Midwest Bowhunter Press Release (First Ever!)

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On May 20th, Bo and I got an email that we had been waiting on for a long time now. Back in April, Bo and I compiled a 10 minute audition DVD from two years worth of film to send into the Midwest Whitetail crew. I had seen a request for pro staffers on their website a few months ago and figured what the heck, might as well give it a shot. Once Bo and I knew that we were going to put together an actual audition DVD, we filmed EVERYTHING. We worked extremely hard to lay down some decent footage while shed hunting, scouting new properties, and turkey hunting. We had good footage from the past couple of years, but wanted to improve our skills as much as we could to help with the audition DVD. Our primary goal of filming isn't necessarily the harvest, it's the story leading up to the shot. We filmed anything and everything that you could possibly imagine. Even if we would only use a few seconds of the shot, many times it made a world of difference in the story line.

But back to the email ..... I guess all of our hard work finally paid off as the email was from Scott Prucha, one of the producers of Midwest Whitetail saying we have been chosen to be regular Pro Staff members for the Midwest Whitetail Great Plains show! Being "regular" Pro Staff members means Bo and I will now appear regularly on the show, which airs a new episode online every couple of weeks.

The following is an excerpt off of Midwest Whitetail's website (http://www.midwestwhitetail.com/) detailing what Midwest Whitetail is all about.

About Midwest Whitetail

Midwest Whitetail is first and foremost a semi-live on-line hunting show. You can only watch Midwest Whitetail on the internet, and unlike television, we produce the show during the season - as close to live as possible. You can watch the shows only a day or two after the hunts occur. This format permits us to talk about timely issues such as changing weather patterns, current deer behavior, strategies to employ in the near future, etc. We try to take advantage of this semi-live format to help you stay one step ahead of the deer you are hunting and to introduce new products.

All the content on the site is free of charge, paid for by the sponsors. So please support them as best you can.

The 2008-2009 hunting season is over, but you can go back and watch the entire season if you like. We also produced three shed antler hunting shows and some additional videos to keep you entertained during the off-season. Join our e-mail reminder list if you want me to send you an e-mail when news shows are available on the site.

This year we will be featuring ten separate shows on MidwestWhitetail.com. We'll have the main show, same as last year, plus separate semi-live shows for Michigan, Wisconsin, Northeastern U.S., Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri/Kansas. It is an ambitious plan and it is working.

There are also video tips, product reviews and articles on the site. Please spend a little time and check these out, as well. We will be adding new articles regularly.
Please enjoy Midwest Whitetail.

The creator of Midwest Whitetail, Bill Winke, is a household name in the hunting industry. Bill has spent many, many years successfully writing about and chasing whitetails. He, and the rest of the Midwest Whitetail team, will be able to provide Bo and I with a plethora of knowledge on hunting and filming whitetails - it's going to be great working with these guys on a daily basis.

Also, we now officially have sponsers that we need to help support the site and keep it going. Midwest Whitetail is sponsered by Hoyt, Realtree, Muddy, Nikon, Fuse, and Trophy Ridge. Bo and I all ready have a lot of equipment from these manufacturers, but there will be a few pieces that each of us will need to pick up to give them our full support (especially since they are supporting us!). These are all top of the line products so we will not have any issues with getting some new accessories to play around with in the field.

Again, Bo and I want to thank everyone that regularly visits our blog and keeps tabs on us during the hunting seasons. We still need to discuss the details of the blog with Bill and Scott, but hopefully we'll be able to keep you updated on here with stories and pictures, but you will also be able to follow our season via actual footage with only a two or three week delay on the Midwest Whitetail site. We are extremely excited for the possibilities this opportunity will offer. Hopefully the whitetails will cooperate like they did this past year and we can have another successful year.

A New Home Away From Home

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yesterday, Bo and I made a purchase that will hopefully relieve us of numerous nights in motels at $50/night and a 25 minute drive from the property to the motel (which equals more sleep!).  The adjacent property owner to the north of our Kansas lease decided he wanted to buy a new camper for his property, which meant he needed to sell his current camper.  He offered an amazing deal to Bo and I that we simply could not turn down.  It may not be in the best condition, but it's warm, has running water, a working water  heater, a shower, a fridge, a stove, etc., etc.  A little TLC this summer is going to go a long way on this camper.

Being able to camp out and sleep within a mile of the property is going to be great.  I'm sure there will be many memorable stories shared around the camp fire in the near future and hopefully a few mega KS bucks will be brought back here as well.

