Contact Travis Frank

Phone: 612-382-6927

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265 S Oak St
Waconia, MN
United States


Travis Frank and Trophy Encounters Guide Service specializes in fully-guided fishing trips for Muskie, Walleye, Bass, Northern Pike and Panfish on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Lake Mille Lacs and other Metro Minnesota Waters.​


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Filtering by Category: Huntin

Toby's First Hunt....Awww Aint He Cute!

Travis Frank

Toby's%20First%20Roost.jpgThis past weekend was the normal ritual for many hunters across the state.  Eat a whole pile of turkey on Thursday, sit on the couch and watch a football game or two with a cold one in hand and try to figure out if the body will allow you to get off the couch in time to hunt in the morning.  The ladies head to the local shopping center the next day(some of them earilier than even us hunters rise from the wrapper) and the men head out in search of a rooster or two.  This year, Dingy and I continued with our now 2 year old ritual of heading out west in hopes of bagging a rooster or two.  The new companion on our trip is this cute little fella named Toby.  He just might be the best looking pup that I have ever laid my eyes on.  I have had the pleasure of seeing this peeing machine from its first couple of weeks of life and watching it grow the last 4 months.  I think I am in love with this dog, and Tim, if you don't look out, I just might take it home with me.  Our hopes on this adventure was to see if Toby would be able to understand what it means to "Hunt Em Up."   The day before we headed for the 2 hour hike out west, we stopped at a local spot of mine and had this future Pheasant huntin machine run around in search of some roosters just to see what he would do.  The result was totally awesome.  While he didn't understand exactly what had happened, he was running around through some brush for the heck of it, and a rooster got up right in front of him and I.  Officially I get to say that this gem of a pup jumped his first rooster in front of me and I was able to knock it down.  Only so special because of the unknowing puppy that was now playing with the feathers on the bird that he officially flushed.  I think it hit a soft spot in me, and now I am left wondering how long I can wait before I have my own puppy dog.  The picture of us is kinda blurry, but one that is very clear in my memory.  Thanks Dingy and Toby for that bird, it was maybe the coolest hunt of my life even if it only lasted for 20 minutes.

The hunt out west didn't treat us the best for some goofy reason.  We had a proven dog in Nelly (Nates Dog) and Toby fresh of his first hunt.  Nate, Dingy and myself met up with my cousin Nate out in Benson, and we hunted some of the best looking property that I have ever touched in MN before.  The birds were there, but they were skittish and just found every way imaginable to stay out of range.  Oh well, it was still a great hunt, and Toby spent most of his time eating every weed, stick, or cattail in sight.  The weather was perfect and we had the laughs that are always expected on a trip like that.  On the route back, Toby reminded us of the small bladder he has, and dribbled on not only me, but Nate and our sweatshirts that we gave him to use for a pillow.  Hahaha, still laughing about that darn dog. 

I want to give a shout out to Lynn Schulz and his hunting crew out in the Dakota's.  Lynn traveled all the way up from Arizona to spend some time with his family and a long overdue trip out to the prairie lands for some pheasant hunting with friends.  Hope it went great for you boys! 

Brrrrrrr!  That Ice will be here before we know it.  Stay tuned for a conclusion on another great season of open water fishing.  I will try to recap the greatness that we accomplished in our many trips across the state.  I also will send out as many thank you's as I can along with what is on tap for our quest of more Trophy Encounters.  Until Next Time Y'all, Keep on Livin The Dream!

MN Deer Opener 07...Stackin Em Up!

Travis Frank

deeropener07%20006.jpgThis past weekend was our annual deer season, and par for the course, We Piled Them Up Yet Again!  The picture of the guys around it is after the second days hunt was finished.  At that point we had 15 deer loaded up into Arthur's long box.  It was quite a sight, and I"m sure it turned a few heads as he was going down the road to where we cut them all up.  deeropener07%20002.jpgIn the area that we hunt, they allow each individual to shoot 5 deer, and it is actually encouraged to take several to lower the number of deer in the area.  Well, we did our part, and in the 3 days that we hunted, our group of 11 hunters managed to tag 18 deer.  Many does were taken by our group, as well as two 9 pointers, one 8 pointer, and a 6 point thus far.  While we had chances at many deer, we didn't see the amount of bucks that we are use to, and I personally only passed up on one small buck all weekend.  The stats at this point are as follows for our group.  Myself =4, Mike =3, Bails=3, Jimmy=3, Art=2, Doug=1, Dad=1, TJ=1, Ted=0, Bro=0, Playboy=0.  deeropener07%20003.jpgAfter the season is finished, we all get together for one more party and make the largest assortment of jerky, sausage and other food, so it works out quite well to tag a bunch.  This season lasts for a few more days, so at this point, the big bucks are the target for next weekend, so we'll see if they decide to come out and play.  Thanks to all the afore mentioned boys in the group for another fun filled weekend in the stands.  A special thanks to my Bro for falling nipple deep into the pond in hot pursuit of the deer that he missed, and to Art for getting "Scope Eye" on the first morning.  That's the kind of stuff that really makes the trip memorable.  Look out Mille Lacs Lake state record muskie, because you will be in my boat very soon! 

