Contributors to this thread:
The Quiet Place
I've hunted with Jim Hole Jr. in Edmonton's Bow Zone since 1990. Jim truly is a "Fanatic" in every sense of the word. I know guys that have hunted for 30 plus years in a row with him, I've seen guys pack up their stuff and leave camp the first day, and I've seen Jim throw guys out of camp after a day or two. He's a controversial guy, for sure, a "my way - or the highway" outfitter. But he gets it done. He's personally killed multiple 190 plus Bow Zone bucks, and I'm aware of at least one client with 3 bucks over 180, and I'm sure there are more. This film from Sitka really captures his legendary approach to bowhunting big Whitetails (see link above). I've learned just about everything I know about bowhunting big WT's from Jim, and I'm curious what you guys think. This should be good.
Yes, I've enjoyed the film. I also think people don't understand the quiet in the cold. We have the same weather patterns here, and you have to be ANAL, otherwise some small inconspicuous piece of metal will give you a clink when setting up. So I guess I'm saying he may seem a little out there, but when you hunt here every year, most passionate whitetail hunters would turn out to be the same to varying degrees. Never mind if you hang and hunt every time, and sweat control is of the utmost importance in the cold. A guys gets to be anal pretty fast, or stop hunting!
I'd love to know the actual % of clients that take the allotted time getting to the tree ;)
Holy smokes! Does Jim tell you which way to fold the toilet paper before you wipe? "Fanatic" isn't the word I would use to describe him, just based on the video you posted. He seems more like the Soup Nazi of bowhunters to me, but who can argue with his success! Some impressive stats there for sure.
I love the extra details he covers. Doing some youtube-ing more from him (hoping to find it). Right now seems like I've found a podcast with Jim.
Unreal attention to detail, but there's a reason for it all. Great video, I enjoyed that!
I couldn’t imagine bow hunting up there in a bad cold November. I rifle hunted up there about 15 years ago and we had a couple days up -10, I really thought I was gonna die.
I've done hang and hunt in temps below zero some in the late season. I love it when I know I've gone that extra mile when the sun comes up I can see deer bedded all around my tree.
Well he seems fun! Haha, I'm pretty darn good with attention to detail in areas that are important to me, but there is a point where it's both ridiculous and not necessary. There also is more than one way to skin a cat. I've never met him, but the video makes me think that's probably for the best. I'm sure I could learn plenty from him, but I'd guess I wouldn't enjoy it. His approach doesn't seem totally different than mine, but his personality does.
What Scoot said.......way too serious, but to each his own
His camp, his rules.
1. I hunt to have fun. That doesn't look fun to me.
2. If I get cold, bored, or just don't feel like hunting, I'm getting down. I would assume I'd be walked out of camp.
3. No doubt you need to be a person of special toughness to hunt in Canada or even the northern zones of the US to be in a treestand in those temps. No way I'd survive for an hour or so with hang and hunts in those temps. I'm not going to Canada to hunt deer. Far warmer places with good deer without all the suffering.
4. I've said this before, and I will say it again, the WT woods brings out more jerks and A-Holes than any other type of hunting I've done and I hunt a little bit. I don't know Jim or the cast from "Adam" but the film has undertones of your typical "WT Character"
^^^ what cazador said.
I’m pretty picky on noise and attention to detail. So why wouldn’t the stands be hung 3 months ago. And what’s with hanging underwear outside. Then riding out on a gas UTV.
I’m sure most on here hunt far more Wiley animals.
Remote big woods mature whitetails compared to a mature whitetail that lives on a highly pressured small properties (under 80 acres) are in 2 completely different universes of paranoia.
The fact that he has deer still walking around that late in the season in daylight proves my point.
Most on here kill mature whitetails in far harder pressured conditions, except the temps.
I personally know of a killer that has killed one over 170” and one over 180” this year. And now he’s moving on to his 3rd state. No one has ever heard of him. He wears old Camo. A 20 yr old bow. Is an average shot. But hunts a lot of days in several states.
All with no Sitka gear.
altitude sick, I was with you right up until that last line. Blasphemy!!! Seriously, more power to him but does not really look like fun.
Busta, Do you see good bucks every trip? Are you doing all day sits? Got any pics of your kills from up there?
I think it'd be a cool trip to hunt whiteys up in that country. I wouldn't have any problem with his rules if I'm seeing some big deer.
I think it's kinda like Elvis told Nixon. "I've got my show to run, Mr. President, and you've got yours." :-)
if it ain't enjoyable don't do it. hunting is not a death march.
I always wanted to hunt the bow zone and met Jim when he was just starting. Seemed like a good guy. I guess the approach would have to be to conform to his rules. My experience has been the farther east you go the smarter the deer.
Do you have to wait until it's a hundred below to hunt deer there? Couldn't I leave the hockey tape home and show up in September? Anyway, his camp his rules, so hopefully potential clients know what they're getting into.
I would hunt with him... might learn a thing or two. Not sure I could handle the cold being from Alabama though. Other than the cold, I think it would be a good hunt & learning experience as long as he has coffee and I can take my tracking spiders. However, not sure if my tracking spiders would actually be required with snow cover or whether they would fare well with the harsh environment, both in camp and in the field.
Have been fortunate enough to share a mule deer camp with Jim and his brother Dudley, both total class acts....wouldnt hesitate to hunt bow zone whitetails with them.
Are they intense ? Yes ! But they also know how to have a good time in camp.
And yes... they really love their hockey tape !
