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Youth program gives hunting situations, Quad City Times, Feb 01

Midwest Summer Fishing Report, Dale Bowman , Jul 21

Ticks are becoming growing problem, Jeremiah Haas, Jul 19



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Recent entries


Through the Lens

Sometimes You Have to Wait

Sun, November 21, 2010

When nine year old Lainey Deterding of New Athens told her mother and hunting partner Renee that she was going to get a buck, she was dead serious. Despite the heavy fog and slightly inclement weather Saturday morning Lainey headed out like a trooper. While Lainey had hunted small game with her mother, father and brother, and passed her Hunter Safety Course when she was a mere 7, this was the first year that Lainey took to the stand as gun hunter. Lainey is no stranger to the outdoors; it’s something that her whole family enjoys.  She has been accompanying her parents and older brother on hunting excursions and time in the woods scouting, checking trail cameras and just enjoying their time afield together. Her parents, Dean and Renee Deterding, feel strongly that frequent exposure to the outdoors and outdoor activities like hunting and fishing help teach young people about safety, responsibility, ethics, conservation and more. The Deterdings also feel that their children are physically healthier as a result of an active, healthy lifestyle that goes hand in hand with a love of the outdoors.

A cheerful, articulate, and well spoken young lady, Lainey shared the story of her successful first time out with me.  First a doe came in under the stand.  Lainey recalled, “When Mom said there’s a doe, I said no I don’t want a doe. I want a buck.”  With more resolve and self control than many adults could have displayed, she waited.

Because Lainey has spent a great deal of time in the outdoors and because she had been accompanying her family on previous years deer hunts, Lainey knew that a buck would likely not be far behind. “We were right over a scrape you see…”  In an almost studious manner Lainey shared with me her knowledge of deer behavior, as she reveled in telling the story of her morning. Her patience was rewarded when the large fellow came into view “I told Mom,” Lainey grinned as she thought about when she first caught sight of the buck, “I’ll shoot that!” Once again Lainey waited as the buck worked his way into an acceptable shooting range.

After waiting what seemed like an eternity the buck was on the scrape 30 yards from Lainey.  Confident that the buck was in a place that she could make a good clean shot, Lainey successfully harvested her first Illinois Whitetail.  The buck ran approximately twenty yards and disappeared into the dense fog that had rolled in. So Lainey waited yet once again for 45 minutes, still in her stand in hopes that the deer would not travel far. Because the fog had gotten so dense, neither Lainey nor her mother wanted to risk spooking the big boy and sending him deeper into the fog. “So we waited, and waited, and it seemed like 2 years,” sighed Lainey.

At last Lainey was able to hop down from her stand and find her deer just where she was sure she’d heard him fall.
“There’s one on the wall at my house just about like this, but I think mine’s bigger “Lainey giggled.





The “Other” Golden Triangle

Sun, November 21, 2010

Travis Engelage of Randolph County with his two for success on opening day

We’ve all heard about Illinois Golden Triangle - the west central counties of Adams, Brown, and Pike, but some southern Illinois deer hunters are of the opinion that they have their own Golden Triangle in Washington, Perry, and Randolph counties.

While I don’t have any statistics handy this morning to actually compare the two what I do have is another success story - a “two for” success story.

Travis Engelage has been an outdoorsman and hunter as long as I can remember. One of my favorite memories of Travis is when he was just small boy and arrived on my doorstep to ask if I’d take a picture of his big mushroom - his big mushroom turned out to be a hen of the woods that topped 50 pounds and missed the state record by mere ounces.  As I recall that mushroom was nearly bigger than Travis. He’d shot a squirrel on what he thought was a pile of leaves and was more than excited when he retrieved the squirrel from the “pile of leaves” that had to be cut in half to fit in the washtub in his step dads truck.

Although, it’s difficult to know what Engelage’s buck this year would have originally scored , due to the three tines that had been broken off in a battle or two, it didn’t dampen his feeling of success.

If only those three tines weren’t broken off…

Friday went pretty good he told me - “I had the buck down within minutes of legal shooting time. He came wandering through the timber right to me.”
Although he was successful in Washington county Friday morning, he tried his luck near a field in Perry county for his afternoon hunt. Again Engleage hadn’t been sitting long when 13 does with two bucks chasing came into the field.  “It was right on the money 2pm exactly when I shot the doe. ” 

All in all Engelage has been filling his freezer this year as he also had success with a small buck   during his archery season. 

Engelage understands the importance of introducing youth to the outdoors. It won’t be long and his little one Emilia will be joining him in the stand and in the woods replicating her dad’s successes.



And the calls begin

Sat, November 20, 2010

As you can guess my phone starts ringing during gun season, and continues through the weekend almost non stop. Friends far and wide call to report their harvests and the “neighborhood crew” calls and to ask for photos.
I was tickled to death to get the call from young 15 year old Wyatt Schaeffer of Oakdale, IL. He had connected with a doe during his morning hunt,  but it was his afternoon hunt that netted him this nice buck.  Wyatt told me that he hadn’t been in his stand long, and the big boy came cruising in at 60 yards when Wyatt was able to drop him.
In funny side note,  when hi uncle and fellow TeamSILO Member Charlie Giacomo called he told me that he knew we were racing daylight, but “we need to clean him up” Has someone read my comments about spiffing up your deer before photos?  smile

We worked as fast as we could and luckily were able to grab a few images that will help to preserve Wyatts memory of a sucessful gun season for years to come. YAY Wyatt!

Wyatt Schaeffer, 15, of Oakdale , IL with his Washington County opening day success