For the Elmwood area folks who’ve been emailing me for something close by, here’s a class that’s happening soon! Illinois CCW ClassDave Shipley is hosting Illinois Concealed Weapon class Dec. 14 & 15, 2013Jan. 11 & 12, 2014 This is the two day 16 hour training class you need to get your Illinois CCW card. […]
I just completed my Illinois conceal carry class and received my graduation certification. As many of you know, Illinois was the last state to legalize CC and didn’t want it, but due to a Supreme court ruling they had to comply. Beginning January 1st 2014, Illinois will begin the authorization of CC permits. As of […]
You can click on the pictures up to 3 times to enlarge them! “It was a great day of Bow hunting!This Marc AnthonyGhillie Suit and Carbon Synergy has changed the way I bow hunt…forever !” Luke Terstriep below: “Just […]
Buck Stop scents http://buckstopscents.com/ sent me some of their doe estrus urine for me to test this week. The timing is perfect as the rut is just kicking in here in Illinois. I’ve since hung scent wicks in our testing grounds and in my hunting areas, so if I get some interesting pictures, I’ll add them to […]
For the Elmwood area folks who’ve been emailing me for something close by, here’s a class that’s happening soon!
Illinois CCW ClassDave Shipley is hosting Illinois Concealed Weapon class Dec. 14 & 15, 2013Jan. 11 & 12, 2014
This is the two day 16 hour training class you need to get your Illinois CCW card.
Upon completion you will receive 2 certificates; 1 Illinois CCFL Training certificate and an NRA Basic Pistol certificate.
Kevin Moody will be your instructor – Kevin is a NRA Range Safety Officer • Former Marine, qualified expert rifle and expert pistol. • Field Artillery cannon crewman • Competes at Camp Perry National Matches (M1 Garand, antique arms, Springfield) • Competes in PPC (Police Pistol Combat) civilian division • Competes/Member IDPA and IPSC • NRA Basic Pistol • NRA Basic Rifle • NRA Basic Shotgun • NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home • NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home • Illinois Carry Conceal License Instructor
Call Dave Shipley to reserve your spot 309-369-5343 or Email (Ships@elmnet.net)
Fee is $225 per person
I just completed my Illinois conceal carry class and received my graduation certification. As many of you know, Illinois was the last state to legalize CC and didn’t want it, but due to a Supreme court ruling they had to comply. Beginning January 1st 2014, Illinois will begin the authorization of CC permits.
As of lately, classes are popping up offering the required training needed to possess the Illinois CC permit. With January just weeks away, now is the time to get on board with good instruction! I reviewed and participated in this class from KAM Shooting Sports with Kevin Moody and Ken Simmons as lead instructors. I was very impressed and satisfied with the instruction! They took their time, offered an open forum where you could easily and comfortably ask questions along the way, in addition to keeping the shooting phase completely safe and smooth running. Nobody was rushed and everybody had more than adequate one-on-one time if needed.
I especially appreciated the fact that our instructors had decades of military and law enforcement experience. That’s important because a person can get a better understanding of what should be done from a police officer and ex-marine’s perspective.
Here’s their credentials:
- Prior Military (both)
- Prior Law Enforcement (Ken)
- Expert Marksmanship Badges (Rifle and Pistol) (Both)
- NRA Basic Pistol Instructor (Both)
- NRA Basic Rifle Instructor (Both)
- NRA Basic Shotgun Instructor (Both)
- NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor (Both)
- NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor (Basic and Advanced) (Both)
- NRA Chief Range Safety Officer (Both)
- USCCA Handgun Instructor (U.S. Conceal Carry Association) (Both)
- Competitive in IDPA, IPSC, PPC (Police Pistol Combat), Camp Perry National Matches (Both)
- Additional Training at TDI Ohio (Defensive Handgun 1 thru 5) (Ken past 15 yrs)
- Additional Training through PDN (Combat focused shooting) (Kevin)
- Gun smith and Glock Armor (Ken)
If you are interested in taking this class, here’s what you’ll need:
- Handgun (NO Magnums)
- Holster (strong side NO cross draw)
- 2 Magazines or speed loaders
- 60 rds. minimum of ammo (recommend 100)
- Eye and Ear protection (shooting day only)
- Concealment garment (Jacket or vest or anything that will completely cover your firearm)
- Copy of your DL or State ID and FOID card (FOID only if IL resident)
- Copy of any “Prior Training” documents or Military form DD214 (FLA. CCW, Utah CCW etc.)
- Pen, Pencil, Notepad and highlighter
- Positive Attitude
Below is what the state requires and also what they’ll give you credit for.
Here is a list of training courses acceptable to satisfy the prior training requirements, consistent with Sections 75(g) and (i) of the Act, and the appropriate credit to be applied for each. It is the responsibility of the instructor to verify successful completion of prior training and apply credit as listed. Once this credit is combined with additional training hours provided by the instructor, the approved ILCCF Instructor will certify the 16-hours were met. Approved ILCCF Instructors should inform applicants how much credit they will receive for their prior training and remind them the prior training certificates must be submitted with the ILCCF Training Certificate when they apply. This list will be updated as additional courses are submitted and approved by the Department.
Course Title Acceptable Credit
Illinois Hunter Safety Course ………………………………………………………….. 4 hours
Utah Concealed Carry …………………………………………………………………….. 4 hours
Florida Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Nevada Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Missouri Concealed Carry ………………………………………………………………. 4 hours
Kentucky Concealed Carry ……………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Michigan Concealed Carry ……………………………………………………………… 4 hours
Chicago Firearms Safety Course ……………………………………………………… 4 hours
NRA Basic Pistol ………………………………………………………………………….. 8 hours
NRA Personal Protection in the Home ……………………………………………… 8 hours
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home ……………………………………… 8 hours
Active, Retired, or Honorably Discharged member
of the United States Armed Forces …………………………………………………… 8 hours
Here’s a copy of the list of functions you’ll learn as you participate in the curriculum:
First 8 Hrs. Prior training and/or Military is exempt from section’s 1, 2 and 3.
1. Firearm safety;
______ a. 4 basic firearm handling safety rules
______ b. Home storage
______ c. Vehicle storage
______ d. Public Storage
2. Basic principles of marksmanship;
______ a. Stance
______ b. Grip
______ c. Sight Alignment
______ d. Sight Picture
______ e. Trigger Control
3. Care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable ? rearm;
______ a. Gun identification: revolver, semi-automatic, misc.
______ b. Ammunition identification and selection
______ c. Safety and cleaning protocols
______ d. Cleaning equipment
______ e. Loading and unloading
Second 8 Hrs. NO exemptions
4. All applicable State and Federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm;
______ a. The Act in its entirety,
1) with emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/10(h) which includes instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.
2) with emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/65 which includes instruction on prohibited areas and the parking lot exception.
______ b. The FOID Act 430 ILCS 65/1 ET seq.
______ c. Relevant portions of the ILCS including but not limited to
1) 720 ILCS 5/7-1. Use of force in defense of a person**
2) 720 ILCS 5/7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling**
3) 720 ILCS 5/7-3. Use of force in defense of other property**
4) 720 ILCS 24/1 ET. Seq. Unlawful Use of Weapons**
** Must define dwelling, aggressor, forcible felony and unlawful use of weapons pursuant to the ILCS.
5. Weapon Handling;
______ a. Dry fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals
______ b. Dry fire practice drills from concealment
______ c. Live fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals
______ d. Live fire qualification with a concealable ?rearm consisting of minimum of 30 rounds which must include 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards; 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards; and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the Illinois State Police. See http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm for more info.
Classes will be held at the Deer Creek American Legion and utilize the KAM Shooting Sports range for the practical firearm shoot. Please realize there is no 12 hr. curriculum, only 8 or 16 hrs.; you can combine any prior training to add up to 8 hrs. and 8 hrs. is the maximum credit any person can receive.
December class dates: Dec. 14/15 this a hosted class in Elmwood
Sunday Dec. 22nd 8 hr only starts 8:00 am at the Legion
January class dates: Jan. 4/5 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00 am
Jan. 11/12 Hosted class in Elmwood
Jan. 18/19 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00
Jan. 25/26 Full 16 hr class Saturday and Sunday; starts 8:00 am
For people taking the full 16 hr.’s of training, they will receive (2) certificates; 1 NRA Basic Pistol certificate and 1 Illinois CCFL certificate. The NRA certificate is accepted by Florida and Arizona for their CCW applications. People that take 8 hrs. will receive an Illinois CCFL certificate. Florida and Arizona will also accept a Military form DD214 or active Military ID
Please Contact Kevin Moody at (309)642-0582 to schedule a class or email him at email@example.com. I highly recommend this class for anyone looking to carry a concealed weapon legally, safely and intelligently! Get on board and don’t be the next “Knockout game” victim.
You can click on the pictures up to 3 times to enlarge them!
“It was a great day of Bow hunting!This Marc AnthonyGhillie Suit and Carbon Synergy has changed the way I bow hunt…forever !”
Luke Terstriep below:
“Just want to give you guys some good press. I ordered a gillie suit on Sept 8th. I shot 3 does in NJ during the September and October season. All using the gillie suit. So now I was comfortable using it. Then came my annual trip it Illinois. On Wednesday evening I decide to sit on the ground with my Gillie suit. See Picture attached. I’m convinced. I shot this buck at 14 yards. Rough score 150
Fernando Knipp’s buck.
My buck from this year.
Travis Joe Hirt
Buck Stop scents http://buckstopscents.com/ sent me some of their doe estrus urine for me to test this week. The timing is perfect as the rut is just kicking in here in Illinois. I’ve since hung scent wicks in our testing grounds and in my hunting areas, so if I get some interesting pictures, I’ll add them to this post!
I’m testing their 200 Proof product and their new Synthetic urine. I especially like the fact that the 200 Proof is bottled to order! I received my bottle in just 2 days after I placed the order! Note the time on this bottle:
The price, just $13.50. Through comparison, I was pricing store bottled stuff at the same price here in Illinois.
With the rut just days away from being in full swing, it doesn’t sound like a bad deal! Freshly bottled scent delivered to your door for almost the same cost as older, shelved, urine. http://buckstopscents.com/virtuemart?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=73&category_id=28
Some say rules are meant to be broken, and that’s exactly what I did this year. I broke two of my own rules. I’ve stated that “You couldn’t pay me to hunt Pike Co. Illinois anymore” and that I had no interest in ever hunting with an outfitter. I broke both of them at the same time.
Being known as a product tester, companies send me products constantly for review. Some are great and others are junk. Working as a professional, I am always reluctant to spew the ugly side of a review until speaking with the developer of that product to insure I’ve tested the product as designed and to allow the manufacturer to communicate with my team for possible changes that can add to the safety and/or quality of the product. Most companies cooperate and every once in a while, some won’t. The final outcome is revealed in the written review.
Lately, companies offering services have come under fire for not delivering what was promised, thus leaving a bad taste not only associated with a particular provider, but the entire industry as well. It’s not really a fair assessment and if you’ve every traded stocks, you’ll know exactly what I mean when one company misses their mark and the entire sector gets punished for it. Well, the same holds true for outfitters. After literally hundreds of requests, I’ve chosen to review an outfitter in Pike County Illinois.
Even though I’ve been invited to review many whitetail outfitters here in the U.S., I chose to review Buck Chasers from Griggsville, Illinois frankly because I have heard so many good things about these people. After accepting an invitation from them, I packed up and made the drive a week before I was scheduled to hunt with them to check the place out. They allowed me to scout any of the 7000 acres they manage prior to the season opener and spent the day showing me how they work the premises and their operation. When the day was over, I had 3 prospective places picked out for my 4 day hunt planned the following week.
Now let’s back-peddle a bit and I’ll explain why I stated I never wanted to hunt Pike Co. again. The year was 1990 and Pike County Illinois was probably as close to whitetail heaven as any place on the planet ever could be! The forests were remnants of old Illinois, reflecting the images I had once remembered as a child growing up in the vast areas of the Midwest landscape. You could still knock on a farmer’s door asking permission to hunt and once granted, could happily hunt wild turkeys and whitetails without interference from too many intruders. Those were the days when the season closed, I would bring a smoked ham or turkey back to the farmer giving thanks for sharing his property with me. Ironically, the farmers were always pleased and sometimes surprised that anyone even thought of giving something back to them after “only allowing them to hunt”. Even though many of these farmers raised livestock, they appreciated the gesture of receiving a gift of “meat” in exchange, and relationships were built from that point on.
Then came antler mania.
Once the secret escaped that mega bucks were being harvested in this area, land was being purchased as fast as it could be sold. In fact, land was selling for just $250.00 – $400.00 an acre in the 90′s that was often described as “junk” ground by the locals. Once the outfitters secured all that was left, western Illinois was now the new market place for whitetails by all whom could afford the price tag. Simultaneously, the quality of hunting took a plunge and outfitters developed a reputation of being careless and sloppy, among other things. Pike, Schuyler, Adams and other western counties were plagued with out-of-state people wandering onto private properties, poaching and shooting from their cars with high powered rifles; something that has never been allowed here in Illinois. The demon was born and his name was “The Outfitter”.
As time went by, I found lesser known areas to hunt and worked those areas for decades. Back in my mind, I always dreamed of hunting “Old Illinois” but knew things would never be like they were decades ago. Quite honestly, I must say I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed my 4 days in Pike County on the opening week of October, 2013! I give all of the credit to Chris Bishop at Buck Chasers and his crew for an outstanding job of managing their grounds and their guests!
There are so many good things to say about these guys, I don’t know where to begin! Let’s start with the property. They now manage approximately 7000 acres in an area where whitetail genetics have been know to be second to none. Much of the property borders each other, so the chance of your hunt being interrupted by “lost” hunters, is virtually eliminated. An uninterrupted hunt is one key to success. FYI, it is a very difficult task to get all property owners on the same page and in some cases, a premium payment has to be sacrificed.
Another important feature of keeping quality genetics superior is keeping them alive long enough to become giants by imposing a 140″ minimum shooting standard. Chris will give everyone a short, but sweet, instructional talk on how to judge antler score on the hoof. There are no shortages of deer on these properties, so selective shooting and patients is advised. Unfortunately, I was stuck hunting in 85-90 degree weather all 4 days I was there and still saw ample deer each day, at one point or another. The deer are there!
Chris is a college educated professional and a seasoned, veteran hunter, which means he can manage a business and provide expert advice. He checks the wind daily and advises his staff which of the 400 stands will suit their clients the best. He calls his guides in several times a day to discuss the day’s events and the next day’s plan for each client. I especially like the way he limits how many people will hunt a particular week. Even though his lodge can house over 40 people, he’ll usually only book a handful or so a week. With 7000 acres, he can easily quadruple that amount but his disciplined attitude is one reason why his hunting grounds are so pristine.
The guides at buck Chasers never rest. All year long they are clearing shooting lanes, hanging new and more comfortable tree stands, planting acres upon acres of food plots, purchasing targets and in general providing an ultimate playground for anyone looking to concentrate on just hunting whitetails! Each guide has their own forte’, are knowledgeable in all areas of the ground they manage and are properly educated in whitetail behavior. Chris makes sure they are all on board each day and assigns them their own clients, for which they are responsible for. Those responsibilities include drop off and pick up, field dressing and proper care of their harvested deer, among other things. No one is abandoned, except for me, and I requested that!
The lodge is great also! It’s a beautiful log cabin overlooking a 3 acre fully stocked pond. The lodge consists of 3 stories with multiple full baths on each floor, washers and dryers on each floor, queen beds, single beds, bunk beds, two different TV rooms with large screen TV’s, full size garage with walk in cooler, wrap around covered deck, open balcony on back, scent free room, 3D archery course set up around pond, fire pit for bonfires, deer processing shed, and multiple deep freezers for processed deer. Nothing is forgotten. There’s fresh coffee and rolls each morning and hot lunches and dinner served every night. I missed out on the hot lunches because I chose to be dropped off into the timber each day for all-day hunts, so I brought water and sandwiches with me to keep me going all day long. In fact, Fernando, one of the guides, was kind enough to pick my sandwiches up and have them in the refrigerator for me at my disposal. Regarding the dinner, Cassie, Chris’ wife, made an excellent hot meal each night consisting of BBQ chops, homemade cheesy potatoes, homemade lasagna, green beans with bacon, fresh raspberry cobbler and much, much more.
Buck Chasers have enough stand sights and locations to accommodate every type of hunter. This includes men, women, children and handicapped hunters. If you enjoy being dropped off so you can hunt from the ground, like me, they’ll accommodate your style of hunting also. Something practically unheard of with outfitters is the fact that you can come before the season opens and scout most of their properties too! Many of the timbered grounds they manage have markers that are visible when flashing a light on them, making it very easy to get in and out of a particular farm. That’s a welcome feeling when you are miles from civilization. I made sure everything they allowed me to do was something they’ll allow ALL of their clients to do! I had no special treatment there just because I was reviewing them.
