Sunday, May 3, 2009

Morrell's Mushrooms: Tasty and Fun

Damin and I often speak of how there is never a “down time” in the whitetail woods. Granted we may be entering the slowest time of year for a whitetail hunter (late spring and early summer) there is still much to be done. In fact, I just got in from putting the trail cameras back out for off season scouting. Also, Damin and I preach being as low impact as possible, sometimes doing nothing, means doing something. Still, I have stumbled upon a new passion in the great outdoors that really took up a lot of time the last couple weeks; mushroom hunting.

This time of year is simply too beautiful to remain inside for any length of time with spring green up in full swing and the snow white flowers of dogwoods dominating the forest. Unfortunately, I haven’t been bitten by the gobbler bug yet, so this past year I hit the woods hard for Morrell’s Mushrooms. Honestly, I have no scientific or biological knowledge of this ‘shroom, expect they are tasty when fried! It doesn’t take a lot of experience or skill to find these tasty little fungi, just a little time, and effort and boot leather (similar to shed hunting). Actually, it is very similar to shed hunting because it is fun, rewarding and just a great way to spend time outdoors regardless of your level of hunting experience.

I think that may be one reason I was so drawn to ‘shroomin (as I call it, the phrase will catch on sooner or late, I know it). I have always really enjoyed walks through the woods. Be it early season scouting for a mature buck, shed hunting in late winter or just a casual summer stroll, any time I am in the woods in pursuit of something I am in a special state of mind.

I’ve learned that the best location to find a Morrell’s mushroom is in a nice poplar or walnut stand, preferably poplar as Dad told me they grow in ideal soils. Also, this may be pure coincidence or an exact science, but I have also found a good deal of them around skunk cabbage. Again, I wouldn’t go basing my search on that criteria alone, but I would make sure to check it out.

My good friend Mike Willand of Illinois, monster buck slayer and expert shed hunter (he also won the Campbell’s Outdoor Challenge this past year) always said of shed hunting, “sheddin’, like pimpin, ain’t easy!” Well, in the world of mushroom hunting I offer this simple phrase, “shroomin, like sheddin, is fun!” Okay, not as witty, but you get the idea. Morrell’s mushrooms are best picked in mid-late April after some good rain and a couple warm nights. I urge you, though, to get out now and experience some fun in the woods and some tasty, fried mushrooms!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update to Blog!

Hello All, I just wanted to give everyone a quick heads up and let you know that now on the side of the blog there is a slide show with some of the pictures we've taken over the past couple of months/years. Right now there are only about 50 pictures, but whenever we take new ones we'll upload them to photobucket and they'll show up in the sideshow. Now, as you can see the images are pretty small so we've added the exact same slideshow at the bottom of the blog as well if you want to see the images on a larger scale. We've always had many more pictures than we could share in the posts themselves so, now y'all can be ever closer to us and our passion! Cheers!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

"God Shoots Straight With Crooked Bows"

From J.K. Rowling to Charles Alsheimer, there are numerous books to which I take a particular liking and given the two authors mentioned its easy to say that I have quite the eclectic taste when it comes to literature. However, when it comes to books that I can read any day of the week regardless of my particular mood nothing beats a good devotional.

Steve Chapman is a avid Christian and an avid hunter who preaches, sings and writes about his love for God and his love for the outdoors. Holding steadfast to his beliefs regardless of the situation there may not be a better man to fit the description that hunting is, in fact, more than just a pursuit.

Given the warm weather and my disinterest in steeple-chase racing, this past weekend I decided to sit outside and read Chapman's "Another Look at Life From a Deer Stand: Going Deeper into the Woods." The sequel to the orginial "A Look at Life From the Deer Stand," Chapman's book focuses on finding God in each every aspect of our lives regardless of whether it's in the church on Sunday or on the way to the deer stand on a crisp autumn morning. There was one passage I found quite inspirational and I'd like to share it with you all.

"Skilled bowyers will agree that a perfect bow never begins with a perfect stick of wood. The fact is, there is no such thing as a flawless stave from which a bowyer begins the process. Instead, the key to a great shooting bow is in the amount of understanding the bowyer has of a wood and the level of his or her ability to work with it. --- The same can be said of people. Romans 3:9 and 23 is an assessment of the quality each of us as spiritual staves: "There is none righteous, not even one" and "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

Analogously Chapman compares the carving of a bow to each and every one of our lives. None of us is perfect and in essence we are all "crooked bows." But, just as a seasoned archer can shoot a 300 with a crooked bow with plenty of patience and practice, each of us can and will find heaven through giving ourselves wholly and completely to Jesus Christ. It may be a bumpy ride and the path may not always be easy, but the reward in the end will be worth all the trials and tribulations! As Chapman goes on to say, "Wow...God shoots straight with crooked bows!"

