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OCTOBER 2017 $4.


Woods-n-Water News
Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

October's Rut...The

Mother's Nutrition and

They Say Variety Is The Spice Of Life...

Can't Miss Tactics for Archery Bucks Michigan's Best Fall Fishing
EHD-the 'Buggy' Side of Nature The Science of Water Temperature
Perspective on Fishing Regulations Keeping Our Forests Healthy Like us on facebook Follow us on
Archers Now
Pre Season
Treestand & Blind Sale
Sale Prices on
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ale! through
October 1
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Portable Blinds 2-arrows, rope cocking $
device and lube


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SALE Coming Up...

October 6th - 15th Rep Scheduled Deer Hunters
Sale prices on most new
Ruger Firearms in stock! here Oct. 6-7
American 450
AR556 5.56MM Bushmaster Starts Friday, October 20,
Scoped or unscoped models
Nato Carbine available Ends Sunday, October 29
Sat., Oct. 21 visit with
Sale $
599 99
American 30/06
Reps from Browning
and Winchester,
9E 9MM Semi Auto Reg. $429.99
Wood & Stream and
Sale $24999
Black. Reg. 399.99 $

Sale STU6901 Gamehide.

33999 K77/44 Bolt Action
44 Mag. 2208 W. M-43 Hwy.,
FREE Ruger
Backpack* w/new Ruger
W/Black synthetic stock. Hastings, MI
Blued Reg. $744.99 2 Miles West of
Handgun purchase.
*Except LCP
FREE Sling with new Ruger
599 Sale
Stainless Reg. $834.99
$ 99 Hastings On M-37 & M-43
Rifle purchase.
Sale 679
While supplies last. $ 99 STU07403,
Many other Rugers in stock but not shown. Limited quantity available on all items. Not responsible for printing errors. All items subject to
prior sale. *Discounts off regular everyday selling prices.
SALES: 810-653-0490 5605 DAVISON RD SALES: 810-653-0490
5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east 5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east
of Downtown Davison
LAPEER, MI of Downtown Davison
2046500 Open 6 Days: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm; Open 6 Days: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm;
5605 DAVISON RD Saturday 9am-2pm Saturday 9am-2pm


Offers vary by model. Rebate offers valid on select 2014-2017 new and unregistered models purchased between 7/26/17- 9/30/17. Finance offers valid on select 2014-2018 new and unregistered models purchased between 7/26/17- 9/30/17.

See your authorized dealer for complete details. Rates as low as 2.99% APR for 36 months. Examples of monthly payments required over a 36-month term at a 2.99% APR rate: $29.08 per $1,000 financed; and at an 6.99% APR rate: $30.87 per
$1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with $0 down, no rebate, an APR of 2.99% APR for 36 months at a MSRP of $9,999.00 is $290.74; total cost of borrowing of $467.60 with a total obligation of $10,466.60. Down payment may
*Monthly payment based on new, unused MY17 Indy 550 with an MSRP of $6,799 with $1,000 down and $200 manufacturers rebate. $5,599 financed (6.99% APR) over 84 months on a Polaris/Synchrony Installment Loan Account.
Participating Dealers. Offer valid from 7/26/17 to 10/31/17.

be required. Other financing offers may be available. See your local dealer for details. Minimum Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $50,000. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where

prohibited. Tax, title, license, and registration are separate and may not be financed. Promotion may be modified or discontinued without notice at any time in Polaris sole discretion.
*Offer is subject to credit approval by Synchrony Bank. APR of 6.99% will be assigned based on credit approval criteria. Monthly payments will be $15.09 per $1,000 financed. Example: A total 84-month term with an Amount Financed of
Warning: Polaris off-road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid drivers license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must be at least 12 years old. All
riders should always wear helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs 5605 DAVISON RD
$5,599 and 6.99% APR requires monthly payments of $84.48 for 84 months. Price excludes title, tax, options, accessories, and dealer fees. Program minimum amount financed is $5,000 and minimum 0% 10% down payment required
based on credit approval criteria. A $1,000 down payment is required to obtain advertised monthly payment of $84.48. All rebates are paid to the dealer.
dont mix. All riders should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. 2017 Polaris Industries Inc.


Offers vary by model. Rebate offers valid on select 2014-2017 new and unregistered models purchased between 7/26/17- 9/30/17. Finance offers valid on select 2014-2018 new and unregistered models purchased between 7/26/17- 9/30/17.
See your authorized dealer for complete details. Rates as low as 2.99% APR for 36 months. Examples of monthly payments required over a 36-month term at a 2.99% APR rate: $29.08 per $1,000 financed; and at an 6.99% APR rate: $30.87 per
$1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with $0 down, no rebate, an APR of 2.99% APR for 36 months at a MSRP of $9,999.00 is $290.74; total cost of borrowing of $467.60 with a total obligation of $10,466.60. Down payment may
be required. Other financing offers may be available. See your local dealer for details. Minimum Amount Financed $1,500; Maximum Amount Financed $50,000. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply. Financing promotions void where
prohibited. Tax, title, license, and registration are separate and may not be financed. Promotion may be modified or discontinued without notice at any time in Polaris sole discretion.

Save Up to $2,500 Factory Promotion

Warning: Polaris off-road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use. Driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid drivers license to operate. Passengers, if permitted, must be at least 12 years old. All
riders should always wear helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing. Always use seat belts and cab nets or doors (as equipped). Never engage in stunt driving, and avoid excessive speeds and sharp turns. Riding and alcohol/drugs *Monthly payment based on new, unused MY17 Indy 550 with an MSRP of $6,799 with $1,000 down and $200 manufacturers rebate. $5,599 financed (6.99% APR) over 84 months on a Polaris/Synchrony Installment Loan Account.
dont mix. All riders should take a safety training course. Call 800-342-3764 for additional information. Check local laws before riding on trails. 2017 Polaris Industries Inc. Participating Dealers. Offer valid from 7/26/17 to 10/31/17.

*Offer is subject to credit approval by Synchrony Bank. APR of 6.99% will be assigned based on credit approval criteria. Monthly payments will be $15.09 per $1,000 financed. Example: A total 84-month term with an Amount Financed of
$5,599 and 6.99% APR requires monthly payments of $84.48 for 84 months. Price excludes title, tax, options, accessories, and dealer fees. Program minimum amount financed is $5,000 and minimum 0% 10% down payment required
based on credit approval criteria. A $1,000 down payment is required to obtain advertised monthly payment of $84.48. All rebates are paid to the dealer.


SALES: 810-653-0490
5605 Davison Rd., 4 miles east
of Downtown Davison
Open 6 Days: Monday - Friday 9am-5pm;
Saturday 9am-2pm
By Tom Campbell
101.6 Million Americans participated
Field Notes... in hunting, fishing and wildlife

huge thank you to everyone activities and spent $156 billion!
involved in the 31st Woods-N-
Water News Outdoor Weekend, he U.S. Department of the Interior billion to $25.6 billion. However, expenditures for
announced a new report by the U.S. Fish related items such as taxidermy and camping equip-
the event was a huge success. Our and Wildlife Service that shows that 101.6 ment experienced a 27-percent uptick, and hunting
vendors, speakers, sponsors, groups, clubs million Americans40 percent of the U.S. trip-related expenses increased 15 percent.
and entertainment were all fantastic. As too population 16 years old and olderparticipated in Regarding the decrease in participation in hunt-
was help from our local community, the po- wildlife-related activities in 2016, such as hunting, ing, Zinke said: Hunters and anglers are at the
lice and fire departments, the Eastern Michi- fishing and wildlife-watching. backbone of American conservation, so the more
gan State Fairgrounds, family and friends The survey illustrates gains in wildlife watch- sportsmen and women we have, the better off our
ingparticularly around the homeand fishing, wildlife will be. Some of our wildlife refuges have
that all pitched in. The weather finally co- with moderate declines in the number of hunters great mentored hunting programs. Id like to see
operated, fall like temperatures with plenty nationally. The findings reflect a continued interest these programs replicated and expanded across the
of sunshine really brought out the crowds in engaging in the outdoors. These activities are country and reach into areas where kids dont tradi-
for this years Woods-N-Water News Out- drivers behind an economic powerhouse, where par- tionally get the opportunity to hunt, fish and connect
door Weekendcertainly Saturday was ticipants spent $156 billionthe most in the last 25 with wildlife. Some of my best family time growing
our largest crowd ever! The success of the years, adjusted for inflation. up and raising my own kids was hunting an elk,
This report absolutely underscores the need to enjoying a pheasant, or reeling in a rainbow. These
Woods-N-Water News Outdoor Weekend increase public access to public lands across the are the memories and traditions I want to share with
has never been measured in numbers, but United States, said U.S. Secretary of the Interior future generations.
rather in the satisfaction of our vendors and Ryan Zinke. Hunting and fishing are a part of the No one does more for our wildlife and or wild
our attendees, and it appears we succeeded. American heritage. As a kid who grew up hunting places than hunters. Any decline in hunting num-
This was a true celebration of our outdoor and fishing on public lands who later took my own bers, real or perceived, is of great concern since
heritage! Its a tremendous feeling seeing so kids out on the same land, I know how important it hunting provides the lions share of funding for
is to expand access for future generations. Many nationwide conservation work thanks to excise taxes
many show goers enjoying the event, which folks east of the Mississippi River rely on friends on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment that
in turn makes it enjoyable and prosperous with large acreages or pay high rates for hunting and garner more than $1.6 million annually, said David
for our vendors and that makes the show a fishing clubs. This makes access to wildlife refuges Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president
success. and other public lands more important. and CEO. The RMEF remains committed to grow-
Be sure to mark your calendar for next On his first day in office, Secretary Zinke ing and ensuring the future of our hunting heritage
years show, September 7-9, 2018.n reversed an order that would have banned lead as well as elk, other wildlife and their habitat.
ammo and fishing tackle on National Wildlife This years survey also gathered two new cate-

Refuge lands, and he began the process of expand- gories of data: archery and target shooting. Findings
ing hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands show there are more than 32 million target shooters
across the Department. using firearms and 12.4 million people engaged in
Now-Sept 30 Early Canada goose season In August, the Secretary announced a proposal archery, not including hunting.
Open All Year Pike and walleye season on Lower Peninsula to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 Hunters and anglers form the foundation of
Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers national wildlife refuges, and he announced the ini- wildlife conservation in the United States, consis-
Open All Year Salmon and trout season on Great Lakes, tial stages of a plan to acquire land to make the tently generating more funding for habitat and wild-
St. Marys River, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers Bureau of Land Management Sabinoso Wilderness life management than any other source, said U.S.
Open All Year Catch-and-immediate-release bass season Area accessible for the first time ever to hunters, Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director
on all Michigan waters open to fishing hikers and wildlife watchers. Greg Sheehan. Industry, federal and state fish and
Now-Dec. 31 Pure Michigan Hunt Application In addition, Secretary Zinke recently made rec- wildlife agency initiatives that focus on hunter and
Now-March 15 Pike, walleye seasons on L.P. inland ommendations to President Trump on 27 national angler recruitment, retention and reactivation are
waters, U.P. Great Lakes, inland waters and St. Marys. monuments that call for changes to some that, while crucial to sustaining these conservation dollars and
Now-Sept. 30 Trout and salmon on inland Type 1 and 2 still protecting the land, would also protect and ensuring the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts
streams and Type A & D lakes expand public access to that land for citizens who have the opportunity, access and awareness to pur-
want to hunt, fish and hike and experience the joy sue these time-honored American traditions.
Now-Dec. 15 Muskie season on Lake St. Clair, St. Clair I praise Secretary Zinke for his support of
and beauty of these special places.
and Detroit Rivers The survey, the 13th in a series conducted nearly hunting and land access. The hunting and shooting
Now-Dec. 31 Bass; catch and keep season on all Michigan every five years since 1955, shows that the most sports community is grateful for an administration
waters open to bass fishing substantial increases in participation involve wild- that recognizes the economic, recreational and tradi-
Now-Oct. 26 Bear season (various BMUs, permit required life-watchingobserving, feeding and photograph- tional values of hunting and target shooting, said
and special regulations) ing wildlife. The report indicates these activities John Frampton, President and CEO of the Council
Now-Mar. 31 Cottontail rabbit/snowshoe hare season surged 20 percent from 2011 to 2016, from 71.8 mil- to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.
Now-Sept. 30 Crow season lion to 86 million participants during that time. Although the numbers of hunters have declined, we
Now-Nov. 14 Fall turkey season (permit needed) Expenditures by wildlife watchers also rose sharp- are optimistic they will rebound as a result of
Now-Mar. 1 Squirrel season, fox and gray (black) ly28 percentbetween 2011 and 2016, from Secretary Zinkes leadership, state wildlife agencies,
Now-Nov. 14 Ruffed grouse season $59.1 billion to $75.9 billion. Around-the-home non-government organizations and industries work-
Sept. 16-17 Early Antlerless Firearm wildlife-watching increased 18 percent from 2011, ing together. Hunting in this country is not only part
Sept. 16-17 Liberty Hunt; youth & hunters with disabilities from 68.6 million in 2011 to 81.1 million partici- of our national heritage, it is an important to our
Sept. 23-Nov. 6 Woodcock season pants in 2016. More modest gains were made for countrys economy, as indicated by the expenditures
Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 Archery deer season away-from-home wildlife watchers: 5 percent in the survey.
Oct. 19-22 - Independence Hunt; hunters with disabilities increase from 2011 to 2016, from 22.5 million to 23 As a partnership effort with states and national
*Consult the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, million participants. conservation organizations, the survey has become
More Americans also went fishing. The report one of the most important sources of information on
Fishing Digest, or other species-specific hunting digests for indicates an 8 percent increase in angling participa- fish and wildlife recreation in the United States.
a more complete list of dates and regulations regarding each tion since 2011, from 33.1 million anglers to 35.8 Federal, state and private organizations use this
season or hunt period. million in 2016. The greatest increases in participa- detailed information to manage wildlife, market
tion10 percentwere seen in the Great Lakes products, and look for trends. Conducted by the U.S.
MJC MJC area. Total expenditures by anglers nationwide rose Bureau of the Census, the survey is based on a
MACOMB OAKLAND 2 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $45 billion to 22,416-household sample surveyed through comput-
$46.1 billion. er-assisted telephone and in-person interviews.
Hunting participation dropped by about 2 mil- For more information about the survey and to
3001 Rochester Rd
lion participants but still remained strong at 11.5 view the preliminary report, please visit https://wsfr-
19744 15 Mile Rd
Clinton Twp. 48035 Royal Oak, MI 48073 million hunters. Total expenditures by hunters
586-791-4600 248-589-2480 declined 29 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $36.3 National_Survey.htm
October is legendary Understanding the importance
HUNTING Mark Sak page 89 of streamside/lakeshore habitat
MDNR page 58
OCTOBER BUCKS To this group - Islands Wildlife
Kenny Darwin page 8 Wildlife Matters Dog proof raccoon traps
Betty Sodders page 104 John Chagnon page 74
Field to freezer to taxidermist Sporting Collectibles... Decoys and Poachers
Michael Veine page 12 Go-Ite Manufacturing Jeff Pendergraff page 106
Terry McBurney page 110
When Opening Day goes wrong Im lost without my compass
Brian Miller page 26 Black bears and humans Sharon Kennedy page 109
Swanson/Pepin MDNR page 114
How young to hunt?
Fawn Survival
John Rasmussen page 28
You wont need the kitchen
sink for grouse hunts Hunts of October Be aware of new cervid
Rick Fowler page 30 importation regulations
Mark 66 page 19
backcountry squirrels Deep-water smallmouth
in current Osprey chicks with GPS
Drew YoungeDyke page 32 page 43
Jeff Nedwick page 70
My deer of a lifetime Invasive Japanese stiltgrass
Lewis Horn page 85 Fall fishing with
spoons and spinners page 44 John 76
Cant miss archery buck tactics Jack Payne page 80
Outdoor Recreation Plan
Kenny Darwin page 86
Fall perch page 45 OPINIONS
My prediction for the 2017 John Bergsma page 82
Running the
whitetailed-deer seasons Duck numbers remain high Asian Carp gauntlet
Ed Spinazzola page 94 Dear Fish Diary... page 49
Mystery of the Magic Rod Drew YoungeDyke page 96
Ron St. Germain page 90 DNR launches Rationale for APRs within
Visit your small bait shop today Eyes in the Field app Bovine TB DMUs
Roger Beukema page 108 page 57 page 96

Northern L.P. landowners Guest Column...

FEATURE can enroll in HAP
page 69
Bob Vogel page 97
Michigans Mullein
Bear management
Jonathan Schechter page 23
Why Beads PERSPECTIVE Richard P. Smith page 97
Jim 72 Partnerships vital to U.P. trails
John Pepin, MDNR page 40 Perspective on
fishing regulations
Bill Ziegler page 36
FISHING Keeping our forests healthy
Rick Lucas page 46
Appreciating the
American Long Rifle
Swimbaits catch fish Michigan Meanders...
Michigan Historical Markers Darryl Quidort page 16
Mark Martin page 14 Lapshan/Voigt page 50 Tom Huggler page 39 GUN CHAT...
Investigating the Practicing for deer
BEST FALL FISHING Michigans Amazing Animals... Lee Arten page 48
buggy side of nature GROUSE
Mike Gnatkowski page 20
Tom Lounsbury page 52 Patrick Bevier page 56 Black Powder Shooting Sports
NEXT BITE... Its shooting, and its fun!
On the hunt for fall walleye Boat Smart...
Look at your boats powertrain Dennis Neely page 62
Parsons/Kavajecz page 54

Fred Davis page 84
Fishing and the Science of... OCTOBER 2017 $4.00
Woods-n-Water News
Mark Romanack page 60 Michigans Premier Outdoor Publication

October's Rut...The
Trophy Page. . . . . . 92 Classifieds . . 116-117
Fall fishing CHASE News/Op-Ed . . 96-100 Real Estate . . 118-129
George Rowe page 64 PHASE

COVER PHOTO 1-810-724-0254

Mother's Nutrition and

October Bucks They Say Variety Is The Spice Of Life...
The Chase Phase... WATERFOWL-MIXED BAGS P.O. Box 278, Imlay City, MI 48444 8
Can't Miss Tactics for Archery Bucks Michigan's Best Fall Fishing
EHD-the 'Buggy' Side of Nature The Science of Water Temperature
Perspective on Fishing Regulations Keeping Our Forests Healthy Like us on facebook Follow us on


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Chase phase: Success hinges on increased deer activity

omehow the big into view.
10-point slipped past However, come late October
my stand unnoticed be- the days shorten and the amount of
cause he had his nose sunlight passing through a does eye
close to the ground and is decreased. This causes hormone
was slinking through levels to rise and a small percentage
the forest like a coyote seeking a of females come into estrous. Love
baby fawn. He purposely kept a low sick bucks go on a rampage to find
profile and moved without a sound receptive partners. In most cases
from the pine forest to the grassy their efforts are futile and they end
knoll. Thats when he slowed his up chasing does day and night that
pace and slipped into the tall grass are not interested in mating. But a
like a sly fox after a mouse. Sud- definite increase in buck behavior
denly a young doe blasted from the occurs during this important chase
canary grass like a runaway Polaris phase. Hunting during this phase
missile and dashed under my stand increases your chances of seeing
at lightning speed. The bucks, period.
buck followed and when One look at a chase
he was kissin close I phase buck and you
gave him a burp to stop can quickly identify his
him in his tracks and mood by his posture. Of-
offer a broadside shot. ten they are stampeding
Through the wide field through the woods dur-
of view scope he looked ing broad daylight with
huge as the cross hair swollen neck, muscles

Cover Story...
settled on his bulging, eyes
vitals and the red from lack of

By Kenny Darwin
Michigan made sleep and glands
Darton Toxin sent stained black.
the bolt at light- Some are preoc-
ning speed. I heard a loud thwack as cupied with sniffing the ground
the Spitfire MAX opened on impact for doe scent, tipping their heads
as the broadhead found its mark. He backward and curling their lip in an
made a high mule kick and sprinted effort to identify receptive females
through the underbrush, but the by Fleming. Other bucks are hell
Spitfire did its job and after running bent on rubbing their antlers to mark
less than 40 yards he piled up. their territory and relieve sexual Author predicts splendid buck hunting in 2017 to begin October
I knelt next to the dandy buck anxiety. Many paw the heck out of 23 through November 14. Mature bucks offer a narrow window
and admired his impressive body the ground making multiple scrapes of oppor tunity when they are sex crazed and their hormone level
and beautiful antlers. A cool Octo- under overhanging branches. Each skyrockets. Kenny Darwin photos
ber breeze caught my attention and scrape is marked with buck urine to
made me grateful to be in Michi- attract receptive does and act as a when he stomped directly at me and bucks and bounce from pile to pile
gans great outdoors during fall barrier to keep satellite bucks from offered an easy shot. My point is with the buck in tow. This offers the
when the weather is cool, leaves are invading their home turf. chase phase bucks will respond to a archer multiple opportunities and
falling, smell of autumn fills your The early chase phase is an variety of hunting strategies that key body angles as the buck postures
senses and the bucks are going bon- excellent time to hunt because of their interest. for position and follows the females
kers. This kill was a classic example the increased buck activity. This is a I use bait on a regular basis like he has a ring in his nose to lead
of the monumental deer hunting time when calling or rattlin antlers when taking photographs. I learned him around. Sometimes a doe will
available during the buck chase and grunting sounds can bring a that during the chase phase bucks immediately run from an approach-
phase. Heres why. bruiser on the run. It is also a great too will investigate a bait pile. Not ing buck and the duo will quickly
Taking a buck with archery opportunity to attract bucks by using because they are hungry, although disappear but later the lonely suitor
gear can be easy if you understand scent drippers, drag rags and deer some older bucks absolutely love will return to the bait site in search
that success hinges on increased scents that draw mossy horned mon- fresh apples, sugar beets, corn and of fresh scent and maybe a bite to
deer activity not so much hunting archs from deep woods liars. a variety of concoctions that get eat.
skills. Early October can serve up With fond memories I recall a their salivary glands going, but bait Keep in mind that in Michigan
some bad buck hunting opportuni- Kalamazoo County huge buck that will bring does and during the chase finding a four-year-old buck is very
ties simply because the boys are in fell prey to a drag rag soaked with phase bucks will follow any tail in difficult and always will be unless
lockdown. Oh sure, you can pattern Buck Stop doe urine and a touch town. the DNR starts properly managing
deer and maybe catch them return- of doe estrous. I could see his tall I learned to never place bait in the deer herd. The majority of bucks
ing to feeding zones come sundown, tines from a long distance as he a single pile, rather make at least that participate in the chase phase
but as a rule buck hunting is a wash meandered on my trail with nose three piles. When a buck comes in in Michigan are young bucks, most
until late October when bucks are to the ground. But just when he following a doe he will move to are yearlings with small racks. But
chasing does. The trouble with hunt- was in archery range a young doe where she was feeding or standing they get all sexed up and go crazy
ing early October is does simply are appeared and he chased after her. A and smell the location for hot doe in pursuit of hot babes. They cover
not receptive. Their sexual hormone few minutes later he reappeared on a scent. This bumps the doe off the 10 times more turf than three-year-
levels are not raging and they have distant knoll and I gave him a short bait pile. But if you have two or old bucks and they get plenty of
no interest in joining bucks that are burp imitating a buck grunt. I could three piles the doe will simply shift does up on their feet. Through their
ready to rock. Most does run and see his huge rack swing in my direc- to another dinner table. Sometimes
hide when breeding bucks come tion to the intrusive sound. Thats does play ring-around-the-rosy with Chase phase page 10

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Octobers chase phase :
from page 8
relentless pursuit the woods comes interested in taking just any buck
alive with deer activity and the older and you want a Pope and Young
bucks get trapped in the craziness. deer that is at least three-years-old
Sometimes bruisers leave shadowy carrying a rack that scores between
haunts to break up rattling ses- 125-140 inches. My suggestion is
sions or fights among young bucks. to avoid prime hunting locations
Other times a hot doe with her tail until deer activity cranks into high
up, twitching from side to side, gear. Each area is different and
will prance in front of an old timer does come into heat at different
and entice him to pursue. At times times throughout Michigan. I hunt
patriarch bucks will saunter to open a Clinton County farm every year
meadows, hay fields or crop lands in around pheasant season (October
an effort to bump off younger satel- 20) and see rutting activity when my
lite bucks invading his territory. My other counties are dead. The trick is
point is chase phase can turn from to locate a hot doe, get on her turf
a young buck hunt into a trophy wherever that might be and bucks
adventure. will come runnin.
Now, I know what your next I was approached by a private
question is. When is the best time to land owner who feeds deer year
hunt the chase phase? The answer round and he showed me photos of
is relatively simple yet complex. a 15-point monarch. I immediately
If I were you Id shoot for the time requested permission to set up for
around Halloween and it falls on photographs of the mega-buck he
October 31, so I recommend hunt- thought was a six-year-old monster.
ing the week before the holiday. To This buck is a record whitetail with
be more specific, the closer you get unbelievable mass, 17 inch G2s and
to November the more activity you a spread over 25 inches. I worked
will see. However, dont overlook all summer to coax him into cam-
the powerful affect the moon has era range but was never successful. Adult bucks begin rutting activity during late October and become
on whitetail deer. With this in mind However, Stealth trail camera pho- actively involved with chasing does. This brute is rubbing on an
I recommend hunting three days tos revealed he was there the entire overhanging branch above his fresh scrape. Scrapes are used to
prior to full moon, during full moon time and visited my sweet spot on attract does and outline a bucks territory. Primary scrapes are
and three days following full moon; a regular basis at 4 a.m. This old visited by the entire deer family.
even if full moon is the first week in bruiser is smart and unfortunately
October. I had bad news for the landowner I told him his chances of harvesting of daylight in late October cause
Lets assume you are not fired up about harvesting the trophy. the buck were slim. biological changes in bucks that
You see a six-year-old buck is get them moving, searching and
equivalent to a 73 year old man. He presenting ideal targets for those in
has lost sexual desire and more im- the know. This is a short window
portantly has gone nocturnal. It is a of opportunity that begins around
bitter pill for a trophy hunter to deal Halloween and reaches peak in
with how Mother Nature instinctive- November. This breeding window
ly changes daytime critters to night is regulated by decreased sunlight
roaming ghosts. and comes to an abrupt close when
When bucks are three-years-old an orange army invades Michigans
they are easy to spot and constantly landscape. Oh sure, if we have mild
looking for food, does, bedding weather there is some breeding in
locations and actively take part in December but it comes to an abrupt
the chase phase and rutting activity. stop when bitter cold weather ar-
But when they become five-and-a rives.
half they change habits drastically If you want to up your odds for a
and all old bucks suddenly become buck this season concentrate efforts
difficult to see or pattern and reserve during the chase phase and continue
activity to night; deer by nature are hunting through the main rut in No-
nocturnal creatures. They become vember. Come rifle season all bets
creatures of the night and only move are off and savvy bucks make the
when they know they are safe. shift to complete defense mode and
Chances of taking a buck over the craziness of deer moving during
five-years-old are slim because they daylight and bucks running helter
limit daylight movement, ignore the skelter after hot does is over.
powerful urge to join in the chase Okay, I know you are fired up
phase and limit breeding behavior. about the October first opener, but
More importantly, old bucks pattern are you ready to get serious about
hunters and know where they hunt, buck hunting? If so, concentrate
when they hunt and how to avoid efforts during the chase phase and
being seen. However, record books rut. Plan vacation time when the
clearly show that during the chase bucks are active. Get in the woods
Bucks will seek out does day and night looking for a receptive doe. During phase and rut old mature bucks will as much as possible before gun
the chase phase non-receptive does will purposely avoid bucks and hide venture from hiding. Keep in mind season. Remember that rain, snow,
from them in swamps, brush, cattails, standing corn, tall grass and more. this is a very short period of time wind, fog, extreme heat and bright
This mega-buck is sneaking up on a small doe hiding in tall grass. His that only lasts about three weeks in sunny weather has little impact on
goal is to get her to stand and check the area for telltale scents indicat- Michigan, then its over. big bucks when a hot doe is dancing
ing she is receptive to mating. Without fail, shortening periods in their face.n


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From field to freezer to taxidermist
Tips on the proper every hunter who cares about the
quality of their venison. Ive also
way to field dress an been a commercial taxidermist in
animal, extract them Michigan for decades and have
from the field with gleaned a lot of knowledge and
savvy on proper trophy care.
care, hanging and First, lets start with the kill-
aging along with ing process itself. If you want good
tasting venison and a good trophy,
skinning, butchering then a shot placed through the heart
and proper freezing or lungs, just behind the shoulder
is the best. Neck (spine) and head

techniques... shots will certainly put a deer down
fast, but they dont bleed out much
heres a lot of misin- when dropped like that and there
formation circulating is a lot more waste on neck shots
on the proper way to too. A good chest shot will kill the
care for deer and other deer through massive hemorrhaging
big game species after causing them to bleed out nicely,
the kill. I have seen which greatly improves the taste of
firsthand a lot of terrible waste of the meat. Besides, a neck or head
wild game meat through improper shot may greatly impact the qual-
handling and in my commercial ity of any mount desired and if the
taxidermy business, I have seen way damage is severe, then it might
too much mishandling of game to require a replacement cape, which
the point where trophies are ruined. is an unnecessary expense. If a
Every year clients bring me capes finishing shot must be administered,
with the hair falling out and even then that shot should also be taken
some that are so rotten that maggots through the chest too.
are there to greet me when I inspect Once the game is dead and
their prized trophy. tagged, then some photos
Its really just about as should be taken at the site
easy to properly handle big of the kill. Since I mostly
game carcasses as it is to hunt alone, I carry a small
mishandle them, so why not camera in my fanny pack
do it right? The benefits are for field shots and also
fine eating and perhaps a have a tiny tripod I Vel-
nice looking trophy on the cro to a tree or branch.
wall as a pleasant reminder My camera has a remote
of the accomplishment of control so I can position

By Michael Veine
the hunt. Read on everything and
for some profes- then take self-
sional tips on the photos. I also like If possible, its a good idea to drag the deer a good distance from
proper way to field dress an animal, to take self-photos of deer in other your stand before field dressing to avoid attracting predators to
extract them from the field with locations the same way. If Im tak- the area. Author photos
care, hanging and aging along with ing photos of a deer that has been
skinning, butchering and proper dead for a while, then I put glass predators/scavengers in Michigan then pick up the front of the deer to
freezing techniques. eyes into the sockets to spiff up the these days, it can really be a waste drain out all the blood through the
My Dad owned a meat market shots. Before a photo session, clean of good venison too. butt, which helps to wash away any
and was an expert at cutting up beef, up the animal. I keep paper towels Once a deer is recovered, it nastiness.
pork and deer too. He taught me at in my pack, which work well. Avoid should be field dressed as soon Then I go over it once again
an early age how to properly care photos with the tongue hanging out as possible. This task needs to be cleaning everything up with paper
for a deer and I have been process- or with tasteless scenery like truck done right. Ive seen way too many towels and then turn the deer over,
ing deer and other big game for over beds and garages. instances of rushed gutting jobs that belly down to drain out. Its at this
40 years on my own. If its warm and you plan on tak- have greatly degraded the finished point that I will typically go back to
Additionally, I married a woman ing the deer to a processor, then that product. I like to start by positioning my camp, ATV or vehicle and get
(Donna) in 1990 whose fam- should be done right away. Warm the deer in a clear area on its side. I rid of my weapon, heavy clothes
ily owned a meat cutting business temperatures will cause bacteria to first ring the anus as deeply as pos- and other hunting sundries, return-
where they processed whole cows, flourish and those bugs will ruin sible and then roll the deer onto its ing with a Jet Sled. Placing the
pigs and thousands of deer. Donna meat and/or the hide in a hurry. That back, remove the genitals and open carcass in the sled makes the extrac-
worked in that shop through school brings me to another subject too. I up the cavity from stem to sternum tion much easier and also protects it
and she and her family have shown have seen a proliferation of cases without cutting the innards. I then from abuse, while keeping it clean.
me some additional wisdom on where people are leaving deer in the ring the diaphragm and reach up and Once I get back to civilization or
processing venison too. In addition, woods overnight on evening hunts. free up the heart and lungs. Then camp, I remove the tenderloins and
Ive read everything I can from a Unless you highly suspect that the the guts are rolled out of the cavity hang the deer head up for no less
past contributor to this publication shot was bad, all efforts should and I am free to work on the rear than overnight so it can drain out.
who is a genuine expert on not only be made to recover the animal as end. I have a small saw that I use to I also clean up the deer more then
processing deer, but certainly also soon as possible. Letting a deer lie carefully split the pelvis. Then I free too. If a hose is available, I spray
on cooking it too. dead overnight is not good at all for up the bladder and colon and pull all it off completely with water to get
The writings of Chef Milos the meat or the hide and with the that nasty stuff out, hopefully with-
Ciehelka are truly a must read for proliferation of coyotes and other out spillage. If I did spill anything, I Deer care page 13
from page 12
rid of all the blood and dirt, both on the inside of the carcass to keep
inside and out. Some people will things nice while aging. A home-
advise against getting water on the made rub that I have used is to com-
meat, but true experts know better. bine cooking oil with pepper, heat
At camp, if the cavity is messy, like it up very hot, let it cool, then apply
from a gut shot, I take a bucket of with a rag. I have also wrapped my
cold water and a rag and wash it out deer in a big comforter during the
as well as possible. heat of the day to get past a warm
A big mistake I see many hunt- spell. They also have a commercial
ers make is hanging a freshly killed product that insulates a carcass and
deer by the hind legs. This causes has pockets inside for ice too, which
blood to pool up in the neck and is a great idea. Ideally, I would
head and not only ruins meat, but prefer to age my deer for about three
also can ruin a cape for taxidermy weeks, but usually the duration is
purposes. When people also put ice much less since I cut my deer up
in the chest cavity of an rear-end before heading home from the U.P.
hung deer, it melts water into the The best way to transport a deer
neck and head causing even more home is in the processed form in
damage. coolers. When I add ice to a meat
For a buck, cut an 18 length filled cooler, I double bag the ice to
of rope and tie it tightly around the keep the ice water out of the meat.
base of the antlers. Hook a block If the distance is short, then keeping
and tackle to that rope and hoist it in the Jet sled is the best option to
him up. For does, I cut a length of contain the mess. Most hunters seem
rope that is tied around the neck for to have trucks, so the bed of a truck
hoisting. I hang my deer head up is a good place for deer transport. If
until Im ready for the skinning and you have an SUV, keep the vehicle
butchering tasks. as cold as possible even if it means
A deer should be hung in a cool, dressing yourself to the max. Cars
shaded spot for as long as practi- require roping the deer top side.
cal. Aged meat is better meat. In a If the trip is long and the weather
perfect situation, the deer should is warm, then the deer should be
be hung in a meat locker until it is packed in ice.
aged to perfection and ready for When I am ready to cut up my
processing. Most of my hunting is deer, I lower it down, remove the
done from my U.P. deer camp so legs at the knees, insert a gambrel,
no cooler is available. There, my and hoist it back up by the hind legs
buck pole is located about 12 feet for skinning. I skin it all the way
high in a spot shaded all day long down to the front legs, and if a head
by balsam and cedar trees where mount is desired for the cape, then I
breezes can help cool the carcass. I skin out the front legs with no cuts
hang my deer until Im ready to go and continue down to the base of the
home, or when the meat temperature skull severing it with a knife at the
of an inner hind leg warms past 45 skull/neck juncture. From what Ive
degrees. If the daytime temperature seen in my taxidermy shop, most
exceeds 50 to 55 degrees, then I cut people and commercial deer proces-
off the legs and the knees and put a sors only skin the neck down about A buck being processed at the authors deer camp.
game bag on the carcass to keep the half way on average wasting about
flies off. five or more pounds of good meat YouTube and watching a video on ones on YouTube that can show
There are rubs that can be put in the process, which is a shameful caping a deer just before you go on you how its done. The other option
waste. Processors that leave a big your next out-of-state hunting trip. is to solicit the services of a deer
hunk of neck in the hide should be Keep in mind that a short-Y incision processor. There are some good deer
avoided. type caping job is preferred by every processors, but there are also a lot
With the advent of Chronic good taxidermist that I know and of bad ones, so research needs to be
Wasting Disease (CWD), a lot of most taxidermists, including myself, done before the season begins. One
states, including Michigan, have charge extra for dorsal cuts and any thing to look for in a good processor
passed recent laws forbidding the other unnecessary cape damage that is a guarantee that you will get your
transport of deer into the state that will need extensive repairs. After the own deer back. Its surprising how
are not completely deboned, in- cape is removed from the skull, it many processors mix deer together
cluding the skull from the cape. If needs to be rough fleshed to remove for processing with no effort made
you want a shoulder mount, that most of the excess meat below the to keep them separate.
means that the deer will need to ears. After that, the cape should Once your deer is processed
be caped out, including having the be rolled up and double bagged in into serving sized portions, packag-
skull skinned out, before you return garbage bags, then ideally frozen. ing for the freezer is in order. I pre-
to Michigan. In that case, you can If freezing is not possible, then fer to use standard butcher paper for
either find a taxidermist to cape pack it on ice in a cooler for the trip that task and roll the air out of the
the deer out in the state where you home and then either take it to your packages when packing for the best
killed the animal or you can learn taxidermist right after getting home possible freezer storage longevity.
how to do it yourself. Most taxi- that day, or freeze it if there will be Ive tried Ziploc freezer bags and
dermists will charge $50 to $100 to any delay. found that they cause a lot of freezer
cape out a deer or other big game Butchering a deer is a skill best burn from air leaks. Vacuum pack-
animal, but the problem is often learned from doing the job with ing is another option, but choose
Game bags and insulated covers are finding a taxidermist that is willing someone experienced in doing the commercial grade packing mate-
used to keep a deer cool and bug free to do that job in your timeframe. process correctly. However, there rial that is thick enough to resist air
while hanging during warm spells. I would suggest going onto are some good videos, including leaks.n


