“August Eyes”

Posted by Kevin Eason October 4, 2012
“August Eyes”

Feeling Bad for Phil pays off! Who would have thought of limits of walleye, jigging the Detroit River in the middle of August?

These guys usually hit it really hard in the early spring when limits of walleye aren’t uncommon but when they invited me to tag along and have some fun on this beautiful August afternoon the last thing we expected was a 3 man limit of those tasty eyes. The crazy thing was we pretty much had the river to ourselves and the only thing that really left the River were the fisherman.


Category: Jeff Kempf | Fishing | Videos

Maps & Permission To Hunt

Posted by Kevin Eason September 16, 2012

 September 2012. All the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.

“Sausage Feast” is behind us. The grueling 3 day event / party of processing last year’s harvests is all but a memory. Once again, what a great memory it was. We thanked all our gracious land owners with care packages of venison goodies and fish and the ongoing preparation for 2012 whitetail deer season is on.



My style of preparation starts with studying “Maps”. I don’t know why but I just love maps! The internet is a great tool that makes it easy to study and understand the farms or tracks of land that I’m interested in. Once I’ve identified a general area that intrigues me for whatever reason. Maybe I saw a big buck in a field or cross the road, maybe someone else told me about seeing one or maybe this area has a reputation for producing some big bucks. Whatever the reason, this is where I start.


A good online map, GoogleEarth, for example will show you everything you need to see to get you started. I like to look at the big picture first. Identify the biggest sections of woods, and then follow the hedge rows, fingers, and smaller woodlots that lead to other sections of woods. At this time I might be focusing on a couple mile area. Then I start to break it down. First by identifying the potential food sources within each area and the travel routes that the deer might take to go to and from them.


Now that I broke it down to manageable sections of land I go to another site and do a parcel search to find out who owns the land I’m interested in. In many cases the property boundaries are outlined over an aerial photograph allowing me to see exactly who owns the land. You can usually find out everything you need to know.


Now the fun part begins. Going door to door and asking for permission to hunt. This is not the easiest thing to do but it’s a numbers game and in time it becomes enjoyable and sometimes very rewarding.  I don’t only talk to the land owners of property I’d like to hunt but will usually talk to every house along the way. Even though it might not be the piece I’m interested in they might be able to offer some insight to the other properties or the people who own them. The key is being personable and try to learn everything about you can about everyone. Rejection is the norm but even after being rejected you have to be respectful of the landowner’s decision and I generally continue in a conversation. This has proven beneficial many times and in some cases has developed into great hunting property and great friends.

So all that door knocking and rejection finally pays off with a yes. “YES”! Now I refer back to my original aerial photographs and think back to the notes of all the folks that didn’t allow hunting. Regardless of the amount of acreage these can be sanctuaries and studying the routs to and from them might be key to harvesting that once in a lifetime buck. I also make notes of all those that do hunt and try to identify escape routes from their property that might lead into mine.  I generally like the thinner fingers/funnels for both scenarios.



These on line maps are so advanced that they can give you the ability to see the elevation changes, identify the ridges and valleys and is some cases get a snap shot photograph and panoramic view from ground level.  I often put pins on the on-line map that give me the GPS locations of good looking spots. I can usually find them in the dark with my cell phone.
Now all the preseason work is done and all we can do now is wait.



Pro Staff Jeff Kempf Picture Slideshow

Posted by Kevin Eason July 12, 2012

Fishing- 2012 Summer Bass Fishing Fun

Posted by Kevin Eason July 3, 2012

Deer Hunting Video- 2011 Pre- Season Scouting Trip

Posted by Kevin Eason June 11, 2012

Deer Hunting Video- Jeff 2010 How To Scout For Whitetale Deer

Posted by Kevin Eason June 11, 2012

Deer Hunting Video- 2011 Jeff Illinois Bow Hunt

Posted by Kevin Eason May 29, 2012

What If? A Must Read! Written by Jeff Kempf

Posted by jeff April 18, 2012

Monster Buck ATTACKS another…


and doesn’t QUIT until both are








As the bloodied buck walked away trailing the doe…when the two bucks made eye contact they immediately started displaying signs of aggressive behaviour….they came together with such violence and force and the battle was so loud and intense as these two giant bucks literally tried to kill for dominance. Get ready to experience the greatest “Monster Bucks in Rut” story I have heard!

Ross Smith and Jeff Kempf have been best friends and hunting partners for 20 years. This is their story of TWO Monster Bucks taken, one GORING the other with his horns, as he lay half dead, while competing for a doe.


It was November 3rd of the 2008 archery deer hunting season with high hopes that the pre-rut will have the big boys up and on the move. This was our first day on this particular farm because experience has taught us that we shouldn’t be in here until it’s time. This spot has an ideal funnel between a large wood lot and thick lowland bedding area. On this particular day my partner and I decided that we would both hunt this funnel and sit close enough to intercept virtually any deer coming through in hopes that at least one of us would be successful.