There are numerous passages from Chapman's book that I'd like to share with you all over the coming weeks. And, I'd highly recommend any of the books in the Chapman series. He speaks of God, grace and glory and to any reader, be they a hunter and non-hunter alike, his words will be truly inspirational.

As always, God Bless and Happy Hunting!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Food Plot Update

With Spring Green Up alive and well here we figured it was time to give a quick update as to how our food plots are coming along. We still have 3 active food plots planted with Imperial Whitetail Clover that are coming back quite nicely. Clover started popping through the ground around mid-March and, although they likely didn't need it this year, we still frost seeded each of the plots to try and extend their longevity and increase the tonnage produced in each. Given the amount of rain we have had, following a couple weeks of warm sunlight the plots will be lush and ready to provide our deer herd with enhanced spring and summer nutrition!

We also have created two new food plots this year totaling 1.5 acres about which we are very, very excited. Not only are these the two biggest food plots we will have, but we will also be planting them with Imperial Whitetail PowerPlant. Powerplant is extremely attractive to whitetails and provides the highest level of protein on the market. The great thing about Powerplant, though, is that it can grow up to 6 feet in height! Its seed has a mixture of Sunflowers, Soybeans and LabLab all of which are capable of excessive vertical growth. The LabLab and Soybeans use the fast growing sunflowers as a trellis for structural support so that they can grow up rather than horizontally on the ground.

While the nutritional value is second to none, PowerPlant also provides increased habitat as its height and thickness provides a "jungle" of sorts in which deer love to bed and feed. We are extremely excited to see the affect this plot has on our deer herd. We're hoping it provides nutrition, increase the property's carrying capacity AND provides for some awesome summer photo-ops. We will get some pictures up of the plot itself sometime around late-June as it will not be planted until mid-May because Soybeans are intolerable to frost and cold seed beds.

Well, while hunting season may be over 5 months away it is still a busy time in the deer woods. From food plots to mineral stations, there is definitely no time for rest as summer rapidly approaches. And, regardless of what the reason may be for going out, Spring Green Up is an amazing time to be in the woods and watch in wonder as God awakens his world that has been dormant during the winter months. We encourage each of you to get out and spend some time in nature during this wonderful season.

That's all we've got for you all this time. Best of luck to all of you turkey hunters out there. And, as always, God Bless and Happy Hunting.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gone Vertical

As Damin mentioned in a previous post, I have begun shooting a compound bow, upgrading, if you will, from the crossbow I have shot for four years. I must say, I was really quite nervous making the switch simply because I wasn’t even sure if I could be able to draw the bow back effectively. Baseball and weightlifting haven’t exactly been kind to my shoulder, so I wasn’t even sure I could draw back.

Fortunately, I surprised myself when I drew back my new BowTech Tomkat for the first time. Granted, it was only set at 50 lbs. it was a moral victory in its own right and I was ready to rock and roll in the vertical world of archery.
I’d like to take this post to just give a little information about my new rig, the transition from being a “wider rider” to a “vertical bird” and my goals regarding archery for the upcoming season.

First, as mentioned, I shoot a Bowtech Tomkat, which was originally Damin’s and I was fortunate enough to buy it from him for an envious price. My draw length is 29.5 inches and right now the poundage is set at 55 (tomorrow I will hopefully have it cranked up to 60, the max poundage for this bow). I, like Damin, shoot Gold Tip XT Shafts with 100 grain heads and 2” Rayzr feathers (pretty sweet looking arrow, I might add). Once hunting season rolls around I’ll switch to broadheads, of course, and continue to shoot 100 grain G5 Strikers. Tomorrow I will actually have my bow restrung, with Winner’s Choice String, and will have a new peep sight (G5 Meta Peep, ¼”) installed. So, while my bow is three years old, I’m essentially starting from scratch in terms of its equipment which is a great feeling.

