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!

Mike

Sighting in the Bows for Deer Season!

September 26th, 2018

The opening of Michigan’s deer bowhunting season is just five days away. for the last several years I have been alternating between my compound bow and my excalibur crossbow.  I usually try and put some venison in the freezer as early as possible, so the crossbow is the weapon of choice.  At 72 years old the compound is getting harder to draw back, so the draw weight has been getting less and less.  I’m shooting a meager 50 pounds this year while my crossbow has a 180 pound draw weight and is blazing fast.

I have been practicing with both weapons so far and feel quite confident in both bow’s, but I’m super excited about the performance of the Cabela’s Excalibur!  I shot a few squirrels with it after deer season was over, and then hung it in my closet.  I took it out the other day hoping no adjustments were going to be necessary.  You never know about bow’s, crossbows, or even guns as to the wether they are still zeroed in from the last time you used them.

I set a target up at 20 yards to see where I would be hitting.  I placed a crossbow bolt stopping target behind the box I was shooting at.  There was a small picture of a lamp that would be my target.  The lamp measured about 3″x 3!” My first bolt was just to the left of dead center so I mad a 2 click adjustment (left) on the scope.  As you can see from the photo the second bolt was pretty much “dead” on!  No more adjustment needed.  This spells trouble for the deer in my neck of the woods this year.  Yum I can taste those backstraps now!

Mike

Jacob and Jackson Ansel Score on Youth Hunt!

September 25th, 2018

Brothers Jacob and Jackson Ansel had a very successful youth deer hunt this past weekend.  The brothers, who were hunting with their dad (Derek) and grandpa (Darryl) downed similar 8 point bucks, on consecutive evenings, while hunting in Monroe County.

Jackson nailed his buck on Saturday evening as he was set up overlooking a soybean field.  He actually had 5 bucks at 150 yards, with two being in the 150 class range.  That’s a little to far for Jackson’s Remington 870 20 gauge, so for a time all he and grandpa could do is wait.  Suddenly something spooked the deer and they trotted toward the woods. four of them slipped into the thick cover without presenting a shot, but the last deer stopped at 80 yards, and grandpa said “Take him!” Jackson is dead on with his weapon and double lunged the buck before he jumped into the foliage.  A great tracking job insured them that this buck was going into the freezer.

The following evening, as the youth hunt was winding down, Jacob was on stand at the same bean field. It did not look like Jacob would get a shot, but as fate would have it a late chance presented itself and Jacob didn’t let his dad or grandpa down.  He pulled off a great 100 yard shot (actually two) with both being dead center in the chest cavity. There was no problem finding Jacobs nice 8 point which was very similar to his younger brothers.

Way to go boys!  I hope you have plenty of room in your freezer at home, cause the season has just begun!

Uncle Mike

Minnesota Firefighters Rescue Bear from Milk Can

September 14th, 2018

They tried drilling air holes, but that didn’t help. Neither did applying cooking oil.

In the end, it took firefighters and the jaws of life to free a black bear from a 10-gallon milk jug stuck on its head.

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officer and several others tried their darndest  to help the four-legged critter. When boring holes into the container did not good, they tried lathering the animal’s furry neck with oil, hoping to slide it off.

That’s when they called the local fire department.

A tarp was brought out, and one of the firefighters, who also is a wrestling coach, tried to wrestle the jug off. But the man was no match for the bear.

Those assembled were committed to saving the animal.

“The last thing I wanted to do was put that bear down,” resources officer Eric Benjamin told the Grand Forks Herald. “But there wouldn’t have been any other options if we couldn’t get that can off its head.”

So they resorted to what rescue works use on humans trapped by metal. They brought in the jaws of life. While several people held down the bear, the jug was pried off the animal’s head.

Sans milk bucket, the bear looked around and ran for the woods.

There were a few drops of water and some leaves in the bottom of jug, and firefighters thought the bear was looking for a drink because of a recent dry spell.

A similar predicament befell the fictional Winnie the Pooh, thought that mishap involved a honey pot.

Minnesota Firefighters Rescue Bear with Its Head Stuck in Milk Can

Last Backstrap!

September 13th, 2018

Over the weekend I prepared my last venison backstrap before I put some more in the freezer this year.  I like to save a package and prepare it just before deer season opens, just to remind me how “good” venison is to eat!