Swimbaits catch
fish all fall long
Cast-Retrieve-Repeat! industry. To boot, a trophy-size
6.42-pound smallmouththe third
Except for setting largest of the eventcame over
the hook and fighting the gunwales of my Lund, as well
several more smallies and countless
a fish, that is all there hefty rainbow trout.
is to fishing with How To Do It
swimbaits... Today I fish a swimbait nearly
identical to how I started to way
By Mark Martin

back when.
First, I prefer casting them
o tell you the truth, I on superline, with Flame-colored
was skeptical of the 8-pound-test Berkley FireLine my
fish-catching ability of preference.
swimbaits when they Whats the reason I prefer
first came to market superline, you ask? The no-stretch
years ago. I thought properties of superline allows me to
theyre just too simply made and too feel every pulse of the lures paddle-
easy to use to work so well. or curly-cue tail, as well its easier
But it only took me a few casts than ever to detect when the lures
to realize I was wrong. And it ticking the tops of the weeds, rock,
doesnt matter the species I am tar- or wood; which is a signal for me to
geting, be it walleye, bass, panfish speed up the retrieve and get the lure
or trout, you name it and swimbaits up and out of cover and swimming
fool them all. just over it.
That is not the end of the story, Superline also lets me achieve
however. Theres a little more to great hook sets when using such
catching fish with these lures than light line, as the hooks on most
anglers may realize. But not a whole swimbaits are quite large and it
lot. takes a little more gumption to get
the point to pierce a bony jaw.
As Its Name Implies A longer, medium-power fast-
So what, exactly, is a swimbait? action rod, such as a 7-foot 2-inch
In a way, its a cross between a Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye spin-
softbait lure and a lipless crankbait. ning rod, allows me to make long Big smallies on swimbaits, like the authors holding here? You bet!
Many are made of pliable plastic, casts. And the beefier action aids Walleye, pike and trout, too. David Rose photo
molded around lead and hook; they in getting good hooks sets, as well.
resemble minnows, shiners and I couple the rod with size-30 ABU life-like action, work best. and brightly-colored ones, such
young-of-the-year fishes. Some, on Garcia Orra S spinning reel for a With that said, I generally use Firetiger for example, in stained or
the other hand, are offered as soft- perfectly balanced rig. 1/8- to 1/4-ounce swimbaits most muddy water.
bodied baits you add your own jig Speaking of those long casts... often. This weight bait tends to be As for choosing paddle- or
head to. The end result of catching Whether Im fishing clear water or shorter in length than heavier ones, curly-tail, I let the fish decide. I find
fish is equal whichever style you stained, I like to make lengthy casts measuring in at 2 to 3 inches. There changing often is best.
choose. when using swimbaits, allowing are also shorter, 1/32- and 1/16-onc- Last but not least, when attach-
At their rear end is either a the lure to free-fall a few seconds ers on the market. These tiny ver- ing a swimbait to FireLine, I tie it
paddle- or curly-cue tail; the former through the water column before sions are great for panfish whether on directly with a Palomar knot;
resonating a tempting thump as starting my retrieve. And as for the its crappie, bluegills or perch thats not using a snap, as well for-
it swims, the later a veracious flash reclaiming of line, its merely a slow youre targeting. going the use of a leader of mono-
and vibration. Either way, its the and steady one. For the most part, in water any filament or fluorocarbon. The fish
shape, feel, and pulsation these lures Thats the beauty of swimbaits, deeper than 12 feet, I use the 3/8- to do not seem to care when attacking
make that fish have a hard time the best action is no added action; 3/4-ouncers, no matter the size of a swimbait, even with the brightly-
refusing. just that aforementioned stable re- the forage base in a lake. colored line.
It Started Somewhere trieve. Theres no lift and fall or no As for shape and color of swim- Cast. Retrieve. Repeat.
Its been nearly two decades hopping along bottom. baits I choose, that depends on the Looking for a technique thats
since I first started casting swimbaits And theres no refuting a strike waters I am fishing. easy to use to catch more fish than
on a regular basis. And it all started when fishing swimbaits as the bait is In waterways where shad, ever this year, no matter the species?
while fishing a charity tournament usually engulfed. bluegills, and crappie are the main Then by all means, tie a swimbait
event in Northern Lower Michigan. The Devils in the Details forage, the short fat profile of one directly to superline and make a
I was the only professional walleye Swimbaits come in so many of the many Storms WildEye Live long cast, and then just give it a
angler fishing alongside some of the different shapes, sizes, and colors it series of swimbaits is great. Where slow, steady retrieve and hang on.
finest bass-fishing professionals in can be overwhelming when attempt- shiners, perch, and other slender- Yes, it really can be as easy as
the world. ing to pick one out. As with any shaped forage is present, North- that.
My bait of choice during the lure, however, it will depend on the lands new Impulse core Swimbait, Mark Martin is a professional
one-day event was a 1/4-ounce depth I am fishing and the shape and coupled with a VMC SBJ Swimbait walleye tournament angler and
swimbait, which was about 3-1/2 size of the forage at hand. Jig, will do the trick. instructor with the Fishing Vacation
inches long. And with that one lure These baits work great in water Color, on the other hand, de- Schools, who live in southwestern
I was able to prove a walleye guy 12 feet and under; thus I find the pends on water clarity. I prefer the Lower Michigan. Visit his web-
can hold his own amongst a large lightest-weight lures, which dont naturally-colored baits such as blue- site at for more
pack of some of the best in the bass sink too quickly and have the most gill, perch, and shiner in clear water, information.n
Appreciating the

Long Rifle
By Darryl Quidort

his fall I will again be Early gun makers in the Colonies
hunting with a modern developed this rifle to fit the needs
replica of an American of the frontiersmen as they crossed
Long Rifle very simi- the Allegheny Mountains and
lar to those used by pushed into the wilderness beyond. For the author, the slim, graceful profile of the American Long Rifle
early American explor- For more than a century the flintlock is pleasing to the eye and hunting with it is magical.
ers 250 years ago. There is a certain long rifle hung over the fireplace
attraction, maybe even something mantle in frontier cabins, always courages the eye to travel its length or individual rifle parts and stocks
magical, about slipping quietly into ready to provide meat for the table, in a pleasing manner. The parts of are available from several suppliers.
the fall woods with a bullet pouch animal hides for clothing, moc- the rifle seem to flow together in Its true that a flintlock can be
and powder horn over your shoulder casins, or trade, and protection for perfect harmony and balance. In his a little finicky to keep clean, dry,
and a flintlock rifle in your hands. man and livestock. The rifle was book, The Golden Mean, an Art- properly tuned, and firing smartly.
Its like stepping back in time. With in daily use as an important tool in Historical Approach, Barry Bohnet However, our forefathers did it with-
only one shot before the re-loading times of both war and peace. points out that the relationship of out much problem and so can we.
process must be done, I must stalk The flintlock mechanism itself is the various parts of the American Flintlock authority, Eric Bye, once
slowly and carefully to get within a marvel of simple mechanical en- Long Rifle is not accidental, but fol- wrote that, the difficulties are
range of my ability to make that gineering. Developed in the 1600s, lows the work of artists during the also a source of satisfaction, for they
shot count. its method of producing a spark, by Baroque period (1643 1774) when are all conquerable. It does take a
There are some challenges in flint striking steel, to fire the powder they were seeking an ideal propor- little time to reload a flintlock but,
hunting with a flintlock but, when charge was so reliable that the flint- tion in art. That pleasing, ideal as I was reminded by an old smoke-
successful, I find the thrill of taking lock was the primary firearm used proportion is often seen in nature pole shooter, if you want to burn
game with a firearm like our forefa- during the French and Indian War, but is difficult for man to capture. up a lot of ammo quicklyshooting
thers used to be very satisfying. the American Revolution, the War of The similar rule of thirds is used a flintlock muzzleloader may not be
The American Long Rifle was 1812, and was still in use during the by photographers who strive for an for you.
made famous by the founders of our Civil War. eye pleasing photograph. In addition to the aesthetics,
nation and is considered by many In its Golden Age (approxi- For those of us who enjoy re- there are several other reasons to
historians to be Americas most his- mately 1760 - 1820), the long rifle living our history, the challenge and appreciate the American Long Rifle.
toric and elegant firearm. Uniquely became an example of the gun excitement of shooting and hunting Simple economics is one reason for
American, it is part of our countrys makers art and reached its peak in with a flintlock rifle is still avail- enjoying a flintlock. Compared to
heritage. Also called the Kentucky artistic development. Even today, able. Several American gun makers about a dollar for a single, modern
Rifle, although they were first made artists are intrigued by the profile are now making custom flintlocks .30-06 round, it costs just pen-
in Pennsylvania, no American fire- of the American Long Rifle. The that closely replicate the rifles in use nies for the small measure of black
arm comes with such an impressive slim, graceful appearance of the full long ago. Or, if you are inclined to powder, scrap of patch, and lead ball
legacy as the long rifle. stocked, long barreled firearm en- build your own rifle, kits, parts sets, needed to fire a flintlock rifle. The
components needed to shoot a mod-
ern, in-line muzzle loader will cost
about 10 times as much per shot as a
Flintlocks are versatile too.
Most calibers can be loaded down,
for targets or small-game hunting,
by simply using less powder for
the main charge. Just bump up the
powder charge for deer hunting
with the same rifle. Of course, these
loadings must be checked for ac-
curacy, which entails shooting at the
rifle range. When properly loaded, a
flintlock rifle will rival most modern
rifles for accuracy. One-hole groups
are not uncommon when shot from
a bench rest at ranges accommodat-
ing open sights. Part of the fun of
shooting a flintlock is in learning
the proper combination of powder
charge, patch thickness, and ball
size needed to make your rifle shoot
extremely accurately.

The flintlock mechanism is a mar vel of early mechanical engineering. Long Rifle page 18
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Long Rifle:
from page 16

Loading and shooting a flintlock

is not complicated. The follow-
ing steps, which must be done in
order, will guide you through the
procedure. Before getting started
though, always remember safety Step 2 of loading process. Star t Step 3 of loading process. Seat Step 4 of loading process. Prime
first. Flintlocks are quaint, historic, the patched ball into the barrel the ball down on the powder the flintlocks pan with fine black
and romantic, but they are not toys. with a shor t star ter. charge with the ramrod. powder.
They require the same respect and
careful handling as all firearms. Use Step 2 the ramrod high above the muzzle cock to the full-cocked position,
for a long push. This may bend or take aim, and fire by squeezing the
only genuine black gunpowder in Patch and Ball break the rod and possibly injure trigger. Follow through by trying
flintlocks. Black powder is explo- Place a lubricated cotton patch
sive. Handle it with care. the shooter. The ball must be firmly to stay on target after the shot. This
(spit works well for lubrication)
seated on the powder charge every is very important for accuracy with
Step 1 over the muzzle. Center a round
time. A mark on the ramrod will a flintlock because of the slower
lead ball on the patch and push it a
Load the Powder short distance into the barrel using
ensure that the ball is loaded to the lock time and longer powder igni-
Start with the frizzen open and proper depth. tion time as compared to a modern
a wooden block with a short piece
the cock of the flintlock fully down. of ramrod attached. This is called a Step 4 firearm.
Make sure the barrel and touchhole After the first shot, you will
short starter. Prime the Pan probably feel like reloading im-
of the lock are clean and dry. Be Place the cock in the half-cocked
sure to use the proper granulation of Step 3 position. Place a small amount of
mediately for another shot. Many
black powder. Pour a proper charge Seat the Ball fine black powder into the pan. It
people find the crack of a flintlock
of black powder from the powder Set the ramrod onto the ball in rifle and the resulting cloud of black
doesnt take much. Carefully close
horn or container into a measurer. the barrel. Grip the ramrod a short powder smoke very addicting. You
the frizzen on the pan.
Close the horn or container. Pour the distance above the muzzle and may even acquire a new respect and
measured powder charge down the push the ball down firmly onto the Step 5 appreciation for the historic value of
barrel. Never load the rifle directly powder charge with a series of short Take Aim and Shoot Americas own rifle and the rugged
from the horn or container. pushes of the ramrod. Dont grip When ready to shoot, bring the men who used them.n

(423) 638-2825


Hunting outside of Michigan this fall?

Be aware of NEW cervid

importation regulations
or those who plan 6-year-old, free-ranging white- Since the discovery of that first For those hunting in Michi-
to hunt outside of tailed deer in Ingham County was animal, the DNR has sampled gan within areas where CWD
Michigan this fall, it killed and confirmed positive for 13,458 deer from around the state has been found, there are specific
is important to note CWD. This marked Michigans (as of August 2017). A total of regulations that must be followed.
that regulations related first-ever case of chronic wasting nine animals have tested positive For more information, visit
to the importation of disease in a free-ranging cervid. for CWD.
harvested cervids (such as deer,
elk or moose) have changed sub-
Hunters who harvest a cervid
in any other state or province can
bring back only the following
cervid parts into Michigan
Deboned meat
Quarters (legs that do not
have any part of the spinal col-
umn or head attached)
Finished taxidermy products
Cleaned teeth
Antlers attached to a skull-
cap cleaned of brain and muscle
Hunters need to realize that
the new importation regulations
apply to any location they hunt
outside Michigan, not just those
states and provinces that have
chronic wasting disease, said
Chad Stewart, Michigan Depart-
ment of Natural Resources deer
and elk specialist. These changes
have been put in place in hopes
of keeping potential cases of
CWD from unintentionally being
brought into Michigan.
CWD is a contagious neuro-
logical disease affecting members
of the Cervidae family, including
deer, elk and moose. It attacks the
central nervous system of infected
animals and results in emacia-
tion, abnormal behavior and loss
of bodily functions. There is no
recovery. The infectious agents
causing CWD are prions, which
are nonliving proteins that can
persist in the environment for
years or perhaps decades.
Were asking everyone who
hunts out of state to understand
and follow these regulations, said
Dean Molnar, assistant chief of
the DNR Law Enforcement Divi-
sion. Those who dont will face
fines, penalties and confiscation
of the animal. We need every-
one to abide by the regulations
and follow the law. The health of
Michigans big-game population
depends on the cooperation of
hunters. We are all in this to-
In April 2015, a female,
Some of Michigans...


ou cant blame sports- the summer months, but once school
men who are itching resumes and summer cottage owners
to pick up the gun or go home the lake settles down and
bow come Septem- anglers reclaim the lake.
ber. Fishing is a year Long Lake has a long history of
round sport where walleyes plants and the persistence
hunting only takes place at cer- seems to have paid off. Long Lake
tain times of the year. Hunters can supports a good walleye population
expand their season by traveling or now. The fish average 16 to 17 inch-
hunting with more than one weapon, es, but eyes in the 25- to 26-inch
but regardless of what or how you range arent uncommon. Anglers jig
hunt theres always some down with minnows or troll with crawler
time. And it seems hunting seasons
take place all at once so if youre harnesses to catch walleyes during
a multifaceted hunter its the summer months. These same
tough to get everything in tactics work during early
during the open season. fall during the daylight
Throw in the fantastic hours. Because Long Lake
fishing that takes place in is very clear, dont be sur-
Michigan in the fall and prised to find the walleye in
youve got a real dilemma. water 25 to 35 feet deep or
Do I hunt or do I fish come deeper during the day. The Two anglers combine to land a Chinook salmon on the Big Manistee River.
fall? eyes relate to the myriad
Most Michigan sports- of structure that the lake the summer time, but after that you Lake Leelanau. From about mid-
men I know hardly see anyone fishing specifi- September until the weeds start to
By Mike Gnatkowski
affords. Slop-
try to reach a ing contours cally for trout. Rose said that fall die off the walleyes really turn on
happy me- off the mid- is prime time to cash in on this in there. Rose said weeds are the
dium. Mix in a little fishing on the lake islands are natural hotspots. An untapped resource. The trout move key to South Lake Leelanaus fall
perfect Indian summer days. Or a underwater point straight out from from the depths into the shallows walleye fishing. Look for cabbage
little grouse hunting in the morning the boat launch off Edgewood Ave. as the waters cool and provide great that has some openings in it and cast
and fishing in the afternoon. Nasty on the lakes northwest corner is an- sport on light tackle then. stickbaits, like Rattlin Rogues and
days are reserved for waterfowl- other walleye magnet. Local anglers One of Roses favorite fall trout Husky Jerks, into the pockets in the
ing, although that kind of weather know that Long Lakes walleyes lakes is Big Glen Lake. 1,400-acre weeds. Let the bait sit for 20 sec-
is ideal for fall muskies, too. First begin to make nightly pilgrimage Big Glen Lake has a long history onds or more before giving it a few
two weeks in November are prime into the shallows as the waters cool of trout plants. From 1995 thought subtle twitches, then let it sit again.
time for the whitetail rut. But if you 2001 the lake received regular
arrow a bruiser early in the rut, early in the fall and produce an entirely Walleyes will explode on it.
November is pretty hard to beat for different kind of bite. plants of brown trout, lake trout and Rose said to look for weeds in 4
steelhead fishing. The walleyes move shallow splake. More recently Big Glen has to 12 feet or water where walleyes
under the cover of darkness, con- been the recipient of rainbow and will school up and work the min-
West Michigan Salmon fided area fishing guide Dave Rose. steelhead plants. Those fish are now nows over. Most of the walleyes will
Chinook salmon numbers in Key is to cruise the lake during the reaching good size. Rose emailed run from 15 to 19 inches, but fish to
Lake Michigan have taken a nose- daytime and locate green weeds and me an image recently of two fat 8 or 9 pounds are not uncommon.
dive in recent years. Part of that is then work the edges of those weeds rainbows that he took from Big Glen Rose added that if the stickbaits
because plants have been severely after dark. Rose recommends using Lake arent working you can always fall
reduced and salmon numbers are suspending stickbaits like Rattlin Big Glen Lake doesnt have back on the old standby- a jig and
reliant mainly on naturally spawned Rogues, Rapalas, Husky Jerks and much in the way of structure. The grub or worm. Rose said in the clear
fish. The majority of the natural other elongated lures. You can add lake is basically bowl shaped with waters of South Lake Leelanau that
reproduction takes place in West suspended dots to shallow diving few points or humps. The exception natural colored plastics work best.
Michigan rivers like the Muskegon, lures. Rose said to anchor quietly is where Little Glen Lake enters Big Try motor oil, pumpkinseed or red
Big and Little Manistee and the Glen Lake. A ridge there is worth
Pere Marquette. Salmon returning to and cast parallel to the weed edges. colors highlighted with a chartreuse
those rivers produce great sport in Schools of walleyes will move in prospecting for fall trout. Other- jig head to call attention to the bait.
September/October. to herd minnows against the weed wise, Rose advises just working South Lake Leelanau is a big
Mature Chinook salmon begin edges. Rose advised using a light/ the shoreline drop-off. As the water body of water at 5,370 acres and is
entering West Michigan rivers right medium-spinning combo with super cools, trout move shallow and cruise long and narrow so the wind doesnt
around Labor Day. There are early- line. The super sensitive line is per- the edge. He said just cast to 4 to affect it too much unless its com-
run salmon, but fall rains and crisp fect for detecting the subtle bite of a 10 feet of water with a suspending ing straight down the lake. Prime
fall nights trigger the main run. The nighttime walleye. stickbait and hold on! The big ones walleye locations include Perrins
lower reaches of the rivers produce Most of the eyes will be 1 - to will darn near rip the rod out of your Bay on the south end of the lake, off
the best fishing. Chinooks bite best 3 pound eaters, but walleyes over 6 hands, chided Rose. Rose said that Robinson Point, and near the inlets
when they first enter the rivers. pounds are not unheard of. Try the Elk, Burt and Torch lakes are good of Weisler and Cedar creeks. There
Even though salmon are not shallow flats in the bays on the west bets for fall trout action too. are boat launches on the both the
actively feeding when they enter side of the lake. Listen for schools To sample some of northwest east and west sides of the lake.
the rivers, they can be caught using of walleyes slashing minnows. Michigans best fall fishing contact Contact Dave Rose at 231-276-
several methods. You can drop back For bait, tackle and maps contact Dave Rose at 231-276-9874 or on- 9874 to try your hand a catching
plugs, cast spinners or stickbaits Gander Mountain in Traverse City line at some South Lake Leelanau walleyes
and back bounce with spawn. All of at (231) 929-5590. South Lake this fall. For information on lodging
these techniques catch salmon on
their spawning run. Big Glen Lake Trout Leelanau Walleyes and amenities in the area contact the
There are a lot of lakes that We have so many great fish- Leelanau County Chamber of Com-
Long Lake Walleyes are planted with trout in northwest ing lakes up here its tough to pick merce at 231-271-9895 or online at
Grand Traverse Countys largest Michigan that nobody really fishes, just one or two, said guide Dave
inland lake at 2,860 acres, Long offered Dave Rose. You might find Rose. But one destination Id
Lake is a bustle of activity during a few people trolling for trout in have to include would be South Best Fall Fishing page 22
Hunting Blinds Shadow Hunter Blinds
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Your Leading Outdoor Authority

*Plus Frt, Prep, Reg, & Tax

D&R SPORTS CENTER INC. 1-800-992-1520

Fax: 269-372-9072
O P E N 7 D AY S
Mon. & Tues. 9-6;
Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 9-8;
8178 W. MAIN STREET, KALAMAZOO, MI 49009 Sat. 9-5; Sun. 10-4
Best Fall Fishing:
from page 20
Gun Lake Largemouths pounds, but bass topping 6 pounds
Allegan and Barry counties are not unheard of. Boating access
2,680-acre Gun Lake is popular can be gained off Murphys Point in
with bass anglers. Unfortunately, its the Yankee Springs State Recreation
also very popular with powerboats, Area.
personal watercraft and water skiers. For information on amenities,
Once Labor Day arrives boating camping and accommodations in
traffic drops dramatically. Fishing the area contact the Southwestern
pressure nosedives too and the bass Michigan Tourist Council at 269-
move shallower as the waters cool 925-6301 or online at www.swmich-
making fall a prime time for Gun For lake maps, tackle and
Lake largemouths. guides contact D & R Sports Center
Gun Lake has an outstand- at 800-992-1520 or online at www.
ing largemouth population, said
Southern Lake Michigan Manage- Little Bay De Noc Walleyes
ment Unit Fisheries Supervisor Jay The waters of Little Bay De
Wesley. I would have to consider Noc in the central U.P. are known
Gun Lake to be one of southern for producing outstanding catches
Michigans premier largemouth bass of walleyes throughout the year, but Cory Brown with a chunky fall walleye
lakes. One reason largemouths do if you want a trophy for the wall taken from rip rap along a dam.
so well in the lake is habitat in the bundle up and head for the bay in
form of humps, weed lines, points, November. mph when trolling. The walleye can humps will hold concentrations of
canals, docks, islands and drop-offs. Open-water fishing in the U.P. be found suspended or holding tight fish. Try off the beach house at Glad-
Because of the varied habitat you in November can be brutal, but the to bottom. Anglers cover the water stone City Park, along the East Bank
can catch Gun Lake largemouths rewards are walleyes that routinely column by deploying shallow-set and along the reefs off Kipling.
just about any way you like to fish. top 10-pounds and 15-pound hawgs downriggers, lead core line and in- Trolling during November in the
Jig-n-pig combos are perfect for are not unheard of. Walleyes move line planers trailing stickbaits, like U.P. is not for the faint of heart, but
working the weed edges and humps. into the shallows of the bay to chow Rebels, Rattlin Rogues and Thun- walleyes in proportions not often
Spinnerbaits are great for prob- down before winter hits when the dersticks. Natural color patterns seen are the reward. For more in-
ing the docks, canals and shoreline water temperatures begin to dip into seem to produce the best. formation on Bay De Noc walleyes
structure. Crankbaits excel for cov- the upper 30s. The cold tempera- Schools of eyes can be found contact Sal-Mar Resort at 906-553-
ering water and working the deeper tures make slow trolling a must and throughout the bay along the 30 to 4850 or online at www.sallmarre-
points. The bass will average 2 to 4 anglers creep along at 1.0 to 1.5 40-foot contour, but reefs and subtle

Sale valid
September 16 - October 14

450 Bushmaster American Ranch LCP 380 2.75 blk 6rd


reg. $4
$19999 reg. $2


In its first year of growth, mullein forms a large basal rosette close
to the ground with leaves that may be over one foot long and are
extremely soft to the touch. Author photos

Michigans mighty multi-use...

NEW FOR 2017


Witches, Gods and Lovers Ears, although something of a THE COCKING DEVICE THAT REVOLUTIONIZED
Common Mullein (Verbascum tongue twister, would be more ap-
thapus) has been involved in an propriate for a descriptive name, for THE CROSSBOW INDUSTRY
ongoing relationship with human- the shape of the soft green velvety
kind for thousands of years. Greek leaves are far larger than rabbit ears
legends say the Ulysses was given and they do resemble the shape of
a mullein stalk by ancient snowshoe hare ears.
gods to defend himself Candlewick Plant, Now compatible
against the ways of Circe. Miners Candle, Bullocks with all Wicked
Circe was the beautiful Lungwort, Flannel Leaf, Ridge Crossbows.
enchantress who turned Devils Tobacco, Torch-
the companions of Ulysses wort, Quaker Rouge, Hags
Taper and Blanket Leaf are
into lowly swine. Pliny the
Elder of the early Roman just a few of the many other
Empire described mullein intriguing common names FEET-PER-SECOND

as linked to witches, while for this naturalized plant

others from
his day By Jonathan Schechter that came

knew the shores over

a hundred years before the Revolu-
plant would ward off curses and evil FP KINETIC ENERGY
spirits. Mullein remains a noxious tionary War. Backpackers, hikers,
weed to some modern day humans, hunters and other assorted wanders 6.6
but a plant of great beauty respected of field and meadows have a spe- LB. BOW WEIGHT
for its medicinal and at times near cial love, and descriptive name for
magical powers by others. The plant the mighty mullein; Cowboy toilet
is very much a part of our Michi- paper.
gan landscape, but sadly it is often Immigrant Plant
passed by, unnoticed. But now as How the plant reached our
other plant slowly fade, stalks of shores is a mix of fact and folk-
mullein stand tall in fields. lore, but its believed to have been
Cowboy Toilet Paper planted originally to help suppress
Mullein is certainly less exciting coughs, ease lung congestion, and
now than in the days of Ulysses, but to combat headaches, hemorrhoids
it still holds fascination for herbal- and diarrhea. This plant was a one GET YOURS NOW OR FIND YOUR
ists, naturalists, nature-lovers and stop pharmaceutical and still draws LOCAL WICKED RIDGE DEALER AT
medical attention today.
folks who run out of toilet paper WICKEDRIDGECROSSBOWS.COM
when out in the field. And of course The popular online medical
its loved by little kids that feel the information site, Web MD says this
soft leaves and call the plant Rab-
bit Ears. Perhaps Snowshoe Hare Mullein page 24
and brought them to the surface of mullein often sparkle with dew
making for easy catching by hand creating a diamond-like sparkle.
or with nets. Life Science (cwww. The plant flourishes in disturbed confirms that use soil, meadows, fallow fields, empty
from page 23 this way, Common mullein is a urban lots, along roadside embank-
perennial plant that was first in- ments and the sun-soaked edge of
about the Common Mullein, Mul-
troduced into the United States by two-tracks, trails and highways.
lein is used for cough, whooping
colonies in Virginia and was used as There are no look-alike plants, but
cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis,
piscicide, a chemical substance that not all mullein plants look the same
hoarseness, pneumonia, earaches,
is poisonous to fish. The crushed because of the way they grow.
colds, chills, flu, swine flu, fever,
allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat.
seeds, rich in saponins (Saponins For the Face, for the Butt
are a class of chemical compounds In its first year of growth, mul-
Other uses include asthma, diar-
found in abundance in various plant lein forms a large basal rosette
rhea, colic, gastrointestinal bleed-
species) were tossed into shallow close to the ground with leaves that
ing, migraines, joint pain, and gout.
bodies of water, or the bends in slow may be over one foot long and are
It is also used as a sedative and as
moving waters, and then natural tox- extremely soft to the touch. Dont
a diuretic to increase urine out-
ic chemicals within the seeds then let looks deceive you; rough contact
put. Mullein is applied to the skin
stunned them into a degree of leth- with the soft leaves on sensitive
for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids,
argy where the fish would float to areas of the body can lead to what
bruises, frostbite, and skin infections
the surface and quickly be gathered.
(cellulitis). The leaves are used topi- medical professionals term as con-
I would advise against testing this tact dermatitis. In the early days
cally to soften and protect the skin.
method for the practice is illegal, of our new nation, some Quaker
In manufacturing, mullein is used as
but perhaps worth noting in a true women rubbed the leaves on their
a flavoring ingredient in alcoholic
life or death survival situation. But
beverages. The chemicals in mullein cheeks to create a homemade blush
the fish werent biting and so I tried
might be able to fight influenza and to attract suitors. Hence the name
this is not a life and death survival Quakers Rouge. Although
herpes viruses, and some bacteria
situation and something a Conserva- the leaves have been, and can be
that cause respiratory infections.
tion Officer does not want to hear. used as Cowboy Toilet Paper,
Fish Killer it is best used with care and gently The flowering stems of sulphur-
The plant also holds another Adaptable Beauty and never against the grain of the yellow blossoms reaching over
well known, but now illegal use Mullein is an exceptionally leaves. six feet tall on mullein plants.
that developed in the Old World beautiful plant as summer slowly Outdoor Life magazine has a seconds. I then dipped the stalk in
but was quickly leaned by settlers fades into autumn with the flower-
and Native Americans: Fish kill- ing stems of sulphur-yellow blos-
few things to say spiced with humor melted candle wax and tried again.
about this use of the leaves. The Success! The flame was strong
ing. The chemicals in the plants soms reaching over six feet tall. On irritating hairs and the vasodilating
dried, crushed seeds stunned fish, cool, foggy mornings the leaves enough to keep witches and evil
oil can cause a rash on your nether doers at bay, revealing the rationale
regions. In the second year of behind two other common names,
growth, mullein produces that easily
Kubota M5 and M6 Series noticed flower stalk that draws the
Hags Taper and Miners Candle.
Another common name, Blanket
Two powerful
powerful tractors
one trusted
trusted name.
name. attention of the human eye and the Leaf remained a puzzle for me,
flight of the bumble bee, a collector unless perhaps the large and often
of its yellow-orange pollen. Alter- abundant leaves were laid out on
nating leaves, that are smaller than the ground to provide some insula-
the large rosette leaves at the base, tion between the ground and the
attach directly to the stem in such body. I can see the leaves making
a way that they are able to direct an excellent emergency lining for a
rainwater directly down the stem to shoe to add to its insulating factor,
the plants roots, giving the plant or even being used as an emergency
a survival boost over competing bandage. Bottom line, keep mullein
plants. in mind on autumn adventures.
Tender Torch Jonathan Schechter is naturalist
Much of the literature I re- and paramedic in Brandon Township
viewed stated the dry, dead stalks and the Nature Education Writer for
M5 Series M6 Series make excellent torches. I tried it. Oakland County Government. E-
Cleaner Running, Tier 4 Final, Kubota Kubota Diesel Engine with The flame went out after a few mail Oaknature@aol.comn
M5 Series M6 Series
Diesel Engine 92.5 105.6 HP* Clean Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
Cleaner Running, Tier 4 Final, Kubota Kubota Diesel Engine with
Available Climate-Controlled, Technology 104.5 141.4 HP*
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Grand Cab II with Retractable Sunshade Climate-Controlled,
Available Climate-Controlled,
and Optional Instructors SeatUltra
Technology 104.5Grand X Cab
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Grand Cab II with Retractable Sunshade Climate-Controlled, Grand X Cab
and Optional Instructors Seat with Ample Head and Legroom
We are Kubota.
We are Kubota.
Reduce Recoil
INC. Reduce Muzzle Jump
3266(810) 744-2030
E BRISTOL ROAD Quality Porting Since 1971
(810) 744-2030
41302 Executive Dr., Harrison Twp. MI 48045-1306 Ph: 586-469-6727 Fax: 586-469-0425
*For complete warranty, safety and product information, consult your local
Kubota dealer and the product operators manual. Power (HP/KW) and other
specifications are based on various standards or recommended practices.
Optional equipment may be shown. Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2016
*For complete warranty, safety and product information, consult your local
24 OCTOBER 2017 WNW NEWSand the product operators manual. Power (HP/KW) and other
Kubota dealer
specifications are based on various standards or recommended practices.
Optional equipment may be shown. Kubota Tractor Corporation, 2016
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When Opening Day goes wrong!
ll summer youve valuable tools a hunter can have
been setting stands, with them. This gives you a much
running trail cam- larger range of visibility.
eras, and glass- Seeing what is moving on other
ing visible bucks. areas of the farm is invaluable. Just
Everything you have because youre hunting doesnt
learned is assessed to create the per- mean you cant scout everything
fect opening day plan. You can see within sight. Around swamps,
it now; Mr. Bullwinkle field edges, ditches, and
is already riding home grasslands make sure to
in the truck. You wait all always be glassing them.
summer for that initial Pay particular attention to
crack at an early season the edges where there is
buck. transitional terrain. When
Then opening day things dont go right get
comes and goes. Youre into an observation stand
left blaming the weather that provides greater
or the wind but visibility to see what
regardless something
went wrong. Maybe By Brian Miller else is happening.
Good observation
it was a neighbor- stands are also loca-
ing hunter alerting your target buck, tions that have a high percentage to
possibly the changing crops made kill a buck. They are simply in areas
him change patterns, maybe you that provide a bit more visibility
spooked him yourself running trail than a thick cedar swamp.
cameras. After a couple more days During the early season, patterns
the excitement wears off and youre can be very predictable however
faced with the hard truth. The per- they dont last long. Therefore if a
fect opening day plan crumbled. buck is noticed in an unexpected
Now is the time to make the location, make an immediate move.
most important decision. Its time to Dont wait for another sighting or
make some changes and put together waste time doing an in-depth scout-
a revised early season hunting plan. ing trip. Take a quick look at the
Dont give up when early season hunting plans dont work out.
Changing techniques now might be location and setup in the best tree.
moment the food source changed, he source.
the only thing that will turn around Extreme scent control and a spare
moved. Not once did I see another I prefer to give myself an eighty
your early season hunting. Learn set of climbing sticks are invaluable
deer visit that field in the following yard zone from his bedroom. At
four ways to salvage the season after at these times. Make a couple quick
days. around eighty yards I feel I can enter
everything goes wrong. shooting lanes without spreading
Food is king and during the the woods quietly without a bedded
Picture Perfect around your human scent then hunt
the stand. Chances are youll have
early season food sources change buck noticing me. Inside that dis-
We look forward to opening day very quickly. When acorns, apples, tance and it becomes much harder to
only a small window before some-
but whitetails cant read a calendar. corn, or other food sources change, setup undetected.
thing changes causing him to change
They simply notice an increase in then change with it. Dont waste When opening day does not turn
patterns again.
human presences, changing food time hunting around an inferior tree out then make a move. The buck
sources, and shorter days. Hu- Changing Food stand that will not produce. The youre after is likely still nearby,
man presences include any activity Just two years ago I discovered a early season is only going to last a you just need to catch him during
before the season such as checking new clover field that had been plant- week to ten days. Dont waste this daylight hours.
trail cameras and setting stands.
Long after you leave the woods your
ed and the alfalfa was lush green. I
decided to hunt the edge of a tiny
valuable time on an inferior stand
Hunting early season bucks
scent lingers around announcing
your visit.
swamp that bordered the alfalfa.
It didnt take long before a good Get Into It is high on my list of time periods
nine pointer entered the field eighty Early season is all about food to kill a mature buck. Often you
So if the weather and wind are
yards away. Soon after, several does but that does not mean hunting short can catch a predictable pattern and
not right on opening day its time
filtered into the field. Finally, two crop fields. In Michigan killing a exploit those relaxed, food focused
to hold off hunting that location. If
smaller bucks arrived and started mature buck in a short crop field periods. Unfortunately there is only
you already hunted that stand during
sparing along the edge. Everything is not a predictable pattern. Those a small window to capture that
the early season on a warm, sunny
was still eighty yards away which bucks you see during daylight in activity.
day then do not go back again until
is too far. Then it happened! One of September often no longer enter Opening day in Michigan hap-
the weather turns bad. Wind, rain,
the largest Michigan bucks Ive ever those same fields during daylight. pens during a transitional period for
and a changing barometric pressure
seen entered the field thirty minutes The only exception is hidden fields both the bucks and food sources.
cause all deer to begin moving. That
before the end of hunting light. My with extremely low hunting pres- Therefore lots of deer are already
will give you an increased chance at
jaw dropped. sure. shifting, making preplanned opening
seeing your buck. Pulling back and
After the minutes ticked by and Instead of hunting the short day plans a gamble. If you can catch
leaving the stand alone during those
the dark started to settle in I began crops move off the edge and get them before transitioning out of
warm days is the best decision.
to get nervous. It was not going to closer to the bucks bedroom. their summer habits then youre suc-
In most conditions the best
stands can really only be hunted 5-6 happen tonight but I was coming Remember that many bucks have cessful. Far too often plans go sour.
back for a second chance. I made seasonal bedrooms that are closer to Without a backup plan youll have
times a season. Unless the condi-
some adjustments to get closer but the food sources. These are still lo- to wait until the rut to get another
tions are perfect dont burn them out
the next day the farmer sprayed cations that are brushy, swamp cat- crack. Next time things go wrong;
on days that are not perfect.
Roundup on the alfalfa to kill it. I tails, tall crop, or thicker locations. look for changing weather, follow
Get Mobile knew better but I hunted that loca- These are places a buck feels secure the food, get into the thicker stuff,
Binoculars are one of the most tion four more times anyway. The but will be closer to a preferred food and dont be afraid to get mobile.n

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How young to hunt?
Dont expose
your secret spot
use the
the stealth feeder A young man with a mentor...By John Rasmussen