Now I’d like to speak a little bit about the transition from shooting a crossbow to shooting a compound. When I first bought a crossbow back in 2005, I did so to buy myself more time in the woods and introduce myself to archery so down the road I could switch to a compound. While there are many crossbow skeptics out there, I must say that thus far shooting a crossbow has eased the learning curve in shooting a compound. Sure, drawing the bow back is completely new, but the elementary concepts I learned from crossbow shooting have proved beneficial. For example, I am already confident in my ability to range my target, know the importance of a consistent follow through and realize how important a smooth trigger pull is to tight groups. While I am certainly not an Olympic archer, I have surprised myself a bit this winter and early spring at my ability to tighten my groups out to 30 yards and am excited to experience some more improvement over the summer when warmer and longer days allow for more practice time.

My goals for this upcoming season with my new bow, simply harvest a whitetail. I am burning up with anticipation as to what it will feel like to draw back on my first deer; it is going to be a great feeling. We are going to up our doe harvest this year so the first whitetail to fall victim to this new archer may be an old matriarch, or I may be lucky enough to harvest on of the 130”+ Titans we’ll have running around this fall. Either way, I am ready “live life at full draw!”

I’d also like to send out thanks to Damin for all the help, advice and info. he has shared with me along the way. His knowledge and know how in the archery world is far superior to mine and I owe a big thanks to him for not only introducing me to compound bows, but for the practice session advice, tuning, fletching and cutting my arrows, basically teaching me how to shoot vertically, I know all his wisdom will pay off!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bowtech Admiral

What can I say about the Bowtech Admiral that hasn't already been said? I had anxiously awaited the arrival of my Admiral for 2 months hoping each day that I 'd get the call that it was in. Even then, I was still just a bit nervous that when I shot it, it wouldn't be everything it has been claimed. Well, one thing's for sure, it's everything its supposed to be and more.

Outfitted with an Octane Stabilizer, Sword Acu-Site, G5 Meta and Octane Bantamweight Quiver (soon ) the Admiral is one of, if not the, quietest and smoothest bows I've ever been around. Pushing Gold Tip 5575s at a cool 300 fps at 65lbs the Admiral is completely dead in the hand and incomparably quiet. From the in-velvet finish, to the smooth draw to the speed this bow is second to none in the 2009 line up.

Cody is now shooting a compound as well and has a 2007 Bowtech Tomkat. We have found quite the hobby in archery given that we now cut and fletch our own arrows as well as tune our own bows!

Check out the video above, I don't have a picture to post, but the video will definitely give a great idea of the animal known as the Admiral.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Product Review: Rinehart Field Target

As bowhunters, we all know how hard it can be to properly compensate for angles when shooting from a tree stand. Some recommend sighting in your bow at 17 yards instead of 20 to compensate, while others recommend purchasing range finders that adjust the distance for the angle. However, as is the case with most things in hunting, nothing can beat practice, practice, practice. Cody and I routinely take out the Gorilla climbers and carry the target into the woods during the spring and summer to practice shooting from different tree stand heights. Now, this is all well and good other than the fact the out Morrell Target is rather large and quite a pain to lug around from spot to spot. Fortunately, we recently found the perfect "throw target" for just this occasion.

Rinehart is famous for its 18-in-1 target that is guaranteed to last for one year. The Rinehart Field Target (RFT) pictured, on the other hand, is a 9" circular target that can be carried anywhere with little effort at all. Small enough to fit in a suitcase, the RFT weighs but a few pounds and is perfect for everything from tree stand practice to a quick round of shooting in the back yard. In addition, it is also capable of handling both field points and broad heads so it is literally perfect for every occasion. Perhaps the best part of all? This target costs a mere $27.99 at (

With warm temperatures and longer days approaching, there is more and more time each day to get out and practice with the bow. Always remember, perfect practice makes perfect and this target will allow for that practice in any myriad of situations.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Picture of a Monster Buck

A couple of months ago we made a blog post with a picture of Mike Kern's monster buck that he harvested with the muzzleloader. We recently got a new picture of this buck and we thought we would post it as well just so everyone can see the pure enormity of the split-main-beam once in a lifetime buck. Again, Congratulations to Mike on this trophy.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Food Plots 101: Pre-Planting Preparation

With spring rapidly approaching Cody, Dad and I are currently preparing to plant our yearly food plots. While plowing, planting and watching the plots grow is extremely rewarding, an oft forgotten aspect of food plotting is the planning and pre-planting processes. Like a wise man once said, “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.”

