The Hunting Stories Podcast

Ep 101 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Johnny "Utah" Mulligan

May 20, 2024 The Hunting Stories Podcast Episode 101
Ep 101 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Johnny "Utah" Mulligan
The Hunting Stories Podcast
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The Hunting Stories Podcast
Ep 101 The Hunting Stories Podcast: Johnny "Utah" Mulligan
May 20, 2024 Episode 101
The Hunting Stories Podcast

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When a former law enforcement officer swaps his badge for a bow, the result is as captivating as it is inspiring. This is the essence of our latest encounter with John Mulligan, affectionately known as Johnny Utah, as he walks us through the tall grasses of his life's work and passion. From the rolling hills of Kentucky to the abundant fields of Iowa, Utah's evolution from a hunter to a television personality is an odyssey rife with perseverance, partnerships, and the occasional pronghorn.

Utah doesn't shy away from the hard truths of the hunting industry as he recounts the ups and downs of creating a successful outdoor TV show. He discusses the importance of relationships over sponsorships and the undeniable impact of personal interests—like weightlifting and jujitsu—on his achievements. Utah's dedication to his craft is as steadfast as it is infectious, and his stories, from the harrowing to the humorous, embody the heart of the hunting community.

Each chapter of Utah's journey adds a vibrant thread to the rich tapestry of outdoor life. Listeners will be treated to the ethics of catfishing versus noodling, the transition back to gun hunting after years of bowhunting, and the tale of a fortuitous pronghorn hunt that underscores the unpredictability of the pursuit. And as we bid farewell to our esteemed guest, we encourage you to join his legion of followers on social media—and perhaps see your own hunting stories shared in a future episode.


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When a former law enforcement officer swaps his badge for a bow, the result is as captivating as it is inspiring. This is the essence of our latest encounter with John Mulligan, affectionately known as Johnny Utah, as he walks us through the tall grasses of his life's work and passion. From the rolling hills of Kentucky to the abundant fields of Iowa, Utah's evolution from a hunter to a television personality is an odyssey rife with perseverance, partnerships, and the occasional pronghorn.

Utah doesn't shy away from the hard truths of the hunting industry as he recounts the ups and downs of creating a successful outdoor TV show. He discusses the importance of relationships over sponsorships and the undeniable impact of personal interests—like weightlifting and jujitsu—on his achievements. Utah's dedication to his craft is as steadfast as it is infectious, and his stories, from the harrowing to the humorous, embody the heart of the hunting community.

Each chapter of Utah's journey adds a vibrant thread to the rich tapestry of outdoor life. Listeners will be treated to the ethics of catfishing versus noodling, the transition back to gun hunting after years of bowhunting, and the tale of a fortuitous pronghorn hunt that underscores the unpredictability of the pursuit. And as we bid farewell to our esteemed guest, we encourage you to join his legion of followers on social media—and perhaps see your own hunting stories shared in a future episode.


Johnny's Linktree

Hunting Stories Podcast Instagram

Support the Show.

Speaker 2:

Howdy folks and welcome to the hunting stories podcast. I'm your host, michael, and we got another great one for you today. Today, we actually connect with John Mulligan John is a TV host, outdoorsman, father bow hunter.

Speaker 2:

He's just an all-around badass is basically what he is. I want to thank John, of course, for coming on the podcast. It's a lot of fun to hear some stories from him. In fact, some of his stories are a little unique today because he talks a little bit more about the hunting industry and not just hunting stories, but he ends it with an amazing antelope story that I specifically requested. So thank you, john. I do appreciate your time. Man, I will say to the listeners I did have a couple audio issues. They were all on my side, not John's side, so sometimes I wasn't recording, don't know why. I tried to clean it up. So if it sounds a little funny, I apologize for that. But that's it, guys. Let's let John tell you some of his stories. Thank you all. Right, john. Welcome to the hunting stories podcast. Man, how are you?

Speaker 1:

I'm doing great. I'm doing really really good. How about you?

Speaker 2:

I'm doing pretty awesome. You know I can't complain. I'm headed to. I'm doing really really good. How about you? I'm doing pretty awesome. You know I can't complain. I'm headed to go fishing and maybe turkey hunting this weekend, so it's just a matter of killing some time before I can get there, man.

Speaker 2:

But for now we're here to hear your stories, man, and I've been following you for a while and I'm excited to hear some of your stories. Why don't we do this? Why don't we let you introduce yourself to the folks that are listening today, so they know who they're hearing some hunting stories from?

Speaker 1:

Okay, so my name is John Mulligan. On social media I go by the name Johnny Utah and at some point I'm sure we'll probably get into where that nickname comes from. But I grew up in Kentucky and, honestly, growing up as a kid, we didn't even have whitetails. I'm 46 years old, so when I was a teenager, we didn't have uh, we didn't even have whitetails. Um, I'm 46 years old, so when I was a teenager, we didn't even have whitetails in central Kentucky.

Speaker 1:

And if it was it, you know it's not something you were going to invest a lot of time into. Not a lot of people did it because there wasn't a lot of success and uh. So nonetheless, you know they always say hunting usually is passed down like a legacy thing. Right, you know, it's like it's passed down from your folks or a grandparent or something. But I didn't have that influence. So I didn't even buy my first hunting license until I was 22 years old when I moved to northern Kentucky. And you know, since then I've gone from northern Kentucky, cincinnati, to now Iowa and, yeah, hunt and fish every chance I get.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome, so you aren't fished out of Utah.

Speaker 1:

No, no, I had no idea, not at all. Yeah, yeah, so I actually I have a degree in horticulture, which is phenomenal come food plot season, but I actually had spent a career in law enforcement and undercover narcotics, oh wow. So I did a little stint with FBI task force and also DEA task force. But when I was doing the FBI stuff, one of my buddies, my old business partner at Wicked Tree Gear, he was like dude, you're the real Johnny Utah and he's, you know, playing off of the movie Point Break, keanu Reeves' character. So the nickname literally stuck. I mean that we were at a trade show and I didn't even give it two thoughts. But the next day at the trade show people are coming by the booth and they're like Johnny Utah, give me two. And I thought, man, there could be worse nicknames, I guess, and me personally, I've never seen a nickname stick so fast, and so I just kind of ran with it.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. I've actually got a long history of giving people nicknames um that that stick. And I don't even mean to um, and you're right, johnny, utah is a great nickname to have. Um, I'll tell you a quick story about my hunting buddy, um his little. His nickname is little pricker. Um right, which you don't want that nickname.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

But basically we're sitting there glassing one day looking for elk and he just starts digging around in his pants. He takes his belt off and reaches in there and just starts rummaging around and I'm like what the hell are you doing? Sure, and he looks at me and goes man, I just I got this little pricker and I was like what did you just say to me?

Speaker 2:

like yeah, yeah, and I was like I don't think I think what you meant is like a sticker burr, but from now on I'm calling you little pricker and it is absolutely stuck and it's expanded. People outside of our hunting group even call them little pricker.

