Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Native American Heritage

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

tomahawkIMG_3621IMG_3609IMG_3611IMG_3624In the winter time, when it’s cold and snow is on the ground, I like to work on Native American reproductions.  My mother is from the far north country of Canada.  Her father was Irish, but her mother was one half Native American.  My mothers grandmother was a beautiful Cree Indian from Saskatchewan Canada who married my great grandfather John West!  Not much is known about her and what we do know is by oral tradition and stories from older relatives.  The Canadian Government didn’t keep good records of Indigenous people, and the little office that kept the records concerning my great grandma was burnt down by a disgruntled halfbreed!  That would be my great Uncle “Billy” who was ashamed of his heritage.

Anyway for the last several years I have been making Native items such as smudge fans, necklaces, ceremonial arrows, dance sticks, walking sticks, lances, quivers, and a few other items.  I use mostly supplies that nature provides such as deer hide, animal pelts, sinew, stones, animal skulls, horns, bones, feathers etc.  I combine that with bead work and and other Native American crafts to reproduce ceremonial items from past days!

I also go to local schools during the Fall, and especially over Thanksgiving and give demonstrations of the Native American way of life.  I go by Ten (10) Bears and bring all my hides and reproductions with me, along with some artifacts I have collected over the years. I will post several photo’s of some of the things I make.


Smith and Wesson AR-15 22 LR Sight In

Monday, March 6th, 2017

IMG_7963IMG_8010This past Christmas I was gifted with a Smith and Wesson AR-15 22 LR from my daughters fiance.  I am just now getting around to sighting it in.  Actually I had to shoot from my living room couch out our back door at a target set up at 50 yards.  I had a good rest and was able to make sure things were very steady for each shot!  At least as steady as a 70 year old mending from hip replacement surgery can be?

I also was gifted with a Barska 1-4 x 28 scope which I set on 1 (one.)  The M&P15-22 feels good in the hand and the adjustable stock seemed to belong nestled in my shoulder like hugging your favorite puppy!

The first volley of 8 shots were a little high and to the left.  An adjustment both left right and down on the scope brought me closer to center, but still not what I was satisfied with.  A few more adjustments got me the third 3rd. set, which I was more comfortable with.  I still may try and tweak it a little more, but for now I think the squirrels are in trouble.

I also own a Colt AR-15 chambered in the .223/556 NATO round and a Carbon 15 Bushmaster in the 223 round.  Both are deadly accurate!  I’m in the process of setting up a firing range on my property up north and can’t wait to do some serious shooting.


Spring Turkey Gear

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

This article is written by guest writer Jeff Byrnes.  Jeff is Editor In Chief of “Best Crossbow Source.  He can be reached at “”

