Contributors to this thread:
Beav and Family 2021 Bowhunting Recap
As 2021 is disappearing quickly I decided to do a recap of what our year entailed. I hope 2021 treated you all as well as it did us.
We usually start off our annual bunny hunt that Marty and I host every January. Once again this hunt is one of my favorites of the year. Hard to believe another one is right around the corner.
Spring finally arrived and t-roy decided to join me at our cabin for the first few days of turkey season. He said that he really wanted a white tipped bird. I told him the chances of that weren't the best but would see what we could find. After passing some jakes opening morning he got his chance a beautiful tom and made the most of it. Beautiful bird!
Our evening hunt was a crazy one! We managed to connect on three longbeards after we watched a big group of toms and jakes fight and chase each other around for nearly 45 minutes. t-roy connected on yet another nice white tipped bird.
This is gonna be good! I hope I can post a few videos!
For Troy's last bird we went to a different location. Towards evening the biggest tom in the flock charged the jake decoy and Troy dropped him in his tracks with a bullhead!
Zach did a solo hunt the following week. He texted me and said "I had a big tom walk by but never got a shot". A couple minutes later he sent another one "just smoked him!"
Zach went out on another solo hunt and hunted the same birds where Troy killed his 3rd bird. Zach had a great hunt and managed to kill another great bird. He said his good luck was due to his strutstache!
Our next hunt was one of the best hunts of the Spring. Zach and I called several toms in and he made a great shot on a big tom leading the charge. One stood around too long after he shot and I managed to put an arrow in him.
Lookin forward to the rest!
This should be good!! But I think you missed a February hunt :)
The strutstache and big spurs!! Zach's longest spurs at 1 3/8.
That stache was still in effect in Boustache 2021!
This won't suck.
Long line of killers them Welch's.
Sure want to hunt with you killers! And fish as well.
Yes I did forget to add the February hunt but it wasn't because it was forgettable!
Will also connected on a big buff after Hunt. This one didn't die so easy!
Will after playing tackle the wounded buffalo!
Butchering two buffalo in one night is no easy chore!! Hunt said he has big plans for his wife once this hide is tanned!
Buffalo wrestling . Should be a Olympic Sport. Will would be a gold metal winner for sure!!
Back to Spring turkey! Maddie and I had a great hunt and called the flock into the decoys and she made a tough shot as they spooked when she had to reposition in the blind.
My buddy Matt and I twisted otcWill to come out to hunt turkeys with us. First morning we were swarmed by some big toms and Will smacked two of them! We were pretty pumped!
Since he only had two tags we get on a buy another one and went to a new location. Right away we locate a big tom with two hens and we work them for almost two hours. Finally we piss the boss hen off and they are coming right for us with the boss hen in full strut.
The tom jumps on the jake decoy and after a bit he stands still long enough for Will to put a perfect shot on him! Tagged out and time for a whiskey!
What a great day with even better friends!
Only to turkey season and it’s more than a lot of us get in a full year! Keep it coming!
Got a feeling there’s a lot more good stuff to come! Excellent work so far guys! Any videos of that buffalo take down by Will???
Hot damn, this is almost as good as a covid thread! Keep it coming!
O man! Another epic adventure!! All star cast too.
Looks like lots of potential for "added angle" commentary. with this bunch of characters!
This bunch represent everything an outdoor family should be. They are them. Can't wait to see pics of the other 240 animals they shot and caught this year. :-)
Hell, Lou, you forgot about 60…
That crew is definitely all about a good time and stacking up the bodies!
Can’t wait for the next installment:-)
Pretty incredible, looking forward to the rest!
Great pics but then Beav gets a lot of pic practice!!!!
Outstanding start Harlin, can't wait to see the rest! Thanks for sharing.
Holy Turkeys you guys are animals. Enjoying this so far!
Keep it coming Harlin! Good stuff so far!
Next on the agenda is always one of my favorite activities and that is bowfishing for bigheads. A great way to stock up a lot of great eating fish and as much fun as you can have with a bow in hand. My buddy Jim's first trip and he was hooked.
I saw a fish that was a couple feet deeper than a small school and I knew he was a good one. A perfect arrow and the fight was on. After a lengthy fight we hauled him into the boat!
It was our first trip of the Spring and the fishing was very good for this time of year. We shot some nice fish!
Nothing like enjoying the camaraderie with others after a great day on the water!
Will finally had his chance to join us on the river in May and he wasn't disappointed. His plan was to go home with a cooler full and he did just that.
Kale and Will were a deadly duo on several good ones!
Nothing like a warm, calm day on the Mighty Mo!
It's not always sunny but that never stops us! We had to take cover under the platform during a couple of downpours, then it was back to business!
Matt put an arrow into the best fish of the trip and he got one hell of a fight out of him!
Another great trip and it was great to have Will! Back to work for a week and then I would be back!
Maddie loves this stuff as much as I do and she was excited for her first trip of the year. It didn't take her long to help start filling the coolers!
The boys tripled on a beauty!
We were floating along a sandbar when we noticed a stump out in the channel. As we got closer we realized it was a dandy bighead! Maddie made a perfect shot and the fight was on. One of her best ever!
Paddlefish season opened the next day and we had three tags in our boat. Marty was the first to connect!
Aaron with his first paddlefish. Now it was back to business for bigheads!
It was an epic day on the water and one I will never forget! We found a lot of good fish and the shooting was good.
Marty and his bottle reel outdid the spinners on this fish!
Another great day on the water!!
One of my favorite places on the face of the earth with one of my favorite people! What a trip we had!
In July we took a quick vacation to Maryland to spend a week with good friends on the beach and do some bowfishing for rays! We had a great first day!
The next day we rented a charter to go after some Southern Rays. We were not disappointed and connected on several great eating Southerns. My wife has never shot a bow and really has never shown any interest in it but we talked her into trying. After a couple of practice shots she connected on a ray that I missed first. It was a great moment!
Coronas on the Chesapeake Bay!
Sunset on the beach! We had a great time with great friends!
Game fish season was open for bowfishing when we got home so I made a quick outing to look for some catfish. I managed to connect on one but it was still a great day!
The first week of August I always spend at Halsey National Forest for the Nebraska Bowhunters Jamboree which is always a blast. While I was headed there Zach was headed to Alaska for caribou and an adventure!
While I was flinging arrows at 3-D targets Zach was fulfilling a dream of bowhunting Alaska. Big thanks to Trevor for everything he did to make this possible. I loved the late night text that would come in form Zach detailing the days events. He was astounded how breathtaking the landscape was and the vastness of the tundra.
I received a text in the middle of the night saying "bull down! Wish you were here!" Eventually I received a few pics. He had joined up with some kids and their dad from Rapid City, SD and was having a blast.
So many awesome memories! Pretty sure there’s plenty more to come!
Zach met up with Trevor and they were in search of a bull for him when they received a text from Nick. He had a bull down. They went to help Nick do what Nick does!! Zach loved every minute of Alaska and I can't tell you how much I appreciate the effort that others made to make it happen. He fell in love with Alaska and he will be moving there!! Zach has way more pictures of Alaska so it is kind of weak that these are the only ones I am posting.
After nearly three weeks in Alaska Zach made it home but a few days later he was lining up another hunt. This time he was doing a solo hunt to Western Nebraska for antelope. He knocked on some doors and gained permission on a spot that had a good herd buck with a bunch of does. He moved his blind around and sat long hours but had not had any luck. Then I get this text on the evening of day three!
Zach with his best Nebraska antelope! His favorite wild game to eat!
You shot bigheads in the daytime? interesting as i have only shot them at night on the Ohio river. didnt know you could find them in the day. They are slimy and stink like hell. Also didnt know people eat them lol.
I had drew a once in a lifetime bull elk permit in my backyard and had been scouting hard without a ton of luck. Only five days until the season would open on Sept. 1st. But first one more trip back to the river to see if the bigheads were back up. They were!! Did I ever tell you I love bowfishing bigheads?!?
KHNC they are unbelievable good! Pain in the ass to learn how to clean but well worth it.
Hot damn this is fun! Thanks for sharing all of this, Beav! What a blessing you have to have a wife, son, and daughter who all love the outdoors!
After a great couple of days on the river it was time to focus for elk. Opening morning the wind was wrong to hunt where I wanted to so it was on to plan B. We were in location well before first light and just as the light started to increase I picked up four elk at about 250 yards and they were all bulls. Just as it started to get light the bulls melted into the cornfield so my buddy Aaron let out some cow calls and a bugle. Immediately we had bulls answering but they wouldn't come out of the corn. Just then a bull answers from the South and he steps out of the standing corn. He was a good one and here he came on a march. He gets to 52 yards and proceeds to shred a cedar tree but I wait as I know he is going to come closer. After he takes his frustration out on the tree he walks directly towards me and I draw my bow when he hits 40 yards. I am kneeling between two little cedar trees and comes directly at me. At 10 yards or less I let him have it on a frontal shot. The bull bolts and Aaron lets out a bugle that stops him after a 25 yard sprint. The bull wobbles and tips over dead! We can't believe what just happened. One of the greatest moments of my bowhunting career!!
Scoot my wife is not as in love with the outdoors as her children and I but I am very lucky that she is very understanding and allows me to pursue my passion.
Butcher time! We were lucky to be able to load this bull whole. Holy shit these are big animals!
We always appreciate the meat we get from the animals we harvest. I love this picture!! Corn fed elk is hard to beat!
Zach's nemesis animal has been the mule deer. He has tagged a couple but in recent years they have owned him. He said this year was going to be different. He found a lone buck bedded off of a set of hills and made his stalk. Though not a big buck I can tell you this buck meant a lot to him and he was all smiles!
Maddie was home once again from college and was wanting to get into the stand. She had not had any luck at all but was glad it had cooled down enough to get rid of the mosquitoes. This evening she saw several deer including a good buck but nothing within a couple hundred yards. With light fading she hears a deer coming from behind her. A nice buck jumps the fence and stops and looks at the deer at the other end of the alfalfa and she makes a great shot! All her time in the stand has paid off.
My next adventure was a boat hunt to South Dakota for 9 days. This was something I have been wanting to do for years. This adventure would include fishing, bowfishing, spearfishing, and bowhunting.
Wow! That boat hunt sounds like quite the adventure! Looking forward to seeing how that turns out!
We hunted a lot of different areas and we found lots of deer but we struggled to find good bucks early in the hunt. The problem with hunting from a boat on big water is good days for boating are not good days for stalking deer. We were having a blast though!
The scenery was beautiful but when the wind would come up it turned into an ocean and sometimes it was a bit scary. The first night we were boating in the pitch black in three foot rollers, navigating by the GPS. Not fun!
We continued to find deer but we also found plenty of hunters anywhere it could be accessed by walking. We finally found some areas that were landlocked and we began to find better deer.
We took advantage of the warm, calm days and bowfished and spearfished those days waiting for a breeze to be able to sneak on deer. We had a fish fry on most nights
No idea where that pic came from. Not mine!
The salmon were starting to run and we managed to get a couple of deep shots and then it happened! My first salmon with a bow!! A 26" female!
Wind blew us off the lake for a couple of days so we hit the road and searched out some new area. Jim nearly connected on a big whitetail on some walk-in ground and had he had one more second we would have had our first deer of the trip. The wind finally died and we returned to the boat. This day we found proof that big ones roam here.
Jim has commitments at home and has to leave the following day and Matt and I still have a couple days after that. Jim is out of meat and says "I'm killing the first deer I see tomorrow." We beach the boat and split up. I find some muley does and a couple of whitetail bucks but the bucks are on private. Late morning I return to the boat and Matt and Jim had a slow morning but did see a small mule buck that went into a thick pocket. Jim and I make a climb and are near where he disappeared and we pick everything apart with binos. Eventually Jim spots the young buck and gets into position for a shot. The buck stands and Jim puts a good shot on him and he doesn't go far. He is glad to have the meat!
We break him down and head to the boat!! Tonight is heart and fish on the menu!
Goodness, someone's living life! Nice.
We are up early and Jim hits the road and Matt and I strategize and decide on a new area. As the light cracks we immediately find a bachelor herd and there are some big ones. We beach and try to get a closer look. On the way to them we find a lone bedded 4x5 and Matt makes hi stalk. Matt is one of the best ground hunters out there but not even he could make it happen on this dead calm morning. At 60 yards the buck bolts without giving him a shot. As he walks over the hill a giant 2x2 that is 5-6 year old buck jumps from his bed. Matt gets a range and at the shot the buck bolts and is gone before the arrow gets there.
The remainder of the day remains warm and dead calm so we glass, fish and bowfish. We continue to find a lot of deer including some more nice bucks but we need a breeze. At last light we finally get and we locate a buck just off the beach. I jump from the boat and make my way towards him. He is on a little plateau and I take a trail up the steep cut below him. It was steep and slick and I almost nocked an arrow but chose not to until I found more level ground. I was about 10 yards from where I wanted to get when I see a huge rack appear at 7 yards. I kneel down and the buck comes over the bank and stands broadside and starts eating on shrubs with his head hidden but body exposed. I get an arrow nocked and get to full draw. The buck turns straight away and is still less than 10 yards. I am still at full draw on the giant 3x3 that is nearly 30 inches wide. He feeds straight away until he drops into a low spot that has some tall grass. He finally turns broadside and here is my chance at true monster 160" 3x3. Here is where things go bad. I settle my pin and squeeze it off and hear the arrow it. As he bolts I see my arrow and know it's too high but I still am hoping for the best. I run over the hill where he disappeared but see nothing. The next rise I peak over there stands two muley bucks at 60 yards. They are calm and I know he didn't come this direction.
Light is fading fast and we look for tracks and blood and we find neither. We return to the boat and it is dark and we have a long boat ride back to the dock and not much is said. The next day is our last day and we will spend it all in search of this buck.
Matt and I return the following morning and it is a treacherous ride and one we wouldn't normally make but we have to get there to search for him. We search high and low and search most of the day, and although we turned up a couple of other nice bucks we don't find hide nor hair of him. This is one of those low points a guy faces as a bowhunter and it sucks,. It feels like a punch to the gut and it doesn't go away quickly. I have no doubt this buck survived and I would do anything to have that shot over again. We leave South Dakota and head home. I will return to do this hunt again some day and the knowledge we have now it's going to help a lot. The entire drive home I picture that freak of a 3x3.
After arriving back home the next few days suck and I continue to have flashbacks tot eh big 3x3. Zach and I head out one evening and the wind is howling. We locate a big whitetail and he is clueless and with the heavy wind I feel like I have a real chance here. I sneak through the trees and eventually find him and he is at 38 yards. The wind make the shot harder than it should be and at the hit he runs towards me and passes me at under 15 yards and then heads towards a shelterbelt a 100 yards away. I sneak around and get the wind and slowly make my way into the cedars. Right then I see the buck coming my way and he is hurting. He beds and I sneak in and make a finishing shot. I return to Zach and he can't believe how it all went down. We go to the buck and take pics and start dragging. Redemption!
Zach had gained access to a new ranch and he had been seeing some nice muley bucks. He was determined to kill another mule deer so every chance he got he was out hunting the hills. He was out early and shortly after daylight I got "the call". He had snuck in on three bucks and had arrowed a nice 4x4. He was thrilled to have put another mule deer on the ground.
Zach had a few days before he started his next rotation for PT school. He decided to make a quick trip to South Dakota and try a new area. He covered some major miles on foot and wasn't having much luck locating deer. Then I got a text that said "I have covered 15 miles on foot and finally found a buck. If he gives me a shot when he stands I am taking it!" He did!
November was here and it was time for our annual deer hunt at the cabin. This is always a great time.
Six days into my hunt I decoyed this 5x5 into point blank range. When I drew my bow I knew what would happen and it did. I was excited to take my first buck over a decoy!
My buddy's kid ended up arrowing a stud as time was running out on his hunt. It was a great time in camp.
We returned to the cabin for a weekend of fun last week. Winter finally arrived! My buddy's kid managed to arrow a turkey and I shot a grouse. Another great time. As the year slips away I reflect back on just how many things I have to be thankful for. I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!
What an incredible year you and all your family and friends had in 2021! Excellent recap! This is what makes The Bowsite so great! Merry Christmas and hope that 2022 is even better!
Yup, outstanding Beav. Merry Christ-mas from MN -8 below this morning.
Incredible year, congrats on all the good tines and success
Great stuff Harlin. Grats to everyone and merry Christmas to you too.
Wonderful recap, Beav! Merry Christmas right back at you!
Incredible year shared with friends and family! How could it be any better? Congrats!
You guys sure know how to get it done! Thanks for sharing it all with us!
Glad to be part of this family. Thanks to Bowsite for getting us all together . Great season my friend . See you soon! Hunt
Not sure it gets any better? Every pic made me smile, congrats and Merry Christmas to you and yours Beav!
This is the best......by a long run. Thanks for the pics and tales Harlin. Loved it all. You are a blessed man.
Golly gee Beav, now I feel so inadequate :0) Great thread, you are blessed, thanks for sharing. scentman
Beav, Great recap Congrads to all involved.
Holy smokes, you guys could end world hunger all on your own!!
Great year filled with fun, family and friends. Doesn't get better! Must make you smile to see Zach turning into one of those seemingly naturally talented hunters. Not many have the patience and drive to acquire the skills to be consistent. Obviously your daughter is no slouch either. Congrats to you all and an extra congrats to your wife!
Incredible year for family and friends Beav! You are a blessed man! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Looks like another incredible year! Congrats. Lots of meat on the table. Thanks for sharing.
With a year like that how's there any time for work?
Awesome recap Harlin! Glad I got to share in some of it! Merry Christmas!! Kevin
Thats what I would call the the real deal "bowhunting family and friends". Great photos too. Thanks for your post.
What a great post
Way to go on MAKING the time to enjoy life with family and friends!
Another great year Beav! Congrats on all the success
Outstanding, Beav and company...unreal! Thanks for bringing the stories and all the pics here!
I need that "Save Water" shirt!
What Hunt said X 2. I don't have a lot of friends but those I have are family to me. Loved every post my friend. Cya in a few weeks, we'll kick off 2022 :)
Solid year enjoyed with friends and family! Thanks for sharing your adventures, Beav!
Hey Harlin, Family, friends and the great outdoors. Nicely done by all. Exceptional year and more to come I am sure. Keep on sharing. My best, Paul
Terrific year! Congrats to you and your family and friends!!
Spectacular! What a group of killers!
Fabulous! I can't say anymore than has been said. Merry Christmas to you and the family!
I’d have to say that y’all had one hell of a year. Nothing could be better than family and friends having the same interests to the degree y’all have ! Priceless !
Congrats to everyone involved!
Extraordinary year! Congrats to all of you!
WOW!! You guys packed a lifetime of hunting experience into one year!! Congrats.....
Good to see TROY get out of Iowa....LOL
Oh man....a great year of outdoor fun!
What an awesome year! I’d love to hear some more info about the bison hunt!
You forgot to mention guiding the two celebrity hunters this spring. Super Mario brothers teamed up on this nice Tom. There’s definitely something magical about this “stache” thing.
What an absolute blast it was to share camp with Beav, Zach, and rest of their crew this spring for turks, as well as getting to shoot some bigheads, too. Good times, and even better people!
I think there may be another late entry! It ain’t 2022, yet!
My dad didn’t wait long enough to do the end of the year thread. Maddie made a great shot and put the icing on the cake this afternoon!
My dad didn’t wait long enough to do the end of the year thread. Maddie made a great shot and put the icing on the cake this afternoon!
Congratulations, Maddie! Way to finish strong!
Awesome! Thanks for sharing guys!
Another great year, congrats guys.