The ‘East Side Boys’ have been hard at it in Wisconsin from the get-go this year. They picked up a new lease close to their home turf and that is exactly where Hunter had plans of sitting Sunday evening. With extremely high winds throughout the night and into the midday hours, him and Rand decided to sit out the morning hunt and wait for the afternoon when the winds were forecasted to lay down. They slid into a virgin set around 1pm and had high hopes for the afternoon. After sitting for a few hours, a couple of fawns worked by..aside from that, it had been a slow afternoon. Shortly after 4pm, out of nowhere, a doe came hauling ass through the woods and right behind her was a good buck. They slid by out of range and the boys thought it was over. Not long after, the doe came back past them and drug the buck right back with her. The buck stopped briefly at 35 yards and Hunter let it fly! The shot was back, and they knew they would have to give the deer plenty of time to expire. They waited until dark, got down, and snuck out of there without disturbing anything. They were confident it was a fatal hit, but knew that if they bumped the deer the chances of finding him would be minimal. They played it safe and waited until the next day to get on the trail. Hunter made the call to ‘Jager’s Deer Recovery’ and they brought a tracking dog along to increase their odds of finding the buck. 22 hours and 500 yards from the shot, Hunter had his hands on a great Wisconsin buck! A great start to November for the crew. Good luck to everyone getting out in the woods!
The Missouri brothers, Nate and Nick have been going hard in the home state, and it finally came together for them on Halloween. Buck encounters have been stacking up over the last couple of weeks for the guys but shot opportunities have been scarce. With Nate on the bow and Nick on the camera, this great looking Missouri buck read the script and did everything right for Nate to make a great shot. With plenty of time left, we are excited to see how the rest of their season plays out!
After filming JP kill a muley in western ND on day 5 of the season, I was pumped to head to whitetail camp and begin hunting. The first trip was a quick one, we only had 1 night to hunt. We decided to slip into a spot to hunt a big buck that was showing up on the trail cameras pretty regularly. He was a no-show so we headed home empty handed with plans to return a week later. Upon returning, we checked cameras, and the buck was moving in the daylight frequently so we slipped back in to hunt him again. As luck would have it, the buck showed himself just before dark. He took his sweet time closing the distance and finally stood inside bow range minutes before legal shooting light was up. At 30 yards, I sailed my arrow just over the top of his back. The deer had no clue what had happened and walked out into the bean field and began feeding. I was sick that I had missed but I felt good that we still had a chance at this buck. In the course of the next week, we hunted the buck a few more times and laid eyes on him almost every sit, another shot just never presented itself. On the final day of our hunt, the wind switched and forced us to change up locations to a different area where we had some other nice bucks showing up on camera. As the night progressed, we had seen several does on their feet, but no sign of the shooters. Just before dark, out of nowhere, this old mature buck was standing at 50 yards working a scrape. A doe got down wind of us and began “blowing”. The buck must have thought she was blowing at him, and here he came to check her out! He crossed through the wind row and stood broadside at 12 steps! This is hands down the biggest bodied deer I have ever harvested, and one of the coolest racks I’ve ever laid my hands on! Couldn’t be more excited to wrap my 2020 ND tag on this old warrior.
This past spring, Chad and Heather knew their daughter Nora was wanting to start hunting with them. But first, she would have to pass the test of mom and dad on the target range. Chad purchased a crossbow, and it wasn’t long before Nora was driving tacks on the range. Nora ended up killing her first turkey, and she was beyond pumped! Fall approached and it was non-stop excitement from Nora as she continued to ask her parents when she could go hunting for her first deer. A couple weeks back, Nora was out with Chad and she arrowed her first deer, a big doe. Her excitement was through the roof, we cannot wait to share the footage of the hunt with all of you next summer! Just a week later, a nice 8 pointer was showing up on the trail camera that was placed near one of their food plots. Chad figured it was a great opportunity to get Nora back in the woods in hopes she could get her first buck under her belt. Sure enough, the buck fed into the food plot that evening. He was standing near a water hole when Nora made the shot. Unsure of the hit, Chad decided to let the deer lay over night before they looked for it. Chad and Nora headed back to tell the story to grandpa over some ice cream. They returned in the morning, to find out that the buck was hit well, and only went 100 yards before falling over. The smile on Nora’s face says it all, at the age of 7, this girl is hooked!
Ryan’s father, “Mr.Steve”, had grown away from hunting. Over the last few seasons, Ryan made it a point to get his dad fired up about hunting again. After killing a buck 2 years ago on their lease in Wisconsin, Mr. Steve was back! He was as excited as ever to hit the woods again this fall, with goals of harvesting a mature buck. Good bucks were beginning to show up on the trail cameras so Mr. Steve decided it was time to head to the lease to hunt for a couple days. On his first sit, this beautiful buck read the script and gave him a text book opportunity as he drank from the water tank placed 18 yards from the stand. The troops gathered, Ryan called in sick to work, and drove across the state to join in on tracking the buck. Blood was picked up, and the trail was an easy one to follow. A mere 100 yards from the stand and Mr. Steve had his hands on the biggest buck of his life!
