December Golf Weather?

December 19th, 2014

12-18-14 067So far this fall we have been given a huge break concerning the weather.  Last December was disastrous with cold, snow, and wind being the norm for the month.  I had to have the driveway plowed three times in December last year, but so far this year, the little snow that fell is all melted away!

Last week my good friend (Rev. Bob Baltrip) and I actually played 18 holes of golf at Green Meadows golf course.  There was hardly any wind and temperatures were in the low 50’s.  What a joy it was to get in one last game for the year.  I had not played since October, and ended up with my second lowest round of the year.  We weren’t the only ones enjoying a round of late season golf, as the course was quite full with like-minded “duffers!”

On December 15th. of last year we were dumped on with 8 inches of the white stuff.  Northern Michigan received 12 inches.  When I went up to the cabin for the late season deer hunt there was 18 inches of snow on the ground.  Don’t think that’s going to happen this year!

Well my clubs are cleaned and put away, but I’d pull them out again if we happened to be blessed  with some golfers weather.  Until then I’ll have to stick with watching “the golf channel!”

Mike

Barage County Moose Shot

December 18th, 2014

A moose was shot in Barage County in the Upper Peninsula and the DNR is looking for help in finding who may have shot it!  Read the following bulletin for more information. 

Upper Peninsula DNR News

For Immediate Release
Dec. 17, 2014

Contact: Lt. Peter Wright, 906-228-6561 or Debbie Munson Badini, 906-226-1352

DNR conservation officers seek information on Baraga County moose poaching

Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are seeking information regarding the illegal killing of a bull moose that occurred in late November in Baraga County.

The moose carcass was discovered on Saturday, Dec. 13. Based on evidence collected at the site, officers believe the moose was killed in late November along Heart Lake Road near Petticoat Lake Road in the Three Lakes area. Logging is occurring along the road and road hunting violations have been reported in the area, according to officers involved in the investigation.

A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information related to this case, or any other fish, game or natural resources violation, is asked to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at800-292-7800; the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division at the Marquette Customer Service Center at906-228-6561; or may report the information online at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers. Information may be left anonymously.

Michigan currently does not have a moose hunting season, and moose are protected under state law. Penalties for poaching a moose include up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, restitution of $1,500, and a mandatory loss of all hunting privileges for four years.

For more information about the Upper Peninsula’s moose population, visitwww.michigan.gov/moose.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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For DNR-related questions, contact us.
For suggestions on how the DNR can improve the emails you receive, please email DNR-Bulletins@michigan.gov.

 

Marines Praising God!

December 14th, 2014

I could not pass up posting this video that shows a large group of Marines praising God exuberantly to say the least!  With all the negative news coming at us from all sides this is most refreshing indeed.  Service Chaplains cannot mention the name of Jesus, and there are many restrictions concerning the sharing of the Christian gospel in the ranks of our Armed Forces.  Evidently these marines never got the word to be quiet about Jesus!  You go boys!  You have blessed my heart today.  May God watch over each and every one of you, and keep you from “harms way.”

Democrat’s Won’t Back Off On Gun Control Debate

December 12th, 2014
GUNS 001
  • The gun control debate is heating up again with background checks seeming to win over several Senators that voted against them last time they came before the Senate.
  • Below is one of the latest reports on guns, and gun violence in America.
  • It seems to be a “mixed bag” concerning the direction guns and gun control are moving presently.
  • What comes into play as far as I’m concerned is the fact that this report is not “up to date!  In the last several years Gun sales have skyrocketed, and in particular this last year.  Obama has certainly helped spur gun sales, due to his unrelenting stance on “gun control!”  There are several encouraging factors in this report for Second Amendment advocates, but there is also room for concern.  Read to see what you think.
  • The gun control debate is certainly worth reopening. But if we’re going to reopen it, let’s not just rethink the politics. Let’s take another look at the facts. Earlier this year, President Obama ordered the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess the existing research on gun violence and recommend future studies. That report, prepared by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, is now complete. Its findings won’t entirely please the Obama administration or the NRA, but all of us should consider them. Here’s a list of the 10 most salient or surprising takeaways.

    1. The United States has an indisputable gun violence problem. According to the report, “the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries.”

    2. Most indices of crime and gun violence are getting better, not worse. “Overall crime rates have declined in the past decade, and violent crimes, including homicides specifically, have declined in the past 5 years,” the report notes. “Between 2005 and 2010, the percentage of firearm-related violent victimization’s remained generally stable.” Meanwhile, “firearm-related death rates for youth ages 15 to 19 declined from 1994 to 2009.” Accidents are down, too: “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century. The number of unintentional deaths due to firearm-related incidents accounted for less than 1 percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.”

    3. We have 300 million firearms, but only 100 million are handguns. According to the report, “In 2007, one estimate placed the total number of firearms in the country at 294 million: ‘106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns.’” This translates to nearly nine guns for every 10 people, a per capita ownership rate nearly 50 percent higher than the next most armed country. But American gun ownership is concentrated, not universal: In a December 2012 Gallup poll, “43 percent of those surveyed reported having a gun in the home.”

    4. Handguns are the problem. Despite being outnumbered by long guns, “Handguns are used in more than 87 percent of violent crimes,” the report notes. In 2011, “handguns comprised 72.5 percent of the firearms used in murder and non-negligent manslaughter incidents.” Why do criminals prefer handguns? One reason, according to surveys of felons, is that they’re “easily concealable.”

    5. Mass shootings aren’t the problem. “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths,” says the report. “Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” Compare that with the 335,000 gun deaths between 2000 and 2010 alone.

    6. Gun suicide is a bigger killer than gun homicide. From 2000 to 2010, “firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States,” says the report. Firearm sales are often a warning: Two studies found that “a small but significant fraction of gun suicides are committed within days to weeks after the purchase of a handgun, and both also indicate that gun purchasers have an elevated risk of suicide for many years after the purchase of the gun.”

    7. Guns are used for self-defense often and effectively. “Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year … in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008,” says the report. The three million figure is probably high, “based on an extrapolation from a small number of responses taken from more than 19 national surveys.” But a much lower estimate of 108,000 also seems fishy, “because respondents were not asked specifically about defensive gun use.” Furthermore, “Studies that directly assessed the effect of actual

    defensive uses of guns (i.e., incidents in which a gun was “used” by the crime victim in the sense of attacking or threatening an offender) have found consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims compared with victims who used other self-protective strategies.”

    8. Carrying guns for self-defense is an arms race. The prevalence of firearm violence near “drug markets … could be a consequence of drug dealers carrying guns for self-defense against thieves or other adversaries who are likely to be armed,” says the report. In these communities, “individuals not involved in the drug markets have similar incentives for possessing guns.” According to a Pew Foundation report, “the vast majority of gun owners say that having a gun makes them feel safer. And far more today than in 1999 cite protection—rather than hunting or other activities—as the major reason for why they own guns.”

    9. Denying guns to people under restraining orders saves lives. “Two-thirds of homicides of ex- and current spouses were committed [with] firearms,” the report observes. “In locations where individuals under restraining orders to stay away from current or ex-partners are prohibited from access to firearms, female partner homicide is reduced by 7 percent.”

    10. It isn’t true that most gun acquisitions by criminals can be blamed on a few bad dealers. The report concedes that in 1998, “1,020 of 83,272 federally licensed retailers (1.2 percent) accounted for 57.4 percent of all guns traced by the ATF.” However, “Gun sales are also relatively concentrated; approximately 15 percent of retailers request 80 percent of background checks on gun buyers conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.” Researchers have found that “the share of crime gun traces attributed to these few dealers only slightly exceeded their share of handgun sales, which are almost equally concentrated among a few dealers.” Volume, not laxity, drives the number of ill-fated sales.

    These conclusions don’t line up perfectly with either side’s agenda. That’s a good reason to take them seriously—and to fund additional data collection and research which have been blocked by Congress over politics. Yes, the facts will surprise you. That’s why you should embrace them.

    Black Bear Causes Three Deaths!

    December 8th, 2014

    This is a report by CBC news out of southern Florida.  Seems we have been hearing quite a lot about bears in Florida of late!  What a tragic accident!

    A motorist’s vehicle struck and killed a black bear on a road in the Florida Everglades and three others from another vehicle who had gotten out to help the woman where then struck and killed by a third vehicle, police said. Several others were reported injured in the three-vehicle accident.

    Seminole Police Department spokesman Gary Bitner told The Associated Press the woman was driving on the two-lane Snake Road just inside Everglades territory when her vehicle hit the bear shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday. He said it was after sunset and dark already by that time.

    “Three people from a second vehicle got out and tried to help and all were struck and killed by a third vehicle,” Bitner said by telephone, adding events apparently unfolded quickly.

