's it. You know, and it was one of these things that since I was a kid. Patience he's always. You know, when I was fishing, I was impatient. You need to have patience, you need to have patience, you know. So it was one of those minutes where those times where he, just he, sat there and we didn't say anything to each other, we just understood OK, this is going to happen. We just, you know, let's let it happen, just take our time.

Speaker 2:

So he starts hiking up. You know, we start hiking up to this bush. I had dropped my pack at this point. Well, it seemed like a storm was starting to blow in and it was get. The fog was coming down off the mountain and it was coming down in waves. Right, a big patch of fog would come down and then, about 15, 20 seconds later, it would break up, it would move off.

Speaker 2:

So, as we crept up to this bush, big cloud, big fog, cloud starts coming down. I'm like, perfect, they can't see us. I'm going to get him in position. I walked him up to the bush and I'm like, dad, just set up right there. There's another bush about 10 yards in front of him and I'm like just get in between these two bushes and you should be good right here. And he looks at me and he sees the fog, he goes I'm going to get in front of that other bush. And I said, dad, it's 10 yards, you know? I mean you're 175 yards or 180 yards from the shock. That's not going to make any difference, you know. And he says, no, I'm going to get to that bush right there. I'm like okay.

Speaker 1:

I'm excited or worried about what's about to happen, but go ahead. So I tell you, it's one of those things.

Speaker 2:

I back up and I just said I got my video camera rolling, I got my glass. I just I'm watching these, these rams. They're bedded down or the fog had came in, but they were bedded down before the fog came in. So there my dad goes, he's creeping around the outside of the bush and he's whispered, quiet, going around inside the bush. Well, he sits there and all of a sudden the fog is coming in. The fog clears and he starts making noise, trying to set up his, his shooting sticks. Oh no, kicking a little rock, a little rustling going on there. And I'm watching these rams and I'm listening. Right, I'm not even looking at my dad, I'm just. I'm like man, what is he doing? Hopefully he gets set up quickly.

Speaker 2:

But one of the rams starts looking our direction. I'm like, oh no. So then he couldn't get his shooting sticks low enough, as what happened? You know, he sits down on the ground to try to take a shot. Put his shooting sticks in front of him. Well, he couldn't get it low enough. He put his rifle on it, the rifle's pointing up in the sky. So then he put his rifle down. He tried to move the shooting sticks, again making too much noise. So then he folds the shooting sticks up, set them aside, he starts breaking branches on this boat. My dad, one of these guys that he's always said you need a good rest when you shoot, you know, get on a, get on a Y of a tree or do this. So he was getting his rest ready and at this point one of the rams stood up and I'm like, oh no, you know. Then another ram stands up, then another ram stands up. Well, pretty soon, all five rams are standing up looking at us and the clock and the fog rolls in, and I'm sitting there with my fingers crossed, praying that they were still going to be there when the fog cleared, because all this noise they got. We got their attention, they knew something was up and and I'm just waiting it seemed like an eternity, it was probably like 15 seconds. And as soon as the fog clears, my dad's already in the position and I'm whispering to him dad, it's still the second one from the left, still the second one from the left. Well, this rams quartering to us pretty hard, and as soon as the fog clears, sure enough, they're still staring right at us. You know, lucky enough, and he gets a shot off. Didn't make the best shot. The first time the rams ran actually down the hill towards us. He put a second shot onto it and it was done deal.

Speaker 2:

But it was one of those things that it was, man, I, the little thing, right, I mean, it took me back to when I was a kid hunting with my dad, and we rice will hunt it, and we hunted a lot of oak brush country. But when we get set up on a vantage point, whatever, my dad would sit there with his Rambo nice, because that's what he. He's got these big old knives, that but I don't even know what kind of knives they are, you know hanging off the side of his belt, and he would sit there and hack branches and make a little you know, a little blind, or get himself ready, get his shootings you know his shooting benches or rests set up in case something was to pass by. Well, man, that's what he was doing here, you know, and I joked with him afterwards too. I said I, you know what were you making so much noise for? He goes well, if I can't get a shot, you know what good is it, and if I can't get my good rest. So it was one of those deals man that it all worked out.

Speaker 2:

I called Joe, he hiked up, he helped us get the Ram off the mountain and we packed it out and and it was, and then he went back to to keep track in his bowl and it was one of those things that you know, with with his help, it was a great day from start to finish.

Speaker 2:

You know, beginner's luck maybe with my dad with with his Ram, but it was one of those hunts that it's. It's a super, super memorable trip for me because I got to share it with a good friend. He got us in position. You know my dad waited what a 14 years to draw his Ram tag here in Colorado and we got it done on the first trip out. And I was I was thankful for that because I didn't know when I seen him hiking up that hill on that stock, I knew I, I at that point I was like he can't, he can't do this for four, five, six days in a row. You know we need to make it, we need to make it count and he shot a great recorder crew ram and so it was. It was a great trip and I guess it was one of the last trips I got to hunt with with Joe, but it was a good trip, for sure.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, phil, you, you had me worried there for a minute. I was a little concerned. Usually, when people start throwing in random details, it's like oh, oh, things are turning the wrong direction. But that's that is a great story and it's a super cool hunt, especially something you're able to do with your dad and and I bet he tells everyone he knows every detail and how and how he made the perfect rest, even though my son, phil, was gawking at me to get that thing shot.

Speaker 2:

I've got my video camera going. I still have that hunt. I've I've worked on editing bits and pieces of it, but I was cursing on the camera a couple of times. I bet I was quiet. I was like, holy shit, I hope this, you know, I hope he doesn't screw this up. And so I haven't, I haven't put anything together with it yet, just because it's one of those deals. I just almost really appreciate the memory because I just can relate it, you know. But I do have the video footage of it too. So maybe one day I'll I'll throw it up and, and you know, get to let other people share in that, that, that adventure as well. But no man, that was. It was a really cool trip and, like I said, blessed to have been able to connect the dots early on that one.

