Friday, September 28, 2012

Good start to the 2012 season

Well I guess it is my honor to start the blog posts for this years hunting season. Fishing wasn't the greatest for us this year with all the boat troubles we have had. There may be a fishing trip or two left to redeem ourselves.

This past weekend was early doe season and my (Andrew) first time hunting with a bow. I did not have too high of expectations until Bryan told me the night I was going out that me and Chad would probably get a deer.

It didn't take long after climbing into the tree stand to see a spike run right underneath me. That alone was enough to get my blood running and my hands shaking. I thought there was no way I could shoot at a deer if I can't even keep calm when I see a deer I am not even allowed to shoot!

Probably 15-30 minutes later a group of three deer were headed through the woods in my direction. It was pretty thick so by the time I saw them they were within 40 yards. The smallest of the three led the group right to me. The second deer in the group was the one I had my eye on for a kill. She was about 20-25 yards away and stared me down for a good 30 seconds. I thought I was busted for sure. She finally put her head down and I drew my bow and waited what seemed like a lifetime for her to turn for a good shot. I took the shot and immediately realized it was hit too far back.

After waiting over night to track the deer Chad and I finally got out at 7am to start looking. We found a blood trail and tracked for a good distance but had to stop looking after a couple hours. I went out by myself later in the afternoon but I had lost most of my hopes of finding it. That is until the miracle tracker Bryan came in. I showed him the blood trail we had found and soon after he started walking well away from the blood trail. I guess he had a good instinct because I got a call a few minutes later that he had found the deer!

Ideally I would have liked my first deer with a bow to have been a cleaner shot, but we did end up finding the deer and no meat was wasted. Good luck to everyone in a couple of days!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Season Is Upon Us

The 2012 hunting season is upon us and there is plenty to be excited about.  As Chad and I mentioned in earlier posts, we both have new bows, and personally I can’t wait to put it to use on some whitetail deer, and I’m sure Chad shares those same feelings.  New equipment is always fun to purchase and even more fun to use, especially if there is a long period of anticipation.  While the bow was my big off season purchase, I also bought a climber treestand off Craigslist for $60 and a number of different broadheads that I hope to try out during this season.  Rage, Tekan, and Bloodrunner broadheads are the ones I’ll be putting to the test.  I have shot Muzzy three blade 100 grainbroadheads pretty much my entire hunting career and have been very satisfied, but this year I got the itch to try something new.  If things go well, I will report back in a later blog on how these broadheads performed for me.
Another exciting aspect of the upcoming year is that I have fallen upon some new hunting grounds to try out.  A buddy and co-worker of mine, Chris (Chrixus) Korreck, is going to let Chad and I tag along with him on his 500 acre “dude ranch” in Hastings, MI.  After several years of hunting the same piece of land, it is going to be refreshing to get out in some woods that are unfamiliar to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the land we hunt and plan to still hunt it hard, but having a change of scenery will be nice.  I am also planning to try some public land this year and also holding on to the hopes that I will be drawn for the Upper Macatawa Natural Area hunt in Ottawa County.  Having options always helps and since we dropped the ball on our plans to go door to door looking for hunting land (as we fail to do every summer), it will be nice if these other options work out. 
Generally the most anticipated event for every season (and most hunters) is the possibility that this season may be the one you take down that monster buck in the most awesome hunt you could imagine, but this year I think I am more excited about my youngest brother, Andrew, joining us in the chase.  While Andrew has hunted before (most recently with gun last year), he has never bow hunted, and I am personally pumped and hope he feels the rush that comes with bow hunting and becomes hooked like my dad, Chad and me. 
Unfortunately, the anticipation for this hunting season is not filled with only feeling of excitement like that of previous seasons.  This season is touched with much sadness due to the fact that our excitement cannot be shared with my dad, Richard Kraker.  He is bed ridden with cancer and will have to sit this season out.  Still, we hope we can share the season with him through our stories, and thank him for the skills he has taught us as hunters.  We love you dad!
Here are some pics of the view from a tree stand that I put up at the "dude ranch" tonight.  I'm feeling good about this spot since we spooked two six point bucks out as we were scouting the area.

Here is a quick video of the pro hunters at work: