Archive for March, 2013

Sunshine and Heat Here We Come!

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

florida vacation 2010 075In a few short hours we’ll be on our way to Orlando Florida with daughter Tara, husband Glen and grandson Kyle.  Following us will be my daughter Alena’s family, and daughter Courtney will fly down and meet us there.  Another daughter (Meghan) will be headed home the day we arrive.

The weather forecast is calling for temperatures in the 80’s and sunny!  That’s what we like to hear.  We usually hook up with a bass fishing guide service, but this year we’re going to rent our own boat, and try to land a few Florida lunkers.  I also contacted a couple turkey hunting guides, but they have me priced out of the market!  Two thousand dollars ($2000.00) for a 2-3 day turkey hunt is not even close to being in my budget.  I guess I forget about ever bagging a Osceola.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some sunshine and heat.  This winter has seemed to hang on way to long.  In fact it’s been so cold and snowy that the state of Ohio issued a warrant for the arrest of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog that predicted an early spring.  Yeh he missed it this year, as most of the country will attest to.  Of course this weekend is supposed to get into the 50’s around here, but then slide back into the wintry weather next week.  I’m so glad we will get a 9 day reprieve from all that.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the possibility of a wolf hunt here in Michigan by 2014.  As much as most land owners and sportsman would like to see that the anti-hunting crowd has their machine in attack mode!  Jill Fritz has initiated a petition drive, with the help of PETA, and has more than the 200,000 thousand signatures needed to put it on the ballot.  It’s amazing that issues supposedly governed by the Department of Natural Resources can actually be derailed by activist that mainly inhabit our large cities.  They ignore, or are ignorant of the wolf predation on deer, livestock, and even pets.  They would rather feel all cute and fuzzy about wolves, until it’s their little Maltese he’s feeding on.  Of course that won’t happen cause there aren’t any wolves where they live-at least “not yet!”

Mike

“Hale Fire” Is Here!

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

001I love everything there is about turkey hunting.  Season is just around the corner, and I have my hands on a call that will be a game changer.  I have never been able to use a mouth call, as I gag to easy.  Those that use one usually can imitate a “gobble” pretty good.  Since I’m left with my slate and box calls my only option was a hand-held (bulky) gobble shake call!  Way to much movement, but produces an adequate gobble.

Early in the week I was at Cabela’s cashing in some gift cards on needed hunting items.  I came across this Knight and Hale turkey gobble call named “Hale Fire!”  I pick one up, and about an hour later was making some pretty good sounds with it.

This morning I had to go get two of my grand-sons off to school, and brought my “gobble” call with me.  My son-in-law has had a few birds hanging around his place, but had not seen them of late.  After getting the boys off to school I took a walk back to the edge of the woods.  It was about 8:30 and birds should have already been on the ground.  I cupped my hand and blew my first gobble.  Immediately I got a loud response in front of me.  I gobbled again and two birds responded!  On my third try three different gobbles rang out from the woods.  How sweet is that?  I didn’t want them to see me, or spook them from the area, so I headed back to the house.  Once I was several hundred yards away I cut loose with another gobble, and the woods came alive with return gobbles.

Man that excites me!  I can’t wait to use this on my turkey hunt this spring.  Not only will it work good with decoys it will also be a good locator call.  If you’re not so great with a diaphragm call then give the “Hale Fire” a try.  If your like me you won’t be disappointed.

Mike

Gun Control Effects the Law Abiding Gun Owner Not the Criminal or Mentally Deranged!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Effective  July 1st. Colorado will impose some of the strictest gun control measures in the United States.  Except for “liberal” leaning California it is unheard of that one of our Western States would embrace such restrictions.  After all Colorado is a frontier state where gunslinger’s (like Doc Holliday and Buffalo Bill) roamed freely, and President Teddy Roosevelt often hunted.  In fact hunting outfitters and ranches are one of the major sources of income for the state.  As part of the “Wild West” Colorado has a long history of its citizens love for firearms.  In many families guns are passed down from generation to generation.  So just what’s going on in Colorado.

