The Crown Jewel Hunt
This story started long before we pulled out of our yard and headed to British Columbia on the 10th of August, 2013. It actually started seventeen months earlier at a Safari Club dinner/auction.
We have attended the Northeast Michigan Safari Club dinner and auction for many years. Safari Club is a great organization that truly fights for the right of the hunter and it is a great couple of nights to catch up with outfitters and friends that you haven’t seen in a while.
For the past few years the local chapter has held what is called The Crown Jewel Raffle and Scott and I each buy a ticket for this raffle. For two weeks we thumb through the hunts and quite often joke about “which hunt are you going to pick”. Right up until the drawing we are quietly ribbing each other about which hunt we will pick when they draw our name. Little did we know one of us had to choose this year.
For those of you that have never been to a Safari Club dinner and auction I recommend that you attend one. It is so exciting to walk around and see the mounts and visit with the outfitters. There are pictures to view, videos of hunts, raffle items and a room full of knowledge of hunts of every kind. Not only are there outfitters from right here in the USA but also Canada, New Zealand, and Africa. It is a wonderful couple of evenings and I am sure you would enjoy.
After dinner and a couple of small raffles they announced that they were going to do the Crown Jewell Raffle. Scott has been bidding on a red stag hunt for two years and was never the successful bidder so I was sure that was what he had his eye one, me I had no idea. Once they choose a winner, you have 5 minutes to make your choice of hunts. You can choose any hunt in the auction items with the exception of the sheep, grizzly and brown bear hunts. With everyone staring up at the stage they draw the ticket and this year’s winner is………Scott Black!
I wish I had a camera to capture the look on his face. He has never won anything and.... Read the full story
Girls Hunt Too!
by Lauren Blankenship and Mackenzie Wilmot
Boys! Hunting this and hunting that. Big game hunting video games from Cabella’s, the Outdoor Channel, deer calls, rattling antlers and camo hunting gear! One would think that only boys ever hunt! What a mistake! After all, girls hunt too!
In late October, we hunted together at Jack Pine Safari. Some of the boy cousins were there as well but only to observe how it’s suppose to be done! Big bucks on the ground - put there by two demure teenage girls – ballerinas and cheerleaders!
We arrived at Jack Pine Safari on Friday afternoon. After settling in to the main lodge and a quick lunch, we made a trip to the range to make sure our rifles were still on. Following a short shooting session on the range, we were ready to head to the blinds for the evening hunt.
Mackenzie hunted with her dad and grandmother. Lauren hunted with her dad and her grandfather. It was a quiet evening. No wind and mild temperatures. The deer were in full rut. The bucks were chasing the does all over the place so we saw a lot of big deer but nothing we were ready to shoot. Saturday would prove to be another story!
We hunted Saturday morning from the same blinds we used the evening before. There wasn’t quite as much deer movement but we both saw some pretty nice deer. We returned to the lodge mid-morning for brunch. We took time for a quick mid-day rest and then headed back to our blinds for the evening hunt.
Just as it had been the evening before, the deer were really moving. We both began to see good deer almost immediately upon arriving at the blind. We watched for a while until we each saw something we liked. Mackenzie shot first – a big eight point that would score 130 SCI. About five minutes later it was Lauren’s turn. Another eight point buck hit the dirt! After taking plenty of pictures, we got the deer taken care of properly and hung them from the massive buck pole at Jack Pine.
There was a great family celebration that evening back at the lodge! After taking plenty of pictures, we had a great dinner! We took time to share our success stories with everyone in the family who was there.
Sunday morning, we packed up and prepared to head for home. Before we left Jack Pine, however, we took a lot more pictures. One of the final things we did was to each write a note in the guest book at Jack Pine. Our boy cousins had also written in the guest book when they each killed a buck or a bull elk in years past. At the end of each of their messages, they each wrote ”BBD”. We recognized right away that “BBD” stands for Big Buck Down. At the end of each of our messages we also wrote “BBD” but we added one more line . . .“Girls hunt too!”
These pictures of some of our area youth enjoying our hunting heritage remind us of why we need to stay involved with the Northeast Michigan Chapter of SCI. The future of what we hold so dear is in our hands, and our chapter is constantly striving to ensure that our future is as bright as ever.