Speaker 1:

So um poor guy.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, you're, you're, you're pretty lucky just to go with Johnny Utah, that's a, that's a pretty sweet nickname in the big scheme of things. Man, well, let me ask, let me, let me do this. This is a little out of the normal. I didn't know that you were kind of undercover FBI DEA agent. Do you have a story from that that's not hunting related that you have off the top of your mind that you wouldn't mind sharing with us, just like some cool or interesting one, if? Not, we can just jump into hunting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, I mean, there's um, gosh, there's, there's a ton of them. Usually it's kind of one of those things like somebody has to, um, give me a color or a vehicle or you know, and then that'll trigger. You know which story I go with, but, um, you know one of the stories that, uh, that that comes to comes to mind all the time is you know law enforcement and the law. As much as we like to look at it, it's like, oh, it's black and white. You know, you, you do this and this is the punishment. You know you can do this, you can't do that.

Speaker 1:

You know, legally, um, but in reality it's very fluid. Um, because every circumstance is a little different. But in narcotics, not to sound cliche and corny, but it's literally 50 shades of gray. Um, because everything is so different and there's so many little things that are involved. Like, did you set the person up? Um, when you know, was there coercion? You know you really have to prove that this person is a drug dealer and this is what they are doing. You know, uh, for monetary purposes. But, um, we were, we were setting up um outside a house, we had already sent an informant in, and then one of our undercover guys had gone into the house and, and we were had set up a perimeter, uh, the team had stacked up on the front door. You know, like you see in the movies, you know not, police, search, warrant, door, ram through the door, guys funnel in clear the house, arrest, arrest everybody inside, and you know we start doing evidence collection. But I was on perimeter this was not my case and I was actually helping, uh, some guys in my unit and you know they called and they said hey, we need you to sit, we, you know, we need another body on perimeter.

Speaker 1:

So I'm just like, camped out, leaned up against a tree, it's it's at night, so it's pretty dark and I'm in the shadows. But I am literally dressed in your stereotypical raid gear. You know, I've got the law enforcement jacket on, I've got the belt, I've got the vest over top of it that says, you know, police narcotics. You know, blah, blah, blah and I'm standing there with a handgun, you know, at the low ready position, and this guy's walking down the sidewalk and he's like hey. And I'm looking over at him, like, what in the heck is this guy doing? You know what I mean, like. And he's like hey, he's like dude. He's like, keep your voice down. There's a lot of cops in the area. He's like do you want to buy some rocks? No way.

Speaker 1:

And my first thought was, dude, get the fuck out of here. You know, beat it Right. And then I thought this is a story. This is a story I might get to tell in a podcast someday. So I'm like I'm like, yeah, how much you got? And he's like I got a hundred dollars worth. I'm like I got cash, bring it over here.

Speaker 1:

So he literally walks off the sidewalk, comes into the yard that I'm in, up against the tree, and he holds out his hand and he's got, you know, a couple of corner cut baggies with some crack in there. And I'm like I tell you what? Why don't you just go ahead and put your hands behind your back? So I zip, tie this guy, you know, hands behind his back and and I do a just a real quick pat down to make sure he doesn't have a gun on him or anything, and I just I'm like, park it next to the tree.

Speaker 1:

So he's sitting at the base of the tree right next to me, and my guys clear the house. They come out once. Everything's safe. You know we holster up guys start coming back out and they're like, what the fuck is this? I'm like the guy guy just sold. He was trying to sell me crack while I was standing here and like, literally wearing a police jacket. You know so thankfully, criminals aren't always the most intelligent at times, yeah, but that was one of those where I'm like, what a dumb ass. You know right, he, he had to be high right.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, he was fucked up. Yeah, okay, okay that, I guess that makes a little bit more sense. No, immunity.

Speaker 1:

you know in's no immunity in the laws of the court.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was illegal, but at least it makes sense, because otherwise he's just really stupid, right.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah. So I'd rather, I guess, be a little bit high than that stupid I guess, and we would have the occasional patrol guys because we were driving Crown Vicks. They would have the occasional drunk that would just stagger and get it themselves, get into the backseat of the car thinking it was a taxi cab. Oh yeah, that happened on several occasions.

Speaker 2:

That's too funny, man, Once you're in you can't get out.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean From the inside. So yeah, it's a yeah, pretty comical.

Speaker 2:

Drunk in public. There you go. All right, john, well, well, thanks for sharing that man. That was a fun little, uh, non-hunting story. Yeah, um, so let's, let's, let's go back to, let's get back on track, right? So why don't you set the stage for your first hunting story? Because I'd love to hear, um, you know what you got for us, especially because I don't get. I'm a western guy, so I love hearing eastern um hunting tales. I just don't. I don't get many of these white tail folks on the podcast. So this is great.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So, like I said, you know, we didn't, we didn't have a lot of white tails in central Kentucky. So when I moved to Northern Kentucky, you know we had some white tails and and one of my buddies that I actually went through the police Academy with he was from Texas and you know, obviously Texas is hunting plentiful and but he didn't hunt much but he had a lot of buddies and family that did, so he was a little more versed in it than I was, and so he, he, uh, you know, hit me up one day. He's like dude, we ought to, we ought to get into whitetail hunting and I'm like man, I just I don't know anything about it. You know, I don't even know where to start. So to age myself, granted, we had computers, but still there was more information in the public library, interesting.

Speaker 1:

So, I literally went and checked out a bunch of books in the library about whitetail hunting 101, whitetail strategies and that kind of stuff and I have since gone back and purchased those original books that I checked out of the library just to have them as kind of keepsakes.

Speaker 1:

But that's how I taught myself how to hunt. And I mean I can tell you right now. It was like straight to Walmart. Um, I bought a Winchester 270. Um, I don't, I think it might have been a Bushnell scope, Maybe that, maybe what I what, what either came on it or what I bought. But I mean I think I paid $60 for the scope or something. But, um, I bought some Walmart camo I think it was real tree in some you know some off brand that they were licensed with or something at the time. And and and and away we went, and, um, I mean I like to say I didn't know shit about fuck, you know, I mean I literally had no idea what I was doing Um.

Speaker 1:

I still feel that way sometimes but I knew that if I saw a deer, I was confident in my shooting abilities, you know, with a scope and a rifle, um, but I was just having a really hard time just even getting on deer. No, you know, knowing what do deer do you know how do they move, how do they transition from bedding? You know what are their patterns, what to look for? Um, I just didn't, you know, I didn't have that knowledge. So I spent the entire season, every single off day, and on the very last day of Kentucky's season, um, I ended up shooting two does, um, and I was like this is this is amazing, like this is super cool. And so I got, I got the bug then, um, then, of course, I started picking up muzzleloader seasons, you know, because I didn't want to have to sit out and I wanted to hunt as much as I could, and you know that kind of stuff. So, um, I ended up hunting for several years.

Speaker 1:

I had killed a couple of bucks at this point and I remember getting ready for a deer season and there was a gun store in Northern Kentucky it's called Mark's guns and the guy that runs the place, his name's Joe Beck I, I owe so much to Joe, um, career wise, you know, as far as me even having a future in this, because we're getting ready for deer season. He's like, man, you getting fired up, and I'm like, eh, I'll be honest, I was like it's fun, but it's not that fun, you know, like if there's nothing else better to do.

Speaker 1:

uh, you know, I might pick up a tag and I might go and sit a few days, but and he's like you know what your problem is is you need a bow and I said well, I can tell you with a toddler at home.

