Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Snow is a sure sign

   The white stuff that hit Oakland County yesterday is a sure and definite sign winter is here. Even if it doesn't last, it brings out the snow fighting gear-shovels and blowers-along with salt to melt the slick spots.
   Skis will be brought out from the garage attic, a search might be on for poles and the rest of equipment required to downhill or cross country.
    And while lakes are still without ice, those of us that fish the hardwater will be eying buckets, augers and other assorted gear, thinking now is the time to get it all together before there is a mad scramble to find it once solid ice forms.
   Hunters; especially rabbit and deer hunters, will find snow attractive too. It makes for good tracking for small game as well as whitetail.
   With predicitons for another storm moving in here next week, could snowshoeing be far off? Hey, it's winter in Michigan!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Noisy in the malls, quiet in the woods

   ROSCOMMON-While the stores were packed with shoppers and the roads jammed with traffic carrying them to and fro, the woods-at least in part of the north-were strangely quiet.
   "I didn't see anything or hear any shooting," Bill Semion said soon after arriving at his cabin after hunting late afternoon around Gladwin.
   I was outside puttering and heard two very distant but separate shots. While I saw some sign, neither of us saw any deer.
   That was true of the drive up, then later on into Frederic. "The number of deer here in Crawford County is a shame," river guide and fly tyer Sam Surre told me.
   He attributes it to too many seasons. "Make it bow from Oct. 15 to the end of the month, the firearms Nov. 15 until the end of November, a short miuzzleloader season and that's it," he said.
   According to the DNR the most and best hunting will be in south-central Michigan around Jackson and Battle Creek.
   Unless you know these areas or have a place to hunt the wise hunter would be smart to begin scouting them out early for next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is great any way you look at it!

   That goes for this year especially. First of course is to remember all of those things in life we are thankful for; family, friends, and good health along with the freedoms to enjoy them.
   I"ll have more in this Sunday's column in the Oakland Press. But we may as well put in a win by the Lions for another reason to be thankful or at least help put the cap on an otherwise great day.
   Then there will be the parade in Detroit. Always enjoyable in our home with some of my wife's homemade breakfast pie and coffee cake.
   Hunters will surely love the day as there is plenty of sunshine and very little wind predicted, making for good stump-setting time if you would rather hunt a whitetail than watch the guys in Honolulu Blue perform.
   However you celebrate Thanksgiving, be sure and make it a happy, safe and sober one!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving week-still time to hunt

Thanksgiving and the days that follow it are the kickoff to the holiday season, leading up to and including Christmas and New Years.
   For many hunters, it's a good time to get into the woods and hopefully take a deer. Because so many people work during the opener and can hunt only after work or on weekends, it's a pretty good bet many will be in the woods when they have the day off on Thanksgiving.
   Some head north with families to celebrate the holiday and get in a good long weekend of hunting. Whether you hunt from home and get back in time for dinner or up north it sounds like there should be plenty of deer.
   The DNR reports fewer being checked at deer checks but more 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 year-old bucks are showing up to be checked.
   While the herd is in good condition, the weather, at least at the beginning of the season, has had an effect on hunting here in southern Michigan.
   And with corn still standing or being picked, deer have plenty of places to hide. Because pressure has been fairly light, deer may not be as wary after the opener as they normally are.
   Remember, you can post a photo of you with your deer by sending it to

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Opening day weather-good or bad?

I vote good. DNR wildlife biologist Tim Payne would vote no. "Hunters like it when it's colder and there's snow," he said.
   Quite to the contrary. If I wasn't out trying to get a story to write and didn't have this bum shoulder, I would have said goodbye to my wife about 5:230a.m., took a good lunch, coffee, a couple of waters and snacks and stayed until dark.
   This was a perfect day to hunt, sit around and read, snack, maybe even catch a snooze.                                                                               
   Some would argue that's not true hunting. I argue it's whatever you make of it. What you enjoy when you're out. Hunting hard is one way to enjoy a hunt. So is a leisurely outing.
   Take your pick, just be safe. This time of the year wear lots of orange.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stump picked out?

   Tuesday is the day, November 15, that you better have that stump picked out for. And if you hunt public land, plan on being on it around oh-dark-thirty so you don't lose it to someone else thinking it's their's to hunt.
   With my should out of commission I'll be staying close to Jon Curtis and Julies Oakes both DNR wildlife personnel out of Holly.
   They will be checking deer, answering questions, handing out successful hunters patches, and when time allows, driving their respective areas to get an idea as to hunting pressure.
   I will be riding with one of them or driving around North Oakland County for the latest in what is going on.
Keep an eye on the Oakland Press Facebook page and all the photos of bucks sure to be sent in.
   The prize for submitting is my undying grattitude. Good luck and have a safe hunt!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Countdown to deer camp begins

   Whether you go out on opening day, come home and hang the gun up until the next season, or are one of the lucky that join in on a long established deer camp, the days are getting close.
   Deer campers by and large came about them through dad's, uncles and other family members. Some are formed from frieneships. A like-minded group of people get together, figure out a place to hunt and there you have the beginnings of camp.
   Growing up, I was never exposed to deer camp. By that time my dad had sold his rifle choosing instead to hunt pheasants with his good buddy John Greene.
   The two made their own fun whether hunting, telling stories, or sharing an adult beverage. In those days, Pontiac Lake was primo pheasant territory.
   I remember a story told that shows just how predicitble these two were when they got together. Apparently after a days hunt they were to get cleaned up and go to dinner. As the afternoon moved into evening my mother called Mrs. Greene inquiring as to whether she had seen the two bird hunters.
   "Why Jeanne. Don't you know by now that when those two get together there is no telling when or where they will show up," Mrs. Greene answered.
   No, then didn't get into trouble or break any laws, but every so often they did lose track of time.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cold weather and the rut

   There still seems to be a lot of discussion as to where cold weather brings on the rut. That's the time of the year does are ready to receive bucks.
   Bucks lose all sense of caution during this time. You are liable to see them just about anywhere following a group of does or alone, waiting for one to come by.
   In any event, they lose all of their brains and truly through caution to the wind. Normally, a buck will hole up and hang around the really thick stuff especially areas around swamps. You'll seldom see them.
   But once the rut is on, it's every buck for himself. Being in the woods from now on through the Nov. 15 opener is a good time to see a nice set a horns and get a shot.
   Be careful, especially when hunting from a treestand. Remember to haul your bow and arrows up after you get on the stand.
   Stay buckled in so if you should slip or fall it won't be far and you can gain the stand with relative ease. Be sure your harness is one that supports you upright without cutting off your wind.
   And always hunt with someone and be sure to let others know where you'll be and when you will return.
Safe hunting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Notes and cards appreciated!

   Since I have written about my current medical ordeal beginning with surgery for a rotator cuff tear many readers have written in to wish me the best.
   Several have mentioned their own experience with the same malady. It seems all who have written have had similar reactions except the infection I incurred. So, from that point of view it looks like there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.
   Yesterday was my first day back at physical therapy. Rather than painful, I found it to be tiring very quickly. Funny how something as easy as raising your arm up with minimal support can tire those muscles quickly.
   Now that the infusion of antibiotics seems to have kicked in and the infection is doing lots better, hopefully the physical end of this will pay off sooner rather than later.
   Again, thanks for all of your support and your caring. It means a lot.