Showing posts with label Deer Hunting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deer Hunting. Show all posts

Monday, December 09, 2013

2013 Muzzleloader Deer Season at Briggs Outdoors! The Cogburn CB4 throws down!

The lost deer biker of the apocalypse
Getting ready for action

Seems to fit in
Well I missed all the action in Duluth last week.  Three days of blizzard.  30 inches of snow.  The whole deal. Margaret took the big hit and kept our house and family snow free and for that I owe her a huge thanks.

I look forward to heading down to Winona every year and this year was even more important to me than most.  Mainly because I have been well in need of time to think and to not have a phone, computer or other electronic device screaming at me.

In the valley, technology equals waves and gesticulations and maybe rolling your window down to chat with your neighbor.

The hunting week brought many of its own challenges however.  

While the north was hit with snow, we were hit with freezing rain and warm temps. It was tough to sit in the stand while being poured on!  

Then off course the door slammed shut and it went to -11!

The big news was how fun and effective the Cogburn CB4 was to use at the farm.
Hunting addict
Rain, snow, rain snow, rain snow

The CB4 was a major hit.  

Briggs Outdoors is a 600 acre farm managed for world class Whitetail hunting.  Steve Briggs has 30 plus stands spread across the varied and dynamic terrain of the farm.  Everything from streams, to ponds to food plots to bluffs, you name it, there is a stand there and the deer to shoot too.

In the past we have whizzed around via ATV and that is also how Steve has placed his clients in their stands in the wee hours of the morning.  Many of the stands though are just a bit too far to walk but a bit to close to take the time to use an ATV.  That said, the CB4 was the perfect tool to access them.  

Boom!  You hop on the bike and 4-5 minutes later you arrive scent free at the stand and with zero noise.  It was such a joy.  I also hauled my Pug as well and added the Scabbard and Steve and I were able to ride together and then sit our own spots.  

We pretty much beat the hell out of the bikes.  Rain, mud, snow and extreme cold conspired to try and destroy the bikes..  They worked awesome, although freeze up made for some interesting mechanicals at one point.

Best place to hang out after the hunt!
Color in a black and white world
Heading home after a cold morning in the stand
Yup.  Another day another form of suffering in the tree seat...
I was a greedy bastard this deer season and I paid for it.  Over the gun opener I passed up a handful of smaller bucks with the idea I would have a full week of hunting at Briggs Farm.  I then passed up a bunch of does the first two days at the farm.  Again thinking I would have multiple chances for deer.  

Well that did NOT work out.

I saw deer every day, even on the worst weather days.  However I fell victim to the close call.  Scented at the wrong time, trees in the way, partial but not effective shots, you name it.  Luck was not on my side this season, but that is the way it goes!  Thats why its called hunting and not shooting....  

The last deer of the last day was the clincher.  I could actually only see her ears and her nose.  

I waited for minutes to see if she would take the last step (literally) and then a small puff of wind changed her mind.........
Sunset on Briggs Outdoors
The gleam in his eye
Sunday morning stand, my own personal pulpit

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener Images

Deer Hunter

As both an outdoorsman and an artist I tend to struggle with what imagery is consumable by my audience.  As a hunter and fisherman there are images that come with the course of the activity.  Those images are shocking and yet beautiful at the same time.  They also need to be respectful and as a sportsmen that respect is a massive, massive priority with me and the people I choose to hunt and fish with.  There is price that is paid when all of us consume food and that is paid by the thing we choose to consume.  I personally choose to pay that price in the harvesting versus the check out lane.  That does not make it easy, but I have learned to shoulder that responsibility.

Then you add in the artistic aspect of constantly trying to explain this lifestyle through images.  There is a really, really fine line there and depending on the what experience you come from it could easily be crossed or not crossed by me.

Universal Klister started out as a blog for all aspects of my life.  That meant the outdoor adventure side of me and also the artistic side of me.  As I look at the people to visit my blog often I am gratified to see that there is a nearly 50-50 split.  I have as many photographers stopping in as I do athletes and outdoors folks.  I am inspired by that and challenged by that.

So understand that paradox as you check out my images for this post in future posts......

Billiards for Stands
Early morning stroll
Whitetail Paradise
The tallest thing you can find
As I grew up my grandfather was a huge deer hunting inspiration to the rest of our family.  Near the end of his Deer hunting career he fell in love with hunting in the Winona area.  He would routinely come down and spend the week with our family.  In those days we had endless areas to hunt.  The farmers around us were cool with us using their property.  In some cases they even invited it.  Over the years that changed.  Now many of the farms are off limits and are managed specifically for deer hunting and the business of tourism and trophy hunting.  That era of handshake hunting is long gone and I have long had a nostalgia for it.  Eventually my brother and I left the state and the deer hunting tradition was lost, especially after my grandfather passed on.

