drakes adventures

By Steve Wall

How did you start Drakes adventures?

I read to my children every night and when I was traveling to hunt year round back in the Double Bull hay days, they would ask me to tell them stories of my hunts, so I would grab the magic highlights and tell them in a way that sparked their interest.  The more questions they asked the more pumped I was that they were taking an interest in the outdoor community.  During these travels I came home and was reading a sound book to my boy (he was four at the time) and it dawned on me that how cool would it be to tell children realistic sound induced hunting and fishing stories.  So I went to Wilbur and got his blessing to pursue this venture.  For the past four years, my partner; Steve Karras and I have busted tail making sure to present the traditions and honors of our great sports to our little followerssome day they will lead their own trail.

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How long have you been in business?

Drake’s Adventures just launched in Jan 2015.  We just finished approving our second book “Trick or Treat”.  It will be introduced in July of this year.  The third will follow in Octa great duck hunt that has Drake’s little sister “Cricket” joining their pursuits.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Getting the opportunity to truly make a difference in our hunting community.  I had a great father and two brothers that always took me hunting.  The honor and traditions they passed on to me is what I want to bestow on our kids.  Seeing a kid smile because he just pushed the Turkey Gobbling button in the story is un-matched.  When I grew up we had a simple farm noise toy, you pointed an arrow at the cow and it said moooo.Steve and I are bringing that into the next generation with a truly interactive way of introducing children to the beautiful outdoor arena.  We want children involved and we want to get them pointed in the right direction.

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 What are your most popular products?

Spring Thunder is our first book, it is the only current one on the market.  It is gaining ground at a fast clip.  We just launched in January so I am very excited to see how all the seasons, all the different critters, play out.

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Who is your target audience?

The series is really designed for children pre-7. There are great programs like; Jakes, Greenwings, NASP, YSSF, etc that really help to get kids participating in our sports. My goal is to get them asking their parents to get them into these programs. Our overall involvement numbers of hunters is getting older and smaller each day. We are losing our children to this high speed world. No reason to fight their immediate need for stimuli, lets just give it to them in a way that keeps our great sports alive.

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What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

Out of all my hunts I would say that the first turkey hunt I took my son Blake on.  He was four and would barely sit still when this giant gobbler worked his way down this ridge towards our decoys.  Ever time I called he gobbled.  As I reached for my bow my son would whisper to me “get him daddy, shoot him”.  As the bird worked his magic in the sunset, I started to draw and my hand was shaking, my son asked me “daddy are your scared?”.  I was so nervous to make sure I clobbered this gobbler standing there in all his glory not 10 yards away from the front of the blind.  When the bird ran and folded up Blake yelled “We got him, we got the big gobbler”.  My eyes get wet just typing this.

 

Watch the video of this hunt below!

 

Contact Info:

Website: drakesadventures.com
Facebook: Drake’s Adventures
Twitter: @drakesadventure

 

Drake’s adventures is going to change the way that we introduce our younger generations to the outdoors!!  A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Keith Beam at the Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.  I talked to Keith for a short while and he showed me the video above that led to creating the books.  The excitement in Keith’s eyes and voice as he shared these experiences with me was very powerful!  With two young children myself, introducing the outdoors to our younger generations is something I am very passionate about!  Drake’s Adventures is a great way to introduce the sights and sounds of the outdoors to our children at a very young age in a fun and exciting way!  If you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews, I would highly recommend looking into Drake’s Adventures. 

 

 This is a weekly segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com.  I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!

By Steve Wall

This is Part 2 of an Elk Hunting adventure from 2011.  If you haven’t already, read Part 1!!

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Similar to many other hunts back in Wisconsin, the night before opening day of the 2011 archery elk season in Colorado was pretty much a sleepless one!  As I mentioned before, the outfitter said that he would take us out on the first morning to show us some of the area we were hunting.  He met us up at our cabin just before daybreak and we started down the trail.  We were about 300 yards down the trail and my dad stops us.  “I forgot my release!”  The outfitter and I waited as my dad hurried back up the trail to the cabin to get his release.  He returned a short while later with his release; he later revealed to me (he didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of the outfitter) that he ended up finding the release in his pocket, not in the cabin!!

The outfitter pointed out that there were three or four really good trails that run horizontally along the mountain.  We followed the outfitter as he led us up the valley along the bottom trail.  He would point out areas for us to watch for and set up later in the week.  We came to a really large tree and we sat down to see if anything would come from the creek.  The over-the-counter tag for the unit we were hunting was either sex.  As we sat in this first spot, the outfitter suggested that we be willing to take a cow if the opportunity presented itself.  As we were sitting there, a cow and a calf came up out of the creek bottom towards us.  The elk came up on the side that my dad was facing but they saw us before he was able to get a shot.  Our first setup and we already spotted our first elk, what a great way to start our hunt!

After the close encounter on our first setup, we continued up the mountain to the next set of trails.  We set up in a few more places as we worked back across the mountain.  We setup along a trail and started to discuss a game-plan for the rest of the day.  As we were sitting there, we heard movement coming above us.  Then, almost out of nowhere, a herd of elk came through about 20 yards above us!  There were lots of cows and calves and a few smaller bulls.  I watched as my dad drew back his bow and set his sight on a cow standing 20 yards away.  He released the arrow and the herd took off along the side of the mountain.  We sat there waiting for a few minutes to let things settle down.  I think I was shaking just as much as my dad after he got the shot!  I was able to draw on the herd but was not able to release an arrow!  With the outfitter still with us, we searched the area the cow was standing when my dad shot.  We were unable to find any blood at the point of impact, so we spread out along the area to search for blood.  We spent quite a while looking and could not come up with any blood.  We just couldn’t figure out what would have happened.  We returned to camp to eat some lunch and make a plan for the afternoon.

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We had a few other close encounters during the week but just couldn’t get quite close enough.  I had a nice bull at about 60 yards in the woods and just couldn’t get an opening for a shot.  I also had a big cow at about 40 yards just before dark one evening but couldn’t get a shot on that one either.  Along with the elk, we encountered various other animals during our hunt.  We saw a few mule deer and also had a rare sighting of a bull and cow moose!  According to the outfitter, moose were just starting to be reintroduced to the area.  I was able to call the moose into about 30 yards just using my mouth as a call!  We also had a few encounters with some black bears during our hunt.  One encounter in particular was a little to close for comfort!  About mid-week the outfitter was going to show us another area that we could hunt.  We started down a trail and came upon a black bear feeding on a dead elk carcass.  We stood on the trail watching this amazing sight.  We were probably only 40 yards from this bear.  The outfitter drew his sidearm just incase the bear spotted us and didn’t like us being there.  Well, that is just what happened!!  The outfitter tried yelling at the bear to scare it off and instead of running away the bear came off of the elk carcass and bluff charged us!  The outfitter fired a couple of warning shots towards the bear and the bear ran about 30 yards and looked back at us.  We headed back up the trail the way we came and got out of there as quick as we could!  What a scary yet exciting experience, something I will always remember.

It is experiences like this that truly make the hunt!  Whether an animal is harvested or not, hunting is all about the experiences and the memories created!  To be able to have these experiences with my dad is something that I will cherish forever!  These are stories I will be able to share with my children and hopefully someday create new memories with them!  I look forward to teaching my children the honor and tradition associated with hunting!  As well as the respect we must show for the land we hunt on and the animals we harvest!

 

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By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

We started this company a few years ago with my father building motorcycle and jeep parts which you can find by googling Thuli Products, LLC. Inspired by this and needing a way to hang my euro mount, I found myself designing a prototype as way to proudly display my trophy. One thing led to another and my father jumped in and helped perfect it and what started as a bracket for one mans trophy ended up as a produced product for shows and sale.

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How long have you been in business?

Thuli Products has been around since 2012!

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

We enjoy knowing the product we produce goes to others like us sharing the same passion and meeting those people with common interests and sharing stories along the way.

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 What are your most popular products?

Our most popular selling items are our skull mount brackets and go pro camera mounts.

 

 Who is your target audience?

Our target audience are hunters and motorcycle riders for our motorcycle products. Please google Thuli Products, LLC. to visit our ebay store.

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What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

My greatest hunting memory is by far my pope and young kill. It was that first weekend in November in 2010 and my father was in a stand 80 yards away. He saw a gorgeous 150 inch buck with does 100 yards out. He grunted as loud as possible to try something and that buck left those does and disappeared from his sight but not for to long. I was sitting still and quiet when suddenly i heard a snap. I slowly turned my head and saw a shooter standing 10 yards away working a scrape. I slowly stood up and drew back and took the shot. I watched him buck and run around the tree and drop 40 yards away. I let out a loud yell and my father came running over. We walked up to it, me thinking it was a big eight, as we got closer he kept saying thats that 150, thats the one i saw earlier! I didn’t believe it until we got up to him and saw that 150 inch eleven pointer and i lost it. It was a father and son hunt I will never forget, right there on my uncle’s land.

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Contact Info:

Website: www.skullbrackets.com
Ebay Store: Thuli Products llc

 

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 This is a weekly segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com.   I hope you enjoy learning more about these great companies!

Trophy Tags Back Business Card

By Steve Wall

How did you start the company?