When one decides they want to plant a food plot, the first task is to select a location, and even this isn’t as fool proof as it would seem! Plot experts typically recommend that plots be planted in a north-south orientation in order to allow the plots maximum sunlight to maximize photosynthetic activity and plant growth. Also, it is extremely important to understand the soil and drainage characteristics of your selected area. For example, we have one plot that is extremely well drained as it is made up predominantly of sand. This plot, in the past, has given us trouble as we’ve ignored this. This year, however, we will be planting Imperial Whitetail Extreme which is specifically engineered for these “extreme” conditions where water may be limited and soil conditions not ideal.

Along with understanding the soil type it is of the utmost importance to conduct a pH test on the soil in the area. We collect soil and send it to the Whitetail Institute in Alabama. They analyze the soil and send us back a report with suggested amounts of lime and other nutrients that should be applied to create optimal growing conditions. The Whitetail Institute as well as Mossy Oak Biologic will both conduct these analysis for a minimal fee. And, let me tell you, this simple test can ultimately be the difference between success and failure in a food plot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Final Harvest Picture

As Cody mentioned in a previous post, Dad was also fortunate enough to take a doe with the muzzleloader during the late season. We thought we'd take this quick opportunity to share a picture of his deer with you all.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Rollercoaster Season

If I were asked to describe this hunting season with one phrase, I would simply answer; a roller coaster ride. The 2008-2009 hunting season was certainly one of the most unpredictable seasons I’ve been apart of in my 13 years of hunting whitetails. It seemed like as soon as I got a break, things turned south, only to rise back up again and then quickly fall. Like I said, a roller coaster season.

A promising bow season quickly folded as we had very, very little natural mast on our property this year. In prime mast producing years it seems you would have to beat the deer off of our land with a stick, however, this year was simply not the case. Honestly, I think less than a dozen white oaks were dropping a consistent crop of acorns during the fall. Normally this wouldn’t be much of a problem due to the success of our food plots. Unfortunately though, we were hammered by drought throughout much of September and October and our food plots suffered, that made for some frustrating early season hunts that is for sure. In fact, in mid October, I went three straight afternoon sits without a single deer sighting. In the previous three seasons I did not once experience a deerless hunt. I have to take the blame for this, though. We had a great bow season during the 2007 season and I relied too heavily on our success and stand placement from the previous fall. In an attempt to be as low impact as possible during the summer and early fall, I thought the success we enjoyed in 07 would be duplicated in 08. Boy was I wrong. It just goes to show you that when you think you’ve got these whitetails figured out, they skunk you yet again. Still, I was blessed with the opportunity to harvest a doe with my crossbow in early October, not all was lost.

After a slow early season, the thought of the rut sure got my blood pumping. Sadly, however, we were still feeling the sour effects of a poor mast year. When there is no food on you property, that doesn’t give the deer much of a chance to utilize during daylight hours and this was definitely the case. We still saw plenty of rutting buck sign, and in fact, I saw more scrapes during a season than ever before (the sign of an improving buck/doe ration and more mature bucks). However, they were all in travel corridors indicating that bucks were simply passing through our property to get to and from bedding and feeding areas. I was still blessed with some exciting hunts, however. On November 19 I had an incredible experience with a super yearling buck, nicknamed Vegas. I saw young Vegas chasing a doe over a hundred years out and called him with in three steps, not once, not twice, not three times but four. It was an absolute blast to watch this tough guy run circles around the blind looking for a hot doe. I hope Vegas made because he has the potential to be the biggest buck to ever roam our property. I also had the quick run in with the Hulk as well. As I said before it was a bittersweet hunt because I felt a did an effective job scouting and getting on an old buck after we got him just days before on the trail camera, but I wasn’t quite good enough as he gave me the slip.

The late season gave us the best hunting as far as seeing deer. Seeing 10-15 deer a sit was not uncommon during our late season doe hunting, but yet again, I was bitten by the bad luck bug. The doe I missed will leave a lasting scar on my hunting career, literally and physically. When I missed that doe I gave some serious thought about just hanging it up for the season with only two days left and after enduring a frustrating season. While I felt sorry for myself I was reminded of how I ended the 2007 season, my best season to date. I was hunting a certain doe group the last week of the season hoping to tag an old matriarch. Well after being skunked every afternoon hunt the entire week, I ended the season on a sour note. Now I am not a suspicious man but I figured if I ended 2007 on a sour note my bad luck may have carried over to the 2008 season. Hoping to carry some momentum into the 2009 season I hit the woods and was blessed to take my second doe of the season.