Mike grew up hunting with his uncles and his cousin Walt. However, it has been several years since the 2 of them had connected for a hunt. While still in high school, Mike had made a trip with Walt’s father to Colorado to scout some public land for elk. 15 years later, the 2 of them decided it was time to make the trip happen. A lot of online scouting leading up to the hunt had them confident they could get on some elk during what would be Mike’s first time ever elk hunting, and Walt’s first time elk hunting in the state of Colorado. It didn’t take long to realize that there were several other hunters in the area, and that hunting pressure would make this trip difficult. The plan became simple, in order to be successful, they knew it would take putting in more effort than “the next guy” was willing to do. And with that, the hiking began. On day 3 of the hunt, the boys started up the mountain well before daylight. After climbing about 1,500 feet in elevation, they were greeted with the first bugle of the trip. The bugle was still well above their location so the hike continued. After gaining nearly 2,500 feet by 10:30 a.m. they felt like they were at the elevation where they had heard the bugling. With the wind in their favor, they decided to rest until the afternoon in hopes that the bull would begin bugling again. A couple hours passed and they were excited to hear the bull sound off midday. Mike dropped back to call and the 2 of them began to work the fired up bull. After moving locations a few times, they were able to pull the bull onto a narrow ridge just 15 yards from Walt. It was fast action and Walt made a great shot which put the bull down fast only 125 yards away. What an awesome experience on the mountain!
Brandon “Rand” made the trip to North Dakota to film Dylan “Goolash” for the opening week of the season. With “Goolash” punching his tag a couple days before they needed to head home, “Rand” picked up a tag and was excited to get the bow in his hand. The boys would swap roles for their last 2 days of hunting. After a slow night the first night, the boys jumped to a different spot for the last evening of the trip. As luck would have it, a good buck showed up and worked towards their set up. “Rand” made a great shot and was rewarded with his first out of state buck! Proud of these guys, neither of them had ever hunted outside of Wisconsin, and they go 2 for 2 in the opening week of their first ever North Dakota trip!
Dylan (“Goolash”) was pumped to kick off the 2020 season in North Dakota. Brandon (“Randall”) was just as excited to be along for the ride to capture it all on film. The boys would be joining several of the other crew members at our ND camp, “Dinkota”. Mike showed the guys around the area a couple weeks prior to season, and after a day of scouting, they had picked out a handful of locations that they hoped to be hunting. After soaking for a couple weeks, the SD cards were checked in the trail cameras and the plan of attack began to be drawn up. With several good bucks on camera at multiple locations, the boys played the wind and jumped from spot to spot for the first few days of the season. The deer movement was good, and they were laying eyes on good bucks, it was only a matter of time before one of them presented “Goolash” with a shot. On day 5, the deer were on their feet early. A brief rain shower forced the deer back to cover, but once the rain quit, the deer began moving again. It wasn’t long before this beautiful velvet buck worked into bow range. A perfectly placed arrow and “Goolash” had knocked down his first out of state buck, and his first velvet buck. The East Side Boys are on the board, and we are excited to see what they do the rest of the season!
JP has never chased mule deer before, so he was excited to find out that he drew an “Any Deer” tag in North Dakota. Having spent the last few years chasing whitetails in the state, he was looking forward to the change of pace that spot and stalk mule deer hunting would bring to the table. After driving all day, JP and Brennen rolled into western North Dakota late Thursday evening, with the season opening at noon on Friday. The tent was set up and camp was ready for the week ahead. The first few days were slow, a few good bucks were spotted but the guys were never presented with a good stalk opportunity. Opening weekend pressure was above normal in the area, several trucks driving around with multiple hunters on board. The deer seemingly were being pushed out of the areas where we had found success in the past. On day 5 we decided to push into a new area where it made sense that the deer would move to from a result of the hunting pressure. We slipped into the new spot early and began glassing. We were in the process of climbing to our next vantage point when we crested a hill and spotted 2 bucks laying in the draw less than 100 yards from us. We took our time and got the wind in our favor and used the vegetation to cover us in order to slip into bow range. A well executed plan worked perfectly as the buck stood from his bed and JP sent an arrow right through the boiler room. The deer ran 30 yards and tipped over. I’ve got a feeling that this won’t be the last time JP chases mule deer!
The 4th day of the season in North Dakota, and Dan is on the board! It’s been a game of cat and mouse with good bucks for the last few days but that game ended when this beautiful velvet buck read the script and walked by the tree! Dan put a great shot on him and he didn’t make it far! Y’all might not recognize Dan..this is his first year jumping in front of the camera for TBP. Dan has helped Chad out over the last several years filming him when their schedules would allow, and has filmed Chad harvest a couple of bucks that you have likely watched on the show. This year we are excited to have Dan on board as he will be spending a lot of time in the woods with Chad and Heather as the 3 of them chase critters throughout the fall. Congrats on a great buck Dan, and we are excited to see what the rest of the season brings!