Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Good Luck Charm

On Saturday Ben and I hunted for 12 hours and came so close to sealing the deal several times.  Then on Sunday we decided to take our good luck charm.  Rylie had never been turkey hunting and wanted to tag along with us to see what all the fuss was about.  Walking into the woods, I told her she needed to be quite because we would be setting-up close to the roost tree and we didn't want to spook the turkeys.  Little did I know we had sat-up almost directly below the roost tree and when the first bird gobbled on the roost she almost screamed.  At sunrise 20 birds flew down into our decoys and put on an amazing show.  Ben yelped twice and the rest is history!  Now Rylie thinks turkey hunting is pretty fun!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 Minute Hunt

I am not exactly sure how many miles I have put on my truck during the first month of Turkey Season, but it feels like thousands.  After helping two youth take their first long beards, I was able to get out by myself for a hunt which took all of 10 minutes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

30th Anniversary Kansas Governor's Turkey Hunt

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the Kansas Governor's Turkey Hunt.  The Hunt is the longest running of its type in the Country.  I was honored to take Kaleb Davis of Winchester, Tennessee.  Kaleb entered the NWTF Jake's Essay Competition and his essay titled "Today's Conservation and Tomorrow's Heritage" won him a spot in the Governor's Hunt.  Kaleb was accompanied to Kansas by his father Jimmy Davis.

After hunting hard all morning we called in reinforcements!  We got the best turkey caller in the world...literally!  Billy Yargus winner of the 2016 Grand National Turkey Calling Championship and World Turkey Calling Championship joined us and was easily able to call in Kaleb's very first turkey!  

Monday, February 8, 2016

To prepare for the big game Daisy and I went on a SUPER goose hunt. 

The stars may never align like this again...in one single sports year I was able to watch my two favorite teams win World Championships!!! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Great Season

People keep telling me this was a poor waterfowl season and the migration was "messed-up".  We hunted well in excess of 50 times during the season and found birds on every hunt.  Alternating between river hunts, field hunts and pond hunts was a must, also, constant scouting was a key ingredient to success this year.  We often found birds in areas where just a few days prior we had not seen them.  They seemed to do a lot of bouncing around, whereas in years past they would stay in one area until forced out by hunting pressure or ice.   

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Almost Over

The 2015/16 Waterfowl Season is almost over, but there are still a few days left.  The weather has robbed us of some precious time on our favorite spots, thank goodness for the river and ice-eaters!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Put it in the books

This season has been filled with many ups and downs.

At times it felt like there was a little black rain cloud over my head! Take for example the evening before Thanksgiving, hunting the tail-end of the Kansas rut, with just a few minutes of shooting light remaining a breathtaking whitetail buck started walking down the lane toward my stand. ~PAUSE~ Now rewind several hours earlier....I had somehow managed to squeeze an evening hunt into very rigid travel plans made by my lovely wife, the trade-off was catching a ride with my father in-law to our destination at a prearranged time. Due to the intricate structure of the plans and precise timing involved, I had decided it was a good idea to not silence my phone in the event plans needed altering. ~UNPAUSE~ Now at 50 yards, this typical 10-point is continuing his approach completely unaware of my presence. His scheduled arrival would put him at 22 yards in my "bread & butter" shooting lane. So sure of this deer's impending fate, with each step he took in my direction, I contemplated various excuses I would provide my wife and family to explain my extreme tardiness from the pre-Thanksgiving festivities. The moment of truth had arrived, now at 23-yards and only one tree left to clear before getting the green light, I drew. Maybe it was the creak of the stand, or subtle noises from my jacket, or the slide of the arrow across the rest, but something had grabbed his attention and his approach ceased one step short of becoming a trophy on my wall. At full draw, all I could see from behind the scrubby hedge tree was 166" of antler (the duration of his pause actually allowed me to calculate a rough B/C score)...as he lifted his foot to take his last step, it happened. A vibration in my left chest pocket, an innocent one second vibration, a silent warning which would become the precursor to disaster. Time stood still, image the feeling of seeing the timer reach zero on a time bomb, all that's left now is the boom! The boom in this case came in the form of a loud phone screaming in my pocket!! Immediately upon detecting the unnatural noise, I watched what had now become 175" of antler whirl and blow away. At 70 yards he paused and briefly looked back in my direction, but quickly sprinted off when he heard the raunchy string of obscenities I had unleashed. There was nothing left to do but sit in my stand under the little black cloud and weather the storm.....the real salt in the wound was The Call, it was my wife calling to make sure everything was on schedule, I explain how ill timed her call was to which she replies, "why would someone trying to be quiet not silence their phone, that's just dumb!"

On at least three separate occasions this season, I got phone calls on a Thursday or Friday with a scouting report proclaiming epic numbers of waterfowl had been located and plans were made for a weekend slaughter.  Not one shot was fired on these so-called "slam dunk" hunts, my phone went silent by late season as all of buddies drew weary of my bad ju ju.  

All of this said I cannot complain about this season, I was fortunate enough to hunt more days than most managing to fill the freezer and am still alive to tell about it.  This year's  hunting adventures spanned 2 countries and 7 states.  The best part was all the friends I was able to spend time with along the way,  I especially enjoyed spending time with my boy as his interest in the outdoors continues to grow!