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.