An OOTF viewing party!
The most recent episode of Outdoors on the Farm was all about fun. We were raccoon hunting in the hills west of my home town of Denver, Iowa, with the "Mule Guy" Loren Schweer. Let me tell ya... I've been in a lot of different hunting situations over the years, but there's something about combining a nice cold November night, good mules, good dogs and good friends to have some fun out in the timber! And man... did we have fun! And Saturday morning, we'll be getting together with a bunch of friends at one of the local establishments in Denver to have a "viewing party" of the coon hunting episode. I'm sure it's going to be a great time! Here's a look at the crew we had in the timber for the coon hunt.
At the left is Ivan Hesse -- a coon hunter with 30 years of experience. He's normally the "gun man" when he and Loren hit the timber with dogs Luke and Junior. But for our hunt, he turned the "plunking duties" over to my son, Thomas. I'm standing next to Ivan, Loren is in the back row with his head sticking up between me and Thomas, who is holding the night's take. Next to Tom is Mark Haskin.
You didn't get to see much of Mark on the show, but I don't know how we would have pulled it off without him! Mark was out in front as we made our way through the timber, opened and shut gates and was helping out a bunch to control and work the dogs and the mules. I taped a big "thank you" to Mark for the show, but sometimes "good stuff" gets edited out.
One of the reasons Mark was helping with the dogs as much as he did is because Loren and I were helping to keep track of our cameraman, who -- believe it or not -- was on a mule (or horse) for the first time that night! Can you imagine!?! Never ridden before and we stick him on a mule and go for a "trail ride" AT NIGHT through some of the thickest, thorniest timber -- which included some "exciting" drops into draws that had us all standing in the stirrups and leaning back hard. You don't often get to see the guy behind the camera, but the cameraman with us for the coon hunt has been with us several times to tape Outdoors on the Farm. His name is Joe Brown and he helped us with the food plot show (episode 3), the dove hunt in Illinois (episode 5), the quail hunt (episode 8) and the coon hunt (episode 12). Needless to say... he was a "good sport" about getting on a mule.
Joe looks happy here... but you've got to question his sanity about trusting his safety to the crew that's pictured at the top, don't you!?!
And there's one more picture I've got to share with you about coon hunting. The picture below was taken almost exactly one year before we taped the coon hunt for Outdoors on the Farm. I just wanted to show this is something Tom and I try to do at least once every year with Loren and Ivan. And if I could find the picture, I could show you one from the fall of 2008, also.
(First off... if you want to see how a "growing boy" changes from ag 14 to 15, take a look at Tom in the picture above and then go back up to the top picture to see how he's change! Wow... I must be getting old!) Loren and Ivan have been great friends and they are why I got back into doing something that I really enjoyed when I was a kid. And -- most importantly -- they're giving Thomas a chance to experience coon hunting. Geesh... could you ask for a couple of better hunting partners than these guys!?!
I can't believe it, but next week will feature our final episode of the first season. I'll be visiting with a long-time friend about his wetland and prairie restoration efforts -- and we'll take a look back to the first time I duck hunted with Mark Bernard at his place near New Richland, Minnesota.
- If you can't watch on RFD-TV every Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CT or Saturday at 10:30 a.m. CT, you can always watch the shows here on the web site.
- Sign up for the turkey hunt with me and country music artist Justin Moore. (Guys... this is going to be a hoot. We'll keep your travel time to a minimum, put you up in a great place and make sure you're sitting in a great spot when the sun comes up! The food will be great, too -- and we'll do our best to be "good company" for a couple of days!
And most importantly, keep on having fun outdoors on the farm!