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Full Circle

5 October 2022


On tonight's episode of The Midnight Gardner, we take a look at when a plan comes full circle.  These Himbo Top Raspberries are coming into fruition and I couldn't be more pleased with the heavy yields.  The canes are literally buckling under their own weight, something to definitely address for next year with a trellis, to help support the weight.


Some of these berries are thumb sized, and smell amazing.  The taste is a succulent sweet with a slight tangy aftertaste.  Perfect for dessert needs, or perhaps a hungry bear.  Seed harvest is on point right now with berries ripening daily, and looking like a large batch ready to be picked by the end of the month.


Big thank you to MiracleGro for the perfect pH balanced soil, to be able to grow these in.  More big thank you's to True Organic for a fertilizer that my plants thrived on all year.  Can't wait to see what volume next season brings!


I can't forget to thank Bonide for making quality IPM devices for controlling and killing Japanese Beetles, which absolutely decimated my plants in a quick manner.  Thank you also to Theisen's Home Farm Auto, for quality Ag products to help support my budding farm. 

Wisconsin Fall Turkey

25 September 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Sometimes things work out... 12 Gauge. 68 yards, #5 Shot, 3" Mag.  Happened super quick.  Was walking out of the cabin and saw it in the field.  Ran back grabbed the shotgun and got as close as I could before they spooked.


Sometimes it's that quick, and sometimes that's hunting, but I'm proud of this old hen, I'm thankful for her and the meat she's providing my family for Thanksgiving.  Sometimes things work out.  Thank you Jesus for this bountiful harvest.


Wisconsin 2022 Fall Turkey Tag, Filled.

Big Sow Down

20 September 2022.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Another big sow down.  This is woodchuck #8.  The structural damage to my cabin is unreal.  These rodents need to be managed.

Phase 1

20 September 2022.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Phase 1 of seed harvest is going rather well.  On pace for almost 3,000 plants next year.  That's going to make for a more exciting bear season!

Bear Season

7 September 2022.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


2022 Wisconsin Bear Season Opener.  It's warm.  Feeling like almost 90*F.  My Thermacell is out of juice, ants are crawling down my shirt, and mosquitoes might as well be the state bird.


Wearing some light weight camouflage options from Kryptek today, in Highlander which works well for where I'm at.  Check them out, you'll love the patterns and how light weight and breathable the hot weather lines are.


I've got my CVA ACCURA V2LR loaded up with a Powerbelt 330 Grain ELR, paired with Blackhorn 209, and Federal 209A Shotgun Primers.


Rounding out the choice optics on my hunt today are the Sig Sauer Sierra3BDX4.5-14x50mm, the KILO2200BDX Rangefinder, and the Sig Sauer ZULU9 11x45mm Binoculars.  These optics are razor sharp and all feature HD Abbe Koenig Prisms.  I can't say enough about these optics. 

Product Spotlight

28 August 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Few Photos of me showing you how easy it is to use the Scent Crusher Mobile Closet, now called the Locker Lite.  Just plug in the generator , hang it on the rack, fill the closet, turn it on, apply your timer, I like mine at 30 mins, and zip it up and you're good to go, it's that easy.  I made button placement dots on mine to indicate power and my timer setting.


It goes for $219.99 and it's worth every penny.  You can check this out by clicking on partner deals and scroll down until you see the Scent Crusher ad and click the link.  It's really that easy.


Scent Off. Game on.  Scent Crusher.

Getting back to normal.

24 July 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Occasionally, things somewhat return back to normal.


When I purchase Muzzleloader supplies, whether it's powder, primers, cleaning supplies, or even a new rifle, I visit my friends over at muzzle-loaders.com first.  If they don't have it and I'm able to wait, I'll sign up for email alerts, if I'm in a pinch then I'll do what I have to do as a consumer.


Please consider supporting small businesses, and visit Muzzle-loaders.com for your black powder hunting and shooting needs.  They are great folks, and have an amazing customer service team, and are always willing to take your calls.  Darren, thank you for your friendship and the help.


This haul will carry me through the year in regards to the volume of shooting that I do.  I shoot ALOT, and it's expensive and all out of pocket. 

Beetles.

10 July 2022.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Well, Japanese Beetles have hatched, and my plants are struggling.  I woke up on the 5th of July and my Raspberry leaves looked like Swiss Cheese.  I ordered up some Azera and it arrived last night and I was able to spray it today and treat my plants with it, and I was able to get my Bonide Japanese Beetle Traps hung as well, and it's slowly beginning to work.  I have 4 bags set out and they are quickly filling up , and I was also able to do another coating of Arber Fungicide and Bio Protectant as well.


Big thanks to Theisen's Home Farm Auto for having the supplies I need to be able to combat these dangerous pests.


Azera is OMRI certified for Organic use, and about an hour after the application I had dead beetles wherever the product touches.  It is potent, and powerful.

explosive growth

4 July 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


On tonight's episode of The Midnight Gardener, I'm definitely excited over the explosive growth I've been having from the result of the of the many heat degree days, and overall very pleased with the growth of the Crimson Night and Himbo Top varieties, with the Himbos having a thicker, more luscious growth and canopy to the canes.


The Doyle's Thornless Blackberries are finally starting to settle into their own and the transplant shock is beginning to diminish.


Tonight I applied Natria Insecticidal Soap for my monthly Integrated Pest Management needs, and this should cover me for awhile.  Things that have made this growing season successful so far... 


1.) Miracle Gro Performance Organics Potting Mix, which utilizes organic compost to help regulate proper pH for Raspberries and Blackberries, in the 5.5-6.5 range  This has been crucial.


