Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Late Season Rush

December 28, 2010. It is almost the end of the season and we still haven't captured any whitetail hunting action on camera. As a matter of fact, we haven't even tried. So when dad told us that he had spotted some deer bedded down off from a 16th street, about a 1/4 of a mile south of where we hunt, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity.

Chad put a stand above the one we already had there and the plan was for me to try and shoot one with my bow. If it was obvious that a shot was not going to be made with the bow then he was going to hand me the camera and take the shot with his shotgun. Watch the video to see what happens.

It was a perfect team effort. Dad pushed the deer our way; I attempted the shot with my bow, but we couldn't get the deer to stop. And finally, the camera switch was made and Chad took an 80 yard shot while the deer was running.

We ended up finding blood and followed it for over a mile before we jumped the deer out of some thick brush by the country club. It looked like the deer had been hit in the hind quarters. There was a lot of blood, but the deer took off with ease. We followed blood for a while longer before we gave up hope. It was an exciting night with a not so exciting ending.

While we were tracking this deer we came upon another deer that appeared to have been shot several weeks ago.  Watch the video.

At first we thought this was one of the deer we had video of earlier in the season, but after reviewing our trail cam pics and videos, we had nothing that matched this rack.  It's too bad that this guy didn't make it to next season or at least in front of the sights of one of our bows this season.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Fishing

Yesterday (Dec 24, 2010) I had the day off from work; so I decided to try sitting in the hotspot at the bank in the morning since my dad had been seeing deer there lately.  I brought both my gun and bow, hoping for an opportunity to take one more with my bow, but willing to shoot one with my gun if not given the chance with the bow.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same luck as my dad, who has shot 3 deer in the last few weeks.  I had the same luck that brother Chad has been having; I did see any deer.  About 15 Turkey came in at about but that was it.

I decided I was ready for a change of scenery; so when my friend and expert fisherman Dave Ash gave me a call to see if I want to do some steelhead fishing in the morning, I didn’t hesitate to take him up on the offer.  Christmas Eve morning on the Kalamazoo River in Douglas was the perfect change of scenery I needed.  It was a beautiful morning.  As we sat and waited for the first bite of the morning we watched the sun rise and listened to the coyotes calling back and forth.  One of the nicest parts about the morning was that we were fairly secluded from other fishermen because the spot we fished was not easily accessible.  We had to wear waders in order to get where we were going to set up. 

Although the fishing was a little slow, according to Dave’s standards, I had a great time just enjoying nature on the ice shelf that had formed on the side of the river.  We went 1 for 3 that morning, and I hoping it is the first of many mornings like it.   

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Boar Hunting Video

Here is the much anticipated hog hunt video. Warning: This video contains graphic images of violence towards dogs and pigs and even contains explicit language.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bank Action

This video is just a small taste of what I usually experience on a typical day at the bank. I hope you enjoyed the action.
After some early success this year Bryan has traded his bow in for a big red sack. Dad has been putting in some serious stand time and has regularly been seeing some small deer, but has elected to let them walk. (Well Done) And me.......... Well the Video says it all.
On Saturday Dad also added to the list of firsts for the Kraker Boys. Along with Bryans rare sighting of a deer being bred, Dad saw an equally unusual sight. A Red fox (which is quite something by itself) was walking through when a gray squirrel with impeccably bad timing decided to pop out of the weeds right in front of him. The chase began and ended within moments, the fox emerged victorious and then proceeded on his way, leaving his prize behind. Meanwhile I was in the lower stand watching all the other squirrels fight about who was going to get Murphys (I think he deserves the name) winter food stash.

Also, Dad shot a nice doe tonight. No pictures sorry, it's already skinned. He shot it out of the “hot spot” stand with his muzzle loader. The deer only ran about 30 yards before he watched it go down. From what he told me it sounds like he had about 10 deer to choose from, and I think I heard something about some sizable antlers too. So I'll keep trying.

I missed a doe last week too, but that's old news

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Florida Boar Hunt

Finally, a long over due Boar hunt in Florida. It has been over two years now since our last Florida Boar Hunt. This year we vacationed in Sebring Florida, which is about smack dab in the middle of the state.

