Monday, September 19, 2011

Under Pressure

With only 4 Lbs of venison left in the freezer from last year, my wife put on the pressure. She was more than willing to hold down the fort on Saturday morning, even though she is only weeks away from becoming a mother for the 4th time. So I grabbed my ole Diamomd Justice and climbed in to old faithful. You may better remember her from previous posts as the "Killer Stand".
My story is similar to Bryan's in many ways, but there are a few differences. Bryan is a great example of a hunter. He prepared in many more ways than he divulged via the blog. He was more than ready to hunt and put a deer in the freezer just as I hoped he would. However this early success instantly made me a little jealous. And since I was not planning on doing any hunting in the early season, I was not prepared to hunt at all.
But you all read the post, he correctly gave credit where credit is truly due "God's Grace". After all isn't that were all of our successes really come from anyway? So I ran out to the bank on Friday and put out a little bit of corn. Then I went home and washed all my hunting clothes.
Early Saturday I was sitting in a stand that didn't have any lanes cleared, I was wearing damp clothes (thank you Whirlpool for your auto dampness sensor), and I had spent about 2 minutes scouting the night before.
I was in the stand at about 6:40 and at about 7:30 the first deer of the year came in. It was the closest shot I had ever taken, maybe 5-8 yards. I hit her and she bolted. After I calmed myself down (yes I still get excited about shooting doe) I found my arrow and POOP! Yup, I got a whiff of that infamous smell, a gut shot. So I got out of there and didn't return for about 7 hours. When Bryan and I returned it took us about 20 minutes to travel 100 plus yards, following an almost non existent blood trail , before we found the very bloated doe. The shot hit lung but then clipped a small bit of guts. She died in a hurry but I didn't know that in the morning so we just played it safe.
Our stories are similar in that we both filled early season tags, but different in that He did it correctly and I truly just got LUCKY, or as Old BRO says BLESSED!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Before I was the owner of a trail camera, I was a son of an owner of a trail camera. I spent a good amount of time harassing my Dad for having his camera sitting on a shelf in the basement. Or for not putting it exactly were I thought it should go. So when I finally got one that I could call my own, I told my wife not to ever let me "shelve" my camera. Well..... Dad you were right again.
I had my camera down in our hunting hole almost all summer long...... wasted effort. Dead Batteries, Mosquito bites, pictures of nothing, and on average about 1 pic of a doe per week was all I had to show for my labor.
So I went into a full on slacker mode while still not shelving the camera. I decided to set the camera up in my Dad's back yard. And when I say back yard, I'm not talking about 1/2 mile behind, or a quarter mile, I'm not even talking yards. He almost had to mow around the thing. But there was a price to pay for such a genius idea, and that price was harassment. Old Bro Kraker, was on me just like I had been on Dad in years past. Hopeless, waste, desperate, the words were real but were they warranted? You tell me.................

First Day / First Deer

I'm lucky enough to say I got my first deer on the first day of the early doe season.  I hope this is a sign of how good of a year it is going to be.  My early success may be due to the time I put in watching trail cams and putting out bait, or it may be due to my lucky picture that Chad made me back in the day (I shared this picture with all of you in an earlier post), but I'm sure it was by the grace of God that I got to harvest this beautiful deer.

I got home from work on Thursday, Sept. 15 and hurried to get out in the woods.  I got to my stand around 4:30 pm, which I thought was plenty early, but the deer were already there.  All I heard was deer running and snorting as I entered the woods behind my house.  As any hunter knows this is a very disheartening feeling.

Since I was there so early I had hope they would come back or others would show up, and they did.  I had a fawn come around and hang out for about 45 minutes on the bait pile and then around 7:50 pm the rest of the crew showed up.  There was one deer that was considerably larger than the rest and this is the one I had my sights on.

I attempted to draw my bow and at the exact time the trail cam flashed and the deer spooked (see picture below).  I was in full draw thinking that I had lost my opportunity, but thankfully the deered turned right back toward the bait pile, and while I held my bow at full draw for what seemed like five minutes, the doe presented me with a 20 yard shot that I couldn't pass up.

I let the arrow fly and everything went beautifully.  The luminock lit up the poorly lit woods and flew right where it needed to.  I instantly got out of my stand, knowing I had a good hit on the deer, and went to get my tracking partner, Rogue.  Thanks to Rogues Keen senses and phanominal tracking skills we found the deer about 60 yards away in the creek bottom. 

