Average Joe Hunting Adventures with Dan and CJ

Lostinthewoods

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I want to tell you about who we are and what we’re about, but I’d rather you meet us through this adventure. I want to tell you about the crazy year we have ahead, but I’d rather show you. I want to tell you to follow along on are adventure, but that’s your choice.

Lets get to the point…..

We hunt hard, we hunt smart, and we hunt everywhere. We don’t give up, and we don’t make excuses. We balance family, our careers, and our passion for hunting. We fear god. We have fun, we love what we do, and we help people do the same.
We want to share our 2017 experiences with all of you.

We dubbed this the Average Joe Hunting Adventure because it couldn’t be anymore true. We aren’t special, we aren’t sponsored, we didn’t win the lotto or have a lot of money. As enlisted members in the military we work within our set incomes, budget for everything, save our leave, and tie hunts into weekends and holidays. At the end of the year we come out with hunting seasons most think are not even possible.

The purpose of this thread isn’t to say “look at me,” but to say “look what you can do.” We regularly talk with people who seem to restrict themselves and convince themselves they can’t find the time, money, or places to hunt. If we can successfully turn their minds around and show them how they can, this thread will be a success.

As we go forward with this new thing for us, we reflect on two of our favorite quotes;

"Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Never follow your passion, but always bring it with you."
— Mike Rowe

That being said… give us crap 😉 , share encouragement and tips, and follow along. We hope you enjoy.
 

sn.outdoors

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Way to introduce a thread, almost thought it was a sales pitch lol. You've got my attention.

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It is a sales pitch. ;) We're selling the idea that anyone can do it.

So far Dan and I have plans to hunt and fish in 7-10 states this year. We'll see how the draws unfold, but regardless, we have lots of options. I'm sure work will throw us for a few loops, but we'll make sure to get after it hard this year. Gotta love the unpredictable nature of a military career.

We'll do our best to keep you all up to date as our plans develop. Right now, only one of our buddy's cards has been hit for an AZ elk tag. I'm still holding out hope mine will get hit on monday...

Dan's after FL turkeys in the AM. No pressure Dan, but you better kill a swamp monster. ;)
 
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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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CJ is right. We have a long, fun and exciting, unique year ahead of us.
I call it unique because we have no idea where we may be next week, next month, next hunting season, etc
Having been in the military for 11 years now I've had such an amazing and wild ride.
Deployments, no notice deployments, working through the holidays, working all day and night, etc.
I hope that doesn't come off like me complaining because I absolutely LOVE what I do.

The reason I bring this all up is because it will better help you understand why I may sound crazy at times.
For example when I tell you all the possible states I may hunt this year, it's not to make you think "this guy lost his marbles".
It's more to show you how much planning we put into our year. We have backups for the backups for the back ups.

Having this plan in place helps us be extremely flexible and also gives us "possible options" that we can pass on to our spouses.
That way when it's 1700 on a Friday night and I tell my wife I'm driving to Idaho tomorrow to hunt because I have to deploy when I was suppose to hunt New Mexico, she won't even question it. I get the big kiss and a "have fun".

So before I get deeper into what I'll be doing this year I want to touch more on why we are doing this.
Both CJ and I love sharing our experience with others. We love what we do and if you share our passion then we want to help you succeed with it even more.

Our goal is to post as much information as we can to better show that you can do certain things if you put your mind to it.
If you break out of that mold, you can do anything.

Whether you live on a fixed income, whether you have limited time off, whether you're a new hunter or an experienced hunter, we just hope we can help teach you something new to make your life easier.
Another group we really want to target is the military. Both current and future potentials. I can't tell you how many threads I've seen where people are asking if they can hunt if they join the military. Or how many people complain because they think it's too hard to hunt while in.
We hope this will show them that with a well established plan, many back up courses of action, and a will, then you CAN make it happen.


So what's in store this year?

Personally I have one of the biggest years yet set up in front of me!

This is broken down into a few categories, so let's go. Again I want you to realize this list will seem rediculous, but it's all part of the big plan.
I'll start with whitetail.
This year I'll be hunting Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, Oklahoma and possible Iowa.
Turkey: Florida, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

Now for some western stuff:
I applied for New Mexico: elk, deer; oryx, ibex, antelope, and bighorn. I also plan to chase OTC Barbary sheep.
This year in Idaho I'll be applying for either a moose controlled hunt or a deer controlled hunt. That choice will be based off of how sting my New Mexico draw is. If it's minimal I'll apply for Moose and if it's a good draw I'll apply for deer.
I've also got applications in for or will apply for: Maine Moose, Kentucky elk, Oklahoma controlled hunts, Tennessee controlled hunts, Texas controlled hunts, Wyoming antelope, a few super tags and more. I honestly can't remember them all.

Some of the backups to the back ups include: Idahoa OTC elk, Montana OTC elk, Wyoming deer, and Arizona OTC Coues.

