Archive for April, 2011

Florida Report

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I am so glad I’m not in Michigan suffering through the rain and turbulent weather,  Much of the nations midsection has been blasted by wind, rain, and tornadoes.  Today and yesterday’s severe weather may go down in history as some of the worst our nation has ever experienced.

The only thing we’ve had to concern ourselves with , so far, is staying cool in 90 degree heat!  We set an all time high today with a record of 97 degrees.  Yesterday was Sea World day, but today we stayed close to the pool.  We used the giant water slide, played putt putt golf, and played in the water.  I don’t know if we had enough sun screen, as most of us look like cooked lobsters.  Thank God for air conditioning!  Florida is a great place to visit during the winter and early spring, but I wouldn’t want to live here.  The Florida heat of mid-summer would make me simmer!  But for now we are enjoying the sun, blue skies and cool waters of our  resort.  This reprieve from Michigan’s foul weather could be habit forming.

Only three more days, then it’s back home to Michigan.  Hope things dry out before we get there, so I can get a couple days of turkey hunting in.  Scott Smiley and I plan on hunting Monday and Tuesday in Hillsdale for our Tom’s.  So far it’s been a rough start for most turkey hunters, but were hoping to change all that with some much needed sun shine. Well I need to put some Aloe-Vera on my shoulders and nose-as I look like Rudolph.

Politics Change – Jesus Doesn’t

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

There was a popular saying years ago that said “You’ve come a long way baby!”  Well this nation most certainly has come a long way since it’s Founding Fathers drew up the U.S. Constitution.  In fact we seem to have come “so far” that we are lost in the wilderness again.  It seems that our collective memories are dull, and that the precious historical intent, thoughts, and writings of our forefathers have “evolved” into a quagmire of politically correct thinking.

Years ago you could say with certainty that our country was a Christian Nation founded on principles that adhered to the Christian faith.  That statement would not be disputed or challenged, except by a minute fringe of the populace.  Morality was the norm, not the exception!  Crime was not rampant, doors were not locked at night, and the police actually had a handle on crime.  Gangs were few and far between, and chewing gum in class was the major school infraction.  No metal detectors, private security firms, or mass school killings.  Generally I felt “safe” as a kid, and my only fear was my fathers discipline if I broke the rules of my home or community!  That is not a bad fear, but one that says “that stove burner is hot, don’t touch it or you will be burned!”  I wonder how many people feel safe today in our enlightened, liberal, anything goes society?

Could societies “evolution” into the age of “enlightenment,” actually ushered us into a time of confusion, and murky darkness.  I don’t recall this country ever being so fractured in it’s direction or focus.  Is government to big and powerful?  Are we still ruled by “We the people?”  To me it seems like the backbone of this country has always been the middle class average Joe’s and soccer moms.  Yet today it seems they are  forgotten, voiceless, and mainly unrepresented in the direction and affairs of this country.

Today is “Good Friday.”  Some businesses close for a few hours, government workers and public institutions shut down for the day, but as Bob Dylan says “The times they are a changing!”  Many school districts are so afraid of  a lawsuit that they’ve changed the name of our Christian holidays to politically correct names.  Prayer was removed from schools decades ago, “One nation under “God” has been challenged in court, bibles are banned, and courthouses have had to remove the 10 commandments from their buildings.  Tell me has all of this made us a “kinder gentler nation?”  Are we safer and more secure now that Santa and the Easter Bunny rule the Holy Days?  I think not!  We (as a Christian nation) should of stuck to our founding principles, and not allowed our heritage and history to be perverted into something “bad!”

When are we going to learn that you can’t kiss enough babies to make everyone happy?  Why change the greatest document ever proclaiming “Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” into a scrambled mess that tries to appease those that don’t want to adhere to Christian beliefs and principles.  My thought is “Hey your here in the United States of America.  Live by our rules and Constitution, or go back where you came from.”  I really feel this “melting pot” isn’t melting anymore.  You have demands from Muslims, Hispanics, homosexuals, atheist, reparation groups, abortionist, and countless liberal advocates making demands for their rights, as they see it!  So what do our “fearless” leaders in Washington do?  Twist, shade, bend, and contort the beautiful original proclamation to suit their own political agenda.

Not exactly a traditional Easter type message, but I felt I needed to say it.  Personally I can see the writing on the wall, concerning the wrong direction our leaders are steering us in.  Of course it concerns me, but I don’t fear it in the least.  My real leader said “When you see all these thing (signs) come to pass, look up for your redemption is near.”  “Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.”

May the message, and HOPE, of Easter resound throughout those that love His appearing, as we celebrate the Resurrection this week and always. Political correctness does not thwart Gods plans-He still stands at the door (of your heart) and knocks.

He is Risen!

Mike

Staying Alive “Under the Weather!”

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

What a lousy start to the 2011 Spring turkey season.  So far three days of rain, snow, and wind; none of which a turkey is to fond of!   The Toms were just starting to be real vocal and responding to the “call.”  The snow around here, and up north has shut things down for awhile.

Brother Darryl just came home from around Gaylord with his son and two grand-sons.  No birds!  Darryl said they got several inches of snow on Tuesday, and most of the birds decided to huddle up under a dry pine tree.  They were not venturing very far away from thick cover.  They did have one long beard come within 30 yards of the boys, but it was so thick, only the caller (Derek) and the camera man (Darryl) could see the Tom.  The boys never knew he was there, as he slipped in like the “strong silent type!”  They got him on film, but not in the freezer.  Oh well they’ll be back at it this weekend.

I’m looking forward to some sun and heat in Florida next week, and maybe even a little large-mouth fishing.  I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on a computer while I’m down there so I can blog every now and then-that is if it’s raining. “Hasta-La-Vista-Baby!

Mike

Turkey Opener Michigan Style

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Could this possibly be April 18th. the opening day of turkey season?  Yes it can be, if you live in Michigan!  We have a saying in these parts that “If you don’t like the weather, stiick around ten minutes and it will change.”

Just a little over a week ago we had a record setting 84 degrees.  That’s a fluctuation of around 54 degrees, which seems quite extreme.

I put in for the third hunt this year, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t have to go out this morning.  But then I could be like my friend Bob Edwards who shot his bird 10 minutes into the season.  Big Bob had a nice 21 pound Tom run into his decoy setup, and at 6 yards drilled him with his Matthews compound bow.  He was home before anyone in the house was out of bed.  Now that’s one quick short hunt!  I know Jeff (from “Simply Outdoors”)  was going to be out this morning.   Also two of my nephews are up around Gaylord with my brother Darryl trying to fill their tags.  Hope the snow doesn’t mess them up to bad.

This Saturday several members of my family are heading for Orlando Florida, and “kissing” this cold Michigan weather goodbye for a week.  My wife and I, my daughter, and three grandchildren are flying, while eight more family members are driving.  Pool, sun, good food, relax, bass fishing-wow that sounds great, as I watch the snow melt off my roof.

Mike

What Goes Up – Must Come Down

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Finally I got around to taking down my four tree stands from last seasons deer hunt.  I’ve been kind of waiting for some help, but with Scott working on his new house and Tony working his new job helpers were few and far between.  So I asked my little grand-daughter Addy if she wanted to help grandpa on Thursday, and she said “why sure!”

At almost 65 years old I don’t climb, or hang onto tree limbs like I used to.  Addy’s job was to sit on the four wheeler, and holler if she saw any “lions, or tigers, or bears-oh my!”  She did a great job, but I honestly don’t know what we would of done had I had any sort of an accident.  Guess I didn’t think that one over very well-according to my wife.  Thank God things went off without a hitch.  Except for a few scratches, some sore and aching muscles, and a rip in my new Cabela’s knee highs, things went according to plan.

My 20 foot ladder stand was a pain getting down, and one of my hanging stands was a little tricky to unlatch.  My ground blind was ruined, but my chair and little buddy heater were ok.  When we were done I had four sets of stands, a ground blind, and a bunch of extra things to load up on the four wheeler for the ride home.  You can see from the picture that I had quite a load.

Everything must of pooped little Addy out, as she slept the whole way home.  She enjoyed riding the four wheeler, and I enjoyed her company.  Don’t know what I’ll be doing about a hunting spot next year, but this economy won’t let me lease my 100 acres in Hillsdale again.  We’ll just have to wait and see whether I’ll be putting stands up again in the fall, but my guess is I’ll be “hanging” and climbing again come September.

Mike

Backyard Turkey’s

Monday, April 11th, 2011

I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for a blog, and I’ll be darned if the idea didn’t walk right into my backyard.

A flock of 12 or so turkeys were working their way down a row of planted pines, heading straight for my backyard.  I quickly grabbed my camera, opened my sliding door, and started snapping pictures.  A turkeys eye sight is phenomenal, and I think they spotted me, as they turned back toward the woods.

I ran and got my turkey box call, and snuck behind the lattice work of our back porch.  A few calls later I captured this “Jake” strutting his stuff.  There were three or four Jake’s in this group, but no “long-beards.”  We’ve lived here 18 years, and that’s the first time I have ever seen turkeys so close to the house.

Turkey season opens next week and it looks like the birds are ready to cooperate.  Those with first season hunts should do real well this year.  I have a third period hunt, and I’m hoping the birds aren’t to spooked by then.

My son and his fiancee also got to see the turkeys, and it was a good experience for them.  Always nice to have nature walk through your backyard, especially when your trying to come up with a subject for a blog.  My heartfelt thank you to a bunch of turkeys that don’t even realize that they are now famous.

Mike

Bob Leach – All Around Great Guy

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Last month when we went on our golf outing to Florida we stayed at Bob and Mary Louise Leach’s place.  Mary Louise is Norm Sauer’s sister, so that’s how we came to stay with the Leach family.

Bob and his lovely wife were heading on a Caribbean cruise, but we had the opportunity to spend a day with them before they left.  Bob is quite the celebrity in, and around, Big Rapids Michigan.  Hear are a few of the reasons why he is so respected and loved by many of the Ferris State University alumni, students, and faculty.  Bob took over the Bulldogs football program in 1967.  In the three years prior to his arrival the Bulldogs had won only 1 game and lost (or tied) 28!  In 1968, in his second year at the helm Bob’s Bulldogs were undefeated 7-0-1, and had a 17th. place NAIA national ranking.  Bob was named the Michigan- Coach- of -the -Year as well as the NAIA- Midwest-Region-Coach-of-the-Year.  Bob left Ferris to become the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals defensive line coach in 1971-72.  He returned to Ferris in 1973 as the executive administrator in the alumni and development area until his retirement in 1995.  In high school Bob was a member of Flint Central High School’s Class A State Champion football team, and coached at his alma-mater from 1958-66.  Bob was also an outstanding baseball player, and was a member of the 1953 University of Michigan’s National Champion baseball team.  Bob Leach was inducted into the Mecosta County Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

Now I’m certain there are accolades and awards that I’ve missed, but I must also mention that Rick Leach (1979 Detroit Tigers) was Bob’s nephew.  Rich inherited many of his uncles skills as he was drafted by both the Detroit Tigers and the Denver Bronco’s, after leading the University of Michigan through several great seasons.

Anyway be all that as it may, this writer is just as impressed with Bob’s hunting skills.  The huge buck in the bottom picture was shot by Bob in November of 1981 in Mackinaw County (Upper Peninsula.)  Bob used a 270 to drop this Boone and Crockett non-typical that scored 189 inches.  They call it the “Paddle” buck because the double drop tines resemble two canoe paddles.  At one time Bob’s deer was the highest scoring buck ever taken in Chippewa County, and may still be, as I wasn’t able to locate a current records listing.  When Bob and Mary Louise return home from Florida Bob will send me some more information about how this huge deer fell to his shot.  I will then do another post on this U.P. monster.  Until then you can look at the picture and “drool!”

Rambling Through Blogger Brain Freeze!

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Up to this point I have written 665 blog post.  Number 666  seems to be stuck in my brain somewhere, and maybe it’s just as well-seeing how the number 666 is called “The Mark of the Beast” in Scripture.  I don’t think I’m superstitious about those three sixes, but then again I’m not real fond of them either.  I wouldn’t want them for a phone number, address, or social security number.  Obviously there is some spiritual implications concerning the evil they are associated with, so suffice it to say I have a good case of “bloggers brain freeze” today.

This is the time of year when everything is in transition.  Were going from winter to spring with the signs of awakening life all around us.  The Spring fishing seasons are about to unfold, turkey season is just a few weeks away, and the deer are heading home from their winter yarding areas.  I’ve been seeing allot of geese, and my wife’s tulips are starting to sprout.  Sure signs of change, but so far the spring warm up has been slow coming.  I can’t remember a colder snowier winter.  Maybe I’m just getting to old, but dog gone it I want some heat!

It’s going to be interesting to see what our “sinking” economy will do to Michiganders spending for recreational pursuits this year.  I’m guessing that travel will be down, all manner of fishing and hunting licenses will be down, and the tourism industry will be flatlined.  People will be staying closer to home, and planning vacations they can afford.  As much as we Americans deserve, and enjoy our vacations, they are a luxury, and not a necessity.  When your tightening your belt the luxuries are the first to go.  I’ve noticed recreational property prices dropping drastically, and cabins and land listings aren’t moving.  If you can afford it, it’s a good time to buy, but a awful time to sell.  I don’t think anyone is predicting an end to our economic woes and indebtedness until our politicians get their heads out of their butts, and that probably won’t happen!  I get sick and tired of hearing about our tax dollars being wasted overseas, sweet-heart deals, bailouts, and huge profit corporations that pay “NO” federal taxes.  If this “ship” doesn’t get back on course soon were in for one tough ride.

I guess that’s enough of my “brain freeze” blogging for now.  Hope I can get some golf in before June, and I don’t have to chase turkeys in the snow!  Whew!  I’m glad number 666 is in the books now.

Mike