Speaker 1:

For sure. And you said your buddy, you. You just mentioned it briefly, but back to tracking his bull. Did he get one?

Speaker 2:

He shot it. It went off on the price. So we were hunting where he ended up shooting. That bull was probably about a half a mile from where some private property starts below and he tracked it to private and when we, when we, came out, he ended up going in trying to make some calls to get access in there and he couldn't get access to go finish.

Speaker 1:

Is that the same bull that you saw him go full drawn, or was there another one? That's the one he?

Speaker 2:

shot. Yeah, so he hit that bull. So before we started making our stock and I call that, well, we've seen him on the mountain and I called him down the mountain for him and he came up and he, he shot him at 35 yards, if anything, it was slightly quartering to not perfectly broadside and that's why I think that bull made it a little frothing. It was a one lung hit but because before we went up I went down where his hit site was, we found blood within about 30 yards and you know, so we, we. That was one of those stories that it's frustrating that when, when you don't recover an animal because of other people not allowing you to recover an animal, you know and, and that's, that's what that was, that was, that was a tough deal. But I mean, you know you both had long enough. You're going to run into stories like that too.

Speaker 1:

Do you think the landowners like just let it lie and never checked in on it, or do you think they went out there and broke it down and and took advantage of of his hard work?

Speaker 2:

It were that specific property was, I would almost bet they probably let it lie. That's to be, you know, and there's, there's so many bears and stuff down there too that I bet they just figured, well, we'll go shoot a bear off that carcass here in a couple of days. You know is probably what the mentality was, but I can't say for sure. I didn't speak with the landowners. It was kind of you know, I was getting the information as we were driving back home. But because he had other help down there as well, that's where I we ended up clearing out, just because I knew he had family and some other friends down there that were going to help them with the afternoon. But yeah, kind of that, if anything, that kind of put a damper in that whole weekend.

Speaker 1:

That was that, yeah, but still still a good, good trip for sure, yeah it's still an amazing story and I bet even even your friend who lost that bowl still probably enjoys telling that story, even though it's, you know, it's nature of archery right, inevitably you're all. Everyone loses an animal, it's just going to happen.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure.

Speaker 1:

So well, that was great, phil. That was a fun story. What else you got for us? It's always hard to transition from like one great story to like all right next.

Speaker 2:

Yeah no so I'll tell a story. My son he's my older son. He's been kind of in my hip pocket since he was about six or seven, big game hunting with me and his first experience yeah, his first experience elk hunting. I pulled my camping trailer up, my wife and my older son and my younger son he was already, I think, two years old at the time. So I was like, look, I'm going to go hunt the morning. If I don't get anything, I'll hike back out, I'll have lunch with you guys and then I'm going to come back and get Dominic, my older son. I'm going to take him in. There's a spot that wasn't too far. I'm like I've seen elk in there. Hopefully I can get him to see an elk or hear something. So we did that.

Speaker 2:

That afternoon I went and had lunch with my wife and my boys and then I took Dominic with me and we drove up into the property we're going to hunt and we hiked in. It wasn't far, maybe half a mile and I got to this lower meadow that did again. Sometimes I'm passing through that meadow in the morning I said I'm just going to set up here. So I hiked up to it and I got to the edge of this aspen grove and I'm looking and I see elk in that meadow and I'm like holy crap, he's going to see his first elk at six years old in the wild like legitimate hunt.

Speaker 2:

And so, as I'm telling him, I said, dom, there's some elk up here, I'm going to pick you up so you can see. I said you got to try not to move, you got to be real. Still, I said we're going to try to call them and see if we can get into them. Well, as I'm reaching out and picking up the bull bugles, and I couldn't see a bull in there, but he looks up and his eyes are like saucers, man, he's like that's a bull, buddy, that's a bull. So that was his first experience at a very young age. So this was probably I think he was 11 or 12, the fast forward a few years now. And I took him.

Speaker 1:

Let me pause you real quick, though, because I have a five year old and so hearing of you taking a six year old out, he's off as an exciting concept, but also I don't understand the math behind the six year old out. So, like, how did he do? Was he like, how was the hiking? How was he as far as being quiet, just how was the overall experience Like, how would you say?

Speaker 2:

about that, the quiet thing. I'd say it was the biggest challenge, if you will, because it's just questions, right? The kids are like what's that, dad? Where are we going here? How far are we going? So that's where it was like, okay, what I think what I ended up doing was it was like I tell him hey, son, let's not talk, let's wait till we stop where we're going, and then you can ask me whatever questions you want.

Speaker 2:

So, that way I'd stop in a place where we can talk if we needed to, and then we'd walk another 100 or 200 yards and then stop again. So the questions thing was definitely interesting. Both my kids are blessed to have super athletic kids. My oldest son he just won a youth state wrestling tournament yesterday. Congratulations, man.

Speaker 1:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

So he's a beast, to say the least. So from a hiking standpoint, even at a young age, I've never really I've had to limit how far I would go. But as far as pace or anything like that, he's been with me from a young, young age. So, yeah, and my youngest son, he's the same way. I mean, they're just, they can move pretty good. Both of them can. They're both very athletic kids.

Speaker 2:

So when it came time to where I was taking him for like days at a time, it was no issue. It was more along the lines of we'd go somewhere, I'd want to sit at an advantage point and be able to call or glass whatever, and my son would be like why are we stopping here? We need to go over there, we need to keep going. So it was more of that side of it and I think I was lucky too to have put him in situations where he saw animals early. He got interactions early.

