JANUARY 5TH, 2015:
ITS HARD TO BELIEVE ITS 2015 ALREADY! A START TO A NEW YEAR MEANS YOU NEED TO RENEW ALL YOUR PERMITS AND STAMPS FOR THE YEAR. ALSO TO START GETTING PREPAIRED TO PUT IN FOR ALL YOUR BIG GAME PERMITS IN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. ALL THE POST SEASON SCOUTING SHOWS 2015 SHOULD BE INCREDIBLE FOR BIG MULE DEER AND ANTELOPE BUCKS. ALSO TURKEY SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND WILL BE HERE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!
OCTOBER 23RD, 2014:
ANOTHER ANTELOPE RIFLE SEASON IN THE BOOKS. HERE IS JESSICA'S GIANT NEBRASKA BUCK.
SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2014:
WELL ARCHERY DEER AND ANTELOPE SEASONS ARE IN FULL SWING. THIS YEAR THE SEASON OPENED UP THE FIRST OF SEPTEMBER AND THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL VELVET BUCKS HARVESTED AROUND THE STATE. I APOLAGIZE FOR THE LONG DELAY IN UPDATES, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE THERE WAS A SHOW OR MEETING ALMOST EVERY WEEK ALL SUMMER LONG! ANTELOPE ARE NOW BUNCHED UP AS THE RUT HAS BEGUN. MY WIFE HAS DRAWN A RIFLE ANTELOPE TAG SO THE SCOUTING PROCESS IN UNDER WAY. I AM ALSO POSTING A PHOTO OF MY BIG 170 INCH BUCK FROM LAST YEARS ARCHERY SEASON JUST TO GIVE YOU ALL MOTIVATION TO GET OUT THERE AFTER 'EM!
JUNE 13TH, 2014:
WE HAD ANOTHER GREAT TURKEY SEASON THIS SPRING WITH LOTS OF OLD TOMS KILLED. ALL OF MY STAFF REPORTED THAT TURKEY NUMBERS WERE DOWN SOME THIS YEAR, BUT IT DID NOT EFFECT THE HUNTING THANKFULLY. THE DROUGHT OF 2012 WAS HARD ON OUR POULTS AND WITH VERY FEW 2 1/2 YEAR OLD BIRDS KILLED THIS SPRING, ITS PROOF THAT THIS IS THE REASON FOR NUMBERS BEING DOWN. THE GOOD NEWS IS THE BOYS ARE SAYING JAKE NUMBERS WERE HIGH THIS SPRING SO THE OVER ALL POPULATION WILL BE BACK TO NORMAL SOON.
AS OF JUNE 9TH, THE APPLICATION PERIOD IS NOW OPEN FOR ANTELOPE, ELK, BIGHORN, AND MULTI-SPECIES PERMITS AS WELL AS DEER DRAW UNITS. DONT WAIT, GET YOUR TAGS PURCHASED ASAP AS THE APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSES JUNE 27TH. ALSO NEW FOR 2014, ARCHERY DEER SEASON OPENING DATE HAS BEEN MOVED UP TO SEPTEMBER 1ST, THIS IS GREAT NEWS FOR ANYONE WANTED TO HARVEST A VELVET BUCK.
MARCH 31ST, 2014:
MAKE SURE TO REMEMBER THAT YOUTH SEASON STARTS NEXT WEEKEND! GET THOSE YOUNGSTERS OUT IN THE WOODS. I TOOK THIS LITTLE MAN LAST SPRING AND HE TAGGED HIS FIRST MERRIAM AND WHAT A TROPHY IT WAS! STARTING YOUR KIDS HUNTING AT A YOUNG AGE IS WHAT WILL KEEP THEM HUNTING THROUGH THEIR ENTIRE LIFE, PLUS THERE ARE PLENTY OF TURKEYS TO GO AROUND.
TURKEY SEASON IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER AND IT APPEARS TO BE ANOTHER ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS! OUR HATCH HERE WAS GOOD LAST YEAR AND WITH ANOTHER MILD WINTER, BIRD NUMBERS ARE AS HIGH AS EVER. THIS PHOTO IS JUST ONE OF MY SMALL WINTER FLOCKS WITH JUST OVER 90 BIRDS. BOBCAT TRAPPING SEASON IS WINDING DOWN, SO BRING ON THE GOBBLERS!
I want to congratulate Derek Billiot as the newest memeber to the freshwater World Records. Derek shot this monster Alligator Gar wieghting in at 120 pounds. This beats the old record shot 2 years ago by more than 15 pounds. This is a true monster trophy fish from the great state of Louisiana.
WE HAVE REACHED THE HOT DAYS OF SUMMER AND SPEARFISH SEASON IS IN FULL SWING. THE BAD NEWS IS FOR SOME REASON THIS YEAR MOST OF THE WATER IS PRETTY DIRTY. MOST REPORTS FROM AROUND THE MIDWEST LAKES ARE GRIM. I HAVE BEEN TO McCONAUGHY A COUPLE TIMES AND WALLEYE LIMITS ARE HARD TO COME BY AND FISH SIZES ARE WAY SMALLER THAN THE PAST FEW YEARS. GUESS WE WILL JUST HAVE TO START SHOOTING OUR BOWS AS DEER SEASON IS JUST A SHORT TWO MONTHS AWAY.
