As the month of May slowly burns away into June, I can’t help but think that the hunting season begins in just three and a half months. Before I know it, I will be sitting in a tree in my swamp property of Wisconsin waiting for a mature buck to make the fatal mistake of wandering by my position. That being said, there is still a lot of work to be done before I can convince myself I am ready for another season, and I am looking forward to an exciting and eventful summer.
The cool, rainy weather we have had here in the Midwest has been great for my clover and chicory plots!
One of my favorite offseason activities is prepping food plots and other habitat management projects for the upcoming season. My ultimate goal is to provide the whitetails that visit my property with enough food sources that they don’t need to leave my property. It may sound like a losing battle, but I welcome the challenge!
These apple trees are only in their second year of growth, however, they are growing beautifully. Once they begin to produce fruit they will provide another food source for the deer on my property.
The cool rainy weather has been perfect for my clover and chicory plots so far this spring; a few spots measured over 20 inches of growth! I hate to have to mow it this week, with it looking so beautiful, but it is the best option for weed control. This time of year also means corn planting time in the Midwest. When it comes to late season food plot attraction, it’s tough to beat corn. My corn plots got absolutely hammered last winter during the late season. The deer are worn down for the rut and crave the carbohydrate rich kernels of corn that keep their bodies warm during the winter cold! I have also been very pleased with the apple trees I had planted. They are now in their second year of growth and have almost doubled their size.
Here I am getting ready to plant my corn. I can't wait for the late season when the deer will really hit my corn plots hard!
Despite the fact that I killed this field with Round Up and most of the grass was dead, the ground was still pretty hard and the corn was not getting into the ground. I made a few adjustments and was back in business! Persistence pays!
This time of year is also my favorite time to get out in the backyard and fling some arrows. Just recently, I have taken the time to get my little man, Craig, involved in the sport of archery. If you have little ones that are interested in bowhunting or archery, I strongly recommend you look into the Mathews line of kids bows. From Mathews to Mission Archery to the Genesis line of bows, they have the flexibility and specifications to get your kids started bowhunting. With the number of kids hunting decreasing every year, it is important that we get our youth involved in the sport we love so much so that one day they may experience the rush and thrill of deer hunting!
Here's my little man, Craig, getting set up with his new Mathews Craze!
Craig was having a little trouble pulling back the Craze, so I ordered the Mathews Menace. The Craze was a great bow, but the specs on the Menace fit Craig better physically. At this point, it is all about keeping Craig interested and having fun!
I first set up Craig with the Mathews Craze, but the draw length was about two inches too long and Craig was having to lean back to hold up the weight, so I decided to go ahead and order the Mathews Menace. The Craze was a great bow, however, with adjustable draw lengths anywhere from 15-70 pounds and 80% let-off; it can be enjoyed by beginner archers or all skills and age levels. The Menace weighs about .6 pounds lighter than the Craze and the draw length is two inches shorter than the Craze, so it fits Craig much better physically which will allow for a better overall experience. But above all else, the goal is to make sure that he is having fun!
Bowhunting.com Staff members Richie Music and Tom Alford also came over for a friendly bow shooting competition. We enjoyed a day of dialing in our Mathews and preparing for the upcoming Bowhunting.com Get Together and Bow Shoot at Coon Creek Hunt Club in Garden Prairie, Illinois. This is going to be our biggest and best shoot yet, and I encourage everyone who is able to make it to come out and enjoy a fun day of shooting, prizes, food and beverages. If you are looking for more information, visit this link which will direct you to our forum where you will find all the information you need. Every one is welcome hope to see every one of you there!
A shot of my backyard practice range.
Here I am prepping for the 3rd Annual Bowhunting.com Get Together and Bow Shoot. I think that would kill a turkey, don't you?
Richie's last shot before he lost the competition to Tom and I. Now he owes us a pizza!
Richie just couldn't pull it off after 4 shots. Oh well, stick to hunting those giant sub-urban whitetails, Richie!
To makes things interesting we spiced up our shooting with a little competition, and my buddy Richie Music came out on the losing end. He may be an expert when it comes to shooting giant bucks from the same tree stand, but he was no match for me and Tom! He was unable to shoot the Rinehart target in the head above the red line at 30 yards, so he has to buy both Tom and I a pizza! Better luck next time, Richie!
Before we all know it we’ll bow hunting our favorite spots in the bitter cold of sweet November. It’s an exciting thought, but be sure you enjoy yourself this summer. Get a kid involved in archery or have your buddies over to the house for a night of shooting and friendly competition; it’s equally as rewarding as harvesting that mature buck you’ve been patterning! Okay, maybe not, but it does make the summer go by more quickly!