In this episode, outdoor extraordinaire Duke Holmes talks about his 24-year career with Green Top. Since the late ’90s, Duke has used his expertise in camping, canoeing, muzzleloading, knives, and gun storage to help serve thousands of customers. Duke shares his insights on gun safes, custom knives, auto knives, and being outdoors in this episode.
Hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. It's not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle. Welcome to the Greentop Outdoors Podcast with your host, Hunter Brooks.
Today we've got the outdoor extraordinaire, Duke Holmes on the podcast today. How you doing today, Duke? Doing
Duke Holmes (00:20):
Man. Welcome. Thanks for coming on. We got a lot to talk about a lot. First thing, you got an anniversary coming up cuz we were just talking about how long you've been here. You and I started the same year. And you, you started before? I did earlier in 98. Where I came later in 98. And your anniversary your 24? 24
Duke Holmes (00:39):
Years. 24. I think it's, I think it's this Saturday.
This Saturday we ought, it's 21st. We oughta have a party man.
Duke Holmes (00:45):
We should <laugh> <laugh>.
So let's start off by talking about your history with Greentop, kind of your specialties here and what you know, what you enjoy doing, because you are an outdoor extraordinaire. Usually when I have questions about equipment, boots, footwear, apparel, clothing, I like to rely on your opinion on a lot of that stuff because I, I value your opinion because you, you understand what quality equipment is all about and why it's important. That's
Duke Holmes (01:13):
Right. I've been doing it, doing it a long time.
Yeah. I mean, you're, you're big in the back. Backpacking used to be a lot of backpacking. Did a
Duke Holmes (01:21):
Lot of backpacking, do a lot of canoeing, hiking, camping.
Well, you usually do an annual trip to Maine.
Duke Holmes (01:27):
We go to Maine every year.
How many miles do you do you do up there?
Duke Holmes (01:30):
Two weeks to three weeks. And we probably go, you know, 100 to 200 miles
Duke Holmes (01:38):
River. On the river.
It's a long ways man.
Duke Holmes (01:40):
It's a long ways, it's a lot of logistics.
Try get Yeah. I mean, how do you, I mean, to plan a trip like that, it takes a lot of planning. You don't just, you don't just get together one night with some people and say, all right, let's, let's do 200 miles. No,
Duke Holmes (01:53):
You need to plan out your food, your menu pack every day's food individually. If not, you're going wind up hungry.
Duke Holmes (02:04):
Because you won't take enough <laugh>.
I was gonna ask you something. What is the one thing, because you've been on a lot of, whether it's backpacking trips, canoeing trips, or whatever it is. What's the one thing that you will always, never, ever forget to take with you when you go on a trip like that? Is there one thing that stands out is like, is it a tool or is it a particular thing?
Duke Holmes (02:26):
Rain gear and, and, and a good pocket knife.
Yeah. Gotta have it.
Duke Holmes (02:30):
You gotta have it.
You wanna stay dry and you, and of course the pot, everybody knows the
Duke Holmes (02:34):
Imports of pocket. You need good pocket knife. Yeah. Matches, lighters.
You ever, uh, I mean you've been on so many trips, you had any, you ever had any scary Oh shit moments. You know, like, uh,
Duke Holmes (02:44):
Well we've left some things behind Yeah. At certain camps and when you can't go back and get 'em. Yeah.
Cuz it's back up river. Right?
Duke Holmes (02:51):
It it's a, yeah, it's just not logistically possible. I mean, you just can't get back there to it. Right. Left a camera lens one year. Oh, that, yeah. That was bad. Mm Oh, it was in a burn area. I was up in Ontario.
Has been, of all the places you've been to, what, what is one of the, I guess one of the coolest places you've been to? I mean, I know you, you enjoy Maine doing that just about every
Duke Holmes (03:13):
Year. Main Maine is, you can get to Maine easy. Right. You can drive there or fly. The neatest trip was when I went to the Nhan River.
Where is that? I think
Duke Holmes (03:22):
That was back in 91. That's up in the Northwest Territory.
Duke Holmes (03:26):
And that's all a wild and scenic river. It's on the UN's, you know, preserve places. Right. And there's, there may be a hundred people go down at a year.
That's it. That's
Duke Holmes (03:40):
It. It's similar to the Grand Canyon. Okay.