I seasoned the backstraps, got the grill nice and hot, and put some potatoes on the stove.  I sprayed the grill with olive oil and butterflied the steaks into 7 beautiful pieces.  I then added onions on top of the steaks for a little more flavor! The plan was to share the meal with another venison aficionado!  It took about 25 minutes on the grill.  The potatoes I boiled whole and a can of green beans were added to the mix.

Well once I took my first hot and tasty bite of those mouth watering backstraps the plan to share them went out the window!  I didn’t eat all seven in one setting, but trust me they disappeared within a 24 hour period!  I have about three more weeks before I can try and restock my freezer, but I am definitely “pumped” to do just that!

Those that turn there nose up at “wild game” and especially venison don’t know what their missing.  But that’s okay cause “I” don’t like to share my venison anyway!  Ha!

Mike

Labor Day at the Cabin!

September 5th, 2018

Just returned from our cabin in Luzerne as we celebrated the Labor Day weekend with our daughter Tara, husband Glen, and grandson Kyle.

while I took care of cutting the grass, working on the pole barns, repairing tree stands, painting the front door, and the typical maintenance that comes with an up north place, Glen and Kyle fished.  Twice they were able to haul Glen’s boat to a hidden lake about 15 miles from our place. We take the grandkids their regularly as we can usually catch some panfish right from shore.

Glen and Kyle caught perch, rock bass, and smallmouth on their time at the lake and of course the really big one got away!  Glen had hooked a monster smallmouth on a minnow and had it up to the boat, but the net was stuck under a seat, so he tried to lift it into the boat.  The line snapped and off went the “new state record” small mouth bass!  At least that’s Glen’s story, and I’m sure he’s sticking with it!

Sunday the whole crew drove into Petoskey to ride the bike trails and swim in Lake Michigan.  I stayed at the cabin to finish some of my “honey do’s” and straighten up my messy pole barn!  They were gone most of the day and all enjoyed the Petoskey area very much.  They even found several Petoskey stones along the lake front!

The weather was fine even if the forecast wasn’t, as it only rained late one afternoon and into the night.  We did hit a “doozy” of a storm coming home Monday night right around Ann Arbor, but made it home safe and sound.

I feel good about the upcoming youth hunt, as I have quite a few deer on my trail camera’s coming into my food plot!  Hopefully Kyle will bring home some venison again this year!  I’ll report on the hunt later in the month!

Mike

 

Hunting Season Countdown!

August 26th, 2018

The guys are gearing up for the upcoming deer and bear seasons as summer winds down.  Reports are coming in of many deer being seen this year as Michigan had another relatively mild winter! Last weekend I put a trail camera out on one of the major deer runs by my place and captured 4 bucks in one evening plus two doe and two fawns!  There was a 10, two 8’s and a 6 point!  Haven’t been that many bucks around in awhile.

Not only that there is a group of 33 turkeys in the area.  Three hens and 30 babies!  Wow!  That is phenomenal!  It looks like the “sponsored” coyote hunts have really helped the deer and turkey populations. For the last several years the Luzerne area has had a coyote/bobcat/fox hunt with one coyote being tagged.  Anyone bagging the tagged coyote gets a $1000.00 prize!  I have not heard the howl of a prowling “yote” for a couple years and I don’t mind if it stays that way!

My brother and two of his grandkids drew bear permits, and so did three of the grandkids of our camp host Gary Baldwin.  There will be a whole lot of work going on baiting for bruins this year.

Tuesday were headed over to Branch county to check out our stands, and cut some shooting lanes.  The property owner has been seeing a lot of deer with some bruisers among them. The youth hunt should pay off for the young ones this year!

Mike

Wild Hogs Continue To Do Damage!

August 12th, 2018

PALM COAST, Fla. (AP) — Wild hogs have dug up most of the sod in Rachel Huzior’s backyard, knocked down several lawn lights and ripped holes in her screened-in pool house.

They come in the night, voracious eating machines that can cause massive damage to expensive landscaping.

They are wild hogs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates they cause about $1.5 billion in damages and control costs each year.

Residents of a Flagler County neighborhood are the latest to fall prey to their destructive nature.

Feral pigs have ravaged several yards in the Hidden Lakes community in Flagler County over the past several weeks, ripping up manicured lawns in a relentless search for food. It’s a problem that has some residents in the resort-style development that abuts Graham Swamp, a 3,000-acre preserve that serves as a natural habitat for the animals, asking for help.