Well it seems that the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has rapidly pushed the politically correct envelope toward gun control measures.  In poll after poll Americans have fallen for the political rhetoric that tougher gun control means less crime/killings/mass murders.  But what gun control does is penalize the honest, law-abiding, citizens that have never harmed anyone or broken any laws.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colorado Democrat) has signed two Democratically backed bills that would increase background checks and limit the size of magazines.  Others bills pending in the state legislature include banning gun ownership for certain past crimes (I personally have no problem with that) and making it harder to do safety training for those seeking a concealed weapons permit.  It seems to me, and to my fellow Second Amendment advocates that the focus is on law-abiding American citizens and not the “crazy’s” the criminals, and the haters who perpetrate these heinous crimes.  Put our resources and energy into actually going after the criminals and the deranged, and leave law-abiding citizens alone.

Just yesterday a University of Central Florida student (James Oliver Seevakumaran) planned a mass killing of fellow dorm members.  His plans went awry as a room-mate dialed 911 after Seevakumaran pointed a gun at him.  The response from police was swift, as Seevakumaran pulled the fire alarm in order to get as many “targets” in the hallways as possible.  For reasons known only to Seevakumaran (and Satan) he put his 45 to his own head and pulled the trigger.  It is a sad thing when a fellow member of the human race comes to a point when harming (killing) others or oneself are the only options on the table.  These are the people who need help!  Not Mr. and Mrs. law-abiding, tax paying, patriotic, God-fearing Americans.  James had two guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and explosives in his backpack.  He had well thought out plans on how to inflict as much damage on his dorm-mates as possible.  How can this be?  James was in a “gun free” zone!  It was against the law to have weapons on the campus or in the dorms.  The answer is someone “hell-bent” on an act, such as this, will find a way to pull it off with guns, knives, explosives, airplanes, poison or whatever means  at their disposal.  Law abiding citizens do just that; they obey the law.  Criminals and the lunatic fringe do not!  Why not focus on them, and leave the lovers of liberty exercise their Second Amendment rights?

 

Guns and Ammo Flying Off The Shelves Thanks to Senator Feinstein and President Obama!

Friday, March 15th, 2013

gun bill 007Recently my brother tried to buy some ammo for one of his pistols, and found out they were on back order.  I mean “way on back order!  He called several places and most wanted to put him on a list, which was going to take several months before they could deliver.  He finally found a large chain store (he asked me not to mention the name) that promised him delivery within 30 days.  Guns and ammo are flying off the shelves at a rate never before seen in America!  Why?

Seems to me that is an easy one to figure out.  Barack Obama, Dianne Feinstein, and the gun grabbing Democrats have done what the NRA could never do-promote gun ownership by the millions!

Smith and Wesson is running their factory at full capacity, and cannot keep up with orders.  Ruger, Remington, Armalite, Colt, FNH, Springfield Armory, LWRC, and DPMS have all increased production, and can’t keep up with demand.  Gun quality steel is running short, bolt carriers are in short supply, machined parts are hard to find.  Most ammunition manufacturers are running 30-45 days behind.  One (1) billion rounds are being produces weekly, and that’s not near enough to keep up with demand!  Magazine and reloading supplies are also caught up in the shortages.  I just read a report that the World-War II Era weapons and ammunitions are also as good as sold out nationwide!  When you stop and think about it, are these buyers wanting to protect their rights as sportsmen/women, or are we preparing for something more sinister?

Senator Diane Feinstein’s bill to ban 157 different types of guns and all clips and magazines holding more than 10 rounds is in its final stages of passing.  There are many who have legitimate concern over the wording on page 13 of her bill.  In the end far more than 157 different weapons could be banned due to the interpretation of the paragraph concerning gun “grips!”  If Fräulein Feinstein had her way she would ban all guns and ammo from private citizens.  In 2004 she told the San Francisco Chronicle “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them…Mr. and Mrs. America, turn em all in, I would have done it.  I could not do that.  The votes weren’t there!”  In one of her more recent quotes she said “Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.”  Her present war to take away your and my Second Amendment rights of course does nothing to disarm her “locked and loaded” body guards.  The Senator will never have to wait a half hour for police to arrive, so you and your family can be identified.  We are on a slippery slope and with the likes of Senator Feinstein, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Harry Reid pushing the “sled” the slope is getting slicker!

Mike

It’s Not A Snowmobile – It’s a 4-Wheeler!

Monday, March 11th, 2013

micah and heather at cabin 054Even though my place is located just 100 yards from a snowmobile trail, I’m not into snowmobiling.  But I do have a couple four wheelers, and I ride whenever I can.  Like last weekend when there was 14 inches of snow on the ground I decided to take a “spin” around my place.

The road and snowmobile trail were plowed and groomed, so I wasn’t expecting any problems.  I told my wife I’d be back in a few minutes, but I wanted to look for signs of deer tracks in the area..  Once on trail number 9 I circled back behind my property and continued on for about a mile.  There wasn’t many signs of deer crossing the trail, so I headed back.  I have a trail that enters my property from an old snowmobile trail that is no longer in use, and I thought I would take this “shortcut” back home.

Mistake number one!  I only rode about 100 feet down the trail and started having problems with deep snow drifts.  It didn’t take me long to get seriously stuck in 16-18 inches of white stuff.  At this point I’m about 3/4 of a mile from the cabin, which is no big deal, unless your 66 years old walking through knee-high snow!  Mistake number two was leaving my snowshoes at the cabin.  Mistake number three was leaving my cell phone on the kitchen table.

To make a long story short I made it back alright, but I had to take several stops along the way to catch my breath.  My legs were killing me, and I had worked up a pretty good sweat.  I was not happy with the stupid decision I had made to “blaze” a snowmobile trail with a 4-wheeler!  They are not made for that!

My neighbor happened to stop by just as I got back, and he volunteered to take me back with his tractor and a chain.  He had to pull it all the way back, and even was in trouble with his 4-wheel drive tractor a couple of times.  I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks, as I won’t be pulling that again anytime soon.  I’ll save the 4-wheeling for the “dirt” and let the snowmobilers have all the snow they want.

Mike

Michigan’s Harsh Winter Takes It’s Toll

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

micah and heather at cabin 019micah and heather at cabin 049This past December I mentioned in one of my post seeing a very small fawn running with several does and larger fawns.  I really could not believe the size of this “peanut” and wondered how he could have been born so late in the fawning season!  At the time when he should have weighed 50 pounds he was probably more like twenty.  I honestly thought I saw spots still on him in late December.

Well we just returned from a few days at the cabin, and I hadn’t really thought about the little guy since the end of deer season.  There was a good 14 inches of heavy snow on the ground, and conditions in the woods were harsh.  While standing on the porch of our new bunk house, my son Micah yelled to me that there was something under the picnic table.  I had been shoveling snow in the area, and had not noticed the dead little fawn frozen to the ground nearby.  The deep snow surrounding the picnic table prevented me from seeing under it very well, but evidently it was “peanuts” last reprieve.  There weren’t any signs of predation, except for a few birds that had been pecking on his face.  I surmise that he crawled under there due to deep snow and lack of food, and starved to death.  I’m guessing, but that fawn didn’t weigh more than 25 pounds, and looked like he was just a few months old!  I don’t know how that can be, but I do know that Michigan winters extract a heavy toll on the young and the weak!

There will no doubt be ten’s of thousands of whitetail deer die this winter in our state.  That’s one of the reasons we have a hunting season.  No one wants to see an animal suffer from starvation.  It can be a long painful process.  If hunters did not harvest the excess deer in our state it would compound their suffering exponentially.  I for one am proud to be part of the conservation effort to keep our deer herd in check through responsible quotas and the various hunting seasons.  Not only that, I am able to put some great dinner fare on the table, and even share the bounty with others.  Shelters and food kitchens all over the state benefit from hunters generosity.  I would much rather see this natural resource used in this way, than to suffer death by starvation.  If hunters don’t keep the deer herd thinned out, Mother Nature will!

John F. Marcum Sr. Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend, Mentor, Hero, and Child of the “King!”

Monday, March 4th, 2013

11061208241115121104HPIM0187A Family friend (John Marcum) passed away on February 9th. just a few short weeks ago.  My parents were friends with John and his wife Susie, as they became acquainted through the Custer Baseball Little League Organization that John helped start.  In fact that program is still going strong today with thousands of boys and girls playing ball at the brand new Custer diamonds.  My five brothers and I all played ball at Custer, as did John’s two sons John and Dave.  I remember John Jr. as one the finest athletes ever to come out of Monroe, and younger brother Dave was no slouch either.  Their dad was their coach and mentor, as he encouraged his sons to always do their best both on and off the field.  Sandwiched in between John Jr. and Dave was Johns daughter Linda who knew the Custer ball fields well.  When you saw the Marcum’s their kids weren’t far behind.

John and his wife became very active in church and various ministry outreaches in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  John remained a faithful follower of Christ all his life, and never met a stranger.  Soon after meeting John you were going to hear about his passion for Gods saving Grace.  I guess you could say he was an Evangelist at heart.  His desire was for everyone to experience the love, peace, and hope that he himself had experienced through turning his life over to God.

John was an Engineer at Ford Motor Company where I worked, and whenever we would meet the talk always centered around family, hunting, and his Savior Jesus.  John was not a closet Christian!  You never had to guess where he stood on spiritual matters.  He was bold, yet compassionate, compelling the listener to “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”

One aspect about John’s life was known to only a few.  You see John enlisted in the army during World War II and served with the Army’s 99th. Infantry.  He was part of the four Army divisions that participated in the greatest land battle in history-the Battle of the Bulge!  Nineteen thousand (19,000) soldiers did not return home from this harsh winter battle.  It truly was the end of Hitler’s Axis powers.  The battle lasted over a month in one of the coldest winters Europe ever experienced.  John was awarded the purple heart for wounds received during combat, and was a proud member of the American Legion Post in Reading.  An American hero indeed!

Once John retired (1975) he settled into his lakefront home in Quincy Michigan.  He became a member of the Bankers Baptist Church, and was active in the choir, Sunday school, and served as a church deacon. He also was active in the Gideon’s ministry, and gave of his time, talents, and resources to many charities that furthered the cause of Christ.  Outgoing and friendly John and Susie made many friends at church and in the Quincy community.  From these friendships John had opportunity to hunt some prime property.  I remember John inviting my dad over to hunt some of these deer infested farms.  Of course I would have to tag along, and be the “bird dog” for these “old timers!”  John was always gracious, and so was his wife Susie.  At mid-day we would go back to their house and Susie would fix us lunch.  We would talk hunting, but always John would want to talk about Jesus.  My dad, who passed away just a few years after our last hunt with John, was always impressed by John’s zeal for Christ.  Before my dad died he too gave his heart to Christ, and I’m positive John’s message did not come back void!  Thank you John for your zest for life, and your commitment to sharing the gospel of Christ.

Next to God and his devotion to his family, John was an avid outdoorsman.  It almost seems surreal that just this past fall, John enjoyed one of his most memorable hunting seasons.  At 91 years old John was still climbing into tree stands, and still bringing down bragging sized bucks.  Although the family trips to hunt the Upper Peninsula were winding down Daves 40 acres was prime Quincy property.  The first picture is of John holding Dave’s big bow shot buck that John tracked and found the day after Dave hit it.  Dave credits his dad for finding this Southern Michigan bruiser.  The next picture is of John and his good friend Jerry Wilson with the big 8 pointer John downed on opening day of gun season.  The last picture is of John and Dave with the “double” they took on longbeards this past Spring.  Dave called them in and his dad put the “smack down” on a trophy Tom with an 11 inch beard and 1″ spurs.  John had filled his deer license several years in a row, and had taken the last few with a crossbow.  What great memories are left to those that knew and loved John the most.  How many sons get to be in the woods at the crack of dawn, when the roosters crow, the turkeys gobble, and the steam exhales from the deers nostrils, with their 91-year-old father?  What a wonderful gift John F. Marcum Sr. was to his family, as well as all mankind.  Yes he will be sadly missed, but his legacy will live on in the hearts and lives of his family, and each life he touched.  Glad to have known you John.  You truly did make the world a better place.

John was able to spend some good quality time with all his family before being called home.  As always he lived for Jesus, he defended his faith, and he looked forward to the words “Well done my good and faithful servant” from the Lord he served.  His life made an impact on his family and friends, and they will never be the same because of this life so well lived.

Mike