Archive for October, 2007

Remember What’s Really Important

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI don’t know about you, but I can’t hunt every day of the hunting season.  I guess that makes you appreciate it more when you do get out.  There are some things I enjoy (besides hunting,) and one of them is family gatherings.

One of our family’s favorite fall things to do is make home-made donuts, and have a bonfire with all the kids and grandkids.  We always make a visit to the cider mill prior to our donut making evening, so we have plenty of the bitter/sweet liquid on hand.  We have an old Pillsbury donut recipe , and usually have at least three toppings to put on the hot, fresh, donuts.  We make our own frosting, or will use powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar.

Just a few weeks ago My wife and I made up a double batch (thinking we’d have plenty of leftovers) – “Not!”  I forgot my 83 year old “sweet tooth” mother was coming over, as she devoured 8 of them herself.  We made around 120 donuts, and at the end of the evening there were only about 15 left.  Oh well thats what we made em for (to eat.)  Everyone had a good time, and the grandkids really get a kick out of being able to frost their own home-made donut.  Oh by the way we also cook up the donut holes, just like Dunkin-Donuts.

During this three months, of one hunting season after another, lets not forget the really important things in our lives.  If we put the emphasis on our families, everything else will fall into place.  The picture above is my beautiful wife (Lorna,) and my lovely oldest daughter Tara.

Mike

Get Them Shooting

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is my oldest granddaughter Nadia and her brother Keegan (Bubbie) shooting in my backyard. Both of them really like to shoot this little Bear bow that I bought 30 years ago for my oldest daughter. I have five (5) daughters, and they all used to go to the archery range with me. Some shot in leagues, and all of them would shoot the various archery tournaments around Monroe. Each of the girls won many medals and trophies when they were younger, but they always got the biggest “kick” out of beating the “boys!”

Mindy (The mother of Nadia and Keegan) was probably the best of all my girls. She once set a record at Monroe Rod and Gun Club for her division which included the boys. She shot this same bow, as did the other girls, that Nadia is using in this picture. I paid around $55.00 for it new, but what a great investment it turned out to be! Years and years of family enjoyment and memories are associated with this little compound. We used to spend hours shooting in the basement during the cold winter months. There isn’t much out there, on the market, that can deliver that kind of return for the money. I even let a couple nieces and nephews use it once my kids got involved in other sports.

I just wish I could have my grandkids around more often, so I could teach them, like I taught their mothers. If you have children or grandkids, that are at least 5-years old, archery is a very rewarding sport to channel there energies toward. Oh, by the way, we had a little contest to see who could shoot the arrow the farthest, and Nadia was the champion. She must be a chip-off-her mothers block!

Has anyone got a deer yet?

Mike

Ava-Locks And The Two Bears (AKA Cabala’s)

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis picture is of two of my most favorite things-my granddaughter Ava and Cabala’s. I am fortunate enough to have 10 grandkids, and it’s great when I get to spend one -on- one time with them. Ava wanted to go to Cabala’s with me, but she wasn’t so sure about getting too close to these “giant bears!”

I think the residents of Monroe county are,(especially the outdoors people) blessed to have this unique retailer in our midst. As far as I know it is the biggest tourist attraction in the state. I have found that if you want to keep the crowds to a minimum, forget the weekends and evenings. If I get there in the morning (before noon) the crowds aren’t bad. When you come in the front door, a Cabala’s employee will ask you if you have a Cabala’s charge card? If you don’t-I highly recommend that you do. You build up Cabala’s points on any purchase anywhere, and as long as you pay your card on a monthly basis, it’s money to spend in the store. Of course if you start paying charge card interest it negates the “points” benefits. Check it out if you get a chance.

My granddaughter really enjoyed our safari, and seeing the live fish in the huge aquarium. I would of taken more pictures, but the battery went dead on my camera. She wanted her picture by the big elephant, which I was able to get, but her favorite animal (the giraffe) wasn’t there. That must be the only animal missing from the Cabala’s displays. If you have never been to the Dundee Cabala’s you are missing out on quite an attraction. By all means put a visit on your to-do list; you won’t be disappointed. Take your kids or grandkids-it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mike

Blessing or Blind Squirrel

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHave you ever heard the one about a blind squirrel finding an acorn? Well this blind squirrel’s name happens to be Tom Calloway. Tom and I go back a long way. We’ve been on a few hunts together, but basically our relationship is tied together through church. Tom and his boy Scott hunt some Hillsdale property not far from where I hunt. I think it’s fair to say Tom is not a fanatic about hunting. He does love the “chase,” and spending a few days in the woods during deer season, but keeps a good balance with everything else going on in life.

