Archive for May, 2015

Angler Input Is Sought By The Michigan DNR On U.P. Trout Streams

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

bear hunt 2010 025fish 002The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that select rivers across the Upper Peninsula again will be part of an angler survey effort during the 2015 inland trout season. The survey is designed to help evaluate public response and potential biological effects of an experimental regulation that allows an additional five brook trout to be harvested in specified research areas. Survey information will be used to improve future brook trout management in the U.P.

The experimental regulation originally went into effect April 1, 2013. Currently it applies to segments of Bryan Creek (Marquette and Dickinson counties), East Branch Huron River (Baraga and Marquette counties), East Branch Tahquamenon River (Chippewa County), East Branch Ontonagon River (Houghton and Iron counties), Dead River (Marquette County), Driggs River (Schoolcraft County), Presque Isle River and tributaries (Gogebic County) and Lower Rock River and tributaries (Alger County). The regulation’s upstream/downstream boundaries on these rivers are described on pages 52 through 66 of the 2015 Michigan Fishing Guide and are depicted as online maps on the DNR’s website.

Angler input is being sought through two methods: 1) from self-addressed, postage paid survey cards that will be distributed by DNR staff at the rivers listed above and also at other rivers chosen as experimental controls, or 2) from an online survey. Anglers are asked to fill out one card or online survey per person, per trip.

The Ansels have their own favorite brook trout stream that they fish while on their fall bear hunts.  I won’t reveal the where-a-bouts of our “secret” brookie paradise, but suffice it to say we get plenty of tasty meals from our little know stream and adjacent beaver ponds.  We have certainly not seen a decline of brook trout, but the brown trout seem to be less in number.  Brookie fishing is a great way to pass the afternoon hours while in bear camp, or spend the day after “blackie” is hanging from the game pole.


Memorial Day At The Cabin

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Memorial weekend at cabin 2015 039Memorial weekend at cabin 2015 027My wife and I arrived Thursday ahead of the other ten kids and grandkids.  I had work to do on the “zip line” platform before anyone could use it.  finished it just in time Friday as my grandson Jacob arrived and immediately wanted to try it out.  Between him, Kyle, and Brady they almost wore out the steel cable.  They loved it and it made “Papa” feel good that they did!  Surprisingly enough no adults tried it.  My excuse was I was to sore from going up and down that ladder and my old knees were killing me.

Had a few turkeys hanging around the place as we tried to get Jacob his bird, but that didn’t work out.  There’s also a few deer hanging around, but mushrooms were non existant!

Glen and Kyle went fishing Sat. morning and caught a mess of rock bass and one largemouth.  Later we took the other boys to the Mio Pond, and tried their patience!  We fished for two hours without so much as a bite.  That’s my third time at Mio Pond and it may be my last.  In a body of water that size you should be able to catch the young ones a sunfish or perch!

The loggers are at it again.  Raping and destroying habitat that is supposed to belong to us Michigan taxpayers and the animals that call the woods home.  I am surrounded by Federal property and to the north and west of me the pines are hitting the ground.  My little 10 acres may end up being a sanctuary for “big bucks” this year.  wouldn’t that be nice?

The 4th of July is right around the corner and I’m hoping to have a better lake for the boys to try their skills at.  sure would like to have one nice fish dinner this summer.


Deer With CWD Euthanized In Ingham county!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Michigan confirms state’s first case of chronic wasting disease in
free-ranging white-tailed deer

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) today confirmed that a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township (Ingham County) has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. This is the first time the disease has been found in Michigan’s free-ranging deer population. In 2008 a white-tailed deer from a privately owned cervid (POC) facility in Kent County tested positive for CWD.

The animal was observed last month wandering around a Meridian Township residence and showing signs of illness. The homeowner contacted the Meridian Township Police Department, who then sent an officer to euthanize the animal. The deer was collected by a DNR wildlife biologist and delivered for initial testing to the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health in Lansing, Michigan. After initial tests were positive, samples were forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for final confirmation. The Michigan DNR received that positive confirmation last week.