2.)  True Organic Berry Food fertilizer, with an NPK make up of 5-4-4 which in conjunction with proper watering and the heat have made this growth at an accelerated rate.  I have also used Espoma Berry Tone with a 4-3-4 NPK make up, as I ran out of True Organic Berry Food, and it was all I could find in a pinch, it worked, but not to the extent of the True Organic Berry Food.


3.)Arber Bio Protectant and Bio Fungicide.  These two products have helped to invigorate the plants immune system, and also regulates a broad range of foliage diseases, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Leaf Spot and Rust.


***Disclaimer*** I am not under contract with any of the afore mentioned companies, I just use what has been readily available to me in my price range, at the time of purchase.

Plant Food

30 June 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Doing an unboxing from my friends over at Theisens's Home Farm Auto, and I was able to order up 4 bags of True Organic Berry Food.


My raspberries absolutely love this, and popped hard with growth over the past month.  Realistically, with the volume of plants I have, this might get me through July and August, meaning I may need another 4 bags after that, to get me to the dormant season.  16" of growth in 30 days isn't too bad.  Excited to see what the rest of summer brings.  Thank you for making a quality product.

Plant Health

June 26

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Ran to Menards in Onalaska today, and picked up a 2 gallon sprayer strictly for organic use, and also picked up ARBER Bio Protectant, and Bio Fungicide.  Super easy to use, mix 2 tablespoons of liquid to 1 gallon of water and mix the solution.


Directions call for applications for the next 7-10 days to help mitigate fungus, and help to boost plant immunity and health.  Hoping this helps take care of my blight on my new blackberries.

Bears.

25 June 2022.

Photo Credits: Josh Brown.


Well, here we are preparing for the 2022 Wisconsin Black Bear Season, and I consistently have this bear showing up in my Wild Blackberries by the creek.  In the past few days o have as many pictures of him, with also scat in the yard by the cabin, and also on the neighbors back porch.


It’s going to be interesting what happens come September 7th when Season opens.  Can’t wait to pull the hammer back on my first Bear.

Transplant Day.

19 June 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Transplant Day.

Finally had a chance today to get my new Doyle’s Thornless Blackberries potted up into Miracle Gro Performance Organics Container Mix, along with some Espoma Organic Berry-Tone fertilizer.


I am really digging this mix as it is the perfect PH for these berries, between 5.5 and 6.5; which allows these plants to thrive.


I was able to order up 5 of these and have many more on the way. Pretty excited to have these as they will grow in ALL 50 states, in Zones 3-10.

Bear bait can get expensive from time to time. But I don’t mind a plant that can yield 3 gallons of berries each season. Every bit will help.


Transplant Day

19 June 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Himbo Top Raspberries. Planted May 28. Off to a decent start.  The fertilizer from True Organic is kicking in and doing a great job with these plants.  Pretty excited to see what kind of growth and root development I can get from this growing season.


New Beginnings

16 May 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


I probably think about farming, just as much as I think about hunting, and honestly they go hand in hand here in many parts of the country, more than one might think.  Having had a pretty difficult time competing with my neighboring bait sites, for bear season, I decided that my best course of action was going to be to better manipulate my habitat to get the bears to come to me, more naturally, and when I want them to show up.  I was able to purchase some Organic Certified, Heritage Variety, Everbearing Raspberries.  What makes this special for my bear hunting needs, is that this is going to augment the berries that I have growing wild on my land already, which is a summer draw for many of the large boars that are roaming my fields and hills.


Everbearing means that these berries will produce two crops per year, from the primocanes and the floricanes, in the summer and in the fall, which will act as an immediate draw for early to middle Bear Season for my property in Western Wisconsin.


These plants when mature will grow to around 5-6 feet tall, 3 to 4 feet wide and will provide lush thick cover as well as a tangible food benefit for all forms of wildlife on my land, including me.


They are just babies now, but my hope is that in two - 3 years, they can be monsters, just like these Bears.

Never Too Early for Bear Bait

27 April 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Doing an unboxing here from Sportsman's Warehouse.  Just got 6 gallons of Blueberry Pie Flavored Liquid Bear Bait delivered, and this stuff smells fantastic.  I cannot wait to get this out on my bait site.

New Discovery

April 20 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


A new discovery was made today in regards to the cutting edge of Kinetic Energy and Velocity in the world of Muzzleloader technology.  Is Blackhorn 209 still the King of The Mountain in the world of Black Powder?  Stay tuned for more information to follow.

More Supplies

15 April 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


It's always a good day when you get spare breech plugs in the mail.  If you don't already have spare parts for your muzzleloader, I would strongly encourage you to start assembling your possibles bag.  I've learned this the hard way, at the range when I've dropped my breech plug damaging the rim of it, denting it on the concrete and for safety reasons with no spares, I was immediately done for the day.  If you are adventure hunting, you owe it to yourself to have back up parts ready to go.


Oakley Standard Issue Ballistic Shocktube

8 March 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Having proper Eye and Hearing protection when shooting isn't negotiable, it is an absolute must.  Shooting a muzzleloader can be inherently dangerous when doing load development, and I like being able to see and hear in all aspects of my life.  Normally I try to do some research on a product or at least own it before I write about it on here, but what I do know is that these have a ballistic rating, and the lenses are interchangeable with a small screw driver that came with the pair should I ever need to replace them or opt for a polarized lenses.


I ordered these up from Oakley SI and I am super excited to try these out. 

A Dilema

27 February 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


If you're like me you work a blue collar job, 12 hour days, 5-6 days a week.  Your feet usually hurt, your boots stink, and your wife typically ain't happy about it and throws your boots in the garage, and now your steel toes, are frozen.


A quick fix remedy for that, is the Ozone Boot dryer.  Place your boots on the legs, turn on the unit and let the Ozone kill the odor for you.  This saves your feet from cold boots, and cold looks from your wife, because now, your kitchen doesn't stink.


