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

videoThis 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

Scattered


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.