Friday, December 30, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Great Lakes Wolves Delisted... Now What?

The following is a commentary by's Chris Larsen. It does not necessarily reflect the views of

The big news for Midwest hunters last week was the delisting of the Great Lakes gray wolf population. The move puts management of gray wolves back in the hands of state wildlife managers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This authority has been something state agencies have been asking years for. Currently, state agencies have no authority to use lethal means to deal with problem wolves. By the end of January, they most likely will.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road. This is the third time since the millennium the Great Lakes gray wolf has been delisted from the Endangered Species list. Each of the previous two times it was relisted. This is, for lack of a better term, a bunch of hooey. There are more than 4,000 wolves residing in these three states. That is three times the wolf population of the Northern Rockies. In my home state of Wisconsin, the original management plan called for about 350-400 wolves in the state. Biologists believed the maximum carrying capacity of the state’s habitat and resources would be around 500 wolves. The current Wisconsin population is estimated at over 750 wolves.

There is no good science for continuing to protect the gray wolf as an endangered species. This doesn’t protect common sense from dolts with lawyers and judges who are duped by them. The Humane Society of the United States is one of the key opponents to wolf delisting and they have deep pockets and good lawyers. The big question is, assuming the gray wolf remains delisted, what is next?

The first step should be allowing state agencies to use deadly force on wolves depredating on livestock or nuisance wolves that roam near homes. Most wolves want nothing to do with people and there are plenty of deer for them to eat in the woods. Right now, state agencies can’t use lethal tactics. That leaves them with strategies meant to scare wolves away from farms and homes. Fladry is a common tactic. The instrument in the photo is a siren that goes off every 30 seconds or so. Would you like to live next to that? After a while wolves acclimate themselves to these things and eventually ignore them. If we start shooting problem wolves, fellow pack members will either move away from farms and homes or end up falling to the gun or trap as well.

While many people like the idea of being able to hunt wolves, if we’re going to be true stewards of the land and resources, I would like to see the results of nuisance hunts first. For example, lets say there are nearly 800 wolves in Wisconsin and the initial management goal is 600 wolves. If we sell 200 wolf tags and they are randomly killed throughout the state, did we really manage the population responsibly? Wouldn’t we rather kill problem wolves and leave those who are doing what wolves naturally do to continue doing it?

On the other hand there are those who say every wolf is a problem wolf. Many salivate at the prospect of being able to hunt a wolf. Perhaps we could create a system with 150 nuisance wolf kills and 50 hunter tags per season. If we did a drawing for these tags the difference between having 200 tags in the drawing and 50 in the drawing is pretty minimal. The odds would be thin either way. Charge $5 to be in the drawing. That would raise a lot of money to help pay for wolf damage. Perhaps take one of those tags and auction it off. The state of Iowa does this with one buck tag every year and makes between $5,000 and $10,000 on the tag. And that’s a tag that you can get every three or four years no matter what. The state could probably make $10K by auctioning one wolf tag per year. I think this would be a good compromise that would show good, responsible stewardship while keeping agriculture and hunting interests happy.

As long as the courts don’t stop it, state agencies will begin managing wolves by the end of January. We’ll get a good idea of what the future of wolf management will look like at that point.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Black Lab Buck

After years of chasing waterfowl and whitetails with firearms, this season I decided to get into archery hunting. Instead of just killing a deer with the bow, I decided to make my hunts even more challenging by filming them. My good friend, Jason Oswald, has been generous enough to offer his time and efforts to film my hunts. On the way, he has also become addicted to bow hunting lifestyle. This was our first season of hunting from elevated stands and it has been exciting. Seeing deer from above while they have no idea you are there is a thrill. I arrowed my first deer a few weeks ago. One of the cool things about getting into archery hunting is the welcome I have received from fellow hunters. Dozens of emails flooded my inbox after releasing the video of my hunt. The following message is from my friend, Matt Appel. After a hearty congrats, he shared the story of his most recent hunt. Matt is a new daddy this year. Check out the photo at the end of the story.


I curbed my addiction this year by taking a buck I normally would of passed up, but it was on public land, the first time into the area, and it was a fun hunt. I got in my stand, watched a storm front move in, put up my umbrella, sat there and thought “well I'm not going to see anything this morning.” Luckily, the front passed with out a drop of rain. Then I heard some leaves kicking up and looked up to see the buck walking right from where I had walked in 45 minutes before. I looked behind him as he got to 30 yards for a bigger buck, drew, looked behind him again, then settled on him as he passed broadside at 18 yards and figured I would spend some more time with the family this year, then released.

The arrow hit hard and disappeared while the buck bolted out of the woods and into a prairie grass field. As I was getting down from my stand I had a black lab come running in from where the deer went. I looked up to see a pheasant hunter walk by the little wood lot I was in. I hollered over to see if he had seen a deer in the direction he came from. He said “yeah, he's laying right over there!” He walked me over and showed me the deer. He said he tried to stay away from the woods he thought I was in. I told him not to worry, “I was bird hunting out here 2 days ago!” He congratulated me and continued on his way.

While getting my tag out for the buck, I looked up through the prairie grass, and here came another buck walking up on me. He looked me up and down, and just turned and walked in the same direction the pheasant hunter had walked 15 minutes before. I walked my stuff back to my truck, as the pheasant hunter finished up his hunt and managed a nice ring neck. I stripped off my long johns and headed back to the deer. After a 30 minute drag, I had him loaded up and was home 10 minutes later for a nice little breakfast. After 3 years of losing two wallhangers to misplaced shots, and not drawing on one last year, it was very gratifying to tag a 125 lb buck. - Matt Appel, Wisconsin Deer Hunter

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Coyotes Find Big South Dakota Buck

No matter how many hours we put in at the range, not every arrow is going to land exactly where it is intended during a hunting situation. Sometimes nerves are the culprit. Sometimes the arrow is deflected by vegetation or a twig. Sometimes we just plain miss for no explainable reason. Every hunter I have met would rather miss completely than mortally wound or injure an animal without recovering it. Everyone preaches the “wait it out” strategy for wounded deer. But how much time is enough? Even if you allow enough time for a deer to expire, you may not recover the deer in the condition you expect. Such is the case for Minnesota hunter/photographer Matt Addington.

Matt recently sat high above a clearing near the Big Sioux River in South Dakota while waiting for a whitetail to make a mistake. Across the river from him is Northwest Iowa. The Hawkeye State is well known for monster bucks. But South Dakota is no slouch and these river bottoms are home to their share of trophy animals. As Matt’s evening sit played out, a stocky ten pointer appeared under his stand. At just five yards away, the angle created a difficult but still more than ethical shot. After the arrow zipped through the buck, Matt determined his shot penetrated just one lung. He decided to leave him undisturbed for a while.

After four hours of wait time, the trailing began. As he anticipated the opportunity to put his hands on this SoDak whopper, his fears were realized. The buck popped up out of his bed and darted off. A sleepless night ensued. The next morning Matt was back on the blood trail. This time his buck would not escape. In fact, he was just a portion of what he was the evening before. Coyotes made a meal of the great buck’s hind quarters and entrails. If Matt had not found his buck, there is no doubt they would have been back the next night to finish the job. Who knows, he may have bumped the coyotes off the deer as he tracked. Mother Nature doesn't let anything go to waste. Still, it is sad to kill a deer like this and not be able to enjoy the meat. Kudos to Matt for sticking with it and finding his deer.