    “We’ve never had an accident involving a black bear,” he noted. “There are black bears throughout Florida and this is in the Everglades, so there absolutely are black bears in that area.”

    He added that 13 people in total were riding in the three vehicles and four were injured severely enough that they had to be taken by helicopter to a South Florida hospital. He said four others were taken by ambulances and two of the 13 weren’t hurt, including the woman in the initial crash with the bear.

    The identities of those involved and the extent of their injuries weren’t immediately available, he said, adding accident reconstruction experts were on the scene and details remained uncertain of precisely how events unfolded or the speed and make of the vehicles. But he said at least two of the vehicles were going in opposite directions.

    “They are still trying to figure everything out,” he said.

    Bitner said that location is on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, one of several tribal reservations scattered about Florida. He said it was also in an area north of the Everglades’ Alligator Alley.

    Mike

    Ohio’s Big Bucks 2014

    December 6th, 2014

    Ohio Big Bucks 2014 004Ohio Big Bucks 2014 006Ohio Big Bucks 2014 008My brother Darryl has made the trip to Southern Ohio, for their opener of gun deer season, for many years.  He usually gets a few days of bowhunting in before the gun opener, and has had a few successful hunts.  It’s not like he comes back every year with a “Booner,” but he does come back with the stories of huge Ohio whitetails that have been seen, and harvested by his hunting partners and other local hunters.  This year was no different, as I will post pictures of three of the bucks that were taken around his hunting area.  No wonder he keeps coming back!

    The opener was rainy and miserable, as the weather did not cooperate at all.  On top of that was a full moon which had deer moving later than usual.  The second day deer drives were planned, but the brush was so thick it was tough going trying to “bump” them out of their beds!  Darryl did fill his doe tag, but may have been better off staying in his tree stand on day two.  Upon checking his trail camera he found that three different bucks had visited, with one being a really mature 10 point.  Oh well that’s the way it goes little brother.

    From the pictures I received I did an estimate of the score of the second buck.  I came up with well over 180 inches on this massive rack!  Those huge Southern Ohio bucks seem to get bigger every year, and I’m sure we all will be reading more about the “Ohio bucks that didn’t get away.”

    Mike

    Michigan Crossbow “Grand Slam”

    December 3rd, 2014

    2014 Birthday Bear 060Oct. deer hunt two deer 006Up north and Randy's birthday 008I have been a member of Michigan Bowhunters for well over 20 years, and have enjoyed being a part of the bowhunting fraternity.  My younger brother Darryl is also a member, and over the years has garnered one of the top awards offered by them.  It’s called “the grand slam award!”  It’s given to the individual that has taken a bear, deer, and (30 point) small game animal in the calendar year.  Little brother has done it twice with the small game animal being a turkey.  It is not an easy feat with a bow, or a gun for that matter!

    Well I always wanted to match that feat, but was always one animal short of the three required.  I was the one that got my little brother started in the sport, and it seemed I should be able to keep up with him, as an archer and hunter.  Well many factors come into play when accomplishing such a goal, and things just never fell into place for me.

    Here we are in 2014 and we both are still members of Michigan Bowhunters, but I now hunt mainly with a crossbow.  I still use my compound at times (shot a doe with it this year) but due to arthritis my Barnett crossbow is my main companion in the woods.  I am a member of the “Michigan Crossbow Federation,” and this year I actually harvested the three game animals needed for the Michigan Grand Slam!  Michigan Bowhunters do not recognize game animals taken with a crossbow, and the Michigan Crossbow Federation has no awards program as yet.

    No problem, as I have had the most memorable year in the woods I have ever had.  Awards are great, but it’s not the reason I hunt.  Decades old friendships, soaring eagles, campfires, living off the grid, wild game meals, big bear, big bucks, and strutting turkeys are just a few of the memories etched in my mind that I alone possess.  You can’t give them to me, or take them away!  They are mine to play over an over in the theater of my mind when I can not longer pull the bow, climb a tree, or follow a blood trail.  And the most important scene in all of my wonderful outdoor memories is the friends and family I have shared them with.  I am a most blessed man indeed to have had the experiences i’v had in this great sport called “hunting!”

    Mike

    Introducing Non-Hunters To The Taste/Benefits Of Wild Game!

    November 29th, 2014

    Mrs Mary's Pre School Chief 10 Bears 053I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving this past Thursday.  I know my nephew Derek did, as his son Jackson got his first deer.  I’ll post a picture when I get one.

