Tying Big Bucks and Revolutionary Access Together - #8 MOBILE ORIGINS

September 22, 2023 6 min read

Tying Big Bucks and Revolutionary Access Together - #8 MOBILE ORIGINS

By: Justin Hunold 

In today's “Me” driven world, we often stumble upon self-proclaimed experts that are only experts in self-proclamations. Normally, we don’t stumble on them so much as they push themselves into our view. Much less often these days do expert big-buck killers fly under the radar. Let me tell you a secret….Ty Jennings is one of those experts, and you likely don’t know about him.

I was introduced to Ty by my cousin Tom. Our families go way back, but I had never crossed paths with him. One day Tom told me to follow him on Social Media if I wanted to see a great big buck killer in New York. He wasn’t wrong.

There were two things I noticed. He was understated about his ability to hang big bucks on the wall with a bow on the heavily pressured ground of New York, and Jennings was an access master. These two things are almost always tied together.

I got into a text conversation with Ty and approached this mystery man about chatting on the phone. With his blessing, this is the overview of what came out of the conversation.

Water Access

When we talk about, listen to, and chat with these big-buck killers, we often hear the same information from all of them. It’s 365, run cameras, watch the wind, ask the next questions, and get deep. We’ve all heard it. We all know it.

What if getting deep takes on a different meaning? What if that deep is a body of water? What if it’s taking two non-traditional routes of access to get deep? What if it means deep in the water while going deep in the woods? Are you following? Most won’t follow Jennings, and that's the point.

When Ty was young, he would hunt an island with his family. During the bow season, they would take a boat to this island to hunt the whitetails that lived there. Loading API climbers and bows into an aluminum boat they would hit the shore and slip up trees. At first, this was a way to escape pressure for both the hunters and the hunted, but as time went on, the uninformed or unwilling saw the fruits of the labor of water access. What they once had to themselves now was being invaded by other folks hitting the water predawn to get set up on the island.

A boat will still come into play when needed. The funny thing is a Jennings note deep lake or navigable river stopped being a barrier to modern deer hunters a while ago. Yet, there is a sweet spot. Water that might be just over your average knee boots is a show-stopper for many hunters. Ty will slip back if it’s too deep using a watercraft of some sorts, but other times its boots, waders and just being wet.

We always think about water access as a kayak, bow, gear, and a headlamp. Sometimes though, water that you can’t see the bottom of but if you tried, wouldn’t be over your boots becomes the mote to that big bucks castle and Jennings knows that.

Jennings will look at a piece of property and take the only route that makes sense to him to get to the core area of a buck. The route that often makes sense involves accessing a deep bedding area via water. Whether that's a watercraft or wet socks water plays a huge part in getting into that fortress for Ty.

Burning Rubber with a Bike

On that island, after guys started to pretend it was June 6th, 1944, on mid-October mornings, the Jennings family realized they needed to find a way to get deeper, not in the water but physically deeper on the island. The elder Jennings started rigging racks to carry that API and Bow mounted to mountain bikes. Before E-bikes, before fat tires, a standard mountain bike with a rigged rack was a way to escape the pressure.

Ty takes a lot of tricks from his family, but just like Mixed Martial Arts mobile hunting of today looks nothing like it did twenty years ago, the game has changed.

Soon the Jennings weren’t the only folks on that island with mountain bikes and rigged racks. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then you should be able to see this clan blushing through a camo face mask. We hunted with some of the same people back then, and I heard stories of these access tactics and gear hacks and watched a few guys try the same stuff.

 

Enter E-bikes

In my day job I work in powersports so, I know, and you might too, E-bikes aren’t our little secret. From the high-end hunting-specific makes and models to the lower-end general-purpose imported models, this is the fastest growing sector in powersports. There and again, Jennings was an early adopter.

We often hear about reducing intrusion, keeping sweat down or scent control when it comes to E-bikes. Ty goes a different route. Where Legal, he uses them to cover ground and do it quickly. He is outpacing the other folks on public land with three kids, a wife, a full-time job, and all of the other awesomeness of being a good man time is the one deciding factor for him just like most of us. And anytime Ty is using his E-bike, time is the deciding factor.

So, when he can, scouting, setting cameras or accessing a way-off spot on a map, the E-bike is the go-to tool.

“Yes. Off Season Scouting, it is an astronomical efficiency booster. Tasks that took 3-4 days due to walking take 1 day with an E-bike.” 

When we take the tactics and approach of some of the very best whitetail hunters into account, a few things seem to be glaringly obvious. Thinking outside of the box, meticulous entrance and exit, scouting pre and post-season, understanding wind and thermals, and a few other tropes end up in the mix. One that is often mentioned but doesn’t draw the attention of others is efficiency.

This is where Jennings shines. He spends a lot of time working on killing big whitetails but it's a lot of fast time in chunks. And nontypical access can lead to nontypical bucks. And on that note, there were a few more tidbits that I found interesting in our conversation that have to do with access.

Take Aways

Most guys don’t push far enough, be it because they won’t access a spot due to lack of gumption, mental toughness or a form of transportation, Jennings stated that there are a lot of bucks that live in spots that have just overboot deep water, or a need for a bit of grit and a different approach like a bike, or a boat or to hunt the situation that spot provides.

Speed matters. The access Jennings is taking isn’t about sneaking up, it’s about getting to the point of no return as fast as he can while still having it be huntable. When factoring in wind, ground scent, sun, season, and all of the other factors, Ty will use whatever means make sense to get to that spot quickly and efficiently. If you’re trying to get to that big bucks bedroom, you better not stop in the living room for too long.

To that point, if He feels like he’s been in the bedroom and he does not see the action, Ty will move around to find deer. Hunting big bucks is a game of solitude but sometimes finding deer is what matters in that game. He always asks why, then the why leads him to the how. That how will often lead him to a non-traditional form of access.

One last note, don’t get stuck thinking a canoe, boat, kayak, or e-bike are the only forms of non-traditional access. Sometimes it’s a different parking spot, sometimes, it's going faster. Sometimes, it’s a pair of tall boots. Jennings is never married to a way of accessing or a certain route until the why dictates the how. And His hows speak for themselves.


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