Scoring Your Buck

December 26th, 2016

img_7599img_7600Toward the end of november I dropped a pretty decent buck (northern lower) and just got the European mount back from the taxidermist! Just to satisfy my own curiosity I decided to get out the tape and “green” score it!

The first measurement I took was the greatest inside spread between main beams.  Mine was 16-4/8, as you measure everything by the closest 1/8th.  Next you do the length of the right and left beams starting at the base of the burr and following the contour of the beam to the tip.  A flexible wire or string will work for doing this, and a yardstick to measure the wire or string will help.  Once you get the beam measured you will need to measure the tine lengths from the outside of the beam.  You will start this measurement by drawing (pencil) a line from one side of the tine to the other keeping the line straight between those two points.  Follow the contour of the tine to the end then check your measure with the tape. Start with the brow tine.  Mine was 1-1/8, as the brows were super small!  Next comes the G-2 tine (which is generally the longest.) Mine measured 8 inches.  Next is the G-3 which was 5 inches on mine.  My deer was an 8 pointer so there were no more tines after the G-3’s.  You could have G-4’s, G-5’s, G-6’s, depending on the size of your deer?  Now measure the opposite side beam lengths and right them down.  Mine were 2-1/8 (brow)< 8-1/8 (G-2), and 3-2/8 (G-3’s.)

The last measurement you get is the circumference between the points.  Take the narrowest circumference between the brow and G-2, G-2 and G-3 and measure the halfway point from the G-3 and the end of the beam point.  Also measure the circumference around the base of the beams.  That will give you a total of 4 base measurements which is all you get no matter how many points your deer has! Mine came out with a total of 4-4/8, 4,4,and 3 on the right side and 4-4/8, 4,4-4/8, and 3 on the left side.  That totals 31-4/8 in total base measurements.

My score came out to 16-4/8 ‘inside spread, plus 27-5/8 point length, plus beam lengths of 42-4/8, and 31-4/8 circumference measurements which equals a total “green” score of 118 1/8. It takes a total score of 100 inches to be entered into the Commemorative Bucks of Michigan record book if your deer was taken with a bow or crossbow!  Looks like after the official 60 day drying period mine should make it with room to spare!

Merry Christmas 2016

December 24th, 2016

I just wanted to take time and wish everyone a Blessed Christmas.  This nativity scene has been in our family since 1970.  Actually it’s one of the first gifts I ever bought my wife.  We were married in October of 1970 and I bought this for her just before Christmas.  I got it at Federals Dept. store, and it cost my wife a “back rub!”  With six kids and now twelve grand kids I have had to use glue on a few of the figures.  Baby Jesus and the angels seem to get the most attention.

We have a tradition in our home where, on Christmas morning one of the grand kids takes Jesus from His hiding place, and puts Him in the manger.  We then sing a few songs, including Happy Birthday Jesus.  We write down who had the honor of placing Jesus in the manger, and also video tape the morning, so we know whose turn it is next year.  Usually we emphasize that it is Jesus birthday we are celebrating, and ask the kids a few questions about the “true” meaning of Christmas.  There is a saying that goes “Jesus is the reason for the season!”  If you remove Christ from the Christmas season, what you have left over is “Happy Holidays!”  You have parties, food, friends, family, extravagant buying and selling, In the black, in the red, Santa clause, snowmen, and days off of work.  To some you also have the most depressing time of the year.  It doesn’t take a nuclear scientist to see where some want to take our country concerning the highest Holy Day in all of Christendom.  No public display of Manger scenes, stores not allowing their employees to say “Merry Christmas,” Schools eliminating programs and songs that tell the real story.  It would seem that our government (chided by ACLU lawsuits) bends over backwards so as  not to “offend” other faiths or atheist/agnostics.  On the other hand  Christians can be offended, slandered, and maligned to the hilt, and that’s ok!  I just wonder if those decrying the misappropriated “separation of church and state,” would go to bat for persecuted Christians in  Muslims courts.