Hunting provides so many different emotions and I think I experienced every one of them this past season. I did, however, learn a lot about myself as a hunter and sportsmen learned some hard lessons and I feel like this rough season will better me as a hunter and deer manager in the future. We have some big plans for this off season so keep reading the blog to follow us into the 2009 season!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Late Season Hunting: I Give It a 10

I recently read a questionnaire asking, "On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the highest possible score you would give an entire hunting season in which you did not take a deer?" When first reading this I thought to myself that one can learn a great deal and have a wonderful time in the woods even if a deer is not harvested and, with that thought, I figured the highest ranking I could possibly give would likely be an 8 or 9. Well, having just completed one of those seasons I have to say I stand corrected.

This hunting season, especially in the late season, Cody and I spent more hours in the woods than we had ever before. As Cody said, we experienced -25 degree wind chills, deerless days and late season rutting activity that got the adrenaline pumping just like a shot opportunity would. Personally, I learned more than ever before about deer behavior all the while becoming a more disciplined hunter. And, while I wasn't able to take a deer, the lessons learned, time spent with family and time spent in the woods all adds up to a season that easily scores a 10.

I spent the majority of my late season hunting time hunting with a bow as I felt it would be quite an accomplishment to take a late season whitetail with the bow. Unfortunately, as the days begin to dwindle and are doe harvest goals yet to be reached I turned to the TC Triumph for the final days. Over the last couple of days I did have several shot opportunities, however, there was uncertainty as to whether or not the deer in question was a button buck or a doe. Perhaps my best opportunity was my last on the season's final day and, while we were certain that it was a doe that had come into the field, visibility did not allow for an safe or ethical shot to be taken. Had she came out 5 minutes earlier it may have been a different story, but sometimes the ball just doesn't roll your way. Oh well, though, there is always next year and a lot was learned from the experience.

While I focus the majority of my time hunting whitetails, I did get to spend a little bit of time in the bear woods this winter with my grandfather Jack Schumaker; (known to me as PawPaw.) Known all across the states of Virginia and West Virginia as a magnificent hunter and an even better person, I feel I'm doing a great disservice to him in calling him a "Bear Hunting Legend." I was able to bear hunt two days this year and while no bears were taken or even scene I still had a wonderful time in the woods with PawPaw (even though I at 21 was unable to keep up with him at 78 walking straight up the mountain leading dogs, talk about a humbling experience!)

On the aforementioned walk up the mountain we stopped to listen for dogs and a fellow hunter said with respects to hunting, "If it were easy, everyone would do it." And, following this season as a whole I can say I concur whole heartedly. This season I never once drew my bow, clicked off the safety of the 7mm08 or cocked the hammer on the Triumph and nevertheless I still had an amazing hunting season. It is that there the descries exactly while hunting to both Cody and I is much more than a pursuit.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Go Gators

To break our trend of hunting posts, I’d just like to take a minute to do a little bragging on my Florida Gators. In case you didn’t see or hear, the Florida Gators won the 2009 BCS National Championship by beating the mighty Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 Thursday night.

Tim Tebow, perhaps the single most dominant player in college football, carried his team to victory with the help of fellow junior studs, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes. Despite a lethargic first half which saw Tebow intercepted twice and the Gators D (which I enjoy watching almost more than their offense) carved through like a Thanksgiving ham, the aforementioned Spikes and Tebow took over the locker room at halftime and the Gators owned the second half. Midway through the third quarter when Tebow took the option keeper for a first down, got up and gave the fans the Gator Chomp I looked over at dad and confidently said, “We’ve got our Tebow back.” Seeing Tebow return to his true from was a sigh of relief as I knew he wasn’t going to let the Gators lose and Spikes and the uber-athletic Gator D wasn’t going to let OU score. After true sophomore Ahmad Black intercepted Heisman winning QB Sam Bradford in the 4th quarter, Tebow and future NFL star Percy Harvin led an impressive Gator drive down the field that was capped by Tebow’s signature play, a jump pass completed to B-lister David Nelson to take a 24-14. Defensive MVP Carlos Dunlap, Spikes and the Gator D stopped the OU offense with three minutes left and the Gators were National Champions!

Having been a Gator since I was 6 years old I’ve developed a strong, passionate and emotional bond with not just a bunch of players but the program in general. As silly as it may sound, I cannot express how proud I am of this team. You may think I am some basement-dwelling nerd who has no life; I proudly call myself a diehard Gator. I keep a daily tab on the program following recruiting; staying active in Gator football forums and simply learning anything and everything I can about the Florida football program.