Gear Up Right To Gobble That Tom During Spring Turkey Season
Spring turkey season is right around the corner, so it’s time to start gearing up. Remember, there’s a reason your turkey vest has so many pockets. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Even so, you can only carry so much. How do you figure out what to take and what to leave behind? Other than the obvious, your shotgun, bow, or crossbow, you need to have the right kit. Let’s make sure you gear up right with the top choices for spring turkey hunting.
Your Turkey Decoy Is Your Best Friend
Turkeys have amazing eyesight, and they’re pretty skittish and hard to lure in. That’s why you sometimes need a good, realistic decoy to draw ’em in. I’m a fan of inflatable decoys, especially the ones Avian-X makes. This year, I’m using the Avian-X Jake Quarter Strut decoy, which looks exactly like the real thing. It’s also super easy and quick to set up, but you do need to check it before your hunt to make sure it’s going to hold air. That’s the only drawback to inflatables.
Your Clothing and Turkey Vest
Spring turkey season comes at a weird time of year, where the temperatures can go from freezing to boiling in a single day. You want clothing that will keep you warm, but not get you overheated. Make sure you go with breathable materials for your pants and shirt, in your favorite camouflage, of course. A mesh headnet is essential, since it keeps you hidden but doesn’t overheat you. If you need a new turkey vest, Hunters Specialties Strut Turkey Vest is the best one this year. It’s made from 300-denier polyester shell fabric, with adjustable shoulder straps along with a sternum/waist strap. It has two flap pockets, a box call pocket, a diaphragm pocket, and a large rear pocket for decoys or harvested turkeys. There’s also a deployable safety flag and an attached Big Cheeks foam seat.
A Bag To Carry Your Gear
When your trusted turkey vest runs out of pockets, you start looking for more ways to carry gear. Hunters Specialties just came out with their Undertaker Turkey Chest Pack, and it’s definitely a great way to carry shotshells, your turkey calls, and other essentials. Decked out in Realtree camo, it has an adjustable four-point harness for comfort, and the closures are all magnetic. There’s a drop-down chest case for convenience, and a shell belt that holds up to seven shotshells. The pack even has external striker holsters.
Turkey Calls To Get Their Attention
It’s no secret that I like turkey calls, and I keep ’em for as long as they last. I’ve had a couple for more than 25 years. Still, every year I find a new one (or ten). This year, I’m gonna be drawing them in with my old standbys as well as a new Knight & Hale Scarlet Fever pot call. I’ve also picked up a Knight & Hale Long Spur glass pot call that sounds pretty good. Of course, I’ll keep using my Ben Lee twin hen box call, as well as my Primos “gobble box.”
A Blind To Hide In
You want to keep yourself from being seen, and movement can kill that. You’ve got a couple of options here. Either crawl into a pop-up blind or figure out how to be motionless for hours. That second option’s tough to pull off, but the Tenzing TZ TP14 Turkey Pack with Seat makes it a bit easier. It has 28 specialized pockets for carrying your gear, but the best part is that it has two silent, spring-loaded legs and a padded seat. The pack quickly and quietly transforms into a self-supported hunting chair, so you can sit motionless for hours but still be comfortable.
Your Smartphone, Of Course
Last, but certainly not least, make sure your smartphone is at the ready. Keep it fully charged in case of an emergency, and load it up with apps that will help you in the bush. There are plenty of options out there, but the best all-in-one app I’ve come across is GEO-PAK Hunt. It’s available for iPhone and Android, and does just about everything you could ask for in a smartphone app.
Gear Up Right and Get Hunting
There’s more gear you’ll need, of course, but you already know that. These are my top discoveries for 2017, and I’m anxious to get to using them. Come on, turkey season, get here already!

Yellowstone Brook Trout!

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

IMG_7980Yesterday I picked up my Wyoming brook trout that I caught while on vacation in Yellowstone Park.  The taxidermist did an awesome job and it now hangs in my “man cave” with my “brookie” I caught while bear hunting in the Upper Peninsula.

We have hunted and fished Marquette Michigan since 1976!  Over those 40 years I have caught thousands of brook trout from a small creek that flows by our (Baldwins) bear camp.  Most we release, but we do keep enough for a brook trout dinner or two.  Out of all the trout my brothers, sons, and friends have caught only three were bigger than the smaller one in the picture.  It is 13 inches long and the biggest U.P. one I have ever caught!  I guess that is why it’s mounted.

The bigger brookie was caught while out west in Yellowstone Park.  I have fished Colorado several times and caught cutthroat, browns, rainbow, and brookies, but never tied into the likes of these Yellowstone fighters.  While we caught many native cutthroat (catch and release) and a few 8-10 in brookies, it wasn’t till we hiked into a backcountry lake that we hit on some really nice brook trout.  My son-in-law and I landed eight and lost 5-6, but what an experience we had surrounded by the most beautiful mountain meadow one could imagine! The bigger trout in the picture was 18 inches, and he battled much larger on my 6 pound test and light spinning reel!


Venison Swedish Meatballs

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

IMG_7946I am going into my fourth week since hip replacement surgery, and there’s not a whole lot I can do right now.  I still can’t do much weight bearing on my left hip (leg.)  I’m getting a little bit of “cabin fever”and have been trying to think of a few things I can do sitting down.  I really enjoy making meals for friends and family, and thought I may be able to tackle spaghetti and meatballs for some friends of ours.

I retrieved two packages of venison burger from the freezer and let them thaw out overnight.  I’m always looking for new ways to prepare the outdoor bounty I have in the freezer, and figured I could have my wife put the ingredients on the cupboard and I could do the rest!

I started with 1/2 a cup of Italian bread crumbs in a bowl, followed by a half cup of crushed saltine crackers!  I then added a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper.  To these dry ingredients I added some Lowery seasoned salt and half a finely chopped up onion.  My wet ingredients consisted of two eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. I then added the venison and all the ingredients into a large bowl and mixed everything together.

