Thursday, April 7, 2011

Daddy's and Their Little Girls


Sitting down to right this blog I have chills that are unexplainable! Something about being Daddy to two little girls almost makes me cry with joy. Like I said, words cannot express the feelings.

I have killed lots of big bucks over the years, but I think I have daydreamed more about taking my little girls hunting one day. Then, there is always some doubt that creeps into my mind that they wouldn't even be interested in hunting. Maybe all they would want to do is shop, or play on the computer. Though I hated that thought, I had a simple plan. I was not going to push them into hunting just because of my passion for it. I promised myself it would be their own decision.

My oldest daughter, Jaylee (8), came to me this year with a desire to go hunting. I was out of my mind! You have no idea! I think I became a woman in a sense. I began to shop for all the goodies a little girl might need, or could possibly want. I got her a little turkey vest, a new shot gun, a box call, a slate call, a mouth call. Okay, you get the picture. I bought her EVERYTHING! She did a great job when I took her out for shooting practice. It was now time to head out to the field to fulfill her lifelong dream, or wait a minute. Maybe it was to fulfill my lifelong dream!

Well, opening day of youth season came. I woke her up at 4:30am, and we were on our way. We were heading north of Stillwater, OK, to hunt with good friend, Roger Rudd, of BoneDmonium. We arrived at the farm, visited with Roger for a second, and then Jaylee, Daniel McVay, and myself headed to our spot. Daniel would be filming the memory in the making. As we sat down that morning we could hear turkeys off in the distance. I had more butterflies than I’ve had in any of my own hunting experiences. I was so nervous! Here came the doubting. What if we didn't see a turkey? Would she ever give it another try? What if she misses, and it breaks her heart? Maybe I am just plain crazy, or maybe this is just what every Dad feels taking their child hunting for the first time.

We called for about 45 minutes off and on when we spotted our first turkey. It was a hen, but it was a turkey and it was heading our way. Jaylee hit her box call, and it sounded perfect. My heart swelled with pride! The hen cleared the point of woods, and she had over 20 more behind her. There were two big Toms, and a couple of Jakes. Now I knew we were in business. We were sitting behind the new GhostBlind Runner, and the turkeys did not have a clue we were there. I whispered to Jaylee as I pointed out the big tom, and she never took her eyes off of him. The turkeys got to the decoys, but now I needed to raise Jaylee up with my knees to make sure she could clear the blind. As I lifted, I cocked her brand new shotgun while asking her, "Are you ready?" She replied, "Yeah!" BOOM! All I saw from my point was a dead turkey at 15 yards, and a little girl that had just made her daddy’s dream come true through welling tears in my eyes. I really cannot describe the feeling that I had watching Jaylee shoot her first turkey. Spending this time afield with her will always be special, and very close to my heart! I am so proud of my little girl, and I am even more proud that she calls me Daddy!

Thanks for reading a God Bless!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Big Buck Advice


As most of you know, I love shooting big bucks! My number one rule to do this consistently is to have hunting ground that has big bucks! Here are some ways to acquire that ground that everyone thinks is out of reach for the average Joe.

Acquiring Leases

"Most people can't hunt good ground like the pros on TV hunt." I hear this continually from fans nationwide. My reply is, "Why not?" It really boils down to how badly a person wants to hunt some of that great ground.

Consider this: a Kansas lease can be acquired for anywhere between $4 an acre to $8 an acre. Lets just say it costs you $6 an acre, and you find 500 acres. That's $3,000, and that’s a lot of money. Find four trustworthy buddies willing to go in with you. This breaks your cost down to $600 per person. Now, you have your own land that you can hunt and manage. Trust me, this can be done. I share this tip with you from my personal experience. This is how I have been leasing great property for fifteen years. Most of my big bucks have come off leases I could not afford, but I was able to pull some friends together to share the expense.