Duke Holmes (03:44):
So you've only done that once,
Duke Holmes (03:47):
One time. It's very expensive. Oh,
Okay. But it's, it was worth
Duke Holmes (03:50):
It. Oh yeah. Yeah. It was a two week.
You were, you were a younger two week trip and you were a younger man then. I was
Duke Holmes (03:55):
A little younger then. Yes.
Duke Holmes (03:58):
A little bit younger.
So would you say you're, you enjoy canoeing more than the backpacking?
Duke Holmes (04:04):
Canoeing is easier. You can carry more equipment with you. So it's a lot easier. Not as hard on the feet.
It definitely isn't more the back. Which I'm glad you brought up the feet because for somebody that does a lot of hiking, backpacking, your, your footwear is extremely important when it comes to staying comfortable and feet staying dry and all that. Right?
Duke Holmes (04:25):
It is. It is. And and, and hunting as well.
And hunting as well. Yes. Would you, uh, socks, footwear. What, what do you feel is the best thing to consider when, when you're, uh, depend. I mean, depending on if you're hunting or hiking or whatever, but, uh, hunting boots is easy cuz most people don't travel very far Right. When they're hunting. Right. Unless they're going out west, if they're on elk hunt or something like that. Right. But, uh, what are, what are some tips of that, I guess for you being an outdoors guy and a and a backpacker and a hiker on socks. Let's just say keeping the feet dry.
Duke Holmes (04:56):
You want to keep the feet dry. I mean, that's the key to cut down on blisters. Right. Uh, liner socks, polypro liner socks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> foot powder. And then a good wool sock even in the summertime. Right. Because wool is gonna dry from the inside out and your feet are gonna stay a lot drier and healthier.
So no matter if it's winter or summer, if you're hiking a a, a liner with a wool sock year round, it's
Duke Holmes (05:21):
The way to go. Yeah. Yeah. Now you don't have to get a real heavy wool sock in the summertime. You can go to a lighter weight one. But that's what you want to use. Right. Always. Woo.
Okay. As far as the actual footwear, you've never really been a rubber rubber boot guy, have you?
Duke Holmes (05:36):
No. I have a pair of, uh, lacrosse. Yeah. Rubber boots. I use these for certain things.
Certain things. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because they're not the most comfortable. No.
Duke Holmes (05:44):
They're not really designed for long distance walking.
They'll keep you dry.
Duke Holmes (05:48):
They do. They keep you dry. They're great for early season, like Turkey hunting. Yep. They keep the, the bugs off of you. Mm-hmm.
<affirmative>, what else, uh, do you specialize in here at Greentop? I know cuz we talk about, uh, footwear and apparel. You know, you're, you're kind of my go-to on apparel too, right? Because you, you see, you could, you can find quality and stuff, but what else is it that you specialize in?
Duke Holmes (06:12):
Well, we do the knives.
Duke Holmes (06:13):
We do the safes,
Gun safes. We
Duke Holmes (06:16):
Do the black powder and the muzz
Loading and the muzz loading. Yeah. Okay. Well let's talk about, uh, safes and firearm storage. Uh, important part of owning firearms because one, it keeps 'em, keeps 'em safe from others. Getting their hands on 'em. Correct. It also keeps 'em safe from environmental things, moisture, things like that. Rust, rust, fire, fire, all that. Yes. And it's not just, you know, people think gun safes, they think these giant heavy safes, but the safe world now is, is pretty vast and just, and, and they come all shapes and sizes. You can get stuff down to something as small as just fitting one little semi-auto or correct revolver or, you know, to something that'll fit multiple stuff.
Duke Holmes (06:58):
Right. Whether it's a handgun safe mm-hmm. <affirmative> keep next to the bed. Right. Or if it's a big safe that carries, you know, a hold 50 firearms. Right. Long guns. I mean, you don't need to get a 50 gun. You could get a, a 10 gun or a 20 gun. Right.
How big should you buy?
Duke Holmes (07:15):
You want to buy bigger than what you have. Right. Because you're always gonna add more to it. You're gonna put more in that safe than just guns. Right. I mean you may put documents in there. You may put, uh,
Duke Holmes (07:28):
Duke Holmes (07:31):
Yeah. Photographs. I mean they are fire lined. They're not fireproof, but they're fire lined.
So explain that.
Duke Holmes (07:39):
Most of the safes are gonna start out with a fire rating. They start at 30 minutes at 1200 degrees. Most of 'em are gonna be 60 minutes at 14. And then you can go up from there. But it's, it's a fire lining. It's not gonna make it a hundred percent fire approved. Right. If you store your documents in there, you want to put those in a fire box. Right. The fire envelope inside the safe. Right.
Because it's a greater chance of that stuff surviving or Correct. Or not getting damaged if they're inside of something else.
Duke Holmes (08:14):
Correct. Most of your linings are rated when paper chars.
Duke Holmes (08:20):
So that's how you kind of judge. Right. And that's like 2 75 I think when paper starts to burn. Right. And a firearm will take more heat than, than paper. Sure.
Yeah. Cuz uh, a lot of people automatically assume that, oh, it says it's a safe must be fireproof. So no matter what, if my house can burn down around that safe, everything's gonna survive. That's not the case.
Duke Holmes (08:42):
Not a hundred percent the case.
Right. Right. So fire protection is important, but most all the name brand safes out there right now are probably gonna have close to the same amount of fire protection. Is that correct?
Duke Holmes (08:53):
Pretty close and pretty close. Pretty close. They play with the numbers a little
Bit and I mean, it all depends what you
Duke Holmes (08:58):
Pay. You can kind of see where they're coming from. Right. But they all, you know, most of 'em have decent fire protection.
Yeah. And it's not really a deciding factor on what's gonna sell more than it's uh, usually it's how attractive the safe is and how much I guess the size, how many guns were correct. How many things, how
Duke Holmes (09:16):
Many guns you have, they're going in there, the type of guns. Right. You know, and then how you can configure it to fit, you know, other stuff.
And I guess another rule is too, like a lot of safes are what, uh, say a 36 gun safe, they call it. Technically you're only gonna fit like what, 28 in that day? No, that's
Duke Holmes (09:35):
36 red riders.
Right. <laugh>, <laugh>.
Duke Holmes (09:38):
So you gotta, if you have a scoped rifle or ar or double barrel, they're all gonna take, they're gonna
Take up one space. Yeah. Correct. Which is why you should always go a little bit bigger.
Duke Holmes (09:49):
A little bit bigger as
Long as your place in your home. Right. Uh, allows for that.
Duke Holmes (09:53):
Unless you need to add an addition. Right.
Right. <laugh>. So, um, keeping moisture out when you talked about rust, that's always an issue. And a lot of people just don't, don't ever think about it. I I, it's happened to me before. I've, you know, I've figured I was good. And then next thing you know, I mean even in a, a silicone gun sock Right. I like to keep a lot of my guns in a silicone gun sock inside the safe. Right. But even that's not sometimes enough protection. Especially if depending on where you, you're safe is being stored.
Duke Holmes (10:25):
See a lot of these safes, the problem with the safe, it isn't necessarily outside moisture. It's the atmosphere that the safe builds up inside when you don't go in and out of it. Right. You gotta change that air in there. Right. Okay. So your silicon gun sock, your hydros orb or something similar. Right. It's absorbing moisture if it's in your living space of the house, work fine. Right Now, if you've got it down in a, in a basement or outside somewhere in a, in a shed a garage, you're probably gonna want to put one of the dry rods in there, which is a heating element that's gonna be a constant heat inside that safe and force that air to change. Right. That's how it
Works. That's how, I mean, cuz that's a lot of people think, well it's just, it's just sucking all the moisture out of there.
Duke Holmes (11:15):
No, no, no. But no, it's actually forcing the air to circulate in that safe
To keep it moving. Correct. So you have a constant change in Right. Okay.
Duke Holmes (11:24):
Because you're not going in and out of that safe every day. You don't go in and out of it every day. If you did, then you wouldn't have a
Problem. Right. I don't really go into my safe as much. Some people may, but I
Duke Holmes (11:36):
Don't, some people may not, they may not go in there for a month or so
At a time and see I made the mistake. I got two safes I didn't buy big enough so I had to buy two. I had to buy a smaller one. I will say if you move, it's easier to move two smaller safes than one big one. Exactly.
Duke Holmes (11:50):
Yes. But um, so if you know you're move in the future, it might be smart to do that way. Two
Duke Holmes (11:55):
Small ones are much easier, much
Easier to move. One big one. Yes. Yes. I will say that. So as far as other safes right now, new technology, you know, uh, a lot of, a lot of stuff's going to biometric. There's mechanical versus electronic. You don't see a lot of mechanical dials anymore.
