Archive for September, 2017

Michigan Youth Hunt 2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

September 16,17 was the weekend Michigan set aside for the youth/handicap early deer hunt.  I took my 12 year old grandson Kyle Pafford as I have in the past.  He has two doe’s under his young belt, and this year he would settle for nothing less than a buck.

I had arrive at camp a day early to make sure the stands (2) were set for the Saturday morning hunt. I had a couple trail cams out and there was activity on both.  Doe’s fawns and even a couple small bucks had been into my food plot near camp, so we focused on that blind in the morning.

Kyle was going to be using my 30-06 even though he took his first two deer with a crossbow!  We were in the blind at 5:50 a.m. and it was plenty dark out at that time.  It wasn’t till just after 7 that we seen movement in the rye field.  Two fat raccoons came strolling through at the same time a doe and her 2 fawns arrived.  The deer didn’t like the racoons at their dinner table and the raccoons could of cared less.  We just watched the antics of this encounter for about half an hour.  Once they left the field we headed back to the cabin around 10 a.m.

That evening we hunted our second spot about a mile down the road.  I had a ground blind set up there and we watched an older fawn walk in from the little swamp behind us.  It’s mother was around snorting and stomping the ground, and we only got one glimpse of her as she seemed to have “made us!” A pop up blind setting in Mother Natures living room is a dead give away if it hasn’t been their very long.  It was camouflaged with pine branches, but the back of the blind had very little cover.  Of course that’s the direction “Mama” came from.  No matter, a doe (with fawns) was not on our menu.

Next morning we were back at the first stand and the mother doe and two fawns again showed up.  Once in the field a lone doe joined them.  She was a shootable candidate, and I asked Kyle 3 times if he wanted to put a doe in the freezer. He said he would wait for a buck and that we still had a long season ahead of us.  Good for you Kyle!

We came home empty handed, but we still built some fine memories between Papa and grandson!  As an epilogue to this post when I went to retrieve my pop-up from the other spot there had been a six point buck walk by my camera that morning about 7:30.  That’s how it goes, and like Kyle said “We have a long season!”



Large Smallmouth Equals Large Smiles!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

My son-in-law Glen Pafford is a fishing fanatic.  every chance he gets he has a line in the water somewhere.  glen is a carpet store owner and does most of his installations by himself, so his fishing time is limited.  He has a 14 foot aluminum boat at my cabin and I have a 50 pound thrust electric trolling motor that he uses.  His son kyle is his fishing buddy and they are quite competitive when it comes to “Who caught the biggest, who caught the most!

Glen has a couple spots around my place he likes to fish, when at the cabin, but one spot in particular seems to keep him coming back for more.  He would not want me to divulge the name of the lake, so we’ll just keep quite about that.  On numerous occasions all of us have fished from the shore of this lake and caught rock bass, perch, and sunfish, but never a true lunker!

This past weekend Glen finally reeled in a very respectable smallmouth while fishing for perch.  He was actually reeling in a hook with a minnow attached when the “smallie” attacked!  Glen set the hook and the fight was on! Kyle manned the net and did a great job of getting the prize into the boat. twenty inch 4-5 pound smallmouth are not real common as far as I know.  At least I’ve never caught one that big!

It just goes to show you that persistence does indeed have it’s rewards!

Take a Kid Fishing and You’ll get a Reward

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Last weekend I had three of my grandson’s and one of their buddies up north at the cabin.  My son-in-law Glen has a small boat and always takes his boy Kyle fishing when their in camp.

On the first day we arrived Glen went to McCormick Lake and He and Kyle caught about 10 small perch!  well that really interested the boys, so I made up some poles for us to tag along on the following day.  Glen and Kyle still used the boat, but I stayed on shore with the boys.  Mccormick Lake is crystal clear and know to have some huge brown trout inhabiting its deep waters.  There is a special knack in catching these fish, one that I don’t possess, so we were after the rock bass, perch, and yellow bellies that stay in the shallows.

Grandson Jacob used lures and small shiners while I hooked up Brady and Drew with the old fashioned favorite “worms!” Eight year old Brady was the first to land a fish and his smile he couldn’t contain.  He ran it over to show his mom and dad and continued to do so after every rock bass he caught.  Drew reeled in a young smallmouth and then caught a sunfish while Jacob was having no luck.  I even caught a few when Brady was showing off his catch.  Those rock bass give quite a fight and are tons of fun to catch.

About two hours in we ran out of worms and decided to call it quits, but as yet Jacob was empty handed.  I was about 50 feet away from him and saw my bobber go under fast.  I yelled to Jacob to come grab the pole before this “monster” got away. Much to his delight he landed the biggest rock bass of the day.

The reward for me was seeing these boys enjoying the great outdoors.  No phones, I pads, or texting going on, just miles and miles of heartfelt smiles.  Memories they’ll share of the “biggest” (Jacob) – “the most” (Brady) – and “the biggest variety” (Drew) will last for many years to come.  That’s my reward and I’m sticking to it!

And by the way Kyle and his dad caught 10 more perch to add to their “fish fry!”


Michigan Youth Hunt and Bear Season are Upon Us!

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Just returned from the north woods and I think things are looking pretty good for the September 16,17 early deer hunt!  Seen more deer this summer than I have in the last several years.  there are at least 4 different young bucks hanging around my place with a nice little basket rack 8 pointer just waiting for my 12 year old grandson to “pop” him!  Still seeing fawns with spots and the does look nice and healthy.

Although there is not a fall turkey season around my place, next spring should be a bonanza, as turkey are all over the place!

Bear opener is just a few days away (Sept. 10th) and five of the Ansel clan drew a third hunt permit.  We hunt private property in the Marquette area and bear have been meandering right through the Baldwins camp where we have hunted for over 40 years. The Department of Natural Resources has stated that there has been a record number of bear nuisance complaints this year.  Seems the bear population has increased in both the Lower and Upper Peninsula, which is a boon for the bear hunters.

My place is in the Red Oak bear unit, but the chances of drawing a permit for it are “nil!” It wood probably take me 6-7 years before I could possibly draw one for Red Oak!  I have seen numerous bear on my property and just this last weekend found a pile of bear scat 12 feet from my deer blind.  I’m to old to wait that long and old friendships are hard to lay aside.  We always have a great time with Dick, Gary, Gregg, Paula, Matt, and now the grandkids Hunter, Jack, Ryan, and Dylan!  Looking forward to some “brookie” dinners and possibly some fresh bear backstraps!