Friday, March 29, 2013

To Look Back is to Look Forward and Plan

I am not hunting or fishing, but doing a lot of planning right now.  Planning fishing trips and in the fall some hunting trips for big game.  In order to plan, looking backward on the sucess of the last year is always a good way to go forward.  My hunting last year was way beyond exciting and successful.  This does not mean fish weren't caught, it is just that the hunting was really exciting.

It all started out in September when the trip was made to the Tetons to hunt with my favorite outfitter Bob Barlow, owner of Barlow outfitting.  We were after black bear and the western side of the Tetons has plenty.  I enjoy camping, but a really nice hotel or motel is even better.  When you hunt with Bob, you may be staying in Tetonia, Idaho and staying at the Teton Mountain View Lodge.  It is an older motel, but operated by some really nice people and a continental breakfast is available. 

Looking out my back window of Teton Mountain Vew Lodge.  There they are, the west side of the Grand Tetons.
The trip was an outstanding success, and the hide is at the taxidermist.  In a few months he should be ready to bring home, and I have many friends and family waiting to see this nice big bear. 

I no more got home from that trip, and my wife and I took off for a camera safari with our favorite tour company Odesseys Unlimited.  Almost three weeks in Kenya and Tanzania was the highlight of our world travels.  It was like looking at a copy of National Geographic, except you see yourself in the picture.  Great food and accommodations helped make this a memorable trip for the two of us.  Odesseys always has excellent guides and this gentleman was no exception.  His  knowledge and education as a Naturalist and great knowledge of both countries complemented the trip to the fullest.

Isn't he a grand fellow!  We were within ten feet of him and he just ignored us.  The animals see the touring vehicles all day long on the savannah.

Again we were within 15 to 20 feet of this beautiful female lion.  We have over 450 picture and I would like to post them all.
After just barely getting over the jet lag and the trip, I headed to Colorado and hunted at Smith Rancho.  I was treated to an excellent guide, food, and lodging.  I was not on the ranch for a full day, and had a nice 5 x 5 bull elk.  That same day he was taken to the processor in Craig, Colorado, and the next day I left for home.  It was a quick trip with good results.

Beautiful, just beautiful, and he tastes really good.
After I got home, my fellow hunters from the duck blind wondered where I had been.  After everyone was treated to elk burgers, the complaining went away.  I had really missed out on some fantastic duck shooting.  Then the season just got better.  With the drought that had taken place in the midwest, the potholes were all dried up and there was no water as the birds migrated south.  That was, until they came to our hunting spot.  The good news for them was they were greeted with 40 acres of open water.  The bad news for them was there were a lot of hunters waiting to fill their limit of tasty northen mallards and Canada geese.  I have hunted there for 15 years and have never seen it better. 
The boys had some good luck on this day and every day during the season

There is my good friend John hunkered down in the blind
Then in January, my good friend John and I headed up to Little Creek Game and Bird Farm, just east of Arlington, Nebraska.  We got our pheasants, but it was watching John's dog, Junior, work the field that made the trip enjoyable.  The dog had so much energy even though it was freezing cold and windy.  Back and forth he would go and then froze up solid going on point.  Next year when we go up, I am not carrying a gun, but just taking pictures of Junior.  We never lose a bird when he is along.

There is John and I with Junior in the background after a morning hunt.  Seeing that dog standing there sniffing, makes me wonder what he did next.
My last trip was down to southeast Missouri to hunt Arkansas Razorback Hogs at High Adventure Ranch.  This is my kind of hunting.  Excellent lodging, excellent food, excellent guides make me a happy hunter.  I am going to go back for another experience as they have some different types of game to pick from. 

You can see the feature of the razorback hog down her back.
As I write this piece, I am just waiting for the weather to break and warm up.  After that I will be after turkeys and fish.  Life is good.

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Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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