Archive for October, 2013

Cider, Donuts, and Deer Oh My!

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Last chance for cider and donuts was yesterday (at least for us) so we took three of the grandsons to the Trabbic Farms Pumpkin Patch.  They are closing down for the season today, and what a day it is!  Started raining in the middle of the night and it hasn’t let up since.  We sure couldn’t have went out today.

We bought a gallon of cider and a dozen donuts then sat around a fire pit and ate our pumpkin spiced donuts and sweet apple cider.  The kids enjoyed the straw bale maze, the animals, the rides, and the thousands of pumpkins on display.  As usual there was a strong west wind that had the “old people” huddled around the fire pit, but it didn’t seem to faze the “young ones!”

It’s hard to believe that October is gone and the winds of November are “calling!”  My plan was to have my deer in the freezer by now, so I could relax during the “cold” part of deer season.  I’m going up this weekend, but the forecast is for more rain and cold temperatures.  I was up last week for 6 days and it rained every day.

So far the reports of deer taken have been few and far between.  Weather can play a crucial factor in the hunting season, and so far October has been a bust!  The deer here in the southern part of the state are in the “rut.”  I’ve seen a couple nice bucks looking for doe’s with one running through Carleton City limits.  Bucks up north are a little behind schedule.  I have not seen the sign like I did last year, and so far most bucks on my trail cam are 1-1/2 year olds.  There is a three (3) point restriction in my hunting area, and it’s looking like I may have to take a doe to put any venison in the cooler.  My grandson Kyle is going with me this weekend, and my focus will be on getting him his first deer!

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Safety First When Using Tree Stands

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Safety First When Using Tree Stands

By: Blake Anderson from


It has been a long hot summer and now that hunting season is almost upon us it is time to check your tree stands and to check your gear. I don’t know about you but I’m getting excited for this years hunt.


Hunter safety is important and part of hunter safety is making sure your tree stands are secure. Your tree stand has been through rain, heat of the sun and tree growth.  Making sure your tree stand is tight and secure will prevent falls from 20 feet high. Check everything on your tree stand and climb up it; of course you will want to use your safety harness. While you are checking out your tree stand always look for deer rubs and other deer signs such as scat, pawing marks and just sit and listen and watch.


Check your safety harness completely making sure all the straps are still secure and are not damaged or worn in any way.  There is nothing like false security when you are getting ready to aim at your targeted deer and a strap on your safety harness breaks. This will certainly make for a bad hunting experience. If you do notice a warn strap on your safety harness either get it repaired or purchase a new one.  Safety harnesses do not last forever and do need to be replaced.


Check your weapon and do some target practice.  There is nothing like target practice to not only gets you in the mood for hunting but to brush up from not shooting all summer long.  Of course you will want to adjust your sights as well.  Most importantly, when you are finished with your target practice make sure you clean your weapon so it will continue to work efficiently for you while you are sitting in your tree stand waiting for your target to walk into view.


Get your hunting pack ready now this way you are not forgetting anything at the last minute.  Take everything out of your hunting pack and take inventory.  There is nothing worse than being settled into your tree stand and you have forgotten something that you will need such as rope, new batteries in your 2 way radio (if you are hunting with a buddy), scent and even glow sticks in the event you get lost and of course a sharpened knife.  Yes, some of the most seasoned hunters can become lost while on a hunting trip especially if they are in a new area.


Whether you are using a fixed tree stand, ladder tree stand or a climber tree stand checking your equipment prior to your hunting date is a must in order to be safe.  Never put this inspection off until the last minute as rushing can cause mistakes and as we all know mistakes and hunting do not mix.


Do not forget to get your hunting buddy to do the same thing.  Walking your hunting area for deer signs, checking equipment and making sure you have your plans down on where to meet up when you separate, not to mention know the position where your hunting buddy is located. Have a safe and successful hunt this year.


Blake Anderson from Hunters tree stands has agreed to do a few guest blogs for me, which will certainly help me out when I’m at camp for an extended period of time.  This is the first of his blogs.  I appreciate your help Blake and the reminder that it’s “safety first!”  Be sure and check him out at


Precious Fall Memories!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Deer camp 19777Yesterday was my dad’s birthday (Oct. 22.)  Had he lived he would of been 93 years old.  It’s been 35 years since my dad passed away at the “way to young age” of 58!  He had six (6) sons and we miss him all the time, but when the crisp fall air surges into your nostrils we miss him all the more!

October always meant pheasant season, dad’s birthday, and preparation for deer camp.  My dad was born to be an October man.  He was raised on a farm and he hunted and trapped as a way to put food on the table, and a few dollars to help pay the bills.  The outdoors was just a natural part of life, and he especially loved November deer camp.  One reason he loved it so much was because his whole family would be with him, and he absolutely loved having his sons in the deer woods with him.  In fact it was our job; no I should say our privilege to make sure he got a deer.  We would always try and set him up on the best run-way, and when we did our deer drives he was always a “sitter” and never a “driver.”  We all remember well the last buck he dropped on a dead run through heavy timber.  He was a crack shot and passed his prowess down to us.  Myself brother Randy and brother Darryl were all in the service during the Viet Nam War, and we all qualified “expert” with the rifle just like dad did.