Tax season is a perfect time to stock up on your favorite Scent Crusher Products.  Click the link on Partner Deals today to get yours.


Scent Off. Game on.


Scent Crusher.


Hornady Great Plains 

20 February 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


I ordered up these Hornady Great Plains Bullets from my friends over at Muzzle-loaders.com, and they were fast with the shipping as always.  I will be using these in conjunction with Blackhorn 209 for the Fat, Slow and Ugly mini segment.  These were engineered for a 1:48" twist and I have a feeling that these should work quite well out of my 1:28" Twist, 30" Premium Bergara Barrel on my CVA Accura V2 LR.  I am actually quite excited to shoot these.  Weighing in at 385 grains this is the second largest bullet, in terms of weight, that I will be testing in this segment.  This could very well prove to be a winner for bear season.

The best bullet you haven't tried yet

17 February 2022

Photo credits: Aaron Thesing


Winchester and Nosler alike have had great success with the Nosler Ballistic Silvertip bullet.  This is one of the most devastating hunting bullets ever created, and I was absolutely excited to see that it was offered for 45/70, which is .458.  Knowing I had Harvester Sabots for .458, I placed an order for these, and I was able to run a test bullet down the barrel and it was a super tight fit, but the bullet sat nicely and I have a feeling that I will be getting some outstanding terminal velocities from this particular bullet.  To say that I am excited to shoot this as part of the Fat, Slow, and Ugly segment is an understatement.  More to follow as the days get nicer.

A Rugged Storage Option

16 February 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


I ordered this range bag up from Muzzle-Loaders . com and I have to say that I am very impressed with it.  Normally I have a hard plastic tool box that I carry around with lots of organizers and pockets in it, and It is quite handy, but I'm also sick of having it weight 10 lbs at a time and be oblong and bulky.  This offers a nice compact option that has the ability to hold my cleaning supplies, dry powder, extra primers, cleaning rods, dry and wet patches and extra bullets and quick charges.  


This is a rugged canvas material and there are pockets everywhere, and a nice robust carrying strap.  One of my favorite features is the elastic charge tube holders sewn into the side wall of the bag.  This was a very well thought out design and I am proud to take this with me to the range and on adventure trips across the country as a possibles bag.

The Shooting Series - Partnership Announcement

21 January 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Waiting on some warmer temps to start burning powder... -17*F isn't quite cutting it for me.

Big things to come with The Shooting Series, I am excited to announce that I was able to sign with Muzzle-Loaders . com, on a joint partnership to help bring you black powder load data, uniquely developed for 30" barreled rifles, typically data we don't often see.  This partnership will allow me to help bring new and exciting content to you in the form of written articles, videos, pod casts, ad any other forms of communication for you.  


I will be conducting a miniature segment within The Shooting Series called "Fat, Slow and Ugly", where we look at the terminal performance of large heavy for caliber bullets teamed with Blackhorn 209, and Federal 209a Shotgun Primers.  I want to find a solution for quickly and effectively breaking down a bear with one shot and anchoring it in place, and I feel like this could be a great place to start.


Stay tuned for some fun and exciting results, with my CVA Accura V2 LR Nitride, .50 Caliber.

The Shooting Series Product Spotlight

21 January 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Doing an unboxing today from my friends over at muzzle-loaders . co.


When you spend the amount of time, that I do at the range shooting, you need to stock up on cleaning supplies as well.


I was able to get 3 bottles of foaming bore cleaner, more Barrel Blaster Quick Cleaning Patches, a Barrel Blaster Parts Soaker, Barrel Blaster Solvent, some CVA Breech Plug Grease, and about 800 dry patches.  This will realistically carry me through the year.  Just one year.


Big shout out to Brad Watts and Darren Binder for always taking care of m , supporting my blog, and providing solid customer service.  Go check them out.  You'll be glad that you did.

Killer Brutal Temps

7 January 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Winter in Wisconsin can be a miserable place.  Cold winds out of the North, that rip through your soul, and cuts you to the bone.  Frozen ground and water, with high humidity making the air damp and chilling you in ways I can't describe if you've never felt it.  Since the end of December we've been experiencing solid low temps.  I've lived through much colder, but 24 degrees below zero can make for a long night, as I type this I'm thinking about throwing another log onto the fire and hoping my deer are able to make it through the season.


Gun Season

20-28 November 2021 

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Cold.  Frozen.  Unforgiving.  Numb.  These words all accurately describe the general Firearms Season here in Western Wisconsin.  Temperatures ranging from 12 degrees to 52 degrees, and winds gusting as high as 24 miles per hour, the deer were simply not moving on my property.  Even properly staked down, my blind blew off of its anchor stakes and into the neighbors pasture, as I had no tree to tie an anchor line to.


The day before season, as luck would have it, one of my shooter bucks was at my stand within 15 yards, at 11:58am, while I was still asleep from the night shift I had just completed hours before.  This would be the only buck that showed himself for the next 10 days.  I have no idea if the giant 9 pointer has survived the season and made it through or if one of my neighbors was lucky enough to get a good shot on him.  Time will tell.


The day after my blind blew away, it was still damn windy, and I decided to still sit in my same set up, just bundled up in my Kryptek Highlander and with my Heater Bodysuit as an over suit to help block the wind.  I sat through freezing rain to the point where my scope began to ice over and I had to sacrifice my gloves to protect the glass.  I sat until 9am with winds blowing 20 plus, and decided that was it for the morning as nothing was moving and I needed to warm up by the fire and get some coffee in me... My favorite sit so far, was on the day where it was actually warm, and it was then when I saw 3 does all within the last hour of day light.  


