Monday, August 29, 2011

Interesting Week Fishing and Fire

Way out in the boonies of Fulton County there is a guy creating the ultimate back yard pond. Not just any pond or the typical backyard, but a 37 acre intensively manicured back yard along the spoon river! Lots of prairie grass, wetlands, trails and this new pond! Very cool, here are some pics of pond under construction:

How cool is this fish condo!

One thing very interesting about this guy is that he is a big time hunter, but not really a deer hunter. He is a coyote hunter and has an amazing rifle range to practice taking loooong shots. Can you imagine regularly taking 400-500 yard shots with the occasional 800 yard take down? Thats insane. Anyhow here are some pics of his office:

So back on subject, once the pond fills it will be a dynamite fishing and swimming hole! Catfish, Bass, Crappies, and Walleyes! We are gonna really think outside the box with this stocking and management. Dont try this one on your own.

So another interesting twist to the week was I spent some evenings helping my brother set second floor walls and then trusses on his new house. That is where we snapped this spider web pic:

So then the weekend came and we did some fishing. Noah, Chef Todd and I caught a bunch of catfish:

We also caught a ton of bass on a mid-day topwater bite over deeeep water which was fun and we caught and ate this muskie: Seems kinda crazy to eat a muskie, but I have too many in that particular lake and am harvesting about 10-12 per year. I had to get a pic of Todd cleaning a muskie!

So then we had a large group of friends and family out from Church for a cookout Sunday afternoon. We made sure all 27 kids caught a hybrid striper and accomplished that in about 45 minutes!!! That was awesome for them to battle big fish and try to hold onto the rod. We kept them all and cleaned them up for each family to take a package of fresh fish home. Here are some pics:

So while cooking burgers for dinner one of the most interesting and terrifying events of my life occurred. Jared and I were flipping burgers on our big grill when one of the propane canisters stopped working. It was a big 4 foot tall industrial tank. I switched it to the other side of the grill and it still didnt work, we assumed it was empty. My dad went and found a small tank to exchange it out with.

So when I went to undo the big tank again and in a hurry to get the new tank on, I neglected to turn off the main shut off on the big tank. Dumbest mistake of my life and it almost cost me my life and many other peoples lives. Keep in mind that I already switched the tank out once. Well it turns out that the big propane tanks do not have check valves on them like standard ones do and it turns out that the tank wasnt empty, just clogged. Usually the small propane tanks do not let gas out unless they are hooked up and pushed in, unfortunately the big tank didnt have that safety feature.

Well, while I was undoing the regulator it blew off the tank and the propane started blowing directly into the grill and Jared and I were completely engulfed in flames with a load explosion. It kind of blew us back several feet and the big tank sounded like a jet engine with flames 20 feet across pouring out of it while it was spewing out gas. We had 3 other propane tanks right there in the flames and the main gas line to the building hooked up to the other grill all right in that fire zone. Flames burned the walls and windows and screens 25 feet across the porch all the way up to the ceiling.

That is when the whole world slowed down into slow motion but yet all I can remember was that this was the end and I couldnt let the whole place blow up with everyone and their kids playing in and around the pavilion. I was seriously in the fire yet felt no pain, I kinda remember being in the flames and figured being burned to death would hurt alot worse. So anyhow a few moments before the whole place blew up, and after I had already made it out of the fire, I was told (but dont remember) that I went back into the fire, somehow found and grabbed the big propane tank that was spewing fire and dragged it out of the building.

Everyone was terrified and thought I was going to be severely burned or even killed. I thought I was being severely burned and that this was the end, but yet I felt no pain, in the fire and not being burned was a miracle that I will never forget.

This isnt a story about what I accomplished, because if it was I managed to set the place on fire and nearly killed quite a few people while burning my brother in-laws arms from his finger tips to his biceps. The rest of the story is where God took over and miraculously saved us from a very terrible disaster. Why he spared me from any injury? Not even a minor burn or singe. I should be dead with skin oozing off my body and instead I am typing a blog post about being in an explosion engulfed in flames and not harmed. To God be the glory!

