Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

Seeth and his better half's 2023 outdoor adventures

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
It's sure going to be a really tough task to try and top what my wife and I were able to all experience in 2022. It sure was a very memorable year in the outdoors where we got to experience a lot of different and new things.

The highlight for me hands down was finally being able to knock down a beautiful bull can. Every year for the last 5 or so years I take one weekend and head to the largest concentration of migrating cans in North America that is only about 3 hours away from my house with hopes and dreams of bagging one. We always do great on getting ducks but our locations, setup and impatience has always kept them safe from my barrel. Until this fall. It finally happened and its by and far my most prized duck ever harvested. He was an absolute stud and went to my taxidermist right away.

If you ask my wife, her highlight will without a doubt be the harvest of her first elk with the bow. It was a very emotional hunt with lots of failed attempts including 3 on the bull she finally got on our 4th try. I couldn't have been more happy and proud of her for making that great 45 yard shot especially because I know I couldn't have.

So whats on deck for 2023? There is quite a bit already planned and we dont even have a single draw result yet. Hopefully we are stuck once again with trying to figure out how we are going to squeeze a bunch of great tag opportunities with the vacation time we have. Its mostly my vacation time as its way more limited than my wife due to her 7 on and 7 off schedule. This year it helps as a bonus for my 10 year anniversery my company gave me 5 bonus vacation days!

First week of March - We rented a home on Bowstring Lake in northern MN for a few days of ice fishing and hanging out with friends and family. Its an 8 bedroom mansion and right now we have 11 people commited to going and hoping pick up a couple or two more.

Middle of June - We pulled the trigger on booking my absolute number 1 dream hunt. We are headed to Argentina for a 3 day waterfowl hunt followed up with a 3 day hunt for axis deer and blackbuck. In total its a 10 day trip.

Long 4th of July weekend - Our typical camping trip with family on a northern WI lake to fish and hang out around the campfire eating some great food.

End of December - We are heading back again to New Mexico to waterfowl hunt. Go back and read from my 2022 hunt log and it should be easy to understand why we want to do this again.

There is nothing special in my home state we are planning on. We each got a turkey tag in the draw and with landowner preference we receive now from our property purchase last January, we both qualify for a guanunteed first choice now. We missed our bear tag last year so this year we had no choice but to put in for points only since its a dog first year. We will draw our tag 100% next year with 11 points. Typical waterfowl and deer hunting as usual.

For draw hunts out west, we are again taking the swing for the fense approach. We already have 2 trips planned and we allot for three 7 to 9 day trips each. With my bonus 5 days this year we may be able to sneak in 4. Hope is to draw jusy one of those swing for the fence type hunts and odds and history with that approach should get us one.

I do want to burn my Wyoming elk points though. The unit we wanted to save for and hunt when we bought point number 1(almost ten years ago) sort of got ruined by point creep and the fact that my wife lost her points last year from her draw. I could wait the next 4 to 5 years it would likely take to draw that tag but I'm really leaning to just use my points and go now so I'm reset to a closer point total as my wife in case WY ever decides to get rid of point averaging. I'm looking at a hunt where I know two people that succeded on it last year and it has everything I want in an elk hunting experience - mega type 2 fun type of stuff. My wife said she won't go so that is weighing on my mind as I know she would like to come help with my tag choice. We could also average this year and get a general tag. That's also on the mind but I don't actually have a specific general spot in mind so that makes it tough to do it. I'm also not a huge fan of us having two elk tags.

We do want to get the annual NE deer hunt back on the calendar too. We skipped last year due to the area we hunt being closed down due to fire. Not sure how comfortable I feel yet about going to a spot that burned so bad just a year later. Might be wasted time, need to wait and see and try to get some fresh intel in summer from the biologist hopefully.

Lastly, if we don't end up drawing anything, our fallback plan for the last 5 years now has been to try and draw in SD. We both have almost max points for West River deer, antelope and Custer cow bison. Due to the cubed system, our draw odds are actually not getting better due to the absolute rediculous amount people that have jumped in over the last 4 years. Its super cheap to keep adding points every year so we will continue to do so until we draw and then likely never apply again. Its very convienant at least with their draws being so late that we can make it our back up plan each year.

Some goals for this year:
1) More photos. I always regret reviewing my album after a trip and saying to myself "I wish I would have gotten of photo of that". I also need to take my time and take better photos and videos. Basically I'm a horrible photographer and need to do better!
2) Embrace my wife's growing love for waterfowl. This last year she really started to get into it and I'm positive that part of it is because she finally has some gear that keeps her more comfortable while doing it. She finally has a pair of womens waders. She finally has a shotgun that properly fits her. She finally has neoprene gloves to help set and pick up. She got into calling. I didn't make her walk through a mile of muck to get to the secret spot just to shoot 2 ducks. However, with that much helping, there were still times when I chose to take my kayak or walk deep through hellholes to go duck hunting and she didn't or couldn't as a result of where I wanted to hunt. If my wife can and wants to go, need to make it work for her rather than be selfish and go solo.
3) Enjoy Argentina to the fullest extent. Wait, what? How could I not enjoy it? Well, I've been on 2 guided waterfowl hunts and a guided moose/caribou hunt in Canada and all three times I didn't let myself experience them for what they were. I hate not being in control and I really do not like following someone on a hunt. I like to figure it all out myself and enjoy the rewards at the end so much more. Well, that isn't really how it often works on a guided hunt and I just need to accept and tell myself that its ok to hit the "easy" button on this and enjoy being spoiled with the experience. If I can do that I feel that I will overall enjoy the experience more.
4) Meet and have a beer in camp or a bar with a member of the Hunt Talk crew. This last year I got to actually meet a few members and time was just never actually made to sit down and swap stories, experiences and share a few brewskis. There are so many great, like minded people on this forum and I'd love to meet more of them along our way. My home in WI is always open as well to anyone passing through this way! Hell maybe I'll end up meeting @BuzzH and he'll see that I'm actually a pretty decent guy ;)

I hope you will all enjoy following along this year. I'm doing this in part for selfesh reasons to log all of our experiences someplace that we can always go back and enjoy them ourselves or share with friends but I'm also hoping that it provides some entertainment and knowledge to those as well that care to read.
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
I desperately want to see some pictures of your wife's bull and story.

Read away!
 

WildWill

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
2,004
Location
SE Oklahoma
I'm terrible about taking photos too always get home and regret not having the quantity or quality of photos the trip deserves. Looking forward to following along this year. Argentina sounds like it's going to be epic.
 

jrabq

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
843
Location
NM
Sounds like another great year, but the important question;

Are there any coots in Argentina? 😆
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
Sounds like another great year, but the important question;

Are there any coots in Argentina? 😆
If there are, they better hide! The hunt includes "helpers" to do all duck retrieves and bird cleaning. We are just gunners!
 

Straight Arrow

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
5,452
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
It's sure going to be a really tough task to try and top what my wife and I were able to all experience in 2022. It sure was a very memorable year in the outdoors where we got to experience a lot of different and new things.

The highlight for me hands down was finally being able to knock down a beautiful bull can. Every year for the last 5 or so years I take one weekend and head to the largest concentration of migrating cans in North America that is only about 3 hours away from my house with hopes and dreams of bagging one. We always do great on getting ducks but our locations, setup and impatience has always kept them safe from my barrel. Until this fall. It finally happened and its by and far my most prized duck ever harvested. He was an absolute stud and went to my taxidermist right away.

If you ask my wife, her highlight will without a doubt be the harvest of her first elk with the bow. It was a very emotional hunt with lots of failed attempts including 3 on the bull she finally got on our 4th try. I couldn't have been more happy and proud of her for making that great 45 yard shot especially because I know I couldn't have.

So whats on deck for 2023? There is quite a bit already planned and we dont even have a single draw result yet. Hopefully we are stuck once again with trying to figure out how we are going to squeeze a bunch of great tag opportunities with the vacation time we have. Its mostly my vacation time as its way more limited than my wife due to her 7 on and 7 off schedule. This year it helps as a bonus for my 10 year anniversery my company gave me 5 bonus vacation days!

First week of March - We rented a home on Bowstring Lake in northern MN for a few days of ice fishing and hanging out with friends and family. Its an 8 bedroom mansion and right now we have 11 people commited to going and hoping pick up a couple or two more.

Middle of June - We pulled the trigger on booking my absolute number 1 dream hunt. We are headed to Argentina for a 3 day waterfowl hunt followed up with a 3 day hunt for axis deer and blackbuck. In total its a 10 day trip.

Long 4th of July weekend - Our typical camping trip with family on a northern WI lake to fish and hang out around the campfire eating some great food.

