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2012 Indiana Predator Challenge RECAP

The 2012 Indiana Predator Challenge is complete and once again it was an exciting event right down to the wire!

 

A capacity crowd of 65 hunters registered for the 8th Annual IPC event with men, women and children packing in from all over the Midwest.   This hunt is limited to 65 entries and books up pretty quick each summer!

 

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This year’s weather forcast left organizers thinking we may have our first 3 day stretch of bluebird weather for what is always a grueling and physically demanding hunt.  At the last minute that forecast changed repeatedly, once again adding the elements of rain, snow, cold temperatures and high winds to the list of variables contestants would have to overcome!  That’s why we call it the CHALLENGE!

 

Hunters were released from the rules meeting at 11am sharp and 17 teams began unfurling their plans to find predators in the sprawling hunting properties.  Some had plans of driving 3 hours to the extents of the lands while others drove 1-1/4 miles from headquarters and bailed out of the truck with rifles in hand!  Just a couple hours into the hunt, organizers received their first confirmation of a harvested coyote, then minutes later ANOTHER, the 3 day event was off to a stellar start!

 

GW4, participating in their first IPC event, called in at 1:24 with exciting news.  They’d already bagged a healthy 35 pound male coyote, the first coyote some of their teammates had ever seen come to a call!

 

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As judges set off to inspect the first harvest of this 8th Annual IPC the phone rang once again, just 12 minutes later another coyote had been harvested!  Predator X, prior IPC Champions and 2nd place finishers were on the board with a 27 pound male. 

 

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Judges quickly inspected and gathered Predator X’s coyote and left them to continue hunting, only to get a call just ten minutes later that their VERY NEXT STAND produced a pair of coyotes that they rolled up with shotguns but just couldn’t pin down.  It appeared Predator X was back to their winning ways but there was still a solid 46 hours of hunting left before them!

 

It wasn’t until the sun went down that more predators would fall, there was a real flurry of activity during this first night of hunting.  Temperatures dropped into the low 20’s and snow flurries fell sporadically across the hunting properties causing white-out conditions in some places!

 

“The Wiley Whackers”, another brand new IPC team, tagged a 41 pound male coyote right at sundown.

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Just 60 seconds later, a veteran team known as the “Long Shots” got on the board with a 2-point grey fox.

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A couple hours later “Lucky Point” matched the “Long Shot’s” 2-point grey fox and raised them by two pounds, taking the lead in this event for the first time in their 5 years of participation!

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Shortly after daybreak a very special stand took place.  Team Jocko, another veteran IPC team, called up a young coyote that stood just 15 yards from young-gun Casey (15).  Casey popped off a round and MISSED what would have been his first coyote but as luck would have it, another coyote came bounding over the hill right for the caller.  Anxious for redemption, Casey pulled up and split the coyote right between the eyes in a dead run at 80 yards… albeit coming right toward the call!   Congrats to Casey, a nice 29 pound trophy!

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At Saturday morning’s check-in the scoreboard revealed a WIDE OPEN contest with ties narrowly divided by animal weight.

1: Lucky Point  (2pts)

2: Long Shots  (2 pts)

3: Wiley Whackers  (1pt)

4: GW4  (1pt)

5: Jocko (1pt)

6: Predator X (1pt)

 

The close of Saturday’s check-in window always means one thing, it’s time to EAT!  This year’s feast was provided by Cajun chef Paul Jean and his wife Sandra.  They were kind enough to haul their hi-tech hog roasting system a full 13 hours north, brave the rain and cold, and put together an incredible meal for the hunters.  Paul’s cooking talents were accented by the generosity of one of our returning hunters Jim Jacob of Predator X.  Jim raises hogs and he picked out a good one for Paul’s pit, these guys really outdid themselves this year!

 

Thanks again guys!     Paul (Left) & Jim (Right)

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After gorging themselves on juicy pork bar-b-que, beans, cole slaw, potato salad, chips, deserts and more… teams shuffled to the back of the property for the 8th Annual IPC Rifle Contest.  With the scoreboard fairly even, we knew this rifle contest was going to be a big factor in Sunday’s Awards Ceremony.  The stakes were high and the newly reformatted rifle range was going to throw ALL the shooters for a loop!

 

The first shooter to the plate was Brent Hoehn of the GW4 crew, Brent addressed the course with 5 rounds and scored 16 points in 27.2 seconds!   Little did we know, Brent’s opening act wouldn’t be matched!  The last shooter of the day, TJ Edwards of the Flatliners, would narrowly capture second place with his 15 points scored in 36.3 seconds.  The 2012 IPC Rifle Contest was a real BLAST, shooters and spectators alike were excited and entertained throughout the competition.  Winners of the rifle contest were awarded 2 points toward the overall IPC competition, second place took 1 point.

 

Point Standings after Rifle Contest:

1: GW4  (3pts)

2: Lucky Point  (2pts)

3: Long Shots  (2 pts)

4: Wiley Whackers  (1pt)

5: Jocko (1pt)

6: Predator X (1pt)

7: Flatliners (1pt)

 

Following the rifle contest we noticed our bluebird forecast really began falling apart!  Winds picked up to 20-30mph and the weatherman was now saying Sunday could see 40-50mph gusts.  It appeared the weather was going to throw a major wrench into the harvest numbers but teams reported seeing multiple coyote and fox despite the conditions.  Getting those predators into the truck turned out to be a little tougher in the wind!

 

On Sunday morning hunters began filing into the check-in with sore muscles and stories of what might’ve been.  Four separate teams had worked fox into 10-30 FEET and couldn’t get them put down, most of those fox would’ve meant prizes if the hunters had been able to capitalize!  Team after team came in with stories full of frustration and excitement until finally GW4 came in smiling wide!

 

GW4, in their first ever IPC appearance, had come into this competition and cleaned house.  They harvested the first coyote of the weekend, won the rifle competition, AND bagged another coyote in the closing hours of the hunt!

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At 11am sharp the registration window closed, judges convened and confirmed the outcome, GW4 had won their first Indiana Predator Challenge event!   Lucky Point and the Long Shots were tied for 2nd place but the weight of their foxes determined Lucky Point to be the Lucky Dogs that took home prizes.

 

With the prizes awarded and the contest over, teams continued to share good food and good laughs with one another as the wind howled outside.  Ironically, the Wiley Whackers straggled in later with another coyote!  If they’d been able to make it to the check-in on time, that coyote would’ve firmly earned them a 2nd place finish (3-way tie broken by weight) in their first IPC event!    They came SO CLOSE!

 

Once again I’d like to congratulate the prize winning teams, GW4 & Lucky Point!   You guys worked hard for it, as did all the teams that put points on the board this year.  It’s probably worth mentioning that some teams, including last year’s dominating winners, made upwards of 80-90 stands on the weekend and never scored a point!   Whether they got jammed up by fast fox or flat out missed broadside coyotes, some of the guys couldn’t shake a dark cloud over their head this year.  We had approximately 35 coyotes and 15 fox charted as “killable” this year and it only took a pair of coyotes to win it all!  This just goes to show you, the Indiana Predator Challenge is anybody’s game… year after year.  There are no honey-holes; there are no upper-hands.  You show up, hunt hard, shoot straight and YOU could easily be the next IPC Champion.  I feel confident in saying there is no other hunt even remotely close to the IPC in its level playing field and stringent organization.  If you’d like to join us for next year’s 9th Annual Indiana Predator Challenge please keep an eye on [url=http://www.IndianaPredatorChallenge.com]www.IndianaPredatorChallenge.com[/url] throughout the offseason!

 

A big thanks is also in order to Weasel Game Calls, Brushwolf Calls and Trapper & Predator Caller for their contributions to the 2012 Indiana Predator Challenge!

 

Point Standings after Rifle Contest:

1: GW4  (4pts)

2: Lucky Point  (2pts)

3: Long Shots  (2 pts)

4: Wiley Whackers  (1pt)  (1pt DQ’d)

5: Jocko (1pt)

6: Predator X (1pt)

7: Flatliners (1pt)