Archive for April, 2012

Ready-Set-Cast!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Hey calling all fishermen!  Tomorrow April 28th is the start of fishing season for several species of fish in Michigan’s inland waters.  In fact the Proud Lake Recreational Area’s trout season kicks of this Saturday in commerce township.  If you get there early enough you can take in a pancake breakfast sponsored by The Friends of Proud Lake.

Also there is a catch and release season for smallmouth and largemouth bass on Lower Peninsula waters, as well as the Great Lakes.  It runs from April 28 through May 25th.  Inland trout and salmon fishing on type 1 and 2 streams will open tomorrow (28th.) with the daily possession limits found in your fishing guide.  Also muskellunge, northern pike, and walleye fishing will be open on all Lower Peninsula inland waters.  (See fishing guide for daily and possession limits.)

My grandson Keegan caught this bass on a catch and release pond last year.  My grandkids have all caught fish, and I can’t wait to get them up north for some inland lake fishing.  It looks like memorial day will be crowded one at our cabin, but that’s the way we like it!

Mike

Camp News

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Food plot preparation is under way at camp.  The first picture show four deer foraging in last years plot a few days before I started spraying Ortho grass and weed killer on the fringes of the plot.  I plan on expanding the size of the area I seed this year, and will have to turn under what I planted last year.  Which means I have some rototiller work to do!

I’m going to go with a Tecomate blend that includes turnips.  Didn’t have turnips last year, and the deer seem to  really like them.

I had 255 pictures on my trail camera, but most were the same deer visiting almost nightly.  Seems to be a couple mature doe, and several yearlings.  Two of these yearlings are quite small, and may not of made it through the winter without this extra food source.  I haven’t a clue where the bucks are, but I know one small buck was hanging around, as I found his shed right about where the 4-wheeler is pictured.  Not a sign of any turkey.  I scouted the area two weeks ago, and never saw a track, feather, or heard a gobble!  Hope they show up by May 7th. cause that’s when my permit is good!

Can’t wait to get back up and do some hunting, fishing, and wood cutting, along with a few rounds of golf.

Mike

Michigans Invasive Species Order is Now Being Inforced!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Finally after years of “harping’ about the feral pig problem here in Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources has gotten serious about this invasive species.  I’ve written articles concerning this problem over the years and have even talked to various department heads in the DNR and the Department of Agriculture.

Don’t get me wrong; I like hunting “wild boar,” I just don’t want them here in Michigan.  They cause far to much damage to the flora and fauna of our forest and agricultural fields, and wreck havoc on our native wildlife population.

Recently the DNR conducted six inspections on properties that have possessed swine in the past years.  In December of 2010 the Invasive Species Order was implemented prohibiting game ranches and breeders from owning feral hogs.  These six ranches were found to be in compliance with the order, but not all game ranches have complied.  Renegade Ranch Hunting Preserve in Cheboygan County, so far has not depopulated its prohibited swine, as the DNR has filed a civil complaint against the ranch.  In my estimation the State is finally doing the right thing in getting involved “full boar” on this issue.  (Pun Intended!)

DNR director Rodney Stokes said “The department remains committed to enforcing the law while minimizing the impact on property owners.”  “We will continue to work cooperatively with the facility owners wherever we can help them comply with the law.”  Those facilities, farms, or individuals still in possession of prohibited swine are in violation of the law and could face criminal or civil penalties under Part 413 of the state’s Natural and Environmental Protection Act.

Mike

Cedar Valley Golf Course Comins Mi.

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

How’s that old saying go?  “I came, I saw, I got conquered!”  Well maybe not quite, but I will say my brother Randy and I were challenged at the Cedar Valley golf course.

We ventured up to my cabin in Luzerne to cut up some of the 200 or so trees that came tumbling down during a late winter snow storm.  The plan was to cut trees in the morning and golf in the afternoon.  By afternoon, I mean whenever we got “tuckered” out from running chain saws and stacking wood!  Usually by noon we were ready to relax and hit some golf balls.

The Cedar Vally Golf Course is located about 12 miles away from my cabin.  I had golfed there twice last year, and fell in love with the layout and the towering pines, ponds, and wildlife around the course.  It was a no brainer going back this year, and the timing was so that we were able to do 18 holes at a pre-opening special ($20 bucks with a cart.)  Officially they don’t open till the first of May, but the weather has been so unusually warm that they opened a month early.  After May 1st. eighteen holes of golf with a cart are $36 dollars weekdays, and $41 dollars on weekends.

John and Virgina Holberton bought the 180 acres many years ago, with the plan of building a beautiful golf course.  With the help of sons John, Lee, and Dan the facility was ready for business in 1990.  The Holbertons had six sons and two girls, with John now co-managing the course.  A driving range, putting green, and club house are all at your disposal, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.  The golf carts are newer, with plenty of “zip” and a windshield that can be removed if so desired.  The total yardage of the course is 6330 for a par 71.  The course carries a 71.3 rating and a 126 slope angle.  To say that John and Virgina achieved their goal would be an understatement.  Many ponds are strategically located around the course, and deer seemed to be everywhere.  The course is “tres” beautiful, and will continue to get my business when I’m at the cabin.