    For the last several years I have visited school classrooms with my Native American presentation.  My great grandmother was a Northern Cree from Saskatchewan Canada.  I have been learning the Cree language along with Native American sign language, and have a collection of various tools, weapons, clothing, and  pow-wow items.  Many of them I have made myself including several necklaces made from bear claws!

    Mrs. Mary Boudrie runs a preschool not far from my place, and I have put on many presentations at her school.  I usually focus in on the first Thanksgiving, as that is what the children are learning about, and that is when they make their special “stone soup!”  They get a kick out of my many animal hides, and  “Chief Ten Bears” Native American outfit and regalia always gets their attention.  My grand-daughter “Cactus Flower” came along to help me, as she has done in the past.

    This year we used Mr. Tom Boudrie’s huge pole barn for the kids and their parents.  Tom has one of the largest Native American collections in the state of Michigan, so it was fitting to have my talk/demonstration there.  I knew before hand that there would be many more people present than at any other presentation, and that food was going to be served.  I figured this would be a good time to introduce them to some good Native American food-wild game!  I cooked up some bear meat, wild turkey, and venison for their liking.  I was surprised at how many of the kids gave it a try, and several parents told me how much they enjoyed the fare.  I think the bear meat went over the best!  Many were surprised at how good it tasted, as they expected a gamey flavor.  Even several of the women gave it a try, and were impressed.

    What a good way to introduce the uninitiated to the great taste and benefits of our natural resources available through hunting.  It’s a good way to make some allies from non-hunting people you may be able to influence.  And that my friends is a good thing for those of us who do hunt!

    Mike

    Another Elk Poached in Montmorency County

    November 25th, 2014

    elk 028Oct. deer hunt two deer 047How in the world does any (so called) hunter shoot a 650 pound bull elk, and mistake it for a 150 pound deer?  I don’t know either, but it happens every year!

    When I was a young man in my twenty’s we used to go into Atlanta to see the big bucks hanging on their game pole.  Seems almost every year there would be an enormous elk hanging there that some knucklehead thought was a new world record deer!  The difference between the two were so obvious it wasn’t funny.  Those were in the early days of re-establishing our elk heard, so the elk numbers weren’t that high.  That elk was killed  in Montmorency County , which is still a hotbed for elk poaching!

    Just last week a 51 year old man from Waterford Michigan confessed to killing a bull elk on opening day of gun season in Montmorency County.  The elk was actually found by another hunter, and a call was made to the DNR’s (RAP) hotline.  After a lengthy investigation a suspect was identified, and a confession was forth-coming!  Lt. Jim Gomo of the Department of Natural Resources said “Good old fashioned police work by our officers brought this case to a successful end!”  “We continue to encourage the public to be diligent in watching out for our natural resources.  without the hunter calling the RAP line to report this case, it could have gone unresolved.”

    Conservation officers continue to investigate a number of poaching related incidents involving elk in the Northern Lower Peninsula.  The DNR’s RAP line is open 24 hours, and the number is 800-292-7800.

    In the above pictures can you tell the difference between a smallish elk and a good sized deer?  To me mistaking the two is inexcusable, and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!

    Mike

    Little Brother Does It Again!

    November 22nd, 2014

    Brock and Darryl deer 003A couple evenings ago I got a call from my little brother Darryl.  He’s the one that so far has spent 55 days in the field chasing whitetails.  He’s passed on several bucks, as he shoots nothing but big mature deer.  When I get a phone call from him I know he’s put one down!

    Seems a nice big 10 pointer made a fatal mistake, and ventured out into the cold, and windy evening.  You know the one that any self respecting hunter (me) wouldn’t dare venture into, because the deer aren’t moving in this stuff! That’s my brother!  He’s out there while the rest of us are sitting in our favorite chair watching “The Hunting Channel!”

    Darryl put the “smack-down” on his buck not very far from where he lives.  Heck if you spend enough time in the field your bound to get a shot eventually right?  Even though I believe the deer numbers are going to be way down this year the Ansel Clan hasn’t done to bad so far.

    I did hear from the Baldwin hunting camp around Marquette, and they have had to resort to snowshoes this season. The Upper Peninsula has been blasted by heavy snow.  So far Greg Baldwin shot a nice 8 pointer, and one of the grandkids missed a small buck.  They stay at camp the whole two weeks, so I’m sure they’ll add to that total if Dick Baldwin has anything to do about it.

    I’m posting a picture of Darryl and his hard earned buck, and no doubt will be posting more, as there still a lot of hunting to do in Michigan!

    Mike