So Jared got back from the emergency room late that evening sporting some stylish new sleeves:

He called several times from the hospital just to make sure that I was ok and to let me know that he was fine. He was in good spirit and realizes that everything happens for a reason and that good will come from this catastrophe. Praising God when his arms are second degree burned! Its good to know that I can burn a guys arms off and he still loves me and is more concerned about me than him.

This morning I slept in a little longer, I drove a little slower, I prayed alot more, and I lived life very thankful that no one else was injured! I am still shaken up a bit. Hope you can learn from my experience- In all things remember to God be the glory and that no matter who you are HE can save you from the fire! There is so much more to this life than work, fish, and deer.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Experienced Carpenters Wanted

This post sounds kind of crazy, but Noah Herman Sons Builders is looking to hire a couple of experienced and reliable carpenters. NHS is Central Illinois Premier custom home building company and they very rarely have job openings for these positions. They currently employ 21 carpenters and most of them have been with the company longer than 10 years with many of the foreman being employed for over 20 years.

They offer full benefits, retirement, health insurance, and even profit sharing with their employees. It is a very positive working environment with great opportunities for creativity and advancement.

Anyhow, just come in to their office at 8911 N Prairie Point and fill out an application, or call 309-693-4343 for more details. I wouldnt wait, cause these jobs will go fast.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Free November Whitetail Hunt

Here is a pretty good chance to win a November whitetail deer hunt at perhaps one of the best Monster Buck Deer Hunting Properties in Illinois.

North Creek Preserve is a private property currently for sale in Knox County and they are offering a free hunt as a promotion to help launch their new facebook page.
Here are more details and it takes less than one minute to register for the free hunt. November Hunt Details

Here is a video showcasing some the deer you will be chasing:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

1/4 acre pond Trophy Fish

I started working with Rogers 1/4 acre fishing and swimming pond about 4 years ago. He is really pushing the envelope on growing trophy fish of multiple species in one small pond. The secret to growing large fish in small ponds is to maintain optimum water quality, eat lots of fish, and make sure the biggest and best always make it back into the pond and always have plenty to eat themselves.

Cam and Chuck Hart of Bob Grimm Chevrolet in Morton sent me these pics from a Sunday afternoon of fishing at Rogers pond:

I did some of my own fishing and swimming this weekend! It was great. The weather was absolutely amazing! Saturday morning I was up at 4 am working for a couple hours at the office, then headed to breakfast with a client for a meeting in Fulton County at 8 am, then out to the lake for the rest of the weekend.

Luke and his family came out Saturday and we caught a bunch of fish and fried up a feast for lunch. They took tons of pics on their cameras, but just like everyone else they all said they would email them over right away and pretty much I never end up getting the pics. Its ok though cause Luke's dad managed to snap a few and actually followed through on sending them over, I also snapped a few myself:

Disclaimer: Luke just sent these pics over, better late than never.

Sunday we hosted Noah Herman Sons Builders company picnic out at the lake. We didnt do quite as much fishing, but we swam alot and we did alot of eating! Chef Todd came out and catered the meal for the picnic. For those of you who are new to the blog, you will find that Chef and I do alot of outdoor themed catering for various events and that food is pretty much just as important as fishing.

This picture actually looks kind of disgusting, but if you know how many lbs of cheese was in this macaroni dish you would think otherwise. The macaroni is covered in baked potato chips. When you throw the word baked in there it automatically sounds healthier......

BAKED beans:

Grilled Brisket. Hey, grilled doesnt sound so bad either. I will just leave out the barbecue smothered part and stick with the name of grilled brisket.

Chef's homemade cole slaw is just stinkin awesome and he hit a home run with this mixed salad. I don't even like cole slaw in general so I need to come up with a new name for his slaw. Chef's slaw I guess sounds better than cole slaw, if that is even how you spell cole slaw? Anyhow, if you can't tell I am in a pretty chipper mood. Was just a good relaxing weekend.

Sitting here looking at the pics of the food just brings back fond memories of meal time.

I mentioned that we did do some fishing, unfortunately I didnt have my camera with me for much of the day, but did get to snap a couple pics.

How about this to cap off a weekend eh?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Semi-Live Whitetail Hunting Videos

Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management has teamed up with the guys at Dominant Predator this year and are super excited to be able to post weekly deer hunting videos in a semi-live format. Thats right, starting Aug 31 and then every week all the way through hunting season we will be posting all of the edited footage from the previous weeks adventures.