Blends into ine Creek flows into the
Nottawasipi just outside
of Athens, Michigan.
Surroundings It is a widely meander-
ing little stream 15
AS SEEN ON to 50 feet in breadth
MICHIGAN with oxbows and switchbacks and
OUT OF straight-a-ways. It flows through a
DOORS variety of Michigan topography; a
farm field with half standing yellow
corn, then a few acres of a maple
and oak forest, then open marsh for
several hundred yards. This common
SQUIRREL Michigan marsh is dotted by the
RESISTANT dark brown headed cattails that in
the fall become puffs of cotton.
CAP Four to six-foot high green and
brown marsh grass covers soggy
ground sometimes interrupted by
an occasional high spot on which
a duck hunter might stand. This is
a favorite habitat for ducks, and a
patient hunter can set up on the bits Rob and Alex getting ready for action at first light. Author photos
holds of high ground, camouflage in marsh
grass, and become virtually invis-
20 lbS ible from the sky. A canoe or small Rob was delighted.
waterfowl, and second, I had to
get comfortable with the idea of an
corn flat bottom boat works well to get to
these spots, but not without chal-
His special friend was the son of
Robs best friend in college. He was
eight year old in a duck blind with
a shotgun, not to mention what it
lenges. Tight bends change water visiting and had only a few days in would take to safely get him there,
depth from three to four feet to just South Bend before returning home, especially in a loaded canoe. I had a
inches on inside corners and require so this would be the only chance little research to do.
constant adjustment to stay in the Rob had to take him hunting. What I discovered was that it
high water. And, because waterfowl Would his father like to join us, was not only legal, but with careful
hunting tends to be equipment in- I asked? attention to planning and the watch-
tensive, studied care must be part of That is not possible, Rob said. ful presence of a mentor, young peo-
the planning. Imagine a 17 foot Old His father just passed away with ple can become enjoyably and safely
Town canoe loaded with three bags cancer, and he and the rest of his engaged in hunting! The following
of mallard, wood duck, and goose family have returned to the area to account illustrates one application
decoys, dry bags for an unforeseen be with family and then spread his of the mentorship program even
flip, life jackets, shotguns, and ashes in Lake Michigan. though the childs name and location
spinning wing decoy with its water Im very sorry. Where is he have been altered out of respect for
mountand a Labrador Retriever!
Enjoyable waterfowl hunting is
from? I asked.
His mother and father were
A quick skim of the 2016 Michi-
not without its challenges, but most missionaries in New Guinea and gan Hunting and Trapping Digest for
Great For always, these challenges can be he and his mother and two sisters information on hunting age gave me
PUBLIC or PRIVATE overcome with careful planning. I would return there to continue their a category other than adult. There
Land Hunters soon had this belief tested. work. The parents went there right on page nine I found Apprentice
A different type of challenge after college, so it is the only place Hunting, which is defined as a
occurred when a good friend took the kids have ever known. His person who does not have a hunter
Carry Sack Holds me up on an invitation to hunt. I had father would take his son Alex small safety certificate and is 10 years of
20 Pounds promised Rob waterfowl appealing game hunting in the open fields and age or older may purchase a base
For Easy Refill habitat and the chance to harvest swamps in New Guineas northern apprentice (APC) license. Based
ducks. He called me from his home part. Portions of the land are actually on this definition it was clear Alex
Programmable Timer in Dowagiac, and explained he had a similar to areas in Michigan. This would not be able to hunt. He wasnt
Drop 1# / Day young friend who would like to hunt was Robs chance to be with the son, 10. I was just getting ready to call
but was only in the area for a few connect him to something he used to Rob back with this information, but
Lasts Up To 3 Weeks days. do with this father, and provide him thought I would look the regulations
Sure, I said! Id love to have in this way some comfort. over one more time in case I missed
Hanging Wire & Throw Line you come up, and your friend is Now, Rob said, I just have to something. I had!
INCLUDED more than welcome! You can stay at find him a 20 gauge since a 12 gauge Under License Type and Fees by
With Metal Throwing Disc my cabin North of Battle Creek and might be too much for him. Age, page eight, there was listed the
we can hunt the next morning. I paused. This is where my chal- Mentored Youth License for youth
The area I have in mind is basi- lenge came in. How old did you say up to nine years old! He was old
cally a swamp with a creek running he was? enough to buy a license and hunt!
through it. Well park by the bridge Hes eight, Rob said. Well The next step in planning this
and then paddle up by canoe for try to make it up early mid-afternoon hunt would be to give careful at-
about a quarter mile and set up in the tomorrow with plenty of time to buy tention to details of safety and to
cattails and reeds on the west bank. licenses and then talk about the hunt. understand the role of the mentor.
Its a great spot for wood duck and O.K, I said. The fact is, I re- The regulations clearly spelled this
mallards, and since the goose opener ally had to think about this. First, role out. is still on we may have a chance to I wasnt sure about the legality of The mentor is limited to two collect one or two of those. an eight year old in the field for hunting devices (shotgun, rifle, bow,
or crossbow) in the field while
mentoring, and the youth hunter
must be within arms length
of the mentor at all times. Any
hunting device possessed by the
mentored youth must be sized
appropriately to fit the physical
abilities of the youth. The men-
tor will be held responsible for
all actions of the youth hunter
while in the field. (Digest, 2016,
p. 26).
Rob would be the mentor,
and I would be close by to help
out. To increase the safety of
canoe travel I had invited Dave
Disler, a good friend and skilled
canoeist, to join us. Alex would
ride in his bow and Rob and I
would carry most of the gear
including Alice the Labrador re-
triever. This would make Daves
canoe more manageable and he
could also react more exactly to Mentor Rob and his eight-year-old hunting buddy Alex and
any shifting weight. lab Alice.
It was pitch black when we
reached the bridge north of
Athens. A generous shoulder selves on the rise of a small Rob whispered, Well wait
and a bit of grass made it easy knoll overlooking the water. until they take off and then you
to park well off the road with a Covered with cattails and marsh shoot when you can see them
20 yard access path to the creek. grass the greens and brown really well above the water.
Canoes, shotguns, and all else shades of their camouflage were Remember to move your gun
needed for the hunt became part a near perfect match. through the bird.
of a focused process of careful Rob took out his face paint Alex nodded. Rob rustled
placement in each canoe. Dave and explained to Alex, This some reeds and the wood ducks
explained to Alex the impor- will help us even more! rose straight into the air and
tance of keeping his seated He dotted Alexs cheeks and positioned to level off. Alex was
position centered and about the nose with streaks and dots of there and followed the flight,
dangers of shifting weight. green, black, and brown. Alex moved through the duck fur-
Now, Dave explained, I grinned from ear to ear. Rob thest away and shot. The bird
will do the canoeing, unless you remained inches away from dropped and Alice was in the
would like to help me. If you Alex with a 20 gauge shotgun water.
do, do this with your paddle, between them, barrel angled Wow, Alex said, Oh,
and Dave showed him the bow out and up from its position on wow! It was a good, clean shot
stroke. a blind bag. When Alex shoul- and Alice did not have to swim
We moved into the stream dered the gun, Rob explained, far. After the retrieve I brought
and canoed without lights since he would be inches away to the bird to Alex and Rob.
the stars reflection on the water follow the movement. The sky Very nice work, Rob said,
mapped a clear path through lightened and the decoys be- Your father would be proud of
bends and straight-a-ways. The came more visible. Mojo ducks
spinning wings became a blur.
you. Tears welled in Alexs Full Line of Stormy Kromer
canoe brushed the sides of cat-
tails on the inside of banks and Shooting hours had arrived.
Im so happy to be here, Inside Our Store!
then moved comfortably ahead Dave called with four to five Alex said. This day has been
as the creek straightened out. quacks evenly spaced followed wonderful! It was wonderful We Ship Anywhere
by a feeding call. We waited for
Alex was silent, his eyes
any response. Two returning
for all of us. in the U.S.!
focused up into the sky. Even A full sun had risen in the
though his father had taken quacks came from up stream. east and the birds, unimpressed,
him small game hunting in Dave called again and six had vanished. We hunted for
New Guinea, this was new, yet mallard silhouettes appeared to another hour and headed back to
grounded in what he already had the left of the decoys and started the bridge, sunshine a pleasing
experienced. Now he expe- to drop between the two sets. glare on the water.
rienced it again, not with his The mallards wings locked Alex looked all around.
father, but his fathers closest and they were feet above the This is just like New Guinea
friend. The connection helped. water. Alex brought up the gun only without as much water!
The creeks direction at Robs command, aimed, and At the bridge, we all worked to WHERE THE OUTDOOR
became clearly visible for 200 pulled the trigger. The ducks unload canoes and reassemble
yards. We knew an even smaller flared and flew up and sideways gear in the beds of two pick-up ENTHUSIAST SHOPS
unnamed creek came into the in several directions giving trucks. Alex was an active part
Pine about half the length of Dave a clear shot at a drake. of the process, grounded by Stormy Kromer Now Available at . . .
what we could see, and thats
where we would set upright
The drake fell and Alice hit the
water making a wake toward
the experience, and part of the
company. He was no longer just Lumberjack Shack, Inc.
on the creeks west side where the mallard She grabbed the a child without a father. He was Established 1975
the smaller stream entered. This duck and swam back and out of a young man with a mentor and
the water to drop it at my feet. 7230 Webster Rd., Imlay City, MI
would be perfect for two groups people around him who cared.
of duck decoys on either side of
the smaller streams emergence.
No sooner was Alice back at
my side than two wood ducks
He felt included and part of a
Michigan tradition. Hunting
4 Miles South of Imlay City
4 Miles North of Almont 810-724-7230
The goose decoys we would set
30 yards further downstream
dropped into the decoys from
upstream. No one had seen them
with this eight year old was no
mistake. The care of a mentor
from that. coming. They were feet away and careful planning contributed Open Tuesday, Wednesday Friday 8am-5pm;
Rob and Alex placed them- from Alex. immensely to that.n Thursday 10am-7pm; Saturday 8am-1pm; Closed Sunday & Monday

The author realized he needed to simplify his hunting equipment in order to

maximize the few hours he would be in the field. Jonathan Schechter photo

You wont need the kitchen

sink for grouse hunts


By Rick Fowler needed.

ll admit limit the equipment
that I have With a little
too many bit of pre-planning
lures and other gadgets at and proper packaging, this one small
the ready for my fishing container holds the essentials I need
forays. My tackle box is for a short days hunt.
UP TO busting at the hinges and is too large An adequate hunting box could
370 FPS to lug into my boat every time I and should include shells and their
head out on quick trips. Yet, I have own box holder. I purchased two
resolved the problem of too much boxes in two different colors; one
116 FP KE bulk by using a single and far small- for 12 gauge shells and the other
er plastic box with compartments for 20 gauge shells. By doing this,
that hold the basic components that I eliminated the rattling and kept
Ill need for a two to three hour trip the shells readily available. Binocu-
on the water. lars, a whistle, matches and a spare
13.5 IN AXLE-TO-AXLE Now, finally after years of compass are also included. Even
overpacking for one day Northern with these items there will be ample
Michigan grouse hunts, I have ap- room for gloves, hat, a spare roll
plied the same philosophy. In years of ammo tape and a garbage bag
past, I would load two to three to haul out spent shells and/or to
different gauge shotguns and boxes preserve my birds.
of shells just in case I might flush Another piece of equipment es-
a multitude of birds. It took half an sential to my gear is gun lubricant. I
hour to pack my truck with all that I use this on rainy and damp days to
thought I might need for a half day keep the action well-oiled before I
hunt. I definitely needed to simplify, case my gun. I also stow a knife and
simplify and simplify in order to sharpener to ease the work of field
PROUDLY MADE IN THE U.S.A. maximize the few hours I would be dressing the birds.
GET YOURS NOW OR FIND YOUR LOCAL TENPOINT DEALER AT: in the field. In addition to simplifying the
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a sportsmans dry box (plastic ammo essential ingredient for a potentially
box if you will) and made myself successful outing for grouse is prop-
er location. When I was younger small green edibles. Maps certainly
it was not uncommon to put a lot help with this too.
of miles on my hunting boots During the mid-season, I plan
looking for my drumming my hunting hours around older areas
quarry. of hardwoods as long as there is an
However, this outlook has also ample amount of cover beneath.
changed. Grouse hunters know that Later in the season, or on cold and
certain types of cover will draw damp days, my hunt might take me
these birds and that the edges need to an area of spruce trees with low
to be concentrated on specifically. lying branches near a water source.
Not only must you concentrate on One area I readily avoid are maple
the edges of fields, but also the stands. Because of the thickness,
edges of two-tracks, logging roads, they tend to shade out any cover and
water sources and often gravel pits. will grow very little, if at all, for a
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three specific criteria; water, cover

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and food sources like shoots and
the forest floor since grouse tend to Now when I leave for a hunt, I 5727 DRYDEN
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Backcountry Squirrels
Wed hatched the plan earlier in the year
for the express purpose of finding a new
adventure: backpack bowhunting a
species wed never hunted before in
the wildest backcountry in Michigan...

im small, squirrels such a challenging and
miss small, rewarding endeavor.
is what every I didnt set out to bowhunt
squirrels last October.
After a 10-hour drive up to
bowhunter says before the Porcupine Mountains
the shot. When the vitals Wilderness State Park, I
in your sight window left the trailhead literally
are scarcely larger than loaded for bear: a tag for
a quarter, though, you the unit, my compound, The author didnt set out to bowhunt squirrels last October!
really dont have much Gold Tip Kinetic Kaos
choice, and that is what carbon arrows tipped with and a hammock and three days of toward where Id meet my hunting
makes G5 Montecs gear in my new Tenzing TZ3000 partners at a campsite about five
ing for
By Drew YoungeDyke in a Kwikee
Air quiver,
pack. I hiked along the escarp-
ment above Lake of the Clouds
miles in. Jason Meekhof - the state
chair for Michigan Backcountry

Buck Pole Contest Nov. 15th & 16th 2017 2pm-9pm


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Final decision of awarding prizes for deer will be the discretion of the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan
highest scoreable buck wins
Hunter must have a valid Michigan hunters license, deer must be harvested with a bow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader,
deer must be completely field dressed, deer must be shot November 15thor 16th , deer must be hanging by 8:30 pm to be
eligible for prize , hunter must be present to win daily or grand prize, ONE PRIZE PER DEER.


The authors camp on the banks of the Big Carp River, was flooded
by an overnight thunderstorm.

Hunters and Anglers (BHA) - also time, though, so Jason, Bob and
drew a bear tag for the unit, and I camoed up while Scott packed
was similarly outfitted. Heres up to continue his loop hike. We
what neither of us were equipped split up to hunt in different direc-
with, though: bait, hounds, or a tions, as much exploring as hunt-
clue of how to hunt bears. ing, though with keen attention
Which was as we wanted it. paid to wind, sound and move-
Wed hatched the plan earlier in ment. Throughout the morning,
the year for the express purpose of I heard red squirrels chirp at me
finding a new adventure: backpack as I scanned the woods, hillsides
bowhunting a species wed never and valleys with my binocs. Ive
hunted before in the wildest back- hunted squirrels often with a
country in Michigan. We wanted shotgun or .22, but usually when
to challenge ourselves and hunt bowhunting deer I focus solely on
on our terms, even if success was deer. Maybe it was the knowledge
highly unlikely, so we planned to that my chances for even seeing a
still-hunt just as we do for deer. bear were so low, but I had packed
We were joined by Bob Busch, along a blaze orange hat just in
also a fellow board member for case I decided to put my base
the Michigan BHA chapter, who small game license to use (even
didnt have a bear tag but brought when bowhunting, blaze orange
a vintage Bear Archery recurve for requirements apply for hunting
deer and a ukulele for the campfire squirrels in Michigan). I traded
in his enormous Mountainsmith my camo ballcap for my blaze one
pack. Theyd travelled together and nocked an arrow.
earlier in the day and texted me Finally one of the little red
where to meet them. squirrels showed himself on the
With darkness approaching, branch of a tree about 15 yards
I fast-packed along the escarp- from me. I scanned the woods
ment trail to make up time, until I behind the tree to ensure there
met a backpacker who wasnt too was nothing I didnt want to hit
excited about sleeping in a ham- if I missed and put my pin on its
mock at the top of the ridge with vitals. Aim small, miss small. I
the wind whipping the branches triggered my release and the arrow
around us. I invited him to our went right through it, sailing on
campsite, and we hiked the rest as the squirrel fell to the ground.
of the way together as it got dark. I recovered the squirrel first, then
Scott Masters, a firefighter from the arrow after a short search, and
Bay City, was a welcome addition skinned and cleaned it on a fallen
to our camp for the night, and we tree, putting it in a zip-lock bag
all still stay connected through I always carry for heart and liver
The next morning was hunting 34
Bowhunting backcountry:
from page 33

when I hunt. squirrel. Though far smaller than

Ive hunted many squirrels, the gray squirrels Ive hunted in
but none compared to taking one the northern Lower Peninsula Seasoned only by the campfire smoke, and they were the most delicious
with my bow, even this small red and the ones I cant hunt in my squirrel and campfire meal the author has eaten.

Ann Arbor backyard, its smaller

size created an inverse apprecia-
tion for it. I resumed bear hunting
for most of the rest of the day to
no avail, but arrowed two more
squirrels for a campfire meal
while losing one arrow in the leaf
pack under a squirrel I missed and
stuck another high in a pine tree

CROSSBOWS just below another one I missed.

Back at camp, I cooked all
three directly over the fire, one for
each of us. In the past Ive tried
to cover up the flavor of squirrels
by brining or making Buffalo
squirrel wings, deep-fried in bat-
ter and coated with Red Hot. But
these were seasoned only by the
campfire smoke, and they were
the most delicious squirrel and
campfire meal Ive eaten, un-
doubtedly somewhat mental.
We moved camp the next
day to the banks of the Big Carp
River, where an overnight thun-
derstorm flooded the campsite
underneath Jasons hammock and
washed his boots in the river. We
hunted another day, yielding only
VISIT YOUR LOCAL AUTHORIZED a mini-bear - or ground squir-
CARBON EXPRESS DEALER rel - with my bow which Bob and
I shared for lunch, cooked by the
riverbank over the flame from my

THE BEST mini gas stove and garnished with

Red Hot.
Patagonia founder Yvon Ch-
ouinard once said, For me, when
AT ENTRY LEVEL PRICING everything goes wrong, thats
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- LIGHTWEIGHT COMPACT DESIGN sought adventure and we found
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found a new favorite way to hunt
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it tastes better than ever over a
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- BLACK OR ALL CAMO AVAILABLE About the author: Drew
YoungeDyke serves on the board
for the Michigan Chapter of Back-
country Hunters and Anglers, the sportsmans voice for Americas
wild public lands, waters and
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Perspective on fishing regulations
hen I gradu- argue that biological regulations are
ated from the necessary to preserve the fishery.
University of Social regulations are often more
Michigans questioned. Many social regula-
School of Nat- tions represent large numbers of
ural Resources Michigans anglers although others
with a fisheries degree in 1977, the are strong views of specific user
Michigan Fishing Guide of regula- groups or specific species anglers.
tion was only 14 pages. The current Examples of social regulations
2016-2017 Fishing Guide is 66 would include high bag limits and
pages and the individual flies only restrictions versus
pages are larger. artificial lures only gear
However, to be com- restrictions. The addition of
pletely fair, the older both biological and social
fishing guides did not have regulations has contrib-
identification photos, dia- uted to the increase in the
grams and ads. Some who current Michigan Fishing
dislike regulations would Guide over recent decades.
say this is a bad evolu- Past fishing regulations
tion of Michigans fishing represented in the Michigan

By Bill Ziegler
regulations over the Fishing Guide had
ensuing time period. very limited goals.
In all fairness, our For example, al-
Michigan fisheries and environment though the size trout species can re-
is much more complex than it was alistically achieve varies; there was The 1977 Michigan DNR Fishing Guide. The guide was only 14 pages although it
in the 1970s, and previously. a one size fits all stream size limit lacked considerable helpful fishing information and by its simplicity had limited
Fishing regulations are neces- (seven inches) and lake limit (10 potential to improve the states fisheries. Most of the regulations were intended to
sary to conserve the states fishery inches). Fisheries biologists did not maintain the states fisheries as they already existed. The 2016-2017 Michigan DNR
resource. Regulations can be classi- expect anglers to be able to identify Fishing Guide. This guide is 66 pages including fish identification photos, diagrams,
fied into two categories biological individual species of trout therefore specific waters exceptions, boundary water regulations, inland trout and salmon
and social regulations. Few would limiting the protection of small fish regulations, other species special regulations and much more information.


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that could potentially become large
(e.g. steelhead and brown trout).
Unfortunately, there will always
be those who study the fishing regu-
lations for loop holes. DNR officials
have to cover the legal realities of
some trying to negate the spirit of
the fishing regulations and this often
causes the rules to be written in a
more complex and lengthy fashion.
One basic principle taught to
most resource managers is that for a
regulation to work it needs to have Conser vation Officer Ryan Aho, at the time stationed in Iron County, working in conjunction with DNR Fisheries
good compliance from a majority of Biologist on a Trout Regulation Compliance Sur vey.
users. For that to be the case there
needs to be fairly strong angler sup- Department of Natural Resources the new regulation by that time and regulation change was to elevate the
port for that regulation. normally holds public meetings and determine if it is having a desir- minimum size limit (MSL) above
Research has shown that con- gives ample time and actively solic- able affect. In the cases where the the state wide trout MSL. In other
servation officers are a valuable its public comments before making new regulation is having none or a words, increase to 10 inches for
and necessary part of the natural changes to the fishing regulations. negative effect, it of course should brook trout and 12 inches for brown
resource management scheme, Occasionally the DNR changes be discontinued. Failure to drop in- trout on specified sections of some
although they cant catch the major- the regulations with support of effective or detrimental restrictions good trout streams.
ity of fish and game law violations. biological or social reasons, pro- may cause the public to lose faith in The fisheries biologists had
Of course, conservation officers are vides adequate public input, and the DNR and may result in increas- fairly strong biological informa-
greatly helped if the public supports the regulation does not work as ing noncompliance. tion for anticipating that the brown
and actively reports fish and game intended. That is why most natural A case in point was the trout trout would respond positively to
violations to them. Hence the criti- resource regulation changes have stream regulation implemented in the increased brown trout MSL on
cal need for adequate public support to be renewed after typically five the year 2000 for Type 2 stream re-
for new regulations. That is why the years. The DNR should evaluate strictions. The primary intent of this Fishing regulations page 38


1160 White Street
Sturgis, MI 49091


they also had sublegal brook trout in
Fishing regulations:
This was not intended to be a
their possession, caught in the Type complete overview of all state fish-
2 water. ing regulations, rather a perspective
The survey indicated that strict on some of the more high profile
from page 37 catch and release trout anglers were state fishing regulations. There will
not an issue with compliance with always be those who feel that fish-
streams that met the criteria for this tions with respect to brook trout. the Type 2 regulations although that ing regulations should be limited to
trout restriction to be adopted. The During the 2000s for several years I type of trout angler only made up what would take up only few pages
biological evidence for the brook conducted an evaluation survey with about 15 to 30 percent of the anglers in a small DNR Fishing Guide pam-
trout increase to MSL of 10 inches local conservation officers on the contacted. phlet. That being the case this would
on those streams was not strong. several of the best trout streams in The survey further indicated severely limit the fishery resource
The inland trout research biologists the Upper Peninsula. Those streams although there was good compliance managers from protecting and or
did their best to evaluate this and had been documented to have the with the brown trout MSL there was improving the quality of many of
some other regulation changes al- highest trout densities in the UP and relatively poor compliance with the states vast fishery resources. It
though it was not completed during equal or above the best trout streams the brook trout MSL. This result would also prevent making excep-
the initial five-year period. in the state. was not surprising when our DNR tions for locally popular waters.
A few DNR Fisheries Manage- Working together during popular fisheries trout population and size Many of those exceptions are made
ment Units conducted evaluation trout angling weekends (holidays, structure surveys on the same waters to provide a valuable fishery in wa-
surveys on the Type 2 trout streams. typical trout active periods etc.) we indicated good numbers of legal ters that due to fish species growth
These evaluations by both research contacted relatively good numbers sized brown trout and negligible limitations would not produce an
and management biologists were of trout anglers on the South Branch numbers of legal sized brook trout. adequate number fish meeting state-
presented and discussed at length of the Paint River, Cooks Run, and Over the 2010s many of the wide MSLs.
during the annual State DNR Trout the Iron River in Iron County. We UP brook trout only Type 2 waters To get the best perspective on
Committee meetings. The fisheries checked a variety of trout anglers were dropped from the state fishing number and complexity of Michi-
evaluations of the Type 2 regulations that covered the entire trout angling regulations. For background it is gans fishing regulation you only
overwhelmingly indicated the higher spectrum from strict dry fly anglers important to note that brown trout have to travel to other northern
MSL was having limited positive af- to anglers that strictly used live bait. are only self-sustaining in a very states with high game species diver-
fect on brown trout and no positive To the surprise of some DNR limited number of UP streams. The sity (trout, salmon, muskie etc.) and
affect on brook trout. personnel we found trout MSL South Branch of the Paint River and quality fisheries. As a highly experi-
DNR changes to the regulations regulation violations about equal Cooks Run Type 2 trout MSLs were enced DNR Fisheries Manager I am
on Type 2 streams lagged and it in all trout angler types. Several changed by the DNR in 2016 when impressed by how many and often
appeared that significant numbers anglers would readily show us legal the brook trout MSL was dropped more complex fishing regulations
of the trout anglers in the Upper sized brown trout they had kept and back to seven inches and brown are on many of their states waters,
Peninsula lost faith in the regula- further investigation would show trout MSL remained at 12 inches. especially trout waters.n

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Michigan Meanders: By Tom Huggler

he fish struck while I looked to be in his mid-forties, did When you hunt near your own Olt company. Its a good one.
was distracted, going for a living. Apparently, he lived off home, you often meet people you Frank said he was 72 years
over in my mind the the land. know. Later, Shorthair Jim and I old. Creeping arthritis had nearly
names of former high The wife said she had a taste heard a single shot. A loud bang, stopped him from hunting. Ive
school classmates no for some squirrel, Ralph allowed. as though someone had fired a 12 been fine now for more than a
longer alive. Some- So I went back in the cor- gauge slug. We wondered year, he admitted. Arthritis is
where between Mike Harrison and ner of the game area where if it was Joes boy and if nearly gone.
Artie Lauderbaugh, the smallmouth the oaks are. Shot five of we might have sent his first What happened? I wondered.
took the nymph, hard, but I was em yesterday morning. deer to him. We hoped so, Found out I was allergic to
too slow on the hook-set. Like me, They were wonderful, and I made a mental note gluten. When I cut wheat bread out
the fish survived to live another fried. to call Joe Monday morn- of my diet, I began to get better.
day. Vietnam. Aids. Car wrecks. Ralph said he hadnt ing and find out. Im fine now.
Bad heart. The Big C. So far, I had seen any grouse or wood- Still later, after the Shorthair Jim nodded his head.
dodged them all. cock. Thats when we other Jim left for home, Hes a retired doctor, a general
Too many of my former class- invited him to join Shorthair Jim and surgeon. They began talking about
mates were not so lucky.
My thoughts that September
us, but he said he
had tickets to the By Tom Huggler I hunted another
part of the game
blood types and RH factorsa
language all but foreign to me.
morning were those of clarity, not Michigan/Penn area. As we were On that warm day in early
morbidity. But if you want to catch State game and was going with his walking in, Frank was walking out. autumn we caught no fish and shot
smallmouth from a see-through son. Short, bespeckled, he looked like no birds. I remember wondering
river on a bright morning in early I dont much care for foot- Teddy Roosevelt, a scoped .22-cali- if I would be hunting and fishing
fall, you must focus on your game ball, Ralph said, but when your ber rifle slung over his shoulder. ten years later when I was 72, like
and not your life. boy is already in his twenties and We exchanged pleasantries and he Frank. Well, those ten years have
Thought you boys might like wants to go, you have to go with demonstrated a collection of squir- now passed. Im still here and still
a piece of elderberry pie. Thanks him. rel calls plucked one by one from actively pursuing outdoor sport.
for the invite to go bird hunting. I certainly knew about that. his jacket pocket. Morbid thoughts? No,
Wish I could have. Good luck, Did I say that pie was deli- Bought this one in 1947, just clear thoughts. And
Ralph. cious? Frank said. It was made by the P.S. thankful ones.n
The note was tucked neatly My friend, Jim, put a track-
into a Zip-loc bag that also held ing collar on his shorthair while I
three slices of purple pie. The pie unloaded my old setter. The other
was delicious. My two friends and friend, also Jim, who had no dog,
I had met Ralph earlier that morn- took the middle and we plunged
ing as we shucked fishing wad- into green September. It was warm.
ers and laced bird hunting boots. My dog and I were out of shape.
The dogs were panting in their air We found no birds. What we did
freight kennels in back of the truck. find was a father and his son sitting
Ralph, barefoot, white shock of hair under an oak. We didnt see the
tumbling around his shoulders, had hunters until it was too late.
come up from his log cabin in the Sorry, I said, for stepping
woods to the gravel road to get the on your plan. Hunting squirrels?
mail. Deer, the father said. The
Good day to be barefoot, I boy looked about fourteen. Today
said by way of greeting. is Youth Hunting Day. Hi, Tom.
I dont wear shoes from May When he stood up to shake
to October, the man said. Good hands, I recognized him, too. It was
morning to you. Names Ralph. Joe, the same guy who had sold me
I wondered what this man, who a new furnace only a month earlier.

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DNR-club-volunteer partnerships
vital to U.P trail development
What location is to real estate, partnerships,
cooperation and volunteerism are to development
and maintenance of Michigans nearly 13,000

miles of designated trails... By John Pepin, MDNR
hese three vital factors Recreation Division and the Michi-
were all involved in a gan Department of Transportation,
recent trail develop- with grant funding provided by the
ment triumph celebrat- Michigan Natural Resources Trust
ed in the Upper Penin- Fund.
sula completion of In 2013, the American Trans-
the roughly 25-mile Hermansville to mission Co. approached the DNR
Escanaba multi-use trail. about the possibility of siting its
The Michigan Department of electric transmission line next to the
Natural Resources and American rail-trail, said Ron Yesney, DNR
Transmission Co. collaborated on Upper Peninsula trails coordinator.
an innovative partnership to jointly In return, the company offered to
build a $3.5 million trail and a new fund construction and maintenance
electric transmission line within the of the recreational trail, including
same corridor. three bridge upgrades.
Development of the trail began Ron Olson, chief of the DNRs
in 2007 when the state acquired Parks and Recreation division, was
the inactive railroad corridor from among those directly involved in
Wisconsin Central. negotiations associated with the
This $550,000 acquisition of the cooperative plan to create the trail.
A Michigan Depar tment of Natural Resources conser vation officer
corridor was a collaborative effort By allowing the American leads a group of riders down the new Hermansville to Escanaba
between the Michigan Department Transmission Co. to site their power trail in Delta County. MDNR photos
of Natural Resources Parks and line within the trail corridor, we
helped them avoid having to seek ranging from hiking, biking and off-
easements for the electricity up- road vehicle use to snowmobiling

ITS HOG grade, Olson said. We benefited

by American Transmissions agree-
and horseback riding.
After a ribbon-cutting ceremony

ment to develop additional miles of for the trail in Hermansville ear-
trail into Hermansville. lier this month, drivers in a line of
A couple of groups that backed off-road vehicles turned over their
the trail from its earliest beginnings, engines.
the Normenco Sportsmans Club of Among them sat Gov. Rick
northern Menominee County and Snyder.
the Sportsmens Off-Road Vehicle Snyder seized a rare opportunity
Association (SORVA) of Delta one that his security detail and
County, will be the sponsors of the the trappings of being the states top
new trail, coordinating its mainte- executive doesnt typically allow
nance. to get behind the wheel and try the
From 2009 through 2011, the trail out for himself.
DNR engaged in a public comment For about an hour, Snyder got to
process to determine the best pos- enjoy driving the trail that connects
sible uses for the railroad corridor. Menominee and Delta counties.
Overwhelmingly, the public wanted Neither the governor nor the
the corridor open for multiple uses, public would have ever had the



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wasnt for the unique partnership, the sport of off-road vehicle riding
and trail group and community has shown a widening popularity. In
support, that developed the former turn, Michigan has shown marked
railroad grade over the past decade. increase in ORV license sales over
This new outdoor recreation the past three fiscal years.
opportunity is a great example of Beyond recreation, this new
government, businesses and the trail will mean additional economic
community working together, Gov. benefits to the region and give
Snyder said. Because of the public- Michiganders and visitors alike
private collaboration, residents and one more reason to visit the Up-
visitors alike will enjoy this trail for per Peninsula year-round, said
decades to come and celebrate the Bill ONeill, DNR deputy director.
best of Pure Michigan. Communities large and small are
This latest trail development realizing that recreational assets,
success is only one project among like trails and parks, are important
many taking place in the Upper Pen- quality-of-life features for residents Tony Harry, president of the Trail Riders Enthusiast Alliance of Mar-
insula, and elsewhere in Michigan. and visitors. quette County, ready to hit the trail for maintenance work.
From hiking to biking to off- These assets can draw new- Many ORV enthusiasts, these days, gaps in the central U.P. and some ar-
road vehicle routes, Michigan has found attention to communities, in are looking for destination and eas in the eastern part of the region.
more than 12,500 miles of desig- some cases, helping to jump-start looped riding opportunities where Katona said with the help from
nated trails. This includes more than local economies and attract new they are able to ride from one com- local communities, landowners and
8,500 miles of motorized trails. residents. munity to another to reach services volunteer groups, the DNR can con-
In the Upper Peninsula, there are Rob Katona, DNR central Up- and amenities, such as restaurants nect the remaining gaps and have
1,520 miles of designated off-road per Peninsula trails specialist, said and fuel, or to special points of an interconnected system across the
vehicle trail/routes. A total of 220 one of the departments off-road interest like waterfalls or scenic entire Upper Peninsula.
new miles have been designated vehicle program goals is to create lookouts, Katona said. The looped This would prove to be an
since last fall, while an additional an interconnected system by linking aspect provides alternate routes so economic driver, especially for the
210 miles of trail have been pro- existing routes and providing ORV riders do not have to take the same
posed and are under review. connectivity into communities. route back to where they started.
The DNR is working to connect U.P. trails page 42

Edmore, MI

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U.P. Trail Development:
from page 41
smaller communities that rely heav- provide hands-on training though
ily on tourism, Katona said. This a skills course in conjunction with
is where we rely heavily on our the classroom training. This enables
local volunteer ORV clubs to do the the youth to get tips and advice on
ground work and gather documenta- real trail-riding scenarios from expe-
tion to develop trail proposals that rienced riders, which builds rider
are reviewed and when approved confidence in proper ORV operation
become state-designated trails or and teaches the importance of safe
routes. and responsible riding.
Katona said ORV clubs gener- Katona said if it wasnt for these
ate local support from residents and volunteer groups and ORV clubs,
businesses and typically get better youth would be missing out on some
cooperation from landowners when valuable training opportunities. Gov. Rick Snyder gets ready to take Rob Katona, Michigan Depar t-
asking permission for trail use, all of Trail maintenance and trail ment of Natural Resources Upper Peninsula trails specialist, for a
which are necessary for trail devel- improvements through grants and ride down the new Hermansville to Escanaba multi-use trail.
opment. special maintenance projects are On his ride to Escanaba, Gov. oped from Belle Isle to Ironwood,
The volunteer effort provided other key functions within the ORV Snyder stopped along the crushed connecting the Upper and Lower
by clubs is critical for new trail and program where volunteer groups limestone gravel at a long bridge, peninsulas Gov. Snyder has been
route development, Katona said. take the lead role. over a beautiful stretch of the Ford a strong proponent of recreational
There are other ways ORV clubs It is the hard work, involving River in Delta County. trails across the state.
play important roles. many hours on the trails and routes, Here, Snyder talked with ORV This support, along with the
ORV safety and education is to perform the brushing, signing club representatives on additional continued work of dedicated ORV
our primary goal, especially with and other maintenance needs, which work being done to help connect and trail club members, community
educating our youth who are new the clubs put in that results in a safe multi-use trails and routes in the leaders and volunteers, the DNR
to the sport. This is where many of and well-maintained trail, Katona central part of the region. and other agencies, including the
our volunteer groups step in with said. Many of the clubs are looking From water, snowmobile, hiking U.S. Forest Service, Michigan will
club members, who are certified to build their membership to help and biking trails and off-road ve- continue to brand its indelible mark
ORV safety instructors, to provide perform the necessary maintenance, hicle, skiing and equestrian trails, to on the country as The Trails State.
classroom training throughout the so we encourage those who are his quest to provide Michigan with Get more information on trails
season, Katona said. More impor- interested to get in contact with their its own signature trail the Iron of all kinds in Michigan at www.
tantly, many of the volunteer groups local club and get involved. Belle Trail, which is being devel-

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810.564.3142 TaxidermyByDourlain
ichigans os- probably for a great horned owl. The
prey population backpack was retrieved and will be
nearly absent used again next year. Brian Washburn of the U.S. Depar tment of Agriculture Animal and
from much of the Approximately 60 percent of the Plant Health Inspection Ser vice and Ken Kesson of the Michigan
state due to the osprey chicks hatched each year do
effects of DDT, not make it to their second birth-
DNR outfit the osprey chick with its GPS backpack while veterinary
other pesticide use and habitat loss day. Factors that commonly cause staff members from the Binder Park Zoo monitor the birds health.
continues to rebound. In southern mortality in young chicks include efforts occurred over a span of 10 numbers in Michigan.
Michigan, monitoring efforts are in predation, collisions with buildings years. In 2016, the DNR, along with Partners in this tracking and
place to track the revitalization of and other structures, weather, and volunteers from Michigan Osprey, monitoring project include the
this species. shooting of birds in Latin America. identified at least 60 active nests in Michigan DNR, the U.S. Depart-
This year, four osprey chicks Fortunately, a chick that was southern Michigan a substantial ment of Agriculture Wildlife Ser-
from area nests were outfitted with outfitted with a backpack in 2014 increase from the single active nest vices National Wildlife Research
backpack GPS telemetry units returned to the Midwest in 2016. reported in 2002. Center, Huron Clinton Metroparks,
funded by DTE Energy, Huron Ozzie, a young female chick that This is a true wildlife success the Detroit Zoological Society,
Valley Audubon, Lou Waldock and hatched at Pointe Mouillee State story, said Oakes. Each year we Michigan Osprey and the Huron
Michigan Osprey member Barb Jen- Game Area, spent two winters in have new nests, and we have already Valley Audubon Society.
sen. The GPS backpacks help sci- Colombia before returning to the exceeded our original goal of 30 Anyone who observes a nesting
entists track the young birds daily U.S. and spent last summer in West active nests by 2020. We have been pair of ospreys in southern Michi-
movements and seasonal migration Virginia. able to remove ospreys from the gan is asked to report the sighting
patterns. The exciting part is that any- threatened species list to a species to Michigan Osprey online at www.
The chicks were hatched on one can follow along and find out of special concern and restore their
platforms at Michigan State Univer- where the birds have been just by
sitys Lux Arbor Reserve in Delton, looking at the Michigan Osprey
at Kensington Metropark in Milford website We are stocked with the highest quality compound
and on Fletchers Pond near Alpena.
We are very excited to have
Move the cursor along the route to
see GPS coordinates and time and
and traditional bows in the industry. Eds Archery is
this opportunity to place GPS units date information for each leg of the on the cutting edge of crossbows offering some of
on several ospreys this year, said
Julie Oakes, Michigan Department
ospreys journey. The youngsters
will begin their migration in early to the best. We also cover all your fishing needs,
of Natural Resources wildlife biolo- mid-September, so log on to watch bow accessories and much more.
gist. This will not only provide their travels.
the DNR with information on what
migration routes the birds take, but
In 1998, the Michigan Depart-
ment of Natural Resources began to Stop in and see us!
will also give us insight into the relocate ospreys to southern Michi-
perils they must endure on their gan. The program, supported by
migration. donations to Michigans Nongame
One of those perils is predators Wildlife Fund, removed chicks from
like great horned owls. Just a few active nests in northern Michigan
days after the transmitter was placed and reared them in man-made tow-
on the Kensington Metropark osprey ers in southern Michigan, a pro-
chick, the youngster became prey, cess called hacking. Relocation

