Another Hunt for the record books

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Jacob Krebs

We had a great weekend remembering a young man names Jacob Krebs!

Jacob was an amazing young man, from an amazing family – and while training for the Navy Seal Test, as a high school senior, he blacked out under water and did not survive. His legacy lives on through this hunt, but also through the lives he impacted through his final act of selflessness, organ donation.

 

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Jacob telling the group about Brigades

The Krebs family planned and executed the Harper Hunt the following January in his honor, because he loved hunting and he was a Texas Youth Hunting Program (TYHP) Huntmaster.  Our family has been absolutely blessed to participate the past three years.  This year Anna was the hunter, and Jacob joined us a volunteer!

 

 

Anna did not harvest any animals.  She did shoot a spike deer, but he ran after being shot and jumped the fence into non-friendly territory.

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Archery Fun

But she was a perfect shot at the .22 range and had lots of fun at the Archery range!

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perfect shooting of the .22

We were happy to see friends from this year’s hunt and friends from past Harper hunts.

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Before leaving we offered our ice that we brought to the hunters taking their harvests home, since we did not get anything.  When Jacob offered it away, one of the dads asked why we were offering our ice, and when he told him we did not get anything he offered us his two animals since his wife did not want any more venison this year!!  Such a sweet ending to a wonderful weekend!!

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The three of us!

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Anna won a hand-made knife from this lovely man Mr. Starr.  The knife is a treasure!

 

Bells Hollow Hunt

This weekend I got away with my oldest son.

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We sure needed to get away from the day to day, the sibling rivalry, and yes, even chores!!  During this season of life it seems we are at each other’s throat more than not.  I hear about these families that just love the “young adult” AKA Teen years, and I wonder if they medicate themselves or their teens, because while I love that he is old enough and mature enough to really talk to, I am not loving the fight for independence and the lack of respect.

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This weekend was everything we needed though – not once did we argue!  We actually got along quite well, and Jacob was above and beyond helpful to me and others!  It was such a nice break of pace and to see the young man that Jacob is becoming!!

We enjoyed a quick stay at a ranch in Harper Texas, just outside Fredrickburg.  We stayed at Bells Hollow for a White Tail deer hunt.  While there the weather was terrible, but the fellowship was great and the hunting was spectacular!!

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Here we are with Rexy our guide.

Jacob harvested a 5 1/2 year old doe, and an 18 month old spike.  We saw so many amazing bucks – and that was sure the highlight of the weekend.  Watching those graceful creatures walk around and eat from the feeders was really amazing.  I could sit in a blind and watch deer all day long.

The highlight of the weekend was the night Jacob harvested his buck.  After shooting him, the buck ran off.  Jacob and our guide Rexy followed his blood trail about 100 yards, but then came back because it was going to far away.  About 10pm that night we went back out with two other guides, and tried to find the trail and follow it the rest of the way.  The two men that joined us were very experienced trackers.  Jacob was so nervous before we started because he was afraid that his shot was terrible and that we might not find the deer.

After almost 2 hours of tracking, and lots of periods of nothing and frustration, Jacob and Paul crawled right by the deer.  Until they turned and saw him laying  under a tree.

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Here we are after tracking this guy down at 11:45pm.

Jacob really learned so much about blood tracking in that 2 hour period, and I know he will never forget it.  It was so much fun watching Jacob go from knowing very little to being the one, at times, to find the next blood tracks.

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Here is the group – hunters, parents and volunteers

Such a great weekend – and now we have meat for the freezer!!  And this boy also won a new rifle case and a knife!  Way to go!

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My boy is published

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I am excited that Jacob was able to get an article published in our local on-line newspaper this week {HERE}!!  I have been asking him to finish up his article for a while and now it is done.  Whew.

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This boy is becoming a better writer each time he completes an assignment.  I am excited to see how the Lord will use this talent as well as his love for hunting!!

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Ok, so while we are focusing on this boy right this minute (trying to ignore the fact he just stuck duct tape to his brother’s neck – ugh) I may as well mention that Jacob was also chosen to be the FIRST East Texas Beekeepers Association Ambassador.

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This means he will be representing ETBA as well as beekeeping all over East Texas by teaching others about Honey Bees.  We are excited to see all that this role will do for him as he grows into a young man, and all that he can do to promote honey bees through these opportunities!!

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Hopefully my other boy will get his article about Veterans and Hunting published this week too!!  Stay posted!!

Bob White Brigade

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Hello, I’m Janelle’s son.

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I am writing about an exciting experience for teens age 13-17 called the Texas Brigades. The Texas Brigades is a program that is run partially by the state, and mostly by individuals who want to pass the outdoors legacy on to the next generation.

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There are six different camps: the bobwhite, buckskin, waterfowl, bass, ranch, and now the coastal Brigade. The camps are held all over the state, but are open to residents from other states as well. We had one cadet who was from Kansas! As I learned about wildlife, I learned about leadership, public speaking, and team building.

This summer I attended the Rolling Planes Bobwhite Brigade, and I learned about quail. I was one of about 30-35 cadets, both boys and girls. We were split into groups or “coveys” as they were called of six.

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Some of my favorite parts were embryology where we studied the eggs, and the mock court where my covey along with the others had to present our case.

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The week flew by, and I loved every minute of it. We learned about habitat management, the needs of wild quail, and how to hunt safely (reenactment only).

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But I also learned about educating the public on the needs of quail.

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Throughout the week I received assignments such as thank you letters to sponsors, learning how to conduct a live TV or radio interview, and how to give a power point presentation.

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Every cadet was assigned a quote called a silver bullet. These were short, famous quotes that we had to memorize, and then present them in the front of the class. There were ways of encouraging some people who were shy, but by Tuesday everyone had said theirs.  This camp did some amazing things for some people like increase their confidence in themselves, and in their public speaking abilities.

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There are incentives for giving demonstrations, writing articles, and recruiting new cadets. If you complete enough and if you complete enough they will allow you to participate in a sponsored hunt.

But it was not all about sitting in a classroom, and learning how to speak. We were outside learning about cover plants, food plants, predators, dummy nests, habitat evaluation and more.

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We got to do things that wildlife biologists do, such as track a quail with radio telemetry and study the seeds quail were eating.

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The work was constant, but never too hard.  We also had some fun too. We had a water balloon fight, and we all had nicknames given to us by Dr. Dale Rollins, or “Dale the quail”, the driving force of the bobwhite brigade. He started the program years ago, and it has grown since then.

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So in conclusion I would like to encourage teens 13 to 17 who are passionate about wildlife and the outdoors, you can click here to go to their website. There is more info there and applications are available online. You will come home a different person. The fee is $500 and that covers the whole thing. They encourage you to ask for donations from your local businesses. I wrote a letter asking for donations that I would work for. There are also scholarships available. They don’t want money to stop you. I hope to see you there next year.

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Hunting Fun

{Warning : there are photos of dead animals, view at your own risk – they are not gruesome, just dead}

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What a weekend we had in the middle of January!  We were so blessed to be selected to participate in the WMA Hunt in honor of Jacob Krebs in Harper Texas!

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Not only did my boys fill the freezer with 4 deer and an antelope, but my girl was fully introduced to all aspects of hunting, and we all enjoyed a weekend of family time together!

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We loved hearing from the resident Veterinarian and as well the Wildlife Biologist who were on hand almost the entire time teaching the kids about aging the deer that came in, examining the deer for parasites and other things.

IMG_0072By the end of the weekend my boys were not only processing their own deer, they were helping others gut and skin theirs!  It was huge for them to step up like that!

 

We were able to hunt on the Fritze’s land and were so tickled to meet them and spend a few hours getting to know them!  They have a beautiful ranch and it is loaded with wildlife!

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We loved watching the big bucks running around after a few does, as well as the fawns out with their mothers.  They had some amazing views, and we were thrilled to make new friends!!

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This is the second year they have held the Jacob Krebs hunt, as he passed away less than two years ago.  Jacob Krebs was a high school senior who was planning to enter the Navy upon his graduation.  Determined to take the seal test at the same time, Jacob spent numerous hours at the local pool training for he test.  One day in April 2013 Jacob blacked out while at the pool alone, which resulted in his death.

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Mary Krebs shared with all of us at the hunt that Jacob still lives on through his organ donation.  She encouraged all of us to sign up for that since Jacob was an avid organ donor, and his organs helped over 40 people around the country.

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Being at this hunt is quite an experience.  To be surrounded by a community that is pouring into other kids is amazing.  To watch the Krebs family choose to give to the 21 hunters who came out for the weekend is inspiring.  I applaud the Krebs family, I cannot imagine their loss and pain from the death of Jacob, but I am in awe of them as they have turned their grief around and are giving to so many others!