Cutting The Distance

Cutting The Distance

Jason Phelps from Phelps Game Calls leverages his experiences as a badass competition caller, call maker, and dedicated hunter to bring you the tips and tricks he uses all season long that make him successful out in the field. From turkey to elk and beyond, join Jason as he sits down with the very best experts when it comes to hunting and calling. Tune in now so you too can get ’em close.

Episodes

September 29, 2022 16 min

In this bonus episode of Cutting The Distance, Jason Phelps talks with Charlie Smith, as they recount some tough hunting and a deviation from the plan in Idaho. 

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Every year we get to hear hundreds, maybe thousands of stories that go like this: I was calling in a bull, he was all fired up and got to 80 yards, I could see him, he bugled a few times, and then left. In today’s episode, Jason and Dirk talk about how to prevent the “hang up” and what's important when setting up. They talk about using the wind, finding shooting lanes, when to be silent on the way in, and the calling strategy o...

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September 15, 2022 26 min

In this bonus episode of Cutting The Distance, Jason Phelps talks with MeatEater's very own Ryan Callaghan. They discuss the highs and lows of their recent archery elk hunt in New Mexico. 

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In today’s episode Jason is joined by Dirk Durham.  Dirk Durham is a world champion elk caller but more importantly has a ton of experience out in the woods where the elk are the judges.  Rather than sounding perfect the elk care more about timing, delivery and intensity of the calls.   They center today’s discussion around a lot of the decisions that are involved when calling an elk.  How do they determine whether to be aggressive...

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Trent Williams is one of those guys that finds consistent success and he’s able to do it on general units. In this episode Jason picks his brain on the decisions he makes throughout the day leading to notched tags.  We talk about figuring out where to start your day, what to do if you can’t locate elk, getting up at 3 am, glassing in the moonlight, locating non bugling elk and what some of his calling strategies are.

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Unfortunately, the best way to learn is by making mistakes. In today’s episode Jason talks with a RMEF Elk Calling world champion Tony Gilbertson. They share some of the mistakes they have made along the way and what they have found to be the correct way. They discuss mistakes regarding; scouting, showing up to an area and quickly finding elk, cheating the wind, confidence in calling, calling too small, setting up, and time spent i...

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After getting a chance to chase turkeys and ducks with my Weatherby Element over the last year, I decided to sit down with Luke Thorkildsen from Weatherby to go over their shotgun line.

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Some things I wish I knew about elk hunting 20 years ago?  One of the best ways to learn is through failure, but what if you had the opportunity to give your past self some valuable information you have learned along the way. In today's episode I sit down with Cody Rich to discuss what we would tell our past selves and what really matters when it comes to elk hunting.  We talk about luck versus consistency, when to be aggressiv...

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Nate Simmons is one of those guys that gets it done year in and year out on backcountry bulls. Nate is one of those guys I’ve always had a ton of respect for. He’s humble, quiet and knows a ton about hunting elk and I’ve always wanted to pick  his brain on the subject. We sat down to discuss topics such as; how long to force a hunt in a marginal area, his approach to calling an elk, hunting in Grizzly country and how he prepares fo...

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Ryan Lampers is one of those guys -- when he heads out on a hunt, you know he is going to be successful. The only question is: how epic was the adventure and how big was the animal? Jason sits down with Ryan to discuss his mental and physical toughness on a long and grueling hunt, and his approach to always making sure he will find success.

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It seems easy enough, but in order to kill an elk you must first find elk. With today’s technology it is easier to find elk than ever before. Jason sits down with Mark Livesay to discuss the current technology available and locating elk through features that elk tend to prefer. They then discuss how we can identify combinations of these features to exponentially increase our chances of elk being there when we show up to hunt. 

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Today's guest may be best known for being the first to take all 29 North American big game animals with a recurve bow and complete the Super Slam, but today we are interested in his knowledge of and experience with calling black bears. We discuss the short attention spans of bears and how long to give a setup, Fred’s go to calls and sequences, some precautions to use while calling in grizzly country, and much more.

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Today's guest is the author of “The ultimate guide to black bear hunting”, “No Bait, Just Bears” and the creator of the ultimate predator calls app, Douglas Boze.  Jason and Doug discuss what it takes to call in black bears.  They start the conversation talking about the most important factor, finding where the bears are to begin with.  They then dive into the calls used, how to setup and when to leave a setup and move to a new...

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Out west it's a contentious topic: turkey hunting. Some love it and feel it’s the same as hunting elk during the rut, while others seem to be insulted by the idea. In this episode Dirk Durham and I dive into all of the similarities and a few of the differences. Some of the topics we dive into for our comparison: how to locate them, prescriptive approach, where we can typically find them, how the setups are similar, wallows vs. ...

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April 28, 2022 44 min

Once the trigger is pulled on a turkey shotgun the result should be as quick and humane of a kill  as possible.  In this episode  Jason discusses shotgun shells with Daniel Compton of Federal Ammunition.  There are a tons of options and combinations of guns, chokes and ammo out there. They talk about all types of shot including TSS, Bismuth, lead and mixed loads.  They dive into the wad and why it is a big contributor to the patter...

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April 21, 2022 48 min

Mike Chamberlain has forgotten more about wild turkeys than many will ever know.  Chamberlain leads the University of Georgia’s Wild Turkey Lab. Since writing his dissertation on turkeys and predation, Chamberlain has studied the birds for almost 30 years. What he has learned about turkeys has made him a better hunter, and we are hoping it can help you, too. In this episode Mike and I discuss; toms eventually coming back to where t...

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In this episode, I’m chatting about turkey habitat with my good buddy, Randy Milligan. Randy owns a little over 800 acres in Eastern Kansas. He spends most of his free time working on the property figuring out how to maximize the amount of turkeys and the size of bucks there.  We talk about what turkeys need to thrive, what they prefer, and how we can use that to our advantage while hunting.  We then turn the conversation to some o...

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In this episode, I’m talking about turkeys with not only one of the best turkey callers of all time, but one of the best turkey hunters of all time: Chris Parrish.  We talk about what hunters should look for in picking a spot to setup, all while quickly reading the turkey’s behavior and the situation to determine what your next move should be. Once we figure out where and how to setup, we move into calling.  We touch on what Chris’...

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Jason Phelps sits down with Janis Putelis to go over his turkey hunting philosophy. They talk about the run-n-gun approach, as well as being patient and using decoys. Jason asks Janis to describe the perfect turkey hunt and the best dates to be in the field.


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Jason Phelps kicks off as the new host of Cutting the Distance alongside Steven Rinella to discuss the future of the podcast, as well as Steve’s best tips for turkey hunting. They’ll also talk about the brand-new Line 1 Turkey Pot Calls, what inspired Steve and Jason to make a pot call from scratch, and the process of hand-selecting a tree all the way through to scratching those calls in the turkey woods.


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