Archive for May, 2008

Largmouth Bass Treasure

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Bass season opened here in Michigan several days ago, and look what I got to put in the freezer!  I only wish I was the one that caught em.

My brother Darryl took a couple of his grandkids to a “secret” spot of his, and they had a blast.  Not only were the largemouth’s biting, but crappie, silver bass, and bullhead were also very hungry.  These fish went from 16 inches to 18-1/2 inches, and will fit in my skillet just fine.  I plan on fixing them this weekend, along with baked potatoes and sweet corn.  Darryl said they caught several more, but released them, as he figured he had a good meal with these five.  I’m glad I called him when I did, and sobbed on his shoulder about how I haven’t had a good bass dinner in years!

Michigan has some super bass fishing, and Lake Erie is probably one of the most under fished, and under  rated bass fisheries around.  Thats right these beauties were caught in Lake Erie-you know, the lake were everybody fishes for walleye and perch!   I’ll tell ya later how they tasted.

Mike

Updated Picture on Dean’s Bear

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Several weeks ago I did a post on the big bear my youngest brother shot from the cabin woodpile area.  I said I would post a better picture of his bear, if I found one.  That’s Darryl and myself in the picture, and at the time I was just under 200 pounds (weightlifting!) so you can see the bear was a big one.  He had a very large head, but we didn’t get a measurement, as Dean buried the skull. so the insects could do their work.  Evidently he didn’t bury it deep enough, as some dogs found it, and that was the end of his shot at the record book.

Mike

Don’t Badger Me

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I’d be willing to bet that a very small percentage of people reading this have ever laid eyes on one of these Michigan critters.  In my sojurne here I have only seen a road kill, and one up north, many years ago.  This is a full grown badger, and he’s itching for a fight.  Even though these secretive animals are rarely seen, they will not back down from defending their “turf!”

My brother Darryl was turkey hunting, last week, around Gaylord, when he came across this badger near it burrow.  Darryl was able to snap a few pictures, as the badger growled and hissed his disapproval of the intrusion into his territory.  Did you ever wonder where we got the word badgering (to harass) from?  Well Darryl is kind of smart when it comes to badgering a badger, so he took two pictures , and got the heck out of this “gopher with an attitude’s” area!

Darryl had a permit for the third turkey hunt, and I’m sure I’ll be reporting on his success within the next few days.  Hope everyone had a good memorial day.  Remember those that didn’t!

Mike

Memorial Day 2008

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

\\

This is a picture of a true hero. I mean a hero in every sense of the word. This is my dad, who was not unlike many young, serviced aged men, of WWII! There are no doubt millions of men, around my age, that have wonderful memories of “their hero” fathers.

I’m glad our country has a day set aside to honor the brave men and women who have sacrificed for the principles of this nation. There is a saying that goes like this “All gave some, but some gave all!” We must not forget them, or we will be prone to be overrun by despots, and men with evil purposes. This weekend there will be cookouts, picnickers, camping, and tons of other family related activities. Factories close down, businesses take a day off, governmental workers enjoy a long weekend, but for what purpose?

The purpose is to remember men like my father S/Sgt Norman Floyd Ansel, who served in the Asian Theater during WWII. His first son “Norman” Randell was born while he was ducking bombs in the Philippines, and his second son (me) was born nine months after he arrived home. He never talked much about the war, and we were to preoccupied with our own “selfish lives” to pry very much from him. We should of known enough to write a book about his experiences, but we settled instead, for the “basic stories” about his time, in service, to this country. I do know that he lied about his age, and got into the National Guard at 16 years old. He was a farm boy with only an 8th. grade education, but wanted to serve his country. And he did, with dignity and honor!

Richard (Dick) Dusseau was a young marine, just barely out of high school, when killed in Viet Nam. Dick lived just down the street from me, and was a fellow 1964 graduate of Monroe High School. Dick was big into FFA (Future Farmers of America) and played an instrument in the band. He never played high school sports, and wasn’t one of the more popular guys in school. We did have neighborhood football, hockey, and baseball games, and we’d have a blast sledding down “Dusseau’s big hill! Rodney Kurtz was one of Dicks best friends, and he was as shocked as the rest of us, when we heard that Dick had joined the Marine’s. Most of us took our chances with the draft, but the “sweet little boy” from the big farm on the hill joined the roughest, toughest, bunch of fighting men this country ever called to duty!

forty one years ago Richard Dusseau died in a foreign land, and became something he had never been in life (except to his parents) a “hero!” Isn’t life funny? The jocks from high school, and the braino’s, were trying like crazy to get their coveted deferment, and the little guy, they wouldn’t give the time of day, is trudging the jungles of Viet Nam, protecting their right, not to serve! Every time I go by the old Dusseau homestead I think of gentle, soft spoken, and shy, Marine PFC Richard F. Dusseau.

Jim  Keeler was another young Marine I can’t forget. He was my brother Randy’s best buddy, that he met in “boot camp!” They were inseparable, and even made plans to join the Michigan State police when they were done with their four year enlistment. Jim was from Paw Paw Michigan (home town of former Detroit Tiger Charley Maxwell) and would visit our home when on leave. During “Operation Double Eagle” Jim took a direct hit, and was transfered to a hospital ship, off the coast of Viet Nam. He kept asking for my brother Randy, and eventually they flew him out by helicopter. Randy visited with his “best buddy” and tried his darnedest to cheer him up, but Jim did not make it! Randy went on to serve two (2) tours of duty in Viet Nam, and has never forgotten his sidekick Corporal James E. Keeler, and the supreme sacrifice he made for this country.

Those are just three snippets of the 10’s of thousands that are out there, but they are the main reason we must not forget. We must, as a nation, and people, remember and honor those who have served this country, and in doing so we honor and respect ourselves. They certainly are deserving of our prayers, love, and support, as we pause this Memorial Day to pay homage to these genuine American hero’s!

The top two pictures are of the “Wall” at our nations Capital. James E. Keeler’s name is second from the top, and Richard F. Dusseau’s is right in the middle. Thank you veterans-I for one know and appreciate your sacrifice.

Specialist 5th. class Michael W. Ansel

The Remington Model “870”

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

The Remington model “870” is the most popular gun ever sold. I own three of them; a 3-1/2 inch 12 gauge goose gun, a 2-3/4 inch 12 gauge (all around) gun, and a 2-3/4 inch 20 gauge. As you can see two of them have scopes. I’ve taken numerous deer with my 12 gauge, not to mention a ton of turkeys.

My wife bought me my first 870 (center gun in pic.) which happened to be a left hand model. I couldn’t tell you why, but I shoot my shotguns and rifles left handed, and do everything else right handed. I shot left handed in the army, and always qualified expert, so you would think I’m using the “right” eye to focus with! Anyway this gun is about 35 years old, and the reason she bought me this model is because my dad had one, and I loved his.

Now I’m not taking anything away from other pump guns, it’s just that I am partial to what I’m acquainted with. There are some great automatics out there, such as the discontinued Winchester model 12, that are great guns, but for sheer versatility you can’t beat my 870’s! It has held up under extreme cold, water, snow, heat, mud, and a ton of other hunting related “test!” Of all the guns, I have ever owned, the 870 is the easiest to take apart and clean. A clean gun is essential if you want your weapon to function properly in the field, but the 870 is no prima-dona when it comes to field versatility.

I’m so glad my wife bought me my first Remington. I’ll no doubt hand it down to my son, or grandson, at some time before I”call it quits.” The goose gun will reach out and “get em,” and the little 20 gauge is great for winter rabbits, quail, and deer. Both scoped guns are highly accurate at 100 yards. Remington you did a good job on these little babies-don’t change a thing!

Mike

Polaris RZR (Razor)

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Now is this an ATV or what? My son-in-law Tony got his hands on one of the new Polaris RZR’s, and I think my grandson Quinn likes it! Polaris runs an add on t.v. showing this machine doing some incredible maneuvers over mountain trails. Both Tony and Quinn took me for a ride, and I must say I was impressed with the sheer power of this neat little two seater. It has a 70 mile an hour speedometer, and they both had it going 40 in their back yard, which pretty much scared the “pants” off me! I honestly could not imagine doing anywhere close to 70 with it! I guess thats why it comes with a roll bar and seat belts. From a dead start, you can almost bring the front end off the ground! It also has a special handle for the passenger to hang on too. The suspension works great, as it takes the bumps, holes, and rocks  like a true off the road vehicle. I don’t think it would take a whole lot to make this thing street legal.

Tony upgraded the tires and wheels, and still plans on putting a plow and a cover on it. The bad news is that this little “number” is not so little when it comes to the wallet. As it sits, you’ll pay around $12,000 dollars to get your thrills “off road!” I asked Tony where he was going to put his tree stand, and he said the RZR has a trailer hitch, and he would just haul his hunting gear in that. It does have a small trunk, but you can’t get a whole lot of equipment in it. I’m just glad when I get the “itch”, for a new Polaris, I can just go over to Tony’s, and zip around the yard a few times. Once the “feeling” passes I can breath a sigh of relief knowing I just saved some serious money, not to mention what my wife would of done to me!

The Boys Of Summer

Monday, May 19th, 2008

I can’t believe I let them talk me into this again.  This picture was taken four years ago when I was “only” 57 years old, and it was the last year the Ansel “boys” played together on the same team.  Pictured from left to right is me, Brad, Randy, Brett, and Darryl.  Brother Dean worked the afternoon shift, on the police department, so the rest of us at least felt “safe” as we played ball!  Brother Brett is a detective for the city of Monroe, and Darryl is a patrolman for Erie township.  Darryl was a sgt. and police chief, in Luna Pier, before retiring, and then signing on with the Erie dept.  Brad plays golf, like I do, and Randy (the oldest) still plays ball, as does brother Brett.

Well this year my son-in-law Glen was short players, so he asked if I would sign a contract! (boy he must of really been hard up!)  They have had two games so far, and thank God he hasn’t called on me yet.  I played the game for 35 adult years, and gave it up for some pretty good reasons-like it was “killing” me!  Golf is so much safer.  I have yet to pull a hamstring playing golf, nor had to duck any line drives! (I used to pitch)  I have been frantically looking for a replacement to take my place, as I don’t want to spend another summer on crutches.  Does anyone out there want to play ball on Thursday nights here in Monroe?  If so, you could possibly spare one of the old “boys of summer” from hurting himself!

Mike

Bear Population Increase?

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

Another, wandering, bear story is in the news today, and it doesn’t surprise me at all. Since the anti-hunting crowd shut down our regular bear season, here in Michigan, nuisance bear complaints have been on the increase. The bear, in the top photo, was shot when you could buy a license over the counter. Back then the anti’s brought a suit against the Michigan Dept of Natural Resources, with unsubstantiated claims that too many bear were being harvested in our state. Michigan had to do a very expensive study on how hunting effects the overall black bear population, and with pressure from ” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” our preference point system was born. The actual harvest figures have changed very little since the number of bear hunters, allowed to hunt, has been limited.

Just yesterday a “misguided,” or just plane hungry, black bear had the misfortune of running into a policeman, who also bear hunts. Officer Troy Gilleylen, and his armed comrades swarmed the area (in Battle Creek) where the bear had been spotted. Four rounds (probably 9mm.) were pumped into this marauding bear, but it still managed to run for several blocks, and climb a tree. As of this report there has been no evidence that the bear had actually hurt anyone, or done any damage. The D.N.R. was not given a chance to “dart” the uninvited guest, who no doubt was just looking for an easy meal. It was reported that the bear weighed between 200-250 pounds, but I saw the pictures, and I’d say more like 150 pounds. If you want to read the whole story, and see the pictures, go to BattleCreekEnquirer.com.

Now as far as I’m concerned one can indirectly blame the anti-hunting crowd for the untimely death of this fine game animal. I do not know if it was male or female, but if it was a female there are probably cubs involved, who will not be able to fend for themselves. The simple fact is that black bear are expanding their range here in Michigan do to an increase in the  bear population. Adult bear are very territorial, and don’t build neighborhoods, like we humans do! A mature male bear will not tolerate another male bear living or moving into his neck-of-the-woods! Over the last several years bear have been spotted in Bay City, just north of Lansing, around Grand Rapids, and now Battle Creek! The D.N.R. reported  that this is the furthest  south a bear has ever been reported, but I’ve talked to two different farmers, in Hillsdale, that have seen bear!