Speaker 2:

I started taking him turkey hunting when he was six in the basketball. He actually shot his first turkey at six with a crossbow because he couldn't hit the youth stop. The youth stop shotgun was too long for him. So I was able to again own in the bow shop. Right, I knew that there was a crossbow stock that I can get shorter, and it was short enough for him. Well, he shot a turkey with a crossbow. There's some people that don't like crossbows, but I'm more of the opinion of you. Know, if I'm going to take a kid out hunting and give him the best opportunity to be successful, if that's what the tool is, and it worked for him. He's shot multiple deer with his compound bow. Now he shot deer with his rifle. So it was a good bridge for him because he was ready to hunt. He just wasn't big enough to shoot anything else, do you?

Speaker 1:

still have that crossbow.

Speaker 2:

Do I still have it?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, oh yeah, I might need to borrow it on. I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding, you can listen to turkey hunting this year.

Speaker 2:

I tell you what it's a blast. And, like I said, there's certain thing knowing the right tools for the application is a big plus. So, yeah, this fast forward. I took him out hunting. He had been with me on many trips but he hadn't seen me harvest anything right. I would end up harvesting animals when the weekend he wasn't with me or something else. So those years that went by where he just was like dad, I want to see you shoot something, and I just haven't, you know. So I think the year before he saw me shoot a cow and now he's like dad, I want to see you shoot a bull, I want to see you shoot a bull, you know.

Speaker 2:

So we go hiking up and we got into this. This probably one of these couple, the couple different areas that I hunt. We had hiked up and it was a, it was a transition areas, what I'd call it. I I whitetail hunt a lot, so I kind of categories things, categorized areas, sometimes similar, how verbiage for whitetail hunting is, you know. You know letting transition, whatever it be. So we're in this kind of this transition area and and I had called Elk in there before many times and my brother shot one of his biggest bulls in this meadow. I'm like this would be a good spot to set up. So we get there early, got some dead branches, some limbs, some down limbs and we kind of created a little brush blind. And I knew if Elk come down off this, this area, they're coming down right from bedding before they go down to feed in some of these meadows below. You know we we'd have a good chance that 30 minutes to 45 minutes before shooting light was over.

Speaker 2:

So we sat there and he's you know, my son wants to, he just wants to hear the calls. He wants to hear me call. So I started calling a little bit. It was early, didn't hear nothing. About 45 minutes. An hour goes by and I start calling again. Well, I did a calling sequence cow calls, mostly a couple light bugles, and then a few minutes go by, I cow call again a few times. Well, I heard something above us like a rock, like like you know you, when you hear a hoof on a rock or it kicks a rock or something. And I heard something and I and I told him I was like I can't hear something up here. You know, I'm pointing up the mountain, I'm giving him the hand signals, I'm pointing at my ear and then pointing up the hill and I'm like I was like going to be quiet, you know, and he was good at this point he's kneeling down. He's kneeling down in the little brush, blind. We had.

Speaker 2:

I got my video camera going. I always try to video what I can. You know, sometimes I don't always get it. But yeah, that's a video camera going and then couch chirped a few more times, couch chirped a few more times. Well, then I hear another rock kick closer and I'm like, oh, something's coming. Don't know what it is yet I haven't heard any noise. Something's coming. So I got, I got my bow arrow loaded on my bow and then, you know, turn the video camera on. I'm pointing in that direction and at this point, where we were sitting to this, where the tree line was, we're probably about 30 yards to the trees, somewhere in that ballpark, and a bull starts coming down the mountain and he's probably inside a hundred yards now.

Speaker 2:

And and I just hear the yeah, you just hear the rocks kicking the branches and he's walking slow, but he's coming in and hadn't made a sound. This is for opening weekend of the season, mind you too, so they weren't really ramped up or anything.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, We'll start coming around.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly what it was right. So he's coming down and I and I'm looking through the trees and it's kind of pines in this area we're above the Aspen's it's more pines and kind of open, sparse in places, and I can see his rack coming through the through the trees and I'm like, oh, he's a shooter. I don't know how many points he's got, but he's a shooter bull. So he comes in the one tree that's directly between me and the direction he was coming. He's walking keeping that tree between us, but he knew where I was right.

Speaker 1:

He pinpointed my location yeah.

Speaker 2:

Must have. But from hundreds of yards up to hill and I'm sitting there, I got my, you know, camoed out, face painted, and I'm waiting. Well, when I see him come in, about 50 yards, coming down, and he's walking slowly, but he's walking, I'm like I got to draw my bow because I don't know when I'm going to be able to. Once he clears this tree either side, he's inside a 40 and I have a shot. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I drew my bow. He continues to walk. Well, he stops and I got a. I got a, my video camera rolling right right below me as I'm standing, and I have another video camera going on my stabilizer, oh cool. So I got two cameras going and this bull stops looking at me or looking down through me, I should say right behind this tree. So I'm at full draw and it was over two minutes. I'm at full draw because I checked it when I, when I be the camera, 80 pound bow, I'm sitting there and I'm telling you what I'm. Just I knew I'm like I'm going to have to let down. You know, my arm was starting to tremble a little bit, my front shoulder and I said as soon as I get the big trembles, then I'm going to make too much noise, I'm going to spook him. So I'm as slowly as I can trying to let the bow down, but as soon as it breaks over the cam, you know, it kind of gives that little jerk forward.

Speaker 2:

Well, the bull spooked back and he kind of spooked back into the trees and I started immediately cow calling. Well, he starts to circle us as he's going around us and down the hill, wind was in our favor, everything's perfect. Still, from that standpoint, he just saw some movement but didn't know what we were. So he's circling us to the edge of the tree line and there was this really distinct set of. There was two aspen trees, like we were right at the transition from the aspen to the pines, and there was two aspen trees that had like a, almost like a Y to it, like a like a V, I should. I should say at the bottom, but I range it at 39 yards.