A few years ago it started to take root again.  I started hunting with my buddy Steve in Cedar Valley and that has been un-real.  I can honestly say and have said it publicly many times, that the week in Cedar Valley hunting muzzleloader with Steve is by far my favorite time of the year.

Two years ago however my father was invited to join a hunt that another family in Winona puts on.  He attended and this year asked if my brother and I could attend.  We did and it was amazing.  Not only were the folks involved super, super fun and cool, the property was off the charts.  The perfect deer zone.  Lots of space, lots of terrain, lots of spots and of course a ton of deer.

The weekend could not have been better in my opinion.  There certainly could have been more deer shot, but the weather was good at stopping that.  However that is why it is called hunting.  The camaraderie and the time spent was great.  Of course it was also so fun to have time with dad and my brother on the November hunt again and for that I will be forever grateful.
Like Father Like Son
The deep woods
Battle Wagon
Hard reality

As seen driving by the Winona Kwik Trip 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Just back from the 2013 Minnesota Deer Opener

Hey folks, I am back from an awesome weekend of Deer Hunting in Winona, MN.  A great time was had by all and I grabbed a bag full of great images.  Once I get a chance to post some up I will!  Until then here is a quick teaser so you know I am alive and kicking.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Fall 2013 Deer Opener Stoke! Images to get your rut on.....

Shaboom!  Time to keep your powder dry!
 Yup!  Its that time of year again.  Minnesota deer opener 2014.  Thought I would send out some fun images to get people jazzed up!

Heading down to Winona for the opener, first time in a long time for the opener.  I am still going down for my annual muzzloader hunt with Steve Briggs, however this season my little bro is flying in from Durango and we are going to hunt with my father!

Going to be a hoot!  I hope you all have a fun one too!
As seen (and shot) from my stand 2011 season
Do you know where your food comes from?

As seen from the stand 2011 season
Typical November traffic in Minnesota 
As seen scouting 2014 in the "Ditchbanks" of Central Minnesota
Tall pines and tall tales!
The kill zone

Monday, December 03, 2012

Annual discharge of the weapons: Briggs Outdoors deer hunt 2012

Well, the fact of the matter is that you cant just "unload" a muzzleloader.  Once its in there, well its in there and the only way to get "it" out of there is to shoot it.  Because of that there is always one night every season where a whole lot of Makers Mark is drunk as well as some beer and who knows what else is around, and then the guns are ceremoniously fired off into the night (with special oaths of course).  I have often wondered what the fairly distant neighbors have thought of this practice!

Images from the stand: Briggs Outdoors deer hunt 2012

Feeding Sparrows

Early morning visit

Trippy lighted tree

Leaving the stand with the moon rising

Positive and negative

Best tree stand view on the farm

Steve's famous venison tenderloins: Briggs Outdoors deer hunt 2012

All cooked on a wood fired cook stove

Everything good has bacon in it part of the hunt in my humble opinion
Another reason I love to hunt with Steve is the fact that this guy can cook some awesome meat.  His backstrap is the best I can imagine.  It is really something to eat meat so fresh that it was literally walking around several hours before.  Once an animal is harvested, tradition states that we head in, fire up the cook stove and make a lunch of liver, heart and no cafe in the world can touch that.  We always think of fresh as so amazing when we equate it to fish, veggies, seafood....but meat takes it to another level!

Success: Deer Hunting at Briggs Outdoors 2012

How closely connected are you to your food source?

Briggs old Granary and scenes from the Farm: Briggs Outdoors Deer Hunt 2012

Late 1800's Granary on Briggs farm

Interior Shot and old plow 
Somebody is still using this!

Fine example of Norwegian craftmanship!!!

Barn wood detail

Stashed for later

Barn wood detail

The Briggs farm was started by a Norwegian family in the 1800's.  The history here is remarkable and a great place to connect with it, is in the old Granary.  It has been obviously shored up over the generations but the original infrastructure is still there.  The beams are rough hewn and notched and pegged together.  Many of the old nails are still around from later years and they are square and old school looking.  On the farm is also an old gravesite of the original owner of the farm.  We often walk by it on our way to the stands.  After spending some time in his Granary I often utter a silent hello as I stride by.  I bet he would be happy to know that after a 100 years it is still standing strong on his original frame.