WELL ITS FINALLY OFFICAIL, I HAD THE BIG COMMON CARP I SHOT 2 WEEKS AGO WIEGHTED TODAY AND ITS A NEW NEBRASKA STATE RECORD, BREAKING MY OWN RECORD OF 37 POUNDS 14 OUNCES I SHOT BACK 10 YEARS AGO. THE BIG FISH IS ALSO A NEW WORLD RECORD BREAKING THE OLD RECORD OF 39 POUNDS 8 OUNCES SET CLEAR BACK IN 1972!, I HAVE ALWASY LOVED TARGETING THESE HUGE ROUGH FISH AS THEY ARE VERY CHALLENGING TO SHOOT AND EXTREMLY HARD TO FIND THIS SIZE. TO PUT IT INTO PROSPECTIVE, I HAVE BEEN SPEARFISHING FOR OVER 14 YEARS NOW AND HAVE ONLY SHOT 2 CARP OVER 35 POUNDS, BOTH NEBRASKA STATE RECORDS INCLUDING THIS MONSTER HERE. IT TAKES A LOT OF TIME AND DEDICATION FROM ALL THE SPEARO'S OUT THERE TO FIND AND HUNT DOWN THESE RECORD FISH, I AM TRULEY FORTUNATE TO BE INCLUDED IN THAT GROUP OF PEOPLE.
The 2013 Turkey Season was another great one. The birds really acted different early due to last years drought, but they started working awesome a couple weeks into season. We again shot several double beareded birds as well as an awesome triple beard that had a 9, 8, and 8 inch beards. Most of the birds shot this year were 3 to 4 years old as well including 2 birds with 1 1/2 inch spurs!!! Now that turkey season is over we have rolled right into spearfishing season. I went out last weekend and had a great first day shooting 7 carp all over 20 pounds! I also shot the new pending World Record Common Carp wieghting in at over 41 pounds breaking a record that was set clear back in 1972!
Turkey season is in full swing, although the weather this spring has been difficult to say the least! We just experianced our 2nd blizzard in the past week last night so the turkeys are still very grouped up. Our birds really start to break up around mid March normally, but this year we still have groups of 200 plus in many areas. This along with the wet conditions has made the turkey hunting challenging. Hopefully the weather starts to cooperate sooner than later.
It has been an epic Snow Goose season here in 2013. It started with birds showing up early and they have stuck around longer than the past couple years. We have had a record setting season so far and I was lucky enough to shoot my 2nd Blue Phased Ross' Goose in back to back seasons! I had a solo pond jump killing 77 birds including the Blue Ross and another Banded Ross' Goose. That makes 7 banded birds on the season which is also the most banded birds harvested in one season for us. There are still large numbers of birds in the area, but I anticipate the birds moving out any day now.
Snow Goose season is going good so far, but we had a bit of a curve ball thrown at us with a major snow storm that pushed through the area late last week. We had close to 15 inches of snow fall and it really changed the feeding patterns of the geese. I have had a few friends out over the past couple of weeks with good results. This past weekend we shot 63 birds including one banded bird to mark our best weekend of the season.
Sorry I have been gone so long! The Holiday Season was extra busy this year! I have alreay been busy in 2013 as I started a trap line again for the first time in 15 years. I am primarily targeting Bobcat and and happy to say I think I have it figured out. I have caught 5 cats so far and still have about 3 weeks left to the season. The Snow Geese have shown up 3 weeks early as well. Jess and I were out this weekend and killed 61 Cowboy style! I hope everyone has a great 2013, be safe and God speed!
My first Cousin Clark Noble has been applying for a rifle antelope tag for 4 years and he finally drew his tag this year. We went out first thing Saturday morning to a ranch in the Sandhills that always seems to have goats in it. The day was perfect with a nice sunny morning which makes spotting antelope very easy even from a couple miles away. We drove to a huge flat that I have seen goats in many times and sure enough, we found a herd. We snuck to about 600 yards and ran out of terrian. The herd had to mature bucks and 14 doe. We could tell even from this distance that this was the buck we wanted to shoot, however we needed to figure out a way to close the distance for the shot. We waited for about a half hour for the herd to move behind a small ridge on the flat and decided to make a move. We still had to crawl for about 300 yards to stay hid from a couple goats that were still in sight. Luckily the sun was behind us and must have glared in there eyes enough to allow us to make the move. We crawled up along a small ridge and found most of the animals bedded in a shallow bowl about 250 yards away. The big buck was farther out keeping the smaller of the two away from his doe's. The buck finally walked back close to the herd so I told Clark to take the shot. The first shot missed as the buck was actually closer to 350 yards and Clark had to make a follow up shot to put the buck down for good. He was a massive buck with good mass and huge cutters. He gross scored in the mid 70's and is an awesome first goat.
Jess and I went last night to scout deer as both her and I had a Nebraska tag left to fill. We went and watched a cornfield on one of my north farms. About 6:30 P.M. we watched 2 Muley bucks come out on the south edge of the field. The deer feed all the way across the field right to us. We really weren't planning on hunting the field, but when you have a buck like this come into 10 yards, needless to say your going to shoot him. Jess made a perfect shot and the hunt was over in 30 minutes without us even having to put on a stalk. He is a really nice 5x6 buck and this makes Jessica's 2nd year in a row tagging out with a crossbow on 5x5 or bigger bucks! I still have a tag, but am going to hold out for something really exceptional if I can.
I just recieved a new World Record form from Sean Morgan out of Kearney, Nebraska for Grass Carp. This is a giant fish shattering the old record set by Mike McGuire out of Colorado by almost 18 pounds. The fish was shot in a sandpit in Nebraska. Carp this big are hard to come by so Congrats to Sean a true MONSTER FISH!!!
