Monday, November 14, 2016

Statwide firearms deer opener tomorrow, be safe

Tomorrow, November 15, the woods will come alive with hundreds of hunters decked out in hunters orange, sitting on a stump, leaning against a tree or in a blind waiting to take a shot at a whitetail deer.
Make this year's hunt a safe and enjoyable one. Leave the partaking of alcoholic beverages at home and enjoy your hunt the way it's supposed to be enjoyed.
Saying be careful while hunting doesn't seem adequate. Those of us that try to write about these topics are forever reminding ourselves and you, our readers, about the importance of taking the time to be safe.
In addition to wearing hunters orange and leaving alcohol where it belongs, remember to treat every firearm as if it's loaded.
Keep the muzzle (barrel) pointed toward the ground. That trigger finger should be off the trigger and outside the trigger guard.
When shooting, be absolutely sure of your target. None of this shooting at noises or flashes of what you thing are deer moving. Don't take moving shots. Wait until your target is standing still.
Be sure of what is beyond your shooting area and what your backstop is. When going to and from your blind, use a flashlight so others know there is a human moving in and out of the woods.
No one has seen a deer using a flashlight. Those that are hunting from tree stands, be sure the stand is safely secured and that your steps are safe.
When climbing, use a safety harness. Keep in on and around the tree to gain your stand. Use a "haul rope" to pull your firearm or bow into the stand and to lower it all back to the ground at the end of the hunt. Never carry firearms or other weapons as you climb up and down.
Make your hunt a safe and memorable one. Good luck!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Passwords are a necessary pain

Seems each time I go to do something on the computer I get asked to sign in which requires a password.
Keep in mind the things I sign into are things I normally use and have never been asked for a password other than the first time I created the account. Now all of a sudden, everyone wants a password.
And as many of you already are aware of, once you change a password here or there, other apps and accounts demand to be update with the new password. It's a never ending process.
I'm not a big computer user. When I do get on it, often I run into a snag that requires me to call someone for help.
Computers, cell phones, pads and other new technology have surpassed me long ago. My poor wife is in the same boat.
Any computer questions we get she hands to me. Anything that needs to be done on-line I get to do. Guess she figures out since I write I must know my way around these things. Little does she know.
And don't even bring up a GPS. When I get lucky and get it right I love it. Most times I get conflicting messages or it's taking me someplace I'm not going.
So I usually shut the thing off, pull into a gas station and ask for directions. You can't beat a hand-held compass and an old fashioned map.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Glen Uhl-don't put fishing tackle away yet

Glen Uhl would probably fish in a bath tub if he thought the least little bit there might be fish in it.
That's why he carries a small rod and a bit of tackle around with him wherever he goes.
He's getting ready to head north for his hunting camp in the woods. Wife Wanda will go along. But deer isn't the only thing on his mind.
He's going to be waiting to see how people are doing on the pier at East Tawas fishing for white fish and these tasty piscatorial species are in yet.
Uhl and his wife usually can them, keeping them to eat at other times of the year. But he insists they are good about anyway you choose to cook them.
Over the past few years Uhl and I each have lost longtime fishing pals. Joe Zikewich, known locally as Ice Floe Joe and Uhl were practically inseparable especially on the water.
Wild Bill Bill Baker and I fished a fair amount of water together namely shore fishing for walleye with set lines in Port Huron along the St. Clair River.
Since both men have passed on, Uhl and I have gravitated toward being fishing pals. However, this past year we hardly got out due to circumstances beyond anyone's control.
His wife has been ill and my wife if going through life with Parkinson's disease. We both have a responsibility to caring for our spouses that far exceeds anything else.
We look forward to the year ahead and the chance to fish a bit.
Glen Uhl speaking about whitefish fishing at OCSFA meeting.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Travel is great but good to be home

