Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions

For me, I don’t usually get caught up in the whole “New Year’s Resolutions” deal. I’m more of a “No time like the present” kind of guy. But in the spirit of New Year’s, I decided to compile my top 3 New Year’s Resolutions.

  1. Become more dedicated to studying whitetails and turkeys- For me, this is something, as you know, I’m very passionate about. By learning everything I possibly can about the species I’m trying to hunt, I think it’ll make me that much better of a hunter. In 2015, I started reading more about whitetail philosophy and learning why deer certain things at certain times. While it hasn’t exactly landed me a Boone & Crockett buck in the back of the truck, nothing comes easy. That’s why I’m going to study and learn even more this year to make me a better hunter.
  2. Train my new Chocolate Lab puppy- Growing up, I had a Black Lab named Buddy. He was a great dog. For a while, I’ve been wanting to get another Lab puppy. So, I talked my wife into letting me get one. One thing I want to really do is train him to be a dog we’re comfortable letting run outside while we’re out, or hanging around the fire. I don’t want to have to constantly have him on a leash, so I’m going to do my best to train him so we can have some fun!
  3. Work on attitude in situations- This one is probably the most important. Sometimes I tend to get down on myself or want to give up too easily when things don’t go my way in hunting. It seems  about 95% of the time, they don’t. That’s what makes hunting so much fun. Because it’s almost unpredictable. You can study and study until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, the game you’re chasing is still wild. Anything can happen.

Well, that was my top 3 New Year’s resolutions. Now, time to get working on them. Oh, and watch Ohio State beat Notre Dame New Year’s Day! Go Bucks!

Making Memories One Hunt At A Time

This year, I traveled to Wetzel County, West Virginia to hunt with one of my best friends, Jason Cue. It had been almost a year since we’d gotten the opportunity to hunt together, so when he offered, I quickly took him up on it.

We left on Thanksgiving afternoon, full bellies and all toward West Virginia. Jason had been getting some pictures of good bucks all season. In fact, he and his wife Katie had some great success earlier in the year.

Jason Cue with his 2015 archery kill "Funky"

Jason Cue with his 2015 archery kill “Funky”

Jason killed a very unique named “Funky,” and Katie tagged out on a buck named “Uno” while she was 7 months pregnant! From my point of view, they’d had a great season because Jason takes his management practices very seriously. That’s something I can really respect because West Virginia is not known as a “Big Buck State,” but that doesn’t mean you throw common QDM practices out the window.

When we arrived Thursday night, we talked about the upcoming weekend filled with hunting, and I got to play with their 2 1/2 year old son Hunter. That boy sure can laugh! He may or may not have learned a few new phrases while I was there, too!

Katie Cue with her 2015 West Virginia archery buck "Uno"

Katie Cue with her 2015 West Virginia archery buck “Uno”

When Friday morning came, we got up and headed into our stands bright and early. My Dad was watching a hillside about 400 yards from where Jason and I went. As daylight broke, we weren’t having much action. We’re convinced the 50 plus degree mornings, full moon and the fact it was the 5th day of rifle season had the deer movement subdued.

We watched at least 3 Booner gray squirrels run throughout the hillside all the while trying to stay focused.

About 8 a.m. my Dad radioed over to us he hadn’t seen anything yet. So, Jason and I started to whisper about what our game plan would be for the afternoon. After confirming we’d need to stick it out even when it gets into the 60 degree mark, I noticed movement about 150 yards below us.

“Jason, here comes a deer I whispered.” Immediately Jason grabbed his binoculars and confirmed it was a good sized adult doe.

Behind her was 3 other does who were making their way down a trail about 75 yards from us. Because the deer movement wasn’t looking too promising, I decided to focus on the largest doe.

She kept looking up at us, knowing full well something wasn’t right. As I settled the crosshairs of my Remington .30-06 on her vitals, a button buck stepped right in front blocking my shot.

After what seemed like an eternity, she stepped out and gave me a quartering away shot. I squeezed the trigger and immediately she jumped and almost fell completely over.

A solid hit.

Brad Tansey with his 2015 West Virginia doe

Brad Tansey with his 2015 West Virginia doe

We watched as she ran about 80 yards and tumbled over.

You would have thought I just shot a 140″ buck by the way we acted. Part of the reason was this was the first deer I’ve killed while hunting with Jason. I’ve hunted with him numerous times, and I never could seal the deal. But this time was different.