In the picture all six of his sons are sitting around the camp picnic table.  That’s me in the blue shirt with my wife Lorna and oldest daughter Tara beside me.  Darryl’s wife Cathy is also in the picture along with a family friend.  Mom snapped the photo just before we dove into one of dad’s great dinners.  He loved to cook for everyone at camp, and some of the most memorable meals I’ve ever eaten were made from my dad’s hands.

It’s that time of year again, and although many full moons have passed, along with the rutting bucks, and the cackling pheasants, his memory still engulfs the whole of the sum of the Fall season.

Your son’s love and miss you dad.  Happy birthday!   Hope we all have a safe and successful hunting season as we carry your spirit with us into the wilds.  See ya soon.


Photo Shoot Surprise!

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

I went over by the Raisin River this afternoon to do a photo shoot with my youngest daughter and her two girls.  We got some great pictures on the bridge, the old log cabin, and down by the rivers edge.

I noticed while we were on the bridge there were two fishermen wading and casting not far away.  No doubt they were searching for small mouth bass, as the river seems to have a good supply.  My grand-daughter looked down from the bridge we were on and said “Papa there’s a fish.”  Sure enough there was a nice sized “smallie” minding his own business in this little tributary just off the rivers edge.  He must have had a third sense, as the fishermen didn’t have a clue this 17″ bass was just a few yards away.

This is not a post about the one that got away, but about the one that hid away!  I figured if this fish was smart enough to allude these two fishermen then we weren’t going to “give him up.”

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Cheerleaders, Football, and Homecoming Games

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Nadias homecoming 015Nadias homecoming 027Nadias homecoming 007Last Friday evening was the homecoming game for Clawson High, where my oldest grand-daughter is a cheerleader.  She is a senior and has been a varsity cheerleader for four years.  This year she was one of the senior class representatives for homecoming queen and her boyfriend Matt was a candidate for king.  That’s Nadia on top (in the middle) with her cheerleader squad.  She also is a member of the competitive cheerleading squad.  She is a lovely girl inside and out, and is a credit to her family, friends, and school.

Another senior on the homecoming court was Olivia Paquette, who is also the football teams kicker.  She is number 8 and earned her spot on the team.  Olivia is a perfect 20 for 20 on extra point attempts, and also has a field goal to her credit.  She plays two other varsity sports, and was voted this years Clawson High School homecoming queen.  First time I ever saw a homecoming queen dressed in a football uniform holding a bouquet of roses!  It turned out to be a great evening as 20 of Nadia’s family were there enjoying the festivities.  To make it even more memorable Clawson held off Warren Lincoln 28-27  in the final minutes of the game.

India Cyclone and the Mother Angel Orphans & Widows Home

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Sitting here in this beautiful Michigan Fall weather it’s hard to imagine what these kids are going through in Bobbarlanka India right now.  The picture is of some of the 48 orphans we help support through the Mother Angel Orphans and Widows Home.  Pastor John Victorin and his wife Hepshiba run the home, and have 4 children of their own.

Hepshiba sent an e-mail out to many of her “prayer” partners asking for Divine Intervention for them because of the huge cyclone heading their way.  The massive storm has made its way inland hitting the Indian state of Orissa directly.  The orphanage is located  just south in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  Bobbarlanka is a fishing village located on a peninsula on India’s east coast.  The winds are a great concern, but it’s the tidal surge and rain that will do the most damage.

The orphanage is a concrete structure, but it is close to the water.  There wasn’t means to evacuate, so the children and many widows are taking shelter in the orphanage.  Electric power is non existent, and the lines of communication are all but gone.  We have not heard from Hepshiba since just before the storm hit.  In a land that has so little to begin with it’s hard to imagine losing the few things you do have.

Please if you believe in the power of prayer, pray for these kids and their guardians (the Victorin family) and whoever else may be taking shelter in the orphanage.

Thanks MikeChristmas 2012 at Orphanage (192)

Apples in Abundance!

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Last year you could hardly find apple trees full of apples.  What a difference a year makes.  The apple trees are loaded with the delicious fruit this fall.  There are four apple trees on the Long farm property, and there were so many apples clinging to the tree limbs, that many of them broke under the weight.  At least 6 major limbs broke on these trees.

I was at Bill and Lisa’s place today picking apples.  Their sons William and Tim have been helping me collect the apples for about a month, and I would say we have gathered close to 1000 pounds so far.  The Longs are also making apple sauce from their apples, and two other friends of theirs are also collecting apples for deer feed.  That’s a ton of apples from just four trees!  As you can see by the pictures there are still plenty of apples on the trees.

So far we have gone through 4 gallons of apple cider this year, and a couple dozen donuts.  We used to make our own cider, but the state stepped in with to many regulations, so now we buy it from the cider mills.  Multiple tons of apples get used during deer season along with apple pies, apple crisp, apple butter, apple fritters, and of course apple cider.  There are many other uses, but those listed are my favorites.  I’m not sure whether “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but no-matter they still taste good!

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