Public Hunting

One of the best pieces of ground I ever set foot on was a public piece in Iowa. There are literally hundreds of thousands of acres of public hunting ground accessible in the Midwest states. These opportunities are a click away on the Internet. Do some research to find the land that is away from major cities and heavily populated areas. In my experience, some of these public areas do not get that much pressure during bow season. The great thing about most of these public grounds is they are set up just for the wildlife.

The opportunities are endless for killing big bucks, but I’ll tell you, none of it comes easy! If you choose to lease or hunt public ground, they both require some hours logged doing research or spending time on the phone learning all you can about the area.

Good ground is a must to kill big mature bucks consistently. The hunting society says that expensive land leases are only for the people with money, but I think it’s for the hunter that can think outside the box. Regardless of the budget you have for hunting land, it can be attained! Hard work and determination go a long way in any aspect of our lives. This applies just as well to finding and obtaining that perfect piece of ground out there just for you!

Thanks for reading and may God Bless each and everyone of you!

Monday, September 20, 2010

High Fence Accusations

Here is an email we received last week...

I would just like to say that your show is one of the most horrible atrocities I've seen yet. Your hunt in Iowa was CLEARLY high fence!!! There is NO place in North America that you can see 200+ deer in one field traveling in a single file line. They HAVE to do that because they have no other place to go. . . .

I will NEVER watch your show again, I will tell my friends and colleagues of mine what a JOKE your show is. It's pretty sad that Matt Duff can't kill a deer in a fence, I guess all the big boys were already bought. . . .

We have never shot a deer in High Fence, nor will we ever!!!! Our show is based on All Fair Chase and All Wild Animals...Period!! Now, looking at the show, I understand the scene where the bucks came over the hill...It does look unreal. If you ever get the opportunity to hunt Iowa in late season with negative temps, and you have standing beans or corn, you very well might understand!!

We get a ton of emails each week and about 95% are good emails. But there is always about 5% that are down right raunchy! Don't get me wrong, I can take criticism, but please try to get some facts right! This particular email came about an Iowa show we did, and I hunted a 200 acre piece of ground with negative 25 degree weather. I didn't sit up in some warm blind...I sat in negative 25 degree weather on the ground in a Heater Body Suit for 4 hours!!!! I hunted with an outfitter that anyone of you guys can book with, and experience exactly what I did! Tales of the Hunt.

I can handle a lot of things but when someone says I am hunting a high fence operation...It's hard for me to swallow. We hunt good ground, and I will never apologize for that! Our show is based off of Christian men working hard to act right, hunt hard, and be examples along the way. So when I say we are hunting 100% Fair Chase All Wild Animals...You can take it to the bank!!

Remember as we always say "Shoot by Sight-Walk by Faith"!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Okay, its been awhile, and I'm sorry! It's just a blog! This weeks blog will actually cover about three weeks because I got a little lazy!

This is what has happened. We have been busy flying the Dragonfly machines, and let me just say WOW! I went up to 610 feet, killed the engine, brought it down, and then landed it! It was UNBELIEVABLE! I cannot even explain what it feels like dropping out of the sky, but still controlling the landing with a chute behind you!

Next, we went to Surgeon Rifles to pick up my new gun. We looked at the gun that, by the way, shot five shots for 221 yards through the same hole! Yeah, you read that right; THE SAME HOLE! We shot the gun at 600 yards, and we were hitting a metal object the size of a pie plate every time. I am not a great rifle shot so it wasn't me. It was ALL gun!

We went to some of the ranches from there to check some Moultrie cams that are over BoneDmonium, and we got some studs. Also found the alfalfa has been eaten up by grasshoppers. That really sucks!

We leave for Prairie Pothole Lodge in North Dakota in two weeks, and here is the buck I will be hunting. I call him To Do because he is on my To Do list!