To say I am disappointed with how the season turned out, would be an understatement...  But that's why they call it hunting, and not killing.  Even on my worst day in the woods... it still beats being at work, every time. 

Bow Set Ups

1 November 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Today I wanted to talk a little bit about Bow Setups.  Each one is completely different with no two bows being alike.


My personal set up:

-2019 Bear Divergent, RH70 28" Draw, Set at 60lbs.

-Trophy Taker Drop Away Arrow Rest.

-Easton AXIS 5mm 340 Spine Arrows.

-Rage 4 Blade Xtreme Hybrid 100 grain Broadheads.

-Easton Blazer Vanes.

-Nocturnal Lighted Nock, Blue.

-Trophy Ridge 4 Arrow Quiver.

-Trophy Ridge React 5 Pin Sight Set for 20, .30, 40, 50, 60.

-Trophy Ridge 9" Stabilizer.

-Sims Vibration Labs Limb Saver, Split Limb.

-TruFire Smoke Release.


This might seem like a mouthful of information to some, and it is.  Though these words are what make my particular setup tune right in to where I need it to be.  The Divergent is 28" Axle-To-Axle making it compact, and maneuverable enough for both ground blind and hunting out of a tree.  The Kryptek Highlander Camo is a bonus for me as it is my favorite pattern to wear.  The bow itself has a very smooth draw with 75% let off if I remember right, and weighs in less than 4 lbs making it sturdy, yet super light weight for any hunting application you can think of.


The Trophy Ridge React 5 Pin Sight is just about perfect.  I have it set from 20 all the way to 60 yards, leaving me with 5 yards increments between each pin, ensuring fast target acquisition for when you only have seconds to figure your shot window.


I love the drop away arrow rest from Trophy Taker, its very low profile and has a nice housing that encapsulates the arrow making it so it can't fall off the rest and down the tree.


The way that I have this set up it sits right in my hand, not moving or recoiling when I shoot thanks to the limb savers, and the stabilizer does just what the name indicates and ties everything all together.


The Arrows are expensive, but anything worth having is going to have a correlating cost associated with it.  They fly well, and are incredibly tough for such a small diameter, which was quite surprising.  I topped them with the new Rage 4 Blade Xtreme Hybrid 100 grain broadheads which should leave a nasty hole and result in very short blood trails.


I can't wait to be able to show you what this can do on one of my target bucks.


I was able to get this on a close out from Sportsman's Warehouse, and they carry a fine selection of Bear Archery products.  If you like what you see click the Sportsman's Warehouse link on the Partner Deals page and take a peek at the selection available.  You will not be disappointed.


When a plan works

16 October 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


I went ahead and made some mock scrapes at both of my primary stand locations after I received trail cam photos of a very nice chocolate racked 8 pointer actively trailing a doe.  I placed these scrapes within 20 yards of my stand along with my scent dripper, in an attempt to get my target buck, 7 year old in the day light.  Which has been only 3 times in as many years.


My neighbor also started picking his corn and finished off the field during my sit, which made it difficult to hear anything but an absolutely awesome night to sit.  No complaints, life doesn't suck when you're 20' up a tree.

Eating Crow

16 October 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


There has been a giant popularity lately in the world of archery, with improvements in Mechanical Broadhead design, and functionality. Adding to that is an immense popularity with the high lethality rates brought to you by Rage Broadheads, a Division of Feradyne, which owns Rage, Muzzy and Rocky Mountain Broadheads along with several other brands, located in Superior, Wisconsin.


When these broadheads first came onto the market they took it by storm. They fly like a dart, are super accurate and leave a massive hole. I was absolutely stoked when I got my first Rage 2” Chisel tip. That fall, and being newer to bowhunting and not as disciplined, I took shots that maybe I shouldn’t have taken, and they were not lethal as a result, and I blamed the broadheads, when in fact I should have been mature enough to blame myself. Fast forward 10 years to today, 16 October 2021, I am proud to try out these brand-new Rage Hybrids, the X-Treme 4 blade. With a 2.3” cut delivered by rear deploying slip cam technology, and a fixed 7/8” cut on contact head, these broadheads deliver a total of 3.175” of total cutting surface which should in turn render your quarry’s vitals into a slop mess, and they should pump out like an aerosol spray can.


Things I like about this, I really love the huge cut on contact tip, because if God forbid the shoulders refuse to deploy you are still going to be able to leave an almost 1” hole in your game, which has been proven lethal for as long as man has hunted game.


Things I don’t like about these broadheads, an extremely short list. The blades, when pulling the arrows out of your quiver, must be extremely careful as to not bump the blades them selves as they can fall out of place with the retention collar. I had this happen to me on Tuesday Morning, 12 October 2021. Luckily, I was able to safely unscrew the head and replace the collars and screw it back on the shaft. This happened with 2 of my 4 arrows.

These appear to be nasty in design and look to be devastating and should in theory result in very short blood trails. I’m hoping to catch a very mature 7 pointer I’ve got nicknamed as browser in the morning at my mock scrape, 20 yards directly in front of the stand.


If you like what you see, go ahead and click on Partner Deals, and scroll down to Feradyne Outdoors link and click on that and it will take you to the website.  Click on the drop down menu, got to Rage Broadheads, and scroll down the page and it will be the fourth option down on your right hand side.  Let's make some holes.

A New Knife

16 October 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


I received a foldable Gerber Gear knife as a membership gift from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and I absolutely loved it, still do. Super light-weight, compact, easy to carry in just about any pocket you might have. I went to order more blades for it as I as one left un-dulled, and I wasn’t able to find any on the website. I ordered the full-sized model called, the Vital Big Game Folder, and replacement blades instead. This thing is massive. It fits your hand well, has a wonderful rubber grip with molding for increased dexterity. The blades are 3.5” in length and it comes with I want to say 5 if I can remember correctly? The Replacement blades do come in the 5 count, regardless of the count I have a ton of blades ready to go for my next harvest.


