Late Season Turkey Update

June 6th, 2018

My brother Darryl finally arrowed his gobbler, as he once again goes for the coveted Michigan Bowhunters “Grand Slam” award!  He dropped the Jake in it’s tracks as it ran into his decoy after some persistent “hen” calls. He set a personal record this year by helping 11 others get their birds.  Also pictured is Caleb Smiley with his monster tom called in by his dad Scott not far from their house.  It’s Caleb’s second big turkey, and dad took one earlier hunting with Darryl who is his father-in-law! Also pictured is Jakson Ansel (Darryl’s grandson) with his turkey.  His brother Jacob got one earlier!

Looks like me and my brother Brett were the only two turkey hunters that have to go to Krogers this year for their bird.  I guess there’s always the fall hunt?


Boxing A Bear To Save His dog!

May 30th, 2018

A Michigan man put up quite a fight against a bear as it tried to attack his barking beagle earlier this month.

The Boyne Falls man let his dog outside around 4:30 a.m. When he returned minutes later to let the dog back in, he spotted a large shadow moving slowly across his driveway. He soon realized it was a black bear — the only species of bear living in the state.

“When his beagle barked at the bear it circled around and swatted at the dog as the owner frantically tried to pull him in only to have the leash get tangled,” according to a reportrecently released by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The owner repeatedly kicked the bear as he struggled to untangle the leash. At first, the bear retreated. But then the animal returned and bit the dog.

That’s when the man punched the bear in the nose. The blow to the snout caused the bear to pause just long enough for the man to escape inside his house with the dog.

He then called the Michigan DNR and conservation officer Andrea Erratt arrived at the scene.

“Erratt advised the homeowner to remove all his bird feeders, clean up all the sunflower seed husks, spread some moth balls, and stop feeding corn to the deer and turkeys in the backyard,” the report states.

The owner agreed and then rushed his dog to a veterinarian, where it received several stitches in its side and rear.

There are up to 19,000 black bears roaming the state of Michigan — with about 90 percent living upstate, explains on its website. Typically, black bears are “shy by nature” but they have been known to attack on occasion, the site says.

“When bears stand their ground, people should do the same thing,” Kevin Swanson, wildlife specialist with the Michigan DNR’s bear and wolf program, advised in an online statement. “In these kind of encounters, you should make loud noises and back away from the bear slowly, giving the bear plenty of room to leave the area. Do not run from a black bear or play dead if one approaches.”

Lions and Black Bears and Grizzly’s Oh My!

May 23rd, 2018

A government wildlife worker who recently landed her dream job researching grizzly bears in a Montana mountain range is recovering from a bear attack that left her with a fractured skull and other serious injuries.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seasonal field assistant Amber Kornak was attacked on May 17 while working alone near a stream in the Cabinet Mountains, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland said.

While being mauled, the 28-year-old Kornak managed to reach a canister of Mace-like bear spray and ended the attack, inadvertently spraying herself in the process.

She then walked to her work vehicle and drove to find help, according to Strickland.

Working with grizzlies had been a longstanding career goal for Kornak, who is recovering at a hospital in Kalispell following surgery for the skull injury and from severe cuts to her head, neck and back, said Jenna Hemer, a friend who spoke with Kornak following the attack.

“She’s obviously passionate about all wildlife, but her dream and her primary focus was to work with grizzly bears,” Hemer said. “Last I spoke with her was yesterday and she’s making great strides but it’s going to be a long recovery.”

Kornak was working at the time of the attack on a genetic study that requires collecting grizzly hair samples. The hairs can be found on trees or other objects that grizzlies rub against, and are used to analyze the animals’ DNA.

Officials speculated that noise from nearby Poorman Creek may have allowed the animal to close in on Kornak without her noticing.

She was apparently following the right protocols for working in grizzly bear country, including carrying bear spray and a satellite communication device that she used to call 911 just after the mauling, Strickland said.

There is no formal rule about government workers travelling alone in bear country, Strickland said. But experts say traveling in groups of three or more dramatically decreases the chance of an attack.

The Cabinet Mountains are home to an estimated 50 grizzlies, protected across the region as a threatened species under federal law. The range also has black bears, typically a less aggressive species.

