Archive for October, 2018

The Tracking Job We Never Expected

Monday, October 29th, 2018

In yesterdays post grandson Kyle and I had just left the blind to see if we could pick up a blood trail.. I had called Kyle’s dad Glen and he was going to meet us in about 15 minutes.  I had 2 good flashlights in my back pack, but left my compass in the blind (big mistake) because I didn’t think we were going to have to track this deer very far.

At the area of impact I found the bolt covered in bright red blood indicating heart, liver, or a major artery!  There were no bubbles or foamy blood so right away I figured he missed the lungs, but probably got the heart!  There was not much blood to follow and we had to work hard picking up a drop here and a drop there.  Mind you it was raining (drizzle) and I was a little concerned the trail may get washed away.  By the time Glen arrived we had only tracked about 40 yards.  We continued slowly as the deer went from traveling in a northwestern direction to a southerly direction!

I decided to move out front about 50 yards to see if I could intercept a blood trail and save us some time.  I knew that a well worn deer run was in the direction he seemed to be headed and sure enough I found blood on the trail.  I called the guys forward and we stayed on the trail for about 50 yards when suddenly the deer vered off to the left and headed for some blow downs and thicker brush. I figured he was going to lay up in some of that heavy stuff but his trail took several twist and turns that led me to believe this was no heart shot either!

After about 250 yards of some excellent tracking from Kyle, and of course grandpa, we saw the deer piled up near a scrub oak! We were all astonished to see no wound in the chest area on the side of the deer Kyle had shot at?  Instead there was a 2-1/2 inch wound in the right hip?  We rolled him over and there was an exit wound 5 inches below the spine but short of the lungs. I am sold on Rage broadheads and the wound channel they make on impact! Somehow Kyle hit the “butt” in the process and sliced the femoral artery (thus the bright red blood.) This nice 6 pointer was Kyle’s second 6 pointer in the last two years from my cabin property!

We took some photo’s and then asked one another “Which way to camp?” The three of us pointed in 3 different directions!  Because I’m supposed to be familiar with the area they followed me as I tried to get a feel for where we were at.  Oh how I wished I had grabbed my compass!  After stumbling around for awhile I got the great idea to call the girls back at camp and have them blow the truck horn.  They did but we were having a hard time telling where the sound was coming from.  Kyles phone has a directional locator on it and my daughter Tara was able to turn us completely around and head us back to camp.  Isn’t technology great?  Glen and Kyle were dragging the ungutted deer until we found one of my 4-wheeler trails and it was a piece of cake from there.

We strung up the buck in the pole barn and good old grandpa got to show Kyle (once again) how to gut a deer.  Bed was awful inviting as we didn’t hit the pillows till 1:30 a.m.  Next time Kyle you better have been paying attention on gutting your own deer and I will have a compass in my pocket!



Grandson Kyle Does It Again

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Just returned home from 6 days in the deer woods.  My grandson Kyle joined me over this past weekend to see if he could bag another buck to his trophy room?  Kyle is 13 years old and and up to this past weekend has downed 2 does and a nice 6 point buck, all with a crossbow.

I was working on our cabins and checking my scouting camera’s for any deer activity in the area.  I was seeing a couple bucks and several does and yearlings in my back food plot.  I figured that’s where Kyle and I would sit Saturday evening which was to be his only chance for an evening hunt.

Saturday dawned with a steady drizzle that would last the whole day and evening.  It wasn’t a downpour, just a damp soggy wet day!  I figured the deer may start to move early so we got to the blind around 4:30 p.m. At 6 o’clock a doe and fawn came into the plot and grazed for about 20 minutes.  Right after they left a big lone doe came in and presented a nice 20 yard shot.  I couldn’t talk Kyle into shooting it even though his time was limited!  With about 10 minutes of shooting light left another doe came in followed by a buck and another doe!  Neither of us could tell exactly how big the horns were, but I suspected it was the 6 pointer I had on my trail camera.

I took the safety off the crossbow which was balanced on a rest built into my blind window. Kyle had the buck in the scope of my Excalibur as I reminded him to aim for the leg crease behind the shoulder. It was about a 22 yard shot that should of been just perfect for my 20 yard pin!

Kyle squeezed off the shot and we heard the familiar sound of a solid hit.  The bolt flies at such speed you cannot see it go through the air, but we were both confident the Rage broadhead found its mark.  The 3 deer bolted and darkness was soon to be upon us?

Next up:  A tracking job we never expected!

CWD In The U.P.

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Deer that have come down with CWD will not make it through the winter.  Scavengers that feast on their infected bodies could themselves come down with the disease.  Hunters must be vigilant in reporting erratic behavior in any deer they see.

Below is a DNR report on the latest finding in the U.P. deer herd!

Deer tests positive for CWD in Dickinson County

A 4-year-old doe killed on a deer damage shooting permit in Dickinson County’s Waucedah Township has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, marking the first confirmation of the incurable deer disease within Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The finding was verified by Michigan State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in East Lansing and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

The deer was shot on an agricultural farm about 4 miles from the Michigan-Wisconsin border.

“We remain committed to maintaining healthy Michigan wildlife for the residents of, and visitors to, this great state, now and into the future,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh. “Fortunately, over the past few years, with the help of hunters, the U.P. CWD Task Force, DNR staffers and others, we are far better prepared to respond to threats posed by chronic wasting disease in the U.P.”

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal nervous system disease found in deer, moose and elk. The disease attacks the brain of infected animals, creating small lesions, which result in neurologic symptoms. The disease is always fatal in animals that contract it.

To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans.

“We are taking immediate action to address this situation in the Upper Peninsula. In the short term, stepped-up testing and active surveillance is the priority to better understand where the disease exists,” said Russ Mason, chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Division. “To do this, we need to step up our efforts to collect deer heads for testing in this area. We need to determine if this deer is an individual outlier or whether there are more deer infected in the area.”

The DNR has tested hundreds of deer from Upper Peninsula counties bordering Wisconsin. This year alone (as of Oct. 11) a total of 625 deer-damage permit, roadkill and hunter-killed deer have been tested from Dickinson, Gogebic, Menominee and Iron counties.

“It was our surveillance efforts that revealed the disease in this particular deer,” said Kelly Straka, state wildlife veterinarian. “It is now especially important that these efforts continue.”

Chronic wasting disease has been found in free-ranging deer in six additional counties in Michigan – Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm. A total of 63 deer within these counties have tested positive for the disease.

The DNR recognizes that deer movements, densities and habitat vary from the U.P. into the Lower Peninsula. DNR officials will review Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ CWD Best Management Practices in considering additional measures going forward.

“For next hunting season and beyond, the DNR will discuss possible response actions with U.P. hunters and other stakeholders to determine the best approach to fighting CWD in the region,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist.

A conference call with stakeholder groups is scheduled for early next week.

A roughly 10-mile core area has been set up, centered on Waucedah Township. Within this area, the DNR has set a goal to test a minimum of 600 deer to better determine the extent of possibly infected deer.

“We need hunters to help us reach this goal, by voluntarily submitting entire deer heads for testing. Hunters can keep the venison,” Mason said. “At this point, we are not establishing a mandatory deer check in the area, but that may become necessary, if we don’t reach our goal.”

Several actions will be taken by the DNR including:

  • Providing additional drop boxes for deer heads within the area, especially in convenient, high-traffic places.
  • Offering disease control permits to interested landowners who have more than 5-acres of land and are within 5-miles of the center of the surveillance area.
  • Allowing baiting for deer to continue for the rest of this year. Future decisions on feeding deer will be based on the results of the surveillance efforts.
  • An ongoing DNR U.P. deer migration study will be adjusted to include the affected area within its boundaries. Deer will be collared in the area to better understand the movements of deer.

“The actions of hunters matter in battling CWD,” Stewart said. “Keep hunting and get your deer checked. Responsibly transport, process and dispose of your deer carcass. Visit the website to learn about proper carcass transportation into Michigan from out of state. Please pass these tips on to other hunters.”

In North America, a total of 25 states and three Canadian provinces have confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging or captive deer, elk or moose, or both.

More information on chronic wasting disease – including Michigan’s CWD Surveillance and Response Plan, locations of deer check stations, fact sheets and testing data – is available at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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Early Season Success

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

Not a whole lot going on in the deer woods right now as the warm temperatures have kept the deer from moving very much.  It’s just been to hot for many hunters to venture out, but a couple of those who did put meat in the freezer.

I did go out one evening and watched a racoon and nothing else, but mosquitoes!  Brother Darryl has only been out a few times, and actually saw some deer, but they were to far for a shot.

My brother Randy has  160 acres in Onaway and his son Josh shot a 7 point early in the week.  They have been seeing quite a few deer, and according to Randy the pre-rut is about to kick in!  Josh made a nice shot on his buck and “dad” was there to help him drag it out.

Another very nice buck was put on the ground by one of Darryl’s hunting buddies (Dan) who ventured out in the heat and nailed a very nice 8 pointer in Branch county.  So far these are the only two success stories I can report for the year, but the cool down is hear and the deer are moving.  In fact it’s snowing in the Upper Peninsula right now.  The next couple weeks are looking much better!