Thanks to Matt Addington for the photos and willingness to share his story. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattAddington

For more information on coyote control, visit
Monday, October 24, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Pre-Rut Is Here, Time To Get In The Woods

The deer woods are undergoing a massive and dramatic change. Fresh buck sign began popping up a few weeks ago and deer movement is picking up. The October new moon is just a few days away and deer are responding. It is quite likely that a small percentage of does will begin going into estrous this week. Bucks are already starting to change physically. Case in point, this photo submitted by Paul Korn of Tombstone Creek Outfitters in Northern Missouri. Look at the neck on that stud buck. He is already displaying the classic “rutted up” look of a thick necked goliath.

Paul also says he’s seeing a lot more daytime buck pictures on his many trail cameras. This big eight pointer has no problem walking right out in the open during late afternoon hours. Most hunters equate the rut with the best time to hunt big bucks. After all, they are on their feet and moving at all times during the day in an attempt to breed as many does as possible. However, the pre-rut may be the best time to hunt, especially if you’re the type of hunter that keys in on buck sign like rubs and scrapes. As’s Will Allen writes in his latest story on pre-rut hunting, during peak rut bucks are too busy breeding does to tend to rub lines and scrapes.

Of course, the best part of this change is the October hunting doldrums are coming to an end. The next month of deer hunting will likely be the best hunting we’ll see north of the Mason-Dixon Line. I’m hearing a lot of reports of successful hunts. What’s even more exciting is that many of these successes are on trophy bucks.’s Tyler Hinner connected on a dandy Northwoods 10 pointer over the weekend. Killing a big buck in late October is becoming a tradition for Tyler. He took a meaty 10 pointer last season around the same time.

After deer hunting solely during firearms seasons in the past, I have started archery hunting this year. I was lucky enough to pass up several shot opportunities on opening weekend back in September. Temperatures were warm and I didn’t want to butcher a deer unless it was a trophy class deer. Since then I have been out chasing waterfowl and upland birds and just haven’t put a lot of time in deer hunting. In mid-October I sat in the tree for a few evenings and one morning hunt without seeing any deer move through. I spooked some bedded deer coming in and out of the stand but haven’t had as shot opportunity in five weeks. I’ll be spending three full days in the woods this weekend and look forward to having a chance at my first archery deer. With cooler temperatures moving in this week, I’ll be hunting meat from the outset. The first deer in range of my bow is in serious trouble! Good luck, and please share any of your successes in the comments section.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Hunting With Huntography: The Plan

by Chris Larsen
This is the 2nd post in a multi-part series on Huntography: Filming America’s Hunters One At A Time.

When I saw the map detailing the Huntography 2011 Deer Tour I immediately noticed the route went right through my hunting area. After a quick email to Rudy from Huntography to confirm dates and the route, we were all set. If you don’t know about Huntography, check out my last post. To put it simply, Rudy is traveling east from Colorado to film hunts with 19 different hunters in 12 states. The idea is to capture what hunting is all about from regular hunters, not the guys from big budget TV shows.

My location and timing were perfect for a quick stop on the Deer Tour. Rudy plans to arrive in camp on the evening of Saturday, October 15. He will likely be coming off the road after 12 hours of driving, so I don’t plan to work him too hard. We’ll have dinner, tell stories, and perhaps shoot some interviews. My dad will head off for his favorite turkey field Sunday morning as Rudy and I sneak into the woods for a rendezvous with a whitetail. My dad doesn’t bow hunt so chasing whitetails outside of the gun deer season is off limits to him. He’s more than happy to wait for fall gobblers.

Up until this season, that was my game as well. I am rookie bow hunter this year. The opportunity to chase some of the giant whitetails on our property for more than 10 days a year is just too much to pass up. I’ve watched them move through the woods confidently as I sat still with a turkey gun on my lap. Two years ago I sat in the woods for two days during the rut. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. A few weeks later, one of the bucks I saw that weekend hit the ground. They are out there. I just need to put in the time to get my chance.

I recently purchased a Parker Trailblazer XP from A1 Archery in Hudson, Wisconsin. Dan Ellyson has put together an awesome package with the Trailblazer XP. First off, the bow originally retails for $499. He has a deal on this bow right now for $250. This single cam arrow launcher is IBO rated at 310 fps. It’s an incredible bow at a great price. This deal is good for all readers of Dan ships anywhere in the US. He has an accessory package that is just as good. For $109, I added on a 3 pin Trophy Ridge sight, Trophy Ridge whisker bisquit rest, Bohning quiver, Truglo Stabilizer, peep, and string loop. I also picked up a half dozen Easton Carbon Storm arrows for $35. So for under $400, I now have a certified deer-to-venison conversion machine. I’ll have more details on my equipment in a future post. By the way, Dan has helped me go from newbie to competent archer in no time. Over the weekend I grouped three arrows inside of 3 inches at 30 yards. It was the first time I have shot at thirty yards and my bow is shooting tacks!

Back to the hunt… I have chosen three stand sites for this season. In addition, I have recently acquired a climber so if I need to switch it up it’s not a problem. This is the third season of hunting this property and I feel confident in these spots. The three blue triangles on the map represent my stand sites. The red lines are the property boundaries and the yellow lines are fence lines within the property. The white lines are roadways. The yellow triangle is our cabin. I have two refuge zones. The north one gets driven on the final day of the season. The east refuge has never been walked in by anyone in our hunting party, ever. That doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. But it gets very low pressure. The corn is still quite green and probably won’t get picked until November. There will be some standing corn well into mid-November but usually a few rows are cut by then. This would logically be a big hindrance for our hunting success but so far, it has not been. Deer use the forest as safe travel routes from field to field. There are cattle trails along the fence lines that deer frequent as well. I plan to utilize these as ambush points throughout the season.

The southeast stand sits on a small funnel going into the main valley. This point is the top of a small ridge. On the map you can see a little brown spot in the field just below the stand site. That brown spot is a wash that forms a bowl. There is a lot of space below the barbed wire fence for deer to cross under at that point. Deer then use this crease to walk into the main valley. I have also seen deer cruising the trail that runs parallel with the fence line. Bucks are probably scent checking the does in the field along this trail. The road to the west of this tree line is down in a valley and vehicles can not see the forest edge. Deer feel safe here. There are several benches just inside the forest from here and the orchard across the road offers good eating for deer with a sweet tooth. Baiting is illegal in this area, making natural food sources dynamite. This is the main entry point into the woods from the property to the west of us.

The stand site just north of this one sits on what we call “The Hot Corner”. Nearly every time I walk into The Hot Corner I see deer. There are several fingers leading into this area from adjoining properties and ours. Nearly every deer trail in this woods eventually leads to The Hot Corner. It stacks up. I don’t think there is a bad wind or a good wind for this site because deer literally come from all directions to get here. There is a 90% chance this is where the opening day of the 2011 Huntography Deer Tour will take place.