Officials have not said which type was responsible for the attack that remains under investigation by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

Bears Gone Wild Cougars Killing Mountain Bikers? What’s going On?

May 19th, 2018

 Authorities say one person was killed and another injured in a cougar attack in North Bend, Washington, CBS affiliate KIRO-TVreports. The two victims were mountain biking in the area when the incident took place around 11:20 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

First responders said they found the deceased victim with the cougar still standing over the body. As wildlife officials approached them, the cougar ran from the scene, a King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells CBS News.

The injured 31-year-old biker was taken to a nearby hospital where they were listed in serious condition.

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is handling the investigation. The sheriff’s office spokesperson said the fate of the cougar is unclear should they find it.

Cougars make up the largest members of the cat family in Washington, resulting in hundreds of calls to wildlife officers regarding sightings each year, according to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website. It says the increasing human population and decreasing cougar habitat may lead to more encounters between humans and cougars.

Bear Shot After Mauling 5 Year Old girl!

May 15th, 2018

Wildlife officers are confident the male bear they shot and killed Sunday night is the same bear that mauled a 5-year-old girl in East Orchard Mesa early that morning.

The girl — whose name hasn’t been released by authorities — is in fair condition and St. Mary’s Medical Center staff are monitoring her wounds after she underwent surgery and received 77 external stitches for bite marks.

The girl’s family did not want any information released about whether the girl is still at the hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife set three traps in the area for the bear and shot it as it headed toward a residence about a half-mile from the attack site near a home in the 3400 block of D Road.

An officer killed the bear at about 9:30 p.m., before it entered a trap, said Mike Porras, spokesman with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“One of the things we want to do is go to the family and tell them we killed the right bear, and we’re glad to hear that she will make a full recovery,” Porras said Monday of the girl and the family.

To be certain the killed bear is the same bear that attacked the girl, officials took the bear’s carcass to the Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a necropsy, an animal autopsy. From there, the bear’s carcass will be transported to a lab in Wyoming for DNA testing, at which point authorities can officially determine if they killed the correct bear, Porras said.

In the meantime, wildlife officials are continuing to search the East Orchard Mesa area for other bears, he said.

“In this case, it was our priority to protect human health and safety,” Porras said about killing the bear. “We’re here to provide protection to the public and ensure the public remains safe.”

Porras said wildlife officers have a theory the bear hibernated in the area and recently came out of hibernation seeking food. The bear attack occurred just south of the Colorado River, a riparian area that may be attractive to the bruin.

When the girl was attacked, both she and her mother acted correctly by screaming and fighting back, he said.

“This little girl is lucky to be alive,” Porras said. “You fight back. You want to teach a bear you don’t want to be messed with.”

Colorado Bear attack

May 13th, 2018

A 5-year-old girl was injured early Sunday morning after a bear attacked her outside her Colorado home when she went to investigate a noise in the yard, officials said.

The girl, who was later reported to be in good condition, went outside around 2:30 a.m. after hearing noises in the yard in East Orchard Mesa, above the Colorado River corridor in Grand Junction, that she thought was her dog, FOX31 Denver reported.

He mother told Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials she heard her daughter scream and saw a large black bear dragging the girl.

The bear dropped the 5-year-old when the mother began screaming at the animal, according to the report.

The girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. FOX31 reported she was in good condition Sunday night.

Officials are still tracking the animal and asked residents in the area to report any bear sightings. Residents were also urged to keep put food inside and secure their trash.

And the Morel of the Story is?

May 5th, 2018

Around these parts Mothers Day usually signals the start of mushroom hunting season.  Mushrooms are serious business here in Michigan!  Hunters protect, guard, and defend their favorite hotspots and would never turn anyone on to where they find these delicacies year after year!

If you don’t have your own “hotspot” and you love eating those delicious black and white morels then be prepared to pay big bucks to those that do have a “hotspot!” I have seen grocery bags of them go from $60-100 dollars.

I was thinking that this wet, cold, late snow spring would hold back the mushroom harvest for a week or so, but my wife found one today peeking through a pile of leaves in our side yard.  Two years ago I found 6 huge ones in the same spot.  I guess the recent sunshine and mid 70’s temperatures have worked their magic.  I may just have to take a little stroll through the woods tomorrow.

