Making Memories


I love waking up on a beautiful late October morning to head out into the woods with my best friend and hunting buddy behind the camera. Opie and I had a feeling that today was the day and we knew that something was going to die. We grabbed our lone wolf tree stands and headed out into the dark woods in search of a trophy buck or a mature doe if the opportunity presented itself.

The woods were pretty quiet other than several squirrels racing around underneath of us until we noticed a 8 point buck working his way in our direction on the same path we had used. He walked right in and underneath of our stands with not a care in the world and didn’t even seem to notice we were there. Opie was on him with the camera and I started to draw the Mathews back for a shot when he spooked and bounded off about 30 yards. He stopped and looked back in our direction not really sure what he heard but didn’t seem to care much. I got my bow pulled back, waited for my opportunity and put a really good shot on him with a T3. He ran off about 100 yards after the shot and stopped out of sight and we never heard another sound from him.

We continued to sit quietly as we were just absolutely covered up with deer the rest of the morning. I took the opportunity later in the morning to harvest a nice mature doe on video at about 15 yards after she presented me with several nice shots. I sent a T3 right through her pump station with the Mathews Z7 and she didn’t make it far, piling into a bunch of brush. We climbed down, packed up our stands and begin tracking both deer. Finding the doe was no problem at all as she only went about 80 yards with a giant red blood trail. We located the arrow from the buck second and noticed that it hadn’t passed completely through the deer based on the blood left on the shaft. The blood trail was pretty easy to follow for about 100 yards but that’s when it changed drastically to an occasional drip or larger spots in the areas he had stopped. I didn’t want to track any farther until we gave him more time based on what we were seeing as I wanted him to lay down and not get back up. We decided to get the doe gutted out and head into town for some breakfast while we allowed him more time to lie there and die, hopefully without pushing him back up onto his feet.

After about 4 hours and reviewing the shot on the camera several times, we headed back out and got on the blood trail once again to hopefully find this buck dead not far from where we had left off. That wasn’t the case as we spent the next 2 hours tracking him about 100 yards due to the lack of blood on the ground. We eventually ended up jumping him out of a corn field that he had circled around into, we were able to get a good look at him standing broadside at about 100 yards. He stood there and looked at us for a minute and then bounded across a field and into the woods on the other side of the road. We tracked him another 200 yards on the other side of the field before realizing that it wasn’t a fatal shot and this deer is obviously going to live to fight another day. After reviewing the shot over and over again on the computer, we think I may have hit him a little bit forward for the slightly quartering away angle he was standing at.

I am certainly bummed that we were not able to get our hands on that buck but I am also glad we confirmed it wasn’t a fatal shot and he will live. I am a blessed man to be able to enjoy this sport and spend a gorgeous day in the woods with my best hunting bud, chasing whitetails and making memories. Things are really starting to heat up and the rut will be in full swing here in Michigan very soon!

Shoot Straight,


An Encounter With A Giant

Yesterday was one of the most incredible days I have ever experienced in the woods in my entire life. The emotional highs and lows of the day were akin to riding a roller coaster like none other. I am continually blessed in my life for reasons that are beyond me and yesterday was just another example of that.

The day started at 4:30 am as I threw my gear in the car and drove an hour to meet Tex for a morning hunt that I was filming. We had an incredible morning in the woods with so many laughs and memories made, some great footage and deer in the truck. I will let Tex chronicle the stories from the morning in his own words in a forthcoming blog post. What I narrate below is the story of our afternoon hunt, about unexpected surprises and our encounter with a Michigan giant.

For the afternoon hunt Tex decided to get behind the camera and I was going to do my best to put an arrow through doe as my venison supply is currently at zero. We headed north to a property that for the past few years hasn’t produced very much for us even though it looks like a great piece of property. We left the truck at 4 pm and made the short walk to were we wanted to sit and by 4:30 we were sitting in our Lone Wolf hang ons overlooking a transition area surrounded by overgrown CRP fields.

