Archive for September, 2013

Northern Colors-Anniversary’s-And Birthdays

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Nadia Mindy birtday up north Kyle Hunt 062Nadia Mindy birtday up north Kyle Hunt 06867th.  birthday 002Due to the lack of rain these past several months it looks like an “early fall” is in the makings.  Many of the trees around my place in Luzerne have already begin to show their vibrant Fall colors.  This display seems to be a few weeks early to my wife and I.  I have noticed that many of the farmers are harvesting their soybeans and corn sooner than most years.  The deer hunting in the southern part of the state should be excellent, if the deer can’t hide in the vast acreages of standing corn!  In my neck of the woods there aren’t any farm crops, but the acorns are falling where there are oak trees.  The ferns are dying off and nights have that crisp cool bite to them.  Perfect weather for the start of deer season this coming Tuesday.

Of course I will miss my 43rd. opening day in a row, as 44 years ago I got married on October 2nd.  I thought I was being pretty smart, as I could take my new bride on a honeymoon to my “deer hunting grounds” and celebrate this new union with back straps and brook trout!  Boy was I a “dunderhead!”  It worked out great 44 years ago, but my wife didn’t take long to wise up.  Thus I have forgone opening day in order to celebrate our anniversary “in the proper manner!”  That is “petit filet” at a fancy restaurant in Toledo Ohio.  I am packed and ready to go on the following day (Oct. 3rd.) and plan on having a great hunt.  Lorna may join me on the weekend if my daughter and her husband decide to come up.

The third picture is of some of the 5 pounds of perch filets I fried up for my birthday party here at the house.  We feed 14 hungry kids and grandkids, and even had my 88 year old mother over.  She wasn’t feeling good, but would never pass on “fish and chips!”  We baked potatoes, a salad, and there was cider, donuts, and apple crisp for all.  One of the grandkids doesn’t care for fish much, but he loved the breaded perch, as did everyone else.  It was a lot of work, but well worth having family around to share such a scrumptious fare.

Mike

Showcasing the DNR Youth Recreation Opportunities

Friday, September 27th, 2013

From time to time I will copy and paste articles from the DNR website concerning articles that may be of interest to outdoor recreation enthusiast.  This is one of those articles.

    Showcasing the DNR: Introducing urban youth to outdoor recreation opportunities

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    Showcasing the DNR


    Showcasing the DNR was originally designed for weekly news publications, but we see benefit in sharing it more broadly. You’re invited to share these stories with friends, family and anyone you believe finds value in learning about the DNR’s efforts to better connect people of all ages to Michigan’s great outdoors and cultural heritage.
    Media organizations are welcome to cut and paste these stories for use with their own readers and website visitors. Use the Internet link (at the end of this email) to access camera-ready photos (in color and/or grayscale) to supplement the story.
    Thank you for your interest in Showcasing the DNR. If you would like to see past Showcasing stories, visit www.michigan.gov/dnr-stories. Questions or comments? Please contact DNR public information officer Ed Golder at (517) 335-3014 or goldere@michigan.gov.


    Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 958 words Photos available: Yes
    Unique program introduces urban youngsters to state parks, outdoor recreation and career opportunities A couple of Michigan state parks have new amenities – and one has fewer invasive plants – because of a unique program that brings inner-city youths to state parks to work on park projects and experience the outdoors lifestyle.
    The Summer Youth Employment Initiative is a joint effort of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). It was created at the same time as MEDC’s Community Ventures Program, which focuses on helping unemployed individuals find opportunities. Both programs operate in Flint, Saginaw, Detroit and Pontiac, explained Murdock Jemerson, a DNR Parks and Recreation Division supervisor who oversees the program for the department.
    This past summer, 36 youths from Detroit spent time at Wilderness State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, building picnic tables, clearing brush and invasive plants and installing wood chips on a long trail through the park. A bigger crew, which included not only Detroit youngsters but many from Pontiac as well, spent three days and two nights at Sleeper State Park near Caseville, where they built and installed signs, built picnic tables, painted and stained buildings, and split and bundled firewood that is sold to campers at the park.
    “The kids are fun,” said Kim Kaufmann, unit supervisor at Sleeper. “This is the first time we’ve done a multi-day overnight work program with them. Some of them are really motivated.”
    The 91 campers at Sleeper State Park rotated through various jobs during their first two days at the park, and then spent the third morning enjoying recreational opportunities before heading back to southeast Michigan. While working, they were supervised by AmeriCorps volunteers, who are part of the National Civilian Community Corps program.
    The AmeriCorps crew (themselves 18- to 22-year-olds) showed the kids how to use tools – everything from wrenches to routers – while making sure the picnic tables and signs were built properly and the work was conducted safely.
    “It’s been a really great experience,” said Vinnie Beyer, a 21-year-old from Bloomington, Ind., who was taking a break from college to work for AmeriCorps. “We work together as a group with urban youths who maybe don’t get a chance to get out very much, maybe never get to a state park. The ages of the youths are 16 to 19, so we’re really from the same generation – we’re really not that much older – so we have more in common than you might think and it’s neat to meet people you might not have otherwise ever met.”
    In its second year, the Summer Youth Employment Initiative was expanded to include the state park/camping element thanks to a suggestion from DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson.
    Jemerson said he chose Wilderness and Sleeper for the program because both parks had adequate cabins available to handle the youngsters.
    “I wanted to break them in slowly,” said Jemerson, who works out of the DNR’s Rose Lake field office near Lansing. “These groups really don’t have the equipment to take these kids tent camping.”
    Jemerson worked with community social service groups to find participants for the program.
    “I think it’s a great program, but if you talk with some of the social service agency heads, you’ll get an even stronger endorsement of the importance of this program,” Jemerson said. “A lot of these kids, frankly, would be sitting around doing nothing this summer. I’d rather they do nothing up here than out on the streets.”
    The state park work/camping experience is just a small part of the overall program, said LaTonya Dolton, a program coordinator with The Youth Connection, Inc., a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that brought some of the youngsters to the parks.
    “It’s a 19-week program from June to late September,” she said, “We had this program last year but this is the first time we went camping. Ninety percent of these kids have never been camping before. Some of them had never seen a horse or a cow before. Some kids had never had s’mores; they didn’t even know how to roast marshmallows.”
    Dolton became involved with the program when one of her own youngsters – 17-year-old Michael – joined up. She said it’s been a great way to show young people opportunities they wouldn’t know about and she has been surprised by how receptive the kids have been.
    ”Most of our kids have a good attitude,” she said. “Even our girly girls are going right at it. I’m amazed and pleased.”
    Alexis Wardlaw, a 16-year-old who attends Denby High School in Detroit, said she was referred to the program by her teacher.
    “I wanted to try something different,” she said. “I’ve never been to this part of Michigan before, never been camping. It’s new.”
    Dolton said both the AmeriCorps volunteers and the DNR staff “have been great” and have not only taught the youngsters some work skills, but given them an opportunity to development leadership skills, as well. She noticed, for instance, when the kids went canoeing, those who caught on quickly began helping the others who didn’t.
    Nicole Hill, the program director at The Youth Connection, said the kids worked at Wayne County Parks planting trees or at Milliken State Park on the Detroit riverfront before they went “up north” for the overnights.
    “The experience they receive is second to none,” she said. “Most of our youth – and I mean 98 percent of them – have never done anything like this. We’re getting them ready for work and exposing them to career opportunities. There are jobs in the DNR – law enforcement, fire-fighting – and this experience shows them the variety of opportunities available to them.”
    For more information on camping and other outdoor recreation opportunities and programs at Michigan state parks, visit
    www.michigan.gov/stateparks. To learn more about career paths within the DNR, visit www.michigan.gov/dnrjobs 

    Mentored Youth Hunt

    Monday, September 23rd, 2013

    Nadia Mindy birtday up north Kyle Hunt 016My grandson Kyle waiting for his chance to connect on a deer from Papa’s tree stand.  The Youth Mentor hunt is something new for Michigan’s youngest hunters, and it is a great program.  This is the second year I’ve taken Kyle deer hunting for the weekend, and this year he finally got a shot from my Barnett crossbow.  He didn’t hang any venison from the game pole, but we built some wonderful memories.

