Time To Start Thinking About Fall Deer Season!

August 1st, 2015

I remember from my old boy scout days the scout “motto” was “Be Prepared.” Well October first is fast approaching and it is time to get your act together concerning the upcoming bow season.

I drove over to my lease property this morning in Hillsdale thinking I was prepared to take care of business. The first thing I did was check out my “hay blind.” We’ve had a lot of rain this month, and the ole blind didn’t fare to well from all the moisture. I had placed a tarp over the roof of the blind, but evidently the wind blew part of it off, and some of the bales fell to the ground. At this point it does not look like this experiment is going to be a rousing success. Oh well, if it doesn’t pan out I at least have some feed for the deer.

Next I attempted to put my rivers edge 20 foot tree stand up. I am not a tall person (5-7) but I am stout (225), and do you think I could get that darn 89 pound ladder stand in a vertical position? I think “physics” comes into play here somewhere! Not to mention the fact that I haven’t lifted weights or worked out in many moons. Anyway this “little girly man” had to leave the rivers edge laying on its side-horizontally. Part of “being prepared” has to do with being in good physical condition. Looks like I start hitting the weight room, before I can’t even lift my bow and arrows.

Next I cut some shooting lanes, and did a little scouting for deer sign. One of the areas I hunt, the woods butts up to a 120 acre corn field. I was dumbfounded to see the amount of corn stalks laying on the ground. No wonder farmers complain about crop damage from deer. This farmer will loose many acres, to the deer, before he picks his corn this fall.

While I was driving to my area I saw several other hunters doing the same thing I was doing-getting prepared. I will be going back over, in a couple days, with reinforcements to tackle those ladder stands. I tried to get help on this trip, but seems no one wants to help bake the pie-they just like to eat it!

Mike11 point measurements 008

Michigan To Issue Bear Damage Permits Before Season Opener

July 26th, 2015

????You could possibly get your Michigan black bear before season even opens, and it would all be legal.  Starting this year the DNR will have the option to issue bear damage shooting permits for bears causing agricultural, horticultural, or apiary (beehive) damage.  Any area open to bear hunting could see a potential for an early permit.  Even as early as July 1st.  Gov. Rich Snyder signed Public Act 407 in December of 2014.

The act allows hunters who were successful in drawing a bear license to use that license on property on which the owner has a bear damage permit allowing the shooting of a nuisance bear.  Nuisance bears may be harvested only for the area that your permit was drawn in.  The permit is only valid for one bear a year old and may not be used for cubs or females with cubs.

Hunters will not be allowed to use bait or hounds in pursuit of a bear using a bear damage permit.  Bears will feed on corn, oats, apples, cherries, and beehives!  Hunters harvesting a bear using this permit would have 72 hours to register the bruin.

Any hunter with a bear permit is asked to contact their local DNR wildlife biologist and let them know you are willing to use your tag on a bear nuisance permit.  Kevin Swanson is the DNR Bear program leader, and he can be contacted at the DNR’s Marquette office.  Swanson will then make a list of potential hunters, and once a permit is issued, will notify those on the list.  He can be reached at (906)-226-1357 or at swansonk@michigan.gov.  No more than 5% of permits will be issued in any Bear Management Unit for problem bears.

Mike

Michigan DNR Fish Restocking Efforts Pay Off

July 23rd, 2015

Cedar Valley Golf Club – A Jewel In The Woods!

July 20th, 2015

IMG_0439 (1)cabin july 4th. 2015 085cabin july 4th. 2015 086Several years ago my brother Randy and I stumbled onto the Cedar Valley Golf Course in Comins Michigan.  We really liked the course layout, but it was in a gradual decline, as the owners were trying to sell it.  We always got in several rounds of golf whenever we stayed at my place in Luzerne.  Even though we had several courses closer we would choose to drive a few extra miles to play Cedar Valley.  The operation folded and Cedar Valley reverted back to the wilds, as no buyers were to be found.  It was a shame the last time we took a drive by the place, to see the overgrown fairways as nature took over!

Well in 2014 new ownership and management took charge, and big changes started to take place.  Current owners John and Carole Kulhavi plan to keep on making various improvements, and the management addition of Mike and Rebecca Harrington play a major role in overseeing those improvements.  Several new additions related to a “Fun Park” theme (putt-putt, batting cages, and carnival rides) are part of the family atmosphere the Kulhavi’s want to create in the very near future.

I can tell you from my first hand experience that this “little jewel of the north” is back and in the best condition it’s ever been in. Mike and Rebecca, and family, have put their heart and soul into improving the grounds, and from my perspective “hit a home run!”  My golf partner and I played the course twice a few weeks ago, and our only regret is that we ran out of time to play a few more rounds.

Years ago when I played it was $37.00 a round for a senior with a cart.  Prices are now $25.00 dollars for 18 holes with a 10% discount for military veterans.  Several other discounts for groups are available with a special Tuesday golf package consisting of a dollar a hole, a dollar a hot dog, and a dollar a beer.  Sunday scramble events are starting to draw more golfers, and it won’t be long till this “cat” is out of the bag.