I respect the way he runs his camp and realize how sloppy I am when I go in with my climbing stand. I will be buying some hockey tape.
missed the good stuff....all that came up on my screen was an 8 minute advertisement
He seems like a guy who has had great personal success and wants anyone that spends their hard earned money with him to enjoy the same. Sometimes these guys that consistently kill mature bucks often do what you may think is unnecessary. I say that if you want similar results do what the guy wants you to do. Maybe he could convey the information better.
I would never kill a deer if I had to do all that......
I've always been told you don't guide the guide. You picked him for a reason.
I hunted with Jim in November of 2014. I really enjoyed Jim, Lesley, Dudley and everyone in camp. The animals up in the BZ are world class and I would recommend his hunt to anyone who wants to tighten up their game as a Bowhunter. You will learn ways of doing things and details that You will take home which will improve your ability to be a effective predator. All a guy needs is a open mind and attention to detail. I was on world class deer almost every sit. I actually had deer bedded down around me once the sun came up on several occasions. I shoot a longbow so most of the bucks I had encounters with were just out of my effective range but it was the best week of Bowhunting Whitetails I have ever experienced in 30 years of Bowhunting. I highly recommend hunting with Jim. Great guy and he knows his craft.
Was talking to a northwoods bear guide who sounded a bit like this. You go to his camp, you eat his bland food so they can't smell you! No chili or spaghetti-and-sausage? Screw, that, I'm going south with my rifle and kill some small ones ;-)
Sounds to me like the Mike Ditka of outfitters! ;-)
Keep in mind Ditka is in the Hall of Fame, for what it's worth..
I guess if I'm plopping down thousands of dollars to have the opportunity at a world class deer I can overlook, and even appreciate the level of detail and intensity of a guy like Jim. If I want to have a "fun hunt", and laugh and giggle with the boys, I'll stay home and shoot a spiker in the back 40. You don't go on a hunt like this to fall in love with the outfitter, you go to shoot a monster buck. Will a week of conforming to his style kill ya? Maybe stay home, then..
He is obviously a hero to many but I would not pay $4500 for an attitude and a block of instruction on silencing equipment.
Why sneak to your stand after waiting 10 minutes to walk fifty yards to the stand silently to jump hoops to get into your stand? Let the 4 wheeler run walk to tree and get into the stand.
I would put a piece of carpet on that platform and it would be quieter and warmer than hockey tape. I saw he had a bow hook which for other than getting in, getting out of the stand is and tending to nature is an absolute no no for me.
Just my thoughts but after I walk a mile on public land to set all day much of his abnormal discipline is Somewhat impractical.
I didn’t see enough clothes either hanging or on for an all day set in zero degree weather.
As far as success on big deer I would expect many big bucks killed but do not know how many can be attributed to his intense detail for silencing equipment, sneaking to and into the stand.
This all said he is doing it his way and on his terms and in the end I never question success pursued achieved legally and ethically.
Im a weirdo....I loved that. Love to see the effort and thinking outside the box. Thanks for the post.
To each his own...but imo id hate to hunt with this dude... I have no issues with what he is saying.. but no thanks,
Is that a pledge pin on your Sitka suit? You're all worthless and weak...now drop and give me 20!
Well I actually thought there would be a lot more negative feedback but I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. The Bowsite always has had a higher level audience, open to taking their game to bigger/better places. While Jim's attitude can be a bit harsh at times, I can assure you of two things; one - I don't care who you are, you can learn a lot from him, and two, despite the hard ass attitude portrayed in the film, the dude certainly knows how to have a good time too. It's apparent from the two other guys above that have actually hunted with Jim (Willieboat & Sawpilot) that they saw both sides of Jim as well. A few of the details that might help things make more sense. Jim's clients do not do all day sits, mornings and afternoon sits only, remember, we're talking Alberta in mid-late November and temps are frequently below zero and sometimes way below zero. All sits are hang/hunt so the stands don't get covered with snow/ice overnight (more noise) and so any of Jim's 125 plus meticulously prepared stand sites can all be utilized every day, based on conditions. The drops/pick ups are designed to get the Ranger as close as possible to the stand, in some cases the hunter actually steps off the Ranger and onto the first step and his feet never touch the ground. The deer are used to the Ranger and tolerate it, but certainly do not tolerate a hunter walking to/from the tree. Like Sawpilot said above, it is very common, if you are executing your entry silently, to get into your stand and have deer bedded nearby. It's just as common, and just as important, to drive right past deer feeding in the field 100 yards away in the dark on the way back after an evening hunt if you're exiting just as cleanly. One of the most important things Jim has taught me is the importance of access to/from my stand sites. I've read how important it is to "stalk my stand", and I used to try to take my time and have a quiet entry. But until you've climbed into a treestand and actually glassed deer bedded nearby, and done this repeatedly, you really don't appreciate just how many deer you've unknowingly blown off on your approach over the years. Unfortunately, Jim is winding down his business and only takes a handful of hunters these days. I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from a real Jedi-Master.
Come on that's a bit ridiculous. Plenty of huge bucks are killed every year without his rules. Oh and by the way....there is a camera guy thats filming you too! For someone so anal about everything that surprised me. I wouldnt hunt in that camp.
@ Busta, just listened to a podcast with Jim (see video) @ 51:45, I have a photographic long term memory, and this has to be you after reading your comments about the bow zone way back in the day on this site. If not, your twin for sure!
I’d be escorted out after the first day!!!! Organization is not a strong suit of mine
South farm my thoughts exactly!
I’m not impressed with website photos. He states a 130% shot op on trophy bucks. Hopefully, this is not the 140 minimum. He is hunting undoubtedly a great area so he should kill some great deer. So, how many 170 plus deer does he average a year? What are his top end bucks scoring? I can cover a stand when I leave this would be quieter than hanging a stand every day.
How many times have you have and how many shots have you had at 170 plus deer with the Jedi Master?
I am certain he has strong numbers for all of the hyperbole but is there enough separation to warrant the attitude.
P. S. I don’t worry about a how much fun that camp is because camp to me is just a launch pad for the next days hunt.
Chad, yes,unfortunately that is me Jim referred to in that podcast. Never heard that, so thanks for reminding me about all those failures way back then! Man did I get my ass kicked up there. I wish I had a grip/grin picture of half the huge bucks I've shot at up in the Bowzone. I also wish I had them all mounted, my house would look like Miles Keller's before his trailer got stolen. I actually hunted with Miles in Jim's camp one year and he was a great guy. The truth is, I spent 7 or 8 years in a row hunting with Jim in the 90's. Some years, I hunted 2 or 3 weeks up there. And I had a shot at a big buck nearly every single week. When I first started my standards (and Jim's) were lower. The first year I killed a mid 140's buck. As the years rolled on, I hunted other places as well (in the midwest) and started killing bigger deer, so the bar was raised. My personal minimum was soon 160 plus. For some reason, Alberta was my nemesis. I could always close the deal wherever else I went, and on any other species I bowhunted, but I could never close the deal in Alberta. The cold weather, the heavy clothing, the giant deer, maybe the extra pressure from Jim, whatever it was, the wheels always flew off up there. So I gave up. Stayed friends with Jim all these years, but stopped hunting up there in 98 or 99. Finally went back last November. He only hosts hunters for 3 weeks in November now, and one week is full of 4 guys from Sitka every year, so essentially he only has 8 slots for clients. And those slots are filled by the same guys every year. It's almost like a hunting club at this point. But one guy couldn't make it last Nov so I luckily got his spot. Sadly, Jim's 92 year old father passed away in the middle of the hunt so I really didn't get to spend much time with Jim, and the mood in camp was obviously a bit off. But the hunting was great and I saw three great bucks including a 170 class, super clean 5x5 that I almost killed (he caught me on a slight x-wind at 40 yards b4 I could draw). So, I still have to get that monkey off my back! I hope to get a chance to get back up there again soon.
Put me in the same club as SBH... I'd hunt with Jim in a heartbeat. I usually go the "extra-mile" in most everything so his style would not bother me at all. In fact, it would be a pleasure to hunt with someone that goes to the lengths it seems he does.
@ Busta, good luck if you get back up that way. The michelín man look with all those clothes has to make it rough.
PS.......... I know a thing or two about wheels falling off as well. There is a tree I hunt here in CO, and every time I look down where that buck was standing back in 06 makes me want to vomit. I've killed two nice bucks out of there since, but 06 is always standing there broadside at 7 yds.
I wouldn’t mind a seminar but I would not pay to hunt with a giant ego. I am getting older and more intolerable of ultra strong personas that can go South quick. Frankly, mine can to so it would be ill advised for me to set myself up like that. I did some training in twenty four years in the Army that I would not probably subjugate myself too at this age and physical capacity. More importantly, I would like to really analyze the methodology more than subjectively through limited statistics.
When I said Ditka.................................it seems to me you either LOVE him or HATE him. The kind of coach (or outfitter) that you wonder why he has you doing the things you are doing and at times and questioning whether they have anything to do with the end result. But when you start upping your game, and see the RESULTS it starts to make sense. The only question is, do you have what it takes to hang in there and GET to the results part! ;-)
My point was simply that I would not be a good candidate to hunt with Jim.
My real question was how much of the methodology directly correlated to success.
I would gladly hunt with him. Guess it’s all in what you want. Some want to question everything as a skeptic and some ask questions to gain knowledge. I would view it as an opportunity to learn and improve my deer hunting skills. Would be worth it to me.
I listened to the podcast yesterday, watched this video and I went home and grabbed a roll of my son's hockey tape and went at my Lone Wolf. Honestly I've had a friend tell me how shocked he was at how quiet my stand was compared to his. However, after watching and listening to this stuff from Jim, last night with that hockey tape in hand and listening to my stand I was surprised at the extra noises i was able to take out of it that I was thinking "was good enough". It's a bunch quieter now and if I bump the rail, or anywhere else with my bow, release, caribiner from my harness, it won't make a metallic noise anymore. I also went after my bow a bit too, and the buckle/strap on my release.
Is any of what I have done a big deal? Probably not right now for me. There are still leaves on the trees and snow hasn't started in the hill country of southwestern NY. But in the next 2 months, I may be hunting in snow in the same woods. I live in the cold of Buffalo, NY and I fully understand that when the leaves are off the trees and there is snow on the ground, there isn't much else in the woods that makes any noise besides an occasional tree in the wind. So I understand why he's focused on this as much as he is, in the flat, leafless, snow-covered ground.
To me, I'm looking for more of this kind of stuff and would be so happy to learn more of this if I was paying for a hunt. Sure, he's very focused on this and probably other things.
Of course, fresh in my mind was the 3 deer I bumped from the oak flat I was hunting this past Monday morning. After seeing the eyes in my headlamp, having to push on anyway and then all of the blowing. I can see that I could learn a lot. BTW - All I saw was chipmunks after sunrise the rest of the morning.
Thanks for sharing!
I turned off his video when he started telling the hunters how many minutes per step they were to take while walking in......
No thanks. That’s not for me.
I'm as picky as they come about noise, but I'd rather have hemorrhoid surgery than to have this guy telling me what to do on a hunt.
I wonder if he's ever tried to belly crawl thru 200 yards of knee-high grass and cactus, to get close to a bedded buck, in that noisy Sitka uniform of his. I doubt it.
Watching the video was enough for me to want to buy some hockey tape. I love how people bash this guy for doing things differently. Yeah I’d really argue with a guy who came up with a system that works!
Make sure after watching this video, you read the comments on youtube.... they are pretty damn funny, if you have a sense of humor!
Irrespective of this guys success, whether attributable to his methodologies or not, I had to chuckle at the lengths he went through to silence everything in order to hang a stand without a peep. Immediately in my mind I wondered... why doesn't he just use a saddle with no metal anywhere to clank??
Then as the video went on it became more apparent to me, according to his method, you should remain standing until its time to remove your hand from the heat, and draw your bow. Standing blends in with the tree nicely, and those trees appear to have little to no coverage at hunting height. So therefore, a saddle will not jive with the stillness that his method is predicated upon. Granted a saddle allows you to hide behind the tree, I could see why he wouldn't use one.
Another point I pondered. Standing for 10 minutes after the fourwheeler leaves. Okay, but walking (say 0-20 yards) to the tree whilst the fourwheeler is nearby running would seem like an obvious thing to do to mask sound, and draw attention away from the human entering the woods.... unless the deer is visible and watching. Which then means the deer could also see the hunter start to move- even if done slowly. This idea I'm torn on.
According to some of you guys Jim has the success rate to back up his methodologies, or maybe that correlation is difficult to prove?? Either way he has the clients best interest and success in mind, and that itself is commendable.
Spike.... For the record... I for one am not bashing the guy. I’ll never kill the big bucks that he has killed and put hunters on......
I simply don’t want to hunt with the guy. No way. I’m not that serious or anal about hunting. I’d like to keep it fun and enjoyable.......
If nothing else, Busta'Ribs just sold a bunch of hockey tape. I'll be getting me a roll also.
Interesting video. Part of me would like to hunt with the guy, but part of me isn't sure he could take a whole week of it. I bet I could learn a bunch though.
I'm still trying to figure out why he puts logs on a gas log fireplace..
I used to fish for giant lake trout with a guy like that. Maybe even more intense. Imagine having Jim in the tree with you screaming in your ear, " RAISE THE BOW! START YOUR DRAW! SLOWER, NOW FASTER! DONT MOVE YOUR HEAD! NOW GO TO THE PEEP! ANCHOR! ANCHOR! ANCHOR! GDAMMIT, YOU F'ING SPOOKED HIM! WE'LL NEVER SEE THAT DEER AGAIN AND YOU WRECKED IT FOR THE NEXT GUY!"
But we caught giant lakers over 30 pounds and after a couple days with him, when he figured out we knew how to fish, he backed off a bit. We fished with him for three years before he finally moved on to guide elsewhere. Sometimes the best guides are the most intense, and the worst are the most laid back.
Lou, that reminds me of the time I did a charter for Cod out in Maine and I hooked a monster and the Captain was yelling keep pumping and reeling don’t leave any slack. Well I did that until my arm started to go numb and I had to stop to rest it for a minute then the fish popped off. The guy started yelling and screaming at me now that was not fun ha!
This comment was the best!!!
"I feel like this guy is one bad whitetail season away from having people locked in his basement and yelling at them to put the lotion on the skin."
I understand his commitment...as long as he can loosen up and have fun after the hunt. If not, I am going a different route...
One of my best buddies is very excitable and intense when fishing. When someone on his boat would hook up, he'd start barking orders at them like a drill sergeant. One day I finally got tired of it while trying to land a tarpon, so I handed him the rod, then started barking orders at him. He got the message pretty quickly, and now we laugh about it. I doubt this guy's ego would allow that kind of self-reflection.
To each their own. Some guys like to lead, some guys like follow, and some guys just want to be left the f--k alone and figure it out for themselves. Chalk me up in the latter group.
Jaq, the gas just starts the fire...
One trip we're using Jim's new jet boat, in a tent based camp floating the Peace River early spring just after ice out for a spot/stalk black bear hunt. Jim was going on and on all week about his new "best in the world" Jet Drive "tunnel" hull boat, which he was using for the first time on this particular trip, One night after a slow day when Jim was kinda cranky, sitting around the fire having a nip, a good friend Guy (pronounced like we, you know, Canadian style) , along for the trip, winks at me and says "Hey Jim, that funnel boat you have there sure is the rig!" Of course, Jim quickly corrects him and says, "Guy, it's a Tunnel Hull, not a Funnel Boat". The next night, we're sitting by the fire, Guy looks at me, smiles and says "Jim, I can't tell you how impressed I am with that runnel boat of yours!". Jim jumps up and points at Guy saying "GUY - I TOLD YOU, IT'S NOT A FUNNEL BOAT, IT'S NOT A RUNNEL BOAT - IT'S A DAMN TUNNEL BOAT!" Of course, before Jim got halfway through his rant, Guy and I were rolling on the ground pissin ourselves. And Jim was too before it was all over. Guy passed away a few years back from cancer, he was a police officer in Edmonton and one of the greatest dudes I ever met. The thing about guys like Jim, they're never satisfied. The best of the best never stop trying to get better. But that intensity does leave them vulnerable, so hey, you gotta take advantage of it now and then, right?
I would have liked Guy....lol!
Don’t ever tarpon fish with me Matt!!!!! My boat and my rules!!! Lmao
Just talked to one of my buddies who kills deer over 170” on their own.
He hunted very close to Jim’s bow zone area.
He killed a nice deer without the Soup Nazi drill AND no Sitka gear.
I usually dont like these kind if guys but first some reason I want to hunt with him. Weird
That’s funny Busta. Dishing it out.
I’m not that serious about hunting but he definitely knows how to kill big bucks in the extreme cold . If he didn’t care about his clients he could just point out the wheeler and direction of the blind with a heater in it and tell them when he baited last.
Actually seems like a nice guy who wants to be successful. I will defiantly be checking my gear for rattles and get some hockey tape
Id love to with him, just for the experiece of it all...BUT I dont think i could stand that extreme cold...It would take some getting used to I guess
It’s almost like they are actually hunting. No redneck blind, no bait pile, no 80 acres of bushhogged corn.
I like it.
I've watched this video twice. While this 'extreme' isn't for me I do like his take on noise control. Deer know every 'normal' sound in their environment. Anything NOT normal gets them alert. They may not run, they may just wait ten minutes as the sun goes down. Or veer forty yards off their normal path. Either way can bust you. When I started out the older guys I hunted with were militant about not slamming the truck door, or talking above a whisper. They wore wool, period. They 'pussy-footed' into their stands.
I've gotten sloppy...
A few weeks back I could see a mature buck coming towards me. He was with a couple younger bucks. They were headed my way. I was flipping my camera on to film and lost control of the lever through my glove and it "flicked" a touch louder than I had hoped. It was a quiet night. The younger bucks didn't seem to notice, and continued to filter around, I could have shot them. We were deep inside the timber, no field edge here. That older buck, who is roughly 10 years old based on a guess of 5 years of knowing about him just stood there. For 20 minutes he stood not moving while the younger bucks didn't know where to go as their leader wasn't doing anything. After 20 minutes or so he slowly turned around and headed back the way he came.
On numerous occasions I have witnessed mature whitetails stand stock still when something happens they don't like. For 20,30, even 45 minutes without moving. They are a different beast altogether than 2-3 year old bucks. When you're sloppy you simply don't know what you are missing. You usually don't get to see what you're missing with these bucks.
Having said that, in November I'd rather run to my stand than take 20 minutes to get there. I have had countless bucks and some really big ones come to my tree just as I get up, or am halfway up. They come to the sound of me walking. Different strokes for different strokes in that regard. But with the big boys I truly believe we don't know what we are missing.
I’m curious about his stand mounting system. I have really struggled with being quiet while hanging a stand.
APauls spot on! I watched a 150’s class buck come up into the woods from a swamp and just stand and observe for 20 minutes....fast forward to a week ago I was in the stand looking around and on my phone being sloppy heard a snort and watched a mature 10pt buck that I did not see 70 yards away snort and take a hard left away from me. I believe he got my wind but was standing for a bit and caught me moving.....I never heard him come in.....I know I have gotten sloppy when I’m not seeing the big boys. One thing I don’t understand is why he tells them to pick their bow up late when the deer is coming in? The angle is tougher to pick up movement as they are closer?
If guys want to pay 4500 to hunt whitetail anywhere I think your nuts. I don't kill giants every year but I do well knocking on doors and hunting public. I have kill several over 140"s and only ever paid for one of those and that was do to going with some friends. I have gone to extremes so this guy would not really bother me, but no whitetail even a 190"er is not worth that too me. Shawn
He nailed right off...."the biggest obstacle to deer hunting is a man`s ego". His is 2nd to none. I think he is a baloney sandwich short of a picnic.
Gotta agree that no deer is worth $4500.00 to me, unless I was filthy rich and I could not do it on my own, or had only one chance in life at a huge buck...with no other option. THEN I'd pay it. This guy doesn't seem all THAT bad, a careful regimen is important, but he better have a sense of humor afterward, and some here says he does, so he's good to go in my book. I wonder if/when he ever has clients hunt from the ground? Anyone know? If not, why not...Scent again? It seems like the noise factor would be reduced from the ground somewhat...
Anyone can kill a whitetail from a treestand, but can he do it from the ground?
Waiting to grab the bow and waiting until the last minute to hook the release has to do w/ the extreme temps...if you get caught and have to wait you'll eventually have to give up or flub it if too long...
Part of this guys living depends on him putting guys on large mature deer. I bet part of the reason he is so adamant about the rules is if he wasn’t, a sloppy in camp hunter would educate those same mature deer. Potentially making it more difficult to do his job in his mind. I like his ideas.
Enough responses above from guys that might benefit from some more details about Jim's hang/hunt strategy so I thought I'd add some info here about getting into the tree quietly.
First of all, as you can see in the video, every possible metal or plastic piece of equipment is silenced with hockey tape (or moleskin), so no way is anything going to click or clank when hanging the stand once you are up the tree at hunting level. Next, the stand is carried up the tree on a hook that is attached to either your belt or pack strap (sparearm or bowhook) or better yet, a hook that is attached to the bottom of the stand that can simply hook on to your belt or pack strap. Of course, the hook is also taped for silence, but that also makes it a bit grippy, so it minimizes the chances of moving around much as you climb up/down the tree. Also, the hook must be large enough (deep enough) to be certain it will not ride up off the belt while climbing. The trees up there are almost all very straight and have very few limbs and are pretty easy to climb.
The next thing is, you absolutely have to have a linemans rope/strap around the tree before you step off the ground, and you have to adjust the height of it with every step up the tree. This is critical. First and foremost, you're not ever gonna fall out of the tree. It's also gonna slow you down, which is really, really important too. And last, it takes all the stress off your arms so you can just hang back on the linemans strap and rest and watch/listen for deer. With your bow hanging from a hook off one hip and your stand hanging off the other hip, you are balanced and it is actually very easy to slowly and silently climb up the tree to stand height. Like Jim say's in the film, if you can get up the tree in five minutes, take ten. That's such great advice. The slower you go, the better. You'll make far less noise, you'll be less stressed, less tired and less likely to work up a sweat. Plus your slower movements are obviously less likely to spook any nearby deer. It all makes so much sense, right?
So now you've reached stand height slowly/silently, you are not tired/stressed/rushed or sweaty, and you are hands free, relaxing back and leaning on your linemans strap. You are now in the perfect position to silently slip your hockey taped stand off your hip, slowly feed the strap around the tree, connect it, cinch it, fold the platform and carefully step down and onto the platform. All super slow, and in complete control because you are hands free and have done everything right to put yourself in the position to get to stand height silently and stress free. That's next level hang/hunt strategy. That's how Jim teaches his hunters to slide into position predawn and miraculously have deer bedded 75-100 yards away with snow on their backs when first light breaks. It's a pretty cool feeling when that happens, knowing you've done it right. I used to use climbing stands and ropes to haul up my bow, or haul up my treestand and bang stuff off my treesteps and do all the stuff lots of guys do. And then I started hunting with Jim and he changed the way I hunt forever.
Hope this helps you find your Quiet Place.
I would think he would just hang a couple hundred stands before season starts
What is he using for climbing steps?
Looks like 8” or 10” nail spikes. Can buy them by the case at Lowe’s or the like.
I usually dip them head first in yellow rubber. Though it appears he likes them as is. :-)
"When you're sloppy you simply don't know what you are missing. You usually don't get to see what you're missing with these bucks." Apauls... truth!
Conveying this to the "sloppy" hunter is a tough sell. I know this first hand with some that I've hunted with and some I currently share hunting ground with. Me... "Don't run the resident does off." Huh? "Don't educate the resident does..." Huh? Oh, never mind.
Hey.....by using those 10" spikes he quietly pounded into the tree, he is quietly killing how many trees?
Is it legal in that camp to sit or is standing for the full hunt required. stands seemed pretty small.
EmbryOklahoma, I feel your pain! ;-)
One final thought, the film was not produced by Sitka to spotlight Jim's outfitting business or help him sell hunts. Like I said above, I can't even get a spot with Jim these days and I've been friends with him for 30 plus years. They made that film to reflect Jim's relentless pursuit of perfection in the deer woods, especially with regards to staying quiet. It's no coincidence that Sitka just released their all new Whitetail Fanatic line, completely redesigned with a tremendous amount of attention to silencing the products, and all with quite a bit of input from Jim. Sitka doesn't spend all that money to produce a commercial for a hunting guide. Especially for one that's not looking for new clients. I can only imagine what those poor guys from the Sitka design crew must have had to go through with Jim, trying to get his approval on new gear quiet enough for him. That must have been a real hoot. But I used all that stuff last November and I can tell you, it was much warmer, much lighter, and much quieter than the previous Fanatic line. And that new pack is awesome too. I sold all of my Fanatic gear on eBay (that stuff brings a really good price) and bought a whole new kit. If only I had a spot in the Bowzone this November, I'd be all set...
He must be a pretty good sport. If he doesn’t mind you poking a little fun at him. Most “Perfectionist” don’t have a sense of humor when laughing at them.
The intensity I get, and respected. That's applicable in business and more importantly in life. Would a trad hunter with a recurve and chundoo wooden arrows with Zwickey broadheads be welcome?
I agree.....we would get along if I could pick at him just a little!!!!
So Sitka’s new line of hunting clothes is now made out of hockey tape? :)
Pipe. If you have yourself situated as a traditional hunter the answer is yes. I went up in 14 and I hunt with a recurve and longbow, cedar and Douglas fir shafts. Jim and I spoke for two years before I hunted with him. I shared some of my kills and practiced his technique in detail here at home for 2 seasons before stepping foot in his camp. I think we developed a mutual respect for each other before we ever shook hands for the first time. Once I arrived he could see it was turn key and he never bothered me. I came prepared, researched his way and spoke with several clients prior to my hunt. I just came prepared and was very successful at getting on big deer. Unfortunately they were too far but that’s Bowhunting.
"Would a trad hunter with a recurve and chundoo wooden arrows with Zwickey broadheads be welcome?"
See Sawpilot75's post above.
Sawpilot and I were typing at the same time. :-)
Thank you for responding to my question...That's awesome, and that adds a whole new dimension to The Quiet Place...
I definitely appreciate and understand many of his rules. But, hunting with him wouldn't be my thing.
To me, Jim seems like the "Randy Ulmer of Canadian Whitetails". They both go the extra mile to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. The Sitka film seemed like some propaganda, but shows their stuff was designed by a perfectionist. If you listen to other podcasts with Jim, he is actually a humble guy. I'd really like to hunt Canadian whitetails one day. I think hunting with Jim would clean up my game. But I'd have to wait awhile, I still have 7 more payments on my Sitka wardrobe ;) Would actually be fun to see some of the know it all celebs try to hunt with him "what is this 4 in 1 srapemaker get this outta here!"
While I can appreciate his extreme methodology I could never imagine being one to follow all the rules.
I’ve killed enough animals with my bow that I no longer feel a need to kill something when I go on a hunt. I have a successful hunt now when I see or have an opportunity at a mature animal.
I now have move fun sharing that experience with a youth, first time hunter or sharing a camp with friends than I ever would being in his camp, following his rules just to kill a big whitetail buck. To each their own.
Yes I may never kill a 180” whitetail but have killed enough big deer that it doesn’t matter. Would rather see one of my kids kill a 100” buck.
I'm guessing that most hunters are not 'whitetail fanatics.' What percent of deer hunters even read 'Deer and Deer Hunting' or 'North American Whitetail' magazines? Very few are 'fanatic' about anything. Those that are will 'do what it takes'. Time? Money? Spend it! It's definitely not for everyone, but think about how much time and effort you've spent just pursuing 'meat' deer. (And even the average hunter can learn a good deal from guys who go the full distance.)
Killing big deer is all about having access where big deer live. Getting this access is 80% of the battle. Once you’ve got that you have a small chance at killing one. Access to hunt big deer where big deer live has to be the fist piece of the pie. If you don’t have it it doesn’t matter How many minutes between steps you take or how you hang your stand. 80% of our success at killing big Deer is done way before you actually take one step into the woods. It’s all about gaining access where materiel seer live. It’s extremely front weighted. You can be the best bow hunter out there but if you can negotiate and get permission to hunt where they live you won’t kill big bucks
Many of my acquaintances always say “you always kill nice elk and deer and think I’m a great hunter. Not true. I’m good at getting access during the off season to property that holds good animals. Most of my success comes well before the season opens. Hunt where the big deer and elk are not where you hope they may be. Be prepared to hear a lot of no’s but you will eventually get that yes. About 1 yes for 10 no’s. Remember the worst anyone can tell you is no.
The hard and fast rule:
How you hunt deer; is no where near important, as to where you hunt deer.....
Can you sit in those small stands he uses.
Bou I was wondering the same thing.... you'd need to be a crossfit champion, capable of putting a sloth to shame, to go from sitting to standing in 10 minutes.... :)
WOW. Sorry but that video was a complete turn off. Thing is, I bet if I met the guy in person I'd really like him. Like my bro shared, it is another level up here in the cold, and if you screwed up, usually, you just won't know what you missed. I often have people look at me a little sideways, when they find out how fanatical I am about details. So I agree with most of the concepts, I think they just tried to bring it to "level ridiculous" to be perceived as "the most crazy" to elevate themselves/Sitka to the ultimate level. Not sure if they mixed up the script with the last bank heist movie I watched??
I will admit, when I first watched the video I was not impressed and the knee jerk reaction was no way Id hunt with that kind of attitude. Then I watched it again. After the second viewing it sunk in as to what Jim's intent is. Get through the ego, and teach the hunters how to hunt successfully for trophy whitetails in his neck of the woods. Nothing more nothing less. Still not sure I would like to hunt there, I don't like the cold that much :-)
If you get caught sitting down in stand your out! Pack your bags, call Uber! This isn't the place for you! Don't let the door hit you on the way out !
I think the film was meant to be over the top, and they accomplished that for sure
Reality is that Jim is doing something right or he would not have remained in the outfitting business for as long as he has You don't remain in business treating clients like he does on the video or sending people home for walking to fast to their stand or for some other silly ass reason
When you go to his outfitter page (classic outfitters alberta) You get a pretty standard outfitter info website. Not the strong arm stuff that is in the Sitka video. There are some links that get you to that video and others.
Vast majority of comments seem to agree with the subject matter but hate the delivery system. I agree his bedside manners suck
Probably a nice guy but lots of people just are not going to risk it and will just go with another outfitter in the zone
Stands are Lone Wolf lock-ons. But it reminds me of a story of an old salt charter boat captain I used to fish with in Jersey. He had a big beautiful fighting chair on the deck of his boat, but insisted we fished with stand up gear because it was more sporting. One trip I was hooked up to a big Mako for almost an hour and the fish was just kicking my ass and I was begging the guy to let me use the chair. He just kept yellin down from the bridge “shut up and reel - that chair is for ladies and Canadians!’. So yea Bou, you can sit if you want, but I try not to.
All jokes aside, as someone mentioned above, the trees up there don’t offer a lot of cover so standing provides a smaller outline. It’s no fun standing for four hours straight so I risk a brief sit now and then to rest my legs (but don’t tell Jim).
Got it. Maybe you could hockey tape yourself upright in the tree. That would take some weight off the lower body on six hour stand session.
I'm guessing Jim isn't a big fan of Velcro...
Dana C, I understand your thoughts. And, I’m certainly in that field that just isn’t as committed to killing big whitetail bucks. I’d run miles and miles a day, every day to hunt moose, elk, caribou, and other game. But, whitetail stand hunting simply isn’t at that level. I really enjoy doing it but, not at that cost.