Speaker 2:

And this bull circled around and he starts coming back as I'm cow calling and I turn my video camera, I pan over and I get to, I get him in frame a little bit at the distance and he stops right behind that that aspen, and and I'm telling you, I can see the about a four inch gap and, and I can see because I see him in front of the tree and behind the tree and I knew it was right behind his shoulder and so he moved just a little bit and I can see his shoulder and I put my 40 yard pin right on there and I just let it rip and I hammered in, perfect, so he, he barreled down the mountain and he goes. I see I see him go downhill about 20 yards and I didn't know if he had, like jumped down off of a little bench or as as the hill went rolling down or the the mountain, I should say, and and I lost sight of them.

Speaker 2:

So I'm looking at Don we're all hyped up, you know, kind of hugging each other, and he's all just adrenaline right, and I'm adrenaline rush too, because it's just, this had just went down and he was a good bull and so we waited there and he's like when can we go? I was like no, no, we got to wait. You know as much as I don't want to. We got to wait. So we waited a while, we sat, we kind of replayed, you know what happened, and he's excited and I videotaped him at this point, you know, getting his reaction to the whole deal. And so finally we decided it was time to start picking up the trail and immediately I said I know the tree that I shot him at. He went, he barreled straight back off the mountain from there. I said let's just go to that tree and let's see, if we can, what we can see. So I walk out there on videotaping it and I get to that tree and I look down and I can see him about 30 yards down the hill, that's amazing so he didn't.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I harp shot him and he was down in seconds. He probably died within 10, 15 seconds from when I hit him, because when he, when he went down, he fell right there. So we go down there and he was a giant five by man. He's like a just shy of three. 10, five by five, Wow.

Speaker 1:

That's a big five by five.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, one of his sides is kind of petering off a little sixth on the one side, but I just like to say he's a five by, because to see a five by that big you know, and that's where it was it was it was one of those deals, that was one of my best bulls to the to the time, to that time, because he's he's just huge on the front end, big thirds. You know, had he been a true six, I mean he'd been pushing, you know, mid 320s to 330 all day long and we go down there and it was. It was really cool because it was right before dark and I started going to work and my son, since he was young, he wants pocket knife, he wants to help skinny animals. So first thing, he just flicked out his knife and there we go, he's helping me, right, I'm getting started, he's helping me.

Speaker 2:

But once it starts getting dark, he's he you know the noise. And he started to hear the noises in the woods, right, yeah. So he's like, yeah, what, you think there's bears around? Him, like, oh, yeah, there's bears around you know, you think they could smell the elk. I'm like, yeah, probably, you know. So at that point I'm like what, why don't you do this and hold the light for me and just keep an eye out, you know, just keep flashing lights. So we sat there and we got it.

Speaker 2:

We got him quartered up, got him hung, pulled a couple, I pulled a quarter down and the back straps and we hiked out that night and we came back to get the rest of the next day, man, but it was a super awesome trip. You know, he got to see dad put a, put an arrow in a bowl and everything went perfect. So that was one of those those situations where the elk read the script. You know the shot was where it needed to be, it was in a good place because it was all downhill from there, exactly. So really cool trip, man, really memorable trip with me and my oldest at that one, but that was, yeah, that was a few years ago. He's been with me on a couple other since now, but he's that's an amazing story.

Speaker 1:

I'm jealous man. I want to get my son out there. Now Let me ask about the aspen. So you said it was a four inch gap, these trees, how was it? How tall was that gap Like? Was there North South room or were you talking like four inches left, right and yeah, four inches left and right, up and down.

Speaker 2:

Those gap all the way up and down right, because these trees I don't know, they're probably 10 inches or so in diameter and it it they grew together at the bottom and then they separated as they went up. So it was. I knew that that tree was 39 yards because it was a really weird looking tree the way that it split like that from the bottom and so that gap where I shot I mean when he walked into it, it was, I'm telling you it was, it was really tight, but the way that his body shape was, his body was high enough above the crook where I can see it. And it was weird because as soon as I drew my bow back, my pin was floating from the tree to his fur, you know, just back and forth, and I'm like I'm going to nail this tree and I'm going to smoke this bull one of the two and the shot broke and it smoked him.

Speaker 2:

So it was a good. It was a good shot, that's amazing man and you know what.

Speaker 1:

I understand why, while your, your sons, are such beasts, if you were holding a bow an 80 pound bow for two minutes, I get where I get the genes. I understand the genes of why your, your children, are such such monsters in the mountains as well, because, man, that's, that's crazy. I've done some like minute and a half long holds and it sucks. So two minutes and I have like a 72, 72 and a half pound bow, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, so you know little side note like I used to do those some events back in the day called train to hunt, where it was it was. You know you did a, a pack out challenge, you did a, a 3D like a 3D hunter hybrid course, and they did some really cool shots where you'd have to sit there and hold your bow for 30 seconds, for a minute, before you got to shoot target. So we, I practiced a lot of that stuff. You know it was, it was, it was fun Not always is it, is it necessary, but I tell you what, when it, when it counts, and I still had to let my bow down, you know, but it was, it was one of those things that I'm telling you.

Speaker 2:

If I didn't, if I didn't have the background with working on bows and shooting as much as I did and I mean there was there was a period in my life where I was shooting, I mean, thousands of arrows a month, just prepping for some of these tournaments, and so if, if I didn't have that back, I don't, I don't know that, I don't want to do it again.