To date, there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling contaminated venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

“This is the first case of chronic wasting disease to be confirmed in a free-ranging Michigan white-tailed deer,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh.

“While it is a disappointing day for Michigan, the good news is that we are armed with a thoughtfully crafted response plan,” Creagh said. “We are working with other wildlife experts at the local, regional, state and federal level, using every available resource, to determine the extent of this disease, respond appropriately to limit further transmission, and ultimately eradicate the disease in Michigan if possible.”

Michigan Free Fishing Weekend

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

Fish for free in Michigan June 13 & 14
Summer Free Fishing Weekend graphicThe annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. On that weekend, everyone – residents and non-residents alike – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.

Michigan has been celebrating the Summer Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1986 as a way to promote awareness of the state’s vast water resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline; 11,000 inland lakes; and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, fishing and Michigan go hand in hand.

There are so many ways to participate in the annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend. Consider the following:

  • Attend an official 2015 Summer Free Fishing Weekend event!
    Organized activities are being scheduled in communities across the state. Find the event closest to you by visiting
  • Visit a Family Friendly Fishing Water!
    Grab your friends and/or family and head out to one of the various waterbodies in Michigan designated as a Family Friendly Fishing Water. These locations are easy to access, have a high likelihood of catching fish, and offer various amenities. Locations are available in every county of the state and offer great experiences for visitors.
  • Plan a trip to a state park!
    Many of Michigan’s state parks offer great fishing opportunities. With a Rec Passport you can experience them all for one low price.
  • My family and I are going to try our hands at a little bass, perch, sunfish, fishing, and anything else that will bite over the holidays.  The grandkids always get a kick out of reeling in a “monster bluegill” and having Papa take plenty of pictures of their trophy.  Most of you have a long weekend coming, so get out there and enjoy what Michigan Lakes and streams has to offer.

For all things Fishing in Michigan – visit

Gary Brown’s Taxidermy One Of The Best

Monday, May 18th, 2015

bear rug 005bear rug 007bear rug 010Gary Brown has been doing my taxidermy work for many years.  In fact he has done work for most of my brothers, and especially brother Darryl.  He called me the other day to say my bear rug was done, and i went and picked it up this evening. Once again Gary did a great job, and I didn’t have to wait several years to get my trophy back.

Five years ago I made the mistake of taking my largest turkey to a taxidermist that has done quite a few mounts for the Ansel’s. I still have not received my longbeard, and I get the “run around” every time I call or stop by.  It is really important, for a sportsman, to find a reputable taxidermist who will stand behind his work.  Taxidermy is an art, and that should show in the work performed by the artist (taxidermist.)

So far this year Gary has done deer, turkey, bobcat, and a bear for the Ansel men.  He told me tonight that he likes getting into the pockets of the Ansel’s!  Little does he know I had to “float” a loan in order to pick my bear up.  Taxidermy is not cheap by any means.  You get what you pay for, and we are all quite happy with the artistry of Gary Brown

This is the bear I shot last fall when I almost took my thumb of with my crossbow.  The deer (European mount) was a split G-2 eleven pointer that I shot two years ago.  As you can see I’m running out of wall space in my “man cave!”

Yellowstone Park Hires My Grandson And The Journey Begins!

Friday, May 15th, 2015

IMG_0325IMG_0301.JPG  quinn riverIMG_0298.PNG  quinn sulfer springsFullSizeRender.jpg  quinn black bear #2When I was a young man I always dreamed about moving out West.  The states of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho always intrigued me.  Beautiful scenery, big game animals, and fishing ice-cold streams seemed like the kind of place any outdoorsmen would love to call home.

Right after high school graduation reality set in.  I had car payment, insurance payments, and a girlfriend to think of.  The Viet Nam war was going strong, and the draft wasn’t going to let me slip through a two-year commitment.  The Army, Ford Motor Company, a wife, and kids were not conducive to my “going out West plans.”