The blades are very easy to replace. All one has to do is take the locking mechanism, and push it in, slide back the blade from the blade lock and it pops right off. And same for installation of a new blade.


My previous compact sized Gerber was able to process a single deer on one blade, I have no doubt in my mind that this will be able to have the same success.


If you like what you see, go ahead and click on Partner Deals, and scroll down to Gerber Gear link and click on that and it will take you to the website. Click on the drop down menu, click knives, click folding, and scroll down until you see it on the right hand side.  You will love this knife and be glad you picked it up.

Scent Crusher Rapid Mobile Shower

16 October 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


From time to time, I am able to stumble across a product that I really like, when it comes to scent control.  This one is a total game changer.  For years we have had to hang up our clothes outside, air them out, wash them in special detergents, drying them with special dryer sheets, and that was only if we had everything around ready to go so when we left work on time to get to our spot, we were ready.  What happened though if we didn't get a chance to leave on time?  We were running 20 minutes to an hour late?  Then what?  This product addresses those scent control concerns and will attack via use of an ozone generator those lingering odors from your day, and will destroy them, much like the room cleaner and the Locker Lite technology does, but as a wearable body suit.


Here I am trying this out for the first time, and I'm pretty excited to see the results of it.


Post hunt follow up: Wind was swirling and I had deer underneath me and all around me, and never got busted.  I'm sold on this product.


Click on Partner Gear, scroll down and click on the Scent Crusher Link, and its that easy.


Scent off.  Game on.  Scent Crusher.

First sit of the year

10 October 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


It's the first sit of the year for me, and I'm currently sitting on the south end of my property, in a transition zone, between the creek and bedding area, and a major food source, my 5 acre food plot.  Yesterday morning I had a mature 8 pointer show up on camera, along with a big 9 pointer I had been targeting so I know they're using this corridor and it's just a matter of time before one slips up.

Bear Season

25 September 2021

Photo Credit: Aaron Thesing.


43 Degrees. Slight breeze, East, North East at 4 miles per hour. wrong wind for the stand as the bait is now directly downwind of my tree.  Oh well, I have limited time to hunt.  To say I'm excited, is an understatement.  I get to my tree, re-apply Scent Crusher Copper Scent Eliminator Spray, and being the 20' climb up the tree.  I didn't see anything that morning or for the following few days, but I did get an absolutely beautiful sunrise, and an education on how picky bears can be and how difficult it is to compete with an Acorn mast.  The bait site was dead when the Acorns fell.


I chose to use my Muzzleloader for this season.  Using my CVA Accura V2 LR Nitride, .50 caliber, loaded with Blackhorn 209 at 120 grains by volume, Powerbelt's 330 grain ELR, and Federal 209a Shotgun Primers.  This is a nasty combo, cranking out 3,123 ft lbs of energy at 38 yards, which is my distance to the bait from the tree.  That's more than adequate to drop a large grizzly with one shot, and for the size of bears running in my valley and the surrounding area, I need it.  The largest bear by weight, was shot by a young female hunter in excess of 800 lbs, with several boars north of 500.  The Sig Sauer Sierra3BDX 4.5-14x50mm and Kilo2200BDX Rangefinder Combo work amazing together with the app and in real time.  See my photo below for a better visual of what happens at the moment of ranging your target, in real time.


With the Sun setting on my final day to hunt I walk away with a few things... an education in bait site construction and timeliness of baiting.  You can prepare a bait site and spend tons of money on bait, and it still at times, won't be good enough.  Lastly, that I'm now more determined than ever to punch my tag for bears with a muzzleloader, and have fun doing it.


Until the next time I draw a Bear Tag, God made me a land steward.  Time to switch gears, and start chasing my target bucks.

Ease of Use

28 August 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Hey everyone.  Today I wanted to show you one of my critical pieces of hunting gear I have been using for the past year.  This is the Scent Crusher Mobile Closet, now called the Locker Lite.  The way that Scent Crusher works is that it generates Ozone and uses that to neutralize odors.  Scent Sprays have been around as long as I have been alive, going on 32 years now.  Many of us started with Wildlife Research Centers, or Robinson Labs, but since then the game has changed.  No disrespect to the above mentioned companies either, they make a fine product, but the one that I have used and will be continually using in future hunts to come, is Scent Crusher.  Many will ask why is Ozone more effective than a Spray?  Well, I took a quote directly from the website which will explain it better than I can: 


"WHAT IS OZONE?

Ozone, or O3, is the tri-atomic form of oxygen. Stated simply, it is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. O3 rapidly oxidizes organisms it comes into contact with, then converts safely back into Oxygen (O2).

Scent Crusher’s ozone generators produce on-demand O3 (ozone) which is attracted to contaminants that cause odors. The ozone attacks and kills odors through oxidation, and then converts safely back into standard oxygen, leaving your gear scent-free"(Scentcrusher.com).


The ease of use is incredible.  The pictures I took of my set up, illustrate just how easy it is.


1.) Once you have your closet assembled, all you have to do, is place your gear inside on the mesh racking like I have done.


2.) Take the generator and plug in the ozone trailing hose, along with the power supply cord to the generator and hang it on the rack.


3.) Go ahead and zip the canvas shut, and turn on the unit, and select which crush setting you would like to use.  My personal favorite is the 30 minute setting.  It has an automatic shut off so you don't have to worry about it running up your power bill.


That's it.  That's how easy it is to use this product.  No staining from carbon based sprays, no residue.  Just a completely odor neutralized piece of hunting equipment.