If you live in the Mio, Fairview, Lewiston and Comins area, or have a summer place near by, you have to pay a visit to Cedar Valley.  Friendly staff, beautiful grounds, and challenging greens await those who want to experience for themselves “The Jewel In The Woods!”  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Mike

Fighting Back Against Michigan’s Invasive Species

July 17th, 2015

Everyone who enjoys Michigan’s waters has a role to play to assist in protecting against AIS. Here are a few simple things you can do!

Example of a DNR Invasive Species Alert documentLearn how to identify and report AIS
If you equip yourself with the knowledge to properly identify AIS you can help the DNR discover threats. Check out newInvasive Species Alert documents from the DNR’s Fisheries Division that provide the following information on numerous species: identification characteristics, habitat, diet, native range, why they are of a local concern, how they may be introduced, and how you can tell them apart from native species.

If you think you’ve found an invasive species – whether you discover it while you’re fishing, purchasing bait, or just out for a stroll on your favorite shoreline – the next step is to report it to the DNR! Check out the department’s Invasive Species Reporting in Michigan website for ways to do this.

Help prevent the introduction and/or spread of AIS
There are many simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t accidentally introduce a new invasive species into Michigan’s waters or spread an already established invasive species even more. One of the easiest ones is: Clean, Drain, Dry, Dispose!

Here’s how you do it:

  • Clean – remove aquatic plants from boats, boating equipment and boat trailers before launching or placing in the water.
  • Drain – empty live wells, bilges and all water from boats before leaving an access site.
  • Dry – your boats and equipment for at least 5 days before launching into a different body of water.Aquatic Invasive Species website button
  • Dispose – put your unused bait in the trash. Do not release bait into the water.  

Fishing Michigan

July 12th, 2015

golf and Mindy's place 042golf and Mindy's place 036golf and Mindy's place 040golf and Mindy's place 034golf and Mindy's place 044So far this has been a banner year for the Ansel gang hauling in the fish!  Had another successful day yesterday at our secret “glory hole,” as the grandkids and I had a blast.  I landed my fourteenth (14th) bass of the year and to top even that, my 6-year-old grandson landed a 19 inch largemouth all by his self!

It was a classic (was ment to be) catch, as he was fishing for sunfish with a small hook and part of a worm.  When the bass pulled his bobber under he yanked the pole and set the hook.  We all thought he had a big sunfish, until the bass broke water shaking its head trying to throw the hook.  We all about “crapped” our pants, but not Brady.  He gave the pole two cranks then threw it down in the sand and started hand reeling.  We’re trying to get him back on the pole, but he would have none of it!  He hand reeled that “bad boy” right up onto the beach and had one bragging fish flopping around.  When I picked it up to get some pictures the little hook just “popped” out of his mouth.  Brady couldn’t even hold the “monster it was wiggling so much so his fishing buddy (dad) held it for him.  It was neat to see Brady release the fish as it swam off to safety!

One of grandson Keegan’s buddies (Alec) also caught a nice bass, but a true “heavyweight” spit out the hook doing his high flying acrobatics!  The rest of the grandkids Ava, Addy, McKenzie, and Kyle all caught tons of sunfish and blue gill much to their delight.  What a great way to spend the day with kids and grandkids.  This is where memories are made in “Fishing Michigan!”

Mike

Rainbow Trout Surprise

July 9th, 2015

cabin july 4th. 2015 074cabin july 4th. 2015 060trout dinner 002What a fun-filled week we just spent at the cabin.  We swam, spent time at the Traverse City Cherry Festival, did the zip line, fished, played cards (games,) and had some good eating.

One of those days we caught 10 rainbow trout ranging in size from 10-16 inches.  I decided to try a new recipe I had for cooking fish on the grill.  Most of our gang had left for home and only our good friends Ed and Linda remained with us.  Neither Ed or Linda have had good experiences from eating trout, and I was hoping this meal would change their minds.

I used two of the bigger trout for our dinner.  I’m about to reveal my recipe which can be custom fit to your own taste and desires.  After rinsing the fish off I opened up the cavity and put salt, pepper, a dash of garlic, and any other (parsley) condiments to enhance flavor.  I then put a tablespoon of butter inside along with slices of lemon.  You can also use lemon juice.  I then poured about 2 tablespoons of Italian salad dressing on the fish and placed cut up lemon and onion on the outside.  I used the non-sticking aluminum foil to wrap them tightly in and put them on the grill for about 30-40 minutes.  I turned them over one time while cooking, and I must say they turned out great.

Pulling on the backbone removed the rib bones and smaller bones, but you still have to check for the few that might remain!  Ed, Lorna, and Myself all enjoyed the firm white meat with Lina even eating a couple of sample bites.  I’m going to try it again at home and maybe add broccoli and cauliflower to the tin foil package.

Mike

Luzerne vacation

July 5th, 2015

Been awhile since I blogged as we are vacationing at the cabin.  Just relaxing with the family as we do all the things one can do in the north woods.  Canoeing, 4- wheeling, fishing, and swimming to name a few.  Oh I can’t forget eating.  We are all off our diets for sure.

seen a hen turkey with 12 little ones and two does when I get homewith fawns.  Some went into Traverse City for the Cherry Festival. Saw the blue Angels and ate lots of cherry pie.  I will post pictures and catch up on my blogging  when I get home.

Mike

 

Turtle Island Dream Keepers 4th. Annual Pow-Wow

June 27th, 2015

Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 001Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 005Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 007Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 002Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 003Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 004Dream Keepers Pow-Wow 010I have been wanting to do this for years, and finally attended the Turtle Island dream Keepers 4th. annual Pow-Wow here at the Monroe county community college.  The “Dream Keepers are a non-profit Native American organization that has hosted this event for educational purposes, and for an opportunity for intertribal gatherings.  There were Odawa, Onandaga, Osage, Abenaki, Mohawk, Cherokee, Chippewa, Pueblo, and Blackfeet represented, as well as many others that i didn’t meet.  As far as I know I was the only Cree represented (Northern.)

As I entered the College I met a real live WWII veteran.  His name was Kenneth Jewson who served in the navy protecting our Pacific coastline against invasion.  He was only 17 years old at the time , and is now a spry 88 years old.  Kenneth is a member of the Onandaga Tribe and was accompanied by his grand-daughter.  As I strolled the community college auditorium I met many Native American’s who served in the armed forces.  There are some very fascinating stories among these brave men and women.  Many of my fellow brothers served in the marines, with Salamander Bearwalker having a story that deserves to be made into a movie.  Five tours of duty in Viet Nam (as a sniper) has “Hollywood written all over it.  Bearwalker and his wife Nacombius had their 7-year-old grand-daughter with them.  Ayita was going to help lead the dancing with her grandma and grandpa, as they do every year.

Sitting at a table right beside them was Wayne Hardwick who is the All Nations Veterans Council Leader.  Wayne served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1974-77, and is from the Chippewa tribe.  I have a picture of Wayne holding the “Eagle Staff” with the actual head of a golden eagle on the top.  Eagle feathers run down the side as it honors those who have served this nation and those who have honored the Native American heritage.

Tom and Margaret Osborne had their “Northern Trading ” table set up with every fur-bearing animal in North America.  Tom is quite a character as he has been a trapper, hunting guide, and world champion predator caller among his list of so-called jobs!  I bought a racoon fur from him, as I needed one for my collection.  Tom says he has actually called coyotes into his “lap” and he has the scars to prove it.  Tom is also a Viet Nam veteran serving in 1966-67.  Same years I served!

As I was looking around I came across Jack Hickey Jr.  He was just setting up his display, but was gracious enough to talk with me awhile.  He makes Native American Jewelry, and I must say his craftmanship is superb.  I bought a beaded bracelet from him.  Jack was representing the Osage Tribe.  Randal Estrada was the next guy I had the pleasure of meeting.  He goes to many of the Pow-Wow and makes authentic Indian Jewelry.  Randal was just setting up his display, but what I saw was very impressive.  Randal was representing the Santo Domingo Pueblo tribes from New Mexico.

I had noticed a women getting her grand-daughters regalia outfit ready, and once she was all set, I took her picture.  Lilah (Thunder-Spirit) is from the Eastern Band of Cherokee.  She was so proud of her outfit and I think grandma and grandpa were proud of her.

I have more I can write, but will save it for another day.

West Nile Virus

June 26th, 2015

Most recently, three American crows in Ingham County tested positive for West Nile virus – the state’s first report this year of the virus. West Nile virus is carried by birds, and has been known to be transmitted from bird to bird only by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a bird carrying the virus. The infected mosquito then transmits the virus to another bird through a second bite.

Most birds are relatively resistant to West Nile virus, and serve (as carriers) to maintain the virus in the avian population. Susceptible bird species (crows, ravens, blue jays, hawks or owls) and mammals may be infected with West Nile virus when bitten by a “bridge vector” mosquito (one that feeds on both birds and mammals), which transmits the virus outside of the bird-to-bird cycle. Bridge vector mosquitoes then may transmit the virus to a horse, human or other mammal.

So far in 2015, there have been no confirmed cases of humans being infected with West Nile virus.

The public can help by continuing to observe birds, keeping in mind that:

  • The corvid family includes species – American crow, common raven and blue jay – most sensitive to West Nile virus.
  • Several of the raptor (hawk and owl) species also can be adversely affected.
  • Birds showing neurological signs consistent with West Nile virus may demonstrate an inability to perch, walk or fly, and often are in poor physical condition and dehydrated.

To report birds suspected of being infected with West Nile virus, call the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab at 517-336-5030.

For more information, including precautions to protect against the virus, visit the West Nile virus section on Michigan’s emerging diseases website.