As near as I can remember Tom is not known for putting venison in the freezer on a regular basis. He mainly bow hunts with his son, and mutual friends Bill Michaud and Ken Meloche. Well just last week was the first chance Tom had to make it to Hillsdale. He had not shot his bow since last year, and was really bummed out when he got to his stand and found his cable guard messed up. He tinkered with it for 10-15 minutes, and finally gave up, and completely disconnected it. He figured he better pull the bow back a few times just to see what would happen. After making more noise than you would want to make in your stand, and not knowing for sure if your bow is in proper working order, guess who comes strolling along? You guessed it-the nice fat little 4-pointer in the picture. Tom drilled him, and he dropped close by. Tom still had plenty of daylight left, so he got out his little pocket bible and looked up verses on being thankful. Tom likes to think about how blessed he was last Saturday; while I personally like the “blind squirrel theory!”

Mike

The Last Hi-Rise Or switching To Plan “B”

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWell I hate to admit defeat (and I won’t) but it looks like I’m going to have to try a different location to hunt for awhile. I just got back from my Hillsdale “40”, and again I did not see a thing. I know its a full moon, but you’d at least think I’d see a yearling or two!

I have another piece of property that I just leased this year. It’s 160 acres, but only about 20 of that is woods. Anyway I have two stands placed over there, but have not hunted it yet, due to the 1-mile walk back to the woods. I have a 4-wheeler, but your cloths smell like fuel after riding the thing. So when I checked it out there was 5-6 big fresh scrapes along the woods-line. I made a couple “mock” scrapes with some “buck bomb” added just to tick him off.

The picture is of that stand, but while I was there I found a better tree, and hung it about 4-foot higher. I tell you what; I will never own anything but a simple “ladder stand” from now on-I’m getting to old for this climbing, hanging, sawing, screwing, pulling, lifting, dangling, game anymore. I’m so sore today I could hardly lift my legs out of bed this morning! Not only are ladder stands easier to put up, but they are a piece of cake to get in and out of.

Mike

Trail-Cams

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is one of the main reasons you use a trail camera around your stand. When my nephew Derek hunted last weekend he knew he had this “bad boy” around his area, because his picture was captured on a trail camera. They are very useful for letting you know whats in the area, and where you should be concentrating your efforts (if your after a bruiser.) There were several pictures of this deer where you can match the horns with those on Dereks deer.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is a picture I took off the t.v. so thats why you see the lamp in the background.  This buck is the one Derek shot, and you can match the horns up perfectly.  I can sure see why some guys really like using the trail-cams. Personally I have never used them.  Maybe I’m too lazy, or maybe I just really like being surprised.

Mike

Fall Colors, Golf, & Whitetails In Love

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe woods, and especially the maples, are putting on quite a show in this part of the state. I just happened to break away for a round of golf this morning, and this is what the trees around the course looked like. Usually I get to view the course from the shade underneath most of the maples, oaks, and the lovely pine trees, but not today. If this is the last game I play this year, it will help me get through the winter. I took a tip from my golf partner (Ed Ponzy) and shot a season low (76.) I could of even done better, but missed 3 putts under four foot.

Things are heating up in the whitetail world! I have heard several reports of hunters taking deer over this past weekend. One report( from Tom Calloway), is quite humorous, and I will share it as soon as he sends me a picture. The weather is heading for a substantial change, about mid-week, and this hunter will be ready. I plan on hunting 3-4 days toward the end of the week, and anticipate using my grunt call and rattling horns.

If any of you readers are successful, and have a good story to tell, drop me an e-mail, along with a few pictures, and we’ll share it on the blog. If you can make it out over the next couple weeks; by all means do it! Be safe and have fun. Put em on the ground Art!

Mike

Way To Go Derek & Tristen

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is the two bucks my nephew Derek took last Sunday right here in Monroe County. He had been promising to take his oldest boy Tristen out, but due to his job (Cabala’s Management) had not been able to find time. His dad (Darryl) had put a stand up for Derek to use. It’s one of those ladder stands that will hold two people.

Well Sunday afternoon Derek and Tristen got the thrill of their lives! Derek had decided to take the 6-pointer if he got a chance, because Tristin was along on the hunt. Normally Derek would not shoot a 1-1/2 year old buck, but these were special circumstances. The buck made his appearance around an hour before dark, and gave Derek the broadside shot he was looking for. Tristen watched the whole thing, and even was able to guide Derek to where he saw the deer go down. By the way Derek used his grunt call to bring this deer in bow range from 175 yards away.

