Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kyle Lamore - ...If it Weren't for Bad Luck...

Well…October is slowly slipping away and one of our goals for this year was to finally put down a good deer in October. To accomplish this, we tried incorporating several deep timber Biologic food plots this year….well, the Reconyx camera was stolen, along with the stands and ladder stick, so… needless to say it has been a bust. The clock is quickly ticking towards November and with only two hunts left..…no big buck has yet to meet the Rage. However, we have seen and encountered more big deer this October than ever before. I think Jared Lurk said it best one time with “When filming, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the worst possible time.” The following examples have occurred since season has begun!

1. The month started at Hadley Creek and we saw a ton of deer, shot a doe, but just couldn’t seem to find a buck that would meet the new 140” minimum. We even had an ancient buck come to within 30 yards that would have been in deep trouble back home, but had to give him a pass because he didn’t have quite enough inches on his head.

2. We have been watching a deer that we nicknamed “Redemption” since mid summer. We have tons and tons of pics of this deer and finally laid eyes on him Oct. 19 at only 22 yards from the stand. However, JJ called me off of him b/c it was very low light for the camera and so he got a pass without an arrow released.

3. Saturday, Oct. 25th was the first time we had hunted our new lease in the morning. Well, the morning was full of fog and drizzle, since an inch of rain had fallen the night before. Things started out rather slow, but by mid-morning we had several does moving in. I was filming them and trying to decide if JJ was going to shoot one when my camera starting flashing “CONDENSATION DETECTED”… the words any cameraman detests having pop up!! I told him not to shoot when he tells me big buck coming, a big nine pointer then follows the does right by our stand at 26 yards broadside. JJ’s asks me what is going on, while I currently have a doe staring at me from under the stand b/c the tape is being ejected in and out of the camera. I had to return the favor as he did a week earlier and call him off of the beast b/c the camera couldn’t boot up. Ten minutes later, the camera is working fine…go figure!!

So...we are trying to close the deal of one of these bucks in the near future and hoping our black cloud leaves us alone for a while! Good luck this fall to all!


Friday, October 10, 2008

John O'Dell - What a Month!

Well the month of September 2008 turned out to be a great month! Although Dave and I did not have any luck on our short trip out west (2 days) to Sherman Creek Outfitters, we did have a couple of close encounters. I had a 170” Mule deer buck in velvet at 10 yards but he came in directly behind the rock blind I was hiding in and I could not get turned around for the shot. Then Dave had a great encounter with a black bear at 10 yards on the ground but opted to pass the shot as Joe had some pictures of a monster bear that he though was 400 lbs plus! We plan to head back out to hunt with Joe and Jodi in December as Joe has a number of great deer on camera. Hopefully we’ll have better luck then.

The reason our hunt was cut short is that Suzy and I were expecting a new addition to the family. If I would have missed the birth of my child I am pretty sure I would be living with Joe and Jodi permanently. Luckily for me baby O’Dell waited to arrive on the morning of Saturday the 13th of September. Macy Elizabeth O’Dell was born 8 lbs 4 oz 21.5”. My son Jacob had the quote of the day when she was born as he said when asked what he thought about his new baby sister “Well I kind of wanted a brother but at least we got something”! J Mom and baby are doing great! Dad is tired from lack of sleep!

One week after Macy’s arrival my lovely wife was gracious enough to let me fly to St. Louis for our Drury Outdoors annual fall meeting. At the meeting we review upcoming titles and themes for the DVD’s and TV shows. We also have the opportunity to view new products from our wonderful sponsors and we have the opportunity to spend time as team members swapping hunting stories and just having a great time together. The weekend culminates with the annual awards banquet. It is an incredible atmosphere where we get to see highlights from the hunts our teams captured from the previous hunting season. There is always some good humor mixed in from some of the bloopers from the season and this year was special in that we celebrated Drury Outdoors upcoming 20th year anniversary! (Congratulations again Mark and Terry!) Having been on the team for 15 of those years it doesn’t seem possible that so much time has passed. I guess that is why they say time flies when you are having fun! During the awards show there are also different categories were team members are recognized amongst their peers for outstanding production. The pinnacle of these awards is the “Producer of the Year”. The competition for this category has become intense and realistically could go to several teams. This year however I was extremely fortunate to be the recipient of this prestigious award. It was an awesome feeling to win but it was equally enjoyable to celebrate with all of my good friends and Drury Team Members. I only wish Suzy could have been there as well but she was home taking care of Macy Elizabeth.

Well October has finally arrived and as usual Dave and I can’t wait to get in the deer stand! We have several pictures of some giant bucks on our Reconyx camera. Amy will up to bat first with early season muzzleloader in Iowa (Suzy is taking the year off due to Macy’s feeding schedule) and then Dave and I will get after it with PSE’s in hand. Hopefully my next updates will be on the journal page with some big bucks down.

Safe Hunting!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mark & Terry Drury - Busy Few Weeks!

What a busy past couple of weeks we have had at Drury Outdoors! We had our annual Shoot To Thrill Award Show at the end of September where all of our Teams come in from across the country to celebrate the past years accomplishments and to look ahead to the upcoming year.

We not only celebrated a great year in which we harvested over 100 whitetails on film, but we also looked forward to 2009 and our 20th Year Anniversary as a company! We had some special guest appearances and John O'Dell walked away the big winner with the coveted 2008 Producer of the Year Award!

This past week we were at Hadley Creek Outfitters in Pike County Illinois filming for our upcoming year of Dream Season TV titled REDEMPTION! We assembled an electric cast of characters from seasons past. The weather was great at Hadley and we had some wonderful encounters. Team Missouri - Chris and Jeff Propst - even ended the week perfectly by Chris harvesting the only buck of the trip.

Not to mention the great shooting competition that was involved! We can't give too many of the details away, but here is a pic to help hold you over until next summer :)

As if all of this wasn't enough....we had the esteemed photographer Michael Engelmeyer from Great Outdoors Studios in to shoot our custom built "I Shot It With My PSE" grand prize giveaway Bike for the 2009 TV Season! Man oh man, he shot some outstanding pics and truly is a talented photographer. Here are a couple sample shots of his work this weekend.

For more info on how you can sign up and submit an entry to be apart of next years "I Shot It With My PSE" on Bow Madness Season 2 click here.

Good luck this fall and remember to always be safe out there! -Mark & Terry Drury

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Louie Payne - Hot Times in Kentucky

Summers in Kentucky are always long, dry and hot. Rainfall this time of year is hard to come by but once again we took the gamble by putting our food plots in the ground by mid August. Hunting over a field of green Biologic is something that Mother Nature controls. We were lucky enough to get one good rain right after we put the seed in the ground and boy did it get things rolling. Now we are keeping our fingers crossed that the Hurricanes in the south will bring Kentucky just a little bit of rain and keep our food plots going.

This year I had high hopes of taking a velvet buck but did I get a surprise! After checking the Reconyx camera last weekend, August 28th we had pics of bucks in velvet. But on the 29th of August the same bucks had gone through the complete process of losing the velvet. What a sight to see! We all know once that velvet comes off; it’s a whole new ball game. Nevertheless we will be chasing these bucks in the high Kentucky heat hoping for a cold front soon.

Friday, August 29, 2008

J.J. Kolesar - Back 2 School

Well, the season is rapidly approaching, and Kyle and I are trying every tactic in our bow-hunting arsenal to spot some giant whitetails. Currently, we have been catching some beautiful bucks on our new Reconyx Cameras (which are wonderful by the way). The key is where will old mossy horns be when he sheds his velvet? This is a question that always seems to puzzle us in October.

The summer has ended and school is officially underway, so I guess it is back to reality. Between classes and football practices, we try to get our glasses out and see if we can put any pieces of the puzzle together. We are in the midst of dicing up some soil for our fall food plots. Kyle and I are going to experiment with some deep woods hunting plots in hopes to get closer to a bruiser during daylight hours. We will see how it goes. Hope everyone is doing well. Have a great season! See you all in a few weeks.
Thanks, J.J. & Kyle

Monday, August 18, 2008

John O'Dell - Passing On The Tradition

Well I am finally walking without the support of a walking boot and crutches. My achilles is getting better everyday, so it is time to get back to normal late summer activities. That said I was able to take the kids fishing again. We had a blast catching lots of bluegills and bass despite the summer heat. Jacob definitely caught the most fish with the aid of his "Sponge Bob" bobber while Madison caught ole "big mouth bass". It was a really nice fish for this time of year.

Suzy and I are getting ready for the new addition to our family which will be here soon with a due date of September 19th. She has also been busy with back to school shopping with the kids. This has given me the time to do some scouting and Dave and I are getting some great photos of some giant deer already.

Dave and I are headed back to Sherman Creek Outfitters to hunt with our good friends Joe and Jodi Rasmussen for the archery season opener in Eastern Washington State. As usual Joe has some dandy whitetail bucks in velvet that he has patterned. This year he has an added surprise for us. He has been getting some great pictures of some nice mule deer in velvet. He has also been seeing quite a few black bears so he said we might want to buy a tag. He won't have to twist my arm! If you recall Dave and Joe played a fast one on me last year with the two sided coin so that means I am up to bat first this year and I can't wait.

