No matter the year, we always go into our whitetail hunts with high anticipation, but it typically takes us into week three or four before we finally see how the season is going to unfold. 2018 was a trying year, finding a constant juggle of tree stands to try to get our clients onto animals, and really never finding one of those bang-em-up weeks where we saw quick results. It became apparent through the course of the season that the bucks were short on antler growth, with very few seeing tall tines. A few bucks that we had trail camera from last season didn’t see much to no growth from the previous year. This as well as not seeing nearly as many 4-1/2 and older bucks that we felt should have been out there. It was as if an age class was missing. But the amount of 2-1/2 and 3-1/2-year-old bucks was phenomenal and I believe this is going to show for the next two years' hunts. Despite a lower success percentage, many of our hunters did find great end results, including those pictured here.
Photos below: 1. Larry Rasanen anchored this big wolf as it was in hot pursuit of a buck. 2. Larry Rasanen was blessed with this greata buck. 3. Tom Shone nailed this big old buck. 4. Matt Kerzner wouldn’t disappoint with this buck late in the game. 5. Jack Tyler wasted no time to drill this buck. 6. Pete Forman with a buck that sported immense mass. 7. Anthony Cazzorla hunted just over an hour before he closed the deal on his buck.
Waterfowl Season became a marathon workout; Canada geese saved season as 1141 birds were taken while ducks and snow geese were nearly non-existent. We had the largest early migration of Canada geese into the area for the early part of September. The number of geese dried up after the first two days of the season, and found us scrambling to come up with adequate shoots for our clients. Although we continued to put clients onto solid Canada shoots, there was a complete lack of snow geese as well as ducks in the immediate area, which often will help bump up the day’s shoot. Regardless, we still saw some incredible decoying days.
Here are a few photos: 1. Boys nailed down an easy limit on Canadas and one of the few days where we caught migrating snow geese moving. 2. Andrew Carritt of Nebraska holds a double-banded goose, one of over 25 bands we’d send back home with the lucky number guessed by the group. We also shot our second goose with a transmitter.
3. Great fun with the couple’s hunt. 4. An easy limit on Canadas this day, and the gang pulled 13 snows out of a single bunch. 5. The waterfowl operation continues to see steady upgrades with the addition of avian x fully-blocked cacklers and sx snow goose decoys.
Our Fall Bear Season ran an easy 100 percent as all 15 hunters sealed the deal. Despite another year with an enormous berry crop, we got our fall hunters on the scoreboard in quick fashion. Although all the bait sites were hit, they were being hit very weak, so we changed to a consistent bait schedule of trail mix and that put the bears back onto a reasonable hit schedule. Here are the three biggest bears taken for the fall season: Silvana Jester of New Jersey with her massive 380 lb boar, Kurt Stuebs of Minnesota arrowed this 340 lb. bruin, Long-time repeat client Tom Thornton of Deleware had to have his arm twisted by me to shoot this 310 black.