Thanks to Rogue, Burt Coyote Lumincok, Muzzy bad to the bone Broadheads, Carbon Express Arrows, and Hoyt Ultra Tech. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Big Lake Fishing Tournament

Bryan: I was in my first Big Lake Fishing Tournament this past Saturday (9/10/11). My luck with fishing has been less than exceptional this year on the big lake. As a matter of fact, up until the last couple of weeks, I only had one salmon under my belt. 

I was asked to be in this tournament by a couple of guys from my work (Bernie and Brett Cobb).  We went four for six in the tournament, two lake trout and two king salmon.  We did not place, but we had a good time catching fish.  We fished the entire day in 25 feet of water right outside of the Saugatuck pier heads.  It was very crowded and very foggy, but we managed to get out of there with only one casualty.  We lost an entire spool of lead core, a planner board and a spoon to a charter boat.  Luckily, Bernie got a hold of him on Monday and got his stuff back.

Bernie actually took me fishing the weekend before the tournament as well.  We went 5 for 9 that night.  I payed close attention to lures, speed, depths, and other techniques that may be helpful to the success of the Kraker boat.  Some of the hot lures we used are pictured below.

A few things I took away from my lesson on the lake with Bernie was to watch for feeder fish groups on the graph, pay attention to the radio, glow in the dark lures are hot, bigger spoons may help during the later season, keep trying new stuff if you can't find the fish, and most importantly, stay out past sunset at night and get out before sun rise in the morning.

My hope is to use some of these tips, maybe change our set up and gear a little bit, and hopefully make the Kraker boat a little more successful.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Krak Shot 2011

    This year we hosted the first annual Krak Shot at my (Bryan) house.  It was an event inspired by the reality TV show Top Shot.  We kept the event fairly small this year because we were uncertain how things would go.  I am happy to report that for the most part everything went well.  The weather gave us some concern as a storm blew in hours before we were to begin.  Luckily, it blew over and we got the show on the road around 2:45pm.

We had two teams of three people.  The teams were determined by a quarter shoot with the Benjamin Air Rifle.  Marty, Jer, and myself were the first to hit the quarters and we all ended up with tails, so we made up one team, and Chad, Andrew, and Rick made up another. 
      We first did four team events and then split off to do three individual events. The first team event was with the .44 magnum hand gun.  It was a relay shoot where we had to shoot apples that got progressively further away.  The event was won with the best time by Rick, Chad, and Andrew by a blow out.
      The second team event was the balloon shoot.  The key was to shoot as many of your color balloons with the .22 LR in 30 seconds.  It was a head to head event and each shooter got two 10 shot clips.  You could not shoot your color balloon until the one in front of it was shot.  Some technical difficulties with the guns jamming up, put the event in turmoil, but it was still a good competition.  This event was won 2 points to 1 point by Jer, Marty and myself.
     The third team event was the trick shots.  A contestant from each team had to attempt splitting a bullet on an axe head with the .44 mag.  Another contestant from each team had to hit a small target shooting the 30/30 Winchester backwards, using a mirror to aim.  And finally, the remaining two contestants had to shoot a fiberglass rod and string in half with the .22 LR.  Each team scored three points in this event. 
      The final team event was 100 yard bow shot.  Each person went head to head with an opposing team member in a game of who could get closer to the bullseye.  Three shots were taken by each person and you could cancel out your opponents hit by hitting the target closer.  Marty, Jer and Myself dominated this event and took three points to their zero.
       The individual events were the trailer shot from the back of a moving quad with a 9mm handgun, long distance shots with the .223 rifle at targets placed at 75 yards, 140 yards and 200 yards, and finally skeet and trap shooting with the .12guage shotgun.   
        After the individual events, Chad had the most points and Rick was a close second so they entered the final shoot out where they would pick their weapon of choice and shooting distance and style.  After the smoke settled, Chad came out victorious and got to sign and take home the coveted "Head Shot Trophy". 
          Congratulations to Chad and I can't wait to see everyone again next year on another season of Krak Shot.

Here are some clips of video taken during the event:

Backyard Beauty

Here are some pics my trail cam captured behind my house. I consider this deer a shooter and hope he sticks around till October.

PS The time setting is incorrect on these pics. I'm pretty sure this was more like 6:30 in the morning.