    The deer were scarce, the moon was full, and the wind made me sea sick at times, but that’s hunting.  We did see some turkeys, and had a huge black bear on our trail cam pictures.  The food plot is looking good for a change, as we have finally gotten some much needed rain.  I put a rope around the food plot with some red streamers hanging from it, but a few deer are still brave enough to enter the field.  I’m saving the food plot for gun season.  Hopefully by then the turnips will be quite inviting for whatever bucks are in the area.

    I can still take Kyle out during the regular season, and I hope to guide him to some tasty backstraps before the seasons over.  The colors on the trees are turning a few weeks early as we came across several areas that were very vibrant.  Should be an early winter here in Michigan the way things look so far.

    Mike

    Fine Tune Bow Equipment Now – Not After The Hunt!

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

    arrows 001With the opening day of bow season less than two weeks away, and the special youth/disabled hunters weekend upon us; I sincerely hope everyone has fine tuned their equipment.

    Just because you were shooting “spot on” last season does not mean your arrows will hit in the same area this year.  Much can happen during the months your bow/crossbow sits around the house.  If you change arrow sizes or arrow lengths that will certainly have an effect on your arrow flight.  Different size (gr.) field tips can also give you inconsistency in your target groups.  Also check your string for fraying and wear.  Bow wax is a must to keep strings in good working order.  Make sure all bolts and screws are tight, and grease or lube where needed.

    In this picture I was shooting two different arrow diameters (2219/2314) and there was also a 1/2 in difference in arrow length.  As you can see from the picture I have two separate groups shooting from the same bow with the same sight pin.  The 2219 flew about three inches to the left of the 2314.  They are both nice groups, but in order to tighten that group up I need to decide which arrow I’m shooting in the woods!  I did not have to change anything on my sight pins from last years setting.  This is not always the case so be sure you check the sight or pins to see if they have been bumped or loosened over the spring/summer months.  If you shoot a bow or crossbow with a scope you need to make sure nothing has changed your crosshair settings.

    Once you have loosed an arrow at your quarry it is to late to tune your equipment!  Do it now before going afield.  Your freezer will be happy that you did, and whatever game we hunt deserves a well placed shot also.  Hope to hear some good stories in the upcoming days.  I will have my grandson Kyle out in the tree stand, and I can’t wait for him to experience “the hunt!”

    Are You Ready For Some Fall Ball?

    Sunday, September 15th, 2013

    baseball football 003baseball football 009jacob football 005I’m having a little trouble finding time to mow the grass, or get ready for the start of hunting season this year.  Several of the grandkids have decided to play fall sports, and it keeps old Papa and Grandma hopping!

    That’s grandson Kyle Pafford in the red shirt throwing a strike to home plate.  He’s a great little ball player and is always trying to learn more about the game he loves.  He’s been to Comerica park on numerous occasions and has been able to get autographs from some of baseballs best.  Kyle is 8 years old.

    In the middle is Logan Horwitz of BMX fame.  He gave up riding his BMX racing bike to play football this year.  Logan is playing tackle on offense and linebacker on defense.  His dad Mark played in Jr. and Senior high for his father Coach Irv at Farmington Hills.  Logan’s Papa (me) played offensive guard and middle linebacker in school.  All of us loved defense cause we got to tackle people, and didn’t get in trouble for it!  Logan is 9 years old.  Logan lives in Chicago so we have to rely on Mark sending us photo’s and video’s of the games.