I am anticipating the 08' deer season as much as any season ever. The reason is because my daughter Madison is going to try to take her first deer with a bow. She has been shooting a Browning bow from our friends at PSE and I think you'll agree from the attached photo that she is shooting pretty well. I can't wait to spend time with her in the woods this fall and with any luck I will film her harvest her first deer. Although it will be awhile before her little brother can hunt he already enjoys shooting his bow with dad.

Well my next blog will be after I get back from Sherman Creek Outfitters so hopefully I will have a good story to tell.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

John O'Dell - Down and Out....

I truly enjoy every aspect of whitetail deer hunting and that normally means that this time of year I would be hanging stands, planting food plots, and shooting my PSE XForce in 3D tournaments or at our local archery club. This year however I ran into a snafu. I also enjoy playing softball during the summer.

That said I was playing softball for our company coed softball team at JCrew. It was late in the second game of a double header and I was playing left center field. I went to plant my foot like I have done thousands of times before to charge a fly ball and that’s when it happened. I heard a loud “POP” and my left foot literally collapsed and I hit the ground. Being the competitive person that I am I wanted to go after the ball but I quickly ascertained that I could not move my left foot at all. It was just dangling and I felt a sharp pain in the back of my ankle. Ugh! So after being carried off the field by my team mates; I took the golf cart ride to a friend’s car and went directly to the emergency room. It was later determined that I tore my achilles tendon. Then I had to have surgery to reattach the tendon. Believe me that it is as painful as it sounds!!

From what I understand I am on a long path to recovery. My days consist of trying to figure out how to do everyday activities like shower and go to work with crutches or by hoping on one leg! I plan to be diligent with my physical therapy so that I am prepared for my first hunt with long time filming partner Dave Resiner this fall. It will be four to six weeks before I can begin rehab so I guess I will have to get used to my crutches for now. One thing is for certain that I will be shooting early and often with my PSE once I can stand on both feet again.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rick Malik - Alberta Bound

Many Drury Outdoors team members enjoy fantastic hunting in their backyards. For Gregg Day and myself, many of our best experiences come from trips we make out of state. Living in southwestern Pennsylvania, opportunities for excellent hunting are becoming quite rare. For years, I have been traveling to the Midwest and Canada and have experienced some fantastic hunts. This year would find Gregg and I in northern Alberta hunting with Troy and Lisa Foster of North Alberta Outfitters for huge black bears. On this trip, we would be filming for our new PSE and Drury Outdoors Bow Madness show. The first challenge of the hunt was we had to go extremely early in May because my wife Karen and I were expecting our third child in early June. We had planned 10-days for the trip, and I was confident we would be able to leave early. That said, I was very nervous about not being home if my wife went into labor early. Let's face it, if she did, I might just as well cover myself in honey and spend the rest of May in a bait barrel. The outcome would probably be better than missing the birth of my daughter.

Traveling out of state, and especially out of the country, presents several challenges. First is where to go? I absolutely love western Canada. Alberta is one of the most beautiful places on earth to hunt. Albertans enjoy a very diverse choice of game. Everything from huge Whitetails, Mule Deer, Moose, Elk, Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, Sheep, Goats, Waterfowl, and the list goes on. We were fortunate to be invited north to hunt with Troy Foster who is one of Alberta's premier outfitters. Troy's hunters have traditionally harvested some really incredible black bears. Another benefit to hunting black bears in Alberta is the two bear limit. For the first time bear hunter this alone is a great value for the price of the hunt. It's difficult to explain how beautiful northern Alberta is in the springtime. It truly is a wilderness hunting experience and bear hunting is a very enjoyable and relaxing hunt. Typically you don't get to your stand until early afternoon, so mornings are very laid back and reserved for fishing, running baits or in Gregg's case, sleeping and eating! Another good thing is that it stays daylight in this part of Alberta until 10:30pm at night. This allows for a lot of hunting time. The bad part is that it stays daylight until 10:30pm at night. This means you sometimes will not get back to camp until well after midnight! And oh yeah, it gets daylight at 4:00am! When on stand in one of Troy's baits, you are likely to see multiple bears, wolves, deer, moose and a whole assortment of small game. You definitely will not be bored!

