Archive for July, 2013

Michigan Wolf Hunt

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Mary Joe - Wolf Hunt 006Mary Joe - Wolf Hunt 007Can you believe we are going to have a wolf hunt here in Michigan?  It seems that the planting of a native population of wolves in the Upper Peninsula was more successful than anyone imagined.

A total of 1200 licenses will be made available on a first come first serve basis starting September 28th.  That’s the day of my 67th. birthday, and I’m hoping for a present from the DNR.

My grandson Quinn goes to school at Michigan Tech. in Houghton/Hancock which is one of the areas open to wolf hunting.  We bear hunt the Marquette area and have seen and heard wolves while we sit on a bear bait.  They are at the top of the food chain in the Upper and are thriving on deer, moose, rabbits, and “yes” some farm animals.  Various packs of wolves have branched out all over the Upper Peninsula but the area’s on the map (pictured) A, B, and C are the only area’s where you will be able to hunt wolves.  Hunting licenses will cost $100.00 dollars for residents and $500.00 for non residents.  Personally I believe this hunt should only be available to Michigan hunters!  The total quota for all units combined is 43 wolves.  When that figure is reached the hunt will be called off.

The Department of Natural Resources has a print out in (PDF format) that explains how they came to the decision to hold a wolf hunt, the history of Michigan’s wolves, rules and regulations of the hunt, and various other information on the subject.  It is very helpful.

Mike

Home Again From the North Country

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Just returned from a 8 day stay at the cabin with my wife and our friends Ed and Linda Ponzy.  When they headed home Pastor Bob Baltrip and his wife Linda stopped by for a few days.  We enjoyed great weather, good food, a few rounds of golf, and some wonderful fellowship.  I was able to complete several projects around camp with the help of Ed and Linda.  Seems like there is always things to do, but I enjoy just being “up north!”

At various times we would just relax on the screened in front porches and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.  There was one incident when we were glad we weren’t sitting on the porch.  This past Thursday evening as four of us sat around the kitchen table playing 5 crowns, we had an unexpected visitor.  It was 8:20 in the evening (a lot of daylight) when Linda(Baltrip) looked out the window and gasped “There’s a big bear out there!”  As we all gawked out the window a nice sized black bear strolled across the yard to where we keep our bird feeder.  He knew what he was doing, as I struggled to keep my composer and snap a picture.  I ended up getting a snapshot of my feet and the window sill!  I totally blew it as my hyperactive mind could not remember the right function buttons on the camera.  The bear look a little skinny, but had a beautiful shiny black coat.  He even stood on his hind legs for a second, and we could see that he towered over us in height.  He didn’t stick around long, but gave us all quite a thrill during the middle of our card game.  I’ve seen quite a few bears in the wild and this one would go an easy 300 pounds once fattened up in the Fall.

We also saw two hen turkeys with their young, several deer including some young velvet covered bucks, and heard coyotes most every evening.  It’s pretty eerie hearing them running in packs at night as they hunt for dinner.

Both the Ponzy’s and the Baltrip’s stayed in the new (nearly completed) bunkhouse for the time they were there.  What a blessing to have that extra space for sleeping quarters and privacy.  We even had our friends Ed and Pat Alger stop in and visit before we left for home.  Now it’s back to cutting grass, repairing lawn mowers, picking up wind blown tree limbs, watching grandkids ball games, and trying to beat my brother Randy at golf.  What a life.  It’s great to be me!

Mike

Fishing Michigan

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Cabin July 4th 2013 017Cabin July 4th 2013 009Michigan’s lakes and rivers offer fishing opportunities to all who venture to cast a line no matter how young, or old you may be.  While at the cabin a few weeks ago grandson Kyle, his dad Glen, and myself had a chance to fish the Mio pond and East Twin Lake.  We didn’t exactly “slaughter” the fish, but action was good enough to keep us from  getting bored!

Kyle is shown with his dad as he holds a small pike he reeled in while fishing the Mio Pond.  They also caught a few small pan fish, and returned everything to the water.  Next day we went into Lewiston and put Glens boat in East Twin Lake.  We had never fished here before, so it was a trial and error expedition.  The fishing was spotty as we caught perch in one location and sunfish and bluegill in another.  We brought home 15 fish which are now in the freezer waiting for a few more to be added to them.  We are all looking forward to a fish dinner in the near future.

There’s nothing like seeing the excitement and joy on a kids face when they “battle” a lunker and get em in the boat.  All my grandkids have been fishing with me except the youngest (Brady) but I hope to get him out soon.  The girls love it as much as the boys.  I just have to put the worms on their hook and there good to go!  Take a kid fishing this summer!  You’ll enjoy it and they’ll never forget it.

Beware of the Bear!

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

????My wife and I keep a garbage can at the cabin where we put bird seed and corn.  Lorna is a bird watcher and really enjoys our feathered friends around the cabin.  One bird in particular we have tried to get on film is the Pileated Woodpecker.  They are quite unique and very elusive.  We have a lid on the garbage can that locks so the squirrels and chipmunks can’t get into it, but we soon found out it’s not bear proof!

One morning I awoke to find the can knocked over and grain scattered all over the place.  I figured the raccoons had done the damage, but set my trail camera up to see if that were so.  I found no obvious sign that it could be a bear, and I was hoping one would not be that bold around camp.  Kids and grandkids were scheduled to arrive in a few days and I certainly didn’t want a bear in the area.

Next morning revealed who the culprit was, and as you can see the “lid” was no problem for him!  I was fortunate enough to draw a bear permit this year, but it’s for the Upper Peninsula (Gwinn Unit.)  My cabin is in the Red Oak unit and it takes 6 points to get a bear permit for around here.  That’s means I’d have to wait 6 years in order to draw a permit for this area, and by then I would be to old to hunt!  (Just joking!)  Anyway he looks like a respectable bruin, and I’m guessing it to be a male (boar) as a female would no doubt have cubs with her.  I decided the bird seed was better off inside the shed, and we had no more bear sightings while the family was here.  What bear in his right mind would even come close to the noise and commotion of 21 of the Ansel clan in one place?

After everyone left my wife and I had two days to ourselves.  On the last night of our stay I went out to retrieve my trail cam and put it away around 11 p.m.  As I shinned my flashlight ahead of me there in the bright beam was a bear 30 feet away!  I’m standing there barefoot in my “T” shirt and skivvies feeling quite vulnerable. Don’t even let your mind visualize this! The bear nonchalantly turned and lumbered off into the woods, and I (not so nonchalantly ) hot footed it back to the cabin.  I’m not sure if this was the same bear, as it looked huge in the beam of my flashlight!  Maybe 6 years isn’t to long to wait after all!

Mike

July 4th. AuSable Adventures

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Cabin July 4th 2013 023Cabin July 4th 2013 096Cabin July 4th 2013 049 Cabin July 4th 2013 037A trip to the cabin would not be complete without floating the famous Ausable River.  In fact we went down the river twice.  there were 16 of us in the first trip and 21 in the second group.  We talked my wife (Lorna) into going on the second outing which made 100% of our gang on the water.  We had twelve tubes and two kayaks.  Several of the tubes were doubles which made it nice for couples.  I had brought  some rope so I tied off about 12 of us in one group.  Courtney and I dubbed this “RaftZilla!”  On the first trip I used one of the new kayaks we recently purchased.  They are the short ones (8 footers) and I was told they didn’t handle real well, so I was anxious to try them out.  Well they worked out just fine, and we only had one roll over due to pilot error.  The trip took about 2-1/2 hours of leisurely floating down the river and enjoying the sights.  We saw an eagle (spotted by grandson Keegan) and also a couple of baby deer right at the waters edge.  Also ducks and their young came floating by as the current took us toward our destination.  The cool water takes your breath away when you first plop your butt into an open inner-tube, but it feels quite refreshing later in the hot sun.  From the 4 year old to the old geezer (me) we had a really great time  with one another.  With that many kids and grandkids its hard not to have a good time!  Just having grandson Quinn around is enough entertainment for all 21 of us.  If your ever in the Mio/Lewiston/Luzerne area you should give the float trip a try.  Its part of the Michigan experience unique to this part of the state.  Enjoy your summer!

Mike