Archive for June, 2008

Colorful Clouds

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

I like to have my camera with me whenever I’m outdoors, or in the car going from place to place.  You never know when that picture of a lifetime is going  to present itself.   Well this is not that once in a lifetime picture, but it is rather unique, at least to me.   My wife saw this group of clouds, and told me to get my camera, as they were displaying the colors of a rainbow.  I have no idea what caused these clouds to give off such beautiful colors, and this picture really doesn’t do it justice.  Maybe one of you readers can explain it to me?

I’m working on some information on a huge Minnesota whitetail that was taken during last years muzzle loader season.  Hopefully It will be ready for my next blog.  I’ve heard that it scores right around 200 points!  Now that’s a big deer!

Supreme Court Gun Ruling

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Wow that was a close call. By a 5-4 margin the Supreme Court invalidated a District of Columbia handgun ban that has been in effect for 32 years. In that district it was against the law to own a handgun, no matter how “model” a citizen you may have been! This ruling should bring about some changes in other areas of the country that have nullified a citizens right “to keep and bear arms!”

In the city of New York, on March 4th. of 1789, Congress resolved 12 articles. The fourth article is worded thusly “A well regulated militia , being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Two hundred and nineteen years later, many in this country, are still trying to “reinvent” the meaning of these wise words of wisdom!

In the words of Forrest Gump “I might not be a smart man, but I know what foolish is!” This once powerful, blessed nation, has enemies within, as well as without. There are several million Usama bin Ladin’s, out there, that would like nothing better than to trample my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness right off the face of the earth. We have ethnic groups living among us that enjoy the freedoms of this great land, but their first and foremost allegiance is to that particular group and their religious teachings. Our tollways, bridges, and even some of our ports are being “put up for bid” to the highest bidder. Foreign investors are “swollowing land, banks, wilderness, properties, and anything else our greedy fellow Americans put on the auction block. Once loyal American companies are running for the “border” faster than you can say “trade deficit!” The “big three” are no longer “the big three” and are in fact in deep trouble, as their sales continue to decline, and the foreign companies numbers continue to “RISE!” The price of gas has, and will. change every middle and low income families lives forever. Food cost are skyrocketing, as the value of the dollar continues to tumble overseas. Pension funds are going broke, union membership is at an all time low, and financial institutions are in big trouble! Property values continue to tumble, and everyone knows somebody that has filed bankruptcy within the last year! Our colleges have been infiltrated by the most anti Christian, anti establishment, bunch of wacko liberals that our kids hardly stand a chance of maintaining principles and values! Men marring men women marring women, abortion on demand, rewriting this nations history-I could go on and on!

Some may think this all sounds like sour grapes, and thats ok. As an American you’ve earned the right to disagree with me. In my sixty two fleeting years in this country things are changing, and changing fast. I’ve got nothing against change as long as it’s “good, and true, and noble, and right.

So that is why I personally am elated that 5 out of the 9 Supreme Court Justices chose not to alter the meaning of the Second Amendment. I’m not naive enough to believe this battle is over. The next President may be in line to appoint several new justices, and just one more liberal Justice could swing things in a total different direction. John McCain applauded the Supreme Courts decision! Barack Obama mainly side stepped the issue, but his past voting record reveals he is liberally minded about gun control

I apologize for getting political about this whole thing, but I’m passionate about my right “to keep and bear arms,” and I love my country. Bottom line goes back to the motto on the U.S. currency “In God we (I) trust!”

Boar Update

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

Yesterday I took my bi-monthly trip to the barber, and while I was waiting read a small article in Outdoor Life about Michigan’s boar problem.  I have written about this in the past, and a few years ago killed a feral hog that ran through my backyard.  This is an update about the growing problem, and increasing population of wild boar in our state.

Last year there were 43 counties reporting boar sightings in Michigan, and presently that number has jumped to 53, according to the outdoor article.  The destruction of native plants and animal habitat by this invader could, at some point in time, be detrimental to our deer and turkey population overall.  Farmers are reporting crop damage, and pig wallows are changing the direction of some small streams, as well as trampling the flora and fauna of the area.

The State of Michigan is calling on all “licensed” hunters to help eradicate any wild boar on sight.  Drastic times call for drastic measures!  In some areas of the state there is actually a viable hunting population of wild boar.  If you search the internet hard enough you can even find a guide to take you on a Michigan “wild boar hunt!”  Who would of ever thought they would see that day come upon us?

Mike

The Buck Pole Sag

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

In all my years of hunting this is the only time I ever had this kind of a problem!  Our “buck pole” had to many deer on it and it started sagging to the ground.  Actually there were seven deer hanging before this picture was taken.  We had started to remove them, so we could strengthen our pole.  Its hard to tell, but the buck in the middle was a 17 pointer, and the one beside it was a 10 pointer.  There were also two sixes, and a spike (accident!) along with two doe.

This was a Kentucky hunt with Randy Mills.  It has been my privilege to go with him twice, and I have taken four deer, and seen several trophy class bucks. The second year I went I arrowed a nice eight pointer, only to have my “mechanical broadhead” not open up on impact.  I caught part of the shoulder and only got two inches of penetration.  That was the day I ceased using that type of broadhead, and went back to my two blades!   There are also many turkey’s in the area, and a coyote or two as well.  We’ve never taken a fishing pole, but the ponds in the area look like they are probably holding some nice bass!

If you read this Randy I’m available to go with you again this year!

Mike

Soon To Be Cruising Again

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

When I was a young man, before I got married, I used to have a 650 cc. BSA motorcycle. One winter a friend and I tore our bikes down, and “built them up”, for more speed. I had mine bored 30 thousands, ported and polished, bigger carb, and a new rear gear. I did the paint job myself, and added a pair of shorty handlebars. I ran my bike at the local drag strip (Milan Dragway) only three times, but came away with three first place trophies. That was quite a thrill going well over 100 miles an hour in just a 1/4 mile.

Once I got married and started having children, that sort of thing was “out of the question!” I’ve owned a few dirt bikes over the years, but never ventured back to the real road cruisers. My brother Brett has had an 1100 cc. Honda Shadow for several years, and was instrumental in starting the Monroe police department motorcycle division. He’s been bugging me for years to get a bike, and join him on some of his road trips.

Well while I was in Chicago I went and looked at a bike that had been on ebay. To make a long story short-I bought it, and am in the process of having it shipped to my home this week. It also is a Honda 1100, but a few years older than Brett’s. I’m excited about doing some cruising in the country, and hope it doesn’t take too long to get my 2-wheel “groove” on. There’s nothing like taking in nature while having about 80 horses at your command. Whoa Boy!

Mike

Deer In The Outfield

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

While I was in the northern suburbs of Chicago (Grayslake)  visiting my daughter, and her family, I went to one of my grandsons baseball practices.   It was a beautiful park with a giant hill for sledding, upteen ball diamonds, playground equipment, and a nice sand volleyball court.   That is where I took the picture of these huge deer tracks.   There happened to be a runway, coming down the sledding hill, and going right through the outfield of one of the diamonds.

I did a little scouting, and backtracked up the hill to a dense thicket.  I could not believe the deer sign, tracks, droppings, old buck rubs, and beds!  I’ve only been over here twice, but I’m thinking this is a hot spot for big deer.   I talked to one of the “locals” and he said not many people hunt around the area, and the deer are pretty safe, as well as plentiful.  There are huge woodlots, farms, and savannas all sprinkled throughout the outskirts of each town, and you can just tell by looking this is whitetail heaven.

If any of you readers have ever hunted this northern Illinois area, drop me an e-mail.  If only my son-in-law was a hunter!

Chicago’s Masked Bandits

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

We arrived home from our Chicago trip late last evening, after several  train delays.  We did however help apprehend two notorious masked  bandits before we left.   It seems the two “crooks” in the top photo were stealing  food  from several mothers and there little ones (bottom photo.)

My daughters neighbors have several bird feeders, in their back yard, and love to watch the geese, ducks, and other feathered friends.  It seems the raccoons couldn’t pass on a free meal, and were disturbing the peaceful backyard picnic!  About two weeks ago Bob (the neighbor) live trapped a big female raccoon, and released her about a mile away.  He soon caught her again, and this time took her about 10 miles away.  Bob was thinking there were little ones involved, but the “baited” trap had set empty for about two weeks.

The day before we were to come home we were sitting on Meghan’s patio watching the ducks and geese as they came in for breakfast.  Surprisingly they all “spooked” and flew, or ran, out of the area.  I starting looking around for what was making them nervous, and saw movement in the live trap, set by the back porch.  The two young varmints had finally succumbed to their basic instincts-food!  Bob and his wife were called, and he was going to take the two desperadoes to the same area he released their mother in.

The neighborhood is now safe, and the anxious mothers and there young ones, can now eat in peace.  It just goes to show you; crime doesn’t pay!

Camp Pancakes “Anytime”

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

The sun is shining here in the northern suburbs of Chicago, and things are looking good for our day at Six Flags. My wife and daughter are out “jogging” and the three amigos are trying their best to wake up. My grandson Logan just informed me that “I” am making pancakes for breakfast. Pancakes, you see, are an old Ansel tradition that dates back to our deer camp days with my dad. Dad always made pancakes from “scratch” and crispy bacon, milk, and orange juice were always part of the fare. Usually we would wake up, as the smell of pancakes and bacon lured us to the huge table we’d gather around for meals. Log cabin syrup or good old Mrs. Butterworth were liberally poured over everyones “stack!” Of course as with every hunting camp crew there has to be a wierd one. One of my brothers would forgo the syrup and put sugar and milk on his pancakes. Actually I’v tried them like that, and there not bad. Anyway I have the old camp recipe, and my kids, and grandkids love it. My wife brought some sausage over with us,as we planned on doing the pancake thing over the weekend. I’ve got four hungry “camper” yelling at me to get things going in the kitchen, so I better start “mixing!” I made myself hungry just thinking about “dads” pancakes being stacked on my plate in just a few more minutes. Mike

Water Water Everywhere

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

So far I feel like a duck since we’ve been in Illinois.  We have only had one day of no rain, with more severe weather forecast for this afternoon and tomorrow. (Friday)  I guess it hasn’t been much better back home in Michigan.  I know it could always be worse, as Iowa, Kansas, and Wisconsin have really been inundated with rain and tornadoes.  We just heard about the four boy scouts that were killed by a twister in Iowa.  What a heartbreaking story!

Last evening Mark, Logan, and I took a drive into Wisconsin to look at a motorcycle.  The weather cleared up for our drive, but the rivers, creeks, lakes, and farm fields all had more than their share of brown muddy water.  With more rain on the way, some people are going to be in a lot of trouble.  Except for the water, Wisconsin is a beautiful state.  We saw some deer, and they looked mammoth to me.  I suppose they are like our southern Michigan deer, that have all kinds of “body building” farm crops to keep them healthy. 

The terrain resembled the Irish Hills area, not far from Monroe, but was actually more rolling.  I didn’t see any 100-200 acre farms either!  Seemed like every farm we saw had huge acreage to go with it.  There also were many woodlots, ravines, and thick brushy areas.  All these factors add up to a nice healthy deer population.

My daughters computer is giving me, and her, fits!  Everyday we have to re-boot it, or call for technical assistance, and posting pictures is out of the question.  I guess I’ll have to do that when I get back home.

Mike

Illinois Beach State Park

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

We just got back from the Illinois state park on Lake Michigan.  My daughter has lived here (Lake Villa) for over a year, and didn’t know about this very nice park/beach, only 20 minutes from her home!  The park consist of 4,160 acres, and you can swim, picnic, hike, fish camp, just enjoy nature, or do some boating. Believe it or not the sandy shoreline runs for 6-1/2 miles, and is the only remaining beach ridge shoreline in the state.  The park consist of dramatic ridges and swales, dunes, marshes, oak forest, and tons of animal life and vegetation. 650 species of plants have been recorded in the dunes area alone, where you will see a dazzling display of wildflowers.

In the 1700s this area was part of the “Three Fires” of the Algonquin Nation: the Potawatomi, Chippewa, and the Ottawa.  Prior to that the Miami called this area their home.  During the civil war there was a p.o.w camp, not far from here, and during WWI and WWII it was used as a training ground for tank maneuvers.  In 1948 people started to see how important this area was, and Illinois Dunes Preservation Society started buying up land to protect the natural beauty of the area.

Next time we go, we will take a picnic lunch, and spend the whole day.  I saw a few people fishing some of the marshy areas, before you get to the lake, and the deer crossing signs are all over!  Ducks. geese, egrets, and blue heron are common to the area.  The water was crystal clear, and we found plenty of colorful rocks, for the rock garden.  To top it all off, it was not crowded at all!  We couldn’t drive through the campgrounds (without a 25.00 dollar sticker,) but from what we saw, it was very nice.  I’m still working on posting some pictures, but haven’t figured things out yet.

Mike