Because we were traveling so far, this meant a lot of pre-hunt planning. Thus the second challenge was getting there. When traveling by plane, my first rule of travel is plan for the least amount of connections. Unfortunately, airline baggage handling falls far short of reliable. In addition, when booking your trip, plan for at least 1-½ hours for connections. This will give you the best chance to arrive in your hunting destination with your gear. For our trip, we flew Northwest from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis, then Minneapolis to Edmonton Alberta. I particularly like to make my first connection in the states if possible. Minneapolis allows for a lot of connections to the north country. The reason I like this option is that you do not have to go through customs until your final destination. If you fly through a Canadian city on your connection, you have to go through customs, claim your luggage, then re-check your bags to your final destination.

When Gregg and I travel together, we always try to take our most critical gear and split it between our bags. Putting clothing, boots, releases, broad heads, etc in each other's bags ensures if one bag is lost, we are still hunting. We never pack our bows together in the same case. Gregg and I can shoot each other's bows, so if one bow makes the trip, we are still in luck. Lucky for us, we arrived in Edmonton with all our gear. Another very annoying reality of travel is how much to take. Today, on most airlines, you will be charged for every bag you check unless you are a preferred flyer. For those of you who have seen our hunts, you know Gregg and I always have way too much gear. On this hunt, we only had one extra bag, so it didn't hurt too much.

For a black bear hunt, you really don't need to pack much differently than you would for a whitetail hunt. Any bow that is good for deer is fine for bears. I shoot my PSE X-Force at 63# and have shot through every bear I have shot at. Cutting a big hole is what it's all about on bears, and our Rage 2-blade broad heads performed flawlessly. Must have gear includes good rain gear, a couple sets of Scent Blocker suits, knee high rubber boots, and of course a safety belt. Rest assured you will face temperatures from the 30's up into the high 70's, so dress in layers. One item we never go bear hunting without is our ThermaCell. To me, this is one of the greatest inventions hunting has seen! Another great tip for packing is to put all of your clothing in Space Saver bags. Once sealed, these bags can be compressed to a fraction of their size with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. Clothes stay both scent-free and dry. Just make sure your outfitter has a vacuum on their side and you are in business.

No bags can be over 50#, so Gregg and I are meticulous about weighing them before we leave. We place as much gear in our bow cases as possible. This includes binoculars, range finders, bow hangers, knives, and even clothing. Another thing we do is take a good size backpack and place all our personal clothing and gear with us on the plane. This ensures you will at least be able to change clothes if your duffle bag is lost. One final thought is to pack a collapsible duffle bag. This can be used to bring your bear hides back to the US. It is perfectly legal to bring your bears back to the states on the plane with you. This may cause you to pay $50-$100 extra on your trip back, but you will save hundreds of dollars in shipping fees by having your personal taxidermist handle your bears.

This hunt was nothing short of outstanding. Troy and his guides worked extremely hard to put all of the hunters in camp on good baits. The result was 4 great bears and a lifetime of memories. I can't wait to get back to Alberta again. For a full description of the hunt, please visit our Drury team journal. The best part was I made it home with plenty of time to spare. The bear hunt was great, but nothing can compare to the blessing we received on June 5th. Say hello to Kolbie Jade Malik!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

John O'Dell - Things to do in the off season..

Beyond my passion for hunting I really enjoy fishing as well. I feel fortunate in that both of my children Madison (10) and Jacob (7) have inherited my love of the outdoors and they both especially enjoy going fishing with dad. That said one of our favorite places to go fishing together is on Fort Myers Beach, FL.

My mother and father in-law have a condo right on the beach where the Gulf of Mexico flows through Big Carlos Pass into Estero Bay. The incoming and outgoing tides make cuts in the beach and the bait fish white bait follow the cuts in and out of the bay to and from the ocean with the tides. This creates some incredible inshore fishing opportunities for a real mixed bag.

During our most recent trip down to the Sunshine State my kids caught many different varieties of fish including the inshore slam of Snook, Trout, and Redfish and the trashcan slam of Ladyfish, Catfish, and Jacks. Our best day we caught over 50 fish on live bait and artificial lures.

My daughter Madison has become quite the fisherwoman and I am pretty sure that she out fished everyone on the beach during the time that we were there including her dad. It is a feeling that is difficult to describe when I see the excitement in my childrens' eyes as they are playing tug of war with a big fish. It is fast becoming a family tradition to make trips down to the Sunshine State to do spend quality time as a family and when we are lucky to catch lots of fish. My daughter says that fishing is ok but catching is way more fun! I have to agree with my 10 year old on that one! Enjoy some photos of Madison and Jacob and their big catch!