Success Stories 2004

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my hunters this spring and fall for letting me hunt with them and share in their hunts. I also want to thank them for all the precious memories that I will carry with me.

Nebraska muzzleloader Season

December 16 - 19

I had the distinct pleasure of Hunting with Gary Howey, Host of Outdoorsmen Adventures TV, Larry Myhre, Editor of the Sioux City Journal, & Dale from North Western NE. Our hunt took place in North western Nebraska.  The hunt was filled with a lot of exciting moments. During the Four day hunt we were able to harvest 2 out of 3 deer. Larry, Harvested a nice 4x4 Whitetail and Dale harvested a 2x2 Mulie.  We saw an average of 20 deer a day.

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Larry's  Story "Black Powder on Nebraska's Pine Ridge" click on Title.

West River Deer Season

November 13 - 28 (I want to thank the Ranchers for letting us park on their land, we walked from.)

This year the only hunters, We had for this season were family and a Friend. The hunters consisted of My Brother, Jeremy, My Father, Dale, Our Friend Ed and Myself. We all had Double tags.  The first Day of hunting found us with Two does. The second found us with One Doe and Two Bucks. The last weekend of the season produce a buck and Doe for my father.  The season whole provide us with One 4x5, one 3x2, and One 2x2 Mulie bucks and Four Does. The 4x5 has a 148 5/8 green score. Not a bad season.

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Black Hills Archery Deer Season

I had the pleasure of guiding three bow hunters, Bob, Gary, And Frank from Wisconsin. The hunt covered a four day time frame. we used several tactics during the hunt. One method was Tree stands, however, our pine trees do not play well with Tree stand hunter. It can take up to an hour to clear a path for the stand placement.   Natural rock blinds were another method used, since the areas have many natural rock outcrops. the final was a portable Blind. Each hunter saw several Deer. However, due to weather and pre-rut conditions. The buck were still grouped. We did manage to see eight buck over the course of the hunt. Most were Whitetail, Since our Mulie population in the Black Hills are minimal. Unlike the prairie hunting units.This hunt also taught me the importance of talking to all of the hunters in the group concerning their expectations.

Black Hills Rifle Elk Season

December 5

    As the sunrise began to show itself to Kelsey, Jake, Heath, & The Gman. We found our selves on a gravel road near the starting place for our hunt. Today's goal was to help Kelsey, harvest her first Elk. As we round the corner only a Few hundred yard from our turn off. We spotted movement to our left in the trees. Sure enough it was an elk, however, it was a 5x5 bull and not good for us. we needed a cow. But what a great start to a day. we proceeded to travel the local roads looking for fresh sign of elk. Finally around 1:30 we hit pay dirt.  five bulls and three cow with calves were trying to cross a fence. But, Murphy's law kicked in and she was unable to get a shot. Kelsey and I gave chase on foot.  We managed to jump the tail end of the herd. BUT NO COWS.  Finally they spooked, Game Over.  As we started to drive down the road again, we spotted more elk down in a draw. Once again Kelsey and I tried to walk on the elk.  This time it put us in the middle of a herd of about a hundred Elk. LOTS OF COW, BUT WHICH ONE. They were moving at a quick walk, so she did not get a shot.  The elk went down a draw and crossed another road. I had a feeling our luck was about to change.  Sure enough, We followed and the herd had stopped to regroup.  This time we were in a perfect place, above and in front of them.  As I called, I got the attention of one of the Cows. She proceeded in our direction. At about a hundred yards, The cow turned Broad side to Kelsey. Kelsey fire and the cow ran 30 yard and collapsed.  A text book Harvest, One Shot One Harvest. Great Shot Kelsey!!!

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Kelsey, GMAN, Jake                                                  Jake, Heath, Kelsey

October 29

Dennis & I had gotten to our hunting area about an hour early.  So we just sat in the dark and waited for the morning light. The morning was over cast and the fog was lingering. A great day to be out after elk.  When it was light enough to be able to tell a bull from a cow, we started down the logging trail. We had only driven about 200 yards when we spotted the elk on the edge of a meadow.  We proceeded down the trail another 100 yard and back tracked on foot the spot we had seen the elk.  But No Elk.  We hit a few more area and did a couple of more walk with no results. Then I suggested that we go and check out another area.  At the new area the we met a Forest Service Vehicle coming out. So we stopped to chat.  The stated that they had seen a herd just down the road a couple of hour before.  Snow, What Time they were there, a sure combination for bagging a elk.  So we back tracked to the area and pick up the trail.  Sure enough they had not gone far. They were just a mile away from the road crossing and One Less Elk trailing with the Herd.  All was done by about 2:30 in the afternoon.

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October 27

We only had a half a day to hunt since I was running out of vacation on my other job.  About an hour before dark, we found 100 head on a ridge.   We proceeded to put the sneak on them. We were almost to the edge of the head when we ran into a couple of bulls pushing each other.  We watch them for a while, but we really needed to get around them.  So I stayed put and called while Jake & Kelsey slipped by, but it was to late the main herd had proceeded down the ridge and across a road out of range. Close but No ELK.

October 21

I had a gentleman call me on the night of the 20th wanting to go hunting on the 21st. I had just got off a four day Guided deer hunt and I really needed to check on my other job.  So I informed him of an area that I new held elk.  Sure enough, that next evening he called and he had missed one in the morning but had connected with an elk in the evening.   Unknown hunter

October 16 & 17

I met, Terry & Mike on the evening of the 15th. They had elected to camp out in an area close to the hunting area. After a quick trip around the hunting area that evening, we made a plan for the next morning.  I would take Mike with me and Jeremy would take Terry hunting.  The next morning as Jeremy and myself were driving up to their camp, we spot some elk crossing the rode in front of us. At camp, we stuck to our plan. But this may not have been such a good idea.  Jeremy and Terry got right into the elk at first light and trailed them until 11:00. Mean while Mike and myself seemed to be two ridged away from any elk. But who know if both group would have had the same luck on a different day.  The group ended up getting a elk at dark on the second day.  The next day Mike and Terry went back to the same area and harvest their second animal.

October 6

The morning started out cold and crisp. My two hunter and myself had arrived at one of my hunting area an hour before shooting time.  As I opened the truck door I thought I had heard a bull bugle.  Sure enough, after I let out the first of my locating bugles two bull answered my call. The herd was only about 400 yard away. Now we had to wait.  But, Murphy's law came into play. just three minute before we could hunt, a hunter just checking the area drove right up to our spot.  The game was up.  We could have filled two cow tag at first light on the six day of the season.  The rest of the day we spent checking out known area where the elk like to hide. But No Luck.  The hunters plan to come back for the December season.

October 4

The morning started out slow. A short hike covering a known morning track for the elk in the area. But no luck.  So we proceeded to another location.  After a mile's walk and calling. First two calves came into view. They kept looking back behind. I kept up my calling . Finally a cow appeared in our viewing lane.   Could there be a bull.  The Boom, yep there had been a bull there, however from my angle I could not see him, but my hunter was ready for the Harvest.  The shot happened at 11:45 a.m.  now the wait. We gave the bull a half hour before we followed. We only walked about 60 yard into the tree and there he laded.

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Click To see Dan's Interview in Video

October 1-3

What an exciting three days. We saw over 250 head of elk and could not decide which of the seven bulls we were chasing was the biggest.  Day one, found us following a herd of fifty elk. As the morning proceeded, we pick up more elk along the trail.  The bulls were bulging up a storm.  We slip in on the herd a number of times. trying to get a look at all of the bull. To small, only a five point, I can only see one side of the horn.  we had all kind of decision to make. But still not the one he wanted. Mean while, We had walk about Four miles cross country and over three drainage's.  At 10:30 we call it a day and started the long walk back to the truck.  Boy, that truck sure felt great to ride in after that walk. The evening hunt was in the same area. We only saw two cow and a rag horn bull. Day two, was much like the first, bull bulging all over. Still not the right one. Day three, we did the same track. only we walked a little further.  And wouldn't you know it. You hit the road for the walk back and not a truck to be seen.  Well about a mile from our truck, two kind souls pick us up and drove us to our truck. Thank YOU!!! this hunter hopes to make it back out for another hunt before the end of the season.   

September 18 - 19th

Can you say HOT! 90 plus on the first day and 85 on the second day. Not really elk hunting weather.  We stuck it out, but call it quits on day two.   No bugles or any elk movement.  He plan to come back in December.

Black Hills Archery Elk Season

    The Archery season started out Wet.  I hunted September 3-5, during those three day my hunter and myself saw about a 150 head of elk. However, with a sharp stick the action was not suitable for a close encounter. The closest we could close the deal was about 80 yds. We may hunt later in the season as the rut picks up. 

Black Hills Spring Turkey Season  

My First hunt of the Year started on Opening Day, April 10th & 11th of the 2004 Season. My hunters were Tim Slavens and John Stewart of Wisconsin. We Started the day by setting up on a bird that I had roosted the night before.  At fly down the gobbler flew down and proceeded in the opposite direction of us behind his hens.  From there we check out a number of other places.  We found a walk in area and went for a stroll.   We bumped into a flock of Seven gobblers. After some soft calling the birds started in our direction.  Due to the number of bird, we thought this was it, a double was to be had.  But, the bird were camera shy and we did not get any of the birds.   That evening it was back to where we had started the day.  After a hour of basking in the sun, we got a answer for a gobbler.  We proceeded to get ahead of him and set up.  In the end I got great camera action and a bird was taken.  It Sported Five Beards, yes Five.  What a Bird.  The second day we found our selves in a Snow storm.  Tim and John Stayed on and hunted Monday alone and bag their second bird.  Great Hunt for the opening Weekend.

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Click To see Tim's Hunt In Video

Our Second hunt on April 23-26, we hosted Gary Howey, Host of Outdoorsmen Adventures TV & Larry Myhre, Editor of the Sioux City Journal.

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Larry's  Story "Turkeys elusive during hunt in Black Hills" click on Title.

Gary's Story "Have I Told You How Much I Dislike Turkey's" is at:

Our Third Hunt April 27 - 29th was guided by Jeremy. His two hunter Bill Kingsley & John Cogdill from CO. had to brave Snow, Rain & High wind during their hunt, this made for very quite birds. They saw a few bird, but the hunt was not very productive for harvesting a bird.

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John & Bill

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Our Fourth Hunt April 30 - May 2 was guided by John. His two hunter were John Shackelford & Fred Winchowky from WI.  They harvested one bird between the two of them. However, we should have had one more to go with Fred's bird.  Click on the picture or link to read more about their hunt.

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Our Fifth Hunt April 30 - May 2 was guided by Jeremy. His two hunter were Lori Goldade & Lila Antonides from Eastern South Dakota.

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Our Sixth Hunt May 3- 5th was guided by John. His two hunter were Sam C & Chris V

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Our Seventh Hunt May 3- 5th was guided by Jeremy. His four hunter were from Georgia on a Semi-guided hunt. Jeremy provided camp cooking, hunting area details, and general bird location. They Harvested three out of Four birds.

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Our Eighth Hunt, May 6-8th was guided by John. His hunter was John Dalton from Illinois. 

Day one- slow only heard one gobble and saw two hens.

Day two- Played with one hened up gobbler. at 10:00 am, worked five different gobbler and bumped one on a setup change. At 2:30 struck up a gobbler, that led them on a hill climbing adventure to get in front of him. however the bird reached the ideal spot, a minute before the hunter and we bump him.

Day Three- we found a gobbler with three hen. the Day turned hot so we called it.

Our Ninth Hunt, May 14-16th, I had the privilege of hosting two staff members of Gobblin' Fever for my final hunt of the season.

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Jim Nabors(Field Producer) & Josh Catogni(Camera Technician)

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