The stand to the east sits along a fence line overlooking a cornfield and a corner of the woods. Probably not the most ideal place to hunt when the corn is standing. But in reality, the standing corn makes this place what it is. There is a crease that runs from the creek on the southeast boundary through the center of the refuge directly to the northwest corner of the refuge boundary. You can also see the clearing in the woods separating the refuge woods from the main woods and my stand site. Deer walk along the fence from the refuge right to my stand site before jumping the fence into the other refuge area. I have seen several large bucks run this path and found two dead bucks this spring in this area. When bucks are injured, they usually go where they feel safe. This is the spot. The fence should serve as a natural speed bump. When they stop before jumping the fence, I’ll launch an arrow. The corn serves as a natural buffer. It is planted right up to the fence and prevents deer from jumping over until they walk in front of my stand. It is all part of my diabolical plan! Muh hah hah hah! If we’re going to see a trophy buck at any of these stand sites this is the place. It is also a great doe site. That little clearing in the north refuge is known as “The Cave”. Deer load up in there. During last year’s season ending drive I pushed at least two dozen deer out of The Cave. As Ferris Bueller says, “I highly recommend it.”

I can already envision our day on the stand. It’s a crisp autumn morning. Just before the morning dew greets the rising sun, a flash of antler appears. A thick wide ten pointer is walking the saddle of the ridge on his way to destiny. Rudy has the Huntography camera pointed in his direction, recording this big fella’s every step. As he walks below my stand and into range, nothing happens. I watch him walk in and out of range with a wide grin on my face. It is exciting to see deer like this walk below your stand. But I never lift my bow. No reason for it. This Sunday morning marks the final day of the antlerless deer season in our area. We couldn’t shoot a Booner if we wanted too.

Yep, I read the 2011 deer regulations a few weeks ago and was not a happy camper. I planned to hunt Friday and Saturday before Rudy arrived to scout. I would only shoot if a “can’t pass it up buck” walked under the stand. I would wait until Sunday’s Huntography shoot to take anything less. Now I will still be in stand Friday and Saturday. But only to film. I have no desire to kill two does in one weekend. If I’m going to take a doe that weekend it will be with Rudy. Unless something crazy happens, I know we can get a doe in range in The Hot Corner within a few hours. I’ll let Rudy decide how long we wait. We can sit all day and get some great footage of deer moving through the area or kill the first one in range and relax a bit before he hits the road to Green Bay. We’ll play it by ear and enjoy the day. Even if we can’t kill a buck, it will still be a great time.

If you’re trying to figure out what this “antlerless” season is all about, here is the skinny. Chronic Wasting Disease was discovered in Southwest Wisconsin in 2001. Since then, state deer managers have worked hard to reduce the size of the herd in the area. They essentially put a target on every deer in the state. Their efforts to reduce the size of the herd worked great, in the northern part of the state where there is no CWD. The southern portion of Wisconsin is primarily privately held. Most people continued to hunt with the attitude of more deer is better.

The state instituted what is called “Earn-A-Buck”. Basically, it means that you are not allowed to shoot an antlered deer until after shooting an antlerless deer. This rule applies to archers and gun hunters. To make it more appealing, the state gave gun hunters an opportunity to kill an antlerless deer before the regular gun deer season by creating the early antlerless season. Ten years later population densities are still high, CWD is still present, and people still hate Earn-A-Buck. Bowing to political pressure, this year the DNR is allowing hunters to kill either sex for their first deer. However, if you kill a buck first, you must kill an antlerless deer before killing another buck. It really didn’t matter to me, but this has made a lot of folks pretty happy. Personally, I would rather have seen deer managers manage the herd, not the hunters. The DNR allowed the previous year’s doe kill to count for the following year if you didn’t get a buck. There are plenty of does around and most property owners don’t manage them unless they are forced to. This was clearly a political maneuver.

The unfortunate part is that even though the antlerless requirement is relaxed, they still kept this stupid early antlerless season. I’m usually a guy who applauds any extra opportunity to hunt. However, it’s usually so warm that people don’t want to shoot deer. And secondly, and more importantly, this season imposes a blaze orange requirement on everyone who hunts. Ever try to hunt turkeys wearing blaze orange? It doesn’t work. I’m firmly convinced that deer can not see blaze orange if you take the glare off of it. I’ve had deer literally walk right up to me when wearing blaze orange, even when sitting on the ground.

Remember the big buck I talked about at the beginning of this story? Here he is. He came within 15 yards of a hunter sitting on the ground wearing a blaze orange jacket & cap. But do we really need this season anymore? It literally cancels four days of turkey season and puts an unnecessary burden on bow hunters. The middle of October isn’t exactly prime time for hunting. But I would guess more people are negatively affected than take advantage of the early hunt, especially after the EAB restrictions have been relaxed.

So when you get your Huntography 2011 DVD next year remember, the guy bow hunting in blaze orange isn’t stupid, his state is.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Hunting With Huntography

by Chris Larsen

Like it or not, social media is becoming an increasing popular way to communicate. I am firmly in the “like it” category. Sites like Facebook and Twitter help me stay in contact with friends and family. What is just as amazing is the new relationships fostered on these sites. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me how I met a new contact or interview and I’ve answered with “Twitter”! One of my Twitter pals is Rudy from Huntography.

Rudy is an internet professional originally from New York, now residing in Colorado. He has an interesting way of burning up his vacation time. 2011 will be his second season of filming America’s hunters, one at a time. We’re not talking about big budget hunting television on ranches with tens of thousands of acres. Rudy films real hunters on family plots and public property. His goal is to capture the experiences, traditions, and lifestyle of hunters across the country.

The theme of this season is “Getting Social With America’s Whitetail Deer Hunters”. Rudy is filming 19 different hunters in 12 states, all of whom he met through social media. I will be the first stop on the tour. Rudy is filming my hunt Sunday, October 16 in Southwest Wisconsin. From there, he will travel to the Green Bay area to complete the Wisconsin portion of the tour. Rudy is also filming hunts in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It’s a four week adventure covering 5,000 miles.

At the end of the saga, Rudy puts the entire experience on DVD. He has the 2010 inaugural trip on sale now for just $15. This is not your average hunting video. There are no staged shots or retakes. Rudy lets everything happen naturally. “If you are as passionate about the experience of hunting whitetail deer, the outdoors, archery, the shooting sports and the lifestyle, then you just might like what you see.”

Huntography is a raw look at what makes a hunter tick and how the hunting lifestyle is changing. You’ll see hardcore bow hunters, a mother-daughter combo, and upstate New York brothers keeping the tradition alive. Ever thought about visiting a Georgia deer camp? You’ll see a nice Peach State buck hit the ground and witness field dressing a deer Georgia style. It’s an eye opener for a northern hunter.

The great thing is you won’t have to wait until the end of the year to see what is happening on the 2011 tour. Rudy offers live updates from the tree stand via his iPhone. You can also check in if you’re on Twitter or Facebook. Visit the blog next week as I review my game plan. I have just one day to make magic in front of the Huntography camera. I’ll need to bring my A-game!
Thursday, June 30, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Saying Goodbye & Remembering Seasons Past

I got my new Iphone in the mail today. That means all the memories stored in my old phone need to be moved or will be lost forever in cell phone purgatory. While going through the photos I found shots of my son from back when he was just learning to walk, shots of him in the backseat of my car sleeping with my dog, and a recent one taken just moments after my daughter was born.

They all brought a smile to my face and made me think about everything this phone has done with me over the past 27 months. It is still a good phone. It almost never drops calls & takes pretty good pictures. But being able to access the internet at anytime is starting to become a necessity. It has been a good run old friend.

