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November 21, 2012 - 8:37am

Jake and Jeremy Pietrzykowski came into their own as bow hunters nearly a decade ago when they stopped buying into the philosophy of other hunters and decided to go their own way. Once on their own, success was immediate and consistent. (The photo above shows Jake with son, Gunnar, and Jake's latest bow hunting trophy)

Last Tuesday I arrived home for lunch and found a piece of paper attached to our kitchen door. On it was a brief message from Jake stating that he had taken a nice buck earlier that morning and he had stopped by to show me. He also said Jeremy had taken a good buck 10 days earlier and that he was sorry he missed me.

I was sorry, too -- and I prompty called Jake, making arrangements to get together with him and Jeremy. I not only wanted to see the big whitetails they had taken, I wanted to hear the story behind the hunts.

Two nights later I listened as the brothers related their recent adventures. Sitting on Jeremy's lap is his daughter, Paityn. 

Tuesday, November 13th found Jake in his stand at first light. The day broke cloudy and cold, and it was one of those mornings when it's not snowing per se, but a definite hint of winter was in the air. 

"Every once in a while I'd get hit in the face with a snowflake," Jake said.

But the sound of an approaching deer tends to take one's mind off the cold, particularly when it's a big deer.

"I heard him breaking stuff -- he was snapping stuff as he walked," Jake continued. "The noises he made, you could tell it was a big deer. For the next  minute or so the buck was on the move, covering about 80 yards in that time while periodically stopping to check his surroundings."

Jake waited as the buck drew closer and by 7:55 the buck was within 15 yards, plenty close enough for a shot. The buck's antlers green scored 153 6/8 on the Pope & Young scale, Jake's largest bow kill to date.

Jeremy took his big whitetail on the afternoon of November 1st.

"As soon as I got in my stand I could see him rubbing trees," he said. "He was 200 yards away but I could see his white rack."

Jeremy was fairly certain of where the buck would pass by, but still not sure if he was going to shoot or let the deer walk. Just in case, he used a folding saw to remove a few branches that might interfere with a shot should he decide to take it.

"He was downwind of me for half an hour, eating the leaves off raspberry bushes and that whole time I still didn't think I was going to shoot. Then I was able to see the antler mass and the striations in the main beams. At that point I decided I was going to take him. I sweet talked him with my Tru-talker," said Jeremy, referring to his grunt call.

The buck responded immediately.

"I saw him turn, looking in my direction, but he was looking past me," he continued. "Then his tail flicked. Once that tail flicked I knew it was game on. He walked to within 15 yards." 

Read more after the jump (click on the headline):

October 17, 2011 - 5:53pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, deer hunting, talkofthetines.

I'd like to share with you a few whitetail photos that were passed along by the "Talk of the Tines" crew, a handful of outdoorsmen from Batavia and Bethany. The deer pictured above is one of the first things you will see on their new website, http://www.talkofthetines.com.

The photo was taken this past summer, not long after DJ Tosh decided to include the use of trail cams and video equipment in his preseason scouting strategy. Two of his hunting companions, GCC students Alec and Bryce Kirsch, after having listened to DJ's idea, were really keen on the idea of filming whitetails.

Once the trio began taking pictures and video they began to capture some dandy bucks on film. Some were taken at night, like the big guy caught on the trail cam. Others were taken during the day. A few, like the big buck seen cutting and running with two other bucks in the third photo, appeared on both, having been captured by the trail cam after dark as well.

"We start watching for bucks mid to late summer to see what's out there," DJ said. "If a deer is 'pushing' good horns at that time, you know he's gonna be a decent deer. Then its time to get out the cameras and set up in spots where we think we might be able to get pictures. Trail cams are more accessible now, price-wise. That wasn't always the case."      

DJ's eye for detail doesn't soley apply to deer. He and his wife, Charissa, are youth group leaders at Grace Baptist Church in Batavia. One day a pair of teens walked in to a youth group function wearing camo and DJ immediately noticed the Kirsch twins. DJ previously attended West Bethany Baptist Church where Jim Kirsch, the boys' father, is pastor.