Speaker 1:

That's the last thing I need to do is spend more money. My wife's going to kick my ass. And um, I said my wife's going to kick my ass. And, um, I said, so I'll probably just stick with the rifle and maybe I'll hunt, maybe I won't. And he was a math uh, is still a Matthews dealer. But, um, he said I tell you what Matthews allows me to give away one shooter bow a year and I want to give it to you. And I said, look, dude, I I might be poor, but I don't want a handout. You know what I mean.

Speaker 1:

Um, you know, at this point I was like a three, four year police officer, you know, with a toddler at home. You know, wasn't making a lot of money at that point in my career and and I just didn't think that that was being a fiscally responsible, you know, and all this shit that comes with it. So I said, no, man, I'll sit out. And he goes. No, I insist. And he said I just have a feeling that I need to keep you hunting, because I just have this feeling in the back of my head that you're going to do something with hunting someday as a career. Wow, like you're full of shit.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean, because at this point the only thing I knew was like Lee Lekoski, Michael Waddell, you know, Jim Shockey, Roger Raglin, and I'm thinking there is no way I'm going to be, like you know, hanging out with Ted Nugent someday or something like that.

Speaker 2:

But he gave me the bow. What a foresight, right, yeah, do you ever go back and ask him like why did you say that? Like what was it? And we've talked about it? Or you never really talked to him? Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So we've talked about it since and he just said man, you're just one of those people that you're extremely laser focused, you're persistent like I've never seen before and you don't give up on things, and you're the type of person that not only do you hunt, but you you'll take the time to study in the field, off the field, and continue to, you know, perfect your craft and, and he's like I just feel like that type of dedication. You know, there's a, there's something you could really do here someday. So, um, he got me the bow and that changed everything. You know, I mean that first season I was like shit, give me my rifle back. This is hard. You know, um, cause every time I try to move or stand up or draw, I'd get busted. And you know cause, again, I'm still learning even how to set up in a tree. You know how to set up on these deer to have opportunities. You know, and, and you know when to draw, and you know you don't know what you don't know, and and to you, to you screw it up, you know, but, um, so I just, you know, stayed, stayed, stayed the course.

Speaker 1:

Um, I enjoyed it. You know, the one thing that kept me motivated was, even though I wasn't having a lot of success, um, it was so different from what my career was. You know, um, call it the concrete jungle or if you if you will, but you know, every day I'm out there trying to bust people, you know, riding dirty, or I'm trying to buy dope off people, and, and I got to go to the woods by myself and you know there's no woods in the dope fields. You know what I mean, so to speak. Like you know you're mostly in housing projects or you know urban, urban environments and things like that for the. You know for the most part, but so it was just very different from everything that I did and it kind of gave me a nice balance in life, um, and it created a really a really awesome ebb and flow, um, to kind of relax and unwind and reconnect, you know, with the world and be like all right maybe the world isn't just a shithole.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Like everybody's not a turd right. Yeah, yeah, there's some beauty out there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so it gave me that balance and and whatnot. So, um, yeah, man, and then fast forward till about 2013. Um, I went to a trade show and I met a guy by the name of Todd Pregnance and he had a show called white knuckle productions and he was just getting ready to launch a company called wicked tree gear and he was developing a folding hand saw, uh, for trimming shooting lanes, and just a nice wood saw to have out there in the woods. You know, for whitetail hunters, you know, you Western guys aren't cutting many branches, you know. But, uh, for us, what you know for the whitetail side of things, it's, it's, you know, almost every whitetail hunter has a saw with them at all times, gotcha, um, you know, because we're tree stand, you know hunting so much more, but um yeah, so anyways.

Speaker 1:

I met him and and and I liked his DVDs. They were, they were interesting. Um, he passed a lot of deer, you know, he had this relentless pursuit at chasing five, six, seven year old whitetails in Iowa and and, of course, in Kentucky. I'm like Jesus Christ, I've never seen deer this big in my life, you know. Um, so him and I hit it off. We became buddies, we met, we met at a trade show, Um, I ended up becoming a dealer for Wicked and then I ended up becoming part owner of Wicked and then I joined White Knuckle Productions, started filming my hunts and I really I took to that and that was a lot of fun.

Speaker 1:

And then he's really took me under his wing and kind of put me in charge of the team and in charge of the partnerships. So I started learning the business side, like trial by fire, and again, this is all a hobby for me, you know. So I really got to have fun because, you know, my paycheck was dependent on, you know, my law enforcement career. Yeah, and never, never in a million years, did I ever think that this thing would blow up the way it did, and by by 2016,. You know, wicked Tree Gear sold in every Cabela's and Bass Pro in the world and an equity group came in and bought our company.

Speaker 1:

Todd took his payout as a lump sum. I took mine as an agreement that I would continue to work for the company for three years. Okay, because I didn't really know what I wanted to do next, you know, career-wise. So I thought, shit, let me just go ahead and take this guaranteed job for three years, and then I've got three years to figure it out. You know kind of what I want to be when I grow up. But it was also contingent on me moving to Iowa and I'm like, yeah, twist my arm, you know.

Speaker 2:

I get to go get resident.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I get resident buck tags every year, like, yeah, you know, cool, cool. So for the listeners that don't know the way iowa operates for archery, if you're a non-resident you can only get one buck tag on average once every five years.

Speaker 2:

Okay, if you're a resident it's a point system, sorry, yes, yep, yeah, yeah yep, yep, it's a point system just the same same way. You guys have that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, um. And then if you're a resident, then you get two buck tags every year. So I thought, well, fuck it, I'll just move to Iowa. You know what I mean. I get two buck tags every year instead of one every five. So, um, and I can still come back to Kentucky to hunt over the counter. You know bucks if I, if I choose, so it was kind of a win-win. So we, yeah, man, wife and three kids packed everybody up, uh, walked away from law enforcement after 16 years and, uh, we made the move, um, once.

Speaker 2:

I got a tough transition cause it's like it was very much. Yeah. Yeah, I was going to say it's a pretty hard, or not hard, but like a high adrenaline gig you had going now to be. Basically, you know, I'm not exactly an office worker, but yeah that's, that's gotta be a big big change it was.

Speaker 1:

It was, it's, um, you know, and luckily, you know, the hunting started increasing at that point and so it kind of um, it kept me, kept me busier than normal, Cause now that I don't have a day job per se, like now, I can spend more time in the woods. Um, so that was, that was huge. And and there's a lot of other things that really came into play. Like, I've always been really big into fitness, Um, you know, going to the gym every single day of my life, and I've done that since I was like 15 years old. So a lot of those things, they, they came into play. I could, I found a local gym so I could, I could keep some of the norms. You know what I mean? Um, the same right.

Speaker 2:

But um help you with the transition. That makes sense.

Speaker 1:

But it was. It was very awkward. You know, you go from you know 500,000 people to 3000 people. You know in an area, um, so that part was a little, a little weird. You know 500,000 people to 3000 people.

Speaker 2:

You know in an area.

Speaker 1:

Um, so that part was a little, a little weird.

Speaker 2:

You know like it's like moving to Mayberry or Mount pilot you know what I mean From like yeah, yeah, um, is Iowa. Let me ask, is Iowa got much for public, or do you kind of have to have some land?