There are a lot more details I can get into, but I don't want to put it all upfront right now.
Ive been so excited to start this thread for a while now, but I need to control myself and post all in a proper manner.
Plus I'm currently sitting in a blind in Florida waiting for turkeys to leave their roost. So I should probably go focus on that instead ;)

Anyways, thank you everyone who has already posted and welcome to the thread. It's going to be a lot of fun and I honestly look forward to sharing it with you all.


It's turkey time... take care.
 
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realunlucky

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Awesome to see you guys able to get out and hunt so much. I remember my block leave dates never fell during a single Utah season for 4 years. Of course the was a long long time ago. I'm going to follow along with you guys seems like you really have your planning down to spread your hunting time around so much. Good luck on a turkey

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sn.outdoors

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Awesome to see you guys able to get out and hunt so much. I remember my block leave dates never fell during a single Utah season for 4 years. Of course the was a long long time ago. I'm going to follow along with you guys seems like you really have your planning down to spread your hunting time around so much. Good luck on a turkey

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We're blessed to be able to adjust our schedules a little bit to get some hunts in, but normally we take advantage of extended weekends or we tack a day or two of leave onto a TDY. For example, last year I only took 13 days of leave for my elk hunt in September. I ended up killing a bull on the first day, and saved a few days of leave after my buddy's hunt was over. The rest of my hunting and fishing was done on overnights or long day trips. Without taking a single day of leave I was able to kill an OTC Barbary in NM, a whitetail in Oklahoma, a mule deer in NM, an antlerless elk in ID (thanks to a mid season PCS), and help 2 friends kill an antelope and a 2 deer.

We know our situations are not the same for every person out there, and we completely understand some people just don't have a lot of opportunity to get out there. Like we've said, it's our goal to show people they can still have fun, be successful, and do a lot of hunting/outdoor adventures if they commit to it.

Depending on how the draws and work schedule turn out, I plan on hunting all the OTC animals in ID, and elk in Oregon since they're military and veteran friendly and it's just a few hours away. I have apps in NM, AZ(didn't draw :( ) and will apply for controlled hunts in ID and OR.

Of course we're still thrown curve balls by old Uncle Sam every now and then, which is the hardest thing for us to account for "...because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know."
 

Gr8bawana

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Thought I was having a dejavu experience.
These guys have the same exact posts over at Hunttalk word for word.
 
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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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Thought I was having a dejavu experience.
These guys have the same exact posts over at Hunttalk word for word.
Not dejavu, you are correct.
We also post individual threads on monster muleys.


Initially these will start off the same, but once they start to grown their own life they will obviously be tailored towards the individual threads. Also you can only skin a cat so many ways. My goal is to share my experiences...wherever it may be.
Can you think of any other sites that are more filled with hardcore hunters? I think Rokslide and HT are the heavy hitters with MM having a great amount too.
 
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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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Awesome to see you guys able to get out and hunt so much. I remember my block leave dates never fell during a single Utah season for 4 years. Of course the was a long long time ago. I'm going to follow along with you guys seems like you really have your planning down to spread your hunting time around so much. Good luck on a turkey

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
As CJ already mentioned, one of the biggest factors I look at every year is "potential time off".
I use that term loosely because as you know, nothing is a guarantee when it comes to time off.

So I'll look at 3-4 day weekends and try to plan core trips around those.
When I used to be stationed in New Mexico I would tailor my draws to those dates on my applications.
Or those dates would be my "blitz" trips to Oklahoma for whitetail.

It's a little more difficult to do that down here in Florida, but those holidays now become Kentucky "blitz" trips.

Everything else is built into combo hunts. If I'm taking leave I'm trying to figure out how many other things I can tie into it.
For example I drew a Valle Vidal turkey hunt for April 15-30th. I plan on heading out there, but stopping at Kansas on the way.

Probably the most important thing that I focus on is my off time. When I'm off I am 100% going out of my way to spend time with my family and spoil them. The last thing I want is for them to ever think they are second.
I'm also VERY in tune with my wife and if she doesn't seem keen on an idea or asks me to stay, then I do without even questioning it.
I'm a very fortunate man because my wife lets me hunt A LOT!

I have a new baby as of January so this year will kind of be a test bed. I know things will change, I'm just not sure how much.
So I also need to be very flexible with that!
 
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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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Anyone who has ever moved or PCS'd before knows it's challenging to figure out all the new areas to hunt, how to hunt them, gauge hunting pressure and more. Well it's even worse when you show up a few weeks before the season opens!

I don't want to cover something I've already covered, so if you wanna read up about when I first arrived to Florida, this thread gives some pretty good coverage.

http://www.rokslide.com/forums/whitetail-deer/59402-deer-florida-hunt.html



So now fast forward to where I am now. I've got all of spring and this summer to really learn the ins and outs of this place.
So I'm going to do what I know best and walk, walk, walk.

I've been out checking for old sign, new sign, bedding areas, food, water, areas deep in as possible and far away from roads, and making sure not to over look the closer areas too. It's been lots of fun and I am feeling so much more confident going into this next year.
I finally found pigs, I've found some really nice deer areas, and plenty of gobblers.

