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2007 Indiana Predator Challenge Results

Old 02-18-2007, 11:52 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default 2007 Indiana Predator Challenge Results

The 2007 Indiana Predator Challenge is complete! Here is the short version of a long story- please excuse the reference to USERID’s that you may not recognize. They are from Midwest Predator Hunters and it’d take me forever to dig them all out and insert correct names; you’ll get the idea I think.

Predator Callers from all across Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee showed up for the Friday afternoon registration. Last minute problems forced a couple teams to stay home so the field was compiled of 11 groups of 3 and 4.

The basecamp was crowded with anxious callers, busy volunteers and friendly officials from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the National Forestry Service. Photo sessions took place as teams arrived and the group picture was snapped by our professional cameraman.

With high winds forcasted for the weekend we rushed registration and released the field exactly 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. Groups hurried off to their predetermined hide-aways for some quick afternoon stands. The weather was cold and sunny, hardly any breeze at that point.

"Team Minnie", which I was a part of, was slow to get started. We worked around the headquarters, got dressed and stopped by a local gas station before heading to the woods. Our first stand was on a piece of public ground that resembles a used car lot... you know the ones where there are ALWAYS cars parked while people hunt the area!? Dispite the pressure, we managed to call up a female red fox. Bearle Eastling (our team leader) took a shot at the fox but didn't connect- it was pretty thick so bullet fragmentation was a factor.

Feeling pretty good about seeing fur on our first stand we rushed down the road to do another, this time we blanked after 15 minutes of calling. The third stand was a short walk from where we'd made our second... maybe 200 yards. 8 minutes in; the guys picked up another small female red fox trotting toward the caller. Brooks Eastling readied his 243 and eventually found an opening to tag our first critter! At this point we're really pumped- we rush 400 yards deeper into the woods to make another stand. 4 minutes in; I see a pair of red foxes trotting down the hill at full speed, I stop the male and put him down. The female wanted to stop and look back but I managed to mis-key the remote and those coyote vocals removed all doubt for her= GONE.

With two red fox in the bag and six points on the board "Team Minnie" was stoked! Upon returning to the truck I noticed I had missed some text messages, those text would diminish our excitement quite a bit. Sawmiller's first message said "We got one on the first stand!". I scroll through to the next message I see "Make that 2". Saw was apparently a little excited- bragging before the double was complete! LOL! Hntr4life and B&GHunter had connected on their first coyotes just minutes apart- scoring 4 points for "Team Clark".

Having only heard from one team, and knowing they were within striking distance, we weren't about to rest! Like most of the other teams, we continued grinding out stands well into the night. With the wind setting in and a nearly full moon glaring, no teams connected on fur Friday night. Many teams saw coyotes and had vocalizations- but no cigar.

The Saturday morning brought high winds and brutally cold temperatures. "The Rebels" and "The Slammers" both missed coyotes during the Saturday morning hunt, only "The Howlers" connected with a nice male coyote at EXTREMELY CLOSE RANGE!

Saturday afternoon meeting was punctuated by a FANTASTIC meal provided by Game Chef and family. The menu was long- and impressive- including stew, chili, jerky, rolls, cookies, cobblers and ice cream. I've never seen so many loud mouths totally silent- folks were gobbling up food for over an hour! The headquarters was warm and toasty after Game Chef showed up with his portable propane heaters, we had to kick guys out of there with a pitchfork.

The Saturday check-in yielded 3 coyotes and 2 red fox between the contestants. Team Minnie held the lead with 6 points, Team Clark was second with 4 points and "The Howlers" held third with 2 points. That would change at the IPC Rifle Competition!

Designated shooters from each team gathered around the course for range briefing and rules explination. One by one the guys got their 60 second chance to claim much needed IPC points. Jason Schmiezing and Mike Corwin managed to kill the most targets in the alloted time- sending them to the final round. The 30 second eggshoot was equally tight- Schmiezing sniped himself 2 points for "The Howlers" and Corwin took 1 point home for "The Rebels". This point adjustment put us in a 2 way tie for second at 4 points... if either team killed a coyote or red fox they'd be leading the competition immediately! This is the intensity we've come to expect from these IPC events!

As the winds howled; the IPC teams stratagized and plotted. Most teams hunted but others chose to rest and wait until calmer weather approached in the middle of the night. Neither tactic seemed to be effective as again no kills were logged in the nighttime hours. As daylight broke things started to change a little bit.

The "Two Cousins" team found themselves surrounded by coyotes on Sunday morning- howling and barking in the thick cover. Jim Jacobs (PredatorX) managed to stick a nice hefty male and drop him in his tracks. This was the first score for the "Two Cousins" crew and it put them within reach of those second place prizes!

"Team Minnie" continued to hammer out stands, not resting on their narrow 2 point lead. "The Slammers" were also hard at work, managing to slam a nice coyote at just under 100 yards but they couldn't recover the animal in the dense cover. "Team Clark" was digging hard for that extra coyote with only a few hours before check-in; AND THEY FOUND IT! BGHunters called a coyote in and managed to get a shot off but an intensive search yielded no fur... a disappointment to say the least.

In the late morning hours a few of the teams gathered for breakfast before heading to the final check-in. It was nice to warm up, tell some stories and get some good food after being out in the cold all night/day/night/day! The Chunky Munky Pinata was even on display in the parking lot afterwards- for those who don't keep up... that means Newbomb got a spankin' like I promised.

In route to the check-in we passed a coyote mousing along the interstate on huntable property. Doesn't that just figure?! The check-in results showed no changes in score for the top two teams, meaning "Team Minnie" won with 6 points and "Team Clark" took second with 4 points. CavTrooper, Tim Combs, B&GHunter, TNTaxidermist and Brooks Eastling drew for door prizes and the event was officially closed!

The 2007 was a great success and everyone in attendance seemed to agree. We had great food, great people and a safe hunt! What more can you ask for?! The weather was a little less than cooperative so those who struck early were in the catbird seat. My team, Team Minnie, hunted very hard throughout the competition. I have no idea how many miles we walked... realistically probably only 15-18 but it was some ROUGH COUNTRY! We knocked out 45 stand in that timeframe, our limited success was not due to lack of effort... the critters, moon and weather just didn't work with us.

I'd like to thank everyone who helped me organize this event in one way or another. Sawmiller knocked one out of the park with this years rifle competition- he designed that thing from the ground up and it was AWESOME. FiremanPhob worked hard all weekend helping me keep things straight, scored and signed. As mentioned above Game Chef provided a wonderful meal. The folks who helped with prize packages, be it donations or discounts, also deserve a big THANKS from all those involved. The IDNR and NFS are also to be admired for their assistance and cooperation throughout- as the Indiana Predator Challenge grows more popular it requires more hard work and dedication to organize. All of these folks made the job easier on me this year!

Some pictures from the event:
The Group:

Team Minnie, First Place:

Clark, Second Place:

The Howlers:


The Fur Pile:

Jrbhunter is offline  
Old 02-19-2007, 04:54 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: May 2005
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Default RE: 2007 Indiana Predator Challenge Results

jrb, Nice to see you on just wanted to say hi my brother hunted with you Bearle. Congrats on winning the tourney!! Walt
stikbow26 is offline  
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