Speaker 1:

No, so that's the other thing. Iowa public is actually banger. I mean, it's really really good, yeah, if you're willing to walk. It gets overlooked a lot and people are like oh yeah, it's public land. I'm like, yeah, but it's public land in Iowa. It's like let's go to Hollywood and let's look at the C-tier actors. They're all still gorgeous, you know what I mean, even though they're C tier, they're still gorgeous. It's Hollywood, you know. So, uh, your average country singer in Nashville is pretty damn good. Yeah, you know.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So I mean I always got some really good, um, some really good public and, like I said, I think it does get overlooked a lot. And in other places like Kentucky, pennsylvania, michigan, you know, the public just gets ransacked and it gets a bad reputation. Oh, man. I had to share a tree with five guys today. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

I lived in Texas for a while and there's just not much for public down there. Everyone's like oh man, there's so much hunting in Texas. But if you aren't willing to pay for it or don't know somebody, it becomes pretty tough.

Speaker 1:

If you don't have access to private, you're exactly correct and that's something that I don't think a lot of people realize. You know, yeah, texas is you got to have access to private and it's going to be fenced. I mean, that's just the bottom line.

Speaker 2:

It's fenced, you know, um, that's the way texas is. So, yeah, but, um, you know a trick and I've told this on the podcast before but, um, in texas, public land, or rivers, were public land. No, I guess they still are public land. Um, but a few years ago you could actually hunt them. Um, they've since changed the law but, like, I got my first ever white tail hunting rivers in texas, so I found a dry river, because it doesn't.

Speaker 2:

It needs to be navigable, which does not necessarily mean water for a boat. It means like wider across than it is deep, or like 30 feet across or something like that for like on average. So I ended up. I ended up just finding a dry river bed and you know, I called the warden, made sure everything was on the up and up and he understood what I was doing, gave me the okay and I went down there and ended up shooting. I'm probably like a 130 buck, like super happy with it. Um, I'm a little worried that I wrote a letter of recommendation to that game warden because the the landowners of the area were not happy that I did that and I got followed around town when I came out of that riverbed like, literally the trucks were driving around with me and uh and uh I I'm.

Speaker 2:

I'm not sure that he kept his job, but I do know they changed that law a year later, so I don't know if. I had anything to do with that or not, but it's pretty crazy in Texas.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no for sure. And I've actually done a lot of hunting in Texas turkeys and hogs and coyotes and stuff like that. So you know I'm in Iowa. So you know I'm in Iowa finally got access to a small lease. You know that I could start doing food plots on and whatnot Once I got to Iowa and I was no longer business partners with Todd through Wicked, then we kind of realized we started butting heads more on the TV show side of things you know he was more about it's got to be a big white tail and it's got to be awesome video and that's all that matters.

Speaker 1:

And I was like on more of the man. I really think photography is going to take off a lot more. And he's like that's stupid. No one will ever pay for photos. There's no way you'll ever make a career as a photographer. Um, so the decision was made. You know what is it they say if you don't like something, you can either bitch about it or you can leave and go do your own thing, you know it was a shit or get off the pot, right, yeah, yep, so that was the decision that was made.

Speaker 1:

I left and started my own show and you know and it wasn't um, on the surface, it very well could have looked like, oh man, he came in here, he learned everything he could from Todd and then he bailed and took all of Todd's partnerships and and you know, that's that's really not the way it played out. I mean, it was really one of those situations where he gave me and I told him I was very appreciative he gave me an opportunity to learn the business side of it. He's the one that put me in charge of, you know, negotiating with the partnerships. And you know, at the same time, those partnerships were then the ones that were coming to me saying, hey, we would like more photography. You know, with Instagram and and Facebook, you know we need to be making more posts and so we could use more straight photos. It's not just about the DVD. Uh, we need more daily content, you know. So that was the route that I went, man. I went chips all in self-taught photography, started doing a lot more. I got into freelance photography and was working with a lot of companies. Early on In 2015,. Sitka Gear approached me and they said hey, we're working on this new whitetail pattern. We've always been known as a Western-only brand and we want you to be a part of our ambassador team. We're handpicking like 25 whitetail killers, you know, in the United States and you know we want you. So I joined that. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I did. Yeah, I really did.

Speaker 1:

Man, I'm one of those people yeah, yeah, well, I'm one of those people that I don't like to ask other people for help and it's not that I want to be the, you know, the. You know, I want all the credit because I figured this out on my own. I don't want to inconvenience other people out on my own. I don't want to inconvenience other people. Like when people send me messages daily, I'm like ask Google, that's what I did, google it, you know. Like figure, yeah, yeah, yeah, it's so crazy. Like there's a YouTube video or there's a million Google searches that can answer so many questions. And you know, also, I get, I get inundated daily with hey, who's your contact at Hoyt? Who's your contact at Easton? Who do I need to talk to at Diamondback truck covers? And I'm like there's not a single son of a bitch that has ever given me that information.

Speaker 1:

Like every partnership I've landed, I've landed on my own, and not that I'm a person that keeps tabs, but if I did, I got a shit ton of favors owed to me I mean a piss load of favors owed to me, and I just keep kind of a mental checklist of those people. And I'm like you've never liked a single one of my posts, you've never commented, you don't watch my show, but you always come to me and ask me for information, but you've never not liked the Crush or Montana Knife Company or whoever. Just pick a brand or pick a celebrity influencer and I'm like why don't you go ask that person, who you know, who a contact is, see if they actually answer you, you know. So that's the part that, uh, you know, still frustrates me, you know, today. But you know, whatever I I digress, um, I, I, you know, I just I stuck with it, man, I stuck with the photography, tried to get as good as I could with it and use that to try to help tell some stories and kind of create a brand for myself, cause you can't do this business on. Oh man, this guy's a hell of a killer. It's probably not going to get you very far. You've got to do something else with it to help build the brand and and hit, hit it from all angles, you know, um, so I got, I got as good as I could with photography and got my own show up and going.

Speaker 1:

Um, I started the show. I was worried about not having enough content, so I had some pro staff guys that came on board with me initially and no offense to those guys, most of them I'm still friends with the others we didn't have a falling out. We just don't talk anymore, you know. But it became very obvious that I'm the one that had skin in the game. You know, this was paying my mortgage To them. It was fun and they kind of shit on me. You know, like.

Speaker 1:

Here's an example let's say a company is going to pay me $5,000. Well, instead I would take $2,500 and then $2,500 in product and that gave me $2,500 worth of product to give to my pro staff. So they weren't having to buy trail cameras, they weren't having to buy lighted knocks or you know whatever, and in turn all they had to do was take a couple of photos. You know, help support the brand, share some posts, you know, be active, be engaging. Uh, yep and um, they just simply didn't do it.

Speaker 1:

And I'm like you guys basically took money off my plate and they're like, well, it wasn't really money. And I'm like, no, it was because I could have taken the cash, but instead I took the product option so you guys would get free shit. And I'm like, I understand, you didn't get money, but you didn't have to spend money to buy a trail camera that you needed and you were going to buy anyways. So, anyways, I just I feel like I kind of got shit on taking advantage of, so I just said, well, and it's very, it's very easy for people from the outside looking in to be like, oh, must be nice. And I'm like, yeah, must've been real nice when I had $7, my checking account and I was using my credit cards as a line of credit to keep the show afloat or to buy the next tag for the next state, or to buy the next camera, or to pay a videographer you know that was helping me film a hunt. You know, um, I'm like, yeah, it must be, it must be nice, um, so, you know, you, you catch a lot of that stuff and you know those are the people.

