Archive for May, 2017

The Final Post Is Written!

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

One thousand three hundred and thirty five (1335) post over the last ten years, and this my friends will be my last.  That is a lot of writing to do, idea’s to explore, and deadlines to meet!  I’ve gotten to the point (age wise) where I definitely need to slow down and smell the deer droppings!  Not really, but you get my point.  It seems the older I’ve gotten the busier I’ve become! With six children and 12 grandchildren waiting for “Papa’s” attention I need to heed their voices.

It’s been fun to write these last 10 years for the Monroe Evening News, but it’s time (maybe past time) to move on. As many of my readers know my blog (Hunting With Mike) has been mainly filled with pages about my families hunting exploits, as well as current day topic’s! I always enjoyed writing about a friend or acquaintances hunting stories, but in truth my brothers and grandkids keep me in good supply of blogging material.  It will be bittersweet as I step aside and no longer claim the domain of hunting blogger extraordinaire, but I’m sure we will all live to fight another day.

I’m thankful for those regular readers who would always encourage me to “keep up the good work!”  It was nice to get feedback on articles and have a few advertisers get interested in me running an add or two for them. So with that I bid the blogging world goodbye and hope to see some of you in the field this coming Fall!  I plan on posting some of my favorite photo’s next week, and that will be without comment-just photo’s.

The photo I’m posting with this blog is of my dad (Papa Bear) and his six son’s.  From top down – Dean, Brad, Brett, Darryl, Mike, and Randy. We were six blessed boy’s to have the dad we did!



Big Game Hunter Killed By Elephant And Anti-Hunters Celebrate!

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Michigan Turkey Season Highlights

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Michigan Turkey season is winding down, but my brother Darryl and his crew of turkey hunters is “way” over the state average concerning “bagging” a bird!  It was only my grandson Jacob and I this year, but we both shot birds so as a group we did just grand.  Of course it doesn’t hurt that my brother Darryl and I have been doing this for as long as it’s been legal! Darryl is one of the best diaphram callers around, and he knows the quarry that he hunts and many times beats them at their own game.  Not many callers can call a big “lovesick” Tom away from his harem, but “Dink” (as we call him) has done it several times this year!

I on the other hand I am pretty apt on the box or slate call!  The diaphragm call made me gag so I never really got into it!  You also have to always have a back-up plan when hunting turkeys, and especially late season wary birds.  Strategy plays a huge roll in putting a bird in the freezer or buying one at Kroger’s! There have been times that I never touched my call (like this year) and I’ve still been successful!  Ambush and spot and stalk have downed me as many birds as using a decoy set up and calling.

I know season isn’t over yet, but Darryl is still hoping to get his son-in-law Scott Smiley a bird!  I will post pictures of this years successes, and hope that this fall we can be so blessed with a heavy hanging buck pole! The photo’s are Tanner McElvany with his first bow kill, Jacob Ansel with his first bird, Darryl with his umptenth bow killed Tom, Brad Ansel with his second nice Tom, Brett Ansel with his monster Tom, Caleb Smiley with his very hard earned “Bad Boy”, Derek Ansel with his massive heavy “roped” bow shot bird, Mike Ansel with his crossbow creme tipped (fan) bird, and jacob Russo with his second bird!  congratulations guys!  We love turkey hunting

By the way Caleb Smiley got his bird this past week and grandpa Darryl had to pull out all the stops to lure this big seasoned Tom away from his hens!  Not many turkey hunters (callers) could pull this off, but then Darryl isn’t your common turkey hunter!  He’s one of the best!


Women Looses Hands And Feet Days After Delivering Her Firstborn!

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

I have been very busy for several weeks trying to orchestrate a dinner/auction for a brand new mother who had her feet and hands amputated just a few days after delivering her first baby!  She had planned a “water birth” at the largest and most famous hospital in Michigan.  Her son was born fine, but several days later she came down with “Sepsis”and was within hours of loosing her life!  Mary was an athlete and running was her outlet and passion!  She was a lovely, athletic, young vibrant, women who had just purchased her first home along with her husband.
Sepsis is a rapidly moving infection that attacks circulation damaging organs, muscle, tissue and everything in it’s path.  It is extremely hard to treat and eradicate!  Mary’s feet were amputated part way up the calf and her hands were taken (days later) part way up her forearms.  Not only that she had skin and muscle removed from her thighs and lower extremities!  Skin grafts were taken from her back and buttocks!  Her long beautiful hair was gone due to treatments!  This 29 year old first time mother has been through a nightmare of unimaginable proportions! Seldom have I seen or been aware of any veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan sustaining more horrific injuries, and many have been beyond comprehension!

Well this past Saturday we held our dinner auction in support of this remarkable women with the constant positive attitude and smile on her face!  It did not go as smoothly as planned!  Mary was being driven to Monroe by her husband and her Mom and brothers in a another car.  Mary’s car broke down about 15 miles short of their destination and a friend and I had to go retrieve her. We had to lift her in and out of the vehicle into her wheel chair once we arrived at church.  Her 8 month old son with her, and was as good as gold! We wheeled her into the auditorium to the applause of the 200 people gathered there to honor her.

It was a good evening for her and us as we got to know more about Mary and the challenges that lie ahead of her.  She has a supportive family, as well as a church family, and an overcoming spirit about her. My hope is that others will pass her story on and that by doing she will find avenues of help concerning making her home handicap accessible, better prosthetics, and the full gamut of medical care available to her!  So those that read this pleas copy and paste and send it along the different social media please.  I purposely did not use Mary’s full name or her families for obvious reasons!  If you want to help give me a shout at!



Black Bear Attracted to The Sweet Smell Of Brownies!

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

If your going to do any baking in “bear country” do not have the back screen open while the aroma of fresh baked goods permeates the forested area around your house.  You could be asking for an unexpected guest just wanting to “bite” into your dessert!  In fact if your not careful he just might want to bite into you as well!  A Connecticut woman got an unexpected and terrifying knock on her door last week while she was making brownies, as a bear came by to see what she was doing.

“My neighbor across the street just came over in a panic,” one of the resident’s neighbors said to a 911 dispatcher. “She’s a little old lady screaming that a bear got in her back porch and is slamming on her glass door.”

A slim pane of glass was all that came between the woman in her Avon home and the hungry bear drawn to the house by the delicious smell of fresh-baked brownies.

“The bear apparently moved the screen slider with his paw,” one neighbor told Inside Edition.

A second neighbor’s call to 911 showed how desperate the bear was for a taste of those brownies.

“We have a bear attempting to get into a house and he’s not afraid of noise, screaming, or yelling, or pounding,” the other neighbor said.

The 2-and-a-half-year-old bear, who had giant yellow tags hanging from his ears bearing his name — No. 16 — would not budge from the home, no matter how much noise the owner made.

Bear sightings in the area are reportedly common.

Michigan Turkey Season Success!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

It just keeps getting better and better here in the Michigan turkey woods.  So many of my friends including Bob Edwards, and Randy Smith, have downed long beards it makes you wonder could there be any left.  Bob just reported that he was at Knudson’s today, and five hunters walked in with a “longbeard” each!  Thats pretty remarkable considering the wild Eastern Turkey had to be restocked by a group of birds from Pennsylvania over 40 years ago!  Turkey success in the Ansel family is almost a given over the last 25 or so years, and many of the birds harvested have been downed by bow and arrow.  Not an easy feat in itself!

Part of that success is due to the excellent turkey calling of my brother Darryl and his son Derek. Before Darryl downed his big bird last week he helped two of his grandkids connect (Jacob shotgun and Tanner bow) and he also helped his brother Brad down a long beard!  Today was Derek’s day as he worked a huge Tom for 7 hours.  The Tom was already “henned up”, but Derek never gave up.  Darryl chipped in with a few calls of his own, but master caller Derek eventually called the finicky Tom with a slate box call and some excellent mouth calling!  Derek took his prise at 15 yards! Now that is dedication along with Turkey University knowledge! The huge bird had a “paintbrush” of a beard that measured 10-1/2 inches. The bird did not move from the point of impact!  Dropped dead in his tracks!  Darryl said it was one of the most exciting turkey calling sequences he has ever been involved with, and was in awe of his son’s calling!

So far that’s 8 birds harvested in the Ansel family and I suspect a few more will bight the dust before season ends!






Jay-Bird Gets His Bird!

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Took my grandson Jacob Russo up to the cabin to try and get him a turkey.  He’s 12 years old and shot one a few years back with his dad, but I have never taken hi.  Two of my other grandkids have shot turkeys at my cabin (Kyle Pafford and Ava Taylor) so this was going to be Jacobs big hunt.  We only had two days to pull this off so we didn’t waste time getting in the blind thursday morning.  Heard several gobbles from the roost, but no takers coming into the decoys.  Jacob got cold early so we headed back to the cabin at 7:30!  Bad idea as we flushed 5 tom’s still on the roost 200 feet from my front cabin door! Saw nothing that evening.

Next morning we got out even earlier 5:20 a.m. and again had gobbling from the roost.  We had a huge Jake come in with a 4-5 inch beard, but his tail fan was messed up big time so we let him walk! That was around 6:30 and it got quiet from then on.  I new that some Tom’s don’t gobble very often and sneak in on you silent.  I told Jacob to be patient and we may have some action if we stay put!  Around 8:30 Jacob was ready to “hang” it up, but I convinced him to stay a few more minutes.  Just like Papa said two Tom’s came sneaking by without a peep!  They seemed to like my decoy set up, and at 15 yeards I told Jacob to take the second bird, as it looked a little bigger than the led bird!

“Pow” the little 20 gauge exploded and turkey feathers flew!  Jacob is now the third grandkid to bag a turkey at Papa place.  He was grinning from ear to ear!  That made it all worth it to me. We took many pictures and Papa then showed Jacob how to clean a turkey and get it ready for the freezer.  It may have been a fast two day trip, but things went our way and we now have some memories that will last a lifetime.  Way to go Jay-Bird!


Suburban Coyote Spotted At Detroit Zoo

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

A coyote was spotted on the grounds of the Detroit Zoo on Monday morning, just before school field trips were about to get under way, prompting park officials to close the zoo temporarily while staff tried to search for the coyote.

As of 10:20 a.m., the coyote had not been caught or seen, but the zoo reopened for business and zoo officials stressed the public is not at risk for any harm, noting the coyote is more of a risk to the smaller animals at the zoo.

“Every now and then, these things happen,” said Detroit Zoo spokeswoman Patricia Janeway. “We will shelter animals that might be at risk.”

According to Janeway, animals that might be at risk include the flamingos, storks and other birds. She said this isn’t a new problem for the zoo, noting unwanted visitors like skunks, foxes and raccoons have showed up in the past, prompting closures. Last year, she said, a deer caused a temporary shutdown.

But nobody has been hurt. And zoo officials weren’t expecting any trouble this time, either.

According to the Humane Society, coyote attacks on people are very rare. More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes, the organization states on its website.

“Often, coyote attacks are preventable by modifying human behavior and educating people about ways to prevent habituation. In many human attack incidents, it turns out that the offending coyote was being fed by people. In many other instances, people were bitten while trying to rescue their free-roaming pet from a coyote attack. Less often, people are bitten by cornered coyotes, or even more rarely, rabid coyotes.”There have only been two recorded incidences in the U.S. and Canada of humans being killed by coyotes. One involved a child in Southern California in the 1980s and the other a 19-year old woman in Nova Scotia in 2009.

Coyotes are generally nocturnal and seldom seen. You may catch a glimpse of a coyote, however, as it moves from one part of its territory to another in search of prey, usually small mammals such as mice or voles.

Observing a coyote in this manner (even during the daytime) does not mean that the coyote is sick or aggressive. If the coyote is scared away by your presence, it is exhibiting natural behavior and this should not be cause for concern.

According to, coyotes are naturally timid animals and will usually flee at the sight of a human. If they linger or approach, here on some tips on what to do:

  • Be as big and loud as possible. Do not run or turn your back.
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands and shout in an authoritative voice.
  • Make noise by banging pots and pans or using an air horn or whistle.
  • Throw small stones, sticks, tennis balls or anything else you can lay your hands on. Remember, the intent is to scare and not to injure.
  • Spray with a hose, if available, or a squirt gun filled with water and vinegar.
  • Shake or throw a “coyote shaker” — a pop can filled with pennies or pebbles and sealed with duct tape.

More 2017 Ansel Turkey Success

Monday, May 1st, 2017

My brother Bradley got his nice Tom last week over in Jackson.  His bird had a 10-1/2 inch beard and he said he’s looking for a taxidermist to do a full strut mount. He better be ready to remortgage his house cause it isn’t cheap (around $800.00 dollars.)  My brother Darryl and son Derek have been trying to get Derek’s boys Jackson, and Jacob a bird, and several days ago Jacob scored on his first bird.  Jackson had three sneak in (silent) but could not pull off a shot.  Now grandpa Darryl’s permit started today, and it didn’t take him long to put down a super big Tom, and with his bow no less!  He called in two big Tom’s early this morning that fell for his set-up, and was able to let an arrow fly true to it’s mark!  Darryl’s bird had a thick eleven (11) inch beard and weighed 24 pounds.

I’m taking my grandson (Jacob) up north for a shot at a bird this coming Thursday.  We have many more permits to fill, but I’m confident more birds will be in the freezer before the season is over. Pictured is Jacob, Brad, and Darryl!