Well since adulthood I have been fortunate enough to hunt and fish Colorado on three separate occasions.  The mountain states are everything I had ever envisioned and then some.  What beauty, what grandeur, what a place to wake up all of ones senses.

The reason I say all of this is that my Grandson Quinn Anthony Russo is living my dream!  He was hired two months ago by Yellowstone National Park as one of their computer (IT) trouble shooters.  He’s taken to his job, and the country that goes with it, like a brown trout to the Yellowstone River!  He has a company car and travels the park working on computers from one end to the other.  Yellowstone is 150 miles north to south!  I had no idea it was so vast.  Bison, elk, deer, black and grizzly bears are just part of the visual delight during Quinn’s travels.  Not to mention geysers, mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and crystal clear streams.  Quinn told me a couple of days ago he may never come home.  To say he truly loves his new job would be an understatement.  To top it all off he says his boss is a great guy to work with.  What more could you ask for?

Quinn and I are trying to find some way for me to visit him this summer.  Problem is I probably won’t want to come home either.  I guess that’s a chance I’ll have to take.  I’m going to post some of the pictures he’s been sending me.  Strange how a black bear can have a brown cub.  Never heard of one in Michigan!  Enjoy.


Venison Topped With Fresh Morel’s! How Good Is That?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

mushrooms 001Birds, party, Dick B 014What a great year for those that love to eat morel mushrooms.  Usually I have to hunt high and low to find enough for a couple of meals.  Not this year, as they seem to be finding me.  Several nice big “sponges” have been found while I’ve been mowing my lawn.  Never had that happen before.

My son-in-law has a few secret spots that have been producing well. and he has been sharing his bounty with me.  There aren’t to many guys that will give away these delicate morsels!

I put some venison tenderloins on the grill smothered with green peppers and onions, just the other day.  Right alongside them There were some freshly picked mushrooms sprinkled with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of butter.  Man it doesn’t get much better than that!  Natures bounty, cooked by your own hands, while it’s still hot, and fresh off the grill-wow!  You can’t buy a meal like that.

We have found only the white morels, but last year I found about 70 of the black morels around my place up north.  I’ve been thinking about taking a run up there so we can do some “picking and grinning” before the mushroom season draws to a close.


Marquette Honor Flight and a Tribute to Richard (Dick) Baldwin

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

bear hunt 2010 084Dick Baldwin #1Dick Baldwin #2Birds, party, Dick B 0212014 Birthday Bear 027It was way back in 1973 when the Ansel clan met the Baldwin clan.  My fathers boss (Herm Fowler) introduced us to a young Gary Baldwin, who was kind of local (Beaver Grove) celebrity!  A high school jock, seasoned woodsmen, and a big buck and big bear hunter supreme.  He invited us to come up and enjoy a bear hunt around the Baldwin camp.  It didn’t take any coaxing for us to make plans for an early September hunt.

That was forty-two (42) years ago when we first met Gary’s dad Dick.  He would have been forty-four years old that first September bear hunt, and little did we know that the Baldwin and Ansel families would become steadfast friends.

Dick is 86 years old now and just a week or so ago returned from Washington D.C. after signing up for the U.P. Honor Flight. The flight is made up of veterans and their guardians who do a one day trip to the nation’s capitol and visit various war memorials.  Dick had been reluctant to go, but his son Gary talked him into it, and Dick says he’s glad he did!  Dick Baldwin was one of 74 WWII and Korean veterans to travel from Escanaba to Washington and back home the same day.

The U.P. Honor Flight has brought 600 veterans to the nation’s capital, with no charge to them.  Each veteran has a guardian who pays $500.00 dollars and takes care of all the veterans needs.  Father and son had a great time, as they were greeted with cheers, handshakes, and applause from all corners as they toured many of the veterans memorials.

As long as we’ve known Dick Baldwin I had never heard him mention that he was a veteran, as was my dad Norm.  I always figured he was to young to be a WWII vet!  Little did I know that Dick was looking for adventure and had his dad sign release papers for this 17-year-old woodsmen to join the Navy.  But then that would be out of character for the patriarch of the Baldwin clan.  Dick has never had to “brag” about his past exploits, as he is one of those rare individuals that leads by example.

From my perspective Dick Baldwin is a mans man.  He’s tough as nails in the woods, and knows all about logging, trees, and timber.  He worked in the mines for over 30 years, built cabins, trapped beaver to pay the bills, and raised his family during some tough times.  He can hunt and track with the best of them, and thinks like the critters he pursues.  He taught himself to be a mechanic, and can tell a “whopper” so good that you believe him!  But the thing I think that makes Dick so special is that he has the uncanny ability to make “you” feel special!  Most people focus on themselves, but Dick is truly concerned for others. That is no doubt why his family loves this guy so much.  Dick and his wife Ruth are truly a treasure that we Ansel’s stumbled onto 4 decades ago, and we are so blessed that we did.  God bless you Dick and Ruth and your whole lovely family.  You are my Beaver Grove hero!

The Mining Journal did a front page article on Dick and Gary’s trip to Washington.  I added a few pictures from various years at the Baldwin camp.  They include Dick, Gary, brother Darryl holding one of Dicks big deer racks, and myself.

Morel’s are Rising

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Birthday mushrooms 009

The mushroom season has just kicked into high gear, and it’s not called “mushroom hunting” for nothing. You really do have to hunt for these delicious little fungus. Last weekeng I looked hi and low for some of those white morels while zig-zagging back and forth through the woods around my deer camp. I checked fench rows, downed trees, moist sandy areas, and every rotted tree stump in my woods. I found narry a one!  It must be to early for the north woods, as last year I found many blacks and a few whites around my cabin.

Every mushroom hunter I’ve talked to reported finding quite a few these past few days. Whats up with me? I must be a “bad” mushroom hunter!  I’ve been bummed out about it, as I was looking forward to frying up a batch of morels with maybe a little venison steak and onions.  Yesterday I was cutting the grass back home in Monroe and low and behold my wife found two nice mushroom in our yard!

Then last evening we visited my daughter and son-in-laws place south of here.  He said he had a surprise for me, and handed me a bag of morel mushrooms.  The best spring gift a guy could ask for.  He had found about 80 of them right on his 6 acres and was willing to share them with me.  He had already cooked up two batches for himself, and gave me the 20 he still had left.  What a guy!  I plan on frying them up tonight with a venison steak and baked potatoe.  My mouth is already watering for what awaits me in just a few short hours.  Bon-a-petite!


Bear and Elk Licenses now Available

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Apply for elk and bear licenses now through June 1

hunter with elk in truckThe Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that applications for Michigan elk and bear hunting licenses are available now through June 1. There will be 100 elk licenses and 6,951 bear licenses available for the 2015 hunting seasons.

Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply for an elk license. Bear licenses are available for both residents and nonresidents; however, no more than 2 percent of licenses in any bear management unit will be issued to nonresidents. Hunters can apply online at, at any authorized license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center. A nonrefundable $5 fee is charged at the time of application. Hunters may purchase just one bear and one elk application.

Applicants may call 517-284-WILD (9453) by June 1 for assistance with their application and may check their drawing results online at beginning June 29 for both species. Applicants are responsible for submitting a valid application with the correct customer ID and application type. Make sure to check the receipt for accuracy, and call the DNR Wildlife Division immediately if there are any mistakes. Also, see the 2015 Michigan Elk Hunting Digest and 2015 Michigan Bear Hunting Digest for more details about the application processes. All hunting digests can be found at

Hunters who want another chance at a bear or elk license can increase their odds by applying for the Pure Michigan Hunt. Applications are $5 and are available at any license agent or online Hunters may buy as many applications as they want. Three lucky winners will get prize packages that include elk (Michigan residents only), bear, deer and turkey licenses; first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area; plus firearms, crossbows and much more – a prize package worth over $4,000. For more information, visit