Bad Luck is Better Than No Luck At All!

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in , | Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

As written by Bo Parker.

The past few weeks of turkey hunting have been rather interesting. Scott and I were covered up in birds on Friday during the second weekend of the MO season. We had never hunted the farm before and had only walked it once during a shed hunt. I told Scott that if I was a turkey (I’ve been accused of being one by my parents), I’d roost right where those two creeks come together. He agreed and we set the blind up in a field a short distance away. After setting the blind up, I had to use Mother Nature’s outdoor facilities. While doing so, a gobbler sounded off right where we thought they’d be. It had the makings of a great morning. It wasn’t long until we had about 7 or 8 birds gobbling like crazy. They answered us every time we called and 3 of them flew down into our field. Unfortunately, so did half a dozen hens! We never had anything come within 50 yards, but we were rewarded with quite a show. Our day ended when a fox caught one of the turkeys up in the horse pasture.

On Sunday of the same week, I was able to sneak out with my lovely bride, Sarah. We set up in almost the exact same spot and the birds were there again. They gobbled like crazy. Unfortunately, they were once again roosted with hens. 4 or 5 of the gobblers flew down into a different field, but one came towards us. He flew to a tree on the edge of the field and stayed on the roost strutting and gobbling for an hour and a half after the others flew down. It was a neat show but was pretty frustrating.

Finally, a bearded lady came into the field and he flew down to chase her around. He never did come close enough for a shot. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad that Sarah got to see some action on her first turkey hunt. 3:30 AM was just a little too early for her though; she caught a few Zzz’s in the blind.

The next weekend, my friend Ben and I went out to the same farm on Friday morning. I had set up a blind for us a few days before and it was really close to the roost. We slipped in early and quietly and set up the decoys and got ready in the blind. When the birds woke up, they were even closer than I’d anticipated. We had several within 50 yards of us. A couple of the birds actually flew over us into the field. However, two of them flew down in front of us and approached our set.

They got to within 10 yards but didn’t like the looks of our setup for some reason. They paused again at 25 yards and I released an arrow. Unfortunately, the pause wasn’t long enough. The gobbler I shot took a step when I released and I hit him a bit further back than I wanted. We never did recover the bird even though we tracked him for a while. I was pretty sick about it, but it is a lesson learned. I’ll know how to handle the situation better next time.

The following day found us setup in the blind once again, but we moved further from the roost and out of site of it. We were not disappointed when the birds woke up. There were 5 or 6 gobblers and a few jakes sounding off every time we called. Things were looking pretty good until fly down time when they shut up. We couldn’t figure out why they were being so quiet, until I finally saw the head of a coyote crest the hill to the East. He made a move on our setup and got to within 50 yards before he finally caught our scent. It was the only day all season that I didn’t see a gobbler. The winds blew about 30 mph for most of the day and I believe that the turkeys hunkered down in the timber because of it.

The following day was Mother’s day and also the last day of the Missouri season. I spent it at home with my wife and children. All in all, the Missouri turkey season was a huge success. We were able to capture some great footage, spend some quality time outdoors, and make some memories that will last a lifetime. I have no regrets. I’m sure that several more tags would have been filled had we chased the turkeys with shotguns instead of bows… But we’re bowhunters, and that just ain’t how we roll!

NW Missouri Gobbler Getaway

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in , | Posted on Sunday, May 09, 2010

For the second year, I met a very good friend of mine (Zach) up at his family's property in NW Missouri for a weekend of chasing birds, helping his Uncle with the demolition of a bridge, and just some rest and relaxation.

The primary goal of the weekend was to remove 30 year old wooden planks from a field access bridge that the land owner had actually broken through with a combine this past fall.  Within a couple hours of hard labor, the wooden planks were removed and the bridge is ready for new planking that will be placed early next week.  Zach's uncle was definitely appreciative of our hard work and couldn't believe how fast Zach and I were able to get the job done.

The second goal was to put Zach on a Missouri gobbler, unfortunately we had to face extremely windy and cold conditions - not an ideal situation for turkey hunters.  The first morning was quiet....not a single gobble from the roost.  After a couple of hours in the blind, we decided to try a spot and stalk with the windy conditions.  As I slowly crested a small hill, I was surprised to see a white head not more than 10 yards away looking the other direction.  Zach and I hunkered down in the CRP and threw out some soft calling.  We were setup no more than 20 yards from this bird (just on the other side of the small ridge), but could not get a response.  After 10 or 15 minutes, Zach slowly started to belly crawl threw the CRP and after 15 yards he was was greeted to a nested gobbler busting out of the CRP no more than five feet from his face.  Everything happened so fast, there was no opportunity for an ethical shot.  But to get five feet from a wild turkey is something that does not happen every day!

