2005 HuntingNet Events HuntingNet sponsored get togethers, shoots and hunts.

Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

Old 05-09-2005, 06:22 PM
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Default Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

DAY 1 of 5

"The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."

We woke up in the dark of dawn to begin our trip of 1000 miles. Actually it's a 1200 mile journey. Our destination; Branson, Missouri. My husband Jim and I were going to the third annual Branson Tails 'n' Scales Bowbash .

We didn't just take a single step.... we took several. In fact all we needed to do was to hook the truck up to the boat. Then we discovered an important part of the saying that is usually left out.

"The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step... but you won't get far if the truck won't start." Hahahahahaa!

This was a thankfully unusual occurance for my truck. I've run that puppy out of gas before but otherwise it has been trouble-free. But there it sat. No turning over, no starter click, just some relay clicking. Batteries were switched around (the truck has two in it) A battery charger was attached... nothing. Tried different keys. I did everything short of whacking on the starter.

Sigh... I called the dealership. They sent a tow truck.

Hours went by. The dealership told me I needed a new battery. Okie-dokie, I noticed the one was leaking. They called back. It's not the battery. Okie-dokie.
They called again. It was the starter. The friendly service guy told me......... to carry a hammer and occasionally whack the starter when the truck won't start. Or, he told me, I could pay $438.00 to replace the starter. []

How much to have the Chevy dealership tell you to whack your $30K vehicle with a hammer?? $226.00

Okay, really it's 40.00 for the diagnosis. $95.00 for a battery and $82.00 to tow it 4 miles. (4 miles!!) They did wash the truck for free.

Eventually, I got my truck back... but it was too late to leave, we'll have to wait 'til tomorrow.

Look how sad my puppy is... She wants to leave.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:46 AM
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Another morning and this time the truck starts just fine. Maybe it just wanted to be washed?

Have hammer..... will travel.

Boat's hooked up and we hit the road.

I wish I had exciting Illinois countryside photos.... but we are talking Illinois.
There were some cool windmills....

Cheap gas. (compared to Chicagoland gas prices)

We also saw close to a hundred squads drive by. They were from all over so there must have been some sort of special police event in the Springfield area. Even tho' they were just traveling along it did make my driving a bit more paranoid. (not that I would ever disobey any speed limit or other law... (hehehheheheheh))
As the squads from different cities passed us, Jim and I played 'name-the-infraction-that-you-were-pulled-over-for-by-that-jurisdiction'. As in: "There's a West Dundee cop, got pulled over at 3am for no license plates lights by them" "Schaumburg, yep, was pulled over for by them for expired tags and once because the cop wanted to buy my truck."
Hey, I'm telling you.... It's a long, boring drive from one end of IL to the other.

... we're almost there...
Woo hoo... we arrived in the Show Me State
(Sorry about the dead bug smears.)

Now we just had to travel to the far corner of Missouri.... sigh... [&o]

No sooner than we got into St. Louis we hit traffic. It's almost like home.

Once we were rolling, I kept entertained by reading billboards and counting roadkilled armadillos. (Meramec Caverns had the corner on the billboard market.)
This billboard reminded me of HNIJustin for some reason...

Circe the wonder dog liked the rest areas... look she's singing.

Finally, ten hours later, we reached Branson.
The other salty dogs were pacing about, waiting to hit the water. We drove the one block from the resort to the boat launch.
The boat still floats..

The generator and lights still work..

So off we went, chasing carp until 1am.

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Old 05-10-2005, 12:39 PM
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:10 PM
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Day 3 and 4

The water was calm and clear and we got lots of shooting in.
We packed in the boat and went back to the resort, took a shower and slept.

I woke up when the turkey hunters came back in. Lots of turkeys were around but none were bagged by the group today.

(from left to right. Jim, Marty, Chris, Kevin and Nick)

After many cups of coffee we were off to the lake again.

One of the Bowbash flotilla, that's Chris C. and his son Nick. Note the steep terrain and all the rocks. (We dulled a lot of arrow points.) Their boat is proof that you don't need a jon boat to get the job done.

Jim and Circe the carp-licker on our boat. Note Jim's near perfect Capt'n Morgan stance.

It was breezy and the carp had the mud so stirred up that they were hard to see.
We did get a few carp but my fish of the day was this longnosed gar. According to my very in-accurate scale, it weighed 17lbs 10oz. It sure felt heavy.
I'll also have you know that after this picture was taken, the gar cut me up with it's teeth and smacked me upside the head and broke my glasses.
Fair is fair I guess.

We went back to the resort ate dinner and told fish stories.

Here's Joe and Chris R. posing with one of the carp they boated that day.

Before we knew it... it was time to go out on the lake again.

Joe rigged up a nifty little 12volt light system to go along the handheld spotlight he was using. He wired up three small halogen bulbs on a piece of sheet metal. It was actually quite brite. (not like our 2600 watts of light powered by our generator.. but still very bright and much cheaper)

We took Chris C. and Nick on our boat that night. I videoed them shooting at carp, hitting some carp and missing many, many carp. Eventually I had to put the camera down and start shooting too. We took well over 200lbs of carp that evening. We had to call it a night, lest we sink the boat.

The carp that were iced down so they could be filleted in the morning.

The carp that weren't iced down. The biggest one I shot is a tad over 16lbs. Jim also got a 16lber.

I wasn't kidding about filleting those carp...
Here's Marty working on a bugle mouth. People from all over the marina came to take pictures of the carp and Marty.

Chris C. de-boned the carp fillets... which is no small task. Then he marinated it in his secret sauce... which I will reveal for a small fee.

While this was going on, the resident marina carp watched and were non-plussed. I contributed to their deliquency by feeding them some sliced turkey. (I ate a salad while the guys cleaned the carp.. heh heh)

Back at the resort...
Nick was in charge of breading the fish.

Kevin got roped into breading the mushrooms... and I still wasn't helping.

I did help eat the carp tho'. It's really quite good. MMmmm.. Even the people from the deli across the street worked up the courage to try it... and then were amazed at how good it was.

Group photo time. (not everybody was around for the photo)
From the left... Kevin, Mike, Marty, Me, Joe, Nick, Chris.

Suddenly it was night time again.
This time we took out Mike and his father-in-law Ramazan. Neither Mike or Ramazan had tried night bowfishing before. In fact Ramazan is from Turkey and had never even shot a bow before. They said they'd just try it for an hour and then come back.....
Three hours later...

They were totally into it. It was great to watch how excited they got each time they saw a carp. In fact I think we'd still be out there if not for the fact that the carp went to deep water around midnight.

Joe shot a 18lb carp that night and won the big carp contest. His prize was a retriever reel and bowfishing arrow set-up from AMS. Great job Joe!
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:53 PM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

Day 5

The guys from Florida went out after turkeys again in the wee morning hours.

For the rest of us... it was time to go home.

We did hit the Basspro Headquarters which wasn't too far away.

We also stopped at some other shops along the way. Ooooh... knives... [8D]

Chicago cutlery knives only 2.50 each!

Back in my home state.

Final thoughts

The trip started on a rough note, but ended up being more fun than I could have hoped for. Turkeys were taken earlier, but not while I was there. Next year the Bowbash will be moved up at least a week so that the turkeys won't be as call shy as they were in this last week of the season.

I'll be hunting those wily birds next year along with bowfishing again.

Thanks to Mike and his wife Handan for putting up with this group. We enjoyed the hospitality they gave us and we returned the favor by not tossing any carpcasses into thier dumpster.

I encourage all HuntingNet users to try and make this event next year. (Free HNI hat and Shirt!!) It's worth the drive. Bring the whole family. There's a ton of stuff to do in the Branson area.

Oh, and I never did need to use the hammer. The truck has been starting just fine. I tell you, nothing brings out the Ford and Mopar guys like a Chevy on a flat bed. Enjoy that picture while you can.... because the rest of the time you'll just be trying to catch up.

heh heh heh

Christine A.
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:57 PM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

Sounds like you had an awesome time.

That is one thing I have never shot my bow at, a fish. I will have to give it a shot sometime!
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

The trip was not very successful (for Turkey Hunting) but it was very enjoyable. The bowfishing was good. I have bowfished in Florida for about a year prior to attending the Branson BowBash. The waters in Florida are shallow, during this particular week the water was kind of deep. It required some adjustment in order to kill some fish. For those of you who have never experienced bowfishing yet I ask that you try it. It is challenging, and probably the most fun I have ever had with a bow. Just beware it is very addicting!
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Old 05-13-2005, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

It looks like everyone had a great time. Unfortunately I couldn't make it this year or I'm sure you would've had even MORE fun - even if it was just in the form of making jokes at my expense. Next year I'm coming down for sure, and I'll show you guys a thing or two about turkey calling. I'm not saying they will be useful or helpful in any way, but I'll show them to you regardless.

Thanks to everyone who came out and made sure Christine returned in one piece. I hope you all come back next year.

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Old 05-15-2005, 05:07 AM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

Sounds like a fun vacation. Also sounds to me like it was just the battery cables needed claening and it was not the starter. They were proablly coroaded and the dealer just didn't want to tell you they charged you 400 some dollars to wire brush the cable ends.
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Old 05-15-2005, 12:12 PM
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Default RE: Branson Tails and Scales Bowbash

Very cool! Sounds like a good time had by all!!!
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