The locker itself is incredibly light as well, fully loaded I was able to move it around with ease, maybe 25 lbs total fully loaded as you see here. This is a corner stone of my hunting equipment.  Good camo is valuable.  Being Scent Free is Priceless.


To view this piece of equipment now called the Lock Lite, and other wonderful products from Scent Crusher, head on over to my tab titled Partner Deals, click on the Scent Crusher Add, and it will take you directly to the website.  This product goes for about $219.99.  What I can tell you though is since using this product I've had deer walk directly underneath my stand and I have yet to be winded, even when it swirls.  You would be doing yourself a favor this fall and in the spring when it comes time to chase bears out west, by getting some of these products.


Scent Off.  Game On.  Scent Crusher.

New Partnership

14 August 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


It has been a busy month for me between prepping for bears, getting stands placed, and Fall food plots prepped.  One thing I am super excited to share with you is a new partnership between myself and Scent Crusher.  I have accepted a Field Staff position with the company and will continue using their products in the field as I've been able to do for the past year, and am excited for this new venture and things to come. 

Building The Bear Bait Station

6 August 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing and Nolan Thesing


Here I am cutting logs on my property, fully utilizing the spruce trees I fell'd earlier in the Summer and creating a Bear Bait Station preparing for my Fall 2021 Wisconsin Bear Season.  After 8 solid hours of securing the stand, limbing, cutting logs, hauling them across the field and into the woods, clearing brush and weeds for a selected bait station, I got to work building it.


I have my legal length logs in place, cut above the legal minimum Bear length and height so there's no question when a legal bear shows up.  I got the hollowed out stumps placed, and filled with the legal maximum amount of bear bait at 10 gallons for the first initial placement, of Peanut Butter cookies, and hoping to see what comes in for a snack.


I huge shout out today goes to my dad.  I wouldn't have been able to get much of this done without his help.  We got that sweat equity in today.  We also ended the day after being completely soaked in sweat, with 2 porterhouse's, cooked medium, salt and pepper and thrown on a plate.  A damn good day it was.

Stocking Up

27 July 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing


Well, things are starting to pick up here in Wisconsin.  I found a couple of decent sized Bear's on my cameras out in my fields.  I went over to Trophy Adventures Bear Bait located in Ettrick, Wisconsin and picked up some Bear Bait from Owner, Eric Huseboe.  He was able to outfit me with 2 barrels of Peanut Butter and 2 barrels of Cookies.  It was and easy and he was able to teach me what Bears are looking for this time of year and was able to get me some hollowed out stumps, wooden caps, liquid scent attractant.  To visit Eric at his shop, or view his website I have listed his contact information below.


"About Us

Trophy Adventures Bear Bait is located outside Ettrick, Wisconsin which is located 20 minutes west of white River Falls off I94. We don't just sell bait, we are bear hunters ourselves. We offer a wide range of top quaility bait in small to large quantities. Our bear bait inventory changes frequently, but typically includes: Trail Mix, Peanut Butter, Granola, Cookies, Frosting, Nuts, and Much, more! Contact us to schedule pick up or arrange shipping.


Location: N23988 Tranberg Ln, Ettrick, WI 54627


http://www.trophyadventuresbait.com

Sending Arrows

7 July 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


It's getting to be that time of year again where regular shooting is going to be a must to regain that muscle memory again.  I switched to spot shooting after I wrecked 4 arrows in the bullseye, and had decent success with that.  time to starting moving back out to 30 and 40 and fine tuning my form. 

Bear Stand Placement

23 June 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


After planting the Spruce trees, I was able to locate a fitting tree on the North end of my property, sturdy and straight enough to hold my 20' ladder stand.  I will be placing my bait site about 50 yards to the north of this stand, in thick brush with a small clearing enough to make a clean shot.  


I'm not going to lie, this was the hardest stand I've ever had to try to set.  Being as top heavy as it was, We had to use the tractor, my quad, and us 3 to be able to properly walk it up the tree.  Being a good spot for both deer and bear, I am excited to see what this season can bring for me.  Will it be a mature 7 pointer that's been haunting me for 2 years or will it be a 500 plus pound Black Bear?  Time will tell.

Planting Norway Spruce Trees

23 June 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


My dad, and Brother in Law and I spent the day putting in 150 Norway Spruce Trees in the ground before Noon.  By edging the field with these giant spruce trees, which can grow well over 3' plus in a year its going to provide a welcome source of cover and better help put the deer at ease.

Habitat Manipulation

6 June 2021.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


When attempting to attract in and hold deer, you are going to need three key items for that to occur.  You need food, cover and access to water.  Putting in apple trees, in the middle of my Antler King Trophy Clover Field I am better able to increase my draw for not only deer, but for black bears as well.  It is my intention over the next 5 years to continue planting Apple Trees in this field to become a small orchard, for both wildlife, and my benefit.  Fruit trees are a great strategy and I cannot wait for them to fully mature.  It's going to take several years for them to fully bear the weight of a full fruit set, but when that happens, this is going to be a deer magnet.  I'm going to try to make it so that the deer don't need to leave my property, having abundant food and browse, thick bedding areas, and a creek that runs through it.  It might be a 30 acre tract, but its slowly becoming a mature deer hang out.


What do you prefer for food sources?

Late Season Turkey

26 May 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Second Season came to pass like a thief in the night, swiftly and without a trace of ever being there, similarly, so did the cooler temperatures.  Being the final week of May, temperatures are forecasted well into the 80's, making the season slightly more difficult with each passing day.