"I noticed the camo first thing," DJ said. That led to a discussion which quickly got around to his favorite outdoor pusuit. The three have been chasing whitetail bucks ever since.

They knew a website would be an undertaking which would require commitment, responsibility and the need for helping hands. This would pose no problem. Only 29, DJ is also the owner/founder of 9-10 Builders. The name of his business is derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 9, Verse 10,"whatever thy hand findeth to do, do with thy might" -- in other words, whatever you do, give it your best and it has become DJ's life verse.    

One of the first things on DJ's to-do list was reach out for sponsors. The response was favorable with companies from the Midwest, all producers of outdoor products, lending their support. Among them are Seemz Technology scent eliminators, Muddy Outdoors and Motion Camera Arms.

Next he enlisted the help of friends and fellow hunters Zack Dawson and Jeff Bartz. Zack, along with his wife, Jess, are also youth group leaders at Grace Baptist where Jeff is the youth pastor. Zack, who is pursuing a pastoral ministry, will work on developing an outreach and discipleship ministry while Jeff is the blog coordinator for the website. (On Friday, Jeff had an interesting phone conversation with noted Southern Tier author/photographer Charles Alsheimer.)

Zack and Jeff's duties will free up DJ and the Kirsch brothers to concentrate on hunting and filming, though all will participate in the outdoor aspects of the operation. Zack is already becoming quite familiar with the photo aspect.

"Taking pictures we try to cover as much ground as we can," he said. "With a good lens you can zoom in from 200 yards." 

DJ added that actual hunting takes a bit more planning.

"We have fixed stands that are based on terrain or habit, a deer's repetitive movement or pattern. The bigger deer are harder to pattern so we all carry climbers," he said, referring to portable tree stands. 

After talking with the group last week, and especially after having checked out their website, it became obvious their endeavor is about much more than the pusuite of whitetails.

As DJ Tosh put it, "It's about friends, family and camaraderie in the outdoors. ... My desire to film and do the website has been fueled by the willingness of the others to get involved. It's a group endeavor."

Despite being in its early stages, the website http://www.talkofthetines.com. is already receiving a good bit of traffic. The bow season opened Saturday and as the season progresses the Talk of the Tines crew is certain to kick into high gear with more photos, videos, blogs and experiences afield being updated on a regular basis as they share their outdoor adventures and the privileges and blessings they so enjoy.  

On Saturday, Nov. 19, the opening day of the firearms portion of the deer season, the Talk of the Tines crew will be hosting a Hunters Gathering at the West Bethany Baptist Church from noon until 2 p.m. with food and refreshments, door prizes and the opportunity for hunters to have their picture taken.

December 3, 2010 - 7:20pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, deer hunting, woodlands.



These snow-covered spruce trees are nice to look at, and for me, they certainly help to bring on the Christmas spirit - and probably the end of my hunting season. While there are yet several days remaining in the deer season, it almost seems like opening day was a long time ago....and not a snowflake in sight. And that was only two weeks ago.

December 3, 2010 - 7:09pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, deer hunting, woodlands.


These snow-covered spruce trees are nice to look at, and for me, they certainly help to bring on the Christmas spirit - and probably the end of my hunting season. While there are yet several days remaining in the deer season, it almost seems like opening day was a long time ago....and not a snow flake in sight. And that was only two weeks ago.


6:30 a.m. November 20th, hunkered down in a beech woods


an overhead view a few minutes later....and just a bit more light


It wasn't that long of a wait


As the sun began to climb I couldn't help thinking how much I enjoyed carving my initials into the smooth gray bark of beech trees when I was a young man.....in those early years I probably wouldn't have allowed a good buck to sneak in undetected like I did on this day. I missed the deer, hitting an ironwood tree instead.


This is my nephew Regan. A polite young fellow, I believe he's stifling a laugh regarding his uncle's marksmanship.


The Bartz brothers and D.J. plot a strategy for the pm hunt. 


Most of the people in this article - myself excluded - are still hunting when time permits. And they probably will until the season ends. Mine already has. Time to think Christmas!

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