Wedged between the photos of kids and dogs were photos of a deer. A really big deer. This too brought a lot of good memories back. The fall of 2009 was the first deer season on a great piece of property I hunt with my dad and a friend. My dad and I hunted turkeys a few weeks before gun season opener and saw some nice bucks that weekend. The only issue was that we would have to shoot antlerless deer before taking a buck. Chronic Wasting Disease is on the landscape in this area and these regulations were in place to promote more deer being taken in an effort to combat the disease.

We put a “kill the first antlerless deer you see” strategy together for opening morning. We would then have a chance at one of the bucks spotted a few weeks earlier. My dad decided to sit out deer season this year so I posted Jason near an area my dad saw a nice buck. I set up on a trail I spotted a big ten pointer on a few weeks earlier. Thirty minutes after legal shooting light, Jason’s .30-30 broke the silence. I’m an overly social hunter. If someone shoots something, I’m always curious to know the story behind it as soon as I can. But in this case, I needed to stay put. I assumed he killed an antlerless deer and I still needed mine so there was no reason to visit with him, even though I wanted to.

I was hunting just above the bottom of a wooded ridgeline where three fingers of woods intersect. The fingers are surrounded by corn. At this point in the season, the farmer had harvested three or four rows around the outside of the fields so there was room between the standing corn and the woods. About thirty minutes after Jason’s gun barked, a half dozen deer emerged from the corn and headed right toward me. As soon as they hit the woods all but one peeled off and headed in another direction. The lead deer continued closing the distance. I grunted at her and she came to an instant halt. I put a 165 grain .30-06 bullet through her left shoulder at 35 yards. She dropped without taking another step. I took a few minutes to allow her to expire without someone gawking at her, but I’m certain she didn’t need it. When I approached what I thought was a her, I noticed two bumps on the crown of her… his head. It was a button buck. Either way, my antlerless commitment was fulfilled.

A few moments later, Jason arrived on the scene. He just finished field dressing and hanging his deer. He had also shot a button buck. I walked up to his stand site which was only about 125 yards from mine to take a look. His deer was strolling along the edge of the cornfield between Jason and the standing corn. He put the bullet right through the lungs. The deer went about 20 yards before falling to it’s death. The edge of the corn looked like a scene from a gangster movie.

After helping me with my deer, Jason was off to sit on stand again. But he planned to set up 50 yards into the woods and hunt the ridge to let his stand cool off. I stayed put. The buck I was hunting had appeared from the opposite direction a few weeks earlier. He’s probably still out there, I reasoned.

Two or three hours passed. More deer sauntered by, but nothing I was interested in shooting. At this point I had venison for the freezer. I was hunting trophies. A lot of people struggle with the ethics of trophy hunting. I must admit that I don’t do it until I already have a deer in the freezer. But trophy hunting is liberating. You can watch deer without putting any pressure on yourself to perform. There are no worries about misplaced shots because you’re not going to shoot. This allows you to really study their movement and body language. A doe and her fawn actually bedded down about 15 yards from me. It was an incredible experience. But it didn’t last.

Three hours after wishing Jason good luck, his gun boomed once more. This time it had to be a buck. We talked at length about our strategy. I studied the forest with extreme focus in case his shot was errant. 45 minutes later I was satisfied that his deer was not on his way to my stand. But I had to see what he shot. I walked up the gully toward where I heard the shot. After a ten minute hike, Jason’s blaze orange peeked through the hardwood forest. As I made my way closer, I saw the look on his face. It resembled that of an accident victim. He was in complete shock. “Where is he?” I said. He just raised his arms up in a Y. Jason couldn’t get any words out but he wanted me to know it was big. Really big.

Jason didn’t introduce me to hunting but he is the one who made me serious about it. We hunted waterfowl exclusively for years. When he met his wife, he started deer hunting with her family. It was a tradition with them and he was sucked into it. I continued duck hunting and just accepted his deer hunting as if it was a bad habit he would eventually grow out of. But he never did. Now here I was with him on the day he shot the biggest deer of his life. But the question remained, where is he?

Jason sat down and explained what happened. He was sitting in a tangled dead fall when a doe bedded down right above him on a ridge. Moments later a big eight pointer slogged through thick brush at the bottom of the gulley. He could see the antlers as plain as day but never got a good look at the body. He had to pass up the biggest deer he had ever had a chance to shoot. Ten minutes later he heard steps to his right. When he turned to look, a giant whitetail was headed toward the doe. He was less than 15 yards away. Jason put the crosshairs on him and sent a bullet flying. The buck hesitated but kept moving in the same direction.

We retraced the deer’s steps and found blood. I called my dad on the phone. He was back at the cabin relaxing. I told him to walk out in the direction we last saw the deer. We would stay put in case he spooked the buck back in our direction. Five minutes later my dad called back. He saw the big buck. He was limping badly but made it into the corn. We decided to back off for a few hours.

The lunch counter at the cabin was filled with excitement but apprehension. We had deer hanging in the woods and a possible wall hanger that needed to be recovered. But would we be able to recover him? Three hours later we approached the corn field. Jason would enter the corn. I posted up to his right and my dad would spot from Jason’s left. Jason made it ten yards into the corn before the thrashing began. My vantage point was higher in elevation allowing me to see the pursuit. I couldn’t make out the deer but I could see the corn stalks shutter as the deer rushed through the field. I kept pace with him but from forty yards outside the edge of the standing corn. The chase continued for a few hundred yards. Jason shouted to me. “Are we doing the right thing?” I could see a clearing ahead where the farmer cut a few rows right down the middle of the field. Fifty more yards and the buck would have to show himself.

Jason kept going and the deer did too. I knew he would pop out of the corn at any moment. And just then, there he was! His head was down and his tongue was out. He was out of gas. But at the sight of me, he turned the burners on one last time. I had closed the distance and my first shot was taken at around 20 yards.
The scope was just a blur of brown. The shot sailed over him. He was running away from me but still less than fifty yards away. I set myself and put the second shot right behind his rib cage. The bullet traveled through both lungs. We later found it buried in the opposite shoulder. The big fella took a few final bounds but collapsed at the edge of the field. He was down, and he was big.

One of the best parts of this recovery was that we were all there. Jason and my dad appeared a few minutes after the buck fell. We all experienced the pursuit and it’s conclusion. There is a great deal of satisfaction in a successful recovery. Smiles were wide and abundant. The deer sported a distinctive 7 x 5 rack with double brow tines on one side. But there is a shred of sorrow involved with killing a deer like this. It is sort of like landing on the moon. At that moment, the moon loses some of it’s mysticism. Every time someone else lands on the moon, the achievement loses a bit of it’s luster. Hunters kill bigger deer than this one every year but this was the biggest deer either of us had ever seen while hunting. Jason wondered aloud if he would ever gain as much satisfaction from hunting as he did that day. Would any deer ever stack up to this one?

Jason dressed the deer as I went back to the cabin to get the truck. The good thing about dropping a deer on a field edge is there isn’t much dragging to do. We carefully loaded the giant buck in the truck and headed back to the cabin with excitement about the day’s events. Upon our arrival, there were more pictures taken including this one.

Then the phone calls began. He called his dad and even the inlaws. It was at this time, I started to feel bad for him. His big buck story included someone else killing his deer. He could not have all the glory to himself. I should have let him stand where I stood. I honestly believed the deer was dead and that Jason would find him in the corn. Once the deer was up and running, we couldn’t make the switch. He calls it a team effort and is just happy we found it. I didn’t want credit(or the taxidermy bill). But I will be forever connected to his trophy.