NoDak 2007....

Travis Frank


Well, I just returned home from a 5 day trip out to our neighboring state of North Dakota.  On our list of activities for the trip was hunting, hunting, laughing, hunting, and laughing then hunting some more.  NoDak%20041.jpgI was joined on this expedition by a group of pranksters that go by the names of Dusty, Scott, Chad, Adam, Nate, Sean and Matt.  I don't think I need to say that we had a fun time, but we did.  Our main goal throughout the trip was to harvest ourselves ducks, geese and pheasants while sharing many laughs.  Well, we didn't fare too well on the harvesting part, but we did share many laughs.

NoDak%20039.jpgThe hunting was far from what we had experienced in past years.  The lack of ducks in the area made it very tough to get on a good hunt.  When you couple that with having very little birds on the properties that we could hunt, it made for a lot of driving and very frustrating times.  In the past, we didn't have much of a problem gaining access to fields that had birds in them, but this year was another story.  We had two vehicles with us, and we split up covering territory looking for flocks of ducks landing in the fields.  We are scouting machines when we go out there, and our main mission while out there is hunting Mallards and Pintails in the fields.  If you  have experienced it before, you know what I mean when I say there is nothing better than duck hunting in a field.  NoDak%20020.jpgWe drove hundreds of miles each day looking for a great place to set up in the mornings, but after 6 hours in a vehicle and finding a field that has ducks in it, it is very frustrating when the landowner says that he doesn't allow hunters any more.  Needless to say, we came back to the Falcon (our home base) each night with low morale and frustrated talk of how the days went.  It wasn't that we didn't have NoDak%20056.jpgland to hunt on, thanks to Matt, we had land to hunt on, but there just wasn't birds using it.  So, with the miles we put on, we had to resort to jumping ponds to get the birds moving and to try to get shots.  This worked a few times for both vehicles, but the weather was horrible for sneaking up to birds.  3 seperate days there was literally NO WIND!  How the heck can there be no wind for 3 straight days in North Dakota.  I have never seen it, but it wasn't to our liking and made for difficult stalks on the birds.

NoDak%20010.jpgDealing with our tough conditions and lack of birds and land, we made the most of what we had.  We tried a few of the proven spots from years past and connected with a couple of birds on our outings.  We also opted to try a field hunt that had roughly 20,ooo geese on it which gave us a few birds and one heck of a sight in the morning.  If nothing else, it was pretty neat to see a sky so full of birds that you can't see the end of the flock.  We did get a few of them to come in, and made them pay for their mistakes, however it was difficult to hide ourselves in a picked pea field that was only 2 inches tall.  When you have 40,000 eyes looking at you, any mistake costs the shot, and all you are left with is the loudest group of birds on the planet flying over your head.  It was still sweet.

NoDak%20058.jpgWe also hunted a field that had a few hundred mallards landing in it, but they all came 25 minutes before legal shooting hours.  Apparently hunting clear sky's during a full moon means the birds don't fly during legal shooting hours.  We literally had mallards and pintails walking around in our decoys all morning before legal shooting hours.  We could only shoot at the last 2 flocks that came in, and then they were done feeding for the morning.  Many times we had ducks within reach of our blinds, which made for cool memories, but not many ducks to munch on for dinner.

NoDak%20053.jpgThe pheasant numbers were great out there, but we were so determined to find mallards in fields that we hardly even hunted them.  Only 3 of us bought pheasant licenses, so we didn't leave the other guys sit in the trucks, and when we did walk for them, we had tons of birds to shoot at.  It gave us most of our meals during the evenings.  Not to mention that Nate bagged himself the largest pheasant that I have ever seen.  The tail feathers were almost double the size of all the other birds we shot.  It was quite the story on how he bagged it, but I'll let him tell that to you if you ask him.

NoDak%20014.jpgAll in all, we had a very frustrating hunt.  We shot a mixed bag of birds and even some nice looking ones.  We put on way to many miles, and laughed way to much.  If it wasn't for all the fun we had driving around and at the Falcon, it would have been a pretty uneventful trip.  I spent most of my miles with Scotty and my bro Adam in my vehicle and we laughed our butts off the entire time.  While at the home base, we spent hours laughing at the funny and stupid things that happened in each vehicle throughout the day, and each person had their turn getting the brunt of the jokes.  NoDak%20060.jpgI couldn't think of a better way to spend time with my buddies, and as I look back at the trip, I have to admit that I think it was a success.  After all, you don't always have to bag your limit to have a great time.  I just have one word that sums up the entire trip and will always be remembered by us all....BODVIG!!!  I want to thank all of you guys that came out there as well as the farmers that allowed us to hunt their land.  Next year we'll be singing "OH CANADA" as we cross the border and find some areas that may be better suited for our field hunting approach.  Guys....I can't wait!  Thanks Again!  Now it's back to the water for some more muskies before it freezes up.  Until Next Time....Keep on Livin That Dream!

What A Duck Day

Travis Frank


RiverDucks%20013.jpgThis past Saturday, Nate, Mike and myself spent a few hours sharing the best duck hunt I've had in Minnesota in recent years.  Our approach was different than most hunts, and we went to the birds, instead of waiting for them to come to us.  It was awesome!  We went stealth mode on the birds in Mike's canoe and snuck up on hundreds of unknowing birds.  We bagged our limit on this trip, which included our 6 woodies, one mallard and 11 teal.  It wasn't that we shot our possession limit, but that we did it in such a fun way that made the day great.  I also accomplished my goal of getting a perfect drake Woodie to place on a piece of driftwood.  The only problem, is that I have to pick which one I think is best.  No duck, (other than Mikes Mandarin duck) looks better on driftwood than a drake Woodie, so I'm super pumped to add one of these birds to my wall of trophies.  This was a hunt that I won't soon forget.  Everything about it including the weather was gorgeous.  Now I have to look outside at this darn rain that we are suppose to get for the next several days.  Looks like I'll be fishing/hunting in the rain for a while.  I'll keep ya posted how things turn out.


On a side note:  I have been doing some bow hunting lately and the deer activity has been incredible.  The past couple weeks worth of hunts, I have seen between 10 and 24 deer on each outing.  Along with all the does, I have also seen a great amount of big buck movement which I find as being pretty rare.  I have now seen 6 different bucks that I would classify as wall hangers and I have been seeing them with regularity.  I don't know if it is the weather, but they are on the move.  Last night I had 3 different bucks chasing the ladies around in the fields, and came close to flinging an arrow at two of the giants.  Pretty intense, and most of it has been on camera.

I have been hunting quite often lately, but the muskies are still on my mind.  We'll see how this week lays out for the ol' snaggle tooths.


Travis Frank


As most of you can tell from the pictures that keep coming up on this site, I am a fishing NUT.  But, when I am not on the water, I love any kind of hunting I can get my hands on.  Lately Mike and myself have been videotaping our bowhunts for the "whitetail buck deers" that have been running around our hunting spots.  Although we haven't hunted very much this year, this was my second time with a bow in my hands, and not behind the camera.  We'll just say that things got a little interesting as darkness came upon us.  Actually, the whole evening was full of activity. 

When I was crawling up into the stand, Mike was watching two does battle each other out in the bean field.  They were doing the stand on the back legs and kick at each other thing that you can sometimes see if you go to a local bar on a friday or saturday evening....hahaha...otherwise known as a catfight.  Pretty cool to see deer doing it, pathetic to see girls doing it.  About 5 minutes into the stand we had two bucks come out into the same field.  Something must have been in the air, because they too started sparring with each other.  Very cool, AND we got it on film.  A little while later we saw another buck, and then another buck came out into the CRP next to us, followed by two does.  The does came as expected, right into our corn field, and we had camera issues, and bad shooting angles, so we let them walk. 

As this just happened, darkness was getting close to falling, and we could see what didn't appear to be a deer standing about 100 yards away.  After some whispering back and forth, we decided it was a Yote and I gave a few squeaks from my mouth.  Instantly heads started popping up out of the CRP and we new we were in for some trouble.  That's right, A whole pack of the darn things came at a full sprint at us.  It was sooooooo intense, but as they came into our cornfield, it became hard to pick the shot.  They were running everywhere.  This guy in the picture stopped perfectly, and it found out what happens when a four-blade broadhead doesn't like it chasing the deer around.  Just like on the movies, I drilled it and it made the most ear-piercing growles and barks I have ever heard.  This one was hit, but the action didn't stop there.  There were so many coyotes running around that I knocked another arrow.  After a few squeaks, they all came right back in.  Being very dark, I knew that I was shooting if I could, and shot number 2 sparked on a rock just under the coyote.  As I was grabbing for my last arrow (#3) Mike stopped another one in the shooting lane, I knocked it and got off one more shot before it left the field.  Same result, "Whack" of the arrow on the hit, and more growling and barking, it was hit also.  At that point, We were feeling like we had just shot a 200 class buck.  We had only seen such a thing on the movies, but couldn't believe what had just happened.  The most intense hunt of my life "I Swear."  We had dogs running everywhere, but figured there to be 7 or 8 of them within 30 yards of us at one time.  Unfortunately we only found one of them, but I think they will think twice about chasing the deer and pheasants in that area again, at least I hope.  I have hunted for many years and never seen such a wild pack of beasts on the hunt, it was almost scary.  It is starting to make sense why the deer have been acting as goofy as they had been on the previous hunts.  It is very apparent now.....I have COYOTE PROBLEMS!

We did capture some sweet video of the deer, but the light just wasn't enough to film the remarkable pack that came in.  What a night.  8 deer, 4 of them bucks, and a whole pack of raging beasts! 

Yesterdays Muskie trip was postponed due to the heavy morning rain, but there are more coming soon.  Check back to see what we are up to in the next few days.  Man I love this time of the year! Ducks, Deer, Geese, Coyotes I guess, and best of all.....HUGE MUSKIES!