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!  



     

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jump Start


For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to hunt ducks and geese in Canada.  The thought of being able to work birds which had not been shot at from Canada to Kansas held a certain appeal. This Spring an invitation was extended to hunt waterfowl in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. The owner of the farm promised his property was some of the best in North America.  After a 24-hour drive, I found myself initially disappointed in the landscape.  Referred to as the "prairie pot-hole" region, it doesn't take much to see why.  There are few trees and crop (wheat, peas, barley and canola) fields as far as the eye can see.  The disappointment quickly faded, after taking a closer look, you begin to notice the hundreds of pot-holes scattered around, then you notice that each pot-hole is covered with ducks and geese.


The first evening was spent scouting a field to set-up for geese the next morning.  It didn't take long to find a field which was holding birds.  It was then I learned all land in the providence, unless posted, is open to hunting!  Our first goose hunt saw some slow shooting, but in the afternoon we set-up for ducks and had a four man limit in 30 minutes!  Each day the same routine was followed: field goose hunting in the AM, a breakfast break, slough duck hunting in the PM, then field scouting before sunset followed by dinner.  Never had I been witness to such numbers of ducks and geese.  On one particular pot-hole, which was only 25 yards long and 25 yards wide, the ducks never stopped trying to land on the water. Even when shots were fired, another flock would circle and commit to land...we literally shot ducks as fast as we could load our guns. 



I offer testimony that Canadian waterfowl hunting is amazing!  We shot hundreds of birds and only lacked 2 species of ducks from bagging every species the Central Fly Way has to offer.  I am already looking forward to going back next year and getting a jump start on the season.