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Invasive Japanese stiltgrass found
he Michigan Department since 2015 due to the grasss presence tor for the DNRs Wildlife Division.
of Natural Resources in nearby states including Indiana, Seeds can be transported by water or
announced that Japanese Illinois and Ohio. The species is be- on animals, and seeds can remain vi-
stiltgrass (Microstegium lieved to have arrived in the U.S. from able in the soil for three to five years.
vimineum), an invasive Asia in the early 20th century, when Because deer dont feed on Japanese
plant originating in Asia, it was used as a packing material for stiltgrass, it often takes over in areas
recently has been positively identified fine china. It is now widely distributed where deer browse on native plants
on private property in Scio Township, along the East Coast and in southern and leave open patches of soil.
near Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County. states. What is being done?
This identification, confirmed by the Why be concerned? The DNR is collaborating with
University of Michigan Herbarium, This annual grass is consid- The Stewardship Network, a nonprofit
is the first detection of this species in ered highly invasive, taking hold in conservation group based in Ann
Michigan. areas of disturbed soil along banks, Arbor, and other partners to identify
Japanese stiltgrass has been on roadways and woods, said Greg the extent of the infestation. To date,
Michigans invasive species watch list Norwood, invasive species coordina- small satellite populations have
Japanese stiltgrasss leaves come to
a point at both ends and often have
a silvery stripe or mid-rib near the
middle. Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of
Connecticut, photo
been located on the original prop-
erty and a nearby site. The primary
infestation was treated with herbicide,
and plant material was burned. The
small patches of grass at the satellite
locations were removed by hand and
disposed of.
How can you help?
The DNR is asking landowners,
land managers and anyone spend-
ing time in the outdoors to be on the
lookout for Japanese stiltgrass and to
report the location and photos of any
suspected findings to Greg Norwood
Japanese stiltgrass looks like some
native grasses, so it may not appear
out of the ordinary to the general
Here is what to look for
A thin, bamboo-like grass with
jointed stems and well-spaced leaves.
Smooth green leaves 2 to 3
inches long and one-half inch wide,
tapering to points at both ends, often
with an off-center silver stripe or
1- to 3-foot-high beds of grass,
with some stems running across the
ground and others shooting upright.
Roots, both at the base and stem
joints, that are weakly attached to the
soil and easy to pull up.
One to three slender, green
flower spikes at the stem tips, appear-
ing in August or September.
Look-alike species
There are a few common plants in
Michigan that easily may be mistaken
for Japanese stiltgrass. These include:
Smartweeds (Polygonum spp.),
with tiny, white to pink flowers on a
short spike and a tell-tale dark blotch
near the center of each leaf.
Whitegrass (Leersia virginica),
which is well-rooted in the soil and
has longer, thinner leaves than stilt-
grass, with no mid-rib stripe.
Northern shorthusk (Brachyely-
trum aristosum), with fine hairs on the
top, bottom and edges of its leaves
and stems, and leaf veins in a pattern
resembling an irregular brick wall.
More information about inva-
sive species, including identification
information for Japanese stiltgrass,
can be found at
Michigans draft Statewide Comprehensive
Outdoor Recreation Plan available for public review
he MDNR announced that its outdoor recreation industry represen- plans to meet a requirement of the created in 1964 and, since that time,
draft 2018-2022 Statewide tatives, 13 focus groups in different federal Land and Water Conservation the DNR has received more than $135
Comprehensive Outdoor Rec- regions of the state, and discussions Fund, a funding source the department million to support over 1,800 outdoor
reation Plan is available for public with relevant state advisory groups uses both for the development of park recreation opportunities throughout
review on the DNR website at www. (such as the Michigan State Parks and recreation lands and the admin- the state. To be eligible for funding, Advisory Committee). Additionally, istration of pass-through grants to the DNR must submit its final 2018-
The DNR will accept comments on a statewide phone survey of 1,550 local units of government for outdoor 2022 Statewide Comprehensive Out-
the draft plan through 9 a.m. Monday, Michigan residents was conducted to recreation projects. door Recreation Plan to the National
Oct. 2, 2017. Feedback submission gather information about users recre- The Land and Water Conserva- Park Service by Dec. 31, 2017.
options include via survey from the ation preferences and satisfaction with tion Fund requires each participating Learn more about the Land and
DNR grants website; email to DNR- local outdoor recreation resources and state to have a comprehensive outdoor Water Conservation Fund and other, opportunities. recreation plan to ensure wise use of grant programs on the DNR website at
or mail to SCORP c/o Cheryl Nelson, The DNR creates these five-year grant funds. This federal fund was
Michigan DNR, 525 W. Allegan St.,
P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, MI 48909.
Our chief goal with the new five- T HERES NOT HING DIF F ICULT A BOU T I T.
year plan is to create new and better
ways to leverage Michigans wealth of T HERES NOT HING DIF F ICULT A BOU T I T.
diverse natural and cultural resources
to meet the fun, relaxation and health
needs of more Michigans residents
and visitors, as well as the economic
development needs of the state and
local communities, said Marc Miller,
DNR regional initiatives deputy. Pub-
lic feedback is critical to a process
like this. To ensure were on the right
track, we are hoping to hear from a A N E W W O R L D D E M A N D S N E W H O L L A N D.
A Boomer compact tractor is the definition of ease. Controls are intuitive, your visibility is unmatched, and
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A Boomer compact tractor is the definition of,
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local public officials, park districts and

Keeping our forests healthy
By Rick A. Lucas, CF, FAP Forester

ichigan is one Some have short-term impacts,
of the ten most while others leave a deep impres-
forested states sion. Dont underestimate the value
in the nation. of a good forest management plan!
Estimates indi- There are several options for getting
cate that a little a management plan drawn up for
over half of the states landmass is your property, be sure to look at all
found in forestland cover. When of them before you make a choice.
all forest ownership categories are Continuing with the QFP, when
summed up, Michigan is home to a prescribed management activity
approximately 20 million acres of is due for implementation, you will
forestland. Thats a pretty impres- receive a notification. In addi-
sive claim. Add to the mix, a world tion to being a reminder of your
class freshwater resource, a variety obligation(s) to the QFP, the notice
and abundance of wildlife species, is meant to serve as a reminder to
and year-round recreational opportu- It is estimated that nearly for ty percent of the forests in Michigan are re-examine professional assistance
nities and its no wonder our state is owned by some 400,000 individuals and families. Collectively, they are the options. Where a FAP forester is in
a destination for millions of visitors largest forest ownership category in the state. MDNR photo place, nows a good time to revisit
every year. And you know what? this individual to review options for
The quality of each of these stage. When we look at whats planning tool. The longer your completing the activity.
natural resources is dependent on trending in our forest resource property is enrolled in the program, Furthermore, once you have
the health of our forests. across the state, we see: an ever the greater the benefits to you. The a certified plan for your property,
Trees in a managed forest are growing present and potential list of longer the forest stays intact and you are also eligible to participate
typically healthier than those oc- damaging invasive insects, diseases, functioning as a forest, the greater in the American Tree Farm System
curring in an unmanaged forest. So and understory plants; increasing the benefits to society. (ATFS), the Forest, Wetlands and
often, one of the leading stressors parcelization; decreased production The first step in the process is to Habitat (F,W,H) system verification
in an unmanaged forest comes from from federal lands; public set asides; find out if your property is eligible of the Michigan Agriculture Envi-
growing too many trees for a given restrictive policies; deer impacts to for the QFP. Go to www.michigan. ronmental Assurance Program and
area. Competition for available regeneration; and greater demands gov/QFP. Once there, scroll down to USDA Farm Bill programs applica-
space, water, light and nutrients is placed on our private forest re- Who Can Assist You and click on ble to your site. Participation in the
shared equally amongst desirable source. Forestry Assistance Program (FAP). ATFS and FWH programs provide
and undesirable species. Stressed While some of these concerns If your property is located in any Right to Forest protection against
trees are more vulnerable to attack only affect our public forests, all of of the 50 some counties covered by nuisance lawsuits when participants
by insects and diseases. them have a direct or indirect effect a FAP forester, contact that indi- conform to Generally Accepted For-
Ownership of the forest has a on our private forests. vidual to determine QFP eligibility, est Management Practices outlined
lot to do with how that forest will The private forest resource has review of program requirements and in their plans.
be managed, both short-term, and long been tagged under-managed options for moving forward. Unlike the Commercial Forest
into the future. Management deci- and often mismanaged. Much of The two most obvious benefits Act, the QFP does not require you
sions made for public lands (both the harvest from private forests is to the QFP are a reduction in taxes to allow public access onto your
state and federal ownership), as well done without the assistance of a and a means to prevent the uncap- property. Additionally, the QFP is
as, decisions made for corporate professional forester. Unfortunately, ping of the propertys taxable value proving to be a layer of protection
ownership (industry, investment and many owners are unaware of timber upon the sale of enrolled land. Both from the advances of unsolicited
real estate companies), are typically values and good forest management contribute in a big way to off-setting timber buyers and brokers. When
made well in advance of imple- systems. Too often, discussions in- the high cost of recreational land for approached, a simple indication that
mentation; and only after thorough volving desired forest regeneration many forest owners. But, a closer your property is under the manage-
consideration and consultation with and considerations for other forest look expounds on some of the less ment of a certified plan in the QFP,
many natural resource professionals. values (e.g. wildlife, water, soil, rec- publicized benefits with the pro- tends to end the pursuit.
It is estimated that nearly forty reation, and aesthetics) are omitted gram. For forest owners that live on
percent of the forests in Michigan or too casual in nature to address the For eligible parcels, a certified their land, utilizing the QFP wont
are owned by some 400,000 individ- full scope of their complexity. Long forest management plan (FMP) is be an option. However, seeking
uals and families. Collectively, they term threats lead to a site thats less required prior to enrollment. Getting professional assistance, developing
are the largest forest ownership cat- productive, healthy and sustainable. more private forest owners to de- a forest management plan and par-
egory in the state. The average size Nobody wins in that scenario. velop FMPs for their property was ticipating in eligible programs are
of ownership by a private owner is Forest management is more a high priority with governmental all avenues that will serve you well.
greatest in the U.P. People own for- important than ever right now. If we agencies and conservation minded Where a FAP forester is in place, a
ests and woodlots for many differ- are going to have any chance at all organizations long before QFP was visit with the individual will better
ent reasons. If you are among those in the battle against invasive insect, even on the radar. prepare you for utilizing the services
owners who treasure encounters disease and plant species alone, FMPs must be written by quali- of a consulting forester, industry for-
with deer, turkey, grouse, songbirds, were going to need the private fied foresters (i.e. natural resource ester and any other private service
or other wildlife in the woods, you forest owner to take a more active professionals). The FMP identifies provider you may employ.
would be among the majority when role with the management of their priorities and options for the natu- I know it sounds a bit trite, but
identifying the number one reason forests. So, what exactly does that ral resource needs of your property trees are a renewable resource.
for owning forest. mean? projected out to the next 20 years. When a forest is properly man-
Theres much talk given to For forest owners that live In the simplest terms, the FMP helps aged, they just keep coming back.
private individual and family forest off their land, and own at least 20 you better understand what needs How cool is that! A healthy forest
owners these days. Actually, these acres, now would be a good time to to be done, why it needs to be done, is no act of nature. It includes many
talks have been ongoing for many give the Qualified Forest Program and when it needs to be done. carefully planned and thought out
years now. Only more recently has (QFP) a look. In some ways, the Every decision you make with processes. Being a good steward of
the attention moved front and center QFP should be viewed as an estate your property has consequences. the land is just as cool!n


GUN CHAT: Practicing for deer
he DNR sent me an the 77RL. The weight is close and
email about antlerless the stock is similar in pull length
deer licenses and the and drop. I have a 2-7 power Le-
early antlerless deer upold on the .250 and a 3-9 power
seasons recently. That Simmons on the .22. The Simmons
reminded me that this is fuzzy above three power and Ive
year Ive done most of my prac- been planning to change scopes.
tice with handguns. On the 8th of While hunting and moving I keep
August I went to the range bringing the Leupold set on two power so
two handguns and my Ruger 77/22 even the scopes are similar. The ma-
rifle. I shot the handguns first. At jor difference is the safety. The .250
the end of the trip, I fired 30 rounds has a tang safety and the 77/22 has
from the Ruger .22. Twenty of those a three-position safety on the side of
were from standing. Ten were from the action.
a benchrest, using a rest Many of the deer Ive The 77/22 makes a good understudy for the authors deer rifle, a
provided by the range. taken were killed from a
When I shot NRA friends blind on a hunting
Ruger 77RL in .250 Savage. Lee Ar ten photo
Highpower Rifle Matches 40 in Menominee County. correctly, and control the trigger like would be an even better idea.
I routinely fired 50 or 80 Hes out of the country and I did in my rifle match days. Often, when I decide to get
rounds per match. Those has sold the land. My shots The 10 shots from the bench out and practice for a season, or a
were divided up into rapid at deer now are more likely went into a group two and a quar- match, the weather turns against
and slow fire prone, sit- to be from offhand, so I de- ter inches high, and one and seven me. It was fine earlier in the week
ting, and standing stages. cided to practice that more eighths wide. I did throw two high but its raining hard today. I should
I practiced regularly than shooting off the but the group, as a whole, was be able to make one range trip a
then, and dry fired an
M1 in winter. Offhand By Lee Arten bench.
I put up an EZ2C
below point of aim. I blame myself
for the high shots. I think the scope
week. If I cant shoot the deer rifle,
or the 77/22 because of the weather,
was easier to man- target, with orange may be contributing to the low ones. I have an air rifle I can shoot in the
age at that time. My wobble zone and white rings, sideways at 50 Bringing it up two and a half, or basement. It weighs much less than
is larger now and I tire out more yards. I shot at the edges of the bull. three inches, would take get it sight- my deer rifle, has peep sights, and
quickly. More practice will help In my mind I was aiming at the ed-in at 50 yards. Putting a different a different safety, but any offhand
with both problems. area behind a deers front leg, and scope on the 77/22 and sighting it in shooting will help.n
Ive shot several deer from just above the heart. That shot has
standing and from a blind. In the worked very well for me. Deer hit
blinds I had the sill of the shooting there often drop on the spot. Hit in
port as a rest. I took one deer from the heart, they have sometimes run.
prone. On that shot I lay down on One made 40 yards before falling
the side of a farm road with the edge after I hit the top of the heart.
of a ditch forming a rest. I almost The first 10 shots were with Fed-
shot a deer using a round hay bale eral 36 grain plated hollow points,
to rest my rifle. It turned out to be a with a few Remington Thunderbolts
young buck and I was trying to fill mixed in. Id held on the right side
a does only crop damage permit. of the bull. The group was low, ex-
The deer next to it was also a buck. cept for one shot, and more spread
Having too many bucks in front of out than Id have liked.
me is not a problem Id had before, The second group was fired at
or since. the left side of the bull using Fed-
Ideally, I would be practicing for eral hollow points. I still threw one
deer season with my deer rifle but shot high. The remaining nine were
Im short of reloads for the Ruger tighter with four in three quarters
77RL in .250 Savage. The 77/22 of an inch. Besides using the same
rifle makes a good understudy for ammo, I bore down, tried to breathe

HUNTING Protect your property from deer or trespassers.
Enough said. Call us today!
RESERVE YOUR HUNT! 517-202-2255 231.510.8122
Duck numbers remain high
Most populations are above long-term averages...

T Species estimates
he U.S. Fish and Wild- ly, hunter success.
life Service (FWS) The spring surveys provide the
released its report on scientific basis for many manage-
2017 Trends in Duck ment programs across the conti-
Breeding Populations, Mallards: 10.5 million, 11% lower than 2016 and 34% above LTA nent, including hunting regulations.
based on surveys Gadwall: 4.2 million, 13% above 2016 and 111% above LTA Individual states set their hunting
conducted in May and early June American wigeon: 2.8 million, 19% below 2016 and 6% above LTA seasons within a federal framework
by FWS and the Canadian Wildlife Green-winged teal: 3.6 million, 16% below 2016 and 70% above LTA of season length, bag limits and
Service. Overall duck numbers in Blue-winged teal: 7.9 million, 18% above 2016 and 57% above LTA dates. Hunters should check the rules
the survey area remain high. To- Northern shovelers: 4.4 million, 10% above 2016 and 69% above LTA in their states for final dates and bag
tal populations were estimated at Northern pintails: 2.9 million, 10% above 2016 and 27% below LTA limits.
47.3 million breeding ducks in the View all the data and get a
traditional survey area, which is Redheads: 1.1 million, 13% below 2016 and 55% above LTA species-by-species breakdown at
similar to last years estimate of 48.4 Canvasbacks: 0.7 million, similar to 2016 and 25% above LTA
million and is 34 percent above the Scaup: 4.4 million, 12% below 2016 and 13% below LTA Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the
1955-2016 long-term average. The Black ducks (Eastern Survey Area): worlds largest nonprofit organiza-
projected mallard fall flight index 0.5 million, similar to 2016 and 12% below LTA tion dedicated to conserving North
is 12.9 million birds, similar to the Americas continually disappearing
2016 estimate of 13.5 million. particular, as the survey informa- the ducks will respond, produce waterfowl habitats. Established in
The main determining factor for tion continues to indicate these two more ducks and provide us all with 1937, Ducks Unlimited has con-
duck breeding success is wetland species remain below their long-term a nice return on our conservation served more than 14 million acres
and upland habitat conditions in the average populations. Both species investments. thanks to contributions from more
key breeding landscapes of the prai- have struggled to regain desired Although most migratory game than a million supporters across the
ries and the boreal forest. Conditions populations. We will continue to bird populations remain abundant, continent. Guided by science and
observed across the U.S. and Cana- work with our many conservation when and where birds will be dedicated to program efficiency, DU
dian survey areas during the 2017 partners to understand what drives encountered depends on many fac- works toward the vision of wetlands
breeding population survey were populations of these two species. If tors. Food availability, habitat and sufficient to fill the skies with water-
generally similar to last year with science points to habitat limitations weather conditions, and other factors fowl today, tomorrow and forever.
a few exceptions. The total pond as contributing factors, well rely on all influence local bird abundance, For more information on our work,
estimate for the United States and the science to develop conservation distribution, behavior and, ultimate- visit
Canada combined was 6.1 million, solutions to help restore populations
which is 22% above the 2016 esti- of these birds.
mate of 5.0 million and 17% above Hunters may notice in the

the long-term average of 5.2 million. report that mallards declined 11%,

The surveys indicate that or about 1.3 million birds, from

wetland conditions and populations 2016. The bulk of that appears to
of most frequently harvested ducks be related to drier conditions in the
remain above the long-term average, Canadian parklands region, where
and for most species, populations the surveys detected about 0.6 mil-
were at or above those from last lion fewer mallards. Overall, mallard
year, said DU Chief Scientist Tom populations remain in great shape,
Moorman. This is great news for and FWS estimates the mallard fall Classic Rooster Tail w/HD
waterfowlers who can now turn their flight will be similar to last year. Split Ring & Pre-Sharpened
attention to preparing habitat, tuning Hunters should always Black Nickel Hook
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Pulsating Hackle/Tinsel
the weather forecasts for the onset tions are going to vary over time, Dressed Hook Attracts Fish
of fall and winter weather that will so we must keep focused on habitat
push the birds on their annual south- conservation efforts over the long Genuine Silver,
Brass and/or
ward migration. term. Ultimately, we need to main- Painted Blades
DU remains concerned about tain landscapes so that when precipi-
northern pintails and scaup in tation and other conditions are right,

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Michigan Historical Markers
New website makes it easy to find historic places throughout our state...Visit one today!
By Sarah Lapshan MDNR and Tobi Voigt/Michigan History Center

n the M-109 loop Since it was authorized by the
that runs between Legislature in 1955, the program
Empire and Glen has approved and placed more than
Arbor in Leelanau 1,700 markers throughout the state,
County, along the as well as in several other states (for
Lake Michigan example, in Kentucky at the Per-
shoreline near an area once touted ryville Battlefield State Park, honor-
as the Most Beautiful Place in ing the Michigan soldiers who aided
America by ABCs Good Morning the Union in this pivotal Civil War
America show stands a stately battle) and in Europe (at the home
sign that marks the forward-thinking of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac,
of more than a century ago that the French explorer who founded
recognized Michigans need for a Detroit).
statewide parks system. Although a marker cant tell
This particular sign commemo- the full story after all, the text is
rates the creation of D.H. Day State limited to a few hundred words it
Park (now part of the Sleeping Bear does provide a great starting point to
Dunes National Lakeshore) and learn more.
Michigans post-World War I move- Michigan Historical Mark-
ment to preserve other scenic sites ers capture the stories of our states
as public outdoor recreation destina- significant places, events and people
tions. in and around the locations where
These green-and-gold signs, they happened or lived, said Sandra Little green squares dot the map of Michigan on the home page of the
known as Michigan Historical Clark, director of the Michigan His- Michigan Historical Markers website. Each square shows the location of
Markers, dot buildings and land- tory Center, an agency within the a historical marker. Visitors can search for markers near their homes by
scapes, sharing snippets of Michi- Michigan Department of Natural typing their address in the search bar in the top right corner.
gans rich history. Resources that manages the marker torical markers can be found nearly but, as the program grew, it began to
Just about anyone whos trav- program. The Michigan Historical everywhere, including the sides of commemorate historically signifi-
eled the states byways and high- Commission approves the markers buildings, the yards of residences cant architecture, the contributions
ways over the last 50-plus years and their final texts. and businesses, and at schools. of individuals, and other milestones.
likely has encountered a marker or Historical markers originally Clark said that Michigans earli- Stop in at the I-75 rest stop
two, and for good reason Michi- were placed at highway rest areas, in est markers focused on European south of Grayling and you can
gans historical marker program is state parks, and at locations where settlement, geology, geography, Na- read, briefly, about one of Michi-
among the nations oldest. historic events occurred. Today, his- tive peoples and military conflicts, gans greatest wildlife conservation
stories. The Return of Kirtlands

Warbler historical marker explains
D $$ how the bird nearly became extinct
in the mid-20th century as logging
and other industries damaged its
DE natural habitats, but then successful
habitat restoration and conservation
$50 OR MORE efforts turned the tide. The marker
Guided by research to mim-
2544 W. Long Lake Rd. Orleans WITH PROCESSING ic natural fire processes, government

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Visitors to Eagle River on the
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Houghton marker that honors the
man who served as Michigans
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report from Houghton, describing
Like us on our facebook page or check out website for hours and specials the U.P.s copper country, that con-
vinced hundreds of people to flood the Keweenaw in search of copper
fortunes. The marker also highlights
several of Houghtons other contri- information about the marker, in- they will be traveling.
butions, including studying small- cluding its location and installation Ortonville resident JoAnne
pox among the Chippewa Indians, dates, an image, and the marker text. Brodbeck is one such traveler.
serving as a correspondent for the Visitors also can download a PDF My 11-year old son has be-
Detroit Journal, and recording more copy of the marker information. come a big history buff, Brodbeck
than 200 plants. But the website is much more said. This summer we took a trip
One of the newest markers, in- than just a map, said Mary Patrick, to Mackinac Island, and read every
stalled just this past July, highlights Michigan Historical Marker pro- marker he stumbled upon. I showed
the civil unrest in Detroit in 1967. gram coordinator. him this website, and he was very
The marker was placed on the site This research tool is full of excited. It will make it possible for
where the rebellion and riot began, features that make it practical for him to find and map out markers
now occupied by Detroits Gordon students, researchers, trip planners before our next vacation.
Park, on the 50th anniversary of the and other explorers to find historical Brodbeck said she also plans
uprising. It sets the scene: marker information that will interest to keep the website in mind when
In July 1967 the civil unrest them, she said. looking for history topics for school
that had been spreading across the For example, the filter feature projects.
United States reached Detroit. In (located below the map) enables The Michigan Historical Marker
the early morning hours of July 23, visitors to pull out map results by website also was built with re-
Detroit police officers raided a blind county, theme or time period. Clark searchers and marketers in mind.
pig, an illegal after-hours bar, where said the theme filter is particularly The database upon which the map is
patrons were celebrating the return handy for planning road trips around built is available as a free download A close-up view of the Return
of Vietnam War servicemen. topics of interest. (either as a KML or CSV file) on the of Kir tlands Warbler Michigan
Clark says its this diversity of If someone is interested in the marker main page. It is made avail- Historical Marker along I-75
moments, milestones and memories early auto industry, they can select able as part of the DNRs Open Data south of Grayling.
in our states history that makes the that filter to find all the markers project (http://gis-midnr.opendata.
markers compelling reading for both related to that topic and use the di-, which provides acces- its nearby, Patrick said. If they
historians and citizens. Now, with rections feature to plan the ultimate sible, high-quality information and cant find it, we hope they will let
the launch of a new web-based tool, Michigan automobile road trip, she analysis to drive informed decision- us know. Patrick said the best way
Clark hopes even more people will said. making. to share that information is by using
get in on the hunt for the markers. The website also includes the Patrick said that although the the contact form link at the top of
Until recently, curious Michi- ability to customize the view. Visi- marker website is live, there still is the marker websites main page.
ganders have relied on a list or a tors can switch the style of the map information to add, particularly pho- Theres something fitting,
book and a lot of good, old-fash- by clicking on different options tographs of all the markers. DNR and exciting, about using the latest
ioned exploring to find the states from road to topographical in the staff are field testing and updating technology to help share the pieces
historical markers. Then staff at basemaps feature. the database this fall, continuing to of our past, making these important
the DNR and the Michigan History The map defaults to show only add photographs and verify informa- stories more accessible to more
Center put their expertise together the markers, but visitors also can tion. people, said Clark. As information
to find a way to make it easier than add state parks and campgrounds, as Michigan History Center staff is added or updated, it will be right
ever for folks to find and learn about well as Michigans network of rail also would love to hear how others at users fingertips were putting
the markers and the history they trails, making it easy for families are using the website. history in your hands.
honor. planning a Michigan vacation to We encourage visitors who For more information, visit the
The result? A new, interactive map out a trip incorporating visits dont see a marker in an exact GPS historical marker website at www.
website ( to historical markers close to where location to look around and see if
ers) that can be accessed by phone,
computer screen or tablet no spe-
cial app required.
The Michigan Historical
Commission originated and pushed Open Since 1987
for this project, and DNR technical
and history staff made it happen,
said Clark. We hope this historical
marker database will pique the curi-
osity of Michiganders, help Michi-
gan travelers better connect to the LLC.
communities they visit, and inspire 7480 Germania Road Ubly, Michigan 48475
everyone to keep learning more Visit us on the Web: WWW.roosterranch.COM
about the real stories that make up 989-658-2332
Michigans fascinating past. No Membership Required!

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Once on the website, visitors
will find an interactive map that
shows marker sites across the state.
A search box at the top right corner Field and European Hunts! European Hunt Dates:
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Investigating the Buggy side of nature
When EHD rears its ugly head -- it can hit deer herds hard...

hen Epizootic and her research (involving analyz-
Hemorrhagic ing blood samples collected by deer
Disease (EHD) hunters and also summertime visual
rears its ugly distance sampling) is being finalized
head and hits soon. Sonja recently showed me a
a deer herd, graph of her research project which
thus far, there is nothing that can clearly describes how the Maple
be done to prevent matters. When it River deer herd is slowly but surely
arrives, it arrives and runs its nasty recovering from the effects of EHD
course. In 2012, 30 Lower Peninsula (and the Cass River deer herd main-
counties in Michigan were affected tains a great deer density in other
by EHD and 15,000 deer died as a words, we have plenty of deer).
result, dramatically impacting deer Whitetail deer densities are
numbers in certain areas. A usually the heaviest along
noticeable loss of deer due river corridors and this
to EHD occurred along the remains the case near the
Maple River (located in Cass River but it is just the
the center of the Mitten). opposite situation found
Fortunately for the today, since the 2012 EHD
Thumb, there were no outbreak, per the Maple
confirmed cases of EHD River. There, the deer were
related deer deaths and I hardest hit by EHD near
personally feel we were the river and associated
quite blessed in
this regard, but By Tom Lounsbury wetlands.
how we dodged Sonja this sum-
the bullet per EHD is a mystery in mer with a research project of her
itself. Since the 2012 EHD outbreak, own is Sydney Manning who is a
a research project has been conduct- MSU Undergraduate Research Field
ed by Sonja Christensen which com- Technician (also per the Quantita-
pares the impacts of EHD on deer tive Wildlife Center) with an interest
herd abundance and recovery rate in entomology. A known vector for
in the affected Maple River corridor EHD is a semi-aquatic, small biting
with the unaffected deer herd in the fly called a midge and Sydneys
Thumbs Cass River corridor. Sonja research is technically described as
is a PHD candidate working with Assessing population abundance
the Boone & Crockett Quantitative of midges as possible vectors of dis-
Wildlife Center within the MSU De- ease in impacted and non-impacted
partment of Fisheries and Wildlife disease zones. This requires setting
midge traps at specific locations
in both the Maple River and Cass
River corridors and collecting and
analyzing trapped midges on a
weekly basis.
I recently met up with Syd-
ney Manning to accompany her at
daybreak in collecting midges from
her 4 traps set near the banks on
the North Branch of the Cass River
in Sanilac County. To give you an
idea of Sydneys schedule, she had
travelled from Lansing the evening
before and had set the traps up on Sydney Manning documenting data while collecting trapped insects on
the Cass River by 7:30 p.m. and the Cass River. A head-net was a necessary item to wear due to hungry
had returned to Lansing to com- mosquitoes at dawn in a river bottom atmosphere. Author photos
plete some lab work. She then met commonly used for birdfeeders, and minimal during a rainstorm.
me the following morning near the have a fan that sucks the attracted Upon reaching each trap, Syd-
Cass River site at 6:00 a.m. and we flying insects into a trap which en- ney recorded research data which
readied the gear, got booted-up to tails a small canister on the bottom would include a GPS reading and
negotiate the swampy ground and of a tightly woven mesh bag to hold measuring the distance from the trap
donned head-nets per the mosqui- the collected bugs. A special mesh to the river. She would then remove
toes, hiked in and were checking the screen blocks out larger insects the mesh bag containing the canister
traps right at 6:30 a.m. such as dragonflies and large moths of trapped bugs, tie it off, clearly
The midge traps being used are from being drawn into the trap and mark it, and put it in her backpack.
A midge trap set on the banks of called UV light traps which use targets only the smaller, midge-sized During this process I was
the Cass River. It uses UV light to the UV light to attract insects from insects. The traps have a roof- mighty glad Sydney had told me to
attract insects from dusk to dawn dusk until dawn with a 12 hour bat- like lid to keep rainwater out and bring knee-high rubber boots and
and has a fan which sucks them in. tery life, so a rigid schedule must protect captured insects, and if rain a head-net because accessing the
A screen only allows midge-sized be kept. The traps are hung from is predicted the traps wont be set midge-traps required negotiating a
bugs into the trap. a typical metal shepherds hook out because bug activity is very bit of muck and mire near the river
and hungry mosquitoes were quite ney pulled out a large cooler filled
evident and active right at daybreak. with ice and removed the marked
She of course took all this in stride mesh-covered canisters and placed
while I trailed behind her in the them carefully in the cooler. She
woodsy, river bottom setting (it sort explained that this would chill the
of reminded me of checking my trapped bugs to calm them down
fur trap-line during colder weather without killing them, and cause
but with a lot more technicalities those still clinging to the mesh to
involved). Needless to say I was fall off into the canister for easier
very impressed on how she con- collection back at the lab. Once
ducted her data collecting process there, the bugs are put in the freezer
as well as the effective method used to both kill and preserve them for
in trapping an impressive amount of examination and identification (this
insects for analyzing back at the lab isnt a catch and release proposi-
under a microscope (which she calls tion) under a microscope.
a scope). Despite our being in the 21st Sydney Manning putting canisters filled with trapped midges on ice to calm
Sydney told me that due to the Century, there remains and will them down and preser ve them for the trip back to the MSU lab in Lansing,
small size, determining that a midge remain a whole lot to be yet discov- where they will be frozen and later examined under a microscope.
is definitely a midge can only be ered, and I look upon the research pond having the water level drop hemorrhaging of various tissues,
done under a scope, and there are Sydney Manning is doing in regards to an all time low), seem to be the body organs and the intestinal
different types of midges, which to the relationship of the abundance midges cup of tea where it is found tract, it is amazing any deer can
was news to me. One of her objec- of midges and types of midges as in typical wetland areas, and where survive this diseases traumatic
tives is to determine if all midges vectors of EHD as being very im- deer densities tend to prevail. Deer effects in such a short timeframe.
can be vectors for EHD, or if only portant and critical in understanding bitten by infected midges can begin Fortunately, EHD isnt transmissible
one type is the culprit, and if the matters and to even have a concept showing signs of illness in only a to humans.
unaffected Cass River corridor and of what to expect when EHD occurs. week and lose their appetite as well Im looking forward (curiosity
the affected Maple River corridor She is very clearly, in my words, in- as fear of humans and will seek out is killing me here) to learning what
have the same types of midges (yep vestigating the buggy side of nature bodies of water to lie in, as an effort Sydney Mannings research reveals,
folks, the world of entomology is and her work clearly ties in with to cool off due to a very high fever. which I find as being very important
definitely a whole new and interest- the research that has been done by Death usually occurs at this and quite crucial in unveiling the
ing science for me, but I do find it Sonja Christensen. stage in a matter of hours. Some many mysteries still surrounding
quite fascinating). In other words, EHD is a seasonal occurrence deer do recover from EHD and EHD. I truly appreciate her intro-
if the Maple River has a midge type which happens only in late summer then have immunity to the disease. ducing me to how matters are done
the Cass River doesnt, that midge and early fall that will end when Where EHD is a common occur- in the field while investigating the
type can be a likely suspect as a key the first frosts kill the midges. Hot rence what is called herd immu- buggy side of nature.
vector for EHD. and dry summers, such as we had nity can in time occur. The fact I fully support and applaud her
Once back at her truck, Syd- in 2012 (I can remember my farm that EHD causes extensive internal efforts.n

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HuntinIt_70824 Hunting Guide 6/29/17 dr/dr/dr WNW NEWS OCTOBER made by 2:0053
Corrections must be2017
KPC Media Group PROOF

Full Page #43 Machele 4-COLOR p.m. Thursday, June 22 or ad will be

assumed correct and run as is.
On the hunt for fall walleye Next Bite...By Gary Parson and Keith Kavajecz

ool nights, leaves to bite.
turning colors, and On natural lakes there is a fall
days getting shorter turnover and fish will go below
can only mean that the thermocline. This is the time to
it is time to go on a bring out big minnows like chubs.
huntfor walleyes! Of course fat heads can also be
While many people are hitting the used. When rigging, use a slip sinker
woods looking for a 10-point buck, and a size 1/0 live bait gap hook.
those who stick to the water are You will want to stick the chub
often chasing an amazing bite! through the upper lip. Most walleye
Spectacular fall fishing can be cant stand it when you slowly work
found on the Great Lakes and on this set-up in front of them!
natural inland lakes. Start by fishing In addition to live bait, artificial
close to the areas where you found tails also work great and allow you
fish during the summer. Chances to hook into the fish right away. The
are, if you found walleyes in the go-to artificial bait is the 3.5 Berk-
warmer months on weed lines, At this time of year dont be afraid to ver tical jig when you get the bait ley Ripple Shad on a 3/8 oz. jig for
tapered flats, rocks or off shore back to the boat 10-15 times to give the fish a final chance to bite. fishing 30 feet deep or more. Sit on
humps, they are now nearby on a the tip of a point, cast, turn the crank
reef or steep drop-off. These drop- you can come back and target each the Great Lakes, but they can also of the reel 2-3 times, and then repeat
offs can be up to 50 feet deep on the individual fish. be used on small lakes in the north to bring the lure back to the boat.
Great Lakes. On natural lakes they During this time of year the woods. Jigging spoons can also put a lot
are typically 20-40 feet deep and on minnow forage is starting to mature. You will want to cast out to a of fall walleyes in the boat, but not
a windy day it is not unusual for the One of the best tactics to use in the break and work it back to the boat all jigging spoons are the same. De-
walleyes to come on top to feed. fall is shivering with Moonshine by lifting and reeling the bait. Then pending on the size of the fish you
When you first arrive at your Shiver Minnows. The Shiver Min- let it drop back down to bottom. are chasing, how deep the water is,
spot, drive around and look for now offers a wounded minnow-type Dont be afraid to vertical jig when and what type of bait the walleye are
fish. Each time you find one, drop a action that will entice fish to bite. you get it back to the boat 10-15 eating, you will have to adjust the
waypoint on your Lowrance HDS so Not only can these lures be used on times to give the fish a final chance size of your spoon. As far as color

James Ferrari and Sons, Inc. strives for customer satisfaction and the ideal customer experience. We are
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Phone: 586 790 1800
Fax: 586 790 5917
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goes, on clear lakes or sunny days, When trolling with lead core,
silver is a good choice. If you are you will want to use a 8 6 to 10
fishing on a cloudy day or in dingy rod that is strong enough to handle
water, gold is the preferred color. the weight of the lead, but a forgiv-
These baits are best paired with ing tip to help fight the fish.
a 7 medium to medium-heavy spin- Adjust your speed to adjust the
ning rod, which will allow you to depth of the lures. Speed up to raise
give the bait a good snap. For line, the lures and slow down to drop
you can use anywhere between 8# them deeper. We like to use 18# lead
and 15# test, depending on how core with a 10# FireLine leader.
fast you want the bait to drop. The You should be able to feel the lure
heavier the test of the line, the vibrating and ticking bottom. If it
slower the bait will drop. stops vibrating, check the lure as it
Dont forget about the trolling may have picked up debris.
bite! Berkley Flicker Minnows are Of course, while some fall days
great for this time of year when can be described as perfect, others
trolling off structure and drop-offs. can be a bit on the crummy side.
Boat control is important to keep the This is why we always have our
lures in front of the fish. By using a IceArmor by Clam parkas and bibs
combination of both the bow mount onboard the Nitro Z21. Waterproof,
and kicker motor, it is easy to keep windproof and breathable are just
the boat on a very precise track. three words that describe the suits
Start out trolling in the shallow- that can make the difference when
est area that you are marking fish, it comes to enjoying a day on the
and then move out. We often will water with subpar weather.
run two planer boards off each side While it may be tempting to
and lead core off the back to keep trade in the fishing rods for cam-
the baits at or close to bottom. ouflage clothing until next spring
If we are following a contour rolls around, keep the boat ready to
that has a lot of sharp turns we go just a little longer this year. We
wont use any planer boards at all promise you will be glad you did It may be tempting to trade in the fishing rods for camouflage
and just fish the lead core. when you get your Next Bite!n clothing...but fall walleye fishing can be outstanding!

