Once a year we enjoy the many varieties of fish that make their spawning runs thru our brackish tributaries here on the Eastern Shore of MD. Starting early Feb and lasting thru May we will fishing these runs including pickerel, yellow perch, white perch and rock fish ( not allowed to fish in tributaries only bay)…  Chesapeake Pursuits is prepared to take you thru this journey A-Z thru blog videos, tactics, and best of all the recipes! "Tied" in to all of this will Eric Widmaiers series on fly tying basics. Look for this series to start Weds Feb 18 the night after our hunting vids premier. 

Jason and Eric took the kids out Sunday for the first trip of the year to see what was shaking. Missing the tide by an hour or so left us with a slow bite but catching fish in Feb is catching fish! All the kids picked up on yellows and pickerel via a slow jig tipped with minnow on channel ledges in 8' of water.

Three of Chesapeake Pursuits Pro staff was able to at ten this years ATA with companies like Just for Does, Tactacam and Ndesigns . Many great contacts were made and relationships built upon. 

Kari and her Just for Does TV gals with Illusions game call sponsors

Carbon Express engineer

Jim and Eva Shockey with Kari

Jason's 14 yr old son Alex showed patience in passing does and young bucks and was rewarded with this mature Dorchester county 7 point. You wont want to miss this video when it publishes to CP TV later this winter. Video was captured by POV as well via TACTACAM cameras.  See what all the noise is about @ www.tactacam.com - "Share your hunt"
What an outstanding fall its been with family and friends. Providing meals for the winter thru summer and having special memories afield. Alex first racked albeit half racked buck met his demise on MD's youth day. Alex doubled up buck and doe this evening on video! What a great capture!
During MD's reg rifle season Alex capitalized on his big year by taking another great buck on video. Big bodied mature 7 point.. double lunged.. 
Her FIRST WT buck! 
First we would like to congratulate Kari on her recent addition to Just for Does TV. You can find thee girls on Face book and twitter. 
 Kari is an Assistant principle and luckily schools were out on Fri for her to have off an extra day. We talked about our ML weapons and I'll admit Im not much of a gun guy, certainly use but we know our archery great much better.. We were invited hunting with Stoner, who is a Firearms instructor for our Dept of Homeland Security. We made an all day sit enjoying the Whitetail woods again from a ground blind.. at first light we had a 3 point 1.5 yr merely 5yrd outside our blind destroying acorns and then moved off.. Short while later we had another 2 does and spike feed thru.. We def like to fill the freezers but this morning we did not want to spook up the woods so the does walked… Its diff for us to hunt the WT woods now but even more being close to the suburbs of Washington DC ( generally speaking).. Dogs barking, sirens sounding and construction noises, although way off, was a different world than our serene marsh and mosquitoes  .. Around 545p we had another 1.5 yr old buck travel thru and we just looked at each other knowing we were destined to never see a mature animal outside of a doe… its been one of the tough deals for years and she doesn't crack the small scrub stuff either.. I mean we all cut our teeth on all these lil scrubs growing up up BUT SHE gets it as being older.. no need for us personally because we fill freezers with sika and does and let the small ones either grow or fill a tag for someone new, young and who would be tickled.. So back to 545p Another mature doe strolls thru with about a good 20 mins of shooing light left and Kari let the smoke roll ( she was in kill mode after all)… After all the high 5's and dragging etc.. Stoner immediately went to the game planning like a mad man on a mission for her buck..

 Stoner told us he had a spot he scouted and left alone and knew that in years past this time of yr bucks are known to travel this creek bottom way back in a big section of woods on another property in route to fields. Sat eve around 230 we make our way toward the location knowing we were sitting ton the ground.. I was taking all our B roll video of her on the way..crossing creeks, over logs..up hills etc..all the while Stoner was up 50yrds ahead motioning to us to COME ON already! lol ( hey I gotta get the vid!) …. We get to the ridge, catch our collective breaths and Stoner reaches down and finds a shed right there and gives it to Kari and says "here its a good luck sign!" He lays the plan and what to look for quickly and quietly for then sneaks off. Meanwhile Kari and I start to look around and settle not used to hunting from the ground feeling like we can't see anything we move back n forth a bit scrapping leaves away from tree bases searching for lanes and Me trying to figure just how to film it all…. Kari is set up practicing her shouldering the gun and I ratchet strap a camera arm for a second angle and look in the camera at kari to get a focal point and she saying BUCK BUCK 50 yards RIGHT HERE… Good buck too… We hadn't been there 5 mins! 
… Happened extremely fast.. I could see the buck freshening a scrape and rubbing glands on the holly branches above , pissing on his hocks etc.. She didn't have him at all..no shot thru the saplings.. ( insert here where in the past something goes wrong in the WT woods and they get spooked, chased by dog, too thick, down wind, just go away etc all these years) 