Some hog wallows
See picture 1 & 2

Deer and turkey may have been here too ;)

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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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I found a really cool area about 4 miles in from the nearest road. It was the only water around and there were tracks EVERYWHERE.....
So naturally I put up a trail camera to see what was running around.
(see pictures)


I can not wait to get out there in October when early season archery opens.
It's going to be nice and hot and I know that no one else is going out there.
There's a really good chance I can arrow my first hog and I know there was a good number of deer running around there too.

My goals for the spring and summer are to continue hiking around, scouting, shed hunting and connecting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Here in Florida you can kill two deer a day.... that'l fill a freezer up no matter how small these deer are.
So I am ready to get into action!
 

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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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Something else that I really plan to get in down here is fishing.
I will take anything that will help me pass time until September AKA elk season!

I've never really been into fishing before, but I am surrounded by prime fresh water fishing and salt water fishing. So why not?
My coworker was nice enough to invite me out to his honey hole bass spot so I decided to show him my appreciation.
I packed up my grill, some spices, buns, cooking utensils, ORYX BURGER, and off we went!

I caught this little guy while we were out there. (See pics)


We had a great time fishing and I cannot wait to go more. I have a feeling that I'll be invited back again because....
I didn't get a fully finished picture because it was just too dang good!
It was such a nice time to get out and relax in another way, but I think I ruined myself... now I need oryx burgers everytime I fish :D
 

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sn.outdoors

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The more I get out and explore Idaho and the surrounding states, the more I realize I'll need several lifetimes to see 1/2 of what's out here.

In all honesty, I really don't plan the same way Dan does. I prefer to wing it. I didn't draw an AZ tag so that's one less hunt to complicate things. I have apps in for NM elk, pronghorn and ibex. I'll be putting in for moose and some extra elk tags in ID, otherwise I'll be hunting all OTC units here. My wife is applying for the hard to draw stuff nearby (45 deer, and 41 elk). If she doesn't draw, not a big deal.

Another awesome advantage to living close to Oregon is the resident fees for military. So I'll throw my name in the hat for a few draws there too. I always say you can't draw of you don't put in, so why not?

My backup plan if I draw nothing and can't get a quota tag will be to archery hunt elk in OR, archery deer in ID, rifle elk in ID, NM Barbary, and depending on the work schedule I might make it back home for the WI gun deer season for the first time since I enlisted. Oh yeah... Turkey season here and in WA too.

I'm gonna hit the hills hard for sheds this year. I've been keeping tabs on a few herds of elk and patiently waiting for them to start dropping.



I'm going to have to hide the sheds from my daughter. She doesn't want me to sell them.
 
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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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Something I am really looking forward to doing this year is hunting Kentucky.
I'll be hunting about 11 hours away from here in NNE Kentucky.
I found two different pieces of public land to hunt and through a good friend, I asked a guy permission to hunt his 600 acre farm.
Needless to say this is going to be a VERY exciting experience.
The county that this is all located in is fairly small and it seems most people have their own private land to hunt.
With that being said the public land doesn't really get hit too hard.
Another perk is one of the pieces of public is around a giant lake.
There are areas out there that I think if I can canoe into them, there will be no one around me for miles. I've always dreamed about boating into a spot to hunt or boating out to an area and camping for a while. I need to research if I can even camp out there, regardless this is going to be AMAZING. The zone Ill be hunting is a zone where I can only shoot four deer. 3 does and a buck or 4 does.
So with that being said I'm going to tell you one thing and end up doing the other ;)
My GOAL is to shoot a couple does and hold out for a mature buck....
BUT I get so dang excited when I see things I can shoot so I can't make any promises ;)

I wanted to hit the ground running with KY so I planned a little trip to get out and scout.
Something I ALWAYS work on is a proper balance with family time and hunting time.
So I made sure to make this both a fun family time and scouting trip.
My wife FULLY supports my hunting addiction and loves to scout with me, shed hunt, and she loves game meat!
So I be sure to include her on as much of that as I can.

I found a little cabin I could rent out near the public land and that was that!










 

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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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I don't know if I mentioned it in an earlier post, but earlier this year my wife and I had our first baby.
Remi Mae Porter, our beautiful little girl!

So my hiking and scouting trips now are weighted a little more.

















 

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Lostinthewoods

Lostinthewoods

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The scouting was good so far.
I found some nice core areas that I'll focus more on later though this spring and fall.
I only walked the smaller piece of public land, but found some great sign.














It was still a little early for sheds, but I did pick up some other stuff while out there.... :mad:








I'll be honest with you guys.
I'm probably the worst hunter in the entire world!
The only reason I probably get any kills is because I pick up so much trash.
It's just a way of karma coming back around. LOL
 

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sn.outdoors

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I foresee myself reloading a lot of 204 rounds this summer. These little guys are a blast to shoot, and it's great practice. You get really good at acquiring your target, getting settled and firing as quickly as possible. Shooting these things brought back memories from my childhood of shooting rats in our dairy barn. Way too much fun.

Has anyone else gotten out this spring and vaporized any whistlepigs?
 
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