Duke Holmes (12:13):
No. Most, most of what we're carrying now are the electronic. Yeah. It's easier, it's quicker to access it. You don't need your glasses or a lot of light to see what you're doing. Right.
Yeah. Cuz a lot of 'em are lit up.
Duke Holmes (12:27):
Most of them now are the emmp proof, so you don't have to worry about that. Yeah. That issue.
They'll warn you when the battery's going get low. They tell
Duke Holmes (12:35):
You when the battery's getting, getting low. Yeah. If, if you have a issue with it, it's usually a keypad. One of the numbers are getting tired. Yeah. And you just need to call the manufacturer and get a new keypad Yeah. And put it on there.
Yeah. And most will have a warranty on them. Exactly. And if it's, if it's outside the warranty, you can just always order 'em.
Duke Holmes (12:56):
They're usually pretty good on something like
That. Most of 'em are. Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> And, uh, the biometric stuff is getting big. Not not in the bigger safes, but the smaller, like vtech being, um, probably, probably our our largest
Duke Holmes (13:09):
Vault tech is a fantastic product. It
Duke Holmes (13:12):
I mean they, they definitely on top of it.
Yeah. Cuz they're getting into the bigger safes now. Right. They've
Duke Holmes (13:18):
Got some bigger safes, some, you know, that'll carry ar and for quick access you've got your wifi, biometric great, great
Product and they stand behind them too. Um, and you know, you can just look at the product and tell it's good quality.
Duke Holmes (13:34):
Uh, and, and man, it man, does it move? I mean, we see a lot of that stuff go outta here.
Duke Holmes (13:39):
We we're, we're low on it right now. I Ricky just did another order on it.
That's what he said. That's, that's what he said earlier today.
Duke Holmes (13:47):
I mean, would you, would you think that vtech is probably the more innovative company out there right now? I
Duke Holmes (13:53):
Think vtech is kind of the leader in the biometrics, at least from what we've seen.
Yeah. I mean you see other companies getting into it. Like, uh, horny for instance,
Duke Holmes (14:02):
Horn. Today's got some biometrics.
They've got some great stuff. They've
Duke Holmes (14:05):
Got the little push button too. Yeah. That are great for next to the bed or something.
Or the vehicle or carrying a car or something like that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Um, but you know, the good thing is, is there's so much out there to keep your firearm safe from, you know, moisture, safe from theft, safe from, from, you know, kids getting their hands on. Exactly. Whatever it is. Whatever the reason for it, you know, uh, it's important to, to keep it out of the elements where wherever. Right. And there's so many options out there right now for it. Even travel, um, for gun storage right now. I mean you can still, you can fly with firearms, but there are certain regulations and, and rules you have to follow. And some of the stuff that's out there now that you can buy to, to, to store your firearms in and fly with is, it's incredibly, incredibly good stuff. Good quality stuff.
Duke Holmes (14:55):
Oh yeah. Yeah. The pelvic in boxes.
Duke Holmes (14:58):
Mean, well you see how, you see how bags get handled when you fly. Oh.
Duke Holmes (15:01):
Yeah. Can you imagine what they're doing with a, with a a gun case or something like that? I mean, I'm sure that it's just, just as bad. I'm sure. Yeah. Let's go back to, we were talking about knives and you know, we just had a law change in Virginia that, uh, now auto, auto knives are, or what are they also known as? Uh, switch blades. Switch
Duke Holmes (15:23):
Or what are some of the other things they call 'em autos? Well, they're just, they're they're, they're legal now, right? They're,
Duke Holmes (15:29):
Well, July 1st,
Duke Holmes (15:31):
June. June one. July one.
Okay. That's good for, it's good for, it's good for business, good for everybody. It's good for business. It's good. But now, now, and you don't have to be like a first responder
Duke Holmes (15:41):
Exactly. To have one. Military or military. Pretty much anyone now can carry those.
I guess what differs those from like your normal folders or your um, spring assisted things like that?
Duke Holmes (15:52):
Well, you've got your spring assists and it's kind of a terminology thing, a technicality really. But the spring assists you have to actually give the blade a little push. Right. You have to get it going. Whereas your automatics, you just push the button. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it's still spring, but it's gonna deploy just by pushing that
Button. And then there's a folding the ones that are deployed by folding. And then are there the ones that come that you got
Duke Holmes (16:17):
Your out the front Right. Which come straight out. And then you've got your ones that come out from the side, your folders.