The idea for the business started back in 2012 during the early bow hunting season. I was then that I claimed one of my biggest bucks that I had been after for several years. I was so excited to have finally claimed Brutus, the name I had given the buck, that I knew I needed something special to memorialize him. I did a quick search for a unique personalized plaque for him but turned out to only find generic wood plaques, which was quite disappointing. Thats when I decided, being the creative person I am, that I would create my own. I knew I wanted something different and unique that would also help me to remember the moment I claimed him. I wanted it to demonstrate how and when I claimed him along with his name on it for all to see, as I was quite proud. So after designing it up and making it using the CNC plasma I have access to, I hung it up proudly next to him on my wall. Over the course of the next few months several of my good friends saw what I did. They commented on how much they liked it and how they would like one themselves. At that point I realized that maybe I have something here. I began to come up with various other unique designs and it began to snowball into what it is today.

 

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How long have you been in business?

I officially launched the product at the Hunting expo in Wausau, February of 2014. So its been a little over a year now.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Because Im an artist at heart, I really enjoy coming up with new unique ideas for designs. I pride myself in the work I do, so I spend copious amount of hours working a design till Im completely happy with it. They can be tricky sometimes so to get the perspective I want along with the proportions correct. I do also really enjoy connecting with my customers be it through social media or at trade shows. Its great being able to talk with them about their hunting or fishing experiences. I really do love that fact that I can bring them joy being able to create something that they will cherish forever and will help they to remember that moment they claimed that trophy.

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 What are your most popular products?

One of the most popular and eye catching products I offer is what I call the poor mans life size deer and turkey mounts. These are life size metal cutouts that you attach either your deer head or your turkey fan tail to, in order to give the appearance of a life size animal. Its really a unique concept and different approach to displaying your trophy. Im always looking to push the envelope when creating designs and these are a great representation of that.

 

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 Who is your target audience?

My target audience is really anyone and everyone that enjoys hunting and fishing. More specifically the ones that have taxidermy work hanging in there house. A great way Ive found to reach these people are through taxidermists. Each and every person that walks through their door is a potential customer of mine.

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What is your favorite hunting or fishing memory?

My favorite hunting memory, as I stated earlier, would be claiming Brutus during the 2012 bow hunting season. I had been after him for quite some time; two years earlier he was a nice 8 pointer and the following a dandy 10. Both of which I never was able to claim eyes on, but had tons of trail camera pictures of him. When it came to the 2012 season, I was so excited to see he had still been around. I devoted countless hours prepping for the season with getting food plots and tree stands ready. After moving trail cameras several times, I was able to pattern him to a certain location that I believed I had my best chance. It was the opening day of early bow season and my buddy and I went to our land to hunt. We got into our own stands around 4pm or so. It wasnt two hours later that I heard some rustling and in walks Brutus through some brush off in the distance. Not only that, but there was another smaller, yet big buck right behind him. Mind you these are possibly the two biggest bucks Ive ever seen in my lifetime, so words cannot even explain the excitement I was feeling. I could barely contain myself. They both began to make their way right towards my stand as I had planned. It was when Brutus reached about 30 yards out that he stopped behind some trees, not giving me the shot I wanted. The other buck was a bit further behind him as well. Something in that moment changed in his mind and he began to back off and circle back around. I knew the way he was intending to go and with that there was only going to be a small window of opportunity to shoot. Just as he crossed the very narrow path that I walk into my stand, I grunted to stop him. I then shot, practically threading the needle through the lane hoping to miss the few twigs that were in view. My arrow hit its mark as I watched both of these monster bucks run off into the distance. It was at this point that I let out a huge noise of excitement for my buddy to hear from across our property. He of course knew right then what had happened. After giving the buck some time and what seemed like forever, we went back after dark to retrieve him. He ended up taking us on quite the loop taking us on a 2 to 3 hour track at which there was a couple points we were about to give up for the evening. But as luck has it, at about 11pm we found him about 300 yards away. It was quite an exciting moment through all the trials and tributes and couldnt have been better spent with my good friend. Its definitely a story we enjoy from time to time. Its moments like these that I cherish and look forward to in the future endeavors.

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Contact Info:

Website: www.trophytags.org
Facebook: Trophy Tags

 

Be sure to head over and check out all of the other great designs Trophy Tags has to offer on their website!!! Trophy Tags will also do custom designs!!

Would you like to WIN a turkey plaque like the one shown above?  Head over to the Wisconsin Outdoor Pursuits Facebook page and get entered to WIN!!!

 

 This is a weekly segment to showcase and share a little more information about some great companies!  If you know of a company that would be a great fit for this segment please email me at: steve@wioutdoorpursuits.com.