The next day we hunted together but didn’t see another buck. We enjoyed watching does snack on corn and keep their fawns in line. At the end of the day we loaded his buck on the back of his truck. More pictures were taken. Handshakes, smiles, and promises of having more time the following year were shared before his truck cruised down the driveway headed for the taxidermist.

When the deer was caped out, Jason's bullet was found pancaked on the shoulder blade. The .30-30 never made it through the shoulder and into the vitals. It just broke the big brute’s shoulder. That was another source of frustration for him. He wrote about it shortly after the season. He hasn’t hunted with that gun since. Jason now totes a Browning A-Bolt in a .30-06. As it turns out, there is still a lot of satisfaction in hunting. We don’t do it for the antlers or the mounts. The story of that day, that buck, and the teamwork that went into a successful hunt is what it’s all about. Every day we spend in the woods is an opportunity for another great story.

Today, the buck hangs on the wall in our cabin. The mount looks great and I would show it to you. But I don’t have a picture of it on my phone.
Friday, June 24, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Antlers Are Growing Fast In June

Our friend Paul Korn from Tombstone Creek Outfitters recently sent over some awesome trail camera photos we can't help but share with you. Antlers are starting to take shape on whitetails across the country. These Missouri bucks are going to be monsters in just a few short months. It's fun to see what deer look like in early summer before the full potential is realized. Antlers will continue to grow for another 30 to 45 days before they begin to harden and the velvet is shed. It's amazing what great genetics, quality food sources, and age will yield in a buck. Should be a great season!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Awesome Power Of A Whitetail's Nose

While taking a look at some of last season's deer hunting video, I noticed something I had not paid attention too before. Foremost Outdoor TV ProStaffer Jason Oswald was hunting in an improvised ground blind on the west ridge of a large gully. The wind was blowing straight out of the east. A group of deer move up the ridge right in front of his location. They are practically looking right at him. This is gun season so Jason and his camera operator are both wearing blaze orange hats and jackets. The deer have no problems with him until they catch his scent. You will see the doe take in a big breath and then.... watch what happens next!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Review Cabela'sBig Game Hunter For Wii

Foremost Hunting Jr. Pro Staff Member Mike takes a look at Cabella's Big Game Hunter Video Game For Wii:

Cabela's Big Game Hunter For Wii Entertainment System.

Cabela's Big Game Hunter Video Game Review3.5 out of 5 Stars
Cabela's Big Game Hunter is a fun game that you can buy for $20 or less. The first time you load the game, you will have to create a new profile and start a career. You can set the difficulty at easy medium or hard. Easy provides you with a map, tips and “easy animals”, making animals abundant and not spooked easily, highly attracted to calls etc.. Medium Takes the Animals up a notch, making them sparser, and spooked much more easily. Hard truly is hard, taking away your map, making animals virtually non-existent, and much harder to call-in. When you first start the game, you are provided with a .270 caliber bolt-action rifle, a simple rattle call, a 3-9X40 Scope, and a 20ga Over Under Shotgun.
As your loading into a game, the screen will display useful tips. On the Nintendo Wii, getting oriented is a little tricky, pointing your remote at the screen and moving it to the side turns your body, your aiming point is where you point the remote. The Nunchuck is required, and adds some useful features, such as Hunters Instinct. Hunters Instinct makes your screen very dark, and highlights wildlife in yellow making animals easy to spot.
As you go throughout the game, you will unlock little mini-hunts, such as shooting ducks or geese. When you are walking around in the woods or sahara, any small game or waterfowl wildlife are unlimited take. For certain animals (such as Geese) you have to use a shotgun. You can equip certain items in the equipment screen (see picture).

Gun Room In The Game
Once you are almost done with each level, you will “stumble” across a trophy animal, Such as a 20 point mule deer, a lion, or a warthog. Sometimes you will be attacked by other animals such as a bear. After completion of a level, you will unlock certain items, such as a new rifle, scope, or handgun. When you finish all the Hunts, you will have 7 rifles in calibers from 22-250, to 416, and a 50 cal Muzzleloader. You will also have 3 shotguns, a crossbow, 3 pistols, and a host of calls. Your First Hunt is in Montana, hunting for Mule Deer. Later you go to places like Ethiopia in the summer and in fall, and back to Montana in the winter. When you put your crosshairs of your scope over an animal, the animal's information will be displayed in the lower left corner (see Picture). During the game, hitting the Minus button on the remote, accesses your PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), Showing what tags you have, the map and your objectives. There are also blinds and tree stands that you can enter and hunt from.
One criticism I have is that the animals that attack you and also some trophy animals like the lion, require 7 or more shots from your highest powered rifle, 8 shots to kill a warthog with a 416 Rigby, I don't think so! The other problem I find with the game is that most other big game animals only require one shot anywhere on their body to kill, with only a few exceptions such as using a very low caliber rifle. The Game is a great deal of fun, with a good selection of gear and good graphics. Sometimes Hard is a little too challenging, but overall, I Give this game 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

Tree Stand Screen Capture from the game

There are also blinds and treestands that you can enter and hunt from.
Mission Map Screen

The Map Screen
Trophy Elk Fighting

  Trophy Elk Fighting
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PostHeaderIcon New Turkey Shot Placement Widget Released

Foremost Hunting has just released a cool widget that can be added to your website or Blog:

Turkey Arrow Shot Placement

Turkey Hunting Tips

Add this Widget to Your Website:

Simply copy the code below and paste it into the HTML of your blog, website, or Static FBML box on Facebook
Thursday, May 19, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Dead Buck Discoveries

It’s hard to believe but turkey season here in Wisconsin is just a few days from coming to a close. We’re less than 120 days from opening day of archery deer season. Our turkey season was certainly less than what we would have liked. We put a few birds on the ground but we ate more tags than in years past. I’m sure when the final statistics are released, we’ll realize we were not alone. All of the harvest reports I’ve seen so far this spring indicate a decrease in harvest. A combination of winter kill and rough conditions during spring are the leading causes.

Speaking of winter kill, it’s been an interesting spring on our hunting property in Southwest Wisconsin. My dad found this buck back in March. The nine pointer had a 18” spread. We have no idea what killed this big guy. His carcass was found in thick brush on the edge of a meadow. There is also a major trail 10 yards from where he was found. I can imagine him running that trail and collapsing in the brush due to some unknown ailment. His body was no doubt ravaged by coyotes. The bones are strewn about and will no doubt be completely reclaimed by the land in the coming months.

There are several areas within the property we have never walked in, but this was the first carcass we have ever found on the property. There may be deer carcasses in our refuge areas. But fortunately, this guy was the first dead buck discovered in a few years of hunting the property.

During a late April turkey hunt, I found another buck. It’s amazing how they disappear. I walked within 25 yards of this animal a half dozen times before spotting him. This one is probably a year younger than my dad’s discovery. The interesting thing about these two bucks is they were found within 75 yards of each other. That tells me bucks feel comfortable in the area. I haven’t hunted this spot before, but I think it has to warrant a stand site this fall.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Antlers Emerging From Wisconsin Bucks

It's like Christmas morning for trail camera aficionados in Wisconsin. This photo captured a few days ago by’s Justin Davis shows three bucks with new antler growth emerging. It’s impossible to tell the potential of these deer at this point but in the next few months, we’ll get much more information from our photos.