My Dad, who made the trip with me, also killed a nice adult doe later in the afternoon.

Unfortunately, poor weather cut our hunting trip short.

I can tell you, it was one of the best hunts I’ve ever had. Not because of the kill, but the memories we made.

The Best Time of the Year

For a whitetail hunter, late October into the middle part of November is a magical time of the year. I’m no different. What I want to tell you about this month is some of my observations from my all-day sit on Halloween 2015.

Preparation

I really want to emphasize preparation for an all-day sit. Truthfully, it’s something I never did before. I packed a lunch, some magazines and a portable cell phone charger. It’s really helps when trying to pass the time. I was able to pack up a small backpack to carry in with me, and I’m glad I did. By carrying these few extra items, I was able to stay in the tree much longer than I usually do.

Focus

Set-up #2 didn't prove to be the trick on Halloween

Set-up #2 didn’t prove to be the trick on Halloween

It was hard for me to stay focused at times. The main reason being was the deer just weren’t cooperating for me. By 11 a.m., I had only seen 5 deer total, and they were at least 300 yards and moving the exact opposite direction. For a deer hunter in the prerut, that can be disappointing-especially since I’ve been seeing bucks & does together all week on my way to and from work. So, I made the decision to run back the house, get another sweatshirt, and head back to a different stand set-up.

Determination

I got settled back into the stand around 1:15 p.m. It was a cold and windy day in north central Ohio. From 1:15 p.m. till about dark, I only saw 2 fawns. It was surely a disappointment to say the least. However, I stand true to what I always say “A good day in the woods is always better than a day at work!”

To sum it up, by being prepared, I was able to make my all-day sit manageable despite the lack of deer movement. If I hadn’t been prepared, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it.

Now that I have that under my belt, I’m going to definitely be doing it again.

Happy hunting!

 

Preparing for Ohio’s 2015 bow season

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty for Ohio’s 2015 archery season, and I’m scrambling to get everything situated. One nice thing is my wife & I moved into the country where  the deer are plentiful. So, with less than a month until archery season opens in Ohio, I thought I’d break down three areas of deer season preparation. Enjoy!

Preseason Shooting

Preseason shooting is an area I’ve certainly been more conscious about in recent years. Now that I have enough yard to shoot at my own house, it’s becoming a part of my daily routine. Now, I don’t go out every day and sling 100 arrows, but I try to shoot 20-25 arrows daily. Distance is key here for me. I like to practice from 30-50 yards. The reason for this is it certainly makes those 15-25 yard shots that much easier. Obviously it gives me the confidence to be able to shoot at those 40-50 yard opportunities if conditions present themselves. I can’t stress enough that by shooting a little bit each day, you will feel that much more comfortable come opening day.

Trail Cameras

Kix

My trail camera usage has increased over the past couple years, too. This modern technology gives me a little bit of an edge when it comes to scouting. I like to put my cameras out at the end of June-early July, that way I’m able to see the bucks grow throughout summer. Plus it gives me an inventory of which deer are hanging around the properties I have permission to hunt on. One thing I’ve tried to make an increased focus on was only checking my cameras at most once per week. I really like to make sure I have easy access to these cameras, so I’m not spooking any deer going in or out.

For the most part, it’s worked out in my favor so far in 2015. As soon as we moved into our new house, I decided to hang a trail camera in our woods just to get an idea of what’s back there. Low & behold a couple very nice bucks. As I continued to get hundreds of photos of them, I decided it was time to give them names. The big 8 point is now “8 Ball,” and the 10 point with kickers is “Kix.” A big thanks goes to my wife on naming her first deer.

8 Ball

One nice thing about living where I do is the neighbors. The neighbor to the east ofme owns a hog farm, and it just so happens to be where the deer are coming from each day when passing through my very small block of timber. Last weekend I saw the farmer out, and I decided to ask permission. To my surprise, he was a great guy and was happy to give me permission. To thank him, I ran home & got a couple packs of ground deer and steaks as a way to say thank you. Now, I feel even more confident going into the season September 26.