W W W. S L AY E R O U T D O O R P R O D U C T S . C O M


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W W W. S L AY E R O U T D O O R P R O D U C T S . C O M
St. Oxford, MI 48371 WNW NEWS OCTOBER 2017 55
Michigans Amazing Animals...

Volume 2 of the monthly that bonus refers to good and
assum means roasted. In other
feature, Michigans Amazing words, being good while roasted!
Animals, celebrates those A more plausible explanation is
popular, great tasting game that Bonasum means a kind of
bull or buffalo and correlates to

birds, the Ruffed Grouse... the drumming sound a mating male
makes resembling the bellowing of
ere are some fun and a bull. The species, umbellus most
feathery facts about certainly refers to the umbrella like
ruffed grouse: feathers displayed by courting male
The Name grouse.
Game: Ruffed grouse Specific Statistics: Adult ruffed Ruffed grouse are the most popular wild upland game birds for hunters in
is the go-to moniker grouse weigh slightly more than a the Mitten State. Josh Greenberg-Gates Au Sable Lodge photo
for this bird as it pertains to only pound and stand about a foot tall.
this species. In some areas, however, Males are usually larger with longer arching his tail feathers in a broad their wings against the air to create
theyre coined prairie chickens, tail feathers but the sexes are often fan. After mating, the female a vacuum. The drumming sound is
partridge or pats, and even indistinguishable from each makes a ground nest and lays one unmistakable and, along with a nip
pheasant. Of course, those other. Grouse usually live egg per day for up to 14 days. All in the air and blazing leaves, por-
vernaculars apply more about 7 to 8 years but indi- eggs are then incubated at once and tends the season of autumn.
appropriately to other bird vidual birds may survive to all hatch together usually in about Heres Bird Mud in Your
species. age 11. 24 days. The precocial chicks are Eye! The Famous Grouse is a very
For Latin Lovers: The Brood Basics: Once well developed at birth and will fend popular blended Scotch whiskey
ruffed grouses scientific a female is attracted to a for themselves a short while after made first by Matthew Gloag & Son
name is Bonasa umbellus. drumming male he puts on hatching. in 1896. Its the top-selling Scotch
The genus Bonasa has two quite a display. He expands Little Drummer Boys: During whisky in Scotland. Now thats
popular interpretations. A the ruff of feathers around mating season male grouse channel something to drum about!
Ringo Starr. They find a fallen log
By Patrick Bevier
tongue-in-cheek his neck and struts Roller Coaster Ruffians:
explanation is around while in a dense thicket and rapidly beat Ruffed grouse populations ebb and

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DNR launches Eyes
flow significantly. Late summer
numbers may be 4 times the spring
level with the production of young.
Farm, at
Grouse Houses: Ruffed grouse
are a widely dispersed species living
in the Field app
Winter mortality rates, however,
may reach 75% during harsh years.
in 34 of the 49 continental states.
Grouse thrive in young aspen forests
Report fish and wildlife observations...
and brushlands with ample low The Department of Natural Resources invites Michigan residents to
Within a given region grouse num-
cover. Ideal habitat is created when contribute to conservation efforts by reporting their fish and wildlife ob-
bers tend to rise and fall in roughly
aspen forests are clear-cut every 40 servations with the new Eyes in the Field application. Available at michi-
a 10 year cycle, with the highest
years, or in low growth following, the application replaces 15 separate observation
densities reaching about 8 times the
forest fires. Grouse are quite adapt- forms the DNR had been using to gather important information about
lowest levels.
Grouse Grub: Grouse are om- able and can live close to human the states fish and wildlife populations.
developments if the right vegetation Observation is a key part of managing Michigans diverse natural
nivorous, eating both animals and
plants. Theyll eat just about any exists. When habitat needs are met resources, and we rely on the public as additional eyes in the field to help
a ruffed grouse will usually spend in our monitoring efforts, said Tom Weston, the DNRs chief technology
insect, worm, or small frog they can
get their beaks on and also gorge on its entire life in a 40 acre home officer. This new application is a one-stop shop where citizen scientists
plant shoots and berries. The flower- range. can report what they observe while spending time outdoors.
Ga Ga for Grouse: A bonus of Eyes in the Field includes forms for reporting observations of dis-
like catkins from birch and wil-
grouse hunting is that they are ab- eased wildlife, tagged fish, mammals such as cougars and feral swine, fish
low trees provide critical nutrition
solutely scrumptious. Many recipes such as sturgeon, birds such as wild turkeys, and reptiles and amphibians
throughout the winter. In northern
are available and Id recommend the such as eastern massasauga rattlesnakes. Additional observation forms
climes birds that havent fattened
traditional style featured on the will be added in the future.
up well before entering winter often site and, The application is mobile-friendly, so it will work well on any device
dont survive.
of course, those shared by friend smartphone, tablet or desktop computer and is compliant with federal
Cast and Blast: Several areas
Chef Milos at cookingwithchefmi- Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines.
of northern Michigan offer oppor- To report their data, users select an observation location point on a
tunities to cast and blast. Thats
A Stupendous Society: Since map and submit other details, including habitat type and appearance of
Michigans answer to surf and turf
1961 The Ruffed Grouse Society the animal, depending on the type of observation. Observers also can
when sportsmen fit in upland bird
has been doing commendable work submit photos, videos and audio files through the application.
hunting and fly fishing on the same
toward their mission of being, ded- It's important to note that Eyes in the Field does not replace the
excursion. Give the accommodat-
icated to preserving our sporting DNRs Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline (800-292-7800). The RAP
ing folks at Gates Au Sable Lodge a
traditions by creating healthy forest hotline now accepting text messages, which may include photos, in
jingle to explore this unique autumn
habitat for ruffed grouse, American addition to telephone calls is a toll-free, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week
adventure (989-348-8462). Another
woodcock and other wildlife. Join number that enables the public to report violations of fish and game laws,
recommendation would be to em-
this terrific team at ruffedgrouseso- as well as other natural resource-related laws. The DNR also offers a web-
ploy Riversage Outfitters in Evart, based RAP form, which is available via a link from Eyes in the Field.
who are associated with Meemos

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Riparian areas have numerous values for people and wildlifeBy John Pepin, MDNR

Understanding the importance of

streamside and lakeshore habitat
he thousands of rivers, stability, timber production, and
lakes and streams in their contribution to overall biodi-
Michigan are beauti- versity.
ful, special places, not Plant habitat along rivers and
only to a wide range streams is called riparian vegetation.
of people, including The plants that grow there have an
anglers, boaters and campers, but affinity for water.
numerous plant and animal species. Vegetative cover refers to
Those areas between the water overhanging or submerged tree
and the uplands are called riparian limbs, shrubs and other plants
areas or riparian zones. A riparian growing along the shore of the
management zone is an area des- waterbody, the U.S. Environmental
ignated and consciously managed Protection Agencys website states.
to protect functions and values of Rivers, streams and lakes can be
riparian areas. buffered from the effects of human
Within a watershed the area disturbance in the watershed by var-
drained by a river or stream system ied, multi-layered vegetation in the
the lands next to streams and riv- land corridor that surrounds them.
ers are particularly important to the Healthy, intact vegetative cov-
health of those waterways. er in these riparian areas can help
Because of the unique condi- reduce nutrient and sediment runoff
tions adjacent to lakes, streams and from the surrounding landscape,
open-water wetlands, riparian areas prevent bank erosion and provide
harbor a high diversity of plants shade to reduce water temperature. Vegetation growing alongside streams, like the East Branch of the
and wildlife, Michigan Depart- Vegetative cover can also provide Eagle River in Keweenaw County shown here, provides several ben-
ment of Natural Resources fisheries leaf litter and large wood (such as efits to humans and wildlife. MDNR photos
biologists said in a report on Ripar- branches and logs) to serve as food,
ian Zone Management and Trout shelter and habitat for aquatic organ- on), habitat and food for aquatic even entire trees fall into streams,
Streams: 21st Century and Beyond. isms. invertebrates, adds nutrients, traps they provide both food and shelter
Life is simply richer along rivers In Michigan, large woody debris smaller debris, provides feeding for aquatic insects, and habitat for
and streams. from mature trees growing along and resting sites for a wide variety reptiles, amphibians, fish, mammals
Riparian areas are ecologically streambanks controls how streams of wildlife, and has other beneficial and birds.
and socially significant in their ef- look and function. effects, the DNR fisheries biolo- Woody debris can slow down
fects on water quality and quantity, Large woody debris provides gists said. fast-flowing water, create deep holes
as well as aesthetics, habitat, bank cover for salmonids (trout and salm- When leaves, twigs, sticks and and provide cover for fish and other
wildlife to hide in.
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This clip may be mini but when it comes to holding power its second other applications Prevention Prevention

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The Mini Lock-Jaw fits The Walleye Board, TX-44, TX-22, TX-12 & TX-6 1 7/8 Long Pad
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alderflies, true flies, riffle beetles, routes and stopping points between
aquatic earthworms, scuds, leeches, habitats for a variety of wildlife.
snails and limpets, and crayfish, the Trees and grasses in riparian
parks website said. The presence areas stabilize stream banks and
of caddisfly, stonefly and May fly reduce floodwater velocity, resulting
larvae indicate that streams here in reduced downstream flood peaks.
are of high quality and are in good Alluvial aquifers help main-
ecological health. tain the base flow in many rivers in
According to the EPA, vegeta- humid areas because of high water
tive cover along lakes and streams tables. In drier climates, streams
varies naturally among the various lose water that can help build up the
ecological regions in the United water table deep beneath the stream.
States. Its no secret Michigan is home
The amount and complexity of to tremendous water resources.
vegetative cover for a given stream, The state has 3,288 miles of fresh-
river or lake is used as a measure Brook trout are a Michigan game fish species that thrives in cold, water shoreline second only to
of the integrity of the waterbodys clean water. Alaska and an extensive network
physical habitat, the EPA said. of rivers, providing the people of
The DNR fisheries biologists Huron and Superior. Terns and gulls omy, the groups website states. Michigan with great recreation op-
said the agency and its partners nest on rocky shoals and island Healthy riparian areas improve portunities.
spend many thousands of dollars shorelines. Ducks, geese and swans water quality, reduce erosion, attract These habitats are vital for fish
each year to introduce additional nest on coastal marshes. beneficial insects, and enhance a va- and wildlife and for people as well.
large woody debris into our river Mink, otters, muskrats and riety of recreational opportunities. Michigans lakes and rivers provide
systems, debris that has been lost beavers can be found feeding and The Natural Resources Conser- clean, sparkling drinking water for
artificially over time due to a variety denning along river shorelines, vation Service detailed several bene- many Michigan cities and towns.
of circumstances. Vaughn said. A handful of unique fits of riparian areas on its website: They are also vital routes for indus-
Not only are shorelines and tree species also grow on the banks Riparian areas help control try. Shipping is an important part of
rivers important for recreation, of Michigans rivers. Paw-paw, blue non-point source pollution by hold- Michigans economy.
several species of wildlife depend beech or musclewood, and syca- ing and using nutrients and reducing Whether youre a salmon angler,
on shorelines for their livelihood, more trees thrive in the wet, periodi- sediment. an agate hunter, a homeowner, a
said Holly Vaughn, a DNR wildlife cally flooded soils along rivers. Riparian areas are often im- boater, camper, city planner, bird-
communications coordinator. River Partners, a California portant for the recreation and scenic watcher, hunter, or just like to enjoy
Ninety percent of all wildlife organization whose mission is to values. However, because riparian the beauty of the scenery around
species use riparian areas for some create wildlife habitat for the benefit areas are relatively small and occur lakes, rivers and streams, under-
aspect of their existence during their of people and the environment, said in conjunction with watercourses, standing the importance of riparian
life cycles. intact rivers and riparian areas at- they are vulnerable to severe altera- areas, and woody vegetation situ-
Riparian obligate species are tract more than wildlife. tion and damages caused by people. ated around lakes, can help us all
those that require riparian habitats People hike, boat, fish, hunt, Riparian areas supply food, more deeply appreciate the Great
for all or part of their livelihood and and explore these areas, bringing cover, and water for a large diversity Lakes State and its tremendous wa-
these include snapping turtles, wood tourism dollars into the local econ- of animals and serve as migration ter resources.n
ducks, river otters, et cetera, the
DNR biologists said.
Tree frogs, wood turtles, sala-
manders, and many other reptiles No Electricity? Keep Your Food Cold!
and amphibians, use the water for
laying eggs and breeding each
spring. Ospreys, eagles and herons
are among the bird species that rely
on streams, lakes and rivers for food
and nest in large trees nearby.
The endangered piping plover
nests and feeds on the sandy and
rocky beaches of Lakes Michigan,

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Fishing and the Science of...

Water Temperature
hen a bathing towards, we can in general make
beauty tests the statement that walleye seek
the water to out cooler water for two important
determine if reasons.
the tempera- First and foremost, adult wall-
ture is condu- eye in the Great Lakes region tend
cive to swimming, she slips her big to feed primarily on pelagic forage
toe in just deep enough to make an species including smelt, gizzard
educated decision. For fishermen, shad, alewives and emerald shiners.
water temperature is a big deal and Of this list of forage species, the
unfortunately you cant use your big only one routinely found in warm
toe to determine if the water tem- water are emerald shiners. The other
perature is just right for catching a popular forage species are cool to
favorite species. cold water loving creatures.
Secondly, after feed-
ing adult walleye seem to
Loving Species instinctively realize that loi-
tering in cool water slows
For most of my adult
down their metabolism rate
life I have preached how
and allows these fish to
water temperature is critical
get the maximum food and
to both finding and catching
nutritional value from each
trout, salmon and steelhead.
meal. Foraging in warmer
Its interesting to note that
water forces walleye to
in most cases
the best water
By Mark Romanack feed more often
to keep the
furnace burn-
range for targeting trout and salmon Its long been known that cer tain species like this king salmon are fond of
ing! It makes perfect sense in turn
is a rather narrow window. Water water temperatures that are fairly narrow in scope. Anglers find consis-
that young or immature walleye
temperatures from 45 to 55 degrees tent success by first finding preferred water temperatures.
are far more likely to be found in
represent the window in which trout
warmer water than their larger adult
and salmon tend to be most active targeting walleye by temperature times, suggests that the Great Lakes
and found using the majority of the zone. Other popular fisheries includ- are nothing more than very large
time. Fish Hawk and ing Green Bay, northeastern Lake river systems!
Certainly it can be demonstrated
that trout and salmon are at times
Water Temperature Ontario and the deeper waters of Just like fishing in a river, cur-
Little Bay de Noc may also become rent plays a huge roll in the action of
caught in colder water and its A downrigger equipped with a temperature proving grounds for trolled lures. At the surface a trolling
becoming common due to a declin- Fish Hawk speed and temperature walleye fishing. speed of 2.5 MPH can be confirmed
ing forage base that these fish are probe is in use on my boat every The jury is still out regarding the by consulting GPS speed over
known to forage briefly in water single time I target trout or salmon science of catching walleye by first ground numbers. Unfortunately, due
much warmer than 55 degrees. Still, in the Great Lakes. Ive often joked establishing preferred water temper- to sub-surface currents the gear at
catching these fish day to day boils that forced to choose between my ature zones. The intriguing theory depth might well be traveling at a
down to finding water temperatures Fish Hawk and traditional sonar for of water temperature as it relates to completely different speed.
that roughly fall into this established finding trout and salmon, Id feel walleye fishing is however some- Herein lies the problem, because
preferred range. more comfortable using the Fish thing serious anglers are pondering the only practical way to confirm
Its well documented that trout Hawk. more and more. trolling speed at depth is by using
and salmon are cold water creatures. A strong endorsement of the Fish a sub-surface probe. Because so
To that list Im about to include
another species... the walleye. Yes,
Hawk, the point is that trout and
salmon are so temperature sensitive,
Trolling Speed at Depth many of the lures popular with trout,
salmon and walleye anglers are
a notoriously warm water loving its easy to predict where these fish Determining water temperature speed sensitive this piece of the
fish may also find cool water to their will be in the water column based at depth is just one of the benefits of fishing puzzle is profoundly critical
liking! The more we learn about solely on water temperature. Using using a sub-surface probe like the to open water trolling success.
walleye and walleye fishing, the a Fish Hawk its easy to determine Fish Hawk. The other equally im- Its currently a rare sight to see a
more convinced Im becoming that where in the water column the most portant feature of the Fish Hawk is walleye boat equipped with a down-
walleye also have preferred water desirable water temperature resides. determining trolling speed at depth. rigger and temperature/speed probe,
temperature ranges. Sonar in this case only seems to When larger basins of water but that could all be changing in the
Research is suggesting that confirm the presence of fish and stratify by temperature, sub-surface near future. The temperature issue is
the larger a walleye becomes, the provide anglers the confidence to currents are often formed. From the intriguing when it comes to walleye
more likely that fish is going to put in the time. surface these currents are undetect- fishing, but trolling speed at depth
become temperature selective if not In the near future, walleye able without the help of a sub-sur- is fundamental to fishing success
completely temperature sensitive. anglers may depend on temperature face probe like the Fish Hawk. and ironically something walleye
Because walleye tolerate a much probes like the Fish Hawk. The All of the Great Lakes are im- anglers have given little attention to
wider water temperature range than deeper reaches of Lake Erie includ- pacted by natural currents as water historically.
salmonids, pinpointing a target zone ing most of the Central Basin and all flows effectively downhill from the
suitable for fishing is not as easy as of the Eastern Basin, plus the open western end of the Great Lakes to The Future of
with trout and salmon.
While we may not be able to
waters of Lake Huron near Tawas,
Alpena and Oscoda are potentially
where Lake Ontario pours into the
St. Lawrence River and ultimately
Walleye Trolling
pinpoint a narrow band of water going to be the proving grounds the Atlantic Ocean. This natural The presence of sub-surface cur-
temperatures walleye gravitate when it comes to the science of movement of water, while subtle at rents is undoubtedly influencing on


trolling effort for walleye in many even nightcrawler harnesses!
Great Lakes fisheries. In places like Perhaps in the future fishing
Saginaw Bay or the Western Basin boats will be outfitted not only with
of Lake Erie where the average generously sized sonar and GPS
depth is modest, sub-surface cur- units, but potentially also with an
rents are probably playing a minor underwater video camera and moni-
role in fishing success. tor that helps us confirm the action
However, in deeper basins of of our trolling gear and also how
water, sub-surface currents do play fish are reacting to that gear.
prominently into the trolling equa- Who knows maybe both so-
tion. I predict that during the next nar and video technology will be
decade, sub-surface temperature and combined into the same unit? Lord
trolling speed probes will become knows these days with sonar screens
as common on walleye boats as they as big as 16 inches, there is plenty
currently are among ardent trout and of room for a video screen to be
salmon anglers. used in combination with modern
Underwater Video
Another modern piece of tech-
Summing It Up
nology might be the confirming The science of catching trout
force when it comes to convincing and salmon by monitoring water
anglers they need to be aware of temperature and also sub-surface
sub-surface currents when troll- trolling speeds is well documented
ing for walleye. Underwater video in the Great Lakes. Perhaps in the
cameras are small enough these near future this technology will be
days they can easily be rigged to a expanded to include walleye fishing
downrigger enabling anglers to get in many of our deeper water fisher-
a fishs eye view of their trolling ies.
gear. For now, the idea of targeting
This technology can confirm Sub-surface probes like the Fish Hawk pictured here help Great Lakes walleye based on sub-surface water
once and for all that sub-surface trout and salmon fishermen keep their gear in preferred water tempera- temperature is more theory than
currents can and do impact dramati- tures and moving at appropriate trolling speeds. The author believes that fact, but this intriguing idea is on
cally on the action of popular troll- in the future walleye trollers will come to depend upon this technology as the minds of a growing number of
ing lures like crankbaits, spoons and much as trout and salmon fishermen. Mark Romanack photos innovative walleye anglers.n

1/2 WEEK

New Hours: Mon-Thurs: 8am-6pm Fri: 8am-7pm Sat: 9am-6pm Sun: 10am-2pm


Black Powder Shooting Sports...

Its Shooting, and Its Fun!

silver-haired lady sailed on as if to taunt the lady, then
waited. White smoke dropped into the long grass shy of
drifted as a young the hardwood trees.
shooter walked from You cant expect an 81-year-
the 10-yard markers. old woman to kill em all, Barb
Wayne Knop said, Hobday muttered under her breath
204 with a firm, decisive tone as as she stepped over a 16-yard
he sat in the scorers elevated stand marker slab. Ive killed my share
at the back of the trap field. The lady and then some, but not that one.
stepped forward with a determined While he waited for the next
gait. competitor, Wayne Knop leaned to
She turned her head to the right his right and commented to a specta-
and answered, 204 as she put her tor, You wont find a nicer group of
left foot on the square concrete slab people than here at the state shotgun
at position three. The faded, black shoot. With that simple statement
numerals, 2-0-4, were he captured the hidden es-
stenciled on an old shot sence of the black powder
bag and pinned to the back shooting sports.
of the waist band of her The Michigan State
pink and brown shooting Muzzle Loading Associa-
vest. Bright pink letters, tions Shotgun Champion-
embroidered across the ships became a stand-alone
vests brown shoulder yoke, event in 1980. We shot
spelled Team Hobday. shotgun before it was cool,
She seated a cap, cocked Ken Hobday, Barbs young-

By Dennis Neely
her single barreled est son, added with Dick Wadswor th steadied the single-barrel shotgun for his granddaughter
shotgun, brought it a laugh. as he star ted teaching her to shoot trap.
to her shoulder and Back then
settled the muzzle over the center of trap was shot Saturday after supper watching. pionships the third weekend in
Trap House 2. PULL! she hol- at the rifle championships. Every- I was shooting a Thompson August. Today, a modest entry
lered. body sat around in lawn chairs and Center. It had a Sharon drop-in fee (an entire family can shoot for
An orange clay bird, angling to watched. It was at Ionia, and we barrel in 20-gauge. Thats a far cry $25.00) covers the main champion-
the right, rose fast from the green- shot under the lights. I was 12 at the from today, Ken Hobday added. ship matches. Twenty-eight ad-
metal-roofed trap house. BOOM! time. You couldnt see the people The Grand Valley Cap n ditional matches are available for
The 12-gauge shotgun belched fire. watching because of the glare. Ballers (located at 3576 26th flint, percussion and black powder
A dense cloud of sulfurous stench Youd walk out from under the Street, Hopkins, Michigan) hosted cartridge shotguns with varying fees
roiled in the air. The orange disc lights and there sat 50 or so people the 2017 MSMLA Shotgun Cham- per match.
The championship matches are
shot at 10 and 16 yards, while the
re-entry matches are shot from 10,
16 or 20 yards, depending upon the
match rules. Most matches are ten
clays, two shot from each of five
On the surface, the mention of
a state championship conjures
thoughts of expert shooters with a
strong emphasis on the events and
the scores posted, but that is not the
case with the front-loading shot-
guns. Yes, the competition is stiff,
but as Wayne Knop said, the real
story is the people who attend.
At the loading bench, Barb Hob-
day dumped a scoop of black pow-
der down the shotguns bore. Her
granddaughter and daughter loaded
to her right, each sporting a pink
267 Gun Giveaway Team Hobday shotgun vest. Ive
shot black powder for over sixty
5 guns will be raffled every Wednesday years, the great-grandmother said.
PLUS a bonus Twelve Guns of Christmas I shot at the first shotgun shoot,
drawing Wednesday Dec. 19. back in the 1970s. Ive been shoot-
Your purchase of a $50 calendar ing shotgun ever since. My husband
means you are entered in each and I were one of the founding
weekly drawing. members of the Saint Joseph Valley
Must be 18 years of age to enter. Michigan Lottery License number C28069
Volunteers. Theyre gone now, but
Im still shooting.
Contact Deb Gray (734) 623-2000 for more information and to enter All of my kids shoot, and my
grandchildren shoot with us, too,
9/17/18,20,22 - MI
Hobday continued. Thats about powder shotgun, Wadsworth said
ten family members and thats why with a proud smile. She borrowed
we call ourselves Team Hobday. the gun from Bonnie Fernwalt. I
Im Captain Mom. The shotgun built it for Bonnie years ago. Its
range is different than the rifle a 12 gauge under-hammer. I made
range. We shoot rifle, too, but we all the components. Im loading it
love shotgun. Its just a big family, with about 3/4 ounce of shot, a light
and weve watched many families 28-gauge load.
grow up shooting. We bring the grandkids up
When we come to the state here from Texas so they can attend
shoot, we get to see some of these the Frontier Shoot [first weekend in The ladies of Team Hobday stopped shooting long enough for a three genera-
shooters who we helped learn to August at GVCnB] when they visit. tion photo. You can call me Captain Mom, Barb Hobday (right) said with a
shoot as kids. Some have their own If it works out, they can shoot here, smile. Her granddaughter, Melissa Taylor and her daughter, Cathleen Taylor (left)
kids now, Dick Lernout said. He too, Dick Wadsworth added. loaded side-by-side under the covered loading area. Wild River tree photos
and his wife, Erie Ann, travel from I can handle it, sort of,
Ontario, Canada, and camp to the Bridgett said after missing a clay
til the shot gun does some weird time my dad came out, he pulled for
things. Then I have to stop and us and we went from there. We were
south of the range. bird. When asked if she would like
figure out what is wrong, or ask for ten at the time. For two years weve
We started shooting here in to shoot again, she answered with an
help. Buell is a three-time MSMLA shot on Trap 2. I let my brother
72 or 73. Weve come to the state emphatic, Yes, maybe after lunch?
shoot every year, except a few that Id like to get Johnathon shoot-
Junior Champion. shoot, because when he gets it, he
Early that afternoon, Drakes gets it.
we couldnt make. Now I dont ing in a school trap league, Wad-
step-brother, Braxton Mathis, vol- This is the one weekend out of
shoot too much. I shoot just the fun sworth said. He shoots real good,
unteered to run Trap House 1. Ron the year we go somewhere to shoot.
stuff, like protection [your partner and Id like to see him have some
misses, you shoot] and doubles [two expert coaching. Plus, trap shooting
Fernwalt got the young man up in We usually pull at home, so we look
the trappers seat and explained how forward to coming to Grand Valley.
birds at once] matches, Lernout strengthens a young persons sense
to score each shooters card, how to My dressers full of medals, some
added. of responsibility. I started taking
call the shooters number out, and from baseball and soccer, but most
At Trap House 1, Dick Wad- him to the Frontier Shoot when he
when to release the clay. It was his of them are from shooting here at
sworth steadied a ladys shotgun was 7 or 8. He was brought up to be
first time pulling at the range. the state shoot. Its shooting, and its
as he tutored his granddaughter, safe around guns, and Bridgett will
This is the fourth time Ive fun.
Bridgett Shelton. This is Bridgetts be, too.
been out here, Braxton Mathis said, Give the black powder shooting
first attempt at shooting a black Shooting the clays is fun,
Johnathon Shelton said. Its kind of
and Im hearing more gunshots sports a try, be safe and may God
today than ever before. The first bless you.n
a challenge, and the people are real
nice. My Papa brought me up here
one day. When I saw him shoot and
break a clay I wanted to shoot, too.
My Papa made me a gun for Christ-
mas, and Ive been shooting ever
since. Its a 12 gauge and it has my
initials on the side.
Ive been coming up here for
four years. Ive shot at the Frontier
Shoot and the state shoot. Ive been
looking to see if there is anything
like this back home, but I havent
found it, yet, Wadsworths grand-
son said. Johnathan won the 2017
MSMLA State Junior Champion-
One loading bench over, Jim
Drake Buell broke his second clay at Mathis joked with his son and
Station 4 on the 10-yard line. Buell step-son. These two young men
is a four th-generation black powder also represent a fourth-generation
shotgunner and a three-time MSMLA shooting family. Its fun to shoot,
State Junior Shotgun Champion. Drake Buell said with a big smile,

Muzzle Loading State Events

Michigan State Muzzle Loading Association State Shoots
Oct. 7 - Ashley Woodswalk: Ashley Sportsman Club: 989-862-5853
Oct. 8 - Woods Walk: Clinton River Muzzle Loaders: Detroit
Sportsman Congress: 586-731-6088
Oct. 21 - Turkey Shoot: Benzie Sportsman Club: 231-378-2145
Oct. 21-22 - Turkey Shoot: Columbiaville Sportsman Club
810-223-3956 or 810-793-7799
Oct. 21-22 - Primitive Rendezvous: Lansing Muzzle Loading Gun
Club: 517-651-7072
Walleyes, Perch and Trout...

hen part of On our larger inland lakes, there of this particular food chain. The jig is cast out there, al-
the outdoor is some sort of fall gathering of While many of the anglers lowed to sink to the bottom and
set dons blaze minnows and bait fish around those concentrate on the perch, this is then retrieved with a herky-jerky
orange and areas where the rivers and streams also an opportunity to catch some motion, given one or two pumps
takes to the run into those lakes. nice walleyes. The fish are likely upward and then allowed to sink
grouse woods I have asked fisheries biologists to be ganged up in those river- down to or almost to the bottom
and another group puts on their about this phenomenon mouth areas and they will again. The strikes will invariably
camo and climbs into tree stands, and, while they recognize be relatively easy to find come as the jig is sinking or as it
some folks in Northern Michigan that it takes place, they and even easier to catch. encounters the bottom. If the wind
head for the big inland lakes and dont entirely understand The fish are likely to be is brisk and a fairly fast drift is the
some of the best fishing of the year. it. They know that is has in fairly shallow water result, you can jig vertically with
Some say that the pre-spawn to do with food, as most water as thin as eight feet good results.
bite, in the spring, is the best time fish movements will be, but more likely to be ten or Trolling is also a good way
to catch walleyes and some others and they think it is temper- twelve feet deep. To find to find fish. Try a nightcrawler
insist that the post-spawn bite is ature-driven but there is the fish, one must often harness or a small wiggle plug
just as good. We dont get to fish
before the spawning time in April
still some mystery
about it. By George Rowe move around a
great deal, drifting
like a Hot-N-Tot or a Wally Diver.
Choose one that will wiggle along
so we cant really check that. What we do on a light wind, if close to the bottom. Some Rapalas
We do fish during the post- know is that, beginning some- possible, or anchoring for just a few are marked with the depth to which
spawn period and we can attest that time in September and peaking in casts at each likely-looking spot or they will dive and those are handy
the walleye fishing then is quite November, bait fish gather in these trolling or drifting and jigging. My for this fishing. If the depth, for
good. It is not, however, as good as areas and as surely as the sun rises, favorite technique is to drift and instance, is eight feet, tie on a plug
the fall. And, in the fall, the fish are predator fish will gather to feed on cast a light leadhead jig tipped with that will dive to six feet and expect
fat and sassy, not stressed from the the bait fish and anglers take to the a small minnow. The one-eighth- that to be in the productive depth.
rigors of spawning, and they are in cold water to catch the walleyes, ounce jig is fitted with a plastic When you hit a fish, drop the
the best condition they reach during pike, trout and perch that are after skirt and tipped with a minnow anchor carefully or at least put out
the year. the baitfish, the smallest members about two inches long. a marker and work that area thor-


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oughly. There is every prospect of alongside the walleyes and pike
catching additional fish in that area. and perch. You might catch a nice
It is probably marked by a little rainbow or a big brown or even a
depth variation or a line of weeds lake trout in ten feet of water, in
or something that is holding bait October or November. You will
fish and thus predators in the area. know in a flash when you hook
Sometimes, you can mark schools one. Walleyes, even big walleyes,
of bait fish or the larger fish on your are not great fighters, so when you
graph but this is not always reliable set the hook and this silver streak
in water much less than eight feet comes bursting out of the water,
deep the boat is likely to spook you know that you are not hooked
at least some fish away in water to a walleye. The trout will jump,
that shallow, if you are running the run and just generally go nuts when
motor. hooked on light tackle in shallow
If you hit a spot right, you can water. They are great fun and great
actually catch a limit of walleyes eating as well.
while anchored in one spot. If you This is the time of the year
catch a fish right away and then when we catch our largest walleyes.
another one in the same spot but Unfortunately, the largest of them
fifteen minutes later, it is possible are females and we like to release
that you are in an area the fish are them, with an eye to the future of
moving through regularly and there the walleye fishing. The larger
is every reason to remain there fish get a little coarse so the
and try to pick off additional fish smaller ones are much better table
as they move through the area. fare and, of course, one of the first
Walleyes and other predators are rules of conservation is to avoid
constantly on the move in search of killing the females, already fat with
prey. eggs.
Many of our larger lakes have If you can resist the urge to go
trout in them and those predator hunting, try some fall fishing. It is
trout will gather and feed right often as good as it gets.n The author with a nice fall walleye that fell for a casted jig and minnow.





