Mushroom Feast

May 7th, 2019

Just a few days ago I read on Facebook that a friend of mine found a couple morel mushrooms in her back yard. Over the last couple years a few of these tasty morsels have been found in my own yard, so I decided I better check it out.  Sure enough there were 10 of them sprouting up from their normal growing area.  There were a mixture of greys and whites.  None of them very big, but still a nice feast for one hungry mushroom lover.

I cooked them up today in a hot skillet of melted butter.  Soaked them in egg and milk; then rolled them in flour, salt, and pepper.  Cooked them till golden brown and couldn’t wait to dig in. Oh my goodness they were delicious!  I may not get another meal of fresh picked mushrooms this year, so I savored ever delicious bite.  It made the meal all the more special to know they came from my own yard.  Bon-Appetit!

Mike

A Traditional Tom!

April 27th, 2019

Just returned from a week in the turkey woods, and what a trip it was.  My permit started Monday April 22nd. and what a beautiful morning it was.  Sunny, blue skies, and light wind.  I only heard one gobble early in the morning and din’t see anything till later in the day when a couple hens walked into my set-up.

The evening hunt was quiet except for a couple “scrawny” deer feeding in the area.  I did get a text from my brother that his grandson Tanner had shot a big Tom around his place in Fairview.  They were now trying to get grandson Tristan a bird!

Tuesday it was cold and overcast.  Just the opposite of Monday.  I hunted till about 9 a,m, and then retreated to the warmth of the cabin.  Around noon I decided to take a stroll to my blind near a food plot, and on a whim grabbed my Bear Kodiak Magnum and a couple cedar arrows that my buddy Bob Baltrip hand crafted.  Now I saw on a whim, as I have always dreamed of sticking a turkey with traditional equipment, but had not tried to do so in decades!  The recurve is light, beautiful, and full of bowhunter tradition.  As near as I can tell it’s one of the first Kodiak Magnums Fred bear ever produced.  Bob’s turkey fletched, matching spined, cedar arrows were topped with a heavy 160 grain Snuffer broadhead!  They flew fantastic out of the 52 inch 45 pound draw weight bow.

As I approached my blind I saw a dash of “red” in the food plot.  I quickly retreated to some cover and saw two Tom’s feeding near the blind.  After some maneuvering I was able to sneak into the blind undetected.  The birds were feeding my way and soon were 15 yards directly in front of my shooting window.  They were both Jake’s but had very distinguishable beards (4-5 inches.)  I was a little nervous as I drew on the closest bird and shot over it’s back! They both jumped when the arrow hit the ground, but soon resumed feeding.  I had only brought two arrows with me, and was second guessing myself on my “last” chance for a tradition kill.  At about 13-14 yards the birds turned and started walking away and I knew it was now or never.  The arrow smacked the startled bird closest to me on the right side near the back.  He took off running with the arrow looking like the mast on a fast running schooner darting through the woods.  I was concerned about the lack of good penetration as I tried to remember the last spot I saw the two high tailing it out of sight.

They were on a deer run coming into my food plot and I found the arrow about 40 yards from where I took the shot.  There was blood, feathers, and flesh on the big broadhead.  Another 30 yards down the deer run, and there he was piled up right next to my 4×4 trail.  He had a 4-1/2 inch beard and was nice sized for a Jake.  I couldn’t have been prouder if he had a 10 inch beard.  I took some selfies and as I smiled ear to ear could actually take this accomplishment off my “bucket list.”

The photo of the “turkey crew” consist of Me. Derek, Tanner, Tristan, and brother Darryl. The first photo is of Tanners big bird that his grandpa Darryl worked into range after Tanner and him did some creative calling!

Mike

Turkey Season 2019

April 20th, 2019

It has been a long and inactive time since I last posted anything!  Just not much going on during the wet, cold, and windy winter, that never seems to quit!  Well starting this coming Monday all that is hopefully going to change.

I have my car packed and ready to head north to the cabin.  We are getting together with the kids and grandkids Sunday for Easter, and later that evening I will point my vehicle toward Luzerne and head out.  I have not been at our place in several months, but friends were there 3 weeks ago.  Then there was still a foot of snow on the ground.  Several turkey were spotted around the cabin and a big tom showed up in my back yard.  I’m hoping he’s still in the area come Monday.

My brother Darryl and his crew will also be in the area, as they just recently purchased two cabins and some acreage in the heart of turkey country.  My place is about 16 miles away so we will probably meet a t Talley’s in Lewiston for a Tally burger.

I will give a report and post photo’s once I return.  My son-in-law Dave will join me at mid week, and I’ll do my best to put a Tom in his crosshairs.

There are 8 Tom’s in the photo I posted strutting around me!  Maybe it’s the red shirt I’m wearing?  Hope they are that lovestruck next week!

Mike

 

 

Sandy Toe’s Swimming With The Pigs!

February 23rd, 2019

Just returned from a week in the Bahama’s at the Atlantis on Paradise Island.  One of my daughters got married there, and our whole family (27 of us) flew down for the week.

Another daughter booked an excursion called “Sandy Toe’s” which involved a double decker boat ferring a couple miles into the ocean to spend the day on their island.  We could swim, snorkel, play beach volleyball, hike, kayak, lay around in hammocks, or “swim with the pigs!”

Swimming with the pigs involved a guide standing in the ocean with a bucket of treats and another on the beach with a bucket of treats.  The pigs would swim back and forth from water to sand, and while in the water you could touch or pet them.  Some would purposely splash you as they swam by!  The big black one pictured looked to have some ferrell characteristics, and weighed in close to 400 pounds.  That’s a lot of “pork” on the hoof.  My wife had never touched a pig before and it was kind of a real adventure for her.

The snorkeling was awesome as we saw a variety of fish and beautiful coral reefs.  We even had a Manatee swim by that shocked those who saw it! Never dreamed of seeing a “sea cow” this far from Florida.

There were also a breeding flock of peacocks on the island along with some small lizards and lots of sand crabs. A delicious meal was served half way through our time there which really hit the spot.

The ride over takes about half an hour and is very enjoyable.  The water is simply breathtaking with the various shades of blues and aquas.  Well worth the time and money. 5 stars!

Mike

Black Lake Through The Ice

February 5th, 2019

It’s been many many years since I have attempted to cut a hole in the ice and try and land a fish.  Used to do it when my dad was alive and when Lake Erie had good ice and tons of tasty perch.

Just today my older brother Randy sent me a photo of his success while fishing Black Lake which isn’t very far from his place in Onaway.  He’s with his buddy John who has a nice ice shanty out on the lake.  They were doing pretty good on Northern Pike and some panfish. Walleye are also a possibility.

I’m content with viewing someone else’s photo’s and hearing their stories as I sit in my La-Z-Boy by the fireplace. Never was a big fan of cold, wind snow and ice, but as per tonight’s weather forecast I could see it all tomorrow when I get up.

Mike

The Winter Blahs!

January 17th, 2019

It seems like it’s been forever since i’ve written a post, and it actually has been awhile.  Not much to do right now especially if your a senior citizen with limited mobility.  You young guys can be skiing, snow shoeing, rabbit hunting, or even chasing bobcats, but not this “oldtimer!”

It’s during this time of year I work on making Native American reproductions.  I have some Native blood in my dna and have always been draw to the ways of the “Aissiniwok” (First People!) I am a member of the “Turtle island DreamKeepers” here in Monroe who sponsor a Pow-Wow at the Monroe County Community College each year in June.  Some of the crafts I’m working on I will take there as a vendor this year to sell.  Much of what I do I give to friends and family.

I have several tanned (various colors) deer hides, rabbit furs, mink, fox, and coyote pelts that I use in my reproductions.  Turkey feathers and turkey feet, along with deer horns play a major part in what I’m making.  I also use “craft” feather, beads, leather braiding, and such to decorate with! On occasion I use the tails of squirrels I’v taken during squirrel season.  This year I actually managed to shoot a couple with my bow.

I will post several photo’s of completed work that I have done over the last few months

Mno Giizhigatken (Have a good day)

Mike

Doug Fairburn Canadian “Bushman!”

January 7th, 2019

Not much is going on right now especially around here as there is no snow.  Nothing but rain and unseasonably warm weather!

However that is not the case for my cousin’s husband Doug Fairburn.  They hail from North of the border, and I mean the Canadian border.  Doug and Nancy have lived in several places in Canada, but recently moved back to Sault Ste. Marie to be close to Nancy’s kids and grandkids.

Doug has always had a love for the “bush” and has worked as a hunting/fishing guide and trapper for many years.  Since moving back to the Sault Doug has once again taken up winter trapping. He has a 60 square mile area the he and his partner have been allocated not far from Batchawana Bay.  That’s about an hour drive from his home.  Right now it’s more of a hobby, and the love of being outdoors where a man can think more clearly!

