Archive for December, 2008

The New Years Eve Buck

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Well Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   They say that even a “blind pig” can find an acorn  every now and then.   I gave it one last shot (actually it was two) and came up with this dandy, but weird buck.  I  think I can claim a drop tine on this one , and maybe even a “non-typical!”  I froze my butt off today, but staying in the stand paid off.   I used the broadhead everyones been telling me about  (Rage)  and I won’t be using them again.  It’s kind of a long story, so I’ll finish this up tomorrow with all the details of this last minute deer.   I’ve got to start getting ready for our little family get together.   Suspense! Suspense!Photobucket

Extreme Baiting

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

PhotobucketThis picture shows what can happen when baiting is allowed. Some hunters will take it to the extremes, and the state of Michigan had to clamp down, and ban all baiting! I hate to admit it but this is my brother Brad, and apparently the deer had grown quite used to his apple pile. You would think just the “pants” alone would scare the daylights out of any self respecting deer, but the lure of a tasty apple evidently trumps fashion!

We’ve often wondered how Brad shot those two bucks he’s got, and now we know. Those trail-cams can do more than take pictures of deer. They can also catch those feeding techniques you don’t want anyone to know about. I guess every family has their “bad apple” don’t they Brad? My only hope is that this picture was taken in the U.P.

Actually it was taken at Presque Isle park in Marquette Michigan. The deer are wild, but due to people feeding them they have become accustomed to the handouts. The deer have been trapped and relocated several times, but usually within a few months are back in the park again.

Sorry Brad I didn’t mean to spill the apples; I mean beans!

Mike

Finally Back Up

Friday, December 26th, 2008

PhotobucketI can’t believe it’s been ten days that I’ve been off-line, due to changes at Monroe Evening News.  I think I was one of the last ones they got up and running.  If anyone is interested I also have a web-page at www.mikeansel.com, and I’ve written a few stories over at “Base Camp Legends” run by Tom and Gary Sorenson.  Incidentally Gary’s wife Sue is elk hunting right now.  I hope see connects, and they get some good footage of the hunt.  Wives that hunt are few and far between.  If you’ve got one that does (hunts) guys, you’d be smart to treat her right.  Of coarse that is a given for all men to “honor and respect their partners,” as they are Gods gift to give some balance to us men!

Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas, and will have a safe and joyous New Year.  We had big plans with the grandkids with all the snow we received, but this is Michigan, and the snow is fast disappearing.  It’s suppose to get in the 50’s tomorrow which should put the old kabachi on what’s left.  I guess now the plans are to go bowling.  I’d much rather pull sleds with my Polaris.  Maybe we’ll get more snow next week.

I also am hoping to get in at least one more day of hunting in, before I have to put my bow away for the season.  Sure hope the rain, and mud it leaves behind, are frozen solid by next Tuesday or Wednesday.  I need some venison for my freezer!  I think my old Admiral is ready to sue me for being an impostor!

Mike

My Trophy Wife

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

PhotobucketMy wife is one of those “fortunate” people who’s birthday falls in December. In fact it is today Dec. 16th. I will not divulge her age, but I am 62 years old myself, and was in kindergarten when she was a “wee” baby. When I say “wee” I mean little, tiny, premature!

You see my wife is a living miracle. Her mother gave birth to her three (3) months before she was due, and back then the survival rate for babies that small was almost non-existent. She weighed just over 2 pounds at birth, and dropped to 1 pound 14 oz. shortly thereafter. Usually babies this premature have lung problems, and were given oxygen while the lungs developed. Because so little was known about treatment, many of these babies ended up blind, due to the oxygen mixture. Even though my wife was so little her lungs were ok, and she didn’t need oxygen. She has the brightest blue eye’s you’ve ever seen. Many of our grandkids have inherited those gorgeous blue eyes from her. She had to stay in the hospital until she reached 5-1/2 pounds, and that took three months. Her doctor was written up in a medical journal because of his success in treating such a small premature baby.

She is a lovely, healthy, vibrant women, who against the doctors wishes had 7 children of her own. She runs 3-4 miles every morning, works full time with pre-schoolers, is endeared by her 10 grandchildren, and has a deep and abiding faith. She’s like the “energizer bunny” and is always doing for someone else. She’s “low maintenance,” soft spoken, and a good money manager. She pampers others, but requires very little herself. She cooks, she cleans, and her baking abilities are legendary; at least in our family! Now what could top that? Well she’s put up with me for 38 years, and that says something about “commitment!”

As my fishing buddies would say “she’s a keeper!,” and I thank God that I’m the one that “landed” such a catch. No matter how many big bucks, bears, or fish I catch I’ll never be able to top my “TROPHY WIFE!” Thanks for all these years of selfless love you’ve shown us all. Happy Birthday! I love you.

Mike

Baldwin’s “Off Year!”

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Baldwins and meThis is what the inside of a real old fashioned deer camp looks like. Every year I try to give a report on the Baldwin deer hunting clan, but news is coming in slow so far this year. Dick Baldwin, is bravely holding alot more weight on his lap then he should. He is the leader of this good looking crew of deer slayers. Behind him are his sons Greg (L) and Gary (R) along with Gary’s son Matt seated at the table. Of course I’m the only one not color coordinated (red) putting pressure on Dick’s legs.

I recently received an e-mail from Gary’s daughter Paula that the guy’s were having an “off” year in camp so far. Greg and Gary had both taken 8-pointers and Dick got a smaller buck (for the freezer.) Matt was still chasing a huge 160 class buck around his stomping grounds, and Paula’s husband got a 6-pointer at his camp. How would you like to have an “off year” like that one? Usually though these guys are prone to put at least one monster on the old buck pole, so that’s the reason they may feel somewhat dejected. I know their breaking my heart too! I’ll post some pictures when they send em my way.

Mike

Friends Lost and Found

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

PhotobucketBoy I went way back in my archives for this photo. It’s my army buddy Alroy Strand from Minnesota and myself after a day of hunting around Fort Hood Texas. That’s my trusty “53” Pontiac that would get us to whatever destination we wanted.

I lost contact with Alroy after the Alaskan earthquake of the early 70’s. He moved there after he got out of the service, and we used to write one another every now and then. After the quake my letters kept coming back marked “no such address,” so I assumed Alroy and his family were victims of the quake.

Well I’ve been thinking about him lately, and went to Anywho.com and searched for an Alroy Strand in Alaska. I didn’t come up with anything, but there was a Mike Strand in Anchorage with his wife and three kids. It said he was 35 years old, so I knew this could be Al’s son. I phoned the number it gave, and Jeri Ann answered the phone. She said Alroy was her father-in-law, and we had a nice chat getting to know a little about one another. I was glad to find out Al was alive and kicking. Seems he’s been working the Alaska oil fields for quite some time, but also was spending time in his home town of Baudette Minnesota. Jeri Ann gave me Al’s mothers phone number, and I was able to leave a message on his phone, after getting some information from her. She’s 86 years old, and seemed like a real sweetheart.

After almost 40 years of not speaking to one another I got a long anticipated phone call from my army pal this evening. It was so good to hear his voice, and find out about “the man” Alroy Strand. No matter how grown up we thought we were at 19-20 years old, the world and life had a lot to teach us yet. We were kids back then, and now were grandpa’s, and on the downward slid of life. Alroy has lived in Alaska for over 40 years, and has been on many hunting and fishing adventures. He owns a cabin on the lake up there, and has a couple places in Minnesota. He’s not far from the Lake of the Woods, and still hunts and fishes since he retired this year. The last 18 years he worked at Prudhoe Bay running heavy equipment and supervising about 18 men.

I mentioned that my dream was always to do a grizzly hunt in Alaska, and Al said he wished he would have known, cause he could of set one up for us. Boy I missed that by a few years didn’t I? Well we promised to stay in touch, and try to see one another before either of us kicks the bucket! It was sure good hearing from my old friend, and Lord willing we will meet once again.

Mike

“Wild At Heart”

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

The comedian Garrison Keillor wrote a funny essay called “The Book of Guys.” In it he listed “Useful Things I Can Do,” and “Useful Things I Can’t Do.” Among the things listed that he could not do were, handle a boat, throw a curve ball, bag a deer, and throw a left hook. Most women would go down the list and say “What does it matter if a guy can’t do those things?” As John Edredge quotes in his book “Wild At Heart” “But that’s a womanly view of manhood.” John is talking about this very thing to his pal Craig, as they hike their way through grizzly country to reach a good fishing stream. We pick up on the book here.

“Craig and I were joking about this as we hacked our way through grizzly infested woods in Alaska. The only other guys we met all day were a group of locals on their way out. They looked like something out of Solider Of Fortune Magazine-sawed off shotguns, pistols, bandoleers of ammo slung across their chest, huge knives. They were ready. They had what it takes. And we? We had a whistle. I’m serious. Thats what we brought for our dangerous trek through the wild; a whistle. Talk about a couple of pansies. That’s how most men feel about their readiness to fight, to live with risk, to capture the beauty. We have a whistle. You see even though the desires are there for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue, even though our boyhood dreams once were filled with those things, we don’t think were up to it. Why don’t men play the “man?” Why don’t they offer their strength to a world desperately in need of it? For two simple reasons. We doubt very much that we have any real strength to offer, and were pretty certain if we did offer what we have it wouldn’t be enough. Something has gone wrong and we know it.

What happened to us? The answer is partly back in the story of mankind, and partly in the details of each man’s story.” (Wild At Heart page 47-48)

John is of the belief there is a “Braveheart” in every man, and his book explores the possibilities to recapture what we were designed to be. After all we were created in the likeness and image of God, and as you read about the Creator you won’t find a pansy playing a harp while seated on a cloud. I highly recommend that every man read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge. I’m having to rethink my own paradigm of what it means to be fully man.

Mike

The Last Pow-Wow

Monday, December 1st, 2008

PhotobucketCould it be “The Last of the Mohican’s?” It may not be, but it is the last time Chief 10 Bears will be roaming the school halls this year. Today I was at Meadow Montessori school, talking to my wives class. Actually Renee Brooks is in charge and Lorna is her assistant. I’m showing the kids an iron tomahawk, which the Indians traded beaver pelts for. I have two tables set up showing what the Indians gave, and what they received from the trappers in their dealings with one another.

One little girl asked the question “Who gets to wear the headdress? Is it only the chief?” Very good question! They also wanted to know about the eagle feathers in the bonnet, so we just kind of went from there. Usually I don’t have to plan a whole lot in the way of keeping their attention, cause they keep things pretty lively on their own.

I guess I can put things away for awhile, and give “old” Ten Bears a much needed rest. Yeh right! Now I have to start putting the outdoor decorations up, before the snow starts piling up

Mike