I had a miserable 2013 deer season here in Indiana. I only saw one buck I would shoot and I had to work allot of overtime at my job in October and November. Needless to say I had a hefty helping of tag soup at seasons end. I was determined not to have the same outcome this year. I devised a game plan I thought would change things. I was gonna feed the deer starting in January when our season ended. My hope was that with the brutal cold it would help the deer make it through to the spring and keep them on my property into the fall. I was also going to start running trail cameras earlier and watch the deers changing patterns throughout the year. My plan worked. Our farms had more deer on it then ever and I had several bucks patterned thanks to Huntforce.com. The season started off great I had a very close encounter with a buck we call “Spike Lee” one branch kept me from getting a shot off at 33yrds. The action continued to be great all year as I passed several nice bucks that will be studs in a year or two. The night of November 11th I got off work early but didn’t have a cameraman so Chuck said he would film me. We made it to a food plot we knew the deer where using. The weather was awful with high winds and mist in the air. We put out my DSD Buck Decoy and settled in for the evening. Chuck and I hunted and filmed each other for several years when we first started Open Season TV so it was great to be in the tree again together like old times. We have a calling sequence we call the “Triple F” and it has worked very well for us throughout the years. The wind started to let up and Chuck said lets do some calling. I was rattling while Chuck grunted and bleated. A few minuets later a buck I knew well called the “Brow 8” was headed right for us looking for the sweet sounds he heard. As he came through the tall grass he started to head away. Chuck grunted and I bleated at him to regain his attention. He stood behind a tree staring in our direction for a couple minuets before he couldn’t take it any longer and broke headed right at us. Once he entered the food plot he spotted the decoy and started to circle it to the down wind side. As he was arching around he was getting out of my shooting lane so I had to stop him. I bleated at him and he stopped dead looking right at the decoy. I settled my 45yrd pin low on his chest and squeezed off the release. The arrow hit perfect and the buck jumped and ran off in the weeds. We watched him as he disappeared behind a tree. Little did we know he fell right there. As Chuck and I relived what just happened it brought back allot of great memories from the first buck we killed on film together back in 2008 to our first mule deer in Colorado. It’s always a blessing to kill a great buck and to do it on film makes it even better but to do it with your best friend right there to share the moment is something that can’t be described and a true memory for life.
Bow: Mathews Chill X
Rest: Vaportrail Micro Elite
Sight: Spot Hogg Hogg It
Broadhead: Dead Ringer Trauma
Arrow: Victory VAP
Stabilizers: Dead Center Archery
Strings & Cables: Vaportrail
Optics: Vortex Razor HD 12X50 and Ranger 1000
Camo: RealTree AP
As always I use Dead Down Wind scent elimination products simply because they work and I trust them.
My year started off great with a trip back to Manitoba and Bloodvein River Outfitters. I had a great hunt last year with Clay and his dad Nick, taking my first black bear. On the first day of the hunt we settled in and had several close encounters with young bears. Just before dark a nice bear made his way into range and after coming to full draw I had to just watch as my camera informed me he had no view of the bears vitals. After letting the bow back down the bear made his way off with no other shot opportunity. We hunted hard for the next several days seeing bears every day, just not the size we were after. On the last day we had a small bear at the bait and heard a twig snap. When I looked to my left I saw a bigger bear coming in. As soon as the young bear saw him he bolted. The bigger bear came in extremely cautious and even ran off only to come back in after pacing around us for a while. As he walked back in he went by a large root ball of a blown down tree and I saw my chance to draw my bow. When he came out from behind the tree I let the arrow fly and it found its mark. The bear only went 50 yards and expired very quickly. Little did we know that the reason the bear was so cautious was because he was the bear that had came in on the first day. He has a scar across his nose and that was how we were able recognize him. Had another wonderful experience with Bloodvein and cannot wait for the chance to go back.