The rest of the day was a bust trying to spot and stalk and the birds were simply laying down in the underbrush and were unresponsive to calling.  However, that night after a delicious campfire meal, we were able to roost seven different birds along a sheltered creek bottom.

The next morning we got setup within 100 yards of the area where the birds had roosted the night before and got setup in a deadfall along a creek.

We heard many gobbles that morning, but none close to our setup.  Not sure what happened during the night, but only two of the birds were still there at sunrise and neither decided to fly down into our field.  Even though we didn't put a tag on a bird this weekend, we still had a great time enjoying the outdoors.  Hopefully we'll be able to continue the tradition for many years to come.

Bo's 2009 Kansas Buck

Posted by Bo Parker | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I posted this story on some forums that I'm a member of a few months back. I figured that it was time to share it with our blog readers since I finally got my mount back from Master Taxidermist, Dan Galetti. He did an outstanding job with the mount and I am very happy with it. I hope you guys enjoy the story. This deer was a long time coming!

Scott and I took off work early on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 to drive down from Smithville, MO to our 80 acre lease in Eastern Kansas. We arrived at the property around 3:00 and were in our stands by 3:30. I hadn't even settled in yet when I had 2 does come by. This had the makings of a good afternoon. It was a little overcast, cool, and we had a light but steady breeze out of the WSW. It was a perfect wind for the hedge tree stand, and this was the first time that either of us had sat in it. About an hour after the does walked by, I spotted a huge bodied buck stand up from his bed in a cedar thicket about 80 yards away. I immediately started telling myself to stay calm. I knew that I had a real giant in front of me. He had risen from his bed due to a grunting and rattling sequence, but wouldn't come closer than about 65 yards. It was apparent that he was agitated that other bucks had dared to enter his domain, but he refused to leave the cedar thicket. With a heavy heart, I watched him disappear into his little cedar sanctuary, and I assume that he must have bedded back down. I didn't see another deer until after dark when Scott and I were on our way to the motel. I told him about the encounter that I'd had with the giant and that I knew he was over 160" and at least 20" wide.

I had been watching the forecast all week and had told Scott several days before that Saturday morning was going to be the best morning we'd had all year. The temps were finally going to dip into the 30's overnight as it was supposed to dawn cold and clear. The weather man was right! I just love those high pressure system mornings as they always seem to get the deer moving. The wind was once again out of the WSW, so on Saturday morning, after a sleepless night, I was back in the hedge tree stand. I brought a buck decoy with me this time and set it up about 25 yards in front of me. Unfortunately, the CRP grass between my stand and the cedar thicket was too tall for the decoy to be seen from a distance. At about 8:25 in the morning, after a grunting and rattling sequence, I caught movement in the cedar thicket about 90 yards out. The giant from the day before had gotten up from his bed and was raking a branch with his antlers. I grunted at him with my VECtor grunter and he looked my way then started raking the branches even harder, I knew that he was mad. While his head was behind some cedars, I rattled a little more and then grunted a few more times. With his hair bristled up and his ears laid back, he started a stiff legged walk in my direction! I crossed my fingers and hoped that he would present me with a shot opportunity and I tried to stay as calm as possible. A few seconds later, he emerged from the cedars at 60 yards. He stepped out in the open, but couldn't see my decoy. I began to worry that he wouldn't come any closer and I'd have to watch him walk away once again. Luckily, he walked further into the CRP and stopped. I ranged him at 51 yards with my range finder. I grunted once more and he looked my way, but he still couldn't see the decoy. He laid his ears back, turned around and looked like he may head back into the thicket. I knew that this would be my only opportunity. I made the decision to let him go unless he stopped on his own, I didn't want to risk having him jump the string if I had to put him on alert with a bleat. Luckily, he took two steps and did just that. He was bristled up and mad and stopped to mark his territory by urinating on his tarsal glands.

I think I should mention that I ordinarily wouldn't take a 50 yard shot on a deer, although I practice it regularly and am very proficient with it. Circumstances were perfect in this situation though. He had no idea of my presence, was perfectly broadside, and was not at all spooked. I didn't think that he would jump the string when I shot, and he didn't. So, once he stopped, I quickly drew my bow, settled my 50 yard pin behind his shoulder and let her fly. My arrow sailed true and delivered a lethal double lung hit. I had stayed amazingly calm during the whole ordeal... I was a wreck afterwards though.

When Scott arrived at the base of my tree about 45 minutes later, I got down and we began the search for blood. We found it quickly and had a fairly short and easy blood trail to follow. I can't even begin to describe how I felt when I finally laid eyes on him. I was absolutely overcome with emotion. I'd been after a buck like this for my entire life. It was a dream come true!

I've been hunting deer with my dad since I was about 5 years old. I can still remember sitting in his lap in a tripod stand in Glynn County, GA before I was old enough to shoot a gun. My only regret was that Dad was not there to share the moment with me. Scott was a pretty good alternative though.

Deer hunting has been a part of me for my entire life. I absolutely love it. For those of you that don't know, I made what many thought was a crazy decision a couple of years ago. I had lived in Georgia for the first 27 years of my life, but a Midwestern bowhunt in 2007 ruined me. I knew after my first 2 hours on stand that I had to live out here. My buddy, Chris Smelcer, still has the text that I sent him that morning. It says, "This is crazy! I'm moving!" So, without knowing a soul in the Midwest, Willie (my golden retriever) and I packed my things and drove to Kansas. Many family members and friends back home told me that I was nuts and that I'd be back in a few months, but they were wrong. It has literally been the best decision that I've ever made in my entire life. I love it! Just a few months after moving, I met my beautiful wife, Sarah, and we now have a home, a little land, and two wonderful children. To top it off, I've got a couple of nice bucks under my belt too. Now who's crazy?

Here's a few harvest photos of the buck. Scott and I scored him at 172 4/8 inches. His main beams measured 25 inches each, his inside spread was 22 inches, and his brow tines measured 9 inches.

With my custom "Thwack Attack" VECtor grunter (a gift from Scott) Best grunter ever! http://www.vectorcalls.com/

Scott and I with my trophy.

Dan Galetti did an awesome job with the taxidermy. As of this past Monday, my buck is now at home on my wall!

Early Bird Does Not Always Get the Worm

Posted by Scott Mensing | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, May 03, 2010

Very early mornings, long hours in a blind, quiet mornings off of the roost, and henned up gobblers.  This pretty much describes what the last week or two have been like for us.  It's definitely been a frustraiting run, but hopefully our luck will change with one weekend left in season.

On Friday morning, Bo and I hunted a brand new property that we honestly did not see much turkey sign during our two hour shed hunting outing a month or so ago.  But, with the high winds, we felt we had a good chance at knowing where any potential birds would be roosting.  Well we guessed right and were greeted to the sounds of five or six different birds sounding off close to our setup prior to sunrise.  Upon fly down, two strutters started making their way towards our setup.  We thought for sure this was a done deal and going to be a quick morning. 

However, another gobbler soon flew into the same small field and the other two quickly chased him off.  As they started back towards us again, three hens and a jake dropped into the field.  That pretty much ended our day right there.  Those two toms pushed the jake and hens around for an hour or so and proceeded to strut in the middle of the field and would not leave the hens to come into our setup.  While the birds were just outside of sight, we tried to mix things up some and get our strutting tom decoy out of the set....pretty tough to do with over a dozen eyes looking for any movement.  Bo got out to the decoy and then a head pops up and Bo had to freeze.  Luckily he had something to hide behind!  He was only stuck for a minute or so before the hen went back to feeding and allowed Bo to get back into the blind.

It is really getting frustrating knowing that we were so close and those hens had to mess everything up - again.  One bright note, we did see another bearded hen with the group and this one must have had a seven to eight inch beard on her!  That's the second bearded hen we've seen in as many weeks.

On Sunday, Bo took his wife Sarah out in her first attempt for a gobbler.  While they were chasing birds in one spot, Chad (http://www.apassionorobsession.blogspot.com/) and I hit up a property he has permission on.  We had high hopes for this property as it has had very light pressure and we had numerous trail cam pics of some big gobblers.  Chad's hunted this property for a couple years now and we thought we had them figured out.  But the tough luck decided to follow us.  We had a few gobbles from the roost, but it turned to silence once they hit the ground.  It sure is pretty hard to hunt these birds when they're henned up and don't talk...

We still have one more week left in the Missouri season and three unfilled tags.  Hopefully the birds will cooperate and we'll be able to put a few more drumsticks on the table.