Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo - Schaumburg 1/30/2016

Went to the show out in Schaumburg today and was not expecting much to be honest after going to the show in Rosemont for the past few years. I did however, need a few things and wanted to meet some people that I have been acquainted with on the internet. My fishing partner also wanted to buy a new reel to match his Abu Garcia Veritas Rod for jig and frog fishing.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was plenty of parking and amazingly, it was free. That was nice not to have to unload 20 bucks right off the bat just to park. Also, the walk was not far from the parking lot to the event and we were not there that early so this was nice. Upon entering the convention center, there was plenty of room leading up to the ticket booths and I purchased my ticket in about 2 minutes from entering.

We walked the short distance to the show from the ticket booths and immediately noticed the size of the show. As we walked through there were plenty of booths with tackle and gear. From initial looks, reasonable prices as well. We made the decision to walk through the show and make notes of the booths we wanted to revisit to buy the stuff we came for.

My friend was in the market for a reel and we stopped by the Anglers Resource Booth and met Casey who was very friendly and knowledgeable about his products. They had a good deal but just did not have the brand my friend was looking for. If you purchased a reel 100 dollars or more, you would get an 80 rod for free. We talked for a while and moved on. We found another retailer The Anglers Outlet from Oak Forest and they had exactly what my friend was looking for. He was comparing the Abu Garcia Revo SX and STX. He ultimately decided on the Revo SX and the price was 25 dollars lower that that of Bass Pro. The guys at the booth were very nice and definitely helped in the decision.

I noticed while I was waiting in line with my friend to purchase his reel the guys from the Cast Crew just down a bit. I went down there to meet some of the guys. I talked a bit with them and they are cool for sure. I wanted to purchase a hat and shirt from them so I could represent this season. I talked with Jaypee and found out we had some of the same acquaintances and a common friend that we both used to fish with who is no longer with us. RIP Tony! We talked for a while and I did get the hat I wanted with the shirt. I also met Travis Crossman from Stankx Baits. I have been buying soft plastics from him for several years now so it was nice to put a face with the name. Ryan and Ray were also cool and we talked a bit about camera equipment and local lakes we have frequented. Great guys and check them out at Their hats were very good quality as well as was the t-shirt. Was great to meet you guys and hope to see you out on the water this year.

Back to business. I needed some new sunglasses and was looking for Strike King S11's. I could not find them anywhere at the show although I have to believe someone had them there because of the amount of retailers at the show. I did find the guys from Blue Fin Eyewear and liked the glasses they had on display. I tried them on and these were extremely comfortable and looked great. They were on sale for 25 dollars a pair which was very reasonable for this quality of glasses. Since we bought three pair, Steve gave them to us for 20 dollars a pair and they came with a lifetime guarantee. Great price! As we talked they were all the way from Louisiana. Great guys for sure and glad to meet them.

On the way out near the guys at BlueFin Eyewear I noticed Nick from Brookfield Angler. He was working the booth for Quest Watersports and I got a chance to say hi to him. Great guy and he has a great blog. Check him out at

Overall this show had a lot to offer in a relatively small package. There was a lot of tackle and gear for good show special prices and much better than the Rosemont Show. I highly recommend getting out and checking out this show before it ends tomorrow.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Solo Pheasants Coon Creek January 23,2016

Well needed to take advantage of the nice January weather we are having and got out again with the dogs to Coon Creek. I was going to try and go solo because I had nobody available to come along. I have never hunted pheasants on my own with my two pointers, Tino and Roxy.

We got to the club at 12:30 and it was a beautiful day. The temps were upper 20's and the wind was not blowing. I got ready and got the green light to hit the field. I had no idea how difficult it would be to film, hunt, and run the dogs. The dogs went on point shortly after we stepped into the field and Tino was on a bird. Roxy was honoring him as she does and I was trying to take a pic, video, and move in for the flush. Well, that did not work too well and the bird was up and on his feet as you can see by Tino creeping in towards him. This is customary for Tino or Roxy to do. They instinctively know that if the bird holds, they hold and if the bird creeps, they creep too. The bird took flight while I was putting away my iphone and I did not take the safety off and I did hit the bird but he flew a couple hundred yards away. We would get this bird later.

The camera angle was off a bit on my head cam and I think it was pointed too far up because the view was too high most of the video. We continued to hunt and I saw many birds. I did harvest 4, which with all I was trying to do felt pretty good. The dogs did great and Roxy continues to get better at carrying birds and is picking them up now. Tino is an absolute beast! He continues to become better and better and he is definitely a once in a lifetime dog. Anyone who has hunted over him can see that he is a special dog.

Well I did put together some video and feel that I'm getting comfortable with my new computer and new editing software. So here is the video and hopefully, I will be getting better with the camera angles and when I get my new camcorder, will be putting together some better quality vids in the future. Thanks for watching and visit me on facebook and instagram at adventuresmidwest!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More Late Season Pheasants

Well this is typically the time of year the dogs and I and my friends really get on the pheasants. It is a great time of year to hunt pheasants because the colder weather affects them in that they hold better and the points are usually intense. It also makes it easier to harvest birds because they are not running and if you have ever seen a pheasant run, they can move out!!!

We hunt Coon Creek Hunt Club in Garden Prairie Illinois. They are great and treat my guests and I awesome every time we go out. They really go the extra mile to make hunters feel at home.

Today was not planned and my friend Bill and I talked Thursday night to determine that Saturday afternoon would be colder, but a good day overall to get out. I made the call and put out 6 birds for us. This is a little light on birds but every time we have gone out, we have seen many more than what we put out. This trip was no exception. It is also great to get out later in the season because the amount of birds running around on the property is staggering.

We hit the field at about 1:00 and by 1:20, we had three opportunities. It is amazing watching the dogs work and how they can pinpoint the birds. I am lucky to have two German Short haired Pointers and two good ones at that. My liver and white male is an absolute beast!
He is turning 7 on St. Patrick's Day this year but still hunts as if he is two or three. He is driven like I have never seen and just keeps going. In fact, I feel sorry for my young female because he finds the birds so fast, she does not get a chance to point a lot of birds. She is a two year old female and learns every time we go out. My big male ranges very far and covers a lot of ground whereas, she works in close and is always looking to see where the hunters are and also where Tino my male is. She then seems to make decisions on where to go on that. It is really amazing because it seems as though she is thinking about where she wants to go. We saw 10 birds and only put six out. This was actually a slow day because several weeks ago, we put out six and took home fourteen. No complaints though because the reason we only got six was we were practicing conservation and missed several. My friend Bill was having a bit of gun trouble, and I was jut not really shooting that well.

I have a video of the outing and am happy to be back at making videos due to my Macbook crashing. I now have a new machine with new software for editing. This is a story for another time and I will be putting up a review of the machine which is an MSI GE-72 Dominator. I am super happy with this machine so far and will be adding a new professional camcorder to enhance the videos that I will be producing.

Don't forget to check out the Youtube channel and subscribe if you like it. Send some feedback good or bad so I can continue to improve the quality of my videos. Thanks for reading and check out the video.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Late season pheasants!!!

I haven't been out in a while with the dogs because of so much time invested deer hunting this year and the weather being a bit out of the norm. The pheasant fields were flooded pretty heavily anyway and the last time out, we were having a difficult time with walking due to the deep water. We still did pretty good considering the dogs did most of the work.

This story begins with my birthday being on January 5 and I just did not want to go to work, so I called up the pheasant club, and they said the fields are more than huntable now and to come on out. I made a reservation and invited my cousin to come with so I had an extra gun. I had no idea what we would be in store for!

We got out to the club like many other times and said hi to the people working and putting the birds out and got ready to hunt. Jim, one of the gentlemen that works there said he saw a bunch of pheasants grouped up in the field we would be hunting and gave directions on where they were. I half listened and just kept getting ready to hunt. We were ready to go and proceeded to get the dogs out of the care and walk to the field.

We get into the field and my big male takes exactly one minute and thirty seconds to go on point! I flushed the bird and thought I made a good shot. Well the pheasant was running and as it turned out, he ran directly into a hawk that must have been doing a little pheasant hunting of his own. In the video you will see the rooster run across the road and then minutes later, we saw the hawk take off and the rooster was already being eaten. The hawk made quick work of that poor little pheasant. As we kept working down the field with the dogs we approached the end of the field and only saw that one bird. I was getting a bit disappointed because we were just told how many were bunched up in that field. We kept walking and working down the tree line on the far side of our field. Then about mid way down the fence line we could see the heads of about 25 pheasants running down the rows of sorghum. We followed close behind the dogs and they both went on point. We flushed the bird and got him, and then it happened. We turned as another bird took flight and there were about 50 pheasants in the air. I have never see a flock of pheasants like that in my life. This was really cool. The dogs of course went nuts tracking them and I could only imagine how much scent was out there for them to smell.

We continued working this field and the birds were going up four and five at a time. We were actually running out of shells as they would come up. This was a truly special day to be out in the woods with a good friend and my two dogs Tino and Roxy, who when I think about it are the real stars of the day. They consistently find birds in the field and sometimes it is amazing how they can find a downed bird so far from where we hit them. Without the dogs, we would not even have half the birds that we do. I am particulary luck with my two pointers because they can really get them going.

I am hoping I can get the video link up here because the file would not load to youtube like normal but I did get it into Facebook. So please check out my Facebook page Adventures Midwest and see the whole video!!!!!

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I will get the video thing sorted out!!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Got the bug!!!!!

Well I have not been writing all that much over the past several years and this past hunting season got me thinking that I have my blog page setup and why not get going again. I have had some cool things happen this hunting season and I am feeling bad for not documenting them because they are once in a lifetime events. For example, while out deer hunting I witnessed one of the most intense deer fights I have ever seen. Then I rattled one of the big boys in and he was a large deer. I did not get a shot at him because my release broke but what an experience. This is just a short notice that I will hopefully do better at documenting my outings in the future.

I will be buying a much better camera for videos of fishing, hunting, dog training, and anything else I manage to get myself into!! I am looking forward to starting to write again and will be bringing some educational videos as well. So keep an eye out for my new entries and hopefully I will not get into too much trouble!!!! Thanks for listening and I will be back soon with some new material.

For now, check out my Youtube page 1080tommy1 which does have some newer videos of hunting outings. For example, there is a cool video of when I got to fly an AT-6 Texan with Gauntlet Warbirds. I will hopefully have some new videos of Tino and Roxy my two German Shorthaired Pointers working out at Coon Creek Hunt Club soon too!!!!

See you out there. Tight lines and Shoot straight.