Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Antler Makeover

A couple friends of mine recently found a nice matched set of shed antlers - but one was found fresh in February and still had all its color while the other one wasn't found until it had been laying on the ground for about 9 months and had suffered the effects of being out in the elements. I was asked to try to paint the faded antler to make it match the fresh one. Here are a couple before pictures...
And here are the after pictures...
They aren't an exact match, but to the casual observer they look close enough. And my friends that found them like the way they turned out.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

SYC Deer Hunt 2011

Last weekend the SYC Deer Hunt was held in NW Iowa, and I was fortunate to be able to participate as a guide for one of the hunters. The weekend was full of excitement as 28 hunters harvested a total of 23 deer. Due to the passing of my friend Greg Somers the week before as I mentioned in my last post, I was paired up with a different co-guide for this hunt. This year Danny Dodge of Spencer, Iowa and I were assigned to guide for a young man named Logan Slay. Here we are before the first morning's hunt getting ready to go out into the field. (From left to right: Terri Slay (Logan's Dad), Logan Slay, Danny Dodge, and myself)
The first morning in the stand turned out to be a good one. We saw a total of 7 deer, all does and fawns, and Logan was able to harvest a nice doe. This was Logan's first deer, and it was great that he and his dad were able to share the moment together.
Another successful hunter this year was Zach Olson from Minnesota. I had the privelege of guiding for Zach the last couple years and he bagged one doe the first year he hunted with me. This year he was being guided by my friend Marc Gustafson, and Zach shot two deer - a 7-point buck and a doe!
The biggest buck of the weekend was shot by a young man named Graham who bagged this really nice 10-point!
Overall, lots of good memories were made and the weekend was exciting for everyone involved. A speaker delivered a powerful message of how God changed his life, and lives are constantly being changed by the work of this ministry. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to participate and for the wonderful friends I have met through SYC.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Remembering a Friend and Hunting Buddy

My heart was saddened today as I found out that I lost a friend and hunting buddy.  Greg Somers, who is a long-time family friend and one of my fellow SYC Hunting Guides for the last couple years, passed away late yesterday evening.  I have some great memories of the time I got to spend with Greg, and he will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dove Season Starts with a Bang!

The 2011 dove season in Texas began on Thursday, September 1st and found myself in a rare situation - sitting in my office that morning instead of being afield. I can count on one hand the number of times I have missed an opening day dove hunt in my entire life. This year I had more family obligations with school having already started back, and my duties of dropping little ones off at preschool took precedence over my need to be in the field. But I knew the weekend would arrive in two short days, which meant I would be making a trip to my hunting lease for some dove hunting with my Dad and my friend Lee Flannery.

The weekend turned out to be a very memorable one. All three of us were able to bag a limit of doves on Saturday morning. My dad was the first to dominoe, with his 15th bird being bagged at 7:30 AM, approximately 52 minutes after legal shooting hours began. I was next to fill a limit with number 15 falling at 7:45 AM to my 34th shotshell of the morning. This may sound like a lot of shots to you if you have never tried your hand at shooting doves, but according to this article on the Bass Pro Shops website, "Studies indicate dove hunters average about three birds bagged per 25 shots." This means the average person has a .120 batting average when it comes to dove hunting, and Saturday morning's hunt for me would be equivalent to a .441 batting average. I'll take that number any day of the week! Lee finished up the trifecta with a limit of his own by 8:30 that morning. Here we are with our birds.

Another memorable moment that morning was the fact that I shot my first ever White-winged Dove. These are very similar to Mourning Doves, but have a white patch on their wings and have historically been in the southern part of the state. In the last few years we have seen more and more of them here in the northern part of Texas, and I was fortunate to get to bag this one as part of my limit.

Also of a very memorable note was Lee's son, Sean, bagging his first dove of his young hunting career. Not only did he get his first - he got several - and put on quite a shooting exhibition in the process! Way to go Sean!

So, even though I missed opening day the weekend turned out to be spectacular. I guess the best things do come to those who wait.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Help Me Name This Buck

I got a picture of a really gnarly buck on camera this past week that is so freakish looking I don't know how to describe it. Anybody got any good suggestions for a nickname for this buck?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to Get Trail Cameras Running

With deer antlers really starting to take shape, and hunting season just a little over two months away, now is the time to get those trail cameras in the woods. I recently got several of my cameras in place. Hopefully I will have a good number of pictures to share in the next few weeks. Here is the first nice buck I've gotten on camera this summer.