Derek decided to go back to the tree stand, and wait till dark; just in case one of the “big boys” showed up. It wasn’t 20 minutes later and this beautiful 10-pointer came walking straight at them. Derek shoots a Bow-Tech with a release and is deadly even at 50 yards! The 18 yard shot was a piece-of-cake for him, but the deer would not turn broadside. Derek was running out of light, and was certain he could put his satellite broadhead where it needed to be. He aimed at the top of the white throat patch and made a perfect shot. The big 10-pointer was history, and Derek’s boy was included in something so special that he will remember it for the rest of his life.

Darryl was also out that evening with one of his other grandsons (Tanner), so they got to be part of the whole exciting event. I measured the 10-point the next day and came up with 130 P.&Y. inches. Of course there is the drying period and a few deductions, but I think the deer has a good chance to make the book. No matter it will always be in Derek and Tristen’s memory book!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is the whole crew Derek, Tristen, Darryl, and Tanner. Are they a happy bunch or what? The buck dressed out at 185 pounds.  Why can’t I ever get a nice buck like that???

Mike

Snowy Buck

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is a nice 8-pointer I got while in a tree stand. My son and one of the guys in the group decided to drive a small, low, swampy area, and ran this buck and several does by my stand. As they were running toward me I whistled when they got in bow range, and the buck came to a screeching halt It was really neat as I watched him disappear over a hill, and as he started to run up the next hill he dropped. It took less than 10 seconds for that deer to succumb to the double lung shot, but he still travailed approximately 100 yards in that short time.

This deer had made it through early bow season and gun season in a very urban area of Michigan’s Thumb. It didn’t score high enough for P.&Y. but made the minimum for Commemorative Bucks of Michigan.

Even though I’ve taken some great deer during the rut; I really enjoy hunting with snow on the ground. There’s just something about being in the woods when the air is cool and crisp, and there’s a good tracking snow to top things off.

Mike

The King

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis is the “King” taken in Jackson thirteen years ago. This typical eight pointer had a gross score of 160, and won top honors in Lansing at the Michigan Deer Spectacular for bow shot 8-pointers. As you can see the brow tines are unusual, and exceptionally long. The G-2’s were almost 12 inches and the G-3’s were around 10 inches.

This old boy was itching for a fight the day I was fortunate enough to take him. I was walking down a lane in the woods, and came to an area where another lane dissected the one I was walking on. As I approached the intersection I peered to my right, and saw a doe laying in the lane about 80 yards away. I backed off and hid behind a blow down. The rut was in full swing, and I figured a buck might be tending that doe. I grunted loudly several times, and before I could even get my bow ready, this monster ran past me. He stopped about 20 yards away facing away from me. There was a slight hill between the two of us, so I could only see about midway up his chest. I put my 20 yard pin just over the top of that hill, and on his chest. I let her fly, and immediately heard “whack!” The deer took off for the swamp he was facing, and to my horror of horrors my arrow was in the top of his front leg. He laid down about 60 yards away watching his back trail. I could not get any closer, so I just waited to see what he would do. After about an hour I decided to push the issue by making my presence known. As soon as I made a move toward him he jumped up and ran straight through the center of that swamp. When I got to where he was laying I was surprised to see the amount of blood in his bed! I figured I had to push him, as long as I had a blood trail. About 200 yards into the stalk I jumped him. He was slowing down, and I still had a good trail to follow. I missed him in a thicket with my arrow bouncing off a low hanging branch. I jumped him again about 5 minutes later, and this time I didn’t miss. The double lunger put him down for good, and upon inspection I realized the leg shot was more than I expected.

My first shot had actually went through the top part of the left leg and into the inside of the right leg. When the broadhead pulled out it took about an inch of the main right leg artery with it. Thats where all the blood was coming from, and why he continued to weaken. This was a classic case of having to keep a deer moving, and not letting him lay down, and close up that wound.

The deer was aged at 3-1/2 years old, and had a dressed weight of 179 pounds. His body appeared much bigger than that, but he had lost alot of weight chasing the does around. I later took a smaller 8-point not 100 yards from where I got “The King!” The rut is on its way; are you ready?

Below is The “big Boy” on my family room wall, along with my first buck, and my sons first buck.

MikePhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket