Archive for November, 2017

Deer Gun Season Up’s and Downs!

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Michigan’s gun season has turned out to be somewhat of a bust for our family and friends this year.  It all started off on a sour note when there was a total downpour the first two days of season and not only that the winds were howling!

Last week out of 17 of us being in the woods there were only two deer on the ground.  That changed this past weekend as my brother Randy’s grandson Jax shot a doe in Onaway, and also grandson Tallon took a 4 pointer while hunting with grandpa.  That is not real impressive for the number of hunters in the woods!  Not only that brother Darryl, who has never failed to get his buck, came up empty handed!  Oh he had chances at smaller bucks, but he hunts an area where “Booners” roam, so he lets the lesser deer walk!

I also know of three other groups of hunters consisting of parties of six, six, and four that never hung a deer on the old buck pole!  Reports would indicate that the “rut” took place at various times in different parts of the state.  I know it was late in my area of the Northern Lower Peninsula!

Hopefully the DNR is not inflating the numbers of deer we have in the state, and this was just one of those “off” years for the Ansel’s and their friends!  weather certainly played a factor along with standing corn, and the fact there was no snow to speak of during the whole season.  In fact it was 63 degrees today here in Monroe.  It has been unseasonably warm this whole year! Thank goodness I put one in the freezer during bow season!

The attached photo’s are from bow season!


A Season of Thankfulness

Friday, November 24th, 2017

This year I had much of my venison from the 7 pointer made into venison burger.  I passed on the steaks and chops, and just had roast, backstraps jerky, sausage, and tenderloins beside the burger.  I can’t believe how much burger I have already gone through!  Several meat loafs and a few days ago my grandson Brady helped me make venison meatball for a thanksgiving party at Mrs. Mary’s pre-school.  for the last ten years or so I have done a Native American/Thanksgiving presentation for the kids. The class makes “stone soup” and I usually bring a little “wild” fare to the table!

I made two cookie sheets full of meatballs and kept them warm in a crock pot.  They were a big hit, as I waited till last to eat and didn’t even get one!  Good thing I snuck a few before they were served. Many complimented me on them and it’s always nice to allow others to taste natures bounty who aren’t hunters or otherwise would not experience the great food taken afield! I think it certainly helps with public relations with the non-hunting public!  As all outdoorsmen/hunters know we need all the allies we can muster, as the “antis” get crazier with their rhetoric!

Hope everyone had a great and thankful day yesterday.  My family sure did!  Four of our six kids were able to be with us with their spouses and our grandkids.  Can’t beat those family times of remembering the past, praying for the future, and genuine loving fellowship among us! We are truly thankful and blessed indeed!



Opening Day Michigan Deer Season 2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

In the last 57 years I have missed but one Michigan deer season, and that was in 1967 when I was serving in the army!  My brothers and I look so forward to October bow season and the November gun opener!  The anticipation is like waiting to open your birthday presents!

This year has been no different except the weather is some of the worst (if not the worst) opening day I can remember.  It rained across the whole state with gale force winds and rain coming down sideways in many area’s! Five of the six Ansel brothers were sitting in their stands trying not to be discouraged by wind and rains. No one got any shooting with only a few does being sited!  Brother Brett did see a half racked 4 pointer (should of been an 8) but declined to put him on the game pole! Some gave it their best shot but being cold, wet, and miserable was not conducive to an all morning wait for Mr. Big Buck!

Everyone was hoping that day two would be much better, but low and behold the winds have been like a fright train blowing through the trees!  Not only that there have been lingering rain showers which are keeping the deer “hunkered” down and not moving very much! Brother Darryl saw a small buck this morning, but nothing he was interested in.

I have a feeling that the number of deer harvested this year are going to be way down from previous years due to the bad weather from the “get-go!”

I do have a photo of a giant buck that was taken just across the road from where brother Darryl hunts in Bronson.  It looks to be a very symmetrical 12 pointer and is a “buck of a lifetime” for sure.  Just goes to show if your in the right spot at the right time you too could shoot a “wall hanger!”  Hope things improve over the next couple days, or I’m going to “hunker down” myself!


Veterans Day 2017

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Veterans Day has always been special in the Ansel family.  My dad Norman Ansel was a world war II veteran of the Pacific Theatre!  One of his best friends was a casualty early on!  My dad was my hero when I was a kid and I always loved getting into the closet where mom kept his army jacket under wraps.  He was a Staff Sgt. and had a couple rows of “ribbons” and a marksmanship medal. Those brightly colored ribbons always caught my eye, and I wanted a “chest” full of them when I went in the army!

My oldest brother Randy was the first of dad and mom’s six (6) boys to go in the service, as he joined the Marines just as Vietnam was heating up!  He met two guys (James Keeler and Pat McElligot) who became his best buddies.  In fact they had plans to join the Michigan State Police when they where done with their commitment to Uncle Sam!  Sad to say that on there very first mission (Operation Double Eagle) James was mortally wounded and died on a hospital ship 3 weeks later. Randy and Pat were devastated, but managed to stay clear of “Charlie” as best they could.  The two of them managed to take two (2) Viet Cong prisoners while on patrol one evening which made their commanding officer happy! Sargent Norman Randy Ansel became a Marine recruiter stateside in the chicago area as his 4 years came to an end.  He and Pat never did join the State Police!  Instead my dad got them into the insurance business, and that’s where they stayed!

I was next in line as I was drafted in December of 1966!  It was one of the largest drafts ever to hit Monroe county.  Several high school buddies were drafted with me.  The guy that wanted to be a hero and earn a chest full of medals was assigned to “Quartermaster school” at Fort Lee Virginia!  In case you don’t know that meant They were going to make a “cook” out of me!  We hated the cooks, K.P. and especially the mess Sgt. I was heart broken!  Turns out being a cook and eventually a baker had a lot more perks than I ever imagined!  I also rose through the ranks quickly and was promoted to Specialist 5th. Class (same as a buck sergeant.)  I stayed state side and the biggest thrill I had was being the assistant 3.5 grenade launcher for our mess hall! No chest full of medals for this “cookie!”

Now brother Darryl was a different story!  He too was drafted and ended up living the Army life I was supposed to have!  Right away his superiors saw his potential, as he was made acting sergeant in basic training.  He was an Infantryman and a crack shoot with the M-16 as well as the 45!  In fact all three of the Ansel boys wore the coveted “expert” marksmanship medal!  Our dad taught us well!  Darryl went to Vietnam after AIT training, and was in the thick of things from the get-go.  He was a fierce “warrior” in battle, and under fire kept his cool!  He saved lives, was wounded, and was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor.  A true hero indeed. He came home with ribbons galore on his chest, and a few scar’s on his back, but never seemed to let his experience define his life.

The last three of the six Ansel brother escaped the service, for which their mother and father were quite grateful.  Those Vietnam years added a lot of grey hair to both mom and dads head!

So that is one of the many reasons I appreciate Veterans Day and stand when the National Anthem is played with my hand on my heart. I also had friends who made the supreme sacrifice! Those among us who have never worn a military uniform or served in combat haven’t a clue about how most veterans feel about those that “take a knee!”

Thanks for your service Veterans!


Brad’s Mock Scrape Buck and Venison Fare!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Just wanted to do a family update on what’s been going on with the Ansel brothers since my last posting.

Well I just heard from my younger brother Brad who lives in Parma Mi. in Jackson county.  What a wonderful area in Michigan to live in.  Jackson is known to produce some of the biggest bucks recorded in the Commemorative Bucks Of Michigan record book, and little brother is doing his part to put some more bucks on those pages.

He shot a ten point a few evenings after he downed a huge 9 point on the same farm he’s hunted for a few years.  I have not heard the whole story yet, so I will follow up when I do.  I do know that just before (5 minutes) he climbed in his stand he put out a mock scrape with doe urine, and before he could get settled in, this buck came in on a string! Brother Darryl had just told him to give a mock scrape a try, and Brad is now a believer in their effectiveness! Just wanted to get a picture of his latest big buck out to you readers and let you know that this buck was the smaller of the two bucks he saw two evenings ago!

I’m also posting a photo of some venison meatloaf’s, potatoes, and carrots that I fixed last night.  I ate it for breakfast this morning, and it was awesome.  Brad is going to be able to enjoy many meals from the two bruisers he put in his freezer!

Some Michigan Archery Success 2017

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Just today one of my younger brothers (Brad Ansel) sent me a picture of the “Hog” he took down last evening in Jackson County.  He lives in Parma and has a couple great pieces of property he can hunt.  He downed a wide spread 9 pointer with his crossbow!  The deer will go way over 200 pounds live weight.  Last week brother Darryl was able to pull a sneak on a nice fat 7 pointer feeding in a cut bean field.  Anyone who’s ever tried sneaking up on a deer know’s it isn’t easy!  Then there’s and old friend of mine (Tony Collino) who downed a bruiser of an eight pointer with his crossbow.  He also shared some great video, from his tree stand, on facebook!  Also pictured is Scott Kegerries (a friend of Darryl’s) who put down one “braggin” buck.  Don’t know how many points, but the height and mass of this buck is pretty incredible. I might as well include a picture of the buck I downed last Friday. It was missing a brow tine which made it a 7 pointer, but was a really big deer for my area.  Hope you enjoy the photo’s and success of your fellow hunters!