Archive for January, 2012

Debutante Hunters Premiers At The “Sundance Film Festival!”

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Life is sometimes full of surprises, and I just watched something highly unusual on the internet.  This year at the “Sundance Film Festival” a very “pro-hunting”  film was shown.  Who would of ever thought they would see that in this day and age of anti’s and political correctness.  It is a coup just to get your film excepted into this prestigious showing of movie magic!

Maria White’s film is entered into the short film category and is called “Debutante Hunters!”  It’s about five women from Georgia who are industrious, beautiful, family oriented, and put game in their freezer on a regular basis.  One pair of women consisted of a very competitive mother and daughter team.  The film shows clips of them skeet shooting, as well as harvesting everything from doves to alligators.

The women talk about their love for the out-of-doors, and articulate the message about hunting and conservation going hand in hand.  These women know what their talking about, and present their love of the hunt in a humble “not in your face” kind of way.  They hunt with their moms, dads, husbands, and kids, and leave you with a strong sense of family camaraderie.  They even have a scene with a cook out consisting of quail, venison, wild boar, and alligator.  One of the women explains the nutritional  benefit of wild game vs. store bought meat.

The film also takes you afield as these women hunt deer, wild boar, and turkeys.  There are even a couple of kill shots, along with their reaction to the cycle of life.  One women explains her feeling about killing, gutting, and skinning the animals she harvest.  They are passionate about what they do, and I think the film is going to get allot of attention.  Of course I certainly don’t think it will all be positive.  In fact it might get down right “brutal” for these lady hunters, and the criticism that will certainly come their way.  From what I saw in the film they can handle it.  Hey if a few minds can be changed, and some of the anti-hunting rhetoric squelched a bit-that’s a good thing!  No-matter what, I applaud the daring production of such a bold timely statement, and the message it brings to those who really “don’t have a clue!”

Mike

Addy’s Pink Camo 4-Wheeler

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Addy and her new four wheeler.  Addy has been waiting semi-patiently since Christmas for someone (Sam and Myself) to get her 4-wheeler running.  We worked on it Sunday after church, and had it up and running in about an hour.  The battery needed some attention, and these little foreign made 125cc 4-wheelers are temperamental in the cold.  We had to stay on the throttle for about 15 minutes before it warmed up enough to idle.  In order to do that the rear end needs to be lifted so the back wheels can turn, as you give it the gas.

Addy, then Ava, and cousin Jacob all took turns on this camo pink thrill machine, and trust me they gave us all some “thrills!”  It took some getting used to just how much gas (throttle) they could give it, before the rear end would catch up with the front end!

I’m looking forward to this summer when we can haul Addy’s machine up to the cabin, and do some trail riding.  Maybe by then some of the rest of the gang will have some 4-wheelers to join Addy and me.  I don’t know if the “boys” are going to appreciate the pink paint job, but Jacob said it was “cool,” so it may not be a problem.

This little outfit is 2-wheel drive and has a governor to keep the speed down, and a kill switch for a quick shut off.  I actually took it for a ride and was surprised at how fast it would go with a “plus” 200 pound payload!  Sam you hit a home run with this Christmas present-thanks.

Winter Fish Fry

Friday, January 20th, 2012

What better meal could a guy ask for than a nice mess of Lake Erie perch and some Upper Peninsula brookies.  The brookies had been in the freezer since September, and I was hoping I hadn’t waited to long to cook them up.  Well I’m here to tell ya that they were excellent.  My favorite fish in all the world are perch from Lake Erie.  It’s nice to live only about 8 miles from the lake, and to have several friends with boats.

The brook trout are compliments of our annual bear hunting trip to Marquette.  I get almost as big a kick out of landing a 12 inch brookie as I do seeing a 300 pound black bear.

My wife also is a perch lover, but she ate her share of brookies also.  My son Micah and his fiance Heather smelled the fish fry and helped polish off the bounty nature provided.  It’s snowing outside, and the wind is really blowing hard, but we all have a full belly of some of the best eating on God’s green earth, and were not going anywhere except the Lazy-Boy!  Sounds like my kind of an evening.  Sorry Bob, but there are no leftovers!

Mike

Friends And Michigan’s Winter Wonderland

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

This past Friday afternoon we drove in a snowstorm to our cabin up north.  The main expressway wasn’t bad, but when we took our exit (202) at Alger, onto M-33, things got dicey!  Or should I saw icy? I had to put my 1993 explorer into four wheel drive, and hope I didn’t have to hit the brakes in a hurry!  Thirty five mile an hour was about our top speed, even though some (stunt drivers) passed us doing about 60.

The further north we drove – the deeper the snow cover.  The scenery was beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to get to the cabin, and get my first glimpse of it buried under a good snowfall.  As I pulled up to our locked gate, I noticed our neighbor plowing out his driveway.  The lock had some frozen water inside, and I was having a hard time opening it, as Bob (my old buddy) poured some water into the key opening, which melted the ice.  When I turned around, there was Patrick, my neighbor asking if we wanted the drive plowed out?  I backed out of his way, and in about three minutes he had done us a “good deed!”  Ten inches of fluffy white snow, hanging from every red pine limb, greeted us as we pulled up close to the porch to unload.

Bob and Linda Baltrip had accompanied us on our little weekend jaunt, and we were honored to have them as our guest.  You may recall it was their son Dr. Douglas Baltrip that had recently died in a tragic truck accident.  We have been friends for many years, and my wife and I wanted to be able to reach out to them in some small way.  I think they (Bob and Linda) were able to soak in the serenity of our surroundings, as they allowed God to minister to their grief.  We had our tears, but we had our uplifting times as well.  Lorna and I thoroughly enjoyed Bob and Linda’s company, and look forward to spending more time with them in the future.