Speaker 1:

They just don't know. They don't know what goes into it. Um, they don't see all the behind the scenes stuff. And and you know, 2019, that's when things I had chased this dream and you know it's like they say, like you know, you look at a duck, a duck just looks stoic, and you know it's like they say like you know, you look at a duck, a duck just looks stoic, and you know, just swimming on top of the water, floating around, but what you don't see is his feet under the water moving a mile. You know, a million miles an hour. You know, just busting ass, and that's kind of the way it is in a lot of this stuff.

Speaker 1:

And and there's so much on social media media that's like fake it till you make it. You know 99% of the so-called influencers on social media. This is not what they do for a living. They're supplementing their income in another way, but they make it look like this is what they do for a living. I mean, in reality, there's probably only 25 of us that actually produce a television show for a living and I'm one of those 25. No, no, there's people that have side businesses and you know side gigs or independently wealthy, or a trust fund, or or they're totally content to live in a tent, you know, and have a $200 car, and I can tell you right now, my wife's not going to put up with that, you know. So, um, yep, yep, so anyways, um, you know, I, I was dedicated to it. There's no quit.

Speaker 1:

And 2020, things took a big turn. 21, things took a huge turn. 22, another big bump, and 23, a bump. And then, you know, 24, this is, you know, the best year ever, with the lineup of partnerships that I have right now supporting me on the show, and I and I don't call them sponsors, I I've always looked at them as partnerships because they're they're partnering with me and my job is to help them grow.

Speaker 1:

And people are like, oh man, well, you know, sometimes it looks like you know you're promoting the shit out of that company. Yeah, you ever listened to a TV show or a radio show? And they're like, well, we got to step away and pay the bills for a little bit. You know, that's what it takes. Like if I was independently wealthy, I would just hunt. I wouldn't film shit, you know, like I would just hunt to hunt and nobody would know about it. But this is my job. This is what I do. I mean, nobody critiques somebody. That's like man, I can't believe your dumb ass got up and went to a nine to five. Well, yeah, that's what I do for a living, that's my job, that's how I got to make money. You know, like, how are you going to blame me for that?

Speaker 1:

So, and I try to do it in the most authentic way that I can, which takes a lot of creativity because you can only kick a dead horse so many times, but I try to make the shows as engaging as I can. Um, I try to show people some of the behind the scenes, but if people pay attention to my social media, you know I'm also dropping little clues about how it is that I've been able to be successful in this, and I attribute it to strong work ethic, having a life outside of hunting as well. Uh, find other ways to build confidence, and for me it's weightlifting and jujitsu, and those are things that I'm extremely dedicated to. I do both of them individually, five to seven times a week and, uh, you know, it teaches you that you can go in and kick your own ass and you survived. You came back stronger the next day, um, and there's a lot of, there's a lot of life lessons.

Speaker 1:

You know that I think just some people, some people have just never been pushed hard. You know they never. They never been punched in the face. They've never. They've never been told no, they've never been punched in the face. They've never been told no. Some people are just soft. You know what I mean and it's sad because you know to quote Dana White, in 2023 and 2024, in this day and age, if you have one sliver of savagery in your body, you will win. It doesn't take much nowadays, because there's a lot of weak people out there that don't have a lot of backbone and don't have a lot of perseverance. Well, you're better today than you were yesterday. Every day is better and it doesn't have to happen in big giant leaps.

Speaker 1:

I've got one of my really good friends where he's like man, I just suck as a hunter. I'm like what are you talking about? And he goes well like I kill one animal a year and you're killing eight or nine a year and I went stop for a second. You just got into hunting four years ago. I've been doing this as a career for 12 years and the opportunities that I get I just get more opportunities. You know I don't have a nine to five per se that I got to take off work. The only thing that resembles a nine to five is, you know we have sometimes we have photo shoots that are requirements with a partnership, and so we might just have to take a day and go shoot some photos and shoot some content, you know, for a brand or for a partner that we're working with, um, but other than that, I get a lot of opportunities. I get that and you know I had a buddy that was like man, so-and-so, was trash talking you and he was like man. The only reason John kills lots of animals is because he has a hunting show and that's what he gets to do for a living. I'm like he's fucking right. You know he's right. I go, but yeah, I created that opportunity. You know I'm the one that suffered to give myself. You know those opportunities. So you know when luck and opportunity come together, that's when rad shit happens. So yeah, so I mean that's really the backbone of a lot of it and you know I've been very fortunate that for the last, you know, once I hit like 2016, 2017, I started traveling out west more and you know I've shot several pronghorn, several velvet mule deer in Colorado and Saskatchewan.

Speaker 1:

You know moose and whitetails mule deer there. Been to South Africa twice, been to Spain once. You know from a kid that grew up in central Kentucky. You know, son of an Irish Catholic plumber, fun for us was going to the dirt track races and watching some. You know some round dirt track late models race. And if I would have stayed home and taken over my dad's plumbing business and went to the dirt track on the weekend, I can't say that that necessarily would have been a bad life.

Speaker 1:

But I never imagined that I would have some of the opportunities you Um, but I never. I never imagined that, uh, I would have some of the opportunities. You know that that I've had and and you know you constantly have to grow and evolve. You know, with Sitka, phenomenal gear, phenomenal brand, the marketing geniuses that they are, um, but I always felt like I was kind of on the outside looking in. I didn't really feel like I was a part of the brand, even though there's not a single whitetail guy on that ambassador team that could look you in the face and dead ass and be like John. John didn't stack up whitetails every single year, but it just seemed like Sitka, as a brand, was more focused on the conservation and the Western hunting more than anything. Even though a lot of people don't realize this, though, the whitetail pattern clothing outsells every other product category in that company combined Every single year. Oh yeah, like 10 to one. It's not even close, yep. So I was like man, the whitetail stuff is bringing in more money than anything, but it doesn't feel like they're putting in the effort here and, um, you know, talk about opening new doors and like not burning bridges and and having opportunities to meet super bad-ass rad people.

Speaker 1:

Um, in 2013, I approached Under Armour and tried to get a partnership with Under Armour and you know, their their Ridge Reaper pattern was getting really popular and, um, of course, you know me being a big fitness guy like hell. Yeah, man, under Armour fits my brand. It's the stuff I do every day, and I had a meeting with a guy named Kobe Fulks. Kobe was in charge of their marketing department. His brother, kip, was one of the founders of Under Armour, and so I had a meeting with Kobe and he was like man, I like you, you're a good dude, I like the law enforcement side of things, but you're just not at the level yet. You're not good enough. We're already paying people on your level. So if you're going to get paid by us, you got to be better than them. Why buy more vanilla when we're already? We already got vanilla coming in. We're paying for so, um, so anyways, I'm like, okay, what do I need to do to work on it? So he gave me a few pointers, told me what I needed to do as far as storytelling and content side of things, and those are the things that I worked on. And then, you know, you fast forward to the end of 2021 and I'm in negotiations with Under Armour and we made the announcement official, I think in February of 22,. But officially became an Under Armour athlete, you know, with the company corporate, you know on a corporate level. So that was another one of those huge stepping stones and it also gave me a good teaching point.