The mixed bag hunts of October
Fooling pressured birds requires a lot of scouting effort, hunting skill, expense and savvy...

can think of nothing more excit- My most memorable field hunts are the the spot and youre forced to hunt nearby? is suggesting only to have the GPS update a
ing than laying on my back, ones that start out early with a few flocks of At times the X is located in a part of the few seconds later and the curser points in a
while peering out from a layout wood ducks that show up right at shooting field that has little or no natural cover? completely different direction!
blind as a flock of mallards, wood time. Typically these birds come in hard and All of these are legitimate reasons why The GPS gets you in the right area
ducks or Canada geese lock onto fast. At 30 minutes until sunrise, shooting hunters would consider not hunting the quickly, but a simple stake and flagging tape
the decoy spread. For me the light is legal, but gloomy enough that mak- exact location in a field the birds have been can save a lot of time wandering around in
moment of truth and the adrena- ing out individual targets against tree lines feeding in. Unfortunately, setting up else- the dark trying to find the spot on the spot.
line rush comes when I see the and the horizon is tricky. where, even nearby rarely plays out well for
birds are both fooled and committed. At that
precise instant I find myself reaching for the
I cant tell you how often in this situa-
tion I have popped up to shoot a bird only
the hunter. When scouting for waterfowl it
is critically important to identify the exact
pistol grip of my shotgun and to have it disappear into the location within a field the birds are favoring Entire books have been written on how
acknowledging silently to gloom of pre-dawn. Thats and concentrate on setting up in that area. best to set waterfowl decoys for field hunts.
myself that waterfowl hunt- perfectly okay because
Honestly I dont think its all that compli-
ing has a relentless grip on wood ducks at first light are cated or critical as to how the decoys are
my life! probably going to make two, positioned. Wild birds feeding in a field are
I was 12 years old when
I shot my first mallard and
three or more passes before
they finally make a com-
the spot going to be positioned randomly.
For field hunting I like to set up using a
ever since I have been in mitment to land or head for A trick Ive used for years to zero in on crossing wind so that approaching birds are
constant pursuit of all things other latitudes. the best field hunting spots requires physi- looking into the decoy spread and not di-
with web feet. Ive hunted Not long after those cally marking the spot. If Im scouting a rectly at the hunters hiding in layout blinds.
waterfowl in over a dozen shooting time wood ducks field in the morning and find birds working In relationship to the blinds, most of my de-
states, most of the Canadian make their appearance, a particular field, Ill wait until the birds coys are going to be upwind and fashioned
provinces and even traveled mallards leave the roost and leave the field in late morning to return to roughly into a V shape that naturally
twice to Argentina to sample start making their way to the roost. When scouting in the afternoon funnels the birds into an enticing opening at
duck hunting in the Southern the feeding fields. Like their I wait for darkness to fall and the birds to the downwind edge of the spread.
Hemisphere. Of all these cousins the wood duck, early head back to the roost. I hunt with a collection of full body
hunting experiences, the ones in the day mallards are going Once the birds have left the field on goose decoys, some shell goose decoys and
I cherish the most are the to show up out of nowhere their own, Ill drive or walk in and mark the
field hunts enjoyed close to exact location the birds were feeding using
home in Michigan.
and rocket over the decoys.
The hunters are usually a stake and some flagging tape. Feathers Mixed bag of October page 68
Part of what ap-
peals to me about
By Mark Romanack caught flat footed on
the first pass and have
and fresh droppings on the ground help to
confirm the precise location the birds were
hunting close to home no recourse but to wait feeding.
is the fact that waterfowl in these parts are them out and hope the next pass is more I also incorporate the help of a GPS
subjected to an amazing amount of hunt- predictable. unit to create a plot trail identifying the best
ing pressure. To fool these birds a hunter By about the time the sun hits the route to access the spot and also to save a
has to be in the right place, at the right time horizon, mallards are filling the sky and latitude/longitude coordinate confirming the
and also has to hunt with an anatomically making skyward approaches to the decoys. center of the area the birds were feeding in.
correct decoy spread and perfect hide. In Because these birds are approaching from Before I leave the field I also take time to
short, fooling pressured birds requires a lot much higher altitudes, they take more time The author uses this custom made trailer to store all his decoys and blinds between hunts. A large and elaborate decoy spread isnt name the GPS coordinate so in future years
of scouting effort, hunting skill, expense to settle into a landing mood. necessary for success. What matters is hunting in the right spot and creating a hide that makes it impossible for birds to spot danger. I can remember the significance of the spot.
and savvy. Two, three, four or more passes are of- Marking the spot with a stake and flag-
ten required to satisfy these birds that all is
Most days the show is over long be- is all corn fields are not equally attractive to One of the great mysteries associated ging tape may seem old school and unnec-
When all these variables come together
and the birds reward us with in your well and a hearty meal awaits them. If any-
fore lunch time. On those rare days when waterfowl. Across Michigan corn fields are with waterfowl hunting is why do birds essary considering GPS technology. Actu-
face shooting opportunities the feeling of one in the hunting party (including Rover)
weather keeps the birds moving all day, a harvested two different ways and for dif- seemingly fly over dozens of potentially ally that stake is amazingly handy when
satisfaction is nothing short of amazing. As moves at the wrong instant or blows a sour
steady stream of birds works wonders for ferent purposes. A lot of farmers chop their productive harvested grain fields in favor accessing the field using headlights or flash
keeping the heart pumping and those fingers corn into silage that is in turn fed to dairy of landing in one specific field? Even more
hunters, its not so much the taking of game note on the duck call, the jig is up and those lights in the pre-dawn darkness. The stake
that motivates us, but rather the opportunity birds are heading elsewhere.
and toes from getting numb. cattle. Chopping a corn field leaves very interesting, once these birds identify a par- is also a fail-safe should the batteries in the
to mix it up at close range. Its these close Mallards are entertaining, but not the
Here in Michigan mallards, wood ducks little waste grain on the ground and little for ticular field they are interested in, normally GPS die or the hard drive in the unit crash.
and Canada geese make up the majority of foraging waterfowl to focus on. just one specific spot in the field attracts all
encounters that keeps the game exciting, the big show. Later in the morning, late rising Another fact about GPS tracking that
the waterfowl harvested annually. Other Other farmers pick their corn using a the attention. many hunters dont understand is these
heart pumping and leaves us begging for Canada geese will start to stir from the roost
birds that show up on field hunts often
more. and make their way to the feeding fields. combine that strips the ears from the stalk Seasoned waterfowl hunters call these units are essentially mini-computers. It
enough to be considered regulars include and removes the individual kernels from bird selected choice landing zones the X. takes a few seconds for the curser on the
The B-52 bombers of the waterfowl world,
Mixed Bags geese magnify the excitement of waterfowl
hunting 10 fold.
pintails, gadwalls and widgeon. All three
of these duck species are more at home in
the cob. This process generates a lot more
spilled grain and not surprisingly attracts
The fast track to successful field hunts re-
quires setting up a decoy spread as close as
plot trail to update your exact location. This
occurs because the processor in the GPS
wetlands, but they also cant turn down the the most waterfowl. possible to the X. takes a little time to confirm and display
They say that variety is the spice of life Because of their larger size and slower
and in the world of waterfowl hunting my wing beats these birds appear to be on final
lure of an easy meal of waste grain. Chopping a corn field also leaves very There are lots of reasons why hunters changing information.
little chaff behind to help hide layout blinds. dont set up on the X. Maybe the X is
Corn is king
most rewarding adventures are those days descent for what seems like an eternity. Driving in a vehicle these updates oc-
seasoned with a mixed bag. The desire to You can cut the tension with a knife when A picked corn field is littered with stalks in a part of the field thats low, muddy and cur quickly enough that its fairly easy to The authors lab Drake is steady as a rock and
harvest lots of different species is one of a flock of geese is closing the distance and and corn leaves making it very easy to hide hard to navigate? Perhaps the X is on follow a plot trail closely. At walking speed disciplined enough to remain motionless when birds
the major reasons that field hunting is so about to start back peddling those oversized When it comes to scouting for field hunters and dogs in layout blinds thatched property you dont have permission to hunt? it is surprisingly easy to walk in the wrong are working. This wood duck is Drakes reward for a
appealing. wings. waterfowl hunts corn is king. The problem to blend in perfectly. What if another hunting party beats you to direction based on what direction the curser job well done. Author photos


The mixed bag hunts of October
Fooling pressured birds requires a lot of scouting effort, hunting skill, expense and savvy...

can think of nothing more excit- My most memorable field hunts are the the spot and youre forced to hunt nearby? is suggesting only to have the GPS update a
ing than laying on my back, ones that start out early with a few flocks of At times the X is located in a part of the few seconds later and the curser points in a
while peering out from a layout wood ducks that show up right at shooting field that has little or no natural cover? completely different direction!
blind as a flock of mallards, wood time. Typically these birds come in hard and All of these are legitimate reasons why The GPS gets you in the right area
ducks or Canada geese lock onto fast. At 30 minutes until sunrise, shooting hunters would consider not hunting the quickly, but a simple stake and flagging tape
the decoy spread. For me the light is legal, but gloomy enough that mak- exact location in a field the birds have been can save a lot of time wandering around in
moment of truth and the adrena- ing out individual targets against tree lines feeding in. Unfortunately, setting up else- the dark trying to find the spot on the spot.
line rush comes when I see the and the horizon is tricky. where, even nearby rarely plays out well for
birds are both fooled and committed. At that
precise instant I find myself reaching for the
I cant tell you how often in this situa-
tion I have popped up to shoot a bird only
the hunter. When scouting for waterfowl it
is critically important to identify the exact
pistol grip of my shotgun and to have it disappear into the location within a field the birds are favoring Entire books have been written on how
acknowledging silently to gloom of pre-dawn. Thats and concentrate on setting up in that area. best to set waterfowl decoys for field hunts.
myself that waterfowl hunt- perfectly okay because
Honestly I dont think its all that compli-
ing has a relentless grip on wood ducks at first light are cated or critical as to how the decoys are
my life! probably going to make two, positioned. Wild birds feeding in a field are
I was 12 years old when
I shot my first mallard and
three or more passes before
they finally make a com-
the spot going to be positioned randomly.
For field hunting I like to set up using a
ever since I have been in mitment to land or head for A trick Ive used for years to zero in on crossing wind so that approaching birds are
constant pursuit of all things other latitudes. the best field hunting spots requires physi- looking into the decoy spread and not di-
with web feet. Ive hunted Not long after those cally marking the spot. If Im scouting a rectly at the hunters hiding in layout blinds.
waterfowl in over a dozen shooting time wood ducks field in the morning and find birds working In relationship to the blinds, most of my de-
states, most of the Canadian make their appearance, a particular field, Ill wait until the birds coys are going to be upwind and fashioned
provinces and even traveled mallards leave the roost and leave the field in late morning to return to roughly into a V shape that naturally
twice to Argentina to sample start making their way to the roost. When scouting in the afternoon funnels the birds into an enticing opening at
duck hunting in the Southern the feeding fields. Like their I wait for darkness to fall and the birds to the downwind edge of the spread.
Hemisphere. Of all these cousins the wood duck, early head back to the roost. I hunt with a collection of full body
hunting experiences, the ones in the day mallards are going Once the birds have left the field on goose decoys, some shell goose decoys and
I cherish the most are the to show up out of nowhere their own, Ill drive or walk in and mark the
field hunts enjoyed close to exact location the birds were feeding using
home in Michigan.
and rocket over the decoys.
The hunters are usually a stake and some flagging tape. Feathers Mixed bag of October page 68
Part of what ap-
peals to me about
By Mark Romanack caught flat footed on
the first pass and have
and fresh droppings on the ground help to
confirm the precise location the birds were
hunting close to home no recourse but to wait feeding.
is the fact that waterfowl in these parts are them out and hope the next pass is more I also incorporate the help of a GPS
subjected to an amazing amount of hunt- predictable. unit to create a plot trail identifying the best
ing pressure. To fool these birds a hunter By about the time the sun hits the route to access the spot and also to save a
has to be in the right place, at the right time horizon, mallards are filling the sky and latitude/longitude coordinate confirming the
and also has to hunt with an anatomically making skyward approaches to the decoys. center of the area the birds were feeding in.
correct decoy spread and perfect hide. In Because these birds are approaching from Before I leave the field I also take time to
short, fooling pressured birds requires a lot much higher altitudes, they take more time The author uses this custom made trailer to store all his decoys and blinds between hunts. A large and elaborate decoy spread isnt name the GPS coordinate so in future years
of scouting effort, hunting skill, expense to settle into a landing mood. necessary for success. What matters is hunting in the right spot and creating a hide that makes it impossible for birds to spot danger. I can remember the significance of the spot.
and savvy. Two, three, four or more passes are of- Marking the spot with a stake and flag-
ten required to satisfy these birds that all is
Most days the show is over long be- is all corn fields are not equally attractive to One of the great mysteries associated ging tape may seem old school and unnec-
When all these variables come together
and the birds reward us with in your well and a hearty meal awaits them. If any-
fore lunch time. On those rare days when waterfowl. Across Michigan corn fields are with waterfowl hunting is why do birds essary considering GPS technology. Actu-
face shooting opportunities the feeling of one in the hunting party (including Rover)
weather keeps the birds moving all day, a harvested two different ways and for dif- seemingly fly over dozens of potentially ally that stake is amazingly handy when
satisfaction is nothing short of amazing. As moves at the wrong instant or blows a sour
steady stream of birds works wonders for ferent purposes. A lot of farmers chop their productive harvested grain fields in favor accessing the field using headlights or flash
keeping the heart pumping and those fingers corn into silage that is in turn fed to dairy of landing in one specific field? Even more
hunters, its not so much the taking of game note on the duck call, the jig is up and those lights in the pre-dawn darkness. The stake
that motivates us, but rather the opportunity birds are heading elsewhere.
and toes from getting numb. cattle. Chopping a corn field leaves very interesting, once these birds identify a par- is also a fail-safe should the batteries in the
to mix it up at close range. Its these close Mallards are entertaining, but not the
Here in Michigan mallards, wood ducks little waste grain on the ground and little for ticular field they are interested in, normally GPS die or the hard drive in the unit crash.
and Canada geese make up the majority of foraging waterfowl to focus on. just one specific spot in the field attracts all
encounters that keeps the game exciting, the big show. Later in the morning, late rising Another fact about GPS tracking that
the waterfowl harvested annually. Other Other farmers pick their corn using a the attention. many hunters dont understand is these
heart pumping and leaves us begging for Canada geese will start to stir from the roost
birds that show up on field hunts often
more. and make their way to the feeding fields. combine that strips the ears from the stalk Seasoned waterfowl hunters call these units are essentially mini-computers. It
enough to be considered regulars include and removes the individual kernels from bird selected choice landing zones the X. takes a few seconds for the curser on the
The B-52 bombers of the waterfowl world,
Mixed Bags geese magnify the excitement of waterfowl
hunting 10 fold.
pintails, gadwalls and widgeon. All three
of these duck species are more at home in
the cob. This process generates a lot more
spilled grain and not surprisingly attracts
The fast track to successful field hunts re-
quires setting up a decoy spread as close as
plot trail to update your exact location. This
occurs because the processor in the GPS
wetlands, but they also cant turn down the the most waterfowl. possible to the X. takes a little time to confirm and display
They say that variety is the spice of life Because of their larger size and slower
and in the world of waterfowl hunting my wing beats these birds appear to be on final
lure of an easy meal of waste grain. Chopping a corn field also leaves very There are lots of reasons why hunters changing information.
little chaff behind to help hide layout blinds. dont set up on the X. Maybe the X is
Corn is king
most rewarding adventures are those days descent for what seems like an eternity. Driving in a vehicle these updates oc-
seasoned with a mixed bag. The desire to You can cut the tension with a knife when A picked corn field is littered with stalks in a part of the field thats low, muddy and cur quickly enough that its fairly easy to The authors lab Drake is steady as a rock and
harvest lots of different species is one of a flock of geese is closing the distance and and corn leaves making it very easy to hide hard to navigate? Perhaps the X is on follow a plot trail closely. At walking speed disciplined enough to remain motionless when birds
the major reasons that field hunting is so about to start back peddling those oversized When it comes to scouting for field hunters and dogs in layout blinds thatched property you dont have permission to hunt? it is surprisingly easy to walk in the wrong are working. This wood duck is Drakes reward for a
appealing. wings. waterfowl hunts corn is king. The problem to blend in perfectly. What if another hunting party beats you to direction based on what direction the curser job well done. Author photos


Mixed bag:
from page 67
a few motion wobbling half shells.
The majority of the goose shells are
placed on the upwind edge of the
spread the farthest from the blinds.
The ultra-realistic full body decoys
make up the majority of the spread
and are also used to help break up
the outlines of the blinds. The shell
wobblers are spread evenly through-
out the spread to provide some
motion and eliminate that stale
lifeless look of many decoy spreads.
A couple dozen full body duck
decoys are sprinkled into the open-
ing of the V roughly in front of
the blinds. The rig is completed
by placing a couple spinning wing When hunting fields, details like hiding in plain sight are important. Keeping dogs still and hidden is one of the biggest challenges to
decoys just upwind of the duck consistently fooling waterfowl.
decoys. on in Michigan and other heavily ted the decoys and are headed in the easier to hide, but they also require
hunted states. I find that spinners do right direction. In my experience, a the hunter to keep his firearm outside
SPINNERS OR a good job of attracting ducks and little skillful calling and some flag- of the blind. In this case that gun
ging does more to encourage and needs to feature a camo or flat black
even geese in low light conditions
and when birds are passing by at a finish these birds than a spinning finish. A shiny blued shotgun is fine
distance. Once these birds turn and wing decoy. if used inside a layout blind, but the
An ongoing argument about start heading my direction, I turn off kiss of death when hunting from
using or not using spinning wing
decoys for waterfowl hunting rages
the spinners using a remote control.
At this point the birds have spot-
HIDE sleeping bag style blinds.

Perhaps the biggest mistake I see
Limberlost Farms field hunters making is not taking
the time to adequately thatch their
25 Years of fulfilling hunters dreams layout blinds. To effectively blend Successful field hunting for
into the background a layout blind ducks and geese is about paying at-
needs to be completely covered in tention to all the details. Scouting to
natural thatch. This is true regardless locate birds and then taking the time
of what camo pattern is printed onto to pinpoint the exact location in the
the layout blinds. field the birds are favoring is critical.
To speed up the thatching pro- Marking the spot on the spot
cess I use small bundles of various in the field using both a stake and
colored raffia grass knotted to the GPS coordinates insures that when
stubble straps on my layout blinds. hunters arrive in the pre-dawn dark-
This base coat of cover is completed ness the process of setting up will
at home before hunting season go smoothly. Decoy spreads dont
begins. In the field I top dress the need to be overly large or elaborate.
blinds by adding natural stubble to Decoy spreads however do work
the blinds as needed to match the best on a crossing wind that forces
exact color and texture of the terrain. approaching birds to approach with-
Besides thatching the blinds out looking directly at the hunters
completely its vitally important and blinds.
that no hunting gear is left outside The blinds must be virtually
the blinds. Lots of guys like to set invisible and the best way to ac-
their gunning bags or thermos bottle complish that task is to thatch every
next to the layout blind and simply blind and every dog hut completely
try to cover them when birds appear with natural thatch from the field
Offering our all with a little chaff. This process cre- youre hunting in. Every hunter
inclusive package hunts ates more unnatural movement and should be wearing a face mask or
September-October! conspicuous mounds in the field and camo makeup and when the birds
expands the hunter foot print. turn your direction its time to shut
Every hunter should also be off the spinning wing decoys.
wearing a face mask or using camo Hunters that follow this regiment
makeup when field hunting. Not are going to find that even heavily
adhering to this simple rule just hunted waterfowl can be fooled.
Our very popular one day hunts For More Information about guarantees that birds passing Fooling birds that other hunters
130-145 SCI- $2300 and Dates Call overhead will spot the hunters below couldnt is a very satisfying feeling
145-160 SCI- $3395 989-785-4034 and start to get nervous. and a big reason why the mixed bag
160-175 SCI- $4595 The sleeping bag style layout field hunts of October are more than
blinds have a nice low profile that is worth all the work and preparation.n
Northern L.P. landowners can enroll
property in Hunting Access Program
HAP offers landowners the op- Grand Traverse, Iosco, Leelanau, There are no extra costs for
portunity to make money, control Manistee, Mason, Montmorency, hunters to use HAP lands, but
wildlife damage, help boost hunter Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque they are responsible for reviewing
participation. Isle and parts of Wexford. Begin- information for the land they plan
Michigan is home to one of the ning this year, there are additional to hunt, checking in before each
nations largest and longest-running enrollment incentives for those who day of hunting and respecting
dedicated private-land public-access live in Alcona, Alpena, Montmoren- the landowners private
programs. Since 1977, the Hunt- cy or Oscoda counties. Landowners property.
ing Access Program has enabled should contact the local conserva- For more information on enroll-
landowners to make the most of tion district in those counties to ment in the Hunting Access Pro- HAP offers hunters access to land for
their property by allowing hunters to learn more about the earning poten- gram, visit hunting oppor tunities. MDNR photo
access private land for hunting. tial for their land.
The Michigan Department of HAP enrollment will remain
Natural Resources currently is
accepting HAP applications from
open through September.
Benefits to the landowner in- Bay View
landowners in the northern Lower
Peninsula with at least 40 acres and
An annual payment based on Resort & Motel
containing a minimum of 5 percent acres of land enrolled, type of land Open Year Round
wildlife habitat. cover and type of hunting the land-
You can help promote wildlife owner chooses to allow. Day or Week Licensed Shooting Preserve
Mayville, MI
population management, support The chance to help promote HUBBARD LAKE
the local economy, reduce wildlife and support Michigans rich hunting (989) 843-6576
conflicts, improve your land and heritage. Home Of The New Record
Small Mouth Bass. Dogs with Guides Available Clubhouse
get paid to do it, said DNR Hunt- Better management of wildlife Open 7 Days A Week Bird Cleaning
ing Access Program coordinator on the landowners property. A family and pet friendly Fields With Excellent Cover & Morning And Afternoon
Monique Ferris. Wildlife habitat Liability protection for the resort with 5 cottages and 3 Safety Fields In Between Hunts
improvement funding may also be landowner through Public Act 451. motel rooms located on the lake. Birds Released After You Arrive Extra Birds Shot are Free
available for habitat projects if you Control over types of hunt- No Gun Or Membership Fees Gift Certificates Available
are enrolled in the program. ing allowed on the property and For more information Call
HAP-eligible counties in the maximum number of hunters on the
989-727-2341 Located 17 Miles North of Lapeer
northern Lower Peninsula include property at a time, as well as the
Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Benzie, option to allow youth and apprentice
Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, hunting exclusively.

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Deep-water smallmouth in current
By Jeff Nedwick

he Great Lakes have a
well-deserved reputa-
tion for producing
big numbers of giant
smallmouth bass. But
even the greatest bass
fisheries can be tough at times. After
the peak late-spring and early-
summer bite is over, Great Lakes
bass anglers face the daunting chal-
lenge of locating bass that could be
scattered across hundreds of square
miles of available water.
The six quadrillion gallons of
fresh water that comprise the five
Great Lakes make it the largest
connected body of freshwater on the
planet. The good news for anglers
is that the deep, fast river systems
that connect this massive volume of
water concentrate bass in late sum-
mer and fall, creating a truly unique
smallmouth bass fishery - requiring
truly unique tactics. Jonathan VanDam looks for smallmouth bass in Great Lakes connecting waters with current in late summer.
Lake St. Clair is a regular late
river systems that feed and drain the VanDams search for deep river eddies or slack water formed where
summer stop on the Bassmaster lake - are home to large schools of bass begins and ends in areas adja- the river current is interrupted by
Elite circuit and Bassmaster Elite
big smallmouth bass in late sum- cent to the shipping channel the islands or points. Unlike channel
Series professional Jonathan Van-
mer and fall. More than once, these deepest water in the river. edges in heavy current where drag-
Dam knows the St. Clair and Detroit
systems have contributed to a nice One such area are channel edges ging a heavy jig along the bottom
Rivers - the primary Great Lakespayday for VanDam. located in the main current where is the only option, VanDam pitches
scattered rock piles including the light-weight drop shot rigs into these
large concrete footings that anchor slack water areas.
channel markers or buoys in place Slack water typically attracts
- mix with gravel or sand. Bass sit lots of shiners or other schooling
behind the current break formed by baitfish so VanDam selects colors
large rocks and ambush prey swept and profiles that imitate the baitfish
past them by the strong current. present. Again, braided line and a
Some of these areas can be fluorocarbon leader spooled on a
more than half a mile long, so to spinning outfit optimize the feel and
fish them quickly VanDam holds help detect bites.
his boat at a specific depth with his Although deep, fast water is the
bow-mounted trolling motor while norm for Great Lakes river small-
drifting downstream with the cur- mouth bass, VanDam doesnt com-
rent. He casts a goby-colored plastic pletely neglect the shallows. Specifi-
tube rigged on a 3/8 to 1/2-ounce jig cally, he looks for sand or gravel
upstream and simply lets the drifting openings within shallow weed flats
boat drag the jig along the bottom. directly adjacent to deep channel
The current is too strong to try to edges. Because the water is shallow
keep the jig vertical, says VanDam. (less than 10 feet deep) and clear,
VanDam uses a combination of its important to spot these open-
feel and technology to detect the ings ahead of time and accurately
bigger rock piles that hold bass. His cast a drop shot into them from a
graph identifies rock piles as the distance to avoid spooking fish. A
boat passes over them and seconds good pair of polarized sunglasses
later his rod tip confirms what he makes it easier to spot the openings
sees on his graph thanks to low- while drifting downstream with the
stretch braided line and a fluorocar- current.
bon leader. Perhaps in response to an abun-
Except for an occasional rip and dance of prey, the first stretch of
fall of the tube jig, he always main- cool, late-summer nights seems to
tains contact with the bottom, trying signal the start of a smallmouth bass
to imitate a goby scurrying across migration to the deep currents of
the rocks. Not surprisingly, this the Great Lakes connecting waters.
technique leads to frequent snags The tactics needed to be success-
ROSY BROTHERS INC. and lost jigs. I pre-rig a bunch of
tube jigs so I dont waste too much
ful here are as unique as the areas
themselves and although they can
5727 DRYDEN ROAD time retying, says VanDam. be difficult to master, the ability to
In an environment characterized catch big smallmouth bass long
DRYDEN, Michigan 48428 by strong current and deep water, after other anglers have given
810-796-3770 sometimes a lack of current
be a big draw. VanDam looks for
can up make the rewards that much
By Jim Bedford

ven though I remain
a very confirmed lure
tosser when it comes to
river fishing for steel-
head, brown trout, and
salmon I have become
very interested in the tremendous in-
crease in the practice of bead fishing
in Great Lakes tributaries. Several
very successful anglers have related
to me how this technique is even
more effective than drifting actual
eggs and spawn bags. Since I have
always had an aversion to messing
with eggs (in 51 years of hardcore Buck steelhead on a bead. Jim Bedford photos
fishing for steelhead, my lifetime
catch of these special fish on spawn which should lead to ways to make is made to the fact that it is how it is worth of calories in the three month
remains at two), the idea of success- it even more effective. done in Alaska where bead fishing or so period in the summer when the
fully drifting beads for steelhead is Pegging the bead on the line or really got its start. The reason for various species of Pacific salmon
quite appealing. leader above the hook seems to be pegging beads in Alaska is rarely are spawning.
Some aspects of bead fishing the standard method. When I ask described. Anglers there are fishing The rainbows and Dollies
have been quite confusing to me. A anglers why, the usual answer is that for very actively feeding rainbow quickly swallow the salmon eggs
main purpose of this article is to get was the way they were taught by trout and Dolly Varden char. These and if the bead was at the hook, it
anglers thinking about the technique fellow fishermen. Often a reference fish are trying to take in a years and the hook would be swallowed.
Since most anglers release these fish
even in streams where it is not man-
datory there needed to be a way to
catch these great game fish without
hooking them too deeply. This had
long been a problem with egg flies
such as Glo-bugs since the fly is tied
on the hook. Pegging the bead away
from the hook so the trout would
swallow the bead and not the hook
was the answer. While at times this
does result in the trout being hooked
outside the mouth, it has been very
successful in preventing the rain-
bows and Dollies from taking the
hook too deep. Alaska does limit
the maximum pegging distance to
two inches to decrease the chances
of the hook finding the fishs eyes.
But, why peg the bead when
fishing for steelhead? Most of the
time these fish are not actively feed-
ing and usually dont swallow the
bead. When they discover it is hard
and not soft like an egg, they are
quick to expel it. Most bead fishing
steelheaders peg the bead about one
and a half inches above the hook.
While this does separate the bead
away from the hook and make it
look more natural as a salmon egg
drifting with the current, it would
seem to make hooking the steelhead
more difficult. Frank Zak, a veteran
and accomplished western New
York center-pinning steelhead angler
Author, Jim Bedford with bead caught male steelhead. who has almost totally switched


from eggs to beads, has observed use any kind of peg you want with
steelhead take in the bead and then impunity when positioning your
turn to the side to expel the bead so bead below the hook.
that it does not have to fight the cur- When pegging the bead below
rent. This action seems to pull the the hook it is important to peg the
hook to the corner of their mouth. bead from the bottom up to decrease
This still seems to make hooking the the chance of the bead slipping off
steelhead that grabbed the pegged the tag end. This can easily happen
bead kind of hit or miss. There is when pegging the bead from the top
also the risk that bumping into line down. Going back to the tooth-
on each side of the bead will cause pick will also help secure the bead.
the fish to reject it. Melting a little bead of fluorocarbon
A possible solution would be or nylon monofilament at the end of
to peg the bead much closer to the the tag end will add a little insur-
hook so that hook would always ance.
be taken into the mouth when the Choosing the right bead color
steelhead grabbed the bead. Or, and size can make a big difference
you could place in the bead in in your success. In Alaska, anglers
the egg loop of a snelled hook. It and guides report that tiny changes
would be important in both cases in color can have a big effect on
that the hook size be matched with how effectively they are for rain-
the bead. A large bead and a small bows and dollies on a particular day.
hook would probably result in many This is hard to understand since
missed fish. Conversely, a large salmon eggs change in color with
hook and a small bead might be time after they are laid and fertil-
rejected altogether. My other sug- ized eggs act differently than those
gestion would be to peg the bead that didnt get fertilized. At any one
below the hook. This is easily ac- time there are eggs in the streams
complished by leaving an inch or so of many differ shades. Obviously
of tag end when snelling the hook to there will be times when the trout
the end of your leader. This way the focus in on a narrow range relative
fish sees the bead first and then will to color and it is important that the
inhale both the bead and the hook angler match it. Brett Har tford releasing a nice steelhead he caught on a bead.
when the bead is an inch or less Steelhead in our Michigan Great
second leader to the bend of the the peg also floats. In these cases
below the hook. Lakes tributaries are probably less
hook of the first. you will need some help from a
There are two other big advan- interested in beads that are exactly
Most Great Lakes tributary sinker(s) to keep the bead close to
tages in pegging the bead below like the prevailing eggs drifting in
anglers present beads suspended the substrate.
the hook. The first is that it makes the current along the bottom but it
under a float. Usually they posi- Speaking of sinkers, I continue
changing beads much easier and is for sure that different colors and
tion the float so that the beads drift to be confused by the elaborate shot
quicker. As we will talk about next, sizes can work better than others on
a foot or two off the bottom of the placement formulas employed by
finding the right size and color of a given day. The fact that steelhead
river. This allows the beads to drift float anglers. Last year I retrieved
the bead can be critical to your suc- are often attracted to beads that are
cess. No longer will you have to larger than any of the natural eggs
in the prime strike zone of the steel- float rig from a snag that had 21
ies. These fish orient to the bottom split shot attached to the line below
re-rig each time you change beads makes me think that they are not
where rocks, submerged logs, and a Drennan 11 gram float. The ex-
or carry a bunch of pre-tied leaders mistaking them for salmon eggs.
uneven bottom structure provide ref- pensive, sensitive float told me that
with what you think will be the right Plus, think of those times when fluo-
size and color of beads for the river rescent chartreuse is the killer color. uge from the current. But, they look this rig was lost by an avid, experi-
and the day. The other big plus is While not allowed in some states, forward and up so beads drifted a bit enced float angler but I sure didnt
you can stop worrying about damag- Michigan anglers can fish two beads above them are right in their strike understand why there were so many,
ing your line or leader with the peg. at one time. This technique seems zone. This is the same region of the mostly small shot. I am sure part
While pegging has progressed past to be especially prevalent on the water column where I try to sweep of it is dealing with varying current
the toothpick stage with commer- Manistee River and doubles your my spinners and minnow plugs. speeds at various depths as well as
cially available pegs designed to be chances of quickly finding the right More than imitating salmon eggs, I stealth. It would be great if a seri-
very easy on your leader, you can bead color and size. Simply tie a think beads are bright objects that ous float angler would explain the
steelhead dont like in their space so whys of shot patterns in these
they grab them. pages.
There will be times when Finally, getting back to stealth,
salmon eggs are fairly common in I find it hard to understand using
the river drifting with the current. floats that have black or very dark
It should be noted that salmon eggs bottoms. This would seem to be
are denser than water. This is by especially problematic when fishing
design so that fertilized salmon eggs very clear and relatively shallow
will sink in to the crevices in the water. You would think that fish
gravel where they can develop. At looking up for the bead would be
these times a more natural presenta- turned off by the dark float against
tion will be to bottom bounce your the bright background from the
beads. You can still employ a float sky. White or clear bottomed floats
to keep the line off the bottom and would seem to always be the way
act as a strike indicator. Just make to go when bead fishing for river
sure your float is positioned farther steelies.
from the bead on your line than the As stated at the beginning I hope
water depth. While glass beads and the above gets bead anglers thinking
some plastic beads will sink some about their fishing method and ways
Beads pegged above, below, and snelled. Author photos plastic beads will not, especially if to make it more effective.n
Dog proof raccoon traps
Species specific style of trap designed to catch animals...By John Chagnon

n the last decade these in Zone 2 a fur trapper could not set
amazing new style dog coilspring, longspring and jump style
proof raccoon traps have foothold traps within 50 of the water
revolutionized the raccoon until November 1, but the DP style
and opossum trapping traps can be set as close as the wa-
market. They are a spe- ters edge in Zone 2 starting October
cies specific style of trap designed to 15, please read the Michigan Regula-
catch animals such as raccoon and tions for 2017 trapping season for
opossum that have great dexterity this fall. By harvesting the raccoon
with their front feet and fingers, while prior to mink and muskrat season
having an opening too narrow for a one has a lot less raccoon messing up
dogs foot to enter. In addition, true sets targeting mink and muskrat. Plus
dog proof (DP) traps are pull-only the raccoon harvested in the DPs are
tripper mechanisms which are nearly dry versus the ones caught at other
impossible to catch a dog. However water sets which are usually soaked
Mr. Raccoon and Mr. Opossum reach and wet down a drowner wire, which
right in and easily pull the trigger. I makes it much easier to carry the
find they totally commit on pull trig- catch back to the vehicle. Dog proof traps are easy to use for nuisance raccoons. MDNR photo
ger style traps whereas on push/pull One of the most effective brands
style traps the raccoon sometimes get of dog proof raccoon traps on the The DP does a great job of holding Load Coon Bait and Mike Kains
caught by toes and pulling out of the market today is made right here in raccoon with minimum foot dam- Raccoon lure, both made right here in
trap, making them much harder to USA the PCS Feather Light Dog age so one can release small ones to Michigan.
lure into a trap after this occurs. Proof Trap. It is made of cast alu- become large sought after raccoon in So the night before I plan on
Some of the major benefits of minum to offer years of dependable the future. setting DP Traps I pre-bait the inside
having a trap to catch only raccoon service. See a video link of the PCS Some prime locations to catch of the DP Trap with one teaspoon
and opossum include: Feather Light Raccoon Trap in action raccoon include most every stream, AuSable Brand Coon Bait and place
1) Much better relations between at river or swamp. I try to find spots a kidney bean size of Lenons Rac-
hound hunters and trappers. ckpcsfeatherlightdogproofcoontrap. with water near and either cornfields coon Super All Call Lure into the top
2) Deer hunters and farmers can aspx or large acorn or beechnut trees of the American Coon Cap. Set the
easily remove nuisance raccoon from Other brands of dog proof traps nearby. Always a favorite location is DP Trap with the American Coon
bait piles and corn fields. with pull only triggers that I have where a small feeder stream enters a Cap lured and baited. Simply add an
3) One can set traps closer to used with very good success included larger stream or river. Watch for very Ausable Brand Cable Trap Stake and
residential areas to remove nuisance the Bridger T-3 Dog Proof Trap, Dia- large den trees. The raccoon has one you will have a setup ready to catch
raccoon. blo Dog Proof Traps and the Duke of the easiest tracks to identify its any and all 30 pound plus Michigan
4) Trappers can set close to water Dog Proof Trap. hind foot looks like a childs foot. Raccoons and hold them there until
without fear of catching muskrat and Once you acquire your PCS Their tracks can be found in the mud you return. On the morning of the
mink prior to season. Feather Light Traps no dying or wax- along the waters edge as well as set, I am able to quickly drive the
First, when I was a kid my father ing is necessary as the cast aluminum edges of farm fields with their trails stake in the ground and poke the trap
was an avid hounds man and we does not rust and the raccoon do not leading into the woods. These are in ground ready for action in groups
always had a few raccoon hounds, shy from the color of the cast alumi- also prime set locations. If you really of 3 to 6.
beagles and fox hounds. I pretty num. After a year of use one should want to increase your raccoon catch Catching raccoon in DP style
much had to set traps in the water or speed dip the chain to the trap which pre-bait two weeks prior to season. traps and can be addicting, just re-
in trees in the areas where we ran the will rust a little, but that is the only Additional items recommended member to keep setting some foot-
hounds. Today one can set the new maintenance on this amazing little when trapping with DP style traps hold style traps in dirt hole type sets
dog proof raccoon style traps virtu- raccoon catching machine. We use include a setting tool, AuSable for fox and coyote. Every year some
ally anywhere without concerns of AuSable Brand Cable Trap Stakes Cable Trap Stakes, bait and lure and of my largest raccoons are caught in
catching dogs. to anchor the DP Trap. When setting American Coon Caps. The American fields trapping for fox and coyote.
Second, deer hunters, farmers and your Feather Light DP Trap make Coon Caps allow one to preset and We wish you many double and
other folks with nuisance raccoon sure that once the coon is caught pre-bait the DP trap at home cutting triple catches on your raccoon line
problems find the DPs are extremely it cannot reach anything solid as it time in the field and allowing you to this fall. There will be a second an-
easy to use, reusable and extremely could use it as leverage to get out of set more traps in a day. In addition, nual trapping seminar at Jays Sport-
effective at capturing raccoon. Mean- the trap. I know some folks wire traps the caps keep small rodents and birds ing Goods in Clare, Michigan on
ing those who are baiting deer or to trees, but I do not recommend this. from stealing bait and setting off your October 7, 2017. Please check their
trying to remove nuisance raccoon The animal is held much better if trap DP traps before Mr. Raccoon can get website
from farm fields can quickly and af- is secured by a stake and the animal to the set and get caught. If you are for details. I will be a guest trapping
fordably eliminate those raccoon. is allowed to let the trap chain and on a budget you can keep rodents out speaker this year, and Im really
Third, setting close to residential swivel do its job. of your DPs by placing a golf ball, looking forward to answering any
areas to remove nuisance raccoon Just like when fox and coyote styrofoam cup or other such device trapping related questions and shar-
getting into trash, chicken coops and trapping, I really like 3 to 6 traps in over the trap. The hungry raccoon ing some of the techniques that work
home gardens requires a little bet- one location about 20 feet apart. Rac- will knock the device off the trap to for me as a Michigan Trapper. Jays
ter understanding of properly using coon really do travel in groups and it get bait, but rodents will avoid them. also carries most of the trapping sup-
the DPs. Yes, they will catch every is very common to catch two to six For lure, I recommend Lenons Rac- plies I mention in my articles.
raccoon or opossum in the area. raccoon in one group. The first time I coon Super All Call and for bait the Watch for the November issue
They can and will also catch every set my property on the AuSable River AuSable Brand Coon Bait. Raccoons of WoodsNWater News as I will
domestic cat if not baited properly. with DPs I caught 11 raccoon out of will eat most anything but these be sharing my favorite water sets for
So if you do not want to catch house a dozen traps. Just remember to set lures and baits really call them in muskrat, beaver and otter. I welcome
cats in your DPs, bait your traps with the traps far enough apart. If set too and make the raccoon work the trap you to visit my websites at PcsOut-
something sweet such as fruit jelly or close together, Mr. Hungry Raccoon till caught. Some other exceptional and I
marshmallows. will stick his hand in the one that is baits and lures that I use for raccoon always welcome calls from fellow
Fourth, in Michigan during 2016 too close and be caught by both feet. trapping are Trent Mastersons Truck trappers. (989) 569-3480 ext. 225n
(989) 569-3482 /
Oscoda, Michigan 48750
Feather Light

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Nutritional requirements of the nursing whitetail...

any factors lush new vegetation, giving them
can influence a ample time to achieve maximum
young fawns body growth and fatness prior to
growth rate, gen- winter onset.
eral well-being Hence, natural selection has
and prospects for minimized the occurrence of poorly
survival. Howev- timed births on northern whitetail
er, the mothers range. For obvious reasons, the
level of nutrition during her last tri- timing of breeding and birthing is
mester of pregnancy is probably the less critical and more variable in the
most critical factor determining fetal South.
development and survival prospects. Female whitetails live within
Malnourished does invariably a highly organized matriarchal
give birth to small, weak fawns that society. Related females socialize
die within a few days; some nutri- with one another and share ancestral
tionally-stressed does may range during most of the
even abandon large, seem- year. In spring, the pregnant
ingly healthy newborns. doe may range quite widely
In either case, scavengers within her ancestral range.
such as black bears and However, does with new-
coyotes are quick to secure born fawns demonstrate a
an easy meal, often leading form of maternal defense,
to inflated predation rate or territoriality, for a period
estimates. of four to six weeks.
The nursing does Young whitetails are

By John Ozoga
nutritional require- hiders. Within
ments are probably a couple of weeks
equally important. the newborn are
Lactation is considered to be one of introduced to their mothers fawning Lactation is considered to be one of the most energetically demanding
the most energetically demanding range that generally varies in size factors of maternal care in mammals and can impact the mothers fitness,
factors of maternal care in mammals from 20 to 30 acres. They seldom behavior, and ultimately the young fawns chances of sur viving. Larry
and can impact the mothers fitness, leave the boundaries of this range, Piotrowski photo
behavior, and ultimately the young unless led by their mother. Instead, per meal), then leads them to a new her maternal behavior) but not milk
fawns chances of surviving. Unfor- they rely on inactivity and hiding bed site. Siblings normally do not quality.
tunately, this aspect of nutrition in cover separate from their mothers bed together until they are about 25
white-tailed deer has not been well for their first four weeks, while they days old -- when they are physically Possible Limitations
studied. are almost totally dependent upon capable of fleeing from predators. Generally, this late-spring,
early-summer period is a time of
Behavioral Basics their mothers milk for sustenance. Studies conducted at Michigans
abundant resources necessary to
The northern whitetails repro- Meanwhile, the doe must find suf- Cusino Wildlife Research Sta-
ficient food within this relatively tion in the 1960s revealed that satisfy the pregnant does high
ductive schedule is closely regulated
by seasonal changes in daylight small area to meet her physical food-stressed does often exhibited energetic requirements for late-term
hours (i.e., photoperiod). Most needs as well as the enormous ener- delayed lactation or sometimes fetal growth, subsequent maternal
does breed during a relatively short getic requirements for milk produc- produced no milk at all, but food care, and lactation. However, there
period in early November and give tion. shortage did not reduce the does are exceptions. Certain social and
birth to fawns during late May or The doe visits, grooms, and sepa- milk nutritive value. Hence, nutri- environmental factors, which vary
early June. This generally assures rately nurses each fawn only two or tional stress can adversely impact a regionally, can sometimes nega-
that fawns are born during times of three times daily (about eight ounces nursing does total milk yield (and tively impact resource availability

