Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Mo Youth Season

The 2014 Missouri Youth Season is finally upon us and I have been looking more forward to this hunt than any other hunt of the year. MaKenna and I are heading up to my buddy’s farm in NW Missouri where the big boys roam! Pete, Scott, and Logan are heading up to Macon farm with plans on hunting that farm and if Logan doesn't do any good heading over to hunt with us Sunday afternoon. This will be MaKenna’s first youth season during the rut and with the cooler weather deer movement should be really good.

Day 1

With the corn still in on one of my favorite parts of the farm we had to go to plan B. I decided to hunt his 160 Acre farm where there is some good timber with 2 box blinds on the north side and a big CRP to the south so my plan was to hunt the west box blind in the morning and set up our ground blind in the CRP field for the afternoon hunt depending on the outcome from the mornings hunt.

 We got settled in plenty early and at 7:45am I noticed movement to the north in the food plot. Out pops a huge bodied 3.5 year old buck. He had a big fork on the right side and a 14+ inch spike on the other. Kenna girl got all excited and made some fast movements. Of course how it goes she got caught and that was the end of that. About 1 hour later 4 big does come running past us with no shot opportunities. Around 10:30am Kenna got restless so I decided it was time to go check out the CRP field to find a spot for our blind.

 As we walk up to the field I noticed a nice buck chasing a 2 does all over the place. As they disappeared into the draw we made our way over to that side of the field and set up next to some bushes in the field. 5 minutes later out pops the big doe followed by a beautiful 2.5 year old 8 pointer. He comes right into 60 yards and turns broadside. Well Kenna got caught up in the moment and no shots were fired. That got Kenna fired up for the afternoons hunt.

 Later that afternoon we got the blind all set up about 2:30pm. Well 2 nice big bucks, a spike, and 3 does showed themselves but no shots fired again. They were just driving us crazy and I knew the next morning would be game on!

Day 2

If any of you have little ones you know that some mornings are just a bundle of joy some mornings trying to wake up a 9 year old that is not a morning girl. This morning proved to be one of those mornings. We finally made it to the ground blind right at shooting time. We get settled in and was welcomed with some cloud cover and a beautiful sunrise. Pretty sure god was showing off in the deer woods for us! 20 minutes goes by and Kenna is getting hungry. I glance in the field one more time then proceed to bend over to get the donuts out of the backpack which took a grand total of 15 seconds. I look back out in the field and notice a big bodied deer standing there. I raise my binoculars and realized it was a good buck. He was out there about 170+/- yards. Kenna’s gun was already up on the sticks ready to go and she gets locked in for the shot. She says can I take him and before I got yes all the way out I hear click. Oh no a miss fire. I went into scramble mode and bolted another shell in. Luckily the buck doesn’t move and this time, BOOOMMMMM!!!! I instantly knew the buck was hit. He took off with his tail tucked and runs about 60 yards, stops, starts to wobble, and tips over. Party time!!!

 As we track the buck the smile on her face was priceless. She was so proud of what she did and as we walk up to the buck she says, “what a monster”! I can’t believe I shot such a big buck!” The buck ended up being a giant bodied 11 point. All she wanted to do was to shoot a bigger buck than Logan. To Kenna yes he has more points and thus making him bigger than Logan's. She can't let the boys out hunt her!

 Pete, Logan, and Scott showed up at the farm for the afternoon hunt. After some high fives and some hugs to miss Kenna it was time for the boys to get after it. Around 4:00pm Kenna and I were shooting my .22 when the phone rings. It was Scoot letting us know that Logan had just shot a nice 8 pointer. We were so excited for him and couldn’t wait to help with the track job. Unfortunately after almost a mile of tracking and 3 hours later we came up empty handed. We felt so bad for him!

 Luckily Missouri has a late youth season so we will be back after it and hopefully with some payback!!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Youth's First Blood of the Season!!


During the off season my oldest daughter MaKenna decided to save up some of her birthday money to buy a new rifle. For her this is a huge deal and really shows how much she enjoy's hunting and the outdoors! After looking at several potential guns we landed on a Thompson Center Venture Youth .243. She was so excited to get it and has been chomping at the bit to get out to use it. My dad also bought her a new ground blind as well an Ameristep Carnivore Lost Camo.

The 2014 Missouri Urban Season has arrived. Our plan was to hunt Saturday afternoon after her soccer game but mother nature blessed us with a bunch of rain and her game got cancelled. That meant game on for the morning hunt. Kenna and I headed out to one of our local honey holes for the first morning however the hunt turned out to be a complete bust. It was one of those times where nothing was going right at all. Between bumping deer on the walk in and fighting with 4 kittens crawling all over the blind the morning was shot! Kenna did love the kittens and I was ready to have open season on them!!

The afternoon turned out absolutely beautiful. We got settled into the blind around  4:30pm overlooking a big clover field. Kenna enjoyed her cheese it's and I just sat back enjoying the time spent with her. About 5:25pm I looked up to see 5 does coming out into the plot from the Northest. At this point it was a mad dash to get her ear protection on and her on the gun for a shot. 2 of the big mature does worked into 30 yards of the blind but the grass was tall enough that she couldn't get a clear shot. Luckily the 3 mini's stayed out in the center of the field feeding around. Kenna got dialed in and let her new .243 bark! Booommm!! Kenna made a great 90 yard shot and after a short 30 yard track job she had the first deer down for the DeLany household for 2014! I was so proud of her.

Later that evening at the diner table I get a text from Big John that his cousin had shot a doe but needed some help tracking. After making my way out to their farm and following the red brick road Cuz found happiness at the end. Congrats to him!!

Now were ready for the Missouri youth season. Kenna and I will be heading up North where the big boys roam and looking to get a crack at a Missouri giant!! 

Good luck boys/girls!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kansas Doves


The Kansas 2014 dove season opened up on 9/1 and Nick, Landon, Jeff and I were ready to get the show started. Nick and I scouted several public fields on Saturday and there were a lot of birds in the area, so we had high expectations going into opening morning. We thought arriving two hours early was going to give us a leg up on other hunters, but we weren't the only ones with that idea. There were close to 20 guys already at the field we'd elected to hunt first. The scouting trip paid off though because most of the guys were on the opposite end of the field that we wanted to hunt. We got to the area we wanted and staked out our the time legal shooting arrived there had to close to 50 hunters around the field. 

The shooting started early and often as birds started buzzing around from all directions. Nicky has on point and limited out after about an hour. I was having a pretty good morning on the trigger also and limited out shortly after that. Landon and Jeff took a little longer and burned up a few more shells, but we ended the morning with 47 doves total. We headed back out that evening and Landon and Jeff finished off their 15 bird limits. It was a great start to the 2014 fall season, now bring on the whitetail...we have several good deer showing up on the farms so it should be an interesting fall!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Youth getting it done in Kansas

We had our annual Kansas Turkey Camp weekend April 3rd - April 6th this year. We had three youth hunters in camp along with six adult hunters. Logan and Scott arrived in KC Thursday afternoon and we headed over to Topeka to scout for the following morning. Logan, Scott and I headed to an area on the west side of the public ground where we'd seen multiple birds earlier in the week. The area consisted of a big hill with a creek at the bottom that opened up into a tall broom grass field. We got in early and set up the blind and decoys while it was pitch black....I knew there was a rise grass field that we wanted the decoys on, but in the predawn darkness I missed the mark by about 5yrds and placed the decoys below the rise.

Even with the high winds and spitting rain the birds on the roost were wound up and sounding off on the regular. Logan had never really heard a lot of gobbling, so he was pretty excited. We could actually see several birds roosted in the trees from our location. At fly down a group of jakes pitched right into the plowed field behind us. They proceeded to fight and cause a ruckus for over an hour before moving off to the north.
 Once the group of jakes moved off I slid out of the blind and crawled to the decoys, so I could move them on top of the rise in the grass field. On my way back to the blind a jake pitched over me and landed on the back side of the rise in the field. I crawled into the blind got seated and made a few soft calls on the VECtor slate call. A couple minutes later we had a red head sneaking through the grass into the decoys. We got the camera fired up in time to get the kill on video...Logan brought the heat!
 After Logan recovered his bird we settled back into the blind to finish out the morning hunt. The wind continued to pick up and I was making a calling sequence  every 20-30 minutes. Around 10am I told Scott I heard a turkey "putt" in the grass, but I wasn't 100% sure. Right about that time Logan spotted another red head sneaking up behind the decoys. This gobbler had come in silent on the back side of the rise, so we couldn't see him until he was on top of the spread. Logan gave me time to fire the camera back up, just before he torched his 2nd bird of the morning....and with that Little Man was tagged out a couple hours into his Kansas season! 

Friday evening Brian and his daughter MaKenna rolled into town for Kenna's first ever turkey hunt. We elected to hunt a big bottom field Saturday morning that had been holding several stutters all week during our scouting trips. We got in early and had the blind setup and it didn't take long for the first bird of the morning to fire up on the roost....and he was close! We had birds roosted all along the ridge behind us, but only three toms actually pitched into the field. Kenna got a good show for her first sit, but none of the boys would leave their solo girlfriend and come play with us. After a couple hours of slow action Kenna had all she could take, so we packed up and headed in for lunch. 

Saturday afternoon's sit was pretty slow across the board, but Sunday morning was a different story all together. Brian and Kenna headed into one of our most productive areas and had birds roosted all over their setup. Shortly after fly down they had several hens out in the field when three strutters showed up on the scene. Brian made some soft calls and the trio couldn't resist...the march was on. Kenna smoked the first bird and his buddies stuck around, so Brian got another shell chambered and the Little Huntress laid down a Kansas Double Tap! MaKenna was tagged out with her first and second gobbler was an awesome looking rio-eastern hybrid also! 


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Two Times on Kansas Turkeys

After a lot of scouting, burning gas and anticipation the 2014 Kansas Turkey season is finally here! Nick, Jeff and I all headed out to different public areas we'd located birds on the previous weekend. I slid into a new area that was loaded with birds when we scouted it and I wasn't disappointed as the early morning tree talking started....there where turkeys roosted all over my setup!

The majority of birds pitched into my field about 450yrds south of me; at my best count there were 72 birds total, including 18 strutters.  The big flock was causing all kinds of racket calling, fighting, chasing and breeding for the first half hour before birds started filtering off. There was one very vocal hen in the group, so I started cutting her off and mimicking her call....she wasn't happy about it. It didn't take long and the hen as running down the field right into my decoys, where she proceeded to bump, peck and purr at the Avian hen for about fifteen minutes. Ol' girls calling caught the attention of a group of jakes and they wasted no time marching right up to the DSD jake/breeder hen pair and flexing their muscle; kind of.

After another 10-15 minutes of the lone hen and jakes being in the decoys the dominant group of three strutters at the other end of the field took notice. One of them came out of strut, ran up on top of a field terrace and stuck his head up as high as possible. The second he spotted the action 600yrds away the race was on. Him and his two running mates were charging down the field and the group of jakes noticed immediately; as they worked off to my right. The toms angled slightly to my left and went into strut about 40yrds out. The hen was still close by, so I started softly purring on the VECtor slate and within seconds the lead bird was on the march. He entered my left shooting window broadside and headed straight towards the DSD jake. I let him get about 2' away from the decoy before I released the first spring archery gobbler was down! His two buddies didn't know what was happening and the group of jakes saw the leader going down as an oppurtunity.....for the next several minutes the boys put on a wicked show fighting each other.

That afternoon Nick and I headed back into the same area to try and lay a double down. About an hour into our sit Nick pulled out a new pot call to show. I made two quick yelps on it and BOOM........gobble, gobble, gobble right behind us! Within seconds Nick spotted three toms entering the field about 40yrds left of our blind. They came straight in, but locked up about 3yrds before Nick had a clear shot. They were acting very timid and actually backed away from the decoys and hung out about 35yrds away. I told Nick "this ain't right, there is another dominant bird around" right them all three heads shot up and the toms ran to the timber; only to be met by two other long beards, The new guys in town ran the first three birds off about 70yrds before turning tail and marching back to our DSD jake in full strut. Nick and I were ready and both at full draw; he had the first shot. I heard his arrow hit the front bird and tom #2 came out of strut and turned his back to us.....lights out! My arrow hit home hard and ol' boy flopped about 20' before giving it up. Nick's bird was still on his feet and making a huge semi-circle out in the field....after locating the arrow it was evident Nick shot forward, missing the vitals. Although we missed out on our intended double up, I did have my second spring archery bird ever in the books and I'm officially tagged out in Kansas for the 2014 season!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fish On....MO Spoonbill Snagging


The opening day of Missouri's 2014 Spoonbill snagging season was upon us, so the crew headed down to LOZ for the annual opening weekend Snagapolooza! Everyone was on the water by 9am on opening morning and it only took about eight minutes before our boat hooked up the first fish; actually two fish. Nick and I hit our first double hook-up ever; something we've talked about but never accomplished until then. 
The action was steady all day and we ended up boating 13 spoonies on day one, which was a personal best for me. If it hadn't have been for John catching a big male just minutes before the BIG FISH weigh-in, Nick and I would have swept the top three spots. As it was we finished 1st & 3rd and John's fish came in 2nd.

Pete's 2nd Fish of the day

 Rusty's 1st fish of the day...

Nick with a big female

Pete with the BIG FISH...weighed 63lbs at weigh-in time!!!

Nick's 3rd place fish


Rusty and I hooked into the 2nd double hook-up ever....two in one day is crazy!


John's 2nd place fish....

1st - Pete 63lbs
2nd- John 61lbs
3rd - Nick 59lbs

Friday, January 10, 2014

MO's 2013 Youth Season....Part II

Missouri's second youth season finally arrived. I invited Pete, Scott, and Logan up to my buddy’s farm in NW Missouri for the weekend. This was my oldest daughter MaKenna’s first deer hunt as a shooter and Logan was on a doe mission. Kenna, Pete, and I arrived at the farm around 1:30pm and hurried up to get our gear unloaded. Pete needed to find a spot and get up set up for the evening hunt and Kenna and I were going to do some scouting for the next day’s hunt. Pete and I found a great spot with tons of fresh tracks in a bean field. Well the afternoon came and went with lots of sightings but no shots. Scott and Logan arrived around 6:30pm and we made a plan for Saturday morning. 

Pete's View from the blind 1/3/14

After waking up and getting our gear sorted out for the morning's hunt, we were all off to the shooting houses. Kenna and I wen into the center blind overlooking a food plot and Scott, Pete, and Logan headed to the far east shooting house overlooking a huge crp field with cut corn about 1/2 mi.e south of them. The Eisentrager boys morning starting out with good deer movement. Shortly before 8:00am Kenna and I heard a shot from the direction of their blind and followed shortly thereafter with a text saying that Logan just shot a doe! Kenna was happy for Logan however her face showed her disappointment because we hadn’t seen any deer yet. Not long after I looked up and saw eleven does pop out into the food plot. Unfortunately they caught our movement and Kenna couldn’t get on them before they bugged out. About 30 minutes later I look over to the ridge and see thirteen more does and one small buck moving across the ridge. We went into scramble mode and got Kenna all set up. I knew it was a long shot but I gave Kenna the green light to let one rip. Unfortunately she missed, but she was so excited that she got to see deer and take a shot. At that point Kenna was ready to see Logan’s deer, so we packed up and headed that way. After a bit of a hectic track job Logan had his doe and we celebration started. We even got Kenna in a picture with Logan....a boy!

With Logan’s doe down all the attention turned on getting Kenna on her first deer. Pete and Logan grabbed the Double Bull & Hoyt and headed out to a different bean field for a night of bow hunting.   Kenna and I spotted a bunch of deer the evening before using a back corner of the cut bean field.

With the temps dropping and snow on the way Kenna, Scott, and I headed to a field of standing beans that was covered in deer tracks. We knew with the weather changing that the deer were going to move  and after seeing a bunch of deer on the drive over and while walking in, we were all excited and ready for the evening to unfold. Shortly after getting set up Kenna decided it was nap time. As I was sitting there enjoying the time I looked up and noticed a doe pop out followed by three more. It was scramble mode again waking little miss sunshine up and getting her on the gun. The does went straight to filling their bellies and never even looked our direction, so we got Kenna settled and on the shooting sticks. Kenna was just getting ready to pull the trigger when I spotted another deer coming into the field. It was a nice 1.5year old buck and I told Kenna to get on him. The buck read the script perfectly and walked into the field and turned broadside. Kenna settled the cross hairs and the let the .243 bark! The buck dropped immediately but got back up and took off heading for cover. Scott and I both knew it was a good hit and it took everything I had to hold back the tears of excitement I had. Since we had to give the buck time to die we loaded another round in the TC just in case a doe showed herself and Kenna could try to double up. Another doe did come out, but it spotted us and took off before Kenna could get a shot.

By now the snow was really coming down and it was time to get Kenna’s deer. The impact site was covered in blood, so we knew it wouldn't be a tough tracking job. Kenna took up the trail and the buck only made it about 90 yards before piling up! We were all on cloud nine and even Scott and Pete got a giant hugs from the little huntress!! I was so proud of her and is by far the best hunting trip I have ever had!

MaKenna deciding the snow and 3 degree weather was just too rough to hunt in Sunday morning, so we called it a weekend and headed back home after a pancake breakfast. We had one heck of a youth weekend and I can’t wait for next year. We've already got plans to make this and annual trip.