Speaker 1:

You know, having young boys I've got an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old at home and saying, look guys, shit doesn't happen overnight. You know, sometimes it takes nine years, you know, for something to happen. So stay focused on your goals, don't give up and just, you know, be better today than you were yesterday and you'll always be one step closer, and I don't. I'll never tell people that they need to go to the casino and gamble, but I will tell people that they need to bet on themselves every fucking day. Double down, I think.

Speaker 1:

Well, I think it's one of those things that just doesn't get talked about enough. It's like keep your head in the sand and you know, whatever the hunting industry is, this magical place? It's not. It's cutthroat as fuck, people. There's a lot of backstabbing that goes on. You know you're only as good as the last kill that you had. Um, you have one bad whitetail season and the majority of people are like well, I guess he ain't got it. No more, I guess he lost it. You know it's like. Or I passed a bunch of four-year-olds because I didn't have any mature deer that I wanted to take. So you know, you have some of that. But, all in all, I've met a ton of assholes in this space, but I've really met some really bad-ass people that I'm still good friends with today. The guy that turned me down in 2013, kobe folks he just stayed at my house the other night. He was on his way traveling through and he stopped and stayed here at the house with me and my wife. Um, he needed a place to crash for the, you know, for the night, and so there's been a lot of friendships that I've made over the years and become best friends with people. There was a guy that I met online down in Texas. He's one of my best friends.

Speaker 1:

I was at a trade show in 2020. And I met a girl. She came up to the booth to say hello. We became friends, come to find out she has a veteran nonprofit and I started doing some freelance photo work for their nonprofit, helping them promote it. She's now my camera girl.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean my, my, my chick Leslie that's. You know, she's, she's my best friend and and I hired her, you know, at the end of last year. We made it a. Well, I guess, technically we made it official in like January of this year, but, yeah, she became an employee of, you know, primal Divide and Johnny Utah as a brand.

Speaker 1:

So, taking a ton of weight off my shoulders, she's the one that does all my reels and she keeps me on schedule and I know it sounds stupid, but one of her job requirements is, essentially, I bounce ideas off of her. I'm like, yeah, I'm like, hey, here's a partnership that I'm looking at. They want to work together. Do you see this being cohesive? And the great thing about it is she's becoming. She's becoming a hunter, um, but she's not from this world, so it's a it's kind of a non-biased perspective. And she's a girl, and that's not me being sexist, but let's admit it, this is a male dominated space, you know, for the most part, and so it gives me a chance to bounce ideas off of her.

Speaker 1:

Um, she's a big catfishing chick, um, that's her thing. And uh, no, no, no, that blasphemy. No, they're all into just trophy catfish rod and reel and they let them go. Uh, noodling, noodling, you can actually date. You can injure the fish really bad if you're not careful. Yep, no, no, it's really, it's really not. Yep, yeah, yeah, it's a very interesting thing.

Speaker 1:

I actually I did an episode with them in pennsylvania, um, and I think god, we scheduled three days to film and by noon on the first day I was like that's a wrap, I can't lift my arms. We've caught like 30 fish and our average is like 42 pounds. I was like I'm spent, like my arms are done, you know, and, and I got big arms, so it's. I was like guys, I am done. I, you know this is ridiculous, but had a lot of fun doing that and it was a neat perspective, but you know, it's given me, uh, this has given me a good opportunity to kind of evolve to.

Speaker 1:

I've got back into shooting guns again, cause I went about 15 years without shoot a hunting with a gun at all. I was bow, bow only. And and, uh, you know, everybody's like man, is he anti gun? I'm like no, I'm not anti gun, I'm a, you know, former cop Like, I'm like no, I just I preferred hunting with a bow and um, but I've gotten into doing some AR 15 and pistol stuff and like tactical games, competitions, and, um, I've taken a rifle out and done a few hunts with a rifle and, and let's be honest, turkeys deserve to be shot in the face with a shotgun. But, um, I killed my first turkey, uh, with a shotgun, and then I killed 43 in a row with a bow.

Speaker 1:

Uh, including in 2020, I did a single season archery grand slam. That was pretty, that was pretty fun. Uh, it was the only person in the world to do that that year. Um, so that was neat. And and then, but this past season, just this past month I shot two turkeys with a shotgun. So, um, you know I there, it's fun to shoot. You know it's fun both ways, but damn, it's pretty cool shooting them in the face with a shotgun.

Speaker 1:

Um, but I also didn't want to be labeled as, like this, elitist. You know, like holier than now, the bow is the only way to go. You know, you take the word bow hunting and you take off the bow. You still have hunting and, um, so I'm an advocate for all forms of legal hunting and there are certain animals in certain locations that I'm like no, I'm doing this with a bow. I mean spot and stalk, colorado mule deer, velvet Colorado mule deer, like I couldn't imagine doing that with something anything other than a bow, right, but you know, I was in Saskatchewan, and Saskatchewan is not known for giant moose, and I had an opportunity at like a 48 inch wide moose and the only way I was going to be able to kill that moose was with a rifle.

Speaker 1:

And I was like man, I can be too awesome and be like, nope, I'm too good for a rifle, or I can pick up this rifle, shoot this moose and have one of the best hunts of my life, you know, at negative 33 degrees Fahrenheit. And that's exactly what I did, uh, and I didn't think twice about it. You know, my, my largest whitetail was with a muzzleloader. My second largest is with a bow, but technically my largest whitetails with a muzzleloader. So so I remember the, the last uh whitetail that I shot with a rifle, and this was when I was in that transition of like, ah, it's really not that exciting, you know what I mean Like I shot this deer and that he didn't even know I existed on earth. You know what I mean. And so that was in that transition of going to the bow or possibly just giving up hunting altogether.

Speaker 1:

But, uh, I shot this, I shot this deer and it was a Kentucky buck. I think he ended up scoring like 139 or something. And anyways, I shot him, you know, with this rifle and my buddy, we walk up to him, we recover him and he was like man, you don't really seem that pumped up, and I'm like, well, I was like I really thought he was bigger. You know, I was like, you know, I mean, I'm happy, I'm stoked, it's meat in the freezer and he's a respectable buck, but I really did think that he was, you know, bigger than that actually. And he looks at my rifle and he's like, hey, dumb ass. He's like they all look big when you're three by nine, by 40, you know what I mean. You're dialed all the way into nine power. He's like I'm sure he did look huge. Um, and we always kind of laugh about that. We're like, hey, you just want to make a deer look bigger and just dial it down to nine power or something you know. But, um, yeah, it's, uh, it's, it's cool man.

Speaker 1:

I, you know this year is going to be a super exciting year. Um, I've had, I had the opportunity. I called in three turkeys for other people this year and then I called in three for myself. That was a lot of fun. I got to take my buddy, corey Anderson. He's the current light heavyweight Bellator champion, so I got to call in a bird for him and see how excited he was. That was his first turkey that he killed. So that was fun. And that episode actually drops May 22nd. Fun, that episode actually drops uh 22nd. The episode Turkey TKO at 8 PM Eastern will be dropping on the waypoint channel. Uh, for my show, primal divide. But yeah, you'll get to see Corey uh shoot his first Turkey, and then Leslie and I doubled up in Ohio, and then I solo doubled up with a bow and a shotgun in Iowa. Uh, which is something.