By early June, Wisconsin deer will show about half of their main beams as well as visible G2s. From June through the end of August we’ll see their fastest antler growth spurt. If it is legal to place mineral blocks in your area, early summer is the time to do it if you would like to see immediate results. In August, antlers begin hardening and by early autumn velvet will begin peeling off as bucks prepare for breeding season. If you’re trail cameras are not out, now is the time to start placing them. Keep in mind, travel routes will change before hunting season begins. This coincides with bachelor groups breaking up in September. But summertime is a great opportunity to get an idea of the bucks in your area.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Minnesota Antler Point Restrictions Spark Debate

Some call it "The nice version of earn a buck", some hunters love it and others are deeply opposed to this new deer management too.  Our roving reporter Chris Larson had a chance to interview Minnesota law maker Steve Drazkowski and Marrett Grund from the Minnesota DNR and got two completely different takes on this hot topic: 

Minnesota Antler Point Restrictions Spark Debate

Tell us what you think of Antler Point Restrictions!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Wisconsin Gobbler Bites The Dust With Guide Phil Schweik

Just in from Wisconsin Hunting Guide Phil Schweik:
This morning I had Eric Tufto out for a 1st season spring turkey hunt. We set up along a field edge and hoped that the birds would fly our way when they came off the roost. As we were sitting there waiting we started hearing some hens clucking and then a tom blew up and then another and then another. We were almost right under them! 
We patiently waited for them to fly down which seemed to take for ever. Once the birds started flying down we thought we were going to be all done but.... The birds had other ideas they headed back further into the woods and towards another field. No birds for us. We waited for about an hour to see if any other birds would come our way but none did so we decided to put the sneak on the birds that left us.
We headed across a field and into the woods that we figured the birds went through. We crossed through the woods and approached the field on the opposite side. There they were about 70 of them all scattered about in the field. We made a silent stalk up to the edge of the field located a nice tom and Eric did the rest. Boom.... Big Tom Down!!! 
It was 21 pounds with a nice double beard that was pushing the 10 inch mark.
I hope you enjoy the photos.
Take care,
Congrats to Eric and Phil on a great turkey hunt!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

PostHeaderIcon The Hypocrisy of The Go Daddy Boycott

Go Daddy CEO Bob Parsons is under attack from the usual suspects for posting a video of his elephant hunt on his blog. You can see that video at the bottom of this post. Bloggers and social media hacks are urging website owners to move their domains from Go Daddy to other website hosts. It seems most of these folks would rather see humans die than elephants. They want to make decisions for people thousands of miles away. “Sorry, we like elephants. You guys will have to go without food this year.”

Parsons was on a crop damage hunt. The elephants were decimating the fields a village depends on for sustenance. The protection of crops is vital for any farmer. It’s even more important for farming communities in Africa where starvation is one failed growing season away. For more evidence of the real need for food all you need to do is watch the video. There are easily 250 people attempting to get a piece of meat. There are no concerns of whether or not it is ethical to eat the elephant. They are hungry and there is food available. Why someone in New York, Toronto, London, or anywhere else thinks they should decide whether or not these people eat is beyond comprehension. Whole Foods isn’t right around the corner in Zimbabwe.

Most of those calling for boycotts have no connection to their food. They think hamburger comes from Styrofoam. They have never been within twenty feet of a living, breathing cow. Most vegans are blissfully unaware of what it takes to put beans on their plate. Farms, even organic ones, have animal control plans in place. That means shooting deer, pigs, raccoons, and anything else that might want to take a bite out of your romaine before it goes to market. Cheeseburger connoisseurs are hunters by proxy. Lettuce lovers are not exempt.

Mr. Parsons’ hunt and many others like it do more than protect crops. These hunts bring millions to the economy. They provide salaries for guides and hospitality workers. Most importantly to the uneducated masses rallying for Parsons’ head, these hunts provide funds for protection against poaching and habitat preservation. In the United States, the Sierra Club has come to realize sportsmen are not the enemy. Hunters and anglers provide the vast majority of funding for habitat protection and restoration. Licensed hunters like Mr. Parsons are not driving elephants to the brink of extinction. Poachers and uncontrolled revenge killings do far more damage. Without the money hunters like Bob Parsons bring to Africa, poaching would go unchecked and habitat destruction would accelerate. Without hunters elephants and lions would quickly be wiped off the map. Ironic… but true.

The biggest question I pose to Parson’s detractors is why are they doing business with Go Daddy in the first place? Surely from their moral high ground they would take issue with Go Daddy’s over the top advertising campaign. Go Daddy has used objectifying women as it’s primary selling point for years. The ads usually feature a scantily clad young woman prancing across the screen as men struggle to control themselves. The young woman then prepares to open her shirt as the commercial comes to a close and a voice tells you to visit to “see what happens next.”

The detractors usually say these women are well compensated for what they are doing. They are. However, my children are not compensated. They are inundated by a message telling them if a woman wants to make money, she should sell herself as a sex symbol. If she wants to get a man’s attention, she should open her shirt. Why weren’t they outraged by Go Daddy’s chauvinism? Why did they sign up for web hosting with a company that has no respect for women? Is it because the value the life of animal over the lives of humans?

Monday, March 28, 2011

PostHeaderIcon New Podcast- Wisconsin Hunting Preview

2011 Wisconsin Turkey Hunting Preview Host Chris Larsen meets with Wisconsin DNR Upland Wildlife Staff Specialist & Farm Bill Coordinator Scott Walter to discuss the 2011 Spring Turkey Season. Topics include turkey populations, habitat, regulations, and the future of turkey hunting in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Deer Eats A Bird

I didn't believe it until I saw it but this whitetail buck actually eats a bird.  Check it out:

It doesn't have much to do with hunting but it's pretty crazy!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Inspirational Turkey Pattern

Just got this photo from's Justin Davis. Justin fired a few shots through his Mossberg 535 this afternoon. A new addition to Justin's gun this year is an Indian Creek Black Diamond Turkey Tube. He shot this target at 40 yards with No. 6 Hevi-Shot. I would be willing to predict this turkey would be pancaked. If this doesn't get you excited for turkey season, I'm not sure what will.

For more information on Turkey hunting and turkey guns, check out our guns and ammunition page at Justin is working on an article detailing the best way to pattern your shotgun for this season. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook profiles for this upcoming article.
Monday, March 7, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Favorite Outdoor Photos

by Chris Larsen

With life's responsibilities pulling at us everyday, most of us don't get to hunt and fish as much as we would like. In the Northwoods cabin fever is beginning to set in. We've been cooped up all winter and when opportunities to get out and do things present themselves, we have to wear multiple layers. One of my favorite activities is reliving my favorite outdoor activities through photos.

I rarely leave the house without a camera. Missing a great photo opportunity is heart breaking. All of these photos were taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera. No fancy aperture tricks and no photoshop work either. Just raw photos taken in my favorite places in the world. Here are some of my treasured outdoor photos with a short description of each.

Sunset On The Mishigami - I snapped this one back in 2006 while fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan near Two Rivers, WI. The water was as calm as I've ever seen on the lake and the evening was beautiful. We put a few fish in the boat too.

Morning In The Marsh - From an opening day duck hunt on my favorite Central WI duck pond. My good buddy, Jason Oswald, just paddled a few of our hunting pals to the other side of the bay we were hunting. I don't remember how we did that day, but I'll cherish this photo forever.

