Let me first start off by saying that the official opening of a new Cabela's store a mere minutes away from the HuntingNet.com office spells a lot of trouble for both mine and Justin's credit cards. We managed to secure some tickets to a VIP sneak-preview last Thursday and I have to say we were both quite impressed. The two-story mega store has just about everything a hunter, fisherman, or general outdoor enthusiast could want, and probably more. I'm a pretty impulsive guy when it comes to hunting gear and now instead of having to wait even one day for my stuff to get here via overnight shipping, I can just drive over to the store and pick it up. In fact, I'll admit that I spent a few hours and more money than I propably should have there last weekend during my 2nd trip. But hey, you only live once, right?
Justin getting ready to head into the new Cabela's store in Hoffman Esates, IL
In other news, just over two weeks ago we hosted a Spoting Clays charity event at Coon Creek Hunt Club with my good friend Muhsin Muhammad to raise money for his M2 Foundation for Kids. Moose's foundation was started in 1999 and is dedicated to helping educate, motivate, and improve the lives of young children. I was glad to be a part of this great event, not only because we had a good time, but because it's for a great cause. A very big thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy a day of shooting at the club and help benefit the M2 Foundation. Everyone had a great time and got to meet not only Moose, but several other Chicago Bears players as well. For more information on the M2 Foundation for kids visit their new website at www.M2FoundationForKids.com
Moose and I getting ready to shoot some clays.
We went through a LOT of shells!
Saturday September 15th brought near record low temperatures in Wisconsin and with that came the opening day of the 2007 archery season. Despite getting a bit of a late start preparing for this fall, I squeezed in plenty of preparation time when it counted to make sure that I was ready to go when the season started.
As you read in my last journal, Justin and I made a trip to Wisconsin earlier this month to set up treestands to hunt and film from during the opening weekend. What you didn't read was that I went back the next weekend and met up with new team member Josh Fletcher to hang a few additional stands, just to make sure I have plenty of options for later in the season. It's amazing how no matter how many stands you hang before the season starts, you always find yourself wanting to move once you hit the woods. I really believe that you can never have too many stands set up and ready to go.
Josh helping me hang some stands in Wisconsin
|Our new dog Cassie helping me sort through all of my gear.
Aside from getting my stands ready I also went through my piles and piles of gear, trying to find everything and get it organized for opening day. Although as we all know, you can never get everything organized just the way you want it until you get out in the field and actually do some hunting. It always seems like you forget stuff, misplace stuff, and bring too much stuff all at the same time.
Opening weekend found Justin and I going at it with the cameras rolling, but depsite our hard work we were never presented an opporunity to harvest a deer that we wanted. We had plenty of opportunities at yearlings and small bucks, but we were holding out for a mature doe so I could fill my 2nd Earn-A-Buck tag, or of course a mature buck. Although we didn't have the opportunity to harvest a deer on film, we got to work out the kinks of our filming setups, and of course my hunting gear. All in all, we had a very productive weekend and the most important part was that we got into the woods and enjoyed ourselves (when we didn't want to kill each other for making too much noise that is)
Hey Justin: Remember to button up your pants next time! Those buttons were killing me!
The following weekend I headed back to Wisconsin on my own and had a great hunt on Friday night. Warm temperatures had the deer coming into our water-hole stand and not only did I make a great shot on a big mature doe that night, I captured the entire thing on film! Justin is in the process of editing all of our clips together and should have the video posted soon. In the meantime, here's a photo of my first harvest of 2007. Now I have both of my Earn-A-Buck tags and I'm looking for something with antlers on it's head!
A 20 yard shot proved lethal on this big doe. Check back soon for the video!
Back home I have been checking my trail cameras pretty frequently as the Illinois season gets closer and closer, and I finally got a picture of a real beauty. I will definitely be chasing this guy come October 1st!
That's all for now. I'm headed back to Wisconsin this weekend to check out a few of my other properties and sit in some observational type stands so I can hopefully get a feel for what the deer are doing before things start to heat up next month.
One last image of my dad, my son, and my uncle Tom helping me hang and trim stands in Wisconsin. You can never have too many stands, or too many people to help you hang them!