By | December 10, 2022

This is the debut Hunt Warz first Rifle Mule Deer competition. This year we decided to take the competition to mule deer country way up in northern Utah. The weather is cooling down, and all of these hunters have spent the last few months doing what they can to prepare for high elevations and the physical condition they demand, all forms of weather that are typical to this part of the country, hunting a big game animal that because of its ability to hide in its natural habitat has earned its nickname, “The Gray Ghost,” and last but not least an element that is, and has always been present in hunting, but is elevated to a whole new level within this show- COMPETITION.
The athletes are in two-man teams, one spotter and one shooter, going head-to-head with 3 other teams. None of these teams have ever hunted or set foot in the unit. They will be hunting the same unit at the same time, facing the same weather, same rut conditions, and identical pressure, all placing them on an even playing field.
They will be judged according to 3 metrics. The first will be gross inches of antler. We then take the animal's age, double it, and add it to the gross inches of antler. Finally we make a deduction for yardage when the animal was taken. 0-300 = no deduction, 301-400 = 10 point deduction, 401-500 = 20 point deduction, 501-600 = 30 point deduction, and 601+ = 40 point deduction.
All hunters are asked to adhere to and exemplify the highest standards and ethics of sportsmanship while in the field. One of the rules of Hunt Warz is a strict “Draw Blood rule.” If the hunter draws blood, that is their animal, and the must continue to hunt that animal for the remainder of the show unless otherwise determined by the officials.
Special thanks to Leupold Optics for sponsoring and outfitting all athletes with optics to use on their hunts. Also, a big thanks to all the other Hunt Warz sponsors for making this show a possibility. Each will be listed below with a link; if you want to know more about any of the products on the show, please click the link!

Team LONESTAR: Mark Griffin and Andrew Cole
Team THICK AND THIN: Jim Cooper and Kade Dimick
Team INDIANA: Joe Merchant and David Rooks
Team ABBOTT: David Abbott and Shanae Abbott Yarbrough


APPLY at before it's too late!

[Music] Thank you [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] We're ready we're ready for this last Team to get here so we get this ball Rolling man Thank you [Music] [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music] Thank you [Music] [Music] [Music] Give us your name and tell us where You're from all right well I'm Mark Griffin and I'm from just outside of Houston Texas in a little town called Crosby I'm Andrew Cole I'm from the same town Crosby Texas uh David Abbott Shanae Abbott Yarbrough Delta Utah Born and raised Well I was born and raised I'm Jim Cooper from Wellington Utah I'm Kate dimick and I'm from Price Utah So my name is Joe Merchant I'm from Indiana Franklin Indiana I'm David Rooks

I'm from Edinburgh Indiana I live in Columbus Indiana currently what do you Guys do for a living well what I do for A living is work for Exxon Mobil and I'm In the security group so I've been out There for coming up on 12 years I've Been in the petrochemical industry for About 25. and I also work for ExxonMobil I'm in metals craft pipe fitting Boilermaker welding and that's about it I actually worked at uh coal-fired Power Plant down the Delta so I've been there For 38 years and I'm a teller at State Bank of Southern Utah I'm mine Cole I Just graduated from high school last Year so I'm still trying to figure Things out but I'm working at Wheeler Machinery I have a plant manager at a Glass recycling facility I work in a Fabricating shop learning CNC Fiber laser and now I'm actually doing The logistics side of things all right So you guys had a little bit of a Special situation That happened during the draw tell us a Little bit about that Well there was uh the situation was Pretty unique you know we both had Already kind of agreed that and we put In for it and if I got chosen I would Choose Andrew as my partner and if he Got chosen he would choose me but uh as It comes to find out uh we both got Picked uh in the drawing and so we had

To kind of scramble to determine what we Were going to do it was kind of funny Because I watched a lot of video and I Scrolled back and I saw that Mark got Picked number two so I stopped the video Right then and there and I called him he Thought I was just playing with him so I Had to send him a screenshot that he got Picked and my wife was actually the one That told me need to continue watching The video and said what are the odds There's no way that you know I would get Picked sure enough number eight I got Picked so pretty unbelievable Circumstances for both of us how many Entries did you get One Piece One Piece It was meant to be we really wanted to Have this experience together and so you Know we chose to to give back our other Ticket and we still don't know who's if I put mine back in the hatter he put his Back in a hat maybe maybe we don't want To know but uh just glad that somebody Else is going to be here with us and get To experience it too so pretty awesome Would have been nice to kick your butt Though on TV yeah keep dreaming when I When I first heard that uh That I drew I I didn't really believe it I mean She she told me like a half hour before The show aired that uh it was going to Be on and I just said well well I'm not Going to win you know

And then my phone started blowing up her And her brother were both trying to call At the same time saying hey they drew Your name and even then I'm like yeah Probably you know there's probably a Million David Abbotts out there doesn't Mean it's me you know I was still in Denial until I got the email so then From from that moment on it's just been A fun ride just the anticipation and and Yeah we're we're ready to go it's gonna Be gonna be fun I was emotional before The drawing even happened in And said his name and I just I just Start screaming and crying Um it's actually been a game changer for Me too because it motivated me to get in Better shape and stuff I dropped 28 Pounds in the three months and never Felt better I got new knees a year ago And so I wasn't really able to work out Much before that because my knees were So bad but now I feel great and Thanks to this opportunity I I was Motivated enough to to work out and get To where I'm at so yeah we're we're Excited what did you guys do to prepare For help Mars What did I do to prepare for art Wars so Since January I've lost 95 pounds since Hunt Wards I was finding out I was going To be on Hunt Wars I lost 60. So that's that's that was number one Working out training doing all I could

Do to to get in cardio Shape Up Up Hills Downhills treadmill I have the The altitude trainer to help me with the Altitude and stuff out here I mean I've Done it all I wanted to make sure the Fitness was not going to be the reason I Lose this competition went from 2x to Too large so some of my clothes that I Bought when I first found out that I was Going to be on Hunt Wars Don't even fit anymore Tell us a little bit about your hunting Experience I've been doing it forever as Long as I can well as soon as I was able To we started hunting oh gosh we've Always hunted deer and Elk Antelope That's pretty much Mostly what we've done growing up with Seven children wasn't always easy on These guys they'd in fact back then they Hunted on motorcycles they'd have a kid On the front a kid on the back and Each of them had their own bikes some of My older brothers had their bikes with a Couple kids on and When I got a little bit older I mean of Course with them with seven kids they Kind of Road hunted a lot and when I got A little older I wanted to get away from That so I just one day took off and that's kind Of where my sickness started now I I'm Pretty dedicated to it I do a lot of

Scouting I'm usually by myself I've Quartered and packed a game out myself And I love it so what's going to give you Guys the edge over the other teams out Here It's just me Probably pure dumb luck yeah I mean I'd Rather be lucky than good and so far We've been pretty dang lucky I know we Got another group like us Whitetail Hunters they don't have a first time uh Hunting out west the other two teams They got the experience but I mean like They said they don't know the area so Maybe we're Level Playing Field in this Hall we can hope for at the moment Next Factor right here no pressure right She'll find him I guarantee it all right Final question Is going to win absolutely we didn't Come here to lose No way 24-hour Drive no way we came here To take home take home the championship Take home the gold right yeah are we Going to win We're gonna give it our best tank shot Too Uh you know I don't want to be arrogant Say yeah we're going to win but if we Don't it's not going to be for a lack of Trying and worst case we come out with a Really cool experience and we'll learn a Lot and have a great time oh we're gonna

Win we're gonna win are you going to win Oh yeah for sure I got I gotta win Because I promised my brother some gear For letting me come but we got this We're gonna try [Music] My wife would be having a heart attack Right now I don't know if anybody can See that This is this is what he's decided to sit On you ever take a shot straight down With a bow yes not with a gun I'm really Excited for this guy he's been He's been hyping me up I've been pretty Calm and collected about it but That guy he's He's been excited since day one I want Him to be successful and I'm gonna do my Darndest to find him a deer grip and get Him on one Oh Thank you So yeah I just you know all that booked up Energy So excited he started going back to the Same house same spot we were at Yesterday 180 degrees from where we need to be so Not this mountain yeah not that one but That one That mountain not even a quarter of the Way up All right see you at the top

I got one spotted [Music] That's a big deer guys To the left there's a little Gap in Between there's two bunches of trees He's told that left about your troops oh I see it [Music] Oh yeah he's big He is big When I see through my scope five by five Good idea good idea That's a trophy Buck right there man all Day that's the kind of buck that the Indiana boys can kill Indiana boys on the board for spotting Sun I told you Patience pays off Oh my gosh dude All right so here it is we found a good Buck he is about 1500 yards away on the Other side of the mountain We're gonna make a good game plan to get Him we got to go down the mountain back And around but I think we got a good Play on whether we bust him or not Indiana Blues are at least going to give It a try there's no point in sitting Here waiting around and seeing what he Does but we're perfectly capable of Making the move Let's go get her done let's get it so You marking him

Tell me which team we spotted across the The valley it looks like team Abbott has Snuck in on us over here just to the Is that North of us And uh Looks like they're looking that way but I do not think that they got eyes on That deer just because that rock face is Higher than the woodlands behind so Hopefully he's all to ourselves when we Can get in on him And I'll joke and pull the trigger so I'm getting him marked now we're gonna Go in after him Yeah this is the Basin we were looking For Freaking [Music] [Music] [Music] Thank you [Music] [Music] We spotted a pretty good buck up there We can't tell what it is right now but There's about four or five probably more Deer than that point where he's at we're Up there Far is it but 800 Oh there's two coming into the clearing Right now Well at the very top up on this clip Ends we got a little closer in

We see a three by two a big two point And another smaller two point with them Oh yeah Yeah put his head down but I think There's water over here coming out of That They might be heading to it too When we were looking back there you Could tell he was bigger than the other One We're halfway there You failed me a substitute for altitude We went About 100 miles all the way around the Mountain Ran out of fuel so I decided we had to make a run to Snowmobile to get fuel And uh on the way back I Blew two two trailer tires on the same Side Fender was rubbing on the tire and It had been a long day [Music] [ __ ] but no we got up here where we Wanted to be yesterday morning Actually one of the first deer we've Seen was the biggest buck we've seen we Didn't get a good look at him but I Think he's kind of hunkered down on These little quaky patch down here so I Think he's getting a little Trigger-happy I know what's coming the next two days

And it ain't pretty Cold weather and possibly snow up here So Which you know could make things better Really but thanks for good hunting all Right so we got on this book early this Morning found out where he was at what I'm doing right now is looking on all Next to try to get some uh some more Intel on which way to kind of go up we Know where the last point of sight was On top of this little mountain right up Here now we're just trying to make a Game plan to try to get up to him and Sneak up close enough to him or we're Not going to bump him so we bump him and He goes over the other side that's going Right towards team Abbott which we do Not want Looks This 135 pound frame of mine Ain't too bad But I ain't used to the incline no way Yep how do you prepare for the incline Well it's 95 pounds to be out here and I'm still struggling to get up this hill Okay we call this second hand fun just Killing that big buck that'll be first Hand yep it's a second hand fun yeah you Look back and be like man remember that Mountain we climb Dave yeah What you working on over there David Oh I'm typing up my ankles are getting Sore oh Lisa with the first aid kit yep

My wife my lady just keeps me hyped up On sugar here babe have a good time I'm pooping when we get to the top I got my ratchet strut I only use Ratchet straps I'll put them around We'll wrap around their waist and hook Them on the trick around the tree and Then you lean like this like you're Hunting in a bow hammock hunting in a Saddle yeah you just send it huh No hands laughs Right now Tell them tell them what Peak needs to Do you need to put a spoon in the bag Did you forget a spoon too yeah yeah Nice how's the pesto pasta It's good with my watermelon Let's uh Yeah let's see what you got going on There Water bottle spoon oh yeah there you go So uh Andrew glassed up a little Spike he told Us We started looking where he gave us some Direction and we actually got uh we got Seven deer in there now We got a little Spike and at least a Little two point So we're gonna watch them See where they wind up betting and and Uh see if there's more deer in there you Know there may not be any baiting There's nothing about us eating the same Thing that they like

Maybe they can just smell it There's actually a group of does and Another two point And he's just above the dolls Do you think this one down here is a Shooter yeah This one down here's a shooter snake No Family Feud I love it it's day one of Hunting Might be as good as it gets How do we know We're still spotting beer Are you excited are you cold both Really not that cold it's just my nerves Every time I get way too excited This is why he's pulling the trigger Daddy's a cool bug I wish it was a poor if he had a little Before He's got really nice eye guards too Let's straight up three more That's how we climb to 9 000 feet right There there's some hard work boys Embrace the suck That's a quail We gotta check my [ __ ] Check your shed yeah my stick shed we'll See if it's really a stick or a [ __ ] He's on the wrong hunting show today Those so far Five There's gotta be a stud in there that's Hungry kidding

Sits on the right floor on the left Ten three four five six oh on the left Are already gone yeah Foreign I thought you were thinking Yeah Just stop and do this I'll go if you just want to go but I Don't see what you're going to get out Of it We want to go out somewhere or Let's still go You sound very confident that you don't Want to go up there no I mean I'll go up There I'm just saying what are you gonna Do when you get up there I don't know I cure cancer Maybe I just have a sense of adventure That can't be cured What's going through your head right now Get off The ice cream dear I've never killed one Scored that great but that's a pretty Buck I don't know I'm thinking that could actually win but Maybe not What everybody else is even doing We know they're not here Looks like we got some Rain going in What do you think

I'm torn He might get closer It's closer it might Be a tough call Especially if he comes within our range I think I think it becomes winning three I'd probably take him Foreign [Music] Deer there's three two or three bucks Couldn't really tell they were across The canyon always we hiked out a ways Over there Couldn't really tell got dark on us and We got a big storm coming in so heading Back Lightning's scary Last hit of the day yeah [Applause] The rain's starting to come out yeah Look at the bands over there I mean it's It's dropped out over there Good boy yeah it's coming up 15-20 Minutes to be over this thing A little bit more If we got 15 20 minutes we'll be lucky I drink one and bucked up tomorrow There's no caffeine stuff today so the Birds I don't know if you hear it or not There's a lot of thunder and rain coming Around We were holding this morning seeing good Good video good pictures of him

Be more than the exact same spot he was He's a wow That was literally right That tells you where we're at right now Not so good fitting into our day we Grinding it out trying to find this deer He's up here somewhere we know where He's living so I mean that makes a good Plan for the rest of the week as long as We can hold out this weather But Man I tell you these fronts coming Through really affect this deer movement And I don't think he's going anywhere But his bed tonight not with all this Rain and lightning and thunder and Everything To be honest with you I'm kind of scared To be a beer on this mountain with all This stuff going on we are a long way We sat in glass You can't see can't see lack of effort Because trying to get this deer because I'm being Dave both and and you will put In all of it just to get up here on this Mountain be where this deer lives and I Can see why he lives up here Wow Yeah I agree I think we need to get that Off this rock it's a little too close For comfort yeah that's two that it's Been a little a little bit closer Comfort at first day I think it's sunset Checking out a hotel like tonight

Fried Indiana Oh yeah See how guys Holy crap out here I just got hit by Lightning I'm pretty sure [Music] Dude it felt like you got shot at a home Yeah I felt it right through me yeah my Fingers absolutely Yeah let's go Dang there's another one [Music] Supposed to count from the time you see The flash until the time you hear it It's getting close fast I know that was A lot quicker than the last one we're at The dippy top of the mountains that's Okay I'll hit my gun barrel first Yeah that won't kill you Foreign Foreign Thank you And we're hailing a little hail storm Coming off the mountain What do you think Dave this is Ridiculous boys look at this look at This hail storm we just went through Yeah pea-sized hail peace lightning Thunder 8 700 feet 8 700 feet oh my gosh For real boys yeah let me tell you oh my Gosh there's another one Oh [ __ ] All right I'm all cut up where it's not

A ball maybe so uh Out of all the mule deer hunch you've Been on is this one the best this is Absolutely the best Regardless of how many I may I may go on In the future [Music] Dude we have got a story to tell you oh Seriously That's a good first day of hunting right [Music] We got you got shocked by lightning Close and I was like okay we pack up I Was throwing my stuff in my bag we were Yelling at it [Music] I'm trying to hurry and then all of a Sudden Crap and like I felt a snap on the back Of my head through my body every one of Us up my arm out my other side are you Kidding me no dude we were like these Guys bolted and I was like Oh my God [Music]