Speaker 1:

I've never done before that was that was pretty, pretty damn chaotic, trying to sell film and shoot one Turkey with a bow and then, before the next Turkey ran away, grab the shotgun and mow him down. But, um, so it's a cool episode. There's, you know, five, five turkeys get killed, you know, in one episode. But, um, yeah, this year is going to be pretty awesome. Man, I every hunt that I'm doing this year there's no tags per se. Oh, wow, um, everything is over the counter. Um or nothing, nothing's a draw deal it's. It's a hunt that every single person can go, do I mean? We're doing?

Speaker 1:

I'm going to Arkansas and doing whitetails with my cousin back back there. Uh, that's where I shot. My first buck ever was in Arkansas. So kind of full circle. Going back down there again. Um, but Kentucky, iowa, we're going to do some coyote stuff with the guys at Fox pro my buddy John Collins. Um, if I was a coyote and I knew John Collins was in my state, I'd go to my den and wouldn't come out until he left. He is just a savage when it comes to coyote killing, predator killing. I've got an over-the-counter velvet Arizona elk tag. I'll be doing that this year with Big Chino Outfitters.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome.

Speaker 1:

That's actually the last week of June, which still I cannot wrap my head around that I'm going to be chasing elk at the end of June.

Speaker 2:

That's crazy, that's a weird concept.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and then I've got. I put in again for my velvet mule deer tag for Colorado. If I don't draw this year, I do have access to a landowner tag. I just tried not to take their landowner tags. If I can, you know I try to draw for real, but if not, um, we have a standing agreement that you know, if I don't draw, then, um, so I I get to get to buy a landowner tag from them. But my buddy Brennan, he's a, he's a rad dude, he's another, he's another oddball that I met from social media. He started asking me questions about Hoyt bows and we started chit-chatting about that stuff. And then it turned out he wasn't a weirdo and and we became friends and he's like hey.

Speaker 2:

Man initially thought right, still probably a weirdo. Yeah, he's like hey, I got a family cattle ranch in Colorado.

Speaker 1:

If you want to come out and chase mule deer and yeah, I've been doing that the last couple years and had success both times so I'm going to try for a three-peat this year and then, god willing, there's a pretty decent elk herd that will make their way late season onto his cattle ranch. You know, they just get pushed off of the public and they they end up on his, on his piece, and so if that happens um, you know, that's one of those deals where I'm like I'm not buying the tag. You look out the window and you see the herd out there on the ranch I will jump in the truck and I'll be there in 15 hours, you know.

Speaker 2:

Um, yeah, is that like a C tag? I'm assuming, cause'm assuming, because uh, yeah, it's that.

Speaker 1:

It's like that weird over-the-counter rifle. Late season tag gotcha.

Speaker 2:

Okay, that's pretty awesome though yep, so I've got some fun I'm actually going to hawaii, uh to hunt axis deer in like four weeks, so I'm pretty excited about that.

Speaker 1:

Are you gonna be on lanai or where are you gonna be? Um molok actually yeah, it's, it's.

Speaker 2:

The opportunity fell in my lap and I couldn't turn it down. It's something that I've always wanted to do. I told my wife I'm like, hey, I turned 40 this year. Um, this is, this is my birthday present. Don't buy me anything. And she was like, okay, sounds good. So, yeah, one buck. So I'm pretty fired up about it. That's super rad. Yeah, yeah, that's super cool.

Speaker 1:

That's something I haven't done. It's on the bucket list for sure. Any axis actually, either in Texas or, I mean, hawaii would be even cooler. But yeah, either place would be super rad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100%, 100%. Well, John, hey, I know we're actually over time from what I originally asked for you.

Speaker 1:

Oh, all good.

Speaker 2:

I'll listen to stories as long as you'll tell them. So if you want to tell any additional stories, great. If not, and you want to wrap it up, why don't we tell the people where they can find them? It's your choice, sir.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, let's see, hmm, pick, hmm, pick up, pick an animal, we'll go. One more story.

Speaker 2:

Okay, uh, we're to go antelope Cause I know I'm going to draw an antelope tag this year. So, if you have any antelope stories that you know, just stand at the top of the list.

Speaker 1:

I'd love to hear it so uh, the first, first year I went antelope hunting um I struck out um okay, archery, I'm assuming archery, yeah, arch public land. I had opportunities and I just choked. You know what I mean, yeah.

Speaker 2:

What state? If you don't mind me asking.

Speaker 1:

Montana, southeast Montana.

Speaker 2:

Gotcha.

Speaker 1:

So the next opportunity that I had to go out there, I had a little bit better game plan. That's what I wanted to do. I'd already been out there once. I mapped my route and kind of knew what area I wanted to focus on. And and so we, we hit that area super hard.

Speaker 1:

And so there's a, there's a private uh cattle ranch right next to a chunk of state land and these goats were going back and forth, back and forth, and I'm like God I got to catch them in transition when they come back and you know, over to the public. So I'm, I'm parked my truck on this gravel road and I'm just glassing. I'm like you know what, I'm just going to sit here and I'm just going to really study the movement and see, let these goats do what they do, naturally, and maybe try to just kind of whitetail hunt them. Know what I mean? And um, so this lady comes pulling up to me in this truck and she's your stereotypical montana rancher with the rhinestone and silver jewelry and everything and, um, she was like, what are you doing?

Speaker 1:

you casing my shit. And I'm like, no, ma'am, I'm not, I'm not casing your property, I swear. And she goes you hunting. I'm like, no, ma'am, I'm not casing your property, I swear. And she goes you hunting. I'm like, well, trying to. And she goes pronghorn. I said, yes, ma'am, and she goes well, I got thousands of them on my ranch and they're eating all my alfalfa, so why don't you just come over here and kill one? I'm like you're giving me permission to hunt your private land. She come over here and kill one. I'm like you're giving me permission to hunt your private land. She's like, fuck, yeah, like. So I ended up killing it on public, but, um, it allowed me to get onto her private and start my stock. You know from there, which was a huge key piece that I needed you know to to access this, uh, this piece of state that they were using.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So of course I shoot this pronghorn. I know it's a pretty good one, but, man, I'm a whitetail hunter, I don't know shit about pronghorn. So I go back to her place, cause I find it's always very respectful to stop at the owner's house, say, hey, this is what I took off your land, you know. Do you want any meat? She's like no, I'm not eating those stinky things, you know.

Speaker 1:

And she goes well how many did you kill? And I was like, well, just just the one that's in the bed of the truck, you know, and she goes. I told you to come and kill goats and I said, ma'am, I only have one tag. And she goes. Well, I don't care if you have one tag, they're eating my, you know, eat my alfalfa. So she's like, the next time you come here, you need to bring a passel of dudes and chicks and whoever you got with tags and kill as many as these things as y'all can. And um, it was a couple of years later before I was able to make it back out there.

Speaker 1:

And um, she had fallen ill and she was no longer residing at the ranch and ill and she was no longer residing at the ranch.