With the semi-live format, this is not for just showcasing all of the highlights of the season, but rather is meant to be informative and educational first and entertainment second. The highs and lows, ups and downs, good shots and bad. Lots of 2.5 and 3.5 year old buck footage, doe harvests, field dressing, taxidermy tips, bow practicing tips, and hopefully the occasional bruiser on film and on the ground!

Here are some trailers and introductions to kick of the season, with the first episode airing Aug 31! These videos introduce the dominant predator team with some highlights of what they are capable of in the field and in the editing room. from DP Production on Vimeo.

Here is a highlight of 3D bow shooting from the nest:

So there are some highlights and introductions. I can't wait for the first episode of hunting season which isnt just highlights and introductions, but rather will start the Semi-Live format. Already they have been piling up footage of bucks in velvet, hanging deer stands, food plots, etc which will be used in some of the weekly segments as well. They will be hunting lots of public land, typical ask for permission private land, some of their own managed land, and even occasionally some very intensively managed world class whitetail properties.

Not to mention some ice fishing trips, waterfowl hunting, upland game hunting, dove hunting and pretty much anything else going on outdoors for the next 5 months. I would have to say though that probably 90% whitetail deer! This will be fun, stay tuned!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dock Building and Fishing Pictures

I spent Wednesday afternoon with the Steffas and Pastor Bill Brown family. We caught lots of fish.

So that day actually started at 3:30 am when I went and picked up Chef Todd to help me collect and deliver fish for Bass Pro Shops big display tank. We collected big smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill and redear sunfish. No pictures of those fish, but you can simply go see them when the store opens!!!

Steve Ryan came down and did some fishing on Sunday morning. Here are a couple shots. They use photos like these for print ads and other promotional stuff for various fishing companies.

Diverted a creek into a wetland from farmers fields and put a new road into a farm. More pics of that to follow, just dont have time to sort thru and organize the pics together.

Started raining one evening and pretty much anytime it rains me and kids head straight out to play. Especially when mom isnt home!

Renovating an old pole barn into the sweetest little guest cabin overlooking a 5 acre lake. Today me, Allen, and Lee tore out and gutted everything and busted up some concrete for some plumbing.

Check out the view from the back of the cabin!

Been building a mega mega dock/deck combo. The pictures again are out of order, they go from today all the way back to monday.

Had about 60 people out to the lake on Sunday, lots and lots of fishing, swimming, and eating.

Some happy ladies eh? These gals were from Saturdays group, we had 80 people out to the lake for more fishing, swimming, and eating. Altogether I think we have hosted more than 2700 out at our lake this year in the months of May, June, July, and August. If I am wrong on that number its because I forgot a few groups. Lots of youth camps, church groups, family reunions, campers, and friends at the lake pretty much every weekend!

We actually are eating all of the muskies out of our 33 acre lake. I like muskies when they are less than 28 inches, but once they hit that 29 inch mark or bigger out they come and into the frying pan or onto the wall. This one hit the frying pan.

Took some brothers and their sons fishing on Friday. One bro from Tampa and one bro from Chicago. Pictures are in reverse order, but you get the picture....BTW, we ate great for lunch and they ate great for the weekend!

Back to the dock construction. This mega floating dock is 15x120 feet long and it is attached to a mega deck that is 20x120 feet long.

Back to the road construction:

Oh yeah, the Rocke Brothers Masonry has done a phenomenal job on our stone work for the outdoor kitchen for the hunting lodge:

The last two weeks have been on the go from 4 am to 10 pm, but I usually always get to sneak in a couple hours with Brook and the kids at some point each day. Summer is winding down and Mae's first day of kindergarten is tomorrow!

Friday I will be working on the mega dock in the morning, then installing an aeration system and some underwater green fish attracting lights in Abingdon. Saturday will be working just till noon to cap off a typical summertime 76 hr work week. In a few weeks (or maybe a couple months) I will be scaling back to 40 hrs/week, because by then I will be starting to build my own house for about 30 hrs per week on nights and Saturdays.