Long Lake Magic - This one was taken by my good friend, Andy Gehrke, of Minneapolis, MN. About five years ago, a group of eight of us met in Phillips, WI for a weekend of fishing and debauchery. Another friend was soon to be married and we all pledged to meet every year for an annual "bachelor party". Most of us kept our word for three years before other responsibilities spoiled the fun. This is one of many memorable photos from the 1st Annual Bachelor Party.

Honkers On The Horizon - My hunting buddy, Jesse Windmiller, took this one. Foremost Outdoor TV ProStaffers Tyler Hinner and Matt Appel keep an eye out for canada geese in a Clark County, WI farm field. We put a few on the ground that day and had a blast.

Echoes of The Edmund Fitzgerald - If you've read enough of my blog posts, you know heaven on Earth for me is Minnesota's North Shore. I took this photo from the deck of a rental house just north of Lutsen, MN. My wife's family rented this house for the weekend for several years until the owners decided to move in. I don't think I'll ever get to go back to this particular spot on Lake Superior, but the time spent there was priceless. To see more awesome pictures from the North Shore, check out my photo essay.

Kayaking The Kinni - I took this one from my kayak on the Kinnickinic River in Pierce County, WI. My wife and I spent an afternoon paddling the river a few years ago. The Kinni is a trout stream of legendary proportions in this neck of the woods. The fish don't get enormous, but surveys show about 5,000 fish per lineal mile of stream or about one fish per foot.

Focus - Here's my best hunting pal, Wilbur. This one was taken on a man weekend at the family cabin last fall. The boys got together to do a little cabin maintenance, early season deer hunting, and target shooting. Wilbur didn't get to do any hunting that weekend but he had his share of table scraps and rubs behind the ear.

Gichigami Fun - This is one of my all-time favorites from 2010. My son, Jack, is finally old enough to enjoy throwing rocks into the water. The shores of Lake Superior obliged with plenty stones to throw. This photo was taken near the Kadunce River, just north of Grand Marais, MN. The vastness of the Gichigami in the background contrasts with the fragility and innocence of the young man with a monkey on his back. Yep, I might have asked him if he wanted the monkey off his back a few dozen times over the weekend.

High Altitude - The opportunity to take a photo from above a hot air balloon is rare. I took this shot at 1,000 feet from another balloon. I was lucky enough to be a guest of the Hudson Hot Air Affair for two years in a row. The Hot Air Affair is a balloon festival held in Hudson, WI. A lot of people are puzzled by winter ballooning but it's actually the best time of the year to go. The balloons are much more responsive to heat and fewer heat blasts are required to keep the balloon afloat. This makes the ride more peaceful. Wildlife viewing is also easier with leaf-less trees and a snowy backdrop. People always ask if it's colder. It's not. The balloon moves with the wind so there is no wind chill.

Traditions - I like to take pictures of my dog. Wilbur and my friend, Jesse Windmiller, are big fans of each other and here they are together. I was lying flat on my back when I took this one. The coolest aspect of this shot has to be the arrow on it's way down range at the perfect moment. I don't think I could get this shot again if I tried it a thousand times.

Hardcore Hound - Jesse took this photo of FOTV ProStaffer Matt Appel's dog. Wes is a big, bruising lab who takes his job seriously. Still, this photo captures his easy going personality. I crack a smile everytime I lay eyes on it.

Rookie Performance - This is without a doubt my most special outdoor photo. Unfortunately, a computer virus has left me with only a lower quality version of it. I have a framed hard copy on my desk but the digital version would have been lost forever had I not uploaded it to the Ducks Unlimited photo gallery. This was a hard lesson in the value of backing up files.

This photo was snapped on my super secret hunting spot in Central Wisconsin on opening day of 2005. Wilbur was just seven months old and this was his first bird. My hunting partner was running late but Wilbur and I were ready for the opening bell. This suzy made her appearance just a few minutes after legal shooting time and I wasn't going to pass up a chance to get my dog his first bird. She hit the water about 20 feet from shore and I sent the yellow dog on his way. I was beeming as he swam right to the duck while dodging the decoy spread. Our summer work was paying off! Then he showed his inexperience. Wilbur swam circles around the downed bird. I waded out and teased him with it until he couldn't take it any longer. He scooped her up and brought her to hand. I had time to snap some pictures as he slithered through the cattails.

I can't put a price on these photos. They take me back to some of my favorite days afield. They will be treasured for the rest of my life. If you don't make a habit of taking a camera along on your outdoor adventures, I encourage you to do so. A lot of people don't understand why we do what we do. Even great photos can't tell the entire story. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, you won't waste any breath arguing with them.

If you're an outdoor blogger looking for affordable photos for your site, check out

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Turkey Hunting & Life

By Chris Larsen

Turkey season is a time of rebirth… I’ve often written about this and it is true. Blankets of snow that dominated the landscape a few weeks earlier are gone. The shades of brown underneath return to green. Animals that survived the harshness of winter have a hop in their step. The going is about to get easier for them over the next few months.

There are many hunters who pursue coyotes and small game all winter long. But most of us haven’t hunted since the final days of deer season. I must admit to missing an entire winter of hunting. Work & family obligations kept me out of the woods all winter long. A planned coyote & shed hunt was put off due to an unexpected surgery. My best hunting partner had to take a four month work assignment in Chicago. The people we enjoy the hunt with are first and foremost in just how much enjoyment we’ll have.

Those are all regrets. I wish I would have made it out a little more. With spring comes a new season and a blank slate. It’s turkey time! The woods will soon erupt with gobbles as winter flocks break up and turkeys begin to form breeding flocks. Jakes and toms will battle for mating supremacy while hens scout for the perfect nesting spot. As the birds do what birds do, hunters will drive country roads looking for them. We will oil guns and pattern loads. Hunting blinds and turkey decoys see the light of day again. Anticipation is running high.

I have experienced great success during fall turkey season the past few years, but my spring turkey seasons haven’t worked out. My blank slate was covered in red ink by the end of the season. In 2009, I suffered some gun issues and was forced to use someone else’s gun. A late morning set up worked to perfection. A dandy gobbler was right on top of my decoy at 25 yards when I tapped the trigger. The bird staggered a bit and I hit him with lead again. The shots were off the mark and we never recovered that turkey. Nothing is more frustrating than not recovering a wounded animal. I’d rather have gobblers henned up or stopping in their tracks out of range. It’s a dismal feeling that I won’t let happen again.

My 2010 season was another exercise in futility. The Mexican Riviera is a favorite vacation destination for my wife and I. Unfortunately, we booked our trip before the Wisconsin turkey season drawing. Our vacation wiped out three and a half of the five days I would have to hunt. I didn’t worry about it. The other members of our turkey camp would have a few days in and they would no doubt be tagged out by the time I arrived. A full day and a half to get a bird? I should be able to do that. I scouted hard for them a few weeks earlier and was confident in a handful of locations. The moment I hit the ground in a US airport, I called the fellas. The weather was tough and the birds were call shy. They were turkey-less. The next morning wasn’t any better. When I arrived in camp my focus was on helping them fill their tag and filming them doing it. I never picked up a gun last spring.