My 4 day trip was a blast! I passed up a solid 150″ 9 pointer at 15-20 yards one day, stuck a doe head-on from the ground, saw numerous deer and even blew a chance at a marvelous 5X5 that would have easily been welcome on my wall at home. I made some friends while I was there and even keep in touch with them on Facebook. My only regret was not thanking 2 of the men that were there for their service to our country, Dorin Melinte and Mike Crocker. Sometimes I just forget what really matters when whitetails are on my mind!
In summary, I’ve taken some heat for reviewing an outfitter mainly because most people know I’ve never used one before. So I ask YOU to be the judge. How would you rate an outfitter that has:
1. 7000 managed acres.
2. Over 400 tree stands.
3. A clean and comfortable lodge.
4. Hot homemade meals.
5. Numerous deer.
6. Many world class bucks roaming.
7. Attentive and knowledgeable guides.
8. Are friendly and eager to please.
9. Has all of the proper facilities, like a scent free hunting clothes shed, meat coolers, 4×4′s, etc.
10. A stocked lake.
11. Multiple 3-D targets.
12. Specialized pricing based on time of the season.
13. The ability to customize your hunting requirements.
14. Can accommodate every type of hunter.
15. Special youth and women’s packages.
Whether you are being guided by Jason, Fernando, Andy or Chris, rest assured these guys will work constantly to put you on quality deer! Make no mistake, this is not a game farm nor are these penned raised deer! These are wild Illinois, free roaming whitetails and in some cases are the envy of the whitetail world. This is one review where I’m happy to put my name on it. In fact, I’ll be back!
If you want to take the fear out of trying to decide which outfitter to place your hard earned money with, Contact Chris Bishop for more information!
Washing and drying instructions
Never wash the Marc Anthony Bow Hunter suit in a washing machine!
Just dip them in a no-scent, no UV, solution of soapy water then rinse.
While still wet, dip in a solution of Carbon Synergy
www.carbonsynergy.net (CS) and let drip dry. Once dry, place in a
plastic bag until ready for use. After hunting, place back in bag. As
long as you bag the suit, the scent control should last for about three
weeks of use. You’ll know when you’re ready to dip them again in CS
when the deer start winding you. There usually is no need to wash the
suit again when treating with CS. This suit MUST BE DIPPED IN CS to
achieve the correct color and scent control!
Accelerated drying method
Zip up the jacket and pant legs, then turned them both inside out after
dipping them and letting them drip for an hour. Then place them in the
dryer inverted (inside out) for about 15 minutes. This saves a lot of
time when you need to use the suit ASAP but carefully monitor the
progress without over exposure in the dryer.
This is a short clip of me killing a doe from the ground. I had everything going against me here. It was the first day of bow season and it was first light. I didn’t have time to get my face mask on when a doe busted me (listen to the first 15 seconds of the clip where she blows at me). This is a good training clip to demonstrate not to move even after getting busted in the Ghillie suit because they really don’t know what you are! By holding tight, they always come back to check you out. I cut out 7 minutes (of video) of her staring at me and I didn’t have time to position the camera to capture her looking at me. I also had to shoot between 2 trees! After I stuck her, you can see her running in the back of the video with my arrow in her chest. She was 15-20 yards from me. It’s the ultimate hunt taking whitetails from the ground! On a side note; my kids could not resist making fun of my lips twitching when I was desperately trying to feel for my kisser button on my string
No doubt about it, these are the best hunting boots I’ve tested! I absolutely love these boots! These are the new LaCrosse AeroHead boots and they’ve come a long way since the last time I purchased a pair of boots, which happens to be from LaCrosse back in 1990.
I still have the boots I bought in 1990 and they still perform as well today as they did 23 years ago! LaCrosse has it down when it comes to hunting boots. They understand hunters and outdoorsmen/women. These new AeroHead boots are the cat’s meow because they are easy to take off and to put on, (due to the rubberized material), waterproof, have the new “Ankle fit” technology that locks the heal in place, incorporate the “Bruss Tuff” abrasion resistant material that protects against brush and briars in addition to being scent proof. To top it all off, they’re also light weight!
Online prices run about $125.00 and will most likely last you decades! It’s well worth the money. Visit LaCrosse for more information.
We have great back packs that have a ton of storage and will carry your bow or gun too! These are every bit the quality you’ll spend $300.00 + on but for $only 95.00! Rest assured, I’ve tested these and they are awesome! Here’s a link to our store or you can email us for a PayPal invoice: Store