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for whitetails during the time of In Theory
lactation and result in higher than Given nutritional shortage, for
expected reproductive failure. whatever reason, Quebec research-
For example, although less of a ers led by Jean-Francois Therrien
problem on northern range, drought suggest the does resource needs
has frequently resulted in high may no longer be sufficient to cope
newborn fawn mortality in Texas. with high energy needs of lacta-
In south Texas, researchers reported tion, growth and replenishment of
that annual fawn mortality rates body reserves. If so, they theorize
varied appreciably, depending upon that lactating does should adopt a
the amount of rainfall, which in turn conservation strategy, ensuring their
determined the quality and avail-
ability of deer foods and newborn
fawn hiding cover during spring and
Fawn Survival page 78 Young whitetails are hiders. Larry Piotrowski photo
summer. Fawn losses ranged from
10 percent during years of heavy
rainfall to as much as 90 percent
during years of drought.
In contrast, on northern range,
winter weather severity and length
of snow cover determines deer
survival and reproductive suc-
cess. Even relatively short winters
(January-March) of only modest
winter food shortage may result in
25 percent newborn fawn mortality.
If cold temperatures prevail well
into mid-spring, delaying snow melt
and subsequent green up, the loss
may be much higher.
Typically, open areas lose snow
cover about two weeks earlier than
forested cover, and provide winter-
stressed deer their first source of nu-
tritious forage. However, our studies
conducted in Upper Michigan
revealed that opening green-up may
occur as early as the first part of
April, but sometimes not until early
May. Likewise, vegetation killing
frosts are not unusual in June. Based
upon fetal examination, nutrition-
ally related newborn fawn mortality
rates ranged from 45 percent during
years of late (3 May) spring green-
up versus only 5 percent during
years of unusually early (12 April)
opening green-up.
High deer population density,
and associated social factors, may
also contribute to limited resource
availability for the lactating doe. An
expanding deer herd can seriously
reduce deer forage quantity and
quality. Even at densities of over
100 deer per square mile, our stud-
ies showed that deer preferred to
feed on spring vegetation instead of
rich supplement feed. Unfortunately,
as deer numbers increased, the
quantity of the best forage species
decreased. Conversely, other less
nutritious plants increased, probably
because they were less palatable,
masking the true effects of deer
Likewise, because does with
newborn fawns defend their fawning
grounds, when deer density is high,
subordinate (generally younger)
does must occupy less desirable
habitat where they are more poorly
nourished and their young are more
vulnerable to accidents, predation,
or abandonment.
The doe visits,
grooms, and
Fawn Survival: separately
nurses each
fawn only two
from page 77 or three times
daily (about
own future reproduction and sur- eight ounces
vival at the expense of their current per meal),
newborn offspring. then leads
Accordingly, they say, This them to a new
trade-off in energy allocation could bed site.
be expressed through changes in
behavior. For example, females
may decrease nursing activities and
increase time spent foraging when
food resources decrease.
Some prior nursing behavior
studies suggested that total time
spent suckling by the fawn could
to acknowledge that outright fawn Eighteen prime-age (3-8 years
old) female whitetails were used in
Nursing Behavior
abandonment by wild food-stressed The most striking differences
be an index to the amount of milk does can be a serious factor, ulti- the study during two consecutive
the fawn received. However, more in lactation behavior between the
mately leading to the fawns death years. All were fed ad libitum diets
recent investigations indicated this two groups occurred during the first
from starvation or predation. except in summer, when one group
is not the case. 30 days, when fawns relied almost
The Study
of nine does was fed full rations but
On the other hand, the rate at the other food-restricted group was entirely upon maternal milk. Time
which offspring solicit their moth- Using captive deer, Therrien fed only 80 percent as much from spent suckling decreased sharply in
ers suckling and rate of rejected at- and his cohorts manipulated food late May through August. Fawns both groups after 30 days. Although
tempts by the mother could provide availability to simulate nursing doe had access to special feeder troughs mothers and fawns from the food-
information on offspring hunger and food shortage during summer. At the and were weighed as often as pos- restricted group spent more time
motivation. This could also reveal same time, they monitored maternal sible on electronic platform scales. foraging than controls, they obvi-
how other aspects of maternal care, care traits and fawn behavior when Starting when fawns were about ously could not compensate for
such as the mothers willingness to fawns have high energy needs for five days old, the researchers ob- shortages in the artificial diet.
nurse, change in response to nutri- growth and survival and are almost served the behavior of both groups, Fawns from the food-restricted
tion. totally dependent upon their mother until fawns were about group also spent more time suckling
The Canadian researchers fail for sustenance. 80 days old. and soliciting suckling from their

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mothers than fawns from the well- rather clearly indicates that stressed study animals in the above men- these findings also indicate that
fed mothers, suggesting they tried mothers sacrificed maternal care for tioned study had not been penned certain measures could be taken to
harder to get milk. Even so, fawns their own good. confined, I suspect outright aban- minimize such loss. For example,
from food-restricted mothers grew As Ive discussed in numerous donment and fawn deaths would on northern range, early green-up
slower and suffered higher mortal- other articles, its my personal view have occurred sooner. plant species should be encouraged,
ity. that limitations in nutrition-- es- Most importantly, all available as should drought resistant plants
After the first month, differ- pecially during late stages of fetal evidence indicates that summer on southern range. In either case,
ences between treatment in suckling development and within a few days food stress, for whatever reason, can controlling deer density is important
frequency and total suckling time after birth -- can retard fetal devel- contribute to unusually high new- so that the abundance of preferred
decreased, probably because all opment, disrupt maternal care traits, born fawn mortality that would be plant species is not reduced, or
mothers reduced their energy alloca- and ultimately lead to abandonment mistakenly credited to predation. possibly even eliminated, due to
tion to milk production. However, and death of newborn fawns. If From a management standpoint, overgrazing.n
fawns in the food-restricted group
still solicited their mothers and were

rejected more often than control
fawns, suggesting they were still
trying to compensate for milk short-
age earlier in life.


Food-restricted mothers also
spent 21 percent more time foraging
than well-fed does, in an apparent

attempt to compensate for energy
shortage. This supports the energy
conservation theory.
More Questions
Than Answers Michigan Lumber and Wood Fiber is a locally owned and
Note, this was a behavioral
study, conducted under highly arti-
operated sawmill located in the heart of Northern Michigan. We
ficial penned conditions, the results work hard to staff the most experienced professionals and we
of which may or may not apply believe in investing in the most current technology. As a team,
directly to whitetails living in the
wild. our departments of forestry, wood processors, timber haulers
This study was also plagued and sawmills are striving to provide the most efficient, profes-
with rather low conception rates (1.2 sional and quality timber services available in Northern Michigan.
fetuses/doe) and exceptionally high


newborn fawn mortality from the
start, despite does presumably fed
full nutritious rations during most of
the year. Of 42 fawns born, 10 (24 FORESTER
percent) died prior to three days of Our forester has the education and experience needed to meet the specific needs of any land-
age. owner. We will meet with you to discover your goals and help you select the best harvest meth-
A total of 16 fawns also died od to reach those goals. (Management plans, Wildlife plans, chipping of tops, clearing trees for
food plots, ect)
during the study, 14 of them in
the food-restricted group, all after LOGGING CREWS
16 days of age. Assuming equal Our seasoned logging crews use state of the art wood processors, feller bunchers, forwarders
and chippers, our mechanized wood crews are using the latest technology to provide the most
distribution of fawns according efficient removal of forest products with minimal impact to residual timber and underlying soils.
to mothers diet, this amounted to
88 percent mortality, versus only Since we maintain our own fleet of self-loading log trucks to haul wood to our mill, we have the
13 percent mortality in the control unique advantage of being able to schedule the hauling of your timber products around hunting
group. or weather issues.
Although researchers col- SAWMILL

lected and examined dead fawns, Our mill is located just north of the beautiful little town of Comins, Michigan and consists of two
they could not determine if fawns modern sawmills and one scragg mill operation. A distinct advantage that we have is specific
died from disease, starvation, or markets for what is referred to as industrial lumber. As a sawmill, we are paying good money for
the best quality wood out there, but we also pay well for lower quality industrial timber. Another
both. Clearly, however, compared advantage that we have is the scragg mill. This mill allows us to utilize smaller diameter material
to controls, food-restricted fawns that in the past would have been sold for firewood or pulpwood which is typically worth less
gained 26 percent less body mass than scragg material.
from birth to 80 days, and suffered We are your complete source for buying your timber! Our operations take your standing timber
extremely high mortality. from the tree to delivered green lumber. We have eliminated the need for all of the middle

Implications men. By obtaining strong markets for our products and investing in technology, we are able
to get the most out of every last log we process. All this means savings for us and more money
Despite the shortcomings of for you. We are locally owned and we live and shop in the same communities that you do. We
the referenced Therrien study, the value our reputation above everything else. And we are committed to earning your trust and
building a lasting relationship.
evidence indicates that summer nu-
trition can be an important factor de- We would honor the opportunity for us to meet and discuss in more detail how we may be of
termining white-tailed deer welfare service to you. We also encourage the land owners to visit all our operations to see what prod-
ucts we turn your standing timber into.
and productivity.

Michigan Lumber & Wood Fiber, Inc.

In addition to high (24 percent)
newborn fawn mortality at birth,
I find it especially interesting that
food-restricted mothers suffered
such high (88 percent) loss after
fawns were 16 days of age. This Comins, Mi (989) 848-2100 or (989) 848-5946 Fax: (989) 848-7252
Fall fishing with spoons and spinners
Anglers need to learn to become a spoon master...By Jack Payne

very now and then I OGrady, the owner, innovator and
run into someone who inventor of the PK Spoon family. He
shares a fondness for shared some really cool insights in
something I like. In this the spoon fishery.
case it was John Cleve- I spent a lot of time laying
land, marketing man- on the ice, belly down, face over
ager for Eppinger Company. The an open hole staring at fish said
Dardevle, the Red Eye and the Rex Pat. He explained that he needed
Spoon are part of this company. to actually see how bait fish moved
Pike fishing was the topic. Pike through the water, how wounded
are underused and a true trophy fish bait fish moved and how panfish
to chase. Pike love cool water and and gamefish reacted. He then
that is the key to success. At ice out spent considerable time casting and
and once again in the fall big pike checking his baits and lures in a
roam the shallows. During the sum- swimming pool.
mer pike will go deep and they will Pat suggested that all anglers
suspend. Look for the coldest water. find a swimming pool where they
I like shallow water fishing can test all of their lures; jigs,
and that is why ice out and fall spoons, plastics, does not matter.
turnover are my favorite times on Actually seeing how any given
the water, said John Cleveland. lure actually reacts in the water is
Fifty degree water is the magical huge. Try various retrieves, stop and
temperature. Starting in October go, pause, pump the rod, etc. and
the water temperature will drop and you will quickly understand how
once into the mid-50s big pike put The author knows star ting in October the water temperature will drop and one type of lure produces best over
on the feedbag. once into the mid-50s big pike put on the feedbag. Author photo another in certain situations.
A prime location in the fall in- come a spoon master, said Cleve- The top 6 feet is normally the sweet This led to Pat creating the
cludes any green cabbage weeds. If land. Run a spoon as you would a spot for pike. PK spoons, which includes the
you find green weeds you will find buzz bait. Cast it out and let it flutter Fall fish like weeds, sunken Flutter Fish, the Predator and the
pods of active pike. Some anglers down before reeling. Reel and then islands, sand bars, rock piles, humps Panic spoons. Each is designed for
like to troll and others like John will stop for a few seconds. Cast it out and any other location where for- a particular presentation. Some fall
troll until they find a fish or good and let it sink to the bottom and age can be found, said Schartz. very quickly, others flutter more. It
structure and then cast. try jigging it back. Make the spoon The best depths will be somewhere depends on the wind, the current,
Casting is like hand to hand work as a wounded or scared bait- between 6-15 feet. Almost always the depth and the mood of the fish.
contact. I love the feel of a nice fish would react. a slow retrieve is best. You want to I really enjoy the Flutter Fish. It
pike ripping a spoon and the wild For truly large fish use 30 work the lure. can be jigged or casted out for pike,
battle that they will put on. Spoons pound braid line, nothing less than Cast out and let it sink for a five bass or walleye. Vertically jigged
are a deadly bait and should be 20 pound braid. Some anglers like count. Slowly reel in with a pause it is awesome. It really dances and
a huge part of your pike arsenal. adding a leader of fluorocarbon or two thrown in. Next cast give it moves side to side. The larger sizes
Hands down the Dardevle spoon is line in the same weight. But always an 8 count, then maybe a 12 count work great on gamefish.
my favorite. attach a good 12 inch wire leader. before reeling in. Pay close atten- In deep water you drop it down
Best spoon size for large pike: John suggested wire leaders that are tion to anything different in the and give the spoon a hard pop. In
the one ounce spoon which is about coated or you can make your own water. A log, a rock, a few isolated shallow water you can cast them to
four inches long. Even a small pike with a spool of wire leader material green weeds. A small opening in the the shoreline and swim them back
will slam this large spoon. Second and a few barrel swivels. weeds, an inside turn or cup. These or pop them back. When trolling it
choice, the weedless Rex Spoon. Pike are hard on lures, there- are all prime ambush locations. is suggested to hold the rod and pop
Best color patterns: red and white fore you must keep your hooks Its tough to mention Mepps the rod frequently.
with a copper back, five of dia- sharp, said Cleveland. Carry a without mentioning Mr. Twister. The Cicada spoon is a great
monds with a brass back, gray ghost small file and after a few fish or if The Mr. Twister and the Sassy Shad fall spoon, said Scott Stecher, pres-
and the black spoon with a white you banged into rocks or timber, were the first swimbaits to hit the ident of Reef Runner Tackle. Scott
stripe. touch them up with a few strokes. market perhaps 40 years ago. I love suggested flipping the spoon out
Most spoons come with a treble Makes a huge difference! these baits. You can place them on a instead of casting it out. When you
hook but trust me, you will get a The dressed #4, #5, the Giant spoon as a trailer or on a jig head. flip it out you create more bow or
better hook set using a 2/0 or a 3/0 Killer and the Magnum Muskie Casting a quarter to half ounce slack in your line and on the retrieve
single hook. Mustad and Eagle Claw Killers are our top of the line big jig head with a large four-inch Sassy there will be much more action.
both make a very nice hook for this fall pike lures, said Josh Schartz of Shad or a Twister tail is dynamite on Subtle lifts are better that hard
application. Some anglers like to Mepps Tackle. Mepps spinners have fall pike, walleye and bass. These fast jerks. This is one bait that you
tip their spoons. I found that there long been a favorite pike bait for us. two baits are two must have baits can flip out and drift the boat over.
are days where this really works The Mepps Magnum Muskie killer year around for me. If it swims, a This bait has a concave design that
and days where it does not make a has a great thump, a big profile and Mr. Twister or Sassy Shad will catch vibrates like crazy. You can vertical
difference. spins quickly. This is a true trophy it. jig this spoon or flip and drift while
When I tip I use a four inch lure in the fall. Swim these baits over the top working the spoon. Its a good bait
Mister Twister tail. For some reason We search for any remain- and through the weeds, then bounce on structure already mentioned and
white is awesome followed by ing green weeds in the fall, said it or swim it slowly across the bot- excels on deep water fish holding
black. White outdoes black three to Schartz. Pike will head into the tom. Bank it into a rock, pop of tight to a steep drop-off or long deep
one. The Rex spoon is a great spoon cool shallow water and sit tight in a a weed, reel and let it drop, there points.
to run when fishing in and around green cabbage weed patch. Any prey really is not a bad way to fish these Spoons of any shape catch fall
any type of slop. It is snagless and venturing close will soon be din- baits. Just remember to use a jig gamefish and the bucktail spinners
will wobble through the grass, ner. The Giant killer will run deep, head with a long shank hook with a are a must. Throw in a few Sassy
around stumps and logs and through perhaps to 12 feet. Very rarely will good wide gap. This is not the time Shads and large Mr. Twister baits
the thickest of weeds. you need to run a bait deeper than for a short shank hook. and enjoy the battle with big bass,
Anglers need to learn to be- this. Most often the fish will rise up. Recently I sat down with Pat pike and walleye.n
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Michigans Best Bets...By John Bergsma

Escanabas Little Bay De Noc ber and minnow alongside a two-
ell this is proba- hook perch rig. This allows you to
bly the worst kept concentrate on the perch rig while
secret out there. letting the bobber just do its thing. I
The fall perch have found minnows to be the best
bite on the Inner bait during the fall.
Bay has been steadily improving
for the past three years. I fished Big Manistique Lake-Curtis
there once last fall and caught a This lake has been an excel-
bunch of very nice 9-11 inch perch. lent fall perch lake for as long as
There are diehard perch guys who I can remember. The one thing I
fish Little Bay all season long. The have found with this body of water
bite is certainly the best and most is locating the fish can be tricky.
predictable in the months of Sep- This is a very large lake and the fish
tember and October. Nice schools of move around in the open basin areas
perch come tight to shore or set up of the lake. I will let you in on one Saginaw Bays perch fishing is improving every year!
on shallow reefs from the Gladstone of my tricks to finding these open
narrows north to the mouth of the water fish. Big Man has a lot of 12- and there is plenty of good bait in that this fishery is on the rebound!
Days River. These fish move around 18 foot basin area depths throughout the town of Curtis. There is a lot of The mid-September to late-October
a little bit but are not hard to find the lake. Most of these areas do not bonus walleye caught while perch bite is a very good way to spend
with a good graph. Big schools of have weed growth in the deeper fishing to add to the flavor of this some quality time in one of the
fish show up almost like weeds on water. This means that marking U.P. destination. most beautiful places in Michigan!
the graph. schools that look like weeds are Perch will move in close in all of the
Once you find them, its simply actually fish. I like drifting until I Drummond Island major bays that surround the island.
a case of hovering over them and find a group of the right sized fish. This fishery was the standard If I was going to choose a best one,
dropping down on the school with This lake does require sorting up in the perch fishing world for three it would either be Scotts or Max-
a variety of baits. My favorite is a to your limit, its not just all big decades. Cormorants did them in ton. The fishing is not complicated
two-fisted approach of a slip bob- ones. Perch rigs are by far the best for about 10 years, the great news is either. Many people will drift the

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These young anglers had a great time on Grand Lake!

shallows until they catch one or two ductive. Minnows are hard to beat in
in an area. You can fan cast single these areas during this fall feeding
hook and minnow rigs with light frenzy. The simple double hook
split shot or fish directly below the perch rigs work very well tipped
boat with that or a two-hook perch with a lively shiner and a 1/4-3/8 oz.
rig. If a great trip is in the plans, get bell sinker for a weight. Lowering
ahold of Justin Bupp at Always an the offering directly over the side of
Adventure Charters. the boat and keeping it near bottom
is all that is needed. Some days a
Alpena Region piece of crawler is hard to beat but it
As the fall sets in, the yellow is a good choice to try some of each
perch begin to feed aggressively to see what is working better that
throughout the Alpena area. Brav- day.
ing the cooler fall weather will
result in some great fishing here
Usually a large perch minnow or
small emerald shiner (blue shiner)
Poly Furniture and
in the Northeast Lower Peninsula.
We have seen a huge crop of large
is best hooked directly through the
head since these fish always seem
Campfire Supplies and Rings
yellowbelly perch in recent years to strike there and will increase
since the cormorant control has been your hookup percentage and they
successfully reducing their numbers. will not steal your minnow as often
These fish-eating birds have wiped as when hooking them elsewhere. Relax In Style!
out the predatory fish years ago, The fish are aggressively feeding
leaving these local lakes teeming and when they take the bait they hit
with big beautiful perch and other with a savage strike that sometimes
panfish. In the last few years their scares you, and it will get your heart
numbers have been off the charts racing. Steve Hubert from Chum
and the size has been averaging 9-14 Bucket Charters is the best in the
inches with hardly any throwbacks. business in this area of Michigan.
Many fishing trips we have only had
to throw back less than 10 fish that Saginaw Bay & Lake St. Clair Standard Features
werent eating sized. Large bodies of water such as Fully Insulated
The three lakes of Long, Grand, these can be intimidating to the Carpeted Floor
Fully Insulated Silent Shadow Window Systems
and Hubbard have been produc- average angler. I found over time Rodent Proof
Carpeted Floor Floor Peaked Roof
ing these tasty jumbos consistently. its best to split the lake into three All-Aluminum Exterior Upper And Lower Vents
Rodent Proof Floor
Starting in October and continuing different areas. Deep flat basins ad- Silent ShadowExterior
Window Upper
through the rest of the open water jacent to shipping channels or deep All-Aluminum Interior Shelf
Peaked Roof
these fish can be found in 5-15 feet holes, mid lake depth weed beds, Upper And Lower Vents
of water. The south end of Grand and canals or marinas. As the water Upper Interior Shelf
Lake has been the most productive cools, perch generally move from
when targeting 5-10 feet. Hubbard the deep basins into the weed beds.
Lake produces most of the fish in Right before ice the marinas and
1205 N. SR 5, Shipshewana
East Bay and south towards Sucker canals can be excellent. 260-768-7511
Creek in 10-15 feet of water. In late fall dont forget to fish -Open-
Long Lakes north end is best your favorite ice fishing holes. This - Open - 8-5
near the Silverweeds area in 10 fall is shaping up to be some of the Mon-Fri
feet of water. best perch fishing in recent years. Mon-Fri 8-5Sat
Sat 8-3:30
Drifting around until the large Get out there and fish. If youre
active schools are located is best, looking for a great perch charter, try
and then throwing an anchor out and Captain Eric Long from Long Line
sitting on the fish is the most pro- Charters.n 1205 N. SR 5, Shipshewana 260-768-7511
Take a look at your boats powertrain
any boaters pay no When looking at your shaft on
attention to their an outboard or I/O, you may see a
drive systems until collection of monofilament fish-
a breakdown oc- ing line wrapped around it. This
curs. Most repairs may have already caused a seal or
could have been bearing problem that could allow
avoided by simple fall inspections. water to enter the lower unit. If it
Adjustments, balancing and replac- is discovered this happened, a new
ing damaged parts can be arranged seal and fresh lubricant can prevent
when laying your boat up for the a major failure from developing.
season. You can save time and While you are checking the
money by checking your shaft area, its a good idea
props, shafts - inboard and to check the water pump
outboard, along with the impeller because it is often
other related hardware. damaged from running in
If you see a chip in a sand or it may have taken a
blade of a propeller or if set in the vanes.
a blade has hit the bottom Inboard propellers can
(even in sand), the prop will be out of balance and go
likely be out of balance. unnoticed, especially if

By Capt. Fred Davis

When check- the amount is A propeller in this condition could cause severe damage to Your
ing your I/O slight, but now engines gears. Fred Davis photo
or outboard is the time to
props, check get them bal- you should also check your struts When you store your boat,
the drive shaft by noting the differ- anced. Examine the shafts by hold- and rudders for damage. When whether on a trailer or at a marina,
ence from the center of the shaft to ing a solid measuring device against checking the shaft area, look at the its a good idea to remove your
the housing. If you damaged and the bottom, turn the shaft and note strut bearing because it may be worn propellers. This will take weight off
replaced a prop during the season, any variance. Do the same at the or damaged. Just move the shaft up inboard shafts and struts plus elimi-
your shaft could be bent. A slight end and the center. and down if there is play in the nate any possibility of theft. Heres
bend may not be noticeable but over If youve had an encounter with rubber bushing, replace the bearing. another tip; when you are up in the
time, it can create major problems. the bottom during the past season, If the bushing appears to be coming boat checking around, if you see
out of the metal, that also could in- severe stains on your decks, clean

dicate a wearing problem. Replace- them up. If you wait, they will be
ment may be necessary for this part permanently set by spring when you

to prevent a future problem. get the boat out of storage.
Lay-up time is the best oppor- If DIY is not for you, have your
tunity to check your drives because marina check the above mentioned
CHARTERS STARTING AT ONLY $400 - GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE! during the off-season repair facili- areas. If needed, they can put the
ties are looking for work. If they repairs in their schedule and have
Captain Mike Veine targets the hottest action at the best have all winter to gather needed time to complete them before the
places, during peak trophy producing periods. parts and make the needed repairs, rush at launch. You should plan to
you wont be held up in the spring. be available when they do the vessel
Eries Trophy If you wait until spring, there are
sure to be delays and back-ups at
examination so they can explain any
needed repairs and you can autho-
Walleyes service centers. rize them.n
Early spring on Lake Erie

serves up the best trophy
walleye fishery in the world.
From ice-out in March
through April, Lake Erie
offers outstanding trophy

walleye action.
Saginaw Bay
All through spring and CHARTER SERVICES
worldclass fishing.
Catch limits there are very
generous too. Both eaters
and lunkers are
typically caught on most
charters for the perfect mix. August - November June-November
CAPT. TOM LOY 810-580-9252
My deer of a lifetime
By Lewis Horn ing the rut. I wont throw a shot at
a running deer, so I watched them
and not very fast, so Im thinking
the first shot was low and broke his
or some, this will not be disappear into the woods. leg and the last one finished him,
the deer of a lifetime, I really did enjoy the show, but but it could have been the other way
it may not even be a kicked myself for not shooting. A around. In the excitement, I didnt
shooter. But guys like couple of times I had a pretty good check the area for sign.
me, deer hunters who shot, but waited for a better one. Since he weighed over 200
save a few days vaca- Back in the chair, I glanced at my pounds (processor said 200-215)
tion each year for a chance to get watch, 8:30. By 9:30 I got restless and I hadnt dressed a deer since
into the woods will understand. again, back on my feet, then another 1994, it took us a while. Fortunately,
Dawn in Michigans Upper Pen- noise. Two more does going in the Gene got the Ranger to within 30 or
insula came at about 7 a.m. on open- same direction, but not looking 40 yards, and two old guys huffed
ing morning. It was cold but not back. They just sauntered along un- and puffed our way to the vehicle.
like it can be, comfortable actually. aware of the old guy standing by the The hardest part was hoisting him The author, Lewis Horns buck
No snow, a disappointment but one tree. By then I was pretty satisfied. into the bed. of a lifetime!
were getting used to as the climate Id seen more deer in two hours than By then we had called the cabin
warms. I sat in a makeshift ground Id seen in the last five seasons, it to alert the two guys who stayed in.
blind in a spot that I had hunted was only opening day, a buck lived One, Genes son Jason, is a non- right?
many times, mostly without success, in the area, and things were looking hunter but loves the north woods Yeah I replied.
but I liked it. It overlooked a swamp up. and cooks like a pro, a great guy to Now I know to some this is only
that bordered a lake. Actually I was Suddenly he just appeared. The have in camp. The other was my an average deer. Those guys who
watching an old logging road that biggest deer Id ever seen, wide long time hunting partner, Dennis have their own shows, or hunt every
formed an edge between the hard- rack, big body, slowly moving on whose knees were acting up. They day and wont settle for anything
woods and the swamp. the same path as the other deer. offered to drive down and help, but less than a 180, are probably smil-
Just at sunrise a grouse lit in a Things happened fast. There were we assured them we had enough ing, wondering how anyone could
maple tree and began rummaging shots, and the big eight point went energy left to pack the deer out. see this as the deer of a lifetime.
around, making a fair amount of down. I walked thirty yards slowly, When we got home Jason got on But heres the thing. Ive been
noise. I should point out that I dont waiting for him to get up, but he was a ladder and nailed up a buck pole. hunting 40 years, mostly week-
see a lot of deer. Many a morning dead. I got on my radio and called We had to extend it once because end hunts. As a matter of fact this
has been spent surveying the cold my hunting partner Gene. the deers feet touched the ground. marked the first year I could buy a
lifeless forest, so any critter that Big 8-point on the ground, Didnt want any coyote visitors. senior license. Ive seen bigger deer
shows up gets my attention. After was all I got out. No one saw another thing the on cars, but not too many. For the
the pat left, I decided to stretch my How many
times did you shoot rest of the hunt. Neighbors came average hunter, guys who are just
legs. Yes I know, prime time, sit INTRODUCING
him? came the THE reply.
NEW to admire the deer. We had people thrilled if they see antlers, this is
still, but thats not in my nature. I set Just get the Ranger down looking when we drove down 1-75 what its all about. Im not saying I
little deadlines for myself. here, I said. and when we stopped for gas. A wont see a bigger one next season;
I wont move until 8 a.m. As it turned out, he was strange feeling since usually its us theyre out there. Thats what keeps
and then Ill just stand for a bit. THE STRONGEST.
twice. One shot BECAUSE broke I SAIDhisSO. leg; the doing the gawking. At the DNR us coming back. But if I never see
So there I stood when I heard the THE STRONGEST.
second went BECAUSE
through I SAIDhis SO. lungs. He check site the ranger said You another buck, this one will do just
definite snap of a twig. Of course onlytraveled
STEVE AUSTIN about twenty yards, are going to get this one mounted, fine.n
it didnt come from the trail I was

watching but off to the left.
Three does materialized out of
the brush, moving into the hard-
13 Annual
woods. One seemed very jumpy,
kept looking back. Sure enough a THE STRONGEST. BECAUSE I SAID SO. Buck Pole/

fourth deer appeared, and he had STEVE AUSTIN

horns, how big I wasnt sure yet. He
Family Event
was definitely on the does scent.
The other two does seemed unaware
of the amorous pair, but those two
ran around like a couple of pup- NOV. 15 !

pies in the back yard. She would

sprint 10 or 12 yards then stop and Built to work hard on and off the job, The MULE PRO-FXR stands out with
he would shoot right after her, then Builtthe to work hard on and off the job, The MULE PRO-FXR stands out with
MULE PRO-FXR side x side takes a premium appearance, painted nish
shed move again. Suddenly she the MULE PRO-FXR side x side takes a premium appearance, painted nish
strength, dependability and durability and aggressive styling. Show whos in
turned right toward me and stopped strength, dependability and durability and aggressive styling. Show whos in
to a whole
Built to new
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out with with this true boss vehicle.

in an opening about 25 yards away. to a whole new level. charge with this true boss vehicle.
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The buck stopped behind a blow- Experience the new MULE
strength, dependability and PRO-FXR
durability and aggressive styling. Show whos in

down. I feared they were too close Experience the new
to a whole MULE PRO-FXR
new level. charge with this true boss vehicle.
Accessorized unit shown
and would bust me for sure, but the new MULE PRO-FXR Accessorized unit shown
had other things on their mind. Accessorized unit shown
I planned to shoot when the
buck came out, but as he left cover, RayC's
Ray C'sExtreme
Ray C's Extreme Store1422 Imlay City Rd., Lapeer,Michigan 48446
he came like a shot, so fast he star-
1422 1422
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tled the does that sprinted off. The
buck paused, but looked directly
Phone: (810) 664-9800
Phone: (810) 664-9800
away from me. I got the scope on
him and saw a nice six-point. When
KAWASAKI CARES: Always wear protective gear(810)
Phone: (810)the664-9800
appropriate for664-9800
use of this vehicle. Never operate under the inuence of drugs or alcohol. Protect
the environment. The Kawasaki MULE side x side is an off-highway vehicle only, and is not designed, equipped, or manufactured for use on public
he turned Id have any easy shot, KAWASAKI CARES:
streets; roads or highways. Obey the laws and regulations that control the use of your vehicle. Read Owners Manual and all on product warnings.
Always wear protective gear appropriate for the use of this vehicle. Never operate under the inuence of drugs or alcohol. Protect
except he turned at full speed and all KAWASAKI CARES:
the environment.
the environment. Thewear protective
Motors Corp.,
U.S.A. Printedgear
MULE sideappropriate
in U.S.A. for the use of
x side is an off-highway this vehicle.
vehicle only, and Never
is notoperate
designed,under the inuence
equipped, of drugs orforalcohol.
or manufactured use on Protect
four deer went sprinting through the streets;streets; roadsTheor Kawasaki
highways. MULE
Obey theside lawsx and
is an off-highway vehicle
that control theonly,
use and is not
of your designed,
vehicle. Read equipped,
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Kawasaki MotorsObey
Corp.,the lawsPrinted
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in U.S.A. that control the use of your vehicle. Read Owners Manual and all on product warnings.
hardwoods. No flags, just enjoy- 2017 Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. Printed in U.S.A.


Crossbow Shooters...By Kenny Darwin

Cant miss archery buck tactics

n the early morning fog I of shooters hitting the target with a
could make out the outline crossbow at 200 yards but the idea of
of the big 10-point as he killing deer at long range was nothing
slowly moved along the but a pipe dream until I consulted Len
edge of the cedar swamp. LaCourse, owner of Compounds and
His swollen neck and large Crossbows in Lansing. If you match
body signaled the rut was fast ap- the Darton crossbow with their quality
proaching and his polished antlers 2-7x40mm Darton Hi-Grade illumi-
stood out against the green trees like nated scope and Optimizer you simply
white outreaching fingers against a dial and shoot from 20-80 yards, he
Halloween swampland. explained. Over the years Ive heard
A quick glance with binoculars stories about long range crossbow
confirmed he was a shooter and the accuracy and decided to gear up and
rangefinder indicated he was standing give it a whirl. I must admit I never
broadside at 53 yards. Thats when I intended to actually kill a deer at long
reached down and turned the dial on distance but that all changed after
my Optimizer Scope adjuster a tad some target practice.
over 50 yards. The 40mm illuminated I set up my Block target and
cross hair was glowing red when I ranged the distance at 50 yards, dialed
rested the Darton crossbow on my the Optimizer to 50, got a solid rest,
Trigger Stick and began to squeeze squeezed the trigger and wham,
the trigger. The red illuminated nicked the 10-ring. My second and
cross hair was on his chest when I third shot were in a circle the size of
touched the light trigger and the bolt a bucks heart. So I got brave, put the
released. I heard a solid thud indicat- target way out, ranged the distance
ing the Spitfire XXX hit the buck 83 yards, reset the Optimizer at 80,
and watched the big buck mule-kick, got a solid rest, controlled breathing,
tuck tail and sprint across the open squeezed the trigger and wham hit
field. His leaps soon shortened as he the target dead center. After just a few
struggled to run then tumbled head The author, Kenny Darwin, admires a beautiful 10-point he arrowed outings to the target practice range I
over heels less than 40 yards from at 53 yards with his crossbow. felt confident I could hit a buck in the
impact. kill zone 98 percent of the time at just
I raised my crossbow toward the facturers offer accurate crossbows, the tone and shooting experience. In most about any range.
heavens and made a silent prayer trigger pull is simply too heavy for cases practice makes perfect and the I tested the weapon on a wood-
Thank you Lord for the big buck consistent accuracy. My suggestions more you dial and shoot at a variety chuck at 61 yards and the accurate
down as I scrambled across the open is visit a dealer and shoot or handle a of distances the more you become bolt pinned him to the ground. A
field. There in the grassy hay field laid variety of crossbows and find one that familiar with your personal accuracy similar shot at a crow in a hay field
a dandy 10-point that I arrowed at an best fits you, has a reliable safety and at different distances and learn your produced black feathers flying in the
amazing 53 yards, no problem. a light trigger pull. I also suggest you limitations. wind and a dead demon of the sky.
My secret to long range archery shoot each crossbow prior to purchase Ive seen some archers drill the In a short period of time I changed
accuracy was dependent upon a reli- and make certain the trigger pull is target at 70 yards while most cant from a short range archer to a long
able bow, quality optics and HHA quality, not too heavy or has too much even hit the target and frequently stick range junkie frothing at the mouth for
scope adjusting system that is revolu- trigger creep or trigger movement the backstop. On the other hand a a challenging shot with my new toy.
tionary and extremely accurate. Back prior to firing. Each crossbow shoul- crossbow can deliver reliable accura- However, the system has some down-
when I carried a long bow I would ders differently and some simply are cy at unbelievable distances primarily falls. The biggest culprit to accuracy
only shoot if deer were kissin close, not comfortable to shoot, others fit because you can steady them on a rest is wind. My test shooting revealed ex-
with compound equipment my ac- you like a glove and you can rest your and deliver accurate bolt placement. cellent accuracy at ranges up to about
curacy doubled to 20 yards but now cheek on the stock, see through the The process begins by selecting a 40 yards but if there was a 15 mph
with a modern fast shooting crossbow, scope clearly, get a good grip on the quality crossbow. crosswind the bolt would miss target
quality optics, HHA Optimizer and forearm and zap the target with ease. My choice was the Michigan at longer distances. If the wind is
steady rest I can take out a buck from Keep in mind some crossbows make made Darton Toxin 180 because it of- howling I would advise not shooting
1-80 yards. If you want to increase a loud bark when they fire but others fers a crisp 3-pound trigger pull with at deer past 40 yards unless you are an
accuracy, extend your archery range are equipped with noise dampening no trigger creep. I can place the cross expert shooter and know exactly how
and make more clean kills Ive got systems and vibration eliminators to hair on target, lightly touch the trig- to adjust for varied wind speeds. Hand
impressive information to help you make bolt release smooth and rela- ger and the bolt consistently hits the held shots produced impressive results
achieve those goals. tively silent. bulls eye. Crossbows have come a up to about 50 yards under ideal wind
Crossbow accuracy begins with The same is true for bows. Select long way in a short period and todays conditions, but if you want excellent
a quality crossbow. Last year I field a product that is lightweight, silent, products are becoming more user accuracy and guaranteed kill shots at
tested several and discovered they and accurate and fits your shooting friendly, lightweight and designed for deer you need to use a solid rest.
all shoot accurately. In many ways style. With all the new bow sights comfortable shooting. The Darton is Most savvy archers use sand bags,
all crossbows are similar, yet there available you can get reliable accura- well balanced, fits like a dream and bull bags and more. The trick to ac-
are big differences in weight, loud- cy at long distances by using a single when the stock is on my shoulder I curate shooting hinges on how well
ness, balance, trigger pull and much pin dial sight like the Cabelas Lucky can reach the safety and trigger with you can steady the crossbow, get the
more. The biggest problem is some 1 Sight, HHA Optimizer King Pin, ease. I like the textured forearm for cross hair to stay on target and control
crossbows have a heavy trigger pull Apex Gear Covert and TruGlo Range increased grip and stability and my breathing as you lightly squeeze the
ranging from 6-9 pounds. Heavy trig- Rover. However, the biggest disad- cheek rests properly against the stock. trigger. Believe me, accurate shoot-
ger pull is the major cause of missed vantage of using a traditional vertical Oh, did I mention speed? This baby ing requires practice and dont expect
crossbow shots at bucks. Even at bow versus a horizontal crossbow is cooks em out at around 400 fps and to hit an apple at 80 yards until you
close range a heavy trigger will cause you are hand holding which requires offers enough down range energy to have refined the fine art of accurate
hunters to pull the sights off target and coordination, muscle tone and upper bring down a mature buck at incred- shooting. Some hunters swear by the
increase chances for missed shots or body fitness. Long distance shooting ible distances.
crippled animals. While many manu- accuracy requires a lot of skill, muscle Sure I saw the YouTube posting Cant miss tactics page 88
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Cant miss archery tactics:
Triple X with 2 cutting diameter Im in focus. I used this scope to arrow
absolutely sold on its massive wounds my Michigan State Record crossbow
and lethal killing abilities. gobbler and used it to place accurate
Quality optics is the secret to shots through thick brush, tall grass,
from page 86 success if you seek accurate archery cornfields and long distances.
shots. Far too many crossbow manu- I guess what Im saying is the
Caldwell shooting rest system because couple other range dial systems and facturers sell crossbows complete secret to crossbow accuracy depends
of its unmatched stability, durable found the Optimizer to provide un- with cheap scope and rings. Some- on quality optics, reliable adjustable
components and precision engineer- paralleled accuracy. You can convert times the rings are soft metal and sighting systems and of course great
ing. Others use a reliable bipod or your crossbow overnight into a long treads strip when you tighten and the crossbows with a relatively light trig-
shooting sticks like the Bog Pod that range killing machine simply by add- rings tend to be not sturdy enough for ger pull. You simply cannot expect
has a 360 degree rotating head and ing the HHA Optimizer. The trick is hunting. The solution is to get better great long range accuracy with a
tripod base. For stalking and rela- to sight it in, play with it, practice at a quality military-style rings and scope cheap scope, soft metal rings and an
tively short range shooting the Primos variety of distances and get outdoors mounts made of heavy duty materials. outdated crossbow that has a trigger
Gen 2 Trigger Stick bipod is a good and do some field shooting tests. For Most cheap scopes are made over- pull over 5 pounds. Fast bolt speed
choice. Dont overlook the Primos me the transition took just a few days seas and frequently the vertical and over 330 fps is important for long
Gen 2 tripod Trigger Stick that offers and I went from passing on shots to horizontal adjustments do not function range accuracy too.
increased stability and accuracy. Long drilling the bulls eye. properly to dial-in bolt accuracy. When the moment of truth arrives
range crossbow accuracy is much like When it comes to long range ac- In addition, the optics can be and you have ranged your buck over
rifle shooting because you need to curacy Im sold on fold-down style somewhat blurred on the edges and 40 yards do you have the confidence
experiment with different broadheads, open on impact broadheads. Fixed the range of clear vision is limited. to make the shot? Have you practiced
bolts and sight-in the bow from close blades tend to offer more air resis- Manufacturers would be better off at a variety of distances and attained
to far range. Accuracy is often directly tance and the blades catch the wind equipping expensive crossbows with the skills needed for accurate shoot-
related to the amount of time you and pull bolts off target. There are sturdy mounts, rings and high-quality ing? Do you have a solid rest to keep
practice, learn your weapon and its several outstanding broadheads for optics. I suggest you upgrade to a the cross hairs in the kill zone? Do
weaknesses and strong attributes. shooting accuracy including: Rage, better scope. Some shooters switch to you know how to hold your breath,
I cant say enough about how Wasp Jackhammer, Grim Reaper and quality rifle scopes or scopes custom- use the tip of your shooting finger to
happy I am with the HHA Optimizer more. My choice is the New Archery ized for crossbows. If you want clear slowly squeeze the trigger and touch
Speed Dial System. It is easy to bolt Products Spitfire Triple X mechani- optics with ideal magnification take off a shot that is guaranteed to be
on the crossbow and holds the scope cal broadhead with three ultra-tough a peek at the Darton 2x7x40mm Hi- deadly? Are you frustrated with pass-
in ideal position at eye level for ac- blades, 2 cutting diameter and hard- Grade illuminated scope. This scope ing bucks because they are slightly
curate bolt placement. This system ened trophy tip. Ive had outstanding is ultra-clear, focus is adjustable, out of range? If so, now is the time to
can be used with just about any scope luck with NAP Spitfire heads. At one illuminated cross hair can be turned upgrade your equipment, start practic-
or red dot sight. It is recommended time I used the 1 cutting diameter to dim mode, cross hairs are not too ing and developing the confidence
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By Mark Sak PM Lodge
and Chuck