Speaker 1:

Even I still shoot a 75 inch bow you know, for hunting.

Speaker 2:

But I tell you what I'm very much going more towards that comfort stage with bows than you know than the brute force of trying to give him, give him everything.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, as soon as you told me the four inch gap but you saw his vitals I was like that's tough at 39, 40 yards. But uh, man, I'm glad that you nailed it and your son got to experience that with you. That's super cool.

Speaker 2:

It was fun man. That was a cool trip for sure.

Speaker 1:

What, what I want to hear. Well, do you remember what your son said? Or remember you've seen in the video, like what was? What did he say? Cause I'm sure he said something right when you nailed that bull.

Speaker 2:

You know, I honestly I'm going to my son is is quickly becoming the king of one-liners. You know, with some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth and his younger brother is following suit because they they hang out with each other and and honestly, growing up in an archery shop is probably not ideal for a lot of kids with some of the conversations that go on.

Speaker 2:

So he, he matured pretty quickly with conversations because he would hear a lot and so I honestly I don't remember exactly what he said on that trip. It was funny. I do remember when we videoed it, but I'm not. You know, you got me, I got you got me curious. I'm going to have to go back and and listen to that one again, because even go through some of that old footage it that hunt I did put on my YouTube channel a few years back. Um, it was a super cool trip, but I don't remember. You know he's, I can tell you there's, there's, there's some witty stuff that my kids come up with that I'm like where did you get that? You know what? Do you even hear things like that?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Anyway, I'll also watch that video, man, I'm excited to see that That'll be a good one. I'll. I'll try and find it and put a link to it in the show notes so everybody else can check it out too, Cause that's, that's pretty awesome. Um well, Phil, that was great. Well, I mean, I'll listen. I tell this to everybody, I'll listen all night. So if you got more stories for me, keep them coming. If not, we can, we can wrap it up. It's up to you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I'll finish off with with one more, with my son, right, kind of started with my dad, you know that. Second was me and then so both my sons are, are, they've hunted with me. Now my youngest son is nine, so he's he's been more just. We've been on a couple of turkey hunts. I've been able to connect the dots yet there with him. Hopefully this, uh, this spring we get to to connect the turkey with him and and and and hopefully into some, uh, some big game soon. But my, my oldest son I mentioned that turkey hunt with him, right, but his, his this year, was his first, um, no, actually it was his second actually. So he's, he hunted a lot. Two years ago was his first big game season in Colorado, um, he's hunting Nebraska before that. But this last season he, he shot a doe, uh, and it was perfect shot. You know the nerves and everything.

Speaker 2:

I can remember my first time bow hunting man, I couldn't even see that through the peep you know I'm looking at. I went hog hunting in Texas just to try to go get some hunts in. You know, I knew that I needed to get some experience and I, I it was a blur and it was a mess and I shot three or two or three times over and under this pig and he stood there at the feeder and you know, you know it was a, it was a, it was a circus is what it was. Yeah, and my oldest son he shot a couple of does with his bow in Nebraska and in Colorado, but this last season in 2023, he connected on a dough. We made a stocking on the timber and I'll tell you, it was controlled and it was a well executed shot. It was a well placed shot. So the way it went down, we were all cunning.

Speaker 2:

We had Mildred tags in our pockets as well and we were really pushing to try to get him a bull. This year we had a couple of close calls. I'd called a few bulls into about 60, 65 yards, couldn't pull them in any further. Well, we're sitting here in this hillside and we can hear a bull above us. So we decided to make a move on and we're moving in position. While we're going through there, we see this lone Mildred dough feeding through the timber and it was one of those deals we kind of passed quickly. She looked down kind of, we caught her attention and we just kind of scooted through the area quick, so she just let us go. Mildred are funny. Sometimes they just sit there and watch her, sometimes they take off. This one happened to just watch us go by. So we go and we try to get on these elk, and same thing.

Speaker 2:

Another one of those situations where just couldn't quite connect the dots on this bull and there was still about an hour worth of daylight left and my son says Dad, do you think we can get on that dough again, because it's the last weekend of the season? And he's like I'd like to fill my tag with the dough. If we can, I'm happy to do that, you know. So I was like, ok, let's go. So we start hiking back down the mountain in the area where we'd seen this dough. And, sure enough, man we got.

Speaker 2:

She probably hadn't gone 100 yards from where we saw her just feeding through the timber and we catch back up to her. And we catch side of her about 100 yards and I told my son, I said look, I says you take the stock at your pace, move tree to tree. You know when she puts her head down, you move. I said just, he had been on, he's been on many stocks, learned a lot on a lot of stocks at this point, right, so, needless to say, hadn't connected on a stock, a successful one yet. So he, he starts working the stock.

Speaker 2:

And I hung back, you know, and I'm trying to film I just had a GoPro at this point and I'm just trying to film and I'm watching him and I'm really not paying attention to what I'm doing with the camera and he just moving slowly and he's moving slowly and he take two steps and he'd stop, and so finally he got about halfway between where I was and the dough was, and then at this point he loaded his arrow, he's getting closer and he just starts talking slow, talking slow, moving slow, and took his time. Well, he gets 30 yards and I knew what I didn't know he was. So he was close. You know I don't know how far he was because I hung back. He takes his range finder, he I see him plug in the number on range finder, drew's bow back and he just settles in.

Speaker 2:

And when you make a good shot and it's right in the boiler room, you know, hitting behind your pin is something that I talk when I do seminars around to cut classes and stuff. Once you know that you can hit behind your pin and when you make a mistake you know what the mistake is. That's a huge accomplishment as an archer because sometimes people their pin flows, they pin, their pin moves, they have target panic, you know, especially when an animal is in front of you, you get to pin close to the vitals and you're hammering away right, so you really don't have good shot control. Watching him sit there and draw back and squeeze through that shot. I saw that deer crashing through the trees, you know, and once he the shot broke and she died, she probably went 80 yards and died and he we sat there were excited. I mean he's excited.