October 4th, 2012:
It seems year after year it just keeps getting better and better. We have started off the fall 2012 season with an unbelievable start. Not only did we go 4 for 4 on goats, and Jess shot her biggest buck ever, but are luck has continued. Jess and I traveled to Kansas for Whitetail Muzzleloader season. I was lucky enough to shoot a nice 5x6 Buck, Jess had a close call but she will have to wait until December to go back during the rifle season to fill her tag. Also a close hunting partner of mine Brandon shot his first Crossbow buck with me, which was a beautiful tall 5x5 Muley. Just when I think it cant get any better, Tuesday night Brandon and I were out in the hills and I was able to sneak to 30 yards of this big boy to fill my first Nebraska tag for the year. Jess, Brandon, and I each have one more buck tag left and I cant wait to see what we will find next!
September 17th, 2012:
Jessica, Shane, Brandon and I took our annual Antelope hunting trip this past weekend and it was EPIC to say the least. This year we deceided to go during mid September to include deer season as well and it was a good thing we did. We arrived Wednesday night to the ranch and started hunting first thing Thursday morning. Jess got the hunt started off right as we put a long stalk up a dry creek bed to get in range of her 2nd antelope buck with a crossbow 2 years in a row. She made a great 80 yard shot to put the "Cocklebur Buck" on the ground. Jess and I had to crawl over 100 yards through a huge Cocklebur patch, which was not fun, to be able to stay out of sight but it was all worth it, hence the name we gave the buck. Then an hour later Shane and I snuck a nice buck and he made an amazing 100 yard shot! On the way back to the cabin we found a really nice buck feeding behind a pasture dam and Brandon and I snuck the buck and was able to get to 45 yards which is a chip shot when it comes to antelope hunting. This was Brandons first antelope ever. So we had 3 mature goats on the ground all in the first day! Friday we hunted all over to see if I could find me a good buck, but just couldnt get close enough after seveal stalks. Saturday morning we found a huge buck tending 7 doe in a field with round bales. I had to crawl 300 yards, but it was worth it as I made it to 70 yards and made our goat hunt 4 for 4.
Now that we had all our antelope tags filled, we switched gears to deer hunting. Brandon and I got on a couple 150 class Muleys Saturday afternoon and had a couple close calls, but just couldnt close the deal. We deceided to show up at first light to glass a dry creek bed we had hunted a nice velvet buck the day before. We found a nice buck about a mile down the creek so we move around the south to get the wind right to put on a stalk. Jess and I slow stalked the valley and finally found the buck we saw at first light and he was with 3 other bucks including this monster 6x6!!! We were albe to sneak to 50 yards of the big buck and Jess was able to seal the deal. This is Jessica's biggest buck ever and scored out right at 170 inches!
August 29th, 2012
Antelope season is officially open here in Nebraska and I have already seen some good bucks around. Western Nebraska has been in a terrible drought this summer with areas of the Sandhills having the dryest conditions in over 50 years! This will make spot and stalk hunting a little more challenging this fall due to the lack of grass, but with very little water the animals should be easier to pattern. Brandon and I hunted last Saturday and found a 14 incher running with 7 doe, and I also found a really big buck Sunday but just could not close the distance on either buck. Jess and I will hunt a couple days this holiday weekend and might even try and squeeze in some dove hunting as well. Here is Jess' buck from last year, it will be hard for her to top this buck this year.
August 12th, 2012
Spearfishing season for me is coming to a close as Antelope season is just around the corner. I went diving one last time with a good friend of mine yesterday at Lake McConaughy and we again had a great day with our limit of Walleye by noon. Also recieved some exciting news from a Utah diver about a new World Record Tiger Muskie. Terry Reist shot the new World Record Tiger Muskie that crushed the old record by almost 10 pounds. The record fish weighted in at 28 pounds 10 ouces and was 45 1/2 inches long and 21 3/4 inches around! A true giant fish.
July 17th, 2012
Spearfishing is in full swing and Pat and I entered the 3rd Annual Stodey's Pole Spear Tournament this past Saturday at Lake McConaughy and was fortunate enough to take first place. There were 8 teams and we had a great time with lots of comaraderie and great food! Pat and I both shot our biggest Walleyes to date with a 9 LB 13 OZ and another 9 pounder. On Sunday we had our RMSA open tournament at Big Mac as well and also had a great time and found plenty of good fish. The visibility is up quite a bit from last year at the big lake and fish are plentiful.
June 4th, 2012
Turkey Season was awesome this year with some of the biggest birds ever killed. Including 4 double beards, 1 triple beard, 1 bird with 5 beards, 1 Nebraska State Record Merriam (Archery), and 1 World Record Rio Grande (Crossbow). However it is now Spearfishing season and I just returned from the first tournament of the year at Box Butte Reservoir, Nebraska. I was fortunate enough to place 3rd in the Pro Division and also claim 3 new World Records in the Pole Spear catigory. European Rudd, Largemouth Bass, and Channel Catfish. Also a good dive buddy of mine Chad set the Bluegill and Black Crappie World Records. Chad also shot the World Record Rock Bass overall at 1 lb 6 oz.
