Friday, November 6, 2015

Still not to to late to get zerod in of the woods.

Time if fast approaching for the November 15 statewide deer opener. Lots of time to make lists, pack and get to the firing range.
Lists are the only way I have of being sure I have everything along for the trip. If it's not on the list chances are it's not going along.
Some last minute things you may not have thought of. Get details maps of the area up intend to hunt. And be sure to let someone back home where you will be along with some phone numbers.
Besides being sure your hunting with a safe gun, check out your tree stand for safety issues that are problematic to it.
One area we all neglect is our vehicles. Lets get the oil changed, tires checked, you know the regular going over so we don't break down to and from the hunting camp.
Be sure and feet your deer into a deer check station and have them looked over to help DNR folks monitor the size of the heard and keep an eye on the disease. Be safe and happy hunting.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Take a Hike

The next time someone tells you to take a hike, do it! Just be aware of the time of year you decide to take that walk.
With the firearms deer opener coming up beginning November 15, it would be a good idea to follow North Country Trail thru hiker and backpacker Luke Jordan's advice.
"I stay out of the woods during deer season," Jordan whose trail name is Strider, said. Staying off the trails during the time hunters are in the woods makes good sense.
Some hunters mistake movement for a deer approaching. Whether they see what that movement is or not doesn't make any difference to some. They shoot at the sound. Sometimes that sound is a human, even another hunter passing nearby.
Another factor is what you are wearing in the woods. Anything with white on it is going to attack hunter attention due to the white on a whitetail deer.
Nearby mountain bike trails in the Holly Recreation Area are posted with warnings about hunters in the woods this time of the year.
Your best bet is to stay home to ride and walk another day. There are still plenty good days left even after hunters have left the woods.
Luke "Strider" Jordan pauses along the trail.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hunting Safely

Hunting from a tree stand isn't the sort of activity you should take lightly. This is not the place or time to cut corners.
I've bow hunted from a stand some 40-feet in the air. It was referred to the "high rise" stand because it was so high.
Crude steps had been placed along the trunk. A short-legged guy like me had trouble going up and down due to the unusually large distance apart the steps were positioned.
Once I made the stand proper it was a dizzying look back down to the ground. Between forks in the tree, a couple of 2x6's had been nailed to sit on.
Add to the height, lack of back support and long steps, the wind was blowing so hard it made the tree sway back and forth to the point I thought it might crack or break.
And along towards dark, I had to climb down. This all happened many years ago before climbing harnesses had been thought of and fastening steps into trees on state land was illegal. In fact, you hauled your bow and arrows up either on your back or with one arm through the bow string so could could climb up and down.
Today, I would never think of hunting in that fashion. I'm older and like to think a little wiser and a lot more safety conscious.
In fact, these days, I stay on the ground, hunting from a ground blind or natural break in the forest. You don't need to be 100 feet in the air. If you hunt from a tree, 15-feet is plenty.
At that height, should you fall you can still be hurt seriously if not, much worse. Unless you have practiced shooting from some kind of height, stay on the ground.
There's too much that can go wrong when you are swinging in the air with a bunch of razor tip arrows   either on you or hanging in a manner to hurt you. Stay safe.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Salmon trip interrupted-Injury to wife

I've packed and re-packed for my fall salmon trip. This year I thought for sure it would happen. In the past, we've been out of the country visiting our children and grandchildren. But this year we were free.
My original trip; the one I thought I would be taking part in didn't happen for me. Some others made it. I don't know of they had any success or not.
Then another chance came up. I had to cancel practically the last minute as wife was seriously injured in a bad fall she had.
When all was said and done, we found she had broken three bones in her wrist. The left side of her face and chest are black and blue but turning hello.
She's pretty incapacitated, requiring me to care for her. So my next move with salmon gear will be to stow it for another year.
As she gets stronger, I plan on getting in some fall fishing here in Oakland County. Sometimes things don't work out as we think they might, even after careful planning. Such is life.
My wife Pat in the emergency room. I don't know how she cold smile.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Busy, Seasons, Caring for Spouse

This year has flown by for us. It certainly is true that the older you get the faster time moves. My wife and I can attest to that.
I'm caring for my wife Pat after she had a nasty fall one week ago. She was entering an office building for an appointment when she fell, full body, landing almost directly on her face and left hand.
The result was three broken bones in the left hand, heavy swelling to her left eye about the size of a lime, and lots of swelling with black, blue and now yellow on the left side of her face and down through her chest.
The palm and inside of the wrist of the left hand are black from bruising. Her poor, tiny hand is swollen and looks nasty.
The orthopedic doc is keeping it wrapped in a bandage and wants her to mover her fingers and thumb as a form of therapy. The rest will take time.
I was able to get out today on a local lake with my new Wilderness Ride 115 fishing kayak. Just a test run to see how she worked.
This thing is considerably stable to any of the other yaks I have owned or paddled. You can stand in it, which I did in shallow water close to shore, but it would take practice for an old guy like me to be able to do it with consistency and confidence.
This boat has a new, adjustable seat that is very comfortable. I had it in the high position most of the time on the lake which made casting a lot easier.
We  are in the midst of busy outdoor seasons. You can do just about anything you are interested in from hunting to fishing, bird watching and camping. There's something for all of us just outside the door.
Take care and have a safe fall.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boots, Camo, and Hunters Orange Signal Fall Seasons

The true angler still has the boat on the trailer or tied up to the dock ready to get out for another go at the fish.
But some have put fishing on hold to take up fall hunting. Small game; rabbits, squirrels, turkey, waterfowl, and upland birds are some of the hunting to be had. Some of seasons are open while others will soon follow. Check the hunters guide for details or read my column this Sunday in The Oakland Press.
Anyone hunting with a gun by now should have taken it out of the case, check that it is unloaded and run a brush and cloth with a little oil down the barrel.
Likewise, a light coating of oil on the outside of the long gun will do wonders to keep it in good shape. Be sure the action works smoothly. If not give it a slight squirt of good gun oil and try again. If it's still not operating good, get it to a gunsmith.
It would hurt to shoot a few rounds through it before hitting the field. Pontiac Lake range is open and Oakland County Sportsmens Club invites the public to tune up on their range.
In any event, all of these things, cleaning the gun, working the action and taking it to the range, help remind us to be safe in the field. Be safe and enjoy the fall.
Hunter and four-legged friend enjoy some bird hunting. Photo courtesy of the DNR.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall is Definitely in the Air

Whether we have officially arrived at the first day of fall isn't important to tell fall has arrived. (The first day of "autumn is Sept., 23.)
What is important are the signs that are being shown to us that the weather is changing. Sundown occurs sooner, cutting the length of daylight slightly more each day.
A big indicator to me is the sour cherry tree in our front year has started shedding leaves. There are probably other tree species that are beginning to lose their leaves, but because this one is right here at home, I notice it when it begins.
The other factor I've noticed is the lack of birds singing. From very early dawn-before early light-they  can be heard chattering and singing.
This pleasant sound is around all summer as sort of background music that accompanies us whatever we are doing outside.
Although for the most part the birds aren't singing, there are more of them feeding. Hummingbirds especially are plentiful around the few remaining flowers we have with the color red in them.
All summer long, one hummer shows up to feed either on it's feeder or the Baltimore Oriole feeder. Now there are as many as a dozen or more scrapping for a turn at flowers that are losing their bloom.
Both females and males are present often attacking each other at the feeder, on tree limbs or phone wires, and even in the air. Hummingbirds are known to be very territorial.
Check out my column this Sunday in the sports section of the Oakland Press for other changes signaling the arrival of fall.