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

A Few More Success Stories for 2018 Deer Season

November 26th, 2018

I just heard from a friend of mine (Ken Currie) about his recent hunting success around Mio Michigan.  Ken’s cabin is only about 5-6 miles from mine, and he seems to have the deer patterned in his area.  He took a nice buck last year that almost looks identical to the one he downed this year during gun season. (See photo of Ken’s nice 7 pointer) The snow on the ground definitely helped the hunters for opening day of gun season!

Ken like many hunters statewide had a pretty dismal October due to some continuous “crummy” weather! The Sunday before rifle opener Ken had his first chance to draw his bow on a fat doe.  His aim was true and after a slow start for the season things were starting to look up. The snow on the ground definitely helped the hunters for opening day of gun season!

Ken also reported on a few other guys from the Monroe Ford Plant that have places in the Mio area. Steve Drouillard and Tommy Lingar shot 6 pointers on their property.  Also it was either Steve or Tom’s grand-daughter that downed a nice 8 pointer. I just love it when the grandkids (especially the girls) get involved in hunting. Send me some photo’s guys and claim your grand-daughter?

Thanks Ken for the report and congratulations once again for your successful deer season.

Mike

Deer Reports Trickling In 2018

November 24th, 2018

word has trickled out of the Baldwin camp in Marquette that Dick Baldwin has done it again.  Dick’s in his early 90’s and just a few days ago showed all the “whippersnappers” how it’s done , “again!” Dick has been hunting those Marquette hills for numerous decades and know’s how to hunt this “brand” of whitetail like no other.  He is a woodsman’s woodman!  I don’t know much about the details, except that he downed another nice buck to add to the pile of horns he’s got hanging at the Baldwin camp! Way to go Dick.  Maybe Gary and Gregg can borrow some of that venison this winter when their freezer’s are bare?  LOL!

Also my brother Darryl harvested a fat little 6 pointer on the third day of gun season.  I know he’s saving that second tag for one of those giants he has walking around his Branch County hot spot, but for now the venison is in the freezer.  Congratulations to you both.

I have not heard of any other family members except Justin Ansel, who took an 8 pointer in Onaway, but I never received a photo of his deer.  His brother Josh shot a 7 point with his bow in early season which I will post with this article.

Still plenty of time to put one on the ground!  I’m waiting for some snow around my cabin to make tracking a little easier.  When your 72 and hunt alone a tracking snow is most desirable!

Mike

Fresh Back-Straps On Opener Eve!

November 14th, 2018

What a great meal to have on the eve of opening gun season here in Michigan.  I decided to cook up some back straps from my grandson’s buck that he downed about a month ago at our cabin.

I fixed nothing with the steaks as I just wanted to savor the great taste of some healthy venison.  I made sure I didn’t overcook them, and the seasoning was just right.  Dipped them in egg and milk before rolling them in seasoning.  cooked them about 5 minutes per side. When they had a nice crust on the outside I figured it was time to dig in!

Oh were they tasty!  It did not take me long to down all four of them with a cold glass of ice water.  Those that have never had a mouth watering venison back strap don’t know what your missing.  But that’s okay I’ll eat yours for you!

Mike

Muzzleloader Sight In!

November 13th, 2018

Over the weekend I went to my brother-in-laws to make sure my muzzleloader was still shooting the same as last year.  It’s always good to check any hunting shotgun, rifle, or muzzleloader from year to year.  Sometimes things can happen (dropped gun, bumped scope, change in eyesight, etc.) that will change the path of your projectiles flight!

I am hunting Michigan’s Southern zone, and my muzzleloader is my weapon of choice over my model 870 with a slug barrel.

I had bought new Pyrodex powder just in case the old wasn’t up to standards.  I was using the same 295 grain bullets I’ve always used so I was expecting the same results as last year.  As you will see on the target my first shot was low and to the right.  I was sighting in at 80 yards, using a bench and a rest.  I adjusted the scope to move the shot higher and to the left.  My second shot did move higher on the target, but was still right of the bulls eye.  The circle I was shooting at was 4 inches across, which is a pretty small target at 80 yards.  After making a few more adjustments with the scope, including “ramping” the power up to “4”, i was ready to “dial in!”  The third shot was inside the circle which was fine with me.

Confidence in the weapon of choice, and how it performs plays a major roll in the outcome of any hunt.  We shall see Thursday morning as Michigan’s gun deer opener is about to get underway.  Be safe out there and always be aware of your surroundings, and enjoy your time in Michigan’s great outdoors!

Mike

Rutting Success!

November 7th, 2018

This is my brother Darryl’s son Derek who put down this nice eight point this morning.  I have no details except he was hunting in Branch county and seeing quite a few deer.  The rut is on and the Branch County gang is seeing a lot of activity on their trail camera’s, and the mock scrapes are getting worked over pretty good!  The weather has been lousy with rain and wind, but today it was clear and crisp.

I’ll do a post on Derek’s story when I get more details, but figured I would share his photo with you all.  Congratulations Derek you’ve done it again!

Mike

 

 

A Rare Bird Indeed!

November 1st, 2018

One of the most beautiful turkeys I have ever seen was several years ago when hunting some “lease” property in Hillsdale.  Actually I saw two very rare birds while deer hunting.  Of course it was not during turkey season season, so I just enjoyed the rare opportunity to view these “pretty birds!”

The first one I saw was a white turkey with black tips on its feathers.  It was with a group of about 22 normal colored birds, and the second one showed up as I sat in a ground blind waiting for a buck to show up.  Unbeknownst to me my pop up was right near the local turkey roosting area, and just before dusk they started flying into the pines behind me.  As they filed in toward my blind one suddenly caught my eye.  It was a golden colored bird, and stood out among the others like a neon sign.  It was absolutely gorgeous!

The reason I’m even telling this is because my brother sent me a photo of a white turkey that was taken in one of the southern counties by a young lady.  He never sent me her name. but I thought her trophy bird was worth showing.  Enjoy and know it’s not the only one walking around out there!

Mike