Like it or not this nation WAS founded on Judeo/Christian principles.  Not Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, or some swami, Dali Lama, or Rev. Sun-Myung- Moon.  The true History (His Story) of this nation has been undergoing a transformation over the last few decades.  It appears we have  gotten to the point where  public school textbooks will soon totally eliminate any mention of  Christianity  or it’s role in the framing of our Constitution.

I hope each one reading this will take some time to reflect on the true meaning of the season.  God loving us so much that he sent his only Son into the world as a sacrifice for out transgressions.  It started with a babe in the manger, and culminated with a Savior on the cross.  Redemption and Salvation are for ALL that except Him a Savior and love Him as Lord.

Have a Blessed Christmas Mike

Venison Meatloaf The Fruit Of My Labor!

December 23rd, 2016

img_7471A few days ago I thawed out 3 packages of venison burger as I really wanted some venison meatloaf.  I mixed the meat in a big metal pan and added italian breadcrumbs and then smashed up some soda crackers, and mixed them in.  Next came salt and pepper plus some Lowery’s seasoned salt.  A diced up onion goes in next and sometimes I add some chopped green peppers, but not this time.  Catsup is next as I mix (by hand) all the ingredients.  The oven is preheated to 330 degrees, and a little water is added to the roasting pan.  I always peal and cut up potatoes and carrots to place around the meatloaf so you have a whole meal in one roasting pan.

After about 2 hours we were good to go, and I was able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Nice lean, untainted, meat put on the table by yours truly.  No additives, preservatives, gmo’s or growth hormones!  The meatloaf was so big and delicious I was able to share it with friends, and thats what its all about.  I’ll be cooking up some of those wonderful venison steaks over the holidays when the “crew” wants some good “wild” meat to sink their teeth into.


The Man Who Loves Bears!

December 18th, 2016

In the mountains of West Virginia, Joel Rosenthal, 74, raises his bear cubs, five of them, on a wildlife refuge.

Rosenthal, a retired biologist, founded Point of View Farm in 2000 to get away from people. In interviews he admits to preferring four-legged animals to the two-legged variety.

“There’s nobody that lives on my side of the river for miles,” he told WVVA, “When I run across the river, I run into these two-legged animals wearing clothes, and they make funny noises and they scare me.”

Rosenthal cares for orphaned and injured wildlife until they’re ready to live on their own. The bear cubs, in particular, he protects during hunting season. The bears are raised in his own house, and Rosenthal spends his days napping with them, nursing them by hand, and hiking with them.

“It’s really special to be able to hike around with two or three bear cubs that are just following me,” he told the New York Post. “I really have to pinch myself all the time because I can’t believe I’m doing this — that I have this relationship with these animals.”

His dream however was not so easily realized. Rosenthal took a case all the way to the Virginia State Supreme Court to assure his right to care for the animals.

In 2005, the Department of National Resources in Virginia had issued him a cease and desist order. After a four-year legal battle (Rosenthal represented himself), he won the right to care for the bears and other animals on his farm.

He admits there might be some danger in raising wild bears but throws out the received wisdom of avoiding the animals entirely. “I consider bears to be very, very safe, but all the statistics bail that out, regardless of anything that I am prejudiced about,” he told the Post. “In North America over the last 100 years plus, I believe that there are 60 or 70 documented cases of black bears actually killing anybody.”

Rosenthal has never be hurt by interacting with black bears!

National Park Service To Release Wolves On Isle Royale

December 16th, 2016

001WASHINGTON — The National Park Service today put forward a draft plan to release 20 to 30 new wolves on Isle Royale over a three-year period as a way to bolster a population on the remote Lake Superior island that has dwindled to just two and is in danger of vanishing altogether.

If the Park Service – which for more than a year has been looking at the fading Isle Royale wolf population and a moose herd that has swelled to 1,300 animals with its main predator in decline – follows through, it could quickly revive a closed ecosystem on the rugged 45-mile-long island protected from hunting and existing largely outside of human interference.

But it could also stir up concerns that the Park Service, in an attempt to address climate change and warmer winters that have in recent years reduced ice bridges to the island – in turn halting natural wolf migration from Canada – is setting a precedent that some environmental groups believe violates the federal Wilderness Act’s requirement that lands remain “untrammeled” by human intervention.