Within 20 minutes we had two button bucks working towards us and the night was looking promising. Over the next half hour the button bucks moved increasing closer until they were directly underneath of us (which is fun but also pretty annoying). While watching the button buck under my stand I saw him increasingly focus on the CRP field at my 4 O’clock and directly behind Tex. I strained to see what he was looking at and eventually he started working that way. That’s when I saw movement on the field edge and a very large buck making a scrape. He was absolutely shredding the poor russian olive above his scrape and I was having trouble discerning exactly how big he was…and then he looked up!

I have seen a lot of bucks in my lifetime and been blessed to be there to recover some giants but this buck blew my mind. I have never seen a buck quite as wide as this buck and the MASS of his antlers is a sight to behold. It took me a moment to gain enough composure to be able to relay to Tex exactly the magnitude of the situation. The giant slowly walked into the woods and looked at the two button bucks and a basket 4 point that had showed up on the scene and you could tell he was agitated. He was definitely Goliath and was not pleased that other bucks were on his stomping grounds no matter how small they were. With hackles raised and a small charge he was successful in scattering the young bucks and began milling about. I slowly grabbed my bow, stood up and turned around to be able to potentially make a shot. Tex was trying his best to get the camera on him filming directly over his shoulder and right into the sun.

After what seemed like an eternity the giant started to move down a trail that ran parallel to us and at it’s closest point was a clear spot in brush 40 yards away. As he neared the first opening I tried to draw but my safety harness rope obstructed my elbow. I quickly remedied that obstacle and pulled my bow to full draw. As he reached the clear spot on the trail I bleated, bringing him to a stop and looking right at me. I guessed the yardage at 40 yards and settled my 40 yard pin right behind his shoulder at center mass. As I released the arrow time seemed to stop and I watched as my arrow flew towards the giant as he stood there on high alert. I watched in slow motion as his back ducked as he prepared to run and my arrow sail less than an inch over his back. As he bounded off I knew immediately all of the rookie offenses I had just committed and my heart sank if that was possible considering it was practically beating out of my chest. I watched as the giant ran out into the field as I sat down to grab another arrow and then something magical happened…after 100 yards he stopped. He was just standing there in all his glory still hackled up and angry just looking my way. I slowly reached down and grabbed my rattling antlers in an act of desperation and hope.

I rattled my heart out for 30 seconds as I watched him standing there before something miraculous happened he started coming back. I quickly put down the antlers and the giant picked up his pace. He came running into the woods belidgerantly sliding and looking for the fight. He came at a trot right to us and passed behind us at 30 yards, sliding to a stop in the same row of trees as us a mere 40 yards away. I couldn’t see him I could only hear as he walked towards us thinking that maybe I was going to get a chance at redemption. With my heart racing I kept peering over my shoulder looking for him and then felt the soft breeze on my face as the wind shifted and blew right at him.

I never saw him again but Tex said he stood there for a bit and then took a couple bounds into the CRP and mozied off.

I really hope that I get another glimpse or opportunity this season at “Goliath” and am definitely looking forward to chasing him for the rest of the season.

Since the encounter I have been consumed by it and I got to thinking about why i hunt and why we hunt and the experiences we have hunting, the people we hunt with and what makes a hunt successful. That indescribable feeling that you get when you have an encounter with a shooter buck is amazing. I’m not just talking about 170″ monsters either. It could be a 110″ 8 point that takes your breath away. It’s that moment that borders on spiritual and makes you feel so alive.

To make it even better, being able to share that experience with a friend adds a whole other level. To be with a friend in that moment when nature throws you a curveball or an amazing encounter with an animal is something altogether it’s own. That is my favorite part of filming and being filmed. It is great to have the video so you can share the experience but it will never be the same as being there. But when you are filming for someone or being filmed you get to share that experience with someone as it happens. No video or social media is ever going to replace that common bond that ties us together as hunters and the experience of being there for the shot. No fireside story can relay the emotions of missing the buck of a lifetime. No tweet of condolence can remedy the heartbreak of loosing a buck after tracking him a mile. No celebratory bourbon tastes as good as the one with your hunting partner after a successful hunt.