Speaker 2:

He's like I smoked her dad right behind the shoulder and it was one of those growth moments where I didn't learn that stuff until I was in my 30s. You know as a bow hunter, because I can tell you that the first probably five to seven years of me hunting I was successful at times but it was like it was chaotic also at times because you make a bad shot, you hit something in the guts, you know. You know hit it too high, and again it's always nerves and that anxiety with that us bow hunters deal with. You know it's part of what makes it exciting. So you don't want to kill it and completely numb it, because then it kind of takes it the fun out of it, you know. But to be able to start harnessing that and really being composed to make a good, good shot, I started to see him have steps and growth in that standpoint.

Speaker 2:

So we go down there and we, you know, get some pictures taken and he had just gotten a new pack. He, you know, got a new Kofarupack and he's like I don't need to pack something out of him. So it was. It was a good moment, man. It was. You know, as soon as we got done, I'm sitting there video on NBC because I'm like, hey, well, you got your pack loaded now, so let's figure it out there. You know you want to carry some meat, we're going to carry some meat now. So it was a good trip, man. It was a.

Speaker 2:

It was a meat hunt, not a trophy hunt, but at the same time, all the things that came into place with him growing as a young bow hunter, with having the maturity at 13 at that point he was still 13 to make a good stock on a deer, wait for the right shot opportunity, wait for the right shot opportunity, wait for the broadside shot.

Speaker 2:

You know, put all the pieces together. That's some of the more rewarding things as a dad knowing that you know some of those moments where at the last five or seven years, as I've been hunting the questions come on, you'll get this right, you with your kids, you'll. They'll be well, dad. Why did you do that? How can we didn't do this. You know how can we get it that way? And a lot of times early on I was like well, that's just because that's why I need to do it and it's like why that's not a good answer for them right, yeah, right, I know, with all my experiences and my failures and my whatever it it's led me to do what I do at a certain point in time.

Speaker 2:

But he hasn't been with me, with all those trips, you know, and those experiences. So I've had to really back up sometimes and say, well, you know, I did this because you know, in the past when I've done this, this has happened and then this has happened or you can expect to see this when this happens. So that's why, when we get to this point, we try to do it this way. It's not that it's the right way, it's just the way that it's. That's where I've gotten to be right.

Speaker 2:

And so it's very much kind of reliving a lot of your lessons as a hunter and to try to again get your kids further on than we get or worry on and get them there sooner. So to see him having that success very early on, man, I tell you it's been exciting and it's been fun to see, and I can't wait, like I said, my little guy he's, he's, he's, he's, he's, he's starting to show the interest in the bug for for more of it as well. And we've just recently been on a couple of goose hunts. I I've never grown up goose hunting. One of my business partners with the Hunx bow, um, he's a huge waterfowl guy so he's taken us out. So my little guy, he's really shown a lot of interest with doing things, love the shoot guns, love the shoot at bow. But I would just say that if anything on the dad side, with with your kids as they get older, and you have, you have one or two, sorry.

Speaker 1:

I have two. I have a five year old boy and a two year old girl.

Speaker 2:

So the biggest thing is, like both my kids, although they're very outdoors, related different pace with different things. You know, my youngest son, he was like six, seven years old. He's like, he's mad when he didn't get to go, you know. And now my younger one, eight into nine years old, now he's starting to like, well, I won't, you know, I want to go shoot turkey. I won't go fishing, you know, let's go. So it's, it's different pace with things and I've got to, like I said, I've got to relive a lot of memories that I had almost forgot about at times, with things that just I screwed up in the past. So it's, it's good man, it's fun, it's been rewarding to be able to, to you know, share those experiences with my kids and and even, you know, having my dad and my sons on trips together now has been, has been really fun.

Speaker 2:

So I'm excited to hear some of your stories as as your kids get older, man, because it's it's one of those things that I enjoy that stuff almost more than anything now, because you get to see kids are so innocent and they're, they're so much that you know that's really the truth. You know even when you don't want to hear the truth, yeah, and so it's, it's fun to see, it's fun to read, to relive that stuff. So I'm excited for you. I love Phil.

Speaker 1:

I loved that story for a bunch of different reasons, and I know you've been listening to all the episodes of the podcast you've lived with a couple.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if you've heard me say this before, but like I'm an adult onset hunter new to it, been doing it for a few years I don't care how good of the hunting I get. I'm going to do my damnedest to be the best I can be so that I can teach my children these things. Like that's my end goal is like making my children stone cold killers or whatever you want to call it and and so, like your story, I had goosebumps. And if, if some random, you know guest told me the story about how they went and shot this dough and laid it out how they went out, they said the stock shop, the dough, perfect, hard shot. It would have been whatever. But you telling the story from your perspective of seeing your son do all of these things that you taught him over the years and they just have this like perfect moment of like Zen, right when your child's like he's listening, he's been listening, he did everything that I've been teaching him.

Speaker 1:

That was perfect, Like that is a beautiful story based on the exact circumstance that that you experienced. Man, that was awesome. I love that story and it makes me really excited about taking my kids out, which I need to get them out. I need to get my son out at least for a turkey hunt or something this year. So and sorry, that's okay. I was just basically saying how your story is amazing and I need to get my kids out. That was, um, it's not your typical like great hunting story, but like, if you're a father, it's the perfect hunting story.