For all we know they could be expanding their range from south of here. I understand that civilization encroachment, certainly plays a part in the life of black bears, along with the amount of wilderness available to them. Bears are basically nocturnal, elusive, and shy, so it just isn’t natural to find bear’s in suburbia, unless their being forced there by overcrowding, and lack of habitat!

As more bears are forced into  towns, and villages, more will be shot, and you won’t hear a word from “PETA!” I wouldn’t doubt that some people, living on the outskirts of these “new” bear area’s, shoot now, and ask questions later! Probably more than a few of these “wanderers” will be thrown in a hole, and the town secret will never be revealed. In the meantime hunters like myself can only hope for a permit once ever 5-years.  Now much of the time, my money is spent out of state, including Canada where I can bear hunt every year.

I for one, am not convinced, that the new way is in the best interest of the bear, bear hunters, or the states economy! The old way worked for decades, and provided some of the best family hunting opportunities Michiganders ever had. It wasn’t broke-why did they have to fix it?

Mike

Idaho Spring Bear Hunt

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Just got this picture from Tom Sorenson, of his brother, on their Idaho bear hunt from last week. Tom has a blog site called “basecamplegends.com” of which I will be adding to my links on this blog. Tom had e-mailed me a few weeks ago and had read several of my bear hunting blogs. Since this was the first bear hunt he or his brother had been on, they wanted to pick my brain a little . (my wife said “slim pickings!”)

The bear have not been out of hibernation for very long, and they need to start off with a diet of grasses, because their digestive systems have been shut down for several months. Tom and his family had hunted for elk, in this area, and saw 7 bear last year. According to Tom this “drainage” hold some really good mountain meadows, and it seemed like a good place to glass.

The bear is not big, but he is gorgeous! The fur is very long, and the color phase is a lovely cinnamon. I have seen quite a few bear, in the wild, but never a color phase. This bear also has a stunning white “V” on its chest. I hear we have a few color phase in Michigan, but they are extremely rare. I don’t want to tell to much of the Sorenson brothers story, so to get it all go to www.basecamplegends.com and look for Tom’s blog. I also have a blog on Tom’s web called “hunting the good, the bad, the ugly”, and no it’s not about me and my three brothers!

Pot Holes And Cold Patch

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Well it’s that time of year again when the orange barrels and flashing yellow lights dominate our roadways.  As many of you Michiganders already know the Zilwaukee bridge has been closed for the summer (or longer) and you have to detour around that area (Bay City) if your heading north or south on I-75.  Also parts of I-96 around Jackson has construction going on, according to my daughter Meghan.

I’m no genius, but for the life of me I can’t figure out whatever happened to the “lotto money” for our road systems?  Michigan has to have some of the worst infrastructure of any of the lower 48 states, and Monroe county has to be the worst of the worst!  We have roads in Monroe that look like they have been shelled by Osama’s Raiders!  Rauch rd, Reinhardt rd. and Bigalow rd. are but a few of our dangerous and “in need of a major overhaul” roads.  Some of these roads have been bad for as long as I can remember.

I noticed yesterday that Monroe street is having a new layer of asphalt put down, and I thought that was just done 5-6 years ago!  If you live in the country, like I do , about all your going to see is “cold patch!”  You talk about a waste of time, and tax dollars!  There’s holes on Rauch rd. that would swallow an 18-wheeler, but township officials evidently don’t ever have to drive these dangerous roadways.  I hate to sound like a complainer, but I don’t know of anyone that is happy with our Michigan roadways.  This just didn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t going to be fixed overnight, but it would be nice to see some sort of honest effort made.

Anyway as vacation season approaches, be careful of those tire blowing, rim bending, front end alignment road monsters!  Maybe we could get a state lottery in place to help fix our roads?  Oh but wait-we already have one!  Who’s on first?

Mike