Right. Okay. So you got 'em either coming straight out the front or you got the folder or
Duke Holmes (16:27):
Out the side just like your spring assist.
Right. And, but but they're but they're all done by push button. Correct. Medford Knives. You're a fan.
Duke Holmes (16:37):
I'm a fan.
You should be cuz you own, don't you own a couple of those
Duke Holmes (16:39):
Things? I've got 'em, Medford. Yes.
Yeah. And would you, would you say that's your, now your your favorite knife? That's
Duke Holmes (16:44):
Probably my favorite knife.
Yeah. I mean there's, uh, tell, tell me a little bit about Medford's. I guess
Duke Holmes (16:50):
Medford's pretty much a custom made hands-on knife maker Greg Medford. Yeah. And there's, his knives are expensive. There's new question about that. Yeah. But their state of the art, their titanium handles on a lot of them. G 10 mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, he uses S 30 V Steel, which is a crucible steel. He'll use S 93 V and D two, all steels. He uses, the thing with the Medford knife is it's, it's just bombproof.
Duke Holmes (17:24):
And they're super
Durable. If you ever pick one up, you'll understand. Cuz we, we usually, we usually have a case full of 'em here. We do. And they're worth checking out. And if anybody who's not in the knives or, or wants to get in the knives, you gotta check out a med. You
Duke Holmes (17:37):
Gotta check out a med for not only, I mean it's, it's a tool, but it's also a work of art on some of
These things. It really is. Yeah.
Duke Holmes (17:45):
I mean it's, it's, there's something,
I don't have one yet. I gotta get one. We
Duke Holmes (17:48):
Gotta get you
One. I know, I, I got a lot of knives. I've, I've, I wasn't never really into knives. A good customer of ours got me into knives years ago. I got into buying, uh, well I had a Chris Reeves, which, uh, but the dozers, these, uh, dozer D two knives, uh, out of Arkansas. I got, I've got several of those. You know, those are all fix blade knives. And they're, they're not folders, but a lot of the Medford are folders.
Duke Holmes (18:13):
They're folders. Yeah. A lot of 'em are
Folders. They don't, but he, he,
Duke Holmes (18:16):
He does some fix. They
Does some fix blade
Duke Holmes (18:17):
Stuff. Yes. He does some fix blades.
Yeah. But def definitely worth checking out, man. They're they're, they're pretty, like you said, they're almost like a work of art. They
Duke Holmes (18:24):
Are work of art.
Yeah. And some people buy 'em, don't even use 'em. They just collect them. They
Duke Holmes (18:28):
Collect them. And a lot of people have quite a few of them.
Yeah. Well don't they, before they make a, before they ship a an order, they kinda, they do this thing on YouTube or they'll
Duke Holmes (18:40):
Their website, they'll do YouTube depending on how many the vendor buys. They'll do a YouTube kind of giving everybody a heads up on what's
Going out as
Duke Holmes (18:47):
To what's coming. Ah,
That's kind of an easy way to pre-sell some as well.
Duke Holmes (18:52):
Duke Holmes (18:53):
That's pretty awesome. Muzzle loading. You were, you were into muzzle loading before you started at Greentop, weren't you? I was. So you were, this dates back to the, the nineties. This
Duke Holmes (19:04):
Dates back to the old Hawking gun.
Yeah. Because when the
Duke Holmes (19:07):
Before Inlines came around,
Duke Holmes (19:09):
When Inlines just, just were coming about
Because wasn't long, you know, when Inlines started, what, mid, early to mid nineties. Mm.
Duke Holmes (19:17):
Sometime in there night.
Night night. Came out with the first in
Duke Holmes (19:20):
Line, came out with the inline muzz later. The Wolverine.
The Wolverine, or was it the MK 85? MK
Duke Holmes (19:26):
85, yeah. I think that was predecessor to the Wolverine. Yep.
Yep. And before then, I mean, it was just your Hawkin style
Duke Holmes (19:33):
Hawkin style gun. Yeah. There were a few, you know, CVA guns out there and, but yeah. Night kind of revolutionized
It did, changed, changed the industry. It
Duke Holmes (19:43):
So you, you did a lot of the mo loading coming up, um, before you got to Green top. And then of course you, you kind of fit right in when you started here. You know, working back in that department, apparel, boots, knives, it was all always been the kind of the same big department it was as far as the muzzle loading goes, you know, I know you've always had some tips for everybody or some pet peeves on what people should and shouldn't do. Let's, let's talk about those for a minute. One, keeping your stuff clean is, is definitely, it's,
Duke Holmes (20:15):
You got to keep the vital thing these things clean. Yeah. I mean that muzzle, that barrel ought of shine inside just like a shotgun. Right. And you see they come in, if you shoot that gun, please clean it. Yeah. That night. Don't leave it set. Especially if you are using like, some of these older powders that are more corrosive because people don't realize the damage, even though you cleaned it a couple days later and don't see any damage, it's done. Right. I mean it's, it's, it's etched that barrel and it's going show up a couple years down the road. Yeah.
And, and that's always a big issue because a lot of people put 'em away at the end of the season. They've shot it or they just, they said, oh, I'll clean it next week. They just
Duke Holmes (20:59):
They just forget. They forget. They'll leave it loaded or whatever. And it goes on, you know, it goes months. Right. And then it's next thing you know, it's three weeks or maybe even three days before the season opens, it's
Duke Holmes (21:10):
Time to get a new one.
And people are scrambling because one, the gun's not firing. The gun's not grouping. It's filthy. And oh, oh, oh no, what am I gonna do? The season's coming in tomorrow. What am I gonna do? Right. But that's, that's, that's one of my pet peeves too is just, you know, take care of your stuff.
Duke Holmes (21:29):
You know, you, you invested, whether you invested $150 in a cheaper, uh, traditions or CVA or you know, you're spending a thousand dollars on one of these newer long-range borer, muzzle loaders, you know? Right. You know, take care of your stuff. I mean, because
Duke Holmes (21:47):
It's not that hard to clean them now.
It it really
Duke Holmes (21:49):
Isn't. It's not like the old days. Right. I mean, it's very simple. I mean, just, I mean, you clean them, you can clean them with solvent, the black powder solvent, or you can use Soaping water, hot soapy water, scald it out, oil it, and get done.
Yep. I mean,
Duke Holmes (22:05):
It's not a big deal.
It really isn't. Um, and now you've got, um, well you got, you got some smokeless muzzle liters out there now too, which are even better. But those
Duke Holmes (22:16):
Are, yeah. They've got some smokeless ones out there.
A lot of those are custom.
Duke Holmes (22:20):
Right. They're mostly custom.
They're all custom stuff. So, uh,
Duke Holmes (22:23):
Yeah. But you've got the CVA Paramount. I mean, if you're out there trying to get long range, 300 yards Yeah. Outta that gun. Yep. Uh, there's just, there's a number of new guns out there. You've got the fire stick. Yeah. So the nitrate fire from Traditions.
From Traditions, yep.
Duke Holmes (22:42):
That's, that's out there now with the, the pre-charge powder mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's just like a shotgun shell like just put it in there.
Yeah. They're making it easier and easier.
Duke Holmes (22:53):
It's very easy.
Do you think that Virginia will go to a straight wall?
Duke Holmes (22:57):
I don't know. I don't know. I
Wonder if they'll do that
Duke Holmes (23:02):
A lot. 45, 70. A lot
Of, a lot of something like that. A lot of 'em gone to, um, was it, I guess four 50 s Right. Four 50 Marlin. Um, what are some of the other ones? Four 50 Bushmaster maybe? No,
Duke Holmes (23:15):
I'm not sure on that one.
And then, um, 45 70 or, I'm, I'm, I'm leaving one out somewhere. I can't remember which. What's the other one? Oh, the smaller one. Is it three 50? Three 50 legend?
Duke Holmes (23:28):
That I'm not sure.
I think, I think some of the, uh, central or northern states have gone to that mm-hmm. <affirmative> during their black powder season. Right. There's, that is accepted. And it's not just in a single shot. It could be in a bolt action too, which I don't know defeats the purpose. Do you really call it a black powder season anymore? Ah,
Duke Holmes (23:43):
That's tough. It is. That's tough.
I don't think Virginia will go to it.
Duke Holmes (23:47):
I don't think so.
Yeah. They're too old school. The d w is, um, what else you wanna talk about Duke? What else is uh, what, what uh, well, I know, I know you've always been into bear hunting. You've always been after that bear. I'm
Duke Holmes (24:03):
Trying. I it's tough getting the bear.
It is. I
Duke Holmes (24:06):
Finally did get one a couple years back.
You did? It was before Covid. Yes.
Duke Holmes (24:10):
Preco. You got at least
Duke Holmes (24:11):
Covid bears. You got a pre covid bear. Exactly. <laugh>. Uh,
And where'd you, uh, you ended up going out western part of the state.
Duke Holmes (24:18):
Get there up in Lexington.
Oh, well l old Lexington
Duke Holmes (24:21):
Up in the mountains. Yeah.
That was something. It was, man, I'm, uh, I I remember you were, you were trying and trying and trying and, and it finally paid off for you.
Duke Holmes (24:30):
It finally, it took a while and it, it was, you know, it was tough getting that bear. Well, you know, getting out of the woods with the tough, tough
Part a lot. A lot. Well, I, I bet it was. Yeah. Cause they're not easy to move, but a lot of people try for bear and they always get one when they least expect it. Exactly. You know, it's just, it's funny how it works like that. Uh, cuz uh, I, I only see bear when I least expect it like in my yard. I've gone, I've gone all the way to Maine to go on bear hunts and never seen a bear. And there's one in can come home and there's one in the backyard. You know, it's just, that's just the way it, that's just the way it works. That's
Duke Holmes (25:04):
Um, but no. So going back to gun safes, uh, I meant to ask you this earlier. You know, we, you know, we've got, um, got browning. We
Duke Holmes (25:16):
Browning and the big bigger safe line and we got, uh, vtech and the smaller safe stuff. Um, Hornady. Hornady and um, rhinos.
Duke Holmes (25:26):
We carry the Rhinos.
Kodiaks. Kodiaks. Yep. And there's May, there's maybe a chance we might be picking up a new company here soon. We may. We may, we may not. We'll see. We met. That'll all. It may happen next week. We'll see. We'll see. We'll see how that goes. Knives. It's covered in knives.
Duke Holmes (25:43):
We've got the autos,
Got the autos, we've
Duke Holmes (25:46):
Got the Cobra Tech. We've got some,
So, yeah, that's right. Cobra
Duke Holmes (25:50):
Tech is, Cobra Tech is in, we've got some Bos,
Well, Cobra Tech. So where does that fall as far as the quality? Does it fall? Like is it like bench made quality or is it spco?
Duke Holmes (25:59):
Well you've got your bench mades, so they're going to be headed in here. We've got Microt techs coming. That's kind of your top, top names I think. Yeah. Uh, Boker and Cobra Tech are pretty similar.
Duke Holmes (26:12):
Good. Good price point. Good value for your dollar. Yeah. Good steel in the blade.
So you got any trips this year? Planned
Duke Holmes (26:19):
Hope to go to Maine in August.
That's, well you haven't been in a while, have you?
Duke Holmes (26:23):
No, we've been, we missed one year.
Oh, you missed the one year covid year. We missed the covid year. Covid year. Okay.
Duke Holmes (26:29):
And then we went late the year last year. Was
It last year? Was it back in Sep? Was it September? We
Duke Holmes (26:36):
Went in like late October
The one year. Oh, that's right. That's right. And
Duke Holmes (26:41):
That's probably a little too late to go canoe
<laugh> weather. Big, big weather swing. Uh, yes.
Duke Holmes (26:48):
From August to October up there. That two weeks difference made quite a bit of
Difference. I bet it did.
Duke Holmes (26:55):
It was, uh, an eye-opener.
So how and, and how far up in Maine are you going?
Duke Holmes (27:01):
We're going north of Baxter State Park.
So how, I mean how far
Duke Holmes (27:07):
Of that Baxter Baxter's kind of right in the middle of the state. Okay. So in the northern part of Maine,
Is it pretty, pretty isolated out there? There's not much around or it's,
Duke Holmes (27:16):
There's well, there's no cell phone coverage.
Do you see a lot of people on the river?
Duke Holmes (27:21):
No. You don't see a whole lot of people. It depends. When you go summertime you'll see some people on the, the west branch, but on later you don't.
Well, I mean, do you ever, like, you're coming down the river and you ever wonder like how much of that land is owned by?
Duke Holmes (27:36):
Well right now the state Maine has, they bor they own the land that borders the west branch of the Penobscot.
Okay. So it's all So it's all state? It's all state land all. Yep.
Duke Holmes (27:48):
It's all state protected now. So Yeah. And that's where we usually go. We'll go from Greenville and go up Moosehead and cross over where Henry David crossed in northeast Cy. Okay. And put in on the West branch.
Duke Holmes (28:05):
It's kind of a historic route.
Yeah. And the weather up here in August, uh, bugs aren't too bad.
Duke Holmes (28:10):
No, no, no bugs Really in August.
Yeah. But the heat's not as bad up there either. I mean, it's pretty, it's actually pretty cool at nighttime. August.
Duke Holmes (28:17):
August is kind of a transition month where things are starting to change over.
Yeah. Okay. And you don't, and it's not like down here on the Matta Panina or the, uh,
Duke Holmes (28:27):
Matta. Panina is nice, but you
Need to take Well you don't have to take out a lot up there do you? No.
Duke Holmes (28:31):
<laugh> No, no.
It's not like there's not a lot of, you don't have
Duke Holmes (28:35):
A lot of trees anyway.
Right, right. <laugh>. Yeah. Water flow is a little bit different up there too. I'm sure it
Duke Holmes (28:40):
Is. Yeah, it is.
Yeah. Down here. Uh, I know cuz you just re you recently did, uh, long what, a two day float on the Matapan solo.
Duke Holmes (28:50):
Two and a half put in up in Ruth Glenn and went down to Alet.
And you were all by yourself? All by myself. And you. I don't think you saw anybody. For what?
Duke Holmes (28:59):
I didn't see anybody
Up. Yeah. And that, and that's like, this was
Duke Holmes (29:01):
That's literal. Well that was March. Yeah. But that's literally, you know what not 30 minutes from here
Duke Holmes (29:07):
Not very full. And you went two days without seeing a soul,
Duke Holmes (29:09):
Without seeing a single power. Anybody.
It was pretty nice too. Wasn't it
Duke Holmes (29:12):
Was, it was, it was a real interesting
Trip. I bet it was. Did you have to take out a lot? A lot. I'm sure you did. There
Duke Holmes (29:18):
Was a lot of blowdowns, a lot of trees and
Well, there's some parts of the river that, you know, nobody goes down that that there. No. You know. No. I mean, if you got, if something happened to you back there, I mean, I don't know. I
Duke Holmes (29:31):
Well you've got cell coverage. You
Do at least have cell coverage. Yeah. Yeah. That's true. But yeah, I've been, I've been above there where you were. Right. Where it's, it's parts there where it's, I don't know, I don't know how you would even get to that part of the river without going in above like where, where Milford is and, and just heading, heading down, heading down. Because there's really, it's pretty remote back there. It's very remote. And the fishing's pretty good too. Oh yeah. Yeah. Did you, did you fish much? I did not fish that trip. You were just trying to stay on your schedule? I was primarily just exploring it. Yeah. Cuz I hadn't been there. Would you go back and do it again? Oh yes. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think I, I picked it right. The time, the time of year it was. Right. You know, wasn't a lot of snakes out yet.
Yeah. In March. Yeah. Cuz there's plenty of those on the panai. Exactly. Yeah. Went during that warm weekend, so I kind of lucked out. Yeah. It it was a perfect time. Were those, uh, I know there's some Indian caves along there, but was it a long at route that you were on? Or was it, was it, I'm trying to remember where those Indian caves are that they they found 'em, they found 'em like, I don't know, 20, 25 years ago. Really? I don't, yeah, but I don't think it's on your route. Okay. That the route that you went on. I can't, I think it's further above that. I'll have to find out. You can go check those out. I'll have to. Well, Duke, thanks for being on the podcast today. Um, thanks for having me. Huh. Happy anniversary coming up. Cause Ah, that's right because mine model will be in October, um, you know, 20, 24 years I guess. Yeah. It's been a long time man. It's been a while. Been a long run. It has. Yeah. It's been a good run. It has been. It has been. But, uh, thanks again for being here and, uh, sharing, uh, sharing your background, sharing your experiences and, um, your expertise on, on, on these certain things. All right. Thank you, hunter. All right. Thanks for being here.
Thanks for listening to the Greentop Outdoors Podcast. Hunting, fishing, and all things outdoors. It's not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle like, and subscribe to the Greentop Outdoors Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. And learn more about greentop at greentophuntfish.com.