Speaker 2:

A hundred percent. You got to, you got to be in that role to really truly appreciate that, I think and and I appreciate you, you know, enjoy it's. It's something that I've. I've been on more hunts lately with, with my older son specifically and, like I said, I'm looking for I got some trips planned with my younger son as well, but you know, your, your Time almost takes a back seat for a time as a hunter. Yeah, and I'm okay with that. You know I've I've done that more with my older son, white, cause we've we've been out whitetail hunting quite a bit.

Speaker 2:

Like I said, he's been hunting whitetail since he was 10. And I know that I put him first, you know, and there's there's certain trips from like, okay, this one's dad's trip, I'm going to go out and I'm going to go for two or three days, right, but two or three other ships before and one or two after it's. He's with me, you know, and he's to the point now where, like I said, my older son, I can put him in a tree, I can put him in a ground, I can put him wherever on his own and and I can go do my stuff now too. But I know that now this coming season, hopefully in the season after that, my little guy is going to be with me again. But it's going to be fun now because now I can get my older son hey, you know, wins this way. You know we're going to do you go sit this spot, I'm going to go sit this spot with your brother and and try to try to start getting him, him, up to speed, because when the three of us get to get out there and do our own thing, you know how it is, man, you, even though you know, and if you're, if you're kind of late into getting into hunting, if you, if you grew up in it, dad's great for a lot of things.

Speaker 2:

But there's comes a point in time where you're like, okay, dad, I got this. I, you know, or you know, you think you know more than dad, or you you can do it better than your dad, and there's a time that you will be able to do that. And you know, when I, when I felt like I had that interaction with my dad, I enjoyed having my one of my uncles there with me, because I kind of looked at him as an equal and he's the one that we kind of got into archery hunting together. But we hunted and fished together a ton, and it's not that I didn't like appreciate my dad's part of it. But you know how it gets a point in time where you don't want to hear so much from dad. You know you still respect dad and want to enjoy it.

Speaker 2:

But at that point it's like, hey, I got this. You know, I've been around a few times enough. I'm going to figure this out on my own, if nothing else, so being able to get them to that point where they can continue to learn and make mistakes on their own, I'm going to be excited for that too, because I, you know I've been, alas, that a few times with some of my mistakes from my kids, and you know we're going to be able to share some of the stories of my dad's mistakes in both ways, because it happens to all of us, you know, when you hunt fish. So, yeah, man, I mean that's, that's what I, when I was thinking about kind of how you know, like some of the podcasts I've listened to years before and the different stories, I just felt it was a, it was a good sprinkle with some of my you know where I started, with my dad getting him out and then with my, with my one of my sons, so far so.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, you, you. You threaded those three stores together really nicely, so thank you, phil. I appreciate you coming on the podcast, man. This was a ton of fun. Um and man that, like I said, that last story gave me goosebumps. It made me excited to like teach my son and like hopefully get to experience exactly that someday. Just him putting the perfect stock on a little meat hunt.

Speaker 1:

So um we'll, yeah, let's, uh, let's wrap this thing up. Man, I know that's the the last story you got for us. Why don't you tell the people where they can find you whether it's, I don't know, instagram, youtube. I know we got the mile high hunt expo coming up, so you just let me know what, uh, where to go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so I appreciate that. I mean, uh, you know I don't post a ton on social. I have some people on the no limits archery side that take care of that stuff for me. Um, I, I'm on Instagram. I do post some stuff Phil Dottmendoza and then Facebook.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, the most recent project I'm really excited about been working for over a year now with this is a mile high hunting fish expo. Uh, coming April fifth through the seventh, the Gaylord Rockies here in the front range of Colorado. I've been, I've been an attendee of trade shows all across the country in the outdoor world, just with the shop and on the tournament side, and as a consumer. In no way, shape or form, am I dogging on any other business or platform or shows in this area. I just feel like what's been here is not a great representation of what a good trade show can be. With that being said, we've got real manufacturers coming into the building this April. We've got rifle companies, we've got waterfowl companies, we've got awesome guest speakers coming, we've got a film festival on the Friday night of the event. We've got a podcast area. So if you want to come set up, we've got a couple of spots you can come down and throw some podcasts there on site if you'd like to. We've got elk calling competitions. We've got waterfowl calling competition, turkey calling competitions.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, one of the biggest draws that we haven't done a good enough job of talking about is the drawings that we have for the expo. We have and we've got rifles. We've got high end rifles 2,000, 2,500 dollar plus type of rifles, shotguns, bows. We've got gear packages, packs, davis Tants one of the partners contributing that stuff with us. We've got on the expo side, we've got a hog hunts in Texas. We've got mountain line hunts in Arizona. We've got some other trips, waterfowl trips and elk hunts. We're working on here.

Speaker 2:

Needless to say, you need to come check it out. I've been to so many good shows across the West and this is a smaller show, to start, for sure, compared to some of those bigger shows. But having companies like Hoyt and Elite and Prime and with Prime now is Montana Rifle, first Light Meat Eater, phelps Calls Dave Smith, decoys, badlands, kefaru, we've got. We're partnered with Ducks Unlimited and Muley Fanatic Foundation. We've got companies like Gunwerks and Alterra Rifles and Viking Armament and Iray and Zeiss and Leica and Maven. I'm telling you that you want to talk about manufacturers coming into Colorado. We've never seen manufacturers like this at a trade show. So people yeah, if anything, I would highly encourage you to come check. Look at our website. Our exhibitor list will be up here soon. It's end of February as we're recording this, but I think the first late first week of March we're going to have the exhibitor list up on the website. You can purchase tickets right now and we've got a bank conservation banquet Saturday night Derek Wolf, former Broncos, partnering with us on that deal.

Speaker 2:

I'm telling you a minute hunting is so much of a social.