I know this is kind of all jumbled up , but it's just my thoughts about what's been going on. I hope all is well with everyone, and remember what we always say: Shoot by Sight - Walk by Faith!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

God At Work

As I thought about what to write in this weeks blog. . .the only thing I could think of was GOD! Over the last year I have seen Him at work; not only in my life, but in my friends', brother's, wife's, etc. . .I am so blessed! It's not because I get to hunt for a living. It's because of life in general!
We live in a fallen world and sure, I can look around to see bad in every direction, but when I focus on God. . OH! I can look and see AWESOME things happening! My wife recently took our girls to church camp where she was in charge of a dorm full of young girls. Read below what she learned. . .

(by Traci) I learned through God all things are possible. We had 11-16 girls, and I felt like I had some quality time with each of them. I discovered God lives through girls in such colorful ways! He uses girls like paint brushes to paint beauty all around us. The brush strokes are very different and unique, but in the hand of God EVERY ONE of them have incredible beauty!!

I learned that there is a sweetness that comes from being accepted by these wonderful girls, and to gain that acceptance you need only to love them. Sincerely show them interest, and then you can teach them the beauty of having Christ rule your life.

I learned that they have nurturing little hearts that become ferocious when one they care for is under attack or neglected.

I learned that their hearts can be broken with harch words or a selfish spirit, but can be mended with prayer and love.

I learned that watching the eyes of a child that has accepted Jesus makes me cry tears of incredible joy; a pureness that can only be given by Christ.

I learned that hard work won't kill me, but actually gave me joy when my service was directed by God.

I learned that a good bunch of older girls that take in my sweet little shy girl can cause her to bloom into a confident basketball player!

I learned that my youngest daughter can get herself back to the dorm in the dark by herself!

I learned the quiet wisdom of a sister in Christ is great encouragement, and was a rock that steadied me when things got hectic.

I learned you DON'T SLEEP AT CAMP!!!

I learned the chattering sound of excited girls is music if your ears are listening right.

I also learned that there are A LOT of good people that do A LOT of preparation, praying, and hard work so 200 or so kids can have a chance to know Christ Jesus!

I left humble, joyful, changed, loved, and praising a God tha is more beautiful than I have words to express!!

Ultimately, I learned that Jesus saves, and God is good!

Thank you kids, parents, church, and God for letting me be a part of this last week!

Traci Danker

. . . . I reflect on these words my wife expressed, and just thank God that he opens my eyes to the good things in a world where it is so easy to dwell on the bad. I hope you found this as inspirational as I did. Although, this is my "hunting" blog, it just didn't feel right to blog about something hunting related. God needed this to go out this week for those of you reading. I pray that God blesses you with the clarity to see the good, and as I always say. . .Shoot by Sight - Walk by Faith!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Does Money buy big bucks?
Okay the question has came up time and time again..."Does money buy big deer?" My answer is yes, in many cases money does buy big deer. However I believe it boils down to hard work buys big bucks! Money does help lease really good places or buy really good places...but again, hard work to get that money. I know several people who do not have a lot of money but have resources to get to hunt some prime ground. But year after year they get labeled of buying their deer. Yet even to take it further, I know people that have taken a week off and went out of state to go door to door trying to help farmers so they might get permission to hunt and been very successful getting rights to some prime ground.
I do not think people have to apologize because they have good ground to hunt. I have seen on several occasions hunters acquire some awesome hunting ground and not kill any big deer. I have seen them destroy hunting meccas because they have hunted them entirely wrong. Its not a magic potion you drink or even a shortcut to take to kill big bucks consistently...Its just hard work and hunting the right way. Being careful, playing the wind on every sit and yes occasionally getting lucky and having a deer of a lifetime walk in front of you.
In closing...I know this is a touchy subject and I want to close with this...In my opinion us hunters should be on the same team. We should be the first to congratulate fellow hunters when they bring a stud to the check in station. We should defend those who get accused immediately of poaching instead of starting the roomers. Lets face it, we have enough people against us...and we need to stand united as a group and be happy that another monster hit the ground.
Until next time, I am Jeff Danker and Remember as We always say, "Shoot By Sight*Walk By Faith"