Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pike In The Pan!

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

This past summer I caught a few nice Northern Pike and put several packages in the freezer.  It seems that at least one package was “crying” out to me that they wanted to be eaten!  I thawed them out, got out the batter, and put the frying pan grease on 360 degrees.  Put a couple potatoes in the oven and I was almost ready to enjoy those pike on a 18 degree day in the first stages of the oncoming winter months.

I cooked 8 filets and two baked potatoes and I was ready for a lovely winter fish dinner.  That’s what a hunter and fisherman’s freezer is for.  Didn’t have to go to the store, fight the crowds, or pay an exorbitant price for these delicious pike morsels!  Not only that I was “home alone” so I didn’t have to share my “catch” with anyone!

Mike

Now You See Them Now You Don’t

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

 Don’t know what the final deer harvesting numbers are going to be, but from my experience (along with family and friends) I suspect they will be down from last year.  I have not hunted very much so far, but in my 4 days afield I have yet to see a deer!  Pretty unusual for me especially since I have several nice bucks on my trail camera.  Family and friends also have some “whooper” bucks on their camera’s, but everything is after dark!

As far as I can tell this is not a localised or isolated phenomenon occurring during hunting season. I have family members hunting the big buck  Southern Michigan counties, and I hunt the far northern area’s.  We have friend’s in the Upper Peninsula who also are experiencing nighttime “only” movement!

I know of one area where 8 hunters have a huge southern farmland lease, and have some monster bucks on film (at night!)  Most hunters believe that once the “rut is in full swing these “big boys” will go nuts and run full tilt during daylight hours. Well last report is only 1 hunter out of 8 dropped a buck during gun season and it was a 1-1/2 old 6 point. The record class bucks seen on trail camera’s stayed nocturnal during the 5 days these guys hunted morning and evening!  No wonder they are able to grow such impressive head gear!

So in conclusion I don’t know if the older mature bucks are developing a dna survival gene that kicks in during the fall hunting season, or it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time?  Elsewhere big bucks are being harvested, but could it be that in some area’s the “bruisers” are intelligent enough to stay nocturnal for survival sake?

I’m posting some trail cam photo’s of some nice bucks that are definitely in the area, but none seen in legal shooting hours!

Mike

A Few More Success Stories for 2018 Deer Season

Monday, November 26th, 2018

I just heard from a friend of mine (Ken Currie) about his recent hunting success around Mio Michigan.  Ken’s cabin is only about 5-6 miles from mine, and he seems to have the deer patterned in his area.  He took a nice buck last year that almost looks identical to the one he downed this year during gun season. (See photo of Ken’s nice 7 pointer) The snow on the ground definitely helped the hunters for opening day of gun season!

Ken like many hunters statewide had a pretty dismal October due to some continuous “crummy” weather! The Sunday before rifle opener Ken had his first chance to draw his bow on a fat doe.  His aim was true and after a slow start for the season things were starting to look up. The snow on the ground definitely helped the hunters for opening day of gun season!

Ken also reported on a few other guys from the Monroe Ford Plant that have places in the Mio area. Steve Drouillard and Tommy Lingar shot 6 pointers on their property.  Also it was either Steve or Tom’s grand-daughter that downed a nice 8 pointer. I just love it when the grandkids (especially the girls) get involved in hunting. Send me some photo’s guys and claim your grand-daughter?

Thanks Ken for the report and congratulations once again for your successful deer season.

Mike

Deer Reports Trickling In 2018

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

word has trickled out of the Baldwin camp in Marquette that Dick Baldwin has done it again.  Dick’s in his early 90’s and just a few days ago showed all the “whippersnappers” how it’s done , “again!” Dick has been hunting those Marquette hills for numerous decades and know’s how to hunt this “brand” of whitetail like no other.  He is a woodsman’s woodman!  I don’t know much about the details, except that he downed another nice buck to add to the pile of horns he’s got hanging at the Baldwin camp! Way to go Dick.  Maybe Gary and Gregg can borrow some of that venison this winter when their freezer’s are bare?  LOL!

Also my brother Darryl harvested a fat little 6 pointer on the third day of gun season.  I know he’s saving that second tag for one of those giants he has walking around his Branch County hot spot, but for now the venison is in the freezer.  Congratulations to you both.

I have not heard of any other family members except Justin Ansel, who took an 8 pointer in Onaway, but I never received a photo of his deer.  His brother Josh shot a 7 point with his bow in early season which I will post with this article.

Still plenty of time to put one on the ground!  I’m waiting for some snow around my cabin to make tracking a little easier.  When your 72 and hunt alone a tracking snow is most desirable!

Mike

Fresh Back-Straps On Opener Eve!

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

What a great meal to have on the eve of opening gun season here in Michigan.  I decided to cook up some back straps from my grandson’s buck that he downed about a month ago at our cabin.

I fixed nothing with the steaks as I just wanted to savor the great taste of some healthy venison.  I made sure I didn’t overcook them, and the seasoning was just right.  Dipped them in egg and milk before rolling them in seasoning.  cooked them about 5 minutes per side. When they had a nice crust on the outside I figured it was time to dig in!

Oh were they tasty!  It did not take me long to down all four of them with a cold glass of ice water.  Those that have never had a mouth watering venison back strap don’t know what your missing.  But that’s okay I’ll eat yours for you!

Mike

Muzzleloader Sight In!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Over the weekend I went to my brother-in-laws to make sure my muzzleloader was still shooting the same as last year.  It’s always good to check any hunting shotgun, rifle, or muzzleloader from year to year.  Sometimes things can happen (dropped gun, bumped scope, change in eyesight, etc.) that will change the path of your projectiles flight!

I am hunting Michigan’s Southern zone, and my muzzleloader is my weapon of choice over my model 870 with a slug barrel.

I had bought new Pyrodex powder just in case the old wasn’t up to standards.  I was using the same 295 grain bullets I’ve always used so I was expecting the same results as last year.  As you will see on the target my first shot was low and to the right.  I was sighting in at 80 yards, using a bench and a rest.  I adjusted the scope to move the shot higher and to the left.  My second shot did move higher on the target, but was still right of the bulls eye.  The circle I was shooting at was 4 inches across, which is a pretty small target at 80 yards.  After making a few more adjustments with the scope, including “ramping” the power up to “4”, i was ready to “dial in!”  The third shot was inside the circle which was fine with me.

Confidence in the weapon of choice, and how it performs plays a major roll in the outcome of any hunt.  We shall see Thursday morning as Michigan’s gun deer opener is about to get underway.  Be safe out there and always be aware of your surroundings, and enjoy your time in Michigan’s great outdoors!

Mike

Rutting Success!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

This is my brother Darryl’s son Derek who put down this nice eight point this morning.  I have no details except he was hunting in Branch county and seeing quite a few deer.  The rut is on and the Branch County gang is seeing a lot of activity on their trail camera’s, and the mock scrapes are getting worked over pretty good!  The weather has been lousy with rain and wind, but today it was clear and crisp.

I’ll do a post on Derek’s story when I get more details, but figured I would share his photo with you all.  Congratulations Derek you’ve done it again!

Mike

 

 

A Rare Bird Indeed!

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

One of the most beautiful turkeys I have ever seen was several years ago when hunting some “lease” property in Hillsdale.  Actually I saw two very rare birds while deer hunting.  Of course it was not during turkey season season, so I just enjoyed the rare opportunity to view these “pretty birds!”

The first one I saw was a white turkey with black tips on its feathers.  It was with a group of about 22 normal colored birds, and the second one showed up as I sat in a ground blind waiting for a buck to show up.  Unbeknownst to me my pop up was right near the local turkey roosting area, and just before dusk they started flying into the pines behind me.  As they filed in toward my blind one suddenly caught my eye.  It was a golden colored bird, and stood out among the others like a neon sign.  It was absolutely gorgeous!

The reason I’m even telling this is because my brother sent me a photo of a white turkey that was taken in one of the southern counties by a young lady.  He never sent me her name. but I thought her trophy bird was worth showing.  Enjoy and know it’s not the only one walking around out there!

Mike

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!

 

Mike

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!