Virgina and the family have decided to sell the course, and listed it with AuSable Realty out of Mio.  I hope whoever buys this little piece of Paradise doesn’t change a thing.  Tammy (Johns wife) told me that they have quite a few groups that have their golf outings and picnics right there on the grounds.  I’m thinking of getting a group of friends together for a summer outing myself.  Hey if your a golfer, and in the area, check out Cedar Valley.  Even if you don’t break a hundred, you’ll still enjoy yourself-Just ask my brother Randy!!  LOL!

Mike

Michigans Waters Wait For Your Cast!

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Michigan is known for it’s vast herd of Whitetails, but the many lakes and streams make our state an anglers “heaven!”  Michiganders have more water access than any other of the lower 48 states.  The Great Lakes have some of the most fantastic fisheries of any fresh water lakes in the world.

I personally have enjoyed fishing for perch, walleye, northern pike, large mouth and small mouth bass, steelhead, brookies, catfish, bullhead, and panfish.  On occasion I have even tangled with the  enormous carp that hide in the Lake Erie marshes.

Well in case you forgot it’s time to renew your fishing licenses here in Michigan.  I can’t wait to try out my new (used) bass hound boat I’m buying for the cabin.  There is nothing like fighting a bass, or seeing the joy on a kids face as they land their first sunfish.  In fact if you find the right secret pond you can have an absolute blast with some big pumpkin seed or red eye sunfish.  Talk about good eating!  While perch are my favorite, sunfish/bluegill, and brook trout rank right behind them.

My nephew caught the nice smallie in the picture, and it won’t be long before I’ll be doing the same.  Ah! A day on the clear blue water, of a hidden little jewel, nestled among the pines of Northern Michigan can’t be beat!  A word of caution to all who may soon hit the waters-check your fishing line.  Fishing string will rot and get brittle, so you need to make sure yours will function as intended.  Also lubricate your reel, and do some precautionary maintenance on all the other equipment, before you hook the fish of a lifetime, and he gets off!

Goosed on the Golf Course!

Friday, April 6th, 2012

My brother Randy and I have a membership at “Links of Lake Erie” golf course.  It’s only a mile inland from the lake and has many ponds located around the 18 holes.  Of course this is prime duck and goose habitat.  there are always hundreds of geese flying, landing, or swimming along the calm waters of the course.

Well yesterday we saw a beautiful bufflehead, mallards, and a ton of geese.  As we approached our last green, which is a par five along the edge of one of these ponds, I hit an errant shot.  It went toward a group of geese by the edge of the pond, and I was hoping it stayed dry.  As we approached the area we thought the ball landed in, we stumbled upon a goose nest with three eggs.  Mama goose was not happy with us, and her mate was a little agitated himself.  We found my ball not 3 foot away from the nest, and I picked it up and got the heck out of there.  We were no more than 30 feet away when they returned to their duties of keeping those eggs warm.

It seems a little early to me for ground nesting birds to be laying their eggs, but then again the warm weather has everything out of whack right now.  She better not leave that nest for long, as the cold weather has settled back in, and foxes and coyotes make their rounds frequently.  Geese can be pretty nasty when defending their young.  I actually witnessed a goose kill a fox when I was a kid, but that’s another story!

Mike

 

 

Northern Ramblings!

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

would you believe that these pictures were taken about 14 hours apart from one another?  This past Friday we were greeted by 2 inches of freshly fallen snow when we arrived at our cabin.  The next day the temperatures were in the mid forties-thus the picture on my new “favorite lake.”

The snow actually gave me a chance to do some scouting, and I found a couple spots that I might  hang a tree stand in this fall.  Saw enough deer tracks to get the blood pumping, but not one single turkey track, which was very disappointing.  I also found the fur of one of the tame/wild rabbits that evidently was a coyote or fox meal.

I will not divulge the name of my lake “find,” as the less people that know about it; the better!  I was able to talk to Jack (the guy in the chair fishing) and he told me that the lake held browns, brookies, and smallmouth in sizable numbers.  I can’t wait for my first chance to wet a line in this remote crystal clear jewel of Northern Michigan.  I’ve be looking for a used “Water Quest” bass boat, but so far no luck.  There about 10 foot long and will fit nicely on my small trailer.  My tolling motor would work just fine on such a vessel as this.  Art and Jeff got me all pumped up over there at “Simply Outdoors” with their very successful steelhead fishing trip.  I don’t know much about  catching “browns” so if any readers can give me some pointers I’d appreciate it.  Can’t wait for an extended time at the cabin.

Mike