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.