April 21st, 2012
Turkey season is now in full swing and the birds are working better than ever. I took Terry and Truman out Friday morning in search of Merriams and Rios. Terry wanted to take one of each home to get mounted, however Terry's father Truman shot the wallhangers! The first set of the morning I called in a Big Merriam and a Rio in for an awesome double. Terry shot the big Rio which appeared to have a double beard, but was just split, however Truman shot the Merriam and he had 3 beards!!! This tom score wise is right at the best bird I have ever seen shot. The next 2 set ups Terry shot another 3 year old Rio and 3 year old Merriam. Truman still had 2 birds left and we found a group of 6 strutters along a field edge. We worked 2 birds in and Truman shot another Nebraska Giant. It was the biggest double beard I have ever seen. A big 5 year old Rio with 1 1/4 spurs and a 9 1/2 beard and a 8 1/2 beard. This beard ranks 8th in the state all time!!! We had another hunt right before noon with a miss due to the fact the bird was at 2 yards and was just too close, but Truman finished off the hunt with another nice Merriam at 1:00. Pretty good day of turkey hunting.
April 16th, 2012
2012 Shotgun opener was an unbelievable weekend, not that we did alot of shotgun hunting. Dan and Lisa arrived Thursday afternoon and we already had 2 Rio's killed by sundown spot and stalk archery style. We went out Friday morning and Lisa had her 2nd Rio with a bow right off the bat on the first stalk. Dan was soon to follow with his 2nd Rio by mid day also with a bow. Now it was Merriam time. Lisa needed a Merriam to complete her slam and if we could pull it off she will have shot all for species in 1 month! We found several nice birds that afternoon and so we planned our hunts for Saturday. Again right out of the gate Lisa shot her beautiful Merriam Saturday morning to complete her Grand Slam, Congrats Lisa! We battled the rain off and on throughout the day but the weather cleared in the afternoon and Dan finished the hunt off with one of the best birds I have ever seen killed. Not only was it a big beautiful Merriam but it had 5 beards! This is the most beards I have ever seen on a turkey on any of my farms. Oh ya, so Dan shot a 5 Bearded bird, but after we made it back to the house I checked the record books and Lisa's Merriam is the Overall number 1 Nebraska State Record Merriam shot with a bow!!! Pretty good weekend indeed!
This weekend was special for another reason as well, Jess went out on her own for the first time Saturday morning and shot a big Rio Longbeard. This is her first bird hunted and killed on her own, she has truley become a turkey hunter and I couldn't be more proud. Congrates honey!!!
March 25th, 2012
After scouting birds for the last month I was needless to say more than ready to get out the crossbow and try to smack a big tom. My buddy Brandon had never shot a turkey and he a just picked himself up a new Horton so I told him to come along with Jess and I for the opener. We hunted a roost first thing this morning of about 60 birds and half were long beards! Quite the gobble fest to get the day starter off right. 2nd set we called in 4 Jake's to 10 yards, but we dont shoot Jake's, so off to set 3 and we had a great filmed hunt were we decoyed in 2 big toms and Brandon made a great 15 yard shot to get our first bird on the ground. We headed in for a quick lunch and then out to the big hills for the afternoon hunt. First set of the afternoon Jess was up and we decoyed in a Jake to 10 yards and a big tom behind him but just wouldnt get any closer than 50 yards, too far for an ethical shot. 2nd set of the afternoon I was up and we found a big group of around 50 birds and we snuck into range with the decoy and I finished off the day with a beautiful Merriam Tom, my first bird with the Crossbow as well.
March 10th, 2012
My good friend Mark and I went out yesterday morning to give the snow geese one last go before they migrate out of the area. The roost had to have a quarter million birds on it first thing in the morning and we followed the birds just a couple miles as they landed in a worked corn field. The whole bunch piled in and there was a nice ditch along the north edge of the field which would allow us to sneak right on top of them. It took awhile to get permission on the field and while we were sneaking towards the birds to get close enough to shoot, the entire flock got up ahead of us. My heart sank as if they would have just sat for a couple more minutes we would have been right on top of them and with two guns sporting extension tubes, it would have been UGLY! However when the birds got up they flew right over us. Mark and I quickly decided to shoot and take what we could get and its a good thing we did. We ended up with 18 which is amazing out of the air flock shooting, but more impressive is I FINALLY shot a Blue Color Phased Ross Goose! This bird is the rarest legal game bird in North America and possibly the World. Scientists state there are 1 in 250,000. Ross geese are the smaller cousin to the snow goose, they are colored the same, Ross geese just are smaller and have different beaks. Blue phased snow geese are very common, but the Ross phase is truly a once in a lifetime bird and is hands down the greatest trophy animal I have ever killed next to my Mountain Goat. I shot the bird first thing yesterday morning and I still cant get the grin off my face!
February 25th, 2012
Shane, Wade, and I went out for our first hunts for Spring Snow Goose this weekend and it was one of the best openers ever. We shot 150 snows including a banded Ross Saturday and Wade and I shot 20 more by 10:00 this morning. Yesterday was my 2nd best day ever for snow goose hunting and finally tally on the weekend was 170. Not a bad start to 2012! This morning there were close to 2 million snows in the valley which is by far the most I have ever seen here at one time. Should be a great 2012!
February 18th, 2012
Spring turkey season is just over a month away! I have already started scouting my flocks and am happy to report a healthy population with more longbeards than ever. Jess and I counted over 50 longbeards in one flock a couple days ago which included an AWESOME Rio Grande Triple beard that is easily a State Record bird. My dad shot a triple beard out of this same flock 2 years ago that scored an incredible 84 points, which to date is the biggest turkey taken that I have been apart of. Last year I guided my man J.T. to a huge triple bearded tom here as well. Both these birds were Merriams, so glad to see a Rio has taken on the same traits. He is as caramel as they come and is at the top of the hit list for 2012! This year is looking to be the best turkey season yet. Here is a photo to get your blood pumping!
January 22nd, 2012
Shane and I entered our annual Maywood Coyote Tournament yesterday and placed 3rd out of 45 teams. We have placed 3rd or better for the last 6 years in a row. We have placed 1st 4 times. We shot every dog we saw yesterday except one and even called in a Bobcat, unfortunately we were unable to get a good shot on him. After the Tournament Reward Ceremony we went out hunting in the Cedar Canyons. We found another Bobcat and I had a good shot but the cat moved right when I shot and we again were left empty handed on cats. I did manage to shoot over the course of the night 7 porcupines including a very rare Black (Melanistic) porcupine that will be mounted. 2012 is starting off with a bang!
January 8th, 2012:
2012 started off great! Shane and I entered the Broken Bow, Nebraska Coyote Calling Contest this past weekend and out of 60 teams placed 6th over all. It was the first day out for us so our shooting was not quite par. We should have had a couple more dogs and placed closer to the top, but we have another tournament in 2 weeks so we will hopefully perform better. After the tourny we decided to do some night calling as a fresh inch of snow fell late yesterday evening. That with the moon lit night made it awesome and I helped Shane shoot his first Bobcat ever. The cat was a young female but very beautiful. We also shot another coyote and a couple bonus porcupines.
December 29th 2011
Well its almost the end to 2011 and what a year it has been! Each year just seems to keep getting better and better! We started the year off right with Shane and I's annual Coyote Tournament and taking 1st Place for the 4th time in 5 years! Then had a record Snow Goose harvest of 526 birds in just a months worth of hunting, including a record day of 169 birds! Then it was on to Turkey Season. Jess started the season off right with the first bow kill on opening day, breaking the Nebraska State Record all time! I followed it up with a Black (Melanistic) tom and set a season best 85 kills between hunting and guiding for the season! I then jumped right into Spear Fishing season and broke 2 new World Records, 6 Spearfishing State Records, and 2 Bowfishing State Records! Longnose Gar, Drum, Yellow Perch, Buffalo Carp, Spotted Gar, Pumpkinseed, White Bass, and Redear Sunfish. Then is was off to the Grasslands on our annual Pronghorn Hunt where Jessica shot her first Nebraska goat with the crossbow at 90 yards! He was a big 14 inch herd buck. After that we were off to Kansas for Muzzleloader deer and I shot a 170 inch monster Muley. Then the next day back in Nebraska I shot another monster Sandhill buck that also scored 170 with my crossbow. That same day Jess shot her biggest buck yet, a 4x4 Muley with the crossbow. A couple weeks later I followed it up with a 150 inch Muley with the crossbow and then Jess shot another 140 class 5x5 with crossbow as well. Rifle season I had my brother Cody out and shot a nice Muley and guided my friend Jason to a mature 5x5 whitetail in the Sandhills and then guided my friend Brandon to a monster 5x6 Whitetail 150 class! The Ducks showed up good this year and have limited out about every day we have hunted so far. Lots of Goldeneye's mixed with Mallards, Widgeon, and even a Drake Bufflehead. Jess and I have been running a trap line and have caught 12 Musk Rats, 2 Beaver, shot a few Coon's and Coyotes as well. Last weekend I took my Cousin Clark Noble Muzzleloader Hunting over Chistmas and he shot his 2nd deer ever, a nice big doe Whitetail. We saw several big bucks, just no shot opportunities. Here is to hoping 2012 is as good as 2011! Happy New Year everyone!!!
Friday November 11th (11-11-11)
So Jessica and I have been scrambling these last couple weeks to get her last buck shot before rifle season. The rut has really made the buck visible and we have had some close calls but just couldn't pull it together. Finally last Tuesday morning we found an area with a lot of bucks and one really nice 150 class 5x5. We snuck this buck several times and even got a shot off at him Wednesday but couldn't put him on the ground. We decided to give it one last try last night with only about an hour to hunt by the time Jess gets out of work. We snuck a picked corn field and found a big group of deer feeding with several bucks chasing does. After several minutes of glassing I thought I saw the big 5x5 we had been chasing so we moved down the field edge and got into position with just a few minutes of light left. We crawled to within 20 yards of this nice buck and Jess smoked him. He was not the same buck we had been after but we did see him after the shot at the far edge of the field still chasing a doe. Hopefully he will make it through season and we can try him again next year. Congrates to Jess on her two biggest Muley bucks ever in one season!
Sunday October 11th:
Jess and I have been out scouting looking for big deer, and we finally found a big 5x5 muley on one of my new ranches. We saw the buck right at dark and couldn't tell how big he was for sure, but we knew he was framed big. The wind kept us out of the ranch all last week, but this weekend the weather finally broke and we went to find him. At first light we found the buck right away feeding near a corn field and was able to stalk to within 100 yards of the big deer. I then had to belly crawl another 60 and made it an easy 40 yard shot with the Crossbow! He is a 150 Class 5x4 and my 3rd big mule deer of 2011! Its now Jess' turn to grab the bow as she has 1 tag left.
Saturday September 24th:
I have had an awesome last couple days. I was lucky enough to draw a Kansas Muzzleloader Mule Deer tag (the first year I applied) and Jess and I headed down Thursday afternoon and started scouting that evening and had great luck and saw several shooter bucks including a giant Kansas Whitetail. Needless to say I didn't sleep very well with the anticipation of the morning hunt. We started out first thing and found the same group of bucks feeding in a Milo field and knew they would stay put so we went out checking other ranches while the deer where still moving. We found another group of 5 bucks in a Milo field and were in a hilly field that would allow us to get pretty close. So Jess and I set out prepared to shoot if need be to get a closer look. We stalked to about 100 yards and Jess set up the video camera as I crawled in for a closer look. I made it all the way in to 30 yards and was able to make a chip shot on a giant 170 inch 5x5. Its is my biggest deer ever! Plus we got if all on film. We got the buck all cleaned up and headed back to Nebraska. Jess and I took the rest of the week off so we grabbed our crossbow and headed to the Nebraska Sandhills Saturday morning. We arrived at the ranch at first light and Jess and I saw bucks everywhere. As we were glassing a nice x buck walked over the hill right at us! Jess grabbed the bow and I grabbed the camera and 10 minutes later Jess had a 15 yard shot and the rest is history. This was Jessica's biggest mule deer ever, she made a perfect heart shot and the deer only made it about 50 yards and died. This hunt didn't spook any of the other deer we had been watching, so we set out to see if I could get one. Jess took the camera and we headed out to a small pocket across the valley to where we had seen a group of bucks bed up for the day. We had perfect wind and was able to crawl to about 10 yards of the bucks but could not see them as they were laying against the bank were sneaking behind. I bleated at the bucks and they all jumped up and ran out of the pocket. There were 6 bucks and all stopped just 30 yards from us. I picked out the biggest buck and smoked him. He didn't make it but over the hill and was all over. This buck was bigger than my Kansas buck! I had now killed my two biggest bucks ever in less than 24 hours and my wife and I double with a crossbow in one morning. How lucky can a guy get!!!
Monday August 29th:
Well we made it back from the big Pronghorn hunt last week and what a hunt it was! We arrived at the Grasslands late Wednesday night so we could start our hunt Thursday morning at fist light. The first two days offered a ton of opportunity, however our luck was all bad. We had several shot opportunities but we just couldn’t put it all together to get a goat on the ground. Jess and I decided to change things up come Saturday and set out on foot in a pasture we had been seen good numbers of bucks over the first couple days. Right off the bat we found a lone buck feeding in a deep canyon. We were set up above him just waiting him out to put a move on him when 4 small bucks came in from behind us, Jess tried to make a shot, but just had too much grass between us and them. We let them pass, and made a move on the original buck we were after. We had to belly crawl for several hundred yards to cross some open ground to close the gap and after a couple hours of waiting the buck moved over a rocky ridgeline and we moved in for the kill. We closed into 30 yards but the buck spotted us before we could shoot and spooked off, we sprinted up the hill and found the buck broadside at 50 yards, Jess pulled up and shot, but guessed 60 yards and shot right over his back. We were both pretty upset as we had put a lot of time in on this buck, and it just didn’t happen. As we regrouped I noticed a lot goat across the canyon from us in a pocket, so we decided to heat that direction. As we neared I climbed a rock point to get a location on the lone goat, I found that it was just a doe, but could see another group just over the ridge on a large flat. We moved around the doe and belly crawled up to a fence line near the flat. I could see a nice heard buck with 10 does. We were out of cover to move in any closer, but as I watched the herd I noticed they were feeding our direction. We laid on the ground under the fence with the crossbow on a short tripod for accuracy. It didn’t take long and the herd had moved right in front of us. The does came in first and noticed something didn’t look right. They spooked off to about 80 yards, but the buck came in last and wasn’t paying any attention to the does. Jess locked into the broadside buck and let a bolt fly. She made a pretty good shot but was just a little back and low. The buck ran off and laid down right away, so we knew it was just a matter of time. We backed out and met up with Shane and Trevor. Shane had shot a yearling buck as well that morning while Jess and I were hunting this buck. We left the buck alone for a couple hours. Upon our return we found the buck was still lying in the same place but seemed to be acting fine, so we moved in for a 2nd shot. As we neared the buck spooked and moved into a rock canyon and laid up again. We were starting to question the shot but stayed on course to finish the deal. Jess and I made a big move around the buck and crawled into 40 yards. We set up on the tripod and waited him out. He finally stood up and Jess put a bolt right in the mid section. The buck fell over and the Jess finally had here trophy. This was Jessica's First Archery Antelope. We green scored him at Just shy of 70 inches which is a great archery buck. He was 13 3/4 inches long with 6 inches bases. So 6 miles of hiking and 500 yards of belly crawling in 105 degree temperatures, we were definitely earned this buck!
Tuesday August I'd:
Tomorrow Jess and I will meet up with Shane and Trevor for our annual Nebraska Archery Antelope hunt. I cant believe its finally here! We have been anticipating it all summer. The rainfall in the Sandhills has been way above average this year so the grass is tall, which will help our spot and stalk style of hunting this weekend. Jess and I purchased a crossbow this year as it is now legal equipment here in Nebraska for biggame. We went out to make sure everything was dialed in last night and we have good groups all the way out to 110 yards! Look out Goats! This will be Jessica's first Archery Antelope hunt and she is pumped to say the least. Shane, Trevor, and I went up last year and all shot bucks in just a day and a half. We are filming this year so it should be exciting. Stay posted and I will have photos up next week upon our return!
Wednesday July 20th:
Summer is here and spearfishing has been good, however I find myself looking towards the future. Archery Antelope season is one month away today! Hard to believe but I am ready. It helps that I had such a good fishing season this year. With 7 new Nebraska State Records and 2 new World Records, this has given my a great deal of contentment as you could imagine. This past weekend I decided to do a little scouting on a couple of my ranches and was very happy to see how green the pastures were from all the rains we have had this year. The next couple years will produce bigger horned bucks because of this. I counted over a dozen mature bucks one of which was Pope and Young for sure. It reminded me of the buck I shot last year which is shown here in the photo. I will be booking archery hunts for 2012 once I get a population count after this season. I will keep you posted on success as well.
Thursday July 7th:
Its game fish season boys! I couldn't wait to get in the water last Friday for the opener as I have been watching some big boys in a couple pits I have been carp shooting. I started out early and right away found big carp, but my primary target today were big game fish. After about an hour in the water I shot the biggest Yellow Perch I have ever seen, he was just shy of 2 pounds! He will be swimming on my wall about this time next year. This fish is the new World Record! I also found a huge Freshwater Drum weighting in at over 17 pounds, breaking my old State Record of 16 pounds from a few years back. I jumped over into another pit in the afternoon and broke the State Record White Bass with a 1 pound 14 ounces beauty. Water clarity is hit or miss, but am ready to get into some big water. I am headed out to Swanson Reservoir this weekend as I hear the clarity is pretty good. Reports of walleyes at Big Mac are good, but vis is poor, 2-3 foot.
I took Jess out tonight for her first dive ever, we mainly were just getting her used to snorkeling, but once that was down I let her shoot my new band gun I won at the Box Butte Tourney and she shot her first fish ever with a spear gun. It was a nice 3/4 pound Bluegill..............I think she is hooked!!!
Wednesday June 8th:
Well I am finally getting time to post about last weekends awesome trip. We at the RMSA had our first tournament at Box Butte Reservoir. Mike and I headed out Friday scouting and found 100's of Rudd at the west and and appeared to have the tournament won, but Saturday morning the fish had changed patterns and quit spawning. We still managed to shoot good numbers of Rudd, Carp, Cat's, Bluegill, Bass, Walleye, Pike, and Crappie. Largest Carp topped out over 35 pounds, and James shot a pike over 18 pounds! We also broke 3 World Records last weekend. Mike B. shot the new record European Rudd and Chad H. broke the record Bluegill and White Sucker. Congrats to both of them!
Monday Memorial Day:
Well I went out for my 2nd dive of the year this morning. My first dive was Saturday morning and I shot the State Record Bigmouth Buffalo Carp. He weight over 26 pounds! I went back out early this morning to the same pit hoping to find another big boy, but vis was down and didn't see much. This is my number one pit as I have now shot the State Record Carp, Carpsucker, and Buffalo all out of it! I found another pit today that had awesome vis 10-12 feet. There were gar, carp, big bluegill and Largemouth everywhere. Was able to shoot at 6-7 gar, both longnose and shortnose. I shot a 4 pounder right off the bat, and then right before I got out managed to shot this guy, the new Nebraska State Record Longnose Gar weighting in right at 7 pounds!
Sunday May 15th:
Turkey season is winding down, but what a season it was. The first turkey of the year was Jessica's State Record Rio Grande with her bow, I shot an unbelievable Black (Melanistic) color phase longbeard, and we have shot 1 triple beard and 4 double bearded birds with one weighting in at 26 pounds! This past weekend I had Rich, Mark, Scotty, and Kyler out for their annual hunt and we ended up with 2 double beards just this weekend alone. Kyler got his first bow kill ever and Rich shot the #2 bird in the state with his bow! We had a great year for Merriams in 2011 but did shoot some awesome Rio's, check out the pic on this page, you can really see the difference in the two sub-species. We still have a couple more birds on the radar, but in just a couple weeks I have my first Spearfishing tourney, stay posted to fish pics next!
Tuesday April 19th:
Last weekend I had my buddies from Illinois out for our annual turkey hunt. It was the opening weekend for shotgun turkey season here in Nebraska and the weather was perfect. We had an inch of snow up to over a foot of snow depending on the area Friday, but it was 65 degrees Saturday and Sunday so the turkey hunting was awesome. We shot 9 birds the first day and had my boys tagged out! We went out scouting Sunday and found an area with something I have never seen before.......A BLACK PHASED WILD TURKEY! I still had all my turkey tags so needless to say, this turkey was on the top of my list to be the first tag filled! The birds were not in an area I was familiar with, so tonight I went up and did some networking. I obtained permission from the landowner and after weeding my way into a flock of 30 toms all fighting over about the same amount of hens, My black tom came strutting into my decoy. I had almost given up as I didn't see him in the flock. He was actually just below the hill I was on the whole time in range, I just didn't know it. So it was lucky it all worked out, but I couldn't be happier! Last year I shot a smokey hen and the State Record Rio Grande, and now have a Black Phased bird to go with them. Hello Mr. Taxidermist!
Wednesday April 6th
Well Jess and I had Brandon and Jodi Carter from Reelshot Outdoor TV here last weekend to bow hunt turkeys. This is the 2nd year that the Carter's have come out to hunt with us. We had an awesome hunt with both Brandon and Jodi tagging out here in Nebraska with 3 birds each, all with their bows, all on film! Huge numbers of birds with some great footage. The hunts will be aired on the Sportsman Channel later this year. Check out reelshotoutdoortv.com for air times.
Sunday March 26th
Its the opening weekend of Archery Turkey Season and the weather has been interesting to say the least. We had a late season snow storm that dumped 3-4 inches Friday night. We purchased a HD TV quality video camera to start videoing our hunts and this is our first season of filming so thats a whole new element to hunting. We tried to hunt a roost on Friday night, but the birds would not cooperate. Yesterday was horrible. We were on 3 different hunts with birds in range every time, just couldn't put it together. The snow makes crawling around and running the camera a major pain. We built a ground blind near a roost Saturday so we went out this morning early to hopefully change our luck. Long story short, by 8:30 this morning we were covered up with birds. Probably 400 birds in the flock we were near there feeding area. As soon as the first group of toms spotted our B-Mobile decoy, they came in on a string. Jess made an awesome 20 yard shot and the rest is history. Once we recovered the bird we found that he was giant Rio Grande double beard that is the NEW NEBRASKA STATE RECORD ALL TIME!!!
Sunday March 13th
It's the beginning of the end for the 2011 Spring Snow Goose Season. Cooper and I decided to give it one last go at the snows before they all migrated out. Its a good thing we did too as there were 10's of 1,000's of birds all morning moving into and out of the area in a massive migration. Lucky for us, one giant flock of probably 50,000 decided to land before doing so. This was a grave mistake on there part as we jumped them once, cowed them once and then snuck into a pond there were using as a mid day roost. It was an unbelievable sight to say the least. We ended up with 114 by 12:00. Very well could be the last hunt of the year. Time to start scouting turk's.
Tuesday March 8th
Another great evening of hunting! Snow storm still has the birds in the field all day and the hunting couldn't be better. Made my first stalk on a large group in a cornfield, just couldn't get real close. Birds would flare and land again and again about the time I would reach 100 yards or so, they just wouldn't let me get any closer. The last move I let em have it and ended up with 3 anyway. 3/4 of a mile stalk for 3 geese was a lot of work. The geese just landed in the next field over, put on a 2nd stalk but couldn't get close enough, they had seen enough of Ol' Betsey.
Moved north and found a another huge group spread across a full half section. A small ditch ran up the north side, and I crawled on my hands and knees for half a mile, which was brutal by the way!, but was worth it. Had about a 40 yard shot, killed 22 more.
Monday March 7th
The snows have finally made there was west out of the Zones so we can hunt them everyday instead of the 4 days a week. Still not a ton around, but a couple good flocks. This latest snow storm dumped about 5 inches early this morning and I knew this afternoon would be good. Didn't have a partner so I had to fly solo. Found a group that roosts in a feedlot, so needless to say, they are not afraid of cows at all! I stalked to 30 yards and head raked the first couple shots. Ended up with 45 birds, probably my best solo jump ever. Supposed to get another 5 inches tomorrow, should be another great day!
Sunday February 27th:
Snow Goose season is in full swing. Last weekend was the beginning of the 2011 spring migration for Central Nebraska and by mid-week large numbers were pouring into the Platte Valley. Jess and I made our first strike last Saturday with 23 kills and I continued to hunt through out last week. We ended up with 18 on Wednesday, 86 on Thursday, and a record breaking day yesterday with an amazing 169 dead snows. Nebraska had a late Winter snow storm that dipped the temperatures into the single digits and covered the ground with snow again. This will make hunting interested for the next few days, however it should keep the birds from headed north anytime soon.
Monday January 31st:
Well today is the end of Upland Season here in Nebraska, but the dawn of great goose hunting. Here is a photo of my latest taken of public property along the Platte River. Nebraska's Canada Goose season ends next weekend, but the tail end of the season is usually the best hunting of the year. Then beginning February 8th, Snow Goose season opens. It has been a cold January and most of our water is still froze up, so we wont have any Snow's showing up until we get a little thaw. Hopefully it won't be long. I purchased a new mag extender for the Benelli, so I'm geared up for maximum fire power!
Wednesday January 19th:
Shane and I entered our local annual Coyote Tournament this past weekend and claimed our 4th first place trophy! We have won the tourney 4 out of the past 5 years. The weather has been hit or miss for coyotes, and we had to hunt hard in the 50 degree weather, but ended up with 5 which was 2 more than 2nd place for the win.
Thursday January 6th:
Happy New year everyone! 2010 was one of the best seasons yet for Noble Outdoors. It started out with lots of Canada Geese in January, to over 300 snow goose kills in February with one yellow neck collar! On to turkey season, and what can I say but wow. Jess shot her first bird with her bow, including the number 2 Merriam in the state and ranks number 11 in the world!, My State Record Rio Grande, a beautiful smokey hen, and guiding my mom and dad to turkeys in which my dad killed the biggest turkey I had ever seen, a triple beard that scored in the mid 80's! Filmed two television shows with Reelshot Outdoors and Jodi Carter shot a State Record triple beard Rio Grande as well! It doesn't get much better than that.
Fishing was great as well, I broke 3 new State Records and one World Record. 2 Redear Sunfish pushing that pound and a half range, and a hybrid sunfish that weight in right at a pound. Also won my first spearfishing tournament at Lake McConaughy.
Big game season started out GREAT and ended Great, but midway through was very testing for both Jess and I to say the least. I shot a Pope and Young antelope on the first day out that scores in the low 70's in the Grasslands, then deer season came and it all went down hill. The good news is I had seen more big deer this season than many previous, the bad news is I just could not put one on the ground. Shane and I hunted the first weekend in the hills and both had great opportunities, but had to walk away empty handed. I focused a lot of my time with Jess trying to get her a deer, and with many close calls, she finally shot a young muley buck in late October. After having missed hand fulls of bucks, I hung up my bow come rifle season and decided to change my luck. Jess and I both shot really nice Whitetails with our rifles, proud to say Jess shot the biggest deer this year, and It will be gracing our living room in about 4 months!
December was a lot more laid back compared to last year. With deer season over for us and not having to Muzzleloader hunt, Jess and I focused on duck and upland hunting. We shot lots of Goldeneyes, Pheasants, Quail, and Grouse. We even managed to work a fall turkey hunt in resulting in a couple nice gobblers.
Noble Outdoors is wishing you a Happy New Year and have a GREAT 2011 Hunting and Fishing season