    In the last picture is Jacob Russo who plays on a youth travel team.  He’s the handsome kid turned sideways to the camera (number 7.)  Jacob is playing on the line (end) and also outside linebacker.  He had a game tonight and was in on three tackles.  He was on the bottom of a huge pile-up, but came up smiling and ready for the next down!  Jacob just turned 9, so these three will keep us on our toes for years to come.

    I hope you all enjoy it boys, and are able to stay safe and build some strong long lasting character through discipline and hard work.  When your an “old” grandpa like me you’ll be able to look back on your “playing days” with a contented smile on your face and fond memories in your heart.

    Michigan’s New Antler Point Restrictions (APR)

    Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

    bob demarco 005All you North Western Lower Peninsula hunters get ready for APR.  That is Antler Point Restriction!  Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has implemented antler point restrictions on the following counties; Emmet, Antrim, Kalkaska, Missaukee, Wexford, Manistee, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Lake, Mason, and Osceola.  Member of the QDM (Quality Deer Management) petitioned for the restriction, and the DNR did a survey of Michigan hunters.  It was reported that a majority of Michigan’s deer hunters favor the restrictions.

    So these 11 counties will join several other counties that already have these restrictions in place.  Check the DNR guide or website to see if your county is included in the ban.  You can still shoot two (2) bucks in Michigan, but one of them has to have 4 points on one side.  If you are in one of the counties where APR is being implemented you must shoot only deer with 3 or 4 points per side.  No spikes or forkhorns anymore.  It would seem that the whole state will eventually come under these restrictions, as the motto “Let em go; let em grow” sets well with more hunters.

    You can reach the DNR web-site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

    Mike

    Cheers For The Clawson Trojans

    Saturday, September 7th, 2013

    Clawson Nadia Mindy 013Clawson Nadia Mindy 014Our oldest grand-daughter Nadia has been on the Clawson cheerleading squad for the last several years.  She’s a senior this year and we traveled to Clawson to see the Trojans win their second straight game.  Nadia also is on the competitive cheering squad, and because of her “light” weight she is one of the teams “fliers!” That means she get lifted off the ground by her team mates (sometimes three high!)  Grandma and Grandpa get a bit nervous, but Nadia is good at what she does, and so are her fellow cheer leaders.

    What a great evening for sitting in the bleachers with family and friends.  We were treated to a good football game with plenty of excitement and a few surprises.  One of those being Clawson’s extra point and field goal kicker.  She’s about 100 pounds of no nonsense kicking machine.  Last night she had a field goal and 4 extra points.  The only miss she had was due to a bad snap from the center.  Sure would of never seen anything like that in my football playing days!

    It was crisp and cool as the sun went down, but we were smart enough to bring blankets and jackets.  We warmed up after the game with a few boxes of pizza and a banana crème pie.  There goes the diet again.  Can’t wait for her next home game so we can do it again.

    Mike

    Michigan’s Beauty and Bounty!

    Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

    cabin with ed and linda 013cabin with ed and linda 006Finally got in a few hours of fishing with my buddy Ed Ponzy, and my recently purchased Sportspal canoe.  The canoe worked like a dream on the shallow clear lake we choose to wet our lines in.  The water depth was down at least 5 feet, so the weeds were pretty bad along with the lily pads.  We forgot our anchor so we drifted more than we intended to.  We had to fish the open spots between the weed beds, but action was actually pretty good.  We caught blue gill, sunfish, bass, and perch.  In the picture I’m holding a 12″ jumbo perch that is the largest I have ever caught.

    We also saw 4 trumpeter swans, and I was even able to get a couple pictures of them taking to the air.  One flew right over our heads as it played catch up to join the other three.  A few minutes later Ed spotted two deer swimming across the lake.  I have never seen deer swim before, so we tried to paddle closer for a few pictures.  The doe and fawn were having none of that, as they turned back for the shore they came from.  I did snap one picture, but it was from quite a distance away.  All in all we had a wonderful afternoon in Michigan’s great outdoors.

    Mike