I told Kari to look ahead and find a shooting lane in the sorta thick, spindly sapling hardwoods about 70 yards downhill in a drop off. A few moments later the buck started forward and I could hear Kari say MEP, ok I have him.. so got the camera in position and said its decent ( video) go ahead... I had the rack and rear end in focus while the body was covered with brush. I could hear Kari breathing slow and steady like I taught her.. deep breath in and blow on a candle- but don't blow it out type.. then the BOOM and smoke rolled… the buck pile drived right into my video lane.. twitch twitch then still in the wide open… 
Kari and I both in silence watched for him to move or get up.. then I slowly looked over to her and this right here is why I don't hunt much anymore, dedicate all this time and years along with her .. Very emotional excited moment..MONKEY off! We take a few minutes in silence with her animal and respect for the buck then text a few folks.. with relieved smiles and her happy giggles we make the call to Stoner and let him know just what his friendship and hard work has just done.. So for those at Bass Pro Shop the next day we were whipped out for the record.. She got her buck and a doe all on vid.. For those who made it here reading this much thanks.. Not sure I coulda but thought it was worth the story.. We're a family unit and we love the outdoors, its all about time and friendships.. deer camps and meat poles..high fives and hugs we had it all.. Just for Does TV
Mike Pilchard - Chesapeake Pursuits 
Looks like I should try some predator calling this winter.

Author Matt Peel - Chesapeake Pursuits field staff

Dog training series - Part I

It's opening day of duck season, you’ve waited months for this one morning, not only for the thrill of the hunt and enjoyment of time in the field with a good friend but this will be your new duck dog's first hunting season. You and your favorite hunting partner have gone through countless preparations awaiting the sun rise on this one morning. You rigged decoys, got all your camo, waders, and shells ready. Took the duck boat for a tune-up, brushed blinds and scouted for that perfect piece of marsh or shoreline that the ducks will surely pile into hand over fist at first light. Annoyed your wife and neighbors practicing your calling and even went and shot a round of sporting clays just to “get the kinks out” of your swing. You even spent all summer throwing bumpers for your new puppy and working on his manners. But are you fully prepared?

With the truck loaded up and the duck boat in tow you and your buddy head off to that perfect spot; Fido snoozing in the back seat. You put the boat off and be-line to the blind. Set decoys ever so perfectly, sure to attract even the wariest of black ducks and wait as the sun starts to creep over the horizon. Just after legal shooting light three mallard drakes are seen flying high headed in your direction. You and your buddy start throwing down some of the best calling you can muster and it pays off. They lock up just outside the decoys, fully committed. “Wait... wait... TAKE UM!!” Four shots and all three drakes are belly up in the decoys. After some celebration you send Fido for the retrieve thinking he surely will impress, especially for his first real hunt.

As Fido leaps from the bank in that beautiful stride only a Lab can achieve he lands smack dab in the middle of the decoys. No problem... right? In all your preparation for the season you missed one key aspect, all Fidos retrieves have been in an open pond or field. He as never laid eyes on a decoy and this situation could go one of two ways. Fido could decide to start retrieving decoys, not knowing any better OR he could get tangled in the lines and weights and now you really have a problem on your hands. 

This situation can easily be avoided in a few short training sessions. After Fido is crazy about retrieving and you’ve gone over blind manners and things are going smooth don’t forget to train a hunting dog in actual hunting scenarios. Take Fido out for a training session. Preferably a field or even the back yard but this time throw in an extra distraction. Take a dozen or so decoys and set them in two groups leaving a path down the middle. Practice your retrieves with Fido having to retrieve down the path between the two groups of decoys.
Once this scenario goes off without a hitch start closing the gap between the decoys until Fido is confidently navigating the decoys without as much as a second look.  

Once Fido is doing this consistently on land then move the scenario to the water but start from the beginning. We began on land to take out the decoy line factor causing an issue with the original introduction. Keep in mind if at any time you reach an issue or things get confusing for Fido head back to a previous step, only moving forward as things are mastered.  If you put in your time on land this should go over smooth as molasses!

Good luck this waterfowl season and check back in for continuing articles at Chesapeake Pursuits.com
~Matt Peel 
It was  a weekend of ups and downs for Chesapeake Pursuits. But everyone left with a great smile and time well spent with family. Alex (14) was able to connect on his 3rd turkey and his biggest yet. 9.250" beard and 3/4 spurs. The AvianX decoys and ThermaCELL  were two keys in getting this bird close. 

Sat eve youth day.

Raw emotions and truth. Its not all fun there is mentorship and growth while developing the youth. Saturday eve I had the pleasure of going along with Rachel and Eric for her youth hunt. She had her first shot on a gobbler but he got up and flew off. Here Eric consoles his daughter, obviously upset, that it happens! You'll get em' Rachel!!