When I do get my hands on a few of those delicious “fungi”  I like to fry them up in butter.  First though I dip them in milk and eggs then roll them in flour, salt, and pepper.  I don’t need a sirloin to go along with them, but that would be nice.  As far as I’m concerned they “stand alone” on my list of Natures Bounty!  the pleasure derived from eating these delicacies is the reason Mushroom Hunters will never reveal from where the “bounty” came.  My lips are sealed!

2018 Michigan Turkey Hunt!

April 26th, 2018

My last post was titled “Weather will play a big part in Turkey opener!”  That turned out to be so very true, at least for me!

I arrived at my cabin on Friday before the Monday opener.  I immediately got my Dodge 1500 4×4 stuck at the entrance to my driveway where the road commision had stacked up about 3 feet of wet heavy snow and ice.  My hired “plowing service” had not touched my driveway from the record snowfall of 5-6 days ago, and I was left to “dig my truck out of this snowbank!  The frame was hung up and it took everything I had to get free of this “bad decision” to bust through this barricade!  Once through I had to deal with 10-12 inches of snow that was making everything more difficult!

Actually the temperatures were in the 50’s and 60’s for the opening two days so snow was melting making a muddy mess of everything!  I had scouted Saturday and Sunday and never saw any sign of birds in the area?  To make this story short I only saw two hens in three days of hunting and never had a Tom answer my hen calls!  I have never failed to take a turkey around my place during the spring hunt, but then I’ve never hunted in these extreme weather conditions either!  This is the first year (in many) I can remember getting “skunked”while pursuing a turkey dinner.

As bad as it was around my place further north in Gaylord my brother Darryl, his son Derek, and his two grandsons Tanner and Tristan were doing a whole lot better.  The snow was actually much deeper in the Gaylord area “snowbelt” but they were hunting turkey “heaven!”  They were seeing 40-60 birds every time they went out, even though the Tom’s were already “henned” up!  It’s hard to call a tom away from his “girlfriend” but Darryl and Derek were able to do just that, as Tanner and Tristan put the “smackdown” on two trophy Toms!  Tanner shot his (with a bow) opening morning at 30 yards, and Tristan got his Wednesday morning at 14 yards with his bow.  Tanners bird had multiple beards while Tristan’s had a long 11 inch beard!  Way to go guys!  That’s quite an accomplishment to take a turkey with bow and string.  Meanwhile could you please save me a drumstick?  My freezer will hold no wild turkey this spring, but there’s always hope for the fall hunt!


Weather Will Play a Big Part in Turkey Opener!

April 14th, 2018

Eight more days till turkey opener and I’m the “least” excited I’ve ever been!  One of the largest Spring storms to ever hit the state of Michigan is pounding the northern woods with rain, snow, ice, and high winds!  For three days this onslaught is forcast for my favorite turkey hunting grounds!  I do not like hunting in the snow for a bird (turkey) that loves to strut in the sunshine and look for a pretty lady!

With the ice, wind and heavy snow I could loose power or have trees down all over my property!  The forecast for this upcoming week is one of gloom and doom also!  Usually the 1st hunt for turkey season is your best, but I’m thinking those birds may wait awhile to get into the swing of things looking for a hen.  In years past I’ve gone with the month long 3rd. hunt which may turn out to be the best chance to get a bird.

Oh well not much anyone can do about that!  I just hope the snow is melted by the 23rd. and I don’t have to plow my driveway to get into my place.


Spring Turkey Season 2018

April 3rd, 2018

The Spring turkey season is fast approaching, but you would never know it by the weather!  I can’t remember a longer more drawn out winter (it’s supposed to be Spring) than this one.  Our 10 day weather forecast calls for 8 days of a snow/rain mix and temperatures in the 30’s and 40’s! Their still snowmobiling up around our cabin!  I can’t even get to excited about scouting due to the lousy weather!

I have seen some activity down here in Monroe as the Tom”s are still “bunched” up and not seeking any “love” just yet.  I drew the first hunt so I hope some sunshine breaks through the clouds and gets those Tom’s after the hen’s!  I’m thinking those with a third hunt are going to have a better chance than us early birds!  We shall see?

I’ll post some photo’s from the last few years just to get everyone in the turkey hunting “zone!