Year in Review
I have had the week off to do some interviews around Ontario this week so I decided to take the opportunity to review everything we have accomplished in the last year. I need to start by thanking our readers and contributors, it has been a great deal of fun sharing your stories and reliving the hunts together!
This was our first full year with the hunt blog and it was certainly a success. Since last January we have had over 2500 visitors to the site. The majority of these have been from Canada (50%) and the USA (40%) but we have also had visits from South Africa, Australia, Sweden, UK, Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, and the list goes on. We have received stories from all over Ontario, Alberta, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas and more. Our twitter followers have grown to over 700 strong (@thehuntblog) and it has proved to be a great resource for following other like minded individuals and getting to see a ton of new and innovative products. We launched our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-hunt-blog/359116547457858 in the spring and it remains a work in progress but improving its functionality is definitely one of our goals over the next year. We also launched our pinterest page http://pinterest.com/thehuntblog/ which we use to highlight many of the products listed in our stories.
Despite all of the time we have put into the site we have also had some success in the field this year. On opening day of spring turkey season hunt blog prostaffer Greg Mather took this great Tom only 1 hr into the season. My self and co-founder John McClelland took our first swing at turkeys with our bows and despite a couple close calls didn’t have any success. Hunt blog contributor Ron Ouellette also sent us in a story about a monster late season Tom. Definitely a couple birds to be proud of and we are planning on putting a bunch more on the ground this spring!
We did a lot of scouting over the summer and hung some new stands with anticipation growing for October 1st. While we were busy scouting so were some of our contributors, knabbing a lot of great trail camera photos!
Our spots were scouted and stands were set and when the season opened it did so with a BANG! Our Caledon Pro-staff group came out of the gate hot and put two nice bucks on the ground in the first 3 weeks of the season. Pro staff memeber Greg Mather dropped this great young 8pt and then on October 24th smoked this giant 7.5 year old 8pt who rack shows just how mature he was. That same weekend I dropped my first deer of the year filling my doe tag with a Rage broad head right in the boiler room.
The hunt blog staff seasons slowed to a crawl throughout the rut but some of our other contributors picked up the slack. Marta sent us the story a her great buck from Kansas and Kevin shared some stories of a couple exciting hog hunts down in Texas. Bryce and Cody both sent in stories and some great photos of a couple giants. Then Braden shared what was by far the biggest buck story we had come in this year from Alberta.
It had been an awesome year for all of us at the hunt blog. It was nearing the end of the season and we were getting together with some of our staff members Jim Williams, John McClelland and myself for what I am sure will now be an annual year end hunt. We hit the woods on Dec 30th, second last day of the season. It was a cold morning and fresh snow let us see lots of tracks so we knew the deer were there. It was exactly 7:42 when I heard the unmistakeable sounds of Jim’s Excalibur crossbow fire. Shortly there after he message to say he hit a doe and after a mere 50 yd tracking job we found what was his first deer ever.
All that said it is obvious that this was a great first year for The Hunt Blog team and website. We are already in the process of scouting new properties to make next years hunts even more exciting. We are also attempting to recruit additional prostaff to bulk-up our content even more. Look for some changes and improvements to the site leading up to the spring turkey hunt as well. We are going to make a big push to increase our viewership this year so please pass along an invitation to friends and family to check us out and send us your hunting stories; new, old, or editorials on hunting strategy!
Until next time, hunt safe and remember to Tell Your Story!
James and The Hunt Blog field staff