I set out immediately from work and got settled in just after sunrise along my field edge after setting out a pair of decoys.  I began calling and was able to locate a bird on the neighboring property across the road about 250 yards away, and came to the road way full strut and hung up.  I spent the next 3 days battling gnats, mosquitos, bees, biting flies and hot temps and humidity, trying to get a bird to commit.  After hunting for 3 weeks out of the available 6 for Spring turkey, my seasons here in Wisconsin have come to a close.  Even though I was unable to fill a tag, I wont call it unsuccessful.  I was able to call in birds, spending time in nature, where I don't have to worry about Forklifts, machine alarms, loud noises, and flashing strobes.  Besides, a true hunter doesn't mind when the animals or birds win from time to time.


A Must Have for Any Situation – Stay Alive

18 May 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


As a former Police Officer I was a first responder to many different types of emergencies, whether it be a pulseless non breather at the bottom of a staircase, a subdermal laceration to the skull on an elderly female who fell at church in the stairway, or responding to another officer’s immediate need for help as he was surrounded by many potential assailants, after deploying his taser and calling for help and letting his potential attackers know that the next person was getting shot and to get back. That last one got my blood pumping. I was able to back up my partner, and we and the rest of the officers who showed up came home alive. That is what this is all about staying alive.


I have partnered with My Medic, as I have been able to see the quality of the products that they carry. Today I am reviewing the Advanced MyFAK. Each item of this pack was intentionally hand selected to render aid in the hands of those trained to use the equipment it holds. Some of my favorite items in this pack are the Rapid Tourniquet, Emergency Pressure Bandage, a 4 Channel Vented Chest Seal, Scalpel with # 10 and # 12 Blades, a Nasopharyngeal Airway with lubricant so you can secure an airway in the event of a blockage or choking; and QuikClot, a Hemostatic dressing. It has a nice hand hold carry strap on the top, along with button snaps on the back side so you can secure it to your belt or hiking pack and it also has a smartly designed rip away function so that you can get to it in an instant. Just unbuckle to top strap and rip away and you have it in your hands. There is a Molle system on the front face of the MyFAK which is pretty cool.


As you open the pack, it is a trifold design and it houses an incredible amount of first aid gear in a small yet, rugged and durable canvas pack. It is 7.5” Tall by 6.5” Wide by 5” Deep. It weighs in around 2.5 pounds for those of you concerned with weight. This is something I wish that I had in my squad while on duty, for how compact it is. This is now a mission critical item for any future backcountry hunts, camping, shooting or any everyday travel needs. To order this item or any others like it, click on “Partner Deals”, scroll halfway down the page, and on your righthand page, click the My Medic Link, and it will take you to the order page. Click on First Aid Kits. Scroll down to where it says MyFAK, second option under universal kits. This item is called the MyFAK, Advanced. To get everything listed below, select the Advanced option. Fill out the required fields and use code AARON20 to save $48.00 on your purchase. You won’t be disappointed for the added value and well thought out intentional item inventory on this lightweight and comprehensive kit.


Total Contents:


For Bleeding:

•Rapid Tourniquet ½” by 4’ in length. Qty. 1

•Micromend Cut Kit. To provide stich-less laceration or cut treatment.Qty. 1

•QuikClot, a Hemostatic Dressing. 3” by 4’.Qty. 1

•Pressure Bandage 4” by 5’.Qty. 1

•Secure Strip, a surgical tape strip. (3 per pack) ¼” by 3”.Qty. 1

•Non-Adherent Pad (Doesn’t stick to wounds, wont damage healing skin)Qty. 4

•Small Gauze Pad 2” by 2”.Qty. 4

•Large Gauze Pad 4” by 4”.Qty. 4

•Small Bandage 1” by 3 ¼”.Qty. 8

•Large Bandage 2” by 4”. Qty. 4

•Finger Tip Bandage 1 ¾” by 2”.Qty. 4

•Knuckle Bandage 1 3/5” by 3”. Qty. 4

•Elbow/Knee Bandage 3” by 3”.Qty. 4

•Gauze Roll 3 ½” by 12 ½’.Qty. 1


For Burns:

•Burnshield Jel 3 ½ ml Qty. 2

•Burnshield Cloth 4” by 4”Qty. 1


For Medication:

•Tylenol 500mg Extra Strength, 2 caps each.Qty. 2

•Advil 200mg.Qty. 3

•Benadryl 25mg. 2 caps each.Qty. 1

•Pepto-Bismol 262mg. 2 caps each.Qty. 2

•Bayer Aspirin 325mg. 2 caps each.Qty. 1

•Dramamine 50mg. 2 caps each.Qty. 2

•Ammonia Wipe.Qty. 1


For Outdoor:

•WhistleQty. 1

•Space BlanketQty. 1

•Paracord, 20’, 55lb, 7 strand.Qty. 1

•SuperSkin (Blister prevention and cover for high friction areas) 1” by 2 ¾”Qty. 2

•Light Stick, 6”.Qty. 1


For Topical:

•Anti-Biotic Ointment, 0.9 grams.Qty. 2

•Anti-Itch Cream, 0.9 grams.Qty. 2

•Lip Balm, 0.5 grams.Qty. 2

•Oral Pain Relief, 0.75 grams. 20% BenzocaineQty. 2

•Sunscreen, 3.5 grams, SPF 30.Qty. 2

•Petrolatum, 5 grams, Skin Salve.Qty. 1

•Sting Relief Wipe. 2% Lidocaine.Qty. 2

•Hand Sanitizer.Qty. 2

•Alcohol Prep Pad.Qty. 2

•BZK Towelette.Qty. 2

•Povidone (Surgery Prep Pad)Qty. 2

•Dynalube (Nasal Airway Lubricant)Qty. 1

•Saljet (Saline solution) 30 ml.Qty. 2


For Airway:

•Chest Seal, 6 ¾” by 8”.Qty. 1

•CPR Shield 8” by 8”.Qty. 1

•Nasal Airway (7mm)Qty. 1


For Hydration:

•Electrolyte Tablets, 4.4 grams.Qty.2


For Sprain and Fracture:

•Elastic Bandage, 2” by 15’.Qty. 1

•Finger Splint, 1 ¾” by 3 ¾”.Qty. 1

•Triangular Bandage, 40” by 40” by 56”. Can be use as an arm sling.Qty. 1


For Surgical:

•Scalpel Blade, No. 10.Qty. 2

•Scalpel Blade, No. 11.Qty. 2

•Scalpel Handle, No. 3, 5”.Qty. 1

•EMT Shears, 7 ¼”.Qty. 1

•Thermometer.Qty. 1

•Tweezers, 4 ½”.Qty. 1

•Nitrile Gloves, 2 per pack.Qty. 2

•Pen Light, 5 ½”.Qty. 1

•Surgical Tape, 1” by 7 ½’.Qty. 1

•Surgical Scissors, 4 ½”Qty. 1

Wisconsin Spring Turkey, Second Season 2021

29 April 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Well, Second season was a bust here in Wisconsin.  Cold temperatures mirroring late November and wind had the Tom's almost muted.  During breaks in the wind I was able to draw some birds in from about 400 yards away, only to have them hang up at about 150 yards, when a Hen intervened.  Having them talk to me was a confidence boost.  I have two more tags yet for the week of the 19th and for the week of the 26th.  There's still plenty of time to get a bird on the ground.  But it's ticking.  I saw an alarming amount of coyotes that I'm going to be thinning out with my .300 Win Mag, and that bobcat has been sticking around, and I'm putting in preference points for the Cat too...  Would make a pretty neat mount in the cabin.


Saw more of the native grouse that I have down by the creek bringing my eyes on count to about 11.  I'm hopeful with better predator management I can help them along with better survival rates.  Time will tell.

Early Spring Cleaning

1 March 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Early Spring is a great time to start going through gear and filtering through what you need and what you can afford to get rid of and declutter.  Here I sit measuring out Blackhorn 209 charges with my Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Intellidropper to 84 grains by weight.  This thing is slick, super accurate to within a tenth of a grain.  If you have ever attempted hand measuring out powder you know that it is time consuming, it can frustrate the hell out of you and this takes a lot of that time and frustration away.  


Calibration is easy, follow the step by step instructions and after your 15 minute time lapse for the calibration you should be good to go.  This made weighing out 40 charges, quick, easy and efficient.  To get your own Intillidropper, click on "partner deals" on my header above.  Scroll down half way on the page and the link will be on your right hand side.  Click that and scroll down on the page and you will see that it is advertised on the page.  It is very much worth the money and a value compared to other electronic powder measures on the market today.  Go check them out.

Arctic Blast

6 February 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


Here in Wisconsin, Winters can be bone breaking, and kill you cold.  It takes a tough animal to survive -60*F weather.  This is a photo was taken in the middle of my Antler King Fall/Winter/Spring Food Plot, and it shows the beds of 3 deer all bedded down with each other sharing body heat, while literally on top of their food source so they could eat all night while bedded, sharing heat and wind blocking for each other.  This was no doubt a last ditch measure for survival.  My field was littered with beds like this.  Plant the food plots.  It may just actually save your herd.  Winter is hard enough, it doesn't hurt to spend the money where you can and be a friend to them.  After all they are the reason we do this.


Critical Gaze 2.0

13 January 2021

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.


In my last post I spoke about being able to purchase the very best optics that you could afford.  I was lucky enough to be able to find a decent pair of optics that I had been looking at for quite some time.


Many folks will buy what they can afford for optics and they make it work for them.  I was this way for a very long time and still am to some degree.  In fact I was going to save my money over the course of this year and push it for another season with broken binoculars.  I wasn't even looking for a new pair when I came across an add on Facebook for a set of Sig Sauer Zulu9 11x45mm Binoculars.  


The price was staggeringly low for this particular glass coming in at $739.  After clicking on the add and doing some digging I was able to determine that yes the price was in fact legitimate.  Having my $600 stimulus check freshly in my bank account, and figuring the total cost to my door, I pulled the trigger and placed the order with a well known online retailer which brought a $1,499.00 MSRP valued optic to my door for $181.00 out of pocket.  This was a fantastic deal.  I was elated.  


During my unboxing, I immediately noticed the rubberized coating armor on the metal housed binoculars.  If you look closely at the photos you can see a slight texture on the rubber coating which makes dexterity issues nonexistent.


The glass is HDX and Abbe Koenig Prisms, offering razor sharp quality and I would confidently put these up against a Maven B2 of similar size and say that they compete, and this does beat a Vortex Razor HD in overall quality and image sharpness.  I cannot wait to take these out in the field and begin glassing for Whitetails, Turkeys and Black Bear this fall.


My favorite features of these Binoculars would have to be the overall image quality.  One of my least favorite features would be the weight of them, but with the size of them being 11x45, it is to be expected and I can look past it.  A thoughtful feature that Sig Sauer included was flip caps for end of the barrels.  Between this and the included Bino Harness, they were nice additions to the purchase.  My initial thoughts on this purchase so far are 9.5/10 with the weight in my opinion being the only thing to hold it back from a perfect score.  The good thing though is that there are plenty of Bino Adapters for glassing which will more than make up for this.  The image clarity is phenomenal.  I was able to count individual wood grains on my decking from an undetermined distance.  Pretty amazing stuff and I wasn't planning on it happening but I now have a matching set of world class optics, brought to you by Sig Sauer.  Never Settle.