New media

For the past week, I’ve been obsessed with everything revolving around studying & learning about whitetail deer hunting. One area I’ve found to be extremely useful, is the Wired To Hunt Podcast. Host Mark Kenyon does an amazing job at finding interesting topics each week, and I’ve been hooked! One of the best interviews he had was with the “Mad Scientist” himself, Mark Drury of Drury Outdoors. To listen to Mark Drury talk about whitetail deer is fascinating. The knowledge be brings to the table is second to none. If you get a chance, check out Wired To Hunt‘s weekly podcast series online.

Well, there you have it. Those are three areas I’ve really focused on this summer to help myself come September 26. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share the fruit of my labor in the form of 8 Ball or Kix.

Happy Hunting!

Beating the Summertime Blues

As usual summer time is here and along with that is the summer time blues. However, for some reason or another this summer seems to be flying by! I am currently taking summer classes here at Kansas State University trying to get finished up early. When normally I would be out in western Kansas somewhere on wheat harvest but this summer is again a little different. I think the biggest reason the summer time blues is a little lighter this year is because of my excitement for the upcoming season.

If you don’t already know I have been engulfed in the filming of hunts. I made the decision to take that one step further and seek to create a more cinematic image in my works. I achieved that goal with the help of friends and my girlfriend Kallie Koehler this past fall by entering a film into the Badlands Film Festival and even though it was not selected we (Jonathan Owens, Christopher Barnhart, Shane King, and I) still won the fall Collegiate Hunt Series Challenge for Kansas State! It was exciting nonetheless but it didn’t stop there. My fellow team member Shane King, and I really seemed to click when it came to how we captured and edited our work.

Now as a new season approaches Shane, Kallie, and I are in the works of launching a new media company and as a product of that launching an online show called Primitive Hunter TV. You can find the page on Facebook now and give it a “Like,” but you will find that it is in fact under construction. However, liking the page will keep you up to date with what going on and where and when to find our videos. This past spring we got a taste of how the three of us mesh, I think it is safe to say our wheels were always turning with new ideas as well as ways to get a turkey. (But that’s another story.) It gave us a chance to learn that there is more than just pushing record and having the animal in focus. You have to tell a story, one with emotion. Not just hey here we are driving, oh and here we are again with our trophy. We hope that you the viewer see that difference and enjoy what we come up with.

Right now we are all in separate parts of the state (Shane in Protection, Ks. working for Whitetail Properties & Kallie in Troy, Ks. Working for Votruba Archery) yet nothing has changed a bit. We still talk daily on what we need to buy for this season, or what we need to do in order to be prepared. We already have some hunts planned with some close friends from school, and will be an experience to hunt in multiple states in one year. This is normally a time when I would write about cleaning out the decoy trailer, or shooting your bow, etc. in order to keep your mind off the summer time blues. Rather, this year I invite you to reflect on your past season, and write down what you could have changed, and what you want to do better in the upcoming season.

I attribute 100% the success we had last season to God and know that we are blessed with what we have to look forward to this season. But I believe also setting a goal and being passionate about that goal will keep you out of the summer time blues and make your summer days melt away. I hope that y’all take the time to follow us on Facebook and as well buy your CollegiateCamo decals, flags, etc. because just as surely as hunting season arrives along with that is tailgating and college football season. I have noticed all the “Wildcat Waterfowler, Deer Hunter, and Pheasant hunter” decals around campus. Yet, I have also noticed a lot of empty back windows that could use a decal. How cool would it be if every K-Stater combined their passion for the outdoors with their passion for their school? I don’t know, just my two cents…

Have a great summer and be safe!

And we’re back!

If you haven’t noticed by now, we haven’t been very active on our blog in a couple of months. We apologize, but for good reason.

CaptureCollegiateCamo recently launched an ALL-NEW website dedicated to all of our products. You’ll find a lot more options, too. From decals and apparel to some general game day items, we have just about everything camouflage related.

Another improvement you’ll notice is how our website appears on your mobile and tablet devices. The new website is built on what’s called responsive design, which allows the site to adapt to the type of device you’re using. This is becoming the industry average, so we felt it necessary to change our line of communication with our customers.

One area we wanted to beef up was for our dedicated Pro Staff members. Each Pro Staff member has their own page dedicated to their hobbies, interests, etc. We’re also working on creating a collage of images that show off the amazing work our Pro Staffers do on a daily basis.

If you haven’t already, take the time to sign up for our mailing list. There we will send you special sales & promotions we aren’t offering to the general public.

One thing that hasn’t changed is our love and committment to the outdoors. We’ll continue to bring you the same level of customer service you’ve come to expect with us.