End of December - We are heading back again to New Mexico to waterfowl hunt. Go back and read from my 2022 hunt log and it should be easy to understand why we want to do this again.

There is nothing special in my home state we are planning on. We each got a turkey tag in the draw and with landowner preference we receive now from our property purchase last January, we both qualify for a guanunteed first choice now. We missed our bear tag last year so this year we had no choice but to put in for points only since its a dog first year. We will draw our tag 100% next year with 11 points. Typical waterfowl and deer hunting as usual.

For draw hunts out west, we are again taking the swing for the fense approach. We already have 2 trips planned and we allot for three 7 to 9 day trips each. With my bonus 5 days this year we may be able to sneak in 4. Hope is to draw jusy one of those swing for the fence type hunts and odds and history with that approach should get us one.

I do want to burn my Wyoming elk points though. The unit we wanted to save for and hunt when we bought point number 1(almost ten years ago) sort of got ruined by point creep and the fact that my wife lost her points last year from her draw. I could wait the next 4 to 5 years it would likely take to draw that tag but I'm really leaning to just use my points and go now so I'm reset to a closer point total as my wife in case WY ever decides to get rid of point averaging. I'm looking at a hunt where I know two people that succeded on it last year and it has everything I want in an elk hunting experience - mega type 2 fun type of stuff. My wife said she won't go so that is weighing on my mind as I know she would like to come help with my tag choice. We could also average this year and get a general tag. That's also on the mind but I don't actually have a specific general spot in mind so that makes it tough to do it. I'm also not a huge fan of us having two elk tags.

We do want to get the annual NE deer hunt back on the calendar too. We skipped last year due to the area we hunt being closed down due to fire. Not sure how comfortable I feel yet about going to a spot that burned so bad just a year later. Might be wasted time, need to wait and see and try to get some fresh intel in summer from the biologist hopefully.

Lastly, if we don't end up drawing anything, our fallback plan for the last 5 years now has been to try and draw in SD. We both have almost max points for West River deer, antelope and Custer cow bison. Due to the cubed system, our draw odds are actually not getting better due to the absolute rediculous amount people that have jumped in over the last 4 years. Its super cheap to keep adding points every year so we will continue to do so until we draw and then likely never apply again. Its very convienant at least with their draws being so late that we can make it our back up plan each year.

Some goals for this year:
1) More photos. I always regret reviewing my album after a trip and saying to myself "I wish I would have gotten of photo of that". I also need to take my time and take better photos and videos. Basically I'm a horrible photographer and need to do better!
2) Embrace my wife's growing love for waterfowl. This last year she really started to get into it and I'm positive that part of it is because she finally has some gear that keeps her more comfortable while doing it. She finally has a pair of womens waders. She finally has a shotgun that properly fits her. She finally has neoprene gloves to help set and pick up. She got into calling. I didn't make her walk through a mile of muck to get to the secret spot just to shoot 2 ducks. However, with that much helping, there were still times when I chose to take my kayak or walk deep through hellholes to go duck hunting and she didn't or couldn't as a result of where I wanted to hunt. If my wife can and wants to go, need to make it work for her rather than be selfish and go solo.
3) Enjoy Argentina to the fullest extent. Wait, what? How could I not enjoy it? Well, I've been on 2 guided waterfowl hunts and a guided moose/caribou hunt in Canada and all three times I didn't let myself experience them for what they were. I hate not being in control and I really do not like following someone on a hunt. I like to figure it all out myself and enjoy the rewards at the end so much more. Well, that isn't really how it often works on a guided hunt and I just need to accept and tell myself that its ok to hit the "easy" button on this and enjoy being spoiled with the experience. If I can do that I feel that I will overall enjoy the experience more.
4) Meet and have a beer in camp or a bar with a member of the Hunt Talk crew. This last year I got to actually meet a few members and time was just never actually made to sit down and swap stories, experiences and share a few brewskis. There are so many great, like minded people on this forum and I'd love to meet more of them along our way. My home in WI is always open as well to anyone passing through this way! Hell maybe I'll end up meeting @BuzzH and he'll see that I'm actually a pretty decent guy ;)

I hope you will all enjoy following along this year. I'm doing this in part for selfesh reasons to log all of our experiences someplace that we can always go back and enjoy them ourselves or share with friends but I'm also hoping that it provides some entertainment and knowledge to those as well that care to read.
Sorry ... I only read long ones that include photos. :(
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
Well that didn't take long. First draw results of the year went super well. Applying together, we finally got the POW bear tag we have been trying for quite a few draws. We drew a POW bear tag back in 2016 and have been wanting to go back ever since and after year after year of failed draws it feels great to finally get those tags again. Super excited to head back to that dark and rainy place.

That is the main reason why we put into the AK draw every year. With the low cost option to add on all the other species we do. Always put in for the 0.1 percent odds type hunts as most of them are anyways.

Well I hit the Rasp Elk hunt, first hunt. Honestly I'm more excited about doing some duck hunting there rather than the elk hunt but I'm sure they will be equally challenging and exciting! Got any tips for those fowl @glass eye ???
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,736
Location
Wyoming
How come you haven't commented about that lottery lucky we have yet @ccc23454??? :)
You draw more lucky tags than i can keep up with! I seen the mega billions lottery had a single winner the other day on the news and they were from indiana i think. My first thought was...seeth must not have bought a ticket!

Even in this my slow season i cant keep up with your sucesses but will do my best to follow your hunts when i can. Congrats to you and the wife and give those tags the effort they deserve and enjoy the view!
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
You draw more lucky tags than i can keep up with! I seen the mega billions lottery had a single winner the other day on the news and they were from indiana i think. My first thought was...seeth must not have bought a ticket!

Even in this my slow season i cant keep up with your sucesses but will do my best to follow your hunts when i can. Congrats to you and the wife and give those tags the effort they deserve and enjoy the view!
You don't want to tag along? I need a big tough grizzly man to outmatch the island griz!
 

ccc23454

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
2,736
Location
Wyoming
You don't want to tag along? I need a big tough grizzly man to outmatch the island griz!
I appreciate the invite but i am good. If word ever got out to local griz population that i vacationed in the islands they would be pissed and jealous and i already have enough problems. Looking forward to pics!
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
After a few phone calls last night, I'm pretty sure we are going to go the route through Rasp Island Lodge. Use them as a base camp with boat access to move us around the east coast of the island as required. For some reason everywhere I look and everyone I talk to points right to Birch. Every youtube filmed hunt I could find features a shoutout to Birch. My gut says that I shouldn't ignore this. Time to call Birch.
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,656
Location
Markesan, WI
So I've been really slacking lately on HT. I've been traveling a lot for work over the last month and I've been so far behind and indulged in catching up that browsing and posting here has been far and few between. Thought I would at least update this post with what we have done.

A few weeks ago we went to northern Minnesota fishing like we do every year and it wasn't very good fishing. We had to work so hard and spend so much time searching for the few fish we caught that it almost felt like true work which is not the norm for up there. Usually you don't even have to try to catch fish and that always makes for a good time. It was still great though as there were 9 of us that went and we rented this old supper club that was converted to be a vrbo type rental. Was a really cool place and we hung out at our own personal bar every night which was cool.

For the Alaska Raspberry elk trip, I was able to talk a good buddy and my wifes step dad into coming along to help! 4 people now makes it seem managable that we can effectively fend off grizzlies and haul the tank of an elk out hopefully back to the beach! We have booked our commercial flight into Kodiak and I have arranged for a boat transport to the island from there. I was originally leaning heavy going with Birch at Raspberry Island Lodge for transport and even some accommodations but with 4 of us going that no longer really made sense as he charges the same cost for each person no matter what. The cost of just getting a boat transport for us with the ability to haul unlimited weight was about a tenth of Birch's cost so it was a no brainer. The captain does fishing Charters and with the fishing season being over he accommodates a couple hunters each fall hauling them around on his big 45 foot boat. It's a 50 mile trip from Kodiak to where we are being dropped off so the length of time traveling won't be too bad.

Finally, we are focusing hard on a gear list for this hunt as there are a few unique things we need to look into and I'm hoping for a little guidance on them. First, I would like a bear spray mount for my pack shoulder strap so it's up front and ready. Also, rather than pack 3 to 4 small personal tents, we are going to buy a single packable tent for all of us. Are the divide series tents really worth 3k? They look great and the weight is very manageable. Is there anything else cheaper with the same weight? I can't find one.
 
Last edited:

Jbotto

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Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
1,068
Location
Wyoming
Do you use a bino harness? Have you thought about bear spray holster for that? Or married to the pack strap idea?
 
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