My four wheeler fired right up, and I was able to blaze a path through the snow, so my wife and Linda could walk the trails.  Deer tracks were everywhere, especially going in and out of the food plot.  It was cold, and only reached a high of 10 degrees Saturday.  It was actually below zero Friday night!  We rode and walked the orv trails, but I never saw any coyote tracks, which kind of surprised me.  They seemed to be all over the place during hunting season.

The only thing I didn’t like about our trip, is that it ended to soon.  My wife had to work Monday, so the weekend was all we had.  We’re looking forward to our next jaunt, and in the meantime several family and friends are planning on enjoying the place at their leisure.  My brother Randy and his wife Ann recently used it on their honeymoon, and said my cabin is all about being snug and cozy.  Add that to the overwhelming beauty of fresh, clean, white falling snow, and you truly have a Michigan Winter Wonderland.

Woodpeckers Can be A Pain In The Neck!

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Several days ago I noticed a Downy Woodpecker hanging around my back porch.  Yesterday I saw him hanging on the side of my deer target, but didn’t pay much attention, as he flew away.  Well today I saw him at the same spot, and he was rat-a-tat-tating away on my deer targets neck.

By the time I got out side he had pecked a huge hole into the hollow body of the deers throat.  Once he made a hole there was a nice opening for a good winter nest.  At least that’s what I’m assuming he had in mind.  To prevent further damage I removed the head from the target, and put it in the garage.  He’ll have to peck through brick if he still wants to claim this as his winter abode.

He (the woodpecker) could be in for a shock if he tries this on a live deer’s neck.  I’m sure he has some backup holes, as there’s plenty of dead ash trees around hear.  At least he better have something, cause Old Man Winter is finally on the prowl.

My wife and I, along with our friends (Bob and Linda Baltrip) are heading to the cabin tomorrow afternoon.  We will be driving in the snow, and could possibly see around 8 inches of the white stuff up north.  I’m actually looking forward to it.  After all whats the sense of having a 4-wheel drive if you never use it?

Mike

Mack’s Golf Station For Die Hard Golfers

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Die hard golfers, like my friend Rev. Bob Baltrip, just can’t seem to put the “clubs” away in the winter months.  Here he is about to unleash one of his 270 yard drives down the center of the fairway.  Bob has been playing indoors at Mack’s Golf Station for the past several winters.  You can usually find him with his friend and mentor Rev. Von Loop and Dick Sager.

Recently they asked me to join them for a foursome, and I thought “what the heck I could sure use some practice, and maybe even pick up some pointers from these guys.”  Last week was my first time playing with the group, and even though I had the high score I wasn’t that far behind everyone else.  Well that must of been beginners luck, as there was a huge separation today between “The good, the bad, and the ugly!”  Bob was under par again, and Dick was right on his heals.  Pastor Von Loop is several years older than me, but still beat me by 13 strokes!  As pitiful as I played it was still good to be with these guys that can critique, and help, my golf game.  As long as they keep asking me back I will try and be a good student, and hopefully be able to “spank” my brother this coming Spring.  “FORE”

Mike

In With The New-Now What Do We Do?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Welcome to the year 2012.  So now what do all us die hard deer hunters do for the winter?  Sit in our favorite rocking chair, by the fire place, as we surf the sport channels?  Maybe do crossword puzzles, or work on a favorite hobby?  Catch up on that long list of “honey-do’s” that are hanging off the refrigerator?  One could start making a list of “things to buy” from the new Cabala’s catalog, or maybe plan an out of state hunt for next season?  It could be that your just plain “tuckered out” (like me) and need to unwind for a few weeks.  I plan on spending more time with the family, do a little indoor golf, (today) and generally relax at the cabin when I can.

At least that’s what I’m thinking today!  Who knows that could all change tomorrow.  After all there are still foxes and coyotes running around out there, and I haven’t had rabbit stew in several years.  Some people like to ski, and I do have a pair of snowshoes I haven’t tried out.  Snowmobiling is big around my cabin, but I’ve never really had the urge to buy one.  I can pull the grand-kids on my four-wheeler, but 12 inches of snow brings that to a halt!  So far snow has been quite scarce around here.  In fact the forecast is calling for 40 degrees by Friday.  Been an unusually warm winter!

Well for right now. at least, I’m content with the wild game in my freezer, including a nice mess of perch and trout.  Now I have to think of some friends and family to share it with.  I don’t mind cooking the bounty I have stored away, and actually look forward to some good meals, fellowship, and of course rehashing hunting stories from 2011.  Hope you all are truly blessed in this new year.

Mike

A True Survivor!

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Close but no cigar, or should I say “no rack for my hat!”  The 10 pointer I had on trail cam earlier in the year is still alive and well, but right now he’s a 5 pointer.  As you can see in the trail cam picture he has already dropped half his rack.

Thursday evening I had five deer come into the food plot, which is just beyond the second big tree (in the center of the picture.)  It was very cold that day, so I started my “Little Buddy” heater so I wouldn’t freeze to death.  Well I’m thinking that the burning propane smell spooked those deer, as they never came closer than 40 yards.  There was a buck in the group that stayed back behind the others, and a big doe that “blew” when she got a whiff of something she didn’t like.  That was it for my buck encounter.  I had several yearlings within range, but it was a buck or nothing on this hunt.

Snow was sparse, which is highly unusual for this time of year.  Of course the weatherman is calling for 10-12 inches on Monday-a day after season closes.  I could of used that blizzard, but that’s the way it goes.  At least I know the 10 pointer made it through deer season, and hopefully will be around for another encounter next season.

Out with the old and in with the new.  Hope everyone has a blessed New Year and that there’s plenty of venison in everyone’s freezer for some winter “grilling!”

Mike