ctober and Michigan go to- above the tree tops, blue jays scolding Follet with a
gether like pumpkins and corn us, and that ever present gray squirrel great river
stalks. We are so fortunate in imitating the buck of our dreams loping run Chinook
this state. On a recent trip to Califor- through the woods. The smell of the
nia I spoke to a gentleman about our fields and woodlot are magnificent.
seasons. On his bucket list was getting Man has yet to duplicate that smell,
to Michigan in October to see the trees and that is a good thing as it as special
turn color. I happened to have a picture as the color of our maples in October.
on my phone that showed peak colors There are other hunters out in
from last year. He sighed and said, October that are running pointing ramps are full, but the fish have big king weighing in at 42 pounds. They
You folks are so lucky, every day is dogs and retrievers. Yes, there are still shoulders and are feisty. Walleyes are will all be in the river in early October
the same here. I reminded him that pheasant and grouse hunters pushing my personal favorite in the fall. Lake trying to find that perfect gravel bar
this beauty was short-lived and soon fields and woodlots in Michigan. The Erie and Saginaw Bay offer tremen- where they hatched. Shortly after the
after we would have sub-zero tempera- Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initia- dous angling opportunities, and if the salmon the steelhead and brown trout
tures. Yeah but it would be worth it, tive (a conservation partner program crew limit out early, throw some perch will follow taking advantage of all the
he said. in Michigan), has provided the habitat spreaders with pieces of crawler or roe floating around.
If one happens to be a sportsman and the birds are there. It may not be minnows if you have them. Both Erie I will also save a day this fall to
or woman in Michigan, you really hit 20-30 flushes per day like the good old and Saginaw Bay have some world try to pick a fight with a big Lake St.
the jackpot every fall. Starting out days, but if hunters do their homework class jumbos in them right now. Small- Clair muskie. These fish are the big-
with a great early goose season that and cover some ground they will be mouth and largemouth are also on the gest and baddest in late October and
has witnessed some very consistent sore and smiling at the end of the hunt. feedbag in October. Throw the big early November and many fish over 50
increases in goose numbers, and then Grouse hunting has been strong in cranks or jig-N-pigs in the fall and get inches are being caught and released on
we slide right into our archery deer sea- many areas in Michigan. Find some ready for some ferocious strikes. In- St. Clair. Casting for these monsters
son which opens statewide on October newer stands of spruce and birch and land lakes also offer some really qual- has really taken off and with the right
1. This 6-week early season is now chances are your pup is going to get ity pan fish bites in October as there are tackle more folks can access these fish.
a favorite among hunters. The DNR birdy. Of course Michigan offers a still some small hatches happening and Many are actually starting to jig for
estimates there are approximately 5.48 wonderful fall turkey season that is the crappies and gills go into a feeding them on the Detroit in the fall. Imagine
bow hunters per square mile, second under-utilized. All three of these upland frenzy. Its a great time to get some fil- a 40-pound muskie on a jig!
only to Pennsylvania at 5.72 per square sports are great for youngsters to be lets in the freezer. I hope you are as excited as I am
mile. The season sees drastic changes involved in as well. Of course we cant forget about about October in Michigan. I also
through October, November and then But let us not forget the anglers Michigans salmon and trout fishery hope you have a safe and productive
finally through December in the second among us. October is one of the best in October. To everyones surprise we fall. This year drag a youngster out
season. But the October season remains months to be on the water. Most of witnessed some of the biggest salmon there with you so they can see why we
very special. Listening to geese fly the jet skis are parked and the launch ever taken on the great lakes with one get so excited.n

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The strangest thing you ever caught while fishing -- continued...

Mystery of the Magic Rod

Dear Fish Diary: the gas can back into the lake and
has harbored a lifetime of regrets for
wondering, how do I get one of
these magic wands? Well, they
He began to reel in his catch, but to
his dismay, what he had seemingly
n February, I launched my doing so. Last month we met Jim certainly arent for sale no matter caught was fishing line. Not giving
search for readers to write Samuelson, the Dearborn man who how much manufacturers lead you in, he began to retrieve the fishing
to me about the strang- in the middle of the night caught and to believe their products are magi- line and was rewarded with a Zebco
est thing theyve ever reeled in an entire boat with cal. You wont find one that rod and reel. Once he boated the rod
caught while fishing. As another fisherman aboard. is imbedded in a rock and and reel, he felt more tugging, as
the stories come in, Im My last entry was of Rick have to pull it out in order there was still more line out attached
sifting through them and getting Weidman, of Middleville, to receive its magical pow- to the combo. His dismay turned to
some pretty good laughs. I got this who as a child somehow ers. Forget getting one of excitement as he began reeling and
idea after I read about a fisherman hooked a baby duck which these gems at a garage sale now feeling a good fight. It wasnt
in Miami, Florida, catching a kilo started a circus of events. or on Ebay. The only way long until he was staring in the eye
of cocaine off the coast of Miami. If Now, we move on with to get one is to have it get of a three-foot gar.
youve had an odd catch, I certainly a new story, a magical you. You see, these magi- So what you say. A guy caught
want to hear about it. story. A story with enchant- cal rods are actually drawn some fishing line that was attached

By Ron St. Germain

So far youve met Nancy Has- ed weeds beds, to their next to a rod and reel and that was at-
call, of Ostego, and got the hilarious whimsical potential owner tached to more fishing line that
story of her adventure catching and blooming lilies, in some sort of was attached to a three-foot gar. So
releasing a bat while fly fishing. playful dragonflies and of course, a supernatural way. They lay dormant whats the big deal? Well, it wasnt
Youve met Mark Leegstra, of Gray- magic wand. But this magic wand waiting for you to appear, and when just any gar. It happened to be a gar
ling, who mysteriously caught a is no ordinary magic wand. When you do, they attach themselves to that was four-inches over the Master
fawn, the extraordinary story of Paul this magic wand is in the hand of its you and wallaaaa!!! Angler qualifying length. Ron only
Kazmierski, the Grand Rapids man owner, it catches fish, lots and lots Such is the case for Ron Adam- had this rod in his possession for a
who caught a pair of expensive pre- and lots of fish. So many fish in fact czyk of Muskegon. In the late 80s matter of minutes and it had already
scription glasses and actually found that the wand seems to cast a spell Ron was drifting leeches on Hough- caught a trophy fish. Quite possi-
the owner and returned them. There on its owner causing them to fish ton Lake in hopes of catching wall- bly this gar surely must have been
was the confession of Tom Matych, more frequently because the fishing eye. It was a fishing day like all oth- the gate keeper and protector of
who as a child caught a gas can that is so good. er fishing days until he got a strike the magic rod. It wasnt like it was
had a bullhead stuck in it and threw Many of you are probably that would change his fishing life. a bluegill, sunfish or bass, it was

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a prehistoric looking monster fish Now, a new fish elf is probably Michigan environmental and outdoor
with a mouth full of teeth. The kind
of fish only the magical underwater
at the helm, waiting, and wait-
ing, and waiting. Probably a giant education celebrates 30 years
kingdom would choose and trust to Master Angler sized Great Lakes The Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education
keep the magic rod safe until it was muskie, so the new owner of the (MAEOE) will celebrate 30 years this fall with its annual conference at CMU
in the hands of its rightful owner. magic rod will have some work on in Mt. Pleasant Oct. 6-8.
Ron released the mystic gar their hands when trying to retrieve The MDNR has long been a sponsor and supporter of the organization
back to its paranormal, mysterious it. If that new owner happens to be and the conference, said Kevin Frailey, DNR Education Services manager. It
underworld and spent several years you, just remember, at some point is simply the best network in Michigan for anyone interested in this area of
using his magic rod for perch fishing your luck will run out. Just enjoy education. MAEOE President Ashlie Smith thinks this will be a conference to
on Lake Michigan. Several years the good times, savor the fun, love remember.
of success mind you, as the magic the experience and embrace each We look forward to being in the geographical center of Michigan, which
rod helped him compose the perfect moment as they come. Dont take gives many formal and non-formal educators an opportunity to participate,
combination for perch nirvana. your magic rod for granted, because Smith said. In addition, CMU is known for its outdoor education-related
But magic doesnt last forever. on some gloomy day, your good programs, some of the best in the state.
As with every fairytale, there is fortune can be pulled off the back of Co-conference chair Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck is excited about the confer-
always an evil sorcerer looming your boat quicker than you can say ence agenda as well.
about and scheming ways to un- walleye. Or, maybe you should just The program is very diverse, with a combination of workshops, 45-min-
ravel a happy ending. And so it was remember to reel in before you start ute breakout sessions and plenty of half-day field trips to choose from, said
on that dreadful day while fishing the motor and take off. Fitzwilliams-Heck. These include everything from a tour of the Ziibiwing
on Lake Michigan, unknowing of Center to learn about Michigans Native American heritage to a canoe/kayak
the evil that lay in wait, a wicked Funny fish stories trip down the Chippewa River.
wanted: Strangest thing A snapshot of the conference and what it has to offer is available at www.
dark pool moved into his fishing Registration is now open.
area and chased the fish away. Not youve ever caught? Although the conference officially begins Friday morning, Oct. 6, several
realizing the horrible cryptic pres- Send a short description of your preconference workshops will be offered Thursday morning, including envi-
ence that had snuck up on him in best or worst fishing day, or worst ronmental educator certification training and Red Cross courses.
the wide open water, Ron decided fishing-related adventure to me. Frailey, who will be conducting a DNR session with live sea lamprey Friday
to move his fishing location. When You dont have to write the entire afternoon, thinks this conference is critical for educators, both formal and
he arrived at his new spot, he turned story, just a brief outline of what non-formal, to keep up with education and natural resources trends.
for his magic rod and it was gone. happened. If it has some humor to it Networking with other educators and experts in the field makes us all
Gone I tell you. Gonesucked Ill be getting in touch with you and better at our jobs. Michigan has an incredibly rich tradition of being a national
into the surreptitious depths of the well work on the completed story leader in both environmental and outdoor education, Frailey said.
unexplained. What must Ron have together. Contact - Woods-n-Water Teachers, college students and anyone with an interest in our variety of ses-
said or done to anger the fish Gods News columnist Ron St. Germain by sions are welcome. This is a conference you dont want to miss.
enough to reclaim their magic rod? calling (517) 626-2814, e-mailing The MAEOE is a professional association supporting and advancing envi-
Or was it truly the dark side finally, Visit the ronmental and outdoor education statewide. Established through the merger
but only temporarily, claiming the authors Facebook page www.Face- of two previously existing professional organizations for environmental and
magic rod. outdoor educators, MAEOE was officially incorporated in 1987.

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a nice
gan Jake Denz caught and released this
His first big one! Sullivan (aka muskie while jigging for walleye in the
Sully) Braden, 6, caught this 5 North Channel in Lake St. Clair fishing
pounder that was 20 inches with his dad.
Pete Sansone with a long on a rubber crawler on a
private farm pond in Nashville, MI
nice lake trout on Lake and he struggled to hold it up for
Michigan the photo.
Arlene old, reeled
Behrenwald in this
caught this
46 inch
lake trout
46 lb. catfish
in Montcalm
Co. This is
her largest
Giant Cat! near Port
Brendan Kriefeldt caught this huge king out of Sanilac on
Manistee while fishing with family and friends.
The mornings catch for a crew of five includ- July 4.
ed: 6 kings, 2 lake trout and 1 steelhead.

of Dear-
born first
BIG fish! Sullivan and Lanora Schroeder
Emily Brown, 9, caught several bluegill Brady J with 26 pike from Rifle
caught this 21 inch, 3 pound
on Long Lake in Hastings and on her last catfish on their grandparents
cast back at the dock she expertly hooked Lake in Lupton taken on Aug. 6. pond.
this big dogfish; 4 lb. 28 inches.

Jr., 9, wall-
eye fishing
with his dad
had a great
day around
the Char-
ity Islands
in Saginaw
Fishing Brothers: Christopher Cosgrove, 9, caught this Trevor Franks of PawPaw shows
24 pike and Landon, 6, caught a 16 rock bass fishing off the 38 inch Gar Pike he caught!
on Black Lake near Onaway in August.
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My prediction for the 2017
whitetailed-deer seasons
rior to the 2016 deer has its own culture, which is totally
hunting seasons I as- divorced from the buck culture and
sumed and wrote that their habits. The older and more
we would experience a aggressive bucks take charge and
larger deer herd, plenty develop a picking order with them
of big bucks and an doing the bulk of the breeding while
increase in the buck kill the yearlings are looking
statewide. I believe we did; and lurking about with their
while attending several of tongues hanging. This is as
our state deer hunting expos it should be for the yearling
I saw some brutes placed bucks are still immature
on display by Commemo- and need another year for
rative Bucks of Michigan. growth. Its hard to change,
I personally saw at least but change we must. Lets
three Booner-bucks at these get our herd to be as natural
shows. Not two many years as we can get them and

By Ed Spinazzola
back it was unusu- savor the experi-
ally to even have ence of seeing old
a single Booner majestic bucks
taken in our state. strutting about, does blasting by
Calling the Boone and Crocket at full speed with a hopeful ma-
Club in Montana in August, I was ture buck on her tail and that buck
told that they had 18 bucks reg- followed by two more desperate
istered at 160 points or more for yearling bucks. Im blessed for I had
Michigan, but cautioned it is still that same experience! Managing
early. Plus not everyone who takes deer to be more natural is the goal
a real keeper registers their deer. of the Quality Deer Management
In my article published by WNW Association (QDM) not trophy deer
News we suggested a much im- management.
proved and healthy 2016 total deer
herd and especially the buck harvest Expected 2017 Deer
due to the following, a big bumper
crop of acorns in 2015, a mild 2015-
Season Experience
2016 winter season, excellent early We had an exceptionally easy
and wet growing conditions and 2016-2017 winter, which indicates
most importantly many hunters are future pleasure for our 2017 deer
now voluntarily passing on yearling season hunters. Im getting pretty
bucks. Many are telling me that good at this prediction thing, so here
2016 was an excellent and improved goes. The author is predicting another good year despite a poor acorn
deer hunting year. My 2016 deer First and most important, we crop last year. Kenny Darwin photo
hunting experience was full of ex- had very little to no acorns last fall
pectations that were fulfilled. What 2016 throughout our state. Not a We had rain aplenty this spring 16 inches, hardwoods grew twigs
was your experience last year? good thing. The presence or lack of and it just never stopped in most of and leaf growth to the point that
Many call the passing of year- acorns is key to the following years Michigan and is still coming down even some red oak leaf growth left
ling bucks no more than a form of experience. It affects the health of except for the present lack of rain in no sun rays reaching the soil. You
trophy buck management. Sorry, pregnant does, the developing fetus, southwest lower Michigan. can normally see bits of the sun
that may be true for some of us. But the number of fawns born and their So, I predict a good deer season under a red oak due to the large
for those whose goal is a well man- survival potential, the development throughout our state with plenty of spacing of red oak leaves. I have
aged deer herd to become as natural of future antlers and general health healthy bucks taken except there seeded food plots on poor state land
as we can get them is the ultimate of all deer come spring and more. will not be as many super antlered in a field of red oaks and the forage
success. For being a natural herd is We had at least in mid-Michigan bucks as 2016, but there will be grew right up to the trunk. Red oaks
how they evolved from terrier sized a very dry and hot mid-summer in some big keepers. I believe this can grow in poor soil, white oaks
deer with tusks millions of years 2016. We received 1/2 of an inch of is due to many of our deer hunt- need and demand moisture. Grandpa
ago to what they became a hundred rain in July with several days above ers passing up on yearlings and told me this many years ago. Red
years ago. Yes, a hundred years ago 90 degrees. This lack of moisture therefore we now have quite a few oaks can mean poor soil, especially
for our state natural resources man- and heat slowed the growth of natu- mature 5-7 year old bucks. Older when red oaks are just about the
agement group decided then to build ral forage and planted food plots. bucks can take a hit from a lack of only tree growing. White oaks mean
up the deer herd with no harvest of We verified this phenomenon when acorns and just average winter for- better soil that holds moisture or has
does, but take the bucks. It worked observing the new growth of vegeta- age being available. The presence of a high water table. That last bit of
and convinced the much growing tion in our woods and food plots, excellent new forage being available knowledge is important. Having a
numbers of deer hunters that does not a good thing. The new twigs and throughout this years early spring high water table can forgive many
are our sacred cow, plus they had buds of future leaves and flowers of and summer and due to the good sins.
the opportunity to take just about forest vegetation were negatively af- moisture picture will make up for Keep the fun in hunting!
every buck they observed. fected. Our natural winter forage for the lack of acorns, but just for the Ed Spinazzola, is an associate
It may have been conceived as deer was hit. Also, not a good thing. older bucks. with Tony LaPratts Ultimate Land
a blessing to the deer hunter, but it I believe the mild winter bal- I noted a definite increase of Management. For more information
wasnt a blessing to the deer herd. anced against the lack of acorns and forest growth this year. Evergreens check or www.
The natural culture of the buck herd less than preferred natural forest grew new center limbs up to two or call 586-784-
was destroyed. The doe segment growth comes out a draw. feet long, versus an average of 12- 8090.n
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Capac High School
My Thoughts, My Views, My Opinions & My Humor...

Running the Asian Carp gauntlet

The Great Lakes sport-fishery generates $7 billion annually in economic activity each year...

n June, the discovery of a combines all of the structural and
live silver carp just nine nonstructural technologies they
miles from Lake Michigan considered independently in the
sent shockwaves through other options. These include an
the Great Lakes com- engineered channel fitted with an
munity. It also electric barrier, water jets,
renewed calls from Great complex noise, and a flush-
Lakes lawmakers and con- ing lock. This combina-
servation organizations like tion of technologies was
the National Wildlife Fed- selected because, together,
eration for the Army Corps they provide the greatest
of Engineers to release a protection against Asian
draft feasibility plan for carp while still keeping
improving defenses at the navigation open. While the
Brandon Road most protec-
Lock and
Dam in Joliet,
By Drew YoungeDyke tive measure
would be to
Illinois. The plan had been expected simply close the lock, the political
in late February but delayed indefi- reality is that a complete closure
nitely by the Trump administration. of navigation would not garner
After over five months, we now enough support from lawmakers at
have that plan. this time to be approved. As it is, The Corps plan is not the perfect long-term solution; we still need ongo-
The Army Corps of Engineers the plan recommended by the Corps ing planning for a solution to prevent the two-way transfer of invasive
(Corps) released its long-awaited has an uphill battle, with the Illinois species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
plan for keeping Asian carp out of governor and shipping interests op- silver carp spent the majority of its including the Tentatively Selected
the Great Lakes on August 7. Their posing it from the outset simply for life below the barriers in the Middle Plan is just a middle stage in a
plan essentially makes Asian carp the delay in shipping that would be Mississippi/Illinois River and Des long process.
run the gauntlet of multiple overlap- caused by the construction of and Plaines River waters, and had only First, the Corps is holding a
ping deterring technologies at the navigation into the engineered chan- lived in Little Calumet River waters public comment period through
Brandon Road Lock and Dam near nel and lock. where it was found for a few weeks October 2, including three public
Joliet, Illinois, designed to keep And yet, this plan is the best or months. Though the U.S. Fish comment sessions in Chicago, Mus-
them from entering the Chicago near-term option for getting addi- and Wildlife Service does not know kegon and Joliet. Next, the Corps
Area Waterway System (CAWS) tional defenses in place to prevent how it got past the barriers, the fact will incorporate the comments into
which connects the Mississippi Asian carp from establishing a remains that, somehow, it did. a second draft to reach an agency
River basin to the Great Lakes. population in Lake Michigan, which Before the plan can be imple- decision, forecasted for August of
Before the plan can be implemented, is more critical than ever with the mented, though before the en- 2018. The plan will then go through
though, it must run a gauntlet of its discovery of the live silver carp gineered channel, electric barrier, an internal process review, sched-
own. this June just nine miles from Lake water jets, complex noise infrastruc- uled for February of 2019, at which
The Corps evaluated multiple Michigan, and about 28 miles be- ture and flushing locks can be built time a state and agency review will
options ranging from no additional yond the only current defense, a set it must go through a gauntlet of begin. All this is to get to a Chiefs
action to complete lock closure of electrical barriers in the CAWS. A its own to get approved and funded.
before recommending a Tenta- Southern Illinois University autopsy This release of the draft feasibility
tively Selected Plan (Plan), which revealed that the four-year-old male study on options for Brandon Road Asian Carp gauntlet page 99

Rationale for APRs within the Bovine TB DMUs

By Dick Zook is only 84% of the 14,532 bucks
harvested. This can only be expected
bucks. A compressed age structure of
bucks and a high adult doe-to-adult
deer management decision when they
pull the trigger or release the arrow.
he highest priority ac- to result in an increased deer popula- buck ratio are very closely related Restricting the harvest of 1 year
tion described in the tion. Unfortunately, understanding and very difficult to separate in old bucks results in many hunters
Michigan Bovine TB the need to harvest more does is not studying, planning, or practicing deer willingly harvesting a doe either for
Response Plan is to re- complete within the hunting com- management. The use of APRs is the experience or the meat.
duce the whitetail deer munity and needs both a deer harvest essentially a deer management tool to When hunters recognize the
population within the regulation change and more outreach effectively manage the herd to more cause and effect of harvesting a doe
Northeast Lower Peninsula (NELP) education to improve. There is good natural levels of age structure and instead of a small buck it benefits
deer management units (DMU) 452 rationale for implementing an APR adult doe-to-adult buck ratios. both the age structure of the bucks in
& 487 by increasing the harvest of harvest regulation. The real issue from both the the herd and the adult doe-to-adult
does. The hunting communitys sup- Root Cause And Effect hunters perspective and the deer buck ratio. This single action also
port of harvesting does has been good The APR issue stems from a deer management perspective is both a has the benefit of helping to stabilize
but not sufficient enough to get the management shortcoming as a result compressed age structure of bucks the deer population and contribute to
results needed. It appears that it is of ninety years of harvesting a ma- in the herd and an unbalanced adult deer population reduction. One deer
not enough, as the MDNR 2016 Deer jority of 1 year old bucks, which doe-to-adult buck ratio. The APR is management decision results in two
Harvest Survey report shows the deer directly results in a compressed age the only effective tool available to and probably three positive deer man-
harvested within the six county BTB structure of the bucks in the deer herd more naturally balance both. The
zone is 12,260 antlerless deer which and a high ratio of adult does-to-adult hunting community makes the final DMUs and TB page 98
Hot Topics In The Outdoors...My Thoughts, My Views

Non-hunter to deer
Guest Column...By Bob Vogel
hunter, Why do you
hunt deer? Hunter to offices are closed. Workers use va- This is a wonderful tradition that I
cation time to miss work, or simply hope will continue for generations
non-hunter, If I have do not show up for work. Families to come.
to explain you will head to their camp for this annual Unfortunately, my parents and

not understand... vacation. Hunters of all ages sleep grandparents were not hunters. I
in tight quarters that are heated with missed out on this wonderful tradi-
have used that line my- wood burners. They awake early tion. I cannot honestly claim tradi-
self. The fact is, I am the to a huge breakfast prepared by a tion as the reason I hunt whitetail.
one who does not under- family member who rarely cooks For some, deer hunting is a
stand. at home. They pile on layers of pastime similar to golf or bowling.
For many hunting warm clothes. They fill back packs It is something to do with friends.
whitetail deer is a family with hunting gear and snacks. They It affords the participant time away
tradition. Children grow up seeing discuss, in low voices, that days from their routine. It requires prac-
photographs of older generations in hunting location and strategy. They tice with new equipment and devel-
red and black flannel shirts under walk to familiar hunting stands oping a skill that can be measured.
suspenders holding up wool pants. waiting for dawn and first shooting The golfer goes to the driving range
They see photos of old unshaven light. This is the dawn they have or putting green. The hunter goes
men in Elmer Fudd hats. They hear awaited for an entire year. to the shooting range or 3D shoots.
stories of the family hunting camp. These special days form lasting The bowler will try a new glove.
They hear stories over and over of bonds. This tradition is less about The hunter will try a new release.
great success, comical errors, and the hunt and more about time spent It is a form of competition between
mythical, huge racked bucks that with family and friends. The sto- participants. They read publications
roam the woods and fields of their ries, the laughter, the card games, that detail successful hunts. They
dreams. practical jokes, admiring the buck research and try new equipment The author setting a trail cam.
In the mid-west, where I grew pole, and time spent together are that promises to improve their skills
up, the opening day of the firearm the things that form lasting memo- and success rate. They employ new Frankly, I admire these hunters.
deer season is a holiday. Many ries. These memories outlive the strategies to improve their odds They are able to enjoy all aspects of
schools close for the day or the participants and are handed down to against that elusive Booner. For
week. Retail shops and business future generations of deer hunters. these people, hunting is a sport. Why I Hunt page 100

Michigan bears could be better managed

isconsin is a bear season compared to a 46-day verse and Kalkaska) of the Baldwin As part of the discussion about
perfect ex- hunt in most of the Upper Peninsula. BMU have had a 16-day season. the number of bear licenses avail-
ample of how Bear hunting over bait was legal The Lower Peninsulas Red Oak able each year, its important to
Michigan from September 7 through October BMU has two weeks of bear hunt- point out that not all hunters who
could better 4 in Wisconsin during 2016 and ing, with the second week in Octo- have the opportunity to buy a bear
manage their hunting with hounds was ber limited to bowhunting license each year in Michigan do
bear population. During 2016, Wis- legal from September 14 without the use of dogs. so. Even among the hunters who
consin issued 11,520 bear licenses to through October 11. This Prior to 2012, the buy bear licenses, not all of them
hunters in the state and those hunt- year, bear hunting with Michigan DNR was is- actually hunt. The bottom line is
ers registered 4,682 bears, according hounds will be legal the suing more bear licenses that far fewer people end up hunting
to a report issued by the Wisconsin first week of the season. than Wisconsin. A total of bears each year than the number of
DNR. Michigan only had 6,896 bear Like Michigan, Wisconsin 11,745 licenses were avail- licenses available.
licenses available in 2016, resulting is divided into bear man- able from the state during Even though 12,993 bear licens-
in 1,636 bruins being registered by agement units or zones. 2010 and 2011, resulting es were available in Michigan dur-
hunters. Wisconsins primary bear in the registration of 2,115 ing 2008, for example, only 9,512

By Richard P. Smith
Wisconsin hunters harvested range includes and 2,013 bears license holders actually hunted.
almost three times as many bears as 19 counties in respectively. Be- During 2010, only 8,108 hunters ac-
Michigan and almost twice as many the northern tween 2005 and tually bear hunted in the state even
hunters (1.7x) had the opportunity to part of the state. 2009, the DNR issued from 11,803 though 11,745 licenses were avail-
hunt bear in Wisconsin than Michi- Those 19 counties are separated to a high of 12,993 bear licenses able. The bear license quota was the
gan even though Michigan has more into three zones; A, B and D. The annually and hunters harvested same in 2011, but only 7,949 hunt-
land mass and bear habitat than remaining two-thirds of the state between 2,026 and 2,641 bruins per ers hunted bear that year.
Wisconsin. Michigan has 56,809 is Zone C. No bear hunting with year. The same thing is true during
square miles of landmass, 52% of hounds is allowed in Zone C, so During those years, bears recent years when fewer bear licens-
which is forested. The landmass in bear hunting over bait and hunting were better managed because more es have been available. A total of
Wisconsin is 54,158 square miles, natural food sources are the primary people had the opportunity to hunt. 6,951 bear licenses were available
46% of which is forested. Wisconsin hunting methods in that zone during The end result was fewer nuisance from the DNR during 2015, but only
hunters achieved the much higher the entire 35-day season. bear complaints. Since 2012, a sys- 4,994 of those who were success-
bear harvest during a shorter season, In Michigan, most of the Bald- tem was implemented in Michigan ful in the drawing actually hunted,
too, during which success averaged win and all of the Mio bear manage- to deal with increasing bear dam- which is a difference of 1,957.
40.6% compared to an average suc- ment units (BMUs) only have one age complaints by allowing license The bear license quota in 2014
cess rate of 34% in Michigan during week of bear hunting. The northern holders to shoot bears before bear
2015. Wisconsin only has a 35-day three counties (Leelanau, Grand Tra- season normally begins. Bear management page 99
DMUs and TB: from page 96 regulation change.
The hunting community is the
first and most important consider-
zone would be a very worthwhile
objective to aid in population control
as well as satisfy hunters.
agement results. Also, it generally successfully managing the deer herd
improves hunter satisfaction. to expand the age structure of the
ation in deer management, as hunting Closing
is recognized in deer management Utilizing an APR for the harvest
Another contributing factor that bucks in the deer herd and narrow the agencies and organizations as the
results in expanding the deer popula- balance of adult buck-to-adult doe of bucks has a proven track record
only significant and effective tool of expanding the age structure of
tion is not harvesting enough does ratio for 20 years. Deer management available for population control.
to either stabilize the population or co-ops continue to grow, as neighbors bucks in the deer herd and reduc-
Michigan Department of Natural Re- ing the adult doe-to-adult buck ratio
keep it from expanding. Consider sharing objectives with an APR to sources absolutely needs the hunting
that the annual fawn drop and fawn benefit the deer herd and the hunt- community support to manage the
to a more natural level. It also has
recruitment is at a 1-to-1 sex ratio. ers, resulting in better deer manage- demonstrated the ability to help
deer herd and control the deer popu- reduce and stabilize the deer popula-
This alone should provide the basis ment and more support of population lation. Additional harvest options
for annually harvesting at least as control with more bucks. Leelanau tion where appropriate. Currently,
need consideration and implementa- not enough does are being harvested
many does as bucks. Then consider County and the Northwest twelve tion to help reduce the deer popula-
that the adult doe-to-adult buck ratio counties under an APR regulation re- within the BTB zone to stabilize the
tion. Increased outreach is needed
in Michigan is unknown but probably flect satisfied hunters and successful to gain additional support from the
deer population let alone reduce it.
exceeds 3:1 and may be 4:1 or great- results. The MDNR harvest statistics The MDNR submitted a pro-
hunting community, cattle ranches,
er. This comparison indicates that of 1 year old bucks continues to and private land owners within the
posal for an APR in the Bovine TB
does far outlive bucks. The MDNR decline but has much more room to Deer Management Units 452 & 487,
BTB zones. and it was turned down at the July
collects age data from harvested deer decline. The number of clubs and
but that data is not included in the private land owners within the BTB Bovine TB DMU 487/452 meeting. There is a definite need to
2016 Deer Harvest Survey report. zone that practice protection of 1 The MDNR description of DMU harvest more does to reduce the deer
However, it is common to find har- year old bucks and harvest of does 487 indicates public land is 37% of population within the Bovine TB
vested does ranging in age well into is unknown but in all probability the 3035 square miles and private zone. This proposal is expected to
the mid-teens, but it is very rare to is growing as it is in the rest of the land is 63%. The MDNR description be a win-win situation with no down
find a harvested buck exceeding 5 Lower Peninsula. of DMU 452 indicates public land side. There is very good probability
years old. This reflects the similar The hunting community is is only 7% of the 570 square miles. of harvesting more does than normal
imbalance as indicated by the adult demonstrating a tendency to harvest The two DMUs combined totals 3610 but with no risk of harvesting fewer.
doe-to-adult buck ratio. How many a doe rather than a 1 year old square miles with public lands com- The best experts we have analyzed
more does than bucks should we be buck. Where are the negatives? Not prising 1163 square miles or about the best science, logic, statistics, and
harvesting? Where in the state of harvesting enough does? We are 1/3 of the total six county areas. The harvest history we have with the best
Michigan do the antlerless quotas and doing better but not enough. Hunter MDNR 2016 deer harvest survey intent for increasing the doe harvest
doe harvest meet or exceed the buck support for a mandatory antler point report shows the antlerless deer and contributing to a deer population
harvest? The deer population contin- restriction exceeds 62 % in the license buyers for public land in the reduction.
ues with wide variations over time. Northern Lower Peninsula accord- combined area is 12,146 or about 10 The hunting community has dem-
Demonstrated ing to the MDNR 2016 Deer Harvest per square mile, and 14,707 buyers
for private land or about 6 per square
onstrated support of APR regulations
through Leelanau County, the North-
Successful Results Survey and continues to grow but
needs support from a deer harvest mile. A deer harvest breakdown west Twelve, the growth of co-ops,
A few large hunt clubs have been between public and private land is large hunt clubs, private land owners,
not included in the report. It appears the growth of national associations,
Hot Shot Outfitters there is better support for harvesting the growth of state organizations, the
does on public land than on private historical downtrend of harvest of 1
land. year old bucks, and the result of
Ray Hoody The report shows 55,015 hunters MDNR hunter surveys. The results
in the combined zone and 26,853 can be expected to satisfy the USDA,
3415 South Portage antlerless licenses purchased by 49% MDARD, Bovine TB Response Plan,
Jackson, MI 49201 of the hunters. The remaining 51%, and the cattle ranchers.
or about 28,000 of the hunters in the When hunters recognize the cause
Goose Hunts
(517) 740-6833
BTB zone, would be a maximum that and effect of harvesting a doe instead
Youth Deer Hunts WWW.JACKSONGAMEBIRDS.COM some new incentive harvest regula- of a small buck it benefits both the
Turkey Hunts Coyote Hunts tion would target to increase doe age structure of the bucks in the
Whitetail Hunts harvest. The Combo License in the herd and the adult doe-to-adult
BTB zone already allows harvest- buck ratio. Restricting the harvest
6900 Huron City ing of antlerless deer during the rifle of 1 year old bucks provides the
Port Hope, MI 48468
season. It appears there remain a incentive for harvesting a doe. This
Mon - Fri: 989-428-5071 large percentage of hunters that need single action also has the benefit of
Weekends: 989-670-4336 incentive to harvest more does. If helping to reduce or stabilize the just 10% of the 28,000 hunters were deer population. One deer manage-
incentivized to harvest a doe that ment d