Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Chad walked me to the stand, and even placed a nice doe decoy and apparently dumped some deer urine on it out in the opening 20 yards in front of my stand. Here was my view from the stand:
It didnt take long for the action to warm me right up! At 6:56 am two bucks came trotting along the trail together and came to a complete hault when they came across the stinky decoy. The first buck was a nice tall 8 pointer with fairly thick beam, but abnormally narrow spread. He was definitely the smarter to the two bucks, after sniffing the decoy he looked right at me and quickly jumped on ahead about 10 yards but then stopped. It was like he knew exactly how to get his 'friend' killed! His friend sniffed the decoy as well and I think that urine got the best of him. He too looked over to the right and stared right at me as well, for actually about 30 seconds we stared right at each other, but after our glaring contest he just couldnt get his mind off of the pretty little lady just standing for him.
The moment he turned his head, I lifted my H and R slug gun, placed the crosshairs on his heart and without hesitating fired the slug! The buck spun around 180 degrees and ran full speed about 25 yards directly head first into a very small pond. His head went completely underwater and his back legs kicked furiously for about 30 seconds before he finally drown.
Last year I shot my first buck in the first 10 minutes of the season, and this year I had him down within the first half hour of legal light! I can't actually take any credit for either buck, because my cousin and brothers are the ones who do all the scouting. I just do what they say and sit where they put me and pull the trigger. This is my 2nd buck and 13th deer harvested overall, and I can thank them for every single one of them.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
We offer Fully Guided Fishing Trips on several of our intensively managed exclusive fishing lakes. These lakes are spread across Fulton, Tazewell, Knox, and Peoria counties and are home to some of the very best fish in the midwest! Some of our lakes we have completely set up and managed for the sole purpose of ice fishing. The only fishing pressure they will ever have is for just a few weeks during the winter! We have so many different lakes and ponds to ice fish and so many different species of fish to target, that we can always find a lake with hot action!
Once the lakes freeze solid we spend just about every day of the hard water season out on the Ice! We offer a variety of different Ice Fishing Packages, and for all of them we provide the necessary bait, tackle, equipment, vexilars, fish cleaning, packaging and photos! We provide an ice fishing experience that cannot be equaled anywhere: scenic ice fishing locations, trophy fish, and top of the line equipment and electronics. On top of all this we focus on teaching our clients how to become better fisherman and good stewards of the land.
Private Introduction to Ice Fishing Trip- This is our most favorite 4 hour ice fishing trip! We have several intensively managed fishing lakes that are perfect for this family trip. We provide everything and enjoy teaching you and your family the basics of ice fishing and always catch a ton of fish! We will only schedule this trip on a nice day. Cost is $75 per adult and $50 per child.
Private Ice Fishing Lesson on Your Own Lake or Pond- If you would like to learn how and where to catch fish through the ice on your own body of water, this is the trip for you! We can help you identify good ice fishing spots, teach you proper ice fishing techniques, and also show you how to read a vexilar and even clean the fish! We regularly teach folks how to fish their ponds and not only do we provide all the necessary bait and gear for the trip, but we can also help outfit you with your own set of everything as well. Cost for this trip is $250 and the amount of people you bring along does not matter.
Corporate and Custom Ice Fishing Trips- We have several large trophy fishing lakes that are intensively managed for certain species of fish and considered some of the very best fishing lakes in the United States! Trophy Rainbow Trout, Jumbo Yellow Perch, Monster Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass, Crappie, Northern Pike, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, and Catfish fishing is all WORLD CLASS! Custom Ice Fishing Trips start at $75 per person, and a Fresh Fish Fry on the Ice starts at $150.
Here is a big bluegill video recap of some of our ice fishing trips from last year:
This is a fun video of ice fishing for trout at some of our lakes:
Monday, November 16, 2009
Here are a couple more pics of this Central Illinois Trophy Buck:
Sunday, November 15, 2009
His efforts have just recently paid off! When he was out bow hunting last thursday evening, Todd was able to harvest this monster 12 pointer! The deer gave him a perfect 20 yard shot from his stand and Todd was fortunate to not have seen this deer coming from the standing corn or Buck Fever would have for sure kicked in! Let me just say it is much harder to shoot straight when your heart is literally pounding out of your chest. Its much easier to harvest a buck when you dont have time to think, but just to react.
Here are some more pictures of this buck of a lifetime:
Dont get me wrong, I had a great time away from the kids and work (Brook will read this blog post eventually) but no matter how much we needed a weekend away from the kids (for the first time in 2 years) Its just hard to be in Chicago, and shopping to boot.
Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to Fun City in Iowa on Thursday afternoon so Brook and I booked a last minute hotel on priceline.com and stayed at the 4 star Hyatt Lodge for $60 that night. I had to work South of Chicago on Friday anyways, so we just made a weekend out of it.
Friday morning well before rush hour traffic I headed over to Art Van Barens new pond near Beecher, IL. We hooked up a vertex air one plus aeration system and then formulated a gameplan to turn this 1/2 acre pond into the very best backyard fishin' hole imaginable. A few weeks earlier we stocked 100 lbs of feed trained largemouth bass, and thousands of fathead minnows and golden shiners. With a feeding program in place for next season and a properly designed pond with aeration system, I expect great things from this pond by the end of 2010! By the time the pond is exactly 1 year old, he is going to have a 2.5 lb average on these genetically superior LMB!!!!
I didnt really want to rush back to the mall, so we spent a couple hours checking out a couple other ponds, Art's factory (which is AMAZING!), and even did a little fishing. Then after lunch I really needed to head back up north to the windy city. I just could not imagine living anywhere near there- there are just people and traffic everywhere.
So the next 24 hours really werent that bad, but boy was I glad to be on the road headed back towards God's country with a deep dish giordonno's chicago pizza and a 6-pack of cinnabons Saturday evening. The only good thing about Chicago is the food!!!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
When the fish are harvested, they need to be stocked regardless of the weather or time of day they arrive. We spent many days this fall stocking fish till well past midnight, and many times it took several days straight to get all the fish to their new homes! We stocked over 40 lakes and ponds this fall with over 10000 walleye; thousands of catfish, hybrid striped bass, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch; hundreds of muskie, tiger muskie, and northern pike; thousands of lbs of feed trained largemouth bass and rainbow trout; a couple thousand smallmouth bass fingerlings; and hundreds of thousands of fatheads and shiners!!!!!!
While it is pretty stressful coordinating and delivering fish it is also pretty neat as well! We made a few smallmouth bass only lakes, feed trained bass ponds, trophy trout fishin holes, and one of my favorite stocking projects of the last few years is turning a 32 acre carp infested lake into a world class tiger muskie, northern pike and walleye fishery!
This year instead of just adding fingerlings to that lake, we turned back the clock a few years and added a whole bunch of 3-7 year old northern pike from 25-42 inches long!!!
Brook was out of town with some friends at a conference and we just spent every minute of Saturday playing and helping out at the garage sale!