The draft plan put out today recognized the dichotomy inherent in the Park Service’s mission on Isle Royale, saying the proposed action will help to restore the natural order on the island by reintroducing an “apex predator” but noting it also results in “substantial impacts to (the island’s) wilderness character overall because of the intentional manipulation of the
… environment.” The proposal also calls for monitoring wolves placed on the island by radio collar.

“This is about more than wolves,” said Phyllis Green, superintendent of Isle Royale National Park, which takes up virtually all of island located 55 miles across Lake Superior from the Upper Peninsula and is closed from November to April. “It’s about the entire park ecosystem and where it is heading in the future with changing conditions.”

Poachers Pay Huge Fine In Wild Duck Poaching Case!

December 15th, 2016

Duck poachers sentenced in Ottawa County

As you can see from the below article posted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources poaching can be a very costly crime.  Those 60 ducks ended up costing each of the poachers about $100 dollars per duck, which amounts to a fine and restitution of nearly $6000 dollars per man!  Not only that they lost hunting privileges for 3 years, and also lost their shotguns!

Four Ottawa County men ticketed recently for poaching nearly 60 wild ducks from a private agricultural pond near the Grand River watershed were sentenced this week in district court.

Tyler John Meerman, 24, of Conklin, Colson Thomas Modderman, 22, of Wyoming, Justin Allen Beckman, 20, of Coopersville; and Michael Duane Sorenson III, 20, of Marne pleaded guilty Tuesday and were sentenced the same dayNearly 60 mallards and wood ducks were shot illegally Oct. 9 in Ottawa County. Four men from that area were sentenced in the case this week. in Ottawa County District Court.

The convictions resulted from an Oct. 9 incident, near a popular waterfowl hunting area in Chester Township, which is situated in the northern part of the county. A total of 58 ducks were killed.

“These four individuals used over 200 pounds of corn to illegally entice these ducks in for the kill,” said DNR conservation officer Dave Rodgers. “The men were not using decoys or duck calls and therefore were not hunting, but rather, they were poaching.”

The use of bait for duck hunting is not allowed. The ducks poached included 35 wood ducks and 23 mallards, including 13 mallard hens.

Of the six ducks allowed in a daily bag limit, hunters can shoot four mallards, only two of which may be hens. Only three wood ducks may be harvested per hunter.

The four men were each ordered to pay $5,000 reimbursement, plus a $10 judgment fee. This total of $20,040 will go into the State of Michigan’s Fish and Game Fund, which is used to support healthy populations of fish and game through various activities, ranging from fish stocking to improving wildlife habitat.

In addition, the men were each ordered to pay $880 in fines and costs to the court. They were sentenced to serve 18-month probation terms, in lieu of 90 days in jail. If the men violate any condition of their probation, they will serve jail time at the discretion of the judge.

The convicted poachers have lost their hunting privileges for the rest of this year and the next 3 years. The firearms they used in the incident were condemned by the court and will go to state auction this spring, with proceeds going to the Fish and Game Fund.

“The citizens of Michigan play a vital role in protecting Michigan’s natural resources,” said Lt. Gerald Thayer, DNR District 7 law enforcement supervisor. “We very much appreciate the call that came in on Oct 9 to report these poachers.”

Operators of the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) line received the call at 7:38 a.m. that day, reporting an immense amount of shooting during the opening of the South Zone waterfowl hunting season.

Minutes later, Rodgers and conservation officer Chris Simpson responded, headed for Chester Township. Rodgers said he found the four men on private property along an agricultural pond. He saw them shooting at crippled ducks on the water and gathering them.

One of the men left the area, but was located by Simpson during a traffic stop. Officers said he had a loaded firearm in the vehicle.

The ducks confiscated will be used at the DNR Law Enforcement Division’s Waterfowl Training School for training new officers on duck identification and necropsy studies.

Any ducks not used for this purpose will be donated to the Braveheart Raptor Rehabilitation Center in Twin lakes to help feed injured birds of prey, including bald eagles.

Michigan conservation officers are fully-commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by performing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.

Learn more about the work of conservation officers at the DNR website at

The DNR’s toll-free Report All Poaching (RAP) line number is 800-292-7800. Tips may be left anonymously.

/Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download and media use. Suggested caption follows. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.

Ducks: Nearly 60 mallards and wood ducks were shot illegally Oct. 9 in Ottawa County. Four men from that area were sentenced in the case this week./


The Great Michigan Wolf Debate

December 11th, 2016

IMG_0983LANSING, Mich. — For the fourth time in recent years, Michigan lawmakers are moving to authorize wolf hunting — this time after the state Court of Appeals recently declared a 2014 law unconstitutional.

The Republican-controlled Senate approved legislation Thursday that would define wolves as a game species and authorize the Natural Resources Commission to designate game, consistent with sound scientific wildlife management. The bill was sent to the GOP-led House, where a committee quickly approved it and set the stage for a final vote next week — the final one of the two-year term.

Wolf hunting is not allowed in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota under a 2014 federal judge’s ruling that threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list. But the bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, said the state should have a wolf-hunting law on the books in case Congress addresses the issue.

Michigan had a wolf hunt in 2013.

In 2014, Michigan voters rejected two laws allowing wolf hunts. But the votes were symbolic because majority Republicans had approved a third measure initiated by pro-hunting groups.

 I can understand some of what most Upper Peninsula hunters and sportsmen are saying concerning the reintroduction of wolves to the eco system!  In the area around Marquette where we hunt bear, wolves have been spotted (by us) and we have run across their tracks on occasion.  I say that because the landowners in the area have a long family history of deer camp/hunting.  The last few winters have been hard on the deer heard, but wolf depredation has also cut into the deer population.  So much so that one camp I know of has gone from 4-5 nice bucks a season to just one small spikehorn this year!  The only reason they harvested the spike is it was a grandsons first deer.
It seems to be like that over most of the territory the wolf roams!  They are stealthy killers and have done their share of damage on livestock and family pets. In my opinion the various wolf packs have to be kept in balance with the available food sources (deer) or more livestock and pets will be on their menu!  There is such a thing as “to much of a good thing!” The votes against a wolf hunt mainly come from “down staters” who do not deal with the complex issues of keeping the wolves within an acceptable range, managing the deer herd, livestock restitution payments, or distraught pet owners!  Let those in the Upper Peninsula decide this issue with out the emotional baggage of metropolitan voters downstate!

Have A Blessed Christmas 2016

December 10th, 2016

PhotobucketI would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a joyous and blessed Christmas, and a new year filled with awe and wonder. Who knows how many more years are left for us to celebrate CHRISTMAS, before it is regulated to the halls of the “politically incorrect!”

I don’t plan on getting into a “soap box” issue here, but as a Christian I sense the beating of the drums. What I mean is this! While out in the public arena, I have heard more “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” than “Merry Christmases. I even asked one clerk if it was against company policy to say “Merry Christmas?” She replied that she tried saying “Merry Christmas” twice, and was greeted in return with dirty looks! Even the newspaper adds are eliminating the traditional greeting of “Merry Christmas” in favor of the more politically correct version. In the past “Christmas cards” were about Christmas, the Nativity, Peace on earth, Angels and Wise men. Now people send cards with quotes from Confusions or the Dali Lama.

Now I know Christmas holds traditions that quite frankly have nothing to do with the “real Jesus,” but it is what it is – “Jesus is the reason for the season!” Just because we have commercialized it to the point of losing the “heart of reflection” toward the incarnation, doesn’t mean we should bow to the “holy grail” of political correctness.

I for one am eternally grateful for the significance of Christmas, and the hope and promise that it hold for all true believers. My family and I will forever worship the Christ of Christmas in our hearts, and daily lives, as I believe it was intended.

John 1: 4-5 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

Have A Blessed Christmas



Expectations Fulfilled In “The Promised Land!”

December 8th, 2016

img_6520img_1745img_1737img_7182img_1880My older brother Randy bought a 160 acre piece of property this last Spring and immediately dubbed it “The Promised Land!”I think he has been looking for this little piece of heaven all his life, and now that he actually possess it hardly wants to leave and come back home.  He has pretty muched lived in his cabin since September, as he’s groomed trails, put up blinds, modernized the cabin, cut wood, and is planning on building a pole barn! I haven’t seen my brother so happy in many years, as he oversees the making of a first class “hunting camp!”

Randy has four adult children, with three of them being boys who all love to hunt the wily whitetail.  He also has 9 grand children, and several of them are also into hunting.

There is a 30 acre field right beside the very nice two story cabin that a local farmer plants, and a small two acre food plot back further in the woods.  Randy’s son Josh made a transportable blind, complete with reclining comfortable chairs that was set up near the 2 acre plot.  Tree stands are scattered throughout the property, as Randy gets to know deer patterns, and the lay of the land.  He told me that his greatest joy would be to see his grandkids and kids enjoy the property and harvest some of the bounty that was certainly using “the promised land!” Many deer and turkeys have been seen roaming the area, and bear seem to like the location also.

To say this initial deer season was a rousing success would be an understatement! During the September youth hunt Randy’s grandson Seth (Justin’s son) took a nice 8 point, for the first deer harvested on the “promised land!” Next up was Josh’s daughters Sammie, and Scottie who both took bucks during bow-season with crossbows.  Three for three is great, but then Randy took his 10 year old grandson Jax (Jenna’s son) out of school for a whole week.  Him and grandpa hunted the same 2 acre food plot his cousins had taken deer in.  Jax was seeing a lot of does and a smaller buck and wanted to shoot any of them, but grandpa was holding out for a nice buck.  The third night out, that nice buck appeared and Jax put the ” smack down” on a trophy 10 point!  Wow grandkids four (4) and deer zero (0!)  It doesn’t get any better than that, unless you throw in the fact that Jax deer took second place in the local big buck contest!

During rifle season Justin took a respectable 7 point, to make it 5 bucks harvested so far.  Season is far from over as Randy can now get serious himself since his grandkids have tagged out!  Jarrod hasn’t given up yet and will no doubt be back on stand very soon.  So as one can see the property was appropriately named “The promised land,” and it’s lived up to it’s “title!”


Darryl Ansel Fulfills Requirements Toward The Michigan Bowhunters Coveted Grand Slam Award

December 7th, 2016

img_3899img_4150-jpgimg_4265-jpgMy younger brother Darryl is the most dedicated outdoorsman I know.  He’s getting up in years(67 in Jan) but few half his age can keep up with him!  I quit trying 20 years ago.  During October, November, and December his wife Cathy is a true hunting widow. Darryl has been a police officer all his working life and has went from patrolman, to sergeant, to chief, and back to patrolman in his semi-retirement years.  Right now he puts in one day a week for the Dundee police department, and the other six days you will usually find him in the great outdoors.

Darryl and I have both been members of the Michigan Bowhunters Association for over 25 years.  Several years ago he was awarded one of the most prized awards the club gives at it’s annual Spring banquet. The “Grand Slam” award is given to any member that legally tags a deer, bear, and one of the following small game animals (turkey, goose, coyote, bobcat,or fox) in a calendar year.  His first award was given about 17 years ago, and he followed that up with another one a few years later.  He’s been close on many occasions since, as have I, but we’ve come up one animal short for the award.

Well this year “little brother” has done it again!  He nailed a fine Northern Michigan (Marquette) black bear in September, downed a cornfield goose in October, and put a fine 8 pointer on the ground the day before gun season (Nov. 14th.) One grand-slam is a lifetime achievement, and two is practically unheard of, but three puts him in a catagory of elite bowhunters!  He is tenacious, and if he’s hot on your trail you might as well “turn yourself in!”

His den looks like the “Fred Bear” museum! More buck’s than you can count, several bear, including the number two (2) archery recurve in CBM, turkeys galore, coyotes, and several other critters all taken with a bow and arrow.  Congratulations Darryl you earned all the accolades the sport of archery awards you.  You represent the brotherhood of archers well!