And that is what makes a successful hunt in my eyes. The camaraderie of shared experiences with some of mother natures most pristine landscapes and majestic animals. The highs and lows, the misses and the kills, the all day sits and the exhaustion. The feeling that you are alive and part of something far more vast than yourself. A whole chain of living organisms that interact with each other and depend on one another. And in this chain of life you are not just a man; you are a hunter.


First Coyote of the Year

Last week while out hunting Whitetails sitting in my stand on the fencerow pictured above I counted 5 different coyotes from my stand, called in two and had two shots which resulted in no dead coyotes (you’d be surprised at how effective coyotes are at dodging arrows). I have managed this property for game animals and also have encouraged coyotes to live there because I love calling them so much.

Well this morning I went after them and called in a double on my first and only set of the day. As the first coyote was coming in from directly in front of me (see pic above) the second coyote came from the ditch to the right and damn near ran over top of me. I stayed on the first coyote and was able to make a running shot on him at 45-50yds.

It was a younger male dog with beautiful coloring. The fur isn’t as primed up as I like so I will probably hold off a few weeks before I really start after them. All in all though it was an amazing morning.




It’s Whitetail Time!


Well it that time of year when the leaves start falling and that action heats up. I’ve already seen some great rut activity and am looking forward to prime time.

Got some pretty nice things planned for this season so stay tuned!

FLG Road Trip: Colorado Elk Hunting


Currently finishing up 30 hours in the truck heading to southwest Colorado to chase the great wapiti.

Look forward to some great updates.


Fletching Arrows

Tonight is a perfect evening for fletching up some more arrows and repairing a couple others from my last 3D shoot. This is a very relaxing activity and it can also save you some money!

Shoot straight!


A Little 3D Archery Fun


Sunday mornings in August mean its time to head to the range to have some fun with the boys.


Tex and I met up with a good hunting buddy of ours the morning for 3D archery league at the Potawatomi Bowmen course.

Shooting a challenging course is always a great way to get into shape for whitetail season. I also wore some of the gear ill be taking out west on my elk hunt including a 15 pound pack to help me prepare for a showdown with a great wapiti. Definitely added another element to the shoot.


As always we had a blast and questioned ourselves on why we don’t shoot 3D more often. And of course Tex being the deadeye that he is had to outshoot me again.

Shoot Straight,



Getting The Farm Ready For Fall


Been working really hard over the past few weeks to get all of my mowing done on my clover plots.

The farm got hit really hard last summer with EHD and the deer population is really down. But whether it is force of habit or just plain old curiosity I decided to put out some trail cams to see what’s hanging around.

Decided to try out some Big & J minerals to see how they work at the recommendation from the boys over at Dream Chasers.

This farm is usually great at producing nice deer so it will be interesting to see who made it past the EHD.


Trail Cam Highlights Week 1

20130817-164329.jpgIt’s always fun to pull the first memory card of the season and see what kind of visitors I’ve had. 427 total pictures in the last week on this particular camera with a bunch of great shots.

20130817-164727.jpgA large group of turkeys feeding in the food plot during the morning hours.

20130817-164901.jpgNice little buck looking on as a mature doe and two young fawns with spots eat a little breakfast.

20130817-165043.jpgBeautiful looking Red Fox.


New 600YD Shooting Range


Just wrapped up building the new target for my 600 yard shooting range. Turned out really well with the steel swinging target for farther shots.

Really looking forward to breaking her in this weekend with Rocket and his sniper buddy from the army.

With the corn in the field it almost creates a tunnel to shoot in which is going to be really nice for testing out my new predator loads on my 17 and 223.

Going to be really nice to get the gunpowder level up a bit.