I have hunted with one outfitter meaning I have been on 1 guided hunt ever and it was extremely sloppy. No thought for how a stand should be hung, no shooting lanes cut, shooting lanes set up for left handed shooters when most hunters are right handed, sloppy entrance and exit etc. I had no confidence in my guide or the areas he was putting me in, but he tried to have a sense of humor and make camp "fun" I wasn't their for fun I was their for the soul purpose to kill a big whitetail, I never had an opportunity at even a decent buck, and left frustrated. I don't think I would jive with Jim but I would want to hunt with him. I would trust him and be confident in where he was putting me. With that said I would like to put him in a cradle lock and give his bald head a noogie.....
I sit all day in Lone Wolf lock ons and have no issues. Bou, maybe you should get a saddle to take some weight off your legs to be upright longer. People prob laugh at us, but our trees up here are the #1 reason I bought a saddle this summer. I'm still not sure if I'll have any circulation issues once it gets real cold but at freezing temps so far it has been very comfy, and I have not been busted in it yet.
It took me 10 minutes to stand up once. But it was after I fell off a bar stool!
We used to hunt trailhawk climbers back in the day, no seat, just small platform. Of course that was 30 years ago when the old legs had a little more stamina.
Went out and sat an old ladder stand that's been in place for a few years. More than once I caught myself thinking 'hockey tape!' The rings on the pins, the seat, the platform, all *noisy*. This video was an eye-opener, or should I say ear-opener?
The guy with the big stache in the vid is Beau Martonik. I know him from PA Train To Hunt event a few years ago. Hes a nice guy, and he's killed some big deer in the big woods of PA. But he has a podcast, hashtags everything, and will drive you insane with some of his posts. I try to remember that he is a nice guy. He has shoved this video down everyones throat on social media. I had refused to watch it up until now. When i saw it posted here , i figured WTH, ill watch. I have read about Jim's operation for years and how anal he is. As my buddy "elkmtngear" knows, im not about any noise on my stands when im walking in LOL. I hate that cold up North. I can deal with zero temps, but i choose not to deal with below zero! I will never hunt deer in Canada, in late season. I dont care how big they get!
Yeah, the hunt in the video ain't for me, but some of the stuff reminded me of how sloppy I've gotten over the years. I'm way more conscious of the noise I make now. Even if it ain't below zero, noise ain't our friend.
", noise ain't our friend"...understand that and especially in Jim's approach. Then I lol recalling times when I have so completely messed up at "stealth" . Like when I dropped my big steel thermos full of coffee from 20', bouncing and CRASHing off 6 hickory branches and smashing to the crunchy leaves below. OMG, I might as well get down off the tree and drink my coffee. Then smashing through the brush comes a big 8 pt which soon thereafter had an arrow through it. Another time I was having difficulty climbing my awkward tree steps to a position and my stupid rattlin antlers fell off my shoulder, dangling and rattling together. I'm almost upside down when two bucks come running to the ruckus from two directions and I have nothing pointing at them but my butt. I realize that one was at rutt, and bucks come in on anything...but so many things happen during a hunt. That's what makes it so fun and intense.
I guess that could be another thread....how one may have prevailed despite messing up while not being successfully intense at the highest level.
Definitely not for me... Its not really the discipline or tactics, but the attitude! Me and him would be fighting as soon as he talked to me like I am a POS! Respect is always a two way street and with me you have to earn it. I could care less how many big animals you have killed! As I have always been taught, you get way more bees with honey than vinegar and I also know that if you are an Arse then you are an Arse!!
If I want to pay to be mistreated, I would go back to my x-wife!
How did jim’s guys make out this year
I can't answer how they did, but I will say that I have used some of Jim's advice for years, after reading an article in a magazine ( possibly North American Whitetail?), a number of years ago. Hockey tape will do wonders on any metal surfaces. Especially pins where ladder stand sections fit together. I have never been anal to the point Jim is, but I hunt places where deer are used to quite a lot of activity. I get his approach to it, and it was always a little dream hunt I wanted to do some day. Sounds like that's no longer in the cards. I have killed a few deer when the temps hovered in the -20 to -25° F range. I was younger and dumber then. Those days are over for me... but I do know the slightest sound is magnified x about 10 at those temps. Nothing sounds quiet. You'd swear they were going to hear you breathe. I can imagine more than a few guys would balk at his approach...hell, I probably would. It would definitely not be for everyone. I actually think part of it is that some guys want to challenge the elements as well as mature bucks. Human nature I think. Why do people risk digits at a minimum, and their lives at the max to climb Everest? To each their own.
I would hunt with Jim anytime. Those of us that have been through basic training are all thinking, "No big deal, been there, done that!" BC
I’ve hunted with Jim several times. I learned a ton from him. I use hockey tape all the time now. He said I really was doing well with his methods and I was getting it. However I stopped going because of the brutality of the cold and hanging stands. I never saw a big deer there. I also found it disturbing that he wouldn’t use trail cameras because he believes it’s cheating. Great guy though.
Bou pretty sure the outfitting industry has been the craps this year so not sure they would have had clients. Something to do with travel?
I have hunted with Jim and hunt with the same methodology here at home as he uses there so the transition for me was turn key. Great guy and he runs a great operation. I was on giants almost every sit. If I wasn't shooting traditional equipment and had been a wheel bow hunter I would have killed one. Incredible place.
I don’t do well with “my way or the highway” type people when doing hobby/fun stuff. I’m out on that hunt. But to each his own and more power to them.