Just back from a three week trip to southern California to attend a relatives wedding and catch up with friends we haven't seen in years.
We used to live in Inglewood and Glendale after my discharge from the Navy. Since moving back east we have kept in contact with many people we used to pal around with. Most were in our wedding party.
While California is nice and boasts sunshine and warm weather without humidity most of the time, there is nothing like getting home.
Going in your fridge when you want something, sleeping your own bed, watching what you want to, going in and out in your own vehicle are some of the things I miss.
Practically anywhere we were around Pasadena mountains were in the background. So was traffic. It's horrendous to say the lease.
Doing south from Yosemite, we began encountering traffic around Bakersfield. Further south as we got into a portion of Highway 5 known as "The Grapevine" (named for a small town of that name) it became worse.
"This is the primary north/south route for trucking," brother-in-law Jim Heermans said. There was every imaginable size truck entering the Grapevine, a curving part of the freeway that leaves 18-wheelers climbing in what used to be known as granny gear, a very low gear.
Among the twists and turns came the downhills that had to be handed carefully both by trucks and private vehicles due to the possibility of overheating brakes.
I prefer driving in the right lane because I don't normally drive fast. Jim prefers the left land and gave me many reasons why this was the best choice.
Along the decent into Los Angles County we had to be aware of lane changes that were at times confusing to someone that wasn't familiar with them like me.
"Get over," Jim would admonish. "Okay now we're going to have to be in the left lane," and so it went.
Once we reached to outskirts of Pasadena and were on surface streets I found a wide spot, pulled over and let him drive the rest of the way.
While we complain of traffic around here it's not near the amount in southern California. On the Grapevine headed north was bumper to bumper traffic creeping along.
"Those people are returning home from work. They make this time every day," Jim said. We're glad we don't have to drive it daily as a part of living.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Learn from the experienced like charter captains

Brandon Stanton calls Saginaw Bay his home water. He's really comfortable on the Bay and prefers big water fishing to fishing other water.
This Sunday's 21st Century Newspaper  column is about chartering with Stanton and some of his ideas about how to fish the Bay.
Charter boat skipper are a great source for learning how to fish for different species, in all sorts of weather, and how to utilize your tackle box in ways you haven't thought of.
Many skippers are only too happy to share their knowledge and experience while waiting for fish to strike.
And trolling isn't the only way to fish. Sometimes casting lure or jigging fish is the most productive way to go.
Many anglers don't like trolling because they feel it's boring riding in a boat and waiting for a strike. But that's the time many of us take advantage of the waiting time and ask "how to" questions.
From setting lines to what rods and line to use, there is always something to learn. So the action begins, you have a strike and a fish is hooked good. What do you do next to help make a successful catch?
The next move you make as you reach for that rod that's thumping away has to be the right one. And right up to fighting that fish and netting it, are all great teaching opportunities.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Walleye 101, higher education for anglers

The first time I set eyes on Lance Valentine was seeing him seated in his boat, on a trailer in a field at the fairgrounds at Imlay City at a Woods N' Water show. That had to be tweet-plus years ago.
Since those days when the show was held in one cow shed and has now taken over the entire fairgrounds, Valentine too has moved out of the field and onto bigger things.
One thing that hasn't changed is his passion for teaching people how to fish. How to do anything connected to fishing.
In a sport where techniques, spots and even baits are held close to the vest, Valentine is one of the rare breed that is willing to share about anything he knows.
If you care on a early spring charter on the Detroit River with him and are not jigging up fish he'll probably tell you, "Move up here alongside me and try it."
I've sat in his boat and watched him tie night crawler harnesses. In a few minutes I was tying my own thanks to his instruction.
From a trailer in a field to an office, staff, and a large group of followers, Lance Valentine has come a long way.
Visit his website at
Lance Valentine in the gray pullover seeing to it that things are going smoothly with a group charter. Photo courtesy of Lance Valentine.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Too early to thing of ice fishing? Not to some folks.

Summer isn't over and gardens haven't been put to bed for another year. Yet the cold weather crowd is already making noise about ice fishing.
You know how it goes. First, it's they can't wait for colder weather and ice. Next they wonder out loud if it's too early to get the equipment out for a pre-season check.
It's much to early for me. However, because my garage has pretty much become my man cave, I'm out there quite a bit, changing this, adding equipment to this box, moving these baits from here to there and trying to figure out where things should be stored so they are accessible when needed without putting out a full-force search.
It seems like forever that I have been arranging, rearranging, shifting and getting rid of stuff I haven't used in years all in preparation to make taking a trip relatively easy.
Earlier this year I came into possession of a PWC trailer. Smaller than most boat trailers, it's perfect for hauling a kayak. With help from fellow kayaker Jeremy Crowe, we made adjustments to the rails so the boat sits on the trailer as though if grew there.
It's always been a chore for me to life my boat from the ground onto the rack of the truck. For awhile I has sliding it into the truck bed but about three feet stuck out the back. And I was worried about carrying rods, tackle and the rest in the bed without being able to close the tailgate.
Now everything fits nice with room left over. But not near enough room for ice fishing gear. That can wait a bit!
The way it's going to look in a few months. COLD! By Beukema