I took large glass baking dish and sprayed the bottom with olive oil.  I rolled the 1-1/2 inch meatballs and lined them in the baking dish.  When the oven reached 350 degrees I added the meatballs.  When they looked done (approximately a half hour) I removed them for a taste test!  I’m not bragging, but honestly these were the best tasting Swedish meatballs I have ever eaten. After devouring seven in about 1 minute, my wife reminded me they were made for our friends, and if I didn’t slow down there wouldn’t be enough for the spaghetti!  Wow!  That was hard to do!

So if your looking for a easy recipe for great tasting venison meatballs this is it!  Now I have to retrieve a few more packages of venison burger for myself.  A few members of my family are squeamish about eating “wild game” so I don’t always broadcast the fact!  Last evening three of those members stopped by and enjoyed the “wild game”so much so I had to “cut them off” from their taste test!  Always makes me feel good when uninformed are enlightened concerning the bounty provided by nature!


Monroe’s Advanced Physical Therapy

Friday, February 24th, 2017

IMG_7945IMG_7943I just completed my third full week (9 sessions) of physical therapy at “Advanced Physical Therapy,” after having hip replacement surgery in Sylvania Ohio.  Kevin Radabaugh (Doctor of Physical Therapy) is the clinic director and is a graduate of Bowling Green State University and Toledo University Doctoral program.  His two main sidekicks are Meghan Donnelly (MSPT) and Mary O’Lear (OTR.)

I have almost exclusively worked with Meghan and must say I am more than well pleased with her knowledge of human anatomy.  She has been with Advanced Physical Therapy since 2005 and has her B.S. from Grand Valley State. She is so pleasant to work with and is always smiling and upbeat.  She knows just how far she can push a patient, and also knows when to back off when called for.  I have had therapy at other places in Monroe, but the knowledge and atmosphere at Advanced will get your attention the minute you walk in the door and are greeted by Dawn’s lovely voice.  Dawn is the day shift front desk receptionist, and Lori is the afternoon shift receptionist.

Mary is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and treats upper extremity injuries with a specialty in shoulder rehabilitation. Mary did a 10 year stint at Mercy Memorial Hospital and has been helping patients overcome injuries for 25 years.

Also on board is Bobby who is a rehab technician! He sort of floats from one area to the next whenever he’s needed.  He’s iced me down on several occasions after a taxing workout!

As I said the atmosphere is laid back and yet very efficient and professional.  From my first hand experience this is the place to take your broken down, joint replaced, sore and aching body!  Meghan has taken me from hardly being able to walk through the door, to getting around with a cane on my own.  I’ve also had a couple sessions with Kevin who’s passion for what he does is evident in his always smiling face.  Kevin uses manual therapy, in combination with exercise for restoring ones function and reducing pain.  I’ll give them credit for just that, as my pain has been significantly reduced under the care of Advanced Physical Therapy. So glad I signed on with this great group of “healers!”

Advanced Physical Therapy is located at 1291 N. Telegraph Rd. across from the old La-Z-Boy offices next to O’Reilly Auto Parts. There phone number is 734-243-0300!


Wild Hogs Apocalypse

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

FILE: Feral hogs cost Texas farmers millions a year, and the state's population is at 2.5 million.Texas has a feral hog problem.

The state’s agriculture commissioner said Tuesday that he has a solution: a human blood-thinner that proves especially deadly in swine.

Sid Miller, the commissioner, said there is only a “minimal” threat to other animals. Hunters will be able to see that the substance was consumed because the fat will be bright blue, reported.

“They’re so prolific, you can’t hardly keep them in check,” Miller told the paper. “This is going to be the hog apocalypse, if you like: If you want them gone, this will get them gone.”

The paper reported that the pesticide used is called “Kaput Feral Hog Lure,” which will be bait laced with warfarin—the human blood thinner.


State officials have downplayed the threat to other wildlife. But some hunters disagree, and say poison is not a viable option. Hunters in the state have collected more than 12,000 signatures in opposition of the poison.

The report said that Louisiana is considering the poison, but one state wildlife official warned that the crumbs that a hog leaves behind could affect black bears and other animals.

These feral hogs cost the state’s agriculture industry about $50 million a year in damage. The Austin Statesman reported that these hogs were introduced to North America by Spanish settlers who released domestic pigs into the woods to breed.

The state already allows aerial hunting which reportedly results in about 27,000 killed hogs annually.

“We don’t think poison is the way to go,” Eydin Hansen, the vice president of the Texas Hog Hunters Association, told He went on to say, “If a hog is poisoned, do I want to feed it to my family? I can tell you, I don’t.”He also mentioned the risks of another animal—like a coyote—eating a dead carcass. “We’re gonna after possible the whole ecosystem!”

Potholes Are Costly And Dangerous!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

It’s that time of year again when Monroe County and it’s township personnel fix our “sorry” roads!  They do this by applying “cold patch” to the gaping craters, and the broken and missing parts of each outside lane.  After applying this ingenious and resilient compound they let us taxpayers “tamp” it down with our vehicles.  Then when the stones chip our paint and the tar sticks to everything it gets “flung” onto, we can assume the responsibility for fixing, and cleaning our messy vehicles.  How sweet of a deal is that?

Monroe County is notorious for its bad roads, and lack of cooperation between townships when it comes to fixing said roads.  Rauch road was a prime example of “Roads Gone Wild!”  Erie, Lasalle, and Ida townships couldn’t seem to find some common ground when it came to saving the lives of their townships taxpayers until recently!  Anyone who knew about the dangers of traveling down Rauch road, would steer clear of this death trap, even if it meant having to drive miles out of the way! Thank God it is now fixed, but their are now new dangers in the county!

Sad thing is Rauch was not the exception in Monroe county.  It’s more the norm, and it ticks me off every time I think about our tax dollars and library fines going towards fixing, repairing, and replacing these bone jarring, frame bending, tire busting roads.

Just today I passed two Monroe County road crews busy repairing a few of our chuck holes.  I even got to help as I packed down the cold patch with the weight of my vehicle.  North Custer (just before Plank) is a nightmare, and all the cold patch in the world ain’t going to help this section of road.  Never the less we have are trusty road crew throwing shovels of cold patch into car swallowing holes, knowing that there is “job security” in what their doing.  These so called patches won’t last very long, so they can come back and do it again soon.

Just two years ago we had a bridge repaired (didn’t see anything wrong with the old one) on Reinhardt Road.  Now mind you the repairs are less than a 2 years old, yet a portion of the concrete blocks have already fallen off the bridge foundation, and there is a huge 8 foot by 8 foot section of “new” road that is already being patched.  Something is wrong with this picture.  I’m sure somebody was paid good taxpayer dollars to do this job, and do it right.  Who takes responsibility for this and the rest of the roads that need a total makeover.

Last week my daughter borrowed our new Ford Fusion to take her daughter to school.  While driving down Seigler road in Ash Township she hit back to back potholes and blew a front tire.  She was stranded on the left right side of the road and was almost rear-ended before a Monroe county Sheriff helped her pull partially in a driveway.  I called a tow truck and had the car towed to the Ford dealership.  The wheel, tire, strut, and tie rod all had to be replaced at a cost of $1500.00 dollars!  The car was in the shop for two weeks and with a $500.00 dollar deductible I choose to “eat” the cost rather than have my insurance rates changed due to a claim!  We called Ash township and they basically said “Gee tough luck!” The road commision said the same! I don’t know about you but everytime I pump gas in my car I’m paying money to drive on good roads!  It seems to me that somewhere along the line the taxpaying public should be able to get some kind of help (compensation) for matters (bad roads) beyond his control.  I’m thankful my daughter and grandkids weren’t hurt, but there’s no guarantees others won’t be hurt during this season of “Pothole Madness!”



A New World Record Whitetail Shot In Tennessee?

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

312 point buckWho would believe that this past fall a whitetail deer would be felled by a muzzleloader that would challenge the present world record non-typical.  A 27 year old farm boy named Stephen Tucker will become one of the biggest celebrities in the whitetail hunting world, and no doubt a millionaire to boot!

It all started with Stephen getting a 15 second glimpse of this monster while combining on a 50 acre farm his family has leased for decades.  Stephen immediately set out two trail camera’s and started getting pictures right away. He was able to pattern the deer to 5 days moving at night to 2 days of showing up in the morning hours.

Stephen started hunting at an early age and had taken a few turkey and a couple decent bucks, but this “bad boy” was way out of his league, and he knew it.  Not being much of a bow hunter Stephen only set-up twice on the deer and actually saw him, but took no shot.  He was bound and determined to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to draw down on this extraordinary deer.  His plan was to wait for the November 5th muzzleloader season and hope that the buck had eluded others who were “on” to this huge deer!