As dawn broke, I heard a buck grunting and chasing a doe in front of me. They both ran in and stood not more than 15 yards from my stand as I strained to look for antlers. As minutes of complete silence passed, the buck lunged and let out a tending grunt sound that sent chills thru me. It was eery, and that’s when I got a glimpse of what looked to be a dandy set of long tines. Of course, the adrenalin started kicking in as he now stood 12 yards away with 5 minutes before good shooting light. Suddenly the doe busted out along the fence line heading away from my stand and the big boy took off after her. They were almost out of sight when the doe turned around and ran right back by my stand. I clipped on my release hoping this was going to be my opportunity. When he walked by at 20 yards I could see the giant rack and his body but unsure of the obstacles between us, I had to let him walk.


As the sun came up and the temperature rose, the deer were moving and the action was steady. Mostly youngsters and does. Around ten o’clock the neighbor came in to cut fire wood just 50 yards from my stand so I was forced to climb down to relocate and Ross would stay in position. We both use climbing stands so it would make the move easy but I would have to set up just inside the bedding area. I located a good tree where the sign and trails were great but shooting was going to be somewhat limited. I settled in as the bright sun and 70 degree temperatures were trying to lull me to sleep and Ross, watched the neighbor cut wood. At 12:54 I looked up to see a doe walking by on one of the well used trials just 10 yards from my stand. Behind her was one of the biggest bucks I had ever seen in the woods. He was a 10 pointer with close to a two foot spread and towering tins. I would guess he was a 180 class deer and he sauntered by without a care in the world. I went to full draw several times and could not find a single opening that I was comfortable enough with to take a shot. The biggest buck of my life just walked by within 12 yards of my stand and once again, no shot opportunity.


We did not see another deer until 4:45pm, when a lone doe finally passed by and headed towards Ross. A few minutes later two more started working down in front of me when I heard the unmistakable sound of a buck ploughing through the woods from the pinch where Ross was sitting. I started to panic, as I struggled to find him when he sounded as though he was right on top of me. Once again I clipped on my release, as a beautiful heavy antlered 8 point appeared. He passed by at 10 yards to check out the feeding does. Once again I elected not to shoot, after all it was my first day of a week long hunt and I had already seen two bigger bucks.


With the big 8 only 20 yards in front of me I looked to my left to see a definite shooter coming from the opposite direction. When the two bucks made eye contact they immediately started displaying signs of aggressive behaviour. Hair raised ears down and pawing the ground like a bull before an attack as the big 8 made his way toward the intruder. They came together with such violence and force and the battle was so loud and intense as these two giant bucks tried to fight for the right to this doe. This is the kind of thing that you read about happening to other people but this time I had a front row seat.


The intense battle continued for several minutes as the two giant bucks got closer and closer to my stand. After several minutes of nonstop war and still totally engaged they finally gave me the opportunity I needed to make a shot on the bigger buck. He immediately turned away from the big 8 and tried to run away but fell and was practically tackled by the other buck within fifteen yards of where he was shot. The big but smaller buck continued his intense and aggressive assault on the now deceased buck! At this point I am shaken with adrenalin myself as I watched this deer’s relentless attack. I grunted, snorted and even whistled at this deer trying to get him to stop but he was oblivious to my efforts. This went on for several minutes before the exhausted, blood soaked deer decided to call it quits.


With his tongue hanging out, antlers and face literally dripping with red the victor walked under my stand and proceeds to investigate the spectator does. I tried desperately to get some video or photos with my cell phone as he walked by but by this point I was shaking out of control myself and couldn’t hit the right buttons on my phone if I wanted to.


Now, one would think that this was the end to a terrific story but the fact is it gets even better. As the blood soaked buck walked away trailing the doe they headed down the finger towards Rusty’s stand. Not more then two minutes had passed when I heard another horrendous ruckus and thought that maybe this pumped up buck was at it again. The doe led the crazed buck by Ross and with a grunt from his mouth Ross was able to stop the big 8 long enough to launch an arrow into the opposite side shoulder. The buck continued chasing the doe as if he wasn’t even hit, then turned and ran up the hill within tree yards of Ross’s stand to confront the next challenger that made that grunt. Unfortunately for him it was the second arrow through the other lung and into the other shoulder. The buck finally ran off with an arrow sticking out of each side and went about fifty yards before piling up with a crash.


The near perfect eight point grossed 138 inches and dressed out at over 200 pounds. The 10 point that I shot also dressed over 200 pounds had a 21” inside spread and grossed 160 5/8’s. These two bucks are “personal best” for both my partner and myself.


We’ve asked ourselves many times since that day how ironic it was that things worked out the way they did. “What if” I would have got a shot at that big buck first thing in the morning? “What if” the neighbor didn’t come out to cut wood that day and force me to relocate? “What if” the 180 class giant would have taken the same trail as the doe and allowed me an open shot? “What if” I would have elected to shoot the big 8 when he came in?


I’ve been hunting for close to 30 years and have witnessed many incredible moments but this is one memory that I was able to share with a good buddy and one that we will never forget.


(Story told by Jeff Kempf & Ross Smith, best friends and hunting partners for 20 years).


Category: Jeff Kempf