The season so far is just starting to pick up as “Team Doug” has caught several martin, a couple fisher, and one huge beaver.  Fur prices are down, so they aren’t trapping to become financially independent, but because there “hooked” on it. Doug uses his snow machine to check his trap-line, and believe me he needs it.  There’s a couple feet of snow in the woods with 10-14 more inches forecast for this coming week.

I just received a photo of Doug and the Fisher he caught Friday.  It’s a very big one and has a beautiful pelt.  The beaver he caught last week weighed about 45 pounds which puts it in the extra large category.

Doug is a “throw back” to another era when subsistence living was all there was in the boreal forest and swamps of the Canadian Wilderness. Be careful you guys and keep me posted on how the season progresses!

Mike

 

The Hunter Returns Home Empty Handed!

December 20th, 2018

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been 12 days since I last wrote a post.  Hope I don’t get fired!  Actually there hasn’t been a whole lot to write about.  Deer season has been pretty slow going this year and my trip north is a culmination of how the year has gone for me.

I just returned from four (4) days of deer hunting, and came back empty handed.  Honestly that doesn’t happen very often, and actually I could of shot numerous does.  They all had yearlings with them, and one of them had triplets.  I may have been tempted on a lone doe with no “kids” hanging around, but those yearlings will need their mama to get through the winter.

I brought my trail camera’s home and just put the pictures on my computer.  Well guess what?  Lo and behold I have 5 different bucks in my food plot at various times through the night.  That is the way it’s been for the last several years!  Those darn bucks are nocturnal and seem to stay that way all season!  I’ve heard other reports from different parts of the state saying the same thing about nocturnal bucks!  Even the does are hedging toward the hours of darkness.  What is the answer to bagging these “night owls?”  Night vision?

If this is being inbred into the deer herd and taught to the younger deer by more savvy deer, the harvest is sure to go down!  It will be interesting to see the D.N. R. report on the deer harvest numbers this year.

The deer caught on camera are a one sided spike, wide 6 point with no tine length, 8 pointer, a broken sided 6 point and a 10 point.  I never saw any of these bucks in the daylight.  I have two days after christmas to try and figure it out or my freezer is going to be awful “lonesome” this year!

Pike In The Pan!

December 8th, 2018

This past summer I caught a few nice Northern Pike and put several packages in the freezer.  It seems that at least one package was “crying” out to me that they wanted to be eaten!  I thawed them out, got out the batter, and put the frying pan grease on 360 degrees.  Put a couple potatoes in the oven and I was almost ready to enjoy those pike on a 18 degree day in the first stages of the oncoming winter months.

I cooked 8 filets and two baked potatoes and I was ready for a lovely winter fish dinner.  That’s what a hunter and fisherman’s freezer is for.  Didn’t have to go to the store, fight the crowds, or pay an exorbitant price for these delicious pike morsels!  Not only that I was “home alone” so I didn’t have to share my “catch” with anyone!

Mike

Now You See Them Now You Don’t

December 6th, 2018

 Don’t know what the final deer harvesting numbers are going to be, but from my experience (along with family and friends) I suspect they will be down from last year.  I have not hunted very much so far, but in my 4 days afield I have yet to see a deer!  Pretty unusual for me especially since I have several nice bucks on my trail camera.  Family and friends also have some “whooper” bucks on their camera’s, but everything is after dark!

As far as I can tell this is not a localised or isolated phenomenon occurring during hunting season. I have family members hunting the big buck  Southern Michigan counties, and I hunt the far northern area’s.  We have friend’s in the Upper Peninsula who also are experiencing nighttime “only” movement!

I know of one area where 8 hunters have a huge southern farmland lease, and have some monster bucks on film (at night!)  Most hunters believe that once the “rut is in full swing these “big boys” will go nuts and run full tilt during daylight hours. Well last report is only 1 hunter out of 8 dropped a buck during gun season and it was a 1-1/2 old 6 point. The record class bucks seen on trail camera’s stayed nocturnal during the 5 days these guys hunted morning and evening!  No wonder they are able to grow such impressive head gear!

So in conclusion I don’t know if the older mature bucks are developing a dna survival gene that kicks in during the fall hunting season, or it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time?  Elsewhere big bucks are being harvested, but could it be that in some area’s the “bruisers” are intelligent enough to stay nocturnal for survival sake?

I’m posting some trail cam photo’s of some nice bucks that are definitely in the area, but none seen in legal shooting hours!

Mike