And if you get a chance, tell us what you think of our new website on Facebook!

The streak is broken!

The last time you heard from me I was griping about my Ohio turkey season woes continuing.

Well, I’m here to tell you that the streak was finally broken May 2, 2015. Exactly two days after I wrote my last blog entry.

Before I get started, I want to tell you this was one of my favorite hunts of all time next to when my Dad and I doubled two years ago.

3:45 a.m. came early the morning of May 2. I woke up without my alarm, excited about the upcoming hunt. I was headed to a piece of property I hadn’t turkey hunted before. Our buddy had killed two longbeards there in the past five days. So, we thought what the heck? What’s one more?

We got settled into our spot around 5:15 a.m. and waited for the action to begin. We heard a couple of gobbles behind us as if the turkeys were roosted over a creek ditch about 200 yards away. As the sun began to rise, I saw some movement down on the edge of the field about 200 yards out. Thank goodness for my glasses because I could quickly tell there was a few turkeys down there.

We made a few soft yelps and clucks just to let the group know we were around. The decoys did the work. I watched a lone tom strut his stuff with 3 hens and 2 jakes.

The turkeys honestly took about 20 minutes to close the first 150 yards. When the turkeys got to about the 50 yard mark, the hens made a beeline for the group of decoys we had out. By this time I already had my gun up and ready.

The Ohio longbeard had a 9 1/2" beard, weighed 22 pounds and had 1 1/4" spurs

The Ohio longbeard had a 9 1/2″ beard, weighed 22 pounds and had 1 1/4″ spurs

Next to come in were the 2 jakes. As the jakes came in to about 30 yards, one of them got between the longbeard and myself. As I lowered my head to the gun, the jake noticed a little movement. He stepped out of the sight and BAM! Down goes Frasier. I dropped the longbeard in his tracks at 28 steps.

When I got up  to him I was simply amazed. He sported a 9 1/2″ beard, weighed about 22 pounds. But the real treat were the 1 1/4″ spurs! They were razor sharp and hooked. A true limb hanger. As we high-fived, and began taking pictures, I knew I needed one of him hanging on a limb. So we hung him up and got the best picture of all.

Because my wife and I were in the middle of moving to our new house, that was the last time I was in the turkey woods this spring. Now that turkey season is over, I look back and am thankful I was able to spend that moment with my Dad because killing an animal is the goal. But at the end of the day, it is the memories that make the hunt.

Now that we’re all moved in to our new house, I have a trail camera back in my woods. Hopefully next time I’m writing I’ll be able to share some trail camera photos.

Bring on deer season!

 

 

Ohio Turkey Season Woes Continue

If you’ve been following my turkey hunting stories, you’ll know I’ve had a tough go of it the past few seasons. I’ve put more time in the woods than I ever have, and it hasn’t panned out in my favor.

Well, it’s continuing this year, too. Ohio’s turkey season opened April 20th, and you can bet I was out there an hour before daylight waiting on a gobbler to sound off. I was nestled on the edge of a corn field that I know the turkeys have been using as a food source and strut zone.

As first light approached, a gobbler sounded off directly behind me on the bank of the creek! I almost fell out of my seat in the blind he was that close. A few minutes went by, and he continued to gobble his head off.

I made a few soft clucks & yelps on my mouth call just to let him know I was in the area. As soon as flydown happened, he flew down into the exact opposite direction! I was devastated, but at least I was hunting.

Fast forward to the first Saturday of season. I had my buddy Jeff with me, and we decided to sneak into where the gobbler flew down to Monday in hopes to catch him heading off for the day.

As luck would have it, he gobbled a little deeper in the woods, but only maybe 100 yards away. I did the usual clucks, yelps and purrs. Boy did this gobbler love the sound of my mouth call. He gobbled at everything.

We heard him fly down and make his way toward us. He got to about 60-70 yards in full strut and put the brakes on. He strutted back and forth for probably 10 minutes. I could not get this gobbler to come any closer. About the time I was starting to wonder what I needed to do to bring this turkey into range, a couple of hens walked toward the longbeard and took him away from us.

Turkeys 2 Brad 0.

I’ve been hunting this specific property pretty religiously since it’s close to my house and somewhat close to work. However, I think it’s time to change things up. I’m headed to a different property to get on some other turkeys.

Last season, I made the mistake of getting hung up on what I think is the same gobbler as the one who’s giving me fits this year. Because of that, I almost didn’t kill a turkey.

This season, I’m going to TRY and be a little smarter. Try is the key word….

Hopefully the next time I sit down to write, I’ll have pictures to show of success. Here’s to hoping!

 

Turkey Season Hits and Misses

There is a time each year when the snow disappears, the grass begins to green up, and the dogwoods begin blooming. To a hunter this means one thing, turkey season is coming. This is the time to pick out your vacation days and plan the trips that are going to make the spring unforgettable. For me, it mean putting lots of miles on my old rusty truck trying to be the first one of my buddies to see the first Tom strutting or hear that first gobble. This spring turned out to be a little different in that department. I didn’t have much time to scout and when I did turkey sightings were rare. I didn’t even hear my first gobble until a week before the Indiana opener. To say I was a little bit worried was an understatement.

Phone calls were made and plans were put in place for opening day. I planned to run a camera for a buddy of mine. When I arrived at his house on that morning I was greeted with a steady rain, not the ideal turkey hunting conditions. Nevertheless we took off across a pasture carrying decoys and camera gear and settled into our blind right before daylight. My friend had decided that he was going to try and take a bird with his crossbow while I filmed. I did though bring along my trusty old 870 just in case the opportunity for a double presented itself. As daylight broke gobbles were few and far between. About an hour into the hunt I looked to our left out of the blind window and there stood two longbeards within 30 yards. Isn’t it amazing how they appear out of nowhere sometimes? The shuffle was on. As you can imagine, it is pretty tough to get a camera turned on, aimed, and focused when two longbeards are staring at you 30 yards away. Somehow I managed to get them in focus just as they turned to walk away. I heard the safety of the crossbow click off and the arrow was on its way. To our dismay we watched that arrow fly right over the bird’s back.

Pro Staffer Jonathan Mosmeier with his 2015 Indiana longbeard

Pro Staffer Jonathan Mosmeier with his 2015 Indiana longbeard

We were surprised when the longbeards jumped at the shot and then stood looking around wondering what in the heck just happened. The second shuffle was on. Instead of trying to stealthily focus a camera, I was reaching for my shotgun in an attempt to get the safety off and the gun aimed as quickly as possible. I pointed the barrel out of the blind window, lined up the sights and pulled the trigger. This time there were no misses. I find it pretty ironic that I went into this opening day wondering where I was going to find a Tom for myself, and end up tagged out by eight o’clock. I guess this is part of the beauty of turkey hunting, you really never know. Oh, and yes, I bought my buddy’s lunch.

The Well Armed Woman

A few months ago, we wrote about some of the most influential groups to the hunting and outdoor industry. Perhaps one of the most important groups to women, is The Well Armed Woman.

The goal of The Well Armed Woman, from owner Carrie Lightfoot, is “to equip, educate and empower you as a woman gun owner.” That is extremely important, especially to us at CollegiateCamo. With more and more woman becoming interested in firearms, The Well Armed Woman provides a fantastic way for women to get the knowledge they desire, along with the empowerment they deserve.

In addition to educating women about gun ownership, the Well Armed Woman conducts firearms training classes. The group has two different classes, The Well Armed Woman Certification Course (Non NRA) and The Well Armed Woman/National Rifle Association Instructor Course.

The certification courses provides extensive training on gun ownership, excelling and overcoming common obstacles and much more.

At $50 annually for a standard membership, The Well Armed Woman is definitely worth your money. Benefits include:

  • 10% discount on ALL purchases made on The Well Armed Woman website ALL year on regularly priced items.
  • A The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapter Hat
  • The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapter Member Card
  • Savings and discounts to chapter members at national and local ranges/stores and resources (these will vary with each chapter and with the local opportunities)
The Well Armed Woman decal from CollegiateCamo

The Well Armed Woman decal from CollegiateCamo

This month, we completed a custom decal order for The Well Armed Woman. If you or someone you know is looking to have custom decals created and printed, look no further. We do custom quotes on all orders, and we will quote you a great price on your project.

We at CollegiateCamo are proud to be a part of such an amazing and empowering organization like The Well Armed Woman. If you’re a woman who’s interested in learning more about gun ownership, or you’re willing to help others learn, then we think The Well Armed Woman is the place to do it.

Happy shooting!

The CollegiateCamo family