Hunt of a lifetime is all I have to say for a poor kid from Indiana. It is
amazing how life’s twists and turns are and in this case it was amazing whathappened for me on this hunt. I had no idea when I went to the Mathews Show in WI last Dec I would meet a future friend and get to go on a Elk hunt of a lifetime. It all started with me standing in the Watson Airlock booth helping my friend Chris out. He doesn’t sponsor the show we are just friends and while I was standing there a couple Apache Indians stopped by and we gotto talking and they went on then I was at the ATA Show at the Dead Ringer Booth and one of them stopped by there and we talked again then the crazy part is when we ran into each other at SHOT Show it was almost like Fate. To make a long story short we made a date to come hunt the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in San Carlos AZ for the Second week of Sept which is the heart of the rut for Elk. All the plans we made and I was in disbelief I was actually going to be hunting there but when we arrived they were getting a lot of rain in the mountains from a hurricane that started in Mexico. Ivan Stevens his dad Bill and Jay had the tents setup 55 miles from town deep into the heart of The Apache Reservation. The first day we had a great bull at 10 yds but I was told I was told it was to small which is something I would hear a lot hahaha all of them looked huge to me hahaha . Well after it dried out a little we could finally make it up the mountain to a place they call Jurassic Park which is a perfect name for this place you could not dream of a more amazing place to hear bugling bulls. What’s crazy is the fact that I had passed some 380″ to 390″ bulls the days prior trying to kill a 400″ bull. As we drove up the mountain that morning I had no idea what I was about to experience no one could you couldn’t dream of what I heard we step out of the truck a a literally screaming bulls in all directions and at least 20 bulls together just non stop screaming it was crazy. As we got into position I remember thinking they can’t hear us calling because they are making to much noise hahaha. There was one bull in particular that all he did was growl so we went after him because typically older bulls growl more so as we hiked up the mountain getting above the bulls because they were going up as well we got into position again and started calling and wouldn’t you know it the old growler started answering then I realized he was actually coming. I say there thinking this is it this could be the moment of truth so I have got to stay focused. Aim small miss small I kept telling myself. Then it happened I saw his legs coming right toward us on a fast pace and then I saw his rack it looked huge and when he turned the mass was insane. He was headed right toward us and I kept asking Ivan is he big enough which he could tell I was wanting to shoot bad but he was still sizing him up but know when he stepped behind a tree at 25 yrds it was my last chance to draw so I drew my bow and then he gets to 15 yds and sees something and stops now at full draw it is getting intense and I know he is about to run and sure enough he runs but stops in the only opening I could shoot frantic I am asking Ivan is he big enough he caved into to me and says yes and I shoot. The arrow hits it mark and I know u just arrowed the biggest bull of my life. As I watch him going down that trail it was 13 sec later he was going down on film and my hunt was over it felt like it was all going in slow motion I was so excited I was full of emotion. As we all began to celebrate and walk down to see him we were pumped then when we got to him, Ivan looked sick and his dad did you this bull was the wrong bull he was not 400″ he was 360″ now for the rest of us in the elk hunting world it is hard to believe my bull is small but to them it was but I told them his mass has character and it was special to have everyone there on the hunt from camp 7 people total haha yes 7 in end end we had a lot of laughs and Back straps that night and great memories and the best They have and how beautiful the terrain is and how different from desert to mountain pines they have it all from 100 degrees in the bottoms to snow in the mountains they have it all on 1.9 million acres. I am going back to play golf on their golf Course this summer just to hang out and enjoy it.
Well after 10 days in Canada I am finally back. I had a great hunt with Bloodvein River Outfitters Ltd . I killed my bear on Day 5 it as the last evening & after chasing a monster for 4 days I elected to move to a bait that was being hit but there were no DLC Covert Scouting Cameras so I was taking my chances. Well it paid off after sitting for several hours right before dark this bruiser came in behind us & with light fading fast he came in at 10 yds & gave me a qtr away shot. The cool part is we set one of the covert cameras on video & we got the kill shot on video as well as some GoPro footage along with the big camera. I thought the hunt was over but with my truck broke down I had no idea I was going to be in Manitoba for another 5 days. Well all in all it was great memories which is a lot of the reason why I hunt. Hunter Jones did a great job on the camera we have had a great trip. Good Luck to everyone out there hunting Open Season TV