There was a large thicket on Stephen’s 50 acre lease and the buck seemed to be holed up there on most days.  He had a scrape line coming out of the thicket on the corner of a field, and that’s where Stephen set up his pop-up ground blind.  On opening morning Stephen was in his blind very early in order to let things quiet down if need be.  Things moved fast as the giant buck appeared at the doe urine freshened scrap just 30 yards away from the blind.  Stephen wrestled with his neves and by the time the deer was in his crosshairs he was moving on down the scrap line.  Stephen squeezed the trigger and the primer was all that went off!  Of all times for a drey fire!  The deer looked in Stephens direction, but did not appear to be spooked as he continued on his rounds.  That evening Stephen saw him again at 162 yards, but would not chance a shot at that distance.

Stephen let the area sit for the Sunday afternoon hunt, but was out bright and early Monday morning.  The deer actually walked past his blind in the dark that morning, but returned to the scrap after daylight.  Stephen had to shoot through the mesh widow opening, as he didn’t have time to remove it.  With the gun barrel inside the blind Stephen touched off a shot at 40 yards.  Of course all the smoke prevented him from seeing just what was happening but he know his shot was good. After waiting an hour he and his buddy Morris tracked the deer into the thicket.  Not hardly any blood to begin with it soon picked up where the deer run forked off inside the thicket.  The deer was not far from that point and until Stephen held those world class horns in his hands he could not believe the size of the mega buck!

Stephens deer has been green scored as a non-typical with a Boone and Crockett score of 312 inches.  The current world record scores 307-5/8th by Tony Lovstuen which was taken in Iowa in 2003.  Most scorers agree that Stephens buck will hold out to be the new world record after the required 60 day drying period.  This is one deer that will be talked about for a long long time to come.  Congratulations Stephen Tucker!


Police Office Impaled By Marijuana Grow Trap

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

WYOMING, MICH. — The person who set up a bed of screws to protect a marijuana grow operation, seriously injuring a Wyoming police officer, might face charges if prosecutors can find a criminal statute that applies.

It’s harder than they thought. Existing law covering booby-traps addresses spring-loaded devices and explosives, but apparently not a bed of nails or screws on private property, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said.

“We are looking into it, but it’s not something that’s readily apparent,’’ Becker said.

And that has Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody calling for change.


Wyoming officer Dustin Cook was investigating an early Sunday break-in at a medical marijuana grow site when he scaled a gate to reach a broken window. On the other side was a sheet of plywood with more than 100 three-inch, threaded decking screws pointing upward. Both of his feet were impaled.

“He had three of these things go into his feet,’’ Carmody said, holding a decking screw. “One in one heel and two in the other foot. One went through the center of his foot and did some damage to one of the tendons.’’

Events that led to Cook’s injuries unfolded about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when Wyoming officers responded to an alarm at a licensed medical marijuana grow operation on Clay Avenue north of 54th Street SW.

When officers arrived, they encountered two men inside the gray brick building. They entered by breaking a rear window, police said. Both were dressed in black with their faces covered. The pair fled; police gave chase.

The first to be caught was 19-year-old Tyquan K. Hassel of Kentwood. Police say he tossed a handgun during the pursuit.

His alleged accomplice, Andre D. Sims, also 19, made it a bit farther. Police had to chase him across Buck Creek. When officers caught up with Sims, he was on a cellphone and overheard saying “they got me,’’ court records show.

Both are charged with breaking and entering a building, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Hassel is also charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a five-year felony. They are due back in Wyoming District Court Feb. 22 for a probable cause hearing.

“The two individuals we caught coming out of that building obviously knew what was in there,’’ Carmody said. “They went in to get (marijuana) and they were going to sell it on the street.’’

Police found an elaborate marijuana grow operation; more than 90 mature plants were found, investigators said. That exceeds the amount the licensed marijuana caregiver was authorized to have.

Carmody says he is mystified why the grower felt the need to use a bed of screws when the building had a working alarm system.

“We responded to that alarm,’’ Carmody said. “Did they not think that we might not walk around the perimeter of that building to try to access the building? For some reason, the moron that put it down there didn’t quite make that connection.’’

Officer Cook, a six-year veteran, is in a lot of pain, the chief said.

This sort of set up can also happen in the fields and forest that so many Michiganders use for recreation.  I think it’s just a matter of time before an innocent outdoors person gets seriously injured by a bobby trapped grow site on state land.  The more remote your stroll, the more chance you’ll find a grow!  Be aware of your surroundings at all times and travel with others while exploring the “back country” is my advice!