As I said before I’ve developed a strong emotional bond with this team. No, I am not going to break down and cry if they enter the NFL, nor do I go ballistic when they lose (which is rare). However, having followed them since they were in high school to hoping and praying they would commit to Florida to watching them work their way up the depth chart to watching them shut down and overwhelm the most prolific offense in history, I’ve got to admit, I was beaming with pride and joy Thursday night.

On a side note- Tim Tebow announced today that he will return for his senior season. More than a football player to me, being able to watch this man represent the Gator Nation for one more year is something that I am extremely excited about. He is an incredible role model, a man that I try, yet can only hope to be like and one of my few, but influential idols. His deep faith, respect for all men and women and energy for living life are all traits that I try to embody in everyday life.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quick Late Season Recap

Welcome back everyone, we apologize for our lack of posting over the last month; we’ve been busy enjoying the holidays with family and of course spending every last minute in the woods as the season slowly, unfortunately came to a close. I thought I would take a quick minute to recap the last month of hunting season and give you guys a run down of how we closed the season.

The last month of the season found Damin and I focusing on does and this greatly affected our hunting strategy as we focused on known doe groups. However, on the morning of December 19th, with Damin and I in the same stand, attempting to record a doe harvest on film, we had an awesome encounter with a yearling buck. This little guy was overwhelmed by the sweet smelling estrous that permeated the woods, no doubt emitted by a late cycling doe. At first light he chased a doe by our stand at about 30 yards and then chased her out of sight. Three minutes later we see the little guy running circles to our east, and to this day, I’m not exactly sure what he was chasing as there were no other deer in the area. Just a prime example of what excitement the whitetail rut can bring to the deer woods. Realizing that there was an estrous doe somewhere in the vicinity, I hit the grunt tube several times simulating a buck tending a doe, and within seconds, we see the same little spark plug making a bee line right for the stand looking for a fight. It was a blood pumping experience to have called in a deer right under the stand, regardless of how big he was. I just can’t imagine how Damin or I would have acted had he been a shooter.

Damin and I hunted pretty consistently until Christmas day with no luck. We did, however, experience the coldest hunt of our lives on the morning of December 22nd when the temperature plummeted to 7 with the wind chill 25 below. Neither of us saw any deer on this hunt yet we came away extremely satisfied as we went toe to toe (whether we could feel them or not) with Mother Nature and withstood her fiercest punch as neither of us got cold!
After spending the Christmas holiday with family, we soon got back to the deer woods with the focus still on the does. I headed to the woods with camera in hand on December 29th with Dad in hopes of filming him harvest a doe, and for the only the second time in our amateur filming careers we actually did it! Dad and I had seen close to 15 does that morning when a 2 year old wandered by the stand with her fawn and ole Dad made a near perfect shot on her, and best yet, we caught the whole thing on film!

Feeling the pressure Damin and I knew we had to step up to the plate in order to compete with dad and on January 1st, I thought I was about to even the score. I was hunting a stand that I literally know like the back of my hand and I had a nice 4 year old doe wander out into one of our food plots. I was over confident the “easiness” of the shot and didn’t take advantage. I didn’t give my self a good enough rest as I thought the shot would be a piece of cake and I paid for it big time, in two ways. I squeezed off the trigger and knew the shot wasn’t good and was nearly positive I had missed. After watching the doe bound off unharmed, I felt a warm feeling of pity soothe down my face. That feeling was blood. I didn’t secure the barrel of my Pursuit II and she reminded me of it alright. Blood was pouring out of a two inch long gash right between my eyes; boy did I feel small then. Feeling dejected after missing the “gimme” shot an blooding my face badly, I nearly called it quits for the year with only two days remaining. However, knowing I couldn’t’ harvest a deer from the couch watching college bowl games, I headed to the same stand two days later, the last morning of the season, and was fortunate enough to make a near perfect shot on a fat 2 year old doe. I felt extremely blessed by the second chance the good Lord gave me and ended the season on a strong note. Persistence pays, my friend!

Unfortunately, Damin did not harvest a deer during the late season. Against my wishes as a deer manager, he hunted nearly 75% of the time with his bow, which is truly commendable given the conditions and how hard these deer are to hunt during the late season. Still, he stuck with it, and while he didn’t harvest a deer, he earned my respect as a fierce bow hunter and avid sportsmen. Again, we apologize for our lack of posting, but the blog is sure to be hopping now that the season is over. Stay tuned within the next couple weeks as Damin and I each give recaps and how we would grade our seasons from a personal stand point.