Speaker 2:

There's a big social element, I should say, with hunting, the people you hunt, with the stories that we're talking about, like today.

Speaker 2:

These trade shows, if you haven't been, are just an extension of that.

Speaker 2:

Any products that you've used as an out sportsman and an outdoorsman. Getting to see some of the manufacturers that actually make and sell those products, sometimes just reaching across and shaking somebody's hands and hey, I had a successful trip because of your product or your product helped me prolong my experience in the woods, whatever it is, so being able to connect those dots I haven't been this excited about a project I've worked on since I opened the archery shop back in 2009. So this is something that my business partner, abe and I we've been grinding man. It's been a ton of work, a ton of phone calls, a ton of emails and that's where, seeing it all come together now and seeing how close we are, we're excited. It's something that we are hearing the buzz and the chatter of how excited people are to see it and come together now. So again, I mean, we're going to start off a little smaller than some of these bigger ones, but still have just shy of 200 exhibitors represented in the building this first year.

Speaker 2:

We have the ability to grow to more than double in size, but we got to start, we got to build the right foundation and there's going to be some outfitters in the building, but we've limited that based off a region and species and really focused on the manufacturers and the middleman as, like I am, no limits archery is a middleman to the big manufacturers and the consumer right. So having that representation in the building with companies like one shot gear and some of the other gun dealers in the area that are the middleman between the consumer and the manufacturer. There's a little bit of everything Every big game, heavy gear I would say that waterfowl is probably the next biggest category to big game and then the fishing element. There's some fishing element sprinkled in as well. It's going to be a party man, I mean, it's not the middle.

Speaker 1:

I know man, I'm excited.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so it'll be a good show. You know, just from a standpoint of we've already, before the show has even started, we've already done so much more for this type of event than, like I said, it has been here before. So at this point we just need to get people to come experience it with us, you know, to help us grow.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I will be there. I'll tell you that. Why don't you share the date? I know the date because it's my wife's birthday which has given me permission to attend so.

Speaker 2:

I will be there, but why?

Speaker 1:

don't you share the date and maybe like the website?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so April 5th through the 7th we're a Friday, saturday, sunday show. The website is milehidehunexpocom. Like I said, you can get tickets there. You can even book a room through there with a room discount if there's still rooms available when you get on there, starting to run out. But again, you can buy tickets to the conservation bank with there. We've got a Wyoming commissioners' tag coming to that bank. We've got an Ibex hunt in Spain. We've got a velvet elk hunt in Arizona, white tailhunts, waterfowl trips. Man, I'm telling you, there's a ton of stuff that we've worked to bring to the table with fundraising for conservation in mind and to also put some dollars towards organizations like CRWM, who's really at the forefront of the fight with, you know, just preserving our hunting rights here in Colorado, but really across the West too. That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

Well, I have not bought my ticket yet, but I will, and to any listener listening to this that gets to this point first person, reach out to me. I'll buy a ticket for you guys as well.

Speaker 2:

So I'll tell you what I don't. I mean how long before you think you put the podcast up.

Speaker 1:

It'll be out in two weeks. Yeah, two weeks from today, which is what I'm going to do.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to go ahead and give your listeners a promo code, if you're okay with that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, it's fine by me. First promo code we've ever had.

Speaker 2:

I dig it, man, so let's do. How about? Let's just make it easy? Hs 2024, right, all right, it's sort of 2024. So if you go to our website, milehinehoneyxpocom and you click on the buy your ticket or purchase a ticket, once you go through the process of loading your ticket in the cart I'll take a few bucks off your general admission passes. If you enter the promo, just keep it all caps, make it simple. I'll get that promo code loaded and, like I said, throw some of the listeners a little bit of a discount there and appreciate that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, see if we can help some people out, get there and give us a chance, you know, give us an opportunity to earn your business and see if we can keep growing this thing.

Speaker 1:

Perfect, Phil. Yeah, I'm excited about it. I've mentioned that I am going, but I've actually never been to an event before, so I hope what I'm hoping is that when I go to this event, this ruins all the rest of them for me and they're all just. I'm like why waste my time going to anymore? We got this one, so we're going to give it a shot. Perfect Well, thank you again. I appreciate your time. Nice to know that we're neighbors. Let's maybe go shoot bows or I'll buy a beer sometime soon. But thank you again, man, I really do appreciate your time and you told some amazing stories today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, man, thanks for having me.

Speaker 1:

All right guys, that's it Another couple of stories in the books. I want to thank Phil for sharing with us, taking some time to sit down with us. He really put those stories together nicely and it was really fun to listen to all the stories that he has to tell. I'm sure we'll have Phil back on in the future, as I'm sure he has plenty more stories to tell, but I want to thank you, Phil, for coming on the podcast as you listeners. Thank you guys for tuning in.

Speaker 1:

Again, I apologize for the audio quality. I was trying something new. It didn't work. I'm going to make sure I get back to my microphone. So sorry about that, but please make sure you guys check out all the links in the show notes to the Mile High Hunt Expo, to the Limits, to Phil, and if you are in the Denver area at the beginning of April or you want to come to the show and you're not from the area, use my promo code. Hit me up on Instagram. I'd love to meet you and check out the show with you. So thank you guys very much for tuning in. And now get out there and make some stories of your own.

Quality Bow Shop Importance
Sheep and Elk Hunt in Colorado
Elk and Sheep Hunting Adventure
Memorable Hunting Trip With Dad
Sharing Hunting Stories and Experiences
Father-Son Elk Hunting Adventure
Successful Elk Hunt With Son
Archery, Hunting, and Family Bonding
Early Success in Bow Hunting Journey
Father-Son Hunting Bonding Experience
Mile High Hunt Expo Details
Audio Quality Apology and Promo Information