“Everybody’s flipping out,” said Rachel Huzior. “Everybody’s going crazy. They’re saying someone needs to be accountable for this.”

Hogs, most likely rooting for grubs, have dug up most of the sod in Huzior’s backyard, knocked down several lawn lights and ripped holes in her screened-in pool enclosure. She estimates it will cost at least $1,500 to repair the damages.

Widespread problem

Huzior and her neighbors have plenty of company. Over the last year, reports of wild hog damage have bounced around in Flagler and Volusia counties. Packs of feral pigs struck the Woodlands area of Palm Coast in late 2017 and their devastation is hardly limited to Flagler. Edgewater officials in June hired a trapper to capture and remove hogs last month after a pack of them were sighted in that city.

“It’s a sense of helplessness,” an exasperated Alberto Jones said in late November when hogs were plowing through his Palm Coast yard on a regular basis.

It’s a problem nearly as old as Florida, dating back to the 16th Century when Spanish explorers brought domestic pigs to the New World as food provisions. Today wild hogs occupy all 67 Florida counties, and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission estimates their population has grown to more than 500,000 in the state. In the U.S., only Texas has more.

Even state agencies appear short on answers when it comes to reducing such a huge hog population. The conservation commission’s website concedes it’s “usually futile” trying to keep wild pigs off private property, but suggested installing fencing as a way to mitigate the invasion.

“They’re just too driven, like a lot of wildlife,” FWC spokesman Greg Workman said. “Whenever they have their minds set on getting somewhere that has a good food source, they’ll find a way to get to it. They’re resourceful and determined to get that meal.”

Latest outbreak

Residents in Hidden Lakes say hogs began targeting their yards weeks ago. In fact, the animals dug craters into the lawn in front of the communal pool and park area late last month.

Paytas Homes, the exclusive homebuilder in Hidden Lakes, hired trappers to set up cages throughout the neighborhood and they had captured at least 17 hogs in late July, residents said. Trapped hogs legally cannot be released onto public property.

Arnie Roma said six feral pigs were nabbed in his backyard, which has been attacked almost nightly. He spent a day resodding deep crevices in his front yard.

It’s a fix Roma says is required by the homeowners association that governs his stretch of the neighborhood, one that’s going to cost him about $1,500. He plans to install a temporary fence to keep the hogs at bay, but expressed frustration at being forced to restore the aesthetics of his property before property managers have addressed the problem.

“If they want us to fix the front, I’ve got no problem with that. But what happens if they (pigs) come again and dig up?” he wondered aloud. “I’m just supposed to keep throwing $1,500 away? I’m not an idiot.

“They want their cake and they want to eat it too, and they want it both ways besides that,” he added. “You can’t have it both ways.”

Eliminate food source

Representatives from Paytas Homes could not be reached for comment!

Huron Metro Park Fishing With Papa

July 18th, 2018

What a beautiful day we had at the Huron Metro park on Huron Drive off of I-275.  I took my grandson Kyle there to do a little fishing and enjoy this summer cool spell.  We fished from the dock going out into the lake, and could see 10-12 inch bass swimming around in the shallow water.  I think that the bass and panfish were mostly off their nest and they didn’t seem very interested in what we were offering them.

About an hour after we arrived two gentlemen arrived with their 5 year old grand daughter.  they weren’t there 5 minutes and Lacey was reeling in a very nice pumpkin seed sunfish much to Lacey’s delight.  Grandpa (Papa) Chris hooked several more in just a few minutes and would hand the rod and reel to Lacey for her to “bring in the big one!”  Lacey’s other Papa (Mike) was fishing off the shore but not having the success that Papa Chris and Lacey were having.  Papa Chris used to bring his daughter Sascha (Lacey’s mom) hear when she was a little girl.  They live in Taylor so it’s not to far of a drive for them.

I have fished with all of my 14 grandkids except two in California, so I know that “snacks” are an important part of the whole fishing expedition thing.  Lacey had plenty of snacks and a nice cold coke to sip on when needed.

It was very pleasant meeting this sweet little fisher lady and her two Papa’s!  It’s just a wonderful memory building way to spend some quality time with the grandkids, and Lacey and Kyle enjoyed the time with their Papa’s!

Mike