A Few More Success Stories for 2018 Deer Season

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.


Deer Reports Trickling In 2018

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!


Fresh Back-Straps On Opener Eve!

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!


Muzzleloader Sight In!

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!


Rutting Success!

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!




A Rare Bird Indeed!

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!


The Tracking Job We Never Expected

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

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.

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 michigan.gov/cwd.

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 www.michigan.gov/dnr.

This email was sent to mikewansel@yahoo.com using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Department of Natural Resource

Early Season Success

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!