Checkett Out, The official blog of Mike Checkett
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Checkett Out, The official blog of Mike Checkett
Thank you to all of our soldiers out there...Wherever you are and whatever you are doing...THANK YOUForward this page to everyone you know because the world needs to see this! Seen by 3,000,000 people already and 100,000,000 to go!!!!!!!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This last week I got to spend the week with Max and Stacy Rowe! These two are an amazing couple and I really enjoyed my time with the both of them. I thought I would drop up the links to their websites so I could share these great people with all of you.
I can't thank them enough for an enjoyable trip and tons of great conversations about hunting, life and more hunting!
Posted by Kevin C. Paulson at 9:23 PM
I wanted to put up a review of my trip to Saskatchewan with Horns Whitetail Adventures. Most of you know this if you have been reading the blog but I want to make it a bit more formal and official. First of all I fully endorse this outfitter. P.J. and Bobby are fully committed to their customers and to getting it done the right way! Being an outfitter and building an outfitting business is tough work and these two are growing their business one customer at a time and I truly believe that they are taking the right steps to have one of the best operations in Saskatchewan.
Over the course of the week, I saw about 20 bears of varying sizes and shapes. Most of the bears were black in color with two of the bears having some various shades of brown in the coats. Most of the bears that I saw were in the 150 to 300 lb range. I think that size is a bit deceiving. The reason why I think that is that we were filming and because of that it is very hard to stay perfectly still in the stand. Not being perfectly still myself(I can be a bit fidgety) and with a second cameraman there is no way to know whether the big bears were watching us and just choosing not to come in. We watched a young sow that we know was in heat so we know that the big bears were close by all week the biggest bear being the one I hit behind the ear.
We also did not do enough to maintain a perfect scent free situation because we knew the bears were coming in for food and that if we had the food the bears would come in, but that may have prevented us from seeing the truly big old wise bruins that were in the area. Next time I am going to go in with a either a good cover scent or completely scent free.
I don't know the answers but I do know from the tracks that are there and the things that I saw this area holds some truly big bears. I look forward to the opportunity to go back and find out in the future.
So if you see my name on the reference list for Horns Whitetail Adventures it is because I asked that it be put there. Would I hunt with them again? Absolutely planning on it!!!
Was the food great? Oh yes, I gained some weight and had a great time. Bobby Shipe, Kelly, Darrin and Bertha you all took great care of me!
The next adventure will be finishing the website revisions, fishing the Chesapeake for some Bluefish and Rock Fish some time this summer with my kids. I am also looking forward to Wyoming to chase Antelope outside Laramie, WY with Brandon and Dennis, and then to Manitoba to chase Whitetails with Bill MacFarland and his father.
Posted by Kevin C. Paulson at 3:00 AM
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Seattle Times staff reporter
Scott Fischbach had just raised the U.S. flag at the Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island when he heard a splash.
Turning toward the water, he saw a startling sight: a young black bear in the water, heading straight from the eastern point of the island out into Puget Sound.
For days, the bear had been the talk of Vashon and Maury islands, as people caught occasional glimpses of the furry beast and grown-ups warned children not to wander into the woods.
Now, the bear is the talk of Des Moines and Kent, where it has been wandering since its two-mile swim across Puget Sound shipping lanes Friday morning.
Not long after the bear made landfall just north of Saltwater State Park, Des Moines police received a rash of phone calls from residents nervous at the sight of a bear strolling across streets and lawns.
"It didn't seem to be aggressive or anything — just wandered around," said Police Sgt. Bob Collins.
State Fish and Wildlife officers with a Karelian bear dog tried to track the bear, but the dog lost the scent.
Late Friday, residents saw the bear near the Saddlebrook Apartments. Saturday morning, it turned up at the South 272th Street Park-and-Ride off Interstate 5 before disappearing again.
If only the bear had followed the lighthouse caretaker's advice.
"I thought, 'What are you doing?' " Fischbach recalled. "I started calling out to the bear, saying, 'You don't want to do that.' He was heading for trouble over there because it's all built up."
It's not unheard of for the occasional bear to cross Colvos Passage from the Kitsap Peninsula to Vashon Island and back again. It is unheard of for one to cross Puget Sound.
But this bear seemed to know what it was doing; it picked the narrowest passage in that part of the Sound.
Fischbach called the Coast Guard. After they got over their initial disbelief, they told him, "You know, that bear is supposed to call for clearance with us before he does something."
The Coast Guard alerted the Des Moines police, who in turn called Fish and Wildlife. Fischbach watched the bear's hour-plus swim through a spotting scope. The bear turned around halfway across, reconsidered, and soldiered on.
No one knows exactly what prompted it to embark on its unique odyssey.
State wildlife officer Bruce Richards won't speculate on its motives. He just hopes either the bear can find its way back to the woods or that he and his colleagues can relocate it before it wanders onto I-5.
Police Sgt. Collins says it's the first bear he's seen in Des Moines — not counting the statues at the Brown Bear Car Wash.
Everyone's marveling at the bear's crossing of Puget Sound.
Says Fischbach, "I think he's an Olympian in training."
Posted by Kevin C. Paulson at 1:51 PM
From My Inbox to you:
Dear SCI Member,
The Spring Turkey Season has come and gone and I trust that everyone had a successful turkey season. I wanted to take a moment of your time and remind you that SCI has begun accepting turkey entries for the future printing of a record book. A score sheet has been placed in the body of this email to avoid any spam programs from stopping delivery of this email. Please notice the "get Adobe Reader" located in the bottom right hand corner of this email enabling you to download a full version of the score sheet. Good luck on your future hunts, we look forward to receiving your record book entries in an effort in documenting the SCI hunting heritage.
R. Douglas Yajko
Trophy Records Chair
Eaglets Testing Their Wings on Eagle Cam
The eaglets at the Norfolk Botanical Garden continue to grow. The three young eagles have replaced their downy feathers with their brown juvenile plumage, including their flight feathers. These eaglets won't attain the emblematic white head and tail of an adult eagle until they are 4 or 5 years old.
The eaglets are much more active in the nest now, and have begun to test their wings, catching breezes and getting the feel for what flying will be like. They'll begin to make short hopping glides to adjacent branches, gaining coordination and strength in their flight muscles. Sometime around Memorial Day we expect these eaglets will start fledging. They'll stay in the vicinity for a few weeks and may often return to the nest where their parents will continue to feed them. The immature birds will follow their parents - who may continue to be fed by them. The young eagles will eventually learn to hunt on their own, and will subsist largely on scavenged fish until they gain the skills necessary to catch live prey.
Be sure to follow the progress of the eaglets on the VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam. VDGIF maintains a blog with news and information about the birds.
Eagle Cam Named Top 10 in World
Recently the Web site EarthCam.com selected the VDGIF/Norfolk Botanical Garden Eagle Cam one of the Top 10 webcams in the world. The Top 10 webcams are chosen by a panel of EarthCam producers who select the best out of hundreds of popular webcam submissions. The criteria used for judging includes image quality, uniqueness of the content, and overall technical achievement in webcam technology. The Web site describes the winners as, "the cameras that have amused, amazed, or astounded us."
Check out EarthCam's Top 10 list or visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Eagle Cam Blog.
The Annual Virginia Hunter Education Challenge was conducted at Holiday Lake 4-H Center in Appomattox May 4-6, 2007. One hundred and eleven youth on 22 teams from across the Commonwealth competed in shotgun, rifle, archery, a skills trail incorporating "shoot/don't shoot" scenarios, and a comprehensive test encompassing knowledge of wildlife behavior and wildlife identification. The participants were divided into two groups. The Junior Division consisted of participants up to age 14. Seniors were 15 to 19 years old. The following individuals and teams finished at the top:
Junior 3rd Place Overall
Junior 2nd Place Overall
Junior 1st Place Overall
Senior 3rd Place Overall
Senior 2nd Place Overall
Senior 1st Place Overall
Junior Team Champions
Junior Team Champions
Junior Team Champions
Senior Team Champions
Senior Team Champions
Senior Team Champions
Sgt. David Dodson, Hunter Education Coordinator, expressed appreciation for the outstanding efforts by the participants, team coaches, Hunter Education Volunteer Instructors and VDGIF staff for their tireless efforts in making this annual event one of the most successful and efficiently operated events of its kind conducted in the past 20 years.
Capt. Bobby Mawyer, Hunter Education Program Manager, commented that the volunteer hunter education instructors provide thousands of hours of invaluable service to sportsmen and sportswomen in numerous events in addition to their classes. The ten-hour Hunter Education Class is mandatory in Virginia for new hunters age 12 and over to obtain a hunting license. Last year, 320 classes were conducted for over 14,000 students by more than 750 certified volunteer instructors.
Washington, DC – Putting partisan bickering aside, the common sentiment echoed by members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus at the 13th Annual Congressional Shoot-Out was that Republicans and Democrats stand united in support of protecting and promoting the rights to hunt and shoot. The event organized by the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation pits the Democrats against their Republican colleagues on the trap, skeet and sporting clays ranges to establish the straightest shooters on Capitol Hill.
“This is a sight few Americans would expect to see, Republicans and Democrats together enjoying a day of recreational shooting,” commented Jeff Crane, President of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. “But when it comes to hunting and fishing, members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus check their party affiliations at the door.”
As the smoke cleared at the end of the day, the Democrats lead by Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Vice Chair Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK) won the event for the second time in the last decade. Former Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) triumphed as the 2007 individual Congressional Top Gun with a score of 66 broken clays out of 82, followed closely behind by the Top Gun Democrat Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) who broke 62 clays throughout the day and Top Gun Republican Congressman John Kline (R-MN) with 60 busted clays.
Throughout each Congressional session, members of the Caucus work together to promote legislation that protects and improves our hunting, shooting and fishing heritage. The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus are currently focused several issues, including recently introduced conservation tax legislation and the upcoming Farm Bill reauthorization.
Democrat Team Shooters
Dan Boren (OK) - Team Captain
Christopher Carney (PA)
Lincoln Davis (TN)
Brad Ellsworth (IN)
Jim Marshall (GA)
Collin Peterson (MN)
Mike Ross (AR)
Bennie Thompson (MS)
Mike Thompson (CA)
Republican Team Shooters
Paul Ryan (WI) - Team Captain
John Carter (TX)
Mike Enzi (WY)
Robin Hayes (NC)
John Kline (MN)
Steve Pearce (NM)
Adam Putnam (FL)
Bill Salli (ID)
Don Young (AK)
Jon Murphy from the Columbia Basin Quail Forever Chapter dropped me the following email while I was in Saskatchewan! This looks like a great raffle and Jon and his team of volunteers has the western most chapter of Quail Forever and they are doing a heck of a job and have a fantastic website. Please go support them as much as you can!
Columbia Basin Quail Forever
Just wanted to inform you that the meeting notes from 05/17/07 have been posted on the website, under "Chapter News" for your reading enjoyment !
We currently have started another raffle, for a 12 Gauge Mossberg, all black, Semi Auto. We received alot of feedback from our last raffle, mostly "need a 12 gauge". This is a GREAT looking, GREAT shooting, all everyday, hunting shotgun. As a chapter, we are only going to sell 250 tickets, @ $5 each. We are going t spread the word of the raffle with emails and I'll follow up with a couple phone calls, but I'd like to see this gun being held by a chapter member come hunting season.
Have any questions, feel free to give me a call.
Columbia Basin Chapter of QF
President - Jon Murphy
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig. An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.
If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.
Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long.
READ the REST OF THE STORY HERE
My comments: I am all for trophy hunting and I am all for hog hunting but I personally do not ever want to see a hog as big as that thing anywhere! Congratulations to the boy if the whole thing is true and accurate.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
What an amazing week! Now this bear was not the biggest one we saw all week but I am proud as punch for taking him with a perfect shot. He ran a total of 30 yards and was dead when he hit the ground. Thank you so much to the fantastic team here at Horns Whitetail Adventures for an awesome hunt and some new friendships! I have a whole lot more to say about this week but I am in need of some sleep for a long long travel day tomorrow!
Friday, May 25, 2007
On the last hour of the last night in the stand I took a perfect shot through the lungs of a nice black bear! Pictures and such to follow on Sunday after our travel day home and while I am watching the Indy 500!
Thank you to the team of Just Killin Time for some great video work and Thank you to the team of Horns Whitetail Adventures for a great great week!!!!!!!
Posted by Kevin C. Paulson at 11:36 PM
Yesterday we were skunked 7 hours in the stand and not a bear to be seen. Thats Hunting!!! The weather was sunny and windy and the bears must of been napping for the afternoon. I tried my bear call for about 15 minutes as we knew Kelly was coming with the Rhino and I wanted to see if anything would come in but nothing did and we got picked up and headed back to the lodge for another wonderful meal by Bertha and home cooked Apple Pie ala mode.
I now am starting to develop a Fat little belly! Today we are hoping for one last night in the stand where we see a bear with a Fat Little BELLY!!!! I have passed on about 10 plus bears that would of all been average and I have decided to GO BIG OR GO HOME empty handed! So I will continue to hold out for the big bruin that haunts my dreams...
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Folks, I would like to hear your opinions on the site design I just got back from the graphics folks...We are planning on a full upgrade to the site to go live on July 4th, 2007 and I am very excited. This site is being built for you the readers so unleash all of your opinions, good, bad and ugly! I can take it all and want to know what you all think!!!!
Day three produced three bears into our stand and 2 of them were in and out all day! The young sow from the last couple of days and a nice fat rolly polly of a bear that might go 200 lbs. The good news about today is that Joe Rowe and Danny Griffin Both got bears that would go around 200 lbs each! I have a ton more to add to todays story and I have an hour and a half of footage on the camera!
My close encounter came today at about 10 feet when the bear came to my stand and leaned up on the ladder and looked right at me.. I said "Go Away Little Bear!" and he sauntered off only to go back to the bait. The young sow chased him off in a hurry though and took over the bait!
What a day! I could of taken any of the three bears we had in the stand but I am holding out for a bigger bear!
Posted by Kevin C. Paulson at 12:10 AM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This morning I woke up and had a fantastic breakfast and then took a long nap before another wonderful lunch! Berta is one amazing cook up here at Horns Whitetail Adventures, you will not go home hungry!
I got some practice in at the target and then it was off to the stands. We were all set up and ready by 3:15 in the stand and it was about 45 minutes before the first bear came in. He was a black with a bit of brown in his coat and a bit scraggly and rubbed about 175lbs or so. Then the little sow from yesterday came in and he chased her off the stand and then a third bear came into the stand and after he left a real nice bear came in.
This bear was a shooter we estimate to be around 300lbs... He was really nervous and circled the bait for about 10 minutes before he came in. I had the arrow ready and when I knew that Max was on him with the camera I drew back. He was standing on the tree looking up at the beaver bait and I had the pin right on his vitals. As I touched off the release the bear dropped and I hit him just behind his ear and he crashed out of the there fast in a straight line.
Max looked at the footage about 30 or 40 times and we know that I gave him a pretty good headache and a flesh wound behind his ear but the shot was not a killing shot and we have one mad bear out there! I will be kicking myself for a long time because I could of waited for a better shot when he was standing there and not moving or at least sitting at a better angle.
Today was filled with highs and lows.. That bear was a definite high and low all wrapped into one. The rest of the afternoon we had two more bears come back to the stand and were walking around us for the rest of the day until the guides in the Rhino's came to pick us up.
We have looked at the footage over and over and I am going to share it here for everyone. Some of you may be wondering why I am sharing this. I am here to be honest with myself and honest with all of you. Today, I made a mistake and I learned a lesson. My lesson is be patient, be patient and be patient and I think I learned that lesson the hard way today!
We are going back out tomorrow and I will take that lesson with me to the field as we continue our adventure here in Saskatchewan.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
These are pictures are from a co-workers son's gobble. Tony, his dad is an ardent turkey hunter who is active with the National Wild Turkey Federation. He also makes custom made turkey calls made from the wing bones of the wild turkeys he shoots.
This is the big gobbler Kyle shot Saturday, 5/19/07, first light at about 40 yards. Kyle's bird weighed just over 20 pounds, had a 10 1/2" beard, and 1 3/8" spurs.
Kyle & Tony,
A Family that hunts together, stays together! You both have something great to be proud of!
I shot this video with my video camera while in the stand on the first day of our hunting from stands. It is actually our third day in Saskatchewan and today was opening day of bear season! Hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment!!!!!
This morning we took off and did some fishing had two great meals and then hit the bear stands about 3pm. About 4:15pm a real small bear came into the stand and tore the place up. Max and I both got some fantastic footage and if all goes well I will have it up on Youtube and the blog by tomorrow morning! The bear was not a shooter but he sure was amazing to watch! The way he could climb that tree and move around was fascinating to watch and a real thrill. She was not the least interested in what we were doing and I don't think she even knew we were there! We are pretty sure she was a sow but might of been a real small boar. Either way we enjoyed watching here and the footage is impressive! Hopefully tomorrow we see a bigger bear come in and we will go from there! I am having a ton of fun. The fishing was horrible but the afternoon in the stand was wonderful! The food is more then I hoped for and I am going to be gaining more weight in camp! I am going to have to hit the gym all of next week!
Monday, May 21, 2007
It is Monday and our first day to hit the stands. In 6 hours I will be sitting on stand waiting for the bears to come in. I am holding out for a bear that will make Pope & Young so patients is going to be required which is not really my strongest suits. The bow is shooting well today and I am going to move around some site pins today in practice to get a little clearer picture and practice with the head net in place. The temperatures are in the 40's with a slight wind coming from east to west and I expect that it will be changing and possibly clearing up this afternoon. The boys are all headed out to sight in the smoke poles and fill the air with the smell of black powder.
Breakfast was excellent this morning and we are planning on a big lunch at 1:00pm and then off to get dressed and head to the stands.
I have looked at about 20 magazines and about 400 pictures of black bears in the past month so I am really ready to start seeing some in the wild.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Well we are wrapping up our second day and tomorrow we hit the lake for some morning fishing on Sled Lake and then we are off to the bear stands! I am pumped! We just had our safety talk and I am ready to get into the stand. The weather is warming up and the sun is coming out. It is 9:10pm and the sun is still out and sunset should be in about 20 minutes or so.
I caught my first Northern Pike this afternoon off the dock and tomorrow we are headed out on the boat to get some pike fishing and walleye fishing done! The pictures are from our day today and this is the last early night we have to get to sleep so I am headed off to bed.
Johnny, our Canadian Bear Expert!
Checking out the gear!
Heading to the kitchen!
Last Minute details
Setting up the Rhino's
Fishing in Sled Lake
Not another inch or the boots are getting wet in the inside.
Fishing for Pike
Max and Bobby fishing.
Joe getting ready to catch the big one!
Stacy Rowe trying her hand at getting a some pike.
My first Northern Pike!
The World Famous Horns Whitetail Cream puffs!
This guy made $550.00 Canadian to bring up one of the hunters luggage that got left behind! The flight only cost $650.00 so USAIR and Northwest did not make much money on that flight!
This is a thriving business during hunting season!