There is actually a story behind the reason we decided to hunt with the guide we did. When we got to Florida we gave Rock ‘n’ T (our usual guide) a call several times before we received a reply from him on Tuesday. During that time we had been talking to other people at our resort that had given us a number of another guy that would take us out for $100 and allow us to shoot as many boar as we wanted. Too good to be true you ask? The answer is yes. He called us on Wednesday at 4:00 pm, the day before our scheduled hunt with him, and cancelled. We already cancelled our hunt with Rock ‘n’ T’s on Tuesday because we planned on hunting with this guy so we were sitting high and dry. In last minute desperation, I called some numbers that the guy that cancelled on us told me to try and I was able to set a hunt up with the Ockee Hunt Club for Thursday.

When we arrived Thursday Morning at 8:30 am, we drove up on your typical boar hunting farm with big boar hunting buggies and run down farm house. Our guide, who introduced himself as New York, was waiting for us in the driveway as we pulled up.

While New York was getting everything situated a couple of side by sides pulled up with guys that had been hunting for deer earlier in the morning.  In the back of one of their side by side was a nice buck.  This gave me a good feeling about our boar hunt that we were about to get started on. 

As dad and I shot our bows to make sure they were still sighted in, our guide loaded up the dogs into the buggies.  This is what keyed us in to the fact that this wasn’t going to be our typical boar hunt. 

We drove into a twenty to thirty acre area that was all fenced in and had mostly open land with little sections of thick palm trees.  New York released one of the dogs and it went right to work sniffing out the boars.  Once it would find a pig it would chase it down until the boar was exhausted.  Then it would hold it at bay and allow us to shoot at it.   I know what you’re thinking, it sounds like a pretty cheesy hunt.  We were thinking the same thing.  Just when we thought it couldn’t get anymore canned than this, the dog cornered its first pig.  It was a smaller sow and the guide got out of the buggy and grabbed the pig away from the dog and let it go.  I thought for a second that he was going to hold it there while I shot it.  What fun that would be. 

Oh well, we decided to make the best of our hunt and enjoy ourselves.  Moments later we heard the dog barking in the distance.  When we arrived at the scene, we saw he had cornered a nice size boar in some thick brush.  We got down from the buggy and the excitement began.  I had an arrow nocked ready for anything.  The guide pulled the dog out of the brush and gave me a five yard shot opportunity.  I put one right through its heart.  Canned or not, it was actually still quite exciting.

Now it was Dads turn.  We drove around that little fenced in area for quite some time chasing boars back and forth out of the brush.  The boars could out run the dogs and were taking a long time to wear down because it was so cold outside.  After a couple hours of trying, the dogs were exhausted.  New York went to get one of his “back up” dogs and in no time we were back in business.  The dog got one cornered and once he was out of the way, dad took a shot at about twenty yards off from the buggies platform.  The first shot hit the boar right in the jaw.  Keep in mind these pigs are moving and the dog is in there trying to hold the pig at bay so a lot is going on and it can be very hard to know when you can take a good shot with out hitting the dog while looking through a peep site.  After the shot to the jaw, the dog had to try and stop the pig again.  It gave him another twenty yard shot.  This time he had to shoot through some thick weeds.  He used an old arrow with a small fixed blade broad head because he thought the head shot was better placed than what it was.  It was a gut shot.  This slowed the pig down a lot.  He took one more shot at twenty yards, this time with a rage broad head.  It was another gut shot, but the rage put such a large hole in the pig that it was all over.

We both had our hogs in the bag by .  It was a very different experience, and other than it being a canned hunt, it was a pretty good time. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Florida Catch

We arrived in Florida yesterday (November 27) and did some fishing off from the dock behind our villa with no luck at all. There seemed to be no signs of fish at all in the area.

Today (November 28) a man known for being the luckiest fisher in the Kraker family (Andrew) gave it a shot. He grabbed my ultra light fishing pole and tried a couple casts off from the dock. (Here's where I am gonna take some credit for his success.) I told him to try a couple casts in this little side pond off from the lake. He probably had five casts in in there with the popper that was on the pole and hooked into this little beauty.
After catching this fish, there was a renewed hope for the rest of us. Dad, Grandpa, and me all tried our had at catching something. It turns out that Andrew caught the only fish in that lake. Go figure. Maybe this guy should try his hand at hunting.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Still Rutting

This Video was recorded on Wed. Morning at about 11:00 am. Still Rutting.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

MONTANA Success!

Well I could probably spend 6 days typing out the hunting stories from Montana, but I'll spare you the reading and just paraphrase.

On an earlier post I noted that I could only get a tag for a whitetail doe, so that is what I did. However my hunting Buddy Dale Stewart had a tag for a cow elk, and either sex whitetail. So we headed for the mountains on our first day of hunting. We saw a bunch of mule deer does but no elk. The hike nearly killed me, but the views were worth the trip. The next time out we went with 6 of us, Dale and his wife, Jillisa his daughter and Mathew her Boyfriend, and Amber and I. That trip we saw a nice 3x3 mule deer buck, a small mule deer buck and another bunch of does. The bigger buck was a bit too far for us to pursue and the small one was just too small. I'll break here for a pic.

All this action was up in the mountains, but in the mean time down by the river Dale and I spent hours watching Whitetail, and lots of them. There was also a big bull moose walking around but these animals are all smart enough to stay on private property. Even though, how often do you get to see 5-6 big bucks running around chasing each other and trying to breed does? I felt like I was watching one of those Iowa Hunting videos but it was actually happening only 40 yards from me.

So after many close calls we finally got our ice breaker. Sunday night Dale, Deacon, and I sat on a private piece on land about an hour before dark and were waiting for some doe to cross the road so I could fill my tag. Well Deacon apparently didn't want to wait and quickly spotted a deer about 200 yards behind us, not anywhere near where we were expecting to see anything. I'll skip some more unimportant details, and just say that with one shot the chest with the 25-06 the deer piled up without taking a step. Tag number one filled.

Now the action begins. We got my deer gutted and in the truck and headed back to tell the ladies of our success. But little did we know that we weren’t done yet. As we pulled in the driveway Dale noticed a deer back on the hills only 350 yards from his house. I glassed it and told him that it was a buck! And it appeared to be a Whitetail. Let me remind you that he has lived there for over 10 years and has never seen a whitetail in the hills. But the bucks were rutting and anything was possible. So we quickly drove over and jumped out of the truck. In an instant I had my crosshairs on the buck at about 100 yard and was doing everything in my strength not to pull the trigger. (HUGE TEMPTATION). After what seemed like 45 minutes, Dale pulled the trigger on his 270 and shot the spine right off the buck. A tuft of hair blew off his back and it dropped on the top of a small hill so that we could not see it. Dale and I took off and made it up the hill faster than any human ever will again. And there it laid, not a mule deer, but as I suspected, the largest bodied 10 point whitetail buck that I had ever seen. (largest body I had ever seen, the largest buck I had ever seen was the day previous chasing does).

The next day Dale and I had good intentions of hanging up our guns and doing some work around camp but to our surprise Jill kicked us out of the house and said “You guys are on a roll, go get an elk”. So the next morning we “reluctantly” pickup up our guns and headed for the hills. It took us about 30 minutes and we had a bout 5 Elk in our binoculars. The Hunt was on. It took us about 45 minutes to drive/hike ourselves into position. We stalked to within 60 yards of the herd and got a small cow in the scope. And as you might expect, we got busted. Something has alerted the elk that we were there and suddenly the calf was eclipsed by a nice bull elk. Not a massive elk but Dale says it was a nice 5x5. Too bad he had filled his bull elk tag the week prior on a smaller elk. Oh well it was still cool to see. Another temptation was upon us, poach the big guy or swing the gun over and take the only other elk that is giving us a clean shot before they run. So Dale, set his sights on the calf and shot. The hill exploded, but it wasn't because of the shot, it was the 15 elk that we didn't see that all stood up and ran down the hill. The shooter looked dejected, and was very dissatisfied with what just happened, “bad shot” he said and kept repeating “bad shot”. We watched for a couple minutes as the heard got farther and farther away. Waiting for an elk to fall, or at least limp or stumble. Nothing, They ran until we couldn't see them anymore. We started down the hill to see if we could find any sign of contact where they were bedded. Sure enough, there were a few spots of blood on the fresh snow. We followed and the blood went from thin to thick in a hurry. Patches of hair and puddles of blood were thick on the trail. We rounded a small pine tree and there she lay, all piled up about 100 yards from where she was shot. The bad thing is that it was down hill. We cleaned her out and drug her about 200 yards straight up the steep hill. All the while being stalked by a curious 3x3 mule deer buck. The drive out was full of satisfaction and more temptation, as that same 3x3 Buck presented us with countless opportunities to put holes in him.

See pics.

Thanks to Dale and all the Stewarts for the great week! Especially Dayton we helped drag the elk and Deacon who spotted my deer. Oh and Jill who gave us the boot!

And just remember this is a paraphrase.

Fallen Unicorn

Opening morning of gun hunting season I took this doe from the lower tree stand with my muzzleloader. It was coming down the path I came in on and turned around halfway through. That is when I took the shot.

Saturday morning, November 20, Bryan and I sat out at the bank. I was in the lower stand and Bryan was in the "hotspot". It was a very calm morning and by 8:30am nothing had been moving at all.

Just when all hope seemed to be gone, I got a call from Bryan saying the unicorn was coming my way. We have been seeing this large spike with a bum leg for a couple weeks now. Bryan actually seen it breed a doe two weeks prior from the "poison ivy palace". I had decided it was my duty to remove this thing from the gene pool.

A half hour had passed from when Bryan said it was heading my way. There is only 80 yards between us so I had figured it was long gone. I started to climb out of my tree stand when Bryan beeped me and assured me that the unicorn was somewhere in the thick brush between us. I climbed up back in my stand while Bryan got down from his to try and push it toward me.

Sure enough, Bryan took two steps into the path on the powerline and jumped the unicorn out. It ran right in front of me, and after I figured out that I have to turn my safety off before I attempt to shoot, I put a shot in its back while it was walking away.

We followed a very defined blood trail and found the mystical unicorn about 150 yards from the treestand in the river. It was, needless to say, a very unique deer that looked as if it has lived a tough life. Its leg was swollen and had no muscle at all and its other tine looked as if it had been broken off. None the less, it was an exciting morning.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 of the 5 Walleye from Lake Erie

Me and Jerry Gras spent the week end at Lake Erie by Sandusky. We got 1 the first day and couldn't get on the lake the second day and finally caught a few more on Mon. It was cold the first 2 days but beautiful on Mon. The Walleye here are much fatter than any I've ever seen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Dad is out fishing Lake Erie for Walleye, I (Chad) am out in Southwest Montana. Which leaves Bryan alone to hunt the Michigan rut without a tag.

About the pic....... This is a buck that Elijah and I saw this morning. We woke up early and saw a big bull Moose out of our window so we decided to try to get a closer look. On our way out to see it we came across the deer chasing a doe around. Believe it or not this deer was probably half the size of the one we saw the day before. Unfortunately, as a non-resident I can only buy a tag for a whitetail doe.
Tonight I leave for Yellowstone, but will be back late this week to start some hunting. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby Shooter!?

Well, all I can say is I thought it was bigger. I need to work on being able to judge if a doe is mature or not when they come in alone.

None the less, the hunt was still exciting, and it was the first deer that I have taken behind my house with a bow so I'm still pretty pumped.

Is Hildee bigger than that deer?

It was about 6:00pm on November 2, a Tuesday, and this little gal came it from the field to the east of me. It is the same trail I take it to get to my tree stand, and I could tell that the deer was able to smell that I had been there recently. It took between 30 to 40 minutes before the deer stepped into an opening. It was a 10 yard shot right to the shoulder, and it was enough to drop the deer in its tracks.

I probably shouldn't have taken this deer, especially since it is my 4th for the season, but the excitement of the moment got to me. It was still a fun hunt and some more good tender meat in the fridge.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Buck on the Block

Here are a couple of pics from the "Hotspot" trail cam. We can't tell if it is a nice 6 point or if it is an 8 point. All I know is that it would look good through the sites on one of our bows.

All three stands were full tonight (Oct 31, the same day this pic was taken)and Chad believes this was the buck he seen tonight in the Poison Ivy Palace. Unfortunately, he did not have a shot opportunity, but he did get to walk away with a pretty good adrenaline rush. That's one of the thrills of hunting; you might not be able to bag one everytime, but you still get the rush of the hunt.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Introduction to the team

Welcome to Krack Boy Outdoors Blog. This is a journal of the Kraker boys outdoor adventures. On this blog we will keep you updated on our hunting, fishing, and other outdoors success, failures, and events.

The current members of the Group are: