Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Justin and I have been in the woods several times this season already. We had a great encounter with a 2.5 year old stud (check out “The Inner Circle” dated 10-3-10 to see him), we also saw a shooter that wasn’t close enough for archery tackle and have seen a pile of does. As the October days click by and approach the middle of the month – we are officially enter the “October Lull” period. I first heard about this so called “lull” around 15 years ago when I went to visit Mark and Terry at Deer camp. I remember them saying, during the “lull”, you would be better off doing anything other than hunting deer (in particular – bucks)! That advice has stuck with me ever since then....
With limited vacation days, we try to be as efficient with our time in the woods as possible. We love hunting that early October period when the big boys are still hitting our biologic maximum and trophy oats plots. But when the “October Lull” hits (it usually begins around Mark’s birthday), its back to our daily routines which include working and spending as much time with our loved ones as we can.
To heed that advice garnered from my uncles almost a decade and a half ago – both Justin and I utilized the opportunity to spend some much needed family time prior to venturing back off into the Iowa deer woods to hunt the “rut”.
This past weekend, my daughter Eloise and Justin’s girlfriend’s daughter Liv (they attend the same daycare / preschool) had a Fall Festival. The school had a theme in each of the classrooms with games for the kids to play with candy & snacks for prizes. The kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes, saw all their friends, played a ton of fun games, picked pumpkins from the makeshift pumpkin patch on the playground and ate some delicious food prepared by the teachers. It was great to see them so happy in their costumes, it’s needless to say, but we can not wait for Halloween to get here so they can dress up again.
After Halloween, we will be back at it. Good luck to you all this fall!!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Well talk about a weekend of excitement. Every year 160 something raging whitetail killers converge on St. Louis for the annual DOD Shoot to Thrill Awards. This is a weekend that has become the same as a family reunion to me. It’s a great time to catch up with the rest of the DOD Team and see the trail cams they have gotten of giants though out the summer, hear of out of state trips planned and trade woes and woos about rain or lack there of for our food plots.
Saturday morning is a class for the finest editors in outdoor video/television to update us on the latest technical camera information. The second half of the day is packed full of sponsor rotations. This is where it gets good. It’s a chance for representatives from our sponsors to come and bring the Team up to speed on their newest equipment and even give us sneak peaks of innovations yet to come. And let me tell ya, some of these things are going to make you want to run to Cabela's and start making a Christmas list!! For instance Blake Shelby from PSE was on hand and brought the new Dream Season EVO! WOW, is all I could say after drawing this bow. Michael Mayer was able to show us a few things in the works with the new Cold Fusion Technology and update us on the Numbered Layering system ScentBlocker uses. The HuntVe guys were on hand delivering Mark and Terry’s new Dream Season Edition HuntVe's. We were able to test drive these machines, and what an eye opening experience. It’s unbelievable the thought that went into these vehicles to make them hunter friendly. Craig Cushman was able to unveil the new Dream Season Omega. Oh, and the TV star himself Bobby Cole, or also know as “BobbyLogic”, was able to show us a great new product in the works that will for sure be the “Last Bite” of many monsters(Hint… Hint.)
Then the evening is capped off by the most amazing full featured award show in the entire outdoor industry, The Shoot to Thrill Awards! There are numerous awards handed out throughout the night to various DOD Teams. Some awards to mention are, “Best Reaction”-won by Rod Owen, the “Mossy Oak Passion Award”-won by Rick Malik, Best Produced Bow Madness Episode-won by Dave Reisner and John O’Dell, and the most Prestigious of awards “The Producer of the Year” was won by the Team that truly had a Dream Season last year Doug Hampton and Rod Owen. Dad and I were proud to be nominated for many of these awards and we were floored to have been chosen the winners of the “2010 Biologic Award!” It was a true honor to be presented with this award. Biologic has truly changed the way we hunt and it has truly changed the farms we hunt on. In my opinion Biologic is the winner for producing the best wildlife seed blends on the market, and for changing the quality of hunting experiences brought to everyday hunters across America. Thank you Bobby Cole and Biologic for all you do for the Drury Outdoors Team!