That brings us to this season. Yes, birth is definitely in the air. My wife is eight months pregnant. The doctors say she could go into labor at any time. I will most certainly be sleep deprived on opening day of turkey season, but I won’t be wearing camouflage. In an effort to stay married, I have relegated myself to a late season hunt this year. I’ll wait until May to head into the turkey woods. The greenery will be more mature, the birds will be wary, and the mosquitoes will have developed a finely tuned taste for blood. Yes, this is how you fill a blank slate. The good news is I’ll be used to functioning well in a zombie-like state. Turkey hunting & life… no one said it would be easy, but I’ll enjoy every minute of it.
Monday, February 21, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Top 35 Outdoor Follows On Twitter

by Chris Larsen

Like it or not, social media is huge and it’s getting bigger. There are people from every walk of life using social media including Twitter is one of our favorite social media outlets because there is always a conversation going on. There are thousands of outdoors folks on Twitter. Here is a list of some of our favorites in no particular order.

This is our Twitter account. We post all our new articles and once in a while we bring back a few classics for review. Foremosthunting enjoys engaging with our readers, so don’t be shy.

Follow Foremost Outdoor TV producer, Chris Larsen. He keeps you on top of new articles from foremost and the happenings at Foremost Outdoor TV.

The newest member of the Foremost family of outdoor websites. Foremost Coyote is the Twitter home of

Kari Murray of Northern Wisconsin tweets about her outdoor quests and misadventures on her blog, I Don’t Wear Pink Camo To The Woods. She is one of the first people a new hunter on Twitter should follow. She is always engaging with her friends and followers.

Tommy Ellis is an artist and outdoorsman from Tennessee. Tommy writes a superb blog called Following Ghost with lots of great stuff for anglers and hunters.

Ben Gustafson of Minnesota has a few excellent outdoor blogs. Ben G Outdoors and Abnormal Outdoors chronicle Ben’s outdoor lifestyle and weird stories he finds. Ben’s Twitter account is a great place to find the best stories on the web at any given time. He frequently Retweets great content from other users.

One of the best new blogs on the web. A Missouri native tells the story of becoming a waterfowler with his new Chesapeake Bay Retriever on his blog, Fowled_Up.

Michelle Scheuermann does Communication Outreach for the Sportsman Channel. She also writes a great blog on outdoor television and business called BulletProof Media.

Justin Morell of West Virginia writes a great blog known as Foggy Mountain Meanderings. It’s a personal blog but Justin isn’t afraid to tackle the tough issues either. He just wrote an excellent blog on Sunday hunting laws.

Duane Fronek is a trapper from Northern Wisconsin. He writes a superb blog called Wild Wisconsin. If you’re looking for information on trapping and predator hunting, look no further.

I recently found Josh Verdoon on Twitter. He’s from the Austin, Texas area and he hunts just about everything. He’s also got some cool buck fighting footage on his blog right now.

Bob is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Pheasants Forever in St. Paul, MN. Bob is a big contributor to the PheasantsBlog as well. He doesn’t do a lot of engaging but his content is first rate.

@Huntography is a site dedicated to capturing hunting and the outdoor sports on film and video. Very cool posts and is definitely worth a follow.

Hank lives in Sacramento, CA but he has also lived in the Twin Cities, MN area. He is a big waterfowler and angler, but what sets him apart is his cooking. You can find some incredible wild game recipes and ideas on his website,

The Outdoor Blogger Network is a centralized location to find the best outdoor bloggers on the internet. They share a wealth of information for getting started in blogging and making an established blog better. Rebecca Garlock, known as @Outdooress on Twitter, is the chief contributor.

Holly Heyser is one of the best bloggers I have found on Twitter. She writes on a wide variety of hunting pursuits but seems to specialize in waterfowling. She also has some great posts on women-specific hunting issues.

Brian is an Air Force Veteran and a heck of a writer. His blog covers hunting, fishing, shooting, and more. Brian is a very friendly guy, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation with him!

Bill Anderson is from Ontario, Canada. He’s got a superb outdoor blog called Muskoka Outdoors. What makes Bill a must follow are his Twitter newspapers. Bill has compiled an incredible list of outdoors accounts that his daily papers are compiled from. Great stuff!

Mike is the host of The Buck Stops Here on Versus TV. He also has a superb blog with the latest news and fascinating op-ed style articles. Very few national outdoor TV hosts regularly converse with average, everyday Tweeps. If you’ve got something interesting to say, Mike engages.

Dan is editor and author of one of the best hunting magazines on the newstand, Deer & Deer Hunting. He posts very interesting content on his Twitter page. If you’re a deer hunter, Dan Schmidt is a must follow.

Tovar is one of the most interesting people I’ve met on Twitter. He is a vegan-turned-hunter. You read that right. He brings a different perspective than most when it comes to hunting. His blog is one of the best written blogs on the net and he has a book in the works.

First Light Gear is based in Michigan. They promise the best deals on gear, period. But it’s not your typical sales site. You will find awesome blogs and videos. These guys enjoy a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and their storytelling allows you to go along for the ride.

Luke is part of the First Light Gear crew. He always has a conversation going or is sharing first rate information.

These guys are call makers out of Southern Illinois, but we won’t hold that against them. They love to chat about all things waterfowl and especially calling. They are a must follow for goose hunters on Twitter.

Dave hails from Traverse City, MI. I have never seen Dave have a conversation with anyone on Twitter. That’s usually a one way ticket to Twitter purgatory. But Dave’s writing is so good, you just can’t miss out on it.

Jim Braaten hails from Minnesota and operates the hugely popular SportsmansBlog. Jim has been in the outdoor writing biz for a long time and is one of the best on the net. He is also organizing the Midwest Fishing & Hunting Outdoor Blogger Summit with Michelle Schuermann of the Sportsman Channel. If you are looking for high quality outdoor content, Jim is a must follow.

This is the Twitter account for the Sportsman Channel Outdoor Network. They keep their followers abreast of all the latest happenings in the outdoor world and have one of the best daily papers on Twitter. The best part about them is they regularly engage with their followers. You can literally have a conversation with the people in charge of the best outdoor network on the air. Try that with some other networks!

Glynn hails from Oklahoma and has a blog by the same name. She is a multi-talented outdoorswoman with a talent for telling a story. I highly recommend following her.

Gary Hanson of Anniston, Alabama is about as passionate about fishing as a guy could be. He also shares a wealth of information on hunting and other outdoor pursuits.

R.B. Wright is banker by day, outdoorsman by choice. His outdoor blog is first rate and he is an outgoing, friendly guy. This North Carolina hunter and angler requires a follow.

Bryan is a photographer and kayak guide from Grand Marais, MN. Grand Marais on the North Shore of Minnesota, less than an hour away from the Canadian border. If you’re looking for tips on bagging your next whitetail buck, he’s not for you. But if breathtaking photography from my favorite place on the planet interests you, Bryan is your guy.

Robb Wells of Knoxville, Tennessee is a diehard waterfowl hunter. He shares a lot of great links on hunting and waterfowl… and he is always up for a conversation.

Bryan Anderson of Fulton County, IL is one of the few outdoor Twitter recommendations who doesn’t have a blog. However, he is consistently sharing photos and information that any hunter would appreciate.

Kerry writes about the outdoors from a Christian perspective. His stories of pursuing game with his young sons are inspiring. Great follow for any spiritual hunter.

Chris Burget runs the website from beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho. Chris engages all of his followers and retweets anything interesting he finds on Twitter. He is one of the good guys of the Twittersphere and a must follow.

It’s impossible to include everyone in a list of 35 favorites. If I missed someone, I sincerely apologize and would appreciate it if you made some recommendations in the comments below.

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