Speaker 1:

Um, so I lost access to that piece. But um, the crazy thing is is I get home and a buddy of mine, jeremy, uh, he lives in West Virginia and he's like, hey, did you score that goat? And I said no, I didn't, I didn't score it. And he's like, well, you ought to score it. I'm like, eh, I'm in the middle of editing the episode and and working on content deliverables, you know, for partners and stuff, so and and I said it's not a whitetail. So a couple of days goes by, he calls me. He says, hey, dude, you really need to score that pronghorn. I'm like why? He's like I've seen some people shoot pronghorn and that one's pretty damn big, like it's got really. He's like I think they're called cutters. He's like it's got really big cutters in the, in the tip of the curl man. It curls all the way down and back with white tips. And he's like I just, I just really think you need to score it. And I said, dude, it's not very wide.

Speaker 1:

So I don't think it's going to score very well. He's like well, inside spreads, not even a measurement dumbass. He's like, just I'll send you the information, so he sends me the Boone and Crockett scoring sheet. And pronghorn are actually relatively easy to score. You know. I mean, even if you'd never scored one before, you're gonna get it within a half inch, you know, and uh, so anyway. So I score it once, I score it twice, I score it three times and I'm like an eighth of an inch difference. You know each, each time I score it. So I called him back and I said, all right, I scored it.

Speaker 1:

The lowest score that I got was like uh, 80 and seven eighths. And he's like you are such a dick. I'm like what like? What are you talking about? He's like you have this horseshoe up your ass that the first time you go and hunt a new animal. He's like you kill a giant and I was like, well, is that a giant? He's like you just killed a boon and crocket on public land with your bow the first pronghorn you ever killed and I was like oh, okay, cool, you know whatever I guess, how about that I?

Speaker 1:

guess that's awesome. I was like it's not a whitetail, you know, um, but I did the same thing with bear, with a bear, my first bear ended up being the fifth largest bear in Canada, all time with a bow.

Speaker 2:

Oh shit Jesus and that was on public land.

Speaker 1:

I just, yeah, I got a weird knack for like, first time hunting on public land, like killing something crazy or whatever. But for whatever reason, it's not a whitetail and I'm still consider myself a whitetail hunter and I'm like man, I just maybe I just suck at whitetails, so I don't know. But yeah, yeah, but if anybody wants to follow along with uh with my crazy jackassery and whatnot, um, I try to be educational and I try to keep it fun. Um, I try to be authentic as I possibly can. You know, sometimes, like I said, you got to pay the bills and you got to plug some partners and stuff, but, um, I'm pretty, I'm pretty damn open book man. I put on my pants, the same as everybody. I acknowledge that I just I get a lot of opportunities. The only thing that I will pat myself on the back on is that I created this, I created those opportunities. You know, um, everything that happens after that is luck, the same as anybody else, you know. But, uh, I put myself in a position to win and that's something that no one can take away from me and you know, and it, uh, it was a lot of hard work. Uh, it was a lot of luck to you know, being in the right place at the right time scenarios. And you know, uh, I'm not. I'm not going to say that yeah, yeah, I mean people are like, oh, you're just a bad-ass. No, I, I got way luckier than I should have. You know, no-transcript and and kind of the perception changes. You know really, you know really quickly, but anybody wants to follow along with my stuff. I appreciate it.

Speaker 1:

Uh, johnny Utah hunt is what I go as my handle on Instagram, uh, facebook, it's Johnny Utah hunt official. The show is called primal divide. Um, all new episodes go to, uh, the waypoint channel and then 30 days after that then they go to YouTube. Uh, per, you know, per contract, waypoints got first first access. Um, my show does operate in what is called like semi-live. So you know, my turkey hunt episode comes out May 22nd, um, and that's that's the you know from this season.

Speaker 1:

So you know most TV shows you're watching everything a year later and I don't, I don't like that. I think it's stupid. Everybody's already seen it on social media. Why do I want to wait a year to see the hunt unfold? So, um, it puts a lot more work on my plate, uh, but I think it keeps things better in the real time sense. You know of what's what really just happened, but, um, yeah, man, that's you know the. The best way for me to do that is to put it in real time and I think it it flows pretty good. It keeps everything relevant as to what's happening. But uh, and I greatly, greatly appreciate any support on social media, I am officially shadow banned and have been shadow banned for about six months.

Speaker 1:

I used to reach 250,000 to 300,000 people every couple of weeks on Instagram alone, and now I'm maybe reaching 10,000 people every two weeks on social media. Yeah, it's weird reaching 10,000 people every two weeks on social media.

Speaker 2:

So how it does that TikTok is the worst to everything I post on TikTok gets blocked. I don't know what it is. And then they're they keep trying to ban my account. But yeah, social media is a necessary evil. I wish I could get rid of it, but it's kind of how we grow this kind of stuff right.

Speaker 1:

I say the same thing. I'm like, if I could, if it went away tomorrow, uh, I'm cool with it, but because it's there, it's, um, you know, essentially it's the office, so you got to show up, you know, to keep doing work, um, so it is what it is. But, uh, I'd like to fight Zuckerberg. Um, everybody, you know, I've been seeing all these posts about him getting into jujitsu, so, uh, I'd like to get on the mats with him and maybe make a deal. If I tap him, he has to lift the shadow band or something yeah, you gotta get in line, man.

Speaker 2:

I think elon musk, he gets the first go at him, is my understanding. I know there's another guy gordon ryan.

Speaker 1:

He's like the world's best grappler. He actually just made a post today and said something about he wanted to roll with him and if he didn't lift the shadow band he was going to break his leg.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Well cool, john man. This was a lot of fun. Hopefully we didn't have too many. I think the audio issues are on my side. Hopefully we could avoid it, though I really do appreciate it. I'm gonna put links to all of your stuff in the show notes. Thank you very much Again. Thank you, man. Everybody, get out there and follow John, give him some love, because obviously social media is stupid and, and you know, help this guy make a living, feed his kids. It's either fans you know what I mean, you know what I might subscribe to either one. So let's, let's do it, um all right, john.

Speaker 1:

Thanks again, man, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much, man. Appreciate you having me on of course.

Speaker 2:

All right. All right, guys. That's it. Another couple stories in the books. Again, I want to thank john for coming on the podcast. It was a pleasure chatting with him, learning a lot about kind of the inner quirks of the industry and, of course, hearing some hunting stories. So, thank you, sir. I really do appreciate you and your time. Please, guys, make sure you go and check him out on social media, whatever your poison might be, whether it's Facebook, instagram, whatever YouTube, give him a follow. Links to everything are in the show notes and that Uh, give him a follow. Links to everything are in the show notes. Uh, and that's it, guys. Uh, if you have some stories to share, please feel free to reach out. I'd love to have you on the podcast. If you know someone else who does have them, reach out. I'm looking for more guests always and uh, beyond that, thank you, guys for tuning in. Really do appreciate you. I get out there and make some stories.

Hunting Stories Podcast With John Mulligan
Evolution of a Hunter's Journey
Transition From High Adrenaline Gig
Challenges and Success in Outdoor TV
Building Relationships and Persistence in Hunting
Return to Hunting
First Pronghorn Hunt Success
Supporting John on Social Media