To everyone who has kids or has the ability to take a kid hunting. October is a great time to take a youngster hunting because we all know the giant whitetails that we all want to hunt aren’t moving much until later. It’s usually not too cold for a youngster in October! So take some time off work and make a kids dream come true. Most beginning kid hunters don’t care if they shoot a giant buck. Most just want to spend some time outdoors doing something “different” than shooting hoops or going to school. Hunting is cool to most kids. You have to admit that! So make their day or their week or their season by taking them hunting. You don’t have to use your best honey hole or your best stand, but get out there and let them see some deer. If they are too young to hunt just let them go in a ground blind and hunt with you. These trips hunting will actually be remembered way more than doing the “normal” things as they get older. They won’t remember the times you watched their favorite tv show with them, but many will remember the times you took them hunting and a special moment about each hunt. That will make all the difference down the road and the tradition will carry on.
Most states have an early youth season and are usually very economical. Take advantage of these. Many states have also gone to an over the counter purchase system for the youth hunts just in case you forgot to apply. The opportunities are out there if you just do a little planning.
I got my oldest girl involved in deer hunting at the age of 8 years old. It really depends on the maturity of each kid. I’m not sure my 7 year old will be ready next year, but she sure is trying to convince me she will be. Take them through a hunter’s safety course and see if they listen. If they listen and pay attention, then my feeling is they are probably ready. If they are running around playing and talking during the course and don’t care about what is being taught to them, then maybe wait a year and try again. Just take them hunting with you a time or two and then they will want to hunt themselves. They will see the passion in you and it will develop in them. I promise!
Good luck to all of you this season.
Here are a few pictures of my daughter’s successful hunts. She is only 10 years old now. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years brings our way!
Monday, October 4, 2010
Burning lungs, blisters and bulls....Not to mention a swollen left knee. That's what you get when two old flat-footed Iowans head out to the higher elevations of western Wyoming to chase giant rocky mountain bull elk. That said, this turned out to be one of those hunts of a lifetime. One in which we hope to continue to do as long and often as our bodies allow.
Being from the upper Midwest, Bill and I cut our teeth on hunting whitetails an turkeys. There's no place like home when it comes to chasing those cagey old mature bucks. However, the older we get the more we feel the need to venture out of our element and try and add a few of the other trophies that call this great country home. Bull elk have been on our list of to dos but have basically kicked our butts each time we've tried to bring one home. This hunt turned out no different than the others as far as filling the freezer goes but was no doubt the closest we've come thus far.
It all started about a year ago when Bill contacted outfitter Tedd Jenkins of Jenkins Hunting Camps in Freedom WY. Tedd told Bill that he, his wife Christy along with his brother in law and sister Brian and Maurie Erickson had just recently purchased the business from his parents Larry and Shirley Jenkins. He also said that they specialize in big bull elk along with Shiras moose, bear, antelope and some of the best Mulies in the lower forty-eight. It worked out that we were able to book the hunt for prime time in the elk rut Sept. 20th-25th. Things were set and it couldn't get here soon enough. Bill and I prepared ourselves for the hunt by biking and hiking as much as possible.
When time finally arrived for the hunt we started things off by heading to ST. Louis for the annual Drury Outdoors meeting and Shoot to Thrill Awards banquet. It was great to see all the guys and get fired up for the upcoming season. In order to get to camp for our first mornings hunt we said our goodbyes and left the hotel at 2:30 AM to make the long 22 hr butt-kicking drive to western WY. We arrived at 11:30 PM Mountain time at camp. The next five days were filled with encounter after encounter as well as breath taking beauty of the Bridger national forest. We saw and videoed elk, Shiras moose, antelope, and mulies. We stayed in heated wall tents and rode in on horseback for a couple day's hunts. We ate like kings and hiked it all off during the day. There was no time to waste as Tedd and Larry kept us at from dawn to dusk to try and make this hunt successful. I can't say we've ever met an outfitter more sincere and prepared to do what it took to make our hunt the best it could be, and we definitely got our moneys worth on this one. We would both like to thank them for all they did and let them know what an awesome experience it was. Regardless of all our efforts, Bill was unable to take his bull on this hunt but you can bet we'll be back again next year for another try. This time I'll be in front of the camera with PSE in hand to try for my first ever Rocky Mountain Elk.
PS. Anyone interested in any of the big game hunts they have to offer, contact Tedd through his website www.jenkinshunt.com.